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Difficulty Level - Where is my Easy Mode!


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27 minutes ago, Broker said:

As I've stated a hundred times before though, if smaller or larger devs want to implement this stuff then that's great. If they decide the cost of adding features to make the game accessible to a wider audience is worth it that's their choice. What I find weird is the idea that if HM or FromSoft choose not to do that they're bad/idiots/leaving money on the table/clearly hate disabled people. The process of developing a game requires thousands of decisions about what is worth the cost and what isn't. Somewhere along the way, a tiny franction of developers decided adding and balancing difficulty options and working out how to integrate them into online systems wasn't worth the cost, because what they were making was for an audience who were willing to push through a challenging game and who they wanted to all have a unified experience.

 

It's not a coincidence that the Dark Souls community is really strong, and it's not a secret gatekeeping club. It's one of the most friendly, helpful gaming communities I've ever encountered because it's built on a shared sense of struggle and accomplishment. People who have played Dark Souls don't want to keep others out, they want to welcome them in, but they also want to feel needed, like the time and effort they put in was worth something more than just their own satisfation. They want to show off and offer advice and help people, and it's the single difficulty that everyone pushes against together that makes that possible. That's why despite being games without conventional difficulty options they've got a much higher completion percentage than most games, and it's an excellent bit of design that inspired and fostered that community. 

 

These games allocated their resources in a specific way to create a certain type of game that millions of people loved. I'm never going to believe it would be better if it moved those resources around to make it more like other games because then more people could play it, because it's the unique choices that were made during it's development that make it special. 

 

I can't argue with what you're saying here, I completely understand where you're coming from, my philosophy on game design is just different.

 

But...

 

20 minutes ago, Broker said:

 

Sometimes what's fun is testing the skills you've learned. That's fundementally not the same as removing the need to learn those skills.

 

...there's still this. At some point you've got to accept that people in this thread arguing for difficulty options aren't arguing for removing the need to learn skills. Like I said in my previous post, most of my gaming time is spent playing stuff which is going to offer me resistance or push me.

 

I don't really care what difficulty level someone chooses to play Streets Of Rage 4 on (to pick a random game) but lets say 10,000 people play SOR4 through on easy. If 1000 of those people had to work to get through the game at that difficulty the same way I did on harder (it goes hard, harder, mania - I noped out of mania). Those 1000 people had to retry stages, learn combos, build up situational awareness, internalise the reach of weapons and moves etc, then thats 1000 people who had the same experience I did who might have walked away at a harder difficulty. Maybe some of those 1000 people go on to try normal. Maybe some of them work their way up to mania, something  I never did. It's all good.

 

I don't want to remove the learning experience I want to remove the gates towards having it. I want to open it up to more people of different ability levels. That's my thinking behind all of this.

 

...

 

The 9000 other people, I hope they had a good time too, maybe they just wanted to listen to the music and gawp at the animation.

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1 minute ago, Broker said:

 

It seems incredibly disrespectful to people with disabilities to suggest that they're functionally identical to people who just haven't learned something.

Now, where have you gone wrong here.

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Don't have a PS5 but it seems someone found developer cheat codes for Returnal on reddit that you have to use a keyboard to access. They will likely be patched out though it seems. Remember cheat codes? 

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23 hours ago, therearerules said:

Unlock slightly easier mode after 20 deaths if you need to die repeatedly to understand the story. I understand Hades does something like this and it seems a simple compromise.

 

Hades has a god mode that gives you buffs that go up by 2% per death to a cap of 80% which is almost perfect. (I'd love a mode where every successful run lowers the buff by 2% until it floats around your actual skill level.) For me though it changed a game where I reached an impasse into a game that was still quite challenging but enjoyable rather than a grind.

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On 04/05/2021 at 20:39, Hylian said:

And what did people who played the easy mode think of the game?

 

Game of the decade. After completing it over and over I ended up raising the heat levels to make it harder and harder each run until I uninstalled because I was skirting close to the risk of becoming obsessed. Unlocked 100% of achievements.

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2 minutes ago, matt0 said:

...there's still this. At some point you've got to accept that people in this thread arguing for difficulty options aren't arguing for removing the need to learn skills. Like I said in my previous post, most of my gaming time is spent playing stuff which is going to offer me resistance or push me.

