Too Much Success

Nathaniel Edwards

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Jul 1, 2011
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Too Much Success

Everyone likes to succeed, but games may be trying a bit too hard to make every player feel like a winner.

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Nathaniel Edwards

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jamie1000001 said:
Example of this? I haven't really noticed games giving players more praise tbh.
Starcraft 2. People apparently couldn't stand losing so much that most stopped playing competetive ladder games. Blizzard's solution: don't display losses. At all. Now everyone's essentially a winner.

Which is a load of bollocks. People should not be encouraging this sort of pitiful behaviour while directly driving the industry backwards.
 

Innegativeion

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Feb 18, 2011
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Hammeroj said:
jamie1000001 said:
Example of this? I haven't really noticed games giving players more praise tbh.
Starcraft 2. People apparently couldn't stand losing so much that most stopped playing competetive ladder games. Blizzard's solution: don't display losses. At all. Now everyone's essentially a winner.

Which is a load of bollocks. People should not be encouraging this sort of pitiful behaviour while directly driving the industry backwards.
We're driving the industry backwards by keeping people from bickering at each other over loss counts in a virtual competition?

News to me.
 

Grell Sutcliff

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I don't think the majority of games are trying that but of course games would be easier now then back then when there was only one attack in each game.
 

lord.jeff

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Good article, you presented your points well. Thou this isn't a problem in just games, movies do this a lot too, look at Karate Kid about a month of practice and the kid manages to win a open tournament. I find a lot of movies cater to this idea, you just need to learn that one special skill(it's believing in yourself by the way) and your golden.
 

Reliq

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I thought this might be relevant :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1A-Ymf1VYY
 

Klarinette

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Hmm.. do you think this has anything to do with more games being offered to "casual gamers" as opposed to a long-term playing, higher-skilled crowd? I know games like Little Big Planet do very little to penalize you for getting yourself killed - Whoops! Back to the ship with you, and try again! Even thinking of simple flash games like Bejewelled and whatnot... they tell you you're awesome, no matter what. Heh, Tetris on Facebook... when I don't beat my own high score but still manage to finish, what do I get?: You Win!

lord.jeff said:
Good article, you presented your points well. Thou this isn't a problem in just games, movies do this a lot too, look at Karate Kid about a month of practice and the kid manages to win a open tournament. I find a lot of movies cater to this idea, you just need to learn that one special skill(it's believing in yourself by the way) and your golden.
Those movies tell you that all you have to do is find that secret magic gift inside you and everything will be super from now on. Pffff.
 

Nathaniel Edwards

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Yes, Epic Yarn and Farmville are not insanely hard.

Great read.

-'The problem is, feeling accomplishment from relatively easy challenges makes us give up more quickly in a situation in which we have to expend a real amount of effort.'-

Never thought of that. I like to play some indie arcade games from XBL... some of them can be really demanding. I still enjoy them tho.
 

-Dragmire-

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lives systems can go to hell but I agree that a sense of loss should still be a motivating factor in games. I felt no accomplishment beating Epic Yarn, it was the weakest "you saved the world" feeling I've ever had...
 

Suijen

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I don't mind. I'd rather play an easy game than a frustrating one. I don't play games for stress.

And yeah, the older games are hard as hell, and there's no way in hell that I can invest that much time and money into a game that drives me to the wall.
 

Fearzone

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In multiplayer, whenever you try to make make a game easier for newer players, to level the playing field, it is always the more experienced and better players who are able to use these buffs to better effect and totally break the game.

It can work if people are rewarded for playing whether they win or lose. Say, the loser gets one quantum of reward and the winner gets two. In effect, two losses equal one win. This keeps losers coming back, and the reward of victory is still sweet.
 

rsvp42

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It reminds me of an article I read somewhere a while back. It focused on WoW as an example and talked about games' effects on motivation IRL. It basically said in conclusion, "it's not the end of the world, but it may lead to a generation of Starbucks baristas who could have done so much more." The whole article was actually really good and I think it's true. When your sense of accomplishment in life is supplied artificially through games, it's possible your greatest ambition could be to just make enough money to support that hobby. Whereas before, a person's desire for a sense of accomplishment might have led them to pursue more fulfilling or profitable vocations. It's true that there are always other factors conspiring to rob people of their motivation to work hard, but games by their very design fill (to an extent) a certain psychological need. It's part of what makes them so compelling. I think recognizing this is important.
 

