Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

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I'm actually mildly happy about an easy mode for dark soul
Its a game that has interested quite a bit, but I'm not that, well, that amazing at games
Which is kinda sad, because its a game that looks amazing, but I feel I shouldn't play it due to my skill level
Potentially, now I can & I'm happy about that

Though I do kinda get the whole backlash against it
Games have always been based around challange, to the point I find the classic "gamer" mind-set has more to do with defiance & generally not giving up and less with actual skill
And there are becoming few and few games that reach this level of diificulty, which is really sad as its a big part of this mediums roots and its always a horrible thing to see something so fundimental to a medium beng mistreated

But opening it up is a good thing. and There'll always be those who would just ignore the easy mode, or start with easy & replay on the harder version
Or maybe thats just me :3

So if I've got the math right, the last award is unveiled on doomsday?

Sure have a great sense of timing Jim X3

OT - I'd also be quick to point out many games on their Easy mode also make you earn your endgame. The recent X-COM, Emperor: Battle for Dune and of course things like Diablo III where the harder settings are non-existant or locked off until you finish "Easy" first X3

Here's the problem with Dark Souls having an easy mode. The challenge of Dark Souls is mainly knowledge and choice based. Knowing I could've made a very clear choice at the beginning of the game to allow me to trounce a boss devalues the choices I can make with my build and equipment because they're the less important ones. The challenge has meaning in Dark Souls because it's a constant, and an easy mode removes that constant and with it much of my enjoyment of the game. I don't care how other people play the game, but knowing that I had to overcome that level of challenge, that there was no easy way out handed to me, is what lets me have any sense of elation over overcoming that challenge.

*edit* There are plenty of games with easy modes, very few without. Can people just let there be some without them, so that the game can cater to the niche it was made for?

I got a lot of 'false positives' in New Super Mario Bros. It would occasionally present me with a special powerup or automatic playthrough if I die too many times while trying to pull off some crazy trick and dying many times in the process :p

I'm trying to do something wicked-awesome so trying to help me beat the level is the opposite of what I need :p

I'm going to link my favorite counter argument towards adding easy mode in every game;


I'll be recycling a lot of the same arguments.

The issue I have is the idea that every game needs to be the same; have the same goals and offer the same options.

The simple fact is that every game has different goals, based on the views and tastes of the people behind them. The idea that every game needs to be enjoyed by everyone is just silly. Everyone is going to gravitate towards games of their own personal preference and difficulty should be apart of that. Not every game needs to be difficult, and easy modes shouldn't be done away with complete. It just depends on the type of game it is.

Dark Souls and Demon's Souls is obviously at the center of this debate. The game's goal is to create an atmosphere of dread and hopelessness, while offering a sense of satisfaction and achievement for completing. You're dropped into this world where little is spelled out for you directly.

The difficulty comes not from the technical challenge presented in the game, but from the knowledge base players need to acquire to complete the game; understanding enemy move sets, how they attack, understanding the moves sets of the different weapons you can equip, when to block, attack, and dodge, understanding stamina consumption, learning how to create a good weapon, learning where to go to advance through the game, discovering better items through exploration, all learned through trial and error.

An easy mode, where everyone is expected to beat Dark Souls regardless of whether they understand the basic mechanics behind it, runs counter intuitive to the developer's goals when creating the game. Dark Souls is not a game designed, or paced to be easy in any aspect of it's design. If you provide an easy mode where everyone is expected to finish the game, you are going to shoot through a threshold of difficulty and players are going to beat the game in under 10 hours. It's just not that big. And while Dark Souls has a very rich lore, it's also inaccessible just like the rest of the game and if players all just blaze through content, no one is going to even notice it's there. If you take out the difficulty, all you have is a mediocre RPG with almost no story, no major puzzles, and is very short overall. I don't think anyone playing a hypothetical easy mode for Dark Souls is going to actually enjoy it.

