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April 17th, 2009, 20:35
Explain your definition of simple. Explain your definition of hardcore, admittedly a pliable concept. Do we disparage games that are easy for people to start playing? Do you really think a gentle learning curve is somehow WORSE than a steep one, if the two both ramp up to similar levels of complexity in the end?
I think you're misunderstanding what some of us perceive, as if we were criticising their approach. It's just that it's not necessarily what we prefer.

The reason Blizzard games aren't hardcore is simple. They design inclusive games, and as such allow for everyone to learn and have the opportunity to master them. That makes their games casual.

But it's true that to truly master them, you have to be "hardcore" or enthusiastic about THAT game. But even so, you're not necessarily hardcore or enthusiastic about games in general. I've certainly played WoW with people who never played games on a serious level before, but who dedicated themselves to WoW and have become masters at it. That doesn't make them hardcore gamers and it doesn't make the game hardcore.

As a former DPSer, I can point you to spreadsheets for weighing the pros and cons of your equipment and attack patterns for different types of fights in WoW. Here's one: http://rogue.raidcal.com/RogueDPS_2_4_2_2.xls
I managed to become no. 1 DPS horde side on EU shadowsong, so I know something about that which you speak. But that's a competitive side-effect that isn't really integral to the game design itself. Blizzard didn't force you to be no. 1 and the main challenge was always coordinating a team - not excelling at your class role. Recently, it's become a joke in both ways - so that's hardly supportive of this argument.

To this day, I don't think they've included damage meters in the built-in UI - so that should tell you something about their thought process.

Is Starcraft simplistic? Is chess simplistic?
Simplistic is a bad term.

They're casual - because they don't require you to be enthusiastic to play them.

Pretty much any well designed competitive game can be extremely hard to master, but that doesn't really speak for the complexity of the game. It speaks more about the complexity of the human brain - because that's what you're competing against.

You don't sit down and play Advanced Squad Leader unless you're extremely enthusiastic (or you'd stop right quick) - and you won't be able to excel - at all - unless you're a hardcore gamer at heart. Beyond that, there's a subtext to hardcore games that appeal to hardcore gamers exclusively, because they're hardcore about whatever subject they're into. With ASL - it's WW2 and all the historical research that went into it.

WoW is an excellent example of pop-culture story telling, and no enthusiastic story freak holds the lore of WoW in high regard. Because, basically, it's fluff and filler content. You see the distinction? It's about how serious the content was taken and how passionate the developers were about telling a plausible, rich story, and how engaging and intricate the gameplay mechanics are. It's all about enthusiasm, and the sooner you understand that it's not about games being better or worse - the better.

Casual is just different, not implicitly better or worse.
Last edited by DArtagnan; April 17th, 2009 at 20:45.
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