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October 23rd, 2012, 20:44
I think for the most part, efficiency is a good thing for video games. Yes, it's very hard to accept this change sometimes. For example, in Oblivion, you had character attributes that were standard RPG fare some years back. Now in Skyrim, you no longer have those attributes, but a perk system that essentially can accomplish the same things, however it's still different, and there is still no attributes hard-coded into the game. So accepting this change is a bit difficult.
Hell, if you go back to Morrowind, you had way more skills than Skyrim and Oblivion both, you could wear more pieces of armor, you had more guilds, etc. And some of these changes for me, at first, were very hard to accept. In Skyrim you get even less armor slots than Oblivion, and so it goes. It seems the next game will have even less. But I ask myself, did it really affect my gaming experience all that much? Not really. Sure it would have been nice to have more armor slots, or attributes back, but once I was immersed in the world of Skyrim, those things no longer mattered to me.
But I believe that making games more efficient is still a good thing overall. It is what it is. You can either accept the way things are going, or just bitch and complain about them. But using the Elder Scrolls example, I played Skyrim and still had a blast with it. It didn't feel dumbed down to me. For every one aspect they took away from the game, they replaced it with something just as complex. So overall the game was still incredibly complex, but more easy to navigate than previous games in the series. And there's still a ton of things to discover for the more hardcore gamer out there. Hidden chests, hidden locations, hidden quests even. They did not abandon what makes their games great for the sake of simplification or accessibility. The games are still great yet they are also more accessible now than they have ever been.
I'm probably just ranting at this point, or not being very coherent, but I just wanted to share some thoughts on the "dumbing down" of modern video games. I would say overall, the games are just more accessible, not necessarily dumber. The complex games are still very much complex, but they give you all the tools needed so that your average person could figure it out if they wanted to. Back in the Morrowind days, it wasn't that easy. That game to this day still isolates people, makes it hard for people to play, and I'm sure when it came out it was no different. Some people will trudge through and continue playing, others will quit in disgust. Nowadays they are trying to make it so no one quits in disgust because they can't figure out the game mechanics. That is pretty much a good thing if you ask me.
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