The Jimquisition: A Difficult Subject (difficulty options in games)

DunDunDunpachi

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I would disagree with this idea. Games are very much art, but they are mechanically interactive art as well as intellectually interactive - a different type of art, an art in its own category.
There is artistry in the branding of a sports team, including their jerseys. There is artistry (not just visual arts, but brilliant architecture) that goes into a basketball court. There is craftmanship that goes into the mascots and even into the basketball and hoop. Watching Michael Jordan slam dunk in slow motion might be inspiring, and you might also really like the movie Space Jam.

But basketball is not art.

Art assets play a more central role in the videogame experience compared to sports, but that doesn't make games art. That's actually a very limiting description of videogames, which have transcended both "art" and "game" into a different sort of medium.
 

Aurelian

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It's okay to be niche.

It seems like it works fine for From Software.

They could do it if they wanted to. They don't want to. It doesn't take 10 hours per week, it just takes 10 hours. If it takes you six weeks to do those 10 hours, you've still done it (and a Souls game will last you the better part of a year - what value!). There's no practical obstacle against gitting gud. You are just lazy.

The world does not bow to your family life. I've got a family too, but gaming is a part of our time together. We play Monster Hunter, Towerfall, Smash Bros, Overcooked, Go Vacation, and all sorts of stuff together. Heck, my 10 year old daughter LOVES Bloodbourne. She makes me play it for her while she reads the strategy guide out loud to me (the Future Press guides are really quite impressive - there's a Souls lore guide coming out next month that we are both really looking forward to).


I can name twenty - no, thirty - games that can be that for you. Maybe forty. Just in the past two years. Fifty even. I can name fifty games, off the top of my head, that are exactly what you want here. Sekiro isn't one of them. And that's okay because you have FIFTY other games you can play.

You know what is also okay? It's okay to be niche.
Like I said, it works some of the time. From is a good example of that. The issue is when gamers get offended that a game has easier difficulties, or suggest that you're somehow less of a gamer because you can't devote a large portion of your week to games. Hey, it's great that your family makes gaming a part of its experience. But not everyone has the same family life, and it's pretty shitty to suggest that others are lazy or incompetent because they'd rather, say, go on a date or play with their child outside.

And like Jim said: if you have to sink quite a few hours of practice into a game before it starts being fun, there might be a problem. Not to say From's games are interminable slogs, but there are ways to reward expert gameplay without making players feel terrible on their first few outings.
 
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The day FROM caves (which I hope is never) and surrenders their artistic vision to appease the whiners who want everything designed for them personally is the day I lose all respect for FROM. I don't think they'll ever go down that road, though. I mean they've been a niche developer who seemed to dance to the beat of their own drum for a very long time. It's who they are.
I don't think they will either. Activision (of all publishers) basically gave FROM carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. I don't think the cry for compromising designer intent is as loud as these cry babies think it is.
 

synchronicity

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There is artistry in the branding of a sports team, including their jerseys. There is artistry (not just visual arts, but brilliant architecture) that goes into a basketball court. There is craftmanship that goes into the mascots and even into the basketball and hoop. Watching Michael Jordan slam dunk in slow motion might be inspiring, and you might also really like the movie Space Jam.

But basketball is not art.

Art assets play a more central role in the videogame experience compared to sports, but that doesn't make games art. That's actually a very limiting description of videogames, which have transcended both "art" and "game" into a different sort of medium.
Well I have a much broader definition of art than you do.

The way in which you live your life is an art form.

To me, art is creation. To exclude games from the definition of art is to reduce art to a non-concept, to make it vanish altogether.
 

Terce

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Can we also demand a hard mode for every brain-dead game as well to make up for it? I want hardcore animal crossing where not eating 3 meals a day leads to starvation and armed home invasions are the norm
 

Spukc

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Can we also demand a hard mode for every brain-dead game as well to make up for it? I want hardcore animal crossing where not eating 3 meals a day leads to starvation and armed home invasions are the norm
The fact you state easier games to be brain dead says a lot about your elitism. Do you really think i would give a flying fuck if nintendo added a optional ultra hardcore elite mode to animal crossing?

