PDA

View Full Version : Pet Peeves of the PC Gamer Community



Pages : 1 [2]

Nalano
27-12-2011, 08:25 PM
It's a minor point, because I understand what they're trying to say, and it's a valid complaint (if not one I particularly care for), but the meaning of the words they're actually saying is all too often demonstrably false. Though I have to say I don't know how I would prefer it to be said, so I can't really fault the people who say this for not knowing either. I guess it's more of a peeve about terminology than it is about the people who use it.

It's also a horrible conflation of several levels of "meaningful."

In a dialogue, being able to say what I want to say - or something close to it - is very meaningful to me, even if it doesn't make a huge difference to the plot.

At another level, people criticize ME2 for being proof that ME's decisions were meaningless, because it doesn't matter who helms the galaxy as they still won't help you. Yet, the survival of the Rachni (for a big example), the survival of Wrex (for a medium example) and the path Garrus takes (for a smaller example) all imply very substantive differences - the latter two already making difference in the second act, the former promising a substantively different third act.

jryan
27-12-2011, 08:48 PM
- Gaming forum threads designed to complain about complainers that surprisingly degenerate from ironic complaining to ironic complaining.

Nalano
27-12-2011, 08:59 PM
- Gaming forum threads designed to complain about complainers that surprisingly degenerate from ironic complaining to ironic complaining.

Jryan, master of hypocritical humor.

Which is actually keeping with the thread's theme.

jryan
27-12-2011, 09:03 PM
Jryan, master of hypocritical humor.

Which is actually keeping with the thread's theme.


Hey, you caught that one. You are improving.

Nalano
27-12-2011, 09:07 PM
Hey, you caught that one. You are improving.

This forum has room for only one sardonic ass.

Pistols at dawn.

jryan
27-12-2011, 09:10 PM
This forum has room for only one sardonic ass.

Pistols at dawn.


Psh, you and your PVP.

Nalano
27-12-2011, 09:36 PM
Psh, you and your PVP.

Ah! That reminds me:



Ban world PvP! I hate the idea of bullies and gankers and antisocial types messing up my game! Yes, I know it's a PvP server, but these animals have no sense of honor! I'm far more civilized, which is why I'm going to fight these rogues on the forums, using strawmen and feints and no end of invective, because forum PvP is not at all like in-game PvP!

jryan
27-12-2011, 09:50 PM
A WOW oldy: "PVP is broken because all the PVE guilds have all the best gear and dominate PVP!"

Nalano
27-12-2011, 10:05 PM
A WOW oldy: "PVP is broken because all the PVE guilds have all the best gear and dominate PVP!"

Well, that was absolutely true (http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e342/jonmphy/nerfhunters.jpg) then, tho. T2 > all. It was even worse with patch 1.3.1, where raid-geared hunters could one-shot anything.

jryan
27-12-2011, 10:32 PM
Well, that was absolutely true (http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e342/jonmphy/nerfhunters.jpg) then, tho. T2 > all. It was even worse with patch 1.3.1, where raid-geared hunters could one-shot anything.


Well, no, like most of the examples given in this thread of fellow gamers whining, it is the "broken" part that isn't "true". It wasn't "broken" except for the fact that there was a small subset of WOW players that played BGs and PVPed exclusively and ignored 99% of the game content complaining that weren't benefiting from the 99% of the content they chose not to play. For them WOW was/is like a FPS with a huge map.

What Blizzard did was split the game to service the PVP-only players, especially on PVP servers where RAIDers couldn't leave the capitals in raid gear anymore for fear of getting ganked.

Granted, in 4.3 Blizzard has erased the PVP/PVE gear difference in all practical terms given that you can now earn descent PVP gear through 5-man grinding and Transmogrification means that PVP servers are no longer awash with a bunch of cookie cutter PVP-geared toons.

Nalano
27-12-2011, 10:50 PM
Well, no, like most of the examples given in this thread of fellow gamers whining, it is the "broken" part that isn't "true".

Well, it was true that pure PvE raiders could trounce pure PvPers at BGs due solely to gear. Whether that "breaks" the game is up to viewpoint, but the PvPer saw it as forcing them to do something other than their preferred playstyle in order to do their preferred playstyle, and made the argument that PvPing doesn't give them the same gear advantage in PvE.

