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Subject: VGG QotD 2019 March 9 - What Makes You Say, "Aargh!"? rss

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Simon Lundström
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ghostpants wrote:
timed missions in particular kill me. I'm probably the exact opposite of a speedrunner. I play games slowly. Sometimes painfully so for anyone watching. Any time I see that timer pop up on screen, I roll my eyes and immediately start complaining aloud, often to no one but myself.


This is very close to how I get too. I hate timers. They rarely add anything interesting to the game.

Most recently it was the boss fights in Skyward Sword (a select type of bossfight is timed), and the intro to Metroid Prime. For the Metroid thing, I realize that it's just the beginning, but when they start to introduce new control schemes (swinging with the energy bolt) on the timer, I really go "did anyone playtest this, thinking it was a fun thing?"

My first impression of Metroid Prime is thus: You need to have played it in order to beat the tutorial. Which is, actually, really really stupid.
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I have played so many frustrating games, I can't remember them all.

My favorite video game, Ice Climber, can also be one of the most frustrating games. Sometimes I think, "I should have died from that Nitpicker/Icicle/Topi," and other times I think, "I shouldn't have died from that Nitpicker/Icicle/Topi." For some reason I've died more from Nitpickers in the GBA version than Nintendo Switch's port of the NES version. I'm also surprised how well I'm doing with Nintendo Switch's port of the arcade version, although I do restore the suspend point if I felt I die too early on a fairly easy mountain (I don't bother with harder mountains). And with the Summit Bonus Stages, I'm surprised when I clear the sixth and eighth bonus levels but I fall on the second and fifth bonus levels.
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Zimeon wrote:
ghostpants wrote:
timed missions in particular kill me. I'm probably the exact opposite of a speedrunner. I play games slowly. Sometimes painfully so for anyone watching. Any time I see that timer pop up on screen, I roll my eyes and immediately start complaining aloud, often to no one but myself.


This is very close to how I get too. I hate timers. They rarely add anything interesting to the game.

Most recently it was the boss fights in Skyward Sword (a select type of bossfight is timed), and the intro to Metroid Prime. For the Metroid thing, I realize that it's just the beginning, but when they start to introduce new control schemes (swinging with the energy bolt) on the timer, I really go "did anyone playtest this, thinking it was a fun thing?"

My first impression of Metroid Prime is thus: You need to have played it in order to beat the tutorial. Which is, actually, really really stupid.
I agree about Metroid Prime, but actually you have AGES to get there. I don't think I ever ran out of time. I did die once though.
 
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manukajoe wrote:
I agree about Metroid Prime, but actually you have AGES to get there. I don't think I ever ran out of time. I did die once though.


I seriously did not have ages. Stuff kept whirling and I lost track of where I was. Also, there were things that pushed me back in the wrong direction. When you were rolling as a ball, it was quite hard to keep your direction straight, and the lack of twin-stick controls (I played on the Cube), made it hard to turn sometimes.
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manukajoe wrote:
Almost everything in Final Fantasy XV.


laughlaughlaugh

I'll use FFXV as an example for my answer:

Fake news skills.

What makes a skill 'fake,' I hear you asking? Well, consider this example. When you start out in FFXV, you are able to refill 1/3 of your element-pools (mana, more or less) at any given draw point. So, if you want to dump all of your mana into a high-potency spell, you will need to find three different replenishment points. You can unlock a skill that lets you draw 50% from a single point - allowing you to refill in two tries rather than three. So far so good.

The next skill in that tree, though, allows you to fill 2/3 in one go. Mathematically, this should be embarrassing for the developers. All it accomplishes is that, instead of refilling 50% and then another 50%. You refill 66% and then 34%. The "real" number in the interaction, which is 2, continues to be 2 after unlocking the 'better' skill.

Fake skills.

Aargh!
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I think the one that has already been mentioned is when developers occasionally get the order of operations wrong with cutscene-->checkpoint-->bossfight.

Once in a great while, you still see checkpoint-->cutscene-->bossfight.

Aargh!
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Games I can't finish due to some glitch. Most recently Spider-Man, and Gears. Both for iPad.


Otherwise, games that become "stupidly hard". Candidates include Reignmaker and Zuma's Revenge.


Last but not least, games that require you to access features AFTER getting through "stupidly hard" parts, which means you're hosed
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JohnRayJr wrote:
manukajoe wrote:
Almost everything in Final Fantasy XV.


laughlaughlaugh

I'll use FFXV as an example for my answer:

Fake news skills.

