Does having to work at a game make it pants?

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Does having to work at a game make it pants?

Postby Nethlyn » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:45 am

Hyssy wrote:So we need to know who has SupCom FA... for gamesses.

Prey wrote:Not I. Ken put me off buying [Supreme Commander/Forged Alliance] for life. >_>

Mantis wrote:I wish he'd put me off buying [them]. Because I bought [The] Gold [Edition]. And it's rubbish!

and on a side issue, there was a Custom PC Columnist this time last year who bitched to high heaven because (in his opinion) some games required multiplayer FPS skills to enjoy SP games like STALKER, something he believed was excluding many gamers beyond the hardcore. He's hated Counter-Strike since before 1.6 and CSS and refused to ever make any effort to learn them or play them well, even if he was cool with other Valve games.

If I bought WoW this weekend and called it shite after an hour when I've never played an RPG in my life, the forum response would be "make an effort, give it time and practice".

So has console gaming made us lazy and expectant of instant thrills with every single game? Wasn't there an Elder Scrolls 1 where drilling through a core campaign/mission set of 25-40 hours, pre-Morrorwind and Oblivion, was a brand new thing? Didn't gamers, whether they were well versed in D&D or not, just get down to the challenge? Because I just think it's bloody lazy to call a game crap because you don't want to work at it and I would say the same whether I was a fan of the criticised game or not.

Supreme Commander FA/Gold does deliver the epic combat experience after you've put the time into the campaign or skirmish. I also have CnC 3 sitting here which is the pick-up-and-play alternative and will give all the shiny cutscenes and all that other guff in the name of character. Maybe if EA had bothered with good netcode and I didn't need Hamachi to play it with someone overseas, I'd have said it was as good as Supcom. The truth is they're different games for different fans, or for people who have both games, varying amounts of time decide which one you play for longer. Since I own every single CnC title and add-on except Renegade, EA's clearly doing something right, so it's by no means a bashing exercise for any RTS Sci-Fi game that's not SupCom.

So do modern gamers with a console as well as a PC just not want a sense of improving skills as they progress through a game, or should devs only code for "single skills" that never have to improve as you get nearer to completing the title (which IIRC was a criticism levelled at Bioshock by Yahtzee Croshaw)?

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Postby eVoL » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:02 am

No. Dont be stupid

Sup Com (much like TA before it) for me is a sterile, dull, detatched and lifeless game. Is it to complex for me? No, its just one of the most boring RTS Ive played. You can zoom out as much as you want but if I dont give two hoots about the units running around below you fail.

If your argument is "if you dont like it you're not smart enough to understand it", then my argument is "if you like it, you're too stupid to see how crap it is" ¬_¬
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Postby Hyssy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:16 am

I think it's the learning curve that dissuade most from SupCom, it being more of a learning cliff. It's when you break that and get into the swing of things with more than a couple of factories pumping out the required MASS of units that things take off. The size of the maps, 20k squared? Have you any idea how big that is?! Never mind the fact that the largest ones are over 80k (!!) squared. That is immense. The only thing it needs is a Multiplayer save feature, like Empire Earth, to make such maps viable for an evenings play.

As for character, some people like their units to talk. I know a lot of criticism is levelled at how similar the 3 (now 4) races are. But there are differences. They certainly don't look the same, and some have the focus more on damage out than armour, or the other way around (or taking the Aeon T2 unit, a guided missile in addition to their tactical missiles).

Some of the differences are subtle. Cybran tactical missiles will not be destroyed by a tac missile defence. Instead they will, when hit, split into a group of smaller missiles. This ensures at least some damage is caused to the intended target. Again, Cybran Loyalist T3 Siege bots have Tac missile defence that will actually turn the missile around, and send it back to where it came from. Which can be quite a surprise if the launcher isn't properly defended...

UEF benefit from the toughest units, the Pelican T3 assault bot is unmatched for hitpoints by any other non experimental unit. Twenty of them is intimidating, but to see 70 march toward you is brown trouser time.

Aeon get the most amphibious units in their hover tanks, which can give you the advantage on aqua maps. There really is a plethora of difference between them that can easily be missed, if you just look at what the initial units are.

I realise I'm digressing toward SupCom only in this, but as it was the main point in your post I think that's acceptable. As a preference, I much prefer a slow burner that will give me time to develop and learn its intricacies, than to a group and charge RTS that so many end up as. Combined arms is what wins in SupCom, and it takes a while to learn how things work.

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Postby Subway Diet » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:37 am

It's all a matter of preference, surely?
Or perhaps terrible console games have made me too daft to appreciate it?
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Postby Hyssy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:46 am

Subway Diet wrote:It's all a matter of preference, surely?

