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One game mechanic we grew up with (well almost all of us) that never bothered me in the past , but does nowdays. Save-scumming, interesting word. I dont have a problem with unlimited saves, giving the player the option to do it. I do have a problem with a game that pretty much requires it. Right now Diablo III is a good example. I havent died to a boss, but each has a checkpoint in front of it ( save so to speak). I am playing on Normal and have actually only died 2X, both with the caster classes. Both times where my fualt. I was getting to comfortble, starting to clear areas as fast as i could with no thought. With my uncarefull push i ended up with 2 gold rares (one a jailer, so i couldnt run) and the other a waller , a set of the 3 blue rares (also wallers), and one of those clusters of frogs, like 30..
My point, a game doesnt need to save after every encounter, and donest need to be so easy you dont have to.. The game should play so MY mistakes, or poor descisions kill me, not the roll of a dice. Of course thats such a hard road to follow.. correctly. Keep the game challangeing but not to hard.
I have thought about this many times, game difficulty. When i was younger i played all games on HARD up till DOOM, where the hardest setting basicly ment the monsters never quit showing up.. In the last few years I have pretty much stuck to NORMAL setting and sometimes (yes i will admit it) easy if my frustration level builds. Any game that puts the smack on you seconds in doenst understand ramping difficulty. I think a game should make the first few minutes fairly easy to learn.. some dont.
If i get your Non Zero Sum thing.. a game Like Settlers would be that. its a sandbox game (almost) as even in the games with goals and endings its pretty much up to you to do it, the enemy AI doenst seem to push to hard unless you do. I call Settlers II the perfect ZEN game. I can sit and build and watch it for hours. I actually try not to play it as i will sti for 5-10 hours easy playing it. I have never won it.. I seldom get past the first 4-5 maps. I just love how its done, how they build, how roads work, etc.. its one of those games I will be playing when im 90 (if i make it that long).
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