gaming

Gaming gripes instead of political rants

The title pretty much says it all. I’m a hair’s breadth away from going political on the blog–not the oops, I need to say this like I did a week or so ago but jumping up and down, waving my hands and cursing (a lot). So I’m gritting my teeth and trying to push through that urge right now. It’s difficult, so let’s look at another topic that is sure to get some folks’ blood pressure up: the state of the gaming industry.

I’m a gamer. As I’ve noted before, I started playing computer and console games when my son was little. I did so initially to make sure I knew what he was playing was appropriate to his age and maturity level. Then I did it because it was something the two of us could do together. Finally, it became something I enjoyed doing to relax for a bit at the end of the day.

Right now, most of my gaming–the vast majority of it–is done on PC. I am at least one generation behind on the consoles and, in the case of the Playstation, two. I don’t do handheld gaming any longer.

So, why am I writing about the state of gaming?

Mainly because I’m frustrated and past being tired of game publishers putting out supposedly polished games only to find they are buggy as hell. To say some of them aren’t ready for prime time is putting it mildly.

Can you say Anthem? Or how about Cyberpunk 2077 when it released?

Two games that had been majorly hyped by their studios only to be little more than alpha versions when they came out. EA/Bioware has treated Anthem like it did Mass Effect: Andromeda. Rush it out after having massive development issues, piss off fans and then basically abandon it. Oh, the servers are still running–or were the last time I checked, but EA announced it won’t be doing the major overhaul it promised players who payed good money for the game. Fortunately, I wasn’t one. I had a feeling about it from the start and simply paid for the EA membership for a month or so and played it “free”.

Another game that is a prime example of a good game that has a great deal of promise but has let players down time and time again because of updates and patches being rushed and breaking more than they fix is Outriders. I enjoy the game but, damn it, fix it.

My frustration level with Outriders is pretty much equal to my frustration with the developers of the Division 2, but for different reasons. At least D2 pretty much works. I just want to know what the roadmap is going forward–if there is going to be one. I’m not interested in the free-to-play they are hyping as being in development right now. I see many micro-transactions in its future. I want to know if D2 is getting new content. If there is any reason beyond getting to blow things up in the nation’s capitol to keep me playing.

Game developers need to take a long, hard look at what they’re doing right now. When the Mass Effect Legendary Edition earns so much EA/Bioware are taken aback by it, something should click with them. They need to ask why. Fans have been demanding a new Mass Effect game for years. IF–and this is a big if–EA/Bioware had treated Andromeda with respect and done even a little quality control, it wouldn’t have bombed as badly as it did. Then there was just silence on the ME front. A pouting studio grudgingly admitted the game underperformed and canceled the already announced DLC. And that pissed off even more fans. Finally, they gave us a trailer, one very brief trailer, for ME4 with no real information, no projected release date, nothing. And the fans went wild.

Just as they did with the release of ME Legendary. Why? Because we could revisit three games, all of which were good to almost perfect.

Another game I’ve been revisiting for the first time in several years is Borderlands 2. OMG, that game is still a lot of fun, still looks good and still keeps me moving from one mission to the next even though I know what happens and have done complete playthroughs multiple times. Why? Because it’s fun. It’s well written. It doesn’t glitch on me every time I turn around.

I mean, how can you not have fun with characters like Krieg?

 

Game publishers need to remember something too many book publishers have forgotten. Their customers want to be entertained. They also want a product that will give them hours of fun and/or challenge. A product that won’t kick them off the servers–usually just as they’ve finished a major boss battle and before the game saves. They don’t want a game where key items mysteriously disappear from the cache.

For now, I’ll continue playing ME Legendary and Borderlands 2 with forays into The Division 2 (when I really need to work out my aggression) while I wait for the Siege of Paris DLC for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, another game I still enjoy playing.

I’ll return to gaming tonight, at least for a few minutes, to unwind. The only question is which game to play.

Until later! Now I’m off to write.

Featured Image by Felix Lichtenfeld from Pixabay

About the author

Writer, proud military mom and possessed by two crazy cats and one put-upon dog. Writes under the names of Amanda S. Green, Sam Schall and Ellie Ferguson.

Comments

    1. Ooh, I forgot about Fallout 4. I go to it from time to time–also heavily modded–and usually just see what I can build. Sometimes, I try to stay in canon and sometimes I see how far “out there” I can get.

    2. *Glee* Oooh, MODS!

      That is where single player/LAN PC games really shine– Elder Scrolls and ARK are decent games, but with the mods?

      OH MY GOSH.

      We’ve got a Fjord mod on Ark that — well, it’s a viking server! Has its own map and everything! *glees*

  1. Similar issues are hitting MMOs– right now there’s a big exodus to Final Fantasy 14, which husband and I played when it first came out.

    It was horrible. Took over half a decade for my husband to guilt me into trying it again, and he only did it because 1) the music and 2) a co-worker said it was Really Not That Bad.

    They identified this, hired somebody to fix it, basically rewrote the entire thing so the fix made sense in universe and generally acted like their customers are worth having.

    They NAILED IT. A Realm Reborn is awesome. We’ve now got four active subs in the house, because our kids game with us (if they’re mature enough to watch various police TV shows, they’re mature enough to follow the storyline– and some of the sexual stuff is going to go riiiiiight over their heads).

    This is shocking the heck out of WoW players who finally hit the cycle of “roll a d20 on the random encounter table for what they’re going to do THIS time to fail to develop the storyline and/or rewrite previously established story.”

    In keeping with Krieg for the “wait, what?” angle, there’s a really, really stupid detective with plot armor. Doesn’t avoid having things that should be fatal happen to him, just too stupid to die….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmbX_aX9ZaA&list=PLMkC332HPqVwNzcVqhYB2DI5XNnqyylX3&ab_channel=JayLeone

    Husband and I used the Hildebrand music for our Eternal Bonding, too. (In game sort-of-wedding.)

  2. Yeah, I too find gaming more heartening to talk of than politics.

    My taste in games is not very entertaining to speak about. Right now, I’m basically playing incremental games and idle games. Which are related genres, and be summarized as watching the computer make the numbers go up. When the numbers get high, you reset your progress back to zero (prestige), and get some amount of an advanced resource depending on how well you did in the previous run. Right now, I’ve been making slow progress with one, apparently because I’m playing stupidly. Another, I may be a run or two away hitting a goal that will give me some nice upgrades.

    So, incrementals, idles, and clickers are sometimes entirely without story, and some times do not exactly have a deep and enthralling story.

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