• cerement@slrpnk.net
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    2 months ago

    “Another potential hypothesis is that the increasing negativity, polarization, intrusiveness, and emotional manipulation in social media has created a persistent cognitive overload on the finite cognitive resources we have,” Quantic Foundry said. “Put simply, we may be too worn out by social media to think deeply about things.”

    in other words, we’re burnt out and we just want some escapism …

    • TurtlePower@lemm.ee
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      2 months ago

      It’s not just that. Many games these days are so detailed, it’s like having a second job that you don’t get paid to do, but instead pay them to be “allowed” to do. No thank you.

      • cerement@slrpnk.net
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        2 months ago

        Many games these days are so incomplete

        throw in having to pay to beta test on top of all the other headaches …

        • tal@lemmy.today
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          2 months ago

          World of Warcraft is more, I think, that it imposes specific time constraints than that it’s deeply complex.

          They have a different category than “Strategy” for “Community” that I’d think would capture something like World of Warcraft.

          • Obi@sopuli.xyz
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            2 months ago

            Right I was mostly referring to the whole “the game is your job and you pay to do it” aspect.

    • PurpleClouds@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Not sure if this is true. Social media shows a very distorted view on polarization. Past research shows that the vast majority of polarising content (>95%) is generated by a vast minority of users (~6%). It is shown repeatedly that the polarization found in (online) media, differs drastically from every day felt polarization.

      Literally “getting off the internet” seems like a valid strategy. I think it is more likely that .odern games hijack native reward systems more than “deep strategy games” do (whatever that means). In fact the gameplay mechanics in most games are still relatively the same, just prettier, faster running. Back in the day we couldn’t have a high FPS shooter with a lot of bang simple because the technology didn’t allow for it. Furthermore games were a niche back then as well. Now games are more mainstream and the relative group is smaller, than the mainstream group.

  • Dave@lemmy.nz
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    2 months ago

    Are gamers getting older? It would be interesting to see how this breaks down by age.

    I’m getting older. I have 3 kids and no time. 10 years ago I had no kids and 3 time. Now when I play, I just put it on the easiest setting and play it like an interactive movie.

    • radix@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      I hear this. My life is survival mode. Games are for turning off that part of the brain for a little while.

      • HappycamperNZ@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        Na, gaming is where I can realise great strategy I cant do in real life. I’ve never been at work going “just want to do this” before I go home and sleep

    • jqubed@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Yeah, I’ve played plenty of Civilization over the years, but I’m married now. I have a kid. I keep a note with what I’m doing because it might be a couple months before I play again. I could play more, but I want to spend time with my wife and my kid. Usually when I take time to play I want to play again the next night, but that’s often not feasible, and then it turns into weeks again.

      • Dave@lemmy.nz
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        2 months ago

        I started playing Morrowind maybe 6 months back, got hours into the game and was having a good time. Then I didn’t get a chance to play for a month, now I haven’t gone back because I have no idea what I was doing since half the stuff doesn’t seem to be written in the journal, and when it is, it assumes I remember who the person is or where I was supposed to be going. So I just haven’t picked it up again.

        • LordGimp@lemm.ee
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          2 months ago

          To be fair, Morrowind is just that kind of game. It’s been many years since I’ve played it, but I remember it being one of the last truly open world experiences I got from playing games. The plot drops you off in the first city and kind of just let’s you go at it. I remember hours of just wandering until I ended up at the city of vivec, which is the mess of floating pyramid temple lookin jobbies out on a lake somewhere. I didn’t know shit about anything but it was awesome and that was enough for me. Elden Ring almost brings this feeling back sometimes.

          • Dave@lemmy.nz
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            2 months ago

            It was great while I remembered what was happening! But sometimes your only reference to a quest is something that says “Go out the door, take the third left, and look for an orange door” and you just have no idea even what city you were in when you got that note 😆

            During the couple of weeks I was playing it, I didn’t actually feel lost at all. But now trying to return to it just feels more like a chore than a good time. I’m playing Baldur’s Gate 3 now instead, I’m back in the era of quest markers!

