23 votes

What's your unpopular opinion or idiosyncrasy about video games or games in general?

Asking about games of any kind.

Do you enjoy something a lot of people seem to despise? Do you dislike some aspect of gameplay everyone cherishes? What beloved games do you find utterly boring? What games and mechanics are underestimated in our view? In what way games nowadays are worse than before? Conversely, do you think people look at the past with rose-tinted glasses?

I wanna know!

89 comments

  1. [8]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Almost all RPGs are straddling an uncomfortable line where the story would be awful if you were just reading it, and the gameplay would be mindless drudgery if there wasn't a story. The...

    Almost all RPGs are straddling an uncomfortable line where the story would be awful if you were just reading it, and the gameplay would be mindless drudgery if there wasn't a story. The combination of the two keeps you going, not because either side is good, but because you hope that there will actually be something good eventually.

    28 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      This is why I basically ignore most RPGs these days. Namco games tend to be really bad in this regard. There's so little emphasis on the plot, and they spend so much effort into these side...

      This is why I basically ignore most RPGs these days.

      Namco games tend to be really bad in this regard. There's so little emphasis on the plot, and they spend so much effort into these side conversations that they're more like youtube "react" videos with an RPG party.

      It's a slightly different problem with Western RPGs, where the stories have the tendency of resting upon one of an infinate varieties of generic tolkein-esque fantasy lands. It's an instant turn-off for me because It tends to go hand-in-hand with unnecessary exposition that doesn't really have much to do with the plot. Honestly, I think that's one of the major reason why the Elder Scrolls series eclipses just about every other fantasy RPG: quests and conversations are generally right to the point; they only give you enough information to understand the basic why and what you need to do, while background elements can be implied by context clues (both in dialogue, overheard background character statements, and in how the environment is set up), and if you really want to dig deep there is probably a book or personal journal somewhere with more historical details that are completely optional. Then again, since Oblivion (and maybe even Morrowind?), the gameplay has become so complex that it really doesn't need to lean much on it's story to get people to enjoy playing.

      I think a lot of it comes down to industry and the aversion to risk. You can hire famous scenarists or novellists to write your story, but how well the public will recieve it is always going to be a gamble.

      5 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I’ve restarted Skyrim and I’m glad I never got much into the main quest before. Now that I’m getting into it it’s like a whole new game.

        I’ve restarted Skyrim and I’m glad I never got much into the main quest before. Now that I’m getting into it it’s like a whole new game.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      cinereus
      Link Parent
      Do you include MMORPGs in that statement or just single-player RPGs? Because neither WoW or GW2 have impressed me at all with their stories, though I do like the gameplay.

      Do you include MMORPGs in that statement or just single-player RPGs? Because neither WoW or GW2 have impressed me at all with their stories, though I do like the gameplay.

      3 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        I wasn't thinking of MMORPG in particular, but I'd say they definitely do count.

        I wasn't thinking of MMORPG in particular, but I'd say they definitely do count.

        2 votes
    3. vord
      Link Parent
      This is the best explaination of why Fallout 3 was meh for me and I still can't get myself past the first mission or two in Skyrim. I am not the type to power through bleh game mechanics to get...

      This is the best explaination of why Fallout 3 was meh for me and I still can't get myself past the first mission or two in Skyrim.

      I am not the type to power through bleh game mechanics to get through a bleh story.

      3 votes
    4. vektor
      Link Parent
      What's particularly frustrating is if there's a mechanical gem or two in there that you can't seem to just ignore. I'd be perfectly content forgetting that fallout 4 existed, but the tinkering...

      What's particularly frustrating is if there's a mechanical gem or two in there that you can't seem to just ignore. I'd be perfectly content forgetting that fallout 4 existed, but the tinkering with guns and settlements keeps me hooked. I keep wanting to try it out, but I know I'll be disappointed by the other mechanics (dungeons being so predictable and mostly pointless) and the narrative.

      2 votes
    5. lou
      Link Parent
      That is very true, and I'd broaden the statement to almost every game and genre. Videogame stories are not that good.

      That is very true, and I'd broaden the statement to almost every game and genre. Videogame stories are not that good.

      1 vote
  2. [4]
    LukeZaz
    Link
    Game's should avoid being frustrating wherever possible; when they are, it's perfectly okay to be upset about it. This goes double for PvP. I don't know how unpopular this take is to the general...
    • Exemplary

    Game's should avoid being frustrating wherever possible; when they are, it's perfectly okay to be upset about it. This goes double for PvP.

    I don't know how unpopular this take is to the general population, but at least insofar as gaming circles are concerned, I get a lot of pushback for this. Any time I bring up irritation with, say, Risk of Rain 2's death messages that insult you for losing, I get shit. Any time I or someone else complain about the instant-kill traps in Terraria that inevitably catch you off guard, I get shit. Any time I suggest an FPS should add mechanics that help folks manage their tempers when they die, I get shit.

    For some reason, the wider gaming community has decided to adopt "git gud" as a serious response to anyone being upset about anything when it comes to losing at a game. Several people have told me they don't think winning would have value unless losing hurt, and I do not get this ridiculous zero-sum mindset. I've thought about this for a long time, and for each example I mentioned above, I can think of specific things that could be done to help alleviate them:

    • Instead of Risk of Rain 2's put-downs, how about Broforce's encouragements? That alone helps so much!
    • Terraria itself has traps that don't instantly kill you, and those are fine. Why couldn't the other traps be like that? Giving the player a chance to react means so very much in these scenarios, and for many will determine whether they feel the difficulty was fair or not.
    • Frustration in PvP games gets more complicated, but what if, for example, you had a ghost mode when you died that let you interact with other dead players of any team, but not fight? It's a perfect time for emoting, goofing around, and most importantly, distracting yourself from whatever got you killed so you aren't stuck dwelling on it while you watch the respawn timer tick down at a snail's pace. This is just one of several possibilities.

    I'm so sick of the ideas that losing should feel like shit. It shouldn't! Games are supposed to be fun! If you're making a game and it's making some of your players miserable, you'd better be making one hell of an artistic statement, because otherwise you are shitting the bed.

    And this is all without mentioning the ridiculous contradiction in simultaneously believing that "losing should feel bad" but also "you shouldn't feel bad about losing and if you do, that's shameful." Utterly insane.

    I usually spend far too much time on my comments and find writing them to be rather exhausting. This one, though? This one wrote itself. I feel very strongly about this and have even considered writing an article or making a video about it, just to bring attention to the issue for once. I'm sick of players being derided just for not wanting to feel like crap, and I'm sick of seeing games make them feel like crap at all. If a game keeps making people frustrated, that is a problem. Treat it like one.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      fandegw
      Link Parent
      I get where you are coming from for this aspect of the frustration, and there is a lot of bad faith discussions around it, which furthers the positions of reactance. But beneath it, I feel there...

      I get where you are coming from for this aspect of the frustration, and there is a lot of bad faith discussions around it, which furthers the positions of reactance.
      But beneath it, I feel there is some more nuanced position to take and discussion to have.

      Sometimes the frustration part is an integral part of the desired experience, like for Dark Souls (that is fairer in this regard compared to your examples), the frustration is necessary to have this catharsis of pushing through with any tool given to you.

      It does not mean it should go without critics. But there is always the context of what the gamedevs wanted to do, if it has merits or not, has it been correctly implemented to make the players feels what they wanted you to feel. How does the agency of the player is considered and combined with mechanics to be more handheld or in the contrary let free.

      So I am not totally with you with:

      If a game keeps making people frustrated, that is a problem.

      I get the part of the game explicitly giving you shit when you lose and I tend to ignore it or don't even see it most of the time, so I'm with you on that. It doesn't really add up anything.

      6 votes
      1. LukeZaz
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I did try to address this (albeit very briefly) when I said: I'm aware some developers may choose to use frustration as part of the game experience purposefully. That's gotta be done very...

        I did try to address this (albeit very briefly) when I said:

        If you're making a game and it's making some of your players miserable, you'd better be making one hell of an artistic statement, [...]

        I'm aware some developers may choose to use frustration as part of the game experience purposefully. That's gotta be done very carefully, but provided it's done with appropriate care, it sounds like it could work.

        The problem I'm addressing isn't that, though. What I'm concerned with is developers who take, at best, a laissez-faire attitude towards addressing unintended and/or unnecessary frustration, typically by either ignoring the issue outright, or by blaming the player for feeling that way. That's what I'm upset about, and I've never seen a good justification for it.

        2 votes
    2. Thrabalen
      Link Parent
      The only PvP game I've really got any interest in is Planetside 2 (a large-scale engagement capture-and-hold), and that's largely because I love the original. It has five roles: Heavy Assault (the...

