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Why do Game Developers think they know what the players want? What games failed you?

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Redeemed In Fire

Senior Member

02-09-2013

Quote:
ItemsGuy:


What about League is so "droppable" to you? Would you second-guess this notion if, say, LoL came out with a sequel that blew every MOBA past, present, and future out of the water?

In other words--what would it take for you to decide to stay for good?

Fix the fact that games will be sucky and there's nothing I can do about it. That's it.


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Qeynos

Member

02-09-2013

Quote:

What about League is so "droppable" to you? Would you second-guess this notion if, say, LoL came out with a sequel that blew every MOBA past, present, and future out of the water?

In other words--what would it take for you to decide to stay for good?


As long as Riot allows the Trolls to ruin this game, it will be "droppable". Riot needs to be a lot more aggresive with the match matching and the troll watch. Just do a simple SQL query of your name database for the word ass, a@@, ****, ****er, or whatever other random curse word 13 years think is cute.

That would be a start.


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BunniesFromHell

Member

02-09-2013

Quote:
Arixa:
I've pretty much felt that fighting games are doomed to niche audience because of their competitive scenes. The hardcore fans that the games are often designed for value things that alienate everyone else. When you value things like 1 frame links as a measure of skill it really cripples the amount of people that can play your game.

Quote:
Morello:
Agreed here, as a former Tekken player


As someone who plays fighting games competitively and an armchair game designer (I have a very critical mind towards games in general), I disagree, and think that the perception is worse than the reality about (most) fighting games. I've been in that scene for the better part of a decade, since I was 13 years old, and never once have I met anyone who actually *likes* one frame links as a part of normal gameplay for any kind of good reason. Now, this might sound funny, because right now, Street Fighter 4 is probably the most popular fighting game around, and it's chock full of one frame links and an arbitrary system quirk (wait, is that... burden of knowledge?!) that eases up a bit on anyone in the know, plus some other stuff along those lines like dominant option selects* that reduce actual gameplay and emphasize manual execution. But bear with me, here! I'm not just extending your statement to and hating on SF4, there's some actual design stuff to talk about with all of that.

That said, I don't actually disagree on the point that they're doomed to niche popularity. However, I think that's mostly because newcomers rarely look at a fighting game and understand... well, *anything* about their actual gameplay! A lot of experienced players make fun of the common perception that SICK COMBOX packed with one frame links, character specific gimmicks, and the ability to use every possible resource to do it is what makes a player good, but after all, combos are the most obvious part of playing a fighting game. One dude hits another dude, and does a cool sequence of moves that hurts the other dude a lot which we can easily tell thanks to the lifebar. But in a well made fighting game, there are interesting decisions being made even during combos, a part of playing the game that might seem automatic, usually pertaining to post-combo positioning, resource management, or baiting out an opponent's action. More importantly, in almost any fighting game there are decisions being made constantly outside of combos in regards to positioning, resource management, closing the gap or widening it, and reading the opponent. But when combos are so obvious, or in some games are such a basic skill (Capcom's Versus series is probably the most well known example of this), many people never get past the all-out attacking "I'M HIT DAT GUY REAL HURD" mentality, and then they get frustrated if they ever stick their toe into the competitive scene's waters, something I'm sure online play has caused more people than ever to experience in recent years.

Truthfully, the part of me who's already learned so much of this says, "I'm very willing to help you learn it too, but it's your fault if you don't want to, so don't complain about it." But really that's just me asking for more deep games that *lack* arbitrary BS like necessary one frame links and option selects that put off new players who have heard about this stuff, and that do a better job of letting players appreciate the actual cool stuff about fighting games. If a one frame link is even in the game, it had better be a non-essential combo element in which case it can be there as a flashy possibility that no one actually gains anything meaningful from using, or at the very least come alongside additional system mechanics that make it a non-issue in terms of execution, like how in Blazblue, holding down a button during another action will automatically do it ASAP if "ASAP" is within 5 frames of when you started holding the button (it might be prudent to note that Blazblue has flaws as well, but this in particular is a great element of its basic system, whatever you may think about the game). The tutorial in Skullgirls does a very good job of teaching the basic mechanics and strategy of fighting games, and I applaud all those involved. It's an amazing tool and I recommend it to anyone who'll pursue it, but the unfortunate irony is that specifically in terms of learning a giant combo being more important than any of the broad lessons its tutorial teaches, release Skullgirls may be the worst offender in recent memory.

