Dark Souls: an experiment in logic

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Windcaler:

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.

Really? Damn. All devs must be doing easy mode wrong then. I think in a couple games I played, I died once or twice on easy! Can devs do nothing right?

Without the chance to fail a player will not feel they accomplished something.

Because everyone feels accomplishment the same way you do, obviously.

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.

So, it shouldn't matter if it is made formal then, should it? I mean, if it is already in the game, what does it matter if it is turned into a menu choice?

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.

So, any change to increase playability results in reinventing the game? Gotcha.

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.

Hyperbole, much?

TrevHead:

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.

You know what DMC 1 also had? An easy mode. Same with DMC 3, a game many love and revere as the hardest, most satisfying games of all time. Funny, that...

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

I find that very hard to believe. It affects tension, atmosphere, sense of accomplishment, sense of community, and things like that. The impact of an easy mode on those things is noticeable in other titles, but pretty negligible. But in Dark Souls? Definitely not negligible. You may be just as scared of Nito even if you know the game was designed to gaurantee that you will beat him. But I wouldn't be. I really wouldn't be.

You can just say "Sense of accomplishment? Pfff, who cares" but that is the whole point of this game.

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.

It will not directly lead to dumbing down the game, but dumbing down the game is the obvious thing to do when you have already decided to pursue an audience outside your niche. It will also be necessary to make the easy version of Dark Souls into something somebody would want to play. It is extremely difficult to walk that line between satisfying your original niche client base and your expanded broader audience at the same time.

You're telling me I should just accept that it won't happen because it doesn't have to in the most technical sense of the word. But it's obvious to anyone who is paying attention that it most likely will because that's what happens in almost all cases for reasons that are very easy to understand and empathize with. You seem to want to keep that discussion focused on the ideal and not what is likely to happen in reality.

I already explained why scaling HP or damage UP and scaling them DOWN do not have the same effect on the game. You are not taking into account what those numbers mean in the context of the mechanics they effect (or don't). You are reducing the difficulty to a linear equation where reducing the enemy damage to 75% reduces the difficulty to 75%. Dark Souls does not work that way. By adding easy mode, you are creating a tier that plays fundamentally different from the normal game and NG+ for most players. Breaking that threshold of difficulty means the player can beat an enemy without knowing how to beat it the 'proper' way or coming up with a creative way of their own. That's the primary thing you change by lowering enemy damage or HP- now a player can beat an opponent without really knowing how. But the whole game is designed around learning how to win. What you just effectively cut out of the game is the part the whole game was designed around.

They did not make the game hard just to be dicks to people who don't want to play hard games. The difficulty in Dark Souls is utilized in an unusual way and you don't seem to want to acknowledge that. The way Dark Souls takes advantage of it's difficult content distinguishes it from other games, and what works for other games may not work for Dark Souls. Not every game needs to be the same.

Not every game needs to be the same. Not every game needs the same options. Let us have the one friggin' game for chrissake. Let the people who don't care about the things I care about play EVERY SINGLE OTHER AAA TITLE and just leave me with Souls.

poiumty:

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.

This is very true, making the game easy doesn't automatically translate into better sales. How much has DS sold so far? 1 or 2 million right? Well thats better than many easy mode AAA games out there. There have been tons of AAA games recently that are preforming poorly sales wise. Darksiders 2 is a close approximation to an easy mode Souls, and its just been revealed that THQ have only so far made less than half of the 2 million sales they need to make.

I think there is a large number of gamers who are getting rather sick of the easy mainstream games and are wanting more niche and rewarding gaming experiences, especially when so many similar games can be bought for peanuts used and from the bargin bins at gamestop. I think many AAAs who continue to hold the belief that all games should be watered down to suit the widest demographic are going to have to quickly change their ways or find themselves losing more ground to indie and kickstarter games.

I think what happened to Ninja Gaiden 3 is a good example for From not to go down the same path.

BreakfastMan:

Windcaler:

BreakfastMan:

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.

Really? Damn. All devs must be doing easy mode wrong then. I think in a couple games I played, I died once or twice on easy! Can devs do nothing right?

Without the chance to fail a player will not feel they accomplished something.

Because everyone feels accomplishment the same way you do, obviously.

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.

So, it shouldn't matter if it is made formal then, should it? I mean, if it is already in the game, what does it matter if it is turned into a menu choice?

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.

So, any change to increase playability results in reinventing the game? Gotcha.

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.

Hyperbole, much?

Please take a step away from the computer for a few minutes and do something fun before you read on. Talk to your girlfriend/boyfriend, grab a bite to eat, play with your pets, talk with a friend. Just do something. I ask because you are starting to sound quite passive aggressive and I dont appreciate that in what is supposed to be an intelligent discussion.

Now to start, you misunderstand how I am defining failure in regards to dark souls. Dying in dark souls is not failure. Dying in any game really isnt failure as I see it. Failure is givng up. Putting the controller down and never picking it up again. Putting that game away on a shelf where its forgotten or traded in/sold. Giving up, making a concious decision that you arent going to keep trying, that is failure. Its how Ive always defined failure in regards to dark souls and many other games

Going back to the upgrading system and how it is the easy mode. This revolves around the games secrets. I mentioned before that secrets are, by definition, inaccessible. People love secrets but you know what else they love? Sharing secrets. New players wont realize how much easier the game gets till they heavily experiment with the upgrading system. At first they might just be like "oh cool this sword just does a bit more damage" or "Hey I take slightly less damage since I upgraded this armor". That first upgrade is a hint toward the easy mode and the player has to use that sense of discovery (that other goal of the game) to fully unlock the secret of upgrading. Yep, its a secret easy mode that one must use the sense of discovery to find. Sounds pretty awesome to me but to answer your question, a menu option is far different from the upgrading system. It doesnt have the same weight of discovery to it which is what the games going for

Now to reiterate what I said before you obviously missed my point, going against the established elements of the franchise in an effort to attract people outside of your core audience is reinventing a franchise. They could do a lot with what they have like add new covenants (like a duelist covenant) and it wouldnt be reinventing the franchise. Going against the unforgiving difficulty does equal reinventing

sethisjimmy:
So I've only played a bit of Dark Souls, but can someone explain to me logically how an easy mode would ruin the game for people who won't play on easy mode?

