My opinion on 'game needs easy mode'

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#51 Posted by yinstarrunner (1182 posts) -

Having the ability to cancel animations would really ruin a very unique aspect of what Dark Souls combat is based around. The "canned" animations are there for a reason, and if you can't accept them or understand said reason, then Dark Souls is not the game for you. The time spent swinging your weapon does not make the game artificially "hard"; instead it removes the gameplay from being solely reflex-based.

The real reason why the Souls series has such a reputation for being "difficult" is because it's gameplay is not base entirely around reactions. An essential part of the challenge comes from something that a lot of gamers shy away from these days: KNOWLEDGE.

So this puts Dark Souls combat mechanics in this hybrid place, where the faster you can UNDERSTAND what an enemy is about to do in the next few seconds, the more time you have to REACT and take advantage. This is the crux of Dark Soul's challenge and it does not need to be changed.

Online
#52 Posted by Pieman51 (98 posts) -

Cancel animations? No no no. You guys got it all wrong. The best From Software would ever do to an easy mode is make the attacks less damaging and the parry window more open, and probably give enemies less health.

I'm not saying I agree with easy mode, because I certainly do not. I think an easy mode would completely butcher the very definition of the Souls' series. It's meant to be challenging, not a walk in the park.

#53 Edited by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@PrivateIronTFU said:

@Turambar said:

@MikkaQ said:

The game doesn't need an easy mode. It just needs a mode where all the animations are like 10x faster and can be cancelled. Then it might seem like a game made by people who aren't so into themselves that the gameplay takes a backseat to deliberate, canned animations.

That would not make it a better game. That would make it a different game, period. Can't stand not being able to mash buttons? Don't play.

Edit: And when was the deliberate choice to commit you to an attack when you went for a swing making gameplay take a backseat, and not part of the core foundation of said gameplay period? Is your definition of gameplay that narrow?

Who the fuck said anything about mashing buttons? He's not saying he wants to mash buttons. He's saying that swinging a weapon shouldn't take two whole seconds.

Why shouldn't swinging a weapon the length of your body take two seconds? Want to attack faster? Use weapons that have faster swings. They do exist in the game. Amazing, I know. Want weapons that will attack 10 times faster with mid animation cancels? Go play a game friendly to hitting buttons as fast as possible, or as I'd like to call, mashing buttons.

Edit: Just to further iterate my point, you want faster swinging weapons? Use the weapons in the first half of this video. No, these weapons are still not going to let you juggle something in the air. Don't like that? Stop playing.

Is there a reason you're being a condescending dick?

Cancelling a move does not equate to "mashing buttons", no matter how much you want to bring that up in this conversation. I don't know why you feel such passion for this game that any little criticism of it seems downright outrageous to you. All I'm saying is that the weapons I've used all swing slower than I would like, and it makes the game feel like it's taking cheap shots at me.

It's just a game, dude.

#54 Posted by Ares42 (2576 posts) -

Regarding the whole animation cancelling debate. While there aren't any "cancel any time" animations, there are plenty of attacks that have recovery frames that can be cancelled. I was in the same boat of hating the long animations when I first tried out the Souls games, but it would be too much of a fundamental change to allow cancelling during active frames of attacks. The games function more in the lines of fighting games, with active, recovery and invincble frames, not like action-adventure games like DMC or GoW.

It's important to remember that the games are technically action-roleplaying games, so it makes more sense for the gameplay to be more about stats and attributes and using them strategically correct rather than just being about reaction and twitch. If you look at other profiled games in the genre (like Diablo or Torchlight) they might generally have snappier animations but they do operate with the same concept. Attacks have different lengths of non-cancellable animations, and they leave you open to attacks by forcing you to be stationary.

#55 Posted by triple07 (1196 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

My thought: Grind and redoing an area sucks regardless of difficulty setting. Dark Souls is predicated on grinding and redoing content which is bad.

Pretty much my thoughts. I have limited time to play video games and I'd rather play one that doesn't irritate me and make me redo the same thing over and over again.

#56 Posted by Deusx (1903 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral said:

Heh. /vg/.