At the same time, the fact that is someone is having trouble with the Dark Souls' normal mode, and can just switch to an easier mode and be guaranteed to win the game cheapens the game. All the effort to create a Dark, imposing, hopeless game world vanishes because the game ceases to be either imposing nor hopeless.

Compare this with, say, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skyrim is about putting players in a massive world filled with towns, NPCs, and giving them an epic and lengthy adventure with all sorts of customizable abilities and a huge amount of quests. Combat and difficulty are not really that important to the overall game. Just check out the melee combat as proof. Modal difficulty works in that game because the goals of that game don't require difficulty.

The analogy about books and movies is flawed as well. Books all have their own reading comprehension level. Not to mention the fact that many older works of fiction are often difficult to understand because language changes overtime. The same goes for movies (Though language hasn't evolved enough for the latter to take effect).

Not every game needs to be the same. Just like not every book and movie needs to be the same. It's why people read books from different authors, and play games from different developers. Not every game needs to be easy or accessible. Not every game needs to be difficult either. It depends upon the specific game and the goals the developer have when creating it.


Who are you to say "what's the point" for other people?

For Dark Souls specifically; the stated goals the developer had when creating the game.

If the problem is that there's a part of your game that's not fun or feasible to beat, then the solution is not to put in an easy mode. Putting in an easy mode is a pathetic hack by lazy developers who were unwilling to come up with a REAL solution.

I'm glad you mentioned the way NSB does it, because that's the proper way.

I didn't know this was an issue... for selfish people.

Definitely getting my son a snail costume. I don't care if Halloween is over.

Jim's right. If someone has to resort to things like easy mode or 'Make CPU-Luigi do it', they should rightfully shamed for doing so. Maybe disable trophies/achievements (sorry kid, but these are for people who are overcoming actual challenges), or change the appearances of enemies and bosses to reflect their adjusted difficulty.

Only Jim Sterling can make eating a carrot funny how do you do it?

This is my favorite time of the week, and I always make sure to watch the the newest Jimquisition. Normally, I agree with just about everything you have to say about a particular subject. Today, that isn't the case.

I'm happy that games are being more accessible to a broader audience. It means that I will find more people who share my hobby and I can hang out with. What I'm not happy about, is how my favorite game series have been slowly but surely 'streamlined' for new gamers.

I loved Civilization III, it happened to be one of my favorites. Civilization IV came along, and I was still extremely happy with it. Then, Civilization V came around. This game took the elements that made the previous two titles I had played, like individual happiness for each city, along with sickness, and threw them out. Many people I've spoken with love this, but, I feel like it's taken a large part of planning out of the game.

Maybe I'm a masochist, but, I've always enjoyed a challenge. I think a lot of developers, but, not all, are taking this challenge out of the game entirely. I'm always open to change, though some of these changes feel like they're for the worse if the trend continues.

Really now Jim?
This is getting ridiculous even for you.
Most recent videos have been nothing but the same argument about varying things over and over again and its getting REALLY old.
Could you just please put some effort into a future video that isnt filled with your rambling about the same kind of bullshit argument i hear on a daily basis:
*Oh, it doesnt affect you, so why do you care?
*Oh, you already have access to what you want without being interfered by something else, so why do you care?
*Oh, this thing may or may not have a negative impact on the gaming community, but lets for argument sake say it doesnt, then why would you care?

I mean fucking hell Jim, youre a broken record by now.


for the most part these have been very different topics, and just because they can be summed up in the same way because they all have the same baser rational (none) behind them you automatically assume that they are the same argument.

hey here is some info from formal debate: some even vastly different argument/topics can be refuted with similar lines of logic,

and besides he is basically pointing out that the only real problem(s) in the gaming industry either lead back to a lack of innovation, or a feeling of entitlement on the part of the player or developer. would you rather the biggest real problem in gaming be that vast legal repercussions will be levied against anybody who buys a shooter game

So, they are willing to add an easy mode to Dark Souls in order to broaden the audience and sell more copies, but they aren't willing to make a working PC port that could potentially do the same thing? Well, sure, I can totally understand that, but I'm still a little bit offended.

