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SPOILERS Agents of Mayhem - A Critique

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Skolia, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. flow754

    flow754 Modding patch tester

    By the time a game flops in sales Denuvo has long sealed the deal with the publisher, so the only one you're effectively hurting by not purchasing is the developer, who, like in Volition's case, might not have a say in the implementation of Denuvo anyway. It's probably about as effective as purposely pirating games you planned to buy because the developer used SpeedTree to make their fucking bushes. You're not hurting SpeedTree, you're hurting the makers of a game you genuinely enjoy. This isn't about AoM, I don't care how you spend your money and trust me I hate DRM as much everyone else, but the whole Denuvo abstinence argument just seems like an easy way for entitled gamers to rationalize stealing software. Guess I wouldn't have as much of an issue with it if the people complaining about DRM had enough integrity
    to not pirate their shit, since that's the whole reason DRM even exists. Not talking about you, but in general.
     
  2. The developers are merely employees, they don't receive a cut of the profits, they get paid a fixed income same as everyone else. The only people you're "hurting" by not supporting DRM (or by supporting piracy, if you really want to go there) are the executives, whom can get run over by a bulldozer and then get eaten and defecated out by rabid dogs for all I care.

    I don't mean to diss your guilt trip attempt though. It was good, and it might've worked if I were part of the blue pilled masses or if I didn't have friends in the software industry. But I do, I know quite a few people who work in the software industry and you'd be surprised just how many of them are pirates. Which isn't really all that surprising, given how underpaid many of them are.

    Same way game publishers see piracy as an easy way to rationalize intrusive DRM, poor optimization. zero quality assurance, day one DLC, micro-transactions, lack of customer support, early access scams, modding monetization, cutting and re-selling content (a favorite of Volition's), claiming copyright and demanding 75% off YouTube videos, bribing the journalists they can and suing or censoring the ones they can't, and the list goes on.

    Likewise I wouldn't have as much of an issue with DRM if game publishers had enough integrity to make sure it doesn't blow back on their customers. Not talking about Volition... well not JUST Volition, but in general.
     
    aceman0000099 likes this.
  3. flow754

    flow754 Modding patch tester

    Why bring all these things into the discussion on a modding forum for a game series that doesn't really have any of these problems? Okay, poor optimization is debatable because of SR2's shitty PC port, but since then Volition has, in my mind, more than made up for it by taking the PC version of SR4 to the next level with modding support and patches years after its release. AoM's day one DLC was free and Idolninja made a pretty good post explaining "cutting and re-selling content". I get that these issues exist in the game industry though, at publishers that shall not be named and aren't relevant to this site.
    My point still stands that I find it hypocritical to complain about anti-customer policies when you're not even a customer, but the reason they're in place. This isn't me offering you any pills, just my opinion, which is heavily biased due to me getting to know some of the folks at V as incredibly friendly and helpful people - turns out they aren't the tophat wearing, mustache trimming, hand rubbing kind at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
    [V] IdolNinja and Quantum like this.
  4. From what I see, if you like Overwatch & hate having to always be Connected like the game is on Denuvo then Agents of Mayhem is good, but its like what Sega is doing with Valkyria Chronicles Azure Revolution...their going in a direction that they think will make a lot of money.

    Its okay to try new things (Like FF15 & FFTactics), but don't forget where you came from and the saddest part is Developers -frequently- never expand on what they already have (EVEN THOUGH EXPANDING ON WHAT GTA DOESN'T IS WHAT MAKES SR SERIES GREAT)...they change simply cause they want more buyers or that there is no point putting in a lot of work for "nothing" like APB Reloaded (Even most Developers don't see why High Customization can be a good thing).

