Dark Souls: an experiment in logic

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So I am sure everyone remembers the controversy surrounding the whole Dark Souls easy mode thing. It actually peaked my interested because I was told by many players that the easy mode would ruin the game from a design standpoint (not just for the easy players, but for the traditional mode players as well). So I did what I usually do when I have conflicting information with interesting reports. I investigated the situation.

A short backstory:

When Dark Souls first released on the 360 I picked it up because I was interested after hearing about Demon's Souls. I got through the Asylum with minimal difficulties and moved into Firelink. After repeated attempts with multiple characters to take down the Skellys in the graveyard, I gave up on the game (I never saw the stairs leading to the burg) as I wasn't into games that intentionally punished me. I gave it to a friend who was interested and let him have at it. He found the burg and got a ways in before the disc was destroyed by a moving Xbox. By this point, I had no real interest in the game any longer. Forgetting about it until the mention of an easy mode.

For obvious reasons an easy mode might appeal to me, someone who initially found the game too hard (though I found out later that it wasn't really that hard, I was just going the wrong direction). After the controversy died down the PC version released. So I picked it up to investigate the claims of an easy mode ruining the game.

Having Played:

After a long week of play I am now on my NG++ and I can safely say I love the game (though I hate the hackers). I can also safely say something else. I still don't see how a new mode labeled easy would have affected anyone other than the developers and the players who found the game inaccessible (provided they didn't let the easy players join the traditional players). I hold to it that an easy mode would have given more money to the developer to continue making games of the caliber.

Discussion:

The debate over this is long dead, and I realise it. So lets not rehash the same issues we discussed before. Instead I ask you, how do you interface with the online aspect of the game. Are you someone who avoids it at all costs only going human to kindle and summon, or do you run about human at all times to allow for invasions? Do you, perhaps, invade everyone yourself? Maybe you are one of the Cat Fellowship PvPers. Whatever the case maybe, what do you do online and why do you enjoy it?

I like the danger of being able to be invaded at any time . It ups the stakes , which are already pretty fucking high . It was fun back then ( i bought it day 1 ), because people didn't cheat ( mostly they didn't know how ). I also never used a guide so i had no idea ( at least on my first play through ) how big the areas were , where i would be safe , where to go . So so much things to worry about . It was exciting and fresh and new and awsome .

Also , if you want an easy mode DS is not the game for you. It says so on the box , anyone who bought the game should have known what they were getting into . And i seriously doubt the game would have sold so well if it wasn't hard . We got enough easy games to last a lifetime . People that want that can go play the wide array of games for them . This is a game for the challenge seekers. Niche , if you will.

krazykidd:
We got enough easy games to last a lifetime . People that want that can go play the wide array of games for them . This is a game for the challenge seekers. Niche , if you will.

Abso-fucking-lutely!

There was a thread a week or so ago in which people were complaining about the homogeneity of current gen games. This spilled over into how games are really easy these days in order to cater to (buzzword incoming) "casuals". Of course a segment of people argued that if you pay for something, it should be easy to access the content. Those people never played NES I'm sure.

Beating a game used to mean something. I remember beating Ninja Gaiden II (NES). Took me 2 weeks to do it (which was long for me at the time). After even more practise, I could beat it without dying. I could beat Super Contra with no deaths as well. I doubt I could do that now though. My skills were dulled over time through hand-holding, frequent checkpoints, save points, save anywhere, elimination of the "lives" system, elimination of the "limited continues" system, lack of consequence/ penalties, etc...

Not every game has to retain those things. But it's nice that a game like Dark Souls exists to give us all a much needed kick in the ass.

Easy mode? Do not want!

EDIT: Online - in Demon's Souls I used to help newbies in co-op. Don't touch Dark Souls online too much.

I'm a Sun Bro, i enjoy helping other DS players fight through their quest, they get to proceed, i get humanity and a sun medal, its all win-win really.

I like the thrill of being online, the random help, the random threats, the random hints. its enjoyable to say the least.

barbzilla:
The debate over this is long dead, and I realise it. So lets not rehash the same issues we discussed before.

Too late lol. It's not very fair to write an opinion piece and then ask us not to respond. Not fair I say! *grumble* I'll post a video I agree with on this subject.


It's quite long, so I will list some key points:

1. The mechanics and content of Dark Souls are designed around it's difficulty. You can't change the difficulty and expect unskilled players to have a similar experience. It's not a matter of just halving the enemies' HP and calling it a day. It's not that simple. For example, Darkwraiths are trivial to me. You can multiply their health by ten times or a hundred, and they would still be trivial. It's not the scale of the challenge so much as learning to take advantage of the game's mechanics.

Update: what this means is, an easy mode would have a huge impact on the design of the normal mode almost as a necessity. Either they literally make two different games, which is obviously unrealistic, or they take both easy mode and normal mode into account in the design of every enemy, every area, every encounter, every puzzle, every boss, the leveling system, the weapon system, parry/riposte/backstab mechanics, poise/stability/defense mechanics, invicibility frames... you get the idea. So don't act so sure this won't effect my gameplay experience. It will most likely effect it in every aspect.

2. Learning to make the seemingly unbeatable content of Dark Souls trivial is the content of the game. Take that away and you're left with a short, shitty action-RPG. That's not because Dark Souls is shitty or because it just relies on difficulty as a crutch. It's because making Dark Souls easy makes it's content and mechanics irrelevant. Figuring out what you're supposed to do is the content of the game. Taking that away is like taking the strategy out of an RTS game. It would be pointless to play a game like that, you'd just get bored of it and find something else to play.

If you ever tried Dark Souls and gave up, it may surprise or even enrage you to see people say that it's actually easy. It may seem like they're just bragging. But they figured out how to make it easy. That is to say, they experienced the game's content.

3. It is massively unrealistic to expect the "hardcore" Dark Souls experience to retain it's quality and emphasis if FROM Software decides to seek a broader audience by implementing an easy mode. It defies logic and video game history. Especially in light of the points above. It just wouldn't make sense. I think it's realistic to expect the normal Dark Souls to be damaged and not unlikely it will just fade into the same cookie-cutter 'bleh' that characterizes so much stuff out there. And consider how atmospheric and inaccessible the story telling is, or how the game doesn't always tell you where to go next. Do you expect those elements to be preserved if From Soft decides to broaden their appeal? Not a chance.

It defies logic and especially video game history. We know what happens when a series tries to broaden it's appeal and seek out a new audience. So don't play dumb with me, please. It's tedious.

4. If Dark Souls had an easy mode, the tension would evaporate for all players, even the ones who play the normal difficulty. If there is an easy version of the Capra Demon, then I know I can beat the Capra Demon. I know I can win. Not only that, but I know the game is designed to ensure I can win. The tension is lost, or at least it is not the same. I wouldn't have felt the same way the first time I got obliterated by the Capra Demon in five seconds. And I wouldn't have felt the same way the first time I beat his ass and took his souls.

5. This one is from me, not the video: Having ONE difficult AAA title is not a freaking crime. There are so many accessible games you can play. Please leave me with the ONE title like this. Try to understand how this looks from my perspective. I have ONE game like this and it's apparently too much to ask.

...

I suspect some players think I don't want Dark Souls to have an easy mode for the following reasons:

1. Dark Souls is prohibitively difficult.
2. Beating Dark Souls makes you 1337.
3. I don't want to share my game with those who don't make the cut.