NO then why do so many SOULS gamers give a fuck about an easy mode being in theirs.
 

Aurelian

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If the studio wants to make a game that is 100% their vision without caring for sales, but only in delivering a product they feel proud of, they have the right to do that.
Who knows, as long as they break even maybe From considers the game a success if their target audience likes the game. Not every studio has to be a mini Activision/EA blindly chasing as much profit as possible.
I didn't say they don't have the right to do that.

Also, please don't misconstrue my statement as assuming that games have to appeal to absolutely everyone. There's a middle ground between difficult niche games and something that's been completely watered down. It's just important to remember that it won't hurt many games to include easier difficult levels and expand access to people who might not have the time or reflexes to play at higher difficulties.
 
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God of War is an example of how binary difficulty modes can lessen the overall experience too. A normal mode that's too easy and a hard mode that's broken, and that game won multiple game of the year awards. But whatever right, binary difficulty is a band aid that works for everything.
 
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synchronicity

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When everything is art, nothing is.

Well art has a subjective definition, it's a mental category with no real borders. If you want to go down that road, all categories are arbitrary - all concepts are manufactured. All is one. I am you, you are me. All is art, art is all.
 

ColdToffee

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I didn't say they don't have the right to do that.

Also, please don't misconstrue my statement as assuming that games have to appeal to absolutely everyone. There's a middle ground between difficult niche games and something that's been completely watered down. It's just important to remember that it won't hurt many games to include easier difficult levels and expand access to people who might not have the time or reflexes to play at higher difficulties.
Why? Is there a shortage of games and the only solution is to force easier difficulty levels on hard games?
 

Aurelian

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Why? Is there a shortage of games and the only solution is to force easier difficulty levels on hard games?
Will you please stop intentionally misrepresenting what I say?

I do NOT believe developers should force easier difficulty levels on hard games. You will never question my view on this again. What they'd ideally do, when it makes sense, is to provide a variety of skill levels so that you can play whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned veteran. Doom is a good example of this -- there's no question that it's very difficult at its highest settings, but you can also play it at an easier skill level without losing the core experience.
 

GreenAlien

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The issue is when gamers get offended that a game has easier difficulties
But, that is not what happened, is it?! Journalists have been getting offended because there is no easier difficulty and instead of playing something else or improving themselves for their job, they tried to force From Software to change their target audience and fabricated some drivel about accessibility. Turning it around and blaming "Gamers" now isn't very honest.

Everything that came afterward is the result of a direct attack on the audience of From Software games.
 
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Airola

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My post was provocative, of course. And you would know it if you read it carefully or, even better, watched Jim's video.

But having another optional easiER difficulty wouldn't kill the game.

And it's fine the way it is too; I just don't get why everyone is so defensive about a dumb issue like this.
It wouldn't kill the game but it would make the game's presentation different.
It just simply wouldn't be a game where the lowest possible difficulty (that the creators of the game have deliberately made the game to have) is what it is now.
It would be a game where its world and its enemies say "hey, we're not actually this hard - just choose another option and we'll become easier for you."
It wouldn't be a game where its world and its enemies would say "this is it, this is what you will have to deal with and there's no way around it."
It really does affect the presentation of the game and it makes it less appealing to the game's core audience.

And again just for the record, something I've said several times in other threads about this subject, I don't like playing these games and I have zero interest to buy Sekiro or Bloodborne. That's because I just dislike these types of modern games in general no matter how easy or hard they are. But I do appreciate the design philosophy a lot and will defend that anywhere and anytime. Easy mode would simply just make that design philosophy nonexistent in these games and especially if someone is saying it's good because it would bring more money, I will become even more defensive because the very least I would like money to be the reason to get rid of both this philosophy that is quite rare in video games and the diversity of games (really, the world of video games IS more diverse when there are options to also play games where the lowest possible difficulty is hard).

