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Author Topic: HL2 has no manual  (Read 3668 times)
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Daehawk
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« on: November 03, 2004, 02:13:04 AM »

Quote
VE - Silly question, but there are some rumors floating around German HL 2 forums that Half-Life 2 won't ship with a manual of any sort.
Doug Lombardi - That's correct. There is a quick reference card included to guide folks through installation and set up. And Prima will be releasing the official strategy guide.


Yet more BS from companies on manuals. Maybe HL2 being a shooter does'nt need one but I like to have one to read and to get a  backstory. Fuck them if they think Im buying a strat guide for it. Im way past sick of companies not supplying manuals then expecting you to pay $20 for a guide.

I think not supplying a manual for something should be illegal.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2004, 02:15:29 AM »

Yeah, because Valve had to save on costs and not print out manuals.

/slaps Valve for being stupid
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Daehawk
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2004, 02:20:35 AM »

yeah because giving a person a way to know how to play your game or provide info on what kinda stuff you'll face would be helpful or something.

And dont kid yourself..Valve is surely getting a nice chunk of change from each strat guide purchase.As insanely popular as HL2 will be I doubt a 50 cent manual would even be noticed by thier financial dept.

Back in 94 when I got into computer gaming I was very glad to get those 100 page manuals. I woulda been lost on some of those games. Not to mention the immersion factor of having a cool backstory included. Master of Orion comes to mind.
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2004, 02:22:36 AM »

I really don't see why HL2 would need a manual. You'd have to be retarded not to be able to figure out how to play, and if you want backstory, play HL1 Tongue

Some games need a manual, HL2 isn't one of them. And as far as the strategy guide goes, that's just a luxury item of sorts. everything in it will be posted in a million places on the web.

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Daehawk
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2004, 02:24:59 AM »

Its just maddening they wont include a manual yet sell ya a $20 strat guide that a good manual could replace. Its pure greed. :evil: Preying on the foolish and the AoLrs  biggrin
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2004, 02:26:56 AM »

Of course there will be a manual.  It will be published by Prima and cost approximately $25.  Best of all, you can pick it up before the game even comes out!

You can see the manual here.  If you want the backstory, please check here.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2004, 02:32:10 AM »

hehehe  Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2004, 02:33:21 AM »

Oh and btw, moving to RTG. smile
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Big Jake
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2004, 02:51:28 AM »

Valve is determined to prove they can be the biggest smacktards in the business.  Apparently, they must have been jealous of Ea or something.

To every 15 yo that says, "well I can play an FPS, what do you need a manual for?': who gives a rat's ass about the manual? It's the fact that they followed 'no manual' with 'but you can pay us extra for it'.  

Really, watching the counter-strike kiddes defend this bunch of assholes is getting really tiring.  (And I'm one of the people that thinks HL2 will redefine FPS'.)  There comes a point where a company is simply sucking and whoring for all they can, and their product is getting worse because of it.

My current stance: looks to be a phenomenal game, but more and more crap around it is happening as Valve is figuring out just how far they can shove it in.
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Gryndyl
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2004, 03:12:23 AM »

I suspect it's not necessary because the game teaches you how to play. It side it would include a reference card for the keys and probably with some basic install info. I'm not a "counter-strike kiddie" defending Valve, I just don't really see why the game would need more than a reference card. Backstory? Covered in the game from what I hear.

The strat guide for an FPS isn't a manual at all, unlike the strat guides for MMOGs or RTS's.  Generally an FPS strat guide has maps and secret locations and strategies for tough spots in the game. absolutely none of which would have been in any sort of included manual, and all of which most players aren't going to want to know as they prefer discovering it on their own rather than having their hand held on a walkthrough.

Really, pick up the manual for the last FPS you purchased and take a look at what's in it. Then think about how mych you needed to have that or how much time you spent looking at it.
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2004, 03:28:55 AM »

Quote from: "Gryndyl"
I suspect it's not necessary because the game teaches you how to play. It side it would include a reference card for the keys and probably with some basic install info. I'm not a "counter-strike kiddie" defending Valve, I just don't really see why the game would need more than a reference card. Backstory? Covered in the game from what I hear.

