raddevon's forum posts
Thought experiment: Setting aside the logistics of why and how this wouldn't work, do you think MMOs would be more successful in that regard if players could impact the persistent world? Now, getting to the logistics, can you imagine how that might work?
Most of those I listen to have been mentioned already, but there are a few which have not.
Bytejacker is an excellent video podcast about indie and downloadable games. Many of the games are free. Viewers vote weekly for the best of the three free indie games featured the previous week.
Some Other Podcast is a funny weekly cast by a couple of gamer chicks. The format is pretty traditional. They tell you what they played and recount the news. They often do so with a vulgarity that is... er... charming?
Geeknights Tuesday night podcast covers gaming of both the video and tabletop varieties.
@PenguinDust: There is no distinct line between games that exploit skill for advancement versus those that rely on perseverance. All games exist on a continuum and few are near either edge. Based on my limited experience, Demon's Souls is more on the skill side of that continuum, and this is the primary factor contributing to the claims of intense satisfaction resulting from accomplishments in that game.
@Cerza: I am very much one of those people you don't understand who derives most of my MMO enjoyment from achieving that next milestone be it the next level, the next awesome drop, etcetera. Perhaps the genre is simply not for me in spite of the superficial enjoyment I can derive from it.
@Teirdome: Thanks for posting the link to the video. I feel there is a profound difference in the grind of Borderlands versus that of a WoW or a Diablo. The grind in Borderlands, like WoW, comes mostly in the form of combat. Combat against like-level enemies in Borderlands is very much based on a complex skillset that can and must be honed to triumph. The refinement of these skills is done by the player rather than the character as it might be in WoW even though there is obviously some of both. For example, killing an enemy four levels higher is similarly difficult in both games. Killing a same level enemy is a vastly different experience. In WoW, it is often as simple as targeting and turning on auto-attack. In Borderlands, it requires aiming and possibly even moving while doing so to prevail.
I concede this doesn't apply to all RPGs. In fact, I guess it doesn't really apply to most single player RPGs at all even though many of them also employ achievements awarded merely for playing long enough. There is usually some other driving force (sometimes skill- or tactics-based gameplay, often story) behind progression through the game.
" There are plenty of ways to enjoy an MMO without going down that road but it requires the right mindset. "What do you think they are? I'm not trying to suggest you aren't correct, but I want to get your thoughts.
Braid developer Jonathan Blow aired his thoughts on the subject in an interview in which he says MMOs are "unethical" because they use false rewards rather than gameplay to trick a player into continuing in the game. "...so many people spend their lives chasing easy/unearned rewards." It's no doubt that the sense of accomplishment derived from completing a level in Braid or Portal is wholly different from that of gaining a level in an RPG. Most RPGs reward perseverance rather than skill. Anyone can throw enough time at something to eventually hammer through if the task allows for that, but skill is a real divider. Some players will complete a game like Braid while others will not often without regard to the time spent playing.
By carefully spacing out rewards, are MMOs and often RPGs in general tricking us into believing we are having fun? If we, for the sake of argument, assume this is the case, is it not then worth examining whether being tricked into believing you are having fun is any different than actually having fun? If I think I am having fun am I not actually having fun?
This relates closely to what players often refer to as " the grind." Fun is nothing more than a state of mind. If your fun is based on a contrivance like scheduled achievement, it is, in my opinion, real fun but it is a very shallow fun. It won't take very long for your mind to reduce the activity down to what you are actually doing and to realize that the activity isn't fun without the shallow reward system. Even in saying this now, I still think of Aion as a fun game despite the fact it employs this very technique. A conscious examination of the facts is almost futile in overcoming it. It seems that only exposure to the grind over time can truly dispel the pull of these games.
Setting aside timelessness, if you were to collect the right games, your collection could actually appreciate. When I sold all my games, I had a Shin Megami Tensei that sold for $90 only two months after I bought it.
What's crazy is that I absolutely hate games in which you must collect just for the sake of collecting. I revile the early 3D platformers for this reason above all others.
Have you seen the Twilight Zone episode where the guy loves to read but never gets to? He ends up in the bank vault when a bomb drops killing everyone else. He finds the library and starts to read realizing he can now read anything he wants all the time. At the end, his glasses fall off and break. I'm sure that, if I did end up with time to play all the games, my hands would explode or something.
" You never know when the apocalypse is going to happen. Make sure all you extra games are in underground vaults, then when the inevitable plague hits, you will be ready to ride out the storm.
" Most people collect something. Collecting games isn't the worst habit in the world - at least you can play and enjoy them (eventually). Some people collect figurines that just sit on a shelf. Good luck with it - enjoy the games. "This is true. I refuse to buy things that take up space and don't provide me with anything outside the act of collecting.
" I just keep track of 'em, that way when I want to play them? BAMTHEREITIS, no one says you have to play the game as soon as you buy it. "
Also true, and I do this. I started the first Mass Effect, played it intensely for a while, put it down for more than a year, and came back to finish it up. I'm currently playing through Persona 4 (albeit very slowly) and have Persona 3 waiting. I have no problem with letting a game sit for while. As you can probably tell, I can't really afford to take issue with that. ;-p
Thanks for all the "me toos" and encouragement. You guys rock!