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Are Sports Games Too Hard? Are They Not Realistic Enough? Is There an Answer? (Roundtable)

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Old 07-30-2018, 12:12 PM   #1
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Are Sports Games Too Hard? Are They Not Realistic Enough? Is There an Answer? (Roundtable)



It is round table time again on Operation Sports! Today, our writers are going to break...

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Old 07-30-2018, 12:49 PM   #2
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I just don't like when games amp up difficulty by increasing the cpu skill meanwhile, decreasing the user skill. Programming the cpu to automatically choose corresponding plays in order to stop you is a cheesy method to increasing difficulty.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:36 PM   #3
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But in order for players to reach the coveted plateau wherein the on-field gameplay is perfectly tailored to their skill sets, the games can become unnecessarily difficult. MLB The Show, for example, leaves a lot to chance and will punish players for being too aggressive in the count. It does not matter the timing of the swing, the attributes of the hitter, or where the bat made contact. I squared up first-pitch hanging breaking balls with elite power hitters with good timing and contact only to watch it result in a weak chopper or a weaker pop fly. This is especially problematic in online play, making Diamond Dynasty an endless and frustrating grind. That built-in difficulty is a deterrent that all developers should avoid.
I don't believe this is true, at all. *Is there evidence of the game being designed to act that way, or is this more of it being "obvious" because you don't get *the result you want?

The problem The Show has is that there will always be gamers that can master stick skills to a point that getting realistic results is impossible. *Guys that see the frames in fighting games are an example. *Likewise, being able to use the PCI to square up every pitch could turn teams into hitting .600. *Baseball has alway been about the grind, doing the right thing over and over, and at best, getting a hit 40% of the time.*

One of the reasons I prefer Directional hitting is exactly this. *It produces a fairly realistic and satisfying experience, partly because you cannot dial in and be perfecto in every pitch, as your hitter's ratings effect that. *This does put me at a disadvantage in DD, as guys that can dial in the PCI can always hit better than I could ever hope by relying on directional hitting.

The biggest problem with sports games are the gamers. *They have been trained, from an early age now, that they can be a beat in any game they play if they figure it out. *But beasting a sports game ruins it. *And getting a hit about 23-27% of the time will enrage many, many gamers. *

You see this so often in the forums, as someone struggles to play well, and the first suggestions, and tones taken most often, is sliders. *Just dial the game in to make you feel you are as good as you want. *It is truly paint-by-number gaming. *Instead of easing off the bullet passes, drop the INT slider. *Swing at too many pitches, SCEA adds quick counts. *Wait till you see the suggestions for guys getting tripping penalties from spamming the poke check.

The DD, UT, and MyTeam modes are pretty great from removing this from the equation. *You are expected to perform under the the same sliders and settings as everyone else, even offline. *It's brought actual competition back to sports gaming, something more like the days when I play 90's Madden on the couch with friends all night, with the winner getting to play the next challenger. *But playing online means you might suck. *And that is something many, many gamers fund unbearable.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #4
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Until accurate, realistic physics determine 100% of the outcome, games won't ever be too realistic.* Besides that, no game makes a player play at a certain level. It can be as easy or as difficult as you like.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:03 PM   #5
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Re: Are Sports Games Too Hard? Are They Not Realistic Enough? Is There an Answer? (Ro

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Originally Posted by JayhawkerStL
I don't believe this is true, at all. *Is there evidence of the game being designed to act that way, or is this more of it being "obvious" because you don't get *the result you want?

The problem The Show has is that there will always be gamers that can master stick skills to a point that getting realistic results is impossible. *Guys that see the frames in fighting games are an example. *Likewise, being able to use the PCI to square up every pitch could turn teams into hitting .600. *Baseball has alway been about the grind, doing the right thing over and over, and at best, getting a hit 40% of the time.*

One of the reasons I prefer Directional hitting is exactly this. *It produces a fairly realistic and satisfying experience, partly because you cannot dial in and be perfecto in every pitch, as your hitter's ratings effect that. *This does put me at a disadvantage in DD, as guys that can dial in the PCI can always hit better than I could ever hope by relying on directional hitting.

The biggest problem with sports games are the gamers. *They have been trained, from an early age now, that they can be a beat in any game they play if they figure it out. *But beasting a sports game ruins it. *And getting a hit about 23-27% of the time will enrage many, many gamers. *

You see this so often in the forums, as someone struggles to play well, and the first suggestions, and tones taken most often, is sliders. *Just dial the game in to make you feel you are as good as you want. *It is truly paint-by-number gaming. *Instead of easing off the bullet passes, drop the INT slider. *Swing at too many pitches, SCEA adds quick counts. *Wait till you see the suggestions for guys getting tripping penalties from spamming the poke check.

The DD, UT, and MyTeam modes are pretty great from removing this from the equation. *You are expected to perform under the the same sliders and settings as everyone else, even offline. *It's brought actual competition back to sports gaming, something more like the days when I play 90's Madden on the couch with friends all night, with the winner getting to play the next challenger. *But playing online means you might suck. *And that is something many, many gamers fund unbearable.
The best example of the ramped up CPU skill is NBA 2k. I have no problem taking losses and in any league I've done with others I'm always pushing to make the games harder so that we take losses on a regular basis.

My issue with NBA 2k is that when upping the game to Hall of Fame level was that it would have players on the CPU perform way above their levels. I would strategize to leave weak 3 point shooters open while applying more pressure to their stars. This would lead to players like Rajon Rondo or Josh Smith going 7/10 or 6/9 from 3 point range even though they were notoriously horrible shooters from deep. That to me is taking shortcuts to make the game more difficult compared to upping the AI's ability to recognize different strategies and picking it apart the same way a great human player would.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:19 PM   #6
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One of the more recent methods developers have introduced is Dynamic Levelling as in MLB The Show & NASCAR Heat. This has some positives but ultimately once your general level of play if reached it becomes a case of bouncing between winning too easily to losing irrespective of your performance .
Itís quite a complex issue trying to make AI behave realistically, have real world physics, yet still make the game playable & enjoyable to each gamers ability.*
I think games certainly need a wide spread of selectable difficulty levels not just Easy/Medium/Hard etc. I like in F1 2017 for instance where difficulty can be scaled from 0-100.*
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:18 PM   #7
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The thing is companies don't give real options for gameplay. Either it's too extreme *or effortless*
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:56 PM   #8
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every sports game should have a default, casual, arcade and sim mode.* each mode should stick to the philosophy/rules/ai that governs said mode.*
MLB THE SHOW's dynamic ratings is a great* feature and idea,** other games needs to implement this feature as an option in their games.

IN addition, the way teams are weighted in head to head game-play should be different than offline modes.
personally, I feel that online team rosters should all be equaled out.**

with NBA 2k a* old bronze, silver, ratings systems similar to APF2k8 should be implemented to offer slight differentiation in rosters.** which if used properly by the gamer would provide a counter to every advantage.*** with this type of scenario, stick/user skills could shine through more.

with* Madden on line you could take it a step further by adding a Tecmo bowl type feature.* where teams would be provided with a stripped down playbook (an example: 10-16 plays each for offense and defense).* picking the appropriate defenses would be the counters to said offensive plays.* in this scenario a gamer would have to understand their opponents tendencies to gain an advantage both offensively and defensively.**
this along with the in game adjustments would produce real grudge matches, where understanding football would shine through

Last edited by tril; 07-30-2018 at 06:59 PM.
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