Creator contemplating adding an easier difficulty - thoughts?

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#51 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

I think they could add an easier difficulty and still retain what it is that makes the game unique. Some people are just going to hit a wall at certain points, Blight Town comes to mind. What if on an easier difficulty, the blowdarts there inflicted poison instead of toxic? What if Ormstein and Smogh didn't both engage at the same time, but acted more like the Gargoyle fight where the other comes in at a certain point? What if the last boss wasn't quite as aggressive? Some stuff like losing your bloodstain if you die is too essential a part of what gives Dark Souls its flavor to do away with, but I think you can flatten out the difficulty spikes a bit and still have a game that's every bit as tense as 'normal' Dark Souls.

#52 Posted by Bassario (146 posts) -

No. Just no, would take away too much from the game.

#53 Posted by Humanity (9214 posts) -

@Turambar: This already happens regardless of difficulty. After all this time I know that if I go human I'll instantly get ganked by people who spend way more time at the game than I do and could solo it at level 10 from beginning to finish no problem. There needs to be an overall revision of who gets invaded by who and so forth.

#54 Posted by light_grenade (124 posts) -

Screw that. Dark souls is ment to make you weep.

#55 Posted by Ghostiet (5269 posts) -

Who gives a shit? He's not thinking of toning down the difficulty, so it won't affect the game. An easier difficulty mode is actually a pretty good idea, since it may convince people to buy it an play it that way and give them the incentive to play it "vanilla".

#56 Posted by Elyk247 (367 posts) -

Meh. Demon's Souls was cool, but I never played Dark Souls. It always seemed like a gamble to me because I didn't want to play a game like that again. If it were easier the game would sell more, but there are gonna be THOSE people who will talk shit and trash it just because the game was more accessible.

#57 Posted by SortedeVaras (111 posts) -

For a game that's been out so long, why the need for this? If they want a easier difficulty just add it into the next game, DS has been out long enough for this not to effect sales at all.

#58 Posted by ThunderSlash (1722 posts) -

So basically a New Game -? I'm fine with that as long as it doesn't affect the rest of the game. Let people play however they want.

As for the people finding the Anor Londo dragonbow archers super cheap, I did too until I wore the Ring of Fog/cast Hidden Body. It seriously makes it way easier.

#59 Posted by gaminghooligan (1443 posts) -

the hardest part of Dark Souls is just figuring out where to go so far for me. Thank god for the internet or I would've continued dying in New Londo for eternity

#60 Posted by JJOR64 (18989 posts) -

Sure why not. If it would get more people to try the game, that would be great. If they do make some type of Easy Mode, make all the rewards in the game a lot smaller then they are normally.

#61 Posted by JasonR86 (9697 posts) -

The difficulty is part of what makes Dark Souls unique. If that's taken away part of the fun of the game is taken away as well and the game starts to look more like a simple dungeon crawler.

#62 Posted by Undeadpool (4936 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Undeadpool said:

I'm sure there's a pretty big backlash against this from people desperate to sound cool about videogame difficulty, but honestly as long as the mode is optional, I see literally not one problem.

@Turambar said:

No, that is a terrible idea because it would fracture the online community.

You cannot have people playing in easy mode and players in normal mode on the same servers if you want easy mode to serve a purpose.

If the next Souls game had a far more single player focus, fine, I can deal. But the previous two has placed fairly heavy emphasis on online play to get the full experience.

Not necessarily. The difficulty would just need to be set by whatever game you're being brought into. So you could go from normal to easy (no real problem as long as level geometry isn't changed) or easy to normal (also not a problem since there's no death penalty when you go into someone else's game).

Wouldn't that pretty much deter beginners from attempting to be summoned into any games as a white phantom, or invading as a dark phantom, for fear of the difficulty being suddenly higher than they're used to?

Possibly, but why would they care? There's no death penalty for being a White Phantom, so if anything it should incentivize them with the promise of possibly better XP with no downside. And frankly I can't see anyone who plays on easy being that keen to go the whole "Black Phantom" route anyway.

#63 Posted by Gargantuan (1882 posts) -

I don't understand the problem people have with the archers in Anor Londo. I've died a couple of times there but never from the arrows. Just sprint up the ramp, turn left at the top and sprint to the left archer and kill him, the right archer can't fire at you there. Then you can easily kill the right archer in melee and then proceed.

#64 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -
#65 Edited by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

@Gargantuan said:

I don't understand the problem people have with the archers in Anor Londo. I've died a couple of times there but never from the arrows. Just sprint up the ramp, turn left at the top and sprint to the left archer and kill him, the right archer can't fire at you there. Then you can easily kill the right archer in melee and then proceed.

The problem is that if you get the timing wrong, at all, and or do not have specific weapons/spells/build simply "running up there and pwning the archer on the left", becomes alot harder than it sounds. Heck I played the game blind (meaning I read no guides of any kind) and the first time I died there the archers didn't even load on my screen, I was just walking up the ramp then in the distance "twang", I stop to look around while putting up my shield, move one step forward, BOOOM spear sized arrow hits me and knocks me back 3 ft, which is 1 foot farther than it needed to to knock me off the ramp. I didn't even get to see where the shots came from other than "farther up the ramp".

There is literally no way you are getting up that ramp your first time unless you already know what is coming, and that is bad design. Not challenging, just really really cheap. Like Ninja Gaiden level off screen enemies killing you with Kunai cheap. Being hard is fine, but the player should have at least a small chance of actually succeeding their first time in every encounter without needing a guide to tell them what to do. In Dark Souls that simply isn't the case at numerous points.

