The Biggest Problem with Triple-A, Open-World Games: "They're Boring as Hell"

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
6,559
First is to bring up that although I haven't played Dark Souls, I do recognize that it's not a subscription based MMO if I have that right. What you call "fetch" or "collect"quests are in fact understood as Time Sinks. They are a mechanism used to take up a player's time, to keep him playing longer so he'll keep subscribing in order to reach goals.
A rose by any name is still a rose.
Second, I would bring up that, many games that use Time Sinks offer several special activities like Castle Sieges or other Clan/Faction activities that occur only at special times. The frequency could be as often as once a month so players need other things to do to occupy their time.
If you need other things to do to occupy your time the what you're doing is wasting your time. Bad game design is bad. If this is to prolong players to pay the subscription fee then end the subscription fee as this type of games live service clearly doesn't work. I can think of two MMO's that require a $15 monthly fee, while the rest is "free".
Third, Time Sinks are not only accomplished through fetching and finding or collecting things. Having to suspend game play for mana regeneration or health regeneration are both time sinks. Crafting ammo is no different, they are activities that consume resources and game time which players must involve themselves in to play and be successful.
These are bad game mechanics. If it isn't fun then it's a waste of time. Farming isn't fun, and is in fact a Grind.



But in the end, the point I would make is that you can stack two completely different MMO type games together and if the game-play goals are not set up well, you'll get time sinks and money sinks and wasted time. But if they are set up properly, you get non-stop action and both can support subscription models, just one does it better and will usually generate a larger player base, which means more server operating costs.
The best method to get people to continuously play a game is to make a good game. Clearly players aren't happy with grindy mechanics with unrewarding lore and loot. That's why Warcraft is failing and why nearly all of Blizzards games are failing, cause they're repetitive and unrewarding. I would strongly encourage you play Dark Souls cause that's the game that broke the idea that games must be easy, repetitive, and grindy. Even the WoW devs like the game so much that a good deal of Mists of Pandaria have sorta payed respects to it. The Island was basically a PVP zone that copied Dark Souls, even down to the red guys.

338562-cracklefang-so-scary-wolf-with-really-big-sword.jpg

0niyO4C.jpg

You can't escape the bottom line.
The bottom line has already lost, just a matter of time before it eats itself into nothingness. Indie game developers are ready to take over what is left behind by the Triple A industry.
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
If you need other things to do to occupy your time the what you're doing is wasting your time. Bad game design is bad. If this is to prolong players to pay the subscription fee then end the subscription fee as this type of games live service clearly doesn't work. I can think of two MMO's that require a $15 monthly fee, while the rest is "free"............

Not true at all, maybe it's your view, but companies have made very successful titles that produced real profit for them and lasted many years. They list is very long. What you think of as bad game design used to occupy several members of my clan every night as we farmed or did bosses together, chatting in Ventrillo and teasing and being social together. One man's goose .....
Not many do this today, but then again, I can't say the games today are really any better.

I think you are dreaming about indie games taking over from the AAAs. I haven't found a single indie title that was worth my time to download. Posted pretty pics, they spark no recognition for me although I am sure you think they are easily recognizable to all.

Blizzard's games are failing because Blizzard is a victim of their own success. WoW was so big that they grew too big, too rich. They forgot where they came from and how to get back. They have big bosses demanding big money and it influences their decisions and hurts their chances of producing anything great again. They are simply blinded and corporate leadership is out of touch.

I don't suppose you play World of Tanks or any of Wargaming's other titles? How long did PUBG last? It's dead you know? I logged into it this morning, waited in queue 15 minutes and not more than 22 were online to play, couldn't even launch a match. Their player base all ran to Epic Legends, a free to play, and it'll be dead in a year too. But I have been playing World of Tanks for over 7 years and it is almost all grind. Start with some Tier I tanks, grind them through II, III, IV, V, it's take a good weekend to get that far. Keep working and by the time you grind out your first Tier X you'll have invested a couple of months in the game. That's one tank line, say a Light Tank for example, then some nations have more than one Medium tank, and add two or three Heavy tanks, their are Tank Destroyers and Self Propelled guns as well. And seven years ago when I started it was only Russia, Germany, and the USA. They have added France, England, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, China, and Japan and more. As a rough stab I'd say there is an average of 5 tier X vehicles per nation, 10 nations, 50 tier Xs, two months each, there is 100 months of play time easy. But playing each battle is the entire point, the grind is the game, and the game is a grind.

