Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Fabulously Olivier

Your best, worst, and most disappointing gaming trends of the 2010s

Recommended Posts

What would you consider to be the best, worst, and most disappointing gaming trends of the decade.

The best trend is a trend that has positively impacted the industry. 

The worst trend is one that has negatively impacted the industry.

The most disappointing trend is one that had the potential to be overwhelmingly positive, but typically or always fails to live up to that potential (or has even become a negative trend). 

My best trend is the integration of RPG mechanics into other genres.

Just about every genre of game can be greatly improved with some degree of skill trees, customization, moral choices, and/or gear. 

My worst trend is survival mechanics.

Hunger and thirst meters are not fun. Weapon degradation is not fun. Stamina bars are not fun. Non-consensual PvP and griefing are not fun. Punching trees for crafting materials is not fun. Obligatory crafting is not fun.

Survival games are not fun. 

My most disappointing trend is "open world."

Open worlds are exciting on paper. Think of all of the freedom and endless possibilities! And in the best examples, like The Witcher 3, they can be used to amazing effect.

In practice, however, open worlds are typically nothing more than repetitive, soul-less, copy-paste tripe devoid of all narrative, purpose, depth, and replayability. 

At worst, open worlds actively dilute and ruin existing game franchises. For example:

Dragon Age Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda lost the RPG magic and story consequences of their predecessors due in large part to scope creep and a change in focus to exploration. 

Dynasty Warriors appeals to a small crowd of dedicated weirdos, myself included. Dynasty Warriors 9 appeals to no one. 

There is no such thing as "everything you loved about Guild Wars in an open world," as Arenanet falsely advertised its sequel. Everything that people liked about Guild Wars is only possible in a fully instanced world.

Edited by Etheus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best Trend: Not Applicable

I'm honestly not sure if there is such a thing as a "best trend". Someone sets a trend, and everyone follows it rather than everyone trying to be creative. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with learning from what worked before, but it is a problem when everyone looks at something successful and decides, "We need that" for no other reason than it succeeded.

 

Worst Trend: Crunch

Video Games are an industry, and their increased popularity and profit means they've caught the eye of corporation and shareholders. So, games are given hard deadlines, and the industry, to get the game released on time, hires a bunch of additional developers weeks before the game's release, works all the developers to the bone, and then fires the additional developers when the game's released. This is crunch. It's bad for the games, as they release unfinished and full of bugs, and it's bad for the developers, as crunch takes a serious toll on their physical and mental health. Imagine thinking you've finally gotten into the video game industry as a developer, only to get worked to death for three weeks before getting laid off once the game's released. And thanks to microtransactions, crunch never ends for some developers. 

It's horrible, and it's one reason I love that Nintendo doesn't set hard deadlines. 

 

Most Disappointing Trend: Integration of RPG Mechanics into other genres; particularly the Level-Up Mechanic and Gear/Loot Systems

I do believe that games in some genres can stand to learn from what other genres do well. For instance, I do believe that certain action-adventure games and RPGs could stand to learn from 3D platformers in terms of making navigating the world interesting in of itself. However, it all comes down to context, and the problem with trends is that things inevitably get tacked-on for no other reason than, "Well, these other games had it and they were a success", and the games inevitably get worsened as a result. 

For example, when I play an action-adventure game like The Legend of Zelda, I want to explore the world and solve challenges through skill, quick-thinking, and ingenuity; not what level I'm at or what gear I have. And yet, so many modern action-adventure games have embraced loot systems and the level-up system; the latter of which I feel is tacked on even in some RPGs, and it worsens the games. 

  • God of War 2018 is actively made worse by the level-up system and loot. Rather than have Atreus learn through the player (as Kratos) teaching Atreus, you know, like a father & son, instead you just customize him through gear slots. And Kratos is no better. The game has a system where attacks are colour-coded to indicate what attacks can be blocked and what attacks need to be dodged. So, one would think you can just remember that certain attacks from an enemy can be blocked or not and you apply that next time you fight them. However, Your level and equipment also determines whether or not attacks can be blocked or dodged, so learning the enemy's attacks or relying on the colour-code system will actually hinder you. And these are just two examples. See this video for more of the game's issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IERHMMXeshc
  • I absolutely love Breath of the Wild. However, it is hindered by, among other things, the weapons. You might think I'm about to say that the weapons break too quickly, but that's not the actual problem; the real problem is that the weapon scaling is all out-of-whack. If the player gets spotted by a Lynel, for instance, even if you don't have good equipment, you should still be able to win through ingenuity and skill; that's the whole point of an action-adventure game. But no; just try beating even a red Lynel using only the equipment you got from the Great Plateau. Sure; even if all your weapons break, you still have your bombs, but just try beating a Lynel using just bombs. How easily you can beat the game doesn't depend on your ingenuity or problem-solving skills; it depends on whether or not you farmed for good equipment. A Zelda game should not be gear-based. 
1 hour ago, Etheus said:

