How do you execute multiple game endings well?

There are a lot of games that feature alternate endings or different variations and lure people in with the premise of “replayability”. Being able to follow different paths is amazing and it leaves you with the impression that your choices matter but ultimately, a lot of games don’t do it well. Hence, I wanted to share some thoughts on the topic today and share some concerns I have. I may not come to a conclusion here but I feel like it’s a nice discussion to have and would love it if you, dear reader, would take your time and maybe comment your opinion on the matter and share some insights.

So, first of all, spoiler warnings: There will be mild spoilers for some games. The TellTale Games and their premise, Undertales different routes, and Catherine’s endings get very mildly touched on and it may be a small spoiler if you don’t know anything about those games. I also talk about the number of endings in NieR Replicant and how they work but I don’t touch upon the story itself or anything that is actually spoilery…. Also, I talk a bit about Fable and Beacon Pines, so, again, premise-spoilers so not actual spoilers but I don’t wanna get shouted at for not warning you. So if you don’t wanna know stuff about relatively old games then don’t read this. Thank you.

When I talk about different paths, I talk about choices you make giving you the freedom of splitting off into different story-arcs or changing the outcome more and more with every choice you make. Beacon Pines does this quite well by splitting every choice into a plethora of branches on a literal tree. Some of these branches lead to dead ends but you bring something back from that: Knowledge. So you can basically return to a previous point and try out a different solution to see if that changes the way the story goes, which is great, in my opinion. Meanwhile, you have chapter selections in the Telltale Games and while they also allow you to change things, I don’t think that that’s quite the right choice game-design wise. So, you may think that these two solutions are similar or maybe even the same but the issue is that all the Telltale Games have an inherent flaw that Beacon Pines doesn’t have: Your choices don’t matter.

On the one hand, there is Beacon Pines where you can hit dead ends, you can hit bad endings, you get good endings and other possibilities that change the outcome of the story and how elements unfold. I know stuff like that because of the demo that I played and the Kickstarter promises but also because of an interview that is coming to YouTube soon. On the other hand, there are the TellTale games where you have a story that takes one character from point A to point Z. There are plenty of points where you make decisions that save or kill one person over another… Point B gives you the option of saving one of two characters: NPC 1 and NPC 2. You choose one over the other and there may be consequences but in the end, you still get to point Z which is the end of the game and it may play out slightly different but it doesn’t change the way that the game is played.

One of my all-time favourite games is Catherine Classic. That game has nine endings: Three “morally good” ones, three “morally neutral” ones and three “morally bad” ones. I add “morally” because “bad” in this context is associated with sins, Catherine, and essentially, things that are outside of the norms and morals of society… Meanwhile, “good” means here that you commit to Katherine, conformity and effectively, conservatism in a way aka marrying, loyalty and getting old together in a romantic way, I guess. The choices you make constantly alter the path that you’re headed towards. There is this karma-meter that changes to the right or the left based on your choices… These choices are presented to you as questions that often can’t be associated with “good” or “evil” and it’s hard to understand how being a “dog person” or being a “cat person” means that you’re good or evil… I guess dogs stand for loyalty which is good and… cats eat food everywhere where they get food, which is “bad”. You also can send text messages to Katherine or Catherine which, based on your choice of words, also gives you points on the karma-meter changing the path you take… Ultimately, this sounds like a great system but in essence, you end up playing the same game the same way every time and in the end, nothing really changes, apart from the end. You have different endings but not different playthroughs. Getting all endings can be not only frustrating but also boring and it destroys the fun parts of the game, in a way, which is sadly something I dislike about Catherine, but it’s fun when you get a new ending once in a while and it’s interesting.

So, TellTale has great characters and great stories but only one ending. Beacon Pines branches out the story itself and may have fewer actual endings than Catherine but at least the gameplay aka the actual plot changes along the way according to the path you take, unlike Catherine. I feel like these three games do things very differently… and TellTale Games tend to have the issue of endazzling you at first with the magic of “severe choices” but in the end, it doesn’t matter because you realise in your second playthrough that none of your choices actually mattered as you SPOILER end up alone as Clementine. And you may already know that because Lee doesn’t show up in the second game.

My issue with multiple endings is that it’s just a buzzword at this point that is used to promote games. “Immersive”, “Multiple Endings”, “Choices Matter”, etc. are words that people use to advertise but in the end, these are just shallow words thrown into the mix to get people to spend their money. At this point, I hate “multiple endings” because games make me replay the full game again… but it becomes tedious. 

