Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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The sound of the show is getting better and better. Well done.

Thumbs up on the conclusions as well. I pick my difficulties based on my experience in the genre, and do not wish (bad amounts of)frustration on any gamer because there isn't a difficulty suited to their level of experience.

We were all once casuals and probably are in some genres.

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 ACCESSIBLE than DUMBED DOWN. I played it in comparison to the old one and found it to be more fun to play...

Easy difficulty maybe, but anything above easy is not "accessible"
So there still are options for those masochists who can't afford dominatrix
(hardest difficulty+Iron man mode)
Although for all fairness while XCom:EU is like dominatrix with a whip, XCom:UFO defense is more like a torture chamber filled with violent gimps and trained animals
(so yeah, some difficulty drop happened, but it isn't necessary bad thing)

The best way to make sure everybody have a game they want is to allow mods
Take for example TES5:Skyrim
There are mods that increases difficulty so much a skeever coughing in your general direction will make you die instantly
And there are mods that makes your character a unstoppable force (although "very easy" difficulty already does this)
So once again to mod is always better than not to mod :)

Monxeroth:
Really now Jim?
This is getting ridiculous even for you.
Most recent videos have been nothing but the same argument about varying things over and over again and its getting REALLY old.
Could you just please put some effort into a future video that isnt filled with your rambling about the same kind of bullshit argument i hear on a daily basis:
*Oh, it doesnt affect you, so why do you care?
*Oh, you already have access to what you want without being interfered by something else, so why do you care?
*Oh, this thing may or may not have a negative impact on the gaming community, but lets for argument sake say it doesnt, then why would you care?

I mean fucking hell Jim, youre a broken record by now.

How is he any less of a broken record than the gaming community as a whole? His shows are topical (aka: They're based on what's going on currently), so if he's getting drawl and repetitive, it's because the gaming community is getting drawl and repetitive with the things they bitch about.

MichaelMaverick:

jehk:

MichaelMaverick:

Game design theory wouldn't need to exist at all then, according to you. Every game could simply be a mash-up of every conceivable genre, from sandbox to puzzle to shooter, and players could just be expected to find their own parts to like. I bet that would work out just swell.

Oh wait no, it fucking wouldn't. There's already been trash games like that released in the last couple of years, and none of them lighted the world on fire.

It does work out swell. Game design revolves around delivering on those core aesthetics.

Take Skyrim for example (that light the gaming world on fire). I play on the hardest difficulty with a build that's tailored to not be overpowered. My girlfriend plays on normal mode with a pretty kick ass build. The two of us are playing for different core aesthetics. She's all about exploration and narrative (ie the lore ie reading in-game books all the time) and doesn't want challenge to get in the way. I'm more about challenge and expression while exploration and narrative take a back seat.

You really don't know what you're talking about.

You completely failed to comprehend the issue that I addressed and instead illogically responded to some imaginary post you made up in your head. Or at least I'm struggling to hope for it. If you honestly believe that SKYRIM of all games is the masterful creation in question where all its different aspects and mechanics are not only as perfect as in games that SPECIALIZE in them, but also somehow work in perfect haromy without interfering with or taking away from one another, you're a total fucking imbecile, my forum warnings regarding civil behavior be damned. You just revealed that it's YOU who has no fucking idea what he's talking about in the slightest, and conceded that YES, game design theory is apprarently totally obsolete. You're a moron who's not worth my time.

On an unrelated note, the Mario example mentioned in the video is a good way to go about things, though obviously Mario games are not hardcore. This is key.

Whoa, ease up there buddy. He isn't saying that games need to have a little bit of everything, he's saying that not every one person plays the same game for the same reason. His point is that someone may want to play Dark Souls on easy to experience it's story without having to suffer the wrath of it's difficulty, while others like us want to beat the insane challenge of it's higher difficulties.

Rather than go on a rant about game design, I would invite you to watch the latest episode of Extra Credits related to this exact topic.

I'm sure this post will bite me in the ass, but the last few episodes of Jimquisition have been nothing but "You gamers are upset about something; How dare you, you whiny little bastards." I'm sorry, but it's starting to get a bit condescending.

