Do You Need Combat in your Games?
Spurred on by a conversation on twitter with Belghast and Adrel I started thinking about the games that I play that I enjoy more than others. Two immediately came to mind, Wurm Online and the Sims franchise. Both are games that (due to my play style) have very little if any combat – and I love that about them. Yes, arguably you can combat as much as you want in Wurm Online but that’s not how I tend to spend my time. In the Sims games there’s almost never any combat, not in the traditional sense. Of course there are ways to encourage combat if you want (you can make enemies and start fights) but for the most part the game is pretty peaceful. Then there’s all of the visual novel games that I enjoy playing, games like If my Heart Had Wings, and Dandelion – Wishes brought to you. Mindless games I enjoy just because like Cook, Serve, Delicious. Building games like Cities: Skylines. These are the sorts of games that entice me the most and I suppose until I sat down and looked through my games it’s not actually something I noticed before.
That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy combat in games, too. I do. Diablo 3 is pretty much nothing but blowing things up. The thing is I get very bored of those games very quickly – just like Belghast tends to get bored of games that don’t have combat in them (per our conversation earlier). I think that in the majority of games I play I spend my time equally between combat and no combat depending on the game. EVE Online is a good example. There’s combat, and I do combat via missions, but a lot of the time I’m running delivery missions or I’m mining or I’m doing industry things that don’t involve any combat at all. The same can be said for EQ2 and WoW, sure, there’s combat, but a lot of the time I’m harvesting, decorating, or crafting and none of that (at least for me) involves any combat at all.
Do you have a preference or are you about equal in terms of combat vs. non combat gameplay? Would you tend to fall asleep if one or the other aspect was missing from your game of choice? Let me know in comments!