Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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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.

Xisin:

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.

From Software never said they were willing to make an easy mode.

For the first time in this thread i'm going to skip over a few pages because it's nearly 4am and i'm tired and i want to put a couple of things out there i was thinking about today. Forgive me if some of this has been said by someone else between page 16 and 22.

I have said it before : It is the multiplayer component of this game that is the main cause of concern for having optional difficulties. It seems that a lot of the "easy mode please" side of the debate view this game as a "single player RPG". That is just not entirely true. The RPG can be played as single player only, but it was never intended by the creators to be the optimal experience of the game. The entire game was built with the online experience at it's core with the difficulty.

Now, as i can see it, if there were easy and normal difficulty levels, the multiplayer would have to be pretty much 1 of 3 options. If there are any other obvious ones i haven't thought of, please feel free to point them out, but i can only find 3.

1st option - Easy and Normal mode players are in the same multiplayer groups on the same servers.

The problem here would be balance and problems arising in the community. Easy mode players could blast through to the high end content and equip the best gear with more ease than normal mode players. Not all could, but a LOT could This would impact the player base in the following ways:

- Easy mode player this would have a positive effect on as they could gear and level easily, and have an advantage against newer players playing on normal. This would also encourage the griefing crowd, as they could burn through the game and then just gank the hell out of people over and over again, and basically drag the level of community down.

- "Pro" normal mode player probably wouldn't be affected in multiplayer as their skill would probably outweigh the easy mode players gear easy enough.

- Beginner player, playing on normal mode. Would get frustrated that players choosing the easy option could gear the hell out of themselves while they are working hard trying to get to the same gear level.

2nd Option - Segregated Servers for "Easy Mode" and "Normal". Detrimental in two ways. One it would divide the community, and make it smaller in the long run on both sides of the fence. 2. It is an unnecessary cost and maintenance for the devs to gamble on a 2nd bunch of "easy" servers. Once you start them, even if you only have 100 players wind up using them, you offered the service and now you have to keep providing it. Taking resources away from future development projects.

3rd Option - Offline only easy mode. Probably the safest bet of the three, but , it cuts out a lot of the game for the easy mode players. So still slightly detrimental, and would still overall probably make the online community smaller.

My other point is, i guess the integrity of the game argument can kind of be summed up by the fact it seems that the easy mode side and the no easy mode side just view the game differently.

To me, it seems that the people who want easy mode solely view Dark Souls as a commodity that they purchase, which isn't necessarily wrong i guess.

The people who are anti easy mode seem , like myself, to view dark souls as a work of art, not just a commodity.

Here is the best analogy i can come up with for how it appears to me, as i view the game as a piece of art: (with both adding an after the fact easy mode, and catering to the easy mode group with the new game)

A person sees a painting for sale at an exhibit and thinks, ooooh that looks nice, i'll buy it. The person takes the painting home, and hangs it up. The colours don't match their decor and they don't particularly like it anymore. The person then takes the painting back to the artist and says "This isn't to my personal taste, please alter the colours so they work for me, or better yet, next time, paint multiple versions of the same painting in different colours so you aren't excluding one particular person's decor."

Would anyone really expect that of a painter? It really is the same thing if you view dark souls as an artwork, which to me it really truly is.

Honestly, i would like the beginning of the game to be a little more accessible for beginners. I would love an expanded community, but i don't think the artists should have to compromise their work because some don't appreciate what they have done as it is. I don't know what the right answer is to make it more accessible, maybe better tutorial and better in game descriptions of stats for the character and items.

Maybe it's just fine how it is. In the end, it is up to From Software what they want to do with their artwork. I trust them to do the right thing, and if they find a way to implement an easier option for some that DOESNT take away from my game AT ALL, then fantastic :D I just can't see a way with this game, without there being SOME detriment elsewhere.

Auron:
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.

The problem with Hitman Absolution on Purist Mode is that it wasn't how the game was designed. The game was built around using the new features in the easier modes, and the only way they made it hard was by taking a core mechanic that is somewhat needed in the game, away from the player, and therefore forcing them to play purist in one way only : Don't be seen.

Although i enjoyed the game, and played it through on normal (The second easiest difficulty) the Instinct mechanic was so imbedded in the design of the game, taking it away for purist makes it a false difficulty, and is a completely backwards and unsatisfactory way of making successful easy/hard modes in my opinion.

BilltheEmu:
I would love for more people to play these games and enjoy them as much as I do.

