Video Game Tuesday: Randomized Content and Replayability


This week I’m going to talk about a content that is very contentious in the gaming industry for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! It’s all about Randomized Content and Replayability!

What is Randomized Content: Randomized Content is content that is not actually random, it just has a set of outcomes that vary each time the operation is run, usually meaning each time the player enters the content’s area. What does this mean for replayablity? In the best cast scenario it means that after about 5 times the number of outcomes (5 x Y where Y is the total number of outcomes) before it becomes no longer “Random” and it loses all sense of being random to the user. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth bringing up with the soon™ to be released No Man’s Sky and it’s Procedurally Generated Content engine.

What is Procedurally Generated Content?: Procedurally Generated Content, or PGC for short or incredibly lazy types like myself, is essentially a system of equations that produce a pretty much random variation infinitely. Minecraft is a good example of PGC as each seed world is different if you choose to have it be random, no two worlds are exactly alike, sure there may be a Temple near a Village always but that’s part of the equations.

What does this have to do with Replayability?: Recently Bungie released Destiny’s second expansion The House of Wolves with the highlight being the Prison of Elders which is randomized each time a player enters. It’s really not, as I state above, and after a short amount of time everything will go back to the same grind. If they really wanted it to be random they’d have to do something like Diablo 3’s Rift System where it’s a random dungeon every time you enter and even then after a few thousand times through the rifts you’ll start seeing the patterns. Given how fast people played through Destiny’s content I’m disappointed in the lack of foresight on Bungie’s part, but that’s a story for another day.

So what it boils down to is if you want to really play a randomized game you need to play something like Minecraft and hopefully soon No Man’s Sky, don’t take the marketing bullcrap about randomized content at face value.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: Why I’m not returning to Destiny


This week on Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a subject I got asked by a few friends over the last couple of weeks. I’m not going back to Destiny, and I’ll explain why below!

You really aren’t going to play the new expansion even though you wrote for months about this game?: Yes, even I one of the most fervent fans is sick of the crap that happens in Destiny every day with no change. Hey that guy who did absolutely jack shit in Crucible just got one of the best guns in the game again, while I went for a K/D ratio of 10? How about I’ve got 3 max level characters and kept getting No Land Beyond from all my exotic chances this week? What does Bungie do to fix the problems that have been apparent since Day 1? Nothing, they instead focus on meaningless crap like PvP balancing in a game that they said would be more PvE than PvP focused. What about letting us see more of the Tower instead of the roof and a few rooms inside it? How about that giant freaking city you said we’d be able to visit? What about fixing the bugs in the raid that launched with the game instead of breaking it further? They do none of these things, and I’ve talked about PUDs before, but this is getting to an almost stupid amount at this point.

But what about that Trials of Osiris thingy, and the Prison of the Elders?: First, if all reports are to believed the Prison of the Elders is going to be a Horde mode, or if you never played a Gears of War game and went for Halo, Firefight 2.0. They say that it’s going to be more varied, but i’ll let you into a little secret about programming, unless you randomly generate everything including the playable arena, it’s going to get boring after about the 10th time. In an FPS game they can’t do that because it’d be too unforgiving if they had 10 Atheons spawn and just wreck the players. It’ll follow a certain set of rules and about 10 times through everyone will know sort of what to expect, grunt wave, more difficult enemy wave, elite enemy wave, boss level enemy wave, repeat as necessary. If that sounds familiar to you that’s because that is  pretty much what Firefight was. Between the two Bungie developed Halo games it was in, Firefight didn’t change all that much in a game design sense.  Even worse is the basic concept of a horde mode, unending waves of enemies. I’ve farmed for glimmer, engrams and bounties for hours. I’m sick and tired of these freaking enemies.

Second about the Trials of Osiris:We’ve had a total of 3 in game mentions of this guy Osiris, two from Dinklebot in mission intros and one from the bastard named Cryptarch. Supposedly he was a bad ass warlock, but we never learned much about him in the game, like a lot of other things. However the gameplay of Trials of Osiris is pretty much just a bit more high stakes version of Iron Banner. Whoop de freaking do, nothing new except for new “rewards” that will be only good for looks because they removed all the point of gear in HoW.

What about that Raid later this year?: I’m highly disappointed by the execution of Crota’s End, and to be honest I’m sick of the shitty gamebreaking bugs that Bungie either refuses to fix, or even worse can’t because they are incompetent. Vault of Glass still is bugged to this day, 7 months later and it’s looking like it won’t ever be fixed. I have no faith that this new raid will be good, and even worse I’m betting I’d have to pay for that “Comet” content update to access it. Not interested in being tricked again.

Overall: I’m sick of being told I’d be able to X,Y, and Z and only being able to do X, which is to face off against the same aliens endlessly.