Catering to the "new" player? Someone had to of understood old games from the start

  • #1
    Well I was about 13 when I played Diablo 1 and I had no trouble figuring out that system. Same when I was 15 and played Diablo 2. Not to mention all the other games out there. It should also be known that I am really bad at being "good" at games (Didn't raid successfully til LK patch in Wrath for example) so this isn't about gamer ego.

    While I do appreciate that they are easing those who wouldn't inherently understand some mechanics (my girlfriend benefited from the tutorial aspects and ease of use when she tried out the beta) it's saddening to see that even basic systems are too much for those who buy the games to process and enjoy handling.

    I think that is the big problem. The game industry is, like any form of entertainment, a product of those who consume it. People as a whole seem completely disinterested with the details of games. Sure the runestone system was an inventory hog and perhaps not the smoothest application of the system. But there are some elements in these rpgs that add a depth of nuance to absorbing the mindset of the characters you play. Taking time to read tomes rather than hearing them as ipod audiobooks while you smash face is another example. Immersion becomes lost for the sake of a certain flow of one aspect of the game.

    This is all rehashed opinions I am sure but I was in the beta yesterday just thinking about how some of the old elements of these games that are hacked away for the sake of streamlining were actually parts that took you deeper into a world.

    When I think of WoW I can say that while Wrath was a better flowing section of the overall game Vanilla and parts of TBC were actually far more memorable in the long term because of the larger investments of time and energy I put in as a whole. The music in the orc starting zones strike much more of a personal chord than the arguably more beautifully constructed soundtracks of Northrend.
  • #2
    So you're saying they should actively try to make a worse game because it's more time consuming? Or did I miss your point?
  • #3
    Yes, of course. Having runes as items instead of skill modifiers adds nuance to the game. Wait, what? That makes no sense.

    You know what adds nuance to the game? The game adds nuance to the game. Being obtuse and uninutitive for people who've never played games before doesn't add value to anything. While you and I are both hardcore gamers that can understand any system thrown at us, no matter how thick the tutorial, not all people will be the same. And why have a system only you and I can understand, when we can have one where you, I and our girlfriends can get behind?

    People are blowing this "casualisation" (I dread calling it that) way out of proportion. Video games are no longer an arcane, ellitist hobby. I suggest you get used to it.
  • #4
    They aren't actually catering to anyone. The entire "catering to casuals" concept is a shallow, yet effective narrative built on simple rhetoric. Every time you read "catering to casuals", in your head just replace it with "made it different than Diablo 2". Game is fine. I promise.

    Just think of Chess. That game could be explained in about 2 minutes. (Just tell people what all the pieces do and you're good to go.) But to master it? Oh, man.

    The game adds nuance to the game.


    Oh, so much this.
  • #5
    Quote from Uldyssian

    Well I was about 13 when I played Diablo 1 and I had no trouble figuring out that system. Same when I was 15 and played Diablo 2. Not to mention all the other games out there. It should also be known that I am really bad at being "good" at games (Didn't raid successfully til LK patch in Wrath for example) so this isn't about gamer ego.


    Wellto be faire D1 was really easy to understand. D2 was a little more complicated but the only hard aspect of it was not to fall on the traps made by the stat/skill system otherwise you get a useless character and had to start over.
    Now Overall I agree that I don't get Blizzard mind set right now for new players, they act like they are completly RETARDED and take their philosophy a bit too extreme imo. A tutorial is fine, dumbing all the UI is not.

    While I do appreciate that they are easing those who wouldn't inherently understand some mechanics (my girlfriend benefited from the tutorial aspects and ease of use when she tried out the beta) it's saddening to see that even basic systems are too much for those who buy the games to process and enjoy handling.


    Yes. I wish people would actually enjoy spending a little time learning something etc instead of being mouth fed 100% of it. For me its a fail. I understand the economic reasons though. Still I feel its like hoping people would do more sport or read more... hopeless.

    I think that is the big problem. The game industry is, like any form of entertainment, a product of those who consume it. People as a whole seem completely disinterested with the details of games. Sure the runestone system was an inventory hog and perhaps not the smoothest application of the system. But there are some elements in these rpgs that add a depth of nuance to absorbing the mindset of the characters you play. Taking time to read tomes rather than hearing them as ipod audiobooks while you smash face is another example. Immersion becomes lost for the sake of a certain flow of one aspect of the game.


