Dark Souls: an experiment in logic

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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.

Very much depends on level and equipment. There are several things whose opening assault could mangle you even with a shield if you aren't properly upgraded. And a couple that could even if you were.

But otherwise a good tactic.

OT: Erm would it bother me if they added 'Easy?' Probably. Although I couldn't tell you exactly why. Dark Souls is already a lot easier than Demon's Souls and since release the patches have made it much easier in general over the vanilla game.

I don't actually remember this coming up about Demon's Souls :/ Maybe the multiplat has just got so many more people into it than Demon's where the fact that we got an official English release was good enough.

I'd like to think that From just made the game that they wanted to make regardless of reception. The thing that seems to be mostly missing this generation is that not all games are for everyone. We're losing niche markets in regards to professional titles.

There's no other form of art (Media, what ever) that gives the audience control over the creators intentions.

"I don't like how hard this game is. I'm going to change it."
"I don't like that The Mona Lisa isn't smiling. I'm going to change it."
"I don't like that that character died. I'm going to change it."

If the creators intended to make the game that punishingly hard that's the experience they want to convey. That's the experience you either accept or don't.

In the case of Dark Souls making it easier doesn't diminish the experiences it removes it. If a menu option is all that stands between you and a formerly insurmountable challenge that's not what the creators intended, that's not Dark Souls.

poiumty:
snip

The thousands that I said comes from an article I read when the easy mode was mistakenly announced. The POTENTIALLY hundreds of thousands is just an extrapolation based on the thousands information I was provided with. Assuming they don't know about every person on the earth who would play it one can safely assume there will be more than an already known quantity. Either way I wasn't trying to get an exact number across, I was actually aiming more for a percentage of the current user base as I was informed about a demographic regarding the number of people abandoning the game before getting much farther than the Asylum that states around 12% of the people who purchased the game quit (this is quoting a person and not a source so I can't validate its authenticity).

As for the argument on if we should or shouldn't I have finally gotten a viewpoint I can validate in favor of not implementing the change, so I have taken a step towards your side. I was more interested in the why of it though, I don't mean to change From's mind.

Rooster Cogburn:

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.

No, you can't. You really, really can't, the game forces you to learn most of them quite early on.

What you're talking about is effectively making them irrelevant, and eliminating or at least minimizing that carefully crafted learning experience.

No, I am not. I am talking about letting the user learn them at a more relaxed pace, not cutting the need for them entirely.

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.

Okay, so everybody needs to be forced by the game to learn all the mechanics? They can't learn it by exploring what different weapons can do, what they get from talking to different merchants, and what they get from exploring the environment? They have to be forced to learn by the difficulty of the game, they cannot learn by exploring. That is basically what this is coming across as: that people don't learn mechanics as they explore the game, they have to be forced to use them because of the difficulty. And that is absurd.

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.

Yep, because it totally makes sense to make your game easier in order to attract the COD market to your still niche title, and not make it harder to attract more people. Oh wait, they already did the later.

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.

You can't assume everyone enjoys things the same way you do, though. Not everyone plays games for the challenge.

poiumty:
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.

That is what match-making is for. Have easy players only get into matches with others who played on easy.

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.

Just like some people got frustrated with the harder parts and quit in NG vanilla? I don't see how introducing an NG-1 mode would screw NG.

Good to know I was not the only one who went for the graveyard at first. Man I sure did feel like a total idiot after spending over an hour sloowly grinding a couple of levels on those skeletons.

I avoid the online part of the game as much as possible. Mainly because I don't want to risk being invaded by cheaters.

Lonewolfm16:
How does my check box that permanantly blocks off easy mode not help?

Because I'm not an ostrich? lol. I still know it exists. For the purposes of creating tension in the game, knowing that I could've chosen to make Gaping Dragon easy isn't much different from knowing that I still can.

Sure you can say someone else might be able to beat Nito and the rest, but you don't have that option.

In your check-box example, yes I do.

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.

I find that close-minded. Even Yahtzee cannot see all ends. If game design was as simple as separating the good features from the bad ones, no one would ever make a bad game. It's what you are able to accomplish from the interaction of features that counts.

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.

I totally agree with all of this. The question is how does it apply to Dark Souls, a game which incorporates difficulty in its design in an unusual way.

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.

Dark Souls has the same problem, the mechanics are far more relevant than numbers by design. Dark Souls has the additional problem that it's specifically designed to convey a sense of achievement through a learning experience anchored by the difficulty of it's encounters. If the encounters can be breezed through without learning, there is nothing for the player to do that they couldn't have gotten a million other places, probably better.

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.

I don't see why you think giving me the option to turn off the easy mode once and never see it again is significantly different from my option to just never play easy mode. If I'm an idiot for not being satisfied with the latter then I'm the kind of idiot that won't be satisfied with the former.

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.

There are very deaths in this game I would actually call cheap. Most of time if you die, it's most likely your fault. I'm currently watching a guy play through it blind and he's doing very well. He takes his times, observes his surroundings and is very careful on how he takes on new enemies. He's even beaten some bosses I've had trouble with on his first try. And this game is not full with one-hit deaths, that's bullshit. I'm currently doing a SL1 run and nothing in the game so far has been able to one-shot me. If you're getting one-shot by stuff, it's because you haven't been upgrading your armor or health and it's not the games fault if you don't do that. You call it unfair, I think you're just bad at the game.

barbzilla:

FriedRicer:

barbzilla:

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?

You will stagger-but it will never be enough to one-shot after your stamina is drained.Also,they don't chain "flurry"(name?) into oblivion.I pressed select and read what each stat did and I personally checked stability in shields on mobs.It really rewards you the more you treat the game like your are not supposed to win and ANYTHING you can learn is an advantage.Hit skelly with long sword.Hit with mace...hmmm?Why?!Sees weapon attack type.Oooh!No wonder clerics and such pilgrimage towards them!

TL;DR:(How do you do this?)Dunno I walked like a wuss with my shield up and read everything I could. Even if we made bosses and such do less damage, if the player cannot grasp the pattern or "trick" to the enemy(Balder parry/Stone soldier TWOP/BLIGHTTOWN(rofl)),they would still die.

barbzilla:

The thousands that I said comes from an article I read when the easy mode was mistakenly announced. The POTENTIALLY hundreds of thousands is just an extrapolation based on the thousands information I was provided with. Assuming they don't know about every person on the earth who would play it one can safely assume there will be more than an already known quantity. Either way I wasn't trying to get an exact number across, I was actually aiming more for a percentage of the current user base as I was informed about a demographic regarding the number of people abandoning the game before getting much farther than the Asylum that states around 12% of the people who purchased the game quit (this is quoting a person and not a source so I can't validate its authenticity).

As for the argument on if we should or shouldn't I have finally gotten a viewpoint I can validate in favor of not implementing the change, so I have taken a step towards your side. I was more interested in the why of it though, I don't mean to change From's mind.

I see. In cases like this sales are also influenced by popularity and word of mouth, and it's very probable that some casual gamers who didn't know what they were getting into also purchased it. It happens. And, like one of my friends, there's the possibility that the game didn't hook them, not that it was too hard.
That's fine, though. The game is niche for a reason, it fills a specific need for a specific audience. Normally I'd be all for implementing all sorts of difficulty options, but the Souls series isn't made up of normal games. There's a specific design that's taken into account and apart from obvious glaring issues and bug fixes (Hell, I wouldn't mind if they nerfed blighttown poison dart guys or something) there's no real room for casual gaming in it. I still die sometimes because I let my guard down. And although frustrating, I appreciate those moments as a testament to the game's focus.