But we do both agree, great games are needed. But we do disagree on some things. Not all grind mechanics are bad so they are not universally hated. Sometimes they are the very foundation of the game.
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
6,559
Not true at all, maybe it's your view, but companies have made very successful titles that produced real profit for them and lasted many years. They list is very long. What you think of as bad game design used to occupy several members of my clan every night as we farmed or did bosses together, chatting in Ventrillo and teasing and being social together. One man's goose .....
Not many do this today, but then again, I can't say the games today are really any better.
I played those games too, specifically World of Warcraft. But the World of Warcraft I played then is not the same game that's available today. WoW now exploits nostalgia to get people to play and it doesn't work anymore. Mass Effect Andromeda wouldn't have a leg to stand on if the previous Mass Effect games weren't good, but they were. I'm also not saying that these game practices aren't profitable, I'm saying they're not as profitable as making a good game like Skyrim, Fallout 4, Witcher 3, and etc. Games with little to no busy work and flooded with fun and interesting side quests are still going to make more money. Warcraft is failing, Anthem is failing, Fallout 76 had failed which is proof that this type of game design will no longer fly. You can trick people at first but eventually...
I think you are dreaming about indie games taking over from the AAAs. I haven't found a single indie title that was worth my time to download. Posted pretty pics, they spark no recognition for me although I am sure you think they are easily recognizable to all.
A lot of people forget that some of the best games came from Indie. 3DRealms and ID Software weren't called Indie because that term was recently invented but that's what they were. Doom 1993 was made by like 12 people but took over the world. Undertale was made by like 18 people and is still referenced to this day. Indie games don't get as much attention but there are lots of good Indie games lately like Hollow Knight, A Hat In Time, and Super Hot. Indie games won't take over the industry unless AAA game studios keep screwing up.
I don't suppose you play World of Tanks or any of Wargaming's other titles? How long did PUBG last? It's dead you know? I logged into it this morning, waited in queue 15 minutes and not more than 22 were online to play, couldn't even launch a match. Their player base all ran to Epic Legends, a free to play, and it'll be dead in a year too.
All multiplayer games die because players get sick of them eventually. This happens every so often and right now everyone has the multiplayer itch they need to scratch. I played Counter Strike 1.6 for so many years and I eventually got sick of it and moved on. Not the games fault because I can't expect it to entertainment me with dedust2 forever. I did go back and play Vanilla WoW on a private server from start to finish and now had my fill and moved on.
But I have been playing World of Tanks for over 7 years and it is almost all grind. Start with some Tier I tanks, grind them through II, III, IV, V, it's take a good weekend to get that far. Keep working and by the time you grind out your first Tier X you'll have invested a couple of months in the game. That's one tank line, say a Light Tank for example, then some nations have more than one Medium tank, and add two or three Heavy tanks, their are Tank Destroyers and Self Propelled guns as well. And seven years ago when I started it was only Russia, Germany, and the USA. They have added France, England, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, China, and Japan and more. As a rough stab I'd say there is an average of 5 tier X vehicles per nation, 10 nations, 50 tier Xs, two months each, there is 100 months of play time easy. But playing each battle is the entire point, the grind is the game, and the game is a grind.
I never played World of Tanks but I can't imagine it being more popular than PUBG. I'm not saying people aren't playing that game as I'm sure people do. People still play RuneScape but it doesn't mean the game is good or popular. You'd be surprised how many people still play Counter Strike 1.6.
But we do both agree, great games are needed. But we do disagree on some things. Not all grind mechanics are bad so they are not universally hated. Sometimes they are the very foundation of the game.
There are universally bad mechanics. Just that some players aren't aware of them as much because they're a big fan of the game overall. Does grinding make Vanilla WoW a bad game? No, but it's still an unfun mechanic. Lots of good that outweighs the bad, but bad they are. I see the reason why they put them in the game but they're usually financial reasons or lack of time... which is still financial reasons. Dark Souls games do have some grind mechanics but it's very little and still a bad mechanic. Demon Souls had a lot of nasty and horrible grinding mechanics that made the game unfun, despite being nearly the same as the Dark Souls games. Go make a max level Blessed Weapon, it took hours killing the same trash mob to get enough stones.

Grindy game mechanics use time to trick a player that what they did was hard when it really wasn't. Which is another thing that pisses me off cause game devs use this to try and make bad players feel better about themselves. Egoraptor explains this very well in his Zelda video.
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
I played those games too, specifically World of Warcraft. But the World of Warcraft I played then is not the same game that's available today. WoW now exploits nostalgia to get people to play and it doesn't work anymore. Mass Effect Andromeda wouldn't have a leg to stand on if the previous Mass Effect games weren't good, but they were. I'm also not saying that these game practices aren't profitable, I'm saying they're not as profitable as making a good game like Skyrim, Fallout 4, Witcher 3, and etc. Games with little to no busy work and flooded with fun and interesting side quests are still going to make more money. Warcraft is failing, Anthem is failing, Fallout 76 had failed which is proof that this type of game design will no longer fly. You can trick people at first but eventually...

