This week in video games... - Page 717 - Myth-Weavers


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All-purpose section for discussions that donít clearly belong in any of the other categories.


This week in video games...

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
There's a certain amount of rose tinted glasses in that view. Sure, back in the "olden days" you just plopped in a CD and ran the game - but all the bugs in that game would never be fixed, and the contents it had were what you got. Those DLC mechanics that the game "was supposed to have in the first place"? Probably would never have existed back then. Unless you bought the "expansion pack"...
No, they were just flat out there. I am not talking about stuff like when you buy a DLC and it adds a bunch of stuff that was newer in the game to begin with or completely new mechanics and storyline, further developments on the engine, new art or music etc. That's just an expansion pack by a different name.

I am talking about stuff like where you can see that it's either cut content (day 1 DLC), or worse yet content that's in the game but not playable unless you pay extra.
Also about situations where you can see that they simply released the game in a half finished state because the features are unpolished, buggy or just half baked. And than 6 months down the line you get a DLC that fixes all that and rebalanced everything. Used to be companies would have just sat for the extra 6 months and developed before releasing. Or made it a free patch.

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Besides, games are far larger and more complex beings these days. Yes, there are more bugs. No, the relative amount of bugs per content likely have not changed all that substantially. The thing is, those bugs have a chance to get fixed now.
Larger yes, more complex... hardly. If anything the trend in recent years has been to simplify things to vomit inducing degrees.

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Are there problems with DLC-mongering, unfinished games and cashgrabs? Sure, of course there are. But we're still in a far better place right now than we were "back then". The amount of games is much higher as well, as is their overall quality. So there are more than enough games which are made finished or patched for free.
I won't argue with the number of games but the quality is just as spotty as it ever was. The shit to gold ratio is about the same really only perhaps with a genre shift. As in you get less Command and Conquer and Age of Empires clones and more starcraft clones.


The difference I am complaining about is that back in the day when someone made a half finished or just bad game that was it. They did not sell well, lost business and some times went out of business. And that was good. That is how it is supposed to work. Now a days we have been trained to give them a pass because we are used to buying the finishing work on our games as a downloadable extra months down the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
No, they were just flat out there. I am not talking about stuff like when you buy a DLC and it adds a bunch of stuff that was newer in the game to begin with or completely new mechanics and storyline, further developments on the engine, new art or music etc. That's just an expansion pack by a different name.
There's no way you can know that for sure, unless you somehow have all-encompassing insight into the development process of games both then and now. Game development always has compromises, things they can't do by default because there isn't enough time and/or budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
I am talking about stuff like where you can see that it's either cut content (day 1 DLC), or worse yet content that's in the game but not playable unless you pay extra.
Also about situations where you can see that they simply released the game in a half finished state because the features are unpolished, buggy or just half baked. And than 6 months down the line you get a DLC that fixes all that and rebalanced everything. Used to be companies would have just sat for the extra 6 months and developed before releasing. Or made it a free patch.
Day 1 DLC is not a big deal. Do you know why Day 1 DLC exists? Once the game goes gold, the devs have a lot of time on their hand. Only so many people can work on patching the game, leaving lots of people twiddling their thumbs. Day 1 DLC allows those people to keep working on new content or content they couldn't finish in time. I don't think it's unfair that developers ask people to pay for their work, especially if it is extra. Yes, at times there are things like "true endings" locked behind DLC. Pretty much every instance of that happening has been met with outcry.

Furthermore, games are more expensive these days as well. Should they be as expensive as they are? Probably not, but that's just how it is. Those 6 months? Not sustainable with the budget the games have or are given, so the game gets released, the relative success giving a boost to the developers to continue supporting the game.

The gaming community is also far more aware of bad practices. Things like on-disc DLC (which, mind you, is entirely different to Day 1 DLC) are universally railed against, as are egregious microtransaction systems.

