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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Always Online Gaming is the bane of my Existence

 

Does Always Online Requirements bother you?

Yes, It does. 32 72.73%
 
Not bothered by it. 12 27.27%
 
Total:44
Azzanation said:

We as an industry shouldnt be blaming a genre or platform over pubishers and developers trying to exploit it.

If it wasnt for an always online game like WoW i  probably wouldn't still be gaming today. The genre has done nothing wrong and i am all for online gaming. I am however placing the blame on the ones that deserve it, for giving always online a bad name.

Sorry for the late reply.

Like I said, I know a lot of people enjoy always-online games. However, not only do I disapprove of always-online games for a more fundamental reason—they are dependent on being able to connect to the game's servers, which will be shut down one day, as attested to by the piles of dead MMOs that litter the landscape of gaming history—but also the entire concept of always-online is inherently exploitable. There was inevitably going to be someone along the line who figured out how to further monetize games, even ones that do have offline components, once they could be connected to the internet, and it would have been a matter of time before it was taken to extremes. It's not just "live service" games like Destiny or Anthem or The Crew or The Division (games that could have easily been tweaked to where most of the game could be played offline). Even game series that worked fine without always-online have been affected. 343 Industries, much to my consternation, forced Halo 5's multiplayer half to be always-online, eliminating local co-op and LAN play, and they were pushing "loot boxes" two years before Battlefront 2 made headlines (fortunately, it seems they are reversing course on this at least partway for Halo Infinite, as local split screen play is returning).

If EA, Activision, and Ubisoft went under 20 years ago, whoever the major AAA third parties that would have existed in their stead would have gotten around to doing the same things at some point. Pervasive microtransactions and other predatory practices would still be a thing, maybe earlier, maybe later, but definitely at some point, because large corporations can't let potential new revenue streams go untapped. And mandatory online connections give them greater control over the product, at the expense of the gamer. And now game streaming threatens to make every game, even single-player ones, always-online by default. And some gamers are defending streaming and want it to be the norm. Sure, ideally always-online could potentially be a good thing, but good old-fashioned human nature tends to crush ideals under the bootheel of greed & avarice. Arguably, more bad than good has come from widespread online connectivity in video games.

Sure, you and a relative handful of other games might not be playing if it weren't for MMOs or other always-online games (of course, you could have just as easily ended up finding something else that would have rekindled your love of gaming), but I often think that overall it would have better for consumers if video games were never able to connect to the internet. It's hard to argue that the advent of online has been a net positive for gamers as a whole.



Visit http://shadowofthevoid.wordpress.com

In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

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Shadow1980 said:

Sorry for the late reply.

Like I said, I know a lot of people enjoy always-online games. However, not only do I disapprove of always-online games for a more fundamental reason—they are dependent on being able to connect to the game's servers, which will be shut down one day, as attested to by the piles of dead MMOs that litter the landscape of gaming history—but also the entire concept of always-online is inherently exploitable. There was inevitably going to be someone along the line who figured out how to further monetize games, even ones that do have offline components, once they could be connected to the internet, and it would have been a matter of time before it was taken to extremes. It's not just "live service" games like Destiny or Anthem or The Crew or The Division (games that could have easily been tweaked to where most of the game could be played offline). Even game series that worked fine without always-online have been affected. 343 Industries, much to my consternation, forced Halo 5's multiplayer half to be always-online, eliminating local co-op and LAN play, and they were pushing "loot boxes" two years before Battlefront 2 made headlines (fortunately, it seems they are reversing course on this at least partway for Halo Infinite, as local split screen play is returning).

If EA, Activision, and Ubisoft went under 20 years ago, whoever the major AAA third parties that would have existed in their stead would have gotten around to doing the same things at some point. Pervasive microtransactions and other predatory practices would still be a thing, maybe earlier, maybe later, but definitely at some point, because large corporations can't let potential new revenue streams go untapped. And mandatory online connections give them greater control over the product, at the expense of the gamer. And now game streaming threatens to make every game, even single-player ones, always-online by default. And some gamers are defending streaming and want it to be the norm. Sure, ideally always-online could potentially be a good thing, but good old-fashioned human nature tends to crush ideals under the bootheel of greed & avarice. Arguably, more bad than good has come from widespread online connectivity in video games.

