Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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immortalfrieza:

grumbel:

jmarquiso:
If you look at board games, they don't have variable difficulty.

Actually they do, if you don't like a rule, you can just ignore them or change them to something else. There is no authority in board games that forces you to play a specific way. As long as everybody can agree on the rules, everything is fair game. If you want to play checkers with your chess figures, you totally can.

If you change even 1 rule from a board game, it is no longer the same game, it's a somewhat similar game game that you made up. If you take the ability to collect rent out of Monopoly, it is no longer Monopoly. The actual board and pieces are irrelevant true, so yes, you can play checkers with chess pieces, but the rules are what make game what it is, so if you use chess pieces to play checkers if you still have to play by the rules of checkers if you are actually playing checkers.

There are quite a few house rules in monopoly made popular in different regions. In the UK, you don't pick up property in the first round as it gives an unfair advantage to the first player. In others, auctioning is required when someone can afford property. Heck, the original game "The Landlord Game" was actually a statement against Monopolies, created during the Great Depression.

Finally, Chess, Poker, and checkers all had different regional and historical rulesets in their long history. Mass production has changed this quite a bit, but there are still people who use family, regional, or different house rules for everything. Yes, changing a single rule is a different-ish game, but it's similar enough to know it's the same game with slightly different rules. So I do stand corrected there is a "difficulty" setting, but that's agreed upon by all players in general. It isn't a "different" game as it isn't different enough to be called completely separate. In fact, most Milton Bradley boxes even SAY you can change a rule here and there for your friends and family. That means the Designers looked at it as a guideline as long as the spirit and components remain similar enough.

grumbel:

Actually they do, if you don't like a rule, you can just ignore them or change them to something else. There is no authority in board games that forces you to play a specific way. As long as everybody can agree on the rules, everything is fair game. If you want to play checkers with your chess figures, you totally can.

You're correct, I stand corrected.

immortalfrieza:
Why make video games interactive if the player doesn't have to do much of anything to access the game's content?

grumbel:

Because those two are completely unrelated concepts? Interaction just means a game has to be interactive, it does not imply that the player has to be forced to die dozens of times on the same stupid enemy or that you aren't allowed to skip chapters.

Ha! You're just twisting my words around when you know DAMN well what I meant. The fact is, that's exactly what video games are supposed to be, failing countless times until you finally beat it, and you aren't allowed to skip anything, that is the essence of video games, the entire reason they exist, doesn't matter how easy or difficult the game is either. That is the reason they are video games and not some other media, it's what makes them unique.

immortalfrieza:

And the only argument FOR an easy mode seems to come from weak minded people that aren't man enough to play through the game at it's current difficulty. See? Easy to turn that argument around.

grumbel:

That's not much of an argument. There is nothing wrong with adding something for the weak minded. Maybe they aren't even weak minded, maybe they are to old, to young or broke their arm or otherwise not at 100% capacity to beat the game the regular way. Let them play the way they want to.

Why not? It's the same exact argument YOU gave except the other way around, so it's wrong when I say it, but not when YOU do? Double standard much?
If someone can't beat a game for WHATEVER reason, they don't deserve to beat it, simple as that. It doesn't matter what disabilites or ailments they have. Either let them find another game they CAN beat, or do something besides play video games if they really truly can't win, don't ruin the game for everyone that likes it the way it is just because some people don't.

grumbel:

I would like to hear an argument for the excluding of an easy mode that doesn't really on idiotic elitism.

Again, let's flip that same argument back at you shall we? I'd like to see an argument for the inclusion of an easy mode that doesn't involve ridiculous and senseless entitlement, laziness, and dismissal of the problem out of hand, the last of which I'd definitely like to hear.

immortalfrieza:

No, NOT problem solved. The fact that a developer is willing to make a game easier in ANY way to make it more accessable means that they will make all future games in the series easier to make it more accessable as time goes on.

grumbel:

You know which games can get away with being super hardcore? Racing games. Why can they do that? Because they plastered with assist and options to make them easier, heck you could finish Gran Turismo 4 by letting it play itself on auto-pilot most of the time. Options simply mean you get to play the game how you want. Not having options means the game has to be build to appeal to the least common denominator.

Uh huh. Those are games DESIGNED for the casual market, and even they require you to work to experience it's content just like hardcore ones do, it's just a game that happens to be easier. Oh, by the way, there have been and probably will continue to be made plenty of racing games out there that are super hardcore, just so you know.

immortalfrieza:

That's the same reason why the original Super Mario Bros is so difficult that it has been ranked many times among the hardest games of all time, while the more recent Mario games are so easy that they can be beaten by a random monkey picked out of some forest somewhere.

grumbel:

That's the result of not having an easy mode. Nintendo games almost always only have one difficulty and as a result the games got simpler the bigger and more casual the audience got.

No, that's the result of gamers whining until Papa Nintendo made it easier for them. If you don't like that a game isn't easy enough for you, you can always leave and find another game or entertainment, don't complain until you get your way like some spoiled brat.

immortalfrieza:

If Dark Souls 2 is easier than Dark Souls, it makes the efforts of the people that beat Dark Souls less meaningful.

grumbel:

How does it make the effort any less meaningful? They still only have beat it on easy mode and they don't get the achievement for hard mode. I can go and watch the ending or even a complete Lets Play of Dark Souls on Youtube without even picking up the controller? Do you feel less like a man because of that?

It makes it less meaningful because when people are able to accomplish the same thing with less time and effort, it makes the time and effort that those that had to do it the hard way look pointless. Bragging rights only matter when few others are able pull it off, not practically everyone.

grumbel:

Or hey, how about they release two games? Dark Souls Casual Edition with an optional easy mode and Dark Souls regular, which is the exact same game, except with the easy mode removed. Happy now?

No, that's just the exact same thing as putting an easy mode in the game, doing that would be just a half assed attempt to make it look like it wasn't, but I'm sure you know that, you're just screwing with me at this point.

chikusho:

NemotheElvenPanda:

Now in that light, if I had Dark Souls, would I try to play it as "intended"? Yes, however after losing time and time again, I'd switch an easy mode out sheer frustration. That's just how I am, and I can't play game because of that, because I'm not really up for a head-splitting harrowing when I could be enjoying the game's lore or appearance? Sorry, but that comes off as a bit selfish to me.

If you want the lore and appearance, I'm pretty sure there's plenty of concept art, story summations and youtube videos of the game you can indulge yourself in.

But what if I...you know...*want* to actually play the game and try it out for my own perceived merits? Sure, I can go to the wiki and watch some videos, but it's a stark difference playing my own character through the stages, choosing his weapons, and his battles, and actually most play-throughs I've watched tend to gloss over the lore and story, like many that feature Silent Hill.

