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Default Diablo 2 - Addictive, but is it fun? @ TechReport

September 15th, 2009, 22:42
TechReport argues that Diablo II (and WoW, for that matter) may be addictive but they're not "fun", because "not much happens". Plenty of grey area there to argue about on both sides of the fence:
With that said, I feel like Diablo II and World of Warcraft manage to be devastatingly addictive without feeling very rewarding—for me, at least—simply because Blizzard designed them only to stimulate the ever-loving crap out of the human brain's reward center. When I play Diablo II, I am rewarded for my tireless, ceaseless clicking. I play a fairly popular mod called Eastern Sun (a friend admonishes me constantly for this, saying he thinks vanilla Diablo II is better), and with the tweaked drop rate and vastly increased number of uniques, set items, and so on, I get to see all kinds of new and exciting gear. Goals are set for which items to grind or gamble for, what level to hit, and so on.
By the time all is said and done, though, I may have bumped up a couple of levels and amassed a veritable wealth of gear, but nothing has actually happened. Even in the game, progress doesn't seem that exciting. The story itself never struck me as being terribly compelling, crippled by how orderly the game plays out. I never really feel like I'm getting anywhere, knowing I'll just be playing the same five acts on a harder and then harder-still difficulty level.
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September 15th, 2009, 22:42
rather than not fun, they are plain retarded.
and addictive, but it goes without saying - a perfect match.
exquisite fodder for certain weirdos.
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Last edited by baron; April 28th, 2011 at 10:15.
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September 15th, 2009, 22:58
I had a hard time relating to what was being said since it is a different play style - he didn't seem happy playing a class unless it was the best of the best (I played D2 a few times through with all the classes without a hitch).

However the main point that caught me was why in the world anyone would bother playing a game they didn't think was fun. What is the point of wanting better loot, to get to higher levels and harder mobs and more difficult areas, if you are not enjoying the actual game play in the first place? He said he was addicted to getting gear but it seems pointless to do that if you aren't having fun in the first place.
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September 16th, 2009, 00:15
I (just) managed to complete Diablos 1 & 2. Tried Titan Quest, didn't even make it to the end of the first level. I get so bored with these games. Left-click x4, right click x1, repeat endlessly.
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September 16th, 2009, 06:18
I guess it all comes down to your definition of fun. If you think it's fun to try out different kinds of characters or skills, search for *phat loot*, or try different ways of killing oppenents then Diablo is your game. Better yet, roguelikes are your game.

You can't put 'fun' into a catagory that fits everyone.

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September 16th, 2009, 06:58
Why play a game that's not fun? Can't you addict yourself to something better instead?
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September 16th, 2009, 07:41
Why does one become an addict in the first place? Because the activity is so undesirable?

This guy doesn't understand his own psychology at a basic level.
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September 16th, 2009, 10:45
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
What is the point of wanting better loot, to get to higher levels and harder mobs and more difficult areas, if you are not enjoying the actual game play in the first place? He said he was addicted to getting gear but it seems pointless to do that if you aren't having fun in the first place.
It's called ego building and this mental mechanic is derived not from video games but from our conditioning in society for more, more and more.. The ego isn't concerned with enjoyment. Even though it's just a game, it can still temporarily satisfy the ego's desire for building a sense of self out of digital equipment and also the pursuit of more stuffs.

If you want to learn more, read Echkart Tolle's book (or get the audiobook) "The Power of Now." Blizzard and many other game companies put elements into their games to specifically target the mind's desire for a personal history story (achievements), possessions to identify with and also a way to pursue it in an obsessive and compulsive way. Games that adhere to these principles successfully can make a lot of money.
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September 16th, 2009, 11:13
It's circular.

Building ego isn't fun? Why do it then?

Because it's satisfying - right? Yeah, and doing something satisfying is… fun!

Again, it's pointless to try and separate these concepts because they all originate from the same place.

You can discuss whether it's "healthy" or "beneficial" - like many KINDS of fun, but it's fun nonetheless.

I agree it's very interesting to understand whether these addictions are healthy or not, but I don't agree that they're not based on having fun - or whatever term you want to use.

World of Warcraft is basically Diablo - but it's stretched extremely thin. As such, I'd argue you get less for more time invested - but it's only a problem if it affects your real life.

What I'm saying is, basically, that the question should be:

When do the problems that result from having fun excede the fun you're having?
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September 16th, 2009, 11:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's circular.

Building ego isn't fun? Why do it then?

Because it's satisfying - right? Yeah, and doing something satisfying is… fun!

Again, it's pointless to try and separate these concepts because they all originate from the same place.

You can discuss whether it's "healthy" or "beneficial" - like many KINDS of fun, but it's fun nonetheless.

I agree it's very interesting to understand whether these addictions are healthy or not, but I don't agree that they're not based on having fun - or whatever term you want to use.

World of Warcraft is basically Diablo - but it's stretched extremely thin. As such, I'd argue you get less for more time invested - but it's only a problem if it affects your real life.

What I'm saying is, basically, that the question should be:

When do the problems that result from having fun excede the fun you're having?
Good point, DA.

To answer your question, the problems exeed the fun you're having around the time the game becomes boring

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September 16th, 2009, 11:57
I see an avalanche of semantics quickly approaching….
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September 16th, 2009, 12:03
hack n slash games are their own genre some like them others don't , some people still play Space Invaders …

Getting multiple characters up to level 25 , using spells and special moves was okay but i wouldn't spend hours over hours on it .

