Game pet peeves

Steve C

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Steve C » Mon May 22, 2017 7:16 pm

A peeve I have is resource curves. They are related to difficulty curves. IE:You must use what you have remaining to proceed. Think a level of Starcraft where you do not have a base and have no ability to build new units. Where you are given a starting army and it must make it to the end of the level (even if the army is just 1 unit at the end.) The important part is that resources for every challenge are *net* resources.

Let's say there is an early game combat. You barely win it by the skin of your teeth. The game expects you to have more resources than you do for the next combat. But now you have to use up even more resources overcoming the one after because you didn't have enough to begin with. You are stuck on a slow steady decline. Then there is the reverse case. The game expects you to use say 50% of your resources overcoming a challenge. Instead you find a way to do it very efficiently and have 90% of your resources left. IE: 40% better starting position for the next challenge than the game expects. You're on an upward slope forever.

Lots of games do this and it is fine. Where it is a peeve of mine is where that *is* the game. Where that is the difficulty curve. If you get below the curve you are screwed in 5 combats from now and don't even know it. Maybe you do know it and can repeat that combat for a better outcome. If both (a)this is an option and (b)the game is clear you sucked then my peeve completely disappears. Worse case is if you suspect it but don't know for certain. Then you're stuck with a nagging feeling of worry if you proceed. The only way to know is to do it again perfectly to be certain. I don't know how it is for other people but for me it completely destroys my enjoyment of a game when it is this last case.

It is an absolutely terrible mechanic as a replacement for a real difficulty curve. If you get above the curve early then the entire game is a cakewalk. Every combat will be easier than one before it as the distance grows between your personal power curve and the game's expectations. If you get under the curve it is frustrating game of catchup that you aren't going to win. The game has to be balanced perfectly for it to work. An impossible goal as player skill levels are so different. There also cannot be a single exploit in the game. If there is, players will find it. That's the end of the fun in the game soon as players get to that point. This peeve is also a peeve because is really easy to avoid by thinking about it for two seconds when designing the game. It's a stupid 'design' and wrecks perfectly good games.
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lurkey

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by lurkey » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:32 am

Got myself a new one from Mass Effect Andromeda - backtracking. Say, remember "Wrex family armor" quest from ME? Where you talk to Wrex, travel to a planet, kill a warehouse full of dudes, loot armor and Wrex is "Heh, so there it is. Thanks, Shepard." That's how it would look in Andromeda:

Wrex writes you an email asking to come talk, you talk, travel to a planet, kill a warehouse full of dudes, armor is not there. "Hmmm, maybe Shadow Broker knows something", says Wrex. So you loadscreen to Citadel, go see Barla Von, Barla Von says he can find the trail but not for free and you have to go kill warehouses of dudes on 6 planets for him. Loadscreen to planet, kill dudes, repeat 6 times, loadscreen to Citadel, "Colonist #18 on Feros has it", Barla says. Loadscreen to Feros -- "Whoops I accidentally dropped it into the Thorian pit", Colonist #18 says and as you cannot reach the Thorian without doing all the Feros quest, you do Feros quest and instead of Wrex's armor you find Benezia's underwear, because the cloned Asari commando who were responsible for packing Benezia's luggage made a mistake and so armor got shipped to Noveria. To access Benezia's luggage you naturally have to do Noveria quest, so you do Noveria quest, and surprise -- armor's not here. Loadscreen to Citadel, trot to Barla Von, "What gives?", "Go to Normandy and vidcall me from there", Barla says, loadcreen to Normandy, call Barla -- "So sorry, Shepard. I actually hid it my cupboard and kind of forgot. Sorry!" "So why did you have me go to the orbit, you bastard, instead of telling me this when I was right there?" -- "Because I'd be a smear on the wall then and rightfully so, Shepard!" -- wait, no, this last exchange never happens and you can never call out anyone for all the grief they give you. And that's not one side quest that goes like this, oh no. Fucking majority of them.