And you might've wanted to play Dark Souls first before stating that adding an easy mode wouldn't matter. It's easy to generalize everyone in the "no easy mode" camp as bitchy, hardcore elitists.

Mortamus:
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Whoa, ease up there buddy. He isn't saying that games need to have a little bit of everything, he's saying that not every one person plays the same game for the same reason. His point is that someone may want to play Dark Souls on easy to experience it's story without having to suffer the wrath of it's difficulty, while others like us want to beat the insane challenge of it's higher difficulties.

Rather than go on a rant about game design, I would invite you to watch the latest episode of Extra Credits related to this exact topic.

While Dark Souls has a very rich lore, it's just as inaccessible as the rest of the game. The story of Dark Souls is pieced together from item descriptions, the scarce dialog from NPCs and just observing your surroundings. A player playing on a mode designed for everyone to complete the game, without the repeat deaths and trial and error, is going to blaze through the game and not even know it's there.

Nothing wrong with adding an easy mode, as long as it's optional.

Diablo 3 had the critical mistake of forcing you through difficulties.
I like games that let you change the difficulty mid-game as well.

Mortrialus:
The story of Dark Souls is pieced together from item descriptions, the scarce dialog from NPCs and just observing your surroundings. A player playing on a mode designed for everyone to complete the game is going to blaze through the game and not even know it's there.

I don't really see how you would miss all of that on a lower difficulty. The items, NPCs, and surroundings will still be there. :/

Mortamus:

Mortrialus:
The story of Dark Souls is pieced together from item descriptions, the scarce dialog from NPCs and just observing your surroundings. A player playing on a mode designed for everyone to complete the game is going to blaze through the game and not even know it's there.

I don't really see how you would miss all of that on a lower difficulty. The items, NPCs, and surroundings will still be there. :/

And the game would be very medicore. I think people don't get that. Without the difficulty (which isn't that hard, just need to be patience), the would have nothing to stand out aside from being dark fantasy. The game on easy could be beaten in 5 hours to 7 hours tops. Hell on the current difficulty it can be beaten that fast.

Now i agree with optional modes being OK. they don't annoy me because they don't effect my experience. i also don't mind games trying to widen the audience a little.

however i also believe that it's gone WAY too far. It's come to the point where sequels of a franchise no longer have ANYTHING in common with the initial titles of the series. It's so bad that gameplay mechanics have become simpler and less enjoyable as well, or changed altogether giving a completely different experience than what the experienced players want.

So why is this a problem? because this isn't opening the doors for everyone to play, this is kicking out the current players and bringing in a larger and easier to market demographic in are place. It's replacing us. This is happening because it's easier to appeal to the casual market and it makes more money. Takes less work, it's a big win for them, and a huge loss for old school gamers.

This is why i barely like most games today. They're too simple, too easy and provide no real challenge or excitement at all. They are not engaging in the way that i enjoy, such as actually having to learn a new system and master it to play the game effectively.

Now it isn't all bad, there are SOME games that provide good options for both demographics, however MOST games don't do this well. It's not as simple as adding Hard mode and Easy mode to a game.

The game has to be completely re-designed for each mode. Simply changing the HP of the enemies or their ATK isn't enough. that doesn't provide more challenge for the hardcore gamers. The simple AI and weak level design are still boring to an experienced player like myself. Want an example? Darksiders on Hard mode is still a very easy game. The patterns, AI and level design does not change at all, it still reflects that "wide demographic" style of Easy mode. So basically the game was not made with experienced gamers in mind and the Hard mode was lazily slapped in the at the last second.

To summarize my over-sized post:
i think it's a great idea to try and appeal to a larger audience BUT it should never come at the cost of losing your fanbase.

It's already been stated numerous times in this thread, so I don't feel any need to go into a lengthy explanation, but anyone who wants an easy mode in Dark Souls doesn't understand Dark Souls (and, quite possibly, hasn't even really played it).

I also find it rather funny that, in a time when we're talking about games that have artistic merit and where we value the work of specific developers/teams, there are still gamers who believe that games should be one size fits all and that the game experience should not be as put forward by the developer but should instead be solely centered around what the player wants. This doesn't happen in any other entertainment medium with an artistic bent.. at all. Books, movies, music, paintings, etc. None of them have easy modes if you don't understand them. None of them really have people saying that their enjoyment of the work should come before artist intention. And yet, with games, they do.

