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

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Phoenixmgs:

Ezekiel:
Yes, it is, when you think about the possibilities people here have discussed, like things having to be changed across multiple difficulties and time being taken away from other areas of designing and testing. Your request is unfulfillable because there is no way to know what a particular game might have been.

Meiam:
You realize I could point to literally any bad game with a difficulty setting and you wouldn't really have any way of disproving me? Any bad game could have been made good with additional time spend on it. Plenty of bad game were just ruined by either a general lack of polish or a few incomplete feature, things that could be fixed if they had more time/effort (i.e. weren't spending it on difficulty setting).

So I looked around and grab the first game that I saw in my room that I would consider bad, dragon age: inquisition. The game had plenty of planned feature that had to be removed (at some point the fort you build around the region were going to be a much more important part of the game, with some form of customization), this is absent from the final product, most likely because they had to use the development time elsewhere. Also the combat system was very limited (no companion behavior customization, little variety of ability), potentially, I'm going to claim that this is because the game had multiple difficulty setting, during testing they've found out that people on easy/normal setting weren't using these features because the game was so easy they could breeze trough it even without them, so they decided to cancel those features since they were just wasting resource on something most player wouldn't use. Once they did that they also stopped developing enemy with complex mechanic because now the player didn't have the tool anymore to properly deal with them. I posit that in an alternate reality where DA:I didn't have difficulty setting it's actually a really good game.

You're both greatly over exaggerating the time and resources that go into difficulty levels. You're both acting like adding in just the standard easy and hard difficulty levels require entire separate playtests of both those added difficulties. You just change a few variables and then quickly test to make sure the math is working properly (usually just health and damage) and something weird isn't happening.

And you are just ignoring that such variables aren't the only thing that can make a Game hard or not.

And it's willful ignorance as potential issues have been pointed out multiple times.

Difficulty doesn't come exclusively from Enemy Damage variables. It can come from Map Design or Attack Patterns as well. It can come from the precise way certain features of a game work, for instance, Survival Modes that may require the Player to do certain things such as eating and sleeping could be both extremly difficult or a cake walk depending on the further parameters of that feature alone.

Stop pretending everyone is just insisting that Enemies be Damage Spoonges.

Ezekiel:

Edit: Oh, it's explained in the end.

God, how embarrassing, eh?

Like, monumentally, better-off-deleting-the-whole-thread embarrassing.

I love his Commentocracy series. So funny.

Pallindromemordnillap:

Kerg3927:
I play mostly mature games. What is the ESRB slogan? Rated M for Mature?

Maybe that's the solution to this. Just give any games that don't have easy modes or skip buttons a Mature rating. With the understanding that "Mature" means that the gamer is expected to be old enough to have learned the fundamental life lessons that:

1) You don't always get everything you want, no matter how much you whine, and you are not entitled to anything; and

2) People who put forth more effort to become successful at something typically receive better rewards than people who don't want to put forth any effort, and if you don't like that, tough shit, get over it.

So if you are not mature, you can just look at the rating and instantly know that the game is not for you and you should probably play something else with a lower rating...

image

You're calling people entitled while simultaneously making demands that certain games be kept out of the hands of others so that only you can enjoy them. Do you really not see the irony in that?

It's a difference of amount, the vast vast majority of game have difficulty setting or are very easy. Someone could easily play games there entire life without ever having to play a hard game. We're lucky if there's 2 hard games per year without difficulty setting. There's something very entitled with saying that 99.5% is not enough, that you need to get the full 100% despite not needing it in anyway. Especially if your only reason for wanting to play a game is for the story, which you can fully experience with let's play video.

altnameJag:

Phoenixmgs:

Oh, come on, devs are horrible at balancing games regardless if there's difficulty modes or not. Balancing guns is a shooter is so freaking easy but that's rarely done right when there's more online shooters than ever before. Souls is notoriously unbalanced as the PvP side of the game shines a big damn spotlight on everything balance related. Dark Souls has a freaking main stat that does nothing for example. They had to fix weapon scaling because you could just make a sword a lightning sword and it would do more damage than if you actually invested into the scaling stat. Anyway, getting off of Souls games in general, most games are balanced for a single difficulty and then just altered slightly changing simple things like HP and damage. Nobody bitched when Bayonetta released with a very easy mode that allowed for Wicked Weaves with single button presses. Nobody bitched when Vanquish's easy mode has auto-aim. Those games are as hardcore as you can get, more hardcore than Souls and difficulty modes didn't ruin them. And, Platinum even goes the extra mile in making the difficulty modes different instead of just the standard lazy changes to health and damage. Lastly, no one is asking for devs to change the environment on easier difficulties. They can easily throw in an item to be found or bought that can make a tough environmental area easier if they so want. It's up to the devs, I don't care if Souls get an easy mode or not, but more options is better than less options. ALWAYS.

Hell, Neir: Automata can be both ball-bustingly hard and dead-simple, with changes in difficulty ranging far more widely than your standard easy/normal/hard with gear changes and AI tweaks, and that hasn't seemed to hurt the game any. If anything, it's proving it can be done.

I, for one, would be more than happy if the games industry took Platinum's design philosophy and ran with it.

As much as I agree with your statement, there were several design philosophies I had problems with Nier: A. Granted, this has more to do with Yoko Taro, than Platinum. I am never doing Very Hard mode. I am glad the game is a success, and helped out Platinum from going bankrupt.

Ezekiel, I don't see what the big deal is. If there is an easy mode, so what?! It does not effect me or those or who like playing on Normal or Harder modes. This whole elitism on who is a true "hardcore gamer" has gotten so bad, I have seen people mock others for not starting on Hard if it is options that does not have to be unlocked.

