Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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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.

Sande45:
This thread is full of them.

Could you cite some? All I see is a bunch of boys that feel threatened in their manhood when somebody plays their games on easy.

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.

Your definition of gaming is rooted in some 20 year old arcade coin up machines. Games have long moved on and expanded into other areas.

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

No.. that is missing the problem entirely. The problem is how easy it would be for half the population to access the high end gear and putting them against the people who are going to have to try a lot harder, and take a lot more time to get to the same high end gear.

Now onto another point i probably should have made earlier. I'm against the concept of an easy mode overall (but still, believe it is the developers' choice as it is their work of art not mine).

However, i have neglected to point out that i am by no means a "HARDCORE GAMER" i work 70+ hours a week, and generally have time to game for maybe 2-3hours a day on the weekends. If i'm lucky.

I'm not that good at Demon's Souls/Dark Souls. They are a challenge and then some for me. I die a hell of a lot. Hell it took me about 30 attempts to beat gwyn on my first play through, and have still not managed to kill Smough/Ornstein solo.

I am not against modal difficulty in the slightest in 99% of cases, in fact, i generally relish it. I'm not good at FPS games, and to be honest, am not generally interested in them, with the exception of Bioshock. I loved that game. Not for the mechanics or the gameplay so much as the atmosphere and story in it.

that being said. I suck at FPS games. Badly. Normal difficulty in Bioshock i got my ass handed to me. Repeatedly, but i switched to easy, and it was SOOOO easy. I didn't die again in the play through at all. And although the story was great, this diminished the game so much because it was badly implemented imo.

anyways. Just pointing out another misconception: that it's only HARDCORE gamers that don't want an easy mode in dark souls. It's even the more casual gamers like myself who appreciate a piece of art for what it is, and love the hell out of it even if we suck at it. And yes, i ended up finishing NG+ even as a pretty poor player.

MrBrightside919:
Kinda of like what they did with the new XCOM game. The original was DEVILISHLY DIFFICULT and just plain unfair at times...where as the new one, I see it as more ACCESSABLE than DUMBED DOWN. I played it in comparison to the old one and found it to be more fun to play...

Absolutely, Xcom extremely good and really makes me think (not that making me think is hard). A good example of allowing people to play more easily without sacrificing too much difficulty. I think.

grumbel:

Sande45:
This thread is full of them.

Could you cite some? All I see is a bunch of boys that feel threatened in their manhood when somebody plays their games on easy.

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.

Your definition of gaming is rooted in some 20 year old arcade coin up machines. Games have long moved on and expanded into other areas.

Which is why Dark Souls fans want this game to remain as is. Do you get it yet?

It is also why Dark Souls fans get annoyed when people who dislike the game because "I think this is too hard" or "I can fail at this" complain that they want the game changed to suit their own selfish needs.

If you don't like it and don't want to fail and want to play something easier, that's okay - there are literally HUNDREDS of games that came out this gen that fill this requirement. But if you want to play a hard game, with old school values, that offers you a chance at failure, there is only one or two - hence the defensiveness of the fans of the series.

And the circular argument spins another complete circle...

infinity_turtles:
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.

So you care more about beating a game first as fast as possible and then going back to put limitations on yourself? Picking a higher difficulty is just like those limitations you put on yourself, but they were designed by developers so that you could get a feeling of accomplishment. I thought it was obvious that beating something that has different difficulty settings on the highest setting would make someone feel more accomplished, but if beating the game is your only prerogative as your post makes it out to be, why would you ever want a challenging game?

Also, this gets back to the selfishness idea. I know for a fact that when I beat the same thing on higher difficulties like Pop n' Music, Super Hexagon, or even Batman, I feel more accomplished than if I did it on easier settings. Now, you could turn that around and say I am the only one ever who does that, but that still means that different people enjoy different approaches to playing games, and the more games that can offer more options (while still being the same functioning game like always, yes it will) the better.

CandideWolf:
So you care more about beating a game first as fast as possible and then going back to put limitations on yourself? Picking a higher difficulty is just like those limitations you put on yourself, but they were designed by developers so that you could get a feeling of accomplishment. I thought it was obvious that beating something that has different difficulty settings on the highest setting would make someone feel more accomplished, but if beating the game is your only prerogative as your post makes it out to be, why would you ever want a challenging game?

Also, this gets back to the selfishness idea. I know for a fact that when I beat the same thing on higher difficulties like Pop n' Music, Super Hexagon, or even Batman, I feel more accomplished than if I did it on easier settings. Now, you could turn that around and say I am the only one ever who does that, but that still means that different people enjoy different approaches to playing games, and the more games that can offer more options (while still being the same functioning game like always, yes it will) the better.

That's not really what I'm saying at all. It's not about beating the game as fast as possible. It's about trying my best to win, making smart choices and still being challenged. I'm not testing my reflexes, I'm learning and making tactical choices, which from my perspective is what Hard and Easy mode are. Very clear tactical choices where Easy mode is the good one, and Hard Mode is the stupid one unless you're trying to cripple yourself. To pick it my first time through is the exact same thing to me as using the crappy weapon. It's me saying explicitly that no, I'm not going to try my best here. And if I'm not trying my best, how can I enjoy the challenge? If I did it once already and enjoyed the challenge while trying my best I can at least bank on, for lack of a better word, nostalgia but if I'm picking the crippling option from the start my mindset becomes one of "meh, I'm just half-assing it anyway." It's hard for me to explain, or at least others to understand, but I suppose you can say I can't see Hard and Easy mode as anything other then a tactical choice, as hard or easy mode they're still the same game just with some clear mechanical consequences based on your choice, and if a game needs me to make stupid choices to be challenging it was never challenging in the first place.