Some people want to call people like me "gatekeepers" and elitists when this subject comes up all the while they take for granted that games should always have these options to make it easier completely disregarding any discussion about the philosophy that has made some developers create these games. Sure, I will defend this philosophy and I have tons of fun doing that too. This subject is one of the more interesting gaming discussions out there as it allows us to go very deep to the core of video games and their design.
 
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But, that is not what happened, is it?! Journalists have been getting offended because there is no easier difficulty and instead of playing something else or improving themselves for their job, they tried to force From Software to change their target audience and fabricated some drivel about accessibility. Turning it around and blaming "Gamers" now isn't very honest.
Don't forget attacking people who enjoy the way the games are for being elitists and boy clubs and all that shit.
 
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Danjin44

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The fact you state easier games to be brain dead says a lot about your elitism. Do you really think i would give a flying fuck if nintendo added a optional ultra hardcore elite mode to animal crossing?

NO then why do so many SOULS gamers give a fuck about an easy mode being in theirs.
Let me ask you this, if you think the FromSoftware’s games are too hard for you why not play different game? There is 1000 up on 1000 games out there with easy difficulty. Why developers needs waste resources in order appeal to someone like you who might not care for their games in the first place?

You can’t expect games to be everything for everybody, actually most of the time game suffers trying to appeal to everybody.

Also most people don’t play games with high difficulty for bragging rights, they play it because it’s fun and satisfying.
 
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Belmonte

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I have the impression that a lot of people who want an easy mode would be bored to death when playing Dark Souls like this.

When you dimish the difficulty, the importance of your choices, as a player, dimish as well. "What weapon should I use?", "What direction should I roll?", "How should I build my character?" The answer to these questions in an easy game is "whatever". The game gets boring and there won't be any cinematics, lore dumps or check list quests to occupy the space.

The endgame would be these gamers starting to demand cinematics and all that because "Dark Souls isn't as deep as elitists think it is and the series should go with the times".
 
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Sqorin Hammerfarf

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Like I said, it works some of the time. From is a good example of that. The issue is when gamers get offended that a game has easier difficulties, or suggest that you're somehow less of a gamer because you can't devote a large portion of your week to games.
So, playing games less doesn't make you less of a gamer? Temporally, it absolutely does.

Hey, it's great that your family makes gaming a part of its experience. But not everyone has the same family life, and it's pretty shitty to suggest that others are lazy or incompetent because they'd rather, say, go on a date or play with their child outside.
That's not what I'm suggesting at all. If you make time, you have time. You can't blame somebody else for how you prioritize your time.

And like Jim said: if you have to sink quite a few hours of practice into a game before it starts being fun, there might be a problem. Not to say From's games are interminable slogs, but there are ways to reward expert gameplay without making players feel terrible on their first few outings.
Since I'm playing Bloodborne with my daughter now, I went and checked and I have 33 hours in the game. I'm in the fishing village which I believe is the last area of the DLC, and I've only got two bosses left in the main game and I've done the optional areas and bosses. So, all told, I'll probably beat it in under 40 hours, or right around there. This jives with what howlongtobeat.com has for Bloodborne, which is 35 hours for the main game and 9 hours for the DLC on average. And since Bloodborne saves after everything you do, this time includes every death and failed run - each of the 40 times I fought Martyr Logarius and didn't beat him.

40 hours is not an absurd amount of time to dedicate to a game, and I have to say, I've thoroughly enjoyed my 40 hours with the game more than any of the other dozens of games I've played during the same time period (I've been playing it for about a year or so, with lengthy breaks).
 
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Let me ask you this, if you think the FromSoftware’s games are too hard for you why not play different game? There is 1000 up on 1000 games out there with easy difficulty. Why developers needs waste resources in order appeal to someone like you who might not care for their games in the first place?

