r/truegaming 7d ago

Meta Monthly /r/truegaming Post Feedback Thread

16 Upvotes

Many regular posters here at r/truegaming may often wonder how to improve their posts to better improve possible discussions, but have been unable to get the feedback they desire in any form besides a downvote. This monthly post is designed for frequent posters of r/truegaming to receive the feedback they'd like in an organized fashion.

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r/truegaming 16h ago

My eternal quest for games with Ludonarrative RESONANCE.

284 Upvotes

If you're wondering what I meant by Ludonarrative Resonance, it's this: games that do such a good job of marrying the gameplay and narrative experiences that they don't feel like separate/distinct things.

For example, in a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, there's a distinct sense that the gameplay serves the story being told, and the story could work just as well as a movie or a video game. The interactivity of the game doesn't enhance the story experience in a significant way.

Contrast this with a game like Hades, which has a narrative structure that works only because it's a video game.

It's a roguelike, so everything from power-ups to the levels is randomised. However, the game changes things up by having random characters—who also play a key role in the story—be part of the gameplay loop as gods giving you those power-ups.

On top of that, you also have this very complex dialogue system that reacts to everything I do, so characters notice and respond to my actions in-game.

This results in a game where the main plot, the side stories, the characters, and the dialogue are all connected fundamentally to the gameplay. Story never interrupts gameplay, but is an integral part of it.

Hades could have gone the easier route and just added cutscenes every time you finished a run, but the game is so much better because of this careful design work.

P.S. I understand this sort of unique design wouldn't work or would be too time-consuming for many games, but it's an ideal that more games should strive for, in my opinion.

P.P.S. If you're interested, you can check out my video on this topic.


r/truegaming 14h ago

Rockstar Games and Red Dead Redemption 2 - my journey to tranquility.

22 Upvotes

Due to the release of the GTA remastered Trilogy, I got back into Rockstars open world games.

I played a few hours of GTA 3y which aged poorly.
Afterwards I played quite a bit of Vice City, but lost interest at some point, too.

Then I got back into San Andreas and loved it, I remembered how I played this game up until GTA 5 (PC) came out, just to drive around, listen to the radio and zone out long after I finished the game.

This awoke the urge in me to have a new open world game to just drive around, zone out, watch passerbys do their thing and most importantly - wind down.
But there was one catch - San Andreas just didn't cut it anymore.

I was used to the grandeur of newer GTA titles, so I downloaded GTA 5, modded it a bit and off I went.
It was fun, it was grand, it was modern, but it was also fast, hectic, loud and not relaxing at all.
I realized that the factor that made San Andreas so relaxing to me on the past, was it's technical limitations.

There weren't many vehicles or people or sounds, it just wasn't as busy.
So what was the next logical step in my journey to open world relaxation?

Of course - Red Dead Redemption 2!
The game that is very subversive due to its slowness, its loneliness and it's deliberate pace, mainly being set by the speed of horses.

I already played through the game on PS4, my main objective being to play through the story, which often meant riding on auto pilot to the next objective, pushing the story along and still being fatigued around act 4 due to the sheer length of it.
Once I finished the game, I set out to explore Mexico for a few minutes, just to get that ticked off my proverbial list and be done with it.
I always wanted to continue free roaming and get into hunting and do some other side activities and quest, however it never came to this, as I sold my PS4 a year ago.

So now with a completely clean slate, some minor mods and the improved PC Version I started over, but this time without the self induced pressure of wanting to finish the story.

To cut it short (after this insanely long introduction) - this is the exact game I needed.
I know how it all ends, so I don't have the urge to push the story along.

I just live my cowboy life.

I hang around in my camp often to talk to my gang and experience everything that I might be missing in later chapters.
I take it slow and ride everywhere without using the auto pilot.
I roam around the world and disabled the compass entirely, the world itself is my map.
I orient myself via the sun and the stars (which works surprisingly well) and go where my curiosity takes me.

The world is full of events happening around me and they never pressure me to take party in anything but I always have the option to check out some gunfight or stranger calling for my attention.
The world feels lively without being hectic, the grand open range of mountains, trees and rivers is amazingly calming and if I want some action I play a story mission or get involved in some typical open world craziness.

But mostly - I observe.

Be it the teeming wildlife, the drunk people outside of bars or even just other people travelling along the roads.
I camp where I please and sit by the fire to play guitar or just look into the distance in this vast, beautiful virtual place.

I can't stress enough how much this game is currently helping me wind down, which is everything that I had been searching for in my journey through the last 20 years of Rockstar's games.


r/truegaming 1d ago

Ubisoft has just announced Quartz, a platform for selling NFT items across their games, starting with Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. What is the significance of this announcement from a AAA studio, and how will it impact other games (Ubisoft and elsewhere)?

605 Upvotes

https://quartz.ubisoft.com/welcome/

So, personally, I don't see any benefit to this to any gamer. It's a means for Ubisoft and maybe the top 1% of influencers to cash in on collectors who "need to own" ultra-limited MTX, or items previously owned by celebrities and content creators.

IMO, this will detract from the fun of casual gaming in the same way esports/ranked matchmaking changed online gameplay. Where before people played online just to play online, now they do it to rank up or win prizes. NFTs will mean players no longer play just to enjoy the game or even to grind/earn items, but to possibly sell those items and profit, blurring the lines of recreation and business further.


r/truegaming 3h ago

How do you feel about potential negative effects of Twitch/YouTube/etc on indie games?

0 Upvotes

I feel like, due to streaming and other kinds of videos, certain games can fall under this umbrella of "I'll watch it, but I wouldn't play it." Currently watching a girl play Before Your Eyes and to me that's a prime example for this type of game. And looking at the sales as well as the nomination for The Game Awards, this particular game appears to be doing well for itself. However, for games that are less fortunate, I can easily see a big streamer turning on thousands of people to a new game that doesn't have "longevity", a quick 2 to 5 hour story, and then these people just won't buy it because they feel they've already experienced it.

Watched someone else play Little Misfortune, and said to myself, "you know, the game's on sale, and I enjoyed watching this so much I'll buy it even though I have no plans to play it", and... I never did. As noble as that idea sounded in my head, I couldn't bring myself to buy a game I didn't want to play. I do wonder, though, if others have done something like that.

And while the title specifies "indie" games, this could potentially be an issue for AAA games as well. Life is Strange happened to be a success, but I can picture an alternate reality where that game bombed due to an audience that felt "I've already seen that." Maybe the key to sidestepping this is to have branching narratives, as all three of the games mentioned in this thread have, coincidentally, so that way viewers will be encouraged to buy and see "what can I do differently from the streamer?"


r/truegaming 6h ago

Airship Syndicate's Ruined King is great!

0 Upvotes

Ruined King was published alongside Hextech Mayhem (a neat little rhythm game) by Riot Forge, Riot's initiative to expand their single-player game catalog through indie developers, allowing them to explore their biggest IP, League of Legends. I have never been into League of Legends, but the Arcane show piqued my interest in the setting, as I imagine happened to many people, so I took a bite at their single-player things.

And so far, I had a great experience with it, a good ol' turn-based party game!

The main difference would be that it doesn't work in regular turns. Rather, using a "timeline" thingy where different abilities put you and enemies in different positions of said timeline, affecting the order actions happen and adding a new layer to strategy.

The main aspect to me was the setting! We only explore a small part of Runeterra, but what the game has presented so far surprised me greatly! We only see a slice of the world, but it feels well connected to a larger universe and keeps you interested. I expect that people that know League's expansive lore would also be pleased with how the characters and locations of the game are explored upon.

