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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Just what the hell does "dumbed down" even mean anyway?

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180 posts found
  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  3/26/10 3:06:03 AM#121
Originally posted by ArcAngel3
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

Seriously! Look at the phrase. LOOK AT IT!!!!

The implication being that at one time a particular game was "intelligent" but has undergone some unholy voodoo and been turned into a version of Chutes and Ladders or, even worse, Ludo. This term is normally used in reference to a multiplatform game that was made for consoles and PC at the same time.

What's so confusing is when the term is applied to a brand new franchise that plays exactly the same on all platforms. How can you "dumb down" something that didn't even exsist previously? You can claim that one control type is less efficient than another,  but that isn't the same as watering down the core mechanics.

Let's take Command & Conquer 3 as an example. Both the PC and console versions of the game use the exact same maps, the exact same factions, the exact same unit caps, and the exact same units. What exactly was "dumbed down?" Same thing with Morrowind. Both the PC and XBox versions had the same maps, the same kind of first/third person minimal interface, the quests, the items, the same NPCs... If it's the exact same game at it's core, how can it be "dumbed down?"

You might be able to say this about a game that started out on the PC and was poorly ported to a console, like CiV 2 being placed on the PSX near the end of it's life cycle, but If it was developed for both the PC and consoles or it was a one-for-one port....

And while we're on the subject, was Assassin's Creed "smarted up" by being ported to the PC?

I'm calling bullshit on this term and it's use.

Your calling b.s. on this term really just indicates to me that you're not very aware of some of the major game revamps that some MMOs have undergone. 

Lucasarts and Sony Online Entertainment, for example, said that their MMO had too much reading and was too complex for the people they wanted to attract.  So, they intentionally, and admittedly "dumbed down" the game.  They got rid of about 2 dozen professions, deleted the skill system, made the player economy moot, removed numerous combat skills and animations, and turned the game into a mind-numbing, point and click disaster that led to the exodus of what looked to be about a few hundred thousand of their customers.

Does "dumbing down" happen in the MMO genre?  Yup, unfortunately.

P.S. Here's a quote from a press release about the dumbing down of the StarWars MMO:

"We really just needed to make the game a lot more accessible to a much broader player base," said Nancy MacIntyre, the game's senior director at LucasArts. "There was lots of reading, much too much, in the game. There was a lot of wandering around learning about different abilities. We really needed to give people the experience of being Han Solo or Luke Skywalker rather than being Uncle Owen, the moisture farmer. We wanted more instant gratification: kill, get treasure, repeat. We needed to give people more of an opportunity to be a part of what they have seen in the movies rather than something they had created themselves." 

Player response documented here: http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/star-wars-galaxies-2005/667893p1.html

If you really want to know what dumbing a game down means, this is it. 

 That's about the only example where the phrase actually applies. It's an exception that defines the rule.

Do a quick search for the term "dumbed down" on this forum and you'll see that it's the second most abused term next to carebear. I blame most of this on the disease of gaming elitism that seems to infect the PC side of the gaming culture. The main reason this sticks on the PC side is because the community on this side doesn't value elegance in user interface and therefore confuses tedious and unecassary complexity with depth. The fact that PC gamers will play ONE game for years on end doesn't help things either. By the time most PC gamers have emerged from their game of choice, they've missed about five years of gradual changes and are completely out of their comfort zone.

But yeah, SWG was completely mishandled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  pythi

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/08
Posts: 64

3/26/10 3:12:04 AM#122
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe
Originally posted by ArcAngel3
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

Seriously! Look at the phrase. LOOK AT IT!!!!

The implication being that at one time a particular game was "intelligent" but has undergone some unholy voodoo and been turned into a version of Chutes and Ladders or, even worse, Ludo. This term is normally used in reference to a multiplatform game that was made for consoles and PC at the same time.

What's so confusing is when the term is applied to a brand new franchise that plays exactly the same on all platforms. How can you "dumb down" something that didn't even exsist previously? You can claim that one control type is less efficient than another,  but that isn't the same as watering down the core mechanics.

Let's take Command & Conquer 3 as an example. Both the PC and console versions of the game use the exact same maps, the exact same factions, the exact same unit caps, and the exact same units. What exactly was "dumbed down?" Same thing with Morrowind. Both the PC and XBox versions had the same maps, the same kind of first/third person minimal interface, the quests, the items, the same NPCs... If it's the exact same game at it's core, how can it be "dumbed down?"

You might be able to say this about a game that started out on the PC and was poorly ported to a console, like CiV 2 being placed on the PSX near the end of it's life cycle, but If it was developed for both the PC and consoles or it was a one-for-one port....

And while we're on the subject, was Assassin's Creed "smarted up" by being ported to the PC?

I'm calling bullshit on this term and it's use.