You can’t expect games to be everything for everybody, actually most of the game suffers trying to appeal to everybody.

Also most people don’t play games with high difficulty for bragging rights, they play it because it’s fun and satisfying.
Cause games are pretty much Kleenex wipers these days. Gamers demand that they get to see everything.
 

Zog

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The fundamental question is this: do you deserve to beat a game just because you spent money on it?

The arcades didn't seem to think so. Entire genres don't seem to think so. People complain if spending money gives you a leg up on your opponent in an online multiplayer game ("pay to win").

So why do people believe they should beat a game just because they bought it? The difficulty is part of the developer's artistic vision.
Do you deserve to finish a Blu Ray that you paid for? In the past, if you bought a game that was too hard you could choose to use a cheat device. Today if you buy a game that's too hard for you, you've just thrown away your money.
 
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Aurelian

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So, playing games less doesn't make you less of a gamer? Temporally, it absolutely does.
Gonna focus on this since I don't fundamentally disagree with the other points.

It's more about how developers and the community treat that person than the literal amount of time they've played. We shouldn't look down on someone who's genuinely enthusiastic for games, but doesn't have as much time or raw talent as they'd like. This doesn't mean forcing developers to accommodate them, but we should encourage devs to accommodate them since games are ultimately about having fun and (in single-player games) telling stories, not necessarily proving your mastery.
 

synchronicity

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I have the impression that a lot of people who want a easy mode would be bored to death when playing Dark Souls like this.

When you dimish the difficulty, the importance of your choices, as a player, dimish as well. "What weapon should I use?", "What direction should I roll?", "How should I build my character?" The answer to these questions in an easy game is "whatever". The game gets boring and there won't be any cinematics, lore dumps or check list quests to occupy the space.

The endgame would be these gamers starting to demand cinematics and all that because "Dark Souls isn't as deep as elitists think it is and the series should go with the times".
Very well put.

Because of the singular difficulty, the Souls series conveys a sense of consequence and weight. You are led into a deeper connection with the work or you are led out the door, and that is most certainly by design. It's not that they are overly hard, they just require your attention, a minimal amount of investment.

Just imagining "easy mode Souls" - and I said it in another thread - there would be just as much complaining from the exact same crowd that is complaining now, it would just be for different reasons.

What's next for that crowd? I don't like flavor of McDonald's hamburgers. Everyone needs to be able to enjoy a McDonald's hamburger. They need to season the beef to accommodate my palate. Just utter nonsense. I don't even know why I bother engaging in these discussions.
 
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Sqorin Hammerfarf

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Can I just say that not only did I go out and find a Magic Eye picture that is the perfect retort to that stupid comment, but I even went the extra mile and posted an erotic one? Do you know how long I had to stare at these things to find one that was just right level of explicitness? Of all my shitposting, this one was easily the best and none of you fuckers noticed. Maybe Magic Eye pictures need an easy mode. My posts are the Dark Souls of shitposting.
 

synchronicity

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I hate all the various "editions" and varieties of gaming releases these days, but I kind of wish FROM would release the "I don't really want to play Dark Souls edition". A separate product for those who want a product designed just for them.
 

Danjin44

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Gonna focus on this since I don't fundamentally disagree with the other points.

It's more about how developers and the community treat that person than the literal amount of time they've played. We shouldn't look down on someone who's genuinely enthusiastic for games, but doesn't have as much time or raw talent as they'd like. This doesn't mean forcing developers to accommodate them, but we should encourage devs to accommodate them since games are ultimately about having fun and (in single-player games) telling stories, not necessarily proving your mastery.
Most people play games with high difficulty because it is fun. Different people find different things fun and if some people don't find game with high difficulty fun then its safe to say the game is not for them. I find both watching horror movies and playing horror games fun but that not going to be true for everybody but does that mean creators needs to stop making horror to try to appeal for everybody? The reality is not everything is going to appeal to everybody and trying to force to make it have wide appeal will make creation uninspired and lack focus.
 
