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

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Didn't we talk about the difficulty thing in the thread about Skip buttons?

The Jim Sterling video is satire and not mention to be anything more. He is mocking the elitist attitude in those videos. They are jokes and serve little purpose beyond trying to point out how silly the catering attitude of both sides is.

The point is that it is okay for games to be hard, and it is okay for games to be easy, it is okay to just play games. You are not defined by the games you play or how good you are at them.

It's Commentocracy. It's about reading the most elitist comments found on the Internet (be it Steam reviews, Reddit, etc...) with a pseudo-aristocratic voice. Any valid points on them get severely diminished when given as a condescending lecture.

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

Implying that ESRB takes difficulty as a factor for their ratings...

hanselthecaretaker:
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??

Because it's only entertainment, separate from reality. I finished Contra III when I was 9, in easy mode. 10 years later I came back and managed to work it up to Hard mode and do it flying. If there was no easy mode I would have dismissed the game back then.

That said, I don't know why some people like the masochistic "insane" or "nightmare" hard modes in some modern games. It's the extreme opposite of very easy and just as not fun.

Delicious Anathema:

hanselthecaretaker:
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??

Because it's only entertainment, separate from reality. I finished Contra III when I was 9, in easy mode. 10 years later I came back and managed to work it up to Hard mode and do it flying. If there was no easy mode I would have dismissed the game back then.

That said, I don't know why some people like the masochistic "insane" or "nightmare" hard modes in some modern games. It's the extreme opposite of very easy and just as not fun.

It isn't masochistic. Some people like a challenge and like the feeling of overcoming that challenge. These people often times don't find those "nightmare" modes nearly as hard as some other players.

Either way, just because you don't understand it (and they don't understand why people play on easy either), it doesn't mean that having those difficulty modes is invalid.

But by the same token, it also doesn't mean that every game should have ultra hard or ultra easy modes either. Games have a right (to an extent) to be whatever they want. If this means providing players a difficult challenge, then great, or if is means being fairly easy then that is also great.

If you found a game too hard at 9 years old, that's fine. Sure it would have put you off the game, but there are a couple of things that would have happened. Assuming you didn't have a job or your own money, Contra 3 probably would have been the only new game you would get for a while. If it was too hard, you might give up for a while, but with limited options you probably would have come back and kept trying. You might have even kept trying to the point of developing the skill required to get further and further in the game until you beat it. In fact I would have bet that at 9 years old, you would have done exactly this. After all, you came back and mastered the game at 19 so I know for a fact that you had it in you to get it done.

But instead, the easy option gave you an easy way to play through the game immediately without too much frustration. Either way you got the fun of getting through it.

It is exactly a story like yours that has me so against a "skip" button. By playing through the game on easy you got the experience of actually playing and having fun shooting through the levels. But with a skip button you do not. Contra was too hard for you at the time, but it had an easy mode that was enough that you got through it. That's sometimes all a game needs.

hanselthecaretaker:
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"?

Because no-one is going to die as a result of someone playing a game on easy mode? Please, try to stick to serious arguments.

Pallindromemordnillap:
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

You like analogies. So do I. Here's another one...

There's an amateur mixed martial arts tournament (MMA). Anyone can enter for $60. Some out of shape guy with noodle arms and a beer gut, who's never been to a gym, never practiced martial arts, walks into the registration office and pays $60 to sign up. He's says he likes MMA, and wants to experience what it feels like to win an MMA tournament. He then DEMANDS that the tournament directors create a separate division in the tournament for him and anyone like him, where you don't even have to fight. You just walk into the arena, bow to the opponent and get declared the winner. And everyone who participates gets a championship trophy that is identical to the trophy awarded to the real winner of tournament. And the person insists that he deserves this and is entitled to this, because he paid $60 just like everyone else.

When the tournament directors laugh in his face, he calls them all elitist assholes, and insists that it would be no trouble at all for them to set up this separate division, and it would have NO effect at all on the participants in the regular part of the tournament.

You don't think that sounds even a little bit ridiculous? Or are the tournament directors truly mean, elitist assholes, who are no better than sexists?

Pallindromemordnillap:
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

I don't believe that my skills are much better than anyone else's. Being good or competent at games is, in my opinion, less about inherent skill than it is about effort. It's mostly about learning game mechanics and developing and applying techniques and strategies based upon that. And the rest is about practice and muscle memory.

For example, right now I am leveling a toon in Guild Wars 2. I just bought the game like a week ago. Last night I did my first 5-man dungeon in a PUG (pickup group). I have studied up on the mechanics, so I think I have a pretty good setup. But I have not had much time to practice the keybinds and gameplay, so I'm probably pretty bad at the game at this point. In fact, I was probably the worst player in my group last night. But I know that if I keep playing, I'll gradually get better, and if I'm still playing the game, a few months from now, I'll be pretty good. But it will be mostly effort that got me there, not skill.