Besides, there's another argument: I don't want From to get more money. They've already had great success with this series and the quality of a game isn't dictated by how much money you throw at it or how accessible you make it for absolutely everyone. It's possible that 'Souls could become a medieval Call of Duty by concentrating on the combat, pvp and flashy bosses in a way that everyone can experience, with set pieces of elaborate animations and explosions everywhere, but does anyone really want that?

BreakfastMan:

That is what match-making is for. Have easy players only get into matches with others who played on easy.

Just like some people got frustrated with the harder parts and quit in NG vanilla? I don't see how introducing an NG-1 mode would screw NG.

1. I said earlier that with a 50-50 split this would result in half the people actually getting matched with eachother. In this case it wouldn't be a 50-50 split because there's much more people who prefer having an easier time, so you'd be screwing vanilla players even more.

2. First off everyone would recommend new people to start on easy because the game's "so hard".
Then there's the idea that people don't generally want to cripple themselves for a higher challenge and will play on easy anyway. So instead of forcing you to adapt and be good at it, "NG-1" will take some of the challenge out of the game. It may not be much of a problem on the short term, but more people will likely put down the game after they're done with it.
And lastly, it screws up with the game mechanics directly a bit. Why be human when you can just take bosses on yourself? Essentially, only people who are actively looking to get ganked (i.e. no one), gank, or want to do co-op with random strangers (i.e. few people, if there's no need to) will want to be in human mode.

As long as the players that play easy mode don't get to interact with players playing on the original (and far more manly) difficulty level, there isn't a problem with this.

No, don't even try to argue with me, because there's not even a discussion here. If you seriously think that FROM getting more money from casuals without affecting your gameplay experience is a bad thing, there's seriously something wrong with you. If the notion that "omg casuals are gonna be able to beat my SRS DIFICULT HRD GAEM ON LOWER DIFUCLTIZ" even remotely bothers you, you're probably the kind of guy that only bought Dark Souls to brag about it on the internet.

BreakfastMan:

Rooster Cogburn:
You can already learn the mechanics at your own pace.

No, you can't. You really, really can't, the game forces you to learn most of them quite early on.

What you're talking about is effectively making them irrelevant, and eliminating or at least minimizing that carefully crafted learning experience.

No, I am not. I am talking about letting the user learn them at a more relaxed pace, not cutting the need for them entirely.

The game doesn't force you to learn all the mechanics all at once or even particularly early or even at all. I didn't learn them all early, but I still progressed. And I'm not bragging, because I'm not that good.

Okay, so everybody needs to be forced by the game to learn all the mechanics? They can't learn it by exploring what different weapons can do, what they get from talking to different merchants, and what they get from exploring the environment? They have to be forced to learn by the difficulty of the game, they cannot learn by exploring. That is basically what this is coming across as: that people don't learn mechanics as they explore the game, they have to be forced to use them because of the difficulty. And that is absurd.

Learning by exploring is what we have now, along with a hefty dose of trial-and-error and assessing the situation. Not learning at all is what we will have when you cut the damage output without adjusting the mechanics to match. Players won't bother taking advantage of the mechanics when they can just tank the shit out of everything. That's what you're accomplishing by just lowering the enemy damage. You're not making reflexes less relevant because they're already not very important. Your making that learning unnecessary and therefore unused.

Yep, because it totally makes sense to make your game easier in order to attract the COD market to your still niche title, and not make it harder to attract more people. Oh wait, they already did the later.

And you're asking them to do the former. Not sure what your point is.

Are you seriously denying that developers frequently adjust their games to make them more accessible and chase "the COD market"? Seriously? It defies all logic and video game history to tell me any company is going to implement a new mode designed to create a broader appeal but they're not going to do anything to make their game more enticing to the audience that already finds it inaccessible. You have to understand how ludicrous that looks considering the current state of the industry.

You can't assume everyone enjoys things the same way you do, though. Not everyone plays games for the challenge.

But I can hypothesize about what people may or may not enjoy. And in Dark Souls, the challenge is integral to the gameplay. It is what drives the content and the learning process. The learning process is the game's content. It's the interesting part of the game and it's the only thing stopping people from going from start to finish in five hours. Take that away and you are left with a short, crappy RPG because you have gutted the game's content.

This does not apply to all games. I don't think I will shock anyone to say that Dark Souls uses its difficulty in an usual way. The difficulty in Dark Souls isn't incidental. It's not a coincidence, it's not an accident. It's integral. It's the skeleton that everything else hangs off of. Take it away and you have a game that I don't think many people would be satisfied with.

It seems to me that the escapist really needs to have a thread to talk about why an easy mode would be good or bad from their perspective. One with rules and a moderator because there are a lot of logical fallacies in some of these arguments (on both sides but most on the pro easy mode side).

Ive done this dance before so Im going to just repeat what I said in the previous thread. I am a Dark souls purist. My hope and desire is that everyone play the game how I experienced it, to overcome the challenges, and to stand with me next to the rest of the Dark souls community so they can say, with pride, that "I beat Dark souls". That is my wish

I am not, nor will I ever be the kind of person that says someone shouldnt play a game but I will make observations that perhaps a game isnt for them just as racing games arent for me. My Dark souls resume consists of more games and characters then I can count, and I am an avid PVPer who participates in weekend fight clubs every couple of weeks. Even though I play PVP matches a lot I like to build heavy and my favorite character wears the full black iron set with a flaming greatsword

So here as how I see it. I approach this discussion from the outlook of games are art. The original design of the game, as spoken by the development team, is "to create a sense of accomplishment and discovery through the games difficulty." Its already been said that the development teams intentions are unimportant but I whole heartedly disagree. This is a game and games are art. Each piece of art I have ever looked at, watched, read, played, has intentions. Sometimes these are social commentaries, sometimes theyre idealogical outlooks, sometimes its emotional portrayal. The different kinds of intentions that someone can put into a piece of art is as widely varied as people themselves. You can clearly see that the difficulty as well as the cryptic method of storytelling is an artistic method to accomplish the games design goals

Now I believe it is fair to critique art. However unless someone has been promised something I feel that expecting change to piece of art is wrong. In fact I would go so far as to call it hubris.

That said, lets take a look at what the back of the box says and see what consumers were promised. This comes from my Xbox 360 copy with the spanish text and legal xbox info cut out

From the makers of Demon's souls

Prepare to die.

Tense dungeon crawling, Fearsome enemy encounters, Groundbreaking online features

incredible challenge provides an absolute foundation of achievement and reward

Explore a massive seemless world

Overcome terrifying enemies & reclaim your soul

No where in that do I see a promise of completing the game. No where in that do I see a promise that you will love the game. No where in that do I see the promise of difficulty levels (even though theyre already in the game they just arent a menu option). In fact I see a promise that says "incredible challenge".

Just to put the nail in the coffin, lets define incredible. Taken from dictionary.reference.com

in·cred·i·ble
   [in-kred-uh-buhl] Show IPA
adjective
1.so extraordinary as to seem impossible: incredible speed.
2.not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable: The plot of the book is incredible.

