Easy Does It – The Case for Lowering The Difficulty

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by DooKey, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. DooKey

    DooKey [H]ardness Supreme

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    Over at IGN, Kosta Anreadis tells us you shouldn't be ashamed of lowering the difficulty on your games. He tries to make the argument that playing on easy is actually better for some games. I don't know about the rest of you [H]ard gamers, but it makes no sense to me to play on easy because it's just going through the motions in the game. If you don't want a challenge then just read a book. Tell me [H]ard brothers, is he right? Are we ready to go the easy route? Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    The truth of the matter is that sometimes, “Easy” is hands-down the best way to experience a game. It can help keep the pacing brisk by removing artificial impediments and it can help you get more out of a game’s story or art direction.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  2. nightanole

    nightanole [H]ard|Gawd

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    Its should be more of "play the game that is fair". Having "casual" gamer play with a group of squadies that even with a the gun shoved up the sectoids arse, and still only have a 40% chance to hit, and its going to take 2 shots to kill, is going to make the player rage quit and miss out on a very rewarding game play experience.

    We all cant be 20 year old aim bots. Not everything needs to be nintendo hard.

    That being said, who wants a point and click adventure that is just one long hallway with cut scenes?
     
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  3. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    I have to agree. If I am playing a game and just becoming frustrated at dying over and over, I doubt that is the experience the developer intended (unless it's Dark Souls...)

    A large part of the issue is that there is little to no development on actually good AI these days. For the most part increased difficulty just means enemies with laser aim that do way more damage, while your shots are less effective.

    I especially agree with this having played Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus.
     
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  4. DooKey

    DooKey [H]ardness Supreme

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    I feel ya on XCOM issues. I get so pissed sometimes. But I still don't play it on easy.
     
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  5. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

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    so what reward is there for people playing at higher difficulties? I say for the folks playing at easy give them no cut scenes and at the end say "nice job, wuss"
     
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  6. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

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    Normally if you play it on easy, you lose most, if not all of the mechanics built into the combat section of games. In rpgs, you might never have to heal or learn how to combo or use status effects on easy settings, in arpg's you might be able to tank the whole game holding down the auto attacks ect. Using higher difficulties actually introduces meaningful decisionmaking into games that might otherwise be a story on wheels. While you may be more focused on walking around, inspecting visual elements, and otherwise absorbing the game as a movie, you really fail to engage in a large part of what makes the title a game and not an interactive movie.
     
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  7. nightanole

    nightanole [H]ard|Gawd

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    At least there are mods outthere that unlock full enemy AI without making the game artificially hard. I dont want to fight derp aliens either.
     
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  8. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    Achievements? Your own personal satisfaction? I see no reason to include exclusive content reserved for higher difficulties only. We already have games where finishing at the highest difficulty unlocks an even harder difficulty level.
     
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  9. Peter2k

    Peter2k Limp Gawd

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    I thought the consensus is that games these days don' have steep learning curves more; has to appeal to the masses/casual gamer

    Means they'e already easier
     
  10. c_porter

    c_porter [H]Lite

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    I think Kosta comes from the same school as that game designer that bitched about combat getting in the way of her storytelling. Seriously people, just go make movies if you feel that way.
     
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  11. tunatime

    tunatime 2[H]4U

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    What i hate is when all they do is up mob hp and damage. More mobs spawning is fun and or better ai.
     
  12. Peter2k

    Peter2k Limp Gawd

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    The best example in my memory was Max Pain 2

    If you played it on normal or easier you're love interest died

    On hard she survived
     
  13. Crimson

    Crimson Gawd

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    Germans did not bomb Pearl Harbor, it was the Japanese. Your comparing apples to oranges. In war you do surrender unless its vs japan they dont like taking prisoners. In games, you come home after work or school and want to do something but not "think" or be stressed over so you pick "easy" mode.

    Guess you can say I am being [ s ] oft here.
     
  14. mtrupi

    mtrupi Gawd

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    I have on rare occasion lowered the difficulty on a game, but I try to stay on the normal level. Higher difficulties often take away some of the fun for me. I do think it helps keep my mind sharp as I get older.
     
  15. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Educate yourself!
     
  16. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    I normally play on normal mode nowadays. If games start to fustrate me I just stop playing. Harder difficulty just add cheap deaths where you don't even know what killed you cause of 1 or 2 hit kills.
     
  17. UrielDagda

    UrielDagda 2[H]4U

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    I almost always play on easy.. My whole reason for playing games is to relax, explore and have some fun. I have visual acuity and reflex issues I didn't have 20 years ago.... I remember finding all those "Nintendo hard!" games so easy, but that was back when I was a teenager/early 20s.. I fondly remember those times, but I can't do that anymore. :(
     
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  18. Captindecisive

    Captindecisive Limp Gawd

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    I don't think I've ever played a game at anything but the hardest starting difficulty. For me, it's all about being challenged; then again, I grew up playing games that were pretty difficult with limited saving, so you had to overcome and do it if you wanted to beat it.

