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Pressing the win button


Couch Corpse
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If you look at the evolution of the 'offline' computer game, what you see are gameplay ideas being slowly massaged to perfection.

Concepts such as lives, levels, savepoints, difficulty settings etc. are gradually being refined and we have a great many games which are rewarding for many age/skill levels etc.

Online games, however, have not (IMO) been quite as successful - or at least not come as-far in terms of creating a great gameplay experience for a wide-range of people.

It's a tougher task of course - more people involved with their varying skill, attention and frustration levels - but I do think there's a tendency with developers to ignore the whole issue and stick an "ESRB: Online Experience not regulated"-type disclaimer on it instead.

I started a thread about a week ago which was basically 'how do you solve the hooting dickhole factor' - the classic issues like PGR's "using the other cars as cornering aids" or idiotic behaviour like teabagging, camping etc. etc. - things designed purely to annoy.

I think that developers need to get a bit tougher - a good slogan for this is "sticks only" perhaps! No more wimping-out and opening the game up to people who aren't willing to put that little-bit of effort required to "play properly" in the hope of getting a few more sales - and in the process infesting your game with assholes.

We know that paying for a game - or even a game subscription - isn't the hurdle it once was (play WoW for proof of this) - so I think it's time developers took up this torch and started to polish the online experience beyond "let's throw them all into a big room and give them baseball bats"...

PGR's developers - for example - seem to have given up trying to stop players treating the game as a form of combat and made their next game INTO a form of combat - which I suppose is some sort of progress :lol:

p.s. I've been playing Atlantica Online (free MMO) and it uses Captcha a lot to check you're a "real person". I also visited a site recently which made me listen to/read a bit of a book as it's Captcha test - perhaps combing those would keep out the illiterate at least! :)

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I've only played PGR a little and not big at all on driving games, but if PGR works in such a way that bashing into other cars on corners works then why is that not part of the game. Surely that adds a lot of baiting and even mind games to the cornering, sounds like fun to me. The game is clearly working as it was intended.

and camping is only when the team is on offense and refuse to leave their base, this simply causes that team to lose and if you play ranked you will stop encountering those teams. Isn't teabagging just a type of taunting, it has no effect on the game.

I do agree with your post but I don't think these are working examples of the games functions being exploited.

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See militant L4D players.
No, thanks, I'd rather do the finale running around like a lunatic in a panic having a lot of fun than have all of us standing on each other's heads in a cupboard shooting zombie after zombie that we can't actually see properly
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I remember playing a game of Halo 2, 2 on 1 on lockout with me and a friend on one box and another mate solo on live. We won because he was such a predictable cunt I knew exactly what he was going to do, when he respawned he would do a route of the map looking for all the best weapons and powerups, sniper, shotgun, shield, invis, etc. This was his downfall, rather then playing dynamically he followed his usually routine.

Advance Wars is a good one where defeating your opponent is the point, some people (wrongly?) apply this to FPS where objectives are there to shape the action.

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I dunno. I love video games, but have virtually no interest in challenge or difficulty. I enjoy pressing buttons and making things happen on the screen. I enjoy seeing sparkles and explosions. I enjoy being told I've won, or I've beat something. I don't enjoy being told I've failed or having to try really, really hard.

I'd happily play a game with a big win button. I'd press it over and over and be entertained.

PEGGLE!

You're so right Ste, so right. I mean, I love both, I love a good hard challenge now and again, but fuck yeah to I love pressing a button and rainbows come flying out the screen and there's a winning party.

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I agree, these days I'm much more about having fun with games.

Think the OP was more about people abusing the game, or min-maxing it (a term from wargaming/CCG/board games), basically exploiting the game in order to win at the expense of enjoyment or skill.

I tend to refer to these players as "cunts" and they are one of the reasons I tend to avoid online gaming

In fact they are the very embodiment of everything that is wrong about videogame players, and should be rounded up like dogs and have their thumbs sawn off

Hmm, you've not quite got it right.

