Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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girzwald:

Your statements are contradictory.

So, in dark souls you are given powerful weaponry, but that doesn't take away from the sense of vulnerability or tension.
But in deadspace, you have an arsenal of weapons, and that takes away the sense of vulnerability and tension.

And in darksouls, you are an "ant" amongst giants. When a lot of things aren't really that much bigger than you. But some things are.
But in deadspace, enemies who feel no fear, barely react to pain and many are much bigger and stronger than you, you are not an ant amongst giants.

Got it.

So, dark souls draw, is that its "scary" because if you die, you get royally screwed from all your time investment you had. Wow, thats kinda pathetic. I'm starting to be against an easy mode for dark souls now. No, not because I'm against more options or that people should be able to enjoy more games. But sounds more and more like dark souls is a craptastic game that would be boring, unengaging, and short if it wasn't so hard and unforgiving. And that people should be as encouraged to NOT play it as much as possible. So that a game with nothing to offer but extreme difficulty could hopefully die off.

It's only contradictory if the weapons worked the same way. In Dark Souls you can level and craft weapons, but none of them suddenly will make the game any easier. In Dead Space there is weapons that usually let you just blast through and if you upgrade them even more so.

In Dark Souls the weapons are for your play style. There is no ultimate weapons, nor is there "power weapons" since most of the unique weapons aren't as good as the standard upgraded weapons.

Also you made the mistake of thinking that "Ant" among "Giants" implies size. It's not. It's power. It's like the saying, a man among gods. Like Batman, he is a normal human who has to strive to be on the same level as those around him who are nearly gods because of their power. Not because suddenly Superman is a giant and Batman is an ant.

In Dead Space, enemies aren't usually bigger than you outside bosses, or they're slightly bigger. But like I stated, size isn't the point. It's power. All enemies in Dead Space can be killed the same and some weapons do the trick in one or two hits even on the harder difficulties. More so like I mentioned if you upgrade.

Also good to know you have never played it. Good arguing with someone who has never played the game on the game. I have played both Dark Souls and Dead Space. If you haven't played both but are comparing them in the first place, then you have no right to compare them unless you have.

"This game is so hard, it's basically impossible to beat"
"Oh no way I'm gonna try it. Waah it's too hard put in easy mode"

What the hell were you expecting?

The core of the game is the difficulty. If you share your experiences with other people, they're based on getting your ass kicked. If I play the game on "regular" and go "I'm stuck on the fire spider lady" and some other guy is like "Oh I kicked the crap out of her on easy" I'll mostly just want them to shut their stupid mouth because what's even the point of that. We have nothing to talk about.

Plus the story isn't that great. It's only fun because you fight tooth and nail to figure anything out.

"Cave shooters are too hard they should make them easier!" No they shouldn't, play something else. "I don't like all the bass at clubs they should play something twangier." No they shouldn't, go somewhere else.

Nothing needs to be everything at once. Let's let things be what they are so they can be good and then if you want a different thing don't get that first thing that isn't what you want.

I got a warning. Not the people who called us elitist asshats and all that shit. I think it's Mr. Sterling trolling lol.

MichaelMaverick:
Adding an easy mode to Dark Souls DOES harm it, because the high difficulty is the very core of the experience and everything else is complementary, and it DOES harm everyone, because merely having the option of NOT exposing yourself to that grueling challenge destroys the experience utterly and misses the point entirely. After a while of getting your arse kicked you won't be able to "ignore" the easy mode, you'd be a fool otherwise to make it harder for yourself when you don't HAVE to. Except sometimes being FORCED to do certain stuff, or doing it in a particular way, is what makes it so enriching. Sometimes you find yourself enjoying a situation because you were pushed into it, otherwise you'd never willingly get into it. This is how human psychology works.

When it comes to this issue, I find so many people thinking that having an option is ALWAYS a good thing. It is not so. Sometimes it's not a good thing at all. It's a simple reality of game design, why can't you guys get it through your skulls? MovieBob did this shit as well. The fact that even accomplished and allegedly knowledgeable people in the industry think this way is depressing. There is nothing inherently wrong with easy modes and streamlining and making things more accessible and what-have-you, but there are types of games (fighting and strategic games especially) where the challenge and the competitive aspect holds everything together. Please learn to recognize this fact already. These discussions are too often plagued with people who haven't adequately studied challenge and balancing in video games, and how they affect the quality of the product. It's not an easy thing to grasp in the slightest, and I'm sick of you know-it-alls making light of it.

This guy gets it. Dark souls being hard is part of the experience. It is so much part of what the game is. If they made an easy mode it would just be hollow. And why can't the hardcore have one series that is untouched, You don't see me playing Dance central. Let us have one game untouched buy casuals you already hurt gaming enough as is. "Dead space 3 co op RE being turned into a shooter" Leave Dark Souls alone to the people who can handle it.

Gaming is a past-time, not a special meter of your worth.

This statement refutes 65% of what has been written in this thread. So much of the butthurt would just evaporate if this one simple truth were acknowledged. Really, if a game is truly well-designed, easy mode CANNOT POSSIBLY harm it. Chess is hard for me and Gary Kasparov in two completely different ways. In the real world, the skill of the opponent is the difficulty setting. In single player videogames, the only opponent is the AI created by the developer. Therefore, not including an easier AI is like not allowing anyone under the rank of Master to play chess against anyone under the rank of Master. The only reason this ridiculous mismatch is even allowed in games is because the AI can't complain that it's bored. We wouldn't tolerate this in any real-world game. We would harshly scold the mean, nasty, older kids who insisted that the little kids play on their level instead of against each other. No one wants "big hits" in pee-wee football. If you do, you are a bad person. You graduate them up. Beating Easy should prepare you for Normal, because Easy should get progressively more like Normal as it progresses, and so on up the difficulty ladder. It is simply lazy not to include an easy mode. Good Easy is at least as difficult to pull off as good Hard. Making a hard game is just Easy Mode for developers. You don't have to fix the problems - most people will never see them, and the ones who do will be so busy patting themselves on the back for making it that far they will shout down anyone who says, "Hey, this is a problem, not a feature!" Anyone, and I say this without qualification or reserve, ANYONE who is anti-Easy-Mode, suffers from a profound and frightening lack of empathy. "No one made it easier for ME!" Dude, that's EXACTLY why you make it easier for the kid coming after you. Raise a child (well) and you'll figure it out.

Humans differ; deal with it.

Some humans have difficulty doing what some other humans can do easily. People complaining about easy mode are like Olympians complaining about Paralympians. Or Paralympians complaining about Special Olympians. I just wanna scream, "We're not making the cripples race YOU!! Them kids just wanna RUN! They wanna get a MEDAL for something! Why is that YOUR problem? 'Cause you run so good? OTHER people getting medals for running detracts for YOURS in some way? What is wrong with you? You own running now? Shouldn't anyone who can lift a leg get to run? You'll still be the fastest - hell, you'll look even faster beating that kid on the crutches - but kicking the crutches out and making him CRAWL just diminishes YOU. You got someone who was zero threat to you QUIT instead of allowing them PRETEND, even for a moment, that they were even LITTLE BIT like YOU. That is more terrible than stealing 40 cakes. And don't hide behind the rationale that you were 'bettering' them somehow. You weren't bettering them, you were just trying to make them like YOU That's not better. They were already THEM and that was FINE."

