Game mechanics you're glad have (virtually) died.

Chimpzy

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It's 2020 and gaming has undeniably changed over the decades, for better or for worse. Genres have come and gone over the years, advancements made and restrictions lifted, allowing for new mechanics and ways of playing. That may mean some of the olders mechanics end up getting put to pasture for whatever reason. Maybe because they were born from a compromise that no longer needs to be made. Maybe because player preferences have simply changed.

Or maybe it's because that mechanic sucked balls and it was high time it fucking died. There's the door, don't come back!

My nomination for one such mechanic is random battles in jrpgs. I'm playing Suikoden V and did Skies of Arcadia Legends a bit back, and man, do the random battles annoy the crap out of me. Whenever I want to go somewhere it's battle every three steps, but when I actually want to fight I spend 5 minutes running in circles. Well, you know the song and dance. But jrpgs have largely moved away from random battles. There are some holdovers off course, like Pokemon and Octopath Traveller (an explicit nostalgia throwback), but most now let you pick and choose your battles when you want and wherever you want. Even Dragon Quest XI, latest in a series that is the basically poster boy for classic jrpg, has done away with them.

And while mileage may vary, to this I say good riddens.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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QTE’s seem to have faded from the forefront of game design since last gen.

Also, needing to have a dedicated cinematic for stupid crap like opening a door or stealth kills. That last one might still be hanging around more than it should though. It’s disorienting and immersion-breaking.
 

BrawlMan

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QTE’s seem to have faded from the forefront of game design since last gen.
They still kind of exist, but they are regulated mainly action commands or finishing moves. Platinum stopped doing insta-death qtes since Bayo1. Bayo 2 makes things way less punishing thankfully. I swear, 2009-2012/13 was at its worse when it came to bad qte design. Capcom had some action commands in RE2Remake (when a zombie or monster grabs you have an equipped sub-weapon) and gave Chris action commands in RE7 to stun or kill molded, similar to RE5 & 6. Thank goodness that insta-death QTE had fallen to the wayside. That is horrible game design.

Get behind cover to heal mechanic in a 3rd or 1st person shooter or a two/three weapon limit. I am so glad old school and old-school style shooters have comeback and brought back the weapon wheel. All of those pathetic excuses about console gamers not being able to hand more than two or three weapons was always bullshit publishers or developers spun around just to copy COD, Gears, or Halo. You can thank Shadow Warrior (2013), Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Doom 4 for smashing that notion in to nothingness. In addition to that, dark, gritty reboots to established IPs or grim dark shooters in general I am glad that they finally died.
 
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Dreiko

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I'm firmly in the camp that you can do any mechanic well. You may dislike random encounters in Jrpgs but they work fine in bravely default. You may find QTEs as a waste of time but boy are they awesome in Asura's Wrath.

You can always make something be good if you execute it right so I'm not glad if anything is abandoned.
 

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I'm firmly in the camp that you can do any mechanic well. You may dislike random encounters in Jrpgs but they work fine in bravely default. You may find QTEs as a waste of time but boy are they awesome in Asura's Wrath.
That's the thing though, no game has done it better than Asura's Wrath since then. Other than CC2's Ultimate Ninja Storm games and I'm assuming Demon Slayer whenever it comes out. Though I still consider AW the best because of its many original "holy/oh shit!" moments in the game. CC2's creativity has yet to be umatched, which makes this a really special case and exception. Every QTE before this was either bog standard and only did it because RE4 and God of War popularized it (I know Shenmue, Dynamtite Deka, and Dragon's Lair beat them to the punch). When most QTEs punish you for failur and you have to go back to bad checkpoint, watch an (unskippable) cut-scene ad-nauseam, or lose your Pure Platinum/High Score Run because you could not see it coming is just bad game design and makes go back to playing a lot of these games even more of a chore. Some are not as bad as other, but they're nothing special. You'll have one or two hype moments here and there, but nothing that says, these mechanics needs to stay and a super worthwhile.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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Escort quests/missions where the NPC's death fails the mission and their health goes down quicker than a speeding motorbike over a spike strip, oh and there's fuckloads of enemies all beelining to them and they refuse to follow until everything is dead, names mentioned. Dying Light oops!
 

sXeth

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Not totally dead, but I've noticed there's a downward trend in "dude saw a wisp of your hair and everyone is immediately alerted and you fail" in stealth games.



More nowadays the trend seems to be that you have a moment or two to actually take down that one stray dude somehow rather then the proverbial game over screen.
 
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Dreiko

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Escort quests/missions where the NPC's death fails the mission and their health goes down quicker than a speeding motorbike over a spike strip, oh and there's fuckloads of enemies all beelining to them and they refuse to follow until everything is dead, names mentioned. Dying Light oops!
I think the health bars going down too fast is not it's own system, but rather just an example of badly-implemented escort quests, the properly implemented ones being quests where you feel tension and responsibility but it doesn't feel like a chore. I really really love the quests where you have to save the hostages or safeguard noncombatants in ghost of tsushima for example because it makes you wanna play sneaky and it's dishonorable but if you protect your honor and just come out and fight fairly the mongols start killing the hostages so you gotta basically go ham and kill them extremely quickly and in some cases even using dishonorable means, which just really does it thematically for me since I'm playing the game trying not to disappoint my uncle and my bushido. So yeah, that's another thing you definitely can make work.
 