NemotheElvenPanda:

However, giving the *option* to make a game easier to deal with is not harming anyone, neither the game, for reasons mentioned already.

chikusho:
But it would harm the game since it would ruin its fundamental point. Not to mention resources that would go into rebalancing, retweaking, reimagining ideas, only to pander to people outside of the audience the game has created.
Do you think there should be abridged movies with extra narration so that everyone can follow the plot as well? Should classical books be rewritten in simple english? Should statues, art and poetry come with a de facto explanation and reasoning behind every brushstroke? Should the rules for each sport, and team and player biographies be told to you every time you watch a football game?
Sometimes the consumer needs to make an effort in order to partake in a medium. And it's most often that very effort that makes the reward that much sweeter.

Me fighting a creature with less health on one difficulty as opposed to a common mook with boss-level health on harder modes is not a game-changer. This isn't pandering, it's letting people with less time or different interests to enjoy the game. We don't all have the time, much less the desire to, fight a battle over and over again. I like the occasional challenge, I really do, but I dislike dying; a lot. I do however like fighting and advancing in rank...in my own way. A game like Dark Souls to simply let me fight easier opponents will not affect you.

As for the rest of your comment, there's one problem: video gaming is a very *intimate* medium; you're not staring at something to arouse some deep philosophical quandary, or read text in all its intricate prose, most games, good games, actually involve much of the above and more. People play games for alternative reasons for their intentions all the time; for example I play Tropico to create an "idealized" society where everyone is has happy and free as possible and to enjoy (an albeit shallow caricature) Latin-American culture and the dark Cold War humor, rather than making my island a living satire of a Banana Republic to make as much money as possible at the expense of the islanders. It's not easy, it's not what the game is technically meant for, it's an option which is all what this about. I just want the *option* to play games on easier levels so that I can enjoy things other than the tenacious combat, and when I want to, I can easily change it to a more realistic level. That affects no one. I already play most of my RPGs like Skyrim or Mass Effect on difficulties ranging from easy to master/nightmare, so I don't see how doing that to Dark Souls will change anything.

jmarquiso:

There are quite a few house rules in monopoly made popular in different regions. In the UK, you don't pick up property in the first round as it gives an unfair advantage to the first player. In others, auctioning is required when someone can afford property. Heck, the original game "The Landlord Game" was actually a statement against Monopolies, created during the Great Depression.

Finally, Chess, Poker, and checkers all had different regional and historical rulesets in their long history. Mass production has changed this quite a bit, but there are still people who use family, regional, or different house rules for everything. Yes, changing a single rule is a different-ish game, but it's similar enough to know it's the same game with slightly different rules. So I do stand corrected there is a "difficulty" setting, but that's agreed upon by all players in general. It isn't a "different" game as it isn't different enough to be called completely separate. In fact, most Milton Bradley boxes even SAY you can change a rule here and there for your friends and family. That means the Designers looked at it as a guideline as long as the spirit and components remain similar enough.

If the creator of a board game takes allowances for custom rules, then that counts as a rule in and of itself, and thus is it still the same game if you make a few rule changes, if the creator doesn't, and you still do, then is it a similar game, not the same game. Rules are what make chess chess and not checkers, what makes chutes and ladder chutes and ladders, not candyland, and so on, change a rule, it's not the same board game. Anyone can have any rules for any game they want in private sessions at home, that still doesn't mean checkers still won't be checkers if they're playing like chess. Besides, what about if you're playing a board game officially, like in a tournament? You can't change the rules then, where does the variable difficulty come from then?

immortalfrieza:
It makes it less meaningful because when people are able to accomplish the same thing with less time and effort, it makes the time and effort that those that had to do it the hard way look pointless. Bragging rights only matter when few others are able pull it off, not practically everyone.

Why are you worried about what other think about your accomplishments? You would know that you beat whatever game on the hardest difficulty; is validation from other people all that matters? Besides, as other people have suggested, throw in some achievement proving that you beat the game on the harder mode if you care that much about people knowing you are the hardest of core.

grumbel:

Movies have those things called fast-forward buttons, you can press them and abridge them how much or how little you want. You can even pause them or reverse them, at any time completely without cheatcode. Or switch on the audio-commentary and you don't even have to finish the movie first to unlock them. And if that isn't enough, I am sure Wikipedia will have a plot summary explaining the rest of it.

Games are not movies, and movies are not games. Either way, you can buy any movie you want the same as you can buy any game you want, but that doesn't mean you'll either understand or appreciate the content of the disc. You can enjoy any amount of colors moving on screen in front of you in a movie the same way you can enjoy pressing buttons to make stuff happen in a game. But if you _make an effort_ to learn more about cinematography, special effects, narrative structure and set creation you'll be able to partake in the medium in a completely different level. The same way that if you _make an effort_ to learn controls, understand basic systems in the game and practice the mechanics enough to move forward at a satisfying pace works in a game.

grumbel:

Should classical books be rewritten in simple english?

That stuff exist plentiful there are even books that summarize and help you interpret books.

No, there is in fact _not_ simple english versions of every book released, because the literary community does not need to cater to audiences that does not understand or appreciate every work. If games are to be taken seriously as an artistic medium, everything must not be accessible to everyone.
Also, yes, there other people, authors and academics that provide analysis of classical books, but none of their words are printed with the original copy.
And guess what, there are other communities, forums and walkthrough writers who explain and summarize how to be more effective in Dark Souls. _Make an effort_ and find these things _outside of the game_ and there's your easy mode.

grumbel:

Should statues, art and poetry come with a de facto explanation and reasoning behind every brushstroke?

There is no shortage of that either.

All content you personally have to _make an effort_ and seek out outside of the actual work.

grumbel:

Should the rules for each sport, and team and player biographies be told to you every time you watch a football game?

What has that to do with anything? Nobody is requesting to force easy mode on everyone. Options are optional.

It has to do with, if you don't understand the rules of football, the history of the teams or the players that make them up, there's a good chance you won't enjoy watching sports. You have to _make an effort_ to learn these things if you want to become a part of the sports community.

Also, because an easy mode is unnecessary and ruins the integrity of the product.
Also, "Easy Mode" is not just "enemies have less health and do less damage", you'd be forcing developers to completely rebalance what would basically be a new game and abstain from key mechanics that make up the core of Dark Souls as a whole. It would be like an artist trying to capture the same point or emotion he or she was trying to make with a painting in a cartoon alongside every work.

Sometimes the consumer needs to make an effort in order to partake in a medium.

