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Why did most open world games follow the Assassins Creed formula instead of Skyrims formula?

Chronicle

Member
People often talk about open world fatigue within the gaming industry and it seems more so people are fatigued by the run of the mill Ubisoft style open world. When BOTW came out it seemed like a breath of fresh air and same has happened with ER. With that being said the games seemingly inspired by Skyrim’s more exploratory style open world instead of AC task based open world fair better, why didn’t more developers take influence from it instead of Assassins creed in your opinion?

I’d probably chalk it up to easier to create a guided style game instead of one where ground up is designed to be explored.
You make statements like a breath of fresh air about elden ring and Breath of the wild but i have no idea what you're talking about. Those aren't universally accepted ideas. I've played neither.

How did games fair better? Monetarily? Enjoyment? Critiques?

I also played several AC games and have 'explored' in those games. Plus i was very 'fatigued' by the end of skyrim just like all open world games.

You have to be clearer. Give examples. You just make blanket statements that aren't necessarily true.

Then you toss out some thoughtless answer 'I'd chalk it up to....' some puked out idea.

What are we to discuss? Why should we discuss it with you
Huh? I think you starting with “I haven’t played either” means you kind of disqualify yourself from responding to that particular part. BOTW and ER are the highest rated OW games in ages in part because what they do differently. Most people know the difference between a Skyrim style ow, and Ubi style open world so I didn’t really need to expand to much on that. I think you would need to play both to fully engage in what makes them different. In large part they’re great because it’s something you got to experience.
I disagree. You specifically stated Skyrim and AC. Also you still have not said why those two games ER and BTOW 'faired' better. I will play Elden Ring and have no doubt it's a better game than both Skyrom and AC but I need context.
 

JimmyRustler

Gold Member
It‘s much easier to do and sells like hot cakes anyway.

I also find it funny and sad how people reduce Skyrim to it‘s often copy and paste dungeons when it‘s so much more than that. There are very few games like it out there.
 

WolfusFh

Member
Think you answered your own question there bud.

I'll add that though there is fatigue of AC style open world games, you can't get fatigued of something unless it was once popular and successful...so people copying the style of AC is the same reason why people make soulslike games. The formula is proven to work.
Well, considering that all it takes for a game to be called "soulslike" is to have some form of combat and a roll-dodge, that doesn't really say much.
 

SatansReverence

Hipster Princess
I guess games now need a giant banner when they start that says explicitly "You can turn all assistive elements completely."

. . . but then we wouldn't get masterclass posts like this:



"Gosh why isn't everyone as smart as me."
gonna cry tobey maguire GIF
 

Fbh

Member
It's easier, most people outside of enthusiast circles don't care and it also makes it easier to achieve generic bullet points like "our biggest world ever !!!!1!!111!!!!!".

One major thing I've noticed in a lot of open world games that I enjoy is that in most of them devs seem willing to accept the idea that players will miss out on content and won't see everything. That's IMO one of the key factors to achieving a great sense of exploration and discovery as well as memorable secrets. I think a lot of devs/publishers still look at it from a purely financial perspective and it's like "We've spend X amount of time and money on this quest so we need to make sure as many people as possible play it". But that's how you end up with checklist worlds, maps full of icons and overly guided experiences.
 

Laptop1991

Member
Assassin's Creed followed the The Witcher 3 formulae because of how successful the game is, Ubisoft can't make games like TES in my opinion,

AC titles always had an open world to an extent and were always 3rd person anyway, they just made it a lot bigger and open and added some rpg elements and more side quest's, like the Witcher 3 and it worked, they sold more games.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Well, considering that all it takes for a game to be called "soulslike" is to have some form of combat and a roll-dodge, that doesn't really say much.
That's not what it takes at all. Soulslike games use similar death mechanics. Mainly, little to no player protection from falling off edges, a harder the average difficulty, the retrieving of souls or other currency after death at the place in which you last died. They generally are hub based (Demon's Souls) or a connected world (Dark Souls). There's generally some form of leveling system for different stats. Not all Soulslike games include all of the things you or I mentioned, but to limit the requirements to dodge rolling and "some form of combat" is a lazy assessment.

If all it took was dodge rolling and some form of combat, Elder Scrolls Online would be a Soulslike.
 

