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Thread: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

  1. #1
    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    So....didn't know where this went, but off topic seems as good a place as any.

    My recent problems with steam, have now led me to a variety of forums to read, documents to find, and tools to use. It makes me pine for the day when I just popped in a cd, and it installed. It wasn't always perfect, sure, but it was far nicer then the DRM's and other devices of today. I used stardock, it never seemed that intrusive.

    I think the days of major pc games as single titles is slowly ending. Each year there are less titles then the year before, each year I must use no means to get the games I want (DRM, Steam, etc, etc).

    The pc isle at gamestop and similiar venues has constantly shrunk. This isn't to say MMO's don't do well, quite the contrary, they do very well. I think this is mostly do to the fact that despite the patches, content, and other items, they are easy, intutive.

    Most indepdent studios have died (Black Isle, Trokia, Sierra(oh I know they arn't officially dead but might as well be), Interplay (Despite the revival mostly dead).) others have been swallowed (Mythic by EA, Bioware by EA, Activision by EA, CA by Sega.)

    It makes me think that most of what we are going to be left with, at the end of the day are a 2-3 strategy titles and mmo's and whatever other rpgs, fps's, and oher games on PS3 and XBOX sell enough that we on pc can get them 6 months to a year later.

    Perhaps the developers and the computer markers are partially to blame. As consoles have moved to longer lasting consoles to get more bang for the buck pcs have jumped in requirements and components expodentially nearly every year.

    I'm not really sure there is a point to this. Nostaligia? Random boredom? Just wishing the two strat titles I just bought simply installed and worked? I unno.

    It does make long for the 90's tho, particuarly 98 and 99, when the pc games were many, the consoles were little more then a joke, and the most I'd spend on a spanking new pc system was 800 bucks.

    I don't think pc gaming will die, as the saying goes, to many people own pcs for that. I do think it is evolving though, and at the moment i'm just not sure I care for where it is heading.

  2. #2
    Probably Drunk Member Reverend Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    Evolution dictates that the best fit will survive, but that doesn't disclude the less-fit from evolving out of a bad situation to become more fit, i.e. better.

    In other words, give it time.

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    Useless Member Member Fixiwee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    You have a lot of valid points, but I am wondering; how much room for inovation is there? Yeah there are some games that try something clever and new, but based on the typical categories you will always end up with a RPG mixed up with RTS etc.
    Some of the gaming companies on the other hand try to make the wheel rounder instead of reinventing the wheel (like team fortress 2 or Left4Dead)

    Having said, or questioned that, I agree that I haven't felt this astounding moments in recent years like I did when I played stuff like Deus Ex or Baldurs Gate 2 and tought "That feels like something new" (Which in fact it wasn't but I'm too tired to explain.)

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    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    I'm going to belittle and praise a game at the same time (Because honestly this thread has no other point then discuss pc games in current evoultion)


    Years ago, when World of Warcraft first came out I paid it mute attention at best. I saw it though and was impressed by the fact that someone had managed to take MMO's such as EQ and Ultima and form a game that was easy to play, easy to use, and fun to be a part of. It made me feel it was new, it was the beginning of something, when in reality countless MMO's had come before it (Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot)

    The different was that this one had been perfected, not drastically changed. You still leveled. You still quested. You had fun.

    In the years that followed it seemed a variety of MMO's tried to become WoW killers, and failed. Some tried new methods of game play (Age of Conan, Warhammer), others tried to repeat the sucess (Everquest 2, Lords of the Ring Online) yet in the end they forgot that when something is refined it can only have that true affect once. If you've only seen a pick up all your life and you see a sports car, you'd go "Wow...look at how different that is"..but the second time you see a sports car, even a new one, it can't impress you as much as the first.

    It's not I don't like remakes, quite the contrary I had alot of fun with Red Alert 2 and Command and Conquer 3, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fable 2, and Fallout 3.

    Yet it makes me wonder if the days of new games drastically draws to a close. I looked this year for new games, not new ideas mind you just new games. The list is slim. I mean just think of all the major titles this year. Any genre,

    Empire Total War
    Dawn of War 2
    Sims 3
    Company of Heroes Tales of Valor
    Godfather 2
    The list goes, on, and on

    Now sure, there will be a occassional title that may break the mold but even new titles are old titles that are being remade.

