Can someone explain this weird Jimquisition video about difficult games to me?

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CritialGaming:
Stamina management is still a thing. Many bosses have elemental damages on their weapons and can break through your shield with some attacks. So hiding behind a shield isn't always going to save you. Sure it does make the overall game easier, but there will be situations where the player will have to leave the safety of a shield behind and rely more on dodging to win.

Based on what you've been saying about the Souls series, it is clear that you don't find the games challenging, nor interesting. Which is exactly the point of my posts for the last few pages. You don't think that Dark Souls games are all that interesting, and you go play other games that fit you better. You are doing nothing to contribute to the argument of putting easy modes into Souls games or other modes in general to make the game more fitting to you. You simple play other games and that is perfect.

Souls is the example being thrown around here, but that's because it's only the most obvious example. You could proxy literally any other game with a focus on difficult gameplay that either is present today, or will be in the future.

You link the "bloodborne is genius" video here and I'd offer up a situation. What if Bloodborne 2 allowed you to pick an "easy" mode on the start menu. These games have such a reputation for being challenging (regardless on whether or not you personally find them a challenge) how many players do you think would jump right into Easy mode without trying the normal mode first? How many of those easy players would step up to normal after beating the game on easy? And furthermore, how do you think the design of the game would change with development focusing on separate difficulty modes?

Game's usually don't turn out better when there is more work to do on them. Something is always sacrificed in the split. Because again, a difficulty mode is more than a number adjustment. While some games can get away with very simple coding modifications to make easier or harder modes, others do not have this luxury.

You don't have to manage stamina in a Souls game based on how the mechanics work. Stamina acts as nothing but a DPS-limiter in a Souls game as you hack away until you're out of stamina and dodge/fall back until you get your stamina back to start the whole process again. I was able to block most boss attacks with a shield in Dark Souls and my character was dex-based. Even those knights on the way to the final boss, I could block them without building my character at all for blocking purposes, I shouldn't be able to block attacks from enemies stronger than me. I'd hate to see how much easier shielding is when you actually build a character around it. Sure, there's probably a boss here and there where their attacks take a lot of stamina to block, but the game does nothing to train you to play in non-cheap ways outside of the occasional actually hard boss battle.

I like the level design and atmosphere of the Souls games and I wish the games would be much more survival horror based with about 90% fewer normal enemies (keeping the bosses) so when you actually come upon an enemy it's surprising instead of "here we go again". The games can then focus on having legit traps and puzzles as the main obstacles as you explore. Either do something like that or make the combat actually mechanically complex and engaging. Thus, the Souls games in their current states would benefit my enjoyment if I could switch to easy to face the trash mobs and then switch to hard on boss fights. And, there's never a time I'd say "no" to having an option in a game as it could only make the game more enjoyable not less enjoyable (since you have the option of not using it if you don't like it).

You said you play every game on easy if it's an option. Has that caused you to get less enjoyment out of any of those games? If someone really likes a game, they'll most likely want to get good at the game and master the game. And if someone just found a playthrough of a game to be decent fun but nothing special, playing on the easy mode probably caused more enjoyment as it allowed them to spend less time with the game so it didn't wear out its welcome as each combat encounter on a higher difficulty would last longer obviously along with more deaths causing the game to be longer.

What is with you guys and the design of the game changing when difficulty modes are added? Where's a single precedent of such a thing occurring? The vast majority of games, difficulty modes are nothing but a number adjustment. And, to create the game's base difficulty requires the developer creating tools to quickly change things on for the creation of that base difficulty. Thus, the dev already has the tools created to make other difficulty modes quite easily if desired. Combat, which most games are because combat is easy (which is why RPGs focus on combat over role-playing 99% of the time) along with combat being very much based in simple math meaning it's easy and quick to alter. The guys at Platinum and Team Ninja have been making action combat games for quite awhile and for them making minor AI adjustments and changing enemy placements is standard for them nor is it very hard or time consuming either. Very few devs even do such things as that on different difficulties. Games that aren't combat oriented like platformers don't have to change level designs as they can give the player powerups like the recent white tanooki suit or the freaking P-wing from SMB3.

hanselthecaretaker:
-Someone who always rides their bike with training wheels will never gain the same sense of required balance as someone who learned to ride with them off. I guess you could argue not knowing any better, but that?s not much better than what?s it matter?. You seem to have a very negative, embittered attitude towards the very idea of self improvement, let alone whatever facet it pertains to.

How are the Souls' "easy" playstyles not the equivalent of training wheels? How is someone 'self-improving' themselves by killing some enemy from afar with 100+ arrows?

CritialGaming:
You're right it doesn't. But Dark Souls is hard, so if you aren't in the mood for that kind of challenge, go play something else. Why is that so fucking hard for you to grasp? This isn't even a discussion anymore, it's just you with cotton balls in your ears ignoring everyone else's points because they don't fit some insane grasp of how things should be. And instead of providing counter points you just go, "see that's just you twisting it to fit your vision, you elitist." That's not a counter point, that isn't even a discussion, that's people trying to explain shit to you and you refusing to accept it for some arbiturary reason. You're like a flat Earther.

Why go play something else if you want to play Dark Souls? Maybe you want to play the game for the first time and need an assist, maybe you're playing it again and think using your hard-mode-skills on an easier mode will make previously annoying enemies hilariously fun to thrash. I've been telling you for ages, but you still aren't thinking about any mindset other than your own. Try it sometime.
Gonna have to ask you to provide some examples of me not providing counter points there buddy, because I've generally backed up what I'm saying with actual logic and reason. You might not like the logic and reasons I give but that doesn't make them any less true

CritialGaming:
I'm not being a hypocrite. I'm bringing this up because you made the argument that people would be able to play on easy and then bump the difficulty up when they felt ready, which I pointed out to you does not happen because I don't do it. It's called learning from personal experiences. I'd be curious to see how many players of any given game start on easy, and finish on a higher difficulty. Or do multiple playthroughs on every difficulty. I'm willing to bet it is under 15% of the playerbase that starts on easy, which alone is a small percentage of a game's playerbase to begin with.

I've done that multiple times and various games. So has Xprimentyl apparently. So there's two to your one. Think we should start up a poll for this?
And yes, sorry, but it is hypocrisy. You feel entitled to call people lazy and entitled based on behaviour you have no idea they're even doing, but you are...and yet you don't call yourself lazy or entitled. You are holding yourself to different standards than you are others, judging them for things that you are not judging yourself for doing. That is how hypocrisy works

CritialGaming:
No, the world doesn't end. It just counters your point of people moving up in difficulty. It doesn't happen all that much.

It doesn't counter anything. So what if they don't move up in difficulty, in what way does that make them lazy or entitled like you've asserted? And going back to my previous statement, in what why does it not also make you lazy and entitled since its apparently what you do?

CritialGaming:
To quote Jeff Goldblum, "You people are so preoccupied as to whether or not you could, you didn't stop to think on whether or not you SHOULD". Sure it's easy for you to say, "just add an easy mode, it doesn't hurt anybody, and doesn't ruin the experience for players that still want to play on hard." But it does hurt the players that want to play on easy. Because they don't learn anything from their experience, they aren't playing Dark Souls they are playing some watered down version of the game. And if you don't want to play Dark Souls, go fucking play something else. There is nothing wrong with that.

"Git gud or get out" is exactly the attitude I've been arguing against this whole time, resorting back to it doesn't help your case. And they do want to play Dark Souls, hence why they're playing Dark Souls. They would just like to play a version of it they can better cope with.
And say it with me Critial, but you would not be learning anything. Maybe someone is new to the mechanics and needs a learner course. Maybe someone hasn't played the game in a while and would like a refresher. The idea that you don't learn anything on easy is ridiculous in and of itself, but rendered even worse when we bear in mind you've used easy mode to learn yourself. So its ridiculous and hypocritical

CritialGaming:
Technically it isn't an impossible demand, you are right about that. But it is a stupid demand because it undermines the intention of the game in the first place. It's like going to a restaurant and having your food (however delicious it might be) served to you prechewed. It might be a lot easier to eat, but fuck it would be disgusting. [/i]
I'd say its more like ordering a delicious meal but asking for it without the sides. Something has been altered to the meal but they still get a delicious experience and it continues to not affect you in any way

CritialGaming:
At least I'm provide arguments. Something you have yet to deliver on in any other way other than slinging insults at people.

If I'm not providing arguments, what are you replying to? Didn't really think that one through, did you? And how was my comment not an argument, pray tell? You listed one game that apparently lets you pass with zero effort (still need to actually check up on how valid that claim of yours is) and are somehow extrapolating from that one thing that all easy modes will do that forever...despite being perfectly happy to use easy modes yourself in other situations. How in the world is that not a completely hyperbolic statement?

CritialGaming:
No I didn't jump right into Dickens, but I did have to learn ALL the alphabet at once, not just a single letter. The game teaches you how to swing a sword, that's your argument? That's like saying they taught you how to move forward. Basic controls aren't mechanics. Mechanics are how the controls are utilized in gameplay, it's a totally different thing. Try again.

Unless using the sword is only ever pressing one button to get exactly one result, with no possibility of using it to block and no concept of timings to swing it right, then yes using the sword is in fact a skill not a mechanic. So how about you actually answer my point before I try again?

CritialGaming:
It's different because you aren't gimping your experience. Regardless of how you approach everything in Souls, you are approaching all the same things that everyone else is approaching. And it is how you chose to approach them that decides how difficult the task at hand is. A menu select isn't anything other than a handicap chosen by the player before the player ever steps foot into the game. By putting difficulty modes you are asking the player to make a choice on game challenge before than player can possible know what the challenges would be in the first place. They would be picking this choice on nothing but hearsay, or flat out not wanting to deal with it.

Okay, but how is saying "I'll play as this class, I know it'll suit me better" different from saying "I'll play as this difficulty, I know it'll suit me better". And how does this whole "easy mode is a handicap" thing translate to all the times you've used easy mode before?

CritialGaming:
Like I said difficulty modes aren't a problem, in game designed for them. Dark Souls is designed to have a baseline difficulty modified through in-game playstyles. Part of the greatest of the game is how everyone has to start on the same footing. Everything and everyone is equal.

Point I've made before that you keep skipping over, but no, it doesn't make everyone equal. Same as if we stuck you in a RTS game against a guy who's played loads of RTS games, you aren't going to be on equal footing just because you're both facing the same difficulty.

hanselthecaretaker:

-Because that would be changing the rules of the game as it was designed. Figuring "easy" out for yourself via Souls' structure vs just letting the game do it for you like nearly any other game out there. Why does every game need to have the same structure? Why can't there be a few outliers that offer something different for a change? I'm not the one on the attack for simply championing the "let it be" stance. Why hasn't this point sunk in yet? "What's it matter?" is a rickety platform to stand on attempting to refute what's clearly been answered at least a couple times on every page already. Hence the dog chasing its tail, as you seem intent on either not comprehending the point, or simply not caring about any stance besides your own indifference to it all.