To put it as simply as I can, the unforgiving nature of the game is part of the experience. It's intertwined with the overall experience with the game, and changing it would change the game.

Now, I used to the word "unforgiving" instead of the word "difficult" for a reason. Dark Souls by itself isn't really a difficult game in the traditional sense of the words, and what I mean by traditional sense I mean in the manner other games tend to ramp up difficulty: increasing enemy health, decreasing attack power, adding more enemies.

Dark Souls isn't any more difficult in those respects than Devil May Cry or even God of War would be on a Normal to above average difficulty setting. What Dark Souls IS is unforgiving, and it allows very little room for making mistakes.

How does it do this? Well...

-giving the player no sense of direction of where to start or go.
-dieing takes away all your souls, and if you're unable to gain them back, you lose them forever.
-long distances between check points where a player can replenish their straights or use up souls, plus: no knowledge of where to find any undiscovered checkpoints.
-new enemies always have different behaviors and combat styles.
-you can easily stumble upon enemies that aren't meant for your level even in the beginnings that can kill you instantly.

also

-heading in the wrong direction can lead you to an advance level of the game not meant to be crossed if you're still low in level.

You see. These aren't exactly game mechanics or attributes that can be easily tweaked to make the game easier (like decreasing enemy health, or decreasing attack power). These are the core aspects of the gameplay, and to change them would totally change the game to begin with.

It would be like cheat codes, or using gamer guides to look up maps that aren't found in game. To change these aspects would be game defining.

Rooster Cogburn:

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

It affects tension, atmosphere, sense of accomplishment, sense of community, and things like that. The impact of an easy mode on those things is noticeable in other titles, but pretty negligible. But in Dark Souls? Definitely not negligible. You may be just as scared of Nito even if you know the game was designed to gaurantee that you will beat him. But I wouldn't be. I really wouldn't be.

So, what you are basically saying is that easy mode would not be good for you. That is fine, I guess, but that is not really a good argument as to why it should not be in the game to begin with.

You can just say "Sense of accomplishment? Pfff, who cares" but that is the whole point of this game.

I already explained that some people get a sense of accomplishment from things other than challenge. I don't think I need to repeat myself here...

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.

It will not directly lead to dumbing down the game, but dumbing down the game is the obvious thing to do when you have already decided to pursue an audience outside your niche.

No, no it really isn't. If the new audience doesn't want the game to be dumbed down... Why dumb it down?

It will also be necessary to make the easy version of Dark Souls into something somebody would want to play.

And more generalizations based on your own tastes, which I already explained are not universal.

You're telling me I should just accept that it won't happen because it doesn't have to in the most technical sense of the word. But it's obvious to anyone who is paying attention that it most likely will because that's what happens in almost all cases for reasons that are very easy to understand and empathize with. You seem to want to keep that discussion focused on the ideal and not what is likely to happen in reality.

What is likely to happen in real life is not what you have outlined. Think about it: both From and Namco Bandai are in the business of making niche JRPGs. They know where the money comes from and they know their audience; that is why they are still in business after all these years. They are not going to radically shift and become EA all of a sudden. They have a niche that they satisfy, and they will continue to pursue that niche, since they have little to no competition.

I already explained why scaling HP or damage UP and scaling them DOWN do not have the same effect on the game. You are not taking into account what those numbers mean in the context of the mechanics they effect (or don't). You are reducing the difficulty to a linear equation where reducing the enemy damage to 75% reduces the difficulty to 75%. Dark Souls does not work that way. By adding easy mode, you are creating a tier that plays fundamentally different from the normal game and NG+ for most players. Breaking that threshold of difficulty means the player can beat an enemy without knowing how to beat it the 'proper' way or coming up with a creative way of their own.

Beating it the proper way and figuring out your own way are two entirely different things: having one means you cannot have the other. So which is it?

I already explained why scaling HP or damage UP and scaling them DOWN do not have the same effect on the game. You are not taking into account what those numbers mean in the context of the mechanics they effect (or don't). You are reducing the difficulty to a linear equation where reducing the enemy damage to 75% reduces the difficulty to 75%. Dark Souls does not work that way. By adding easy mode, you are creating a tier that plays fundamentally different from the normal game and NG+ for most players. Breaking that threshold of difficulty means the player can beat an enemy without knowing how to beat it the 'proper' way or coming up with a creative way of their own. That's the primary thing you change by lowering enemy damage or HP- now a player can beat an opponent without really knowing how. But the whole game is designed around learning how to win. What you just effectively cut out of the game is the part the whole game was designed around.

Makes me wonder how people could beat it in the first place without coming up with a way of their own...

But, making an easy mode does not mean that playing on easy mode no longer require strategic thinking. Seriously.

Not every game needs to be the same. Not every game needs the same options. Let us have the one friggin' game for chrissake. Let the people who don't care about the things I care about play EVERY SINGLE OTHER AAA TITLE and just leave me with Souls.

People who want to play Souls on easy do not want to take your game away, and adding an easy mode will no more dumb it down than adding an easy mode to Persona dumbed that series down.

BreakfastMan:

TrevHead:

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.

You know what DMC 1 also had? An easy mode. Same with DMC 3, a game many love and revere as the hardest, most satisfying games of all time. Funny, that...

Imo you're cluching at straws mate, DMC is a VERY different game from Souls, and the fact DMC does have an easy mode has no real bearing on the point i'm making in my above post, since if I played DMC 1 easy mode I would have button mashed more often.

