Game pet peeves

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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:32 am

We already touched on this,but I find it particularly annoying:

People who insist on bad UI
By that,I mean people who demand something bad to not be changed,because "it would make the game more casual".For example,the demand of the players of starcraft 2 to remove queens larva autocasting,because "its a skill every good player needs to know".This is such a stupid argument that can be used for practically any old UI,and be technically correct."Remove automatically issuing a move/attack order from the right click,its a skill to learn to press the move/attack command before choosing a target.Giving the context sensitive ability to the click just makes the game more casual.Waaah!".And this wouldnt be a problem if not for the fact that these bozos are being listened to,which does ruin my enjoyment.Struggling with bad UI is a skill,yes.But its a stupid skill that is not necessary for enjoying a tough game.
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Humanoid

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Humanoid » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:16 am

Yeah WoW just went through this issue too. Some clever clog came up with a mod that presented all nearby enemies in a menu form and let you target from there instead of having to click on the actual enemy model or the wiggly healthbars above their heads (or use the godawful tab-targeting logic). The devs decided they didn't like that and made sure the mod no longer worked, because being inconvenienced is part of the challenge or whatever. Never mind that Final Fantasy 14 has this functionality implemented right out of the box...
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AileTheAlien
Location: SK, SK

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby AileTheAlien » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:34 pm

I can understand how the micro-clicks are an essential part of Starcraft, which helps differentiate players. If the people who make Starcraft and the (majority of) people who play it agree on that, then who am I to dictate what their game should be like? On the other hand, I totally agree that it's fucking bullshit in a so-called "strategy" game, and it's one of the main reasons I don't play Starcraft. (IMO, I think Starcraft occupies a niche that has the worst parts of tactical games, and of strategy games.)

Instead, I play proper strategy games. (i.e. Ones where I'm not constantly micro-clicking all the goddamn time, and have time for actual strategy.) Stellaris is new and still being worked on / has new DLC, and I have some friends who play that, which is nice. If I had the time / could find people to play with, I'd revisit Generals / Zero Hour, Red Alert 2 / Yuri's Revenge, or Supreme Commander / Forged Alliance. Those are goddamn classics!
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4th Dimension

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby 4th Dimension » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:23 pm

Trouble is those too benefit from players able to micro, the only thing we don't remember that is that we were crap and did not know how to do it so it boilled down to outbuilding the other guy.

But I do agree, more games that actually focus on strategy level are nice.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:29 pm

I vehemently disagree with the notion that games where micro controlling can turn the tide of some battles are somehow not strategic.What micro gives you is just another layer of control.So instead of being just a general that orders their troops around on the grand scale,you are at the same time given the role of a squad commander,able to influence your troops on a smaller scale as well.How do people think that giving you another layer of strategy on top of an existing layer of strategy somehow diminishes strategy is beyond me.Heck,if you look at pro starcraft matches you will see that being good at micro but crap ant macro leads to your defeat pretty much all the time.

Now,of course,this pertains to actual micro play,like leading your dropship around the enemy to attack from the back,controlling two fronts at once,retreating from one while advancing on the other,and other stuff like that,and not pointless busywork of injecting your larvae at set intervals.You know,stuff where you have to assess and react to your enemies actions instead of stuff that are no brainers.
gloatingswine

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby gloatingswine » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:39 pm

It's kinda hard to think of a game where micro isn't relevant where the player has any level of control in realtime.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:54 pm

gloatingswine wrote:It's kinda hard to think of a game where micro isn't relevant where the player has any level of control in realtime.


Relevant isnt the same as the most important however.But thats a limitation of our current ai.Heck,even in turn based games you still have to do lots of micro play.How many people actually turn on the governors to do their city/planet automatization when they arent just goofing around?How many people leave their taxes at defaults without minmaxing them?Or do automatic exploration early on?Fact is,whenever a game is played seriously,ai is not advanced enough to do all of those things.In fact,in turn based strategies you can do even more micro play than in real time,simply because you have more time to focus on every little thing.

