You Have to Go Online

General and high profile video game topics.
User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13793
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

You Have to Go Online

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 3rd, 2020, 3:12 pm

I've had more free time than usual lately (go figure) so I've been playing a variety of games over multiple systems. Currently I think all my systems are offline. But naturally certain consoles like the PS3, PS4, and especially Xbox One REALLY want you to be online.

I get that, but what annoys me are the heavy-handed and downright deceiving error messages displayed when you start up a game. "You need to go online for this", "Can't run without mandatory update", "You must sign into server", etc.

Well, apparently I do NOT have to go online or sign into anything, because when I choose "cancel" my game starts right up in offline mode, which is how I like it.

What the prompts really mean are "you need to pull the latest code if you want to use any online functions". But instead of saying that clearly, they try to "scare" the player into going online. Because they can't make money off you when you're offline.

I feel like it's really disingenuous how companies like Microsoft, EA, and even Sony have deliberately blurred the lines to get people conditioned on being online all the time without asking any questions. Why do I need to be logged into EA's servers to play a round of golf? I don't.

Thoughts?

User avatar
Stalvern
Posts: 1208
Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby Stalvern » April 3rd, 2020, 5:10 pm

It's bad.

User avatar
Shapur
Posts: 215
Joined: July 31st, 2015, 8:10 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby Shapur » April 3rd, 2020, 5:29 pm

“They” want you online for everything.

Games are just a small fraction of it. It’s every aspect of your life at this point. Why’s your refrigerator need to connect to the internet? Riddle me that Batman

People who have power want to be able to know everything you do, say, think. Even what you eat. They’ll be installing WiFi toilets “for your own good and convenience”.

And despite going from zero surveillance to a near total panopticon in the blink of an eye, none of it has seemed to benefit *me* in the slightest. I suspect, they aren’t looking out for you either.

TheEagleXIII
Posts: 95
Joined: December 22nd, 2019, 9:33 am

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby TheEagleXIII » April 7th, 2020, 10:25 am

This is what bugs me about modern gaming. I can deal with the fact online gaming and social experiences exists, and I can begrudgingly accept that most games will now prioritise online/multiplayer experience over offline/single player modes. But if I’m not connected to the internet - even unintentionally - when a game boots up it takes forever to get the game working without it.

I can’t remember which game it was (I’m sure it was an EA Sports game on 360) but it would take me forever to get it running in offline mode. It used to sign me out of my profile, make me sign back in to play the game, which would then make it automatically try to establish an internet connection. If I cancelled it too soon it would sign me back out, and make me repeat the process. If I did it at the right moment, I might get lucky and be signed into my profile without connecting to the servers but then I’ve got to get through all the error messages... it seriously took 10-15mins one time. And that wasn’t even my fault - my internet was intermittently down that day.

They seriously need a quick and simple ‘boot in offline mode’ option, even if it’s just for convenience for unreliable internet connections. But everything is geared towards gaming being a completely social pastime now, so that’ll never happen.

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13793
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 7th, 2020, 12:28 pm

Yeah there's nothing more annoying when a game says "checking network connection" or displays some kind of error because you're offline. And prompts you if you want to go online. Hell no that's why I'm offline!!

I'm currently playing The Witcher III on my Xbox One, and whenever I start up the console there's a message that says "you'll need to go online for this". So I cancel out of that and the game begins normally and plays fine.

I think part of the problem is that Microsoft is constantly changing its online system, and the games just can't keep up. The result is a weird disconnect where you get strange random messages. And it will probably always be like that because it's the nature of the internet.

User avatar
Retro STrife
Posts: 1605
Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:40 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby Retro STrife » April 7th, 2020, 12:50 pm

With a game like Witcher III, do you connect online briefly to download any patches? With a massive game like that, inevitably they've caught some issues in the gameplay and released fixes for them. For some games they might even add extra features or other upgrades/improvements. Do you briefly hop online to get those updates when you first start a game? Or do you prefer to stick with whatever the developers shipped out the door? For your critic side, I can understand holding developers accountable for whatever they shipped. But for your gamer side, I think it would be crazy talk to turn down updates that make the game better.

Voor
Posts: 981
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 8:08 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby Voor » April 7th, 2020, 5:31 pm

True. Weird dilemma for the critic.

Glitches in retro games are considered charming and sometimes celebrated.
Glitches in 90s/2000s games are considered annoying and symbolic of a unpolished product.
Glitches in 2010s/2020s games are considered fixable, except to those with online aversions.

So, are you truly playing/reviewing a game “as the developers intended” if you refuse to go online to download patches that the developers themselves made (and consider “part of the game”)?

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13793
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 8th, 2020, 5:38 pm

One problem with going online is that there's a deluge of game updates triggered, and my hard disk is full at any given time (I have to remove a game to add a new one). It's really just simpler playing offline. And am I really missing anything? I doubt it.

Actually the only definitive version of the game is the one on the disc, because otherwise the software is in constant flux.

Tron
Posts: 582
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 8:02 pm

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby Tron » April 8th, 2020, 6:17 pm

Shapur wrote:“They” want you online for everything.

Games are just a small fraction of it. It’s every aspect of your life at this point. Why’s your refrigerator need to connect to the internet? Riddle me that Batman

People who have power want to be able to know everything you do, say, think. Even what you eat. They’ll be installing WiFi toilets “for your own good and convenience”.

And despite going from zero surveillance to a near total panopticon in the blink of an eye, none of it has seemed to benefit *me* in the slightest. I suspect, they aren’t looking out for you either.


True dat. Would be funny if it weren’t true. Internet is no longer an option. It is a requirement. This whole shutting everything down to “keep us safe” is just a govt. test to see how well they can manage us remotely. My grade school kids have to do school on the internet now. Think I could call the school to get them excused from that if I don’t have internet. No, because no one is at the school. It’s all email. I never got anything in the mail from the school. They just assume that everyone must be on the grid.

David
Posts: 181
Joined: April 20th, 2015, 3:10 am

Re: You Have to Go Online

Postby David » April 8th, 2020, 7:06 pm

Tron wrote:This whole shutting everything down to “keep us safe” is just a govt. test to see how well they can manage us remotely.

I'm assuming this is facetious? I really can't tell anymore.

I really don't understand the aversion to consoles being designed to be used in conjunction with the internet. I understand why having an online only console would be an issue, and I would oppose it, but at this point the internet is just another utility for a lot of people. If you have access to it, why not just leave it connected so you get updates, features, patches, etc. instead of leaving it offline, then when you do connect it there are a gazillion updates you missed and then inevitably bitch about online gaming? Gaming has been moving to rely on the internet for over twenty years. When has a mainstream gaming console actually had less online features than the last release? In 2050 when the internet will be widely available for over fifty years will this still be an issue for people? I'm all for being against bad business practices like releasing unfinished games, crappy DLC and the like, but I don't think having the ability to have the game patched at a later date is bad business.


Return to “Video Games General”