Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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VyceVictus:

Rooster Cogburn:

CandideWolf:
Whoa, we're still talking about the same game right? Don't insult the developers ability to craft a world and say the difficulty is the only thing that makes the game. That's not fair.

Bad argument. I have no doubt Call of Duty has many wonderful features and vistas, but I still bet it would suck without guns.

You mentioned cognitive dissonance earlier, and i think its coming into play here. Call of Duty without shooting is a bad argument of drawing a comparison to Dark Souls. Darks Souls without less difficulty is not an FPS without shooting. DS without difficulty is the difference between Arma or Operation Flashpoint and COD or even Ghost Recon. They are fundamentally the same game in terms of core mechanic, an FPS where you shoot things, but are also fundamentally different in terms of challenge and other mechanics that make each unique. And yet, Flashpoint itself, while not having an outright "easy mode" has several options to be selected from in the in game difficulty to make it "easier" (Hud, respawns), but even with those options to make it easier, you still cannot play it like any other FPS; if you charge in shooting you will die, and one bullet can kill you. If they were to make a hypothetical "easy mode" patch that would,say, add you an extra team member, that would make the game all at once easier without in anyway morphing the core challenge.
My point here wasn't about niggling between genre classifications and mechanics though. My point was trying to understand why you cant get over the mental hurdle of a game who's integral core is difficulty cannot have some type of adjustment to aide players without horribly corrupting the fundamental challenge. The paradigm exists, there's no reason why it cant for a game like DS. Im not saying it has to, but if it would still be possible to do so successfully.

Please explain how?

JustanotherGamer:

VyceVictus:

Rooster Cogburn:
Bad argument. I have no doubt Call of Duty has many wonderful features and vistas, but I still bet it would suck without guns.

You mentioned cognitive dissonance earlier, and i think its coming into play here. Call of Duty without shooting is a bad argument of drawing a comparison to Dark Souls. Darks Souls without less difficulty is not an FPS without shooting. DS without difficulty is the difference between Arma or Operation Flashpoint and COD or even Ghost Recon. They are fundamentally the same game in terms of core mechanic, an FPS where you shoot things, but are also fundamentally different in terms of challenge and other mechanics that make each unique. And yet, Flashpoint itself, while not having an outright "easy mode" has several options to be selected from in the in game difficulty to make it "easier" (Hud, respawns), but even with those options to make it easier, you still cannot play it like any other FPS; if you charge in shooting you will die, and one bullet can kill you. If they were to make a hypothetical "easy mode" patch that would,say, add you an extra team member, that would make the game all at once easier without in anyway morphing the core challenge.
My point here wasn't about niggling between genre classifications and mechanics though. My point was trying to understand why you cant get over the mental hurdle of a game who's integral core is difficulty cannot have some type of adjustment to aide players without horribly corrupting the fundamental challenge. The paradigm exists, there's no reason why it cant for a game like DS. Im not saying it has to, but if it would still be possible to do so successfully.

Please explain how?

I mentioned a couple things trying to brainstorm a while back: In game fully summonable avatar, expanded manual, "spectator clips" a la Bionic Commando, or even an optional in game Walkthrough (basically a DLC like a downloadable codex which would be something like an ingame copy of the DS wikipedia that already exists.) These are just a few examples, all of which totally optional, and some of those help without changing in an way the main code of the game. And that's not even getting into things like stat manipulation because im not familiar with that kind of material. Just speculating about any number of ways this could be accomplished successfully, I have no reason to doubt why that couldn't be possible.

and none of that splits the community, changes the overall atmosphere, or cheapen the experience? How can removing a core mechanism not change the user experience?

Yea snoop dog would be so much better (more popular) if he and every musician only sang justin biber songs.