But it just ain't so. Many find Dark Souls prohibitively frustrating but it isn't that demanding in terms of "skill" required. If it was, I probably couldn't beat it. It just seems like it is, especially at first. I love Dark Souls and I want everyone to experience it. But people can't share in the Dark Souls experience if that experience is lost. Just listen to Hidetaka Miyazaki on people finding his games too hard:

This fact is really sad to me and I am thinking about how to make everyone complete the game while maintaining the current difficulty and carefully send all gamers the messages behind it.

Instead I ask you, how do you interface with the online aspect of the game. Are you someone who avoids it at all costs only going human to kindle and summon, or do you run about human at all times to allow for invasions? Do you, perhaps, invade everyone yourself? Maybe you are one of the Cat Fellowship PvPers. Whatever the case maybe, what do you do online and why do you enjoy it?

I mostly played hollow on my first playthrough (which means I received neither attacks nor cooperative aid from other players). This wasn't because I was chicken, but because of an early coop experience I had. I summoned a player in the Undead Burg, and he ended up more-or-less beating the Taurus Demon for me. I decided that was not the experience I was looking for, and determined to attack the PvE content uninterrupted for the remainder of the play-through. I did take time off to experiment with PvP and help people with bosses, but typically not when I was occupied with clearing the game.

After that first play-through, I always play in human form (subject to the benefits and dangers of online play). Now that I've beaten the game, it's not such a point of pride to do it by myself, and the threat of invasion keeps me on my toes.

I don't do Forest PvP much. There is nothing there but gank squads. Sometimes I think about going there to lame the lamers but, eh, what's the point. I much prefer Anor Londo. I understand Kiln of the First Flame is popular but I haven't spent time PvPing there. Now that Xbox has the DLC I will probably make a Soul Level 100 Arena build before too long. I've experimented with the Darkmoon Blades, and more recently the Darkwraiths. I LOVE the idea of the Darkmoon Blades, but I kind of hate Dark Londo lol. And I want to

.

Playing the Dragon Covenant was really cool. I didn't mind fighting in Anor Londo while I waited to be summoned. It was pretty cool to 'hang' there, actually. Lay down one type of sign or another, kill stuff, wait to be summoned, and chill. Co-oping Ornstein and Smough is just fun. And I used the Dragon Scales I won to upgrade my Moonlight Greatsword. Int build FTW lol.

Besides, full Catarina armor + dragon head stone = lulz.

Rooster Cogburn:

barbzilla:
The debate over this is long dead, and I realise it. So lets not rehash the same issues we discussed before.

Too late lol. It's not very fair to write an opinion piece and then ask us not to respond. Not fair I say! *grumble* I'll post a video I agree with on this subject.


It's quite long, so I will list some key points:

1. It is massively unrealistic to expect the "hardcore" Dark Souls experience to retain it's quality and emphasis if FROM Software decides to seek a broader audience by implementing an easy mode. It defies logic and video game history. I think it's realistic to expect the normal Dark Souls to be damaged and not unlikely it will just fade into the same cookie-cutter 'bleh' that characterizes so much stuff out there.

2. The mechanics and content of Dark Souls are designed around it's difficulty. You can't change the difficulty and expect unskilled players to have a similar experience. It's not a matter of just halving the enemies' HP and calling it a day. It's not that simple. For example, Darkwraiths are trivial to me. You can multiply their health by ten times or a hundred, and they would still be trivial. It's not the scale of the challenge so much as learning to take advantage of the game's mechanics.

Learning to make the seemingly unbeatable content of Dark Souls trivial is the content of the game. Take that away and you're left with a short, shitty action-RPG. That's not because Dark Souls is shitty or because it just relies on difficulty as a crutch. It's because making Dark Souls easy makes it's content and mechanics irrelevant. Figuring out what you're supposed to do is the content of the game. Taking that away is like taking the strategy out of an RTS game. It would be pointless to play a game like that, you'd just get bored of it and find something else to play.

If you ever tried Dark Souls and gave up, it may surprise or even enrage you to see people say that it's actually easy. It may seem like they're just bragging. But they figured out how to make it easy. That is to say, they experienced the game's content.

3. If Dark Souls had an easy mode, the tension would evaporate for all players, even the ones who play the normal difficulty. If there is an easy version of the Capra Demon, then I know I can beat the Capra Demon. I know I can win. Not only that, but I know the game is designed to ensure I can win. The tension is lost, or at least it is not the same. I wouldn't have felt the same way the first time I got obliterated by the Capra Demon in five seconds. And I wouldn't have felt the same way the first time I beat his ass and took his souls.

4. This one is from me, not the video: Having ONE difficult AAA title is not a freaking crime. There are so many accessible games you can play. Please leave me with the ONE title like this. Try to understand how this looks from my perspective. I have ONE game like this and it's apparently too much to ask.

I suspect some players think I don't want Dark Souls to have an easy mode for the following reasons:

1. Dark Souls is prohibitively difficult.
2. Beating Dark Souls makes you 1337.
3. I don't want to share my game with those who don't make the cut.

But it just ain't so. Many find Dark Souls prohibitively frustrating but it isn't that demanding in terms of "skill" required. I love Dark Souls and I want everyone to experience it. But people can't share in the Dark Souls experience if that experience is lost. Just listen to Hidetaka Miyazaki on people finding his games too hard:

This fact is really sad to me and I am thinking about how to make everyone complete the game while maintaining the current difficulty and carefully send all gamers the messages behind it.

Instead I ask you, how do you interface with the online aspect of the game. Are you someone who avoids it at all costs only going human to kindle and summon, or do you run about human at all times to allow for invasions? Do you, perhaps, invade everyone yourself? Maybe you are one of the Cat Fellowship PvPers. Whatever the case maybe, what do you do online and why do you enjoy it?

I mostly played hollow on my first playthrough (which means I received neither attacks nor cooperative aid from other players). This wasn't because I was chicken, but because of an early coop experience I had. I summoned a player in the Undead Burg, and he ended up more-or-less beating the Taurus Demon for me. I decided that was not the experience I was looking for, and determined to attack the PvE content uninterrupted for the remainder of the play-through. I did take time off to experiment with PvP and help people with bosses, but typically not when I was occupied with clearing the game.

After that first play-through, I always play in human form (subject to the benefits and dangers of online play). Now that I've beaten the game, it's not such a point of pride to do it by myself, and the threat of invasion keeps me on my toes.

I don't do Forest PvP much. There is nothing there but gank squads. Sometimes I think about going there to lame the lamers but, eh, what's the point. I much prefer Anor Londo. I understand Kiln of the First Flame is popular but I haven't spent time PvPing there. Now that Xbox has the DLC I will probably make a Soul Level 100 Arena build before too long. I've experimented with the Darkmoon Blades, and more recently the Darkwraiths. I LOVE the idea of the Darkmoon Blades, but I kind of hate Dark Londo lol. And I want to

.

Playing the Dragon Covenant was really cool. I didn't mind fighting in Anor Londo while I waited to be summoned. It was pretty cool to 'hang' there, actually. Lay down one type of sign or another, kill stuff, wait to be summoned, and chill. Co-oping Ornstein and Smough is just fun. And I used the Dragon Scales I won to upgrade my Moonlight Greatsword. Int build FTW lol.

On the first point, I'll just leave it at; more money = more games made this way = more than just one of these games for your playing pleasure. Also, many people after playing on easy tend to move up in difficulty, but this isn't why we are here.

I love the PvP in this game, I just loathe the hackers. Them aside, I've had tons of fun with the game now that it is accessible to me, it just took some doing to get there. I don't mind that, but others do.

barbzilla:
On the first point, I'll just leave it at; more money = more games made this way = more than just one of these games for your playing pleasure.