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?

Yet there is another body of people in this argument that insist there is nothing wrong with giving every game an easy option. Which is just as dumb. Everything doesn't and can't appeal to everyone. The world is under no obligation to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Developers make the games they want to make (for the most part) and however hard that experience is made to be, that difficulty is the intended experience. Now many games have difficulty options as standard, but there are a few games that don't or that approach difficulty in other ways.

There are very few games that are locked into any sort of difficulty mode. Even the latest pillar of "it's too hard" Cuphead has an easy mode.

Basically I'm saying that there are entitled people on both sides. People who want every game to have an "easy" or "accessible" mode, and people who say "get gud".

Personally I think there is enough variety in the gaming world that there is something for everyone. And not everything has to be for everyone.

If a game is too hard, play something else. If a game is too easy, play something else. End of story.

CritialGaming:
If a game is too hard, play something else. If a game is too easy, play something else. End of story.

THIS should be the beginning and end of this entire argument.

Delicious Anathema:

hanselthecaretaker:
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??

Because it's only entertainment, separate from reality. I finished Contra III when I was 9, in easy mode. 10 years later I came back and managed to work it up to Hard mode and do it flying. If there was no easy mode I would have dismissed the game back then.

That said, I don't know why some people like the masochistic "insane" or "nightmare" hard modes in some modern games. It's the extreme opposite of very easy and just as not fun.

I'm of the opinion that it's irrelevant whether real life or mere entertainment. In fact, entertainment can be a good tool for teaching young ones that not everything in life is going to be easy. If a developer has a certain vision for a game that foregoes a difficulty select or "easy" mode, then they should have every right to make that kind of game without people complaining or demanding they cater to a casual demographic. Furthermore if publishers are willing to sacrifice lost sales, it also makes a case for artistic integrity's importance, which translates favorably to the target audience's increased level of admiration.

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
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

You like analogies. So do I. Here's another one...

There's an amateur mixed martial arts tournament (MMA). Anyone can enter for $60. Some out of shape guy with noodle arms and a beer gut, who's never been to a gym, never practiced martial arts, walks into the registration office and pays $60 to sign up. He's says he likes MMA, and wants to experience what it feels like to win an MMA tournament. He then DEMANDS that the tournament directors create a separate division in the tournament for him and anyone like him, where you don't even have to fight. You just walk into the arena, bow to the opponent and get declared the winner. And everyone who participates gets a championship trophy that is identical to the trophy awarded to the real winner of tournament. And the person insists that he deserves this and is entitled to this, because he paid $60 just like everyone else.

When the tournament directors laugh in his face, he calls them all elitist assholes, and insists that it would be no trouble at all for them to set up this separate division, and it would have NO effect at all on the participants in the regular part of the tournament.

You don't think that sounds even a little bit ridiculous? Or are the tournament directors truly mean, elitist assholes, who are no better than sexists?

The first flaw in your analogy is that MMA does in fact have gradings based on current level of skill, past experiences, plain ol' weight and a few others. This is to ensure you don't have a rookie in his first contest against a UFC champion. Thats right, MMA has an easy mode ;)
Second flaw is that your hypothetical dude is not actually participating. People who want an easy mode are still playing the game, they're still participating, they're just not doing it according to your utterly arbitrary standards. As an apparent connoisseur of analogies I would rank yours pretty low, it makes little internal sense and your own sense of entitled elitism is oozing through. Poor showing, must try harder. Perhaps you need an easy mode.

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
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

I don't believe that my skills are much better than anyone else's. Being good or competent at games is, in my opinion, less about inherent skill than it is about effort. It's mostly about learning game mechanics and developing and applying techniques and strategies based upon that. And the rest is about practice and muscle memory.

For example, right now I am leveling a toon in Guild Wars 2. I just bought the game like a week ago. Last night I did my first 5-man dungeon in a PUG (pickup group). I have studied up on the mechanics, so I think I have a pretty good setup. But I have not had much time to practice the keybinds and gameplay, so I'm probably pretty bad at the game at this point. In fact, I was probably the worst player in my group last night. But I know that if I keep playing, I'll gradually get better, and if I'm still playing the game, a few months from now, I'll be pretty good. But it will be mostly effort that got me there, not skill.

So you're taking it at your own pace, playing with other people who know what they're doing and can help you and are going at enemies you're pretty sure you can take...So you're playing it on easy mode. Thats what you're doing there buddy. Now imagine you had none of those options. Imagine you're being chucked straight at high level enemies all the time and the only people who could help you out are just pointing and laughing because you aren't instantly as good as them. Kinda sucks, doesn't it?

CritialGaming:

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?

Yet there is another body of people in this argument that insist there is nothing wrong with giving every game an easy option. Which is just as dumb. Everything doesn't and can't appeal to everyone. The world is under no obligation to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Developers make the games they want to make (for the most part) and however hard that experience is made to be, that difficulty is the intended experience. Now many games have difficulty options as standard, but there are a few games that don't or that approach difficulty in other ways.