Like I said to Kerg, a game simply being hard is neither new nor revolutionary. Switching the difficulty up to play something on a harder mode is something I can do in every game I have ever played. So in what way does being hard somehow make Dark Souls on outlier or something different? You seem to insist on treating it differently despite how it does nothing any other game can also do. Elevating it because you want it to be elevated rather than any actual merits.
If championing "let it be" were in fact what you were doing, we'd have no problem...but thats not what you're doing. You are going on the attack, insulting other people for not playing exactly the way you are playing. You're calling them lazy and entitled purely because...what, exactly? They can't "git gud" in your eyes? Hence why I keep crying "elitist" hence why I keep asking why it actually matters. For someone insisting that I can only see my side of an argument, you seem remarkably reluctant to actually accept what been clearly stated many times. Take your own advice.

hanselthecaretaker:
-You realize a big part of the game is built around camaraderie no? All those little hints people leave for others along the way? Yeah, it means something as far as a videogame is concerned. It means whoever plays is in the same boat, following the same rules with all the same obstacles and challenges to overcome. It's a theme of the game, so naturally there's a greater mutual sense of pride than if the rules were skewed across various difficulty modes right off the bat.

And someone on easy is still going to be facing those same obstacles, still facing the same enemies, the same bosses, the same ambushes. They still go through the same challenges that you do, the only thing that alters the camaraderie is your attitude.
You remember that whole thing about "fake geek/gamer girls" that went on, and is probably still going on in some corner of the internet? How people would accuse others of not being "real" fans, would try to give them quizzes to "prove themselves" and such. Thats gatekeeping, and its what you're doing here. And its just as bullshit. If someone is playing the game, fighting the enemies, reading the notes and enjoying everything then what difference is it if that enjoyment is on easy or hard? Why are they not "real" Dark Souls fans to you for not wanting to paly it precisely like you?

[quote="hanselthecaretaker" post="9.1024610.24166890"]-Someone who always rides their bike with training wheels will never gain the same sense of required balance as someone who learned to ride with them off. I guess you could argue not knowing any better, but that's not much better than what's it matter?. You seem to have a very negative, embittered attitude towards the very idea of self improvement, let alone whatever facet it pertains to.

Its more that I prefer to let people improve at their own pace under the conditions they find best suited for them, and don't feel the need to call them lazy or entitled for not doing it exactly like I have. People learn differently, people have different mindsets, people want different things. I can accept that, whats stopping you?

Pallindromemordnillap:

Kerg3927:
Again, you don't understand what makes Dark Souls what it is. And that's fine. I don't care that you don't understand. There are a ton of games that I don't understand. I just don't play them. Why can't you do the same?

Because you have failed to explain, and indeed seem unwilling to explain, what this bizarre ephemeral feeling is that goes away if other people are enjoying a thing you enjoy slightly differently to the way you enjoy it. But I think I know; its snobbishness. You feel your achievements aren't so great if other people are doing them on a slightly easier level. And thats just dumb on so many levels

This post above is right there. ^^^
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This is the entire universe right here.
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This is reality right here on the opposite side.

That's how far you missed the mark. ^^^

It's not snobbishness. It's the opposite of snobbishness. It's not fear that I will lose something. It's fear that others will lose something, by not experiencing the game as I have.

I am passionate about the Souls series, and everything it represents. Its themes, its valuable lessons, and its artistic values. Overcoming the difficult obstacles before you in the face of hopelessness, frustration, and despair through unyielding determination, toughness, and grit. It's brilliant. I think it's one of the greatest game series ever made, maybe even the greatest.

You are the exact opposite. You don't think it represents anything. You don't think it's any different than any other game out there. You don't appreciate or respect anything about it. And that's fine. But it also means that you and I are always going to be on opposite ends of the spectrum on this topic. It's like an argument over religion or politics, topics I usually try to avoid. I probably should have avoided this one.

erttheking:
And...oh me oh may oh my. Are you trying to shit talk my gaming skills by implying I didn't beat Dark Souls?

Sorry, nothing after that first sentence directly after your quote was aimed at you specifically. I should have put some kind of separator in there to make that clear or made a different post.

Phoenixmgs:
nobody cares

Awesome. That's great news, if true. I hope it is.

CaitSeith:
Whoa! Is still going on? I thought at this time everyone would had made their own positions perfectly clear.

You know, you're absolutely right. Our positions should be clear by now.

Pallindromemordnillap:
snip

Let me make this clear and simple then. You said, ""Git gud or get out" is exactly the attitude I've been arguing against this whole time, resorting back to it doesn't help your case. And they do want to play Dark Souls, hence why they're playing Dark Souls. They would just like to play a version of it they can better cope with." To which I would argue quite simply, if they are playing a different version of Dark Souls. They are not playing Dark Souls. Period. The game that comes straight of the disc as it exists now, is Dark Souls and if a player doesn't want to play that, then they are not playing dark souls.

What does Mortal Kombat become without the gore or the fatalies? What does the film Titanic become if Jack lives at the end? Is driving in the U.S. the same as driving in Europe? All these changes, however minor, do change the experience.

Take Capcom vs. Marvel Infinite. That game "simplified" the experience by reducing the tag-team size from three members to two. This made the game easier to learn for new players, but worsened the overall game experience by fans of the series as a whole (amidst other problems of the game as well admittedly).

Additionally I never said that people had to play the game like me. For example they could co-op the entire game, or play as a mage, or use spears and polearms, there are shitloads of different ways to play Dark Souls. But the one consistent is the playing field is the same for everybody. Everybody faces the same monsters in the same locations with the same damage and health. The difference is how each player approaches things, THAT is what makes Souls easy or hard for the player, not some superficial menu selector.

Speaking of changes to a game changing the experience entirely. Demon's Souls is a game about to loose it's online functions, and the community around that game is saddened because they will no longer be able to play a fairly important part of the game's experience. People get attached to the things they like, it's human nature.

Have you ever been disappointed by a sequel or remake because things were changed or it was too different from the original? Even if the new version or next version is a solid product, you still can't shake this feeling that there is something about it you don't like. That's the same thing connection people have to something like Dark Souls. We think it is special because of all it does, and because it isn't forgiving. There is a lot of stuff to see and explore and learn about the world, but the one thing that is consistant across every player, is the challenge they have to overcome to get the experience they want from the game. It has created a huge community and a connection between people because of that. And it is something that is important to them.

Easy mode is a change that many believe shows disrespect to a game people love for what it is. You don't understand and you don't care. I don't know what else to tell you.

But you could at least try to stop being a insistent jerk about it huh?

It's been 15 pages and it seems like you've just been arguing in circles and insulting each other. What are you guys hoping to accomplish here at this point? What is the motivation to keep this going?

I kind of want to go through and add up all the words minus quotes to see just how long this thread is. Hold on... ..... ........ ~137k words, 647k characters. That's as many words as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King!

Drathnoxis:
I kind of want to go through and add up all the words minus quotes to see just how long this thread is. Hold on... ..... ........ ~137k words, 647k characters. That's as many words as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King!

If only Dark Souls and games of their ilk had a shred of artistry that ROTK had...

Phoenixmgs:

hanselthecaretaker:
-Someone who always rides their bike with training wheels will never gain the same sense of required balance as someone who learned to ride with them off. I guess you could argue not knowing any better, but that?s not much better than what?s it matter?. You seem to have a very negative, embittered attitude towards the very idea of self improvement, let alone whatever facet it pertains to.

How are the Souls' "easy" playstyles not the equivalent of training wheels? How is someone 'self-improving' themselves by killing some enemy from afar with 100+ arrows?

They are. If someone wants to play that way and waste that much time and resources, then that's their choice. The point is the player has to figure it out themselves vs just steamrolling the game like traditional easy modes allow. To any rational person it actually does more to discourage that kind of play style since it is tedious and far less gratifying. Having said that, there are still only a handful of encounters where it's at all practical though in the first place.

Also, you're being far more subjective about your limited experience with Souls than you would with any game you hold in higher esteem because that's your personal bias shining through.

For example, the Shield critique is off base because different shields have different requirements. This is not a shield you'd be wielding on a Dex build for example. There are always exceptions though. For example, this shield has a low strength requirement and yields pretty high stability when fully upgraded.

The stamina critique is also off base because every game that uses it as an offensive mechanic means it will act as a dps limiter. In fact it is more critical in Souls because there are no ways to instantly restore it or boost it, ei through doing special combos, qte's, etc. that other more action-style oriented games use.

Pallindromemordnillap:

hanselthecaretaker:

-Because that would be changing the rules of the game as it was designed. Figuring "easy" out for yourself via Souls' structure vs just letting the game do it for you like nearly any other game out there. Why does every game need to have the same structure? Why can't there be a few outliers that offer something different for a change? I'm not the one on the attack for simply championing the "let it be" stance. Why hasn't this point sunk in yet? "What's it matter?" is a rickety platform to stand on attempting to refute what's clearly been answered at least a couple times on every page already. Hence the dog chasing its tail, as you seem intent on either not comprehending the point, or simply not caring about any stance besides your own indifference to it all.

Like I said to Kerg, a game simply being hard is neither new nor revolutionary. Switching the difficulty up to play something on a harder mode is something I can do in every game I have ever played. So in what way does being hard somehow make Dark Souls on outlier or something different? You seem to insist on treating it differently despite how it does nothing any other game can also do. Elevating it because you want it to be elevated rather than any actual merits.
If championing "let it be" were in fact what you were doing, we'd have no problem...but thats not what you're doing. You are going on the attack, insulting other people for not playing exactly the way you are playing. You're calling them lazy and entitled purely because...what, exactly? They can't "git gud" in your eyes? Hence why I keep crying "elitist" hence why I keep asking why it actually matters. For someone insisting that I can only see my side of an argument, you seem remarkably reluctant to actually accept what been clearly stated many times. Take your own advice.

hanselthecaretaker:
-You realize a big part of the game is built around camaraderie no? All those little hints people leave for others along the way? Yeah, it means something as far as a videogame is concerned. It means whoever plays is in the same boat, following the same rules with all the same obstacles and challenges to overcome. It's a theme of the game, so naturally there's a greater mutual sense of pride than if the rules were skewed across various difficulty modes right off the bat.

And someone on easy is still going to be facing those same obstacles, still facing the same enemies, the same bosses, the same ambushes. They still go through the same challenges that you do, the only thing that alters the camaraderie is your attitude.
You remember that whole thing about "fake geek/gamer girls" that went on, and is probably still going on in some corner of the internet? How people would accuse others of not being "real" fans, would try to give them quizzes to "prove themselves" and such. Thats gatekeeping, and its what you're doing here. And its just as bullshit. If someone is playing the game, fighting the enemies, reading the notes and enjoying everything then what difference is it if that enjoyment is on easy or hard? Why are they not "real" Dark Souls fans to you for not wanting to paly it precisely like you?

hanselthecaretaker:
-Someone who always rides their bike with training wheels will never gain the same sense of required balance as someone who learned to ride with them off. I guess you could argue not knowing any better, but that's not much better than what's it matter?. You seem to have a very negative, embittered attitude towards the very idea of self improvement, let alone whatever facet it pertains to.

Its more that I prefer to let people improve at their own pace under the conditions they find best suited for them, and don't feel the need to call them lazy or entitled for not doing it exactly like I have. People learn differently, people have different mindsets, people want different things. I can accept that, whats stopping you?

GTA series, MGSV, GR: Wildlands are recent examples of games without difficulty selects. They're better off without them imo. Souls is simply a more obvious example because of the challenge theme, which is overstated according to quite a few.