Your calling b.s. on this term really just indicates to me that you're not very aware of some of the major game revamps that some MMOs have undergone. 

Lucasarts and Sony Online Entertainment, for example, said that their MMO had too much reading and was too complex for the people they wanted to attract.  So, they intentionally, and admittedly "dumbed down" the game.  They got rid of about 2 dozen professions, deleted the skill system, made the player economy moot, removed numerous combat skills and animations, and turned the game into a mind-numbing, point and click disaster that led to the exodus of what looked to be about a few hundred thousand of their customers.

Does "dumbing down" happen in the MMO genre?  Yup, unfortunately.

P.S. Here's a quote from a press release about the dumbing down of the StarWars MMO:

"We really just needed to make the game a lot more accessible to a much broader player base," said Nancy MacIntyre, the game's senior director at LucasArts. "There was lots of reading, much too much, in the game. There was a lot of wandering around learning about different abilities. We really needed to give people the experience of being Han Solo or Luke Skywalker rather than being Uncle Owen, the moisture farmer. We wanted more instant gratification: kill, get treasure, repeat. We needed to give people more of an opportunity to be a part of what they have seen in the movies rather than something they had created themselves." 

Player response documented here: http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/star-wars-galaxies-2005/667893p1.html

If you really want to know what dumbing a game down means, this is it. 

 That's about the only example where the phrase actually applies. It's an exception that defines the rule.

Do a quick search for the term "dumbed down" on this forum and you'll see that it's the second most abused term next to carebear. I blame most of this on the disease of gaming elitism that seems to infect the PC side of the gaming culture. The main reason this sticks on the PC side is because the community on this side doesn't value elegance in user interface and therefore confuses tedious and unecassary complexity with depth. The fact that PC gamers will play ONE game for years on end doesn't help things either. By the time most PC gamers have emerged from their game of choice, they've missed about five years of gradual changes and are completely out of their comfort zone.

But yeah, SWG was completely mishandled.

Abuse of a word or phrase is subjective, especially if that term or phrase has no real meaning.

In other words proving a point on subjective matter is pretty pointless.

Fun watching people get upset over opinions.

Keep it rolling.

Exocide

  Deivos

Novice Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1703

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

3/26/10 3:29:58 AM#123

Dumbed down can equally apply to the player market and not necessarily the game itself. Bit of a side step from the argument you were/are addressing, but as stated before me, it's a very subjectively used term.

 

It's also a very subjectively misused word.

 

How I would interpret it is primarily through the use of game mechanics that serve to boil game difficulty down to a system primarily dependent on the increase in volume of enemies as well as their stats to create a sense of challenge in lieu of new or unique behavioral patterns, some ability to learn and adapt to different playing styles (like Pac-Man), and the function of having greater overarching strategies that span past the individual conclicts/fights to influence the greater outcome of a quest, pvp activity, or some such.

 

'Dumbed Down' in which case applies directly to the status of how a game is handled from a standpoint of depth in strategy and control of the game.

 

In that context, I would readily say most games are indeed dumbed down from what some have been and what many could be. Not gonna expound on it unless asked though.

 

Given the context of how one is capable of arriving at such actions, enacting strategies, and crafting and other activities through UI control, that becomes a different definition of the term entirely. In this case, dumbed down could imply the system is too finite in it's design or lacks the ability to let players seek alternate venues of entertainment.

 

Like say in the case of crafting, it could be said that it's been dumbed down in the context of UI in that in many games it exists as a timer bar that you craft materials a few times through  to obtain an item. Compare that to an older game, like Asheron's Call, where you actively had to utilize the individual tools between each activity and mix the materials oneself from your inventory without a timer, and you can see where things became 'dumbed down' by the removal of a step process of the player in favor of less clicking and more waiting without any reliance on the player's ability to influence the result.

 

Then you can compare modern games to modern games. Like Spore's crafting, where th resulting item's quality is entirely dependent on the player's ability to create an aesthetically pleasing and (loosely) mechanically functional item. The system and UI interface becomes considerably more complex between Spore and a game that opts for the timer method, but the results can have considerably more far flung and considerably more extravagant results.
 When you compare the systems involved, it's hard to define Spore's competition as anything other than 'dumbed down'.

 

I'll babble some more if that didn't make sense, but the gist of it is 'how is the term being used in what context?' as that defines the meaning with quite a range.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  3/26/10 3:33:43 AM#124
Originally posted by Scot

Hey what happened to Jimmy-Scythe’s avatar picture? He replaced it with that ultimate symbol of dumbing down, the gaming console. OMG he dumbed himself down. :D
 

 I take it this was before your time, so I'll just tell you.

The Gravis gamepad was made for the PC in the early 90's. Back then, you had to hook the thing up to either your video card or the printer port. Yeah, it was a time before USB.