    With Saints Row 4 & 3 Music & References, I realize this Non-AAA Game doesn't realize what it can do as a A Game (Trust me cause the Limitation on Imagination is less than GTA, you can do so much with it...WHO HAD FLYING MOTORCYCLES FIRST HUH!!!...SAINTS ROW DID...kind of GTA:SA + Flying Cars Cheat).
    I find Saints Row wastes its time/money trying to incorporate what everyone likes or is popular rather than put a Saints Row spin on it & Expand (2 Examples are the AAA Music Songs vs Music on AnimeVibe (Cheaper & Unique...I would use in my own game too) & not expand on some DLC Costumes like the Hillbilly not having a Moonshine Gunslinger or Lightning Car with a "shaker system" or supercharger Engine poking out the Hood with 8 Moonshine Cylinders & Flames out the sides).

    For me what I liked About Agents of Mayhem
    - Trying to distance itself as a Copycat of GTA Series
    - Its Singleplayer Overwatch
    - Special Moves with Weapons is AWESOME IDEA (We had Sprint Unarmed Attacks then Special Powers only so now Range Weapons too COOL...THIS IS EXPANDING, THIS IS WHERE I SAY AOM IS THE NEXT SAINTS ROW)
    - Instead of 1 Boss, Your 3 Bosses
    (Even though in SR3 I wanted to make a Mod where you can use the Character Customization/Image by Design to Create 3 Lieutenants in Gang "Customization" so that way all those Customization Clothing & Body Options aren't just being used on Yourself and they would have special Abilities like being able to Revive you/homies, use Better weapons, command Homies...kinda of what the Special Homies like Kinzie, Shantae & Pierce should have been...I came up with idea cause 1. Gang Customization is weak, 2. We only can use the Customization on Ourselves, 3. You have a Outfit & Character Saving System and can only use on Yourself, 4. If Co-Op means 2 Bosses can run around with no FPS Drop then...4 Bosses shouldn't be hard to render at the same time, 5. Skyrim reuses its Customization on NPCs)
    - Getting into vehicles by Teleport like SR4 Zinyak is nice
    - Graphics are Clean, Smooth and nice (Though the Commercial Graphics were better, but then people would think it was Borderland 5.0)

    What I question
    - In SR3 & SR4 you could pick your Taunt & Complement, in Sim 4 you can pick your the way You Talk, Walk & Act...seeing as AOM mostly likely doesn't have SR3 & Sr4 customization, Does each character have there own Talking/Walking/Act/Taunt/Complement/Enter Vehicle Style...like One Runs like Ninja from Naruto and another Runs like an Athlete being chased by a Tiger, one Jumps Through Window of Car and another Uses a Grapple Hook?

    - Notice everyone landing on Feet...no Fall Damage = So do we Fly, Hover, Wall Run, Air Walk, Short Range Teleport, Become Lightning and zip through people?

    - Are Weapons locked to moves or Is there Costumes/Upgrades for Weapons (Variants of Weapons like one with a Hush, Extended Clip or Double Barrel)?

    - Expanding on Abilities or Expanding on Roster?

    - Vehicle Customization (Not asking for Complex Stuff)
    - Turrets (Rockets, Gatling, FlameThrower, Melee, Lasers)
    - Turret/Weaponize Places (Trunk/Engine/Roof/Doors/Tires)
    - Preset Decal & Material Color
    - Suspension/Monster Truck Tires
    - Continuous/Tank Tires
    - Hover Tires (Stillwater > Steelport > Seoul = "Most Technological Advance Place")
    - adding Bumper Guards (Shovel/Spikes/Police/Ram/etc)
    ...Sad everyone is hoping for a GTA in the Future...and Saints Row had that opportunity...hom many games will be set in the "Future" and still have things from the 21th Century
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  5. Amazing how many of us still can't run Saints Row 2 well even today, and yet the subject of it being badly optimized is still just "debatable".

    There was nothing "next level" about Saints Row IV or Saints Row The Third. The only reason they ran so well (compared to Saints Row 2) was due to the fact they had been stripped to the bone of pretty much every feature that required optimization. Destructible environments and physics objects were reduced to fences, trash bags and gas pumps; the AI was brought down to GTA III level, customization options had been reduced to half and the actors forced to use (very repetitive) pre-made models, likewise the vehicle variety had taken a nose dive as well, dynamic time and weather were removed altogether, and the list goes on...