Anyway, the difficulty is a key mechanic of Dark Souls, right? It seems like an easy mode is like adding 'Story Mode' to Mass Effect, except even more egregious, as there really isn't a complex narrative to Dark Souls that people can enjoy like a choose your own adventure. If you remove that part of the gameplay, what do you really have left?

No complex narrative heh? Oh man, you should do your research before posting that. Watch the following video

@EXTomar said:

My thought: Grind and redoing an area sucks regardless of difficulty setting. Dark Souls is predicated on grinding and redoing content which is bad.

No, Dark Souls does NOT involve grinding and redoing content. You go back to areas because you failed, failure is important in dark souls. You learn from it. You relish death because it teaches you the way to skillful game play. If you don't agree with that then you should play something a bit more casual. The game is punishing, yes. From punishment you learn. The game treats the player as someone who can stand this challenge and over come it. If you can't then hey, you aren't the player From Soft. were aiming for.

@MikkaQ said:

The game doesn't need an easy mode. It just needs a mode where all the animations are like 10x faster and can be cancelled. Then it might seem like a game made by people who aren't so into themselves that the gameplay takes a backseat to deliberate, canned animations.

So you like God of War and DMC, right? Pfffft.

@JackOhara said:

@EXTomar said:

I don't know if that is necessarily the case. When people fawn over a game like this and go "You must play it", buy it, and find it impenetrable and borderline unplayable they are left wondering "What the?" To extend the marathon metaphor, it would be like telling your jogger friend "I ran this race that was so awesome." They signed up and found it pretty horrible experience running through a smelly, mosquito ridden swamp in 100+ weather. Screw offering your friend a bike where instead they are going to feel cheated since race was a disaster where no one should be surprised they abandoned it. Suggesting they need to "man up" is not the solution for many either.

There is a balance that must be struck in any game design. In a game like Dark Souls, it is already not mainstream and those that did actually stick through it are in a minority. Maybe those designers are wondering if they change the game a little they can get many more people playing and finishing their game instead of just giving up?

Beyond this game, I have always felt no game is ever harmed by offering an easy difficulty setting or mode. It is elitist and snobbery to suggest that a game can't make allowances for easier play.

It has nothing to do with elitism or snobbery, all anyone is saying is that by turning down the difficulty you will make the game not fun. The challenge is an essential component of the Souls machine. If you were to take it away it would simply would not be as fun, even for the people that couldn't 'slog' through it in it's orignal state. And another thing, people exaggerate the difficulty of the Souls games WAY too much. The game is really not that hard, you just have to learn to play it and be patient, which obviously some aren't willing to do. I also think many people are expecting an experience similar to other main stream RPGs where you can pause the game, heal, et cetera, which is a bit silly.

This guy knows what's up.

I agree with you OP. People who say Dark Souls has artificial difficulty are simply bad at the game or just don't want to invest themselves in the challenge. DaS is just challenging and punishing. Death is how you learn. Death is the most important mechanic in Dark Souls.

For everyone STILL thinking DaS has artificial difficulty or is unfair:

1. Watch this video

2. Stop being awful at video games

3. Grow a pair of fucking balls.

I hate getting so buttmad when people talk trash about this game. Calling me a fanboy may not be very far from the truth but there is a reason why I fucking love that game. I suggest giving it a chance before laying your biased opinions here. Play it, learn it. Be a man.

#57 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Deusx: Added your comment to the first post in this thread, that video does a really excellent job of explaining everything for people who don't understand our point of view

#58 Posted by TwoLines (2788 posts) -

Easy Mode would obliterate a key aspect of the game. It's silly to even contemplate adding it.

#59 Posted by TobbRobb (4580 posts) -

So posting a fairly thought through, not too long text about a subject nets me a few posts, while just posting one image of the same thing nets 3 pages.

Fuck this shit.

#60 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

Buy a different game. With as much coverage as Dark Souls got, if you still didn't know what you were getting into, that's your fault.

#61 Posted by Quarters (1632 posts) -

I'm all for easier modes in games. It would be an optional mode. I don't see how that hurts anyone. I hate the whole elitist attitude of, "If you don't play the game at this difficulty, you don't deserve to be a fan of the series like I am". If more people want to enjoy the game, let them. It's not like you have to play it.