Sure, you and a relative handful of other games might not be playing if it weren't for MMOs or other always-online games (of course, you could have just as easily ended up finding something else that would have rekindled your love of gaming), but I often think that overall it would have better for consumers if video games were never able to connect to the internet. It's hard to argue that the advent of online has been a net positive for gamers as a whole.

That's understandable, I have to work too which can be a pain to reply to these threads sometimes. 

I have to point out some things which I have to disagree with.

1st point is that you stat game servers will be shut down one day. Now for starters, I have been playing a game for more than 14 years (WoW) back in 2005 so that game and many others make that point invalid. Game servers shut down mostly due to the game being dead. I cannot think of any game server which shut down that actually mattered to the public. If a game is popular enough it will have legs and a 14 year life span is more than some physical disks actually last through there life span. I could argue that the material on your hardware and software will wear out before WoW has been closed down. Its really just your perception on the matter. Its like a bad gaming company, if a company is bad they get shut down, that's no different to a service game. In my honest opinion, games that close down are either dead or bad games to begin with.

2nd point is Halo 5 never pushed always online. One of the main reasons for the lack of Co-Op was due to the fact 343 wanted a 60 frame game and didn't want to add an alternative. Halo 5 still offered a campaign and a MP mode which is now brimming with features today. That is a very poor example game to use here. 343 being a good company has learnt what gamers want and are listening so more credit to them.

3rd point is that there is nothing wrong with Streaming, many have painted it as a bad picture. I am not Pro Streaming, however I am not against the option. I heard the exact same thing when Digital media was becoming a thing and many painted Digital gaming as a bad thing because they couldn't own the game. Streaming is just another way to play your Digital games. Sure we have future services like GamePass which we have to rent out however how is that a bad thing? Its full of value and there are many gamers out there on a budget so why is this a bad thing?

As humanity progresses with technology its how we evolve as a specie. Streaming is just another added convenience into us becoming more lazy. To hate it is like you hating Sony for pushing VR, because someone can argue the exact same thing saying VR is going to replace couch controller gaming. The sad thing is, VR will one day replace our way of gaming. Because its the direction technology is taking us. No matter what we do, its unavoidable. In with the new and out with the old. Much like Netflix and the Movie market. People don't want to use DvDs / Blu Rays anymore. They want it at there fingertips. 

Convenience is a powerful weapon.

Last edited by Azzanation - on 05 March 2019

Azzanation said:

That's understandable, I have to work too which can be a pain to reply to these threads sometimes. 

I have to point out some things which I have to disagree with.

1st point is that you stat game servers will be shut down one day. Now for starters, I have been playing a game for more than 14 years (WoW) back in 2005 so that game and many others make that point invalid. Game servers shut down mostly due to the game being dead. I cannot think of any game server which shut down that actually mattered to the public. If a game is popular enough it will have legs and a 14 year life span is more than some physical disks actually last through there life span. I could argue that the material on your hardware and software will wear out before WoW has been closed down. Its really just your perception on the matter. Its like a bad gaming company, if a company is bad they get shut down, that's no different to a service game. In my honest opinion, games that close down are either dead or bad games to begin with.

2nd point is Halo 5 never pushed always online. One of the main reasons for the lack of Co-Op was due to the fact 343 wanted a 60 frame game and didn't want to add an alternative. Halo 5 still offered a campaign and a MP mode which is now brimming with features today. That is a very poor example game to use here. 343 being a good company has learnt what gamers want and are listening so more credit to them.