But another problem that's facing fighting games in North America especially is brand recognition. Basically everyone plays or has played SF4 or MvC3, but extremely few other games have even close to the same numbers. In the interest of full disclosure (of something you might have inferred by now), I don't personally like SF4 or MvC3, even after trying really hard to like them, and they would have been my answer to the thread's original topic in the first place. That said, I've never told anyone to *stop* playing those games. That's pointless and just serves to make people angry. I have, however, done a lot of suggesting that people playing those games also try other games on the side, but very rarely does anyone actually try another very different game. In fact, they're much more likely to look down on other games. SF4 and MvC3, despite their casual appeal through brand recognition, have a ton of counterproductive design elements as I've mentioned throughout this post. but if other fighting games were more visible, people would see that in some other games, little to nothing is arbitrarily difficult, and after only a little practice, you can start focusing on the aspects that really make fighting games. It's not like we can't enjoy games with long and/or arbitrarily hard combos for what they are, but I feel it's a problem when they're the most visible, as they currently are.

TL;DR - I feel the perception of this is worse than the reality of it, that few knowledgeable competitive players consider one frame links, combos, etc. to be a measure of skill, and that on top of that, a small few games which are more well known are more or less partially to blame for the common misconceptions regarding the elements that are considered the basic skills, or the elements which best demonstrate skill in competitive fighting games.

*For those who don't know, "option select" basically means a sequence of inputs which has a favorable result in multiple opponent action cases. A well known example that's in SF4 and in fact many other games is using an early shoryuken motion during a jump-in attack. This stops an opponent's shoryuken in the case that your jump-in attack didn't make contact because they were invincible during the jump kick, but timed properly, won't do the shoryuken if the attack did make contact. If it's still confusing... well, like I said, these aren't really valued elements of gameplay.


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ThoseJukesThough

Junior Member

02-09-2013

So I've always loved the Gears of War Franchise but it seems like since Gears 3 came out Epic has been trying to make it more noob friendly. They have put The sawd off in the Retro lancer in they have even added new gametypes like teamdeathmatch to attract the CoD bandwagoners. And now if you look at the new Gears...(GoW Judgement) It looks like Epic has lost their minds. Idk about anybody else but Epic has disappointed one fan for the last time.


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Dig Dux

Senior Member

02-09-2013

Back on topic (sort of)

I think the massive mobility creep is indirectly causing the power creep.

Since positioning is less important for a tank who can fly through the other team to lock down their adc.

Or a champion who can engage and disengage very easily resulting in very low risk play with potentially very high rewards.

Basically I think this massive mobility is underrated by riot which has led to the damage nerfs of several high mobility champions after their release including Rengar, Diana, Kha'zix, Lee Sin, and Eve in order to compensate for the high mobility.

Champions with low mobility and low utility I believe are less used since they cannot escape these high mobility champions or outlast them in time for teammates to arrive.

Champions like Mordekaiser, Heimerdinger, nearly any melee adc, Ashe, Kogmaw, Udyr, and others, are becoming less used because they do not have the the mobility to escape from high mobility champions when engaged on in a team fight or in a 2v1.

Also these champions cannot follow up to chase these high mobility champions.

Unless these low mobility champions have a lead they are unable to capitalize on their advantages.

Nerfs to durability and a desire to make the game "more exciting", I believe favors high mobility champions even more. The inability to focus fire a high mobility champion I think is significant.

tldr : mobility creep is causing power creep due to how powerful mobility is, and is ultimately resulting in the lack of use of older champions in favor for these new, low risk, high mobility champions.


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General Farsight

Senior Member

02-09-2013

Quote:
Arixa:

On Smash:

Removal of wave dashing and reduction of L canceling were great for Smash.

