True Gaming

NotTheOnlyGamer, in For those who grew up without DLCs and microtransactions and games went unchanged after launch. How has the adjustment been to current day monetization and game updates?
NotTheOnlyGamer avatar

It pushed me straight back to uncompromising piracy, and a total refusal to give money for any reason unless the game is fully offline and on physical media.


I believe in piracy for "demo" purposes. If the studio "forgot" to provide an official demo, you as a consumer should take matters into your own hands and provide the 'demo'. Delete it when you've played a 'demo's worth', which did have a fairly industry standard meaning back in the day.

When I became willing to play this 1 older game that shall remain nameless, and pay for it, I went looking for a Game Of The Year edition to pay for or some such. For some reason, this particular game never released a comprehensive GOTY. They expected you to download a quite silly amount of expensive DLC for trivial features. Slightly more powerful items in a RPG, basically. Those items even had the effect of ruining the game balance, so I'm not convinced it was even a good idea to have the DLC. Yet they expected you to pay for it sight unseen.

This was all driven by some kind of big corporate trick or scumbagging. I think it was an EA published title. Because they were clearly being greedy with an older title, I said to hell with them. It is one of the only games I've played in its entirety, that I didn't pay for, that wasn't abandonware. If you're gonna be like that and your price on goods is not reasonable, I don't feel I have to cooperate with you.

Now that I know what's going on with DLC games, and also the low level of quality that's going to result when a publisher engages in such practices, I'm not likely to seek a 'demo' of such a game at all. I will probably retain my demo only, not pirating purity in that regard. But to the extent I've ever been impure, that once, it was directly driven by the DLC. I was like waaaat, srs, gtfo.

ZeroSkill_Sorry, in Why is it so much more amusing to watch someone play a video game than it is to play the game itself?

I'm 40, and I can't stand watching someone else play a game. Even when my kids are playing, I'm like, dude, you're doing wrong, gimme the controller. The very thought of watching a "professional" play on YouTube or whatever, irritates me.

asteroidrainfall, in For those who grew up without DLCs and microtransactions and games went unchanged after launch. How has the adjustment been to current day monetization and game updates?
asteroidrainfall avatar

I remember the first time I came in contact with DLC, coincidentally it was my first Steam game: Supreme Commander 2.

My first thought was: “What the fuck is this? Why isn’t this in the game?”. Later on, when DLC were getting more substantial, my thoughts changed to; ”Are they just rebranding Expansion Packs?”.

As other people noted, I don’t care about cosmetics. Even for Dota 2, which I’ve put over a thousand hours in and have played it 10 years, I just sell them on the marketplace to fund my next summer sale. The only time I buy stuff is when I want to support the game’s development.

My gaming time is too limited to worry about battle passes and shit like that. I just wanna click heads and farm creeps.

Edit: the one thing that does bum me out though is that back before item shops and shit, skins and unlocks used to mean something. Like, you’d see some dude in your Halo 3 lobby with a dope-ass helmet and you knew that he earned that from getting a Killtacular with only deagle headshots. Now it’s just, dude’s level 150. He must’ve swiped for the ultimate edition, XP boosters, or has too much free time.


Paying once for a game was so nice. You pay and then you can finish the game at a your own pace. There are still games like this but more often now even if you pay someone is always trying to get another 2.99 or 9.99 from you. Before you could get a cool skin because you did something now you pay.

I take some satisfaction in always being the most boring character in a multiplayer lobby. In halo 3 I worked so hard for the samurai or ninja armour but now it feels like it isn’t part of the game at all.

parrot-party avatar

Getting updates has been extremely nice as well though. There's plenty of old games that had design issues or you wished something was a bit more fleshed out. Back then, you didn't really expect much in the way of updates though. PC got some patches but it was mostly bugs. Console was totally stuck with what you got.

While I'm not a DLC person, I can't deny it can be fun watching a game you play continue to evolve.

dipbeneaththelasers, in You get to play one videogame for the first time again. What you picking?

Outer Wilds. A lot of games have a high level of replayability, but your first playthrough of Outer Wilds is something you never get back.

bee avatar

This is the answer, and for anyone who hasn't played Outer Wilds it's still their answer and they just don't know it yet.

Snowfall avatar

That’s one of those that I really gotta finish. I just wish the mouse and keyboard controls were a little better.

HunnyBadger avatar

My buddy gifted me this game so he could experience my first playthrough as well.