Quite so, I feel much the same. Still I feel it necessary to add that these games, like any other creative work, should be learned to be appreciated in their original, intended form (unless there was something blatantly disturbing or distasteful). Game developers have to stop pandering to any specific demographics in order for their work to be considered a work of art. This is what any creative mind should like to aspire towards, I think.

Meaning of Karma said something very similar some ten pages ago:

Meaning of Karma:
You know, this thread has made me come to the realization that, if video games truly want to be on par with movies and novels as an artistic medium, then they need to stop being so consumer centric, and they need to stop pandering to the people who perpetuate that culture.

If you do not have the knowledge required to truly appreciate, say, War and Peace, would you demand that Tolstoy release a version that is easier to understand?

Let me also make a reference to Edmund Snow Carpenter's They "Became What They Beheld" and its foreword (I first encountered this work here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm-Jjvqu3U4&list=LLZfVa5LeJDCBa62O_HUSTlA Let it act as a source.). There it is stated that artists do not address themselves to audiencies, but instead create them. It continues to say that an artist merely talks out loud and if what they have said is significant, others hear and are affected.

I sincerely agree with this myself, and if it can be agreed upon in general the only thing that remains to be debatable is this; do we want games to be viewed as a form of art or should they be purposefully created pieces of consumable entertainment? Note that art can be entertaining but it usually is not specifically designed to be consumed as entertainment by anyone specific. I think there can be a place for both, but on avarage a piece of art is inherently more precious than a piece of purposeful entertainment.

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.

You seem to forget that games can also be revisited. I know I have done so with almost all of my favorite games, music, books and movies, because every single one of them offers some unique experience that I like to relive from time to time.

VyceVictus:
This seems like saying Bionic commando is a difficulty game that happens to be a platformer or Ikaruga is a difficulty game that happens to be a shooter. Which one could certainly argue. But then there are core mechanics that definitively classify them; DS with its stats, items, weapons, and experience is no different. It still is an RPG at the end of the day. taking the difficulty out of Darks souls (again not what Im advocating, Im advocating the right to optional accessibility) is not the same thing as taking out the bullets in a bullet hell game. If you took out the Difficulty, it would still be an rpg. If you took out the bullets, it would be....the flash game "Loneliness"
But in general, there could be any multitude of ways, fixing the manual, streamlining some mechanics, anything, that could be done to up the experience accessibility without ruining the core challenge or just plopping in a watered down "easy mode". Iam very curious to see what they have in store for the sequel.

You view Dark Souls as just another game where the difficulty doesn't really drive the experience or define it in any meaningful way, just like your examples. And that is what you want Dark Souls to turn into. That is the very thing Souls fans fear most. It's just another RPG to you, so of course YOU don't care if it is difficult. All that's at stake for YOU in this is just another shitty RPG to toss on your heap. This is like taking my hundred dollar bill and burning it in front of me. Please just leave us alone with our unique experience and play whatever it is that you like. You cannot possibly be starved for easy games to play.

Pure uncut epic Jim. I will go back to being your mindless groupie.

EDIT: Foolishly, I actually engaged them in logical discourse, and you can read for yourself the numerous, and endless fallacies therein in the following pages.

Anyone who actually wants to try and make an argument: you already know where you stand, and we both know that isn't going to change.

I apologize for being overly condescending and inflammatory in my opening comment.
Apart from that, I make no apologies since they dragged ME into the fray.

Atmos Duality:
instead of whining my ass off like a pretentious fuckhead

Exploiting people's hatred and prejudice is the secret to getting a spot at the escapist, apparently. First MovieBob, and now Mr. Sterling. MovieBob tried to mask it, Mr. Sterling doesn't bother. I know this is just video games and not real life, but all the same I really wouldn't want to think of myself as the Bill O'Reilly of video games.

Stay classy Jim Sterling.

I've decided to try the alternative approach, and just find other games that possess the qualities I enjoy.

The irony in that statement is so excruciatingly over-the-top I can barely take my pinky off the 'period' key..............................................

Atmos Duality:
22 pages. I sense toxic levels of nonsense and bullshit, so I'm just going to skip the conversation and comment based on the video.

I agree, Mr. Sterling.
-Option means "optional", and not "mandatory".
-The presence of an Easy mode somehow infringing on Normal/Hard has zero logical, objective basis.

If the changes to the premise between games in a series were mandatory, I could see something of a problem there akin to "Bait-and-Switch" marketing (assuming the changes were for the worse).

