Greedy Goblin

Friday, September 26, 2014

Back in the old days when games were better (and new bonus room bans)

On lot of gaming blogs and forums you can read how "games went bad" since the "good old days". People tend to dismiss it as nostalgia, a false remembering of the old times, focusing on the good, ignoring the bad.  Since I'm a blogger, I have a diary of my old statements. I can show how I condemned changes when they happened and not in retrospect. I can prove that I didn't wake up one day and said "WoW was better in BC". Here is one of my oldest post, cursing moron friendly changes. Once they literally patched WoW to disable kicking bad players from Wintergrasp battles after I found that you can chain-win if you kick them. So I'm not looking through the fog of memories and say "WoW PvP was more fun back then" but can point at the exact moment when it stopped being fun: when Blizzard told "you must carry AFK-ers, bots and totally clueless morons".

However if its true, can we objectively say that games got worse over the years?

No. We can just say that we blamed the wrong bias for "back in the old days when games were better". It's not nostalgia. It's survivorship bias. Those who liked the games back then remained gamers and saw the changes in gaming industry bad. Those who didn't like the games back then quit, so their opinion is lost. You can't find people saying "I hated Burning Crusade and loved when they changed it" because those who didn't like BC quit it instead of keep playing and hating it. They say "I tried BC once, didn't like it, tried WoW now and like it".

So it's rather natural that those who kept playing in the old times liked those games. Mainstream games were better for us and now we have to settle with niche games like EVE. We aren't mad or nostalgic for thinking that. But there were lot of people who didn't play back then and play now. Their $15 is just as good as ours. Just like ours is as good as theirs and can give it to EVE and developers of similar games.

PS: James 315 posted a looong defense for the new bonus room participants who received their well-deserved bans. He compares them to the other events when embarrassing recordings of people like Makalu were released and doesn't see the difference. I can gladly point him to the right direction: no one provoked Makalu to be mad. He just got mad over a video game and made fool of himself. The guy who got himself into hospital by performing a stunt, but no one told him to do a dangerous stunt. You still don't see the difference? Then let me help:
  • Guy getting high and climbs into the tiger cage on his own? Literally Darwin Award!
  • Tricking someone to consume cannabis and encouraging him to climb in a tiger cage? That's 10+ years in prison for you!


MoxNix said...

When I was stationed in Germany there was a club in Rastatt named "The Garage" that had a Tiger in a glass cage.

Eventually they had to get rid of it because drunks kept jumping the barrier, walking right up to the glass and teasing the tiger.

Rasmus Forlorn said...

Better for the top players, harsher for the average Joe and Jane.

I guess it depends where you want to make your money from. If it's indeed from the average Joe and Jane, you need to discourage the strongest of players to just group up and slaughter any attempt of Joe and Jane to win, aka have fun playing the game.

One way to do that is to weigh you down. Either yo do that or you end up with all football players of one country thrown into one pot out of which teams are drafted - and if a few premier league guys get together, they will just kill anyone.

Guess long term everyone will lose their interest in playing football then. This is why there are secluded leagues where you are more likely to play within your class of ability. You can rise, but you don't have to in order to enjoy a good (aka about even) game.

After all it's not a game if you cannot win (just like it's not a game if you cannot lose).

Maybe that's something game designers could indeed look towards: how football and other games solve the skill gap problem. Wasn't LoL doing about the same thing?

I just guess in football the growth path is more clearly defined and understood - no village league guy in his right mind would say he plays football on national level. If we would, he would be playing in a national team. And to my knowledge, that's based on invitation and a hard selection on performance and commitment of the possible candidates only.

maxim said...

It would be a valid observation if us old school gamers still had the same amount of product dedicated to us than earlier.

I don't like the current state of affairs not because there are titles like Call of Duty, Madden and WoW. I don't like the current state of affairs because series like Dungeon Keeper never got followed up on, series like Final Fantasy mired themselves in stupid graphics race at the expense of gameplay and series like X-Com have been stripped of everything that made them good for the sake of accessibility.

