Tag Archive for Revolution

Evolution versus Revolution

The first thing to note when talking about Evolution versus Revolution in games is passion.  If a player is passionate about the game he plays, he will strive to make everything about a new game sound as if it is only “more of the same” with some Evolution thrown in.  If a player is passionate about the forthcoming game, he will strive to make everything sound as if it is all Revolution over the old games and that nothing is “more of the same”.

I’ve read a number of posts claiming that Public Quests in the upcoming Warhammer game are a Revolution.  But it all depends on how you look at it.  On one hand, I can see the Revolution aspect because it is encouraging random social behavior in a PvE environment, which most games actually tend to discourage through spawn locking and quests being individualized.  (Its good to note here that while in World of Warcraft, only the quest holder gains the rewards of a quest completed, from the beginning, City of Heroes has always rewarded group members for assisting in completing another person’s quest by giving them a chunk of exp as well as many times giving them badges and/or enhancement rewards.)  But, on the other hand, the Public Quest system, to me, looks like someone took Alterac Valley from World of Warcraft’s Battlegrounds, made one side entirely NPCs and tweaked the mini-quests in the zone.  In fact, WoW could easily implement Public Quests that way, by taking Battleground style content and making in PvE, assigning rewards based on participation, similar to what they do now in their PvP versions.  Whether you see the item as Evolution or Revolution, in my opinion, seems to be dependent entirely on how hard you are chomping and the bit to play Warhammer.

And Warhammer isn’t alone here.  World of Warcraft wasn’t Revolutionary either, except in its broader market appeal, which could be considered just an Evolution of the trend seen in games that came prior: UO, EQ, etc.  But plenty of people do consider WoW to be Revolutionary, either for that reason or because it was finally a fantasy MMO “done right” or some other basis.

The real question, rather than if something is Evoltionary or Revolutionary, is “Is it fun?”  Looking at Public Quests, it addresses the one thing I have found a problem with in games since EverQuest: encourages people to be social.  WoW has its raids, but outside that, you and four friends can do pretty much everything in the game.  In fact, you can play the entire game from level 1 to level 70 without ever talking to or grouping with another person.  In my experience, WoW is the most “silent” game I have ever played.  People don’t talk, people don’t do pick up groups… most of the social activity is based in and around guild raids and battlegrounds, both of which in many cases are a minority of the players yelling at the majority of the players to do things.  So, I probably will pick up Warhammer, but I’m not expecting it to be some huge revolution in gaming… just an evolution backwards toward players actually playing with each other more.

Double Fisted Gaming

I hate playing First Person Shooter games on a console system. The step back from a keyboard and mouse set up to a console game controller is just too much for me. However, games for consoles have been getting better and better, and upgrading my computer over and over keeps getting more expensive. So I’ve been looking at the next generation consoles… So far, the XBox 360 seems like a good one, and I like the idea of online play which it excels at. But the Playstation 3 promises to be backwards compatible with all PS2 and PS1 games, which is something I miss on other systems. I currently own a GameCube, and I’d kill to play classic Super Mario Bros. if they’d let me. It wasn’t until I was really looking into the Nintendo Revolution that it hit me as to what I really want from a game system… Double Fisted Gaming.

I look at the Revolution controller, the new wand thing… and it sounds both neat and annoying. However, it also sounds like halfway to what I want. Imagine playing a shooter game, with the wand-like controller as a gun, and a second controller on your other hand to control movement. Not two thumbsticks like current games, but two completely separate controllers… like a keyboard and a mouse.

Now, I know game companies like the idea of people being able to sit in any position and hold the controller… but you know what? Screw ’em! I want a second controller “keypad” that I strap to my leg or something, or rest on a table and give it about a dozen or so keys, maybe even a scroll wheel (for weapon switching in FPS games). Take that and the Revolution wand and I’ve got me a “keyboard” and a gun in my hand. Hell yeah!

If you are a designer out there and want to make fansy controllers for game systems.. please, PLEASE, steal this idea!

Evolution Revolution

Intelligent Design isn’t the stupidest idea to ever be put forward, but its got unique issues of its own. See, the Theory of Evolution that is taught in schools today is not the original theory proposed by Charles Darwin. It bears similarities, but over the year as science has been able to find evidence the theory has been tweaked. Evolution doesn’t deny God. It’s still quite possible that the series of events, of mutations, that we perceive as Evolution is actually a brilliantly designed plan of God that is unfolding over millions of years. There is plenty of room for God in Evolution.

Intelligent Design, on the other hand, holds that some facets of living creatures, like the eye for example, are so complex that they could not have evolved through the course of millions of years of mutation, but had to have been created “as is” by some force outside or greater than the Universe. While Evolution can prove that small mutations occur and can trace genetics through many generations of an animal, Intelligent Design can’t prove that “stuff just happens”… unfortunately, it can’t be disproven either until someone builds a time machine and goes back to see if eyes evolved or if they just showed up.

That is my problem with Intelligent Design… it wants to be science, but because its core theory cannot be in any way proven by the scientific method, its supporters strive to redefine science to allow Intelligent Design to fit. That’s exactly was Kansas did… their school board redefined science to allow for more than just natural and observable phenomenon to be included. The caveat here is that by doing so they have technically opened the door for ghosts, and leviathan elder gods, and more to be considered perfectly good science. Essentially, what they have done is allowed non-falsifiable (things that are impossible to be shown as being false) theories to stand. Part of the scientific method is that your theory has to be either true or false, it has to be defined such that if a given condition arrises, the theory will fail. Intelligent Design doesn’t have that, at least without time machines… If, one day, a new organ appears in an animal that cannot be linked to mutation, then ID is correct. However, if no new organ ever shows up from now until the end of time, ID might still be correct. There is no event that can occur under which the result is that ID is false.

Over at the University of Kansas, a few teachers have decided that enough is enough, and are putting together a new class to study the mythology of Intelligent Design. And its were it belongs… One day Zeus might show up proving that the old Greek myths were correct, but if Zeus never shows up it doesn’t prove them false. That’s what myths are, things believed to be true but utterly unfalsifiable. Intelligent Design belongs in religious study, it belongs at church, until such time as they revise their “theory” to allow for the possibility that its wrong.