By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

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

Nautilus said:
Ka-pi96 said:

Nah, your logic is flawed since you seem to think gameplay = difficulty. It doesn't. If you don't like the driving of a racing game then you don't like the gameplay of it, that has nothing to do with difficulty whatsoever. The difficulty of a racing game is the AI. If they AI are absolutely perfect, never make mistakes and always accelerate, brake and turn at the exact right time then it's only going to be an enjoyable experience for a very small number of people. It really doesn't take much to add a few other difficulty levels where the AI is more prone to errors. Oh, and the same applies in the other direction too, if the AI is so shit that your only chance of losing is if you drive poorly on purpose then the game's shit as well and should really have some harder AI options.

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

There, a whole bunch of ways to easily change the difficulty in a bunch of different games. Level design has absolutely nothing to do with it. AI doesn't even need to be changed for any of those either, so you can save the whole `developing a separate better/worse AI would be expensive and time-consuming` excuse too.

... I honestly dont get what you are saying.

Difficulty has to do with... everything about the game.

Level Design: Its easier to kill an ranged enemy if he stands in the same ground level as you, opossed if he was on higher ground.Thats level design.

Gameplay: There are some games that have bigger windows of oportunity to attack and deflect attacks.Enemies might have a more aggressive and passive behaviour.The game might demand quicker reflexes.Gameplay isnt just about health or damage.

Sound: Paying attention to the sound enemies makes, especially if its done on purpose to identify when someone is comming from you, or from where the attack comes from.The lack of a proper "sound system" might makes things harder(though that simply would make it unfair, not harder)

And so on and so on.Thats is just me giving examples on how difficulty could be incorporated into everything that contemplates a game.

But thats not even the main point Im trying to make.The main point is: Sure, you could dumb down Dark Souls to the point that any attack from a boss does 1% of the damage and call it a day.But that would just ruin the game, and its clearly not what the devs want for the game.Period.

Making a inherently difficult game in which every single part of it was designed to make you think, plan, and learn really well the mechanics dont fit well with different difficulty levels.Not to say that some hard games cant have difficulty levels, they sure can, but usually these games either have very little difficulty inbued into the level design and demands more of the player in its skill alone, or its just plain unfair(Dying in like 2 shots in the hardest difficulty is simply unfair for example, especially for someone who just began the game).

You basically listed why Souls is basically unfair on its gameplay =p

Also you are trying to defend them from what is really lack of competence to balance. They certainly could even make the game play a little different and more obvious without changing a single thing on the standard difficult. They could even make an even harder mode that some of the users would love.

Nautilus said:
mysteryman said:

Cheat codes don't impact any of this.

Of course it does.If a dev dosen't want it in its games, because he wants the player to learn the game and play as it is intended, why would he put something that goes against it?

That is because games are made for the gamers not to please the dev. If it was to please themselves then they wouldn't need to release it.

Nautilus said:
DonFerrari said:

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.

There is no need to.These kind of games have just been selling more and more with the passing years, which not only means that more people are seeking them out and are ok with the difficulty, but also that they are comming to love it.

The argument could also be made that if you made tweaks to the difficulty, making these games easier, it would make people like them less.

You could make that argument, but considering several games have even donkey could finish the game and still sell very well you would have a hard time proving an additional easier difficult would make the game sell less.



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
DonFerrari said:
Nautilus said:

... I honestly dont get what you are saying.

Difficulty has to do with... everything about the game.

Level Design: Its easier to kill an ranged enemy if he stands in the same ground level as you, opossed if he was on higher ground.Thats level design.

Gameplay: There are some games that have bigger windows of oportunity to attack and deflect attacks.Enemies might have a more aggressive and passive behaviour.The game might demand quicker reflexes.Gameplay isnt just about health or damage.

Sound: Paying attention to the sound enemies makes, especially if its done on purpose to identify when someone is comming from you, or from where the attack comes from.The lack of a proper "sound system" might makes things harder(though that simply would make it unfair, not harder)

And so on and so on.Thats is just me giving examples on how difficulty could be incorporated into everything that contemplates a game.