I realize I'm in the minority here, but I have to ask, does that mean that some games can't cater to a minority? You literally have almost every other modern game doing things how you want. Why can't I enjoy the challenge in the few I have? Why do you need to take them from me and people like me? There are so few games like this anymore. Isn't it more selfish to try and take them away when you have so many more that do things the way you like? I'm not trying to be exclusive. I just don't want to be excluded from the few games left I can play for challenge because you and others want to bring in lots of other people who have plenty of other games they can play.

And you have no idea how tempting it was to jokingly throw in "Why do you hate minorities".

grumbel:

Sande45:
This thread is full of them.

Could you cite some? All I see is a bunch of boys that feel threatened in their manhood when somebody plays their games on easy.

If you really give a shit about this topic, why not bother reading it? I'm too lazy to start wading through it for you but this recent reply sums up why "it's OPTIONAL, so it doesn'f affect YOU at all!" is bs. You've probably already read it though and if you have and you still see us as nothing but elitist whiny brats then there's nothing more to discuss. Another point is that easy mode in and of itself is pretty problematic. There's the PvP aspect which wouldn't work, as well as the fact that balancing the game for both modes (which could end up affecting normal, because they would be designing everything with easy mode in mind as well as normal) is tricky and possibly not worth it. Or they could just double the player hit points or some such bullshit and end up with a horrible easy mode that wouldn't be all that different (because difficulty mostly derives from other factors than stats like HP) and some parts wouldn't be at all easier (Anor Londo snipers for example).

grumbel:

Sande45:
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.

Your definition of gaming is rooted in some 20 year old arcade coin up machines. Games have long moved on and expanded into other areas.

But what you're saying is that those other areas are all that have a right to exist in today's world. That there's no place for a game that's challenging and success isn't certain the moment you pop the disc in. That's ridiculous in so many ways and against what most of gaming is about.

infinity_turtles:
That's not really what I'm saying at all. It's not about beating the game as fast as possible. It's about trying my best to win, making smart choices and still being challenged. I'm not testing my reflexes, I'm learning and making tactical choices, which from my perspective is what Hard and Easy mode are. Very clear tactical choices where Easy mode is the good one, and Hard Mode is the stupid one unless you're trying to cripple yourself. To pick it my first time through is the exact same thing to me as using the crappy weapon. It's me saying explicitly that no, I'm not going to try my best here. And if I'm not trying my best, how can I enjoy the challenge? If I did it once already and enjoyed the challenge while trying my best I can at least bank on, for lack of a better word, nostalgia but if I'm picking the crippling option from the start my mindset becomes one of "meh, I'm just half-assing it anyway." It's hard for me to explain, or at least others to understand, but I suppose you can say I can't see Hard and Easy mode as anything other then a tactical choice, as hard or easy mode they're still the same game just with some clear mechanical consequences based on your choice, and if a game needs me to make stupid choices to be challenging it was never challenging in the first place.

I realize I'm in the minority here, but I have to ask, does that mean that some games can't cater to a minority? You literally have almost every other modern game doing things how you want. Why can't I enjoy the challenge in the few I have? Why do you need to take them from me and people like me? There are so few games like this anymore. Isn't it more selfish to try and take them away when you have so many more that do things the way you like? I'm not trying to be exclusive. I just don't want to be excluded from the few games left I can play for challenge because you and others want to bring in lots of other people who have plenty of other games they can play.

And you have no idea how tempting it was to jokingly throw in "Why do you hate minorities".

Alright, I understand your idea that making the best "tactical" choice makes sense yes, but trying your best to win equates to win as fast as possible. Where I see a disconnect is why you wouldn't try your hardest at any difficulty setting or really anything ever for that matter. At least to me it seems like you're putting so much stress on difficulty and the desire to win, that any enjoyment of the mechanics, whether played on easy, medium or hard, take a back seat. I think this is the place where we just fundamentally disagree in what makes a game fun to a certain extent.

EDIT: Also, the minority of gamer thing is basically the same point. You see difficulty changes as compromising, I disagree. Therefore, I would believe that a "minority" group of players could still enjoy their niche experience while also allowing new people to experience it as well.

CandideWolf:

Alright, I understand your idea that making the best "tactical" choice makes sense yes, but trying your best to win equates to win as fast as possible. Where I see a disconnect is why you wouldn't try your hardest at any difficulty setting or really anything ever for that matter. At least to me it seems like you're putting so much stress on difficulty and the desire to win, that any enjoyment of the mechanics, whether played on easy, medium or hard, take a back seat. I think this is the place where we just fundamentally disagree in what makes a game fun to a certain extent.

In terms of what makes a games challenge fun, yeah, we probably do disagree. But to reply to a couple of these, if I choose a harder difficulty mode, I'm not trying my hardest to win. I just made a choice that more then any other is likely to cause my death. And I knew it. That's the opposite of trying my hardest. I just tried to make it more likely that I'd lose. And it's less the desire to win, as the desire to try my best and be challenged. To try my best and breeze through is boring. To be challenged when I'm not trying my best is pointless. I need both.

You make a compelling argument as usual. And wonderful gay marriage tie in as well!

5 days in a row of the Jimquisition?? I'm excited.

While there is nothing wrong with easy modes. I do think some games just don't benefit from them. Dark Souls being one of them.