No other medium requires an effort to consume it. You can read through a book without getting it or what a movie while asleep. Only games lock content.[/quote]

And you can endlessly play around in the starting level of every game? Every other medium requires an effort to consume. For example, if you don't get the political metaphor for democracy in Orwell's Animal Farm, there's an entire layer of references, allusions and commentary you'll never get to see unless you make an effort to understand it.
If you don't get the gameplay aspect of a game, there's an entire level of environments you won't get to see unless you make an effort to get good enough to reach it.

CandideWolf:

immortalfrieza:
It makes it less meaningful because when people are able to accomplish the same thing with less time and effort, it makes the time and effort that those that had to do it the hard way look pointless. Bragging rights only matter when few others are able pull it off, not practically everyone.

Why are you worried about what other think about your accomplishments? You would know that you beat whatever game on the hardest difficulty; is validation from other people all that matters? Besides, as other people have suggested, throw in some achievement proving that you beat the game on the harder mode if you care that much about people knowing you are the hardest of core.

It's less about what others think and about how much I think my time and effort was worth putting in, bragging rights are just icing on the cake.

If you don't like that a game isn't easy enough for you, you can always leave and find another game or entertainment,

That's what people have been doing for the last 20 years and that's the reason why modern games are so watered down these days. Publishers see the sales for the hard games dwindle and retool their next game so that they are more accessible to wider audiences by making them easier by default.

Your suggestion of simply not buying those games is the cause for all the problem we have with game difficulty today, not the solution. If you want to have hard games stay hard, they have to sell and adding optional difficulty settings that preserves the challenge, but make the game accessible to new gamers is quite a good way to do that.

immortalfrieza:
It makes it less meaningful because when people are able to accomplish the same thing with less time and effort

How exactly did they complete the same thing? Playing a game on easy mode is a different experience then playing it on hard. Your achievements reflect that, that's why that stuff was invented. If you try to brag with your easy-mode accomplishments, people will call you out on it.

chikusho:

grumbel:

Movies have those things called fast-forward buttons, you can press them and abridge them how much or how little you want. You can even pause them or reverse them, at any time completely without cheatcode. Or switch on the audio-commentary and you don't even have to finish the movie first to unlock them. And if that isn't enough, I am sure Wikipedia will have a plot summary explaining the rest of it.

Games are not movies, and movies are not games. Either way, you can buy any movie you want the same as you can buy any game you want, but that doesn't mean you'll either understand or appreciate the content of the disc. You can enjoy any amount of colors moving on screen in front of you in a movie the same way you can enjoy pressing buttons to make stuff happen in a game. But if you _make an effort_ to learn more about cinematography, special effects, narrative structure and set creation you'll be able to partake in the medium in a completely different level. The same way that if you _make an effort_ to learn controls, understand basic systems in the game and practice the mechanics enough to move forward at a satisfying pace works in a game.

grumbel:

Should classical books be rewritten in simple english?

That stuff exist plentiful there are even books that summarize and help you interpret books.

No, there is in fact _not_ simple english versions of every book released, because the literary community does not need to cater to audiences that does not understand or appreciate every work. If games are to be taken seriously as an artistic medium, everything must not be accessible to everyone.
Also, yes, there other people, authors and academics that provide analysis of classical books, but none of their words are printed with the original copy.
And guess what, there are other communities, forums and walkthrough writers who explain and summarize how to be more effective in Dark Souls. _Make an effort_ and find these things _outside of the game_ and there's your easy mode.

grumbel:

Should statues, art and poetry come with a de facto explanation and reasoning behind every brushstroke?

There is no shortage of that either.

All content you personally have to _make an effort_ and seek out outside of the actual work.

grumbel:

Should the rules for each sport, and team and player biographies be told to you every time you watch a football game?

What has that to do with anything? Nobody is requesting to force easy mode on everyone. Options are optional.

It has to do with, if you don't understand the rules of football, the history of the teams or the players that make them up, there's a good chance you won't enjoy watching sports. You have to _make an effort_ to learn these things if you want to become a part of the sports community.

Also, because an easy mode is unnecessary and ruins the integrity of the product.
Also, "Easy Mode" is not just "enemies have less health and do less damage", you'd be forcing developers to completely rebalance what would basically be a new game and abstain from key mechanics that make up the core of Dark Souls as a whole. It would be like an artist trying to capture the same point or emotion he or she was trying to make with a painting in a cartoon alongside every work.

Sometimes the consumer needs to make an effort in order to partake in a medium.

No other medium requires an effort to consume it. You can read through a book without getting it or what a movie while asleep. Only games lock content.

And you can endlessly play around in the starting level of every game? Every other medium requires an effort to consume. For example, if you don't get the political metaphor for democracy in Orwell's Animal Farm, there's an entire layer of references, allusions and commentary you'll never get to see unless you make an effort to understand it.
If you don't get the gameplay aspect of a game, there's an entire level of environments you won't get to see unless you make an effort to get good enough to reach it.[/quote]

Could it be? Can it be possible that there's someone else around here that understands the points about effort that I've been trying to make? *GASP!* And just when I was starting to think I was alone in the universe.

immortalfrieza:

If the creator of a board game takes allowances for custom rules, then that counts as a rule in and of itself, and thus is it still the same game if you make a few rule changes, if the creator doesn't, and you still do, then is it a similar game, not the same game. Rules are what make chess chess and not checkers, what makes chutes and ladder chutes and ladders, not candyland, and so on, change a rule, it's not the same board game. Anyone can have any rules for any game they want in private sessions at home, that still doesn't mean checkers still won't be checkers if they're playing like chess. Besides, what about if you're playing a board game officially, like in a tournament? You can't change the rules then, where does the variable difficulty come from then?

By your own narrow definition, a tournament is an additional layer of ruleset and therefore not the same game. It is no longer Monopoly, it's Tournament Monopoly.

Tournaments publish their own house rules all of the time. I've been involved in a few of them.

As with Chess - not all people use En Passant for example - but it's an "advanced" rule that changes up the gameplay slightly. For some it's "purer" for others it's not. Historically it's a fairly modern french variation on the game.

Making this its own post -

This article -

uses actual statistics on game completion, which is one of the motivations for designing difficulty. This is just interesting in a way to look at how many consumers are - well - consuming all content.

Personally, I think it's fine if there's an Easy Mode - as much as their are abridged versions of books. These are methods to make things more accessible and consumed by more. You could go several steps further and say that The Iliad is only meant to be read in the original Ancient Greek (and in that, heard as spoken word as mass production of the poem was rather difficult then, and that would make it a lost piece of art since NO ONE SPEAKS ANCIENT GREEK ANYMORE), or the New Testament should only be read in Latin, or more appropriately Aramaic. Becoming a purist doesn't actually help anybody. Did any of these translations - straying away from how they. I've had a teacher friend of mine who got inspired to get his masters in Ancient Greek precisely because he enjoyed the story so much - his thesis project involved his own translation of the poem. Reading an English version abridged in Edith Hamilton's Mythology is what originally inspired him. That's right, reading the poem on "easy mode" inspired him to go to the most effort-involved difficulty level possible - MAKING HIS OWN TRANSLATION.

