Sins of Gaming

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I've been thinking about what I consider to be the sins most frequently made by games companies and decided to write up a list. What do you folks think? Is there any you would add or any you disagree with?

Day one DLC.
Pre-order bonuses of in-game content (special guns, outfits, etc).
Additional media or DLC that is requried viewing/reading/playing to understand the story (beginning of ME3 Shepard is somehow in prison without it being properly explained in game, FFXV's film explaining what happens to the city despite it being the primary motivation for the protagonist, etc).
Microtransactions in a single player game.
Microtransactions in a multiplayer game for non-cosmetic items.
DRM of any sort.
Games requiring to be always online when it is not a core component of the game (e.g MMOs).
Game trailers that don't include any gameplay (Teaser trailers get a pass here).
Review embargoes until day of release.
Adding multiplayer to single player RPG type games.

Honourable mentions
Day one patches.
Quicktime events added to cutscenes when they are not part of the core game.
Games requiring you to grind to complete the next dungeon despite having completed all available sidequests up to this point.
Unskippable cutscenes.
Unpausable cutscenes.

Random chance reliance that often defaults to a simple d100 without any real means of directly engaging with consistency beyond bumping a number up or down.

X-COM is the bigger offender of this. A beeter assumption is you always hit barring one instance result, but damage itself is keyed a modified based on result. Once again, Gloomhaven is an infinitely better tactical system that allows actual tactics without having to roll dice.

All too often do you get burned by doing yhings the long way... setting up crossfire opportunjties, and the perfect killzones, all yo be burned on an entire round because apparently the 'world's best soldiers' can still miss something 25% of the time at 4 spaces away.

By just assuming you always hit barring one instance, and using damage rewards/penalties instead, it means ambushing an exposed enemy after moving is effective and won't just murder you if you miss... and makes protracted firefights a thing to avoid.

OH! you forgot showing off gameplay footage at the highest settings on a 5k gaming rig, while claiming its the basic setting on a console, then just shrugging and waving it off when screens of the actual release graphics are leaks.

Happens in, what, 1 in 2 games these days?

Pet peeve of mine - I don't like it when largely single-player games add multiplayer or online-dependent trophies/achievements. This basically puts expiration dates on trophies/achievements. Good luck Platting Demon's Souls now.

-Skinner boxes
They are literally the reason why most bad things in gaming exist right now. Microtransactions are literally only possible because they speed up the Skinner box. If there's no Skinner box, there wouldn't be any microtransactions. Even games like Monster Hunter is basically centered around one massive Skinner box even though there's no microtransactions. Lots of JRPGs and MMOs are also mainly Skinner boxes as well. Just give me good gameplay and I'll play the game for hundreds of hours. Someone like Bungie should have confidence in Destiny that their core gameplay and raids are so great that people will play them if there was literally no loot rewards for beating them. I stopped playing Monster Hunter World and sold the game because I realize it would take hundreds more hours just to be able to get decorations and whatnot to try out certain builds.

-"Kitchen sink" game design
Basically, where every game has have everything that's popular whether it's crafting systems, skill trees, open worlds, Arkham combat, etc. instead of merely adding in mechanics/elements that improve the core game. Nowadays so many games have numerous elements that actively dilute the core game whether it's RPG elements in God of War or multiplayer shooters (which lead to Skinner boxes leading into today's microtransactions all steaming from COD4's "innovation" of EXP in MP shooters). There's no point in Witcher 3's loot system outside of wasting player time while not making any sense to the game at all. "Kitchen sink" design also causes games to feel extremely homogeneous. Just count the open world Ubisoft-esque games with Arkham combat for example. Too many games are basically the same game (exact same control schemes even) instead of being their own distinct experience.

-Loot systems
They only ever work during endgame because then the ultimate epic thing you found has permanence and is great basically forever (or until the level cap increase). Prior to endgame, loot systems just waste player time to needless inventory management. You can find some epic purple/orange weapon at level 5 and it does nothing special but allowing you to use it for like an extra hour before it becomes useless doing shit damage while finding bottom tier white weapons that greatly outclass it in damage. If you just offload damage increases over to character leveling or weapon upgrading or a combination of both (like Souls), then the player gets to keep what they like until they do find something they actually like better. With loot systems you have that needless game-loop of going on a quest finding slightly better stuff, then switching in all the slightly better stuff you did find and selling all the now obsolete garbage.

cdfgku:
Additional media or DLC that is requried viewing/reading/playing to understand the story (beginning of ME3 Shepard is somehow in prison without it being properly explained in game, FFXV's film explaining what happens to the city despite it being the primary motivation for the protagonist, etc).

Day one patches.

At least FFXV's movie was so bad it should've convinced everyone not to buy the game... GOT 'EM!

Anyway, I never got why Day 1 patches are bad. Why not let players get a patch fixing anything found between the game going gold and people actually getting their hands on it? You don't have to download the Day 1 patch to play the game (assuming it's not an online game) and you can enjoy the game as the patch downloads in the background. Ideally the 1.0 version of the game should be perfect but then the game will pretty much never release because you can't make a completely bug free game. Don't get me wrong, a lot of times games release in basically a beta state these days, which is bad.

Funding games by Kickstarter...

*dramatic shrug*

The remaster (or even worse, remake) that doesn't bother fixing (or reintroduces) known bugs or broken/missing bits of the game. Bonus points if it doesn't even actually remaster anything and just upscales old textures and junk. With special mention for Bethesda, who manage to do this in GOTY bundles, to say nothing of still having Morrowind bugs (that were fixed by both Bethesda and Modders at times) in Fallout 4's quest system and the like.

Games entirely reliant on outside guides or wikis for core gameplay information. Basically synonymous with early access games, but it bleeds out even to others now. Besides the actual inconvenience, after about a year tops of patches and whatnot, there's so much conflicting information that it becomes nigh on useless. (Warframe is probably the pre-eminent current example of this, though you can go all the way back to Minecraft).

For the MMO-esque games, balancing economy entirely around the insane hordes of a niche group of no-life veterans of the game. Not that they shouldn't provide some ongoing content/challenge to those players, but when everything is just tacked on in an extreme end game arms race, it basically will kill the game slowly but surely.

Phoenixmgs:
-Skinner boxes
They are literally the reason why most bad things in gaming exist right now. Microtransactions are literally only possible because they speed up the Skinner box. If there's no Skinner box, there wouldn't be any microtransactions. Even games like Monster Hunter is basically centered around one massive Skinner box even though there's no microtransactions. Lots of JRPGs and MMOs are also mainly Skinner boxes as well. Just give me good gameplay and I'll play the game for hundreds of hours. Someone like Bungie should have confidence in Destiny that their core gameplay and raids are so great that people will play them if there was literally no loot rewards for beating them. I stopped playing Monster Hunter World and sold the game because I realize it would take hundreds more hours just to be able to get decorations and whatnot to try out certain builds.