            • Ms. ArmoredThirteen@lemmy.ml
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              2 months ago

              You can add map markers with custom descriptions in Morrowind. I use them to leave little “what the fuck am I doing” notes for myself before leaving the game if I don’t know I’ll be back on within a couple days

              For real though it can be a hard game to jump back into if you’ve had it on pause for a while. I usually just make a new character at that point see where the new adventure goes. There are so many factions and places to explore no one character can experience the game in full anyway

              • Dave@lemmy.nz
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                2 months ago

                Map markers are one of those things that so many games have, and I never remember to use them!

                Jumping into a new game and taking a different direction does sound like a good plan.

    • Paranomaly@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      The article says that they couldn’t find subgroups to show trends, so seems to be pretty flat across the board

      • Dave@lemmy.nz
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        2 months ago

        Ah yeah though not directly mentioned, I guess it does imply that.

  • Alto@kbin.social
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    2 months ago

    Stares at most PDX games having increasing player counts

    How much of this is the lack of people wanting to play strategy games vs the lack of good strategy games

    • Scrubbles@poptalk.scrubbles.tech
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      2 months ago

      exactly what i was going to ask. Uh, when was the last good strategy game? Looking at my steam library…

      I have 2000+ hours in factory games, Factorio, Satisfactory, Dyson Sphere… not really strategy but those are solid thought based games released <10 years ago

      Then… Age of Empires 4? Civ 6? Both pale in comparison to their predecessors. Cities Skylines 1… but then there’s the whole thing about 2. Star Trek Infinite was a flop and from what I read was just a horrible bland game. Serious, what has come out by big studios in the last 5 years in terms of strategy? I see more flashy graphics than strategy in these recent games.

      • caboose2006@lemmy.ca
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        2 months ago

        Victoria 3 is the only one I can think of, but the reception is lack luster. Maybe I’ll pick it up I’m 5 DLCs

        • Taiatari@lemmynsfw.com
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          2 months ago

          I really like Victoria 3, it has its issues but I don’t mind them that much. I find much of the criticism is from ppl. who played Victoria 2.

          In terms of other new games there is humankind which is similar to the Civ series. It has some great new concepts but some weirdness that I for unknown reasons can’t move past.

        • Iceblade@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          Yeah I quite enjoy vicky 3, my main issue with it is that there always seem every play through seems to have a bug pop up and break the immersion

    • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      Exactly! I absolutely love EU4 and am excited about the likely next installment. Unfortunately, I’m less excited about their other recent launches, because the depth of strategy just isn’t quite there.

      But then I look around and can’t really find a comparable game. There’s Total War, but y strategy there is pretty weak and more about battlefield tactics than actual grand strategy. Civ exists, but it’s in a pretty different category (and not really my thing; I do like Civ IV though). I own a lot of strategy games, but most are kind of shallow. I love complex games with a lot of moving parts, which yields a lot of variation game to game, and that just isn’t all that common outside of PDX games.

      • HappycamperNZ@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        I cant get past eu4 mid game. I get early wins, can’t keep up in much, get swarmed by 30k artillery groups and 100+ fleets.

        • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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          2 months ago

          For armies:

          1. Fill combat width, esp the front line, and ideally the back line (back line is essential in end game)
          2. Keep up on tech, including your mercs - need to rehire every few decades
          3. Choose good battles - terrain matters (e.g. don’t attack into the mountains), stack size matters; retreat if you’re caught in a bad battle
          4. Get some buffs - morale is most important early game, discipline and combat ability starts to matter more by mid game; you should focus on one or two areas to specialize (so idea groups and policies should synergize with national ideas)
          5. Have good leaders - should have high army tradition, so your leaders should all be 2-3 star generals

          Usually by mid game, I’m steamrolling everyone and am the biggest great power, even if I started small. Consider watching some streamers/YouTubers, many do a good job explaining things as they go.