Further, the argument that they're playing the game wrong by "ignoring 99% of the game content" is a weak one because, first, if their playstyle wasn't meant to be played, they wouldn't be able to play it, and second, raiders ignore 99% of game content. As a former raider and a former PvPer, I can tell you that if you're not in a raid dungeon or a battleground, you tend to spend the rest of the time dicking around in the city, trolling trade chat - or simply not in the game at all.

jryan
27-12-2011, 11:15 PM
Well, no, because if you were on a PVP server then the 1.x model rewarded a balanced approached to playing the game because success in story driven content made traveling the wilds that much easier while BGs sharpened your PVP skills. Gear was gear was gear. Blizzard's solution for the small percentage of PVP only players was to take a big meat cleaver and split PVP content cleanly from the rest of the game content forever more. Those who wanted to do both really can't anymore due to the time sink on what amounts to two separate games with a shared lobby.

The argument that players couldn't play the way they wanted in the old system is weak given that the whole game, regardless of whether you are PVP or PVE boils down to a min/max affair where you are always required to play some predetermined way.. especially if you are in a guild. Take the warrior class, for example, and the fact that until 3.x the Fury branch was worthless and anyone who wanted to play that role was up shits creek. Now with 4.x it seems that the Warrior Tank is the one left out as you never see warrior tanks anymore in PVE.

Also, I think you are right that it is possible NOW to raid the way you are talking (lots of down time), but you seem to forget the old days where you needed to farm mats and gold all week long to afford the cost of raiding. in 1.x I calculated the cost of a single raid run to be around 50g between repairs per raid run, flasks and food when 10g/hour farming was the norm. When you consider that there were 3 runs a week that got to be quite a time sink. Back then PVP was what we raiders did to break the monotony of gold grinding. :D

Blizzard took the fun out of it when they made it a second grind unto itself.

Nalano
27-12-2011, 11:32 PM
To be fair, vanilla raiding was a lot easier than later - not least of which because the 40-man raids could shed 15 people (or carry 15 mouthbreathers) and still beat Tier 2 content, which would limit the necessity of farming mats for consumables. At that same time the investment of time required to grind PvP was at its peak, requiring 20-hour days to get to top tiers in competitive servers.

BC basically made raiding harder and BGs pointless, as all PvP gear worth a shit came from arenas, and due to the health pool inflation in PvP gear, PvE gear was less useful for the purpose of PvPing.

WotLK increased the damage output relative to health pools and PvE gear was more useful again - provided you didn't mind playing the glass cannon - but then, raiding became so easy that any mouthbreather could get a decent set.

So I'd argue that the biggest problem vis a vis carebears killing the PvP scene was vanilla.

GothicEmperor
27-12-2011, 11:47 PM
SO, I browsed this thread, and with my sadly rather minute intellect, I couldn't comprehend half of it, especially the later pages. A lot of meta-discussions on meta-discussions, and stuff about vanilla raiders in World of Warcraft. Why pirates would use tiny orchid fruit as their symbol is beyond me. Must be Activision's fault!

Keep
27-12-2011, 11:51 PM
SO, I browsed this thread, and with my sadly rather minute intellect, I couldn't comprehend half of it, especially the later pages. A lot of meta-discussions on meta-discussions, and stuff about vanilla raiders in World of Warcraft. Why pirates would use tiny orchid fruit as their symbol is beyond me. Must be Activision's fault!

No, you misunderstand! These raiders raid vanilla pods. See?

jryan
28-12-2011, 03:17 PM
To be fair, vanilla raiding was a lot easier than later - not least of which because the 40-man raids could shed 15 people (or carry 15 mouthbreathers) and still beat Tier 2 content, which would limit the necessity of farming mats for consumables. At that same time the investment of time required to grind PvP was at its peak, requiring 20-hour days to get to top tiers in competitive servers.

BC basically made raiding harder and BGs pointless, as all PvP gear worth a shit came from arenas, and due to the health pool inflation in PvP gear, PvE gear was less useful for the purpose of PvPing.

WotLK increased the damage output relative to health pools and PvE gear was more useful again - provided you didn't mind playing the glass cannon - but then, raiding became so easy that any mouthbreather could get a decent set.

So I'd argue that the biggest problem vis a vis carebears killing the PvP scene was vanilla.


They did change the PVP scene in prep for BC, but the ranking system was introduced late in vanilla which introduced the grind, and the maintenance need to maintain ranking. Before that I ran a bunch of AV to earn my PVP gear to get into raid progressions.

It was cool too because back then the PVP gear looked different than the T1 stuff and they hadn't gone full cookie cutter yet, so both sides felt like accomplishments and like they were meant to go together.

As far as raiding, I had the exact opposite experience. BC made raiding much easier, at least until the final progression, but even that never reached the level of AQ20 and the Twin Emperors.

Nalano
28-12-2011, 09:13 PM
As far as raiding, I had the exact opposite experience. BC made raiding much easier, at least until the final progression, but even that never reached the level of AQ20 and the Twin Emperors.