Anyway, I'm more worried about one particular thing. The gamers have gotten used to streamlining and hand-holding, and the developers force those things on all players. I don't like big flashing objective markers that can't be turned off, I like my levels big and easy to get lost in, and I like to figure out stuff on my own. I'm fine with games having options for casual players as long as they don't force all those things on me.

And one more thing: do you see many RPGs nowadays where you are explained how to get to your objective when you are given a quest? I don't. Instead I see those damn objective markers. That's just laziness, and the game's atmosphere suffers somewhat as a result.

Adding an easy mode to Dark Souls is not what Dark Souls 2 needs. I have convinced a vast sum of people to play the game, and it seems that once they get over the "hump" they love it and are in. They progress nicely and the game is no longer the ridiculous challenge everyone makes it out to be. And once you are over this "hump" other Souls games become easy. I think Dark Souls 2 will get some undeserving flak for being "easier then Dark Souls" cause all the Dark Souls players have been trained at the way a Souls Game plays and will have little difficult with it. I know this from Demons Souls in which i powered through my first play through in 20 hours because I had played Dark Souls first.

So what it needs is, a proper tutorial, a thorough manual, and smoother curve into the experience to smooth out getting over the "hump". In Dark Souls you get dumped into a world with 3 paths. And though the first NPC you meet says, "Go up". If you wander into the Graveyard or "go down" you will get killed. Eventually everyone goes up. How will an easy mode solve that? The Ghosts in New Londo can't be killed, and the Skeletons even with a significantly reduced challenge are so much higher level than a starting character might not be impossible in the graveyard, but when you go a tad further into the Catacombs, the endlessly self resurrecting hordes will slaughter you the same. So unless the easy mode is literally "god mode" its still going to be hard, and demand players to adapt to the design of the world.

The next issue is PvP, can you still be invaded and ganked on easy mode? Turning human in the early game in Dark Souls is an invitation to death, but you do so you can the gain the advantage of being able to summon an ally to down a hard boss. But the invaders are people who have beaten the game on lvl 0-10 and will kill you and your buddy with delicate ease.

Issues of this nature pop up across the game. How does easy mode solve the Anor Londo archer scene? How does it solve NPCs/Merchants that don't come back if you accidentally kill them? Not to mention the game is littered with deadly traps that plummet you to your immediate deaths, how is that solved? How is the entire soul loss mechanic from which the game is built around going to work? Are they going to remove permanent soul loss as well?

To make an Easy mode for Dark Souls, you would have to make HUGE design over hauls or else it will not really be an easy mode. This will change the fundamental structure of a game whose inherent mechanics and world design are intentionally cryptic. Because you can lower enemy health and pour souls into players hands, but its not going to stop that Silver Knight Anor Londo from knocking the newb off that ledge 100000 times, or someone from constantly invading and murdering the you.

The issue is that you haven't played it Jim, so you miss that the challenge of the game is more then just "tough monsters".



These discussions are too often plagued with people who haven't adequately studied challenge and balancing in video games, and how they affect the quality of the product. It's not an easy thing to grasp in the slightest, and I'm sick of you know-it-alls making light of it.

Clearly you're not this person. Google core aesthetics of video games. People play games for a variety of different reasons. Someone could play a game for the challenge. Someone for the sense of exploration. And so on. It's entirely possible that a game could deliver challenge for one person and exploration or another depending on the setting that are selected.

Game design theory wouldn't need to exist at all then, according to you. Every game could simply be a mash-up of every conceivable genre, from sandbox to puzzle to shooter, and players could just be expected to find their own parts to like. I bet that would work out just swell.

Oh wait no, it fucking wouldn't. There's already been trash games like that released in the last couple of years, and none of them lighted the world on fire.

It does work out swell. Game design revolves around delivering on those core aesthetics.