And that whole difficulty customization you suggested; not everyone is going to do that cater to nor should they cater to that whim. It would nice in theory, but most developers would not be able to perfect it.

Jim Sterling is a good guy in my book. I admit when I first saw him on the Destructoid, I hated him, but later on he changed is own attitude and admitted his flaws. Eventually, I grew to like and respect him. Do I disagree with him on certain aspects? Yes, but I at the end of day, he makes valid points worth discussing. If anything people like MovieBob, Chris Stuckmann, Red Letter Media, and most of Channel Awesome (Doug Walker especially) are more like what you described negatively about Jim Sterling. Most of them are made up of assholes that think they know better than anybody else, and anyone that thinks different than them is either wrong, stupid, sub-human (Movie Bob is the most guilty of this), or just another whiny "fan-boy/girl". Those butt-fucks can suck a dick for all I care. I don't understand why they still have people watching them or following them. That is their choice or right, so whatever.

Dirty Cop James funs:
an easy mode would do jack shit to the Anorlando arches and you will still fall to your death via their gargantuan arrows.

And that's just a single example. At which point, an easy mode would be problematic because it means compromising on game design.

I'm just gonna say it, I don't think the integrity of Dark Souls would be at all compromised if there was a difficulty mode that removed one of those Silver Knights. Especially not if the "normal" difficulty mode still had both of them. Or an easier difficulty mode that made some of the bridges you need to scoot along a bit wider, especially in Sen's Fortress and Anor Londo. Or which made the fucking Crystal Cave visible (okay, that one is more of a pet peeve; realistically the paths don't need to be visible, but maybe have far more of the falling dust that actually shows you where the path is, and maybe some small visual indication for where the corners and edges are). Or having the ground in the Bed of Chaos fight not instantly drop out from under you without any warning.

The combat in Dark Souls is probably one of the things that would need to be tweaked the least for an easier difficulty, really. With the exception of a few enemies which typically don't even respawn, most enemies will die to three or four hits at most so long as you're upgrading your weapons accordingly. But yes, there are a ton of little accessibility things which could be tweaked for an easier difficulty that wouldn't actually take all that much away from the game. And all of those original things would still be present in the normal difficulty, which "easy-mode" people would also be able to move to after if they so desired. That's the beauty of options.

Obviously it means more work for the developer so that's a limiting factor right there, but assuming they have the capability to keep the "uncompromised" version of the game for the regular difficulty and also make a tweaked, easier version, why shouldn't they? What is the argument that they should not make a mode that would allow more people an entrance into the game, if they specifically are interested in getting more people to play their game?

Fischgopf:

Phoenixmgs:
You're both greatly over exaggerating the time and resources that go into difficulty levels. You're both acting like adding in just the standard easy and hard difficulty levels require entire separate playtests of both those added difficulties. You just change a few variables and then quickly test to make sure the math is working properly (usually just health and damage) and something weird isn't happening.

And you are just ignoring that such variables aren't the only thing that can make a Game hard or not.

And it's willful ignorance as potential issues have been pointed out multiple times.

Difficulty doesn't come exclusively from Enemy Damage variables. It can come from Map Design or Attack Patterns as well. It can come from the precise way certain features of a game work, for instance, Survival Modes that may require the Player to do certain things such as eating and sleeping could be both extremly difficult or a cake walk depending on the further parameters of that feature alone.

Stop pretending everyone is just insisting that Enemies be Damage Spoonges.

When has a difficulty mode changed the level design? If anything, a dev will throw in power-up items like the P-Wing way back in SMB3 over changing the levels. Enemy attack patterns are easy to adjust as well. Survival mode is more than just a standard difficulty mode.

Meiam:
Someone could easily play games there entire life without ever having to play a hard game. We're lucky if there's 2 hard games per year without difficulty setting. There's something very entitled with saying that 99.5% is not enough, that you need to get the full 100% despite not needing it in anyway. Especially if your only reason for wanting to play a game is for the story, which you can fully experience with let's play video.

And, who cares if somebody uses say God mode for every game? It doesn't affect you. LMAO that we only get like 2 hard games a year.

So I was thinking back to Megaman 2 and playing it on the Nintendo Classic and had a weird thought about human psychology:

How much of this debate would we avoid if, instead of Easy, Normal, and Hard, we had Normal, Hard, and Super Hard as standard. I'm having flashbacks to South Park's penis length episode.

Pallindromemordnillap:

Kerg3927:
I play mostly mature games. What is the ESRB slogan? Rated M for Mature?

Maybe that's the solution to this. Just give any games that don't have easy modes or skip buttons a Mature rating. With the understanding that "Mature" means that the gamer is expected to be old enough to have learned the fundamental life lessons that:

1) You don't always get everything you want, no matter how much you whine, and you are not entitled to anything; and

2) People who put forth more effort to become successful at something typically receive better rewards than people who don't want to put forth any effort, and if you don't like that, tough shit, get over it.

So if you are not mature, you can just look at the rating and instantly know that the game is not for you and you should probably play something else with a lower rating...

image

You're calling people entitled while simultaneously making demands that certain games be kept out of the hands of others so that only you can enjoy them. Do you really not see the irony in that?

You and everyone else on that side of the argument keeps trying to flip this and play the victim card. Trying to paint this as the poor casual gamer getting brutalized and ostracized by the mean elitist assholes. Nope, it's more like the other way around. The casuals drew first blood, and they are the ones making demands. Those on my side just want difficult games to have their current form preserved. We're the victims. We're the ones defending against the mean attackers.

I have yet to see anyone on my side of the argument demand that any current easy games be made more difficult, or that easy modes be removed from any games. Keep your easy games. We don't give a shit about them. Just leave the difficult games we love alone. That's all we're asking.