So when you pick this game up and read the back (which you should always do if you didnt then frankly I dont know what to say) you know that there will be a challenge level that may seem impossible to overcome. For a lot of new players, and for me, this seems true. Thats why many people fail at the game (failure defined as putting the game down and never picking it up again). As you can see the great difficulty of dark souls is promised to you on the box and it is one of the critical artistic methods used by the developer to create a sense of accomplishment and discovery

So that goes back to my earlier question. Is it right for gamers to ask a developer to change their artistic vision? Very few people will answer the question but my answer is no. I whole heartedly believe that artistic method is sacrosanct. Some people may disagree though I doubt they will really be able to tell me why. Now from my point of view gamers who are approaching this easy mode debate are viewing Dark souls as a product, not a piece of art. I believe this is because they arent used to the idea of games being legally and socially regarded as an artistic medium but it doesnt change the fact that Dark Souls is a work of art and the artistic methods used in the game run counter to how people view what a product should be. Its going to take several years for gamers to evolve past this paradox but I think, given time, we will view games more as art and less as products

That all aside, lets talk about the easy mode and what it means for the stated goal of the game and how it turns counter to the difficulty as artistic method. To me, an easy mode is designed as a mode thats purpose is so anyone can complete the game. This is how an easy mode has been defined since the early days of the NES which is where most aging gamers began (including me). That said the difficulty is there to inspier a sense of accomplishment and discovery. When something is hard and you eventually overcome it and experience the rewards theres a "Holy crap I did it!" moment for a lot of people. Rewards can be a lot of different things but in dark souls it could be a new weapon that looks cool and/or has a great move set, a new set of armor thats amazing and look awesome, lore about the setting and characters, or just secrets which by their definition are inaccesible. Now go back to how I defined an easy mode earlier, how its designed so anyone can complete it. Without that chance of failure there can be no sense of accomplishment in return. Its a yin/yang kind of idea where one can not exist without the other. Dark souls must have unforgiving difficulty if it is to have a genuine sense of accomplishment and discovery (the stated goals of the game)

So now that Ive made my artistic side argument lets talk about some fallacies

1. Not wanting an easy mode just makes you an elitist prick: Incorrect. An elistist prick would tell you suck it up like one of the pro easy mode people told us to do. Not only is this a fallacy because its a personal attack (something the mods should really be curtailing) but its unintelligent and close minded. Unintellgient because it fails to properly explain why an easy mode should be included and close minded because it fails to take into account the feelings of the three sides of the debate.

I want to include everyone that wants to overcome the challenge of the game in our community. I want to help people overcome the challenges, thats why my most played character is a Sun bro whos covenant is designed around jolly cooperation. Purists like me want you to play the game how we played it, to love the game how we love it, and to stand with us.

2. An easy mode wont effect your game what so ever.: Again incorrect. There is no way to put an easy mode only into some players games. The optional patches argument could be made but that fails to take into the account that lessening difficulty means lessening the sense of accomplishment across the board. Let me make a wow comparison here. There was this hunter only set and the bow was called Rhok da lar (or something like that). A person had to solo several elite demons to get the set and it was a real accomplishment to get it. Having it meant you were a good player, not just competant. However as more people got that weapon it lessened the special significance it had. Its the same with dark souls, Im one of three people I know of that PVP in full or nearly full black iron gear but if more and more people get that gear and use it in PVP then my look and play style become less significant. This is only one example of how it will effect my game

An easy mode does effect our game even if its not in our game. Its just the effects are far more subtle

3. You shouldnt care and you're just being selfish if you do! False and True. False because Im a fan, I feel very strongly about the game I love. Just how I love my family, my home, my dog, going hunting, and playing games. I care about the things I love, just as I would expect every human being to.

I know I said this was about fallacies but I think these deserves a special mention. Now its true that not wanting an easy mode is selfish. However as I see it, Human achievement is relative to what everyone else in the species can and can not do. You can call me selfish and Ill agree with that but dont come to me on a high horse trying to effect my experience. You are being just as selfish as I am, in fact more so since I came to dark souls on my own and now youre trying to change my experience

4. By including an easy mode and making the game more accessible Fromsoft will make more money.: Doubtful. What you're talking about here is targeting people outside your core audience. Over the years Ive seen many franchises reinvent themselves to target larger audiences. This has always had 3 outcomes. 1. The core audience it was targeting becomes disatisfied and leaves. 2. The reinvention never really targets new people, giving a mediocre experience to them and translates into less sales. 3. The franchises are quickly forgotten or slowly die out.

I understand why you would come to that conclusion, on paper it makes sense but a lot of things make sense of paper and dont work out in real life. If you think that fromsoft can reinvent dark souls as an easy and accessible game and make more money then you obviously do not know the history of video games. There has been no franchise in history that has successfully done this yet. Im not saying it cant happen but I am saying that it flies in the face of video game history

poiumty:

BreakfastMan:

That is what match-making is for. Have easy players only get into matches with others who played on easy.

Just like some people got frustrated with the harder parts and quit in NG vanilla? I don't see how introducing an NG-1 mode would screw NG.

1. I said earlier that with a 50-50 split this would result in half the people actually getting matched with eachother. In this case it wouldn't be a 50-50 split because there's much more people who prefer having an easier time, so you'd be screwing vanilla players even more.

Really? Do you have anything else to back up this idea other than assumptions?

2. First off everyone would recommend new people to start on easy because the game's "so hard".

I thought difficulty was a main part of why many people liked the game? I mean, if that is so, why would people be reccomending that people start in a mode that would not give them as much enjoyment? It seems like this would be a problem with the community, more than anything.

Then there's the idea that people don't generally want to cripple themselves for a higher challenge and will play on easy anyway.

So most people play games on easy? Good to know.

So instead of forcing you to adapt and be good at it, "NG-1" will take some of the challenge out of the game.

As it should, being the easy mode.

It may not be much of a problem on the short term, but more people will likely put down the game after they're done with it.

As most people do with most video games already. I mean, I completed Demon's Souls, and I haven't touched it since. Same with hundreds of other games. What exactly is your point, here?

And lastly, it screws up with the game mechanics directly a bit. Why be human when you can just take bosses on yourself?

Don't most people do that anyway?

Essentially, only people who are actively looking to get ganked (i.e. no one), gank, or want to do co-op with random strangers (i.e. few people, if there's no need to) will want to be in human mode.

If they are playing on easy.

Naeras:
As long as the players that play easy mode don't get to interact with players playing on the original (and far more manly) difficulty level, there isn't a problem with this.

No, don't even try to argue with me, because there's not even a discussion here. If you seriously think that FROM getting more money from casuals without affecting your gameplay experience is a bad thing, there's seriously something wrong with you. If the notion that "omg casuals are gonna be able to beat my SRS DIFICULT HRD GAEM ON LOWER DIFUCLTIZ" even remotely bothers you, you're probably the kind of guy that only bought Dark Souls to brag about it on the internet.

It is not always about the money(cheesy I know).Some products are made to be an exclusive experience rather than hit demographics for more money. If FROM made a game with more access to it's content for easy mode-fine.But the Souls series is built for learning and patience. Again,the game is not hard if you do these things. If you looked at the layout they gave you and still said that this game is hard or cheap or relies too heavily on reflexes-you have been playing the game with a mindset from another game and expecting it to work even though it fails.
Repeatedly. If you search every room before advancing to the next SLOWLY this game is on easy mode.The Difficulty is reflected on the way you play.Ironically the game has presented players with an easy mode-when they decided to play it at its base difficulty.

TLDR:I don't think you beat Asylum Demon.

Rooster Cogburn:

Okay, so everybody needs to be forced by the game to learn all the mechanics? They can't learn it by exploring what different weapons can do, what they get from talking to different merchants, and what they get from exploring the environment? They have to be forced to learn by the difficulty of the game, they cannot learn by exploring. That is basically what this is coming across as: that people don't learn mechanics as they explore the game, they have to be forced to use them because of the difficulty. And that is absurd.