Dropping the metaphor, some people suck at videogames, and some are just okay. To deny them easy mode just because you don't want to be "tempted" to use it yourself is the most pathetically false argument I have ever seen. Is LeBron "tempted" to flatten a bunch of portly Floridian grade-schoolers just because their school's basketball gym is a short walk from his house? If you are really that good, you will NEVER play easy, or at least not for long. It will bore you. You know that. But if it interests someone else, why deny them? IF the game was made right to begin with, Easy Mode doesn't really cost the developers anything. Change ONE LINE of code and FTL's rebel fleet disappears, yet that change creates a wholly different experience that I enjoy just as much as the "real" game. Authors don't know everything, and let's face it you only really care about Author Intent when the author's intent is similar to your interpretation, otherwise you just enjoy the art, don't you?

TL;DR

Gaming is a past-time, not a special meter of your worth.

Can't say it better than this. Longer, though. I can say it much, much longer.

And I admit it: I had to look up the number of cakes.

scrape:
Really, if a game is truly well-designed, easy mode CANNOT POSSIBLY harm it.

What would it take for me to convince you the game I just made would be harmed by an easy mode, assuming it is truly well-designed?

Rooster Cogburn:
lol Thank you for following me this far. Believe it or not, most people refuse to. Now see, normally I would say the advantage of opening up the game to more players by adding optional difficulty is worth the loss of some excitement for some players. We all would say that. NORMALLY. But, let's say we just had one game that didn't do that. Wouldn't ONE be alright? And in the case of that ONE game, the developer would be free to supercharge that unique experience. So let's just have ONE game, and do everything in it that we can only do when there is NO adjustable difficulty.

Is that so bad? I mean really, in this market? There aren't many deep or hard AAA games. Is it so bad to have one game that doesn't have an easy mode, especially considering we kind of have something particular in mind? Not all games should be like this, of course. But what about one. Just one game. JUST ONE. One game. ONE.

Is that a crime?

No, no crime done. I'm actually fine with Dark Souls not having easy difficulty, and having played some demon souls, I understand that there probably is a way to defeat every opponent using a wooden stick. My main concern would be if, in general, games should not have easy modes. There are frighteningly many people who believe you can measure peoples intelligence by the games they play and what mode they play them on. Hence "dumped down --> for the casuals". Of course with your particular issue, this seems not to be the case.

Rooster Cogburn:

Actually that's a fantastic question lol. The gameplay of Dark Souls is designed to facilitate learning. The pattern is, you reach a seemingly impassable obstacle, and then you LEARN how to make it easy for yourself. You learn about the enemy, learn about your character, learn about the mechanics, learn about the world and the environment, and learn about the options available to you. You have to LEARN to proceed. But it is also designed with innovative community features. I can see how other people died and learn from their mistakes. They leave messages to warn me of danger. I can summon them into my world to teach me how to succeed. Guides and forums are a part of this community the designers have intentionally cultivated. We all work together and help each other. That's part of the fun!

If you think Dark Souls is nothing but a game that happens to be hard, then there is absolutely no reason not to put easy mode in it. When you understand WHY it is hard, you begin to understand why this matters.

I see. Difficulty is what the game is about, like the game I Wanna Be That Guy. I have no problem with this. Let's just not judge people by it, as a measure of their worth as human beings :)

Thanks for being a good sport, with no rage.

This is why we can't have nice things, an optional feature gets added to the game and shit hits the fan, can't we trust the developer here at least until we play the actual game.

Nice baseless assumption Jim. Would it surprise you that the reason fans don't want an easy mode isn't because it can be enjoyed by more people? I sometimes wonder if I should watch certain vids of yours since I know you are already going to parrot a popular argument that's already been floating around the internet for awhile.

It's too bad so many people don't understand that not every game 'should' have to have an easy mode, and that maybe the rewards are the struggles to move forward.

Also, when you get really vague info on how a game is going to be made 'easier', it's good to question how they're going to do it.

Of course, if this is what the developer really wants, then so be it.

Edit: Also, you are a moron if you buy a game randomly and expect it to be catered to you. Do your fucking research.

DayDark:
No, no crime done. I'm actually fine with Dark Souls not having easy difficulty, and having played some demon souls, I understand that there probably is a way to defeat every opponent using a wooden stick. My main concern would be if, in general, games should not have easy modes. There are frighteningly many people who believe you can measure peoples intelligence by the games they play and what mode they play them on. Hence "dumped down --> for the casuals". Of course with your particular issue, this seems not to be the case.

'''

I see. Difficulty is what the game is about, like the game I Wanna Be That Guy. I have no problem with this. Let's just not judge people by it, as a measure of their worth as human beings :)

Thanks for being a good sport, with no rage.

I had no idea it felt this good to not be called an elitist ass-hat. Now I'm worried I'll be struck by lightning or attacked by a shark lol.

Emotions run high on this topic on both sides. Many people, myself included, have felt the very real sting of elitism and exclusion during our gaming careers. Mr. Sterling has pounced on the opportunity to exploit that emotional response and unleash it in the form of prejudice against the Dark Souls community. And as for us? Well, we react like a child when you take their toys away lol. I mean, FPS fans don't have to constantly fight for their right to exist. It's quite a burden, and when I look around at all the hate, and at the industry as a whole, it sometimes feels hopeless.

I don't think players who enjoy easy games are going to run out of content in the near future hehe. The Souls games and some earlier FROM offerings (which I have not played) are in part a reaction to the direction the industry has taken of making easier games for wider audiences. I don't care what other people do or what they play. I just know what I like and I don't think anyone in the modern game industry should have to compromise on the experience they are looking for. There are enough games that we can all have the one that is just right for us.

You're on the right track with I Wanna Be The Guy, but I would argue that I Wanna Be The Guy is to Dark Souls as Charlie Chaplin is to Citizen Kane lol.

No.... just No.

Jim you are so incorrect in this one.

The analogy of a book exploding or video pausing does not fit this. This is more like being an 10 year old kid in a video rental store. You have a WIDE array of things to choose from. The clerk is most likely a stoner and doesnt really care what you rent. Physically the "age appropriate" titles are at easy visual access, but the more Risque R rated affairs are naturally much higher and harder to reach. While you may be 10 years old... and mentally capable of comprehending most of the content in a film like "Ted" It does not mean you are going to "get" everything going on in say... "Clerks". Thing is however, the souls games arent akin to Rated R affairs. They are more like XXX. They are not designed for that audience. They are not intended for that audience. They are not meant to appeal to that audience.

And quite honestly... There is another reason why this is just beyond wrong. Because the Souls games... Present something that the industry as a whole is practically devoid of now. It is in essence the "Look, see here, It still CAN be done" to this generation spoon fed on the creamy puree'd goop that has been the industry for more than the last decade. Yes the souls franchise has served a specific niche. One that had already had to suffer the indignity of being ignored for so long. To take what was in essence the ONLY thing of its kind and want to water it down... No, it simply cannot be justified. Sure, if there were dozens of DS clones to choose from, By all means, expand the base. But when it was like an act of congress pulling Gods teeth for a title such as this not only to see the light of day but actually generate a sequel that DIDNT pander there is no justification that can be made for essentially gutting the franchise and defeating its purpose. Because really... without the difficulty... all you really have is an odd mixture of Fable + Dead Space + Japanese horror tropes.

The players have every right to be upset over this. It is bad enough what the industry has done already. To many players it is like being "raised" on 100 proof whiskey... and then expected to make due with watered down wine coolers. And to take the difficulty and throw it out the window to appeal to a larger audience? Yes it absolutely DOES diminish the enjoyment of the game. Being able to complete a souls game is like a badge of honor. It is supposed to be something not every gamer is capable of doing. By gutting the content you effectively destroy that sense of accomplishment gained from completing it.