Also you have to gather materials just like in Inquisition, because of course you have, and you can gain a perk that would allow gather them faster, which raises a question -- what sort of sick, sad, pathetic waste of compost material you have to be to deliberately program in a time waster?
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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:55 am

lurkey wrote:Got myself a new one from Mass Effect Andromeda - backtracking. Say, remember "Wrex family armor" quest from ME? Where you talk to Wrex, travel to a planet, kill a warehouse full of dudes, loot armor and Wrex is "Heh, so there it is. Thanks, Shepard." That's how it would look in Andromeda:

Wrex writes you an email asking to come talk, you talk, travel to a planet, kill a warehouse full of dudes, armor is not there. "Hmmm, maybe Shadow Broker knows something", says Wrex. So you loadscreen to Citadel, go see Barla Von, Barla Von says he can find the trail but not for free and you have to go kill warehouses of dudes on 6 planets for him. Loadscreen to planet, kill dudes, repeat 6 times, loadscreen to Citadel, "Colonist #18 on Feros has it", Barla says. Loadscreen to Feros -- "Whoops I accidentally dropped it into the Thorian pit", Colonist #18 says and as you cannot reach the Thorian without doing all the Feros quest, you do Feros quest and instead of Wrex's armor you find Benezia's underwear, because the cloned Asari commando who were responsible for packing Benezia's luggage made a mistake and so armor got shipped to Noveria. To access Benezia's luggage you naturally have to do Noveria quest, so you do Noveria quest, and surprise -- armor's not here. Loadscreen to Citadel, trot to Barla Von, "What gives?", "Go to Normandy and vidcall me from there", Barla says, loadcreen to Normandy, call Barla -- "So sorry, Shepard. I actually hid it my cupboard and kind of forgot. Sorry!" "So why did you have me go to the orbit, you bastard, instead of telling me this when I was right there?" -- "Because I'd be a smear on the wall then and rightfully so, Shepard!" -- wait, no, this last exchange never happens and you can never call out anyone for all the grief they give you. And that's not one side quest that goes like this, oh no. Fucking majority of them.

Also you have to gather materials just like in Inquisition, because of course you have, and you can gain a perk that would allow gather them faster, which raises a question -- what sort of sick, sad, pathetic waste of compost material you have to be to deliberately program in a time waster?
Honestly, a path like that makes it sound like it would be easy to accidentally finish the main story while you were running around doing sidequests. Is that a problem in Andromeda?
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:58 am

Ahh,so thats why everyones faces are tired.It all makes sense now!
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lurkey

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by lurkey » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:13 am

Lachlan the Sane wrote: Honestly, a path like that makes it sound like it would be easy to accidentally finish the main story while you were running around doing sidequests. Is that a problem in Andromeda?
No idea. I presume there has to be a "Are you totally absolutely surely certain you want to go there because this is like totally final mission" prompt somewhere, although I wouldn't be surprised if a game this shoddy doesn't have it. But so far the main story isn't gated like in Inquisition, is quite linear and I suspect it's entirely possible to finish it in a few hours if you don't talk to anyone and do no side quests. I'll probably test it some time, although honestly right now I'd rather research and write extensive treatise about weather influence on dairy farming in Shropshire throughout last two decades than play Andromeda for the second time, and I didn't even finish the first run yet.
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Narratorway
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Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Narratorway » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:58 am

Say fellas, when yer out there playing your ShooterDudez VI, do you like keeping up with what you objectives are supposed to be by keeping a journal? And do you like having quick access to your map to get your bearings? Do you also like a quick way to access all the shit ya got on ya? Well, we were nice enough to create individual keys for each one! J for Journal, I for Inventory, and M for Map! See? Easy! So what if those keys are nowhere fucking NEAR the WASD keysWHYTHEFUCKDOYOUDOTHISINEVERYFUCKINGAAAAAAAAAAA---

Image

*sigh*

Just map it all to the tab key you. fucking. assholes.
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Sudanna

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Sudanna » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:49 pm

What do they need to be next to WASD for?
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Sudanna wrote:What do they need to be next to WASD for?
How else will you open your inventory milliseconds from death in order to gulp a whole chicken and three watermelons?
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Retsam

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Retsam » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:42 pm

Daemian Lucifer wrote:
Sudanna wrote:What do they need to be next to WASD for?
How else will you open your inventory milliseconds from death in order to gulp a whole chicken and three watermelons?
Image

(At either not dying, or at pressing keys that aren't adjacent to WASD quickly. Your call)
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Supahewok

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Supahewok » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Pretty sure those shortcuts are from the days of DOS where two hands on the keyboard is expected, and nobody wants to change it now that we have mice cuz its standard. Just a legacy thing. You see it all the time in all sorts of things. Where something was done one way, something changed to make it less optimal, but changing it to optimize it again would actually be FAR less optimal for a certain amount of time. See: the US not converting to metric.
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Supahewok

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Supahewok » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:00 pm

Oh, and furthermore, I hate having those things keyed to tab. Can't tell you the number of times I broke Skyrim from trying to check my inventory or quest with tab while running with Alt.
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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:37 pm