EDIT DMC 1 was also a product of the PS2 era where not every game was built to hold your hand like in this generation. Also one could also argue that a big reason why DMC 2 was such a crappy game was due to making the game easier for a wider casual demographic. (I can't say for sure if that is the case but it looks that way when I played it recently)

Windcaler:

Now to start, you misunderstand how I am defining failure in regards to dark souls. Dying in dark souls is not failure. Dying in any game really isnt failure as I see it. Failure is givng up. Putting the controller down and never picking it up again. Putting that game away on a shelf where its forgotten or traded in/sold. Giving up, making a concious decision that you arent going to keep trying, that is failure. Its how Ive always defined failure in regards to dark souls and many other games

But giving the game an easy mode does not remove the possibility of that kind of failure. Hell, making the game really hard does not add the possibility of that kind of failure either.

And I fail to see how making someone so fed up with your game that they don't want to play it ever again is good game design. You want to encourage the player to press on, not give up.

Now to reiterate what I said before you obviously missed my point, going against the established elements of the franchise in an effort to attract people outside of your core audience is reinventing a franchise. They could do a lot with what they have like add new covenants (like a duelist covenant) and it wouldnt be reinventing the franchise. Going against the unforgiving difficulty does equal reinventing

But this isn't going against established elements of the franchise anymore than giving XCOM (a series where difficulty is also considered an integral part) an easy mode is going against established elements of that franchise. It just opens up the game to more players. Many XCOM players consider easy a practice mode for people who are not very good at those games to play before jumping into normal/classic/impossible. Why would an easy difficulty in Souls be any different?

BreakfastMan:
But giving the game an easy mode does not remove the possibility of that kind of failure. Hell, making the game really hard does not add the possibility of that kind of failure either.

And I fail to see how making someone so fed up with your game that they don't want to play it ever again is good game design. You want to encourage the player to press on, not give up.

Incorrect. I mentioned before the definition of an easy mode as its been defined since the early days of the NES. A difficulty level where the player knows they can succeed (and on that note in hindsight I really shouldnt have called the upgrading system "easy mode"). Like it or not thats what an easy mode has been for nearly 30 years and if current games are any indication it will remain that way for a long time.

You miss the point about the need for the chance to fail. The chance of failure is not so people stop playing and never pick the game up again. Its there so those that dont fail can feel a genuine sense of accomplishment from their game. That IS good game design. You have to remember, this isnt Skyrim. Dark souls doesnt care if you get frustrated because it wants you to feel that pressure to succeed and press on of your own volition so you can feel like you accomplished something.

BreakfastMan:
But this isn't going against established elements of the franchise anymore than giving XCOM (a series where difficulty is also considered an integral part) an easy mode is going against established elements of that franchise. It just opens up the game to more players. Many XCOM players consider easy a practice mode for people who are not very good at those games to play before jumping into normal/classic/impossible. Why would an easy difficulty in Souls be any different?

Thats where youre mistaken. XCOM: enemy unknown (1993) (also my favorite game of all time) is not designed around hardcore unforgiving difficulty its designed around hardcore tactical strategy and running an international defense agency. The difficulty is high but it is not intregal to the design of the game nor is it an artistic method used to further the artistic goals of the game. To be fair XCOM started with several difficulty modes so it hasnt set the same precedent as the souls series

The expectations and precedent in regards to difficulty is completely different. Dark souls, like kings field before it, set a precedent of an extremely hard but fair game. The easy mode would move it away from what its known for and start the same chain reaction we've seen in history whenever a franchise reinvented itself

BreakfastMan:

So, what you are basically saying is that easy mode would not be good for you. That is fine, I guess, but that is not really a good argument as to why it should not be in the game to begin with.

LOL yea I don't think you and I are going to reach an understanding here. What's good for other people who aren't me is a good argument but what's good for me isn't.

I already explained that some people get a sense of accomplishment from things other than challenge. I don't think I need to repeat myself here...

I don't understand what this means. Different strokes, I get that. But that doesn't tell me why Dark Souls should or shouldn't be any particular way.

No, no it really isn't. If the new audience doesn't want the game to be dumbed down... Why dumb it down?

Because the changes to the core gameplay introduced in the easy mode make it tempting to make the easy mode good. And it's a pervasive tactic used by AAA devs to boost sales.

And more generalizations based on your own tastes, which I already explained are not universal.

You can't just say "that's your opinion man" and act like the question of whether or not the game would be good isn't even worth examining. Sure, it's a matter of opinion, but a very relevant one and you don't seem to want to give me reasons to reconsider my own.

What is likely to happen in real life is not what you have outlined. Think about it: both From and Namco Bandai are in the business of making niche JRPGs.

Which is why Dark Souls doesn't have an easy mode.

They know where the money comes from and they know their audience; that is why they are still in business after all these years. They are not going to radically shift and become EA all of a sudden. They have a niche that they satisfy, and they will continue to pursue that niche, since they have little to no competition.

Then there is absolutely no reason to implement an easy mode.

Beating it the proper way and figuring out your own way are two entirely different things: having one means you cannot have the other. So which is it?

It's both. Not sure what you're going for here. Those two things aren't mutually exclusive. The majority of encounters in Dark Souls have more than one way to win.

Makes me wonder how people could beat it in the first place without coming up with a way of their own...

I don't know what this means.

But, making an easy mode does not mean that playing on easy mode no longer require strategic thinking. Seriously.

No, but it does make the game's mechanics irrelevant, making it's core design focus simply evaporate.

People who want to play Souls on easy do not want to take your game away, and adding an easy mode will no more dumb it down than adding an easy mode to Persona dumbed that series down.

They may not want to take my game away, but they do seem to want to put an easy mode in it. You are listing games like X-COM and Persona, but I can only assume difficulty is not used in the same way in those games. I feel like I would have heard about that. We are talking about minor changes to accessibility vs. upsetting the core gameplay. I guess I'll just keep saying it, this is something particular to Dark Souls, not a general rule. It's not that adding easy mode necessarily leads to the Dark Side, it's that changing the CORE GAME-PLAY to account for the needs of an audience outside your base typically does. And that's what they would be introducing with the addition of an easy mode. You are not talking about making the Dark Souls experience easier, you are talking about creating a game mode where that core experience is not present. And then you're just leaning back like that has absolutely no implications for current fans of the series. I'm staring down at the bodies of all the sell-out franchises and you're telling me to jump. No thank you. Let FROM focus on the current model rather than introduce new ones.