I do sincerely get what you are trying to drive at, and for the most part you would be right. But as it relates to Souls and your reasoning for justifying effectively destroying the only thing that makes the game unique or even worth playing, is so very very VERY wrong.

How about a compromise... Give old school hard core gamers more options and wide variety in that level of brütal challenge or even harder... then we can consider giving souls an "easy mode"

As long as there's the option of not being hand-held it's all fine stop complaining. Many people complained about casual features on Hitman absolution but the hardest difficulty is harder than the older games, that was completely overlooked by everyone who complained however. It's the same with a Dark Soul's easy mode, don't see the point as long as it's just another option. Now making core mechanics "more accessible" is generally sucky. Reminds me of how Dawn of War 2 was initially meant to be a casual 3v3 game, that was not cool, didn't appeal to the broader audience Johnny Ehbert(this guy should retire from gaming.) wanted to grab and it ended up being halfassedly mended into a 1v1 game through various expansions and patches.

Shadow-Phoenix:

Busard:
-snippety snip-

So apparently I'm "lowest common denominator"?.

Well aren't you a shining gem of sheer wisdom and brilliance...

Yep. When I'm faced with people who don't have the interest of the game at heart, or the interest of the core community, or creative license surrounding a game, but just because something to fit what's most common in every other games out there just because "It should be like this to fit my needs", that's lowest common denominator for me. The fact you are getting so angry about this is a nice compensation for me though.

And yeah, parroted links, although strange, nobody seems to watch them or listen to them so hey, i'll keep repeating since that's the only thing that might work.

On a less aggressive note: Easy mode is not something as easy as just "cutting the hp/damange in half" in Dark Souls. There's the online/pvp aspect, the actual feel of challenge and fear of what's coming around are inherent parts of what constitutes this game and it's pacing.

Dark Souls is important for it's community BECAUSE it is not guaranteed that you will finish the game in the first place, at least not easily and not at your first try. It's a game that demands to be more involved and not just sitting there waiting to be spoonfed. That's why people like it, and that's why it is NICHE. Again, it is not supposed to be enjoyed by everyone, as it was made that way. And there are already ways to cheapen the game anyway (play offline, use some early op weapons like the drake sword...)

I'm all for better explanations of the lore a bit though as it can be shady as best, or some mechanics like the humanity system, but that's about it when it comes to DS. I'd rather have the devs focusing on making the game actual true to it's core and it's niche, to what made it succesful in the first place, instead of pulling a Team Ninja and make the game appeal to a crowd that doesn't really give a shit in the first place

EDIT: I'm sorry for the insulting tone as I have nothing personal. I'm mostly fighting an idea here. Also, like said above, is it a crime to just have that ONE game that a niche can enjoy as it is without being tampered with because a bigger crowd decides it should be the case ?

The issue is never that games have easy modes, it's that games have hard modes. When a game is balanced for the lower or lowest difficulties then gamers truly do suffer. There have been seriously great games rendered simply good (Mass Effect 2 and Skyrim) good games rendered dull (Splinter Cell 2+, Assassins Creed) or multiplayer games rendered a joke (LoL).
Games should be balanced for the game modes that exist. If you want your game to have higher difficulties, make sure the scaling keeps the game fun (Mass Effect 2). RPGs should have harder or easier areas with better or worse rewards (Skyrim). And when you design a game to be casual and specifically state and reiterate this is your aim during a beta, at least don't pretend you didn't after the fact (LoL).

Church185:

BiH-Kira:

-snip-

Neat meaningful dialogue. The stat changes seems relatively simple, as you've pointed out. But how will they deal with other game mechanics like curse from seethe the scaleless? If you don't know (can't remember if you have played the game or not, sorry) one of the biggest dangers fighting this boss isn't that he does high damage, it's that he'll build your curse status meter until you are insta-killed by it. Once you've been killed by curse, when you come back your health is reduced by half until you remove the curse. Or the challenge of fighting multiple enemies and being stun locked or knocked of a ledge. I'm sure there are other examples, but wouldn't From Software have to change certain boss and game mechanics as well as change stats for an easier mode? I don't think the stat changing solution is as easy as it originally seems.

I assume that all resistances can also be edited with a few numbers. Increase the curse resistances of every armor.

Also, you seem to assume that "Easy mode" should remove all the challenges and insta-kills. I don't see a problem with Seethe the Scaleless or with fighting multiple enemies. As long as enemies are weaker, deal less damage and have less health, people will learn. The majority of people that want an Easy mode isn't because they don't want any challenge. It's because the normal challenge is too much for them. Poison in Blighttown, curses, traps... all of them are dangerous things, but they can be avoided easily. Even the worst player would realize that standing in the swamp in Blighttown will poison you. Everyone will know that falling of a ledge will kill you if the fall is long.
However, not matter how much you know that the Capra Demon will kill you 2 hits, if you're not skilled enough, you won't be able to avoid it.

Also, "dumbing down" happens when the normal mode is actually easy and then they make a "hard mode". That way the core game is balanced around unskilled people and even the hard mode is easy and/or bad because it's just number changes.
However, if you do it the other way around, if you make a game hard on normal and after that add an easy mode, number changes are OK, because it's the core game made a bit easier. Sure, it would be nice to have different AI's for different difficulty levels, but that's not needed if you go from hard to easy.

Again, I don't think everything needs to change. Traps and co aren't the main danger in DS. It's the enemies. Enemies require skill to be beaten, traps require just a bit of thinking. Nerf the things that require skill so that they require less, let the rest be the same.

Busard:
EDIT: I'm sorry for the insulting tone as I have nothing personal. I'm mostly fighting an idea here. Also, like said above, is it a crime to just have that ONE game that a niche can enjoy as it is without being tampered with because a bigger crowd decides it should be the case ?

No insult taken chap I've had lack of sleep for 24 hrs due to christmas shopping and dealing with relatives I'm not all to fond of visiting this time of year so I've now gotten back from a few hours sleep and feel somewhat refreshed with a clear mind to realise I was getting pretty much worked up over trivial matters.

Now that I've gotten the swears out of my system I was wanting to point out that while the game is it's own niche it would at least be somewhat handy if they perfected ways of getting new players into the game without being crushed and put off the experience because I and quite a few friends (the type of games they play differ to mine at times) love playing games as a pastime and while we do love a good challenge we don't exactly feel exhilarated from getting thrashed around and dying plenty of times because even when we finally accomplish the challenge we tend to end up not feeling like it was really all that worthwhile and end up discussing what parts of the game (not saying it's specifically DS) challenges felt like a let down and others that were good.

Another example is my mother who adores Tetris and plays it at it's highest difficulty where as I can't play that mode to save my life yet she can't play any of today's modern games on virtually any setting (That's how far back in time she really is =P) and while I realise the mode she's playing is indeed hard for me but not her I'd still choose easy then move to normal and then to her level gradually getting better with each mode (I also did this with Skyim and a few other games to find it worked for me quite a few times).

In the end I'll probably still give the new DS a good old fashioned fisty cuffs go and see how it all ends and I might end up liking it a little more than the last one or I might end up putting it down for something like Aliens Colonial Marines.

I'd also like to say as a last note the thing that irks some people around here is people from the DS community calling others wrong/ignorant which does come off as highly insulting and I'd wish they would tone it down a bit and find other ways of explaining it in simpler terms so it doesn't end up as an insult.

