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Philo

Has the average gamer level diminished?

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I'm going to use this to post a hypothetical question just to get it off my chest in a forum that isn't heavily used.

I have noticed over the last handful of years that there has been a steep decline in the competency level of the "average" gamer.  Why is that?

Maybe it's because online games are more main stream which pulls from a wider demographic of people?  Maybe its because games are mostly ftp and they draw in the lowest common denominator of players?

  The people around me, that play a similar amount of time, are in the same guild etc., seem to be MUCH worse on average than players who played a similar amount 10 years ago or more.  So much so that at this point some of them are spending decent chunks of money in cash shops each month and are just keeping up or are well below where my characters progress is and I am completely ftp. 

This isn't a brag...my characters that I am referring to are very mediocre.  I definitely am not "hardcore" the way I play these games.  I am what I consider to be a casual player...though I do prefer to be efficient with my time.  I don't think my gaming skills have increased.  If anything they have dropped off.  I definitely am not as focused and don't spend the time playing that I once did so that can't be the reason that I am noticing this trend.  

This seems like it is a reoccurring incident at this point.  I have seen this happen in a couple games.  Is it just me or have others noticed this as well?

...the reason may be due to not playing games that use a purely subscription model that draws in more dedicated players...maybe?  Unsure.  Hopefully Pantheons subscription based model will solve this issue but it is a bit concerning and there is no guarantee.

It could be the effect of a generation of younger players who have never had the option to play a challenging mmo so many never learned to play efficiently.  There were no consequences for playing inefficiently so this style of gameplay has not been adopted?...at least as far as the middle of the road, non "hardcore" players are concerned?

I swear the average player is MUCH worse than they used to be around a decade or more ago.  Is it just me?  Maybe I am just unlucky to have noticed this repeatedly?  

Edited by Philo
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It all boils down to game design.  Games like WoW lead people around on rails.  You don't need to travel to the dungeon, you just queue up.  You don't need to know the mechanics of a boss fight, you just use DBM and follow the flashing prompts on your screen.  You don't need to explore, you just follow the magical waypoint.  Overall, I agree with you that the average player appears to be less likely to understand the ropes of their character.  When players aren't properly motivated to strive for excellence, they settle for mediocrity.  Games needs to be challenging and mistakes need to be punished.  Playing at a high level needs to be recognized ... not with an achievement, but with good game design that allows exceptional players to feel like their effort actually amounts to something.  If you can half-ass your way through the entire game then what's the point of putting your best foot forward?

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Yep, once money is the only goal, not challenge or fun, then challenge and fun are gone.

Games used to be amazing because they existed at all.  Now they're only amazing if they make money.  Quite a difference.  As a consequence, players don't need to be good, they just need to be wealthy.  When you can open your wallet and buy victory, you don't have to get good.

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I know you all saw it and its old news at this point...but it made me think of this thread.

That koopatrooper stream.  He's a gamer.  He played EQOA.  He's a twitch streamer...  He doesn't know to sit to gain mana faster.  He is looking through his inventory clicking on water thinking it will give him mana.

Watching that makes me feel like the average competency level is waaay below what I give people credit for.  I wouldn't want to group with that guy let alone have him represent my game on a twitch stream.

PUGing on release is going to be a nightmare.

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I don't see what EQOA has to do with anything ... I know you have made comments elsewhere that suggests it was an easy game or whatever.  A lot of games utilize water for some sort of mana regen ... sitting to meditate was obviously an EQ thing so unless he played that game it would make sense that he would be looking for other methods to regen.  I can't remember how it worked in EQOA but I know EQ2/FFXI both used food/water for out of combat regen.  I think WoW did the same.  If his character starts off with water (like you do in most games) it's generally a ration that increases out of combat regen.

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He said he played EQOA, didn't you have to sit to med?  At the very least he said he played Pantheon for a half an hour to get ready for the stream...and he didn't figure that out?  That seems about as basic as you can get.

I don't claim to know anything about eqoa...I was to involved in EQ when it was released.  That comment on the forums, that obviously bothered you about eqoa, was because the person I was responding to was describing EQOA in a way that made it sound very easy.  You are taking it out of context.

I know you you have strong feelings about that because you never played EQ and it seems like most people on the forum did but that's not what this is about.

That kid is probably better than your average "current" mmo gamer.  I don't want him anywhere near my groups.  Granted, the lvl of play/teamwork in the streams is always very low but, man...that one stood out as very bad.  And it's going to be even worse...

Edit: I just looked it up...yes you had to sit to gain mana in eqoa. 

 

Edited by Philo

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It's likely been so long since he played EQOA, he probably didn't think about sitting to med.

On to the main point of this thread, though.  I don't feel there has been a decline in the competency level of the average gamer, I think it's more that the games recently haven't required as much competency in general, and when you get to a part of the game that does, people haven't practiced the good habits needed in those areas of the game.  If the game challenged the players from the beginning, or at least early on, then the players will begin to form good habits that translate into the tougher parts of the game.  Then when they're done doing the more challenging content, they go back to the normal content of the game and reinforce their easy mode habits.

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