You're also starting to take more shots at the core design of Dark Souls, which I think says buttloads about the difference in our perspectives.

I would say this topic is thoroughly exhausted. We're repeating ourselves. Since I'm throwing in the towel, it's only fair that I let you have the last word on this. I will only respond if something new gets brought up but I will read it.

Easy mode as a general industry feature is definitely a very, very good thing. No one should ever deny that. But we have a couple games where being difficult and overcoming the difficulty is the whole point, why can't we keep them that way? Why can't we have at least one game that's like that? But really, there is something more important to all of this...

People seem to assume the only way to have an "easy mode" is to have a separate mode with scaled enemy stats. That's just silly[1] and very narrow view of how games can be designed. Did you know that Demon's Souls, for example, absolutely has an easy mode? It's called playing the Royalty class.

Starting with a powerful spell and a ring that regenerates MP. Starting at a Lv1 so even though you're weaker, which is a nice balance to the powerful spell without much actual downside, you'll get the first several levels super quickly so you can shape you character pretty much however you want right away. It's almost like the designers were actually really good at their job.

[1] a nice way of saying stupid

may the gods help you if you ever play Super Meat Boy or They Bleed Pixels >.>

i played Demons Souls, not touched Dark Souls due to a lack of money and GFWL, however, I'm not big on making a Souls game 'easy' it's kinda defeating the whole point of the games.

as some one already said, your supposed to figure out how to MAKE the easier, not have it handed to you on a plater.

1. It's a major part of the appeal of the game. Other games have hard modes that are frankly more time-consuming and difficult than Dark Souls is as a whole, but no one ever really brags about beating them. The fact that Dark Souls is synonymous with "difficult game" to people is what makes part of its challenge so appealing. When you win, you not only feel like you achieved something, you know that other people will recognize it as well.
Say what you want about "you shouldn't care what other people think" or "it shouldn't impact your experience if it's easier for others", but it does for many people. It's why people take pride in beating the game: because not everyone is willing to do it. It enhances the "Victory Achieved" you see after every win.

2. Even outside of the "reputation", it undermines the mechanics of the game. Dark Souls' PVE is meticulously designed to require foresight, strategy, and a grasp of the mechanics. Someone earlier in this thread complained about "delayed input", but the fact that weapons have weight, swing time, and that movements aren't nigh instantaneous, requires the player to pick weapons and gear that fit both their style and the situation, as well as to study their enemies and learn their patterns if they are struggling.
Reducing the damage enemies do just hides this meticulous balance and gameplay design effort behind ease and tedium. The very fact that the game is so difficult and required so much thought and strategy is what drew attention to its game play to begin with.

That said, there's no REAL reason that there shouldn't be an easy mode, but it wouldn't be the same game. If I bought a book that was outside of my reading level and stated its high requirements on the cover, I wouldn't demand they release a layman's version so I could appreciate it like everyone else; I'd either hunker down and try to understand it or put it down and forget about it.

What I'd kind of like to see is a mode where you can take your NG+ character and start at the base difficulty with it, with all your items except for keys and stuff. It would be fun to tear through the game with Homing Crystal Soulmass and Crystal Soul Spear, absolutely destroying enemies that kicked your ass the first time around.

Windcaler:

BreakfastMan:
But giving the game an easy mode does not remove the possibility of that kind of failure. Hell, making the game really hard does not add the possibility of that kind of failure either.

And I fail to see how making someone so fed up with your game that they don't want to play it ever again is good game design. You want to encourage the player to press on, not give up.

Incorrect. I mentioned before the definition of an easy mode as its been defined since the early days of the NES. A difficulty level where the player knows they can succeed (and on that note in hindsight I really shouldnt have called the upgrading system "easy mode"). Like it or not thats what an easy mode has been for nearly 30 years and if current games are any indication it will remain that way for a long time.

...That still does not make much sense to me. I still know I can succeed on a harder difficulty, it just takes longer. :\

BreakfastMan:
But this isn't going against established elements of the franchise anymore than giving XCOM (a series where difficulty is also considered an integral part) an easy mode is going against established elements of that franchise. It just opens up the game to more players. Many XCOM players consider easy a practice mode for people who are not very good at those games to play before jumping into normal/classic/impossible. Why would an easy difficulty in Souls be any different?

Thats where youre mistaken. XCOM: enemy unknown (1993) (also my favorite game of all time) is not designed around hardcore unforgiving difficulty its designed around hardcore tactical strategy and running an international defense agency. The difficulty is high but it is not intregal to the design of the game nor is it an artistic method used to further the artistic goals of the game.

Not the way that I hear from many XCOM fans: the games were supposed to be unforgiving, like you were actually fighting against an alien force, making each loss that much more palatable and damaging. You are supposed to feel like you are fighting a losing battle against a superior force, or something like that. :\

The expectations and precedent in regards to difficulty is completely different. Dark souls, like kings field before it, set a precedent of an extremely hard but fair game. The easy mode would move it away from what its known for and start the same chain reaction we've seen in history whenever a franchise reinvented itself

I really don't think that would happen. The Persona games are known for being very hard, yet they still included an easy mode in the 3rd game. That didn't radically shift the series (though, TBF, a helluva lot of innovations between 2 and 3 did that), it just made it so that those inexperienced with the SMT series (or JRPGs in general) could get into the series easier. If you include an easy mode in the Souls games, you are not reinventing the series: you are just lowering the bar of entry. There is no reason that the game could not be challenging on easy mode (again, just like Persona 3+4 or XCOM to an XCOM newbie), it would just be less so. Instead of dying constantly, you would just be consistently barely scraping by on the skin of your teeth.

BreakfastMan:
snip

Assumptions are what we're all making, like you're assuming that there's no problems whatsoever with your implementation. There's no precedent to work with, so we're stuck on discussing things hypothetically.