I also apologize for my previous posts because of me getting worked up over silly things because in the end we're all gamers here and we should better ourselves and get along with one another.

Shadow-Phoenix:

Busard:
EDIT: I'm sorry for the insulting tone as I have nothing personal. I'm mostly fighting an idea here. Also, like said above, is it a crime to just have that ONE game that a niche can enjoy as it is without being tampered with because a bigger crowd decides it should be the case ?

No insult taken chap I've had lack of sleep for 24 hrs due to christmas shopping and dealing with relatives I'm not all to fond of visiting this time of year so I've now gotten back from a few hours sleep and feel somewhat refreshed with a clear mind to realise I was getting pretty much worked up over trivial matters.

Now that I've gotten the swears out of my system I was wanting to point out that while the game is it's own niche it would at least be somewhat handy if they perfected ways of getting new players into the game without being crushed and put off the experience because I and quite a few friends (the type of games they play differ to mine at times) love playing games as a pastime and while we do love a good challenge we don't exactly feel exhilarated from getting thrashed around and dying plenty of times because even when we finally accomplish the challenge we tend to end up not feeling like it was really all that worthwhile and end up discussing what parts of the game (not saying it's specifically DS) challenges felt like a let down and others that were good.

Another example is my mother who adores Tetris and plays it at it's highest difficulty where as I can't play that mode to save my life yet she can't play any of today's modern games on virtually any setting (That's how far back in time she really is =P) and while I realise the mode she's playing is indeed hard for me but not her I'd still choose easy then move to normal and then to her level gradually getting better with each mode (I also did this with Skyim and a few other games to find it worked for me quite a few times).

In the end I'll probably still give the new DS a good old fashioned fisty cuffs go and see how it all ends and I might end up liking it a little more than the last one or I might end up putting it down for something like Aliens Colonial Marines.

I'd also like to say as a last note the thing that irks some people around here is people from the DS community calling others wrong/ignorant which does come off as highly insulting and I'd wish they would tone it down a bit and find other ways of explaining it in simpler terms so it doesn't end up as an insult.

I also apologize for my previous posts because of me getting worked up over silly things because in the end we're all gamers here and we should better ourselves and get along with one another.

Well being tired would be a bother, I have finals so my mind has been pulled both ways so I get what you are talking about. Also you mother sounds cool lol.
I wouldn't worry too much on some members of the community being a bit too blunt, the thing is they are kinda paranoid since hard games are almost a dying breed. Too often are games that used to hard turned into rubbish or frankly die off. Oh megaman you poor poor guy, how we miss thee.

Korten12:

GrimHeaper:

Then don't use words wrongly.

Yep here we are everything is still pretty fucked. You are trying to justify difficulty with the story and tone.
Most people just don't care about those things.
Are you telling me DS3 will be sunshine and rainbows? No something will happen in 2 that screws everything again so the game will still be "hard".

You should get a job in jumping over points. You would be really good at it.

What happens afterwards or before has no bearing on the current story. It's a self-contained story that in a time of dark, even the smallest light can grow strong.

Also considering Dark Souls II has been highly hinted to be a prequel or a sequel but taking place in a far off land. It has no bearing either way to Dark Souls story.

The same way harry potter is a self contained story.
Let me guess The hobbit has no bearing at all on The Lord of the Ring's books either right?
It would help if you actually made a point instead of trite reasons.

No wonder schools are banning winning at sports day in my country the teachers must be fed up of mopping up buckets of tears. How can you expect every game to pander to your tastes? Must you like everything do you ask they dumb down the times crossword just so more people can do it? Do you want bitter to taste more like wine? Why do you need to smash a perfect experience into a pile of steaning shit just because you don't like to try the experience as the creators wanted you to?

Is it too much to think something got made that isn't for you?
Do you cry because you want to like it but can't or do you feel shame and cowardice when others talk about dark souls?

I just don't get why you want to play a game you nether like or understand?

Before i get asked that's to everyone on the pro easy side.

scrape:

Anyone, and I say this without qualification or reserve, ANYONE who is anti-Easy-Mode, suffers from a profound and frightening lack of empathy. "No one made it easier for ME!" Dude, that's EXACTLY why you make it easier for the kid coming after you. Raise a child (well) and you'll figure it out.

Games being a pastime has no bearing on this problem. I am of the opinion that the final word regarding any creative work almost always belongs to its creator. The creations can and should be critiqued by the those that have experience of them, but usually they have no right to demand a creation to be altered or designed from the very beginning to suit the tastes of as many people as possible. Doing so would only hinder creativity.

Should we then be sacrificing some creativity just so that the creations can be as easily accessible to as many people as possible? I don't think so, mostly because there are so many creative minds out there that it is unavoidable that you will find something suitable for you specifically. This should not come as a surprise to anyone but some creations have different prerequisites than others do. Just like it is inevitable that there are some things that you find suitable for you it is just as inevitable for there to be some things that are not suitable for you. Games are no exception to this.

Neither does this have anything to do with our ability to practise empathy. People who play games are not a uniform group of peers. The only thing that for a certainty connects these people is the fact that they play games. There is no single level of skill or a unified preference of style that could be followed when a game is being created. There are a myriad of people of varying levels of skill and as many individually differing preferences of taste.

Humans differ; deal with it.

Interesting that we would have the same premise but then arrive in two completely dirrerent conclusions. The very ways of approaching the challenge of dealing with it differ in a profound level. Your way of dealing with it is, I think, that you would like for these differences to be accounted and compensated for in everything anyone ever does. These differences undoubtedly should be taken into account in any of the social and societal circumstances that you have presented, but they should not be allowed to regulate the way our many forms of entertainment and art are created and consumed. Or impose any limitations to it.

The experience in Dark Souls almost hinges on the knowledge that you aren't certain to succeed in anything you do. There is the risk of utter failure! This is what gives the experience meaning and the idea the game is build around. Everyone should be aware that the challenges we face define us. When overcoming challenges we often become something more than we previously were. The reason we bother doing anything at all and putting energy into doing it is that there is a possibility of some form of reward afterwards. Be it an attempt to learn the calculus or to swim for the first time, we gain these and any other skills through challenge.

GrimHeaper:

Korten12:

GrimHeaper:

Then don't use words wrongly.

Yep here we are everything is still pretty fucked. You are trying to justify difficulty with the story and tone.
Most people just don't care about those things.
Are you telling me DS3 will be sunshine and rainbows? No something will happen in 2 that screws everything again so the game will still be "hard".

You should get a job in jumping over points. You would be really good at it.

What happens afterwards or before has no bearing on the current story. It's a self-contained story that in a time of dark, even the smallest light can grow strong.

Also considering Dark Souls II has been highly hinted to be a prequel or a sequel but taking place in a far off land. It has no bearing either way to Dark Souls story.

The same way harry potter is a self contained story.
Let me guess The hobbit has no bearing at all on The Lord of the Ring's books either right?
It would help if you actually made a point instead of trite reasons.

Never mind I know your a troll now. You don't understand what I am talking about and bringing up random shit to make your point seem valid. Considering that Dark Souls world has been screwed up before the game begins and there was a large war before it. That can easily be used as the setting. Since once again in DS2 your an undead. Now just stop arguing as you make no points. Your examples make no sense in the context of this arguments. Different stories have different rules and how their stories are have no baring on this. Dark Souls is a universe not just one story. Just because they won't have the exact story doesn't mean it takes away from the tone the other games have set.

