Posted by: Bruno | October 7, 2008

Conventions and Water Temples

First of all, the Blizzcon business. I am yes, going to Blizzcon, the all Blizzard event covering the new expension pack for World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo III and most certainly the mystery MMORPG (World of Warcraft 2). There will be a certain coverage of my experience, I will try, at least, to set photos of all the days I will be traveling to Anaheim and show your the adventure that is Blizzcon, my very first geek convention. Of course, there will photo and impressions, feel free to comment along the way, they will be on the flickr page, which the link will be posted as there will be photos to be seen.

That being taken away, I often ponder about some game design choices in some of my favorite game series I play. More specifically RPGs and Adventure/performer ones. In all games, they seem to have a moment of the adventure that goes into the bowels of all the elements possible to see, from fire to water and every single kind of dungeon/temple/level whatever it is, there’s a different pace for each levels. I don’t have a problem with that kind of lack of originality, I kinda like it except for one thing.

Once a player is acquainted to some of the more, let’s say, “dynamic” elements, he finds himself confronted by it’s big blue enemy… The water. I don’t know what game designer usually associate with “water temples” but it always seems that this term seem to be with “chore”.

I go into The Legend of Zelda, hallmark of water temples worth of curses and every time, the puzzles are slow, terrible, and pretty much nerve wracking. After exploring 3 of the iteration of the series, they do not make exception, every time the game’s puzzle in THAT particular area seems to drive one to insanity. They often show what you usually need right of the start or create the need for such tool right at the beginning but to get to that tool, you have to go thru a world of hurt, puzzles and yes, insane frustrations.

Though I have to admit that the rewards of such dynamism stopping chores are usually pretty great. Epic fights, overly useful item around the rest of the game and most probably the accomplishment of never having a reason to go back there ever again once it’s cleared.

Yet again, I still question why does this application of such pain is related to water, I’d love to see a level which is fast paced, incredible, and hot blooded in the water.

Screw the underwater “beauty” of the thing, I’m not there to play Jacques Cousteau, I’m there to rip some ass and save the world!

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