But thats not even the main point Im trying to make.The main point is: Sure, you could dumb down Dark Souls to the point that any attack from a boss does 1% of the damage and call it a day.But that would just ruin the game, and its clearly not what the devs want for the game.Period.

Making a inherently difficult game in which every single part of it was designed to make you think, plan, and learn really well the mechanics dont fit well with different difficulty levels.Not to say that some hard games cant have difficulty levels, they sure can, but usually these games either have very little difficulty inbued into the level design and demands more of the player in its skill alone, or its just plain unfair(Dying in like 2 shots in the hardest difficulty is simply unfair for example, especially for someone who just began the game).

You basically listed why Souls is basically unfair on its gameplay =p

Also you are trying to defend them from what is really lack of competence to balance. They certainly could even make the game play a little different and more obvious without changing a single thing on the standard difficult. They could even make an even harder mode that some of the users would love.

Nautilus said:

Of course it does.If a dev dosen't want it in its games, because he wants the player to learn the game and play as it is intended, why would he put something that goes against it?

That is because games are made for the gamers not to please the dev. If it was to please themselves then they wouldn't need to release it.

Nautilus said:

There is no need to.These kind of games have just been selling more and more with the passing years, which not only means that more people are seeking them out and are ok with the difficulty, but also that they are comming to love it.

The argument could also be made that if you made tweaks to the difficulty, making these games easier, it would make people like them less.

You could make that argument, but considering several games have even donkey could finish the game and still sell very well you would have a hard time proving an additional easier difficult would make the game sell less.

To your first paragraph: The game is extremely balanced.And its not just me saying that.Basically every single critic said that.Because you know, Dark Souls is kind of a critically acclaimed game.People loved the game by being just what it is.

Kind of a critically acclaimed game, you know?

Second paragraph: Thats honestly kind of a ignorant statement.Games are made to make money, first and foremost.But devs also have their pride and artistic vision, even if they are releasing a product at the end of the day.If money and "pleasing the most ammount of people" was the sole objective, we would just have COD and Mario clones.

And I mean, hard games ARE pleasing gamers.Do I need to repeat again that those games are not only selling great, but are also selling more and more each year?

Third paragraph: So would you, trying to prove your point.Because, yet again, these games are selling better with each passing year being as hard as they are.Sekiro sold 4 million units, and thats a 6 month old number.Probably going to easily reach 6 million and go beyond.



My (locked) thread about how difficulty should be a decision for the developers, not the gamers.

https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=241866&page=1

Nautilus said:

To your first paragraph: The game is extremely balanced.And its not just me saying that.Basically every single critic said that.Because you know, Dark Souls is kind of a critically acclaimed game.People loved the game by being just what it is.

Kind of a critically acclaimed game, you know?

Second paragraph: Thats honestly kind of a ignorant statement.Games are made to make money, first and foremost.But devs also have their pride and artistic vision, even if they are releasing a product at the end of the day.If money and "pleasing the most ammount of people" was the sole objective, we would just have COD and Mario clones.

And I mean, hard games ARE pleasing gamers.Do I need to repeat again that those games are not only selling great, but are also selling more and more each year?

Third paragraph: So would you, trying to prove your point.Because, yet again, these games are selling better with each passing year being as hard as they are.Sekiro sold 4 million units, and thats a 6 month old number.Probably going to easily reach 6 million and go beyond.

