Saturday, 10 December 2011

Powergaming: "Oh god how can you find that fun?"

Busy week, busy busy week.

Family trip south got cancelled so instead I worked a couple of extra shifts (I do part time volunteer work at Cancer Research.) My usual Friday shift (even though I'd already worked Monday because I wasn't originally able to do Friday) and a special shift on Thursday. We'd gotten a license from the local Council for Thursday only, letting us go out about the town centre for the day to fundraise. So off we went with the collection Cans and stood there in town looking as pretty as we could (watch it now) raising money.

Of course no one told us there was a Hurricane that was centred in Scotland some 90 or so miles to the North. Explains why it was a bit cold, also explains why my hair was flying all over the place...

And why I was dodging flying struts from collapsing market stalls, and the occasional Christmas tree from the shop at the top of the road. Still we made near to £150, good times.

While stood there freezing my nuts off though I had the time to think about blog post topics. One that seems to be a dividing line between myself and several friends in the gaming community is Powergaming, also known as theorycrafting and min/maxing.

When I play games I have a tendency to go for powerful setups and builds. People ask me why I simply can't just turn on a game and enjoy it without having to go for the perfect way of playing it. For me it's the reverse, I can't see how people can enjoy a game knowing that they could aim higher and achieve bigger things. Whether that's a setup that does more DPS, runs a level, mission or dungeon faster or becomes a ridiculous combine that utterly breaks the game, but you do it just because you can.

The case I have in mind with that last example is Skyrim. Now I know already that the best weaponry will come from Blacksmithing and that the best Blacksmithing improvement is to bounce skill effectiveness between Enchanting and Alchemy. After that, you can then use Enchanting to put two enchants on at once just to completely annihilate the crap out of targets, and then poison your arrows for fun.

Does it break the game, somewhat, not as badly as a caster class with 100% Magika reduction on Destruction spells mind. But is it fun? Of course it is.

Now here's the kicker, does it get boring after a while? Eventually yes, yes it does. But the fun isn't just in the finished product, it's in the building stage.

Anyone who is part of a theorycrafting community (at this point I'd like to give a shout out to the DK community over at #Acherus for asking the questions, finding the answers and generally helping each other out for the goal of benefiting the Death Knight class) will tell you, the final execution is only part of the artform that is Powergaming. Design, trial and error and calculation are all as much a part of it.

Of course, that's never the bit that comes up public viewing. You get the Youtube video of the Machariel that runs the whole of L4 Angel Extravaganza in the time it takes you to do the first room. You get the guy who pulls off insane DPS and ranks #1 on WoL or you get the photos on Imgur of 7k damage Daedric swords.

It's like baking, sure at the end of it you get a delicious cake, but there's a whole process before you eat the cake of making it. Some people out there enjoy this bit, possibly even some of you who don't get powergaming! Meanwhile others, like me, prefer to just eat the damn Cake.

Unless it's Cheesecake, no thanks.


1 comment:

  1. "Does it break the game, somewhat, not as badly as a caster class with 100% Magika reduction on Destruction spells mind. But is it fun? Of course it is."

    Yeah, I would totally *never* do that! Shame on people who have that much regen. Ahaa....

    :stows the double enchanted gear into a barrel with eyes darting back and forth: