A Skip Button for Boss Fights

maninahat

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A recent Rock Paper Shotgun article [https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/10/02/assassins-creed-origins-tourism-difficulty/] is getting about ten times the usual number of comments because it asks the question, why can't games - all games, that is - give us a skip boss fight button?

In the wake of Ubisoft's decision to include a "Tourist Mode" in their next Assassin's Creed game, the article goes into how games are the only medium to bar progression based on skill, and this can result in stopping people from getting to see most of a game they paid for. Letting someone skip a bit they find particularly difficult so that they can go and enjoy the rest of the game seems like an obvious solution, and not a technically difficult one to implement. That happens to be something I find quite agreeable, but what are your thoughts?

EDIT:

Relevant to some of the responses this idea is getting:
 

DefunctTheory

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It's an interesting solution to the 'skill gate' issue, and probably more elegant and less 'intrusive' than 3 different easy modes. Sounds good to me.
 

Dalisclock

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Maybe not every game should do this, because games that are gameplay heavy to the exclusion of perhaps everything else then skipping boss fights might mean skipping the entire reason you're playing the game. OTOH, games that are more played for story/atmosphere/characters give more justification for either an "easy/casual" mode which trivialize or sometimes allow bypassing more difficult parts so you can see the story.

Back in the old days, I remember when Monkey Island 2 gave you the difficulty selection of "Casual" or "normal" where in causal a lot of the puzzles would be simplified or cut out for people who wanted the humor and the characters but weren't good at puzzles. Keep in mind, this was kind of a bold move considering at the time getting puzzle hints from the internet wasn't a thing and you were expected to otherwise figure out the developers chain of logic, buy a hint guide, or call the hint line(which was a pay per minute deal). Also keep in mind that once you know how to solve the puzzles, the game can be finished in a few hours, because otherwise you're trying to figure out how to turn off a water pump without tools(Turns out a Monkey can be used as a Monkey Wrench).

Let's face it. A lot of games do this already. The Last of Us's easier modes make it much easier to deal with the infected(particularly the clickers) and ammo is easier to find, giving you more wiggle room when you fuck up. Even the Souls games, which are vaunted for their difficulty have summons available, exploits for many bosses and the hardest bosses are often completely optional.

Of course the optimal solution would be to make combat fair to begin with, bosses that aren't cheap, broken or damage sponges, puzzles that can be reasoned through by a normal person, etc. Content you won't want to skip, rather then filler that's a chore to get through and is pretty much there to lengthen the game(100 hours of gameplay doesn't mean much when 90 of those are boring and frustrating as shit).
 

Kerg3927

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It's makes me want to cry for the downfall of society, or somesuch. But I play games for the challenge. I enjoy a good story, too, but I always try to beat games on the highest difficulty setting. I like the sense of accomplishment gained afterward, even though I know it doesn't mean much to anyone but me. And I can't help but have little respect for people who do not like to challenge themselves.

But I guess at the end of the day, it doesn't really affect me that much if the feature is there because I'd never even think about using it. But I'd prefer instead that they just put in cheat codes like in the old days. Or maybe that's what you call this feature, the Cheat option. That way it's clear that the person using it is nothing but a cheater, and maybe they'll feel some shame as they click the option, as they certainly should. Cheaters.
 

meiam

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Why? If you don't want to play the game, just watch a lets play of it...

Games are only superior to other form of storytelling if the gameplay is an integral part of the story, but if the game are made with the express intention that you can skip portion of it, and boss battle are usually the culmination to story sequence, then you'll never truly combine the story and gameplay aspect.

And every art form have some form of skill gate, can't read a book if can't read and when TV/movie were new people actually had to learn how they function (ie the audience isn't part of the story, you just watch it happen). Plus if you just skip part of a book/movie your going to be really confused about what just happen and plenty of them require some other knowledge to fully appreciate (maybe you need to know some history to appreciate the story).
 

CritialGaming

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As someone who actively chooses to play games on the easiest possible difficulty most of the time, I don't like idea of actively saying "fuck this boss, skip". I work very long hours 5 days a week and I tend to play on easy because I don't have a lot of time to play games, and would rather have a fairly decent time of getting through a game smoothly rather than struggling on a boss or enemy section. Besides the majority of difficulty options do little more than play with health bars and that is tedium to me, not challenge.