Jimothy Sterling:
I don't have time for arguments this week, unfortunately, but let me just address some things briefly before flying off into the night. Once I've said this, I'm done on the topic for now, though I may need to do a new video after the holidays for those who spectacularly missed the point of the video:

The difference between an optional easy mode and the homogenization of videogames is as simple as the difference between Ninja Gaiden Black's "Ninja Dog" mode and Ninja Gaiden 3. One game had an optional extra mode for people who didn't want brutal challenge, and one tore the default experience apart.

Easy modes aren't a new concept, people. Capcom had some of the most hardcore action games around, and they actually offered you an easier mode if you had your ass kicked one too many times. Nobody complained about that. Nobody believes the core Devil May Cry 3 experience was ravaged by multiple difficulties. And frankly, it's pretty insulting to Dark Souls if you think ALL it has to offer the world is difficulty.

As for my attitude in this video ... uh ... welcome to the Jimquisition? Apparently it's okay for me to have this attitude when it's people you don't agree with -- not so now. Should I reshoot the video in a non-condescending "easy mode" format for you?

You'd better have a follow up vid, because you missed the point of your own topic. The point is, sir, that developers and publishers feel the need to dumb down and homogenize their product to appeal to as many people as possible and have done so for a long time now, only now we've gotten to the point where there really is only two genres: Indie and AAA. Indie is always a physics puzzle platformer or yet another rogue-like top down isometric smashmup. AAA is always some Gears of Modern Bio-Effect Dead Space 5 hallway cover shooter with a side order of quick time events, real time strategy, and super awesome optional mandatory multiplayer co-op! Wooo Testosterone Fueled RAAAAAGE. You know to appeal to a "wider audience."

The point is, sir, that its not that they would include an "easy mode" its the fact that they feel the need to add one to "appeal to a wider audience." If they want to go the Mass Effect 3 route and have a "story only mode," then go for it, but they are advertising this easy mode as a selling point to directly appeal to a wider audience.

Its this cancerous tumour idea that their product can't sell on its own merits without somehow finding a way to make as many people as possible interested in the product regardless of genre. "Oh, we added an easy mode, now lots of people will like us now! Right?" Yeah, no, doesn't work that way. Hey Jim, remember Brutal Legend? The game infamous for mis-marketing? Oh yeah, its an action RPG! No it wasn't, it was an RTS. Because they thought that not enough people would buy the game if they actually told people what the game was.

TopazFusion:

JustanotherGamer:
if you don't like the game why do you want to play it?

If you don't like easy mode, why can't you ignore it?

If you were reading, you would have seen why I can't just ignore it here:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.395777-Jimquisition-Dumbing-Down-for-the-Filthy-Casuals?page=18#16100193

But an easy mode DOES affect players regardless of whether or not they use it. One of the reasons why Dark Souls is so successful, why it has such a devoted and dedicated following in the first game is because it's one of the few modern AAA games in which there exists the possibility for failure, that you might not be able to complete the game. This gives the game a huge sense of tension and dread which makes progressing through the game all the more satisfying. If you add an easy mode which is designed specifically to allow everyone to complete the game, even if I never use the feature it changes the game. All that tension and dread, it all vanishes. It's gone completely. There is always an easy way out if things get challenging. I am at that point guaranteed to beat the game.

You can say "It's optional", but it subtly affects my entire gaming experience even if I never use it.

I'm being respectful here. I've done nothing but respond to everyone calmly and without insult, but I'm getting pretty annoyed by all your content. You all are rehashing the same questions and when I address them, like how Dark Souls is not going to be easily converted to an easy mode, and despite my addressing your questions and arguments you ignore them and keep strawmanning people in this thread. It's getting old.

chadachada123:

It really isn't about "no girls allowed" when I gush about how great Demon's/Dark Souls is. I truly want others to enjoy the punishment and the satisfaction like I did, and I also fully recognize that this punishment isn't for everyone. You don't need to be a "hardcore gamer" to enjoy Dark Souls, you just need to be open to learning and experimentation, something that most games DISCOURAGE more than anything, and something that the "casual" gamer dismisses as well.

Let me put it this way for you. I really like Devil May Cry 3. I can play it on Dante Must Die, where I'm forced to come up with the best methods of handling any boss and where experimenting/mastering all of the weapons is necessary. I loved playing as a Royal Guard where I had to perfectly time each of my opponents hits in order to block all damage they would deal. I also recognize that this is incredibly difficult, though rewarding (there is nothing quite like earning an SSS). I recognize not everyone can do what I do, and I recognize that that is why Devil May Cry 3 has a human(easy) mode. That human mode (which existed in the two games prior) did not harm my game. It did nothing to me or people that play like me. Devil May Cry 4 still came about and had modes that were just as difficult as what I had experienced in DMC3(well maybe not AS hard, but very close). All an easy mode did was allow those who weren't to good at the game to still get to experience the awesome(ly bad) story and characters. The community for my game grew because of it and I found more people to talk to about it. This is an empirical example of how an easy mode does not effect the hardcore gamer and how those that play on easy can still experience the awesomeness of the story and world (which is one of the better things about Dark Souls, IMO) and wont be discouraged from playing.

What I tend to see around this argument is people who tout that the game shouldn't have an easy mode because it would invite casuals and they want to keep their game hardcore. That may not be you, but that is the majority of people I see here.

I worry that if an easy mode is presented, many people won't ever get the same satisfaction I got, because they won't ever be forced to learn, never forced to experiment, never forced to learn the insides and outsides of the game before conquering it. The sole exception, that you've mentioned, is the gamer that would still be struggling in an easy mode, forced on the same path of learning/punishment that I was on except on an "easier" scale.

An easy mode is almost always the same game but on an 'easier' scale. That is why they call it an easy mode. If there was an easy mode in Dark Souls you wouldn't arrive in fucking Celestia and shit rainbows to attack enemies, it would be the same game but with nerfed enemies. I can guarantee that, and I'm not even making the game. If an easy mode being the same troubles you faced on normal, but slightly less difficult is grounds for you to withdraw your apprehension towards an easy mode, then it is time to withdraw.

Korten12:

GrimHeaper:

Korten12:

You should get a job in jumping over points. You would be really good at it.

What happens afterwards or before has no bearing on the current story. It's a self-contained story that in a time of dark, even the smallest light can grow strong.

Also considering Dark Souls II has been highly hinted to be a prequel or a sequel but taking place in a far off land. It has no bearing either way to Dark Souls story.

The same way harry potter is a self contained story.
Let me guess The hobbit has no bearing at all on The Lord of the Ring's books either right?
It would help if you actually made a point instead of trite reasons.

Never mind I know your a troll now. You don't understand what I am talking about and bringing up random shit to make your point seem valid. Considering that Dark Souls world has been screwed up before the game begins and there was a large war before it. That can easily be used as the setting. Since once again in DS2 your an undead. Now just stop arguing as you make no points. Your examples make no sense in the context of this arguments. Different stories have different rules and how their stories are have no baring on this. Dark Souls is a universe not just one story. Just because they won't have the exact story doesn't mean it takes away from the tone the other games have set.

What's next you are going to tell me DMC 3 had no bearing from DMC1.
Let me guess it doesn't matter which mass effect is played it has no bearing on the story. What color of dark souls would you like Red, green, or blue?

Storys that are intertwined have the same rule they are connected just because an event happens on the other side of the world or a different time doesn't mean they aren't connected that's the talk of first world punks. I mean really just you don't care about something else because it happens further away or slightly before or after your time when you KNOW about it?
If you are saying that at all it means you don't give a damn about the story to begin with.

