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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: Gaming trends that irk you

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    I think one thing that is also missed from retrospectively looking at HL2 is that a lot of the story was told in-engine, not a pre-rendered cut-scene from every other game of the time. Also telling the story with the gameplay and world building was pretty new at that point.
    It is really easy to miss all of the things it did when so many of those things have been copied and improved on for the last 15 years, they no longer stand out.

    I would also say I don't remember anyone at the time thinking that Doom 3 did anything particularly interesting. Doesn't mean it wasn't fun, but I think we can all recognize that there are many games that are fun that don't do anything new or interesting.

    I was never that into Half-Life either, but I definitely recognize that it had a outsized influence on many games that came afterwards.
    One thing I found interesting was looking at FPS games that were released at around the same time (or in the year or two prior). The quality is all over the place, and most of the really good ones weren't story focused or otherwise didn't innovate. Far Cry had an open-ish world for pretty much the first time in a shooter, but had a forgettable plot and bog-standard shooting. Call of Duty was impressive as military shooters go, but was very traditional in the campaign construction. Mainly remembered for it's multiplayer. Unreal Tournament was a deathmatch shooter and excellent at what it did, but was 100% multiplayer focused. I guess core Half-Life 2 must have had multiplayer, though I don't remember it if it did. Halo was another famed for its multiplayer, with a campaign that got described as "walking down the same corridor over and over again". I also think the Halo games have always been a slightly different market, being console-focused.

    When it comes to competition for a single-player experience, there isn't really all that much. FPS games were mostly focused on multiplayer, because that's where the money was even then. It still took a couple years after that before you start seeing "modern" single-player FPS games like Bioshock.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Which is the biggest tell. Two years is a full dev cycle for a lot of games. Bioshock (and the other games HL2 inspired) weren't even conceived (or were in very early planning stages) before that game came out. It was a completely different beast from its contemporaries, and was a breath of fresh air to a tired genre.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Gotcha - so it's not the openness of the world that bothers you, it's the obstacles they put in your way that force you to utilize that openness, like dealing with weather and breaking weapons and monster difficulty spikes.
    Well, no, not entirely. I mean, those sorts of things are absolutely part of why I dislike the design style, but the worlds themselves are too, due to their sheer size. It's not fun trekking across a map that's several orders of magnitude larger than it needed to be, and quick-travel options only mitigate that somewhat - particularly since they're never available until you reach the areas for the first time, so they're really just just to reduce the tedium of backtracking, not the initial trek.

    The only open-world games I've played where I didn't feel like the sheer size and openness of the world map detracted from the experience were superhero games where you get such exceptional mobility options that you can traverse the map extremely quickly, and often in a manner that is itself somewhat fun. Last year's Spider Man game and InFamous: Second Son being the two biggest examples of that, and to a lesser extent the Batman: Arkham games (Batman's mobility just isn't quite on the same level as Spider Man's web-slinging or Delsin's neon dash). But the thing about those is that being able to traverse the map so quickly shrinks it in a way: it ceases to feel as big as it would if you were just walking across it on foot, so its size effectively feels much more reasonable, as if you had a game with a less spacious map but more ordinary mobility. That makes that problem go away - though it doesn't necessarily solve the others that often come hand-in-hand with open world design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I can understand that preference but it doesn't change my judgement either - BotW represents stuff that I strongly feel they've always wanted to do. So in a way you were always on a ticking clock.
    Maybe they did, maybe not. I don't know - nor, honestly, do I much care. My opinion doesn't rest on the developer's intentions, just on what the games were and what they now are.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    The fact that in spite of 15 years of advancing technology, nobody seems to be able/willing to create a proper MMORPG. No, The Division and Destiny 2 don't count. It's pitiful that the closest we seem to be getting is a re-release of WoW Classic, or maybe the City of Heroes Homecoming/Reborn rogue servers.

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Well, I've read through the thread, and seen most of my gripes, but let's go through all of them again.

    Let's pool Lootboxes, microtransactions, and subscription fees into one big umbrella of excessive monetization. Now that I think about it, let's lump pre-order bonuses and premium/silver/gold/platinum/ultimate/evenmoreultimatesomehow versions of the game into that category. It's no longer enough for the AAA game industry to turn a profit, not enough to make money; they need to make all the money in the world.

    Following up on that idea is the trend of live service games launching in minimally acceptable form. That is to say, more and more publishers are asking consumers to pay them money for the promise of a game. "Buy Anthem now," they say, "and don't worry. Even if we don't actually have a game worth $60 right now, if you buy now and wait for two years' worth of patches, eventually you'll have a mediocre game that you wouldn't have spent money on if you knew what you were getting into! In the meantime, have some microtransactions and lootboxes!"

    I reject, in full, the idea that having a roadmap for where you want your game to be in the future is in any way comparable to having a good game at launch. It's like giving someone a bun, and saying, "Don't worry, if you wait a year and keep paying twenty dollars for ketchup packets, eventually we'll be able to give you the burger, and in two years, we'll even give you lettuce!" No, I reject your half-baked meatless bun of a game; if I'm paying you the full price of a game now, I expect you to give me the full game, with full content, full story, full access to gear, on launch day.

