Nitpick: Platforming fail
[Continued] Page 2
Platforming in Star Wars: The Old Republic is hard due to the imprecise control that the player has over the character using the keyboard. I remember there being one platforming segment in Nar Shadda where I had to jump on balloons and have perfect landing jumps for me to reach my end destination. The entire journey is a major hassle where the platforming isn’t really up to your skill and how well you can control your character but how well the game picks up on your keyboard inputs, assuming it does so properly. To add to the frustration, the times you can do it are limited since the balloon only comes after a certain while meaning if you miss the first time, you have to wait over 15 minutes until you can do it again. It’s extremely frustrating and aggravating.
This isn’t the only instance of perfect platforming required in Star Wars: The Old Republic. There are specific locations in the main Republic and Empire hub where you can access Holocrons by platforming. Once again, the imprecision haunts this game. However, unlike the horrible jumping that’s required, the unresponsiveness of the game in combination with terrible controls force the player into an undesirable corner. The player must both battle the game itself and their keyboard. I remember when I was constantly tapping my keyboard lightly so I’ll move bits and pieces at a time. The experience test my patience to say the least. I questioned myself, “Why did the developer put such a frustrating gameplay segment in the game when the entire process is unresponsive, annoying, and frustrating?” To this day I still ask this question.
While platforming in Guild Wars 2 isn’t as frustrating as The Old Republic, it is still an experience that can be tedious and annoying at times. Unlike The Old Republic though, the controls are much more responsive and act almost instantaneously giving player better control. However, the problems that come with using a keyboard still exist. In Guild Wars 2 there are areas called Vistas that you can discover and access. As the name implies, these places have a spectacular view of the world and often times are in high locations. In order to reach them you must navigate the various terrain that stands in your way.
In the Grove is one vista that requires you to jump on top of various mushrooms of miniscule size to reach the top of a building. Mind you, these are extremely small. So much so that if you don’t land perfectly on the mushroom, you’d fall. However, the problem is that it’s hard to predict how far you’ll end up jumping and how far you need to actually jump. Gauging these things in addition to controlling your character mid-air so they land perfectly on the mushroom for more than five times can quickly break you if you’re not patient.
I’m not saying that all platforming in MMOs is bad. In fact, I’m sure there is an exception out there somewhere just to prove me wrong. However, from the MMOs I’ve played and the ones that are the most famous, platforming isn’t the game’s strongest feature. In fact, I’d say it’s a detriment to the game since it breaks up the pace of the game in the most frustrating and aggravating way possible. If something doesn’t work properly, developer shouldn’t put it in the game. In this case, I think it’d be best if developers don’t tackle it at all if it’s not appealing or is consistent with the game.