How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to single

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Alex Vanstrom
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How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to single

Postby Alex Vanstrom » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:42 am UTC

I have heard it said that on-line gaming is just about hanging out with your friends. What are the pros and cons of on-line gaming versus single player gaming?

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby the_mean_marine » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:22 am UTC

Probably better in the Gaming forum http://forums.xkcd.com/viewforum.php?f=21
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby existential_elevator » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:25 pm UTC

It's an interesting thing to discuss, though.

When I was younger, I exclusively played single-player games. Being a girl, and an only child, I didn't really have people to multiplayer with, other considerations aside. Other than, of course, a few friends of the family who happened to be male and played the same sorts of games. Nowadays, however, I very rarely play singleplayer games and almost exclusively play online multiplayer.

Pros & Cons

Singleplayer:
Pro
  • You can go through games at your own speed
  • There is usually more in-depth story line and more chance to feel like you're affecting the game world/lore
  • You can still play with friends if you have people willing to take turns and so on.
Con
  • Can be isolating if you don't know anyone else playing the same game

Multiplayer:
Pro
  • Chance to interact with people and make new friends
  • It's less likely you'll get stuck on obstacles, as there will be people who are more skilled able to help you
  • Cool things like collaborative storytelling and creation
Con
  • Sometimes getting people interested in the games you want to play is impossible
  • Not finding a community where you can fit in easily and/or one where you are made unwelcome
  • Lack of variety of games
  • Skimping or missing on story elements, or horribly simplified game mechanics (which has to be done sometimes for practicality)
  • Expense (especially of "keeping up with the Jones's" or subscription-based games)

For me, the thing I miss most about singleplayer is actually when I used to play a lot of adventure and platform games with my stepdad. We'd each take turns, pass the controller when we were stuck, and it was a whole lot of fun. I don't get to do that so much anymore, I found a couple games I could play like that with my ex-, but now everybody is online I kind of miss that. Gaming has always been primarily social. Multiplayer online games tend toward being FPS, RTS or RPG* type things, which aren't really my preferred genre, but what can you do?

*I lie, I love RPGs, but the single-player ones always seem better, yet I never get time for them. Why?

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby casoid » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

I love singleplayer gaming. I love any game with its own intricately crafted world, well-written characters and compelling narrative (pick any two). RPGs, FPSs, real-time and turn-based strategy games, whatever. It's like a good book, it pulls me in and, for a while at least, completely isolates me from the world, with no input from other people who may or may not be profoundly annoying. It's escapism, pure and simple, and features no actual human interaction. Which if I'm honest can be an absolute godsend after a long day.

Also, growing up with the world's worst internet connection until I left home didn't foster any great love of multiplayer stuff. And my job and lifestyle tend to place restrictions on how much of my time I can devote to clicking on a pixellated representation of someone's head.

I would like to get into it more, though. Being a PC gaming elitist who doesn't own a TV (what? Don't judge me), let alone a console, I can't jump straight in with friends and face a bit of an uphill battle to find a niche in the internet gaming world that I like. Anyone got any advice?

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Adacore » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:49 pm UTC

I like both about equally. Singleplayer gaming is like watching a good movie, you get to create/enjoy a fantastic story (assuming the game's any good, and I normally only get games I'm sure are good). You get to lose yourself in the game for hours, wrapped up in whatever fantasy world it allows you to create.

Multiplayer, I would personally split into two categories. There are the casual/splitscreen/party games on consoles, and then there's online gaming.

Playing multiplayer with a single console (or, as with my old setup, with 3 consoles in the same room) is obviously a social thing - you all grab some beers, have a laugh, insult each others playing ability and generally have a good time. The game itself isn't so much the point, and doesn't tend to be terribly competitive. In general the people you play with here are friends already, so you're socialising, but not making new friends.

Online multiplayer gaming is all about the social teamwork and cooperation aspect for me, and is nearly always competitive. The only games I've played seriously online are FPS games, at a fairly high (clanned) level, and the level of enjoyment and satisfaction you get from working with your team to beat opponents who are, or were, better than you is immense - far more than I'd ever get from a singleplayer or social multiplayer game. In online gaming, you're playing with people you've never met before and making new friends. This is pretty awesome - I have friends from across Europe because of my time playing/adminning clan games.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Beardhammer » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:29 am UTC

I prefer online gaming to single-player, if only because online games typically result in more hours of fun for your money than single-player games (single-player games with a good story generally aren't as good on subsequent playthroughs, and I'd rather have a multiplayer sandbox game than a single-player one.)

