Drop The High Scores

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I'm just thinking of every racing game EVER where the top 5 scores or so on a roughly 3 minute race are always ALWAYS something unrealistic.Motorstorm Apocolypse a game where most laps take 45-90 seconds nearly every race's top handful of spots are something like 7 seconds for the entire race.

Wouldn't it be nice if Dragons Dogma was just a tick. The NPCs from someone else were just randomly generated, and the "gift" yours came back with was just Randomly assigned from a loot table.

Would you know the difference?

It DOES do that every time you rest it says your pawn helped someone and gives you a random loot. Unless an actual person rents your pawn, the pawn will have their PSN account attached to it's note. Also if the PSN account is on your friends list you can rent the pawn for free. Which is great for me since I have two friends with the game and they are similarly leveled. We have optimized our pawns to make a complimentary party, abilities wise.
Because we're geeks.

I agree BUT...I love scoreboards for games at first.

I was so proud of myself when on the end of the first weekend of Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing's release I had the quickest time in the world on quite a few tracks, I'm also pretty proud of being 35th in the UK in score on El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron's Normal difficulty and I hadn't actually played these games for all that long.

Now sure, it's actually embarrassing when the Sonic 4 leaderboards are all full of people who cheated and beat every level in 0 seconds or the top 100 players on the CoD4 leaderboards are all called different variants of CoD4HAX but when you get a score good enough to place in the top 10 or 20 percent of a games leaderboard and you haven't hacked or over played...hell that's something to be damn proud of and THAT'S why leaderboards rock!

Veldt Falsetto:
I agree BUT...I love scoreboards for games at first.

Well the thing about leaderboards is that legit players near the top of them can usually spot a hacked score from a mile away.

What's worse is when the game has a glitch in it that ruins the balance of the game and ruins the leaderboards. Sina Mora is just like that because the devs didn't realise that many shmup players have a controller with autofire on it. (rolls eyes)

I think many competative game / genres have an internet community outside of the game and have their own leaderboard or ranked matches so a broken in-game leaderboard isn't that much of a disaster.

If console manufacturers could bring those communities into their own chat / grouping system and make it easier for others to find them it would improve the state of so many niche competative games. Again Valve show's how it's done with their own community grouping system and forums thats tied directly into each game.

Great idea.

Dark Souls was instantly more fun when I unplugged the tube connector. If my character has died then I re-tube once in awhile to see if there are any messages close by or some interesting deaths. Bloodstains were interesting but most of them now to be the idiotrii jumping to their deaths so quit. Un-tube. Restart. Back to fun. Your solution is much better.

Well Well, casual Yahtzee opens once again his mouth just to tell the most casualish things one could imagine.
True Arcades (and by true I mean games like eXceed, Touhou (I know neither has worldwide leaderboards)... or a bit more modern examples like Jamestown) are simply meant to be played over and over again, and unlike regular games, they do a damned good job at it. Only someone who spent enough time trying to max out a score in a bullet hell knows how good it is at keeping you playing.
Someone like Yahtzee couldn't possibly comprehend this kind of topic simply because he plays games searching for other aspects than being drawn completely into the moment, to not make a single mistake for hours long gameplay.
Some games definitely have a score system being utterly useless, Devil May Cry 4 is one of the best examples (forcing you to farm in a game which is not about farming, repeating levels can't be anymore boring). Arcade games? They worked for 40 freakin' years by now, and they still work well.
To boost you ego you have 3(/4) things available. (Achievements,) Leaderboards, Speed-runs, professionality; in THIS order.

(Achievements became utter garbage as early as certain people started to put them on a podium they never belonged to.)
Leaderboards are only garbage if the game makes wrong use of them.
Speed-runs are even liked by developers.
Professional play speaks for itself.

What have all of these things in common? Playing the same game over and over and over until you stand above others. So, insulting one insults all to a certain degree.
Add: Hackers are present in all of these topics, but how often do they get away it with it, being as highly praised as a legit player would be? Not that often.

This statement is the hell of a subjective opinion and another reason why we live in the century of bad players who don't even know how bad they actually are, and why.