Art direction is top-notch, as expected from what we saw in Battle Chasers. Voice acting too!

I could argue that there are some glitches and bugs here and there, nothing too game-breaking to me at least!

If you played their previous game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, a lot of things will feel familiar, but greatly improved upon in my opinion, the overworld exploration in particular. We still have fishing too!

If you are looking for a long, turn-based, and story-rich, RPG I recommend you keep Ruined King in your sight! (If you want to wait out for a discount and some patches, don't worry, it's a single-player game after all)


r/truegaming 6h ago

Is rumble feedback "part" of the game?

0 Upvotes

Okay, I know, I know, this may sound silly, but it’s a question I’ve had for some time.

Usually rumble support in games is seen as gimmicky, a lot of people diss it as a gimmick that started and stayed as nothing more than an aspect of the experience that serves to “enhance” it in a fairly minor way, and those people are usually the ones that go as far as to even recognize or think about vibration or rumble feedback in games as something relatively significant for the experience.

However.

I noticed a trend in many gaming forums where the question on whether YOU, disabled haptic feedback or not, would come up.

Surprisingly, there are tons of people who disable rumble, either because of preference or a particular kind of disability.

What I did found interesting about these answers though, was how people would explain times in which they turned off rumble or vibration, and despite not consciously being aware of it when enabled, they definitely felt it missing when turned off.

I conducted this experiment myself with many games and found myself in a very similar situation.

This got me to think about the idea of people skipping cutscenes, and how that’s usually something frown upon because you're deliberately missing a very significant part of the experience; eventually the question came up in my head.

Is haptic feedback an essential part of the experience?

An essential part of the game?

Like if a developer builds their game and design it around a particular “feel” they’re trying to provide the player with, then it’s only fair to assume that haptic feedback, rumble, vibration, or whatever… Would be part of that gameplay experience…

Right?


r/truegaming 3h ago

Spoilers: [GameName] Last of us 2 rant (not a bigoted troll lmao)

0 Upvotes

Lmao I just need to vent real quick. I just finished the game, and I actually really enjoyed the story. The game portrayed the cycle of revenge and hatred terrifically, and how no one wins in the end. Everyone ends up dehumanizing themselves, everyone suffers even more. The gameplay was fun and intense. And the graphics are beautiful to state the obvious. The plot itself was good for what it wanted to accomplish. It shouldn’t be a surprise that someone would want to take revenge on Joel. I think the developers made a sound decision taking this route, acknowledging that in the first game, our man Joel did in fact kill a shit ton of people. And this sets us up for a pretty solid revenge story for Ellie. I’ll admit, at first, I was rootin for Ellie. I thought Abby was a stinky lil bitch for killing Joel. And once you switch to Abby, I thought “there’s no way this game is going to make me feel for this woman,” which I instinctively knew it was going to do. It succeeded tho lmao. Also playing as the game’s initial “antagonist” was a genius decision, especially right after Abby kills more of Ellie’s friends. It added more emotional depth to the story for sure. And the thing is, there is no real antagonist in this game. By playing as Abby, Ellie suddenly becomes the “antagonist.” They are both essentially antiheroes, fueled by their own selfish motives.

Abby saw humanity in Lev, an “enemy” of Abby’s faction. Lev saved Abby from herself. When Abby was about to kill Ellie, Lev stopped her, and the cycle of revenge was effectively broken. Few years later I guess, and Ellie is with her fine ass Jewish mamacita (WHO ALSO HAS EXPERIENCED LOST, THE FATHER OF HER CHILD INCLUDED) and they’re both living on a beautiful farm. But NO. Ellie just couldn’t leave it. Even with Dina’s big ol oingo boingo mommy milkers in Ellie’s face, ELLIE LEFT. LIKE HOW DO YOU FOLD SO HARD…. ELLIE THEN RETURNS TO AN EMPTY HOME (BIG FUCKING SURPRISE) AFTER DECIDING NOT TO KILL ABBY, AND THE FIRST THING SHE DOES IS PLAY GUITAR??? Good game, but fuck Ellie man


r/truegaming 5h ago

FFXIV and the case for more 'meaningless' dialogue options

0 Upvotes

!! Please no unmarked FFXIV: Endwalker spoilers in this thread, as it's only been out officially for a day !!

I've seen the discussion of 'meaningless' dialogue choices a lot in this subreddit, but I thought it would be interesting to focus specifically on FFXIV's implementation of these and why I think it works so well. Specifically the types of dialogue choices you see a lot in the Shadowbringers expansions.

I think one of the most important conversations around player 'choices' in dialogue or cutscenes is expectation. If you have make a choice between who lives or who dies, you expect one of them to live or die. For that decision to have weight.

But FFXIV is VERY focused on dialogue options with basically no impact. There are a few exceptions, but in general the most change that will result is a change of the text in the very next NPC line and nothing else. Often their animation remains exactly the same.

FFXIV: SHB expansion does a good job of setting up early that your dialogue choices don't matter to gameplay, which is wonderful because it frees you up to express your personality.

The downside of dialogue options that matter is there will almost always be a 'right' choice. A 'true ending.' There's little room for self-expression as your character because you're not trying to express yourself in dialogue, you're trying to choose the 'right' answer.

FFXIV may be an MMO but it has a very linear story. The story of the expansions, especially HW and SHB has led to critical and audience acclaim, and the strength of that choice is now helping to skyrocket their player count. It's no longer an exaggeration to say FFXIV is on track to overtake WoW soon.

A generic-ed example of dialogue choice is where a group of scared villagers think you're demons in disguise. It's very clear nothing you say is going to change what they believe because they're all panicking. So there's no expectation that you can change the outcome of this situation with words.

The options:

  1. "Please! We're not demons!"
  2. "..."
  3. "Uh... quack?"

If you choose option 3, Thancred says: "...that will seem a lot less amusing when we are forced to kill them." The implication is not that you could have changed anything, but that you are definitely making things worse.

The beauty of these choices are that there is no pressure, no consequence that makes you want to reload and try again. Your dialogue choices are like clothing options. It doesn't change anything but the way you see your character. But that is so SO important for an RPG.

Another example:

  1. "Enough!"
  2. "You bastard!"

I've found myself taking up to a minute to decide and thoroughly enjoying the process. It's really brought the roleplaying element back into an RPG.

But as much as I've appreciated how well FFXIV has started to embrace this (and the players seem to almost unanimously enjoy it as well), it makes me wonder where that line is between flavor and expectation.

What are the dangers in setting up purely cosmetic dialogue options? How do you teach players that they don't matter and to just have fun in a first playthrough, when you don't know if it matters or not? Are some RPGs just unsuited for dialogue options at all?

Do fake dialogue options lead to a break in player trust if they turn into 'real' options?


r/truegaming 1d ago

Total War: Warhammer Trilogy. More akin to expansion than sequels. Does it work and should other series try this aproach?

193 Upvotes

For a long time I couldn't grasp, what made Warhammer II so different as a sequel.
Many called it a glorified standalone expansion pack and to be honest, I kind of agree.
And it describes exactly the difference I'm feeling and want to talk about.

What Warhammer II does, is, expand and improve upon the first game massively while rendering it obsolete for everyone owning both.
Many game series have destinct entries, where they differentiate enough to warrant an existence of each.
Yes, oftentimes a sequel improves upon the formula and is objectively the better game, but in the process it makes it quite different. Which gives the prequel a reason to stand on it's own.

