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

Dan_D

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It's not just about finishing it faster or slower. The open world environments change how the game is designed. The design has to be less linear, less exact and account more for player decision. Adding multiplayer elements to the game has an equal if not greater impact of making the experience less personal, less linear and more generic.

It's just not the right design choice for every game, despite the fact that this is the design trend.
 

Hagrid

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It's not just about finishing it faster or slower. The open world environments change how the game is designed. The design has to be less linear, less exact and account more for player decision. Adding multiplayer elements to the game has an equal if not greater impact of making the experience less personal, less linear and more generic.

It's just not the right design choice for every game, despite the fact that this is the design trend.
Which is why it would be nice to have the option. I do not play really any MP games so not sure.
 

Dan_D

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Which is why it would be nice to have the option. I do not play really any MP games so not sure.
You can't really design it that way. You either have a focused and more linear game, or a less linear open world game. At present, you can't do both and do it well. Few strike a good balance between these designs.
 

PhaseNoise

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I have mixed feelings.

I'd like them to be at least slightly less lazy about it. Witcher 3 IMO did it a bit better than most others. Assets were reused and it was an open world, but the side quests were often actually interesting. Why is that villager dying mysteriously, and why does the herbalist seem like she's hiding something? I can engage on little personal tales like that.

I agree with Dan_D, the MP aspect forces design decisions in certain ways. And because I'm 12 with my humor tastes, I would ask publishers not ram MP peanut butter up the SP chocolate. That doesn't make a Reese's Cup, that makes a prolapsed SP campaign.
 

Aireoth

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I have mixed feelings.

I'd like them to be at least slightly less lazy about it. Witcher 3 IMO did it a bit better than most others. Assets were reused and it was an open world, but the side quests were often actually interesting. Why is that villager dying mysteriously, and why does the herbalist seem like she's hiding something? I can engage on little personal tales like that.

I agree with Dan_D, the MP aspect forces design decisions in certain ways. And because I'm 12 with my humor tastes, I would ask publishers not ram MP peanut butter up the SP chocolate. That doesn't make a Reese's Cup, that makes a prolapsed SP campaign.
Witcher 3 also had the advantage of being one of the first open world rpgs to present decisions beyond good/evil. Everything you decided on was ultimately some shade of grey and part of that was just acknowledging that the players actions have consequences, one quest I'll never forget was running into a man who was about to be lynched at a cross roads. I intervened to try and talk the villagers out of it, and they decided to lynch me as well. Incensed I chopped them all down, but when the man thanked me for coming along my character mentioned if I had not there would be one dead person instead of seven, and both the town suffered, as well as running into the soldiers mother later in game. That is an attention to world building detail that most games don't bother with (including Rockstar Games).

It was that attention to details that helped nail down Witcher 3, even if you where just side question.

Its that problem with narrative detail that plagues open world games though, tasks feel out of place, don't fit the overall narrative, can be plan lazy (Ubisoft!!!). It takes a huge effort of creative control to keep an open world game cohesive.
 

Smoked Brisket

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It's not just about finishing it faster or slower. The open world environments change how the game is designed. The design has to be less linear, less exact and account more for player decision. Adding multiplayer elements to the game has an equal if not greater impact of making the experience less personal, less linear and more generic.

It's just not the right design choice for every game, despite the fact that this is the design trend.
But there have been non linear games that have that were lovingly designed with rich locales and hundreds of connecting quests with hundreds of hours of gameplay even if only the main quest was completed. Think Might and Magic 7, Wizardry 8, Baldur's Gate 2, Fallout 2, Morrowind, Mass Effecxt 1 and 2, to name a few. Open world or non linear as a design does not have to be boring or less complex, it takes prioritizing the right things, I think.
 

Aireoth

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But there have been non linear games that have that were lovingly designed with rich locales and hundreds of connecting quests with hundreds of hours of gameplay even if only the main quest was completed. Think Might and Magic 7, Wizardry 8, Baldur's Gate 2, Fallout 2, Morrowind, Mass Effecxt 1 and 2, to name a few. Open world or non linear as a design does not have to be boring or less complex, it takes prioritizing the right things, I think.
The older games (M&M, Wizardry, BG, FO, and to a lesser extent Morrowind) can pretty much be straight omitted, not having to deal with modern expectations allows for more time on narrative. No motion capture and very little for recorded dialogue alone make all the difference, it is simpler to write a novel than it is to produce a movie.

