Do you use easy mode?
NO! Easy mode is for the weak!
23.2% (191)
23.2% (191)
Yes, I see no problem with it
31.6% (260)
31.6% (260)
Depends on the game
40.5% (334)
40.5% (334)
Other (Pease explain)
3.9% (32)
3.9% (32)
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Poll: What's Your Deal With Easy Mode

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Maxtro:
Dark Souls does not be as hard as it is to be a good game.

The difficulty is a gimmick it doesn't need.

(Just saying now, I would not mind the addition of an optional easy mode to dark souls). Mechanically, the game would definitely still be good, but I think the experience as a whole would be hurt if the game was easier. One of the main themes of the game is the inevitability of death, and the struggle against it; by making the game easier, this theme becomes less prevalent, and the world much less threatening. This would hurt the entire premise the game is based on, and I think it would not only hurt the game, but do a disservice the players as well.

That being said, another person's experience with the game does not effect mine, regardless of difficulty. I believe that when Dark Souls fans talk about an easy mode in negative light, it is not because someone else's experience on easy hurts ours, but because it would do a disservice to both the game and the players(as mentioned above); at least in context of the world the game is trying to present to the player. I however can only speak for myself, but take that as you will.

Aside from all of that though, Dark Souls is only hard in the sense that it has a high difficulty curve, and that mostly stems from the lack of information(whether through the lack of a decent tutorial, or the entry of an unfamiliar area) rather than enemies having high health or doing tons of damage(gravelording aside). I figure the difficulty of the game is a tad exaggerated.

i like it. it is good to have in case i suck at the game but really like it, that way i can get better at it and actually win something and get a sense of accomplishment. I'll rather play smart than hard

Generally speaking, if I like a game, I'll play it more than once. The first time around, challenge can get in the way of my enjoyment, particularly if I'm playing something like Mass Effect, where I care about the story, or Hitman, where I want to get it absolutely perfect - games where you'll either be reloading a lot, or reloading really breaks the flow. With those games, I play on a lower difficulty, like easy or normal, on my first playthrough - then on the second playthrough, familiar with the game, I play on the highest difficulty possible, and enjoy that element without it getting in the way of the flow, because on the second playthrough, it's not as important.

I frequent easy mode when it's available because it takes less time to get through the game. I'm an impatient person.

I think if a game has easy mode, go for it. I don't have any problem with you playing it. If the devs gave you the option to customize your experience with the game you're welcome to use it.

That said, I definitely see Dark Souls benefiting from not having this choice, the ENB video posted earlier in the thread sums it up pretty well. There is a fundamental difference between games you are intended to clear no matter what and games where the risk of failure is very real.

The intent of the developers does not have to cater to every player if it reduces the experience for other players. It's fine if you don't enjoy dark souls because of the difficulty but the game isn't designed for you.

This might revoke my "gamer" card, but all the games I play are on easy and here is why:

The games that I am play are usually for the story and not combat. Combat can help and I appreciate it if it's good. With that in mind I don't want it to be too stressful (I get enough of that in my WoW raids) so I want the gameplay aspect to be the easiest one. I play the games for the story not to kick my ass because the enemies become bullet sponges (I hate you Borderlands bosses at higher level). The only exception where games are actually made like that such as Dark Souls I usually play regardless of their default difficulty.

On another note but still around the same point somewhat: whenever I encounter a puzzle and it takes me more than 30min to figure it out, I will usually go online and try to find the solution. Puzzles in the games I play are welcomed but only to a certain degree.

I can say the only exception where I actually wanted to see how hard the game was and what changes they would implement in that mode was the Dark mode (which is Insanity without the permadeath) in Witcher 2. It took me longer to finish, but I can say that I quite enjoyed the challenge due to the fact that I love that particular game/franchise.

These are my two cents regarding this topic.

Entirely depends on the game, or rather what I want from the game. If I play it for the story (whether the plot or the character interactions) then it's easy for me and I hack the snot out of it to boot. ON the other hand if it's a game that is about finely balanced challenge and gameplay mechanics, I always go with the normal difficulty. I see no point in harder difficulties unless the game is unbalanced in some ways and it's needed to keep up the tension. Say, Skyrim/FalloutNV can easily become a yawnfest after a few hours on lower difficulties if you use an OP build.