This whole thread stems from a video of J. Sterling mocking people who want easy modes left out of certain games. Put it this way, if the developers were left out of the equation and it were up to people like me, we'd still leave games like Souls as they are, because their particular design is a big piece of what they've built a fanbase on. People know what to expect, even though the challenge is highly malleable depending on personal experience.

If it were up to people like you, the games would change, because what's it matter? as you like to say. Saying one person's "easy" might still be another's "hard" is back to straw-man territory because there's got to be a limit; otherwise the game would eventually play itself.

There is obviously a fundamental difference of opinion, philosophy, etc. but this is by no means a new issue. Most of those people got it back then, so not sure why it's so difficult to now.

Perhaps an outside source is needed to reiterate what's been explained in this thread to no avail.

If that doesn't do it, then here's something more official.

Beyond that I'm at a loss for words at any further lack of comprehension of the point myself and a few others have been trying to make the whole time here.

Kerg3927:
I am passionate about the Souls series, and everything it represents. Its themes, its valuable lessons, and its artistic values. Overcoming the difficult obstacles before you in the face of hopelessness, frustration, and despair through unyielding determination, toughness, and grit. It's brilliant. I think it's one of the greatest game series ever made, maybe even the greatest.

You are the exact opposite. You don't think it represents anything. You don't think it's any different than any other game out there. You don't appreciate or respect anything about it. And that's fine. But it also means that you and I are always going to be on opposite ends of the spectrum on this topic. It's like an argument over religion or politics, topics I usually try to avoid. I probably should have avoided this one.

There's games that are special to everyone. So, Dark Souls ISN'T any different than any other game, it's simply a game like any other, some people will find it special and some won't just like any other game. Souls is FromSoft's game, whatever changes or non-changes they make is up to their discretion.

hanselthecaretaker:
They are. If someone wants to play that way and waste that much time and resources, then that?s their choice. The point is the player has to figure it out themselves vs just steamrolling the game like traditional easy modes allow. To any rational person it actually does more to discourage that kind of play style since it is tedious and far less gratifying. Having said that, there are still only a handful of encounters where it?s at all practical though in the first place.

Also, you?re being far more subjective about your limited experience with Souls than you would with any game you hold in higher esteem because that?s your personal bias shining through.

For example, the Shield critique is off base because different shields have different requirements. This is not a shield you?d be wielding on a Dex build for example. There are always exceptions though. For example, this shield has a low strength requirement and yields pretty high stability when fully upgraded.

The stamina critique is also off base because every game that uses it as an offensive mechanic means it will act as a dps limiter. In fact it is more critical in Souls because there are no ways to instantly restore it or boost it, ei through doing special combos, qte?s, etc. that other more action-style oriented games use.

Once you play any Souls game in the mindset that every action taken should be done with only survival in mind, the games become a cakewalk. Just doing normal stuff breaks and exploits the AI whether just strafing, using a bow and arrow, or using magic. You can literally just hold block and circle strafe to the back of, I think, any normal enemy for an easy backstab. The game and the fanbase conditioned me to play like that (actually watch the Bloodborne is Genius video for how Souls conditions players the wrong way about 17mins in) whether it's some enemy camping in a corner one-shotting me, the marketing saying "Prepare to Die!!!", or the fanbase proclaiming these are some of the hardest games ever. I went in with the belief that just beating these games is a challenge and that's what they're all about and found them to be joke easy when all I did was play to survive. All I could do was SMH that these games are considered hard asking myself "Is this everyone's first generation of games or something? Go play games like Rescue Rangers or The Lion King or Battletoads or just land the plane in Top Gun." Or just select restart chapter every time you die in any modern game with a lenient checkpoint system; Uncharted now becomes harder than a Souls game. And to top it off the Souls community stole "git gud" from the MGO2 community that's a legit hard game and they didn't even bother to put "n3" after it.

You can have an easy mode that doesn't let a player steamroll through with no consequences. Easy mode just means easier than normal.

I'm very subjective about every game since an opinion is inherently subjective.

I used the Spider shield most of the game then I recall getting a slightly better one towards the end. And I barely upgraded my shields either. You could block just about every attack with a "weak" shield (aka low strength), which is horribly unbalanced. I wanted to play as a quick and fast character but I can be quick and fast and still be able to block everything?! That doesn't make sense with regards to any standard RPG, you're not supposed to be able to be good at both. There's too many bad mechanics in the game as well. You can't allow the player to bypass a stat to get their damage with regards to stuff like putting an element on a weapon (I no longer need dex for this lightning katana) or the pyromancer's glove (which bypasses both your level and any stat to get its damage). The fact that PvP is a forced thing basically, you allow experienced players to easily have low level characters that can do high level shit. Or how about magic being so easy to dodge in PvP that any player that is a magic build will get curb-stomped by any invader. There's so many things Dark Souls does wrong with regards to its RPG elements it's not even funny, I have yet to even mention there's a core stat that does nothing. I didn't realize that knowing proper RPG elements through playing years of pen & paper and video game RPGs causes a personal bias against Souls games because they do lots of things OBJECTIVELY poorly.

You literally have to manage stamina more in Vanquish than you do a Souls game and it doesn't act as a DPS-limiter in Vanquish. Same thing with Nioh, you run out of stamina in Nioh and you're fucked. You run out of stamina in a Souls game and you just wait a fraction of a second for it to ever-so-slightly refill and dodge away to safety to get a full refill.

hanselthecaretaker:
MGSV, GR: Wildlands are recent examples of games without difficulty selects. They?re better off without them imo.

Every MGS game besides MGSV has a slew of difficulty options and as a huge MGS fan, MGSV is definitely worse off for having less options across the board from difficulty to control options. GR: Wildlands has difficulty modes...

hanselthecaretaker:
There is obviously a fundamental difference of opinion, philosophy, etc. but this is by no means a new issue. Most of those people got it back then, so not sure why it?s so difficult to now.

Perhaps an outside source is needed to reiterate what?s been explained in this thread to no avail.

If that doesn?t do it, then here?s something more official.

Beyond that I?m at a loss for words at any further lack of comprehension of the point myself and a few others have been trying to make the whole time here.

Good post, great links. They explain my stance much better than I was able to.

In particular, from the second link...

...
But the reality is that, in many, many cases, Dark Souls fans (and many pro-Esports players for what it's worth) evade the concept of elitism by rejecting exclusivity. The phrase 'git gud' (get good) might be cringe-inducing in both its sincere and ironic usage, but it does highlight a common philosophy that Dark Souls players subscribe to - the idea that to enjoy and experience the same wonders and thrills that fans enjoy, the only barrier to entry is personal skill level. Git gud is, by its very nature, an inclusive statement - a declaration that Dark Souls fans want you to experience the world, and to do that you need to do only one thing - git gud.

So then, rejection of a difficulty setting for Dark Souls is far from elitism - fans don't want the game to stay hard to keep others out, they want it to maintain its difficulty to ensure that others understand the brilliance which lies within.
...

Kerg3927:
This post above is right there. ^^^
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This is the entire universe right here.
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This is reality right here on the opposite side.

That's how far you missed the mark. ^^^

It's not snobbishness. It's the opposite of snobbishness. It's not fear that I will lose something. It's fear that others will lose something, by not experiencing the game as I have.

I am passionate about the Souls series, and everything it represents. Its themes, its valuable lessons, and its artistic values. Overcoming the difficult obstacles before you in the face of hopelessness, frustration, and despair through unyielding determination, toughness, and grit. It's brilliant. I think it's one of the greatest game series ever made, maybe even the greatest.

You are the exact opposite. You don't think it represents anything. You don't think it's any different than any other game out there. You don't appreciate or respect anything about it. And that's fine. But it also means that you and I are always going to be on opposite ends of the spectrum on this topic. It's like an argument over religion or politics, topics I usually try to avoid. I probably should have avoided this one.

Except everyone is going to take something different away from the game anyway. You enjoy the challenge, Phoenix doesn't, erttheking enjoys the atmosphere. Even in its current state people do not experience the game as you have. That you continue to police it as you do, insisting that only your experience matters, shows how little you really understand anything being said to you. Dark Souls being your precious little darling does not convey it some special inherent worth that gives you the right to insult and berate other people for not desiring to play it as you do

CritialGaming:
What does Mortal Kombat become without the gore or the fatalies? What does the film Titanic become if Jack lives at the end? Is driving in the U.S. the same as driving in Europe? All these changes, however minor, do change the experience.

I pull off a babality in Mortal Kombat and turn my enemy into a baby rather than cut them in pieces, it remains Mortal Kombat.
If Jack lives then honestly the rest of the film could go exactly the same. Maybe Rose just never sees him again because he was a brief fling, maybe he just dies of old age so isn't around. She still gets to have her moment where she goes to Heaven's Titanic themed restaurant at the end.
I think driving depends far more on the road than the country. Thats going to provide more things that change than a few regulations

CritialGaming:
Take Capcom vs. Marvel Infinite. That game "simplified" the experience by reducing the tag-team size from three members to two. This made the game easier to learn for new players, but worsened the overall game experience by fans of the series as a whole (amidst other problems of the game as well admittedly).

Mm, but did it really worsen the game or was that just people complaining either because 'their' game had changed? Or, more legitimately, because you say there are actual problems in the game? If you're going to use this as an example, then what was it specifically about that change that made the game worse?

CritialGaming:
Additionally I never said that people had to play the game like me. For example they could co-op the entire game, or play as a mage, or use spears and polearms, there are shitloads of different ways to play Dark Souls. But the one consistent is the playing field is the same for everybody. Everybody faces the same monsters in the same locations with the same damage and health. The difference is how each player approaches things, THAT is what makes Souls easy or hard for the player, not some superficial menu selector.

Then if you can accept that people play differently for different needs, why is easy mode such an anathema? If you can accept that someone is going to take on a monster from a distance with spells rather than up close with a halberd, then why is from a distance with spells against a monster that does slightly less damage really so bad?

CritialGaming:
Speaking of changes to a game changing the experience entirely. Demon's Souls is a game about to loose it's online functions, and the community around that game is saddened because they will no longer be able to play a fairly important part of the game's experience. People get attached to the things they like, it's human nature.

...yes, but they are legitimately losing something. The online features will be absolutely gone, unusable for anyone. An easy mode will not render a hard mode unusable, nothing will be lost. We've been through this.

CritialGaming:
Have you ever been disappointed by a sequel or remake because things were changed or it was too different from the original? Even if the new version or next version is a solid product, you still can't shake this feeling that there is something about it you don't like. That's the same thing connection people have to something like Dark Souls. We think it is special because of all it does, and because it isn't forgiving. There is a lot of stuff to see and explore and learn about the world, but the one thing that is consistant across every player, is the challenge they have to overcome to get the experience they want from the game. It has created a huge community and a connection between people because of that. And it is something that is important to them.

Sure I've been disappointed by sequels or remakes, but you know I still have the original. I've never been one to buy into the whole "You're ruining my childhood!" thing because my childhood is still there. Movie based on a beloved cartoon from your youth turned out to suck? Well, you can just rewatch the cartoon you loved in the first place. Its still there.
You guys keep preaching about the community, but what about the community crumbles if you add an easy mode? It just gets bigger because now more people are playing the game. You saying "but think of the community" is just showing you're still being elitist because you're saying you don't want all those dirty dirty casuals hanging around. You are just proving my point when you do things like that.

