Mechanics in games that had the exact opposite results of their intended design

Kaguya

Member
Jun 19, 2018
3,306
The idea came mainly from what happened to GBVS with the block button. For those who didn't know, Granblue Fantasy Versus is a new traditional fighting game with accessibility as its main objective. It has one button special moves inputs and very simple combos, in their pursuit of making it as accessible as possible, they decided to have a "block button" as a secondary method of blocking, on paper this should make the game more accessible for those coming from games with block buttons(Mortal Kombat, Smash, etc...) and make dealing with side switch mixups easier... In reality though, this block button have been responsible for most of the game's high level tech, mechanics abuse and option selects.

So far the block button allow you to:
- Blocking cross ups, one of its intended use
- "Just block" multi-hitting attacks by spamming back while holding block, taking out the risk of having to stop blocking while going for just blocks
- Proximity blocking option select, which allow you to input some moves that end in blocking and the move wont come out unless your opponent try to attack:

- Makes switching between blocking overheads/lows faster(as fast as just letting go of a button to switch from crouch to standing block)
- Allow for landing recovery canceling, which open the way for very powerful instant overheads:

- Allows characters who aren't supposed to be able to switch the direction they're facing after certain actions, to do so, which honestly broken good for something like Metera command jump:

And remember, all this and more is just week one stuff found with this button. It's basically having the exact opposite of its intended effect of simplifying the game and bridging the gab between dedicated and more casual players as most of those are very strong tech that require a lot of lab time to implement into your gameplay.

TL;DR: mechanics meant to simplify the game, is giving the game more depth and complexity. Mechanic meant to help at low level play, is getting far more usage in high level play where the meta is starting to revolve around its abuse.

Now granted, in this specific example, the developer have already said they're looking at it and are going to fix it(some of the usage are simply game breaking), but that's not what this thread is about.

What other games mechanics had the exact opposite of their intended functionality?
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
9,754
In Zero Time Dilemma, the 9 main characters are separated into groups of three early on in the game, and they remain separated for most of the game. The idea, I suppose, was that the separate teams could lead to deeper character development.

In fact, what happens is that the different teams end up confined to a few relationship dynamics, so you get the same 3 people talking to each other in pretty much predictable ways the entire way through the game. It stinted character development, it obstructed the existence of interesting conversations or scenes and characters developing in interesting ways, and by the end of it all the whole thing felt disjointed and inconsequential.
 

tangeu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
760
Weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. Encourage me to use more weapons? Nope! I've got an inventory full of good stuff and will run from every mob until I encounter something "worthy" of using these great weapons on.
 

DrArchon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,569
Weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. Encourage me to use more weapons? Nope! I've got an inventory full of good stuff and will run from every mob until I encounter something "worthy" of using these great weapons on.
Rain had a similar effect.

It was supposed to make me consider alternatives to just climbing up something, but because it wasn't permanent outside of a few set areas, I usally just found myself waiting it out.

For more abstract mechanics, voice chat usually does a great job getting me to not interact with anyone else in the game, and microtransactions usually do a great job at getting me to spend less money.
 

motherless

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,266
Passing in Blades of Steel on the NES, far easier to score with than the shoot button. The goalie tracks the shooting arrow (see video) but not the passes.

 

Belthazar90

Member
Jun 3, 2019
442
Weapon degradatio in BOTW was supposed to make me try other weapons but I just ended up only fighting when there wasn't a way to avoid it.

Weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. Encourage me to use more weapons? Nope! I've got an inventory full of good stuff and will run from every mob until I encounter something "worthy" of using these great weapons on.
Beat me to it.
 

Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,100
Collectables in DK64 and in any game that overdoes it.

Collectables are intended to give you something to do, or provide a reward for looking in every nook and cranny of a level. But when every level is just completely buried in them the way they are in DK64, I just didn't want to bother with it at all.
 

VaporSnake

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,647
Weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. Encourage me to use more weapons? Nope! I've got an inventory full of good stuff and will run from every mob until I encounter something "worthy" of using these great weapons on.
That's on you, you're basically blaming the game for your hoarding tic. Weapons are literally in every corner of the map, 'good' weapons, 'bad' weapons, 'worthy' enemies? it doesn't matter, you can beat the entire game and it's most dangerous enemies with a tree branch.
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
9,754
It was supposed to make me consider alternatives to just climbing up something, but because it wasn't permanent outside of a few set areas, I usally just found myself waiting it out.
I didn't think of it that way. I thought of it as kind of being at the whim of the environment- it made the world feel more active and alive to me, even if I just had to wait it out.
 