Problem with the "the world is under no obligation to make you feel welcome and comfortable" argument is that it works both ways as well. The people claiming about easy modes, at least in this thread, seem to be doing so because they don't like "their" game being "infected" (to borrow Kerg's terminology) by people who don't play it the way they do. Why should they get to treat a game like its their cosy little gated community if the world is not made to make them comfortable?

Pallindromemordnillap:

CritialGaming:

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?

Yet there is another body of people in this argument that insist there is nothing wrong with giving every game an easy option. Which is just as dumb. Everything doesn't and can't appeal to everyone. The world is under no obligation to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Developers make the games they want to make (for the most part) and however hard that experience is made to be, that difficulty is the intended experience. Now many games have difficulty options as standard, but there are a few games that don't or that approach difficulty in other ways.

Problem with the "the world is under no obligation to make you feel welcome and comfortable" argument is that it works both ways as well. The people claiming about easy modes, at least in this thread, seem to be doing so because they don't like "their" game being "infected" (to borrow Kerg's terminology) by people who don't play it the way they do. Why should they get to treat a game like its their cosy little gated community if the world is not made to make them comfortable?

It isn't about playing the game the way anybody else plays it. It's about playing the game the way it was designed to be played. That means playing the hard game because it was meant to be hard.

And your are right, my statement does work both ways. However the people using that statement are the people who are ADAPTING to what the world is throwing at them, finding success through the difficulty. Hell, that's a bit heavy for a video game discussion. But the idea is there on a smaller scale.

I am sorry if you find Bloodborne too hard, plenty of people have played and beaten that game, even people who find it hard. They play it because there is something about trying to overcome that appeals to them. That's the whole point of the game. Yes some folks will find it too hard to play and that is perfectly FINE. There are literally millions of other games that they can play.

You know what it is? It's the fucking "You want what you can't have" syndrome. You know what i mean? For example, Bloodborne is too hard of a game for you, but instead of going off to play something else, you get your mindset on Bloodborne and decide that you don't have to change Bloodborne does. You demand easy modes, or cheat codes, or whatever, not because you actually care if a video game has an easy mode or not, but because you CAN'T have it in Bloodborne so it makes you angry and demanding. The only reason this made-up person makes these demands on Bloodborne is because they can't have it.

Entertainment doesn't have to be made for everybody. It isn't possible.

Let people enjoy what they like and don't fuck with it.

hanselthecaretaker:
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"

The aim of medical schools is to teach medical knowledge and competence. This may or may not challenge the student but that is of little to no importance. The aim of entertainment and more specifically of a videogame is for the player to have fun. This requires appropriate challenge to the player. How hard or easy it is for him has effect on how much fun it is and since that is the whole point, it should be adjusted to him.

Pseudonym:

hanselthecaretaker:
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"

The aim of medical schools is to teach medical knowledge and competence. This may or may not challenge the student but that is of little to no importance. The aim of entertainment and more specifically of a videogame is for the player to have fun. This requires appropriate challenge to the player. How hard or easy it is for him has effect on how much fun it is and since that is the whole point, it should be adjusted to him.

I've already replied to this above, but will add that in some cases even entertainment loses identity and ultimately significance when it's divvied up into a range of parameters. When people go to the amusement park, you see a wide range of different roller coasters, all offering different experiences. Some might offer mild thrills, while others could be considered "extreme" thrills.

The latter option isn't divided into lower thrill categories, just because it might not suit some people the way it is. No, they are free to try one of the many other coasters instead.

And before anyone says, "Welll that's a bad example because the logistics and physical constraints of building multiple blahblahblah..."

Realize the principle is what's important here, which is that it's OK that everything isn't designed for anyone. Let the entertainment speak for itself, and spare its identity the indignity of obfuscation to appease the "me too" crowds.

hanselthecaretaker:

I?m of the opinion that it?s irrelevant whether real life or mere entertainment.

Really? You stated that the mentality is absurd when applied to real-world professions, such as doctoring... but it's only absurd because those professions dramatically affect other people in the real world. The reason does not carry over; it is not common to both scenarios.

The analogy is ludicrous, and not worth thinking about.

hanselthecaretaker:

In fact, entertainment can be a good tool for teaching young ones that not everything in life is going to be easy.

Sounds fun!

Bad Jim:

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.

The point I was mainly making is that devs already have the tools required to make difficulty levels and can even make them available to players if they want, which all takes very little time and effort. Thus, features and polish are not being lost if a dev decides to put in difficulty levels, which has been argued throughout the thread. Why not put in a full slew of options like a sports game but make it available after beating the game once? Options are only a good thing.

If the entire point of a game is that it's hard, then let it be hard.

If the entire point of a game is that it's easy, then let it be easy.