What makes a skill 'fake,' I hear you asking? Well, consider this example. When you start out in FFXV, you are able to refill 1/3 of your element-pools (mana, more or less) at any given draw point. So, if you want to dump all of your mana into a high-potency spell, you will need to find three different replenishment points. You can unlock a skill that lets you draw 50% from a single point - allowing you to refill in two tries rather than three. So far so good.

The next skill in that tree, though, allows you to fill 2/3 in one go. Mathematically, this should be embarrassing for the developers. All it accomplishes is that, instead of refilling 50% and then another 50%. You refill 66% and then 34%. The "real" number in the interaction, which is 2, continues to be 2 after unlocking the 'better' skill.

Fake skills.

Aargh!


Although isn't there the possibility that you're only down to a third of your mana, so you can refill with 1, rather than MOSTLY refill with 1 or have to find a second to get that last 1/6th?
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Sure, it's possible, but in more of an academic sense than an applied sense.

In practice, it the only time you would use less than your full stock would be for something like expericast, when you instead use 1%.

Otherwise, there aren't any advantages to using less than 100%. I can easily believe that they wanted the system to support more than all-or-nothing inputs, but it doesn't.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
The next skill in that tree, though, allows you to fill 2/3 in one go. Mathematically, this should be embarrassing for the developers. All it accomplishes is that, instead of refilling 50% and then another 50%. You refill 66% and then 34%. The "real" number in the interaction, which is 2, continues to be 2 after unlocking the 'better' skill.


But do you always have 0% (or well, less than 33%) when you refill? And do you always need 100% for it to be valid? Otherwise, the increase is still worthwhile. (already replied to)

I experienced exactly the same thing in a board game this weekend. It was Elfquest the adventure game, that I bought years ago because it was Elfquest. Shortly, it's a dice-rolling resource management game. Some actions you can do, let you heal, or re-gain lost tokens and stuff. I think there were five of these, and each healed a different aspect (regain a skill, regain a companion, regain an item, whatever). The base roll was 3 dice (5 and 6 was "a hit"). Depending on who you were, you could gain either more dice OR rerolls. Some charas had one bonus or two bonus dice to some of these healing actions.

The issue was that the result was "you heal 1 for each 3 hits you get". Which made a +2 dice EXACTLY THE SAME AS A REROLL. You could hit on all 5 dice, and all you did was still heal 1. That was a very un-thought-through mechanism, I figured.

But that set aside, I have another "argh":

When the mobs around you level as you level. That's just plain stupid, silly, dumb, shit. Breath of the Wild does it reasonably: In each group of enemies, ONE enemy starts to be more powerful. And for the moment, in Octopath Traveller, it _seems_ that the surrounding mobs don't level as fast as you do. But it's still annoying. Completely destroys the sense of progression.
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I thought of another one.

Getting to a final boss fight (which is too difficult at your current level), but being unable to go back and level up more.

I haven't seen this very often, but I remember having this issue with Breath of Fire III. I made it to the final boss, but couldn't beat it after several tries. I tried to go back and level up more, but I vaguely remember the game locking me into a specific area.

I ended up giving up on the game. I still haven't finished that game to this day.

I think partly because of this, I use dozens of saves when playing games, just to allow myself to restore an older save if I get myself into a weird stuck point. I usually average around 10 separate save files in a game.
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I hate it when a camera change in the middle of movement causes the input direction on the thumbsticks to change, especially during the all important jump at the end of a dramatic chase.
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Oooh, I thought of another one...Boss Fights. Archaic throwbacks to a lamer time in gaming. (for me, of course).
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middletonner wrote:
I hate it when a camera change in the middle of movement causes the input direction on the thumbsticks to change, especially during the all important jump at the end of a dramatic chase.
I had a similar one in Rise of the Tomb Raider where there's an escape sequence with a final jump over a chasm that only appears at the last moment and is obscured by a cloud dust. I failed so often at that.
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wytefang wrote:
Oooh, I thought of another one...Boss Fights. Archaic throwbacks to a lamer time in gaming. (for me, of course).


Boss fights themselves don't bother me, but I really dislike when bosses have multiple stages and/or life bars, especially if they're difficult fights.

**You finally deplete the life bar, and you've used most of your recovery items.**

Boss: Haha!
**regains full health and is more often than not stronger and faster this time around**

I understand why this is done, to make the boss so much more menacing than the rank and file enemies you've fought the rest of the game, but I still find it incredibly infuriating.

