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#1 Edited by MocBucket62 (2169 posts) -

I know we still have 5 months of the year to get through, but I've been thinking about the Please Stop award as of late. Anybody have any suggestions as to what could win the Please Stop award this year. It can be something related to gaming news that happened this year or a prediction on what undesirable trends you think will emerge this year. You can even predict a game having lackluster fanfare to determine a please stop nomination based on that game series or company's continued trend of releasing underwhelming titles.

I was gonna say crowdfunded games that pander to a certain nostalgia as a potential candidate. Games like Yooka-Laylee and Strafe were KS darlings when announced and those titles were met with an underwhelming critical reception upon release. However, that's a horrible pick because there have been many quality crowdfunded games over the years that are love letters to retro games, like Shovel Knight and Hyper Light Drifter. Also I'm playing Thimbleweed Park right now and so far, I'm enjoying this throwback point and click adventure that Ron Gilbert and Company have developed. So this year hasn't been all bad for nostalgic, Crowdfunded titles.

Maybe after watching the recent GBE Megadate, perhaps horrible, half-baked horror games on Steam is a good choice.

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#2 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

Steam being flooded with the worst shovelware imaginable

Creeping Microtransactions in full price games

Puzzles/traversal in action games that are insulting easy and contain virtually no gameplay

Audio logs that don't just play as voiceover while you play the game

Mr. Domino (nobody can.)

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#3 Posted by AsherV20 (131 posts) -

Card packs / Loot Boxes

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#4 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5258 posts) -

Roguelikes/procedural generation.

Dead Cells could be so good without it.

Online
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#5 Posted by peacebrother (745 posts) -

Creeping Microtransactions in full price games

Is it really creeping when it's just actually here in full force? It was creeping over the past decade, we're done creepin'. We're in it now.

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#6 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

@peacebrother: I would say that not every game has them and for the most part they've avoided being too intrusive. But we're now getting to the point where you pay full price for a game and then get straight up free-to-play mechanics in it (Jim Sterling calls this fee-to-pay, which is not a great term but I have not heard a better one.)

It's now a genuine treat when a game doesn't have microtransactions, and a lot of games that don't still launch with obvious microtransaction 'hook's in them. I would say it is still 'creeping' because most single-player only games don't feature them, and we still get the occasional multi-player game without them, but it's pretty bad already.

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#7 Edited by Boonsong (1661 posts) -

Roguelikes, roguelites. Any genre/subgenre with the word "rogue" in it. Stop.

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#8 Posted by LJO1989 (50 posts) -

Dota

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#9 Edited by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

Roguelikes/procedural generation.

Dead Cells could be so good without it.

Eh. I definitely see where you're coming from, but I think a lot of the roguelike stuff comes from developers who don't have the resources to make a 10 hour bespoke hand-crafted game. It's not just a design choice for design's sake, it also serves to stretch resources out, and I can understand that.

Also there are some really really good roguelike games that have come out over the past few years, so the trend isn't all bad. It definitely gets overused and it hurts some games, but I think it's more a matter of knowing what games would be good as a roguelike and what games would be better hand-crafted, and who has the resources to actually make the latter.

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#10 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15162 posts) -

@boonsong: @gunslingerpanda: Yeahhhh. I was going to say "Shoving Roguelike elements into games that would be better with hand-crafted level design and mechanical progression" but there are a grand total of 2-3 roguelikes/rogue-lites/whatever from the past handful of years that I've actually enjoyed in any serious capacity, and some of those are actual old-school "Berlin Interpretation" roguelikes. As a trend in game design, especially indie stuff, I think I've completely lost my enthusiasm for it.

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#11 Posted by Relkin (824 posts) -

Roguelikes/procedural generation.

Dead Cells could be so good without it.

Flinthook as well.

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#12 Posted by TheWildCard (602 posts) -

Loot Boxes is a strong one (I find it draining my enthusiasm for Injustice 2). "Games as a Service" model is pretty annoying and feels like it's only going to kill more games in coming years.

