Play it *NOW* or play it later

By on August 3, 2012 11:09:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Join Date 11/2008

So over the past couple years I've noticed a change in how I approach PC games.


I find out about new games coming down the pipe (thanks to this forum in no small part), I do my research, check web sites, read faqs, read forums, occasionally join and ask questions, participate in discussions, ...


None of that is any different from what I ever did.  The difference is that over the past few years I have stopped acquiring the games at release, instead waiting until they reach a level of 'completeness' which satisfies me.  I think the last game I *HAD TO HAVE* at release was GalCiv2, at least that's the last one I remember calling the local store about reserving a copy.


Otherwise, experience has taught me that getting in on the ground floor (so to speak) is simply an exercise in frustration and frequently results in me not enjoying the game, and thus feeling as though I wasted both time and money, doubly so in some cases where I fell for the fanboy hype (and I have been guilty of being a fanboy myself) over alpha/beta reviews.


So my MO now is thus.  Get excited about the potential of some game.  Wait for release.  Become saddened at the inevitable 'this game wasn't ready for release' slew of forum posts.  Watch the patch process, watch the DLC process, watch the announced expansions, ...


And then, at some point in the future when the game and all it's additional content seem to have reached some critical point, jump on board.  This works for me, it has made me enjoy PC gaming much more, it has reduced the stress load fanboy vs. hater forum flamefests can induce (well I still enjoy those threads, but since I'm not on either side I don't really get fired up about it), and it has saved me $$$.  Not that this is so much about $$$ to me, I'm well off enough to not worry about pissing away a couple hundred a year on PC Games if that's what I want to do.


But, I don't have to do that, I don't do that.  Instead I follow the development past beta, and get to make, what I consider, a fully informed decision at a later point.  The downside?  Obviously having to wait, and initially I thought that would be difficult.  It has not proven to be so.


I am the kind of person who likes to understand beyond a superficial level anything which I choose to do.  PC Games for me are no different than my career in this respect.  I cannot jump into something unprepared, without a level of understanding that allows me to feel  I am at least 'competent' in what ever it is I do.  Granted, this pushes me away from certain types of games, but pretty much any TBS/Grand Strategy game is right up my alley.  And I have to understand the mechanics, and I have to feel that I am in control over those mechanics.  A side effect of this is that it would absolutely drive me bonkers when something in the game didn't work 'as intended' but the devs, and I knew there was a patch/fix coming.  I simply couldn't play the game anymore until the issue(s) was resolved, including balance issues.


Realizing that about myself certainly helped me to be able to stomach the waiting, I wonder if any others have the same feelings towards their games.


Call me anal, call me a hard ass, call me what you like.  I'm comfortable with it, and I often wonder if it wouldn't be better if more people could avoid the *MUST HAVE IT NOW* mentality and put the onus back on games being 'complete' at release, rather than the mentality of 'well, it sucks now, but they'll patch it up eventually'.  Maybe it's just not possible to be 'complete' anymore.  I don't know, but I do know that I'll never buy a PC game at release again, and I'm fine with that.

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August 3, 2012 11:54:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've become the same way, games that I had to have on release are fewer and farther between then they use to be.  I think DLC has been the real culprit of it.  I bought Mass Effect 2 as soon as it came out and then beat it quickly.  New DLC came out and for a game that has so much story, I felt as if I have missed out on something by not playing my first run through with the DLC.  I never bought any DLC for ME2 and have so far not bought ME3 at all.  I am not anti DLC at all, don't get me wrong.  But it has influenced me to wait on purchasing games I don't think I will play through multiple times.  

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August 3, 2012 1:26:53 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I'm similar.  Pricing is the main driver for me though.  Nowadays, waiting even 30 days will likely result in a price drop or some sort of sale that gets you a better deal.  This, more than anything else, pretty much killed off my must have it now mentality. 

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August 3, 2012 6:57:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Steam sales have really been a tipping point.  I've got enough of a backlog of good, slightly older, much cheaper, and "complete" games waiting that the urge to buy shiny new ones is more easily resisted.


That being said, if I get fantastic fun/value/playtime out of a game, I will sometimes purchase a sequel/expansion at launch as a "reward" to the devs.

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August 4, 2012 9:07:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The main games I play at the moment are FE beta, Battle for Wesnoth, and a little of some H2 and H3 mods or total conversions.  FE Beta is getting to be so good, that I don't need to have many other games to keep me occupied.

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August 4, 2012 9:00:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I've become the same way, games that I had to have on release are fewer and farther between then they used to be.    ...  

Interesting Thread that you have started, Shadowtongue ... and thought-provoking!  Rather like you (and Lord Xia, quoted above), I have definitely tended in recent years to buy fewer brand new  games.  I think there are several reasons for this.  In no particular order, here are some of my personal reasons:

(1) I've gotten older, and the newness has worn off.  Really, there is very little that is  "New under the Sun", in the world of PC gaming in recent years.  I would love for this to change someday ... and maybe it will ... but I doubt it.