I have nearly finished all of NieR: Replicants endings. I absolutely love the game and Ending A was great even if it made me a bit sad… but that’s just the way it is. Replicant is a dark game all in all even if it has its wholesome moments and I absolutely am in love with it. Now, NieR: Replicant actually features four endings plus one bonus ending that was added to the remastered version here. Ending A plays the story as normal. When you beat Ending A, you get to save the game and end up at a certain point in the second half of the game. Then you replay that second part and get more insights on the story and more background information on top of another ending after the final boss fight. After that, you get the same thing. You play the game with a bit more new content regarding the story and background info and you keep your stuff and go to the final boss and there you actually get a new final boss where you’re presented with a choice to make: Decision C or Decision D. C or D lead to different endings. If you pick D, you can now in Replicant get Ending E when you start a new game. 

Now, this approach may be something that you just kind of accept at first but over time it has the risk of losing your interest. When I noticed that I got more insights into the backstory of other characters and parties in the game, it got me invested but I ended up backing up my save file and instead of playing through Part 2 for the fourth time in a row, I ended up just reloading that save file and going for Ending D instead of C. Sure, you keep your weapons and you can fully upgrade the Fool’s Lament which is arguably the strongest weapon in the game, especially at Level 4 where it has 999 attack damage… Sure, you just breeze through the game and one-shot most stronger enemies that gave you trouble before but it gets stale fast if you do it too many times. Having different endings is amazing in a way because you get to see different parts of the game and tying new content to your choices is great but I would have loved it more in NieR Replicant if you could select chapters and reload more than three save files. I would have loved it if there were other options.

Undertale, another example of a game with different routes, basically has two routes that you unlock after your first playthrough: The pacifist route where you don’t harm enemies and find other ways of dealing with them… and the genocide route where you kill everything. Now, I haven’t played that game yet really apart from like an hour or something… but I like that concept and because of something that happens in NieR Replicant, I would have liked to see that as an option: Being a pacifist or not killing whoever in the game… It would have been great.

Having the option of choosing your playstyle and being able to choose the ending through the choices you make is great. Fable, at last, had stuff like that and despite it being an old game I feel like it ultimately did a great job at letting the player choose their own adventure and it shaped the way they were treated and looked at in the game as well by making people fear or hate them if they did bad stuff or praise and love them if they did great deeds. It’s not perfect but I feel like Fable was quite nice and NieR is quite nice and I’m looking forward to the full release of Beacon Pines and I’m looking forward to playing Undertale someday.

Essentially, I don’t think that there is one solution that I could think of but there are many ways of creating meaningful player choices and multiple endings that actually add to the game instead of taking something away. Having replayability with new content mixed into old content makes it interesting and intriguing, like in NieR Replicant, however, allowing players to skip to certain sections or chapters like in Beacon Pines and allowing players to try out different options in those scenarios also makes the game more engaging and makes “multiple endings” seem like less of an empty promise. Allowing alternate playstyles like in Undertale, Fable, and even The Binding of Isaac: Repentance (where you can decide to not kill a certain boss and you get rewarded for it) to create the choice of killing or not killing someone or something is great. Allowing players to create their own story is amazing but it doesn’t mean anything if your choices lead to one end and one end only, rendering every choice meaningless like in the TellTale games… so uh, those are just my thoughts from this post all summed up and I don’t have a degree in game-design so take all of that as just an opinion. I’m just someone who likes to play games and everyone knows that players don’t know what they want. So uh, there’s that.

I’d love it if people could have a discussion on this matter as well in the comments and I’d love it if you could add a comment with your opinions or good examples or anything you wanna say on the matter and I’d love it if we could engage in a discussion. You, me, other people. Could be very cool! Just keep it civil, we’re all friends here. 🙂

Also: At last, (I didn’t know where to insert this) I love NieR: Replicant and made that header image there by editing together a press image with my character and Emil’s face, so uh, overall edited by me and credits go to me and all of that stuff. I figured it’d be the best header image for this sort of post since Replicant inspired me to make this post. Also, this post features screenshots from Beacon Pines, NieR Replicant and Catherine Classic. I didn’t have any screenshots from Fable, Undertale or The Walking Dead, so I wasn’t able to link any of those/embed any of those into the post, so bear with me.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Stay safe, healthy, kind and hydrated!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

An interview with Yandere Dev

So, just recently I made an interview request with Yandere Dev, the developer of Yandere Simulator. The reason for that was because it interested me how development was coming along and what Yandere Dev’s thoughts on accessibility and representation are. I hope you enjoy this interview!

