Ok, here we go. Part 3 of 3, at loooong last--sorry about the delay. I must tell you that I've been anticipating posting this blog entry for days and it has been a blast to think about and to put together. Before I completely say goodbye to Part #1 and Part #2 of this blog post though, I want to provide a summary of where I stand on the CRPG vs. MMORPG debate that began my "Musing":
To be clear, I DO think that MMORPGs are currently doing a significantly better job of providing these experiences. Though what constitutes a genuinely 'interactive gameworld' is still up for grabs, in my opinion. (I will detail more of this in my next blog-posting, when I give my take on WoW.) The MMORPG is currently outclassing the CRPG because of a combination of factors--all them driven by money. To be clear, I mean truly insane amounts of money being slurped in by the behavior-modification/alien-mind-control experts at Blizzard.
But as I yammered about earlier, I don't like this situation, nor do I think it must be the case. I also think that the CRPG form can exceed the MMORPG in this regard--if some changes and improvements are made; BIG ONES. This is the hardest route for CRPG developers to follow, as it's going to require some truly staggering amounts of work and technical innovation.
Now though, on to the conclusion of this blog topic! Time to explore what features and options and capabilities I believe would comprise my own, personal, "Ulitmate CRPG". So what am I after? Here's a list of things, in no real order.
There could be some consequences of these choices too. As an example; if the user decides to ignore "item durability", then perhaps certain special/magical weapons would be excluded from the "loot drop" generation. There are other possibilities for 'rewarding' the more hardcore players, but doing so should not unduly restrict the more 'casual' player.
A group of AI thugs, instead of just 'lurking ominously' around the same drab patch of forest, ought to get bigger and tougher if they aren't put in check by the player or NPC AI. Soon, instead of robbing stray travelers, robbing the local village might seem like a grand idea. At the point a NPC family's heirloom is stolen, they would naturally be anxious to get it back--hence the game generates a quest, which the player can accept or ignore when they wander through.
One game that does this kind of "dynamic quest with accept/ignore consequences" is Din's Curse by Soldak Entertainment. While I don't love the game, the fact that there are real, tangible, visible consequences for actions, that there are dynamically changing quests, is a wonderful addition to the CRPG genre.
This is a fantastic thing! Eschalon does one thing wrong in this regard though. While your current "Alchemy" stat affects the percentage chance-of-success, you cannot raise that stat without gaining levels in the typical fashion. If I continue to successfully mix things, not blowing myself up, after X number of successes my "Alchemy" stat SHOULD INCREASE.
I should still be allowed to TRY it. The original text/ASCII dungeon crawl CRPGs like Moria, Rogue, Angband, et al, allowed you to do this. More often that not, it was like playing Russian-roulette with with a bazooka. By by God, it was FUN!! Even in a perma-death game, it was a blast.
I have coined a new term for this hybrid, the "MODMOO-RPG", or the "Moderately Multi-player Online/Offline RPG". With this gaming model, you would:
The MODMOO-RPG would have several other benefits, from my point of view, which could make the gameplay MEANINGFUL for me:
Next up, a couple more items on my wish-list:
And now, my list of wishes and pet-peeves which are centered around the topic of "Breaking Immersion", "Destroying the player's Suspension of Disbelief", etc. It's like some games go out of their way to set the player up, get them rolling, then do every conceivable thing possible to ruin the experience.
"...new reinforcement troops literally dropped out of the sky onto my party. I could hardly believe my eyes. From any perspective, this out-of-nowhere ambush method is a pile of steaming garbage."
*pant* *pant* *pant*
Er, I think that's it--I'm done. I've got probably 6 or 7 thousand more ideas for what would make a CRPG "Meaningful", but my fingers hurt, and that's plenty of points to consider. (Some folks likely are thinking, "That's way more than 'plenty' already bub.") I hope I've given a better picture of what I look for in a game, and what kinds of innovations I think are possible. It remains to be seen where the world of RPGs goes, but I for one am rooting mightily for the classic CRPG.
Until next time then! May the RNG be kind, and may your "Staff of Delightful Backscratching +4" never fail you.
I was afraid that your idea of the "Ultimate CRPG" was going to be "Super Dwarf Fortress" or something similarly impenetrable to non-uber-nerds, but it turns out that your ideas are quite logical, with options for both casual and hardcore players. In the scope of the complex programming being done in today's games, nothing that you've proposed seems to be unrealistic (or even very hard) to accomplish with professional-league programmers.