TeaHands, avatar

All of us degenerate Outer Wilds enjoyers spreading it to our friends just for the merest shadow of the feeling we've lost and can never recapture...


If anyone hasn’t played it and has a VR headset, please play it in VR. Absolutely phenomenal experience.

TeaHands, avatar

Really didn't think they could keep that same sense of mystery and wonder with the DLC, but they absolutely smashed it. And yes, this was also my immediate thought in answer to the question.

Nepenthe, in Why is it so much more amusing to watch someone play a video game than it is to play the game itself?
Nepenthe avatar

It's all the good things you get from gaming (learning from mistakes, interesting plot, social bonding from co-op experience) with none of the shit parts (fucking up and dying, grinding, etc.). If it's a particularly difficult or grueling game that I nonetheless have interest in, I can dip out til something cool happens. I get to share in their reactions and find gaming by myself a bit lonely for that reason, because I'm used to being able to share what one of us is doing. Even letsplays, I watch just as much for the commentary as the gameplay, if not a little bit more.

Brome, in You get to play one videogame for the first time again. What you picking?
Brome avatar


I'll never forget the day I started playing this game. It was so cool and so different from anything else I had played that I couldn't stop playing, and finished the game in one session. Awesome night!

Hugo, in You get to play one videogame for the first time again. What you picking?
Hugo avatar

Ultima Online maybe.


Oh god I loved that game. As an MMO, it had to learn so many hard lessons since it was so new and different


Man... That was such a trip. A friend of mine brought it over because my computer was much better and I had a 3rd party ISP lightning fast 56k connection. It was so crazy just to see the little world. I still log into the private servers every few years just to see some of the new tech fans are throwing on top of it.


Im with you uo was magical

VirtualAlias, in Why is it so much more amusing to watch someone play a video game than it is to play the game itself?

I watch people play games like Detroit: Become Human and TellTale games because if your game is just an interactive visual novel, I may as well outsource the QTEs.

ivanafterall, in Why is it so much more amusing to watch someone play a video game than it is to play the game itself?
ivanafterall avatar

I'm the opposite. I rarely find it enjoyable to watch someone else play a game, to the point that I have a hard time understanding things like Twitch, much less that game streaming more broadly took off the way it has.


Yeah, if I'd been given a chance to buy Twitch in its first year for $100, I would have said no. I play a lot of video games but watching video game streaming for fun is beyond my comprehension. It was one of my first "No, it's the children who are wrong" moments.

ivanafterall avatar

Ha, well put. Exactly. "Ah, you young'uns and your silly fads and phases..."


I could MAYBE understand it if the person playing is my actual friend irl and we're having a conversation while he's playing, or he's telling me tips and tricks for parts i get stuck on or whatever. But if there's a choice between me playing a game, or watching a video of someone else play the game, I can't imagine choosing to watch someone else play instead of me playing.

Kaldo, in The double-edged sword of survival game mechanics
Kaldo avatar

The thing is that you don't (generally) want players to overcome the same obstacles 50 hours in the game that they've been overcoming 2 hours into the game. Feeding your character is fun for a while but it's just a boring chore when you do it for the 100th time, and the gameplay has to evolve in a way that it adds something new, interesting to the loop.

I think valheim actually does it well overall, it is an improvement to the usual survival formula in almost every way.

  • Hunger is important but not a ticking bomb that you have to constantly keep track of.
  • Travel and distances matter very much but you get many tools to make it easier, but never completely obsolete!, in the form of carts, boats and portals.
  • Building a base is important for comfort levels, safety and crafting but you're never forced to go too deep into that - its up to players and their interest if they want to make it a huge mead house with walls all around you, or just a square box.
  • Difficulty doesn't increase on its own, you decide when to face bosses or embark in new areas
  • New areas present new challenges rather than just scaling enemies, and as you master the area you also find ways to mitigate those challenges so they aren't too annoying (usually potions or capes)

So yeah it's a difficult balance to achieve, but I think most games get it wrong because they add stuff like this without understanding how it actually affects gameplay, they are just following a checklist of "oh yeah of course we need to have mechanic A in game in this genre". A common example is hunger in Subnautica IMHO - it is necessary for the immersion but eventually it's just a chore that doesn't add much to the game, it should have had more, something to keep it fun and important later on.


