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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, '14, 8:31 am 
So I return briefly to partially vent and partially have some fun before forgetting this place exists for another few months.


What are some game breaking/experience ruining/immersion destroying problems you've faced in games? Primarily wondering if anyone has encountered an "obstacle" part way through a game, and put you through so much stress and frustration that you put the game down, never to play it again. (or almost never)
Essentially a game turn-off.

Recently I was caught up in the hype over a free-to-play steam game, Robocraft. Build, destroy, upgrade. Simple and sweet. I made it in with a huge crowd of people and quickly moved up a few tiers. But on reaching mid-level (tier 5 out of 10) it suddenly became nearly impossible to progress. There was this repair concept in the game, (resulted from players whining about getting money too slowly) you get more points for damage, in exchange for having to repair any damage done to you at the end of a match. The problem occurred when you have higher tier players, affectionately named +2's, who would use more powerful +2 (or more) tier weapons at the cost of a bit of armor. Unfortunately for the lower rank players, this +2 mechanic was severely unbalanced, and high ranking players would cause massive damage with their better weapons, thus making oodles of moola while leaving all the mid-tier players behind, who had no real options to make money which you need to progress into higher ranks. The largest problem is that 4 out of 5 games you actually lose money, because you can't make enough to repair your own crap. Over the course of those 5 games, you average out less money than on lower tiers.

Part 2 of the problem was the "elitist society" type that have been with the game since the beginning (or have bought their way into power) who spoke against anyone who complained about the repair system costing them too much money. They believed they originally had it harder and worked hard for their success, and new recruits should do the same. (They also complained about how there aren't enough high tier players to make playing a high tier match worthwhile, a problem caused by them prohibiting newbies from earning money.)

Obviously, as just another complaining voice, there wasn't anything I could personally change about the system, and it became unplayable for me.

*Finally the devs have understood their mistake and have since removed repair costs. I've been playing it nonstop all weekend.

But I encounter similar problems even in single player games where your character's power doesn't scale with the rest of the environment, eventually reaching the point where every task is incredibly difficult, and not fun to try on.

Anyone have similar problems?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, '14, 2:27 pm 
Something I noticed in one game that probably relates to what you have said is a situation I have found on Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor for DS.

It is not something unsurmountable, but there is a certain battle where you have only one character that can do damage to the boss and it is almost unbeatable unless you have one specific demon that allows you to attack twice every turn, otherwise the boss will heal himself faster than you can damage him. If you are extremely overleveled, it may be beatable without that demon, but the leveling-up is very slow.

It is annoying because there are no indication in the game that it is the only way of beating him, and you may take a long time to discover that. Then, you will need to level the demon to acceptable levels before taking it to the boss battle, which may take a long time.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, '14, 7:41 pm 
The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night was broken by its combat. Now, it wasn't the combat mechanics in itself. It was the fact that enemies would damage you when down, making the game needlessly difficult for the wrong reason. Especially considering the younger target audience (and long time Spyro fans). You basically couldn't afford to get hit at all, lest you be knocked down and instantly killed by an enemy swarm.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, '14, 11:25 pm 
Metroid Fusion. that game had a boss that I could not beat. No matter how I tried. You don't have enough life and it's almost like an end battle about a quarter way into the game.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, '14, 3:59 am 
Kingdom Heart II had a boss that I couldn't beat no matter how much I tried. It was when you fought Axel near the end of the game. When your character is maxed out in level, you have full health, and you get him down to two hits then he's dead and he busts out a combo that kills you in one go, it gets frustrating. Even after looking at guides and going back to grab some missed items it didn't help.

Hopefully when KH2.5 HD Remix comes out, I'll finally beat KHII.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, '14, 3:08 pm 
So, game-breakingness. Let's talk about game-breaking things in games that we all hate.

Specifically, let's talk a bit about Star Trek Online. I love the game, even though the away team missions aren't exactly the greatest thing, even though I have to pay real money for a uniform that's not the First Contact uniform or the built-in Star Trek Online uniforms, even though I have to pay real money for an Admiral rank starship that looks like the Defiant, even though some of the voice acting is really really terrible (Dave Rivas, the voice actor for Captain Va'kel Shon, has said in interviews that despite playing multiple characters in the game, he takes playing Shon seriously because Shon's the captain of the Enterprise.)

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah.

