To anybody who interviews Bethesda, Please ask them this

I have read countless interviews with Bethesda regarding Morrowind, and I have never heard the question asked why the NPC’s aren’t as unique and compex as they said they wanted them to be. I remember reading interviews with Todd Howard saying that Ultima 7 was his favorite game and he wanted the NPC’s to be as complex as that. And while obviously you can’t have 3000 NPC’s have that complexity, they could have at least had some. So anyways, I’m dying to hear this question asked

Mod a few NPCs in the game to make them more unique, and you’ll see why MW doesn’t have 3000 NPCs with total uniqueness.

This is not a faceteous answer, either.


Only Chris Avellone or a vast render farm undergrads would have solved the writing problem. But the generic blead isn’t entirely the dialogue, static placements, limited animations (strut or stand, no stroll mind you) and the lack of any real utility are substantive drags.

they might personally want to have great npcs but i don’t think that is what the elder scrolls is all about. in the time it takes to make one great memorable npc they can probably make many more bland/generic ones, which tes games seem to favor heavily. clearly they made a decision to have massive content over quality - which is what the series is known for. mw doesn’t have limitless content like daggerfall did but what it did have was usually higher quality. i wonder if the next game in the series will gravitate towards(quality, massive content, or staying about where it is now).

i’d rather someone asked them why they designed a huge elaborate world but made it dead and lifeless. even daggerfall had random questing i still don’t understand why they didn’t at least have something similar. personally i was expecting dynamic content beyond daggerfall’s level. :cry:

> have never heard the question asked why the NPC’s aren’t as unique and compex as they said they wanted them to be.

It’s just a matter of resources – both programming resources, and CPU/hardware resources when running the application. Bethesda definitely wanted to do more, in terms of NPC schedules (there’s some, in specific quests) in particular.

Elder Scrolls 4 should be another ambitious jump ahead, and hopefully that’ll be one of the things addressed.

Heh, there are only 2495 NPCs, by the way.

Feel free to increase your geek score by a couple of points :D

/drool TES4…

What are the chances this is released before Duke Nukem? Have they started serious work on it yet, anyone know?


Well I remember interviews with Todd Howard where he said he wanted to focus on quality and detail now more then quantity. And NPC’s were a part of it. Also not having any fed-ex quests. Just seems like they fell way short of their goal and I want to know why. It seems interviewers are reluctant to ask tough questions.

They are working on it – it is a long, long way off. At least a couple of years.

They are working on it – it is a long, long way off. At least a couple of years.[/quote]
So that’s a “yes,” then, on release before Duke Nukem? :twisted:

I was very angry after reading 30+ “interviews” of Warren Spector and the Ion Storm team on Deus Ex and not having a SINGLE one deal with anything besides gameplay and to a small extent graphics.

I’m getting tired of cookie cutter interviews. If there is anything this industry needs on a personnel front its a top-notch computer game journalist who asks insightful and non-standard questions of developers.

I get the feeling these interviewers don’t take their jobs very seriously and are often in awe/reverence of the person(s) they are interviewing. Not good.

Any interviewers WITH balls?

I hear ya dude. Interviews as usually tools for the PR department as far as I’m concerned. Sure, sometimes you’ll get someone being interviewed give some interesting responces, but gaming journalists aren’t looking to expose big coverups or blow the lid on some huge controversy. They’re there to tell gamers about the games. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes for dull interviews.

Even then I imagine getting Doug Lowenstein from the IDSA or anyone from the ESRB(for example) to answer candid questions can be tough. I’ve been trying for some time to get them to grant an interview that won’t get completely dilluted by their PR departments. But then again, I’m not exactly with a major gaming publication, haha.

I’m not really talking about scandals or controversy, although that’s fine if applicable. I’m talking more about the balls to have brains…

Deus Ex contains many artistic elements from a design standpoint as well as many mythological elements. NONE of these things were covered in any way by the 30+ interviews.

Another guy and I on the Planet Deus Ex forums came up with seven or so artistic/mythological design elements, in additional to the psychological trauma of Paul and the genocidal plans of Page.

I understand why reviewers don’t want to cover these aspects (they count as spoilers) but if interviewers don’t cover them then perhaps there is a need for websites associated with this aspect.

On the PDX forums I even boldly predicted the rise of websites that focus on the art of games.

I should point out that most of Tribunal’s (far fewer) NPCs each have a couple of spoken lines of unique dialog. Seles the name, shells the game. In fact Tribunal pretty much addresses each and every exact issue that players had with Morrowind, although in the end it seemed rather short and shallow, especially for the game’s price.