As someone who plays Shmups and other arcade games it saddens me to see folk hating on highscore. Reading that article just made it obvious that Yahtzee is one of "those" people. Older gamers who played arcade games as a kid and now thinks of them as old fashioned, something which gaming should grow out of because they have. To me it's the same idiotic thinking as bro gamers who think that any game other than a FPS is a waste of time and shouldn't be made because they don't like them even if others do.

Highscore especially in arcade games is the purist form of just about every competitive game, And like other types of measurement is basically all stats and numbers.

I don´t think he have anything against highscores, just online leaderboards where everyone competes against everyone.

I think he says that he likes to compete against his friends and his own scores.

for the most part, i think that while high scores can be left in for those who want to pursue that goal, growth for the rest of us could involve more than finding out that we will not be good enough to make a tangible difference in the eyes of the game

it's like the typical anime plot which hinges on who rates highest on some arbitrary power scale, and the rest of the show is seeing the other characters deal with the fact that they don't seem to matter much when the two biggest characters are the only ones actually driving the plot

Watch out, high-scoring types: your brains are defective and Yahtzee doesn't want to hang out with you at a party.

What's the harm in having global leaderboards? You can choose to ignore them. I agree that hackers / cheaters / glitchers suck, but there must be at least a few cases where the game was well-designed enough to prevent that. I don't go for the high-score thing myself, but I certainly appreciate why it exists. People play competitive games (not just video games - think chess, basketball, etc.), and they want to keep track of who's the best, and by how much. Yeah, even the *worldwide* best. Isn't that disgusting, that they care enough about a thing to be awesome at it?


From the headline I thought you would have read the recent Spacechem Postmortem on Gamasutra and its discussion of the histogram high score model as being vastly superior to numbered leaderboards. Frankly, it's astonishing that there aren't more games that use a simular model.

I was going to mention SpaceChem, it's got the only high score system I've ever paid any attention to. When a game tells me I'm number 4000 in a big list, well, ok, that is certainly a number, but point at my position on a bell curve and suddenly I can actually evaluate that information.

So simple and so obvious, why was it not invented the day after the online leaderboard? It's not like the visualization of a large data set is a cutting edge problem.

Re-quouting for extra fame, that hi-score system is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity and it baffles me why no one else copied it.

Starcraft 2 has another very simple variation. Instead of measuring your performance to the rest of the world, it organizes people into groups of 100 people. For some reason it's much more satisfying to 'compete' against 100 unknown people than competing against a million unknown people.

As someone who plays Shmups and other arcade games it saddens me to see folk hating on highscore. Reading that article just made it obvious that Yahtzee is one of "those" people. Older gamers who played arcade games as a kid and now thinks of them as old fashioned, something which gaming should grow out of because they have. To me it's the same idiotic thinking as bro gamers who think that any game other than a FPS is a waste of time and shouldn't be made because they don't like them even if others do.

Highscore especially in arcade games is the purist form of just about every competitive game, And like other types of measurement is basically all stats and numbers.

Removing highscore from arcade games is just like saying a football game should remove score, Diablo should remove stats or a FPS Deathmatch should remove its score system too.

While I agree that some games could move away from score to something else, however imo most games need stats and score to keep them interesting and give them depth. Maybe in the future when we are plugging a cord into the back of our heads that games could see more real world goals and objectives, however atm most games need them.

"or someone who has the necessary brain defects to want to play the same bloody game all bloody day"

That's a fallacy tbh, many arcade gamers play their games in short 1 or 2 hour sessions, its the fact they play these games over a number of years that they master them. That and the fact that because arcade games are hard and played in short bursts makes many players bring their best A game rather than just grind away while half asleep for hours so many other gamers do.

OFC to be at the very top you probably need to put in more time at the sacrifice of other games but that's just like anything competitive, However some arcade gamers might go to extremes like the Donkey Kong World Record players, but those games tend to be very early arcade games like space invaders that never end rather than game over in 30-60 mins, those types are more of an endurance marathon than anything else.

sorry if my post come off as been dickish however arcade highscore is a hot button topic with us types

Yeah I see why highscores can be a good thing for competition and re-playability, but one thing that really grinds my gears is the acheievment/trophey: 'Get to the top of the leaderboard'. It's just not going to happen, and I can't 100% my games as a result.

