# Your most depised game "features"

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Original post by Nathan Baum
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 Original post by gharen2We aren't talking about football games or half life 2 here. That's entirely different. I'm talking about the challenge of keeping track of the physics of a spaceship in 3D space on a 2D screen. Most people don't find that very intuitive.

But throw in a top speed and suddenly it's perfectly intuitive? I can't help but think we mean entirely different things by "physics in space".

I'm not quite sure what you mean, because I think gharen has a perfectly valid point.

The average bod expects spaceships to fly a bit like aeroplanes, banking on turns, moving in the direction they're pointing, being subject to drag etc. That is how spaceships fly on TV after all.

Of course, it is completely unrealistic, but then again so are lots of things in games. Space games shouldn't have any sound effects beyond what's happening in your own ship, for example. 'Real' space physics is somewhat alien to the average player, and it strikes me as a reasonable design choice for less 'hardcore' sims to opt for the less realistic, but more accessible aeroplane type physics.

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Design feature: Easy bosses.
Games: Dozens. Most recently, Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Comments: I want a challenge, and while I enjoy that I may have to figure out the mechanism for defeating a boss, I also want that mechanism to be more than a routine system of clicking. I want Krieger from FarCry, and I want Tartarus from Halo 2 (but on Legendary. He was way too easy on the other settings). Of course, I prefer that the game simply lets me choose the difficulty. If you give me difficulty settings, then the bosses simply cannot be too difficult on the top settings.

Game: Doom 3.
Design feature: Doom 3.
Comments: Seriously, why? (Kidding. Sort of.)

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 Original post by Prinz EugnActually for as fun a gae as BF2 is, the user interface on the whole is pretty damn bad.
I've never seen or tried to use a worse interface system than that in BF2 (hell, it's not like they improved it for 2142, either). You should hear me curse it...

I'll also second the call for fixing the incredibly difficult airpline/chopper steering with a keyboard, or even keyboard and mouse combo. It was hard enough in BF2, a little easier in BF2142, and downright impossible in GTA: San Andreas.

The airplane-style physics in outer space bothers me as well. My favorite part of Battlestar Galactica is the way the ships utilize 3D space and thrust to fight effectively - it's very cool, and I would love to see a space sim that wasn't based on a physics system that requires lift and air resistance.

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Quote:
 Original post by Omid GhavamiGame: SimsFeature: Need x number of friends for promotion at work.Comments: It takes away a lot of the fun, at least for me.

Yes.

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On a similar note to the save point just before a boss.

Game: Most FPSs
Feature: Giving you load of ammo and health just before a boss.
Comments: The game would be far more challenging if you were topped up nearer the start of the level. You would have to manage your resources more carefully.

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Game: Counterstrike Source
Feature: The bots on the top two levels of difficulty spotting you directly above them.
Comments: I can understand them spotting you when you are in their FOV but when you are directly above them??

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Game: Deus Ex 2
Feature: Eliminating lockpicks.
Comments: Alot of the fun in the first game was deciding whether to lockpick door A or multitool door B to get to a given area.

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Game: Deus Ex 2
Feature: Single ammo type for all weapons
Comments: I didn't like this. Granted it is a more futuristic game than the first, but FPS traditionally have different ammo for different weapons.

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Game: 99% of games
Feature: Gorgeous graphics, lack of replayability.
Comments: Admittedly alot of games are of the genre where the implementation of replayability is not necessarily needed. Gameplay is what keeps me playing, not graphics.

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Game: 99% of FPSs
Feature: Items in the same places every time. Passwords the same each time.
Comments: A small step towards replayability is having pick-up items in different places each time you start a new game. I also don't like it when you can remember the password for a door from the last time you played it. All passwords in a game that are yet to be discovered should be random each time you load the game (and yes i do mean load from a save, not when you start a new one).

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Game: Deus Ex
Feature: Lack of truely dificult setting.
Comments: It has the usual settings and a realistic setting, but even realistic is a piece of piss. How about reducing the amount of pickups so we have to scavange.

Dave

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Quote:
 Original post by Prinz EugnI haven't played any other game that actually had to pause while the menu loaded instead of just going directly there.

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I'll start first and state that I haven't read the majority of the posts, but these are some of my most despised game features.

