Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

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    Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by phastings on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:36 pm

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/07/08/dark-souls-ii-offers-more-freedom-to-explore-a-truly-open-world/

    According to this article by Erik Kain at Forbes, an interview recently released in which the devs have stated they are aiming to make the game non-linear in an open world environment. This would mean no bells to ring before venturing into Sen's, or a lord vessel to reach the final stages. I've been contemplating this and wonder what others think might be the outcome of an open world?

    My first reaction was it be great to have that kind of freedom, then I figured it might get disorienting with the ability to warp everywhere, thus fragmenting world design with no apparent obstacles like sens "you gotta ring some bells first" gate.

    Then i realized this is dark souls; its supposed to be obscure as to exactly where you are supposed to go. An open world approach would be a great.

    I have some good points but would rather hear what the community thinks


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by SadPanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:44 pm

    phastings wrote:http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/07/08/dark-souls-ii-offers-more-freedom-to-explore-a-truly-open-world/

    According to this article by Erik Kain at Forbes, an interview recently released in which the devs have stated they are aiming to make the game non-linear in an open world environment. This would mean no bells to ring before venturing into Sen's, or a lord vessel to reach the final stages. I've been contemplating this and wonder what others think might be the outcome of an open world?

    My first reaction was it be great to have that kind of freedom, then I figured it might get disorienting with the ability to warp everywhere, thus fragmenting world design with no apparent obstacles like sens "you gotta ring some bells first" gate.

    Then i realized this is dark souls; its supposed to be obscure as to exactly where you are supposed to go. An open world approach would be a great.

    I have some good points but would rather hear what the community thinks
    Good. I'm going to the hardest looking area first.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:49 pm

    I'm for it. I anticipate thatsome areas will be tougher than others, making some natural barriers. Not insurmountable, but problematic. Like how it's harder to do the skeletons before the burg hollows. I also can't imagine there won't be any barriers, locked doors etc. Just less in the way of story progression. Since I'll do every inch I can anyway, it should turn out the same for me.

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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by Serious_Much on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:03 pm

    I'm pretty sure that dark souls was also marketed as non linear and open world. I think it will be similar to dark souls, otherwise it'll be like demons except you run between areas instead of teleport. Oh wait, every bonfire has warping now...

    Interesting, could it be the demons format without the loading screens? An idea to think about.

    Still I think most likely it'll be like dark souls, except for adding more levels in general and adding in more side things. From base game you only really had gwyndolin and priscilla as hidden bosses, so u hope there's more this time round.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by StiffNipples on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:17 pm

    I think they're still going to have 'checkpoints' of sorts (like needing to do something to access another area, ala lord vessel) but I think the way they're going to do it will allow more choice, and therefore more freedom.

    A lot of what they're doing seems to take from both Dark and Demons Souls, and it wouldn't surprise me if you need to defeat a boss of a certain calibre to be allowed access to later parts of the game.

    So it will be less 'kill bosses A and B to progress through Sens' and more 'you need 3 great demon souls to open this door', but you'll have a choice of 6 great demons to kill to access those souls.

    Maybe. I still think there will need to be something to differentiate the early stages of the game from the late stages, I just think the way they'll do it will give you more freedom of choice.


    Also I seem to recall them saying that the Mirror Knight will be a boss that all players will need to beat to continue progressing through the game. The way they said it struck me as he will be something similar to S&O/Iron Golem, as in he is a required boss that you need to defeat to finish the game.


    Also, on the topic of warping, for the first playthrough or two I would suggest against warping as there are always cool things to find when you backtrack.

    Like Oswald, or the Living Tree in the Moonlight Butterfly pit moving to show you the passage to the Frogs, etc.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by phastings on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:35 pm

    @skarecrow: right, I like the idea of restricting access to harder regions based solely on difficulty, plus the mystery and suspense when entering a new area as to just what you may be getting yourself into. This adds to no hand holding trial n error.