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Sqorin Hammerfarf

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It's more about how developers and the community treat that person than the literal amount of time they've played. We shouldn't look down on someone who's genuinely enthusiastic for games, but doesn't have as much time or raw talent as they'd like. This doesn't mean forcing developers to accommodate them, but we should encourage devs to accommodate them since games are ultimately about having fun and (in single-player games) telling stories, not necessarily proving your mastery.
I don't think all games need to be everything to all players. For instance, I LOVE that Dwarf Fortress exists. It is brilliant, impenetrable, and stupidly complicated - and that's a good thing because Dwarf Fortress is exactly what it needs to be for the creators to make a living off of it. A dedicated game creates dedicated players. It is okay to be niche.

You don't tell a composer how to write music. You don't tell an author how to end his story. You don't tell an artist what colors to use. You don't tell a comedian how to write jokes. I mean, you can, but they'd be idiots to listen to you.

You are probably coming from a perspective that game design is a product, and it must be designed with an eye towards the customers that will buy it, but I just can't see it that way. I think once you've found a game design that really speaks to you - like REALLY speaks to you... I'm talking like that Junji Ito comic with the people shaped holes in the mountain, "This hole was made for me!" speaks to you... then you are instantly and forever disavowed of the notion that game design is purely a product, or ever should be.

The devs should never accommodate me. They should compose, write, paint, and joke in whatever manner they see fit, and I'll decide whether I will sing, read, view, or laugh along with them.
 
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Aurelian

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Most people play games with high difficulty because it is fun. Different people find different things fun and if some people don't find game with high difficulty fun then its safe to say the game is not for them. I find both watching horror movies and playing horror games fun but that not going to be true for everybody but does that mean creators needs to stop making horror to try to appeal for everybody? T reality is not everything is going to appeal to everybody and trying to force to make it have wide appeal will make creation uninspired and lack focus.
Didn't say this involved "forcing" games to have a wide appeal.

The point in my statement was that we shouldn't take a snobbish attitude toward what constitutes a gamer. You are not less of a gamer because you can't devote 10-plus hours a week to playing, or because you found the latest Souls-style game too frustrating.
 

#Phonepunk#

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Quote from Jim that says it all... "What is so harmful about a completely optional mode that you never have to experience?"
this nonexistent mode is not "harmful" what is harmful is assuming that people are doing harm by thinking otherwise. this bullshit strawman gaslighting is what is harmful. right away he is framing the question so that if people think different than him, they are accusing him of being harmful. he is defining his own outrage.

no it doesn't do a game any harm. because it doesn't exist. there is no easy mode in Sekiro, so how can a nonexistent thing have any impact? this is a dumb and pointless argument. we are arguing over things that don't exist.

furthermore by claiming that one side is "harmful" (through projection or otherwise) he is acting in bad faith and only doing so to stir up trolls and toxic behavior. which is pretty much how Jim seems to make a living.
 
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RedVIper

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Then we should ban mods, and everything else that could hinder the devs' artistic vision.

Like, I don't know, playing on a sub-par tv. Or playing it without sound. Or with better antialiasing.

Or taking turns with friends.

I really hope From's decides to actually release an easy mode. Just to say "see, it's their artistic vision now".

Jim's right: fuck off with this bullshit. Let people have fun the way they want. Who cares?

If cheating makes the game more fun to some people, thus making the game more popular, what's the problem?
Cheating and playing also game the game less fun for a lot of people, by having these options some people will use them and have an worse than they would otherwise, if the devoloper doesn't want that, what's the problem?
 

Danjin44

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Didn't say this involved "forcing" games to have a wide appeal.

The point in my statement was that we shouldn't take a snobbish attitude toward what constitutes a gamer. You are not less of a gamer because you can't devote 10-plus hours a week to playing, or because you found the latest Souls-style game too frustrating.
No one here saying if people don’t enjoy FromSoftware game or any game with high difficulty they are not gamers. My point is we have different types gamers out there and we also have different type games for any type of gamers. You can’t expect a single game that would appeal to every gamer.