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#13 Edited by chrispaul92 (125 posts) -

Shadow of War will probably bring up microtransactions in full priced games.

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#14 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

Loot Boxes is a strong one (I find it draining my enthusiasm for Injustice 2). "Games as a Service" model is pretty annoying and feels like it's only going to kill more games in coming years.

The thing about the loot boxes in Injustice 2 is that the whole loot system is unnecessary in that game. It's a fighting game. They don't need loot. And most of the loot doesn't even look cool aesthetically (while having stats on gear in a fighting game is actively bad because it disrupts balance.) It can be ignored, for the most part, but it's so in your face and you get so many loot boxes organically you want to open them just because you have them...which usually ends up disappointing.

It's not that the loot system is badly balanced it's just...overall a hassle.

Meanwhile I loved the Krypt in MK X. It was like a miniature adventure game/walking sim, had cool concept art and MK lore and neat locations.

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#15 Posted by MudKatt (79 posts) -

I'm not sure if it really fits into this category, but it's really annoying how hard is is to get a switch, or how hard it will likely be to get a snes classic. I can't really think of many negative things in terms of video games this year...I haven't really had any gripes.

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#16 Edited by MocBucket62 (2169 posts) -

@mudkatt: Maybe you mean to say Nintendo not meeting the demand of their hardware? Yeah I'm with you on that. Nintendo needs do a better job anticipating the high demand for their products.

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#17 Posted by DanishingAct (321 posts) -

Gearbox. Just in general, but also for making a "1v1 me bro!" game.

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#18 Edited by BoccKob (471 posts) -

Loot boxes, charging for loot boxes, charging to open loot boxes, item durability, early access, RNGs, timers, meter management, DOTA, esports, streamers, etc.

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#19 Posted by AlisterCat (7879 posts) -

Describing elements of games as good or bad when talking about them.

Online
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#20 Posted by Shindig (4490 posts) -

@mudkatt: Maybe you mean to say Nintendo not meeting the demand of their hardware? Yeah I'm with you on that. Nintendo needs do a better job anticipating the high demand for their products.

This. Although maybe they really, really, really don't want to be left with unsold stock.

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#21 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

@shindig: I am convinced that A) they think that scarcity drives demand and that in the long run they gain more from having the scarcity and desirability hyped in the first year of production than from the sales they miss and B) someone high in Nintendo genuinely despises their audience.

The second one is more controversial than the first, but a lot of their decisions are so head scratching that I can't think of another good explanation, besides extreme incompetence.

Building a frothy demand for the NES classic and then CANCELLING it after a few months is just an inexplicable business decision. Especially when there's no other way to buy those games right now. It might sort of make sense as a marketing move if the Switch had virtual console and they were like "You missed the NES classic but you can still play your favorite old games on Nintendo Switch!" but it doesn't.

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#22 Posted by Truekirby2 (12 posts) -

Nintendo not looking outside their own country when it comes to making games or running a company. As much as I love Splatoon 2 so much of it seems like it was developed by a team who only played the original Splatoon and never looked at another multiplayer game to see what's currently hot. Why not have Salmon run always available? Why not have all of the maps available to have more variety? Why not have a competent voice chat system? Why does it seem like you live on another planet Nintendo? It's something that I realized when NoClip did the series on Final Fantasy 14 and why it failed. It's cause Square Enix's team was only looking at Final Fantasy 11, what worked there, and made those elements better. While completely ignoring monster MMO's like World of Warcraft. Plus the NES and SNES are major scalper bait and I just think scalpers are the scum of the earth.

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#23 Posted by Undeadpool (6358 posts) -

Endless "Early Access" cycles.

Everybody loves PUBG, but even if it comes out this year, it's setting a WEIRD precedent.

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#24 Posted by Redhotchilimist (2517 posts) -

Lootboxes and roguelikes.