Vault101:

jmarquiso:
Now I mostly agree with Jim here, but I found an interesting counterpoint to this video:

And no, I don't necessarily agree with that video. Just adding to the discussion (I hope).

he kind of lost me at "catering to casuals"

uggghhh even if the whole "dumbing down" thing is absolutly 100% objectivley true..I've heard it so many fucking times I just don;t want to think about it anymore...I wish people found something else to complain about

EDIT: though upon further watching I'm actually surprised most of his gripes seem to come from the general role playing issues (like important characters being unkillable) rather than stats and numbers...areas I'd be inclined to agree

Yeah, the thing is while I agree with his conclusions about design decisions, he's created sort of a "straw-casual" to blame it all on. I don't think that's entirely the case.

jmarquiso:

Vault101:

jmarquiso:
Now I mostly agree with Jim here, but I found an interesting counterpoint to this video:

And no, I don't necessarily agree with that video. Just adding to the discussion (I hope).

he kind of lost me at "catering to casuals"

uggghhh even if the whole "dumbing down" thing is absolutly 100% objectivley true..I've heard it so many fucking times I just don;t want to think about it anymore...I wish people found something else to complain about

EDIT: though upon further watching I'm actually surprised most of his gripes seem to come from the general role playing issues (like important characters being unkillable) rather than stats and numbers...areas I'd be inclined to agree

Yeah, the thing is while I agree with his conclusions about design decisions, he's created sort of a "straw-casual" to blame it all on. I don't think that's entirely the case.

Just replace "casuals" with "cash".

JustanotherGamer:

Just replace "casuals" with "cash".

But who's providing the cash?

(I hate to say it might be console gamers...but that's a whole other elitism I'd rather not get into right now...

.

jmarquiso:

JustanotherGamer:

Just replace "casuals" with "cash".

But who's providing the cash?

(I hate to say it might be console gamers...but that's a whole other elitism I'd rather not get into right now...

I just mean in his argument as he states near the start the only reason the developers "dumb down" is to make more money off of a franchise the original fans helped create brand recognition for. While shitting all over the original work of art turning it into a game with less features.

why don't they make a new ip and dumb that down is it because they wish to use that brand recognition? Hey RE got better and better as they made it more accessible right? Silent hill got better for it's original fans right? Every franchise i used to like is a husk of it's former self due to developers wanting to make money more than great games. Hey check this out it's totally over hyped shit but you are going to buy it because we spent millons on selling it to sheep with flashy adds and speeches made by psychology departments on how bad ass you are when you buy this shit.

Just a quick throw in: Having an easy mode is not a new idea, Tie-Fighter, Strike Commander and many other old PC flightsims have had options for unlimited ammo, no collisions, invulnerability or other ways to make the game drastically easier right in the option menu. No cheat code required, you press a button and are done. I never heard anybody complaining about that back then and nobody complained about those games being to easy.

So yeah, if you wanna play on hard, play on hard, don't stop other players from playing the game the way they like it, no matter if that means running around in God mode or playing Doom on Nightmare with their bare fists only.

All that said, easy mode ain't perfect. One thing I would like to see is more games actually trying to teach the player how to play them. Racing games do that pretty good these days with dynamic racing lines and other helper features, but most other games really don't give you any help at all beyond telling you which button does what.

JustanotherGamer:
why don't they make a new ip and dumb that down is it because they wish to use that brand recognition? Hey RE got better and better as they made it more accessible right? Silent hill got better for it's original fans right? Every franchise i used to like is a husk of it's former self due to developers wanting to make money more than great games. Hey check this out it's totally over hyped shit but you are going to buy it because we spent millons on selling it to sheep with flashy adds and speeches made by psychology departments on how bad ass you are when you buy this shit.

Actually it'd be more likely the XBox 360 that brought forth the popularity. Microsoft saw potential in Morrowind, and the 360 needed an RPG at launch that was both graphically and narratively impressive. Oblivion was developed for both in mind. Adding voice acting from someone like Patrick Stewart certainly helped.

