Saturday, July 11, 2009

Experience the Story or Play the Game?

After a long hiatus, I finally went back to playing Heroes of Might and Magic V. I used to play it on the highest difficulty (Heroic), and could make it through most of the missions at that level. But there were a couple of maps that I just couldn't do at Heroic, and after several wasted days, I decided to give it up and took a break.

I wrestled with it for a while. Succeeding at Heroic difficulty felt great: Even the developers warn that they didn't test the game at that level and there was no guarantee the missions were winnable. But the time! All that wasted time!

When I came back to the game, I decided to play at Normal difficulty, and, sure enough, the game was very easy. I suppose having played on Heroic helped me find the strategies and tactical combat tips to make it easy. But now there was a new challenge -- tedious missions. Sylvan Campaign 5 Mission 5 was one such tedious mission. It's a huge map and endless fighting. I could certainly see that it was winnable, but after two days, I'd had enough. I just wanted to experience the story and move on.

Once victory was in sight, I used the cheat codes to zip through to the end, to see the cutscenes for the critical points and move on.
One last campaign for the Heroes V story, then on to the expansion, Hammers of Fate. I decided the mission wasn't fun anymore and I just wanted to see the story and move on.

There are many perspectives on cheat codes and mods, but honestly I think they can be very useful if used appropriately. Take responsibility for your game experience, but also play the game you want. It's just a game, and I won't let it put my life on hold.

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