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Wii Games

Are Games Getting Easier? 854

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the kids-these-days dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I can't help feeling that this generation of games for both consoles and PCs are getting increasingly dumbed down and easier to complete. There's no challenge in today's games, most of which can be completed on the day of purchase. Triple A titles such as Halo, Modern Warfare 2 are the worst of the lot. The whole reason for this article is Medal of Honor, this can be completed within hours of purchase. Where's the fun in that?"
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Are Games Getting Easier?

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  • *yawn* (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:38PM (#34028710)
    Nothing is more lame than some game snob living in his parents basement who thinks he's hardcore because he's good at a video game.
  • Where is the fun? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by weachiod (1928554) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:38PM (#34028716)
    In multiplayer.
  • Profit! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aapold (753705) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:41PM (#34028764) Homepage Journal
    Just like planned obsolescence in other products, there's less money to be made in something that will keep a customer challenged and occupied for months. Better to let them finish it quickly and back to purchase another game (or some DLC to extend it).
  • by jaymz666 (34050) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:41PM (#34028774)

    Yep, there's nothing more fun than being teabagged by some jerk who has no life or job so they spend 24/7 practising so they can feel their life has meaning when some wage slave logs on to go find some fun for a few hours.

  • by mark72005 (1233572) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:43PM (#34028790)
    This.

    I hate how game companies today are shoving everyone toward online play - though I understand, because it frees them from having to... you know... create content for the game.

    Some of us want to be able to play single player in exchange for our $60... it's not too much to ask.
  • It's adult gamers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Derkec (463377) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:45PM (#34028826)

    Hey we're busy. We really don't necessarily all want to struggle with games. We want something fun, that's a little challenging that we can get through. 12 hours of content for 60 bucks? That's about even with a movie.

    Personally, I gravitate to the games I can play over and over again, rather than big story games, but I get it.

    And the games we do play a lot are usually more social these days. The author complains about a short story in Halo or Modern Warfare. Well duh. Most people are paying for the multiplayer experience which infinitely re playable. The single player parts are a sideline. Is a 5 hour single player worth the money there? No. But that's not what people are buying anyway. It's like complaining about hugely expensive veg and potatoes while ignoring the steak that came alongside.

  • by cruff (171569) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:45PM (#34028830) Homepage

    I really enjoy games with interesting puzzles and goals, until I get to those damn boss battles at the end of a segment. Who finds that any fun after the second time around? Really, do I need to die 30 times before I manage to hang on long enough to get past it?

  • Which games? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:46PM (#34028836) Homepage Journal

    and what do you mean by easier?

    The time to complete something it's a good indicator of whether or not a game is harder.

    I played Might and magic and it took 100 hours to complete. Does spending 40 minutes killing 10000 skeletons by hitting the same two keys hard?

  • by Byzantine (85549) <(carson) (at) (sdf.lonestar.org)> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:46PM (#34028842) Homepage Journal

    If games are getting easier, I think you need look no further for the reason than the rising average age of the gamer demographic. When I was in college, I could spend six hours a day for a week on games if I wanted to. Now I have a job and a family, and I might have an hour a day in which I could play games—but probably not. On those rare occasions I do play something, well, it wouldn't be very exciting to play for an hour and just make it through the tutorial.

    Shorter games are better for busy people.

  • Indie Games (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rakuen (1230808) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:49PM (#34028902) Homepage
    The main developers are making somewhat easier games (with difficulty settings) because that's the way the market works. If you make every game require the same level of memorization, reflexes, and skill as Battletoads, a large portion of people are going to stop buying your games pretty quickly. They're a business, they have to make money, so no surprise here that they try to cater to the larger demographic.

    There are, however, independent developers who are still making difficult games. They don't have to answer to the bottom-line so much. Some of them even do it for fun. If you want a difficult challenge, go looking around for IWBTG and its ilk. Theyr'e not hard to find, and they won't cost you anything, except perhaps the keyboard you broke in half.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:50PM (#34028914)

    When I was young, everything was better. Today, everything is worse.

    Sincerely,
    Every Generation Since the Dawn of Time.

  • by Desler (1608317) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:52PM (#34028938)

    got it... jerks don't deserve to ruin the fun of everyone else.

    FTFY.

