Remember the days when gamers were complaining that games had no replay value?

I remember this being a thing were most people were complaining about games being too short and linear and lacking any replay value, as in trying to be "interactive movies" case in point the "Modern Military Shooter" era where Halo, Call of Duty, Gears of War, etc. were big and every other game tried to copy it.

Nowadays people are complaining that most AAA games are just Empty Open World Grindfest of getting Loot Boxes to keep you playing at all times.

Amazing how much gaming has changed.

Well, back then the people who liked open ended games were complaining, while the people who liked linear games were happy, now the people who like linear games are complaining and the people who like open world games are happy. There's nothing to show that it's the same people complaining in both instances, anyhow.

I doubt it's the same people complaining. I think you'll find that the ones complaining about lack of replayability are the people with lots of time and not much money, while the ones complaining about the open world grind are the people with money to spare but who have limited time to play. Back when I was a student, I could spend 100 hours on a big open world game with ease, but now I tend to stick to short linear games I can knock out in ~20hrs because I just don't have the free time to be able to devote that much time to one game.

Dreiko:
There's nothing to show that it's the same people complaining in both instances, anyhow.

Or, the people who wanted longer games wanted longer games, not open world collect-a-thon grinding games.

What? No?

Maybe a part of the people complaining in both instances just didn't know what they were getting themselves in to. They liked the open worlds that just started rearing their heads, and wanted more of that. However it turned out that the open worlds they wanted so bad would just be filled with pointless collect-a-tons and boring samey side quests.

I'm sure what they wanted was single player quality story and quests, but an open world to do it in.

Depends what you play or what the quality of the game is.

Ezekiel:

Dreiko:
There's nothing to show that it's the same people complaining in both instances, anyhow.

Or, the people who wanted longer games wanted longer games, not open world collect-a-thon grinding games.

Exactly. There's a difference between "I like this. I want this to be longer,better fleshed out and with more to explore" and "I want this to be really big but devoid of much meaningful to do".

Along the same lines, I'm partial to games with a playable epilogue, where you're given the opportunity to explore a bit and generally wind down after the final battle or finale. That's not quite the same as "I want to be dumped back into the map to collect more things instead of getting an actual ending."

Longer doesn't mean better if it's composed mostly of filler content.

No I don't remember that. I think I remember people complaining abut the prevalence of CoD and what not, but not specifically about not having any replay value.

I'd blame some of this on Morrowind. It looks alien and beautifully unnatural. The culture feels lived in.. But there isn't much to do, most of it is even worse than fetch quests. Many are just talk to this person and return. I think people mistake open world for the former but got the latter

sanquin:
Maybe a part of the people complaining in both instances just didn't know what they were getting themselves in to. They liked the open worlds that just started rearing their heads, and wanted more of that. However it turned out that the open worlds they wanted so bad would just be filled with pointless collect-a-tons and boring samey side quests.

I'm sure what they wanted was single player quality story and quests, but an open world to do it in.

Exactly, they wanted games like The Witcher 3. Unfortunately there aren't yet any other games like The Witcher 3.

To be fair, you did mention the who lootbox fiasco. When people say they want replayability, they don't mean stuff like Shadow of War's infamous grind to the true ending.

They mean stuff like Elder Scrolls, where you can play as a mighty warrior in one character, a sneaky assassin in another, one can be Lawful Good, another can be Chaotic Evil, and the types of playstyles and stories can be pretty numerous for a series known for being an extremely wide puddle as far as depth goes.

Its the Morrowind vs SKyrim example.

Morrowind has replay value, because replays are varied and unique inherently in its design. Skyrim can have replay value, but everything about it is designed to be a ludicrously long grinding singular do-everything playthrough, not a unique experience per replay.

In Morrowind's case, their are logical barriers (like needing to be a mage to rise in the mage guild) and questline designs that promote conflicting interests. Most of the content (and the endgame) will eventually be overcome by a natural (somewhat, levelling is well-documented in its jankiness) progression, that doesn't require doing all the content over and over repeatedly to achieve.

Skyrim specifically eschews any barriers, and while dialogue plays lip service to questline conflicts, no one will ever care that you're an archmage in the magic-despising Companions, or a celebrated Imperial General killing the Emperor. Challenges in the world keep scaling until you unlock the upper echelons of perks, a task that involves constant repetition over hours. The perk system is even designed this way, with the final perk requiring the absolute full grind (contrasted to say, Super MArio Odyssey, where the equally inane number of moons existed, but you didn't need anything close to all of them). Then you have the trophy design, where the designers have further mandated that everything be done with one character, in direct opposition to the concept of replays.

