Watching Boss and Dungeon Videos [Rant]   10 comments

Alright, MMOs. I have a small bone to pick with you. Why is it deemed absolutely necessary by the playerbase at large to have to watch videos of a dungeon or other encounter before you can attempt it? Seriously, where is the fun of pure discovery? Of being able to figure a puzzle out on your own?

I’m not a fan of strategy guides, either. If I’m going to use one, it’s only going to be after I’ve got far enough in the game to where it doesn’t make a difference and to satisfy my completionist itch. But reading it beforehand or watching all of these videos BEFORE you do an encounter? Isn’t that just plain cheating?

“Hey, look! We beat the boss by doing exactly what this video told me to do! We also beat it by using this exact skill build somebody else figured out!” … Are we just playing games for other people, now? You let somebody else do 90% of the work, and then you perform your role like an automaton. Really, there is no self-accomplishment in that. Is there no pride in figuring out a tricky puzzle yourself?

When you go to the movies, do you have to first read every spoiler about it you can? When you read a book, do you just skip right to the ending? Why does it feel like nobody likes spoilers, but everybody still wants them. How essentially having the game played for you is fun doesn’t make any sense to me.

The only points I will concede is that it saves time. Also, since probably everyone else in your group has cheated and watched every video, too, you’re at a social disadvantage and will stumble over your feet while everyone else is acting like a pro, mimicking what others have done before them.

So, fine. I get it, and to not look like a fool, I’ll watch the stupid videos to appease the gaming elite. It just really irks me that this laziness is the social norm and these games are designed that not following these mores hurts not just you, but your team as well.

My solution: A solo version of a dungeon. Don’t give great loot for it’s completion, or really give a huge incentive, but allow people to use it to see the story and practice the mechanics of encounters without having to resort to these out-of-game videos. Since loot is pretty much the only real reason players run dungeons to begin with, why not give an option to those who just want to see the story? So, for example, a dungeon can have a “solo” mode, a “regular” mode, and then whatever “hard” or “epic” difficulties you want after that. I’d have no problems running a dungeon on solo a few times to learn the encounters, and if I get a few random drops and some experience along the way, all the better! I could still make some character progress and be even more ready for the group encounters. But more important, I’d feel like I’d accomplished it myself, instead of just having it handed to me by a video or guide.

Have faith that your players aren’t lazy and actually enjoy a challenge, and you will see returns on it.

\\ Ocho

P.S. – To it’s credit, the only MMO this really doesn’t apply to is Dungeons and Dragons Online. They already have this system in place. I don’t know if it’s in 100% of their dungeons, though, but it’s a great idea that I feel could do the rest of the genre a big service.

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10 responses to “Watching Boss and Dungeon Videos [Rant]

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  1. Have not seen a will it blend video in a while. Spoiler…it almost always does.

    On topic, for myself it depends on the situation. In a group with all friends I love just going for it and having fun. If I am with people I don’t know then if it’s something that’s technical then I’ll at least become slightly familiar. Also chalk up boss videos to something of an idiot check. Most encounters are not remotely difficult to warrant looking at a strategy so anyone who jumps to one straight off cannot handle concepts like doing stand in the effing fire.

    In a way they are bad for people like us but good for others. Some people naturally need tone held by the hand and shown everything step by step, others don’t need it but are lazy, then you have people who pay attention to their surroundings.

    • The sad thing is the “elitist” gamers won’t even run something with someone who has never done it. Again, it’s giving another player control over your own experience. So, therefore, to be accomodating to all other players, one really HAS to watch videos… it’s just… sad, really. I can’t count the number of times I have joined a group (not in GW2 yet… but the elitists will come, I’m sure), and then when mentioning that I hadn’t done it yet, had been quickly /kicked. You name it… LotRO, WoW, STO… happened in all of them.

      And what is this “Will it blend” video? I’m sure it’s self descriptive, but I haven’t seen any of them yet… :)

      Also, check out my previous music post. My good friend is doing an internet radio show… I think he’s mostly going to play hard rock, which I think you like. Give him a listen if you have the chance. (I do what I can to support my friends… no matter the endeavor :) )

      • Huh, now I see the reply button. Anyway see below. Also, to those who asked if I knew the fights, I faked it and just did my own thing, I wasn’t about to tell them I didn’t look at any videos heh.

  2. Hey video went away wtf.

  3. Check out willitblend.com. They are awesome videos.

  4. To me, one of the more fun aspects of doing a dungeon run of some sort is the element of challenge and figuring out how to deal with encounters and other elements of the dungeon as a team. I do not mind that we may fail initially as long as we have worked together and have learned something for the next attempt.

    Some general advice is fine, but really do not like it if I end up having to follow some cookbook approach or step-by-step guide the first time I do a run. Then I might just skip it.

    • This is why I never did any end-game dungeons in WoW… too many people demanded that if “you don’t know the fight, you’re not coming”. That elitism just pisses me off…

      Right, I would love all the self-discovery, or self-team discovery, and I’m all for grouping up with like-minded people. So you get bumped up a little, so what? As long as everyone is cool with it, it makes the entire thing fun. Take away that fun, just make it about the loot (which I can see happening eventually if the game is designed to simply be a gear treadmill), and the demand for those familiar starts to get high.

      Right now, GW2 hasn’t hit that elite phase, yet, but I did see someone in chat specify once that they were only looking for people who had run Ascalon Catacombs already and weren’t looking for new people. They could’ve just meant exploratory, but the way they phrased it rankled me. It’s only been open for less than a month… and already some elitism? People, man…

  5. Sadly there was such elitism in place before GW2 was even released. ANet deliberately made design decisions like straying from the holy trinity to avoid these issues but min maxers can’t help themselves and many were determined to break the designers efforts. The repair cost doesn’t help because people don’t want to lose money but they definitely tried to dissuade certain player behaviors. I have noticed a different sort of elitism emerge . It’s becoming a battle of the conventional min maxer elite vs. the new school “if you were a good player and “got” it, you’d be able to adapt” players.

    In any case, I don’t know how much MMOs can be blamed for videos. Short of getting them banned, there’s not much they can do aside from designing content in such a way there isn’t one right way of doing things, and even then, min maxers will seek out the method they deem best and it’s up to other players not to follow in their foot steps.

  6. I am all for a solo version of dungeons. Let players go through, pick up the lay of the land, and then turn ‘em loose on groups. The solo run need not give loot or even experience, it’s just there as a scouting/learning opportunity.

    Also, have you read BBB’s post on understanding dragons and how to tackle them? It’s tangentially relevant.

    http://thebigbearbutt.com/2012/09/10/the-cub-report-dragons-shape-our-tactics/

  7. Pingback: Jump Around! Guild Wars 2 Jumping Puzzles Debate [GW2] « Casual Aggro

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