Learning by exploring is what we have now, along with a hefty dose of trial-and-error and assessing the situation. Not learning at all is what we will have when you cut the damage output without adjusting the mechanics to match. Players won't bother taking advantage of the mechanics when they can just tank the shit out of everything. That's what you're accomplishing by just lowering the enemy damage. You're not making reflexes less relevant because they're already not very important. Your making that learning unnecessary and therefore unused.

A: Some people really, REALLY don't like trial and error gameplay and B: people would still learn by exploring the game. I found Dishonored fairly easy, for instance, and I still took every opportunity to explore every nook and cranny and explore all the options and mechanics. It may come as a shock, but some people don't need difficulty as an incentive to explore a games mechanics: the simple joy of figuring out all the stuff that you can do is enough for them.

Yep, because it totally makes sense to make your game easier in order to attract the COD market to your still niche title, and not make it harder to attract more people. Oh wait, they already did the later.

And you're asking them to do the former. Not sure what your point is.

No, I am not. The COD market do not play COD because of how easy it is. They play it because it is fast-paced and has lots of explosions. Not the same thing.

Are you seriously denying that developers frequently adjust their games to make them more accessible and chase "the COD market"? Seriously? It defies all logic and video game history to tell me any company is going to implement a new mode designed to create a broader appeal but they're not going to do anything to make their game more enticing to the audience that already finds it inaccessible. You have to understand how ludicrous that looks considering the current state of the industry.

The FPS side of it, maybe. This isn't the FPS side. This is possibly the complete opposite side.

You can't assume everyone enjoys things the same way you do, though. Not everyone plays games for the challenge.

But I can hypothesize about what people may or may not enjoy. And in Dark Souls, the challenge is integral to the gameplay.

To you it is. To others, it is not.

It is what drives the content and the learning process. The learning process is the game's content.

Again, to you it is. To me, it is not. And giving the people the option to have a bit easier time with it will not take away from you enjoying your knifes-only NG++ run.

Windcaler:
It seems to me that the escapist really needs to have a thread to talk about why an easy mode would be good or bad from their perspective. One with rules and a moderator because there are a lot of logical fallacies in some of these arguments (on both sides but most on the pro easy mode side).

Ive done this dance before so Im going to just repeat what I said in the previous thread. I am a Dark souls purist. My hope and desire is that everyone play the game how I experienced it, to overcome the challenges, and to stand with me next to the rest of the Dark souls community so they can say, with pride, that "I beat Dark souls". That is my wish

I am not, nor will I ever be the kind of person that says someone shouldnt play a game but I will make observations that perhaps a game isnt for them just as racing games arent for me. My Dark souls resume consists of more games and characters then I can count, and I am an avid PVPer who participates in weekend fight clubs every couple of weeks. Even though I play PVP matches a lot I like to build heavy and my favorite character wears the full black iron set with a flaming greatsword

So here as how I see it. I approach this discussion from the outlook of games are art. The original design of the game, as spoken by the development team, is "to create a sense of accomplishment and discovery through the games difficulty." Its already been said that the development teams intentions are unimportant but I whole heartedly disagree. This is a game and games are art. Each piece of art I have ever looked at, watched, read, played, has intentions. Sometimes these are social commentaries, sometimes theyre idealogical outlooks, sometimes its emotional portrayal. The different kinds of intentions that someone can put into a piece of art is as widely varied as people themselves. You can clearly see that the difficulty as well as the cryptic method of storytelling is an artistic method to accomplish the games design goals

Now I believe it is fair to critique art. However unless someone has been promised something I feel that expecting change to piece of art is wrong. In fact I would go so far as to call it hubris.

That said, lets take a look at what the back of the box says and see what consumers were promised. This comes from my Xbox 360 copy with the spanish text and legal xbox info cut out

From the makers of Demon's souls

Prepare to die.

Tense dungeon crawling, Fearsome enemy encounters, Groundbreaking online features

incredible challenge provides an absolute foundation of achievement and reward

Explore a massive seemless world

Overcome terrifying enemies & reclaim your soul

No where in that do I see a promise of completing the game. No where in that do I see a promise that you will love the game. No where in that do I see the promise of difficulty levels (even though theyre already in the game they just arent a menu option). In fact I see a promise that says "incredible challenge".

Just to put the nail in the coffin, lets define incredible. Taken from dictionary.reference.com

in·cred·i·ble
   [in-kred-uh-buhl] Show IPA
adjective
1.so extraordinary as to seem impossible: incredible speed.
2.not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable: The plot of the book is incredible.

So when you pick this game up and read the back (which you should always do if you didnt then frankly I dont know what to say) you know that there will be a challenge level that may seem impossible to overcome. For a lot of new players, and for me, this seems true. Thats why many people fail at the game (failure defined as putting the game down and never picking it up again). As you can see the great difficulty of dark souls is promised to you on the box and it is one of the critical artistic methods used by the developer to create a sense of accomplishment and discovery

So that goes back to my earlier question. Is it right for gamers to ask a developer to change their artistic vision? Very few people will answer the question but my answer is no. I whole heartedly believe that artistic method is sacrosanct. Some people may disagree though I doubt they will really be able to tell me why. Now from my point of view gamers who are approaching this easy mode debate are viewing Dark souls as a product, not a piece of art. I believe this is because they arent used to the idea of games being legally and socially regarded as an artistic medium but it doesnt change the fact that Dark Souls is a work of art and the artistic methods used in the game run counter to how people view what a product should be. Its going to take several years for gamers to evolve past this paradox but I think, given time, we will view games more as art and less as products

That all aside, lets talk about the easy mode and what it means for the stated goal of the game and how it turns counter to the difficulty as artistic method. To me, an easy mode is designed as a mode thats purpose is so anyone can complete the game. This is how an easy mode has been defined since the early days of the NES which is where most aging gamers began (including me). That said the difficulty is there to inspier a sense of accomplishment and discovery. When something is hard and you eventually overcome it and experience the rewards theres a "Holy crap I did it!" moment for a lot of people. Rewards can be a lot of different things but in dark souls it could be a new weapon that looks cool and/or has a great move set, a new set of armor thats amazing and look awesome, lore about the setting and characters, or just secrets which by their definition are inaccesible. Now go back to how I defined an easy mode earlier, how its designed so anyone can complete it. Without that chance of failure there can be no sense of accomplishment in return. Its a yin/yang kind of idea where one can not exist without the other. Dark souls must have unforgiving difficulty if it is to have a genuine sense of accomplishment and discovery (the stated goals of the game)

So now that Ive made my artistic side argument lets talk about some fallacies

1. Not wanting an easy mode just makes you an elitist prick: Incorrect. An elistist prick would tell you suck it up like one of the pro easy mode people told us to do. Not only is this a fallacy because its a personal attack (something the mods should really be curtailing) but its unintelligent and close minded. Unintellgient because it fails to properly explain why an easy mode should be included and close minded because it fails to take into account the feelings of the three sides of the debate.

I want to include everyone that wants to overcome the challenge of the game in our community. I want to help people overcome the challenges, thats why my most played character is a Sun bro whos covenant is designed around jolly cooperation. Purists like me want you to play the game how we played it, to love the game how we love it, and to stand with us.