Mozzarella

Member
I have no experience in game design, i have not worked on that, but i assume its an engine technology thing.
Bethesda engine is quite unique, it allows for the most weird mods you can imagine. Perhaps that flexibility in game design allows them to make these type of worlds.
Or it could be that the Ubisoft formula is easier and gives around the same profit, so its like time/work with profit ratio or something.
 
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anthraticus

Member
It's easier, most people outside of enthusiast circles don't care and it also makes it easier to achieve generic bullet points like "our biggest world ever !!!!1!!111!!!!!".

One major thing I've noticed in a lot of open world games that I enjoy is that in most of them devs seem willing to accept the idea that players will miss out on content and won't see everything. That's IMO one of the key factors to achieving a great sense of exploration and discovery as well as memorable secrets. I think a lot of devs/publishers still look at it from a purely financial perspective and it's like "We've spend X amount of time and money on this quest so we need to make sure as many people as possible play it". But that's how you end up with checklist worlds, maps full of icons and overly guided experiences.
Also, in order to have proper reactivity/choices & consequences, that inherently means locking players out of content. That's contrary to Bethesda's philosophy of "any character can do anything and go anywhere they want, at any time".
 

WolfusFh

Member
That's not what it takes at all.

If all it took was dodge rolling and some form of combat, Elder Scrolls Online would be a Soulslike.
Tell that to everyone who calls anything under the light a souls like. This "genre" is the most arbitrarily defined thing I've ever seen. You ask 100 different people, you'll probably get 100 different answers, including "oh man it's got that souls FEELING".
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Tell that to everyone who calls anything under the light a souls like. This "genre" is the most arbitrarily defined thing I've ever seen. You ask 100 different people, you'll probably get 100 different answers, including "oh man it's got that souls FEELING".
Well instead of joining them in ignorance, maybe consider what really makes a Soulslike game, because it's not just dodge rolling and some type of combat.
 

Kumomeme

Member
probably Asassin's Creed formula show clear gameplay structure that everyone can copypasta easily. even Ubisoft copypasta things for their yearly AC game. same structure, replace location and character then done. perhaps thats the intention behind the design. or they cant easily release the game each year.
the gameplay structure also appeal and easier to 'get' by casual players.

something like Skyrim is not easy to copy as it need more attention toward the design and world.
 
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WolfusFh

Member
Well instead of joining them in ignorance, maybe consider what really makes a Soulslike game, because it's not just dodge rolling and some type of combat.
There isn't a standard definition of "what really makes a Soulslike game". That's the thing. For a genre to be useful, a general agreement on regards to the minimum necessary characteristics that makes the genre. And that simply doesn't exist. You'll get all sorts of wild nonsensical definitions from gamers, something that does not happen with other genre.

That's why you'll see "souls-like" tags being attributed to fast paced 2d action platformers, to 3rd person shooters with stamina and so on.
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
Not sure how ubisoft games being glitchy, having shitty combat and mediocre writing is different from the bethesda template but ok...
 
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Jigsaah

Gold Member
There isn't a standard definition of "what really makes a Soulslike game". That's the thing. For a genre to be useful, a general agreement on regards to the minimum necessary characteristics that makes the genre. And that simply doesn't exist. You'll get all sorts of wild nonsensical definitions from gamers, something that does not happen with other genre.

That's why you'll see "souls-like" tags being attributed to fast paced 2d action platformers, to 3rd person shooters with stamina and so on.
You mean like Remnant of the Ashes? That is a Soulslike game, despite it being a 3rd person shooter. The systems in that game. It's Death mechanics are similar, It's leveling is similar. The way you upgrade weapons is similar. The world layout is similar, with it's own "Nexus" and somewhat connected but not open world. I haven't played through Below (which I assume is the 2D game you may have in mind) so I can't really speak to that game and whether it's Soulslike or not. That's also not the point, though.

I agree people attribute the term "Soulslike" too loosely. I'm just saying that you also just did the same thing by saying the game just needs combat rolling and some form of combat. When there is definitely more to it than just that.
 
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WolfusFh

Member
You mean like Remnant of the Ashes?
No, I was not being specific. I've seen several situations in which people classified a 3rd person shooter as "souls like" just based on the dodge, just looking at trailers.

