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Chippy

What Is Ironman Mode To You?

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And why do you do it?.

 

I've always taken an ironman mode to gaming, but was thinking recently about how outright stupid and narcissistic it (for me) actually is when applied to anything other than traditional RPG's. 

Unless the perfect game is made/you can step onto the holodeck of the enterprise, a gamer will never completley appreciate what their character is subject to within the game.  Here's a few examples:

 

Skyrim: fell offa mountain, but landed in a river about 1m deep and survived.  5min later fell from a rock about 1-2m high and died.

Same thing with Assassins Creed - survived a drop from a church rooftop, but died 2 floors up after falling from a house.  Also died by dropping into water by falling 1foot from a pier. 

 

Witcher 2:  can kick the crap out of any boss/character in game combat, but always die from QTE movie death because I'm not sitting back from the screen and raking it constantly for the button that needs pressing.

 

BG:EE: Died from dryads because apparently if the whole party are charmed it means death.

 

I think I started ironman gaming because after IE games, TOEE, Fallout 1/2, etc, were so well made that after having an appreciation for the rules the next 'level' of engagement/challenge seemed to be to treat it like a game of fast paced chess - instead of (insert action game) "I'll try that, crap I died, lemme reload".

 

The latest Wasteland 2 video has the most interesting feature I've seen in a game in ages; a written description of what the character sees in the game!  "This fence looks weak and ready to fall over" ... How would you know that otherwise?!.  Kicking down the fence allowed the developer to flank the enemy...

 

So I just thought I'd stick this self-assessment/case study in here, by saying that the ironman challenge for me is in the complexity of the game, my appreciation of the rulest and how my character's skills react to the world - not in metagaming, knowing the secret handshake, or using trial and error.

Edited by Chippy
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What is ironman mode to me?  Something to be avoided like the plague as I like roleplaying and some of my characters do not necessarily make the wisest choices.  As ironman mode denies the player more than one save, it has the potential to trap me in a no-win situation.

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http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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What is ironman mode to me?  Something to be avoided like the plague as I like roleplaying and some of my characters do not necessarily make the wisest choices.

but if you're roleplaying, why shy away from the consequences of said roleplaying?

 

The only exception I can see is if behaviour that's basically pre-determined behavior will definitely lead to you dying/ losing the game (like roleplaying a thief in a game where pickpocketing is a sure way to screw up the game). Though even then... if I was bent on roleplaying I'd just stick to chests in that case.

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Ironman mode is a way of playing I might try on a second playthrough of a game I really enjoyed. After understanding the way the game plays and what it will allow me to, I might prevent myself from using something that made the game easier. Perhaps I'll only allow one save or never use a potion or something of that sort. Something to push myself and make the game harder. I've never understood the need to create a game mode to enforce that choice though.

 

It sounded like you were asking a more philosophical question about the concept of Ironman mode, OP, so that's how I tried to answer. I would be interested in further elaboration on your intent either way.

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needlessly complicating.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Erm... for me, Ironman mode is something from Audiosurf. If you want to limit saving, don't save. If you want challenge, use terrible skillsets or whatever. Besides, it's been already said that there will be a lot of customization possibilities when it comes to difficulty. But personally, I won't be playing PE for the challenge, that will be secondary and not very important aspect of the game...

Edited by Aoyagi

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but if you're roleplaying, why shy away from the consequences of said roleplaying?

Because my goal is to finish the game. If my characters have a problem with that, then they can go pound sand. ;)

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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To me, "ironman" gameplay is just playing by a set of player pre-determined, self-imposed rules as a way to make the game more challenging or exciting to said player. Typically this would be done on a 2nd (or further) playthrough, when one is already familiar with at least the basics of the game and thus knows what imposed rules would work best to achieve the desired result within the individual game.

 

Depending on the style/genre of game, it can mean start over as soon as you die, it can mean not using any store-bought items (only "found" ones), it can mean not using any potions, it could even mean trying to beat the game at a very very low clvl or within a fast speed/time ... it can mean a whole lot of things.

 

And I do not think any such ruleset should be forced upon a player. That's what optional difficulty modes or whatever, are for. Or your own discipline/decision to play a certain way. The exception is a game that's open/up front that it's going to be that type of game, catering only to a very specific playstyle/audience, period (vs. trying to have 'difficulty modes' at all).


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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A method to conserve precious hard drive space. More than once I've had to tab out of a game just to free up some space to save.

 

 

 

It's like my dieting method of not having any food at home.


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A method to conserve precious hard drive space. More than once I've had to tab out of a game just to free up some space to save.

 

 

 

It's like my dieting method of not having any food at home.

Are you still using a 500mb hd from 1995?

 

Have you tried using a bootdisk?

Edited by AGX-17

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To me, it helps me not merely roleplay better, but play better in general.

 

Even though I'm quite methodical, I will tend to deliberate less and over-extend my party since the risk is non-existant. If I die, I won't care, and just reload. Being a person who also like to take paths less travelled, and occassionally explore morally ambiguous options, I will sometimes recant the choice I made and reload when the reward or outcome was less desirable than I believe the conventional choice was--even when I survive it or the plot hasn't been broken.

 

It's a significant strategy and an immersion aid principally. It places a great deal of thrill into the unknown, otherwise mundane combat, and personal interaction choices.

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I generally don't enjoy playing by "ironmode" rules, but I may indulge in it and a few other self-imposed rules if it's for a game I think is a bit too easy, (i.e. 3 hearts no fairies/potions ironman run of Ocarina of Time). I don't think I could do it on a game like Baldur's Gate - too much is left up to the dice, (literally, in this case), that it would simply be frustrating when I lose. Especially given that Baldur's Gate is a heck of a lot longer than a game like Ocarina of Time.