I'm also incredibly competitive, and for the most part you don't get that from single-player games.

I appreciate both kinds of games, but if I only had $50 to spend on a game, I'd be a lot more likely to pick up UT2012 (assuming it's not a fucking disgrace like UT3 was) over Zelda #178282.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Adacore » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:24 am UTC

Beardhammer makes a very good point. The amount of time I've spend having fun with games is almost directly inversely correlated to how much I paid for the game in the first place, and certainly in the past (before subscription based gaming), online games (or, indeed, most offline multiplayer games) were massively better value for money than singleplayer games if you played them remotely often.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Beardhammer » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:00 am UTC

Even subscription-based games offer a good time-versus-investment ratio. Look at WoW. Even at $15/month, it's a better deal than if you played single-player games exclusively.

Barring crazy Steam sales on old single-player titles (you never seen AAA-developer titles for $5 unless they've been out for a long time), it's hard to beat that $15/month cost. How many games would you need to buy to have 40 hours a month of fun? Even lengthy RPGs these days generally only last 10 hours tops (and any that last longer tend to get boring - looking at you, Dragon Age.) It'll probably cost you $15-$20 for one game, and that's if it's on sale. Wanna play Mass Effect 7 where Shephard fucks a [b]GREEN[/i] alien chick? Fork over $60.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby EmptySet » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:49 am UTC

Beardhammer wrote:Barring crazy Steam sales on old single-player titles (you never seen AAA-developer titles for $5 unless they've been out for a long time), it's hard to beat that $15/month cost. How many games would you need to buy to have 40 hours a month of fun? Even lengthy RPGs these days generally only last 10 hours tops (and any that last longer tend to get boring - looking at you, Dragon Age.)


10 hours tops? Seriously? I'm curious as to what manner of "lengthy" RPG you're buying and how you're playing them, if you're done with them in that kind of time. The only retail RPG I can recall actually completing in that time is Fable. Admittedly I've dropped a couple before that due to them sucking.

I also think it's worth keeping in mind that "hours spent playing" isn't always the best measure of value. Different games cater to different needs, and not every hour played necessarily provides the same enjoyment. I'd rather have a book that takes five hours to read and changes my perspective than Medal of Duty 4: Modern Ops, even though I'd probably play the latter for more than five hours.
Last edited by EmptySet on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:00 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby WarDaft » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:57 am UTC

It's important, but I'm considerably more stingy about multiplayer only games. In this context, I consider something like WoW not multiplayer only but rather online only, because you can play quite happily for ages without interacting with another soul.

Actually, technically speaking, a game can be online only without having any multiplayer at all, but that would be kinda silly now wouldn't it? *cough*
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Beardhammer » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:18 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:
Beardhammer wrote:Barring crazy Steam sales on old single-player titles (you never seen AAA-developer titles for $5 unless they've been out for a long time), it's hard to beat that $15/month cost. How many games would you need to buy to have 40 hours a month of fun? Even lengthy RPGs these days generally only last 10 hours tops (and any that last longer tend to get boring - looking at you, Dragon Age.)


10 hours tops? Seriously? I'm curious as to what manner of "lengthy" RPG you're buying and how you're playing them, if you're done with them in that kind of time. The only retail RPG I can recall actually completing in that time is Fable. Admittedly I've dropped a couple before that due to them sucking.


You can beat Baldur's Gate II, Planescape: Torment, Knights of the Old Republic, all of the Fallout games, and both Morrowind and Oblivion in under ten hours, easy. If you're playing for story, you've seen all that needs to be seen, and so are done with the game. If you spend time exploring every nook and cranny in Fallout 3 you could probably top 40 hours... but, honestly, it gets really, really fucking boring exploring the same dilapidated buildings and metro tunnels over and over. Hell, even the Dunwich building (which I adored for the Lovecraft references) wasn't anything special and it was the most unique of the "side dungeons."

A better example are story-driven non-RPGs, such as BioShock, the Half-Life games, both Portals (I don't know if they were designed as story-driven but I think most people will agree they have a good, funny story), and so on. Very few of games of that type will give you more than 10 hours on a single play-through (most can be completed in under six), and while they might be good for another go later on (I've played all of the Half-Life games at least three times apiece and BioShock twice), I don't necessarily consider that to be "new, fresh gameplay."