And, you know, free patches still exist for pretty much all games as well. Which is more than can be said for many older games back when internet connectivity for consoles in particular wasn't a thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
Larger yes, more complex... hardly. If anything the trend in recent years has been to simplify things to vomit inducing degrees.
First of all, complexity doesn't equal depth. I've personally found that many older games are just more complex without being all that deeper (personal preferences, of course). Second, gameplay complexity wasn't even what I was talking about (which is my bad, should have been clearer). I was talking about internal complexity, code, requirements, etc. A lot more code goes into games these days, which means there are going to be more errors. And those errors need fixing. Which takes both time and money.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
I won't argue with the number of games but the quality is just as spotty as it ever was. The shit to gold ratio is about the same really only perhaps with a genre shift. As in you get less Command and Conquer and Age of Empires clones and more starcraft clones.
More games = more better games. Who cares about the trash? Trash has always existed and will always exist. The relative percentages are irrelevant because the trash will be discarded. The absolute number of good games is growing all the time, especially since nobody is taking away old games either (okay operating systems are kinda, but that's another issue entirely).

Besides, there is so much more variety to gaming what with a booming indie scene. More variety = more kinds of better games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
The difference I am complaining about is that back in the day when someone made a half finished or just bad game that was it. They did not sell well, lost business and some times went out of business. And that was good. That is how it is supposed to work. Now a days we have been trained to give them a pass because we are used to buying the finishing work on our games as a downloadable extra months down the line.
I think you're underestimating the current situation a lot. A lot of games have been met with huge outcry because they've been unfinished or bad. Shadow of Mordor was panned for its business practices, Destiny 2 was an outright failure, DoW3 basically killed the franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda spelled the end of that particular Bioware branch and Mass Effect in general. Hopefully lessons will be learned from those. Probably not, but one can hope.

The thing is though: I don't like developers dying. I think it's a shame, because there are a lot of talented people around who can do good work. What part is their fault vs the fault of publishers, though, can't really say. Still, I'd rather have more developers than fewer.

Now, one thing to look at is the effect of publishers. The big publishing houses can take those losses in some games, but they also kill studios just as well. Often for very misguided reasons, wanting more profits than was reasonable (Dead Space 3 comes to mind). Big publishers are the worst in regards of these bad practices. But so many games also exist outside them, made with budgets that are tighter and closer to what games used to have. And they don't have nearly as many issues that you claim games have. (Although unfinished content is always a big problem because budgets run out even when games are being made without all the things you mentioned. No different than before.)



Now, is all of this just or fair? Should it be this way? Probably not, and I can't argue in support of big publishers, but that's how things are right now. Do I wish for a change? Of course. But the circumstances are so different to what they used to be, and comparing the state of things without adjusting those circumstances paints the wrong picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
There's no way you can know that for sure, unless you somehow have all-encompassing insight into the development process of games both then and now.
It's actually quite obvious in most respects. The primary demonstrative element are engine expansions. As in when something new is added onto the engine that could not be done before in order to serve the purposes of the remainder of the expansion content. But there are plenty of other indicators as well such as things that are demonstratively reactions to post launch user input and market trends etc.

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Game development always has compromises, things they can't do by default because there isn't enough time and/or budget.
And that's fine. If you can't finish your game in the deadline you have delay or fail. Going bankrupt is a legitimate thing for a developer to do and as an end user I frankly could not care less if they do. Expecting me to foot the bill for their lack of capability on the other hand is not acceptable.

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Day 1 DLC is not a big deal. Do you know why Day 1 DLC exists? Once the game goes gold, the devs have a lot of time on their hand. Only so many people can work on patching the game, leaving lots of people twiddling their thumbs. Day 1 DLC allows those people to keep working on new content or content they couldn't finish in time. I don't think it's unfair that developers ask people to pay for their work, especially if it is extra.
EXCEPT IT IS NOT EXTRA IF IT WAS FINISHED AND READY FOR LAUNCH AT THE SAME TIME THAT THE GAME WAS.

