Works For Me

Every game, no matter how well designed and implemented, will have detractors. Almost every game, no matter how poorly conceived or coded, will have people who enjoy it. It is a matter of taste. If you do not like MMOs or FPSes or RTSes, the best example of its kind might rise to “decent” in your eyes. If you do like them, you might play a dozen games in the genre and appreciate their respective merits. If they play to your preferences, a marginal game could be your treasured classic.

There is some game out there for which you are exactly the target audience. It favors your tastes precisely. You enjoy its theme, its gameplay focus is exactly what you enjoy doing, and you do not really care about the areas where the developers skimped.

Not minding negatives may be more important to idiosyncratic preferences than enjoying positives. Almost every game has good aspects, and we get angriest when something stands between us and that nugget of joy. You would enjoy the game except that it is ruined by this subsystem, that color scheme, and those loading times. Meanwhile, Bob never cared about the subsystem, is colorblind, and is glad to have snippets of time for a book he really wants to read. My deal-breakers are your trivial inconveniences or positives.

While Game By Night inspired this post, I feel that Bhagpuss deserves special mention here.

: Zubon

14 thoughts on “Works For Me”

  1. “My deal-breakers are your trivial inconveniences or positives.”

    Emphatically agreed. My shining personal case in point would be Guild Wars. The only reason I stuck with it for as long as I did was that I found an excellent RP guild. Had that not happened I think my interest would’ve been quickly eroded by what I call inconveniences/complications and other people call wonders/”see this is what sets it apart”, etc.

    The way it should be. There isn’t one metric, because there can’t be one.

  2. Great post, Zubon, and I totally agree. It’s nice to see more people taking the “live and let live” approach to FFXIV now. While I did remove a post I wrote that I felt was too off the cuff, there seemed to be a lot of very vehement negativity surrounding the game. This kind of approach is what aids a cohesive community and helps keep us all under the same gamer flag. Besides, as long as we’re all having fun, and kind find that fun, that’s all that matters, right?

    At the end of the day, I really think variety in the genre is better for everybody. I don’t expect to like every game I try or for other players to like all that I do either. And that’s perfectly okay.

    1. Really, though… what game out there DOESN’T have a lot of negativity surrounding it? Lots of people hate WoW, STO, LotRO, Aion, FFXIV, etc. If you only listened to those angry about a game as an overall judgement, you wouldn’t play anything. The angry vocal minority is rarely ever correct.

  3. Sometime I feel like I’m the only person in the world who honestly couldn’t care less if CoH’s warehouses get repetitive. It’s not really an issue for me.

  4. “There is some game out there for which you are exactly the target audience. It favors your tastes precisely. You enjoy its theme, its gameplay focus is exactly what you enjoy doing, and you do not really care about the areas where the developers skimped.”

    Spot on. When it comes to MMOs, this is exactly what Guild Wars is for me.

    …pity I can’t seem to get anyone else I know to like it. XD

  5. Heh!

    Can’t really fault that for a philosophy of gaming.

    I’d just add that, for real long-term enjoyment of an MMO it helps if you can react positively to the inevitable changes it will undergo. If you can avoid rage-quitting every time another of your personal favorite “features” gets “smoothed out” to help the “new player experience” and make the game “more accessible” you’ll usually find you don’t miss it much after all and everything carries on much the same.

  6. Good post, except for when ‘you having fun’ stops because the server shut down, or ‘you having fun’ stops because Trammel, NGE, or WotLK happens. If you are one of a dozen who is having fun, and the devs hoped to please millions, it’s not going to end well, either for you or the devs.

    1. It’s generally much easier to adjust yourself to suit the world than to adjust the world to suit you.

      There are exceptions, but they usually have large armies or bilions of dollars at their disposal.

  7. I think there’s a balance to look for here, really–where’s the dividing line between ‘Well, I’ll just put up with this flaw..and this one…and that one…and the other one’, and ‘You know…this isn’t working for me, I need to find something else.’? Especially important when you’re paying a monthly subscription fee for it. (It’s still just as annoying with one-time purchases, but in that case all you can do is write it off as ‘Well, *that* was a waste of money. Dangit…’ With recurring fees, it’s more of of a continuing quandry whether to hang with it or quit, though.)

  8. Or you could adjust yourself to a different game. So many game choices now – which is great. No need to stick around something which has been altered to produce an experience that no longer works for you.

    As for wasting money on something you don’t like, there’s always consoling yourself by chalking it up as getting clearer about what you like or don’t like… If only more games offered free demos and trials.

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