Funnily, almost everyone I know that plays Monster Hunter got all the loot eons ago and still plays, go figure. (Same with Destiny, really. The fact that anyone is even online on Destiny after Wednesday each week would prettymuch attest to people playing the thing past the loot rewards) Also JRPGs are skinner boxes how now? lol. Half the ones I've played in recent memory don't even have loot drops. I'm actually kind of curious what you don't consider a Skinner Box.

-"Kitchen sink" game design
Basically, where every game has have everything that's popular whether it's crafting systems, skill trees, open worlds, Arkham combat, etc.

Can't say the specific cases lined up so much. But the Third-Person-Platforming-Puzzle-Shooter-Stealth-Survival game (throw in the occasional driving I suppose) is definitely oversaturated. The fact that most of them barely get the shooting or combat decent right, and then demonstrate a total ignorance of how to make stealth games, use the same six standard puzzles, and the survival stuff is at best tacked on junk doesn't help. (Hell, even most survival games haven't managed to make their mechanics particularly in-depth or engaging yet, nevermind shoving them into other messes)

Loot systems
*Snipped*

I dunno, you seem pretty anti-progression systems at all. You don't want leveling systems, and you don't want progressively stronger gear. Sure there are dumb loot systems, and occasions where they contribute to absolute nonsense (if you're fighting supposedly human beings, who should die from being shot in the head or eating a battleaxe to the chest, full stop). But I'm curious what your alternative would be while you're ripping up the general underpinnings of everything from Metroidvanias, to RPGs, crafting pseudo-survivals, or even Mario (I mean, you probably can beat Mario without powerups, but its unlikely)

Seth Carter:
Funnily, almost everyone I know that plays Monster Hunter got all the loot eons ago and still plays, go figure.

No, no they don't. I put in over 200 hours and there were decorations I never even seen and I did it the "cheater" way at the melder.

(Same with Destiny, really. The fact that anyone is even online on Destiny after Wednesday each week would prettymuch attest to people playing the thing past the loot rewards) Also JRPGs are skinner boxes how now? lol. Half the ones I've played in recent memory don't even have loot drops. I'm actually kind of curious what you don't consider a Skinner Box.

I remember reading that just to level up in Destiny (not sure which one) past a certain point that it was purely RNG. I haven't played Destiny myself (outside of an alpha) so it's just what I remember hearing. JRPGs are the grind aspect, which I consider as a Skinner box. If I have to take time fighting enemies just to level up enough to continue the main story, then it's bad game design regardless what you call it. I saw reviews of DQ11 and Octopath Traveler where reviewers said there's grinding you must do to continue on. I heard the horrid RNG with getting blades in Xenoblade 2 as well.

-"Kitchen sink" game design
Basically, where every game has have everything that's popular whether it's crafting systems, skill trees, open worlds, Arkham combat, etc.

Can't say the specific cases lined up so much. But the Third-Person-Platforming-Puzzle-Shooter-Stealth-Survival game (throw in the occasional driving I suppose) is definitely oversaturated. The fact that most of them barely get the shooting or combat decent right, and then demonstrate a total ignorance of how to make stealth games, use the same six standard puzzles, and the survival stuff is at best tacked on junk doesn't help. (Hell, even most survival games haven't managed to make their mechanics particularly in-depth or engaging yet, nevermind shoving them into other messes)

How many games (especially in the AAA landscape) actually feel like a new experience? Uncharted 3 added in bad Arkham combat, but why? New Tomb Raider is basically just Uncharted, why can't it just be Tomb Raider? Why does Witcher 3 need a loot system when Geralt is a master witcher?

---

I dunno, you seem pretty anti-progression systems at all. You don't want leveling systems, and you don't want progressively stronger gear. Sure there are dumb loot systems, and occasions where they contribute to absolute nonsense (if you're fighting supposedly human beings, who should die from being shot in the head or eating a battleaxe to the chest, full stop). But I'm curious what your alternative would be while you're ripping up the general underpinnings of everything from Metroidvanias, to RPGs, crafting pseudo-survivals, or even Mario (I mean, you probably can beat Mario without powerups, but its unlikely)

I play tabletop RPGs and there's far far less inventory maintenance going in those more complex games than any video game RPG with a loot system. I started a bard/gunslinger (like level 3/4) in my current Pathfinder game and I still (level 10/11) have the same gun I got at the start, I just upgraded it from +1 to +4 because I had nothing else to spend my gold on. My damage went up the most from taking a feat a few levels back. Your damage in DnD goes up mainly due to leveling vs getting new weapons like getting more attacks per turn or like a rogue's sneak attack damage going up naturally. Your character gets better, which is the point of progressing IMO.

A loot system where your damage increases squarely from gear literally adds nothing to the game outside of wasting your time. I'll use Borderlands as the example. I always liked having a corrosive sniper rifle as one of my main 4 guns. Each of the gun manufacturers had different feeling guns so there was one manufacture that I liked for snipers. So every few levels I had to find a new corrosive sniper rifle from a specific manufacture to continue playing the game the same way because every gun will get heavily outclassed in damage over just a few levels. What is that positively adding to the game? Now loot systems are good for customization options. Using that sniper rifle again. Maybe I found a corrosive sniper that added a 10% damage bonus to crits so I equipped over my more basic one because it fits my playstyle. Then, I find one later on that's a 20% bonus to crits so I change the old one out. That adds something to the game in customizing my build. But changing out weapons just because of raw damage adds nothing but wasting my time. Continuing on with Borderlands because the games actually have a wonderful progression system and that's the character skills that completely change/tune your playstyle and gameplay. You can totally offload raw damage increases needed for higher level enemies onto either character leveling or weapon upgrading (or combination of both) that fundamentally changes nothing about the game outside of just relieving the player of needless inventory management. Does anyone complain about Souls progression being poor because there's no loot system?

Phoenixmgs:

Seth Carter:
Funnily, almost everyone I know that plays Monster Hunter got all the loot eons ago and still plays, go figure.

No, no they don't. I put in over 200 hours and there were decorations I never even seen and I did it the "cheater" way at the melder.

"Everyone I know", I mean, technically I know you, but yeah. You can get every skill that's on decos from the non-RNG gear. You can complete literally any content thats been released (even Extreme Behemoth) without using any decos at all. And not as part of some elite uber-niche of speedrunners. If you've (or whoever) got a completionist or uber minmaxer streak, thats kind of on you, but its not sabotaging the core gameplay (which you may not enjoy by itself, personal taste).