Here is my take, I like my favourite creators like Yoko Taro and Miyazaki not because they made games to my specifications but because I just happen to like what they made.
 
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Greedings

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Why does this always come down to "elitism" when it's anything but that?

Sure there are always a few assholes who think that they are some how better than other people because they can play a game, but 99% of people don't give a fuck which game you finished or how hard it was. I can't remember a single time in my life where I said "wow man, you beat the game on HARD?! You must be a pro-gamer!" No one gives a shit about the difficulty level of games you play, it's more about how difficulty levels can drastically alter the feel of a game, and gives up something interesting.

However, I remember many times in my life where I said to a friend "are you at X yet?" or "did you get to y, it's so hard!" Then generate a discussion over how we overcame a tough section, often laughing at my own ineptitude.
Completing a tough game does not make you "elite" it's just a feeling of accomplishment that you can actually discuss. If I had told my buddy that I beat O&S in Dark Souls, and he had gone "huh, on easy there was just one guy" it wouldn't have the same effect.

You also don't see "elite" gamers clamouring for hard modes in all games. I don't ask the devs of easier games to give me a difficult option if it's not in their vision.
I also don't ask devs to take away difficulty modes that already exist. Bayonetta is a great example of a game where the difficulty modes add to the score-chasing gameplay.

Sorry for the rant, but this shit is so old. It's such a straw man.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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People like to min-max their games. I mean, I used to imagine all sorts of cool fanhacks of my favorite titles, but I never invested the time to learn how to make them. It was a nice daydream and that was it.

It's tempting to think of all potential games as some kind of book from the infinite Library of Babel.

If only it could be like Sekiro, but easier. If only it could be like Marvel vs Capcom 2, but with SNK characters too. If only it could be like Mario, but with rocket launchers like the ones from Duke Nukem. etc etc

However, games are unique creations, built with the limitations and advantages of each successive generation. I suppose I take a more "buy what I really like and don't feel bummed out about the games that don't fit my style, for whatever reason" stance.

There are hundreds of games that are praised and beloved but they just weren't for me. Witcher 3 had a terrible combat system, so I just didn't play it after the first 30 hours. Modern Warfare lost the crisp simplicity of COD4MW, so I stopped playing the series. Earthbound? It was okay.

Folks have such a rigid view of gaming, but a market where all games can be everything to everyone is impossible. Embrace the fact that we suck and difficult games exist. I laugh it off and admit I'm defeated until I try again next time. That's the whole point of hard games, to beat down the player until they move on to something else. Or, you can admit defeat by not learning it and playing it at all. Again, totally your choice. That's how the game is designed.
 
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Aurelian

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I don't think all games need to be everything to all players. For instance, I LOVE that Dwarf Fortress exists. It is brilliant, impenetrable, and stupidly complicated - and that's a good thing because Dwarf Fortress is exactly what it needs to be for the creators to make a living off of it. A dedicated game creates dedicated players. It is okay to be niche.

You don't tell a composer how to write music. You don't tell an author how to end his story. You don't tell an artist what colors to use. You don't tell a comedy how to write jokes. I mean, you can, but he'd be an idiot to listen to you.

You are probably coming from a perspective that game design is a product, and it must be designed with an eye towards the customers that will buy it, but I just can't see it that way. I think once you've found a game design that really speaks to you - like REALLY speaks to you... I'm talking like that Junji Ito comic with the people shaped holes in the mountain, "This hole was made for me!" speaks to you... then you are instantly and forever disavowed of the notion that game design is purely a product, or ever should be.