(2) I still have a small collection of what I think are the best 4X and Turn-based Strategy (TBS) games ever produced (IMHO); and I still play them with some degree of regularity.  They are the "survivors" of the scores of games that I have purchased over 25-plus years -- the real gems and acknowleged Classics.  I am able to play them (in some cases) only because I also have 6 computers in my household, some of which range back over many years, and which still have older Operating Systems, etc.  As long as I have this  accessible resevoir of old, great games, it takes a lot of hype, or word of mouth, to get me really interested in a new game. 

(3) Money is not an issue for me; but time is.  I really don't care to waste time on marginal gaming experiences.  I want *GREAT* ...  or I'll just go find something else to do.

(4) Digital download (in general), and later-released downloadable content (DLC) is a mixed  blessing, at best.  I refuse to let some gaming conduits even have access to my newest computer. (Since I have no desire to be flamed by rabid fans, I won't mention Steamworks by name ... .)


But, on the other side, E:FE has attracted my attention; even during this open-Beta stage.  I am fascinated by it!  For some reason, it is the exception to the rule.  I know that I dare not fall in love with any current features, because they may disappear (or be altered beyond recognition) in the next update.  I know (or strongly suspect) that we so-called Beta-testers probably have almost no genuine input to (or effect upon) the evolution of the game.  And I know that the odds are pretty long (even given my positive regard for Stardock), that E:FE will truly join the ranks of the Timeless Classics. 

But, it has been genuine *FUN* to play along with E:FE's  Beta process, for the last 6 months;  and I really think it will continue to be.     Unexpected things still happen ...                    


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August 5, 2012 2:56:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't know, I think we have had some impact.  Maybe not huge, but some.

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August 6, 2012 5:30:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

some of the games with online contents sound as though no one will be playing them online down the line. so you might get them cheap. but you might be missing out on the mp portion.


depends on how much you care about mp i guess?

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August 6, 2012 10:54:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For me MP is irrelevant.  I have no time or patience for it, and while I have done MP on things like Dominions3 (and 2  before), I find that within a certain time frame it moves from 'fun' to 'tedious' and having to get my turns in every day (or otherday) begins to feel like work.  So I have to quit.  Granted, I care not one whit for RTS or FPS, so those communities don't interest me, and I've never been one for MMOs either, mostly due to the insane time commitments which seem to come with them.


I have dabbled in the past with various MMO browser games (and still do a couple half assed today), but once you become a part of the 'community' it can become very pressing indeed to stay current with whatever is going on, and forget if there is some kind of politics going on...  I know myself, I have to do a good job or I can' t do it at all, so lately, I've moved to the 'not at all' camp.


Current exception is, online blood bowl.  Of course it's a bit flexible on game time, if you don't join too many leagues or tournaments at least.


Otherwise, here's the list of what I've played in the past year, in no particular order:

Sword of the Stars (currently uninstalled)

ToEE Co8 modpack

Civ4/Master of Mana


Armored Princess



And that's it.  I follow development of games in several places, but frankly, nothing I see looks so promising to me that I'm going to break my pattern.  FE, great, but... just cannot do it.  SotS][ something else I really want to be great, but even if it is, it's not in a state where I can waste my time with it now.


And after that we get to Steam only games, and not to prime another thread for a Steam discussion,  but I simply have no interest in doing anything with Steam, so I don't

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August 6, 2012 4:28:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think about this topic frequently. I have noticed that I buy AAA titles when they are old and discounted, this also keeps me from having to upgrade my hardware often. It also allows me to get the GOTY edition and not worry about DLC.


However, I have been buying independant games on Day 1, because they are cheaper and because they are more innovating and fun. Legend of Grimrock and Warlock are my most recent purchases, also a pre-order of FE.


I think the problem is that the buggiest and most disappointing games are not the AAA games, and not the cheap indie games. Its the middle ground games like Heroes 6, Stronghold 3, E:WoM, and Sword of the Stars 2. It is very concerning to me that the strategy genre is hardest hit with buggy titles, and except for Elemental none of them are ever going to completely fix the various problems. I have no confidence that any sequels, if the publishers approve them, will be any better either. Chances are they will be worse. 

I sincerely hope that devs and publishers open their eyes to this trend and try to find a way around it, since it would be tragic if these franchises died because they betrayed their fans.


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August 11, 2012 6:43:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm the same way. I buy very few games at fullprice anymore. Latest ones were Diablo III and StarCraft II. Before that it was Galactic Civilizations II. Steam sales have gotten me used to only paying max 20 euros.


Then there is all the great flash and browser games. Then kickstarter came in....

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