OrangePowerz (User)

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Accessibility - My most hated word of this games generation

OrangePowerz | 777d ago
User blog

As the current games generation moves towards it`s end and the next one is soon going to start I wanted to go over my most hated word during this generation.

This word would be: ACCESSIBILITY

During this generation accessibility was term used rather often. In itself it means to make something more accessible or user friendly in order to reach more customers and increase sales. If done right this can be a good thing, but unfortunately this generation it was often synonymous for dumbing down. As my main example I will pick World of Warcraft even tough it isn`t a console game and it was released before the current console generation, but it is the easiest for me because it had a fluid change towards being more accessible compared to playing certain games for a few weeks per year till the next sequel comes out.

I wouldn`t be able to say what games started with it, but I remember my first experience I had with accessibility in a game and what it was leading to. My first experience with that term came during the times when I still played World of Warcraft. I started playing the game when it launched and as I was at university I had plenty of time to spend playing the game. During the classic times we had 3-4 raids per weeks going for most of the night and outside those times farming all the materials to make flasks, better equipment etc. Post classic things started to slowly change, the add-ons didn`t have anymore 40 player raids and instead they had 25 and 10 player raids. Over time the need to farm for materials was gone, raids got more accessible and easier to finish and the looking for raid feature was implemented that allowed random players to play the raids.

Having just random people thrown together going for the first time into a specific raid dungeon and killing any boss at all was hard to believe during classic times. Looking for raid dungeons are easier with loot that has lower quality over the normal or heroic raid so there is balance there. I can relate to having raids easier and the need to farm constantly removed so people that have less spare time can also see and experience the high end content. It`s also certainly not a negative point that leveling is faster now compared to how it was during classic times when the last 20-25 levels really dragged on. But somewhere along the way while making the game more accessible and also in many ways better something went wrong that put myself and other long term players off. For me personally raid bosses feel easier in their mechanic now and it`s less likely that the raid will wipe.

As things got more accessible the requirement for communication got lower plus there was an influx of new players. During the old times even on high population servers the different guilds that raided talked with each other and I knew many of the other people and spent a lot of time talking with them via in-game chat or TS. Over time most of that was gone, in part because people stopped playing the game and in parts because all that communication wasn`t needed anymore.

For my second example I will pick the Assassin`s Creed series. While WoW had many changes that made the game better when Blizzard decided to make the game more accessible AC failed to improve by making it more accessible in my opinion. Most people who played the first AC game can agree that it had many shortcomings such as very repetitive missions that need to be done before the actual assassination, but that the foundation the game was build on had a lot of potential. UbiSoft managed to show that potential with AC2 that fixed the problems from the first game and they released an excellent game.

AC 2 was followed up with Brotherhood and Revelations and last years AC3. With every new game game after AC2 a pattern started to emerge. Combat got easier, free running got easier to a point where it feels almost automated by the time AC3 was released, gone are the real assassination missions and missions started to feel more linear and more restricted. People that played the first game know that traversal wasn`t as easy and you had to press more than one button to swiftly run around. It wasn`t particularly hard, but it need some hand eye coordination. Comparing this to how it works in AC3 it is clear that accessibility changed traversal to a point where non gamers could run around without issues. The actual assassinations is another big point for me. In the original game the player had the choice on how to approach the mission and what he wants to do. That quickly changed to having only a linear approach and in AC3 they where easy and very anticlimactic.

There would be other games as well, but I only wanted to ramble on about two games for this time. I`m very curious to see if this trend will continue for the next 7-9 years or not. We had certainly a fair share of games this generation where the developers didn`t spend their time making the game more accessible and focused on making a good challenging and fun game such as Demon/Dark Souls, Super Meat Boy, Dead Space 1, Vanquish, The Last of Us and so on.

RBlue_Desire  +   777d ago
Agreed with your points.
I really hated how they dumbed down AC Series , and still love AC1 more than any other of the games from the series.
Even though missions were repetative they gave you rewards.
Information about the location where you will assassinate, about the person you are gonna assassinate, and your escape routes.
You could plan them all. And I liked combat of AC1 more so than AC2, where it was just killstreaks and countering weak enemies.