    Well the thing about recoreded lore is a very good idea imo. I always prefer good voice acting to raw texts, I read enough books on a day to day basic for that.


    When I think of WoW I can say that while Wrath was a better flowing section of the overall game Vanilla and parts of TBC were actually far more memorable in the long term because of the larger investments of time and energy I put in as a whole. The music in the orc starting zones strike much more of a personal chord than the arguably more beautifully constructed soundtracks of Northrend.


    Hmmm I disagree. For me this is called nostalgia goggles. WoW has certainly been made more appealing to casual players. They have more things to do. But Vanilla and TBC had so much broken things I really don't agree with the whole idea that Vanilla was so much better. The only real difference for hardcore players is that now they don't enjoy the content alone and don't have to farm 30 consumables a day. If you liked this farming well I guess you can be disapointed but really I didn't it was SO pointless and boring. This is coming from someone that did every raid and heroic content before nerfs. Game was even easier back then when you look back at kill videos etc... problem was we sucked and theorycrafting was not advanced at all.
  • #6
    Quote from IgnatiusReilly

    They aren't actually catering to anyone. The entire "catering to casuals" concept is a shallow, yet effective narrative built on simple rhetoric. Every time you read "catering to casuals", in your head just replace it with "made it different than Diablo 2". Game is fine. I promise.

    Just think of Chess. That game could be explained in about 2 minutes. (Just tell people what all the pieces do and you're good to go.) But to master it? Oh, man.

    The game adds nuance to the game.


    Oh, so much this.

    This is the most False statement ever. They are catering to casuals. they're specifically adding in systems to help casual players. That is catering to casuals. not "I want D2.5" While I agree allow a tool for casuals to use to better understand. I feel like they wen't to far. and the fact that all systems in Beta are currently half assed, at least the new ones.Your settings don't carry over from game to game.
    Everytime i start a game i have to re-check elective mode. which is pretty bad. And that is simply unacceptable even for a beta. Second, they've thrown out runestones because it was an inventory problem. D1 and D2 had inventorty management too, It was part of the game, so for them to change this I feel is just laziness. They could've easily made runes Stackable and salvageable for mats so they wouldn't be as useless as everyones complaining about. They were fine, just needed some tweaks. This whole simplification just so everyone can understand it, is exactly what catering to casuals means. It means they're doing something to help casuals. And I feel like it's just a huge waste of time.
    Not even Death will save you from Diablo Bunny's Cuteness!


  • #7
    Modern gamers are concidered idiots by the game designers. Back in the day you sat down and learned by playing and it was good! You didn't need a tutorial because it was all kind of self-explanatory (atleast the good ones were). Take a look at Egoraptor's sequelitis where he talks about Mega Man X, he really hits his head on the nail when it comes to modern game design (it's very funny too if you havn't seen it). :D

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM
  • #8
    Back when I was a kid, I got a fairly good indication of how good a game was going to be by the size of the game manual. This, of course was not likely 100% true, but that is the way I felt at the time. Nothing excited me more than opening up a game box (back when the game boxes were huge) and seeing a lovely thick game manual. Before I actually played a game, I would read the manual from cover to cover. This actually prepared me to play the game so that I would not be completely lost at the start.

    I hate to use the ol' "back when I was a kid" line, but things have changed. I don't necessarily think it was a bad thing either. I don't know how long it has been since I read a manual from cover to cover, or at all in fact. Perhaps I am just being nostalgic, but I kind of miss those days.

    I don't know exactly the point I am trying to make with this post, but it somehow seems relevant.
  • #9
    Quote from Inf

    Modern gamers are concidered idiots by the game designers. Back in the day you sat down and learned by playing and it was good! You didn't need a tutorial because it was all kind of self-explanatory (atleast the good ones were). Take a look at Egoraptor's sequelitis where he talks about Mega Man X, he really hits his head on the nail when it comes to modern game design (it's very funny too if you havn't seen it). :D

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM


    This is the msot true video ever, all of his sequilitis videos are good, and prove the dumbification of games point.
    Not even Death will save you from Diablo Bunny's Cuteness!