For a while, I worried about trends like that in gaming; those that dumb down the experience, rip out nuance and exclude other mechanics by the market's popular vote, but instead of whining my ass off like a pretentious fuckhead, I've decided to try the alternative approach, and just find other games that possess the qualities I enjoy.

It's much less stressful, and far more logical.

So what games have you found that are hard or provide challenge?
Also every hour put into making an easy mode is taking from the next game yada yada, though I am more interested in my first question.

I dont normally care for Jimquistition but reading the title made it clear that this was going to be, in part, about dark souls. So I have to come in and talk about my point of view which Ive talked about in multiple threads across the gaming discussion forum.

While for many games I would agree that making them appeal to wider audiences through difficulty modes would be alright as long as it didnt make the game worse there is another problem. However, games like Dark souls are THE exception.

The argument Jim puts out there that Souls fans were mad about the fact that Dark souls could be enjoyed by more people but thats a red herring. The argument of the souls community has never been that more people will be able to enjoy dark souls, in fact the community by large has always tried to include as many people as possible by offering assistance in the form of knowledge and advice. The argument from the majority of the community is and has always been that an easy mode cheapens the game.

I probably could, and maybe even have, written enough about this subject that it could fill a book but the problem is I dont think that argument is going to reach Jim. So it isnt one worth having here. I hope in the future he stays away from these red herrings and listens to the actual argument that communities make

Rooster Cogburn:
Exploiting people's hatred and prejudice is the secret to getting a spot at the escapist, apparently.

Exploitation of anger over First World Problems is by no means limited to the Escapist.

BioRex:

So what games have you found that are hard or provide challenge?

Recently, FTL: Faster Than Light
Highly replayable, pretty brutal in places, though sometimes the luck factor pushes a bit too far.
Still, I love the game.

Less recently, The Binding of Isaac
It's legitimately difficult without resorting entirely to abusive spam (it's quite possible to win without any upgrades, though it's hard as balls to do so).

Also every hour put into making an easy mode is taking from the next game yada yada, though I am more interested in my first question.

Wha?
Barring the powers of time travel, every hour put into ANY aspect of a game is "taking from the next game".

Atmos Duality:

Rooster Cogburn:
Exploiting people's hatred and prejudice is the secret to getting a spot at the escapist, apparently.

Exploitation of anger over First World Problems is by no means limited to the Escapist.

BioRex:

So what games have you found that are hard or provide challenge?

Recently, FTL: Faster Than Light
Highly replayable, pretty brutal in places, though sometimes the luck factor pushes a bit too far.
Still, I love the game.

Less recently, The Binding of Isaac
It's legitimately difficult without resorting entirely to abusive spam (it's quite possible to win without any upgrades, though it's hard as balls to do so).

Also every hour put into making an easy mode is taking from the next game yada yada, though I am more interested in my first question.

Wha?
Barring the powers of time travel, every hour put into ANY aspect of a game is "taking from the next game".

Well the statement that putting in an easy mode effects nothing is false unless they do have a time machine.
Also good games, I've faster then light seems very cool strategy. And I've played Binding of Isaac a lot, which while hard is not insanely hard. Its a rougelike so its to be expected that the difficulty can be a bit random at times. Now that I think on it wouldn't putting an easy mode in binding be redundant as well? Given that the challenge varies based on what you are given?

Atmos Duality:

Rooster Cogburn:
Exploiting people's hatred and prejudice is the secret to getting a spot at the escapist, apparently.

Exploitation of anger over First World Problems is by no means limited to the Escapist.

I can't figure out what that means in this context. Who is angry and what is their first world problem?

Rooster Cogburn:

Atmos Duality:

Rooster Cogburn:
Exploiting people's hatred and prejudice is the secret to getting a spot at the escapist, apparently.

Exploitation of anger over First World Problems is by no means limited to the Escapist.

I can't figure out what that means in this context. Who is angry and what is their first world problem?

Maybe Atmos means the anger of not being able to beat a video game, that seems like a very first world problem.

BioRex:

Well the statement that putting in an easy mode effects nothing is false unless they do have a time machine.

That wasn't the point.
What the developer chooses to prioritize is their business. If they want to include <x> feature in their <y> game, that's their call, not ours.

If we don't like it, we reject their game and look for alternatives.

What we collectively like, and hope the developers prioritize is completely arbitrary and not objective in the slightest. When we project those agendas and criticize other people for not adhering to them, that's pretension.
That's the textbook definition of pretension.