This is what "easy mode" can do for games as much as 1995 mode in Bioshock: Infinite, or "This is Deus Ex" in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Now I understand that - in Dark Souls - difficulty is part of the design. But the proposed "easy mode" did involve redesigning the game SPECIFICALLY IN THAT ONE OPTIONAL MODE. It may - in fact - inspire the "casual" player to become more "hardcore" from their original enjoyment in "easy". As many people have in other games.

Anyone playing on easy knows they didn't "really" beat it in a competitive fashion.

Edit: And Edith Hamilton's Mythology is quite possibly the most dumbed down version of the poem I've seen, aside from the film "Troy".

Edit 2: Though Troy had my favorite scene from the poem, that is the between Hector and his son.

chikusho:
The same way that if you _make an effort_ to learn controls, understand basic systems in the game and practice the mechanics enough to move forward at a satisfying pace works in a game.

Nobody is arguing against about that. If you like to play games that way, that's perfectly fine. But don't try to force everybody to play games that way.

chikusho:
No, there is in fact _not_ simple english versions of every book released, because the literary community does not need to cater to audiences that does not understand or appreciate every work.

Books don't lock you out of content. They don't quiz you every few pages about the deeper meaning to let you continue. You can jump right to the last page and not care about any of the deeper meaning.

If games are to be taken seriously as an artistic medium, everything must not be accessible to everyone.

In every other art form, books, movies, painters, etc., everything is accessible to everybody. People might not get them and don't understand their deeper meaning, but they are still allowed to read through the whole book or watch the whole movie. Games are the only medium that locks you out of content.

_Make an effort_ and find these things _outside of the game_ and there's your easy mode.

Easier said then done. While on the PC you can mod many games into whatever form you enjoy, you don't have that freedom on consoles where everything is locked up behind DRM and copy-protection that makes any attempt at modifying a game illegal. Even all those Youtube gameplay videos are technically illegal, as they are copyright violations, it's just that nobody is enforcing it.

Also, "Easy Mode" is not just "enemies have less health and do less damage",

That complete depends on the game. Add double-health and quicksave to Dark Souls and you have a much easier game without changing any of the fundamentals. The perfect easy mode would of course be one that teaches the player to play the game as it was intended, but rarely do developers go to that amount of effort.

NemotheElvenPanda:

Me fighting a creature with less health on one difficulty as opposed to a common mook with boss-level health on harder modes is not a game-changer. This isn't pandering, it's letting people with less time or different interests to enjoy the game. We don't all have the time, much less the desire to, fight a battle over and over again. I like the occasional challenge, I really do, but I dislike dying; a lot. I do however like fighting and advancing in rank...in my own way. A game like Dark Souls to simply let me fight easier opponents will not affect you.

There is a lot more to the difficulty in Dark Souls than just health and damage statistics, not to mention the head-ache it would most likely be to split the online function.
But I can tell you right away, if you "dislike dying; a lot", then maybe a game with the tagline "Prepare to die" is not for you.

NemotheElvenPanda:

As for the rest of your comment, there's one problem: video gaming is a very *intimate* medium; you're not staring at something to arouse some deep philosophical quandary, or read text in all its intricate prose, most games, good games, actually involve much of the above and more.

And the point of Dark Souls is to instill a feeling of uncertainty and dread, fear of what might be around every corner, and the threat of loosing the last half hour/hour of progress due to facing previously unheard of challenges. Every decision in the design of that game is done with this specific goal in mind, and watering down/removing this threat goes against it's very philosophy. The difficulty is a mechanic, and if you're about to start removing mechanics from games simply because some people don't understand how to use them, we're taking a large step back a medium.

NemotheElvenPanda:

People play games for alternative reasons for their intentions all the time; for example I play Tropico to create an "idealized" society where everyone is has happy and free as possible and to enjoy (an albeit shallow caricature) Latin-American culture and the dark Cold War humor, rather than making my island a living satire of a Banana Republic to make as much money as possible at the expense of the islanders. It's not easy, it's not what the game is technically meant for, it's an option which is all what this about. I just want the *option* to play games on easier levels so that I can enjoy things other than the tenacious combat, and when I want to, I can easily change it to a more realistic level. That affects no one. I already play most of my RPGs like Skyrim or Mass Effect on difficulties ranging from easy to master/nightmare, so I don't see how doing that to Dark Souls will change anything.

If you keep at it, I'm sure you can find a modding community that will provide you with an easy mode option for Dark Souls that ranges from invulnerability to 1-hit kills. That doesn't mean the developers should make their game a playground for everyone instead of trying to create a fixed experience.

immortalfrieza:
It's less about what others think and about how much I think my time and effort was worth putting in, bragging rights are just icing on the cake.

Bragging ain't cool man.

But that's besides the point. The thing is, you know your time and effort was worth it because you completed the game on the hardest difficulty and you get a feeling of accomplishment. Other people might not get that feeling of accomplishment when playing the game on easy, but they might not be playing the game to get that feeling. They may be playing the game to be engrossed in the story and characters or to experience the atmosphere. Making more options will never diminish any accomplishment, it will just open up more avenues to fulfill peoples differing senses of enjoyment and accomplishment.

Every game should have multiple difficulty levels so that anyone who buys the game can beat it. Its easy to blame the casuals on making modern games a cake walk but in truth its the developers fault. Every game I buy gets played on the hardest difficulty right out of the box and I never have any problem beating them, which is just sad and should rarely happen but the truth is developers have been making games easier and easier. I've only started playing Souls recently and I have been loving getting my ass handed to me, its the only game that has been released this console generation that has been any type of challange to me. In truth making an easy mode would not effect me in anyway because I wouldn't play on it but I'm sure that part two will be easier and part three easier still. That saddens me but I know thats the way developers make games and the publishers push them to it.

grumbel:

Nobody is arguing against about that. If you like to play games that way, that's perfectly fine. But don't try to force everybody to play games that way.

If you don't enjoy playing games that way, then don't seek out games where this is what it's designed to make you do.
Don't try to force developers to cater every game to your needs.

grumbel:

Books don't lock you out of content. They don't quiz you every few pages about the deeper meaning to let you continue. You can jump right to the last page and not care about any of the deeper meaning.

If you can't read, books lock you out of content. If you don't understand the complicated language, books lock you out of content. If you want to understand, learn to read or expand your language skills and you will see a new _level_ of the work you are reading.

grumbel:

In every other art form, books, movies, painters, etc., everything is accessible to everybody. People might not get them and don't understand their deeper meaning, but they are still allowed to read through the whole book or watch the whole movie. Games are the only medium that locks you out of content.