How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?
 
How to Totally Remove Ignored Users from Your Obsidian Forums.

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A road to deeper immersion. If the option of going back to a previous save isn't there, I don't think about it. Less metagame thinking -> better experience.

 

Always assuming the game isn't so difficult that going ironman is not practically feasible on a first playthrough.


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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A method to conserve precious hard drive space. More than once I've had to tab out of a game just to free up some space to save.

 

 

 

It's like my dieting method of not having any food at home.

Are you still using a 500mb hd from 1995?

 

Have you tried using a bootdisk?

Mostly it was when I had a single 120GB SSD for both OS and games (separate partitions of course). I've since added on another 256GB SSD which has tided me over for now, but even that's about 3/4 full now. I'll probably look at retiring the 120GB drive later this year and doing a fresh OS install - I expect to be able to get a 500+ GB SSD for under $300 by year's end.


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A method to conserve precious hard drive space. More than once I've had to tab out of a game just to free up some space to save.

 

 

 

It's like my dieting method of not having any food at home.

Are you still using a 500mb hd from 1995?

 

Have you tried using a bootdisk?

 

 

I don't know about you, but the most I had in 1995 was a 386 with a 64mb HD I had put in myself. ;) My next computer was a pentium 1 (300mhz!) with an HD of 300mb.

But yeah, out of space saves? really?

That has only ever happened to me with Thief 3 and Knights of the Old Republic II, both of which had 20mb saves, and I "Save often and in different slots"


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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A play through mode that requires near perfect performance in combat encounters?

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Ironman is what makes the characters story into Art, in my opinion.

In the actual story, does the character die 100's of times just to get "Resurrection" a couple of steps back? (Loading the game) No, no TV-Show, no Comic Series, no Art-form takes you "back" 1 hour. Designed Flashbacks, sure, but I can't pin-point a single time where I read a book and in the middle of it I have to go back a couple of pages to "reload", I can expand my knowledge of reading the book by doing so, but there is no reason for me to do so because I am reading a story (and not studying it).

Ironman = In my opinion: The Designed Story, the Book. Harry Potter doesn't reload or die on the way (well he does, but it doesn't take him back to the first Book, if you get what I'm saying).
Gameplay = Dying on the way and being able to Save/Load within this Story/Book.

Hardcore Ironman = This is what I think Obsidian should design the Difficulty in (they should have this in mind at least when creating something). What is the vision? Does a character die when they get penetrated by a sword in the world of P:E? How much of a Big Business is Mortality in Josh Sawyer's Project: Eternity? How difficult is the World of P:E in Josh Sawyer's Project: Eternity?

If it is anything like I suspect, then I suspect that Hardcore Ironman would or could be not just difficult, but have a lot of "realism". Now, when I say "realism" I mean realistic and authentic to the Project: Eternity world.

"Is stuff 'realistic' enough for such a thing to happen in Project: Eternity?"

In the real world, as an example, you die if you get stabbed in the heart. But perhaps there is some psuedo-logical reason within Project: Eternity that makes it possible to survive if you get stabbed in the heart. That's the kind of realism I'd like to see (not necessarily the stabbed in heart example, but conceptually the realism in Project: Eternity could follow logical rules to what is real in Project: Eternity).

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Ironman mode is a way of playing I might try on a second playthrough of a game I really enjoyed. After understanding the way the game plays and what it will allow me to, I might prevent myself from using something that made the game easier. Perhaps I'll only allow one save or never use a potion or something of that sort. Something to push myself and make the game harder. I've never understood the need to create a game mode to enforce that choice though.

 

It sounded like you were asking a more philosophical question about the concept of Ironman mode, OP, so that's how I tried to answer. I would be interested in further elaboration on your intent either way.

 

I suppose my philosophy behind it would be the same as the above answer from Mr. Magniloquent, but it comes from the mechanical workings of the game - my appreciation from playing it that the developers arn't going to meta-create a scenario of 'roll D20 or die' that ignores character & player skill, or the mechanical failure of the engine (right angle dodge/jumping confusion in Assassins Creed, poor camera and cursor accuracy in Witcher 2) that lowers my respect for the game.

 

So ironman become 100% engagement where dying won't happen because of boredom or disaffection with game mechanics & developer created scenario's, and with a great story I'm willing to spend any amount of time on it (creeping forward to detect 1-shot kill traps or spending an evening gathering resources).  At that point the only reason I would die is because of a gap in game rule knowlege - which is totally down to the player. 

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Risk and reward are intertwined.

 

If you know you can just reload it changes the way you play. In Ironman, suddenly those 'useless' items become invaluable, that obscure and situational skill becomes extremely important and you are thinking about battle tactics in a way you never have before. Monsters are scary, bosses are terrifying and you are paying more attention to description and dialogue (the information might save your life!) as well as story choices. A slightly better helmet is a fabulous treasure that can keep you alive that much longer.

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I find Ironman mode to be more compelling in the end, more satisfying.

I have played through Diablo II and III on "hardcore" mode and I absolutely loved the experience, being methodical and careful, and the amount of times I got barely away with my life just added to my attatchment to my Amazon, or my demon hunter... I still perfer my amazon though..

 

Another game I played with Ironman would be Bloodbowl, you do get attached to your players and it's a bummer when they died, especially if you give them names and they progress far.

 

ToEE is great, but unfortunately It's beyond my skills, I have given it multiple attampts but I never managed to do well.

 

Well, writing this has made me want to replay diablo II, I think it's time for my Amazon to go on another adventure.

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I completely understand why people like Iron Man mode. it's not really for me though. I rarely have a lot of time to put into a game, and losing a lot of progress because I wasn't paying attention because I was tired doesn't appeal to me.

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