  • by B Nesson (1153483) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:54PM (#34028986)
    I played through Mass Effect 2 on normal, and felt like a badass by the end, because in Mass Effect 2, you play a badass. You go up against impossible odds and save the human race.

    Some of my friends played through Mass Effect 2 on Insane difficulty, and felt like badasses by the end, because they had done something hard.

    Neither of these things actually makes you a badass, though. One is just pretending in a story, and one is just developing proficiency at a game. The difference is, I don't have any illusions about how badass I actually am.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:54PM (#34028988)

    Just look at WOW.

    Hunters used to need to take care of ammo counts and bags.
    Everyone needed wood to light a fire.
    You used to need to spend time going somewhere in order to play a BG.
    You used to need to spend time going somewhere to get in a dungeon instance.
    Some spells/abilities were only available at certain trainers.
    They've just dumbed down the whole stats and talenting system, so there will be even fewer cookie-cutter character builds.

    Slowly, but surely, it's turning into another InstaFrag game where the RP is pointless.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:55PM (#34029006)

    In oldschool games, you had gameplay, and nothing more. The gameplay and the challenge were the entire point.
    Games today try to be a cinematic experience. You spend 10 minutes trekking through a stage to get to a boss, you dont want to die and then have to play through all that again. Why not? Because its boring as hell to play through again. It's like getting to a good point in a movie and then rewinding to watch some boring bit that you just watched 3 times already. As long as games are long, drawn out experiences, you just dont have that "one more try" feeling that oldschool games used to keep you playing over and over.

  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:57PM (#34029032) Homepage
    I wish I had mod points now. I'd often rather not have MP at all, for I barely ever do multiplayer. There isn't a whole lot of fun to getting shot at by people you don't know who'll rub it in your face in the typical well-mannered way a 14-year old can.
  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:57PM (#34029034)

    got it... jerks don't deserve fun.

    Sure they do. I'd just prefer it if their fun wasn't had at my expense.

    why don't you make your own games?

    Because I already have a job. I don't want to spend my few leisure hours trying to code up a video game. I want to relax and enjoy myself.

  • by AstrumPreliator (708436) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:57PM (#34029046)
    I don't know. My all time favorite multiplayer FPS is Starsiege: Tribes. It was only multiplayer and it was hard as hell to play. I was never one of the greats, or even really good but I always found it fun. Thing is the game is absolutely full of content. The multiplayer was amazingly complex for its day. Even though it had no multiplayer it was still seeped in Starsiege lore. You don't need to know any of it to play the game, but they did put a lot of time into it. So it's not like content and multiplayer are mutually exclusive.
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:00PM (#34029102) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    Imagine if Tiger Woods just gave up the first time he swung a golf club because he didnt get a hole in one? What if Michael Jordan gave up because he couldnt dunk straight away? Both Golf and Basketball are games just like any other game, you play because its fun and in time you learn to play better and improve.

    Well, if Tiger Woods had to play his first ever game of golf against Jack Nicklaus, he probably would have been so frustrated with the experience that he might have considered not bothering. That is how multiplayer (your favorite FPS here) is for many people. That is exactly why I only played the first Quake for about an hour - and the rest of the series not at all. People who are new to the games end up in multiplayer games against people who play it 16 hours a day and hence find themselves annihilated faster than they can even figure out which button opens a door and which button changes weapons.

    People aren't giving up games quickly because they are hard - more often they are giving up because there is no point in trying to compete when there are no new players around. It would be as it there was no such thing as amateur boxing, everyone had to get started by fighting Mike Tyson; many people wouldn't even consider it out of fear of immediate death.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:00PM (#34029104)

    Games are certainly getting easier if you define it as "I can beat it."

    Back in the early console days, I only ever beat maybe one in ten of the games, "beating" meaning that I got to the end credits. PC games were a different story because you could save the game state. With sheer endurance, you could make it to the end.

    Older games didn't have much going for them but the play mechanics themselves and they could be fiendishly difficult and completely unforgiving. "Twitch gaming" is not a recent development.

    So yeah, through sheer endurance, you can beat most games out these days. The question is whether you can maintain enough interest to bother.

    The thing I've noticed as I've gotten older is that it takes a greater effort and more originality to pique my interest. I have no tolerance for annoying play mechanics, derivative designs, and rehashes of games I've already played.