I remember reading that just to level up in Destiny (not sure which one) past a certain point that it was purely RNG. I haven't played Destiny myself (outside of an alpha) so it's just what I remember hearing. JRPGs are the grind aspect, which I consider as a Skinner box. If I have to take time fighting enemies just to level up enough to continue the main story, then it's bad game design regardless what you call it. I saw reviews of DQ11 and Octopath Traveler where reviewers said there's grinding you must do to continue on. I heard the horrid RNG with getting blades in Xenoblade 2 as well.

Ah yes. Well getting past the soft cap in Destiny is kind of down to RNG. Drops above the soft cap to increase the stupid gatekeeper start thin out a lot. Though its only been in Destiny 2 that they started putting activities fully out of range of the soft cap, Destiny 1 Raid/Nightfall was hard at the soft cap, but still doable. Destiny 2 (because of their vocal minority whining about lack of stuff to do, and easily confusing grind for content) started putting the soft cap way 30 or 50 light level below final endgame activities.

Ah, grind. Well yes, I'm not a huge fan of it myself. I always appreciated Crono Trigger for being basically playable without stopping to grind ever (comparitive to FF. And ironically enough, the level scaling in FF8 that made grinding pointless (hell, it was arguably easier to stay as low level as possible so junctioning magic to stats would be a bigger boost). I'd forgotten Octopath (and Lost Sphear and Setsuna. Square hasn't exactly been hitting memorable out of the park with their retro-wave). And got annoyed with Xenoblade's godawful UI just after getting 1 blade, nevermind anymore.

How many games (especially in the AAA landscape) actually feel like a new experience? Uncharted 3 added in bad Arkham combat, but why? New Tomb Raider is basically just Uncharted, why can't it just be Tomb Raider? Why does Witcher 3 need a loot system when Geralt is a master witcher?

Nintendo ones, mostly. Lo1. Ironically, Destiny felt pretty fresh (though I played a minimal amount of Halo ever), though I'd like to have Arkane come in and teach them how to make impressive super powers (not shooting though, Arkane just barely hits satisfactory at that). Warframe and Ark (though neither is technically AAA), although they take "new experience" to the extreme of seeming to throw a pile of random stuff at the wall and maybe polishing up whatever stuck (Charting the course of Ark from a survival game to iron man riding on an invisible dragon with plasma missiles is quite the oddity).

I thought new Tomb Raider was Far Cry in 3rd person, but then again, never played Uncharted. Arkham combat is a funny one, because Arkham combat isn't exactly the revolution of revolutions. It was certainly well polished, but combo meters, push button to dodge/counter are pretty consistent in titles before and after. Witcher would've always made more sense as more of an action-adventure, though I have no idea if CDPR has any aptitude for that.

Does anyone complain about Souls progression being poor because there's no loot system?

Oh I'm sure you could find lots of complaints about the horrible drop rates of some things in Souls. Although their main upgrade system is more or less borrowed from Monster Hunter (the original), you get an array of stuff that all upgrades to kind of an equal plane.

Raw Damage/Defense is pretty dull though. Destiny (to go back to it) actually does it well *until* the endgame. White's have no additional perks, Greens have 1 locked one. Blue's usually had choosable ones. Purples would have 2 (or like 4 now). Exotics were like purples with some extra unique thing. So there's a few various archetypes of each gun as a base model, and the better versions add more versatility or unique perks. The stumbling block being the whole acquisition of them, and the light-level gatekeeper system where you need not just the gun, but all your gear totalled together to pass an arbitrary bar to deal effective damage (and it doesn't even come with the side-effect of actual extra damage against lesser things)

Clipping has always annoyed me, especially when it affects gameplay. I don't know what department in development handles this (level design?) but I'd be perfect for it as I'm pretty ocd about that shit.

Poorly placed checkpoints, like right before a long unskippable cutscene or scripted event.

Illogical game design. As in, your character does inhuman shit during cutscenes but can't scale a downed tree trunk or waist-high rubble unless specifically designated by a button prompt.

NPCs who won't shut the fuck up about some sort of hint or objective. Just let me play for Christ's sake. Because who the hell cares if the storyline lingers while I dick around looking for treasure. You sure as hell shouldn't, you patronizing pile of polygons.

Johnny Novgorod:
Pet peeve of mine - I don't like it when largely single-player games add multiplayer or online-dependent trophies/achievements. This basically puts expiration dates on trophies/achievements. Good luck Platting Demon's Souls now.

Demon's Souls is objectively easier to Plat offline. Sure it'll take longer, but it's still completely possible.

I always kinda wanted to Plat Killzone 2, but the insane MP trophies prevented me from doing it, and now the chance is lost forever anyways so probably a good thing.

I fully agree that games shouldn't even have Multiplayer trophies. The games will still be playable long after servers are shut down, so why should late adopters be locked out of that content? It's bs. Multiplayer should have its own dedicated rank/reward system completely separate from the Achievement/Trophy systems. Most of the time people just boost them anyways, so they hardly can be considered legitimately earned.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Random chance reliance that often defaults to a simple d100 without any real means of directly engaging with consistency beyond bumping a number up or down.

X-COM is the bigger offender of this. A beeter assumption is you always hit barring one instance result, but damage itself is keyed a modified based on result. Once again, Gloomhaven is an infinitely better tactical system that allows actual tactics without having to roll dice.

All too often do you get burned by doing yhings the long way... setting up crossfire opportunjties, and the perfect killzones, all yo be burned on an entire round because apparently the 'world's best soldiers' can still miss something 25% of the time at 4 spaces away.

By just assuming you always hit barring one instance, and using damage rewards/penalties instead, it means ambushing an exposed enemy after moving is effective and won't just murder you if you miss... and makes protracted firefights a thing to avoid.

Small nitpick, but if I'm not mistaken, it's impossible to keep missing over and over again in the new XCOM as long as your shots have a respectable accuracy due to the game manipulating the odds in your favour by invisibly upping your chances to hit for every consecutive missed shot/dead squaddie.

Lootboxes have a special place in Hell.

hanselthecaretaker:

Johnny Novgorod:
Pet peeve of mine - I don't like it when largely single-player games add multiplayer or online-dependent trophies/achievements. This basically puts expiration dates on trophies/achievements. Good luck Platting Demon's Souls now.

Demon?s Souls is objectively easier to Plat offline. Sure it?ll take longer, but it?s still completely possible.

I know, being online apparently borks (well, borked) world tendencies and foil(ed) any attempt to manipulate them. But if it weren't for online trading I doubt most people would've gotten that freaking Pure Bladestone. And I Platted the game without any kind of duping (mostly because I wasn't aware of it until after I got the trophy).