A lot of people forget that some of the best games came from Indie. 3DRealms and ID Software weren't called Indie because that term was recently invented but that's what they were. Doom 1993 was made by like 12 people but took over the world. Undertale was made by like 18 people and is still referenced to this day. Indie games don't get as much attention but there are lots of good Indie games lately like Hollow Knight, A Hat In Time, and Super Hot. Indie games won't take over the industry unless AAA game studios keep screwing up.

All multiplayer games die because players get sick of them eventually. This happens every so often and right now everyone has the multiplayer itch they need to scratch. I played Counter Strike 1.6 for so many years and I eventually got sick of it and moved on. Not the games fault because I can't expect it to entertainment me with dedust2 forever. I did go back and play Vanilla WoW on a private server from start to finish and now had my fill and moved on.

I never played World of Tanks but I can't imagine it being more popular than PUBG. I'm not saying people aren't playing that game as I'm sure people do. People still play RuneScape but it doesn't mean the game is good or popular. You'd be surprised how many people still play Counter Strike 1.6.

There are universally bad mechanics. Just that some players aren't aware of them as much because they're a big fan of the game overall. Does grinding make Vanilla WoW a bad game? No, but it's still an unfun mechanic. Lots of good that outweighs the bad, but bad they are. I see the reason why they put them in the game but they're usually financial reasons or lack of time... which is still financial reasons. Dark Souls games do have some grind mechanics but it's very little and still a bad mechanic. Demon Souls had a lot of nasty and horrible grinding mechanics that made the game unfun, despite being nearly the same as the Dark Souls games. Go make a max level Blessed Weapon, it took hours killing the same trash mob to get enough stones.

Grindy game mechanics use time to trick a player that what they did was hard when it really wasn't. Which is another thing that pisses me off cause game devs use this to try and make bad players feel better about themselves. Egoraptor explains this very well in his Zelda video.


I think I'm getting hung up on how readily you switch between very different games. I mean I have never seen time sink mechanics employed in a single player game or any of these other complaints you have with some of the recent titles. So I am lost on what to make of that.

Have the big guys been kicking out some stinkers? Yes, without a doubt yes. All game developers were little bitty shops back in 1993 except maybe Nintento and other developers that started by making coin-op games for video arcades.... I just launched into this long history lesson but it's immaterial. I think you and I have very different ideas of what we like in a game. You for instance insist that all grindy game mechanics are un-fun, but some of the best experiences I had playing Lineage 2 happened while we were farming mobs because it wasn't the game, but the interaction between us players that made it memorable. But it was the game that made this possible and it never would have happened the way it did had we been doing something "fun" in game.

Take Fallout4 for instance. Some people are so focused and goal oriented that they set their sights on each quest, drive through the content and their enjoyment and experience is dependent on how that is presented to them and once they finish, they are ready to hang it up and move on. Other are more like me and will load mods and tweak them, and have different characters built along a vision. Or I will play Skyrim completely avoiding the main quest-line not wanting to see any dragons at all, not caring if I can't shout. Yes I know, I'm a heretic, a blasphemer.
 
Last edited:

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
6,559
I think I'm getting hung up on how readily you switch between very different games. I mean I have never seen time sink mechanics employed in a single player game or any of these other complaints you have with some of the recent titles. So I am lost on what to make of that.
Really? You never seen a time sink in a single player game? Egoraptors entire video on Zelda Ocarina of Time is complaining about time sinks. He rants for a few minutes on how opening boxes in Ocarina of Time takes so much time. Most recent offender of this is Assassin's Creed Odyssey where people complained that at some point in the game you're forced to do side quests to continue the game, a lot of not fun side quests, which they do offer an XP boost to level up faster as you need to be a certain level to continue the main plot. How about Shadow of War where you need to acquire a very competent orc army to finish the game, which required a lot of grinding or buying them from the online store. Yes I'm aware the store is no longer available but you get the idea. UbiSoft games are notorious for open world games where you can run around and collect things. I think there was an Assassin's Creed game where if you collected all the feathers you get to save the mother or something. Korok Seeds in Breath of the Wild where you need 400 something to get max weapon carrying capacity, and if you somehow did collect all the seeds you get an achievement that basically reminds you that you wasted your time.