No, all stories follow the same rule barring those that are in alternate realities and even those follow the same rules for the most part eventually interlinking with the main itself. Earth-1 and earth-2 ring any bells?

GrimHeaper:

Korten12:

GrimHeaper:

The same way harry potter is a self contained story.
Let me guess The hobbit has no bearing at all on The Lord of the Ring's books either right?
It would help if you actually made a point instead of trite reasons.

Never mind I know your a troll now. You don't understand what I am talking about and bringing up random shit to make your point seem valid. Considering that Dark Souls world has been screwed up before the game begins and there was a large war before it. That can easily be used as the setting. Since once again in DS2 your an undead. Now just stop arguing as you make no points. Your examples make no sense in the context of this arguments. Different stories have different rules and how their stories are have no baring on this. Dark Souls is a universe not just one story. Just because they won't have the exact story doesn't mean it takes away from the tone the other games have set.

What's next you are going to tell me DMC 3 had no bearing from DMC1.
Let me guess it doesn't matter which mass effect is played it has no bearing on the story. What color of dark souls would you like Red, green, or blue?

Storys that are intertwined have the same rule they are connected just because an event happens on the other side of the world or a different time doesn't mean they aren't connected that's the talk of first world punks. I mean really just you don't care about something else because it happens further away or slightly before or after your time when you KNOW about it?
If you are saying that at all it means you don't give a damn about the story to begin with.

No, all stories follow the same rule barring those that are in alternate realities and even those follow the same rules for the most part eventually interlinking with the main itself. Earth-1 and earth-2 ring any bells?

Problem is that yur examples are direct sequels. Dark Souls 2 will be either a indirect sequel or prequel. It's not like mass effect with Shepard always there or DMC with Dante or another character who is in contact. All I am saying is that they aren't going to suddenly change the themes, tones, and style for the sake of being a sequel or prequel. Dark Souls 2 is most likely a prequel that takes place during the age of fire or during the war against the dragons. Either way your another undead, not a god. They aren't going to suddenly change the dark and despaired tone of be series. That is what I think you don't get. Dark Souls is Dark Fantasy, it's not going to become high fantasy or just standard fantasy. If Ds2 is a prequel than most likely the next game will be a new world with no connections to dark souls.

Korten12:

GrimHeaper:

Korten12:

Never mind I know your a troll now. You don't understand what I am talking about and bringing up random shit to make your point seem valid. Considering that Dark Souls world has been screwed up before the game begins and there was a large war before it. That can easily be used as the setting. Since once again in DS2 your an undead. Now just stop arguing as you make no points. Your examples make no sense in the context of this arguments. Different stories have different rules and how their stories are have no baring on this. Dark Souls is a universe not just one story. Just because they won't have the exact story doesn't mean it takes away from the tone the other games have set.

What's next you are going to tell me DMC 3 had no bearing from DMC1.
Let me guess it doesn't matter which mass effect is played it has no bearing on the story. What color of dark souls would you like Red, green, or blue?

Storys that are intertwined have the same rule they are connected just because an event happens on the other side of the world or a different time doesn't mean they aren't connected that's the talk of first world punks. I mean really just you don't care about something else because it happens further away or slightly before or after your time when you KNOW about it?
If you are saying that at all it means you don't give a damn about the story to begin with.

No, all stories follow the same rule barring those that are in alternate realities and even those follow the same rules for the most part eventually interlinking with the main itself. Earth-1 and earth-2 ring any bells?

Problem is that yur examples are direct sequels. Dark Souls 2 will be either a indirect sequel or prequel. It's not like mass effect with Shepard always there or DMC with Dante or another character who is in contact. All I am saying is that they aren't going to suddenly change the themes, tones, and style for the sake of being a sequel or prequel. Dark Souls 2 is most likely a prequel that takes place during the age of fire or during the war against the dragons. Either way your another undead, not a god. They aren't going to suddenly change the dark and despaired tone of be series. That is what I think you don't get. Dark Souls is Dark Fantasy, it's not going to become high fantasy or just standard fantasy. If Ds2 is a prequel than most likely the next game will be a new world with no connections to dark souls.

Except that it would have connections, you don't know how this kind of thing works do you?

Grim How can you expect every game to pander to your tastes? Must you like everything do you ask they dumb down the times crossword just so more people can do it? Do you want bitter to taste more like wine? Why do you need to smash a perfect experience into a pile of steaning shit just because you don't like to try the experience as the creators wanted you to?

Is it too much to think something got made that isn't for you?
Do you cry because you want to like it but can't or do you feel shame and cowardice when others talk about dark souls?

I just don't get why you want to play a game you nether like or understand?

GrimHeaper:

Korten12:

GrimHeaper:

What's next you are going to tell me DMC 3 had no bearing from DMC1.
Let me guess it doesn't matter which mass effect is played it has no bearing on the story. What color of dark souls would you like Red, green, or blue?

Storys that are intertwined have the same rule they are connected just because an event happens on the other side of the world or a different time doesn't mean they aren't connected that's the talk of first world punks. I mean really just you don't care about something else because it happens further away or slightly before or after your time when you KNOW about it?
If you are saying that at all it means you don't give a damn about the story to begin with.

No, all stories follow the same rule barring those that are in alternate realities and even those follow the same rules for the most part eventually interlinking with the main itself. Earth-1 and earth-2 ring any bells?

Problem is that yur examples are direct sequels. Dark Souls 2 will be either a indirect sequel or prequel. It's not like mass effect with Shepard always there or DMC with Dante or another character who is in contact. All I am saying is that they aren't going to suddenly change the themes, tones, and style for the sake of being a sequel or prequel. Dark Souls 2 is most likely a prequel that takes place during the age of fire or during the war against the dragons. Either way your another undead, not a god. They aren't going to suddenly change the dark and despaired tone of be series. That is what I think you don't get. Dark Souls is Dark Fantasy, it's not going to become high fantasy or just standard fantasy. If Ds2 is a prequel than most likely the next game will be a new world with no connections to dark souls.

Except that it would have connections, you don't know how this kind of thing works do you?

Dark souls and Demons souls. Both are similar style and tone but take place in different universes. The dark and depressing is the shtick of the soul series. So if one universe becomes unusable and there is no more dark stories to be told. They will move on to another world.

chadachada123:

What I tend to see around this argument is people who tout that the game shouldn't have an easy mode because it would invite casuals and they want to keep their game hardcore. That may not be you, but that is the majority of people I see here.

I worry that if an easy mode is presented, many people won't ever get the same satisfaction I got, because they won't ever be forced to learn, never forced to experiment, never forced to learn the insides and outsides of the game before conquering it. The sole exception, that you've mentioned, is the gamer that would still be struggling in an easy mode, forced on the same path of learning/punishment that I was on except on an "easier" scale.

An easy mode is almost always the same game but on an 'easier' scale. That is why they call it an easy mode. If there was an easy mode in Dark Souls you wouldn't arrive in fucking Celestia and shit rainbows to attack enemies, it would be the same game but with nerfed enemies. I can guarantee that, and I'm not even making the game. If an easy mode being the same troubles you faced on normal, but slightly less difficult is grounds for you to withdraw your apprehension towards an easy mode, then it is time to withdraw.

If you know anything about Dark Souls, then you can see why this would be a problem for people playing it. Unless the main game itself was drastically changed (exactly what people fear) then as you said people who want a casual experience would be basically playing the same game... with the same memorization, complicated mechanics and unforgiving systems, only they'd be able to take and/or deal more damage. This would either mean the game would STILL be too cruelly hard for them, nerfed to the point where the experience is so simple it no longer reflects the actual game, or something very different from Dark Souls.

