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Are power-maxers the majority?


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#1 Facehat   Members   -  Reputation: 696

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 05:30 AM

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not there is an audience for games that discourage power-maxing. I believe that non-powermaxers are actually the majority. Players are only power-maxing because that is the optimum strategy. I doubt many players truly enjoy the power-maxing itself, instead, they just want to become powerful -- and power-maxing is their vehicle to do so. If we can provide them with interesting and alternative ways to become strong and powerful, then players will not need to powermax. Of course, the problem is that players are already so used to power-maxing that the first thing they''ll try to do when they enter the game is go kill some stuff. How do we solve this? (note: I''m stealing many of landfishes ideas here ) First, when a player dies the character should be gone. They have to create a new one. Second, monsters should be extremely tough for low level players to kill, making them look for other ways to advance after they lose a couple of characters. Finally, just explain to the player the games philosophy during the training/tutorial. To reiterate my point, IMO the players who really like to powermax are just the vocal majority. If you can make a good game that follows a different system, I bet you''ll get more players then other games do. ---------------------------------------- Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.

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#2 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 05:54 AM

I''m adding this to say that i completely agree with what you''ve mentioned above. The vocal majority are usually wrong, thats my opinion.

I think a chain of strength needs to be structured rather than a hierachy of strength in order to solve this problem. The game should be enjoyable in its own right.

I think hierachial power systems are just plain lazy game designs.



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

#3 STVOY   Members   -  Reputation: 156

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 05:57 AM

Well Now,

A good game has other factors to balance this
out.

STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!

#4 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3329

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Posted 04 July 2000 - 01:16 AM

Most games are about winning. That is what most people think when you use the word ''game''. That is what is natural to most people when they play the game. They want to win. Sure, you can make it so it''s not all about stats or whatever, but the players don''t cease to be powergamers, they just go a different way about it, or play elsewhere. If you are just referring to the act of trying to get the best stats, then you''re not really making any kind of distinction. That''s like saying "are the people who try to get the highest score in Tetris really the majority?" People play the games they like, they play to win, and they play the way the game is designed. The majority of people play to win, the minority play for storyline, or for socialising, or for some higher value. Whether stats or ''powermaxing'' come into that is only partly relevant, I think.

#5 TrigonLoki   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 04 July 2000 - 09:52 AM

I can see what you are saying, Kylotan, that one plays a game in order to win it, but I believe comparisons to Tetris don''t do the RPG genre much justice.

In Tetris, the only joy one gets is seeing how well one can score, to constantly break the last record. RPGs, by their nature, shouldn''t be the same. There is so much more to do in a good RPG than just get higher and higher scores. Players can go through the plot, stunned by the quality of its writing and characterization, or they can settle into their roles in the RPG world, whatever they may be, or they can get together with their friends online (or meet new ones) and have fun just playing through the game together. Or, they can advance their characters through whatever means possible, just to see that final spell or move or whatever (powergaming).

People have many motivations for playing RPGs, and powergaming shouldn''t have to overshadow the other choices. But, in MMORPGs in particular, it seems all you ever hear is how people have maxed out their strengths or how they have beaten the hardest monster in the game and have leveled up to the max. For those who want to try to role-play this can be rather jarring, and it seems out of place.

I''m not saying that stats and levels and all that are inherently bad, it''s just that I think more emphasis should be put on the other (IMO) equally enjoyable aspects of the game. I think The Senshi''s idea of making monsters harder with smaller rewards for beating them is a good idea. It makes powergaming a lot harder (but still viable), and gives the other players more breathing room to socialize or role-play, or do whatever.

Powergaming and getting the best stats and items doesn''t equal winning in an RPG (not all the time, at least). There should be other ways of showing progress and playing skill. Giving players new powers as they complete plot milestones might be a good idea, but that just encourages players to powergame by racing through the plot. My brain is kind of dry, but I think this is some of the essence of all the radical thinking on the board. How do we break the old mold but still give the player an enjoyable game which they feel like they''re winning, or doing well in?

(I have no answer)

-Trigon


I like food.