DrArchon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,569
Oh wait! I've got a better one!

The fucking leveling system in TESIV: Oblivion

You level up by picking key skills and leveling them up, and they probably intended for you to pick your most used skils as key skills. But because the scaling is so fucked, the best way to play that game was to pick your least used skills as key skills and only level up when you got the max benefits of it. So a Mage's key skills would be stuff like Hand-to-Hand and big weapons, while a Warrior's key skills would be stuff like Illusion magic.
 

Peltz

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,169
Swimming in underwater in Super Mario 64 was supposed to reduce your health gradually to simulate suffocating. But surfacing actually heals you. So whenever you get damage you can just jump into water, stay at the surface and your health recovers. They fixed this in Sunshine by having a separate oxygen meter not tied to health.
 

Elshoelace

Member
Oct 25, 2017
968
I kind of feel that Gamefreak added IVs and such to make each Pokemon feel unique, but instead just lead to Pokemon eugenics.
 

zma1013

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,877
Weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. Encourage me to use more weapons? Nope! I've got an inventory full of good stuff and will run from every mob until I encounter something "worthy" of using these great weapons on.
You're the guy that saves all the magum and rocket ammo through the whole game and ends up using it on the final boss, aren't you?

I got over that sort of thing a long time ago. Once i learned weapons drop like candy, i just used whatever weapons looked the coolest. Even high tier weapons can be frequently obtained in BOTW.
 

Ralemont

Member
Jan 3, 2018
2,449
This is a complicated one, but how skillchains and magic bursts worked in Final Fantasy XI.

The intent was to provide niches for all physical DDs (they weren't called DPS in XI's community!) by allowing them to combine for different elemental skillchains that could match up with different elemental weaknesses on the various monster types.

HOWEVER, because the respawn rate of enemies was so low, parties had to hunt mobs way above their level to maximize EXP, which led to parties only camping monsters with weak base attacks that wouldn't destroy the tanks, which led to everyone hunting crabs and crawlers, both of which were weak to Ice.

This all meant that only one skillchain type was wanted (that lowered an enemy's resistance to Ice for the magic ice attack to follow) and so the only DDs that got parties were the ones who could make that skillchain.
 

Gundam

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,967
Sprint in Halo slows down the pace of matches by encouraging chasing and limiting offensive options. Depending on the game the severity of this varies, but it’s true for all of them.

Maybe it was the intention, but it seems counterintuitive
 
Nov 2, 2017
288
Oh wait! I've got a better one!

The fucking leveling system in TESIV: Oblivion

You level up by picking key skills and leveling them up, and they probably intended for you to pick your most used skils as key skills. But because the scaling is so fucked, the best way to play that game was to pick your least used skills as key skills and only level up when you got the max benefits of it. So a Mage's key skills would be stuff like Hand-to-Hand and big weapons, while a Warrior's key skills would be stuff like Illusion magic.
Oh that's a great one. I remember doing all that, seems crazy in retrospect.
 

NHarmonic.

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
6,665
You're the guy that saves all the magum and rocket ammo through the whole game and ends up using it on the final boss, aren't you?

I got over that sort of thing a long time ago. Once i learned weapons drop like candy, i just used whatever weapons looked the coolest. Even high tier weapons can be frequently obtained in BOTW.
Then you have to fight an horde of white bokoblins with a branch.
 

Kupo Kupopo

Member
Jul 6, 2019
563
In Zero Time Dilemma, the 9 main characters are separated into groups of three early on in the game, and they remain separated for most of the game. The idea, I suppose, was that the separate teams could lead to deeper character development.

In fact, what happens is that the different teams end up confined to a few relationship dynamics, so you get the same 3 people talking to each other in pretty much predictable ways the entire way through the game. It stinted character development, it obstructed the existence of interesting conversations or scenes and characters developing in interesting ways, and by the end of it all the whole thing felt disjointed and inconsequential.
thank you for reminding me. i'd successfully managed to forget just how awful this game is. it's incredibly awful...
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,953
I struggled to come up with one until motherless mentioned Blades of Steel, which then reminded me that almost every sports game has been flawed by trying to make the AI difficult, which actually makes it insanely easy on the hardest difficulty levels.

Madden is the best example. Defensive play calling for the AI in Madden is, basically, all based on the play that you -- the player -- choose on offense (I think this may be the case with offensive play calling for the AI as well but it's a little tougher to tell). This isn't really AI at all, but the intention is to make the game kind of difficult by having an opposing coach who is scheming against whatever your offensive play call is. The problem, though, is that it becomes ridiculously easy to game if you just "do the opposite of what the play call is."