Nethlyn wrote:The truth is they're different games for different fans

I don't think part of the argument is how simple/stupid console game(rs) are, it'd be too easy to get this mired with that particular mess of an argument.

Hang on... when SupCom comes out on 360 will we get some kind of paradox and the world will end?

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Postby Jay » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:59 am

If I bought WoW this weekend and called it shite after an hour when I've never played an RPG in my life, the forum response would be "make an effort, give it time and practice".


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Postby Snowy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:29 am

I personally love PC gaming because of the depth. As a rule, I find console games fine for a quick fix, or to play after the pub with some mates, but PC gaming is where my heart is.

The depth and complexity of some PC titles I would imagine can be offputting - a (non-gamer) friend of mine recently started playing WoW, and joined my server and guild, and has openly admitted that while he loves it, he would have been lost had he started playing on his own. Just the language used in MMOs is a cliff to climb in itself.

Problem is I guess that the platform has evolved already, and the community with it (well, in some cases they have regressed, but still...), so it is difficult to see how that could change now.
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Postby Mantis » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:37 am

Learning curves don't put me off games. I played SupCom, I understood it fine after a few skirmishes. But Evol pretty much completely summed up my feelings towards it. At first I thought that zooming right out and seeing massive battles would be good but when I actually tried it I saw how much superior an RTS is where you can zoom right in and admire the action close up. SupCom is just pants because its so detached and lifeless and you never want to zoom in lest you be exposed to watching the horrible units just blankly firing at each other with no soul.

I can quite happily sit and play and learn a game that has a large learning curve, so long as it's fun. SupCom is not.

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Postby Plant » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:39 am

I'd say a steep learning curve in a game isn't a good thing, but y'know. Climb the mountain, reach the eagle's nest.
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Postby NightShade » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:43 am

A steep learning curve is fine, ones that go all over the place can be a right Edwin though.

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Postby JohnyHumf » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm

I don't mind a hard game, and I don't mind complicated games as long I'm taken by the hand until I know the ropes. What would put me right off is just being plonked right into it with no idea how to handle it.

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Postby DjchunKfunK » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:17 pm

I think I understand what Ken is trying to get at in his post. Today for many gamers if a game doesn't grab them inside the first say 10-20mins then they are likely to give up playing it. Obviously they are not going to be able to get into said game if it takes them a couple of hours just to learn how to play. Therefore developers do seem to skew a lot more towards the lowest common denominator when desiging games consequently there is a lot more hand-holding in todays games than there used to be.

This isn't to say that this is a bad thing as many of these games are still great fun to play and sometimes you don't want to spend x amount of hours learning to be proficient at a game just so you can enjoy it. However this 'instant action' generation means that developers are less likely to try and make games that do require time to get into as they are not as financially viable and this is a sad thing. In today's modern gaming it is unlikely that a game such as Fallout or Baldur's Gate would get off the drawing board as I don't think enough people would be willing to put in the time to learn the neuances of the game in order to make it viable comercialy and that is definitley a sad state of affairs.

So I do think that gamers are a lot more impatient now than they used to be, and lets face it as a society were a generally an impatient lot. However like I said this isn't necessarily damaging the games industry, but I do think it is putting developers off from making more complex games, and some of my favourite games of all time have been pretty complex.
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Postby Zael » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:06 pm

I kind of agree. There are alot of people out there who don't want to bother having to go through a steep learning curve to play a game. I doubt anyone on here would admit it if they felt that way.

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Postby Bob Arctor » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:33 pm

I think there is something to be said for ease though, as long as there is depth behind it.

For instance Fallout had a lot of random stuff that was hard to understand, especially with the items and such as there weren't the numbers to see what was good and what did what.
It's like the difference between Morrowind and Oblivion.

But then the trick is to put in depth as well as complexity. Civ IV manages this I feel, especially as the PC can run difficult stuff or prompt you to do stuff.
Oblivion fails, as Morrowind was hard but was satisfying, whereas Oblivion is flat and dull.

Mind you I forgive DF for its complexity, and that's a right bitch. I had the wiki to help. I feel sorry for anyone who started on the Z-axis version though, I'd have cried. At least I started when there was guarenteed cliffs, river, etc.
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Postby JohnyHumf » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:11 pm

I've found that usually the hardest games to learn to play are when they're in a genre that you don't usually play. For instance, in an FPS usually I just jump right in, it'll be WASD and I'll know where the crouch button is, left mouse click is fire, right mouse is alt fire, scroll wheel cycles weapons etc. Or RPGs, you've got you Bat Of Whackingness that goes in a particular slot, your potions in another... The only time in years I've been put off by something was when I tried EVE, it was the first MMO I had tried so I through myself in at the deep end.

So yeah, genres are normally the same, with occasional new features to get used to but the fundemantals are easily learned.


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