Morrowind to a lesser extent as Bethesda of old didn't build games so much based around a central story as they did around a world for you to explore and all the crazy things that might happen to you. Its a different design which suits open world gaming more than trying to cram a linear plot into it. I am aware there is a central plot to Morrowind, but it is neither captivating nor ever present, its just a thing you can do on a pile of things to do.

ME1 & 2 are not open world games, they are semi-open world and filled with annoying fluff (planet scanning or worse driving for small rewards) and have their share of lackluster side missions. They both still have fairly linear progression and don't just drop you in the center of one large map and try to weave a cohesive game from that.
 

VIC-20

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I liked open world until Ubisoft and Nintendo did it.

1) Climb tower, reveal a piece of map, see quests, do quests
2) Go to step 1, change nothing. Because copy / pasting tiny maps is way easier than making one big one.

Nope.
 

Smoked Brisket

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The older games (M&M, Wizardry, BG, FO, and to a lesser extent Morrowind) can pretty much be straight omitted, not having to deal with modern expectations allows for more time on narrative. No motion capture and very little for recorded dialogue alone make all the difference, it is simpler to write a novel than it is to produce a movie.

Morrowind to a lesser extent as Bethesda of old didn't build games so much based around a central story as they did around a world for you to explore and all the crazy things that might happen to you. Its a different design which suits open world gaming more than trying to cram a linear plot into it. I am aware there is a central plot to Morrowind, but it is neither captivating nor ever present, its just a thing you can do on a pile of things to do.

ME1 & 2 are not open world games, they are semi-open world and filled with annoying fluff (planet scanning or worse driving for small rewards) and have their share of lackluster side missions. They both still have fairly linear progression and don't just drop you in the center of one large map and try to weave a cohesive game from that.

I dont disagree, see my earlier post. That is my point, why is motion capture and the bells and whistles you point to the expectation? Take "Outer Worlds" on these forums. The trailers look nice to me, is it blinged out and perfect, no, but certainly the art style is pleasing(I know it is subjective.) Now I dont know if that game will be great, but just using its graphics as a point of reference. I would suggest that modern day PC gamers are overly influenced by forums and social media, and that the phenomena of "parroting" negative comments has such an influence on sales that one "the graphics look dated" comment can torpedo a launch if placed strategically. This is why games are blinged up and dumbed down.
 

Aireoth

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I dont disagree, see my earlier post. That is my point, why is motion capture and the bells and whistles you point to the expectation? Take "Outer Worlds" on these forums. The trailers look nice to me, is it blinged out and perfect, no, but certainly the art style is pleasing(I know it is subjective.) Now I dont know if that game will be great, but just using its graphics as a point of reference. I would suggest that modern day PC gamers are overly influenced by forums and social media, and that the phenomena of "parroting" negative comments has such an influence on sales that one "the graphics look dated" comment can torpedo a launch if placed strategically. This is why games are blinged up and dumbed down.
But companies need to compete and operate in the world of today, not yesteryear. The reality is graphics mean something, and honestly when done right can be mind blowing.
 

PhaseNoise

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The older games (M&M, Wizardry, BG, FO, and to a lesser extent Morrowind) can pretty much be straight omitted, not having to deal with modern expectations allows for more time on narrative. No motion capture and very little for recorded dialogue alone make all the difference, it is simpler to write a novel than it is to produce a movie.
You can go one of two ways with the modern expectations. Either you go full super-realism, or you can go full retro. To whit - Ultima 7 played via Exult still holds up. I had my older son (semi-forced) play it, and a couple hours in he was hooked and told me "this is incredible!".

Yep. The original open world games, bucko.
 

Smoked Brisket

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I dont want to have a thing with you brother. Graphics can be mind blowing, so can a stylish art direction. I am in my 40's so probably stuck in the past but the topic is about why open world games have become such boring affairs with shallow content and achievement badges to keep bored gamers interested. I just think the priority slider needs to be pushed back towards content a bit.