I feel that the ability to make the challenge simple, like with an easy mode, is fair and that a skip button completely defeats the point. If you can't beat the game, that's a problem, skipping content wont make the experience better. Think about it this way, if you can't beat a section or a boss, and you skip it, you think the game gets easier later on? Most of the time is doesn't, so then you have to skip your way through the rest of the game and at that point you aren't getting the experience you paid for even if you are seeing all the content.

Top that all off with the overall better design of games in general, mean that the ultra hard unbeatable bosses are very rare and far between in gaming these days. Hell a lot of people complain that games have gotten too easy stating that developers are making games easier on purpose so that the player base has a smooth experience through the game and thus making every game "beatable". Instead the challenge comes from trying to get all the achievements which usually require bullshit hard tasks to unlock.

Maybe that's the answer after all. Making games easier, with hidden "hard mode" challenges for those that want them.
 

Marik2

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maninahat said:
A recent Rock Paper Shotgun article [https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/10/02/assassins-creed-origins-tourism-difficulty/] is getting about ten times the usual number of comments because it asks the question, why can't games - all games, that is - give us a skip boss fight button?

In the wake of Ubisoft's decision to include a "Tourist Mode" in their next Assassin's Creed game, the article goes into how games are the only medium to bar progression based on skill, and this can result in stopping people from getting to see most of a game they paid for. Letting someone skip a bit they find particularly difficult so that they can go and enjoy the rest of the game seems like an obvious solution, and not a technically difficult one to implement. That happens to be something I find quite agreeable, but what are your thoughts?
Didn't a writer for Mass Effect say this and got death threats for it?
 

CritialGaming

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Meiam said:
And every art form have some form of skill gate, can't read a book if can't read and when TV/movie were new people actually had to learn how they function (ie the audience isn't part of the story, you just watch it happen). Plus if you just skip part of a book/movie your going to be really confused about what just happen and plenty of them require some other knowledge to fully appreciate (maybe you need to know some history to appreciate the story).
Actually this isn't technically true. If you can't read, they make audiobooks. Everyone can look at a piece of art (drawing, paintings, sculptures, etc) and acknowledge it. Everyone can watch television and movies (except the blind). The point isn't about UNDERSTANDING, it's about ability to experience.

Games are the only form of media that require actual ability to experience.
 

RaikuFA

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Marik2 said:
maninahat said:
A recent Rock Paper Shotgun article [https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/10/02/assassins-creed-origins-tourism-difficulty/] is getting about ten times the usual number of comments because it asks the question, why can't games - all games, that is - give us a skip boss fight button?

In the wake of Ubisoft's decision to include a "Tourist Mode" in their next Assassin's Creed game, the article goes into how games are the only medium to bar progression based on skill, and this can result in stopping people from getting to see most of a game they paid for. Letting someone skip a bit they find particularly difficult so that they can go and enjoy the rest of the game seems like an obvious solution, and not a technically difficult one to implement. That happens to be something I find quite agreeable, but what are your thoughts?
Didn't a writer for Mass Effect say this and got death threats for it?
Yep. Because they didn't realize LA Noire or Raymond Origins existed. Or auto steering in Mario Kart. It's all just fuel for Commentocracy.
 

Xprimentyl

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I?ve no problem with it; it?d be an optional feature, there for those who choose to use it and completely ignored by those who don?t. For those who really just want to progress and can?t, I don?t see an issue in loosening the reigns and letting them pass, particularly if the brick wall is a lack in a skill set that may just not be there through no fault of the individual. It?s entertainment first and foremost; we all pay the same price for admission, who?s to say anyone of us should have to then earn the right to enjoy the full extent of it through potentially insurmountable teeth-gnashing frustration?

That being said, generally people play the games they like and are at least competently skilled in, and ultimately, we DO buy games to PLAY them, so I can?t imagine a feature allowing people to skip the hard bits changing the face of the industry in any appreciable way.

Kerg3927 said:
It's makes me want to cry for the downfall of society, or somesuch. But I play games for the challenge. I enjoy a good story, too, but I always try to beat games on the highest difficulty setting. I like the sense of accomplishment gained afterward, even though I know it doesn't mean much to anyone but me. And I can't help but have little respect for people who do not like to challenge themselves.