    I could go on about the toxic culture surrounding the idea of crunch-as-development-tool, but this post took too long to assemble and I'm disgusted with AAA gaming already, so let's leave that for a later post.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    The fact that in spite of 15 years of advancing technology, nobody seems to be able/willing to create a proper MMORPG. No, The Division and Destiny 2 don't count. It's pitiful that the closest we seem to be getting is a re-release of WoW Classic, or maybe the City of Heroes Homecoming/Reborn rogue servers.
    Final Fantasy XIV is pretty solid actually. New expansion is up in about two weeks, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Final Fantasy XIV is pretty solid actually. New expansion is up in about two weeks, too.
    That's fair to say, and perhaps I should be less expansive with my complaint. The FF setting has always left me cold. I like anime, but I've never resonated with JRPGs. Something about the aesthetic bothers me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    That's fair to say, and perhaps I should be less expansive with my complaint. The FF setting has always left me cold. I like anime, but I've never resonated with JRPGs. Something about the aesthetic bothers me.
    as a big {scrubbed} and anime fan, I kind of get that actually. FF has always been a little strange anime wise that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I mean I like JRPGs, but.....there is some subtlety there that kind of....I don't know what exactly. its strange.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    Well, I've read through the thread, and seen most of my gripes, but let's go through all of them again.

    Let's pool Lootboxes, microtransactions, and subscription fees into one big umbrella of excessive monetization. Now that I think about it, let's lump pre-order bonuses and premium/silver/gold/platinum/ultimate/evenmoreultimatesomehow versions of the game into that category. It's no longer enough for the AAA game industry to turn a profit, not enough to make money; they need to make all the money in the world.

    Following up on that idea is the trend of live service games launching in minimally acceptable form. That is to say, more and more publishers are asking consumers to pay them money for the promise of a game. "Buy Anthem now," they say, "and don't worry. Even if we don't actually have a game worth $60 right now, if you buy now and wait for two years' worth of patches, eventually you'll have a mediocre game that you wouldn't have spent money on if you knew what you were getting into! In the meantime, have some microtransactions and lootboxes!"

    I reject, in full, the idea that having a roadmap for where you want your game to be in the future is in any way comparable to having a good game at launch. It's like giving someone a bun, and saying, "Don't worry, if you wait a year and keep paying twenty dollars for ketchup packets, eventually we'll be able to give you the burger, and in two years, we'll even give you lettuce!" No, I reject your half-baked meatless bun of a game; if I'm paying you the full price of a game now, I expect you to give me the full game, with full content, full story, full access to gear, on launch day.

    I could go on about the toxic culture surrounding the idea of crunch-as-development-tool, but this post took too long to assemble and I'm disgusted with AAA gaming already, so let's leave that for a later post.
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Both of these are pure opinion. I liked the game and replayed it several times, with all the episodes. HL2 is one of the few games I've 100%ed, including achievements like The One Free Bullet and Gnome Chomsky. Instead I'll address the top bit about nedia aging.
    Your entire argument hinges on the ideas you yourself introduced to the thread - that HL2 was highly influential and polished and that Half-Life games aren't emblematic of the trend of putting story-before-gameplay. You are then also shielding all of those criticisms behind the claim that the game hasn't aged well, willfully ignoring the fact that multiple posters, myself included, didn't find HL2 particularly fun or playable even at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    All media ages, and most ages unfavorably, particularly pioneering media. Sticking away form things that haven't aged well for political reasons, films like The Matrix haven't aged well, in either effects or story. It kicked off a trend that retroactively makes the movie cliche and trite. Seinfeld is unfunny after all.
    All of this is pure opinion. The Matrix is still a fondly remembered movie. Knock-off movies, spoofs, and its own contested sequels are constantly compared to it. Seinfeld is Unfunny is a misnomer from a website that is heavily editorialized and often full of bad information, and it hinges on the idea that you can't laugh at Seinfeld anymore because "everything has been done since, so the original take on these elements is not funny". Except if you actually look at the problem with Seinfeld according to the website itself is that sitcoms have copied and regurgitated it to the point that it's hard to realize Seinfeld was a pioneer. This says nothing about whether Seinfeld is funny or not. If Seinfeld is unfunny, then it has always been. Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns didn't suddenly become outdated because of Unforgiven or Django Unchained and a primer to the best sci-fi books of all time doesn't dismiss Stanisław Lem because Brandon Sanderson has come around since.

    If you wanted a fair argument on it, you would acknowledge that I had already stated HL2 is a fantastic audiovisual experience and that it truly does have a great physics engine, but that it fails, and has always done so, at being actually fun to play. All of my issues with HL2 can be definitely found agreeable - the pacing is atrocious, the vehicle segments are long and empty, and most guns generally feel mostly pointless once the Gravity Gun is acquired, on top of their overall low damage.