So I don't think it's a matter of catering to the casuals at all, really just expanding their audience.

grumbel:
Just a quick throw in: Having an easy mode is not a new idea, Tie-Fighter, Strike Commander and many other old PC flightsims have had options for unlimited ammo, no collisions, invulnerability or other ways to make the game drastically easier right in the option menu. No cheat code required, you press a button and are done. I never heard anybody complaining about that back then and nobody complained about those games being to easy.

So yeah, if you wanna play on hard, play on hard, don't stop other players from playing the game the way they like it, no matter if that means running around in God mode or playing Doom on Nightmare with their bare fists only.

All that said, easy mode ain't perfect. One thing I would like to see is more games actually trying to teach the player how to play them. Racing games do that pretty good these days with dynamic racing lines and other helper features, but most other games really don't give you any help at all beyond telling you which button does what.

Heck, play the original X-Com on Easy.

grumbel:
Just a quick throw in: Having an easy mode is not a new idea, Tie-Fighter, Strike Commander and many other old PC flightsims have had options for unlimited ammo, no collisions, invulnerability or other ways to make the game drastically easier right in the option menu. No cheat code required, you press a button and are done. I never heard anybody complaining about that back then and nobody complained about those games being to easy.

So yeah, if you wanna play on hard, play on hard, don't stop other players from playing the game the way they like it, no matter if that means running around in God mode or playing Doom on Nightmare with their bare fists only.

All that said, easy mode ain't perfect. One thing I would like to see is more games actually trying to teach the player how to play them. Racing games do that pretty good these days with dynamic racing lines and other helper features, but most other games really don't give you any help at all beyond telling you which button does what.

Is it so hard to understand to every rule there are exceptions. Dark souls would be a very short boring game with nothing new to offer in a sea of rpg's. It would get trashed in reviews and if you don't like a game why should it be changed? I don't play fiffa should it adopt rpg elements and cut out the manager side just to accommodate me? No that would be fucking dumb shit. Should the times cross word be made for kids? should all media appeal to everyone NO Why because it would be shit.

JustanotherGamer:
Is it so hard to understand to every rule there are exceptions. Dark souls would be a very short boring game with nothing new to offer in a sea of rpg's.

And who the fuck is forcing you to play on easy? Right, *NOBODY*. So why exactly do you have a problem with it?

JustanotherGamer:
if you don't like a game why should it be changed?

So that I can like it? Why should a game be made inaccessible when some very simple optional tweaks could open it up to far bigger audiences?

I don't play fiffa should it adopt rpg elements and cut out the manager side just to accommodate me?

You know what the nice thing with options is? They are optional.

grumbel:

JustanotherGamer:
Is it so hard to understand to every rule there are exceptions. Dark souls would be a very short boring game with nothing new to offer in a sea of rpg's.

And who the fuck is forcing you to play on easy? Right, *NOBODY*. So why exactly do you have a problem with it?

JustanotherGamer:
if you don't like a game why should it be changed?

So that I can like it? Why should a game be made inaccessible when some very simple optional tweaks could open it up to far bigger audiences?

I don't play fiffa should it adopt rpg elements and cut out the manager side just to accommodate me?

You know what the nice thing with options is? They are optional.

So it's ok to ruin the comunity the online aspect rip out a core gameplay concept and it won't affect me ok yea i believe you.... I call BS

You know purchasing a product is also optional too.... So again why do you want to play a game you don't like?

JustanotherGamer:
So it's ok to ruin the comunity the online aspect rip out a core gameplay concept and it won't affect me ok yea i believe you.... I call BS

Nobody is forcing you to play on easy. Nobody is forcing easy-mode to be compatible with normal-mode when doing multiplayer. Options are optional. Why is that so hard to understand?

JustanotherGamer:
So again why do you want to play a game you don't like?