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#25 Posted by Humanity (17385 posts) -

@gunslingerpanda: Procedural generation is a disease that is killing a ton of potentially great games.

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#26 Posted by j-mack (69 posts) -

I'd vote for badly implemented loot boxes. I played a lot of Overwatch during the last big event and got nothing interesting, just duplicates and event voice lines. I do actually like the sprays, but the loot voice lines aren't any more interesting than the default ones. I'm absolutely convinced they keep getting added as filler, I think this is the most clear with Bastion whose lines are all beeps.

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#27 Edited by liquiddragon (2543 posts) -

I don't like the Final Fantasy hate but fuck Assassin's Creed am I right? That series needs to chickity check itself or better yet, just stop. Not gonna say please either. 1 good game outta how many? Black Flag 4 Life.

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#28 Edited by Relenus (210 posts) -

EEEEEEEEEEEEEESPOOOOOOOORTSSSSSSSS

For real though, I'm cool with games like Rocket League or PUBG that grow a competitive scene organically, but seeing games like that one at the Microsoft press conference come right out of the gate pushing esports elicit a strong negative reaction from me.

@danishingact: I've been saying this for years and I hate to admit it, but Battleborn's faceplant in the face of Overwatch, a game from my favorite developer, brought me an embarrassing amount of evil joy.

EDIT: I would agree with all the "roguelikes" comments had Dead Cells not recently come into my life and wasn't fucking awesome.

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#30 Posted by VierasTalo (1415 posts) -
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#31 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6841 posts) -

Lootboxes. The fuck ever happened to unlocking shit in games? Like as in the specific thing you want. Now lootboxes are all like "here, play for 10000 hours or give us $100 and you might get the handful of items you want." The whole 'might' or rather chance aspect to lootboxes is what fucking drives me up a wall. I feel like I'm getting fucked over because whales exist. I really want that cool costume in game X, but fuck me, right? Why should I ever get it? Apparently, all the time and/or money I spent means jack shit to the developers.

It's just so fucking gross and predatory. Yes, I know it funds continued development for games like Overwatch and and PUBG, but can we PLEASE stop with the bullshit. We all know at the end of the day, they're banking on the whales coming in and spending truckloads of cash. Everyone else can get fucked. You all don't get the cool shit because we said so.

i fucking hate how they try to act like they're doing everyone a favor too. All these companies could easily sell costumes separately or in packs and whales would still gladly pay for all that shit, but oh no, they won't be able to milk you that way. Like get the fuck outta here with that bs. Don't play dumb with me.

sigh

This trend can't die fast enough.

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#32 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

I feel like I'm getting fucked over because whales exist.

All these companies could easily sell costumes separately or in packs and whales would still gladly pay for all that shit, but oh no, they won't be able to milk you that way

sigh

This trend can't die fast enough.

I mean...you are.

One thing that's important to note is that a lot of "whales" are actually kind of gambling addicts. They get a dopamine hit out of spending money to gamble and getting something they want. It's not worth anything (in most games, though in some the items do have real world value) but it still doles out the dopamine.

Operant conditioning tells us that if you want a rat to keep hitting a level the best way to reward him is rarely and randomly. It creates conditioning that is both very strong and hard to extinguish.

Gacha boxes are designed around this. If you only get a cool epic skin every 8-12 boxes or so you will buy a lot more and you will push through the "dry" streaks in search of that dopamine hit.

So in fact the whales would spend a lot less if they could just purchase exactly what they wanted. It wouldn't have nearly the powerful effect the gacha model does. That's what makes it so insidious, and why they don't care if you won't play along.

It's about exploiting psychological vulnerability for profit, and it's pretty evil.

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#33 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6841 posts) -

@bigsocrates: Reading that just made me depressed lol, but it was interesting so thank you.

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#34 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

It's about exploiting psychological vulnerability for profit, and it's pretty evil.

