Up For Debate - DPS Removes The Mystery Of A Game

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Feb 21, 2015 5:00 PM
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We’ve all been there before. Traipsing through a sprawling dungeon that faintly smells of armit, for hours on end, felling foul critters, concocting strange herbal remedies out of bizarre fungal growths, and using every trick in the book to evade your slovenly orc foe. Then you spy a treasure chest lurking in the corner, winking in the torchlight.

Creeping over, you whip out your handy lockpicking kit and carefully ease the tumblers, before a gentle click lets you know it’s time to open sesame. You open the chest, check what’s inside, laugh at the totally badass looking axe with a measly 14 damage, before jogging on. What looks like an awesome weapon is instantly relegated to vendor fodder, and you haven’t even tried it out for size.

RPGs have made a big deal about damage per second (DPS). No matter which one you play, advancement generally revolves around levelling up and finding additional items that can help your stats creep up. You never use a weapon in Diablo 3 because it looks cool, it's got 18 blades, or it verbally abuses your foe with each strike. You take a glance at its stats, note the red arrows and leave it where it is. In all likelihood you probably never even register what it looked like let alone what it was called.

Any game that keeps this information hidden from you is immediately more entertaining. Picking up a weapon becomes a major event, and you have to judge for yourself the amount of damage it’s dealing to your enemies.

So what do you say, does DPS, stats, and all that guff remove the mystery of a game? Or do you just love number crunching and watching those stats roll up?

Do DPS and stats remove the mystery of a game?

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16:01 Feb-22-2015

what skyrim mod is that in the title picture? It looks sick!

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04:48 Feb-23-2015

It's not a mod. If I'm not wrong, that's Glass Armour, Glass Bow and Glass Arrows. You come by glass arrows in dwemer ruins at around level 20 and by the rest of the set by around level 28. I'ts a class of Light Armour.

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21:58 Mar-04-2015

Ah! Thank you for the info sir. I've always used heavy armor in Skyrim.

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16:00 Feb-22-2015

what skyrim mod is that in the title picture? That looks pretty sick!

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12:10 Feb-22-2015

I'm fine either way... I just use whatever weapon fits the situation or best use a weapon or set of weapons in a particular situation if nothing else is available...

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10:26 Feb-22-2015

Well if you really like how a weapon looks use it anyway. I remember playing Fallout 3 and I loved the .32 pistol, think it was the second weakest gun, used it anyway . They can keep their Scoped .44 magnum, just want my trusty .32 pistol.

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06:10 Feb-22-2015

For most games I would say no, but for MMORPGs the answer is a resounding yes. You simply can not do well in a dungeon or raid with out the dps pulling their weight and the only way to measure that is through a dps meter. That goes double for MMOs like WoW where the devs intentionally put tank & spank fights in there are meant to be dps checks.

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06:13 Feb-22-2015

Do people take it to far and turn it into a penis measuring contest? Yes. Item level, item quality and achievements all do the same thing. People that play those types of games are going to have the "I can do this better than you" attitude whether you like it or not. Why? Because that's what competition boils down to. It's why people work so hard to be the best. Either join in or don't play

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01:58 Feb-22-2015

I like to play starbound, i have found that some weapons with a slow attack speed and very high damage have a very low DPS, but simply can kill a creature with one single hit, obviously, to me these are the better weapons.

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23:46 Feb-21-2015

Especially AVERAGE dps... you don't even have to do the math yourself then...

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23:12 Feb-21-2015

I play RPGs for the exploration and adventure aspect, i really hate that the immersion is broken by turning it into an arms race rather than an adventure..... I think you bring up an interesting point, and I love the idea of hiding the gear stats, make the items as effective as their appearance.

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21:05 Feb-21-2015

Maybe DPS is just a factor of our poor computing power. I figure that more advanced physics will allow games that are more realistic in combat than just animations and textures representing numbers.

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03:52 Feb-22-2015

Cool idea! Realistic weapon physics? What weapons are made of and how they are shaped mattering. That would take some hefty computing power..

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08:20 Feb-22-2015

true that

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19:44 Feb-21-2015

If the better looking weapon is just a little weaker than the other one, i go looks. As for armor I'm even more tolerant, I'll just have to play more carefully.

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18:50 Feb-21-2015

"totally badass looking axe with a measly 14 damage"


Ok, how do you propose to make a totally subjective thing - looks - be representative of how powerful the item is for everyone? DPS is just a visual representation of all the attributes the item has. Yes, in games it is down to one number in most cases, but that value can be derived from how heavy, long, balanced and what materials the item

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18:53 Feb-21-2015

is made of. Does that change anything? You can have that and not add the all unifying DPS on the stats of the item and that will give a somewhat bigger granularity. In the end, however, enemies have health values and your weapon has to make them go to 0. Either you see it or not, your weapon has DPS. The only way to have that gone in a way is by making everyone have 1hp and all weapons doing 1 dmg

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18:59 Feb-21-2015

Then all items are winners and you can look as cool as you want.
You can have armor parts fall off or break depending on how heavy the weapon hitting it is. Or add some chance to outcomes of your swing/stab/shot. However, in the end you are left with "Maaan, my dude looks way better than yours but we do the same damage.."
So, hiden stats or not, stats will be there and you will still try to

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19:00 Feb-21-2015

find what works, not looks, better.
(comment length restriction is killing me!)

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02:47 Feb-22-2015

tl;dr

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20:37 Feb-22-2015

usefull...

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09:06 Feb-23-2015

actually read it now,i agree.

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18:37 Feb-21-2015

god no. if i had to pickup every weapon and check it in my inventory or even worse find how strong it is by hitting stuff it would be immensely boring for me.

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17:50 Feb-21-2015

Personally - no... I like knowing every stat about every weapon and piece of armour. Don't care if a weapon looks awesome, if it doesn't actually do much damage then it's basically an ornament :P

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17:41 Feb-21-2015

ruins the fun of mmos agreed but its ok in diablo 3

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06:16 Feb-22-2015

Which screams that you don't raid at all. If you don't make sure that the dps are doing a certain amount of dps during a fight then you will never beat it and if you're group is actually trying to progress then that information is critical. If you have 5 minutes to down a boss before he enrages and his damage triples, you need to know the dps of the group.

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17:36 Feb-21-2015

gathering and finding better gear is a big part of games for me its why i like diablo and such

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17:15 Feb-21-2015

If someone says they have better stuff than me and I say I have better stuff there will be the mystery of not knowing, but if the DPS stats come along and decide the better player one of us will feel like crap and the other victorious...


Better just not knowing and enjoying the game not the gear.

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