#66 Posted by Ares42 (2662 posts) -

@Gargantuan: When I played the game on console I probably died like 30 times to them even by doing more or less the "right" thing. The problem with the encounter is that there is no margin of error. If you don't do it right, you die. And unlike most of the game you can't take your time and experiment with the encounter. The introduction of a change of gameplay and a binary win/lose condition makes for a frustrating combination. Having that said, I got past them on my second attempt while playing through on the PC now that I know exactly how to get past it, but without that knowledge the process of figuring out how to get past it can get infuriating if you don't figure it out quickly.

Online
#67 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

@Gargantuan said:

I don't understand the problem people have with the archers in Anor Londo. I've died a couple of times there but never from the arrows. Just sprint up the ramp, turn left at the top and sprint to the left archer and kill him, the right archer can't fire at you there. Then you can easily kill the right archer in melee and then proceed.

The problem is that if you get the timing wrong, at all, and or do not have specific weapons/spells/build simply "running up there and pwning the archer on the left", becomes alot harder than it sounds. Heck I played the game blind (meaning I read no guides of any kind) and the first time I died there the archers didn't even load on my screen, I was just walking up the ramp then in the distance "twang", I stop to look around while putting up my shield, move one step forward, BOOOM spear sized arrow hits me and knocks me back 3 ft, which is 1 foot farther than it needed to to knock me off the ramp. I didn't even get to see where the shots came from other than "farther up the ramp".

There is literally no way you are getting up that ramp your first time unless you already know what is coming, and that is bad design. Not challenging, just really really cheap. Like Ninja Gaiden level off screen enemies killing you with Kunai cheap. Being hard is fine, but the player should have at least a small chance of actually succeeding their first time in every encounter without needing a guide to tell them what to do. In Dark Souls that simply isn't the case at numerous points.

I passed the archers on the second try without a guide and without summoning. You can clearly see the archers from the spot before the ramp that leads up to them, and in fact they will start shooting at you well before that with their comically oversized arrows. Beating that section is simply a matter of thinking about what you are going to do before you do it. By that point in the game you should be competent enough to kill a single silver knight.

#68 Edited by Morbid_Coffee (955 posts) -

Easy mode is going to depend on how much they dumb the game down. I enjoyed Dark Souls because of the sense of reward you get for completing a part you've been stuck on for hours or sometimes days. It was like a puzzle game in that regard. Every room had to be approached with caution and patience, and you had to think to yourself "what would be the best way to approach this situation without being murdered by a mob of enemies or the level traps?" It made the player observe what was around them, and punished you for being reckless and thinking you were invincible. And if playing patient wasn't your cup of tea, there were ways around it. You can summon other players to help you, which most of them just run ahead and kill everything for you and ruin all the surprises the game has anyway, or you could pump your soul level up to levels where yes, you were a tank and you could plow through anything you wanted.

The game wasn't difficult for the hell of it. The game was difficult because it wanted you to play it differently than any other game out right now.

My ideal easy mode for players would be to increase the base damage you do while reducing the damage you take, and have bonfires give players 10 estus flask without having to kindle them, without touching any other part of the game. This would give the player the advantage they need, while still keeping the core gameplay of "play patient, play smart" and still give players that rewarding feeling when they overcome a challenge. Any other changes would pretty much be like playing a puzzle game where the game gave you all the answers to every puzzle right from the start.

#69 Posted by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

@JackOhara said:

I passed the archers on the second try without a guide and without summoning. You can clearly see the archers from the spot before the ramp that leads up to them, and in fact they will start shooting at you well before that with their comically oversized arrows. Beating that section is simply a matter of thinking about what you are going to do before you do it. By that point in the game you should be competent enough to kill a single silver knight.

Sadly my playthrough is on Youtube so I actually have video evidence of the fact that they were shooting me from off screen and I couldn't see the actual archers locations. I am glad you are an internet bad ass but again, there is no way in hell a person who doesn't know exactly what is happening there is going to make it up that ramp without dieing at least one time. Sure a great player will maybe make it up on try number two, but most players who are even good at the game will take 3-4. I took 4 myself, the first time cause I had no clue what was going on so had basically no chance, the second because I tried to switch up my shield and thought I only got staggered due to low hit res but I found the archers atleast, the third because when I got there I had no freakin clue where to go and got clipped by a shot getting past the dude on the right, the fourth time I got by it.

#70 Posted by Sbaitso (534 posts) -

I think keeping the core difficulty(damage amounts, and the tactical nature of the gameplay), and making the systems around it more lenient(like removing the corpse running, or altering it) would give it an easier feel while maintaining the core of what that game is and how it plays.

#71 Posted by Loafsmooch (349 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

@Gargantuan said:

I don't understand the problem people have with the archers in Anor Londo. I've died a couple of times there but never from the arrows. Just sprint up the ramp, turn left at the top and sprint to the left archer and kill him, the right archer can't fire at you there. Then you can easily kill the right archer in melee and then proceed.

The problem is that if you get the timing wrong, at all, and or do not have specific weapons/spells/build simply "running up there and pwning the archer on the left", becomes alot harder than it sounds. Heck I played the game blind (meaning I read no guides of any kind) and the first time I died there the archers didn't even load on my screen, I was just walking up the ramp then in the distance "twang", I stop to look around while putting up my shield, move one step forward, BOOOM spear sized arrow hits me and knocks me back 3 ft, which is 1 foot farther than it needed to to knock me off the ramp. I didn't even get to see where the shots came from other than "farther up the ramp".

There is literally no way you are getting up that ramp your first time unless you already know what is coming, and that is bad design. Not challenging, just really really cheap. Like Ninja Gaiden level off screen enemies killing you with Kunai cheap. Being hard is fine, but the player should have at least a small chance of actually succeeding their first time in every encounter without needing a guide to tell them what to do. In Dark Souls that simply isn't the case at numerous points.

Back when dark souls was released I managed to get through those archers on my first try without having read any guide, I had no idea what people were complaining about. There is a small chance of getting through every encounter on the first try.

