I was asked recently by a friend of mine how I would redesign Blizzard’s Battle.net interface for Warcraft III if I had to. I thought it was a curious question but recently, the original Starcraft got a remaster, which got me thinking about what a remaster for Warcraft III might entail. As you may all know, I enjoy Warcraft 3 very much, so I took it as a challenge and went ahead an designed some mock-ups for what I would redesign Battle.net as.
So at this E3, Bethesda unveiled a project of theirs called the Creation Club, which allows – essentially – modders that they’ve approved of to create content for Skyrim and Fallout 4. Because of that, the Internet lost its mind. “Paid mods!” they yelled and proceeded to screech at Bethesda for no reason other than the fact that these two words connected in their heads.
In my review of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I criticise the UI of the game as being quite bad. While it is aesthetically pleasing, it’s lacking in terms of functionality and is a pain to navigate. It’s a bit of mess. Since my last article was about an Inventory UI mockup for the next Elder Scrolls game, I figured I’d give Mass Effect: Andromeda’s UI the same treatment.
Bethesda, we need to talk. I remember having a lot of fun in Oblivion mixing and matching my armour pieces, and only recently did I find out that this was actually a downgrade from Morrowind. Morrowind’s equipment system was big, with clothing going under your armour and robes going over your armour. Skyrim’s? A bit disappointing, to be honest. Your pants and top were fused together, denying your inner fashionista the chance to express itself. True, there were mods you could use, but still, it would be excellent if the base game would allow me to dress myself instead of mothering me with attire restrictions, but I digress. I don’t know how effective the Fallout 4 equipment system would work in an Elder Scrolls game, but ideally, it would make yours truly, and many, many other fans of the Elder Scrolls happy if the the vanilla armour were broken up into more than 4 pieces.
When compared to warrior types, mages seem to draw the short end of the stick when it comes to combat. Anybody who’s tried to build a pure mage character, or even hybrids for that matter, have faced the situation when they run out of Magicka barely a few seconds into a fight. While physical attacks will drain your Stamina fairly quickly, you are still able to swing your sword at the enemy even when that resource is drained. It doesn’t work like that for magical combat; if your Magicka is depleted, you can no longer fight, and that’s a problem.
Combat in the Elder Scrolls always felt strange to me. It lacked ‘oomph’, it was floaty, and the magic was mostly a matter of hoarding Magicka potions to fuel an assortment of rather unimpressive spells that you would spam all day long. Melee combat is mostly an endless repetition of clicks with no strategy and using the bow or crossbow requires you nail that sneak attack, or else get ready to kite an enemy from one end of the map to the other. Having damage-soaking bad guys on top of all that only aggravates the issue, relegating the job of making the game truly fun to modders.
To say that I’ve been disappointed in Fallout 4 is a bit of an understatement (At least it wasn’t anything like Dragon Age: Inquisition) but I’ve seemed to have fallen into a rather cynical pattern of negativity where I just bash a game for not living up to my standards. While I still hold such criticism to be valid, I wanted to try to approach the situation, Gopher style, and see what I like about a game rather than what displeased me. Here’s a short list of things about Fallout 4 that genuinely made me smile.
After I submitted my Feykin race for the Techtree Contest number 10 on The Hive Workshop, I had intended it to be my last submission. If that had been the case, I would have done so having failed to really deliver on a race that was fully-featured and full of its very own custom models. As the Techtree Contest 11’s discussion came around, I started feeling this familiar longing to participate, the ideas already starting to simmer in my head. I thought I’d just scout out the thread and see in what direction it was going, and ultimately a theme was voted in; Techno-Magic. This one was suggested by yours truly since I wanted something new. The entire idea behind this particular theme was to work with a teammate so that we could divide the workload and really deliver a great and compelling new race. I was ready for the challenge, but plans have a way of rarely working out, do they?
Bethesda has made a name for itself with its vast open-world games set in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout universes. The company has had worldwide success, but as of late, especially with the release of Fallout 4, there is an alarming decline in the quality of the gaming experience, particularly when it comes to role-playing, that has me legitimately worried about the future of both franchises.
The following points will look at games from both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, from Oblivion to Fallout 4.
I’ve tried to find something significant to praise with Fallout 4, but the only things I could really appreciate were a few improvements on certain mechanics like the quick loot or the armour system. The roleplaying aspect of Fallout 4 remains woefully underwhelming. By that I mean that it lacks choice or complexity.