I just don't like the bare bone progression, mainly in an RPG, when you get a new weapon and you basically have no decision and just change to that weapon (because all stats are just better), that not fun, also, what the point if at level 1 I do 10 dmg to a 100 hp creature and at level 30 I do 100 dmg to a 1000 hp creature (more or less), this is bland and boring. Similarly, like in D3, weapon type has no effect, elemental damage barely changes anything. geez
PoE did it a good way, but not perfect.

point 2 is a broken economy, like in WoW, I mean, you can get thousands of gold, but for the most part of the game (outside player Auction house) it's useless, NPC sells useless stuff, very cheap or overpriced toys that as no purpose. So what do I do with my gold since its useless?

Might a middling moist mammal make a meek modicum of motion? Manatees are missing in most this malevolent musky medium.

Sonmi:

Small nitpick, but if I'm not mistaken, it's impossible to keep missing over and over again in the new XCOM as long as your shots have a respectable accuracy due to the game manipulating the odds in your favour by invisibly upping your chances to hit for every consecutive missed shot/dead squaddie.

IDK, I've only really played UFO: Enemy Unknown and X-COM: EU.

Regardless, both of them are kind of annoying in these regards. A 'diceless' system would have been better. Once again, I fail to see why computer games use these systems. Yeah,I get it ... D&D exists ... but then again tactical videogames shouldn't play like tabletop roleplaying games. Not only that, there's infinitely better examples of how to handle 'randomness' in the board gaming scene that would not only make the game more tactical and better reward ingenuity and planning, but also open up entirely new dimensions of tailoring how soldiers perform in the game to your liking.

Then you wouldn't need any invisible hand nonsense.

When I play X-COM: EU I get the sneaking suspicion that the only reason why I do so is because it's harder to set up a solo game of Gloomhaven when there is an active campaign already being run.

It's kind of weirdly depressing to me that video games have all of these opportunities and then just ignore them in favour of a weird take on dice rolling and nudging some numbers around. I get they might be worried about suspense being curtailed if they ixnay a lot of its randomness, but I feel like the gamer rage memes X-COM has produced should be a giant neon sign that maybe videogames should be more than virtual dice.

Let me give you an example... instead of just moving some points on your aim up or down, and rolling according to that ... what if instead of dice you had a deck of 'cards' that the game uses and lets you tailpr. This deck only has one certifiable miss card and one critical hit card ... and you have a series of modifier cards in between that influence damage.

This deck only usually gets reshuffled once that critical fail or critical hit card gets drawn.

So over the battle your soldier has been performing below average with below average card draws ... but in the back of your mind, you might think to yourself; "Well, some of those bad draws are out of the soldier's deck, so maybe that soldier can be more aggressive?"

Weapons have locked range + cover to damage increments.

Now depending on your class and your abilities, you can remove certain cards to improve draw consistency, or replace them temporarily, or create new status effect cards, or 'shuffle' additional critical hit cards that are one use non-reshuffles, and one battle only, once that ability has been conjured.

How about an ability allowing you to 'reset' your deck and give you some added perks along the way if you've been drawing exceedingly well and knowing it's downhill from there ... giving up on a higher chance of drawing a native reshuffling critical hit card juxtaposed by that increased chance of a critical failure or poor future draws... so it's like your soldier has 're-centered' and caught their second wind for an action point?

Or maybe if you're a gambler and things are going badly you can't take that action, there might be an ability that lets you shoot multiple times but places detrimental status effects into your deck like gun jams for the rest of the battle that you might draw representing the increased wear and tear on your experimental equipment.

Better than rolling dice, right?

Better roleplaying mechanics of altering and customizing your soldiers, right?

These soldiers would be unique additions to your outfit and you could endlessly experiment with various builds to your heart's content.

If you have a soldier you just want to have a baseline level of success with, throw in (to a limit) additional 0 status modifier cards. If you want an erratic psionic that suffers ridiculous highs and lows as they blast people with their mind, reduce their 'deck size' by taking them out (to a limit) ... increasing their 'liability' factor in battle, but truly capable of soaring heights of routine damage infliction. So on and so forth.

You could even insert negative effect status cards in your deck in order to access better cards and play around with predictability and risk management that way. Certain equipment might also complement well with unique card effects thrown in... so if you wanted a laser specialist, lasers might have a 'burn' flag... and you could purchase two 'burn' cards for a gun jam card that when drawn add +1 damage ontop of the next numerical modifier card you draw?

So you might draw a burn card, then string together drawing a 'Morale' card, that might add +2 resistance against fear for the round, a gun jam card, and draw a native critical hit damage modifier card that doubles damage and bonus effects and reshuffle all your cards into a fresh deck...

So you get double native gun damage modified by range and cover, +2 burn damage, +4 resistance vs. Fear, but you need to spend an action point reloading your gun?

So effectively a soldier that rallies when bringing out the pain with their weapon of choice? Maybe they hate the xeno scum because they were 6 days from rotation from a war zone until they decided to invade and they were drafted to fight, so they occasionally drain their laser's batteries into an enemy out of anger... who knows?

You could even have dialogue attached to such combinations that you have created ... give it some flavour to represent such quirks that the player has quietly cultivated in their warriors as they go on through their careers and face such alien terrors... dare I say you might even get attached to them and beyond simply because you lucked out on their initial stats and class--but rather because you had handcrafted them to be this way by exposing them to threats and through the familiarity of the arms and training you've given them.

Imagine that... and not much more difficult than the weird randomness of voice packs to characters ...

And that naturalistically emerges through this level of customization... These little, fun, character specific mini-narratives you could create that are reflected in gameplay?

Imagine having this freeform means to customize your soldier's possible combos, their likelihood of emerging, and being able to on the fly calculate in your headspace when they might emerge?

That would be an interesting RPG mechanic... Using 'randomness' as to inform consistency of soldier total performance, not treating it as merely random ... and you still have the critical miss card in there to provide that 'suspense' of possibly fucking up entirely.

Imagine if enemies could be created this way? And imagine if all enemies possibly had random tweaks to their 'decks' that would help sell the idea of a chaotic frenzy against a truly unknowable and unpredictable enemy? Not just modifications to a few of their stats, their equipment, and their health...?

But apparently virtual dice chucking plus nudging numbers about on a stat card instead ... Much combat, such tactical ... 10 out of 10 <.<

I really don't understand video games wanting to emulate the Ameritrashiest of all possible systems. There is no reason for it. The benefit of videogames is they can be beyond it, and easily so. What exactly do videogame developers do with all those years it takes to release a game? And to be fair... I like tabletop roleplaying games. I'm in a current Roleplaying is Magic 3E group... I don't mind rolling dice. But I would hate it if all I did was roll dice...