    Dragon Age Origins is the spirtual sucessor of Baldur's Gate Series
    Left 4 Dead is a spiritual sucessor of a handful of zombie shooters

    What is my point? Do I want them to not do sequels and trilogies to great games? No, I do. I certainly look forward to Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2 as much as anyone. I understand the new global schemes have a fundemental market and they must cater to it.

    Yet I do pine for general new games.

    It saddens me that when companies try to do something new the inevitably are to small to suceed or die in the effort.

    The only innovative title I have seen in the past 2-3 years was Puzzle Quest, and honestly I am just not that into puzzles.

    I feel everything is moving online now. I think with Empire and Dawn of War 2 both moving to steam while we may never see the fabled strategy mmo, we may very well see a variety of downloadable content that costs 10 or 15 dollars every so many months.

    Perhaps microtransactions are the way of the future and perhaps the online landscape is the last platform developers feel truly holds any mystery or potential for great wealth.

    Still I think if someone came up with something original, not new, just original, that it would be a large sucess.

    Perhaps i'm dreaming, after all the largest selling games are Mario, World of Warcraft and Various Sports Titles.

    Still....i just ponder.

  5. #5
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    Good points you raise, and I share your curiosity about what comes next.

    I remember the 80's, sitting behind the keyboard of my Texas Instruments "toy", hooked up to a TV screen - thumbing through a 600-page manual (in a 3-ring binder) typing furiously in BASIC for hours, just to make the TV screen switch from blue, to red, to black, to yellow, and back to blue. And being fascinated. (I know: I am easily amused).

    The bottom line was: I was trying to assert some control over what was displayed on that cathode-ray tube.

    PC gaming is that. Maybe all gaming is that:

    -some percentage of skill, mixed with
    -some percentage of chance, to produce
    -some degree of spectacle, that I can control

    The last 10 years have seen an increased emphasis on the "spectacle" bit, with arguments among players about the 'right' blend of percentages of skill and chance that seems right to them.

    With the further deployment of PCs throughout the world, and the proliferation of broadband connection speeds undreamt-of just 10 years ago, I think we'll see fewer and fewer stand-alone off-the-shelf games, and more of the WoW model: huge games had for a tiny (financially acceptable) weekly or monthly subscription fee. People/players decry that now, because we're used to "owning" our games. But we don't really. We just own the little plastic disc they come on, and the hardware needed to make the 1's and 0's on the disc mean something.

    Random thoughts of an old gamer.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  6. #6
    Probably Drunk Member Reverend Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan View Post
    People/players decry that now, because we're used to "owning" our games. But we don't really. We just own the little plastic disc they come on, and the hardware needed to make the 1's and 0's on the disc mean something.
    Now, hold on. That means we own a copy of the game and we should be free to do what we will with it, outside of selling copies of it. An online subscription for every game would finally obliterate the ability to wield that right.

    As to the original topic, I will repeat (albeit a bit clearer this time) that I feel that, as unoriginal developers are slowly phased out, as we are seeing now, their void will be taken up by more quality product; and while these games will never be as original as the original innovations, they may be able to make up for this with excellence of product.
    Last edited by Reverend Joe; 03-13-2009 at 02:06.

  7. #7
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back when pc games ruled (Gripe, rant, whatever)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Joe View Post
    Now, hold on. That means we own a copy of the game and we should be free to do what we will with it, outside of selling copies of it. An online subscription for every game would finally obliterate the ability to wield that right.
    I ain't saying it's right and proper. I'm saying that the code-writers (authors or developers) and publishers are searching for some way to control copyright and distribution (so they get paid adequately), without alienating half or more of their end-users/players, like the various DRM schemes used so far have. Subscriptions may (and I think: will) be the next thing they try, so we should get ready for it.

    And that such a switch from stand-alone titles to a subscription-based scheme will have an unknown - hopefully, not bad - effect on game content, and the mix of skill, chance, and spectacle we experience.

    Today, with a few mouse clicks and ten seconds, I can change the colors on my monitor; a task that 20 years ago took me all night to accomplish. That speed and ease-of-use is because I paid someone else to do that drudge-work (Microsoft, in this case) for me. And, if I count my own labor as worth something, for cheaper than I could do it myself.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

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