Tail Concerto – Part 10

•May 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Investigating the Secret Base…

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Quick Review – Spec Ops: The Line

•April 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment
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I finished Spec Ops: The Line for the first time. Really impacting story. The famous white phosphorous scene was incredible.

The Line was part of a trend around the time it came out (2012) of games that deceived the player into thinking their choices mattered, when they didn’t. I remember it was a big thing at that time to critique making meaningful choices in games.

It works – I mean, The Line generally did a good job of convincing me that the choices I made were the “only way”. When I used that white phosphorous mortar, I agreed with Captain Walker – “it’s us or them.” I didn’t even consider another possibility. They were just more bad guys to kill. I was thinking tactically, like, “only three of us, an army of them – gotta use the mortar to take ‘em out! Yeah, it’s the only way!” When the game showed me the consequences of those actions, it opened my eyes to just how “one-track brain” we are with shooters.

I’m really glad I finally played it, even as depressing as it was. It was a good thing they had a talented writing team, because the gameplay alone would not have carried this game. Combat was a slog and unsatisfying (kind of the point), and checkpoints were sometimes extremely punishing. But it was worth a playthrough for how it made me think and feel.

Tail Concerto – Part 9

•January 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment

We finally get into some heavy platforming… and it’s HARD! The lackluster controls of this game start to show when things get complicated… Fortunately, one of the few complaints about Tail Concerto.

Tail Concerto – Part 8

•December 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

BOSS FIGHT! Then, Flare gets captured! Will the Black Cats come to her rescue? The plot thickens…

NERF THIS!: Proposed Changes to Overwatch’s Competitive Play Mode

•November 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Six seasons of Competitive Overwatch have delivered an intense experience that offers something more serious to those bored with Quick Play.

However, the established ranking system could use improvements to be more meaningful to players.

I have some proposed changes to Competitive Play that I think would make players feel more personally enriched, without compromising its integrity.

THE PROBLEM

Rank in Competitive Play is represented as a number between 1 and 5000. This number is called the player’s SR, or “Skill Rating”. Generally, players should improve over time and increase their skill rating.

However, the “skill” part is a little misleading, because you don’t actually gain SR when you as a player perform well, only when your team actually wins. 

Under the current Competitive system based on wins and losses, many players actually stay around the same rating, even after clear improvements with different characters and roles.

THE INSPIRATION

Now, let’s look at a game called Dead By Daylight.

DBD is a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer horror game in which four human-controlled survivors must fix generators to escape a “trial”, while outwitting one human-controlled killer. The killer’s job is to hunt down, attack, and sacrifice the survivors on hooks. There are perks, items, add-ons and offerings that make the game very strategic and deceptively complex.

Almost any mode you pick in DBD is a ranked mode. Ranks begin at 20 as the lowest and 1 as the highest. As a survivor, when you do stuff (work on objectives, rescue/ heal your teammates, sabotage the killer’s devices, etc.), you get points in categories based on your actions.

The points you earn go towards gaining you a “pip”, or notch, in your rank (you can also be awarded two pips if you went above and beyond). Once you have enough pips, you increase in rank.

This scoring system of awarding points based on contributions, is genius. It eliminates the feeling of helplessness when your team isn’t performing well, and shows you exactly how you made a difference (or didn’t). If you didn’t get enough points to gain a pip, that’s on you — You only get out what you put in.

Your rank shows other players your skill at the game, as it is a number that encapsulates how well you perform in escaping trials as a survivor. And starting at the bottom (20) means that when players see you at a high rank, they know you’ve worked hard and increased your skill to be at that rank.

THE PROPOSAL

The Skill Rating of Overwatch players should change on an individual basis to give players stronger ownership over their rank.

Instead of gaining or losing SR for a team win or loss, players should be awarded points for contributions they made during a match, and they gain or lose SR depending on how many points they were awarded.

Play healer? The amount of points you gain is directly related to how much you supported your team, and that determines how much your SR changes.

Play DPS? Your points are awarded based on eliminations and damage dealt.

Play tank? You gain points for blocking and absorbing damage, as well as dealing damage. All classes also gain points for objective time.

Basically, if you don’t get enough points, you didn’t “do enough” during the match, and you lose SR. If you do get enough points, that means you had a strong performance, and you gain SR accordingly.

THE CONCLUSION

Under Overwatch‘s current Skill Rating system, the number that defines an individual player’s skill is reliant on the performance of a team.

With my proposal, each player’s actions contributes to their own personal Skill Rating. This Skill Rating will show individual players how well they actually perform in their games.

This experience will be more personally enriching to players, and give them ownership over their rank.

 

Tail Concerto – Part 7

•July 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Let’s rescue the Archeonis! I also talk a little about how refreshing it is to play this kind of game in an age of first person shooters.

Tail Concerto – Part 6

•July 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

More mines, and we fight Alicia and the gang again!

 
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