What's even more annoying is when you die and have to start over at the first phase of the fight again.
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I &*$#ing hate most boss fights. Typically so poorly conceived and just come across as a terribly lazy difficulty gate. Archaic and unnecessary. Idiotic.
Looks unflinchingly at NieR: Automata. Boss fights in this game weren't hard, they were just the poster child for asinine game development choices.
Fight boss. Defeat boss. Boss gets STRONGER! Fight boss. Defeat boss. Rinse. Repeat. I hated Dragon Ball Z as anime. I hate the concept far more in my video games.
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Lurkfish wrote:
I &*$#ing hate most boss fights. Typically so poorly conceived and just come across as a terribly lazy difficulty gate. Archaic and unnecessary. Idiotic.
Looks unflinchingly at NieR: Automata. Boss fights in this game weren't hard, they were just the poster child for asinine game development choices.
Fight boss. Defeat boss. Boss gets STRONGER! Fight boss. Defeat boss. Rinse. Repeat. I hated Dragon Ball Z as anime. I hate the concept far more in my video games.


Another related boss fight annoyance is when they do one of the following things:

1.) They find some way to recover health faster than you can deplete it.

2.) They become invulnerable for a short period while recovering health.

The second one bothers me a lot because if the boss can become invulnerable, why doesn't he/she always do that? I guess bosses are pretty unintelligent in general, especially the ones in Zelda games. "That guy hurt me because I did this specific thing. I'll do that another 2 times!"
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GibbRS wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Oooh, I thought of another one...Boss Fights. Archaic throwbacks to a lamer time in gaming. (for me, of course).


Boss fights themselves don't bother me, but I really dislike when bosses have multiple stages and/or life bars, especially if they're difficult fights.


Fully agree. I think that's my main issue with them.
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wytefang wrote:
GibbRS wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Oooh, I thought of another one...Boss Fights. Archaic throwbacks to a lamer time in gaming. (for me, of course).


Boss fights themselves don't bother me, but I really dislike when bosses have multiple stages and/or life bars, especially if they're difficult fights.


Fully agree. I think that's my main issue with them.


I am very tired of multi-phase fights as well, which are both overdone and often lazily constructed.

I feel like, once in a great while, a game can do something cool with the idea of a boss-fight going into overtime, but it's rare.
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I don't game much anymore but I have to say boss battles can ruin a game.

Let's set the scene:

Game: Defiance (MMO-ish coop normally but this boss MUST be fought solo)
Boss: Nim
Battle length: anywhere from one to two HOURS
Boss speciality: three lovely phases and all of them require unique strategy
Developer notes:
Developer #1: Oh, I know what we should do! Let's make a boss fight so difficult and unforgiving that our players will just love it. Who wants a simply boss fight anyway?
Developer #2: Wait a sec #1, you're right! But let's also make this completely SOLO-only. Who cares if this is a coop-based game?
Developer #3: Yeah, and we really want them immersed like taking a bath. Except this one will be one to two hours long!

One mistake, dead. Restart the exciting battle for the nTH time.

When you see threads where gamers are eating their headsets or throwing mice and have 29 pages for a single boss discussion - you know this is a game breaker. I've seen whole guidebooks just on how to beat this boss.

Absolutely ridiculous. I quit playing this craptacular game after beating him on my 11th attempt.

<and now back to bird watching>

<edit #1> exciting and editing are not the same
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Mobile games that require internet/4G access in order to work, even though there is no network play occurring.
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Thought of another one:

When a game lets you revive dead characters in battle using a revive spell (or phoenix down type item), but then characters can die for good as part of story events.

The discussion in the thread about video game stories made me think of this one.

In Final Fantasy Tactics when
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Delita's sister dies. To make matters worse, you actually have a battle where the body is sitting there. I tried to use a Phoenix down on her multiple times, freaking story deaths
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GibbRS wrote:
Thought of another one:

When a game lets you revive dead characters in battle using a revive spell (or phoenix down type item), but then characters can die for good as part of story events.

The discussion in the thread about video game stories made me think of this one.

In Final Fantasy Tactics when
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Delita's sister dies. To make matters worse, you actually have a battle where the body is sitting there. I tried to use a Phoenix down on her multiple times, freaking story deaths


Isn't this one mostly just semantics, though?

In the early days - say, Final Fantasy IV - the games themselves used words like Wounded or KOed to refer to characters who hit zero HP in battle. Phoenix Downs were for healing grievous wounds, not fatal ones. But, players so commonly referred to in-battle knockdowns as "death" that they basically talked themselves into resenting actual storyline deaths.

