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

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
12,009
Flamethrowers in most games.

They have no stopping power and kills enemies slower than if you had just shot them with any other gun.
and then when in Alien Isolation when you get the flamethrower the game is basically over because all tension the alien could have caused you is easily dealt with
 

JazzmanZ

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,030
APCs in Advance Wars were supposed to be for carrying slow moving troops, instead they're used as bait.
 

ZeldaGalaxy94

The Fallen
Nov 6, 2017
2,115
Sweden
Mario Kart rubberbanding
Most in MKW it is better to be in the middle in the first lap or even second Lap sometimes to get first in the last lap
 

Doggg

Member
Nov 17, 2017
5,370
Flamethrowers in most games.

They have no stopping power and kills enemies slower than if you had just shot them with any other gun.
This is a good one. Why use a gun with such shitty range? I remember them being really lame in Deus Ex, also because they take up a lot of inventory space.
 

take_marsh

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,500
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.
Although this doesn't apply to every player of BOTW (as made obvious by some replies), it does apply to some including myself. I bailed on that game hard.
 

Anth0ny

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,251
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.
Yup, this is the first one that came to mind for me. Not going to engage with the 10 millionth mob of bokoblins if I'm just going to break a bunch of my shit in the process, and then risk getting worse replacement weapons.
 

zma1013

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,905
Blacksmiths

Spend lots of time and money getting resources to create weapons and armor that are worse than the random stuff you find in a box.
 

Skulldead

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,612
Valkyrie Profile on hard mode

What they want : "award the player by giving them better weapon to overcome harder ennemies"
What happen : "They give way too strong weapon that break the game"

Shadow Madness on hard mode

What they want : "award the player by giving them move xp, because yeah thing are harder"
What happen : "Hit level cap before disk 2, everything is a cakewalk...."
 

Anth0ny

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,251
Tripping in Brawl

Intended design: haha, oops I tripped! Having a grand old time here laughing with my pals! What a silly game, and what a silly time we're having.

Reality: fuck this random bullshit



was fixed immediately with the next Smash, thankfully.
 

Sciz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,736
Rocket jumping.

Developers: "Here's this immensely powerful weapon that can wipe out entire groups of enemies, but it'll blast your face off if you use it at close range. Be careful!"

Players: "what if i shoot it at my feet"

Developers: "uhhhhhhhh"
 

Reizzz

Member
Jun 19, 2019
389
even though it's my favorite game ever

the camo system in mgs3 did not help with the suspense, loading between menus and what not
 

mikhailguy

Member
Jun 20, 2019
90
any sort of damage boosting

like the burn damage animation in Mario 64 that allows you to get higher than you should be able to
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,352
Tripping in Brawl

Intended design: haha, oops I tripped! Having a grand old time here laughing with my pals! What a silly game, and what a silly time we're having.

Reality: fuck this random bullshit



was fixed immediately with the next Smash, thankfully.
To add to this, Rage mechanic in Smash was meant to be a rubber band effect to let the player who is behind make a comeback but half the time it just gives the player who is ahead even more of an advantage since Smash is played on multiple stocks.
 

PeskyToaster

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,333
This might be a stretch but the cover system in Gears of War was designed to slam you into cover from which you would shoot but players use it to move around the map rapidly and dodge shotgun blasts.
 

Top%Rattata

Member
Nov 27, 2017
17
Kind of a weird one, but Taunts in Hearthstone I think were supposed to be a defensive tool against aggro decks to stop them hitting you in the face. Ironically though, Taunt minions ended up being really good in aggro, because they end up protecting your minions/ tokens, so that they can go in to the face multiple times for more damage (Crypt Lord in Token Druid, and Thing From Below in aggressive Shaman decks come to mind, though I think there are way more better examples.)
 

Sawyer

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,812
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.
This for me. I am hoarding the good stuff and only use doubles and trash till I get the master sword back.
 

Couleurs

Member
Oct 25, 2017
549
Denver, CO
Feign death in Everquest was a monk ability that was originally intended as a way for the monk to stay alive when their group is about to die.

Instead players figured out how pathing and proximity/social aggro worked in combination with FD dropping aggro in order to single pull mobs that would likely kill everyone if the entire pack would have came.

So instead of being a small perk to the monk when the group dies, it turns into a way to make sure your group almost never dies.
 
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jotun?

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,107
Something something Diablo 3 real money auction house
I wouldn't say it had the opposite result of what was intended, just more extreme side-effects than they expected.

