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Remember When Raven Software Was Good?
I'm talking about Raven's original hit series (progressively less and less so), the Heretic/Hexen saga. What I'm interested in discussing here is why, since Raven discontinued the series to do games based on lisenced/prefamous intellectual property (for obvious reasons), so few similar titles have sprung up? My questions are:

-What aspects of the first four games did you like/dislike?

-Is the genre of FPS action meldable with medieval/fantasy/RPG? How successful was this series, or the particular games (Heretic1/2, Hexen1/2) in doing this?

-How do the few examples of games in this vein to surface recently (I'm thinking Painkiller, kind of) measure up to the originals?

-Finally, say Raven or some other company decided that there was money in this and so they decided to do a game in the tradition of Heretic, Hexen and etc: What would you like to see in it? What aspects preserved, what changed or discarded?
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What about the thief series? 
never liked it for some reason. not that i did play it much, just sometime ago somewhere the first level. i stumbled around through the dark (oh yeah, i remember. gamma adjustment didnt work). then when the first guard appeared i totally was knocked down :). sneaking almost always doesnt work in fps, you'd need a real great ai for that. 
I haven't played it very much, but a friend of mine (whose favourite series it is) says that although it is very good, it is definately not for everyone given its emphasis on sneaking and not on action.

I thought sneaking was good in Far Cry, but that still had good action.. I think an SP game as fast as Q3 would be nice though. 
I Enjoyed Thief, 
especially some of the later levels like Lost City, but I know it wasn't for every one; it's style wasn't nearly ruthless as it could have been. If it was entitled Assasins, and the missions didn't center around nabbing artifacts but instead committing major acts of evil like, say, assassinating a Prophet or burning down an Alexandrian like library and setting the human race back a thousand years it would have been quite awesome, but alas, the protagonist is just another rougish good guy.

Also, the Drom-Ed, the editor for it, is awful. 
raven is basically a department of activision, they are activisions bitch, i doubt it has a design team its just a bunch of artists working on whatever license Activision just paid for 
not only that, but how much creativity can raven actually have? after doing grunt work like star trek you'd think they would want to use some creativity, but instead they just steal ID's art style for quake4 
qwertyasdafsdfa: da fuk? Quake 4 is an id software intellectual property; the design and art direction is being overseen by id. Raven are doing most of the work, but are following the basic design guidelines laid down by id. Of course it's gonna resemble id's art style. It's a sequel to an id game. 
I Like Being A Bitch 
It's a special treat when they let me wear the little nipple-tassles while I prance around and shake my booty.

(also, trolls are more effective when they are less obviously retarded--the more you know!) 
Thief is very cool, but very much a sneaker. The Dark Mod project are doing some interesting things with the D3 engine - - which might give you some ideas what is possible in a fantasy setting. 
Hexen: EoC 
While Raven doesn't seem to want to go back to Hexen/heretic anytime soon, they did give the Hexen: Edge of Chaos people the permission to create their own Hexen game, which I think is cool. I think it shows they want their fanbase to be happy, instead of just choking the franchise by not letting anyone make anything that resembles it.

The mod doesn't look spectacular right now, but looks promising, so gj Raven for giving the OK for those people. 
The Answers. 
I haven't read any replies so can answer with a pure, untainted mind.

Tronyn, I only played the Hexen 2 and Heretic 2 demos, I liked their style, but at the time was interested in more modern games, so I didn't buy them. However, I do share an interest in those sort of games, so...

-What aspects of the first four games did you like/dislike?

Like: Fantasy styles. Based on solidly controllable engines.

Dislike: Not playing them when they were actually competive technologically. Also, controlling a gay Elf :P.

-Is the genre of FPS action meldable with medieval/fantasy/RPG?

Absolutely, definitely, 100%. Although 3PS is sometimes more suitable, but FPS can work well too depending on the type of combat one is aiming for. But from what I have played and experienced I see no problems with the genre at all.

How successful was this series, or the particular games (Heretic1/2, Hexen1/2) in doing this?

Don't know really, but seemed to be good.

-How do the few examples of games in this vein to surface recently (I'm thinking Painkiller, kind of) measure up to the originals?

Painkiller is different, it's a pretty normal FPS with some fantasy/gothic settings amongst others. A good game but it can't really be compared. And indeed I can't really compare other games to the originals as I don't know the originals.

BUT... I can at least sing the praises of:

Wheel Of Time: Just a bloody good fantasy FPS. A great example of how the genre can work (focused in the magical direction in this case).

Enclave: A very good 3PS with a strong range of fantasy styles and simple, but beneficial RPG elements. A good example of bringing in some RPG aspects without overwhelming the gameplay.

Both of which show how well the genre can work in two pretty different directions. One could also include the underrated Blade Of Darkness in the camp with Enclave, albeit with a different combat focus that perhaps strays too far from the FPS standard.

-Finally, say Raven or some other company decided that there was money in this and so they decided to do a game in the tradition of Heretic, Hexen and etc: What would you like to see in it? What aspects preserved, what changed or discarded?

Again I wouldn't really know what would be good in the H/H tradition, but I would happily give a modern version of those games a try as long as they stood well on their own.

And again, as far as the genre in general goes, I would love to see more of it, in pretty much any form, whether it be standard fantasy or something warped and gothic, whether it be swords or sorcery, simple FPS gameplay, or with complex RPG elements. I just like the style, both in it's own right and as a respite from sci-fi action games.

Having said that, there are a couple of directions I'd personally like to see. I'd like to see stronger RPG elements, such as character developement, progression, exploration, side missions, etc, but without the time-sucking extent of say Morrowind. Something not that complex, but a bit more integral to playing the game than Enclave. And I'd like to see a strong fantasy style with a distinctive touch to it. Something that makes the world you're in a bit different. WOT had this, because of the strong background in Jordan's books, but Enclave for example didn't have quite the same distinct feel.