Yandere Dev’s answers are represented in bold/italic text while my questions are in normal formating. Hope it’s clear.

Hello! Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do, what games you like, your hobbies, etc.?

My name is YandereDev, and I enjoy anime and video games. My favorite games are open-world sandbox games with huge worlds to explore and hundreds of activities to do.

Do you think that Yandere Simulator is a “good game”? (As context, I’ve heard from developers that they are never satisfied with their work. Do you as a developer feel the same. Do you think that your game needs a lot more work to be “good” or do you have other thoughts on this?)

The game isn’t done yet, so I feel that it’s too early to judge it. With that said, I think that I’m disqualified from being allowed to judge the game since I’m too close to it to be able to judge it impartially. I’ll have to let other people tell me whether or not it’s a good game.

I’m always finding new ways to improve the game, but I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as “never being satisfied” with the game. I don’t think I’ll be able to judge how satisfied or dissatisfied I am until after the game is completed.

At this point in time, the primary work that remains to be done is not gameplay-related but simply adding a few more characters so that the story mode can be complete.

What inspired you to create Yandere Simulator?

Before I started developing Yandere Simulator, I had a ton of other game ideas and developed a bunch of simple game prototypes. However, I lacked the models and animations necessary to actually turn those prototypes into finished games, so none of them left the prototype stage. I decided that my next game should be designed around models and animations that I had access to, so I could finally go further than prototyping.

I searched for models in an online store and spotted an “anime schoolgirl” character model. This made me try to imagine a game with an anime schoolgirl for a protagonist. I asked a friend of mine for suggestions, and he proposed a “delinquent simulator”. I tried to imagine the most extreme version of that idea, which made me envision a game about serial killing, instead of mere delinquency. I asked myself what kind of schoolgirl would kill people, and instantly thought of the “yandere” archetype – a character that kills because of jealousy.

I asked a high-traffic message board if they would be interested in a “yandere simulator”, and received a very positive response. All of my previous game ideas had not generated very much interest or excitement, so when I saw people getting hyped about this “yandere simulator” idea, I knew that it had potential to be a successful game. Just one thread about the game was enough to convince me to begin developing it immediately.

How is development coming along? I’ve seen that it’s been in development for seven years. How long do you expect the development to take? 

At the beginning of the game’s development, I was only concerned with one thing – going down the checklist of features that the game required. But, over the course of the game’s development, I observed that people were finding fun and interesting ways to enjoy the game even without an official rival girl to kill. This showed me how much potential there was for Yandere Simulator to bring people far more enjoyment than originally intended. So, I updated my priorities and started expanding the game in multiple different directions. Instead of focusing exclusively on core features and rivals, I filled the game with tons of content, features, and activities that were not part of the initial plan, and I took the time to collaborate with amazing people to make awesome videos for my YouTube channel.

This contributed to Yandere Simulator spending more time in development than I originally anticipated…but, that’s because the game has been evolving into something with much more potential than the game that was initially planned. And…I can’t really see that as a bad thing.

I observed what the community enjoyed, and I adjusted my focus accordingly. Instead of keeping Yandere Simulator locked to one path, I allowed Yandere Simulator to become something that is free to change and evolve whenever I make new observations and discoveries.

When I look in the Yandere Simulator Discord, I see an incredible amount of variety in what people are doing with the game. I see people showing off screenshots they made using Pose Mode. I see people challenging one another with Mission Mode codes. I see people showing off the mods they’re developing. I see people creating custom skins and sharing them. Yandere Simulator started out as “Anime Girl Hitman”, but throughout its development, it evolved into something way better – a platform that offers a wide variety of fun activities and experiences. And I feel happy that I’ve created something that gives people so many different ways to be creative and have fun.

I don’t think of Yandere Simulator as “A game that still isn’t finished after 7 years.” Instead, I think of Yandere Simulator as, “A game that has been regularly updated with new features and new content for 7 years.”

Do you plan on releasing it on any platforms like Steam or Epic Games? The Epic Games Store in particular is known for giving funds to developers. Is that something you ever considered?

