Snowskeeper

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics

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    MOBAs: What makes lane-pushing games such an attractive genre?

    Recently, we’ve seen a large influx of hero-brawler games from all corners of the industry, from Ironclad Games’ Sins of a Dark Age to Valve’s/Blizzard’s/The Modding Community’s/whoever’s Defense of The Ancients, to Blizzard’s poorly-named Heroes of the Storm (c’mon, guys, you just released an expansion pack with exactly the same acronym!). It has gotten to the point where many people within the industry have become absolutely sick of everything to do with them. What is it about wizard murdering simulators that makes them so popular with developers, and why can’t anyone come up with a name for the genre that actually makes sense?

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      Latest Comments

      I’m interested about how your take on games like Farmville or Dungeon Keeper Mobile might be different. If Skyrim can be addictive to a small subset of players, despite the fact that it doesn’t actively try to be (as far as I can tell), then should we be working to stop games like DKM, which uses techniques like long waiting times and reduced productivity to prod the player into paying for borderline-useless services, from operating the way they do?

      Video Games: The Ups and Downs of a Virtual World

      Hellblade, Fable Legends and Rise of the Tomb Raider are not exclusive to the platforms you described. Rise of the Tomb Raider is on a timed exclusivity agreement, meaning that it will be released on the Playstation 4 and PC eventually; Fable Legends and Hellblade will be available on the PC at launch.

      (I think it’s a mistake to avoid discussing the PC in this article, but I suppose it might be better to talk about the PC as a contrast to all of the major consoles, as opposed to as one of them.)

      2014 Gaming: The Console War from Origins to the Future

      You aren’t going to have very much luck if you try to play Smash as a hit-really-hard-once model game. Most characters can’t launch enemies very hard until they’ve got their damage rating up to 60% or so; of those, only a few of them are capable of actually ‘killing’ their opponent at that point. Most advanced players try to link long strings of hits together in order to build up damage quickly, then knock them off the stage at the very end of it. The game is heavily reliant on split-second planning, and being able to react to minute changes in circumstances is very important.

      Lessons From The Success of Super Smash Bros.

      Dr Mario is in Smash 4. Like in Brawl, you need to unlock him. Ganondorf’s also in there, which is great, because Ganondorf is awesome.

      Lessons From The Success of Super Smash Bros.

      I strongly suggest that you look at the competitive scene before claiming that advanced players aren’t be interested in this game.

      (I’d also appreciate it if people stopped using “casual” as a dirty word, but I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon, unfortunately.)

      Lessons From The Success of Super Smash Bros.

      Dark Souls is difficult, but while this isn’t something you’re guilty of, the media in general seems to be painting it as an unfairly challenging game--one which kills you without warning and for no reason. In fact, the game’s placement of traps and enemies is extremely logical. If an area looks like it would be a good location for an ambush, there’s probably something waiting for you there. If a normally aggressive opponent is running from you, be prepared for a trap of some kind to be waiting in whatever location it’s leading you to. If you’re expected to walk down a narrow tunnel in a location that has been loaded with traps, check for pressure plates before you charge forward. This is something that most video-games do; either they leave ambushes and trap triggering up to random chance, like in Darkest Dungeon, or they don’t bother hiding them at all. People don’t expect a game like Dark Souls to require them to think about the layout of the area before moving forward, so they get angry when they get caught in traps or shot in the back by an archer on a tower.

      I think VaatiVidya explains this better than I did; he’s somewhat flippant about it, though.

      A Tale of Two Adventurers (and artificial difficulty)

      Dark Souls: What Makes Gamers Endure the Pain?