The current industry sucks for us old gamers because it actually replaced things we liked with things we don't.

That is not to say that current game industry is objectively bad. Saying it is objectively bad would indeed be an example of survivorship bias. However, you can't just discount the fact that I (and who knows how many millions like me) simply personally don't like it.

Thankfully, things seem to be getting back on track recently. Bravely Default helped Square Enix to see the error of its ways. Dungeon Keeper is being brought back by indies - Battle for Overworld seems to really have a chance to get it right finally. And while X-Com getting back to its roots is highly unlikely, I am sure that it is only a matter of time before someone figures out there is a demand for a compelling global-war-against-aliens experience.

MMO-wise, this effect is going to be significantly delayed at least until we get an easy-to-deploy networking solution that indies can experiment with. So in MMOs we are stuck with WoW being not nearly as great as it was.

Anonymous said...

I still do play f-zero GX and wipeout 2097 weekly. Every now and then I try to beat my highscores. With D3 sucking from start till now I started playing D2 again, and looked into Baldur's Gate.

Good old games will be played, whatever niche they might be. great that those games are standalone single player. The online-only mmo generation of games has changed that ... so it's interesting to see the coming decades.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, did you even read James' post? If you had I doubt you'd simply say "well-deserved", cos many of those people did nothing wrong. I'd like to hear you argue how Bob Starseeker earned to be permabanned. Yet again you let your hatred cloud your judgement.

Gevlon said...

The "evidence" of James 315 for their innocence is "they claimed so".

Seriously did you expect them saying "yeah, I called some guys nigger faggots lol".

Anonymous said...

There's a vid going around the web about that Darwin Award. Nothing gory at all, but what struck me is that the guy sat on his knees (what looked like) praying for at least 3-4 minutes while the tiger was acting curious / annoyed, but didn't attack. Although I'm 100% for letting nature take it's course; during those 3-4 minutes a rescue could have easily been done.

Smite said...

OMG, Goblin, READ the article.
What James 315 is complaining about, and I think rightfully so, is the fact that those perople got banned not for actions, but for "being involved with a group".

To pick up your badly chosen RL examples, this would mean that the police comes to the house of a muslim/jew/polish/republican/democrat and arrests him for "involvement with a certain group"

CCP hasn't the decency to state what kind of involvement or what explicit action was banworthy.

Welcome to the thought police of 1984.
I really hate CODE. and James315, but what infuriates me even more that in this affair I have to agree with him.

Maybe CCP's law departmen was smart once in their lifetime. If they had argued that these people had commited RL harrassment, these players would have filed lawsuits for insult or even false accusation of a crime.

I have worked for many years as a lawyer and if there is a player from my homecountry banned, I would gladly and freely give advice how to react to such accusations.

"Being involved with a group" simply is not a breach of EULA/TOS if no explicit action can be pointed at.

Imagine being member of CFC would fall under the same "being involved with a certain group"
or maybe MARMITE? They "harrass" people only in hisec, if a victim woul have a mental breakdown and record this on TS3???
Pandora's box, I say...

Anonymous said...

@MpoxNix: "The Garage" in Rastatt was awesome. Went there a lot with a bunch of gilrs while studying in Karlsruhe. Can't remember the tiger though, but I was distractred^^

@Rasmus Forlorn: Sorry to disappoint you mate, but if only premier league players would form a team, almost any random group would wipe them. when was the last time that a FA team did win in an international FIFA or even UEFA tournament...

@Maxim: Dungeon Keeper was a disappointment! After uninstalling it for being a crappy game and going back to magic carpet, I never ever touched a game designed by Peter Molinyeux, except for Fable. WHICH DISAPPOINTED TOO!!!

FFII, FFVII, or even Final Fantasy Tactics, were awesome. Then it all went down the drain with square

Anonymous said...

