Forums - Gaming Discussion - Difficulty vs Accessibility: A responsibility for the developers, not for the players.

Alcyon said:
Ka-pi96 said:

I challenge you to present a single example that couldn't be made easier/more difficult very easily if the devs wanted to. Seriously, do it!

Racing games = increases/decrease player/AI top speed/acceleration stats
Action games = adjust health/damage stats for the player/enemies
RPG games = adjust player/enemy stats, increases/decrease exp gain rate or enemy encounter freqeuency/size of encounters
Platformers = adjust player jump height, make gaps narrower/wider, increase/decrease enemy frequency, increase/decrease how often health/life items are found
Strategy games = Give boosts/penalties to player/AI economy, increase/decrease unit stats
Sports games = increase/decrease stats, adjust the RNG factor on player/AI actions

And since you are also the one judging, you will basically dismiss everything because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Racing games are not only about the AI. But it doesn't even matter.

What happened between SNES - PS2 era

Racing Games = why create a good AI, just make a regular one and if you want some challenge, go try to get the best times in time trials!

Action Games = why create some harder difficulty, some don't use some weapons/upgrades!

RPG games = why create harder boss, just do the game underlevelled!

Platformers = why create difficult games, just find some extra challenges yourself!

Strategy games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

Sports games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

In Gran Turismo, the licenses went from hard to lol. So more players can experience the game they said. 

Action Games, I don't have any example, I don't play this type of game.

Final Fantasy, I remember having troubles in the last dungeons in Breath of Fire 2. In 2020, we are trying to find how to beat the final secret bosses at the lowest level possible.

Platformers, from TMT making us cry blood tears to games for kids.

Strategy games, they don't even try to make better AIs anymore.

Sport games, the last FIFA on the hardest difficulty is a joke.

What are you even trying to say here? If you read my previous posts you'll see that I said games that were too easy and too hard were BOTH hallmarks of bad developers. So, are you agreeing with me, or what?

Yeah, devs usually take the lazy way of giving the player and/or AI cheats rather than actually creating better/worse versions of the AI. Can't really blame them for that though since actually making different/better AI would likely just lose them money. Those that can't be arsed to even use the lazy way of offering different difficulty options though... just aren't doing their job very well.



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Around the Network
Ka-pi96 said:
Alcyon said:

And since you are also the one judging, you will basically dismiss everything because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Racing games are not only about the AI. But it doesn't even matter.

What happened between SNES - PS2 era

Racing Games = why create a good AI, just make a regular one and if you want some challenge, go try to get the best times in time trials!

Action Games = why create some harder difficulty, some don't use some weapons/upgrades!

RPG games = why create harder boss, just do the game underlevelled!

Platformers = why create difficult games, just find some extra challenges yourself!

Strategy games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

Sports games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

In Gran Turismo, the licenses went from hard to lol. So more players can experience the game they said. 

Action Games, I don't have any example, I don't play this type of game.

Final Fantasy, I remember having troubles in the last dungeons in Breath of Fire 2. In 2020, we are trying to find how to beat the final secret bosses at the lowest level possible.

Platformers, from TMT making us cry blood tears to games for kids.

Strategy games, they don't even try to make better AIs anymore.

Sport games, the last FIFA on the hardest difficulty is a joke.

What are you even trying to say here? If you read my previous posts you'll see that I said games that were too easy and too hard were BOTH hallmarks of bad developers. So, are you agreeing with me, or what?

Yeah, devs usually take the lazy way of giving the player and/or AI cheats rather than actually creating better/worse versions of the AI. Can't really blame them for that though since actually making different/better AI would likely just lose them money. Those that can't be arsed to even use the lazy way of offering different difficulty options though... just aren't doing their job very well.

So we had only bad developpers for almost 2 generations, since ALL games were too easy.

Again, if you find a game too difficult for you, just skip it. The only reason why these games exist today is because the difficulty disappeared. Why? Slippery slope, the developpers are not punished (in sales) if they don't implement a hard difficulty.

again, and again: if you find Sekiro too hard, don't buy it. But the difficulty was a reason of the good sales.



Alcyon said:
Ka-pi96 said:

What are you even trying to say here? If you read my previous posts you'll see that I said games that were too easy and too hard were BOTH hallmarks of bad developers. So, are you agreeing with me, or what?

