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Reader Comments (36)

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:05AM BigAndShiny said

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If a game is too hard, I usually just go do some PvP battlegrounds or dungeons and overlevel the content. Then go back and do it.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:07AM Xo1o said

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It depends on if the challenge is unfair or just hard because the designers were lazy/incompetent or if it's actually a wellmade challenge i.e. the more intelligent and skillful I'm playing, the greater the chances for me to master the challenge. Examples for stupid challenges are ones that rely too much on randomness or trial and error

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:13AM Wisdomandlore said

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What's with the Dragon Quest VIII picture?

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:19AM Space Cobra said

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@Wisdomandlore

I thought it was DragonQuest online.

But maybe it is something personal out of the author's past that he struggled with in one memorable battle?
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 12:04PM Fakeassname said

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@Wisdomandlore

no content; all grind.

the Dragon Quest games are essentially the inceptiual blueprint for all grinding in Asian games.

if you have any complaint with a Asian RPG (be it single player or MMO) you can probably trace that issue back to Dragon Quest. there is no plot, combat is dull and simplistic, and monsters typically reward you with less than 10xp per kill regardless of your level.

the entire game play for most any DQ title is:

fight some monsters, and totally kick their ass!

you feel like a bad ass from that, so you go find the boss.

the boss wipes you in three hits, you cry and swear vengeance as you reload.

you kill some more monsters, but your still way OP and they give crap XP.

so you find an area with harder mobs in it, they beat your ass and you barely survive with one character still alive.

but you still are getting crap XP, so after rezing your party in town you go back to the base mobs.

after an hour of grinding base mobs you try the boss again, he still kicks your ass.

you grind some more and go back, he kick your ass again.

you grind some more, and at this point your simply holding forward and left on the game pad to spin your character in a circle to trigger random battles while picking your belly button lint to distract yourself from hammering a single button on your game pad to attack.

at some point in time you wake up to find that you passed out while you were at it but subconsciously kept spinning in circles and hitting A, so your now 5 levels higher.

you fight the boss, and win!

then you try to find the next boss to push forward with the game's (limited) story elements, but he wipes you in three hits ....

god, I hate Dragon Quest.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 2:24PM Laephis said

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@Fakeassname

Except, of course, that Dragon Quest VIII, the game pictured in this article, isn't like your description. At all.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 4:09PM (Unverified) said

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@Laephis
Actually, that exact description of crap XP, easy-ass regular mobs and OP bosses is why my wife stopped playing that game the first evening she started trying it.

@fakeassname
The storyline bashing, on the other hand, is subjective. Opinions are not facts. Not liking something doesn't make it bad.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 6:55PM Wisdomandlore said

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@Wisdomandlore

Depending on which DQ game you're playing, the combat and plot aren't dull and simplistic. Both VII and VIII had decent plots and, if you chose to dig into it, deep combat and customization. Especially VII, which is, IMO, one of the more underrated JRPGs.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:22AM Space Cobra said

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I don't have a set number of "tries". Sometimes I give up, never return, sometimes I take a break. Sometimes I play another system or game or blog or go out.

But yes, I can be frustrated. It's not an exact science. There are times I *know* I can do something, but just fall slightly short and that can be frustrating.

Sometimes It's just better to go out and do something else, your unconcious mind will work at the problem in the meantime and you will be refreshed and relaxed when you comme back.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:30AM Bhagpuss said

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My rule of thumb is never more than three times in a row. Two goes would be normal.

Obviously it depends on lots of variables: how interested am I in what I get from succeeding? How close do I think I am to getting it right? Is it my performance that needs to improve or am I up against something in the structure of the challenge that's not working? Could it even be bugged?

The most important factor, though, is am I still enjoying trying? So long as the answer to that is "yes" then no number of attempts is too many. The second the answer comes back "no" then it's time to stop.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:32AM Bhagpuss said

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My rule of thumb is never more than three times in a row. Two goes would be normal.

Obviously it depends on lots of variables: how interested am I in what I get from succeeding? How close do I think I am to getting it right? Is it my performance that needs to improve or am I up against something in the structure of the challenge that's not working? Could it even be bugged?

The clincher is "Am I still enjoying myself?" If the answer to that is "Yes" then no amount of tries is too many. As soon as it turns to "Not any more" then I stop immediately.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:51AM wahahabuh said

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for me it's not about the number of times I try, but how much time I've spent on it. Generally speaking if I can't do it in one hour, I'll stop and do something else. Maybe I'll return to it in the future, maybe not.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:51AM Matix said

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"I'd love to hear specific stories about particularly problematic obstacles that resulted in eventual success or frustrated surrender."

MOST RECENT: I was leveling my Imperial Agent on Tatooine, and was trying the quest "Plugging the Leak". I was having difficulty, to say the least, because the boss at the end on the instanced story zone kept healing himself. Soloing it, this proved an issue because once Kaliyo (companion) was knocked out I couldn't out DPS his heals.