  • #10
    Quote from Entity

    This is the msot true video ever, all of his sequilitis videos are good, and prove the dumbification of games point.


    Yeah! I love the series (and his other work too)! Sorry for the off-topic :ninja:
  • #11
    Quote from IgnatiusReilly

    They aren't actually catering to anyone. The entire "catering to casuals" concept is a shallow, yet effective narrative built on simple rhetoric. Every time you read "catering to casuals", in your head just replace it with "made it different than Diablo 2". Game is fine. I promise.



    I wouldn't particularly say "catering to casuals" but one of their goal is to make the game accessible to new players, and from Bashiok's grandma story, simplified tool tips, now the new skill UI with guided categories. It is pretty clear of their intentions.

    Another thing I noticed was the Quest Objectives,

    New Objective: Find Adria's Hunt
    Objective Complete!
    New Objective: Search Adria's Hunt
    Objective Complete!
    New Objective: Enter the hidden cellar
    Objective Complete!
    New Objective: Explore the hidden cellar

    I mean is that all necessary? These little guidance features really feel quite a bit redundant

    Many of us just feel that Blizzard is making too much of a deal out of this "accessibility" direction, spending manpower and time on it. For any one that spends 60 dollars on a game, he/she should be at least somewhat interested in the features that he/she would be willing to learn about it. And to be honest, D3 is not a complex game at all compared to other rpgs out there.
    For a newbie, some of the features may help, but those features would quickly turn into annoyance as soon as they have learned the basics of the game, and would serve no purpose.
  • #12
    I think the only point I have, if any, is that while there is nothing wrong with making games understandable and removing redundancy there is something to having aspects that aren't instant gratification. And I guess that the assumption that new gamers coming into a series or mechanics need their hand held is absurd as everyone who played Diablo 1 and 2 for the first were playing it for the first time without assitance to the degree that exists now. I was young and had NEVER completed a game before it (I got my ass kicked in Kings Quest as a youth and never owned a console of the day). We all figured it out when it was "too hard" for new players to get.
  • #13
    The problem here is that we take all the stuff we know for granted. We have played games for a long time and we know most of the mechanics and ideas a developer can throw out at us. If you played in the DOS era of gaming then you knew how to look for little details and experiment. Games back then kind of made us that way. You had to learn or you'd never get to play.

    Now adays, gamers have simplified OS's and the internet to give instant gratification and feedback. Newer players are somewhat impatient and if they don't understand a mechanic or concept right away, some will simply stop trying and move on. Most are looking for instant gratification.

    So giving the player a carrot on a stick (skills and runes) will get them started on their way and the tutorials and simplification means they can learn without feeling stupid or being afraid of trying something different. They get the information they need when they need it and once they feel adept enough they can turn off all the hand holding and explore like crazy.

    Honestly, you'd be surprised how many questions I've answered about the game that many of us think is obvious. Not everyone follows it as closely as we do. And we need to set this record straight, they are not catering to "Casuals". They are catering to "newbies". This is a good thing, it would be financial suicide to ignore new gamers. There's a whole new generation of gamers out there that may want to play and don't know anything about this game we've pretty much mastered since D1/D2.

    The definition has been screwed up since WoW where people think casual = bad. Casual just means you don't dedicate a set amount of time to play and you may only play for short periods of time instead of long chunks. Casual players can still be good players. I play some games very casually and I'm far from bad at them.
    Diablo 3 playthroughs and guides via Kagekaze's Domain or Twitch TV
    Come on by and comment on YouTube or chat on Twitch, twitch chat is often watched
  • #14
    This is the most False statement ever.


    Tool-tips are in many games. Final Fantasy Tactics has hundreds of tool-tips, and that game's pretty complex. No, not the system or UI, but the actual game play, you had to work to win a lot of those fights. Every move counted, yet there was always a tool-tip at your finger tips. "Cater to casuals" is such a blanket statement for everything people don't agree with and when people use it I just can't take them seriously, because what they are usually so upset about is helping new players familiarize themselves with the experience. They seem to think throwing them into the deep end is such a great idea. As though leaving the player in the dark is just the pinnacle of great game design.