Besides, calling something like that bad design means you're missing a huge point of games. You have no idea what the developers were thinking when they made these design desicions. Failing is a part of the DS experience, it makes the success feel even more satisfying.

Some games are art. If Da Vinci hadn't put that weird smile on Mona Lisa, the painting probably wouldn't have been as famous as it is today, we'll never know. Same goes for games that are trying to do something different than the "generic military shooter 43" or "fantasy mmo VII".

#72 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

@JackOhara said:

I passed the archers on the second try without a guide and without summoning. You can clearly see the archers from the spot before the ramp that leads up to them, and in fact they will start shooting at you well before that with their comically oversized arrows. Beating that section is simply a matter of thinking about what you are going to do before you do it. By that point in the game you should be competent enough to kill a single silver knight.

Sadly my playthrough is on Youtube so I actually have video evidence of the fact that they were shooting me from off screen and I couldn't see the actual archers locations. I am glad you are an internet bad ass but again, there is no way in hell a person who doesn't know exactly what is happening there is going to make it up that ramp without dieing at least one time. Sure a great player will maybe make it up on try number two, but most players who are even good at the game will take 3-4. I took 4 myself, the first time cause I had no clue what was going on so had basically no chance, the second because I tried to switch up my shield and thought I only got staggered due to low hit res but I found the archers atleast, the third because when I got there I had no freakin clue where to go and got clipped by a shot getting past the dude on the right, the fourth time I got by it.

You don't need to be an 'internet bad ass' to beat a section of a video game so I don't really know what you're on about. Death and learning from it is an integral part of the game, everything in the design reinforces this, from the messages to the bloodstains to the phantoms you see roaming around. Is learning from your mistakes and conquering difficult challenges considered bad game design these days? I apologize if your game glitched to the point that the archers could shoot you from behind a wall or something, I had no such issue.

#73 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1435 posts) -

The creator should be more concern about the janky lock-on system than an alternative difficulty level.

#74 Posted by Akeldama (4246 posts) -

@HH said:

i didn't find the difficulty in demon's souls to be a problem at all, but there were a couple of things in dark souls that just weren't well thought out, and required too much attrition to master - the snipers on the anor londo cathedral in particular.

if there is an easier difficulty there is no way in hell I'll play on it, i just want the mechanics in the main game to be considered a little more, like they seemed to be in demon's souls.

I never understood the universal hatred of those snipers. It really isn't that difficult if you position yourself against the wall, target them and let their arrows push you AGAINST the wall instead off away from it.

#75 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I know I've always been too intimidated to try this game because I don't typically like action RPG type titles unless they offer a little bit of a learning curve. I enjoy the Witcher 2 which is a fairly difficult game, but at least it spends some time teaching players the basics, and low level battles do a good job of building up your familiarity.

#76 Posted by ThunderSlash (1722 posts) -

@kgb0515: I found Witcher 2 to be harder than Dark Souls. That Kayran fight was stupidly difficult with all those surprise QTEs punishing my slow reactions. And then that last part of the fight, not telling you where to go as it flings huge ass boulders at you.

#77 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Humanity said:

@Terramagi: I sure did imagine a lot of those things because I waited around several areas in the game for literally an hour at a time with no summons signs to be found. Should I by any chance actually stumble onto a blue sign and rush over to it head over heals, I just go summoning failed. The fact that the online was largely non functioning at time of console launch aside - I did read messages. I beat Demons Souls many times over and had fun. What you don't take under consideration in your condescending rant on online play is that some people want to find things out on their own. Some want just a hint, they don't want others to just do it for them. No amount of showing how great someone dodges Ornstein and Smough will make YOU dodge them any better. You just have to play and find out. Months later when the online was fixed with a patch I summoned a blue phantom to help me with that boss fight and it went alright, he died halfway through but I managed to end it.

You seem pretty passionate about the game but you should take a step back and maybe two calming breaths at that. The entire game can be boiled down to how easy it is "just don't get hit!" best advice you can ever give someone in Dark Souls.

All I'm reading here is "I'm ignoring half of the game, and then getting indignant when I get called out on it because I have PRIDE".

It's fucking Dark Souls. Do you not notice the names of the random soul items you use as consumable currency? "Soul of a Proud Knight"?

#78 Edited by yinstarrunner (1198 posts) -

I am so far against this that I hardly know where to begin.

The "Difficulty" of Dark Souls is one of the most important aspects of its design, and the cornerstone of its unique place in the gaming pantheon of this generation. The punishing hardships that every player goes through at some point in this game, along with it's esoteric nature, builds something that few games these days actually have: a sense of camaraderie. You know that slight feeling of togetherness you feel when you see other players huddled around a bonfire with you? Or the twang of empathy when you watch another player die stupidly after touching their bloodstain? Or the feeling of gratitude when a message points out a shortcut or a hidden treasure? Or the relief you feel upon seeing a white summon sign placed outside of a boss door? None of these things would feel the same if the game wasn't so cold, lonely, and indifferent. Or, in other words, "hard".

As pretentious as this may sound, all of these things together elevate Dark Souls to another level. It almost transcends the term "video game", and I like to think of it as more of a "communal journey". Whether intentional or not, I feel like this is a game meant to be played TOGETHER. Not physically, per se, but definitely on an emotional level. Although your character is just one of many in different worlds journeying to find the truth, you are constantly reminded that you're not the only one venturing towards it. Although this expertly crafted world doesn't care whether you live or die, you are NOT ALONE. I believe this extends outside of the game too, and it was really apparent in the first few weeks after this game was initially released: The idea of exploring with others and pooling your ideas and findings together into a common wiki was amazing. It was great knowing that the things you found that had helped you could also helps others if you let them know about it. It kind of felt like back when I was a kid, and I would talk to my friends about secrets in Super Metroid and Ocarina of Time. The only difference now is that we have the internet.