    @serious much: I hope they put hidden areas in, more so than in DaS1. From how Tanimura phrases it, the player can attempt the mid game boss if willing, which begs the question of at what point, if at any, might they throw up some barriers impassible without quest triggers? I like the idea of no apparent order other than difficulty, which could make use of implementing multiple endings based on order of completion and such.

    It would also make for some good replay and of course youtube lvl 1 vs last boss lording (sadpanda that will be your job)

    I'm sure it won't be 100% non linear, as the game will still need to fit and operate into a loosely structured story.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by Jansports on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:12 am

    I'm still curious about the weird Mouth/Face key things. It was once mentioned that there may be more places to use a particular kind of Key items than there are Keys (IE there are 7 locks and only 4 or 5 keys meaning you have to chose which locks to open leaving the others closed to you this play through)

    I wonder what if any impact this will have on how the world develops and you progress
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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by StiffNipples on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:48 am

    You're right in that there will be more locks than there will be keys, I don't think they'll have major effects on the game world though.

    One of the examples that was given is there is a dark hallway with a lock/mouth at the start. Using one of the key stones in this lock would cause torches along the length of the hall to light up, meaning for this section you could see, but you use a key that might grant you visibility elsewhere.


    I don't think it will be "make sure you have a keystone left for XXXXX door/ladder/gap/etc otherwise you'll never get past it and will have to wait until NG+"


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by phastings on Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:15 am

    forgot about mouth keys! Can't wait to see how that will put a twist on things. I actually hope they withhold significant, obtainable loot/hidden areas in a trade-off aspect, where first run you can get X but must sacrifice Y until ng+. They did a great job with this in DeS with boss souls being trade-able for 1 of 2 or even 3 significantly powerful spells or weapons (Yellow demon's soul alone motivated me to playthru twice, not to mention redhot demon's), but DkS fell short and was a bit of a disappointment in that department, since it was strictly weapons and only 1 weapon choice per.

    People may disagree with this and see it as limiting, but that is the point and creates good incentive to replay. It also adds value to loot that is rare and can only be acquired thru sacrifice and extensive play. I wager most who played DeS first then DaS would see eye to eye with me here. 

    @stiffnips, on the subject of abstaining from insta-warps, I want to believe i have the will power, but know I will cave when its right there in front of me and Im in too much of a hurry. Maybe there will be a choice where if you answer "no" you will lose the ability at some point lol. I just want my first run to last atleast 50 hrs of solid gameplay.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by TheWanderer101 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:02 am

    I cant remember, but are the mouth keys re-usable or are they a one use item?
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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by SadPanda on Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:05 am

    TheWanderer101 wrote:I cant remember, but are the mouth keys re-usable or are they a one use item?
    Just one item.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by TheWanderer101 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:15 am

    That will make it much more nerve racking but in a good way, knowing that there could be an important npc or awesome weapon behind a door or potentially just some soldiers souls. Its gonna be an intense gamble your 1st time through.
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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by wretchedsausage on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:43 am

    I really hope that difficulty is the only barrier, because in a completely open world, it may be almost impossible if there is a locked door, and 10 different areas in which the key might be. 

    I also hope there are more 'side quests' like the Siegmeyer storyline. Apparently quite a few were left out of Dark Sould due to time constraints, so it would be great if From could use the next nine months to add a few. 

    As for the key stones, I hope their use does not limit the accessible areas for a playthrough, but instead just effects things in a more minor way, eg. giving you light so that you don't have to go without a shield to hold a torch. Whilst limiting the areas available on the first playthrough would add replayability, I would rather not have to miss out and have to wait for NG+.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by StiffNipples on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:56 am

    wretchedsausage wrote:
    As for the key stones......but instead just effects things in a more minor way, eg. giving you light so that you don't have to go without a shield to hold a torch.


    They've almost straight up said this is how it will be. The example they gave for how keystones will work was "you can use the keystone to light up this dark corridor"


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:14 pm

    I like it.  Compared to DeS DaS is much more open.  You only have 2 bottlenecks; the bells and the lordvessel.  However, you can kill quite a few things before ringing both bells, or leave all of it until after the lordvessel (or never).  After the lordvessel the world is completely open unless you want to be a darkwraith.