Blizzard's been doing that shit in various forms for decades. It's how they maintain their large userbases for their games despite being mechanically garbage.

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#35 Edited by dgtlty (938 posts) -
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#36 Posted by NeverGameOver (786 posts) -

I can think of discernably fewer this year than in years' past, but that's probably because a lot of the problems we have are the same ones we've had for years.

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#37 Posted by clagnaught (1879 posts) -

The Overwatch style games? A couple of years ago, everybody was complaining about how there were too many MOBAs. Turns out all of the developers agreed, so they instead started making games like Overwatch. Not a super big trend or something that truly needs to STOP, but that's the main thing on my mind.

Probably the biggest thing is actually Steam with how they keep flooding their marketplace, without really improving its functionality and navigation. I still think they need to do actual curation with Editor's Picks and stuff like that. Letting everything in and letting people sort it out themselves or having their algorithms do the work for them seem to not be that great.

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#38 Posted by mikewhy (180 posts) -

Asset flips?

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#39 Posted by forteexe21 (1924 posts) -

Someone should stop Capcom making terrible decisions. Not localizing Monster Hunter HH, those terrible SFV/MvCI artwork, $40 SF2, etc.

Also, Sony should stop letting Jim Ryan speak especially with regards to cross-platform multiplayer and indies.

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#40 Edited by LeStephan (1070 posts) -

@bigsocrates said:

Steam being flooded with the worst shovelware imaginable

Creeping Microtransactions in full price games

Puzzles/traversal in action games that are insulting easy and contain virtually no gameplay

Audio logs that don't just play as voiceover while you play the game

First post. Pretty much exactly what I'd list.

Though, as a point of selfimprovement as well, I'd add Alistercat's thing about bad and good being used way too much when describing stuff in videogames, its really counter to having an open conversation.

Edit: And I'd add the lootboxes to the point about microtransactions, those fuckers deserve a specific shoutout lol

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#41 Posted by uhtaree (858 posts) -

@mudkatt said:

I'm not sure if it really fits into this category, but it's really annoying how hard is is to get a switch, or how hard it will likely be to get a snes classic. I can't really think of many negative things in terms of video games this year...I haven't really had any gripes.

Maybe this. I don't even buy nintendo stuff anymore but I'm tired of hearing about this every time Nintendo releases something.

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#42 Posted by BoOzak (2100 posts) -

@dgtlty: I know you werent asking me but a "whale" when referring to microtransactions is someone who spends a fuck ton of money. I assume they're called whales because it's seen as a big catch in their attempt to fish for suckers who either have too much money or a gambling addiction.

Mine would be loot boxes and microtransactions in full price games. It's been going on for awhile but it seems to be getting worse.

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#43 Posted by Justin258 (15025 posts) -

Roguelikes/procedural generation.

Dead Cells could be so good without it.

Personally? THIS.I am so tired of seeing a game that looks great and looks right up my alley only to find out that it's supposed to be ridiculously hard and every time you die, you lose all progress. Ugh. Please, please, please start properly handcrafting 2D action games and platformers again. As far as I'm concerned, the fewer random elements in general, the better.

I'm also tired of the "Dark Souls" death system, where you die and all your money (or some other valuable thing) is left where you died. What happened to just plain old unlimited lives? You die, you go back to your last checkpoint (whatever that may be), and your character is in the exact same state he or she was in when they left the checkpoint? That sucks, but it's not a deal breaker for me. Finding out that a game is a roguelike has been a deal breaker for me before.

Steam (and apparently now PSN) are both stuffed full of shovelware at this point and I'd like to see that go. There is a such thing as "over-curation", but Steam has the exact opposite problem. I don't do any browsing on the Steam store anymore, I find out everything by reading forums and looking at release date lists for big, known games with some weight behind them. This is pretty much because I'm not going to wade through the muck on the Steam store to find some diamond in the rough when there's plenty of great stuff for me to play elsewhere and I don't even have time to play all of that.