          For navies:

          1. Watch battles and retreat if you start seeing red on your side - naval battles have a domino effect, so if you’re seeing more red on their side, consider continuing, you might capture more than you lose
          2. Morale is the most important factor here - if you’re outnumbered, check individual ships and leave the low morale and damaged ships in port
          3. If you’re filling combat width, the easy strategy is to get a bunch of heavies - don’t worry about the inland sea malace (heavies are fine in inland sea, galleys suck in deep water), if you can out-gun them, you’ll probably win
          4. Pick your naval doctrine carefully - if you get galley combat ability, consider going all galleys and go over force limit as needed - it’s cheaper to be over force limit with galleys than at force limit with heavies
          5. Naval leaders don’t matter all that much, they can break a tie, but that’s about it; individual ship morale is king in navies
          6. It takes a long time for AI to repair boats, so popping in and out of port can be a great way to whittle down their navy and eventually win - make sure to retreat as needed to not lose boats
          7. If you have naval dominance, destroy their navy entirely (occupy provinces with their boats, engage, repeat until it’s dead)
          8. Don’t fight with light ships, they’re a liability (see 2, they get morale hammered); transport ships are really hardy, so use them as a bullet sponge if you need to fill combat width

          Enemy fleet size doesn’t matter at all. You can defeat 100+ ship fleets if you can beat the ships that engage (like 20-30), you just need to get it to start to domino. So commit to either galleys (with galley combat naval doctrine) or heavies, and if you start to lose, retreat, repair, and reengage.

          By the mid game, it’s easy to absolutely dominate if you play the early game well. Your goal in the early game is to build a power base, which means:

          • expand your borders a bit by taking good land - centers of trade, defendable mountain passes, etc
          • reduce autonomy
          • get good synergies in your idea groups
          • border the countries you want to engage in the middle game
          • build the right buildings

          So by mid game, you should be a regional, if not global, power, and your time will be spent gobbling up land and converting wrong religion land. I usually stop playing about 1650-1700 because I’ve usually already accomplished my goals. Late game, the game should be pretty easy, except the 2-3 big powers you’ve neglected all game.

            • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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              2 months ago

              Yeah, pick a big nation, ally another big nation, and only fight battles you know you can win. If you and your ally are big enough, you shouldn’t get attacked.

              It’s a complex game, so consider lowering the difficulty if you’re having trouble as a big nation.

  • xep@kbin.social
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    2 months ago

    My favourite journalistic practice is when outlets lump up everyone playing video games into a single group called “gamers.”

  • Donkter@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    I would bet it’s more like “gaming has expanded to a larger market”. Gamers who were willing to fiddle with computers and online gaming, hell, up till the late 2000s are probably also the same type of people who are willing to be patient and fiddle with a complex game and learn where the fun is. Now playing a game is easy as 1,2,3 no matter where you get it, I’m not talking down on anyone, and I don’t care if that’s where the AAA trend is going, just that when the access gets easier the group expands to more and more casual audiences.

    Also, console games have always been way more “casual” as those markets expand gamers kind of defacto have a larger preference for casual games.

    • minibyte@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      I was deep into Strategy and lore – preferring games that ate hundreds of hours. Unfortunately these days my available gaming hours are reduced to a mere handful. It’s difficult to remember everything when I can only play sparingly.

      Thus, I’ve resorted to smaller indie games that can be enjoyed in a smaller amount of time, with less of a learning curve. I’m a casual gamer now. What can you do?

    • Captain Aggravated@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      Meanwhile I still think there’s that group of folks out there who want to decompile the game looking for lore in the code comments.

      There’s a Rat Man den in Portal 2, it’s in a later section of the game after you’ve climbed out of the depths, you can get behind the scenes and there’s a niche with a big fan in it, and Rat Man has built kind of a shrine of coffee mugs. And if you listen, under the harsh electro music and the sound effect of the fan, you can hear a sort of insane jibbering, as if Rat Man is still there raving to himself.