Mortamus:

I don't really see how you would miss all of that on a lower difficulty. The items, NPCs, and surroundings will still be there. :/

Because why would anyone playing the game on an easy mode where they're guaranteed to beat the game without understanding the basic mechanics, isn't going to look at / care about other items when they're already set up with a winning strategy. If they're told exactly where to go, they aren't going to talk to NPCs. And if they aren't spending a lot of time in an area, they aren't going to notice the details of the varying levels.

The difficulty from Dark Souls doesn't come from the technical skill required to beat the game. It comes from the knowledge base required to beat the game.

Korten12:

And the game would be very medicore. I think people don't get that. Without the difficulty (which isn't that hard, just need to be patience), the would have nothing to stand out aside from being dark fantasy. The game on easy could be beaten in 5 hours to 7 hours tops. Hell on the current difficulty it can be beaten that fast.

This still wouldn't affect your play experience. As for it taking away from someone else's play experience in "not getting the full game", that is their decision and they can interpret how good the experience was on their own.

We're also assuming that this easy mode is going to be a severe reduction.

Mortrialus:

Mortamus:

I don't really see how you would miss all of that on a lower difficulty. The items, NPCs, and surroundings will still be there. :/

Because why would anyone playing the game on an easy mode where they're guaranteed to beat the game without understanding the basic mechanics, isn't going to look at / care about other items when they're already set up with a winning strategy. If they're told exactly where to go, they aren't going to talk to NPCs. And if they aren't spending a lot of time in an area, they aren't going to notice the details of the varying levels.

The difficulty from Dark Souls doesn't come from the technical skill required to beat the game. It comes from the knowledge base required to beat the game.

This is assuming that the easy mode would allow them to never need those items.

I love the elitist argument that Jim levels at critics of 'Easy' mode. Now I have never been one to select Easy mode for any game, not since I was young at least, but I can see the need for one. Especially for Dark Souls - that game is really awesome, but it shuts out those who cannot contend with it's high level of difficulty. Which is a shame, because the monsters the game offers are are a sight to behold, as are the environments. True that those experiences are more rewarding when pushed to work for it, but the kind of player that selects easy mode is just as likely to be challenged by it as you would be by normal. You can't assume a casual will go into a game with your level of skill on a lower difficulty.

I'm all for people experiencing as much of any game as they would like. I mean, if you are the kind of player that wants that super-high difficulty, is it not still there for you? "No! The Easy Mode is too much of a temptation! Just knowing it is there is blasphemy!" If that is your argument, then that kind of sounds like your problem, really.

I remember how Megaman 2 had an easy mode for the western audience, and even though I play it on the higher difficulty now, I was thankful for the easier difficulty when I was younger. Not to mention it was still balls hard. Fuck you, Air Man.

Man that carrot looks tasty. More on topic, I have no problem with this concept. Of course, I'm one of the vocal few who want cheat codes to come back into style, because sometimes I just seriously fucking hate playing a game, but am extremely interested in the narrative, characters, arcs, or events that transpire. I had this problem with Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. I really disliked the combat, was not fond of the mechanics, and didn't give a single flippant care for most of the actual gameplay. I did, however, still want to know what happened to the characters and how things played out. At a point where I got so bored with the gameplay I turned it off, and watched in online. And while that's fine in one sense, I would have much preferred it if I could have just flicked on a cheat of god mode and been done with the tedious parts I didn't want to slog through just to get to the good bits.

Monxeroth:
Really now Jim?
This is getting ridiculous even for you.
Most recent videos have been nothing but the same argument about varying things over and over again and its getting REALLY old.
Could you just please put some effort into a future video that isnt filled with your rambling about the same kind of bullshit argument i hear on a daily basis:
*Oh, it doesnt affect you, so why do you care?
*Oh, you already have access to what you want without being interfered by something else, so why do you care?
*Oh, this thing may or may not have a negative impact on the gaming community, but lets for argument sake say it doesnt, then why would you care?

I mean fucking hell Jim, youre a broken record by now.