Come on, I love Dark souls, played it through twice until I didn't feel like doing Ornstein and Smoug yet again in NG++, but the game is anything but balanced. I restarted after getting stuck in my first play through, 20 hours in. I had leveled the wrong things not really knowing what did what since the game doesn't explain much of anything and faced an insurmountable amount of souls needed to get the stats up I actually needed to use better equipment. Failure on my part for not reading a wiki first, or failure of the devs for not explaining the game mechanics? (It was my first souls game)

It took me another bunch of hours in my second attempt to figure out you could actually jump! I had to look up how to get to the lower depths since the door (near the dragon) simply looked like a painted on door to me and it never occurred to me to actually try it. It simply looked like a wall texture. The fight with the 2 dogs was extremely cheap. Zone in, immediately get rushed, track back all the way again, repeat. Until you figure out the 'trick' or 'cheat' dash up to the stairs in the back where the path finding can't get to you and chuck bombs from a safe spot. Had trouble with a fight, you could summon online help which usually came from someone already in NG+ slaying the boss in 5 seconds, leaving you feeling completely robbed of the experience.

On my second playthrough I had read some online tips, got the skeleton key and retrieved an early op sword which completely changed the game. One hit kills at the start instead of 3 or more hits turned the early game into a cake walk. That's not balanced, it's borderline insulting.

My best memories of Dark Souls are when I had a 15 minute long fight with a tower knight, wearing each other down and using the pillars in the room to stay alive. One time I got lost in the lower depths. I jumped down and hit a bonfire then had no clue where to go. It took hours of careful exploring, slowly learning the layout and how to tackle the enemies there. Same at the castle when I fell down to the bottom. It was very rewarding, yet after that the game never reached that balance again. Magic quickly got me over powered and the only stumble blocks where the boss fights which were simply bullet sponges against magic.

DS2 was hard at the beginning again, yet since I knew the mechanics I became op there as well and the rest of the game became easy with a couple vertical cliffs thrown in. The largely uneven difficulty and needing to grind to overcome the spikes is what turned me off the series.

Now if you have a game with adjustable difficulty levels, you can enjoy the whole game at your ability level! Turn it up when you feel unchallenged, turn it down when you hit a roadblock. Ultimately a game should do this automatically like an AI director. Oblivion tried this but got it wrong, making it almost impossible to don the first story quest later on while having common bandits walk around in glass armor costing 100 times more as what they were trying to steal lol.

Imo the main problem is the focus on achievements, achieving things, trophies, scores, part left overs from the coin op days, part feeding the ego of gamers. Games aren't a test of skill, they can be challenging but they shouldn't be about passing a preset bar. A good dungeon master adjusts the experience to be challenging but not frustrating. A narrow escape instead of die try again. Reward doing better instead of punishing doing badly.

Ever since online became a thing everyone has to compare themselves to the world. Who cares if your 1st or 632724th on some ranking board. Instead focus on personal improvements, your own journey through a game instead of passing the test set by the developers.

Anyway it's just a shame that there is no way I can recommend one my favorite games, Dark Souls, to any of my non gamer or casual gamer friends. They might like the setting and atmosphere but they'll never even get out of the starter dungeon. I cherish Dark Souls for its ambience, level design and subtle story telling, the game play was meh to often frustrating to very easy, all over the place.



That is because games are made for the gamers not to please the dev. If it was to please themselves then they wouldn't need to release it.

.

.

You could make that argument, but considering several games have even donkey could finish the game and still sell very well you would have a hard time proving an additional easier difficult would make the game sell less.

The first sentence is basically the reason why we have a ton of sequels and clones, and why "innovation" is really low in the gaming industry. The is the same issue in the movie industry, but you don't even understand, so let's pass to the next point.

.

.

.

Your sentence is a fallacy "easy games can sell well, so hard games could have an easy mode and sell well too". But do you want examples? There is a whole category for this type of games: roguelikes. Some have an "easy mode", i.e. Soulborne difficulty.



Alcyon said:

That is because games are made for the gamers not to please the dev. If it was to please themselves then they wouldn't need to release it.

You could make that argument, but considering several games have even donkey could finish the game and still sell very well you would have a hard time proving an additional easier difficult would make the game sell less.

The first sentence is basically the reason why we have a ton of sequels and clones, and why "innovation" is really low in the gaming industry. The is the same issue in the movie industry, but you don't even understand, so let's pass to the next point.