As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

Kerg3927:

You and everyone else on that side of the argument keeps trying to flip this and play the victim card. Trying to paint this as the poor casual gamer getting brutalized and ostracized by the mean elitist assholes. Nope, it's more like the other way around. The casuals drew first blood, and they are the ones making demands. Those on my side just want difficult games to have their current form preserved. We're the victims. We're the ones defending against the mean attackers.

I have yet to see anyone on my side of the argument demand that any current easy games be made more difficult, or that easy modes be removed from any games.

Really? Perhaps you should take a look in just about any thread dedicated to easy modes. In fact, there are people in this very thread making that argument, so you can't have looked terribly far.

Kerg3927:

As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

Is anyone arguing that games in general should be made easier, or are they merely referring to the inclusion of difficulty options? The presence of the latter does not detract from what you enjoy.

hanselthecaretaker:

erttheking:

hanselthecaretaker:
Snip

Soulsborne already has difficulty settings, they're just not blatantly spelled out for you.

Well thanks, that video reaffirmed my opinion on this topic while refuting much of your reply. I'm wondering if you even watched it, or acknowledged as much as the very first sentence of my previous post before you snipped?

Dreiko:

My bigger issue with this is that if the game doesn't have actual menues for difficultly selection but just entails a playstyle that makes beating the game easy, this doesn't mean that the playstyle is a difficulty setting. It just means that the game is easy. Full stop.

People not playing that way are choosing to put more challenge on themselves than they need and since the game is already easy there need not be a lower difficulty setting either.

Considering the common perception of the game, I doubt many people are choosing, vs simply not knowing. Even if it did have a difficulty select, "easy" and "hard" are by and large relative terms. I'll augment my stance as far as saying that I can tolerate and to some extent even appreciate difficulty select in a fighting game far more so than if one was present in SoulsBorne, because there it would run cross grain to the design, which encourages player experimentation, and outside-the-box thinking. It makes the game design feel more malleable and like nothing is really predefined. It is one experience, and the player can make of it what they want.

In a fighting game, a difficulty select makes practical sense, given the head-on nature of the genre where the higher the difficulty the more proficient the opponent is expected to be. There isn't a lot of wiggle room. You either know how to use your character efficiently and effectively or you will not do well.

Yes it points out some flaws of difficulty modes, but argues in favor of being actively able to adjust difficulty. Just via in game mechanics.

Oh, snipped your post? Like you just did here?

Kerg3927:

I have yet to see anyone on my side of the argument demand that any current easy games be made more difficult, or that easy modes be removed from any games. Keep your easy games. We don't give a shit about them. Just leave the difficult games we love alone. That's all we're asking.

As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

No one is wants to change any game. The reason most games are easy is because of save and checkpoint systems. Games like Uncharted and Tomb Raider would be harder than Dark Souls if they had the same checkpoint system. Most games even have higher skill ceilings than "hard games". Bayonetta is far easier to beat than a Souls game, but requires so much from the player to master. Lots of games get criticism for being too easy on even Hard like Horizon for example and I think the new South Park was called too easy from reviews. Options are only good things whether it's easy modes or hard modes. The player should be able to select their proper difficulty in any game. I prefer harder difficulties myself. I'd prefer Dark Souls to have a hard mode because I don't find fighting trash mobs to be engaging.

Meiam:

Pallindromemordnillap:

Kerg3927:
I play mostly mature games. What is the ESRB slogan? Rated M for Mature?

Maybe that's the solution to this. Just give any games that don't have easy modes or skip buttons a Mature rating. With the understanding that "Mature" means that the gamer is expected to be old enough to have learned the fundamental life lessons that:

1) You don't always get everything you want, no matter how much you whine, and you are not entitled to anything; and

2) People who put forth more effort to become successful at something typically receive better rewards than people who don't want to put forth any effort, and if you don't like that, tough shit, get over it.

So if you are not mature, you can just look at the rating and instantly know that the game is not for you and you should probably play something else with a lower rating...

image

You're calling people entitled while simultaneously making demands that certain games be kept out of the hands of others so that only you can enjoy them. Do you really not see the irony in that?

It's a difference of amount, the vast vast majority of game have difficulty setting or are very easy. Someone could easily play games there entire life without ever having to play a hard game. We're lucky if there's 2 hard games per year without difficulty setting. There's something very entitled with saying that 99.5% is not enough, that you need to get the full 100% despite not needing it in anyway. Especially if your only reason for wanting to play a game is for the story, which you can fully experience with let's play video.

Why is that entitled? Why is wanting to experience something entitlement? If a woman talked to you about pay equality would you respond with "God, we let you vote, isn't that enough already?" Run me through your reasoning here

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
You're calling people entitled while simultaneously making demands that certain games be kept out of the hands of others so that only you can enjoy them. Do you really not see the irony in that?

You and everyone else on that side of the argument keeps trying to flip this and play the victim card. Trying to paint this as the poor casual gamer getting brutalized and ostracized by the mean elitist assholes. Nope, it's more like the other way around. The casuals drew first blood, and they are the ones making demands. Those on my side just want difficult games to have their current form preserved. We're the victims. We're the ones defending against the mean attackers.

I have yet to see anyone on my side of the argument demand that any current easy games be made more difficult, or that easy modes be removed from any games. Keep your easy games. We don't give a shit about them. Just leave the difficult games we love alone. That's all we're asking.

As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

Thats not a victim card, thats a "You're being a hypocrite" card. You're calling other people entitled while simultaneously demanding things be made a certain way especially for you regardless of how little impact on you they actually have. Thats entitlement right there in a nutshell dude. And a word to the wise, but referring to people wanting an easy mode in a game as a "side" who have "drawn first blood" doesn't help at not making you look like the bad guy. This isn't Caesar crossing the Rubicon, dude, its a discussion about video games.

