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Wavilines avatar 11:44 AM on 04.03.2012
Game Breakers

This one is going to start off not exactly related to games, but the connection will make sense. I used to play Dungeons & Dragons until late last year. I joined up with some local guys to play a long campaign that had me hooked from the beginning: Why Is The DoomGate Open?

From the start, it was fun. Good laughs, badass fights, extremely close calls. The story was to find out why the Doomgate was opened and when we got there, we got flung into a new plane of existence. After that, we were flung into the future to find out that we somehow became heroes of legend...around the same time we got flung into the new plane. It was, in all honesty, one of the better storylines I had been part of. That is, until I got so fed up with a player that I had to leave before I could stomach another session with him.

The guy made a character that he thought was "fun". I'm all for strange concepts and quirky-ness, but this was just insane. His character could channel magical energy through his whip, take large amount of damage, and could break every skill challenge he came across. By level 5, he rendered the tank, the druid, the mage and the ranger utterly useless. I thank Moradin I was a hyperhealer, because that was the only thing stopping him from becoming a one man band. The Game Breaker, after some time, complained that he was carrying the party and would tell the Dungeon Master whether he thought something was dumb or say "I'm not doing that no matter what". I left when our characters hit level 15 and haven't rolled a die since.

Now, what got me onto this topic was when I was talking to a friend about Skyrim. My love for Skyrim is that I feel a sense of balance between all the archetypes. No one "class" is better than the other, unless you're a Master Enchanter (but that's neither here nor there). The only way to be the best at everything was to literally master everything in the game. He asked me, "Is that why you stopped playing D&D and don't play MMO's?". Short answer, yes.

Here's the long one.

When I sit down for a game, my primary goals are to kill time and have fun. I see solo gaming and multiplayer as a great form of social interaction between people across the world and it can be used to honestly build bridges under the banner of "Fun". The biggest problem I have is that some people think that it's fun to purposely break the game and cheat in order to gain the upper hand on the other players. When they are called out on it, they blame the developers for "making it so easy for them to do it".

Let me show you the difference between a game breaker and a player: A player find a glitch that allows them to shoot through a wall, killing someone in a single shot. A player will do it a few times and when asked how they did it, they point it out. They show how they did it and will know that this makes the game more interesting until it's patched.

A game breaker will exploit the hell out of that glitch, using it to "grief" others into submission. When the same thing happens to them, they go ballistic and quit the game, only to do it all over again. Why do they do it? Psychologically, I cannot explain. I know, however, that they get enjoyment at the idea of having the upper hand by simply exploiting the game, rather than getting better at it. How do I know this? I've run into players that lovingly glitch as much as they can while calling others names in the process. The smugness is so thick, it requires a shovel to clean it up.



Now, I don't mind the "expert player" using tricks against other "expert players". There are some things that come with time, and I get that. But if you're primary goal is to walk into someone's game and find every possible way to screw it up, then you aren't a player. You're just an ass.

Unless you're a QA tester, which would make sense if you're job is to break the game in as many ways possible before it ships. That's a whole 'nother bag of Doritos.


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