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View Full Version : Why did you make nonlethal takedowns strictly better than lethal ones?



Reliken
7th Sep 2013, 06:19
another problem with HR, i think, is that nonlethal takedowns were just strictly better than lethal ones. the only reason ever to do a lethal takedown was to satisfy bloodlust - they give you less exp than nonlethal takedowns and generate literally 30x more noise than nonlethal takedowns. performing lethal takedowns offers NO benefit over nonlethal ones, only disadvantages.

why even include them? there should have been SOME distinction so that one had an advantage and a disadvantage and the other had a separate disadvantage and a separate advantage, that way players would have to decide which they wanted. but instead, there is just a smart choice and a cool but stupid choice.

JCpies
7th Sep 2013, 07:40
The biggest problem in the game, is that they assume that modern gamers are just going to run and gun, so they made incentives not to.

I think the biggest problem with Human Revolution is that they did that.

Spyhopping
7th Sep 2013, 09:40
The biggest problem? I would have pinned the boss fights as the biggest problem. Though I suppose that might have come out of an assumption of running and gunning too.

It creates a bit of an imbalance, but I like to think that we were encouraged to have a respect for life or something.

sonicsidewinder
7th Sep 2013, 11:38
XP system in general is broken.

JCpies
7th Sep 2013, 12:06
Another annoying thing I noticed about the XP yesterday was that there are some vents which have obscure entrances, but exits which aren't hidden at all. So you can just go in through the exit and claim XP which you should have been rewarded for discovering the vent.

CyberP
7th Sep 2013, 12:10
I run n gun & tactically shoot 'cos I'm boss. It's the superior playstyle in my opinion due to stealth being too easy and there are just more options there.

It's nice that they implemented something that doesn't reward the player, because not everything should, unfortunately logic says to use non-lethal takedowns because you only have to tap vs hold, the animations are faster on average, more xp & less noise.
However enemies can wake up each other and lethal takedowns see to it that they dont.

There shouldn't have been XP for playstyles. Objectives, character interaction (including verbal boss battles) and exploration only. DX had it right.

Spyhopping
7th Sep 2013, 12:24
I run n gun & tactically shoot 'cos I'm boss. It's the superior playstyle in my opinion due to stealth being too easy and there are just more options there.

I dunno if it's superior- there's something so satisfying about getting through a whole mission without anyone knowing you are there. But yes, it's easier, and I always slip into the habit. I might have a more aggressive play on it tonight before I am parted from my 360 for a couple of months.

Shralla
7th Sep 2013, 20:07
The biggest problem in the game, is that they assume that modern gamers are just going to run and gun, so they made incentives not to.

I think the biggest problem with Human Revolution is that they did that.

Boiled down, definitely. The whole game is clearly designed with "oh ****, we have to sell this to a mainstream audience" written all over it. But the problem is their assumptions about what the mainstream wants are WRONG and self-imposed.

CyberP
7th Sep 2013, 21:24
I dunno if it's superior- there's something so satisfying about getting through a whole mission without anyone knowing you are there. But yes, it's easier, and I always slip into the habit. I might have a more aggressive play on it tonight before I am parted from my 360 for a couple of months.

Like a simple game of chess against the average child when you have press button to win takedowns, third person cover, radar by default, recharging cloak, double takedown, lots of other stealth related augs, insta-KO tranq gun and gas grenades, more xp, ranged stun gun and so on.

Combat is better balanced and just a ton more fun...in my opinion. I also prefer combat in DX1, however stealth is a much greater challenge, especially if you persist on going non-lethal only.

Nacery
16th Sep 2013, 10:45
I've never understood why it not Metal Gear Solid takedown system with people stunned awakening after a while. This would totally fix the lethal, non-lethal issue and also will give some logic to the plot as Barret committing suicide.

Also it can be used as chance for giving some use to many useless stealth augments like mark & track being used to display a stun counter.

CyberP
16th Sep 2013, 14:08
I've never understood why it not Metal Gear Solid takedown system with people stunned awakening after a while. This would totally fix the lethal, non-lethal issue and also will give some logic to the plot as Barret committing suicide.

Also it can be used as chance for giving some use to many useless stealth augments like mark & track being used to display a stun counter.

That would arguably be an improvement, but proper melee mechanics was the ideal way for numerous reasons.

Shralla
16th Sep 2013, 20:03
I've never understood why it not Metal Gear Solid takedown system with people stunned awakening after a while.

Their allies can wake them up. That's better than most games. Any kind of operation in which you were knocking people unconscious routinely wouldn't really run any risk of the victims waking up. People don't realize it, but if you get knocked out (physically) in the right way, you'll be out for hours unless somebody helps you. And similarly with chemical knockouts (which aren't really prevalent in the real world due to dosing issues), you'd be making sure they'd be snoozing for an hour anyway. I think that making the AI more observant in general so that it's more likely that they'll be woken up by allies is a step in the right direction. Not them annoyingly waking up on their own after a set period of time.

And yeah, a real melee system would be nice.

Nacery
16th Sep 2013, 21:25
Yeah, I knew that fact, but it's a game and gameplay speaking Metal Gear Series has been great. I neither like the DXHR takedown system but I didn't like original DeusEex melee combat it felt clunky and unrealistic (I remember hitting a silhouette soldier in the first mission with a baton to the forehead and it barely caused damage).

68_pie
16th Sep 2013, 22:02
clunky and unrealistic

It's called gameplay.

CyberP
16th Sep 2013, 22:03
(I remember hitting a silhouette soldier in the first mission with a baton to the forehead and it barely caused damage).

Umm, that applies to Metal Gear Solid too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mMJA1NAjC8

Heck, in the first Solid game you didn't even have melee weapons, and if I remember correctly it too takes a good few slashes to kill a soldier in MGS3, which is entirely unrealistic since a stab is far more effective than a slash unless you get a main artery or slash real deep, and even then it takes time to bleed to death.
Furthermore, A baton strike to the forehead is not guaranteed to KO an enemy in the real world unless the force is really, really hard. The cranium is naturally very strong to protect the vital organ that is your brain.

Anyway, that's all irrelevant as:

1) A traditional, proper melee system could have been improved on to be less clunky whilst retaining the depth and challenge.
2) Gameplay takes priority over realism at times. Upgrade melee combat with skills and combat strength if you want to be a master of close quarters combat. A hyper realistic in-depth melee system would provide great gameplay too if done right, but then if the devs spent all their time on that, where does everything else come in? The devs had their design priorities right.
3) There hasn't been a single game yet with truly realistic melee combat and there are very few games where you can insta-KO an enemy with a single strike in direct combat. Oh, except Assassins Creed and Batman of course, can instakill everybody in those with ease, super fun games they are. /sarcasm

Lol, here is your super awesome Metal gear melee combat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qqVCPFeej0

:lol: Metal Gear is a good game series, don't get me wrong, but for this superior game series (;)) a traditional melee system is desirable for many reasons.

Nacery
16th Sep 2013, 23:12
Never said that melee combat in Metal Gear were good either I only said that enemy status of awake, stunned, sleeping & dead thing could be a effective solution to the pacifist/stealth issue in Human Revolution.