      The only PvP game I've really got any interest in is Planetside 2 (a large-scale engagement capture-and-hold), and that's largely because I love the original. It has five roles: Heavy Assault (the tank), Light Assault (jetpack soldiers), Medic (the... well, medic), Engineer (fixer and destroyer of things) and Infiltrator (spy/sniper.) I am pretty good at Medic, decent at Engineer, and I play defense as Heavy... I'm not good at directly fighting other players, but I love to help shore up our side.

      The problem is, the devs have decided that when it comes to carrot vs stick, razorwire covered sledgehammer is the option. When you're losing a base, the AI "commanders" shout things at you like "Get up and fight, we're about to lose this base!" and "feel free to start fighting at any time!" This is infuriating, and is the reason I haven't played in weeks. You're going to lose sometimes, that's the nature of a game, but for a disembodied voice (who doesn't EVER actually join in the fight, I might add) starts giving you shit for being part of a force you can't control who's losing a base you, personally, can't save? That serves no purpose to make gameplay better.

      It essentially feels like the dev team is saying "you suck, you're bad at this game, and you shouldn't even play." And who am I to argue with the dev team?

      4 votes
  3. [3]
    EgoEimi
    Link
    The small, cutesy stuff really rounds out a game: having a pet dog/cat, cooking and learning recipes, running a shop, decorating your own house, going on tiny side adventures, getting involved in...

    The small, cutesy stuff really rounds out a game: having a pet dog/cat, cooking and learning recipes, running a shop, decorating your own house, going on tiny side adventures, getting involved in some NPC’s personal life, and so on. It makes the game world feel deep. World of Warcraft is a good example. It just had so much… whimsy.

    14 votes
    1. Douglas
      Link Parent
      It's ridiculous how much "cozying up" a base does for me. If The Division had an option to clean up the town/move bodies and trash through small missions (I know they had options to get bases...

      It's ridiculous how much "cozying up" a base does for me. If The Division had an option to clean up the town/move bodies and trash through small missions (I know they had options to get bases better equipment)... you'd never see me again.

      Valheim's on the right track with a "comfort meter" and earning better furniture, I just need a story in there to keep me going like The Forest. I know there's bosses, and they're still adding more, but I need an ending/story to keep me going through to the end.

      RDR2 almost had it too, but cozying up the base didn't actually do anything.

      6 votes
    2. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I like the way you describe these things. They certainly add color and personality to a game, especially when they're made to be delightful and whimsical. The problem starts when these sub-things...

      I like the way you describe these things. They certainly add color and personality to a game, especially when they're made to be delightful and whimsical. The problem starts when these sub-things become oversized requirements -- basically chores.

      5 votes
  4. [9]
    DanBC
    Link
    Minecraft has added too much stuff.

    Minecraft has added too much stuff.

    12 votes
    1. Jakobeha
      Link Parent
      This is interesting because I have the opposite opinion. The last time I played Minecraft it was with a giant modpack (Feed the Beast) which adds way more content. I've played Minecraft so much...

      This is interesting because I have the opposite opinion. The last time I played Minecraft it was with a giant modpack (Feed the Beast) which adds way more content. I've played Minecraft so much when I was young, the base game just isn't interesting anymore.

      Also, even though Minecraft has a lot of content, the actual progression system is really short compared to other games. You go from wood to stone/coal/iron to gold/redstone/lapiz/diamond to netherite. Along the way you may get enchantments and potions and a bow and eventually a glider (Elytra). But you really don't even need anything better than diamond armor and tools to "beat" the game, which simply involves traveling to the nether and killing blazes, killing, Endermen to craft Eyes of Ender, traveling to a Stronghold and the End, destroying the End crystals, and beating the Ender Dragon.

      Other sandbox games like Terraria and Factorio seem to have much more, at least because they have a much larger progression system. Terraria has many different types of armor and weapons with unique abilities; while Factorio has a tech tree and involves you crafting an obnoxiously large amount of machines to build a massive factory. Similarly, many Minecraft mod packs add progression trees, unique weapons, alternate crafting / factorio-style buildings, and late game items, so you keep getting upgrades and cool stuff far after you've gotten diamond tools.

      Maybe comparing speedruns isn't the most accurate, but top Minecraft speedruns are under 10 minutes, while [Terraria]((https://www.speedrun.com/terraria?h=Moon_Lord-Random-1.4_NMA&x=zd3yzvn2-j8423jn9.814o6nwq-e8morel6.zqod06x1) and Factorio speedruns are over an hour

      You might say "Minecraft isn't about the progression, it's about the building" but then I feel like you'd prefer more blocks and items, because they allow for more creativity. Though idk, sometimes people are more creative when they have less tools to work with. I will definitely say, that many of the most interesting things I've seen in Minecraft were when the game was much older (like SethBling's channel, looking at some of his >7 year old videos)

      3 votes
    2. knocklessmonster
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I play a couple games in MineTest (a Minecraft clone-type engine that supports community mods or "Games", my choices being MineClone 2 and Repixture) for various degrees of stuff relative to...

      I play a couple games in MineTest (a Minecraft clone-type engine that supports community mods or "Games", my choices being MineClone 2 and Repixture) for various degrees of stuff relative to Minecraft. I'm only interested in farming, digging, building and simple redstone so it scratches my itch.

      3 votes
    3. [5]
      Bonooru
      Link Parent
      Out of curiosity, when do you think the game peaked? (I'm partial to whatever the last update with boat-avators was beta 1.7 maybe?)

      Out of curiosity, when do you think the game peaked? (I'm partial to whatever the last update with boat-avators was beta 1.7 maybe?)

      2 votes
      1. clone1
        Link Parent
        3 updates after I started playing

        3 updates after I started playing

        3 votes
      2. [2]
        DanBC
        Link Parent
        Well, that's an interesting question because I'm probably looking back with rose tinted glasses. I'd probably say "when they introduced villagers". But I think the land generation then wasn't great.

        Well, that's an interesting question because I'm probably looking back with rose tinted glasses. I'd probably say "when they introduced villagers". But I think the land generation then wasn't great.

        2 votes
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          Honestly I remembered being really pissed off when they introduced villages and dungeons because the likeliness they would show up was so low that I had to spend hours generating new worlds and...

          Honestly I remembered being really pissed off when they introduced villages and dungeons because the likeliness they would show up was so low that I had to spend hours generating new worlds and exploring them before I found one. They have since changed the algorithm to make them much easier to find.

          3 votes
      3. mycketforvirrad
        Link Parent
        For me it was Beta 1.2 when they added the Spruce Log. I was set from that point on. As an aside, it's really fascinating looking back at which various items changed or were added with each...

        For me it was Beta 1.2 when they added the Spruce Log. I was set from that point on.

        As an aside, it's really fascinating looking back at which various items changed or were added with each update. For instance, in Beta 1.2 the Workbench became the Crafting Table!

        1 vote
  5. [9]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Almost all video games have bad writing because the industry doesn't value that component of game development as much as the technical or other artistic components. I don't think that's an...

    Almost all video games have bad writing because the industry doesn't value that component of game development as much as the technical or other artistic components.

    I don't think that's an unpopular opinion, but maybe this is:

    Most games with multiple endings have bad writing and should just have one ending. Most games that have easily definable, morally good or morally bad endings are boring and/or have terrible writing.

    Dishonored? Good enough writing. Boring as fuck to play if you want to optimize to get the "good" ending, because then you're basically locked out of using half the weapons, powers, and other neat gameplay things the developers built for the game. Seriously, tying what ending a player gets to an arbitrary limit of how many people they can kill is fucking dumb.

    The Metro series suffers from a similar problem. In the Metro games, the ending you get is determined by a bunch of random choices. Did you shoot the blind grandma thirty hours ago near the beginning of the game? Congratulations, you now get the bad ending because your bad morality meter is full.

    If a player is going to be able to influence the ending of the game, then the ending should be a plausible conclusion based on the player's actions. Shooting a random blind person three chapters ago has fuck all to do with the conclusion of the story. Relating those two things in gameplay, but not narrative, and allowing those actions to still change the ending of the game is terrible writing and terrible game design.

    I consider Fallout: New Vegas and Mass Effect to be games that do a pretty good job of delivering multiple endings. Both games have arbitrary morality meters the player can fill, but they do a decent job of concluding their narrative not based on where those meters are filled to, but based on the choices the player makes at key points along the story.

    Finally: Game developers need to stop defining morality in their games. If I'm sneaking around Dishonored and a guard spots me, and rushes at me to kill me, is it really morally wrong for me to kill the guard in self-defense? Is it really wrong in Fallout: New Vegas to steal absolutely every fucking thing in the kitchen of a casino ran by murderous gangsters? Does my karma meter really deserve to dip all the way down to "evil" for doing that?