I think you and I have very different ideas of what we like in a game. You for instance insist that all grindy game mechanics are un-fun, but some of the best experiences I had playing Lineage 2 happened while we were farming mobs because it wasn't the game, but the interaction between us players that made it memorable. But it was the game that made this possible and it never would have happened the way it did had we been doing something "fun" in game.
I don't understand what you're saying cause you enjoy farming cause you interact with players? I have no idea how Lineage 2 works but I can't imagine any farming is fun farming. For me the idea of fun is when I can't solo anything and need the help of people. Getting together to clear a dungeon or raid to get the satisfaction that you did something very few people could do. The word grind describes a boring repetitive task, not a fun adventure you have with your friends.
Take Fallout4 for instance. Some people are so focused and goal oriented that they set their sights on each quest, drive through the content and their enjoyment and experience is dependent on how that is presented to them and once they finish, they are ready to hang it up and move on. Other are more like me and will load mods and tweak them, and have different characters built along a vision. Or I will play Skyrim completely avoiding the main quest-line not wanting to see any dragons at all, not caring if I can't shout. Yes I know, I'm a heretic, a blasphemer.
Pretty sure everyone does that. Everyone with a PC anyway. I've played Fallout 4 like five times with mods and haven't gotten one achievement in the game cause I didn't want to play the game with zero mods. You need to have no mods installed to get achievements.
 

Staples

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
7,978
The problem with open world games is that you can never really beat them.
 
D

Deleted member 204526

Guest
What's wrong with chilling out with a game? Chilling being the key word here. Sometimes I just want to fart around and not be charged up on caffeine to make sure my spit-second reflexes are firing on all cylinders.
 

Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
4,541
Anything you enjoy doing is not a waste of time. If you don't enjoy something, simply stop and do something else. Playing a game one doesn't enjoy just to find the end of the story but then complain the whole time makes no sense, read a book.

Companies put in these little time sinks though because people get so focused on how many hours of 'content or game' there is instead of quality of it. How many times do you see it though? Game was really fun but too damn short. So the answer is get you to do more unrelated stuff. The devs are giving what people are wanting.

I do agree, I like a mix because sometimes I just want to dork around and de-stress with a beer, in the case of WOW for me that means running around doing some old content hoping for some mounts. I don't always need instant gratification or reward for everything i do.
 

Dion

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
3,811
The author admits repetition is fundamental in gaming but claims RDR2 and other “Real World Games” have taken tediousness to a whole new level, in which players are forced to perform tasks implemented merely to inflate the length of a game.

Completely agree with this.. All games are repetitive..If you like the repetitiveness of the game is a different question/topic. Adding useless and half assed things to make a game longer is crap. RDR2 does this and it sucked big time.

But imo that is not the reason why i'd call RDR2 the biggest disappointment of 2018.
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
6,559
Companies put in these little time sinks though because people get so focused on how many hours of 'content or game' there is instead of quality of it. How many times do you see it though? Game was really fun but too damn short. So the answer is get you to do more unrelated stuff. The devs are giving what people are wanting.
Except that games have done it without making it a weekend game. Skyrim, Fallout 4, Witcher 3, I keep repeating these games for a reason. I can't think of too many time sinks in those games, like the Witcher 3's card game Gwent and the settlement nonsense in Fallout 4. In Witcher 3 the real meat and potatoe's is when you wonder off and find a side quest and act like a better detective than L.A. Noire. Fallout 4 same deal, I wonder off and find a mystery where someone left something behind and I now find a trail that leads to something cool. That's game content, not "another settlement needs our help".

 

Laowai

Gawd
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
534
I didn't read through all the posts here. I started and stopped where people were arguing about time sinks.
Every game is a time sink. Period.
Games are entertainment and entertainment is...a waste of time. Some may be enjoyable but all of them are the opposite of a productive use of time.

An open world game or a game on rails is not any different in this regard. They're both a waste of time. When people complain about time sinks.....in something that is 100% a time sink......what they're really saying is "I don't like X, Y, and Z" but that in no way impacts how another person feels about the exact same mechanic in the exact same game.
 

Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
4,541
Except that games have done it without making it a weekend game. Skyrim, Fallout 4, Witcher 3, I keep repeating these games for a reason. I can't think of too many time sinks in those games, like the Witcher 3's card game Gwent and the settlement nonsense in Fallout 4. In Witcher 3 the real meat and potatoe's is when you wonder off and find a side quest and act like a better detective than L.A. Noire. Fallout 4 same deal, I wonder off and find a mystery where someone left something behind and I now find a trail that leads to something cool. That's game content, not "another settlement needs our help".

See, fallout4 I played the main story pretty much only. The side stuff to me felt rushed and not that fun. Skyrim and witcher3 I would say I am pretty close to full completion on those. Skyrim it could be argued if we are using forced time wasters as the point, the main story in skyrim was weak and the waste of time. There was so much more time spent it seems on the side stuff and guild stories IMO. Having to deal with the dead drops you had to get to also could be considered a waste as well.