Because it's a good game and there is no reason to prevent people from playing. How about we stop doing translations, play your Japanese games in Japanese for some extra difficulty? Doesn't sound like a good idea? Is there maybe some value in making games accessible to wider audiences?

so you again fail to answer my questions well done.... Easy mode how would it not fragment the comunity?
The game is optional so why do you want to play a game you don't like? what are you missing out on when you don't like it? What right do you have to criticize a game you haven't played?

Also there is nothing except funds stopping anyone playing dark souls.

JustanotherGamer:
Easy mode how would it not fragment the comunity?

What would be the harm of there being a easy-mode community, one filled with people who right now do not play the game?

The game is optional so why do you want to play a game you don't like?

Are you playing your game in Japanese? No? You are fracturing the community!!!!11

JustanotherGamer:
What right do you have to criticize a game you haven't played?

I have played the game.

Either way, I think you are missing the bigger picture: An optional easy-mode means that hard-mode can stay hard. If you don't have that option it means that the game will get a dumbed down mode by default, meaning easy-mode will be the only mode there is and you no longer get the hard-mode. Options mean you can play the way you like it, not having options means you have to play the game by the way of the least common denominator.

Words will not do justice to how fking dumb your answers are. To me you sound like I should of been able to play son of spada mode in dmc as soon as i popped the disk in, I should of been able to see all the fmv's in ffvii as soon as i popped in the disk fiffa should cut the football and add a pair of titts because they are more popular, also why do they make us earn cash to buy cars in racing games i paid for it i should get to play all the content i'm entitled to like everything all the time and those who enjoy stuff i don't are elitist cunts yea sounds about right. I have seen the light everything should be the same as evrything else, all Art should be a copy of the first ever painting and all ice cream should be vanilla because everyone can enjoy that.

JustanotherGamer:
Words will not do justice to how fking dumb your answers are.

Insults are not a replacements for an argument, try again.

it's not an insult it's a FACT.

"I like games all games should cater to me"

JustanotherGamer:
and none of that splits the community, changes the overall atmosphere, or cheapen the experience?

Are you talking about my examples? Yes, I believe that would be the case. It wasnt that hard, I just remembered back to how other difficult games accomplished this feat and thought "which ones of those dont have to change main game code/could be easily downloaded?". Again, no game has to do any of that stuff, but if it did it would not disrupt the original core game, especially if it was optional.

JustanotherGamer:
"I like games all games should cater to me"

I am not saying that all games should cater to me, I am saying I paid for the thing so I should be allowed to play it the way I want. If I want to read a book in reverse, I can. If I want to start a movie right at the end, I can. Games on the other side lock up the content I paid for.

jmarquiso:

JustanotherGamer:

Just replace "casuals" with "cash".

But who's providing the cash?

(I hate to say it might be console gamers...but that's a whole other elitism I'd rather not get into right now...

I skipped the first 5 minutes of the video just because I don't agree with the elitist *cough*fanboy*cough* view that "console gamers" dumb down the market. Consoles have been around for almost as long as video games, so why all of a sudden would that be the key factor in "dumbing down" games. It's a ludicrous conclusion.

Besides, none of the points he raised in the video have anything to do with the game appearing on consoles. Even the points he alluded to near the beginning weren't console dependant. So why make the argument at all?

Something I'd like to mention:

Value of items:
It seemed like a minor non-issue gripe to me, but I get his reasoning behind the value of items being reduced. The problem is not that the item's value has been reduced, but that it hasn't been reduced enough! He argues that Morrowing had the Savior Hide at 150,000 gold. By Skyrim is barely breaks 2000 gold. My argument is that it should be neither 150k or 2k. It is a rare and priceless artifact. In Final Fantasy, such an item would have a value of 1 gil. Why? It is priceless and should really not be sold - just like his argument about rare items in TES.

The rest of his arguments (especially quest/ journals) are dead on.

