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Valve Single Player Clarification

A Gabe Newell interview offers a clarification of recent comments that "Portal 2 will probably be Valve's last game with an isolated single-player experience." Here's word:

“I think what we’re trying to talk about is the fact that, not that we’re not doing single player games. Portal 2 was a pretty good example of what we’ve learned over the years in terms of how to create those experiences. It’s more that we think we have to work harder in the future, that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends, by recognizing that you’re connected with other people.”
[…]
“That’s the thing that we’re trying to say, is that, single player is great but we also have to recognize that you have friends, and we wanna have that connected as well. So, it’s not about giving up on single player at all, it’s like saying, we actually think that there’s a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single player games to recognize the socially connected gamer.”

Thanks RipTen via VG247.

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76. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 11, 2011, 01:01 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on May 10, 2011, 20:07:
I still have screenshots of scores dating back to DN3D, so even back then some gamers liked having something more permanent than just tears.

Or take a screenshot of the console/chatlog and you can keep the tears forever
 
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75. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 11, 2011, 00:47 Jerykk
 
You've asked me to supply you with data to support your false conclusions. I'm not interested in participating in a farce like that, so feel free to source and cite your own points. Until such time as you do I think I, and anyone else reading this can conclude that you don't have a leg to stand on. I think we can consider this point addressed.

I've asked you to supply data to support YOUR conclusions, not mine. If your data does indeed support your argument and refutes mine, why on earth would you choose not to use it? That doesn't make any sense.

You said "Nobody enjoys doing the actual tasks required to get these achievements." It seems that your argument shifts anytime we actually focus on what you're saying. It's a little disingenuous, J. I think we can both consider this point addressed.

You're failing to distinguish between rewards and the process of attaining those rewards. In this case, the rewards are achievements. In that quote, I clearly state that people don't enjoy the tasks required to get achievements. I never said that people don't like the achievements themselves. That's the whole point of this argument. People are willing to complete silly/random/useless tasks in order to be rewarded with achievements. Without the reward, there is no incentive to complete those tasks because the tasks themselves are not enjoyable.

eSports tend to standardize loadouts to eliminate variables for players; it's less an issue of imbalance and more an issue of streamlining.

I don't think you understand what balance actually means. The whole point of standardizing loadouts is to ensure that skill is the only factor in a player's success. eSports focus entirely on skill, so that's why they don't want any other variables (like unlockables) involved.

I did answer your question, and you've once again ignored what I've written to reduce the argument to what you'd like it to say. I can't really be held accountable for your lack of reading comprehension, so please go back and read the thread again.

You said that you enjoy the tasks required to get achievements. You did not explain why you wouldn't perform these tasks anyway if there were no achievements involved. Actually, I think you said that you would have performed these tasks if you had thought of them yourself. But therein lies the problem: you wouldn't have thought of these tasks yourself because they are random and silly. They don't serve any practical purpose during gameplay and they don't offer any tactical advantage.

Just like you have to work to achieve your unlockables. We've now established that you're comfortable with imbalances, we're just talking about timescale; matches versus longer periods of time. I think we'll score this one a point in my favour, eh?

Sepharo refuted this point rather well so I'll just refer you to his post.

Yes, I think that players with stock weapons can indeed level an opposing team in TF2, no matter their loadout.

If both teams are equally skilled and one team has all the unlockables and the other has none, you honestly think that the team with unlockables has no advantage? Choice is an advantage. Different weapons and items are better suited for different playstyles, as you said. The team with unlockables can adopt more playstyles than the team without unlockables. That's an advantage. For example, if they are playing on a capture point map and a Soldier has the Buff Banner unlockable, he can give everyone around him mini-crits for a length of time. Conversely, the Soldier with no unlockables has a shotgun. While the shotgun may help the Soldier get individual kills, it does not offer any benefits to his teammates. In this situation, the Buff Banner clearly gives the team with unlockables an advantage.

One would think you would celebrate any game mechanic that gets more players to do that in more games.

You're not paying attention. The emergent tactics that players discovered in Tribes had significant impacts on gameplay and forced players to come up with counter-tactics and strategies. All of these discoveries worked towards the fundamental goal of winning matches. How many achievements do this?

No, I think you're the one that's angry. You're irrationally reaching for any point to support your argument, and you're doing your best to shift the goal-posts when you're unable to make a point.

I don't see anything irrational about my argument. I'm pretty sure I've been completely consistent as well. You can tell yourself otherwise but you really should take a look at your own claims first.
 
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74. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 20:38 Jerykk
 
And, for some, it's entertaining to feel like you've mastered the game only to have a new weapon unlock that you can learn to use and adapt with.

I don't have time right now to prepare a lengthy rebuttal to Graham so I'll just address this instead.

Is there any reason why the weapon couldn't just be available from the start? If all the weapons are unique and require different skills to master, it will take you a long time to master them all anyway. Unlockable weapons tend to be slightly different versions of other weapons anyway so it doesn't exactly require much effort to become proficient with them.

This comment was edited on May 10, 2011, 21:35.
 
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73. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 20:07 Beamer
 
I still have screenshots of scores dating back to DN3D, so even back then some gamers liked having something more permanent than just tears.



I'm fine with unlocks, but they need to be balanced. I think MW did this best thus far. 99% of unlocks were merely images, and those were actually a ton of fun to get. Again, because most often you'd get them without a clue you were going to do so. You throw a drop smoke and accidentally kill someone with it. BAM new title.
Most of the other unlocks made a player different, not better. Yes, the starting setup sucked, but within a short amount of time you'd have everything a SKILLED player would need to dominate. The only truely awesome things you could get otherwise were:
1) Dual p90s. I consider this a balancing flaw, though.
2) AK47. But you got this right before you "prestiged," which meant most better players didn't have it long.

I hated MMORPGs because they reward time, not skill. In fact, there's zero skill. To say unlockables take skill out of a game is idiotic, though. It's just a massively blanket statement. If you're good you're good. What it DOES take out, and what modern games even without it take out, is the whole weapon-pattern-domination strategy from older games where you knew every path from the machine gun to the rocket launcher to the ultrahealth to the ultradamage. But new strategies rise in place.

And, for some, it's entertaining to feel like you've mastered the game only to have a new weapon unlock that you can learn to use and adapt with. Blah Blah Blah "but a good player should be doing that anyway." F that, I could have killed most of you ten times over in CS, AQ2 or DN3D. You want to go with the big epeen argument I'll give you the big epeen response.




I've yet to see a game give someone Dmg++++ because they play lots. If I do I'll skip that game. So will most people.
 
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72. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 18:16 Sepharo
 
When you first faced an opposing player with quad-damage in Quake or the berserk pack in Doom did you just give up? Or did you try to find the best way to mitigate their advantage.
Nobody starts with an inherent advantage in Quake or Doom. Everybody starts with the same weapons and abilities. If you want to get better weapons or Quad Damage, you have to work for it.
Just like you have to work to achieve your unlockables. We've now established that you're comfortable with imbalances, we're just talking about timescale; matches versus longer periods of time. I think we'll score this one a point in my favour, eh?


I saw this response coming as soon as I read Jerykk's point, it was predictable, but equating the two is idiotic.