I think this, because while making games have broader appeal isn't a bad thing in itself. It's how game developers try to create this by simplifying game mechanics, and making strategy less important if needed at all.

Then later creating the challenge of harder modes by changing enemy health, and damage ratios.

While there is nothing wrong with these kind of games. I see the reason some people might be worried, when developers say they are going to make a easy mode for a game that they like for its depth of mechanics or strategies.

infinity_turtles:
In terms of what makes a games challenge fun, yeah, we probably do disagree. But to reply to a couple of these, if I choose a harder difficulty mode, I'm not trying my hardest to win. I just made a choice that more then any other is likely to cause my death. And I knew it. That's the opposite of trying my hardest. I just tried to make it more likely that I'd lose. And it's less the desire to win, as the desire to try my best and be challenged. To try my best and breeze through is boring. To be challenged when I'm not trying my best is pointless. I need both.

Not trying to be a jerk, I really don't understand. To clarify, you want to be challenged, but not if there is an easier option because you wouldn't be trying your best. However, trying your best and beating an easy game is boring, so you need challenge. But does this challenge mean you're not trying your best? I am honestly confused, especially in the fact that choosing a harder difficulty somehow means you stop trying. Do game options control your effort that much?

I got five quotes in my inbox, but I will only be answering one, for the sake of brevity.
It should hopefully be obvious to those whom this general response is addressed to.

Church185:

Hi, I haven't directly spoken to you yet because I spend most of my time just reading this forum instead of posting in it (due to the fact the arguments on both sides don't seem to have changed all that much).

While you seem to be civil and gentlemanly enough in your later posts, your entrance into the fray was rather condescending. Saying we are all "whining (our) ass(es) off like a pretentious fuckhead(s)" and saying that our fears are invalidated because they are "first world problems" is not a good way to try and get someone to see your point of view.

Yes, I redacted that and edited my original post.
With an apology for the pretentious fuckhead line.

I do not apologize for the First World Problems line however.
It is my opinion that the response to the hypothetical problem has been is blown FAR out of proportion.

Will you please engage me in meaningful conversation?

I make no promises for "meaningful" conversation.
For future reference, there is a PM system in place.

As for this particular topic, I am not motivated to argue any further, right or wrong.
I've read through the rest of the topic and noticed how the argument literally goes in circles.

I will say this: Game Concepts themselves are modal and game design requires them to be modal in order to exist, let alone function.
That is what I meant about numbers and programming.
Math and Logic is how we translate between action and concept in games; any games, not just video games.
If you look at the Math or Programming strictly as character stats or physical processing, you are missing the single most essential, powerful concept in the entire medium.

CandideWolf:

infinity_turtles:
In terms of what makes a games challenge fun, yeah, we probably do disagree. But to reply to a couple of these, if I choose a harder difficulty mode, I'm not trying my hardest to win. I just made a choice that more then any other is likely to cause my death. And I knew it. That's the opposite of trying my hardest. I just tried to make it more likely that I'd lose. And it's less the desire to win, as the desire to try my best and be challenged. To try my best and breeze through is boring. To be challenged when I'm not trying my best is pointless. I need both.

Not trying to be a jerk, I really don't understand. To clarify, you want to be challenged, but not if there is an easier option because you wouldn't be trying your best. However, trying your best and beating an easy game is boring, so you need challenge. But does this challenge mean you're not trying your best? I am honestly confused, especially in the fact that choosing a harder difficulty somehow means you stop trying. Do game options control your effort that much?

I'm probably going to cram as many metaphors into this post as possible in an effort that maybe one of them will make sense. It's not that game options control how much effort I put into a game. It's that what options I choose are part of playing my best. As I said, I can't help but see the Easy and Hard modes as a tactical choice. Just like I know it's a stupid tactical choice to only use pawns in Chess, and as such I would never say I'm doing my best if all I used in chess was pawns, if I choose the clearly tactically inferior choice of hard mode I'm doing something stupid on purpose. Doing something stupid on purpose is not my best. I also wouldn't be doing my best to win a race if I purposefully shot myself in the leg first or tied a ball&chain to my leg, regardless of the effort I put into it. Hard mode is handicapping yourself and is thus never your best. At least, that's how I see it.

And I don't stop trying on a harder difficulty, I just stop caring. If I fail, I no longer feel as if it's because the game was challenging. I feel like I made a stupid decision that I knew was a stupid decision, did it anyway for some stupid reason, and that's why I failed. Back to previous metaphor, it's like losing a race because I had a ball&chain tied to my leg. Even if I could've won, I'm still going to feel like the most important reason I lost was because of the ball&chain. And if I win, well I don't really care because I never cared about losing. If there's only two options and you don't care about one, it's hard to care about the other either. That might actually be the best way to describe it. I can't enjoy winning if I never cared about losing.

infinity_turtles:
I'm probably going to cram as many metaphors into this post as possible in an effort that maybe one of them will make sense. It's not that game options control how much effort I put into a game. It's that what options I choose are part of playing my best. As I said, I can't help but see the Easy and Hard modes as a tactical choice. Just like I know it's a stupid tactical choice to only use pawns in Chess, and as such I would never say I'm doing my best if all I used in chess was pawns, if I choose the clearly tactically inferior choice of hard mode I'm doing something stupid on purpose. Doing something stupid on purpose is not my best. I also wouldn't be doing my best to win a race if I purposefully shot myself in the leg first or tied a ball&chain to my leg, regardless of the effort I put into it. Hard mode is handicapping yourself and is thus never your best. At least, that's how I see it.

