This Obsession With Difficulty is a Little Absurd

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Seriously, I just don't get it. Why are people ragging on modern games for not actively hating the player? I mean, I understand Spunk-Gargle-Wee-Wee-Games that are pretty much you on a tour of set pieces with no way to loose are too easy to the point of not being fun. I get that.

No, I'm talking about other games that people seem to criticize for being too "easy". What specifically made me agitated enough to try and get a discussion going so I could understand this phenomenon was a point made in a video I saw abut Skyrim having been made too easy. Specifically, it was heckled because quest-vital characters couldn't die and there was no way to truly fail the (hundreds of hours long) game. I mean . . . really? I just don't get it. It's preposterous.

I don't know, maybe this opinion isn't as widespread as it seems. Maybe it's just a really vocal minority that keeps shouting for the game disc to snap in half and rape your mother if you accidentally step on a tap. If that's the case, then feel free to discuss why this has become such a visible issue as of late and your own thoughts on the subject. However, if there's really a significant chunk of people out there who want to bring back the "good ol' days", I'd really like to hear why. It just doesn't make sense to me.

EDIT: Whoops, meant to post this in Gaming Discussion. My bad. Mods, feel free to move it to your heart's content.

Some people just like to have a challenge.

Personally, I don't like something that's so hard that it's virtually unbeatable, but at the same time, I relly don't like just breezing through a game.

People are liking what i'm not liking thread #357385943.

Iunno I feel a little cheated when the game is too easy...
Imagine skyrim but every monster died in one hit, how would that be fun?
There has to be a challenge, at least some difficulty for you to have fun, I think Yahtzee mentioned it in his minecraft video, it's looking back at what you accomplished and all the hard work you put in that makes the game memorable.
When I look back I don't really care about my experience in skyrim, it was fun sure but not very memorable, Rayman origins however is a game I will never forget because of the land of the livid dead.


It was ridiculously hard but because of that I will never forget that experience of beating it.

I personally see the difficulty scales as things used to introduce people to gaming, for example deus ex might have been your first video game but you wouldn't quit and get frustrated because there was an easy mode available so you can learn the ropes. Difficulty just shows how familiar you are with games.

danon:
People are liking what i'm not liking thread #357385943.

Pretty much what I thought reading this.

I mean... I sorta feel like playing a game with pirates right now, would you also have a problem with me wanting that?

Because some people actually like a challenge, a large part of their enjoyment of a game is derived for that challenge and few modern game are providing that for them? or like that their actions in a game have some weight and come with the possibility of failure? Its not that hard to understand. A game being too easy makes it really boring. Sure you can make up for it somewhat with story and atmosphere but it wold be better to both be engaging in gameplay and everything else.

I enjoy a challenge but I'm really not a difficulty nut myself. Most modern games are fine for me.

Why do people like difficulty? Because they like a challenge, when you finally achieve something after struggling it makes the victory that much more sweet and some people find that fun. You didn't hear the fans before since they had their games to enjoy. Now companies are trying to appeal to more people by making games easier so no matter how terrible a player is they can reach the end so the fans who want a challenge are mad they're not getting their games. Even moreso when it comes to series getting easier.

Nomanslander:

danon:
People are liking what i'm not liking thread #357385943.

Pretty much what I thought reading this.

I mean... I sorta feel like playing a game with pirates right now, would you also have a problem with me wanting that?

What, are you kidding me? You really know how to misread a thread. "I am confused by your obsession to have a masochistic level of difficulty in games and don't understand why you bash games and players who don't agree" does not equate to "I don't want you to play as a pirate". I mean, for Christ's sake. I don't have a problem with people wanting challenge. And yeah, I do feel a little insulted when I'm, y'know, insulted by players who seem to think they're better because they like games that knock their teeth out if they reload. But above that I just don't get it and I'd like to know what the whole craze is about. So, no, I don't care if you want to have a heart attack playing a crazy frustrating game, or if you want to play a game as a pirate. I just want to know why you want to play these games and why you take such issue with players who don't enjoy that.

Seriously, look a bit more closely at the opening post before you decide to bash it.