Just about every genre of game can be greatly improved with some degree of skill trees, customization, moral choices, and/or gear. 

No; just no. How are, for instance, 3D Platformers improved by skill trees, customization, moral choices and gear? The whole point of a 3D Platformer is navigating the world and solving platforming challenges through running and jumping. Gear hinders problem-solving, moral choices just do not fit, skill trees ironically would take away from the "skill" aspect of problem-solving, and customization beyond aesthetic would have the same problem as gear. 

If it doesn't mesh well with the other mechanics in the game, it shouldn't be there. It's as simple as that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My most disappointing trend is Multiplayer only games:

i personally believe no game should only be multiplayer based. to me multiplayer has always been a side fact for me. the reason i buy games is for the enriching single player experience. there are still good studios like naughty dog, cd project red, (hopefully continues to do good) sanata monica studios, bandai namco and a couple others that keep that dream alive unlike Blizzard, infinity ward, EA, and ubisoft who are downgrading the video game industry with shitty half made games. 

 

My worst trend is microtransactions

need a say more? its a trap just like your girlfriend (jk)

My best trend is idk

i have a very wide range of games i play from JRPGs to platformers to shooters so i like lots of different aspects from all types of games. A good story and characters are what really sell me a game. combat has to be playable as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Best Trend: Not Applicable

I'm honestly not sure if there is such a thing as a "best trend". Someone sets a trend, and everyone follows it rather than everyone trying to be creative. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with learning from what worked before, but it is a problem when everyone looks at something successful and decides, "We need that" for no other reason than it succeeded.

 

Worst Trend: Crunch

Video Games are an industry, and their increased popularity and profit means they've caught the eye of corporation and shareholders. So, games are given hard deadlines, and the industry, to get the game released on time, hires a bunch of additional developers weeks before the game's release, works all the developers to the bone, and then fires the additional developers when the game's released. This is crunch. It's bad for the games, as they release unfinished and full of bugs, and it's bad for the developers, as crunch takes a serious toll on their physical and mental health. Imagine thinking you've finally gotten into the video game industry as a developer, only to get worked to death for three weeks before getting laid off once the game's released. And thanks to microtransactions, crunch never ends for some developers. 

It's horrible, and it's one reason I love that Nintendo doesn't set hard deadlines. 

 

Most Disappointing Trend: Integration of RPG Mechanics into other genres; particularly the Level-Up Mechanic and Gear/Loot Systems

I do believe that games in some genres can stand to learn from what other genres do well. For instance, I do believe that certain action-adventure games and RPGs could stand to learn from 3D platformers in terms of making navigating the world interesting in of itself. However, it all comes down to context, and the problem with trends is that things inevitably get tacked-on for no other reason than, "Well, these other games had it and they were a success", and the games inevitably get worsened as a result. 

For example, when I play an action-adventure game like The Legend of Zelda, I want to explore the world and solve challenges through skill, quick-thinking, and ingenuity; not what level I'm at or what gear I have. And yet, so many modern action-adventure games have embraced loot systems and the level-up system; the latter of which I feel is tacked on even in some RPGs, and it worsens the games. 