2. An easy mode wont effect your game what so ever.: Again incorrect. There is no way to put an easy mode only into some players games. The optional patches argument could be made but that fails to take into the account that lessening difficulty means lessening the sense of accomplishment across the board. Let me make a wow comparison here. There was this hunter only set and the bow was called Rhok da lar (or something like that). A person had to solo several elite demons to get the set and it was a real accomplishment to get it. Having it meant you were a good player, not just competant. However as more people got that weapon it lessened the special significance it had. Its the same with dark souls, Im one of three people I know of that PVP in full or nearly full black iron gear but if more and more people get that gear and use it in PVP then my look and play style become less significant. This is only one example of how it will effect my game

An easy mode does effect our game even if its not in our game. Its just the effects are far more subtle

3. You shouldnt care and you're just being selfish if you do! False and True. False because Im a fan, I feel very strongly about the game I love. Just how I love my family, my home, my dog, going hunting, and playing games. I care about the things I love, just as I would expect every human being to.

I know I said this was about fallacies but I think these deserves a special mention. Now its true that not wanting an easy mode is selfish. However as I see it, Human achievement is relative to what everyone else in the species can and can not do. You can call me selfish and Ill agree with that but dont come to me on a high horse trying to effect my experience. You are being just as selfish as I am, in fact more so since I came to dark souls and now youre trying to chance my experience

4. By including an easy mode and making the game more accessible Fromsoft will make more money.: Doubtful. What you're talking about here is targeting people outside your core audience. Over the years Ive seen many franchises reinvent themselves to target larger audiences. This has always had 3 outcomes. 1. The core audience it was targeting becomes disatisfied and leaves. 2. The reinvention never really targets new people, giving a mediocre experience to them and translates into less sales. 3. The franchises are quickly forgotten or slowly die out.

I understand why you would come to that conclusion, on paper it makes sense but a lot of things make sense of paper and dont work out in real life. If you think that fromsoft can reinvent dark souls as an easy and accessible game and make more money then you obviously do not know the history of video games. There has been no franchise in history that has successfully done this yet. Im not saying it cant happen but I am saying that it flies in the face of video game history

Your post sums up my thoughts completely.I feel that our expectations on control over books movies and etc should also be applied to games.Especially when one of it's core elements is being compromised. That there is an air of elitism is in no way the developers fault nor the players who beat the game.
"If everybody is super,no one will be."

Prepare to die or put the game back on the shelf.
Monster Hunter anyone?

"OH LOOK, SOMETHING THAT ISN'T RUINED YET! HURRY, THEY'RE HAVING TOO MUCH FUN WITH THAT GAME, LET'S TAKE IT AWAY!"

Hmmm. Gotta say, an easy mode would bother me. Most of the reasons have been stated but I'll recap. The PVP would be ruined. Players would be invading with great equipment who did not do the same amount of work for it. Sure there are cheaters already, but why would you WANT to JOIN them (they're lowlifes)?? And that's what an easy mode would be: CHEATING. Not to mention you lose any sense of happiness from actual progress if you're just walking through the game. If you want achievement, you need tension, it's that simple.

This game is really really REALLY not that hard. It's not EASY, and the learning curve is steeper than most games, but simply paying attention to the game will almost guarantee success.

I'm not gonna try too hard to argue here because I have faith that FROM won't be willing to ruin their best franchise with an easy mode (they are much smarter than most developers these days).

From reading this thread, I'm getting the feeling that half of the people posting/debating have not even touched the game.... Like I said, just a feeling... Also, I'm willing to bet that that half is the same half that is striving for an easy mode :/ It's kinda how the internet goes, isn't it?

...Seems like lots of gamers these days complain mightily about stagnation in the industry, but once something different finally comes along, too many get uncomfortable and decide they want it to go away.

FriedRicer:
It is not always about the money(cheesy I know).Some products are made to be an exclusive experience rather than hit demographics for more money. If FROM made a game with more access to it's content for easy mode-fine.But the Souls series is built for learning and patience. Again,the game is not hard if you do these things. If you looked at the layout they gave you and still said that this game is hard or cheap or relies too heavily on reflexes-you have been playing the game with a mindset from another game and expecting it to work even though it fails.
Repeatedly. If you search every room before advancing to the next SLOWLY this game is on easy mode.The Difficulty is reflected on the way you play.Ironically the game has presented players with an easy mode-when they decided to play it at its base difficulty.

TLDR:I don't think you beat Asylum Demon.

Waitwaitwait... did you just make the assumption that, because I'm fairly certain there wouldn't be any downsides worth mentioning about implementing an easy mode, I personally think Dark Souls is too hard?
Well, that's cute. This is internet arguing at its best.

FriedRicer:

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.

Second day of playing, and I run into someone on the American server who has found a way to get into the covenant with an extremely unorthodox method of entering, and somehow did it by beating one of the hardest bosses in the game at an extremely low level, all while doing this the second day the game came out.

The guy was either a troll or a cheater, and either way it ruined the online experience for me for a long time.

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.

The 'flaws' you just mentioned are less related to the game being cheap and more to your inability to improvise and adapt. Every enemy and enemy attack has weaknesses and they're yours to analyze and exploit.

The game admittedly does have its share of actual cheap moments, but the game overall is more a test of your ability to for strategic play, rather than a random mash-up of frustrating deaths that were out of your control. For me, while the first 1/3rd of the game was fairly challenging, the other 2/3 of the game was disappointingly easy, mostly because I analyzed and practiced the gameplay mechanics, thought my build through and played smart. It is actually not hard at all and this isn't meant to be a form of bragging, as I am in general an average gamer.

I'd say the biggest mistake Dark Souls has made, aside from the hackers who have absolutely ruined online play, is that it allows people to visit the graveyard early.

Rooster Cogburn:
It's not the scale of the challenge so much as learning to take advantage of the game's mechanics.

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.

Exactly!

BreakfastMan:
A: Some people really, REALLY don't like trial and error gameplay

Dark Souls is not for them. I truly believe that a lot of those people will change their minds if they really give Dark Souls an honest try. But not every game is for every individual. I think it's OK for there to be a game in this world that incorporates trial-and-error in it's design.

and B: people would still learn by exploring the game.

Learn what? There is nothing to overcome so there is nothing to learn.

I found Dishonored fairly easy, for instance, and I still took every opportunity to explore every nook and cranny and explore all the options and mechanics. It may come as a shock, but some people don't need difficulty as an incentive to explore a games mechanics: the simple joy of figuring out all the stuff that you can do is enough for them.

Dark Souls is about creating a sense of accomplishment. That's the stated goal of the game from the creative developer. Typically, that is accomplished by confronting the player with an obstacle in the form of one or more enemies. He/she overcomes the obstacle by learning the mechanics that characterize the enemies' attacks and defenses, as well as exploring the various possibilities available to them. Any game allows you to go dick around and experiment with the game's mechanics, but I wouldn't describe that as the game's primary content. That's where the sense of accomplishment comes from, and that's what you actually do in Dark Souls. That's what makes Dark Souls different. It's not that other game's lack this element completely, it's that other games don't design the entire experience around it.

No, I am not. The COD market do not play COD because of how easy it is. They play it because it is fast-paced and has lots of explosions. Not the same thing.

You're absolutely wrong. Games regularly become easier in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience. Making it fast-paced and adding explosions is another way to do the same thing. That's the whole point of making Dark Souls easier, to expand it's appeal to a new audience, specifically the people who find it inaccessible in it's current form. Otherwise why make it?

The FPS side of it, maybe. This isn't the FPS side. This is possibly the complete opposite side.