TehCookie:
Why do people like difficulty? Because they like a challenge, when you finally achieve something after struggling it makes the victory that much more sweet and some people find that fun. You didn't hear the fans before since they had their games to enjoy. Now companies are trying to appeal to more people by making games easier so no matter how terrible a player is they can reach the end so the fans who want a challenge are mad they're not getting their games. Even moreso when it comes to series getting easier.

This . Anything easy isn't worth doing . And i like me a challenge . I like to feel like i achieved something , no matter how insignificate it is to other people . I want to feel like i was presented with a challenge , and overcame it . It's the difference between a baby walking while holding their parents hands and a baby taking his first steps alone .

krazykidd:

TehCookie:
Why do people like difficulty? Because they like a challenge, when you finally achieve something after struggling it makes the victory that much more sweet and some people find that fun. You didn't hear the fans before since they had their games to enjoy. Now companies are trying to appeal to more people by making games easier so no matter how terrible a player is they can reach the end so the fans who want a challenge are mad they're not getting their games. Even moreso when it comes to series getting easier.

This . Anything easy isn't worth doing . And i like me a challenge . I like to feel like i achieved something , no matter how insignificate it is to other people . I want to feel like i was presented with a challenge , and overcame it . It's the difference between a baby walking while holding their parents hands and a baby taking his first steps alone .

Oh, I understand that perfectly. I love me some challenge, even if it's pretty ridiculous (Halo 2 solo Legendary is still one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time). I just don't get the reverence of insane difficulty.

I do understand why people enjoy a challenge, and most of the time I'm one of those people. However, there are some games that I DON'T play for a challenge, and I won't put it on a higher difficulty.

What gets me twitching is when I hear "wow, you're playing on easy? You freaking casual." Largely because I am less casual of a gamer than 80% of the people that say that to me, which is partially shown by my desire to play a game for the story/relaxation/just plain enjoyment rather than to challenge myself alone.

Viva Pinata, for example, is not really a challenging game. However, just because I love it, I have been labelled as a "casual gamer." Which I like to think I'm not.

Drago-Morph:

Oh, I understand that perfectly. I love me some challenge, even if it's pretty ridiculous (Halo 2 solo Legendary is still one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time). I just don't get the reverence of insane difficulty.

It probably has a lot to do with people wanting to be able to do something that not many other people can do. So, people want to go out of their way to seem like a better gamer by sometimes playing crazy-hard games just to prove they can, and continue to want harder games to push themselves further when other catch up, etc. etc.

Drago-Morph:

Nomanslander:

danon:
People are liking what i'm not liking thread #357385943.

Pretty much what I thought reading this.

I mean... I sorta feel like playing a game with pirates right now, would you also have a problem with me wanting that?

-I don't have a problem with people wanting challenge.

-I just want to know why you want to play these games

and

-why you take such issue with players who don't enjoy that.

-Okay, then there is no problem then.

-Well, different strokes for different folks. I can't exactly explain something to you when it's based on one's taste and preference. I don't understand why some people like racing games, but if I did, I might find myself enjoying it also. If you really want to know. I'd say play it that way, and see what enjoyment you might get out of it, if any. That's the best anyone can do trying to gain an understand someone else's reasons beyond imagining it. =/

-What makes you think I take issue if I don't see you approving something I like? And how do you imagine that I might be belittling you because of it?

Now I know, sometimes, people might get paranoid that there's someone out there criticizing them of what ever they do or don't do. And maybe you've had someone on these forums actually do that to you in a thread. But I'm not, and I don't think a lot of people that enjoy hard games are doing it either.

You're presuming too much, and if there's a real problem here, that's what I would point at. And, in the end, you can't allow yourself to care too much what other people think, anyways. From my experience, it does more harm than good.

=/

Nomanslander:

Drago-Morph:

Nomanslander:

Pretty much what I thought reading this.

I mean... I sorta feel like playing a game with pirates right now, would you also have a problem with me wanting that?

-I don't have a problem with people wanting challenge.

-I just want to know why you want to play these games

and

-why you take such issue with players who don't enjoy that.

-Okay, then there is no problem then.