We may have common interests by happenstance, but that is no reason to form an elitist circle jerk and whine endlessly about how X feature is ruining "our game" (and it isn't yours, by the way).

Of course, here I am hoping against hope that the Internet Hate Machine is capable of rational thought, so what do I know?

Also good games, I've faster then light seems very cool strategy. And I've played Binding of Isaac a lot, which while hard is not insanely hard. Its a rougelike so its to be expected that the difficulty can be a bit random at times. Now that I think on it wouldn't putting an easy mode in binding be redundant as well? Given that the challenge varies based on what you are given?

I can kind of see how one might add an Easy mode, but it'd be artificial difficulty (or rather, artificial ease), due to the semi-random nature of the game. Nethack had Wizard Mode, but that basically was a sort of Tourist/Debug mode the player could invoke for random fun, or to experiment and see how things work without having to throw away an entire run to do so.

But the point there is that the choice always lies in the player's hands. If they feel compelled to use it, that's on them and nobody else.

Oh, and FTL has an Easy Mode. But I'll be the first to tell you that it isn't remotely "effortless/casual" difficulty, nor easy relative to most recent games I've played.

Normal Mode is ball-crushingly difficult in places, as Scrap (the game's currency and critical to winning) is very tight and sometimes random luck can completely end a run regardless of other circumstances on Normal (depending on your opening plays and cruiser).

I do not look down on anyone playing Easy mode in FTL, because many of the same challenges still apply there.

Rooster Cogburn:

I can't figure out what that means in this context. Who is angry and what is their first world problem?

The people claiming that the inclusion of an Easy Mode is somehow ruining their existing experiences with a game.

In a broader sense, complaining about the qualities of luxuries (like say Video Games) on the internet is definitely a first world problem.

It's kind of sad when you step back and think about it, really. (and I'm including myself in that sadness right now)

BioRex:

Rooster Cogburn:

Atmos Duality:

Exploitation of anger over First World Problems is by no means limited to the Escapist.

I can't figure out what that means in this context. Who is angry and what is their first world problem?

Maybe Atmos means the anger of not being able to beat a video game, that seems like a very first world problem.

Well I see that often amongst gamers and even I myself experience it mostly online and sometimes singleplayer since it's hard for some not to rage =P

Either way it doesn't exactly sound like DS is going to have Easy mode implemented 100% and I've gotten over raging for such a mode but like those that fear that mode I fear that DS difficulty will just make every other game out there sound pathetic and of course we don't want that to happen because then we'd get another hardcore never ending debate war all over again.

Atmos Duality:

BioRex:

Well the statement that putting in an easy mode effects nothing is false unless they do have a time machine.

That wasn't the point.
What the developer chooses to prioritize is their business. If they want to include <x> feature in their <y> game, that's their call, not ours.

If we don't like it, we reject their game and look for alternatives.

What we collectively like, and hope the developers prioritize is completely arbitrary and not objective in the slightest. When we project those agendas and criticize other people for not adhering to them, that's pretension.
That's the textbook definition of pretension.

We may have common interests by happenstance, but that is no reason to form an elitist circle jerk and whine endlessly about how X feature is ruining "our game" (and it isn't yours, by the way).

Of course, here I am hoping against hope that the Internet Hate Machine is capable of rational thought, so what do I know?

So it's pretentious to want a developer to prioritize an easy mode? Harsh words but I respect you for being able to treat your own opinion in such manner.

Wow, I thought this was pretty cut and dry, but the internet always amaze I guess. I see the train of though of those against an easier mode, but the arguments are thin and it still boils down to selfishness and not taking into consideration other people.

Atmos Duality:
The people claiming that the inclusion of an Easy Mode is somehow ruining their existing experiences with a game.

In a broader sense, complaining about the qualities of luxuries (like say Video Games) on the internet is definitely a first world problem.

It's kind of sad when you step back and think about it, really. (and I'm including myself in that sadness right now)

I don't agree that being passionate about a hobby is bad. That's what they're for, as I see it. I try (I said try!) to keep my anger righteous if I really can't keep it to myself.

Well, a game you want to play not featuring an easy mode sounds like just as much a first world problem. And people are angry enough over that to call Dark Souls fans all sorts of nasty things. Do you think Jim Sterling is "sad" for getting worked up and bothering enough to fling all that shit at people who think Dark Souls shouldn't have easy mode?

Do you know why many Dark Souls fans don't want Dark Souls (just that one game, mind) to have easy mode? That's an honest question, I want to know what you think their motivation is.