    It's not a big leap from that to "open from start".  I like the idea of beef gates and the ways that experienced players will come up with to defeat them earlier than most think possible happy.  I find it amusing that it is literally possible in DaS with summoning NPCs to ring both bells using nothing but an unupgraded short bow and wooden arrows and then go straight to getting the lightning spear and crystal halberd.


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by SlothAlmighty on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:58 pm

    Like skyrim? no thanks,

    I like the style dark souls was.  it was open world enough, in that you could go into different areas from the start, but it was also like a maze that you had to solve to advance.  I liked that style rather than the traditional skyrim style.
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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:08 pm

    Open world isn't necessarily skyrim style. That's open with large expanses that add to the gravity of the world by size. Open world can also mean that there's a large number of paths which aren't barred from the beginning. Like Firelink. You have three directions immediately available. The only barrier is your ability to proceed. I think they're making it more like that. Open world, not necessarily sandbox open though

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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by phastings on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:30 pm

    Yea skyrims enemies generically scale to balance the progression thru the sandbox, however From would simply not hinder access to harder, more advanced areas with quest triggered gates n whatnot. This is a good thing. It means the only wall is player skill. I'm sure there will be some restriction, as stated previously with locked doors to hidden areas and final boss stages.

    I love the idea of open exploration and not knowing exactly which way is the best course. this will foster exploration, and subsequent playthrus will feel less redundant with the freedom to mix things up. it's like DeS structure, but will probably be implemented in a seamless world


    Last edited by phastings on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by Animaaal on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:46 pm

    Dang, I was hoping for another Nexus.

    I thought some of the gaps in the open world wreaked havoc causing unnecessary lag at times. (going to the hydra from the forest, going to the lower burg from the burg).

    However, with servers this time around, and having DkS2 being treated as a AAA title, my fears are probably just that....fears.

    I am starting to have blind confidence in FROM at this point, ESPECIALLY since I started playing again.
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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by phastings on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:08 pm

    I was worried as hell when they announced Miyazaki was out, but have renewed faith with everything weve seen n heard so far, and the fact that From has full creative control are clear on making a game for the fans as their priority


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:56 pm

    Confidence in From is not blind.  They've done it right for two games in a row that I've played (and I've heard their history is similarly good), net code aside (which now they're adding servers).


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by Animaaal on Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:06 pm

    It was just a figure of speech. I'm digging the "ignorance is bliss" thing right now. Even if I hear something that sounds horrible imo, I'm just gonna assume it'll be awesome.

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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by Aevun on Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:12 pm

    The thing that makes me happiest aside from the game itself is how the new directors seem to respect and look up to Miyazaki and his games. Every single thing they're revealed about DkS2 makes me more hyped and even the first batch made me forget the initial disappointment, which of course was the prospect of new directors, who then turned out to be awesome. Their top priority: make a sequel a Souls fanatic would be happy with.

    I'm hyped for this open-world. Dark Souls with it's semi-linear world already has had enough replay value to warrant me sinking a thousand hours into it. I imagine some of you feel the same. Now, just think about 1.5 times the content of the first game and the ability to play the sections in almost any order. Let it sink in.

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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by phastings on Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:39 pm

    Exactly aevun, I've probably put more time into both demons and dark souls than all the vidgames I've played in the past decade combined. It's why I worry and am so particular about the sequels, but its looking really promising and I think they will deliver.

    Im close to the point of resting assured and going into information blackout mode if I can physically keep away from any new info released, which I doubt I will have the willpower, but am gonna try so I don't spoil too much


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    Re: Developers focusing on non-linear, open world. Thoughts?

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:12 pm

    I like the idea that the world will be open, but they're going to have to incorporate some serious gatepost enemies so players can judge the difficulty of what's ahead.

    And although a lot of people won't like it, logic suggests that if they do this, there will be much more of a quest driven narrative in the beginning.  Fallout 3 was open world, but the main quest acted as a kind of guidepost to take people to areas suited to their level.  DKS would never mimic this outright, but I'm betting that open world means more scripted narrative.

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