Also I never said that I disliked the original Deus Ex, in fact it's one of my favourite games, I only said that I never enjoyed its melee mechanics for stealth runs (I ended using only the tazer baton or the stun gun). In the end I still enjoyed a lot more the original Deus Ex rather than Human Revolution because it was a lot more satisfiying game in terms of morality, as being a good person actually makes the game harder (and it made sense given the moral ambiguity of the world).

I'm neither saying that games should had a instakill melee button but if it has it it should someway balance it.

P.D: Never played Assassin's Creed and disliked the flashy kill/stun cutscenes of HR and also the third person view (miss the q & e leaning days)

merrick97
17th Sep 2013, 00:55
One of my favorite things about the new Splinter Cell was that it gave the MOST points for slipping past hostiles undetected.

It would have been nice if they had done that in DXHR instead of making it such that it I had to go and knock out every enemy to get XP.

CyberP
17th Sep 2013, 01:37
One of my favorite things about the new Splinter Cell was that it gave the MOST points for slipping past hostiles undetected.

It would have been nice if they had done that in DXHR instead of making it such that it I had to go and knock out every enemy to get XP.

No. No "points" for playstyles at all in Deus Ex is the solution/original design. The reward for non-lethal should be NPC reactions, the challenge and the moral high ground :p



P.D: Never played Assassin's Creed and disliked the flashy kill/stun cutscenes of HR and also the third person view (miss the q & e leaning days)

Ah, you have taste then ;) lol.



I'm neither saying that games should had a instakill melee button but if it has it it should someway balance it.


Yeah. In HR's credit it cannot be spammed infinitely in a short period of time at least.

neoWilks
17th Sep 2013, 20:25
No. No "points" for playstyles at all in Deus Ex is the solution/original design.

To be fair, all the Deus Ex games have pretty heavily favored exploration, whether through experience rewards or loot. That's something I'd like to see minimized. I'm always feeling as though not checking every nook and cranny means I'm deliberately handicapping myself. Because who knows what might be hiding on the other side of that vent system? This, I think, tends to kill any sense of urgency or purpose as I'm constantly sidetracked exploring strange apartments or sewers or whatever.

That's not to say exploration shouldn't be possible. Large levels with multiple pathways are important. But I do think the reward mechanics maybe need some tweaking. The Hitman games, for example, do a good job of providing big, open levels without the player feeling compelled to examine every inch of them.

Nacery
17th Sep 2013, 21:03
Ah, you have taste then ;) lol..

It wasn't a matter of taste but a matter of genres. the games you named were suposed to be beat 'em ups so third person camera and ultra cool combos actually make sense, in HR it felt a bit off.

Still I'm in the train of removing a some XP bonuses that makes the game gameplay unbalanced (as the pacifist bonus).

CyberP
17th Sep 2013, 21:47
It wasn't a matter of taste but a matter of genres. the games you named were suposed to be beat 'em ups so third person camera and ultra cool combos actually make sense, in HR it felt a bit off.
.

Instakills do not make sense gameplay-wise without limitations, beat em up or not. I enjoy 3rd person beat em ups and the combat in those games mentioned is not fun. I was mainly referring to that.


To be fair, all the Deus Ex games have pretty heavily favored exploration, whether through experience rewards or loot. That's something I'd like to see minimized. I'm always feeling as though not checking every nook and cranny means I'm deliberately handicapping myself. Because who knows what might be hiding on the other side of that vent system? This, I think, tends to kill any sense of urgency or purpose as I'm constantly sidetracked exploring strange apartments or sewers or whatever.

That's not to say exploration shouldn't be possible. Large levels with multiple pathways are important. But I do think the reward mechanics maybe need some tweaking. The Hitman games, for example, do a good job of providing big, open levels without the player feeling compelled to examine every inch of them.

Sense of urgency lost is the fault of the player for going off exploring and stealing. Nothing is forcing the player to explore.
I would rather not see Deus Ex have empty levels like Hitman, exploration is a huge part of the enjoyment. Instead perhaps reasons given in the narrative to explore every nook instead. Anyhow, it's fine as it is imo.

neoWilks
17th Sep 2013, 22:15
Sense of urgency lost is the fault of the player for going off exploring and stealing. Nothing is forcing the player to explore.
I would rather not see Deus Ex have empty levels like Hitman, exploration is a huge part of the enjoyment. Instead perhaps reasons given in the narrative to explore every nook instead. Anyhow, it's fine as it is imo.
Nothing is forcing the player to knockout every guard or hack every terminal in a level either. The problem is the game is encouraging that sort of play even though it conflicts with the narrative. This is just psychology. If you offer players presents for performing specific activities, it will be difficult for them to choose otherwise. I don't really buy into this whole "self-control" thing when games are designed with task-reward systems in mind. The point is, I shouldn't need to employ self control because the narrative and reward structure should be seamless.

Hitman levels have just as much content as those in a Deus Ex title (aside from HR, probably). The difference is that in one, that content is mostly eye candy. In the other, it's interactive (though this is probably more even if we're looking at HR). I would much prefer Deus Ex took level design cues from an objective-based game like Hitman than an exploration-based game like the Elder Scrolls.

And I'd disagree that it's enjoyable. I find exploration in Deus Ex is generally a chore. The only reason to do it is because they've sprinkled goodies all over the map for the player to find: ammo, upgrades, experience rewards, etc. I would contrast this with purposeful exploration, or exploration that's directly tied to what is happening in the narrative. It makes sense to seek out an alternate route into a heavily guarded compound. It doesn't make sense to then search every single office desk within that compound when you're supposed to be doing a job.

Shralla
17th Sep 2013, 22:39
And I'd disagree that it's enjoyable. I find exploration in Deus Ex is generally a chore.

You are the only one. Like you said, the game has always been built around exploration. Most of the people who like it? Enjoy it at least in part because of the exploration. You're literally asking for them to completely gloss over one of the things that makes Deus Ex Deus Ex. The "job" you had in the original was glorified detective work, which meant taking your time and looking everywhere made all the sense in the world. You seem more like you're complaining about the crappy exploration aspect in Human Revolution than anything to do with Deus Ex as a franchise. It has ALWAYS been more Elder Scrolls than Hitman as far as exploration goes. This is a fundamental aspect of the game that cannot be removed or reduced in the way you're suggesting. Deus Ex isn't about the mission. It's about the world.

FrankCSIS
17th Sep 2013, 23:08
Deus Ex isn't about the mission. It's about the world.

This right here is the master key. And you can tell, from the very beginning, that the game's structure purposefully mocks the claustrophobic nature of mission-based games. Think of how distabilised many gamers were, when you finished your first assignement and were not met with a loading screen or cutscence preparing the next mission.

I've seen funny uses of the concept of game DNA over on the Thief forums and in interviews, but this right here,truly is DX DNA. It's at the heart of the blueprint behind the experience it set out to achieve. It's made even more clear in some post-mortem interviews featuring SP.