But it's not. Most books, movies, painters and even music require knowledge for you to appreciate. Should every heavy metal album come with a B-side where every guitar is exchanged for a banjo? No, if you don't like distortion, don't buy the album.

grumbel:

Easier said then done. While on the PC you can mod many games into whatever form you enjoy, you don't have that freedom on consoles where everything is locked up behind DRM and copy-protection that makes any attempt at modifying a game illegal. Even all those Youtube gameplay videos are technically illegal, as they are copyright violations, it's just that nobody is enforcing it.

If you are an artist trying to convey a specific mind-set or feeling, you shouldn't feel forced to compromise your work so that everyone is included. If there is quality, an audience will come to you. Amazing though how games are the only medium where fans can say "I don't understand it, so you have to change it", instead of making an effort of their own to partake.

grumbel:

If you don't like that a game isn't easy enough for you, you can always leave and find another game or entertainment,

That's what people have been doing for the last 20 years and that's the reason why modern games are so watered down these days. Publishers see the sales for the hard games dwindle and retool their next game so that they are more accessible to wider audiences by making them easier by default.

Your suggestion of simply not buying those games is the cause for all the problem we have with game difficulty today, not the solution. If you want to have hard games stay hard, they have to sell and adding optional difficulty settings that preserves the challenge, but make the game accessible to new gamers is quite a good way to do that.

No, it's the greed that makes developers and publishers want more and more accessability so people will buy more of their games when they've got a massive audience as it is and not caring about the audience they've already got, THAT is why modern games are so watered down. Developers and publishers that can't see past the short term dollar signs to see the much greater long term ones are the problem. The fact that guy A deciding not to buy some game isn't a problem, there's guys B through Z just deciding to pick it up for every guy A out there. Adding in a easy mode to game series that don't already have it is only going to water down modern video games further. Your suggestion is like trying to stop a forest fire by throwing gasoline on it.

immortalfrieza:
It makes it less meaningful because when people are able to accomplish the same thing with less time and effort

How exactly did they complete the same thing? Playing a game on easy mode is a different experience then playing it on hard. Your achievements reflect that, that's why that stuff was invented. If you try to brag with your easy-mode accomplishments, people will call you out on it. [/quote]

They still beat the same enemies I did, still got through the same areas I did, and still beat the same game I did, but an somewhat easier version of it. It's not a different experience, it's the same experience, just with everything nerfed, and thus it is the same accomplishments, but with less effort. It makes people that did it the hard way look like they had wasted their time, that's the point.

CandideWolf:

immortalfrieza:
It's less about what others think and about how much I think my time and effort was worth putting in, bragging rights are just icing on the cake.

Bragging ain't cool man.

But that's besides the point. The thing is, you know your time and effort was worth it because you completed the game on the hardest difficulty and you get a feeling of accomplishment. Other people might not get that feeling of accomplishment when playing the game on easy, but they might not be playing the game to get that feeling. They may be playing the game to be engrossed in the story and characters or to experience the atmosphere. Making more options will never diminish any accomplishment, it will just open up more avenues to fulfill peoples differing senses of enjoyment and accomplishment.

Sure, when that option is always there, but when it's not, it's detrimental. How is it worth it when someone else can pull of what I just did but without trying nearly as hard? It makes people like idiots to do something hard when it turns out they didn't have to, and people don't like it when other people get things easier just because they complained for a while, playing video games is no exception.

immortalfrieza:

They still beat the same enemies I did, still got through the same areas I did, and still beat the same game I did, but an somewhat easier version of it. It's not a different experience, it's the same experience, just with everything nerfed, and thus it is the same accomplishments, but with less effort. It makes people that did it the hard way look like they had wasted their time, that's the point.

No they didn't. They beat nerfed versions of similar characters you fought.

That said, some games were creative with difficulty. Whereas difficulty didn't just include harder enemies, but the level design as well. Easy is a more linear experience, whereas other difficulty levels opened up the level design. It's like putting bumpers in a bowling alley.

chikusho:

NemotheElvenPanda:

Me fighting a creature with less health on one difficulty as opposed to a common mook with boss-level health on harder modes is not a game-changer. This isn't pandering, it's letting people with less time or different interests to enjoy the game. We don't all have the time, much less the desire to, fight a battle over and over again. I like the occasional challenge, I really do, but I dislike dying; a lot. I do however like fighting and advancing in rank...in my own way. A game like Dark Souls to simply let me fight easier opponents will not affect you.

There is a lot more to the difficulty in Dark Souls than just health and damage statistics, not to mention the head-ache it would most likely be to split the online function.
But I can tell you right away, if you "dislike dying; a lot", then maybe a game with the tagline "Prepare to die" is not for you.

My point is that making the enemies more manageable won't affect anyone; heck it might make the game more challenging in the inverse. Then again, I'm not a video game developer. As for the online function, I don't even play multiplayer period, so they can do with that how they please. How my highscore appears on the rosters doesn't matter to me, I just want to immerse myself into the dark gothic setting and fight against the demonic hordes for the good of humankind...which I imagine is why a few players play the game in the first place.

chikusho:

NemotheElvenPanda:

As for the rest of your comment, there's one problem: video gaming is a very *intimate* medium; you're not staring at something to arouse some deep philosophical quandary, or read text in all its intricate prose, most games, good games, actually involve much of the above and more.

And the point of Dark Souls is to instill a feeling of uncertainty and dread, fear of what might be around every corner, and the threat of loosing the last half hour/hour of progress due to facing previously unheard of challenges. Every decision in the design of that game is done with this specific goal in mind, and watering down/removing this threat goes against it's very philosophy. The difficulty is a mechanic, and if you're about to start removing mechanics from games simply because some people don't understand how to use them, we're taking a large step back a medium.

Who said anything about watering down or removing the threat or any other mechanic? When someone plays Silent Hill on an easier level, there's still a very real risk on messing up and dying if you don't manage thing correctly. The puzzles also remain cryptic and creepy; they're just easier to swallow. In the end, you still have that pervasive since of dread regardless of the difficulty, and a game like Dark Souls could very well do the same if they implement it correctly. Granted, they're different games, but you can have a more forgiving environment without loosing atmosphere; I certainly don't want that.

chikusho:

NemotheElvenPanda:

People play games for alternative reasons for their intentions all the time; for example I play Tropico to create an "idealized" society where everyone is has happy and free as possible and to enjoy (an albeit shallow caricature) Latin-American culture and the dark Cold War humor, rather than making my island a living satire of a Banana Republic to make as much money as possible at the expense of the islanders. It's not easy, it's not what the game is technically meant for, it's an option which is all what this about. I just want the *option* to play games on easier levels so that I can enjoy things other than the tenacious combat, and when I want to, I can easily change it to a more realistic level. That affects no one. I already play most of my RPGs like Skyrim or Mass Effect on difficulties ranging from easy to master/nightmare, so I don't see how doing that to Dark Souls will change anything.