 

I don't really care what difficulty level someone chooses to play Streets Of Rage 4 on (to pick a random game) but lets say 10,000 people play SOR4 through on easy. If 1000 of those people had to work to get through the game at that difficulty the same way I did on harder (it goes hard, harder, mania - I noped out of mania). Those 1000 people had to retry stages, learn combos, build up situational awareness, internalise the reach of weapons and moves etc, then thats 1000 people who had the same experience I did who might have walked away at a harder difficulty. Maybe some of those 1000 people go on to try normal. Maybe some of them work their way up to mania, something  I never did. It's all good.

 

I don't want to remove the learning experience I want to remove the gates towards having it. I want to open it up to more people of different ability levels. That's my thinking behind all of this.

 

That's totally fair, but there's also a level at which the experience of doing something at a high level just can't be the same as a simplified version. The people playing SOR4 on mania are experiencing a different thing to you, and you're experiencing a different thing to the people playing on lower difficulties, however minor those differences may be. It's totally reasonable for a developer who chooses to spend massive amounts of time and effort calibrating their game to offer the same feeling to people of different skill levels to have made that choice. But I also think it's ok if some developers choose not to do that and instead spend that time focusing entirely on one difficulty level so that they can tune that one perfectly to one experience. As Lave mentioned on the last page, Dark Souls does have a variety of methods via which it moderates it's difficulty, but they're all built into the experience of the game and the world it takes place in. That's just a different choice of resource allocation in order to provide an enjoyable experience to a different type of person. 

 

1 minute ago, jonny_rat said:

Now, where have you gone wrong here.

 

Bothering to engage with your smug post?

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12 minutes ago, LaveDisco said:

 

It always comes back to Dark Souls.

 

The reality is that 'difficulty modes' would be such a tedious way to change the difficulty of Dark Souls. Dark Souls does it much better. It's designed around adapting the difficulty. It introduces the hardest game, and then everything you do in the game reduces the difficulty. Levelling up yourself and your weapons all lowers the difficulty, inch by inch, until you beat the hardest version of game you personally could beat, and that's an incredibly rewarding experience for the player. That might be level 150 with a +15 weapon, or level 40 with a +7. Thats the antithesis to Skyrims - you level up and so does everything else nonsense. On top of that you've summoning to aid you with bosses and levels. 

 

This of course means that what takes on average 60hrs to beat (according to timetobeat.com) for an average player takes 120hrs if you are as bad as me. But thats not 'grind' that's progress and development. Simple difficulty modes have the unwritten assumption that they should make it take the same length of time for people of different ability to play and I don't think that has to be the case. 

 

I think Dark Souls has a legitimate and interesting way to scale difficulty. And it's a mark of Dark Souls success at adaptive difficulty that people argue it doesn't have it. I can understand the argument that one would prefer difficulty levels, but surely different approaches are valid?

 

Frankly I wish more games would adapt that approach, than making a mode with half enemy hp and calling it a day.

 

We're in agreement on so many points here, for all the appearance of two distant 'sides' in this discussion. I'd totally urge you to read this by the aforementioned writer as I think there's lots that will chime:

 

https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/04/05/sekiro-accessibility-in-games-is-about-far-more-than-difficulty

 

(I would also like to draw Broker's attention to the excellent quote: Disability is normal human variation, so we’re already in every player base.)

 

In light of the comments around the stress of actually playing and game time in that article, I find it hard to agree that the souls games' adaptive difficulty stuff is a workable substitute for providing at least some settings. The problem is that they're nearly all based around protracted game/grind time, either for levels for summoning resources, which can be an issue for multiple reasons, and some are simply dependent on the player having a working internet connection.  Summoning in bloodborne even comes with a big danger cost: scaling bosses AND opening you up to invasions! The compound issues are that they're opaque, based in lore, and often don't come into play for hours of game time.

 

I actually do agree that these methods could be used to adapt difficulty in a really interesting and enjoyable way: they just aren't fit for it in their current form.

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1 minute ago, Broker said:

Bothering to engage with your smug post?

Wasn't that you a few pages back complaining that people were misrepresenting you? Don't be surprised when you get some shit for doing the same.

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Holy shit I've just remembered that Dark Souls 2 includes an in-lore difficulty option, available in the first 30 minutes of play, that applies a flat modifier to enemy damage and player resistance throughout the game, fulfilling virtually everything that's being discussed here.

 

It makes the game harder.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jonny_rat said:

 

We're in agreement on so many points here, for all the appearance of two distant 'sides' in this discussion. I'd totally urge you to read this by the aforementioned writer as I think there's lots that will chime:

 

https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/04/05/sekiro-accessibility-in-games-is-about-far-more-than-difficulty

 

(I would also like to draw Broker's attention to the excellent quote: Disability is normal human variation, so we’re already in every player base.)