If there is a complaint to address, it's probably that there wasn't a consistent level of material to find through your explorations. For me though, the solution is not to cut down on exploration, but to rather find more meaningful reasons to explore, and better ways to pace the storyline according to it. In the presence of true narrative urgency, it might be more wise to limit the explorations of a specific level. DX was not, after all, a sandbox, and has many tools to limit the very problematic nature of sandboxes in a narrative context. Little tweaks here and there, but the blueprint itself should be left relatively intact.

neoWilks
18th Sep 2013, 01:57
You are the only one. Like you said, the game has always been built around exploration. Most of the people who like it? Enjoy it at least in part because of the exploration. You're literally asking for them to completely gloss over one of the things that makes Deus Ex Deus Ex. The "job" you had in the original was glorified detective work, which meant taking your time and looking everywhere made all the sense in the world. You seem more like you're complaining about the crappy exploration aspect in Human Revolution than anything to do with Deus Ex as a franchise. It has ALWAYS been more Elder Scrolls than Hitman as far as exploration goes. This is a fundamental aspect of the game that cannot be removed or reduced in the way you're suggesting. Deus Ex isn't about the mission. It's about the world.
I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm against the reward system present in Deus Ex' level design, not the level design itself. I'm not talking about email fluff or eaves dropping on NPC conversation or whatever. I'm talking about things like experience rewards or loot that encourage ignoring pressing story concerns or backtracking through hostile territory, not because it makes any sense, but because you know there's something that will give you a skill boost or improve your weapon.

CyberP
18th Sep 2013, 02:11
Well, the short response is, again, Gameplay>everything else.

The longer response is: if you are raiding a military complex there is going to be all sorts of goodies for the taking.
Removing those goodies wouldn't be believable or fun. The only reasonable solution I can think of is a hardcore mode-like addition where law enforcement or backup of some kind arrive if you take too long... a time limit.
Why would JC not comb over the MJ12 lab beneath UNATCO for ammo before storming the top floor anyway for example? What real urgency is there in DX1? Only saving Tiffany or escaping the unstable Ocean Lab & Superfreighter (which has a time limit). There is no real urgency. OK, perhaps there should have been one or two more scripted time limits before reinforcements arrive... but again, fine as is imo. Scavenging is solely your choice. Yes there is encouragement to scavenge but if you are so bothered about playing an urgent role then you wouldn't go over every area with a fine toothed comb.

In HR it makes less sense because you are meant to be saving your ex whom you believe is in danger, but I still wouldn't sacrifice fun exploration, ever.
The most I'd accept is no exploration skill point bonuses, but you'd still explore for the goodies and interesting NPC, sights to see, lore to read etc so it doesn't matter, those bonuses just make it more exciting and do not have any real downsides that xp for combat/non-lethal does.

Edit: Oh, and to me, exploration can feel a bit like a chore at times in Human Revolution (at times), but that is only because of all the copy n paste and countless top draws to open. Exploration in DX1 is all fun.

neoWilks
18th Sep 2013, 02:50
Well, the short response is, again, Gameplay>everything else.

The longer response is: if you are raiding a military complex there is going to be all sorts of goodies for the taking.
Removing those goodies wouldn't be believable or fun. The only reasonable solution I can think of is a hardcore mode-like addition where law enforcement or backup of some kind arrive if you take too long... a time limit.
Why would JC not comb over the MJ12 lab beneath UNATCO for ammo before storming the top floor anyway for example? What real urgency is there in DX1? Only saving Tiffany or escaping the unstable Ocean Lab & Superfreighter (which has a time limit). There is no real urgency. OK, perhaps there should have been one or two more scripted time limits before reinforcements arrive... but again, fine as is imo. Scavenging is solely your choice. Yes there is encouragement to scavenge but if you are so bothered about playing an urgent role then you wouldn't go over every area with a fine toothed comb.

In HR it makes less sense because you are meant to be saving your ex whom you believe is in danger, but I still wouldn't sacrifice fun exploration, ever.
I am talking about gameplay.

Again, I don't think you're understanding me. There being ammo in a military installation is not a problem. Experience points for going through vents X, Y, and Z, and more for finding secret area I, J, and K is. Items located in unnatural places simply to serve as a reward for pulling off some weird first-person platforming is a problem. And that's because you've prioritized mindless exploration over what is actually happening.

I also think artificial scarcity can be a problem, too. I shouldn't have to dig through every possible container in a level because who knows when I'll find more ammunition for my preferred weapon. That can be just as damaging to a playstyle as strange experience rewards. But if some resource is to be scarce, then replenishment should be found in believable locations. That means I should have a pretty clear picture of where I should be going to get more. I shouldn't be checking under every park bench, in every bush, under every rock. That's silly, and it makes me feel silly when I'm playing.

When I say urgent, I don't necessarily mean life or death. I mean pressing. I mean there are certain priorities that you should be focusing on. Every Deus Ex game has pressing concerns that are weird to ignore so you can go urban exploring. Outside of a scenario in which you're expected to explore random areas because you have no current leads, there isn't a compelling reason to stop following whatever trail you're set on.

Again, when you're implementing a reward system in a game, I don't think "just don't do it then" is a valuable response. The game has been designed in such a way that it is attractive to "do it" and that you're effectively penalized if you do not. This is no different than the experience penalties for not ghosting every level in HR. Playing the game one way is better in reward terms than another.

I guess I don't know why you think the game shouldn't discriminate against stealth/combat playstyles, but should discriminate against exploration/non-exploration playstyles.

Shralla
18th Sep 2013, 03:17
I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm against the reward system present in Deus Ex' level design, not the level design itself. I'm not talking about email fluff or eaves dropping on NPC conversation or whatever. I'm talking about things like experience rewards or loot that encourage ignoring pressing story concerns or backtracking through hostile territory, not because it makes any sense, but because you know there's something that will give you a skill boost or improve your weapon.

I never felt that in the original Deus Ex. I explored because I found the world fascinating and wanted to know more about it and the people who live in it. The XP was a nice bonus for things that already felt like explorative accomplishments, especially when a lot of them were purely fluff-related and didn't yield any items. I absolutely felt that way in HR though, going through vents because I knew there was free XP in there and hacking everything I came across.

CyberP
18th Sep 2013, 03:51
Snip

I edited addressing the skill points for exploration sometime whilst you were typing your response. I understand what you are saying, but unfortunately you are a rare anomaly, someone who doesn't enjoy the great exploration to be had in DX1. There is no downside to rewarding xp for exploration except the fact that it encourages exploration itself. This is only a problem to the 0.1% doesn't want to explore everything. I'm not one who usually supports leaving out the minority...unless they have a strange perspective on fun :rasp:



I guess I don't know why you think the game shouldn't discriminate against stealth/combat playstyles, but should discriminate against exploration/non-exploration playstyles.

Because in DX exploration is a big thing. If you do not do it you are missing out on the majority of the experience.
Rewarding xp for combat/stealth/ghosting, however, has many downsides.

Shralla
18th Sep 2013, 03:57
I mean... Yeah. It sounds like you don't want to play Deus Ex, you want to play another game that's kind of like Deus Ex.

neoWilks
18th Sep 2013, 22:57
I never felt that in the original Deus Ex. I explored because I found the world fascinating and wanted to know more about it and the people who live in it. The XP was a nice bonus for things that already felt like explorative accomplishments, especially when a lot of them were purely fluff-related and didn't yield any items. I absolutely felt that way in HR though, going through vents because I knew there was free XP in there and hacking everything I came across.
The point wasn't that each game in the series was equally bad at this, but that it's present throughout the series. I think you think I think this is a really big, totally deal-breaking thing for me when I never said it was. I only pointed out that certain playstyles have been encouraged over others from the first Deus Ex and that I'd prefer that reward type of encouragement wasn't there.