  • God of War 2018 is actively made worse by the level-up system and loot. Rather than have Atreus learn through the player (as Kratos) teaching Atreus, you know, like a father & son, instead you just customize him through gear slots. And Kratos is no better. The game has a system where attacks are colour-coded to indicate what attacks can be blocked and what attacks need to be dodged. So, one would think you can just remember that certain attacks from an enemy can be blocked or not and you apply that next time you fight them. However, Your level and equipment also determines whether or not attacks can be blocked or dodged, so learning the enemy's attacks or relying on the colour-code system will actually hinder you. And these are just two examples. See this video for more of the game's issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IERHMMXeshc
  • I absolutely love Breath of the Wild. However, it is hindered by, among other things, the weapons. You might think I'm about to say that the weapons break too quickly, but that's not the actual problem; the real problem is that the weapon scaling is all out-of-whack. If the player gets spotted by a Lynel, for instance, even if you don't have good equipment, you should still be able to win through ingenuity and skill; that's the whole point of an action-adventure game. But no; just try beating even a red Lynel using only the equipment you got from the Great Plateau. Sure; even if all your weapons break, you still have your bombs, but just try beating a Lynel using just bombs. How easily you can beat the game doesn't depend on your ingenuity or problem-solving skills; it depends on whether or not you farmed for good equipment. A Zelda game should not be gear-based. 

No; just no. How are, for instance, 3D Platformers improved by skill trees, customization, moral choices and gear? The whole point of a 3D Platformer is navigating the world and solving platforming challenges through running and jumping. Gear hinders problem-solving, moral choices just do not fit, skill trees ironically would take away from the "skill" aspect of problem-solving, and customization beyond aesthetic would have the same problem as gear. 

If it doesn't mesh well with the other mechanics in the game, it shouldn't be there. It's as simple as that. 

I did say "just about" meaning almost. Platformers are one of those select few exceptions. And even then, one could argue that one with more combat leanings could benefit on the combat side only.

 

 

As for God of War 2018, I'd say its worst flaw was actually the tacked on endgame (with the Muspelheim trials being the worst). One could reasonably call this a flaw with its RPG mechanics, because it means that Kratos couldn't obtain anywhere near the best gear during the excellent story campaign.

Edited by Etheus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best: Almost everything getting ported

As a mainly PC gamer, playing jrpg used to be limited, nowdays however that usually isn't a problem anymore

Worst: Gacha and MTX

Worst thing to ever happen to gaming and needs to be exterminated. 

Disappointing: Social/Dating Elements

I really don't like this. Even if i am mostly fine with FE16 (since FE always had supports anyway), i don't like how every other jrpg is trying to become Persona. I just want my old classic adventure tyvm. No dating, no hub, no school. I wanna travel around the Country/World.

Edited by Shrimperor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best Trend is Digital Distribution. Okay, technically digital distribution first launched in a primordial state for consoles like the Dreamcast and original Xbox, and the Super Famicom's Satellaview add-on also fits the definition somewhat as well, but the seventh generation is where we saw it catch on for all consoles, all at once. PC platforms like Steam and Good Old Games also launched in the 2010s. In short, digital distribution is the ability for games to be published outside of a physical medium, and directly to a console's hard drive. There are several ramifications to video games transcending cartridges and discs. The first phenomenon we benefit from is indie games. No longer were they confined to free downloads and flash games on some website, but could be sold to the mass market cheaply and freely. One can even argue indie games did not exist since, in order to make any money off it, you still needed to find a publisher to put your game onto something and ship it. Another boon is that there is no longer scarcity with games. You don't need to worry about stores in your area "running out" of a new copy of a game, because you can always download a digital version. And if a game suddenly becomes very popular (like it's sequel just got announced, or one of its characters is announced in a crossover), then consumers can ride the hype - flocking to their online marketplaces and download that game immediately.

The only issues with Digital Distribution are that we haven't gotten every game in gaming history available. Games like Fire Emblem Path of Radiance, Sakura Wars, and Persona 4 Golden are trapped in their original hardware until they're made available on something modern. Some games like Shenmue defy the odds and make that journey, but ultimately it's up to game publishers and licensers to take that ultimate step, and they won't unless there's considerable profits to be made. And while a lot of players do prefer collecting physical media, those consoles, controllers, cartridges all have a shelf life. Heck, retro consoles are functionally "going extinct" due to degradation nobody can really do anything about. Like the CD-I having a faulty motherboard with parts that break down even if the system is never turned on. Publishers have attempted to release their back catalogues (Virtual console, Playstation Network, those series-wide collections for Mega Man, Castlevania, etc) but always to mixed results, and games that aren't as popular may still be doomed to obscurity. And a lot of retro games came from an era where companies didn't make backups of everything and can be lost due to negligence. Licensed games are especially in trouble, and there are some diamonds in the rough! ROMS have done a lot for games preservation, but companies like Nintendo are militantly trying to shut down any site where you can download them.

