Losing in games
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 February 2016, 7:50 am
I'm playing the just released XCOM 2 this weekend, and that made me think about the game mechanics of losing. To some degree that is an underdeveloped part of game design; there are about a million different rewards games hand out for winning, but only a single consequence for losing: You are forced to play some part of the game that you already did again. Losing is an essential part of games, as it increases the interest of winning. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong with loss conditions in games, and the XCOM series of games does have some examples of them.

One rather fundamental requirement for a good loss condition is that the game accurately tells you *that* you lost, and preferably gives you some information of *why* you lost. Games with a long campaign of many battles like XCOM or Heroes of Might & Magic even manage to fail the former sometimes: Either a decision you made that leads to inevitable doom will not give you any feedback at all, or worse you win a Pyrrhic victory and the game tells you that you won, while in reality you just sealed your loss.

One eternal problem with losing is how much it depends on randomness. I do think that randomness has its place in these games, and XCOM does it well by telling you exactly what your chances are for a shot. But an 80% chance isn't the same as certainty, and losing a soldier because you missed a shot with 80% chance can feel somewhat frustrating. But I do think that is more a problem of players not being good at risk assessment, and it gets better with practice.

If losing means having to replay part of the game, the obvious question is how much of the game. Console games frequently have "save points" visible or implicit, and a loss sends you back to the start of the level. As long as the level isn't too long, and you don't need to replay it 20 times before getting some jump pixel-perfect, that works quite well as a consequence of loss. Games like XCOM have loss consequences that are somewhat less transparent: If you lose a soldier, you need to recruit a rookie and train him back to that level. As the game doesn't necessarily give you the time to do that, you might actually lose the game while replenishing your losses, and then the penalty becomes a much harsher one of having to start the game over from the very beginning.

In many situations in XCOM, if you are reasonably clever you will know why a soldier of yours just died. He moved forward to quickly or otherwise exposed himself unwisely, most of the time. But there are situations where your soldier died because you come for the first time in contact with a new element or scripted part of the game. Traps you can easily circumvent the second time you meet them, but that are quite deadly the first time you see them, are rather bad loss conditions. They make people look up solutions on the internet instead of having fun trying things out. In a tactical game like XCOM you can learn a lot of general tactics by trying out, for example how close together you should keep your soldiers, or how fast they should advance. If that trial and error results in a minor wound, you learned your lesson. If it is insta-death and the error wasn't even obvious, that only gets frustrating.

The weirdest thing about XCOM and many other PC games is that you can frequently choose the consequence of losing. You aren't forced to accept the loss consequence the game just handed to you, but can opt for a different one instead by simply reloading a saved game from minutes ago. That leads to some perfectionists saving before every action and only accepting perfect outcomes, using the load function every time something didn't work perfectly. In some game the random number generator even gives different outcomes every time you reload, so you can reload until every attack is a perfect hit. Unlimited save options thus can completely negate the designed loss consequences, and make a game rather boring. XCOM fortunately has the ironman option to disable saving and reloading. I once recommended playing XCOM games on easy plus ironman, and I still think that is a good option to learn about consequences in the game. But the option most veterans will be use is an intelligent management of save game files to suit loss consequences to your personal preferences.
Tobold's Blog



Slowly Working Through Tokyo in TSW
Posted by Doc's MMO Journey [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 February 2016, 12:31 am

My last adventures through Tokyo in TSW highlighted the fact that I needed some work on my Aegis items in order to progress.  I was originally thinking I might be able to focus on the story missions and not have to do too much outside of that if I didn’t want to – but that … Continue reading Slowly Working Through Tokyo in TSW

The post Slowly Working Through Tokyo in TSW appeared first on Doc's MMO Journey.




Eve Prosper Interview with Caleb Ayrania
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 10:32 pm
The Eve Prosper Market Reviews are great to listen to.  I highly recommend these as standard weekly events for all market players in Eve.The producer, Lockefox, has also started a series interviewing the players who operate businesses


Casual Citizen Episode 6 - Search and Rescue
Posted by Home of my personas Saylah and Alysianah [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 10:24 pm
Welcome to episode 6 of Casual Citizen. An on-going series about the upcoming first person MMO, Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games. I’m your host, Alysianah from the Mystic World Gaming Blog. This week’s topic will discuss one of the announced player professions, Search and Rescue. I hope you enjoy.