While not a 3rd person shooter, you can see a lot of "Soulslike" name drops in trailers such as final fantasy, monster hunter, that sun wuokong game.
The world layout is similar, with it's own "Nexus" and somewhat connected but not open world.
Not a souls exclusive thing though.
I haven't played through Below (which I assume is the 2D game you may have in mind)
Again, wasn't being specific. But in the 2d case, there are several examples of poor use the "genre". Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, Celeste, Ori, the list goes on.
I agree people attribute the term "Soulslike" too loosely. I'm just saying that you also just did the same thing by saying the game just needs combat rolling and some form of combat. When there is definitely more to it than just that.
You didn't understand the point of my comment. I'm not actually suggesting that form of classification. What I'm saying in a more blunt and ironic way what people usually mean when they say "souls like". Someone on the internet saying "oh this game is a Soulslike" or tagging a game under that label means nothing, because to most people, a "Souls-like" is any game that shares any singular similarity with dark souls. The roll dodge one is just the most common.

My point was to criticize how meaningless the name is, considering the amount of misuses.
 

Ghost of Johto

Gold Member
Not sure how ubisoft games being glitchy, having shitty combat and mediocre writing is different from the bethesda template but ok...
Better exploration and quest design in BGS games. They are some of the best worlds to be in. Can’t say the same about Ubi games.
 

Bragr

Member
I have always wondered why the RPG system in Skyrim, the part where you level up as you perform actions, was not copied across the board. It's incredibly addicting and everyone loves it.
 
Is there even another game like Skyrim or fallout? They seem to have the monopoly on that genre
What? Open world, but with copy/paste environments with zero level design, npcs that all say the same 7 lines and endless "charming" bugs where npcs and enemies are constantly fall through floors or stuck in mid-air?

Do we need more?
 
For me, you need variety, doing the same thing over and over again might be cheap to design and make, but it gets boring fast, even botw got boring after 20 hours, its always about finding a balance between cost and scope.
 

bender

What time is it?
People need to play more Daggerfall and less Skyrim.

Games are just too expensive to make these days so game designers need to cast the widest possible net.

Morrowind had a limited fast travel system that made sense and added to the games lore and world building. It didn't offer an in game map and quests were written to let players figure out where to go to next. I tell this anecdote a lot, but there was an NPC that gave incorrect directions for a side quest. I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but someone giving you incorrect directions, as frustrating as that may seem, really helped that interaction feel genuine. Personally, it's really sad what TES has become (Fallout too) but I guess you can't argue with success.
 

lyan

Member
That's not what it takes at all. Soulslike games use similar death mechanics. Mainly, little to no player protection from falling off edges, a harder the average difficulty, the retrieving of souls or other currency after death at the place in which you last died. They generally are hub based (Demon's Souls) or a connected world (Dark Souls). There's generally some form of leveling system for different stats. Not all Soulslike games include all of the things you or I mentioned, but to limit the requirements to dodge rolling and "some form of combat" is a lazy assessment.

If all it took was dodge rolling and some form of combat, Elder Scrolls Online would be a Soulslike.
When I have heard people called Tales of Arise and Stranger of Pradise soulslike (both have none of what you said), if Elder Scrolls Online releases today it might as well
 
Is this where we pretend skyrim isn't anything more then the same thing....cut and paste dullness everywhere? After 10 hours of exploring things in skyrim you e found every cave every item and every enemy because it's all the same
Fax🤷🏿‍♂️
Assassin's Creed followed the The Witcher 3 formulae because of how successful the game is, Ubisoft can't make games like TES in my opinion,

AC titles always had an open world to an extent and were always 3rd person anyway, they just made it a lot bigger and open and added some rpg elements and more side quest's, like the Witcher 3 and it worked, they sold more games.
How did it follow Witcher 3? I can understand the dialogue system(maybe) but, what else?
 

Filben

Member
Probably easier to make and players these days are accustomed to have their dopamine levels and feel of reward sky high all the time. For the majority it feels great to check off to do lists in games and see numbers rise. There is a whole genre dedicated for culminating this effect and even removes all the "unnecessary" gameplay loops, and many people just love that and even spend money on this.
 

WolfusFh

Member
When I have heard people called Tales of Arise and Stranger of Pradise soulslike (both have none of what you said), if Elder Scrolls Online releases today it might as well
My point exactly.
At one point I just expect people to call any game a "Soulslike".
"Oh bro, you can walk in the game, and you can run too you know? Totally souls mechanics bro".

If you Google it, you'll find a very shitty article about how DMC is "just dumb dark souls" btw.
 