Then again, you could probably argue the same for games like WoW after you've leveled one of every class to the maximum level and seen the majority of raiding/dungeon content. But somehow I think that'd take longer than 10 hours ;)

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby WarDaft » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:05 pm UTC

A lot longer. You'd be hard pressed to go 80 to 85 once in under 10 hours, and that's assuming you've arranged for the other 79 levels via RAF.

A number of single player RPGs have lasted me longer than 10 hours on the first playthrough, without going into all the nooks and crannies. Shatter kept me entertained for 35 hours, though the 'campaign' is doable in something like 1. Your first run through to Patriarch/Matriarh in Diablo 2 is not going to take less than 10 hours in SP, and if you practice for it, then you're definitely going over 10 hours. My first play through NWN was quite long, but I wouldn't say I was much of a gamer when I first played it.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby psion » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:32 pm UTC

Beardhammer wrote:If you spend time exploring every nook and cranny in Fallout 3 you could probably top 40 hours... but, honestly, it gets really, really fucking boring exploring the same dilapidated buildings and metro tunnels over and over.

...Like WoW?

:|

Sorry.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby WarDaft » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:44 pm UTC

Well, WoW has more variability in your first 40 hours. You certainly can't hit 85 in 40 your first time around, and it's really not that repetitive before 85 these days. Actually, given how many paths to 60 there are now, you can do quite a lot of leveling without repeating anything. Of course what you're doing (i.e. killing stuff) isn't as varied, but the scenery is if nothing else.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

WarDaft wrote:Well, WoW has more variability in your first 40 hours. You certainly can't hit 85 in 40 your first time around, and it's really not that repetitive before 85 these days. Actually, given how many paths to 60 there are now, you can do quite a lot of leveling without repeating anything. Of course what you're doing (i.e. killing stuff) isn't as varied, but the scenery is if nothing else.


But why would I want to do 40 hours of levelling? Or 100 hours of levelling? For RPGs, forcing the player to spend time levelling is a design flaw, not a feature, as far as I'm concerned. If I want to finish the game at level 1, I should damn well be allowed to try.

Beardhammer wrote:You can beat Baldur's Gate II, Planescape: Torment, Knights of the Old Republic, all of the Fallout games, and both Morrowind and Oblivion in under ten hours, easy. If you're playing for story, you've seen all that needs to be seen, and so are done with the game.


Well, sure, if you're skipping 90% of the content, I suppose that you can beat a lot of games very quickly.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:52 pm UTC

Before anyone says a goddamn word, the two statements LaserGuy said are not mutually exclusive.

A lot of the crap in WoW is just grinding for grinding's sake, even the quests. Get me 10 bear asses is not a quest. Take this artifact to a particular place, ring a gong and then kill the horrible monster? That's a quest. How many quests are like that in WoW versus the Bear Ass quests? How many RPGs - JRPGs and those styled like them (though they've gotten a lot better about it) require that between dungeons, you have to just dick around fighting monsters not even to build up cash - but to build up your level so you can face the dangers in the next dungeon?

Grinding is dumb. That's what his first statement says.

His second statement is just that - in Morrowind if you want to skip the parts where you discover who you really are (or might be. Or just happen to be at the right place at the right time and can fake it, and does it really matter in the long run?) and skip the parts where you join a house and skip the parts where you do the fighter, thief and assassin guild quests and skip the optional parts where you gather artifacts and so on... yeah, you can beat the game in less than two hours.

Or Planescape:Torment. Or as I like to call it - Planescape:Torment:The Book. Don't get me wrong, I goddamn love that game, but if you just blitz through it you... basically missed the point. It's a Western version of the JRPG - it's there to tell a very specific story about a very specific hero. And to get the full effect, you really need to explore and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. And all that talking simply can't be done in two hours. Sure, you can get to the "You're a Winrar!" screen in two hours if you wanted, but... you miss the whole point of the game.

Compare that to Final Fantasy I. Which is pretty much the last Final Fantasy game I beat, since I never went past Disc 1 of 7 because I couldn't goddamn take it anymore. Anyway, FFI - you can't beat that game in two hours. Most of the game you spend roaming around the countryside looking for shit so you can kick it's ass so you can get your level up so you can go into the dungeon (arguably the point of the game) and kick it's ass and so on. Most of the game you aren't progressing - you aren't learning new things about yourself and/or the world. You aren't even collecting Bear Asses. You're just kicking shit in the teeth to kick shit in the teeth. Yeah, I know I know.. I can't really compare a twenty-something year old game to the modern ones, sure. Especially since they're moving away from that (see : The 10 Hour RPG) but goddamn is grinding dumb.

