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  1. #1
    The Iron Giant
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    Default Ask me about video games.

    I have been writing about video games, personally and professionally, for more than ten years. I'm also a collector, with a collection of more than three hundred titles, most in original packaging and some factory sealed. Ask me anything.

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  2. #2
    XES 5231311252's Avatar
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    Going off the assumption that you play MMO games, what are some tactics you've used that have increased your odds of winning (or guarantee a win)?
    “'Fuck', I think. What a beautiful word. If I could say only one thing for the rest of my life, that would be it.”

  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    REP ME? SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!!



    As someone who has been intellectually involved in the gaming industry, what is your take on the current evolution in the gaming world where games cater to console limitations and casual gaming?

    My personal opinion is that I don't like how the industry is evolving..

    Playing classic games like 7th guest or adventure games from sierra/lucasarts (like quest for glory and indiana jones: fate of atlantis) could mean you'd be stuck on a part for a long time, trying to figure out how to get further. You did not get hints, you were not always pointed in the right direction. You need to really focus on trying to find the solution. The difficulty of the games kept you involved and the reward for getting further after being stuck for some time was mostly psychological, but damn was it awesome when you figured something new out!

    Games these days? Take Skyrim for example (since it is considered a very well made 'RPG'). Accept a quest to get an item, walk towards a mark on your map, enter a dungeon, follow the corridors to the end of the dungeon, pick up item, tada, next part of the storyline. There is no challenge or difficulty, the few puzzles in Skyrim (like the turning stones) are very easy to figure out. The psychological reward for exploring and advancing in games of today is quite minimal. Starting to look more like reading a book instead of interacting with a world.

    And don't get me started on MMO's. I think WoW was on the right course with classic WoW as a pioneer, but every expansion it got a little worse instead of better. Grind rewards most effeciently. Challenge? Quests are super simple. Instances? Unless you group with people making mistakes it was simple. End game raiding? Muah, in classic where most stuff would kill you in one hit and everyone entered the raiding scene with UBRS blues, it was challenging. But that's no longer the case. It's easy to aquire epics.

    What is the challenge in games these days?

    And also, what happened to my favorite non-linear RPG genre turning all linear-ish. (Compared to games like fallout and arcanum)


    PS, most important question: Do you know any games that I might like based on above post?
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #4
    The Iron Giant
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5231311252 View Post
    Going off the assumption that you play MMO games, what are some tactics you've used that have increased your odds of winning (or guarantee a win)?
    The only mmo I play is Diablo III. Every online game I've played with strangers has been ruined by rampant cheating, so I only play with friends. I also don't play games with a subscription model, because I don't have the amount of time to commit to one title to make the money worth it.

    The strategy I would use, if there was no chance of cheaters, would be practice and grinding. That has been my strategy in offline rpgs since the early 1980s, so I see no reason to change it now.

  5. #5
    The Iron Giant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    REP ME? SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!!


    As someone who has been intellectually involved in the gaming industry, what is your take on the current evolution in the gaming world where games cater to console limitations and casual gaming?
    I think it's a good thing. This is an industry that has been growing for years, but has often run up against a certain ceiling. Have a look at something like a PlayStation 2 controller and then something like a Wii Remote. Which one is less intimidating to someone who isn't already a gamer? It made for a wide range of software on the latter platform that wasn't meant for you or me, but the install base for Nintendo's Wii console is astonishingly large nonetheless, and millions of games like Just Dance have been sold.

    Most of the arguments against this seem to imply that this shift takes games away from the existing games buying public, but I don't think it does. I think this brings more people into gaming who were either never here before or haven't been for a very long time, and some of them will want something deeper and more complex. Another argument I see is that existing games are suddenly much easier, and I refute that as well. Using another Wii game as an example, look at New Super Mario Bros Wii. That game featured SuperGuide, which let you effectively skip levels if you wanted to. One is not forced to use SuperGuide, so it is an added feature. Overall, games have *more* options in them now, not less.

    As to games in general becoming easier over the years, I would argue that they are instead becoming less cheap. My favorite video game franchise is Castlevania. I have played every game in the series. The first Castlevania game on NES was very hard, not because the enemies were strong or fast or your weapons were weak, but because the controls and other design choices made memorization, instead of raw skill, the requirement for players. Nowadays, game design has been refined to where the controls are better, and as a result, games seem easier.

    Playing classic games like 7th guest or adventure games from sierra/lucasarts (like quest for glory and indiana jones: fate of atlantis) could mean you'd be stuck on a part for a long time, trying to figure out how to get further. You did not get hints, you were not always pointed in the right direction. You need to really focus on trying to find the solution. The difficulty of the games kept you involved and the reward for getting further after being stuck for some time was mostly psychological, but damn was it awesome when you figured something new out!
    I agree, but as I said above, these things are usually optional. And there are still games made with such old style sensibilities... they just don't sell as well, because it's not fun to be stuck in a game without making progress. There are many more games available at once today that there were back then, and I think most gamers do not like feeling frustrated, whether they grew up on that at all. The games that balance challenge and reward properly are the ones that feel addictive. I grew up on games like Mega Man and Castlevania, which were all about memorization and, to varying levels, rock-scissors-paper weapon concepts.