-Well, different strokes for different folks. I can't exactly explain something to you when it's based on one's taste and preference. I don't understand why some people like racing games, but if I did, I might find myself enjoying it also. If you really want to know. I'd say play it that way, and see what enjoyment you might get out of it, if any. That's the best anyone can do trying to gain an understand someone else's reasons beyond imagining it. =/

-What makes you think I take issue if I don't see you approving something I like? And how do you imagine that I might be belittling you because of it?

Now I know, sometimes, people might get paranoid that there's someone out there criticizing them of what ever they do or don't do. And maybe you've had someone on these forums actually do that to you in a thread. But I'm not, and I don't think a lot of people that enjoy hard games are doing it either.

You're presuming too much, and if there's a real problem here, that's what I would point at. And, in the end, you can't allow yourself to care too much what other people think, anyways. From my experience, it does more harm than good.

=/

I'm sorry, I didn't mean you specifically. I meant "you" as in the stand-in for the type of gamer I'm describing. I almost added that to my post, but I felt I had a nice little rant going and didn't want to screw it up.

So, yeah, didn't mean that as a personal attack.

Well there are two things:
- no challenge -> no payoff, greater challenge -> greater payoff
- and your sort of challenge is not my sort of challenge

Drago-Morph:

I'm sorry, I didn't mean you specifically. I meant "you" as in the stand-in for the type of gamer I'm describing. I almost added that to my post, but I felt I had a nice little rant going and didn't want to screw it up.

So, yeah, didn't mean that as a personal attack.

No worries, I didn't take it a personal attack either.

So much hyperbole in that OP. The fact is that most modern game design panders to the lazy, or to those with limited attention spans. Automation, handholding, quest markers, qte's- most of it is bullshit, designed to disempower the player, to strip control for the sake of "accessibility" and increased sales.

Where is the gratification, the satisfaction, in a game that plays itself? Sure, there are exceptions, such as games that focus on artistic aesthetic (Journey), or social interaction, but refined mechanics, challenge, and replayability are ultimately the defining aspects of a game for me. I couldn't give two sloppy turds about story or character development. I want a game to force me to improve my skills, and be satisfying in the process. It's not about a game "hating me". It's about me beating the game at its best.

This is where I derive my satisfaction as a gamer, from persisting, adapting and overcoming the toughest stuff it can throw at me. For me, a good game caters to this preference, and it is just that- a personal preference. I don't do this to perpetuate a superiority complex. I do this because I am passionate about my hobby, and appreciate the most minuscule aspects thereof. I do this for myself. I don't care what you enjoy, and won't belittle you in any way, because you also appreciate my chosen hobby on some level, and that's a good thing. Nor do you have the right to call me "absurd" or "preposterous" for the ways in which I derive my personal gaming satisfaction.

This is why "hardcore gamer" is one of the most maligned terms out there right now. If you use it to posture, to boost your own pointless little ego, you're a "poser". A "wanker". A "tryhard". A "tool". You're not a "hardcore gamer". "Hardcore gamers" do it for themselves.

I think anyone who complains that Skyrim is too easy and doesn't have enough of a challenge should play it on hardcore mode, where they have to snap the disc in half if they die. That way there is a real fear of not being able to complete the game and they spend all their time on that.

OT: Leave ridiculous difficulty to the past. Having an easily playable difficulty is a good thing, and being able to set it allows people who aren't otherwise good at video games learn how to play, and seasoned veterans to have a bit of a challenge.

Esotera:
I think anyone who complains that Skyrim is too easy and doesn't have enough of a challenge should play it on hardcore mode, where they have to snap the disc in half if they die. That way there is a real fear of not being able to complete the game and they spend all their time on that.

OT: Leave ridiculous difficulty to the past. Having an easily playable difficulty is a good thing, and being able to set it allows people who aren't otherwise good at video games learn how to play, and seasoned veterans to have a bit of a challenge.

See, half of this is bullshit. Relegating "ridiculous difficulty to the past" is exclusive (bad). Having the option to set difficulty, and having a game designed to function well at any difficulty setting, is inclusive (good). Seriously, the majority of this backlash against "hardcore gamers" should actually be aimed at the puerile egotists that misappropriate the term.