Difficulty is why people like the game, yes. But in this case, it's forced difficulty. Before playing Dark Souls I heard all sorts of rumors about how brain-munching hard it is. It's not hard to extrapolate that some or even most people will likely want to get a feel for the game before they wade in. And if the game is easy enough, it'll feel like it's not worth playing any more after finishing it. And can we keep other games out of this? Dark Souls is an inherently difficult game that relies on a set of different mechanics and game design ideas. When confronted with a game that's known to be difficult, yes, most people will play on easy.

When talking about incentives, there's a lot of things people will and will not do as the game steers them, and people will generally pick what they think is the best experience, not what IS the best experience. That's why a directed experience is sometimes preferred to a fully customizable one.

And I don't really care what you did with Demon's Souls. That isn't even the game we're talking about, and not everyone is you.

poiumty:

Difficulty is why people like the game, yes. But in this case, it's forced difficulty. Before playing Dark Souls I heard all sorts of rumors about how brain-munching hard it is. It's not hard to extrapolate that some or even most people will likely want to get a feel for the game before they wade in. And if the game is easy enough, it'll feel like it's not worth playing any more after finishing it.

I dunno about you, but I will replay a game if it is good, regardless of whether or not it was difficult. And not everyone likes the game solely because of how hard it is. :P

When talking about incentives, there's a lot of things people will and will not do as the game steers them, and people will generally pick what they think is the best experience, not what IS the best experience. That's why a directed experience is sometimes preferred to a fully customizable one.

But Dark Souls doesn't really offer a tightly directed experience. It pushes you to certain areas over others, yes, but beyond that you are on your own and free to choose what you want to do. As such, this point doesn't really seem applicable. :\

BreakfastMan:
snip

The game being hard was why its predecessor succeeded in the first place. There's lots of games that are similar to Souls (being a third person action/RPG) that were much less successful. I'm pretty certain most people brought Dark Souls because it was challenging, not because it was good casual fun. It also had the perk of being a good game, of course, but that wouldn't matter if people didn't enjoy the challenge. Darksiders 2 was a good game, and it was struggling last I checked.

And of course it offers a directed experience. It's non-linear is what you mean, but only up to a point.

But by directed experience I mean the game is done in such a way that it stays difficult on a first playthrough no matter what you do and even a very unlucky playthrough can clear the game with the tools offered to you. The vendor that sells moss, the lightning spear in Sen's Fortress, the shards and chunks in chests that can just barely upgrade a single weapon to +15 or the spear to +5, all of these are put there for a reason. The game gives you the minimum amount needed to proceed. With an easier playthrough they'll just become part of the scenery, more or less. Which is what I mean by the experience becoming less tight.

I don't go online with darksouls. I don't need help with any of the enemies and I don't want to get invaded, because it spoils the game for me.
Also I have it for the Xbox 360 but I am not willing to pay a monthly fee to play online.

FriedRicer:
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?

That's a better post, and one I agree far more with.

Unlike what a lot of people say, Dark Souls isn't that hard of a game. It's hard, but it's still incredibly fair. It's a game that punishes mistakes heavily, and therefore relies a great deal on players being methodical and learning the ins and outs of the game. Now, I thoroughly enjoy that sort of game(as opposed to, say, Skyrim <.<), and I think it fits the oppressive middle-age atmosphere of the game very well.

However, there are people I know who liked the razor-sharp combat system, the atmosphere and the subtle world-building, but just didn't have the patience to play for very long due to them dying way too much. Thus I don't see why there should be a problem with implementing an easy mode. It's not, ever, going to affect you, or anyone else in the "regular" playerbase, in any negative way, so what's the harm?

Personally, I would've enjoyed Dark Souls a whole lot more if it were easier. I've still had the same level of fear, less frustration, and more enjoyment from titles which were easier than Dark Souls, but still challenging.

It's rather frustrating that people assume we all enjoy a game for the same reasons. For me, I played Dark Souls for the atmosphere. I loved the visuals, and my main reward throughout the duration was to see what was behind the next door. Others get their fix on the battles. Personally, I thought the combat sucked more balls than a pinball machine. Either way, what's important is that the game is enjoyable for everyone who plays it.

Bottom line is, games are about having fun. Adding an easier difficulty allows more people to have fun with Dark Souls. Why should other potential buyers lose out on a good time because a couple of snobbish pro-gamers wish to have game only targeted at themselves? No-one here is special. No-one deserves a game solely targeted at them unless they make it themselves.

Naeras:
Thus I don't see why there should be a problem with implementing an easy mode. It's not, ever, going to affect you, or anyone else in the "regular" playerbase, in any negative way, so what's the harm?

My response to this ties into Windcaler's excellent post regarding the distinction between video games being a product or a work of art.

If video games are to be respected as a work of art, then Miyazaki is to be entitled to a creative and artistic freedom without outside pressure regarding what games are "supposed" to include, or even be. This is the route he and From chose, that is to go about creating a specific, carefully and masterfully designed experience with zero regard for the people who don't care for it, because the intrinsic difficulty is the very basis and aura of his artistic statement.

In keeping with the theme of video games being legitimate artistic statements, I thought of Steven Spielberg and Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg set out to create a work of art that depicts the most brutal, unforgiving aspects of the second World War. From a business standpoint, if it was possible would it be smart to have 2 showings, one that was his original creation and one that removed the disembowelment and shrieks of pain for those who find that unsettling? Probably. But Spielberg, as the artistic creator, has every right to say "No fucking way, the whole piece is built from the ground up to depict the horrors of war and I'll not have my name attached to a whitewashed and neutered version of it."

Dark Souls, if viewed as the artistic statement and near satire of gaming from 2006 onward that it was designed to be, can be viewed very similarly. I can absolutely understand that the setting, lore, and mechanics can seem intriguing but that the bar of entry can seem to high. However, there are literally thousands of games that have interesting lore and mechanics that are happy to provide easier play because their main goal is to have as many people playing as possible. Miyazaki's main goal was to create a world of indifference to the player, and to have the difficulty and mechanics tie organically into this indifference. Note that I didn't say "punishing" or "unforgiving". The world he crafted is indifferent because:

When you are killed by an enemy, they simply walk away and go about whatever they were doing
Any living or partially living person has very little to say, and isn't all that excited that you're there.
You're not the star of Dark Souls. You're not the most powerful being, out to punish the big bad. You're just another undead, starting your journey as a corpse thrown into a prison where you hopefully are never seen again.