  • CBS's Executive Meddling
In STO, you get a ship when you begin the game, the dinky little Miranda class that's pretty renowned in fandom as having been destroyed in almost every onscreen appearance it's had. As you gain levels, you get access to better ships that fit into one of three categories: extremely durable Cruisers (like the Constitution Refit class from Star Trek VI, the Galaxy class from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the Sovereign class from Star Trek: First Contact. By stunning coincidence, the Sovereign is one of the few Admiral ships that isn't extremely ugly), glass-cannon Escorts (like the Akira class, which was the inspiration for Star Trek: Enterprise's NX-class; or THE DEFIANT!!! from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which I'm putting in bold italics because the Defiant is awesome as hell); or the master of the enemy ship unbuff Science Vessel (like the Intrepid class from Star Trek: Voyager).

Once you get to Level 50 in the game, you gain access to Retrofit vessels, which are basically like "The Defiant but scaled up to be a level 50 ship." These cost actual money, and not something you get as a level-up perk.

Just to add insult to injury, for some reason that has never been explained, CBS (the owners of Star Trek, and basically have to approve everything Cryptic Studios wants to do with the game) refuses to let certain ships have Tier 5 Retrofit variants. These include the Constitution Refit (a Tier 2 Cruiser), the Original Series Romulan Warbird (the Tier 1 starting ship for a Romulan Republic character), and the Universe class (the USS Enterprise-J from that one episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, but to be fair to CBS, the ship's designer has officially said that the Enterprise-J is two miles long. For comparison, the Enterprise-F in STO is only about 1000 feet from bow to stern.)

...I really should have linked pictures to those ships, but oh well.

  • Designing The Next Enterprise, Except Not
Back around 2012, Cryptic ran a contest where fans got to design the class that would be the next Enterprise. (Official explanation for what happened to the Enterprise-E: Blew up in 2408, Data got court-martialed, got away scot-free.) Many designs were submitted, from the serious to troll efforts like Patrick Stewart's head with warp nacelles attached, or a screencap of the Enterprise A with its registry number very obviously Photoshopped MSPainted to read "NCC-1701-F." The eventual winner of this contest not only got his design in the game (as a Tier 5 Cruiser that costs $$$), a lifetime subscription to STO (which kinda got really devalued when the game went free to play but still has its perks), and a sculpted model of his design, complete with "USS Enterprise | NCC-1701-F" detailing on the saucer, stern, and nacelles.

Except it came out eventually that the Odyssey class, the ship that won the contest... was not the actual winner. I don't know the exact details, but apparently Cryptic picked a winner, CBS's executives vetoed it and said, "No, we want the Odyssey." The Odyssey class wasn't even among the top 20 entries.

This doesn't bother me because it's behind-the-scenes meddling, and I think the Odyssey is a damn fine ship, but it is a breaking thing because the rights holders stepped in and basically killed any future contests like this.

  • An Actual In-Game Problem
One story arc for Starfleet characters has you going against the Romulans. Keep in mind, this is (technically) after Star Trek 2009 destroyed Romulus and Remus completely, and a lot of Romulans are (understandably) really, really bitter about Starfleet (unintentionally) allowing their homeworld to be crunched to dust. So they get to attack your ship.

The Light Warbirds and the classic D'Dierdex Warbird from TNG are easy to handle. The Mogai Heavy Warbird, however, is not.

When you fight them, prepare to meet the bane of your career: Cloaked Tractor Beam Mines. These damn things hold your ship in place, slowing it down and causing it to turn far slower than you want it to (a virtual death sentence if you're in a Galaxy, those things turn 5 degrees a second as it is!). Not normally a problem, except that if the mine gets too close, it detonates for severe damage.

Did I mention that the Mogai warbirds usually drop four mines at once, and they tend to drop them quite literally right on top of your ship? (requiring you to use area-of-effect attacks to destroy the mines quickly)

And did I mention that while you're tractor beamed by the mines, the tractor beam actually bypasses your shields and damages your hull?

And did I mention that you very rarely fight one Mogai at a time? They are almost never without Light Warbirds or a D'Dierdex to take some well-earned heat off them. (And even then, Mogai Warbirds usually come in pairs, because Cryptic Studios hates you.)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, '14, 4:09 pm 
Rylen, which boss in Fusion are you talking about? I remember finding Nightmare a little tricky at first, and some of the bosses definitely took some memorization, but I don't remember seeing a huge difficulty leap with a particular one, so I was just curious.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, '14, 11:12 pm 
Two indie games that I recently tried courtesy of PS Plus were, IMO, broken. Well, maybe broken isn't the right word, but definitely did things that made me put the game down...and I'm pretty self-driven with at least reaching the end of games I play, though I don't always go 100% completion or all achievements.