It's not genre specific. They don't make RPGs like they used to, that's for sure. The AAA game developers have consistently followed certain trends to expand their game's appeal to a new audience. Pretty near the top of that list is making the game easier.

To you it is. To others, it is not.
Again, to you it is. To me, it is not. And giving the people the option to have a bit easier time with it will not take away from you enjoying your knifes-only NG++ run.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying about the way difficulty shapes this game's content. I'm saying they won't like it and why. You're saying they will like it but you aren't explaining why I should believe you. You're not offering any reason to change my mind about how the expanded audience will react to the easy version of Dark Souls.

It will make the world not seem so threatening and it will make overcoming it's challenges not feel like such an accomplishment which, I remind you, is the stated goal of the game.

Naeras:

FriedRicer:
It is not always about the money(cheesy I know).Some products are made to be an exclusive experience rather than hit demographics for more money. If FROM made a game with more access to it's content for easy mode-fine.But the Souls series is built for learning and patience. Again,the game is not hard if you do these things. If you looked at the layout they gave you and still said that this game is hard or cheap or relies too heavily on reflexes-you have been playing the game with a mindset from another game and expecting it to work even though it fails.
Repeatedly. If you search every room before advancing to the next SLOWLY this game is on easy mode.The Difficulty is reflected on the way you play.Ironically the game has presented players with an easy mode-when they decided to play it at its base difficulty.

TLDR:I don't think you beat Asylum Demon.

Waitwaitwait... did you just make the assumption that, because I'm fairly certain there wouldn't be any downsides worth mentioning about implementing an easy mode, I personally think Dark Souls is too hard?
Well, that's cute. This is internet arguing at its best.

No I did not. I thought it was fairly obvious I was speaking in general of the games "difficulty". In fact, from my comment (if you've carefully read it) you would have known that. I said "you" before in the same post in an entirely general tone-where did it get to mean you personally?. Also-"more manly","thats cute" and the like are really unneeded and kind of show what you believe those who oppose easy mode actually think.I can't guess the level of your skill (or the mode you chose)because I cannot know if/how you approached the game.

What is hard about the game that patience cannot solve?Or reading? Give me a line on that and then I can gauge if you thought it was difficult...or not;p!Jolly Co-Op?

Blazingdragoon04:

FriedRicer:

Blazingdragoon04:

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.

Second day of playing, and I run into someone on the American server who has found a way to get into the covenant with an extremely unorthodox method of entering, and somehow did it by beating one of the hardest bosses in the game at an extremely low level, all while doing this the second day the game came out.

The guy was either a troll or a cheater, and either way it ruined the online experience for me for a long time.

I've done it...It is a troll move.

Rooster Cogburn:

and B: people would still learn by exploring the game.

Learn what? There is nothing to overcome so there is nothing to learn.

This may sound weird to you, but some people, like myself, enjoy exploring and experimenting simply for it's own sake. Just because you don't doesn't mean others don't.

I found Dishonored fairly easy, for instance, and I still took every opportunity to explore every nook and cranny and explore all the options and mechanics. It may come as a shock, but some people don't need difficulty as an incentive to explore a games mechanics: the simple joy of figuring out all the stuff that you can do is enough for them.

Dark Souls is about creating a sense of accomplishment. That's the stated goal of the game from the creative developer. Typically, that is accomplished by confronting the player with an obstacle in the form of one or more enemies. He/she overcomes the obstacle by learning the mechanics that characterize the enemies' attacks and defenses, as well as exploring the various possibilities available to them. Any game allows you to go dick around and experiment with the game's mechanics, but I wouldn't describe that as the game's primary content. That's where the sense of accomplishment comes from, and that's what you actually do in Dark Souls. That's what makes Dark Souls different. It's not that other game's lack this element completely, it's that other games don't design the entire experience around it.

Not everyone gets a feeling of accomplishment the same way you do. Some get it by 100%-ing a game. Some get it by exploring the world until they know it like the back of their hand. Some get it by reading lore and discovering the intricacies of a universe. Some get it by getting to know characters and their motivations. Some get it by mastering game mechanics. Some get it by hunting down secrets. Some simply get it by entering a fantastic virtual landscape. And some get it by overcoming challenges.

To you it is. To others, it is not.
Again, to you it is. To me, it is not. And giving the people the option to have a bit easier time with it will not take away from you enjoying your knifes-only NG++ run.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying about the way difficulty shapes this game's content. I'm saying they won't like it and why. You're saying they will like it but you aren't explaining why I should believe you. You're not offering any reason to change my mind about how the expanded audience will react to the easy version of Dark Souls.

It will make the world not seem so threatening and it will make overcoming it's challenges not feel like such an accomplishment which, I remind you, is the stated goal of the game.

The game has so much compelling content outside of just "completing challenges". It has an interesting world coupled with interesting lore, it has a fascinating online mechanic, it has a great art style, it has a great atmosphere, it has interesting enemy and boss encounters, and it has some of the best level design in the industry. You don't need a game to be ball-bustingly hard in order to enjoy those aspects, but being ball-bustingly hard can stop people from picking up the game, even if they might love the other aspects. That is the audience I think the game could reach, but isn't.

BreakfastMan:
This may sound weird to you, but some people, like myself, enjoy exploring and experimenting simply for it's own sake. Just because you don't doesn't mean others don't.

Not everyone gets a feeling of accomplishment the same way you do. Some get it by 100%-ing a game. Some get it by exploring the world until they know it like the back of their hand. Some get it by reading lore and discovering the intricacies of a universe. Some get it by getting to know characters and their motivations. Some get it by mastering game mechanics. Some get it by hunting down secrets. Some simply get it by entering a fantastic virtual landscape. And some get it by overcoming challenges.

What does this mean? Does this have anything to do with Dark Souls? Look, a game has to have gameplay, and I like Dark Souls' gameplay the way it is. OK, not everyone does, but I do. I think my say in this is as valuable as anyone else's.

The game has so much compelling content outside of just "completing challenges". It has an interesting world coupled with interesting lore, it has a fascinating online mechanic, it has a great art style, it has a great atmosphere, it has interesting enemy and boss encounters, and it has some of the best level design in the industry. You don't need a game to be ball-bustingly hard in order to enjoy those aspects, but being ball-bustingly hard can stop people from picking up the game, even if they might love the other aspects. That is the audience I think the game could reach, but isn't.

I understand the game has cool aspects that people want to experience, but that simply isn't a good enough reason to change the core, primary content in a way that favors a new audience over the existing one. There are so many games you can play if you want whatever it is you want. I only have Dark Souls. Please, please, please, just let me have the Souls series. You can have literally everything else.

BreakfastMan:

The game has so much compelling content outside of just "completing challenges". It has an interesting world coupled with interesting lore, it has a fascinating online mechanic, it has a great art style, it has a great atmosphere, it has interesting enemy and boss encounters, and it has some of the best level design in the industry. You don't need a game to be ball-bustingly hard in order to enjoy those aspects, but being ball-bustingly hard can stop people from picking up the game, even if they might love the other aspects. That is the audience I think the game could reach, but isn't.

Im afraid I have to disagree with you. The compelling content you talk about is some of the rewards of dark souls. Rewards for overcoming the unforgiving difficulty. The goal of the game is to provide a sense of accomplishment and discovery and the difficulty is an important tool to meet those ends. Those are the stated goals of the game said by the development team.

Without the unforgiving difficulty the accomplishments and sense of discovery (along with the rewards) are lessened if not lost. My earlier post touched on this with the yin/yang idea where one must have the chance of failure to have a sense of accomplishment.