#62 Posted by ProfessorEss (7281 posts) -

I agree that the difficulty is core to the game but at the same time I think saying that the Souls games have no merit outside of their difficulty sells them short.

There are some seriously cool things to see in the Souls games and if an easier difficulty would lead to more people seeing some of that coolness I have a hard time fighting against it even if it doesn't "feel right" to me personally.

#63 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

As much as I agree with you OP about some players inability to see what is a fair criticism and what is just a misinformed opinion based on their inability to learn and master the game's concepts, the developer ultimately needs to make an easier mode (not necessarily make the mechanics easier to use per say) to get a greater audience next time should they want to still exist as a developer or if they desire higher success next time. I will get Dark Souls on PC at some point and when I do I will love trying to outsmart that game.

#64 Edited by Turambar (6675 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU said:

Is there a reason you're being a condescending dick?

Cancelling a move does not equate to "mashing buttons", no matter how much you want to bring that up in this conversation. I don't know why you feel such passion for this game that any little criticism of it seems downright outrageous to you. All I'm saying is that the weapons I've used all swing slower than I would like, and it makes the game feel like it's taking cheap shots at me.

It's just a game, dude.

Because you're being factually wrong in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary.

Cancelling a move does not equate to mashing. Wanting attack speeds to be dependent on how fast you can press the button is. Also you should realize I've already had my criticisms of the game, specifically on its need of a better tutorial. But what you're criticizing is not something wrong with the game that can be easily remedied (like the resolution). Your criticism is against a fundamental part of the game's appeal, and to ask for its change is pretty outrageous.

So how fast would you like to swing a sword? Half a second? Take a closer look, most weapons below the "Great" class are already there if not even faster. If half second swing times are still too slow for you, play a different game.

#65 Posted by Dark (360 posts) -

@ShiftyMagician: To try and spin an easy mode into being the 'linchpin' of From Software's success as a company is completely false. Your 'small audience' is either close or over 2 million in sales, From isn't going anywhere with or without an easy mode no matter how its spun. Considering Demons Souls sold almost 3 times better in english markets than they first figured they must be doing something correctly.

If they make the game easier it may actually cause a large portion of sales to go DOWN as without the difficulty this game is absolutely nothing special. Remember that people who are happy with the game don't say much (outside of fanboys) where as people who hate the game make sure they are heard. This is the same problem Mists of Pandaria was having, the people who liked the direction didn't say a word as they didn't need too whilst the people who hated it flooded the forums.

The game makes NO attempt at hiding how hard its going to be, the only one thing the box could add is 'YOU WILL BE FRUSTRATED' as it already says you are going to die 4 odd times a paragraph.

#66 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

@Quarters said:

I'm all for easier modes in games. It would be an optional mode. I don't see how that hurts anyone. I hate the whole elitist attitude of, "If you don't play the game at this difficulty, you don't deserve to be a fan of the series like I am". If more people want to enjoy the game, let them. It's not like you have to play it.

The big worry there is specifically how would one make the game easier? The most obvious would be less enemy hp, more hp for you, simple buffs like that. One can already replicate that kind of a situation on both the console and PC versions through various cheats and trainers, and the result is this: the game becomes boring. Not boring in the sense that my e-peen suddenly isn't stroked. It is boring because the core combat mechanics are not designed to support easier combat. Without the difficulty to force you to take things slowly and carefully in conjunction with the attack speed itself, the latter is incapable of standing by itself.

The last thing I want is for easy mode to come out, a large segment goes to play it, then turns around to bitch and moan about how boring the game is.

Oh, and there's also something to be said on how it would divide the population for the online component.

There is far more to people's wariness of easy mode than you realize.

#67 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

@Dark said:

@ShiftyMagician: To try and spin an easy mode into being the 'linchpin' of From Software's success as a company is completely false. Your 'small audience' is either close or over 2 million in sales, From isn't going anywhere with or without an easy mode no matter how its spun. Considering Demons Souls sold almost 3 times better in english markets than they first figured they must be doing something correctly.

If they make the game easier it may actually cause a large portion of sales to go DOWN as without the difficulty this game is absolutely nothing special. Remember that people who are happy with the game don't say much (outside of fanboys) where as people who hate the game make sure they are heard. This is the same problem Mists of Pandaria was having, the people who liked the direction didn't say a word as they didn't need too whilst the people who hated it flooded the forums.