Another game that develops asynchronous multiplayer a bit is Anno 2070. Considering the game style, it isn't exactly entirely about shooting each other in the face. There are global things, like stats about how big is the world's population or production (a shame it isn't split by country/region a la trackmania though) or the elections on new laws/president. And there's the Conquest mode, currently in beta, that basically take the whole high score/leaderboard part. And make it matter, somehow. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it's a sort of... Team... Asynchronous... Competitive fight-off... Management... Dick-measuring... Thing ?

If I put in a few tries, I can usually get in the top 50 worldwide on Super Stardust HD in planet mode, and if it is early enough in the month after the high score reset, the top 10. I keep looking for ways to speed up stages to get those extra few points to get higher scores. Mostly I'm not a very competitive player, but I've been having fun with it. Even moving my high score slowly up on the all-time leader boards, gives me a reason to keep coming back and keep playing.

Since you can easily click your way past it all, I'm not sure I see the downside in it.

Also, the scores I see at the top seem for real. In this case, I don't suspect people are hacking it.

I'm sorry...well, actually, no, I'm not all that sorry; maybe if someone got really upset or bummed out by what I'm about to say, but I seriously doubt that would happen. Anyway, frankly I can't agree with the overall message of this article. I don't deny that when it comes to multiplayer, there are assholes out there. There are also people who aren't assholes at all, and there are also people who are generally alright even if they sometimes have asshole moments *points to himself*. I think Yahtzee's overdeveloped cynicism is really showing here. I don't think increasing the distance between players would help multiplayer at all. As it stands, I think the overarching way multiplayer usually works (allowing for public servers and private ones, giving people the ability to chat but also to mute others if they're being obnoxious, being able to kick players from a game session but requiring a majority vote, etc.) works pretty well; it's just a matter of getting people to actually use it.

Putting more distance between me and the people I play with isn't going to make me value them more. It's just going to make me think of them less as people and more as sources of in-game support, no more valued than an NPC who dispenses rewards/ammo/health packs/etc.

I like watching ZP and I find EP to often be thought-provoking and insightful. But this is one article where I think Yahtzee could stand to not be so ill-disposed towards the world in general.

There's a great zombie survival roguelike called Cataclysm that implements asynchronous multiplayer in a fun and innovative way. If you play on the online server the world gets updated between plays by how other players have modified the terrain. You might find their raided houses, abandoned bases, or their corpses to loot. The world gets randomly regenerated each week or so to start afresh, so you have this sense of the whole world deteriorating over time. It really drives home the whole feeling of a being a lone survivor in a zombie apocalypse, but with the sense that there are others out there somewhere going through the same ordeals. More details here: http://whalesdev.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

I think the new SSX has at least an inkling of a good idea somewhere in its asynchronus multiplayer. The Geotag system, where players are able to hide collectibles anywhere they can get to in a level and get paid based on how long it goes uncollected, is an interesting enough idea that's kept me playing the game for quite a while. But in a downhill racing game, maybe it's not the best use of the technology.

Take a sandbox action game with your standard box of doodads to collect for achievement points. Normally, your reward for finding 100% of the list (aside from a sticker on your gamer profile) is an in-game avatar item. What if instead, you had the privilege of hiding your own collectibles in the game world? You could leave a trail leading players to the "official" ones, or you could trick the bastards into running off a cliff and plummeting to their doom. In the Assassin's Creed series, when money no longer becomes an object midway through, your reward for dumping off caches of gold in out of the way places is an XP boost for your army of underlings. In GTA, I see this leading to "take a gun, leave a gun" stockpiles near mission-critical points of the world. In Saints Row, I'm picturing booby trapping someone else's city with farts-in-jars set to explode at every intersection.

Is it a stupid idea? The way I've said it, yes. Do I still think it could have its place in newer titles? Of course.