Microtransactions in paid-for games is something that I'm tired of, but it's also something that I don't seem to have a problem avoiding. I actually couldn't tell you the process involved in buying a key for a box in TF2 or a skin in CS:GO. I've never bought a loot crate or anything. It is an insidious problem for people who might addicted to gambling or getting that one thing they want or whatever, but it's not something I think about often. For that matter, I'm perfectly fine with the Halo 5 model, where microtransactions actually allow the developers to add significant things to the game for free over time. That way, I have to buy the game and pay for the online subscription and that's it. It's worth noting that the only multiplayer game I have consistently played over the years is CS:GO. And by "consistently" I mean "returned to it at least a few times every few months", not "I play it every week". Every other multiplayer game I've tried has been something I've just fallen off of.

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#44 Posted by Slag (7866 posts) -

F2p COllectible card games

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#45 Posted by Dixavd (2827 posts) -
  • Transphobic and Homophobic jokes in games. [Breath of the Wild, Persona 5]
  • Hiding key mechanics that would definitely affect player's interest/enjoyment in the game behind spoilers or tens-of-hours of gameplay [Nier Automata, Prey, Hellblade]
  • Modes and Mechanics for the base-game locked behind DLC (including amiibo). [Breath of the Wild, Metroid: Samus Returns]
  • Unnecessarily long Early Access periods with dubious amounts of pre-Early Access Development Time and undefined final release dates. (I saw an Arc trailer recently that tried using 2 years in Early Access as a selling point!) [Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Beyond Good and Evil 2]

The real answer I'd want to give is probably not eligible because the problem is not the games, it's a small group of loud people in the games industry (including developers, influencers and journalists): Anyone using video games as a shield to get away with flaunting hurtful discriminatory opinions and harass people.

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#46 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (2086 posts) -

@gunslingerpanda said:

Roguelikes/procedural generation.

Dead Cells could be so good without it.

Personally? THIS.I am so tired of seeing a game that looks great and looks right up my alley only to find out that it's supposed to be ridiculously hard and every time you die, you lose all progress. Ugh. Please, please, please start properly handcrafting 2D action games and platformers again. As far as I'm concerned, the fewer random elements in general, the better.

PREACH!

I've just stopped caring the moment I find out a game uses procedural generation. Tile sets randomly thrown together is so boring and uninteresting to play through. Handcrafted design will always be better than that crap.

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#47 Edited by Mistzero (375 posts) -

@ljo1989: I don't understand people that are like stop talking about "x" game. I mean you are on a personality based website, each staff member have games they favor more than others and are passionate about those games. For example some people don't like to watch hours PUB. Should they be complaining about the massive amount of coverage and praise it gets from the GB crew? No, because there are other content on this site that can cater to their taste. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean everyone else feels the same way. Let the Gb crew have natural conversations/content that they enjoy making, that way the product produced will be superior and more enjoyable to consume.

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#48 Edited by Pazy (2769 posts) -
@dgtlty said:

@babychoochoo: What do you mean by "whales"?

In Free to Play games "Whales" are the players who spend all of the money. When you will grind for 10 hours to get a 'Silver Loot Box' with a tiny chance of a decent item they will just drop $500+ to get 100xPlatinum Boxes and all the best items in the first second of the new content releasing. Which then means the affect on design is more random chance to get gameplay relevant items so these "Whales" spend more money and the companies profit increase.

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#49 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

I don't procedural generation is the problem, it's that a lot of games use it terribly. It ought to be utilized to ease up on repetition to keep the gameplay fresh, not just mix everything up so whether you have fun or not is based on an RNG.

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#50 Edited by LeStephan (1070 posts) -

offtopic: I love that the term 'whale' got out to the public btw lol, that has such a 'marketing-asshole' spin on it, its just amazing haha. I wonder if the marketing people will move on to another term for it in a few years as 'whale' is becoming widely known/negative.