The difficulty is an inherent part of this indifferent isolation. Miyazaki meticulously crafted and excellently thought this out so that if you are among the few who can handle it, and further among the even fewer who succeeded at it, that you are to feel like the hugest badass of video games who should throw a parade for himself. Someone who feels like a badass for beating Dark Souls is not a derogatory thing, and they would only be riding on the emotion that the experience crafted for them. The back of the box explicitly makes this clear. You glance at the back to see if it's for you, and you are told to "Prepare to Die", and that the game is "tense", "fearsome", and has "an incredible challenge that provides an absolute foundation of achievement and reward".

If you glance at that and decide "Well fuck that", there's nothing wrong with you. It means that Dark Souls is not your kind of game, regardless of what other aspects seem appealing to you. Miyazaki is under no obligation to make his creation easier to handle, because it's his creation, and it was a profitable business move to do so because he found millions of the people that he had in mind, who were hungry for just this.

I can understand the concept of finding Dark Souls attractive yet scary, because that's precisely what it's supposed to be. Either you want to actually play Dark Souls and love the hell out of it like the rest of us, or you are free to pick among tons of "gothic" action RPGs that are willing to provide different levels of difficulty because they were created from a business standpoint. Not every game needs an easy mode, many games do not have an easy mode and for a very valid reason. There is no rule that every game must in some way be easily approachable, and quite frankly, I am incredibly glad for this not for my sake, but for Miyazaki, McMillen, and any designer who deliberately opts to neglect that notion.

DrunkOnEstus:
good post

This essentially summarizes why I don't think DS would be nearly as good if it was any easier, as well as the reasons the developers would be completely in their right not to put an easy mode in. And while this is essentially the only worthwhile argument about why to not put in an easy mode, it's one that I agree with as well. The game wouldn't be as enjoyable for me if it wasn't as punishing as it is.

However, this isn't what my post was about. The outcry against this has often been that "it would ruin the game for me", when that plainly isn't true, because if you enjoyed DS, you wouldn't pick an inferior easy mode to begin with. It wouldn't affect the regular customers in the slightest. Anyone who puts up that argument is an elitist, simple as that.

The other part is that while the first thing most people think of when mentioning DS is "HARDCORE ACTION-RPG FOR MANS", I think of the incredibly solid combat system the game sports. You see, I don't think the difficulty is the biggest strength of the game. It's a factor that adds greatly to the other strong points the game has, but both the combat system, the atmosphere and the world building are all better done than almost any other RPG I can think of, and could stand up on their own even without the level of difficulty. In fact, the fact that DS' combat system is so ridiculously good has turned me off several other big RPG releases recently, because they're just not close to what DS offers. Thus I have no problems with seeing why people would want to enjoy that aspect of the game without having to worry about being killed by everything and everyone.

The optimal option was that someone made a game with a combat system that was on level with DS, really, but I highly doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.

BreakfastMan:

Windcaler:

BreakfastMan:
But giving the game an easy mode does not remove the possibility of that kind of failure. Hell, making the game really hard does not add the possibility of that kind of failure either.

And I fail to see how making someone so fed up with your game that they don't want to play it ever again is good game design. You want to encourage the player to press on, not give up.

Incorrect. I mentioned before the definition of an easy mode as its been defined since the early days of the NES. A difficulty level where the player knows they can succeed (and on that note in hindsight I really shouldnt have called the upgrading system "easy mode"). Like it or not thats what an easy mode has been for nearly 30 years and if current games are any indication it will remain that way for a long time.

...That still does not make much sense to me. I still know I can succeed on a harder
difficulty, it just takes longer. :\

The thing is youre still feeling that pressure to succeed which makes the rewards of the game you mentioned earlier all that much more compelling

BreakfastMan:
Not the way that I hear from many XCOM fans: the games were supposed to be unforgiving, like you were actually fighting against an alien force, making each loss that much more palatable and damaging. You are supposed to feel like you are fighting a losing battle against a superior force, or something like that. :\

I think youre missing the point I was trying to make. XCOM is known for bing a hard game but it is not DEFINED by being a hard game. Its a subtle but important difference.

BreakfastMan:
The Persona games are known for being very hard, yet they still included an easy mode in the 3rd game. That didn't radically shift the series (though, TBF, a helluva lot of innovations between 2 and 3 did that), it just made it so that those inexperienced with the SMT series (or JRPGs in general) could get into the series easier. If you include an easy mode in the Souls games, you are not reinventing the series: you are just lowering the bar of entry. There is no reason that the game could not be challenging on easy mode (again, just like Persona 3+4 or XCOM to an XCOM newbie), it would just be less so. Instead of dying constantly, you would just be consistently barely scraping by on the skin of your teeth.

Again Persona is known for being a difficult franchise but it is not DEFINED by being a hard franchise. Difficulty is synonomous with the souls series. Persona isnt defined by its difficulty it is defined by roleplaying, being a JRPG, and probably other elements (yeah if you havnt guessed I havnt played that much Persona).

On that note, I really am struggling to think of games that define themselves by difficulty. Obviously theres the soul series, Kings field the ancient city but thats all Im coming up with off the top of my head

Lets switch gears though. I want to talk about the artistic side of Dark souls and what the difficulty means as an artistic method to portray the developers intentions. Lets start with the question I posed earlier. Artistic method is sacrosanct. Do you agree or disagree and why?

DrunkOnEstus:
*sniped*

I didnt think anyone was actually going to read that post. So yay we get to talk about how games are art!

Windcaler:

DrunkOnEstus:
*sniped*

I didnt think anyone was actually going to read that post. So yay we get to talk about how games are art!

Hehe true. It is interesting to note that in its native Japan that Dark Souls was self published by From Software.