The fallacy with this whole argument is that you retain all your previous players and attract new ones. However as history has shown us, that never happens and the games suffer for it. Hows that quote go? Those that dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

Rooster Cogburn:

BreakfastMan:
This may sound weird to you, but some people, like myself, enjoy exploring and experimenting simply for it's own sake. Just because you don't doesn't mean others don't.

Not everyone gets a feeling of accomplishment the same way you do. Some get it by 100%-ing a game. Some get it by exploring the world until they know it like the back of their hand. Some get it by reading lore and discovering the intricacies of a universe. Some get it by getting to know characters and their motivations. Some get it by mastering game mechanics. Some get it by hunting down secrets. Some simply get it by entering a fantastic virtual landscape. And some get it by overcoming challenges.

What does this mean? Does this have anything to do with Dark Souls? Look, a game has to have gameplay, and I like Dark Souls' gameplay the way it is. OK, not everyone does, but I do. I think my say in this is as valuable as anyone else's.

We aren't talking about changing the gameplay though. We are talking about adding an easy difficulty level.

The game has so much compelling content outside of just "completing challenges". It has an interesting world coupled with interesting lore, it has a fascinating online mechanic, it has a great art style, it has a great atmosphere, it has interesting enemy and boss encounters, and it has some of the best level design in the industry. You don't need a game to be ball-bustingly hard in order to enjoy those aspects, but being ball-bustingly hard can stop people from picking up the game, even if they might love the other aspects. That is the audience I think the game could reach, but isn't.

I understand the game has cool aspects that people want to experience, but that simply isn't a good enough reason to change the core, primary content in a way that favors a new audience over the existing one.

I am not arguing for that, though. Adding an easy mode would not favor a new audience any more than adding an easy mode to XCOM means that XCOM favors a new audience. It just expands the audience. Adding an easy mode does not mean that anything else has to be changed. All the compelling stuff is still there and does not need to be removed, because that is all still compelling.

Windcaler:

Without the unforgiving difficulty the accomplishments and sense of discovery (along with the rewards) are lessened if not lost.

For you, it might, but it is not the same for everyone.

The fallacy with this whole argument is that you retain all your previous players and attract new ones. However as history has shown us, that never happens and the games suffer for it. Hows that quote go? Those that dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

So, by adding an easy mode, you lose all of your target audience? How does that work?

BreakfastMan:

Rooster Cogburn:

BreakfastMan:
This may sound weird to you, but some people, like myself, enjoy exploring and experimenting simply for it's own sake. Just because you don't doesn't mean others don't.

Not everyone gets a feeling of accomplishment the same way you do. Some get it by 100%-ing a game. Some get it by exploring the world until they know it like the back of their hand. Some get it by reading lore and discovering the intricacies of a universe. Some get it by getting to know characters and their motivations. Some get it by mastering game mechanics. Some get it by hunting down secrets. Some simply get it by entering a fantastic virtual landscape. And some get it by overcoming challenges.

What does this mean? Does this have anything to do with Dark Souls? Look, a game has to have gameplay, and I like Dark Souls' gameplay the way it is. OK, not everyone does, but I do. I think my say in this is as valuable as anyone else's.

We aren't talking about changing the gameplay though. We are talking about adding an easy difficulty level.

The game has so much compelling content outside of just "completing challenges". It has an interesting world coupled with interesting lore, it has a fascinating online mechanic, it has a great art style, it has a great atmosphere, it has interesting enemy and boss encounters, and it has some of the best level design in the industry. You don't need a game to be ball-bustingly hard in order to enjoy those aspects, but being ball-bustingly hard can stop people from picking up the game, even if they might love the other aspects. That is the audience I think the game could reach, but isn't.

I understand the game has cool aspects that people want to experience, but that simply isn't a good enough reason to change the core, primary content in a way that favors a new audience over the existing one.

I am not arguing for that, though. Adding an easy mode would not favor a new audience any more than adding an easy mode to XCOM means that XCOM favors a new audience. It just expands the audience. Adding an easy mode does not mean that anything else has to be changed. All the compelling stuff is still there and does not need to be removed, because that is all still compelling.

Windcaler:

Without the unforgiving difficulty the accomplishments and sense of discovery (along with the rewards) are lessened if not lost.

For you, it might, but it is not the same for everyone.

The fallacy with this whole argument is that you retain all your previous players and attract new ones. However as history has shown us, that never happens and the games suffer for it. Hows that quote go? Those that dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

So, by adding an easy mode, you lose all of your target audience? How does that work?

Pretty much agree with most of what you said.But, how would Dark Souls be made easier than it already is?Lowering the damage of enemies is not going to prevent certain bosses from killing players who fail to learn the games mechanics.

FriedRicer:

Pretty much agree with most of what you said.But, how would Dark Souls be made easier than it already is?Lowering the damage of enemies is not going to prevent certain bosses from killing players who fail to learn the games mechanics.

Well then, those people are just dumb-asses. I mean, if someone wants to play a game, they should at least, you know, be able to play a game. XD

BreakfastMan:

FriedRicer:

Pretty much agree with most of what you said.But, how would Dark Souls be made easier than it already is?Lowering the damage of enemies is not going to prevent certain bosses from killing players who fail to learn the games mechanics.

Well then, those people are just dumb-asses. I mean, if someone wants to play a game, they should at least, you know, be able to play a game. XD

I get what easy mode would accomplish but not what could be made easy.Bed of Chaos and Snorlax/Pikachu...how do they get easier?

BreakfastMan:

Windcaler:

Without the unforgiving difficulty the accomplishments and sense of discovery (along with the rewards) are lessened if not lost.

BreakfastMan:
For you, it might, but it is not the same for everyone.

Again I disagree. Nothing worth having is easily obtained. Its a universal philosophical ideal that has dwelled in the human psyche long before we began examining the human psyche. In the sense of Dark souls while I might just shrug at a greatsword drop from one of the Berenike knights a new player will go nuts about the new weapon. Likewise Ive seen Ash lake several dozen times by now so going there is no big deal, while a new player is going to be spellbound by the music, setting, and curiousity of whats in this hidden place.

The difference here is how easily obtained these things are. Ill kill a berenike knight without getting hit, a new player might die 3 or 4 times before they get the tells down. Going to ash lake means a trip through the great hallow which is an area you'll only find through an illusionary wall. I know its there and what lies down there, a new player wont so they'll have to overcome the myconids, curse frogs, and deadly falls to find it.

The fallacy with this whole argument is that you retain all your previous players and attract new ones. However as history has shown us, that never happens and the games suffer for it. Hows that quote go? Those that dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

[quote="BreakfastMan" post="9.392886.15864917"]So, by adding an easy mode, you lose all of your target audience? How does that work?

Not all but a large portion of it. History has shown that games that reinvent themselves always have the same three major problems. 1. The core audience it was targeting becomes disatisfied and leaves. 2. The reinvention never really targets new people, giving a mediocre experience to them and translates into less sales. 3. The franchises are quickly forgotten or slowly die out.

Now you're specfically asking about the 1st problem. When the core fanbase becomes disatisfied with the games. Many veteran dark souls players will tell you that they think an easy mode cheapens the game but most wont be able to articulate why. For a time I was one of those players but after a great deal of self examination I was able to come up with an explanation. That said from my point of view an easy mode removes the risk of failure that is an important tool that the developer has put in to give a genuine sense of accomplishment.

BreakfastMan:
We aren't talking about changing the gameplay though. We are talking about adding an easy difficulty level.