Yeah, devs usually take the lazy way of giving the player and/or AI cheats rather than actually creating better/worse versions of the AI. Can't really blame them for that though since actually making different/better AI would likely just lose them money. Those that can't be arsed to even use the lazy way of offering different difficulty options though... just aren't doing their job very well.

So we had only bad developpers for almost 2 generations, since ALL games were too easy.

Again, if you find a game too difficult for you, just skip it. The only reason why these games exist today is because the difficulty disappeared. Why? Slippery slope, the developpers are not punished (in sales) if they don't implement a hard difficulty.

again, and again: if you find Sekiro too hard, don't buy it. But the difficulty was a reason of the good sales.

The problem is difficulty is relative, what's too easy for you may be perfectly fine for somebody else. That's exactly why difficulty options should be a thing in all games.

And FYI I have no interest in Sekiro, or any Souls like games for that matter. They just don't interest me. Easy modes wouldn't change that either, I mean I don't know if they even are "that" difficult since I've never played onie, I'm just not interested.

My motivation for participating in this thread is actually the opposite. I'm annoyed at franchises I like (specifically Pokemon) being too easy. It wouldn't be that difficult for the devs to add harder difficulty levels for those games, just like it wouldn't be difficulty to add easier difficulty options for other games too, so why don't they? Because they're lazy and couldn't care less whether people fully enjoy their game or not as long as they still get paid.



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Nautilus said:
mysteryman said:
Cheat codes are fun.

They can also serve as an additional point of entry to the 'true' game, by allowing an unskilled player the chance to learn the game mechanics at their own pace without the stress of dying.

Or just let players break the game for their own amusement.

None of this affects you, let everyone enjoy games as they please.

But if a developer dont want to, because that's how they designed their game, why should it have cheat codes or an easy mode?

It's not a matter of having fun or not;Clearly people are having fun with those games.With each new entry, From is selling more and more.Code Vein just reported that it sold more than 1 million units, and Dead Cells is a huge success.

Its a matter of just the game itself not being appealing to these gamers in particular.Much like I dont like racing game in general and I can do nothing about this, nothing can be done to tailor these games to people that dont like the challenge.That's all.

Cheat codes don't impact any of this.



Nautilus said:
DonFerrari said:
Yes we are still at the same point where Souls player really don't want the game to have easier option so they can keep to themselves "clearing the game".
And will fully ignore that what is considered difficult to his ability can be really tonned down to another person and would be about as difficult to that person as it is for you without tonning down.
I know that if I kept forcing myself in Nioh I would finish it, I cleared like 3 worlds of the game, but it is so boring, tedious and slow to evolve and do decent damage that I simply stopped playing. While God of War I liked the game so much that even dying much more than on Nioh (but keeping my items and evolution in a better way) I was able to platinum it on very hard, and Spider Man and RDR were easy enough to clear both on hardest dying just a couple times. Uncharted is a game where the hardest difficult are also enjoyable and they still offer very easy options that doesn't prevent me from enjoying all the other options.
But I can understand people that would play the easier options and then tarnish the game for it not being great.
Still the problem with Souls game is the monotonous and long battle with rolling all over, parrying, etc coupled with the stamina bar, I have zero enjoyment on that.

It seems to me that your rpoblem with it is more about how these games play out, rather than the difficulty itself.Which is fine, not every game appeals to everyone.

Yep, I don't like the style of the game but acknowledge the need of it existing to serve the more than 1M fans of it.

But it certainly could have some tweaks on difficult setting to increase the number of people that would try it and probably love.

Chazore said:
Ka-pi96 said:
eh, as far as I'm concerned games that are either too hard or too easy (don't know why you're not including that in the OP, since it's definitely an issue too) are just hallmarks of bad developers. If you either don't care enough, or simply aren't good enough, to make games that allow for people of a variety of play styles/skill levels to enjoy the game then you clearly aren't as good at making games as you think are.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I see it.

If a game is trying to be bone crushingly difficult, to a point where it ultimately frustrates a use, and causes them to put the game down, then I would easily sum that up to bad game design. 

I know a few here would like to argue differently, but I'd also argue they know very little on how others perceive challenges differently from them. Life itself is considered one of the hardest of challenges, and well, our species works day in and out to make life "easier" for one another, instead of staying stuck in the same spot for centuries (like not including an option or the will to switch said difficulty).

