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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    A bunch of games today get simplified or just being made a lot shorter and stupider story-wise just because some people might not like it if it has some depth or a little complex elements. The formula follows: short garbage + passable multiplayer mode = moneymaker. And I've read justifications that more or less literally say: "Well this idiot gaming site had 300 people voting that they hate long games so we make them short."
    I think the biggest problem I have with this block is that people seem to think that "dumbing down" means removing obtuse and ultimately pointless features to make the game easier to get into. I love a good simulation as much as the next person, but if a game has a ridiculous interface with an unnecessary number of keys, I'm not going to hail it as a "good game" just for having needless complexity. Look at anything (Dr) Derek Smart has made. Universal Combat was just as bad as the previous Battlecruiser games; huge scope of play with a key layout to rival a DCS title, completely incomprehensible interface, and a broken manual to boot. If that's where "complexity" gets you, then I'm glad that games are becoming "dumbed down".

    I can't understand why people want to cling so tightly to the earlier days of PC gaming when we had keyboard overlays so we knew what all the keys did, or spent ages memorising statistics or procedures just to do simple things. That sort of stuff belongs in simulators. Short garbage (like MW3) is worthless crap in my opinion, but I don't hold that up as an example of "dumbing down" because it's following the rest of the series, it's obvious they're pushing more and more towards MP. Also I agree that in games which should have a strong story there's too much ridiculous nonsense creeping in designed to appease people who can't follow a handful of plot points, but by the same token a convoluted mess of a story with a hundred different threads leading to nowhere isn't much better.

    Basically, most gaming communities sound like this to developers who are aiming for large-scale appeal. Look at all the suggestions people toss at Notch for Minecraft, which isn't a AAA studio game. It's all well and good to make a niche title but if the majority don't want something, you can't force them to accept it. If you don't like mainstream gaming, don't play. I hate casual games, so I don't play them.

  2. #22
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    I'll just link here as a reason why the lowest common denominator can be a Bad Thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    Grr!! I am Legend still makes me angry when I think about it. The first half had so much potential!!

    Anyway, back on topic...
    Agree, that ending was such Hollywood shit. Conversely though, while I loved the directors end to Blade Runner, I *also* loved Harrison Ford's narration at the beginning. The deadpan delivery is in perfect synch with the idea of "this is everyday bullshit" while the audience's eyes are bugging out in amazement with every pixel of the "future L.A." going on around him.

    back on topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    A bunch of games today get simplified or just being made a lot shorter and stupider
    Consoles, and the people who only play consoles. When someone posts "Hi, I'm new to gaming on a PC" a part of me dies inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    ... adding single player there wich basically qualifies as a glorified tech demo but still takes time away from development to make a POLISHED game. ... And now thanks to all that shit Battlefield 3 is a buggy fucking mess
    Be honest with yourself, BF3 would still have been a buggy mess even without the SP campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    I also have a problem with this "getting Call of Duty audience" mentality. Why would you want to get that if you have a solid fanbase already? Main culprits here being fucking Bioware with their tripe called Dragon Age 2. ... they gained a temporary audience who's there for shite romance and button mashing ...[and] Everybody's Fucking Bi and Horny with a Shit Story That Doesn't Make Any Sense Except In a Masturbatory Way to Some Lonely Basement Dwellers.
    They did the same thing with Mass Effect frankly. As good as Me2 was, it was a simplified version of Me1 with even more silly romances. Don't get me wrong, I loved ME1 and 2, but like you pointed out in Dragon Age, you can put your finger all the elements of each game and see a downward slope in terms of the creative. I'm positive Me3 and DA:3 will continue in that trend. Fuck me though, I'll still buy em.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    So in the end what's the point of all this? .. the cheap greedy bastard money way.
    You answered your own question, we'll still buy em.
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  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    Hahah yeah man. There's a platoon in Battlelog for instance that doesn't let ppl in if they have a KDR ratio that's below 1.0.
    I get Ace Pins in BC2 with K/D ratios below 1.0 0_o

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    I get Ace Pins in BC2 with K/D ratios below 1.0 0_o
    If such is the case (and such should be the case), why are K:D ratios counted?