But I guess at the end of the day, it doesn't really affect me that much if the feature is there because I'd never even think about using it. But I'd prefer instead that they just put in cheat codes like in the old days. Or maybe that's what you call this feature, the Cheat option. That way it's clear that the person using it is nothing but a cheater, and maybe they'll feel some shame as they click the option, as they certainly should. Cheaters.
I really hope you?re being facetious. I personally wouldn?t use a skip feature because I do take personal pride in overcoming a challenge, but I certainly wouldn?t look down my nose at someone who chooses/has to ingest their entertainment differently. You play for the challenge, some people just want to have casual fun, others just want to follow the story, etc.; if we all paid the same for the game, what?s the problem in us all getting everything out of it?
 

Kerg3927

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CritialGaming said:
Meiam said:
And every art form have some form of skill gate, can't read a book if can't read and when TV/movie were new people actually had to learn how they function (ie the audience isn't part of the story, you just watch it happen). Plus if you just skip part of a book/movie your going to be really confused about what just happen and plenty of them require some other knowledge to fully appreciate (maybe you need to know some history to appreciate the story).
Actually this isn't technically true. If you can't read, they make audiobooks. Everyone can look at a piece of art (drawing, paintings, sculptures, etc) and acknowledge it. Everyone can watch television and movies (except the blind). The point isn't about UNDERSTANDING, it's about ability to experience.

Games are the only form of media that require actual ability to experience.
I would argue that video games have much more in common with sports than TV and books. Games are interactive and the challenge is part of it. TV and books are not interactive and there is no challenge involved, and really cannot be. If people want to make video games more like TV and books, the option is there... go watch a real gamer play the game on Youtube... they can see the whole thing.

The argument tends to go, "But someone other than me might press them, and then they'd get to see a bit of the game that was meant only for the Deserving Champions!" Because, the real nub of it is, it's about exclusivity. It's about keeping the Thems, the riff-raff, the outsider, out. THIS section of the game, this is special to me and only those as great as I am! I DESERVE this bit of the game! Those weaklings do not!"
Yep. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Challenging yourself and overcoming obstacles in order to feel like a "winner" and get rewards is not "idiotic." It's a part of life. Not everyone can be a winner, especially if they aren't even willing to try, sorry.
 

McElroy

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Xprimentyl said:
I personally wouldn't use a skip feature because I do take personal pride in overcoming a challenge, but I certainly wouldn't look down my nose at someone who chooses/has to ingest their entertainment differently. You play for the challenge, some people just want to have casual fun, others just want to follow the story, etc.; if we all paid the same for the game, what's the problem in us all getting everything out of it?
That's the thing, if it increases sales it's a logical step to take. We dread the day we find out that a community has formed around these games - only to see they don't actually play them at all, nor know how to, nor want to ever learn. And then we realize it has happened already: lots of people watch Let's Plays exclusively and we don't give them too much flak. This is game publishers' way to try to get these people to buy their games, branch out from the casual/mobile game market. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't.
 

Kerg3927

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Xprimentyl said:
I really hope you?re being facetious. I personally wouldn?t use a skip feature because I do take personal pride in overcoming a challenge, but I certainly wouldn?t look down my nose at someone who chooses/has to ingest their entertainment differently. You play for the challenge, some people just want to have casual fun, others just want to follow the story, etc.; if we all paid the same for the game, what?s the problem in us all getting everything out of it?
If you've ever played an MMO, you know the type. The one who is always begging for gold, because he doesn't want to go grind it or figure out how to earn it within the game. The one who is always begging a higher level or better geared player to take time to "run him through" something so he can get easy phat loots, and whining when people brush him off.

Back when there were cheat codes, the first thing some people would do when they got a new game is look up the cheat codes and play the game in god mode without ever even attempting it normally first.

Yes, those type of gamers make my skin crawl, and I can't help but look down my nose at them. Always looking for a free ride and the easy way. Probably how they are in real life, too.
 

American Tanker

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At that point, what's the point in actually "playing" the game? You're not actually experiencing the gameplay.

Might as well just make a Gone Home-style walking simulator and call it a day.

Go back to the old ways of cheat codes and earned unlockables. Make people have to earn their way through the game, or else have to resort to things that make the game easier for them. Because otherwise, it's not a game anymore, because there isn't a failure state.