    Volition didn't give us modding, nobody did. It's a feature of the platform that has existed for as long as the platform has, and it's something that can be done with or without the developer's support or consent. The question is, is it worth? Well, when your game is best described as an "acquired taste" that barely offers anything on it's own, not really. Saints Row IV modding didn't fail to kick off due to lack of support, it failed because it's not attractive as a modding platform, which is entirely Volition's fault. You can't expect people to create content and improve your game when you're not willing to do that yourself. They should have focused on actual game development, if they had done their job right, modding would have kicked off on it's own.

    So no, Volition didn't make up for anything. What they did was bail on the PC port of Saints Row 2 as soon as they could and downgrade the next two games to hell while making sure to milk them to death with overpriced DLC. Then they released Agents of Mayhem, which you conveniently ignored in that argument despite the fact that it's so badly optimized that even Saints Row 2 pales in comparison.

    That's exactly my point, publishers see piracy as an excuse to be anti-consumer and screw over everybody except the people who are allegedly to blame for all their problems. They're giving the finger to the majority that's keeping them in business because of a small minority that isn't, and you're defending them. Your relation with Volition goes beyond a little bias, it's clouding your judgement.

    Oh but no, apparently after more than a decade of being a loyal customer to Volition and Deep Silver alike, I'm the hypocrite because I chose to refund a game that was barely playable and basically wiped it's ass with my consumer rights.
     
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  6. Quantum

    Quantum Modding patch tester

    While I share your frustration for many of the points you have made, I have to speak up in Volition's defense about the modding issue. I think Volition has gone above and beyond in their support for modders, and I'd like to express my sincere appreciation for all the help they have given us. In particular, Knobby has spent a significant amount of his personal time to provide technical support and information to the modding community. Volition didn't have to provide any information, but they did. I could not have achieved my Working Elevators mod or built my Zone File Tools without the information and help that Knobby provided. And that's for Saints Row 3, which is still my preferred SR game to mod. I do concede, however, that Saints Row IV is not attractive as a modding platform to me, personally, which is why I didn't contribute to the Workshop mods. But you should also keep in mind that THQ was going into bankruptcy during the development of Saints Row IV, so they were forced to make a lot of concessions though no choice of their own.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  7. No offense, but while you were making Working Elevators, someone in the Grand Theft Auto community made this:



    ...and they did it without any help from Rockstar. If anything, Rockstar has a reputation for getting in the way.

    What about Gat Out of Hell and Agents of Mayhem? Or the Saints Row IV DLC for that matter? What is their excuse for those?

    To be honest, I think Volition was doing a lot better when THQ was still kicking.
     
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  8. flow754

    flow754 Modding patch tester

    As if that mod was truly made by one person and would've been possible to make without the help of the GTA modding community, which is vastly bigger than Saints Row's for a number of reasons - none of which are Volition's fault by the way. Now I don't want to descredit the maker of this amazing mod, but I'm pretty sure he relied on tools by others that required thousands of manhours to craft. I unfortunately don't know enough about the GTA modding scene to say just how much of a team effort it was to build the tools necessary for extracting and modifying archives, 3d models, textures, animations, VFX , SFX, scripts etc. but I can say that it simply wasn't feasible for this community to reach that level of control over the SR games (at least not yet, who knows what the future holds). Instead, all SR mods that exist today where made with a comperatively small toolset by amazingly talented individuals such as but not limited to Minimaul, Scanti, Quantum (who developed his own tools to make his Working Elevators mod, so don't downplay the challenge that one posed) plus Mike Wilson, Randall Hess and Rob Rypka from Volition. This is also part of the reason why it took so long for modders to make custom 3d models for SR3/4: Of the few people on this site, no single one had the time/specialization to reverse engineer the 3d model format and build tools to export such files. The other thing that restricted this community for the longest time were memory restrictions. Even if you could make custom content, there was a good chance that the game would crash or break in a different way upon loading the mod. Don't ask me why such severe limitations aren't present in GTA games, possibly due to the scope of those projects/ the size of the teams that worked on them (when you have more than 200 people in the art department alone, you better make sure your game is more forgiving when it comes to high memory usage), but they needed to be patched out in SR4 by Volition employees who supported this modding community. So yes, Volition did give us modding in a way - at least modding that goes beyond tweaking gameplay values or replacing existing content. I hope you now know enough about this community's struggles to not take this stuff for granted or say things like "nobody gave us modding". That's just insulting to the people who keep on pouring heart, sweat and tears into making free enhancements for your games, however insignificant you might find them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  9. 50percentJoe