The in-game auction houses were meant to
1. Make trading easier, compared to D2's trade channel spam
2. Remove the need for people to go to shady third-party real-money options to buy gear
3. Provide a gold-sink in the game's economy

The AHs did all those things just fine. The problem was that it did #1 too well, and they didn't properly anticipate how much the game would be affected by such trivially easy trading. It ended up generally being much easier to buy all your gear than to find it (afforded by selling all the gear you find for other classes or that don't fit your build), and playing merchant on the AH was more profitable than actually playing the game. This affected both AHs, not only the real-money one that always catches the blame.
 

jotun?

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,107
Feign death in Everquest was a monk ability that was originally intended as a way for the monk to stay alive when their group is about to die.

Instead players figured out how pathing and social aggro worked in combination with FD to single pull mobs that would likely kill everyone if the entire pack would have came.

So instead of being a small perk to the monk when the group dies, it turns into a way to make sure your group almost never dies.
Or my favorite, drag a high level monster into a low level area, feign death and watch it wreak havoc
 

Anth0ny

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,251
gonna go out on a limb and say backwards long jumping in mario 64 wasn't originally intended to have the player TRAVEL TO PARALLEL UNIVERSES
 
Jan 16, 2018
232
Hope's Peak Academy
Not a video game, but an old Magic: The Gathering set had dredge, which was "you can put more cards from the top of the libary to the graveyard to bring a card back", the idea being that you sacrifice cards on the top to get a single card back (which on paper sounds like bad card advantage), but decks were quickly made with things that enjoyed the graveyard, and it turns out that the more cards you needed to put into the graveyard to get a card back was actually better instead of worse.
 

Rodney McKay

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,227
I wouldn't say it had the opposite result of what was intended, just more extreme side-effects than they expected.

The in-game auction houses were meant to
1. Make trading easier, compared to D2's trade channel spam
2. Remove the need for people to go to shady third-party real-money options to buy gear
3. Provide a gold-sink in the game's economy

The AHs did all those things just fine. The problem was that it did #1 too well, and they didn't properly anticipate how much the game would be affected by such trivially easy trading. It ended up generally being much easier to buy all your gear than to find it (afforded by selling all the gear you find for other classes or that don't fit your build), and playing merchant on the AH was more profitable than actually playing the game. This affected both AHs, not only the real-money one that always catches the blame.
It also made the core loop of finding gear in-game (sorta the whole point of playing a loot game) pretty much pointless.

I remember playing Diablo 3 at launch and getting to maybe the 3rd Difficulty setting with my Witch Doctor before I just couldn't continue anymore because my gear was just too weak. At that point in the game I'd gotten maybe ONE legendary drop, and it was so low level I already had to stop using it.

But I had so much gold I went on the (fake money) auction house and just bought a whole set of great loot and was immediately able to keep progressing. Except I didn't progress anymore because just buying everything I wanted killed my enthusiasm to continue playing, there just wasn't a point to it.

My friend managed to get a whole set of Wizard legendaries and made like $300 real world dollars from the game close to launch, but that's pretty much the best case scenario for the real money auction house.
 

Emerald Hawk

Member
Dec 12, 2017
196
New Jersey
you can beat the entire game and it's most dangerous enemies with a tree branch.
I had to look this one up to see if it was true. It turns out you need to use a large number of glitches and exploits that massively break the game in order to beat Gannon with tree branches. Durability transfer, menu overload duping, moon jumping, fairy farming: this video uses a bunch of glitches I never even knew existed. And even then the Gannon fight takes almost 2 hours.

I liked the BOTW durability system but it is possible to run out of weapons if you are not careful. There are plenty of ways to get more though.
 

Nairume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,888
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.
FF2 hilariously is a great example of player ignorance because the "traditional" tactic of hitting yourself is actually a shitty strategy that ends up leaving you with comically lopsided stats that leave you vulnerable in weird ways and almost always with almost no agility because the strategy can't actually work to improve that.

Which actually exposes the game's big flaw (other than legitimately being busted in certain ways) in that it doesn't surface certain things like how you are supposed to improve your agility so your characters don't act at the end of every round.
 
Feb 21, 2019
1,068
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.
Yup. This.

And the fact it took all reason to go "Explore". There was nothing out there but korok seeds, shrines, and brittle weapons.

It severely limited my fun in that game.
 