      Fans of the game hungry for any more lore or story hints, have put more thought into this sound clip than the folks who made it and put it in the game.

    • BilboBargains@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      As soon as some technology becomes so accessible that anyone can use it, the platform becomes populated by morons and it’s essence is diluted by all sorts of rules put in place so the morons can’t damage each other.

  • Paranomaly@sh.itjust.works
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    2 months ago

    I don’t see the methodology in here, so any influence I could guess is pure speculation. The mentioned lack of strategy games is a possible culprit. This would also prevent people from discovering an interest, as new eyes wouldn’t be on the genre. I’m sure a lot of people discovered they like some RPGs via Baldur’s Gate 3. One I might suggest exploring is that as gaming expanded in audience to different types of people, the new members would proportionately be less interested in deep strategy skewing the average interest as a whole. As a guess, a lot of people who have gotten into gaming via their phone are more interested in things that can be done while focusing on something else or something with a shorter run time than the typical strategy game.

    • CancerMancer@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      I think those craving strategy were some of the earliest adopters of gaming, especially once those games became increasing popular. It’s no surprise then that their numbers would be diluted over time, especially once you start including mobile gamers (who I think are different enough to not really warrant being compared to other gamers). As someone who played some strategy games in the 90s, it was a wild time:

      • real-time games like Dune, Command & Conquer, Homeworld, Age of Empires, Myth
      • turn-based stuff like Ogre Battle, Fire Emblem, X-Com, Jagged Alliance
      • the ungodly amount of grid-based civil war and cold war games and the beginnings of what could be called grand strategy, such as Panzer General, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Star Wars Rebellion, Europe Universalis (2000 but not really a stretch to include imo)
      • 4X games like Civilization, Alpha Centauri, Master of Orion
      • stuff that doesn’t fit in anywhere else like The Guild, Majesty, Carrier Command, Battlezone… (might be misremembering release dates here)

      We are still getting a lot of good strategy games even in recent years, like The Last Spell, They Are Billions, Beyond All Reason, half the stuff SplattercatGaming covers…

      I imagine that there is a lot of cross-over between strategy, city-builder, logistics and sim players especially if you single out Germany lol. All those genres are “shrinking” if you are only looking at them as a percentage of total gamers, but actually they slowly grow all the time.

  • conditional_soup@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    I love 4x games, but playing a game of Stellaris for a week or more just to realize that I’ve inescapably fucked up and lost the game is disheartening. I just don’t have the bandwidth to spend 40 hours per match. Yeah, you can make 4x games run a lot shorter, but it usually feels like you’re doing something crazy to the game.

    • Taako_Tuesday@lemmy.ca
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      2 months ago

      I bet it has to do with the average age of the gaming community getting older. I used to play Civ 5, EU4, CK2 all the time in college, when I have tons of free time and didnt care if I was up until 3 in the morning. Now that I have a life and a job, it takes like a week of 1-2 hour sessions to finish a game of civ 5, and the last time I played EU4, I played for several weeks and didnt even finish.

      • Urist@lemmy.ml
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        2 months ago

        I have like 3k hours in EU4 (I know, still a normie pleb) and still have not finished a single game.

          • Urist@lemmy.ml
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            2 months ago

            I really do think it has something to do with improper difficulty scaling. Hopefully, we can see a proper ML-model implemented as AI in a strategy game soon.

      • VoterFrog@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        I’m in the same boat (as far as free time goes) but I have the opposite outlook. Strategy games, and other games with some amount of crunchy complexity, keep me engaged even when I’m not playing. I can spend some time on wikis, crafting theories, and cooking up plans throughout the week and that keeps me coming back.

        I can’t do story games because it’s too easy to forget what’s going on when you spread it out that far. Or there’s online action games (shooters, mobas, etc) but it’s rare that I can guarantee I’ll be on long enough to complete a match.