Not everyone can be winners. Sometimes, you just can't pull through. Sometimes, you're just not good enough. That's when you go back for more training, learn how to fight your way through, and GIT GUD. Or else just give up on the game because it's obviously not made for you.
 

FalloutJack

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Oh please...

If I wanted to press a button to watch the boss get defeated, I'd watch Markiplier doing it, and it would be funnier when it happened, AND FREE!
 

CaitSeith

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I love the sense of overcoming challenges, and with that option I feel less people would experience it. On the other side, when I started playing games I used invincibility cheat codes pretty frequently.
 

Xprimentyl

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Kerg3927 said:
Xprimentyl said:
I really hope you?re being facetious. I personally wouldn?t use a skip feature because I do take personal pride in overcoming a challenge, but I certainly wouldn?t look down my nose at someone who chooses/has to ingest their entertainment differently. You play for the challenge, some people just want to have casual fun, others just want to follow the story, etc.; if we all paid the same for the game, what?s the problem in us all getting everything out of it?
If you've ever played an MMO, you know the type. The one who is always begging for gold, because he doesn't want to go grind it or figure out how to earn it within the game. The one who is always begging a higher level or better geared player to take time to "run him through" something so he can get easy phat loots, and whining when people brush him off.

Back when there were cheat codes, the first thing some people would do when they got a new game is look up the cheat codes and play the game in god mode without ever even attempting it normally first.

Yes, those type of gamers make my skin crawl, and I can't help but look down my nose at them. Always looking for a free ride and the easy way. Probably how they are in real life, too.
I think you?re thinking in terms of extremes; most people who?d use this feature would likely be casual gamers, people who legitimately might not have the skills, time or patience to struggle, who made a legitimate purchase and just want to get to the end and see what happens or at least be able to progress when they hit a wall; I don?t think anyone is spending +$60 solely to be a lazy moocher, and if they are, that?s fine too; doesn?t affect me. MMOs (or any multiplayer for that matter,) should of course be protected from ?easy? mode features. I?m not suggesting games that exist solely to test/be a measure of the specific skills of the individual as they pertain to the games? parameters should have a buffer for weaker players; that?s simply not fair. In the ?arena,? all players are equal until their specific skills determine otherwise. I?m saying solely single-player experiences, games wherein an easy mode/boss skip affects no one?s experience save the person who opts to use it.

Honestly, one could see this feature as an evolution of the Achievement/Trophy system. A lot of people have played and beaten Dark Souls; far fewer can say they?ve played it to completion and gotten 100% of achievements/trophies to prove so to whomever (if anyone) cares. With an easy mode/boss skip, simply lock achievements and any other features that assign credit or merit specifically tied to performance, i.e.: prevents NG+ from unlocking in Dark Souls. Doesn?t change the way the game is played and neither does it restrict a valid $60 purchaser from the core content of their purchase, ?core? being the operative word there.


Hell, it?s up to the individual; if skipping all the bosses or god-moding it through the entire game is worth the price, so be it, have at, have fun; just don?t expect there to be any record of your ?easy like Sunday morning? playthrough save for your own fond memories. Personally, for my $60, I?m gonna grind for 200 hours or let Ornstein have his way with me for 25 deaths until I overcome; that?s fun for me; an option to skip the tough bits takes nothing away from my fun. If nothing else, it?s an added challenge! I can think of many of rough time where it was a test of my character to persist; with the ?easy? button right there, I wonder if I?d have pressed it?

TL;DR: I don?t? like ketchup, but I don?t think it?s very existence to be stain on the culinary world and neither do I look at people who slather that shit on their French fries with disdain (disgust, yes, but not disdain.) The option can be there for those who want it without affecting the game or the industry as a whole; why withhold it?
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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No..
Games should be games and centered around gameplay, or you might just as well watch a movie or read a book. (unless even that is too hard for you and you have a movie playing in the background or listening to an audiobook while doing something else and if that is the case, why even bother? Not applicable to blind people ofc.)

We already have easy-normal-hard modes and all of them still require playing the game.
This is exactly the same as quick-time events only even easier.
Cut-scenes that try to act interactive to justify their place in a game.
I'm not averse to tiny vid-snippets that increase Lore, if the developers can't work that into the game itself, but passing that of as gameplay itself is ridiculous.

I'm truly despairing at what the gaming industry has come to.