Dalisclock

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Escort quests/missions where the NPC's death fails the mission and their health goes down quicker than a speeding motorbike over a spike strip, oh and there's fuckloads of enemies all beelining to them and they refuse to follow until everything is dead, names mentioned. Dying Light oops!
Worse being when said Escorts refuse to show any sense of self preservation, and will often blindly run into oncoming enemies rather then wait for you to either signal it's safe to move or hide until you've cleared the path.

RDR2 has slightly annoyed me in this regard during certain missions with Sadie, because while she can protect herself, she's very reckless and dives headlong into combat encounters, meaning she will die from enemy fire if you aren't killing enemies aggressively enough. And yes, I realize it's character justified by her Death Seeker personality, but it makes all of her missions feel like an escort mission of some sort.
 

Trunkage

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Not totally dead, but I've noticed there's a downward trend in "dude saw a wisp of your hair and everyone is immediately alerted and you fail" in stealth games.



More nowadays the trend seems to be that you have a moment or two to actually take down that one stray dude somehow rather then the proverbial game over screen.
I think I’ve seen a downward trend of stealth section that aren’t like the rest of the game. A lot don’t have auto fail now either
 

happyninja42

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You may find QTEs as a waste of time but boy are they awesome in Asura's Wrath.
I've never really had an issue with QTE's in general. Sure some examples of them suck, but I mean, you can say that about every mechanic to some degree. Personally I enjoy them a lot, and find them a fun variation on the standard systems I've been playing with for decades. Plus, they always make me think of Dragon's Lair, and Space Ace, which I loved, and they are 100% QTE. So the idea of button matching to progress a cinematic just doesn't really bug me.
 

Dreiko

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I've never really had an issue with QTE's in general. Sure some examples of them suck, but I mean, you can say that about every mechanic to some degree. Personally I enjoy them a lot, and find them a fun variation on the standard systems I've been playing with for decades. Plus, they always make me think of Dragon's Lair, and Space Ace, which I loved, and they are 100% QTE. So the idea of button matching to progress a cinematic just doesn't really bug me.
Yeah I'm with you personally but I have heard a lot of people make that complaint so I'm saying even if you are one of them you still can enjoy Asura's Wrath I'm sure.
 

happyninja42

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Yeah I'm with you personally but I have heard a lot of people make that complaint so I'm saying even if you are one of them you still can enjoy Asura's Wrath I'm sure.
Oh yeah, I'm aware of the complaints over the years. I even made a thread specifically about the QTE hate back on the old site, and had someone actually accuse me of being a QTE apologist.
 

Dalisclock

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I've never really had an issue with QTE's in general. Sure some examples of them suck, but I mean, you can say that about every mechanic to some degree. Personally I enjoy them a lot, and find them a fun variation on the standard systems I've been playing with for decades. Plus, they always make me think of Dragon's Lair, and Space Ace, which I loved, and they are 100% QTE. So the idea of button matching to progress a cinematic just doesn't really bug me.
I think the big issue with QTE is either overuse or examples where they show up out of nowhere and/or are not used conistantly. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune was a prime example where you could be hit with an instant fail QTE out of nowhere any given moment and there no way of knowing when one was coming without foreknowledge. I believe one example was a block falling from above and you had a second to respond or die. It was immensely frustrating and one of many reasons the first Uncharted is arguably the worst.
 
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happyninja42

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I think the big issue with QTE is either overuse or examples where they show up out of nowhere and/or are not used conistantly. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune was a prime example where you could be hit with an instant fail QTE out of nowhere any given moment and there no way of knowing when one was coming without foreknowledge. I believe one example was a block falling from above and you had a second to respond or die. It was immensely frustrating and one of many reasons the first Uncharted is arguably the worst.
Yes, but those are BAD examples of using the mechanic. The fact is that for years, the shape of the complaint was simply "QTE's suck". And I agree, the mechanic can be used poorly, but again, you can say that about ANY game mechanic. But the people shouting for QTE's to be burned at the digital nerd stake, didn't ever seem to be able to actually articulate anything. It was always just a blanket condemnation of the mechanic in it's entirety. I mean there are tons of examples of terrible cover shooters, but I don't see people decrying the entire mechanic the way I've seen QTE be vilified.

If you don't LIKE the mechanic, that's fine, I'm not going to debate personal preference. But to just say they are bad, I think is simply inaccurate.
 

