How patient are you with exploration?

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If I can't figure out where I'm supposed to go or what item I'm supposed to use, I get bored fairly quickly.

I haven't played Psychonauts in ten days now. I was in the asylum.

Made it pretty far into RE0. Beat Centurion. Then didn't know where to go next and got bored.

Also thinking of deleting RE7 and Prey. But they're boring games to boot.

And it's been so long since I made progress in Hollow Knight, I forgot I had it installed.

It depends on the game, RE7 and Prey for an example were a lot of fun to explore, especially Prey where the exploration is the high point of the game.

Skyrim on the other is so horrendously boring to run around in, it's probably why I can't play it for more than a couple of hours before uninstalling it again and again.

As with all things, its all about how fun the exploration is. Exploring in a Zelda or Metroid game, for example, is usually pretty fun, especially later in the game when your using equipment to unlock new areas, all of which are visually interesting.

And then there's games like FO4, where exploring is a choir because the world is just so empty and boring. Or Doom, since exploring for items and upgrades brought what was supposed to be a fast paced game to a screeching halt.

DefunctTheory:
And then there's games like FO4, where exploring is a choir because the world is just so empty and boring. Or Doom, since exploring for items and upgrades brought what was supposed to be a fast paced game to a screeching halt.

So there is a lot of singing in FO4 and Doom. OT I think the difference between making exploring a drag vs engaging is based on two things, traveling and worldbuilding. For the latter its kinda boring that you have to travel all these vast lands and have nothing exciting or engaging, whether it be fighting bland enemies or spending hours exploring land and not encountering any land settlements or engaging settings. For the former its nice to have something that lets you move faster, my main gripe with the Fallout traveling is that the player should have access to some sort of vehicle or something.

Considering the endless hours I spent in Breath of the Wild just walking, climbing, and gliding around with no specific goal, very.

When I'm being asked to go look for an unlock item without concrete directions though, not very.

And then when I look up the solution it's sometimes so obvious. Of course I have to enter Fred Bonaparte's mind.

Casual Shinji:
Considering the endless hours I spent in Breath of the Wild just walking, climbing, and gliding around with no specific goal, very.

When I'm being asked to go look for an unlock item without concrete directions though, not very.

But is Breath of the Wild ever confusing? Do you ever run into a wall, where you don't know what you must do to progress the story. My impression is that it's too open and nonlinear for that.

Ezekiel:

Casual Shinji:
Considering the endless hours I spent in Breath of the Wild just walking, climbing, and gliding around with no specific goal, very.

When I'm being asked to go look for an unlock item without concrete directions though, not very.

But is Breath of the Wild ever confusing? Do you ever run into a wall, where you don't know what you must do to progress the story. My impression is that it's too open and nonlinear for that.

Like 90% of the game is optional, so if you do come across a wall you can usually just ignore it and head for something else.

I like exploring. Apart from playing the game for its story, I like exploration the most.

You know mentioning RE7 and Prey in the same sentence made me think about my opinions of those games compared to each other because I *love* RE7 and *struggle* to get through Prey.

It's possible I just like RE7 more but I think it's that in RE7, exploration that not directly progression isn't as mandatory as it feels in Prey. As someone who found possibly less than half of the antique coins and made it through my first playthrough with just the beginning handgun, beginning shotgun, flamethrower, and grenade launcher (yep, didn't even get the machine gun first time around), while it was rough sometimes, I knew I could make it.

Prey on the other hand, feels like you've got to go everywhere, which is cool that there's something waiting for you if you take the time, it feels like it straight up punishes you if you don't look around. I've restarted Prey twice feeling like if I didn't find every gosh darn thing, I'm f*ck*d in the long run, RE7 doesn't make me feel like that.

I guess the short answer is light exploration like in RE7 or Bioshock I really like, especially if it's not consequential. Heck, I've never loved open-world games but at least if I just want to bee-line the story, I can do that. Arkane games, Prey and Dishonored, less so in Dishonored I feel, rewards deep exploration while punishing straight-shooters, I don't like that.

Ezekiel:
But is Breath of the Wild ever confusing? Do you ever run into a wall, where you don't know what you must do to progress the story. My impression is that it's too open and nonlinear for that.

It's not that complex a game tbh. The dungeons have the same physics mechanics based around positioning and gravity. It's not like it's super unlinear. After all, you can just go straight to the boss. You know what you have to do. You know where to go. There's puzzles but 95% of them are skippable.

It's a beautiful and sombre post-post-apocalypse world, without having to stick to a brown colour palette... which makes it a vibrant world to get lost in. It's one of those games that you'll plot out a course, end up being sidetracked by something ... like a falling star fragment... get into a few fights. Game places a focus on verticality... so often you can see something in tge distance, whether above or below, and just simply go there.