In old Maddens (16 bit, etc) this was the trick of calling a run up the middle, and then running to the outside. The defensive logic was based on what your playcall was, so if you called a HB Dive, and then sprinted to the sidelines, you'd generally outrun almost all of the defenders for a 10 or 20 yard gain.

It's not quite so obvious anymore but still just as dumb. The difficulty settings in a game like Madden introduce a 'coin flip' mechanic where lower difficulties mix up how often the defensive playcalling with match your play perfectly, while higher difficulty levels will increase the likelihood that playcalling will counter your play perfectly. Unfortunately what happens here is that because a difficulty like All-Madden (the hardest) matches your offensive playcall perfectly like 80%+ of the time, it actually makes the game easier because you use similar logic to the old "Dive to the outside" from the 16-bit era, though now it's usually with passes. On all madden the defense blitzs a lot, and they always do fucking stupdi safety blitzs against specific types of passes, with the argument being ... if this play normally has a 5-step drop, you blitz the safety forcing a quicker throw which leads to an int or incompletion on an undeveloped route. The resulf of this, though, is that the defense is exposed over the top, so either calling a hot route for a receiver to do something that attacks the top, or look for a TE that attacks the top, makes it a money play.

Eventually you have to setup house rules because it's just too easy to game the defense... eg, no hot routes, no audibles, or what some people do is let the CPU control the play (eg you call the play and you "Watch it play out.") This produces "realistic" results but it ruins the game... you're intentionally not letting yourself outsmart the CPU, and it's very hard *not* to throw away your house rules when you really want to, there's not many people who... faced with a key 3rd and long late in the game that would eliminate them from the playoffs and they see the *perfect opportunity* on a stupid as fuck CPU defensive playcall to NOT hot route that WR for an easy touchdown......







(Photos are probably Madden 17 or 18 maybe, All Madden difficulty, with whatever difficulty sliders I could get)

Two different games coincidentally against the Bengals, but that WR -- Zach Bobo (fake prospect from Franchise mode, love his name) -- broke every receiving record in a season, game, career, because at some point the defensive playcalling would try to match your offensive playcall 1:1 and it was just like ... ok ... I can either throw another TD on this play or intentionally throw an incomplete pass... Likewise, "Exil Murray" ran for 400 yards and 8 TDs in a game because the Steelers D matched your passes every time and it just became too hard to NOT call an audible to a simple run that would bust for 20-30 yards a carry.

Ultimate it's what has pushed me away from Madden. Throwing for nearly 1,000 yards in a game when defenses are super aggressive and it's too easy to beat them just isn't fun... winning 100-7 just isn't fun when you've done it a few times. THis is why a lot of people swear you have to play on Rookie or Pro difficulty (the easiest ones) and not All Pro or All Madden (theoretically the hardest ones). The logic that is supposed to make the game harder, for anybody who has a modicum of experience in these games, makes it too easy. It's the times when the CPU picks the play you're not expecting that it actually becomes more difficult.

Passing in Blades of Steel on the NES, far easier to score with than the shoot button. The goalie tracks the shooting arrow (see video) but not the passes.

yeah this is a really good one. Lot's of sports games have had bugs this way.
 
Last edited:

motherless

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,266
I struggled to come up with one until motherless mentioned Blades of Steel, which then reminded me that almost every sports game has been flawed by trying to make the AI difficult, which actually makes it insanely easy on the hardest difficulty levels.

Madden is the best example. Defensive play calling for the AI in Madden is, basically, all based on the play that you -- the player -- choose on offense (I think this may be the case with offensive play calling for the AI as well but it's a little tougher to tell). This isn't really AI at all, but the intention is to make the game kind of difficult by having an opposing coach who is scheming against whatever your offensive play call is. The problem, though, is that it becomes ridiculously easy to game if you just "do the opposite of what the play call is."

In old Maddens (16 bit, etc) this was the trick of calling a run up the middle, and then running to the outside. The defensive logic was based on what your playcall was, so if you called a HB Dive, and then sprinted to the sidelines, you'd generally outrun almost all of the defenders for a 10 or 20 yard gain.

