Jeff linked to on Slashdot

AuthorTopic: Jeff linked to on Slashdot
Shock Trooper
Member # 1152
Profile Homepage #0
Ok, i know that there a lot of people who who don't care and a lot of people who do, but our mighty overlord Jeff Vogel has had his latest View from the Bottom post linked to on Slashdot.

http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/15/2123239&from=rss

I just though a lot of you who didn't already know would find it cool.

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-Sylak
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Posts: 319 | Registered: Tuesday, May 14 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
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It's apparently Jeff who submitted his article on Slashdot.

—Alorael, who agrees to some extent. Grinding isn't inherently terrible, but it seems to get worse and worse as graphics, slowdown, twitch RPGing, and loading times increase. Jeff's games never quite sink to the level of forcing you to leave and reenter an area to kill the same things again, but that's depressingly common in dozens of forgettable RPGS.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
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Almost any RPG is that way. I used to spend 4 to 5 hours a night playing Avatar (a Multiple user dungeon) just to go up a level or two, Just wandering around in a loop until I had enough loot that I needed to go sell it to free up inventory slots.

Jeff's games are slightly better, but I know I'm not the only one that complained about having more freedom to wander around and not be forced into a linear storyline.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
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One of my pet peeves is people who think they're inherently smarter than other gamers because they play RPGs.

Sure, most RPGs made in the last decade or so have a lot of text in them, but there's seldom anything difficult about the gameplay. At best, combat tends to involve experimenting with a relatively small range of abilities to find the one that works best against an opponent, then spamming it with occasional breaks to heal until it dies. If you die, reload a few times. If you still die, you probably aren't high-level enough; go back and grind some more. Sometimes you level up and have to worry about how to develop your character's abilities; this is all well and good, but unfortunately the actual decision takes a few seconds and then you're stuck with the result for the rest of the game. Non-combat challenges are often even worse; running around a dungeon (with, of course, a wandering encounter every 5 steps) to find and pull half a dozen switches and open a door is neither fun nor challenging.

I can understand why people become disillusioned with the genre; at least other games require player skill in the form of timing and reflexes. For all the complaining of some of the old guard about the inclusion of action elements in RPGs, I regard it as basically a good idea. (Besides which, anyone who's still complaining about FF's Active Time Battle system of all things is well and truly flogging a dead horse.)

[ Friday, February 16, 2007 00:21: Message edited by: Cryptozoology ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Warrior
Member # 246
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Maybe this means he won't make any more RPGs with the same basic stories. :P
Posts: 117 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
Electric Sheep One
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People like getting stronger. Maybe it's some leftover childhood instinct, about wanting to get big enough to tie our own shoes and stay up past 8 pm. So level progression is the caffeine in the RPG coffee.

Which is fine if you have a good story, in which level progression makes sense, and in which you achieve your level progression by doing interesting things. A string of good stories within a great big story, with steady power progression, makes people happy.
What stinks is for lazy designers to hook people into lousy, tedious stories, using nothing but the levelling addiction.

This is why I so much wish Jeff had done more in his Geneforge games to provide a plot-related reason for how and why your character increases in power. His games have a pretty low tedium factor, for me. But he could have really punted the whole 'grind your way to godhood' thing in G4, by making it a key plot point that your adventures are bringing out the latent effects of the Geneforge.

The progression from weakness to strength is not a problem in RPGs; it's the decoupling of this feature from a good story that makes RPGs seem awful. Geneforge offers a great opportunity to reunify the story and the growth fantasy, and I hope Jeff eventually takes it up.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Frobozz:

Maybe this means he won't make any more RPGs with the same basic stories. :P
BAN! :P

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
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Yeah, the article makes a lot of sense, but like SoT said, the story makes the RPG. Thus, I've been fine with Avernum for the most part (and I still have no Geneforge experience to speak of).