3rd point is that there is nothing wrong with Streaming, many have painted it as a bad picture. I am not Pro Streaming, however I am not against the option. I heard the exact same thing when Digital media was becoming a thing and many painted Digital gaming as a bad thing because they couldn't own the game. Streaming is just another way to play your Digital games. Sure we have future services like GamePass which we have to rent out however how is that a bad thing? Its full of value and there are many gamers out there on a budget so why is this a bad thing?

As humanity progresses with technology its how we evolve as a specie. Streaming is just another added convenience into us becoming more lazy. To hate it is like you hating Sony for pushing VR, because someone can argue the exact same thing saying VR is going to replace couch controller gaming. The sad thing is, VR will one day replace our way of gaming. Because its the direction technology is taking us. No matter what we do, its unavoidable. In with the new and out with the old. Much like Netflix and the Movie market. People don't want to use DvDs / Blu Rays anymore. They want it at there fingertips. 

Convenience is a powerful weapon.

Re: 1st point, even if WoW itself is still alive and kicking 40 years from now (possible, but certainly not guaranteed, as it had lost half its peak player base by 2015 when the last official count was published, and there's some evidence of it continuing to lose players), it would be one of the rare exceptions of current games that will still be around. Also, the ability to play offline/single-player games is not dependent on having a certain number of players around to make it worth the publisher's time and money to keep supporting it. I bought it years ago and that was that. 40 years from now, if my old ass is the only one left that still wants to play Gradius III on the SNES, I can do so, because the game isn't dependent on an online connection. Meanwhile, my experiences with online suggest that every fear I have about online is justified. MS discontinued support for the OXbox nine years ago. Nintendo did so for the Wii a few weeks back. And during the year or so I played Destiny (which I gave a chance because it was Bungie; that was a mistake I'll never repeat), there were multiple occasions where I simply couldn't play it because PSN was down or the game's servers were down or because Comcast was being typical shitty Comcast, to say nothing of the utter boredom that came once I did everything there was to do and only the grind remained. Granted, that's consoles, which are a less MMO-friendly platform, but the fact remains that the current crop of always-online games are not guaranteed to be around 20 years from now.

My problem is that publishers, especially major third parties, are getting increasingly aggressive in pushing these "live service" games while kicking single-player games to the curb, even though every year shows that single-player games are still immensely popular. Whenever a "live service" game does succeed, it encourages the trend-chasing AAA publishers to just churn out more of those games with their mandatory online and their aggressive and frequently predatory microtransaction schemes. I don't want always-online games to succeed, because that means more of that shit will infect games and series that would have been perfectly playable as offline experiences. They see Fortnite succeed, and now they think everyone wants to play nothing but BR games, and the market will get oversaturated and littered with the corpses of dead "live service" titles, with the publishers having pissed away considerable sums of money that could have funded something more unique and didn't force mandatory online and social bullshit.

This industry loves to chase trends. They demonstrated this last generation when Call of Duty got huge after the release of the first Modern Warfare, and suddenly everyone and their mother wanted to publish yet another generic brown "realistic" modern military shooter, most of which failed miserably (IIRC, Battlefield 3 was the only other game in that sub-genre to be a mainstream success). All that money that could have been spent on games that could have been their own more distinctive thing, squandered by short-sighted publishers trying to take a slice of New Hotness's pie. Then the bubble burst and they tried to find a new trend to chase. And now the trend they want to chase is "live services," which they designed first and foremost to sell microtransactions and milk as many players for as much as possible, even if they already paid $60 for the game itself.

Also, regarding the longevity of a physical copy, if a game disc hasn't lasted someone 14 years, well, they just haven't been taking care of it. I have game discs that are 15-20+ years old that are still in pristine condition, and CDs far older than that that are still in perfect condition, because I take care of my stuff. Physical games can last a lifetime if you actually take care of them, whereas the ability to play an online-only game is dependent purely on the whims of the publisher, digital downloads may live only as long as your hard drive (as I found out the hard way), and streaming titles could get pulled at a moment's notice for any reason or no reason at all.