Seieko Pherdo

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This is why I like having difficultly settings. For those who want a easy time or to just enjoy the story or whatever there's easy. And for those who want hell there's hard and whatever else comes after that.
 

rsvp42

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Reliq said:
I thought this might be relevant :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1A-Ymf1VYY
Heh, funny. Kinda weird to me though because some people actually do rage that much at achievements. I personally don't mind 'em because I've never met someone who was a douche about them or acted superior because of it. My friends and I don't mention scores, we just ask if anyone did such-and-such achievement and maybe ask how; it's not a big deal. Indeed, by using them everywhere, they devalued them to a point where no one should care, aside from the extra-hard ones. So no real reason to rage, unless someone secretly really cares and tries too hard to hide it by "hating" them :p
 

Sabrestar

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Mentioned in the article, but deserving of more time, is that games are a symptom of this attitude, not the cause. For a lot of reasons, society in general seems to have basically just stopped trying. Difficulty is no longer a challenge to surmount, but an excuse to just walk away. I see it every day in otherwise hugely intelligent students (soon to be in the medical professions no less!) who just outright refuse to learn new things. Better to just have someone else do it for them. Why? Well maybe, as suggested here, that it's a fear of failure. "I might not do it right, so I'll just let the expert do it instead." This snowballs until I have graduate students and medical residents who won't even learn (not don't know, but won't learn) how to reboot a computer. (Yes, true story. Happened last week.)

In games, this is reflected by a removal of failure, even any negativity at all. Instead, "difficulty" is limited to over-the-top celebrations of the concept like I Wanna Be the Guy. That doesn't help anyone.
 

Llil

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Reminds me of the time when Bioware patched the easy mode in Dragon Age: Origins to be easier, and people still complained it's too tough.
Also, I think this is relevant:
I wish more games were like Contra 4. I especially like how after beating the third to last boss, if you're playing on easy, the game basically tells you to grow a pair and come back on a proper difficulty level if you want to see the ending. And then it boots you to the main menu.
 

samaugsch

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Hammeroj said:
jamie1000001 said:
Example of this? I haven't really noticed games giving players more praise tbh.
Starcraft 2. People apparently couldn't stand losing so much that most stopped playing competetive ladder games. Blizzard's solution: don't display losses. At all. Now everyone's essentially a winner.

Which is a load of bollocks. People should not be encouraging this sort of pitiful behaviour while directly driving the industry backwards.
I experienced plenty of frustration with the last level in Starcraft 2. I find it easier when the last level is limited to flyers than with ground units and nydus worms.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Seieko Pherdo said:
This is why I like having difficultly settings. For those who want a easy time or to just enjoy the story or whatever there's easy. And for those who want hell there's hard and whatever else comes after that.
I agree completely. More skilled players shouldn't have to sacrifice a challenge just so that more people can play a game - but lesser-skilled players (or those who simply don't feel like wrestling with the learning curve) should be able to enjoy themselves, too.
 

Nathaniel Edwards

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Innegativeion said:
We're driving the industry backwards by keeping people from bickering at each other over loss counts in a virtual competition?

News to me.
No, by depriving the people who are in any way serious about the competetive aspect of the game of information. In no way does this push the industry forward.

Furthermore, it matters not whether the competition is virtual or not. It's just as valid as any other, especially when there's quite a proffessional scene for it out there.


samaugsch said:
I experienced plenty of frustration with the last level in Starcraft 2. I find it easier when the last level is limited to flyers than with ground units and nydus worms.
Oh I feel ya.

Have you been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?