If the developer of a game wants to put a sliding scale of difficulty into that game so that players of all skill levels can enjoy it as they see fit, then let it be so. I don't get why this has six pages of discussion.

Pallindromemordnillap:
The first flaw in your analogy is that MMA does in fact have gradings based on current level of skill, past experiences, plain ol' weight and a few others. This is to ensure you don't have a rookie in his first contest against a UFC champion. Thats right, MMA has an easy mode ;)

But all of those MMA classes have something in common. They all are made up of fighters who are expected to put forth effort to become at least competent at the sport. They don't just let any out of shape couch potato jump in and fight. The people complaining about Cuphead's easy mode not being easy enough and those wanting a skip button are refusing to put forth the minimum effort the game requires.

People talk about how it's all about inclusion. Pretty much every game is already inclusionary. With the exception being people with physical or mental disabilities, there are very, very few games in existence that cannot be completed by anyone who wants to put in the effort, IMO. The only type of people that some games exclude are those who don't give a shit enough about the game to put forth any effort. And if they don't give a shit about the game, why should the developers give a shit about them?

Pallindromemordnillap:
Second flaw is that your hypothetical dude is not actually participating. People who want an easy mode are still playing the game, they're still participating, they're just not doing it according to your utterly arbitrary standards. As an apparent connoisseur of analogies I would rank yours pretty low, it makes little internal sense and your own sense of entitled elitism is oozing through. Poor showing, must try harder. Perhaps you need an easy mode.

I think having a skip button gives people the ability to win a game without participating.

Pallindromemordnillap:
So you're taking it at your own pace, playing with other people who know what they're doing and can help you and are going at enemies you're pretty sure you can take...So you're playing it on easy mode. Thats what you're doing there buddy.

I'm not playing it on easy mode. I'm playing solo content on the only mode. The 5-man dungeon I did was designed for 5 people, and it actually has a story mode, but I did it on the regular (explorer) mode. Those are the only 2 modes available.

Pallindromemordnillap:
Now imagine you had none of those options. Imagine you're being chucked straight at high level enemies all the time and the only people who could help you out are just pointing and laughing because you aren't instantly as good as them. Kinda sucks, doesn't it?

Been there, done that. Peer pressure is a great motivator. I thought there might have been some of that last night, so I made sure I was as prepared as I could possibly be. There wasn't. It was a PUG. We died a lot, and party members came and went, before we finally got through it. I just focused on learning from my mistakes and getting better, and most importantly, I didn't whine that it was too hard, and I didn't give up after the first wipe or two like some people did. That's why I will get better.

If I decide to get into raiding in Guild Wars 2 upon endgame, I will be looking to join a raiding guild. And I know I'm going to have to earn a spot in raids, and all of those people I will be competing against will have more GW2 raid experience than me. But I expect that I will earn a spot, because I will outwork the others.

IMO, there are generally two types of people in this thread. Those who hear Rocky music and get pumped up and motivated to put forth more effort to get better. And those who hear Rocky music and don't feel anything, and they can't understand why Rocky didn't just quit.

(Sorry, back when I was leading WoW raids, I often referred to Rocky in my motivational speeches. :))

Silvanus:

hanselthecaretaker:

I?m of the opinion that it?s irrelevant whether real life or mere entertainment.

Really? You stated that the mentality is absurd when applied to real-world professions, such as doctoring... but it's only absurd because those professions dramatically affect other people in the real world. The reason does not carry over; it is not common to both scenarios.

The analogy is ludicrous, and not worth thinking about.

hanselthecaretaker:

In fact, entertainment can be a good tool for teaching young ones that not everything in life is going to be easy.

Sounds fun!

The point was everything needing an "easy" option is absurd to me, and whether it's applied to real life or entertainment is irrelevant. Apparently that point is lost on quite a few people here, so oh well.

Kerg3927:

IMO, there are generally two types of people in this thread. Those who hear Rocky music and get pumped up and motivated to put forth more effort to get better. And those who hear Rocky music and don't feel anything, and they can't understand why Rocky didn't just quit.

https://i.imgur.com/wcXREQ0.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/4kmxjB8.jpg

Phoenixmgs:


The point I was mainly making is that devs already the tools required to make difficulty levels and can even make them available to player if they want, which all takes very little time and effort. Thus, features and polish are not being lost if a dev decides to put in difficulty levels, which has been argued throughout the thread. Why not put in a full slew of options like a sports game but make it available after beating the game once? Options are only a good thing.

I don't think most devs make intuitive GUI interfaces for this stuff. They normally just have a bunch of configuration files that they can edit in Notepad. What you want to do here is join the modding community and learn how to make the changes you desire.

hanselthecaretaker:

The point was everything needing an ?easy? option is absurd to me, and whether it?s applied to real life or entertainment is irrelevant. Apparently that point is lost on quite a few people here, so oh well.

The point cannot be "lost" if it wasn't communicated by the original post anyway.