The strat guide for an FPS isn't a manual at all, unlike the strat guides for MMOGs or RTS's.  Generally an FPS strat guide has maps and secret locations and strategies for tough spots in the game. absolutely none of which would have been in any sort of included manual, and all of which most players aren't going to want to know as they prefer discovering it on their own rather than having their hand held on a walkthrough.

Really, pick up the manual for the last FPS you purchased and take a look at what's in it. Then think about how mych you needed to have that or how much time you spent looking at it.


I pretty much read the backstory, look at the controls if i have some issues, and then go straight into the game smile
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Jeff
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2004, 03:33:07 AM »

What gryndyl said. There's no great Valve-against-the-world conspiracy here. Sheese, are we really accusing Valve of giving people the shaft over friggin' W-S-A-D controls, or "Gordon went to Zen, now he's back to kick more ass!" ?

I'm 38, hardly and CS kiddie (I've never played it), and I know I don't need a manual to play an FPS with standard controls.  What could it possibly tell you that's not on the reference card, or the lead-in story in the game?

So far, Jake, you've slammed Valve for a) protecting their investment (the Steam check) and b) cutting costs on unnecessary print costs.  I really don't see them as the Evil Empire just yet.
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olaf
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2004, 04:38:41 AM »

This is a disappointing move.

I think one of the ways to combat piracy is to give consumers INCENTIVE to purchase.  A nice hard copy manual is one of them.

The move away from manuals towards strat guides has been a trend for some time now.  Lots of appendix type data, game mechanics, etc. that used to be in manuals now is left to strat guides.

That being said I buy a lot of strat guides because I personally enjoy printed docs.  I enjoy reading about games.  Strat guides, manuals, message boards, all of it.  But strat guides for the most part are pretty low quality.  I usually read through the non walkthrough stuff right off and can always spot multiple errors.  Prima especially, their guides blow.

olaf
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Jumangi
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2004, 06:48:32 AM »

Who cares wether or not a FPS has a manual. Its a waste anyways for that type of game. Also don't know why you would need a strategy guide for a FPS. A RPG or a adventure game yea but a guide for a shooter seems like more of a waste.
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Thin_J
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2004, 06:49:41 AM »

This is yet another thing I can't bring myself to care even the slightest bit about.

It's Half-Life 2. It's probably going to ease you into the game just like the first one did. WASD and the mouse to shoot. Number keys for guns. Yep.. that's all I need to know.
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Calvin
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2004, 06:57:03 AM »

I think its beyond cheap and sleazy that they cant bother with even a token manual and that they are so blatantly trying to gouge money out of gamers with the strategy guide.

That said, who cares. I am not going to need it to play (i mean, come on, need a manual to play? I can remember in the last few years looking up perhaps 5 or 6 things in manuals, total), and after the initial "damn, thats a cool ass manual that I want to keep and take care of" feeling, I just toss em in the box and forget they exist.
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RookieCAF
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2004, 10:50:54 AM »

Cheap. Not that a FPS absolutely needs one but basically schilling out to Prima to "Sell" your manual is low. Of course, this does not single out Valve. Seems like they're all doing it these days...
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2004, 02:08:53 PM »

I'm in the camp that HL2 doesn't need a manual (and I love a good manual).

Why is everyone singling Valve out?  Where is the evidence that this was a Valve decision vice VU?  I would think publisher would have much more control over box contents.

EDIT- And I don't think the strat guide thing applies here- that's usually more relevant to strategy and RPG games where the core mechanics of the game aren't necessarily obvious.  I seriously doubt the HL2 strat guide is anything more than a glorified walkthrough which wouldn't have been covered in the manual anyway.
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2004, 03:44:28 PM »

IMO, no biggie.  Nine times out of ten I leave the manual in the box and toss it in the basement.  Even with RPGs I find the manual to be fluff more often than not.
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RaptorRed
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2004, 03:48:17 PM »

Time to blubber and whine.