I guess I just don't see things as time wasters being added in, could it be argued that when stating there is "400 hours of gameplay" that it is way overstated? Yes most likely. But even games like pacman had a couple seconds once you started that it would play a little ditty before you could start each round, is this also just a time waster? Or does no one really think that way towards games? I guess I also just don't need something actively happening every second, that becomes how I would perceive as unrealistic in the world I am pretending to be a part of in the game.

Crafting is boring, when a game doesn't have crafting usually people in large numbers scream that it needs it. I personally would rather have like a modification type crafting, or collecting rare pieces to assemble awesome weapons/armor, but gated behind difficulty not story progression. I dunno, starting to ramble now but I haven't had coffee yet and probably should head to work. ttyl lol
 
Last edited:

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
Really? You never seen a time sink in a single player game? Egoraptors entire video on Zelda Ocarina of Time ...................................


PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....

No others exist for me, sorry.

See, we really do have different ideas on what makes a game fun.
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
6,559
See, fallout4 I played the main story pretty much only. The side stuff to me felt rushed and not that fun. Skyrim and witcher3 I would say I am pretty close to full completion on those. Skyrim it could be argued if we are using forced time wasters as the point, the main story in skyrim was weak and the waste of time. There was so much more time spent it seems on the side stuff and guild stories IMO. Having to deal with the dead drops you had to get to also could be considered a waste as well.
I think you've reached a point in this topic where anything could be argued a "time waster". Lots of fun and interesting things to do in Skyrim which is why the game is so popular to modders to this day. Everyone loves Cicero.

 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
6,559
PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....PC gamer ....

No others exist for me, sorry.

See, we really do have different ideas on what makes a game fun.
I don't understand what you're pointing out. We're all PC gamers, not like those console peasants.
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
I don't understand what you're pointing out. We're all PC gamers, not like those console peasants.

Unless I am mistaken, Zelda Ocarina of Time is a console title. I would even point out that although Witcvher3 and many many others are available for the PC, they still are console games just adapted for PC. The entire interface stinks of it. Third person is the first strong identifier of such titles, but there are others.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,112
Unless I am mistaken, Zelda Ocarina of Time is a console title. I would even point out that although Witcvher3 and many many others are available for the PC, they still are console games just adapted for PC. The entire interface stinks of it. Third person is the first strong identifier of such titles, but there are others.

This. Any shooting based game designed for 3rd person is designed around console gamers.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
3
Given the current state and advancement in our technology why can't game developers create a open world game that has both quality and quantity? Or actually go out into the face of the public and ask for open ideas that can satisfy the people who want a change. Sure it's all about the money our lives are run by it but that doesn't mean they can't ask for the publics opinions or choices in the matter to make open world games more satisfying and fruitful
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,112
Given the current state and advancement in our technology why can't game developers create a open world game that has both quality and quantity? Or actually go out into the face of the public and ask for open ideas that can satisfy the people who want a change. Sure it's all about the money our lives are run by it but that doesn't mean they can't ask for the publics opinions or choices in the matter to make open world games more satisfying and fruitful

The problem with a game being poor or low quality in terms of gameplay isn't a technical shortcoming but a creative and pacing one. You can have all the great technology in the world but if the story is bad, the objectives in the game are pointless and you're rehashing the same not so great gameplay design you'll end up with something boring.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
3
The problem with a game being poor or low quality in terms of gameplay isn't a technical shortcoming but a creative and pacing one. You can have all the great technology in the world but if the story is bad, the objectives in the game are pointless and you're rehashing the same not so great gameplay design you'll end up with something boring.

There should be a meeting between normal gamers and big game developers to throw in ideas to make the games more satisfying for the public.
 

Catscratch

n00b
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
14
I dunno what you expect from games but saying "dailies suck" shows your unwillingness to move on. When a game gives you nothing. MOVE ON. Players are the problem most of the time. You don't let the games die. Either deal with it or move on to other games.
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
View attachment 187444
I beg to differ... It depends on how you define "beat."


And, not everyone is interested in "beating" a game. Fact is, I don't even want to buy a game that I beat. I want my game to live, to offer almost endless activity. Endless at least, until a better game comes along to take it's place. That's part of why Skyrim and Fallout 3/4 were so popular and are still heavily played. People don't "beat" them, they just play them over and over again. Then they mod them and play them some more. This morning I was hunting Death Claws over by the Mayoral Shelter and that hotel just north of the Glowing Sea and the West edge of the map. When I'm done there, I'll head off to another area with some challenge, maybe I'll clear out Qunicy for the first time with this newest character. Point is, my fun isn't in beating the game, it's in playing the game.

If playing isn't fun enough, why play at all.

