Dark Souls: an experiment in logic

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UnmotivatedSlacker:
Why can't you use the eagle shield?

I don't know how they feel about it. But if I can't parry, I don't want to live lol.

Pebkio:
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.

I think there are four curses you can find on the ground. Wear the Gold Covetous Serpent Ring and/or keep a few loose humanity to boost Item Discovery. The ghosts should drop plenty of Transient Curses faster then you can die. You can also buy them from the merchant in the tunnel between Firelink Shrine and Lower Undead Burg/Depths, but I believe she will only sell four before she runs out.

In the first "spook house", you may be able to kill the one on the left, then rush into the room and kill them as they rise up from the ground. If you can't kill them fast enough, try luring the ghosts out one at a time. This also works when you get to the second "spook house". Don't run into rooms to fight, wait outside or in an empty room for them to come to you. But there is also one of the big ones with the ranged attacks, you will have to engage that one.

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.

You could just buy the curses. Also, dying isn't a big deal. And you can get cursed and then back to the ghosts pretty easily with the Lord Vessel. As usual, it's not that demanding, really, it's figuring it out that's difficult.

Rooster Cogburn:

UnmotivatedSlacker:
Why can't you use the eagle shield?

I don't know how they feel about it. But if I can't parry, I don't want to live lol.

Pebkio:
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.

I think there are four curses you can find on the ground. Wear the Gold Covetous Serpent Ring and/or keep a few loose humanity to boost Item Discovery. The ghosts should drop plenty of Transient Curses faster then you can die. You can also buy them from the merchant in the tunnel between Firelink Shrine and Lower Undead Burg/Depths, but I believe she will only sell four before she runs out.

In the first "spook house", you may be able to kill the one on the left, then rush into the room and kill them as they rise up from the ground. If you can't kill them fast enough, try luring the ghosts out one at a time. This also works when you get to the second "spook house". Don't run into rooms to fight, wait outside or in an empty room for them to come to you. But there is also one of the big ones with the ranged attacks, you will have to engage that one.

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.

You could just buy the curses. Also, dying isn't a big deal. And you can get cursed and then back to the ghosts pretty easily with the Lord Vessel. As usual, it's not that demanding, really, it's figuring it out that's difficult.

Lol, my first playthrough I didn't know about the transient curse thing so I ended up just hauling booty through there trying to find something to let me get past everything. I finally ended up dumping the water and getting down to the 4 Kings and they beat the ever loving crap out of me. But yes it is trial and error, that is all the difficulty boils down to (for the most part).

krazykidd:
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.

Haha, I had this attitude at first. However, 2nd day of playing I ran into someone that I'm, to this day, 99% sure he was cheating.

Was in human form for like, the second time near the entrance to the Church in the Undead Parish when I was invaded. Being a magic user I was already at a disadvantage, and he eventually kept poisoning me to death. Only later did I find out why he kept trying to get into melee range; he was a darkwraith. Second day of the game and I run into a darkwraith, one with a ton of health too since I backstabbed him at least 3 times in a row and hit him with magic when he tried to drain me.

Honestly, that ruined the experience of online for me until I started someone who wasn't a mage.

barbzilla:
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.

While that would indeed make the game easier, it strains credulity to think that FROM would not also take mechanics into account when designing those enemies with lower damage. It's not as simple as you make it out to be. Maybe in some games, but not Dark Souls.

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.

I know who the easy mode is made for. I won't be playing it regardless. That's not the point. Bringing more people to Dark Souls is wonderful, I encourage it.

Any game can suck if you make the wrong changes to it, regardless of how much I love it's current state. While the setting is varied and rich, what really sets Dark Souls apart from the heard is the way it utilizes it's difficult gameplay to achieve it's ends. Take that away and you take the heart out of the game and are left with something fairly unremarkable. You are talking about effectively gutting the game's content. Pointing out how shitty that would be doesn't mean I'm not a true believer.

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.

But you are still not addressing the fact that games which pursue a broader audience consistently "sell out" on the core experience.

Giving players a couple of more hits before they die so they can learn how to fight the enemies.

A significant change in the number of hits they take would make the mechanics you currently need to succeed irrelevant. The only thing that would change is that they won't have to learn the game. But learning is this game's content. So they won't experience the game's content, so the game will suck. It will be short and shitty compared to comparable products and they will feel robbed.

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.

There are VERY few encounters in Dark Souls that are really that demanding on the reflexes. Tactics and learning is exactly what players will miss when you upset the threshold of difficulty that keeps the mechanics relevant.

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.

Depends what you mean by "require". Strictly speaking, maybe not, but I estimate the chances of things turning out that way at about 95%, maybe higher. It almost certainly will require a change to the traditional mode, just as a practical measure. If not, it might be easier to literally make two different games. It's almost inconceivable that they could be designed in a vacuum. The closest thing is what you're talking about, basically the Bethesda route of just scaling everything uniformly without designing each enemy and encounter individually and making relevant, balanced mechanics. That doesn't work very well in Skyrim and it's out of the question in Dark Souls.

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?

Critical thinking =/= "assumptions". You're the one making assertions about how easy things will be to design and how they will work and how things will be affected. You are making some pretty enormous and unfounded assumptions yourself.

By scaling back monster damage and giving new players an extra hit or two we are not totally destroying monster difficulty.

It will if they don't change the mechanics. Darkwraiths are trivial to me. If they had one hundred times more health or one hundred times more damage, they would be no less trivial. The health and damage of enemies are not arbitrary, they are balanced against the mechanics involved in defeating them. It's all about backstabs, parries, invincibility frames, taking advantage of stability/poise mechanics, weapon move-sets, etc. The only way allowing the player who mashes buttons to win makes the game easier is by making those mechanics irrelevant. In some other game, that might not be a big deal. But you wouldn't take the strategy out of Starcraft and you shouldn't take the learning out of Dark Souls.

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.

That approach is exactly what makes an easy mode inappropriate for this title in particular.

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.

They will never have that breakthrough, that's what you're taking from them, that's why the game will suck. They will mash until they win and they will understandably conclude that this game sucks. Or, FROM Software will do serious work on the mechanics and encounters to account for their needs. At that point any talk about the normal experience remaining unchanged sounds pretty empty (I almost said 'hollow' heh).

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...

STRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN

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.

I want From to make money. And I want everyone to play Dark Souls and experience it's rewards. I am not the elitist prick you want me to be. The people who find Dark Souls easy learned how to make it easy. That is to say, they experienced the game's content. I want everyone to have that experience. I don't want that experience to diminish.

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.