There may be more games, but they wouldn't be like Dark Souls for all the reasons I described.

Also, many people after playing on easy tend to move up in difficulty,

It's really not about what other people do.

but this isn't why we are here.

Seriously friend, you can't do that lol. You can't write four paragraphs about a Dark Souls easy mode in the original post of a thread you titled "Dark Souls- an experiment in logic" and then tell us not to talk about it. And you can't rebut my posts on the subject and then tell me not to rebut yours. You can make your point or you can ask me to stop talking, you can't do both.

I love the PvP in this game, I just loathe the hackers. Them aside, I've had tons of fun with the game now that it is accessible to me, it just took some doing to get there. I don't mind that, but others do.

Okay, but I don't think it's fair to sacrifice my experience for their sake. They can play anything, I only have Dark Souls. I want those others to experience Dark Souls. And I admit being frustrating for new players isn't a good thing. But that's the nature of the beast. If they can somehow make this type of game both mechanics/knowledge-based and at the same time accessible to new players, then great. But that's a far cry from simply adding an easy mode to Dark Souls, and it sounds almost like trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Rooster Cogburn:

barbzilla:
On the first point, I'll just leave it at; more money = more games made this way = more than just one of these games for your playing pleasure.

There may be more games, but they wouldn't be like Dark Souls for all the reasons I described.

Also, many people after playing on easy tend to move up in difficulty,

It's really not about what other people do.

but this isn't why we are here.

Seriously friend, you can't do that lol. You can't write four paragraphs about a Dark Souls easy mode in the original post of a thread you titled "Dark Souls- an experiment in logic" and then tell us not to talk about it. And you can't rebut my posts on the subject and then tell me not to rebut yours. You can make your point or you can ask me to stop talking, you can't do both.

I love the PvP in this game, I just loathe the hackers. Them aside, I've had tons of fun with the game now that it is accessible to me, it just took some doing to get there. I don't mind that, but others do.

Okay, but I don't think it's fair to sacrifice my experience for their sake. They can play anything, I only have Dark Souls. I want those others to experience Dark Souls. And I admit being frustrating for new players isn't a good thing. But that's the nature of the beast. If they can somehow make this type of game both mechanics/knowledge-based and at the same time accessible to new players, then great. But that's a far cry from simply adding an easy mode to Dark Souls, and it sounds almost like trying to have your cake and eat it too.

How is it sacrificing your experience? If it is totally separate from the traditional players it doesn't effect you at all. This is the very argument that intrigued me to play the game in the first place. I don't see how it effects your playstyle at all.

I feel Similairly to the Bioware, story-mode fiasco I will say the same thing now as I did then. Just let people play the game the way they want, don't want a easy mode? Fine then don't use the easy mode. You feel its prescence would kill all tension for other people? Fine let them play a worse game, you have suffered no loss for it. Seriously will people please stop trying to control how other people expierence a game because you don't like how they want to play?

I wouldn't play an easy mode, unless I could switch it on just for 4 Kings and Ceaseless Discharge lol. I hate both those fights. The former because it forces me into a very specific strategy that runs counter to how I enjoy playing, and I still need luck to beat them on higher difficulties. The latter because its so random whether of not you are allowed to get all the way to the crevasse without getting one shot through the damn walls from a mile away.

Seriously that fight boils down to, grabbing the gear and running to the crevasse, usually getting insta gibbed. Then running back to the cravasse, randomly getting instagibbed by the screen wide wall of fire that clips through the geometry. Eventually you randomly are allowed to make it to the hidey-hole where you cheese the boss to death easily.

If there is another way to do it, one that doesn't rely on pure luck or perfect psychic dodges out in the open I probably wouldn't be able to do it that way. Rumor is that the new patch makes my way, the recommended way, not work anymore. Unless it also fixes his undodgeable nova attack going through the walls and floor it means I will probably never beat him again lol.

Did the DLC with an end game character.

Aside from those 2 instances the game isn't that difficult. If anything the patches made it even easier, while they whittled down the number of viable build choices repeatedly.

I love both Souls games. That being said I DESPISE the pvp. I don't co-op, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate it too.

My reasons being that I play them for the games themselves, the challenge, and for what amounts to a story.

I don't play them to inflate my ego, or yours be ganking or getting roflstomped.

I would rather have a game where the gear and spells are BALANCED AGAINST THE MOBS AND BOSSES and not against themselves so PVP has variation or whatever. I'm sick of this or that getting nerfed for PVP reasons that have often little implication to its PVE use other than to make more and more gear/build choices not as viable.

I don't use the DWGR, the masks, sorceries, elemental upgrade paths, or Greatswords, but I don't need them nerfed (in some cases repeatedly) just to satisfy the haters that clamour for it.

Also, can you imagine how much more actual CONTENT they might have been able to put into Dark in particular if they didn't feel obligated to base so much of the game around the covenant system?

I'd keep the goodies you get from them, just make them drops or in chests. Also the system in the first game with losing your body made sense since it directly affected your HP and the noise your aggro range etc. It was a penalty in some ways, but you did more damage and were quieter in soul form. The PVP there was broken but acceptable.

In Dark? Their is no reason to be in human/hollow form apart from minor curse resistance and item find. The main reason is so you don't get invaded every 13 seconds when you go anywhere near a bonfire. Unless you happen to think that having an in depth customization system is POINTLESS when your face looks like jerky 99% of the game.

I'd rather just have a decent game to play, minus the forced trolling of the PVP. I just disable my net when I play either game. I don't need a MOBA slathered over my ARPG.

krazykidd:
We got enough easy games to last a lifetime . People that want that can go play the wide array of games for them . This is a game for the challenge seekers. Niche , if you will.

Really? I played both Souls games because I liked the level design, the art style, the world, and the atmosphere, not because I wanted a challenge. Guess I must have been playing the games wrong, then...

Dark Souls beat me. I wasn't able to even play it because it refused my attempts to use keyboard and mouse and wouldn't allow me to use my PS2 controller. None of the third party programs would work either because I use a PS2 to USB converter instead of PS2 to PS3.
So Dark Souls wins, it is truly the toughest game ever. Although I did get a refund, so maybe its a draw.

I've recently started playing Dark Souls again. I've gotten a lot farther this time than before my game got stolen. I like co-op mode and I'm a Sunbro... at least I was until after Gaping Dragon. Now I'm level 70 in Anor Londo and I can't be a Sunbro here... not many get to see my glorious golden phantom.

Also, Ornstein has been wrecking my face. I can take out Smough easy enough, but Ornstein is messing my face right up. I'm currently working on that. Maybe some Pyromancy... maybe some Quelaag's Furysword.

But back to the point of the online play, I love me some jolly cooperation. I just wish they'd lift the level restrictions a bit. Maybe they would've allowed more high-levels helping lower levels in co-op in Easy Mode. Just saying, I loves to help out and I wish I could go back to an area and help out no matter what. It'd be like a vacation. I've died 5 times fighting Super Ornstein, I'd like to col off a bit fighting the Hydra again. That kind of thing.

Oh... and I HATE pvp. Glitchy, easily hacked nonsense. I want to kill Dark Soul Gwyn... but I also don't want to be invaded by asshats on a regular basis while I'm patiently trying to learn enemy timing.

Funny, my first baby steps experience with Dark Souls was quite similar to yours, it seems. I found the graveyard and started whacking at the skellies, which refused to die and killed me with the tiniest effort on their behalf.

I still managed to level up a couple of times, but I thought to myself: Wow, that's really harsh.