And I don't stop trying on a harder difficulty, I just stop caring. If I fail, I no longer feel as if it's because the game was challenging. I feel like I made a stupid decision that I knew was a stupid decision, did it anyway for some stupid reason, and that's why I failed. Back to previous metaphor, it's like losing a race because I had a ball&chain tied to my leg. Even if I could've won, I'm still going to feel like the most important reason I lost was because of the ball&chain. And if I win, well I don't really care because I never cared about losing. If there's only two options and you don't care about one, it's hard to care about the other either. That might actually be the best way to describe it. I can't enjoy winning if I never cared about losing.

So it comes back to the tactical style of thinking, right? You have sort of explained it, but I still see no reason why you should feel stupid just for picking a harder difficulty when an easier one is better. The harder difficulty will challenge you, and that is what you want right? Difficulty choice isn't part of how the game mechanics work. You are able to do the same thing on easy as you are on hard, and personal preference on how much you want to be challenged is the only thing differentiating the two.

At least from my perspective, it seems like you're saying you can't enjoy an easier mode because you don't feel threatened to lose, but you can't enjoy a harder mode because when you lose, you feel like you could win. And ignoring the easy mode just doesn't work for you?

I have to fully agree with Jim here. People who bitch and moan casuals are ruining the gaming industry and games should only be for "The Few, the Hardcore" are woefully fascist. Yes, I respect some people want a challenge, and get their rocks off from overcoming them in games, instead of you know, Real life like the majority of people (Which is why they just see games as entertainment and not as a means of challenge). That option is usually there with hard or even nightmare modes, but some of the problem I've seen also is some people are stupid stubborn and only want to play on normal mode and want that to be harder instead of tuning up the difficulty.

Jim is completely right, blaming the game and casuals because YOU dont have the self control to not hit the easy mode setting to get past something is no ones fault but your own, people like that really need to grow up and accept personal responsibility.

Let me spell it out for some people, like that idiot Cliffy B, alot of people play games for FUN, its why cheating has been common as long as games exist like with Game Genie to now with game trainers, alot of people do not care if there is no risk of loosing, just because a hardcore player wants that risk does not mean all people are created equally.

CandideWolf:
So it comes back to the tactical style of thinking, right? You have sort of explained it, but I still see no reason why you should feel stupid just for picking a harder difficulty when an easier one is better. The harder difficulty will challenge you, and that is what you want right? Difficulty choice isn't part of how the game mechanics work. You are able to do the same thing on easy as you are on hard, and personal preference on how much you want to be challenged is the only thing differentiating the two.

At least from my perspective, it seems like you're saying you can't enjoy an easier mode because you don't feel threatened to lose, but you can't enjoy a harder mode because when you lose, you feel like you could win. And ignoring the easy mode just doesn't work for you?

Yes, that's more or less what I'm saying. And I'd say difficulty choice is part of how the game mechanics work. It's a static debuff on all your enemies forever. That's a very clear part of how the mechanics work and that makes it a tactical choice as far as I'm concerned. I really can't see it as anything else, and so I can't just ignore it when it comes to doing my best to win. Not playing on the easiest difficulty will always look like handicapping yourself to me, because that's what it is from a tactical/mechanical perspective.

VampLena:
Let me spell it out for some people, like that idiot Cliffy B, alot of people play games for FUN, its why cheating has been common as long as games exist like with Game Genie to now with game trainers, alot of people do not care if there is no risk of loosing, just because a hardcore player wants that risk does not mean all people are created equally.

I find challenge FUN. Just because you don't want a constant risk that forces you to adapt to it instead of the other way around does not mean all people are created equal. There's loads of games that play the way you like, let me have the ridiculously few that play the way I like. Stop trying to take my fun when you already have yours.

infinity_turtles:
Yes, that's more or less what I'm saying. And I'd say difficulty choice is part of how the game mechanics work. It's a static debuff on all your enemies forever. That's a very clear part of how the mechanics work and that makes it a tactical choice as far as I'm concerned. I really can't see it as anything else, and so I can't just ignore it when it comes to doing my best to win. Not playing on the easiest difficulty will always look like handicapping yourself to me, because that's what it is from a tactical/mechanical perspective.

Okay, so we agree to disagree. Nice, civil debate. Ta

The problem isn't easy modes, it's that when the devs get too lazy to do multiple difficulties, they default to "a five year old with a hammer and controller can beat it" difficulty.

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.

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.

I am really sorry, but you need to take a step back and re-read what you just said. Most people I see advocating NO Easy Mode are actively trying to make points other than "I'm an elitist and I want to feel like I'm better than everyone else". If you are relying on a video game to give you a sense of accomplishment then you really need to get out of the basement and experience the world. Just because someone got something easier than you did, doesn't mean they had a superior experience, and if they did then what's your beef? Let them enjoy things the way they want to. You obviously enjoy feeling like you accomplished something hard, well congratulations. If there was an easy mode it doesn't diminish your sense of accomplishment one bit. You still have the same number of people who finished it on Normal mode, so how does it decrease the meaning of beating the game?

You also go on to say that it is unfair if they have an easy mode? How is it unfair? Maybe they think its unfair that you are able to finish a game that they can not.