Min-maxing is the practice of playing a role-playing game, wargame or video game with the intent of creating the "best" character by means of minimizing undesired or unimportant traits and maximizing desired ones. This is usually accomplished by improving one specific trait or ability by sacrificing ability in all other fields.

In an MMO, which is a game based around numbers and maths, it's obvious some people will play to the theoretical 'best'.

People aren't necessarily cunts for wanting to be the best, or using the proven best tactic, but it might not be fun for the lesser player. It gets dubious when you add in the whole 'sploits' business, for example people use grenade jumps to get to a great sniping position, or something like that. I don't quite get that. I mean, winning is great, but winning in the ways some people do takes away any pleasure from a win surely? I guess not for them. Weird indeed.

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It's not a guaranteed win but if a stick player faces a button fighter the button guy is just going to spam a load of combos and eventually win. So stick guy has to use the buttons and spam similar combos and so on, it reduces the game to gutter level. I'm not even talking about exploits, it's just the how they play the game, and their reasons for playing it.

Ah, right. Ignore me, I was talking about 1-player. I don't do online / multiplayer.

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I've only played PGR a little and not big at all on driving games, but if PGR works in such a way that bashing into other cars on corners works then why is that not part of the game. Surely that adds a lot of baiting and even mind games to the cornering, sounds like fun to me. The game is clearly working as it was intended.

To my mind, PGR is a racing game/sim and as such should attempt to model reality (as it attempts to in appearance, locales and handling etc.). In reality, ramming other cars would result in injury or death - and your car would break-down at the very least - but if you implemented this in PGR people would simply quit or just play the game as a demolition derby.

and theirin is your issue - some people playing to 'destroy' and others playing to win the race - an incompatible/irresolvable mismatch of people.

A BIG issue with online games - outside of any explotation/ignoring the rules - is the '"oh I'm losing so I'll quit now' mentality. It was once so common that it was hard to register a win in some games at all. Now you can't glue someone to their computer, but you can (and should) punish quitting by taking-away score and/or preventing joining another game for a period of time perhaps - e.g. you make quitting WORSE than losing.

As I said above - a big part of the problem is developers (perhaps being forced to) making their game open to as many people as possible - instead of making their game work for the people who play it 'as intended' - or at least categorising people into people who want to play "by the rules" and those who want to 'dick around'.

Long way to ago - IMO - before online games are remotely sorted in this respect - and what's most worrying to me is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of effort going into this area as games become more and more 'laisez faire' in their approach to player behaviour/matching etc. etc.

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People snaking in Mario Kart DS ruined the online for me.

And the stupid blue shells, obviously.

It's difficult. In that situation, you have a mechanic which causes the problem. Unless you can agree beforehand not to snake, or could turn it off in the options. There's plenty of flawed mechanics in games like that, where unless you master it, you'll always lose to the person who has.

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When I used to play Forza 2 I only ever raced D class in my Mini Cooper, despite pretty much everyone else using the Elan because it was stupidly unbalanced when upgraded a certain way. It meant the only chance I had of winning was to have a perfect race and hope that the Elans all fucked up somewhere, which actualy did happen a lot of the time.

One time on Maple Valley though (my favourite track), I was chasing the bumper of a pretty decent Elan driver for the whole race. I was totally outclassing him on corners, but every time we hit a straight he'd increase the gap, only for me to close it again on the next set of corners. On the last straight he slowed down to let me pass and get 1st place, in what I can only assume was an acknowledgment that I was the better driver in a 'worse' car.

I'm not really sure how this is relevant, but it at least shows that some of these 'cunts' aren't total cunts.

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I like winning, and I like playing against others who want to win, but I don't want to be overwhelmed by some turd who's clinically studied this shit and figured out the pure numbers of victory.

I think you've got mixed up somehow. Where exactly is the line then? Try hard but don't try too hard?