If you keep at it, I'm sure you can find a modding community that will provide you with an easy mode option for Dark Souls that ranges from invulnerability to 1-hit kills. That doesn't mean the developers should make their game a playground for everyone instead of trying to create a fixed experience.

Well I don't play on PC, so I have no mods available to me, and even if that's the case I don't want entire armies falling to every hit of the button or to never die period, and neither am I asking for a personally tailored experience. All I'm asking, is for an easy mode, no different than all the other games that have easy mode, and if history is correct, it's not going to affect those who want a genuinely challenging experience. I don't want the setting to be dumbed-down like anyone else, but giving the option to have the foes be easier to contend with won't do that.

immortalfrieza:
Sure, when that option is always there, but when it's not, it's detrimental. How is it worth it when someone else can pull of what I just did but without trying nearly as hard? It makes people look like idiots to do something hard when it turns out they didn't have to, and people don't like it when other people get things easier just because they complained for a while, playing video games is no exception.

First of all, it is not complaining, but a valid suggestion that games can broaden their audiences without compromising the game in question.

You're coming back to the idea that because someone else can do something, it makes you feel less accomplished. Like I said, you have the knowledge that what you completed was more challenging, meaning that it took more skill, even if the same exact thing was done by you and someone playing on an easier difficulty. Some people, like you it seems, get enjoyment out of challenging themselves by trying out harder difficulties. That's what difficulties are there for.

If other people knew you beat the game on the hardest difficulty or beat the most strenuous challenge and exalted you endlessly for being "better", would you have any qualms with people who beat it on easier difficulties and received no such praise?

CandideWolf:

First of all, it is not complaining, but a valid suggestion that games can broaden their audiences without compromising the game in question.

Just having the easy mode compromises the game series in question, why can't you understand that? Every time a developer makes a game in a series easier, they are compromising it. You can broaden the audience of a game series without compromising it by improving it's mechanics, and/or by improving it's storyline, but difficulty is something that if compromised will continue to be compromised further and further until it ruins a series entirely. That has happened to every video game series that has ever existed. Out of everything, difficulity is thing that matters most in a game's quality, it's the one thing that separates video games from every other form of entertainment.

CandideWolf:

You're coming back to the idea that because someone else can do something, it makes you feel less accomplished. Like I said, you have the knowledge that what you completed was more challenging, meaning that it took more skill, even if the same exact thing was done by you and someone playing on an easier difficulty. Some people, like you it seems, get enjoyment out of challenging themselves by trying out harder difficulties. That's what difficulties are there for.

If other people knew you beat the game on the hardest difficulty or beat the most strenuous challenge and exalted you endlessly for being "better", would you have any qualms with people who beat it on easier difficulties and received no such praise?

I keep coming back to it because it does. Being the fastest runner in the world is only an accomplishment if everybody else isn't equal in running speed, being one of the top 10 shots with a pistol in the world only means something if everybody else can't shoot just as well. Similarly, the fewer people that can beat a game the more meaning beating it has, and arbitrarily making it easier on other people to beat a game increases that number of people, thus decreasing the meaning of beating the game. Worst of all, it is an unfair advantage for those people to have it easier in beating the game than those who already have.

immortalfrieza:

CandideWolf:

First of all, it is not complaining, but a valid suggestion that games can broaden their audiences without compromising the game in question.

Just having the easy mode compromises the game series in question, why can't you understand that? Every time a developer makes a game in a series easier, they are compromising it. You can broaden the audience of a game series without compromising it by improving it's mechanics, and/or by improving it's storyline, but difficulty is something that if compromised will continue to be compromised further and further until it ruins a series entirely. That has happened to every video game series that has ever existed. Out of everything, difficulity is thing that matters most in a game's quality, it's the one thing that separates video games from every other form of entertainment.

You know, Difficulty is not the thing that matters most in a game's quality. Interactivity is. There are quite a few books that are difficult to read, and movies that are hard to watch. Difficulty doesn't define games at all.

Also - you could reverse your argument and say that making a game harder only caters to the hardcore. I say you could definitely say this about "I wanna be the guy" which is at best an ironic statement about difficulty in general.

WWmelb:
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.

4th option have online mode automatically set it to normal all weapons and armor scale properly. solved

jmarquiso:

You know, Difficulty is not the thing that matters most in a game's quality. Interactivity is. There are quite a few books that are difficult to read, and movies that are hard to watch. Difficulty doesn't define games at all.

Sure, some movies are hard to watch, some books are hard to read, but you can still get all the content in them, even if you don't understand it all. Video games require you to work to witness all their content, no other media does. It is the difficulty that make a video game a video game, and not any other form of interactive media.

jmarquiso:

Also - you could reverse your argument and say that making a game harder only caters to the hardcore. I say you could definitely say this about "I wanna be the guy" which is at best an ironic statement about difficulty in general.

That would be important only if the casual were the minority party here. Casuals have plenty of catering as it is, way too much in fact, them finding games isn't a problem, finding hardcore ones is. They exist, true, but in comparison, the hardcore audience are on a raft constantly looking for the 1 island of hardcore games in a ocean of casual games. In essence, that's what this whole debate has been about, the hardcores wanting to make sure that island is still there when they get to it, while the casuals want it destroyed.

immortalfrieza:

Just having the easy mode compromises the game series in question, why can't you understand that? Every time a developer makes a game in a series easier, they are compromising it. You can broaden the audience of a game series without compromising it by improving it's mechanics, and/or by improving it's storyline, but difficulty is something that if compromised will continue to be compromised further and further until it ruins a series entirely. That has happened to every video game series that has ever existed. Out of everything, difficulty is thing that matters most in a game's quality, it's the one thing that separates video games from every other form of entertainment.

I keep coming back to it because it does. Being the fastest runner in the world is only an accomplishment if everybody else isn't equal in running speed, being one of the top 10 shots with a pistol in the world only means something if everybody else can't shoot just as well. Similarly, the fewer people that can beat a game the more meaning beating it has, and arbitrarily making it easier on other people to beat a game increases that number of people, thus decreasing the meaning of beating the game. Worst of all, it is an unfair advantage for those people to have it easier in beating the game than those who already have.

The idea that difficulty matters most seems to be base in your interpretation of games, meaning arguing that other things like functionality of mechanics would be a bit futile, but jmarquiso puts an interesting counterpoint to it.