 

In light of the comments around the stress of actually playing and game time in that article, I find it hard to agree that the souls games' adaptive difficulty stuff is a workable substitute for providing at least some settings. The problem is that they're nearly all based around protracted game/grind time, either for levels for summoning resources, which can be an issue for multiple reasons, and some are simply dependent on the player having a working internet connection.  Summoning in bloodborne even comes with a big danger cost: scaling bosses AND opening you up to invasions! The compound issues are that they're opaque, based in lore, and often don't come into play for hours of game time.

 

I actually do agree that these methods could be used to adapt difficulty in a really interesting and enjoyable way: they just aren't fit for it in their current form.

 

Oh yeah totally. There is a huge amount of agreement here. That article looks great, thanks I will. From a quick scan, it looks like I agree with it all. Accessibility and difficulty overlap, but aren't quite the same thing (I think difficult games can be accessible). For example I think Celeste is a masterstroke in making a game difficult and accessible.


Unless I'm misrepresenting the article It's interesting that Sekiro was more accessible to the writer. I love the game, but I think it's far worse at adapting it's difficulty compared to dark souls (and I think my favourite).

 

I would normally be all over artificially long game time, but I think Dark Souls is the rare exception to that. It has no grind. Especially summoning resources (as that just to balance helping versus being helped).

 

I think Dark Souls and Returnal get this spotlight because they are one of the few 3D games that put mechanics at the forefront of what they are.

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1 minute ago, jonny_rat said:

Holy shit I've just remembered that Dark Souls 2 includes an in-lore difficulty option, available in the first 30 minutes of play, that applies a flat modifier to enemy damage and player resistance throughout the game, fulfilling virtually everything that's being discussed here.

 

It makes the game harder.

 

 

 

Amazing! :lol:

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Just now, LaveDisco said:

 

Oh yeah totally. There is a huge amount of agreement here. That article looks great, thanks I will. From a quick scan, it looks like I agree with it all. Accessibility and difficulty overlap, but aren't quite the same thing (I think difficult games can be accessible). For example I think Celeste is a masterstroke in making a game difficult and accessible.


Unless I'm misrepresenting the article It's interesting that Sekiro was more accessible to the writer. I love the game, but I think it's far worse at adapting it's difficulty compared to dark souls (and I think my favourite).

 

I would normally be all over artificially long game time, but I think Dark Souls is the rare exception to that. It has no grind. Especially summoning resources (as that just to balance helping versus being helped).

 

I think Dark Souls and Returnal get this spotlight because they are one of the few 3D games that put mechanics at the forefront of what they are.

Agree re: Sekiro - I think they wrote that when they were just starting to play it. I've said it in here before but I think there was internal conflict around it. The QoL/tutorial/UI stuff is way ahead of the souls games, but the game's difficulty and pace just turns it into an absolute beast halfway through. If you can't grok the core of the combat in it, you're lost by the time you get to Genichiro, and it's given up trying to help you learn by that point as well.

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6 minutes ago, Broker said:

 

That's totally fair, but there's also a level at which the experience of doing something at a high level just can't be the same as a simplified version. The people playing SOR4 on mania are experiencing a different thing to you, and you're experiencing a different thing to the people playing on lower difficulties, however minor those differences may be. It's totally reasonable for a developer who chooses to spend massive amounts of time and effort calibrating their game to offer the same feeling to people of different skill levels to have made that choice. But I also think it's ok if some developers choose not to do that and instead spend that time focusing entirely on one difficulty level so that they can tune that one perfectly to one experience. As Lave mentioned on the last page, Dark Souls does have a variety of methods via which it moderates it's difficulty, but they're all built into the experience of the game and the world it takes place in. That's just a different choice of resource allocation in order to provide an enjoyable experience to a different type of person. 

 

Of course, but it's the experience of learning and improving your skills I was talking about and wanted to get across. I'm not saying that it's an exactly identical experience from playing at different difficulty levels, I agree, it's obviously different. Your post seemed to be suggesting that adding difficulty levels was removing the need to learn skills and that's what people were arguing for though. That's the exact opposite of my position, although if it's how some people choose to use them, I don't really care.

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1 minute ago, jonny_rat said:

Agree re: Sekiro - I think they wrote that when they were just starting to play it. I've said it in here before but I think there was internal conflict around it. The QoL/tutorial/UI stuff is way ahead of the souls games, but the game's difficulty and pace just turns it into an absolute beast halfway through. If you can't grok the core of the combat in it, you're lost by the time you get to Genichiro, and it's given up trying to help you learn by that point as well.