Oh and I dont know if it is simpler to write a novel than to make a movie. It may be less expensive. The vast majority of modern sci-fi/superhero/action/car chasing movies look awesome but are total garbage and not near as hard to make as, say, the Foundation Trilogy. It's called a formula.
 
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Aireoth

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I dont want to have a thing with you brother. Graphics can be mind blowing, so can a stylish art direction. I am in my 40's so probably stuck in the past but the topic is about why open world games have become such boring affairs with shallow content and achievement badges to keep bored gamers interested. I just think the priority slider needs to be pushed back towards content a bit.
No thing, just a reality.

There are indie games and smaller studios that capture that old school feel, like Pillars of Eternity and Pathfinder.

I just don't see a full triple A return to those older styles, but I have hopes that the narratives are getting tighter and games overall better. Plus there are developers that produce slick but bland, like ubisoft, you know what you are getting.

Obsidian should do a decent job of Outer Worlds as well.
 

Smoked Brisket

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No thing, just a reality.

There are indie games and smaller studios that capture that old school feel, like Pillars of Eternity and Pathfinder.

I just don't see a full triple A return to those older styles, but I have hopes that the narratives are getting tighter and games overall better. Plus there are developers that produce slick but bland, like ubisoft, you know what you are getting.

Obsidian should do a decent job of Outer Worlds as well.
Yea, I agree.
 

Dan_D

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ME1 & 2 are not open world games, they are semi-open world and filled with annoying fluff (planet scanning or worse driving for small rewards) and have their share of lackluster side missions. They both still have fairly linear progression and don't just drop you in the center of one large map and try to weave a cohesive game from that.
Exactly. They are non-linear to an extent that you can do many of the quests in a specific order, but the overall plot is some what ordered in that there are certain specific triggers that move it along. ME1 is somewhat open world, ME2 really isn't. The only thing about it is that you can visit planets as you choose, but your exploration is fairly limited to the quest hubs outside of specific missions. ME2's triggers are interesting, as certain story elements will occur after you do X number of missions. The game also provides a sense of urgency, while still giving you a certain amount of freedom. It also punishes you for taking too long at a certain point resulting in the death of several of Normandy's crew.

ME3 is similar, except that on each planet the main planetary quest will lock out everything else and progress the main story. So you have to be careful what order you do those specific planetary missions in or risk doing that. It's the least linear, and oddly, the most enjoyable aside from its lack luster ending. Although, there are mods that actually address this to a significant extent. The planet scanning and driving elements are definitely designed to waste time and create additional barriers for you to churn through in order to artificially lengthen the game's campaign. They are great games that do give you some freedom, but they are neither entirely non-linear nor are they open world. Mass Effect 1 is the most open world, and this too negatively impacts the overall experience. The Mako driving and exploration elements are very tedious and get old quickly. The game is good in spite of this design, not because of it.

I agree that conceptually, open world sounds good on the surface, but as someone else pointed out, for every GTA:V or Witcher 3, you have a ton of crap along the lines of Anthem or Rage 2. Even though I actually liked Mass Effect Andromeda for the most part, the game would have been better structured like the earlier entries in the series, rather than going full open world. The game doesn't have the cinematic aspects to it and the story doesn't tighten up until you hit its linear sections. The rest of the time its Mass Effect, just watered down in every way outside of graphics and basic combat.
 

TheToE!

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I agree 100% and have been saying this sandbox stuff is just a way for us to make our own fun for a while now.
 

Aireoth

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Exactly. They are non-linear to an extent that you can do many of the quests in a specific order, but the overall plot is some what ordered in that there are certain specific triggers that move it along. ME1 is somewhat open world, ME2 really isn't. The only thing about it is that you can visit planets as you choose, but your exploration is fairly limited to the quest hubs outside of specific missions. ME2's triggers are interesting, as certain story elements will occur after you do X number of missions. The game also provides a sense of urgency, while still giving you a certain amount of freedom. It also punishes you for taking too long at a certain point resulting in the death of several of Normandy's crew.