I'd agree, were it not for the fact that I generally think a lot of what he said needs to be heard. I mean, there was that episode on tech demos where he said "make games fun, not extended tech demos". Blindingly obvious, but apparently, it needed to be said.

OT: Blimey, there's a lot more backlash on this than I'd expect. But then again, hard games that force you to spend hours playing them to be enjoyed have always been controversial. I mean, look at the comments in Yahtzee's reviews of Dark/Demon's Souls.

I do agree with this video for the most part, though I do sort of feel that on Dark Souls the difficultly was half the point. Though from a financial point of view, the easy mode may have been smart, but I feel the game has been out too long for it to really help them that much. I think most people interested in the game either got it or moved on, but if it actually gets From more sales, good for them.
On a side note, this video most importantly reminded me that the DLC for Dark Souls came out for the Xbox about 2 months ago and I still haven't got that. I might have to get on that soon.

3 out of the past 4 Jimquisition episodes all followed this same formula, of Jim taking on a complex, multifaceted debate, and mixing it's most hateful, irrational, exaggerated, obviously moronic "arguements" that one could imagine into a single strawman, then and ranting against that, just to lure in anyone to the comment section who might feel defensive about the larger debates.

Yes, people who actually do use the word "filthy casual" unironically are assholes, and anyone who is literally *MAD* about a game having an optional easy mode, is irrational. WE KNOW THAT. Anyone who is that delusional either isn't watching your show, or wouldn't recognize themselves anyways.

Yes, HATING all review scores is silly, you have better things to do with your free time, you don't have to look at them.

Yes, being mysogynistic is evil, and automatically assuming that a female gamer is just trying to lure you with her power of boobs, *is* being mysogynistic.

No, really? Not so long ago, the part of the episode where you uttered such wonderfully rightous statements as "Don't be a Nazi", was the ending gag part, not the serious ranting part. It seems this has changed.

Since Jim brought up gay marriage (awesome one, Jim), this reminds me of the controversy a couple of years back on Bioware's same-sex romance inclusion (i.e., straight dudes bitchin' about how it was gross that same-sex existed somewhere in the game, even if they'd never see it).

People need to be hammered, over and over, with the knowledge that "more options are never a bad thing."

Until they get it.

TwiZtah:
Easy modes are not the problem. The problem is that games are now designed for inept players, making the experienced players experience of the game extremely easy.

Far Cry 3 was ridiculously easy at Hard, because it was catered towards the casuals.

I'm sorry, give me a moment to recover from my spitting coffee all over my desk.

Ahem.

I played through FarCry 3 on Adventurer. It was *not* easy. The AI is nearly prescient, and the only way to survive is to play a constant game of duck-and-cover. After covering the north islands, LMGs become absolutely necessary as Heavies start to show up. Bringing anything else to a gunfight guarantees your death.

I've been playing games for about 25 years. I don't think I count as a "casual". I'm not particularly skilled, but assuming Hard is catered towards "casuals" is only proving the existence of the problem Sterling mentions in the video.

Mortamus:

This is assuming that the easy mode would allow them to never need those items.

That is the point of making easy modes that allows everyone to play the game to complete it, as the video suggested.

Why is it every game needs to be the same and offer all the same options, even when they run counter to the developer's intended goal of the game? Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Dark Souls, has outright said that the point of the game, the reason he created it and the goal they wanted to achieve when making it, is to create a challenging game that gives players a sense of accomplishment when the complete it. Adding modal difficulty literally defeats the purpose of the game.

Go play Dark Souls or watch a playthrough of it. It is not paced or designed to really make modal difficulty even possible without completely changing the design of the game.

And as I said before, people do not think Dark Souls is hard because of the technical skill needed to beat it. The technical skill required to beat Dark Souls is quite frankly minimal. They find it challenging because of the knowledge base needed to beat it. And creating a mode where everyone can complete it without acquiring that knowledge base by definition would mean they never need those items.

Not every game needs to be the same. Not every game needs to offer the same difficulty. Not every game needs to offer the same options. It depends entirely on the individual game and the developer intentions when making it.

I'm going to have to disagree with you Jim.

