Real RPG? Your expressing a debatable opinion. Although I said a linear game is not for me (thinking of RPGs), in actuality I would not dismiss it soly for being lineal. But if the choice in an RPG was between a highly lineal and non-lineal game, I would most likely choose non-linear. For whatever reason linear solo FPSs don't not bother me at all.
I agree that traditional RPGs have involved a party. As such Oblivion would not qualify as being traditional, but it still includes the primary basis of RPGs, character class and development, experience and leveling. I'm not sure of the sales numbers but the game appears to appeal to a large number of people. But if you don't like Oblivion, that's ok.
Linear applies to both the sequence of events in a game and the ability to explore a level. When I think of linear, I focus on level linearity, a game that offers alleys to explore. I view it as a limitation of the graphics/content or the developer's desire to lead you by the hand. There may be branches but they are still alleys. Btw, many think Oblivion does too much leading by the hand too, but that can be mitigated by means of mods that take away the automatic map markers and the compass. Oblivion as well as WoW offer wide open, go anywhere you want spaces. Cyrodiil, the provence in Oblvion is one huge open area. Adding to the aspect of immersion IMO is to the ability to wander over the countryside, anywhere that is accessible. I also prefer to have control of the camera or if there is no angle control have it close to the ground (like Oblivion). My understanding is that NWN2 offers more than isometric camera angles which is very good.
Oblivion offers a mix of linear and non-linear quests. The main quest is only one of a large number of quests available. Many argue that the side quests content is much better than the main quest. As you know there are Mage guild quests, Fighter guild quests, thieves guild, Dark Brotherhood, training quests, Daedric quests, etc, etc. I did not play Morrowind, but one of the primary critiques of Oblivion as compared to Morrowind is that there are not as many of alternate quest chains. But there still seems a lot to me. BTW, did you play and like Morrowind? (Just curious)
Regarding linear objectives, yes the main quest must be done in a certain order. But take a look at the Mage quests, a series of recommendation quests required to become eligible for the Arcane University. The player must go to the Mage guild hall in each town and complete a recommendation quest and there is no order what so ever. Another example is The Collector Quest where you explore Ayleid ruins looking for ancient statues. There are Ayleid ruins all over the place and you can explore them in an order you desire. My current quest log has about 15 quests in it and only one is associated with the main quest.
While all games have some linear aspect to them, Oblivion is not a linear game. Linear objectives are ok, but my hope is that NWN 2 displays a minimal amount of level linearity.
Edited by Huntn, 18 November 2006 - 05:10 AM.