Oh and of course I'd love to see anything set in the Warhammer universe, but that goes without saying.

Good topic, BTW. 
That's exactly the kind of response I was looking for :)

Wheel of Time - I am ashamed that I have *never tried it,* but I recall hearing about it a long time ago... is there a demo around somewhere? sounds awesome.

I think character advancement could be good. I am patiently waiting for someone to meld Diablo/Dungeon Siege games with FPS action.

What I mean is, the excellent physics/graphics/level design of FPS, combined with the character advancement and huge amount of items/skills/environments in these RPGS. The thing I *really* want though, is to be able to control your own character - do your OWN COMBAT, not just click on the monsters - in a dungeon siege type game. That would rule. Coop would be especially good.

I think most developers have chosen to use the third person perspective for their fantasy action games because, like Die by the Sword, Heretic II, Rune and Enclave all emphasize to some degree or another, the combat is based on bows or swords, and is more mid-range or melee than just about any FPS. What I would really like to see though is a fantasy FPS with combat as ranged and fast as Quake 3 - a sort of modern update of Heretic 1. The Plasma Gun in Q3, for example, could just as easily be cast as a fantasy weapon - probably some kind of magical artifact - with much the same gameplay.

I played the Painkiller demo, but it seemed more similar to Quake (less creepy and with faster gameplay) than to any of Raven's early titles, but I recall a few people saying they thought it very Hexen-like.

As for Hexen: Edge of Chaos, I'm looking forward to it. From the shots though it seems like they are very much remaking Hexen 1, with all the blocked-in-by-stone-walls outdoor areas and all. I'd really like to see some larger outdoor areas, rolling hills, and etc. 
I am patiently waiting for someone to meld Diablo/Dungeon Siege games with FPS action. 
sounded awesome, "plays like a first person Diablo," until I ran into:

"The weapons you're using aren't your typical first-person weapons. Most of them don't require you to aim, and many track targets automatically. Forget about pixel-point damage, trying to lead an opponent, or carefully lining up a head shot"

I guess they thought aiming would alienate Diablo fans or something? bah. 
WOT - don't think there is a demo. It should be ass-cheap now though. Unreal/UT tech, but quite advanced from Unreal itself. You play a female magic user, there's a pretty cool variety/combination of spells. I liked it a lot, in fact I can't see of anything seriously detrimental, but your mileage may vary of course.

Agree with all your comments in that post.

Although the issue of combat from a FPS perspective. You can have simple melee combat from an FPS POV, in fact you could probably have more complex melee combat with combos and all. Sure it won't look as good as from 3PS, but there's no need for fantasy FPS to be restricted to magic only... Aside from melee there's bows, crossbows, repeater crossbows, blunderbuss (yay for fantasy quake!), simple pistols, throwing daggers, throwing axes, crude grenades/bombs, primitive flame throuwers....very FPS suitable whilst retaining a strong fantasy theme.

Hellgate looks cool. But in a different way.

BTW, you've played Undying, right? Not quite the same but some good fantasy/gothic shit in that fo sho. 
The Gods Have Been Listening... 

Not much there yet, but if they finish this it would be very close to the kind of thing I've been wanting. Specifically the, "If you are an archer, you can lead targets, because it is an ACTION GAME and FPS skills apply" - is awesome. 
Considering they have only 3 men to make this AAA game i assume they'll never finish it :) 
The Project Will Be Offset By More Developers 
A couple of things I'd like to clarify briefly:

"Project Offset" is our working title for the game, not the actual name.

We are using a new engine that I started development on about a year ago, not an existing solution.

Lastly, and most important: we have no intention of developing the entire game with just the 3 of us! We are actively looking for investors and publishers, and encourage interested parties to email us. (See the team page).

Thanks to everyone for checking out our latest update, and keep us bookmarked for future updates.

Sam McGrath

Lets hope they do finnish it 
As Opposed To 
Swedishing it. 
Mumble Mumble Grumble Grumble 
Is the use of 'to' in your title correct, or should it be 'too' ?

I'll be keeping an eye on your posts in future mister Phait 
Yes It Is Correct 
Now obviously this is VERY early days, but I think the idea sounds excellent. Like really cool indeed. In fact, someone page Tronyn after he was asking about fantasy FPSs on his Hexen/Heretic thread.

Guess someone did page you ;) 
It looks pretty promising. It'd be a shame to see it go to waste =/ If they don't finish it #tf can do the work! 
I Saw It On Blue's (and It Kind Of Surprises Me That They Posted It) 
where's that post from? 
The whole fantasy/medieval setting is pretty cool. Artwork, themes, weapons, gore. For me, Hexen II is still one of the best looking shooters i've seen. Imho, the whole H/H thing was let down a bit by shitty churn-em-out level design, though Hexen II had some great levels and Heretic II was a very nice game. I couldnt even play Heretic till i discovered the Doomsday engine; otherwise, it was just too "Serious Sam" for me.

Modern games are just a dollar industry now. I did catch a little of Painkiller but probably not enough to comment.
New games == vista == industry upgrade == mostly crap
Love to see someone make a fist pumping Hexen III. Maybe they haven't because they dont want to remind people they made these flawed titles ?

: Remember When Raven Software Was Good ?
Raven's newer games are ok... Quake IV was my favourite in ages. And even so-so games like Jedi Knight, SoF and Star Trek Elite Force got rave reviews, and have a style and quality that set them apart.

Saw Rapture recently ... Storm level and Mjolnir - f-ing great ;>

"Go in peace and you will surely die." 
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