    I've been a fan of RTS games for a long time but nothing kills my interest in a game more than seeing something five or ten times shinier than the last RTS I played with AI and pathfinding every bit as awful as the last one.

  • by tbannist (230135) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:00PM (#34029112)

    Yes, it's a business decision, but I'm not sure you've got the reason correct. I don't think multiplayer appeals to more than 50% of the audience. However, multiplayer is trivially "sticky" which means by spending a little time adding multiplayer you can keep people who do buy your game playing longer and talking about your game for longer. If people are playing longer that means you have a longer sales window before used copies start seriously competing with new copies of the game. If people are talking about it for longer you sell more copies as well.

    It's a very good strategy for companies like EA which produce very similar games year after year because it doesn't require much creativity to create new iterations.

  • We wanted it! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:02PM (#34029124) Homepage

    Remember all those pains involved in having such ignored and even ridiculed way of spending time? How "games were only for kids", and only weird and awkward ones at that? How, if only the masses would really try, they would understand and like it?

    Well, it happened. So now many games are made for them, not you. Deal with the consequences of what we wanted (this is extremely easy, considering huge numbers of great "hard" games made also now; even if limiting oneself to what's available, more than can be played in a lifetime)

  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:06PM (#34029184)

    Yep, there's nothing more fun than being teabagged by some jerk who has no life or job so they spend 24/7 practising so they can feel their life has meaning when some wage slave logs on to go find some fun for a few hours.

    Indeed.

    I used to have more time on my hands. I used to be able to play Unreal (pre-tournament!) for multiple hours a day. I got halfway-decent at it. It was fun.

    But those days are long-gone. I don't have the time to get good enough at a modern multi-player title for it to actually be fun. If I log into something multi-player these days I just get my ass handed to me time and again. Usually while somebody mocks me. Not my idea of fun.

    This wouldn't really be a problem if there was more single-player content out there. Seems like everyone prefers multi-player these days.

    I can understand the appeal... You build just a few maps and your players can entertain themselves for hours. Saves you money. Makes you more money. Makes good sense from a business standpoint.

    But I miss the days when I could pay $50 and get a good 50 hours or so of gameplay.

    Yes, some RPGs still offer that kind longevity... And I do enjoy a good RPG... Had a lot of fun with Dragon Age...

    And there's always MMOGs... They offer almost limitless gameplay, as long as you keep paying your subscription...

    But I enjoy playing different types of games. And sometimes I really feel like a good shooter. Used to be you could get 50 hours out of a shooter. These days it's more like 10.

    I suppose I could crank the difficulty up... Make it so hard that I'm dying every 5 minutes... That'd drag things out quite a bit longer... But that isn't exactly my idea of fun.

  • Of course they are (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:15PM (#34029360) Homepage

    Seems pretty obvious to me.

    When I was a kid and had my NES, games were TOUGH. Old Atari games were tough as well. Even into the Genesis and SNES games were often still hard.

    Now, I'm older, and better at games, so that makes a difference. But I'd say that the average game now, even on 'normal', is easier than it was.

    There are a couple of reasons. First is games aren't coin-ops now. When I was a kid, most games were either coin-op conversions, or designed by companies who were used to them. They were used to designing games to make you fail, so you had to stick in more quarters.

    Second, hard games turn people off. Battletoads was fun, but I couldn't get past the elevator stage as a kid, even in two player. Contra is famously hard. Super Ghouls and Ghosts? Tough! There were some easier games, but that could be killer. Rent a game and it's too hard, you give it up. You don't buy the game. You don't buy the sequels. When it feels like you're being punished by the game, it's not fun.

    Games are evolving. Super Mario Galaxy had some very tough moments (especially getting all the stars). But you could die until you game over and lose basically nothing. The lives are irrelevant. Today most FPSes have regenerative shields (thanks to Halo) so you don't get stuck somewhere with 1 health, unable to move.

    Games have moved on. They can still be punishing. Some are designed that way (Ninja Gaiden for the XBox), some can just be set that way (various songs in Rock Band on expert). Are things like Ratchet & Clank easier than older platformers? I'm not sure.

