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FierceFangMember Since 19 May 2010
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Posted DuskWolf on 28 November 2012 - 08:15 PM
The problem I have with this is that it's vapid and patronising, the game doesn't treat you like you're intelligent enough or a decent enough player to have fun by your own merits, it believes that the game has to be played for you (better stats) for you to have fun. This is something that I see as a cancer in game design, because if you keep making people feel good about doing nothing, eventually it'll be 'that one game' that gives them a (fake) sensation of being good. So despite all the hardships of that game, they'll keep playing it.
Ridiculously overdone assistance where bullets curve mid-trajectory is an example of this. This is almost Universally hated by FPS players. Why? It makes people feel like they're being amazing, but it never encourages them to grow as a player. If the game is difficult, then the problem can be dealt with in other ways, like lower enemy health pools. But basically taking that bullet that they shoot into a wall and teleporting it into a foe's head?
When you teleport that bullet from a wall to a foe's head which is three feet away, you stop the game from being a game. And a realisation sets in: The simple fact that if you were to give your cat a gamepad and let him/her walk over it, then they would be able to 'play' this game, too, because no matter where or how you shoot, the bullets are always going to land in the heads of foes. One of the classes in Borderlands 2 even has a parody talent tree skill of this where bullets 'ricochet' and somehow magically find their mark.
And this is where the issue is, this is where it becomes bad game design. In order for a game to be a game, it must require input from the player. And in a good game the player succeeds or fails based upon their inputs. Look at what raspberry jam said about Ascended Gear, she won because she had better gear, that's horrible game design. Because in GW2 as it was prior to Ascended, she would have lost. Her choices and her actions whilst playing the game were incorrect, logically she should have lost.
What this then means is that Ascended gear users get a 'free win' card. And that 'free win' card becomes more and more pronounced with each tier of vertical progression they include in the game. It makes the player feel more and more like they're good, because the game is playing itself for them. I'm sure that in that match, raspberry jam felt good for a moment. Then s/he realised that what was actually happening was that the stats were providing him/her a buffer zone for bad decisions, and s/he won because of that.
Is that what we want out of a videogame? Should the numbers of our gear dictate whether we win or lose? Again, this is no different than ridiculous aim assist, because what's happening is that it's deluding people into believing that they're better than they actually are. But this has the negative effect of stagnating someone's ability to play other games. Worse, it necrotises their ability to be good at other games, because they don't feel the need to practise.
This is why the WoW players I know of are horrible at any game which isn't WoW. They never feel the need to try to improve. In the case of GW1, they found even the easiest combat punishingly hard because they had to think and act. Because the game wasn't playing itself for them, they were upset. And this is ultimately what a vertical progression fan wants: A buffer zone where the game plays itself, so that they don't have to. They won't even have to worry about being bad at a vidyagame. So is that a good or bad thing?
I'm sure that some people will tell you that self-playing videogames are a good thing. But I disagree. It removes the real sense of satisfaction of actually learning to be good at something. I mean, look at WoW and how things are won with numbers, or a game with ridiculous aim assist where the bullet always lands in the head of a foe regardless where it's shot. Do you honestly believe that that is as much of an achievement of a person playing a bullet hell game ridiculously well? There are some people who can do that.
In fact, there are some people who can sit down and play a bullet hell shooter that they've never touched before, and because they're good, they can excel without even being familiar with the waves. And these are the gamers who impress me. The ones who rely on Ascended gear are those I see as being a bit pathetic. If you were a good gamer, you wouldn't even take Ascended into PvP. And raspberry jam's brilliantly worded experiment explains why.
As the 'stats are more important than skill' mentality continues to work its way into the game thanks to the gear treadmill, personal skill will become less and less important. Perhaps this is why the AI in GW2 is a zerg, one that doesn't require any tactical play at all. See, this is why I like Mass Effect 3's multi-player. The tactical AI is mercilessly efficient in the proper and effective strategies it uses. You can't rely on ME3 playing itself for you.
Even the bronze difficulty is a little challenging for beginners, and personally, as a disabled person, I've welcomed that. I'm okay with challenge when it actually is delivered by the game expecting me to make the right decisions and to have the reflexes to pull them off. And when you play ME3's multi-player on platinum, it really is an achievement, since you need full and efficient communication between a team to succeed, it actually requires good teamwork.