    The Matrix still has very well done action setpieces - even if the "bullet time" effect has been parodied to death, the fight scenes are still well choreographed. The story might not be great, but it's still delivered with memorable, stil quoted dialogue, and a specific storytelling style that is still somewhat compelling. To say nothing of the sociological impact the movie had, although I'm not particularly crazy about the "red pill / blue pill" tripe propagated by disenfranchised men.

    HL2 is the polar opposite to The Matrix; a game that is really pretty, but boring, versus a movie that is fairly uncontested as one of the best action movies of the 90s that just so happens to have dated effects. As a whole package? I'd rewatch Matrix three times before I'd bother replaying Half-Life 2 for the equivalent amount of runtime, and I would likely place Matrix ahead of multiple other action flicks even today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Games age because time passes, people take once fresh concepts and iterate on them , and the originator then stands as just another piece of media that doesn't succeed at expressing the concept as good as [Insert Your Favorite Derivation Here].
    You are failing to acknowledge the idea that even if the concept is iterated upon day after day after day, it still doesn't mean that it's fully surpassed or not worth looking into for original ideas. You are falling into the same trap that I described at length in my post, which is assuming that the game's age means that it must have been improved upon to the point where it no longer stands out as a great product of its own. There's plenty of cases where an old game is still desperately looking for that spiritual successor and failing, because the genie-in-a-bottle can't be captured by modern iterations in some way. There are plenty of cases where more polished and better working games still don't manage to topple the original they derive from from a top list. There are plenty of cases where a sequel to a beloved series plays horribly and is less fondly remembered than something from the humble beginnings of said franchise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    the game is not 'badly designed', and the use of the phrase tells me you know very little, and likely nothing about the actual process and theory behind game design.
    We've done so well up to this point without the ad hominem, but hey, we went there! Considering that you seem to believe that progressive game design is some sort of a linear scale that seems to imply newer = better and that games having weaknesses invalidate their strengths (again - I actually did bother to address why I understand HL2 is liked), I don't think we're going to have any fruitful conversation here.

    You come out of left field saying Half-Life 2 couldn't have been emblematic of poorly paced story-before-gameplay imitators (something Bohandas asserted), and then keep moving the goalposts when I rationalize why games taking the wrong cues from a poorly paced story-before-gameplay example are an annoying trend, in a thread that's pretty much entirely about subjective issues. If I were an Activision-Blizzard shareholder, I could probably launch a very compelling tirade about how people in the thread talking about how crunch-time and microtransactions are bad are entitled whiners with no understanding of how the business works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Games age. MEDIA AGES whether you want to pass it off as a "thought terminating cliche" or not. Shakespeare is trite, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is cliche, and Half-Life 2 is no longer the pinnacle example of FPS design. That does not mean they were badly designed or poorly written when they came out.
    The clue of my argument has always and forever been that Half-Life 2 wasn't the pinnacle of the FPS genre even in 2004, and that I posit that most of it should be appreciated as a showcase of the Source Engine more than anything else. The "thought-terminating cliche" in this case was absolutely apt, because it took you linking to a TVTropes article, calling me someone ignorant about game design and doubling up on the fact that you simply didn't bother actually acknowledging what I had said.

    When I said the bit about "media aging", I was against both sides of it. I am against the concept of sacred cows of ancient gaming that cannot be criticized, and I actively seek out plenty of those ancient games because I often find them interesting in ways that no modern game has surpassed or at least delivered in the same concise package. I am also against overusing "you're just nostalgic / wearing rose-tinted glasses" to shut down any discussion, because it simply stops us from evaluating media on their own merits. The rhetoric more often than not tells you to have an arbitrary cut-off point beyond which everything has "aged poorly". You can't engage with the idea that HL2 has boring gameplay and that games following it took the wrong lessons when they couldn't support them with Valve's actual innovations they banked on; you just say that "it aged badly". Which is never what I was saying, and you beating me over the head and lecturing me with your idea on the concept is condescending and not convincing. I'm not talking about games that require you to juggle 12 disks to complete the installation process and then deal with a poorly coded text parser - that could be a convincing argument for your side. I'm talking about flaws that take a few minutes of reading the manual and getting used to the control being blown out of proportion and stamped out with a big fat [HASN'T AGED WELL] stamp, and how that attitude stifles all discussion.

    Or, alternately, a game that is already using multiple very well established precedents in how an FPS game should handle, with WASD and mouse controls and a fairly standard assortment of guns and which is originally argued for as a game that's had a lot of polish to it... except it actually plays badly because they managed to screw it up while having a perfectly servicable blueprint to work off. Oh, wait, but that didn't age well either. Such a convenient catch-all phrase!

    tl;dr: To paraphrase AVGN, it sucked back then, and it sucks right now!

    EDIT: This post hasn't aged well.

    EDIT2: The edit to this post also hasn't aged well.

    EDIT3: We apologize for the low quality of EDIT2. Those responsible have been aged.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2019-06-18 at 09:12 PM. Reason: EDIT4: We notice that the "Reason for Editing" line isn't used often, and presume that it hasn't aged well.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by xroads View Post
    My biggest irk? Patches. Every game has to be constantly patched.