I have only ever heard one person make a point that I find valid while defending Dark Souls not having an easy mode. Aside from Rooster's comment, all I see are people complaining that they won't have the same sense of accomplishment, people that say they don't have enough self control to not choose an easy mode, and people that automatically make the assumption that if they make an easy mode it will ruin the series as they will "dumb down" the rest of the games. I don't see it.

From is trying to make the sequel more accessible, they have already said they are streamlining the game. My guess is they saw the backlash at making an easy mode and decided that fans only want one difficulty, so now instead of making an easy mode, they are just trying to make the game more "accessible" for everybody. This is the exact opposite of what the fans wanted, but like I have said in other threads "Video games are a business, and From will do what they have to do to turn a profit".

Sande45:
I'm too lazy to start wading through it for you but this recent reply sums up why "it's OPTIONAL, so it doesn'f affect YOU at all!" is bs.

That post doesn't address that point at all. It tries to give some justification why hard is fun, but that is not what we are discussing. If somebody likes their games hard and likes challenge and failure. Good for them. A ton of other people will just toss the game in the garbage can or not touch it in the first place due to it's difficulty. So how exactly is difficulty improving their experience? The rest boils down again to "My experience is lessened because other people now can enjoy the game to".

Or they could just double the player hit points or some such bullshit and end up with a horrible easy mode that wouldn't be all that different (because difficulty mostly derives from other factors than stats like HP) and some parts wouldn't be at all easier (Anor Londo snipers for example).

Lack of health is a very big part of what makes the game so hard and frustrating, as lack of health means you don't really have any time properly studying enemy patterns in a single go, instead you have to do trial&error, die a lot and replay the same sections over and over again before you figured it out. I have given up on Demon's Souls for exactly that reason, I just got to fucking bored to walk down the same corridors five times before I figured out how to defeat what was at the end of them. More health would helped a lot, so would have more savepoints or quicksave and neither of which would have changed anything about my experience, other then that I would have actually finished the game and had fun doing so.

And by the way, I probably could have finished the game by using a walkthrough, as that would have removed a lot of the trial&error as well, but I much prefer to actually figure things out myself and that I can't in any enjoyable way with the way the game forces you to replay sections you already beat.

Also I think it would help when we stop focusing so damn much on Dark Souls, it's by far not the only game where difficulty is a problem. For a less successful example take a look at Project Black Sun. Super cheap extremely high quality Metroidvania (with a bit of Flashback and MetalSlug) and it tanked in very large part due to it's difficulty. Or take Dead Rising with it's notorious time limits, if those wouldn't be forced on people but optional there would probably a lot more people enjoying those games.

Generally, I agree with Jim's point, but I feel that Dark Souls is a bit of a different animal. To be honest, I feel that if Dark Souls were easier, there would almost be no point to playing it.

Much of the gameplay satisfaction in Dark Souls comes from learning to overcome the difficulty through strategic thinking, and opening up new areas of a large and mysterious world through your own wit and cleverness. Defeating a powerful boss in Dark Souls actually makes you feel like a hero, but that's ONLY because it's so hard.

I'd go so far to argue that removing the difficulty from Dark Souls would even hamper the game's overall theme. You're supposed to feel like a weak and insignificant force in a world you don't understand, at the mercy of forces greater than yourself. If you want to overcome those forces and emerge a hero, you have to do it yourself. Not your character; YOU.

I can't think of any other game in a long time that's given me as much satisfaction. If Dark Souls were easy, it'd lose that, and would just be a relatively mediocre third-person action game with some pretty good artwork.

My point is, Dark Souls doesn't need an easy mode because Dark Souls wouldn't be worth playing if it were easy. Unlike, say Devil May Cry, which is totally worth playing for the spectacle alone, even on lower difficulties, deep and fair challenge is really all Dark Souls has going for it. Perhaps a compromise is in order; say, if some areas of the game cannot be accessed unless you defeat bosses on normal difficulty, or maybe you play through a sort of side quest as a powerful warrior in the easy mode, and have to play as an ordinary, weaker character in normal mode to complete the story.

DanDeFool:
If Dark Souls were easy...

But it wouldn't be. Well, I suppose if one had absolutely no self-control and had to be forced into challenging situations rather than seeking them out themselves, yes. But then I would also note that sounds like a serious personal problem.

My point is, Dark Souls doesn't need an easy mode because Dark Souls wouldn't be worth playing if it were easy.

I agree that Dark Souls doesn't need an easy mode, but why would you be playing it on easy mode?

Perhaps a compromise is in order; say, if some areas of the game cannot be accessed unless you defeat bosses on normal difficulty, or maybe you play through a sort of side quest as a powerful warrior in the easy mode, and have to play as an ordinary, weaker character in normal mode to complete the story.

If those areas were some kind of bonus areas, yes. But if they can't actually advance the story, ie finish the game, without going to the higher difficulty, you've undercut the reason for having a lower difficulty in the first place. Or did I misunderstand your compromise?

Ultimately, it's the developers choice. If they don't want to introduce easy mode, tough shit for lesser skilled players, they're not entitled to that gaming experience. On the flip side of that coin, if they were to introduce an easy mode, tough shit for the original players, they're not entitled to exclude people from the game just because of misplaced fears of changes that are ultimately not going to affect them besides having to deal with the occasional poser who thinks simply because he beat Dark Souls on a lower difficulty that he's a gaming badass.

grumbel:

Sande45:
I'm too lazy to start wading through it for you but this recent reply sums up why "it's OPTIONAL, so it doesn'f affect YOU at all!" is bs.