    You don't know how easy/casual it will be (my guess, not very) becuase you've only played a 1/100th of it. So the game has some helpful tool-tips or a UI that gives suggestions for placing your skils, these two things have no bearing on the overal challenge that will be presented to the player in the later difficulties.

    Second, they've thrown out runestones because it was an inventory problem. D1 and D2 had inventorty management too, It was part of the game, so for them to change this I feel is just laziness.


    Inventory management isn't exactly a challenge nor is it a fun one at that. It's simlpy busy work. Playing the game and hoping runes drop isn't any more difficult than having acccess to them at certain levels. It just means you have to wait a little longer to use the build you want. You're going to play the game anyway, and they're going to drop sooner or later. I mean, no one would claim that someone who found a Zod on their first Baal run was somehow better at the game than everyone else. With either system the hard decision still has to be made: which rune is the best for my build?
  • #15
    Quote from Uldyssian

    Well I was about 13 when I played Diablo 1 and I had no trouble figuring out that system. Same when I was 15 and played Diablo 2. Not to mention all the other games out there. It should also be known that I am really bad at being "good" at games (Didn't raid successfully til LK patch in Wrath for example) so this isn't about gamer ego.

    While I do appreciate that they are easing those who wouldn't inherently understand some mechanics (my girlfriend benefited from the tutorial aspects and ease of use when she tried out the beta) it's saddening to see that even basic systems are too much for those who buy the games to process and enjoy handling.

    I think that is the big problem. The game industry is, like any form of entertainment, a product of those who consume it. People as a whole seem completely disinterested with the details of games. Sure the runestone system was an inventory hog and perhaps not the smoothest application of the system. But there are some elements in these rpgs that add a depth of nuance to absorbing the mindset of the characters you play. Taking time to read tomes rather than hearing them as ipod audiobooks while you smash face is another example. Immersion becomes lost for the sake of a certain flow of one aspect of the game.

    This is all rehashed opinions I am sure but I was in the beta yesterday just thinking about how some of the old elements of these games that are hacked away for the sake of streamlining were actually parts that took you deeper into a world.

    When I think of WoW I can say that while Wrath was a better flowing section of the overall game Vanilla and parts of TBC were actually far more memorable in the long term because of the larger investments of time and energy I put in as a whole. The music in the orc starting zones strike much more of a personal chord than the arguably more beautifully constructed soundtracks of Northrend.

    I don't really feel that the enhancement to diablo 3 are made because they are catering to new players, its more of a result of evolution, its not like they simplified the gameplay mechanics or made the game overly easy, they made everything better in my opinion, if you want an example of catering to new players take a look at Everquest, its one of the most unforgiving games when it comes to death in pvp/pve and raiding (those who have raided know what i mean).

    The sequel cant even compare to its predecessor, that is catering to mainstream gamers in my opinion, i have played RPG's since the 80's and even though many old games have a special place in my heart, if i look at them now i can see that they are far from perfect and quite clumsy at points, i just joined the D3 beta yesterday and from what i have experienced it is a lot more slick and accessible, stats and skill points were just an illusion of choice and most people ended up the same after they learned the most effective builds, i was pissed of by the changes to the rune system at first but i see now that its much better, none of us even played the game on the old rune system they had, so how can we even rate it as good in any way?

    And about your WoW experience, of course vanilla has that special something that the rest of the game is missing, it was new and fresh for you and it was a special experience, Everquest is the same for me since it was my first MMORPG, I'm just trying to say that certain games have a special place in our hearts but it doesn't make those games or their gameplay mechanics better.
  • #16
    Quote from Gerahben

    Back when I was a kid, I got a fairly good indication of how good a game was going to be by the size of the game manual. This, of course was not likely 100% true, but that is the way I felt at the time. Nothing excited me more than opening up a game box (back when the game boxes were huge) and seeing a lovely thick game manual. Before I actually played a game, I would read the manual from cover to cover. This actually prepared me to play the game so that I would not be completely lost at the start.

    I hate to use the ol' "back when I was a kid" line, but things have changed. I don't necessarily think it was a bad thing either. I don't know how long it has been since I read a manual from cover to cover, or at all in fact. Perhaps I am just being nostalgic, but I kind of miss those days.

    I don't know exactly the point I am trying to make with this post, but it somehow seems relevant.