Being that the most difficult part of raiding is herding 40 mewling kittens to the same place at the same time, BC made it far easier. Being that the remaining players actually had to pull their weight, BC made raiding harder.

jryan
28-12-2011, 10:10 PM
Being that the most difficult part of raiding is herding 40 mewling kittens to the same place at the same time, BC made it far easier. Being that the remaining players actually had to pull their weight, BC made raiding harder.


It never seemed as difficult as getting 40 people in AV to act as a team.

Rauten
28-12-2011, 10:25 PM
I'm with Nalano, BC raiding was harder. In classic all I could hear from a buncha friends of mine was how piss easy the raids were, and that it was the only reason they didn't wipe despite the 10-15 morons that they had to bring into the fight just to fill the roster.
BC Raiding? they sweated bullets.

As for PvP, I loved the classic ranking system. For me, classic WoW PvP system was the best it has ever had. I specially miss those long AV matches, it actually managed to feel like a big massive battle, with a hint of PvE and questing here and there for seasoning.
And Korrak; let us not forget our good ol' friend, Korrak.

Nalano
28-12-2011, 10:44 PM
It never seemed as difficult as getting 40 people in AV to act as a team.

Are you kidding me? That was the most fun (http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e342/jonmphy/WoWScrnShot_101709_175712.jpg) I ever had in the game. Alterac Valley was hunter heaven (http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e342/jonmphy/thisiswhyhuntersgotnerfed.jpg). We wrote odes to it (http://www.the-waaagh.com/forums/?showtopic=37688).

jryan
28-12-2011, 10:49 PM
Who said that difficult is the opposite of fun? If it wasn't fun I wouldn't be doing it.

And yes, the old 3 hour AV matches were a blast, but you couldn't sustain an offensive with 15 no shows.

AQ20 was ACTUALLY no fun as it was so mind numbingly mechanical that a mouse slip could lead to a wipe. People decked in the best WOTLK gear could still wipe on AQ20 simply on the mechanics.

Nalano
28-12-2011, 10:56 PM
Who said that difficult is the opposite of fun? If it wasn't fun I wouldn't be doing it.

If it was difficult we couldn't be piss drunk when doing it. Winning is only a matter of running a pre-made. Then it's just a race to herd all your opponents to their spawn and camp them before the herding itself runs the numbers down. I like to think that running a Frostwolf Perfection and spawncamping the entire team motivated more than a few folks to quit the game entirely.


AQ20 was ACTUALLY no fun as it was so mind numbingly mechanical that a mouse slip could lead to a wipe. People decked in the best WOTLK gear could still wipe on AQ20 simply on the mechanics.

Please; don't try to upsell the difficulty too much. All raid mechanics are permutations on a theme of "don't stand in the fire."

jryan
28-12-2011, 11:18 PM
If it was difficult we couldn't be piss drunk when doing it. Winning is only a matter of running a pre-made. Then it's just a race to herd all your opponents to their spawn and camp them before the herding itself runs the numbers down. I like to think that running a Frostwolf Perfection and spawncamping the entire team motivated more than a few folks to quit the game entirely.


So you are arguing that a 20 man premaid AV is easier to form than a 40 man premade raid? You make no sense. If you are arguing that you just need a small portion of that AV to be premade to be successful then I may agree with you, but you have already made the same argument about vanilla raiding so you are arguing against your own point.

I am saying that putting together a successful AQ20 (or 40) was a lot harder than gathering a successful AV. It was possible to stumble into a successful AV PUG once in a while, but there is no way on earth that a random gathering of 20 or 40 vanilla players could complete AQ. Not in a million years.



Please; don't try to upsell the difficulty too much. All raid mechanics are permutations on a theme of "don't stand in the fire."


I'm not upselling the difficulty of AQ, in particular the Twin Emperors. The mechanics in that fight alone are still hard to overcome even though a well geared DPS toon can out DPS an entire 40man vanilla raid group nowadays.

Nalano
28-12-2011, 11:26 PM
So you are arguing that a 20 man premaid AV is easier to form than a 40 man premade raid?

Yes, 20 men easier. Also, less time consuming and far more rewarding on Vent, what with the lack of loot drama, backbiting and SRSBSNS.


The mechanics in that fight alone are still hard to overcome even though a well geared DPS toon can out DPS an entire 40man vanilla raid group nowadays.

At the time I came across Twin Emps, I was officer in an small guild collective that can best be described as "a regular raid guild with about three times the drama, plus a revolving door roster." We did it in three days. The hardest part was listening to those asshats on Vent for hours on end.

jryan
29-12-2011, 04:38 PM
At the time I came across Twin Emps, I was officer in an small guild collective that can best be described as "a regular raid guild with about three times the drama, plus a revolving door roster." We did it in three days. The hardest part was listening to those asshats on Vent for hours on end.