That post doesn't address that point at all. It tries to give some justification why hard is fun, but that is not what we are discussing. If somebody likes their games hard and likes challenge and failure. Good for them. A ton of other people will just toss the game in the garbage can or not touch it in the first place due to it's difficulty. So how exactly is difficulty improving their experience? The rest boils down again to "My experience is lessened because other people now can enjoy the game to".

It does address it in the beginning. You might want to read it again and drop the bias this time or work on your reading comprehension. Here is another aspect of it. The thing with Dark Souls is that a possibility to have it easier doesn't fit the setting at all (it's supposed to be a cruel and unforgiving world so why should it care if you can't handle it and conform to your abilities?). Difficulty setting would stick out like a sore thumb because everything else is so coherent. You might find all these reasons too minor to justify not having an easy mode, but at least acknowledge their existence and the fact they do not boil down to elitism and exclusivity.

Or they could just double the player hit points or some such bullshit and end up with a horrible easy mode that wouldn't be all that different (because difficulty mostly derives from other factors than stats like HP) and some parts wouldn't be at all easier (Anor Londo snipers for example).

Lack of health is a very big part of what makes the game so hard and frustrating, as lack of health means you don't really have any time properly studying enemy patterns in a single go, instead you have to do trial&error, die a lot and replay the same sections over and over again before you figured it out. I have given up on Demon's Souls for exactly that reason, I just got to fucking bored to walk down the same corridors five times before I figured out how to defeat what was at the end of them. More health would helped a lot, so would have more savepoints or quicksave and neither of which would have changed anything about my experience, other then that I would have actually finished the game and had fun doing so.

And by the way, I probably could have finished the game by using a walkthrough, as that would have removed a lot of the trial&error as well, but I much prefer to actually figure things out myself and that I can't in any enjoyable way with the way the game forces you to replay sections you already beat.

Did you forget to kindle because I understand your problem with 5 estus flasks, but with 10 you really should be able to get from bonfire to bonfire. You usually don't have more than 5 minutes to a boss fight from the closest bonfire and you can usually just run through areas if you so desire. The amount of repetition is really not that high. And besides, all this makes it sound like this is just not your type of game. I doubt that would change if they made it little easier for you to beat.

I disagree on health being a main source of difficulty. The problem is getting hit too much, not having too little health and the correct fix to that is to learn to not get hit, not to have your health raised. Raising the health a bit (20% max, any more would start reaching the mindless hack'n'slash territory and fundamentally change the game) would help make the game overall a little more forgiving but those few situations where health isn't a factor (Anor Londo snipers, most of Sens Fortress for example) would result in significant spikes in difficulty so in a way the game would be more frustratingly difficult.

Btw. Would you mind sharing what areas you cleared and where you finally decided to call it quits?

Sande45:
You might find all these reasons too minor to justify not having an easy mode, but at least acknowledge their existence and the fact they do not boil down to elitism and exclusivity.

They very much still all boil down to elitism and exclusivity. You don't have to use the easy-mode. Depending on where they place it in the menu you don't even have to see it, ever. How exactly is something that has absolutely no impact on your gaming experience destroying it?

Did you forget to kindle because I understand your problem with 5 estus flasks, but with 10 you really should be able to get from bonfire to bonfire. You usually don't have more than 5 minutes to a boss fight from the closest bonfire and you can usually just run through areas if you so desire.

I am talking about Demon's Souls, not Dark Souls, never bothered with Dark Souls. The path to the next checkpoint in Demon's Souls aren't super long there either, that however doesn't make the repetition any less worse, because it's still just very much a complete waste of time. For all the great moments in the game, the stuff that sticks out are the annoying ones like that stupid scripted dragon on the bridge that I had to walk by far to many times. That dragon isn't hard by any means, but it's always the damn same boring pattern.

all this makes it sound like this is just not your type of game.

With better checkpoints/quicksave and a little bit less obtuse item management I would have loved the game. I really like the combat, artstyle and everything else, but I really don't care about all the repetition.

I disagree on health being a main source of difficulty.

Depends on how you play the game. When you play it like a modern action game, of course a little bit more health won't help you and you will still die a lot, as you have to pay attention and can't just button mash your way through. But for me the lack of health was a major problem as it meant I could essentially try one tactic on an enemy and when that failed I would be toast and could restart from the last checkpoint.

Btw. Would you mind sharing what areas you cleared and where you finally decided to call it quits?

Demon's Souls, ~13h in, two thirds into the Towers of Latria by the arrow shooting ballista is where I stopped. Was like "Oh, those columns look like they might be good for cover from the arrows..". Well turns out they didn't stick out quite far enough, at that point I had enough of it, as I already died a few times figuring out how to beat that big round enemy that comes shortly before that.

If Dark Souls had an easy mode I would have taken it, because I was getting trashed on the beginning. Instead of an easy mode, the game had an strange allure that made me persevere and do things that I thought were impossible to me, only to realize that the game can be actually quite easy and a lot of shortcuts were already in the game (some NPCs destroy the bosses without the player help).

Dark Souls is easier than most games on the market. But it requires patience and lateral thinking. People that want an easy mode are not without skills, they lack patience and are really missing the point of the game.

I'm all for easy mode, but I think it is way more important to preserve a unique achievement in gaming: a game that requires attention, patience and thought. I have a friend with arthritis that was able to finish the game - he would never finish or even properly play a game like Mario Bros.

Being against an easy mode or better tutorials in general is dumb. But messing up with the Dark Souls formula of obscure mechanisms, dread atmosphere, secrets and several ways of accomplishing a goal might kill the game.

