Elethiomel wrote:I agree with most of this, except the DE2 point. DE2 was ruined by lots of things, but not by its freedom. As if it had much.
sorry for going a bit of-topic, but why do you think DX2 wasn´t ruined by the freedom it offered? This was my main complaint, either the developers got totally obsessed with their "all the choises, all the time"-approach or they simply didn´t find a good way to make choices have consequences and tried to make it look like a "feature" afterwards. you had so much freedom that 90% of your choices just didn´t have any effect anymore, you could randomly join and betray factions as you wanted. they even dropped the skill system "to give the player the freedom to change his playing-style midway by simpy dropping his sniper rifle and picking up a heavy gun". yay, ion storm reinvented doom! what a stroke of genius... i just hope they won´t mess up thief 3 that badly...
If choices don't have consequences they aren't really choices. My main complaints about DX2 are about its lack of consequences, as you say. When choices have no consequences, having a lot of choices doesn't give you freedom. It's the difference between a huge room and a maze of twisty passages. Sure you can walk from one end of the room to the other in any way you choose, but it's boring and bland, and you're likely to encounter all denizens of the large room anyway. In a maze of twisty passages, every choice you make has definite consequences as to what you'll encounter and what new choices you will have later. In the maze, you feel free to choose any path, in the room you feel constrained by its four walls.
Of course, in the Thief games a big room is the same as a maze of twisty passages, with different "paths" of shadow, the possibility to climb up in the rafters and negotiate the room that way, etc., and all of these possible choices of route will have consequences as to what sort of obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goal. I hardly think they're going to mess this one up.
And to bring this *cough* "elegantly" back on topic, the "big room" vs "twisty maze" analogy can be applied to FreeOrion, probably in multiple ways. The first that springs to mind is open space vs starlanes, where it should be obvious. Choices you make as to where to place your fleets has definite consequences as to what other locations they can reasonably defend, attack, etc.
Anyway, for the race creation point, I believe that if players are allowed to use art resources that "belong" to the original races in race creation, that race's strongest trait should "stick" to the art, so that the choice has gameplay consequences. But that's just me.