PC gaming was a lot different back then. You were basically confined to point and click adventure games, flight sims, turn based strategy games, and the occasional arcade port of Street Fighter or Mortal combat. First Person Shooters were a new thing and online multiplayer was restricted to games like chess, Air Warrior or Neverwinter Nights on AOL. Just like now, the PC was a horrible platform for video games. The main reason that the PC was used for turn based war games and adventure games is because it just didn't have the graphical speed of consoles like the SNES or Genesis. In face, if you were a serious computer gamer in this time period, you were probably using an Amiga or an Atari ST. In 1992, the PC was huffing and puffing just to pull off Commander Keen.

I changed my avatar because I've been doing a lot more retro gaming lately and I remember playing Doom, Duke Nukem 3d, FX Fighter and One Must Fall with the Gravis. The time between 1994 and 2000 actually marked my transition from arcade gamer to PC elitist. The time since 2000 has been me waking up from that bullshit and being more honest about what I really want out of games. I'm not the graphics whoring, hardware fetishing shut in that I was in my early 20's. The new avatar is just a way of showing how long I've been doing this and where most of my perspective comes from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5282

3/26/10 4:29:47 AM#125

Unfortunately the times you speak of were not before mine, but I wear them well. I was an Amiga then a Atari ST owner myself. :)


I think the PC is a great games platform, only spoilt by bad ports and the perception on the part of game developers that only certain types of games will sell on the PC. Also the Xbox has caused the PC real problems, Microsoft clearly don’t want you to buy games on the PC, they want you to buy a PC for work and an Xbox for games. Supposedly designed to take on the consoles, the Xbox has prospered only at the expense of the PC.
 

The PC beats other platforms hands down for graphics, but as you say game play comes before graphics. We are in need of stronger and more diverse game play, but I don’t see this as just a PC problem. Console players are starting to wake up to the fact that many of their new releases are vacuous game play put in a pretty package. This funnily enough is an element of dumbing down, setting difficulty low and staying to generic formats that will be immediately playable.
 

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  3/26/10 8:46:26 AM#126
Originally posted by Scot

Unfortunately the times you speak of were not before mine, but I wear them well. I was an Amiga then a Atari ST owner myself. :)

Why the downgrade? ;)


I think the PC is a great games platform, only spoilt by bad ports and the perception on the part of game developers that only certain types of games will sell on the PC. Also the Xbox has caused the PC real problems, Microsoft clearly don’t want you to buy games on the PC, they want you to buy a PC for work and an Xbox for games. Supposedly designed to take on the consoles, the Xbox has prospered only at the expense of the PC.

TBH, I don't really think Microsoft knows what it wants in regards to games. They know they want the money, but they just don't get the whole gaming thing. Microsoft has always been about business software and just supported gaming because their was a demand for it. If you'll recall, the first few versions of DirectX were laughable at best. Before the XBox came out, Microsoft was promising to add plug and play gaming, that's running the game straight from the CD / DVD rather than installing it, to DirectX.

But I don't think the XBox has prospered at the expense of the PC. I only think that there are a lot of problems that come with an open hardware platform that developers just don't want to deal with. I can't say that I blame them either.

The PC beats other platforms hands down for graphics, but as you say game play comes before graphics. We are in need of stronger and more diverse game play, but I don’t see this as just a PC problem. Console players are starting to wake up to the fact that many of their new releases are vacuous game play put in a pretty package. This funnily enough is an element of dumbing down, setting difficulty low and staying to generic formats that will be immediately playable.

And this is where you and I are seeing different things. I spend a lot of time in the indie / casual scene. There is definitely a movement to harder games. The mantra in the underground reads: Simple, short and hard. The controls should be simple enough to pick up within seconds, the individual sections of the game should be no longer than a minute or two, and the game should be difficult enough to drive  even the most patient  pacifist to the nearest clock tower with a sniper rifle. Just google the term "doujin shmup" to get an idea of what I'm talking about. You could also look at the growing community surrounding Rogue-likes and Dwarf Fortress. And then here are games like VVVVVV and I Wanna Be The Guy.

If you want to really understand the split between developers and gamers, check out the differences between the mainstream and indie games. The audience wants challenging gameplay linked to a non-existent learning curve. The industry wants never ending lists of interfaces and achievements with zero challenge. The sad part is that because of the industry's focus, some of the gaming community has actually confused long learning curves and tedious interfaces with challenge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  Battlestorm

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 102

"If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done." ~Chiodos

3/26/10 9:37:16 AM#127

I think that the conglomeration of legitimate points here amount to solid series of standard definitions for the phrase "Dumbed Down"; and although I don't believe that garnering a large group of responses necessarily validates a point any more than the phrase "everyone is doing it", I do have to state that the large majority of replies in this thread make many valid points that validate the use of the aforementioned term.