Yeah, I'm also in the boat of not minding too much where my inventory key is, so long as it can be accessed by using either Tab or I. Sometimes I'll reach over to I, sometimes I'll press Tab and click over to the inventory page. Mind you, the last really inventory-heavy game I played was the first Witcher game, and you can't really use items in combat for that one.
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Narratorway
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Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Narratorway » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:01 am

The general point still stands: if accessing​ sub-menus require that you to move your hand off the basic movement keys, it's bad design. Legacy or no.
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Sudanna

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Sudanna » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:34 am

Huh. I don't get why. Typing is easy.
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Ringwraith

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Ringwraith » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:41 am

It's more that not having a collective sub-menu to let you get to all of them that's on one button is weird?
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Sudanna

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Sudanna » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:24 am

Man, I hate those buttons. Just an extra screen to get through.
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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:34 am

I think that this might be a PC vs Console thing as well. After all, consoles generally only have 2 pause buttons to work with, and the usual convention is to bind them to "Pause (for saving/loading etc.)" and "Map/Inventory". PC action games have been using Esc and Tab for the same purposes for a long time, but more RPG-ish PC games feel more confident in leaving a vast swathe of options to the right side of the keyboard. You can kind of tell that the 3D Fallouts were designed for controller-friendliness because their menu all falls into Tab, while the first Witcher game said "fuck you controllers" because of how many subscreens it has. Or look at the progression in menu screens between Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age Inquisition. I mean, there are dozens of other ways to tell that as well, this is just one of many symptoms.
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Ringwraith

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Ringwraith » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:10 am

Sudanna wrote:Man, I hate those buttons. Just an extra screen to get through.
Except it is possible to have both of these, instead of having to try and remember what a specific shortcut for a specific screen was.
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4th Dimension

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by 4th Dimension » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:22 am

RTS pet peeve:
Now I do like RTSs, but I'm in general terrible at the micromanagement aspect of it, so one fo the things that annoys me greatly is the fact that you can not group units into fixed formations.

I mean you can group the units to a hotkey, but what I want is for them to move as one unit. I want to be able to either choose a formation or make my own, and then have the units tray to stick to it as the move. I DEFINITELLY do not want to have to micro constantly the (let's say) fragile and defenceless from the ground AA tucks that are significantly quicker than my lumbering tanks.
Of course having an option to tun off the formation would also be a must for those cases when you are chasing something.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:27 am

4th Dimension wrote: I mean you can group the units to a hotkey, but what I want is for them to move as one unit. I want to be able to either choose a formation or make my own, and then have the units tray to stick to it as the move. I DEFINITELLY do not want to have to micro constantly the (let's say) fragile and defenceless from the ground AA tucks that are significantly quicker than my lumbering tanks.
Some new ones(lets say post 2010)have the option to move the whole selection at the speed of the slowest unit,or at their top speed.Some even allow you the units to try and remain in the same formation as when you arranged them.Of course,this is nothing new,since homeworld had that feature waaay back in the day,but for some reason not all of the rtss employ it.
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4th Dimension

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by 4th Dimension » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:26 am

Well yeah, it's certainly not an unsolvable problem. It might be heavy on pathfinding, especially when the formation needs to pass through some choke point that is narrower than it is. But not unsolvable.
I was mostly saying this in reference to old C&C games where I inevitably ended up making tons of the same unit partially because proper combined "arms" formations weren't possible without loads of micro.

Now two that are probably massive nitpickis:

Unit ranges are WAAAYYY too short. Now when I say this I'm not referring to the fact that it's ridiculous how a tank in let's say C&C can't hit a target farther than couple buildings/unit lengths away. That is a peeve on it's own, but also something done due to abstraction. They do this mostly IMO to save on space so you can see the entire battlefield. If the ranges were "realistic" it would be difficult to see the entire fight without having to significantly zoom out to the point where the explosions and the visual eyecandy is no longer visible.
No what I'm annoyed is that this makes it nearly impossible for the back row of the units to engage something. You are either in the first row and in range or not. If you try to move in so that the back row can fire too, your front line will probably be like right in the face of the enemy. Frankly I would have had it so that most long ranged units (tanks and like) have ranges that exceed their view range. This way more of the elements of a unit can engage at the same time, and it makes spotting for a unit viable. Also if you have a siege unit, you won't need to bring it like RIGHT at the forefront so it can hit base defences. Is it was in le'ts say Generals, the siege units were maybe just a tad more ranged than the base defences, and protecting them with a screen of your units was impossible. Also the same (and their tendency for their shells to be slower than your units, which has lead to FF many times) made them kind of unusable on the field.

