RPG Codex - 2012: The Year in Review
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August 6th, 2013, 21:11
Doom as a the apex for the FPS genre, the genre going on decline after that game…
FPS is one of those genres where players got their priorities right. Contrary to RPGs.
The slowing down of action was demanded by the progression of the genre as FPS was able to produce tactical gaming.
Issuance of orders, coordination of movements, reaction to the tactics of the enemy among others all demand a slower pace of action to be accessible. It changed the rythm of action as it went towards quieter periods (preparation of the tactics, manoeuvering) to intense periods, quick bursts of action when players were taking the fight.
SWAT and Counter Strike should be considered decline over Doom?
The hardness in gaming always puzzles me. A game can be made artificially hard, in a punishing way. Very often, developpers when looking for hardness are compelled to take that route because they do not know how to make a game hard properly (they lack the level of AI for example) so they add painful cheats to the other side so that the game appears hard. It turns gaming in a frustrating experience. What's the use? Players looking for achievements in a virtual world, taking pride in beating a hard game?
The bit of health regeneration did not mention the mess FPS games had turned into at some stage.Health packs were introduced and later abused.
They either appear as items with a timer, regenerating after a while. In other words, it was similar to regenerating health. Or health packs were hidden in caches you had to discover. As the trick was abused, it turned away from the main focus of a shooter: shooting. The player knew health packs were around and discovering them and the cache was a primary goal when going through a level.
These days, regenerating health in FPS is imposed by two demands that come from online gaming: human tactical squads are very demanding to establish, they require a lot of dedication from players. Most players simply do not have the time to spend 3 or 4 hours per day learning how to manoeuver. Regenerationg health makes up for that issue. The second demand is from professional gaming. Professional gamers have time to establish their squad tactics but it appeared that permanent health was too restrictive and actually diminished the level of skill required.
In permanent health settings, a stray bullet can turn in a headshot with damaging consequences. It is pointless to flee since health wont generate. It turns to manage respawn. Players on low HP time their respawn to regroup properly with their team mate. Health management is reduced to a minimum and is tightly coupled to respawning management.
It takes more skill to kill a player on regenerating health as fleeing is a lasting strategy, you can live to fight fully another day. So squad tactics must be brutal enough to deliver enough firepower to deal terminally with characters. And they must include pursue tactics, as letting an enemy flee means he can return on full heath. As pursuing is involved, it also makes room for counter tactics like ambush, you know that they are after one of the squad so you can regroup and flank them, ambush them as you know where they are heading.
As characters have more lasting power, they also support better attachment to a skill tree. Regenerating health has introduced more health management in professional gaming, in addition to respawning management. With regenerating health, players can envision strategies and tactics based on avoiding respawing etc Nothing like dumbing down by the way. On the opposite, it added to the gameplay.
Last thing: hardness. Is it hard to take on a professional gamer?
Join Date: Mar 2011
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