Nearly every surface you can climb on. So if you really need to get someplace, it's merely a matter of having enough stamina or stamina boosting items. So you won't really get 'stuck' in a conventional sense.

If you're really navigationally challenged, the game itself offers a system of pointing in a direction and laying down a glowing beacon you can see through viewfinder esque 'app' on your Sheikah slate.

Which I actually suggest if you're star fragment hunting ... as more oftrn than not thr reason where you will see it fsll is becausr you're somewhere fairly high. The problem is getting there with the ravines and shit you have to cross to get to it. It's unlinear in that, unlike any gsme I've plsyed, it feels closest to looking out in the distance, seeing sn unususl landmark, and pulling up your msp to examine what it is ... how truly far away it is, and the easiest way to get there.

No floating hub markers on screen telling you exactly the number of meters, etc. Emphasising that idea of it's just you, the wilderness that has/is taking over, and some monsters along the way. I really appreciate how they managed to keep the HUD as clear of crap as possible. While games like Fallout 3 you could eliminate that information, the quests often never gave you enough information to be without them. Bethesda just simply felt thst player aids would just simply be used and used it as s crutch to do less voice acting.

Nintendo, thankfully, didn't do that. No one explicitly tells you where to go and what to find, but it doesn't fall upon the crutch of a fourth wall breaking player aid thst is just there without explanation or reason.

Extra-Ordinary:

Prey on the other hand, feels like you've got to go everywhere, which is cool that there's something waiting for you if you take the time, it feels like it straight up punishes you if you don't look around. I've restarted Prey twice feeling like if I didn't find every gosh darn thing, I'm f*ck*d in the long run, RE7 doesn't make me feel like that.

Prey really doesn't. Its' problem is that it starts off with the player very weak, but by the end of the game I was so beefed up from all my exploring that I could nuke most enemies instantly. Even when I didn't I had so much healing on my person that tactics felt silly compared to brute forcing everything. That being said, Prey is one of those games where much of the experience comes from exploring this intricate location and figuring out how to get to places that seem blocked off. If those kinds of games aren't your cup of tea (and I'd argue RE7 is more about the horror then the exploration) then Prey will absolutely suck, because the enjoyment of exploration and "tricking the game" is at the core of the experience.

Obviously, I've got a high patience for exploration, especially in games like Prey that really puts thought into the internal consistency of its' play area.

I like exploring, but I wouldn't consider not knowing where to go next to be exploration. That's just poor level design.

My desire to explore hinges entirely on how easy it is to get around. If I've got some way of traversing the environment quickly and easily then I'm all up for a bit of a look around, but if every metre I move is a chore then I'm staying on task

How good my travel is, the potential reward at the end, THE MUSIC oh god you give me an annoying tune and I'm not even gonna bother doing anything except finding a new area to go or put the game down. Theme song to my misery right there man.

I returned to Horizon: Zero Dawn after finishing (mostly) DS2: SotFS and when I saw all those icons I kinda groaned. I know it's not as much as recent Ubisoft games, but damned if it doesn't feel close enough. Then you have all these plants every ten feet that need picking to keep resources up, and the "rare" animal parts like skin and bone for certain gear that oddly only one out of five or ten critters seem to possess...I kinda just want to stop collecting stuff and only loot larger machines to see how far I get.

I like when exploration leads to something significant, but when things are heavily peppered all over the map it makes everything feel less and less so. I hope I have the patience to finish this game, because I did like the first 10 or so hours I've put into it. But being reminded of the constant loot gathering all over the place has been a bit discouraging.

I suppose it depends on your gaming experiences? maybe its down to the those early days?

I think the second game I played on my 1st PC was Thief:The Dark Project.

Now, THAT game rewards you by exploring EVERYWHERE, as that's how you find the hidden levers and doors, tunnels and secret treasure.

Because of that experience, I often will explore as much as I can... I suppose I was dismayed a little by Dishonoured 1 and 2 because there's not actually that much to find off the beaten track. It's still a set of games I wander around in.

I'll never understand the whole achievements earned for "speeding" something. (looking at you Starcraft 2) If I've spent THAT much money, I want to bask in the game world. I don't want to dash through it until I've finished and go, "well, what next?"

The only games I play with an exploration element are the Bethesda FPRPGs and that's more open world exploration than search for a specific thing exploration.
I do like zooming off path in the missions in GTAV multiplayer to see what I can see without having to interact with the rest of the playerbase, if that counts.
I do this kind of shit IRL too (with less shooting people though), so it's less a game thing than a me thing.

