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Reader Comments (17)

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:13AM FrostPaw said

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I don't really have a preference to be honest, I don't "believe" I am in any game world so the fact that it may be based on historical fact as oposed to alternate world fantasy makes no difference to me at all. Show me your game, present it well and I'll enjoy it regardless of setting.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:37AM hubertii said

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Hi!

I really prefer modern settings - our world is so full of cool things you could use... I have great expectations to the The Secret Word - just imagine: your own world with a liitle twist, with magic, but also with computers and cellphones, with demons and zombies and subway, machineguns and internet! That's what I'm waiting for!
Historical games could be cool, but we live in modern days, we have different way of thinking than our ancestors. For me - it's really hard to fit our way of thinking with ancient times/technology adn way of solving problems.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:39AM Space Cobra said

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It is interesting because I *just* read an article about "Age of Wulin" being more focused on historical accuracies and less on the fantastic/fantasy elements (so, not so much on the dragons flying around everywhere).

I think there could be a benefit in such games and I am certainly drawn to such themes, especially if they aren't widely seen (Roman, War of Roses, etc.). While I am fine with it, it boils down to if the game is fun and engaging.

I'd prefer a bit of fantasy/magic/Sci-Fi/Steam-punk in these games, because they do serve as a "getaway from real life", but again, fun is where it is at.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 9:00AM Ancientwolf13 said

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I like historical, Medieval and Fantasy settings much better than modern and futuristic settings as I don't want to be reminded of daily life and politics. Games like Dark Souls, Demon's Souls,Titan Quest, Quest For Glory Series, The Elder Scrolls Series, Guild Wars, Warcraft Series, Diablo Series, Gothic Series Civilization Series etc etc to name a few have take hours/days of my time.

If there is one close point of time I'd like to see happen more is WWI with its mix of stuff as it was a turning point in weaponry.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 9:15AM chuckasucka said

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I want to say that I have a strong preference for pure fantasy worlds, but when I look back at the games that I've tried, I don't know that any of them have ever been able to make a really compelling, living, breathing fantasy world. I guess that with games set in history, there is a lot more source for devs to put in subtleties that make the world seem more real and seem to make more sense as you wander around in it. I think it's possible for a fantastical world to feel very very real, but I think that the little things can't be taken for granted. Gotta fill all the gaps with culture and objects and make everything relate and make sense.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 9:24AM Gaugamela said

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I find MMOs based on historical settings interesting, and if you mix them up with a tiny bit of fantastical elements they can become really interesting.

For example, I would love to see an MMO based on Ancient Greece where you could choose the city state that you want to defend, with naval warfare, mythical PvE beasts, an NPC faction in the form of the Persians and PvP between the city states (like Sparta, Athens, etc). It could even include some sports mechanics with olympic games.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 9:59AM Caerus said

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I absolutely hate historical settings.*

Basing a setting on obvious elements of a certain culture or period is fine, but actually setting the game at any specific point in past time or space causes so many more negatives than positives. No matter how much the developers try, it's extremely difficult to create meaningful conflict and identifiable characters without approaching the source content with a clear idea of who is "good" and "bad". Our culture confuses goodness for greatness - and vice-versa - to such an extreme degree that you almost never see any game (or movie, or book, or TV show) based on a historical setting that doesn't demonize one party or another by downplaying any accomplishments. This is as true for settings from the dawn of history right up to present day, and it weakens the storytelling.

I kind of get it, people like the good cowboys to wear white hats and the bad cowboys to wear black hats, and most people would (unreasonably, IMHO) become offended if they played a game that portrayed their heritage in anything but a sterling light. The problem is that not a single culture or period in history is without *both* horrible atrocities AND beacons of hope - and it's frustrating beyond belief to play a game that completely ignores that fact.

Create a setting that's obviously not historical, and you avoid all of these pitfalls. It at least gives the developers a chance to create an interesting world without getting attacked left and right by PC thugs. Adding fantasy or sci-fi elements can help by disconnecting it from reality, but I really feel like it's not enough and if you've gone that far, might as well go all the way.