Granted, A4 pushed the boundaries of the very stuff that Jeff complained about, what with all the quests where you had to go and kill fifty chitrachs (*shudder*), some of which won't drop the chitrach claws you need. So now I can see a bit more of why he'd been getting so irritated while it was in production.

Anyway, this is why people hated Nephilim Mystery. :P

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Apprentice
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Although on MMORPG's people love spending time to progress levels so they can call all the people who are weak - normal - slightly powerful, weak... And so they can show off.

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Posts: 29 | Registered: Saturday, February 3 2007 08:00
Law Bringer
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From Runescape, I got the experience that people also love to spend hours standing in populated areas of the game world to beg for money or items.

So far, I've thought these people were pathetic. But Jeff's article got me a new perspective: These people are obviously getting something, or they wouldn't ask. Are they getting more than they would by levelling themselves?

And if they are, aren't they right in taking the easy way out and hence actually a lot smarter than all the grinders who waste their time doing tedious, repetitive clicking?

---

I suppose it's like spammers. Everyone hates them, but it must be quite a rewarding occupation (leaving aside death threats and lawsuits).

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My BlogPolarisI eat novels for breakfast.
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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by The Sorcerer:

From Runescape, I got the experience that people also love to spend hours standing in populated areas of the game world to beg for money or items.

...

I suppose it's like spammers. Everyone hates them, but it must be quite a rewarding occupation (leaving aside death threats and lawsuits).

... which, when you think about it, also means there must be people out there who respond to them.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Guardian
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The people who respond are usually dirt poor from giving things away. And afterwards, they go beg as well.

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Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
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There's always an idiot that will help someone out. Gaming isn't any different.

My father's example, which he showed me happening a minute later was in Chicago. On the Outer Drive south of 50th Street there is a wide sidewalk that a car drove down until it ran out and then the driver waited for someone to let him back into traffic. The driver avoided having to spend several minutes in heavy traffic because of his illegal action.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Post Navel Trauma ^_^
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quote:
Originally written by The Sorcerer:

And if they are, aren't they right in taking the easy way out and hence actually a lot smarter than all the grinders who waste their time doing tedious, repetitive clicking
And I'm even smarter than them. By not playing it, I avoid both tedious, repetitive clicking and tedious, repetitive begging for stuff.

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Posts: 1798 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
By Committee
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I think his observation warrants merit, but I also think it applies across the board for any activity carried out purely for entertainment purposes.

I have this discussion periodically with my wife, who doesn't understand why I enjoy gaming. She doesn't believe that playing games provides any meaningful experience to my life; nevermind the fact that she's all for reading almost any book, whether fiction or non-, and she regularly devours novels (granted, headier stuff than romance).

I think RPGs, specifically grinds, are just one means of achieving that entertainment end. Sure, it's time-consuming to get to particular points in the story, but you can be almost certain you'll get there. Contrast that with platform games back in the day that were just incredibly difficult and frustrating to get through - once your three lives were gone, they were gone, and no continue. Sure, there may be a faster pace in the story telling, more "realism" in first person shooters and the like, but they also require skill that some players may not possess. But this makes these games different, not necessarily better. Like choosing to read books or play games, choosing one type of game over another is just a matter of personal entertainment preference.

So Jeff is welcome if he wants to return to the frustration that is Ghosts & Goblins; that's just not for me. At the end of the day, however, we're all achieving the same thing: An amusing use of time that probably would have been better spent achieving real life goals. :D

(Also, I wouldn't be too certain about using "market research" as justification for writing off those game purchases, Jeff - the IRS isn't necessarily so lenient.)

[ Wednesday, February 21, 2007 11:42: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Guardian
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I don't think any of the Avernums made it seem that a high level was the goal. In fact, in a lot of RPGs I enjoy low level battles much more than high level ones. With a low level party, tactics is highly important; all too often with high level parties, breaking the HP barrier is the top concern.

JV did promise Something Completely Different for A5, though.

EDIT: Spellings.

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[ Wednesday, February 21, 2007 11:57: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00