Monday, November 21, 2016

Why I quit No Man's Sky, but will be back if they fix this one strange thing.

Reading up again on behavioural psychology for games design and was hit in the face with this one:

"There is another, subtler problem with maximizing. As discussed in the previous article, sharp declines in the rate of reward are very punishing for players and can result in quitting. If the player has learned to maximize their reward in one portion of the game, creating a high and consistent level of reward, moving to another part or level of the game will most likely result in a drop in reward. This contrasting low level of reward is extremely aversive and can cause the player to quit. It may even be an effective punishment for exploring new aspects of the game, as the transition from the well understood portion to the unknown marks an inevitable drop in rewards." - John Hopson from Gamasutra-ThePsychologyOfChoice

So, yeah, those planets with high sentinel tolerance, and the easy to find stone cube things that are worth around 10k a pop? They set me up to hate every other planet in the universe. I can't go back either, as I have used a black hole to jump ahead. This one way path away from happiness is a big and painful experience that everyone should go through to truly explain the meaning of the saying the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

I am thinking of going back to the game and fly around until I can find another one of those planets, because they are probably quite common for them to be a net meme.

But, if the risk reward systems are balanced, then it's most likely that they will be balanced away from this quick cash solution, so am I destined to be unhappy with progress from now on?

Maybe No Man's Sky 2 will have the game balance as a sanity checking stage during planet generation. I'll play that one.