Your next paragraphs contradict each other; You say no-one is demanding there be fewer easy modes, then make a point about how you'd like fewer easy modes. You're undermining yourself

Pallindromemordnillap:
Why is that entitled? Why is wanting to experience something entitlement? If a woman talked to you about pay equality would you respond with "God, we let you vote, isn't that enough already?" Run me through your reasoning here

Ask yourself, honestly, is that really an appropriate analogy?

Bad players are still entitled to buy hard games and play them. If they fail to beat those games it down to them, while women work just as hard as men on average and still get paid less.

CoCage:

Jim Sterling is a good guy in my book. I admit when I first saw him on the Destructoid, I hated him, but later on he changed is own attitude and admitted his flaws. Eventually, I grew to like and respect him. Do I disagree with him on certain aspects? Yes, but I at the end of day, he makes valid points worth discussing. If anything people like MovieBob, Chris Stuckmann, Red Letter Media, and most of Channel Awesome (Doug Walker especially) are more like what you described negatively about Jim Sterling. Most of them are made up of assholes that think they know better than anybody else, and anyone that thinks different than them is either wrong, stupid, sub-human (Movie Bob is the most guilty of this), or just another whiny "fan-boy/girl". Those butt-fucks can suck a dick for all I care. I don't understand why they still have people watching them or following them. That is their choice or right, so whatever.

Man, this is the internet. You cant go around letting people have ideas that contradict your own. You have to take them out.

Getting real - I've heard him apologies for his behaviour when he was younger (particularly Destructoid but even his podcast, which has been going for years? I think.) Not that many Youtubers do that. He at least gets something for trying to be better.

shrekfan246:

Dirty Cop James funs:
an easy mode would do jack shit to the Anorlando arches and you will still fall to your death via their gargantuan arrows.

And that's just a single example. At which point, an easy mode would be problematic because it means compromising on game design.

I'm just gonna say it, I don't think the integrity of Dark Souls would be at all compromised if there was a difficulty mode that removed one of those Silver Knights. Especially not if the "normal" difficulty mode still had both of them. Or an easier difficulty mode that made some of the bridges you need to scoot along a bit wider, especially in Sen's Fortress and Anor Londo. Or which made the fucking Crystal Cave visible (okay, that one is more of a pet peeve; realistically the paths don't need to be visible, but maybe have far more of the falling dust that actually shows you where the path is, and maybe some small visual indication for where the corners and edges are). Or having the ground in the Bed of Chaos fight not instantly drop out from under you without any warning.

The combat in Dark Souls is probably one of the things that would need to be tweaked the least for an easier difficulty, really. With the exception of a few enemies which typically don't even respawn, most enemies will die to three or four hits at most so long as you're upgrading your weapons accordingly. But yes, there are a ton of little accessibility things which could be tweaked for an easier difficulty that wouldn't actually take all that much away from the game. And all of those original things would still be present in the normal difficulty, which "easy-mode" people would also be able to move to after if they so desired. That's the beauty of options.

Obviously it means more work for the developer so that's a limiting factor right there, but assuming they have the capability to keep the "uncompromised" version of the game for the regular difficulty and also make a tweaked, easier version, why shouldn't they? What is the argument that they should not make a mode that would allow more people an entrance into the game, if they specifically are interested in getting more people to play their game?

There were a bunch of things in Dark Souls that clearly were not play tested. The giant arrows are easy to avoid. But imagine, if you will, the ledge you get to is slightly bigger so any blocked hit doesn't give you a 50/50 chance to be knocked off. Maybe that could be the easier difficulty.

Phoenixmgs:

Kerg3927:

I have yet to see anyone on my side of the argument demand that any current easy games be made more difficult, or that easy modes be removed from any games. Keep your easy games. We don't give a shit about them. Just leave the difficult games we love alone. That's all we're asking.

As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

No one is wants to change any game. The reason most games are easy is because of save and checkpoint systems. Games like Uncharted and Tomb Raider would be harder than Dark Souls if they had the same checkpoint system. Most games even have higher skill ceilings than "hard games". Bayonetta is far easier to beat than a Souls game, but requires so much from the player to master. Lots of games get criticism for being too easy on even Hard like Horizon for example and I think the new South Park was called too easy from reviews. Options are only good things whether it's easy modes or hard modes. The player should be able to select their proper difficulty in any game. I prefer harder difficulties myself. I'd prefer Dark Souls to have a hard mode because I don't find fighting trash mobs to be engaging.

As someone who is teaching a little kid even the easiest of games, there are so many things that we don't realise we've learnt over the decades. They are like driving a car, seemingly impossible at the start but eventually its all automatic. The point about saves are very true (go play ironman Xcom to see the point clear as day) but also, your personal ability has increase so much. The floor for entry games are way higher now.

trunkage:

shrekfan246:

Dirty Cop James funs:
an easy mode would do jack shit to the Anorlando arches and you will still fall to your death via their gargantuan arrows.

And that's just a single example. At which point, an easy mode would be problematic because it means compromising on game design.

I'm just gonna say it, I don't think the integrity of Dark Souls would be at all compromised if there was a difficulty mode that removed one of those Silver Knights. Especially not if the "normal" difficulty mode still had both of them. Or an easier difficulty mode that made some of the bridges you need to scoot along a bit wider, especially in Sen's Fortress and Anor Londo. Or which made the fucking Crystal Cave visible (okay, that one is more of a pet peeve; realistically the paths don't need to be visible, but maybe have far more of the falling dust that actually shows you where the path is, and maybe some small visual indication for where the corners and edges are). Or having the ground in the Bed of Chaos fight not instantly drop out from under you without any warning.