Ai is great at doing simple repetitive tasks.Collect resources from here and deliver them here.If enemy is near,attack the enemy.If unit is hurt,heal unit.Stuff like that.But when a task becomes more complex,like "teleport into harms way,do a bit of crucial damage,then teleport out",human intervention is still required.
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AileTheAlien
Location: SK, SK

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby AileTheAlien » Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:52 pm

Daemian Lucifer wrote:I vehemently disagree with the notion that games where micro controlling can turn the tide of some battles are somehow not strategic.


Phrasing is key here. "Strategy" refers to large-scale military movements, so by definition the single-unit, or squad-focused actions aren't strategic. "Tactical" when describing a game usually refers to a squad (2 to 10-ish soldiers), even though in English "tactics" doesn't specifically imply any size of group as far as I'm aware. Typically, though, we label big-operations games "strategy", smaller games "tactics", and games where you control a single unit just don't get a label.

So when I want to go looking for a strategy game, I want one that focuses on the large-scale actions, and gracefully allows me to deal with or ignore any smaller-scale actions. Now, games can span multiple levels of soldier-group size, but in practice it's hard to do all levels well with a single interface. The exception I know of is Forged Alliance: That expansion added to the interface, so you could copy-paste large sections of building-deployment / floor-plans, so you didn't need to individually place everything. Which is why I still consider it the best strategy game I've ever played. Also, microing individual units wasn't nearly as powerful as in Starcraft, so that interaction just doesn't matter as much. (i.e. The game focuses on large operations at all levels - interface, unit power, unit-interaction power, etc.)
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:23 am

AileTheAlien wrote:Phrasing is key here. "Strategy" refers to large-scale military movements, so by definition the single-unit, or squad-focused actions aren't strategic. "Tactical" when describing a game usually refers to a squad (2 to 10-ish soldiers), even though in English "tactics" doesn't specifically imply any size of group as far as I'm aware. Typically, though, we label big-operations games "strategy", smaller games "tactics", and games where you control a single unit just don't get a label.


But strategy encompasses tactics,its not negated by it.If a general carefully plans out a precise bombing run that will precede the land invasion,and then orders the pilot exactly when and what to strike over the radio,they dont stop being a general because they micromanaged that one plane.

Also,if we are going to go into the definitions of the words,the usage differs in video games* from its usage in military.Because by using standard military jargon there are no actual real time strategy games**,since tactics is a term encompassing a group of soldiers of no more than ~20000,used to achieve a specific objective,which translates into the going ons of actual battles.Therefore,in video games tactics refers to games where you dont collect resources,make buildings and produce units.So as long as your focus is on resource gathering and producing troops to reinforce your fronts,you are playing a proper strategy game.

And preemptively:focusing on something does not mean that its the only thing you do,or a thing you do the most.The focus of fps games is shooting,even though the thing you do the most in those games is walking(running).

*Games in general really.Since chess is considered a strategy game,while a certain move combination is considered a chess tactics.Despite the fact that you are moving just 16 units on a single battlefield in a single battle.
**Except for,maybe,supreme commander and planetary annihilation.
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Thomas

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Thomas » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:58 am

I mean top-level Starcraft is as often won by better strategy as by better micro, so that's good evidence right there that they aren't exclusive concepts. If your micro is worse, you're strategy needs to be better and vice versa. And different strategies require - and give opportunities to - different levels of micro. So Ketroc is a non-pro Starcraft player with the worlds most abysmal micro, but he reached the top ranks of the game by developing heavy defensive strategies that didn't require much control on his part. Whereas Innovation is a pro-level player who plays very conservative strategies that give him very little advantage but allow him to outpace opponents on micro.