Anyway, LaserGuy's comments aren't a contradiction. I'm saying that now just to head off someone else trying to say they are.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Decker » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:00 pm UTC

Cataclysm had some interesting quests in the month or so I played it. Still a lot of bear asses quests though.

On another note, "Bear Asses" is my new generic quest object term.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Beardhammer » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:59 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Grinding is dumb. That's what his first statement says.


To an extent, yes. But the "grinding" in WoW doesn't even really feel like grinding. "Collect 10 paperclips" isn't really a very grindy quest. "Collect 200 paperclips" where each paperclip is acquired individually is, and those quests suck.

But, shit, they have those quests in damned near every RPG. Even Fallout 3 had them - collect Nuka-Cola for the crazy lady to get the blueprints for the Nuka-Grenade. Collect Scrap Metal for the dude that needs to fix the water pumping station thing. Collect blood packs (why haven't they spoiled?) for the pretend vampires. You get the idea. Quests like those are just a part of the RPG landscape these days, and I think they're a lot more fun and less tedious than the kind of monster/gold grinding you had to do in old titles like Final Fantasy (the first one) and Dragon Warrior (also the first one.) Sweet, kill eighteen more Ghosts and I can upgrade my stick to a copper sword so I can go grind 56 Magicians so I can upgrade my clothes to leather armor so I can... it goes on and on, and that's basically the entire game in a nutshell.

Hell, you could even consider questing to be grinding after a fashion - you do quests to gain XP so you can level up, after which you do more quests in a new area to gain XP to level up, after which...

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Adacore » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:55 am UTC

I've not played WoW, so maybe I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that boar asses* quests are your primary/sole quest until you complete them. Whereas in games like Fallout 3, you'll normally just pick up that scrap metal or nuka-cola if you come across it while doing another, more interesting quest. Having said that, I don't think boar ass quests are all bad - there were some pretty fun hunting quests in Red Dead Redemption, for example, although even there there were probably a few too many. I don't think it's a fundamental objection to the quest format, per se, more to the frequency with which that format is encountered. In Neverwinter Nights, say, you might have to collect ten of some animal's entrails, but it will normally be for a specific plot-purpose, and you'll only do it once. In most MMORPGs, you tend to do the same (or very similar) quests multiple times.

* What I read it as originally; I prefer boars' backsides to bears' behinds, personally.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:50 am UTC

Adacore wrote:I've not played WoW, so maybe I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that boar asses* quests are your primary/sole quest until you complete them.
No, you can follow multiple quests at a time, and you can chose to not pick up quests, or drop them. If you're smart, you pick up all the quests for a given area, so that when NPC1 is asking you to kill 10 of each slightly different textured beast, and NPC2 is asking you to collect the toenails of beast#4 you can do both at the same time. When you're bored of the area, drop any excess quests with no interesting story value and carry on.

I see the appeal of both in-depth story RPGs and grind/slashfest RPGs. It's awesome to get sucked into something and really care about the quest, particularly in games where your character is allowed some kind of personality and isn't just a collection of numbers saying "yes, uh-huh, carry on, please do tell" to quest givers. However, sometimes it's nice to turn off and kill things that move, and then occasionally feel good about having earned more numbers to spend on your numbers. The latter adapts more easily to online play, but if you're inventive, you bring your own RP'ing.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby SirBryghtside » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:39 am UTC

I really don't care. If it's got a good multiplayer section, I'll like it. If it's got a good single player section, I'll like it. If both are good, I'll like it.

I tend to rate games on quality rather than quantity (unless it's really, really short [bad], or really, really long [good]).
Beardhammer wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:Grinding is dumb. That's what his first statement says.


To an extent, yes. But the "grinding" in WoW doesn't even really feel like grinding. "Collect 10 paperclips" isn't really a very grindy quest. "Collect 200 paperclips" where each paperclip is acquired individually is, and those quests suck.

But, shit, they have those quests in damned near every RPG. Even Fallout 3 had them - collect Nuka-Cola for the crazy lady to get the blueprints for the Nuka-Grenade. Collect Scrap Metal for the dude that needs to fix the water pumping station thing. Collect blood packs (why haven't they spoiled?) for the pretend vampires. You get the idea. Quests like those are just a part of the RPG landscape these days, and I think they're a lot more fun and less tedious than the kind of monster/gold grinding you had to do in old titles like Final Fantasy (the first one) and Dragon Warrior (also the first one.) Sweet, kill eighteen more Ghosts and I can upgrade my stick to a copper sword so I can go grind 56 Magicians so I can upgrade my clothes to leather armor so I can... it goes on and on, and that's basically the entire game in a nutshell.