Game: Pretty much any game in the past 10 years.
Feature: The required introductory tutorial.
Comments: I don't care if they mix it up with the actual game play or have a separated tutorial, but I despise being forced to play through it. Yes, I know X is jump. I don't need to practice hitting X three times for no apparent purpose. I can read the manual, and even if I couldn't, I'm sure I'd figure out that X means jump when the character jumps when I press it during gameplay. Besides, most likely the more advanced tutorial stuff I'm going to forget anyway until I get to a section where I need to relearn it.

If you're going to have an introductory level, have it be completely optional at the title screen, or handle it like in System Shock 2, where it's optional in the game.

And this goes into my other feature I despise:

Game: Pretty much any console RPG, and many games in the past 10 years
Feature: The 40+ hour game
Comments: I personally believe games should offer a fun experience from beginning to end. Now, many 40+ hour games seem to really be a 15 hour game with 30 hours of filler, which makes the game much worse than it could have been. Now, I realize people complain about short games, but I view this as either the game is lacking content for price versus quanitity (such as many XBox 360 games with micro transactions, where in order to get the full game, you end up spending $100+) and games which leave you wanting more. If they leave you wanting more in a good way, this is a sign of a great game. And I'd rather pay the$50 for that and have an enjoyable 15 hours of play than a mediocre time playing a 100 hour RPG. To me, I believe that a game should be possible to be beaten in a speed run of under 2 hours. But you have to be really, really good to do that. Players should play for over 40 hours because they want too. Not because they're forced to with Random Battle™ #149318.

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Quote:
 Original post by Omid GhavamiGame: SimsFeature: Need x number of friends for promotion at work.Comments: It takes away a lot of the fun, at least for me.

I Agree with you. I wonder, if they would have put in "American psycho serial killer" as a profession, would you still need X friends to advance? I thought even the nerdy job requiring friends was a stretch. Nerds are usually exclusively introvert.

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 Original post by Nathan BaumWere the physics-based puzzles in Half-Life 2 unfun?

Yes. It felt like I was giving a demonstration at an E3 booth.

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 Original post by SunTzuLet me guess... you're a student? Or unemployed? Or otherwise have lots of free time?

I know it's not fair to assume things about the gaming masses. But my first guess would be that one thing the majority of gamers usually have is free time. It's great to let players get out of a game ASAP without losing progress, and other typical courtesies, but developing games for gamers that are in a hurry just doesn't seem like the right answer. It seems like the wrong answer. This doesn't mean I agree with reseting players to repeat past challenges for failing current challenges. Just that I don't think the lack of free time scenario is a good direction to observe the problem from.

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 You can play the game the way you want to play it - that's fine. Save very rarely and convince yourself you're having more fun. Let me play the game the way I want to play it, too. I will save very frequently and get to actually see all the cool stuff that's in the game.One design decision (save when you want, or at least have frequent save points) allows both of us to enjoy the game

It would be fantastic if this argument were true. "The design that favors me favors everyone" does not hold up. I won't go into the obscure reasons why the availability to save can screw up some gamer experiences (since I've listed them in this forum so many times by now), I'll just say that they can and do. Even to those of us without much time.

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 If, as a game designer, you make the choice based on what you like, not what other people might like, then the chances are very high you are not designing the the kinds of games I (for one) want to play.

That's tough. That's the way it goes. If designers are not making choices based on what they personally enjoy in gaming, then they are in the wrong business. That's not to say that other opinions are not very important, but if a few argue with, and a few against, then stick to your own logic. I've been through enough saving threads to know that the topic is split down the middle. Even I personally enjoy both types of situations, depending on the type of game. Sometimes saving often is nice (Halo on Legendary), and sometimes not being allowed to save when I want is better (Resident Evil).

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 Original post by Way WalkerSolution that fits everyone: make it one way of determining difficulty. Really, don't put in a hard, medium, easy, put in different variables to change and make one of them the number and placement of save points. Think of Fallout Tactics' "Ironman" mode where you can only save between missions.

I agree. This works for me. By why the avoidance of the difficulty levels? Are we trying not to offend gamers who want to pretend they're not playing the game on 'easy'? There's nothing wrong with playing on easy if you don't have time to fail [smile]

edit: Inserted not.

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 Original post by Kest"The design that favors me favors everyone" does not hold up.....If designers are not making choices based on what they personally enjoy in gaming, then they are in the wrong business.

Balancing these two ideas is probably the trick. [smile]

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 Original post by Way WalkerSolution that fits everyone: make it one way of determining difficulty. Really, don't put in a hard, medium, easy, put in different variables to change and make one of them the number and placement of save points. Think of Fallout Tactics' "Ironman" mode where you can only save between missions.