    No. These sorts of morality mechanics are dumb and bad game design. They can be interesting analytics features for letting the player get an idea of how well (the game developer thinks) they have behaved, but they should have absolutely nothing to do with the story of a game.

    This is something I actually feel pretty strongly about, as far as my opinions on games go. That's probably because I'm the type of person who will optimize to get the desired ending in a game regardless of how that impacts my own enjoyment...

    And I'm also super open to learning about games that do have multiple endings and morality meters and all this other shit and actually use them in a good, not dumb way, so let me know!


    The Problem With Multiple Endings in Video Games

    12 votes
    1. highsomatic
      Link Parent
      Spot on about dishonored. I think a big part of why the morality/multiple endings system is broken in most games is because they should be decoupled from one another. The endings should be related...

      Spot on about dishonored.

      I think a big part of why the morality/multiple endings system is broken in most games is because they should be decoupled from one another. The endings should be related to the consequences of the choices you make, related to how much they bring you closer or further from your goal, and not whether they make you a good or evil person. You should be able to play as a good leaning character but pragmatic enough to forgo morality in favour of your goals. They should be different dimensions of a character.

      The morality system should be essential to maybe the different skills, powers and features that you could unlock in a game, but it should only weigh in on the story where it makes sense. I killed this guy’s sister for a sum of money and now he won’t come to my rescue? Ok, yes, makes sense.

      Let the poor, powerless, inconsequential orphan boy die of hunger instead of giving him some of my food and now for some reason the main antagonist is able to telegraph some of my moves in the final cutscenes and defeat me? Fuck off with that bullshit.

      I’d really like to see a game that rewards greed as well. You get the best outcomes by treating every non essential character as disposable. It would be really fun and cathartic. There’s no reason why morality in a game should link restraint and reward all the time.

      5 votes
    2. [5]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I agree with you in spirit, but not practically. Your critique mainly applies to games by large studios rather than indie games that have creative people in charge of production instead of...

      Almost all video games have bad writing because the industry doesn't value that component of game development as much as the technical or other artistic components.

      I agree with you in spirit, but not practically. Your critique mainly applies to games by large studios rather than indie games that have creative people in charge of production instead of moneymen. And even then, I wouldn't say that the writing is bad in so much as it's mediocre - painfully at times.

      I'll actually go further and say that for a while even a lot of the creative elements were being cut out. All the AAA releases were too focused on trying to be realistic and it seemed like nobody wanted to invest in art and style. Even games that weren't focused on realism tended to use a really generic "painted" fantasy art style that I always found disappointing. I think that trend has finally left because things are finally starting to look colorful and interesting again. But it's still a coin toss as to how much effort goes into the soundtrack.

      Finally: Game developers need to stop defining morality in their games. If I'm sneaking around Dishonored and a guard spots me, and rushes at me to kill me, is it really morally wrong for me to kill the guard in self-defense? Is it really wrong in Fallout: New Vegas to steal absolutely every fucking thing in the kitchen of a casino ran by murderous gangsters? Does my karma meter really deserve to dip all the way down to "evil" for doing that?

      No. These sorts of morality mechanics are dumb and bad game design. They can be interesting analytics features for letting the player get an idea of how well (the game developer thinks) they have behaved, but they should have absolutely nothing to do with the story of a game.

      Karma is explicitly not the same thing as morality. For Fallout and similar games, they are more specifically design tools. You can steal the tools and supplies off of people and that will make the game easier for you, but it comes at a cost to how you are perceived by others. But you'll also notice that in those kinds of games there's always an alternative way to move forward, so you don't specifically have to be seen as a good guy; the story actually adapts to your play style.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        Oh totally, they're different concepts, and the way Fallout: New Vegas treats karma makes sense given the word's definition. Maybe instead of saying "Fallout's karma system is a morality meter" it...

        Karma is explicitly not the same thing as morality

        Oh totally, they're different concepts, and the way Fallout: New Vegas treats karma makes sense given the word's definition. Maybe instead of saying "Fallout's karma system is a morality meter" it would be better to say "most morality meters in games are poorly implemented simulations of karma".

        Either way though, I think the thing about these kinds of systems, call them whatever we like, is that they're poorly implemented. The systems often interact with the narrative, the player, other characters, or the game world, in ways that don't make sense. That conclusion should be obvious I think, given that karma isn't real. It isn't an actual thing or "force" in the world. It does not actually exist. At the root of all this, I think that's the key point. Game developers poorly implement a very basic, often western-bastardized idea of karma into their gameplay and narrative. They then expect the player to just be cool with that system existing and to have fun with it, when in reality there is no such thing as karma.

        (Sorry to anyone who actually has a spiritual or religious belief in karma. If it helps, these games are just approaching karma with the shallowest interpretation and definitely not diving into the actual depth and nuances of the idea in any way.)

        Of course, developers aren't poorly implementing karma because they actually believe it exists. Some of them probably do, but that's not the point. Instead, they're implementing such systems because it's a useful way to abstractly simulate morality (which is a component of karma) and reputation, and helps to make the game's world feel more "immersive" or "alive" or whatever. Or at least, that was the case in the 2010s.

        4 votes
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          Now that's something I'm much more inclined to agree with. There's perhaps no game that has done morality worse than the original Infamous on the PS3. Beat the boss with a good morality bar, watch...

          Now that's something I'm much more inclined to agree with.

          There's perhaps no game that has done morality worse than the original Infamous on the PS3. Beat the boss with a good morality bar, watch the good ending. Then reload the last save, spend 20 minutes doing things that are "bad", fight the final boss again, and watch as you're suddenly the mortal incarnation of Satan.

          That kind of reminds me of an interesting mechanic that was in the first Assassin's Creed game that they basically completely forgot about in all of the sequels (It's still kind of there in many of them, but they don't make the specific distinction). The gameplay was actually linked with the concept of actions being either socially acceptable or unacceptable. The idea was that if you stuck to socially acceptable actions, you'd blend in; you'd just be another face in the crowd. Even the control scheme matched this; the face buttons were divided into head, left and right hands, and feet, and pressing them would activate whatever skill was relevant. But if you pressed a shoulder button, that changed them to do the socially unacceptable actions, including things like running, climbing, and anything combat related.

          While it's not quite a morality system, I think it's the closest thing to it that actually works in a video game. If you do those unacceptable actions, even if there is no guard, chances are someone's going to yell at you and likely blow your cover. So your actions do actually matter from moment to moment - just not over the long term.

          3 votes
      2. [2]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        The problem is that karma (and the opinion penalty that comes with it) often is applied even when there were no witnesses. Shoot a settler in the middle of nowhere with no one else within miles?...

        The problem is that karma (and the opinion penalty that comes with it) often is applied even when there were no witnesses. Shoot a settler in the middle of nowhere with no one else within miles? Take a karma hit.

        3 votes
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          Yes, but Karma is also not directly related to reputation. If we take karma in the pop culture "actions have consequences" meaning, shooting your settler would have real-world consequences; people...

          Yes, but Karma is also not directly related to reputation.

          If we take karma in the pop culture "actions have consequences" meaning, shooting your settler would have real-world consequences; people presumably know who that person is, and when they find him missing, they'll track him down and they might eventually find out it was you who did it.

          But karma is also a spiritual term, so getting intangibly rewarded or punished for those actions also make sense.

          Also keep in mind that being seen is only one part of the story. Even rumors can affect your reputation. If you're the person to steal a bunch of stuff people will start to talk about how much gets lost when you're around.

    3. fional
      Link Parent
      I think the intrinsic problem is deeper and at the core there's always a conflict in prioritizing the game developer's story versus the player's story. Ultimately, a compelling story arises when...

      I think the intrinsic problem is deeper and at the core there's always a conflict in prioritizing the game developer's story versus the player's story. Ultimately, a compelling story arises when characters make interesting decisions with consequences, but "consequences" is almost directly equivalent to budget. At the end of the day, you can broadly bucket them into a few categories:

      • Fully prioritize developer agency: This is probably one of the more common strategies today, and boils down to "watching a movie with periodic gameplay breaks." This is the easiest route, you only have to develop a single timeline of content, but it's often incredibly unsatisfying narratively because you are, by definition, excluding the player from any consequential decisions. It further often drives you to avoid putting the main character into situations where they might actually make consequential decisions. Otherwise if the MC does something without the player's involvment, it can be REALLY frustrating (looking at you, Spec Ops: The Line). Examples: Most of the later Final Fantasy games (post-FFX, excluding MMOs). Uncharted, God of War, etc. style games.