Then, more by accident and wandering around aimlessly out of frustration, I found out that there was a stairs leading down and that there was more accessible game real estate in the opposite direction... where a dragon toasted me after a huge black knight chopped me to bits two or three times before I sniped him to doom.

Yes, Dark Souls is hard and harsh, but amazingly hardly ever unfair or cheap. Scaling the difficulty is something that's hardly ever done properly, and I just think it wouldn't do a brilliant title like Dark Souls, Demons Souls or whatever * Souls that might follow any good or proper justice. These games, just by being so well done and fair, are all about identifying the enemy and studying every single unique opponent. What moves do they have? What can I put to use in my arsenal? Ranged combat with a crappy bow that I should upgrade? Some fiery pyromancy? When they get close and things get personal, you just have to have a firm grasp of what your player character is capable of... in my case, I managed to postpone getting to terms with parry/riposte and backstabbing for days, and I didn't feel troubled enough to put up with it until Anor Londo. Once I mastered that - with very little dying - I truly felt more powerful and more in control.

Never forget the example my brother set when he went back to the Asylum - and killed the Asylum Demon with a non-upgraded crap sword. It took him hours and after he succeeded he collapsed in tears. I could have told him that that was a really crap idea, but, like me and others, he took his own time to understand the mechanics and intricacies of upgrading weapons and proper levelling your character.

Changing this game experience to 'press button to kill enemy' in a dumbed down way or maybe even in a quicktime button press approach would ruin all these little and big moments of achievement, of growing as a player. The controls, actual fighting and boss fights in the D* Souls games are all logical puzzles of sorts in their own way. Giving the player more health would spoil the system of putting upgrade/level points into health. Giving the player more punch would take away huge chunks of the dread and the other assorted feelings that make up a lot of the mindset you find yourself in once you dare to start the game and keep at it until you have at least a minor idea about what's going on and what to do. Any more thorough tutorial than the Asylum would be kiddie-style overkill. Any pop-up messages inviting me to 'lower the difficulty setting' would break immersion. Any way around taking the brunt of the games nastiness would be equivalent to cheating, both breaking gameplay and cheating yourself out of the experience of getting better and even good at turning your player character into a force to be feared by all the undead and undying baddies.

The PVP bit is borked, but not by design. People that resort to cheating and abusing exploits must not be considered the status quo and standard, and I hope there will be less of these issues in the next * Souls title. I am well over 200 hours into playing Dark Souls, and I do enjoy some PVP action every now and then. I prefer to help people as a Sun Bro Sis, and I do enjoy going after folks that switched off the lights in Anor Londo. I also have one char that's all about invading and taunting high level human opponents that pretty much feels like Call of Souls, messing with people's strategies and heads, no matter how much support they summon up.

When people put up some effort to handle Dark Souls with the respect it deserves, and when they agree that PVP should involve some bits of honour and wanting to be the better man/woman/undead, I think PVP in Dark Souls can be anywhere from OK to awesome. Hide yourself as the flowerpot assassin, go straight at your opponent and do a gentle bow before you attempt to hack them to bits and toast their remains to instant beef jerky. You can already have it your way in a number of ways, making it 'more accessible' and dumbing it down is not a way I think could bring much good to the franchise. In fact, dumbing it down, even if it's just optional, would probably kill off the franchise instantly.

BreakfastMan:

krazykidd:
We got enough easy games to last a lifetime . People that want that can go play the wide array of games for them . This is a game for the challenge seekers. Niche , if you will.

Really? I played both Souls games because I liked the level design, the art style, the world, and the atmosphere, not because I wanted a challenge. Guess I must have been playing the games wrong, then...

It's a game for people that want a challenge , doesn't mean others can't play it and apreciate other aspects of it . I do have to wonder though , would the game have sold as well if it was easier or had an easy mode . I mean " you will die, a lot " is kind of the main gimmick which ,in my opinion , is what made people curious enough to try it . Demon's souls did sell well enough to at least warrant a sequel,wouldn't removing that make it more bland? What do you think( this isn't sarcasm , i am truly interested in your thoughts on this )?

My issue with Dark Souls wasn't so much in the difficulty, as it was in the half-second delay between player movement and player-input. And the fact that every enemy can break your guard and hack you to pieces before you can say "What the..."

Cheap, not hard, is the word most people are looking for.

I actually didn't know that players could invade someone else's game until it happened to me. Some prick walked right in and hacked me to pieces. Thank you Hewlett Packard for putting a "Disable Router" button right on my keyboard. Showed that little bastard when he got insta-booted from my game because I was no longer connected to the internet.

I see all of the same crap come from people who don't want easy mode. The same bullshit about "Developer intentions" and "You'll get a crappy experience!"

Two things.

1. Easy Mode isn't being made for you. Suck it up.
2. Why the fuck do either of those matter in a community that so readily embraces modding and unofficial patches.

Yeah, I'd like a hard game too. But difficulty is not throwing yourself at a wall and hoping this time you'll break it down. Within reason, maybe. But this isn't difficulty. This is on par with NES games, which did this kind of thing to pad out their runtime (Ninja Gaiden can be beaten in 20 minutes if you know what you're doing). Challenge should be given to the player in increments.

This is not even close to a good game. This is perhaps the first game I can easily say is completley horrible.

krazykidd:

BreakfastMan:

krazykidd:
We got enough easy games to last a lifetime . People that want that can go play the wide array of games for them . This is a game for the challenge seekers. Niche , if you will.

Really? I played both Souls games because I liked the level design, the art style, the world, and the atmosphere, not because I wanted a challenge. Guess I must have been playing the games wrong, then...

It's a game for people that want a challenge , doesn't mean others can't play it and apreciate other aspects of it . I do have to wonder though , would the game have sold as well if it was easier or had an easy mode . I mean " you will die, a lot " is kind of the main gimmick which ,in my opinion , is what made people curious enough to try it . Demon's souls did sell well enough to at least warrant a sequel,wouldn't removing that make it more bland? What do you think( this isn't sarcasm , i am truly interested in your thoughts on this )?

Well, I didn't think that the game was for those that wanted a challenge; just like it's spiritual predecessor, King's Field, I thought the game was for those that wanted an atmospheric, dark fantasy/horror game with an air of oppression and desperation about it. The difficulty just added to that atmosphere, and people a lot of people who love challenging games (there are a fair number, I don't deny) latched onto that.

As for what I think about the whole "Dark Souls easy difficulty mode" thing? I think it matters as much as the easy mode in XCOM:EU: none at all, if done right.

I'd much prefer a hard mode. Challenged runs are fun and all but self-imposed rules will never compare to what can be achieved with actual development. A easy mode is pointless, perhaps a slightly smoother difficulty curve and more conscientious level design for the first 5 areas might be a bit better. I think everyone spent the first hour dieing constantly to the skeletons and that's a problem from a design standpoint not from a conceptual one. Aiming for the high difficulty niche is not an excuse for bad design but in fact quite the opposite.

Pebkio:
I've recently started playing Dark Souls again. I've gotten a lot farther this time than before my game got stolen. I like co-op mode and I'm a Sunbro... at least I was until after Gaping Dragon. Now I'm level 70 in Anor Londo and I can't be a Sunbro here... not many get to see my glorious golden phantom.

Also, Ornstein has been wrecking my face. I can take out Smough easy enough, but Ornstein is messing my face right up. I'm currently working on that. Maybe some Pyromancy... maybe some Quelaag's Furysword.

Super Ornstein is easy, just his hug nuts and roll away when he's doing the buttstomp and it doesn't hurt to have a high stability shield like the balder or eagle shields. Most of his attacks should sail right over you as long you stay close. Also what weapon are you using?