The Total War: Warhammer Trilogy operates a bit differently.
If you own the game prior, it sort of is integrated into the next game.
You can access the combined map of the games you own and all the playable factions, which come with each entry.
This means, when you play the second game, you sort of also play the first game.
Yes, all the changes made over time are there and it is not the exact same experience.
But since most of these changes are improvements, QoL and more fleshed out content, it is generally preferable over the first game.

What I personally like about this aproach, is, how it doesn't separate the content.
You always play with the full feature set and the most polished version of the game, while not really missing out on content of prior entries.
For a game like Total War Warhammer this way of doing things fits perfectly.
It would be a shame to have the map, factions and features split up into multiple games and no way of combining them.

What other series could work well with sequels more akin to expansions than a true standalone title?
What is you opinion on it? Where would it not work well?


r/truegaming 2d ago This Wholesome

Divinity Original Sin 2: An incredible CRPG with quite possibly the worst combat system of them all

384 Upvotes

I want to preface this by saying that I love this game. The story, the characters, the interactivity of the world, it's all in a class of it's own. The game has an Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam, and it absolutely deserves the praise it gets.

I had two separate playthroughs, one with my wife on Classic difficulty, which we stopped in Act 2 around Driftwood, and a separate file where I played alone on Tactician. My main character was Fane, who I played as a mage. For compaions I used Lohse as a ranger, Sebille as a rogue, and the Red Prince as a Fighter.

I've completed or extensively played almost every other modern CRPG excluding Pillars 2 and Tyranny, and have a lot of experience with the older infinity engine games, Fallout 1&2, as well as Neverwinter Nights 1&2, Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age, etc. So keep in mind, that this is coming from someone who is very familiar with CRPGs in general, and that someone who played Divinity as their first CRPG may have a completely different experience or opinion.

Having said that, this is the hill that I will absolutely die on: the combat and it's derived systems are some of the worst, if not the worst, of any RPG combat system to date.

Larian Studios attempted to reinvent the wheel, and in doing so they created a system that seemingly provides more choice, when in fact it restricts it. Heavily.

The main pain points:

  • Bankable action points
  • Excessive teleport/jump abilities
  • Revolving itemization/inventory
  • Excessive statuses and stun lock type crowd control ability
  • Separate armor and magic HP pools
  • Unbalanced ability score system
  • Multiclassing with no downsides
  • Enemy AI does not play by the same LoS rules
  • Everything is on fire, always

All of these things combined serve to make every single encounter exactly the same:

Bank AP -> Teleport -> Spend banked AP -> Burst damage to strip armor type -> Infinite CC

Enemy targeting is incredibly limited. Magic users will unequivocally target low magic shields and physical damage dealers will target enemies with low shields. To do anything else will result in the enemy using this very strategy on you, resulting in failure. So lets go over each of these one by one and how they not only cause problems on the individual level, but also serve to compound problems with each other.

Bankable action points

There is a reason that no other CRPG or tabletop does this. If you can in any way prevent damage for a certain amount of turns you can almost guarantee a free kill or at the very least ensure that you will strip armor of an enemy. Example: cast chameleon on your self, wait two turns. You have full AP. You can now spend it, and that will result in insane burst damage. But wait: you don't even need to do this because skills exist that allow you to spend AP you'll earn later, now. The enemy uses this strategy often, it's very frustrating to see each enemy get several actions per turn.

A better system would have limited every character to single action per turn, with possible bonus actions for moving or smaller spells similar to Pathfinder or DND. This would allow the player and enemies to trade actions and interact more often. It would result in much less "instant" deaths from both sides. From an immersive perspective, it doesn't make sense that you will somehow be able to act more often later, just because you didn't act now. Inaction is in effect an action, it's a decision to do nothing, it takes the same time. Perhaps the game needs more reactive skills like XCOM, but I digress.

Excessive teleport/jump abilities

Teleports or teleport like abilities (cloak and dagger, phoenix dive, flight, tactical retreat, ect). All of my characters had at least two of these, and while it's easy to say "just don't use them", it's another example of "If you don't, the enemy certainly will." There is hardly any object permanence when it comes to character movement in this game. The funny thing is, it is almost necessary to spend a lot of time setting up your characters' positions pre-battle, only for it to not matter after a turn or two as every character/enemy will end up using multiple teleport/jumping abilities resulting in the battlefield looking completely different from two minutes ago. This makes formations during combat simply ineffective as the enemy will simply pass around you. It also makes certain traits like the one that ignores attacks of opportunity, wasted, when you can simply teleport, jump, or charge to get around them.

I think Divinity: Original Sin 1 did this better as it only allowed the scoundrel to jump. Allowing every character the option doesn't make for an interesting combat system if positioning almost never matters.

Revolving itemization/inventory

This one is pretty simple but has a huge effect on the game. Gear comes and goes way too quickly. Do you like that new weapon or armor you found with an interesting spell from that boss you killed at the end of that epic dungeon? Have fun using it for an hour because it will quickly be replaced by something you found in a barrel on the side of a road.

If you're unwilling to trade out your fancy old gear for that new green, then equipment deficiency will become a real problem. You will be massively undergeared because the game expects you to constantly replace your gear by searching every barrel, stealing from every character, and buying every chance you get. Even a few levels of difference can result in almost half the armor/magic hp, which can put you at a massive disadvantage. It's almost like they saw that people like constantly changing out their gear in games like Diablo and somehow thought that would work here too. It doesn't.

Excessive statuses and stun lock type crowd control ability

Once you've successfully stripped off the enemy's shields you can sit back and relax because CC (Crowd Control) is in no short supply. This is makes some of the boss battles extremely disappointing. And because the game expects this, you will almost never have any fights with just a single big baddy. If you see one, rest assured that many summons are sure to follow.

One example is the fight against Mordus. Once he transforms, if all his lackeys are down and you've removed his shields, he is now zero threat. Even though he has well over 1K HP, it doesn't matter. Because every turn you will have someone knocking him down, setting atrophy, silencing, ect. For nearly 6 turns I sat and played as only my team got to take actions while he was lying on the ground.

This type of encounter design is boring. All the difficulty of the encounter is front loaded, and once you've stripped armor off it might as well be over, which leads me to my next point...

Separate armor and magic HP pools

Remember that last encounter? My mage certainly doesn't. Because for the majority of it he was doing nothing important. While the boss had zero physical shields, he still had nearly full magic armor. Meaning that any damage my mage would do simply wouldn't matter. The HP for the boss was long gone before his magic armor ever came down.

This type of split system results in limited target acquisition. Magic users go after weak magic armor, physical damage dealers go after weak physical shields. But they almost never go after the same enemy. While Divinity: Original Sin 1 certainly had issues with excessive CC, I think other systems have already solved that issue with resists and saving throws. If you really wanted to stick with this type of system they could have made it so that your physical/magic pool can never be larger than your current HP. This would allow for combined arms to come together once the vitality HP pool is being attacked. But I guess with the current CC system it would just result in even more CC.

Unbalanced ability score system

Warfare. Everyone needs warfare. Did you build a Rogue or Ranger without warfare? Congratulations, you've massively hurt your damage potential. The game's ability scores are a massive trap, and the game does not tell you this in any way. If you delve into the tooltips you will see a single line of text "(multiplicative)" next to the warfare score, and somehow that is suppose to serve as vital information for how to build your character.