On a minor note, I kind of take issue with your positive view of the Bioware-style battle system. The Bioware-style real-time/turn-based hybrid battle system has proven controversial with some of us here on AA. Particularly, if you don't "pause" the battle in time, your AI-driven ranged fighters (archers or mages) will run right up to the opponents' faces, who then take delight in hacking your ranged fighter to bits at close range! An "auto-pause" system between turns is sorely needed in these games, and would make the combat engine much less aggravating! Personally, I hated having to pause the battle just to keep my NPC's from being idiots!!!! An "auto-pause" option would make the battle system leagues better, and how hard could it possibly be to program an "auto-pause?!?!?"
Personally, I like "rails" in my games, because I want to get to the end of the game and feel like I beat it without a lot of "wasted" time. I realize that my viewpoint clashes with most CRPG'ers on that one, who love the exploration, immersion, and experimentation. It appears that your "Ultimate CRPG" concepts do not preclude my way of gaming, but do not preclude yours either!
Well, there's lots of "meat" in your article, but rather than go point-by-point on it, I can't say I disagree with anything in particular. Like I said, it all makes logical sense, it doesn't sound impossible to program, and it sounds like a maximum amount of fun can be gained by both casual and hardcore players! As you've pointed out, a lot of these ideas have already been done to some degree in various games, but never (apparently) in one cohesive whole.
Thanks for taking the time to read through it. (These blog posts are ending up a heck of a lot longer than I originally expected.) I figured that the Bioware mention might raise some eyebrows. I can remember some heated debates between friends and co-workers when Baldur's Gate came out, about how some liked it, some hated it, and so on. My initial reaction to Baldur's Gate was a HUGE thumbs-down! I was on a big Diablo kick at the time, and couldn't get my head out of that clicky-clicky-clicky madness for a while... I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I actually gave away my copy because I didn't like the game. (I had to buy another copy some time later. :-P)
What I liked about it most, and why I brought it up in the post, was the configurability and fine-grained control their system offered for "pause points" or "pause levels". I would truthfully like to have even more control than that, down to the point where by "moving a slider" you could go from Diablo/WoW/almost-FPS-realtime-insanity, to pure, old-school turn-based action.
About your suggestion for the "auto-pause" just before battle? Not that difficult, if the code architecture/system has been structured properly. Jeff Vogel of SpiderwebSoftware has this in his last 3-4 games. The game is "real time", until an encounter happens--then everything drops to turn-based selection. I have to agree with you about it---and I can't understand why more games don't offer it.
My initial reaction to Baldur's Gate was a HUGE thumbs-down! I was on a big Diablo kick at the time, and couldn't get my head out of that clicky-clicky-clicky madness for a while... I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I actually gave away my copy because I didn't like the game. (I had to buy another copy some time later. :-P)
Believe it or not, my initial reaction to Baldur's Gate was much the same as yours. Heck, the game nearly killed my interest in gaming altogether! I fought like never before to force myself to play that game, only because Matt recommended it so highly. But after I got over the hump, I found it an amazing experience!
I even blogged about my "Baldur's Gate" experience here on AA back in the day. You can read about it here at this link:
"Baldur's Gate: Slogging, Life, and finding the HOLY GRAIL of Videogaming!"
What I liked about it most, and why I brought it up in the post, was the configurability and fine-grained control their system offered for "pause points" or "pause levels".
In Baldur's Gate and Star Wars:KotR, I recall that you had to manually pause the action to input orders to your party members. If you were too late, your stupid party would kamikaze themselves into the nearest pack of enemies.
I would truthfully like to have even more control than that, down to the point where by "moving a slider" you could go from Diablo/WoW/almost-FPS-realtime-insanity, to pure, old-school turn-based action.
This system would be ideal, and would have saved me from uttering many a curse word in the afore-mentioned games!
One idea that wasn't mentioned in your "ultimate CRPG" list: auto-travel! What I mean by "auto-travel" is the ability to just click on a location that you've visited previously, and the game takes your party there instantly, without spending all that time manually walking your character(s) there. Many games have this feature, and it's a great time-saver.
My recent gaming sessions with "The Witcher" were severely hampered by the lack of this feature. I hated having to spend several minutes walking across town to the tavern. Those minutes add up, and I figured that half my playing time was spent pointlessly walking! It may be realistic, but I think that's taking "role-playing" to an absurd level. I actually gave up on "The Witcher," an otherwise excellent game, because of all this non-stop walking back and forth!