So yeah.

This is where Jim's parroted argument without examining it crap falls apart, and why I was screaming Jump the Shark, because the Jimquistion used to be much better researched, thought out and considered than this.

Jim, like in roughly 1/3 of his videos is flat out wrong. Then again I do disagree with 2/3 of his videos so there you go.

No, a difficulty level doesn't cut it. Numeric variables can be adjusted to make a system easier or more difficult and certain mechanics may be introduced - like the Mario mode. That's an exception, not the rule.

Difficulty and learning curve is defined not only by numeric parameters but also the underlying systems and their complexity. Game difficulty is about how well you perform an action, which can be adjusted by a sliding difficulty scale, and underlying mechanics.

You cannot make a simplified version of the mechanics to cater to the easy-mode players as you're effectively developing a second, parallel game, just with the same assets. Sure, it worked for Mario, a platformer game. The simplest type of game mechanic there is.

What happens when you want your game to range from easy to hard? Alpha Protocol is a good example, ripe with examples where the design team had a specific parameter set in range - not enough work was put into actually tweaking the difficulty and adjusting the core game, instead all it did was change the values a bit. The result is a game that is easy for the most part but with extremely difficult boss fights for example - like a guy in a tracksuit you could empty all of your ammo in and he'd still keep on shooting.

And then there are multiplayer games, where difficulty isn't really selectable. You define the difficulty of the game by mechanics - how much is based on skill and how much on luck also what mechanics are available. You can't influence the players really, you can make the game easy to learn however. At the cost of it being simple and shallow.

BilltheEmu:

Jimothy, you magnificent bastard. I've enjoyed your show for some time, but only now do I feel compelled to register here to make a comment. I know that you are not likely to read it yourself, but I'd like to respond to this post and toss my two cents into this absurd argument. (After writing what was on my mind, it seems that it came out closer to $37 than two cents HOPE YOU GUYS LIKE WALLS OF TEXT)

I will preface this by saying that Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are my two favorite games this generation. I absolutely adore these games, and despite their flaws, they offer something unique and wonderful to the gaming community. I would love for more people to play these games and enjoy them as much as I do. And if people would be more likely to play the games, should an "Easy Mode" suddenly exist for them, it would be fine with me. It would detract nothing, in my opinion, to have that option, given that it would have no effect on the existing game as it has already been played by myself and others.

Having said that, allow me to explain why I become concerned upon hearing the words "more accessible," in relation to Dark Souls. It has nothing to do with Dark Souls, as many people in this thread seem to be arguing over, and absolutely everything to do with the recently announced Dark Souls II. The first game already exists, and nothing can change how much enjoyment I have derived from being pummeled to death by its assortment of monstrosities. If the developers, for some reason, were to patch in an easy mode into the game, to draw in more players, that would be fantastic (although it will never happen). But the second Dark Souls is currently in production, and none of us have any clue what may or may not be done to increase "accessibility," and this is the source of my concern. I want Dark Souls II to improve on Dark Souls I in the same ways that Dark Souls improved upon Demon's Souls. I do not want it to go the way of Ninja Gaiden 3. This isn't the cause for a massive dramastorm, but it IS something that I am quite passionate about.

The adaptations made when transitioning from Demon's Souls to Dark Souls were numerous, but ultimately led to a better game. The estus flasks vs. healing grass was a huge improvement, since you never had to farm healing again, and it prevented you from building up a stock of hundreds of healing items to trivialize the game (In Demon's Souls, you were likely to end up with more healing grass than you could carry by the end of the game, in Dark Souls, you can farm humanity, but you definitely have to go out of your way, and it's entirely unnecessary). Having bonfires instead of archstones was another great improvement, because it worked as a replacement for having to teleport to the Nexus (loading screen), then talk to the Maiden in Black to level up, talk to Stockpile Thomas to move your inventory around, talk to Blacksmith Ed to repair your stuff, and teleport back again (loading screen). In Dark Souls you could do all of that from one menu, with no loading screens, and heal, and refill your flasks. Also, the carry weight restriction was removed, meaning you would no longer permanently lose that massive tower shield, because you were carrying around three extra arrows.

These changes simplified the game, and streamlined its mechanics. They were good changes. Nobody, to the best of my knowledge, has complained that there was no more carry burden. Or world tendency. I love Demon's Souls, but world tendency was an awful mechanic. What will the changes from Dark Souls I to Dark Souls II look like?

There are several aspects that people have mentioned that affect difficulty, such as the lack of checkpoints, loss of souls on death, and a lack of direction given by the game as a whole. These mechanics are very important to the game, and creating tension, and a feeling of risk that isn't present in other games. If players want an easy mode to change these things, that's fine. However, I feel like such large changes to gameplay like that would not simply be contained within easy mode. I feel like the more likely scenario is that such changes would be made to the core game, not reliant on any difficulty setting. And the thought of this is extremely disheartening to me, because that would most certainly be the homogenizing of the one series that I appreciate the most for being different than other games that don't hold my interest so much anymore.

From managed to make these changes between Demon's and Dark without making the game significantly easier. Dark Souls was not a great deal more accessible than Demon's Souls. Many aspects of the game remain obfuscated, nothing is particularly more forgiving, and the player is still expected to die repeatedly. This is due to its excellent level and boss design (Lost Izalith and Bed of Chaos excluded). The game is crafted with only one difficulty in mind: Punishing. Punishing is different from hard, and whether or not the game is hard has been argued extensively, but it will certainly punish a player's mistakes, and punish them hard. This, for me and many others, is one of the major draws of this game, making it fun to play, and combining with the world, lore, and art to make a cohesive experience.

But, this is where some people get left behind. Some players are unable to overcome the difficulty for any reason. I've been playing games my entire life, not everyone else has, I acknowledge that, and I don't begrudge anyone for it. Including the option to reduce the difficulty should allow these players to complete this game that they wouldn't otherwise be able to complete. I support the idea that people should be able to play the game how they want to. But in the case of Dark Souls, what would it take to implement the variable difficulty, and what effect could an easy mode possibly have on the game as I play it?

If From were to patch Dark Souls, and add in this easy mode, would it simply be a reduction in HP/damage for all of the baddies? Many ardent fans of the game have argued that this would not work, for many reasons, and I agree. It would take much more work than just adjusting those values, to properly scale down the difficulty of the entire game. Take, for example, the archers in Anor Londo (http://youtu.be/x8FQ1DUp35Y?t=10m). For just about everyone, the first time, these guys are a huge obstacle. If you reduce their hp and their damage, they will still murder you again and again until you figure out what to do. What do you do for these guys? You could, I suppose, greatly reduce their knockback, or you could change their AI to make them fire slower, take their sword out sooner, or not use a shield at all. Or you could just remove the archer on the right entirely. All of these could, in theory, be done. But this is rebalancing a very specific part of that level, after it's already been balanced for normal, and modifications of that sort would certainly take more time and effort than a simple HP tweak. And there are many more adjustments of the same sort they would have to make in many other areas, as well. This could be a lot of effort to rebalance the game for an easier difficulty, and applying this to creating a new game, this leads to the argument of taking resources away from other aspects of the game to make an easy mode.