      • Fully prioritize player agency: If you have a game whose gameplay mechanics intrinsically support consequential decision making, you don't need a story, the players will craft their own stories through the decisions they make. For example, "I was hauling a billion ISK worth of goods through null space when the Goonswarm capital ships started warping in and I was like ohhh fuuuu" (EVE Online), "I almost finished my fortress when a creeper blew a hole into magma and flooded the entire bottom floor!" (Minecraft), etc.

      • Multiple endings: This is a halfhearted attempt to shoehorn player agency into the first story model. You can't really change anything about the game itself, but some token decision you make towards the end gives you a different epilogue! This can help, but it usually suffers for one of two reasons. If you make the choice early in the game, you have the narrative dissonance of that choice not actually seemingly affecting anything for the rest of the game until the end scenes. This is often the problem with morality systems--you can press the "savior" button or the "be a jerk" button and your character portrait will change colors but it doesn't really do anything narratively because you still have to get to the same place in the end. Alternatively, you end up deferring the choice until the very tail end of the game at which it feels like a capricious decision (Mass Effect, Deus Ex: HR).

      • The tour guide: This actually can work, and is the route some of my favorite RPGs take. In this model, the main character is still essentially at the top-level a boring player stand-in, but can intercede within modular side-quest content. The decisions taken within those modules are consequential, but because they are bounded within a specific side-quest domain, they limit the amount of consequence-sprawl that can happen. The main arc of the story is still linear, though. Examples: Fallout NV, Chrono Trigger, Deus Ex).

      • Actually build the game and story together: this is the hardest approach because your story isn't something bolted onto an existing game, but both evolving in conjunction over the span of development. Sometimes, this means exploring a story that doubles down on the intrinsic lack of player agency by echoing it thematically in the setting and plot (Outer Wilds, Majora's Mask). Sometimes you play up the frivolity of the entire idea of agency and consequences (The Stanley Parable). Finally, sometimes you actually do give the player agency and double down on that choice being consequential (Undertale is the biggest example that comes to mind here). This is the rarest route because even with a single choice, you're often essentially forking the universe and developing multiple games in parallel.

      That was a lot of words. Ultimately, I don't think game writing is bad because we undervalue narrative or writers--heck, I think most AAA games secretly wish they were movies or novels--but because AAA gameplay expectations and budgetary requirements preclude the necessary sacrifices to compellingly blend narrative and gameplay.

      3 votes
    4. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If a moral choice directly impacts how you play a game like Dishonored, a lot of people will disengage from the narrative and focus on how to make the game more fun, but I believe it is possible...

      If a moral choice directly impacts how you play a game like Dishonored, a lot of people will disengage from the narrative and focus on how to make the game more fun, but I believe it is possible to use morality systems in interesting ways in choice-based games. I don't think most games do a good job at that, but I do think it can be made.

      One way in which games screw up moral choices is to adopt a very narrow view of what morality is. They view morality as a binary Manichaeism in which there can be only good and evil, ignoring that most evil persons actually believe that their actions are morally justified and therefore good. It might be interesting to make a game in which the choice for evil came not with a morality lesson that reaffirms traditional values, but rather a narrative that fully embraces the point of view of the "evil" character as something that might be defensible in a perverse, demented, or twisted way.

      Sometimes I play characters as evil, but in my mind, they always have a reason that makes sense for them. Years ago, the MMORPG Stars Wars the Old Republic had a morality system and I went to the dark side because it was more entertaining. World of Warcraft is not a choice-based game, but it's interesting how they designed The Horde. Everyone knows that The Horde is perverse, but they did a good job showing their side in a way that made players understand that they too have their reasons, and even empathize with them.

      2 votes
  6. [3]
    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I would accept worse, less realistic, and less polished video games if it allowed the devs to see their families more often or whatever. I don't care about the size of my virtual horse's testicles...

    I would accept worse, less realistic, and less polished video games if it allowed the devs to see their families more often or whatever. I don't care about the size of my virtual horse's testicles when it gets cold, my word.

    10 votes
    1. lou
      Link Parent
      Maybe the game could be just as polished, but on a realistic deadline?

      Maybe the game could be just as polished, but on a realistic deadline?

      7 votes
    2. Octofox
      Link Parent
      The problem with game dev is that the people working there want to do it too much. You have people who grew up wanting to be game devs since they were kids and once they make it they will put up...

      The problem with game dev is that the people working there want to do it too much. You have people who grew up wanting to be game devs since they were kids and once they make it they will put up with a lot of bullshit to keep the dream alive.

      Compared to other tech jobs, no one really really wants to be working on accounting software so they get paid a lot better and get a lot more rights because the devs will move on at the first sign of bullshit.

      2 votes
  7. [2]
    scissortail
    Link
    My younger self would be appalled to see me type this, but I just don't like video games that much anymore. I played a few while unemployed during quarantine times, and good ones, too--TLOZ: The...

    My younger self would be appalled to see me type this, but I just don't like video games that much anymore.

    I played a few while unemployed during quarantine times, and good ones, too--TLOZ: The Wind Waker, The Hex, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door--but they were the first ones I had played through in many years. Looking back, too, I can't help but feel that I should have done something else with my time.

    I have a short mental list of "games I will get to if I start playing again" (Disco Elysium, Outer Wilds, Kentucky Route Zero, Return of the Obra-Dinn, among others). I seriously doubt I'll get to any of them. I'll play couch multiplayer games with my friends when invited, but don't have much drive to initiate and none to play by myself. I tried getting into a terminal-based roguelike recently and it just didn't stick, but I am almost glad for that.

    It's hard for me to unpack why I feel this way. Part of it is discomfort with the industry: its supply chains, the way it drives PCs to constantly increase spec (for increasingly marginal returns), the awful labor practices of the larger firms. Part of it involves my shifting views on technology itself and my pessimism towards contemporary technology writ large. And to be totally honest, part of me feels that (for me personally) they are largely a waste of time. I don't get much thrill anymore out of well-designed gameplay (Dark Souls was my touchpoint for this), and I can scratch my aesthetic itches much better with visual artwork, film, or music. I've only had one moment playing a video game that was truly edifying, despite sinking an awful lot of hours into them.

    Said moment, tangent. I was playing *Shadow of the Colossus* and was loving it. It was spare, gorgeous, and to-the-point. The fights were compelling, and the sense of scale and awe the colossi invoked was unlike anything I had experienced in a game. I kept getting an uneasy feeling as I went, though. I can't remember which one it was, but I made it to a colossus that just did not attack you. You had to climb on the thing and fucking murder it. I did, and I just couldn't keep playing. It felt so wrong. What motivation could have possibly been worth destroying what was surely a unique, intelligent, ancient creature like that? One that didn't even defend itself, much less show any aggression? I felt sick. I never picked the game up again after that.

    Best game I ever played.

    This all genuinely makes me sad to write. Video games were a huge part of my childhood. I got a Gameboy Color with Pokemon Red and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe in the first grade, and went straight through to about age 23 with them as a very regular part of my life. They probably had a hand in teaching me reading and problem-solving. My tightest group of friends, still very close, bonded together in no small part over a shared appreciation for video games. I feel a bit of distance from them now that I don't keep up, and that is difficult to grapple with. I can still speak the language and know many of the old references, but much of it has just passed me by for years now. I feel as if the past few years, moving away from playing video games, I have been saying goodbye to part of my past.

    I don't regret doing so, but boy does it feel bittersweet.

    10 votes
    1. Thrabalen
      Link Parent
      I find that it's not that I want to play games less, it's that I want to play less games. The pool of games is much narrower, but much deeper. I think it's a consequence of getting older, and it...

      I find that it's not that I want to play games less, it's that I want to play less games. The pool of games is much narrower, but much deeper. I think it's a consequence of getting older, and it doesn't just apply to games. When you consume something new, your brain compares it to everything in that category. When your experience with games is twenty games, each game makes a bigger impression than when your experience is over a thousand.

      I still game every day. Some of them are mobile games (that I emulate on my laptop because I don't like the phone format for gaming), some of them are older games that I still cherish. And occasionally, I still find a newer gem. Lord of Rigel hits the Master of Orion II vibe and it hits it hard and relentlessly, and I'm loving that. When it hits full release, I have no doubt it's going to be amazing, because it's really good even with missing features and stuff needing to be fixed and tweaked.

      2 votes
  8. [8]
    Thrabalen
    Link
    As good as it can be in some games, voice acting destroyed MMOs. Fully voiced parts disintegrate when contracts expire, and if you get any voice at all it's a terrible stand in, and sometimes it's...

    As good as it can be in some games, voice acting destroyed MMOs. Fully voiced parts disintegrate when contracts expire, and if you get any voice at all it's a terrible stand in, and sometimes it's just muted with no useful text to replace it.