CritialGaming:
Easy mode is a change that many believe shows disrespect to a game people love for what it is. You don't understand and you don't care. I don't know what else to tell you.

But you could at least try to stop being a insistent jerk about it huh?

"But at least stop being an insistent jerk about it" has been my argument since about page 5. None of you have managed it yet.

hanselthecaretaker:

GTA series, MGSV, GR: Wildlands are recent examples of games without difficulty selects. They're better off without them imo. Souls is simply a more obvious example because of the challenge theme, which is overstated according to quite a few.

This whole thread stems from a video of J. Sterling mocking people who want easy modes left out of certain games. Put it this way, if the developers were left out of the equation and it were up to people like me, we'd still leave games like Souls as they are, because their particular design is a big piece of what they've built a fanbase on. People know what to expect, even though the challenge is highly malleable depending on personal experience.

If it were up to people like you, the games would change, because what's it matter? as you like to say. Saying one person's "easy" might still be another's "hard" is back to straw-man territory because there's got to be a limit; otherwise the game would eventually play itself.

Worth pointing out that from what's been said, what is a challenge for Kerg was easy for Phoenix so no, "one person's easy is another's hard" is absolutely not a straw man, its happened within this topic. Its why Critial's "but the challenge makes it the same for everyone" argument always rings hollow. But I get what you're saying about limits, that if we add the easy mode then someone else comes along who thats hard for and they want an even easier easy mode. To which I point out, isn't that a straw man? Isn't that just a slippery slope argument with grounding in nothing but your own fear? A "But if we let men marry men then soon people will be asking their pets!" sort of thing?

hanselthecaretaker:
There is obviously a fundamental difference of opinion, philosophy, etc. but this is by no means a new issue. Most of those people got it back then, so not sure why it's so difficult to now.

Perhaps an outside source is needed to reiterate what's been explained in this thread to no avail.

If that doesn't do it, then here's something more official.

Beyond that I'm at a loss for words at any further lack of comprehension of the point myself and a few others have been trying to make the whole time here.

Gonna be honest, can't be arsed reading through five pages of an old escapist topic. Did go through your articles though.
First one I found to be the same as you guys present here; a lot of waxing lyrical about how great you think Dark Souls is without really backing it up with solid evidence, assuming your love of the game is some kind of proof in and of itself. He's very quick to insist that its not elitism and its not elitism because...he's telling us its not elitism? How exactly is telling people they're weak not elitism? How exactly is believing you are superior and everyone else is just entitled and whiny not elitism? How exactly is deciding you are Better for playing a video game a certain way not elitism?
Continuing along a similar vein:

Joab Gilroy:
But newcomers will have a tough time working out how to beat a giant knight who hits for 50% of their health each time he attacks.

It's about thinking in Dark Souls terms. It's about thinking in the language of Dark Souls, and it's essential to the experience. Dark Souls' difficulty comes from the fact that things within the game are alien, and it comes from the fact that, to learn how those things work you are forced to risk a lot. But after you have learned the language that Dark Souls communicates in, the game isn't actually that complicated. Bosses move with a rhythm and they have tells which telegraph their attacks. The world between the bonfire and the boss fog is dangerous, but there's always a (mostly) safe path for you to run down.

Once you think in Dark Souls' terms, the game isn't actually that hard. It becomes a process - you analyse the situation, you determine the most efficient solution and then you accomplish it. And when you accomplish it, because you did a fair chunk of work along the way, you feel like you've actually accomplished something.

At no point does he actually explain why having the knight only takes 25% of the players health would alter "the language of the puzzle". There is still a giant knight, he's still kicking your ass, you still have to work out how to beat it while avoiding his hits all you can. Just because you can take four hits instead of two doesn't do anything to change the way the fight works.
The second one goes a bit more into actual mechanics and presents several reasonable points and issues both with the game as it stands now and as it would be with an easy mode, but I'm afraid rather plays his hand with this statement at the end:

Adam Smith:
If there was an easy mode, people would play it and then ask those of us who'd been here all along, 'what was all the fuss about?'

"Those people wouldn't appreciate Dark Souls like I would! How dare they!"
Looks like we're back to not wanting people in your community if they're going to be casuals about it. Tell us again how thats not elitist?

Drathnoxis:
It's been 15 pages and it seems like you've just been arguing in circles and insulting each other. What are you guys hoping to accomplish here at this point? What is the motivation to keep this going?

I kind of want to go through and add up all the words minus quotes to see just how long this thread is. Hold on... ..... ........ ~137k words, 647k characters. That's as many words as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King!

Well now you've said that, motivation is to see if we can beat the whole trilogy. Come on guys, we can do it! Kerg, make another analogy about you being a poor besieged country beset by savages, that always gets everyone talking! We need that word count people XD

Pallindromemordnillap:
snip

At this point we've given you several people on this very forum telling you that easy mode is not needed. We've linked articles and videos that further try to explain our point, hell the articles admittedly do it better.

Yet you still hold onto the easy mode being a thing and the rest of us elitist. It is clear that at this point you are just holding onto your stance as if for no other reason than to be unreasonable and sit upon your soapbox shouting cries of elitism.

The points have been made, and still you refuse to accept any of it to the point of being utterly foolish. You use the excuse that we insist people enjoy the game like we enjoy the game, but that is not true in the very post you quoted me in. Play a Mage, a rogue, a tank, play whatever you want, approach the enemies however you want. The only consistent between me and ANY other player is that they ARE facing the exact same enemy. The way it moves, the way it hits, the damage it can take, are all the same for everybody.

It's an experience that everybody shares, and it leads to discussions on forums and reddits like, "Oh man how did you guys tackle the demon on the bridge?" or "I totally tricked that skeleton to jump off the cliff." No matter how people take on things, we all share in that experience. When someone finds a way to beat a boss, they share it, other people try it and find that it also works for them. If the community was elitist we would chastise people for not killing enemy's the pure way, or cheesing boss tactics. But instead we don't do that, we revel in those stories and even apply them to expert strategies and speed runs.

Now that I reflect on it, the less I'm bothered by your stance that an easy mode would harm Dark Souls, and more bothered by your stance that the community is Elitist. Additionally I am also bothered because of this:

Pallindromemordnillap:
Well now you've said that, motivation is to see if we can beat the whole trilogy. Come on guys, we can do it! Kerg, make another analogy about you being a poor besieged country beset by savages, that always gets everyone talking! We need that word count people XD

Because it's clear you have no argument, you are just being a dick to bait Kerg into getting more and more frustrated with you. You are merely trolling at this point and have yet to offer ANYTHING to the conversation other than insults and flame bait. Congrats you are Fox News.

^ I think he was partly being facetious but yeah, this thread has been chewed to a pulp, then swallowed, then regurgitated and repeated a number of times. If we're going to get political I'd say it's the equivalent of all corporate media with different agendas to push, with maybe a page or two at best of actual unbiased, objective and independent news.

I've never understood the polarizing, dualistic nature of humanity which seems to encompass all things. I blame earth's magnetic fields mostly. Ironic how the dissonance they cause among the most advanced species it created will probably also be its undoing.

Phoenixmgs:

hanselthecaretaker:
They are. If someone wants to play that way and waste that much time and resources, then that?s their choice. The point is the player has to figure it out themselves vs just steamrolling the game like traditional easy modes allow. To any rational person it actually does more to discourage that kind of play style since it is tedious and far less gratifying. Having said that, there are still only a handful of encounters where it?s at all practical though in the first place.

Also, you?re being far more subjective about your limited experience with Souls than you would with any game you hold in higher esteem because that?s your personal bias shining through.

For example, the Shield critique is off base because different shields have different requirements. This is not a shield you?d be wielding on a Dex build for example. There are always exceptions though. For example, this shield has a low strength requirement and yields pretty high stability when fully upgraded.

The stamina critique is also off base because every game that uses it as an offensive mechanic means it will act as a dps limiter. In fact it is more critical in Souls because there are no ways to instantly restore it or boost it, ei through doing special combos, qte?s, etc. that other more action-style oriented games use.

Once you play any Souls game in the mindset that every action taken should be done with only survival in mind, the games become a cakewalk. Just doing normal stuff breaks and exploits the AI whether just strafing, using a bow and arrow, or using magic. You can literally just hold block and circle strafe to the back of, I think, any normal enemy for an easy backstab. The game and the fanbase conditioned me to play like that (actually watch the Bloodborne is Genius video for how Souls conditions players the wrong way about 17mins in) whether it's some enemy camping in a corner one-shotting me, the marketing saying "Prepare to Die!!!", or the fanbase proclaiming these are some of the hardest games ever. I went in with the belief that just beating these games is a challenge and that's what they're all about and found them to be joke easy when all I did was play to survive. All I could do was SMH that these games are considered hard asking myself "Is this everyone's first generation of games or something? Go play games like Rescue Rangers or The Lion King or Battletoads or just land the plane in Top Gun." Or just select restart chapter every time you die in any modern game with a lenient checkpoint system; Uncharted now becomes harder than a Souls game. And to top it off the Souls community stole "git gud" from the MGO2 community that's a legit hard game and they didn't even bother to put "n3" after it.

You can have an easy mode that doesn't let a player steamroll through with no consequences. Easy mode just means easier than normal.

I'm very subjective about every game since an opinion is inherently subjective.

I used the Spider shield most of the game then I recall getting a slightly better one towards the end. And I barely upgraded my shields either. You could block just about every attack with a "weak" shield (aka low strength), which is horribly unbalanced. I wanted to play as a quick and fast character but I can be quick and fast and still be able to block everything?! That doesn't make sense with regards to any standard RPG, you're not supposed to be able to be good at both. There's too many bad mechanics in the game as well. You can't allow the player to bypass a stat to get their damage with regards to stuff like putting an element on a weapon (I no longer need dex for this lightning katana) or the pyromancer's glove (which bypasses both your level and any stat to get its damage). The fact that PvP is a forced thing basically, you allow experienced players to easily have low level characters that can do high level shit. Or how about magic being so easy to dodge in PvP that any player that is a magic build will get curb-stomped by any invader. There's so many things Dark Souls does wrong with regards to its RPG elements it's not even funny, I have yet to even mention there's a core stat that does nothing. I didn't realize that knowing proper RPG elements through playing years of pen & paper and video game RPGs causes a personal bias against Souls games because they do lots of things OBJECTIVELY poorly.

You literally have to manage stamina more in Vanquish than you do a Souls game and it doesn't act as a DPS-limiter in Vanquish. Same thing with Nioh, you run out of stamina in Nioh and you're fucked. You run out of stamina in a Souls game and you just wait a fraction of a second for it to ever-so-slightly refill and dodge away to safety to get a full refill.

hanselthecaretaker:
MGSV, GR: Wildlands are recent examples of games without difficulty selects. They?re better off without them imo.

Every MGS game besides MGSV has a slew of difficulty options and as a huge MGS fan, MGSV is definitely worse off for having less options across the board from difficulty to control options. GR: Wildlands has difficulty modes...

It's been so long since I started Wildlands but I could've sworn I just jumped into it. My bad, but the point was the need for difficulty settings have become overblown and aren't universally needed or even beneficial as a design solution.