Seth Carter:
"Everyone I know", I mean, technically I know you, but yeah. You can get every skill that's on decos from the non-RNG gear. You can complete literally any content thats been released (even Extreme Behemoth) without using any decos at all. And not as part of some elite uber-niche of speedrunners. If you've (or whoever) got a completionist or uber minmaxer streak, thats kind of on you, but its not sabotaging the core gameplay (which you may not enjoy by itself, personal taste).

I was using armor that had the free-element skill on it so I could basically use that armor with like every weapon as long as the weapon had a "dormant" element. I wanted to try a full-on blast elemental bow build but I never saw a blast gem all game. I also never saw a mighty bow gem either, which increases the amount you can charge your bow. And, I'm not going to use 4 pieces with of Legiana armor with skills I don't want/need just to get that single skill. And, gear is RNG, with the good stuff requiring monster gems that have low drop rates, plus those gems are needed for other stuff like charms. If you want to play the game with using more than like 1 or 2 weapons, the grind is pretty rough. Plus, to level your weapon past its max level (augment), you need to get specific stones for your weapon type and you can just keep getting stones for weapons you don't even use.

How many games (especially in the AAA landscape) actually feel like a new experience?

Nintendo ones, mostly. Lo1. Ironically, Destiny felt pretty fresh (though I played a minimal amount of Halo ever), though I'd like to have Arkane come in and teach them how to make impressive super powers (not shooting though, Arkane just barely hits satisfactory at that). Warframe and Ark (though neither is technically AAA), although they take "new experience" to the extreme of seeming to throw a pile of random stuff at the wall and maybe polishing up whatever stuck (Charting the course of Ark from a survival game to iron man riding on an invisible dragon with plasma missiles is quite the oddity).

I thought new Tomb Raider was Far Cry in 3rd person, but then again, never played Uncharted. Arkham combat is a funny one, because Arkham combat isn't exactly the revolution of revolutions. It was certainly well polished, but combo meters, push button to dodge/counter are pretty consistent in titles before and after. Witcher would've always made more sense as more of an action-adventure, though I have no idea if CDPR has any aptitude for that.

Maybe Nintendo is leading in that regard only due to the bar being so low as they also march out the same IPs every gen very rarely changing much. Most of the time Nintendo or Rockstar or Bethesda mainly get passes because they don't release the same game every year (like AssCreed or COD) so their games feel fresher than they actually are. If you release a single Smash Bros. each gen vs every year, it feels a lot less stale.

With Arkham combat, it worked for those games because they weren't primarily combat games so combat didn't have to carry the game because there were other aspects to the games. But putting Arkham combat in a primarily combat-focused game like Middle-earth doesn't work because it lacks depth and the repetitiveness shows though when under such strain. Developers quite often make that mistake of seeing something work in another game while not understanding why it worked for that game to begin and then just plug it into their game. Tomb Raider does have some of that Farcry survival aspect to it with wanting to kill the occasional animal to upgrade such and such thing. Even Uncharted 4 became more of a poor-man's Metal Gear / 3rd-person Farcry due to having more open environments and most enemy encounters basically being like a Farcry outpost vs very structured linear encounters and set-pieces.

Oh I'm sure you could find lots of complaints about the horrible drop rates of some things in Souls. Although their main upgrade system is more or less borrowed from Monster Hunter (the original), you get an array of stuff that all upgrades to kind of an equal plane.

Raw Damage/Defense is pretty dull though. Destiny (to go back to it) actually does it well *until* the endgame. White's have no additional perks, Greens have 1 locked one. Blue's usually had choosable ones. Purples would have 2 (or like 4 now). Exotics were like purples with some extra unique thing. So there's a few various archetypes of each gun as a base model, and the better versions add more versatility or unique perks. The stumbling block being the whole acquisition of them, and the light-level gatekeeper system where you need not just the gun, but all your gear totalled together to pass an arbitrary bar to deal effective damage (and it doesn't even come with the side-effect of actual extra damage against lesser things)

I'm not by any means saying Souls is perfect or anything (most people here think I hate Souls I believe), but at least the games don't waste player time with pointless inventory management like many other RPGs do.

Siyano:
I just don't like the bare bone progression, mainly in an RPG, when you get a new weapon and you basically have no decision and just change to that weapon (because all stats are just better), that not fun, also, what the point if at level 1 I do 10 dmg to a 100 hp creature and at level 30 I do 100 dmg to a 1000 hp creature (more or less), this is bland and boring. Similarly, like in D3, weapon type has no effect, elemental damage barely changes anything. geez
PoE did it a good way, but not perfect.

point 2 is a broken economy, like in WoW, I mean, you can get thousands of gold, but for the most part of the game (outside player Auction house) it's useless, NPC sells useless stuff, very cheap or overpriced toys that as no purpose. So what do I do with my gold since its useless?

Yeah, that's my problem with loot systems. Even without loot systems quite a lot of video game RPGs are just nothing but number progression. Even the Souls games fall into that trap as well. If a normal enemy takes 4 hits to kill in the first dungeon in Souls, then you just upgrade you weapon/stats to be able keep killing in 4 hits in say the 6th dungeon. Not much really ends up changing.

I also don't get why games fail so hard in making money important. There's rarely any reason to buy anything in most games because most RPGs, the loot is always better than NPC stores/markets. I even remember the only reason to spend money in AssCreed 2 was to make more money. Just about every single board game with money has money be extremely important in getting stuff done. Why can't video games follow suit?

Phoenixmgs:

With Arkham combat, it worked for those games because they weren't primarily combat games so combat didn't have to carry the game because there were other aspects to the games. But putting Arkham combat in a primarily combat-focused game like Middle-earth doesn't work because it lacks depth and the repetitiveness shows though when under such strain. Developers quite often make that mistake of seeing something work in another game while not understanding why it worked for that game to begin and then just plug it into their game.

I'm not sure what you'd put Arkham under if not a primarily combat game. Sure, its got stealth, but its barely above AC levels of it.

