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Author Topic: Gaming's Worst Mechanic  (Read 5825 times)

Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2019, 11:55:44 AM »

I got to throw jumping and climbing in most games.  *cough Elder scrolls* 

Seriously.  a rock is a barrier to advancement.   I can jump in some and climb some places in others.  A simple pile of wood or rocks can be a wall of total impassibility. 

This then gets to world/level design.  When you make things you can't get over.  that IRL you totally could.  Kinda breaks things... 

But i have acrobatics at 100.  so no big deal.
I'd add on to this and say BS levels of fall damage. I remember in some games, Far Cry for example, that sliding down a cliff would half the time be ok and half the time beat away half or more of your health, even without the "fall damage" animation... Forcing me to walk around because I don't want to get beat to hell by *** physics is just S***
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xenoargh

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2019, 09:32:55 PM »

I remember a game I reviewed where it was a crappy, badly-done DOOM clone, done in 3D.  I was like, "this game has objects in levels that IRL we'd just barely notice stepping over... but they're impassable obstacles with no credibility in this game", lol.  That game is on my short-list for "worst game I've ever played" for a hilarious variety of reasons.
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pedro1_1

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2019, 06:52:53 PM »

Pay2Win isn't evil, if it's a reasonable cost and the game is "free-to-play".

When it's like World of Tanks, where buying all the things costs literally tens of thousands of dollars... I kind of scratch my head and wonder what kind of dope they are smoking.  Maybe their research indicates that there are only two types of players:  the "freebies" who duck out instead of putting up some cash, and the "addicts" who'll come up with the money over and over, if only they're allowed to win more often than not.  Probably that's what's driving those designs. 

I avoid all F2P products like the plague, personally, unless I'm going to play them for one day for testing / review purposes.

It's weird because when you actually play WoT no one cares about that random guy with a "Premiun" IS-8 in the team rushing to die by 10 "Gold" shots that were probably bought by silver, the only diference a Premium tank does have is that it get's more silver
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SafariJohn

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2019, 08:05:01 PM »

A mechanic I hated: fog of war in single-player Men of War. You have like 5 easily killed guys that you can't replace vs. dozens and dozens of enemies. It just sucked.

In MP the fog was fine, though, since you could always call more reinforcements.
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Doogie

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2019, 07:25:14 PM »

After going on that RPG life,

Horse travelling that actually disincentives you to from using them.

Breath of the Wild is an absolutely amazing game and has the best, non-space, world design I've ever seen in a game, but man using a horse felt like a chore since it was only marginally faster and restricted your ability to explore.

On the other hand, Assassin's Creed Origins had one of the more intuitive systems and worked real well.
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Deshara

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2020, 08:48:18 PM »

*sees talk of randomness, swoops in*

I simply must share this blog post which breaks down types of randomness and categorizes how randomness can be used in games.

Quote
"The major point I'd like to make is that noise injected between a player's choice and the result (here referred to as output randomness) does not belong in a strategy game."

That's such a good clarification the article opens with. I remember the eternal debate over whether or not TF2 should have random crits (for those not in the know, it's a team-based FPS where one in ___ shots will insta-kill you with no damage fall-off), and this cuts to the quick of the issue so perfectly; the people who wanted crits removed wanted to be playing a strategy game where superior play always leads to victory (a strategy game) to the point that one player of high enough skill can completely close out a game by themselves against the entire enemy team without dying once, whereas the ppl who supported crits (read as: valve) realized that the game being a strategy game is inherently antithetical to the act of being a team game, and that allowing your team to randomly insta-kill an enemy once every minute or so meant that if one enemy is fighting every member of your team and winning nonstop that they will be the one who gets insta-killed and that that uber MLG pro gamer will therefor be incapable of carrying a game by themselves bc they'll be dead from random crits all game.
Riot Games' Alex Jaffe referred to this in 2019 as "a cursed design problem", where the problem is essentially unsolveable because it stems from two inherently conflicting promises made to the player ("a shooter where you need to rely on your team to succeed" vs "a competitive strategy game where player skill & character customization leads to victory"), and instead of "fixing" the problem by merely designing better you can only patch over the problem to some extent by making a choice to prioritize one over the other -- in this case valve decided being a team-based game was more important to TF2's identity to stand out against CoD & Co, and to this day I agree
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Morrokain

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2020, 06:48:32 PM »

*sees talk of randomness, swoops in*

I simply must share this blog post which breaks down types of randomness and categorizes how randomness can be used in games.