The second one is just as nitpicky:
Units not being smart enough to ration their ammunition. This is another Generals pet peeve, but it probably applicable to other games. In game planes tended to carry only a set amount of missiles, which after being expended had to be rearmed back at the airbase. This made airforce not something that had staying power since they needed to constantly cycle back to the airfield. And that was fine on it's own. It did add a bunch of micro, especially since AA units could often engage the warplanes set on guard outside of the area they were guarding.
My peeve is more with the fact that they did not know how to ration missiles. Say you put like 4 warplanes to guard some location. As soon as ANYTHING, no matter how weak showed it's face to them. ALL FOUR of them were likely to unload their loads at the same unit which would be a MASSIVE overkill. Hell it was worse since it's not that the units are dumb so they can't distribute targets between them, it's that a load of ONE plane's missiles was probably an overkill. Like I think Chinese Nuke general/faction had MiGs that carried nuclear tiped missiles, which meant that each missile was pretty much enough to blast a Chinese tank. But they would always, if allowed, expend their entire load on a single infantry unit.
This is also a problem that, if I remember correctly, the missile air decfences had over those that used bullets. By the time the missile reached the plane the plane was probably already over the missile site, and all the sites in range fired on the lead aircraft. The same happened in bunch of other cases like EMP General's EMP turrets.
And it does't seem that difficult to implement an option using which you can set how is a unit about conserving ammunition. Especially in games like C&C where damage is not random, AI should be able to know in advance if and how many shots destroying something would take. Making units not waste ammunition on the same target is more difficult, but would also eliminate more what IMO is pretty pointless micro (not saying all micro is pointless, but this is just a chore and no skill is really involved).

Yeah, as it turns out it's mostly C&C peeves, but I'm pretty sure those games aren't the only ones guilty of this.

PS: Oh the collary of the no rationing of fire, is not being able to tell units which units to prioritize. I'm talking about the cases of let's say AT units firing on infantry with no stopping despite tanks being in ange since the infantry unit was first to enter into range.

Most of these are I guess part of my peeve in that I can not rely on my "subcommanders" as a commander in a RTS. So I feel less like a commander than a kindergarten teacher who was given the task of employing toddlers to build a wall, but instead of building it, I'm spending most of my time running around telling the kids to stop eating gravel and cement.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:40 pm

4th Dimension wrote:Well yeah, it's certainly not an unsolvable problem. It might be heavy on pathfinding, especially when the formation needs to pass through some choke point that is narrower than it is. But not unsolvable.
I agree,the problem is hard.But it stems from one of the worst practices in video games:No sharing.If studio A finds a good algorithm for efficient pathfinding,they wont share it with studio B,who will also have to find a good pathfinding algorithm of their own.Thus even though there are games that have solved this issue,there are plethora who did not,because they have to work from scratch.
4th Dimension wrote:Unit ranges are WAAAYYY too short.
Play empire earth,where not only are there units with massive ranges,you can also make a civilization that boosts said range even further.The artillery you get from somewhere around modern era and into the future can have its range be multiple screens.Way more than any defense building.Though you do have to have a spotter in order for them to work,but once you get satellites thats not a problem.I always loved the game for that.And thats a game over a decade old now.
4th Dimension wrote:Units not being smart enough to ration their ammunition.
Yes,this is bad.Especially if you like having slow charging strong units.Having them all focus down a single unit is maddening.And this is one problem that I havent seen fixed in any rts.At least,not without modding.Though the limited ammo for aircraft has been kind of solved by empire earth,not because they dont waste ammo,but because they are limited by fuel,you can have loads of them,they refuel and relaunch practically as soon as they enter the hangar,and you can improve their fuel reserves in various ways.
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Trix2000
Location: California

Re: Game pet peeves

Post by Trix2000 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:56 pm

Heck, Age of Empires 2 had formation movement for military units, and it's pretty old (1999). I don't see that it couldn't be done at least at a basic level without too much trouble (making some assumptions on their implementation, though).
Play empire earth,where not only are there units with massive ranges,you can also make a civilization that boosts said range even further.The artillery you get from somewhere around modern era and into the future can have its range be multiple screens.Way more than any defense building.Though you do have to have a spotter in order for them to work,but once you get satellites thats not a problem.I always loved the game for that.And thats a game over a decade old now.
Used to love that game, and outranging things was always a fun part of that (also the ships were awesome). Though unfortunately when I tried to go back, it really hasn't aged well on certain factors (particularly the MINIMAP). Come to think of it, it did have formation movement too... though it was kinda weird with certain units that had massive hitboxes (aka SHIPS again).
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