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I guess this a natural follow-up to the problem with game reviews post as it covers the same topic.

What exactly are people's thoughts on the idea of a game changing drastically from when it launched to say a year later?

I can see why there are people out there who hate it. It can probably be annoying to buy a game, only to later have it become something they don't enjoy or didn't really want when they bought it.

On the flip side I have seen this type of development cycle have positive effects on a lot of games. MMOs are probably the most common example of this, going through revisions quite frequently to bring old systems up to date or fix systems that never really worked out how the developer wanted but it has started to appear in other games as well. No Man's Sky being one recent example.

Another being the strategy game Stellaris on PC, two years after release and the free updates have they release periodically have dramatically changed core mechanics of how the game works (that's before you also account for additions from paid DLC too). In the case of this game they also offer you the ability to revert to any previous version of the game, so if you liked the launch version and just want that you can roll back to 1.0 and play the game as it was.

Terraria is also a very classic example of a game that started out as one thing, then exploded over the years into something massive. In this case it's hard to see why anyone would be upset as technically all they did was add more and more content for you to play, but some updates did add content that could be seen as annoying when you don't want them to happen (frequent eclipses!!!!!!)

There is an argument to be made that perhaps they should just release a sequel instead of changing a game so much. I've heard this one a lot with Stellaris (because of how much they sometimes change up core mechanics). The problem I see with this is we now live in a time where DLC is just a norm, if you've bought a bunch of DLC for the first game and then a sequel comes out. They either have to include all the DLC features and risk upsetting everyone who paid for an "inferior game and all its DLC" or they don't include all those features and risk upsetting everyone for releasing an inferior version of the game as a sequel (I see this thrown at the Civ series a lot but I've not played enough of them to have an opinion of whether it is true or not).

So I don't know. I can see why people dislike this form of development, but for me I've found I may actually prefer it because it means I get a better game and I don't have to wait for a sequel and/or pay for said sequel.

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On a similar line of thought at "episodic" games where you don't get the full game at launch and it gets drip fed you to. I have found this can sometimes work amazingly well such as with Hitman (2016) where doing so actually resulted in me going back to the game a lot to do as much as I could in each mission as they released. When I got bored of a mission I'd usually have finished anything I wanted to from it and then would get to have a break from the game before the next mission. While this does technically make it a devious ploy from the company to get me to play their game more (not sure to what benefit since they didn't get any extra money out of it since they had no monetisation on the game) I am actually glad it was done this way as I know I would have rushed through it otherwise and probably missed a lot of fun moments (both organic and scripted) that are within the game.

Posted August 8th by Moonray
Moonray
 

Seems like it would depend on the game. Something open-ended and experience-driven like No Man's Sky probably can stand to benefit from changing. Given that the point of the game is to keep playing with no real end in sight, it seems ripe for that kind of development. Would be a bit different with, say, narrative-driven games. (I'm actually still not crazy about the Extended Cut ending of Mass Effect 3 because I don't think it solved any of the main problems, and it created more holes than it originally had, in my opinion.) So... I would say it all depends.

Episodic games I don't care much about. I've loved Life is Strange and some of the Telltale games, and I think those actually work *better* as episodes. But they were designed from the ground up to be.

Posted August 8th by Jet Presto

I played Chivalry a long time ago when it was just a few maps, a few modes, and little in the way of customization. There seemed to be a greater sense of respect for the game itself: completing objectives, etc. in the early days. Nowadays more large maps got added in, multiplay servers got more popular than the objective servers, tons of maps rotate in and out, and customization is much bigger. It's not really better or worse, just different.

Still, I miss the old days playing the Stoneshill map with the bright, beautiful lighting. Ever since they changed the lighting on that map, it never got any better.

Posted August 8th by mariomguy

Just taking a moment to recognize how stupid "experience-driven game" is to say, like any games *aren't* experience-driven. I figure people know what I mean (games that are designed to be played continually rather than to have an established end), but still just calling myself out for that.

Posted August 8th by Jet Presto

Not sure how up to date jet is but the news on the block is that no man's sky has gotten such an update and then some.

Posted August 8th by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

I font play League of Legends, but I read recently that it changed drastically for the worst and the population fell off a cliff. Anyone know anything about that?