    If it doesn't pertain, then at best it's a huge red herring, and at worst it's a giant troll.
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  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    If such is the case (and such should be the case), why are K:D ratios counted?

    If it doesn't pertain, then at best it's a huge red herring, and at worst it's a giant troll.
    Because they put in the work, and it's all for the kids?

    People obsess over statistics, the CS/BF community are some of the worst for it, while the TF2 community obsess over items, and the MMORPG communities obsess over... everything. Where have you been? It's not about fun or a score that indicates how useful you were to your team. It's about the NUMBERS. Either you're killing noobs or you're not playing properly. I know it says Conquest or Rush but we all know it's just a deathmatch where half the server doesn't attack you.


    Or to be more serious... actually no wait that's fairly apt. Most of the servers have a handful of antisocial jet pilots dogfighting, tanks crashing into everything en-route to a minefield, and a load of infantry lining up for vehicles or accusing each other of hacking.

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I've found this somewhere else. Very insightful:


    Consider what happens when you’re planning a holiday meal. There’s a range of fantastic things you could cook, but wait: Some people can’t take spicy food, Uncle Bill is allergic to garlic, Aunt Sarah doesn’t eat red meat, Timmy doesn’t eat anything green, ….

    Eventually you realize there’s only way to please everyone: Cook something bland, mild, and safe, like chicken and rice. But does chicken and rice actually please anyone? Not really, it was just what everyone hated the least.

    Votes don’t converge on something wonderful. Rather, votes are vetoes.

    But this isn’t a strategy for startups. Little companies need a niche — a market space they can completely, unquestionably own, not some gray middle-ground where your attempt to offend no one also means exciting no one.

    There is “wisdom in the crowd” only when errors cancel out, like when estimating jelly beans or answering pop culture questions. In creative work, votes eliminate the interesting edges, leaving only the boring residue that no one hated enough to vote off the island.

    That’s not how great products are made.
    http://blog.asmartbear.com/ignoring-...of-crowds.html
    It's not an article about game design, but a great article nonetheless.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 28-11-2011 at 09:15 AM.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Where have you been? It's not about fun or a score that indicates how useful you were to your team. It's about the NUMBERS.
    God, that's like trying to explain the joys of cosmopolitan life using only demographic statistics.
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  8. #28
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I think the biggest problem I have with this block is that people seem to think that "dumbing down" means removing obtuse and ultimately pointless features to make the game easier to get into. I love a good simulation as much as the next person, but if a game has a ridiculous interface with an unnecessary number of keys, I'm not going to hail it as a "good game" just for having needless complexity. Look at anything (Dr) Derek Smart has made. Universal Combat was just as bad as the previous Battlecruiser games; huge scope of play with a key layout to rival a DCS title, completely incomprehensible interface, and a broken manual to boot. If that's where "complexity" gets you, then I'm glad that games are becoming "dumbed down".

    I can't understand why people want to cling so tightly to the earlier days of PC gaming when we had keyboard overlays so we knew what all the keys did, or spent ages memorising statistics or procedures just to do simple things. That sort of stuff belongs in simulators. Short garbage (like MW3) is worthless crap in my opinion, but I don't hold that up as an example of "dumbing down" because it's following the rest of the series, it's obvious they're pushing more and more towards MP. Also I agree that in games which should have a strong story there's too much ridiculous nonsense creeping in designed to appease people who can't follow a handful of plot points, but by the same token a convoluted mess of a story with a hundred different threads leading to nowhere isn't much better.

    Basically, most gaming communities sound like this to developers who are aiming for large-scale appeal. Look at all the suggestions people toss at Notch for Minecraft, which isn't a AAA studio game. It's all well and good to make a niche title but if the majority don't want something, you can't force them to accept it. If you don't like mainstream gaming, don't play. I hate casual games, so I don't play them.
    I see what you're saying and I agree but if you think that DA2 or Conviction for example aren't honestly with a blunt force dumbed down then I don't know. Both games here were in the niche market before and after they got the mainstream treatment they made some fast cash but are ultimately forgotten as something bland that ppl do not return to.

