Chronic Competitive games are not difficult, they are poorly explained
Street Fighter, Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota, Starcraft, Tekken … All of these and many other games that I don’t have time for are considered difficult. As in any discipline recognized as difficult, the question naturally arises: “What is the difficulty?” There is no absolute answer, of course, as each area, game, instrument, or practice requires different requirements or a variable investment. Competitive games require a balance between technical mastery, knowledge, precision, game vision and intuition. Different genres obviously require different mastery rates between these pillars, but they all have one thing in common: they require a significant investment of time to understand their rationale or advanced rules. It can be daunting for more than one player to keep losing without understanding why it can be frustrating. The principle of competitive play is that we are confronted with one or more other players of roughly the same level. Only beginners can have knowledge gaps or technical tendencies that are quite dramatic and therefore this leads to unbalanced or frustrating games for some. All disciplines can create frustration, but what is a shame is that it can discourage players who think this or that game is not for them. And while these situations are inevitable, they could be less common if developers are going in the right direction to make their titles less opaque.
Helping the player through their development could be an excellent option as there aren’t enough initiatives inherent in the game besides a brief tutorial at the beginning of the course to help students progress. In Street Fighter, when we are faced with the basic commands that offer us challenges to learn combos, these tutorials inexplicably lack some basics and nothing offers the player an explanation for Match Up. In League of Legends, typical beginner behavior is picking the wrong time to return to base or spending time mindlessly shifting your line. However, there is nothing in the game’s tutorial that can tell them when to switch to their teammates or when to initiate a confrontation, for example. If not telling the player what to do is problematic, then it is even worse not telling them what absolutely not to do and explaining their mistakes. A beginner on Dota who hasn’t noticed that his opponent is much better equipped than he is, is atomized and will quickly question the balance of the game. It is important to give participants all the cards in hand, they can understand their mistakes, learn how to fix them and so keep improving.
And for this, developers can take inspiration from other disciplines. Recently, a successful Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, sparked a new chess craze. New players like me were able to discover the Chess.com platform, which is available on PC, mobile phone and tablet. This platform offers a game interface, a list of friends, very precise tutorials supported by videos and exercises, problems with training in certain situations and an improvement in your view of the board. There are also bots of all levels and matchmaking based on an Elo system, a system that was first used by board games like Go or Chess before being specifically adapted to other online games. Overall, this platform brings together absolutely everything you need to learn and play chess in different modes. It is even possible to watch games as streams are integrated. What I find most personal, however, is that after each game the players have the opportunity to analyze all the moves they have made.
It is these types of initiatives and features that competitive video games desperately need so that gamers of all ages and backgrounds can start and grow in a healthy environment. And if some titles have tools like training modes that display frames or hit boxes, I don’t think they are educational enough and require players to interpret the results. However, we are seeing some progress, for example Tekken 7 has punishment training. To put it simply, the computer-controlled opponent chains strikes with different characteristics while displaying a suggested hit fast enough to punish their attack. It is therefore a tool that provides an environment where there is no pressure to learn certain aspects of a match-up, because in Tekken it is important to identify attacks, learn the data frame and know how to access the The opponent’s blows will respond to cravings of war. It is even possible to review the games by displaying the controls to identify a possible handling error and missed or successful penalties. So one could envision other games of this type implementing similar tools and putting them in an arcade mode could be a solution. One could even envision a system of temporal return like in a Forza horizon that would learn many mechanical subtleties in the context of proposing punishments or counterattacks, even for the gamer who prefers to face computers.
I realize that not all games on the market can offer such advanced tools and that what is true of a game as old and “simple” as chess does not apply to number of variable video games. gigantic. However, not everyone is willing to spend hours making streams or YouTube videos to learn how to master such and such advanced mechanics. Others also find it difficult to have the perspective necessary to recognize their mistakes and learn from them. This is where an absolute and indisputable computer analysis system can calm the ego and give these disciplines a productive approach. Now that AIs like OpenAI are managing to beat professional DOTA players, we can hope that it can be made available to as many people as possible by sharing the data analyzed and explaining the decisions made. I have serious doubts about the possibility of this happening as it poses a lot of data interpretation and user interface issues, but they could be of great use to players of all skill levels. Some might say that without the motivation to learn on their own, players would not be motivated to use new learning tools, but personally I still believe that more players are needed. almost always positive. And developers have to play their part in removing as many obstacles as possible and preventing beginners from persevering.
By iGamesNews, Journalist igamesnews.com