This is one of the only games where I believe looking at a wiki is absolutely acceptable and expected: as a matter of fact, it kind of feels like THE POINT.

So, what's difficulty have to do with this? Well, besides it being an important unifying factor among all players. If you lessen the difficulty, then you lessen the need to explore and understand, which in turn lessens the reliability on others, which destroys one of my favorite aspects of this game.

In closing: Not every game has to be for everyone. If people don't like the homogenous difficulty (I refuse to call it "hard") of a game like Dark Souls, there are plenty of other Action RPG's out there to play. Niche games are not bad games, and they don't necessarily need to change to appeal to more people.

#79 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@yinstarrunner said:

I am so far against this that I hardly know where to begin.

The "Difficulty" of Dark Souls is one of the most important aspects of its design, and the cornerstone of its unique place in the gaming pantheon of this generation. The punishing hardships that every player goes through at some point in this game, along with it's esoteric nature, builds something that few games these days actually have: a sense of camaraderie. You know that slight feeling of togetherness you feel when you see other players huddled around a bonfire with you? Or the twang of empathy when you watch another player die stupidly after touching their bloodstain? Or the feeling of gratitude when a message points out a shortcut or a hidden treasure? Or the relief you feel upon seeing a white summon sign placed outside of a boss door? None of these things would feel the same if the game wasn't so cold, lonely, and indifferent. Or, in other words, "hard".

As pretentious as this may sound, all of these things together elevate Dark Souls to another level. It almost transcends the term "video game", and I like to think of it as more of a "communal journey". Whether intentional or not, I feel like this is a game meant to be played TOGETHER. Not physically, per se, but definitely on an emotional level. Although your character is just one of many in different worlds journeying to find the truth, you are constantly reminded that you're not the only one venturing towards it. Although this expertly crafted world doesn't care whether you live or die, you are NOT ALONE. I believe this extends outside of the game too, and it was really apparent in the first few weeks after this game was initially released: The idea of exploring with others and pooling your ideas and findings together into a common wiki was amazing. It was great knowing that the things you found that had helped you could also helps others if you let them know about it. It kind of felt like back when I was a kid, and I would talk to my friends about secrets in Super Metroid and Ocarina of Time. The only difference now is that we have the internet.

This is one of the only games where I believe looking at a wiki is absolutely acceptable and expected: as a matter of fact, it kind of feels like THE POINT.

So, what's difficulty have to do with this? Well, besides it being an important unifying factor among all players. If you lessen the difficulty, then you lessen the need to explore and understand, which in turn lessens the reliability on others, which destroys one of my favorite aspects of this game.

In closing: Not every game has to be for everyone. If people don't like the homogenous difficulty (I refuse to call it "hard") of a game like Dark Souls, there are plenty of other Action RPG's out there to play. Niche games are not bad games, and they don't necessarily need to change to appeal to more people.

Well said. I remember an interview with one of the developers with him/her saying that the game was designed to encourage the use and creation of 'Wikis' so that it could have a strong community.

#80 Posted by Humanity (9214 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

@Humanity said:

@Terramagi: I sure did imagine a lot of those things because I waited around several areas in the game for literally an hour at a time with no summons signs to be found. Should I by any chance actually stumble onto a blue sign and rush over to it head over heals, I just go summoning failed. The fact that the online was largely non functioning at time of console launch aside - I did read messages. I beat Demons Souls many times over and had fun. What you don't take under consideration in your condescending rant on online play is that some people want to find things out on their own. Some want just a hint, they don't want others to just do it for them. No amount of showing how great someone dodges Ornstein and Smough will make YOU dodge them any better. You just have to play and find out. Months later when the online was fixed with a patch I summoned a blue phantom to help me with that boss fight and it went alright, he died halfway through but I managed to end it.

You seem pretty passionate about the game but you should take a step back and maybe two calming breaths at that. The entire game can be boiled down to how easy it is "just don't get hit!" best advice you can ever give someone in Dark Souls.

All I'm reading here is "I'm ignoring half of the game, and then getting indignant when I get called out on it because I have PRIDE".

It's fucking Dark Souls. Do you not notice the names of the random soul items you use as consumable currency? "Soul of a Proud Knight"?

At this point your posts have strayed into the area of incoherent rambling, and I hope you just quoted the wrong person because otherwise maybe the game really has broken you in spirit.

#81 Posted by CornBREDX (5262 posts) -

Just as an option? I don't see a problem with that. As long as normal is clearly labelled as such. 
 
I don't think it's that hard. I mean, if I can hack it in that game anyone can. I'm no amazing gamer or anything. I think it's more the games reputation that scares people then the game itself. Before I played it I was terrified of the game. "What? You lose everything when you die?" "What? You only have half health until you kill a boss if you'r a soul form?" 
Dark souls made it way more accessible in my opinion by removing some of the more difficult yet non essential parts from what Demon's Souls was. Anyone who is afraid to try is because the back of the box basically tells you it's really hard and if their savvy the reputation the game has. 
 
So, that's basically their fault if they didn't want that. Again, though, I don't think Dark Souls is that hard. You just have to play with patience and you'll be fine.

#82 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@yinstarrunner said:

I am so far against this that I hardly know where to begin.

The "Difficulty" of Dark Souls is one of the most important aspects of its design, and the cornerstone of its unique place in the gaming pantheon of this generation. The punishing hardships that every player goes through at some point in this game, along with it's esoteric nature, builds something that few games these days actually have: a sense of camaraderie. You know that slight feeling of togetherness you feel when you see other players huddled around a bonfire with you? Or the twang of empathy when you watch another player die stupidly after touching their bloodstain? Or the feeling of gratitude when a message points out a shortcut or a hidden treasure? Or the relief you feel upon seeing a white summon sign placed outside of a boss door? None of these things would feel the same if the game wasn't so cold, lonely, and indifferent. Or, in other words, "hard".