Leo-Tyrant

Member
Jan 14, 2019
1,261
San Jose, Costa Rica
This might be a stretch but the cover system in Gears of War was designed to slam you into cover from which you would shoot but players use it to move around the map rapidly and dodge shotgun blasts.
But that's on the online portion of the games. I would argue that its a different game when played online. In the campaign you wouldn't use that...at least I wouldnt think so, do people play the SP like that?

Disgusting.
 
Aug 31, 2019
84
The weapon durability in Breath of the Wild is supposed to make us be creative in combat and to use the environment and the Sheikah weapons, dodge attacks more etc.

It only pushed me to avoid combat every time I could to preserve my resources for when I had to fight.
 

Crushed

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,511
1) The Pyro's initial "ambush class" design in the earliest days of TF2, prior to stuff like airbursts. The idea was an close quarters ambushing class, like a Spy without an instakill option, but the reality is that any burst damage class could effectively kill you by just... turning around and shooting you, ambush or not, which makes the whole "close quarters" thing just a weakness on the Pyro's part rather than a specialty if other classes could do more effective close quarters damage.


2) The biomods and universal ammo systems in Deus Ex: Invisible War. Biomods were meant to give players more freedom than nanoaugs in DX1, where you were locked in once you picked the aug for a body part; instead, you can swap out for a new mod as soon as you found any biomod canister. But, if you swap them out, all of your upgrades to your previously installed mods are thrown out, and on top of that, there are rarer "black market" mods that you might not find until you've already got upgraded mods installed. As a result, you end up just sticking with your initial choices anyway because otherwise it would feel like losing progress, especially if the new mod turned out to be less useful than the old one.

Universal ammo was meant to allow you to use rarer or more exotic weapons without having to scrounge for rare ammo or play inventory Tetris. In reality, it meant you almost never used those weapons because suddenly using a sniper rifle or rocket launcher a couple times means you just halved your ammo pool for your pistol or assault rifle.


3) The red zone in PUBG is a mechanic where a large red circle appears occasionally on the map in a random location, and you have a short time to get to safety before a mortar strike begins, randomly showering the area in explosions. The concept was to force players to move, look cool, and provide audio cover to people sneaking around. The reality is, a redzone blast will kill/down you in a single hit, you're completely safe inside buildings, and it's excessively loud in a game where audio is vital, meaning that 99% of players will just camp in a house (rather than moving) until it goes away rather than risking an instant death or getting into a fight with someone they can't hear moving around. The worst part is that it tends to be around or near the central areas of maps where the most fighting and buildings are, so people can just be stuck either constantly listening to nearby explosions or being stuck in a building waiting to play the game again. It's turned into a huge meme where the devs seem too stubborn to take it out or rework it beyond occasional volume/duration tweaks. They sorta relented by creating a new map with mini redzones called black zones that specifically targets and destroys individual buildings and killing people inside them, which at least actually accomplishes the original goal.
 

SirKai

Member
Dec 28, 2017
1,322
Washington
The Ultimate Technique in Ninja Gaiden, specifically Ninja Gaiden 2, is an incredibly powerful, devastating combo attack that makes Hayabusa fully invincible, but requires brutally long charge up time where you're stock still and vulnerable to the game's incredibly dangerous and swift enemies. However, killing even a couple of enemies in a fight leaves their essence (item shop and upgrade currency) floating around, and charging a UT has Hayabusa automatically absorbing the essence. This leads to UTs being charged up pretty much instantly. Instead of it being a satisfying risk/reward venture the player needs to think carefully about, it becomes an abusable tactic to be used as often as possible, and pretty much can't be ignored on higher difficulties. It's especially prevalent since a ridiculous amount of boss fights also include minions, so even the dramatic boss fights aren't totally excluded from planning your routine around using UTs as often as possible instead of playing the game "properly" (though UTs are far less effective against bosses at least).
 

Zocano

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,102
Yup. This.

And the fact it took all reason to go "Explore". There was nothing out there but korok seeds, shrines, and brittle weapons.

It severely limited my fun in that game.
Ya, this is the real reason the intense weapon degradation was an issue. It’s not the fact that you go through weapons quickly on its own. I had no issue using “strong” weapons willy nilly, and often did. I rarely ever hoarded strong weapons and only kept the extremely unique ones as back ups.

It’s the fact that by making weapons, and by extension most “loot” that you find, fleeting and ephemeral, it guts the desire for exploration. Why explore when you know 90% of the time it will be another temporary weapon that you’ve likely already seen before and will burn through as quickly as it took to get it. The only thing worthwhile is armor and it is *very* few and far between.