#6 kressilac   Members   -  Reputation: 110

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Posted 04 July 2000 - 04:58 PM

Stats and levels are necessary. Think about it from a design standpoint for a few minutes. It is your task to create a challenging environment for your players to play in. Secondly your players want to be continuously challenged as they get better at your game. Stats and such present a way to the designer to measure power at any given time in order to develop challenges to satisfy the player. Without stats you will need to measure this somehow so that your level or content creators know how to develop.

Kressilac
ps without stats you reduce the game to a puzzle game. RPGs are meant to be more than puzzles.


#7 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 04 July 2000 - 06:30 PM

are they really? You don''t level in doom, yet the monsters get harder.

#8 Facehat   Members   -  Reputation: 696

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 03:53 AM

quote:

Most games are about winning. That is what most people think when you use the word 'game'. That is what is natural to most people when they play the game. They want to win.



Of course. And their only real chance for winning is to powermax and kill little monsters. I'm saying that since players fundamentaly want to win , they'd be plenty willing to play a game in which the way you advance (or win) is different.

Which is mainly my point. I believe that players play to win, whether or not they're able to become the level 500 Ogre Mage isn't too important to most.

quote:

Stats and levels are necessary. Think about it from a design standpoint for a few minutes.



No, stats are just a tool. Stats can be usefull, but they certainly aren't neccasary. There are other ways in which you can advance your character. For instance, your reputation (my favorite), the items/riches you have, what groups your a member of, etc.

We don't neccasarily have to obliterate stats, of course, but you shouldn't put them in just because you can't think of anything else.

quote:

ps without stats you reduce the game to a puzzle game. RPGs are meant to be more than puzzles.



With stats you turn it into an animal/monster hunt. Is that so much better?

----------------------------------------
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.


Edited by - The Senshi on July 5, 2000 10:57:09 AM

#9 Shinkage   Members   -  Reputation: 595

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 05:24 AM

It seems to me that everybody''s assuming that stats are responsible for gamers playing they way that they do. I don''t think that''s entirely true. It''s the means by which they increase those stats that causes them to play in a certain way. Eliminating stats would do nothing. As long as you eliminate the rewards for playing a game a certain way, there''d be no reason to eliminate stats unless you just don''t like them. Just allow them to be increased FASTER by unconventional means. That''s right. You don''t have to eliminate the, as it seems to be put here, "murder based" reward system. Just make it less profitable than other methods of going about improving your character. That''s ALL you need to eliminate powermaxing. Powermaxers will first go off killing monsters to their heart''s desire, but then they''ll realize that these other people are doing better than them and they''ll figure out how. The only problem is there will ALWAYS be people who play the game solely to improve their character as much as possible in the shortest possible time and if one were to remove character improvement from an RPG, one would be taking the very soul of what makes that genre interesting to so many people.

#10 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 10:07 AM

In AD&D, back in the day, didn''t they say right off the bat that the game couldn''t be "won"? As flawed as I feel D&D was, I must argue with the idea that all games are played to be one. There''s a wonderful book on this exact topic called Finite and Infinite Games. To quote that book:

Finite games are played to be won.

Infinite games are played to be played.

(Landfish hobbles away, in cognito)

#11 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 04:19 PM

Is there a difference between playing to achieve and playing to win? If i play to achieve a goal them am i playing to win. Not always.

Taking diablo online, who is playing to win. That is, what are they winning?



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

#12 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 05:02 PM

Well, I think "win" was being used in the context of achieving. "Winning" as in being the best at whatever (killing stuff, casting big fire balls, etc.)

People are playing Diablo to get to the next level and eventually kill Diablo for the most part.

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

#13 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 05:06 PM

That's also why I often don't like games to be too linear and confining...'cause there's only one path to go (one way to "win"). Too much linearity makes the concept of "winning" even more evident in the players' minds.

...at least IMHO...

Well if bashing linearity doesn't get the fish of land back...nothing will

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

Edited by - Nazrix on July 5, 2000 12:08:21 AM

#14 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 06 July 2000 - 03:19 AM

Well lets say that a row of achievments equals a goal. This i''m happy with :-). So it could be said that some players play to achieve and others play for a goal. Here we have 2 slightly different gamers which could be the game gamers depending on their mood.

When a gamer plays to achieve would it be fare to say that they are powermaxing less than the player who plays for a goal?

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!




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