Why I Have Not Made the Leap To Online

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Old 07-30-2008, 11:56 AM   #1
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Why I Have Not Made the Leap To Online

Our very own Carlos Hernandez checks in today with a look at why he hasn't made his own leap to online play just yet. Check out his thoughts and let him know your own thoughts in his article, Why I Have Not Made the Leap to Online.

"Over the past number of years, as online gaming has become the embodiment of sports gaming, I have caught some heat for being one of the only serious gamers to not get involved in online competition. Friends of mine routinely ask me to sign up for a Xbox Live Gold subscription and join a world of gamers connected world wide under one network. Yet, still to this day, I have avoided the online community. My reasons are straight forward, though they've always received criticism that I do not expect to see go away."

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Old 07-30-2008, 12:30 PM   #2
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Nice article. I agree with many of your comments. While I do play other games online, I almost always stay offline with sports games.

The problem though is I can't help but feel like offline play is not getting nearly enough focus from developers. Plain old season modes are hard to find (not a franchise). Fantasy drafts usually aren't included.

Also, the big problem is that CPU AI does not seem to be advancing along with the games. It seems I end up terribly disappointed in the AI of every sports game I buy. To me, it feels like online is the focus.

With games like NHL 09 coming out, online may be the only mode some people play.

The problem with sports games online is that they are (often) 1 on 1, and nobody wants to play someone who is 10 times better than they are (and I'd guess the good player doesn't want to bother either). In FPS games, you can just be 1 player on a team and blend in. If I join a CoD4 game where every other player is way better, I'll just quietly quit and nobody will care. You can't do that in sports games.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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Count me in as a strictly offline gamer, too. I tried last summer to become more of an online gamer after purchasing APF 08. T'was not to be.

1. I absolutely cannot stand cheesers. Something about my blood pressure.

2. I hate losing by wide margins, whether by being "cheeseified" or just straight up being pounded by a solid skill player. The close games weren't so bad, but there just weren't many close games, which leads me to number 3.

3. I'm not as good a football gamer as I thought(playing against CPU is totally different than playing against human opponent). This just in!

4. Losing online for me can prove to be expensive, as I broke 2 controllers out of sheer frustration. Sad, but true. Hey, we're all family here, right?

5. I also enjoy having a goal to succesfully manage my Franchise team to a playoff run or even the Championship, taking the time to make the right moves, edit players, etc... along the way. That is the core enjoyment of sports gaming for me(thus, the disappointment in recent Madden Franchise efforts, but...I digress).

6. Gaming is supposed to be fun, and, as you can see above, I'm better off setting the CPU at a level where it's competive a bit, but I'll win the vast majority of the time. THAT'S relaxing for me. That's the way I can best sit back and notice all the animations and other little things that make a game great or not.

So....Carlos, I'm with you!! Here's to the next time I don't see you online!!
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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Re: Why I Have Not Made the Leap To Online

I'm going to offer some constructive criticism, but first I'd like to point out that articles like this are the reason people say, "The old OS was better." This has nothing to do with accusations of the site being in bed with EA or anything scandalous, instead it deals solely with the fact that in the past, articles had a purpose, a point. Here, all we have is a person saying that he does not have time to play online. He lists points against online, then lists counter points for online, then simply admits "I do not have time."

There is no hook to the article, nothing to interest readers. Why would people care whether or not the writer has time? In fact, the article could have been shortened to one sentence: "Regardless of the positives (online leagues, sim gamers) and negatives (cheesers, players quitting), I simply do not have time to play video games online." However simple that last sentence may seem, that is all the article says.

I could write an article about how I don't want to go to the mall. They mall has great selection and some killer sales, but I would also have to pay for gas and deal with traffic. In the end, any argument for or against going to the mall becomes irrelevant and pointless, because I do not have the time to go to the mall. Do you see what the problem with the article is? Saying "I do not have the time" makes every other argument useless, because they do not factor in at all. You have an article about someone who can't play online arguing why he won't play online.

Here is how to make the article better: Turn it into an editorial that answers the question: Does single or multi-player give the better gaming experience? Leave out any personal issues like time constraints, or, better yet, leave them in. Mention that playing online against friends means you have to set a specific time and date. Even mention that if you do not have much time during the week to play games, playing online is more difficult. But this time come to an argumentative conclusion, a thesis if you will. Don't take one point (the time constraints) and use it to invalidate everything you have written before. Take it from the third person prospective of both casual and hard-core gamers, with insertions of first person opinion.

I hope this criticism helped. I was an English major, so this is supposed to be what I'm good at.

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Old 07-30-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
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Re: Why I Have Not Made the Leap To Online

I'm in a more casual online dynasty in NCAA, but since there are lots of CPU games it makes it go faster/less scheduling. Otherwise I'm not as much of a online gamer, I don't have the time to match up with a lot of people so over the years that is slowly fading. I don't play randoms because they cheese and it's not fun.

I still enjoy playing my OS friends here online, and I'll make a point for some games to play a bit more, but it's tougher with the girlfriend, family, work, etc to make time. Gaming's not the priority in my life it once was.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:48 PM   #6
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I agree mostly.

The thing I find amusing about online gaming is that people talk about the "unpredictable human variable", yet most people play more or less the exact same way.

It's monkey see monkey do.

Ultimately you are always playing against the game.

I also do not like how many people turn into caracitures of themselves, and act like WWE characters in lobbies and voice/text messaging.

I have all communications blocked except for friends list people and friend requests because of this nonsense.

Mostly though, I just have a hard time getting competitive over a video game.

I'm in my mid 30's, was a college athlete, and I am still very physically active, and have many outlets for this, so perhaps that is the reason why.

Maybe I'm generalizing a bit, but I think that perhaps the more someone is involved physically in athletics in some way, the less satisfaction they get out of competing in it, in the virtual online world.

I play online, but for me, its for fun.

Video gaming is a leisure activity for me to enjoy on weekday evening or a weekend afternoon, just as reading a book for an hour, or going swimming might be.

This is why I often tend to lean towards playing more offline in franchise/dynasty modes as opposed to knocking heads with someone online.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:02 PM   #7
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I'm 37 years old and have been playing video games since the Atari days and I have zero interest in ever playing any game online. It's just not going to happen with me. I totally know what this guy is talking about. I enjoy playing against the cpu. To be honest, I don't even enjoy it very much playing a game against any of my kids so I know for sure I won't enjoy playing a game against a stranger.

In fact, even with non sports games I generally choose games that are either completely offline single player games (Bioshock, Oblivion, etc) or games where the single player campaign was what the developer focused on the most.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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I tend to shy away from online play as well. The only thing I use it for is the occasional pick up game w/ my brother. I worry sometimes that with the growing popularity of online gaming the developers will start to make the online portion of their games the main focus.
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