By all means, fill the world with tons of interesting things that are rewarding in and of themselves. Maybe I don't experience all of those moments with a single character because in one play through I take this door and in another I take that vent. But if I want to play a no-bull**** protagonist who doesn't dick around in the sewers while he has a job to do, I shouldn't be penalized with less equipment and fewer abilities.

I edited addressing the skill points for exploration sometime whilst you were typing your response. I understand what you are saying, but unfortunately you are a rare anomaly, someone who doesn't enjoy the great exploration to be had in DX1. There is no downside to rewarding xp for exploration except the fact that it encourages exploration itself. This is only a problem to the 0.1% doesn't want to explore everything. I'm not one who usually supports leaving out the minority...unless they have a strange perspective on fun :rasp:

I don't enjoy exploring that is pointless outside of the quest for more loot. I contrasted this earlier with exploration that is prompted by the narrative or predicament I find myself in. These are two very different things. If they were to change the story structure dramatically so that you weren't playing some sort of special agent with explicit orders on what to do, the former might be more understandable. But those are the kind of stories Deus Ex has told so far.

And again, I've already detailed the reasons why it's a problem. You've claimed that Deus Ex didn't have a sense of urgency to its missions. I'd disagree. At the very least, there aren't many times in Deus Ex in which dumpster diving should take priority.


Because in DX exploration is a big thing. If you do not do it you are missing out on the majority of the experience.
Rewarding xp for combat/stealth/ghosting, however, has many downsides.
The only measurable downside to not ghosting everything in HR is less overall experience. This is just as true of exploration. You could say that combat is sometimes more satisfying than stealth, but I could say the same thing about exploration/non-exploration.

I don't think you've made a compelling case for why exploration deserves disparate experience rewards, but the playstyle you employ in enemy encounters does not.

CyberP
19th Sep 2013, 01:00
I don't think you've made a compelling case for why exploration deserves disparate experience rewards, but the playstyle you employ in enemy encounters does not.

Only downside to exploration bonuses in DX1 as I see it:

-Encourages exploration when some may not want to explore/at times it doesn't make sense in the narrative to explore. However, it is one of many, many rewards for exploration & exploration is a huge part of DX so there would be no point in removing it.


Downsides to xp for combat/lethal/ghost/hacking as it stands in HR:

-Farming. Get ghost then return and take out the troops.
-Encourages using non-lethal takedowns over everything.
-Frequent xp pop-ups, whereas xp for exploration pop-ups are reasonably rare in DX1 and go in the small log output with everything else.
-In the case of hacking, it's farmville: Human Revolution edition

Accomplishment & character interaction bonuses in DX1 are basically exploration & objective complete bonuses and should be considered as such in this context.

ColBashar
19th Sep 2013, 05:05
I'm actually inclined to agree with Wilks here regarding experience points. Exploration in Deus Ex is and should be a reward in of itself and I don't think it fits in with the design philosophy of not favoring particular playstyles. If I were to make a Deus Ex game, I would reward experience only for completing objectives and nothing else. That would make character development a feature of game progression. It would therefore be easier on the side of the developer to balance level design and character traits if they know just how much experience the player will have accrued when they've reached a certain map.

Now in Deus Ex the experience point bonuses for exploration were mild in the grand scheme of things so I don't think they had a great impact. By that same token, I really don't think that they would be missed. It never really bothered me because, like most people in this thread, I'm one of those players who enjoys searching every nook and cranny of a location to uncover its secrets. But I appreciate that a person who doesn't play the game for exploration doesn't feel like they're being prodded in a certain direction the same why I didn't enjoy being prodded toward making non-lethal stealthy takedowns in Human Revolution.


Deus Ex isn't about the mission. It's about the world.

To me this fundamentally misses the point of what Deus Ex is really about. Deus Ex is about whatever you want it to be about! Whether that's the world, or the mission, exploration or takedowns, the beauty of the game is that it's so non-judgmental toward the player. Even if people like Wilks here only make up 1% of Deus Ex fans (and I suspect that number is actually low), the play style of that 1% is just as valid as the other 99%.

A person who chooses not to explore is already missing out on a lot in the way of loot but also narrative bits like datapads, dialogue, e-mails as well as equipment, passwords and the overall ambiance of the level. If a player chooses to sacrifice those because their inner roleplayer is telling them that they need to stop a nuclear missile from obliterating Vandenberg AFB, that's perfectly valid and reasonable. So why then should those players be further deprived of an abstract and arbitrary unit of game progression?

My guess is that the only reason that experience is awarded to players for exploration in the original Deus Ex is because it was still a novel concept for the time (System Shock 2 notwithstanding) and the developers felt that they needed a tool to teach players coming in from a strict shooter background. Those players might not understand exploration, but they understood experience, and so in seeking the latter they were educated in the former. Today, with the popularity of Bioshock, that mentality is more deeply ingrained in mainstream gaming culture and doesn't require a tutorial.

With regard to looting, that's a trickier point because we're talking about a hybrid RPG here and looting is simply a familiar trope of RPGs. One of my favourite moments the first time I played Human Revolution was during the second visit to Detroit when I received e-mails about office burglaries. Being an old school fan of CRPGs, I've been condition to search every container and grab anything that isn't bolted down. I realized in that e-mail that the game was holding a mirror up to my face and them >boom< I was suddenly -in- the world of Human Revolution. The same occurred in Deus Ex in the Paris hotel when Icarus messaged me about reexamining my priorities after I broke in to a hotel room for -no- reason except that it was there.

But the reality of playing an RPG is that we need to provide the player with resources and the rate of that delivery has to be gradual. Too quickly and the resources lose their value, the player comes to take them for granted. Too few and the player becomes frustrated. It's a delicate balancing act, made even more complicated by the sheer variety of different playstyles the player may employ. Missiles aren't going to do a whole lot of good for the player who invested all his points into pistols (though a savvy player could still find some use for it).

I do agree that games could and ought to become more sophisticated in rationalizing and telegraphing their practice of resource distribution. But on the whole I think Deus Ex does a pretty good job of this. Resources are often where you would expect them to be and the value of a resource often corresponds to its location. You might find a biocell or a multitool in a locked cabinet, while a weapon mod or augmentation canister might be stored in the safe. The fridge is stocked with beer and chips. Offices tend to have tranquilizer darts and prod chargers while while you'll find 10mm ammo and LAMs in the trooper barracks. I think it does about as well as can be expected.

And really, once you learn how to play well, resource scarcity rarely becomes an issue. An exception might be the assault rifle which tends to chew through magazines fairly quickly. Again, the finite number of resources in Deus Ex is a method of teaching. If you play inefficiently enough for scarcity to become an issue, the game indirectly encourages you to look for alternatives without actually telling you how to play. If you play efficiently then the game steps back and lets you do whatever you want.

These are the reasons why I LOVE this game.