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It's difficult. In that situation, you have a mechanic which causes the problem. Unless you can agree beforehand not to snake, or could turn it off in the options. There's plenty of flawed mechanics in games like that, where unless you master it, you'll always lose to the person who has.

Was powersliding ever supposed to be used in that way?

Mario Kart DS was great online before every cunt started snaking. I could still beat a lot of them by driving 'properley', because most people were shit at it, but it just made every game incredibly boring.

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I reject that. It's in the game, it's in the game. Whether it's an accident (developer's fault) or not (developer's fault/choice). Why do you assume your way was 'properly'? Maybe the proper way was to play it snaking, which makes it a less enjoyable game for you, right? Because it's tricky and annoying and hurts your hands? It's really really not the fault of the player doing it in that example. Call them cunts if it makes you feel better.

I'm sure when people were allowed to start dunking in basketball and some players had much higher jumps than others, some players thought they were right cunts and that it was much better the old way.

I do feel for you though, that snaking was fucked. I just don't blame people for doing it.

Try hard, but don't abuse glitches/exploits/cuntery that make it easy to win with no challenge.

Combos in Street fighter 2 were a glitch.

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No, thanks, I'd rather do the finale running around like a lunatic in a panic having a lot of fun than have all of us standing on each other's heads in a cupboard shooting zombie after zombie that we can't actually see properly

High five, I'd rather not make it than have to have everyone sitting in a corner, swinging rifle butts around relentlessley. My initial experiences of L4D were pretty crap because people got the game before me and insisted on doing certain areas in certain ways.

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I think you have to separate people being 'dicks' from games having obvious imbalances and issues.

Being a 'dick' is playing just to frustrate or annoy the other player - wheras a game imbalance (such as the build-rush concept in some RTSs etc.) are for the develop to patch-out (or you simply don't play the game perhaps).

Remember that multiplayer started-out with 2 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder - if the other player endlessly blocked/used the same move you could flick them in the eye :lol:

The idea of the other person being a random stranger anywhere on earth forces games to adapt - and something like SF (which started shoulder-to-shoulder and 10p a go!) needs some fundamental rethinking which may spoil the basic nature of the game (and thus be something a developer is reluctant to do).

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No ones posted "Sirlin Sirlin Sirlin Sirlin" yet? Or throwing is cheap? :)

Haha, I was about to mention him. He basically wrote an entire book on the subject of why it's perfectly legitimate to win using whatever works, and if the other player doesn't like it, it's THEIR fault for not finding a counter-tactic. Never mind if the method you're using is boring for you, or if losing so much puts the other player off the game forever. :lol:

Whereas to me, consistently winning using an unvarying tactic (a certain unblockable move, camping next to the machine gun turret) is nearly as boring as consistently losing to someone using the same tactic. The big advantage of multiplayer is that it can be much more varied than playing against the CPU AI, so why play a multiplayer game using tactics that make it seem like you're playing against bots on Easy?

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I totally agree with punishing early quitters, that's just terrible and I personally don't see the point in it, so people can say 'woo, look at my fake stats, no losses anywhere' well bully for you, you might as well just get a mate to continually lose against you in matches to get your stats up if you aren't acknowledging losing to players that are better than you.

Also, in regards to snaking, doing it continually was surely (obv I don't know for definite) not what was intended, it's for a little boost out of a corner and for that it's quite a good idea. You almost need online referees somehow, or you just try and do MP with your chums so you can a ctually say 'right, no snaking on straights'. This is precisely the reason that I don't actually play a lot of Live games with randoms.

For some reason, a lot of it reminds me of playing 'bang-bangs' as a kid with fake guns, they would invariably deteriorate into 'I shot you' 'no you didn't, I've got a bullet proof vest on / you missed / i used magic' or some shit. It's not like I'm a massive stickler for rules but I think working out how people play is more important, then you can play in a similar way, so camping / lurking is on? OK, fair enough... so in PGR4 I'm playing against teams that will have one actual racer and two other cars just blocking/ slowing me down? OK I won't play this round as I'm on my Jones... The thing is, people using these tricks won't want to admit to it as then it won't be as succesful, I'm sure.