ME3 is similar, except that on each planet the main planetary quest will lock out everything else and progress the main story. So you have to be careful what order you do those specific planetary missions in or risk doing that. It's the least linear, and oddly, the most enjoyable aside from its lack luster ending. Although, there are mods that actually address this to a significant extent. The planet scanning and driving elements are definitely designed to waste time and create additional barriers for you to churn through in order to artificially lengthen the game's campaign. They are great games that do give you some freedom, but they are neither entirely non-linear nor are they open world. Mass Effect 1 is the most open world, and this too negatively impacts the overall experience. The Mako driving and exploration elements are very tedious and get old quickly. The game is good in spite of this design, not because of it.

I agree that conceptually, open world sounds good on the surface, but as someone else pointed out, for every GTA:V or Witcher 3, you have a ton of crap along the lines of Anthem or Rage 2. Even though I actually liked Mass Effect Andromeda for the most part, the game would have been better structured like the earlier entries in the series, rather than going full open world. The game doesn't have the cinematic aspects to it and the story doesn't tighten up until you hit its linear sections. The rest of the time its Mass Effect, just watered down in every way outside of graphics and basic combat.
Yep, 100%.

I didn’t know there was an ME3 ending mod? (If I read that right)

It might be time to boot it back up, because for 95% of that game it was amazing.
 

Dan_D

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Yep, 100%.

I didn’t know there was an ME3 ending mod? (If I read that right)

It might be time to boot it back up, because for 95% of that game it was amazing.
Yes there are several actually. Go to Nexusmods and see what's been done for that game. It's truly incredible. I personally made dozens of higher resolution texture mods for it.
 

andrewaggb

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I think I'd agree with the OP, but I realize there are lots of types of gamers. My brother loves single player games, side quests, etc. My friend at work is the same way. I'm much more about multi-player games. Most games I don't start the campaign and most I start I don't finish.
Games I actually finished in the last 25 years:
baldurs gate 1/2 coop
halo reach co-op xbox 360
Tomb raider 2013
Batman Arkham City

I played Skyrim (and Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, oblivion) but I eventually got bored with them. But my kids played Skyrim for years and modded it like crazy. Same with the new doom and wolfenstein games, shadow of a tomb raider etc, I started them, had a bit of fun, but it didn't keep my interest long enough to finish it. But I can play quake deathmatch on the same maps or rainbox six siege or heroes of the storm multi-player over and over and I love it. You'd think it would be more repetitive but it works for me.
 

Shoganai

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Horizon Zero Dawn is my favorite game in years so not sure I totally buy in.
I was on a gaming hiatus and Horizon is the game that literally made me get into gaming again. The entire game made me feel like a kid during Christmas morning. Excited for the next one to come out.
 

SvenBent

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Farcry 2 is imho a good example of a poor boring open world game
I've tried to complete it like 4 times now and it just gets to boring doing the same 3 different missions in different locations and scenario

- Invade a base
- Stop a small convoy from driving around in a circle ( this is the most pathetic part due to remote bombs)
Wait was it only 2 different missions ?
 
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vegeta535

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I was on a gaming hiatus and Horizon is the game that literally made me get into gaming again. The entire game made me feel like a kid during Christmas morning. Excited for the next one to come out.
I agree. It is a shame how Zelda got goty over it.
 
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Open-World at least gives the user options.

Do you want to do all or some of the occasionally tedious side missions/activities/etc or just knock out the SP missions and move onto another game? It's your choice. That is what I love about OW games. I can do as little or much as I want. GTA5 and FC5 just completed the main mission and stopped playing SP. RDR2 and DV2 I am doing almost everything. RDR2 I find myself hunting and fishing a ton more than I should.

In the end its all about how the end user finds enjoyment and at least with OW you get options. Try to lump all OW as boring is nonsense.
 

Darth Ender

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there's a huge difference between games like Zelda that let you progress thru the narrative at your own discretion ....and sandbox games that have no narrative and depend on the player to provide their own plot and story.

That's why zelda is still awesome. ...and games like Elite Dangerous dwell in eternal grind nonsense.


Open world sandboxy type games all wish we were at the level of VR that Ready Player 1 takes place in. But we're not. So we're left with inferior interfaces that can never hope to be the immersive escapism that they require. Instead it comes off as a copout for actually providing the difficult task of making a good game, laying all that difficulty on the players and they almost never give the players the tools to do it.

If all of the good parts of the game have to take place either in my head or outside of the actual game, then your game sucks. Which is most of the sandbox open world genre. But games like Zelda that just have an open narrative are a different genre and not what i think most of the comments refer to when they refer to these kinds of games lacking substance.
 