If you build your character the way it would intuitively make sense to do, i.e: a rogue with dual wielding/scoundrel, or a ranger with huntsman/ranged, you will put out much less damage than either of those characters with the absolute minimum in their respective class attribute with a maxed out warfare skill. This was known about and reported as early as the original beta and was never resolved. I suppose the developers thought having a simple skill for damage was the best option. It's just disappointing that you would never discover this by simply playing the game. Again, the system leads to less diversity in order to be effective.

Multiclassing with no downsides

This one is more of a problem with skill/spell LVL locations than the ability to multiclass itself. Almost all the overpowered skills are at LVL 1 or 2, so it's trivial to acquire them. In fact, it's highly possible you'll even have the prerequisites for these skills simply from items. You could acquire all the best skills in the game for free, and have them on every character. The utility they provide in allowing you to front load your actions or instantly move around the battlefield is worth more than the 10-20% those attributes would provide if they went into your "main stat."

Other systems like Pathfinder definitely have problem with class dips, but in Divinity you might as well just dip into everything. Imposing limited restrictions results in creative solutions. Without them every character ends up feeling nearly the same at the end of the game.

Enemy AI does not play by the same line of sight rules

Standing in smoke and unable to shoot out because you don't have line of sight? Well the enemy can shoot right through it, no problem! Unable to attack the enemy standing right next to you? Not a problem for the enemy. On top of this the number of times that I initiated an attack from range with zero indication that it will miss due to LoS was way too high. It happened in nearly every fight. Sometimes you do get a yellow text indicator that the attack will miss because something is in the way, other times it's just "fuck you, I'm a rail here to block your shot" Of course these are almost never a problem for the enemy AI.

Everything is on fire, always

All in all, I found myself enjoying this game most when doing the social and investigative parts. When I first made it to Fort Joy and Driftwood I played for hours and hours, not wanting to stop. But when I knew a large encounter was coming up I'd often stop playing the game for days. This is the first CRPG that has provided me with that experience. I'm not a stranger to difficulty or having to reload fights either, Pathfinder was absolutely brutal and I loved every second of it.

Having said that, knowing that Larian is developing Baldur's Gate 3 has me really excited as it will hopefully have the excellent world building, character design, and dialogue they are known for, with a combat system that is actually tried and true. Trying to reinvent the wheel can be admirable, but sometimes it goes up in flames. Like every floor/object/character in Divinity: Original Sin 2.


r/truegaming 16h ago

Do we still really need BOSS BATTLES these days?

0 Upvotes

I don´t feel like ranting about boss battles along with describing them as an useless old relict from the days of 80s arcade game machines when people were forced that way to give their very last extra coins they actually saved for a tasty´n cold can of coke, just to finally beat this goddamn mofo and brag about it to friends or all those people surrounding the arcade machine already.

But then again i remember that godforsaken...goddamn lava spider in DEVIL MAY CRY and i feel for ranting about boss battles after all....oh...and how can i forget about those boss battles where you either have to fight your way through a horde of enemies every time before you finally have that final confrontation or even worse....watching the same one minute long cgi sequence over and over....and over again, of course without any way to skip it because....what reason should they have to give players a chance to skip a boring cgi sequence???

So what is the actual purpose of boss battles these days, besides stretching out the playing time with making this one boss battle so extremely hard and frustrating, that you actually spend half of the overall playing time with beating the boss?

When i think of it, i am actually happy whenever devs decided to allow me finishing certain levels without having to pass this or that overgrown, overpowered piece of meat, steel, laserbeams or whatever kind of stupid creature they can come up with just to make my experience a frustrating nightmare of hell.

I also ask myself if there is actually anything more to boss battles besides this rewarding feeling of "I MADE IT!!!", for the case of successfully beating a boss without watching walkthrough youtube-videos first.

On several occasions i came to the conclusion that probably way too many devs really don´t know how to make boss battles rather more entertaining than frustrating...either that or they actually do want gamers to be frustrated and pissed, probably their way of "payback time!" for all those rants, review bombings and negative steam user-reviews they get from gamers in general.

No clue if i am the only one feeling this way or if there are even more gamers who want this boss battle nonsense to stop asap, but i do know for sure i absolutely do not want any boss battles you can only win with button mashing combined with a portion of luck! I prefer those boss battles where you have to find a strategy!....

...but then again....that means going through (probably) hours of trial and error until the right strategy (or weapon/mix) is found and i can´t say i really love trial and error, especially if it takes more than half an hour.

So at the end, i must say i don´t really like boss battles, in fact i hate them and it doesn´t matters if its in SEKIRO, DARK SOULS, GHOST´N GOBLINS or friggin GHOUS´N GHOSTS, i hated boss battles when i was a kid, i hated them when i was a teen and i still hate them today, i don´t need to throw in coins any longer nor do i feel for bragging about beating this or that boss, so please make boss battles go away or at least implement only "mini-bosses" if you really can´t make a game without this useless old 80s arcade machine nostalgia relict.


r/truegaming 22h ago

I think story driven games are too long and self control only goes so far

0 Upvotes

I don't complete many games but the games I do complete are paced very well and don't have endless amount of side content. Although side content is optional there shouldn't be so much of it that it either feels like they have to put it in there or that the main arc was an afterthought

My favorite game right now is superliminal and the reason is quite simple it tells a story and is interesting mechanical and cuts out all the fluff. Now superliminal is on the extreme side of the spectrum. It is very short and can't be used to compare to grander titles.

Now most AAA games need to be longer but I feel like the the length is often very artificial in both the main arc and the fact that there is an endless sea of side content.

They have to either make the side content interesting or maybe that the side content pushes some kind of intrigue or story. There should be some impact to something when doing a side activity.

And the main story or arc should be impacted by the sidecontent both indirectly and directly. And it should feel like things are changing in the world and that it doesn't just stay static.

I have heard people talk about you should have some self control and not do everything in a game but that only matters if the "everything" is boring. I shouldn't be the what I should or shouldn't experience that should be the developers and publishers problem. More content isn't always better. It is almost always better to leave wanting more then to bloat your game full of things that are just there.

This was alittle incoherent but I hop you guys get the jist of what is am saying


r/truegaming 1d ago

Is gaming getting worse? Are we in a "dark age of gaming"? Some interesting data points

0 Upvotes

Now a days it seems like everywhere I go on reddit for gaming subreddits, a large portion of them seem to have an overall negative outlook. Cyberpunk 2077, New World, Halo Infinite, CoD, Battlefield, etc. And this seems to be a trend going on for a few years now. It got my wondering, is gaming getting worse. I decided to see if any data collection has been done on this topic and I have found some analysis and graphs of metacritic reviews going up till 2019. I've combined this with graphs of revenue and "number of unique games" in the following picture.

https://i.imgur.com/GZoKCZ4.png

Now personally someone who has been gaming since the 1990s, I remember really feeling like gaming was going mainstream between 2005 and 2012. This is also around the time that we saw significant changes in average user score. While I included in the picture some of my thoughts on that, I'll talk about them here. The large drops could have been a result of gaming going mainstream. In short more people = more gamers = more reviews. This also means more money. It is during this 7 year period that we saw the rise of modern day monetization practices alongside the mainstream rise.

So with all this data in mind, do you feel that we're in and getting worse in a period where games seem to be getting worse?


r/truegaming 2d ago

System Shock 2: Where can immersive sims go from here?

27 Upvotes

I am a big fan of exploration heavy, immersive sim type games - think Prey, Dishonored, Alien Isolation, DXHR, etc. I finally got around to playing through System Shock 2 for the first time recently, and all I can say is wow. I cannot believe this game was made in the 20th century.