It's not quite so obvious anymore but still just as dumb. The difficulty settings in a game like Madden introduce a 'coin flip' mechanic where lower difficulties mix up how often the defensive playcalling with match your play perfectly, while higher difficulty levels will increase the likelihood that playcalling will counter your play perfectly. Unfortunately what happens here is that because a difficulty like All-Madden (the hardest) matches your offensive playcall perfectly like 80%+ of the time, it actually makes the game easier because you use similar logic to the old "Dive to the outside" from the 16-bit era, though now it's usually with passes. On all madden the defense blitzs a lot, and they always do fucking stupdi safety blitzs against specific types of passes, with the argument being ... if this play normally has a 5-step drop, you blitz the safety forcing a quicker throw which leads to an int or incompletion on an undeveloped route. The resulf of this, though, is that the defense is exposed over the top, so either calling a hot route for a receiver to do something that attacks the top, or look for a TE that attacks the top, makes it a money play.

Eventually you have to setup house rules because it's just too easy to game the defense... eg, no hot routes, no audibles, or what some people do is let the CPU control the play (eg you call the play and you "Watch it play out.") This produces "realistic" results but it ruins the game... you're intentionally not letting yourself outsmart the CPU, and it's very hard *not* to throw away your house rules when you really want to, there's not many people who... faced with a key 3rd and long late in the game that would eliminate them from the playoffs and they see the *perfect opportunity* on a stupid as fuck CPU defensive playcall to NOT hot route that WR for an easy touchdown......

Ultimate it's what has pushed me away from Madden. Throwing for nearly 1,000 yards in a game when defenses are super aggressive and it's too easy to beat them just isn't fun... winning 100-7 just isn't fun when you've done it a few times. THis is why a lot of people swear you have to play on Rookie or Pro difficulty (the easiest ones) and not All Pro or All Madden (theoretically the hardest ones). The logic that is supposed to make the game harder, for anybody who has a modicum of experience in these games, makes it too easy. It's the times when the CPU picks the play you're not expecting that it actually becomes more difficult.



yeah this is a really good one. Lot's of sports games have had bugs this way.
My friend used to get enraged over the football "AI" that you described.

EA games are the worst. I remember hockey games maybe a decade or so where turning up the AI just meant they could check the hell out of you and you'd go flying but you could barely nudge them, the actual AI didn't change at all.

Old EA circa Genesis/SNES sports games were fun as hell. Loved being able to check the goalie out of the way in order to clear him out for an easy goal :D
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,691
Weapon degradation and power up potions: The thread

"Ooooh I should save this potion/weapon for when I really need it"

*beats game with basic bitch sword and never using big powerups*
 

nekkid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,090
Possibly SoT, where a lack of upgrades is meant to make everyone able to compete equally.
 

Admiral Woofington

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
11,358
Weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. Encourage me to use more weapons? Nope! I've got an inventory full of good stuff and will run from every mob until I encounter something "worthy" of using these great weapons on.
Lmao yep. And yes we are aware that if you kept killing enemies then tougher versions of them with better weapons and shields show up. It didn't mean I wanted to use my best weapons on them though. I'd always go Master Sword > Weakest weapons > grab new weapons > keep going through weak weapons > run away until master sword recycles.

Which means all those unique hero weapons? Never used them once. Kept them in my house as decoration. I didn't want to deal with using diamonds and other material to remake new ones when I could use those diamonds for something else or money.

And any palace guard weapons I stole early on my lord they were gathering dust because I knew nothing I grabbed outside could likely ever reach those stats.
 

Symphony

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,583
Oh wait! I've got a better one!

The fucking leveling system in TESIV: Oblivion

You level up by picking key skills and leveling them up, and they probably intended for you to pick your most used skils as key skills. But because the scaling is so fucked, the best way to play that game was to pick your least used skills as key skills and only level up when you got the max benefits of it. So a Mage's key skills would be stuff like Hand-to-Hand and big weapons, while a Warrior's key skills would be stuff like Illusion magic.
Or in my case, reach level 5 or something and then never level up again because the scaling on enemies was so ridiculous that they all took longer to kill and killed you far quicker the more "powerful" you get.
 

FallenHeroX1

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,487
The shield in Mega Man X6 is actually used to increase the offensive power of Zero to do broken amounts of damage. Cause that's what shields typically do.
 
Final Fantasy II's character progression system, where your attributes would increase by performing related actions. Attacking with physical moves raises your Strength over time, taking a lot of damage increases maximum HP, etc. On paper, that's a decent idea, but in practice it falls apart once the player realizes how exploitable the system is, and FF2 quickly transforms into a dark comedy of a game where party members attack each other during battle for massive gains.
 