Dumbed Down (adj.):

1. Medium - When you're engineering a PC game that you'd like to port to a console (or to a PC from console) you have to keep in mind that the amount of buttons and control mechanisms just aren't "parallel" to one another. Sure, you can make more menus for the console to make up for the lack of buttons, but lets face it, if you're developing a game for PC and you want to port it to a console you have to keep in mind that you're going from a standard 104 key windows keyboard and a 3+ button mouse to a 14 button console controller. That's a huge difference . . . huge. Can it be done? Sure. WILL it be done without making an easy sacrifice or two? Probably not. I would argue that Oblivion is one of those exceptions, but not all games have followed suit (and I still refuse to play Oblivion on console).

2. Game Upgrades - I'll use the classic game Asheron's Call (AC) to provide examples of this form of "Dumbing Down." When I was first dumped into the world I had a letter from home and, well, almost nothing else. Now when you start the world you've got the option to progress through a tutorial. Mages used to have to find a character with high strength who could sell all of their loot and turn those very heavy pyreal coins into trade notes that they could then more easily carry around; but not anymore, coins miraculously no longer have any weight. At first, there were no quest logs in AC, if you wanted to record your adventures in-game you'd have to purchase a book and take notes manually (in game or IRL); however, in one of their latest updates there is now a quest log interface were, although you still have to enter everything manually, the notes you take are limitless and modified at will. All of these additions have dumbed the game down just a bit.

3. Game Development Over Time - UO, AC and EQ started the genre up with a wonderous set of complications that, once learned, helped the player form an strong bond with their game. Now-a-days it doesn't take much to get into the "fray" of things. WoW is certainly a proponent of the easier scheme of MMORPGs, but they aren't the only MMORPG to do so. On a more grand scale, social MMOs the likes of Farmville (as discussed in a recent article) are hitting the scene with strikingly simple and yet tediously fun game-play mechanics.

So, the term "Dumbing Down" has merit; however, it does depend on it's context. Perhaps not all ported, upgraded or future games have (or will have) followed suit, but the large majority of games (I dare not say the word "trend") are incorporating this disheartening strategy. When you make a game accessible, more people play; not more "good" people, just more people in general and more people means more money. I'm afraid we aren't going to escape the "dumbing down" effect anytime soon and the term is in no way invalid.

::: crosses fingers for Heroes of Telara :::

As a side note, if you want to play a difficult game that really isn't dumbed down yet (IMO) give Mortal Online a shot; frustratingly difficult (due to a bit of lag and lack of final game-play polishing) and yet a curious experience all-in-all. I was dumped into no-man's land with no tutorial and a simple help menu to get me through . . . I mean, I'm still trying to figure out what in the heck I'm supposed to be doing, and I love it, lol. Anyways, good hunting all!

IMPORTANT: I'm right 100% of the time; even if I completely contradict something I, myself, have previously said I'm still right . . . on both accounts. Any arguments to the contrary are wrong. If you disagree please begin reading this important message from the beginning. Thank you for your time and understanding. ~Battlestorm

  Torik

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

3/26/10 9:57:16 AM#128
Originally posted by nshaffer

So, the term "Dumbing Down" has merit; however, it does depend on it's context. Perhaps not all ported, upgraded or future games have (or will have) followed suit, but the large majority of games (I dare not say the word "trend") are incorporating this disheartening strategy. When you make a game accessible, more people play; not more "good" people, just more people in general and more people means more money. I'm afraid we aren't going to escape the "dumbing down" effect anytime soon and the term is in no way invalid.

Who are the 'good' people?  Who should be playing these games and who shouldn't?  I am fairly sure that my definition will be way differnt than yours.

In the end it all boils down to what we want from games.  I will gladly argue that the 'old school'  MMORPGs were in fact the 'dumbed down' games in comparison to more modern games. 

Heck, the iPod could be classified as a dumbed down version of a Walkman or a Discman.

  Josher

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 2836

3/26/10 11:07:54 AM#129
Originally posted by nshaffer

I think that the conglomeration of legitimate points here amount to solid series of standard definitions for the phrase "Dumbed Down"; and although I don't believe that garnering a large group of responses necessarily validates a point any more than the phrase "everyone is doing it", I do have to state that the large majority of replies in this thread make many valid points that validate the use of the aforementioned term.