Those are the games I look for.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
61,367
I'd have to agree with this. I understand open world games are all the rage, but nearly all of them bore me to tears. Mass Effect Andromeda was certainly worse off for it. If you could strip out the open world elements and just move through the major story missions, the game would improve immensely. It takes about 100 hours to do everything in that game, but what you end up with is only about 25 to 30 hours of meaningful content and the rest is just filler to drag the game out. Even Mass Effect 1 wasn't immune to these problems, but it had a better story and was at least unique at the time of its release and allowed many people to push past the game's many faults. Andromeda, not so much.

Games like Oblivion and Skyrim bored me as well. They lack direction and focus, so its easy to get bored in them. Many of the quests feel like the same things repeated and most of it feels like meaningless drivel. After completing the main story arc of Oblivion, I never touched the game again. I think these games are actually part of the problem with the perception of open world games. Their popularity is thought of by developers as being due to the open world nature of the design rather than the moddability of the games. It's the latter that makes Fallout, Skyrim etc. super popular. The open world nature does lend itself well to modding, as it gives modders a larger and less restrictive canvas to work with, but when you lock a game like Fallout down to prevent modding, it gets extremely boring in my experience.

About the only games that I think were better off for their open world nature were Ghost Recon Wildlands and Grand Theft Auto V. Those games work largely because they are co-op and populated by lots of NPC's. You end up with exciting things to do like steal cars and blow things up. Single player only games with overly generic story telling (necessary to accommodate non-linear gameplay) where the outlying areas are truly desolate may set the mood, but provide nothing of substance to do.
 

Dayaks

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
9,181
I'd have to agree with this. I understand open world games are all the rage, but nearly all of them bore me to tears. Mass Effect Andromeda was certainly worse off for it. If you could strip out the open world elements and just move through the major story missions, the game would improve immensely. It takes about 100 hours to do everything in that game, but what you end up with is only about 25 to 30 hours of meaningful content and the rest is just filler to drag the game out. Even Mass Effect 1 wasn't immune to these problems, but it had a better story and was at least unique at the time of its release and allowed many people to push past the game's many faults. Andromeda, not so much.

Games like Oblivion and Skyrim bored me as well. They lack direction and focus, so its easy to get bored in them. Many of the quests feel like the same things repeated and most of it feels like meaningless drivel. After completing the main story arc of Oblivion, I never touched the game again. I think these games are actually part of the problem with the perception of open world games. Their popularity is thought of by developers as being due to the open world nature of the design rather than the moddability of the games. It's the latter that makes Fallout, Skyrim etc. super popular. The open world nature does lend itself well to modding, as it gives modders a larger and less restrictive canvas to work with, but when you lock a game like Fallout down to prevent modding, it gets extremely boring in my experience.

About the only games that I think were better off for their open world nature were Ghost Recon Wildlands and Grand Theft Auto V. Those games work largely because they are co-op and populated by lots of NPC's. You end up with exciting things to do like steal cars and blow things up. Single player only games with overly generic story telling (necessary to accommodate non-linear gameplay) where the outlying areas are truly desolate may set the mood, but provide nothing of substance to do.

The Witcher 3 was the only one I have ever finished.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
770
When people say open world they mean first person I assume. Even though Bethesda ruined a franchise that I love, the last truly great open world game that I can remember was Morrowind. That was not boring exploration, so many meaningful storylines and quests and factions. The Gothic games are great as well, 3 becoming great after a massive community patch. Fallout 2 is the greatest ever, if you consider that open world, I do. The achievement game has no interest to me in a single player epic. I want to be sucked in by an engaging story and long campaign. It bothers me when gamers shit all over graphics before they ever play a single minute. Most games today look really good, to me art direction is more important than cutting edge graphics. Now in a pure shooter I want bleeding edge graphics, In an open world epic I want a cool art direction and I can forgive graphic imperfections if the that direction is interesting and the story is great. It seems that all of todays AAA titles are vapid supermodels with no substance.
 

Aix.

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
1,959
How long did PUBG last? It's dead you know? I logged into it this morning, waited in queue 15 minutes and not more than 22 were online to play, couldn't even launch a match. Their player base all ran to Epic Legends, a free to play, and it'll be dead in a year too. But I have been playing World of Tanks for over 7 years and it is almost all grind.

PUBG has 424,000 players playing at noon EST on a Monday, while World of Tanks has 13,000.

https://steamcharts.com/app/578080
https://steamcharts.com/app/444200
 

Hagrid

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
9,157
I would rather play open world games. Why limit it? I hate having a set place to go each step and making it simple since the map is small.
 