It's been said a billion times already, but this game isn't hard; it's unfair. It's full of cheap deaths, surprise bullshit, bad controls, one-hit deaths, attacks that track you illogically, and enemies you're not supposed to be fighting yet in areas you have no choice but to be in if you want to progress. Anything you can see coming or know is there already is extremely easy to beat; enemies are predictable and have lengthy tells, you have a lot of useful options for dispatching them, and none of it poses much challenge the second time around. It's bad design that became popular because it makes certain people feel good about themselves.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the game as a whole is bad; there's some strategy that does need to be employed, and beating the crap out of the game on its own unfair terms can be satisfying, but from a design standpoint, as someone who enjoys difficult games and goes out of their way to play them, this game falls flat on its face, no question whatsoever about it, and I've never met anyone not of the opinion of "IT'S HARD AND ONLY REAL MEN CAN PLAY IT" who doesn't agree.

Then again, I don't talk to many people, but I still know crappy design when I see it.

A poorly-designed "hard" needs to skulk about and kill you in one hit because you didn't know a boulder was around the corner and had no way to avoid it logically without falling off a cliff. A well-designed one will kick your ass even when you see it coming.

Totally didn't mean for that to be an essay. Sorry.

Rooster Cogburn:

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.

Heres the thing... no one is forcing you to play the easy mode. If you don't like it, you cna pretend its not there. It may be a option for other people, but you have made it very clear where you stand on the issue, so I can almost guarentee it is not a option for you. I just don't see how the mere knowledge of its existance would ruin everything. Unless you are argueing you would be tempted to use it then I don't see your problem. What if there was a check box, that you clicked and then it asked you to confirm a few times, and that made sure the easy mode was never accessible to you. Would that help? I don't see why anyone would purposefully limit the options avalible to them on how to play the game but you are argueing for limiting everyone who plays the game's options so I guess my normal logic has failed here.

I'm with Rooster Cogburn on this, I don't give a toss how other ppl play their games but an easy mode will affect me. You only have to take a look at how easy and dumbed down this generation of games have become as devs make their games to cater for as wide a demographic as possible (ie ppl who expect to beat a game no matter how skilled they are)

The whole game is built towards a certain playstyle, and an easy mode isn't so much as just changing a few stats they would have to make several other gameplay changes so that easy mode players have an enjoyable experience. It's just like how crap most games hard modes are since to make a true DS style hardmode takes alot of effort and money, just like making a good easy mode is.

If Souls had a crappy easy mode how will the critical media receive it? It isn't as if many reviewers and game critics play hard mode or normal mode for that fact. Reviewers need to finish a game asap so probably a good number of them play games on easy mode so they can get the review out on time and just don't mention in the review which mode they played. It's probably why we don't see any mention of difficulty scaling in reviews.

Not that i'm saying all reviewers play on easy mode but atleast some of them do, enough to impact ppls buying decisions or how devs make their games.

EDIT i'm not against easy mode initself but it shouldn't be in every game.

Sorry if it sounds selfish but an easy would affect maybe not my gameplay in itself, but the way I perceive Dark Souls as an experience, which I find equally important.

Call it some kind of little boy's club, but I like the fact that Dark souls is hard, and only that. It gives you that much more sense of accomplishment, thinking you did go so far like not many others, and you kinda deserve to get yourself a pat on the head. There's not a lot of hard games out there, in fact, very few. Like someone said above, it's the shared community exprience about it; the fact that people put so much efforts and can somehow relate to each other.

After all, the slogan is "Prepare to die", not "Prepare to die, unless you're feeling slightly iffy about it then it's okay, here, have a lolly and some bandaids and we'll walk you through this" (oh gosh, I do sound absolutely petty now, do I). Or if you want to catter to the people like this:

It's full of cheap deaths, surprise bullshit, bad controls, one-hit deaths

It's only cheap if you don't pay attention to what you're doing and if you're not evaluating the situation, mate.

In other words

It's only hard if you're too bad.

Rooster Cogburn:
snip, we are both quite verbose and we are filling pages quickly, lol.

I realise it is not possible to change your stance on this so I will make a final statement (with the possible exception to validate or refute any points you make in response to this post).

I am not making any assumptions as to how they would have implemented the easy mode. I realise that they can massively screw up the way the game plays if they do not implement it correctly. I'm not so thick as to be unable to empathise with your points entirely. I am sorry if I came off as calling you elitist, that wasn't my intention. I only wanted to point out that in your previous post you claim to want the game to remain the same so that you can have a game that is difficult for others to beat. If that wasn't the actual point and I am off base I am sorry.

You however keep making a correlation fallacy by saying x = y. You are saying if they implement an easy mode it WILL effect your gameplay. I am simply saying that it does not have to. I actually agree with you about games that went the route of the elder scrolls by slowly dumping game mechanics and adding new ones just to appeal to a broader audience. I don't want that for dark souls either, but them implementing an easy mode does not mean they will do that (yet another correlation fallacy that you make).

So please feel free to have your own opinion on the matter, I know I do. But, maybe, try to take others points into consideration instead of refuting them absolutely. The argument is null and void at this point anyway as From has said there will be no Easy mode. This is the very reason I wanted discussion on the multiplayer aspect and not the previous arguments.

Happy Hunting

The interview where that easy mode was stated was a translation issue. (I can't remember the source) The designer said that he would like the game to be more accessible, meaning easier to understand. I love this game, but I am still discovering how mechanics (specifically stats on gear) work. You needed a guide to get it, because the game itself did a poor job of explaining such things.

A easy mode would make a lot of the mechanics irrelevant. If I already can kill enemies easily, why would I upgrade armor or weapons, try more risky tactics like riposte and counters? I will also not make risky tours to dangerous places, because I'm already capable of taking everything out. If I wanted to play a game where I can bash enemies without much tactic, then I would not play DS, which would not be more then a really slow one button basher.

A easy mode would also destroy the MP part of the games, because you would divide the community. The MP part is not a afterthought that was thrown in the game for fun, it is at the core of the experience that made Dark Souls.

And lastly, Dark Souls is a fun and rewarding game. When I beat a boss which I was struggling with for weeks, I get a feeling that few games give. When another player defeats the boss in a easy mode in 2 tries, then they would be happy for a second and forget it in the next 5 minutes. By giving the option for a player to play the game without too much struggle, you essentially give them the option for a inferior experience. I am not saying that they are being inferior, compared to normal players, by playing a easy mode, but they are playing a inferior version of the game.

blackdwarf:

And lastly, Dark Souls is a fun and rewarding game. When I beat a boss which I was struggling with for weeks, I get a feeling that few games give. When another player defeats the boss in a easy mode in 2 tries, then they would be happy for a second and forget it in the next 5 minutes. By giving the option for a player to play the game without too much struggle, you essentially give them the option for a inferior experience. I am not saying that they are being inferior, compared to normal players, by playing a easy mode, but they are playing a inferior version of the game.