Remember also that:
- you cannot truly fear bosses and the environment if the risk of dying doesn't exist. So players playing dark Souls in easy mode would be playing another thing entirely. Is that a bad thing? I really don't know, but from people that defend videogames as art this should be a terrible thing.

- Resources and development time invested in "fix" the game for the masses can hurt the overall development of the game. Fromsoft already proved that they are not very good when they stray a little bit from what they know (shoddy port anyone?).

- The discussion about accessibility and Dark Souls being different from what it is are two different things. Dark Souls is already super accessible it just requires a set of skills that impatient games don't have - this is the gaming industry being pushed in new directions, please do not pressure the developer to change that - this would be extreme dumbing down. Look at the mirror and you will see that the impatient gamer are the ones being elitists here: "I don't wanna loose my time thinking about how to upgrade my character or discovering the game secrets - I payed for it and I want all the content now". Following the book analogy it would be the equivalent of buying a book and expecting the writer to go to your house and read the book for you, because you payed for it. If the book has complicated words you still have the right to read it full, but it is on you the skill and effort to understand it.

LetalisK:

DanDeFool:
If Dark Souls were easy...

But it wouldn't be. Well, I suppose if one had absolutely no self-control and had to be forced into challenging situations rather than seeking them out themselves, yes. But then I would also note that sounds like a serious personal problem.

Okay, I think I figured out why I have a problem with the concept of Dark Souls having an easy mode.

It's a huge immersion breaker.

The only reason I bought Dark Souls was because I wanted to explore the land of Lordran, discover it's mysteries and secrets, and emerge victorious in my quest after a long struggle. It's like I was preparing to journey to an actual place, a place that was real and had characteristics that were inherent to its structure and history. That included danger. Lots and lots of danger. And punishments for when I screwed up and got stabbed by pike-wielding zombies fifty-six times in a row.

If you add an easy mode to Dark Souls, to the land of Lordran, it stops being a quasi-real place in a quasi-real universe, and now it's unambiguously a game environment in a piece of software. I turn a dial, I flip a switch, and now that place I was going to is different. It's very jarring to go from an environment that has it's own characteristics regardless of what you think it should be (you know, kind of like a real place in the real world), to an environment that bends to your will at the push of a button.

I can't really argue with the point that a person who pays for content should be able to experience the content they paid for, but at the same time I feel that the difficulty is so central to the experience of Dark Souls that it's key to the appeal of the franchise. Like I said before, you're not supposed to be some super bad-ass like in Devil May Cry or Viewtiful Joe or something. You're supposed to be just a normal-ish person who can swing a sword and block with a shield and dodge stuff and... that's basically it. And now you have to go kill a dragon that's as long as a city block and looks like a vagina filled with canine teeth.

Having a single difficulty level is key to the genius of Dark Souls, because the game is about YOUR quest. Not your character. YOU, THE PLAYER. If there's only one difficulty level, the onus is not on the character and their stats to overcome the challenges in the game, it's on YOU. You, the one with the controller in your hand. The game is hard because YOU are the one who's so weak and powerless in the face of all these crazy monsters and traps and shit. But, as with any challenge in real life, if you have some patience, think carefully, and practice, YOU can overcome those challenges.

Giving the player the ability to change the difficulty damages the experience because now it's not YOUR quest anymore. It's just some character in a place that's doing all the work. You become the god of Lordran, pulling the strings of some unwitting puppet for your own amusement, in an environment you control. You can make it harder for the puppet, or easier, but it's YOUR choice.

Well I don't want to be a god, God dammit! I don't want to have choice! In this game, in this ONE game, I WANT TO BE A MAN!

JUST A MAN! NOTHING MORE, AND NOTHING LESS THAN WHAT I BRING WITH ME! AND IF I CAN'T HACK IT, THEN DAMMIT, I WANT IT TO BE MY FAULT! I WANT TO FAIL, AND SUFFER, AND LOSE, AND HAVE NO WAY OUT EXCEPT TO TURN THE GAME OFF AND NEVER PLAY AGAIN. AND IF I WIN, IT'LL BE MY VICTORY! NOT THE VICTORY OF SOME CHARACTER IN A FAKE UNIVERSE DOING FAKE THINGS. MINE!

And is that so wrong? You can call me crazy and stupid and immature for thinking that playing a game can feel like a real achievement, but isn't that what we've wanted this whole time? For games to feel REAL? Why make a deliberate design choice that diminishes those feelings?

But, in the end, I have to concede the point. Games are fake. They're pointless. We're all wasting our time with this shit. We should turn off our consoles and our computers and go out into the real world if we want to feel like we've achieved something. There's no meaning in pretending to be a fantasy adventurer, or future space hero, or a miner, and I should stop pretending that there is. What all you people advocating easy mode in Dark Souls are telling me, is that I should get a life.

And you're right. Sorry.

Info on edge artical on imgr.
http://imgur.com/a/q34ES
-The game is roughly 25% complete. Very unlikely to release in 2013.

grumbel:

Sande45:
This thread is full of them.

Could you cite some? All I see is a bunch of boys that feel threatened in their manhood when somebody plays their games on easy.

Well I, for one, put some effort into commenting (Here and here)on this argument in a thorough and rational manner. I've avoided metaphors and analogies, because everyone is comparing video games to books, and I wanted to specifically talk about Dark Souls II.