As for the second part, you kind of help back me up. Not everyone can beat games like Dark Souls just like not everyone can run as fast as Usain Bolt. However, people are still allowed to run at a lower level because they find it enjoyable, just like people should be able to play a game on an easier setting if that is what they find more enjoyable. Now, these people will not get noticed as much as someone who beat a game on the hardest difficulty setting, but they will still be able to beat it. The "meaning" of you beating a game is not diminished at all because you beat it at a higher difficulty than them; in effect, you accomplished something different from them, meaning you should not be upset by whatever they do. Both of you will be able to enjoy the gameplay with all of its story and atmosphere, but if you are so hung up on being part of some "elite" group of hard game beaters, you will still have that distinction as well. You lose nothing.

immortalfrieza:

jmarquiso:

You know, Difficulty is not the thing that matters most in a game's quality. Interactivity is. There are quite a few books that are difficult to read, and movies that are hard to watch. Difficulty doesn't define games at all.

Sure, some movies are hard to watch, some books are hard to read, but you can still get all the content in them, even if you don't understand it all. Video games require you to work to witness all their content, no other media does. It is the difficulty that make a video game a video game, and not any other form of interactive media.

Actually, with arcades, all it really required was more quarters.

immortalfrieza:

jmarquiso:

Also - you could reverse your argument and say that making a game harder only caters to the hardcore. I say you could definitely say this about "I wanna be the guy" which is at best an ironic statement about difficulty in general.

That would be important only if the casual were the minority party here. Casuals have plenty of catering as it is, way too much in fact, them finding games isn't a problem, finding hardcore ones is. They exist, true, but in comparison, the hardcore audience are on a raft constantly looking for the 1 island of hardcore games in a ocean of casual games. In essence, that's what this whole debate has been about, the hardcores wanting to make sure that island is still there when they get to it, while the casuals want it destroyed.

Arcades are full of games that used difficulty to earn more money, and designed games with that in mind. POORLY designed games, mind you. Really terrible stuff. Heck, you can just watch Angry Video Game Nerd and see the 8-Bit generation full of even more terrible stuff with poor difficulty in order to extend the life of the game. Difficulty could be AS MUCH a bad design choice as a good one. That's what you get when you have an economy devoted to the hardcore, and guess what, it lead to the video game crash of the 80's.

immortalfrieza:
Developers and publishers that can't see past the short term dollar signs to see the much greater long term ones are the problem.

What long term dollars are there to be made with hardcore-only games? If half the people get stuck and frustrated on some random boss enemy there is a good chance they won't bother buying the sequel. On the other side your average Dark Souls fan will probably still buy the game if it has an optional easy-mode, it's not like he has many hardcore-only alternatives to run to.

Adding in a easy mode to game series that don't already have it is only going to water down modern video games further.

How exactly is it watering the game down again when it's optional? As already said a few time, if it's not an option it means the default game will be watered down forcing an easier mode on everybody, if it's an option, people can chose. Publishers aren't just going to ignore the potential dollars they can make with a wider audience.

Your suggestion is like trying to stop a forest fire by throwing gasoline on it.

You mean like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driptorch

immortalfrieza:
It's not a different experience, it's the same experience, just with everything nerfed, and thus it is the same accomplishments, but with less effort.

So you don't want an easy-mode because it would make you realize how much of a waste of time the game was on hard-mode? So the only reason for hard-mode to exist is to waste peoples lives so they can join the "I wasted my life on Dark Souls"-club? I thought hard-mode was all about creating a more immersive experience that forced you to actually pay attention to enemies and environments... sorry, my mistake.

I know i have mostly babbled crap but i that post about game completion mad me sad. I see achievements as the worst thing to ever happen to gaming. The additive die and try again coin-up era is dead games being challenging additive time sinks is over. They are now you are god you will always regen never die no game over handholding gruel. I have probably stopped playing 60% of the games i bought this gen because they bored the shit out of me. I like a game to batter me i like it when the ai isn't some dumb cunt that goes and sits where i just blew his buddies head off. Anyone that says everyone should be able to enjoy all the content why? Nothing but you is stopping you enjoying it as it is now.

Here is a crazy thing i like to loose and then figure out how to get better and then win crazy huh some one likes to loose.

I liked having things to unlock in games like son of spada mode in dmc 1.
Would that game mode of felt as awesome if i could of played it straight away with 0 effort to unlock it?

JustanotherGamer:
I know i have mostly babbled crap but i that post about game completion mad me sad. I see achievements as the worst thing to ever happen to gaming. The additive die and try again coin-up era is dead games being challenging additive time sinks is over. They are now you are god you will always regen never die no game over handholding gruel. I have probably stopped playing 60% of the games i bought this gen because they bored the shit out of me. I like a game to batter me i like it when the ai isn't some dumb cunt that goes and sits where i just blew his buddies head off. Anyone that says everyone should be able to enjoy all the content why? Nothing but you is stopping you enjoying it as it is now.

Here is a crazy thing i like to loose and then figure out how to get better and then win crazy huh some one likes to loose.

I liked having things to unlock in games like son of spada mode in dmc 1.
Would that game mode of felt as awesome if i could of played it straight away with 0 effort to unlock it?

Honestly, I prefer challenge as well, and I have issues with handholding, too. Then it's a matter of finding the challenging modes. The presence of an "Easy Mode" is not going to change that, especially in a series devoted to challenge as its conceit. And if it does, they should be called out on that, because nothing's more boring than button mashing over skill.

I think it's all a false dichotomy. to say that one can't exist over the other. If you feel that way of 60% of games, make note of those games and their franchises and don't buy them. Simple as that. If you want more challenging gameplay, put your time and money toward challenging gameplay.

For me, this year my top games are Hotline: Miami, Mark of the Ninja, Journey, The Walking Dead, and Spec Ops: The Line. They all have varying degrees of difficulty, and handle it all differently. Journey and the Walking Dead are adventure games that want you to continue, with miniscule puzzles put in your way - but your interactivity is part of the experience. Spec Ops doesn't make the game too challenging to get in the way, but not so easy as to keep you board - Indeed, it's the artistic content that's meant to make that game interesting. Mark of the Ninja also wants you to finish, but offers variable difficulty and different kinds of feedback as a result (The Game Plus makes you more "blind" than the original game, reducing the amount of visual feedback you got from the base game). Hotline: Miami bases itself on a Super Meat Boy level of challenge, but has quick restarts and checkpoints to make it less painful. And that has a story that requires a PUZZLE to unlock the complete story.

grumbel:

immortalfrieza:

Adding in a easy mode to game series that don't already have it is only going to water down modern video games further.

How exactly is it watering the game down again when it's optional? As already said a few time, if it's not an option it means the default game will be watered down forcing an easier mode on everybody, if it's an option, people can chose.

