Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I am not a hardcore gamer.

I kind of thought I was, until today. Thirty years of playing games. 20,000 plus hours in total, probably, even though I don't play as much as I used to. I've stayed up all night playing games more times than I can even remember, and not once was I sorry. I've played for twelve hours straight.

I mean, good grief, I time players with a stopwatch in football video games to find out their times in the forty.

What I have never done, though, is fight a boss battle--FOR EIGHTEEN HOURS.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun had this item today:
“People were passing out and getting physically ill. We decided to end it before we risked turning into a horrible new story about how video games ruin people’s lives.”

This, from aptly-name guild Beyond The Limitation, came after spending some 18 hours attempting to defeat one of Final Fantasy XI’s endgame monsters, the Pandemonium Warden.

I'm not saying that fighting a boss battle for eighteen hours is hardcore. No, what's hardcore is the guy in the comments section over at Pet Food Alpha who had this to say after a long list of comments criticizing the designers (and the ellipses are all his):
Honestly… I applaud SE for doing it… Everyone is so touchy about having hard battles… If we wanna play an easy game we can play WoW… Now about the length of the fight… So get more people and do it in shifts…

Shifts! Genius!

Or this guy:
Becoming ‘physicall ill’ is due malnutrition; prepare more wholegrain carbs and water (yes, I am serious -sugary crap will make you ill) -with this a 24hr session at the computer should be fine.

The devs have tried to create a legendary accomplishment, and the effort to achieve such should match the gravitas of the occasion, surely?

I'm awed.

These guys are both variations on my favorite internet forum archetype: Defender Guy. Defender Guy is the lone salmon swimming upstream, months before the spawn, against the swiftly flowing River Of Common Sense.

Defender Guy will defend anything about a game, no matter how incredibly broken or stupid it might be, and whatever goes wrong is your fault. If a game installed itself, then formatted your hard drive, Defender Guy would blame you for not doing regular back-ups.

I notice Defender Guy more often in sports games forums than anywhere else, and it's always entertaining. Let's say that someone posted about Madden and said that the CPU wouldn't try an onside kickoff at the end of a game when they were behind. That's about as huge an A.I. gaffe as a sports game can have, totally indefensible, but Defender Guy will always have a workaround (this is a fictional response, but just barely):
So could you have a house rule where if the CPU should have onside-kicked and didn't you would punt it back to them on first down?

Never mind that the solution will never make sense. Defender guy isn't supposed to make sense. He's just supposed to defend.

The mirror image of Defender Guy is Attacker Guy. Often, though, Attacker Guy is just Defender Guy discussing a different game, usually one being compared favorably to the game he must defend.

Attacker Guy's favorite tactic is to scour the Internet to find glitch videos of the game he's attacking. Maybe they only happen once in a thousand games, but no matter. To Attacker Guy, they're the Zappruder Film, and he'll point out towering mounds of detail in each clip.

Frequently, watching Attacker Guy and Defender Guy go at each other is considerably more entertaining than actually playing the game.

Site Meter