First, Metrico. First four levels, fine.

Last two levels? I wonder if this conversation happened at the office.

Developer 1: We need to create two more levels. Anyone have any ideas?
Developer 2: Well, the Vita has tilt controls and a camera! Let's shoehorn that in for the last levels!
Developer 1: What a great idea! We're all innovative!
Developer 3 (the voice of reason): Hey, everyone, you know how 2-D platformy-puzzle-solvey gameplay tends to be a bit precise at times, requiring timing and tight, responsive controls? Tilt controls and the camera sounds like a fantastic way to completely break that.
Developer 2: No, we're just introducing new mechanics to a game that up to that point is already creative and innovative while sitting on an established foundation!
Developer 3: Yes, in ways that completely break that foundation.
Developer 1: But we have to innovate, and see, it's in our contract - shoehorn in hardware capabilities.
Developer 3: Ok, but let's do this in a way that isn't stupid. Can we maybe sit down for a bit and think about this a little more carefully? If we do this we're going to turn a solid experience into mind-numbing frustration really quick. This is a terrible idea.
Developer 2: That's not a bad idea! Adding in those controls WILL also make the game go from fun to frustrating in mere minutes, won't it?
Developer 1: Padding out the gameplay for more length by making the controls impossible for the last two levels?! Maybe we'll get reviewed by youtubers who focus on needlessly hard and/or old games!
Developer 3: *Increasingly concerned about his or her office mates.*, that's not what I meant, we want to AVOID THAT.
Manager: Do it and SHIP IT!
Developer 3: *At home that night, starts writing his or her two weeks' notice.*

Second, Fez. First little area, fine. I can enjoy a puzzle-platformer with some perspective shifting mechanics. Neat.

Until that puzzle-platformer suddenly turns into a a total maze with an incomprehensible map and proceeding in one area requires that you go to one area first, but allows you to choose, without giving you any hints that you should go to Area A before Area B. Oh yeah, and you must solve hieroglyphic based puzzles with basically no hint of what the hieroglyphics actually even mean or what you need them to spell out, and very floaty controls. No feedback, again, in terms of what you're doing right or wrong. Then it's not puzzle solving, it's basically requiring a guide, or infinite amounts of time and patience, to make the most basic progress through the game.

And for the good measure, I tried Dead Rising 2 a week or two back, but putting EVERYTHING on a timer was a very quick turn-off for me on that. That one I may go back to as the timer doesn't have to hinder progress, but...I dunno. Timers and my exploration-happy nature don't get along. I feel like the timer just hinders the open-world of that game.

Whether small-budget indie or or big-name title, games can be broken by pretty little things. I like innovation, but innovation for innovation's sake can quickly break your game if you implement it poorly.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Sat Nov 15, '14, 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, '14, 12:11 am 
Perspective: what's insurmountable for me might be cake for you.

Bragatyr says Breath of Fire 3 was a cakewalk and yet there's a boss that discouraged me from playing.

Metroid Fusion? I destroyed that game with my fingers up my nose. Then again, I love me some Metroid.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, '14, 12:49 am 
As for more proper game-breaking, there are actually at least two ways to make King's Quest V completely unwinnable without entering in a multiple-save rotation, and you won't necessarily know it until hours later.

1.) There'a a fortune teller that you need to see in order to get a plot-essential item to finish another section of the game, and the cost to see her is one gold coin. Now you can find a golden needle in a haystack and turn that in instead to see the fortune teller. However, what you actually need to do is give the golden needle to a tailor, who will give you a heavy cloak- and without that cloak, it's impossible to progress in the game because you'll die of cold once you reach the mountains. And no, the game doesn't tell you anything about where there might be an actual gold coin to find anywhere, you just need to stumble around the desert for a while until you chance across the right places.

2.) Speaking of the mountains, your character will get hungry, and by that point you'll have two potential food items- roast leg of something I forget, and a pie. Eating the pie makes the game unwinnable minus multi-save rotation, as it makes it impossible to defeat the abominable snowman later on.

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