    Gone are the days where I can reliably sit down and just play a game for 15 minutes to relax. Because there is now a 50/50 chance that yet another patch was developed for said game. So instead of spending the 15 minutes I managed to carve out to play, I have to download and install a patch.
    I agree with this so much. Especially when patches are used to rush unfinished games to market, which then require big day 1 patches in order to function properly. Sorry, if your game isn't capable of running as soon as I install it, without downloading anything else, then you need to delay release and fix it.
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  12. - Top - End - #162
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    @Winthur: The issue is, the only one trying to shut down the argument here seems to be you, particularly since you're making up things I never said in my post in order to justify your stance here.

    For example, I never said iterative design was a linear scale. Plenty of games make baffling throwback decisions to reintroduce issues solved by previous games.

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    Yooka-Laylee is a good example of this. Banjo-Kazooie is another game that hasn't aged well, but at the time it came out it was polished, looked good, controlled well, and was in general a cut above the other collectathon games of its time period.

    It wasn't perfect, however. It's a game that is often slow, sometimes obtuse, involved a lot of backtracking, and is still plagued by the poor camera control issues that plagued most 3D games of the era.

    Future game sin the same genre solved these issues, culminating in what is (IMO) the pinnacle of that genre: Jak and Daxter. Comparatively the game is fast, controls tightly, has a very good auto-camera and full camera control, and has enough content for completionists while ramping down the amount needed to finish the basic storyline of the game to being very doable with the easily available Power Cells.

    Yooka-Laylee is a carbon copy of Banjo-Kazooie with pretty much all of its inherent design flaws. That makes Yooka-Laylee the flawed game, however. Not Banjo-Kazooie.


    What I said was HL2 was an influential game that pioneered a completely different kind of FPS...and some games have executed that concept better.

    Applying modern sensibilities to past media is generally asinine unless it serves some kind of purpose, and it's why so many reviews come off as pretentious or ignorant these days.

    You're starting from an end point ("I don't like Half-Life 2") and working in reverse from there to claim it "always sucked" and other such assertions. Which is beside the point, really. It "sucking" doesn't change its influence, and the fact that it was influential is an objective metric you can point to for there being validity in its design choices.

    This bit:

    You are failing to acknowledge the idea that even if the concept is iterated upon day after day after day, it still doesn't mean that it's fully surpassed or not worth looking into for original ideas. You are falling into the same trap that I described at length in my post, which is assuming that the game's age means that it must have been improved upon to the point where it no longer stands out as a great product of its own. There's plenty of cases where an old game is still desperately looking for that spiritual successor and failing, because the genie-in-a-bottle can't be captured by modern iterations in some way. There are plenty of cases where more polished and better working games still don't manage to topple the original they derive from from a top list. There are plenty of cases where a sequel to a beloved series plays horribly and is less fondly remembered than something from the humble beginnings of said franchise.
    Doesn't make any sense. This isn't some hypothetical catch-all discussion, we are talking about a single specific game that this scenario you are throwing out doesn't apply to. There's no "trap" here. Half-Life 2 is a game that was iterated on successfully by other franchises, like the aforementioned Bioshock series, which took some of the gameplay elements (physics based puzzles and combat, significant periods of empty wandering before the next objective) and story elements (environmental storytelling, in-engine cutscenes) and polished them. You can find its DNA in an assortment of games that on the surface seem like complete departures, like the Borderlands series, or EYE Divine Cybermancy (TBF, due mostly to being another Source Engine game).

    Quite frankly it seems like you're just trying to angle for some kind of fight, because I see no other reason you would immediately latch onto a single sentence reply I threw out on my lunch break about one specific game and try to extrapolate it into some kind of massive statement applying to every game ever made.

    Defending the game (this game, not every game) for what it is has nothing to do with "sacred cows", it's a recognition of the fact that the game was important for years because of what it is, not in spite of it.

    You come out of left field saying Half-Life 2 couldn't have been emblematic of poorly paced story-before-gameplay imitators (something Bohandas asserted)
    Because it's a weird statement. Half-Life 2 barely has a plot, and stating it was some "story before gameplay" game is even contradictory with your own statements. If it's a "glorified physics test" (which in ways it was, to be sure), then it is objectively by that metric a gameplay before story game. Because then literally the primary reason it exists is to test gameplay elements. You can't have that argument both ways.

    Jumbled and out of order, but I'll address the supposed "ad hominem" too. For starters, it doesn't make any sense, given that what I am literally "attacking" is your knowledge base, not you as a person. "Ad hominem" does not mean "statement I don't like". If somebody, in the middle of an argument about oceans throws out "Drinking large amounts of sea water is perfectly fine and healthy" it is not an ad hominem to say they don't seem to know a whole lot about either ocean water or human biology, one of the two at least.