    And usually, they cut corners and it's not good to begin with.

    9 votes
    1. [4]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm not a huge fan of voice acting in games as a whole. They are nice for cutscenes, or in quick soundbites during gameplay, but, with a lot of dialogue, they kinda get in the way. It would be...

      I'm not a huge fan of voice acting in games as a whole. They are nice for cutscenes, or in quick soundbites during gameplay, but, with a lot of dialogue, they kinda get in the way. It would be helpful if I could disable all the voices as a setting, but when a game is voiced, this will be reflected in the writing, and also in the dialogue mechanics/interface. They are not optimal for pure text. In pivotal scenes full of emotion, voice acting is great. In dull, purely informational exchanges, I'd much rather read.

      3 votes
      1. EgoEimi
        Link Parent
        The Last of Us and Uncharted are great examples of voice dialogue being used in a natural sounding way to advance the plot, heighten drama, and create ambiance. But indeed, many games will have...

        The Last of Us and Uncharted are great examples of voice dialogue being used in a natural sounding way to advance the plot, heighten drama, and create ambiance.

        But indeed, many games will have characters talk like a textbook, and it comes off dull and unnatural and stilted. Too much telling, too little showing.

        9 votes
      2. Protected
        Link Parent
        I love (good) voice acting! But I still think there are certain types of games where it has no place.

        I love (good) voice acting! But I still think there are certain types of games where it has no place.

        2 votes
      3. Thrabalen
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        There was one game that leaned heavily on voice acting and it absolutely made the game: Marvel Heroes. That game wouldn't have been nearly as fun without voices for the good guys (and bad!) I...

        There was one game that leaned heavily on voice acting and it absolutely made the game: Marvel Heroes. That game wouldn't have been nearly as fun without voices for the good guys (and bad!) I would also say that GTA V (and especially Online) fall into this as well. Otherwise, though? If it's not vital to the gameplay, let me read, and this goes double for RPGs.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      Honestly, if there are major problems with the sound design in a video game, it’s completely ruined for me. Xenoblade 3 is the best example of this because it’s just completely broken in every...

      Honestly, if there are major problems with the sound design in a video game, it’s completely ruined for me.

      Xenoblade 3 is the best example of this because it’s just completely broken in every aspect, at least when it comes to the English localization. It’s probably got some incredible music, but half the time I can’t hear it because the mixing is so bad. Sometimes it’s the other way around and you can’t hear the voice acting but that’s arguably preferable because most of the reads feel pretty wooden. In fact I have a pet theory that the reason why they use such a mix of voice actors with different accents is to hide how bad they are in general. The worst part is that they constantly overuse some of the voice clips which are always insufferable catchphrases like “I’m the girl with the gall” or “I was the MVP, I’m sure we were all thinking that.” And then in most cutscenes, some sound effects are either turned down so you can’t hear them, or are simply missing.

      These things would have made me stop playing long ago. But unfortunately it is my husband playing.

      3 votes
      1. scissortail
        Link Parent
        I recently shared a hotel room for nearly two weeks with one of my best friends. He brought his Switch along and was playing Xenoblade 3. The fact that someone let that sound design out of the...

        I recently shared a hotel room for nearly two weeks with one of my best friends.

        He brought his Switch along and was playing Xenoblade 3.

        The fact that someone let that sound design out of the door completely floors me. It was easy to tell when a battle started because of the immense cacophony that started streaming out of the speakers. I couldn't believe my ears.

        I've also noticed that it and other recent games have to use voice lines for e v e r y t h i n g. Even fiddly menu stuff like equipping an item gets you a voice clip that's trying to be quippy. I can't imagine the budget that's being pissed away on bad readings of small lines for each and every button press.

        2 votes
    3. JCPhoenix
      Link Parent
      FFXIV is like this. I finally beat the original main story quest a few months ago. After playing on and off and restarting new characters over the years. So I moved on the to expansions. And...

      FFXIV is like this. I finally beat the original main story quest a few months ago. After playing on and off and restarting new characters over the years.

      So I moved on the to expansions. And basically every VA is different from the original. And while the new VAs are bad by any means, I quite liked the original ones. They were campy in a way that current ones aren't (and FFXIV, like all FFs, can be kinda campy).

      I just finished the first expansion and I'm still kinda adapting to some of the newer VAs. There are 3 more expansions to go and I've heard the VAs are all the same. Which is good. But at some point in the future, given FFXIV's great growth, I'm sure they'll change again.

      2 votes
  9. [4]
    Amarok
    Link
    The game isn't finished until I've loaded several hundred mods and corrected all of the asinine decisions made by the developers, turning the game into something that's worth playing. I'll submit...

    The game isn't finished until I've loaded several hundred mods and corrected all of the asinine decisions made by the developers, turning the game into something that's worth playing. I'll submit my XCOM2 mod collection as an example. ;)

    No mod support will typically be enough to turn me off of a game.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      nox
      Link Parent
      I've been meaning to replay xcom 2, maybe I'll give your modpack a try. It seems ludicrously huge though, surely there are some conflicts and bugs introduced?

      I've been meaning to replay xcom 2, maybe I'll give your modpack a try. It seems ludicrously huge though, surely there are some conflicts and bugs introduced?

      1 vote
      1. Amarok
        Link Parent
        I just knocked down the last POI spawning issue this morning. There shouldn't be any game stopping problems present, I'm on a new playthrough vetting things again. The biggest problem is that it's...

        I just knocked down the last POI spawning issue this morning. There shouldn't be any game stopping problems present, I'm on a new playthrough vetting things again. The biggest problem is that it's not well balanced with so many new items and loot in the mix. It's in line with Weapon and Item overhaul for the most part, with more powerful stuff from other mods showing up as rare loot or expensive builds to keep it all in line. The other problem is that I've made tweaks to a dozen mod configs and don't remember all of them. It's not compatibility so much as integration that's lacking - I've tweaked some of the CI rescue missions to reward other mod-added classes, that sort of thing.

        Real bugs happen when some of the mods get updated mid-playthrough by their authors. Quite a few of these mods are still under active development. There are a couple of screwy icons (like the darkfog grenade) and three mod-added pistols haven't got friendly text descriptions (they need a better CI/PGO bridge), and some of the mod-added enemies still show up as 'enemy unknown' in the list once the Shadow Chamber is built. That's really it for the cosmetic issues, just a couple hanging threads that will eventually get patched by their authors.

        Even with all that I can still finish a playthrough, so the minor glitches aren't serious. I've been building the list for over a year. Haven't yet had an ability malfunction or lag from incompatible mods. I vet mods carefully and read a lot of comments. There are resources out there like the CI master compatibility sheet that help a lot.

        4 votes
      2. Amarok
        Link Parent
        A little update on the few remaining bugs in the set. I'd call it functional but there's still some room for optimization. Nothing game breaking though.

        A little update on the few remaining bugs in the set. I'd call it functional but there's still some room for optimization. Nothing game breaking though.

        3 votes
  10. [8]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    When feasible and artistically adequate, games should have accessibility options for people with anxiety, ADHD, autism, and other issues impacting cognition. Here's a list of things that may cause...

    When feasible and artistically adequate, games should have accessibility options for people with anxiety, ADHD, autism, and other issues impacting cognition.

    Here's a list of things that may cause my ADHD brain to abandon a game that I like:

    • long load times
    • unnecessary menu transitions that take time to load. Examples: The Witcher 3, Destiny 2.
    • unskippable animations every time there's combat on a turn-based game with a bunch of random encounters. Example: pretty much all JRPGs.
    • elaborate animations that I must watch every time I do something that is both frequent and essential. Examples: Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2. Death Stranding.
    • realistic movement -- please give me the option to disable or reduce my character's inertia and momentum. I don't care if they look like something out of a video game because that's what they are.
    • having to click every single body to get every single item
    • No run button. Dear developers: you may think your game is a movie, but I assure you it is not. I know your character looks super cool slowly moving around like in a David Lynch film, but this is a game and I will eventually need to go places multiple times to figure out what to do. Give me a run button. You may think I don't need one, but I assure you I do. If you want a movie then go and shoot one. Thanks. Examples: Detroit Become Human, Telltale's The Walking Dead.
    • cluttered UI with no option to customize it. Sensory overload is a real issue. Ideally, UI elements should be toggleable and/or only show up when they are necessary.
    7 votes
    1. eladnarra
      Link Parent
      Oh! If we're also doing accessibility things - every game should let me save and stop playing at any point. My chronic illnesses mean I often have to stop playing a game long before many...

      Oh! If we're also doing accessibility things - every game should let me save and stop playing at any point.