In AC1 templars were really hard to fight, (unless you used hidden blade)
Irishguy95  +   776d ago
In AC1, the templers were hard, but only before you got the counter ability. After you got counter, the game was as good as finished. The challenge diminished. I honestly believe the counter system in AC is the combat systems downfall. Also, remember, at the end of AC1, you had 30 enemies or so surrounding you. All you had to do was stand there and counter as each one took turns killing themselves.

Pre counter, the game was very fun to just go hunting templars. All in all the games need a revamped combat system. However lets see how AC4 does it.
#1.1 (Edited 776d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Nicaragua  +   777d ago
Totally agree with AC.

The first one was actually a game about assassination that required planning and strategy. Now they aren't even about assassins anymore and are just a mediocre action game.
memots  +   777d ago
Assassins Creed is one of the worst offender. Its literally holding your hand across the whole game .. WTF

Or Prince of Persia where you cannot die.. Seriously ?
COD auto-aim.
Rewind feature in racing games.
Unlimited continues , regen health.
#3 (Edited 777d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Welcome2Die  +   777d ago
Its simple.
Play Demons Souls and Dark Souls.
memots  +   777d ago
One does not simply enter The Nexus

OrangePowerz  +   776d ago
I do play them, but I hate it when franchises that I like get turned into casual games to a point where they alienate the user base that gave them success and the sales to make sequels in the first place.
Irishguy95  +   776d ago
Lets hope Dark souls 2 does Accessibility right(from news and previews it certainly sounds like it is doing it right)
DestinyHeroDoomlord  +   776d ago
One does not simply "pause"
Wni0  +   776d ago
Dont say dark souls dont say dark souls ah damnit.
isarai  +   776d ago
The thing i hate most about the whole thing is that most things they do to make game "Accessible" can be easily optional, like this slew of "win visions" in almost every adventure game these days. it isn't hard to tweak a few things to make the game better for more experienced players wanting a challenge though settings and options, they just don't.
admiralvic  +   776d ago
Well some games do it right and many do it wrong.

I always felt like Vanquish had a great way to have both. Like the main game (even on some of the normal / low hard tier) were COMPLETELY doable by someone of average skill and minimal interest in depth. However, if you wanted to have difficulty, then you had the tactical challenges. Unlike the rest of the game, these challenges were more so about doing the "right" thing and planning ahead, than simply winning them. Then even if you knew HOW to do it, you still needed the skill to pull it off. Some people might chime in saying that 6 (and to a lesser degree 4) were cheap, but they're actually very doable if you can master the gameplay mechanics, timing and locations. However, don't read "doable" as "easy". It's still completely possible to die after doing everything right and vice versa. I always liked this break down, since everyone can enjoy the story and the "hardcore" gamers can enjoy the optional challenge mode (which was my favorite part of the game).
Roccetarius   776d ago | Bad language | show
admiralvic  +   776d ago
@ Roccetarius

The bogey's were problematic, but you had to get the sphere enemies first. This always left you in the open at the start and they were far more deadly if you didn't dispatch them asap, which is why I loved that challenge.
Roccetarius  +   776d ago
Accessibility, amongst other things are exactly why i don't buy many games anymore. I just don't feel like the challenge is there anymore, and so the satisfying feeling of doing it is entirely gone.

Things are not going to be the same anymore, and i know that for certain. Games will continue to suffer from things like this.
#7 (Edited 776d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
MysticStrummer  +   775d ago
Accessibility can be good or bad. I don't think it necessarily means "easy", but I do think games have become easier in general. More often than not, "Normal" difficulty seems like the "Easy" of past generations, but the solution to that is to play the game on "Hard" instead.

I think my most hated word is "Parity".
fazor3d  +   775d ago
The real issue isn't 'accessibility', but rather the misappropriation of the world. Real accessibility -- tearing down artificial barriers in the name of cohesive gameplay or creating way for other with special needs to interact with games -- is one of this generation's greatest advancements (though there's still tons of work to be done.)

But yes, dumbing down gameplay to its most generic form and then claiming it is being 'accessible' is frustrating and, ultimately, harmful to a series' long-term success.
CanadianTurtle  +   775d ago
Accessibility is the reason handheld gaming is dying. It's a shame
caseh  +   774d ago
You can blame the decline/death of handhelds on two things:

- crap games
- mobile phones

Accessibility doesn't really factor into it.
#10.1 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
e-p-ayeaH  +   772d ago
the big issue here is the lack of vision on developers they play safe bets rather than taking new bold approaches.
#11 (Edited 772d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

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