Agree 100%. I just decided to give Valheim a try and I’m really digging it. One thing that was annoying me in other survival games like The Long Dark is that you constantly have to keep an eye on your meters and it just becomes a chore, not a game. I dont want to come from work and do more chores in my game, I want to have fun. Also, I like to have clearly defined goals, otherwise I see no point in playing. Valheim gives you these goals of upgrading your gear, defeating bosses so you always have something to work towards. Survival game where the only goal is to survive as long as possible is pointless to me.

metalingus avatar

Valheim makes feeding yourself interesting by also making it so that different types of foods give different benefits.

You can eat a variety of things to round yourself out for different situations. Some things are better for combat while others are better for increasing your stamina to make it easier to run around building/gathering.

Hillock, in The double-edged sword of survival game mechanics

One Hour One Life got an interesting solution to this problem. Your character is only alive for up to 1-hour. This allows for a stronger focus on the survival aspect as dying isn't such a big deal. Death is even expected.

Players start as a baby born to an existing player or spawn as an Eve who will then have a chance of giving birth to new children. Progress is mostly about passing it on to new generations. As an Eve survival is extremely difficult and even just creating a campfire and some basic clothing can be difficult for new players. But even if that's all you managed, you passed that on to your babies who won't have to go through making this and can focus on other projects. It's common practice to find a young player and pass on all your belongings to them when you are getting too old and you know your time is coming.

This life cycle of being born to different mothers in different villages that are in different stages also means you can experience different levels of progress. You can be born into a village that is still in the foraging stages and building a farm is a priority. Another village has the basics of survival taken care of and you can start to go up the technology level such as building a smithy. You can upgrade from basic fur clothing to a proper textile industry with dyes. There are so many life-improvement and luxury projects you can start that even in a super-advanced village there is usually something to do that is still progression. The last resort is always to build a car and explore the world (something I have never managed).

And all of these steps matter, better clothing gives better insulation and reduces your character's hunger rate. Roasting meat over a campfire is less nutritious than a meat pie cooked in an actual oven. Taming horses to have a horse you can ride upgrades mobility so much. Something that often becomes necessary to gather materials.

For some that 1-hour cycle is a bit too fast and there are variants of the games that change the duration. I like the balance of having time to do something but still dying of Two Hours One Life more.

eltimablo, in You get to play one videogame for the first time again. What you picking?

Oblivion. As much shit as it gets, I think it's still the best Elder Scrolls game to date, with Morrowind as a close second.

Jojo-Mcfrost572 avatar

Agree. First elder scrolls. I prefer oblivion to Skyrim. It was Soo buggy but so good. I just preferred the vibe. It was more fun and less serious.

Andi, in You get to play one videogame for the first time again. What you picking?

Horizon Zero Down. My favorite game ever.

smokinjoe, in You get to play one videogame for the first time again. What you picking?
smokinjoe avatar

Chrono Trigger.

I get to run through all 13 endings again? Experience all those plot twists and storylines? Yes. Please.

That first playthrough on New Game + was magical.


It still blows my mind that a game that old had so many different endings and playthroughs that felt unique. And the soundtrack is legendary.

kehtea, in There are very few modern games I have enjoyed it are even looking forward to. Am I just getting old?
kehtea avatar

Idk if this is an age thing, but just how the market is lately.

AAA games are so expensive I don't even look their way for the most part. My gaming library is big enough that for the most part I can entertain myself until what I want might goes on sale.

Companies that never put their games on sale, hardly get my coin these days. Not because they don't go on sale, but because I don't feel interested enough to buy most of them at full price.

There are a few games that I feel I need to get at launch, but it's honestly been a long time since that happened. Launches also have a good chance of being buggy, so it's safer to wait until after some reception of the game goes around.

I'm more interested in smaller studios and indie games these days. The corporate side of gaming takes out a lot of the inspiration that sparks the idea of the game. I find less corporate teams are able to connect with the audience better.

There are of course exceptions to all this, but they feel rarer and rarer.


That’s a great point. Price is a big deal when there are so many great old games that are either super cheap or already in my library.

I’ve yet to play fallout new Vegas, resident evil revelations, disco Elysium despite having owned them for years.

I think once I get a steam deck, I’ll really push through my backlog.

Coelacanth avatar

Just gonna say real quick that Disco Elysium is a very special experience that I highly recommend. It hits you hard and can be very cathartic, especially if you have any personal experience with depression, addiction, failure, nostalgia, loss and/or regret.

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