People that think a game has to live by one difficulty setting, and that it's "tough tiddies" to change things up, then really they are no better than old guard gatekeepers, and well, gatekeepers in general are a loathsome lot.

I can understand a game being watered down, but allowing for very basic, very well known, very common staple options for a video game, isn't something that waters it down for everyone else. You just play the game on the difficulty you desire, and leave everyone else alone in their own ventures. 

I do find the Souls influence annoying though, because slowly over the past decade, it's been changing devs from those who allow for innovative and open designs, to "you die once game over" concepts, as well as mechanics that slow you down or try to make you look like some rich man's "whipping boy" (by that I specifically mean the combat mechanics of "commit to action").

DonFerrari said:
Yes we are still at the same point where Souls player really don't want the game to have easier option so they can keep to themselves "clearing the game".
And will fully ignore that what is considered difficult to his ability can be really tonned down to another person and would be about as difficult to that person as it is for you without tonning down.
I know that if I kept forcing myself in Nioh I would finish it, I cleared like 3 worlds of the game, but it is so boring, tedious and slow to evolve and do decent damage that I simply stopped playing. While God of War I liked the game so much that even dying much more than on Nioh (but keeping my items and evolution in a better way) I was able to platinum it on very hard, and Spider Man and RDR were easy enough to clear both on hardest dying just a couple times. Uncharted is a game where the hardest difficult are also enjoyable and they still offer very easy options that doesn't prevent me from enjoying all the other options.
But I can understand people that would play the easier options and then tarnish the game for it not being great.
Still the problem with Souls game is the monotonous and long battle with rolling all over, parrying, etc coupled with the stamina bar, I have zero enjoyment on that.

I find repetitive tasks and mission structures similar to said tasks to being completely boring in a lot of games these days. It's why I'm still waiting for that RPG or MMO game to come out, that doesn't require me to fetch something for someone, or gather X amount of Y, or pressing/flipping X amount of buttons/switches at any given location, because you're apparently the only person allowed to do such a thing. I find those aspects scattered around a myriad of those two genres, that they more or less take over the missions/tasks that are actually fun and have some depth to them.

I look at Souls combat like I look at Fencing. It has some style, but like fencing it becomes predictable, and that becomes a bore, as well as something that cannot really evolve (fencing itself is defined by a very tight rule-set, and it hasn't exactly evolved in a massive way for centuries now).

A game that doesn't treat me like I'm the saviour of all humanity or a chump, is a game I'll likely keep playing.

There are those that can play the game on an easier setting and complain about it, but really they could just crank up the difficulty to a point where it suits their gameplay comfort zone.

If I hate griding, fetch and several open world features =p

On the last comment you made, I was just pointing that some people will threat a game as bad because they decided to play it easy (and won't change the difficult), some people aren't very bright.

Alcyon said:
Ka-pi96 said:

What are you even trying to say here? If you read my previous posts you'll see that I said games that were too easy and too hard were BOTH hallmarks of bad developers. So, are you agreeing with me, or what?

Yeah, devs usually take the lazy way of giving the player and/or AI cheats rather than actually creating better/worse versions of the AI. Can't really blame them for that though since actually making different/better AI would likely just lose them money. Those that can't be arsed to even use the lazy way of offering different difficulty options though... just aren't doing their job very well.

So we had only bad developpers for almost 2 generations, since ALL games were too easy.

Again, if you find a game too difficult for you, just skip it. The only reason why these games exist today is because the difficulty disappeared. Why? Slippery slope, the developpers are not punished (in sales) if they don't implement a hard difficulty.

again, and again: if you find Sekiro too hard, don't buy it. But the difficulty was a reason of the good sales.

Since all games for these 2 gens were so easy would you mind showing your playstation profile with all the platinum you have for crushing these easy games?



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Around the Network

Having played the Dark Souls Switch version over the past summer....and being strangely addicted to it. I actually felt that the game was brilliant in every aspect of its design. I didn't really find it hard, it was a game designed for repetitive play in which you would learn enemy patterns and get stronger yourself via grinding (or farming souls). I died many times, but it never felt cheap, and even in the face of what seemed insurmountable odds in some boss battles, some times a quick change in strategy paid dividends, sometimes just leaving that particular boss alone and venturing in another direction led to character progression and better equipment which eventually made the former boss battle an easier one.