And I wouldn't if I could be convinced that this was all for the good of the gamer, but I don't.

First we had to give up the huge shiny boxes crammed with a 100 lbs of maps, manuals, key cards, and freebees because stores needed the shelf space.

So we accepted the small tiny little boxes and were told it was obvious due to size, that the manuals as other stuff would have to be reduced in size or left out.

Now we are being convinced we don't need anything other than the cd usually ill wrapped in paper sleeves.

Of course there is no reduction in cost to the consumer. If Half Life gets away with it then soon there will be others. After all its all about making money, right.

I like a manual, a little back story, and to know ahead how configurable a game is. I don't want to get part way into a game and have to search the net for hours for a solution that should be in a manual.
 
Future games will likely just come in a zip lock bag, with a card that says,
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2004, 03:53:45 PM »

Not a big deal for me either.  FPS games really don't need one anymore. In fact I much prefer a good in-game tutorial and help system to a printed manual these days.  Sure some genres are better suited for them, RPG, RTS, but not an FPS.  Like Rage said, a cheap move, but not a big deal.
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2004, 03:55:18 PM »

I'll have to agree with the "who cares" crowd.  Even if it had a manual there's a darn good chance it just would have ended up in my trash.

s
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2004, 04:04:54 PM »

Quote from: "RaptorRed"

 
Future games will likely just come in a zip lock bag, with a card that says,
"Bend over and take one for the team."


Vote with your wallet. The market will determine what they can and cannot get away with. I really don't get comparing HL2 with no manual, to say, Combat Mission coming with no manual. That would be a huge difference.

I think some people are using HL2 really to just lash out at the industry for the shrinking box, decreasing manual sizes, manuals being given in pdf form, and all that.

And if you had a problem, got stuck, or whatever, do you really think you'd be "searching the internet for hours" for an answer? In most cases, I find it's actually easier to find an answer online than it is in most game manuals.

Even the $15 strat guides are needless in most cases, due to their being a wealth of information online, easily findable and printable.

I've been PC gaming since the 80's, and of course I see the changes that have taken place, and I remember the war & peace sized manuals we used to get, and I loved them too. I just don't see where an FPS needs one.

The price hasn't dropped despite the cost cutting, but nor has the price point gone up. It has remained the same for about 15 years now.
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« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2004, 04:53:20 PM »

I hope it at least comes with a list of hot keys.  Otherwise, I won't have a clue how to play other than maybe WASD.
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« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2004, 05:09:53 PM »

I don't see Half-Life 2 having no manual as a problem. What I do have a problem with is seeing that having no manual has not affected the game's price in any way. I remember the excuses for high game prices - the printing of the box and manual but now there is no manual and yet the game still sells for $55. That's my problem. Companies are giving us less and less yet expect us to pay more and more. But, like Jeff said, vote with your wallets.
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« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2004, 05:53:24 PM »

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Future games will likely just come in a zip lock bag, with a card that says,
"Bend over and take one for the team."


If games start coming in ziplock bags we will truly have come full circle.
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« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2004, 06:21:26 PM »

Yep. A few of the first games I bought that were not first party for my Atari 800 were in Zip Lock Bags. It was kinda a pac man clone, I think by Sierra..
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« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2004, 06:41:28 PM »

Quote from: "O.DOGG"
I don't see Half-Life 2 having no manual as a problem. What I do have a problem with is seeing that having no manual has not affected the game's price in any way. I remember the excuses for high game prices - the printing of the box and manual but now there is no manual and yet the game still sells for $55. That's my problem. Companies are giving us less and less yet expect us to pay more and more. But, like Jeff said, vote with your wallets.


I dunno - for $55 you're still getting a lot, despite the lack of a physical manual:

Half-Life 2
Counter-Strike: Source
Half-Life 1: Source
Day of Defeat: Source (for another $5 via steam)
plus the original Half-Life/CS:Condition Zero/etc.