Shadow of Mordor struck me as, much like No Mans Sky, a developer too focused on getting their one concept to work that they didn't entirely have a concept of what to do with it. Like I'd guess they came up with the Nemesis idea on its own, then WB just kind of threw the LotR license on it randomly. Which is a shame, the general ideas used could've been awesome in an Outworld focused Mortal Kombat game. Which segues nicely into my main problem with Shadow of Mordors combat. Whatever recent come-lately superpowers Talion happened to have, he's a burly human dude using a broadsword with conventional training. Where the hell is all the random flippy ninja stuff coming from. Everything about Shadow of Mordor just felt like it was jammed onto the wrong characters nad game, more or less. Even WB stablemate Mad Max had the sense to redo the Arkham esque combat to be more grounded and impactful because Mad Max is not Batman (though in their case they were terribly underinvested in the car combat for the damned "Road Warrior" game, and spent a bunch of effort tacking in survival mechanics that became obsolete in less then an hour)

Phoenixmgs:
-Skinner boxes

So, the problem is that operant conditioning is incredibly deeply woven with the fabric of what actually makes gameplay fun. Almost all games use a system of reward and punishment to manipulate the player's volition (to make them want to keep playing) even though the player isn't gaining any inherent reward for doing so. Most of what we do in games is not inherently "fun", it becomes fun because it is making progress towards something which is fun, like shooting an enemy in a cool way, or getting a piece of a game's story, or unlocking a new ability and getting to use it for the first time. The reward or "fun" of games is a form of psychological manipulation, just one that we willingly subject ourselves to in order to have fun and be entertained.

The fact that a game is grindy or takes a long time to get anywhere doesn't mean it's more of a "skinner box" than any other game. In fact, making this observation kind of implies the game is bad at conditioning you. You have not been given enough (or the right kind of) reinforcement to want to keep going. The actual problem, I think, is that people have different levels of susceptibility to different kinds of rewards. Some people get addicted to slot machines, others will never see the appeal no matter how many times they play, but might be obsessed with dungeon crawling RPGs which use a more consistent and less random reward set-up.

The danger of operant conditioning isn't that it leads to bad game design, it's an important part of good game design, it's that it can lead to compulsion and (as in the case with lootboxes) to the exploitation of compulsion. Sure, people get compulsively addicted to grindy MMOs, or to buying lootboxes, but people also get addicted to complex strategy games (just one more turn!)

Rather than operant conditioning itself, I would say the problem is the game industry moving towards a business model based on intentionally exploiting compulsion for monetary gain by targeting those who are vulnerable to quite simple forms of operant conditioning in the (misguided, I believe) belief that those people are all you need to sustain an audience.

evilthecat:

So, the problem is that operant conditioning is incredibly deeply woven with the fabric of what actually makes gameplay fun. Almost all games use a system of reward and punishment to manipulate the player's volition (to make them want to keep playing) even though the player isn't gaining any inherent reward for doing so. Most of what we do in games is not inherently "fun", it becomes fun because it is making progress towards something which is fun, like shooting an enemy in a cool way, or getting a piece of a game's story, or unlocking a new ability and getting to use it for the first time. The reward or "fun" of games is a form of psychological manipulation, just one that we willingly subject ourselves to in order to have fun and be entertained.

The fact that a game is grindy or takes a long time to get anywhere doesn't mean it's more of a "skinner box" than any other game. In fact, making this observation kind of implies the game is bad at conditioning you. You have not been given enough (or the right kind of) reinforcement to want to keep going. The actual problem, I think, is that people have different levels of susceptibility to different kinds of rewards. Some people get addicted to slot machines, others will never see the appeal no matter how many times they play, but might be obsessed with dungeon crawling RPGs which use a more consistent and less random reward set-up.

Ehhh, operant conditioning is specifically about strengthening a behaviour response. I love Resistance: Avalon as much as the next person, but the thing is that I won't have the same pleasure anywhere else of lying to my friend's faces, manipulating and deceiving them in turn. The thing about operant conditioning is the idea of voluntary behaviour being strengthened. But we don't play games for that reason. Most 'games' don't really fall into what can be considered truly operant conditioning becausea game is an open gamestate with multiple projected behavioural models of engagement, with unequal certainty and unequal reward on that basis that can neither totally affirm or deny another's behaviour.

So playing Resistance: Avalon does not make your more inclined to lie to your friends and be a manipulative arsehole.... because that is typically penalized outside of the game. And because doing so has no gamestate or unequal certainty of participation or reward (you win, you lose). One could make the argument that it might make you better at lying to your friends which might influence your desire to do so due to operant conditioning ... but it's the difference between training to kill someone and actually killing someone has no correlation beyond capacity... you need a separate binding force of reinforcement process.

Just thought I'd throw that in there. Definitely there are some games that tow that line and get into really skeevy shit that is rife in video games ... and it should be called out when people see it when it involves microtransactions, virtual currency, loot boxes, and so on. But it's hard to say games represent operant conditioning on their own ...

Playing games in general may be operant conditioning... but only in the loosest, and vaguest definition of it. The problem of the definition is that games alone do not reinforce voluntary behaviour beyond playing games in general. If there's no definitive action of reinforced behaviour, a sign that behaviour has been strengthened, then it's not really a skinner box.

Playing games can't be likened to a rat pressing a buzzer and getting food.

In fact the reason why Resistance and other hidden role games are so muich fun is because occasionally you will be by chance selected to try to break your common operant conditioning. By being a devious, conniving, two-faced manipulator of your friends. But hidden role games do not a conniving manipulator make. What makes the game fun is knowing full well you might be a person that has to play on other people's thoughts, lie to their face, manipulate them ... but most times you won't be.

And that's fun. Because it gives you a momentary licence to act like awful human beings. But it's a stretch to say that that actually sticks with you or reinforces those tendencies.

True skinner boxes represent games that addict people through a false sense of progression. Like if you play an MMORPG ... you're rewarded with all these character options, and classes, and races, and cheap gear ... then you go out into the world ... and the first mobs you find you can easily dispatch by yourself.

And you get rewarded some more ... you level up, you get the quest rewards of things youcan solo. But then the game gets progressively harder ... and you can't just level up that way anymore. You need a party of other players ... so you get invested in sitting around, waiting for an ideal group. And then you go hunting again ... and you get more xp, you level up faster, better drops, complete more quests ...

And that sense of completion drives you further, and for each and every level requires more investment than the last. More time waiting for the best group to party with, joining guilds, forming social connections of which becoming binding andreinforcing agents to yourcontinued activities, as both of you are invested in playing in this MMORPG ... You can't quit after all these months ... you've put so much time into it already and you've made some nice friends online, and you're having fun, so it can't be that bad, right?

That's operant conditioning...

Go into Steam or Good Old Games, and even with popular games you'll notice barely anyone actually completes. Like Pillars of Eternity. I actually have a lot of problems with that game and I don't like it ... but I still finished the main game ... unlike about 80% of people that own it. That's not to say things like videogame addiction doesn't exist for those 80% of people... but clearly the particular stimuli and repetitive behaviour demonstration is lacking. People didn't just sit down and keep playing it.

Unlike what we see in many MMORPGs...

cdfgku:
Adding multiplayer to single player RPG type games.

I dunno, Pokemon did it pretty well, and has done since 1996. Sure, you can get a little unbalanced when your levels are all over the place compared to your friends, but six L100s a side makes things a fair and fun experience.