AceGoober

Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
24,572
The first 'open world' game I played was Delta Force: Land Warrior and even then it wasn't truly open world but I had a blast with it. The next in line was Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. None of the games I listed were boring whatsoever though, I have to admit, I'm somewhat easily entertained.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,112
I'd have to agree with this. I understand open world games are all the rage, but nearly all of them bore me to tears. Mass Effect Andromeda was certainly worse off for it. If you could strip out the open world elements and just move through the major story missions, the game would improve immensely. It takes about 100 hours to do everything in that game, but what you end up with is only about 25 to 30 hours of meaningful content and the rest is just filler to drag the game out. Even Mass Effect 1 wasn't immune to these problems, but it had a better story and was at least unique at the time of its release and allowed many people to push past the game's many faults. Andromeda, not so much.

Games like Oblivion and Skyrim bored me as well. They lack direction and focus, so its easy to get bored in them. Many of the quests feel like the same things repeated and most of it feels like meaningless drivel. After completing the main story arc of Oblivion, I never touched the game again. I think these games are actually part of the problem with the perception of open world games. Their popularity is thought of by developers as being due to the open world nature of the design rather than the moddability of the games. It's the latter that makes Fallout, Skyrim etc. super popular. The open world nature does lend itself well to modding, as it gives modders a larger and less restrictive canvas to work with, but when you lock a game like Fallout down to prevent modding, it gets extremely boring in my experience.

About the only games that I think were better off for their open world nature were Ghost Recon Wildlands and Grand Theft Auto V. Those games work largely because they are co-op and populated by lots of NPC's. You end up with exciting things to do like steal cars and blow things up. Single player only games with overly generic story telling (necessary to accommodate non-linear gameplay) where the outlying areas are truly desolate may set the mood, but provide nothing of substance to do.

The main problem is that these days "open world" seems to be a marketing check mark. Not all games should be open world as you need to design the game around it. Most developers simply don't do that. I think the open world style of the recent Fallout games (3/NV/4) were fine because there was some guidance but exploration was actually exploration. Meaning you'd find interesting things, unique buildings/structures and different quests that feel different enough. But most games take the Ubisoft approach to open world and side quests: Quick conversation, same situations, same few tasks to do at each locale and the end result is a mission that is practically the same as both the story missions and other side missions. Ignore the dialogue and the missions of Assassin's Creed Odyssey fall into 3-4 categories with the same few set ups. And when you lengthen the game to 80 hours it gets damn tiresome.

Length and pacing also has a good bit to do with it. I found the open world in Assassin's Creed Origins to be fine, but the story pacing was horrible. At 55 hours for the main game and side quests, a good 15-20 hours lacked real coherent story content and your actions felt pointless. The new level system didn't help as it forced you to skip quests that seemed interesting and made you come back later, or you'd over level. But when the story actually picked up the game was very entertaining. The problem was you'd have 1 hour of story content and then 2-3 hours of forgettable characters and actions.

I'd prefer if most games went back to a mission based structure with semi open maps and more sensible length/pacing.
 
Last edited:

Aireoth

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
6,016
Given the current state and advancement in our technology why can't game developers create a open world game that has both quality and quantity? Or actually go out into the face of the public and ask for open ideas that can satisfy the people who want a change. Sure it's all about the money our lives are run by it but that doesn't mean they can't ask for the publics opinions or choices in the matter to make open world games more satisfying and fruitful

I think it’s going to be exceedingly hard to top things like GTA5, RDR2 and Witcher 3 for open world.

It isn’t just a problem of money, but one of time and how project management has to break those large games into chunks for various dev teams to make. That results in narrative gaps, different quality of quests and areas. Managing all that is a nightmare itself. Then you have to deliver a project relatively on time or you risk missing both the hype train and your technological sweet spot (as your product ages while in development and newer fancier things come out before yours).

I guess the biggest improvement would come from the director/editor level if you will. Those that weave the various pieces into the finished product for us to consume.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
61,367
I would rather play open world games. Why limit it? I hate having a set place to go each step and making it simple since the map is small.

On the surface it would seem like an open world where you could explore a larger area would be a good thing but it isn't. There are some people who can enjoy driving around and looking at nothing, but for some of us, that novelty wears off quickly. Especially when we are talking about fairly boring and static environments. In Ghost Recon Wildlands, there are always Unidad patrols, Cartel convoys, stash houses, camps, and bases all over the world. You are essentially in excessively hostile territory. The key to that is good combat and things to produce variation. Day / night cycles, NPC factions fighting each other and so on. In that game, the open world is an asset and its filled with stuff to improve gameplay. You also have collectibles, weapon unlocks and mods scattered all over the landscape.