Your numerous criticisms of Souls have been nothing new the last few months as we've all been reading them over and over, just like you've been reading counterpoints. Even the staunchest Souls fan should be able to call out the game's flaws, but what you're ignoring or refusing to acknowledge is the forest for (or is it through?) the trees. The forest being what they do better than most games out there, and why they're still discussed so often. The games have a rule set, but it's up to the player how to interpret and navigate them. There is a freedom of approach that is lost on most games that would simply have you play "their way" if you want to succeed at the highest difficulty. Contrarily the lower difficulties only serve to betray and trivialize any deliberate design intentions.

I recently had time to finish Horizon: Zero Dawn and have to say it was one of the best games I've played in the last couple generations. I think I played on Normal or Hard but not 100% sure; started it on release and remember deliberating what to choose, even though it doesn't matter. I still personally like to stick to a difficulty to completion. I'm only a few Grazer dummies away from the Plat, and was relieved to see that difficulty level doesn't matter there either. I'll probably do NG+ someday on Ultra, but it will be after a long enough break to serve as a nostalgia run because slightly tougher enemies taking more hits to defeat to me isn't nearly enough incentive. Maybe there will be different rewards but I'm pretty tired of replaying games - even as good as this one and especially as big as it - solely to say I beat them on the highest difficulty.

It's why I'm also relieved a game as massive as MGSV scrapped a difficulty select. It isn't the scripted linear affair of the past that invites speedruns; it's more of an all-encompassing experience with individual replayable missions providing the varied levels of challenge. From a gameplay standpoint it's incredibly refreshing because it feels more natural and independent being able to more of what you want while minimizing what you don't.

Pallindromemordnillap:
Except everyone is going to take something different away from the game anyway. You enjoy the challenge, Phoenix doesn't, erttheking enjoys the atmosphere. Even in its current state people do not experience the game as you have. That you continue to police it as you do, insisting that only your experience matters, shows how little you really understand anything being said to you. Dark Souls being your precious little darling does not convey it some special inherent worth that gives you the right to insult and berate other people for not desiring to play it as you do

I understand that the line has to be drawn somewhere. Your easy mode probably wouldn't be easy enough for 2-year-olds to play. The game would probably be too scary for them, too. What about them?

You and I simply disagree on where that line should be drawn. I like it best where it currently is. As does FromSoftware, apparently.
IMO, it gives the most people the best experience. Best being subjective, of course.

Kerg3927:

I understand that the line has to be drawn somewhere. Your easy mode probably wouldn't be easy enough for 2-year-olds to play. The game would probably be too scary for them, too. What about them?

Pure false equivalence. The changes required to make the game playable by infants would be so monumentally huge that they're utterly incomparable to different difficulty modes. Somebody's asked for a drop of milk in their coffee, and you've replied that we might as well let people just replace all the coffee and hot water with milk.

Kerg3927:
IMO, it gives the most people the best experience.

If the original difficulty mode remains in place, then how-- realistically-- would the introduction of a lower difficulty mode lead to fewer people be able to enjoy it?

Silvanus:
Pure false equivalence. The changes required to make the game playable by infants would be so monumentally huge that they're utterly incomparable to different difficulty modes. Somebody's asked for a drop of milk in their coffee, and you've replied that we might as well let people just replace all the coffee and hot water with milk.

It's an extreme example, used intentionally to make a point, but it's not a false equivalence. I'm also not very familiar with 2-year-olds, because I don't have any kids. I assume a 2-year-old is capable of playing some video games? Tic-tac-toe or something?

Setting the lowest difficulty mode of a game absolutely requires that a line be drawn at some point along a spectrum of players of varying ages, skills, and effort. If you want, I can bump my example up a knotch along that spectrum to 4-year-olds, 6-year-olds, or 8-year-olds, but the point is still the same. It's still drawing a line.

By the way, here's a story about a 6-year-old beating Dark Souls, which may or may not be bullshit.

Silvanus:
If the original difficulty mode remains in place, then how-- realistically-- would the introduction of a lower difficulty mode lead to fewer people be able to enjoy it?

You are assuming that merely playing the game equates to equal levels of enjoyment for everyone. There are TWO variables at play in my statement. Number of people. And level of enjoyment. In my opinion, having an easy difficulty option leads to some people, intentional or not, playing a game at a difficulty level lower than they should, resulting in little challenge and, yes, a lower level enjoyment.

Playing a game at an appropriately high level of challenge usually creates a greater sense of reward and a higher level of enjoyment, in my opinion. Easy modes that reduce the challenge too low can and do result in people ruining the game they're playing, with many of them probably not even realizing that they are doing so. More options is certainly NOT always a good thing. It can lead to people fucking themselves and ruining the experience, especially if they only play the game once, which is common.

Here, read this article that hansel posted. It explains the concept a lot better than I can.

If people "ruin" their own experience by not trying more appropriate difficulty options, that's their problem. Them having the option to is a good thing.

Because playing a game at an appropriately high level of challenge usually creates a greater sense of reward and a higher level of enjoyment. And that appropriately high level of challenge is going to vary from person to person.

I'm not going to say that "every game needs difficulty settings or boss skips" or something. Just, you know, give them some consideration. Think on it. Maybe have a discussion.

hanselthecaretaker:
It?s been so long since I started Wildlands but I could?ve sworn I just jumped into it. My bad, but the point was the need for difficulty settings have become overblown and aren?t universally needed or even beneficial as a design solution.

Your numerous criticisms of Souls have been nothing new the last few months as we?ve all been reading them over and over, just like you?ve been reading counterpoints. Even the staunchest Souls fan should be able to call out the game?s flaws, but what you?re ignoring or refusing to acknowledge is the forest for (or is it through?) the trees. The forest being what they do better than most games out there, and why they?re still discussed so often. The games have a rule set, but it?s up to the player how to interpret and navigate them. There is a freedom of approach that is lost on most games that would simply have you play ?their way? if you want to succeed at the highest difficulty. Contrarily the lower difficulties only serve to betray and trivialize any deliberate design intentions.

I recently had time to finish Horizon: Zero Dawn and have to say it was one of the best games I?ve played in the last couple generations. I think I played on Normal or Hard but not 100% sure; started it on release and remember deliberating what to choose, even though it doesn?t matter. I still personally like to stick to a difficulty to completion. I?m only a few Grazer dummies away from the Plat, and was relieved to see that difficulty level doesn?t matter there either. I?ll probably do NG+ someday on Ultra, but it will be after a long enough break to serve as a nostalgia run because slightly tougher enemies taking more hits to defeat to me isn?t nearly enough incentive. Maybe there will be different rewards but I?m pretty tired of replaying games - even as good as this one and especially as big as it - solely to say I beat them on the highest difficulty.

It?s why I?m also relieved a game as massive as MGSV scrapped a difficulty select. It isn?t the scripted linear affair of the past that invites speedruns; it?s more of an all-encompassing experience with individual replayable missions providing the varied levels of challenge. From a gameplay standpoint it?s incredibly refreshing because it feels more natural and independent being able to more of what you want while minimizing what you don?t.

Part of the reason I've pointed out all the flaws of Dark Souls is that devs aren't good at balancing games. I really don't know how several elements of Dark Souls even made it past the conceptual stages, let alone in the released game when it was not even the 1st Souls game but the 2nd Souls game (so it wasn't even FromSoft's 1st try). Quite a few people in this thread think devs are so careful and thoroughly test every aspect of the game that adding a difficulty levels takes so much time and resources that the game ends up losing features or polish or just overall quality (usually games have too many elements that actually dilute the core of the game). Do you actually have faith that a dev is going to properly balance a game when so few are properly balanced? Multiplayer shooters can't even balance guns 90% of the time and we have like 10 of those every year. You mention Horizon (and I really loved the game as well) but that game is horribly balanced with regards to difficulty, Hard mode is joke easy with several ways to kill the highest HP enemy in 30 seconds. I had to greatly house-rule the shit out of the game to keep it somewhat challenging like not using the Sharpshot bow along with several other things. Thus, difficulty options are more than welcome just due to the fact they will increase the chances of the game having a proper amount of challenge vs there only being a single chance with a lone normal difficulty. That's not even taking into account that gamers have different levels of skill or the fact some people just decently like a game (it's merely OK) and want to at least see it through but don't care enough for the gameplay to actually "git gud" or the people that love the game and want to replay through on a higher difficulty or the at least tens of other reasons why people utilize easier or harder difficulties.

Kerg3927:
By the way, here's a story about a 6-year-old beating Dark Souls, which may or may not be bullshit.

Can you ever stop with the pretentiousness of the Souls' difficulty? Anyone that grew up with video games was literally playing much harder games as a 6-year-old than a Souls game. A 6-year-old beating a Souls game is not some amazing accomplishment or test of skill. I'd love to be playing games as easy as Dark Souls when I was 6-years-old. And that's not even me taking a cheap-shot at Souls, it's squarely the fact that NES games were damn hard. Dark Souls ain't got shit on The Lion King (or Bayou Billy or [insert NES/SNES game]).

Kerg3927:

It's an extreme example, used intentionally to make a point, but it's not a false equivalence. I'm also not very familiar with 2-year-olds, because I don't have any kids. I assume a 2-year-old is capable of playing some video games? Tic-tac-toe or something?

Setting the lowest difficulty mode of a game absolutely requires that a line be drawn at some point along a spectrum of players of varying ages, skills, and effort. If you want, I can bump my example up a knotch along that spectrum to 4-year-olds, 6-year-olds, or 8-year-olds, but the point is still the same. It's still drawing a line.

Well, of course it still involves drawing a line. That was never in dispute. But, the fact that the line theoretically could be placed at some utterly absurd point, letting potatoes play video games, provides absolutely no argument that the line shouldn't be placed at some more reasonable point.

Kerg3927:

You are assuming that merely playing the game equates to equal levels of enjoyment for everyone.

No, I'm not. I asked how including a new option, when the original option is still there, could realistically lead to fewer people enjoying it, when those people have not lost their own option. That makes no assumptions at all about levels of enjoyment on different levels of difficulty.

Kerg3927:

There are TWO variables at play in my statement. Number of people. And level of enjoyment. In my opinion, having an easy difficulty option leads to some people, intentional or not, playing a game at a difficulty level lower than they should, resulting in little challenge and, yes, a lower level enjoyment.

Playing a game at an appropriately high level of challenge usually creates a greater sense of reward and a higher level of enjoyment, in my opinion. Easy modes that reduce the challenge too low can and do result in people ruining the game they're playing, with many of them probably not even realizing that they are doing so. More options is certainly NOT always a good thing. It can lead to people fucking themselves and ruining the experience, especially if they only play the game once, which is common.

People aren't capable of making their own decisions about how they would enjoy the game more? Do people not know their own preferences better than you do?

Silvanus:
No, I'm not. I asked how including a new option, when the original option is still there, could realistically lead to fewer people enjoying it, when those people have not lost their own option. That makes no assumptions at all about levels of enjoyment on different levels of difficulty.

Because some of those people who would have played and beaten it on normal difficulty, because it was the only option available, would instead select easy mode for whatever reason and never end up playing it on normal mode. Thus, in movie terms, instead of experiencing The Godfather, those people end up experiencing Howard the Duck. So by adding the Howard the Duck option, you have reduced the number of people who are watching The Godfather. And that would be sad, because they'd be missing out on a great movie.