 

That's so true. But I can't deny that bashing my head against Genichiro, until the whole game suddenly clicked and came into focus, was the best gaming experience of my life.

 

Did that enjoyment come at the cost of others access to the game? Totally. Could that experience be made more accessible? I think so. 

 

Is it okay for some games to be equivalent of an Iron Man or Triathlon?  I think so. As long as the medium as a whole has enough games with broad accessibility - which I don't think we've managed yet. This also includes games that are by default aimed that way. Take Mario Kart. Constant pressure to be an e-sport. Complaints about the rubber banding, the blue shells, the randomness. All very, very intentional choices to make the most accessible (and popular) racer in history. Long may it never change.

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6 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Apologies for not responding to individual replies. Not enough time. Just generally, I hope I haven't come across as some 'but the vision' fundamentalist here, because that's not my intention. For what it's worth, I think in almost every game I've played it would compromise little or nothing if it allowed you a whole suite of difficulty options, level selects from the off, etc.

 

But I am also interested in the fringe cases, where creators might use a certain level of challenge to work through narrative themes, where that challenge becomes integral to the experience. And sometimes perhaps you can't have it both ways. I don't think it's fair to say to a developer, yes, on one hand craft these interesting experiences and try to do something different, and on the other just let us ditch all that and play it like any other game.

 

That feels like a small grey area to me. And I wonder if you try to apply blanket regulations you might not get the next Demon's Souls or Returnal at all.

 

This reminds me of my experiences with VVVVVV and Celeste.

 

I wanted to play through VVVVVV but my reflexes were no longer up for the task. I put it aside. A few years later I heard they'd added some accessibility options. I played around with it and found that by dropping the running speed of the game by 30% what was previously impossible was now challenging but doable. I was able to complete the game in just over three hours, got 10% of the achievements and enjoyed it a lot. Could I have gotten all the achievements by dropping the game speed more? Sure. But it would have changed the game from challenging to pointless. Would I deny anyone else playing it at a faster or slower speed? No, different people have different skill levels according to age and other issues.

 

Counterpoint Celeste. Tried it could not get anywhere in it. Then tried using the assists. Got a lot further. But there was a point where I couldn't get any further even with all the assists on. But I enjoyed my time with it and I appreciated that the designer tried to accommodate me. I'll try again another time but it might be the game isn't for me at all. It might be a mountain I can't climb but I don't hold that against the game in this case. 

 

And then earlier this year there was Assassin's Creed Chronicles:Russia. This has no assists at all although I was playing this in easy mode. I was enjoying half the levels but the other half involved literal split second challenges that were poorly signposted. It reminded me of the old C64 days. Except you can't poke a PS4 title. This challenge involving a do or die 50 second section was a brick wall. I would have loved options to loosen up the timing. Or even to skip the level to move onto the next. No dice, my journey stopped there.  This wasn't for lack of trying (two hours) but ageing reflexes. And it still annoys me because I'm sure there were more levels that didn't involve that skillset I would have enjoyed.

 

The difference with Celeste and ACC Russia was Celeste tried to provide me with ways to accommodate my age. ACC Russia was finely tuned to a team or 20 year olds who'd played the level to death.

 

 

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Hey I was using the suit of shame on Mario 3D World the other day, I don’t think my reactions are what they were so I’ve no problem using it on a level I’m dying over and over on. 
 

Saying that I’ve only ever finished Halo on Normal so as much as I love games I’m not very good at them. Not sure of my point but hooray for difficulty options. 

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From has been following its fanbase in recent years. People who master each game and demand something more challenging from the next one. I'll admit, it's not a direction that I'm happy with, and if the next one is more demanding than Sekiro then I'm probably out. That's why I found the remake of Demon's so refreshing, despite being older - a return to a less skill-based difficulty and more imaginative designs rather than overpowering ones.

 

To go back to the beginning, I think the question of what is lost if games always implement an easy mode is potentially more complex than it first appears. If Demon's Souls was always planned with flexible difficulty levels in mind, would From have felt the need for the summoning system, the message system etc.? Might it not have seemed so worthwhile to develop these systems to the same level when there was a simpler and more traditional method that to some extent served the same function? Might they have ditched invasions because it would have made matchmaking more difficult? Might they have focused on a more solitary, less community focused experience with the idea that players would work through alone and drop the difficulty if they were having trouble?

