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Blog Spotlight - Questioning the Crutch

Posted Dec 17, 2007 by Jon Wood

Blog Spotlight - Questioning the Crutch

Over-powered skills and abilities in games are often referred to as "crutches". Today, Laura Genender takes a look at an MMORPG.com blog that brings the idea of "the crutch" into question.

I’m a hardcore MMORPG player, but I spend some time in the other game genres, too – RTSes, offline RPGs, and FPSes. Up until the recent release of Team Fortress 2, my favorite online FPS was Halo 1. I liked the ability to jump into a quick game and tear through some red (or blue) guys.

Yet for all the fun I had in Halo, the community found one of my hitherto unknown pet peeves: the crutch concept. When I dive-bombed a team of blue guys and slammed them into death with my Banshee, the last thing I wanted was to hear “Shee sucks, get some skill!” I could play without the Shee just fine – hell, I was even an expert at shooting down enemy Banshees with a pistol and a shotgun. But when presented with a weapon that easily confused, demoralized, and outright massacred my enemies, why wouldn’t I use it?

This week in the blogs user tonyd brings up this very question as it pertains to MMOs. “The term crutch seems used and abused when it comes to game mechanics that people don’t like,” he states. He then gives the basic formula for this common statement: “____ ability is a crutch.” Fear is a crutch, stealth is a crutch, your super high DPS nuke is a crutch.

Read the whole column here.

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