    50percentJoe Modding patch tester

    As someone who used to be heavily involved in GTA modding ages ago, Saints Row in general has never been on that level. Like at its peak the GTA modding community was big enough to rival that of the Bethesda modding communities. Having mod tools developed by teams of a dozen or more people, having giant total conversion mods, being able to port assets with some relative ease because of how many tutorials readily exist, and more. The GTA modding community has been booming for a long time because 3, Vice City, and San Andreas all used the same engine even. Modding tools were able to be fine tuned and developed for like a full decade. GTA4 rolled out and was a major set back for a while, and 5 has also had some issues at first but came back. The OpenIV dev team is fairly large for what it is.

    Comparing a mod that uses an altered version of the flying script from the Iron Man mod that's existed for quite a while, then using ported assets from the Spiderman game doesn't really stack up to the effort a lot of us have had to go through for even the smallest progress at times.
     
  10. Quantum

    Quantum Modding patch tester

    I'd give you more than one "Like" if I could! :D
    That's my whole point. Volition HELPS modders. Volition even HIRES modders! They're basically saying to modders, "Hey, we like what you're doing, and we'll help!" I think that's really cool. And it's a big reason I've been so loyal to this modding community.
    Gat Out of Hell was a $20 stand-alone add on, so I think it was fine for that price. They created a whole new map for Gat Out of Hell, which, for me, was better than the rehashed SR4 map. Yes, it didn't have the features of a full Saints Row game, but it never claimed to be a full Saints Row game so I set my expectations accordingly.

    For Saints Row IV DLC, I think "How the Saints Save Christmas" was truly awesome! It's like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life in only the way Volition can do it. Honestly, I play it every Christmas. Again, it's not a full Saints Row game, but it's really enjoyable and well worth the price.

    It's hard for me to say this, but Agents of Mayhem was a bit of a disappointment to me, personally, and not because it's a bad game. It's not a bad game, and I actually love the world they created. I've completed all the missions and have enjoyed many hours exploring it. And I think it was a great idea to set it in South Korea, which gives it an awesome exotic feel. But I think, because Volition had already set the bar so high with SR2 and SR3, I just expected more. I first got involved with modding Saints Row 3 because it had everything GTA had but with the addition of awesome character customization, a very cool sense of style, and a mischievous sense of fun that GTA just didn't (and still doesn't) have. And, they created some very lovable characters (Johnny Gat, Shaundi, Pierce, Kinzie, even the evil ones like Dane Vogel). Ever since SR3, I've been hoping to see a proper new Saints Row game like Saints Row 2 or 3 but with updated graphics. I thought they had such a winning formula with the earlier Saints Row games, and I just don't feel that AOM has the same appeal that the earlier Saints Row franchise had. I'd love to see them take that technology and apply it to a new Saints Row game.
    Perhaps. I'm still not clear why the powers-that-be decided to change direction on a winning formula. I guess they just got bored. If you look at the average Metacritic reviews, SR2 and SR3 were the highest (I used the Xbox ratings because the PC version of SR2 was just a bad port), and it's been slipping after that. Boredom aside, from a business perspective, something like SR2 or SR3 would be the way to go. Customization, cars, boats, aircraft, cribs, no superpowers, no aliens, no superheros, no cartoons. It seems to be what the public likes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017 at 5:02 AM
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