 

I don't know, of course. Who does? But given what Demon's Souls achieved and the impact it's had, in part because of those systems, I think it's probably a good job they took the approach they did.

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4 minutes ago, LaveDisco said:

 

That's so true. But I can't deny that bashing my head against Genichiro, until the whole game suddenly clicked and came into focus, was the best gaming experience of my life.

 

Did that enjoyment come at the cost of others access to the game? Totally. Could that experience be made more accessible? I think so. 

 

Is it okay for some games to be equivalent of an Iron Man or Triathlon?  I think so. As long as the medium as a whole has enough games with broad accessibility - which I don't think we've managed yet. This also includes games that are by default aimed that way. Take Mario Kart. Constant pressure to be an e-sport. Complaints about the rubber banding, the blue shells, the randomness. All very, very intentional choices to make the most accessible (and popular) racer in history. Long may it never change.

 

And as Cherry says in that article, better QoL features sometimes have an impact on game difficulty. Not necessarily for gamers at the peak of their skills and without any physical or cognitive challenges: for example, that save feature, if Returnal gets it, will make the game more convenient for those people, but it will also make it easier/more surmountable overall for disabled players or those who aren't as good at games.

 

Re the iron man/triathlon, maybe we could also say that some games are like the challenge of climbing Everest? Climbing Everest doesn't have difficult levels after all.

 

Here are the difficulty levels for climbing Everest.

North-Face-Everest-Routes.thumb.jpg.abe14be7f03f721d44f2355cec141afe.jpg

 

Sorry, I'm into mild trolling now, :)

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I love what Celeste does with Assist mode, by the way. It's a game about overcoming difficult personal challenges, but equally a game about the value of asking for assistance. And that inclusion fits perfectly, even if you don't use it.

 

I can't remember where now, but I remember reading that Maddy Thorson, the main creator/designer of Celeste, was the one on the team who resisted the addition of Assist Mode longest, but in the end felt that it made sense after all.

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15 minutes ago, jonny_rat said:

 

And as Cherry says in that article, better QoL features sometimes have an impact on game difficulty. Not necessarily for gamers at the peak of their skills and without any physical or cognitive challenges: for example, that save feature, if Returnal gets it, will make the game more convenient for those people, but it will also make it easier/more surmountable overall for disabled players or those who aren't as good at games.

 

Re the iron man/triathlon, maybe we could also say that some games are like the challenge of climbing Everest? Climbing Everest doesn't have difficult levels after all.

 

Here are the difficulty levels for climbing Everest.

North-Face-Everest-Routes.thumb.jpg.abe14be7f03f721d44f2355cec141afe.jpg

 

Sorry, I'm into mild trolling now, :)

 

I don't think this is trolling and I think the metaphor holds. Everest, American National Park (and their varied hiking trails), the London Marathon, are all great examples of fantastic accessibility and difficulty approaches. Each has it's own 'easiest' that is still exclusionary. (I couldn't manage any of those routes... :( )  

 

It's to be championed and encouraged (well maybe not Everest - that is problematic for a whole bunch of other reasons...). But whilst that is the ideal, we can't reasonably expect (yet?) every organised physical activity on the planet to cater for everyone. But we should make sure the world of exercise can, and that goes for games too.

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1 hour ago, jonny_rat said:

 

And as Cherry says in that article, better QoL features sometimes have an impact on game difficulty. Not necessarily for gamers at the peak of their skills and without any physical or cognitive challenges: for example, that save feature, if Returnal gets it, will make the game more convenient for those people, but it will also make it easier/more surmountable overall for disabled players or those who aren't as good at games.

 

Re the iron man/triathlon, maybe we could also say that some games are like the challenge of climbing Everest? Climbing Everest doesn't have difficult levels after all.

 

Here are the difficulty levels for climbing Everest.

North-Face-Everest-Routes.thumb.jpg.abe14be7f03f721d44f2355cec141afe.jpg

 

Sorry, I'm into mild trolling now, :)

 

To be fair they're all essentially Dark Souls and go up from there. There certainly isn't a route for everybody or even  5% of people.

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4 minutes ago, El Spatula said:

 

To be fair they're all essentially Dark Souls and go up from there. There certainly isn't a route for everybody or even  5% of people.

Aint that just perfect though? The ask isn't that everyone can do everything, it's that a reasonable stab is made towards inclusion and access, within the bounds of what's possible.

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4 hours ago, Hylian said:

I would really appreciate it if the conversation here could continue without the "people arguing against easy mode hate people with disabilities / they have no shame" thing. For me at least this is not the case and irrelevant to what is being discussed. 