As far as queen-clicking goes, I can see the general argument for keeping something like that in - with a little bit of thought you can point out games with repetitive choiceless skill checks that give the game a rhythm and makes the challenge about a clean mechanical skill - but queen-clicking in Starcraft is so dull and repetitive and visually non-existent for viewers. I can see having mechanics which reward some basic mechanical competence with flashy +1 every now and then, supply dropping is a good example of that. That can create fun for casual players by giving them a nice big sign saying "look you're doing the right things!", and pros can dig into the rhythm. But queen-clicking isn't even good for that. It makes a nice sound but that's about it. And it's so vital that you're really punished for missing clicks more than rewarded for clicking.
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Humanoid

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Humanoid » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:29 am

I loathe conventional RTSes but don't see how Starcraft is any different to the other games nominated (Stellaris aside). At any rate, regardless of how accurate the RTS genre is in a literal sense, it's a useful label for both its fans and its detractors and as such I have no issue with it (even if only so I can avoid them).
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4th Dimension

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby 4th Dimension » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:38 am

When I state my distaste of micro I'm mostly refering to pointless chores that your subcommanders should be able to do on their own, but AI can not yet or the designers don't want to add because it would make the game too casual or something. I'm thinking of things like being able to order your units to scatter, increase the space in their formation, if an AOE attack is coming (like exploding banelings) without having to manually do it for each unit in turn. I'm talking about being able to tell your healers to stick with a GROUP not a unit, BUT not dwadle behind the group where they are likely to be picked off. I'm talking about being able to order my solders to retreat while doing stutter stepping without me having to mash the keyboard/mouse. I'm talking about ordering a group of inits to take a position, and not finding them stuck attacking one by one since they attack at once as soon as they see the enemy and thus block the path for the others. They should bloody well know to fan out. etc. etc. etc.
It's things like this, that are often yet unsolvable given today's AI, but feel like the reasonable kind of orders that even a dunce should be able to do and not have to bother the commander to hold his hand every step of the way. The fact that they are unsolvable does not make them less annoying.
In general I guess I prefer a more sedate pause enabled pace to my games, and not a mad scramble of a typical "strategy" game today.

A game that does strategy aspect pretty well is the Hearts of Iron series IMO. The newer ones even allow you to only do strategy and focus on production while mostly setting goals for your units and not having to bother with pathing every single regiment in your army. You can do it for special operations but AI is capable enough to perform your orders if you avail them with enough troops. (I think they even tell you what kind of force levels they would need for your plan). The reason I say it does strategy well because the first thing you need to do when you start your first game is BREAK yourself out of the thypical mindset from RTS of thinking of now and maybe 10 minutes in future, and start thinking hours.
Say you start playing as Germany, if you have any intention of taking the Britsh isles before tackling USSR, you need to start planning and preparing for that right then and there in 1936, hours and several LARGE operations before the main event. You need to plan for things like, how will you get your troops there, how will you supply them, how will you protect them, how will you deal with the Home Fleet, how to deal with the RAF, and that is on top of needing to plan when you will take neighbourng countries and how will your army look in 1940. Dealing with Home Fleet is of particular interest since you need to decide right then and there what will be the role of Kriegsmarine, will it be a Bluewater fleet focusing on carriers that will take home fleet head on. Will it be a BB fleet that will need to rely on a bit of luck to close with the enemy to deliver the devastating blow, or will you mostly ignore KM give it some cheap subs and mostly focus on Naval Bombers and bomb the Home Fleet into scrap metal. Each od these choices will impose requirements on your production line since ships take YEARS to build and so each BB that you are building might mean couple of armored divisions, or air wings that you will not have in 1940.
And this is not limited to the navy. ALL units quite a while to build, so you must stop yourself from the line of thinking, oh the enemy has tanks here better make some tanks of my own to plug the gap, and start thinking "Okay enemy is stronger than expected, if I'm to change my build orders where will my forces be in HALF a YEAR or a YEAR time when the units roll off the production line and will they still be the right answer.
And none of these choices are likely to pay off in less than hours of time. And that is strategy, LONG term and large scale planning.
Although you can also do tactical level things there too (sort of) by deciding and planning HOW will you take, let's say France, given the units you have at your disposal. That would include looking at the enemy dispositions, likely terrain along the likely paths of advance, most importantly choosing that schwerpunkt and portioning units appropriately. Technically I think that would be operational planning but let's call it tactics here.
On the lower scale I would say Blitzkrieg was pretty good tactics wise since you couldn't build units on map and had to concern yourself with tactical level of thinking of ordering artillery strikes, resupplying single units and ordering them about. It still likely suffered from the limitations of the AI though. But I never felt like I could not scout and commant properly in that game.
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John