Again, are you arguing that Raiding was easier and therefor PVPers were screwed, or the reverse? We're talking about the end result of gear, aren't we? In the old system I was all but guaranteed a PVP set piece from just 2 or 3 of the extended AV runs. Running a 20 or 40 Raid meant that any given toon couldn't expect new loot in 2 or 3 runs (win or lose) -- the honor reward for kills far outweighed the victory bonus in those days in AV. It was much harder to achieve anything raiding.

Also, when you say it took you three days to down Twin Emps, how many hours did you commit to it? Did you ever get to farming status? Because I call shenanigans on that. In AV you reach farming status by the sheer effort of making a team, which you already said was easier... so why should PVP have had equal reward when it is so easy?

My original position was that the PVPers in vanilla bitching about the dominance of the raiders were simply whiners who completely failed to grasp how much harder it was for those raiders to get that gear. They wanted the benefit without the work. In getting what they wanted they changed WOW forever, and arguably not for the better.

As I said earlier though, at this point with instant gear swap and 1-to-1 Honor trade ins, a focus on Vendors for high level gear for both PVP and RAIDing, and transmogrification the difference in PVP and Raid is gone again. Hell, with a little patience you can get to iLVL 397 Raid gear running nothing but 5 mans.

Nalano
29-12-2011, 08:48 PM
Again, are you arguing that Raiding was easier and therefor PVPers were screwed, or the reverse?

Neither. I'm arguing that a raider could, at vanilla, switch to BGing as a way to cool down, and trounce all PvPers with his gear advantage. I'm arguing that a PvPer at the time could not transition quite so handily to raiding. I'm arguing that if a PvPer did not want to raid, he was put at a disadvantage in the one format he clearly preferred.

Batolemaeus
29-12-2011, 10:08 PM
I've just spent several hours debugging some performance problems. The following thing has cost me quite some time and nerve:

Lag != low FPS

I have no idea who started this insanity, but it's agitating trying to find some leads for specific issues when people use lag and low fps synonymously. The two words describe two completely different and independent problems with entirely different approaches to solving them.
It's like a conspiracy to spread as many red herrings as possible to anyone suffering from fps drops in regular intervals in a multiplayer game.

Kadayi
04-01-2012, 07:39 PM
Shallow article comment posts that are just thinly veiled axe grinding repeated ad infinitum at any given opportunity (appropriate or not) in some desperate attempt to convert us, the reader to their cause or hook the unsuspecting into a 'debate' on the subject that has zero to do with the game.

'This (insert name of game) might be good, but it will probably ship with Steamworks and I won't buy games with DRM.'

Label under care, subsection give a shit tbh.

thegooseking
04-01-2012, 07:57 PM
Suggesting that people are 'gullible' for being able to derive value from something. That doesn't even make any fucking sense. If I got the value I was looking for from it (or more), then how have I been duped or tricked or manipulated?

And you know what else? I don't really care that [big bad company's] only motive is to make money out of me. Fair play to them. What I get out of the deal is not contingent on their intentions; only on what they actually offer in exchange for my money. Why they're doing it is a total non-factor. This is why I support, say, Valve (which tries to make money from me by selling me stuff I want) more than, say, Ubisoft (which mostly tries to make money from me by selling me stuff I don't want). Believe it or not, I get more value from buying things I want than I do from buying things I don't want (does this really need to be said?). Accusations of fanboyism are really tiresome, and just a lazy attempt to dismiss the argument out of hand rather than responding to it properly.

But all of this is really just ancillary to the deeper problem: denial that someone got value out of something, even if they "think" they did. And my response to that is so simple even primary school kids could use it (and do, all the time): I think they'd know better than you, bub. You can talk about post-hoc rationalisation all you want; the simple truth is that value is subjective, and said subject is in a far better position to gauge how much something is worth to them than a stranger with an internet connection and an opinion.

Grizzly
04-01-2012, 08:18 PM
I've just spent several hours debugging some performance problems. The following thing has cost me quite some time and nerve:

Lag != low FPS

I have no idea who started this insanity, but it's agitating trying to find some leads for specific issues when people use lag and low fps synonymously. The two words describe two completely different and independent problems with entirely different approaches to solving them.
It's like a conspiracy to spread as many red herrings as possible to anyone suffering from fps drops in regular intervals in a multiplayer game.

I thought "lag" in gamer slogan meant 'A noticable delay between player input and that input actually happening'. high ping results in lag. But low FPS then also results in lag.