I’d like to put it on Steam eventually. I’d be happy to strike a deal with the Epic Games Store.

I’ve heard in one of your videos that you’re describing Yandere Sim as a mix of Hitman and the Persona series. How do you plan on combining the disposable characters of the Hitman universe with the character-driven and story-driven aspects of the Persona series? How does this mix of these two vastly different games work?

Each character in the school can be of use to the player in some way. If the player befriends a character, that character can provide some type of service, be used to distract other students or play a role in certain scripted events. If the player kills a student, the player loses all of those advantages. However, a student can also be an obstacle, if they are protecting another character or are present to witness a crime. It’s up to the player to decide whether or not it’s worth it to kill a student and sacrifice the advantages that the student might have brought them.

What are some gameplay elements that are still planned for the future? 

Nearly every gameplay mechanic I wanted to put in the game is already in the game. At this point, only minor adjustments and tweaks remain.

When you’re working on Yandere Sim, what do you enjoy the most? Aka what part of your job is the most fulfilling and satisfying for you? Where do you take joy in your work?

Interacting with the fans is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. It’s where all the joy of the job comes from.

What are your thoughts on accessibility in games?

I’ve always thought that it was very praiseworthy whenever a game developer puts in the extra work and effort to make their game accessible to people who may be dealing with a physical handicap.

How do you try to make Yandere Sim accessible to other people?

I’ve tried my best to make sure that nothing in the game relies on color so that the game can be easily played by the colorblind. With that said, a colorblind friend of mine has still been able to identify places in the game that use color for gameplay, so I still have some work to do in that regard. Aside from that, I haven’t yet had enough discussions with players to determine what could be done to make the game more accessible than it currently is.

How important do you think that accessibility is?

Ignoring accessibility means reducing the number of people who can enjoy your video game.

Will there be options to turn off graphical effects such as bloom, bright lights, colour filters, etc.? Do you think that features like that are important in game design?

These all sound like good ideas.

Will you be able to remap keys? How important do you think will this feature be for the enjoyment of players?

I’ve long wanted to provide the ability to remap keys, but it has proven to be difficult. A lot of players have requested this. I hope that I’ll be able to get it done in the future.

How do you feel about representation in games aka being able to create your character and customise their appearance, skin colour, sex, and gender? 

It’s a feature that I always appreciate having in games.

Do you think that players should be able to select a same-sex senpai? Are there any issues with that? How do you feel about LGTBQIA+ representation in Yandere Sim?

I’d like to offer a same-sex senpai, but it depends on the budget. It requires animations and voice lines, which would have to be paid for.

What is some advice you would give to other developers in regards to accessibility, player representation, and other topics that are important in game development?

I understand that what a game developer can do is limited by their time and their budget. The same expectations cannot be given to two different developers operating with completely different timelines and funding. So, there is no one statement I can give that applies to all game developers.

Over seven years, Yandere Sim has not only faced good press but also a lot of allegations. What is your stance on it? How do you deal with it and what is your advice for other developers when it comes to dealing with critics and bad press?

The first thing you must understand is that public humiliation is a very profitable entertainment industry. You can very easily get millions of views on YouTube simply by making a video where you shame and ridicule someone. It’s even easier to get views if you make a video about a YouTuber with lots of subscribers because YouTube’s algorithm will push your video to each of that person’s followers.

I’ve been targeted by drama YouTubers who make trashy tabloid-style videos where they demonize and vilify me because they know that these videos will get them tons of attention and money. The majority of claims they make about me are heavily exaggerated or outright false, and it’s trivially easy to debunk pretty much everything they say. However, people value entertaining narratives far more than they value truth and reality.

If I treat my fans like kings and queens, it doesn’t matter, because “YandereDev treats his fans bad” is a more entertaining narrative. If I am a competent programmer, it doesn’t matter, because “YandereDev sucks at code” is a more entertaining narrative. If I am attracted to adult women, it doesn’t matter, because “YandereDev is a paedophile” is a more entertaining narrative.

In short, I’ve been selected as a human sacrifice for the public humiliation entertainment industry because of my subscriber count. Numerous false narratives and untrue accusations have been made about me because the more scandalous the drama is, the more clicks and views people will get. I have been turned into a punching bag for the Internet to harass and abuse, not because I’m a bad guy, but because I’ve been framed as a bad guy.

It can all be summarized by one very simple statement: Your reputation is determined by what people enjoy saying about you, even if nothing that they are saying is true.