Yeah, I don't really easy mode either and tend to start my first playthrough's on Normal difficulty but I'm not against having an easy mode. I will admit to using it in the Arcade/Story modes of BlazBlue Continuum Shift EXTEND. Mostly because it was my first attempt at a game like that and that losing some fights sends you on the one-way trip to the bad ending. Also Unlimited Hazama. Fuck that guy!

Every game is someone's first and someone's first leap into a game of that genre, and an easy mode can allow someone to get used to how the game works before jumping into it's real meaty challenges. There are also more story-centric games like Asura's Wrath where an easy mode allows you to quickly speed through the gameplay to get to the plot, without the risk of death breaking the narrative flow.

I still don't see why people are bitching about Dark Souls II's easy mode. It's not like the game's forcing you to use it, you can still have it as balls hard as you like but now people who want to enjoy the story/lore (if those exist in Dark Souls) without having to worry about getting killed every 2 minutes.

I use easy on some games (especially on games where the focus is on the story, and being bogged down for the tenth time that day really kills flow).

And why do people even have a problem with an easy mode on Dark Souls? Key word is "MODE", as in optional. It wont subtract your experience, just create a new slightly more forgiving one for other people.

It's not like the mere existence of an easy mode somehow magically makes the hardmode a pushover.

My feelings about 'easy' mode are mixed, mostly depending on the type of game being played.

In terms of FPS games and the like - which are all about testing skill, accuracy, reflexes and timing - then personally I crank up the difficulty as high as it will go. After all, in a test of skill where is the fun in not testing yourself? However, I still don't have problems with different difficulties in these games because everyone has to start somewhere.

In terms of RPG games and the like - which are all about story, world-building, character development and so on - then I'll leave the difficulty on normal, or even change it down to 'easy'. Those games are about narrative story-telling rather than skill at arms, so it's a pleasant change of pace to let the plots of these games pan out at a calmer, more sedate pace - especially if I'm trying to ease down after spending the last three hours beating my head against a LASO run on Halo.

As a sidenote, another point about open world RPGs is that setting the difficulty lower doesn't have to make the game easier. Sounds strange, but let's take that Frost Troll in Skyrim as an example. Now playing on Adept difficulty you're maybe looking at being level 8 before you attempt that bugger. But what about using Apprentice difficulty and trying that fight at level 5? Even though the difficulty is lower, because you're taking on enemies technically way out of your league the challenge of the encounter is the same, and the narrative flows at a quicker pace - which is useful for people with families and jobs and the like who can't afford to grind levels for days on end.

TL;DR: I reckon FPS games should be played on 'hardest', but I do use the easier modes on RPG games.

I'm 26, work a full time job and have 2 kids.

I haven't the time nor the patience to play the same mission/Level/whatever 10+ times.
I mostly play on normal or easy.

For the last few years i've started playing most games on hard for my initial play through, unless you need to unlock it by playing normal. But I like games to be challenging, even if I suck at them I keep retrying until I get through. It's mostly because I love the feeling of completing a game that was a challenge, the best feeling i've had while gaming was the first time that I completed Dante must Die in Devil May Cry 3, will never forget that day.

For me, it really depends on the game I'm playing. Usually I'll play on easy mode first since I really just want to play through the story and have fun. Once I've beaten a game I'll generally play it again on harder difficulties. There are occasions, however, where the easy mode has been too easy for me on my first playthrough and I'll just go to a harder difficulty.

The only game where I've been irked by how easy or difficult it was is DmC. It was still a solid game but with the previous instalments you had to work to get the higher rankings (not important but it's nice knowing you kicked ass). In DmC I was getting S rankings and higher without really trying.

Well, it obviously depends on the game.

Point and click adventure games tend to have no difficulty modes, because puzzles are hard to difficulty-adjust.

Games that revel in their difficulty - like Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy, which were designed with a very specific difficulty in mind - don't need difficulty settings.

Puzzle games tend to ascend in difficulty naturally, so they don't need them either.

Beyond that, everything should have difficulty settings. I prefer Normal mode, but my sister prefers Easy mode. Why shouldn't she be allowed to play a standard platformer just because she's easily frustrated?