Many CRPG's have the "auto-travel" feature between towns or important locations, and it makes the gaming sessions much more involving (to me)! However, in some cases, just auto-traveling to a new town only helps somewhat, because once you're in town, you still have to walk walk walk around between taverns, shops, houses, and so forth. My interest in "Oblivion" was killed by this in-town walking, especially since I recall hunting around for a specific shop/NPC and couldn't find it! The town was huge!
If you're in an unfamiliar location, then walking around and exploring is part of the fun. In fact, I explored every inch of the "Baldur's Gate" map as I traveled it, leaving no pixel unturned! But to make you walk everywhere you've already been, particularly if there's no particular danger involved, seems like artificial time padding to me. If a CRPG advertises "100 hours of game play," I tend to wonder if 50 or more of those hours are spend pointlessly walking...
Gripe mode: off.
Your absolutely right about that Rob, I did skip auto-travel/teleporting. (Of course, I actually skipped a whole bunch of other options too, but I was really tired of typing by the time I wound down on that blog post.) Plodding across a gameworld all the time, sucks rocks.
I haven't played the Witcher series yet. They really don't have a quick-travel option? Man that really stinks. What about Witcher2? (I've been avoiding looking at YouTube for either one, as I would like to play the games at some point in the future.)
Heck, Diablo had portals, Diablo2 had those rune-site quick travel things. Geez... Even most of the Indie CPRGs offer these kinds of short-cuts.
What I'd really like to have is the ability to set up semi-permanent teleport points within the game. So you can pop back and forth between locations that YOU choose. I used the portals in Diablo1 an awful lot as an emergency escape hatch. The only thing I didn't like was that if you played by yourself, the portal was a one-shot. (Playing with another person, head-to-head, was terrific--you just made a point of using each other's portal, and the things would never close.)
One option I've pondered is to have the portal last for a specific duration within my game--and offer a potential game-play tweak whereby certain monsters MIGHT FOLLOW YOU THROUGH THE PORTAL. Or, if facing a wizard, they might "distort" your portal-spell, and cause it to zap you somewhere else if you try to escape. All kinds of weird options like that would be fun to explore.
I'm interested Bitsweep.. What are your favorites.. and why?
I know Everquest might be my "holy grail" game.. right now its almost unplayble to me.. much like Ultima and older RPG that whre so awsome back when I first played them.. Everquest, I was extremly lucky to play with a group of about 4 friends who where all as addicted as me to it. it was for all intents AD&D online with graphics and no dice rolling/books.. you "just played". I know it was flawed in many ways, but at the time there was simply no better game (to me).. as far as single player.. all the Dungeon Master/ eob games.. tehy where my idea of a great RPG.
as far as new.. I do like the draknsguard games alot.. and most new one entertain... but I believe Im chasing youth more thant a perfect game nowdays... I will never enjoy a game like the first time I played Dungeon master... no matter how good it is.
Favorite CRPGs is a flaky subject with me. As I mentioned above here, in a reply to Rob, I actually severely disliked Baldur's Gate when I first tried it. I was hopelessly addicted to the manic, real-time clicky-ness of Diablo. I was also heavily into Half-Life and some mods for it, and utterly convinced that "modern CRPGs needed to be real-time and streamlined." (I have never done drugs in my life, but when I look back at myself now, I wonder... Maybe I thumped my head on something, who knows?)
Anyway, my brain only came back to normal while sitting at a friend's apartment one evening, about a year after Baldur's 1 was released, and watching him play PlaneScape:Torment. I kept getting more and more drawn into that game, and fascinated by the mechanics of it. He noticed, and then fired up Baldur's Gate--at that point sanity returned I guess.
As far as "all time CRPG favorites", here they are in roughly chronological order.
Pirate Adventure (Scott Adam's)
SuperQuest (obscure AppleII game, but HUGELY addictive for me)
Ultima 3, 4
Wizardry 1, 2
Bard's Tale 1 (Amiga)
Rogue, Moria, Hack, Angband (Unix & Amiga ASCII things)
The Faery Tale Adventure (Amiga only... HOPELESSLY addicted to this in college.)
Out of This World (oddball Amiga game)
Sword of Damocles (Amiga sci-fi game)
Myst (I know, not a CRPG in the technical sense.)