Take Skyrim for example (that light the gaming world on fire). I play on the hardest difficulty with a build that's tailored to not be overpowered. My girlfriend plays on normal mode with a pretty kick ass build. The two of us are playing for different core aesthetics. She's all about exploration and narrative (ie the lore ie reading in-game books all the time) and doesn't want challenge to get in the way. I'm more about challenge and expression while exploration and narrative take a back seat.

Good to see someone agrees with me about Nintendo's Super Guide option. It's only an option, and for it to even appear in the first place, you need to have died several times in the same section of the level.

It's about time Jim started using his powers to play God himself.

This is the first Jimquisition that I flat-out didn't enjoy. My stance on this has been said multiple times in this thread, but I'd add that video games are not books or movies for a reason. There's Russian philosophy, and there's Twilight. Should Radishchev have released additional pages in the front of his works with shorter and more concise vocabulary because there's a rule that all books need to accommodate every reader because they cost money and it makes him elitist to only appeal to those versed in Russian philosophy? I'm sick of this "elitist" thing. It's almost like we're supposed to frown upon and shun the thrill of accomplishing something challenging or advanced because it makes you, as I believe I heard you say "a whiny, elitist douchebag". Shouldn't "elitist" apply to the behavior of a person, rubbing superiority in your face, as opposed to simply being happy that they're in a small club that requires skill and sacrifice?

I'm fighting the urge to say this, but...with this, the geek girls, and other videos, this isn't about a personal crusade to knock ignorant/abusive publishers/companies down a notch, but to attack with insults some parties in forum threads that have 1,000+ page views. Just assuming here.

Dark Souls already has an easy mode.
Go online and summon people.

'Easy Mode' can't be a simple difficulty selection in a title such as Dark Souls.
It is not the damage you receive or deliver that makes the game difficult.
All about pattern recognition and patience.
Go give yourself 9999 hp see if you can defeat the game.

For that reason it is IMPOSSIBLE to add an easy mode without changing the normal gameplay.
Jim is just too ignorant to even try to handle such a heavy subject.

No, Demons/Dark Souls are a bad example, Jim. They're two of the few games in which the difficulty isn't just a raw game mechanic - it's an intrinsic part of the game's experience. Part of the story, the atmosphere, as well as the entire point of playing the game. Without the challenge the game presents it would be, quite frankly, a rather bland fantasy action RPG with some interesting visuals. It would never have become the phenomenon it did. No chance.

Of course, the other problem is with the PvP mode. Either players playing on Easy mode would have to fight exclusively against other people playing on Easy mode, or not have access to the PvP element at all. Full stop. Because either "Easy mode" is going to allow them access to items that make the game simpler, in which case it isn't fair to pit them against the people playing on Normal, or they're going to make health/stamina less of an issue, in which case Easy players are never going to master the mechanics the same way those people playing Normal are forced to just to proceed through the game, and they're going to get butchered.

To be honest, if Dark Souls II announces an Easy mode that doesn't severely limit their level of interaction with the rest of the player base, I probably won't buy it.

Problem is, having an easy mode would make it so that the game design would HAVE to take easy mode into consideration. Not having it doesn't require that and to be honest, if Dark Souls had an easy mode does indeed ruin the point. The game's atmosphere is dark and depressing, making it easy not only goes against that but ruins any reward feeling and not only that but would make the game boring. I love Dark Souls but an easy mode would make it just a very mediocre action-RPG. It's difficulty is part of the experience as to what makes Dark Souls, well Dark Souls.

I love the phrase "filthy casual" it always makes me laugh


My issue with the dark souls easy mode is what is the point in even playing it. It would be like playing LA noire with all the interrogations taken out.

Who are you to say "what's the point" for other people?

What I am saying is every game has its selling point. La noire has it's facial recognition thing that made the interrogations work, the Elder Scrolls has its immersive worlds, Bioshock has its story and dark souls has its difficulty. You take any of those things away and you have a game that isn't really worth playing and would be a complete waste of money.

