Different Types Of Players, or Why I Cheat At Touhou Games
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So, a number of Touhou players are offended by the idea of someone playing any of the Touhou games on Easy difficulty. They are also offended by the fact that I cheat at the games, more or less with impunity. Now, I admit wholeheartedly that the the offense is slightly more justified, but really: (a) I openly admit to doing it, (b) I've never tried to pass off my "accomplishments" as genuine ones, and (c) it's a singleplayer game. It's not like you somehow lose because I'm not playing by your rules.
In the interests of not simply talking past everyone who wants to know about it, I shall post this. The short version:
The terms "hardcore" and "softcore" are vague and ill-defined, they aren't entirely comprehensive, and they both contain contradictory meanings. So let's come up with new definitions based on the theory that there are two fundamentally different reasons (distinct, but not mutually exclusive) for why people play games.
- Skill Player: A player who plays games specifically for the challenge.
- Completist: A Skill Player who wants to unlock everything. They go for 100% completion, seeking out all of the optional macguffins or Achievements, even if there's no functional benefit; an example given in the article is acquiring the 500th Agility Orb in the game Crackdown, since there's no visible difference between your agility in . Touhou has nothing particularly to offer these players, apart from "unlock every Spell Card" or "1CC with every player/character."
- Perfectionist: A Skill Player strives to succeed by the greatest degree possible. At the extreme end of this, we find "No items, no Final Smash, Fox only, Final Destination." A Perfectionist who plays on Touhou plays on Lunatic and Extra.1
- Tourist: (Probably needs a better name) A player who is not a Skill Player. They aren't in it for the skill, or the 100% Achievements Unlocked, or even particularly for a sense of accompishment. They want to see what the world has to offer. Tycho of Penny Arcade fame puts it best: "I realised I don't play games for the challenge. I don't need or want to be punished by a game for making mistakes. I play games for what Ron Gilbert calls 'new art'. I play to see the next level or cool animation. I don't play games to beat them, I play games to see them. Coming to that realisation was actually sort of important for me."
Gamers are then placed on a sliding scale according to how much their time is worth — not necessarily how much time they have, just how much they're willing to spend on a single game.
- On one end, there's the Wholesale Player: Someone with lots of time to spend on them. By this metric alone, they are more likely to be interested in a 60-hour game than a 20-hour game, assuming that both cost the same amount of money. The Touhou games are short in and of themselves, but you need to spend lots of time and effort practicing.
- On the other end, there's the Premium Player: Time is money. They don't have the 60 hours; they barely have 20. Portal was only three hours long; based purely on this metric, a Premim Player would absolutely love Portal.
The point of the multi-part article is that all of these various options are valid. They place no value judgments on the games; they certainly place no value judgments on the players. They merely describe what kind of player someone is, and what kind of games they'd enjoy.
Mind you, there are certainly elitist twerps who are liable to act like an even bigger dick than Koishi to anyone who doesn't fall into the exact same category they do, but there is no topic in the world or on the Internet which doesn't have at least one person who is willing and able to act like a complete and utter moron about it.
Where I fall
Firmly in the Premium/Tourist category. Oh, I've got Completist tendencies, but if an achievement is too hard, or looks like it'll be too frustrating, I simply won't bother with it. I don't play Touhou for the challenge. I like to see the cute girls, and listen to the pretty music, and see what new hare-brained story ZUN's come up with, and to See How It All Turns Out (e.g. the endings). I'll quote Tycho again: "I realised I don't play games for the challenge. I don't need or want to be punished by a game for making mistakes. I play games for what Ron Gilbert calls 'new art'. I play to see the next level or cool animation. I don't play games to beat them, I play games to see them. Coming to that realisation was actually sort of important for me."
Gameplay has the widest appeal if it has something for both Tourist Players and both types of Skill Players. ZUN, however, isn't the least bit interested in particularly wide appeal, and is only making the games for himself; the only "proper" way to play the game is using his own personal playstyle.
I have no interest in playing in a style outside what type of player I am just because a game is targeted at someone with a different playing style.
So I'm gonna play them improperly.
Now, obviously, this is going to draw the wrath of Wholesale Perfectionists who think that theirs is the only possible way to play any game, much less the only correct one.2 However, you must keep the following in mind: I'm not playing these games directly against you; what I do doesn't somehow magically make you less-skilled. I'm not lying about it or trying to pass off "cheated accomplishments" as genuine ones. I'm not forcing you to cheat at the games; nor am I posting my precise cheating methods publicly, or indeed anywhere (unless privately asked). I'm definitely not saying that this is the "best" or only way to play or enjoy the games. Most importantly: I'm not playing the games for the same reasons you are, so I'm playing them in my own way.
This article intended for informational purposes. It isn't meant to convince anyone of anything, except possibly to get off my case. I am leaving comments open for now; however, any posts which demonstrate a complete lack of even the slightest bit of civility will be summarily deleted. If everyone demonstrates that they can't be civil, the comments will be turned off.
One final word: I actually have legitimately 1CC'd Imperishable Night on Easy Mode, which genuinely was easy, didn't engage in any kind of Easy Mode Mockery (Warning, link leads to TVTropes. Muffin will not be held responsible for hours of time lost as a result of following it.But see also this disclaimer) unless you count "didn't have Last Spells, which are designed to be 'lolhard' anyway," and wasn't particularly buggy. I promise you this: I will also legitimately 1CC the next Touhou game which takes easy mode seriously. Which, the way things are going with MoF through UFO f'rinstance, doesn't seem likely.
1And then complains that UFO's Lunatic mode is too difficult.