Making every character half as fast, randomly trip, and able to survive even the hardest hitting moves at upwards of 150%? Not so much.

From what I understand though they went into the design with the intent to remove competitive play as an option when they went to Brawl...so I guess that means the design was a success.


This is just my opinion, but I think the creators of Smash Bros never intended for it to be a hardcore competitive game. I think even the competitive scene for melee was an accident, since things like "no items, final destination, fox only" could never be how the developer's intended the game to be played. Forcing randomness into the game might have been their way of getting the game back to its intended audience. Just my thoughts.


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Tegakari

Senior Member

02-09-2013

Quote:
Morello:
It's interesting because you're right - the requirement to finish a game you start creates a lot more behavioral problems as a result. This design is important because it's a double-edged-sword; one thing it does do, and part of the unique appeal of MOBA (prediction: this will not be unique in 5 years) is the investment in success one gets when you can't leave.

I'm primarily an FPS player myself, and join and leave those as I please. I like to win, but the investment I have in trying to win (and the associated joy/sadness) is ramped up a ton in League - mostly because I'm committed to the game session. My actions will have consequences - something I find sorely lacking in modern AAA development.

League of Legends is designed to be fun, but first and foremost, it's designed to be engaging. Tradeoffs do have to occur to make that happen - but the fact that we take on player behavior as a problem for us to deal with gives us a unique freedom to do design like this.



Incorporate a votedodge at champ select. This will help funnel all the trolls and people who refuse to play anything but one role in ranked into one area where they can have fun by themselves.

And before people complain about reinforcing the meta vs giving the community control over their fun, what do you think banning champs does?


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Morello

Lead Designer

02-09-2013

Quote:
BunniesFromHell:
As someone who plays fighting games competitively and an armchair game designer (I have a very critical mind towards games in general), I disagree, and think that the perception is worse than the reality about (most) fighting games. I've been in that scene for the better part of a decade, since I was 13 years old, and never once have I met anyone who actually *likes* one frame links as a part of normal gameplay for any kind of good reason. Now, this might sound funny, because right now, Street Fighter 4 is probably the most popular fighting game around, and it's chock full of one frame links and an arbitrary system quirk (wait, is that... burden of knowledge?!) that eases up a bit on anyone in the know, plus some other stuff along those lines like dominant option selects* that reduce actual gameplay and emphasize manual execution. But bear with me, here! I'm not just extending your statement to and hating on SF4, there's some actual design stuff to talk about with all of that.

That said, I don't actually disagree on the point that they're doomed to niche popularity. However, I think that's mostly because newcomers rarely look at a fighting game and understand... well, *anything* about their actual gameplay! A lot of experienced players make fun of the common perception that SICK COMBOX packed with one frame links, character specific gimmicks, and the ability to use every possible resource to do it is what makes a player good, but after all, combos are the most obvious part of playing a fighting game. One dude hits another dude, and does a cool sequence of moves that hurts the other dude a lot which we can easily tell thanks to the lifebar. But in a well made fighting game, there are interesting decisions being made even during combos, a part of playing the game that might seem automatic, usually pertaining to post-combo positioning, resource management, or baiting out an opponent's action. More importantly, in almost any fighting game there are decisions being made constantly outside of combos in regards to positioning, resource management, closing the gap or widening it, and reading the opponent. But when combos are so obvious, or in some games are such a basic skill (Capcom's Versus series is probably the most well known example of this), many people never get past the all-out attacking "I'M HIT DAT GUY REAL HURD" mentality, and then they get frustrated if they ever stick their toe into the competitive scene's waters, something I'm sure online play has caused more people than ever to experience in recent years.