  • Ibaudia@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    For me it’s:

    • Strategy games are extremely meta-focused
    • You always feel like you’re playing sub-optimally if you don’t know the exact right move
    • They typically require a lot of time and energy that I just don’t have
    • They require long, focused sessions that could be better spent doing anything else
    • No one I know is playing them so it sucks as a social activity
    • They have less “high moments” compared to other games

    Could never get into strategy games except for mobile ones that I would play on long road trips or something.

    • Duamerthrax@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      I always preferred Arena style fps games because the varied weapon set means having far greater variety in possible encounters with opponents. Military style shooters feel shallow to me. Skill just means placing shots to the head. There’s no real movement techniques with them

  • calcopiritus@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    My problem with strategy games is that they’re too hard to get into. I tried to play civ 5, but they are a thousand mechanics and the tutorials are very bad.

    The difficulty setting in strategy games shouldn’t be “how smart is the AI?”, it should be “how many mechanics do you want to manage at the same time?”. That way you can start by playing on easy mode, then the next game on normal, then hard. Instead of that there are 10 difficulty levels and half of them are impossible, the other half you can beat by following the exact same strategy every time.

    • chonglibloodsport@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      The difficulty setting in Civilization games has never been “how smart is the AI.” The AI always plays with the same level of “intelligence” (which is almost none). What the difficulty setting controls is how much the AI cheats (which is a ton at the highest levels) and how aggressive it is.

      My problem with Civ 5 (as a player of the series since the beginning) is that they’ve added a ton of stuff to the game that doesn’t actually make it more interesting or challenging to play. At the same time, instead of improving the AI to make it more interesting and challenging to play against, they decided to hobble all of the strong strategies from the early games in a way that just makes the game more annoying to play.

      The fun part of the Civ series has always been about building the largest, most technologically advanced empire and steamrolling all the AI’s cities. Since Civ 5 this has been flat out impossible due to the changes they made to the game which cause exponential corruption / waste for large empires and the inability to stack units which means large armies are extremely tedious to manage.

    • LaLuzDelSol@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Yeah several times I have tried to play Crusader Kings because conceptually its really cool but I just give up every time because I don’t know wtf is going on.

      Also this may seem like a weird suggestion but if you like FPS you may like Rainbow Six: Seige. Got over a thousand hours and I’m still cooking up strategies with my gaming buddy. And unlike a true strategy game you can just run and gun when you start out and still have fun and the game will always be balanced because it’s pvp and it will adjust your rank accordingly.

  • nossaquesapao@lemmy.eco.br
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    2 months ago

    I have always been the one who goes against the trends, and it looks like I still am. Strategy is one of the very few genres that I like, and if the game has no strategic element to it, I usually don’t enjoy it.

    But… I don’t like overwhelming UIs and elements. I like simplicity, few elements and not many options, but a deep strategy.

    • bionicjoey@lemmy.ca
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      2 months ago

      UI feels like such an art nowadays. With computers being powerful enough to handle more complex simulations, we can potentially have insane amounts of data in a game. And game devs need to figure out how to present that information to the player without overwhelming them.

      For example I think Victoria 3 does a pretty poor job of it, while a game like CK2 does an excellent job of it. It can be hard to get right.

  • Ilflish@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    Yep makes sense. I mean it’s clear people hate deep systems when something like Baldur’s Gate 3 becomes the undisputed Game of the Year /s

    • jjjalljs@ttrpg.network
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      2 months ago

      I don’t disagree with your main point, but D&D 5e is a rather shallow rules system. It’s needlessly complicated (15 strength gives you what bonus? How does readying an action work? Can you smite when unarmed?), but it’s not really deep.

      • TachyonTele@lemm.ee
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        2 months ago

        I agree. I played Pathfinder WotR right before BG3 and I was very confused by the lack of class options. It’s pretty simple straight forward stuff.

        JRPGs (which came from DnD) can be a lot deeper than BG3.