Again, look at the part I've bolded in the quote. Is that really what we want? A faux sense of achievement by a patronising game that feels it has to nanny us? "Don't worry, dear, I'll shoot that arrow for you." What that means is that the entire game becomes less and less meaningful, and with each tier they add, it edges more and more towards being meaningless. The time when it's most meaningful is when you have reached the power plateau, and the difficulty is balanced against your current equipment. That you can't just faceroll through the content because you have better numbers, because there are no better numbers to have.
This is why the power plateau is good game design. In fact, not having any form of vertical progression at all is the best game design, because that way you never have stats deciding whether you win or lose a fight. But I can accept that GW2 had to have some vertical progression for the people who are conditioned to believe they needed it. But like GW1, I was hoping that GW2 would get them to the power plateau and then coax them around to my way of thinking, where they'd realise that the false sense of achievement provided by gear numbers is a terrible, terrible thing. And that that will then feel hollow for them.
Before I finish up with this post, let's have a bit of a thought experiment. At least have enough respect for me to do that. Okay, take... Mario Bros 3. That was a great game, wasn't it? A fantastic game, even. Can we really deny that this is a truth? I'd have to disown you if you'd disagree with this point, to be honest, and I say this as a Sega fan! So, Mario Bros 3. Now, let's do terrible, horrible things to it! No, stick with me, this is necessary.
Okay, let's add a jump stat. The jump stat can be increased as you play the game, it allows you to do double jumps, up to a maximum of eight double jumps. Now, on top of that, let's add stats that allow the invulnerability star to last for longer, so that when it's maxed out it can almost last for the entirety of a level, including the boss. So, Mario with his maxed out stats can remain invulnerable for a good amount of time, and can double jump so much that it renders the difficulty of the game null. Is that good game design? If so or if not, why?
Just let that percolate for a bit. That's all.
Posted Moxin Rift on 29 October 2012 - 01:08 PM
Many of us have had the experience, when playing an MMO, of it becoming a kind of second life, an alternative world to live in. This came partly because the games were enthralling, partly because they were set up to require lots of playing time. The subscrition model requires that - you have to keep people playing, and subscribing. Also, when you subscribe, you feel a certain obligation to play, as otherwise your money is wasted. I remember a few old guildies from WoW, who would frequently lament how bored they were. But they kept playing.
But GW2 is quite deliberately not set up this way. It is a game that to a certain extent lets you play as much as you like. Personally I have loads of stuff yet to do with my 8 toons - I find I'm only beginning. However, I am playing at the tempo that I happen to like at any given time. Sometimes I play a lot, somethimes hardly at all. The game lets me do that, and I am very happy with that. I play the game for the fun, and only for the fun. As such, it is a game that can coexist with other games, and I'm happy with that too.
Also - I cannot for the life of me see that there is not enough content in GW2. The game is huge. However, there may not be the specific content that any given player is looking for. I feel that many come here looking for "WoW, only better", and get frustrated when they find something very different. Personally I am glad there is not "dungeons that you have to grind over and over again so that you can get to grinding raids over and over again" - that model is really just a mirage of content. I can still miss WoW on occasion - it's been over a year now - but I'm not going back to that.
Posted Snikt on 12 September 2012 - 07:22 AM
I have been sniped, but it was in CM during the sniper segment, and I just assumed they tagged me as I got it off. Smoke Screen negated it anyway.
In PvP, yeah, I've noticed that Elementalists can use their conal attacks to bust you out if you don't make a hasty escape. Or the fields of AoE people lay down pretty much negate your stealth. It sure isn't like Warcraft where you can hide all day and laugh while you sap, and at first I wasn't sure I liked how "limited" stealth felt. If you pop it at a bad/obvious time with an obvious route out, people can anticipate it - they don't even have to target you, and dropping target doesn't matter. Swords cleave, things explode, and AoE nails you no matter what. In time, you learn how and when to use it, and what to do with those precious seconds. My advice would be to Shadow Step to get some distance.
*I don't rely on Death Blossom as an actual evade, the timing is finicky. Same with Pistol Whip, which doesn't cover you the entire time (unlike the Mesmer's similar move). So I agree with you there, although the bow seems to be very reliable. I think in GW2, for all professions the actual physical mechanics take practice, as it's breaking years of MMO conditioning for most people. I used to pack Shadow Step with me for emergency getaways; as I got better I trusted a quick swap to shortbow, and eventually just got the hang of dodging and stunning.
What ABOUT melee is getting you killed? Are you pulling one mob? Three? Massive packs hoping to LBD/Pistol Whip them down? You said you were going broke with Masterwork Gear, but I'm running in quest gear and drops and have rarely had a serious bout of trouble I didn't get myself into with *iness.