Personally i prefer Sacred Underworld ( Sacred 2 was okay but securom infested so i only played small sessions in friend's computers ) .
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September 16th, 2009, 16:07
I usually force myself to quit when Im playing the game for the threadmill addiction instead of fun. This was so i.e in Eve and WoW.

My first "mmo" was zombiemud. After playing it year and half I realised I had never had much fun in the game. The main thing I remembered was sore eyes from all the hours playing a text-game while running in super-thin threadmill.

Id say for newbies of threadmill games the game is first both fun (because its new experience) and addicting. But with time the fun part goes away leaving only the latter. After that they expect somthing extra from new threadmill games. That extra could contain sidefeatures like story or/and improved threadmill.

Still Im sure there are players who never gain back the fun from improved threadmill alone. They will never again play a pure threadmill game. They simply burned out on the first run and lost the fun forever. Their taste was refined.

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Last edited by zakhal; September 16th, 2009 at 16:31.
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September 16th, 2009, 17:21
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Building ego isn't fun? Why do it then?
Fun, sure.

The ego lives in a near constant state of lack, of 'not enough,' and this is what many games and game players seek in gaming, to build a sense of self, a false identity.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan
Because it's satisfying - right?
Temporarily satisfying but not ultimately satisfying. Compulsively caught in a trap of temporarily relief from the ego's sense of lack is a type of prison.

It's not a problem.. It just is. Making it into a problem is making another state of lacking, which the ego likes to do.

Ok, so someone spends 20 years playing games that someone might call them addicted, so what.. It's not a problem. Problem making is a mechanic of the ego.

It all turns to dust anyway. Enjoy and make fun of what you can and live life. Then die.

You could call the CEO of a large corporation an addict for more money, power and notoriety. Same basic mechanic, but he may have things to show for it. But it could still be called an compulsive addiction. And this hypothetical CEO could harm lots of people in his quest to build his earthly possessions.

But picking on gamers is easier to do.. It is more obviously futile.
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September 16th, 2009, 18:04
To me Diablo 2 was not addictive, and it was just mildly fun (for the first couple of hours). I didn't find much strategy to use, always the same attacks regardless of enemy. Turned me into a zombie clicker after the first 10 fights each session.
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September 16th, 2009, 18:11
What I liked most about D and D2 (other than the skills or whatever) was the savegame. Sure, it saved your progress, but not exactly at the point you were at. You had to start back in town and work your way back up through. For me that is the way to force players to avoid the trap of saving after every battle. I liked that I had to *grind* my way back to where I was.

This might be normal for MMOs, but when I first played D2 that took a lot of getting used to, but when I did it enhanced the game for me. I'm not sure if Diablo saved it this way or not. It's been too long since I played that one.

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September 16th, 2009, 20:33
I never get addicted to anything and especially not games. I play games for the story and quests along with the game play and it is really a more interactive form of books to me. What came from that is my joy of exploration and wanting to do everything in a game. That is the reason why I have a hard time staying with a game since I get tired of trying to do everything in a game but I usually come back later to continue the game. I have always disliked the Diablo games since they focus on the addicting elements and forget about having a good story line and a good amount of decent quests. On the other hand I thought WOW was good because it has a large amount of decent quests and an overall decent story line. (I don't know how it would have been later since I only made it to level 20)
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September 16th, 2009, 22:00
Funny, I just argued with a friend today that Diablo 2 *is* fun.

Of course, someone may simply not like the game, but to say that it is addictive but not fun…? Hm, I suppose a drug can be addictive, while sticking a needle into your vein not being fun, but I don't know if you could say something like this about a game. *shudders*

Gosh, I don't think I'll ever get tired of this game. Ever. Ever.
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September 16th, 2009, 22:36
If anybody does something in life, it's because they receive a reward for it. All motivation is by reward. It doesn't matter what that reward is as long as they believe it's satisfying. The reward can be anything, from someone working to receive the reward of money, someone volunteering to receive the reward of feeling good, the kid of taking out the garbage to receive the reward of getting their parents off their back, or the alcoholic taking a drink receives the reward of not craving alcohol for a short time…

And now I totally forgot where I was going with this… dammit.
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September 17th, 2009, 15:14
I have found myself feeling a similar sentiment to the one expressed in this article. But I think calling addictive things not fun makes it a semantic issue. I think the difference is in the quality of fun. There is the big picture fun in which you have an experience that is satisfying on several levels. A game may have an interesting story with a thoughtful struggle, or it may be a challenge that requires some serious thought, or perhaps it is a visually pleasing game. Then there is the fun based around fixed (grinding) and variable (loot drops) ratio reinforcement and exploiting the brain's reward system. Braid was an example, for me, that integrated several levels of enjoyment and left me feeling I had high quality fun. It was probably the purest example in a video game I have had. The puzzles required me to think in ways that broadened my logical ability, the story was interesting and a little mystifying, and the game was an aural and visual delight.

I think there is a scale as to the quality of fun, how worthwhile the experience is. Maybe with making art, socializing, and pursuing a loved vocation being things near one end of the scale and doing drugs, pulling slot machines, and vandalism being things closer to the other side. Video games are always probably going to be in the middle as fairly neutral, but some are definitely more worthwhile than others. I think the question is given it is addictive (thus pleasurable, thus fun), is there anything worthwhile in Diablo 2? I think this is in the designer's hands a bit, because people in the throes of addiction have diminished capacity to control their use of it. I think designer's should ask themselves that if you are trying to make your game as addictive as possible, do you realize what you could be doing to people and is it worthwhile?
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