      My chronic illnesses mean I often have to stop playing a game long before many developers think I "should," often with very little notice. I may suddenly realize I'm tired, or my arms may start to hurt. Once that happens, having to keep playing until a save point physically harms me in ways that can last for days (or sometimes, months).

      But because I have limited energy, I'll sometimes push myself past my body's limit anyway, because if I'm forced to replay a bunch of the game the next time I play, my progress slows to a crawl.

      10 votes
    2. gco
      Link Parent
      I feel as I've gotten older, the issue you bring up and other accessibility issues become more and more important. I want to play games the way I enjoy them, not the way someone intended me to...

      I feel as I've gotten older, the issue you bring up and other accessibility issues become more and more important. I want to play games the way I enjoy them, not the way someone intended me to play. Also I have limited time to play games and if I feel like my time is getting wasted I'll want to move onto the next thing which can ruin an otherwise great game.
      I specially feel the lack of auto-run button annoying though that's something that I managed to solve for the most part with Autohotkey. As /u/eladnarra mentions save limitation is also frustrating, whether I use it to savescum or not is my own problem so let me make that decision. The thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is mashing; I hate mechanics that depend on mashing. Thankfully those are more prevalent in games played with controllers so it's easy to set up auto-repeat using the Steam controller configuration.

      5 votes
    3. Thrabalen
      Link Parent
      I agree at least 80% with every point, and most of them 100%. I find that Rockstar tends to be one of the biggest offenders. They are, without a doubt, their own biggest fan of their storytelling....

      I agree at least 80% with every point, and most of them 100%. I find that Rockstar tends to be one of the biggest offenders. They are, without a doubt, their own biggest fan of their storytelling. Look, I play GTAO to shoot people, blow up explodey things, and accumulate fake dollars. I don't need to look like something out of a John Woo film while doing it.

      2 votes
    4. [4]
      fandegw
      Link Parent
      I agree with most of your points too, I would reserve a special kind of hell for the unskippable logo like for Ubisoft and EA. Its a small part of why I don't even touch their games anymore, but a...

      I agree with most of your points too, I would reserve a special kind of hell for the unskippable logo like for Ubisoft and EA. Its a small part of why I don't even touch their games anymore, but a hard felt one.

      For the No run button, I tends to force the game to have one via Cheat Engine. There is an option always available when you attach Cheat Engine to the process of the game (no need to download third party tables). Its called "Enable Speedhack" I think, and it replace all the timing functions of Windows by ones which are accelerated (by a configurable amount) for the process attached. You can even bind keys to specific values of acceleration (so no need to ALT+TAB).

      In the elaborate animations, I feel you, but at the same time the examples given is exactly the one where the whole game makes sense only because there is this elaborate animation set (or at least it contributes a lot to the experience). But I've seen other examples (I don't actually remember their names) where this did not add much to the experience.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I imagine a world where it is possible to achieve an equilibrium between my ADHD brain and contemplative experiences in videogames. Maybe there's a setting which greatly reduces the frequency of...

        I imagine a world where it is possible to achieve an equilibrium between my ADHD brain and contemplative experiences in videogames. Maybe there's a setting which greatly reduces the frequency of such animations, keeping them in moments the developer considers essential for their artistic purposes. Maybe you get to disable such animations after a period which the game requires to set its pace. Maybe you really should experience it... For the first 50 times. Maybe there should be a counter, and after the third repetition within a given time things get expedited. And so on.

        Also: a run button doesn't even need to be a run button, but rather a "walk faster" button. Some video game characters move as if they had an edible. And I play on console, so no cheats :P

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          fandegw
          Link Parent
          My acceptance of the problems of animations adding "gameplay" latency to all my movements is also tied to my expectations or my mood which affect what I will find enjoyable. I only accepted the...

          My acceptance of the problems of animations adding "gameplay" latency to all my movements is also tied to my expectations or my mood which affect what I will find enjoyable.
          I only accepted the animations of Red Dead Redemption 2 because I was curious of what Rockstar wanted to achieve and had time to invest in it.
          So I played it a bit and the animations "clicked" so much with the gameplay/interactions with the wildlife, npcs, and all the open world aspect of the game that I enjoyed it a lot. (Even the shopping part which always looked to be awful in videos, but felt right in the game)

          But I can't quite relaunch it on a whim because I am not really into the mood to accept it for a short session.

          I have a bigger problem with GTA because it's not the same experience that is sold to us. So the animations never clicked. If the driving did not takes this much place in the game, or if it felt janky, I would have left it in my library to never play again.

          So I can totally understand where your ADHD might render these experiences not possible.

          I imagine a world where it is possible to achieve an equilibrium between my ADHD brain and contemplative experiences in videogames.

          There might be some games to cater to these expectations, but these are rare, and oddly reserved to the PC unfortunately, on top of my head I would maybe propose NaissanceE with its strange rhythmic mechanic to run.

          2 votes
          1. lou
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I feel that I made lots of less extreme suggestions in the words that came after these :P I finished GTA V on the Xbox 360!

            I imagine a world where it is possible to achieve an equilibrium between my ADHD brain and contemplative experiences in videogames.

            I feel that I made lots of less extreme suggestions in the words that came after these :P

            I finished GTA V on the Xbox 360!

            1 vote
  11. [3]
    skybrian
    Link
    Many games are poorly paced. Limits on how long a game should take to play (like, not longer than a movie) might encourage developers to decide what the best part of the game is and cut the boring...

    Many games are poorly paced. Limits on how long a game should take to play (like, not longer than a movie) might encourage developers to decide what the best part of the game is and cut the boring stuff.

    Rushing the player by setting time limits would be a cheap way to do it, though. Better would be to cut the number of boring decisions that the player needs to make.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Reading this comment reminded me of a game I want so badly to exist: The game would basically be EVE Online except, instead of being an indefinitely running MMO with thousands of players, the game...

      Reading this comment reminded me of a game I want so badly to exist:

      The game would basically be EVE Online except, instead of being an indefinitely running MMO with thousands of players, the game would consist of rounds or matches that only last a few hours. The game world would be randomly generated for each match. There would only be, I don't know, maybe 256 players at most per game.

      The game would have very similar resource collection, production, economics, trading, and warfare mechanics as EVE. However, all the economic processes, training, map size, and other elements would be streamlined or minimized such that one team should be able to win the match within a few hours.

      What would the win condition of the game be? I have no idea. Maybe it would be to destroy the other team's home space station, like the Star Wars: Empire at War games. I haven't really written a lot about this idea yet.

      The gist though is that the game would play very similarly to the fun aspects of EVE, but the entire experience would start and finish within a few hours. Players could fight each other, or play cooperatively against bots, or a mix of both. Players should be able to host and customize their own servers with mods and adjusted settings and what not. I think it would be really fun to take all the good and interesting parts of EVE and condense it so people can experience those features without the time and grind that comes with an MMO

      4 votes
      1. Pistos
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure this is your point, but it reminds me of what I've come to dislike about Elite: Dangerous, even though I consider E:D a pretty good game. I stopped playing it because there didn't...

        I'm not sure this is your point, but it reminds me of what I've come to dislike about Elite: Dangerous, even though I consider E:D a pretty good game.

        I stopped playing it because there didn't seem to be any solid win condition(s). I get that they tried to make it this way on purpose, but... I think it results in a flawed entertainment experience. In contrast, we could take your typical FPS. You play for 30 to 60 minutes, and one side achieves a win condition, or time runs out in some cases. So, as a player, you get the positive feelings of victory (or the negative feelings of defeat), and then you move on to the next round and do it again. And again.

        But if there are no win conditions, such as what we see in indefinitely-running MMO worlds, then there aren't any chances for those positive feelings.

        2 votes
  12. admicos
    Link
    All PvP games suck, with no exceptions i could find. The phasing out of PvE or even good ol' singleplayer (outside most indie games) really saddens me. They were really the only non-toxic and...

    All PvP games suck, with no exceptions i could find.

    The phasing out of PvE or even good ol' singleplayer (outside most indie games) really saddens me. They were really the only non-toxic and non-overanalyzed-metagaming-do-this-or-you-might-as-well-not-play parts of gaming.

    6 votes
  13. [2]
    PhantomBand
    Link
    I most likely have more, but my most prominent unpopular opinion is that I dislike shooters and online multiplayer stuff like MOBAs. Shooters tend to be way too thin in terms of story content...

    I most likely have more, but my most prominent unpopular opinion is that I dislike shooters and online multiplayer stuff like MOBAs. Shooters tend to be way too thin in terms of story content (which is one of the reasons why I love RPGs) and they tend to take place in settings I don't care for like realistic war zones (though I do like Killzone's sci-fi aesthetic), and I just don't think shooting things is very fun if that's all there is to it with no plot. As for multiplayer online stuff, while I do dig MMORPGs like MapleStory, I just dislike how quickly these games turn into P2W money sinks and I prefer just playing alone and savoring the game at my own pace.