A lot of people see it as more of a multiplayer game than an RPG, though, so maybe this doesn't count?

Prepping for a sequel so much that you forget to make the first game good, thus ensuring it will be the only game despite all the setting up.

Which admittedly can apply to more than just games

Unskippable and Unpausible cutscenes are both pretty shitty and easily avoided. In fact, there is literally no reason either of these should exist in any game ever.

Sure, you may be really proud of that cutscene, but placing a 5 minute cutscene before that one boss with no save point or way to skip the cutscene even on subsequent attempts is the fastest way to make me hate your cutscenes on principle.

Not to mention having to go to the bathroom is a thing(and sometimes you don't get much warning), as is having to answer the phone, answer the door or attend to a child who woke up crying and needs to be attended to right now. Life is more important then your damn cutscene and if you can't be bothered to acknowledge that, you shouldn't be allowed to make them.

* Day 1 DLC, Loot boxes, and "Games as Live Services"

* Holding a sequel or series hostaage based on nigh impossible sales expectations.

* Forced stealth sections that are one hit kills or force a game over. The ps1/ps2 days really suffered from this after MGS1 came out.

* Escort missions. We rarely see it nowadays, but it can still pop up every now and then.

* 3rd person Cover Shooters with not much to offer or COD clones. Gen 7's major problems.

* Unnecessary and in-name only reboots of franchises. Games aren't the only ones to suffer from this.

* Cutting characters from fighting games rosters just make an extra buck. Especially if that character has been in the franchise since the very beginning. Capcom, Namco, and Arc System Works, come on down! Also, fuck releasing characters in "seasons". Killer Instinct and Skullgirls are the only ones to get this right. And they're not full $60 titles, which makes the big publishers excuses even less justifiable.

* Ubisoft delaying Rayman Legends near the release of GTAV. Goddamn it! Thanks for making a game fail, because you were getting cold feet and were afraid the game wouldn't sell well on the Wii U. It's ironic, because the Wii U version still sold the most copies.

EA, Activision, and Ubisoft on principle alone.

Steam Greenlight.

Dalisclock:
Unskippable and Unpausible cutscenes are both pretty shitty and easily avoided. In fact, there is literally no reason either of these should exist in any game ever.

Sure, you may be really proud of that cutscene, but placing a 5 minute cutscene before that one boss with no save point or way to skip the cutscene even on subsequent attempts is the fastest way to make me hate your cutscenes on principle.

Not to mention having to go to the bathroom is a thing(and sometimes you don't get much warning), as is having to answer the phone, answer the door or attend to a child who woke up crying and needs to be attended to right now. Life is more important then your damn cutscene and if you can't be bothered to acknowledge that, you shouldn't be allowed to make them.

I would have gone mad if MGS4 didn't have skippable cutscenes. How can you spend half a day saying nothing at all?

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Dalisclock:
Unskippable and Unpausible cutscenes are both pretty shitty and easily avoided. In fact, there is literally no reason either of these should exist in any game ever.

Sure, you may be really proud of that cutscene, but placing a 5 minute cutscene before that one boss with no save point or way to skip the cutscene even on subsequent attempts is the fastest way to make me hate your cutscenes on principle.

Not to mention having to go to the bathroom is a thing(and sometimes you don't get much warning), as is having to answer the phone, answer the door or attend to a child who woke up crying and needs to be attended to right now. Life is more important then your damn cutscene and if you can't be bothered to acknowledge that, you shouldn't be allowed to make them.

I would have gone mad if MGS4 didn't have skippable cutscenes. How can you spend half a day saying nothing at all?

I was tempted to bring this up but considering I already mention Metal Gear way more then I should on these forums I decided not to.

But yeah, The Metal Gear games may have a really high ratio of cutscenes to gameplay, but at least they have the decency to let you skip to the gameplay if you want. With MGS4, that's a fucking godsend. I ended up watching all the cutscenes when I played it for the first time, but if I ever end up replaying it, I imagine I'll probably just skip most of them, only watching the ones I know I liked(such as the one with Ocelot on the river, which is still one of my favorite moments in the entire series for how ridiculous it is).

Dalisclock:

I was tempted to bring this up but considering I already mention Metal Gear way more then I should on these forums I decided not to.

But yeah, The Metal Gear games may have a really high ratio of cutscenes to gameplay, but at least they have the decency to let you skip to the gameplay if you want. With MGS4, that's a fucking godsend. I ended up watching all the cutscenes when I played it for the first time, but if I ever end up replaying it, I imagine I'll probably just skip most of them, only watching the ones I know I liked(such as the one with Ocelot on the river, which is still one of my favorite moments in the entire series for how ridiculous it is).

MGS3 is legitimately the only storyline I paid attention to. I didn't watch any of MGS4's cutscenes ... Well that's not true, I watched the first two ... and then I never made that mistake again. Honestly I have a feeling that if you just make up the story in your head it will make more sense.

Dalisclock:
I was tempted to bring this up but considering I already mention Metal Gear way more then I should on these forums I decided not to.

But yeah, The Metal Gear games may have a really high ratio of cutscenes to gameplay, but at least they have the decency to let you skip to the gameplay if you want. With MGS4, that's a fucking godsend. I ended up watching all the cutscenes when I played it for the first time, but if I ever end up replaying it, I imagine I'll probably just skip most of them, only watching the ones I know I liked(such as the one with Ocelot on the river, which is still one of my favorite moments in the entire series for how ridiculous it is).

If I remember things correctly, MGS4 cutscene runtime also counts towards the completion time for that playthrough (among other things). Not that huge of a deal, but I don't think the game ever tells you this and like you, I liked watching certain cutscenes, thinking they wouldn't matter. Made getting that Big Boss rank emblem a bit of a pickle.

Chimpzy:

Dalisclock:
I was tempted to bring this up but considering I already mention Metal Gear way more then I should on these forums I decided not to.

But yeah, The Metal Gear games may have a really high ratio of cutscenes to gameplay, but at least they have the decency to let you skip to the gameplay if you want. With MGS4, that's a fucking godsend. I ended up watching all the cutscenes when I played it for the first time, but if I ever end up replaying it, I imagine I'll probably just skip most of them, only watching the ones I know I liked(such as the one with Ocelot on the river, which is still one of my favorite moments in the entire series for how ridiculous it is).

If I remember things correctly, MGS4 cutscene runtime also counts towards the completion time for that playthrough (among other things). Not that huge of a deal, but I don't think the game ever tells you this and like you, I liked watching certain cutscenes, thinking they wouldn't matter. Made getting that Big Boss rank emblem a bit of a pickle.