BrawlMan

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Yes, but those are BAD examples of using the mechanic. The fact is that for years, the shape of the complaint was simply "QTE's suck". And I agree, the mechanic can be used poorly, but again, you can say that about ANY game mechanic. But the people shouting for QTE's to be burned at the digital nerd stake, didn't ever seem to be able to actually articulate anything. It was always just a blanket condemnation of the mechanic in it's entirety.
You can kinda blame Yahtzee for starting that shit, but even if he did not say anything, the many examples of bad QTEs would have been brought up sooner or later. Like I said in a previous post, a lot of developers/publishers were just copying either RE4 (Capcom was following its on tail for worst) or God of War. And doing either mediocre or average at best, or unintuitive, lazy, or fucked up at worst. The best use and non-frustrating QTEs I can think of are No More Heroes, Mad World, God Hand (Shinji Mikami -->RE4), Asura's Wrath, and Bulletstorm (with only one insta-death QTE that is very hard to fail. All of the other ones reward more point for better timing, similar to Asura's Wrath. The ones that did it the worst and I hate the most are Ninja Blade (They go on forever. You can toggle the difficulty of the QTEs, so it's not that bad), WET (Fuck this game in general!), and RE6 (Does anything need to be said?)

I mean there are tons of examples of terrible cover shooters, but I don't see people decrying the entire mechanic the way I've seen QTE be vilified.

If you don't LIKE the mechanic, that's fine, I'm not going to debate personal preference. But to just say they are bad, I think is simply inaccurate.
I agree, but good luck seeing QTEs comeback in full swing again. Especially with melee combat action games.
 
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Mister Mumbler

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Escort quests/missions where the NPC's death fails the mission and their health goes down quicker than a speeding motorbike over a spike strip, oh and there's fuckloads of enemies all beelining to them and they refuse to follow until everything is dead, names mentioned. Dying Light oops!
I still think that one part in the first Metro game towards the end (if you've played it, you know the exact part I'm talking about, with the exploding testicles) is the absolute worst example of that.

Anyway, saving your game as a limited resource. It's hard enough just finding the time to play games these days with life and everything, don't also penalize me for when I do get to play and have to stop, you know?
 
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BrawlMan

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Anyway, saving your game as a limited resource. It's hard enough just finding the time to play games these days with life and everything, don't also penalize me for when I do get to play and have to stop, you know?
Limited saves are somewhat still here when it comes to Survival Horror, but is mainly for the optional hardest difficulty. I understand your feelings.
 
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Not knowing how to setup controls for games. Back in the day pc games tended to have extremely complex control schemes that you needed a big manual to figure out, but that is largely a thing of the past now that we have the standard wasd for movement and most action buttons tend to be around there.
 

Phoenixmgs

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It's 2020 and gaming has undeniably changed over the decades, for better or for worse. Genres have come and gone over the years, advancements made and restrictions lifted, allowing for new mechanics and ways of playing. That may mean some of the olders mechanics end up getting put to pasture for whatever reason. Maybe because they were born from a compromise that no longer needs to be made. Maybe because player preferences have simply changed.

Or maybe it's because that mechanic sucked balls and it was high time it fucking died. There's the door, don't come back!

My nomination for one such mechanic is random battles in jrpgs. I'm playing Suikoden V and did Skies of Arcadia Legends a bit back, and man, do the random battles annoy the crap out of me. Whenever I want to go somewhere it's battle every three steps, but when I actually want to fight I spend 5 minutes running in circles. Well, you know the song and dance. But jrpgs have largely moved away from random battles. There are some holdovers off course, like Pokemon and Octopath Traveller (an explicit nostalgia throwback), but most now let you pick and choose your battles when you want and wherever you want. Even Dragon Quest XI, latest in a series that is the basically poster boy for classic jrpg, has done away with them.

And while mileage may vary, to this I say good riddens.
I was so done with randoms battles when I played FF6 on SNES, which was my first game that had random battles. I never beat the game because the mechanic was fucking stupid even when I was a kid and had all the time in the world. I probably went back to playing SMB3 for like the 1,000th time.

I'm firmly in the camp that you can do any mechanic well. You may dislike random encounters in Jrpgs but they work fine in bravely default. You may find QTEs as a waste of time but boy are they awesome in Asura's Wrath.

You can always make something be good if you execute it right so I'm not glad if anything is abandoned.
Nah, some mechanics are shit like random battles, which literally only ever existed in the 1st place due to hardware limitations. They make the world feel lifeless (you see nothing in the game world) and they disincentivize exploration. Having to go into the options to constantly adjust it like Bravely Default just proves it's a bad mechanic. QTEs are hardly even a mechanic, it's just a game telling you to press buttons at a certain time instead of having normal gameplay flow of the player deducing for themselves what buttons to push and at what time.

I mean there are tons of examples of terrible cover shooters, but I don't see people decrying the entire mechanic the way I've seen QTE be vilified.
Because you can make a cover system where a player makes meaningful decisions vs QTEs that are literally just press buttons when the game tells you to. QTEs offer literally no player agency whatsoever.