The thing that I loved the most about DS, is the fact that it didn't hold my hand. It trusted me to figured it out, and I did. It was the most satisfying gaming experience that I had played in years. Breath of the Wild (a more 'mainstream' game ) might have been influenced somewhat by DS, in the sense that there was less hand holding than before, and the first few hours really had you on survival mode. The DLC has that Master Sword Quest, which really tests your patience, creative thinking and skill, in order to get through the 3 stages.

I really believe that as long as it is expertly designed, if a game is meant to be challenging, it should be developed that way. To be honest DS wasn't more difficult than the old school NES, GEN, SNES games like Ninja Gaiden, and even Sonic 2 ( run out of lives in the last boss battle and it is back to square one as there was no saving) it just didn't feature any hand holding, and presented a genuine challenge which is something missing in many AAA games in modern times.

Last edited by SammyGiireal - on 12 February 2020

When it comes to games there's difficult, and then there's difficult. I can enjoy a good challenge, but not all challenges are good ones. Some are just plain unfair. I don't mind it when a game legitimately tests my skills. I do mind it when a game tests my patience.

One example from my adult life that springs to mind is Halo. The original game is still a good challenge on Legendary. I still manage to die quite a bit. But none of the deaths ever feel cheap. It's a fair challenge. The game allows for a good amount of flexibility, while at the same time requiring you to be cautious, attentive, and most importantly good in a straight-up gunfight. You can go toe-to-toe with a blue Elite and come out in good shape if your footwork, positioning, and accuracy is good, while Red Elites will be a tougher challenge. But if you're not on your A-game, you can find yourself in a world of hurt even against a blue Elite or even weaker enemies. Even if you manage to survive, if you're down to the last couple of bars of health and the next health pack is three rooms away, things will get even tougher, but, if you're experienced and skilled enough and have your wits about you, you can prevail. The Flood are individually weaker than in later games, but attack in larger numbers, which makes effective population control and use of the environment to negate their numerical superiority essential. If you let them surround you, you're in trouble. The one thing that's too easy, however, are Hunters: a single pistol round in the back and that's it for them.

Meanwhile, Halo 2 is a much harder game on Legendary, and for all the wrong reasons. Bungie accomplished this by greatly increasing the amount of damage enemies can inflict. And then there were those fucking sniper Jackals with their 99.9% accuracy rate, insane reaction, and one-shot kills. The whole game just came across as cheap. As a result, the options you had that would allow you to win any given encounter were severely reduced, and more often than not you're reduced to hiding behind cover most of the time and having to resort to a handful of optimal tactics (e.g., if you don't have a power weapon, you pretty much need a plasma pistol + battle rifle combo to fight Elites, or just spam plasma grenades at them). Later games in the series aren't quite as cheap on Legendary, but have many of the same fundamental problems, which derive from the damage scaling combined with other issues.

There are all sorts of things that have gone into making Halo (and other games in the genre) challenging on hard mode, including but not limited to:

• Overall resilience of the enemy (i.e., how much health they have, and if they have any other defenses like shields).
• The performance of the enemy AI.
• The general effectiveness of friendly AI, if present.
• Overall effectiveness/performance of the player’s weapons (damage, accuracy, etc.).
• Whether or not the player has regenerating health.
• Level design.
• Encounter design, i.e., number, placement, and rank distribution of the enemies, as well as the weapons and other gear the enemies are equipped with; also, whether or not the player has friendly AI units backing them up.
• Availability of ammo, weapons, and other supplies (example: The lack of the pistol on the level "The Truth & Reconciliation" in Halo CE makes the level more challenging as you can't easily headshot every enemy).
• The presence, nature, and frequency of cheap, annoying enemies (e.g., the aforementioned sniper Jackals in Halo 2).
• Gameplay elements that could qualify as “Fake Difficulty.”