Kadayi
04-01-2012, 08:42 PM
@Goose

Is it not simply the case that they suffer from some degree of snobbery/superiority complex in that they believe they are somehow above the maddening crowd and able to see the tawdriness of what the masses consume?

When there was the whole Ubisoft always on DRM I always thought it was rather tragic that amongst those who elected to boycott AC2 when it was released (myself included ) were a group that thought somehow that wasn't enough and then DDoSed the games verification servers basically meaning no one could play for a couple of days. I think it's one thing to object to something yourself, it's another to ruin some elses choice in the matter. Gamers basically griefing other gamers.

Batolemaeus
04-01-2012, 09:57 PM
I thought "lag" in gamer slogan meant 'A noticable delay between player input and that input actually happening'. high ping results in lag. But low FPS then also results in lag.

But that's conflating two entirely different problems. There are many cases where there's a noticeable delay at a steady 60hz, and tons of cases (most of them actually) where low fps do not result in any delays.

Describing technical problems must be done with a certain degree of precision to be useful at all. If someone just says "lag" without making it clear they're referring to the original definition, it's best to simply ignore whatever they said since it'll be a red herring.

Nalano
05-01-2012, 03:32 AM
I put this link here (http://i.imgur.com/zjhkS.png) so I can find it again.

Wizardry
05-01-2012, 03:56 AM
I put this link here (http://i.imgur.com/zjhkS.png) so I can find it again.
Didn't know you could climb in post-Daggerfall TES games.

Cooper
05-01-2012, 05:11 PM
I don't know about you, but when I go hill climbing I always shuffle forwards at just a few degrees off of the horizontal, moving fowards but very slowly upwards too. Occasionally I also bunny hop my way up the almost-walkable bits.

Grizzly
05-01-2012, 06:56 PM
But that's conflating two entirely different problems. There are many cases where there's a noticeable delay at a steady 60hz, and tons of cases (most of them actually) where low fps do not result in any delays.

Oh, I thought that when gamers talked about 'lag' due to low FPS they were actually talking about lag, and not the act of having low fps by itself.

DanMan
18-09-2015, 08:29 PM
ATTENTION! NECRO LEVEL 44! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

So, I just have to get this off my chest: fake urgency.

I'm still playing Witcher 3 currently and it happened again. NPCs tell you to to meet them somewhere, and you're supposed to hurry up. But that's an empty urge. It doesn't actually matter when you show up, whatsoever. You can go on side-quest hunting for days (and in the game), and they'll still be standing at the exact same spot they did from the moment the quest was initialized.

So, dear developers (see what I did there?), stop that nonsense. Either have some real urgency by putting some actual time constraints in there, so the quest will fail and the game advance somehow differently, or just stop adding it altogether, like it's sugar coating. It's silly and diminishes your game's plausibility.

The Velour Fog
18-09-2015, 08:50 PM
ATTENTION! NECRO LEVEL 44! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

So, I just have to get this off my chest: fake urgency.

I'm still playing Witcher 3 currently and it happened again. NPCs tell you to to meet them somewhere, and you're supposed to hurry up. But that's an empty urge. It doesn't actually matter when you show up, whatsoever. You can go on side-quest hunting for days (and in the game), and they'll still be standing at the exact same spot they did from the moment the quest was initialized.

So, dear developers (see what I did there?), stop that nonsense. Either have some real urgency by putting some actual time constraints in there, so the quest will fail and the game advance somehow differently, or just stop adding it altogether, like it's sugar coating. It's silly and diminishes your game's plausibility.

my favourite, which is similar:

you agree to meet someone somewhere later and you leave immediately for that location...and they have somehow beaten you there and act as if they have been waiting for days!

vinraith
18-09-2015, 11:09 PM
ATTENTION! NECRO LEVEL 44! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

So, I just have to get this off my chest: fake urgency.

I have to admit that Mass Effect 2's subversion of that trope was one of the bigger surprises I've ever had in a PC game. Old spoiler: Not that I really minded all those Cerberus bastards getting pureed, mind.

Tikey
19-09-2015, 12:23 AM
I have to admit that Mass Effect 2's subversion of that trope was one of the bigger surprises I've ever had in a PC game.

I agree. I played it at a friend's house and he was savouring every moment that I spent doing other things than rushing there without telling me anything.

alms
19-09-2015, 12:37 AM
So, dear developers (see what I did there?), stop that nonsense. Either have some real urgency by putting some actual time constraints in there, so the quest will fail and the game advance somehow differently, or just stop adding it altogether, like it's sugar coating. It's silly and diminishes your game's plausibility.