Worst Trend is Microtransactions and gambling. As somebody who enjoys real life gambling, I think what we have going on in video games is more than a little scummy. Because unlike blackjack tables, loot boxes have no expected rewards with the risk. And you certainly can't win your money back. It's a one way transaction. And it really does prey on people with mental dispositions toward gambling that they can't fight. Even when those players understand the danger and quit games with those systems, they become depressed when a game they did enjoy playing (like, say, Overwatch, Call of Duty, or FIFA) suddenly has gambling in a new update. The Game industry is going to go to hell for things like this. Making a science on predatory practices and "turning players into payers". Even our beloved Fire Emblem has a stain on its legacy with Fire Emblem Heroes. A game I enjoy playing as a F2P, but one I cannot ever recommend to friends with loose spending habits.

Disappointing Trend is hard for me to say. A lot of what I consider disappointing at some point of the 2010s is either not a problem anymore or has been fixed to a degree that I see no need to bring it up now. And I truly believe, after decades of playing video games, that games as a whole have improved considerably. The only shovelware I can find is on mobile platforms for the most part. A 60 dollar Star Wars game or Spider-Man game would have been a waste of money 9 times out of 10 a decade ago, but nowadays those games rival Nintendo's offerings. I'm sad Nintendo's Virtual Console and Sony's Playstation Classics have died, but they find new life on Nintendo Switch Online and Playstation Now. Subscriptions services threaten to choke our wallets as more come out, but odds are good they'll die off as fast as they appear at least in the gaming space. Games as "Live services" threatened to kill Single Player Games, but we've already seen evidence that single player games are just fine. And Live Service games like Anthem died in just one freakin' year.

I guess I could rant some more about games preservation or backwards compatibility, but these issues were never unique to the 2010s.

Edited by Glennstavos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Etheus said:

I did say "just about" meaning almost. Platformers are one of those select few exceptions. And even then, one could argue that one with more combat leanings could benefit on the combat side only.

Okay. I just didn't feel like mentioning more genre examples because I had already gone over how I feel arbitrarily adding RPG elements ruins Action-Adventure games. 

 

1 hour ago, Etheus said:

As for God of War 2018, I'd say its worst flaw was actually the tacked on endgame (with the Muspelheim trials being the worst). One could reasonably call this a flaw with its RPG mechanics, because it means that Kratos couldn't obtain anywhere near the best gear during the excellent story campaign.

Okay. To be fair, I never said the worst flaw; I just listed two flaws. The video to which I left a link goes over a bunch of different issues that illustrate that God of War 2018 was pulled in all directions based on current trends. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really play many "modern" games, and when I do it tends to be years later, when the game of the year editions are released and all that. That said, there are some trends I've noticed to praise and critique:

Best Trend: Digital Distribution and More Attention to Indie Games

I'll second digital distribution, since it allows previous cult classics to gain a wider audience, and younger players to get a chance to play older games they've heard good things about but don't always have the ability to play otherwise. @Glennstavos pretty much took the words out of my mouth regarding the other positves. I'm also glad that indie games are getting more attention. They always existed, but it's nice to them get the recognition they deserve and not be relegated to becoming cult classics or surprise hits.

Worst Trend: DLC, Microtransactions, Loot Boxes, and So On

I have no issue with optional content that isn't necessary to enjoy the main game but still adds to the experience. If anything, I would say that well done DLC adds to a games lifespan and incites more interest in it. However, it was only a matter of time before corporations tried to exploit this and thus we end up with important elements of a game locked behind a paywall, a player having to grind to unlock something that could be easily achieved by buying it with real world money, and strategies that get people addicted and tempt them to spend money to supposedly get more out of a game.

Disappointing Trend: Using Patches as a Crutch

I will say first and foremost that I am very happy that developers can easily fix bugs that may have slipped through testing and make balance changes when glaring issues occur. Things that used to taint older games can now be resolved in a short amount of time. I am also glad that these updates often happen automatically, so players no longer have to constantly check a game or developers website to see if any patches were released.

That said, it also means that the strategy of releasing an unfinished game at full price and then completing it later is unfortunately much easier to pull off now, even with the negative reception it often brings. Heck, even games released this way that end up being good later on usually become infamous anyway. Patches also mean that competitive games are constantly being shook up with buffs, nerfs, and properties changing. This can make for an exciting meta and there is an audience for that, but it also means that a player has to invest a lot more into keeping track of the games updates less they be left in the dust, which for some just drains the fun out of it.