    In addition to the personal achievement and being challenged, I personally have only ever found a handful of games worth replaying. This is another reason I prefer playing on the hardest difficulty possible to start off with, I'd rather get the full experience when it's possible I'll never play through the game again. I find the whole addition of achievements to be a detriment to the overall gaming experience, sort of like micro-transactions, but instead of buying upgrades or cosmetic pretties, they make players spend more time in the game doing (usually) asinine things that don't actually add to the experience.
     
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  19. BHenry

    BHenry Limp Gawd

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    That reminds me of going through the second DLC for the original Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. I went through the game on Normal the whole way until the last boss of that DLC. His last form was so difficult and cheap that after four hours of fighting him I put it down one difficulty level and beat him in one try.
     
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  20. SecretStash

    SecretStash Limp Gawd

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    Increasing enemy hitpoints is a lame way to increase challenge. Increasing the number of spawns is better.

    Requiring 10+ reloads before I can beat a boss gives a fake sense of accomplishment, and is not immersive.

    Giving bonus points for a single bout of flawless combat seems like something worthwhile to explore more.

    Hardcore mode without the risk of getting cheese gimped by something lame is something to strive for.
     
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  21. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Same with Fallout 4, all Bethesda did for Survival Mode was added a health mechanic so that the player spends most of his time looking for meds, food and water, and a bed. Which wasted too much time for me so I dumbed down, and turned the mobs into bullet spounges so you had to bead them to death with magazines of ammo. But my preferred mods made both my own weapons and the enemy's weapons much more lethal, so now it doesn't take a lot to kill or be killed and that is the perfect amount of attention for me. Most of the time it's pretty easy because I know where the bad guys usually are and can get the drop on them. But every now and then I get caught out and surprised by that random spawned set of mobs and I get to laugh at how I got punked.

    As for the guy's article, I can't read it cause it's blocked, and I don't give a damn what he thinks, he votes with his wallet and sets his own settings like everyone else. Let the window-licker play it his way, I like my own way better.
     
  22. Skirge01

    Skirge01 [H]Lite

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    This is ridiculous. You play a game on the difficulty that makes it fun for you. Who the hell am I to tell anyone else they're playing THEIR game wrong?
     
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  23. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Play on whatever game difficulty you want. If playing on hard is too difficult and ruins the story for you, play on easy. If playing on easy ruins the experience for you, play on hard.

    There, discussion over. There are so many gamers out there. Let them decide.

    "Casuals". Maybe they are amazing at RPG's or puzzles, but suck at FPS's. Who knows... It's like saying women with small titties ruin the relationship. Pfft. Some people like little boobies. Some like to motorboat a nice set of DDD's.

    Jet let the player decide.
     
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  24. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    There's this thing called single player cheats. It's quite alive and well on PC games. There's also difficulty settings which can be altered to suit a gamer's preference.
    Maybe some of these game reporters can actually get good at playing games first. I wouldn't trust video game journalists for deciding what's hard and what's easy considering the following:
     
  25. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    I totally agree, it sucks getting old.

    For me I leave it on normal unless I start getting wooped, I don't game to be pissed off all the time.
     
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  26. OBWANDO

    OBWANDO [H]Lite

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    I'm one of those 'older' gamers, but even to this day, I can't fathom playing on easy. It just feels a bit 'cheap' as if I need training wheels to play a game. I understand why its in there, but if I were forced to play on easy first, I might be a bit lesser inclined to play since I would feel that the developer was unsure of their own game play mechanics.

    Bottom line, as a developer, don't settle for the easy route.

    Gamer's pay hard money for a well thought out, balanced experience worth conquering, not an easy route of nothingness.
     
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  27. TheOne5

    TheOne5 Limp Gawd

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    They need to make enemies smarter, not harder to kill. Who wants to use 20 headshots, 15 rocket blasts, 5 nukes and an asteroid just to kill an enemy while the same enemy can kill you with a toe stomp. I noticed Nvidia and other companies are moving more into AI development while most game studios are pulling out of single player and letting multiplayer take over for game AI. What's up with that?
     
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  28. Merc1138

    Merc1138 2[H]4U

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    The problem is that while I had time as a kid with the original x-com for that crap, I don't have the time now for it. There's a difference between challenging mechanics, and complete bullshit, which is what x-com does.

    3 units within squares adjacent to an alien in x-com, needs 2 shots to kill, 95% hit chance for all 3...