There is a MASSIVE assumption built into that statement, one that contradicts both logic and video game history.

I am not arguing for that, though. Adding an easy mode would not favor a new audience any more than adding an easy mode to XCOM means that XCOM favors a new audience. It just expands the audience. Adding an easy mode does not mean that anything else has to be changed. All the compelling stuff is still there and does not need to be removed, because that is all still compelling.

The presence of the easy mode, the mere existence of it, makes the game less enticing for me. You can ignore that but I can't. Beside that, it is extremely unrealistic to expect the normal gameplay to remain totally unchanged. If you want to tell me why those changes don't have to be bad, that's one thing, but pretending that's not only plausible but even likely just seems to me like burying your head in the sand.

I don't know anything about XCOM but I'm guessing it doesn't build it's game-play and setting around the learning process in the way that Dark Souls does. This is not an issue that is relevant to all games, or at least not as relevant. It is specific to Dark Souls.

We are going in circles now and all I'm taking from this is that you don't see the obvious implications of yet another niche series pursuing an expanded audience, you don't understand how making the game easy guts the core design thus necessitating changes to accommodate the new audience, and you don't care that I would get shafted by this change.

BreakfastMan:
For you, it might, but it is not the same for everyone.

Of course for him, who else would he be talking about? That is not an argument for anything.

So, by adding an easy mode, you lose all of your target audience? How does that work?

Please stop pretending you don't know exactly what we're talking about. Either you just warped in from 1987 or you know damned well how it works.

Windcaler:

Not all but a large portion of it. History has shown that games that reinvent themselves always have the same three major problems. 1. The core audience it was targeting becomes disatisfied and leaves. 2. The reinvention never really targets new people, giving a mediocre experience to them and translates into less sales. 3. The franchises are quickly forgotten or slowly die out.

Now you're specfically asking about the 1st problem. When the core fanbase becomes disatisfied with the games. Many veteran dark souls players will tell you that they think an easy mode cheapens the game but most wont be able to articulate why. For a time I was one of those players but after a great deal of self examination I was able to come up with an explanation. That said from my point of view an easy mode removes the risk of failure that is an important tool that the developer has put in to give a genuine sense of accomplishment.

A: Okay? That's nice and all, but I don't see what it has to do with adding an easy mode. We are not reinventing the game, just changing it slightly. Also, B: adding an easy mode does not remove risk of failure. We are not talking about making the player invincible, we are just talking about making them less easily killable.

Rooster Cogburn:

I am not arguing for that, though. Adding an easy mode would not favor a new audience any more than adding an easy mode to XCOM means that XCOM favors a new audience. It just expands the audience. Adding an easy mode does not mean that anything else has to be changed. All the compelling stuff is still there and does not need to be removed, because that is all still compelling.

The presence of the easy mode, the mere existence of it, makes the game less enticing for me. You can ignore that but I can't.

I honestly have no idea why (and it seems ridiculous to me to think that way), but whatever.

Beside that, it is extremely unrealistic to expect the normal gameplay to remain totally unchanged. If you want to tell me why those changes don't have to be bad, that's one thing, but pretending that's not only plausible but even likely just seems to me like burying your head in the sand.

Here is the problem: likely does not mean it will (and I don't even think it is likely). Adding an easy mode does not directly lead to dumbing down the the game, but you are acting like it is. And, it is especially unlikely it would happen in this case. Those who want to play the game don't want it dumbed down, they just want the enemies to hit for less damage. That. Is. It. That does NOT necessitate a dumbing down of the core experience. If From can design the game so that the difficulty scales up (via NG+), they can design it so that it can go down too.

BreakfastMan:

Windcaler:

Not all but a large portion of it. History has shown that games that reinvent themselves always have the same three major problems. 1. The core audience it was targeting becomes disatisfied and leaves. 2. The reinvention never really targets new people, giving a mediocre experience to them and translates into less sales. 3. The franchises are quickly forgotten or slowly die out.

Now you're specfically asking about the 1st problem. When the core fanbase becomes disatisfied with the games. Many veteran dark souls players will tell you that they think an easy mode cheapens the game but most wont be able to articulate why. For a time I was one of those players but after a great deal of self examination I was able to come up with an explanation. That said from my point of view an easy mode removes the risk of failure that is an important tool that the developer has put in to give a genuine sense of accomplishment.

A: Okay? That's nice and all, but I don't see what it has to do with adding an easy mode. We are not reinventing the game, just changing it slightly. Also, B: adding an easy mode does not remove risk of failure. We are not talking about making the player invincible, we are just talking about making them less easily killable.

Incorrect on both counts. Im going to reply to the second point first since its the easier one and leads into a nice segway for the other pont. Easy modes, since the days of the NES (maybe before but thats before my time), have always been designed in such a way that players know they can succeed. An easy mode creates a chain reaction of events. A player that knows they can succeed will never experience failure or the pressure that coming close to failure brings. Without the chance to fail a player will not feel they accomplished something. From a philosophical and artistic standpoint this goes against Dark souls goals

The easy mode addition you mention also neglects the fact that there already is an easy mode in the game, its just not a menu choice. Any player can use the upgrading and leveling system to overpower bosses but it still requires them to have some aptitude with the games mechanics such as blocking, dodging, and hitting things

In my extremely long post I talked about the artistic side of dark souls and how the difficulty is used as an artistic method. An easy mode goes directly against the artistic method used to give that sense of accomplishment and discovery. Thats just the artistic side, not the business side which Ill explain next.

Dark souls is known for its unforgiving difficulty. The game tells you to prepare to die, giving good advice in a seemingly threatening manner. Ask anyone what they think of dark souls and Im pretty sure the majority of what you'll hear is "its really hard". That said it was designed to be a niche game but when you change a game to target people outside your core audience you are reinventing it. In Dark souls case adding an easy mode to bring in new players is a reinvention of the franchise and history has shown that it will hurt sales, cause the core fanbase to leave, leave new players with a mediocre experience, and ultimately kill the franchise.

BreakfastMan:
Okay, so everybody needs to be forced by the game to learn all the mechanics? They can't learn it by exploring what different weapons can do, what they get from talking to different merchants, and what they get from exploring the environment? They have to be forced to learn by the difficulty of the game, they cannot learn by exploring. That is basically what this is coming across as: that people don't learn mechanics as they explore the game, they have to be forced to use them because of the difficulty. And that is absurd.

You make it sound like From are Nazi's for forcing players to learn and think for themselves. While I do sometimes want to switch off my brain and relax to a button masher, for me gaming is at its most rewarding when it won't allow me to progress without learning 2 play. Ppl can't stop singing the praises of FTL and that does much the same thing. IE it throws you in the deep end and you have to discover for yourself the best strategies that work. The trailing enemy fleet forces players forward at the games pace so if they aren't good at the game they get killed by the ever harder enemies, and since the game is a rogue-like with no save scumming player who don't learn the ropes don't get to beat the game.

I played Devil May Cry 1 and 2 recently. DMC 1 is the harder and better thought out game compared to DMC 2 that has easier enemies that can be killed by just button mashing. In the former I found it rewarding to try out new combos and to mix up my playstyle, in DMC 2 I just button mashed away putting very little effort into exploring any depth its combat system had to offer.

I'm not saying that every game shouldn't hold the players hand and help them learn the game, I'm currently learning how to properly play 2D VS fighters and the tutorial section in Skullgirls has been invaluable in teach me how to mix up and what cancelling and supers are. However some games like DS and FTL most of the fun is in trial and error and discovering how to play myself.

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