    Quite frankly MOST people don't know anything about game design (hell, most people think game design and game development are the same thing, when they're usually not).
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2019-06-18 at 09:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    @Winthur: The issue is, the only one trying to shut down the argument here seems to be you, particularly since you're making up things I never said in my post in order to justify your stance here.
    Vice versa. Except I'm using actual quotes and it took you three posts to stop talking about how much HL2 has aged and how it's not its fault.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Because it's a weird statement. Half-Life 2 barely has a plot, and stating it was some "story before gameplay" game is even contradictory with your own statements.
    It isn't, because if the game spends a ton of time on ensuring that the player's pacing is gated behind the presentation of the story. If the game locked you into a room every five minutes in order to tell you a story about a man meeting his friends to ask each one of them what is their favourite brand of waffles, it would still be a design decision that stems from the developers deciding that they want their engine to be a vehicle for storytelling, no matter how trite it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Applying modern sensibilities to past media is generally asinine unless it serves some kind of purpose, and it's why so many reviews come off as pretentious or ignorant these days.
    Fantastic, but it's not the point of anything I said. Do you have a particular problem with my feelings on Half-Life 2 being consistent with my first impression of the game?
    Putting the lens of modern sensibilities to past media is done well when the modern lens gives you a nice form of perspective on design. This is the only thing I wanted to convey. You yourself noticed that in your Banjo-Kazooie tangent that multiple design choices can get lost when reiterating, whether it's because the team lost track of their vision or simply forgot to learn from psat mistakes, and that each iteration is still its own unique blend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    the fact that it was influential is an objective metric you can point to for there being validity in its design choices.
    Half-Life 2 has bullet sponge enemies and driving segments that drag, but because they were in Half-Life 2, those are good things. Is this what I'm supposed to derive from this sentence, in context of this charade?
    Again, recap:
    • Bohandas is sick of games emulating Half-Life 2 badly in a thread that's basically mostly about venting personal opinions.
    • You think his sentence is weird because Half-Life 2 was influential. Except, in fact, I fully understand what he means and I can't comprehend your sentence at all: "But more than that, it implies the Half-Life games are emblematic of this issue, when the series were highly influential and polished FPS games for their time that defined the genre for years afterward, as well as being praised for their story (which is told almost entirely through environmental storytelling anyway)." Let me get this straight: Half-Life is emblematic of games that try to be like Half-Life because Half-Life was so influential it caused other games to be like Half-Life. And the whole point is that this one guy doesn't like Half-Life. Again, in a subjective venting thread.
    • I respond with a tongue-in-cheek parody post.
    • You deflect it as "the game having aged".
    • I go on a tangent of my own about how much of a cop-out that phrase is.
    • Multiple posts in, you are now still trying to convince me that, apparently, I played Half-Life 2 for the first time yesterday and that Half-Life was influential, which is something we already established, because Bohandas doesn't like that influence!


    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Quite frankly MOST people don't know anything about game design (hell, most people think game design and game development are the same thing, when they're usually not).
    Even if you were an authority on game design (to which you do not post any credentials), you would have to realize that me saying "badly designed" is merely the same old "I don't need to be a cook to know I was served burnt food" adage presented in a shorthand. What do you believe would be a more palatable way to present that I don't believe the team who designed the game to play out the way it does did a very good job?

    I frankly doubt your authority on media of any sort, considering my projections on your knowledge of English literature and the attempted support of your argument through a self-contradicting TVTropes article. If you find that condescending, join the club. But remember, it's not like I'm attacking you.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2019-06-18 at 10:43 PM. Reason: I removed a bit about "quarter eater" design because that was from a completely different post and I'm tired. In other words, a part of my argument didn't age well.
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    The thing is, you can not like Half-Life 2, but to claim it is a bad game, and poorly designed is demonstratably wrong. You pretty much have to judge games (and most media) by what most people think about it because you're never going to find anything that everyone likes. The metacritic rating is like 96%, very few games can claim that.
    I don't like StarCraft, Mario, or Morrowind, that doesn't mean they are bad games, it just means they aren't designed for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    poorly designed is demonstratably wrong.
    Interesting part - I never made a statement that directly claimed HL2 is, as a whole, badly designed. In fact, I explicitly stated multiple times that I understand why HL2 is liked and I gave it multiple brownie points for numerous parts of its design, because the original post I made here on the matter was a goddamn joke.

    The part when I said that I don't like it when bad design in video games is shielded behind a veil of time. The only gaming trend that really irks me is unfair treatment of older or newer media because I find it to be a more nuanced subject. I don't like it when someone dismisses a game because it's old, and I don't like that someone dismisses a game that's new, whether it's because of hard-ass grognardery or the idea that video gaming in 1998 was for cavemen. Rynjin deciding that me not enjoying the flaws of HL2 immediately means that I must be forgetting how good it was back then was only the first on the list of condescending things he said to me, and when I clarified my statement, he went on to condescend even more. On these grounds, I'm really, really tired of this argument, and I'm more prone to lashing out at this point, which is not something I want to continue doing.

    I didn't say HL2 is "badly designed", I said that it has a few horrible design choices that were apparent to me even when the game was brand new. Did I ever say that I don't get it how this game is acclaimed? No. It's not the point of this thread anyhow.

