Wednesday, May 2, 2012

EXP Podcast #170: Cheating Habits

I may be a low-down dirty cheat, but I am not alone. In fact, plenty of people glitch against walls, harvest the brilliant internet hive-mind for puzzle solutions, or ask the twitterverse how to build the sweetest weapons and armor. Are we losing something or gaining something by cheating? And why do we cheat in the first place? Join Scott and I while we discuss these questions, our own cheating habits, and so much more. As always, we encourage you to leave your comments below and let us know how, when, and why you have opted to rely on outside help.

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Show notes:

- Run time: 35 min 30 sec
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. I have no qualms about looking up solutions when I can't tell if something in-game is even an objective. I consider that a failure of the game's design. I found about half the cubes in Fez before I hit a wall - I had absolutely no idea what to do next. After I read online that I was supposed to be taking notes in the classrooms in order to decode the language, I decided that was enough for me. I really wanted to like it, but I needed either a better idea of what was a puzzle and what wasn't from the start, or some kind of fast travel system so I could backtrack easily. But a lot of people really loved it, so maybe I just need to work on my patience.

    If you want a good laugh, check out this Demon's Souls speedrun: I don't think it counts as a spoiler, since you will have no chance of replicating any of it. I'm pretty sure the player is an actual wizard.

  2. Holy crap. That's no wizard; that's someone who has made a deal with the devil himself. It's the only explanation. Madness!

  3. Matthew GriffithMay 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    The last I cheated in a video game was in Blocks That Matter. I started playing the game again about a week ago but I had play it before. I decided that I would start a new save and I got stuck on a puzzle, but in my other save I had already solve the puzzle, so I justified my cheating by saying "well, I have already done it once".

  4. I'm happy to hear Scott is also playing Demon's Souls. Now I don't feel as alone anymore.

    There is an interesting aspect of cheating in Demon's Souls I recently stumbled across. The game contains some rare items. Some items exist only once in a playtrough (like the Demon's Souls you mentioned in the podcast). Others are just very rare. There is also a dupe trick in that exploits an interface glitch to duplicate items.

    Now, many players will attempt to collect as many of the rare items as possible. A certain amount is needed for weapon upgrades and trophies. Using the dupe glitch in this case is cheating, right?

    But what about "farming" those items? There are posts on forums where players share with each other routes and sequences that yield the most kills of certain enemies in the shortest amount of time. Isn't that exploiting your knowledge of the game do pull of something you weren't supposed to do? Isn't that a form of cheating too?

    And if yes, what is the "right" way to play Demon's Souls?

  5. Ah, the old "Well, my past self did it; no need to punish my current self," defense. ;-)

    I've used it many a time on puzzle/RPG games. I proved myself once, right?!

  6. Rarely does a game drive me to search for exploits like Demon's Souls does. I basically look at it as justice: if the designers are going to make their game so damn obtuse and brutal, then I'll just fight back by exploiting the game's weaknesses!

    On a related note, I've noticed that many Demon's Souls walkthroughs differentiate between "regular" and "exploit" ways of getting items and beating bosses. Interesting that they are presented as alternative methods rather than flat-out cheating!