Indy contributor: January report
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 9:29 pm
 My initial investigation into sisters probing devices yielded good profit - sisters expanded probe launcher with full availability of sisters probes. My hub supplies about half of these modules and the other half needs to be filled. Once when this


Make My MMO: Divergence’s drama (February 6, 2016)
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 8:00 pm
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Divergence Online drama came to a close, as DMCA claims against the developer were dropped early and the game fully returned to Steam. We also saw The Repopulation switch engines, Elite: Dangerous tweak its business model, and LuckCatchers fall under our radar as an early access title on Steam. Read on for more on what’s up [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



Revival puts the finishing touches on renovation kits
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 5:00 pm
Soon Revival players will have more toys with which to play in their houses, as renovation kits are almost here. “We spent the week testing renovation kits,” IllFonic promised. “There is still one outstanding issue related to ‘physicalizing’ items in renovation kit rooms, but this is literally the only thing on the table as we push to get them out [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



EverQuest fixing aggro issues, adjusting progression server XP flow
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 6:00 pm
Taunting may not be the sexiest feature of an MMO, but for tanks it’s as vital an issue as they come. Happily for those on the front lines in EverQuest, the devs are planning on buffing and fixing taunts and other related systems with this month’s patch. “We looked into the success rate of the taunt skill and decided this [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



Khanid: What A Time To Be Alive
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 2:41 pm
Meanwhile, back in Khanid, the political situation in the separate universe of the empyreans has changed totally since the last time I reported on it. Where once it was MORTR and DRWIN and the Khanid Coalition against enemies that I can't even remember,


Dragon Nest Europe tech issues takes game offline for days, loses some data
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 3:00 pm
It’s been a grim week for Dragon Nest Europe, as technical issues forced the team to take the game offline on February 2nd for several days. The original announcement called this a “very grave situation,” a point that was underlined two days later when the studio announced that some data had been lost due to these problems. So what went [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



The Stream Team: Blade & Soul’s buddy system
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 3:55 pm
MassivelyOP’s MJ is a firm believer in the buddy system; everything is just plain better with a friend. (And no, it’s not just to have someone else to blame things on!) That’s why she’s even more excited to jump back into Blade & Soul: A friend is finally able to join her on the Jiwan server — at least if the [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



Leaderboard: MMO RvR versus FFA PvP
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 2:00 pm
Last month, we did a little post on MMORPG PvP asking about two-faction PvP and whether it was really suited for all the MMO themeparks that seem to jam it in. But there are other types of PvP out there, and today’s Leaderboard will pit them against each other. In one corner, there’s RvR — realm vs. realm (vs. realm!), [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



Who is that guy? SPE anonymity
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 10:16 am
Returning home from work last night, I found my tiny kitchen had been flooded with water coming in from the flat upstairs. I could hear footsteps and shuffling coming from the rooms above me so I decided to go and tell them I was calling a plumber. Five


Dad, Death, Perspective and EVE Online
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 11:23 am
It's been an interesting couple of months for me. Just after Christmas, my father's health took a turn for the worse, and everything not family-related got put on hold for a while. When the doctors told us that he had less than two days to live, we


ArcheAge’s costumes will soon come with stats and levels
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 1:00 pm
Fashion or power: Who says you can’t have both? Not ArcheAge, that’s for sure, because the game is getting ready to introduce costumes with stats that level up over time. According to a post by CM Seraphina Brennan, these special costumes have been live in Korea for a while now and have been in demand in the west. The new system [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



The HTC Vive isn't limited to perfectly square rooms
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 1:00 pm

I'm not gonna lie: I was jealous when I heard that my colleague Sean Buckley got to play 12 virtual reality games in Seattle last week. (He even moaned about it later.) I got to try "only" four on the Vive Pre at HTC's Taipei headquarters. But that's OK, because in the end I also had a blast -- to the point that I ended up running around the room, high on adrenaline. Not even the zombies in Arizona Sunshine made me do this much exercise. As I sat down to recuperate afterwards, I caught up with one of the key execs on HTC's VR team to learn about the Vive's setup process and what other features are in the works.