Well, let them if that's what they decide would prefer? I don't see a problem with that?

Also, as for the bolded part, I must say that whether I feel like "Wheee, I finaly did it!" or like "Glad that's over with, now let us never speak of this again" is a case-by-case basis thing...

blackdwarf:
The interview where that easy mode was stated was a translation issue. (I can't remember the source) The designer said that he would like the game to be more accessible, meaning easier to understand. I love this game, but I am still discovering how mechanics (specifically stats on gear) work. You needed a guide to get it, because the game itself did a poor job of explaining such things.

A easy mode would make a lot of the mechanics irrelevant. If I already can kill enemies easily, why would I upgrade armor or weapons, try more risky tactics like riposte and counters? I will also not make risky tours to dangerous places, because I'm already capable of taking everything out. If I wanted to play a game where I can bash enemies without much tactic, then I would not play DS, which would not be more then a really slow one button basher.

A easy mode would also destroy the MP part of the games, because you would divide the community. The MP part is not a afterthought that was thrown in the game for fun, it is at the core of the experience that made Dark Souls.

And lastly, Dark Souls is a fun and rewarding game. When I beat a boss which I was struggling with for weeks, I get a feeling that few games give. When another player defeats the boss in a easy mode in 2 tries, then they would be happy for a second and forget it in the next 5 minutes. By giving the option for a player to play the game without too much struggle, you essentially give them the option for a inferior experience. I am not saying that they are being inferior, compared to normal players, by playing a easy mode, but they are playing a inferior version of the game.

How would you be able to understand what another person finds to be an accomplishment. I have a friend who is autistic that bragged for weeks about finally being in a Clan online in a shooter. You have no reference point as to what will make another player happy.

I understand what you are trying to say though, and I still hold that it doesn't have to interfere with your gameplay if done properly. You are unlikely to lose any players who are currently playing on the game, and are much more likely to gain players (lets face it, the game has been out a while now and sales have dwindled down quite a bit).

I notice that you think that MP is integral to the game, what aspect do you play in the MP? Are you a helper or are you the invader?

Easy mode would be fine as long as it was carefully implemented as to not simply be used as a quick power levelling tool for griefers especially now that the bottomless box glitch has been patched. Things would start to become a bit iffy when Easy mode and normal Dark Souls difficulty mode (Hard mode) people played online together. It would be a shame to divide the community into Easy and Hard mode too if they couldn't play together.

Also, what would Easy Mode do? Would it just reduce the damage and health of enemies? Or will it remove certain enemies altogether, say for example those two Dark Knights with the Dragon Slayer bows in Anor Londo? Bearing in mind difficulty in Dark Souls comes from various different sources including the online invasions, you do run the risk of stripping the game back to the point where Easy Mode players have very little to enjoy other than the story and Lordran itself, both of which are hardly approachable to newcomers.

I'm not entirely closed to the possibility of making the game easier for those who struggle, but maybe something in-game akin to the World Tendency system in Demon's Souls might be better. Maybe there could be greater rewards for those who shift the difficulty higher and those on an easier mode can easily shift the difficulty back up when they feel ready. It would have to be much easier to manipulate than the World Tendency system though.

Also in answer to your second question. I literally invade, co-op and gravelord as much as I can before I take a character through to the Kiln. I love it all, especially the gravelording - it's an awesome concept. The online mechanics of Demon's/Dark Souls have been the gaming highlight of the last two years for me.

barbzilla:

blackdwarf:
The interview where that easy mode was stated was a translation issue. (I can't remember the source) The designer said that he would like the game to be more accessible, meaning easier to understand. I love this game, but I am still discovering how mechanics (specifically stats on gear) work. You needed a guide to get it, because the game itself did a poor job of explaining such things.

A easy mode would make a lot of the mechanics irrelevant. If I already can kill enemies easily, why would I upgrade armor or weapons, try more risky tactics like riposte and counters? I will also not make risky tours to dangerous places, because I'm already capable of taking everything out. If I wanted to play a game where I can bash enemies without much tactic, then I would not play DS, which would not be more then a really slow one button basher.

A easy mode would also destroy the MP part of the games, because you would divide the community. The MP part is not a afterthought that was thrown in the game for fun, it is at the core of the experience that made Dark Souls.

And lastly, Dark Souls is a fun and rewarding game. When I beat a boss which I was struggling with for weeks, I get a feeling that few games give. When another player defeats the boss in a easy mode in 2 tries, then they would be happy for a second and forget it in the next 5 minutes. By giving the option for a player to play the game without too much struggle, you essentially give them the option for a inferior experience. I am not saying that they are being inferior, compared to normal players, by playing a easy mode, but they are playing a inferior version of the game.

How would you be able to understand what another person finds to be an accomplishment. I have a friend who is autistic that bragged for weeks about finally being in a Clan online in a shooter. You have no reference point as to what will make another player happy.

I understand what you are trying to say though, and I still hold that it doesn't have to interfere with your gameplay if done properly. You are unlikely to lose any players who are currently playing on the game, and are much more likely to gain players (lets face it, the game has been out a while now and sales have dwindled down quite a bit).

I notice that you think that MP is integral to the game, what aspect do you play in the MP? Are you a helper or are you the invader?

I mainly help, although I have invaded a couple of times (and failed terrible at it :P ), but I have been helped and have been invaded loads of time. I also like the idea that you have to be human and be in a area where your boss still exist to summon people, but also to be invaded, so being human is always kind of a big deal in the game.

It is such a great feature. you are being helped by a random person in progressing your game and when you succeed, the helper feels great, because he really helped you overcoming your challenge. Sure, sometimes you get help from someone who is clearly so overpowered that he kills that boss, that has beaten more then ten times already, in three hits. that sucks.

When you get invaded you really feel that hell is coming now, you have no idea where the invader is and how strong he is. when you meet, it is a fight to the dead.

And then you have of course the signs, which are also part of the MP. It give the sense that you are not alone and that people are also struggling just like you.

All of these are great features which would be lessened if the community would get divided. Hell, summoning will be butchered, because content is to easy.

UnmotivatedSlacker:
And don't forget to upgrade your gear if you feel you aren't doing enough damage.

This. So, so much of this.