It's cut content.

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Furthermore, games are more expensive these days as well. Should they be as expensive as they are? Probably not, but that's just how it is. Those 6 months? Not sustainable with the budget the games have or are given, so the game gets released, the relative success giving a boost to the developers to continue supporting the game.
And that is not my problem.

The price of an item is how much the customer is willing to pay for it. If they can't deliver a product that meets my requirements at my price point than I won't buy it. And I don't care if the reason for their failure is malice, bad organization or the laws of physics. As a consumer I have zero sympathy for the supplier.

Quote:
The gaming community is also far more aware of bad practices. Things like on-disc DLC (which, mind you, is entirely different to Day 1 DLC) are universally railed against, as are egregious microtransaction systems.
So why exactly are you here arguing against me when I do the same? Am I not allowed to express my opinion simply because enough other people already have? Has the quota for people complaining been filled already? And where do I see these quotas anyway? Is there a website or something?

Quote:
And, you know, free patches still exist for pretty much all games as well. Which is more than can be said for many older games back when internet connectivity for consoles in particular wasn't a thing.
I can't speak for consoles because I've newer owned one. So I won't touch this.

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First of all, complexity doesn't equal depth. I've personally found that many older games are just more complex without being all that deeper (personal preferences, of course).
Indeed. But than we come back to the good to bad games ratio from before that sadly has not really changed much.

Indeed,

[quote]Second, gameplay complexity wasn't even what I was talking about (which is my bad, should have been clearer). I was talking about internal complexity, code, requirements, etc. A lot more code goes into games these days, which means there are going to be more errors. And those errors need fixing. Which takes both time and money.
Actually the opposite is true. Modern day games may be more complex code vise but actually a lot of that work has been delegated away.
Back in the day when you wanted to develop a video game you pretty much had to start from scratch every single time. The only exception was if you were a big studio that already had some games you could work off. Like for example Westwood which released it's Tiberium series games off the same engine as their Red Alert series.
Now a days however we treat game engines as middle ware. In layman's terms that means if I want to develop a game today I'll just licence an existing game engine, tweak it and add my own assets. And that saves an incredible amount of time and effort.

Quote:
More games = more better games. Who cares about the trash? Trash has always existed and will always exist. The relative percentages are irrelevant because the trash will be discarded.
The percentage is far more important than the absolute quantity because more does not equal more of the good stuff. You can perfectly well (and in some genres do!) have such a ratio that today there are less good games in absolute numbers than there were 10 years ago.

Just look at for example the RTS genre. You have starcraft and ... Yeah.
10 years ago you had Age of Empires, Command and Conquer (both big series with many spinoffs and clones), starcraft, warcraft etc.

Ratios matter.

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The absolute number of good games is growing all the time, especially since nobody is taking away old games either (okay operating systems are kinda, but that's another issue entirely).
And hardware. And frankly boredom. There are only so many times you can play the best game of your life before you get bored off it. And it is a legitimate reason to complain when there are no other games that fit that genre or niche well on the market. If for no other reason than because someone might hear you and make one.

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Besides, there is so much more variety to gaming what with a booming indie scene. More variety = more kinds of better games.
Variety does not equal quality any more than quantity does. You need only look at the steam store to see the proof.
What variety does however do is give people with very niche desires a way to get them fulfilled, which is great. And it also makes it far more difficult to separate out the good from the bad due to sheer overload, which is not great.

Quote:
I think you're underestimating the current situation a lot. A lot of games have been met with huge outcry because they've been unfinished or bad. Shadow of Mordor was panned for its business practices, Destiny 2 was an outright failure, DoW3 basically killed the franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda spelled the end of that particular Bioware branch and Mass Effect in general. Hopefully lessons will be learned from those. Probably not, but one can hope.
And again. Because people have complained about this I do not have the right to vent as well?

Yes, we have won some battles. Yes, the consumer base is aware of bad practices and fighting them. But you know what? The fact that these practices exist in the first place, the fact companies are deliberately testing the water to see how much they can get away with is a reason to complain in its own right.