CodenameD
19th Sep 2013, 07:36
What real urgency is there in DX1? Only saving Tiffany or escaping the unstable Ocean Lab & Superfreighter (which has a time limit). There is no real urgency.

Let me correct you, there are NO time limits in ANY missions in the original Deus Ex. Wanana test this theory? Load up the Tiffany or Oceanlab or Superfrieghter mission. And leave it on for like an hour. Two hours. There will be no effect. Timer missions wasn't properly implemented in the original Deus Ex engine.

Yes, some of you may have seen Tiffany was killed before you could get to her. The truth is if you raise the alarm, the MIBs and the troops inside will be triggered to check on Tiffany's cell. Tiffany's alliance is not set with the MJ12 troops in game and therefore they kill her instantly. Or when you sneak in Tiffany cell from the roof and make a lot of noise. This is not possible otherwise because Tiffany doesn't move (make noise) around her cell and there are no windows for the troops to spot Tiffany.


I only pointed out that certain playstyles have been encouraged over others from the first Deus Ex and that I'd prefer that reward type of encouragement wasn't there.

By all means, fill the world with tons of interesting things that are rewarding in and of themselves. Maybe I don't experience all of those moments with a single character because in one play through I take this door and in another I take that vent. But if I want to play a no-bull**** protagonist who doesn't dick around in the sewers while he has a job to do, I shouldn't be penalized with less equipment and fewer abilities.

I played a no-bullsh1t protagonist who doesn't dick around once. I did not feel I was being penalized. What I did not explore to get, I did not care about or I did not know existed. The Assault Rifles were common in later game and so were their ammo. You usually can't miss important Augs like Regen/Energy Shield, Ballistic Protection/EMP Shield or ADS/Spy Drone unless you are playing with the monitor turned off. And skill system covered whatever I lacked from not scouting around. (Heck, even that little Ambrosia Vial was there in plain sight! :D Now you can't complain you did not cure Everett's Gray Death because you were NOT dicking around :rolleyes:)

Yes you miss out a lot of little things like emails, conversations or code for a locked door leading to an armory. But you have no time to dick around do you? You have a mission to do. :cool:

Back to main topic:

I think, as someone put it: HR was clearly built to cater mainstream gamers.

"What's cool out there? "
"Take downs? noted!"
"Third person cover? noted!"
"Regen? noted!"
"Fans are gonna dig this game now!"

That was pretty much going through their heads when they were making HR.

And that's where they got the design philosophy wrong. The original wanted to be different. Not copy the then latest trends in gaming.

In the original you got the fat chunk of your skills from completing primary and secondary objectives. That gave you the incentive to try out the secondary objectives but hold on! The secondary objective markers were NOT marked on your HUD. You did NOT see an X with a distance counter and the direction where you simply have to move to get it accomplished. More often than not: you had to FIND it out yourself, in the VAST maps riddled with secret passages. Now we know why Deus Ex HR is easy. It tells you in the face: "just walk in this direction and get your XP. No bull****." "You are not dicking around Adam." "You have a lousy ex to find who doesn't give two sh1ts to you."

Remember the false floor in Alex's office? I figuired that out many years later. (Yellow highlight markers on by default were not common back then). That's called level design.

CyberP
19th Sep 2013, 13:13
Let me correct you, there are NO time limits in ANY missions in the original Deus Ex. Wanana test this theory? Load up the Tiffany or Oceanlab or Superfrieghter mission. And leave it on for like an hour. Two hours. There will be no effect. Timer missions wasn't properly implemented in the original Deus Ex engine.


Only the superfreighter did I believe there was actually a timer. Just checked the mission scripts, yep, couldn't find anything. What a shame. Could be done by triggers and events but I'll take your word for it.



Yes you miss out a lot of little things like emails, conversations or code for a locked door leading to an armory. But you have no time to dick around do you? You have a mission to do. :cool:


Exactly, you are already being penalized: Medkits, Aug Upgrades, Biocells, credits, skill points, mods, ammo, weapons, augs, lore, hidden routes, hackable terminals etc etc.

Exploration is how you are expected to play. Do NPC reactions change based on how fast you do missions? No. Exploration vs no exploration as a playstyle is not even debatable as far as I am concerned. If you are playing Deus Ex and you do not explore you are doing it wrong, even if this is counter to parts of the narrative.
Yes, Deus Ex is "play how you want", but no exploration is something the devs clearly laughed at, otherwise the game wouldn't be so expansive/would have NPCs react for playing fast and reward you and things like that.

Plenty of games have this "flaw", hidden secrets and such that the player looking for them breaks the urgency in the narrative. Well, **** the narrative! Gameplay>everything else, not story>everything.

ColBashar and Wilks make good cases, but you leave my exploration skill point bonuses alone, you hear! Next you'll be after my aug upgrades and weapon mods :p

ColBashar
19th Sep 2013, 16:17
Well let me put it in these terms. If I open up the fridge and find a beer inside, that kind of reward makes sense to me because I can see the logic of beers being stored in refrigerators. So if I'm in the game and I need a beer I can ask myself "If I were a beer, where would I be?" I might not see a beer in the area, but if I spot a refrigerator, I have a rationale to search it. Deus Ex goes even further than this. If I need a -cold- beer, but only have a warm one, and there's no refrigerator from which I might acquire a cool one, I can combine my warm beer with a fire extinguisher to make it cold. Again, there's a logic here to be followed, I can draw a correlation from fire extinguisher to cold.

No such correlation exists between finding a ventilation shaft and upgrading my rifle skill. No such correlation exists between getting into Jock's apartment and improving the effectiveness of my medkits. There's no justification for why my character should be superior to another just because he moved through or gained access to a certain part of the map.

Things like augmentation upgrades and weapon mods, those exist within the game world as objects and can be manipulated accordingly. They're items that can be found, purchased, spent, picked up, dropped, budgeted. In the case of Human Revolution, some items can even be sold. They have a role in the ecology of the world space.

Experience points aren't objects. They're entirely abstract units of measurement. The only thing you can do with them once acquired is allocate the points into skills/augmentations. Praxis kits are objects in that they can be found, traded, or purchased, but they become abstract as soon as they're picked up.

The experience point is a promise between the developer and the player. They're the developers means of rewarding the player for behaving in a particular manner, even if that manner is no more complicated than to not uninstall the game. When you give experience points to make non-lethal takedowns then game becomes -about- making non-lethal takedowns. When give experience points for killing people, then the game becomes -about- killing people. When you give experience points for hacking computers, the game becomes -about- hacking computers.

Your argument is that Deus Ex is -about- exploration. I disagree with that. It's perfectly reasonable to enjoy the game without making a concerted effort to explore. That doesn't mean that exploration isn't important, but as a means to and ends rather than the end itself... unless you want to make it so. And that's the point I'm trying to state. For you a large number of you, Deus Ex is about exploration because that's what you choose to make it about. But that's not what it -has- to be about for everyone else. For others it is just a tool to overcome obstacles and once the player has found a way to progress to the next stage or map, there's no longer a rational incentive for them to keep exploring even if other secrets exist to be found. When then should an artificial incentive be synthesized for a problem that doesn't exist?