I don't think that greater challenge is directly proportional to greater payoff. Take the original mass effect, if you manage to get past one incredibly hard fight (for me on ps3 anyway) then all you are rewarded with is more driving or walking round, compared with if you lower the difficulty setting then I find the combat is more fun.
Take Skyrim as you were using, I found the dungeons started to get harder as you leveled up, around level 50 I started dying to the inhabitants and later the bosses, but I didn't find that any more entertaining than running in and slaughtering them, and I got the same loot from both.
I think payoff comes from doing things your own way, like in Far Cry 3 taking over an outpost without being noticed. You aren't told how to do it, it's all up to you. In other games like CoD, GTA and like I said Mass Effect, there is only one way to do things and so there is no payoff for doing them.

I suppose it is this!
Beating a hard game will result in greater satisfaction!
Beating an easy game will give less satisfaction.

When I beat a Shin Megami Tensei game, I feel like a bad-ass, because those games punish you!

The world would be a better, happier place if everybody understood that the things that are challenging to one person are not the same that challenge the next.

i dont understand your stance. you dont like the fact that theres a call for games to be more challenging? why? we dont want more challenging games so we can feel superior to those who couldnt beat demons souls, we want more challenging games because easy games get boring

There are some games that would be ruined if they were too easy - serious FPSs like STALKER or (god forbid) ARMA 2 would lose a ton of their atmosphere and appeal if you could just stroll through them casually gunning down everything in your path.

But what I really genuinely resent is when a game has no option to change difficulty and is locked into easy/casual mode. Post-Cata WoW removed all of the challenge from the levelling experience, and the result is an incredibly dull guided tour of easy quests, mini games you literally can't lose, and neutered quest bosses. WoW was never the hardest of MMOs, but it's ridiculous how far they've gone in 'streamlining' it.

Well, Skyrim has some issues, some of which are logical consequences of how it is built or, err, constructed. Pretty much every set (evidently changed when the game goes to the loading screen) offers a number of actors and scripted bits that are very much essential. If you muck up and manage to do something the game is not prepared for, you're stuck. I managed to get stuck repeatedly by some specific event just plain not triggering; say - a character not noticing my finishing a quest, a vital character attacking me and me killing him, a door not opening and no way to retrace my steps beyond save games (which didn't help) or going to the console (which helped, but felt a bit like going all Neo on poor old Skyrim and brought with it temptation galore). Something along those lines.

If you could accidentally kill key characters, Skyrim's story/plot would plain not progress and you would be in sidequest hell for all eternity, until there was nothing else to do beyond killing everyone and becoming mad and evil.

A game like Dark Souls is built completely differently, and when you kill, say, a somewhat vital and utterly handy NPC like a blacksmith or a merchant, you could still finish the game, just with some very noticeable differences. It has to be noted that Dark Souls is pretty much unique in that way, though. Most games these days are so very much scripted and on rails that stepping outside the box would inevitably break them.

As for the difficulty - 'normal' was my first playthrough of choice back when 'normal' still meant 'normal'. These days, 'normal' is already 'kiddiewink' in order not to frustrate folks, and if there is an 'easy' option it's for the intellectually impaired. 'hard' is either today's proper 'normal' or it blatantly shows how broken and rushed the game actually is. It's quite sad, methinks.

I guess it's because challenging games are a more rewarding experience, and in the wider community there is a cultural backlash against publishers making all of their games as easy as possible in order to draw in their perceived idea of the newer casual market.

If you like challenging games, there just isn't much choice within the AAA market.

I think some kind of tipping point has been reached now however. There is clearly a desire for challenge from a larger sector of the gaming community outside of the hardcore's and it I've noticed more casual players are even getting tired of it.

My gf is THE old stereotype casual gamer, and even she was saying "Yeah, I get it. @!#&%." when playing Assassin's Creed 3's 7 hour baby steps tutorial.
Getting the difficulty in a game right and guiding players without handholding is an art that alot of designers just never learned it seemed, so hopefully all this dialogue about it will raise some awareness and increase demand for it.

Drago-Morph:
Maybe it's just a really vocal minority that keeps shouting for the game disc to snap in half and rape your mother if you accidentally step on a tap.

Yes, people who say that ARE a vocal minority.

On the other hand, people who feel that the current AAA offering is somehow too boringly easy are a vocal MAJORITY at least on most gamer forums, even if not in the whole buyer audience.