Silvanus:
People aren't capable of making their own decisions about how they would enjoy the game more? Do people not know their own preferences better than [the developer]?

Fixed it for ya. I'm not the one play testing the game and setting the difficulty mode. That would be the developer.

But to answer your question, often no. Someone picking up a game for the first and maybe only time has no way of knowing what difficulty mode is best for himself, because he has never played the game. The developer is the one in the best position to balance its game for its target audience, and they are the ones who should do so.

Again, I suggest reading hansel's article. I think it explains it pretty well.

I think a hang up here is that people can't understand the concept that fewer choices can be better. But giving yourself fewer choices is something people do for themselves all the time, through education and self-discipline. Not having the poor choices there to begin with simply helps us out, so we don't have to figure out how to avoid them ourselves.

If I could do ANYTHING I wanted to do today, with no repercussions, I would probably start off by eating a dozen warm donuts, screwing a hot young whore, and chasing that with a couple of Oxycontin's, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a few bong hits, and a pack of Marlboro reds. But I'm not going to do that today, because it would be bad for me. It is a good thing that all those things weren't sitting by my bed as options when I woke up.

More options is not always better.

Kerg3927:

Because some of those people who would have played and beaten it on normal difficulty, because it was the only option available, would instead select easy mode for whatever reason and never end up playing it on normal mode. Thus, in movie terms, instead of experiencing The Godfather, those people end up experiencing Howard the Duck. So by adding the Howard the Duck option, you have reduced the number of people who are watching The Godfather. And that would be sad, because they'd be missing out on a great movie.

This is such a vague, indefinable possibility as to be completely unmeasurable-- it's entirely speculative, theoretical. The same rationale could be applied to all options; the existence of Super Mario Bros 3 theoretically leads to fewer people buying and playing Super Mario World, which is the better game, so... therefore Super Mario Bros 3 shouldn't be available?

Do you see how patronising that rationale becomes?

Kerg3927:

Fixed it for ya. I'm not the one play testing the game and setting the difficulty mode. That would be the developer.

No, that's not fixed at all. Developers of various games often do include varying difficulty options, and plenty of developers welcome criticism and player input in the development process. Some developers even actively seek it out.

Kerg3927:

But to answer your question, often no. Someone picking up a game for the first and maybe only time has no way of knowing what difficulty mode is best for himself, because he has never played the game. The developer is the one in the best position to balance its game for its target audience, and they are the ones who should do so.

The target audience is not homogeneous, and does not have one preference, presumably; the audience is composed of various different people who get enjoyment from different things. Do you believe that everybody, deep down, would just enjoy it more if they played it your way?

Kerg3927:

Again, I suggest reading hansel's article. I think it explains it pretty well.

I read it before, actually, and find it quite arrogant and misdirected.

Kerg3927:

I think a hang up here is that people can't understand the concept that fewer choices can be better. But giving yourself fewer choices is something people do for themselves all the time, through education and self-discipline. Not having the poor choices there to begin with simply helps us out, so we don't have to figure out how to avoid them ourselves.

If I could do ANYTHING I wanted to do today, with no repercussions, I would probably start off by eating a dozen warm donuts, screwing a hot young whore, and chasing that with a couple of Oxycontin's, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a few bong hits, and a pack of Marlboro reds. But I'm not going to do that today, because it would be bad for me. It is a good thing that all those things weren't sitting by my bed as options when I woke up.

More options is not always better.

Those things are self-damaging. A lower difficulty setting is not. Playing video games is meant to be purely about enjoyment, not a training regimen.

CritialGaming:
At this point we've given you several people on this very forum telling you that easy mode is not needed. We've linked articles and videos that further try to explain our point, hell the articles admittedly do it better.

Yet you still hold onto the easy mode being a thing and the rest of us elitist. It is clear that at this point you are just holding onto your stance as if for no other reason than to be unreasonable and sit upon your soapbox shouting cries of elitism.

I keep holding on to my stance that you guys are elitist because you keep saying elitist things. If you could restrain yourselves from degrading people based on whether or not they can beat Dark Souls, as many others in this topic have actually managed, I'd stop replying. But you keep on doing it, so I keep on calling you out.

CritialGaming:
The points have been made, and still you refuse to accept any of it to the point of being utterly foolish. You use the excuse that we insist people enjoy the game like we enjoy the game, but that is not true in the very post you quoted me in. Play a Mage, a rogue, a tank, play whatever you want, approach the enemies however you want. The only consistent between me and ANY other player is that they ARE facing the exact same enemy. The way it moves, the way it hits, the damage it can take, are all the same for everybody.

You said this in your last post. To which I asked if you believe you would have the same experience in an RTS as someone with past experience RTS games, even if you were on the same difficulty. Your means of "disproving" this...is to simply state your point again. You realise thats not how proof works right? I question flaws in your argument, you're generally supposed to explain the flaws not go back to step one all over again. You wonder why this discussion keeps going, have you never considered its the circular reasoning you guys like using?

"You can't change Dark Souls because its about the challenge!"
"But the challenge is different for everyone so what would a change really affect?"
"It would make the game less good!"
"But why? What would really be less good?"
"It would change the challenge and its all about the challenge!"
"...hang on a minute..."

And then you go on like you've actually proven something and its me being the stubborn one for not seeing your point. Are you hoping I'll get dizzy from the deja vu? Sorry, but you'll tire of the loop before I do. I can keep asking for actual evidence longer than you can fail to provide it, so maybe try breaking out of your cycle.

CritialGaming:
It's an experience that everybody shares, and it leads to discussions on forums and reddits like, "Oh man how did you guys tackle the demon on the bridge?" or "I totally tricked that skeleton to jump off the cliff." No matter how people take on things, we all share in that experience. When someone finds a way to beat a boss, they share it, other people try it and find that it also works for them. If the community was elitist we would chastise people for not killing enemy's the pure way, or cheesing boss tactics. But instead we don't do that, we revel in those stories and even apply them to expert strategies and speed runs.

And where does calling people entitled fit in with that? Where does calling people whiny fit into that? You can tell me you're such an open-minded guy all you want but the behaviour you're actually demonstrating paints a rather different picture. Its like pre-ghost Scrooge insisting he's a charitable person.

CritialGaming:
Now that I reflect on it, the less I'm bothered by your stance that an easy mode would harm Dark Souls, and more bothered by your stance that the community is Elitist. Additionally I am also bothered because of this:

Community? No, hence why I've not been replying to everyone who shares your opinion. Its you that I think is an elitist. The way you insult and patronise those who ask for an easy mode will do that, funnily enough.

CritialGaming:
Because it's clear you have no argument, you are just being a dick to bait Kerg into getting more and more frustrated with you. You are merely trolling at this point and have yet to offer ANYTHING to the conversation other than insults and flame bait. Congrats you are Fox News.

We call these jokes. Drathnoxis was making a post not an argument so I replied with something funny. If you're taking it as an insult then I think that says more about the attitude you're bringing to this than mine.

Kerg3927:

I understand that the line has to be drawn somewhere. Your easy mode probably wouldn't be easy enough for 2-year-olds to play. The game would probably be too scary for them, too. What about them?

You and I simply disagree on where that line should be drawn. I like it best where it currently is. As does FromSoftware, apparently.
IMO, it gives the most people the best experience. Best being subjective, of course.

Silvanus has already covered that this is hyperbole, so I'm just going to point out that its hyperbole Critial already tried and I told him I'd have no problem with an easier easy mode. Believe it or not, one of the guys saying he has no problem with easy modes isn't going to have a problem with an easy mode.
Also, you keep going back to the idea that there can only be one version of Dark Souls, because thats the vision of the people involved. So what is your opinion on the existence of Slashy Souls? Which takes the idea of Dark Souls and makes it a 2D pixel art runner? Does the existence of that game alter your enjoyment of Dark Souls?

Silvanus:
The target audience is not homogeneous, and does not have one preference, presumably; the audience is composed of various different people who get enjoyment from different things. Do you believe that everybody, deep down, would just enjoy it more if they played it your way?

In that article, he explains that developers can put other forms of variable challenge into the game without lazily making duplicate games and demanding that a player, who is likely only going to play the game once, make his FOREVER CHOICE at the outset, before he's even played it. He uses Nintendo games as an example, specifically, Mario 64.

The Souls series does this, too. Most of the toughest bosses in the series are optional. Fume Knight? Nameless King? You don't want to fight them? Then don't. You don't need to beat them to see the credits roll. And you can summon other players to help you. I think it's totally fine if people summon other players to help. It's part of the core game design, and it's there on as as-needed basis, so most people don't do it unless they are truly struggling, and then it's just for one boss and everything reverts back to normal. So it's not breaking the ENTIRE GAME with a pre-game selection made in ignorance.

If I was trying to force people to play exactly as I do, I wouldn't like any of that. 1,300 hours played in the Souls trilogy in the last 1.5 years, and I have never summoned another player to help me once. I always kill all of the optional bosses. But if others want to summon players to help and skip all the optional bosses, go for it. That's how From designed the game.

Silvanus:
Those things are self-damaging. A lower difficulty setting is not.

I disagree. Obviously it's not damaging to your health. But in my opinion it can be damaging to a person's enjoyment of the game.

Silvanus:
Playing video games is meant to be purely about enjoyment, not a training regimen.

Why can't it be both? Why can't a developer make a game that challenges you, forces you to think and learn from your mistakes, and thus allowing you to derive a greater sense of enjoyment from overcoming the obstacles?

Pallindromemordnillap:
Also, you keep going back to the idea that there can only be one version of Dark Souls, because thats the vision of the people involved. So what is your opinion on the existence of Slashy Souls? Which takes the idea of Dark Souls and makes it a 2D pixel art runner? Does the existence of that game alter your enjoyment of Dark Souls?

Sounds like a different game made by a different developer, so it should be evaluated on its own merits.

Pallindromemordnillap:
\
You said this in your last post. To which I asked if you believe you would have the same experience in an RTS as someone with past experience RTS games, even if you were on the same difficulty. Your means of "disproving" this...is to simply state your point again. You realise thats not how proof works right? I question flaws in your argument, you're generally supposed to explain the flaws not go back to step one all over again. You wonder why this discussion keeps going, have you never considered its the circular reasoning you guys like using?

"You can't change Dark Souls because its about the challenge!"
"But the challenge is different for everyone so what would a change really affect?"
"It would make the game less good!"
"But why? What would really be less good?"
"It would change the challenge and its all about the challenge!"
"...hang on a minute..."

To answer the first question regarding the RTS game. I do believe I already answered the question by saying I obviously wouldn't be playing the RTS on the pro level. But if the PRo level was the only difficulty option presented to me, I simply wouldn't play the game, because I am mature enough to understand that if I do not like a game, or a game is too challenging for me to handle then there are literally thousands of other games I could be playing. I don't care if a game is too hard, because my life doesn't revolve around a sense of entitlement that makes me demand a game change so that ME and ME alone find it easy enough to play and beat. Despite what you keep calling us.

"You can't change Dark Souls because its about the challenge!" - Never said you can't change the game. I said don't add extra difficulty modes to the game. If you want to add more to the game, increase the number of co-op people you can summon that help make the experience easier for players, then I am perfectly fine with that as the principal baseline of the game doesn't change for anyone.

