Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Confused Bunch of Lordan Residents

With the PC version of the game, I've logged over 700 hours
in the game at this point.
The enthusiast in me is rather impressed by what NeoGAF user Durante[1] put into making the PC port of Dark Souls live up to the community's standards.

The pragmatist in me however is the usual victor of my stance here, and that part of me would question these standards, mock them for their ridiculous nature, and then recklessly throw these views into my already large toybox of things that makes me generally hate the overall community of PC players of any game.

I've had everything up until version 1.0 installed because it was a lovely way to take HUDless screenshots of one my favorite games of this generation[2]. Lately though, I've become bored and ended up removing it until the iteration upgrades begin to slow down significantly and I can download a more stable version to mess around with. Even then I probably won't use it too much for anything outside of native resolution screenshots that I can fiddle around with in Photoshop and the like[3]. At this point it only becomes a tool to do something else entirely.

Put simply, they're only a necessity in terms of presenting the game in an entirely different venue (which is rarely what people argue here). They're little more than a luxury to me otherwise. They sure as hell aren't worth anything to me in actually playing the damn thing. It's been a tired argument ever since the game was originally announced  for PC after that petition earlier this year[4]. Mods and texture replacements have already begun showing up in droves and it does sort of wear down on my experience of the game. I'm willing to admit that's rather pretentious but extending a common metaphor I've seen echoed throughout any forum on the topic:

These types of alterations in no tangible way effect my playtime with the game. If it's less 'taking a Sharpie to the Mona Lisa' rather than defacing a copy for shits and giggles, it's still no less annoying. These people are still in the museum, some doing actual creative stuff[5], and others are just doing obnoxious and overdone shit that annoys people around them. Since we're still in this metaphor, I should say that I feel no remorse for children that get thrown out of the Louvre for acting like jackasses.

A more apt description for me is that asshead you never want to watch your favorite movie with because they're always complaining about something irrelevant that makes you want to slap them.
"I hate her hair..."
"Such bad acting..."
"That is so fake!" 
                          "This dude is so overrated..."
The crown jewel of computer gaming is the inherent range of options players have when it comes to not only playing the game but adding to it or supplementing in ways that are in many cases---better than what the developer intended. It is a degree of power however and I'll never place my bets against that kind of force being abused by more players than it's used competently by. Unfortunately it gives agency to the the aforementioned assheads' complaints.

Again, a situation like this isn't anything new (yet we keep repeating it as we're too lazy to find a fucking answer), as where do we draw the line? Mine is generally drawn at mods period; unless under special circumstances (i.e. innovative ones that actually could evolve into games on their own right or entire reworkings showcasing genuine reverence for the medium or a particular title[6]), they're usually just the childish culminations of idle hands. Nine times out of ten, they infringe on some perception of integrity or immersion I have wound up in the game and I steer clear of them as much as I can.

I guess this seems worse (or more irritating at least) to me right now as the the cycle of "Who's dying" has shifted to the console space rather than the PC one (btw, hasn't this same cycle happened at least twice already? ಠ_ಠ), but I have a post for that particular topic next time.


[1] He's currently on version 1.5 of his fix which includes a nice laundry list of things that could effectively extend the life of interest in it in the long run.

[2] I've accumulated a nice library of most of these images in my Flickr now too.

[3] And I'd like to see users like Duncan Harris and kodama_SS mess around with some of these things as well.

[4] I regret signing that damn thing, even now. Oh well.

[5] Dark Souls already has a Nexus and various forum threads dedicated to the hobby now.

[6] I've been impressed by Black Mesa for example.