The combat in Dark Souls is probably one of the things that would need to be tweaked the least for an easier difficulty, really. With the exception of a few enemies which typically don't even respawn, most enemies will die to three or four hits at most so long as you're upgrading your weapons accordingly. But yes, there are a ton of little accessibility things which could be tweaked for an easier difficulty that wouldn't actually take all that much away from the game. And all of those original things would still be present in the normal difficulty, which "easy-mode" people would also be able to move to after if they so desired. That's the beauty of options.

Obviously it means more work for the developer so that's a limiting factor right there, but assuming they have the capability to keep the "uncompromised" version of the game for the regular difficulty and also make a tweaked, easier version, why shouldn't they? What is the argument that they should not make a mode that would allow more people an entrance into the game, if they specifically are interested in getting more people to play their game?

There were a bunch of things in Dark Souls that clearly were not play tested. The giant arrows are easy to avoid. But imagine, if you will, the ledge you get to is slightly bigger so any blocked hit doesn't give you a 50/50 chance to be knocked off. Maybe that could be the easier difficulty.

Honestly, yeah, making all of the ledges and bridges and stuff like that in Dark Souls even just slightly larger would drastically cut down the actual difficulty of the game, without doing anything to its oppressive, grim atmosphere or the thematic setting of a dying world populated by the husks of who used to live there. It's not like the hitboxes and collision boxes in that game aren't already super messed up anyway.

Like, sure, there's an argument to be made that being mindful of your surroundings is a key component to the Dark Souls gameplay as well, but that's why it would be a difference between difficulty modes, yeah? It doesn't need to be as strict for the people who want to play on a lower difficulty. There are plenty of times in the entire Souls franchise when you can just slip off of the map and it was not your own fault. Generously allowing that those instances shouldn't just be fixed, making the ground larger so that the player has more sure footing is a simple way to ease the difficulty of the game without changing practically anything about how it's designed.

I dunno, I just don't get this exclusionary "hardcore" mentality that says certain people just shouldn't be allowed to even try certain games. Not every game is going to be for everyone, but that shouldn't be intrinsically tied to the difficulty of even playing the game. For instance, I really want to enjoy fighting games. There are many fighting games with art styles and casts that I absolutely adore, and I find it thrilling to play one. But the only fighting games I've ever actually played with any sort of proficiency are the Dragon Ball Z Budokai games and Super Smash Bros., and that's because the learning curve upon entering those games doesn't require you to memorize fifteen different extended combos and then have the reflexes to actually pull them off in frame-perfect execution, per character. Now, my lack of skill in fighting games will always be partly my own fault, but should that mean fighting games should just give up on even attempting to teach me how to play? If I were to, heaven forbid, attempt playing a multiplayer match, should they just throw me in against a Platinum-ranking (or whatever a game's equivalent would be) player as my first opponent?

(I'm mostly just using your post to ruminate to myself, trunkage.)

hanselthecaretaker:

erttheking:

hanselthecaretaker:
Snip

Soulsborne already has difficulty settings, they're just not blatantly spelled out for you.

Well thanks, that video reaffirmed my opinion on this topic while refuting much of your reply. I'm wondering if you even watched it, or acknowledged as much as the very first sentence of my previous post before you snipped?

Dreiko:

My bigger issue with this is that if the game doesn't have actual menues for difficultly selection but just entails a playstyle that makes beating the game easy, this doesn't mean that the playstyle is a difficulty setting. It just means that the game is easy. Full stop.

People not playing that way are choosing to put more challenge on themselves than they need and since the game is already easy there need not be a lower difficulty setting either.

Considering the common perception of the game, I doubt many people are choosing, vs simply not knowing. Even if it did have a difficulty select, "easy" and "hard" are by and large relative terms. I'll augment my stance as far as saying that I can tolerate and to some extent even appreciate difficulty select in a fighting game far more so than if one was present in SoulsBorne, because there it would run cross grain to the design, which encourages player experimentation, and outside-the-box thinking. It makes the game design feel more malleable and like nothing is really predefined. It is one experience, and the player can make of it what they want.

In a fighting game, a difficulty select makes practical sense, given the head-on nature of the genre where the higher the difficulty the more proficient the opponent is expected to be. There isn't a lot of wiggle room. You either know how to use your character efficiently and effectively or you will not do well.

Fighting games are another can of worms in this debate. In fighting games the AI is useless in even the hardest of settings and you aren't actually playing the game if you don't fight people.

The way difficulty works is that the game automatically reacts in a single frame to your inputs with ones that beat it whereas humans need roughly twenty times that amount of time to react. Approaches which are valid vs people get negated by the AI and when the game is on hard it simply LETS you hit it less than on easier difficulties. What actual approach you take doesn't matter so it may be an approach which would never work on a human that can read your patterns that works but an unreactable mixup which would force any human to guess will turn into a useless approach vs a button reading AI. This basically means that whatever's the difficulty, you aren't actually practicing the skills needed to win vs people such as being unpredictable in an environment where your inputs can't be reacted to if they occur in under 20 frames (the average poke is in the 5f range) and skills like conditioning your foe to play a certain way or reading their patterns and correctly predicting what they'll do.

Hard or easy, you can't learn these things by fighting the AI, irrespective of its difficulty. You must fight people, and let me tell you, fighting an AI that reacts to everything you do within 1frame is much, much easier compared to fighting someone who is already 3 steps ahead of you, knows what you'll do, and has already countered it before you even come up with it.

Ezekiel:

Is he quoting people in his comment boxes? Seems like a shitty thing to do to your fans. Has he ever debated difficulty in games fairly?
*snipped for space*
Edit: Oh, it's explained in the end. Still shitty. I don't know why people take him so seriously when he never respects what the other side has to say. There are a few valid points in there, which he is just totally, condescendingly dismissive of.