A match/round/whatever is a single unit of play. Within that playtime the aim is to be the best. Competing with people who have Dmg++++ because they've been playing 8 hours a day for a month is not even close to someone who fragged 3 guys in a rush for the quad damage which spawns repeatedly during the round.

One is skill based and the other is merely time-played based. You can be terrible but as long as you've been terrible for longer than the others in the server you'll have better unlockables.
 
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71. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 17:46 Graham
 
Jerykk wrote on May 10, 2011, 15:51:
You tried to suggest that the behaviour of people on these sites is indicative of a certain type of behaviour, the burden of proof is on YOU.

The very existence of sites dedicated to achievements is indicative of the appeal of operant conditioning. I highly doubt achievement websites would exist if people didn't care about getting icons or gamer points. You seem to be familiar with these websites so it shouldn't be difficult at all to provide links to them. The only reason not to do so would be if those websites reinforce my point.[/quote

This is factually incorrect. Your insistence on restating something that is false doesn't make it true. You've expressed a joy for debate but you're not really very good at it.

You've asked me to supply you with data to support your false conclusions. I'm not interested in participating in a farce like that, so feel free to source and cite your own points. Until such time as you do I think I, and anyone else reading this can conclude that you don't have a leg to stand on. I think we can consider this point addressed.

Actually, you were trying to suggest that people don't like achievements.

Please provide an actual quote where I suggest that. This entire argument has been about why people like achievements and why I don't agree with their mentality. I'm pretty sure I never, at any point, claimed that achievements were unpopular.

You said "Nobody enjoys doing the actual tasks required to get these achievements." It seems that your argument shifts anytime we actually focus on what you're saying. It's a little disingenuous, J. I think we can both consider this point addressed.

I've already answers your question as to why I find achievements to be a valuable guide; perhaps you weren't paying attention or you were too eager to form your next argument.

You still haven't answered my question: if the tasks required for achievements are enjoyable to you, shouldn't you be doing them even without the promise of an achievement? There's a big difference between "valuable guide" and "sole incentive." The only reason you'd go out of your way to try to set three scouts on fire at the same time in TF2 would be to get an achievement. Your argument essentially consists of "I like achievements!" without actually analyzing the underlying reasons why.


I did answer your question, and you've once again ignored what I've written to reduce the argument to what you'd like it to say. I can't really be held accountable for your lack of reading comprehension, so please go back and read the thread again.


When you first faced an opposing player with quad-damage in Quake or the berserk pack in Doom did you just give up? Or did you try to find the best way to mitigate their advantage.

Nobody starts with an inherent advantage in Quake or Doom. Everybody starts with the same weapons and abilities. If you want to get better weapons or Quad Damage, you have to work for it.


Just like you have to work to achieve your unlockables. We've now established that you're comfortable with imbalances, we're just talking about timescale; matches versus longer periods of time. I think we'll score this one a point in my favour, eh?


Do you currently have a list of games that you've worked on? I'm curious to see the work that you've done on balancing a multiplayer game.

You don't need to be a designer to realize that giving a player more/better weapons/items/abilities gives them an inherent advantage over players who lack those things. Let's take TF2, for example. If you have two equally skilled teams and one team has no unlockables, while the other team has every unlockable, are you honestly telling me that that's balanced? There's a reason why unlockables are banned during competitive TF2 play.


Yes, I think that players with stock weapons can indeed level an opposing team in TF2, no matter their loadout. Load out affects playstyle, but not stopping power. Let's take the pyro, for example: the Backburner offers crits on players lit from behind... but it triples the cost of airblast. As a stock pyro I can identify the BB from afar, and use my blasts to ensure that my opponent doesn't get close. I also have more opportunities to reflect projectiles.

This is a matter of balance and it's up to developers to do that. In TF2 they certainly have... if you disagree with that I simply don't think you've played enough of the game. I'd be interested to see your steam profile, just to get an idea if you speak from experience or now. I don't think you do.

When you say competitive multiplayer, if you're speaking of esports your point becomes moot–a strict set of guidelines exists to govern that. If you're not speaking of esports... at that point it's just a game, so chin up, buttercup, and keep playing (or not, as it suits you).

So you basically concede that unlockables are unbalanced. You just don't care. You could have just said that to begin with and saved us both a lot of time.


I've conceded nothing, you've drawn yet another spurious conclusion (you're a bit of an artist at it!). eSports tend to standardize loadouts to eliminate variables for players; it's less an issue of imbalance and more an issue of streamlining. You seem very eager to jump on anything that you think supports your argument. This doesn't.

You've generalized all achievements - read back in the thread and someone has already put your argument to bed on this as inherently false.

No, they haven't. As I've stated repeatedly, you don't need achievements to think outside the box. If doing something is enjoyable, you'll do it anyway. Like I mentioned, when I play stealth games, I go out of my way to avoid killing or incapacitating anyone. There are no achievements or unlockables for this. I do it because I enjoy it. In Tribes, people did all sorts of crazy stuff. Skiing, mine-discing, disc-jumping, mortar-jumping, body-blocking, beacon-stopping... these discoveries were made because players enjoyed thinking outside of the box and trying new things. And these weren't random and pointless tasks that people only did so they could get an icon. They all drastically changed the game and had tactical benefits.


Yes, actually they did (this isn't an argument anymore, it's just contradiction. It's fascinating that you've once again assigned the description of "random and pointless" when by their very nature these tasks are the diametric opposite of that.

It's great that a select few took it upon themselves to branch the gameplay of Tribes into new and interesting ways. One would think you would celebrate any game mechanic that gets more players to do that in more games. Instead you're against it because these new elements aren't being introduced by gamers auto didactically but instead from an outside agent. I fundamentally disagree with you that this makes their accomplishments worth less, and I think it really does highlight the superiority complex you have towards other games.


I'm not angry in the slightest, although I do take exception to the rather rude way you refer to me and people like me.

So... you are angry. Taking offense typically results in anger, which you've shown repeatedly throughout this thread. You're very clearly in denial about why you like achievements so it's understandable why you'd take offense.

No, I think you're the one that's angry. You're irrationally reaching for any point to support your argument, and you're doing your best to shift the goal-posts when you're unable to make a point.

I'm actually quite pleased about our discussion. Well, I was, until the point where you decided it should degenerate into mere contradiction. I paid $5 for a good argument, and all you've got left is "no you haven't!"

I wonder how long it'll take you to come around. In a not-so-distant future you'll find yourself perched behind a generic grenade launcher or automatic rifle. As the projectile spits forth from your gun, haphazardly reflecting off of environmental detritus you'll hear a splut, the dying cry of a virtual enemy around a corner, and a ding.

"Achievement unlocked: Ricochet"

You'll grin gleefully, briefly. Then you'll think back to this moment.

"Achievement unlocked: You finally got it."
 
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70. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 15:51 Jerykk
 
You tried to suggest that the behaviour of people on these sites is indicative of a certain type of behaviour, the burden of proof is on YOU.

The very existence of sites dedicated to achievements is indicative of the appeal of operant conditioning. I highly doubt achievement websites would exist if people didn't care about getting icons or gamer points. You seem to be familiar with these websites so it shouldn't be difficult at all to provide links to them. The only reason not to do so would be if those websites reinforce my point.