    5 votes
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There are games where you will pay very little for a lot of convenience and content. I believe a good example is Path of Exile, which some people consider an MMO. While it is technically possible...

      There are games where you will pay very little for a lot of convenience and content. I believe a good example is Path of Exile, which some people consider an MMO. While it is technically possible to play without spending a dime, it soon gets cumbersome to manage inventory without extra stash tabs. I wouldn't know how to convert from game currency to US dollars right now, but I will say that the amount I spent for more than 1-year playing (let's say, 15 USD tops) was a total bargain. Prices are reasonable, and I took advantage of PoE's periodical sales as well.

      And oh: before I had spent a cent on the game I opened a support ticket through the forum that was answered and resolved in 24 hours, via email, by an actual human being. Their support for free users was better than what you'll get in many paid services.

      3 votes
  14. [2]
    NOD
    Link
    The harder a game is, the more complex, the more janky and scufffed it is....the better it is. If I want to break my keyboard after an hour of playing it, it's a very good game.

    The harder a game is, the more complex, the more janky and scufffed it is....the better it is. If I want to break my keyboard after an hour of playing it, it's a very good game.

    5 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      I agree if harder is not merely a byproduct of 'broken'. A game that is harder because it is unintuitive is not better. A game that is harder because choices you make are permenant has the...

      I agree if harder is not merely a byproduct of 'broken'.

      A game that is harder because it is unintuitive is not better. A game that is harder because choices you make are permenant has the potential to be.

      I kinda liked Diablo II's virtually irreversable tech tree. It helps that I also like playing my ARPGs on hardcore so each character will die, just a matter of when.

      2 votes
  15. vord
    Link
    I generally don't enjoy platforming as a primary mechanic. It too often feels maze-like or like a test than a game. But I do enjoy figuring out novel ways to get from A to B. I love exploring and...

    I generally don't enjoy platforming as a primary mechanic. It too often feels maze-like or like a test than a game.

    But I do enjoy figuring out novel ways to get from A to B. I love exploring and poking holes in movement. Farmsim 22 multiplayer was great for the latter... I was able to glitch myself to the sky on the one map. Exploring the limits of Vanilla WoW's movement mechanics and getting to inaccessible areas of the map was awesome.

    Kinda went on a tangent there, but platforming is a great mechanic, but should not be the defining feature of a game.

    5 votes
  16. [2]
    onyxleopard
    Link
    I have some opinions that are on the verge of contradictions: Paid cosmetics that don’t affect gameplay are good—paid battlepasses are bad. Sandboxes are good—open worlds are bad. Progression...

    I have some opinions that are on the verge of contradictions:
    Paid cosmetics that don’t affect gameplay are good—paid battlepasses are bad.
    Sandboxes are good—open worlds are bad.
    Progression systems are good—gating fun behind 100 50 25 2 hours of grinding is bad.

    5 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      This one jives with me. One simple example: Vanilla WoW kinda was an open world, but what it really was is a sandbox for social interaction. I'm not sure to what degree it was intentional or...

      Sandboxes are good—open worlds are bad.

      This one jives with me. One simple example:

      Vanilla WoW kinda was an open world, but what it really was is a sandbox for social interaction. I'm not sure to what degree it was intentional or accidental, but its inconvieniences fostered social interaction in a tremendous way. The game lost a lot of its sandbox in TBC, and nothing highlights it better than the flying mount.

      A flying mount lets you explore the open world by flying right over the sandbox.

      5 votes
  17. EgoEimi
    (edited )
    Link
    Unpopular opinion: graphic violence in video games is not harmless. There is a contradiction I'm generally troubled by in mainstream (American) culture: violence is ok in mainstream media, but...

    Unpopular opinion: graphic violence in video games is not harmless.

    There is a contradiction I'm generally troubled by in mainstream (American) culture: violence is ok in mainstream media, but pornography and nudity are not.

    Personally, I think nudity is not a big deal and in fact people probably would stand to benefit from seeing diverse bodies, especially imperfect ones.

    But we know that pornography distorts healthy body self-image and expectations around sex and gender roles, and can rewire the brain.

    Yet there's a popular notion that people can suspend belief about violence and not be affected.

    I've played mildly violent fighting games before, like Tekken and Diablo. But whenever I try gory video games where you have to watch in detail enemies get chainsawed in half and blood and fleshy bits flying about, I feel very disturbed and not right about enjoying it as I can sense some inner sensitivity erode a little.

    5 votes
  18. [7]
    eladnarra
    (edited )
    Link
    I don't get MMOs. I know that many games have quest systems, but something about MMOs in particular (at least the ones I tried) makes the artificiality extremely obvious. I can remember going to...

    I don't get MMOs. I know that many games have quest systems, but something about MMOs in particular (at least the ones I tried) makes the artificiality extremely obvious. I can remember going to kill some monsters for random drops for the first time and wondering how it was supposed to be fun.

    But other folks enjoy them, and that's totally okay, obviously. :)

    I also can't play games that are super inflexible - the ones that may let you do something, but it will break the game. For instance, in one game I once went "too far" in a level without completing something, and got a really broken bug where a tree was both on fire and not, with two tracks of audio (one for happy villagers and one with them yelling about the tree being on fire). In another game I was told to go to a village, so I walked there. When I got there, I couldn't interact with anything. I eventually had to retrace my steps, take a wagon to the village, and then I could continue the plot.

    In these cases I would much prefer a cutscene (or temporary barrier of some kind) that railroads me into what a developer wants, rather than giving me the illusion of a choice and then breaking.

    4 votes
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      What were the particular MMOs that you played? In any case, the joy of MMOs used to be the social aspect. WoW is a great game but I would never play it without the friends I made in the game, and...

      What were the particular MMOs that you played?

      In any case, the joy of MMOs used to be the social aspect. WoW is a great game but I would never play it without the friends I made in the game, and the friends from before with whom I kept in touch through the game.

      There would be no point.

      MMORPGs are generally not choice-based games. The freedom is expressed in different ways, such as the freedom of choosing a class, the role you play in your group, a skill tree, your looks, and what activities you choose to pursue.

      Due to their size there are things you forgive in an MMO that you wouldn't accept on a single player game. It's another scale entirely. But you might be surprised by newer MMORPGs such as Guild Wars 2 and FFXIV.

      My time in World of Warcraft was one the happiest in my life, Azeroth to me was not just a place to do quests, it was the shared place where I met all my friends to have wonderful collective experiences.

      Nowadays there's a focus in making MMOs solo friendly, and I understand that's a necessity of our times. But nothing will ever be as magical as my time in World of Warcraft, when my friend guided me through the entire map so we could meet in a city in The Horde.

      I never played WoW Classic (I mean I did when it was just called WoW) but it's the one I'd recommend. Retail WoW is so practical you can play alone most of the time. I don't see the point. I'd rather play a single player game instead.

      2 votes
    2. [5]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      The problem with most MMOs, IMHO, is that they are basically designed to punish you for playing alone. I seem to remember getting upset at Final Fantasy XI because I learned that the leveling...

      The problem with most MMOs, IMHO, is that they are basically designed to punish you for playing alone.

      I seem to remember getting upset at Final Fantasy XI because I learned that the leveling system is kind of broken if you play by yourself. IIRC monsters give you the same number of EXP weather you are fighting them one-on-one or in a party with five more people - a fighting force that is roughly 6 times higher, who would choose instead to fight the tougher monsters who give bigger EXP drops. So attempting to play the game entirely by yourself meant utter tedium because you were in the ultimate unnecessarily slow grindfest.

      To use your "go get x number of mcguffins that drop from Slimes" as an example, by yourself you're just going to slowly kill them, hope that each one drops the mcguffin all the time, and then by the time you're done you're so bored and thankful it's done and you warp back to get your reward. But if you're in a party, you're going to mow down those slimes and probably have more mcguffins than the quest needed. You think to yourself, well, we are out in the countryside, do a little exploration while you're there, and you find extra treasures or quests and things like that.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        MMOs are Massively Multiplayer Online games. These games are currently becoming more and more friendly to solo play, but I wouldn't go so far as calling them "unfriendly" for requiring a group for...

        MMOs are Massively Multiplayer Online games. These games are currently becoming more and more friendly to solo play, but I wouldn't go so far as calling them "unfriendly" for requiring a group for going through a lot of its content. To me, that would make just as much sense as calling a single player RPG unfriendly because I cannot play it in a group with my friends.