I'm not sure if he ever has debated difficulty in games fairly but I'm not sure it'd fit the format of the baseline show either which is, appropriately given the character, him on a podium unleashing a diatribe garnished with sarcasm.
It's not to say I don't think he could tackle it and approach it fairly, but more that it doesn't gel with his delivery, format and goals.

As to this video micro series?
I get a laugh out of them despite the fact I'd probably be considered an 'old school' gamer and occasionally a 'hardcore' one given my choice of difficulty settings though I tend to stay out of the youtube comment swamp and avoid the expanse of despair that is twitter at all costs.

It's simple, low brow humour.
The video equivalent of doing a squeaky voice when repeating someone or that spongebob chicken walk meme that I don't really get which is circulating right now.
...and sometimes I find that really damn funny.

Squilookle:

Ezekiel:

Edit: Oh, it's explained in the end.

God, how embarrassing, eh?

Like, monumentally, better-off-deleting-the-whole-thread embarrassing.

I think the discussion has pretty much moved past that and onto a topic that's actually pretty interesting. Deleting it would be a mistake.

Demanding a dev add an easy mode to their game is ridiculous as it's not always possible. If a developer wants to make a difficult, inaccessible game they damn well can. If you don't want to play that kind of game you can just not play it.

My personal design belief is that where it's possible I think it's best to have them in the game. That said, not every studio is AAA with a gorillion dollars in funding to make a shit ton of difficulty modes and playtest each and every one of them. You can just half enemy health and damage in most games - but what would you do with something like The Witness? The solution would need to be more complex, and that would take dev time.

I think they should just bring cheatcodes back, that will solve a lot of the problems.

edit: I did find it funny when MK8 DX added the auto driving feature (which you can't use in online play) and some people got mad about it. It's a casual,family friendly, for everybody kart racing party game.

However, I'm against the seeming insinuation that every gamer in the entire fucking world hated this feature and was throwing a tantrum about it when it was a few tweets on twitter.

Phoenixmgs:
No one is wants to change any game.

You directly contradict yourself in that same paragraph...

Phoenixmgs:
The player should be able to select their proper difficulty in any game.

.
.
.

Pallindromemordnillap:
Why is that entitled? Why is wanting to experience something entitlement? If a woman talked to you about pay equality would you respond with "God, we let you vote, isn't that enough already?" Run me through your reasoning here

This argument has nothing to do with gender, at all. I believe it's okay to reward someone more for more effort and production. By the same token, I believe it's okay to reward someone less for less effort and production. If a particular male is producing more than a particular woman, he should be paid more. If a particular female is producing more than a particular male, then she should be paid more. If the person who is producing less demands pay equal to the person who produces more, that is entitlement.

Pallindromemordnillap:
You're calling other people entitled while simultaneously demanding things be made a certain way especially for you regardless of how little impact on you they actually have.

As others have pointed out, the impact is debatable. Developers only have so many resources dedicated to a particular game. A budget. If they have to divert some of those resources to developing more and more options to accommodate those who refuse to put any effort into learning how to play the game, it necessarily results in less resources available for other aspects of the game.

And that is something that I believe can affect (infect?) the entire gaming industry as a whole, as it trends toward more dumbed down content and less challenging content. Because of the finite resources available, increasing the former is going to result in a decrease of the latter.

Pallindromemordnillap:

Kerg3927:
As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

Your next paragraphs contradict each other; You say no-one is demanding there be fewer easy modes, then make a point about how you'd like fewer easy modes. You're undermining yourself

Your math is wrong. Wanting the status quo preserved for certain games that currently don't have easy modes is not asking for "fewer" easy modes. It's simply asking that they not be added to those particular games. There is no subtraction involved here.

erttheking:


Oh, snipped your post? Like you just did here?

Well they're both space savers, but with a snip, I have to scroll back up to the prior post to read what I wrote. With a spoiler, it's right there if needed.

Sterling makes me cringe everytime I see him. He's horrible (and ugly).

Dreiko:

Fighting games are another can of worms in this debate. In fighting games the AI is useless in even the hardest of settings and you aren't actually playing the game if you don't fight people.

The way difficulty works is that the game automatically reacts in a single frame to your inputs with ones that beat it whereas humans need roughly twenty times that amount of time to react. Approaches which are valid vs people get negated by the AI and when the game is on hard it simply LETS you hit it less than on easier difficulties. What actual approach you take doesn't matter so it may be an approach which would never work on a human that can read your patterns that works but an unreactable mixup which would force any human to guess will turn into a useless approach vs a button reading AI. This basically means that whatever's the difficulty, you aren't actually practicing the skills needed to win vs people such as being unpredictable in an environment where your inputs can't be reacted to if they occur in under 20 frames (the average poke is in the 5f range) and skills like conditioning your foe to play a certain way or reading their patterns and correctly predicting what they'll do.

Hard or easy, you can't learn these things by fighting the AI, irrespective of its difficulty. You must fight people, and let me tell you, fighting an AI that reacts to everything you do within 1frame is much, much easier compared to fighting someone who is already 3 steps ahead of you, knows what you'll do, and has already countered it before you even come up with it.

True to that. The unpredictable nature of human opponents is what makes it most interesting. AI can still be useful though in learning a character and an opponent's move sets. Most fighting games have a lab/training mode to practice openers, counters, block strings, etc. to see what will work frame-wise against a particular foe. They help prepare you for real opponents as much as possible.