Your sentence is a fallacy "easy games can sell well, so hard games could have an easy mode and sell well too". But do you want examples? There is a whole category for this type of games: roguelikes. Some have an "easy mode", i.e. Soulborne difficulty.

Not really, you don't need to make sequel and clones to please gamers.

And nope it is only a fallacy because you didn't understand. What I said is that having an easier mode wouldn't cause it to drop in sales.

Still waiting on your gametag to show your great domain over 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

Developers should be free to choose how difficult a game is and whether or not you get to choose a difficulty setting. If a game is too easy I will not buy it. I want at least have a little but of challenge.

As a counter to easy is better. You can always get better at gaming, getting worse is pretty difficult however. Although I would agree with the statement that the penalty for failing/dieing should be low. I hated it when I lost money/items whilst dieing in a boss fight.



Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar

SvennoJ said:
Nautilus said:

To your first paragraph: The game is extremely balanced.And its not just me saying that.Basically every single critic said that.Because you know, Dark Souls is kind of a critically acclaimed game.People loved the game by being just what it is.

Kind of a critically acclaimed game, you know?

Second paragraph: Thats honestly kind of a ignorant statement.Games are made to make money, first and foremost.But devs also have their pride and artistic vision, even if they are releasing a product at the end of the day.If money and "pleasing the most ammount of people" was the sole objective, we would just have COD and Mario clones.

And I mean, hard games ARE pleasing gamers.Do I need to repeat again that those games are not only selling great, but are also selling more and more each year?

Third paragraph: So would you, trying to prove your point.Because, yet again, these games are selling better with each passing year being as hard as they are.Sekiro sold 4 million units, and thats a 6 month old number.Probably going to easily reach 6 million and go beyond.

Come on, I love Dark souls, played it through twice until I didn't feel like doing Ornstein and Smoug yet again in NG++, but the game is anything but balanced. I restarted after getting stuck in my first play through, 20 hours in. I had leveled the wrong things not really knowing what did what since the game doesn't explain much of anything and faced an insurmountable amount of souls needed to get the stats up I actually needed to use better equipment. Failure on my part for not reading a wiki first, or failure of the devs for not explaining the game mechanics? (It was my first souls game)

It took me another bunch of hours in my second attempt to figure out you could actually jump! I had to look up how to get to the lower depths since the door (near the dragon) simply looked like a painted on door to me and it never occurred to me to actually try it. It simply looked like a wall texture. The fight with the 2 dogs was extremely cheap. Zone in, immediately get rushed, track back all the way again, repeat. Until you figure out the 'trick' or 'cheat' dash up to the stairs in the back where the path finding can't get to you and chuck bombs from a safe spot. Had trouble with a fight, you could summon online help which usually came from someone already in NG+ slaying the boss in 5 seconds, leaving you feeling completely robbed of the experience.

On my second playthrough I had read some online tips, got the skeleton key and retrieved an early op sword which completely changed the game. One hit kills at the start instead of 3 or more hits turned the early game into a cake walk. That's not balanced, it's borderline insulting.

My best memories of Dark Souls are when I had a 15 minute long fight with a tower knight, wearing each other down and using the pillars in the room to stay alive. One time I got lost in the lower depths. I jumped down and hit a bonfire then had no clue where to go. It took hours of careful exploring, slowly learning the layout and how to tackle the enemies there. Same at the castle when I fell down to the bottom. It was very rewarding, yet after that the game never reached that balance again. Magic quickly got me over powered and the only stumble blocks where the boss fights which were simply bullet sponges against magic.

DS2 was hard at the beginning again, yet since I knew the mechanics I became op there as well and the rest of the game became easy with a couple vertical cliffs thrown in. The largely uneven difficulty and needing to grind to overcome the spikes is what turned me off the series.

Now if you have a game with adjustable difficulty levels, you can enjoy the whole game at your ability level! Turn it up when you feel unchallenged, turn it down when you hit a roadblock. Ultimately a game should do this automatically like an AI director. Oblivion tried this but got it wrong, making it almost impossible to don the first story quest later on while having common bandits walk around in glass armor costing 100 times more as what they were trying to steal lol.