Darth Ender

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what game isn't repeating the same basic activities over and over again in different ways? That's a brain dead and idiotic complaint without specifics of why repeating the task isn't fun.

That's like saying every sentence written is just a repetitive string of words every time! How unoriginal!

Obviously some sentences are better than others and using words to make sentences is how we communicate all the time.

Perhaps the problem with assassins creed doing the same thing over and over again is that failed to make it fun and engaging (dont know, never played it).

Games that aren't fun, rarely aren't fun because they're repetitive or because of the genre they're in. That's just lazy reviewing.
 

Grimlaking

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Games that aren't fun, rarely aren't fun because they're repetitive or because of the genre they're in. That's just lazy reviewing.
To that I agree 100%

I can give an example and it might take a minute to process. For this example I am specifically referring to Roleplaying Games of the Tabletop variety. You CAN do similar with computer or console RPG's as well.

Lets look at the example of Fading Suns. Fading Suns has a great setting, bu the rules of the game and how you determine success or failure are ALSO a part of the game and it's setting. They released a generic D20 rules adaptation of the setting and for many players like myself it simply didn't work.

Another Setting married to it's system is Earthdawn. I don't know of a re imagining of that world and it's system to D20 or another.

Another great example is Deadlands. The system and it's setting were closely entertwined and complimented one another. Again they made a D20 variant and it simple wasn't as good. (good bad being opinion based your's of course may differ.)

Now we have video games being made to be reflective of one another and tied to each other with similar systems. Where this can work is with Ubisoft with their Watchdogs and Assassins creed franchises. There are enough hints in the game that the two are entertwined in a game world perspective so to me it makes sense that their game play systems have similarities and calls to one another. I think those worlds are truly one and are coming to show that more.

Games where it doesn't work are like Ubisoft's other franchise FarCry. It was lazy in my opinion to take the same tricks and tie them to a completely different setting.

For me I like a game where the system and setting are tied together. Engines are capable of more. Demanding more output with less creativity and innovation will kill a franchise. That doesn't mean a franchise has to change it's system mid stream. That is as jarring if not more so.

I hope that was understandable.
 

VIC-20

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Zelda with it's tower capturing and exploration elements is actually a lot MORE like assassins creed than not. Yet people like to bash that game as being a rinse/repeat (yea it is.)
Yup. Windwaker FarCreed. Or Puzzle FarAss. Sums it up.
 

seanreisk

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I spent the last couple of days re-rigging my Fallout 4 installation so I could make a short movie of all my settlements. Sadly, I found out that I erased my third play-through, but somehow kept my second. It wasn't the same - in the third play-through I had built up every settlement, all the way to defense 400+, with private rooms, bathrooms, showers, vendors, washers and dryers, medical facilities, artillery emplacements... I enjoy that shit. I know that it's pointless to explain to people why you like a game, just as it's pointless to argue with someone who thinks there is only one kind of music.

From the beginning I modded Fallout 4. I love modding. I put a stop to all those crazy settlement attacks, although I secretly hoped that they would come up with a system that made settlement attacks tolerable. I changed my carry weight to 1100 lbs because I loot EVERYTHING. I spend hours (hours) cleaning a settlement and making it nice.

I can't explain to you why I like a game. I can't explain to you why I scavenged and repaired 200 suits of Power Armor (each with its own locker, containing weapons, ammo, first aid kits, fusion cores and grenades), which are displayed in my Power Armor vault in Sanctuary.

I'm honestly worried that Fallout 5 will be more like Fallout 76, with crappy base building and limited storage.

P.S. If you don't like making settlements, that's fine. That's fine, don't do it. But please don't tell me (and the developers) that they need to strip it out of the game because it's pointless and stupid.
 
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lcpiper

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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

A slice in time brother. a slice in time. What was true 6 months ago may not be true today. If my prediction doesn't play out I never claimed to be Nostradamus, it was a comment about how, at that time, there was almost nobody playing PUBG and it's newest competor , APEX Legends was rocking, so it is what it is, for when I said it.

And your numbers for World of Tanks, was that for just the US Central servers? Or was that numbers for all the world-wide servers, South America, Pacific, European, Russian?
 

lcpiper

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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.