Pinky_Powers
19th Sep 2013, 17:36
Exploration isn't about finding what you expect, it's about finding what's there. It's about asking, "what might be in there?" and discovering for yourself.

Chances are, you'll be better for it.

This makes sense in-game as well.

ColBashar
19th Sep 2013, 19:39
Chances are, you'll be better for it.

Which just goes back to the point that exploration is its own reward. I still haven't heard a justification for why players who explore for the sake of exploration deserve to have more skill ranks than players who don't. How is that any different from giving more Praxis points to players who dispatch guards non-lethally than players who kill? Or to players who hack a computer over ones who use a password? Nowhere else does game feel the need to pat the player on the head and say "good job, you're special". Why is exploration thus treated as from all of the other integral-yet-optional features of Deus Ex?

People who explore because they enjoy the practice, and I include myself in that count, are going to do so regardless of whether any XP is awarded for it. So all the XP does is penalize players who choose to follow a different playstyle. Even if we can't agree on what Deus Ex is about, I'm sure we can at least agree that it's not about that. As long as you're able to complete the game, and as long as you enjoy yourself along the way, all playstyles are equally valid.

Pinky_Powers
19th Sep 2013, 19:46
You have indeed heard all the reason right in the quote you took from me. Extrapolate outward.

Yes. Exploration is its own reward. But it makes all the sense in the world that good things might come of it. Experience will be earned. Items acquired.

If you look over THERE, there might be something. That's good and wonderful, in life and in gaming.

ColBashar
19th Sep 2013, 21:17
Then how do you explain the inconsistency that no experience comes from dispatching guards, hacking computer terminals, or picking locks? Are these not good things? Does it not stand that rewards should follow these feats? Any one of these can offer items and the latter two can be used to access information but only exploration offers experience.

Since the only thing experience gives you are skill ranks, what then is the correlation between exploration and skill ranks that does not exist between skill ranks and combat prowess, hacking, and picking locks? Why does finding Alex Jacobson's false floor have the potential to make me better at using pistols when shooting a guard does not? Why does crawling through a ventilation shaft have the potential to make me better at picking locks when actually picking a lock does not?

While the material rewards in Deus Ex are often logical and consistent within the world space (at least more so than most games), awarding experience points for exploration is simply arbitrary. If the experience point system were -completely- arbitrary, like Human Revolution, Fallout 3/NV or Shifter mod, there would at least be that consistency to tie it all together. But it's incongruous with the rest of vanilla Deus Ex's mechanics.

Pinky_Powers
19th Sep 2013, 22:44
Are these not good things? Does it not stand that rewards should follow these feats?

Yes and yes.

The only thing you have to watch out for, though, is giving away too much XP like they do in HR.

CyberP
19th Sep 2013, 23:26
Then how do you explain the inconsistency that no experience comes from dispatching guards, hacking computer terminals, or picking locks? Are these not good things? Does it not stand that rewards should follow these feats? Any one of these can offer items and the latter two can be used to access information but only exploration offers experience.
.

XP for those things is bad. Forget logic, gameplay wins. As we see in Human Revolution, recieving XP for hacking just encourages you to hack everything in sight, even if you have the code/password. Objectives and exploration only is how it should be.

Consider XP for lockpicking, it would encourage using picks on doors over blowing them up, finding the key, or any other method. You could counter this by suggesting xp is rewarded for blowing up doors and just about every action possible, but then we have constant xp pop-ups, no doubt plenty ways to farm xp, it would just suck. It would also encourage taking lockpick skill as you recieve XP for it, whilst demolitions skill for example you would not (except blowing doors or killing with 'nades, but you can do that without investing in the skill with ease). It would be a mess of a system, just like Human Revolution's.

Not only that but exploration bonuses are just cool and add excitement to some hidden areas and are a good substitute to loading up the player with even more ammo, medkits, biocells etc.

In DX1 they are in hidden areas. In Human Revolution they are in vents. Lol.
Heh, they are in secret areas in HR too, just exaggerating.

Pinky_Powers
20th Sep 2013, 03:34
I'm actually with CyberP on this (I know, right?!). He nailed it square-on.

Giving XP for the wrong things causes players to XP grind in those things simply for the sake of that XP. This absolutely happened in HR. Hacking became a thing you did for the XP. The XP wasn't just a reward, it was the goal. Fifteen computers in the room? You hacked every one whether or not you gave a $**1 about those memos from Corporate.

Some of the "alternative paths" felt that way as well. I often back-tracked, taking the alt-path afterword simply because it would gain me extra XP. I hated myself for it, and I hated EM, but I did it. We gamers are whores for that oh-so-sweet Experience Juice.

Human Revolution would have been better if they saved the Exploration XP for truly hidden places, and not for every alternative path running alongside the principle road.

As CyberP says, there are far more important things than what makes the most practically perfect sense.

CyberP
20th Sep 2013, 06:20
I'm actually with CyberP on this (I know, right?!). He nailed it square-on.


Please, point out times in which you have disagreed with me/I've had what is considered as wild opinions or times I have been straight wrong, 'cause this just looks weird otherwise.

If you don't know me by now....I always nail it :p

MasterTaffer
20th Sep 2013, 06:52
there's something so satisfying about getting through a whole mission without anyone knowing you are there.

You don't say?

68_pie
20th Sep 2013, 11:13
Please, point out times in which you have disagreed with me/I've had what is considered as wild opinions or times I have been straight wrong, 'cause this just looks weird otherwise.

If you don't know me by now....I always nail it :p

IMO, I think it's more that you are just generally a condescending prick. :)

CyberP
20th Sep 2013, 13:31
Heh. Nailed it ;)

neoWilks
21st Sep 2013, 21:01
Only downside to exploration bonuses in DX1 as I see it:
-Encourages exploration when some may not want to explore/at times it doesn't make sense in the narrative to explore. However, it is one of many, many rewards for exploration & exploration is a huge part of DX so there would be no point in removing it.

Yes, and stealth takedowns are only one of many many rewards for combat, so why would there be a point in removing disparate experience rewards for that? Besides, taking an offensive approach to levels means missing out on guard conversation. That's part of the world building, so why wouldn't we encourage the playstyle that introduces the player to more of this world?

If the implication is that exploration experience rewards are so little that they can't have any meaningful impact on character progression, then why are they included at all? Players shouldn't need a pat on the head for something that should be compelling in its own right.

Only downside to exploration bonuses in DX1 as I see it:
Downsides to xp for combat/lethal/ghost/hacking as it stands in HR:

-Farming. Get ghost then return and take out the troops.
-Encourages using non-lethal takedowns over everything.
-Frequent xp pop-ups, whereas xp for exploration pop-ups are reasonably rare in DX1 and go in the small log output with everything else.
-In the case of hacking, it's farmville: Human Revolution edition

Accomplishment & character interaction bonuses in DX1 are basically exploration & objective complete bonuses and should be considered as such in this context.
All of these things aside from experience alerts---something that's a problem in the UI department, not with the mechanics of how experience is rewarded---could be flipped around and said about exploration. Exploration can be just as much a grind as taking out guards. It's just a grind you happen to enjoy.