The problem being that your position denies that challenge or difficulty can be a core part of a game's experience. Comparing Dark Souls to Mario is apples and oranges. The fact that you have no choice but to deal with its challenge or give up is part of the experience. Imagine a horror game where you never actually felt threatened - what would the point of calling it a horror game at that point?

Furthermore I find the argument that "being for everyone" necessarily makes a game better to be a lot of BS. With all the various tastes in videogames out there I think that there's room for something like Dark Souls to play buy its own rules.

Your argument that not wanting Dark Souls to have an Easy Mode makes you some kind of elitist snob is also utterly ridiculous. Let me digress for a moment and talk about beer. I like beer. In particular I find that I like good hoppy beers - now I have friends who can't stand really hoppy beers. Does that mean that I believe them to be lesser beer drinkers than me? Of course not - that would be absolutely silly.

I'm perfectly willing to admit that Dark Souls might not be for everyone, and if it isn't for you that's fine - I can't stand Elder Scrolls games despite my best attempts to get into them - I get it, not everyone has to like every game. I'm perfectly content knowing that a lot of people love Skyrim, and that there are people who have no interest in Dark Souls.

But - going back to the beer analogy - if you ask me if I'm okay with someone watering down my favorite beer so that its less hoppy so more people might like it - well then I'm going to tell you to kindly fuck off.

While I agree that the inclusion of an "easy mode" does not diminish a game too many game's default setting is basically an "easy mode" today.

I do hate that games in general seem to be dumbed down and "streamlined" to the point where you feel like you are in special ed with a special ed teacher sitting next to you as you play the game saying "now go to that wall, press B to take cover, good boy". There are still some great, challenging, and complex games being put out, mostly by indie developers, but I hope we get past this stage in games development.

Everyone in this thread should check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM

When you choose the dificulty in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, they ask weather you want a story, or a challange.. That pretty much shows how it should be done.. You want a interactive movie, or a game.

Other games ask if you want to change the difficulty if/when you have died enough times..
It all comes back to a quote "Yatzee" made in a ZP episode some time ago:

"Fuck you game, You will not beat me!"

This is only loosely relevant but I've always found it ironic that the fears the PS3/360 crowd have towards the Wii/casual gaming infecting their platform is pretty much a reality in the logical equivalence of how the PS3/360 effect the Glorious PC Master Race.

An easy mode does affect me, it does alter the experience and it does matter. That is because Dark Souls isn't just a single player game, its multiplier is at the very core of the experience and its status as a niche game keeps the online community what it is. A community of like minded players who most of the time will stop when they see you, bow to you, you bow back then you fight to the death. When most video game online communities involve a bunch of swearing hyperactive 12 year olds the respect the average souls player has for the game and his opponents is an amazing and beautiful thing.

It used to be, if you got invaded in the kilin of the final flame it meant an opponent who had bested the hardest bosses, faced every challenge and was here to fight a good fight against a skilled opponent. Bowing was done, unwritten rules used to be followed, most importantly respectful skilled gameplay took place. Online over a video game, with strangers.

What does this have to do with an easy mode you ask? Well if you allow people to bypass a boss before learning how to play better they won't learn anything about how to control their characters. Dark Souls kinda has an easy mode, they are called Sunbros. Just summon one and they practically do the boss for you. Now what happens when you touch a summon sign and this warrior of sunlight throws 3 or 4 lightning bolts at the boss and takes out 90% of its health? The player learns NOTHING.

What happens when a player scoots by the harder bosses by summoning a much better player to do it for them? They end up in the kilin of the final flame with VASTLY better players and get killed in pvp because they can't play. A lot of players, instead of getting better at the game (because not getting better at it didn't stop them up till now) will resort to dirty fighting just to get a kill and feel better about themselves. We get people who try to gets hits in during the pre fight bow, we get people who resort to abusing lag to land back-stabs, people who spam fast casting aoe spells, people abusing broken combinations of equipment, but worst of all you get people with no respect for the game or the people who play it. People looking to get kills, not have fights.

Now I have no issue with as many people playing Dark souls as possible, but not at the expense of a unique community that is already on the down-slope. If a player is having trouble on a specific boss, I try my hardest to educate them. I show them the fight strategies on the wiki, I suggest optimal equipment setups, I inform them how all the stats work and why they are important, I try my damnedest to teach weaker players to fish instead of doing the fishing for them, or making the fishing easier. You know what I'm saying?