The Game Archaeologist: Ten strange pre-release facts about World of Warcraft
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 11:00 am
An endless ocean of words, a tsunami of thoughts, and a riptide of fan devotion has flooded the gaming world about World of Warcraft ever since the title launched to critical and popular acclaim in November 2004. Chances are that most of the people reading this article have played it at one time or the other (and the few that [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



The Stream Team: Three’s company on ARK’s Gallimimus
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 11:55 am
Riding dinos in ARK: Survival Evolved is fun enough, but who wants to be the driver all the time? How about riding shotgun? MassivelyOP’s MJ is on the hunt for a Gallimimus, a fast-paced racer that can seat up to three. That means while one person steers, others can be firing those tranquilizer arrows! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



WRUP: Entropic triage edition
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 10:00 am
This week, I got some good news on Tuesday and Monday, but most of the week has been things breaking. My car has issues with what I suspect to be her exhaust system. My computer’s power supply went out (at least, that seems to be the problem, I’m making sure). A Lego kit my wife assembled fell and one of [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



The Daily Grind: What’s the appeal of survival games?
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 8:00 am
It hasn’t escaped my attention that survival games have become an insanely popular video game market over the past few years. Titles like ARK: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles are recycling and refining a formula that seems to revolve around building stuff, building more stuff with the stuff you built before, roaming around, dying to critters, dying to other players, [...]


This article was published by the word-wranglers at Massively Overpowered. Please review our terms of use for feeds.



Free Loaders: Packing Heat In Latin America
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 7:00 am
Hola, amigos. This week’s edition is coming to you from San josé, Costa Rica. As some of you may know, my fearless and tenacious reporting of the Ludum Dare collective and other seditious elements of the free games community has forced me into hiding in Central America. But I will not falter. I will continue […]


What Are We All Playing This Weekend?
Posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 5:00 am
You do realise, of course, that time I spend writing this is time I can’t spend playing XCOM 2. I’m sure you understand the need for brevity. Come on, chop chop, tell us what you’re playing this weekend. Here’s what we’re into: … [visit site to read more]


Skill packet costs
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 3:52 am
Skill packet costs are announced. https://twitter.com/EveOnline/status/6956894554962493471 empty packet : 999 Aurum (1 plex == 3.5 empty packets)5 empty packets : 4499 Aurum (1 plex == 3.89 empty packets)10 empty packets : 7999 Aurum ( 1 plex == 4.38


changement d’hébergeur
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2016, 4:41 am
bonjour ami lecteurs le blog va changer d’hébergement donc il se peut qu’il soit indisponible quelques jours. Tout reviendra vite à la normale Saya


What goes up….
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 February 2016, 11:42 pm
I missed a week of blogging probably because I spent my EVE time undocked rather than sitting on the RL tarmac somewhere with a laptop on my knees (thats where I tend to write my blogs).  And as much as I like satisfying the intellectual


<< Newer Entries · · Older Entries >>

Show: [ALL] [NEWS] [BLOGS] [PODCASTS]

Updated Today:
A Green Mushroom [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
DocHoliday's MMO Saloon [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Engadget Gaming [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Eve Bloggers [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Massively Overpowered [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
mmocam! [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Mystic Worlds [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Rock Paper Shotun [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Tobold [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Updated this Week:
Chimps in Space [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
DDOcast [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Lineage II [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
MmoQuests.com [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Reign of Gaming [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
The Instance [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Van Hemlock [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Zen of Design [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Updated this Month:
MMORPG.COM News [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Morphisat's Blog [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
No Prisoners, No Mercy [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
PC Gamer Podcast [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
The Servitor [HTML] [XML] [FULL]
Welshtroll [HTML] [XML] [FULL]