I agree. This works for me. By why the avoidance of the difficulty levels? Are we trying not to offend gamers who want to pretend they are playing the game on 'easy'? There's nothing wrong with playing on easy if you don't have time to fail [smile]

No, nothing wrong with that at all; I play on easy quite often. [smile]

I'm suggesting letting the player fine tune the difficulty to their tastes. Back in the day, I loved Lord of the Realms. One feature it had was that you could adjust economic and combat difficulties separately depending on your taste. What if I want tough gun fights but saves around every corner?

Or, if you prefer:

Game: Any with general difficulty settings (e.g. hard, medium, easy)
Feature: General difficulty settings (e.g. hard, medium, easy)
Comments: Sometimes I want to make one aspect harder (let's say, less ammo in the level) while keeping other aspects at the same level (let's say, the amount of ammo it takes to take out a baddie). Or, in a 4X, maybe I want more intriguing diplomacy but easier battles.

However, I don't really despise this feature; I simply think it can be improved upon.

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Quote:
Original post by cdoty
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 Original post by XaiWhy 12? Because of the number of pixels no the screen. The icons had to be sized as a balance between the number they can support, and the detail they can convey. They choose 12, because it was greater than or equal to the 4, 8, 10 and 12 limit which other RTS games with arbirtrary limits had, and yet allowed big enough icons to be usefull.

So, you mean the limit is 12 because they were too lazy or closed minded to find a better way to display the information?

It would make sense if 12 was a reasonable number for battles, but it isn't. That makes about as much sense as Microsoft (or any Linux desktop) only allowing 12 programs to show up in the start menu.

If you're selecting more than 12, maybe it's not as critical to know what each unit is. Easy answer, use increaingly smaller icons as the number of units increases.

It also encourages flanking, and attacking from multiple points (since you have to tell several hotkeys to attack, you may as well try to flank instead of stampede in).

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Game: Nearly all.
Feature: Obtaining confirmation to exit the game at the title screen.

Quote:
Original post by Way Walker
Quote:
 Original post by Kest"The design that favors me favors everyone" does not hold up.....If designers are not making choices based on what they personally enjoy in gaming, then they are in the wrong business.

Balancing these two ideas is probably the trick. [smile]

Accepting the necessity of making some portion of the gaming community uncomfortable is different than assuming that all gamers will, at the least, be comfortable with the design you personally prefer. We should at least acknowledge the presence of the choice. What happens if you assume B is better than A because B is neutral, when B is not neutral?

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 Game: Any with general difficulty settings (e.g. hard, medium, easy)Feature: General difficulty settings (e.g. hard, medium, easy)Comments: Sometimes I want to make one aspect harder (let's say, less ammo in the level) while keeping other aspects at the same level (let's say, the amount of ammo it takes to take out a baddie). Or, in a 4X, maybe I want more intriguing diplomacy but easier battles.

I understand where you're coming from. I've played many games where I've wanted to change the specific difficulties to balance and enjoy it more. But I'm not sure the actual ability for gamers to do so would be a positive thing (for the gamers themselves). Sometimes less control is better.

Balance is also a huge factor. I didn't like the way Halo Elites couldn't be killed with headshots. But it would have been a nightmare for designers to balance the game if that were an option to switch on or off. The same is true with saving. Halo on the Legendary difficulty automatically gives you more checkpoints (the designers knew it was insane). Saving is something that significantly changes the balance in almost any game. General difficulty settings could be used to avoid the nightmare and only focus attention on 2 or 3 possible scenarios. And that's still 2 or 3 possible gaming experiences through the entire game; a big reason (I would guess) that most long RPG-like games don't have difficulty settings at all. Those that do probably have a save-anywhere feature to let gamers fix the balance issue [smile]

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Game: Final Fantasy X
Feature: "New" battle system
Comments: Come on! The ATB is what set FF IV-IX apart from most JRPGs! What were they thinking?

Game: Chrono Cross
Feature: Endless number of playable characters and storyline that was way too non-linear, which led to plot holes and a confusing story.
Comments: Chrono Trigger is classic. This... wasn't.

Game: Batman Forever (Sega Genesis)
Feature: Huge number of moves and items ment about 20,000 different three-button combos to remember.

Game: Final Fantasy VII
Feature: "THAT" scene.

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Quote:
 Original post by AnteaterGame: Chrono CrossFeature: Endless number of playable characters and storyline that was way too non-linear, which led to plot holes and a confusing story.Comments: Chrono Trigger is classic. This... wasn't.