The "evidence" of James 315 for their innocence is "they claimed so".

This might be true but there's also no evidence that they're guilty either so evidence is irrelevant until CCP stop refusing to release it.

Gevlon said...

@Smite: and this is exactly why CCP doesn't give a reason. If they'd say harrasment, they'd sue. So CCP says nothing.

The "involvement in a group" didn't come from CCP, it came from the banned ones. And we know it's not true: James himself isn't banned, despite no one is more involved in this highsec "content creator" group than him. Don't you think that he would be the first to be banned if the group is hit?

Everything we know from the case came from the banned ones who are admittedly scammers. So I wouldn't believe if they'd claim the rain is wet.

What really happened: they did something that made a profit-oriented company refusing their money. And that they admittedly resurrected the most despicable scene from EVE history. They claim that this time it "wasn't that bad".

Rammstein said...

Gevlon, two questions:

1. How would you react if CCP banned you and all your accounts with no explanation given, and refused to respond to any of your petitions afterwards?

2. After you were banned, how would you look upon people who reacted to your reaction by saying: "Everything we know from the case came from the banned one who is admittedly a goblin. So I wouldn't believe if he'd claim the rain is wet.

Many people are responding to this case with your attitude of "there's no evidence presented, so clearly CCP is right."; but I doubt any of you would feel the same if you were the one banned.

p.s. Before you respond "I have no chance of being banned since I don't participate in bonus rooms"; let's be honest,anyone donating ISK in the quantities you do is coming up on all sorts of automated RMT screens; all it takes is one incompetent GM and you're at least temporarily perma-banned. Less likely, but still possible, is some GM deciding something you do is large enough scale to constitute "manipulation of the markets" and you're permabanned for that. Wouldn't you want people to not assume you're guilty just because you'd been banned? You can be for banning people for the bonus room, while still against banning people without explanation given.

Gevlon said...

@Rammstein: No evidence is presented to us, because we aren't a court and it's not our damn business. It doesn't mean that the evidence doesn't exist or that wasn't properly examined.

If I'd be banned, I wouldn't expect the people to save me, since they can't.

Anonymous said...

(I dont know if you read en24 comments, so i will repost it here too)

Goblin, you just don't get it. You are always on a different page.
CCP makes shit calls. That's the way it works.
James was calling CCP out.
Let me give you a simple example:
Say your TV broke, and was in the 1 year warranty, you call Samsung. They say they will not fix it, and that you voided the warranty. You ask why. They won't tell you.
Or if they do, they say something bitchy like "improper use". When you then ask you you did improperly, they don't respond or say "if I tell you, then you may say we are wrong, and ride the line, so we won't tell you"

That is shitty customer service.

That's the point. It has nothing to do with "I hate james, so I do not agree with anything he says" I get you are attacking James credibility, but even people with bad credibility can be right sometimes. Sometime. And this time, even if his details are wrong (I dont know one way or the other for sure), his overall is msg very right.

CCP is shit at clarity and shit at customer service.

Rasmus Forlorn said...

@Anon 18:30
True point - a crew of stars against one organized team will have the same result as Brazil vs Germany had during the last world championship.

I was not referring to "random draft of pros playing against a equal level team of pros", but having all football players of a large population thrown into one pool and teams created mostly at random from it.

Do you want to argue that a team comprised of 8 village players, 2 mid league players and 1 pro stands any chance against 11 pros? If so please provide evidence - I would love to watch that match over a few beers :)

To transfer it to the WoW example and the chain wins Gevlon could achieve: sure, a well honed hardcore PvP guild (the counterpart to Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, etc) would have no problem wiping a ragtag crew of star players. A motley crew of average Joes and Janes though... wouldn't stand a chance.

So if you want to keep the average Joes' and Janes' money, you need to provide them with a chance so they are not slaughtered out of the subscription payments.