 

You can say it isn't but that doesn't change the fact it is even if you don't mean it that way.

 

You're saying a mode that is the difference between people of lower skill through no fault of their own completing or not completing a game shouldn't be included.

 

And I don't even mean "Git gud" although that would be a good enough to discount the argument, I mean people who for any number of reasons have slightly worse fine motor control than you.

 

You're arguing against wheelchair ramps because you got caught behind someone on the reduced width stairs.

 

And actually it's worse because you're effectively arguing against wheelchair ramps that don't affect the stairs at all.

 

3 hours ago, jonny_rat said:

Re the iron man/triathlon, maybe we could also say that some games are like the challenge of climbing Everest? Climbing Everest doesn't have difficult levels after all.

 

Here are the difficulty levels for climbing Everest.

North-Face-Everest-Routes.thumb.jpg.abe14be7f03f721d44f2355cec141afe.jpg

 

Sorry, I'm into mild trolling now, :)

 

 

 

And not even that, they're arguing against some kind of future teleportation service that wouldn't affect them in any meaningful way but would let people who can't climb it experience the summit because in their eyes they're just lazy and haven't worked sufficiently to "deserve" to see it / They don't trust themselves to do it the "Proper" way.

 

 

And no fucker is saying it's "Free", we're saying it's the baseline for being able to release a AAA game and should be part of Sony/MS' certification just as, and for basically the same reason, colour blind modes and subtitles should be. It should be part of the cost of entry of a multi million pound inclusive consumer product in 2021.

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The point is, the summit isn't the experience, at least in terms of video games. If and when I do finish Returnal I'll record the credits so you can watch it on YouTube if you like. 

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Ha! 

 

Seriously though, I did read an academic paper a while back suggesting that we're probably measuring people's enjoyment of games wrong in many cases by focusing on flow, fun, etc, and that familiar cycles of semi-predicable gameplay were probably more indicative of having a good time playing a game. Watching streams probably scratches that itch.

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An interesting problem with gating content that's not unrelated.

 

Wreckless.  Fantastic game in the main.  Having played it a bit before I cranked up the difficulty and I've been spending a lot of time in the midfield having a whale of a time.

 

Problem is, it gates future tracks and event behind success.  So if I'm going to ever see those, I'm going to have to crank it back down and grind through just for points.

 

So in this case I've actually got no problem with the difficulty as such, but it's another way the game is effectively increasing it at the expense in my view of fun.

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My son really likes Mario Kart 8 but it's a bit difficult for him even on 50cc so he's never come higher than 11th. If someone didn't unlock tracks for him, he'd never see them. He literally can't 'git gud' so it seems a bit unfair that he is not allowed to see those tracks.

 

There's a Scooby Doo game on the Wii that he loves. It's nice and easy (but challenging for him) and he can now finish the whole game. Except there are these switches throughout that require the player to quickly hit a correct sequence of buttons. It's not difficult; everyone on here could do it first time I'm sure. He can't do it. He has neither the reflexes or the co-ordination. If I didn't hit those switches, he wouldn't get past the first level.

 

Even really easy games can be impossible in very small ways. It's a bit like making a game super easy and putting in a puzzle that's impossible for someone with colour blindness.

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Yeah, I don't know if it's also been mentioned in this thread but there are other areas regarding difficulty that go beyond what we view of with difficulty settings. It's been really interesting for me to see these last few months with my girlfriend who doesn't play games trying to wrap her head around dual stick first-person movement, which can immediately lock her out from an enormous amount of games as she's still coming to grips with basic movement in that manner, never mind responding to timed situations or attacks using said controls. This makes the growing discussion around accessibility fascinating and inspiring to me, it's wonderful to see designers and creators broadening their minds to think of the people that may harbour an interest in the medium but struggle mechanically to interact with them. This thread has been full of bad analogies and I'd like to throw one of my own in there; most modern games released (especially in the mainstream market) have an expectation of a player's skill that could be likened to giving someone their first instrument and demanding they play a complex piece note perfect within minutes. At the very least Easy Modes afford new players the chance to make mistakes and ease the pressure while they figure things out in their own time. I'm just glad that the modern indie scene affords multiple opportunities for memorable gaming experiences that aren't reliant on twitch-responses and juggling tonnes of inputs all at once (circling back to my girlfriend, Obra Dinn has been a lovely way to get her to grips with dual sticks as she gets to take her time, and other games that could disparagingly called walking simulators will also help ease her into it further). Easy Modes are a valuable tool.

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