I agree completely. Making the game non-linear made it worse (story-wise)

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 Original post by AnteaterGame: Final Fantasy VIIFeature: "THAT" scene.Comments: So sad... Actually it enhanced the story a lot. But it was so sad...

That's not a feature you listed [rolleyes]

Game: Final Fantasy XII
Feature: The battle system
Comments: Some people liked it, I hated it. If I have to program my game to play itself...there just seems to be something fundamentally wrong with that. I found it extremely annoying to play and setup all those gambits. Every single battle in that game felt exactly the same to me. [sad]

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Game: Console RPGs
Feature(s): Very simplistic character customization.
Comment: It's about time these console RPGs take a hint from PC RPGs and implement character classes and the ability for the game's protagonist to switch between character builds/classes.

Game: Console RPGs
Feature(s): Lack of multiple story perspectives
Comment: I understand why console RPGs need linear gameplay. Through linear gameplay, it gives the developers a chance to fine-tune the game and present a strong narrative. However, it would be nice if you could play as different casts of characters involved in a story to see the plot from different perspectives. Suikoden III (PS2) implemented this.

Game: Suikoden IV & V
Feature(s): Mute protagonist.
Comment: When your game has voice-acting then using a mute protagonist is a bad idea.

[Edited by - Yeshua666 on April 23, 2007 11:04:09 PM]

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About character customization - it really depends on what kind of game you're dealing with, in my opinion. A lot of console RPGs feature distinct characters in the party, each with their own personalities, while it seems to me (and it's been a while since I played a PC RPG, so I could be wrong) most PC RPGs feature more "blank slate" party members, which therefore aren't so integral to the plot. When your characters are integral to the plot, it's important that the writers be able to expect certain abilities (and lack of abilities) of the different characters. If you decided to switch your sword-wielding protagonist to using guns at the start of the game, then likely any cutscene he fights in is going to seem odd to you; why isn't he using that gun you spent hours training him on? Similarly, that healer that you decided to turn into a brawler; why can she shift that hunk of rock she got trapped under? If you thought "Why don't they just use a Phoenix Down?" was bad, then you ain't seen nothin' yet. ;)

In other words, too much freedom means that your characters are too generic to take pigeonholed roles in a story. Of course, too much constriction makes the game boring to play since you can't really have any say in the development of characters, but (naturally) there's a happy medium, which I think JRPGs are slowly approaching.

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Quote:
 Original post by DerakonIn other words, too much freedom means that your characters are too generic to take pigeonholed roles in a story. Of course, too much constriction makes the game boring to play since you can't really have any say in the development of characters, but (naturally) there's a happy medium, which I think JRPGs are slowly approaching.

I concur. I don't like it when I can completely customize my characters either, because then you have a paradox of choice scenario, where you don't know what skills you should invest in learning, or whether its better to have two warriors and one mage or two mages and one warrior, etc. I also don't really like it when characters can equip anything in the game without question. In Final Fantasy XII, all 6 characters could wield swords, spears, axes, guns, bows, etc. I personally found that to be quite lame.

I do like to have an influence on my character's development, but I don't want it to be so extreme that I can effectively turn a mage into a warrior, or vice versa. One game which I feel did well on allowing a good amount of freedom was Final Fantasy X with its sphere grid. You could see all the options and plot out how you want your characters to develop, but they retained enough individuality even after extreme customization that it didn't completely change that character's basic job.

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Quote:
 Original post by RootsIn Final Fantasy XII, all 6 characters could wield swords, spears, axes, guns, bows, etc. I personally found that to be quite lame.

Wasn't that a strange limitation to begin with? Normal people can wield weapons of all types. They become skilled with a particular type of weapon by specializing. Unlike many other character skills and attributes, a choice of weapon is made exclusively by a choice rather than genetics or random chance. If you want to role-play, shouldn't this decision be made by you instead of the designer?

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Quote:
 Original post by KestI know it's not fair to assume things about the gaming masses. But my first guess would be that one thing the majority of gamers usually have is free time.
I don't think that's really a particularly good assumption to make. There is a huge market out there for whom time is a rare and precious asset; quite possibly a larger market than those with plenty of time available, although I don't have actual figures to back that up.

People have jobs (the ones that can afford to pay for games that is), they have studies, they have hobbies other than gaming, and they may have family commitments as well. I consider it perfectly fine if you're not targetting that group, but I think it's a mistake to discount them as a minority and that a game which caters well to these people will probably do better than one which does not. Obviously this doesn't fit games of all types equally.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
Quote:
 Original post by RootsIn Final Fantasy XII, all 6 characters could wield swords, spears, axes, guns, bows, etc. I personally found that to be quite lame.

