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The secret game modes YOU invented

Jan 17, 2008

GamesRadar recently heard an interesting story about Burnout Paradise. Apparently, several testers at Criterion were spending hour after hour playing around with the new handbrake feature. They noticed gaps between the parked cars that are dotted around the city, and naturally started trying to pull off elaborate parking stunts, jamming the handbrake on and arcing gracefully into the vacant space. And when a senior designer saw what they were up to, he was so impressed that the parking challengewas immediately slottedinto the Burnout Paradise set up.

This sort of unplanned mayhem is what makes the best videogames even better. Skilled designers create worlds that 'work' and so enable us to solve puzzles in our own way, a small rule or regulation is exploited by one player and soon creates its own gameplay style, or the enthusiastic tenacity of the players sees several actions or in-game abilities combine to result in totally unexpected scenarios. It's the beauty of community, and here's our favourite examples of unintended gameplay...

Extreme Kiting

This World of Warcraft trick is a prefect illustration of precocious, dedicated gamers manipulating a game's design for that most noble of goals - 'avin a laugh. Kiting itself isn't crazy - it's simply a tactic for players with ranged attacks to stay at a safe distance from a monster while remaining in combat and dealing damage. Simple. But with a little ingenuity and team work, chaos can be caused in traditionally secure areas of the Warcraft world.

Gangs of funloving guild members band together, track down a hugely powerful high level enemy character, then 'kite' the monster out of its lair. And into the heart of Warcraft's busiest towns. Horde faction capital Orgrimmar isa favourite targetfor the kiters, while Alliance capital Stormwindwas decimated in 2005by some superb kiting of one of WoW's most insanely powerful boss monsters, Kazzak, leaving Blizzard forced to reset the entire server.

In response, the happy-go-lucky funsters at Blizzard banned the kiters responsible, before making sure Kazzak could never be dragged that far again. Boo! But even the threat of immediate punishment hasn't stoppedthe hilarious kiting actionelsewhere in the World of Warcraft.