Bhaalspawn:
My issue with Dark Souls wasn't so much in the difficulty, as it was in the half-second delay between player movement and player-input. And the fact that every enemy can break your guard and hack you to pieces before you can say "What the..."

Cheap, not hard, is the word most people are looking for.

I actually didn't know that players could invade someone else's game until it happened to me. Some prick walked right in and hacked me to pieces. Thank you Hewlett Packard for putting a "Disable Router" button right on my keyboard. Showed that little bastard when he got insta-booted from my game because I was no longer connected to the internet.

I see all of the same crap come from people who don't want easy mode. The same bullshit about "Developer intentions" and "You'll get a crappy experience!"

Two things.

1. Easy Mode isn't being made for you. Suck it up.
2. Why the fuck do either of those matter in a community that so readily embraces modding and unofficial patches.

Yeah, I'd like a hard game too. But difficulty is not throwing yourself at a wall and hoping this time you'll break it down. Within reason, maybe. But this isn't difficulty. This is on par with NES games, which did this kind of thing to pad out their runtime (Ninja Gaiden can be beaten in 20 minutes if you know what you're doing). Challenge should be given to the player in increments.

This is not even close to a good game. This is perhaps the first game I can easily say is completley horrible.

If your guard is getting broken that easily, you either need to increase your stamina or get a higher stability shield or both. Aside from a few instances(Bed of Chaos, I'm looking at you), the game is pretty fair. And really dude, shutting off your router because you didn't face an invader? You didn't show that guy anything except that you're afraid of pvp. If you don't want to get invaded, play offline. As for easy mode, see Rooster's post above. If you're throwing yourself at a wall, you're doing it wrong. Take a step back and observe your enemies and surroundings, just rushing them will get you killed most of the time. Try pulling one enemy at a time if they're in a group. Learn their patterns, perhaps their susceptible to parry's or backstabs. And don't forget to upgrade your gear if you feel you aren't doing enough damage.

UnmotivatedSlacker:
Super Ornstein is easy, just his hug nuts and roll away when he's doing the buttstomp and it doesn't hurt to have a high stability shield like the balder or eagle shields. Most of his attacks should sail right over you as long you stay close. Also what weapon are you using?

No no... the buttslam is Smough's move. Big fat guy with the hammer that tries to sit on you: That's Smough. Smough is super easy and I eat his health for breakfast, nom nom. It's his spear-wielding, super-fast, cheap-combo-using partner that is wrecking my face.

I'm fast, and I can dodge most of his nonsense when he's normal size, but when he's twice as big and his reach is massive, I can't dodge fast enough to not die.

I'm using the Astora's Straight Sword +5. I also like to use lightning spears lesser and greater. I have a faith/dex build so I can't exactly use a high-poise shield. Queelag's Furysword +4 let me down as it's got this mighty pause to swing a friggin' dex-based sword. What a waste of souls. I'm currently working on ascending a +15 pyromancy glove.

Mmm... souls seem so plentiful...

True enough, I could probably kick Super Smough's slow ass, but I'd have to be able to kill Ornstein first which is currently taking too long, and the two of them get me eventually if I don't kill someone fast enough. Which is why I'm looking into Pyromancy now, I hear Ornstein is weak to fire. Which is good because he soaks my lightning damage.

Pebkio:

UnmotivatedSlacker:
Super Ornstein is easy, just his hug nuts and roll away when he's doing the buttstomp and it doesn't hurt to have a high stability shield like the balder or eagle shields. Most of his attacks should sail right over you as long you stay close. Also what weapon are you using?

No no... the buttslam is Smough's move. Big fat guy with the hammer that tries to sit on you: That's Smough. Smough is super easy and I eat his health for breakfast, nom nom. It's his spear-wielding, super-fast, cheap-combo-using partner that is wrecking my face.

I'm fast, and I can dodge most of his nonsense when he's normal size, but when he's twice as big and his reach is massive, I can't dodge fast enough to not die.

I'm using the Astora's Straight Sword +5. I also like to use lightning spears lesser and greater. I have a faith/dex build so I can't exactly use a high-poise shield. Queelag's Furysword +4 let me down as it's got this mighty pause to swing a friggin' dex-based sword. What a waste of souls. I'm currently working on ascending a +15 pyromancy glove.

Mmm... souls seem so plentiful...

True enough, I could probably kick Super Smough's slow ass, but I'd have to be able to kill Ornstein first which is currently taking too long, and the two of them get me eventually if I don't kill someone fast enough. Which is why I'm looking into Pyromancy now, I hear Ornstein is weak to fire. Which is good because he soaks my lightning damage.

Ornstein gets the buttslam move if you kill Smough first. Sticking close to him is the best idea though, as long as you have a decent speed roll you can escape the buttslam when he uses it.

This would totally hurt my play experience because....

...

....

Umm....

Well, okay, it doesn't ruin it directly, but how can I enjoy my accomplishments knowing someone might have done something on easy mode that caused me to snap two controllers in frustration???

Puritanism: the fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

Pebkio:

UnmotivatedSlacker:
Super Ornstein is easy, just his hug nuts and roll away when he's doing the buttstomp and it doesn't hurt to have a high stability shield like the balder or eagle shields. Most of his attacks should sail right over you as long you stay close. Also what weapon are you using?

No no... the buttslam is Smough's move. Big fat guy with the hammer that tries to sit on you: That's Smough. Smough is super easy and I eat his health for breakfast, nom nom. It's his spear-wielding, super-fast, cheap-combo-using partner that is wrecking my face.

I'm fast, and I can dodge most of his nonsense when he's normal size, but when he's twice as big and his reach is massive, I can't dodge fast enough to not die.

I'm using the Astora's Straight Sword +5. I also like to use lightning spears lesser and greater. I have a faith/dex build so I can't exactly use a high-poise shield. Queelag's Furysword +4 let me down as it's got this mighty pause to swing a friggin' dex-based sword. What a waste of souls. I'm currently working on ascending a +15 pyromancy glove.

Mmm... souls seem so plentiful...

True enough, I could probably kick Super Smough's slow ass, but I'd have to be able to kill Ornstein first which is currently taking too long, and the two of them get me eventually if I don't kill someone fast enough. Which is why I'm looking into Pyromancy now, I hear Ornstein is weak to fire. Which is good because he soaks my lightning damage.

Orstein gets the buttslam when he absorbs Smough. Kinda surprised you didn't see it yet. And like I said as long as you stay close and stick to right side of him, most of his spear attacks should go right past you. I haven't really heard good things about Astoria's Straight Sword so you might need something better, but I don't really use faith weapons, so I don't know. Perhaps the Balder Side Sword might be worth your time. And keep in mind that the Furysword is a chaos weapon. It scales with humanity, so you need to pump that counter up a bit to really get some mileage out of it. It's actually one of the best boss weapons in the game.

With the shields, you only need 12 strength to carry the balder shield and 16 to carry the eagle shield, so I think you should probably have enough strength to at least carry the balder shield. You can get the balder shield as a drop from the knights in the parish or you can buy off of the crestfallen merchant in Sen's Fortress. It has great stability for a medium shield and it doesn't weigh that much. I usually try to get that shield the first chance I get. The eagle shield can be found in top half of blight tower on a collapsed pillar I believe, can't remember where exactly though. It's a greatshield, so it has very good stability plus a high lightning resistance. The downside is that the latest patch reduced it's physical resistance from 100 to 95 to balance it out.