Actually, you were trying to suggest that people don't like achievements.

Please provide an actual quote where I suggest that. This entire argument has been about why people like achievements and why I don't agree with their mentality. I'm pretty sure I never, at any point, claimed that achievements were unpopular.

I've already answers your question as to why I find achievements to be a valuable guide; perhaps you weren't paying attention or you were too eager to form your next argument.

You still haven't answered my question: if the tasks required for achievements are enjoyable to you, shouldn't you be doing them even without the promise of an achievement? There's a big difference between "valuable guide" and "sole incentive." The only reason you'd go out of your way to try to set three scouts on fire at the same time in TF2 would be to get an achievement. Your argument essentially consists of "I like achievements!" without actually analyzing the underlying reasons why.

When you first faced an opposing player with quad-damage in Quake or the berserk pack in Doom did you just give up? Or did you try to find the best way to mitigate their advantage.

Nobody starts with an inherent advantage in Quake or Doom. Everybody starts with the same weapons and abilities. If you want to get better weapons or Quad Damage, you have to work for it.

Do you currently have a list of games that you've worked on? I'm curious to see the work that you've done on balancing a multiplayer game.

You don't need to be a designer to realize that giving a player more/better weapons/items/abilities gives them an inherent advantage over players who lack those things. Let's take TF2, for example. If you have two equally skilled teams and one team has no unlockables, while the other team has every unlockable, are you honestly telling me that that's balanced? There's a reason why unlockables are banned during competitive TF2 play.

When you say competitive multiplayer, if you're speaking of esports your point becomes moot–a strict set of guidelines exists to govern that. If you're not speaking of esports... at that point it's just a game, so chin up, buttercup, and keep playing (or not, as it suits you).

So you basically concede that unlockables are unbalanced. You just don't care. You could have just said that to begin with and saved us both a lot of time.

You've generalized all achievements - read back in the thread and someone has already put your argument to bed on this as inherently false.

No, they haven't. As I've stated repeatedly, you don't need achievements to think outside the box. If doing something is enjoyable, you'll do it anyway. Like I mentioned, when I play stealth games, I go out of my way to avoid killing or incapacitating anyone. There are no achievements or unlockables for this. I do it because I enjoy it. In Tribes, people did all sorts of crazy stuff. Skiing, mine-discing, disc-jumping, mortar-jumping, body-blocking, beacon-stopping... these discoveries were made because players enjoyed thinking outside of the box and trying new things. And these weren't random and pointless tasks that people only did so they could get an icon. They all drastically changed the game and had tactical benefits.

I'm not angry in the slightest, although I do take exception to the rather rude way you refer to me and people like me.

So... you are angry. Taking offense typically results in anger, which you've shown repeatedly throughout this thread. You're very clearly in denial about why you like achievements so it's understandable why you'd take offense.
 
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69. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 14:07 Creston
 
Graham wrote on May 9, 2011, 19:13:
Easy there, Cresty. You said yourself: "So it's going to get linked to people's Facebook profiles? After all, look how fantastic that option was in Starcraft 2." Backing off simply because you were called on it and trying to cover it up as sarcastic exaggeration doesn't become you.

You might want to try to figure out the difference between "linking to a facebook profile" and "Making the next Farmville" ...


You see a lot of people drawing an inaccurate conclusion that Valve is ditching Half-Life-like games (they didn't say anything of the sort) and antipathy (not apathy) towards social gaming. The freak-out it pretty clear from the reaction; you don't jump to "we're looking to involve people more socially" to "ditching Half-Life-like games" without a little panic. /shrug - you don't see it, most likely because it doesn't support your argument.

Oh, I see. Because I feel differently about a subject than you do, my view is therefore of the "Well, you just don't see it because it doesn't support your argument!" variety. I get it.

Are you cold up there? Need a space heater? I hear those ivory towers can get mighty chilly.

You haven't given up on just Half-Life, though, have you? Reading through the comments here on a daily basis it's pretty clear that you've given up on most games. What on Earth DO you play anymore?

Ah, and there comes the personal attack. That only took two posts. Good for you, kid. But yeah, you're right. It's "pretty clear" I have no excitement for any game left at all. I haven't been squealing in excitement about Skyrim, or Mass Effect 3, or the next Assassin's Creed, or Deus Ex Human Revolution, or LA Noire, or Guild Wars 2, or the next GTA. I've imagined all those posts.

As for what I've been playing, let's see. Portal 2, just finished another Mass Effect 2 playthrough and a Red Faction Guerilla playthrough. Working my way through Batman Arkham Asylum AND Alpha Protocol... ehm... Plants vs Zombies and Shatter... oh, and I've restarted Assassin's Creed 2. And of course LA Noire comes out next week, and it'll be awesome to play that, since it's one of the few games my wife can get into. (Which is kind of how I like to play social games. With someone in the same room. That doesn't mean my way is better, it's just different.)

So yeah, you're right. Your incredible reading comprehension has succesfully deducted that I like no games whatsoever.

(hint: If you're going to try to play the ultra, ultra, ultra-tired "Nobody at Bluesnews like ANY game at all!" card (and really, it got old six years ago), try it with some of the people here who REALLY don't like anything. You look kinda silly kicking at that straw man of yours.)

It's fabulous that you're self sufficient. Perhaps YOU don't get this, but the "ton" of people here is a drop in the bucket, and that drop really holds an antiquated view. The example that you've given with Dragon Age is the nascent form of what will be the future of social integration. They've got to start somewhere, and it's only the truly blind that will insult an artist's first sketch.

I like that last analogy, that's pretty cool. Let's see if I can summarize the entire argument for you:

1) You stated that you don't understand why people here, AT BLUES, are so upset over the implied (whether legitimate or not) goal by Valve to stop doing isolated single player experiences, and focus on social gaming, whatever form that may take.

2) To which I have explained (or at least tried to) that the large majority of people here, AT BLUES, are of the kind that enjoy isolated single player experiences. How do I know this? Well, I've been hanging out on this board since around 1999, and in that time we've had many thousands of posters. And most of the ones that hang around tend to be the kind that enjoy the same kind of stuff, that mostly being single player games on the PC that look and feel like an actual PC game. That's really not that hard to infer. Like seeks like, after all. Someone who loves mindlessly grinding Call of Duty on the 360, is going to hang out with other people who enjoy that, of which there really aren't that many around here. That's not to say we don't have any like them here, but in general, the Blues forum audience tends to lean a certain direction.

You ask why this audience feels this way about a certain subject, I replied to explain why I think the audience feels this way.

I have never claimed that we're somehow a massive majority of gamers to which Valve should pay attention. That's what YOU are trying to turn my words into. In my previous post I've even agreed with your "you'll be left behind" argument. here, see?
I do agree that it'll mean we get left behind, however.
It helps if you try to keep track of the argument.


It's not just gaming that's becoming social, it's everything that we do.

Yup, great. Is it mandatory to jump for joy, or am I allowed to have my own opinion, and think Facebook and twitter and social media of that kind are kind of retarded? And that Dragon Age's "social integration" serves no purpose whatsoever?