For those wanting an easy mode for Dark Souls, sorry, but there already basically is one. Level up. Upgrade your gear. Farm a little for better items. Make use of the summoning system to get help from both NPCs and Co-op partners. Don't go human unless you're using it to aid in farming or to enable summons.

Epic Name Bro just did a Let's Play of the first section of the game and very clearly demonstrated just what difference even partially upgrading your character and getting AI help makes. Most of the tools to make the game easier already exist in the game, they're just found in playing with a different style as opposed to flipping the Easy toggle.

barbzilla:

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.

The game was made with an emphasis on tactics NOT reflex.In fact,that is the very reason why Miyazaki spoke so highly of the shield.I have beaten the game with multiple "tactics" and strategies and I can honestly say that if you can't beat dark souls the problem lies with you.There are far too many ways to tackle most bosses and item drops that allow you to tackle each challenge with absolutely no reflex.Name a boss.I can probably tell an item on that bosses way that could help you.

Oh and I know you beat the game,so you are not who I am addressing with my entire post.

Also, Easy Mode?-No trophies...discuss.

Rooster Cogburn:

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.

Let me just leave this here...

BreakfastMan:

Why? Why would they possibly want to make the game easier when nearly all of the feedback has complimented them on how hard the game is? It makes no sense, from a business standpoint or a design standpoint. That is why this is a slippery slope fallacy: you are assuming that one necessarily follows the other, when that is not the case. Yes, they will keep the lower barrier of entry in mind for future titles, but do you know what else they will keep in mind? How much so many liked how difficult the game was. Games are not designed for the lowest possible entry point. They are designed for the largest base. And the largest base is the one that likes the difficulty.

Just take the already existing NG+ mechanics, and change some code slightly so players at the new mode start at something like NG-1 or NG-2 (in terms of modifiers applied to stats). Bam, solved it, I am a genius.

ReinWeisserRitter:

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.

It's been said a billion times already, but this game isn't hard; it's unfair. It's full of cheap deaths, surprise bullshit, bad controls, one-hit deaths, attacks that track you illogically, and enemies you're not supposed to be fighting yet in areas you have no choice but to be in if you want to progress. Anything you can see coming or know is there already is extremely easy to beat; enemies are predictable and have lengthy tells, you have a lot of useful options for dispatching them, and none of it poses much challenge the second time around. It's bad design that became popular because it makes certain people feel good about themselves.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the game as a whole is bad; there's some strategy that does need to be employed, and beating the crap out of the game on its own unfair terms can be satisfying, but from a design standpoint, as someone who enjoys difficult games and goes out of their way to play them, this game falls flat on its face, no question whatsoever about it, and I've never met anyone not of the opinion of "IT'S HARD AND ONLY REAL MEN CAN PLAY IT" who doesn't agree.

Then again, I don't talk to many people, but I still know crappy design when I see it.

A poorly-designed "hard" needs to skulk about and kill you in one hit because you didn't know a boulder was around the corner and had no way to avoid it logically without falling off a cliff. A well-designed one will kick your ass even when you see it coming.

Totally didn't mean for that to be an essay. Sorry.

You did not know the boulder was coming because you didn't stand and look out the corner of the wall...like I did.Jokes aside,can you give me examples of cheap deaths and enemies you can't beat in places you have to go? I am honestly curious as to what those could be.

blackdwarf:

I mainly help, although I have invaded a couple of times (and failed terrible at it :P ), but I have been helped and have been invaded loads of time. I also like the idea that you have to be human and be in a area where your boss still exist to summon people, but also to be invaded, so being human is always kind of a big deal in the game.

It is such a great feature. you are being helped by a random person in progressing your game and when you succeed, the helper feels great, because he really helped you overcoming your challenge. Sure, sometimes you get help from someone who is clearly so overpowered that he kills that boss, that has beaten more then ten times already, in three hits. that sucks.

When you get invaded you really feel that hell is coming now, you have no idea where the invader is and how strong he is. when you meet, it is a fight to the dead.

And then you have of course the signs, which are also part of the MP. It give the sense that you are not alone and that people are also struggling just like you.

All of these are great features which would be lessened if the community would get divided. Hell, summoning will be butchered, because content is to easy.

Thanks for answering my question :-)
I totally agree, multiplayer is what makes this game great. I spent a lot of time in the beginning avoiding becoming human (mostly because of a few bad experiences with invasions), but once I embraced the system it was wonderful.

I tend to be more of an invader, but I'm not one of those dickish invaders. If I invade someone I obviously outclass on gear I'll run back and ask them to wait a sec while I switch gear. A few times I've given away some of my precious upgraded gear to people really struggling with the game (though usually its just spare pick ups that I give away, not my upgrades).

I don't think it would be as divided as people think. The people playing currently will most likely stick to traditional mode. New players will be split between the two, but many of the people running towards the easy mode would not have otherwise bought the game at all, so it isn't really a net loss.

Lonewolfm16:
Heres the thing... no one is forcing you to play the easy mode. If you don't like it, you cna pretend its not there.

How about I put my finger in your face all day and you pretend it isn't there? Has anyone ever spoiled the ending of a movie for you? It changes the tension of the situation even if I never touch it.

It may be a option for other people, but you have made it very clear where you stand on the issue, so I can almost guarentee it is not a option for you. I just don't see how the mere knowledge of its existance would ruin everything.

Well the mere knowledge would only affect the tension (no small point by the way), the sense of reward offered by the learning experience, and arguably change the community aspects. Now that wouldn't be such a huge deal in most games, but Dark Souls is not most games. You wouldn't take exploration out of Skyrim, because Skyrim sacrifices everything else in the name of exploration. So you shouldn't take the learning experience out of Dark Souls, and you shouldn't add anything that fucks with it or makes it less rewarding. And that learning rests on the difficulty of the encounters. From creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki:

"What Dark Souls is offering is a feeling of accomplishment. That is the game concept of Dark Souls, so it looks a difficult game. Dark Souls is a game offering a feeling of accomplishment which may be relatively rare among other games nowadays"

(emphasis mine) I use this quote not because I care what his intentions were, but because I think he succeeded and that's the experience I am looking for.

Unless you are argueing you would be tempted to use it then I don't see your problem. What if there was a check box, that you clicked and then it asked you to confirm a few times, and that made sure the easy mode was never accessible to you. Would that help?

No, I would know it's there. I would know I can beat Ceaseless Discharge. I would know I can beat Nito. It would not be the same. In some other game, that may not be a big deal. But as I keep saying, this isn't that game.