    Also very nice quote there b0rsuk, I completely agree.

  9. #29
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    Far as i'm concerned, if they want to make bland games let them. But DO NOT frickin' use an existing franchise name and wholly revamp the game so it has absolutely NOTHING in common with its prequel. I am looking at you, Ghost Recon. I am looking at you, Splinter Cell Conviction. And you: Rainbow Six: Vegas. And there are probably a ton of others that i haven't played.

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  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    God, that's like trying to explain the joys of cosmopolitan life using only demographic statistics.
    Um... honest question here, but you did realise my post was sarcastic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    I see what you're saying and I agree but if you think that DA2 or Conviction for example aren't honestly with a blunt force dumbed down then I don't know. Both games here were in the niche market before and after they got the mainstream treatment they made some fast cash but are ultimately forgotten as something bland that ppl do not return to.
    I've never played Conviction and I agree that DA2 was a step backwards. But Dragon Age: Origins wasn't a niche title, it was mainstream. I'm against screwing up the important parts of a game but let's look at the case of the X series by comparison. Lots of people are complaining that in the upcoming X: Rebirth the focus has shifted from the player flitting in between a multitude of different ships from fighters to capital ships, to focusing mostly on one ship with fighters being replaced by controllable fighter drones, and removing a lot of the micromanagement stuff from stations and ships.

    On the surface that does look like a step back... at least until you recognise a few home-truths about the X games, namely that their UI hasn't changed much since the first game, with new features just bolted on in a mess of nested menus. Giving even simple instructions to ships, or setting up groups of ships, takes an obscene number of mouse-clicks. Most people will tend to stay in their favourite ship no matter how many others they have at their disposal, and it's usually a fairly beefy ship because anything less is asking for death in a lot of cases. The entire game was in need of a complete overhaul because it was turning into an absolute mess, particularly in the UI department. Egosoft take the initiative to do so and people rant and rave. It's still a freeform space trading/combat/whatever game with the same focus as last time, but some of the core mechanics have been modified so that it won't be such a mess to control and do what should be simple things.

    Everyone decries that as "dumbing down" (or equating "streamlining" with "dumbing down") but it's not. It's just a different direction, and one that the series needs. Kind of like the inventory system in Mass Effect vs Mass Effect 2. Yes, ME2's inventory system is entirely different and only has a few core weapons. But that doesn't mean it's "dumbed down" from the original, because you'd end up with a stupid amount of weapons and upgrades that were absolutely useless, and didn't even have much value for sale because you were rolling in credits all the time (and if you had the Master gear everything else was obsolete anyway). I'm not saying the other decisions were worse (like removing planetary exploration), but the simple removal of a redundant and pointless gameplay mechanic isn't "dumbing" a game down.

  12. #32
    Obscure Node bussinrounds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post

    I also have a problem with this "getting Call of Duty audience" mentality. Why would you want to get that if you have a solid fanbase already?
    Because they see shit like COD making gazillions of $$$ and they want to drive around in Ferraris too. So in turn, we get the mindless dumbed down crap. It's not rocket science.

    So sad to see what great tactical shooters like Ghost Recon 1 and the old Rainbow games (Raven Shield and earlier) have become.

    Don't even get me started on modern 'RPGs' and 'horror' games. Ughhh
    Last edited by bussinrounds; 28-11-2011 at 11:11 AM.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Don't buy games at the release. Press reviews are worthless. Wait for a month, and see if people enjoy it. Read their arguments. Base purchases on rational reasons, not on pre-release marketing.

    I haven't bought Brink, Might&Magic: Heroes 6, and Elemental: War of Magic. I'm very happy.

  14. #34
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    I didn't buy Brink because I read the press reviews.

  15. #35
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Um... honest question here, but you did realise my post was sarcastic?