So I can understand what you are talking about, and I can see how a developer can take a title and convert it's base missions and turn it into Open World and the Open World be mostly empty. But I do wonder if perhaps your experiences with Skyrim and Fallout, (discounting Fallout 76), aren't doing it for you because you are very "linear" in how you approach playing the game? I can see where some gamers may be looking for a strong story, a "tale" that drives them through a series of missions or events that culminate in an ending, (fun story, next game). I think some people must be more like me, and want to "live" in the game. For instance, my current Fallout 4 character just hit level 40 and I have only "liberated" 4 settlements, two don't have a single settler yet, just a couple of generators and water pumps making nice purified water with a workshop that lets me drop off gear when I need to empty my inventory and a convenient place to leave suites a Power Armor as I find them. The game's quests and missions only drive my actions when there is something I want from them, For instance, I'm not doing the Arc Jet quest with Paladin Danse because I don't want encounters with Legion of Steel guys. I prefer my encounters to be with enemies. Same way I haven't accepted to be the Leader of the Minutemen so they don't show up all over taking the place of Mutants and Raiders and Gunners. I'm not trying to "finish" the game or to get anywhere at all really. I just play and improve my character and enjoy what I am doing in the moment and I am more than content that the game allows me to do that. When I played Diablo 2 it was almost the same, I farmed items over and over again constantly seeking 7 player games to join where the odds for good loot were best. While they were doing Baal or the Diablo runs, I was sweeping through Flayer Jungle or the Areat Highlands killing fast and dropping mid level bosses for farming Uniques.

So I can well understand that different kinds of gamers look for different kinds of game play. That's why Bethesda fans were upset that Fallout 76 didn't bring them that experience, fresh ones don't come along that often. And since I have never seen such a thing from a small time Indie developer I'll continue to bet on the AAA guys because they are the only ones who have ever delivered the game experience I enjoy.
 

Flogger23m

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there's a huge difference between games like Zelda that let you progress thru the narrative at your own discretion ....and sandbox games that have no narrative and depend on the player to provide their own plot and story.

That's why zelda is still awesome. ...and games like Elite Dangerous dwell in eternal grind nonsense.
Breath of the Wild is a perfect example of how not to do an open world game. Yet it is one of the highest rated games in history so I expect the poorly done open world game trend to continue.

While I haven't played previous Zelda games, BoTW and Mass Effect Andromeda are perfect examples of games that are poor as open world games and should not have become one.

BoTW is far too sparse and the open world has many short comings:

- Blank map, climb tower to unlock map.
- Run across sparse map to a dungeon.
- Side quests are typical fetch quests, not much dialogue.
- If they try to add some lore it is dropped within 3 sentences upon quest competition.
- Story is as bare as it gets.
- Areas in the map are not populated. There is nothing to do but fight the same few enemies. Otherwise, the world is sterile and empty.
- There really is nothing to explore.

The few boss fights were interesting (one has hard, some of the others very easy). The maps and quests centered around the bosses were fun and transitioning from one part of the map to the other was interesting to see but otherwise the map was do dead and sterile. You could've achieved the same affect without having to run around as much in empty, dead areas. And it would have been funner.

what game isn't repeating the same basic activities over and over again in different ways? That's a brain dead and idiotic complaint without specifics of why repeating the task isn't fun.

That's like saying every sentence written is just a repetitive string of words every time! How unoriginal!

Obviously some sentences are better than others and using words to make sentences is how we communicate all the time.

Perhaps the problem with assassins creed doing the same thing over and over again is that failed to make it fun and engaging (dont know, never played it).

Games that aren't fun, rarely aren't fun because they're repetitive or because of the genre they're in. That's just lazy reviewing.
There is a huge difference between a repetitive game and a non-repetitive one. It typically comes down to how well you create each scenario and how much effort does into the base activity.

Games used to take a setting or mechanic and build around it. Now days they seem to take open world mechanics and build around that. This typically means the following:

- Run somewhere, which often takes as long as the quest itself.
- Main quests feel exactly the same as sidequests, which makes the core moments less memorable and lack impact when they occur.
- Not a lot of set up variety as each quest has the same few set pieces rearranged slightly.
- Typically some not so fun tasks like upgrading gear or resource gathering to put the open world to use which is pointless unless it fits the theme. Hurts pacing and narrative structure, more uninteresting areas of the map that you have to spend time in.