It's a criticism that works well on paper, in actual game design it too often translates to slapping timers and adding failstates on game things they don't really belong to, making them stressful and/or unfun. There's another common complaint I feel goes hand in hand with it: "the world revolves around the player".

Both are legitimate criticisms when applied to specific games and situations (I'm putting fake urgency in the more general category of ludonarrative dissonance there), yet most of the time are a facade for personal likes and dislikes (not directed at DanMan, ofc)

In the case of The Witcher, I am of two minds because the previous games didn't seem to have any qualms about forcing the player to live (for the tens of hours the game lasted) with choices they didn't even know they were making, so real urgency wouldn't seem any more dickish than deleting an autosave. OTOH it's a big open-world RPG so a certain degree of un-urgency and player-centricity are unavoidable to ensure the game can be properly enjoyed and also stays manageable at a technical level.

With all that said, I'd be interested to hear the names of games that did urgency well.

Tikey
19-09-2015, 02:21 AM
With all that said, I'd be interested to hear the names of games that did urgency well.

Human Revolution's first mission (after augmenting) was clever in how it approached this, even though most of the game eschews the need for urgency as far as I can remember.

gwathdring
19-09-2015, 06:10 AM
I have to admit that Mass Effect 2's subversion of that trope was one of the bigger surprises I've ever had in a PC game. Old spoiler:

Well, sort of. You can waste as much time as you want until a fairly arbitrary point, which in most (I don't remember if it's inevitable or not) runthroughs leaves you shy a very specific loyalty mission, the importance of loyalty missions to the success of your Suicide Run having been thoroughly stressed. After dozens of hours of fake urgency, the one arbitrarily tacked on moment of real urgency felt weird and annoying rather than meaningful or interesting to me.

Grizzly
19-09-2015, 07:27 AM
I have to admit that Mass Effect 2's subversion of that trope was one of the bigger surprises I've ever had in a PC game. Old spoiler: Not that I really minded all those Cerberus bastards getting pureed, mind.

Lots of those "Cerberus bastards" were ex-alliance soldiers who stayed loyal to you even after the Alliance abandoned everything you fought for. You monster.

The one in Deus Ex: HR was brilliant.

Overvulture
19-09-2015, 07:36 AM
Totally read through 15 pages of old posts just to make sure my biggest annoyance wasn't in here. Devotion!

But, I've always been irked by competitive elements and players in cooperative games. Some of the former start out innocently enough - an award for the most kills in a coop survival game, or an elaborate breakdown of who did the most damage and was generally the most valuable teammate. So many coop games I've played, especially as they get older, have a weird community that is somehow even nastier than pvp games and I blame this kind of thing at least partially. Despite the objective always being "survive as a group", there's a weird trend for things to get really nasty, really fast, as soon as you screw up in the slightest. Or even when you don't. I suppose it's just gamers being gamers, but it's weird that my rare escapades into competitive games tend to be friendlier than coop stuff.

DanMan
19-09-2015, 11:58 AM
It's a criticism that works well on paper, in actual game design it too often translates to slapping timers and adding failstates on game things they don't really belong to, making them stressful and/or unfun. There's another common complaint I feel goes hand in hand with it: "the world revolves around the player".

Both are legitimate criticisms when applied to specific games and situations (I'm putting fake urgency in the more general category of ludonarrative dissonance there), yet most of the time are a facade for personal likes and dislikes (not directed at DanMan, ofc)

In the case of The Witcher, I am of two minds because the previous games didn't seem to have any qualms about forcing the player to live (for the tens of hours the game lasted) with choices they didn't even know they were making, so real urgency wouldn't seem any more dickish than deleting an autosave. OTOH it's a big open-world RPG so a certain degree of un-urgency and player-centricity are unavoidable to ensure the game can be properly enjoyed and also stays manageable at a technical level.

With all that said, I'd be interested to hear the names of games that did urgency well.
I agree that it probably isn't easy to do. But then just don't even put it in there, if you can't figure out a good way to do it.

I was thinking along the line of "meet me at X next dawn" (W3 even has some of those, without urgency though), and if you don't show up, the game resolves the quest for you. Like, having an outcome based on your previous decisions in other places in the game or something. Obviously, using that for a main line quest doesn't make much sense. But then, maybe urgency doesn't work for those anyhow.

Perhaps more in a way of "if you do this, you won't be able to do that, because time", so you'd have to decide which way to go, but don't have much time to decide.
Or having the quest play out differently depending on if you show up right away or if you take your sweet time. Like a battle where you either have time to prepare somehow with your team if you show up ASAP, or you're stumbling right into the already ongoing fray, not really knowing what's going on.

I can't think of a good example of well done urgency in a non-linear game off the top of my head.