"But the challenge is different for everyone so what would a change really affect?" - This is already true, through the direct gameplay and systems already in place in the game. You keep ignoring these options that already exist within the game that make the experience easier for players. What difference does it make if the game has an easy mode you can select versus one you can choose dynamically through the way you play the game itself?

"It would make the game less good!" Spliting the game into "modes" would tarnish the foundations of the game that have built such a huge following. Granted this isn't a gaurantee, but it is a high %age of likelihood to happen this way. And an even higher chance that the easy mode itself isn't good enough to begin with.

"But why? What would really be less good?" Honestly it's purely heresay. It is my belief though, that playing the game in some kind of fairy tale easy setting would drastically diminish the experience new players would have. It isn't about playing MY way, because the difficulty mode has nothing to do with MY way, or KERG's way, or anybody's "way", it is about a SET and SAME experience shared by everyone who plays the game. Whether a person finds the game easy or hard, everybody plays the same game. Every play a board game with house rules, and then go to a friends house only to have them play the game with a different set of rules? Your experience is different, and sometimes this is for the better, other times it isn't something you like. Everybody is different and everybody has different needs, therefore it is unreasonable to try to add one or more difficulty modes into a game to try and ease the experience to fit everyone. The only solution to this is to have a SINGLE difficulty and present the player with play options within that difficulty that allows the player to adjust the experience to a manageable difficulty for them. It's really quite simple.

Phoenixmgs:

hanselthecaretaker:
It?s been so long since I started Wildlands but I could?ve sworn I just jumped into it. My bad, but the point was the need for difficulty settings have become overblown and aren?t universally needed or even beneficial as a design solution.

Your numerous criticisms of Souls have been nothing new the last few months as we?ve all been reading them over and over, just like you?ve been reading counterpoints. Even the staunchest Souls fan should be able to call out the game?s flaws, but what you?re ignoring or refusing to acknowledge is the forest for (or is it through?) the trees. The forest being what they do better than most games out there, and why they?re still discussed so often. The games have a rule set, but it?s up to the player how to interpret and navigate them. There is a freedom of approach that is lost on most games that would simply have you play ?their way? if you want to succeed at the highest difficulty. Contrarily the lower difficulties only serve to betray and trivialize any deliberate design intentions.

I recently had time to finish Horizon: Zero Dawn and have to say it was one of the best games I?ve played in the last couple generations. I think I played on Normal or Hard but not 100% sure; started it on release and remember deliberating what to choose, even though it doesn?t matter. I still personally like to stick to a difficulty to completion. I?m only a few Grazer dummies away from the Plat, and was relieved to see that difficulty level doesn?t matter there either. I?ll probably do NG+ someday on Ultra, but it will be after a long enough break to serve as a nostalgia run because slightly tougher enemies taking more hits to defeat to me isn?t nearly enough incentive. Maybe there will be different rewards but I?m pretty tired of replaying games - even as good as this one and especially as big as it - solely to say I beat them on the highest difficulty.

It?s why I?m also relieved a game as massive as MGSV scrapped a difficulty select. It isn?t the scripted linear affair of the past that invites speedruns; it?s more of an all-encompassing experience with individual replayable missions providing the varied levels of challenge. From a gameplay standpoint it?s incredibly refreshing because it feels more natural and independent being able to more of what you want while minimizing what you don?t.

Part of the reason I've pointed out all the flaws of Dark Souls is that devs aren't good at balancing games. I really don't know how several elements of Dark Souls even made it past the conceptual stages, let alone in the released game when it was not even the 1st Souls game but the 2nd Souls game (so it wasn't even FromSoft's 1st try). Quite a few people in this thread think devs are so careful and thoroughly test every aspect of the game that adding a difficulty levels takes so much time and resources that the game ends up losing features or polish or just overall quality (usually games have too many elements that actually dilute the core of the game). Do you actually have faith that a dev is going to properly balance a game when so few are properly balanced? Multiplayer shooters can't even balance guns 90% of the time and we have like 10 of those every year. You mention Horizon (and I really loved the game as well) but that game is horribly balanced with regards to difficulty, Hard mode is joke easy with several ways to kill the highest HP enemy in 30 seconds. I had to greatly house-rule the shit out of the game to keep it somewhat challenging like not using the Sharpshot bow along with several other things. Thus, difficulty options are more than welcome just due to the fact they will increase the chances of the game having a proper amount of challenge vs there only being a single chance with a lone normal difficulty. That's not even taking into account that gamers have different levels of skill or the fact some people just decently like a game (it's merely OK) and want to at least see it through but don't care enough for the gameplay to actually "git gud" or the people that love the game and want to replay through on a higher difficulty or the at least tens of other reasons why people utilize easier or harder difficulties.

Kerg3927:
By the way, here's a story about a 6-year-old beating Dark Souls, which may or may not be bullshit.

Can you ever stop with the pretentiousness of the Souls' difficulty? Anyone that grew up with video games was literally playing much harder games as a 6-year-old than a Souls game. A 6-year-old beating a Souls game is not some amazing accomplishment or test of skill. I'd love to be playing games as easy as Dark Souls when I was 6-years-old. And that's not even me taking a cheap-shot at Souls, it's squarely the fact that NES games were damn hard. Dark Souls ain't got shit on The Lion King (or Bayou Billy or [insert NES/SNES game]).

IIRC, Ico didn't have an easy mode. Its singular vision and unique design spoke for itself. If people wanted to play it, they all started at the same parameters and likely felt good making it to the end. It's kind of like how being given something doesn't instill a sense of value and appreciation like having to put some effort into getting it does.

Easy modes are designed to make any game nearly fail safe, thus presenting less in the way of resistance, which yields a lesser feeling of accomplishment. Since we're in agreement that even young kids can beat games much harder than Dark Souls it's safe to say they're ultimately unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental. Kids are smarter than we often think. Take all the young piano prodigies for example. Their minds are still like fresh sponges at those young ages, before getting clogged up with all of modern life's excesses and various dysfunctional influences. Kids are better off learning early how to deal with difficulty and adversity. Using games can be a good teaching mechanism.

CritialGaming:
"But the challenge is different for everyone so what would a change really affect?" - This is already true, through the direct gameplay and systems already in place in the game. You keep ignoring these options that already exist within the game that make the experience easier for players. What difference does it make if the game has an easy mode you can select versus one you can choose dynamically through the way you play the game itself?

Those "easy" options are pretty lame and boring. I'd rather have someone play in a fun way than an unfun way. Bloodborne is the "Souls" game that can make players "get" the Souls games (if they previously didn't like them) because it forces and conditions them to play the game in the fun way. An easy mode in a Souls game would allow players to more easily go around dual-wielding say maces instead of turtling behind a shield with a spear or using boring magic.

hanselthecaretaker:
IIRC, Ico didn?t have an easy mode. Its singular vision and unique design spoke for itself. If people wanted to play it, they all started at the same parameters and likely felt good making it to the end. It?s kind of like how being given something doesn?t instill a sense of value and appreciation like having to put some effort into getting it does.

Easy modes are designed to make any game nearly fail safe, thus presenting less in the way of resistance, which yields a lesser feeling of accomplishment. Since we?re in agreement that even young kids can beat games much harder than Dark Souls it?s safe to say they?re ultimately unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental. Kids are smarter than we often think. Take all the young piano prodigies for example. Their minds are still like fresh sponges at those young ages, before getting clogged up with all of modern life?s excesses and various dysfunctional influences. Kids are better off learning early how to deal with difficulty and adversity. Using games can be a good teaching mechanism.

Ico wouldn't be any worse off with an easy mode, the combat difficulty was set pretty damn low to begin with as the game is about the puzzles, experience, and journey. You'd still get the same bonding experience with Yorda if the game started you with the sword that one-hit kills the shadow creatures.

An easy mode doesn't have to be baby mode, it can merely be easier than normal. Easy modes are useful for games with bad combat systems so you can plow through with less time wasted in bad combat. If the combat isn't engaging but I like the game's other aspects, why not just even just have the option to skip that shit? For example, Witcher 3's combat is horrible, extremely easy to exploit, and just plain not fun at all. Thus, an easy mode allows me to waste less time in combat. I would've much preferred Witcher 3 to be a full-on adventure game like a Telltale game because nothing about the gameplay was good at all, just moving Geralt was shit. Games aren't just about challenge. If I know I can beat something with very little effort and it's also not even fun to play but I like everything else, then that's where easy mode can also come into play. Easy mode has more applications than just helping a struggling player. And, of course, it is an OPTION.

Phoenixmgs:

CritialGaming:
"But the challenge is different for everyone so what would a change really affect?" - This is already true, through the direct gameplay and systems already in place in the game. You keep ignoring these options that already exist within the game that make the experience easier for players. What difference does it make if the game has an easy mode you can select versus one you can choose dynamically through the way you play the game itself?

Those "easy" options are pretty lame and boring. I'd rather have someone play in a fun way than an unfun way. Bloodborne is the "Souls" game that can make players "get" the Souls games (if they previously didn't like them) because it forces and conditions them to play the game in the fun way. An easy mode in a Souls game would allow players to more easily go around dual-wielding say maces instead of turtling behind a shield with a spear or using boring magic.

So play the "fun" way, with a toned down difficulty to justify you being able to play the "fun" way without the "fun" risk?

Whether or not these other ways to play the game are the safe and easy way to play, doesn't invalidate them as options. You suggest here that hiding behind a shield is the safe way to play Souls but it is also the most boring way because it reduces the challenge. So what's the difference if you reduce the challenge so you can play the aggressive wild way safely. Either way it's boring IMO because you are dramatically reducing challenge either way. At least hiding behind the shield does bait players into trying to step out of the comfort zone and taking on shit for real.

CritialGaming:
So play the "fun" way, with a toned down difficulty to justify you being able to play the "fun" way without the "fun" risk?

Whether or not these other ways to play the game are the safe and easy way to play, doesn't invalidate them as options. You suggest here that hiding behind a shield is the safe way to play Souls but it is also the most boring way because it reduces the challenge. So what's the difference if you reduce the challenge so you can play the aggressive wild way safely. Either way it's boring IMO because you are dramatically reducing challenge either way. At least hiding behind the shield does bait players into trying to step out of the comfort zone and taking on shit for real.

I'm not saying that turtling behind a shield is not fun because there's no challenge, I'm saying that because it's inherently not fun. Why does easy mode translate into baby mode to all you people not wanting an easy mode? Easy just means easier than normal, not one-hit kill everything or god mode. A Souls game could slowly ramp up difficulty like a normal game. It takes what, 2-3 hits from a normal enemy to kill you, why not have the first dungeon take 6 hits to kill you normally, then the next dungeon being 5 hits, and so on and so on until getting to down to the 2-3 hits of a "normal" death? That could be easy mode for example while keeping the exact same challenge after the first few dungeons. Every Souls game is the first Souls game for lots of players so why not have an option to ease new players into the game while the veteran players can get right into it?

How is a Souls game baiting players to not use a shield when using a shield is literally the superior method to basically win? Even with a low ass strength stat, using a shield is simply the superior option. Bloodborne exists and literally shows and conditions players to play in the fun way having mechanics that encourage that very playstyle, it's why Bloodborne is the best version of Souls, it cuts out all the crap that just never worked in Dark Souls. Bloodborne is the ICO of the Souls series.