*If you're running out of Initiative, try pacing your attack instead of spamming. Just because we're not limited by immediate cooldowns doesn't mean we should run the meter dry. Your "rotation" comment also flags for me because outside of a few moves, there's no solid rotation I stick to, and I don't think most of the Thieves on this forum that I learned from the past month have hard rotations either. One big trick to GW2 is your Auto-Attack is pretty awesome on most professions. You can get away with strafing and circling and keeping the chain up. There are combos like Powder into Heartseeker for a free Backstab, but even on the most auto-piloted questing I wouldn't recommend using it all the time just because people training mobs happens, bad pulls happen, respawns happen (stupid ranged!), and it's nice to have something in your pocket besides Utility.
*Traps are touchy, I agree. I've learned certain attacks bypass them, dodge rolling absolutely bypasses them in, and things like Engy's Juggernaut bypasses them. Practice in a lower level area until you get the true feel for the range and triggers. I can't say I've ever had a problem with Scorpion Wire.
*Bleeds seem pretty fast, especially stacked. Direct Damage is pretty good with Heartseeker, Pistol Whip, Backstab, Clusterbomb...Again, since you're keeping up with Masterwork gear, I'm quite confused because I usually roll with blues or greens and even when they're outdated, I pull fine damage; let alone the Mists.
*Dungeon bosses shrug off Blind and Daze because it would totally cheese the encounters. There are a lot of other tools that can be used, and are effective. People are clearing dungeons to success. I refuse to accept that Thieves are being carried and no one is telling them (that happens to Elementalists. /rimshot. I kid, Eles, I've just seen the hate in chat). Are Necromancers frustrated they can't blind? Are other classes annoyed they can't stun? That's the encounters, you need to learn what the gimmick is. In TA there's a boss where the trick is Don't Stop Moving (as far as I've mastered it). We had a player who refused to accept this, and we died several times. It had nothing to do with profession skills or utilities, it was a simple trick, and once he got it, we cleared it quick.
*I frankly don't know how you don't feel useful. Thieves bring so many varied tricks (even overlapped thieves, thanks to limited Utility slots) I've never had a PUG, my Guild, or the most stressful, running as the PuG with the rest of another Guild tell me they thought Thieves were useless. I've never seen anyone kicked except for just being bad in general. Other professions do similar things, "better" is subjective and situational, and those same "better" tools apply to every other profession. I've heard the Elementalists compare themselves to the "superior" Guardians. I've seen Guardians complain they're not as viable as the almighty Warrior. I've seen Warriors wish they had whatever Utility it is that Rangers have that made them jealous that day. I've even wished for my Mesmer's Feedback instead of "boring" Smoke Screen many times, but at the end of the day, I'm stopping projectiles, and that stopped a down, so a win is a win.
"Perfect! I work my butt off and craft a build with perfect synergy just to be as useful as the guy next to me who is half asleep spamming a rotation."
I have to tell you, man, I've seen that line thrown around every profession in every MMO I've ever played. What's the point of playing a Thief? Hopefully the core point is you're having fun. If you're not having fun, try something else. If nothing else is working for you, it's just a game, maybe you should spend your time with something that is bringing you joy in your downtime.
You want to feel useful? In WvW just now, I used Smoke Screen (stopped projectiles and let my crew blind) and Shadow Refuge (Lifesteal!) to help a group press the advance while I played medic to save people a run back under cover of smoke and invisibility. I popped my Venoms since I could trait for Venomous Auras and immediately noticed the difference in how quickly our assailants melted, even if my teammates didn't see they had the buff (Also the Fury and Might from Thrill). I ran in and out of combat to drop Refuge for Scorpion wire from time to time to pull foes from the group into my horde. I pulled every ranged attacker off of their keep which bought us time to buidl siege, because now they were staying away.
I felt pretty great, I had a good role and noticed I was having an impact. I didn't even need anyone to acknowledge this, but then I was thanked for doing all of that interference, because in the end, it made the push happen quicker and more efficiently. People noticed.
When I'm on my Mesmer or Elementalist, I notice what a Thief does because I'm familiar with it. I love having a good Thief who knows their limits and uses. I can say that about every profession, though. I'm not trying to be down on you or tell you "you're bad". I hate people like that. I wish I could teach you somehow, because to me it seems like it's not that you can't drive stick, it's that you can't drive well at all. And I'd love to know why and help you improve, because I don't like seeing people not having a good time with something they want to enjoy but are unable to.
It just baffles me that that much is going wrong with your experience behind the wheel.