Imo the main problem is the focus on achievements, achieving things, trophies, scores, part left overs from the coin op days, part feeding the ego of gamers. Games aren't a test of skill, they can be challenging but they shouldn't be about passing a preset bar. A good dungeon master adjusts the experience to be challenging but not frustrating. A narrow escape instead of die try again. Reward doing better instead of punishing doing badly.

Ever since online became a thing everyone has to compare themselves to the world. Who cares if your 1st or 632724th on some ranking board. Instead focus on personal improvements, your own journey through a game instead of passing the test set by the developers.

Anyway it's just a shame that there is no way I can recommend one my favorite games, Dark Souls, to any of my non gamer or casual gamer friends. They might like the setting and atmosphere but they'll never even get out of the starter dungeon. I cherish Dark Souls for its ambience, level design and subtle story telling, the game play was meh to often frustrating to very easy, all over the place.

Well, Im sorry that you had that experience, but thats simply not true.For example, I had neither the problems you just mentioned.Sure, I had more problems with some enemies than others, but other than that the experience was simply wonderful.

But that was exactly why I explicitly said it was critically aclaimed.Because the score average of the reviews given to the game is the closest thing we have to impartiality.Comparing personal experiences, in this case, is useless.Simply because one might find a determined experience horendous, while the other might think its the best thing ever.(Because opinions are like ass;Everyone has one)And before you say " Thats why it needs dificulty options!", I'll say that this exact problem goes back to the point I made in the thread.Its either financially impossible, due to having to rebalance the entire game, or its simply way too expensive.

The sentence in bold: And that's fine!Not every game is for everyone, and if one day one of your friends become more experienced with games, he will try it.Simple as that.



My (locked) thread about how difficulty should be a decision for the developers, not the gamers.

https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=241866&page=1

Nautilus said:

... Thats a mod, an unofficial modification for the game.People who buy the game can do whatever they want with it.We are talking about decisions that the devs themselfs do.

I'm aware of this. I was just making mention of a modder offering people choice, over one single option, just like how we have a myriad of devs that offer said choices for different difficulty settings. 



               

Chazore said:
Nautilus said:

... Thats a mod, an unofficial modification for the game.People who buy the game can do whatever they want with it.We are talking about decisions that the devs themselfs do.

I'm aware of this. I was just making mention of a modder offering people choice, over one single option, just like how we have a myriad of devs that offer said choices for different difficulty settings. 

Oh ok.Thats nice!

Sorry for the reply.Though it was relevant to the discussion.



My (locked) thread about how difficulty should be a decision for the developers, not the gamers.

https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=241866&page=1

Nautilus said:

Well, Im sorry that you had that experience, but thats simply not true.For example, I had neither the problems you just mentioned.Sure, I had more problems with some enemies than others, but other than that the experience was simply wonderful.

But that was exactly why I explicitly said it was critically aclaimed.Because the score average of the reviews given to the game is the closest thing we have to impartiality.Comparing personal experiences, in this case, is useless.Simply because one might find a determined experience horendous, while the other might think its the best thing ever.(Because opinions are like ass;Everyone has one)And before you say " Thats why it needs dificulty options!", I'll say that this exact problem goes back to the point I made in the thread.Its either financially impossible, due to having to rebalance the entire game, or its simply way too expensive.

The sentence in bold: And that's fine!Not every game is for everyone, and if one day one of your friends become more experienced with games, he will try it.Simple as that.

I always find this line of thinking hilarious. "Let's not compare our personal experiences because they're useless, but let's compare other people's personal experiences because... reasons".

Reviews aren't impartial or objective. They're just opinions. And they certainly aren't worth any more than other people's opinions just because they're posted on a website or in a magazine. Actually, I'd argue they're worth less than your own personal opinions. I mean, if you're debating something then surely the opinions of the people actually involved in the debate are far more relevant than the opinions of some rando.

Last edited by Ka-pi96 - on 13 February 2020

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