Like my primary example I go to for BotW is the big corrupted dragon on the mountain. It’s a long sequence you go through and was neat at the moment but then I got to the end and just got another soul shard and a big flaming sword I’ve seen and had a half dozen times before. It completely took the wind and momentum out from me and I found myself incredibly jaded and disgruntled by it. What a bummer of a time that was.
 

Nocturnowl

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,933
Flamethrowers in most games.

They have no stopping power and kills enemies slower than if you had just shot them with any other gun.
Timesplitters 2 was almost comical due to how long the fire took to actually finish someone off and if they so much as bumped into you you'd go up in flames yourself
 
Feb 21, 2019
1,068
Ya, this is the real reason the intense weapon degradation was an issue. It’s not the fact that you go through weapons quickly on its own. I had no issue using “strong” weapons willy nilly, and often did. I rarely ever hoarded strong weapons and only kept the extremely unique ones as back ups.

It’s the fact that by making weapons, and by extension most “loot” that you find, fleeting and ephemeral, it guts the desire for exploration. Why explore when you know 90% of the time it will be another temporary weapon that you’ve likely already seen before and will burn through as quickly as it took to get it. The only thing worthwhile is armor and it is *very* few and far between.

Like my primary example I go to for BotW is the big corrupted dragon on the mountain. It’s a long sequence you go through and was neat at the moment but then I got to the end and just got another soul shard and a big flaming sword I’ve seen and had a half dozen times before. It completely took the wind and momentum out from me and I found myself incredibly jaded and disgruntled by it. What a bummer of a time that was.
I thought I was the only one....Cheers.
 

Leo-Tyrant

Member
Jan 14, 2019
1,261
San Jose, Costa Rica
Ya, this is the real reason the intense weapon degradation was an issue. It’s not the fact that you go through weapons quickly on its own. I had no issue using “strong” weapons willy nilly, and often did. I rarely ever hoarded strong weapons and only kept the extremely unique ones as back ups.

It’s the fact that by making weapons, and by extension most “loot” that you find, fleeting and ephemeral, it guts the desire for exploration. Why explore when you know 90% of the time it will be another temporary weapon that you’ve likely already seen before and will burn through as quickly as it took to get it. The only thing worthwhile is armor and it is *very* few and far between.

Like my primary example I go to for BotW is the big corrupted dragon on the mountain. It’s a long sequence you go through and was neat at the moment but then I got to the end and just got another soul shard and a big flaming sword I’ve seen and had a half dozen times before. It completely took the wind and momentum out from me and I found myself incredibly jaded and disgruntled by it. What a bummer of a time that was.
You just summarized my impressions 1:1 while also abstracting the biggest problem with the mechanic. I have seen 80+ pages threads about this same topic with less coherence than your single post.
 

IDreamOfHime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,222
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.
And I could survive life eating packets of protein and eating vitamin pills...but I don't want to.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,352
Ya, this is the real reason the intense weapon degradation was an issue. It’s not the fact that you go through weapons quickly on its own. I had no issue using “strong” weapons willy nilly, and often did. I rarely ever hoarded strong weapons and only kept the extremely unique ones as back ups.

It’s the fact that by making weapons, and by extension most “loot” that you find, fleeting and ephemeral, it guts the desire for exploration. Why explore when you know 90% of the time it will be another temporary weapon that you’ve likely already seen before and will burn through as quickly as it took to get it. The only thing worthwhile is armor and it is *very* few and far between.

Like my primary example I go to for BotW is the big corrupted dragon on the mountain. It’s a long sequence you go through and was neat at the moment but then I got to the end and just got another soul shard and a big flaming sword I’ve seen and had a half dozen times before. It completely took the wind and momentum out from me and I found myself incredibly jaded and disgruntled by it. What a bummer of a time that was.
The looting was definitely cyclical in feel, with the enemy and weapons scaling feeling like smoke and mirrors.
When your progression amounts to the same enemy types but with better stats and you're fighting them with better weapons, its almost redundant.
 

Fisty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,129
I'm pretty sure the map in Deadly Premonition was designed to help you find where you needed to go. That was probably the intention, anyway
 

Tali'Zorah

Member
Oct 27, 2017
351
Norfolk, UK
In Banjo-Kazooie you can switch to running as Kazooie for climbing up steep hills and such. However, Kazooie is faster than Banjo so I spent pretty much the entire game just running with Kazooie, which I can't imagine was intended
 

d3ckard

Member
Dec 7, 2017
144
Just came to say that I never used more weapons in a game than in BotW and I find it tiring to hear hoarders complaining about their own problems. Especially that the game was designed around it and gave you new weapons all the time, so being reduced to tree branches was pretty much impossible after first few hours, exactly as designed. However, those complaining about exploration issues(less fun from finding stuff you’re going to lose soon anyway) have merit. I feel they should have put more indestructible weapons as quest rewards for hard challenges and/or add more equipment slots for different types of artifacts.
 