The game makes NO attempt at hiding how hard its going to be, the only one thing the box could add is 'YOU WILL BE FRUSTRATED' as it already says you are going to die 4 odd times a paragraph.

I never stated or meant to imply they have a small audience and you can go back and word search all day long and you won't find it mate. I'm only talking in a business point of view that there is an unknown (potentially significant) body of people that may want to play this game and experience the mystery of it (which is more than just the gameplay as others who agree with you have been pointing out like story), but with a more forgiving difficulty option. If done properly, it will hardly harm the game as there's more to that game than just 'can you beat it'. Should FROM Software decide they want to pursue this they obviously need to make sure they do it right or else stick to their target market (which is obviously not small when you just see the game at the Steam top sellers list for weeks). Again I'm just saying they have an additional potential source of revenue there that they can choose to either ignore or attempt to go after in future games, that's basically all.

The underlined part of your post is purely speculative and you sound shallow to me personally if you can't appreciate all the other aspects of the game. I personally want to play the game as it is literally a mystery to me and I want to find out all the story and interesting monsters that awaits me, not just play it because it is hard. It ain't a graphical masterpiece but it sure does have a distinctive look of its own to me and the PC version with the resolution fix even more clearly shows this in the details.

The italicized part I simply can't care to comment on as I haven't complained at all in my post about anything and know full well the nature of the game. I simply agreed on your opinion yet put out my own stance on the matter.

#68 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

@ShiftyMagician: I'd say your assertion that there is an untapped market out there to be gained from easy mode and his that there is a chunk of the existing audience to lose are both pretty much speculative.

While I understand your point, I don't actually see how they can alter the existing enemy difficulty while still maintaining the core conceit which the combat relies on to actually function: anxiety, danger, and caution. The appeal of the combat (which is the main appeal of the game, and this coming from one of the biggest Souls lore fans out there) is dependent on the difficulty and the combat mechanics working together. You can't just cut one of those legs off and expect the whole thing to remain standing.

#69 Posted by Vampir (129 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@ShiftyMagician: While I understand your point, I don't actually see how they can alter the existing enemy difficulty while still maintaining the core conceit which the combat relies on to actually function: anxiety, danger, and caution.

Agreed. That interplay between anxiety and caution is so central to the game's experience, that offering a mode that lessened the danger would be like offering a less scary mode for a survival horror game. I wouldn't be upset if someone did it, there just doesn't seem to be much point.

As it is, I thought the souls games so great was how punishing they weren't. For me, they are a lot like playing older games like the NES Mario games. The fun in games like that is based on enjoying the gameplay, which involves constantly moving while avoiding/overcoming challenges, and isn't really dependent on progression. Because it is purely the gameplay that makes Mario fun, when you die, you are immediately having fun again. You can play a level repeatedly without getting bored, and you slowly progress through the game as you learn and get better. Many modern games, however, rely on progression-based fun such as exploring new areas, finding new items, solving puzzles, and unlocking doors. Because those elements rely on discovery, they are sort of one-time use. Once you've discovered an item or new area, you can't discover it again or re-experience the sense of epiphany. Games that rely on traditional check points and hard saves force you to redo those things anyway. Therefore, in games like Skyrim or Persona 4 (i.e. games I've been playing recently) when you die and have to re-loot chests you've already looted, re-read segments of dialog, or re-buy items at a shop because you made poor save choices, it tedious and acts as a punishment for failure. As much as I really like Persona 4, there are huge breaks in between my spurts of playing, because after dying, the thought redoing three floors of a dungeon I just cleared seems like an absolute snooze.

What makes the Souls games interesting is that death is handled in such as way that you don't redo any of those one-time use elements. Doors stay unlocked, pathways stay open, and you keep any items you've picked up. You are always moving through the environment fighting enemies and avoiding hazards. I think that as modern gamers, we are trained to see death as a big deal, but it's only punishing if you don't like doing when you respawn. The Souls games make a lot more sense if you think of it like Mario (or even most arcade games), in that death and repetition are part of the game, not an interruption to it.

#70 Edited by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

I play games for many things. Story. Gameplay. Exploration. Challenge.