Dumbed Down (adj.):

2. Game Upgrades - I'll use the classic game Asheron's Call (AC) to provide examples of this form of "Dumbing Down." When I was first dumped into the world I had a letter from home and, well, almost nothing else. Now when you start the world you've got the option to progress through a tutorial. Mages used to have to find a character with high strength who could sell all of their loot and turn those very heavy pyreal coins into trade notes that they could then more easily carry around; but not anymore, coins miraculously no longer have any weight. At first, there were no quest logs in AC, if you wanted to record your adventures in-game you'd have to purchase a book and take notes manually (in game or IRL); however, in one of their latest updates there is now a quest log interface were, although you still have to enter everything manually, the notes you take are limitless and modified at will. All of these additions have dumbed the game down just a bit.  I think most people would think having NO LOG is the dumb part.   Its certainly is easier, but since when is something that SHOULD be easy to do, dumb?   Is a TV guide dumbed down from writing out your own on a sheet of paper every week?   Is a GPS dumbed down from a paper map on your lap?  By implying its dumbed down, it means its not as well designed or better the old way.  But good luck convincing ANYONE with a brain that writing down the quest text in a MMO in order to remember everything was a good thing;)  It never took brains to take notes just to let you know.  Removing TEDIUM is not dumbing the game down.  Its about making games more intuitive and less tedious(BETTER) which is the whole point.  Upgrades are a good thing, right?  I hope.

So, the term "Dumbing Down" has merit; however, it does depend on it's context. Perhaps not all ported, upgraded or future games have (or will have) followed suit, but the large majority of games (I dare not say the word "trend") are incorporating this disheartening strategy. When you make a game accessible, more people play; not more "good" people, just more people in general and more people means more money. I'm afraid we aren't going to escape the "dumbing down" effect anytime soon and the term is in no way invalid.

Making a game more intuitive by removing tedium or excessive / unnecessary steps is a GREAT, GREAT thing. Its what basically encompasses good game design.

::: crosses fingers for Heroes of Telara :::

As a side note, if you want to play a difficult game that really isn't dumbed down yet (IMO) give Mortal Online a shot; frustratingly difficult (due to a bit of lag and lack of final game-play polishing) and yet a curious experience all-in-all. I was dumped into no-man's land with no tutorial and a simple help menu to get me through . . . I mean, I'm still trying to figure out what in the heck I'm supposed to be doing, and I love it, lol. Anyways, good hunting all!

Sounds like another game that's unfinished and backwards.  A player not knowing what to do is lazy development.  The developer has failed at the core if a player can't look at the screen and understand what he's supposed to be doing fairly quick.  Difficulty due to BAD game design is certainly not something 99.999% of people want.  Its just more tedium that needs to be thrown out.

  Battlestorm

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 102

"If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done." ~Chiodos

3/26/10 12:10:36 PM#130


Originally posted by Torik

Who are the 'good' people?  Who should be playing these games and who shouldn't?  I am fairly sure that my definition will be way differnt than yours.

In the end it all boils down to what we want from games.  I will gladly argue that the 'old school'  MMORPGs were in fact the 'dumbed down' games in comparison to more modern games. 

Heck, the iPod could be classified as a dumbed down version of a Walkman or a Discman.


"Good" people is in quotes because we're in the MMORPG forums, hence "good" relating to being at least moderately familiar with or "good" at MMORPGs.

We are all arguing the opposite of your second statement. That is, 'old school' games (and here's where I could say that your calling many of us "old" when it's easy to derive, with a bit of common sense, that you're not) are the NON-dumbed down versions of the genre they're bring into fruition today.

An iPod wouldn't be a "dumbed down" version of a device from 1993; they are inherently more complex and more feature rich; so in the case of technology as a whole, it's not only more complex internally but also more feature rich and complicated to operate (though not "too" much so); that said, these generalizations you brought up are backwards and forwards and you can't converse about an incorrect analogy based on a backward interpretation of an expression and still come out with an accurate and understandable argument.

If I've offended everyone with my "good" statement, I apologize. I merely meant "good at MMORPGs" in general (or at least familiar).

Based on the above response, I can see where the original poster derives their frustration; individuals not having the common knowledge to understand that "dumbed down" relates to something that happens AFTERWARDS and not before . . . again, context, context, context.

IMPORTANT: I'm right 100% of the time; even if I completely contradict something I, myself, have previously said I'm still right . . . on both accounts. Any arguments to the contrary are wrong. If you disagree please begin reading this important message from the beginning. Thank you for your time and understanding. ~Battlestorm

  Torik

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

3/26/10 12:25:42 PM#131
Originally posted by nshaffer

 


Originally posted by Torik

Who are the 'good' people?  Who should be playing these games and who shouldn't?  I am fairly sure that my definition will be way differnt than yours.

In the end it all boils down to what we want from games.  I will gladly argue that the 'old school'  MMORPGs were in fact the 'dumbed down' games in comparison to more modern games. 

Heck, the iPod could be classified as a dumbed down version of a Walkman or a Discman.


"Good" people is in quotes because we're in the MMORPG forums, hence "good" relating to being at least moderately familiar with or "good" at MMORPGs.