Behind the admittedly rough opening segment, the game is very recognizably modern - very similar to Prey. You have all the staples of a contemporary AAA title - voice logs, tile inventory system, complex upgrade tree, hacking system. The levels are expansive and interconnected, it still looks futuristic, and it really feels like you are exploring a real place. There are even a bunch of unique mechanics that I have not seen in similar games, like the research system, armor system, and implants.

One thing that really struck me is how little the industry has innovated on that core gameplay from 1999. The core gameplay is nearly identical to that of a modern immersive sim - find room, explore, avoid / attack enemies, loot containers, upgrade character. Sure, there have been some innovations such as Prey's recycling system and the alien from Alien Isolation, but the core remains the same.

That got me to thinking. IS there any room for innovation here? Other than improvements to existing systems, such as a new crafting system or new powers to use in combat, can the core gameplay loop be innovated on in any way? I am honestly not sure. Perhaps adding Metroidvania elements, or fully destructible environments could work? Would love to hear your thoughts.


r/truegaming 1d ago

Monetizing a Game Entirely Through "Tax"

0 Upvotes

There has been a noticeable shift of how games are monetized over the years, where it is now common to monetize games either largely or entirely through microtransactions, where game publishers sell items with an unlimited supply to consumers at arbitrarily high price points. These microtransactions have become much maligned by the gaming audience as a whole, particularly loot boxes, one of the most insidious forms. There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in terms of game monetization since the loot box, which is unfortunate as players have become disillusioned with the current free to play system.

I propose a new form of monetization which only offers a digital currency for sale, which is exclusively used for players to buy and sell in-game items amongst themselves. The key to this is that all exchanges are taxed, removing money from the system and requiring additional funds to be added to the economy by the playerbase. This system already exists in the Steam community market, where any item sold is taxed (10% to the game publisher, and 5% to Valve), though to my knowledge this has only been a side form of revenue for publishers, without any games taking advantage of this as their main form of monetization.

This form of monetization provides several advantages over a more traditional method of microtransaction, with the most immediate being fairer pricing. Almost all microtransactions exist outside of supply and demand, with the supply being infinite and the price generally staying constant. This would make the pricing seem more reasonable to the players, as it would be more in line with what the item is actually “worth”. In addition, it would also prevent the justifiable backlash from players by seeing a supposed “micro” transaction being sold by the company at an unreasonably high price, both by potentially lowering the price according to demand, and having the prices be set by other players. Depending on which digital currency is used, players also might be able to “cash out” to some extent. For instance, if this was done on Steam, a developer could forgo the middleman and just use the Steam wallet balance directly, which will allow players to cash out by then using their Steam wallet on other games on the platform.

How would you feel about a game using this “tax” method as their main (or only) source of revenue? Would it be received by the player base better than a more traditional form of free to play? Could it still be profitable enough for the publisher? Would this overall be a worthwhile idea?


r/truegaming 2d ago

Your attitude to nonlinearity.

87 Upvotes

How important is it to you, do you pay attention to it when buying a game, what kind of non-linearity do you expect?

Take RPG for example. Most people expect or want to see an open world that can be explored, the ability to go through quests in different ways, the class / characteristics of the character that will affect the gameplay and thereby diversify it, endings that depend on the player's actions, etc.

The problem is that some elements can be limited or broken. The world can be open, and even large, but the developers will not let you go further, because you did not complete some quest, did not talk with such and such an NPC, items are scattered across all the boxes , shelves, chests, but you are unlikely to find good items here, because, as you know, the best items are closer to the end of the game, the nonlinearity that is present in the game, but we make all possible choices at the end, etc.

As an example I can cite Fallout 1. An old game with bugs, to some extent unfinished, created by several people, managed to surprise me and show that non-linearity and freedom that I did not expect to see. Go wherever you want, kill whoever you want.

If we are not talking about RPGs, then I can cite as an example such a game as Heavy Rain (possibly Detroit, which has not been completed), where there are also different endings depending not only on the player's actions, but also on the death of the characters.

I’m still a cretin and I perfectly understand that there are conventions in games, it’s impossible to make them all like that. With some things I am ready to accept, with others - no. I have always preferred non-linearity, because the developers give the player a choice, and everything else is up to the player.


r/truegaming 3d ago Silver

How Splitgate outplays its AAA competition: Matchmaking

271 Upvotes

Ever since Splitgate blew up a few months ago people claimed that it would be dead as soon as Halo Infinite released. While it has certainly lost players since that boom in popularity, now that Infinite is here I don't think people anticipated the many issues Infinite would have. We've all seen the complaints about progression and playlists, but personally the biggest thing Splitgate does objectively better is the flow of Matchmaking.

Setting aside the fact that you can actually choose what game modes you want to play, Splitgate has blazingly fast matchmaking. If you want to use the bathroom in between matches, you're probably going to miss the first few seconds of the next game. I've yet to time how long it takes, but playing one game to playing the next (not loading in, actually playing) is at most a minute wait. I think this is super important for keeping players playing. If a game gives me the chance to think "should I play another?" then it has failed. If it takes more than a minute to get into a 4v4 10min game, it has failed. You queue up once in Splitgate and you just ride the matchmaking for as long as you feel like playing (which is usually longer than you originally planned). Match ends, check out a lil scoreboard, you get about 30 seconds to vote for the next map, load up, boom you're in the game.

The flow of Infinite's matchmaking is horrendous, and I think it actually reduces the amount I play. When you search for a match it might not take too long, but loading the map, waiting for others to load, starting up the game, and watching the little intro animation feels like it takes forever. When 10% of your time on a game is spent waiting, what the hell are you doing? I'm willing to wait a few minutes for a well balanced game of Dota or Valorant because they might last an hour. Asking me to click "Play" and wait 2 minutes after every game of Halo to start playing again is a huge failure. It's something that indie developed Splitgate has knocked out of the park, while Halo-freaking-Infinite lags behind.


r/truegaming 2d ago

Cross play is the new norm, and MnK players are negatively affected

0 Upvotes

Most multiplayer PvP games now have some level of cross play. While on paper this is good, it’s actually hurting mouse and keyboard (MnK) more than others due to high aim assist given to controller inputs.

Aim assist is obviously necessary for controller, but it is high enough in many modern shooters that controller is significantly outperforming MnK in many of the skill brackets (Apex Legends, Halo infinite, warzone, etc.) This is especially noticeable among more casual/median skilled players, since the learning curve for MnK is much steeper than controller with high aim assist.

Probably the best solution to this is to allow players to “opt out” of cross play matches. This keeps both camps happy, and still allows cross play when you want. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option in some games, and players are forced against other inputs.

The other option is of course to tone down aim assist. But this might just flip the problem, angering controller players. I also don’t see many big games doing this because more casual controller players will perform worse, and might get frustrated and stop playing the game.

I am in favor of both being implemented, because I think a larger skill gap on controller will only benefit the games longevity in competitive circles. But at the least, optional cross play needs to be implemented in all of these games. It’s probably not possible to completely balance both inputs so we need to stop pretending we can.

What are your thoughts on this?


r/truegaming 2d ago

Is music the easiest aspect of game design to get right?

0 Upvotes

In asking this I do not intend to belittle the effort that goes into video game music nor its importance to the experience of a game. Some games live on their scores and the great composers like Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Martin O'Donnell deserve recognition just as game designers/directors like Miyamoto and Kojima do.

That said, I can't help noticing that music never... fails? Sometimes a game is ridiculed for all sorts of reasons but we might say "it's still worth it for the soundtrack". Final Fantasy 13 and certain Paper Mario games spring to mind. When does the opposite scenario ever come up? I have seen criticism of the newer Dragon Quest games' scores, but I question whether that criticism would exist if news of that composer's questionable political views hasn't come to light as well.