    I'm happy about this. I enjoyed FF X and XII, but I never finished them. They got too hard, and I had to grind and grind and grind just to get to the next area. It stopped being fun. Last summer I played The Legendary Starfy on the DS. The game was easy as heck, but it was quite enjoyable. I expect the same thing out of the new Kirby game. That isn't always a bad thing. A game can be easy and still a ton of fun. We've learned replay value doesn't just come from forcing you to replay the game over and over just to survive to a new area.

    What I really hate is what other commenters have noted: online play. When Q3 did it they had a good reason: it was a FPS with no story and the bots weren't that great. But today, it's an excuse to make less content. It's an excuse to make a buggy game. It's an excuse to try to force me to buy an XBox Live subscription. I almost never care. The only times I've really enjoyed online games where when I ended up stumbling upon a server I could play on all the time, with people I knew who would take care of griefers and generally played the game.

    On the whole, online play is usually tacked-on and not that great. When I see a preview for a game that's not dedicated online, and online is one of the first features they talk about, I know I'm not going to care much.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:18PM (#34029412)
    Except for the fact there is a difference between simply losing and being told you suck repeatedly from people who have no life other than the game.

    The problem is, unless you are part of the "community" and can devote a lot of time to a game, you aren't going to have fun because the majority of people online are assholes.

    There is a line between simply being bad at a game and 14 year old kids cursing you out because you can't devote 8 hours a day to the game.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:19PM (#34029426)

    Assassin's Creed 1 used to lag like crap until I physically disconnected network access. Turns out their DRM servers are not 100% efficient and code not multi-threaded. After network disconnection, it run smooth.

    Assassin's Creed 2 requires 100% online connection. Sorry, but I will not pay for a copy single player game that I can't use without network connection.

  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:21PM (#34029472)

    So how do you get better if you die every few seconds? Does every multiplyaer game have segmented ability-based collections? If I'm awesome at one weapon, can I go to the n00b leagues and try getting better with another one?

    I letigimately don't know. what I do know is I played COD 2 for about 10 minutes at a friend's house and got shot a milliion times, and had no desire to ever play the game again. How do I get better? Just walk around and hopefully someone misses so I can fire my weapon once?

  • Re:ROI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zenin (266666) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:22PM (#34029500) Homepage

    Because it couldn't be that the later levels were rushed, sloppy, unimaginative, and ultimately just boring. Or the game in general wasn't that good to begin with. Nah, it must be the gamer's fault. *facepalm*

    Good games hook you all the way through and still leave you wanting more, enough so that you play it through again a few times. When you first finished the game you did it at 6am, because you just couldn't put the game down, it was that good.

    If your achievement spying system indicates half your players aren't finishing your game, it's most likely because your game sucks! It's analogous to people walking out of a movie theater half way through or stop watching a TV show half way through the season. The answer is not to shorten the game time, but to improve the game.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:24PM (#34029530)
    I'm really sorry to say this. But you are completely full of shit.

    Two things need to happen. First up, matchmaking desperately needs a better way to match players of similar skill.

    Second, whoever came up with the "play for X hours, get 'experience points' to unlock all the uber fucking gear" for Call of Duty, that every other goddamn FPS-multiplayer has been mimicking ever since, needs to fucking die. It's already bad enough that the lifeless basement-dwellers ruin the game for anyone else coming on to play for fun, now they get an extra advantage in more body armor and deadlier weapons too?

    No. Thank. You.

    I gave up on playing anything multiplayer on Xbox Live for one simple reason: I can't go on to anywhere, find a "new players" server, and get comfortable in the game. No, all that's available are the deathmatch and ctf-playing 14-year-old fatsos who live in their parents' basement, never see natural light, and scream "faggot" into their headset constantly if you don't do everything picture perfect and have a goddamn photographic memory for every little fucking nook and cranny and weapon respawn time so that you're standing right on the rocket launcher the moment it comes back up from their using the ammo up and dropping the last spawn.

  • by davev2.0 (1873518) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:26PM (#34029562)
    What gets me is that they are making gaming into a social event. If I wanted to be social, I would not be at home on a computer. I would be at a LAN party. I would play golf, or softball, or just go to a gym. I would go to a restaurant, bar, or club. I would go to a bookstore or coffee shop. I would take a class. I would do something, anything other than sit in a room alone and "socialize" on my computer while playing a game.

