Mario Kart 8 was released late May. Among all of the Luigi Death Stare fun, a new technique called â€œFire Hoppingâ€ has emerged. Basically, you hop at the end of a boost in order to maintain that boost. Those that can pull off the technique can therefore maintain a boost for a slightly longer period of time. The gaming community tends to have split attitudes when techniques like this are discovered. Some say that a technique was not intended by the makers of the game, and therefore should not be used. Others say that it“s just another way to play the game. â€œFire Hoppingâ€ is, in fact, just well timed jumps (jumping being an ability that a player always has) done at a certain time (during a speed boost).
The gaming community“s thoughts tend to revolve around certain viewpoints: How the results are achieved, (exploiting the physics engine, or other in game mechanic vs. hacking or using a cheat device), what the results of the techniques are (a speed boost vs. invincibility), and if you are actively using said techniques against other players. The controversy regarding these techniques generally is not the fact that the maneuver exists, but when they are used in competitive play against other players. It is during this scenario that many say a code of â€œethicsâ€ comes into play.
The problem with creating a code of ethics in regular game play is that the game will only recognize the player completing the objective; the game generally doesn“t always dictate how it should be done. Thus, a code of ethics is generally self-imposed. Just because one player plays the game a certain way, doesn“t mean another player has to play the same way. There may be more effective or more efficient ways of playing, but that does not mean it is the only way of playing.
Possibly the greatest glitch ever.
Exploiting a game mechanic usually means playing the game without actually altering the code, but in a way that the developers may not have expected. Minor exploitations may be difficult, but it generally isn“t considered cheating. The â€œFire Hoppingâ€ seems to be something that everyone can quite easily do, but would be hard to master. The same could be said of combos in fighting games, which started out as glitches. Everyone can do it, and it“s not that complicated, you just need to figure it out. Some of the controversy surrounding â€œfire hoppingâ€ is the fact that it is not a technique listed in the instruction manual, whereas other techniques like power sliding is. Using such a technique will not break the game, but it may not put you in an overly superior position. Then, there are other mechanics that do have the effect of dominating the competition.
The other side of exploiting a game mechanic is one where the results are a little too overpowering. The move is incredibly difficult to pull off, but the payout is great. So great, that it probably gives too much of an advantage. Some say that said moves are overly cheap, as they are difficult or impossible to counter. Others say that said technique is a result of skill, and an acute understanding of the mechanics at play. Just because something is difficult, doesn“t mean it can“t be used. A technique can not really be considered â€œcheatingâ€ if it is difficult, or only a few people can execute it. It may be cheap, but it is not cheating.
For example, Smash Bros. Melee became rather famous for the use of wave-dashing, allowing considerable movement and positioning to advanced players. Wave-dashing caused so much trouble that Smash Bros. Brawl changed the physics engine and the behavior of air dodging in order to get rid of wave-dashing. Another known tactic in racing games is snaking, where a player power slides in order to gain speed boosts during a straightaway, which allows one to continuously speed boost. Some may consider these exploits or techniques â€œcheatingâ€, but there is no real strict definition of cheating in video games, when one is not altering the code itself. (There are some
Wave Dashing in action
What are your thoughts on discovered techniques that may or may not have been intended by the developers? Are they fun, and are some really just that cheap?