Most Hated Gaming Missions
Author :        Date : 21-Feb-11

This weekend I was blessed with the unthinkable – an absolutely blank calendar.  For the first time in nearly two months, the madness known as ‘social obligations’ had thankfully subsided for a couple of days.  My internal battery had been running on fumes for quite a while, so this break was more than welcomed.  I was not about to waste this momentary reprieve.  What better way to recharge than to bust out a new video game!

With my freedom firmly secured, I ripped open Two Worlds II with a passion that would rival even the best TV evangelist.  Within minutes, my Hero was once again dispatching the dark minions that foolishly chose to take up residence in the mythical world of Antaloor.  My melee warrior grew more powerful by the hour as he decimated the parasites that stood in his path.  Similar to his experience meter, I could actually feel myself being re-energized as my gaming night progressed; sort of like my soul ‘leveling up’.  Life was once again in balance for me, or so it would seem until a ridiculous mission reared its ugly mug before my virtual GI – a stealth assignment!

Are you kidding me?  I had carefully crafted my Hero to be the super tank for all ages, but now he was obligated to complete some seemingly random, clandestine operation for the story to progress.  What’s up with that nonsense?  The bliss enjoyed merely moments ago quickly vanished.  Necessitating this unnatural tactic upon my champion was the equivalent to a swift kick to my spiritual grill.  I love a good challenge and all, but sometimes jamming a square peg into a round hole just doesn’t cut it.

Frustrated to no end, I quickly hit the Save button and ended my gaming session.  I sat there thinking to myself how much I truly despised this type of Alter-Ego adventure.  If I were top dog overseeing this game project, after several failed attempts I would have allowed an "Annihilate All" gamer option of dealing with the problem at hand.  Sure, the rewards would not be as great as accomplishing the goal as originally instructed, but at least the player could proceed and continue to get their game on.

The following are other types of missions that truly tend to spike my blood pressure, and not in a good way.

Timed Missions

Being a more casual gamer, I prefer to enjoy the gaming experience at a steady pace rather than always being in 5th gear.  Timed Missions are my antithesis.  Initially, I love the adrenaline flow that immediately occurs when that ticking clock unexpectedly pops up in the right hand corner of your display.  But once the countdown begins in full earnest, I am singing a completely different tune – one of panic and stress.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like the pressure that accompanies missions of this sort.  That being said, I don’t want to put through the agony of attempting to complete a timed objective 30 consecutive times just to continue the story (I am looking at you GTA).  Yeah, I know, this type may be targeted by me due to my gaming futility.  But regardless if I stink, it wouldn’t kill the developers to throw me a few outs, or workarounds, at the very least.
Bad Vehicle Missions
I love driving a rad car/boat/cycle/etc. as much as the next guy, but it needs to be properly executed.  There are very few things worse than sticking it to the man with a crappily controlled mode of transportation.  It is frustrating as hell to maneuver a poorly engineered (programmed) POS, but on top of that to expect us to achieve any sort of objective is ludicrous.  I don’t care if it is a horse, hover craft, whatever, please triple the time you spend on QA testing in this area prior to incorporating into any game.  Like my parents preached to me as an adolescent, just because you can do something son doesn’t necessarily mean you should (a lesson Mass Effect 2 thankfully took to heart).
Escort Missions
You know the drill.  Deliver some random, computer controlled being/convoy from Point A to Point B, hoping they don’t get massacred along the way.  I think developers want us to feel some type of emotional attachment to these NPC idiots.  First off, I really don’t give a rat’s ass if they get butchered – I am just doing this quest for the loot and experience points.  Secondly, if you are going to burden me with this dolt, at least program them properly.  It’s bad enough that I have to protect someone who only has a sliver of HP/protection to begin with compared to our foes, but then you saddle them with programming afflictions as well.  All of them are either slow of foot, unfocused, confused or too brave for their own good.  Give them (and me) a fighting chance for goodness sake!

I realize that I may be somewhat venting due to the cruel twist of fate that befell my gaming session this weekend.  Regardless, every gamer out there has certain types of missions that they absolutely hate. I’d love to hear about yours, but I just found out that my lady friend scheduled a dinner party for this evening (without my knowledge) and I have to run.  I guess the internal recharging for this INTJ is coming to an end.

That ‘stealth assignment’ for my Two Worlds II warrior is looking pretty good to me right about now. :)

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