Bad Jim:

Phoenixmgs:


The point I was mainly making is that devs already the tools required to make difficulty levels and can even make them available to player if they want, which all takes very little time and effort. Thus, features and polish are not being lost if a dev decides to put in difficulty levels, which has been argued throughout the thread. Why not put in a full slew of options like a sports game but make it available after beating the game once? Options are only a good thing.

I don't think most devs make intuitive GUI interfaces for this stuff. They normally just have a bunch of configuration files that they can edit in Notepad. What you want to do here is join the modding community and learn how to make the changes you desire.

Again, the main point is devs have such tools already and making difficulty levels takes very little resources. Several people in the thread have claimed that making an easy difficulty affects them because it takes so much time and resources causing the game to be less polished and/or have features dropped, which is just bullshit or ignorance.

Phoenixmgs:


Again, the main point is devs have such tools already and making difficulty levels takes very little resources. Several people in the thread have claimed that making an easy difficulty affects them because it takes so much time and resources causing the game to be less polished and/or have features dropped, which is just bullshit or ignorance.

Can you name specific examples of such tools? Or games with such tools? Maybe link a behind the scenes video where the tool is demonstrated?

I'm not doubting that they may have editing tools that let you change anything, including things that make the game easier/harder. But if people really want an easy mode so they can play through a game they've paid for, they will expect something properly tailored to their skill level. I don't think you can do that with an automated tool, because difficulty is largely a psychological thing and can only be accurately measured by playtesting, which does indeed take time and resources.

Kajin:
If the entire point of a game is that it's hard, then let it be hard.

If the entire point of a game is that it's easy, then let it be easy.

If the developer of a game wants to put a sliding scale of difficulty into that game so that players of all skill levels can enjoy it as they see fit, then let it be so. I don't get why this has six pages of discussion.

Because people advocating for one or the other are trying to destroy gaming because they dare to state their opinion strongly.

Ironic that hardcore gamers piss on and on about game balance when their preferred method of gaming are with crippling difficulty...Normal difficulty is the very definition of balanced!

CritialGaming:
It isn't about playing the game the way anybody else plays it. It's about playing the game the way it was designed to be played. That means playing the hard game because it was meant to be hard.

So you're telling me you'd be fine with a game locking content away behind paywalls, only letting you continue if you put in enough money rather than because you'd picked up enough skill? After all, thats the way it was designed

CritialGaming:
And your are right, my statement does work both ways. However the people using that statement are the people who are ADAPTING to what the world is throwing at them, finding success through the difficulty. Hell, that's a bit heavy for a video game discussion. But the idea is there on a smaller scale.

And here we have the crux of the problem. Ego. This whole debate boils down to a group of people being elitist as hell; they think playing hard mode makes them equivalent to old world pioneers or something and not simply good at a particular game. So they argue against a perceived diminishing of that one skill at one game, never realising that the arguing makes them seem smaller than an easy mode they aren't going to use ever would.

CritialGaming:
I am sorry if you find Bloodborne too hard, plenty of people have played and beaten that game, even people who find it hard. They play it because there is something about trying to overcome that appeals to them. That's the whole point of the game. Yes some folks will find it too hard to play and that is perfectly FINE. There are literally millions of other games that they can play.

But if they're finding the game too difficult on hard, then they'll still find it difficult on easy. It won't be as difficult for -you-, but for them its still the challenge that you say is the whole point. Try to actually think about POVs other than your own dude

CritialGaming:
You know what it is? It's the fucking "You want what you can't have" syndrome. You know what i mean? For example, Bloodborne is too hard of a game for you, but instead of going off to play something else, you get your mindset on Bloodborne and decide that you don't have to change Bloodborne does. You demand easy modes, or cheat codes, or whatever, not because you actually care if a video game has an easy mode or not, but because you CAN'T have it in Bloodborne so it makes you angry and demanding. The only reason this made-up person makes these demands on Bloodborne is because they can't have it.

...or they actually like the design of Bloodbourne and the way the game plays, they just find it too difficult to actually grind through for whatever reason. It leaping to conclusions like this that just make you look like an egotistical asshole, btw, calling everyone who doesn't play exactly the way you do whiny peasant children who need to get off your lawn

CritialGaming:
Entertainment doesn't have to be made for everybody. It isn't possible.

Let people enjoy what they like and don't fuck with it.

And as has been mentioned many times in this thread, they still can enjoy what they like. Adding an easy mode does not mean taking away a hard mode. The idea that adding an easy mode will somehow fuck up hard mode in any way is patently ridiculous

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
The first flaw in your analogy is that MMA does in fact have gradings based on current level of skill, past experiences, plain ol' weight and a few others. This is to ensure you don't have a rookie in his first contest against a UFC champion. Thats right, MMA has an easy mode ;)

But all of those MMA classes have something in common. They all are made up of fighters who are expected to put forth effort to become at least competent at the sport. They don't just let any out of shape couch potato jump in and fight. The people complaining about Cuphead's easy mode not being easy enough and those wanting a skip button are refusing to put forth the minimum effort the game requires.