Eye of the Beholder
Pool of Radiance
Baldurs Gate1,2 / Planescape
SpiderwebSoftware - Avernum 4,5
Basilisk Games - Eschalon Book1, Book2
- The text adventures I loved, because they allowed me to get lost in a mental/imaginative world. They seemed HUGE, and were a nice, slower pace compared to the quarter-sucking arcade games that ate all my lunch money. I could savor the world, and at the time I genuinely enjoyed the puzzle-solving.
-The "clicky" ones like Diablo were enjoyable because of the frenzy of combat in a fantasy setting. It was a nice change from the sedate, turn-based stuff that I had been playing for well over a decade.
- The Faery Tale was so addicting that I literally was DREAMING the game interface--to take any action in my dreams, I was using pull-down menus to do everything. It hooked me because of a staggeringly MASSIVE gameworld, which fit on one disk. The game pace was semi-realtime, but slow enough that you could plan for things. It also was very "stat-light", so you didn't have to micromanage things like with Wizardry.
- Sword of Damocles was another, technically astonishing game. It had an entire, 3D, explorable SOLAR SYSTEM... on one single floppy. While there were no stats or character management, the storyline was extremely involved, and I always felt very much a "part" of that gameworld. And boy, did my actions MATTER... if you do things right, you save your homeworld. If you don't, the incoming asteroid shatters it to bits.
- The ASCII "Roguelikes" hooked me for much the same reason that the Zork stuff did--it had immense gameplay, incredible complexity of exploration and interaction, but relied on a very "suggestive" interface--hence my imagination took over. It felt very much like playing the table-top D&D sessions that I had at that time.
- The GoldBox games + Bioware stuff, because it was very much a way for me to play D&D when there were no gamer groups around. (Traveled too much for military + civilian work for a while.)
- Myst - Same thing as Zork; an enormous, beautiful, mystery, loaded with puzzles. Uncovering the story as you went was fascinating.
- Gothic series - awesomely HUGE, vital, real-feeling worlds.
- Divine Divinity - I really love the isometric view in games, and this felt a lot like the good parts of Diablo mixed with the good parts of the Bioware games.
- Spiderweb Software + Basilisk Games - because I really started getting into the Indie scene, and these were well lauded. I found the Spiderweb games to have some of the deepest, most unusual stories of any game. Eschalon series was a lovely throwback to the earlier, turn-based aesthetic, in a really solid gameworld--also offered some serious stats/skills micromanaging.
I know that my answer is all over the map, but that's how it is with me.
And yeah, the "online D&D" concept of EverCrack is what pulled me in, really made me want to love the game. I just got so fed up with the crap implementation, that I couldn't stand it.
"The Bioware games Baldur's Gate, Planescape:Torment, and Baldur's Gate II"
BioWare did NOT create Planescape:Torment. It does use the engine created by BioWare however.
Thanks Jaesun, you are absolutely correct. Black Isle produced Planescape: Torment, with Chris Avellone as the lead.
That's what I get for writing in a rush, late at night, and not taking enough time for thorough editing. *DERP*
I see this article is getting some play on Game Banshee and RPG Codex. Grats, Shawn!
Here are some of my thoughts on your thoughts.
The chance to either go "stat-heavy", or to basically ignore the stat-management aspect of the game.
This seems logical enough and is employed in many existing CRPGs as you well know. I think it started with the "quick party" or pre-made characters on disk that you could load instead of rolling your own.
One caveat of this system is that it's easier for the designers to go with pre-made and stat-managed games, since they then have a better idea of the player's strengths at any given minute. The more you allow players to manage it, the more possible it is for them to either achieve some kind of "unfair" advantage or get the game into an unwinnable state. For instance, imagine you have a stat for "resistance," but don't realize that cranking it up far beyond what a "normal" player would do makes them immune to a whole species of beasties? Unless you've anticipated that and planned for it, it could screw up the balance.
Also, what if a player creates a party of nothing but wizards, nothing but fighters, etc., and not the standard warrior/cleric/mage/rogue/utility char? My answer is that the game should be flexible enough to accommodate it, though granted it could be a lot more difficult. IIRC Wizardry even let you go with one character instead of a party, who became a special class of "hero." Pretty interesting.
Detailed control over game-engine behavior, apart from the Easy/Medium/Hard/Insane difficulty options:
Another interesting idea. A designer would have to be very careful again not to screw up the balance too much though. It's a lot to keep in mind. Each one of these is interesting, so let's talk about them individually:
Food/water. I love what WOW did with these and is a sign of their designers' brilliance. Instead of making them required, they just provide temporary bonuses and/or help you heal or mana up faster. They also tied this into a profession (cooking) with its own set of fun challenges.