I really didn't get on with games like Doom, when all I wanted to do was shoot a motherfucker in the face, but I had to run around a maze trying to find the bollocking yellow key before I could go and shoot the next lot dudes. Same with those large explorey level type games, metroidvania? Is that the word?

So yeah, if I can't figure out where or what I'm supposed to be doing I do get bored pretty quickly, but if I'm not supposed to be going anywhere or doing anything in particular then I'm quite happy with drifting along to see what I can see.

I am an OCD completionist, and I play games to experience and beat the content. I don't consider exploring to be part of the content, really. It's just an obtacle that I must overcome in order to find the content. I "explore" like someone mowing the lawn, literally, and I enjoy it about as much. I circumvent the area borders in a circle, and then "mow" the interior, systematically until I've found all the content in the area. And then I complete all the content/quests one by one until everything is done before moving on to the next area.

So no, I don't really like exploring, and in general, the bigger the world, the shittier the game is to me, because it means there is more tedious "mowing" to do before I can find, experience, and complete all the content. I am pretty patient (or hard-headed) about it, though, to a fault. I spent 300 hours each grinding through DAI and the Witcher 3 and completed them, but I will never play those games again. I ran out of patience with Skyrim in about a week, and never went back. Now I just try to avoid massive open world games. I much prefer more confined, linear games, but they are becoming harder and harder to find, it seems.

I have played a ton of the Dark Souls trilogy in the past couple of years. To me, they strike the perfect Goldilocks balance in zone size and confinement. I wish more RPG's would follow their lead instead of trying to outdo each other by making worlds bigger and bigger for no reason except for the ability to brag in marketing about how big their game is.

I love exploring. Dragon Quest VIII is probably my favorite.

Well I mean I did play Vanilla WoW... That shit will harden you after extended play and no guide...

Some of you understand what I meant. Some of you don't. Oh well.

Ezekiel:
Some of you understand what I meant. Some of you don't. Oh well.

The OP sounds like more of a progression issue. To me it's a bit of a catch-22. To elaborate on my Horizon example, I often get overwhelmed and discouraged not just by the presence of numerous map icons to "explore", but also when there is a marker telling me right where to go. I want things to happen more organically in a game instead of it all feeling like a bloody checklist.

It's why even when SoulsBorne doesn't tell you squat about where to go, they are good at making players feel like curious cats because there is a more significant incentive to explore. The environments alone are highly detailed and varied enough to make me say, "Hmm, I wonder what's over here..."

One of my favorite games is The Path.

Does that answer your question?

It depends. An open world game is designed to be explored, and so when I am denied such I get frustrated. On the other hand, if its a more linear title, the part that gets on my nerves are when its not something you could not figure out without a game guide.

Ezekiel:
Some of you understand what I meant. Some of you don't. Oh well.

Eh, games rarely get you stuck not knowing where to go. In my experience anyway.

Depends how you set up the exploration. Dark Souls enticed you with four ways to go from the start but you could only really go one way. Putting a little glow in the distance, that probably has a ambush nearby, that's better. Bonfires behind invisible walls - that's trash.

In Witcher 3, I just went walking around to find something interesting. Generally, there weren't any ruins to explore and every one was tied to a mission. I learnt that exploring was pointless - just follow the Far Cry markers.

Personally I like Deus Ex - you get XP from exploring weird places. You gather a huge variety of ways to get past obstacles but, with some ingenuity (usually with a bunch of boxes), you can get past without using skills. Guns blazing is a good approach as well

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:

Ezekiel:
Some of you understand what I meant. Some of you don't. Oh well.

Eh, games rarely get you stuck not knowing where to go. In my experience anyway.

Especially when there's Google.

KaraFang:
I'll never understand the whole achievements earned for "speeding" something. (looking at you Starcraft 2) If I've spent THAT much money, I want to bask in the game world. I don't want to dash through it until I've finished and go, "well, what next?"

It takes a lot of time to beat a game really fast.

hanselthecaretaker:
Then you have all these plants every ten feet that need picking to keep resources up, and the "rare" animal parts like skin and bone for certain gear that oddly only one out of five or ten critters seem to possess...I kinda just want to stop collecting stuff and only loot larger machines to see how far I get.

Ugh yeah, I hated that so much about that game. Not even having to collect the rare materials and stuff for upgrades I don't care about b/c they're tedious to accomplish but just having to pluck every bush/plant/rock etc just to keep your stock of arrows and other items became an excruciating chore. You couldn't spend like 3 minutes before here we go again back to plucking. I loved the robot fights and pretty graphics but other than that HZD is a really shit game in my opinion. The longer you play the more you come to realize that. The general story arc of how the world came to be was pretty interesting but 90% of the story is about all the tribal drama which was soooo boring that I started to skip cutscenes entirely just to have the game over with.