We have a (relatively) new forum for discussing and consulting on all forms of entertainment. Both the Kindle and the Copia app allow people to discuss books as they read them. Demon's Souls offered an amazing social experience in a mostly single player game by letting users leave messages for one another to help or hinder. THESE are creative uses of social, not just your reduction to the vanguard of achievements et. al.

Kindly point out to me where I am "reducing everything to the vanguard of achievements et. al.?" Because I'm fairly certain that I've never actually said that. Again, it helps to keep track of an argument.


Reductio ad absurdum, and a phenomenal example of "stop liking things that I hate".

I've never said that. You're again trying to twist my words into something that they aren't, which is a very poor form of arguing. I've even EXPLICITLY stated that if YOU like it, more power and friends to you. Do you see that part? Here it is: You enjoy hanging out with your "friends" on facebook, great. More power and friends to you.


Again, you're not the target audience

I've never said that we are. You keep bringing that up as some kind of trump card, and you're using it to counter a position I've never taken. I've merely explained why people here AT BLUES are worried (whether justified or not) that one of the last great single player developers on the PC is saying "we're not going to do isolated single player like Portal 2 anymore."

I PERSONALLY don't like social gaming. It's never provided me with a single benefit or even a marginal modicum of extra entertainment above what I normally get out of a game. Last I checked, I was actually free to have that opinion in the good old USA.


and because of this it appears that your entertainment options will be reduced to a more manageable number in the future.

Yup. Which I've never denied. How does that somehow, in your mind, turn into this belief that I'm not allowed to be disappointed by that? I like the game industry when it makes great single player games. I don't like the game industry when it massively shifts to social stuff.
Where you come from, is everyone forced to have the same opinion or something? Must be really dreary living there.


Unless, of course, some developer hears the clarion call of the solitary gamer and wisely attempts to monetize it.

Oh, seeing as how I'm quite certainly not the only one who enjoys good quality single player games, I'm pretty sure that there will always be devs who make the kind of games that I want. And I'm also pretty sure that those devs will make one or two games that I want, then realize they can make more money elsewhere, and then shift their focus elsewhere. And I'm pretty certain that they are perfectly allowed to do so, and I'm also pretty certain that I AM actually allowed to be disappointed when they do.


It does you absolutely no good at all. This is the worst possible thing that could happen to gaming for you. It's the death of your hobby as you know it, and you'll never derive any pleasure from it again.

Oops, there's that sarcastic exaggeration... but I think I've made my point.

Really? Because so far you've been trying to make a point by bleating about arguments I've never made, and by kicking that little straw man of yours until the poor thing bleeds.

Let me state the argument again for you one more time :

- Valve makes ambiguous statement that they are done with isolated single player games.
- fans of single player games, here at blues, express disappointment over what this might entail. Which is often what we do around here.
- You wonder why people feel that way, since in your eyes, social gaming is the great Nirvana that will bring peace and prosperity to all.
- I explain to you why not everyone feels that way, since if you like single player games, social gaming has zero benefit to you.
- you go off on all sorts of tangents about how nobody cares what the small minority feels, even though I never made that argument.

This is a forum for discussion, and people are actually allowed to have different opinions. It's the forum's first rule, actually.

While you've been a loyal customer in the past, it may be that developers that you've supported will change their business model to something you don't like.

Absolutely. And guess what? It may also be then that those loyal customers... feel bad about that!
OMG?!! It's like the clouds have lifted and true knowledge has rained down onto the world.

You have, however, created a very efficiently deconstructed false dichotomy here. You (and others) are suggesting that a kick-ass (single player) game can't exist in a world where developers are creating new content with a socially connected mindset.

No, I don't think that I've ever really said that. I have, in fact, EXPLICITLY said that if their social focus takes the form of something that I can ignore in my single player games, I have no issue with.
here, let me quote that again: If it's strictly an added feature that doesn't cater to the SP crowd, eh, then that's fine.

See? It helps if you actually read what someone says.

This remains to be seen, and I think you're both foolish to a) focus on that conclusion when it has yet to be demonstrated

I'm not really focussed on it. I've just said that I'm worried about it. Which, I'm pretty sure, I'm quite allowed to do.

and b) getting angry at something that hasn't happened yet, and according to a flip of a coin that I just conducted won't happen at all! (My coin flip is just as accurate as your baseless assessment )

I get it. In your world, someone should only worry about something once it's already happened. Okay, fair enough.
In my world, people are allowed to worry over something POTENTIALLY happening, especially on a forum where we often discuss where PC gaming is going, and whether we like that direction or not.
I'm sorry that you don't like it when people don't share your opinion, but that does sort of happen every once in awhile on planet Earth.


As a gamer who enjoys games made by developers whose staff are content and well-paid (I would include those at Valve in this number) I am pleased to see that they are.

Good. More benefit for you, then, and undoubtedly more games in which you can hulk out with your friends.

See how that works? You like it, which is your right.

That said, I think you've reduced this to a single element equation again. While the pursuit of capital may be an auxiliary point, I honestly think that these developers are aiming to create an innovative game experience.

I will agree that that's probably true, since Valve really hasn't ever been one of the main MONEY MONEY MONEY guys. That's really just EA and Activision that I like to rail at. However, EA has infested one of my favorite developers of all-time (Bioware) with their MONEY MONEY MONEY horseshit, and so yeah, when another favorite developer of mine makes some noises in the same direction, I do get a little woried. And whether or not they'll succeed in making a truly innovative game experience, we'll have to wait and see. It's just as likely that their next game will just have (in my eyes) useless facebook integration and other "social" crap that require me to log into three different clubs, or something.

Again, with the understanding that if they decide to do so, there's nothing I can do about it, and I'll just buy someone else's games. For every Bioware that slowly but surely turns into another EA shithole, there's a new developer, Indie or not, that creates the stuff that I do like.


What's more, I think they'll do it too. It may simply come down to optimism versus pessimism. Look at it this way: if it's terrible and people don't like it, the social aspect will find itself dead in the water and we can go back to the good old days of silent protagonists perched behind over-designed weaponry, with nary a pop-up or gamerscore to be seen.

Which is doubtful, since I know full well that the large majority of people, for whatever reason, enjoy the completely meaningless trivia that is "gamerscore."
There is a reason devs are flocking towards the social strata, and that's because that's where the money and the customers are, although I do think that the devs themselves (devs/publishers, whatever) actually have a too simple mindset where they see Farmville and its 900 billion customers and figure that if they just cater to that, they'll somehow get all those people interested in whatever THEIR game happens to be. And as I said before, I don't think there's a ton of overlap in the Farmville crowd vs the Half Life 2 crowd.


Graham - signing his post for the very first time!

Hah! Another convert. I'll get Blue to make it mandatory yet, dammit!

Creston
 
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68. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 13:59 Graham
 
Jerykk wrote on May 10, 2011, 04:36:
You think it's alright for you to malign a group of people with a baseless attack and then ask me to prove you wrong? No, sir, the burden of proof is on you.

You cited high volume achievement websites as proof that people enjoy the process of getting achievements more than the achievements themselves. When you cite specific pieces of evidence as support for your claims, the burden of proof is upon you.

You tried to suggest that the behaviour of people on these sites is indicative of a certain type of behaviour, the burden of proof is on YOU.