The early games that don't require you to get food and water justify it by saying, well, some things your characters just do on their own, like go to the bathroom. You don't have to control everything! There is a point where you have to draw the line. Do you really need a SIMS button to have the urinate?
Then again, peeing and pooping could be interesting, too, since you could factor in things like mobs who can smell it and track you based on that. So then you'd have to implement a latrine system, or at least bury your poo. Or perhaps you could use it conversely--peeing on trees and such might create a barrier that certain mobs wouldn't cross.
Some of the Rogue games and Dungeon Master allow you to eat corpses, which can have varied effects. I always thought this was interesting, too, since I love being able to use stuff I kill. (I've heard Monster Hunter is the ultimate at this). WOW is great here, too, about letting you skin monsters and make stuff out of their hides, cook their flesh, etc.
In short, a requirement to eat and drink isn't a big deal as long as you keep the necessary supplies handy and make it a bonus as well.
On a special note, requiring characters to drink water goes against history. That would get you sick and dead pretty quick. In the times most of these games are set, people seldom if ever drank water, not even children. They drank watered down alcoholic beverages. There's a reason sailors are known for their "grog." A barrel of water gets stagnant pretty quickly! This is why I laugh when you drink one bottle of booze in these games and your characters get drunk. Really? Can you imagine the resistance they must have after a lifetime of drinking? Even milk was fermented!
In short, to be realistic about water, you'd have to have them either boiling the water they find (or use some type of magical sanitation), or adding some alcohol to it. In other words, being realistic about water requirements is too complex to worry about. If you just "assume" the characters are doing this on their own, why not assume they planned ahead and brought water on their own and drink when they get thirsty?
And also, how long does it take to starve to death? MONTHS! Not seconds after you miss your meal!
My ultimate game wouldn't require you to eat to survive, but would eventually lower your stats. If you hadn't eaten anything in a month, let's say, you would be very weak in combat and perhaps take extra damage, lower resistances, etc. However, this is a small stick. The carrot is that you learn recipes and cook food you get from corpses or hunts, and most of it provides cool bonuses. Plus, if you're out killing stuff anyway, might as well have it benefit you in multiple ways.
Sleep/rest. I think resting makes sense and usually isn't too big of a hindrance. Many games have a rest/camp option, where you run a risk of being attacked. Some go as far as to let you post sentries, or have areas designated as safe spots to rest. Again I favor a non-fatal tactic. After a day without rest, your stats drop. You don't die. On the other hand, if you're well rested, you get perks (added alertness especially).
Item durability. Another thorny one. A lot of games have items that wear out, but compensate with a "blacksmithing" or "armorer" type of skill that lets you repair the stuff. Other games don't have it, but have random events where a helmet or shield gets destroyed after a particular nasty blow.
Realistically, the type of armor you see in most games would have required a great deal of maintenance and a small team to help you put it on and take it off. For your convenience, there was a slot on the back you could pop open to take a dump. The heat could be as fatal as the attacks the armor is protecting you from. (So again we're in that "if you're going to do X because it's realistic, why stop there?")
Again I'd go to carrot approach. Your armor and weapons never disintegrate completely, but if you sharpen, polish, coat it with dragon poo, etc., they gain temporary bonuses.
Magical item recharge. I put this in the same category as magical potions and scrolls. I generally hate them because I always save them for "when I really need them." In the past I've reloaded saved games because I'd rather reload than quaff one of those precious potions. Of course by the end I had hundreds of them.
I don't like healing or mana pots, nor wands and scrolls for this reason. I'd rather just make them unnecessary. If you want a wand of magic missiles, have it be unlimited but just make it too weak to be a game changer.
weight limitations. This can be fun if you are creative with it. For instance, I loved the mules in Dungeon Siege, and the "bags of holding" in D&D. It also makes sense to me that a character with too low of a strength score couldn't wield an heavy sword or bow. That brings up the interesting question of exercise, though. If you're carrying 300 pounds of equipment with you, wouldn't you bulk up? And I think we can assume that you'd set down the 300 pound bag as soon as you were attacked...
Again, realistically, looting corpses was a HUGE thing, and the #1 reason most soldiers were involved to begin with. You aren't a professional soldier, so that's your pay. Indeed, sometimes battles were lost because the soldiers were so busy looting that the other side was allowed time to regroup and attack!