When I beat a boss in DMC or any other difficult action game, I feel rewarded.

Whenever I beat a boss in Dark Souls, it's because I read a guide on how to do so. Whenever I discover a new area, it's because I read a guide on where to go after dying 4-5 times because I explored.

There is a fine line between difficulty and not giving a damn and expecting that players will just endure. Maybe I'm the worst gamer ever. Or maybe I just don't think that a game should punish players in such severe and nerve-wrecking ways as Dark Souls does.

Still, easy mode would completely defeat the purpose of the game.

#71 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@ShiftyMagician: I'd say your assertion that there is an untapped market out there to be gained from easy mode and his that there is a chunk of the existing audience to lose are both pretty much speculative.

While I understand your point, I don't actually see how they can alter the existing enemy difficulty while still maintaining the core conceit which the combat relies on to actually function: anxiety, danger, and caution. The appeal of the combat (which is the main appeal of the game, and this coming from one of the biggest Souls lore fans out there) is dependent on the difficulty and the combat mechanics working together. You can't just cut one of those legs off and expect the whole thing to remain standing.

My assertion is definitely speculative and I'm glad someone saw that. I tried to keep identifying that my stance is just subjective based only on what I've seen and referring to the market as 'unknown'. It does exist but it may be too small that it can be neglected, making the whole argument a non-issue, but that needs to be researched if FROM wants to consider it in the first place. If I ever tried to make that statement somehow objectively true in this thread then my bad that wasn't the intent at all.

One way I was thinking to tackle the easier difficulty is to sort of do it like how racing simulators ease people into its games - assists. Not much changes to the enemies at all so much as how many buffs or exceptions your character gets from a lower difficulty. For example, the simple enabling of weapons not hitting walls would make it easier to fight in corridors with larger weapons if people find that difficult to handle. Or reducing the window to react for counters for your character to encourage lower skilled players to try a risky tactic with a bit of help first. I'm not saying this is a perfect idea as I'm sure there's going to be flaws in this method, but that's a way not to affect the enemies and the level structure (ideally anyway) so that their design has to be worked around an easier difficulty as well as a hard one. Once people get a feel for it, they can opt out of these assists and get closer to the intended difficulty, whilst allowing the more hardcore audience just jump right in with no assists.

I dunno that's just an idea I thought of to attempt to keep the original game unaffected yet provide an option to cater to more people, if enough of them truly exist to care about catering of course.

#72 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1030 posts) -

My rule to playing on easy mode is that the game has to have a good story. Otherwise a game like Dark Souls doesn't benefit from easy mode.

#73 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

These threads are basically pointless. It's pretty much a known fact that those of us who understand, play, and enjoy Dark Souls will never be able to explain what's actually happening in the game to the ignorant fools that simply refuse to play or understand it because they cry about having to actually learn something new.

Dark Souls is not a hard game. It's actually a fairly easy game when it comes down to it, it's just unforgiving when you act like an idiot. Really, the key to Dark Souls is to take control of your emotions and your urge to rush through something and make a stupid decision. If you just play smart and carefully in combat, and make sure to spend your souls when you have them, there will never be a time when you lose large amounts of progress.

The game is only as hard as you want it to be. If you're stubborn, and simply refuse to play within the games purposeful design decisions because you have preconceived notions that things such as deliberate animations are somehow bad, when in fact they are in there to teach you self control by causing you to actually think through every single action, you're going to have a bad experience when you rush into situations like a chicken with its head cut off. On the other hand, when you embrace the games purposeful design decisions and try to actually learn what the game is trying to teach you, instead of acting like a hardened child who refuses to accept anything other than what they already think, the game will actually become surprisingly easy.

This is why I believe Dark Souls to be the most emotional experience in video games to date. It's not emotional because you care about the characters or narrative, even though that stuff is in there for those who want it, it's emotional because it requires you to tap into something deeper than what most games require. You have to settle down your emotions, calm yourself, and be willing to learn something you may first get frustrated with. It really becomes a struggle within oneself to control the desire to act rashly and be greedy. On some level, I believe it to be one of those cases where a game can actually be more beneficial to your life than just entertainment.

It is sort of as Plato described in his ideas of the perfect society and the perfect, virtuous individual. In this game you are required to employ reason by using will to overcome appetites.