EDIT: Also, link to that "elitist circle-jerk" please lol.

CandideWolf:
Wow, I thought this was pretty cut and dry, but the internet always amaze I guess. I see the train of though of those against an easier mode, but the arguments are thin and it still boils down to selfishness and not taking into consideration other people.

You simply calling the other side selfish is a rather short and boring way of trying to end the argument. You say people against easy mode are being selfish, would you please be more specific? I mean simply calling the other side selfish is simple "People who want an easy mode are selfish" however that is unlikely to explain why people would like the challenge decreased much the ame that calling people against an easy mode selfish.
So then I ask you why exactly do you think the community as a whole are selfish on this issue.

Bang on, Jim. I had no interest in Demons' Souls or Dark Souls because I suspected they'd simply be too fucking hard for me. I'm no casual, I've been playing games since I was a boy and am pretty fucking hardcore, but my reflexes aren't what they once were and the sheer number of games I have to play these days causes me to simply give up on games that frustrate me and go play something else rather than continue persisting until I win through. So I simply saw no point in a game as murderously sadistic as the Souls series. That's the kind of sales the developers would lose without an easy mode.

Of course, I don't plan on buying the games anyway because I already have too many games to play, but the point still stands- making a game more accessible without in any way damaging its appeal to the hardcore crowd can be nothing but a good thing.

Arcane Azmadi:
Bang on, Jim. I had no interest in Demons' Souls or Dark Souls because I suspected they'd simply be too fucking hard for me. I'm no casual, I've been playing games since I was a boy and am pretty fucking hardcore, but my reflexes aren't what they once were and the sheer number of games I have to play these days causes me to simply give up on games that frustrate me and go play something else rather than continue persisting until I win through. So I simply saw no point in a game as murderously sadistic as the Souls series. That's the kind of sales the developers would lose without an easy mode.

Of course, I don't plan on buying the games anyway because I already have too many games to play, but the point still stands- making a game more accessible without in any way damaging its appeal to the hardcore crowd can be nothing but a good thing.

You know the games are not that reflexive based? I think I used more reflex skill on the first DmC on normal then this, it's mostly observational skills that you need.

BioRex:

So it's pretentious to want a developer to prioritize an easy mode? Harsh words but I respect you for being able to treat your own opinion in such manner.

It's pretentious to presume that your preference is objective fact, and that everyone else who doesn't conform is "wrong".

Now, such pretension and passion is useful for a game creator. There is a line of thinking that goes "Creators create first for themselves, not everyone else" and for some of the best works in gaming, that's true. Gaming started not as a mathematical industry, but as a hobby and from hobby enthusiasts.

However, the argumentation I see in this topic is very pathos-driven and thoroughly nonsensical.
Imagine if I made a topic claiming that anyone who doesn't play Capture the Flag in Halo is "doing it wrong", and that every hour 343 spends working on non-CTF content is an hour of effort wasted.

I'd look like a lunatic (probably get called a troll).

The contrast to that is "I rather like the CTF elements and wouldn't mind seeing more emphasis placed on it."
Sometimes, that's the birthplace of innovation.

Rooster Cogburn:
I don't agree that being passionate about a hobby is bad. That's what they're for, as I see it. I try (I said try!) to keep my anger righteous if I really can't keep it to myself.

Believe me, I was the same exact way for years.
Angry about changes in gaming, angry about how people played, angry about how stagnant and generic the market was becoming.
Actually, I still kinda am, though for slightly different reasons (*curses Diablo 3*).

Passion is a powerful motivator, but all too often, it lacks proper focus.

Well, a game you want to play not featuring an easy mode sounds like just as much a first world problem.

It's a first world problem with or without. The point is I don't see how this warrants such outrage.
I had the same problem when fans raged over Mass Effect 3 for over a solid month.

And people are angry enough over that to call Dark Souls fans all sorts of nasty things. Do you think Jim Sterling is "sad" for getting worked up and bothering enough to fling all that shit at people who think Dark Souls shouldn't have easy mode?

Oh most definitely. I do agree that the situation has gotten out of hand, and the complaints are rather petty indeed.
But that's the twist of the show; it's entertaining to recognize how petty we are even while we badger and debate about the most petty things.

When I commented on your first response to me, I wasn't being sarcastic or smug, and I fully recognize the irony of the situation.

A large part of entertainment within the gaming culture is based on anger.
Just look at the legions of "angry" internet game reviewers and shows. The Escapist's own Zero Punctuation is built entirely on anger, pretension and hate because most people (psychologically) find the anger of others hilarious.