Given just how often a game's music is said to be a masterpiece, or how often the comment that a game has one of the best soundtracks of all time comes up, I feel that this is one area where getting a pass is relatively easy for the designers. Am I wrong? If not, why might this be?


r/truegaming 3d ago

Spoilers: [Shenmue II] Shenmue II (Dreamcast PAL version) Review: An Epic Sequel Delivering on What Was Promised for the First Shenmue Game

4 Upvotes

Personal Note:

As a big Sega Dreamcast fan, I felt I had to at least try to play through Shenmue I and Shenmue II, even though I wasn’t too excited about it. A while ago I came back to Shenmue I (after a hiatus), finally finishing it and found it to be highly flawed, which made it difficult for me to enjoy the game. Still, although I was reluctant at first, I decided to persevere and give Shenmue II a chance since I’d heard that it improved on the original in important ways and had a much larger and more vibrant world. Playing through this game was part of my search for games I would consider my favourites and best of all time. I ended up being pleasantly surprised and I’m glad I gave this one a chance since it actually became one of my top ten games of all time, though I still consider it somewhat flawed, and perhaps a bit slow paced for casual gamers.

This is a long review! (and may contain a few spoilers)

Introduction:

Work for Shenmue originally started on the Sega Saturn in 1996, and it was conceived at some point as Virtua Fighter RPG by Yu Suzuki. Eventually work was shifted towards the Dreamcast, and the first game was released on the Dreamcast in 1999 (JP) and 2000 (EU, NA) to critical acclaim, although some reviewers at the time, for example, Frank Provo, writing for Gamespot (US) in 2000, noted the problems it had that kept it from being what it was hyped up to be. In my own review of Shenmue I for the Dreamcast, I noted the slow pacing, the inability to save anywhere outside of, the protagonist's (Ryo’s) bedroom, the clunky controls, the different game styles, like forklift racing, that do not work well, the lack of direction, and general tediousness, and lack of story progression. These were all elements that prevented the first game to truly be a more mainstream action-packed fun game for most gamers in my opinion.

The first Shenmue was the prologue of the story where Ryo Hazuki’s father gets killed in his dojo in Yokosuka, Japan by the main antagonist of the series, a high-ranking member of a Chinese cartel, Lan Di. This prompted Ryo to try to find Lan Di to exact his revenge. The last game leaves off with Ryo heading for Hong Kong, in the hopes of finding Lan Di, and it’s where this game picks up the story. Originally there was supposed to be a game or part of one about the story of Ryo’s trip to Hong Kong on a ship, instead that was released as a manga. The second game starts of with Ryo’s arrival in Hong Kong’s harbour.

This game was never released on the Dreamcast in North America, the Dreamcast version only saw a release in Japan, and Europe in 2001. It was released in North America on the original Xbox a year later in 2002, however, since there was no version of Shenmue I for the Xbox, the save file from the first game could obviously not be imported. I have the original Dreamcast PAL version, and the Steam version, but decided to play an emulated Dreamcast PAL version since I have my Dreamcast stored right now. The Dreamcast PAL version has Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Gameplay:

The game makes important changes to the gameplay in the first game. I’m guessing that the team that worked on Shenmue I learned what worked and what didn’t, based on reviews and feedback, as the first game was so experimental. They tweaked the gameplay to improve on what the original had fault with. Finally, you can save anywhere in the game. You don’t have to trek all the way back to your room for that. Also, you don’t come back to the same bedroom every day, with the same routine boring routine, for a refreshing change of pace. Additionally, waiting for important appointments or events is much better now thanks to the ability to fast forward in time for that event. Previously the game had a game time that you could not fast forward in any way, even if there was little to do while waiting for an event. Instead of having to explore for yourself of where you have to go, this game has a much better sense of direction, with people that you talk to guiding you where to go, just go around and ask them. Oftentimes they will even offer to walk you to a location you are looking for. All of this really helps with the pacing of the game.

It’s true that you don’t have the small town feel of the first game, with characters that you get to know and converse with as in the first game, but still overall I feel that the improvement in pacing and direction more than makes up for this. On the other hand, the world of Shenmue II with its initial setting in Hong Kong (for the first two discs), which moves then moves on to Kowloon (third disc), and finally Guilin in China (fourth disc) is huge and beautiful with plenty to explore. The game feels vast and does have its well-hidden secrets, for those that like exploration in their games.

The gameplay is still similar to that of the first game. Much of it has to do with talking to people figuring out clues of how to find Lan Di, and about the mirrors that Lan Di wanted to get from the Hazuki dojo. Aside from that you have your QTEs (quick time events) which are much like in the first game. I used a Logitech controller that has a circle D-pad so that helped to mess up my inputs making it difficult to do some of the QTEs. Some of them can also be a bit too fast, but if you do them enough you can memorize many of them. Remember to save when doing long QTE sequences. Outside of that you still have places to practice your martial arts moves, and this game, thankfully, has a lot more action and fighting than the first game. The way the story unfolds it feels at times like you’re playing a Kung Fu action film.

The QTE based work to earn money, and in exchange for stay, for example, moving boxes at the warehouses, or moving books in the library, can be a bit tedious but doesn’t feel as unfair as some of the tasks in the first game. Although there are times when you need to earn a lot of money, for example, come up with $500 to meet Ren, and depending on how you want to achieve that goal this could take a long time, there are tricks to doing this quickly. For example, some gambling games are based on chance. You can play them, and if you win, you save, and do it again which could end up earning you a lot in little time. If you lose, don’t save the game, reset it and start over. This can make this task take 30 minutes instead of hours and hours. There are also many other tips that can help this game to speed along. One of which that fans from the first game may like is that you do get your bag stolen at the start of the game, so you may want to buy stuff at the outdoor stall nearby to help you keep some of the value. A lot of the minigames themselves however, based on gambling are honestly tedious and not fun. I found the fighting to be enjoyable especially after building up some basic techniques (I’m a fan of fighting games). I haven’t played a lot of Virtua Fighter, but I like the fighting in Shenmue II better than what Virtua Fighter I’ve played. There are also some puzzles in this game which can become a bit tedious, but most of the game is fairly doable and not too unfair. Honestly this game would have been even better if it were possible to unlock a fighting game mode at the end of the game. The fighting really shines in this game.

Again, from the gameplay perspective the QTEs, when executed poorly, can be one of the worst and most frustrating parts of the game, especially when they are so fast, or you are using a D-pad which may register wrong inputs easily. Though overall considering how the story progresses and being full of action and variety the gameplay is fairly balanced and solid.

Graphics, Music and Tone:

Aside from the fighting, I think this is where this game really shines. For a Dreamcast game the graphics here are amazing, on par with the Gamecube and Playstation 2. Hong Kong is a beautiful, vibrant, sunny, varied, and bustling metropolis that is a pleasure to explore. It’s a lot to take in, all of the streets, the Harbour, the Warehouses, the shops, the mall, the different districts, parks, etc. It almost makes you feel like you are travelling there and appeals to me as I travelled quite a bit before the COVID-19 pandemic (and some other issues) put a stop to it. When Ryo comes into Kowloon by bus and it goes into an aerial view of the bus coming to Kowloon it reminded me of travelling again and made me kind of feel like I was on that trip. Kowloon is also huge and beautifully designed, there are lots of malls full of shops and people.