Finally, you definitely want to put your focus on one of them since the other guy is just gonna heal anyway. And I would definitely recommend upgrading your glove since Ornstein is indeed weak to fire, plus it's a nice backup to have.

UnmotivatedSlacker:
Orstein gets the buttslam when he absorbs Smough. Kinda surprised you didn't see it yet. And like I said as long as you stay close and stick to right side of him, most of his spear attacks should go right past you. I haven't really heard good things about Astoria's Straight Sword so you might need something better, but I don't really use faith weapons, so I don't know. Perhaps the Balder Side Sword might be worth your time. And keep in mind that the Furysword is a chaos weapon. It scales with humanity, so you need to pump that counter up a bit to really get some mileage out of it. It's actually one of the best boss weapons in the game.

With the shields, you only need 12 strength to carry the balder shield and 16 to carry the eagle shield, so I think you should probably have enough strength to at least carry the balder shield. You can get the balder shield as a drop from the knights in the parish or you can buy off of the crestfallen merchant in Sen's Fortress. It has great stability for a medium shield and it doesn't weigh that much. I usually try to get that shield the first chance I get. The eagle shield can be found in top half of blight tower on a collapsed pillar I believe, can't remember where exactly though. It's a greatshield, so it has very good stability plus a high lightning resistance. The downside is that the latest patch reduced it's physical resistance from 100 to 95 to balance it out.

Finally, you definitely want to put your focus on one of them since the other guy is just gonna heal anyway. And I would definitely recommend upgrading your glove since Ornstein is indeed weak to fire, plus it's a nice backup to have.

I've been finding that most divine weapons suck. No matter what the stat scaling of the weapon was, Strength is made into garbage, dex is just above that and faith is average. However, the Astora's Straight sword is good because it's got average stat scaling for dex, faith and strength. I didn't have all the humanity there, but with my build, the Astora's Straight Sword was doing just a bit less than the Furysword. It's faster too except for the running slash.

I'm currently running through blighttown just mowing everything down with it.. oh wait, yeah, I skipped most of blighttown. I found that Eagle Shield... won't do me any help at current. I've ascended the pyroflame... but I ran out of souls. I'm also looking for the Iaito. Maybe bump that up to +15...

Oh, and no, I've never run into his buttslam. What gets me... and has gotten me all four times... is when he plants his spear and charges forward with that huge aoe lightning move.

Pebkio:

I've been finding that most divine weapons suck. No matter what the stat scaling of the weapon was, Strength is made into garbage, dex is just above that and faith is average. However, the Astora's Straight sword is good because it's got average stat scaling for dex, faith and strength. I didn't have all the humanity there, but with my build, the Astora's Straight Sword was doing just a bit less than the Furysword. It's faster too except for the running slash.

I'm currently running through blighttown just mowing everything down with it.. oh wait, yeah, I skipped most of blighttown. I found that Eagle Shield... won't do me any help at current. I've ascended the pyroflame... but I ran out of souls. I'm also looking for the Iaito. Maybe bump that up to +15...

Oh, and no, I've never run into his buttslam. What gets me... and has gotten me all four times... is when he plants his spear and charges forward with that huge aoe lightning move.

Why can't you use the eagle shield? If it's just the strength requirement, the balder shield can work nicely as well. And the Iaito can be found at the beginning of blighttown. Basically, run down the path until you reach the edge of the platforms. You should see a shiny on the left side on a platform in the distance, you gotta jump to that. It's pretty decent. As for the lightning move, that sounds like the grab move where he shocks you with lightning in the air. Just stay conservative with your attacks so you can see it coming early enough to start rolling to side or backwards.

barbzilla:

How is it sacrificing your experience? If it is totally separate from the traditional players it doesn't effect you at all. This is the very argument that intrigued me to play the game in the first place. I don't see how it effects your playstyle at all.

It does if my playstyle revolves around the online component. If there was, say, a 50-50 split, that means there would only be 50% of the people there are now online on either difficulty setting.

You might say that people can still play offline and all that, but that also takes the hint and co-op system away from them and makes the game harder as a result. So there is incentive to play online, which would incidentally be crushed by an easy mode, if you found you needed neither hints nor co-op to casually beat the game.

Dark Souls is a collective experience. A separate difficulty mode would disrupt it at best, and ruin it at worst. Besides, this is a game that gets almost incredibly easy once you know its tricks and master its flow. My second playthrough was almost half the duration of the first, and I had been just as completionist in it as the first time around. This contrast, the idea that what was once crushingly hard is now much easier, is a key feature in the game's replayability.

Pebkio:
snip

For Ornstein's spear impalement, dodge when his left foot hits the ground. Your weapons should be fine, consider a normal +15 weapon (Iaito is a very good choice) that you can use weapon buffs on. Divine weapons are good provided you get them to +10 which you can't do atm.

A +15 pyromancy flame should wreck Ornstein's ass with Great Combustion and Power Within. Summon Solaire, burn Smough down fast, then cast Power Within and destroy Orns. You don't even need a weapon for it. At least, that's how I did it on my pyromancer run (it was Super Smough, but the same applies for Orns which I killed on 4 playthroughs until now).

Well the purists will always argue this down to the end of days, in fear of what their pure and pristine club might turn into when immigrants come.

Now if you limit an entire game to the dumbest player base that is a huge determent, but adding options to a well made game has never been a step back, hell I see no reason why they wouldn't also have an iron man mode for people who want to go further up the scale.

Some people argue that with MP in the mix it would all be ruined, but this just isn't the case because no changes would haveto be made, hints are the same for everyone, PvP would put you on even footing and co-op pulls you into the main guys game anyway.

I finally got hit with his butt pound... unfortunately, my character was mightily swinging Furysword into the air that Ornstein used to occupy. Apparently, I haven't gone through the full Ruins of New Londo yet... so Iaido is sitting at +10 right now. Not a bad sword, I could get used to it.

Which brings me to my next point: The Ruins of New Londo is unfair. I know I need either a transient or a real curse to damage those ghosts, but the ghosts can travel through walls and attack while in them. The fog ring and slumbering dragoncrest don't do squat. So I walk into a room and am suddenly surrounded by ten ghosts. This has happened in two different rooms. There is no warning about where the ghosts swarm you as they all fly in from where you can't look. You just have to trial and error the place to death. Unfortunately, I don't have an unlimited supply of transient curses to learn where ambushes happen. This is NOT good design. This is NOT a "challenge". This is reminiscent of arcade machines milking us for money. I'm going to have to go back to the underground and purposefully die of a curse just so I can get through.

THAT is the "slamming against a wall trying to break through with your squishy shoulder" point that some people are trying to make.

As for PvP getting cheapened by easy mode. Um... no... I think exploiting has ruined PvP. I cleared the Painted World... quite easily, I might add, and found that I could grind 9000 souls a minute after opening the front gate to the courtyard:

10: Equip Ring of Fog and Covetous Silver Serpent Ring
20: Attune Miracle Wrath of the Gods
30: Rest at Bonfire
40: Dash strike one undead before courtyard
50: Run into group of spear flesh mound things and cast Wrath of the Gods.
60: Get closer to the center of the mob and cast Wrath of the Gods again.
70: Go to 30.

Easy levels, equipment, popularity and wenches. So, if a little build, I didn't even plan for, ruins level progression, and therefore PvP... what is so bad about an easy mode?

The thing is that Dark Souls is meant to be difficult. It's a harrowing journey through a dying world where death is part of the learning experience. The difficulty is actually a narrative feature, as every minor triumph gives a sense of victory and achievement as you beat impossible odds.

barbzilla:
How is it sacrificing your experience? If it is totally separate from the traditional players it doesn't effect you at all. This is the very argument that intrigued me to play the game in the first place. I don't see how it effects your playstyle at all.