Edited by Hawkwing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hawkwing said:

Disappointing Trend: Using Patches as a Crutch

I will say first and foremost that I am very happy that developers can easily fix bugs that may have slipped through testing and make balance changes when glaring issues occur. Things that used to taint older games can now be resolved in a short amount of time. I am also glad that these updates often happen automatically, so players no longer have to constantly check a game or developers website to see if any patches were released.

That said, it also means that the strategy of releasing an unfinished game at full price and then completing it later is unfortunately much easier to pull off now, even with the negative reception it often brings. Heck, even games released this way that end up being good later on usually become infamous anyway. Patches also mean that competitive games are constantly being shook up with buffs, nerfs, and properties changing. This can make for an exciting meta and there is an audience for that, but it also means that a player has to invest a lot more into keeping track of the games updates less they be left in the dust, which for some just drains the fun out of it.

I agree with this. I dont have much else to contribute to the topic but this is something I also feel is worth mentioning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worst Trend: Microtransactions, Gacha Games, Loot Boxes, Games as a service, Battle Royale, on-disc DLC.

Edited by NinjaMonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2019 at 4:45 PM, Hawkwing said:

Disappointing Trend: Using Patches as a Crutch

That said, it also means that the strategy of releasing an unfinished game at full price and then completing it later is unfortunately much easier to pull off now, even with the negative reception it often brings. Heck, even games released this way that end up being good later on usually become infamous anyway. Patches also mean that competitive games are constantly being shook up with buffs, nerfs, and properties changing. This can make for an exciting meta and there is an audience for that, but it also means that a player has to invest a lot more into keeping track of the games updates less they be left in the dust, which for some just drains the fun out of it.

This has been brewing ever since 7th generation consoles all got Internet connectivity. Since everything's online now, it's all too easy to skimp on QA, entice a bunch of early purchasers with pre-order bonuses, use them as unpaid beta testers, and rush out a patch once complaints start rolling in. Bungie and Ubisoft tend to do this, and I'm convinced it's official Sega policy for its subsidiaries considering Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive have been trying to get away with it for over a decade. It's only gotten worse now that games can sell early access, as we're now moving from paying for an unfinished product to paying for a product that may never be finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

best: indies RPGs

Right now only CD project is an RPG devoloper i respect. Everything else is either hit and miss, made me boycott them trought greedy practices or made fallout 76 and Mass Effect Andromeda. On the other hand, we started getting good RPGs from other sources, wich may not have the most budget, may be part of the worst trend, and may suffer from being "too hardcore" at times, but more often than not are satisfactory to play.

worst: releasing unfinished product because they can patch them later

what it say on the tin. This encourage player to wait some time, when they can buy a finished game at a lower price. Personally i almost always wait before buying, so it's not a problem to me personally, but i feel bad thinking that people that buy on day 1 are paying for the privilege to be beta tester. A friend of my told me outright horror stories about how Pathfinder Kingmaker or Elex where when they got released.

most disappointing: roguelike elements

For a couple decades, roguelike had a pretty narrow meaning, but right now it's a meaningless label that include everything that has permadeath and procedural content. Enter the Gungeon has nothing to do whit Tales of Maj Eyal, wich has nothing to do with Night of the Necrodancer, wich has nothing to do with Catalcys: dark days ahead. So far every attempt at creating a more nuanced definition failed, both because the core roguelike audience is full of gatekeeping idiots and because the casual audience feels that calling something a roguelite is insulting. Right now looking for something speciphic that has roguelike elements is a roulette 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best: A greater variety in popular games. Gone are the days where Western AAA shooters dominated the market. Now it feel any kind of game can reach success. Ranging from visual novels all the way to RPGs 

Worst: Nickel and dime players: It's not enough to just to purchasing games. Subscriptions, dlc, lootboxes, and other paraphernalia all have to be accounted for.  

Disappointing: Patches/ We''ll fix it later. I mean by this is launching games in poor/mediocre states. Bugs, poor performance, little content, missing story parts. Later down the line updates and dlc will make the game in a more acceptable quality months/years later. Only to repeat the cycle for the  next entry. It come to the point where I find it safer to buy games after all of the content is released for a more complete experience. I blame live services models for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...