Mortrialus:

Mortamus:

This is assuming that the easy mode would allow them to never need those items.

That is the point of making easy modes that allows everyone to play the game to complete it, as the video suggested.

Why is it every game needs to be the same and offer all the same options, even when they run counter to the developer's intended goal of the game? Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Dark Souls, has outright said that the point of the game, the reason he created it and the goal they wanted to achieve when making it, is to create a challenging game that gives players a sense of accomplishment when the complete it. Adding modal difficulty literally defeats the purpose of the game.

Go play Dark Souls or watch a playthrough of it. It is not paced or designed to really make modal difficulty even possible without completely changing the design of the game.

And as I said before, people do not think Dark Souls is hard because of the technical skill needed to beat it. The technical skill required to beat Dark Souls is quite frankly minimal. They find it challenging because of the knowledge base needed to beat it. And creating a mode where everyone can complete it without acquiring that knowledge base by definition would mean they never need those items.

Not every game needs to be the same. Not every game needs to offer the same difficulty. Not every game needs to offer the same options. It depends entirely on the individual game and the developer intentions when making it.

So if I pay for the game at the same price you did, but I'm not able to make the same investment that you did in the content in terms of knowledge, then I shouldn't have access to all the content that I paid for?

Great video, Jim - couldn't agree with your sentiments more. I've long felt that developers actually have a duty to ensure there is always a way for any player of any ability level to 'see the content they've paid for'. Being booted back to the menu screen for repeatedly failing to complete a boss battle or a particularly difficult challenge is simply bad design. The developers forgot a basic rule: always find a way to keep the player in the game.

Good to see you speaking up for gamers who simply don't wish to be beaten around the head by a game's spiteful insistence on absolute perfection from all of its players. We are all entitled to enjoy our games at whatever level of participation we choose - and we should not be punished for wanting to enjoy whatever a game might have to offer, even if we might prefer to take the 'easy' option.

Looking forward to your award videos!

Jimothy Sterling:
Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

There are valid concerns with the "dumbing down" of our entertainment, but as with so many issues, there are just as many invalid ones. This is especially true when "inclusiveness" and "dumbing down" are seen as the same thing.

Watch Video

Hey Jim. I'm a bit curious, do you think that this fear of dumbing down games is slightly akin to the "Fake Nerd Girl" issue that you brought up a few weeks back? The idea that groups of people are angry because they don't feel they should share a part their culture and don't have the maturity to see that having more people included in these games doesn't lessen them in any way?

I really like your argument here because it sounds like the issue is more "dumbing down the gamer" and not dumbing down the entertainment in making it easier to finish a game. Although, I personally haven't though any better of someone who brags about beating a game on insane.

Well, I might be a "filthy casual", because in my 24 years of gaming, I still can't live without the "normal" difficulty, I rarely venture through "hard", as I'm reading in some posts that some people claim to plough through games like a cakewalk on hard.

I generally don't give a shit about difficulty, I looooooooooooove Dark Souls to bits thanks to it's difficulty (wich isn't that difficult if you're careful, but still very challenging), but still, I definitely appreciate lower difficulties, we tend to forget that most people don't know how to play a videogame, my nephew for example, I like to play difficult games, but he'd like to play what I play and the only thing preventing him from doing so, is the difficulty.

I don't like to think that games are getting easier, we are getting better and better at them and I'm 100% agreed with Jim on this one, people bitching about difficulty doesn't come up as more than assholes.

You're an absolutist. You think you know how every game should be and you're unwilling to consider alternatives, forever-and-ever AMEN. You are appealing to people's prejudices and their emotional sense of victimization. All that you have neglected is reason and fairness.

Your dismissal of people who don't want the game to have Easy Mode because you think they are elitist is CLOSE-MINDED because it is obviously preventing you from considering other possibilities. You are like the religious zealot who doesn't explore alternative explanations to natural phenomena because you think you have ALL the answers. First, why are you even speaking your mind on this topic only to immediately admit you have no knowledge of the subject matter? Your assumption that not wanting an easy mode in Dark Souls is rooted in elitism betrays your ignorance of that series and it's intentions and goals. It reflects a closed-minded attitude because you think you know how all games should be and are unwilling to learn what Dark Souls has to teach. You should have shown both sides about this topic. That you didn't suggests to me you don't know what you're talking about.