I don't see why anyone would purposefully limit the options avalible to them on how to play the game but you are argueing for limiting everyone who plays the game's options so I guess my normal logic has failed here.

Because not having that option is integral to the sense of helplessness in the game and the sense of achievement I get when I beat that boss. Not having the option is the whole point. It's the difference between "oh neat, a gaping dragon" and "OH MY GOD IT'S A GAPING DRAGOOOORRRRN!!1!" It's the difference between "phew, that was tough" and "I... AM... GOD!!!" It also makes the process of learning how to beat enemies and encounters more rewarding. Overcoming a genuine obstacle is always more rewarding then one imposed by the player on him/herself.

And it's true, if there's no easy mode, people who want an easy mode won't like it. But if you trivialize tension and accomplishment in one of the very few games that are designed around them, I won't like it. So we're at an impasse. Everyone tries to make me out the bad guy, but is it really so freaking wrong to have ONE difficult game? Think about it. The question is whether any game, any, at all that doesn't have an easy mode, should be allowed to exist. And you're basically telling me that even ONE instance of that is bad, that LITERALLY EVERYTHING should have this particular option, and there is LITERALLY NO CIRCUMSTANCE that could be an exception. Do you really think that is fair to me? If you want an accessible game, why don't you play, oh I don't know, anything? Literally anything that isn't Dark Souls? Let me have one freaking game, for the love of all that is holy.

At the very least, I think it's POSSIBLE for a game to exist that would not be improved by the addition of an easy mode.

barbzilla:
I am not making any assumptions as to how they would have implemented the easy mode. I realise that they can massively screw up the way the game plays if they do not implement it correctly. I'm not so thick as to be unable to empathise with your points entirely. I am sorry if I came off as calling you elitist, that wasn't my intention. I only wanted to point out that in your previous post you claim to want the game to remain the same so that you can have a game that is difficult for others to beat. If that wasn't the actual point and I am off base I am sorry.

You are correct in that, but I don't think you understand why I think it should be difficult for others. It's not because I want them to be frustrated, it's not because I love to brag, it's not because I want to cull out the weak, it's nothing like that. It's because if Dark Souls wasn't hard, it wouldn't be a very good game. And it's because if an easy mode exists, it exists in my reality too, not just yours. You seem to view the game's difficulty as incidental. You are not understanding that it's integral. No difficulty = no learning process = no significant content = shit game = bad reception = no more Souls series. Either that or they change the entire design focus of the game.

You however keep making a correlation fallacy by saying x = y. You are saying if they implement an easy mode it WILL effect your gameplay. I am simply saying that it does not have to. I actually agree with you about games that went the route of the elder scrolls by slowly dumping game mechanics and adding new ones just to appeal to a broader audience. I don't want that for dark souls either, but them implementing an easy mode does not mean they will do that (yet another correlation fallacy that you make).

"Seeking a broader audience leads to selling out the core audience" is only a correlation fallacy if one isn't causing the other. And it's very obvious that selling out the core audience has very often come as the direct result of seeking that broader appeal.

It does not make sense to seek a broader audience (what implementing an 'easy' mode actually is) and leave the normal Dark Souls experience unchanged. Would you leave the story inaccessible? How about the level progression? Or the combat mechanics and encounters? No, you adjust them to accommodate the new audience, the same audience you designed the easy mode for. It's a severe practical challenge and it pulls you in two direction in terms of design, and history leaves no doubt which tends to win out.

I get why you think it is possible for both sides of the issue to pull a win out of this, but I think it is so unlikely it is only reasonable to assume that won't happen. And the stakes are ten times higher for my side of the issue then the other.

So please feel free to have your own opinion on the matter, I know I do. But, maybe, try to take others points into consideration instead of refuting them absolutely. The argument is null and void at this point anyway as From has said there will be no Easy mode. This is the very reason I wanted discussion on the multiplayer aspect and not the previous arguments.

Happy Hunting

Maybe I feel like people are trying to refute my arguments absolutely lol.

Blazingdragoon04:

krazykidd:
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.

Haha, I had this attitude at first. However, 2nd day of playing I ran into someone that I'm, to this day, 99% sure he was cheating.

Was in human form for like, the second time near the entrance to the Church in the Undead Parish when I was invaded. Being a magic user I was already at a disadvantage, and he eventually kept poisoning me to death. Only later did I find out why he kept trying to get into melee range; he was a darkwraith. Second day of the game and I run into a darkwraith, one with a ton of health too since I backstabbed him at least 3 times in a row and hit him with magic when he tried to drain me.

Honestly, that ruined the experience of online for me until I started someone who wasn't a mage.

He didn't cheat.You can be a Darkwraith at Lv1.

FriedRicer:

barbzilla:

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

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.

The game was made with an emphasis on tactics NOT reflex.In fact,that is the very reason why Miyazaki spoke so highly of the shield.I have beaten the game with multiple "tactics" and strategies and I can honestly say that if you can't beat dark souls the problem lies with you.There are far too many ways to tackle most bosses and item drops that allow you to tackle each challenge with absolutely no reflex.Name a boss.I can probably tell an item on that bosses way that could help you.

Oh and I know you beat the game,so you are not who I am addressing with my entire post.

Also, Easy Mode?-No trophies...discuss.

Well the game does emphasise tactics. I agree ( I seem to be saying that a lot), but (I seem to be saying this a lot too lol) the initial battle with a new enemy is reliant of reflex. People who are slow learners or people who have poor reflex will have many battles with these enemies before they can potentially figure their movements out. If it is one battle too many, that is one player lost. That player isn't coming back and we have a net loss. Once they get past the initial "Ohhh, I see" they can rely on tactics 90% of the time instead of reflex.

I'd be fine with Easy Mode = No Trophies/achievements/steam thingys. My only argument in favor of an easy mode is giving from more money to make more games like this. I've encouraged all of my friends to buy it and try it, but that is about all I can do as an individual (short of donating mass funds I don't have).

Rooster Cogburn:
Maybe I feel like people are trying to refute my arguments absolutely lol.

Well congratulations, you've finally sold me on a point. I can see now a bit clearer why you feel that an easy mode would ruin it for you and other like you (your explanation to lonewolf cleared it up). I don't necessarily think it should stop From from trying, but that's me.

I guess when it comes down to it, the basis of the argument comes down to. There is a chance we could sell more copies and keep the game the same, lets do it; There is a chance they can ruin the game and they would never make another one. So either side isn't wrong or right, we just both have our opinions of why it should or shouldn't happen.

Anyway, no hard feelings m8. I was genuinely interested in the why of it from your viewpoint, not so much interested in the tension we sparked.

barbzilla:

FriedRicer:

barbzilla:

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.