As pretentious as this may sound, all of these things together elevate Dark Souls to another level. It almost transcends the term "video game", and I like to think of it as more of a "communal journey". Whether intentional or not, I feel like this is a game meant to be played TOGETHER. Not physically, per se, but definitely on an emotional level. Although your character is just one of many in different worlds journeying to find the truth, you are constantly reminded that you're not the only one venturing towards it. Although this expertly crafted world doesn't care whether you live or die, you are NOT ALONE. I believe this extends outside of the game too, and it was really apparent in the first few weeks after this game was initially released: The idea of exploring with others and pooling your ideas and findings together into a common wiki was amazing. It was great knowing that the things you found that had helped you could also helps others if you let them know about it. It kind of felt like back when I was a kid, and I would talk to my friends about secrets in Super Metroid and Ocarina of Time. The only difference now is that we have the internet.

This is one of the only games where I believe looking at a wiki is absolutely acceptable and expected: as a matter of fact, it kind of feels like THE POINT.

So, what's difficulty have to do with this? Well, besides it being an important unifying factor among all players. If you lessen the difficulty, then you lessen the need to explore and understand, which in turn lessens the reliability on others, which destroys one of my favorite aspects of this game.

In closing: Not every game has to be for everyone. If people don't like the homogenous difficulty (I refuse to call it "hard") of a game like Dark Souls, there are plenty of other Action RPG's out there to play. Niche games are not bad games, and they don't necessarily need to change to appeal to more people.

This is true.

It's like how people always trump up Journey as this bonding experience, and yet conveniently forget about Dark Souls - which is basically the same thing, but over 30-50 hours and with more than one person. You're on a journey through an indifferent land that doesn't give a fuck if you live or die, but you can catch a fleeting glimpse of other people fighting in other worlds, knowing that they're doing the same thing you're doing - and, in the case of the Bells of Awakening being audible over every world when people ring them, being reminded that they're SUCCEEDING. If they can do it, you certainly can.

The online is the best part of the Souls series. It really, really is. Even when it's antagonistic players invading and murdering you, that feeling of camaraderie when it's you and a phantom standing back to back, keeping watch for the approaching Darkwraiths, is something special that a lower difficulty would absolutely and irrevocably FUCK. There are ways to lessen the difficulty other than "oh hey you take no damage from enemies". Giving 3 humanity at the start instead of 1 in the PTDE was a good change, because it presented humanity as something that isn't really scarce, and should be used as often as possible.

#83 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19336 posts) -

@yinstarrunner said:

In closing: Not every game has to be for everyone. If people don't like the homogenous difficulty (I refuse to call it "hard") of a game like Dark Souls, there are plenty of other Action RPG's out there to play. Niche games are not bad games, and they don't necessarily need to change to appeal to more people.

Yep.

#84 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5459 posts) -

Dark Souls popularity is fairly tied to the difficulty and the hype surrounding it; I don't think adding an easier option is going to sell many more copies, if any. At best you might see a Zeropunctuation review or something of the game or a few random sillies like Jeff will be more interested; the playerbase isn't going to expand that much regardless. I think they'd be better off just tuning out the handful of poorly designed fights and gimmicky areas and replacing them with something actually challenging (Gwyn and Flamelurker instead of Four Kings and Maneater; Anor Londo instead of Tomb of the Giants). Additionally things like Iron Flesh and the CR shield bug should be weeded out in testing.

#85 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave said:

Dark Souls popularity is fairly tied to the difficulty and the hype surrounding it; I don't think adding an easier option is going to sell many more copies, if any. At best you might see a Zeropunctuation review or something of the game or a few random sillies like Jeff will be more interested; the playerbase isn't going to expand that much regardless. I think they'd be better off just tuning out the handful of poorly designed fights and gimmicky areas and replacing them with something actually challenging (Gwyn and Flamelurker instead of Four Kings and Maneater; Anor Londo instead of Tomb of the Giants). Additionally things like Iron Flesh and the CR shield bug should be weeded out in testing.

While I concur Four Kings was a gear check, Tomb of the Giants was a really cool area - other than that godforsaken Divine Ember pit - that could have benefited from giving you a way to get the Skull Lantern BEFORE Patches.

And, at this point, putting in an "easy" difficulty isn't going to do anything for the series' reputation. It'll only alienate current fans. The same people who look at the game and go "only masochists who enjoy pounding nails into their dicks play this game" are just going to continue dismissing it as "archaic Japanese game design that went out of style after the PS2 came out".

#86 Posted by Humanity (9214 posts) -

@Terramagi said:

@Fredchuckdave said:

Dark Souls popularity is fairly tied to the difficulty and the hype surrounding it; I don't think adding an easier option is going to sell many more copies, if any. At best you might see a Zeropunctuation review or something of the game or a few random sillies like Jeff will be more interested; the playerbase isn't going to expand that much regardless. I think they'd be better off just tuning out the handful of poorly designed fights and gimmicky areas and replacing them with something actually challenging (Gwyn and Flamelurker instead of Four Kings and Maneater; Anor Londo instead of Tomb of the Giants). Additionally things like Iron Flesh and the CR shield bug should be weeded out in testing.

While I concur Four Kings was a gear check, Tomb of the Giants was a really cool area - other than that godforsaken Divine Ember pit - that could have benefited from giving you a way to get the Skull Lantern BEFORE Patches.

And, at this point, putting in an "easy" difficulty isn't going to do anything for the series' reputation. It'll only alienate current fans. The same people who look at the game and go "only masochists who enjoy pounding nails into their dicks play this game" are just going to continue dismissing it as "archaic Japanese game design that went out of style after the PS2 came out".