    Regardless, I apologise to Rynjin, because whether I feel like I was goaded into a fight or not, using more and more aggressive language isn't becoming of a good person or conversationist anyway.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2019-06-18 at 11:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    Vice versa. Except I'm using actual quotes and it took you three posts to stop talking about how much HL2 has aged and how it's not its fault.
    ...Because that's what you and I were discussing; that was your main gripe about my earlier statement. Forums have been around for how long and people still don't understand the concept of multiple concurrent discussions yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    It isn't, because if the game spends a ton of time on ensuring that the player's pacing is gated behind the presentation of the story. If the game locked you into a room every five minutes in order to tell you a story about a man meeting his friends to ask each one of them what is their favourite brand of waffles, it would still be a design decision that stems from the developers deciding that they want their engine to be a vehicle for storytelling, no matter how trite it is.
    Ehhh, I could see the argument for that, but I don't think it's accurate. The cutscenes you get locked into are setpieces, primarily, all of them there to show off some kind of new tech or in-engine cutscene trick. While Kleiner babbles exposition at you, his pet headcrab interacts with physics objects and shows off teleporter tech they'd use in a modified form in Portal later, for example. The story is there but it's not really the reason you're there, in a lot of ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    Fantastic, but it's not the point of anything I said. Do you have a particular problem with my feelings on Half-Life 2 being consistent with my first impression of the game?
    Putting the lens of modern sensibilities to past media is done well when the modern lens gives you a nice form of perspective on design. This is the only thing I wanted to convey. You yourself noticed that in your Banjo-Kazooie tangent that multiple design choices can get lost when reiterating, whether it's because the team lost track of their vision or simply forgot to learn from psat mistakes, and that each iteration is still its own unique blend.

    Half-Life 2 has bullet sponge enemies and driving segments that drag, but because they were in Half-Life 2, those are good things. Is this what I'm supposed to derive from this sentence, in context of this charade?
    What you're supposed to derive is that you not liking something doesn't mean it's a bad design choice for the game it's in.

    And as I said, you can use that lens when there's a purpose, but there's not one for this thread. It has no relevance unless you're trying to learn from that past piece to make something new. If you're not doing that, and are just using it as an excuse to **** on something old, it's just wasted air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    Again, recap:
    [LIST][*]Bohandas is sick of games emulating Half-Life 2 badly in a thread that's basically mostly about venting personal opinions.
    This is your fundamental misunderstanding. He said he was tired of games that "try so hard to tell a story that they forget to include a first-person shooter" and use Half-life as an example of that. I responded in the post you quoted that it was strange to use HL as an example of that, because it is a gameplay-first FPS. The entire focus of every scene is some gameplay element.

    The games are "influential and polished". The latter is not separate from the first.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    [*] And the whole point is that this one guy doesn't like Half-Life. Again, in a subjective venting thread.
    The whole point is he doesn't like games with a primary narrative focus at the expense of gameplay. Which I argued HL was the opposite of.

    You then started a sub-thread arguing about the concept of games aging.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    Even if you were an authority on game design (to which you do not post any credentials)
    It was my major for three years and is tangentially related to both of my current jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    you would have to realize that me saying "badly designed" is merely the same old "I don't need to be a cook to know I was served burnt food" adage presented in a shorthand. What do you believe would be a more palatable way to present that I don't believe the team who designed the game to play out the way it does did a very good job?
    "This game was not to my taste", which is a subjective factor I can't argue against. I've had some objectively well cooked filet mignon I did not like because I do not like filet mignon; that does not make filet mignon a poorly designed dish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    I frankly doubt your authority on media of any sort, considering my projections on your knowledge of English literature and the attempted support of your argument through a self-contradicting TVTropes article. If you find that condescending, join the club. But remember, it's not like I'm attacking you.
    You really like harping on the TvTropes thing, don't you? I'm genuinely curious as to the story behind that.

    This isn't my master's thesis here, I posted the page because the title fit and it was somewhat related to my point.

    Edit: I hate writing half a post and then finishing it kinda late to the party.

    Regardless, this discussion has gone on long enough it looks like. I think we both see where the other is coming from a little better now. Probably.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2019-06-19 at 12:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I agree with this so much. Especially when patches are used to rush unfinished games to market, which then require big day 1 patches in order to function properly. Sorry, if your game isn't capable of running as soon as I install it, without downloading anything else, then you need to delay release and fix it.
    plus this cycle of "constant updates" has bred some new culture where if a game isn't constantly getting changed or updated, then it's "dead", and not worth playing anymore.

    Case in point, Into the Breach and FTL:Faster then light. Two complete, polished, and finished games. there is nothing more to add to them, they are done, they are playable, and that's it.

    and in their steam discussion forums, i keep seeing people asking if the games are "dead" because they haven't gotten an update lately
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draconi Redfir View Post
    plus this cycle of "constant updates" has bred some new culture where if a game isn't constantly getting changed or updated, then it's "dead", and not worth playing anymore.