Nov 17, 2017
9,041
The Blade system in Xenoblade 2. The Blades are basically beings that fight alongside you and give you a weapon to fight with. There's a number of unique characters that are Blades and a slew of generic ones. Basically, acquiring these Blades becomes like a gacha mobile game as you open up cores and different unique blades have a certain percentage of a chance of coming out.

I recall the devs saying they did it this way because they wanted players to have different experiences based on the Blades they got and share who they got on social media with each other. They wanted it to be a surprise or something when you got a new unique Blade. While the idea is cool and all, it mainly just lead to people grinding to get all of the Blades and sharing them was a bit pointless considering the devs showed off every Blade before release.

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
Simple Geometry.

Yup. This.

And the fact it took all reason to go "Explore". There was nothing out there but korok seeds, shrines, and brittle weapons.

It severely limited my fun in that game.
I think the weapon durability actually gave me more reason to explore. The fact that my weapons broke gave value to any new weapon I could find. If anything, being able to keep all the best weapons would have made finding other weapons less rewarding. Like "Oh, there's a fire sword in this chest. But I got a fire sword hours ago..."
 

S2PID

Member
Oct 31, 2017
85
Tetris 99 is a battle royale, so you would think ganging up on one player would make them easier to eliminate. Against players who are sufficiently fast, it basically does the opposite.

When you get targeted by multiple opponents, the game gives you a damage multiplier to help you defend yourself. The devs probably thought it wouldn't be any fun if getting ganged up on meant instantly losing. However, the top players abuse this mechanic by intentionally stacking up high in the "danger zone" to bait players into targeting them. The multiplier they get from this can be really ridiculous and makes it even easier for them to win.

On paper, the "attacker baiting" strategy sounds fair since you have to stack high, which is risky. But there's another mechanic that almost negates the risk. The garbage queue maxes out at 12 lines, so even if 50 people attack you, the game basically only acts like 3 of them did. With the multi-target bonus in hand, you can easily defend against that, while also dishing out huge damage to everyone else.
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
12,009
In Banjo-Kazooie you can switch to running as Kazooie for climbing up steep hills and such. However, Kazooie is faster than Banjo so I spent pretty much the entire game just running with Kazooie, which I can't imagine was intended
I think Talon Trotting is somewhat intended as the optimum way to move around yeah and the annoying kazooie voice during it is just another of rares brand of humour on it. IIRC there was a stream with a rare dev/related person playing banjo and they were also talon trotting everywhere like literally everyone else, i dont think i ever seen anyone playing this game and walking normally as Banjo to places
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,352
Just came to say that I never used more weapons in a game than in BotW and I find it tiring to hear hoarders complaining about their own problems. Especially that the game was designed around it and gave you new weapons all the time, so being reduced to tree branches was pretty much impossible after first few hours, exactly as designed. However, those complaining about exploration issues(less fun from finding stuff you’re going to lose soon anyway) have merit. I feel they should have put more indestructible weapons as quest rewards for hard challenges and/or add more equipment slots for different types of artifacts.
Its not about hoarding, its about the lack of progression. Not only does links moveset and abilities not really progress, but the enemies and weapons have a faux progression where they both just get better stats and colour changes. It felt like a true sandbox in the sense that it doesn't matter what you do because ultimately everything is still just sand. Once you see those gears turning you're just going to avoid fighting enemies altogether like many people have stated.
 

Jakisthe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,784
Presumably the weapon degradation system in BotW was meant to encourage variety and exploration, but in reality just discourages engagement and makes exploring pointless - in addition to dragging down the entirety of the game on top of it. At best nothing will change in how one plays the game as they watch some arbitrary numbers go up. Wow, stunning. I sure am glad they ruined the entire reward and progression system of a legendary series so we could watch an 8 become a 16 as we use them on otherwise identical enemies who just happen to have double the health as before.

The inability to switch out the sword in Dishonored 1/2 is probably to give players an option for combat in case they were surprised, but in reality just cuts the available options in half as players stealth around all the enemies.