Naeras:
However, this isn't what my post was about. The outcry against this has often been that "it would ruin the game for me", when that plainly isn't true, because if you enjoyed DS, you wouldn't pick an inferior easy mode to begin with. It wouldn't affect the regular customers in the slightest. Anyone who puts up that argument is an elitist, simple as that.

I don't see how you can respect his creative vision just for the sake of respecting his creative vision but not respect the appeal it has to me.

How can you not see how grossly unfair that is? Part of the attraction to this game is that the world is eerie and indifferent, the bosses are scary and challenging, the encounters are unforgiving, and the sense of achievement is rewarding. Think about the rush you get from a horror movie, or how you felt when you watched a movie with a bleak or unwelcoming setting. How do you not see that knowing I can beat the game before I even start the game changes the way I experience it's content? Gaping Dragon is not so scary if I know I can win. Nito is not so scary if I KNOW the game is designed to GUARANTEE I can win. Dark Souls pulls every trick in the world to foster those feelings of helplessness, and later achievement. EVERY TRICK. If you want to say those things aren't important enough and I should just suck it up for the sake of those who want an easy mode IN LITERALLY EVERY GAME BROOK NO EXCEPTION THERE IS NO INSTANCE WHERE IT MIGHT NOT BE APPROPRIATE, fine. Say that.

But don't call me elitist. I will freak the fuck out every time. I'm glad you respect the designer's creative vision, but the next step is to start respecting those of us who find it compelling. I only care about Miyazaki's creative vision because of the effect it had on me. If that effect wasn't legitimate and compelling and therefore worthy of preservation, I would call him a pretentious twat. I don't see how you can respect his creative vision just for the sake of respecting his creative vision but not respect the appeal it has to me. That makes no sense.

How about I spoil every movie you ever watch for the rest of your life and if you complain I call you elitist. I don't think you would appreciate it.

The other part is that while the first thing most people think of when mentioning DS is "HARDCORE ACTION-RPG FOR MANS", I think of the incredibly solid combat system the game sports. You see, I don't think the difficulty is the biggest strength of the game. It's a factor that adds greatly to the other strong points the game has, but both the combat system, the atmosphere and the world building are all better done than almost any other RPG I can think of, and could stand up on their own even without the level of difficulty. In fact, the fact that DS' combat system is so ridiculously good has turned me off several other big RPG releases recently, because they're just not close to what DS offers. Thus I have no problems with seeing why people would want to enjoy that aspect of the game without having to worry about being killed by everything and everyone.

The optimal option was that someone made a game with a combat system that was on level with DS, really, but I highly doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.

I respect that Dark Souls has a lot of very cool features that people want to try, but it is not proportionate for me to lose the game's core, stated appeal so that people can experience it's melee combat. I lose a lot more then they gain. Surely what people should be asking for is for more games to have combat like Dark Souls, not for Dark Souls to change it's basic formula so they can play with the melee combat. Your option of changing the series to accommodate the people who hate the game but want to play with it's melee combat is not fair to me at all.

Dickwraith +3 here. I invade others constantly. Sometimes to steal their humanity, other time to give them gifts. Depends on my mood.

Rooster Cogburn:

Naeras:
However, this isn't what my post was about. The outcry against this has often been that "it would ruin the game for me", when that plainly isn't true, because if you enjoyed DS, you wouldn't pick an inferior easy mode to begin with. It wouldn't affect the regular customers in the slightest. Anyone who puts up that argument is an elitist, simple as that.

I don't see how you can respect his creative vision just for the sake of respecting his creative vision but not respect the appeal it has to me.

How can you not see how grossly unfair that is? Part of the attraction to this game is that the world is eerie and indifferent, the bosses are scary and challenging, the encounters are unforgiving, and the sense of achievement is rewarding. Think about the rush you get from a horror movie, or how you felt when you watched a movie with a bleak or unwelcoming setting. How do you not see that knowing I can beat the game before I even start the game changes the way I experience it's content? Gaping Dragon is not so scary if I know I can win. Nito is not so scary if I KNOW the game is designed to GUARANTEE I can win. Dark Souls pulls every trick in the world to foster those feelings of helplessness, and later achievement. EVERY TRICK. If you want to say those things aren't important enough and I should just suck it up for the sake of those who want an easy mode IN LITERALLY EVERY GAME BROOK NO EXCEPTION THERE IS NO INSTANCE WHERE IT MIGHT NOT BE APPROPRIATE, fine. Say that.

But don't call me elitist. I will freak the fuck out every time. I'm glad you respect the designer's creative vision, but the next step is to start respecting those of us who find it compelling. I only care about Miyazaki's creative vision because of the effect it had on me. If that effect wasn't legitimate and compelling and therefore worthy of preservation, I would call him a pretentious twat. I don't see how you can respect his creative vision just for the sake of respecting his creative vision but not respect the appeal it has to me. That makes no sense.

How about I spoil every movie you ever watch for the rest of your life and if you complain I call you elitist. I don't think you would appreciate it.

The other part is that while the first thing most people think of when mentioning DS is "HARDCORE ACTION-RPG FOR MANS", I think of the incredibly solid combat system the game sports. You see, I don't think the difficulty is the biggest strength of the game. It's a factor that adds greatly to the other strong points the game has, but both the combat system, the atmosphere and the world building are all better done than almost any other RPG I can think of, and could stand up on their own even without the level of difficulty. In fact, the fact that DS' combat system is so ridiculously good has turned me off several other big RPG releases recently, because they're just not close to what DS offers. Thus I have no problems with seeing why people would want to enjoy that aspect of the game without having to worry about being killed by everything and everyone.

The optimal option was that someone made a game with a combat system that was on level with DS, really, but I highly doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.

I respect that Dark Souls has a lot of very cool features that people want to try, but it is not proportionate for me to lose the game's core, stated appeal so that people can experience it's melee combat. I lose a lot more then they gain. Surely what people should be asking for is for more games to have combat like Dark Souls, not for Dark Souls to change it's basic formula so they can play with the melee combat. Your option of changing the series to accommodate the people who hate the game but want to play with it's melee combat is not fair to me at all.