NoKisum

Member
Nov 11, 2017
3,813
DMV Area, USA
Pokemon Sword/Shield and its Y-Comm, supposedly making it simpler to link up with people you want, only to constantly get randos online when trying to play with friends, or simply not work at all locally, even when two Switches are literally right next to each other.
 

TC McQueen

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,765
Mass Effect 2's original thermal clips, which cooled down after a while, made everyone burn through their initial supply, then turtle behind cover when they got to the last clip, instead of pushing forward.
 

Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,100
Weapon degradation and power up potions: The thread

"Ooooh I should save this potion/weapon for when I really need it"

*beats game with basic bitch sword and never using big powerups*
I think I had finished multiple JRPGs before I finally made myself use an elixir.

I also usually keep my starter gear in my inventory for the whole game. As a souvenir? I dunno.
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
11,962
the percentage based skill checks in fallout 3 were supposed to stop save scumming but if anything they incentivized it cause it made oh so easy to just save before every check and load and click till you get lucky while hard checks require build planning to get around
 

zma1013

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,877
Flamethrowers in most games.

They have no stopping power and kills enemies slower than if you had just shot them with any other gun.
 

Mr.Deadshot

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,127
The removal of the weapon wheel in Resistance 2 comes to mind. It was apparently done to cater more to the CoD crowd or to make the game snappier or for whatever strange reason it should "improve" the experience. People hated it and it was reintroduced in the third game.
 

Glio

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,446
Spain
You're the guy that saves all the magum and rocket ammo through the whole game and ends up using it on the final boss, aren't you?

I got over that sort of thing a long time ago. Once i learned weapons drop like candy, i just used whatever weapons looked the coolest. Even high tier weapons can be frequently obtained in BOTW.
Yeah. The problem of Breath of the Wild is not the mechanics itself, it is the muscle memory that has made us save elixirs to never use them in all the Final Fantasy.

Gamers have a tendency to unnecessarily accumulate resources and Breath of the Wild breaks with that.
 
Mar 30, 2018
12
Does hitting your own characters in order to level stats in Final Fantasy II count?
By that same token, whenever I played Double Dragon II on NES as a kid, I would always start a two player game with "friendly fire" turned on. For whatever reason, you gained a life for every life lost by the second player, so you could double up your lives after a few minutes of grinding.
 

OmniStrife

Member
Dec 11, 2017
797
Hanzo's Scatter ability was, according to the devs, a crowd-controll tool for chokes and corridors stuffed with enemies.
Ended up being a 1-hit killing blow when shot at the feet of single enemies stranded out in the open.

I miss it
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,552
Oh wait! I've got a better one!

The fucking leveling system in TESIV: Oblivion

You level up by picking key skills and leveling them up, and they probably intended for you to pick your most used skils as key skills. But because the scaling is so fucked, the best way to play that game was to pick your least used skills as key skills and only level up when you got the max benefits of it. So a Mage's key skills would be stuff like Hand-to-Hand and big weapons, while a Warrior's key skills would be stuff like Illusion magic.
Not just the player leveling, but the individual skills. The "get better by doing" system sounds great but all it ends up doing is encouraging players to perform monotonous, repetitive actions in order to level up skills.
 
OP
OP
Kaguya

Kaguya

Member
Jun 19, 2018
3,306
Final Fantasy II's character progression system, where your attributes would increase by performing related actions. Attacking with physical moves raises your Strength over time, taking a lot of damage increases maximum HP, etc. On paper, that's a decent idea, but in practice it falls apart once the player realizes how exploitable the system is, and FF2 quickly transforms into a dark comedy of a game where party members attack each other during battle for massive gains.
lol, few days ago, I was thinking about making a thread about game mechanics that pray on our ignorance of how they work and completely fall apart when we figure it out, with FF2 leveling system, enemy scaling in RPGs and automatic difficulty adjustments in Resident Evil games as examples.
 

Godfather

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,420
My immediate thought is BotW durability system. I guess they want me to swap weapons regularly in combat, but the actual result is I just avoid as much combat as possible once I have weapons I like.
 

Syysch

Member
Oct 30, 2017
283
Final Fantasy II's character progression system, where your attributes would increase by performing related actions. Attacking with physical moves raises your Strength over time, taking a lot of damage increases maximum HP, etc. On paper, that's a decent idea, but in practice it falls apart once the player realizes how exploitable the system is, and FF2 quickly transforms into a dark comedy of a game where party members attack each other during battle for massive gains.
I want to say you could also get your whole party poisoned, take a step, cure cure cure cure, take a step, cure cure cure cure, etc to boost your cure spell to amazing heights, and then use that in battle to increase your mp efficiently.