The game was made with an emphasis on tactics NOT reflex.In fact,that is the very reason why Miyazaki spoke so highly of the shield.I have beaten the game with multiple "tactics" and strategies and I can honestly say that if you can't beat dark souls the problem lies with you.There are far too many ways to tackle most bosses and item drops that allow you to tackle each challenge with absolutely no reflex.Name a boss.I can probably tell an item on that bosses way that could help you.

Oh and I know you beat the game,so you are not who I am addressing with my entire post.

Also, Easy Mode?-No trophies...discuss.

Well the game does emphasise tactics. I agree ( I seem to be saying that a lot), but (I seem to be saying this a lot too lol) the initial battle with a new enemy is reliant of reflex. People who are slow learners or people who have poor reflex will have many battles with these enemies before they can potentially figure their movements out. If it is one battle too many, that is one player lost. That player isn't coming back and we have a net loss. Once they get past the initial "Ohhh, I see" they can rely on tactics 90% of the time instead of reflex.

I'd be fine with Easy Mode = No Trophies/achievements/steam thingys. My only argument in favor of an easy mode is giving from more money to make more games like this. I've encouraged all of my friends to buy it and try it, but that is about all I can do as an individual (short of donating mass funds I don't have).

I agree,but(lol),When you see a new enemy-put up your shield.They will expose their pattern and then you kill them.p No enemy I can think of escaped this method when first seen.

Rooster Cogburn:

It does not make sense to seek a broader audience (what implementing an 'easy' mode actually is) and leave the normal Dark Souls experience unchanged. Would you leave the story inaccessible? How about the level progression? Or the combat mechanics and encounters? No, you adjust them to accommodate the new audience, the same audience you designed the easy mode for. It's a severe practical challenge and it pulls you in two direction in terms of design, and history leaves no doubt which tends to win out.

You act that adding in an easy mode necessarily means that they would have to dumb everything down. Why? Why can't they just apply modifiers to stats to make the enemies easier to kill and the player less easy to kill? They already have a system in place to apply modifiers to stats with the NG+ system. What is stopping them from making easy mode just NG-1 or NG-2? It would be easy as hell to implement and not effect the main game whatsoever.

FriedRicer:

barbzilla:

FriedRicer:

The game was made with an emphasis on tactics NOT reflex.In fact,that is the very reason why Miyazaki spoke so highly of the shield.I have beaten the game with multiple "tactics" and strategies and I can honestly say that if you can't beat dark souls the problem lies with you.There are far too many ways to tackle most bosses and item drops that allow you to tackle each challenge with absolutely no reflex.Name a boss.I can probably tell an item on that bosses way that could help you.

Oh and I know you beat the game,so you are not who I am addressing with my entire post.

Also, Easy Mode?-No trophies...discuss.

Well the game does emphasise tactics. I agree ( I seem to be saying that a lot), but (I seem to be saying this a lot too lol) the initial battle with a new enemy is reliant of reflex. People who are slow learners or people who have poor reflex will have many battles with these enemies before they can potentially figure their movements out. If it is one battle too many, that is one player lost. That player isn't coming back and we have a net loss. Once they get past the initial "Ohhh, I see" they can rely on tactics 90% of the time instead of reflex.

I'd be fine with Easy Mode = No Trophies/achievements/steam thingys. My only argument in favor of an easy mode is giving from more money to make more games like this. I've encouraged all of my friends to buy it and try it, but that is about all I can do as an individual (short of donating mass funds I don't have).

I agree,but(lol),When you see a new enemy-put up your shield.They will expose their pattern and then you kill them.p No enemy I can think of escaped this method when first seen.

Works very well once you get a 100% shield and enough stam/stability to withstand the attacks. The first time that new player comes up on the most basic enemy doing the rapid slash you will stagger pretty quick. Although it really isn't that hard to figure out once you understand the leveling system and what the game requires of you. That being said, how long was it before you even understood what Stability on a shield meant?

BreakfastMan:

Rooster Cogburn:

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.

Let me just leave this here...

BreakfastMan:

Why? Why would they possibly want to make the game easier when nearly all of the feedback has complimented them on how hard the game is? It makes no sense, from a business standpoint or a design standpoint. That is why this is a slippery slope fallacy: you are assuming that one necessarily follows the other, when that is not the case. Yes, they will keep the lower barrier of entry in mind for future titles, but do you know what else they will keep in mind? How much so many liked how difficult the game was. Games are not designed for the lowest possible entry point. They are designed for the largest base. And the largest base is the one that likes the difficulty.

Just take the already existing NG+ mechanics, and change some code slightly so players at the new mode start at something like NG-1 or NG-2 (in terms of modifiers applied to stats). Bam, solved it, I am a genius.

It sounds deceptively simple, but it's really just deceptive. Scaling the HP up makes the mechanics more relevant. Scaling the HP down makes the mechanics less relevant. By "mechanics" I mean things like parry/riposte, backstab, shield protection/stability, poise, spell use limits, weapon movesets, timing, spacing, weapon scaling, equipment upgrades, etc. This game emphasizes those things heavily, or rather learning to take advantage of them. But if I can defeat that first Black Knight without undergoing that learning process, the experience is fundamentally different, especially in the way the player approaches the encounters. By scaling the health points UP, you bring that learning process back into the limelight. It's an attempt to bring that learning experience into sharper focus and recreate it for experienced players. Bringing the health points DOWN has the opposite effect.

So what this means is, you make an easy mode that you know is relatively shitty and boring or you account for the easy mode in the design of the game's mechanics.

EDIT: Just saw your other post. The only reason to add an easy mode is to expand the game's appeal to an audience outside your core fanbase. If they do that I expect From to make adjustments to make the game less shitty and more enticing to the new audience. It only makes sense for them to do that, and they would only be doing what pretty much every other developer has done. Even if you don't have to sell out your core audience to chase that broad appeal, it's very hard to walk that line, which is why virtually no series (none I can think of) has done so successfully.

Additionally, you can leave the normal mode perfectly intact (still extremely unlikely) while changing the way I experience it.

Why does everyone seem to be thinking that having optional difficulties ruin a game? Now I have played through some hard games and I love the gratification of feeling badass when I accomplish something as much as anyone else, but does easy mode really ruin things for us?

There are plenty of easy games out there and I want optional difficulties for games that are too easy and most of you will agree when I say that we should be able to pick a harder difficulty. However so many of you seem to refuse to consider that hard games should have an easier difficulty.

Let people pick their difficulty rather than having a set difficulty that only appeals to a few.

barbzilla:

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?