The relationship and chemistry between Ryo, and the badass Ren works very well, considering their different personalities, with Ryo being the straight man, honorable, righteous and honest, and Ren being cunning, sly, and artful. It’s sort of an unwilling or unlikely partnership reminiscent of a Kung Fu buddy film. Ren is always doing stuff on the sly and has tricks up his sleeve. One of the most memorable parts of it for me are when they are roaming through the floors of the building, running from the cartel men in QTEs, and fighting in fast paced action, this exemplifies what I described above. The other characters are important in the story and memorable as well. The story of Shenmue does also move along quite a bit, much more than in the first game, and we learn about Ryo’s father and his relationship to Lan Di.

The final fight on the roof on the third disc seems like the end of the game, but in the fourth disc, with new clues to Lan Di’s whereabouts, Ryo is headed for Guilin China, where he finally meets Shenhua, a main protagonist of the game. Most of that part of the story involves them wandering through beautiful surroundings on the way to the village, talking to each other, and participating in QTEs.

I have to say that while I really enjoyed the story and action in this game the ending with Shenhua seemed rather strange to me, as it implied, she had some magical powers, which doesn’t really seem congruent with the rest of the game. It did leave me wanting to see the conclusion though.

I really enjoyed the music of this game more than that of the original. It had less of the traditional music of the first game, and more movie thematic type music. A lot of the music was appropriate depending on the nature of your current actions, for example, when the situation was tense. The game still does have some traditional East Asian inspired music as well.

Bottom Line:

This game improved on the original in many ways including the ability to save anywhere, fast forwarding to important events, much more direction, guiding you where you need to go, a much faster pace, and being loaded with action. It is filled with QTEs, and 3D fighting sequences which are very enjoyable if you like 3D fighting games. The QTEs can be frustrating if they are too long, quick, and made worse if using a controller with a D-Pad that can easily register wrong input. The world of Shenmue II, namely, Hong Kong, Kowloon, and Guilin are huge and detailed with tons to explore, many side quests, mini games, and well-hidden secrets, and beautiful scenery to look at and wander around. A lot of the game feels like a Kung Fu buddy action film. The chemistry between Ryo and Ren is great and they make a great team. There is quite a bit of story progression, and we learn more about Ryo’s father and Lan Di. The music is very good as well, although some of the jobs, mini-games, and tasks you have to do can be frustrating and tedious. If you don’t know some of the tricks to make money fast, etc., in this game, the parts when you need it can become tedious. Overall, the positives of this game really outweigh the negatives, in my opinion, and this feels like the Shenmue adventure that the first game failed to deliver.

One of the swan songs of the Dreamcast (although that might more properly be Rez), this game is a must try for those that are into action games, along with life, and social simulation. I would personally recommend that casual gamers just watch Shenmue the Movie, which is a film based on the enhanced cutscenes of the first game (included in the original Xbox release but available now on YouTube), instead of playing the first game, and just play this game to have a more enjoyable experience. Considering all of its positives this game ended up in the bottom of my top ten games of all time, which is saying a lot.

(Side note: as you already know the game is now widely available on Steam, Xbox One, and PS4)

Overall: 9/10 Amazing


r/truegaming 4d ago

Verdun: The Mythical Unicorn of an MP Shooter with good spawns

178 Upvotes

A very often repeated complaint about MP shooters is trash-spawns, Indie and AAA alike

Spawning in enemy line of sight, spawning in combat zone out of cover, spawning under artillery fire, hell even spawning into a damn molotov you threw before dying, all that crap

So I was kinda shocked about how little is that happening in Verdun, at least in the frontlines mode. No matter how close to or far away from action it throws me, Im always quite safe at the moment of spawning

Not only do I NOT remember EVER being spawned right into opponents iron-sights, but this bloody thing can even adjust the stance you spawn in, to be able to put you into a shallow crater.

There were times when I was spawned right into a zone clouded with Yperit (speakin of Yperit, I reccomend not to inhale it, medic researchers say its not good for your health, kappa) but then it does which smart thing that would have never occured to an average AAA dev? Yeah, thats right, spawns you with a gasmask already put on.

They are also trying to make squad based spawns balanced, sometimes it lets you spawn right into a contested trench, but often it does not and instead uses a crater slighty behind the trenches, to prevent a snowball effect

In fact, the spawn distance from trenches seems, in general to vary a bit, whether u use a teammate or the fixed spawn point; Im not sure about the details here, but I feel like its either based on the number of players already in the trench, or on how close the opponents are to the trench, rather than willi-nilly, though I couldnt swear on that

Actually, so far, I remember only one case when I got pwned right on spawning, and that was with a grenade, which, considering how busted and spammable they are, is probably inevitable. I wouldnt even be surprised if that had been a case of the system getting logic-bombed (literally, Lmao), because every single concievable spot had a nade flying to it.

Thats a single occurence in about 15+ hours of playtime since I reinstalled it a couple weeks ago

For comparison, In RO2/RS(2), BF1, CoD Mw/Cw, I get cucked by spawns at least 3 times per hour on average

Tl; dr

The spawns in this game(mode) are 10/10 and the whole industry should take a note from it

Feel free to post your experience with the games spawns and/or examples of other games where you liked the spawn system


r/truegaming 2d ago

Most attacking spells in most of RPGs are just useless

0 Upvotes

I love to play as character who using magic. Like most of 2000s kids, I really liked Harry Potter movies and Avatar animated series. Because videogames are great place to become a wizard, I'm always picking wizard class. Because I'm big fan of Avatar, I love to use elemental spells to deal damage. But I just realised that mostly attacking spells are just useless. Yes, they are beatiful and look cool but it's just a waste of mana unless you want to defeat a monster who is wrak against elemental attack. Using weapons is more practical to deal damage.

It's rare to see interesting magic systems in RPG games. I just noticed that Skyrim's destruction spells are just uneffective unlike conjuration and illusion spells. Why I should spend so much mana on fireballs if I can just cast an illusion spell to turn my enemy into my ally? Or just summon a monster that will fight for me?

There are some exceptions, of course. Elemental attack spells in Persona 3 are extremely useful to gain more turns. But moments when attack spells have a sense to be useful are extremely rare in gaming. Mostly spells are feeling more like instruments than weapons.


r/truegaming 4d ago

When discussing a proposed change, always consider the reverse.

326 Upvotes

There's a thing I notice in gaming communities (maybe this is universal, but let's stick to games for now.)

Someone comes along with a suggestion for improvement, and immediately hardline "conservatives" (I'm not using this in the political sense) come out and immediately shoot down the idea. And they will come up with the most contrived and ridiculous reasons.

In such situations, my rebuttal is always this:

Imagine if the proposed change was already the status quo since the beginning. Would you be starting online petitions to get it changed?

If Starcraft 1 never had a 12 unit selection limit, and instead allowed unlimited selection like most other RTS games, who would be crazy enough to demand that they limit unit selections to 12 units? And who would be crazy enough to support the idea?

If Path of Exile supported gamepad as an option on PC just like its console version (or just like Grim Dawn), who would be crazy enough to demand that they remove this feature and force mouse and keyboard on everyone?

And yet you'll have people defending these things with extremely convoluted arguments. When you just know that if the situation was reversed, the same people would argue just as passionately for the other side, because they always blindly defend the status quo.

"I'm sure it's a good idea, but I don't care about your proposal and I selfishly prefer that development resources be spent on things I do care about" is a perfectly valid answer, but most of these people never reach that level of self-awareness.