Hell, you could even consider questing to be grinding after a fashion - you do quests to gain XP so you can level up, after which you do more quests in a new area to gain XP to level up, after which...

I'd argue that the nature of Bethesda games means that you don't think about doing those things, you just complete them on the side. I've never in Oblivion gone 'right, I need to find 10 pieces of Nirnroot now!' or in Fallout 3 thought 'I'm going to fast-travel to every vendor on the map to get these blueprint parts!'

However, in Morrowind, it did feel like a bit of a chore when you were asked to collect 10 Marshmerrow for an Imperial Cult quest, because they were readily available all over the place - unlike the relatively randomly placed/rare Nirnroot/blueprint pieces, which were impossible to 'grind'.

So really, the difference between grinding and not grinding is whether or not the player can do it. If they can easily grind to level up, and the game encourages this, then it's grinding. If they can't or the game doesn't encourage it, then it isn't.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby felltir » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:41 am UTC

I'd just like to say the shortened title of this thread is wonderful.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:52 am UTC

Beardhammer wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:Grinding is dumb. That's what his first statement says.


To an extent, yes. But the "grinding" in WoW doesn't even really feel like grinding. "Collect 10 paperclips" isn't really a very grindy quest. "Collect 200 paperclips" where each paperclip is acquired individually is, and those quests suck.


i recently did a series of quests in Borderlands' Zombie DLC where you have to collect 10, then 25, then 50, then 100, then 250 zombie brains (so a total of 435 spread across 5 quests) which you have to collect individually, and you could only get them by killing zombies with a headshot. and to be honest, i didn't really care because headshoiting zombies is fun, but it was damn grindy :D

on the whole i prefer single player gaming, but i think that's because i like games with stories, i'm not too fussy about money (and single player games often get cheap quickly after realease anyway) also i went from 2006 to 2009 without internet at home so i grew accustomened to SP gaming, and i generally don't like playing against other people because they are often way too good, and in my experience when i play co-op gaming, i am often paired with people who are totally shit, or don't take the game seriously.
also online gaming on PS3 is notoriously bad, and to top it off, i have wireless internet which at my distance from the communal hub is only approx 40% signal strength, so it's not that reliable.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:21 pm UTC

I will basically only play multiplayer games from this point on. Multiplayer games are the only ones that provide a real challenge. Yes you can turn up the difficulty in single player games, but then the computer is basically just cheating at that point. And computer AI is always lacking, you can eventually find a way to 'trick' the computer into doing dumb things. (Example in Fallout 3 I was trying to kill some giant Ogre dude with a massive hammer... so I just laid down a lot of mines and lured him through them).

As a person who was introduced into the harsh world of full kill/full loot MUDS, that is the only thing that gets my adrenaline up anymore. On fallout 3 if you die... you just reload and you lost NOTHING but a little time. Or even if there is no loss (in terms of exp or eq) you can still be totally exposed for weak as game skills in FP Shooters. When you go 5-60 in COD you know and everyone knows your shit is weak. When you consistantly end up leading the pack, people know the force is strong with this one.

Its like Starcraft 2 -- there is no hiding your skill level where as even the worst gamer can beat a single player game on even the hard difficulties.

I suppose I like the recognition of a job well done, and the computer doesn't give a fuck if you beat it. (or feel bad about it)
But I LOVE it when after a multiplayer game some guy starts spamming you about hacking and then rage quits... that dude KNOWS you were the better gamer.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Goldstein » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:02 pm UTC

SirBryghtside wrote:I'd argue that the nature of Bethesda games means that you don't think about doing those things, you just complete them on the side. I've never in Oblivion gone 'right, I need to find 10 pieces of Nirnroot now!' or in Fallout 3 thought 'I'm going to fast-travel to every vendor on the map to get these blueprint parts!'

However, in Morrowind, it did feel like a bit of a chore when you were asked to collect 10 Marshmerrow for an Imperial Cult quest, because they were readily available all over the place - unlike the relatively randomly placed/rare Nirnroot/blueprint pieces, which were impossible to 'grind'.