        In fact, I personally wouldn't even call something like Path of Exile or Destiny MMOs, they are actually online instanced games where you will see other players in shared hubs and in very constrained instances (most of the time in PoE it is just me). Lootwise, playing PoE in a group is often a disadvantage.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Thrabalen
          Link Parent
          Massively Multiplayer doesn't mean "with a group", though. An instance with 200 players in it, where none of them are grouped but can still encounter each other, is just as massively multiplayer.

          Massively Multiplayer doesn't mean "with a group", though. An instance with 200 players in it, where none of them are grouped but can still encounter each other, is just as massively multiplayer.

          3 votes
          1. lou
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Sure. Technically. But that is not what made me love MMORPGs as a genre and genres are not just lists of technical attributes. They are largely historical. If I wanted to be technical, I could...

            Sure. Technically. But that is not what made me love MMORPGs as a genre and genres are not just lists of technical attributes. They are largely historical.

            If I wanted to be technical, I could argue that the criteria "200 people in an instance that don't interact very much" is met by lots of Discord channels. But I won't, because that is not a technical matter.

            Not every movie with horses and cowboys is a western ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

            If I had any say in the matter, these games that are bordering the MMO genres would have their own acronym. Something like:

            • MMOIRPG - Massively Multiplayer Online Instanced RPGs
            • VOIG - Very Online Instanced Games
            • VMORPG - Very Multiplayer Online RPGs

            And to be clear I'm okay with MMORPGs catering to solo players, I just think that it is a contradiction in terms to state that an MMO is unfriendly because some things require a group to accomplish, unless it is not really an MMO (which is often the case).

            The misuse of words starting with "MMO" creates lots of misplaced expectations. Those with a longer history in the genre will expect an MMO to be more like WoW or GW2, and those that view it more like an extension of online shooters or something like that will complain when those games introduce mechanics that are typical of actual MMORPGs.

            So use another word and everyone will be happy.

            Interestingly, yesterday I watched a 90 minutes interview with the main developer of PoE, and he didn't call PoE an MMO once.

      2. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        Ah, that makes sense! I did play with friends a little bit, but since I don't have the energy/health required to show up for guilds and raids and longer cooperative play, I mostly tried them alone.

        Ah, that makes sense! I did play with friends a little bit, but since I don't have the energy/health required to show up for guilds and raids and longer cooperative play, I mostly tried them alone.

  19. [3]
    ClearlyAlive
    Link
    The view that older games should cost less is irrational. I’m not saying that NES-era games should cost the same as AAAs today, but a game simply being rereleased does not mean its price be lower....

    The view that older games should cost less is irrational. I’m not saying that NES-era games should cost the same as AAAs today, but a game simply being rereleased does not mean its price be lower. Instead, the comparison should be made with the quality price ratios of games being made now. NES games under such a comparison. Similarly, when Nintendo rereleases WiiU games with a similar quality level to new switch games, it’s not unfair for them to charge the same price.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      EgoEimi
      Link Parent
      In a related note, I think that video games are generally underpriced. People are willing to pay $15 for a 2-hour film and $100's for a 3-hour concert. $5–70 for many hours of entertainment is a...

      In a related note, I think that video games are generally underpriced.

      People are willing to pay $15 for a 2-hour film and $100's for a 3-hour concert. $5–70 for many hours of entertainment is a relative steal.

      I think if people were more psychologically open to paying more for video games as if they were culture and not just games, more opportunities in the game industry will open up, especially for indie developers.

      4 votes
      1. ClearlyAlive
        Link Parent
        Oh yeah I completely agree, this is also a big issue with game pricing.

        Oh yeah I completely agree, this is also a big issue with game pricing.

        1 vote
  20. stu2b50
    Link
    I don't think it's that unpopular of an opinion, but perhaps not in vogue at the moment on the internet. I really like optimizing and breaking games. Yes, it is enjoyable for me to figure out ways...

    I don't think it's that unpopular of an opinion, but perhaps not in vogue at the moment on the internet.

    I really like optimizing and breaking games. Yes, it is enjoyable for me to figure out ways to make the game trivial - the more arcane the method, and the more trivial it becomes, the better.

    3 votes
  21. Thrabalen
    Link
    I have another unpopular opinion that I'm forking from my other one, for sake of tracking. I prefer sandbox games to linear games... in fact, this extends past video gaming and into tabletop RPGs....

    I have another unpopular opinion that I'm forking from my other one, for sake of tracking. I prefer sandbox games to linear games... in fact, this extends past video gaming and into tabletop RPGs. The more rails a game has, the less I enjoy it. Naturally, this tends to shift away from story in a game... to the point where I consider a story optional. Master of Orion II (one of my all-time favorite games) had no story at all, and I play to this day. Marvel Heroes (another favorite) had the thinnest veneer of a story, and that was more than enough. And GTA Online really has no story, and for me it's far more enjoyable than Single Player (where I actually stopped playing during a Twitch streamed run because of the story.)

    I've come to realize that I game because of the feeling of freedom, and you don't get that feeling of freedom when the game tells you who you are and why you're doing what you're doing.

    3 votes
  22. OswaldTheCatfish
    Link
    Any FPS game where common enemies have health bars is instantly bad because it either: A. Means that the enemies likely have no other visual feedback that you hit them (stagger animation or...

    Any FPS game where common enemies have health bars is instantly bad because it either:
    A. Means that the enemies likely have no other visual feedback that you hit them (stagger animation or something similar), making it horribly unsatisfying.
    or
    B. the enemies are bulletsponges which need the health bar to show you how many more seconds you need to be shooting them until they die, also making it horribly unsatisfying.
    and unfortunately, its typically both.

    2 votes
  23. vegai
    Link
    Fast FPSs and FPS games that look like they're realistic but everyone is a bullet sponge. Games requiring dozens or hundreds of tries to get through a single screen. Grinding, mining and crafting....

    Fast FPSs and FPS games that look like they're realistic but everyone is a bullet sponge.

    Games requiring dozens or hundreds of tries to get through a single screen.

    Grinding, mining and crafting. When these types of games are good, they are very good, but most get some detail horribly wrong and the end result is as fun as a full day at the office.

    2 votes
  24. [5]
    Octofox
    Link
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with releasing a game that’s not entirely complete and then polishing and improving it post release. This is how almost all software is developed. It’s much...

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with releasing a game that’s not entirely complete and then polishing and improving it post release. This is how almost all software is developed. It’s much more effective to refine something when real users have their hands on it. Yes you can do play testing privately but nothing compares to real users.

    And as a user, if you want polished games only, wait a couple months and get it later. You’d get a better game than if it was released later.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      lou
      Link Parent
      I think most would agree with you. There's nothing wrong with early access games as long as that is communicated to the players, the price is fair, and the game is eventually released.

      I think most would agree with you. There's nothing wrong with early access games as long as that is communicated to the players, the price is fair, and the game is eventually released.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Octofox
        Link Parent
        I think it should probably be expected these days that all games will be better in a few months than they are on release day. Games are moving more in line with regular software where the day one...

        I think it should probably be expected these days that all games will be better in a few months than they are on release day. Games are moving more in line with regular software where the day one release isn't everything but the game is long lived project which grows over time.

        When you take a look at the steam top played charts, the games have mostly existed for quite a long time but evolved and improved a lot since day one. CS:GO came out 10 years ago now and is still one of the most played games.

        1 vote
        1. lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Some games are by their very nature a work in progress, but even those are expected to present a satisfying package. Other games really should be completely functional and fully realized on...

          Some games are by their very nature a work in progress, but even those are expected to present a satisfying package.

          Other games really should be completely functional and fully realized on release.

          There is a difference between God of War, Witcher 3 and Persona 5, on one side, and Minecraft, Overwatch, and Fortnite on the other.

      2. Akir
        Link Parent
        Yes but the problem is that there is no incentive to get to the point where there aren’t game-breaking bugs. I have a whole bunch of them right now. Ubisoft happens to be one of the worst...

        Yes but the problem is that there is no incentive to get to the point where there aren’t game-breaking bugs. I have a whole bunch of them right now. Ubisoft happens to be one of the worst offenders. The rebooted Prince of Persia game was famously sold without an ending, which you had to buy as DLC. If you bought the PS3 version of that DLC it was a buggy mess that would break down in unpredictable ways. Likewise, to this day the PS3 version of the PoP Sands of Time collection has strange audio bugs as well and will literally hard crash at points… but at least that bug can be circumvented by disconnecting the console from any network.

        Id Software’s Rage launched without working on any AMD/ATI graphics cards. AMD released patched drivers to get the game running, but the downside to that is that if you run the game on new AMD cards the drivers will not have those patches and therefore the game will not run. (Though to be fair I know that AMD has done so much work on their drivers over the past few years they may have managed to fix this problem).