I know I keep coming back to it, but I'd just go with the carrot/stick here again. If you carry too much, you suffer some penalties, particularly with movement. If you aren't carrying anything, you gain bonuses. I think faster movement is a nice tradeoff for lugging that chest of gold coins.
I actually want to design a whole game around this concept: "Miles E. Dwarf & Sons Dungeon Excavators." The heroes have already cleared most of the monsters; it's your job to go in and get all the treasure out, avoiding traps, dealing with stragglers. This could go as far as having to build pulley and winch systems or having ropes attached to teams of goats.
Real-time vs. turn-based. I'm a big fan of turn-based, so not much to say here. If I want action, I'll play Doom. That's not why I'm drawn to CRPGs. I've never seen an AI in a CRPG that I could depend on, like Rob says--the archers and mages are running right up into the melee. Turn-based does it better.
A good mix of procedurally/algorithmically-generated content. I'm a bit torn on this one. I like to feel that whatever I'm doing in a game has been "Intelligently Designed" by someone. If I feel like it's just being procedurally generated, I start to feel like I'm just running in place.
Imagine if J.R.R. Tolkien had procedurally generated Middle-Earth. If you can, you'll love Bethesda. If you can't, you'd better stick with the OCD designers who can tell you the 50 different species of fruit fly on this island in their world.
Procedurally generated content is the refuge of the lazy and the necessary evil of tech limitations. Now that we have (FAPP) unlimited memory, the only excuse for it is laziness, cheapness, or some desire to "make a game longer."
I do not want to find a Frost Shortblade of the Fire Troll with Leather Armrests ever again. If you're too #$@ busy to sit down and create a cool sword for me to find, then I'm too busy to play your lame ass game.
Moderately Multi-player Online/Offline RPG. I think I may have mentioned some of the books I've been reading on this; get Reality is Broken if you haven't already. Some of what you are concerned about has been addressed in various ways, such as the "passive" multiplayer in Spore.
I think you'd really like the format of D&D Online, too, which does precisely what you're talking about. The "open world" part of it is actually pretty minor; the idea is that you'll take your small parties into the instances for short sessions. Unfortunately, it wasn't well designed (like all the AD&D stuff lately) and lacked the magic.
I was reading an article in Game Developer yesterday about "griefers" that was really good. They gave some great examples of people who went to extremes just to be irritating. I don't know what you can really do about people who just won't play nice. I don't think there's anything you could come up with that couldn't be abused.
My recent example is Mario Kart on the Wii. You can't chat or do anything, but some griefers actually find ways to use the obscure foreign characters to make their names into curse words. I mean, what kind of punk ass would do that? The sad part is, probably only 1% of the players. But that 1% is what gets noticed.
I think then the only solution is to make it easy to filter or ignore punks like that, or just make your system immune to it. The achievements on XLA are a good way to make things feel like multiplayer without having you actually play with other people, for instance.
Blizzard and the rest recognize that while a griefer pays a subscription, he causes five other subscribers to cancel.
You could easily write a whole book about the issue and the various ways designers have tried to deal with it. Ultima Online is especially interesting in this regard, as is Eve Online.
Thanks for pointing out GameBanshee had picked up this article Matt. It's gratifying when people find a piece of writing interesting enough to spread it around.
The fact that it was re-posted from GameBanshee to RPG-Codex is curious. I'm not sure why the poster did so--as expected, 99% of the comments are useless dreck, nearly inarticulate attempts at personal attacks, and sanctimonious & self-aggrandizing comments deriding nearly every feature on the list. (Yet few of them could somehow muster the words to explain their stance, or point out a counter-example. How... unsurprising.)
Jeff Vogel of SpiderwebSoftware posted about the place some months back when he released the Windows version of his new game, Avadon:
RPG Codex is an interesting place. It is inhabited by people who like role-playing games, but love hating them. It's full of anger and enough raw bigotry that I would never advertise there. But, if you want to keep your self-esteem under control and read bad things about a game you wrote, go there. Just don't ever let those people get into your head.
Truthfully, I rarely visit the site. You have to dig through a mountain of stupid to find anything of interest or value. Small minds like that aren't worth my time. I'm grateful that here I can at least get polite and intelligent debate, refutation, counter-points, and counter-examples.
I'm vaguely curious how much your work has been attacked there, or if you ever bothered to look.