Fun is inherently subjective... EXACTLY! Finally you're starting to grasp it! And... stay with me on this, J... but what you find fun isn't necessarily fun for others. So let's walk that through to the logical conclusion... what others find fun isn't necessarily fun for you!

You're still missing the point. I'm not debating that people like achievements. I'm debating why they like achievements. Do they enjoy the process of getting them? Or do they simply feel compelled to get them, even if the process itself is usually tedious? Look up operant conditioning. It's the driving principle behind achievements, ranking systems, unlockables, etc. Such things typically appeal to casual gamers who do not find any appeal in things like depth or challenge. They must be provided with tangible rewards as motivation, otherwise they see no point in trying. That's why practically every game these days relies on operant conditioning, whereas most games in the 90's and early 2000's did not. As gaming grew more mainstream, casual gamers became the largest demographic and developers found themselves needing to rely on operant conditioning to cater to this audience.

Now, I'm not saying that you're a casual gamer. Hell, you may even be completely immune to operant conditioning and genuinely enjoy the process of completing achievements. But if that's the case, you have to ask yourself why you only feel compelled to do these things when presented with achievements? Why wouldn't you try them otherwise? If the tasks are enjoyable, you would have been inclined to do them anyway, right?



Actually, you were trying to suggest that people don't like achievements. Then you denigrated the existence of achievements and attempted to devalue those who seek them, suggesting that their motives were purely narcissistic.

You've attempted to ask and answer your own question here, using supposition to draw a conclusion regarding a disparate group of people and their motivations. Your conclusions are spurious and uncited; ultimately they're invalid.

I've already answers your question as to why I find achievements to be a valuable guide; perhaps you weren't paying attention or you were too eager to form your next argument. Go back and read what we've discussed and see if you can pick up on it.

As someone else here pointed out, it seems like you're not in favour of any sort of unlockables, whether they're based on skill or whatnot.

Unlockables are inherently unbalanced. The players with the most unlockables are the ones who have been playing the longest and/or possess the most skill. To give these players an additional advantage on top of the ones they already have is unbalanced. It only widens the gap between new players and experienced players and tips the scale when equally skilled players face one another. The only distinction between players in a competitive multiplayer game should be skill.


Do you currently have a list of games that you've worked on? I'm curious to see the work that you've done on balancing a multiplayer game.

It's fascinating that you demand a level playing field in gaming where none exists elsewhere in the world. Life really isn't fair, but gaming should be?

Unlockables are an interesting element; they're like permanent power-ups. When you first faced an opposing player with quad-damage in Quake or the berserk pack in Doom did you just give up? Or did you try to find the best way to mitigate their advantage. The same goes for unlockables: man up and play the game.

When you say competitive multiplayer, if you're speaking of esports your point becomes moot–a strict set of guidelines exists to govern that. If you're not speaking of esports... at that point it's just a game, so chin up, buttercup, and keep playing (or not, as it suits you).


I did indeed cite TF2; your criticisms with it notwithstanding (and they were irrelevant at that) we were discussing single player games. Perhaps you'd like to address them with some points... or don't you have any?

Wait, let me get this straight. We were discussing single-player games, then you bring up a multiplayer game, I respond to that, then you tell me that I'm the one going off on tangents and that I should get back on topic? Really..?


Yes, really!

In any case, I've already explained why I dislike achievements in single-player games. They are generally random and pointless and exist as cheap incentives to get players to continue playing games that they would have otherwise dropped. Players should be compelled to keep playing because games have depth and longevity, not because you're dangling a carrot in front of them. This promotes laziness on behalf of developers. Why bother making a game with genuinely deep gameplay when you can just throw in a bunch of achievements, rankings and unlockables and guarantee yourself an audience of shallow, uninspired people?


You've generalized all achievements - read back in the thread and someone has already put your argument to bed on this as inherently false. You've also taken the time to insult both developers and gamers who enjoy these additional challenges on top of well-designed gameplay. Your superiority complex here is strong, and completely undeserved.

It really sounds like games aren't that much fun for you. I almost feel bad for you. It's a shame that this hobby makes you so angry.

What makes you think I'm angry? I find great joy in debate, especially about topics that I'm passionate about, like gaming. If arguing on a forum makes you angry, you should probably stop.

This isn't really passion from you. It's vitriol. It doesn't sound like you find great joy, it seems that you're very clearly frustrated about the direction that gaming is taking and the fact that you're powerless to change it. I'm not angry in the slightest, although I do take exception to the rather rude way you refer to me and people like me. That said, I do find solace in the fact that you're wrong and that gaming is going to continue to evolve in a way that I enjoy and that you do not Spiteful? Perhaps, but I have that luxury
 
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67. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 04:36 Jerykk
 
You think it's alright for you to malign a group of people with a baseless attack and then ask me to prove you wrong? No, sir, the burden of proof is on you.

You cited high volume achievement websites as proof that people enjoy the process of getting achievements more than the achievements themselves. When you cite specific pieces of evidence as support for your claims, the burden of proof is upon you.

Fun is inherently subjective... EXACTLY! Finally you're starting to grasp it! And... stay with me on this, J... but what you find fun isn't necessarily fun for others. So let's walk that through to the logical conclusion... what others find fun isn't necessarily fun for you!

You're still missing the point. I'm not debating that people like achievements. I'm debating why they like achievements. Do they enjoy the process of getting them? Or do they simply feel compelled to get them, even if the process itself is usually tedious? Look up operant conditioning. It's the driving principle behind achievements, ranking systems, unlockables, etc. Such things typically appeal to casual gamers who do not find any appeal in things like depth or challenge. They must be provided with tangible rewards as motivation, otherwise they see no point in trying. That's why practically every game these days relies on operant conditioning, whereas most games in the 90's and early 2000's did not. As gaming grew more mainstream, casual gamers became the largest demographic and developers found themselves needing to rely on operant conditioning to cater to this audience.

Now, I'm not saying that you're a casual gamer. Hell, you may even be completely immune to operant conditioning and genuinely enjoy the process of completing achievements. But if that's the case, you have to ask yourself why you only feel compelled to do these things when presented with achievements? Why wouldn't you try them otherwise? If the tasks are enjoyable, you would have been inclined to do them anyway, right?

As someone else here pointed out, it seems like you're not in favour of any sort of unlockables, whether they're based on skill or whatnot.

Unlockables are inherently unbalanced. The players with the most unlockables are the ones who have been playing the longest and/or possess the most skill. To give these players an additional advantage on top of the ones they already have is unbalanced. It only widens the gap between new players and experienced players and tips the scale when equally skilled players face one another. The only distinction between players in a competitive multiplayer game should be skill.

I did indeed cite TF2; your criticisms with it notwithstanding (and they were irrelevant at that) we were discussing single player games. Perhaps you'd like to address them with some points... or don't you have any?

Wait, let me get this straight. We were discussing single-player games, then you bring up a multiplayer game, I respond to that, then you tell me that I'm the one going off on tangents and that I should get back on topic? Really..?