Do you think that the art and the artist should be looked at separately?

Yes.

Among the allegations, some people get upset about the fact that you can take panty shots of high school students. Is that still a mechanic in the game? If so, are there any plans of removing it or is there a reason why it stays/will stay? What are the alternatives for it?

It’s an anime trope. Anyone who gets offended by it is too sensitive. There are many alternatives to the feature, anyway.

Twitch also banned Yandere Sim on their platform. How do you feel about that? Do you think that this is justified? Do you ever believe that the game will be unbanned?

It sucks. It’s not justified at all. There is no content in Yandere Sim that is not present in other games that are not banned on Twitch.

What are your thoughts on (cyber-)bullying? Do you think games should be allowed to endorse topics or don’t you think that it may be a bit problematic?

Actual bullying that occurs in real life – not in the fictional realm of a video game – is unforgivable. Abusing, mistreating, and harassing others is never okay, whether it’s occurring in person or over the Internet.

Now, there are also other things that people bring up from your past that I don’t want to get into detail. How do you feel about that?

Digging into someone’s past to look for dirt on them to shame and humiliate them is deplorable behaviour, and should not be normalized. Every allegation made about me is disprovable.

Does all the negative press affect you mentally? What do you do to deal with this?

As a result of being portrayed as a villain by dishonest YouTubers, my life has been absolutely destroyed. I have been harassed in various ways on a daily basis for the past several years, and the harassment has only grown more intense with the passage of time. It’s safe to assume that I will continue to be harassed every day for the rest of my life and that the severity of the harassment will only continue to intensify. There is no reason for me to have any hope for the future. I don’t even have a future anymore. The harassment isn’t going to stop until I’m dead. Every time I ask myself why I should keep living, I fail to find an answer.

Being harassed on a daily basis for multiple years has made me severely depressed and robbed me of all motivation to work on the game project that I’ve dedicated 7 years of my life to. It’s impossible to be productive while experiencing abuse and mistreatment every hour of the day. The game that I’m developing definitely would have been finished by now if I had never been made the target of a multiple-year-long harassment campaign.

Even when I keep my head down and don’t do anything to attract attention, people constantly invent new reasons to harass me. My life is ruined and can never be repaired. The only thing I wish for is to live in peace, but I am not even allowed to have that.

Do you have any finishing words you’d like to mention to my readers? Do you have any general advice for game developers? If you could redo things, what would you do differently? 

The one piece of advice that I believe is most important is to start with small, simple projects, and gradually work your way up to more complex projects. Definitely do not begin doing anything complicated or ambitious until after you’ve gained a lot of experience with more simple projects.

Any finishing words on Yandere Simulator. Who would you recommend this game to? Where can people check out the game?

It’s for fans of anime and video games. You can check it out at yanderesimulator.com.

So, yeah, that was the interview with Yandere Dev. My opinion on Yandere Simulator changed over time and with me finding out about all these allegations, I wasn’t sure how to approach this interview but I think giving him a platform of sorts where he can talk about his feelings and opinions would be nice. Hope you enjoyed this post!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

LoL – Do we need more champions?

For the past couple of years, I’ve been enjoying a game called League of Legends by a “small Indie Studio” called Riot Games. The reason why I’d stick so long to one game was that it was challenging and had a high skill ceiling based on the champion, that the meta was changing, and that you could get to meet new friends through it and play with a lot of different people. I even met one of my best friends through the game, which is amazing. Riot kept the game relatively fresh with new enhancements and changes each season like the Rune/Mastery changes, item reworks and new additions to the map but as of late, I just feel overwhelmed with how fast new content is added to the game while old content seems to fall behind and not be used as much anymore.

Part of me wants to play those fun game modes again like Nemesis Draft (I know that everyone hated that, but I enjoyed it a lot) or Blackmarket Brawlers (I know that everyone loved that, and I did, too) but those just don’t make it into the game’s rotation anymore. Instead, we only have ARAM available to us as well as the Summoner’s Rift maps in Normal, Solo/Duo, and Flex Queue with some occasional modes added here and there for a temporary amount of time, like ARURF or Nexus Blitz. I don’t get why old modes or why the story modes that Riot developed don’t make it back into the rotation anymore but it’s something I like to see more that would keep the game fresh. Be it Blackmarket Brawlers, Nemesis Draft, Nexus Siege, Dominion, or even Hexakills, there’d be a lot of opportunities for Riot to even cash in on these modes with custom flares, map effects or other cosmetics that would only work in those modes and that would allow players to use their Riot Points to fatten Riot’s pockets.