BillButNotBen
19-09-2015, 12:39 PM
It's a criticism that works well on paper, in actual game design it too often translates to slapping timers and adding failstates on game things they don't really belong to, making them stressful and/or unfun.

I mostly agree. I understand and sympathize with the complaint, but I think it'd be hard to do it differently in most cases.
The Witcher 1 had choices that you couldn't go back on... but it also for example had the party where you were supposed to meet Triss at 7pm. And you couldn't rush across town because she wouldn't be there until 7... and you might even encouter here walking there from her house at about 6pm and walking back late at night.

But they also gave you lots of leeway... you could arrive at 8 or 9 or maybe later and it would be ok. And if you missed it then she would be there every night at 7pm for the same party. Which might not be logical, but it's better than missing a whole bunch of stuff because you happened to be late.



With all that said, I'd be interested to hear the names of games that did urgency well.

Can't think of many. Prince of Persia?
There are some games that did it on individual levels, like having to escape a building before a timer, but I can't think of many that did it on a bigger scale.

gwathdring
19-09-2015, 08:21 PM
Game design involves a lot of sleight of hand. There are ways to make the urgency feel more legitimate from a wider variety of angles without slapping a timer onto it. Sure, there will always be players left out of the illusion but you can do a better job than ME2 did.

One way is as discussed with The Witcher--soft timers. Timers that don't literally track time spent playing, but rather have some other relationship with punctuality within the frame of the game world.

Heck, ME2's one instance of time sensitivity is a good example of this--you aren't literally being timed and you can screw around as much as you like on your ship or on the galaxy map. But if you deploy for sidequests, it checks a little box somewhere that you arrive Too Late. It's a soft timer and it scales to the player's preferences. If you want to do just one more mission real quick, you have a certain sense of self-made urgency that will help the illusion that you just missed your window of opportunity. If you take a more laid back approach and just do random stuff until you feel ready-ish ... that more relaxed feeling will assist the illusion that you weren't paying enough attention and didn't care enough about time pressure to get there fast enough.

While I don't think it works in the larger context of ME2's structure, I think it is an excellent example of using soft-timers to avoid the pitfalls of counting minutes invisibly offscreen.

Baines
19-09-2015, 09:27 PM
Can't think of many. Prince of Persia?
There are some games that did it on individual levels, like having to escape a building before a timer, but I can't think of many that did it on a bigger scale.

There are entire games built around time limits. The first Dead Rising is an obvious example.

There are also games built around a time limit, but with the addition of a time loop that allows you to keep replaying until you achieve what you are after. Majora's Mask is a prime example. Though I never played it, it sounded like Ephemeral Phantasia used a similar system.

Of course people complained about the time limit in Dead Rising. Majora's Mask was a critical darling, but I'd guess that its gimmick also turned away potential players.

Monster Hunter has timed missions which can get pretty urgent, but once you are better at the game you find you really had a fair amount of time for them. People complained there, as well. As they did with Mercenary Kings, which tried to combine Monster Hunter with Metal Slug.

Thinking back, even games with extremely forgiving time limits tended to suffer a bit of a player backlash. The first Fallout had a rather generous time limit for the water chip, yet still saw people complaining. (Mind, nothing else in the game behaved that way, leading people to believe that they had all the time in the world, until they suddenly didn't.) I want to recall that The Magic Candle had a 300 day time limit that turned out to be extremely generous, but the existence of the limit caused some to not play it at all.

alms
20-09-2015, 12:26 AM
Human Revolution's first mission (after augmenting) was clever in how it approached this, even though most of the game eschews the need for urgency as far as I can remember.


The one in Deus Ex: HR was brilliant.

Had to hit the wiki for that, I don't think the bomb countdown was ever triggered by me (is that it?) and was struggling to understand what you were referring to.


you could arrive at 8 or 9 or maybe later and it would be ok.

But isn't being late at a party the cool thing to do anyway?

LTK
20-09-2015, 01:44 AM
Had to hit the wiki for that, I don't think the bomb countdown was ever triggered by me (is that it?) and was struggling to understand what you were referring to.

The relevant bit is just before leaving for the first mission, where you're in the Sarif offices and David tells you to get to the helipad. If you dally too long the shit hits the fan at the plant where you're supposed to go and David chews you out for it.

mouton
20-09-2015, 07:34 PM
The problem with those examples in ME2 and DX:HR is that such things are so rare in games and I got so used to not giving a fuck about timers, that I actually felt cheated when I encountered it in ME2. It felt like they broke the formula and not in a good way. Additionally, I am certain those games have other "urgency" sequences but with no actual effects.