With the sorts of games I tend to play, I generally prefer to set them on harder difficulties. There are always exceptions of course. Dawn of War 2, for example, doesn't really get harder to play as the difficulty spikes; it just gets more tedious. Minor bosses are capable of instantly killing one of your squad members (and you only have four of them) and if you aren't careful can wipe out your team in an instant. They achieve this while being able to simply shrug off all the firepower you can throw at them as they happily soak damage for minutes as you constantly run around trying to keep at least two guys fighting at all times.

I guess that I tend to play on high difficulty when the challenge produces a fun result and eschew such options when the challenge is entirely artificial and tedious. This is why, for example, I don't particularly care for the Souls series - the problem isn't that the game is difficult but rather that it forces a style of play that's simply far to slow and measured for my tastes.

To be honest, although I am completely fine with other people playing on easy mode, and scorn people who advocate against other people choosing how they play, I never play on easy mode myself for my cheap gamer pride. It just bothers the hell out of me if I can't beat a game at the original level was created to be played at, and it feels very satisfying to be able to clear the game at it's proper difficultly or higher, although, for me, there's usually a diminishing return past normal mode, and the return often becomes practically non-existent at the ridiculous difficulties

i.e., I played through about half of Tales of Xillia on moderate[ easy > normal > moderate > hard]) and was wondering why I was getting curb-stomped so badly by bosses, and even regular monster encounters sometimes, then I shifted to normal after I realized, and the game became much more manageable, and the difference was like night and day. And even though I was supposed to be getting higher exp/gald bonuses on moderate[the base exp/gald do not change over difficulty levels], I found myself getting better bonuses in normal mode due to being able to wrack up larger combos, and juggle enemies for longer. And I don't even want to consider playing hard, at least not until a second playthrough after getting the right equips to pretty much nullify any kind of elemental damage, and the OP weapons that increase every time you kill a monster, which I probably won't do because I feel like it saps the fun out of a higher difficulty if I am just giving myself a cushion to keep playing at my current comfort level, without really being challenged.

Also, an afterthought about easy mode. Please remember that easy is relative to the standard difficulty, and having an easy mode doesn't automatically sap any and all challenge from the game, it just makes it marginally easier for players who want a similar experience, but lack the skills to play at the proper difficulty level, which will still probably challenge them greatly. Easy mode doesn't mean taking a boss with 1k hp and lowering that to 100 and taking away all its armor, it just means making it marginally more approachable, like maybe reducing it's stats by 20-30% or so. Of course, if a game fucks up its modes and they are all out of proportion to each other, then that's for that specific game, not every easy mode that has ever existed.
(tl;dr A game that's bone-crushingly hard that has an easy mode, will probably still be hard in easy mode, just scaled down.)

If it's a game that has a very unusual control scheme or is complicated and I need time to figure things out then I'll go with easy mode. Something like Elite Beat Agents is a good example of when I, immediately and without remorse, played through easy mode before going to normal mode and I saw it as more of me training for the harder difficulties.

I usually play on normal difficulty and then adjust settings to match my challenge/frustration needs. That means upgrading or downgrading. I play most RTS's on easy however as I'm bloody terrible at them. I can't stand it when I'm forced to play on a too hard (Dark Souls, certain missions in GTA games) or too easy (Assasins Creed) setting, I think it's just super lazy of developers to not include difficulty settings, its just a couple of stat-changes.

MrFalconfly:
I use easy on some games (especially on games where the focus is on the story, and being bogged down for the tenth time that day really kills flow).

And why do people even have a problem with an easy mode on Dark Souls? Key word is "MODE", as in optional. It wont subtract your experience, just create a new slightly more forgiving one for other people.

It's not like the mere existence of an easy mode somehow magically makes the hardmode a pushover.

I think the people raging about this are the same who look down on casual gamers and cry "dumbing down!" when someone fixes the XCOM UI. I don't see the problem myself, instead of boasting that you completed dark souls, you could boast you finished it on hard difficulty, right?

Broderick:
(Just saying now, I would not mind the addition of an optional easy mode to dark souls). Mechanically, the game would definitely still be good, but I think the experience as a whole would be hurt if the game was easier. One of the main themes of the game is the inevitability of death, and the struggle against it; by making the game easier, this theme becomes less prevalent, and the world much less threatening. This would hurt the entire premise the game is based on, and I think it would not only hurt the game, but do a disservice the players as well.