People talk about how it's all about inclusion. Pretty much every game is already inclusionary. With the exception being people with physical or mental disabilities, there are very, very few games in existence that cannot be completed by anyone who wants to put in the effort, IMO. The only type of people that some games exclude are those who don't give a shit enough about the game to put forth any effort. And if they don't give a shit about the game, why should the developers give a shit about them?

As I pointed out above, just because an easy mode would be zero effort for you does not mean its zero effort for someone else. A little attempt at empathy would go a long way here. It not that they don't give a shit, its not that they're not trying, its that the current challenge is too hard and they need to take it down a notch

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
Second flaw is that your hypothetical dude is not actually participating. People who want an easy mode are still playing the game, they're still participating, they're just not doing it according to your utterly arbitrary standards. As an apparent connoisseur of analogies I would rank yours pretty low, it makes little internal sense and your own sense of entitled elitism is oozing through. Poor showing, must try harder. Perhaps you need an easy mode.

I think having a skip button gives people the ability to win a game without participating.

How are they using the skip button? Whats being skipped? What else is in the game that they're not skipping? Can't just throw out vague and nebulous accusations dude, because that once again takes us back to you just being an asshole telling people that not playing the way you play isn't playing "right" and I'm going to have to use that Frink video myself

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
So you're taking it at your own pace, playing with other people who know what they're doing and can help you and are going at enemies you're pretty sure you can take...So you're playing it on easy mode. Thats what you're doing there buddy.

I'm not playing it on easy mode. I'm playing solo content on the only mode. The 5-man dungeon I did was designed for 5 people, and it actually has a story mode, but I did it on the regular (explorer) mode. Those are the only 2 modes available.

So you're not leaping at challenges above your head. So you're going at a pace -you- decide rather than the game decides. So you're taking every advantage you can to make the game actually possible. Yep, definitely on easy mode. This is exactly what people who are asking for an easy mode are actually asking for, not your imagined requests for the game to just have them a victory.

Kerg3927:

Pallindromemordnillap:
Now imagine you had none of those options. Imagine you're being chucked straight at high level enemies all the time and the only people who could help you out are just pointing and laughing because you aren't instantly as good as them. Kinda sucks, doesn't it?

Been there, done that. Peer pressure is a great motivator. I thought there might have been some of that last night, so I made sure I was as prepared as I could possibly be. There wasn't. It was a PUG. We died a lot, and party members came and went, before we finally got through it. I just focused on learning from my mistakes and getting better, and most importantly, I didn't whine that it was too hard, and I didn't give up after the first wipe or two like some people did. That's why I will get better.

If I decide to get into raiding in Guild Wars 2 upon endgame, I will be looking to join a raiding guild. And I know I'm going to have to earn a spot in raids, and all of those people I will be competing against will have more GW2 raid experience than me. But I expect that I will earn a spot, because I will outwork the others.

IMO, there are generally two types of people in this thread. Those who hear Rocky music and get pumped up and motivated to put forth more effort to get better. And those who hear Rocky music and don't feel anything, and they can't understand why Rocky didn't just quit.

(Sorry, back when I was leading WoW raids, I often referred to Rocky in my motivational speeches. :))

Personally I'm of the opinion that telling people that they just need to work harder if they're having trouble is like telling something with depression that they just need to cheer up. It just shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the situation the other person is in. They could use a helping hand not someone calling them lazy.
This argument is also self-defeating. If all they need to git gud is to keep working at it, then surely an easy mode is a good thing. They can try at that, practise their skills, then work up to hard mode when they're more used to what the game has to throw at them. Its exactly what you're doing in Guild Wars after all, starting off doing the stuff you are capable of doing before working your way up to the guilds. Whats wrong, can't play Guild Wars on hard mode by jumping straight into the guilds?

Bad Jim:
Can you name specific examples of such tools? Or games with such tools? Maybe link a behind the scenes video where the tool is demonstrated?

I'm not doubting that they may have editing tools that let you change anything, including things that make the game easier/harder. But if people really want an easy mode so they can play through a game they've paid for, they will expect something properly tailored to their skill level. I don't think you can do that with an automated tool, because difficulty is largely a psychological thing and can only be accurately measured by playtesting, which does indeed take time and resources.

Here's an example of devs showing improvements in MLB 17 The Show by changing stuff on the fly with their widgets. Bethesda allows players to use their console commands on the PC versions of games like Elder Scrolls and Fallout for example. That's how devs test the game. It doesn't matter if the game has difficulty levels or just one set difficulty, devs make tools to be able to test basically every aspect of the game on-demand pretty much. To be able to increase/decrease health and/or damage by say 10% takes pretty much no time. Just testing for the base difficulty of a game, a dev might find the player character underpowered and they'll increase player damage by 10% across the board in literally just seconds. Thus, creating difficulty levels is pretty easy. Even the Souls games have difficulty levels in a sense because the damage and health of enemies has to be increased in NG+ obviously or the game would be a cakewalk. Doing the inverse of that for an easy mode wouldn't be any different.