We are all arguing the opposite of your second statement. That is, 'old school' games (and here's where I could say that your calling many of us "old" when it's easy to derive, with a bit of common sense, that you're not) are the NON-dumbed down versions of the genre they've bring into fruition today.

How old do you actually have to be to be considered 'old school'?

An iPod wouldn't be a "dumbed down" version of a device from 1993; they are inherently more complex and more feature rich; so in the case of technology as a whole, it's not only more complex internally but also more feature rich and complicated to operate (though not "too" much so); that said, these generalizations you brought up are backwards and forwards and you can't converse about an incorrect analogy based on a backward interpretation of an expression and still come out with an accurate and understandable argument.

New MMORPGs are 'more complex internally'  then older ones.  Also a Discman was much more complicated to operate as anyone who tried to change a CD while standing on a crowded bus can attest.  

If I've offended everyone with my "good" statement, I apologize. I merely meant "good at MMORPGs" in general (or at least familiar).

Based on the above response, I can see where the original poster derives their frustration; individuals not having the common knowledge to understand that "dumbed down" relates to something that happens AFTERWARDS and not before . . . again, context, context, context.

Yeah, I am too used to talkuing in relative terms.  So to rephrase, WoW is a  'smartened up' version of older games like EQ or UO.

 

  Battlestorm

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 102

"If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done." ~Chiodos

3/26/10 12:30:13 PM#132


Originally posted by Josher
I think . . .

You should have stopped right there, and here's why:

If you make the game easier to play with less mental challenge then the game is "dumbed down"; regardless of whether or not the community agrees with the change. If you make something easier to accomplish it's "dumbed down" that's the only point I was making. I made NOT one statement of how things SHOULD be or whether other people would or wouldn't like the change, I was merely providing an example of dumbed down in an upgrade sense, which I did. You didn't like it, but not for the right reasons.

Your second statement in yellow about making games more accessible being a good thing is, again, your opinion and I'm glad you like it, at least someone does. I don't, but AGAIN that's my opinion, but I won't force that view on you. I like my games new, raw, complex, and difficult, but that's not the current "movement" in MMORPG development (so it seems).

Describing Mortal Online as being mashed and backwards is a little odd. What if being dropped in an open world with no one depending on you, no one screaming for a hero and no set path is EXACTLY what the devs had in mind? I find it refreshing and, bugs or not, I like taking part in the start of something along these lines. It's innovative thinking and although the mainstream and others like yourself may not like it, I do. You DON'T like the idea, so don't play. I respect your opinion and I understand why you won't sign up, but there's no harm done. Relax a bit and be careful when reading someone's post. I'm not shoving anyone into any MMO mentality, I was just commenting on the validity of the "dumbed down" statement based on the majority of posts in this thread, that's all.

IMPORTANT: I'm right 100% of the time; even if I completely contradict something I, myself, have previously said I'm still right . . . on both accounts. Any arguments to the contrary are wrong. If you disagree please begin reading this important message from the beginning. Thank you for your time and understanding. ~Battlestorm

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  3/26/10 12:43:49 PM#133
Originally posted by nshaffer

 


Originally posted by Torik

Who are the 'good' people?  Who should be playing these games and who shouldn't?  I am fairly sure that my definition will be way differnt than yours.

In the end it all boils down to what we want from games.  I will gladly argue that the 'old school'  MMORPGs were in fact the 'dumbed down' games in comparison to more modern games. 

Heck, the iPod could be classified as a dumbed down version of a Walkman or a Discman.


"Good" people is in quotes because we're in the MMORPG forums, hence "good" relating to being at least moderately familiar with or "good" at MMORPGs.

We are all arguing the opposite of your second statement.

Please don't speak for me. I'm not arguing that at all.

That is, 'old school' games (and here's where I could say that your calling many of us "old" when it's easy to derive, with a bit of common sense, that you're not) are the NON-dumbed down versions of the genre they're bring into fruition today.

You're right, they're anachronistic and clunky. They're the equivalent of driving a model T instead of a moder mid-sized sedan with an automatic transmission and anti-lock brakes. Given, driving a model T can still be a blast, but it isn't going to replace your family car any time soon.

An iPod wouldn't be a "dumbed down" version of a device from 1993; they are inherently more complex and more feature rich;

So are you saying that it's impossible to streamline without adding new features? Or are you saying that you are obligated to add features when you streamline? Both of the question seem a little shakey to me.

so in the case of technology as a whole, it's not only more complex internally but also more feature rich and complicated to operate (though not "too" much so);

So... Complexity is.... more valued to you than elegance?

that said, these generalizations you brought up are backwards and forwards and you can't converse about an incorrect analogy based on a backward interpretation of an expression and still come out with an accurate and understandable argument.