    Games these days? Take Skyrim for example (since it is considered a very well made 'RPG'). Accept a quest to get an item, walk towards a mark on your map, enter a dungeon, follow the corridors to the end of the dungeon, pick up item, tada, next part of the storyline. There is no challenge or difficulty, the few puzzles in Skyrim (like the turning stones) are very easy to figure out. The psychological reward for exploring and advancing in games of today is quite minimal. Starting to look more like reading a book instead of interacting with a world.
    I haven't played Skyrim, but I agree that games have more handholding than they did. I think many gamers demand more content and better graphics in games for less money, and I read somewhere not long ago that most people don't finish the video games they play. Games cost a lot more to make than they used to, and people are paying less for them, when adjusting for inflation. That kind of thing leads to sacrifice in design, and that means more guided and narrow gameplay designs. There are exceptions of course, where games like Torchlight have randomly generated areas and enemies that emit fountains of treasure to keep you plugging along, but the blockbusters are things like Skyrim.

    And don't get me started on MMO's. I think WoW was on the right course with classic WoW as a pioneer, but every expansion it got a little worse instead of better. Grind rewards most effeciently. Challenge? Quests are super simple. Instances? Unless you group with people making mistakes it was simple. End game raiding? Muah, in classic where most stuff would kill you in one hit and everyone entered the raiding scene with UBRS blues, it was challenging. But that's no longer the case. It's easy to aquire epics.
    I've watched others play WOW but I haven't played it myself. I don't do subscription gaming.

    What is the challenge in games these days?
    If you want a game that will kick your ass at every turn, play Diablo III and head on up to Inferno difficulty. If you're really crazy, make a hardcore character, and deal with knowing that you only get a single life. Demon's Souls is supposed to be quite challenging as well. The hard games are still around, and I would argue that there are more of them than there were, just by the fact that the industry is so much larger than it was. They may make up a smaller percentage of games now though.

    And also, what happened to my favorite non-linear RPG genre turning all linear-ish. (Compared to games like fallout and arcanum)
    That does bother me. I was excited to see more random stuff in Diablo III than in Diablo II (at least in terms of the quests) but I still feel irritated at how few of the dungeons seem to be randomly generated. Even Pikmin 2 had randomly generated dungeons.

    PS, most important question: Do you know any games that I might like based on above post?
    I guess the ones I mentioned here work.

  6. #6
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    If you want a game that will kick your ass at every turn, play Diablo III and head on up to Inferno difficulty. If you're really crazy, make a hardcore character, and deal with knowing that you only get a single life. Demon's Souls is supposed to be quite challenging as well. The hard games are still around, and I would argue that there are more of them than there were, just by the fact that the industry is so much larger than it was. They may make up a smaller percentage of games now though.
    I have a level 60 hardcore monk in act 2 inferno, stuck on goblin farming, tried it for a few hours got bored, not having the gear and stat requirements to survive most other encounters in act 2 basicly forces you to grind goblins that don't fight back. So... haven't touched the game in a while now. The idea of inferno being the ultimate challenge was there, but they failed to execute it properly. Also, the gear requirements to advance on inferno is pretty immense (to beat act 1 you need act 1 gear, to beat act 2 you need act 2 gear, etc), so it boils down to repetition. I'd argue the challenge in that.

    That does bother me. I was excited to see more random stuff in Diablo III than in Diablo II (at least in terms of the quests) but I still feel irritated at how few of the dungeons seem to be randomly generated. Even Pikmin 2 had randomly generated dungeons.
    That's another thing I didn't like about D3. It's basicly D2 in a new coat, it doesn't really add on the genre. The story isn't particularly longer, the levels rather small, although randomly generated you still pretty much know the direction you should head in. And itemization is not as good either to be honest. Rares being the items to have, where legendaries are 9 out of 10 times pure crap do you rolling useless random properties. Overall, apart from graphics and cinematics, I think diablo 2 was a much better game. Also, in diablo 2 on hardcore, even normal difficulty posed a challlenge. Using cleglaw's shield on andariel, fire/lightning res on diablo, etc. Right from the bat you were involved in the game if playing on hardcore. But in diablo 3, the game doesn't really start until you reach hell. Normal is a cakewalk, nightmare requires you to keep your gear in check but otherwise is very doable without having to resort to gear changes or different tactics. Only on Hell will you start to become really involved as a hardcore player. That's quite some playtime to even get to the good bits. And the fact that bosses are pushovers and the challenge is only in rares and elites with tough skill combo's, I can't help but think diablo 3 is just a big failure.

    Diablo 3 held my interest for about 2-3 weeks nonetheless. Which is much more than I can say for some other games I've tried recently. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  7. #7
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    MY PEOPLE!

    Pics of your video game collection!

    Favorite console ever? (Personally, I'd go with Sega Genesis.)
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  8. #8
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    MY PEOPLE!

    Pics of your video game collection!

    Favorite console ever? (Personally, I'd go with Sega Genesis.)
    Oldschool pc guy here. Bought a Sega Mastermind 2, the only console I ever owned, from money earned washing cars, that was a big mistake. Ever since then I've played console games at friends places and such but never really enjoyed them enough to make me want to buy one myself. The multiplayer games were fun I suppose, but for that I needed my friends and they already had the consoles for me to play on!

    Oh wait, I forgot, I bouth a ps2 specifically for final fantasy X. Was also the only PS2 game I ever owned lol. xP

    Not a waste of money though, I thoroughly enjoyed the game.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  9. #9
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    Question one: Why is Toad giving me the middle finger?


  10. #10
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juice View Post
    Question one: Why is Toad giving me the middle finger?

    When I initially looked at that I "saw" his thumbs in the air and his four fingers pressed together and faced outwardly. I had to stare a little while to be able to "see" the middle finger you're talking about. >_>
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

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