* Civilization is the only exception to this I can think of.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 10:03AM DarkWalker said

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I have the same restrictions regarding historical games that I have with science fiction: it needs to be well done.

Having a scenario that is supposed to be in the real world, but with glaring inconsistencies or simply wrong explanations, is too jarring for me. For this reason, I tend to be careful when deciding if I will purchase a game.

The same with science fiction. When some author clueless about science tries to create scientific explanations the results are a total disaster, at least to me, and really put me off.

For example, at the very beginning of Batman Hush, Batman says the sound intensity he used against Killer Croc is about 1000dB. The author failed to notice, though, that 1000dB is 1e88W per square meter; that is way (WAY) more powerful than all the stars in the known universe added together. Worse, Batman has ample scientific knowledge, so he should never make such basic scientific mistakes. I almost stopped reading it right there.

For me, the easiest way to handle those issues is to not explain everything - and, most important, to avoid using concepts the author does not understand himself to explain things. Set the historical scenario in a parallel timeline, with similar, but not exactly the same, happenings; leave the inner workings of fantastic futuristic equipment foggy enough to not contradict established science; etc.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 10:22AM Seffrid said

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I only ask that game settings are immersive and distinctive, whether they are historical or not doesn't worry me.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 10:39AM Lafajet said

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I actually prefer low fantasy settings over historical ones.They give of sort of the same vibe to me (depending on the setting, of course) and I don't get that annoying feeling that they've thrown in fantastical elements in a historical setting just to make it work in a gameplay sense. A small step over the line to fantasy makes it much easier for me to accept.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:06AM Barrikade said

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Prefer, I don't know about that. But I certainly have no bias against a well made historical game. Running around Acre, Damascus, Jerusalem in Assassin's Creed (not an MMO, I know) was great! Same deal with WWII France in The Sabateur (also not an MMO).

I also don't mind games based on, but not set in history. Anyone ever play Lionheart (not an MMO)? The story was like an alternate history, where players are guided by Leonardo Di Vinci against the Spanish Inquisition. And there was magic.

Journeyman Project III: Legacy of TIme (man, that's an old one) had players travel back in time to Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La. Famously "mythical" historical places. That game was a lot of fun as well.

Or like someone mentioned, some of the art styles in WoW (finally, an MMO) are based on real historical societies - Uldum = Egyptian, ZA/ZG = Mayan - with their own twist, of course.

Those are just a few examples of games I have played and really enjoyed. When I try to define what my ideal game world is, I don't think I immediately point to historical settings, but as long as it's well done I don't see why a historical game couldn't be great.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 11:45AM nimzy said

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Sci-Fi. It's harder to do and has more interesting problems.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:11PM Seldra said

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I like modern day or scifi settings the best. One of the things that kept me playing WoW despite being fantasy was it had modern/steampunk stuff on it. Games like Lotro and other high fantasy stuff, I get bored. I gotta have some tech in my games.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 1:11PM Elikal said

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I would like to see a historical setting in 18th - 19th century. We haven't really had that. Maybe spiced up with a bit steampunk and magic.

Middle Age and Antiquity is too worn out by Fantasy IMO tho.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 4:12PM stealthrider said

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I'm much more for realism than fantasy, which is likely why I prefer sci-fi when the former isn't available or isn't up-to-par with my expectations.

Still, give me a "Hercules: The Legendary Journies/Xena: Warrior Princess" MMO and you can sell me a chakram for $99.99.

A Buffy MMO would take the cake, though.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 5:05PM pixledriven said

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There has to be a fantasy element, that's all that is really required for me. Be it historical fantasy (Lord of the Rings), Science Fantasy (Star Wars), or modern fantasy (X-Men), without that fantastic element what's the point of playing a game? I can just go outside...

Posted: Oct 16th 2011 5:26PM Lumin said

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I like games that are based off a specific real-life historical era, but not games that are supposed to take place entirely within that setting without any additional fantasy/alternate world elements. The setting doesn't have to have magic but it needs to be interesting.

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