    When I want to be social, I go be with other people and socialize. I really don't want to be forced to socialize with others in order to play a computer game at home.
  • by demonlapin (527802) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:28PM (#34029604) Homepage Journal
    I suck at FPS. So what? I don't have time to become good at the genre or memorize the maps. Just put me on a server with a bunch of other guys who don't know the maps and suck. We'll all have fun, while you guys who are good at it compete for the real glory.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:29PM (#34029622)

    Red Dead Redemption? GTA 4? Really? Sorry, but I gave up on GTA and GTA-clones YEARS ago. There's no "story" there either, and the "sandbox" just consists of, again, doing the same crap over and over till you get bored with it.

    I take it, then, that you haven't played these games.

  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:32PM (#34029670)

    I'm really sorry to say this. Most games are competitive.

    These days that's largely true. Which is part of my complaint. Cooperative and/or single-player games are getting harder to find. Which is a problem, if I don't feel like playing something competitive.

    If you're not having fun, you probably suck.

    I'm very willing to accept that I suck. I don't have hours to devote to practicing enough to become good. And I'm ok with that. You aren't going to insult me by telling me that I suck. I know this already.

    But simply losing at a game can still be enjoyable - if the people you're playing with are not jerks.

    There's a difference between playing a friendly match and losing to somebody who is a good sport, and playing with somebody who is screaming random obscenities and insulting you every time you die.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:34PM (#34029714)

    The DOS era was for pussies. The arcade era was the REAL heyday of gaming. It was also, completely coincidentally, when I was young.

  • by jwinster (1620555) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:40PM (#34029830)
    This reminds me of why I got addicted to Diablo 2 multiplayer. "PlayerX has joined, Diablo's minions grow stronger." Easy scaling and a lot of fun to play with friends.
  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:42PM (#34029864)

    Red Dead Redemption? GTA 4? Really? Sorry, but I gave up on GTA and GTA-clones YEARS ago. There's no "story" there either, and the "sandbox" just consists of, again, doing the same crap over and over till you get bored with it.

    How do you earn the right to criticize a game without playing it?

    Hunting a group of deer, I heard coyotes approaching from a distance. I shot the deer quickly, only to have the coyotes turn on me and my steed instead. Later, hunting beaver in the mountains, I found myself more afraid of wolves and bears than any human threat.
    "Westerns are about place," [Dan Houser] said. "They're not called outlaw films. They're not even called cowboys-and-Indians films. They're called westerns. They're about geography."
    "We're talking about a format that is inherently geographical," Mr. Houser added, "and you're talking about a medium, video games, the one thing they do unquestionably better than other mediums is represent geography."

    Way Down Deep in the Wild, Wild West [nytimes.com]

  • by Rewind (138843) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:48PM (#34029968) Homepage

    Yep, there's nothing more fun than being teabagged by some jerk who has no life or job so they spend 24/7 practising so they can feel their life has meaning when some wage slave logs on to go find some fun for a few hours.

    Not that I disagree with you, I don't (though I think you are grossly exaggerating the scale of the problem), but I do find it somewhat ironic that a thread about how easy games have become is filled up posts like yours... discussing how games are full of people way better than themselves ;)

  • by demonbug (309515) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:55PM (#34030108) Journal

    Don't get me wrong, games ARE getting easier, but that's not a bad thing. When I first played the new Halo Reach - it was with a buddy of mine and we were trying it on Legendary, no skulls. We got about half way through in one night - and its only because we've played all the halos through since the DEMO of Halo 1 - so our skills in those games are rather refined. When I was playing the game for myself, I wanted to jump in on multiplayer as soon as possible, but I also wanted to finish the campaign, just for the storyline - I would do Legendary another time when I felt like the challenge. Being able to breeze through the campaign on easy was a good thing, like an added feature to the game. When a game is storyline driven, as most games try to be now-a-days, its not a bad thing to have an easy difficulty setting where you can progress the game more like a movie.