I've always found the absurdity there to be on the players, not the games.
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My best days of gaming are with Wytefang (if you can believe it).

Case in point: Dark Age of Camlot.

When we took our first fort in RvR (Realm vs. Realm) - that was the best of gaming.

When we tried to take out the DAoC World dragon - you've got to be kidding...

- Tail Sweep: teleport random anywhere in the zone!
- Dragon Breath: circle of death - everyone dead in that circle

BUT, it was a cooperative (RAID) event and we had fun.

And when we took our first fort - legendary gaming event happened. The BATTLE LORDS are remembered and there has to be the opposite of this QotD - "What makes you say, "OMG - fantastic".

There, I said it.
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Oh, also forgot the following, although they vary. Some are relatively mild and did add enjoyment. On the other extreme, "aargh" a thousand and one times over:

1) Timed events, tied to real life time
2 Pieces of $$$ they did this...

1a) Castlestorm: Free To Siege
I've said it before and I'll say it again, when the title of the game makes mention that it's a free-to-play, you'd need to be careful.

Every Monday to Sat., from Midnight to the next midnight, was a new session (Sunday was an "off day"). Each session was divided into 3 "legs". If you successfully beat a leg, you could either wait 4 hours for the next leg to open, or pay some amount of gems to bypass that timer. If you manage to finish all 3 legs, you get to open a random, mystery chest. Otherwise, you still get rewards, although less. The last day, day #6 on Sat., gets you a bigger "bonanza".

Some of the levels got downright hard, and ate up a nontrivial amount of time. I'd have the opportunity to get in 4 legs per day (on account my ipod Touch 5 didn't have internet without wifi)...
just after midnight
in the morning before work
After coming home from work
A bit before midnight

It felt like I was in the 90s... I had to be around when the TV shows were airing, with no option to tape anything

Why do this? At first, a chance to play extra levels. But you did want to earn (purple) pearls. There's whole chart where you trade in x for y, where you get superior conversions in your favor the more of 'x' that you trade in. I reached the top of that chart once, and then said "### it, I'm out!"


1b) Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time

Daily Pinata levels. You play a custom level. If you win, then you get to break 3 random piñatas in a 4x4 grid for prizes. This wasn't as annoying as Castlestorm: FtS above, but when they introduced the Battlez mode last year, the "chaining you to your device" got worst.


In both cases, it's annoying being shoehorned into when you can and can't play, not being able to repeat levels. Especially in the YouTube/Netflix age. angry

Other games like StarCraft 2 have their weekly Mutation levels that swap out every 7 days. However, this is different since I only play this at a vg lounge, so it has a different effect on me.

.

2) MTX (microtransactions) that get you to buy consumables.

I'm not talking about "pay $4 each to unlock new content/levels/expansions", or unlock the full game (e.g. Super Mario Run for $10). No. In games like PvZ2, they REALLY steered you into buying coins, gems, Gauntlets, and even Mints. Directly, or indirectly. It completely ruined the experience for me. Dare I say, actual gambling could be healthier Sucked too b/c I otherwise really enjoyed PvZ2. I would've gladly paid $5 to $15 a month to not deal with that BS, but alas, that's not how the mobile market rolls.

JohnRayJr wrote:
GibbRS wrote:
Thought of another one:

When a game lets you revive dead characters in battle using a revive spell (or phoenix down type item), but then characters can die for good as part of story events.

The discussion in the thread about video game stories made me think of this one.

In Final Fantasy Tactics when
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Delita's sister dies. To make matters worse, you actually have a battle where the body is sitting there. I tried to use a Phoenix down on her multiple times, freaking story deaths


Isn't this one mostly just semantics, though?

In the early days - say, Final Fantasy IV - the games themselves used words like Wounded or KOed to refer to characters who hit zero HP in battle. Phoenix Downs were for healing grievous wounds, not fatal ones. But, players so commonly referred to in-battle knockdowns as "death" that they basically talked themselves into resenting actual storyline deaths.

I've always found the absurdity there to be on the players, not the games.
For me, what bugged me more was how you heal status effects like blind or poison, but you cure hp loss like from physical wounds.


On a related note, when one questions why Mario can drown in his 3D romps, but not his 2D romps, that can yield some interesting talks, but can also spiral out of control into nowhere if you're not careful.

Oh, also why you can shoot fireballs underwater, how something like a "fireflower" actually embues fire flinging capabilities laugh
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