Anyways when I get lost or stuck in a game I'm otherwise enjoying I don't mind looking it up online or whatever but when I'm already not enjoying the game it's usually a good excuse to quit. It's very rare with modern games though. Usually they go out of their way to have everything spelled out for you to the point I wished there was more challenge or involvement from the player. RE7 is actually a really good example of a game that does exploration right. It's not obtuse or overly archaic as the original games but doesn't have you following a straight line with glowing map markers either. I was fully immersed and couldn't put that game down which I don't have often.

Sometimes I like to explore if the game has an interesting world, but if I'm stuck somewhere and I just want to get to the next level or whatever, I'll look for a walkthrough because who cares. With the amount of free time I have, it feels like waste of time to be running around without any idea of what I'm supposed to do next.

stroopwafel:

hanselthecaretaker:
Then you have all these plants every ten feet that need picking to keep resources up, and the "rare" animal parts like skin and bone for certain gear that oddly only one out of five or ten critters seem to possess...I kinda just want to stop collecting stuff and only loot larger machines to see how far I get.

Ugh yeah, I hated that so much about that game. Not even having to collect the rare materials and stuff for upgrades I don't care about b/c they're tedious to accomplish but just having to pluck every bush/plant/rock etc just to keep your stock of arrows and other items became an excruciating chore. You couldn't spend like 3 minutes before here we go again back to plucking. I loved the robot fights and pretty graphics but other than that HZD is a really shit game in my opinion. The longer you play the more you come to realize that. The general story arc of how the world came to be was pretty interesting but 90% of the story is about all the tribal drama which was soooo boring that I started to skip cutscenes entirely just to have the game over with.

Anyways when I get lost or stuck in a game I'm otherwise enjoying I don't mind looking it up online or whatever but when I'm already not enjoying the game it's usually a good excuse to quit. It's very rare with modern games though. Usually they go out of their way to have everything spelled out for you to the point I wished there was more challenge or involvement from the player. RE7 is actually a really good example of a game that does exploration right. It's not obtuse or overly archaic as the original games but doesn't have you following a straight line with glowing map markers either. I was fully immersed and couldn't put that game down which I don't have often.

What I like about it is how smoothly it plays, including everything from shooting to platforming to riding the bots. But the rpg stuff is overkilll tedium. It literally feels like half the game could be inventory management, collecting resources, playing musical gear, etc. Even MGSV isn't that bad, and it has a much more reasonable excuse for having those features given the base building. Most of the time it's auto-managed too.

Exploration needs to have a purpose for me. Otherwise I feel like exploration is a waste of time. Additionally I need exploration to be fun. This is a big part of why I hate Breath of the Wild. Exploring isn't fun, because you can never truly prepare to explore. Your weapons break, random weather can fucking outright kill you or stop your exploration in it's tracks, and it is really easy to stumble upon an enemy that just ruins your day.

A good example of exploration for me was Saint's Row 4. You end up with super powers that make exploring fast, easy, and fun. Plus there are plenty of activities and side missions to do as you go around.

Call me crazy but I also liked Ghost Recon Wildlands, because exploring was always rewarding. Stumble upon a plane? Fly that bitch somewhere. Find a little outpost? Jack the supplies for experience points and kill the bad guys. Every little place usually has something and not only do these little things help you, but they also cause the story to progress. By doing a bunch of little shit in the area you can avoid main missions if you want and just anger the boss of the area enough with your side hussle to go fight them directly doing that. GRW was the perfect dicking around game for me.

As others have said, it boils a lot down to risk/reward and how interesting it is to explore. If explore grants you nothing useful, involves areas that are just dull or does nothing but further expose to you ways to die, you messed up your exploration somewhere.

On the other hand, if exploring nets you better equipment(with a reasonable risk associated), opens up new areas of the game, opens up new ways to travel/shortcuts, or just generally makes the game more alive and interesting, that's when exploring feels like it's worth it.

I like it when a game environment provides me with "ooh, what's that?" thoughts, and gives me the opportunity to find out. I like less the type of exploration where we are provided with those thoughts that go "Hey, don't forget to look behind that crate, or that stalagmite, or behind that waterfall for the secret (but obviously going to be there) items!". That is never interesting, leads only to mundane rewards, and turns exploration into a grind. Basically I'd rather explore landmarks than cubbyholes, unless these cubbyholes have genuinely been cleverly hidden (Dishonored 2 is great for this).

Depends on the game world. In rich, well built worlds - traditionally RPGs - I can happily explore for hour after hour, immersing myself in the game and it's lore. In other games, where the focus is on gameplay and not world-building - typically sandbox shooters - I tend to find that I only go to a place if I have a reason to go there, and even then I prefer quest markers so that I can take the shortest route in and out.

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