The biggest problem is still that this encourages exploration even in scenarios where pointless exploration would be counterproductive to your current mission. Being as these games are supposed to be immersive simulations, behavior like this should be discouraged. It is not immersive to be able to set down an urgent mission, **** around for a few hours, then pick it back up like nothing's changed. This was precisely the same problem with the Oblivion invasion and dragon apocalypse in the most recent Elder Scrolls games.

If you want to reward players for pointless exploration, then don't construct narratives around urgent, world-changing events. So far, none of the Deus Ex games have established a more leisurely context for their action. This is the problem.


I played a no-bullsh1t protagonist who doesn't dick around once. I did not feel I was being penalized. What I did not explore to get, I did not care about or I did not know existed. The Assault Rifles were common in later game and so were their ammo. You usually can't miss important Augs like Regen/Energy Shield, Ballistic Protection/EMP Shield or ADS/Spy Drone unless you are playing with the monitor turned off. And skill system covered whatever I lacked from not scouting around. (Heck, even that little Ambrosia Vial was there in plain sight! :D Now you can't complain you did not cure Everett's Gray Death because you were NOT dicking around :rolleyes:)

I'm not really interested in whether you feel you're penalized. You are. Objectively. I mean, there's likely plenty of people who play through HR guns blazing and don't feel that missing out on stealth, non-lethal takedown experience is meaningfully punitive. But that's not a justification to keep those experience points in place.

----

I really didn't expect this to be such a controversial statement to make. Deus Ex is about playing how you want. People seem to be in agreement that disparate rewards for particular combat styles are antithetical to this idea. But those same people hold that experience rewards for exploration should remain simply because they happen to enjoy that particular playstyle. I'm not seeing any real consistency in perspective.

HERESY
21st Sep 2013, 21:54
Y
The biggest problem is still that this encourages exploration even in scenarios where pointless exploration would be counterproductive to your current mission. Being as these games are supposed to be immersive simulations, behavior like this should be discouraged. It is not immersive to be able to set down an urgent mission, **** around for a few hours, then pick it back up like nothing's changed. This was precisely the same problem with the Oblivion invasion and dragon apocalypse in the most recent Elder Scrolls games.

If you want to reward players for pointless exploration, then don't construct narratives around urgent, world-changing events. So far, none of the Deus Ex games have established a more leisurely context for their action. This is the problem.

I've been in agreement with a lot of what you said but I disagree with the above. What is "immersive" to you may be nothing to the next guy. For example, moving people with phantom limbs, being able to see through objects instead of over or around them, being able to pick up objects or open doors/vents with the press of a button is not immersion for me. However, for others they're able to see past that. Now mind you, they don't give a logical explanation as to why they're able to see past it, but at the end of the day I'm not in their head.

You can construct narratives around urgent, world-changing events, but if the player chooses to explore during these events there should be repercussions. The ME series does exactly this and in many cases the plot can change as a result of it.

neoWilks
21st Sep 2013, 22:09
I've been in agreement with a lot of what you said but I disagree with the above. What is "immersive" to you may be nothing to the next guy. For example, moving people with phantom limbs, being able to see through objects instead of over or around them, being able to pick up objects or open doors/vents with the press of a button is not immersion for me. However, for others they're able to see past that. Now mind you, they don't give a logical explanation as to why they're able to see past it, but at the end of the day I'm not in their head.

I'd disagree. Certain things are are objectively immersive. A cohesive world/narrative that reacts to the player ignoring urgent events is objectively more immersive than one that does not. That doesn't mean that some players can't easily look past that incident of non-immersion. The rest of the game might be enrapturing enough that it barely registers as a blip. But that just means the game as a whole is sufficiently immersive, even if each individual element isn't entirely up to snuff.


You can construct narratives around urgent, world-changing events, but if the player chooses to explore during these events there should be repercussions. The ME series does exactly this and in many cases the plot can change as a result of it.

Right, that's pretty much always better. Even HR has a little bit of this. If you putz around in Sarif Headquarters for too long in the beginning, the plant hostages can die before you get there. But this sort of reactivity is generally pretty rare. And when it is present, its more often some arbitrary timer with a "Game Over" screen if you don't complete objective X in time rather than continuing on, changing the world and story dependent on these consequences.

HERESY
21st Sep 2013, 22:24
I'd disagree. Certain things are are objectively immersive. A cohesive world/narrative that reacts to the player ignoring urgent events is objectively more immersive than one that does not.

Again, this is based on your opinion, experiences and what you desire from a game. Some may say it's absolutely ok and say, "hey it's just a game, I can also pause in the game and no one is complaining" or "time isn't real in this game", so again, it's a matter of the person playing the game. What is more to you may be nothing to me or the next guy. What is more important to me may be nothing to you or the next guy. You can't define immersion for me just like I can't define it for you.


That doesn't mean that some players can't easily look past that incident of non-immersion. The rest of the game might be enrapturing enough that it barely registers as a blip. But that just means the game as a whole is sufficiently immersive, even if each individual element isn't entirely up to snuff.

See above.


Right, that's pretty much always better. Even HR has a little bit of this. If you putz around in Sarif Headquarters for too long in the beginning, the plant hostages can die before you get there. But this sort of reactivity is generally pretty rare. And when it is present, its more often some arbitrary timer with a "Game Over" screen if you don't complete objective X in time rather than continuing on, changing the world and story dependent on these consequences.

A lot of games, especially those with a strong emphasis on narrative, need to find innovative ways to get around the game over screen. I know Beyond Two Souls doesn't have a game over screen and even though the main character can die, from what I've read, the story will continue. You can read more about that here:

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-09/04/david-cage-beyond-two-souls

In addition, that link contains something I've said in MANY of my classic posts.


As long as what you do in the game world is consistent with the rules of that world or with the behaviour of the characters you should never run up against the boundaries or spoil the immersion.

Think about that for a bit because every time I bring it up on this board I hear crickets or arguments that don't address this simple fact. Things have to be consistent with the rules of that world or the behavior of the characters within that world. I've said this time and time again and people need to accept it as fact.

neoWilks
21st Sep 2013, 23:08
Again, this is based on your opinion, experiences and what you desire from a game. Some may say it's absolutely ok and say, "hey it's just a game, I can also pause in the game and no one is complaining" or "time isn't real in this game", so again, it's a matter of the person playing the game. What is more to you may be nothing to me or the next guy. What is more important to me may be nothing to you or the next guy. You can't define immersion for me just like I can't define it for you.

Again, I'm not talking about what is important to me or some other hypothetical player. Immersive simulation features---meaning those game systems designed to closely match reality---can be objectively measured. The natural end-point for immersive sims is a game that is "as real as reality."

The ability to pause, therefore, is objectively less immersive than the seamless flow of time. At the same time, the inability to fluidly access your inventory and select the appropriate item is also less immersive. So what we have is a sort of tradeoff where the game sacrifices immersion in one way---pausing the flow of time---while increasing it in another---giving the player a smoother means of accessing a wide variety of items from their pack. Some games will blur this further by making time slow down, but not stop, while the player accesses their inventory. This means the realness of the game, as a whole, might feel more real than its individual parts. It's gestalt. At least, that's the idea.

In the same sense, a reactive world is always more immersive than one that is static.