The problem is with hyperboles, and stereotypes. With assuming that every single person who ever said anything about a game being too easy, can be identified with a single "hardcore agenda" and that they agree with everything else that other hardcore gamers have ever said, so these comments all ad up to a single opinion outshouting you.

Drago-Morph:
Spunk-Gargle-Wee-Wee

This word has become worse than the arrow to the knee jokes...

Anyway, its because games don't feel as challenging any more, or at east they rarely do and because of that the gameplay aspect in most games these days feel pretty boring, because a lot of times were just blazing through them so easily that we don't put any effort into it.
That's why Dark Souls is my favourite game this gen in terms of gameplay,because that game pushes the player to play at his best, which makes you appreciate the game more.

It really shouldn't be that difficult. If the game is not challenging, then it is an easy chore. I'm not saying 'the harder the better', but with out any thing to push you to compete, to feel some tension, to test at least some of you abilities you learnt, the game is quickly just skipped through and becomes forgettable.

I don't have problems with high difficulty, as long as the game is designed around it.

Dark Souls for example knows you'll die at some point, and doesn't break the flow as much when you do. You keep everything except your Souls and continue playing. Same with Super Meat Boy, you just jump right back in.

Compare this to other games, Skyrim for example. It's difficulty varies tremendously from each situation, and each time you die, the game says:
"uh, what? You died? I don't even know what to do, now! Hold on, there is this form you have to fill out, it's somewhere inside my locker. Let me go and fetch it. We might be able to roll back the game a bit, so you don't die. I hope you remember where you last saved!"

depends. is you sucking at the game your fault for not getting better at it, or the game for having shitty design.

if the former then it's a good game as long as it's possible to get good at it with out wasting away your life on it like AVGN would for Ghost and Goblins. if the later than it's a piece of shit.

also, i like games that give you a choice in difficulty, depending on the experience you want. a great example would be the doom games for DOS and WIN95 way back in the day.

for doom has five difficulty settings. for very easy they got simple and effective "I'M TOO YOUNG TO DIE NEEEEGGGH!" and then you got "Hurt me Plenty!" in the middle with "Hey not too rough guys jezz." right under it.

that's when the names become hard core as fuck.

hard is a reference to A Clockwork Orange, going by "Ultra Violent"

and then you get the big one. the real man's man's difficulty that sets the men from the boys and the girls from, wait girls can refer to adult women as well ok nm.

anyways it's called NIGHTMARE

and boy does the name fit

perfection.

I get that people love difficulty for the challenge. That's easy. What I don't get is why anyone would begrudge people that love games, but really stink at them (me) very easy modes and cheats.

I'm cheating like mad at those games that allow me to do so at this time, and, it is a fun experience like no other. Movies and TV are boring by comparison.

But Halo 2, for instance, easy meant easy. You could play on a hard mode if you liked. Even on easy mode, I would die, realize I can't just run and gun, get to do the point that I died over again and this time, throw some grenades into a dangerous room before entering. It was a pleasure. More of that, please. And especially PC games that don't allow cheats... wassamattawith you people?

It's not like I'm trying to win money. I just want some fun!

Drago-Morph:

Oh, I understand that perfectly. I love me some challenge, even if it's pretty ridiculous (Halo 2 solo Legendary is still one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time). I just don't get the reverence of insane difficulty.

No one wants insane difficulty. Making choices have repercussions in Skyrim, like in the example you gave, would not in a million years make that game "insanely difficult".

People want what they do to actually matter in games. The more challenging something is, the more satisfaction you gain when you surpass it. It's pretty obvious, isn't it.

Sounds like you're just making a mountain out of a molehill to me.

I don't like it when games are difficult to the point of constant frustration, but if a game isn't challenging me in every way then I don't feel that satisfaction from beating it. That's why whenever I play a new game I always jump straight to the hardest difficulty.

And I am one of those people who'd like the "good ol' days" brought back because I had more fun playing Halo 1 and Morrorwind on max difficulty than I did Halo 4 and Skyrim.

This may be a little off topic to this thread, but I feel it relates.

I can't stand people who heckle games for being too easy when there are difficulty choices. Seriously, have you ever played some of these games on the hard modes? It's like being equipped with a water pistol to a lion arena.

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