In Andromeda or Oblivion, I felt it was empty space. It was a distraction from the main story. I don't feel like the extra space either aided the narrative, nor did it offer anything special in terms of game play. It takes more than exploring a desolate landscape to entertain me. I need a story, or at least very dynamic combat to keep me interested. Ghost Recon Wildlands, GTA V and Andromeda all did that for me. Andromeda could have been stronger, but at least the combat was good. I actually could have fun attacking random enemy camps. The crafting system and trying different weapon combinations also helped give me something to do out there. However, with Oblivion, it was just space. The side quests were all things I couldn't be bothered to do. I have similar problems with MMO's. You end up wasting a lot of time on traveling around the environment. You also waste time trying to find objects or doing quests that are designed to soak up as much time as possible to stretch the content out as much as possible.

The primary goal of these companies is player retention. Making content drag on needlessly has the effect of slowing down your progression so that developers can come up with other ways to keep you engaged and therefore, spending money.

One of the biggest problem with these open world games is that the freedom of movement translates into a more generic and less linear game. The problem with that is that everything you do has less of an impact. The narratives have to be less focused and less scripted, and often end up less meaningful. Timing and a sense of urgency being removed from the equation is detrimental to the story and the pace of the game. While I can appreciate the freedom of movement, exploration without substance or something to gain just doesn't hold my interest. A well written, scripted and linear story based experience may not have a great deal of replay value, but it always makes a great deal more of an impression on me than any open world game will. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's single player campaign is more engaging to me than running around on some desolate planet in some space game looking at rocks and shooting some stupid animal that will randomly aggro to me because........reasons.

I think open world games can be done well and that it can be good for the setting and offer a larger canvas to work from, but there are also some limitations that come with them. With co-op games in certain settings, I think it can be a lot of fun. For something with a tight narrative I don't think it works. It takes away from the narrative rather than adding to the experience.

The main problem is that these days "open world" seems to be a marketing check mark. Not all games should be open world as you need to design the game around it. Most developers simply don't do that. I think the open world style of the recent Fallout games (3/NV/4) were fine because there was some guidance but exploration was actually exploration. Meaning you'd find interesting things, unique buildings/structures and different quests the feel different enough. But most games take the Ubisoft approach to open world and side quests: Quick conversation, same situations, same few tasks to do at each locale and the end result is a mission that is practically the same as both the story missions and other side missions. Ignore the dialogue and the missions of Assassin's Creed Odyssey fall into 3-4 categories with the same few set ups. And when you lengthen the game to 80 hours it gets damn tiresome.

Length and pacing also has a good bit to do with it. I found the open world in Assassin's Creed Origins to be fine, but the story pacing was horrible. At 55 hours for the main game and side quests, a good 15-20 hours lacked real coherent story content and your actions felt pointless. The new level system didn't help as it forced you to skip quests that seemed interesting and made you come back later, or you'd over level. But when the story actually picked up the game was very entertaining. The problem was you'd have 1 hour of story content and then 2-3 hours of forgettable characters and actions.

I'd prefer if most games went back to a mission based structure with semi open maps and more sensible length/pacing.

Absolutely. I agree with you on many of your points. Mass Effect Andromeda is a great example of this. Many of the side missions are boring, forgettable tropes that just fill time. They take away from a sense of urgency and negatively impact the pacing of a game with an otherwise decent narrative. I really believe that if you could simply hit the main story missions in succession, the game would be a lot better. Unfortunately, certain dialog, overall success and the ending are all impacted by the various side missions. You'd need to automatically complete those in order to keep the pacing and the story's momentum moving.

I think if they had structured ME:A like ME2, it would have been much better received. There are still some other things that needed to be addressed, but that's another topic.
 
Last edited:

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
21,608
I like the idea of open world games, but I feel like most of them are poorly done. For every GTA there's a Rage 2. Exploring a large world stops being fun if there's no point or it's grindy in nature.
There's absolutely still a place for open world exploration style games, but I'm kinda sick of every game going that route. There's still a place for games with a strong and focused narrative.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
61,367
I like the idea of open world games, but I feel like most of them are poorly done. For every GTA there's a Rage 2. Exploring a large world stops being fun if there's no point or it's grindy in nature.
There's absolutely still a place for open world exploration style games, but I'm kinda sick of every game going that route. There's still a place for games with a strong and focused narrative.

Well said and I couldn't agree more.
 

Hagrid

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
9,157
I like the idea of open world games, but I feel like most of them are poorly done. For every GTA there's a Rage 2. Exploring a large world stops being fun if there's no point or it's grindy in nature.
There's absolutely still a place for open world exploration style games, but I'm kinda sick of every game going that route. There's still a place for games with a strong and focused narrative.
That's why it's nice to have the option in the game. Finish it faster or explore areas that have different monster/items/people/etc.
 
Top