The best way I can put my point is I am not a big fan of the assassins creed games because I don't like platforming so I wouldn't expect or even want Ubisoft to make a platforming free version just so I can play it because it wouldn't give the full experience that was intended by the designers.

People fear Dark Souls getting an Easy Mode because they feel it would remove difficulty from future games as developers feel the need to cater to the casual market who wouldn't want to play a difficult game.

this of course is wrong as developers pretty much start at the hardest difficulty as "how the game should be played" then dial down enemies for lesser difficulties. People who hate the idea of easy mode feel as though easy mode is destroying games.

which is also wrong. I remember easy mode as far back as Doom (and possibly even existed before that). So if Easy Mode was going to destroy video games as a medium, it would have happened a long time ago. You people need to just calm down.

So there'll be an easy mode in this super hard video game.

You guys who are fairly skilled at video games struggle through the normal mode of it. You'll probably find the easy mode piss easy, as expected of skilled players. Lucky the normal mode will still be there, eh?

How about, though, that person who has way less skill than you do? Who simply looks at the cover of Dark Souls and gets a big YOU DIED in his face? Easy Mode might actually be a challenge to that guy. People complain that taking the difficulty away will ruin the experience of the game, but just because you personally do not find something challenging doesn't mean that the everyone else won't. So that guy who is bad at video games may find challenge in easy mode, but not the impossibility he previously faced with the normal mode.

So yes, if YOU, Mr Skilled Player, plays through easy mode instead of normal, you will be diminishing your experience, and that'll be your own fault for choosing easy mode. Not the fault of the developer for putting it in their game. They are not forcing you to play it. They are simply making their game more accessible to those who have less skill.

A common argument here seems to be that if Easy Mode exists, the obvious right answer is to take it, because duh, frustration sucks.

There is no Higher Calling for gamers, where we are supposed to flagellate ourselves to get through a game, just so we can say we suffered through it. If you want to prove you're Badass and Hardcore and Disciplined, go do something in the real world that shows it. Don't make people turn their Fun Time into Stressful Hardcore Time. Some people don't like doing that, and they should have the option not to do it.

Also, if the obvious right answer is to take it, and you do, despite your convictions that you should be doing it the Hardcore Way, then it's *your* fault you took Easy Mode. No one piloted you into the option. Plenty of people play games on Hard Mode instead of Easy just for the challenge. I know people who play Touhou on Lunatic, and that shit is ridiculous. It is utterly unnecessary, but they do it anyway, because they want to. Do you want to do that hard enough to actually go click that difficulty mode and take the plunge?

Honestly, if you're going to play Easy Mode, own up to it and do it. If you feel like Easy is too much "temptation" for you...well, maybe *you* aren't disciplined enough for your own Hardcore Experience.

People fear Dark Souls getting an Easy Mode because they feel it would remove difficulty from future games as developers feel the need to cater to the casual market who wouldn't want to play a difficult game.

this of course is wrong as developers pretty much start at the hardest difficulty as "how the game should be played" then dial down enemies for lesser difficulties. People who hate the idea of easy mode feel as though easy mode is destroying games.

which is also wrong. I remember easy mode as far back as Doom (and possibly even existed before that). So if Easy Mode was going to destroy video games as a medium, it would have happened a long time ago. You people need to just calm down.

Thing is though, Dark souls really isn't hard. No really it's not. The enemies usually don't have that much health, the game isn't that long, all it takes is patience.

But here is the thing, Easy mode for Doom is not the same as Easy mode for Dark Souls. If you take difficulty out of Dark souls what do you have? A very mediorce Action-RPG with little to no story (at least not straight to the point), and that's it. You literally suck the soul out of the game.

Doom on easy? It's an FPS which adjusts well to easy mode and still is enjoyable.

Shouldn't "elitist" apply to the behavior of a person, rubbing superiority in your face, as opposed to simply being happy that they're in a small club that requires skill and sacrifice?