Truthfully, the part of me who's already learned so much of this says, "I'm very willing to help you learn it too, but it's your fault if you don't want to, so don't complain about it." But really that's just me asking for more deep games that *lack* arbitrary BS like necessary one frame links and option selects that put off new players who have heard about this stuff, and that do a better job of letting players appreciate the actual cool stuff about fighting games. If a one frame link is even in the game, it had better be a non-essential combo element in which case it can be there as a flashy possibility that no one actually gains anything meaningful from using, or at the very least come alongside additional system mechanics that make it a non-issue in terms of execution, like how in Blazblue, holding down a button during another action will automatically do it ASAP if "ASAP" is within 5 frames of when you started holding the button (it might be prudent to note that Blazblue has flaws as well, but this in particular is a great element of its basic system, whatever you may think about the game). The tutorial in Skullgirls does a very good job of teaching the basic mechanics and strategy of fighting games, and I applaud all those involved. It's an amazing tool and I recommend it to anyone who'll pursue it, but the unfortunate irony is that specifically in terms of learning a giant combo being more important than any of the broad lessons its tutorial teaches, release Skullgirls may be the worst offender in recent memory.

But another problem that's facing fighting games in North America especially is brand recognition. Basically everyone plays or has played SF4 or MvC3, but extremely few other games have even close to the same numbers. In the interest of full disclosure (of something you might have inferred by now), I don't personally like SF4 or MvC3, even after trying really hard to like them, and they would have been my answer to the thread's original topic in the first place. That said, I've never told anyone to *stop* playing those games. That's pointless and just serves to make people angry. I have, however, done a lot of suggesting that people playing those games also try other games on the side, but very rarely does anyone actually try another very different game. In fact, they're much more likely to look down on other games. SF4 and MvC3, despite their casual appeal through brand recognition, have a ton of counterproductive design elements as I've mentioned throughout this post. but if other fighting games were more visible, people would see that in some other games, little to nothing is arbitrarily difficult, and after only a little practice, you can start focusing on the aspects that really make fighting games. It's not like we can't enjoy games with long and/or arbitrarily hard combos for what they are, but I feel it's a problem when they're the most visible, as they currently are.

TL;DR - I feel the perception of this is worse than the reality of it, that few knowledgeable competitive players consider one frame links, combos, etc. to be a measure of skill, and that on top of that, a small few games which are more well known are more or less partially to blame for the common misconceptions regarding the elements that are considered the basic skills, or the elements which best demonstrate skill in competitive fighting games.

*For those who don't know, "option select" basically means a sequence of inputs which has a favorable result in multiple opponent action cases. A well known example that's in SF4 and in fact many other games is using an early shoryuken motion during a jump-in attack. This stops an opponent's shoryuken in the case that your jump-in attack didn't make contact because they were invincible during the jump kick, but timed properly, won't do the shoryuken if the attack did make contact. If it's still confusing... well, like I said, these aren't really valued elements of gameplay.


I think that the game design is full of knowledge barriers overall, and I think the community (at least years ago when I played a lot) lords that knowledge over players who are newer or trying to learn.

I think this could be something someone could make a game with cleaner-but-still-deep design, but unless it's evolved considerably in the past several years (a true possibility) I think the community would dismiss it entirely. And I think listening to a competitive community is of utmost importance (our balancing shows that we believe that), but fighting games have taken it way too far. It's a continuing process of exclusion and self-selection.

Part of the reason I stopped fighting games is it's not a community I want to be a part of (and I play MOBA - to put this into perspective!). I hope for its sake that it's cleaned up a lot since then so that it can grow more healthily.


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Specimen128

Senior Member

02-09-2013

Riot failed us. I guess they think investing a couple $ to fix their DAMN RANDOM SERVEWIDE LAG SPIKES is not worth the money


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Arixa

Recruiter

02-09-2013

Quote:
Morello:
I think that the game design is full of knowledge barriers overall, and I think the community (at least years ago when I played a lot) lords that knowledge over players who are newer or trying to learn.

I think this could be something someone could make a game with cleaner-but-still-deep design, but unless it's evolved considerably in the past several years (a true possibility) I think the community would dismiss it entirely. And I think listening to a competitive community is of utmost importance (our balancing shows that we believe that), but fighting games have taken it way too far. It's a continuing process of exclusion and self-selection.

Part of the reason I stopped fighting games is it's not a community I want to be a part of (and I play MOBA - to put this into perspective!). I hope for its sake that it's cleaned up a lot since then so that it can grow more healthily.


It hasn't. Streaming has caused them to be slightly less rude, but other than that its the same scene from a decade ago.