A traditional setup would better sync the maps and theme with the missions/quests. With most open world games the side quests and areas feel tone deaf to what is occurring in the main story. Characters you interact with are less relevant, the quest difficulty may be off and even the objectives you end up doing may not make much sense in terms of the context of the main story.

You can take a sci fi game, a fantasy game, a fighting game or a shooter and now they all feel very similar where as in the past they had a more unique feel per genre which is another issue compounded by the above.

Obviously a good open world game can be done, but most end up like your typical modern day Ubisoft game. I can't really think of any open world game I played that was better because of it being open world either.
 

Darth Ender

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
500
the only thing that separates what you seem to hate about open world / open narrative etc type games and directed narrative games is that directed narrative games can script the situation to better reflect the controlled environment and gamestate you are in as a player. The activities and actions done in both games are all varying levels of repetition so I dont find repetition of activities to be indicative of any game type, it's something common to all.

A lot of games fail to make their games reflective of the current gamestate in open world games not because they can't or are incompetent or that it's not possible to do well... it's because players demanded it. Players want to not have face ultimatums every time they decide to do something. Players want to be able to experiment without fearing that their choice is going to have long lasting potentially game altering effects. So that means the game needs to be coded in a way that allows the player to have that freedom to do things without mattering much ....because despite what it's called. Game AI is not artificially intelligent. It's all a bunch of scripts and conditionals and there isn't a an intelligent bot that is able to create dialogue and cutscenes and such for the infinite game states you can find yourself in - within an open world/narrative type game. So it's definitely a concession ....one that players are willing to take to have even a taste of that escapism into a world that gives you a sense of freedom and control. Other players ...not so much. Then again, there are tons of games you couldn't pay me to play that lots of people like because my game tastes are very nichey for the most part.

There are lots of these types of games where people are more than happy to play for hundreds of hours while the traditional directed narrative game is usually limited to a few dozen. If they were objectively boring or bad, we wouldn't see so many huge game times to the point where it becomes the average.
 

Flogger23m

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
10,337
A lot of games fail to make their games reflective of the current gamestate in open world games not because they can't or are incompetent or that it's not possible to do well... it's because players demanded it. Players want to not have face ultimatums every time they decide to do something. Players want to be able to experiment without fearing that their choice is going to have long lasting potentially game altering effects.
Which certainly is a shortcoming because instead of having small build ups and a clear climatic in the game everything is flattened and feels so much more similar. That goal or driving point of the plot is minimized when you've literally done the same mini game/task two dozen times already. The part in bold is also important.

If they were objectively boring or bad, we wouldn't see so many huge game times to the point where it becomes the average.
In general gamers cannot figure out what they want or what is good or bad. I believe this was mentioned in a previous post in this thread. Gamers are not game designers and most cannot figure out what actually makes a game fun or boring.

Ubisoft shouts open world and player diversity, and most gamers lap it up because they're told it is awesome. The marketing lady said so after all.

There are lots of these types of games where people are more than happy to play for hundreds of hours while the traditional directed narrative game is usually limited to a few dozen.
Quality over quantity any day of the week. A good 20 hour game blows a 60-70 game that is filled with "run across the map and get me 10 sticks" quests any day of the week. Obviously there are some games that are better than others and can find a decent middle ground. And of course, some people do like low quality fetch quests and do care more about hours played than enjoyment.
 

Aix.

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
1,815
A slice in time brother. a slice in time. What was true 6 months ago may not be true today. If my prediction doesn't play out I never claimed to be Nostradamus, it was a comment about how, at that time, there was almost nobody playing PUBG and it's newest competor , APEX Legends was rocking, so it is what it is, for when I said it.

And your numbers for World of Tanks, was that for just the US Central servers? Or was that numbers for all the world-wide servers, South America, Pacific, European, Russian?
The numbers were from the time and date that I posted - I don't even play the game but you suggested it was dead and that you couldn't even get a game started, so I decided to check.

As of 28 minutes ago they had 170K players and they seem to have peaks near 600K each day.
 
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