It will bring in new fans though. There are tons of people who are subjected to comments about Dark Souls on a daily basis in conversations where those comments aren't even the least bit warranted by over zealous fans - to the point where they will start checking the game out. Upon first glance they will hear all these comments about how hard the game is, and how this difficulty as stated above elevates a simple game of hack and slashing monsters into a spiritual communal journey. Well some of those people will really get curious, and the somber tone and great art direction, some of the things that really set Dark Souls apart from it's contemporaries will undoubtedly draw them in. But then theres all this talk of how hard this game is, and not everyone is up to it skill or timewise. Believe it or not, there are those of us out there who have a mere 4 free "me time" hours a day. This means that precious time needs careful allotment. Dark Souls can take your time, and literally tell you to fuck off. There were days when I played it and walked away after 2 hours with almost zero progress. Not because I was bad at the game, I'm perfectly fine at it, just some parts are not that well designed. There is a TON of archaic Japanese game design in Dark Souls. All the menu's, all the world interactions, even the way you're meant to get the most out of the game by repeatedly playing through it. Exchanging items at sparkly the crow requires you to quit back to the main menu - this is archaic insane game design thats not "cool" or "fun" in any way. So for all these interested people, hearing that they can experience this crazy new religion, but in case something goes wrong they can just set it to easy and at least see the rest of the game outside of the Taurus Demon - well that would be neat. What are core players losing out on? Nothing. Are you forced to play on an easier playing field? No. Is this all completely optional? Yes. Are you losing your awesome online gaming cred for being really awesome at this game known to be very challenging all over the web that "hey is not that hard REALLY I mean I think it's PRETTY easy when you get good at it (like me)" ?? No. You talk of fracturing this delicate core community that loves Dark Souls yet you have no idea how they would implement such a mode. If the core community would all of a sudden abandon the game because of an optional difficulty setting then thats a pretty shitty community to begin with and it's no big loss. The developer wants to put in a more accessible mode so they can reach more people, earn more money, and maybe make another Souls title better because they'll show the series can have mass appeal while still catering to the same "masochistic" fan base it has amassed. It's not such a hard concept to see if you only broaden your viewpoint beyond the laserbeam tight focus of "this game has to be hard and convoluted otherwise it's worthless."

#87 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Humanity said:

@Terramagi said:

@Fredchuckdave said:

Dark Souls popularity is fairly tied to the difficulty and the hype surrounding it; I don't think adding an easier option is going to sell many more copies, if any. At best you might see a Zeropunctuation review or something of the game or a few random sillies like Jeff will be more interested; the playerbase isn't going to expand that much regardless. I think they'd be better off just tuning out the handful of poorly designed fights and gimmicky areas and replacing them with something actually challenging (Gwyn and Flamelurker instead of Four Kings and Maneater; Anor Londo instead of Tomb of the Giants). Additionally things like Iron Flesh and the CR shield bug should be weeded out in testing.

While I concur Four Kings was a gear check, Tomb of the Giants was a really cool area - other than that godforsaken Divine Ember pit - that could have benefited from giving you a way to get the Skull Lantern BEFORE Patches.

And, at this point, putting in an "easy" difficulty isn't going to do anything for the series' reputation. It'll only alienate current fans. The same people who look at the game and go "only masochists who enjoy pounding nails into their dicks play this game" are just going to continue dismissing it as "archaic Japanese game design that went out of style after the PS2 came out".

It will bring in new fans though. There are tons of people who are subjected to comments about Dark Souls on a daily basis in conversations where those comments aren't even the least bit warranted by over zealous fans - to the point where they will start checking the game out. Upon first glance they will hear all these comments about how hard the game is, and how this difficulty as stated above elevates a simple game of hack and slashing monsters into a spiritual communal journey. Well some of those people will really get curious, and the somber tone and great art direction, some of the things that really set Dark Souls apart from it's contemporaries will undoubtedly draw them in. But then theres all this talk of how hard this game is, and not everyone is up to it skill or timewise. Believe it or not, there are those of us out there who have a mere 4 free "me time" hours a day. This means that precious time needs careful allotment. Dark Souls can take your time, and literally tell you to fuck off. There were days when I played it and walked away after 2 hours with almost zero progress. Not because I was bad at the game, I'm perfectly fine at it, just some parts are not that well designed. There is a TON of archaic Japanese game design in Dark Souls. All the menu's, all the world interactions, even the way you're meant to get the most out of the game by repeatedly playing through it. Exchanging items at sparkly the crow requires you to quit back to the main menu - this is archaic insane game design thats not "cool" or "fun" in any way. So for all these interested people, hearing that they can experience this crazy new religion, but in case something goes wrong they can just set it to easy and at least see the rest of the game outside of the Taurus Demon - well that would be neat. What are core players losing out on? Nothing. Are you forced to play on an easier playing field? No. Is this all completely optional? Yes. Are you losing your awesome online gaming cred for being really awesome at this game known to be very challenging all over the web that "hey is not that hard REALLY I mean I think it's PRETTY easy when you get good at it (like me)" ?? No. You talk of fracturing this delicate core community that loves Dark Souls yet you have no idea how they would implement such a mode. If the core community would all of a sudden abandon the game because of an optional difficulty setting then thats a pretty shitty community to begin with and it's no big loss. The developer wants to put in a more accessible mode so they can reach more people, earn more money, and maybe make another Souls title better because they'll show the series can have mass appeal while still catering to the same "masochistic" fan base it has amassed. It's not such a hard concept to see if you only broaden your viewpoint beyond the laserbeam tight focus of "this game has to be hard and convoluted otherwise it's worthless."