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High five, I'd rather not make it than have to have everyone sitting in a corner, swinging rifle butts around relentlessley. My initial experiences of L4D were pretty crap because people got the game before me and insisted on doing certain areas in certain ways.

Where's the fun in that?!

"Right, the way to do this is..."

"Fuck that! SHEWT ZUMBEHSS!!!!!! GRAAAAAAAAAAAAGHH!!!" bambambambambambam chew chomp "I'm DYYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!" I love the chaos of it all.

I hate playing with randoms. In WoW, on live, anywhere EXCEPT Team Fortress 2. I can't explain why but TF2 gets away with it somehow. I've resubbed to PSU to try and wean myself off WoW but it requires parting up and I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm getting so antisocial these days :lol:

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Snaking in MK DS is always a sore point for me as I can't do it or beat people that do, but I have to admire the fact that it is a skill that you must master. It's only a win button once you've learned how to press it. Or, er, something.

Those CoD4 bastards who insist on finding glitches in the maps, hiding beneath the textures. :lol:

Also, had one the other day who was blatantly using a modded pad as his pistol was firing at the rate of an Ak-47.

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I like to play a fair game and generally winning is often an unexpected bonus, for instance on something like PGR4 I hate the first corner ramathon but if I hit the brakes a bit late and take someone out on the corner, I'll apologise and pull over for them to pass.

There is something deeply satisfying in something like Halo 3 where you creep up and take out some hidden snippy sniper who is camped out decimating your team.

Talking of hiding beneath textures there was a bug in GTA4 which meant you could glitch inside the airport building and shoot out but people couldn't shoot you inside it, not sure if it is still there but that was annoying.

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Where's the fun in that?!

"Right, the way to do this is..."

"Fuck that! SHEWT ZUMBEHSS!!!!!! GRAAAAAAAAAAAAGHH!!!" bambambambambambam chew chomp "I'm DYYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!" I love the chaos of it all.

I hate playing with randoms. In WoW, on live, anywhere EXCEPT Team Fortress 2. I can't explain why but TF2 gets away with it somehow. I've resubbed to PSU to try and wean myself off WoW but it requires parting up and I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm getting so antisocial these days :lol:

That's precisely why I haven't bothered with L4D yet, it's one thing playing it through with 4 chums and then realising you all got slaughtered and then maybe try something else but I really don't want to join for some bell-end I don't know to demand that I go a particular route or do a particular thing, I'm just trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, goddammit!

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I stopped playing Counter-Strike because every death was preceded by a flashbang whiteout. If I had it my way they wouldn't be in the game. However, this is more to do with me being shit than any particular game imbalance.

No, the game imbalance comes from the AWP. :)

Allegedly. I've not used it myself. :lol:

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For some reason, a lot of it reminds me of playing 'bang-bangs' as a kid with fake guns, they would invariably deteriorate into 'I shot you' 'no you didn't, I've got a bullet proof vest on / you missed / i used magic' or some shit.

I've got your kids, Dan, I've got your kids.

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I think you've got mixed up somehow. Where exactly is the line then? Try hard but don't try too hard?

I suppose it would be similar skill level. I want a good honest challenge I don't want a huge gap between cars for example, prefering nice tight close racing and will assist my opponents in every way to facilitate this, not just laugh at them like a big man.

Edit: I suppose the original point of the topic was shit game mechanics that allow tedium in the game. Look at the smackdown games, the older ones, you can win by hitting someone with a chair 100 times, but it's not very entertaining. Compare that to Fire Pro where the desire to create an amazing match win or lose is the driving factor. It's up to the individual if they want to be a tedious cunt and just go for the win all the time, it's a fucking game, winning it means nothing, it's meant to entertain.

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