Mr. Crowshaw is just very good at turning that anger into something more clever than blunt force trauma humor (usually).

Do you know why many Dark Souls fans don't want Dark Souls (just that one game, mind) to have easy mode? That's an honest question, I want to know what you think their motivation is.

I won't pretend to know the thoughts and feelings of every Dark Souls fan or even the average DS fan, but I'm guessing the "nobler" intent is they want other players to share the same experience as they did with the game.

I'd also guess the less than noble version being they can't stand it when people like something they don't, and they think it will change what they do like.

Both versions include an aversion to change, no matter how insignificant or (im)practical the change is.

EDIT: Also, link to that "elitist circle-jerk" please lol.

There's a few choice quotes on page 7 and 13. I clicked around a bit, and had to keep myself from facepalming at some of the really inane things. Those are resolved in one form or another, and I'm not dredging that shitstorm up again, as amusing it would be.

Hell, I should be getting back to work...

Atmos Duality:

BioRex:

So it's pretentious to want a developer to prioritize an easy mode? Harsh words but I respect you for being able to treat your own opinion in such manner.

It's pretentious to presume that your preference is objective fact, and that everyone else who doesn't conform is "wrong".

My preference is what the developers give me, the developers want it to be hard and I am ok with them being able to do what they have set out to do. People asking for an easy mode a asking the developers to not complete the goal of making the game hard to beat. So again, the people who wish for an easier mode are the pretentious ones, did I get that right?

BioRex:

My preference is what the developers give me, the developers want it to be hard and I am ok with them being able to do what they have set out to do.

Ok...

People asking for an easy mode a asking the developers to not complete the goal of making the game hard to beat.

That argument only works if you're equating beating the game on Easy with beating the game on Hard, which makes no sense if you're arguing how you hate the changes/differences between the two.

So again, the people who wish for an easier mode are the pretentious ones, did I get that right?

You've deliberately ignored both responses I've made to that point now.
I'm not repeating myself again.

Atmos Duality:

BioRex:

My preference is what the developers give me, the developers want it to be hard and I am ok with them being able to do what they have set out to do.

Ok...

People asking for an easy mode a asking the developers to not complete the goal of making the game hard to beat.

That argument only works if you're equating beating the game on Easy with beating the game on Hard, which makes no sense if you're arguing how you hate the changes/differences between the two.

So again, the people who wish for an easier mode are the pretentious ones, did I get that right?

You've deliberately ignored both responses I've made to that point now.
I'm not repeating myself again.

Let me be very clear then. The goal of the game is to be hard, to journey of beating the game is meant to be hard, the path from start to finish is meant to be hard. And it's not hate at the changes, maybe annoyance, it's more like this is a spicy dish, making it less spicy is not something the chef wants to do, making it less spicy but similar is a different dish that the chef has no plans to make, I don't want the chef to feel pressured to change the dish because some people don't like spicy stuff.

And in case it was not clear I am taking your point, "people who want game to be hard=pretentious", and flipping it to "people who want game to have easy mode=pretentious".

Dear Jim,

You are wrong.

image

Toilet:
Dear Jim,

You are wrong.

Well done, I was just thinking of posting that.

Rooster Cogburn:

VyceVictus:
This seems like saying Bionic commando is a difficulty game that happens to be a platformer or Ikaruga is a difficulty game that happens to be a shooter. Which one could certainly argue. But then there are core mechanics that definitively classify them; DS with its stats, items, weapons, and experience is no different. It still is an RPG at the end of the day. taking the difficulty out of Darks souls (again not what Im advocating, Im advocating the right to optional accessibility) is not the same thing as taking out the bullets in a bullet hell game. If you took out the Difficulty, it would still be an rpg. If you took out the bullets, it would be....the flash game "Loneliness"
But in general, there could be any multitude of ways, fixing the manual, streamlining some mechanics, anything, that could be done to up the experience accessibility without ruining the core challenge or just plopping in a watered down "easy mode". Iam very curious to see what they have in store for the sequel.

You view Dark Souls as just another game where the difficulty doesn't really drive the experience or define it in any meaningful way, just like your examples. And that is what you want Dark Souls to turn into. That is the very thing Souls fans fear most. It's just another RPG to you, so of course YOU don't care if it is difficult. All that's at stake for YOU in this is just another shitty RPG to toss on your heap. This is like taking my hundred dollar bill and burning it in front of me. Please just leave us alone with our unique experience and play whatever it is that you like. You cannot possibly be starved for easy games to play.