I did write a pretty long post and embed a video on this topic. I have updated that post. All I can do is direct you to it above.

Lonewolfm16:
I feel Similairly to the Bioware, story-mode fiasco I will say the same thing now as I did then. Just let people play the game the way they want, don't want a easy mode? Fine then don't use the easy mode. You feel its prescence would kill all tension for other people? Fine let them play a worse game, you have suffered no loss for it. Seriously will people please stop trying to control how other people expierence a game because you don't like how they want to play?

You're trying to make it look like people don't want an easy mode in the game because they want to tell other people how to play. That's a massive straw-man.

The unspoken assumption here is that the normal Dark Souls difficulty won't be impacted. That's isanely unrealistic, it contradicts years of video game history and what happens when games target an audience outside their core fanbase.

I didn't say it would hurt the tension for other people, I said it would kill the tension for me. Being straw-manned as a domineering elitist is pretty much what I expected. But please consider that you are also telling me what my experience should be like. That street goes both ways. Please also consider how this issue affects Dark Souls current fanbase disproportionately. Those unwilling to engage Dark Souls can play anything else. Anything at all. I only have Dark Souls and you're trying to take it away from me, whether you see it that way or not.

Bhaalspawn:

I see all of the same crap come from people who don't want easy mode. The same bullshit about "Developer intentions" and "You'll get a crappy experience!"

"Developer Intentions" are not really what I'm worried about. "You'll get a crappy experience!" is most likely true, and hardly seems like something to overlook. You belittle those viewpoints without presenting any opposing arguments to them, so I can only assume you have none.

Two things.

1. Easy Mode isn't being made for you. Suck it up.

It's not being made at all, and for many good reasons. I realllly wanted to be a dick right back to you, but it may have played into the pervasive 'elitist' strawman, so I can't.

2. Why the fuck do either of those matter in a community that so readily embraces modding and unofficial patches.

Because mods aren't the base game. Mods are effectively cheats for our purposes here. It doesn't bother me that people hack and cheat in single player (online is different kettle of fish, of course).

Zachary Amaranth:
This would totally hurt my play experience because....

...

....

Umm....

Well, okay, it doesn't ruin it directly, but how can I enjoy my accomplishments knowing someone might have done something on easy mode that caused me to snap two controllers in frustration???

Puritanism: the fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

Same old straw man. Look, it's really not about what other people do. I don't know why that's so hard to believe.

EDIT: Well, there is a shared community aspect to keeping the experience the same for all players, and Dark Souls goes out of it's way to take advantage of that. But I don't think that's what you're talking about.

Mr.K.:
Well the purists will always argue this down to the end of days, in fear of what their pure and pristine club might turn into when immigrants come.

I resent the implication that my distaste for easy mode in Dark Souls is in any way elitist or exclusionary. If people find the game too frustrating to engage, I find that very unfortunate, but not enough to give up the game I dig so very much.

barbzilla:
SNIP

There's a very simple reason why an easy mode would ruin Dark Souls.

When you're sneaking through a cramped staircase or across an apparently empty courtyad, what are emotions you're probably feeling? Tension. Apprehension. The fear that at any minute the silence may be disrupted by the appearance of some huge beasty with more teeth than a dentist convention.

And when a monster does appear, be it dragon, gargoyle, zombie or whatever. What emotions do you feel then? Probably panic, a sudden fear that this monster has appeared out of nowhere and you're probably going to die very soon. But you know what else you're thinking? You're thinking tactics. As soon as you see that monster, you start analysing the way it moves, how big it is, how it can position itself in the battlefield, what sort of attacks it'll be likely to have, what direction it will be easiest to attack from...

You know who else is thinking these thoughts? Your character.

The reason why Dark Soul's difficulty is such an integral part of the experience is because it forces the player to directly experience the same emotions that their character would be going through. This is something that precious few other RPGs manage to do. Skyrim never got that response from me. Fallout 3 never got that response from me. Playing Dark Souls, the difficulty instils a real sense of responsibility on the player. When the character would be feeling fear or panic, you the player are directly feeling those. Moreover, when the character would be feeling elation from a victory against a huge boss, that is exactly the sense of victory that you experience as the player.

An easy mode would undo that entirely. It would turn the entire immersive experience into just another murder simulator a la Skyrim. Whatever emotions your character should be feeling within the game, you will be divorced from via the complete lack of challenge.

I remember when the rebooted Ninja Gaiden came out for Xbox a few years ago. For ages all anyone would talk about was the ludicrous difficulty. I picked it up, and struggled initially. It was a truly tough game. But I stuck with it, because the game didn't offer an easy mode. Once I got past the first boss, the controls clicked, and I started to get into the game. Before long, I was flipping from walls and slicing people in two with ease.

And you know what? The hard difficulty made the experience so much better. Because all the while I was busy turning people into sushi, there was always in the back of my head the knowledge that just one wrong move, one badly timed combo, one misplaced Ninpo attack, would be enough to get my arse beaten all the way back to the last save point. It sounds masochistic, but the truth is that there is nothing quite as gratifying as overcoming enemies who you know could quite handily carve you up if you gave them the chance. Running into a room, seeing the door lock, and being faced with wave after wave of demons is enough to set the knees trembling. But when you equip a Vigoorian Flail, and come out of that same room five minutes later with your health shot to pieces, you potions all gone, but most importantly having defeated every last demon, there is no other sense of accomplishment like it.

This is the same sense of accomplishment that Dark Souls taps into. The sense that every victory is a true testament to how badass you are, because nothing is given to you easy or cheap. Everything has to be earned.

dark souls is kind of a paradoxon.

it is horrendous bad because it doesnt hint or give you any kind of clue how to defeat an enemy. this is a cheap way to extend the playtime by finding the right way through excessive failure.(it doesnt give you a chance to find the right way to do it/ to find out enemies weakness and strengths)
plus most of the time you dont have any fucking idea where to go.

on the other side it is good since it doesnt restrict you to a certain path.
yeah it is almost impossible to survive though a higher level area but you can walk though it if you are carefull and good.

and it gives you kind of a satisfaction (until you find a cheaper way to defeat them) when you manage to defeat that certain enemy.

so i am against an easy mode but i vouche for some kind of hints on how to get through an area "easier" when you look around carefull enough (and not rely on the messages of other players, 8/10 times its just there for trolling)

poiumty:
]It does if my playstyle revolves around the online component. If there was, say, a 50-50 split, that means there would only be 50% of the people there are now online on either difficulty setting.

You might say that people can still play offline and all that, but that also takes the hint and co-op system away from them and makes the game harder as a result. So there is incentive to play online, which would incidentally be crushed by an easy mode, if you found you needed neither hints nor co-op to casually beat the game.

Dark Souls is a collective experience. A separate difficulty mode would disrupt it at best, and ruin it at worst. Besides, this is a game that gets almost incredibly easy once you know its tricks and master its flow. My second playthrough was almost half the duration of the first, and I had been just as completionist in it as the first time around. This contrast, the idea that what was once crushingly hard is now much easier, is a key feature in the game's replayability.

Okay well lets assume that the people playing the game currently have already made the jump into the difficulty and are enjoying it. The people who will buy the game may try easy mode or traditional mode, so this can go either way. But the thousands (potentially hundreds of thousands) of people out there who have either given up on the game, or not bought the game entirely because of the difficulty will be given the chance to learn the game we love. This leads to more sales, and believe it or not many people will migrate on to the traditional experience from there.