Making matters worse, I failed, I had to exit the instance. To reenter, I had get 4 barrels and a signaling device before retrying. And when I retried, all the droid mobs would respawn. While, as an agent, I could stealth by most mobs but I had some clearing to do on the upper warehouse area.

After 4-5 tries (which was an hour of my life I'll never get back) I took on other quests until I gained another level and some new gear. I then bought medpacs and stims (stims I normally don't bother with).

During this additional level of quests, however, I took it one step further and did WOW-esque PVP keybinds to make myself that much more intuned with my character's abilities for fast attack and takedown.

When I reentered and signaled for the smuggler boss this time was different. Aside from being a level + gear + stim stronger, Kaliyo lasted much longer due to my quick interrupts and arena-style burst DPS combos I'd developed and practiced questing. By the time it was down to me vs. the boss all I had to do was unload on him and pop medpacs to save energy.

It was frustrating as kark but I generally DO NOT give up... even if I have to save the quest until I'm too high a level for the zone. :P But this time it was a comparatively minor bump in the road.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 5:34PM KvanCetre said

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@Matix
So many times interrupts are the difference between a win and a loss in a boss fight it seems..
Its always my go-to suggestion for people struggling with a fight
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 8:55AM (Unverified) said

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One of my favourite things to do while levelling in WoW is to try to solo the dungeons. If I'm making progress then I'll usually keep going until either my gear breaks from repeated rezzing, or the mobs start to respawn - at which point I'll leave it, go level and come back in a level or so.

In Fallen Earth I have a personal rule that I don't tow my horse out of danger zones if I get killed - I'll go back and get it in person. I spent 2 hours one night trying to get my horse back from the middle of a pack of very rapidly respawning creepers outside Sunshine Corners. Did it in the end and it was very satisfying.

(I think the only time I've broken that rule was when I was killed by the faction guards in a conflict town and could have only recovered my horse by taking on 2 of them - there's difficult, then there's downright impossible.)

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:39AM hereafter said

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It depends on how badly I want to get through the challenge or how necessary it is. I got to the end of Chapter 1 on my Sniper in TOR, but I was a level under. Unfortunately, this didn't work out so well when trying to take down that final boss, a three stage fight and I couldn't even survive the first. I didn't want to leave, so I tried pvp'ing, but I wasn't close enough to leveling to make it worthwhile so eventually after fighting the way I normally fight wasn't working, I decided to get a cheap and just kite the guy around the computer consoles and slowly erode his health with my Interrogation Probe and other DoTs. Finally I won and I didn't mind that it took me 10 tries and an unorthodox method.

I like when games have challenges like that in them. It can be frustrating, but when it's just a matter of finding the right mix of tactics, it's really satisfying when you finally win. I'm pretty pleased with the difficulty level in TOR, for the most part.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:47AM Maseno said

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Does anyone remember old school Nintendo and Sega games? You know, the ones that were designed for you to actually fail and not get to certain parts?

I fondly remember playing Aladin on my Sega and not being able to get past the Cave of Wonders flying part. Probably tried 100 different times and never once made it past it. I mostly blame it on my being a small kid, but it was ridiculous.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:51AM smartstep said

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I rarely give up.

Well after few tries I can give up temporarly, do something else in mmorpg (thouh it gets harder nowadays since modern mmorpg's don't offer anything except questing & instances in opposition to some older titles :/)
or just turn off game and go back to challange the content later on.

I rarely get challanged in mmorpg's nowadays though. Content is in 99% of times faceroll especially in open world. Even if I die then 1 min after I am there again and just do it.

Really any sort of challange in open world in current mmropg's is SO rare that maybe I have 1-2 moments in whole levelling process between level 1 and max level.

Mmorpg's just got easier.

Posted: Jan 14th 2012 9:58AM smartstep said

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@smartstep

One of reasons(apart of lack of immersion and rampaging freemium model I grow sick of) I am not playing any mmorpg atm.

Facerolling though open world content just got boring.


Sticking to single player games, and out of video games leisure activities these days , waiting for AA (+ eventually some surprises in genre) mostly for my mmorpg fix.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2012 11:10AM Contains Moderate Peril said

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As Harry Callaghan said "A man’s gotta know his limitations".

I play for pleasure and simply do not want an excessive challenge. Therefore my tolerance threshold is far lower than others.

However, I have been caught up in the hype surrounding SWTOR and broke my policy recently when struggling with the Lightspring class quest for the Smuggler. I did grind out about 7 or 8 attempts before success.

But as I said. This in unusual for me.

In LOTRO I love throwing in-game gold at problems to make them go away. For example, I am currently chasing kindred rep with Theodred's Riders.

I can do tasks and spend hours of my time in return for very little rep XP. Or I can buy vast quantities of a particular task item on AH and over a few days just accept the same task and hand over the items required to the taskmaster, with no real effort.

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