No, I argue that the potential playerbase will be split between the easy-moders and the hard-moders, assuming of course the online system even works that way.
An easy mode will result in a different game, for a myriad of reasons explained all throughout this thread. Less reliance on co-op, easier bosses = less reliance on gear and levelling, less incentive to be human, less forcing you to learn the game's intricacies to survive. No, the game WE love will only suffer from this.

What's your source for those potential hundreds of thousands? You're talking like an authority on the subject.

Assuming a 50-50 split, the game will have to sell double before more players join either game mode. Where is your evidence for double sales? I don't see it. The people who are put off are obviously in the minority given the niche that this game fills; unless you'd want to dispute that, in which case I'd like to remind you that it's the strict difficulty that caused the game's popularity to begin with.

Let me say it once again: If Demon's Souls was an easier game, it would have had much less sales. Dark Souls would probably not have been made thanks to that.
There's a psychological aspect to difficulty selection: people usually aren't masochists. They choose the difficulty appropiate for beating the game faster and with less hassle. I know I would. By giving us no alternative, the game is making us play it the way it wants to. I do believe, yes, that in this case, more choice is a detriment to the game.

Rooster Cogburn:
It sounds deceptively simple, but it's really just deceptive. Scaling the HP up makes the mechanics more relevant. Scaling the HP down makes the mechanics less relevant. By "mechanics" I mean things like parry/riposte, backstab, shield protection/stability, poise, spell use limits, weapon movesets, timing, spacing, weapon scaling, equipment upgrades, etc. This game emphasizes those things heavily, or rather learning to take advantage of them. But if I can defeat that first Black Knight without undergoing that learning process, the experience is fundamentally different, especially in the way the player approaches the encounters. By scaling the health points UP, you bring that learning process back into the limelight. It's an attempt to bring that learning experience into sharper focus and recreate it for experienced players. Bringing the health points DOWN has the opposite effect.

So what this means is, you make an easy mode that you know is relatively shitty and boring or you account for the easy mode in the design of the game's mechanics.

I... don't see how you got that conclusion. The mechanics are still there, simply making the player less easy to kill doesn't take them away from learning them. It just means they are not forced to use them, so they can learn them at their own pace. Players will still explore their options, they will still try new things. There is no logical reason to cut mechanics because some players don't learn them fast enough, it makes no sense. Yet, this is what you are proposing the devs are going to do if an easy mode is added.

And the easy mode might be boring and crappy for you; for others, it might be awesome. Don't generalize your experience to everyone.

The only thing I can say about the Souls series and easy mode is this:
I personally wouldn't mind an Easy mode, because I will not play on it.

Here's an idea for it though, they could do it like Resident Evil 2/3 did. Easy mode allows you to start with better items, increased drops, etc. But you can't unlock ANYTHING (from what I remember, you couldn't only get certain weapons if you played on "Hard", which was effectively the exact game, but you started with 100 extra bullets and in Assault Rifle on 2 and 3.

Here is what I would do:
Normal players start on the games main difficulty(New Game, or NG)
Easy players start on NG-

NG-: enemy health and damage is reduced by about 25-50%, drop rates are increased for everything except upgrade stone, which are REDUCED. Boss souls do not drop, and upgrade Slabs do not exist. Once the player beats NG-, they are put into NG difficulty, but with the same restrictions as NG-. NG- players can only invade/co-op with other NG- characters. Messages can be read by everyone.

NG: Enemy health and damage is normal, drop rates are balanced for everything, Boss souls DO drop and Upgrade Slabs Drop/can be found at their normal places. NG players can play with anyone NG or higher.

This way "Content Tourists" are happy they can see the ending and experience all the bosses, lesser skilled/patient players can practice against bosses, and the current fans can still have their game balanced just like the older entries. And to top it all off, players on Easy have incentive to play on Hard.

I don't have good internet. I actually have very, very awful internet. I wouldn't mind being invaded if it didn't mean being unable to fight them. But I've played and beaten Dark Souls entirely on my own, all the way from NG to NG++, so I fail to see the need in summoning people to help me out. I wouldn't mind playing it online like I did Demon's Souls, but I fear I may not get that chance anytime soon.

BreakfastMan:
I... don't see how you got that conclusion. The mechanics are still there, simply making the player less easy to kill doesn't take them away from learning them. It just means they are not forced to use them, so they can learn them at their own pace. Players will still explore their options, they will still try new things. There is no logical reason to cut mechanics because some players don't learn them fast enough, it makes no sense. Yet, this is what you are proposing the devs are going to do if an easy mode is added.

And the easy mode might be boring and crappy for you; for others, it might be awesome. Don't generalize your experience to everyone.

You can already learn the mechanics at your own pace. What you're talking about is effectively making them irrelevant, and eliminating or at least minimizing that carefully crafted learning experience. That's the only reason to scale down the HP, that's all you accomplish. There is little technical skill in taking advantage of the mechanics after you have learned them. The game is impenetrable when you start, but it's all easy one-hit kills (heh just about) when you master it. The fun is in getting from Point A to Point B, that's why the game is designed the way it is. That's why you can't expect people who aren't learning the mechanics because the game doesn't require it of them to have any fun.

There is every logical reason to cut and adjust mechanics to accommodate new audiences who don't want to engage the existing content. I don't see how anyone in 2012 could deny that is typical developer behavior.

No, it would be boring and crappy for them as well, unless they have a thing for boring and crappy games. I'm human, I can generalize how people may feel about things, that's allowed.

BreakfastMan:

Just take the already existing NG+ mechanics, and change some code slightly so players at the new mode start at something like NG-1 or NG-2 (in terms of modifiers applied to stats). Bam, solved it, I am a genius.

Congrats, you're a genius. Have you thought about how this would affect low level PVP? As in, people who start playing on a harder difficulty only to be ganked by easy moders who have access to all the loot from the earlier playthrough.

But that wouldn't have a chance to happen for many people because easy mode would become the no-brainer choice for a first playthrough. Some people would get bored before they get to the game's challenging parts. By introducing NG-1, you've screwed NG vanilla.

Fundamental design shifts like this aren't made on a 2 minute "genius" idea for a reason.

Organic difficulty is what we need, not a "make me Commander Shepard" button. There's a certain problem with the imbalanced nature of the difficulty curve and putting off less people would certainly help. But I maintain that manually choosing a difficulty mode isn't the way to go.

Rooster Cogburn:

Lonewolfm16:
Heres the thing... no one is forcing you to play the easy mode. If you don't like it, you cna pretend its not there.