I was going to mention Nirnroot as I was reading this thread, as it's hugely different to have to find a number of fixed things than it is to have to recover body parts from monsters that are everywhere. I don't enjoy the quests for bare asses*, but there was a sense of achievement to finding Nirnroot and it didn't feel like work.

The games I enjoy playing multiplayer are the 'pick up and play' sort that don't require long-term investments. 'RPG elements' means 'character-progression based' and there's a huge rift between character progression in a single-player game and in an MMO. There basically aren't any imposed limits in single-player and your character can grow powerful and have the world be shaped around them. Multiplayer requires a compromise between letting you feel accomplished and letting everyone else feel the same thing, and it really hurts the game's freedom to express the power of the high-level characters. I've never played WoW, but I expect that nobody - not even the NPCs - gives a shit that you're level 85, and the game mechanics surely don't. True, a lot of single-player games don't care either, but they're able to because your character's power doesn't tread on the toes of anyone else who matters.

I remember reading a guide for Fallout 2 that mentioned "walking around in this area is a good way to level up" and the very idea of it really threw me. I've played through Fallout 2 a few times and with a variety of weird builds, and it's definitely a game with strong character-progression elements, but grinding just never crossed my mind. I don't know whether that's because the storyline and quests are actually fun, or because your character's level isn't a strong factor in their success, but the end result is a sort of gameplay that I so rarely see in multiplayer games and it's ironic that the 'in-game' aspects of MMOs feel less social than the single player games.

Ixtellor wrote:But I LOVE it when after a multiplayer game some guy starts spamming you about hacking and then rage quits... that dude KNOWS you were the better gamer.

Great. You have bested the worst sort of person. I don't think people care any more than machines do after five minutes.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Jack21222 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:08 pm UTC

Beardhammer wrote:
EmptySet wrote:
Beardhammer wrote:Barring crazy Steam sales on old single-player titles (you never seen AAA-developer titles for $5 unless they've been out for a long time), it's hard to beat that $15/month cost. How many games would you need to buy to have 40 hours a month of fun? Even lengthy RPGs these days generally only last 10 hours tops (and any that last longer tend to get boring - looking at you, Dragon Age.)


10 hours tops? Seriously? I'm curious as to what manner of "lengthy" RPG you're buying and how you're playing them, if you're done with them in that kind of time. The only retail RPG I can recall actually completing in that time is Fable. Admittedly I've dropped a couple before that due to them sucking.


You can beat Baldur's Gate II, Planescape: Torment, Knights of the Old Republic, all of the Fallout games, and both Morrowind and Oblivion in under ten hours, easy. If you're playing for story, you've seen all that needs to be seen, and so are done with the game. If you spend time exploring every nook and cranny in Fallout 3 you could probably top 40 hours... but, honestly, it gets really, really fucking boring exploring the same dilapidated buildings and metro tunnels over and over. Hell, even the Dunwich building (which I adored for the Lovecraft references) wasn't anything special and it was the most unique of the "side dungeons."

A better example are story-driven non-RPGs, such as BioShock, the Half-Life games, both Portals (I don't know if they were designed as story-driven but I think most people will agree they have a good, funny story), and so on. Very few of games of that type will give you more than 10 hours on a single play-through (most can be completed in under six), and while they might be good for another go later on (I've played all of the Half-Life games at least three times apiece and BioShock twice), I don't necessarily consider that to be "new, fresh gameplay."

Then again, you could probably argue the same for games like WoW after you've leveled one of every class to the maximum level and seen the majority of raiding/dungeon content. But somehow I think that'd take longer than 10 hours ;)


The only RPG that took me remotely close to only 10 hours was Mass Effect 1. I beat that in 17 hours. Mass effect 2 took closer to 30. SW:KOTOR took me 34 hours. Fallout: NV took me close to 40, but it has a fair bit of replay value. I've logged 70 hours in that game. I've also logged in 70 hours in Dragon Age, but I think only 40 of those was for the original playthrough. I didn't come close to finishing Morrowind, but I have 18 hours in that. For a lesser-known RPG, I played Risen for 28 hours and got fairly close to the end, but the game got tedious. I didn't get Planescape: Torment through steam, so I can't tell you how long I spent in that game, but I reckon it's over 20 hours.

The only game I completed in under 10 hours in my steam library is Indigo Prophecy, which lasted 7 hours, and that isn't really an RPG. It's some kind of "interactive movie experience" or some crap. Since I only spent 5 dollars on it or so, I still feel it was a good deal.