#74 Posted by wjb (1638 posts) -

I thought easy mode was playing Dark Souls while reading a FAQ?

#75 Posted by RedCream (704 posts) -

The difficulty forms part of the overall experience. If there is an option for a lesser difficulty then it won't haunt the player quite as effectively. Souls is the only game that preoccupied me so much that even before I sleep my muscle memory still functions and I can't think of any other game that punishes heavily and at the same time rewards the player's effort of mastery and dexterity. If a player can storm through the game with minimal effort then that magic is gone.

Difficulty scaling can be tough to implement as there can be issues on the way PvE and PvP work. The difficulty should be set at the beginning and those who are playing on a lower or higher difficulty should be the only ones who can invade or help each other.

I'm all for having that option just for the sake of inviting more players to experience the game. However, if one scorns the brutal, trial and error game design (which I think is fantastic) no amount of difficulty scaling can convince them to play.

#76 Edited by chrissedoff (2075 posts) -

@TobbRobb: Try making deliberately inflammatory posts from now on, I guess. The bigger the jerk you are, the more attention you'll get.

#77 Posted by OneManX (1680 posts) -

They lack of direction and trial-and-error, kinda turned me off to the Souls games. Like I just want to run around, try out weapons and see what works, and you can only do that in certain areas, but wander 2-3 steps to the left or right here comes a thing killing you in 1 or 2 hits. And the bosses... they are okay, but i never felt like I achieved anything, I'm either cheesing them or summoning someone who can wipe the boss out.

#78 Posted by Quarters (1632 posts) -

@Turambar: I realize all that, I just think it's close minded to force everyone else to play it the same way. I think an example of how to do it right is the Metal Gear series. Tons of difficulty levels, all for various skill levels. As long as it doesn't effect the other modes, options are a good thing. For a lot of people, sure, easier enemies would ruin the game because it reduces the tactical nature of the game. However, that's just not the case for everyone. Some people(myself included) play games on Easy, just because that's the preferred way. For example, when I played Mass Effect 3, I totally played the Story mode, and really enjoyed it. I got to experience the atmosphere and story, without having to worry about messing up on a part or having to focus more on gameplay. I personally prefer taking in the atmosphere and story of a game as opposed to the actual gameplay. I don't have much time in the day anymore, and I like to be able to breeze through stuff, have a nice stress reliever, then go on and do other stuff.

I don't get any joy out of "challenge" and "mastering" a game. I just want to have some fun and be done with it(which is also why I'm not super into crazy long games like Skyrim). And if you're worried that it will lead to people complaining about the game more...it's the Internet. They'll do that anyway. No one likes anything anymore. All communities turn to utter crap eventually, it's just a matter of time.

While you could replicate some of the buffs and stuff with cheats/trainers, not everyone wants to take the time to mess with all that crap. Find the right file to edit, the right commands to type, the right files to download. People like pick up and play, evidenced by why consoles became popular to begin with.

The online is the only thing that's kind of tricky. Easiest solution would be to just contain people to their own difficulty. Odds are, the people already playing the game wouldn't associate themselves with the Easy players anyway, so I don't think segregation would be a real negative.

#79 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

The game already has an easy mode. It's called "summon 2 phantoms and run a train on the 2 minute trek between the bonfire and the boss, and fuck the boss until it dies".

#80 Edited by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: I added a video from a reply to this thread in the original post, the guy does a pretty good job of explaining why there shouldn't be a compromise in the difficulty. That said, it seems like the majority of the people who want an easier difficulty or think it's a good idea are ones that either haven't played the game at all or have played very little of it, which I think is a bit telling of something.

#81 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

@Quarters said:

@Turambar: I realize all that, I just think it's close minded to force everyone else to play it the same way.

Why exactly would that be close minded? If a game's design philosophy revolves around a certain approach, why is it offensive to require player concede to that approach? For those that do not wish to follow suite, there are a plethora of other games to sate their desires.