There's various factors of course. Trophys are an obvious culprit, though to my knowledge, devs don't have anyone holding a gun to their head making them choose bland marathon grinds as their trophies, or even assigning the platinum to "100% completion". "Biggers number = Better", so having thousands of collectibles and 7 billion planets with 1 million mile square maps is seen as the target, even if the collectibles are meaningless, and the terrain is procedurally generated nothingscape. Attempts to mass market also result in trying to merge accessible (or "easy" or "casual" if thats your preferred terms) gameplay with the anti-thetical concepts of deep challenging gameplay and expansive worlds, by just repeating the accessible content to make it seem grander.

There's good and bad ways to make every kind of game. There's always going to be more bad games, in a genre that's currently popular. That's just law of averages, if open world sandbox games are currently more popular there just are going to be more bad open world sandbox games. There were more bad platformers when platformers ruled the console market, when adventure games and fmv was popular there was more bad click-n-point and fmv games than there are now. And when you have more examples of bad games in a genre, you will hear more complaining.

Samtemdo8:

Nowadays people are complaining that most AAA games are just Empty Open World Grindfest of getting Loot Boxes to keep you playing at all times.

I still don't see any replay value in that.

I come from the era that favored replayability. Whether it was open world or linear, long or short, violent or "E for everyone," what we wanted were quality games that felt good to play and offered us interesting worlds to exist in, ones that we'd like to go through again and again after our first playthrough. I think this stems more from the fact that at any given time, there were only ever a handful of "new" games, so we were often stuck with what was on offer, so had to squeeze enjoyment from our games with multiple playthroughs.

Quality and type aside, games are more digestible nowadays than they've ever been: you can play them, you can watch them played via stream or You Tube, you can download games at home, there's Steam with literally THOUSANDS of games for dirt cheap and with so many titles being multiplatform, there're very few games most any of us can't play. Back in my day (and I'm not saying that ironically,) we didn't get a new Call of Duty every year, and the months in between weren't padded with dozens upon dozens of clones and wannabes, so every game we bought NEEDED to be worth the investment. Nowadays, there's so much shit out there of every color and flavor, most people can't be arsed to worry about replayability. Damn near every one of us has complained about gaming backlog, games we have or want but haven't gotten to yet; TRUST me, this was NOT the issue back in the '80s and '90s.

Devs don't prioritize gameplay much, that's the problem. Remember how people spent hundreds of hours on multiplayer games just because the gameplay was so good? My multiplayer shooter of choice is still MGO2 (MGS4 online) because no other online shooter has topped its gameplay. Nowadays most devs rely on Skinner box mechanics to keep players invested instead of just making great gameplay that will keep players hooked. It all really started with COD4 and it's unlock system (not really too bad at all) but that caused every online shooter to adopt leveling and unlocking systems to the point where we have Destiny and The Division and soon to be Anthem where the main reason people play those games is to get the next slightly better thing. Devs are trying to find ways to keep people playing that aren't related to just amazing gameplay whether it's online shooters with Skinner boxes (whether unlock systems or loot boxes), open world games that are overstuffed with boring content (and of course very same-y gameplay from title to title), or season pass DLC that is rarely of the quality of the massive old-school expansions that games used to receive. The problem is there's plenty of gamers that fall for Skinner box garbage and devs make a shitload of money on such practices that it's far easier to employ that than making that amazing gameplay. When Rockstar makes truckloads of money off Shark Cards (even if just from 1% of the community), what's the incentive to not do that?

I would argue that a lot of the replay value in modern day games is severely lacking. I remember as a kid playing Resident Evil 4 over and over again because each time you played you got to unlock something that made the next playthrough cooler. From outfits, to various new guns, or unlimited ammo for guns that had a lack of ammo in the main game like magnum or rocket launcher.

These days, outfits, guns, and such are limited to DLC or lootbox purchases. Which means the main reason to play through a title again is almost completely gone.

Honestly I don't know if that is exactly a bad thing.

Sure, when you are kid, replay value is a great thing because you probably aren't getting many games throughout the course of the year. I think I got four or five games per year as a kid, depending on my grades. As a result, I needed the replay value to be there so that I could squeeze everything I possibly could out of a game.

But now as an adult. Well, now I don't really want to replay much these days. I like getting to the end of my games and being able to move onto the next one. Of course, I have a job that allows me to buy any and all games I want, so I'm not limited in money anymore. I am however limited in time, and I want to finish an experience and move on.

Should a game really strike lightning with me, I might buy the expansions or the DLC. Although I only ever did this for Dark Souls 3 and the Witcher 3 in recent memory.

All in all, I don't think the limitation on replay value is exactly a bad thing. But it depends on the person.

Xsjadoblayde:
What? No?

Ditto? I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain about a lack of replayability though it occasionally gets mentioned in reviews.

If anything, people complain about every Call of Duty game being same-y and in the same vein as Assassin's Creed or sports games, which are essentially the exact same game mechanics covered with a shiny new coat of paint which we are then expected to pay 70 dollars for the privilege of playing.

 

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