First of all, line breaks motherfucker, do you use them?

Secondly, are you actually saying that, in the game industry, "simply adding another mode" is effortless? The odds of them getting it right and simply offering a choice to new fans while giving old fans the things they loved about the old games are so low that I'm willing to entirely discount them. The Spec Ops team literally had an interview LAST WEEK where they were bemoaning the resources allocated to multiplayer because it detracted from the single player campaign. Mass Effect 3 had HUGE chunks of content cut from the game, both for multiplayer and for that godforsaken "Story Mode" where it chooses your decisions - you can actually SEE the places where there was supposed to be a dialogue wheel that they cut out. What makes you think FROM is any more capable than those guys?

Also, for real, if you were having trouble with the TAURUS DEMON, I am REALLY starting to doubt that "oh I'm playing it fine, but the game just won't let me enjoy it because of ARCHAIC GAME DESIGN" line you're pulling. The game gives you a way to kill it in 3-4 hits, an item that will buff your regular attack to the point where you're doing 300 damage per strike, and ALL of his attacks are blockable. What the hell more do you want from the game? For the taurus demon to rear back and a QTE to appear on the screen?

#88 Posted by SpartanHoplite (384 posts) -

They dont need to make the game's difficulty level easier, just make the game work better. A bit more thought on the gameplay & controls, & have the online actually working with proper coop. Dont make it easier, make it better!

And yeah, i agree that there should be on option to put invasions OFF.

#89 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@SpartanHoplite said:

They dont need to make the game's difficulty level easier, just make the game work better. A bit more thought on the gameplay & controls, & have the online actually working with proper coop. Dont make it easier, make it better!

And yeah, i agree that there should be on option to put invasions OFF.

The invasions, while definitely a pain at times, are as much a part of the game as the difficulty. If you took out one specific part of the game, it would detract from the whole to a huge degree.

Besides, there is a way to turn invasions off. It's called "never unhollow". Though you can still get fucked with by Gravelord Servants, I'm willing to let that slide because, let's be honest, Gravelord Servants have a hard enough time just getting their covenent to function.

#90 Posted by Humanity (9214 posts) -

@Terramagi: What about the archaic menus and world interactions with huge dialog boxes that say OK or PULL do you find enjoyable? Sure the game gives you tools to fight the Taurus Demon - it gives you the tools for everything in the game - but when does it tell you any of this. Everything is conveyed in a rather vague manner and thats not a game strength. You're obsessively defending something simply because you got it, you're good at it, you put the time and effort to learn all the ins and outs. Do you honestly possess no empathetic skills whatsoever? Is it so ridiculously hard for you to imagine that there may exist players out there who might need a few more hints and nods than you did? Did you magically deduct what the Fluffy the Crow offering is for the headgear which illuminates Tomb of the Giants? Because it's not written anywhere, it's found out purely through brute forcing every possible combination.

#91 Edited by TheHT (11240 posts) -

sure, why not.

there really isn't any good reason why they shouldn't do it. it's like people complaining about that halo remake having 3D or having kinect support, or whatever menial addition it was that people shat themselves over.

#92 Edited by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Humanity said:

@Terramagi: What about the archaic menus and world interactions with huge dialog boxes that say OK or PULL do you find enjoyable? Sure the game gives you tools to fight the Taurus Demon - it gives you the tools for everything in the game - but when does it tell you any of this. Everything is conveyed in a rather vague manner and thats not a game strength. You're obsessively defending something simply because you got it, you're good at it, you put the time and effort to learn all the ins and outs. Do you honestly possess no empathetic skills whatsoever? Is it so ridiculously hard for you to imagine that there may exist players out there who might need a few more hints and nods than you did? Did you magically deduct what the Fluffy the Crow offering is for the headgear which illuminates Tomb of the Giants? Because it's not written anywhere, it's found out purely through brute forcing every possible combination.

Firstly, Snuggly doesn't give you a Sunlight Maggot. You get that one by ranking up your Chaos Servant to level 2, which you could figure out by the multitude of "need covenent" signs near the door. You might ask yourself "well how was I supposed to know it was Chaos Servants?" Well, for one, the city is Lost Izalith, home of the Witches of Izalith. You know what happened to the witches? They all, save one, died or got mutated by chaos demons. One of those covenents is run BY one of the daughters. So you join her, rank up a few times, and oh look the door opens up.

Secondly, I'm not saying the game doesn't need a bit of cleaning up - the covenents, for one, barely function at times. However, what you're suggesting is beyond "make a few things clear", and calling everybody who calls you out on it an elitist in an attempt to drum up ad hominem support. Guess what? The "well, try it and find out" is part of the charm. It's part of what made the game popular. You would reduce the entire experience to another mass market slashfest because "hey, I paid my 60 dollars, I should get to see the ending". I don't know how else to tell you this, but Dark Souls isn't exactly a niche title. It outsold every other one of FROM's games and was critically and popularly acclaimed, for good reason.

Thirdly, to put this as bluntly as I can, why the FUCK should they dumb the game down when what they've got going for them works perfectly fine? Are you an executive at Namco? Do you want the game to sell CoD numbers? Is that why you want to make another lowest common denominator hack and slash? Because that's the only reason, other than a complete lack of empathy on your part, for wanting to destroy what a decent subset of people actually want. They have so few games like this these days, can't you just let them have their fun without going "WELL MY FUN TRUMPS YOURS, LET ME INTO YOUR CLUBHOUSE AND CHANGE EVERYTHING SO I LIKE IT BETTER". Remember what happened to Red Faction when they turned it into a cover shooter? It didn't sell well, because the old fans were alienated, and the entire series was shitcanned. The exact same thing will happen here, because EVERY TIME a developer goes in and says "let's make it more approachable" they fuck it up completely. I guarantee you, it sold a million copies BECAUSE it offered something unique.