"Many gamers aren't into games that set out to flagellate and..."

Why does EVERY game need to cater to this audience, or indeed to ANY particular audience? NO game that costs money is allowed to be hard? Never? None? No matter what? And if I disagree, it can only be because I'm trying to exclude people? What the actual fuck? I never DEMANDED that EVERY game be changed to suit my tastes and condemned every single one that didn't. What gives anyone the right to corner the market like that? It's not fair.

"Did an Easy Mode matter to you?"

YES. Dark Soul's difficulty is not incidental. Dark Souls is not a game that just happens to be hard. What you are asking, whether you realize it or not, is comparable to demanding Infinity Ward put a fully featured Turn Based Strategy game in the next Call of Duty, and then acting scandalized when Call of Duty vets think it's a bad idea. Why can't we just leave the developers of this series to pursue the model they established in the first two titles?

Second, this game relies heavily on innovative community features. The fact that everyone is given the same content to explore is INTEGRAL to keeping those feature relevant.

Third, Dark Souls is designed from the ground up to instill a SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. Putting an easy version of Capra Demon into the game turns Capra Demon from a MEANINGFUL obstacle into a TRIVIAL one and an artificial one of the player's own creation. That breaks the tension of the experience and the sense of accomplishment of it. In any other game, that would be a good trade off. DARK SOULS IS NOT THOSE GAMES. Everything is specifically designed around it's core design focus. What the fuck is wrong with that?

"Mad at the idea a game they liked could be enjoyed by more people".

How about you stop making up bullshit and do a little research next time? This is ridiculous. You should be informing the ignorant, not expanding the population. Why is it so offensive for a game to exist that does not cater to any one particular audience? This is not that complicated. People are just too stuck in their ways and unwilling to consider an alternative way of doing things. This is EXACTLY why we never get anything truly outside-the-box. Let's be perfectly honest. You perceived elitism and reacted without giving the topic a moment's thought.

The Mario comparison is spurious and ridiculous. And unnecessary. Lots of games have easy mode, because the difficulty isn't a core design technique those developers are utilizing to craft an experience. The difficulty of Mario, or say, Skyrim, is essential to the experience but it does not DEFINE the experience.

Thinking that making something optional means it doesn't matter to people who choose not to take advantage of it is an obvious mistake and a misunderstanding of how games work. There is such a thing as tension, you know. There is a good reason the Xbox controller doesn't come with a button dedicated to automatically beating whatever level you are on in whatever game you may be playing, even though using the button would surely be an OPTIONAL OPTIONAL OPTIONAL OPTIONAL OPTIONAL OPTIONAL OPTIONAL OPTION. Ironically it is Mr. Jim Sterling who is being absolutist and black-and-white about this, though I have no doubt he doesn't realize it. He's effectively saying he knows the way that all games should be and isn't interested in alternatives. He doesn't even want to hear your argument. He just says fuck you, you're a childish D-bag, you're an asshole, you're an elitist, I don't want to hear it LA LA LA LA LA.

THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE IRONY.

This is absolutely the last straw for Jimquisition. It's regularly uninformed but this is just too much. This hateful, ignorant, insulting diatribe is the absolute worst forum troll nonsense I have ever seen as official escapist content save MovieBob.

For anyone who is willing to put aside their prejudices long enough to be informed about this topic:

And a thread from the escapist: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.392886-Dark-Souls-an-experiment-in-logic

To be honest, if it weren't for the inclusion of an easy mode in certain games, (like Metal Gear Solid 3) I probably wouldn't be into the games I am today. So I guess by today's standards, I would have been considered a "filthy casual" by the people you described Jim.

Seriously, I find people who think that their hobby should be exclusive to them and look down on others who aren't as skilled as they are or who like to play "casual" games incredibly annoying. It's almost like they've forgotten that they were once as unskilled as people who are new to gaming are now. Hell, when I first started gaming, I could NEVER get past the fifth level in Crash Bandicoot 2 without help. Many years later, I practically aced that level.