 

Re: 2nd point, I have Halo 5. Its multiplayer component absolutely cannot be played offline. There is no LAN support. Even Forge of all things is online-only, so I can't even make or edit maps if XBL is down, or the game's servers are down, or my internet is out. At some point, the only thing that will be available to play is the Campaign (which fortunately is the main attraction for me). I know they had their reasons for no split-screen—Frank O'Connor himself said "it's a bummer but 60fps had to take precedence. It's not just aesthetics- the entire simulation is built on that framerate"—but that's still no excuse for completely eliminating any and all local options for anything that's not solo Campaign. I will give 343I a lot of credit, though, as they have done a lot to address player complaints about Halo 5, either in H5 itself or through announced features for Infinite (such as the return of split-screen), and have even fixed the MCC.

 

Re: 3rd point, I don't like streaming because it makes even single-player games dependent on a constant internet connection. If I'm unable to connect to the streaming service, that means no playing anything until the connection can be re-established. If a game is removed from the service for any reason, such as being rotated out Netflix-style or simply being de-listed because there was some sort of rights issue or the publisher went under or just wanted to stop making games (like when Irem stopped making games and forced Nintendo, MS, & Sony to de-list every Irem title from their digital stores), then you don't get to play that game until it gets re-listed, which may never happen depending on the circumstances. I don't have these problems with my offline games. My NES games are still perfectly playable after 30 years. Same with movies. I have Ghostbusters 1 & 2 on Blu-ray. Good luck watching them on Netflix, since they were removed the other day.

And speaking of Blu-ray, your contention that "People don't want to use DvDs / Blu Rays anymore" is overly broad. I guess me and the millions of others who still buy physical copies of movies aren't "people" but some sort of Luddite dinosaur, huh? And I guess Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, and other major retailers are just wasting shelf space with something people don't buy anymore. And those new movies that appear to be sold out at those places are just an illusion. Pardon the obvious sarcasm, but saying that nobody wants Blu-ray anymore is a baseless assertion. There's plenty of people that still buy movies physically, and there's no reason to think that number necessarily must trend towards zero. Just because music is over 90% digital these days (and the recording industry still hasn't had the audacity to outright force everyone to purchase MP3s or subscribe to some streaming radio service) doesn't mean it has to happen to every other form of home entertainment.

Moving along, if streaming continues to be an option, and only an option, I won't mind its existence, but the moment the industry abandons physical games is the moment I abandon them. What I resent is when people hope and actually push for a digital-only future. There are people out there that, whether they realize it or not, don't want me to be able to buy physical copies of anything anymore. They don't want me to have the option. That's what I hate. The claimed "convenience" of digital (which I feel is vastly overstated; I) does not to me outweigh what I feel are significant drawbacks.

Also I don't spend money on digital games anymore, except for the odd double-dip on an older title I already own a physical copy of. Blaster Master Zero (a remake of the NES original) was the only digital game I spent money on this generation, and it was the first new title (if remakes count as "new") I made a paid download for since 2010.

From my perspective, my experience, and given the current state of the law, physical is the superior format. I want to own and control what I buy, which is why I don't buy multiplayer-only games or any other kind of online-only game, nor do I spend any money on downloading any new titles anymore (aside from the aforementioned Blaster Master Zero). In fact, if it weren't for Halo, I wouldn't even be paying for Xbox Live anymore.

Re: Virtual Reality, I'll believe it when I see it. We've been promised that VR is the one and only definitive future of gaming since the early 90s. Lots of people like to make sweeping predictions about the future, but most of them never come to pass (print was supposed to be dead a long time ago). PSVR owners make up at most about 4% of all PS4 owners, and growth hasn't exactly been explosive. Sure, it could get more mainstream over time, but it could just as easily remain a relatively niche product. It might be fun to prognosticate that "gaming on a TV will be dead by [insert near-future date]," but it's still an assertion not based in reality.



Visit http://shadowofthevoid.wordpress.com

In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").