    I've never played Conviction and I agree that DA2 was a step backwards. But Dragon Age: Origins wasn't a niche title, it was mainstream. I'm against screwing up the important parts of a game but let's look at the case of the X series by comparison. Lots of people are complaining that in the upcoming X: Rebirth the focus has shifted from the player flitting in between a multitude of different ships from fighters to capital ships, to focusing mostly on one ship with fighters being replaced by controllable fighter drones, and removing a lot of the micromanagement stuff from stations and ships.

    On the surface that does look like a step back... at least until you recognise a few home-truths about the X games, namely that their UI hasn't changed much since the first game, with new features just bolted on in a mess of nested menus. Giving even simple instructions to ships, or setting up groups of ships, takes an obscene number of mouse-clicks. Most people will tend to stay in their favourite ship no matter how many others they have at their disposal, and it's usually a fairly beefy ship because anything less is asking for death in a lot of cases. The entire game was in need of a complete overhaul because it was turning into an absolute mess, particularly in the UI department. Egosoft take the initiative to do so and people rant and rave. It's still a freeform space trading/combat/whatever game with the same focus as last time, but some of the core mechanics have been modified so that it won't be such a mess to control and do what should be simple things.

    Everyone decries that as "dumbing down" (or equating "streamlining" with "dumbing down") but it's not. It's just a different direction, and one that the series needs. Kind of like the inventory system in Mass Effect vs Mass Effect 2. Yes, ME2's inventory system is entirely different and only has a few core weapons. But that doesn't mean it's "dumbed down" from the original, because you'd end up with a stupid amount of weapons and upgrades that were absolutely useless, and didn't even have much value for sale because you were rolling in credits all the time (and if you had the Master gear everything else was obsolete anyway). I'm not saying the other decisions were worse (like removing planetary exploration), but the simple removal of a redundant and pointless gameplay mechanic isn't "dumbing" a game down.
    Again I agree that there's a fine line between actual dumbing down and exagerrating stuff and some games do benefit from making them more organized if it really is such a mess as you described. I also agree that ME2 didn't exactly get so dumbed down because ME1 was a third person shooter to begin with and some mechanics just hindered it in a sense that the inventory system is horrible and other mechanics that really didn't work that well in the game. I don't think ME2 was a massive improvement also because of some story elements, lack of equipment and removing actually getting your companions trust and all that jazz.

    But what I mean with Dragon Age: Origins being a niche title I mean that It's a very traditional RPG. It has your stats, lotsa equipment, character creation, very basic fantasy world with a savior of something or other plotline and all this stuff that makes it very appealing to a certain audience and not that appealing to other.

  16. #36
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    I liked the pull quote from this Umberto Eco interview:
    It's only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things. People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011...-simple-things

    "People" doesn't mean everyone, but it does mean the considerable number of people who have read Eco or might be interested in doing so. Making simple fluff for the general public is fine, but if you *want* to make more challenging things, there's definitely an audience for it.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Do better.
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  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Um... honest question here, but you did realise my post was sarcastic?
    Yes, of course I did. I was lamenting; not attacking you.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    I've found this somewhere else. Very insightful:
    http://blog.asmartbear.com/ignoring-...of-crowds.html
    It's not an article about game design, but a great article nonetheless.
    While there's a good deal of truth in that, there's still value in a wide appeal. Obviously that's not the only option, and never should be. But isn't it also nice to have that plain family meal, that everyone can be part of and enjoy? Part of the value in some experiences is that they are shared experiences.

  20. #40
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjlr View Post
    But isn't it also nice to have that plain family meal, that everyone can be part of and enjoy? Part of the value in some experiences is that they are shared experiences.
    As an example, how many of the TV series you love are hugely popular, in the prime slots on broadcast stations? How much of the music you love gets played on top 40 radio stations?

    While it's possible to create truly great media that everyone loves, it's extraordinarily rare. Bland mediocrity is far, far more common. The shared experience is now The X Factor and American Idol. And Modern Warfare 3.
    Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 28-11-2011 at 10:18 PM.

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