  • Shurimal@kbin.social
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    2 months ago

    Used to play strategy games quite a lot 20 or so years ago. AoE, Homeworld, Red Alert. But I never got very deep into them.

    The main reason I don’t like strategy games anymore is that most of them simply boil down to micromanagement and actions-per-minute. That is not how my brain works. I hate micromanaging and multitasking. I love planning tactics, doing recon and analyzing the situation (as long as I don’t have to do statistical analysis with spreadsheets for that), setting goals and executing plans.

    Best strategy game I’ve ever played? X3: Terran Conflict. Once you set your plans in motion everything works pretty much automatically—you don’t have to order your traders or military forces around constantly or set up product batches in your factories manually. You set up parameters by which your assets work, and aside from occasional tweaking and optimization you leave them to their own devices. Instead you concentrate on the actual grand strategy or a single battle at hand or putting out some random brushfire that needs your attention without the worry about your “villagers” standing around idle because they can’t figure out there’s a fresh patch of fish 100 meters to the left.

    Plus you’re there, in situ, as an actual participant in the world, not an abstract godhand hovering over the map. First-person strategy. Commanding two task groups steamrolling through a sector from the bridge of your cruiser, sipping coffee as turrets put on a massive fireworks around you is epic.

  • Veraxus@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Games with “deep strategy” are largely not very good.

    I still play a bunch of Stellaris and I go back to Age of Wonders 4 pretty frequently. Against the Storm is also addictive as hell. These 3 games have a sense of adventure that keeps them interesting.

    I like Solium Infernum - which is pretty new - quite a bit, but it doesn’t have the staying power that those do. On top of that you have misfires like Humankind, Old World, Vicky 3, and the like. “Deep” is one thing, but fiddly and unnecessarily complicated is another… as is being under-developed in important areas like the endgame.

    I think gamers are becoming less interested in a genre that has become saturated with dime-a-dozen mediocre cruft.

    • Ms. ArmoredThirteen@lemmy.ml
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      2 months ago

      MOO2 is still one of, if not the, best 4x space games and part of that is how clear cut it is. The systems play together well and it isn’t a bloated mess of complicated mechanics for the sake of being complicated. The depth is very emergent and not artificial feeling which gives it an incredible timelessness

    • Kaldo@kbin.social
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      2 months ago

      Yeah, there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in the genre and what we have is often a buggy mess - that definitely doesn’t help the adoption of ‘deep strategy’. I love games like what you mentioned but even I get sick of them when I start running into AI or optimization issues, where games devolve into snowballing or boring tedium after the first few hours, when the UI is a frustrating mess that makes me hate every second spent on trying to make it work the way I need it to work.

      Or maybe I’m just spoiled by the amount of polish and thought that goes into games like factorio or against the storm.

  • tal@lemmy.today
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    2 months ago

    But across its 1.7 million surveys, Quantic Foundry found that two thirds of strategy fans worldwide (except China, where gamers “have a very different gaming motivation profile”) have lost interest in this element of video games.

    So what’s the story with China?

    goes looking for the original

    https://quanticfoundry.com/2018/11/27/gamers-china-us/#post/0

    The Quantic Foundry (QF) data comes (as usual) from the Gamer Motivation Profile, a 5-minute survey that allows gamers to get a personalized report of their gaming motivations, and see how they compare with other gamers. Over 350,000 gamers worldwide have taken this survey. The survey is in English and thus respondents are predominantly from North America and the Western EU.

    The Niko Partners (NP) data comes from an online survey (in Simplified Chinese) of 2,000 representative digital gamers in China (from a survey panel provider), balanced across more than 40 cities in tiers 1 through 5.