To use another, older series as an example, there's Mega Man. It's a series known for its challenge, and they usually have not had difficulty levels (MM2, MM10, and MM11 are the only ones from the classic series with "easy" modes). They are not easy games. But they are fair. The game is easy to learn, with simple and intuitive controls as well as a reasonably generous health bar, but it's hard to actually beat. The platforming challenges often require precision and, in the case of the disappearing block portions in some levels throughout the series, memorization as well. You need to learn the attack patterns and positions of the regular enemies, and the best ways of dealing with them (sometimes the Mega Buster isn't always ideal), as well as timing your shots to actually hit them. With the bosses as well, you need to learn their attack patterns, as well as figuring out what boss weapons they are weak against, and what boss you can most easily beat with the Mega Buster as your first choice. With enough practice, these are games that can be beaten and even mastered. The first time I played Mega Man 9, it took me something like three hours to beat. Now I can beat it in only one hour.

With that being said, developers are not obligated to provide a lower-difficulty mode, and I do think there's plenty of merit in having a good challenge in a game. I personally don't want to simply breeze through a game. However, the existence of an "easy" mode (or other optional assists) shouldn't be viewed as a negative. Multiple difficulty levels does not inherently detract from the experience, and a game is not all the lesser for having them. There's nothing wrong with someone wanting to start off on a lower difficulty so they can practice and "git gud" without things getting too frustrating, or even being able to (heaven forbid!) have a more casual experience. There's too many elitist gamers that want their hobby to be as exclusive as possible. If there are difficulty levels, then the "hardcore" players can play on the harder difficulty level, simple as that. And I do think more games with multiple difficulty levels would be nice. I'm days away from turning 40. I don't have the time I used to have, and honestly my reaction time isn't what it was (my muscular dystrophy may be contributing to that as well). But even if a hard game doesn't have an easier mode, I'll still try to practice, assuming it's not too frustrating.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 12 February 2020

Since all games for these 2 gens were so easy would you mind showing your playstation profile with all the platinum you have for crushing these easy games?

So you consider quantity instead of quality? Wonderful, I understand why you struggle to understand why we consider that games are easier today.

With that being said, developers are not obligated to provide a lower-difficulty mode, and I do think there's plenty of merit in having a good challenge in a game. I personally don't want to simply breeze through a game. However, the existence of an "easy" mode (or other optional assists) shouldn't be viewed as a negative. Multiple difficulty levels does not inherently detract from the experience, and a game is not all the lesser for having them. There's nothing wrong with someone wanting to start off on a lower difficulty so they can practice and "git gud" without things getting too frustrating, or even being able to (heaven forbid!) have a more casual experience. There's too many elitist gamers that want their hobby to be as exclusive as possible. If there are difficulty levels, then the "hardcore" players can play on the harder difficulty level, simple as that. And I do think more games with multiple difficulty levels would be nice. I'm days away from turning 40. I don't have the time I used to have, and honestly my reaction time isn't what it was (my muscular dystrophy may be contributing to that as well). But even if a hard game doesn't have an easier mode, I'll still try to practice, assuming it's not too frustrating.

I am 38, so we are from the same generation. I don't have an issue with games having different level of difficulty, I have issues with crybabies complaining that Dark Souls or Sekiro don't have an eay mode. And the crybabies will write pages and pages on why most games, in general, should have an easy mode but never explain why a specific game must have an easy mode. I can also explain why books in general should be translated, but that doesn't explain why the book "la disparition" (a french book) should be. And the whole idea is stupid: the book with written with the letter e, translating the story would defeat the purpose of the book itself.

I just finished Hollow Knight. The difficulty of the game can be cut in 2 categories

1) Lack of direction

2) Boss fights

Let's talk about the game pre-DLCs.

Giving more "hints" would defeat the purpose of the game. A big part of the game is exploring areas, finding new powers to get acess to new areas. For the boss fights, having more health/doing more damage wouldn't help much, and you can do that by getting the upgrades. So what would an easy mode achieve? Giving you the ability to face tank the bosses earlier in the game?

warned pi-guy for flaming

Last edited by the-pi-guy - on 13 February 2020

Alcyon said:

Final Fantasy, I remember having troubles in the last dungeons in Breath of Fire 2.

The last dungeons of BoF 2 were a walk in the park with my characters that had 255's and 511's across the board. Git gud.



Speaking of difficulty and all that jazz, a modder on PC just released a mod for REmake 2, in that it allows for head-shots to be instant, permanent kills for zombies. They've also offered two variants of the mod, where one just goes with the insta kill head-shots, while the other does the former, but also makes ammo/first aid way more scarce, giving players options of difficulty.