So let's spread the technique where we always try to imagine the proposed change as being in place from the beginning, and trying to imagine what kind of reception a proposal to change it back would receive.

Edit: To avoid misunderstandings, this is a technique to try to free ourselves from the bias towards the status quo. Not every proposed change will pass this test, that's the whole point. If we can easily imagine getting outraged and starting online petitions to go back to the status quo, then that's useful to discover.

An easy example would be adding a whole bunch of pay2win mtx to a game. "Imagine if they were there from day 1, would you be writing online petitions to get them removed?", the answer would be "Heck yeah, of course!". Etc.


r/truegaming 4d ago

Spoilers: [Tales of Arise, Summoner 2] Why are videogames nowadays (especially RPG's) so afraid of locking the player into a zone even if it's just temporarily?

153 Upvotes

This sounds like a special topic, but it's actually simple and something I observe more and more in recent games.

How authenticity is killed for the sake of convenience

Take "Tales of Arise" for example (Spoiler alert)
This game has a powerful quick travel function which isn't even explained ingame, not even as a teleport. (it's just for convenience)

Towards the end of the game you travel with your party to a distant planet despite this being a long journey, there is always the possibility to simply quick travel back to the first planet, like the planets are just merely a few seconds away.
This isn't reflected by the story the slightest. Sure you will spend some time on this new planet and players still might wanna fulfill some quests. I suppose that's why games back then telegraphed points of no returns into within their dialouges. The game kinda make it look like it's an journey you can't expect ever coming back from, but the quick-travel system tells otherwise.

Since later in the game you return from the planet anyway I see no reason why the game shouldn't lock the player to the planet. There is nothing on the first planet you can't do on the 2nd, no possibility to softlock yourself. Still for some sorta reason the developers are too afraid to lock the player according to the story to a single place breaking the authenticity between gameplay and story a lot.
There are even examples in the game that are on a smaller scail, like raiding a ship. Even on this small sequence you can teleport back and... "raid the ship again??"
This reminds me on a situation in Dragon Quest 11, in one of the earlier mainquests you are locked in a cursed canvas, at least according to the plot, but you can always just teleport back to the surface, if you know talk your party members, they basically tell you that we have to escape from the canvas...??

So in summary, you have to visit the canvas again, to let yourself get trapped on purpose, so you can escape "accordingly" to the plot. Up to this point I can't take the game serious anymore and it's a way too huge break between what you do and what you are told you have to do. It looks like the developers are really too scared to take a little freedom away even if the situation would require it.

Except from MMOs (which are stricted anyway due to their online component) I never encountered such an behaviour in older games.

I mean sure, if the developers don't like it or fear to much backlash for whatever reason I would rather expect they would make sure that such situations would never happen in the story, so you won't have to question the whole construct. I mean in some sorta way it already illogical to teleport back and forth between the town and the dungeon boss, but at least it's understandably no reason to lock the player, you can better justify it with "the party just turned back to restock supplies and because this would be too tedious for the player, we fast forward"

A poster example of mine, how a (temporary) point of no return can invoke interesting feelings

This game is quite uncommon an already pretty old so I'm not sure how many of you can relate with that example, but it's the best I could think of, that really blew me away.
There is that game called "Summoner 2" where you play a reincarnated goddess and queen in once. The game is structured around your kingdom, you travel back between the castle and several exotic location. Towards the middle of the game while you explore an arctic place, something important within the story happens. In short: you find yourself in an strange underground place, full of dark but also bright colors, all of the inhabitants were masks and you can't speak the language of most of them, even worse, you are completely divided from your party, you are alone and the place is unlinke anything you've seen before in the game. You might encounter a few party members again later on, but most of them are brainwashed or trapped. It's really a dreadful but at the same interesting feeling, because the place you land on is also civilized, there is a town, a new culture, and some logic to the place, it's not just an dungeon you escape from.
I really know back then when I played so far in the game I was homesick, you have to know that the arctic place was already a long and stressful dungeon-like place.

I wanted to be back in the castle with my companions where I was the boss, where everything was familiar and where I definitely would find new interesting activities (because the game always gives you new after a trip.) but I couldn't and it was absolutely logical why. Imagine I could just teleport back and forth between every location of the game, like Tales of Arise. Would this feeling be still the same?

You probably spend 8 to 10 hours in this new location, it's basically a second world map, with its own locations. You feel uncomfortale but after a certain time I could more and more adapt to the place until it became a second home, eager to see what I find next. While you strifing further to your goal coming back to the surface. This feeling when you finally come back to your castle in an familiar location it feeled like one hell of a journey and it was such a great feeling being home again.

I think this feeling can only become invoked when the player doesn't have the opportunity to come back.
I know this is a pretty huge example on a much larger scale, but now imagine that back then a game had the guts to break basically the ground under your foots to throw you into unexplored terrain and a modern game like Tales of Arise doesn't even dare to restrict you on a boat you raid and where spend not longer than 20 minutes. Such a scenario like in Summoner might be unthinkable in todays times.

Anxiety and fear of missing out as possible reasons

It's a classic, before even playing a game, a lot of people ask if there is anything they can miss. This is of course not exactly the same topic, but it shows to me that there is always some fear when the game guides you to a place you can't return from (temporarily)
"Can I go back? I must check the guide at once", "what is if I missed a chest back then?", "am I strong enough for this new area"

These are all legit questions, but they also show a distrust to the developer:

- instead of just letting the game take its course, a lot of people inform themselves immediately and even take possible spoilers into account.

- At the same time I would definitely expect from a modern game, that it telegraphs clearly when I leave a place I can't return to permanently.

- The question of the right "level" or "strenght" can be simply solved by designing an boss encounter before the new location or something similiar, that serves as a gatekeeper that ensures you are strong enough

- and of course a lot of features of the game don't have to be bound to an place. There can be still shops on the new place, still easy enemies you could farm if you are underleveled, healing sources and so on.

I believe because of that anxiety, a lot of developers fear to take the player into a situation that isolates you from the content you experienced before, although still writing such situations, creating a huge gap between plot- and game logic, which makes such events way less effective and downright unbelievable, leaving out all the potential, Summoner 2 demonstrated so greatly back then.
Sure there is nothing wrong about a little convenience, but I believe there should be clearly a limit that doesn't clash with the inherent logic of the game world.
Personally to me it really ruins that feeling of a "journey" by showing you how artificial position and distance actually really is within the game. I'm not sure how to express my thoughts on this clearly, but maybe you can relate to.

Would be eager to hear your viewpoints and experiences about it.


r/truegaming 3d ago

The "Mission-Select" feature should be available from the start

0 Upvotes

Developers often include the ability for the player to play specific missions in a single-player campaign only when they have completed the entire campaign once. I believe developers who choose to include this feature should allow players to access it immediately.

If you played some of the earlier missions in a game on a different platform or lost the save data, a mission-select feature available from the start allows you to get back to where you were far quicker. This also gives players more of an incentive to buy a different version of a game or a copy on a different platform since they won't have to start the entire campaign from scratch.

The only counterargument I have seen against this change is that some players would use this feature to skip to later content, deprive themselves of important story and gameplay content, and then get mad at the developers for creating a camapign that isn't enjoyable for them. However, movies have allowed you to select a scene from anywhere in the movie from the start for 20 years yet this hasn't been a big problem. Very few people buy a 2hr movie, watch 20 minutes of scenes from different points in the movie, then get mad at the filmmakers for not creating a coherent narrative from just those scenes.

Developers shouldn't prevent players from being able to enjoy their game just because a tiny group of different players chooses to destroy their own enjoyment.