To sum it up, if it's not broken, stop TRYING to break it.

#93 Posted by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

@ShaggE said:

A resounding "whatevs" from me. What could possibly be bad about more people enjoying a game? Maybe if you're the type to mutter "filthy casuals" or say "PC master race" unironically, but if that's the case, a new mode in a game is the least of your problems.

Pretty much how I feel. An easier mode wouldn't affect my enjoyment of the game, at all.

#94 Posted by Mcfart (1624 posts) -

@yinstarrunner said:

I am so far against this that I hardly know where to begin.

The "Difficulty" of Dark Souls is one of the most important aspects of its design, and the cornerstone of its unique place in the gaming pantheon of this generation. The punishing hardships that every player goes through at some point in this game, along with it's esoteric nature, builds something that few games these days actually have: a sense of camaraderie. You know that slight feeling of togetherness you feel when you see other players huddled around a bonfire with you? Or the twang of empathy when you watch another player die stupidly after touching their bloodstain? Or the feeling of gratitude when a message points out a shortcut or a hidden treasure? Or the relief you feel upon seeing a white summon sign placed outside of a boss door? None of these things would feel the same if the game wasn't so cold, lonely, and indifferent. Or, in other words, "hard".

As pretentious as this may sound, all of these things together elevate Dark Souls to another level. It almost transcends the term "video game", and I like to think of it as more of a "communal journey". Whether intentional or not, I feel like this is a game meant to be played TOGETHER. Not physically, per se, but definitely on an emotional level. Although your character is just one of many in different worlds journeying to find the truth, you are constantly reminded that you're not the only one venturing towards it. Although this expertly crafted world doesn't care whether you live or die, you are NOT ALONE. I believe this extends outside of the game too, and it was really apparent in the first few weeks after this game was initially released: The idea of exploring with others and pooling your ideas and findings together into a common wiki was amazing. It was great knowing that the things you found that had helped you could also helps others if you let them know about it. It kind of felt like back when I was a kid, and I would talk to my friends about secrets in Super Metroid and Ocarina of Time. The only difference now is that we have the internet.

This is one of the only games where I believe looking at a wiki is absolutely acceptable and expected: as a matter of fact, it kind of feels like THE POINT.

So, what's difficulty have to do with this? Well, besides it being an important unifying factor among all players. If you lessen the difficulty, then you lessen the need to explore and understand, which in turn lessens the reliability on others, which destroys one of my favorite aspects of this game.

In closing: Not every game has to be for everyone. If people don't like the homogenous difficulty (I refuse to call it "hard") of a game like Dark Souls, there are plenty of other Action RPG's out there to play. Niche games are not bad games, and they don't necessarily need to change to appeal to more people.

Well said!

However, not surprisingly, some people won't be encouraged to buy a game that is touted as being so hard, as they might fear that they'ld never be able to get their money's worth. From a finantial perspective I can see adding an Easy Mode.

BUT if they did, I can't see how it won't segregate the online community. They would have to limit the easymode people in some way so they don't kill people playing Normal, and that would just mean there's less people playing Normal...

#95 Posted by Humanity (9214 posts) -

@Terramagi: It doesn't work perfectly fine, and you admitted so yourself. You can't batten down the hatches, and stop evolving the gameplay because you're too scared of change. They NEED to change things, and adding a possible optional difficulty level can be one of those additions. Your whole argument is founded only on speculation and "to put it as bluntly as I can" your elitist, condescending attitude from having put what I can tell is innumerable hours into the game - which wrongly give you the impression that you know whats best for everyone.

#96 Edited by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Humanity said:

@Terramagi: It doesn't work perfectly fine, and you admitted so yourself. You can't batten down the hatches, and stop evolving the gameplay because you're too scared of change. They NEED to change things, and adding a possible optional difficulty level can be one of those additions. Your whole argument is founded only on speculation and "to put it as bluntly as I can" your elitist, condescending attitude from having put what I can tell is innumerable hours into the game - which wrongly give you the impression that you know whats best for everyone.

My words are obviously deficient, so I'm going to link to somebody who can explain my thought process (and inferred worries) far better than I clearly am capable.

This is really the best I can do, other than just devolving to the point where I start repeating "stop trying to break my shit, motherfucker" over and over again.

And for the last time, it's not "what's best for everyone". It's what's best for this small, unspoiled, patch of grass in a sea of mud. Stop trying to break my shit, motherfucker.

#97 Edited by Humanity (9214 posts) -

@Terramagi: @Terramagi said:

This is really the best I can do, other than just devolving to the point where I start repeating "stop trying to break my shit, motherfucker" over and over again.

This is exactly the problem which you just can't seem to understand - it's not just "your shit."

#98 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Humanity said:

@Terramagi: @Terramagi said:

This is really the best I can do, other than just devolving to the point where I start repeating "stop trying to break my shit, motherfucker" over and over again.

This is exactly the problem which you just can't seem to understand - it's not just "your shit."

How many fucking games do you WANT? You have the ENTIRE MARKET targeting you with dumbed down bloodfests. You HAVE your toy, let these people have THEIRS. Stop trying to break their shit because you think your fun is more important than theirs.

#99 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

The reason I don't play Dark Souls isn't because it isn't easier, it's because to my eyes it's mechanics are unfair and broken. Reducing health points or other difficulty tweaks are very different from what I feel is keeping me from the game, and I think there are not a lot of people that actually enjoy the way the game makes fun of itself in order to destroy the player but don't play because of difficulty.

#100 Posted by yinstarrunner (1198 posts) -
@DJJoeJoe which mechanics specifically? There are only a few parts of this game that i would feel are unfair at all. As a matter of fact, i feel that Dark Souls is probaby one of the most "fair" games I've ever played.

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