Mortamus:

So if I pay for the game at the same price you did, but I'm not able to make the same investment that you did in the content in terms of knowledge, then I shouldn't have access to all the content that I paid for?

In the case of Dark Souls specifically, yes. Gaining that knowledge base bit by bit quite literally IS the game in Dark Souls. Not everyone is going to enjoy every game. That is just a simple fact. The idea that every developer should make their games with the intention that everyone should enjoy the finished product is wrong, and isn't even if it was universally adopted isn't going to change that.

How is that any different than paying for a difficult, challenging book on philosophy? Not everyone is going to have the previous knowledge base required to understand the book and the ideas presented. Not everyone is going to be able to understand the concepts presented in the book. They will be missing out on the content of the books, the ideas presented in it, just like gamers who don't want to obtain the knowledge base required to complete Dark Souls will be.

I am not against modal difficulty in games. I am not against easy games in general. I am not saying every game needs to be crazy hard. I'm saying it depends on a case by case basis. What I am against is the absolutism presented in the video. To me it's like akin to demanding that every game include both first and third person modes, regardless of how the rest of the game is designed. Some games should only have 1st person modes. Some games should only have 3rd person modes. Some games should offer both. It depends entirely on how the game is designed.

I disagree only on the idea those arguing against easy mode or casualizing effects not having a reasonable or sane argument and as such always against stupid people.

Here is my counter that frequenters of the Game Overthinker may consider

"Thing about "easy modes" is that it's in many ways not really...

How do I word this.

It's disingenuous to call ANY game released in the last ten years "hard", so adding an "easy" mode to them is almost asinine. If you can't win a game made in the last decade then you're just not coordinated enough to play video games. Or drive. Or have children for that matter.

See those old, hard games we used to play as kids were not just hard, they were patently and demonstrably UNFAIR to the point that the only real way to win most of them was to become obsessive compulsive (when I was a kid, I sat down for six hours one weekend and played Battletoads until I memorized every pixel on the screen...the jetbike level is not as hard as people claim but the "rolling disco ball of death" thing almost killed me).

Because most of them were designed to artificially lengthen the game by making it virtually impossible to win without OCD focusing on doing so. That was "replay" value back in the day. To say nothing of the monstrously bad controls, hit detection and jumping physics most of those games (especially platformers) had...some of them BY DESIGN it would appear. And then you add to that the "tutorial mode" was just your mom reading a poorly translated or even PARODY-TRANSLATED instruction booklet and, wow, how in Christ's name did we win those games?

Today you have games with perfect controls, stunningly fine tuned game worlds, saves anywhere, and basically tutorials holding your hand every step of the way...if you can't complete a game made between 1998 and now, that's YOU not the game.

Modern games do everything but tuck you in at night anyway, and even ones like Dark/Demon's Souls are not nearly as mind-numbingly difficult as some games that came out just back in the 1990s.

What people MISTAKE for difficulty now is just a game offering a genuine, fair challenge. One which does not, or only rarely, or if poorly made, requires rote memorization and laser-guided effort the way that Battletoads or something INSANE like some "adventure" games (which were anything but adventurous) would put forth. You couldn't release something with those asinine, old-style controls and shitty hit detection and luck-based dificulty curves now.

Well...you COULD but people would think it was a glitch not an intentional design. Or a parody, like I Want To Be The Guy.

Part of this is because a LOT of those old games were arcade ports, and by definition were basically rigged carnival games whose difficulty curve looked like a vertical ascent. There is no reason to make "easy modes" now because games now, by the definition of anyone who knows what that term means, already ARE much, much less self-destructive and nuanced than any generation of games before.

I'm sorry but if someone out there needs an "easy mode" to win, for example, Assassin's Creed then you really don't need to put it in because they're not going to be playing the game without their live-in nurse holding the controller and pushing all the buttons for them. Because that person a quadruple amputee in an irreversible coma. "

An Easy Mode that conveys the same experience as if difficulty is this extraneous factor runs counter to ALL the integrated experiences people keep saying they want in gaming. And remember it was the constant streamlining to the casual market that lead to some of the issues of ME 3

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