#82 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Quarters said:

@Turambar: I realize all that, I just think it's close minded to force everyone else to play it the same way. I think an example of how to do it right is the Metal Gear series. Tons of difficulty levels, all for various skill levels. As long as it doesn't effect the other modes, options are a good thing. For a lot of people, sure, easier enemies would ruin the game because it reduces the tactical nature of the game. However, that's just not the case for everyone. Some people(myself included) play games on Easy, just because that's the preferred way. For example, when I played Mass Effect 3, I totally played the Story mode, and really enjoyed it. I got to experience the atmosphere and story, without having to worry about messing up on a part or having to focus more on gameplay. I personally prefer taking in the atmosphere and story of a game as opposed to the actual gameplay. I don't have much time in the day anymore, and I like to be able to breeze through stuff, have a nice stress reliever, then go on and do other stuff.

I don't get any joy out of "challenge" and "mastering" a game. I just want to have some fun and be done with it(which is also why I'm not super into crazy long games like Skyrim). And if you're worried that it will lead to people complaining about the game more...it's the Internet. They'll do that anyway. No one likes anything anymore. All communities turn to utter crap eventually, it's just a matter of time.

While you could replicate some of the buffs and stuff with cheats/trainers, not everyone wants to take the time to mess with all that crap. Find the right file to edit, the right commands to type, the right files to download. People like pick up and play, evidenced by why consoles became popular to begin with.

The online is the only thing that's kind of tricky. Easiest solution would be to just contain people to their own difficulty. Odds are, the people already playing the game wouldn't associate themselves with the Easy players anyway, so I don't think segregation would be a real negative.

I could be wrong, and I'm not trying to attack you or anything, but it seems like you want an interactive story more than a video game. The Souls games are games. The story (you could even call it a mythology) is present, but you have to dig to find and understand it. The gameplay is center stage, and rightfully should be (for me at least, and those like me that enjoy games).

#83 Posted by Alkaiser (358 posts) -

I'm cool with them not catering to people outside their fanbase. They shouldn't have to. I can respect Dark Souls for what it is even though I didn't enjoy my short time with it. I guess I just don't spend as much time playing video games as Dark Souls seems to demand, and thats cool. It can be its own thing.

But holy shit some people need some perspective or to just ease off on their Dark Souls fanboying. Some of the posts in here made me crack up completely.

#84 Posted by Ares42 (2576 posts) -

@Vampir said:

@Turambar said:

@ShiftyMagician: While I understand your point, I don't actually see how they can alter the existing enemy difficulty while still maintaining the core conceit which the combat relies on to actually function: anxiety, danger, and caution.

Agreed. That interplay between anxiety and caution is so central to the game's experience, that offering a mode that lessened the danger would be like offering a less scary mode for a survival horror game.

This might be what makes the game good for you, but it's not what makes it good for everyone. I can just speak for myself, but I was only able to really enjoy Dark Souls once I realized that all that fear and anxiety is false. All the marketing and pre-release information I had gotten about the game told me to always be afraid for my life and souls and I couldn't stand the game when I first started playing. However once I understood the game and realized how overblown it all was I fell in love with the game.

I'm in no way a proponent of an easy mode for the game, as I don't really consider it a hard game. And on that same notion I don't think the supposed difficulty is an integral part of the game. The game is about discovery, and it does a great job at that by not following usual gaming standards and telling the players everything they need to know. Unfortunately they've just taken it a little bit too far by not telling enough to get most people started.

#85 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -
@Ares42 said:

@Vampir said:

@Turambar said:

@ShiftyMagician: While I understand your point, I don't actually see how they can alter the existing enemy difficulty while still maintaining the core conceit which the combat relies on to actually function: anxiety, danger, and caution.

Agreed. That interplay between anxiety and caution is so central to the game's experience, that offering a mode that lessened the danger would be like offering a less scary mode for a survival horror game.

This might be what makes the game good for you, but it's not what makes it good for everyone. I can just speak for myself, but I was only able to really enjoy Dark Souls once I realized that all that fear and anxiety is false. All the marketing and pre-release information I had gotten about the game told me to always be afraid for my life and souls and I couldn't stand the game when I first started playing. However once I understood the game and realized how overblown it all was I fell in love with the game.

I'm in no way a proponent of an easy mode for the game, as I don't really consider it a hard game. And on that same notion I don't think the supposed difficulty is an integral part of the game. The game is about discovery, and it does a great job at that by not following usual gaming standards and telling the players everything they need to know. Unfortunately they've just taken it a little bit too far by not telling enough to get most people started.