    The Gamer Motivation Profile is benchmarked against QF’s existing data set (based largely on gamers in the West). In the chart below, the 50th%-tile line indicates the perfect average of each motivation in QF’s full data set. This is why the US data (a large portion of QF’s data set) hews closely to the average. The error bars in the chart are based on 95% confidence intervals.

    https://i0.wp.com/quanticfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/01-US-vs-China.png?ssl=1

    Let’s take the 75th%-tile that Chinese gamers score on Competition—the appeal of duels, arena matches, and leaderboard rankings. That 75th%-tile means that the average Chinese gamer is more interested in Competition than 75% of gamers in QF’s data. Given that the US data is so close to the average, this also essentially means that the average Chinese gamer cares more about Competition than 75% of US gamers.

    Similarly, Chinese gamers are also more interested in Completion—the appeal of collecting points/stars/trophies, completing quests/achievements/tasks. Conversely, Chinese gamers score below average across the Immersion and Creativity motivations (the last 4 motivations in the chart). They are less interested in being immersed in a compelling game world (Fantasy), interacting with an elaborate story and large cast of NPCs (Story), exploration and experimentation (Discovery), and customizing their avatar/town/spaceship (Design) relative to US gamers.

    The Competition finding may seem unintuitive because in the US cultural context, we tend to stereotype Asians as being compliant and striving for social harmony. But the data strongly suggests this stereotype doesn’t hold true among Chinese gamers, and the higher interest in Competition can help to partly explain the popularity of games like PUBG in China. After all, Battle Royale is probably the furthest away you can be from “social harmony”.

    In previous blog posts (see here and here), we’ve shown how male gamers (in the West) tend to be more driven by Competition, Destruction, and Challenge, whereas female games tend to be more driven by Design, Fantasy, and Completion.

    The data from China looks very different. Of the 12 motivations, only 3 cross the threshold for statistical significance (at p < .01)—male gamers in China care more about Destruction, Discovery, and Competition. Of these 3, the differences in Competition and Discovery are substantively small (about 5 percentile points apart). Overall, the only robust difference is that female gamers in China are less interested in guns, explosions, and mayhem than male gamers. In contrast, 9 of the motivations are at least 10 percentile points apart in the US data between male and female gamers.

    In the US, there’s a lot of contention around the cause of observed gender proportions in different game titles and genres, specifically as to whether these differences reflect the historical marketing/cultural framing of games for boys or deeply-rooted biological differences between men and women. The data from China suggests that even very large gender differences in gaming motivations can be almost entirely explained by cultural/marketing factors without using gender as an explanatory factor.

    Age Differences Are Also Much Smaller in China

    In data we’ve previously shared using QF’s full data set, we’ve shown that the appeal of Competition declines dramatically with age, and it’s the motivation that changes the most with age. The appeal of Excitement also declines a lot with age in the US. The table below presents the correlation coefficients between age and each of the 12 motivations, broken down by country.

    In China, the age differences are much smaller (similar to what we saw with gender differences). None of the correlations in the China data exceeds 0.10 (what is considered a small effect in psychology research), and only 4 of the coefficients are significant at p < .01. In contrast, 7 of the coefficients exceed 0.10 in the US data, with 2 coefficients exceeding 0.25.

    So while the appeal of Competition and Excitement drop rapidly among US gamers as they get older, these effects are much more muted among Chinese gamers.

    Motivation Homogeneity and Making Games

    When gaming motivations vary a great deal in terms of gender and age (as they do in the US), it means game design and marketing have greater difficulty in being broadly appealing to different gamers, because they will often run into breakpoints in terms of gendered or age-based appeal.

    On the other hand, the homogeneity of gaming motivations among Chinese gamers suggests a higher likelihood of cross-cutting appeal of game titles. Put another way, a game designer for the Chinese market likely has to worry less about satisfying orthogonal or opposing interests among different players because most Chinese gamers tend to care about the same things (high Completion and Competition, low Discovery).

    Huh.

    So, first of all, regarding the Strategy thing that the derived article was talking about, it’s not that Chinese gamers prefer Strategy more. Rather, they prefer it less. But they haven’t seen that decline, and they have both different and much more homogenous preferences.

    But the other stuff is curious too.