In any case, I've already explained why I dislike achievements in single-player games. They are generally random and pointless and exist as cheap incentives to get players to continue playing games that they would have otherwise dropped. Players should be compelled to keep playing because games have depth and longevity, not because you're dangling a carrot in front of them. This promotes laziness on behalf of developers. Why bother making a game with genuinely deep gameplay when you can just throw in a bunch of achievements, rankings and unlockables and guarantee yourself an audience of shallow, uninspired people?

It really sounds like games aren't that much fun for you. I almost feel bad for you. It's a shame that this hobby makes you so angry.

What makes you think I'm angry? I find great joy in debate, especially about topics that I'm passionate about, like gaming. If arguing on a forum makes you angry, you should probably stop.

This comment was edited on May 10, 2011, 04:50.
 
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66. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 04:12 Graham
 
Jerykk wrote on May 10, 2011, 02:20:
And I'm saying that you're coming to a spurious, inflammatory conclusion that's rather insulting to a large group of people without having any evidence to corroborate your viewpoint. The simple existence of high volume for achievement sites does correlate to your conclusion. You've made a leap of logic here that simply can't be sustained.

Okay. Give me some links to those high volume achievement sites you mentioned earlier. I'm curious to see how many of them focus on X360 achievements and more specifically, GamerPoints. I'd also like to check the forums and see how many talk about how much they enjoyed the process of getting said achievements vs the ease with which they can get points.

You think it's alright for you to malign a group of people with a baseless attack and then ask me to prove you wrong? No, sir, the burden of proof is on you.


No, that's not the question at all, and if it is for you it's clear you don't play a lot of TF2. Winning the map in TF2 isn't the object; even winning individual engagements isn't the object. Having fun is - and it's amazing that someone who is so dead set against "arbitrary" goals like achievement is blind to that fact.

Now you're just being silly. Fun is inherently subjective. The primary objective of a competitive multiplayer game is not. The whole point of the game is to defeat the opposing team. That goal is where all the depth, teamwork and gameplay stem from. Those are the things I consider fun. If you remove that goal, it's no longer even a game. It's simply a sandbox. It's like taking the "win the race" objective out of a racing game. Or the "defeat your opponent" objective out of a fighting game. You're removing the very foundation of the game and the reason it exists.

Comparing random and pointless Achievements with the defining purpose behind a game is absurd.

Fun is inherently subjective... EXACTLY! Finally you're starting to grasp it! And... stay with me on this, J... but what you find fun isn't necessarily fun for others. So let's walk that through to the logical conclusion... what others find fun isn't necessarily fun for you!

So you've agreed in principle that while you may not like achievements, that they hold value for others. I'm glad we're making progress here, even if you're a bit slow to realize it. You've suggested absurdity here, but the only absurd thing is the fact that you're making my point for me without realizing it.

I generally try to avoid pessimism. I don't see the point in it. Worry about something when it happens, until that point hope is much easier to engage in. Sure you'll be let down sometimes, but if you're investing a lot emotionally into the promise of a video game... well, again, priorities.

I generally try to be realistic. It makes it much easier to be pleasantly surprised and much harder to be disappointed.

As someone else here pointed out, it seems like you're not in favour of any sort of unlockables, whether they're based on skill or whatnot. That's less of a realism thing and more nihilistic. I suppose that does make you hard to disappoint indeed.

You've made another spurious conclusion here... and we were talking about achievements in single player games which makes your argument even more moot than it already was previously.

You're the one who specifically cited TF2 as an example of meaningful achievements. Your memory must be very selective.

I did indeed cite TF2; your criticisms with it notwithstanding (and they were irrelevant at that) we were discussing single player games. Perhaps you'd like to address them with some points... or don't you have any? My memory is far from selective, I'm just trying to return you to the point of the discussion after you got carried away with something.

Perhaps you're the sort that plays through every game in its entirety, experiencing everything it has to offer all on your own without any outside motivation.

Pretty much. But even I would be hard-pressed to enjoy a game with no objectives whatsoever. The difference between you and I is that you believe that hunting achievements is as equally important as helping your team win.

It really sounds like games aren't that much fun for you. I almost feel bad for you. It's a shame that this hobby makes you so angry.
 
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65. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 03:25 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on May 10, 2011, 01:26:
So how can a developer reward you for doing something sweet in multiplayer?

Come on Beamer, all MP gamers should know that the best rewards are the tears of the opponents.
 
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64. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 02:20 Jerykk
 
And I'm saying that you're coming to a spurious, inflammatory conclusion that's rather insulting to a large group of people without having any evidence to corroborate your viewpoint. The simple existence of high volume for achievement sites does correlate to your conclusion. You've made a leap of logic here that simply can't be sustained.

Okay. Give me some links to those high volume achievement sites you mentioned earlier. I'm curious to see how many of them focus on X360 achievements and more specifically, GamerPoints. I'd also like to check the forums and see how many talk about how much they enjoyed the process of getting said achievements vs the ease with which they can get points.

No, that's not the question at all, and if it is for you it's clear you don't play a lot of TF2. Winning the map in TF2 isn't the object; even winning individual engagements isn't the object. Having fun is - and it's amazing that someone who is so dead set against "arbitrary" goals like achievement is blind to that fact.

Now you're just being silly. Fun is inherently subjective. The primary objective of a competitive multiplayer game is not. The whole point of the game is to defeat the opposing team. That goal is where all the depth, teamwork and gameplay stem from. Those are the things I consider fun. If you remove that goal, it's no longer even a game. It's simply a sandbox. It's like taking the "win the race" objective out of a racing game. Or the "defeat your opponent" objective out of a fighting game. You're removing the very foundation of the game and the reason it exists.

Comparing random and pointless Achievements with the defining purpose behind a game is absurd.

I generally try to avoid pessimism. I don't see the point in it. Worry about something when it happens, until that point hope is much easier to engage in. Sure you'll be let down sometimes, but if you're investing a lot emotionally into the promise of a video game... well, again, priorities.

I generally try to be realistic. It makes it much easier to be pleasantly surprised and much harder to be disappointed.

You've made another spurious conclusion here... and we were talking about achievements in single player games which makes your argument even more moot than it already was previously.

You're the one who specifically cited TF2 as an example of meaningful achievements. Your memory must be very selective.

Perhaps you're the sort that plays through every game in its entirety, experiencing everything it has to offer all on your own without any outside motivation.

Pretty much. But even I would be hard-pressed to enjoy a game with no objectives whatsoever. The difference between you and I is that you believe that hunting achievements is as equally important as helping your team win.
 
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63. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 01:35 Jerykk
 
So how can a developer reward you for doing something sweet in multiplayer? You dislike unlocks because of the balance issue (99% certain I've heard you say this about MW2.) You dislike achievements because they're harmless with no real meaning.


So you just want... nothing?

That's the very mentality that I take issue with. If do something sweet in a game, that's all I need to feel satisfied. I'm happy knowing that I did something awesome. I don't need some icon or points to remind me of that.

What you're basically saying is that gameplay is not enough. The game has to give you some tangible reward as proof, otherwise the experiences you have and the feats you perform are meaningless.
 
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62. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 01:26 Beamer
 
There's a pretty significant difference between unlocking an icon (a.k.a. achievement) and unlocking a new weapon and/or ability. Achievements are completely and utterly useless. They have no impact on the gameplay experience and no utility in or out of the game. They exist for the sole reason of boosting your ePeen.