Blackmarket Brawlers was a great game mode and I still wish they’d bring it back.

But while part of me wishes for that variety, part of me also wants Riot to stop doing what they’re doing right now. Recently, they claimed that due to Covid (or other reasons), they slowed down their VGU (Visual Game Update) team considerably and want to release fewer reworks during the upcoming year while still doing their best to release six champions per year. You heard me right: SIX champions. This may not sound like a lot but the game already has way too many different characters in the game and adding more is not going to help the player reduce the load of information that you have to get through to understand some of them.

A lot of the older champions can’t be played as much anymore like Udyr who is receiving an update next year (after a successful vote this year?) or Dr Mundo who’s getting updated this year. These champions have issues with their kit where they are too basic and also don’t look the part too well, making them unpopular and bad in a way. Udyr is kind of in the meta right now but that’s mostly because of one specific playstyle and certain items. If those items get nerfed, he’ll be weak again. It’s not him being strong, it’s items being strong. Mundo is alright right now but again, he doesn’t have gap closers or dashes and he shouldn’t have those since he’s a tank… but without those, he’ll probably be not as popular as other characters and won’t see much play.

Viego, the latest problem added into the game.

Right now the game features 154 released champions with the latest one being Viego: The Ruined King. There was a time where there would be only weeks between champion releases but the champion pool at the time was limited to a lot less than the current champion pool. But during the past few months, Riot Games has been cranking out champions on a nearly monthly basis, resulting in me still not quite getting what Aphelios does while also having champions like Lilia not see any play really while Rell didn’t get any love or play until she got picked up in the Pro-Scene… and even now she doesn’t quite get played that much… and then there’s Yone who also got released rather recently who does things at times that I don’t quite get and Seraphine who is rather strong right now besides being quite basic… and then there’s Samira who is a bit overloaded and the Ruined King who is quite overloaded as well in a way… and when you get this many champions as new additions to the game, it just feels weird for me.

You hardly understand what Rell does and suddenly the Ruined King comes to the game and it just feels bad because you didn’t quite get to understand how to play against Rell and you now have to also deal with Viego… and then there’s Samira and Seraphine and Sett to deal with as well…

And you can only ban five champions per team. There are too many champions that already are too strong and you can’t ban all of them. On my must-ban list, there’s Twitch, for instance, whose AP-Build does way too much damage and just one-shots me with no counterplay at all unless I play a CC champion. Even with tanky CC supports like Leona or Nautilus, he’s going to poke me into oblivion and shred me because daddy Riot doesn’t allow Tank supports to get tanky with the current item situation. Alas, I need to ban Twitch. There are also Draven, Kai’Sa, Fizz, Katarina and Yasuo for potential bans here but my team has their own nemeses, so I can’t rely on them banning my worst nightmares, especially since I wanna ban Yasuo to prevent my own team from playing that champion. No silver Yasuo should be allowed to play that champions as it ruins more games than it ever wins.

I mean, they even fucking brought back Yone who’s basically just a better Yasuo but people still play Yasuo into the worst matchups with no experience on the champion and without a clue about the game… Why do Yasuo players not just play Yone? Idk.

Yone came back from the dead to get the 0/10 powerspike.

Because you don’t see the enemy bans, you could in theory only end up banning five champions instead of ten, especially when people skip bans, resulting in the game potentially featuring annoying champions with little to no counterplay or champions that are broken beyond belief or champions that were already super strong (like AP Shyvana) that offer some counterplay but just got buffed to increase their strong points even more although their play and winrate hasn’t lessened.

Sometimes I feel like Riot Games isn’t playing their own game. Maybe they’re actually playing a different one and dishing out changes and nerfs and updates to the game without the player in mind. I feel like Riot Games is trying their hardest to keep the game fresh and interesting right now but their focus is bad.

Instead of dishing out six fucking champions every year, they should focus on making old champions that are not viable or fun anymore fun again. They should try to update their champions, bring them up to today’s standard and make them fun again. Nowadays, every fucking new champion has a thousand different ways to one-shot me on top of being super mobile, having a lot of sustain and either stealing my ultimate or my summoners or my base abilities or they have an execute or they are super tanky and still deal a ton of damage or they just suck.