In short, I think the problem is not with the games, but with YOU. You're the idiot that's doing speed runs, and then claiming that the game is too short. That's kinda like murdering your parents, and then asking for leniency because you're an orphan.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:In short, I think the problem is not with the games, but with YOU. You're the idiot that's doing speed runs, and then claiming that the game is too short. That's kinda like murdering your parents, and then asking for leniency because you're an orphan.


lol,

persoanlly i couldn't care less ab out game longevity, since i have very limited gaming time as it is, i'd rather play and enjoy a game, and then move onto something else.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Decker » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:26 pm UTC

On the note of replayability, I'm re-discovering the joy of Just Cause 2.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

For every hour of online gaming I play, I probably play 10-20 of single player. It's not really important to me at all.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:32 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:As a person who was introduced into the harsh world of full kill/full loot MUDS, that is the only thing that gets my adrenaline up anymore. On fallout 3 if you die... you just reload and you lost NOTHING but a little time. Or even if there is no loss (in terms of exp or eq) you can still be totally exposed for weak as game skills in FP Shooters. When you go 5-60 in COD you know and everyone knows your shit is weak. When you consistantly end up leading the pack, people know the force is strong with this one.


If you've never tried one, I expect that you will probably enjoy Rogue-like RPGs.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Obby » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

I tend to think of them as two separate experiences. There are some online games I can dump (and have dumped) hundreds of hours in to, like Battlefield 2, Diablo 2, Team Fortress 2, etc. Then there are single player games I can play almost as much, like the Dragon Age series, Mass Effect series, KOTOR, Half Life series, etc. Then there are online games that I only play for a little bit, like Starcraft 2 or the Left 4 Dead series. Then there are single player games I only play for a little bit, like The Force Unleashed, Supreme Commander (I don't play multiplayer at all with this), Warcraft III (same).

It really depends on the game for me. Some single players games are fun, but are tedious if played for too long (most RTS games), similar to some online games. Whether the game is online or single player has no bearing on whether or not I stick with it. I love the Mass Effect series because I love the setting and the story and the characters. I love TF2 and BF:BC2 because they're competitive, complex, and engaging (and in TF2's case, hilariously quirky).

WoW seems to be a special case for me, though. I've played it off and on ever since it released, and I never stayed away for more than 6 months or so at a time. I've probably got well over 4 thousand hours into the game. And I know that with every passing expansion, patch, month, etc., nothing really changes. The quests largely stay the same, even if they put a different texture on them. The mobs all do the same things they've always done. The classes are still the same as they always were, just with some different skills. They've done a fantastic job of creating this illusion of depth, with talent trees and raid boss strategies and arenas and gear and all that. But, at the end of the day, it's one giant fucking grind. Kill raid boss X for the Nth time and receive Y piece of gear that improves stats A, B and C so you can kill raid boss Z and get some slightly better gear etc etc etc. Defeat arena team PantsOnHead to get a higher rating to buy a new piece of gear that improves stats so you can kill a stronger arena team so you can get a higher rating etc etc etc. Grind bear asses on 12 different characters to reach the next level, to move on to a new area to grind lynx ears to reach the next level etc etc etc.

And just for good measure: etc etc etc etc etc. I think I needed a few more.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby WarDaft » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:21 pm UTC

Eh, if you're playing WoW to get gear, you're really doing it wrong. Back a while ago, when it was expansions that reset gear levels, that was one thing. Now? Every patch resets gear. Get all the best gear in the game this patch, and the next content patch will render it obsolete and with far easier to obtain items.

Actually, you know what it is? It's like gambling. If you gamble for the payouts, you're an idiot; if you gamble because you enjoy the experience, great, just keep in mind exactly what it's costing you.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Adacore » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

WarDaft wrote:If you gamble for the payouts, you're an idiot;

I know a few professional poker players who would disagree. :wink:

But yeah - your point stands, MMOs aren't about getting the best 'stuff', they're about having fun and socialising in a cool, structured framework of a fantasy world, and (perhaps, if you want) finding a good clan/group and winning competitive matches/tournaments.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby WarDaft » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:18 am UTC

Poker (unless you play it against the casino - see: you're an idiot) is zero sum amongst the players. Statistically, you will break even. The variance is solely a matter of personal skill, which really makes it very much unlike gambling in general - where if skill comes into it, it's almost always you wagering on someone else's skill.