    I've found I do this more and more often. I just don't have the time anymore to slog through on the higher difficulty settings, trying levels over and over. I used to love that, but now I just want to see the story and have some good, relaxing fun.I think the change in difficult reflects the changing demographic of game players. When I was young, and Nintendo games were all the rage, it was basically only kids playing - kids with ample time to try and re-try the same level until they do everything perfectly. You could get away with having a challenging game, because even if you frustrate the player, they are going to come back for more - because they have ample time to master it. Today, gamers are on average significantly older, and they (generally) just don't have time to master every game that comes along. If I run into a roadblock in a game these days, where I try a few times and can't get past something, I'm unlikely to pick up that game again - I get to the point of frustration, but don't have time to work at it until I get beyond the frustration to the reward. When that happens, I tend to move on to the next game.

    That said, I grew up playing games on PC (and before that Commodores; first PET then 64), and there were very few that I'd say were all that hard. It is mostly the impenetrable platformers from the NES and other consoles that people remember as being really difficult, and I never had much interest in those anyway.

     

  • by seebs (15766) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:57PM (#34030140) Homepage

    Difficulty and "dumbed down" are not the same thing. World of Warcraft is much more complicated than Mario Bros, but that doesn't mean it's harder to "do well" at it. It's also not always easy to define the boundary between "dumbed down" and "streamlined". Comparing modern D&D to 1st Edition AD&D, for instance, I find that many things are much, much, simpler -- I no longer have to look up multiple numbers in tables most of the time -- but that the game as a whole has a much, much, more diverse set of options and choices at any given time.

    Furthermore, it's not entirely obvious that there's any intrinsic virtue to games being "hard". Take a game you like. Now, modify it as follows: Every five minutes, there is a 20% chance that you instantly lose the game, including any and all "lives" or "continues" or whatever that you might have had. Now, is this game better than the one you started with?

    Games used to be "hard" because arcade games were built around a business model where you had to put in twenty five cents to play the game "once". They had to have a definite end, and the end had to be as close to inevitable as possible. We aren't using that model anymore, and it is no longer particularly relevant whether games are "hard" in that sense. Instead, we start thinking in terms of whether games are challenging, because that's part of what makes them fun to us.

    In many cases, games that have been "dumbed down" or "made easy" have actually been moved to a higher level of abstraction or thought. Modern MMOs are, in many cases, much easier to survive in than they were five or ten years ago... But this doesn't mean that there's no room for skilled play, it just means that what you get from being skilled is different from what it used to be. On the whole, I find them a lot more interesting now. With upcoming changes to CoH to make life easier on pretty much all characters (we'll get some combination of more powers to use or more energy to use our powers with), I don't expect that suddenly the game will "stop being challenging". I expect that it will be less frustrating in some cases, and that I'll spend less time easily winning a fight and then waiting a minute with nothing interesting to do while my character regenerates.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:58PM (#34030150)

    So how do you get better if you die every few seconds?

    Good games have a mechanism for dealing with that. Few people if any think that it's fun to get blasted immediately, most people do however enjoy a challenge. Not sure about FPS games, but I know that some games do have a ranking system to try to match people up so that the game could go either way.

  • by Rip Dick (1207150) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:02PM (#34030220)
    For the love of God: Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Also Oblivion.
  • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:05PM (#34030256) Journal
    Exactly.

    Decent AI is intensive in terms of both processor cycles and programming time. Conversely, representing a character (say, in B1943) only takes a few numbers: x/y/z coordinates and velocities, polar "look" coordinates and velocities, weapons held, and whether it's been fired. All the hard stuff is done by the (other) users and creates a game that is far more varied and "realistic" than any AI I've ever played against.

    For games with a strong multiplayer angle, spending a fortune on the AI for the solo game isn't economically brilliant.
  • by JonySuede (1908576) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:06PM (#34030294) Journal

    ps, don't put +15/-15V in a modern motherboard serial port, if you still have them, that is...

  • by jitterman (987991) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:13PM (#34030412)
    If you want to be a jerk, direct your question at yourself. Write your own game, and invite everyone who's at least as much of a jerk as you plan on being to play with you.

    Better yet, you could make a lot of money if you can write code that detects asshats and draws them all to the same server while leaving more fair-minded players alone.
  • by IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:24PM (#34030594) Homepage

    As others have mentioned, of *course* there is limited ammo by default. The skull makes enemies drop half as much ammo as they would normally.

    Ironically, you compare Goldeneye, the game where you could carry every gun you found so you'd never have to make the choice of "do I want 2 rockets or 60 shots in my DMR?" that Halo has.