Quote
"The major point I'd like to make is that noise injected between a player's choice and the result (here referred to as output randomness) does not belong in a strategy game."

That's such a good clarification the article opens with. I remember the eternal debate over whether or not TF2 should have random crits (for those not in the know, it's a team-based FPS where one in ___ shots will insta-kill you with no damage fall-off), and this cuts to the quick of the issue so perfectly; the people who wanted crits removed wanted to be playing a strategy game where superior play always leads to victory (a strategy game) to the point that one player of high enough skill can completely close out a game by themselves against the entire enemy team without dying once, whereas the ppl who supported crits (read as: valve) realized that the game being a strategy game is inherently antithetical to the act of being a team game, and that allowing your team to randomly insta-kill an enemy once every minute or so meant that if one enemy is fighting every member of your team and winning nonstop that they will be the one who gets insta-killed and that that uber MLG pro gamer will therefor be incapable of carrying a game by themselves bc they'll be dead from random crits all game.
Riot Games' Alex Jaffe referred to this in 2019 as "a cursed design problem", where the problem is essentially unsolveable because it stems from two inherently conflicting promises made to the player ("a shooter where you need to rely on your team to succeed" vs "a competitive strategy game where player skill & character customization leads to victory"), and instead of "fixing" the problem by merely designing better you can only patch over the problem to some extent by making a choice to prioritize one over the other -- in this case valve decided being a team-based game was more important to TF2's identity to stand out against CoD & Co, and to this day I agree

Oh this is interesting! Thanks for the post!

I love a lot of the detail about team based games and the considerations one has when designing them. That is also a good point regarding top tier pros. Do we want them to be superior every time? Or do we want team based decisions about target priority to matter more? There are many considerations there especially considering how large of a spectating audience the game has at its disposal- at least in the case of competitive games. For instance, in a one-on-one strategy game like chess or Starcraft, the pros showing their superiority can make for a great story- even to the point of being boring because the outcome is essentially pre-determined at times- when reputation finally becomes a factor.

As far as Starsector? It is kind of outside that discussion because it's single player. (This topic isn't even about that, but I thought it might be worth mentioning considering it is Starsector's forum)

For my thoughts on single player games:

You are only really competing against the design and difficulty creep of that design- not other gamers- when playing a single player game. It's a different audience. Design using multiplayer considerations (such as strictly sticking to strategy game elements like the article suggests) in a single player game inevitably decreases the overall audience because those types of gamers aren't even playing single player games to begin with. If you're good, you're competing against others who are also good because oftentimes AI will never live up to the task of giving you a challenge (again, see Starcraft). The immersion and replay-ability experience matters much more in a single player game than in a competitive strategy game.

Learning should make the game more fun, but if it's your only attraction, then the best players will quickly move on because they crush the difficulty and the worst won't even bother because there is nothing there for them to experience.
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Deshara

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2020, 07:07:20 PM »

yeah the issue of team game vs strategy game definitenly doesn't come up for SS because it's a single-player game but there are other different cursed problems that can come up. IIRC SS has a similar one since it's both a strategy game where you're commanding a fleet and an action game where you're piloting one ship. Do you design a peak MLG pro gamer RTS like starcraft where you can lead your fleet to victory from above by managing your fleet so acutely & well, or do you design a game where you can pilot your ship so well that you can single-handedly wipe out the enemy fleet by yourself? You can't do both, and since those two elements are what SS is, you also can't do just one, so you have to make a choice on where your balance lies. That's what CR-decay & fleet command points are; you can't micromanage your fleet because your commands-per-minute is limited, but you also can't solo an enemy fleet because your ship breaks down over time & has limited HP. The larger the fleet battle the more strategy comes into play bc the relative impact your flagship can make is diluted by the # of other ships in play, the smaller the fleet battle the more of a difference you can make with your quota of HP & CR points on your flagship.
Alex could easily remove the fleet command cap & the flagship and SS would instantly become an RTS, he could easily set the max fleet size to 1 ship and make an action game, but those aren't the games he chose to make and he has to make conscious decisions to deal with the inherent problems of mixing the two genres.
(For the record the reason I'm so interested in this is bc I'm working on a spiritual sequel to Kingdom Under Fire: Crusaders, a hybrid hack-and-slash 3rd person action & RTS game)
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Morrokain