LTK
20-09-2015, 07:52 PM
On the other hand, maybe it's the fault of all the other games that keep up the appearance of urgency when none really exists. When your boss repeatedly calls you saying that the situation is unstable and you need to report for duty right now, the player could think "Other games never have any consequences for dallying in an emergency, this must be no different, I'll just keep on stealing candy bars until I'm good and ready." If the shit hits the fan, you can't say it was the game's fault for breaking the mold.

gwathdring
20-09-2015, 08:09 PM
You can when the game itself doesn't give a toss most of the time, either. Which is the case in these two games. Also a small PSA or some marketing lingo on the box wouldn't kill anyone. They feel the need to warn you about Autosaving even though pretty much everyone does that now, so why not.

The answer is either "it's the gamer's fault for not trusting us even though the industry as a whole gives them no reason to trust us" or "that would mess with our artistic vision of dicking around the player."

Neither is really a good response. The second works every now and then.

mouton
20-09-2015, 09:04 PM
On the other hand, maybe it's the fault of all the other games that keep up the appearance of urgency when none really exists. When your boss repeatedly calls you saying that the situation is unstable and you need to report for duty right now, the player could think "Other games never have any consequences for dallying in an emergency, this must be no different, I'll just keep on stealing candy bars until I'm good and ready." If the shit hits the fan, you can't say it was the game's fault for breaking the mold.

Yeah, it is, in general the fault of urgency being commonly ignored. I don't fault ME2, I wrote that it just "felt" bad in the context, but that doesn't mean I think so - I think games should do it a lot more.

It was still inconsistent on the issue, though.

alms
20-09-2015, 10:52 PM
The relevant bit is just before

This is so weird: that didn't trigger either, and I'm a serial looter suffering from chronic packratism.

NathanH
20-09-2015, 11:04 PM
I don't like it when games stick these sneaky time limits in. I think the player should normally be entitled to assume that standard genre conventions are in play unless very explicitly told otherwise. Especially if the rest of the game happily applies standard genre conventions.

Although now I am idly imagining a big AAA RPG with an easy start that has permadeath without telling the player...

Amythyr
21-09-2015, 12:46 PM
I am missing huge manuals(not ebooks) that i used to get with each and every game.I also prefer complex,non linear games over simplistic ones.

Baines
21-09-2015, 10:03 PM
I am missing huge manuals(not ebooks) that i used to get with each and every game.I also prefer complex,non linear games over simplistic ones.

On a related note, I miss manuals that actually told you how to play a game.

At one point, some games pretty much had books for manuals. Admittedly, this was part an anti-piracy measure. Those books shrank, and many never had book-sized manuals to begin with, but you still had plenty of details, settings, and backstory in addition to the information necessary to play. Then that shrank, and you started just getting basic overviews of how to play. While page counts shrank, manuals didn't bother to use the remaining pages any more efficiently, they just provided less information. (And let us not forget the ever fun trick of what looked to be a decent sized manual turned out to be the same 8 or so pages presented in at least three different languages. With only four of those eight pages held actual gameplay-related information.) At the same time, games were getting more complex with more features.

The last several times I looked at ebook manuals, while some might actually have climbed back to the 20+ page size (and only some did that much), they were still short enough that they might not even explain everything on the game HUD, much less explain some more complicated features.

Mind, most gamers probably don't even look at manuals. Heck, you can watch YouTube Let's Plays where the people recording don't even bother to read one or two sentences of onscreen text (and then promptly complain because they get stuck or confused because they lack that information,) while simultaneously refusing to try to find basic control information through means other than random button mashing (like looking at a control config, or actually reading the text on the control config screen if they do bother to look).

NathanH
21-09-2015, 10:37 PM
I found it odd to learn that there are people who play plenty of PC games whose first move when starting a new game up isn't "Options".

MagickarpFainted
22-09-2015, 01:06 AM
I am missing huge manuals(not ebooks) that i used to get with each and every game.I also prefer complex,non linear games over simplistic ones.
first thing that comes to mind, any of the legend of zelda games pre-gamecube era. those manuals were beautiful and in depth.

edit: excluding the CD-I games of course. ungodly monstrosities.

gwathdring
22-09-2015, 02:01 AM
On a related note, I miss manuals that actually told you how to play a game.


I'm especially frustrated by games that act the "retro" part by having a manual only to make it mostly fluff and woefully inadequate as a tutorial, play reference, or explanation of the "options" menu. Obviously, any of this can be reproduced within the game in digital form or with tool-tip; there's no real reason for the manual to be a separate PDF outside of a useful printable guide for very specific sorts of things (a dynamic control reference that matched your custom bindings would kick ass) for my personal taste ... but most games don't do the in-game versions of these things all too well, either.