The AI in MKXL arcade mode is actually pretty useful in that it usually uses its character's quickest opens and counters and wickedly punishes foolish attacks. Hard is beatable if you know how to use your character well. Very Hard requires knowing your opponent just as well, and frame data is essential. I'm sure certain moves or patterns have been exploited wherever possible, but the amazing thing is high level play vs this AI can often look incredibly similar to high level pvp.

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
Why is that entitled? Why is wanting to experience something entitlement? If a woman talked to you about pay equality would you respond with "God, we let you vote, isn't that enough already?" Run me through your reasoning here

This argument has nothing to do with gender, at all. I believe it's okay to reward someone more for more effort and production. By the same token, I believe it's okay to reward someone less for less effort and production. If a particular male is producing more than a particular woman, he should be paid more. If a particular female is producing more than a particular male, then she should be paid more. If the person who is producing less demands pay equal to the person who produces more, that is entitlement.

You might want to tell Capitalism that. It based on one person making the initial outlay and then continually reaping the rewards even without further input. What/how much you produce generally doesn't impact your pay. Anecdotally, I've seen a bunch of lazy or incompetent people being promoted due to no-one wanting to deal with them. Anyway, this is a digression. That's not what we're talking about.

trunkage:
As someone who is teaching a little kid even the easiest of games, there are so many things that we don't realise we've learnt over the decades. They are like driving a car, seemingly impossible at the start but eventually its all automatic. The point about saves are very true (go play ironman Xcom to see the point clear as day) but also, your personal ability has increase so much. The floor for entry games are way higher now.

I still remember playing my first FPS on a dual-stick controller and it felt so weird.

Kerg3927:

Phoenixmgs:
No one is wants to change any game.

You directly contradict yourself in that same paragraph...

Phoenixmgs:
The player should be able to select their proper difficulty in any game.

The core game is unchanged regardless of difficulty levels. Bayonetta on Normal or harder is the exact game it would be if there weren't easy and very easy difficulties. People are making the argument that some games at their core would be fundamentally different if they gained an easy difficulty setting. Or that testing and balancing for additional difficulty modes takes so much time that the game would be less polished or some features might not make it, which is complete nonsense. Sports games are actually a prime example of how this is not the case because they give the user almost complete control over everything via sliders so you can completely customize the difficulty. Developers have such toolkits that allow them to change just about everything on the fly and immediately test it, just making that already created toolkit available to players takes very little time and effort. Even greatly less time than that for your standard difficulties the vast majority of games have where it's just a HP & damage slider basically.

Bad Jim:

Pallindromemordnillap:
Why is that entitled? Why is wanting to experience something entitlement? If a woman talked to you about pay equality would you respond with "God, we let you vote, isn't that enough already?" Run me through your reasoning here

Ask yourself, honestly, is that really an appropriate analogy?

Bad players are still entitled to buy hard games and play them. If they fail to beat those games it down to them, while women work just as hard as men on average and still get paid less.

My original point was merely that asking for something =/= entitlement as so many people seem to be assuming here, as I was fairly sure that everyone here would agree that Women's Suffrage was indeed a good thing. However seeing you dismiss anyone who can't git gud as "bad players" honestly makes me think my analogy was more apt than I thought. You're automatically assuming a group of people should get less out of something because you don't think they're on your level. Thats pretty much how sexism works dude. Might want to reexamine some of your stances in this methinks

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
Why is that entitled? Why is wanting to experience something entitlement? If a woman talked to you about pay equality would you respond with "God, we let you vote, isn't that enough already?" Run me through your reasoning here

This argument has nothing to do with gender, at all. I believe it's okay to reward someone more for more effort and production. By the same token, I believe it's okay to reward someone less for less effort and production. If a particular male is producing more than a particular woman, he should be paid more. If a particular female is producing more than a particular male, then she should be paid more. If the person who is producing less demands pay equal to the person who produces more, that is entitlement.

See above, my argument wasn't anything to do with gender but more trying to get people to think a bit more about throwing around "entitled" like it was some sort of magic word that beamed your mindset into our heads.
Your argument falls apart when you consider that, if people are struggling with a game, they are more likely trying harder than you are to beat it. Your opinion of yourself is that you are some kind of hardcore master gamer who can handle stuff like this, so by your own logic a hard mode isn't actually that hard for you. The person for whom a hard mode is hard is the one actually putting more effort in even if they're not successful so, again by your own logic, they should get more of a reward than you should; namely an easy mode

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
You're calling other people entitled while simultaneously demanding things be made a certain way especially for you regardless of how little impact on you they actually have.

As others have pointed out, the impact is debatable. Developers only have so many resources dedicated to a particular game. A budget. If they have to divert some of those resources to developing more and more options to accommodate those who refuse to put any effort into learning how to play the game, it necessarily results in less resources available for other aspects of the game.

And that is something that I believe can affect (infect?) the entire gaming industry as a whole, as it trends toward more dumbed down content and less challenging content. Because of the finite resources available, increasing the former is going to result in a decrease of the latter.

Yeah but your argument of "But easy mode worsens development!" is stupid because I notice you're not complaining about graphics. Development of high quality graphics slows everything enormously and eats up a ton of time. We'd have about fifty Dark Souls games if everything looked like stick figure drawings, but funnily enough I don't see you pushing for that option.

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:

Kerg3927:
As Meiam pointed out, most games are already easy. We have very few difficult games left. Why do you have to demand that those few that we have be changed to suit your liking, too? "Entitled" is far too weak of a word to describe it, IMO.

Your next paragraphs contradict each other; You say no-one is demanding there be fewer easy modes, then make a point about how you'd like fewer easy modes. You're undermining yourself

Your math is wrong. Wanting the status quo preserved for certain games that currently don't have easy modes is not asking for "fewer" easy modes. It's simply asking that they not be added to those particular games. There is no subtraction involved here.