Howling Din:
Idea: What if there was an online multiplayer mod for Evil Genius? It would have other player's lairs appear on the world map. And give you the option to send minions there like any other territory. Then your minions appear on the other player's island in the same way as enemy agents. I mean, the appeal of Evil Genius is the ability to cause mischief and mayhem at other people's expense from the snug safety of your childish tree-fort. This appeal is doubled if you're victimizing actual human beings.

You! Get out of my head!

Or if you're going to steal my thoughts, take the crap ones would you?

Triple-A games could take a lot of cues from the Facebook-style asynchronous gameplay, and it's relatively simple to add. Another example that comes to mind is Demon's Souls and the ability to leave messages for future players, but the missed potential there is that there's no incentive to write the things.

Yes there was. There was the incentive of being an asshole. All that feature was ever used for was griefing. Simply drop an "I'm in trouble!" message and you too can spam up the floors of other player's games for no other reason than you being a dickhead!

Let's hope garbage like that stays in the "Souls" series and doesn't appear in other games.

Spore did that.
It randomly took other peoples creations and populated your world with it.

Unfortunately, the game sucked because EA.
It would be interesting to see a someone competent pick that concept up.

As for online hi-score tables, those are really more trouble than they're worth since they'll always get hacked anyway and not enough people really care about them.

I'm the same, only really specific games even warrant an online score table, for 99.9999% of players it means feck-all. I want to know if I beat the record on Fruit Ninja, or Temple Run - then I stop playing until someone beats my record - it's a good way to not get sick of these repetitive games. Games like Trials Evolution as well, it's quite nice to have a leaderboard of your friends, a constant target to beat, but only among people on your friends list. I'm finishing off a game for iOS and PC, and it has a score table, achievements, social network bragging - and it was all brutal rape to program, I didn't want to do it, but it's the norm these days I guess.

One thing that puzzles me, is why they always have to use such rediculous numbers as well, like they spotted what pinball tables did in the 80's, and decided that the average game equates to about 10 million points. That just makes score tables even more redundant, it's not a list of European countries debt FFS! - to utilise scoring systems like that, games often have multipliers, which push all the skill involved aside, and replace it with luck. Were you lucky enough to get that extra multiplier at the start of the game?, did you get that pomegranite?... really those aren't the gameplay mechanics I'm interested in... people should earn multipliers with skill, playing the same level over and over certainly doesn't proove skill.

If a game must have these sorts of factors, then at least they should keep them hidden. I tend to play BF3 quite a lot, and I never check my score during the game, it's bad luck or something. Anyway, I think it would be great to have a list of say, the most accurate player, most destructive, best camper, best K/D, biggest loser - relevant bragging rights stuff that to some people means more than finishing at the top of the XP table. Especially the K/D ratios, that interests me more than anything, I feel better about being at the bottom of the XP table when I at least get some good kills compared to the higher level players.

Nowadays with games like Diablo3 it's getting stupid. Durrrr, my axes does 800,000 points of damage per hit durrrr, I can kill Diablo in 5.83 seconds. There aren't enough games out there that strip the players gear from them, and force them to think, and use some skill for a change. Athene take note. Games these days do not proove skill, they proove how long your attention span is.

Wouldn't it be nice if Dragons Dogma was just a tick. The NPCs from someone else were just randomly generated, and the "gift" yours came back with was just Randomly assigned from a loot table.

Would you know the difference?

Yes. Dragon's Dogma does that whenever you play it offline and it was immediately obvious to me when it happened.

I actually discovered my internet was down while playing Dragon's Dogma because of the drastic difference between pawns and gifts from online to offline.

To be perfectly fair, I've found a *lot* of games that benefit from indirect competition, in both speedrunning and score attack competitions.

But that's got nothing to do with this. I'd love to see more benefit from not-multiplayer stuff.

Dark Souls actually does a few of those things. Unlike Demon's Souls, you actually get rewarded with humanity points if someone rates up your message. You also get an extra swig of health potion if someone kindles the bonfire you last rested at, and miracles can be more powerful if you cast them in the same place that another player last did.

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