I just bought fiffa why can't i shoot the ref i wana shoot the ref waaaa waaaaa waaaa waaa i don't understand artistic design i want i want waa i have money why won't you do what i ask i am the entitled consumer.

grumbel:

JustanotherGamer:
Words will not do justice to how fking dumb your answers are.

Insults are not a replacements for an argument, try again.

Please stop talking to him.....please? You're going to keep answering his questions, he's going to keep bringing up examples that don't make sense, you'll save yourself a lot of time and effort.

anthony87:

grumbel:

JustanotherGamer:
Words will not do justice to how fking dumb your answers are.

Insults are not a replacements for an argument, try again.

Please stop talking to him.....please? You're going to keep answering his questions, he's going to keep bringing up examples that don't make sense, you'll save yourself a lot of time and effort.

I'm sorry it's optional is not an answer to my questions... If you want explain how the comunity wont be affected? You can't so pleas carry on with it's optional the game it's self is optional. So why do you want to take this game and turn it into a different game? Do you hate to think a game is lurking out there you don't like is it too much for you?

JustanotherGamer:

anthony87:

grumbel:

Insults are not a replacements for an argument, try again.

Please stop talking to him.....please? You're going to keep answering his questions, he's going to keep bringing up examples that don't make sense, you'll save yourself a lot of time and effort.

I'm sorry it's optional is not an answer to my questions... If you want explain how the comunity wont be affected? You can't so pleas carry on with it's optional the game it's self is optional. So why do you want to take this game and turn it into a different game? Do you hate to think a game is lurking out there you don't like is it too much for you?

......What?

Seriously, I have no clue what you're trying to say.

EDIT: Okay now I understand. Fact is you've gotten answers, many answers, just because you don't agree with the answers given doesn't mean that they're not answers. How about you try and contribute to the discussion a little better if you care so much rather than talking nonsense about shooting referees and tits in FIFA game?

But this isn't really something I care about enough to get into anymore. I'll play Dark Souls the way I've always played it. If they were to introduce an "easy mode" of sorts? I'd ignore it, what other people do isn't my concern.

grumbel:

JustanotherGamer:
So it's ok to ruin the comunity the online aspect rip out a core gameplay concept and it won't affect me ok yea i believe you.... I call BS

Nobody is forcing you to play on easy. Nobody is forcing easy-mode to be compatible with normal-mode when doing multiplayer. Options are optional. Why is that so hard to understand?

I think you're missing something about designing in an interactive medium. Adding more options is not always a good thing. Which options you include and which you don't is an important aspect that shapes both the design and play experience.

I don't give a damn about who can or can't play the games I do, but an easy mode hurts my ability to enjoy the game for it's challenge. Why? The difficulty is no longer a constant. The game would start with a decision that has by far more impact on my ability to beat the game then anything I decide regarding stat increases or gear. From then on, if I die, I won't feel like it's because the boss is tough, I was ill-prepared, or because there was something tricky I didn't notice. No, it will be because I didn't take the tactically superior choice of easy mode. It becomes as stupid a choice to me as playing the game with only the starting broken straight sword. An artificial challenge I have to place on myself, and I don't enjoy those unless I'm already heavily invested in the game.

You may not get this mindset, and that's fine. But the fact is, there are very few games that I can enjoy the challenge of anymore, and because you want to enjoy this one in addition to all the others you can, you're saying I shouldn't be able to. Do you really need to change one of the last few games I can play for it's challenge to be like all the games I can't? You can't let me have this one game?

so the online will be no different? People in easy won't get to play with people on normal? The development and level design for easy will take no money time or thought for the developers to do? Do you really expect anyone with a brain to swallow that bullshit? @Anthony87

JustanotherGamer:
so the online will be no different? People in easy won't get to play with people on normal? The development and level design for easy will take no money time or thought for the developers to do? Do you really expect anyone with a brain to swallow that bullshit? @Anthony87

Those things have been addressed by people already but instead of answering them you've just been talking nonsense. I'm not saying that one way is right and the other is wrong, I just don't think it'd be as detrimental as you're all making it out to be.

anthony87:

JustanotherGamer:
so the online will be no different? People in easy won't get to play with people on normal? The development and level design for easy will take no money time or thought for the developers to do? Do you really expect anyone with a brain to swallow that bullshit? @Anthony87

Those things have been addressed by people already but instead of answering them you've just been talking nonsense. I'm not saying that one way is right and the other is wrong, I just don't think it'd be as detrimental as you're all making it out to be.