Bear in mind that none of this is a quality judgement. When I say feature A is objectively more immersive than feature B, I'm not saying feature A is more enjoyable. Some people might enjoy the contrived unrealness of an arcade game, for instance. That's not the point here. The argument I'm making is that there are certain mechanical implementations or world designs that must be more immersive than others.

Given that the Deus Ex is purportedly an immersive sim, we should be able to look at the gameplay mechanics within and see whether or not they are supportive of that goal.

HERESY
22nd Sep 2013, 00:22
Again, I'm not talking about what is important to me or some other hypothetical player. Immersive simulation features---meaning those game systems designed to closely match reality---can be objectively measured. The natural end-point for immersive sims is a game that is "as real as reality."

We've already discussed this. Everyone is going to see "immersion" as something different and something does not need to "closely match reality" to be "immersive." The quote from the link I posted is proof of this. In addition, while some people such as myself want to see things match reality as closely as possible, and have complaints about the things previously listed, others couldn't care less. Again, none of this has anything to do with matching reality but everything to do with conveying the reality of that specific world.


The ability to pause, therefore, is objectively less immersive than the seamless flow of time.

In your opinion. Others may actually find it offensive or immersion breaking. In addition, some would say the ability to save and pick up where you left off, without any time passing by, is immersion breaking. Moreover, you have an additional problem when it comes to the use of "less." In some cases the phrase "less is more" is applicable and, since there is no rubric or way to quantify the majority of the things currently under discussion, it all goes back to the individual.


At the same time, the inability to fluidly access your inventory and select the appropriate item is also less immersive.

See above but not all games do this (Dead Space is an example.)


So what we have is a sort of tradeoff where the game sacrifices immersion in one way---pausing the flow of time---while increasing it in another---giving the player a smoother means of accessing a wide variety of items from their pack.

A tradeoff? Sacrifice? Some would say this is a cheat system and games should not operate in such fashion.


Some games will blur this further by making time slow down, but not stop, while the player accesses their inventory. This means the realness of the game, as a whole, might feel more real than its individual parts. It's gestalt. At least, that's the idea.

Already addressed.


In the same sense, a reactive world is always more immersive than one that is static.

Again, this goes back to the one in the driver seat. In addition, a reactive world can be done poorly while the static world done properly, and the user may still find the static world more immersive. Why? Execution.


Bear in mind that none of this is a quality judgement.

It all boils down to quality judgement and if it suits your needs, nothing more.


When I say feature A is objectively more immersive than feature B, I'm not saying feature A is more enjoyable. Some people might enjoy the contrived unrealness of an arcade game, for instance. That's not the point here. The argument I'm making is that there are certain mechanical implementations or world designs that must be more immersive than others.

Nothing, "must be more immersive." It all boils down to the two things listed in the previous post (the quote) and if things are properly executed. The degree of importance may be determined by the designer but it is the player who has the final call.


Given that the Deus Ex is purportedly an immersive sim, we should be able to look at the gameplay mechanics within and see whether or not they are supportive of that goal.

And what exactly is the goal?

neoWilks
22nd Sep 2013, 01:27
We've already discussed this. Everyone is going to see "immersion" as something different and something does not need to "closely match reality" to be "immersive." The quote from the link I posted is proof of this. In addition, while some people such as myself want to see things match reality as closely as possible, and have complaints about the things previously listed, others couldn't care less. Again, none of this has anything to do with matching reality but everything to do with conveying the reality of that specific world.

You're arguing semantics. You're saying, "Well, some people might define 'immersivion' differently!" Okay! Great! When using terms like this, it's understandable that there might be some misunderstanding as to what exactly is meant. That's why I took the time to define "immersion" in the context of this discussion. And so the word itself is rather irrelevant. We can call it "PURPLE", if you prefer. What matters is what is meant by PURPLE.

Now, given the definition I've provided, do you still disagree that there is an objective means of measuring how PURPLE any given game system might be?

HERESY
22nd Sep 2013, 01:52
You're arguing semantics. You're saying, "Well, some people might define 'immersivion' differently!" Okay! Great! When using terms like this, it's understandable that there might be some misunderstanding as to what exactly is meant. That's why I took the time to define "immersion" in the context of this discussion. And so the word itself is rather irrelevant. We can call it "PURPLE", if you prefer. What matters is what is meant by PURPLE.

There is a problem with the way you defined it. The first problem is it isn't even close to the established general consensus here. The second is it isn't even close to what has been established outside of here. So no, it isn't matter of semantics because at the end of the day, what is immersive varies from person to person. What is meant by it is what matters and what has MEANING to the next guy may have NO MEANING to the guy standing next to him. Now we're back at square one again.


Now, given the definition I've provided, do you still disagree that there is an objective means of measuring how PURPLE any given game system might be?

This is redundant. There is no "objective means of measuring" any of this. Why? Because it all goes back to value systems and where each individual, developers included, place value.

Spyhopping
22nd Sep 2013, 11:45
This seems helpful: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/KentNORMAN/20110611/7769/Measuring_the_Immersivenss_of_Games_and_the_Immerseability_of_Players.php

Jerion
22nd Sep 2013, 14:55
This seems helpful: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/KentNORMAN/20110611/7769/Measuring_the_Immersivenss_of_Games_and_the_Immerseability_of_Players.php

Gamasutra writers have a lot of intriguing things to say about quantifying 'immersion'. It's a good topic to explore.

neoWilks
22nd Sep 2013, 15:44
There is a problem with the way you defined it. The first problem is it isn't even close to the established general consensus here. The second is it isn't even close to what has been established outside of here. So no, it isn't matter of semantics because at the end of the day, what is immersive varies from person to person. What is meant by it is what matters and what has MEANING to the next guy may have NO MEANING to the guy standing next to him. Now we're back at square one again.

You aren't reading what I wrote. It isn't about "it", it's about the definition. "Immersive" in the context of a discussion concerning immersive sims does refer to the simulation of reality, or the goal of making the player feel as if they are actually there. It therefore follows that the closer a game approaches reality, the more immersive that title is.

This is a distinctly different idea than simply engrossing the player, which could also be called immersion. And if you came into the thread and clearly defined immersion as that, it would be wrong of me to say, "Nuh-uh, that's not what immersion means to everybody!" because we've already established the definitions we'll be using in this discussion. At this point, I'd no longer be having an actual discussion, but arguing about what words should be used to communicate the ideas the discussion is actually about. Now we're talking past each other instead of actually having that discussion.

So, let me start over. This is the idea I'm conveying: an immersive simulation title has the goal of simulating a reality and then making the player feel as though they are actually in that reality. That is where the term comes from, a simulation in which the player is an operating agent rather than merely an observer or a guiding hand at the highest level. We can call this idea anything. I was using the shorthand "immersion", and clearly explained that. But if that word is too loaded for you, we can call it anything else.

So what word would you like me to use to describe that idea?


This is redundant. There is no "objective means of measuring" any of this. Why? Because it all goes back to value systems and where each individual, developers included, place value.

Again, this isn't about value. A game could be a one to one replica of reality and it'd be perfectly acceptable for someone to hate it. But that has nothing to do with the point I'm making. That game would, objectively, be more "immersive", operating under the aforementioned definition, than something that models reality more loosely.