Quote:
The thing is though: I don't like developers dying. I think it's a shame, because there are a lot of talented people around who can do good work. What part is their fault vs the fault of publishers, though, can't really say. Still, I'd rather have more developers than fewer.
As far as I am concerned I am a consumer and they are the supplier. If they can't supply a product I want than they have zero sympathy from me. And I speak as a programmer here when I say the talent can and will always find new better jobs. We are literally the last surviving industry where this is still true.

Quote:
Now, one thing to look at is the effect of publishers. The big publishing houses can take those losses in some games, but they also kill studios just as well. Often for very misguided reasons, wanting more profits than was reasonable (Dead Space 3 comes to mind). Big publishers are the worst in regards of these bad practices. But so many games also exist outside them, made with budgets that are tighter and closer to what games used to have. And they don't have nearly as many issues that you claim games have. (Although unfinished content is always a big problem because budgets run out even when games are being made without all the things you mentioned. No different than before.)
What's different is that now a days I am expected to foot the bill 6 months later.

Quote:
Now, is all of this just or fair? Should it be this way? Probably not, and I can't argue in support of big publishers, but that's how things are right now. Do I wish for a change? Of course. But the circumstances are so different to what they used to be, and comparing the state of things without adjusting those circumstances paints the wrong picture.
No it does not. It paints the world as it is.

The reason those circumstances have changed is NOT because some magic space fairy came and changed them. It's because we as consumers have become more acceptive of these practices. If things are different now than they were before that does not mean we should tolerate new wrongs that came with the change. It means we need to fight doubly hard to roll those changes back.

Update: Due to recent developments beyond my control I am forced to leave this discussion. Do not reply to the above post as replies will neither be read nor responded to.

Thank you for understanding.

I dunno Actana. Say what you will about the "Good Old Days" being nostalgia. I don't recall the world governments getting involved and going after the game companies about "predatory practices and gambling simulators" back then.

I also don't recall game companies asking people to spend real-life-money for a percentage chance at getting the game asset they wanted.

Witcher 3 w/ all expansions is currently on sale for 3 days for $20.00 USD which doesn't seem bad. I've been thinking of getting this game for awhile and the price seems good, but I've never played any of them.

I've read you can get by without having played the others, just that you might not understand all the references or miss some of the jokes from prior games.. But still, it's only $20 lol.

SMT: Strange Journey got ported to the 3DS today. It's just a cleaned up port but the game is on the older side and it hasn't been widely available unless you keep your old consoles around. I'd recommend it if you like darker RPGs.

I will warn you though that SMT games are notoriously hard and not always sin a fair way. I cite 2 examples from SMT 4 as the kind of challenge you'll occasionally face. I once got into an encounter where the enemies went first due to having higher agility - not a 'back attack' which I could have avoided. The following happened: They hit all my weaknesses and earned extra actions, then fully killed my entire party before I was able to take a single action.

Now, some argued that 'planning your team so you don't have glaring weaknesses so the AI can sweep is a big part of the challenge,' and I accepted that. Okay, this is a game where you can be savagely punished for not planning ahead. So I went about stacking my team and ended up with a team that had practically no weaknesses and, indeed, were immune to most damage types outright. This prompted many bosses to enter 'spam mode' where they just spam you with 'Almighty' damage, which is the game's unresistable damage type. These attacks are super high damage AOEs and I was just buried with more damage than I could possibly heal through.

So the game punishes you for planning too well also. However, while the SMT games are often unfair in their difficulty, MOST of the time I found a medium between those two scenarios. As long as I didn't try to over optimize and become immune to everything, the bosses would play normally and I stopped getting those frustrating sweeps once my party got balanced out more.