    Yeah, this is a major shift in design lately. I used to love manuals too, would read them as much as possible when I couldn't play or whatever. Now designers want to put all the information IN GAME rather than out. Most companies don't even include a manual anymore or it's on some kind of PDF.
    Diablo 3 playthroughs and guides via Kagekaze's Domain or Twitch TV
    Come on by and comment on YouTube or chat on Twitch, twitch chat is often watched
  • #17
    Quote from Inf

    Modern gamers are concidered idiots by the game designers. Back in the day you sat down and learned by playing and it was good! You didn't need a tutorial because it was all kind of self-explanatory (atleast the good ones were). Take a look at Egoraptor's sequelitis where he talks about Mega Man X, he really hits his head on the nail when it comes to modern game design (it's very funny too if you havn't seen it). :D
    I'm glad that diablo 3 is actually following those design principals. There's a quick intro which doubles as a tutorial (With very few popups that weren't there before I did notice, so that's slightly bad but still better than most games) but most of all it's simple enough to not need much hand holding. It introduces monster abilities slowly, etc.

    It's very well made. The only thing I was a little put off by was the new messages telling you how to kill stuff. It's not needed, the buttons are labeled with pictures of the mouse.
  • #18
    By adding Inferno mode, Blizzard are catering to hardcore masochists. I demand my money back because there are people out there that play games differently than I do.
  • #19
    Mega man X was so good, one of my good memories from childhood.
  • #20
    Quote from IgnatiusReilly

    This is the most False statement ever.


    Tool-tips are in many games. Final Fantasy Tactics has hundreds of tool-tips, and that game's pretty complex. No, not the system or UI, but the actual game play, you had to work to win a lot of those fights. Every move counted, yet there was always a tool-tip at your finger tips. "Cater to casuals" is such a blanket statement for everything people don't agree with and when people use it I just can't take them seriously, because what they are usually so upset about is helping new players familiarize themselves with the experience. They seem to think throwing them into the deep end is such a great idea. As though leaving the player in the dark is just the pinnacle of great game design.

    You don't know how easy/casual it will be (my guess, not very) becuase you've only played a 1/100th of it. So the game has some helpful tool-tips or a UI that gives suggestions for placing your skils, these two things have no bearing on the overal challenge that will be presented to the player in the later difficulties.

    Second, they've thrown out runestones because it was an inventory problem. D1 and D2 had inventorty management too, It was part of the game, so for them to change this I feel is just laziness.


    Inventory management isn't exactly a challenge nor is it a fun one at that. It's simlpy busy work. Playing the game and hoping runes drop isn't any more difficult than having acccess to them at certain levels. It just means you have to wait a little longer to use the build you want. You're going to play the game anyway, and they're going to drop sooner or later. I mean, no one would claim that someone who found a Zod on their first Baal run was somehow better at the game than everyone else. With either system the hard decision still has to be made: which rune is the best for my build?


    Did you even read up on runestones? Back at Blizzcon Jay said they dropped like candy, there was no oh I couldn't find an obsidian rune, They all had equal drop rates and they dropped fairly casually at rank 1. So everyones argument oh I had to wait to find a crimson rune is complete bullshit. They said they made them drop a ton of them. Specifically so that everyone could try out all rune types then decide which was best, then use that and gather more to combine to make higher ranks. There was literally nothing wrong with the original system besides the fact they made the inventory a mess. All they had to do was make rune types stackable and provide a nice sink, which isn't hard considering the sink should've been an easy salvaging for a part to make items with. or at least make them sellable for Gold.

    And you missed my point entirely, they've made the game so retards can play it, that by definition is catering to casuals. Unless i didn't learn English correctly i'm pretty sure when you cater to someone it's when you specifically do things to help them out. Yeah all games do it, some do it well others don't. I just think they took it a little far with Diablo 3. This ties in to the point that they just made a few weeks back saying most casuals won't make it to Hell or Inferno... Then why make it so that those casuals can't use all the runes. They're just blindly making decisions that severely affect the game. If they wanted everyone to try all the runes and play the way they wanted them to play, but are making the game hard enough that most casuals won't reach that point then they're contradicting themselves and those systems are counter-productive.
    Not even Death will save you from Diablo Bunny's Cuteness!


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