The issue, however, is that the people who feel "happy that they're in a small club that requires skill and sacrifice" (we're still talking about video games here, right?) often "rub superiority in your face", as if they're better than everyone else because they're in this "small club".

And then tell everyone else that if they can't harden up and just be better at video games, they shouldn't be allowed to "enter" this "club".

That's elitism. And that's the problem. As soon as you start actively excluding people because they're "just not good enough", you're succumbing to elitism.

Tangentially related, I find it hilarious that the people who want gaming to remain a small niche hobby will simultaneously bash "hipsters" for liking things that aren't "mainstream".

OT: I actually had a discussion about this with a fellow Bro a few days ago. If they implement an "Easy" mode and it has no direct impact on the normal difficulty of the game, which means I'll still get the "true" experience if I don't select the Easy mode, then I have absolutely no issues with it.

For Dark Souls specifically, I'm not really sure how they could actually make it much easier outside of reducing the amount of damage enemies do. The game is as much about being aware of your surroundings as it is actually taking down enemies, and there are very, very few enemies that really take more than two or three swings provided you're upgrading your weapons accordingly to the location you're at. Bosses are the only true "damage sponges", and even some of them don't take too long (Pinwheel comes to mind). If they change how perilous the environments are... well, that's not even really an issue of "dumbing down", it's just an issue of the developer being dumb. The environments are a huge part of what make the Souls games what they are.

*Sees that Jim posted a video about why hating casual gamers is dumb*

Initial reaction

I must say I'm rather tired of this trend. I just don't understand why it's a problem when an easy mode is added, but not when the game already comes with an easy mode. I don't recall seeing this kind of hate for games like DDR or Guitar Hero because there were play modes that required little to no effort from a hardcore gamer.I don't recall those play experiences being ruined by that either. I use these two games as an example, as like Dark Souls, they have a unique play style. However, even when any of us were trying to get good on playing expert, we didn't get mad when we failed and feel pressured to drop to a lower difficulty. No, what do we do? We beat it. Why? Cause we're gamers, and the games don't beat us.

I agree it may be silly to spite others for getting an "easy" mode, but especially in the case of something like Dark Souls, I do kind of get it.

Imagine you started work at a crappy fast food restaurant at $6.00 an hour. After four years of smiling at hateful people who want a refund because there's an onion ring in their french fries box, with a raise of a $0.25 a year, your hard work pays off, and you move into a management position at $9.00 an hour.

Three months later, central management announces that now all entry-level positions are going to make $9.00 an hour. And you and everyone is still going to get the lousy $0.25 raise. How do you feel about that four years you put in?

Probably pretty pissed off. And you might try to justify it, saying that your experience is worth so much more, no matter what central management may imply with the new wage structure. That these entry-level Johnny-come-latelies are somehow inferior, despite their getting exactly the same reward for their work that you get for yours. It's the journey, dammit, not the destination, and your journey was so much more meaningful than theirs.

In fairness, there might even be something to be said for that point of view. Our foolish human nature is such that if we pay twice as much for something, we may enjoy it more through pure expectation. And we certainly appreciate a handful of crackers more after running a marathon than we do a five-course banquet after dragging our butts off of a beanbag chair.

But that, alone, isn't reason enough to get apoplectic about easy modes.

Jim, I feel you're misunderstanding the issue in the case of Dark Souls.

Disclaimer: I am fully in favor of optional difficulty modes for any game that doesn't rely on challenge as a core game mechanic. Any game that allows you to quicksave, has checkpoints, doesn't use death as a learning experience, uses gameplay as a means to tell the story etcetc. would benefit from as many optional dificulty modes as possible.