You argue that you will lose 50% of your players, but I find you to be wrong. This is a illogical statement. There is no evidence that you will lose any players, in fact the evidence shows that you would gain players. So isn't that what you are after? More players?

Rooster Cogburn:

1,
Update: what this means is, an easy mode would have a huge impact on the design of the normal mode almost as a necessity. Either they literally make two different games, which is obviously unrealistic, or they take both easy mode and normal mode into account in the design of every enemy, every area, every encounter, every puzzle, every boss, the leveling system, the weapon system, parry/riposte/backstab mechanics, poise/stability/defense mechanics, invicibility frames... you get the idea. So don't act so sure this won't effect my gameplay experience. It will most likely effect it in every aspect.

2. Learning to make the seemingly unbeatable content of Dark Souls trivial is the content of the game. Take that away and you're left with a short, shitty action-RPG. That's not because Dark Souls is shitty or because it just relies on difficulty as a crutch. It's because making Dark Souls easy makes it's content and mechanics irrelevant. Figuring out what you're supposed to do is the content of the game. Taking that away is like taking the strategy out of an RTS game. It would be pointless to play a game like that, you'd just get bored of it and find something else to play.

If you ever tried Dark Souls and gave up, it may surprise or even enrage you to see people say that it's actually easy. It may seem like they're just bragging. But they figured out how to make it easy. That is to say, they experienced the game's content.

3. It is massively unrealistic to expect the "hardcore" Dark Souls experience to retain it's quality and emphasis if FROM Software decides to seek a broader audience by implementing an easy mode. It defies logic and video game history. Especially in light of the points above. It just wouldn't make sense. I think it's realistic to expect the normal Dark Souls to be damaged and not unlikely it will just fade into the same cookie-cutter 'bleh' that characterizes so much stuff out there. And consider how atmospheric and inaccessible the story telling is, or how the game doesn't always tell you where to go next. Do you expect those elements to be preserved if From Soft decides to broaden their appeal? Not a chance.

It defies logic and especially video game history. We know what happens when a series tries to broaden it's appeal and seek out a new audience. So don't play dumb with me, please. It's tedious.

4. If Dark Souls had an easy mode, the tension would evaporate for all players, even the ones who play the normal difficulty. If there is an easy version of the Capra Demon, then I know I can beat the Capra Demon. I know I can win. Not only that, but I know the game is designed to ensure I can win. The tension is lost, or at least it is not the same. I wouldn't have felt the same way the first time I got obliterated by the Capra Demon in five seconds. And I wouldn't have felt the same way the first time I beat his ass and took his souls.

5. This one is from me, not the video: Having ONE difficult AAA title is not a freaking crime. There are so many accessible games you can play. Please leave me with the ONE title like this. Try to understand how this looks from my perspective. I have ONE game like this and it's apparently too much to ask.

1: Wrong, there is nothing showing that an easy mode would require a major design change for the normal difficulty. Something as simple as scaling monster damage back is enough to make an "easy" mode. So once again I say this has NO effect on you at all.

2: Once again, we aren't marketing to the people who enjoy challenges here with an easy mode. This mode is not aimed at YOU. It is aimed at bringing more people over to fall in love with the game you say you love. I still fail to see how this is a bad thing. You say it will not provide the same experience, you say its a shitty action RPG. That means with something as simple as a change in damage, you say your beloved game is now shitty. It tells me how invested you actually are in the game itself. I found plenty of story there, sure you had to dig for it and pay attention. But after talking to everyone in the game there is a concurrent thread. You are reliving the actions of the past through your current actions. You get to learn about the downfall of the gods. Where were you during all of this? And, I've only been playing a week.

3: I'm not playing dumb with you. I don't expect easy mode to be a "hardcore experience" as you put it. I expect it to be an introductory difficulty meant to make the game more accessible. Giving players a couple of more hits before they die so they can learn how to fight the enemies. Just because you and I can play at a higher skill level, does not mean all gamers can. Some gamers utilize tactics and not reflex. These players can actually be brilliant Dark Souls players, but the catch is if they don't have the initial reflexes to learn the enemies they won't make it very far before becoming frustrated with the game. You are still arguing under the false assumption that easy mode will require a change to the traditional mode, it would not.

Once again all it would take to make an "EASY" mode would be to scale back the monster damage. Simple, elegant, and effective with no impact on the traditional players.

4: Here we are again assuming things. Can we stop with assumptions? By scaling back monster damage and giving new players an extra hit or two we are not totally destroying monster difficulty. The bosses will still destroy new players until they learn how to dodge their attacks, when to block, and where to attack. I'm not going to continue barking up the same tree, but less damage + no change to traditional mode = what I envision as easy mode.

5: Once again I am in NG++ I don't think I am saying the game is too hard for me anymore. The game takes a different approach from most games and this is exactly why I think there should be an easy mode. The game is brilliantly designed and I love it. I want everyone to experience it, but until they have the breakthrough I did they will never get the joy I do. What you are telling me right now is that you want there to be no easy mode because you enjoy having the bragging rights that you beat a game... a simple trivial game, that even you said many others consider easy... Bravo! I can see why it is such a bad idea to allow From Software to make more money off of an excellent game.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

barbzilla:
SNIP

snip

I don't feel tension, I don't get scared when a dragon plops down in front of me, I generally just move forward thinking about how to improve my character (though I do feel a little tension when someone invades me as I'm almost at the boss in a difficult area), and yet I agree with you. The difficulty does make the game better. In both instances you mention, the difficulty made the game better (as evident by Ninja Gaiden 3). But why does an easy mode effect that? A small change in the damage of the monsters would make all the difference in the world to some players. Hell just slapping something called easy mode in the game with no changes other than no pvp would probably make more people play the game. I don't advocate the changing of the core game at all (other than perhaps tightening the controls a bit, the still feel slow to me).

The main reason this is an argument at all is that people ASSUME that From adding a new difficulty will change the core experience, and I just don't think its the case. I do think that some players who could beat the game just fine on traditional mode will play on easy mode thinking "Oh, I just want to see the story" and be disappointed (unless they know where to look), but those players will either quit afterwards or join traditional mode to see what the fuss is about. So... Yay! more net players.

The other people who would use an easy mode are people who otherwise wouldn't play the game. We are talking about more sales for From and (potentially) more players for us on Traditional mode. Win Win situation.

So I've only played a bit of Dark Souls, but can someone explain to me logically how an easy mode would ruin the game for people who won't play on easy mode?
Offline would obviously be unaffected, but online is trickier. The Dev's could simply just separate those playing on easy and those playing normally entirely, thus those playing on hard would never see or be affected by those playing on easy. Now hypothetically, if they decided to mix those playing on easy with those playing normally there could be some negative effect on those playing normally, but considering Miyazaki and From's dedication to the hardcore crowd, I find it unlikely that they would want to change the hardcore crowd's online experience.
I really can't see how it would hurt the game overall if you add another difficulty. Looking ME3's story mode and Deus Ex HR's "Give me a story", those are good examples of recent games unhindered by embracing easy difficulties.

Obviously changing a game's entire direction to an easier approach such as with Elder Scrolls or Splinter Cell is not a good thing at all, but I don't see those scenarios as analogous, because those series are changing core features for every single player to make the game easier, whereas an easy mode only changes some things for individual players who choose it.

Sure you can argue that the players who play on easy mode aren't getting as good an experience as the hardcore players, however dumb that argument is for not understanding subjective tastes and experiences, it's irrelevant to you as a hardcore player anyway.

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