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2020, 07:45:20 PM »

I definitely agree in regards to your synopsis of the difficulties of genre-mixing. It is certainly tough- but to a veteran gamer like myself it is more valuable than gold!  ;)

What I was speaking to, though, wasn't genre mixing in and of itself- it was more the idea that you must create a unique, visceral experience in a single player game to get players to buy-in to your product in the long term and therefore recommend it to others- whether publicly or personally to friends.

Players who want to "be the best" as an incentive for playing- and therefore are competitive in nature in that sense- do benefit from the strategy game layer or the arcade action combat layer in both cases. Crucially, however, that only truly works in competitive games by their very nature of pitting two (hopefully) equal opponents in an equal contest which ideally results in the better player coming out on top (since design indicates there is a "right way" or "optimal way" to play because learning sheds insight into the complexity of said design). That is more aligned with the goals of chess and- admittedly to a lesser extent though it is my favorite strategy game- starcraft (There are some RNG elements there). In a single player game, the designer has to rely on difficulty adjustments through progression and the AI to fill the shoes of a potential rival player. That is practically impossible, imo.

For a single player game: If you want a broad audience, you must accommodate the strategy game element to a point (in order to make replaying the game more fun), but the inherent appeal of your game under those considerations will never appease the types of gamers that are trying to play the game on a competitive-like level, because they will eternally "beat" your design and demand more challenge. The broader audience wants an experience through having fun while playing and usually digesting- at the very least a setting- and at best a story.

I am ignoring the other category of gamer that has been popularized by the smart phone phenomenon- repetitive "strategy" without a level cap where unique gimmicks are introduced without an apparent overall goal in mind to produce artificial difficulty. I don't buy into that either, to be fair.

*EDIT* *Adjusted for awkward wording or unclear points that didn't have proper clarification*
*EDIT2* typos  ::) sorry!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 10:19:07 PM by Morrokain »
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Jaiden

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2020, 01:26:47 AM »

Games that end once you reach your full potential then don't offer NG+

Any game that has a levelling system, or a player power progression system, or something you get almost at the end that's fuckin badass, only for the game to end and its like "really?"

Jedi Fallen Order is probably the newest game I can think of that suffers from this. You unlock all the main force powers outside of the levelling tree, then the game ends and no NG+ in sight. Like, come on.

Edit: Red Dead 2 also suffers from this, locking the player out of equipment in SP until they progress through the story. I've racked up serious cash doing side activities, found the best horse through exploration, buy a pretty sweet gun only for the next mission to give me the next step up from that, for free. And the gun was arbitrarily locked until then. Ugh.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 01:28:55 AM by Jaiden »
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Deshara

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2020, 05:51:14 PM »

Games that end once you reach your full potential then don't offer NG+

this was why far cry 3 was brilliant. It introduced RPG mechanics into a FPS (first major game to do so IIRC), and then you get all of your abilities maxed out only by clearing out all the content on the map at which point the game is over... except then you unlock a whole new map with another 1/3rd of the game to play but with, like, the ability to fly at will & against stronger enemies. Great mix-up, that game had. Shame the franchise didn't... learn from it...
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Terethall

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2020, 09:28:26 AM »

I think Alex should add paid lootboxes that grant the player uberships with powerful randomly generated hullmods, but over time those ships degrade and their guns jam (you can pay real money and wait for 48 IRL hours to pass in order to unjam them), and also in order to deploy them you need a CB and permission from the Luddic Church and also it will increase your fleet's war exhaustion.
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Deshara

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Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2020, 09:40:16 PM »

I think Alex should add paid lootboxes that grant the player uberships with powerful randomly generated hullmods, but over time those ships degrade and their guns jam (you can pay real money and wait for 48 IRL hours to pass in order to unjam them), and also in order to deploy them you need a CB and permission from the Luddic Church and also it will increase your fleet's war exhaustion.

only if its a competitive online multiplayer game. And while we're at it, make beating enemies ships give your ships a stacking stat boost
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