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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Single Player Cheating

I've had a pretty basic philosophy when it comes to cheats offline. If it's you're game and you are playing it more or less by yourself - go to town. Why should anyone care? Be invincible, spawn extra weapons, whatever. It's your game experience, not anyone elses. I've done it - the occasional lift here or there. Used to be ardently against it, but I don't have the time to waste a whole afternoon retrying the same level over and over again, ya know?

In the original Champions of Norrath, you could easily clone yourself. All you need is an extra save file, the willingness to swap around some imports and then you could copy anything you had in the game. The girl and I copied every gem we ever collected, major weapons, etc. We even created a character called Mool (with more omlauts though) in order to carry all our stuff around.

In the new Norrath, you can't. You can't import or dismiss characters into your current mission, you've got to start a whole new game (though you can start at your current mission). So multiple saves only gives you the option of going back to an older version of the character, not cloning them.

At first, the girl and I were pretty annoyed by that. Well, I think she still is. It is less convenient for multiple players in the middle of a mission - no doubt about that. Someone can't just jump in for an hour and the jump out when they have to go to sleep or do the dishes. You have to finish up a mission, save it, then start a new game.

However, I do have to say - I can kinda see why. I mean, now I am really forced to consider my gem usage and inventory control. When I sell something, it's gone. When a gem gets embedded into my bow - that's it. It kinda returns the game to a sense of normalcy about the value of what you decide to hold in your pack - and in the long run will about aid the longevity of the game. I won't be able to superpower my characters so easily or quickly, making the time to play longer. You still could do it, I suppose, by starting a new game with different characters, trading up and then saving again - but it would be very time consuming and waste space on the old RAM card.

So I guess the fundamental question is - when does player convenience break into the fun factor?

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