Translation: "It's my bat and my ball and if you don't want to play by rules then I'm just gonna go home!"

You're free to go, but the bat and the ball are public propertry in this case.

If I've offended everyone with my "good" statement, I apologize. I merely meant "good at MMORPGs" in general (or at least familiar).

You dismiss someone because they "can't converse about an incorrect analogy based on a backward interpretation" (could you add any more latin to that?) but we're supposed to forgive you for a poor word choice?

Based on the above response, I can see where the original poster derives their frustration; individuals not having the common knowledge to understand that "dumbed down" relates to something that happens AFTERWARDS and not before . . . again, context, context, context.

Yes, but I'm also frustrated by a minority in the game community that doesn't grasp the concept of depth over complexity which is exactly what Torik is getting at. The idea that a game is for retards unless it uses X number of buttons or Y number of items/abilities/monesters/etc. or wastes the gamer's time with mindless and repetitive tasks, is simply misguided.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  Battlestorm

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 102

"If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done." ~Chiodos

3/26/10 1:55:54 PM#134


Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

{Insert random stream of off-topic, useless banter here.}




Nowhere in all of your incoherent babbling did you come anywhere close to anything that resembles an actual response. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

In other words, if you were on-topic with any ONE of your responses I could see dignifying an answer, but you weren't. I can't find one reply to any one of my statements where you were on-point, not one. I'm sorry, but I'm just going to ignore you.

Making a game less of a mental challenge is dumbing it down; whether or not the community likes it. You like dumbing things down for obvious reasons.

I'll not let you or your buddy waste any more of my time. I've posted my take on things and I could care less if you like it or not. The end.

P.S. - The next time you want to comment on someone's post, make it applicable. You're WAY off in left field and the the ball, crowd and other players are all in another stadium altogether.

IMPORTANT: I'm right 100% of the time; even if I completely contradict something I, myself, have previously said I'm still right . . . on both accounts. Any arguments to the contrary are wrong. If you disagree please begin reading this important message from the beginning. Thank you for your time and understanding. ~Battlestorm

  biofellis

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/05
Posts: 528

Building Worlds...
Rebuilding Reality.

3/26/10 1:59:53 PM#135

.

  Battlestorm

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 102

"If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done." ~Chiodos

3/26/10 2:07:50 PM#136


Originally posted by biofellis
To the 'There is no dumbing down' crowd.
I don't know how it is you can't look at ANY game and not see it. Just look at the interface-
I just moved to San Antonio, and when I walk the streets; 
  • I don't have an interactive GPS and compass, with highlights hot-indexed to whatever I want so I don't get lost and can find what I need.
  • Any person that walks by does not have their name, political affiliation, or current state of mind indicated. 
  • People don't con or indicate current health by some device- so if I were a medical professional- I couldn't help. People who need things that I might be able to help with don't light up. My phone doesn't auto update with a potential job/schedule. I have to set it myself/remember to go. Items I pick up don't don't have relevant stats listed I can trust (except, to a degree, in the grocery)

I could go on. Seriously. And all these 'futuristic adds' are for games that are mostly in a 'fantasy past'? Why?

To 'help' players to not need to learn simple things, obviously- and this was just starting with the interface- I could cover so many aspects it would be more tedious than illustrative. The point should be clear enough with the above.

 

Think what you want- the facts are clear.

 

And to a greater degree- even if that weren't enough, the fact that so many games stay so close to the 'baseline'- refuse to move ahead, should tell you more. The difference between Everquest and WOW from a gameplay standpoint? How far a ahead is WOW technically? You want to say 'leaps and bounds', but most changes are things like the above, though instancing (server load cheating), battlegrounds (FPS gameplay) and other 'innovations' are 'progress', but the core game? Virtually unimproved.

 

If enough companies don't innovate at the same time, then no one has to worry, right?

 

People complain about 'nerfing' all the time, and 'the grind'- does this remove the significance of 'changes made for class balance' or the obvious 'breadcrumb' incentives that gamers design in? Is their any logical reason you shouldn't be able to ride a horse till level 40 (in WOW)- except to try to lock you into the game at least that long?

 

'Dumbing down' is real, and some people use it to be insulting, and some people just tell it like it is. It doesn't take a ton of imagination to see improvements- just a ton of money to implement your own change.


I rest my case. Beautifully stated. Thank you. :::: wipes tears :::

IMPORTANT: I'm right 100% of the time; even if I completely contradict something I, myself, have previously said I'm still right . . . on both accounts. Any arguments to the contrary are wrong. If you disagree please begin reading this important message from the beginning. Thank you for your time and understanding. ~Battlestorm

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  3/26/10 3:32:57 PM#137
Originally posted by biofellis


To the 'There is no dumbing down' crowd.