    Next you'll be telling us kids to get off your lawn.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:24PM (#34030604) Journal

    Make some enemies. Fight up a ladder. Start a flamewar over wall-hacking. Realize you're competing with real human beings.

    Oh, and once you've gone through single-player once, this happens:

    "No storyline. No progression. The same exact things over and over again."

    At least with online when you get into the same situation the enemies facing you won't fall for the same diversion twice. Or maybe they will. This == Deeper.

  • Re:*yawn* (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:32PM (#34030718)

    Having difficulty settings is not always enough. Some games are shipped with difficulty settings that are too far appart, leaving
    you with only two choices: cakewalk or impossible. Imagine doom shipping with only "I'm too young to die" and "nightmare".
    The easy setting would be far too easy and the hard setting would be, well "impossible" (never got past the first level in nightmare).

    For example, look at warcraft 3(RoC and TFT). On normal, it was a cakewalk, you could do it half asleep on your first run. On hard,
    it was ridiculous (at least compared to normal): enemies would rebuild, had infinite money (killing the last acolyte to prevent them from
    single handedly rebuilding the whole base you just destroyed by sacrificing your whole army was the main goal of an attack). Enemies
    would attack twice as often and with four times as many enemies. Beating normal would in no way prepare you to beating hard. There
    should have been a difficulty setting in between normal and hard. Normal was far too easy and hard far too hard for me.

  • Re:*yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tool462 (677306) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:34PM (#34030748)

    There's a cheat code:
    Unix Unix Dem Dem Linux Repub Linux Repub Broadcom Apple Sun Start

    Instant +5, Insightful and positive Karma.

  • by jitterman (987991) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:37PM (#34030804)

    Why bother putting tons of money and effort into solo gameplay when multiplayer is so much more attractive to everyone?

    Because it's not more attractive to everyone. It's more attractive to some. After the disappointment of the most recent MoH single-player campaign, I won't be buying another. But I most certainly will be buying Dragon Age 2, Fallout Vegas (though it's very buggy) etc.

  • by parlancex (1322105) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:56PM (#34031136)
    This is compounded by the new fad of including permanent progression in almost every online game now, so I can go online in Red Dead Redemption or Call Of Duty and get killed instantly by people like that who have 10 times more health and do 10 times more damage. What kind of sane adult has the patience to suffer through it for countless hours just to cancel that out?
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:20PM (#34031494) Homepage Journal

    The same way you build muscle by lifting weights until exhaustion.

    But you don't start with a weight that you can't lift for even one repetition.

  • Re:ROI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ryvar (122400) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:26PM (#34031580) Homepage

    The problem with that line of argument, which I'm sympathetic to personally, is that the rough numbers I'm describing are (give or take 5%) reflected across every major FPS/action title in the past several years.

    Quality and engaging stories are critical to good base sales and customer satisfaction, but you'd be surprised by how little impact they have on player completion rates.

    The solution taken by the better studios in the industry, and I apologize as judging from the responses I seem to have poorly presented my point - is not to phone in the ending, but rather to shorten the experience while maintaining consistent quality throughout.

    I think a lot of people don't realize that the levels you see in, say, Modern Warfare 2 cost literally millions of dollars to make, and the debate regarding optimal running time is still very much in progress.

    --Ryv

  • Re:ROI (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @09:56PM (#34033642)

    Because it couldn't be that the later levels were rushed, sloppy, unimaginative, and ultimately just boring. Or the game in general wasn't that good to begin with. Nah, it must be the gamer's fault. *facepalm*

    http://www.steampowered.com/status/ep2/ep2_stats.php [steampowered.com]

    Man, that Half-Life game. Only 50% of people who started it, finished it. Probably because the later levels were rushed, sloppy, unimaginative, and ultimately just boring. Or the game in general wasn't that good to begin with. Nah, it must be the gamer's fault.

    *facepalm*

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @07:19AM (#34035780)

    That is the main reason why I do not bother with consoles: most games can't properly save progress. As an adult gamer I prefer traditional PC games because I can play them when I have time for as long as I have time - without being forced to play the games until game decides that I may leave now. Or some f****ed up examples like Metroid where one has to sometimes search for the save point... Why kind of a bad joke game is that???

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