Addition of easy mode to Dark Souls at this point, be it an option or the new default, would be a decisive change and one that, I believe, would lessen the intrinsic value of the game and the very experience it has the potential to provide you with. It would make it more likely that you would be able to succeed. The knowledge that you can fail is an important aspect of the experience Dark Souls is designed to provide, and I don't think it is an aspect worth sacrifising just so that the game would be more accessible.

Somehing I said earlier:

Peithelo:

An option, however optional it may be, by definition gives you an alternative to something and enables you to resort to it if you so desire. This goes against what Dark Souls is trying to achieve. The very notion of an optional option degrades the experienced value of your efforts and in the case of Dark Souls lessens the amount of tension you experience. There is nothing you can do (aside from maybe erasing our memories) to avoid this from happening if the option is consciously known to be there. It's just how the concept of tension and our minds work.

Besides there is something vastly superior (for Dark Souls specifically at least) in place in Dark Souls already: organic, varying difficulty that the player themself can control.

As for the time issues, if you are impatient or truly too busy, perhaps play other genres of games than RPG's since they are known to be quite time consuming. I have nothing against taking these kinds of things into account during development, but only if doing so does not hinder creativity or go against the appointed goals of the game. And no pandering! :]

grumbel:
Publishers aren't just going to ignore the potential dollars they can make with a wider audience.

They unwittingly were in the case of Demon's Souls and for the great part in the case of Dark Souls as well. It will be interesting to see how the success of the series is going to affect the third installment in it. It seems to me that the first in the series often has the moste pure ideas in it, but is often in some ways rugged in its execution. The second installment in the series usually improves upon the predecessors imperfections and is in this sense the hight of the series. Then comes the third installment, which more usually than not has some glaring problems in it or is at least controversial. I think that the pandering of people and the outside forces (publishers etc.) may have a big part in this, but certainly not always.

Books contain information that is most often in the form of written word, which practically speaking defines the medium. The reading aspect of the process of gaining that information, however, is not usually a part of the information or a part that gives the information meaning or form. The information and its meaning exist outside of the readers intervention and reading the words only gives you access to it. Gameplay and its inherent interactivity, however, are to video games what words are to books ― the actual content itself ― and this interactivity just so happens to have the possibility of being more demanding than the simple ability to read or keep your eyes open and focused when watching a movie.

Let me quote something I said in this thread earlier:

Peithelo:

I personally object to the idea that the gameplay in video games is in some way a mere distraction that keeps you from experiencing the story or any other points of interest. Gameplay is precisely the thing that seperates video games from other mediums, such as movies and books, and it should be used to the greatest possible extent when trying to achieve whatever it is that the game is supposed to achieve. Otherwise there hardly is a point to any of it. Dark Souls cleverly uses the challenging gameplay to improve every other aspect of the game. This, to me, is a sign of great use of video games as a medium.

Video games are a relatively new medium and as such it will undoubtedly go through many changes before finding its natural place and form. The recent trend seems to be the borrowing of common techniques from other mediums (excessive use of cutscenes).

NemotheElvenPanda:

My point is that making the enemies more manageable won't affect anyone; heck it might make the game more challenging in the inverse. Then again, I'm not a video game developer. As for the online function, I don't even play multiplayer period, so they can do with that how they please. How my highscore appears on the rosters doesn't matter to me, I just want to immerse myself into the dark gothic setting and fight against the demonic hordes for the good of humankind...which I imagine is why a few players play the game in the first place.

But it will. If it's just the numbers that are fiddled with there's a good chance you never learn to respect the dangerous nature of the world. This can actually make you even more frustrated when you don't take care to be wary of your surroundings, and then the problem remains for those who think the game should be easier. Perhaps the game is simply not for them.

chikusho:

Who said anything about watering down or removing the threat or any other mechanic? When someone plays Silent Hill on an easier level, there's still a very real risk on messing up and dying if you don't manage thing correctly. The puzzles also remain cryptic and creepy; they're just easier to swallow. In the end, you still have that pervasive since of dread regardless of the difficulty, and a game like Dark Souls could very well do the same if they implement it correctly. Granted, they're different games, but you can have a more forgiving environment without loosing atmosphere; I certainly don't want that.

[quote="chikusho" post="6.395777.16113585"]
Well I don't play on PC, so I have no mods available to me, and even if that's the case I don't want entire armies falling to every hit of the button or to never die period, and neither am I asking for a personally tailored experience. All I'm asking, is for an easy mode, no different than all the other games that have easy mode, and if history is correct, it's not going to affect those who want a genuinely challenging experience. I don't want the setting to be dumbed-down like anyone else, but giving the option to have the foes be easier to contend with won't do that.

Well, getting a platform that allows for you to play games the way you want them might be the effort you need to take as a consumer in order to have the experience you're looking for.

grumbel:
I would like to hear an argument for the excluding of an easy mode that doesn't really on idiotic elitism.

This thread is full of them. You just decided to jump on board after 20+ pages spewing the same parroted arguments that have been argued extensively already. It's really tiring having witnessed the arc of this thread and then you barge in starting it all over again.

And please, for the love of God, stop comparing games to books, movies etc as something one should have full access to no matter what. They are not the same and should never aspire to be. Having to actually play and actively complete games with a possibility of failure is the damn point.

CandideWolf:

immortalfrieza:
It's less about what others think and about how much I think my time and effort was worth putting in, bragging rights are just icing on the cake.

Bragging ain't cool man.

But that's besides the point. The thing is, you know your time and effort was worth it because you completed the game on the hardest difficulty and you get a feeling of accomplishment. Other people might not get that feeling of accomplishment when playing the game on easy, but they might not be playing the game to get that feeling. They may be playing the game to be engrossed in the story and characters or to experience the atmosphere. Making more options will never diminish any accomplishment, it will just open up more avenues to fulfill peoples differing senses of enjoyment and accomplishment.

I don't feel accomplished for beating a game on the hardest difficulty, because I know any trouble I had was because there was a choice at the start of the game that had far more impact on my success then anything else I did in the game, and I chose the tactically stupid one of Hard Mode. Harder difficulty modes feel the same to me as a challenge run, like going through Dark Souls only using the broken straight sword. I feel like an idiot for doing it unless I'm already invested in the games challenge, which only happens if I experience said challenge while doing my damndest to win. To me, challenge runs are about re-experiencing what was a challenge after it's become rote. Sort of like a nostalgic trip back through something I enjoyed, trying to recapture those feelings and experience it anew. You add in an easy mode and I never enjoy the challenge and never will. There might be other things I enjoy about the game, but I like to be able to enjoy a games challenge now and then, and I have so few options left for that sort of thing.

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