Thursday, September 16, 2004


I briefly mentioned Fable last night, but I've played it for several more hours and I am deeply impressed. The world is much more interesting and 'real-feeling' than the vast majority of RPG worlds I've encountered. I'm also deeply impressed by the cleverness and consistency of design, both in the world and in the player's interface.

Here's an example of the design's cleverness. You receive experience points for different actions, including combat. You are awarded experience points in different areas depending on what weapons and tactics you use in combat. So if all you do is bash enemies with a sword, the XP will go to Strength. If you use magic, you will receive 'Will' XP. You can mix and match combat strategies in the same battle, so each pool could possibly receive XP.

In addition to the pool-specific XP, there is a general pool. When it comes times to upgrade your abilities, let's say you have the following XP available:

Each ability upgrade comes with an XP cost, and your possible sources are the skill-specific pool as well as your General pool, which can be used as needed. So if you want an ability upgrade that costs 1500 points in the Strength category, you could combine your Strength/General points and obtain that upgrade. However, it leaves you almost no General points to use with other pools, at least temporarily. It's a very thoughtful way to reward your specific actions without unduly restricting the kinds of skills that you can acquire.

There are many, many thoughtful touches like this in the game, and I'm finding it very tough to stop playing. Not that I want to.

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