Wasn't that a strange limitation to begin with? Normal people can wield weapons of all types. They become skilled with a particular type of weapon by specializing. Unlike many other character skills and attributes, a choice of weapon is made exclusively by a choice rather than genetics or random chance. If you want to role-play, shouldn't this decision be made by you instead of the designer?

I'd like to see you go pick up a sword and suddenly become a master at wielding it. To effectively utilize a weapon takes many years of training. Swordsmanship is actually quite difficult (I speak from experience) and although you may be able to get a few swings out of it, if you're not in shape for that kind of work your arms will ache with fatigue in no time flat. What I find to be "lame" is that these characters pick up these weapons and usually do not show any signs of being a neophyte, nor do they become better at using the weapon over time.

In fact, if I recall Final Fantasy II (NES, old school) had such a system where the more you used a particular type of weapon in battle, the better your character became at using it. They had experience levels for weapons just like they had the typical experience levels.

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Quote:
 Original post by cdotyIt would make sense if 12 was a reasonable number for battles, but it isn't. That makes about as much sense as Microsoft (or any Linux desktop) only allowing 12 programs to show up in the start menu.

The Number of programs on Start menu setting is actually limited to 30, for appearance purposes I'm sure. Although that is not what you meant with start menu items it's still a reasonable decision to restrict functionality due to limitations in graphical representation in my opinion.
I can't say if that's the actual case in StarCraft or not, so I digress.

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Quote:
Original post by Roots
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Quote:
 Original post by RootsIn Final Fantasy XII, all 6 characters could wield swords, spears, axes, guns, bows, etc. I personally found that to be quite lame.

Wasn't that a strange limitation to begin with? Normal people can wield weapons of all types. They become skilled with a particular type of weapon by specializing. Unlike many other character skills and attributes, a choice of weapon is made exclusively by a choice rather than genetics or random chance. If you want to role-play, shouldn't this decision be made by you instead of the designer?

I'd like to see you go pick up a sword and suddenly become a master at wielding it.

Who said anything about mastering it?

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 To effectively utilize a weapon takes many years of training.

Sounds like a good objective for character development in the game.

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 Swordsmanship is actually quite difficult (I speak from experience) and although you may be able to get a few swings out of it, if you're not in shape for that kind of work your arms will ache with fatigue in no time flat.

The reason my arms wouldn't last long winging a sword about is because I'm a modern day computer programmer. If I wanted to participate in modern mortal combat, I would invest in a tank, or maybe an X-35 JSF fighter aircraft.

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 What I find to be "lame" is that these characters pick up these weapons and usually do not show any signs of being a neophyte, nor do they become better at using the weapon over time.

Do you sit and stare at your monitor for 8 hours waiting until your characters finish sleeping? So then there must have been some time the game skipped over to shield you from boredom? This is no different. It's a video game. Still, it seems to me that adding a little weapon skill improvement over time would be better than strictly limiting specific human beings to specific weapons.

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 In fact, if I recall Final Fantasy II (NES, old school) had such a system where the more you used a particular type of weapon in battle, the better your character became at using it. They had experience levels for weapons just like they had the typical experience levels.

Yep, those were the good days. I just assumed weapon skills would have been a part of something as big as Final Fantasy XII. I haven't played it.

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The problem with having weapon skills that are even remotely realistic (that is to say, facility with a weapon increases with practice, and possibly with specialty training as well) is that they tend to reward people who are willing to spend the time to train their characters in every weapon under the sun, or alternatively, penalizing those who aren't. A character who is rank A with swords and rank F with everything else is inherently inferior to a character who is rank A with swords and every other weapon type because the player spent 30 hours training him up. And while yes, many RPGs cater to the obsessive/compulsive tendencies in all of us, they usually try to do so a little less, um, transparently than most weapon skill implementations do.

Unless, say, you're talking about an MMORPG. There, this kind of behaviour is rampant.