Well that's the point of a difficulty level though. It's so everyone can find their level of challenging. What's a rewarding grind for some may simply be an impossible wall for others.

I have no issue with easy mode, but I rarely use it. (But that's because I rarely play the kind of games I'm bad at.)

If I play the Arcade-mode of a fighting-game, of a football-game or racing (or go for achievements) the easy-mode comes to play because I suck at those.

Also if the gameplay was just annoying but the story was good, I'd also use easy-mode.

lacktheknack:

Puzzle games tend to ascend in difficulty naturally, so they don't need them either.

Well, they can have hints.
When I play Professor-Layton games I never take the hints because I consider them 'cheating', but you could easily have a 'hard' and 'easy' mode in that game. (Also the amount of hint-coins and the puzzles you need to solve could change.)

And I can't remember what game it was, but it was an adventure-game where you had a mode that told you what parts of the background you could interact with, so that would be another way to make an adventure/puzzle game with an 'easy' mode.

DjinnFor:
I always play on the hardest difficulties when reviewing games because it reveals shoddy design choices. For example:

-Does the game become more tedious and boring (e.g. Call of Duty), or genuinely challenging (Vanquish)?
-Do the game mechanics encourage overuse of a single, optimal strategy/technique/tactic (e.g. XCOM Enemy Unknown) or are the viable options and strategies fairly diverse (Mass Effect 2 & 3)?
-Are many game mechanics ignored or sidelined in higher difficulties because they developers failed to take into account their effects (e.g. Tales of Graces), or was the combination of game mechanics and difficulty effectively planned from the start (Metal Gear Rising)?

etc.

You mention X-Com: Enemy Unknown as a game that encourages overuse of one overpowered strategy. What exactly are you talking about there? Is this in the tactical sections or the strategy sections? I only ask because I know 2 people who play that game (myself and a friend) and when we got together and compared notes on the game we had each decided that the game was really good but encouraged a single, overpowered strategy. Turns out that we had each come to a different conclusion as to what was the single over powered strategy, and each was indicative of our play styles.

My friend who is very cautious in tactics games favored a powerful line of long range units with an assault trooper to spot for them. He never used explosives and found the heavy class under powered in most situations. He drew out the enemy and let his long range fire power do the work. He never used shivs because he focused entirely on building up his human troops.

My much more aggressive play style focused primarily on assault troopers and support units able to quickly move in and eliminate enemies before they have a chance to threaten my squad. I made extensive use of explosives because they are pretty much a guaranteed hit and capable of eliminating entire enemy pods in a single action if required. I found snipers almost worthless because they are far too static and shivs very useful because they provide mobile cover, relatively high damage output and are extremely tough in the middle portion of the game, making them an excellent compliment to my assault troopers.

What was your single overpowered strategy?

In any case, about the OT, I like a variety of difficulty modes, but I would like to see more than just easy/normal/hard modes. For example, in X-Com there are a number of factors that make the game harder or easier. The ability to control the difficulty level of each of these factors would be nice. For example, perhaps a person is really good at the tactical battles but not so good at the strategy overview part. Maybe you could increase the amount and strength of aliens in the tactical battles while increasing the level of funding or reducing the rate of panic increasing events.

The only legitimate use of 'easy' mode is in games like Catherine, where even 'easy' mode will easily wipe the floor with the majority of gamers foolish enough to pick it up and play it.

Come to think of it, Catherine is the only game I know of that hides away the 'very easy' mode and only makes it accessible by sort of entering a cheat code or dying of frustration and slumping over on the controller.

Pretty much easy mode all the way. I have no interest in the challenge of playing a video game, I just find them to be an amusing distraction, I don't want to have to put much effort into them.

I'll play on easy mode when the only difference between the difficulties is how much health the enemies have.

Like, when I play on an increased difficultly, I expect the AI to become smarter, not spongier.

I usually start games on either the hardest or the second hardest setting depending on how many options are available and the genre. When I was a kid I always used to play on normal/medium because it was in the middle. I don't think my thoughts went beyond it's in the middle when I was picking those.