Posted August 9th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Don't*

Posted August 9th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Just taking a moment to recognize how stupid "experience-driven game" is to say, like any games *aren't* experience-driven. I figure people know what I mean (games that are designed to be played continually rather than to have an established end), but still just calling myself out for that.


The school I work at used to be a "teaching school". I always found that the most dumb naming ever because, isn't every school a teaching school? Is that their purpose? (The reality was it just meant the school was allowed to train teachers so it refered to teaching them).

Seems like it would depend on the game. Something open-ended and experience-driven like No Man's Sky probably can stand to benefit from changing. Given that the point of the game is to keep playing with no real end in sight, it seems ripe for that kind of development. Would be a bit different with, say, narrative-driven games. (I'm actually still not crazy about the Extended Cut ending of Mass Effect 3 because I don't think it solved any of the main problems, and it created more holes than it originally had, in my opinion.) So... I would say it all depends.


Narrative is difficult because that's always going to divide opinions (see Star Wars special editions). However I know that Divinity Original Sin released an Ehanced Edition with narrative changes that were positively recieved, perhaps becuase technically it was a seperate game? Might not have gone down as well had they patched over the game.

My question was probably more focused at altering game mechanics I guess. Say for example in Mass Effect 2 if they had take the criticisms some people gave on the introduction of an ammo system and then go and patched it out so that ammo worked on the cooldown system on ME1. Would you dislike to that sort of thing?

Episodic games I don't care much about. I've loved Life is Strange and some of the Telltale games, and I think those actually work *better* as episodes. But they were designed from the ground up to be.


A lot of people seem to be against the idea as they like to just get what they bought right away, they don't like the idea of buying a game and then having to wait for it to be given to them over a period of time.

I agree a game definitely has to be designed this way from the start otherwise it becomes very obvious that a full game was just split in random sections.

I played Chivalry a long time ago when it was just a few maps, a few modes, and little in the way of customization. There seemed to be a greater sense of respect for the game itself: completing objectives, etc. in the early days. Nowadays more large maps got added in, multiplay servers got more popular than the objective servers, tons of maps rotate in and out, and customization is much bigger. It's not really better or worse, just different.


Unsure what you mean by a greater sense of respect for the game? Do you mean the way people percieved it in those early days?

I font play League of Legends, but I read recently that it changed drastically for the worst and the population fell off a cliff. Anyone know anything about that?


I've never played LoL so not aware of it's current state vs what it used to be. As far as I know it's still popular?

Posted August 9th by Moonray
Moonray
 

Right. I used No Man's Sky as an example because I know they've been doing that.

As for changing the mechanics, I don't necessarily mind? I dunno. I can see it cut both ways. The ability to alter mechanics can fundamentally take away from the experience if done poorly. I don't think they should really change any central mechanics. Like, the example of how ammo works in Mass Effect 2 doesn't fundamentally changed the main game experience. So if you like the change, it makes it a little better, and if you don't, it's a little more annoying, but it doesn't ultimately change that much.

Or I think about like, if Naughty Dog went in and added infected to certain stretches of maps that include just human enemies. That added mechanic could change how you play through a level, but doesn't necessarily change the basic mechanics of the game otherwise. I'd see it as an improvement.

But then I could see, like, an RPG that alters mechanics so that a turn-based combat system becomes an ATB system, that does change the fundamentally basic experience.

I do wonder about what this ability to change a game with updates does for gaming preservation, though, which is a sort of different element of the conversation.

Posted August 9th by Jet Presto

Unsure what you mean by a greater sense of respect for the game? Do you mean the way people percieved it in those early days?

It was a smaller, tighter experience, so it was much more intimate. Nowadays the maps are way larger, and you can play matches without engaging in much battles. Or, conversely, if you goofed you used to goof in front of your teammates. Now, it just feels like everyone's doing their own thing. It lost that cohesiveness. For sure the size of the maps was the problem. Citadel was intended to be a massive map for the largest servers, and it meant something because that was the most intimidating, least personal map in the game. But then the maps got two times bigger and much more colorful, which made no sense.

Posted August 9th by mariomguy
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