I don't know how it is you can't look at ANY game and not see it. Just look at the interface-

I just moved to San Antonio, and when I walk the streets; 

  • I don't have an interactive GPS and compass, with highlights hot-indexed to whatever I want so I don't get lost and can find what I need.
  • Any person that walks by does not have their name, political affiliation, or current state of mind indicated. 
  • People don't con or indicate current health by some device- so if I were a medical professional- I couldn't help.
  • People who need things that I might be able to help with don't light up.
  • My phone doesn't auto update with a potential job/schedule. I have to set it myself/remember to go.
  • Items I pick up don't don't have relevant stats listed I can trust (except, to a degree, in the grocery)

All of these things have been around since, at least, 1993.

  • Given, MUDs didn't have GPS style maps, but most newbies were given maps of the starting areas right out of the tutorial and it wasn't that difficult to set up macros to get you anywhere you wanted to go. Thow in the recall spell and you only had to set up you macros to get somewhere from the recall point. Clients like ZMUD have had automapping features forever. And don't forget that one of the first UI mods for Everquest was a minimap. Sony worked like hell to have those UI mods shut down as I recall. About 2000 we started seeing muds like AardWolf that had the map displayed with, or in place of, the room description.
  • I don't think I've ever played an online game that didn't have the player's name hovering over their head. MUDs also are the source of things like titles and clan tags. Even frigging Air Warrior had the player's names displayed over the air planes...
  • With the advent of color ANSI, many MUDs highlighted both NPCs and items that the player could interact with. Even before that, MUD admins would highlight those things with < > or [ ]
  • Not as many people had cell phones when UO came out. Unless you're talking about an in game messaging system and that kind of quest updating has been around for awhile as well.
  • This varied from game to game and I'm willing to bet that there will still be games that don't identify everything in the future as well. Personally, I don't see Identifying everything as more than make work. Click scroll or identify, click item, rinse, repeat, Unless you have to have an NPC or another character identify it and that just adds a whole other layer of boring backtracking and make work....
 

Ask the most basic question: What is the primary focus of this game?

With UO, it was to simulate a world. With EQ, it was combat and collecting stuff by grinding. With WoW, it was combat and collecting stuff by grinding. WoW cuts away all the tedious, mind numbing bullshit and focuses on the reason the players are there. EQ was just poorly copying a MUD that was long in the tooth with no consideration of WHY people enjoyed it.

Going outside of MMORPGs for a minute, it was an absolute blast to map the dungeon in Etrian Odyssey for the Nintendo DS. No surprise there because the game was primarily about logistics and exploration. The main quest of the game was to actually map out the dungeon! Likewise, I don't mind getting unfairly perma killed in Angband or Shiren The Wanderer because the focus of the game is trying to complete the game without dying. MMORPGs are about fighting and phat l00tz.

Making the system needlessly tedious is not intelligent. And deliberately exposing yourself to brainless, repetitive, inefficient interfaces and game design is even less intelligent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  Battlestorm

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 102

"If your stomach feels weak then my work here is done." ~Chiodos

3/26/10 4:01:55 PM#138


Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

All of these things have been around since, at least, 1993. Blah blah blah, waste of time, waste of time.

Ever notice how WoW fans are as bad as or worse than Mac fans. It's like a new iMac comes out and everyone is stumbling over themselves to see technology that's 4 years old; and THEN they call it inventive and genius and will pay 400% more to have it. They'll literally defend the release with completely inaccurate and opinionated/personal statements, lol.

Anyways, l33t = more difficult = babies crying. There are some people in this forum who obviously need their n3wb diapers changed, lol.

IMPORTANT: I'm right 100% of the time; even if I completely contradict something I, myself, have previously said I'm still right . . . on both accounts. Any arguments to the contrary are wrong. If you disagree please begin reading this important message from the beginning. Thank you for your time and understanding. ~Battlestorm

  dar_es_balat

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/07
Posts: 456

If someone has alot of friends, does that make them a socialist?

3/26/10 4:05:13 PM#139

Kill this thread.  This thread is dumbed down.

Crappy, petty people breed and raise crappy, petty kids.

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  3/26/10 4:35:25 PM#140
Originally posted by nshaffer

 


Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

All of these things have been around since, at least, 1993. Blah blah blah, waste of time, waste of time.

Ever notice how WoW fans are as bad as or worse than Mac fans. It's like a new iMac comes out and everyone is stumbling over themselves to see technology that's 4 years old; and THEN they call it inventive and genius and will pay 400% more to have it. They'll literally defend the release with completely inaccurate and opinionated/personal statements, lol.

Anyways, l33t = more difficult = babies crying. There are some people in this forum who obviously need their n3wb diapers changed, lol.

Didn't you declare that you were done with me about two posts ago?

Why are you still here?

And when did I ever say I play WoW?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

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