    Case in point, Into the Breach and FTL:Faster then light. Two complete, polished, and finished games. there is nothing more to add to them, they are done, they are playable, and that's it.

    and in their steam discussion forums, i keep seeing people asking if the games are "dead" because they haven't gotten an update lately
    Every time I see somebody make a thread like that in the StarCraft forums, I want to smack them with a watermelon. People are shocked and appalled to learn that most of us grew up in a time when the game you got in the box was the game that you had for the rest of your life, unless they released an expansion pack for it, in which case that was the game you had forever. Talk about unreasonable expectations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Every time I see somebody make a thread like that in the StarCraft forums, I want to smack them with a watermelon. People are shocked and appalled to learn that most of us grew up in a time when the game you got in the box was the game that you had for the rest of your life, unless they released an expansion pack for it, in which case that was the game you had forever. Talk about unreasonable expectations.
    Kids these days! They have no appreciation for a good game done once! They don't know how to enjoy a game by replaying it!
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    People confusing finished with dead. Because that's a distinction that's necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Every time I see somebody make a thread like that in the StarCraft forums, I want to smack them with a watermelon. People are shocked and appalled to learn that most of us grew up in a time when the game you got in the box was the game that you had for the rest of your life, unless they released an expansion pack for it, in which case that was the game you had forever. Talk about unreasonable expectations.
    Playing devil's advocate, one of the reasons Starcraft got so popular in the first place was precisely Blizzard updating and polishing the heck out of it for years until it became the most finely balanced RTS in existence.
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    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

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    Yeah, the NASCAR of RTS gaming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    Playing devil's advocate, one of the reasons Starcraft got so popular in the first place was precisely Blizzard updating and polishing the heck out of it for years until it became the most finely balanced RTS in existence.
    Yeah, but you know what they didn't do? Constantly add more content for free. Nowadays its "where are the new coop maps? Ded gaem!" "Blizzard hasn't spoken to us in the last 20 minutes, game must be dead!" "Blizzard released a patch, but I don't like it! Ded gaem!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    Playing devil's advocate, one of the reasons Starcraft got so popular in the first place was precisely Blizzard updating and polishing the heck out of it for years until it became the most finely balanced RTS in existence.
    They did, but I'd argue not to the extent that modern games have. During Brood Wars entire natural life span it got patched 29 times total over 11 years. Of which the last 14 were all minor bug fixes.

    Now there are games that get rushed out patches every week or two.

    Mind you, I do think a lot of the forum complaining just comes from how ubiquitous internet access is for the youth today. Brood War was kind of at this golden time where the developers could patch their games, and their forums weren't *as* crowded by people complaining as things are today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Every time I see somebody make a thread like that in the StarCraft forums, I want to smack them with a watermelon. People are shocked and appalled to learn that most of us grew up in a time when the game you got in the box was the game that you had for the rest of your life, unless they released an expansion pack for it, in which case that was the game you had forever. Talk about unreasonable expectations.
    "Expansion pack"? Back in my day, you whippersnapper, those were called "Sequels."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    "Expansion pack"? Back in my day, you whippersnapper, those were called "Sequels."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Ah yes! I remember those days. First thing you did was you hung an onion on your belt, for that was the fashion at the time...


    Oh, and EGA Hero's Quest was far better than VGA. Fight me.
    Can't fight the truth. Though the VGA remake of GfQ2 was kinda kickin'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    Playing devil's advocate, one of the reasons Starcraft got so popular in the first place was precisely Blizzard updating and polishing the heck out of it for years until it became the most finely balanced RTS in existence.
    The last "balance" patch for Brood War was released by Blizzard in 2001; the current state of BW as this legendarily balanced game comes from community map makers seeing the potential of the game and ensuring that the maps are as fair as possible. Original Blizzard ladder maps (and even early Starleague maps) are almost exclusively Terran-leaning, especially classic Lost Temple. Original Blizzard Lost Temple is also a pile of hot garbage (the biggest imbalance is apparent when you look at the original map's 12 o'clock position, with the wildly misplaced natural chokepoint), and it was a community fix to the map that made it such a classic; I believe the current version of the map in the Starcraft folder is actually the community fix.

    Nowadays there's plenty of ladder maps released every year, but they're all scrutinized for traces of imbalance.

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    Most maps in Brood War nowadays follow the format of having one main base, an easily reachable natural expansion and a mineral-only third base, with large swaths of terrain in the middle and plenty of chokepoints and doodads. If the natural expansion (by which we mean the one that's the closest to your base, and that has gas) has a very wide chokepoint, it's very hard to play Protoss vs Zerg on it because nowadays Protoss almost exclusively rely on walling off their base with buildings, as Zerglings are very hard to deal with when they get inside your base. Conversely, if the Zerg doesn't have an easy access to a third gas (for example, the only gas can be found in main+natural bases, and the route between mains is easily interceptable / susceptible to two-pronged attacks), Zerg suffers in all matchups as most of the time, Zergs are flying by the seat of their pants, with a disadvantage in the open field, until they achieve a count of four Extractors.