What I do to the game doesnt concern you. Its not YOUR unique experience, it's a unique experience open to everyone simply by being on the market. And if I do eventually "get it" what then? I wouldnt have if I didnt get the chance in the first place. Yes, there are tons of easy ganes to play, so why wouldnt I want to try something different? You want people to enjoy and experience the game, but only on terms you deem acceptable? That's ludicrous.

BioRex:

Let me be very clear then. The goal of the game is to be hard, to journey of beating the game is meant to be hard, the path from start to finish is meant to be hard. And it's not hate at the changes, maybe annoyance, it's more like this is a spicy dish, making it less spicy is not something the chef wants to do, making it less spicy but similar is a different dish that the chef has no plans to make, I don't want the chef to feel pressured to change the dish because some people don't like spicy stuff.

Ah, but you're pressuring the chef as well, to not change anything and only cater to your tastes.

"It's spicy because it's meant to be spicy, and it shouldn't change because it's meant to be spicy"
Is circular logic.

Let the chef choose, and if you don't like the new dish, don't eat it.

And in case it was not clear I am taking your point, "people who want game to be hard=pretentious", and flipping it to "people who want game to have easy mode=pretentious".

That would be true if the context was true in the inverse scenario.
Which it isn't.

You have your hard game, and nobody can take that away from you, yet you insist that adding an Easy mode will take that away from you, somehow.

And if that isn't the reasoning IN CONTEXT you're employing, I have no idea what the problem with an Easy Mode is at that point.

CandideWolf:
Wow, I thought this was pretty cut and dry, but the internet always amaze I guess. I see the train of though of those against an easier mode, but the arguments are thin and it still boils down to selfishness and not taking into consideration other people.

When you phrase your opinion on the matter as an assessment of the character of the other "side", it makes it look like you have something against them. I would have felt better about it if you had just said their arguments were unconvincing, or you did not think the benefit they hoped to gain was worth the cost.

Atmos Duality:
It's pretentious to presume that your preference is objective fact, and that everyone else who doesn't conform is "wrong".

But see, my preference isn't objective, but neither is anybody else's. Just acknowledging that doesn't get us far. We can't just call it a draw lol.

Now, such pretension and passion is useful for a game creator. There is a line of thinking that goes "Creators create first for themselves, not everyone else" and for some of the best works in gaming, that's true. Gaming started not as a mathematical industry, but as a hobby and from hobby enthusiasts.

However, the argumentation I see in this topic is very pathos-driven and thoroughly nonsensical.
Imagine if I made a topic claiming that anyone who doesn't play Capture the Flag in Halo is "doing it wrong", and that every hour 343 spends working on non-CTF content is an hour of effort wasted.

I'd look like a lunatic (probably get called a troll).

The contrast to that is "I rather like the CTF elements and wouldn't mind seeing more emphasis placed on it."
Sometimes, that's the birthplace of innovation.

I don't really think many of us on the anti-easy mode "side" have taken the approach that easy mode players are "doing it wrong". Rather, I think we have tried to explain why not including an easy mode creates certain opportunities for experimental and artistic development. We have tried to explain how Dark Souls' unique approach to difficulty AS A MECHANIC offers an experience that cannot be recreated when that mechanic is removed. We have tried to explain how easy mode is not consistent with the goal of Dark Souls to provide a sense of accomplishment, and undermines the relevance of it's mechanics and community features. We have tried to explain that Dark Souls, by the nature of the way it incorporates difficulty into it's design, does not fit the traditional modal difficulty model, and whether or not it ALREADY features an easy mode in the form of myriad ways to make gameplay easier is almost a matter of perspective. The developer can make an artistic statement and reaffirm artistic themes by their chosen difficulty, such as loneliness, dread, tension, fear, apprehension, etc., all elements Dark Souls fans are accustomed to. Literally not having an option makes an encounter a true obstacle, rather than a chosen one (to reinforce tension, etc.). We have tried to explain that keeping the experience consistent frees up the developer's resources to focus on doing one thing well, and allows them to deliver highly crafted encounters without being forced to limit themselves to what works well for both audiences. We have tried to explain that not including easy mode allows us to focus on themes that appeal to hard mode players, such as an unapproachable but rewarding story and gameplay without being afraid of leaving the people who speed past it unsatisfied.