Rell is cool but just like Lilia she doesn’t get enough play compared to other champions in her role… maybe because she’s not op.

Riot Games should make boring or outdated champions fun again. Volibear started seeing play again but then his update came and people thought he was weak… but then people noticed how to play him and his win rate skyrocketed… But since Riot Games doesn’t play their own game, they decided to buff him and ended up buffing him beyond belief, so I swapped from Support to Jungle because it’s easier to carry my team through the game as Volibear than to carry my silver ADC through the laning phase. Riot Games has sometimes no clue about their champion. Did they buff AD Katarina because… it wasn’t broken enough already? They buffed AP Shyvana because nobody plays AD right now… I don’t get why they’re doing this. Fizz, an old champion that sees no nerfs these days, has damage over time in a hidden passive basically that you don’t expect at all, has two dashes, one of them makes him invulnerable, and he has high burst and great wave clear. On top of that, if that wasn’t enough, he gains a two-digit percentage damage reduction because he is “slippery”. Doesn’t make sense but fuck it, Riot Games.

Instead of nerfing a champion like Fizz that is unhealthy for the game and that is able to one-shot even tanks in late-game… in a meta that doesn’t allow people to customize their builds well against AP champions… Riot Games buffed it recently if I remember correctly. Riot buffed Fizz and items that Fizz uses and didn’t touch him in ages because: Why the fuck not? We’re here at Riot Games.

And I love the game. I do a lot. I enjoy playing it a lot recently… but I may not enjoy it anymore if they continue to give ADCs a dash when they are balanced to be immobile and if they continue to break the game by buffing stupid champions and releasing overloaded characters into the game. And I feel like other players will also stop playing.

Alas, do we need more champions? No, please. Don’t add more champions before you haven’t fixed your game.

Instead of adding more champions, I feel like Riot Games need to check out what Bungie is doing and release an expansion that vaults content and removes champions temporarily based on their win rate. That’d be fun, right? No, it wouldn’t but it would reduce the things I’d have to ban each game to maybe one or two.

What do you think about this? Let me know!

Cheers.

I hate timers

I like the Zelda games but I never really got into Majora’s Mask… I mean, I guess I should like it – after all, it’s literally a darker version of Ocarina of Time and it has some great elements to it both presentation-wise and gameplay-wise.

But I guess the main reason for why I didn’t like Majora’s Mask was the fact that it had this giant creepy moon – and also a mega doom timer that was ticking down, constantly pressuring you. I didn’t like the concept back then and a lot later I noticed that you can actually reset the timer with a certain song but I still never got back into it and uh…. that brings us to today’s post:

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

I hate timers.

Timers stress me out. They put me under pressure, just like the clock ticking down on me during an exam. In video games, there are timers that are actually well-made, like in Risk of Rain, for instance.

In Risk of Rain, the game gets harder the longer you play/the longer it takes you to finish the game.

Hence, you’ve got challenges associated with the timer and it’s also not a timer ticking down. Instead, you’ve got a game that rewards you with increasingly intense combat and tougher enemies so that it doesn’t get boring for you. To beat the game, you need skill (and the items) but also need to survive. You’ll lose if you die. Not if the timer reaches “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” difficulty. The timer doesn’t lose you the game. You do. The game is fair and I like that.

A timer indicating how much time you have left to clear a game is bad game design, in my opinion. It puts people under pressure which is usually bad when you try to relax. And sure, people play games for different reasons but I doubt that a lot of players enjoy the “ticking time bomb” character that some decks, characters or games have. When you play League of Legends and you’re playing against a Veigar, you eventually will have to face off against the Veigar with 2000 to 4000 AP who can one-shot towers with one normal attack and who one-shots your whole team with one W or a Q. Deleted with a button press.

Same goes naturally for the Bomb Warrior in Hearthstone or the Teemo Decks in Legends of Runeterra where you face off against someone who just holds out and stalls the game for forty minutes straight while you draw one bomb after another, reducing your life by drawing cards… yup. Very nice game design.

I don’t like that. If you have a section where you need to defeat enemies in a certain time-frame to get a reward, that’s a bit better, I guess… but having the “You’re fucked when this timer reaches 0”-character as a game mechanic for the whole game is just major bullshit – Pardon my English.

Either way, I hope that you don’t have the doom clock ticking over your head and that you instead have a pleasant day.

Cheers!