That situation, however, would only apply if they created the entire game, from the ground up, for a single difficulty, and then went back at the end and adjusted it down. Obviously, this would be the "Easy mode patch for Dark Souls" idea. But my concern is Dark Souls II, for which they have possibly been considering accessibility from the outset. They might approach such a scenario differently. For example, worried about alienating players, they might reduce the difficulty by making the ledges larger, or perhaps giving the player a safety net to fall onto, a ledge below to land on if they get knocked off by the arrow. They might alter the level design so that the archers can't get as good of an angle on you, or maybe place them higher up, so that you don't need to fight one to progress. They're REALLY not likely to make those changes in a patch, but while building a level from scratch, nothing is set in stone. And if they're concerned about the difficulty pushing players away, they might make decisions based on level design to make it more forgiving. Such decisions would carry over to all difficulties, and reduce the impact of level design on the overall challenge of the game.

And this is my primary concern. Level design. It cannot be simply adjusted by dividing it in two. They are not going to make two different levels for two different difficulties, so any reduction in outright difficulty with regards to level design will affect those who play it on easy, and those who play it on hard.

Now of course, this is all just a huge pile of speculation, based on rumors of interviews that have likely been mistranslated. This is not me saying "I know this is going to happen, my favorite series is ruined forever!" I'm saying that I hope it doesn't play out that way. For all I know, From Software is creating the most challenging and rewarding game ever, and that once they're done, they'll go back and redo the entire thing for an easier difficulty level, and it will be amazing and all gamers everywhere will enjoy it. But this is not the image in my mind after I hear the words "more accessible" being tossed around in articles about Dark Souls II. The image I'm seeing is Ninja Gaiden 3. They had the first game, and it was hard. They added a lower difficulty in the re-release, and all was well. The second game was similar. Then, from what I can tell from the reviews, they tried to change small aspects of the core gameplay to make it "more accessible," and all of the reviews seem to suggest that the charm of the original was lost.

This is the analogy that you used Jim, and it is exactly what I don't want to happen to Dark Souls. So in response to why would it bother me if they included an optional feature that wouldn't affect my gameplay at all, I say that it wouldn't bother me, so long as it ACTUALLY doesn't affect my gameplay at all. With regards to the already released Dark Souls, it should not matter one bit to anyone if they patched in an easy mode. For Dark Souls II, I hope that From Software finds some magical solution to make everyone happy, I really do. But you will forgive those of us who acknowledge that there is a precedent in the gaming industry, as we have all come to know it over the years, of trying to broaden the appeal of a game series, only to have the final product suffer for it. Hearing those magic marketing words sends up huge red flags for people getting their hopes up for a sequel.

In the end, I'm still hopeful about Dark Souls II. If it doesn't live up to my expectations, I suppose I'll be a bit disappointed, won't I? It won't be the end of the world, though, I'll still buy it and enjoy it. But games as a whole are magnificent, and I'd like to see them living up to their full potential.

If only Dark Souls II could be so grossly incandescent.

SO! How can we make Dark Souls II more accessible to newer players without reducing the experience for experienced players? I suggest that we keep the difficulty as it is entirely, but if the player dies too many times in one area, a summon sign will appear for Soluigi, who will then murder everything for you and accompany you to the boss battle, and then praise the sun a whole lot.

This guy wins the internet.

I would claim you a gentleman and a scholar, but I'm afraid that this game needs more solaire, not soluigi :D

BiH-Kira:

I assume that all resistances can also be edited with a few numbers. Increase the curse resistances of every armor.

Also, you seem to assume that "Easy mode" should remove all the challenges and insta-kills. I don't see a problem with Seethe the Scaleless or with fighting multiple enemies. As long as enemies are weaker, deal less damage and have less health, people will learn. The majority of people that want an Easy mode isn't because they don't want any challenge. It's because the normal challenge is too much for them. Poison in Blighttown, curses, traps... all of them are dangerous things, but they can be avoided easily. Even the worst player would realize that standing in the swamp in Blighttown will poison you. Everyone will know that falling of a ledge will kill you if the fall is long.
However, not matter how much you know that the Capra Demon will kill you 2 hits, if you're not skilled enough, you won't be able to avoid it.

Also, "dumbing down" happens when the normal mode is actually easy and then they make a "hard mode". That way the core game is balanced around unskilled people and even the hard mode is easy and/or bad because it's just number changes.
However, if you do it the other way around, if you make a game hard on normal and after that add an easy mode, number changes are OK, because it's the core game made a bit easier. Sure, it would be nice to have different AI's for different difficulty levels, but that's not needed if you go from hard to easy.

Again, I don't think everything needs to change. Traps and co aren't the main danger in DS. It's the enemies. Enemies require skill to be beaten, traps require just a bit of thinking. Nerf the things that require skill so that they require less, let the rest be the same.

Ok, so maybe I give gamers crying out for an easy mode too little credit, but my greatest fear still remains. I'm afraid that with the upsurge in the gaming community saying that the game needs to be more accessible or easy to beat for some people, that they will change their design philosophy for the next game in the series so that the game is initially tuned for lower-skilled players, and then "hard" is tacked on for those of us that like it rough.

Korten12:

Let me explain this... Again... A game like Dues Ex is built with multiple difficulties in mind. How it's created allows for the developers to add more enemies, do higher damage, and such. Dark Souls is not. The level design, how each level is played is centered around being hard. Just adding more enemies and increasing health and damage for a hard mode, or lessening them is missing the point as to why Dark Souls is hard.

It's hard because the levels are made to be. In most games like I mentioned (with Dues Ex) are built with multiple difficulties, where as Dark Souls isn't. Hence if they wanted to add Easy mode, they would have to change the whole way difficulties work because at the current moment it wouldn't work just changing the stats on enemies.

Thus this is why Easy mode would hamper the game as they would be forced to change how Dark Souls is played unless they want to design the game twice which is just stupid and asking for a lot.

Korten12:
[quote="Xisin" post="6.395777.16093815"]
I disagree with you here. I'm terrible at FPSs, so my husband put Dues Ex: Human Revolution on the hardest difficulty. You can change the difficulty mode at any point in time in that game, yet I played it all the way through on the hardest setting. I died 3 times right after he asks if you want to go lethal or non-lethal... If you feel the need to go down a setting perhaps you are not having as good a time as you thought you were? Having the option doesn't force you to take it. Just because human's like to take the easiest path, doesn't mean you have to.

Besides challenge is relative. What is hard for me, is different than what is hard for you. So why not have options to challenge us both?

Let me explain this... Again... A game like Dues Ex is built with multiple difficulties in mind. How it's created allows for the developers to add more enemies, do higher damage, and such. Dark Souls is not. The level design, how each level is played is centered around being hard. Just adding more enemies and increasing health and damage for a hard mode, or lessening them is missing the point as to why Dark Souls is hard.

It's hard because the levels are made to be. In most games like I mentioned (with Dues Ex) are built with multiple difficulties, where as Dark Souls isn't. Hence if they wanted to add Easy mode, they would have to change the whole way difficulties work because at the current moment it wouldn't work just changing the stats on enemies.

Thus this is why Easy mode would hamper the game as they would be forced to change how Dark Souls is played unless they want to design the game twice which is just stupid and asking for a lot.

If the dev team is willing to change the game to give an easy mode, why should we protest? Saying it would be hard to implement an Easy Mode is not much of a reason to not implement an Easy Mode. Fundamentally changing something to fit a different audience happens all the time.

What I don't get is why you are so against it. An easy mode will not effect you or me for that matter. You still have your game and I still have mine, but with the new mode perhaps my mom will give it a go again.

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