The issue here, Jerykk, is that you also complain about multiplayer unlocks.
So how can a developer reward you for doing something sweet in multiplayer? You dislike unlocks because of the balance issue (99% certain I've heard you say this about MW2.) You dislike achievements because they're harmless with no real meaning.


So you just want... nothing?
 
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61. Re: Evening Consolidation May 10, 2011, 01:23 Beamer
 

By the way dear gamers, where the heck did this "achievements" thing come from? I have never ever ever cared about a bunch of random external hoops that need jumping just for the sake of jumping.

Well, your rant lumps them all into one thing, which is a little unfair.

There are remarkably bad achievements. Look at MineCraft: you get an achievement for opening your inventory. Idiotic. Other games give you achievements for beating level 1. Hooray!

There are remarkably annoying achievements. These are the ones that reward you for standing in one place for 20 minutes and not doing anything. Stupid.

There are weird achievements that make you go into excess. Dead Rising had a similar one, the need to kill the whole population's worth of zombies, but that also had a tangible in-game reward attached. Not a terrible one, even without it, but one I'd likely never do.

There are challenge achievements. I think these can be fun. Geometry Wars had one of the best ones, where you got an achievement for lasting a minute without firing a shot. It's short so you can keep trying for it without losing any real time and it's challenging and therefore rewarding. Some games do this so poorly, though, and reward you for doing something ridiculously, frustratingly, non-sensically hard, or reward you for beating the whole game without hitting the space key; something that takes hours to achieve and you may or may not know if you're making progress.

Then there are skill achievements. I like these best. These are the ones that sometimes you'll find yourself killing yourself to get (which grows tiring), but sometimes they'll just pop up while you're kicking ass. You won't even realize you're doing something considered incredible until the achievement pops up. When things cool down you'll take a look, see what it was, and think "awesome, I decapitated 50 kittens without taking any damage. I didn't even realize!)



Achievements are what the developer makes of them. They can be awesome and rewarding. They can be stupid or grueling. Overall I feel like they add some enhancement.

 
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60. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 10, 2011, 00:42 Graham
 
Jerykk wrote on May 9, 2011, 23:35:

I think we can both agree that online forums aren't really representative of the actual weight of game-purchasing consumers; we're a unique subset of the vocal minority; the actual popularity of social games (and the existence of several high volume sites dedicated to the pursuit of achievements) contradicts the conclusions you've drawn from your relatively small sample-size.

I think there's been some miscommunication here. I'm not saying that the vast majority of gamers dislike achievements. I'm saying that they like achievements because it boosts their ePeen size. The high volume sites dedicated to the pursuit of achievements kinda proves that.

And I'm saying that you're coming to a spurious, inflammatory conclusion that's rather insulting to a large group of people without having any evidence to corroborate your viewpoint. The simple existence of high volume for achievement sites does correlate to your conclusion. You've made a leap of logic here that simply can't be sustained.

The achievements in Team Fortress 2 are a good example; I wouldn't have thought of trying to Uber two teammates at the same time as a medic, nor making an effort to light a trio of scouts up as a Pyro. Blocking another invulnerable Heavy-Medic combo as an Ubered Heavy? Alright, I'm on it!

The question is how much your efforts to complete these achievements distract you from focusing on helping your team win. These achievements are things that you have to go out of your way to do. That's because they are impractical. The more time you spend trying to accomplish random goals, the less time you spend being useful to your team. If you could quickly and easily accomplish each achievement task, it wouldn't be such a big issue. But chances are that you're going to fail repeatedly and each failure represents wasted time and effort that could have been used on more effective tactics.

No, that's not the question at all, and if it is for you it's clear you don't play a lot of TF2. Winning the map in TF2 isn't the object; even winning individual engagements isn't the object. Having fun is - and it's amazing that someone who is so dead set against "arbitrary" goals like achievement is blind to that fact. If games for you are only fun if you're useful I can respect that, but it must be incredibly limiting. Your dedication to efficiency is impressive... but I think you might be missing the point of this hobby.

EOL: complaining that gaming is changing and that you want your Tribes back is a little passé. It's not going to happen unless you write it yourself... which, given my interest in a new Tribes game I would heartily suggest you do.

There are actually two Tribes games in development right now. Tribes: Ascend and Tribes: Universe. I'm not really optimistic about either but there's a remote chance that they could be good.

I generally try to avoid pessimism. I don't see the point in it. Worry about something when it happens, until that point hope is much easier to engage in. Sure you'll be let down sometimes, but if you're investing a lot emotionally into the promise of a video game... well, again, priorities.

Achievements are random and arbitrary goals that people would not do if they were not rewarded with icons or gamer points. Getting an achievement doesn't help you or your team win the match. In fact, you're usually pretty useless to your team when you're busy pursuing random goals.

You've made another spurious conclusion here... and we were talking about achievements in single player games which makes your argument even more moot than it already was previously.

Perhaps you're the sort that plays through every game in its entirety, experiencing everything it has to offer all on your own without any outside motivation. Sadly some of us are not so gifted, and don't mind having a list of interesting things to do presented to us (yes, yes, I'm aware you're not interested in them, but thankfully not everyone shares your outlook).

Really what it breaks down to is that you don't understand why people like achievements and they bother you. I'd suggest hanging on to the first element of that but letting the second go. It'll reduce your expenditures on antacids later in life.
 
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59. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 9, 2011, 23:35 Jerykk
 

I think we can both agree that online forums aren't really representative of the actual weight of game-purchasing consumers; we're a unique subset of the vocal minority; the actual popularity of social games (and the existence of several high volume sites dedicated to the pursuit of achievements) contradicts the conclusions you've drawn from your relatively small sample-size.

I think there's been some miscommunication here. I'm not saying that the vast majority of gamers dislike achievements. I'm saying that they like achievements because it boosts their ePeen size. The high volume sites dedicated to the pursuit of achievements kinda proves that.

The achievements in Team Fortress 2 are a good example; I wouldn't have thought of trying to Uber two teammates at the same time as a medic, nor making an effort to light a trio of scouts up as a Pyro. Blocking another invulnerable Heavy-Medic combo as an Ubered Heavy? Alright, I'm on it!

The question is how much your efforts to complete these achievements distract you from focusing on helping your team win. These achievements are things that you have to go out of your way to do. That's because they are impractical. The more time you spend trying to accomplish random goals, the less time you spend being useful to your team. If you could quickly and easily accomplish each achievement task, it wouldn't be such a big issue. But chances are that you're going to fail repeatedly and each failure represents wasted time and effort that could have been used on more effective tactics.

EOL: complaining that gaming is changing and that you want your Tribes back is a little passé. It's not going to happen unless you write it yourself... which, given my interest in a new Tribes game I would heartily suggest you do.

There are actually two Tribes games in development right now. Tribes: Ascend and Tribes: Universe. I'm not really optimistic about either but there's a remote chance that they could be good.