The devs should never accommodate me. They should compose, write, paint, and joke in whatever manner they see fit, and I'll decide whether I will sing, read, view, or laugh along with them.
I don't think that analogy completely works. Unlike most music, books, paintings and comedy, it's possible to have multiple clear levels of accessibility. To use your examples, it'd be like having a novel where everyone gets the same meaning, but it's simultaneously an easy read and an inscrutable riddle that requires a literature degree to understand.

A game developer may have an 'ideal' vision for how their game should be played, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have to exclude easy modes in the process. If there's a reasonable way to include multiple skill levels, it won't necessarily hurt. I'm not going to blame a developer if it doesn't want to (or simply can't) include an easier mode -- I just think it's better to treat gaming as an inclusive tent when you can.
 

Psykodad

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It's exactly the same as when I ask for VR options in upcoming games the internet fires back with a resounding "FUCK YOU AND FUCK VR" .. like dude, how is a option you will never use affect your fucking life you nob.
VR doesn't change the design-philosophy behind the game.

Difficulty settings might, like with From's games.
 

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Actually a fairly even-handed piece by Jim for once, but still a cop-out by not simply admitting up front the whole debate is just people spouting reactionary nonsense for the most part. Standard internet stuff in short.

Once again I find myself dismayed as to how seriously this stuff is treated. People have been talking shit on the internet since it began, but only recently has it begun to be taken as a socially meaningful and representative thing. It needs to be remembered at all times that internet talk is incredibly cheap, people get more belligerent and outspoken than they'd dare to in real life because its so insulated.

Great example; review bombing. The most weak-sauce sort of protest/vandalism imaginable. It makes TP-ing someone's house seem like an Al Qaeda operation! Its just pathetic, and yet noone calls it out for what it is.
 
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brap

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Jan 9, 2018
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I’m not very good at games but I’m always surprised at the rep Dark Souls has. It’s genuinely not that hard. You can grind levels, health and attack power and there are always summons.

The game simply does a very good job of making you think it’s way harder than it actually is.
Most bosses even have weaknesses. It's a meme perpetuated by people that didn't start games until the PS3 era who actually had nothing difficult to ever play.

I've said it once and I'll say it again. Souls games aren't fucking hard. I can pick any game made before 2001 and fucking guarantee you it'll be harder than a souls game.
 

Whitesnake

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Jan 31, 2018
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Then we should ban mods, and everything else that could hinder the devs' artistic vision.

Like, I don't know, playing on a sub-par tv. Or playing it without sound. Or with better antialiasing.

Or taking turns with friends.

I really hope From's decides to actually release an easy mode. Just to say "see, it's their artistic vision now".

Jim's right: fuck off with this bullshit. Let people have fun the way they want. Who cares?

If cheating makes the game more fun to some people, thus making the game more popular, what's the problem?
Mods are entirely fanmade and client-side. You can’t really compare them to official difficulty modes.

You’re demanding that FromSoft spend time and money making a mode when they’ve stated numerous times they don’t want to make it. And each time they’ve given reasons why. The deaths are an intended part of the experience and world, they want everyone to overcome the same challenges, etc.

Soulsborne games have all done gangbusters and have become a cultural phenomenon without an easy mode, they don’t need to worry about popularity.
 

Psykodad

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Apr 9, 2018
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Holy sh*t, all this still because one game out of hundreds is too hard for some people.

Get over it and do something more productive with your life.
 
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danielberg

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Jun 20, 2018
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If there's a reasonable way to include multiple skill levels, it won't necessarily hurt. I'm not going to blame a developer if it doesn't want to (or simply can't) include an easier mode
Yep this, trying to force one way or the other is weird, if developers look at the pros vs cons and think the game needs a easy or hard mode it they will add it.
 

Sqorin Hammerfarf

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Dec 3, 2018
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I don't think that analogy completely works. Unlike most music, books, paintings and comedy, it's possible to have multiple clear levels of accessibility. To use your examples, it'd be like having a novel where everyone gets the same meaning, but it's simultaneously an easy read and an inscrutable riddle that requires a literature degree to understand.
So you are saying that because gaming can include multiple versions of accessibility, there's nothing lost by having, say, the abridged version of Finnegan's Wake included?