I have nothing against it. I usually play on Normal mode, but every now and then, I found myself switching to Easy mode. It happened when I switched to a genre I was not used to. I prefer to play RPGs, strategy games, adventure or point and click games, but I found myself wanting to play some shooters, mostly for the story. Since my hand-eye coordination is really poor, I had a really hard time. So I switched to easy, until I was comfortable enough with the controls and the mechanics to return to Normal mode.

Bottom line is, I play games both to have fun and for the challenge. I don't see why one should automatically rule out the other.

I use easy mode whenever the developers appear to have gotten the meaning of the word "easy" wrong.
I don't want to challenge myself, i wont live long enough to reach anything that can be considered decent, so i don't have time for "hard" modes.

Another reason for which i switch to easy mode is when the game mechanics throw me out of the experience. Mass effect 2 has that happen a few times where you hit a cheap enemy that forgot his space helmet and has no personal shield with two sniper rounds and he wont die, which is rather odd.
So i'd turn the difficulty down until a headshot from a sniperrifle will kill an unshielded unarmored enemy with kill the enemy.

Honestly I tend to start games on hard mode given the option these days. I don't have a problem with easy mode, I've used it in the past. It's not a requirement for games though. If a game is made that demands you rise to meet it's challenge that should be ok too, as in the infamous case of Dark Souls.

BloatedGuppy:

Broderick:
(Just saying now, I would not mind the addition of an optional easy mode to dark souls). Mechanically, the game would definitely still be good, but I think the experience as a whole would be hurt if the game was easier. One of the main themes of the game is the inevitability of death, and the struggle against it; by making the game easier, this theme becomes less prevalent, and the world much less threatening. This would hurt the entire premise the game is based on, and I think it would not only hurt the game, but do a disservice the players as well.

Well that's the point of a difficulty level though. It's so everyone can find their level of challenging. What's a rewarding grind for some may simply be an impossible wall for others.

Indeed, true enough. If there is a way to add an easier difficulty setting to Dark Souls that allows it to keep it's core and not mess with multiplayer, I would fully support it. I am unsure how they would go about such a thing though; most of the game is made much easier when you start to recognize enemy attack patterns. Perhaps an easier setting would leave them open to attack for longer, aside from a damage or health increase for the player. I wonder how they would make Sen's Fortress easier?

I don't use easy mode. But I do understand wanting to give players a chance to learn without getting their teeth kicked in for daring to press start.

I think Megaman 10 did a good job with Easy Mode: show what would be harder if you picked the next one up. There were a lot of floating 'Easy' platforms over bottomless pits and floors laden with spikes. I understand that's not necessarily an option for all games. Alternatively, restrict achievements to higher difficulties; it says "Hey! You beat this level all right, but if you stretch a bit, you can get this shiny!" It creates an excuse to go back and experiment and learn. Not everybody has been a master at genre X for ever and ever.

Dont care about easy mode. Its there for people that want to use it. If you dont want to use it, then dont chose it. It affects nobody, though some do moan that games have that mode.

I find some game's easy mode a way to train for the harder modes. Some games I'm naturally good at and some I need training wheels to get started on. A game thats super-hard from the get go may turn me off it completely especially if the controls aren't intuitive or the mechanics are a slight perspective shift from MY normal.
There's nothing wrong with an easy mode because we're here to be entertained. Sure a challenge is part of entertainment but a game that is consistently frustrating loses the challenge part and becomes stressful. Stressful gaming isn't fun, nor entertaining.

I have nothing against an easy mode being in ANY game, it should always be an option.
As to whether I'll use it?
Depends on what the easy mode is, and what the game is. Civilization? I don't practice often, and I try more to have fun in that than have a challenge, so I never get over the 4th difficulty level [Unless I'm playing that mode where it auto-scales the AI based on how you're doing, in which case it hits the top difficulty quickly, then rapidly drops, then rapidly rises, then rapidly drops - ect.], and most of the time I play on the second.
Any FPS, ARPG, RPG in general - Normal run through first to get a hang of the game, then max difficulty run through, which is 95% of the time a cakewalk.

Depends on the game. Generally, why not. In the case of Dark Souls, it is difficult by design. What I dislike is having to unlock difficulties like it's a substitute for actual replayability.

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