With the length of the cutscenes, you'd be able to unmistakably tell by the end of each Act when it gives your playtime. As in, "Wtf, I was only playing for about an hour; why is my total almost three hours?!"

The toughest parts of the game for me were the on rails shooting sequences; especially Act 3 on the bike, which I believe I just said fuck it and used the Solar gun on for my Big Boss run. Luckily I didn't run out of charge like I ran out of ammo for my Mk2. I might've had a couple stun grenades too IIRC. Come to think of it it's been like, ten years almost exactly when I did that run. What I didn't realize at the time was apparently you can save between sections of the bike chase, which would have helped greatly had I known then.

Johnny Novgorod:

hanselthecaretaker:

Johnny Novgorod:
Pet peeve of mine - I don't like it when largely single-player games add multiplayer or online-dependent trophies/achievements. This basically puts expiration dates on trophies/achievements. Good luck Platting Demon's Souls now.

Demon?s Souls is objectively easier to Plat offline. Sure it?ll take longer, but it?s still completely possible.

I know, being online apparently borks (well, borked) world tendencies and foil(ed) any attempt to manipulate them. But if it weren't for online trading I doubt most people would've gotten that freaking Pure Bladestone. And I Platted the game without any kind of duping (mostly because I wasn't aware of it until after I got the trophy).

Being a touch insane, I got the PBstone the masochistic way. I almost cried when it dropped, and left my chair a bit in jubilation. Part of the reason why I don't really care about nabbing redundant trophies in the Souls series is going through that trial. At least the requirements seemed to lighten up for Dark and Bloodborne. I could probably make that 4-2 skeleton run in my sleep to this day. It was great for leveling higher than I have in any of the successors, but not much else.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Random chance reliance that often defaults to a simple d100 without any real means of directly engaging with consistency beyond bumping a number up or down.

X-COM is the bigger offender of this. A beeter assumption is you always hit barring one instance result, but damage itself is keyed a modified based on result. Once again, Gloomhaven is an infinitely better tactical system that allows actual tactics without having to roll dice.

All too often do you get burned by doing yhings the long way... setting up crossfire opportunjties, and the perfect killzones, all yo be burned on an entire round because apparently the 'world's best soldiers' can still miss something 25% of the time at 4 spaces away.

By just assuming you always hit barring one instance, and using damage rewards/penalties instead, it means ambushing an exposed enemy after moving is effective and won't just murder you if you miss... and makes protracted firefights a thing to avoid.

Thank you. I love any reasons to put these up. I hate Xcom. I hate any games where luck is more important than skill.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Dalisclock:

I was tempted to bring this up but considering I already mention Metal Gear way more then I should on these forums I decided not to.

But yeah, The Metal Gear games may have a really high ratio of cutscenes to gameplay, but at least they have the decency to let you skip to the gameplay if you want. With MGS4, that's a fucking godsend. I ended up watching all the cutscenes when I played it for the first time, but if I ever end up replaying it, I imagine I'll probably just skip most of them, only watching the ones I know I liked(such as the one with Ocelot on the river, which is still one of my favorite moments in the entire series for how ridiculous it is).

MGS3 is legitimately the only storyline I paid attention to. I didn't watch any of MGS4's cutscenes ... Well that's not true, I watched the first two ... and then I never made that mistake again. Honestly I have a feeling that if you just make up the story in your head it will make more sense.

Well, considering mgs4 can be summed up in 4 minutes, mostly with Nanomachines.

If you're playing MGSV, substitute "Magical Bullshit Parasites" and every so often say "Phantom Pain" for some variety.

Seth Carter:
I'm not sure what you'd put Arkham under if not a primarily combat game. Sure, its got stealth, but its barely above AC levels of it.

Shadow of Mordor struck me as, much like No Mans Sky, a developer too focused on getting their one concept to work that they didn't entirely have a concept of what to do with it. Like I'd guess they came up with the Nemesis idea on its own, then WB just kind of threw the LotR license on it randomly. Which is a shame, the general ideas used could've been awesome in an Outworld focused Mortal Kombat game. Which segues nicely into my main problem with Shadow of Mordors combat. Whatever recent come-lately superpowers Talion happened to have, he's a burly human dude using a broadsword with conventional training. Where the hell is all the random flippy ninja stuff coming from. Everything about Shadow of Mordor just felt like it was jammed onto the wrong characters nad game, more or less. Even WB stablemate Mad Max had the sense to redo the Arkham esque combat to be more grounded and impactful because Mad Max is not Batman (though in their case they were terribly underinvested in the car combat for the damned "Road Warrior" game, and spent a bunch of effort tacking in survival mechanics that became obsolete in less then an hour)

I very much feel the Arkham games (at least Asylum and City) are pretty well split-up in terms of gameplay as you play through them. You go from said Arkham melee combat to stealth sections to Metroidvania-lite exploration to story/character beats with usually really good pacing. I feel that the Arkham combat really only made up at most a 3rd of your playtime and was always split-up well enough to where you were actually looking forward to the next fight. Whereas Middle-earth was literally just fighting orcs everywhere, the 2nd half's combat encounters gets more interesting with the ability to mind-control orcs (or whatever that was called) but by that time I was sorta already rushing to get to the ending because of being burnt out on combat. It doesn't help that it is literally just reskinned Arkham combat with the same exact moves like there's the beatdown mechanic and that one special that kills all downed orcs that's the best just like in Batman. I remember looking at the skill tree in Middle-earth and knowing exactly what every skill already was and what to bee-line to.

I definitely liked the Nemesis system better as a concept than in execution. I think early on it was interesting but later on got very limiting to where you could only do one thing to the leader orcs. Then, it was really annoying to just get into a little orc skirmish to have like 3 nemeses show up interrupting combat each time with their intro little cutscenes/dialog. I don't really have a great idea on how to make it work because I would definitely what the primary focus of the game to be said nemesis system vs fighting mobs where just about everything you do is to kill leadership or influence the hierarchy in your favor.

evilthecat:

Phoenixmgs:
-Skinner boxes

So, the problem is that operant conditioning is incredibly deeply woven with the fabric of what actually makes gameplay fun...

Much of what Addendum_Forthcoming said. With your take, then everything we find fun or enjoyable is just operant conditioning which is really nihilistic take on pretty much everything.

Dalisclock:
I imagine I'll probably just skip most of them, only watching the ones I know I liked(such as the one with Ocelot on the river, which is still one of my favorite moments in the entire series for how ridiculous it is).

Ocelots VA just hams it up so much that I love it.

Since everyone covered most things I will throw rubber-banding into the mix. If I could I would rip it out off all racing games and force developers to advance the a.i. of racing opponents without relying on cheap tricks that are painfully obvious.

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