I just don't know, man. Even if you can do something doesn't mean you have to, or even that you should. Sometimes, being impenetrable is part of the charm, and expecting more of the player than they expect of themselves can lead to a certain amount of loyalty and respect that you don't get from a creation that allows people to play completely within their own comfort level.

A game developer may have an 'ideal' vision for how their game should be played, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have to exclude easy modes in the process.
But it doesn't mean they have to include easy modes either. I think we should leave it up to the developer and if they think easy mode is a compromise they are willing to make, I'm not going to second guess them. But if they'd rather spend their development resources towards making the singular difficulty level as perfect as it can be, I certainly won't complain.

If there's a reasonable way to include multiple skill levels, it won't necessarily hurt.
It can though. An easy Dark Souls doesn't even compute. Like, it's not a thing for a reason. It's inclusion would ultimately undermine the entire experience precisely because the game asks more of you than you think you can give - it's only by playing and succeeding that you realize your level is much higher than you thought it was, and the satisfaction that comes from that is immense. To be able to drop down to easy after losing to a boss twice would allow you to maintain that illusion that you can't do it, to wallow in it.

It somewhat reminds me of miniature gaming. The first time you get a box of miniatures and it is just three sprues of body parts that you have to cut out and assemble, then PAINT, is incredibly intimidating. Board gamers look at miniature gamers like they a crazy, but the fact is, it is way easier than it looks. That intimidation comes from a lack of experience, not a lack of ability. In short, you don't know what you don't know and you can't even formulate the difficulty level of the task in front of you, much less rise to it. But if you stick to, by the time you finish painting your first miniature, holy shit, there's nothing like it. There is no toy in the world that you will love more than that little guy. You haven't just painted a miniature, you've given yourself the skills and ability necessary to paint ANY miniature, from now until the end of time. Never again will the concept be difficult or scary to you. You didn't accomplish something, you unlocked potential you never knew you had. You became a better you.

And you can't become a better you if you are never challenged.

I'm not going to blame a developer if it doesn't want to (or simply can't) include an easier mode -- I just think it's better to treat gaming as an inclusive tent when you can.
It's okay to be niche. This means not being every thing to everybody. It's the exact opposite of inclusive. And that's okay. In fact, it might even be better. Sometimes, it's fun to appeal to something other than the lowest common denominator.
 
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Whitesnake

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I hate all the various "editions" and varieties of gaming releases these days, but I kind of wish FROM would release the "I don't really want to play Dark Souls edition". A separate product for those who want a product designed just for them.
I can imagine it now.

Dark Souls, but there are no enemies, NPCs, equipment, traps, pits, bonfires, or music. You walk around all of lordran without anything to do except ring some bells, walk to the end of sen’s fortress, walk through anor londo and get the lord vessel, and walk to the kiln of the first flame.

No challenge, no lore, no main story. You just walk for a long time while looking at set pieces, just like oh so many indie darlings today.

We’ll call it “game journalist edition”.
 
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synchronicity

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Dec 16, 2011
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I just want to know, why? WHY does FROM have such a loyal following? I can't figure it out.

Surely it must be because everyone who loves them just loves having their ego stroked by being so 'lite!

They knew that if they just created a hard enough game that there was this juicy untapped market of fragile egos that could finally declare their superiority because they were so hard core and would forever declare their devotion to FROM. Well-played FROM, well played.

Although...I must admit that I am struggling to see why this simple formula hasn't been more widespread with the same degree of success. It seems rather easy to mimic. Hmm, I'll have to get back to you on that.
 

Hestar69

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Nov 22, 2018
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As someone who's loved from software games since the King's field days,I don't see anything wrong with an easy mode..

Just don't give people trophies or achievements for beating bosses/the game. Once they beat the game on easy, it gives them a message like "are you ready for the real game/A challenge" or some shit.