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby John » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:49 pm

There I was, pondering another run through Shadowrun: Hong Kong and idly picking stats for my hypothetical cyborg-ninja-decker when I remembered something. "Oh yeah", I said, "she's gonna need to dump a bunch of Karma into Charisma for the conversation skill checks or that run through the Tsang offices is going to be pure hell." So here's my pet peeve. Why do party-based CRPGs so often forget that the PC is part of a party in conversation skill checks? Why, for example, does the PC need 6 Strength to intimidate the LTG worker when there's a heavily-armed NPC troll with 6 Strength standing right next to him? And it's not just conversation skill checks, is it? If the PC can't open the magic door because he doesn't have enough ranks in Lore to understand the writing on the mechanism, why can't he ask his kobold bard sidekick to do it for him? Finally, as long as we're on the subject, why don't CRPGs ever give you NPC party members who are good at talking? There's always a shooty guy, a stabby guy, a magic guy, and a healing guy, but never, ever a talking guy. Why does the PC always have to be the persuasive one?
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Wide And Nerdy » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:26 pm

Thomas wrote:I've noticed Bioware seem to be finally getting wise to this problem. Dragon Age: Inquisition spent a lot more time explaining why the main missions weren't urgent, which I really appreciated.

It's really really widespread in open world games. I'd prefer them to pick plots where doing the sidequests first makes sense, but failing that, just not having main missions that explicitly highlight their urgency would be nice. Deus Ex: Mankind keeps bugging you that you need to do main missions right now but also permanently loses sidequests if you do the main missions too quickly


It still doesn't line up. Inquisition has your character with a unique power to close rifts, yet wants you to be a front line fighter and wants you to be the leader of the Inquisition complete with administrative duties that can only be executed while you're back at base.

These should be three different people. Josephine and Lelianna should be running the show at base. Cullen and Cassandra should be leading field teams and you should be hanging back till they've cleared the demons away enough for you to use your power on the rifts. As it stands, they're routinely jeopardizing the life of the person with the unique power and the leader of the Inquisition (and as you're the leader in the first place because none of the others seem to be able to step forward, you dying would put them back in a situation of being leaderless with no method of succession).

And the rifts are urgent no matter what they say. The longer you wait, the more demons pour out into Thedas (the game doesn't register it but by the logic of the story, thats what should be happening.)

I wouldn't mind that much, but they have you picking herbs and looting bodies in the field to gather supplies for the Inquisition. The gameplay is padded MMO style busywork which really doesn't mesh well with the idea that you're a leader who additionally has a special power vital to saving the world. Gathering supplies should be beneath your station by a mile and you have plenty of people who could be doing that for you.
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Narratorway
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Narratorway » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:41 pm

This isn't really fair, since it wouldn't really be considered a mechanic but...

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Thomas

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:24 pm

Wide And Nerdy wrote:It still doesn't line up. Inquisition has your character with a unique power to close rifts, yet wants you to be a front line fighter and wants you to be the leader of the Inquisition complete with administrative duties that can only be executed while you're back at base.


I didn't mind it too much in the base game (although as you mentioned, picking herbs was going to far), but I really noticed this in Trespasser. You control an army! You've been running the Inquisition steadily for 2 years! You have a band of trusted* legendary fighters and problem solvers right there with you. These are the most important negotiations of your life, why are you running away from them to go off fighting? That's in the past, it doesn't have to be you and you should be doing your job as a leader. It doesn't involve rifts, and sure your anchor becomes part of it later, but that's way later and the handful (2?) times you actually need your anchor are pretty contrived and there was no way you could have known that you needed that.