Kerg3927:
Sounds like a different game made by a different developer, so it should be evaluated on its own merits.

Nope, made by Bandai Namco, the people who bring you Dark Souls. They use the name, they use the aesthetic, even grabs some of the same bosses from what I've read. So you judge it on its own merits if you like (its shite, apparently) that doesn't answer my question. Does its mere existence somehow make you feel lessened? Does a game that renders Dark Souls into a 2D pixel runner, a game that you are more than likely never actually going to play, somehow make you think that what you have accomplished in Dark Souls to be less of an achievement?

CritialGaming:
To answer the first question regarding the RTS game. I do believe I already answered the question by saying I obviously wouldn't be playing the RTS on the pro level. But if the PRo level was the only difficulty option presented to me, I simply wouldn't play the game, because I am mature enough to understand that if I do not like a game, or a game is too challenging for me to handle then there are literally thousands of other games I could be playing. I don't care if a game is too hard, because my life doesn't revolve around a sense of entitlement that makes me demand a game change so that ME and ME alone find it easy enough to play and beat. Despite what you keep calling us.

If you wouldn't expect to play a game with a pro at the pro's level, then why do you expect other people to play a game at your level? You're applying different rules to yourself than you are to others and somehow believing thats fair.

CritialGaming:
"You can't change Dark Souls because its about the challenge!" - Never said you can't change the game. I said don't add extra difficulty modes to the game. If you want to add more to the game, increase the number of co-op people you can summon that help make the experience easier for players, then I am perfectly fine with that as the principal baseline of the game doesn't change for anyone.

See, sounds like you're just making an easy mode there. You can pick an option where you get more summons to give you an assist when things get rough, how is that not an easy mode?

CritialGaming:
"But the challenge is different for everyone so what would a change really affect?" - This is already true, through the direct gameplay and systems already in place in the game. You keep ignoring these options that already exist within the game that make the experience easier for players. What difference does it make if the game has an easy mode you can select versus one you can choose dynamically through the way you play the game itself?

You realise that last sentence works against you, right? If you don't see a difference between them, then why so against having an easy mode? If, according to you, it already has ways of creating an easy mode, then why does it matter if that easy mode is more upfront? Why does someone have to jump through hoops first? You haven't answered the question, if anything you've demonstrated just how little a change would actually affect things.

CritialGaming:
"It would make the game less good!" Spliting the game into "modes" would tarnish the foundations of the game that have built such a huge following. Granted this isn't a gaurantee, but it is a high %age of likelihood to happen this way. And an even higher chance that the easy mode itself isn't good enough to begin with.

From what I've seen of this thread, the bulk of the people playing Dark Souls aren't going to care if there's an easy mode, because they aren't going to use it. Its the likes of you and Kerg who seem to think an easy mode would be some kind of blasphemy. The people who aren't using Dark Souls as a metric to tell themselves they're Better really don't seem to think anything's being tarnished

CritialGaming:
"But why? What would really be less good?" Honestly it's purely heresay. It is my belief though, that playing the game in some kind of fairy tale easy setting would drastically diminish the experience new players would have. It isn't about playing MY way, because the difficulty mode has nothing to do with MY way, or KERG's way, or anybody's "way", it is about a SET and SAME experience shared by everyone who plays the game. Whether a person finds the game easy or hard, everybody plays the same game. Every play a board game with house rules, and then go to a friends house only to have them play the game with a different set of rules? Your experience is different, and sometimes this is for the better, other times it isn't something you like. Everybody is different and everybody has different needs, therefore it is unreasonable to try to add one or more difficulty modes into a game to try and ease the experience to fit everyone. The only solution to this is to have a SINGLE difficulty and present the player with play options within that difficulty that allows the player to adjust the experience to a manageable difficulty for them. It's really quite simple.

And I do believe you just tried to answer this with "Because it's all about the challenge!" Remember what I was just saying about circular logic? Point A can't be proved by Point B if you can only prove Point B by using Point A.
And yes, people use house rules to alter how a game is played. I brought this up by talking about Monopoly before, remember? So I'm not entirely sure what you're logic is here. People have different needs and different expectations...so we must present everyone with only one experience? What? What kind of backwards reasoning is that? I can reach everything on the highest shelf but my housemate who's head and shoulders shorter than me can't. But we can't tailor everything to all the possible sizes and shapes so we clearly can't change anything about the situation, and that stool she uses is just her being entitled. You see how that makes no sense?

Pallindromemordnillap:

If you wouldn't expect to play a game with a pro at the pro's level, then why do you expect other people to play a game at your level? You're applying different rules to yourself than you are to others and somehow believing thats fair.

Playing the default mode of Dark Souls is not pro mode. Pro difficulty modes usually expect the player to already know what the score is and how to play the game. Dark Souls gives the player all the tools they will ever need to beat the game on it's default mode.

Pallindromemordnillap:

See, sounds like you're just making an easy mode there. You can pick an option where you get more summons to give you an assist when things get rough, how is that not an easy mode?

The difference is that the easy options provided are given organically through gameplay mechanics, not through some arbiturary menu selection which is ultimately meaningless. You said it yourself, that somebody's easy is still someone's hard, which means that a pointless menu selector means very little. However by allowing the player to use different tactics, or multiplayer aspects to dynamically adjust the game to how they play, their own personal easy-mode is discovered organically without artifical sliders. Which makes it better because the experience isn't changed.

Pallindromemordnillap:

You realise that last sentence works against you, right? If you don't see a difference between them, then why so against having an easy mode? If, according to you, it already has ways of creating an easy mode, then why does it matter if that easy mode is more upfront? Why does someone have to jump through hoops first? You haven't answered the question, if anything you've demonstrated just how little a change would actually affect things.

Adding on to my last segment. The difference hear is that the easy way isn't just given to the player. The player has to figure it out themselves, and they may find that their easy way is someone else's hard way. You provide these options through the mechanics and gameplay itself which will always be better than some random menu selection. Additionally by providing an easy option up front, players may end up taking the easy option without ever trying the normal mode and ultimately not even needing the easy option to begin with. This way players can adapt the difficulty on the fly based on the choices they make with gear, stats, and approach.

How is that not a better system?

Pallindromemordnillap:

People have different needs and different expectations...so we must present everyone with only one experience? What? What kind of backwards reasoning is that? I can reach everything on the highest shelf but my housemate who's head and shoulders shorter than me can't. But we can't tailor everything to all the possible sizes and shapes so we clearly can't change anything about the situation, and that stool she uses is just her being entitled. You see how that makes no sense?

Explain to me how anyone is incapable of playing a Souls game as it is right now.

Your example here is physically being to short to reach a high up shelf so you suggest I would belittle someone for needing a stool. Those are not the same thing. Anyone who can hold a controller can play and beat dark souls. Unless you are going to directly say that a whole new option needs to be implemented for mental or physical handicaps. In which case you are asking for an impossible task because the wide varying degree of disabilities possible means you can't possible account for them all.

Not every game can be played by everybody. You want to talk entitlement, then saying a game is too hard for you and it should be easier for you to play is entitlement. Because an UNentitled person would go, "Fuck that's more challenge than I want to deal with, I'm gonna go play a different game."

CritialGaming:
Playing the default mode of Dark Souls is not pro mode. Pro difficulty modes usually expect the player to already know what the score is and how to play the game. Dark Souls gives the player all the tools they will ever need to beat the game on it's default mode.

Dodging the question. Why is it alright to separate people based on level of skill for one game if it benefits you, but not another when it doesn't? You're applying standards differently based on what you want, but thats not how that works

CritialGaming:
The difference is that the easy options provided are given organically through gameplay mechanics, not through some arbiturary menu selection which is ultimately meaningless. You said it yourself, that somebody's easy is still someone's hard, which means that a pointless menu selector means very little. However by allowing the player to use different tactics, or multiplayer aspects to dynamically adjust the game to how they play, their own personal easy-mode is discovered organically without artifical sliders. Which makes it better because the experience isn't changed.

But they can't discover what what works better for them if they're struggling to even get through the game. Can't discover anything organically if you're smashing against a roadblock you can't get around

CritialGaming:
Adding on to my last segment. The difference hear is that the easy way isn't just given to the player. The player has to figure it out themselves, and they may find that their easy way is someone else's hard way. You provide these options through the mechanics and gameplay itself which will always be better than some random menu selection. Additionally by providing an easy option up front, players may end up taking the easy option without ever trying the normal mode and ultimately not even needing the easy option to begin with. This way players can adapt the difficulty on the fly based on the choices they make with gear, stats, and approach.

How is that not a better system?

A) Like I said above, hard to adapt on the fly if you just straight up can't get through a section.
B) You're assuming again that people will only stick to easy mode, but from how many people have spoken out against that you're seriously in the minority in doing that. You're still judging people for what I believe you see as your own failings
C) Your insistence that people have to earn their easy mode (especially as you're fine with just picking easy modes elsewhere) really comes across as more gatekeeping. "You want easy mode, scrub? Well we've hidden it and you have to fight for it!"

CritialGaming:
Explain to me how anyone is incapable of playing a Souls game as it is right now.

Your example here is physically being to short to reach a high up shelf so you suggest I would belittle someone for needing a stool. Those are not the same thing. Anyone who can hold a controller can play and beat dark souls. Unless you are going to directly say that a whole new option needs to be implemented for mental or physical handicaps. In which case you are asking for an impossible task because the wide varying degree of disabilities possible means you can't possible account for them all.

Not every game can be played by everybody. You want to talk entitlement, then saying a game is too hard for you and it should be easier for you to play is entitlement. Because an UNentitled person would go, "Fuck that's more challenge than I want to deal with, I'm gonna go play a different game."

Because its too hard. Thats why they're incapable. The challenge has stumped them and they need it to dial back a bit while they get the hang of it. The shelf is too high and they need to modify things a little with something to give them a leg up. So if you wouldn't belittle my housemate for needing a stool, and you don't belittle yourself for using easy modes, why belittle other people for wanting an easy mode in Dark Souls? Why is it suddenly entitled just because now its something you can already do that people are asking for help with?

Has it ever been answered yet why a game like Dark Souls needs a (selectable) easy mode? Because it's unrealistic to think that every kind of game needs to cater to everyone when it's clearly designed for people who like to think a bit and meet a different kind of challenge. Does every movie need to cater to a certain audience? Of course not, and games imo are no different. It may be "just entertainment" but on the same token it should be allowed to be as inclusive or exclusive as the developer and publisher make it.

When I first played Demon's Souls it was intimidating from what I'd heard. But beating the first boss was a rush and I instantly "got" what made it stand out from most other games. The other thing was I died far less than I'd had in many other action games played on even normal. I'm by no means an exceptionally skilled gamer, and I think it's already been established that Souls games are more about simply being observant and patient; basically teaching the player to not be careless and act stupidly. A spelled out easy mode defeats that purpose of its design by rendering it essentially pointless. If that's somehow offensive to anyone then they could probably benefit from a more mature perspective on life.

The biggest roadblock of any able-bodied/minded gamer from playing Dark Souls is often their own self doubt. If they take the necessary time and effort, then chances are they can get through it. If they can't or don't want to, then maybe it wasn't for them, just as with a certain kind of movie. It may take longer for some than others, as some game genres are bound to regardless.

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