Seriously?
Does even having the option of playing the game on an easier mode, even when you're not touching it with a ten foot pole, ruin the game for you?

How the hell does that work? I can't even begin to fathom how something that's not relevant to you in the slightest would even affect your gameplay experience, far less how it would ruin it for you.

Naeras:
Seriously?
Does even having the option of playing the game on an easier mode, even when you're not touching it with a ten foot pole, ruin the game for you?

Depends what you mean by 'ruin'. It would likely lose a lot of the qualities that distinguish it from other titles. Atmosphere, tension, sense of achievement, community struggle, etc. are all impacted. If you disagree that these things are even a factor that could be affected by an easy mode, then I think it's likely you and I just fundamentally disagree on what games are and how games work. Or, we disagree about what difficulty means in Dark Souls. I don't know if the game would be 'ruined' but it may mean the difference between picking up Dark Souls II and picking up Call of Duty XLVIII.

How the hell does that work? I can't even begin to fathom how something that's not relevant to you in the slightest would even affect your gameplay experience, far less how it would ruin it for you.

I find it very hard to believe that you don't know what I'm talking about. Don't agree with? Fine, opinions and all. But don't know?

Suppose I spoiled Fight Club for you. I won't, because I'm not a dick. But suppose I did. Have I changed the way you experience the film? How do you account for that? It is, after all the exact same film, and therefore the way you experience it is irrelevant.

That's what you are trying to do to me with Dark Souls. And if you don't see it that way I ask you to at least respect that I do and not call me a gorramn elitist. If you think I freaked out the last time, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Dark Souls is not a difficult game. Dark Souls is a difficulty game. Please respect the difference.

Naeras:

FriedRicer:
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?

That's a better post, and one I agree far more with.

Unlike what a lot of people say, Dark Souls isn't that hard of a game. It's hard, but it's still incredibly fair. It's a game that punishes mistakes heavily, and therefore relies a great deal on players being methodical and learning the ins and outs of the game. Now, I thoroughly enjoy that sort of game(as opposed to, say, Skyrim <.<), and I think it fits the oppressive middle-age atmosphere of the game very well.

However, there are people I know who liked the razor-sharp combat system, the atmosphere and the subtle world-building, but just didn't have the patience to play for very long due to them dying way too much. Thus I don't see why there should be a problem with implementing an easy mode. It's not, ever, going to affect you, or anyone else in the "regular" playerbase, in any negative way, so what's the harm?

My question is still unanswered.How can a game that has difficulty based on the players input be made easier?If you have played the game you have probably seen how much of an advantage the games layout gives you.How does someone like the razor combat but "die way too much"?I keep asking posters-what enemy cannot be beaten with a sturdy shield,patience and reading everything?What will scaling stats do to enemies whose attack patterns are inherent to their design and are fatal? I really believe that people go into the game with a mindset from other games. Inductively,their play-styles from other games have given good results-so it should be the same here.If those players played every game deductively,as if it was their first time playing ,each new game could be tackled in a new way-as a different game should be played.

How would you make BlightTown easier?And so on?

Naeras:
However, this isn't what my post was about. The outcry against this has often been that "it would ruin the game for me", when that plainly isn't true, because if you enjoyed DS, you wouldn't pick an inferior easy mode to begin with. It wouldn't affect the regular customers in the slightest. Anyone who puts up that argument is an elitist, simple as that.

I wish I would have seen this earlier because this is really the kind of comment that shows how some pro easy mode individuals are not trying to understand the point of view of the purist. It clings to ideas that have already been proven to be false.

These kinds of personal attacks have no place in an intelligent discussion and I think its time people started spamming that report button when they come up.

That said, the idea that an easy mode will not effect our game is false and it always has been false. I'll repeat an argument I made earlier, human achievement is relative to what everyone else in the species can and can not do. Its not really my thing (I like to be more inclusionary) but some people like dark souls because other people cant hack it. Whether thats right, wrong, or indifferent I dont know but I do know its not likely to change. By our nature human beings are competitive and often times even adversarial (just like you were being with that elitist comment Naeras). At the end of the day, some elitists and purists have valid reasons for not wanting an easy mode in the game. You may call that selfish and Im inclined to agree. However we came to dark souls on our own and now people like you are trying to come in and change our experience. Thats even more selfish then anything an elitest or purist has said in this thread, so get off your high horse. Like it or not but that is a valid reason to leave out an easy mode

You can also see the third fallacy I listed on the previous page which is one of my major concerns with implementation of an easy mode.

Then there is a fact that there already is an easy mode that a player can come across using the sense of discovery the game is trying to give each player (its just not a menu option). A third valid reason why an easy mode shouldnt be implemented.

Rooster Cogburn:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

I must say I agree wholeheartedly, Dark Souls isn't a hard game at all, it's just a game with little tolerance for the impatient and hasty. It's predecessor Demon's Souls was exactly the same, the challenge wasn't the crushing difficulty at all, the challenge was figuring out just how the hell you beat whatever it was that you couldn't beat.

What is it weak to? What does it resist? Should I pierce it? Slash it? Bludgeon it? Set it on fire like from afar like a wuss? You have to experiment and play around with the games mechanics to succeed, the souls games are not hard, they just require patience and tolerance for set backs. They also require the ability to say right, fuck it, I'm going elsewhere and coming back in a little while when I'm stronger and wiser, both as my in game character and as a person.

You have to dive headfirst into it and spend some time sinking before you can swim but by gods it's rewarding once you get into it.

That's what's special about Souls.

You want cheap difficulty? CoD: W@W on Veteran (or hell, black ops on veteran showed it's level design to be complete horseshit if you ask me).

You want a highly rewarding challenge that encourages pummels you into a skilled and efficicent player? Demon's/Dark Souls.

Hazy:
Dickwraith +3 here. I invade others constantly. Sometimes to steal their humanity, other time to give them gifts. Depends on my mood.

PSN-ArtoriasTheWolf
PlatiniumPSN-Bokurenkai

How can I get on your bad side?;p

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