How about I put my finger in your face all day and you pretend it isn't there? Has anyone ever spoiled the ending of a movie for you? It changes the tension of the situation even if I never touch it.

It may be a option for other people, but you have made it very clear where you stand on the issue, so I can almost guarentee it is not a option for you. I just don't see how the mere knowledge of its existance would ruin everything.

Well the mere knowledge would only affect the tension (no small point by the way), the sense of reward offered by the learning experience, and arguably change the community aspects. Now that wouldn't be such a huge deal in most games, but Dark Souls is not most games. You wouldn't take exploration out of Skyrim, because Skyrim sacrifices everything else in the name of exploration. So you shouldn't take the learning experience out of Dark Souls, and you shouldn't add anything that fucks with it or makes it less rewarding. And that learning rests on the difficulty of the encounters. From creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki:

"What Dark Souls is offering is a feeling of accomplishment. That is the game concept of Dark Souls, so it looks a difficult game. Dark Souls is a game offering a feeling of accomplishment which may be relatively rare among other games nowadays"

(emphasis mine) I use this quote not because I care what his intentions were, but because I think he succeeded and that's the experience I am looking for.

Unless you are argueing you would be tempted to use it then I don't see your problem. What if there was a check box, that you clicked and then it asked you to confirm a few times, and that made sure the easy mode was never accessible to you. Would that help?

No, I would know it's there. I would know I can beat Ceaseless Discharge. I would know I can beat Nito. It would not be the same. In some other game, that may not be a big deal. But as I keep saying, this isn't that game.

I don't see why anyone would purposefully limit the options avalible to them on how to play the game but you are argueing for limiting everyone who plays the game's options so I guess my normal logic has failed here.

Because not having that option is integral to the sense of helplessness in the game and the sense of achievement I get when I beat that boss. Not having the option is the whole point. It's the difference between "oh neat, a gaping dragon" and "OH MY GOD IT'S A GAPING DRAGOOOORRRRN!!1!" It's the difference between "phew, that was tough" and "I... AM... GOD!!!" It also makes the process of learning how to beat enemies and encounters more rewarding. Overcoming a genuine obstacle is always more rewarding then one imposed by the player on him/herself.

And it's true, if there's no easy mode, people who want an easy mode won't like it. But if you trivialize tension and accomplishment in one of the very few games that are designed around them, I won't like it. So we're at an impasse. Everyone tries to make me out the bad guy, but is it really so freaking wrong to have ONE difficult game? Think about it. The question is whether any game, any, at all that doesn't have an easy mode, should be allowed to exist. And you're basically telling me that even ONE instance of that is bad, that LITERALLY EVERYTHING should have this particular option, and there is LITERALLY NO CIRCUMSTANCE that could be an exception. Do you really think that is fair to me? If you want an accessible game, why don't you play, oh I don't know, anything? Literally anything that isn't Dark Souls? Let me have one freaking game, for the love of all that is holy.

At the very least, I think it's POSSIBLE for a game to exist that would not be improved by the addition of an easy mode.

barbzilla:
I am not making any assumptions as to how they would have implemented the easy mode. I realise that they can massively screw up the way the game plays if they do not implement it correctly. I'm not so thick as to be unable to empathise with your points entirely. I am sorry if I came off as calling you elitist, that wasn't my intention. I only wanted to point out that in your previous post you claim to want the game to remain the same so that you can have a game that is difficult for others to beat. If that wasn't the actual point and I am off base I am sorry.

You are correct in that, but I don't think you understand why I think it should be difficult for others. It's not because I want them to be frustrated, it's not because I love to brag, it's not because I want to cull out the weak, it's nothing like that. It's because if Dark Souls wasn't hard, it wouldn't be a very good game. And it's because if an easy mode exists, it exists in my reality too, not just yours. You seem to view the game's difficulty as incidental. You are not understanding that it's integral. No difficulty = no learning process = no significant content = shit game = bad reception = no more Souls series. Either that or they change the entire design focus of the game.

You however keep making a correlation fallacy by saying x = y. You are saying if they implement an easy mode it WILL effect your gameplay. I am simply saying that it does not have to. I actually agree with you about games that went the route of the elder scrolls by slowly dumping game mechanics and adding new ones just to appeal to a broader audience. I don't want that for dark souls either, but them implementing an easy mode does not mean they will do that (yet another correlation fallacy that you make).

"Seeking a broader audience leads to selling out the core audience" is only a correlation fallacy if one isn't causing the other. And it's very obvious that selling out the core audience has very often come as the direct result of seeking that broader appeal.

It does not make sense to seek a broader audience (what implementing an 'easy' mode actually is) and leave the normal Dark Souls experience unchanged. Would you leave the story inaccessible? How about the level progression? Or the combat mechanics and encounters? No, you adjust them to accommodate the new audience, the same audience you designed the easy mode for. It's a severe practical challenge and it pulls you in two direction in terms of design, and history leaves no doubt which tends to win out.

I get why you think it is possible for both sides of the issue to pull a win out of this, but I think it is so unlikely it is only reasonable to assume that won't happen. And the stakes are ten times higher for my side of the issue then the other.

So please feel free to have your own opinion on the matter, I know I do. But, maybe, try to take others points into consideration instead of refuting them absolutely. The argument is null and void at this point anyway as From has said there will be no Easy mode. This is the very reason I wanted discussion on the multiplayer aspect and not the previous arguments.

Happy Hunting

Maybe I feel like people are trying to refute my arguments absolutely lol.

How does my check box that permanantly blocks off easy mode not help? Sure you can say someone else might be able to beat Nito and the rest, but you don't have that option. It would restore the game to its normal state, for you leaving everyone else to choose their own path. Also I am with Yahtzee on this one, every game that can have difficulty options, should. Difficulty is hard to nail down because players bring vastly diffrent expierences, difficulty prefrences, and natural skill levels into each game. Normal mode is basically what the devlopers worked out as the ideal difficulty, then usually have a hard mode for greater challenge, a easy mode for those without expierence or who lack confidence in their abilities, and mabey a hardcore mode for those who like nail-biting frustration. This difficulty system is popular because it works, it allows as wide a range of players as possible the best expierence possible. Of course some games don't work well with difficulty settings. Again to use Yahtzee's example platformers would do poorly trying to incorporate difficulty. Mabey Dark Souls need a little bit less tradtional difficulty adjustment, but some adjustment option would be nice. Again I stand by my "option to permanently disable difficulty settings thereby preserving tension" system. Explain why this wouldn't work. It gives you your prefered "true" darksouls and everyone else a nice choice.

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