The venerable Todd Howard of Oblivion and Fallout 3 fame explains why Fallout 3 didn’t have ladders:
Bethesda Game Director Todd Howard admitting during a panel at Quakecon today that one of the gameplay features the studio continues to cut game after game is the inclusion of ladders for players to climb without fading to a loading screen.
“Play our game; find a ladder that you can use. We don’t have them,” he said.
Howard explained the primary reason for not being able to include ladders into environments is due to their engine, saying ladders caused problems for character AI.
“One day, we tried to figure out why we wanted ladders so bad because we don’t really need them. It just felt like we’re game development pussies because we can’t do ladders.”
What a load of bull shit. Come to think of it, Oblivion and Morrowind didn’t have ladders too. It took 3 games on the same engine and still they can’t figure out a way to implement ladders in the game.
Consider this: when Half-Life was released, somewhere down the line came bot mods that were done by amateur modders. Developed by small teams (read: one-man shows), these bots have zero problem climbing ladders.
Now think: Bethesda have an entire fleet of programmers, and none of them could spend time to make the AI use ladders at all? For 3 games?
That’s not an excuse. That’s a fucking disgrace. And I suspect it has nothing to do with their programming department. I suspect that it was a high-level decision not to include ladder-handling AI, simply because the game designers themselves don’t know what to do with it.
Which reminds me: Oblivion, while having a horse for you to ride in, didn’t have horseback combat. Now consider this again: Mount & Blade was developed by practically a two-man team and featured mounted combat that wowed the entire gaming industry.
Again, a 2 man team trumping a legion of programmers in Bethesda.
Somebody please remind me why Bethesda is considered the revolutionary leader in the world of CRPGs again?