CritialGaming:
Yet there is another body of people in this argument that insist there is nothing wrong with giving every game an easy option. Which is just as dumb.

I am sorry if you find Bloodborne too hard, plenty of people have played and beaten that game, even people who find it hard. They play it because there is something about trying to overcome that appeals to them. That's the whole point of the game. Yes some folks will find it too hard to play and that is perfectly FINE. There are literally millions of other games that they can play.

Options are only a good thing, they don't hurt anyone. I want any game to have as many options as possible including difficulty, controls, HUD, etc. MGS4 has an option that allows you to change something as minor as view speed between 3rd and 1st-person views, I changed it and maxed it out of course. The one thing sports games do better than any genre is options with a slew of sliders available to tune the game to your desires. I remember editing INI files in High Heat baseball and changing the friction on the grass.

The problem with saying hard games should be hard and easy games should be easy is that hard/easy are completely subjective and vary from one person to another. A developer like From Software wanting to make a hard game (which I have absolutely no issue with) with no difficulty options means that not only will some people find the game too hard, some will find the game too easy. Thus the developers will have failed to make a hard game for those that found the game too easy. I find the Souls games extremely easy so From Software failed to make a hard game for me. I say that completely without any intention of bragging at all. Compared to faster spectacle fighters where the enemies are so much quicker and more aggressive, playing even the hardest Souls' playstyle (no shields/magic, basically Bloodborne's one playstyle) is not much of a challenge at all, dodging the slow enemies isn't hard. Then, there's nothing even to "git gud" at with regards to the combat system but just get better at dodging really. Whereas say Bayonetta, you can always get better at your dodge offsetting and combos if getting through the levels alone isn't hard. I'd much prefer the Souls games to basically become full-on survival horror (with 90% less of the "normal" enemies replaced with puzzles/traps, keep the bosses) because the atmosphere and level design are so good but the constant trash mobs are boring as shit to fight.

Kajin:
If the entire point of a game is that it's hard, then let it be hard.

If the entire point of a game is that it's easy, then let it be easy.

I have no problem with that sentiment. The inherent problem though is that what's hard and easy is subjective and varies from player to player. Should every game be forced to have an easy or a hard difficulty? Nope. However, I will never say 'no' to any option in any game because if I don't like said option, I don't have to use it.

Phoenixmgs:
To be able to increase/decrease health and/or damage by say 10% takes pretty much no time.

It does indeed take no time. It also doesn't do the job. In some cases the weakened enemies will be entertaining for a weaker player, but in other cases, such as environmental hazards, the changes will have no effect on difficulty. There may also be cases where the changes go too far and there is not even an illusion of challenge.

If you want to advertise an easy difficulty mode and charge $60 you have to playtest it properly and balance it encounter by encounter. It has to be an engaging experience for someone who isn't very good, not just something that's easier than normal mode.

Bad Jim:

Phoenixmgs:
To be able to increase/decrease health and/or damage by say 10% takes pretty much no time.

It does indeed take no time. It also doesn't do the job. In some cases the weakened enemies will be entertaining for a weaker player, but in other cases, such as environmental hazards, the changes will have no effect on difficulty. There may also be cases where the changes go too far and there is not even an illusion of challenge.

If you want to advertise an easy difficulty mode and charge $60 you have to playtest it properly and balance it encounter by encounter. It has to be an engaging experience for someone who isn't very good, not just something that's easier than normal mode.

That is something that I'm wondering though, does anyone do any playtesting anymore? Games are released full of bugs that need to be patched, in the days before digital distribution games were ACTUALLY playtested because bugs couldn't be patched. But now... games are frequently released in conditions that make me wonder if playtesting is actually a "thing" anymore. So is there any reason to not expect a game could release with the "easy" or "accessibility" mode just a flat damage increase/decrease and then tweak it during what is actually considered the "playtesting" phase these days... early access or launch? That would just be "a tweak" just "a balance adjustment." Devs already say that these patches and nerfs and such are done the make the game "better," why not expect it in terms of accessibility as well?

Bad Jim:

Phoenixmgs:
To be able to increase/decrease health and/or damage by say 10% takes pretty much no time.

It does indeed take no time. It also doesn't do the job. In some cases the weakened enemies will be entertaining for a weaker player, but in other cases, such as environmental hazards, the changes will have no effect on difficulty. There may also be cases where the changes go too far and there is not even an illusion of challenge.

If you want to advertise an easy difficulty mode and charge $60 you have to playtest it properly and balance it encounter by encounter. It has to be an engaging experience for someone who isn't very good, not just something that's easier than normal mode.

