Thought for the day.

In the general case, people don’t complain that <insert competitive sport or board game of choice> is boring because it always involves playing the same scenario with the same rules over and over and over.

So why do a vast number of commentators feel that a PvP game such as All Points Bulletin having a repetitive mission structure is a design flaw?

APB certainly has its flaws, but this is not one of them. Could it be improved by adding new mission content? Obviously yes, but then football could be improved if they secretly added a minefield one week, maybe changed the ball for an angry wolverine the next; it doesn’t mean that football is fundamentally flawed when the organisers choose to leave the framework the same and let the players create the content instead.

7 thoughts on “Thought for the day.

  1. Ravious

    I think you are looking at it backwards… when players playing a PvP game start complaining about the repetitiveness of the objectives creating PvP, then something is wrong on a fundamental design level.

  2. Melmoth Post author

    Interesting perspective.

    The complaints that I’ve seen that prompted this thought were generally of the “The missions are repetitive, ‘go here, raid that, drop off item X'” which I would agree with, but the point is that the game-play is not repetitive because, in most cases, you will be opposed by other people and there are therefore an infinite number of possibilities as to how the mission will play out when that factor is taken into account.

    If the players are finding the PvP itself repetitive, then I would suggest that that is simply because they do not enjoy that particular form of PvP. I can’t see how it differs in any way from UT2k4, Counter Strike or any other such game, which have had a loyal fanbase playing the same limited set of maps, with identical objectives, repeatedly for years.

    I think, in actual fact, the comments we’ve seen about the repetitive nature of the game have probably come from MMO players who were expecting 60+ levels of grind content before the end-game raiding. APB is simply PvP end-game raiding, or multiplayer team death match as they’ve called it in the FPS community for time immemorial.

    If MMO players are saying that this isn’t enough content to justify a subscription, on the other hand, then that’s an argument I can understand and agree with. They need to say that though, and not just subconsciously complain about the fact that there aren’t 500 NPCs to hand out quests with text they won’t read, to kill animals they won’t ever see again, and to get rewards that will be sold to a vendor 90% of the time.

  3. Zubon

    American football experimented with the wolverine-ball. They still use the badger-ball for exhibition play in Wisconsin.

  4. Melmoth Post author

    I think you may have just re-invented Blood Bowl; I expect Games Workshop’s orbital cannon will begin firing lawyers down on us at any time now. I’ll get my mop.

  5. Fuzzy

    <insert competitive sport or board game of choice> doesn’t come with a monthly fee. The only cost comes from securing the ball/board/safety equipment that comes with the game.

    also doesn’t come with the claim that player will be participating in a massive, persistent world where players can do what they want (some restrictions apply, see store for details). When you play a sport or board game, it’s pretty clear what you’re getting into. MMOs, not so much.

    Heh, “parping”. pvp-action role-playing?

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