Hell, even the games you listed have the same thing going for them. At the end of a round what would show up? A listing of the players ranking them by kills. People compete to be ranked higher than others. Same mentality as grinding away for achievements or whatever. It's all about getting some sort of completely pointless, virtual reward that says "I'm a bigger nerd than the rest of you posers"

That's a flawed comparison. People enjoyed the fundamental gameplay of Quake, Tribes, etc. If they didn't, they wouldn't play the game. Getting the highest score (personal score or team score) is the only way to win the match. Winning a match consists of you performing the same activities that you'd perform regardless because you enjoy performing them.

Achievements are random and arbitrary goals that people would not do if they were not rewarded with icons or gamer points. Getting an achievement doesn't help you or your team win the match. In fact, you're usually pretty useless to your team when you're busy pursuing random goals.

This comment was edited on May 9, 2011, 23:44.
 
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58. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 9, 2011, 19:13 Graham
 
Creston wrote on May 9, 2011, 18:12:
Graham wrote on May 9, 2011, 16:46:
It's absolutely mind-boggling how you got there. This isn't jump-to-conclusions-mat level, this is Olympic scale triple-jump-to-conclusions or possibly high-jump-to-conclusions.

Relax Sparky. It's called sarcastic exaggeration. I'm under no illusion that Valve will actually make the next Farmville. That's EA's territory.

Easy there, Cresty. You said yourself: "So it's going to get linked to people's Facebook profiles? After all, look how fantastic that option was in Starcraft 2." Backing off simply because you were called on it and trying to cover it up as sarcastic exaggeration doesn't become you.

The panic over the form that this platform will take is unwarranted, especially considering the principal subject.

What panic?

/re-reads thread.

I don't see any panic. I see people saying that they're unhappy that Valve is apparently ditching Half Life like games in favor of whatever they come up, and I see a fuckton of apathy towards social gaming. (basically, everyone but you doesn't see the point.)
It's a far cry from that to panic. If Valve doesn't make the games I like anymore, I buy someone else's games. Not really a big deal, since I've given up on another Half Life anyways.

You see a lot of people drawing an inaccurate conclusion that Valve is ditching Half-Life-like games (they didn't say anything of the sort) and antipathy (not apathy) towards social gaming. The freak-out it pretty clear from the reaction; you don't jump to "we're looking to involve people more socially" to "ditching Half-Life-like games" without a little panic. /shrug - you don't see it, most likely because it doesn't support your argument.

You haven't given up on just Half-Life, though, have you? Reading through the comments here on a daily basis it's pretty clear that you've given up on most games. What on Earth DO you play anymore?

Finally: buried within those 100 million people are millions of gamers who just haven't found their game yet. This is their gamma-ray exposure, they can Hulk-out with us in the future when they find their trigger... which they're more likely to find if they're exposed to cool new games that their friends are playing.

Perhaps you don't get this, but a ton of people here enjoy SINGLE PLAYER GAMES. Me playing a single player game isn't going to require one of my "friends" to "hulk out" with me in order for me to tell him about how cool it is. I can actually do that myself, without EA or Valve or whoever creating a "social network" page where other gamers can "see" what I've "done" in the game. (which reached a truly ludicrous height in Dragon Age, because three million people had "achievements" up of "finished chapter 1" with a stupid automatic screenshots.)
That's the kind of stuff you're excited about?

It's fabulous that you're self sufficient. Perhaps YOU don't get this, but the "ton" of people here is a drop in the bucket, and that drop really holds an antiquated view. The example that you've given with Dragon Age is the nascent form of what will be the future of social integration. They've got to start somewhere, and it's only the truly blind that will insult an artist's first sketch.

It's not just gaming that's becoming social, it's everything that we do. We have a (relatively) new forum for discussing and consulting on all forms of entertainment. Both the Kindle and the Copia app allow people to discuss books as they read them. Demon's Souls offered an amazing social experience in a mostly single player game by letting users leave messages for one another to help or hinder. THESE are creative uses of social, not just your reduction to the vanguard of achievements et. al.

Social integration is a good thing.

Really? Why? So far, I've seen ZERO benefits to social gaming. It's mostly been a whole bunch of retarded crap that I've fortunately been able to ignore, and in some cases it's been of the kind where a lot of people had to cry out against it or it would have meant things that few of "us" would have enjoyed. (think the RealID thing in SC2, and automatic friending of your friend's friends.)


Reductio ad absurdum, and a phenomenal example of "stop liking things that I hate". Again, you're not the target audience, and because of this it appears that your entertainment options will be reduced to a more manageable number in the future. Unless, of course, some developer hears the clarion call of the solitary gamer and wisely attempts to monetize it.


It makes us bigger as a group, it makes us more cohesive, and it means that there will be more developers working on projects, giving us more choice.

But what good does that do me if those projects don't interest me? Social gaming is never going to lead to bigger and more interesting single player games. So it all serves no purpose to me. You enjoy hanging out with your "friends" on facebook, great. More power and friends to you. I don't. I like my single player games. So do many people here. There is no benefit for us in one of the main PC developers of the last ten years to go "social." And so therefore we complain about it, and lament the fact that even the great PC stalwarts apparently decide that it's more fun to do social shit than make another kick-ass single player game.

It does you absolutely no good at all. This is the worst possible thing that could happen to gaming for you. It's the death of your hobby as you know it, and you'll never derive any pleasure from it again.

Oops, there's that sarcastic exaggeration... but I think I've made my point. While you've been a loyal customer in the past, it may be that developers that you've supported will change their business model to something you don't like.

You have, however, created a very efficiently deconstructed false dichotomy here. You (and others) are suggesting that a kick-ass (single player) game can't exist in a world where developers are creating new content with a socially connected mindset. This remains to be seen, and I think you're both foolish to a) focus on that conclusion when it has yet to be demonstrated and b) getting angry at something that hasn't happened yet, and according to a flip of a coin that I just conducted won't happen at all! (My coin flip is just as accurate as your baseless assessment )

The only downside here is that some folks who prefer to play alone might feel upset that there's an added feature in a game that doesn't cater to them, or that the gaming experience might be moving away from their preference of play-style. As I said before, I hope it's not the case, but if it is, the minority (no matter how vocal) will be left behind.

If it's strictly an added feature that doesn't cater to the SP crowd, eh, then that's fine. I happily ignored all the Dragon Age idiocy, and was even more happy when I found I could turn all of it off. But like we originally saw with Blizzard's SC2 plans, not all of devs' social ideas start out (or turn out) so innocently.

I do agree that it'll mean we get left behind, however. The money is in social shit, and that's where lots of developers are flocking, because after all, MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY.

As a gamer who enjoys games made by developers whose staff are content and well-paid (I would include those at Valve in this number) I am pleased to see that they are. That said, I think you've reduced this to a single element equation again. While the pursuit of capital may be an auxiliary point, I honestly think that these developers are aiming to create an innovative game experience.

What's more, I think they'll do it too. It may simply come down to optimism versus pessimism. Look at it this way: if it's terrible and people don't like it, the social aspect will find itself dead in the water and we can go back to the good old days of silent protagonists perched behind over-designed weaponry, with nary a pop-up or gamerscore to be seen.

Creston

Graham - signing his post for the very first time!
 
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57. Re: Valve Single Player Clarification May 9, 2011, 18:25 Ginny
 
socially connected gamer

More like insular, insecure and exploitable gamers.
 
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