Nyxir

Member
Cuz its harder.
Its much easier to creat a boring world and filling it with markers and fetch quests.
 

Laptop1991

Member
Fax🤷🏿‍♂️

How did it follow Witcher 3? I can understand the dialogue system(maybe) but, what else?

You remember the Assassin's Creed games before Origin's right, stealth based games with a limited open world and timed and tail mission's that wern't selling in the end, then ubisoft changed to fully open world, 3rd person games which sold a lot more after noticing the success of the Witcher 3, they even copied the flyting in Valhalla from the brawl in the blood and wine dlc, Ubisoft has always copied ideas from other games in one way or another,


these are just a few of the videos at the time Origin's was released and an article from last year, it's not hard to find or see the similarities.
 

WolfusFh

Member
My guess is some people have only played shooters all their life, nowadays for any game that has a third person camera and melee focused combat with some dodge option you will see people making the comparison.
The third person isn't even necessary. Many people constantly say that just because the game has some form of combat and a dodge button, it's a Soulslike. They'll often back it up by some arbitrary abstract shit like "oh it has the souls feeling." Or "it feels challenging to get from one point to another, which is what souls games are all about".

Any superficial similarity with the souls series is used for this "label", regardless of how many differences there are. I don't know if it's due to the fanboyism around this games or something else, but it's quite a dumb label.
 

samoilaaa

Member
Werent Skyrim and Fallout 4 RPG’s?
alot of people consider them rpgs but ive played games since the 90's so alot of oldschool rpgs so for me no they are not rpgs because alot of rpg elements are very weak or are not there at all , for example the dialog options in fallout 4 are very shallow and have no impact on what happens next , for me that bullshit with build your own story it means for me that "we are too lazy to write a good complex story with well written characters so we are gonna give you an open world where you can just find and explore alot of landmarks" , but thats just me , alot of people like the games the way they are and thats ok

Todd said that with starfield they will make it a more hardcore rpg so it remains to be seen if that will be the case or it will be just another skyrim/fallout 4
 

Kokoloko85

Member
alot of people consider them rpgs but ive played games since the 90's so alot of oldschool rpgs so for me no they are not rpgs because alot of rpg elements are very weak or are not there at all , for example the dialog options in fallout 4 are very shallow and have no impact on what happens next , for me that bullshit with build your own story it means for me that "we are too lazy to write a good complex story with well written characters so we are gonna give you an open world where you can just find and explore alot of landmarks" , but thats just me , alot of people like the games the way they are and thats ok

Todd said that with starfield they will make it a more hardcore rpg so it remains to be seen if that will be the case or it will be just another skyrim/fallout 4

I see. I havent played Fallout 4, I just always classed it as a RPG because of the size, dialogue options ( even if they are shallow ) being able to talk to NPC’s etc.

I think my 10 year old self counts RPG if you can talk to 90% of the NPC’s lol

How about Skyrim as a WRPG?
 

tassletine

Member
I think it’s more to do with Skyrim being first person, which has limitations for open worlds.
Also, Skyrim was broken when I played it, and boring.
 

samoilaaa

Member
I see. I havent played Fallout 4, I just always classed it as a RPG because of the size, dialogue options ( even if they are shallow ) being able to talk to NPC’s etc.

I think my 10 year old self counts RPG if you can talk to 90% of the NPC’s lol

How about Skyrim as a WRPG?
here is the definition for rpg and see if it fits with skyrim

A role-playing video game (commonly referred to as simply a role-playing game or RPG, as well as a computer role-playing game or CRPG) is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character (or several party members) immersed in some well-defined world, usually involving some form of character development by way of recording statistics. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games[1] and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replay value and immersion
Role-playing video games use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics as early tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.[2] Players control a central game character, or multiple game characters, usually called a party, and attain victory by completing a series of quests or reaching the conclusion of a central storyline. Players explore a game world, while solving puzzles and engaging in combat. A key feature of the genre is that characters grow in power and abilities, and characters are typically designed by the player.[1] RPGs rarely challenge a player's physical coordination or reaction time, with the exception of action role-playing games.[3]
Role-playing video games typically rely on a highly developed story and setting,[4] which is divided into a number of quests. Players control one or several characters by issuing commands, which are performed by the character at an effectiveness determined by that character's numeric attributes. Often these attributes increase each time a character gains a level, and a character's level goes up each time the player accumulates a certain amount of experience.[5]
Role-playing video games also typically attempt to offer more complex and dynamic character interaction than what is found in other video game genres. This usually involves additional focus on the artificial intelligence and scripted behavior of computer-controlled non-player characters