Overall, I've enjoyed every SMT game I've ever played and I'd recommend them to anyone with a 3DS who is willing to suffer a little through the learning curve. That said, I've never played Strange Journey but it's one of the best regarded so I'm hype!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dnd4life View Post
Witcher 3 w/ all expansions is currently on sale for 3 days for $20.00 USD which doesn't seem bad. I've been thinking of getting this game for awhile and the price seems good, but I've never played any of them.

I've read you can get by without having played the others, just that you might not understand all the references or miss some of the jokes from prior games.. But still, it's only $20 lol.
This is an excellent price for an excellent game which you will mostly enjoy just fine without having played the first two games. I also bounced off 1 and 2 very quickly, but 3 had me hooked.

In this post: Duckerby goes over a few recommended dealz!

--Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition - $19.99
The game that finally got it right, in a series I desperately tried to like multiple times but simply could not get into. The Witcher 3 is a triumph of minor character storytelling, and of characterization in general. It's a game about a wartorn land where you don't take part in the war, but instead interact with the people left alive, the soldiers and leaders who occupy or were driven into hiding, the monsters and legends that prowl the carnage or try desperately to stay out of the way. It's a game about the shades of grey, where noone is morally clean but rarely is someone evil absolutely. And it's a game where trying to two-time the love interests doesn't end up the way you might expect. =p

Don't worry about having played the first two games or not; this games mostly works fine with very little knowledge of the series going in (it's really just the import questions that are worth considering reading up on, and sites like Gamespot have good summaries for that - google Witcher 3 Imperial Audience if you so desire).

Additional pitch: Extra Credits naming the Witcher 3 the best Hard Boiled Detective game ever made.

--Tales of Berseria - $13.49
Wow, a 70% sale on this is pretty huge. For a long time people have wanted a darker Tales game, and for a long time people have wanted a female lead. And while I think her outfit could be a bit better, Velvet is still a compelling and awesome focal point for this messed up tale of revenge in a game style that manages to be anime but not too-anime. Not to sell the others short; this might be my favorite cast since Vesperia and that's saying something. Despite some quirks, the port is far better than some of the travesties Bandai-Namco have tried to pull before (Symphonia comes to mind). And seriously, $14. That's a steal.

Note that this is a prequel to Tales of Zestria which is also on sale, but I can't speak to that game or the port quality. I hear good things, though, so it's probably worth it.

-- Doom (2016) - $13.49
Rip and tear.

-- Jackbox Party Pack 3 - $14.61
All 4 of these are on sale, but this is the one with Tee K.O. so hey. Of course the first one had Drawful... tough choices. Jackbox is a brilliant evolution of party games, in that instead of having to deal with multiple controllers, it has all players use their smartphones in an easy, anyone-can-do-it sort of way. The games are (mostly) clever and hilarious, great at drawing out the stupid fun that Cards Against Humanity revels in, and it's all so smartly designed and presented to just be a good fun time. My only caveat to buying these is you might be better off with a console version if you have one, simply because it makes it easier getting it on the big screen in a place where you'd be entertaining peoples.

--Superhot - $13.49
SUPER!
HOT!
SUPER!
HOT!

-- The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC - $8.99
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - $17.54
My favorite jRPG of the past decade or more, easily, is this two-part monstrosity of silly animu tropes, genuine feels, world-building so intense it's been followed by six games which are still building and extrapolating seeds planted in these first two games, and character building that puts most other games to shame. It's not for everyone; the game is a slow-paced story that focuses on the little moments between characters, particularly Estelle and Joshua, the main duo, and the people they meet. And it revels in these little things, with hundreds of little incidental and unimportant (to you) stories happening to even the NPCs, giving them personality and the world a feeling of place, instead of simply being an infodump and market for the player like most game cities. All the while it manages a feeling I'd long thought gone: those mid-90s Working Designs localizations that managed to be both whimsical and deep at the same time.

To put it a little more succinctly, ask yourself this. Are you the type of person who likes to talk to all the NPCs after every single little plot event to see if their dialogue changed (it does)? If so, you need this/these game(s).








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