    Miss...
    Miss...
    Miss...
    Squad wipe, 2 more hours of gameplay to get back to having a reasonably useful squad OR spamming save/load constantly which is equally annoying. Who has time for that crap? I sure as hell don't. Challenging is making sure I have squadmates covering eachother, using overwatch at the right times, setting up angles, knowing not to try and melee the muton, etc.
     
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  29. Merc1138

    Merc1138 2[H]4U

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    Because the AI development that nvidia and other companies are getting into either has nothing to do with gaming or requires a ton of processing power that no home gamer is going to have.
     
  30. spugm1r3

    spugm1r3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I usually go straight to the more difficult settings, largely because there is often content tied to completing the game on them. I will admit though, on some of the more twitchy games, it has curbed my interest in completing them. I have left a bit of content on the table, which I am not proud of.
     
  31. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    A lot of games just increase the opposition's hit points or speed or something. It doesn't play smarter. It can reach a point where you just can't mash buttons fast enough. Maybe a 18 year old with lots of sleep, a load of Code Red and a custom keyboard, mouse, other interface can do it, but for most of us, it is an exercise in futility. Games are supposed to be fun. Some folks want more challenge then others. Not everyone has Olympic 100m dash speed. Doesn't mean they can't enjoy running competitively.
     
  32. Captindecisive

    Captindecisive Limp Gawd

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    This is also a pretty good way to sum it up.

     
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  33. TheOne5

    TheOne5 Limp Gawd

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    Understandable, however, in the past, games like FEAR and Crysis had more effort put into the AI, while today, game studios have the 20 nuke to kill AI, or have said "forget it, multiplayer only."
     
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  34. Messy

    Messy Limp Gawd

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    i'm gonna say it - it won't be popular with some.

    the wussification continues...
     
  35. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD [H]ard|Gawd

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    I guess I belong to the older generation of gamers then (which is sad to say as I'm only 30 yo still) but I enjoy when there's a little challenge to the game. I almost always search for "hardcore" mods for games you can mod.

    BUT it really depends how the game is made harder if it's really more fun or not. For me if taking FPS for example, the FUN way to do it is to make enemies deal more damage. A not fun way to do it is give enemies artificial eye sight, aim accuracy or hearing or TANK-like hitpoints. I love playing FPS like FarCry, Fallout etc with high damage mods where both you and your enemies deals high amount of damage so you have to be more careful how you approach your fights which in turn makes it all that much more realistic feeling at the same time that you more carefully plan how you use cover and stealth and the environment to your advantage.

    In RPGs it's all about making your decisions actually matter, most RPGs are made so you almost can use dumb spam button tactic to get through the game which goes against what an RPG is supposed to be about, those options are there for your to use them wisely you know.

    If anything the difficulty levels should be made more flexible and configurable, would be a win-win for everyone. I don't mind if people who just wants a walk-in-the-park through the game but I DO MIND when the highest difficulty gets dumbed down because the average gamer wants a more casual experience or they lack understanding in what those "hardcore"-like people actually enjoy. The average difficulty level of a game has dropped so drastically since when I was a kid.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  36. Liquid Silver

    Liquid Silver n00b

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    How does someone in Texas not know it was the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor, not the Germans? Unless it's done on purpose to be clickbait... FFS please edit the article.
     
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  37. steakman1971

    steakman1971 2[H]4U

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    It depends on the game. Anyone remember old Psygnosis games like Blood Money? I sucked at these. I would have played with a trainer after a while. For me, these were too difficult and frustrating (even when I was a teenager at the time?)
    X-com I played regular mode -it was just the right amount of difficulty for me. When you complete a mission, it gave you a sense of accomplishment. Early on, I kind of dreaded the battles as my squad didn't have good weapons yet. After a little bit of time, you start to increase (and the game also increases the difficulty to match your progression - good design imho).
    What I hate is a game that is so difficult I end up rage quitting. I have enough frustration in real-life. I play games to have fun/escape. I also have very limited free time - don't want to waste it.

    I'm currently playing the Sunless Seas. It's hard and borderline frustrating. I played for 2-3 weeks and recently was killed. I was pissed and took a break. However, I started a new career and will hopefully learn from my mistakes. I think this game needs a few tweaks (can take forever to get any money, some encounters are really tough, permadeath.)
     
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  38. cdig

    cdig n00b

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    I find the guys writing atrocious but largely agree with his point.

    Put it to the setting that makes you most happy.

    If normal is frustratingly hard, lower the difficulty.

    I do wonder though if lowering difficulty at the first sign of challenge isn't robbing him of some of the joy of overcoming an obstacle. Also, it seems he might just give up at the first loss and expect to win everything with no effect. Not a great mindset either.
     
  39. Gasaraki_

    Gasaraki_ Gawd

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    LOL, really. What failure. This is what education has come down to.
     
  40. Merc1138

    Merc1138 2[H]4U

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    Seriously? Man, you are a n00bie. Everyone knows the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.