THAT SAID. Dark Souls isn't any of those. The core function of Dark Souls is engagement: to activate your brain, to make you think of cunning ways to bypass situations, to see all the game has to offer and use it, to experiment and create your own setups for an optimal gameplay style. When engaged, the game is easy: you can summon someone to guide you all the way through the level including the boss. You can be effectively walked through by signs on the ground with a big enough community. You can take your time and get a few extra resources that will allow you to upgrade your items and make your life that much easier. It's only when you want to casually smack the puny monsters with your Giant Sword of Overcompensating without paying attention to what's going on that the game gets punishingly hard even if you're played the game a few times already and know all of its tricks. Engagement is the reason Dark Souls is a good game, and without it it would just be an average game with a crappy storyline and a broad array of useless combat mechanics. Because you're not paying attention to details, you're just using the same combat style you're used to, you're not adapting, you're not thinking. And you're not practicing.
An easy mode takes away the satisfaction of overcoming a difficult challenge and the core function that the game is designed around. Other games, like Devil May Cry 3, can have their selectable difficulty modes. I disagree in Dark Souls' case.

Only playing Demon's Souls, I cannot comment directly on Dark Souls, but I liken the difficulty to this:

Mega Man vs. Ninja Gaiden. In Mega Man, you had a real challenge, but it seems that every time you die, you learn a bit more and push a bit further, and eventually even at the age of seven, I was able to beat the game. Ninja Gaiden was still a great game, but I never felt like I was getting further or pushing ahead at all. Often I would make negative progress between deaths. And that, to me at least, was very frustrating.

So, bringing an Easy Mode to Dark Souls to bring it down to the level of Mega Man is actually very appealing to me. I assure you "harcore" fans that this will in no way make the game more casual, just more accessible to people like myself who love games, but just do not have the time or energy to invest in a game with such punishing difficulty.

Although I do agree with the episode, I don't think think Dark Souls was the proper example for this, because the difficulty in that game plays a bigger role in the overall design. If we would get a easy mode in that game one thing that certainly will happen is the splitting of the online community. which will lessen the overall experience of the game, because of the smaller presence in the game of your fellow players.

What also is possible is that many of the mechanics in the game become obsolete, because you don't need them anymore to beat the game. MP, weapon upgrades, armor upgrades and more work and are interesting because they help you beat the game. If the game doesn't give you an incentive to get those, because the game is not giving you any difficulty, then you are missing a huge part of the game.

and don't get me wrong, I would love to see more people play this franchise, but an easy mode will not give them the same experience that is scaled for their skill. With the recent announcement of DS II, the developers already said they want to make this game more accessible. I hope they mean with that, that they want to explain their mechanics better. that is the biggest of flaw DS: the lack of explaining the mechanics, which made it Difficult for many people at the start of the game.

My logic is this:

If easy mode is put into Dark Souls 2, I will still play the game, just on the standard hard difficulty. The existence of an easy mode does not bother me, and in fact there are just some certain things that should be fixed difficulty wise, regardless if easy mode is actually available. The tutorials could easily be improved, especially in regards to teaching players what things such as poise or humanity actually do. Dark Souls was one of my favorite games to come out last year, and even I didn't know what these things did until I went online. So I do agree that there are indeed some difficulty issues that are just inexcusable or have no real added challenge. That said, easy mode in the CURRENT VERSION of Dark Souls wouldn't actually work that well

Simply put, many of the level designs, enemy encounters, and item placements and such are designed in such a way that it anticipates the player playing on the current hard difficulty or above. If there was an easy mode put into the game now as it is, players would probably beat the game in 5-6 hours. And that's what worries me about easy mode in a game that wasn't designed to anticipate such a mode. Sure, more people will pick it up and play, but if they beat the game and don't see the big appeal to it then I feel a little disappointed that another player wasn't able to enjoy what it is I enjoy in the game. Now, if the current version of Dark Souls got a major overhaul or if Dark Souls 2 designs itself in such a way where both the traditional hard mode and easy mode can give players a sense of power and enjoyment, then I say bring on easy mode.

The sound of the show is getting better and better. Well done.

Thumbs up on the conclusions as well. I pick my difficulties based on my experience in the genre, and do not wish (bad amounts of)frustration on any gamer because there isn't a difficulty suited to their level of experience.

We were all once casuals and probably are in some genres.

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