No none of these concerns have been addressed in any meaningful way at all. It's optional is not addressing any of my concerns at all.

JustanotherGamer:

anthony87:

JustanotherGamer:
so the online will be no different? People in easy won't get to play with people on normal? The development and level design for easy will take no money time or thought for the developers to do? Do you really expect anyone with a brain to swallow that bullshit? @Anthony87

Those things have been addressed by people already but instead of answering them you've just been talking nonsense. I'm not saying that one way is right and the other is wrong, I just don't think it'd be as detrimental as you're all making it out to be.

No none of these concerns have been addressed in any meaningful way at all. It's optional is not addressing any of my concerns at all.

Don't want normal mode and easy mode players mixing? Separate them. Having to completely redesign the game based on difficulty mode? That's just stupid.

That's basically the summary, if you want the actual detailed posts you'll have to find them. I'd look myself but I'm really not arsed trawling through 24 pages and you're the one with the issue, not me.

grumbel:

JustanotherGamer:
So again why do you want to play a game you don't like?

Because it's a good game and there is no reason to prevent people from playing.

It is a fantastic thing to be able to appreciate something, but it is also quite essential to recognize that a thing can remain objectively good in its own right even without you liking it. I acknowledge that, for the sake of example, many Mario games are objectively very well made and in that way good, even though I will never enjoy playing one in their current form. No one is actively preventing anyone from doing anything here, but there are certain prerequisites that you have to meet before you can fully enjoy Dark Souls. So it is with any other thing.

Dark Souls is a wonderful game, but what makes it also a great experience is the very reason it demands you not to take succeeding as a default value. You have to have the very real possibility of failure, which is essential for the experience Dark Souls is intended to provide you with. I am still absolutely certain that most people would still be able to succeed in the end if they just are bothered enough to really give it a try. And again, just because you see others enjoying something doesn't mean that it is necessarily suitable for you as well.

This consequently also helps the commununity as it will consist of rather likeminded individuals. This essentially is no different from any other unified fandom out there, but it does help the community to remain consistent. Many other fandoms are not so united in their views as their experiences can differ greatly.

How about we stop doing translations, play your Japanese games in Japanese for some extra difficulty? Doesn't sound like a good idea?

That would depend on how much dialogue and text there is. :] Joking aside, are you aware that even the Japanese version of Dark Souls only has english voice acting in it? I'm not quite sure, but I recall it was a conscious decision that was hoped to improve the ambiance of the game world. Still, while well done translations certainly do make different forms of media more accessible, doing so will not usually intrinsically change the way the content is experienced. At least if the translation isn't a direct one and takes culture shifts into account as well.

Is there maybe some value in making games accessible to wider audiences?

If the accessibility doesn't go against the games primary goals and very purpose, then perhaps there is. Even then games shouldn't be designed to be enjoyed by any group of people explicitly. Much like with novels (publishers and their possible part in this aside), you write it out of desire to write and it may be appreciated or not, but whether it is or not shouldn't really matter. If it is in fact enjoyed greatly by many then it might be translated to other languages. Every part of the content would still remain the same and it would still remain every bit as difficult to comprehend and read as before.

A creation that remains true to itself and the goals it was set out to fulfill is infinitely more preferable than a more accessible game that may not succeed in achieving these goals.

EDIT: Let me say this again: Dark Souls was designed to work without having to resort in the use of modal difficulties, and it manages to be better as a result of this.

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