Did Daggerfall go overboard?

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MrFlibble
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by MrFlibble » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:27 am

Usernamicus wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:21 am
Side note: One thing that's fun is to ride a horse from settlement to settlement for immersion/scenery. Traveling from a large city to a nearby farm or inn is very satisfying. :D
Admittedly I didn't "slow travel" a lot in Daggerfall but my general impression (from the original DOS version, not Unity) is that it was less immersive than in Arena.

When you get out of a city in Arena you immediately run into farms and cultivated land, and further down the road there will be inns, temples and those castles. This is more or less consistent with how actual mediaeval settlements were organised. Of course, all this is in present Daggerfall as well but not connected by roads and more distanced from cities and towns.

Every time I'd venture out of a Daggerfall city or town I'd immediately find myself in some wasteland apparently untouched by human presence. As if a town was standing in the middle of a dense forest, or a desert. There's also this stark contrast between the almost perfectly flat ground in settled areas, and this crumpled paper look of the harsh terrain they created for the wilderness with XnGine. Somehow, Arena manages to produce a more coherent image of wilderness with its way less advanced tech, in my opinion.

I will admit that Daggerfall can do some pretty majestic views like here, but frankly it's fairly repetitive, even if possibly more realistic that anything Arena can offer:

Here's what an average Daggerfall wilderness walk looks like though:

Not much fun in the wilderness. There are vast chunks that don't even have any decorations at all, just plain rough terrain. But even with trees and stuff walking around is just random height variations and random trees, rocks etc. changing around the screen.

And here's a guy exploring the wilderness in Arena (jump to 8:18):

At least it's a lot more meaningful gameplay-wise, and not as tedious and repetitive.

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Jukic
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Jukic » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:02 pm

@MF: Thaks for the info and wonderful videos.

Arena-wise: Arena is still incredibly satisfying to play. When I heard that music-last video,8.18 and on. OMG the memories. (OK My last Arena play-through was a couple of years ago :geek: :)

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Zadroter
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Zadroter » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:26 am

I'd like to see classic landscape in Unity. I know this is not a priortiy currently, but still

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Hazelnut
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Hazelnut » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:44 am

Do you mean flat with jagged noise?

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Zadroter
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Zadroter » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:10 pm

Hazelnut wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:44 am
Do you mean flat with jagged noise?
No, I mean not as soft, you know. More retro-like, edged. :D

Usernamicus
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Usernamicus » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:47 pm

Arena's still great fun (old and clunky, but fun), and its wilderness is definitely way more immersive.

daggerdude
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by daggerdude » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:10 am

I'll be honest. I'd like a mod that makes daggerfall more like arena in terms of size and terrain. Not ditto, but it just feels way to crowded in daggerfall. I mean, if each province had 10 cities, villages, temples, manors, dungeons, and crypts ( i think thats everything) and shrunk to 1/4th of the size, that's still a sizeable thing considering there are so many provinces.

I just wish the size were more manageable and navigable.

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pango
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by pango » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:11 am

Zadroter wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:10 pm
Hazelnut wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:44 am
Do you mean flat with jagged noise?
No, I mean not as soft, you know. More retro-like, edged. :D
I think both a related; To get edges you need noisy heightmap.
I personally don't regret ground edges, they don't look natural at all. I kind of expect rougher terrain in rocky regions (mountains?) but even then, I'd prefer not see too many polygons if that can be helped...
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
-- Charles Goodhart

MrFlibble
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by MrFlibble » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:44 am

daggerdude wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:10 am
I'll be honest. I'd like a mod that makes daggerfall more like arena in terms of size and terrain. Not ditto, but it just feels way to crowded in daggerfall. I mean, if each province had 10 cities, villages, temples, manors, dungeons, and crypts ( i think thats everything) and shrunk to 1/4th of the size, that's still a sizeable thing considering there are so many provinces.

I just wish the size were more manageable and navigable.
I had great fun with the Betony demo of Daggerfall, which is more or less what you describe. That was the first thing I played after the downloadable FTP demo (which is just a dungeon with certain guild/temple services inserted for demonstration).

For the demo, they completely overhauled the island of Betony into a full-fledged province with the capital city, several large and small towns, a stand-alone temple and shrine, and a few farmsteads (around ten locations in total), and some 5-7 random dungeons (you can check out the full list of stuff here). There's no main quest but each faction has a few quests from the full game so the player could experience quite a large potion of the Daggerfall world.

The first time I played this, it felt like a self-contained adventure in its own right. Of course there are also limitations on how high you can level up, and there's a time limit (something like 270 days). But the demo is far less overwhelming and kind of gives an idea of what a complete game would be if the developers narrowed the scope of the world.

I mean, if you have a province of the scale of Arena or the Betony demo, you could rely less on random generation whilst giving each location more character and personality. It didn't have to be of the Morrowind kind where every place is literally screaming "Look, I am totally unlike any other place you've seen here!!!", but very certainly within the scope of the demo, there's little way you'd notice that the towns are all made from the same, repetitive elements.

As for Arena, there's yet another thing that it has much more fluid progression. Every element feels to be in its right place. Here's your quest, here's your equipment, here's your shops to buy and sell. No gimmick features that don't contribute to actual gameplay. At the same time there's some good roleplaying stuff like those "mood" messages you get when you enter towns, palaces, inns or stores. It's a pity they were not used in Daggerfall.

Local city palaces are probably the worst example here, because in Arena, when you enter a city ruler's palace, you'll have a message telling you of some political event you witness, like a council that just took place or a meeting with ambassadors from another city (remember there's a major warring states theme in Arena going on). Of course it's just a text narrative that doesn't do anything or even affect your character, but it adds depth to the game world. By contrast, in Daggerfall, a typical random city ruler's palace (I'm not talking quest-related royal courts here) is full of different folks that you can talk to but nothing is going on at all. You can't even tell what most of these people are supposed to be, except for the ruler who can be identified because he's standing near an armchair posing as a throne, and his guards.

It's clear that there were more features planned in Daggerfall that didn't make the cut, but these leftovers are a bit disappointing by themselves.

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Zadroter
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Re: Did Daggerfall go overboard?

Post by Zadroter » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:21 am

pango wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:11 am
I think both a related; To get edges you need noisy heightmap.
I personally don't regret ground edges, they don't look natural at all. I kind of expect rougher terrain in rocky regions (mountains?) but even then, I'd prefer not see too many polygons if that can be helped...
Well not shure if it actual heightmap issue, however I don't think about naturalness, more about dreaming of compleatly vanilla daggerfall by graphics elements (exept resolution of cource haha)

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