Combat is usually the area that will cause the majority of player death issues as so many games, even RPGs, are combat oriented. Just using the simple example of adjusting health/damage is the easiest example to give along with the fact that's all the vast majority of difficulty levels in games actually change. Frequent checkpoints and save anywhere systems solve most of the other difficulty issues. And even then optional power-up items can be tossed in to help players with a very low resource commitment. Dating back to even the NES days with the P-Wing in SMB3, that was the whole purpose of that item to help struggling players in the tougher levels.

Do you actually think devs playtest every encounter even on the base difficulty? Combat is overall pretty simple to adjust due to being very math based in nature. There's a reason combat is so prevalent in games, it's because it's pretty easy compared to other things. Why do video game RPGs focus so heavily on combat instead of actual role-playing? Because actual role-playing is so much harder to replicate in a video game.

Just compare balancing a shooter to a freaking board game with several complex mechanics interacting with each other. The shooter is so much easier to balance in that scenario yet multiplayer shooters are rarely balanced. It's pretty much just luck if the base difficulty is balanced, the added difficulty levels could end up fixing balance issues by chance really. Just look at Witcher 3 and how OPed just the Quen and Axii signs are, you could beat enemies of far above your level by exploiting powers you start the game with, it will take quite a bit longer to beat high-level enemies just due to your DPS cap but you can beat them rather easily without even taking any damage.

Kyrian007:
That is something that I'm wondering though, does anyone do any playtesting anymore? Games are released full of bugs that need to be patched, in the days before digital distribution games were ACTUALLY playtested because bugs couldn't be patched. But now... games are frequently released in conditions that make me wonder if playtesting is actually a "thing" anymore. So is there any reason to not expect a game could release with the "easy" or "accessibility" mode just a flat damage increase/decrease and then tweak it during what is actually considered the "playtesting" phase these days... early access or launch? That would just be "a tweak" just "a balance adjustment." Devs already say that these patches and nerfs and such are done the make the game "better," why not expect it in terms of accessibility as well?

Video games are playtested mainly to attempt to ensure you can't break the game. Board games, on the other hand, are HEAVILY playtested.

hanselthecaretaker:
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??

Yeah, that does sound absurd. It's almost like being a doctor and playing a video game isn't comparable in anyway shape or form. Because you become a doctor to save lives and you play video games to kill a Saturday afternoon. So I'll make you a deal. I'll agree we should treat video games with the same seriousness as becoming a doctor if and only if there are IRL lives riding on your Dark Souls skills.

hanselthecaretaker:

The point was everything needing an ?easy? option is absurd to me, and whether it?s applied to real life or entertainment is irrelevant. Apparently that point is lost on quite a few people here, so oh well.

Uh, no. It is very relevant. You can't compare idling away your free time to something that saves lives. We in IRL have these things called "priorities." I'll repeat myself. Get back to me when lives are on the line for everyone to be uber good at Dark Souls, and I'll agree with you.

CritialGaming:

I am sorry if you find Bloodborne too hard, plenty of people have played and beaten that game, even people who find it hard. They play it because there is something about trying to overcome that appeals to them. That's the whole point of the game.

Uh, Bloodborne is one of my favorite games of this generation and it certainly wasn't the whole point of the game to me. The haunting atmosphere and Lovecraftian story did just as much for me as the gameplay, as well as the tragedy that haunts most of the characters.

erttheking:

hanselthecaretaker:
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??

Yeah, that does sound absurd. It's almost like being a doctor and playing a video game isn't comparable in anyway shape or form. Because you become a doctor to save lives and you play video games to kill a Saturday afternoon. So I'll make you a deal. I'll agree we should treat video games with the same seriousness as becoming a doctor if and only if there are IRL lives riding on your Dark Souls skills.

hanselthecaretaker:

The point was everything needing an ?easy? option is absurd to me, and whether it?s applied to real life or entertainment is irrelevant. Apparently that point is lost on quite a few people here, so oh well.

Uh, no. It is very relevant. You can't compare idling away your free time to something that saves lives. We in IRL have these things called "priorities." I'll repeat myself. Get back to me when lives are on the line for everyone to be uber good at Dark Souls, and I'll agree with you.

Principle, principle, principle. Obviously the stakes are night and day different, but it doesn't change the principle. Take cheating for instance. Sucks in real life, and still sucks in a game. We don't say, "Oh I'm cool with you cheating because it's just a game."

Why does every piece of entertainment out there need, need, need so badly to cater to everyone? It's literally why we have variety, so people with varying tastes can experience different things.

There is a clear disconnect here in this thread, and it's already been explained at least once or twice amidst the jumble of dissonance.

On one hand, we have people who think all games need to bend to their expectations. On the other, we have people who think games should be accepted for what they are, and if someone doesn't like it that way, then it's simply not the game for them.

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