What good is discovery if the path to it is simple, straightforward, and with easily surmountable obstacles?
#86 Edited by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

I'll give you a hint using the cute comic example you posted: A new player doesn't know what a floor trap looks like let alone that they should be looking down for it and die to it. They run back to the area (HINT REDOING THE LEVEL) and experiment with the trap to see how to beat it.

The way a lot of the levels and traps are layed out in Dark Souls reminds me of 80s and 90s text adventures and they beat on you room by room and that wasn't fun then either. Endurance Tests can be fun but they have to be paced and setup in a certain way and springing surprise on the player doesn't exactly help. Modern design and tech allows designers to create levels with enough cues that tells the player the situation without saying "DON'T STEP ON THIS". Dark Soul's doesn't bother so in a lot of ways Adventurer 2 is correct.

Except here's the thing - you haven't played the fucking game, so you don't know this isn't a hypothetical. That is an ACTUAL trap in the game. And you know what? It's the THIRD floor trap like that. The first two, which you honestly wouldn't expect, have the trap positioned IN FRONT OF YOU. The first is in a huge room with plenty of room to move around, but close enough to the entrance (with a bonfire literally 10 seconds away) that you're probably going to hit it and go "oh shit there's traps". The second is in an enclosed space, and has you going pretty fast because you just finished killing a serpent priestess and running from giant bladed pendulums on a narrow path... but it's still in front of you. Which means you just have to bring up your shield after the first bolt hits (which will do a fairly sizable chunk of damage but probably not kill you unless you're already wounded). By the third time, you should know that there are floortraps in Sen's Funhouse.

Mind, if you actually ran through that trap (as I am wont to do these days), you'd actually outrun the arrow before it hit you. The hallway isn't that long.

Point is, the level design in the game is absolute fucking genius. You are being a petulant child, making shit up wholecloth, demanding a game that a niche game with a (surprisingly large) fanbase suddenly do an about face and cater to you, and then acting indignant when people call you out on being a fucking scumbag.

#87 Posted by Ares42 (2576 posts) -

@Turambar: well, considering in 99% of the cases in Dark Souls you have all the time in the world to just sit back, relax and figure out the patterns of your enemies and the mechanics of it's traps I'm not seeing where all these supposed complex and insurmountable challenges are. I'm not saying the game is without any challenge at all, but it's difficulty is vastly overblown. The joy of learning and discovery isn't necessarily connected to how hard it was to figure it out, it can just as easily be something that was actually pretty easy to figure out but has major implications. To take an example from the game, just realizing early in the game that titanite shards are extremely easy to come by changed my perception of the game (for the better) in a major way and all I had to do was buy one from Andre.

#88 Posted by Pieman51 (98 posts) -

I don't even know what's happening in this forum anymore. Something about.. easy mode.. ....floor traps... and comics. Interesting.

- Hate Easy mode. Never do it From Soft, or I will literally kill you.

- Floor traps are easy to get around, it's called... PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings. "Oh look, a part of the floor that doesn't match! Let's step on it!"

- Comics are fun, and the comic the OP made I thought was hilarious. Kudos to you :3

#89 Posted by Vampir (129 posts) -

@Ares42: I would definitely agree that the difficulty has been vastly overblown. The "Souls as a masochistic masterpiece" idea really sells the game short. I think the difficulty is important not in the degree of difficulty, but in the way in which it is difficult. If, as you said, you take your time and figure out the patterns an mechanics, the obstacles become easily surmountable, but that's something I rarely feel motivated to do in action/rpg games. The fact that as soon as you stop taking your time and paying attention, things can go real bad real fast forces you to think about what you are doing. That, in combination with a fail-state system that allows you to continuously move forward in your learning process and the restriction of explicitly give information to (mostly) chance snippets via the blood stains and notes makes that learning and discovery process extremely rewarding. If it were playable at a faster pace, you could just blow through everything, and there would be no need to participate in that process.

#90 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

What the game really needs is a voyeur mode. Where you can just watch people fuck up. And every time someone joins to watch you, it flashes your screen white with a big green number indicating the number of people watching.

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