    Likewise, there's a reason we do not see island maps anymore; the one time the idea was revitalized was with the map Sparkle during Afreeca Starleague Season 5, each starting island had to get a special third gas exclusively for Zerg (the map is built in such a way that one of the gasses can only be accessed by Zerg, as the Extractor is a slightly smaller building than the other gas collection buildings). Ultimately, that didn't fix all of the lingering problems with how air play works in Brood War, as ASL 5 was dominated by Protoss, Terrans lost rather handily, and while Zerg did put up a better fight thanks to the 3rd gas, Sparkle remained a map that is considered to heavily favor Protoss.

    Terrans have historically had an edge on most maps, because the ones following the "Lost Temple" format allowed for multiple cliffs that allowed the player to abuse the range on Siege Tanks. Possible short drop distances on adjacent locations also meant that it was very easy for a Terran to launch a game-winning drop fairly early into the game. Newer maps that follow the "four corners" template, such as Fighting Spirit, have considerably eased it on the cliff issue.

    Even today, new maps come out that ended up being generally dreaded by players of one particular race. The map "Transistor" is a decent example; due to the double ramp that leads to the joint main + expansion, the race who has lesser initiative in the matchup's early game seems to suffer (Protoss dread facing Zergs on the map, but eviscerate Terrans).


    Anyway, Brood War isn't the best example of company-induced balance. Starcraft 2, in contrast, generally changes rather radically with every major balance patch, with entire units getting dumpstered or reworked between them; whether this approach is better or not is anyone's guess (Afreecatv rakes in money from broadcasting and promoting both games, if money is an issue here), but it does mean that it's harder to understand a match that took place during HotS than the one that took place during LotV. And, as of right now, it appears fairly evident that SC2 is not, by any chance, a pinnacle of balance, although I must say that modern LotV is a very good and fun iteration of the game; still skewed by laments about Protoss domination.

    Also, the sentiment that BW is perfectly balanced is being somewhat challenged recently because more and more people claim that Terran is "sagi". I don't recall a definite statement from the general population of Brood War pros that "Tesagi" is true, but the overwhelming results of pros like Flash and the fact that Terran got the most OSL and MSL titles, as well as the most players decorated as Bonjwa, provide some merit to the idea. Protoss vs Terran has been considered a Protoss-leaning matchup for most of the game's longevity, but recently the results of the best Terrans skewed the win rate so much that at top level, Terrans actually generally beat Protoss (the win rate hovers around 53%), even though any Terran player will tell you that playing against Protoss is a logistical nightmare. Yes, even BW has balance whiners; right now, though, it's a bad time to be a Tesagi proponent because the semi-finals of the 3rd Korean Starcraft League had only Protoss in the brackets.

    It is not an uncommon sentiment that Brood War's "legendary" competitive balance was a blend of happy accidents, and not really of Blizzard balancing (though it did pay a part, however I do not think it was the most major). Nowadays, the Brood War community's wishes at large appear to be leaving the game as is - underused units like Zerg Queens find use when the meta evolves on its own (we have more and more mech play in modern TvZ) and the potential for a very small change snowballing and changing the face of the game people are still willing to play after a decade is a risk that could lead to a cascade of SC2-style rapid-fire changes, and that's why we will never see the Protoss Scout become cheaper.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2019-06-19 at 02:02 PM.
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    I'm going to refute two trends that were mentioned because I don't think they are issues, within reason.

    Firstly, if Day 1 DLC is entirely cosmetic, I don't mind it. Why? Because those artists were probably done with their aspect of the game before the final build of the game for the most part. There might be a few instances where the artist needs to tweak something, but they are going to be fairly rare unless the game developer has really been incompetent as far as I know. So either the artists bum around for a few months, or they make some pretty skins that are entirely optional. Working for the game industry is already akin to working in one of the lower levels of the Abyss, so let's not encourage companies to have massive layoffs to make their quarterly numbers look good.

    I guess they could start on the next project, but I don't think it's going to work to have your artist spend hours on art for a game where they don't even know the mechanical restrictions of said game.

    And two, DLC on disk. If I support a game by buying cosmetic DLC, I would really like for this DLC to actually be seen by other people in multiplayer. Unfortunately, this means that other people have the data, but not the ability to use said data. But if it is purely cosmetic, does it really matter if it is on the disk? Please just let me have my pretty hat and the ability to have others see my hat. If it is not entirely cosmetic, such as a hat, then yes I'd be upset too. BUT LOOK AT MY HAT DAMMIT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    And two, DLC on disk. If I support a game by buying cosmetic DLC, I would really like for this DLC to actually be seen by other people in multiplayer. Unfortunately, this means that other people have the data, but not the ability to use said data. But if it is purely cosmetic, does it really matter if it is on the disk? Please just let me have my pretty hat and the ability to have others see my hat. If it is not entirely cosmetic, such as a hat, then yes I'd be upset too. BUT LOOK AT MY HAT DAMMIT.

    fight me irl. But seriously don't, I'll probably cry.
    DLC does not have to be on the disk to be seen by others in multiplayer. That's what game updates/patches, and making those mandatory to play the multiplayer, are for.

    If the DLC is on the disk, it just means that there was no reason for it to be DLC besides the company wanting to charge extra for it. It already existed by the time the rest of the game was finished, it was not an extra created afterward.
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