All things considered, the more I think about it, the more I like that analogy.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby andrewxc » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:33 am UTC

Adacore wrote:
WarDaft wrote:If you gamble for the payouts, you're an idiot;

I know a few professional poker players who would disagree. :wink:

As WarDaft states, you are playing against other players and your odds are much higher for winning anything. If you play against a system (which has been finely calibrated to ensure payouts happen very rarely) to win payouts, you are an idiot. The same goes for MMOs, too.
In EVE, you are able to earn all sorts of random drops, due to the fact that you can fit nearly any ship with nearly any module (size & power measurements come into play, of course), and yes, the expensive modules are part of boss fights or fleet fights between you and dozens of enemy ships, but I still find it fun.
If you want a multiplayer experience with lots of player interaction, try "Face of Mankind". You will die. A lot. Even though the graphics aren't great, the gameplay is fun and you have faction goals to meet which are selected by your superior officers, in addition to random "personal objectives" to meet, which usually are either "find 10 bear asses" or "Hold this position for 10 mins" (usually located in a hostile environment, so you sometimes get partial credit) types of quests. FoM is pretty good for being free.

As for single-player, if you're doing only story missions for Fallout or Elder Scrolls, honestly, you're doing it wrong. You should get lost for a while in the cities or in the countryside. Yes, there's a massive feeling of "get this done quickly" in the main storyline, since there is impending doom confronting you in Oblivion, but there is so much more to the game than the main story.
I've spent over 240 hours in Oblivion, and only about 10-20 were for the main story. I treated it with about as much attention as I did any one of the single factions' storylines. I have found so many items and random locations that eventually become stories, it's great!
I also don't have anything on my map in the North-West corner of the map of Cyrodiil (between Chorrol & Anvil), so I'll need to look up there during my next adventure.
For Nirnroot, I had found a bunch to satisfy the quests until recently, when I needed 30 more. I didn't have them all, so I decided to make a lap around Lake Rumare and find them all. I did the inside track, which took a half hour, and the outside track, which took about 2-3 hours. I discovered 1 new quest (I had covered this area pretty well), 20 new locations, and somewhere around 96 Nirnroot. I think I have harvested more than Sinderion can ever use...
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Goldstein » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

Goldstein wrote:'RPG elements' means 'character-progression based'

I meant this as a derogatory statement about games that advertise themselves as having RPG elements, and not as what I consider an RPG to be. My point was that "MMORPG" is just a massively multiplayer version of choosing what your character becomes and because everyone's doing it, the choices are more restrained than they would be in a similar, single-player game.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Adacore » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:23 am UTC

I'm just going to pretend that whole discussion never happened and agree with Felltir that I much prefer sin to any type of gaming. :D

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby maxmillean » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:22 am UTC

Currently the only thing I play online is MMOs, but that will probably change once my brother gets back from military training. I never really cared for playing games like Call of Duty, or Battlefield online due to many people either taking the game way to seriously or just being a complete idiot. When I play a game with other people I want to have fun and enjoy the game which is why I stick to co-op games if I'm going to be doing any type of multiplayer (online or couch). If a game doesn't have co-op, or at least bots in multiplayer then I'm more then likely not going to play it online.
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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby Adacore » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:45 am UTC

Bad co-op play annoys me far more than bad versus or free-for-all play online. I don't mind people being complete morons if they're not on my team, but if I have a teammate who's a medic but is refusing to revive people, or a teammate who wanders off on their own and gets destroyed by the enemy team, or a teammate who refuses to do the objective but just tries to get the best kill/death ratio they can, that really pisses me off.

I actually agree, though, that I don't enjoy playing non-co-op games online. The teamplay and interaction is what makes online games worth playing, to me.

As an interesting segue inspired by the addiction debate currently raging in N&A, I've always avoided MMORPGs like the plague, because I know that if I started playing them I'd get addicted and never be able to pull myself away.

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Re: How important is on-line gaming to you as opposed to sin

Postby maxmillean » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:58 am UTC

Ok, you got me on that one. It is true that if you are playing with a moron then that just ruins the game, which is why I mostly play them with my brother/people I know won't mess the game too badly (like the guy who kept on killing me in Left 4 Dead). I know I said that I didn't care for playing Battlefield, but I did actually play it (BF2) quite a bit back when my brother and I would team up. There were times when we could get into a good grove w/ him being a sniper and me a support class. But after his computer sorta shit the bed then I stopped playing it.

On the MMO addiction topic, I've been playing them for a while now (starting with the first Diablo, which might not count) and I don't consider myself addicted to them. I'm never rushing to sign on when I get home or when I'm bored.
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