We have also tried to suggest that targeting different games to multiple audiences that is built specifically for a certain group is a good thing for everyone, because it allows all of us to choose something that specializes in whatever it is we are looking for. We have done all this to show that we do benefit from the exclusion of a traditional "easy mode" in ways that interested parties can appreciate. We have also done it to show everyone that our preferences for the Souls series are not rooted in elitism or hate- that we do not care nor concern ourselves with what other people do, or whether they play the game "right". Rather than wishing to exclude anyone, most of us would gladly give our time to help all newcomers and you can consider that a standing offer.

Because we love it, we ask you to understand that Dark Souls is an experiment, and a work of art, that grew from the idea of utilizing difficulty as a mechanic to deliver a sense of accomplishment. That is the trunk upon which all the branches of gameplay, and aesthetics, and story are arranged. Please understand that we cannot part with that and still feel we are having the same experience.

I think there are enough games in the world that we can all have the one that is right for us. No one film is for all audiences, and no audience is for all films. That is OK, and we are all better off for it in the end.

Atmos Duality:

BioRex:

Let me be very clear then. The goal of the game is to be hard, to journey of beating the game is meant to be hard, the path from start to finish is meant to be hard. And it's not hate at the changes, maybe annoyance, it's more like this is a spicy dish, making it less spicy is not something the chef wants to do, making it less spicy but similar is a different dish that the chef has no plans to make, I don't want the chef to feel pressured to change the dish because some people don't like spicy stuff.

Ah, but you're pressuring the chef as well, to not change anything and only cater to your tastes.

"It's spicy because it's meant to be spicy, and it shouldn't change because it's meant to be spicy"
Is circular logic.

Let the chef choose, and if you don't like the new dish, don't eat it.

And in case it was not clear I am taking your point, "people who want game to be hard=pretentious", and flipping it to "people who want game to have easy mode=pretentious".

That would be true if the context was true in the inverse scenario.
Which it isn't.

You have your hard game, and nobody can take that away from you, yet you insist that adding an Easy mode will take that away from you, somehow.

And if that isn't the reasoning IN CONTEXT you're employing, I have no idea what the problem with an Easy Mode is at that point.

When did I say I'm telling the chef what they can or cannot do? When did I say that? Also you are so right the poor chef being forced to make what he wants and not being to make fastfood that can be found at any corner. Oh truly it is a tragedy.
Also I'm sorry but someone said "It's pretentious to presume that your preference is objective fact, and that everyone else who doesn't conform is "wrong"."
So your saying that the presumption that your preference (easy mode=better) is objective fact, and that everyone else who doesn't conform is "wrong", is not pretentious?
Have you ever heard of a double-standard?
Or would you be ok with me demanding that developer spend time and money to heavily alter a game to put in a hard mode? And they would indeed have to alter a game if it was not intended for a hard mode and was not designed to work with a hard mode. That the plan of the game was not to have a hard mode and to make a hard mode that was even worth playing they would have to do deep design change.

VyceVictus:

snip

You really still have to make a reply like this? Really? After all the pages of Rooster and many others trying to hammer in the point, THIS is what you got from all that?

Yes, there are tons of easy ganes to play, so why wouldnt I want to try something different?

By all means. Everyone here would welcome new players with open arms. And you do realize that everything in this quote is against an easy mode, right? You want something different than easy. Still, you want an easy mode so you don't have to learn to play this difficult game.

You want people to enjoy and experience the game, but only on terms you deem acceptable?

No, he wants people to enjoy it as it is, not by having the devs twist it into something it's not and was never meant to be.

WWmelb:

2nd Option - Segregated Servers for "Easy Mode" and "Normal". Detrimental in two ways. One it would divide the community, and make it smaller in the long run on both sides of the fence. 2. It is an unnecessary cost and maintenance for the devs to gamble on a 2nd bunch of "easy" servers. Once you start them, even if you only have 100 players wind up using them, you offered the service and now you have to keep providing it. Taking resources away from future development projects.

I'd also add the griefers to this one. Pretty much anyone who's already dicking around in PvP would be getting a perfect venue to shit on beginners. So pretty much whichever way you look at it, PvP is something that will not work with easy mode.

btw. I was 50/50 on this issue at the beginning, but after seeing the anti side's understandable, relatable and (mostly) polite arguing and the pro side either twisting those arguments into easily defeatable strawmen, ignoring them entirely or deciding they're objectively not important/worth taking into consideration (because of their own bias and opinions), I'm really starting to tip on the "easy mode -do not want" side.

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