It probably doesn't help that I was looking forward to sitting down and running the negotiations. If the DLC had been that whilst the people you sent out came back and gave your reports (with you doing the boss fight at the end), I would have been more than happy
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:33 pm

John wrote:Why do party-based CRPGs so often forget that the PC is part of a party in conversation skill checks?


This is one thing I too hate.And this is the reason why I like the gameplay of tides of numenera.There,when you are trying to do something,whether its a persuasion,or stealing,or whatever,you can pick which member of the party will get to attempt it.
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Ringwraith

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Ringwraith » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:12 am

It also runs into the problem of being able to cover all bases instead of having a particular set of options tied to you.
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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

Postby Lachlan the Sane » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:23 am

Daemian Lucifer wrote:
John wrote:Why do party-based CRPGs so often forget that the PC is part of a party in conversation skill checks?


This is one thing I too hate.And this is the reason why I like the gameplay of tides of numenera.There,when you are trying to do something,whether its a persuasion,or stealing,or whatever,you can pick which member of the party will get to attempt it.

I'd be fascinated to see how this would work in an RPG that used the Iron Kingdoms setting. See, when you read the list of skills in IK, most skills are listed as being tied to a stat, D&D style (so you have Alchemy (Int), Navigation (Per), Swimming (Str) to pick three at random). But some skills don't have a stat associated with them -- they're just listed as "social". The way this works in-game is that you or the GM choose which one of your stats you're going to make the social check with based on how you actually want to do it. So a goblin mob enforcer who wanders into a shop and says "Nice place you got here, innit? Would be a shame if it were to catch fire, mate" makes an Intimidate + Poise check, whereas an ogre mob enforcer who wanders into a shop flexing his muscles and snorting makes an Intimidate + Strength check. Iron Kingdoms isn't a great RPG system overall but that's one of the gold nuggets buried in the dross.
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Charnel Mouse
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Charnel Mouse » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:56 pm

Meta-grinding. I'm thinking of games like Rogue Legacy and Tomb of the Necromancer, where unlocking a lot of the game is based on some meta-currency you use between playthroughs, that otherwise doesn't connect to what you're trying to do in the rest of the game. It's tedious for the same reason normal grinding is tedious. Special credit goes to games like Necromancer, where you partly grind to unlock different playing styles rather than becoming more powerful.
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Ringwraith

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Ringwraith » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:43 pm

I actually like the idea (usually), in that it means you get more aids to help you with their permadeath runs as you continually play.
The Binding of Isaac does it too with item unlocks, but the requirements are completely opaque.
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Charnel Mouse
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Charnel Mouse » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:04 pm

Oh, I'm fine with unlocks that have some sort of gameplay-based requirement. I've been playing Hoplite recently: you unlock things there by playing in specific ways, and runs are pretty short. Not my preference, but I'm fine with it. It's when the requirement is along the lines of "collect and spend X coins that have no in-run purpose" that I get annoyed.
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Ringwraith

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Ringwraith » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:15 pm

Although the challenges can be worse as you have to aim for them, instead of merely being a system whereby every time you do a not-terrible run you get something to spend to maybe do a bit better next time. At least with a currency thing you feel like you achieved something and just not just practice and it wasn't a complete wash.
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Charnel Mouse
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Charnel Mouse » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:24 pm

It depends on the player. With a currency, I don't feel like I achieved something. I just feel like I did some grinding and wasted my time, more so than if it was just practice.
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John

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby John » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:01 pm

Are we talking about the diamonds in Crypt of the Necrodancer? Those don't bother me. I guess I don't consider them "grinding". If I find some, great. If I don't, no big deal. I'll die pretty quickly either way, most of the time.

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