One person responded to the content of one of my posts. And that's fine. But to see comments like:

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

from both yourself and others, is a bit frustrating. Especially with well thought out posts from other users are also going unnoticed, such as this post, made in response to you, two pages ago, which you did not acknowledge, nor did anyone else. That, as well as replies such as this, are being largely ignored.

My argument, in particular (not speaking for anyone else), is that while a retroactively added easy mode for Dark Souls would be irrelevant to my experience, creating Dark Souls II under a design philosophy of "broadening appeal" would be detrimental to the quality of the game. I'm definitely not speaking for anyone else, because most of the others on this thread arguing in support of difficulty would not concede the first point. I can understand that perspective, but I do not feel particularly strongly about it. As for Dark Souls II, allow me to address these quotes:

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.

barbzilla:
I have only ever heard one person make a point that I find valid while defending Dark Souls not having an easy mode. Aside from Rooster's comment, all I see are people complaining that they won't have the same sense of accomplishment, people that say they don't have enough self control to not choose an easy mode, and people that automatically make the assumption that if they make an easy mode it will ruin the series as they will "dumb down" the rest of the games. I don't see it.

From is trying to make the sequel more accessible, they have already said they are streamlining the game. My guess is they saw the backlash at making an easy mode and decided that fans only want one difficulty, so now instead of making an easy mode, they are just trying to make the game more "accessible" for everybody. This is the exact opposite of what the fans wanted, but like I have said in other threads "Video games are a business, and From will do what they have to do to turn a profit".

I argue that making the sequel more accessible is absolutely unnecessary, and detrimental. For the matter of From making money, Dark Souls has already done well for them. That link suggests sales of 1.19 million for Dark Souls, as of March of this year. Taking into account the PC release and DLC which happened in October, I'd say that it did quite well. It's certainly not outselling Call of Duty, but for a niche title, it's been a pretty good success.

This, of course, following the success of Demon's Souls, selling at least 500,000 copies, as a relatively unknown and unmarketed new IP. From did not add an easy mode. I'm not understanding the suggestion that they NEED to make concessions in order to attract new players to make more money.

The changes that they made between Demon's Souls and Dark Souls did involve streamlined mechanics, but they made for a better game, but not an easier one. They also added plenty of new things to make it harder. Such as the curse mechanic, one of the least friendly things the game can throw at new players. They even nerfed it in a patch, making it so the effect could not stack anymore. But even then, getting stuck with half of your HP until you figure out how to cure yourself is not particularly "accessible" to many players. But many fans appreciate that this sort of thing exists at all. This is the sort of thing I want to see more of, despite being not accessible. I don't want the developers to exclude mechanics like this in order to broaden appeal. And in this instance, for an easy mode, the mechanic would need to be reworked in some way, or omitted entirely, which would have literally reduced the threat of those enemies to zero.

Two more things. First, this video, which was posted by Peithelo earlier in the thread. Second, an interview with Dark Souls' creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Miyazaki interview:
Q: Critics writing about the game have called you 'cruel' and 'sadistic' - to mention a few of the more polite adjectives. Are those fair accusations, given the game's extreme difficulty?

A: If I had to say for myself, it's actually the opposite - I'm more masochistic. Because I created Dark Souls while thinking about what type of game I would personally like to play. I wanted somebody to bring out a really sadistic game, but I ended up having to make it myself.

This interview is quite revealing about the way that they designed the game, and I think Dark Souls II would be best if they continue to use a similar design philosophy, while creating new worlds, stories, and challenges, and improving upon the previous two games that they created.

Dark Souls II should remain true to the series, and spending any time or thought on how to make it more accessible could potentially detract from the challenging experience that the series is known for. I believe that the end result would be much better if they simply did not consider it.

DanDeFool:

But, in the end, I have to concede the point. Games are fake. They're pointless. We're all wasting our time with this shit. We should turn off our consoles and our computers and go out into the real world if we want to feel like we've achieved something. There's no meaning in pretending to be a fantasy adventurer, or future space hero, or a miner, and I should stop pretending that there is. What all you people advocating easy mode in Dark Souls are telling me, is that I should get a life.

And you're right. Sorry.

I sure hope this was sarcasm, because it's not true. There are PLENTY of things every day that we're "wasting our time" doing, hell, most of what we do every day could be considered a waste of time. Name something we do that we don't need to in order to keep breathing, it's probably one of these pointless things. Yet, we continue doing them and many of those things give us a sense of accomplishment, video games included. Life would be meaningless if we didn't do these things, we'd just be born, grow up, bonk somebody, have a kid, raise them, then die, that's it, without "wasting our time" that's all our lives would ever be. "Wasting our time" is one of the primary reasons we don't still live in caves.

Just because we get a sense of accomplishment out of playing video games, doesn't mean it's meaningless.

Speaking of memorable experiences, whose idea was it to have the Black Knight archers perched on the cathedral ledge in Anor Londo?

I think I was the one who placed that obstacle. I wanted to place some obstacles that people would remember and talk about. The archers can be poisoned, so if you hit them with a poison arrow and wait a while, they will die if it isn't treated. Including these kind of cheap strategies, I want people to have fun with strategising.

Is this elitist?

Our strategy was equally cheap. We rolled under his arrow and got him to fall off the ledge. It can be comical watching enemies leap to their doom. Did you design those behaviors to be exploited?
Yes, that was definitely something that was intentional. There's one approach to combat that involves a head-to-head collision, but luring enemies and using cheap strategies is one of the joys of this game as well.

Wow there we don't want to think we want to consume.....yep hur dur du dud durp

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