Even if most of us have already played the older stuff to death, it's still added value - you're getting much more bang-for-your-buck than, say, Doom 3.  I know I'll play through HL1:S and Opposing Force at least once, in addition to the new content... that's more than a fair trade for no printed manual.
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whispa
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« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2004, 07:32:40 PM »

I'm with the who cares about no manual crowd. As if the Doom 3 manual really made my experience that much better...
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Jumangi
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« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2004, 07:48:31 PM »

Quote from: "O.DOGG"
I remember the excuses for high game prices - the printing of the box and manual but now there is no manual and yet the game still sells for $55. That's my problem. Companies are giving us less and less yet expect us to pay more and more. But, like Jeff said, vote with your wallets.



Well thats were your wrong. A big title on par with something like HL2 in the late 80's would sell for $69.99 or so at retail. Yea you got the fold out cloth map for your copy of Ultima IV and the manual but in the end its the game that matters. If games kept up with the prices of years past you would be paying $80 for the basic retail package of HL2 today.
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Big Jake
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« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2004, 07:53:43 PM »

O.Dogg & Raptorred, thank you for keeping my ever-dwindling faith in humanity somewhat alive.  It's good to see some people who can understand 'principle' rather than 'immediate observation'.
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« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2004, 08:32:00 PM »

Quote from: "Big Jake"
O.Dogg & Raptorred, thank you for keeping my ever-dwindling faith in humanity somewhat alive.  It's good to see some people who can understand 'principle' rather than 'immediate observation'.


In principle, I *still* couldn't care less if the manual is included with games that don't really need it.

Better?  Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2004, 08:59:37 PM »

In this day and age, manuals should be and are becoming totally irrelevant.

Most of the information contained in manuals is explained either through in game tutorials or through in game help.

You don't need to go off and read paragraph 153 in the manual, that story text is included right there in the game. You don't need to go lookup the spell SuperBigBoomBoom to figure out it does 200 points of fire-based damage, its right there in the rollover help. A cloth map is nice, but you can easily determine your position using a handy dandy in game map. A book containing unit statics would be nice, but usually they are rendered obsolete once a balance patch is released.
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« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2004, 09:43:57 PM »

I'd rather have no manual than a half-assed one.  And I can't think of anything that would be in a strategy guide for a FPS that I would expect to be in the manual.  Possibly weapons descriptions, but I'd almost rather not see those and have the surprise ruined.
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« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2004, 11:02:57 PM »

You will find that many of the movie studios have decided to stop putting the inserts in their DVD's.  I kinda miss that, having a chapter list or some notes from the director, but it hasn't stopped me from buying one.  I used to think I got a bad disc that was missing the insert, but apparently this is the new thing.  I guess they can put "paper insert" on the back as a special feature along side such extras as "anamorphic widescreen" and "theatrical trailer."
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« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2004, 05:21:44 PM »

I assume that like every other FPS, you will be able to configure your controls from the options menu.  That's the first thing I do anyways, after installing and configuring the other settings, so I'm not too concerned about knowing which button does what.
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« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2004, 06:17:03 PM »

I think for me it is just an example of my getting less for the same price.  Sure it isn't needed, but it was something I used to get.  Now that I don't get it I am getting less, but I am still paying the same amount.  As a consumer that makes me feel like I am being ripped off (a little anyway)
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« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2004, 08:11:54 PM »

You aren't getting it for any less, but the prices of games really haven't gone up in my 20+ year history as a gamer. A new game is still going to cost you around 40-50 bucks a pop with a few exceptions for AAA titles.

You can't same the same thing for movies. I pay 3 times as much to see one now compared to when I was a kid. Its not like the movies are any longer or better than they used to be.
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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2004, 01:40:17 AM »

I've been holding off buying HL2 via Steam because I wanted to see what the price would be for a boxed copy with a manual. Guess there ain't no such beast, so maybe Steam will be the way to go. I'll still be waiting to see what the prices are in the Nov 14 Sunday ads, then make my decision.
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