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Game:Some poorly scripted games like Enclave for Xbox & Heavy Gear 2 for PC
Feature:Scripted Character Sequences
Comments:In the case of Enclave it was a 'quest' to get a key from a building to a merchant, who follows you around for a bit. I managed to sneak inside the building somehow, get to the location of the key only to find I could not pick it up. After reading through the manual and checking the button bindings I could not find a button for 'picking stuff up'. After pondering the issue and repeatedly trying to pick the key up I decided to leave through the front door, which now for some reason was now unlocked at which point the NPC merchant who was following me comes in and picks the key up and proceeds to thank you...why I couldn't just pick it up myself I don't know. In the case of Heavy Gear 2 it was a mission where I was to watch for a 'change of shift for the guards' from atop a cliff so I could then sneak in the front gate and rescue some person. After sitting atop the cliff for a long time nothing happened. So I thought I'd try to sneak into the base myself. After many repeated save/load sequences I managed to jump over the walls sneak around in the base and avoid being detected. After a good amount of time I realised - I must be doing something wrong this rescue objective ie the person just wasn't in there. The moment that you were spotted by an enemy (which was pretty silly really - I'm in this big mech suit running around inside an enemy base and am undetectable despite walking right up and behind enemy units) After a break I went back to the game and tried the mission again from the start. This time I looked from atop the cliff and happened to align my cross hairs over a point visible to me in the base and all of a sudden a scripted sequence began where the gates opened and the events unfolded at which point I was to go in and wreak havoc on the enemy and rescue the captive.

I guess what I'm saying is that scripted sequences which don't take into account alternative means of achieving an objective OR sequences which are triggered by the wrong thing (in the case of Heavy Gear 2 why wasn't it timebased - it's rather silly to expect me to 'look' at a particular point of the world to trigger an event) are annoying.

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Game: Most FPS, some 3D fighters
Feature(s): Jump hovering (slow descent)
Comment: It's not helpful, you're an easier target, and it's difficult to become accustomed after playing a game with blasting gravity. This one is difficult to notice without playing varied games. Compare UT 2004+ (good) to Halo (bad). It's not about realism, just the fun and tactical usefulness of jumping.

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Original post by Kazgoroth
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 Original post by KestI know it's not fair to assume things about the gaming masses. But my first guess would be that one thing the majority of gamers usually have is free time.
I don't think that's really a particularly good assumption to make. There is a huge market out there for whom time is a rare and precious asset; quite possibly a larger market than those with plenty of time available, although I don't have actual figures to back that up.

Time is precious to everyone who isn't miserable. But if you enjoy gaming, then you make free time to play games. Isn't that the way it works? Gamers have time to play games.

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 People have jobs (the ones that can afford to pay for games that is), they have studies, they have hobbies other than gaming, and they may have family commitments as well.

That's not a factor. Gamers who have nothing to do other than play games still don't have time to repeat a long and boring game task multiple times when there are more enjoyable things to do. They likely have even less patience than someone who plays games rarely. If you don't play often, it's probably not as obvious that the game is screwing you over.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
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 People have jobs (the ones that can afford to pay for games that is), they have studies, they have hobbies other than gaming, and they may have family commitments as well.

That's not a factor. Gamers who have nothing to do other than play games still don't have time to repeat a long and boring game task multiple times when there are more enjoyable things to do. They likely have even less patience than someone who plays games rarely. If you don't play often, it's probably not as obvious that the game is screwing you over.
Just to clarify, I jumped it at page 4 and don't actually know what you were initially responding to, so I was purely answering your assertion that the majority of gamers have plenty of time available, which I believe to be incorrect.

I do agree that almost no gamers like being forced to repeat sections of gameplay and the like.

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Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Quote:
 People have jobs (the ones that can afford to pay for games that is), they have studies, they have hobbies other than gaming, and they may have family commitments as well.

That's not a factor. Gamers who have nothing to do other than play games still don't have time to repeat a long and boring game task multiple times when there are more enjoyable things to do. They likely have even less patience than someone who plays games rarely. If you don't play often, it's probably not as obvious that the game is screwing you over.
Just to clarify, I jumped it at page 4 and don't actually know what you were initially responding to, so I was purely answering your assertion that the majority of gamers have plenty of time available, which I believe to be incorrect.

Also to clarify, I didn't actually assert that (plenty?). I said they have free time, implying that they have time to play games. They may also have time to repeat certain events of the gameplay when they fail, if it suits the game (such as a level on mario).

I don't think lack of gaming time on the player's part has much to do with designing our games, other than the exit-anytime type courtesies we should be adding anyway. If you don't have time to play games, there's not much a designer can do about it, except perhaps make the game shorter and more simple, and there are already plenty of those.

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 I do agree that almost no gamers like being forced to repeat sections of gameplay and the like.

That was mostly the argument. That lack of time changes that perspective. But it indeed does suck for everyone.