You say there are "so few" games without easy modes (as though this is Helm's Deep against the Uruks, seriously, that attitude is why people keep saying you're the one being entitled) which means your opinion is that there should be more games without easy modes. For that to happen there would need to be a removal of easy modes, either from pre-existing games or from games in development. You would be literally taking away easy modes. How is your position any different from what you consider "the other side's" to be?

Basically, the issue of difficulty is artificial and is done by sides, that had long since made up their minds and will argue about it till the end of days.

I personally see it like this: game design is a very simple thing, but complexity comes from this simplicity. Game devs have and should have the ability to create whatever games they like and gamers have the ability to buy and refund whatever game they like.
Thus, the argument about difficulty in games is what I consider to be a bit entitled and pointless.

Drathnoxis:

Squilookle:

Ezekiel:

Edit: Oh, it's explained in the end.

God, how embarrassing, eh?

Like, monumentally, better-off-deleting-the-whole-thread embarrassing.

I think the discussion has pretty much moved past that and onto a topic that's actually pretty interesting. Deleting it would be a mistake.

I could have just changed the title and OP. I don't care, though. Embarrassing for him. I hardly care.

Ezekiel:

Drathnoxis:

Squilookle:

God, how embarrassing, eh?

Like, monumentally, better-off-deleting-the-whole-thread embarrassing.

I think the discussion has pretty much moved past that and onto a topic that's actually pretty interesting. Deleting it would be a mistake.

I could have just changed the title and OP. I don't care, though. Embarrassing for him. I hardly care.

So much egg.

Like buckets of the stuff.

Hoo Boy.

image

As amusing as I usually find Jim, I'm not partial to his Commentocracy series. I like the idea, but the execution kind of gets on my nerves. Its just Jim finding some random asshole's comment and reading it in a mocking tone. And so far each comment chosen for Commentocracy has seemed to me to be worthy of mockery.

As far as game difficulty, I can't really agree with the "elitists" on this one. No one has shown me how the addition of an "easy" or "accessable" mode detracts from their experience. And even if there is some merit behind the "devs have to work harder to make different modes" argument... frankly I'm barely hearing tiny violins. Maybe go back to releasing completely playtested and finished experiences like they used to before complaining that they don't have the manpower to make an "easy" mode. Can't make an easy mode, can't release a game that doesn't require a patch a few days later, can't stand up to a publisher pushing microtransactions... is anything their responsibility these days?

Phoenixmgs:
Sports games are actually a prime example of how this is not the case because they give the user almost complete control over everything via sliders so you can completely customize the difficulty. Developers have such toolkits that allow them to change just about everything on the fly and immediately test it, just making that already created toolkit available to players takes very little time and effort. Even greatly less time than that for your standard difficulties the vast majority of games have where it's just a HP & damage slider basically.

The issue with that level of control is that it shifts the job of balancing the game onto the player. With a sports game you see most of the game in the first hour of playing so you can easily balance it to suit your tastes. With most single player games you don't know what you will be up against so you are probably just making the game worse for yourself and you won't even realize.

Kerg3927:

Xsjadoblayde:
These

Games

Are

For

Big

Boys

Yep. Absolutely nothing wrong with some games being like that.

I play mostly mature games. What is the ESRB slogan? Rated M for Mature?

Maybe that's the solution to this. Just give any games that don't have easy modes or skip buttons a Mature rating. With the understanding that "Mature" means that the gamer is expected to be old enough to have learned the fundamental life lessons that:

1) You don't always get everything you want, no matter how much you whine, and you are not entitled to anything; and

2) People who put forth more effort to become successful at something typically receive better rewards than people who don't want to put forth any effort, and if you don't like that, tough shit, get over it.

So if you are not mature, you can just look at the rating and instantly know that the game is not for you and you should probably play something else with a lower rating...

image

Hah. That's actually a far better angle to look at the ratings system by. It's kind of a catch-all vs the Puritan-esque current interpretation of meaning "It has sex and violence, so no kids allowed." Like they or their parents typically listen anyways.

That video was pretty funny. Jim always makes me laugh when he's taking a piss at 'gamers' and gamer culture. Espescially his paraphrasing 'git gud' which always made me cringe as well.

Anyways like others said I also think there is a difference between 'regular' difficulty in games and when it's part of a specific design philosophy like with the Souls games. Here you can't really separate the difficulty from the oppressive world and one would be lost without the other. Without the challenging gameplay the worldview in this game would be completely diminished. And without the oppressive worldview the challenging gameplay would have much less meaning. I think in other games that is much less of an issue so here it's not a problem to play at a lower difficulty. You could indeed argue nothing is preventing you from playing these games at the hardest difficulty but given enough frustration most players will eventually knock the difficulty down and that sense of accomplishment will be irrevocably lost. These games are made to learn and understand the finesse of the combat and to try again and again in defeating an enemy and eventually overcoming that hindrance. Much more so than in most games the difficulty is really part of the design. And when you're having difficulty it's not like you can't co-op or even grind for levels. But again, it takes effort.

However I also think it's sad some of the best games like Souls and Bloodborne can't be played by people with eg impairments or whose skill level really can't match the difficulty of the game no matter how hard they try(for whatever reason). Even if they otherwise would really love the game. Here I think maybe a separate mode could work like you would have the default one the designers intended and an 'easy mode' that can't be switched to in-game. It's still compromising the creator's vision a bit but for the sake of accessibility(and then mostly people with impairments) I think it's a noble cause.

I was just thinking I really want to experience being a physicist, or a doctor, but it's just too damn hard. Can't the university give me an easy mode?

See how absurd that sounds? Why the hell should that mentality be given a pass just because it's "only entertainment"?

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