to me it doesnt , because your actions have no consequences , but like i said in these days everyone decides for themselves what game is or isnt an rpg , does it matter if skyrim is or isnt an rpg , will it make it a better game ? no

would it be a better game if the rpg elements were complex ? ofc

lets compare an rpg like wasteland 3 and skyrim , after i played skyrim (main quest , all guild quests , some other side quests ) i had no desire to do it all again because i knew that the story will go exactly the same way , sure some players find unimportant "secret" even after 11 years , but with wasteland 3 after i finished the game i immediatly started a new playthrough and make different decisions and recieved a different outcome , after that i did another playthrough and recieved another outcome , and not just the outcome but many many decisions that i made during the gameplay , tought decisions that decided who lives or who dies
 
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BreakOut

Member
It’s so funny I was just talking about this with someone, it’s the reason open worlds are dead to me. Open world fatigue. Clear this base out -now it’s a fast travel point, oh and look, you can buy items here now. Here’s your new respawn point. Oh look another base over there, go do it again.
 

Greirat

Member
Open world fatigue. Clear this base out -now it’s a fast travel point, oh and look, you can buy items here now. Here’s your new respawn point. Oh look another base over there, go do it again.
I suspect open worlds still have a lot of appeal, that fantasy of a big unknown world and the freedom to do what you want always excites people. It's just the Ubisoft formula that's boring and predictable, with everything so prescribed it undermines the entire point. Try playing something like Elden Ring or Call of Saregnar and tell me exploring isn't fun.
 

nemiroff

Gold Member
I suspect open worlds still have a lot of appeal, that fantasy of a big unknown world and the freedom to do what you want always excites people. It's just the Ubisoft formula that's boring and predictable, with everything so prescribed it undermines the entire point. Try playing something like Elden Ring or Call of Saregnar and tell me exploring isn't fun.

I for one loved exploring in Elden Ring, 150 hours now - And the three latest open world AC games.

Obvious differences in mechanics, philosophy and nuances aside, they all seem like well crafted experiences to me.
 

iorek21

Member
To be honest, there are a lot of similarities between Skyrim and AC:

> Map filled with icons
> Hundreds of caves to clear
> Lots of meaningless quests

The loop is basically the same, the differences come from genre specific stuff, and I’d say AC does combat better. But they are not that far apart.
 

Hendrick's

Member
Paint by numbers vs a Van Gogh. Ubisoft formula was copied because it requires no creativity and allows for the reuse of systems and assets.
 

Bluecondor

Member
This might sound strange given the casual/relaxed nature of the game, but Animal Crossing has one of the best designed open worlds I have ever played. When you first start playing, you have a bunch of linear goals (collect/build A, B & C to unlock the next villager house, etc.) and you learn the simplistic mechanics behind fishing and bug-catching and digging, etc. As you keep playing the game day after day though, there are a lot of very specific parts of the world that you can only experience by playing. The game provides very little direction on what you need to reach various goals, and you typically need to go online to understand what all is needed (for example, a three star rated island has a very specific set of requirements, and is needed to complete the game's prologue).

I have been playing the game since April of 2020, and there are still a few things that I am pursuing (trying to get every piece of art for the museum) that are still emerging through a combination of RNG and luck. I need four more specific pieces of art for the museum, and just have to keep playing in hopes that these will become available at some point through the character who sells art (he sells real art pieces and counterfeit pieces, and I have bought numerous counterfeit versions of the four pieces that I need).



I honestly wish that there was a more mature-themed open world game that had this type of open world design. The closest I can think of was the original Mafia Wars, which had 8 rare diamonds with horrible drop rates that pushed you to keep playing the game, as there was a small chance of these diamonds dropping in various in-game activities like robbing houses.

Now, you could easily say that both of these are examples of poor/exploitative game design that forces you to keep playing day after day. But, I will take mechanics like these over the standard cookie cutter set of activities in Ubisoft games that are just a chore to complete, and give you little to no motivation to explore and try to understand the game's world. Through the gameplay, I have a developed a level of depth of understanding of Animal Crossing's open world and its various systems and activities that I never experience in a Ubisoft game's checklist-of-activities approach.
 
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