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Columns Climbing The Difficulty Curve

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 15 Jan 2008.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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  2. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    You have two paragraphs repeated twice. :)
     
  3. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    I'd like to take responsibility for that error, really - but I actually think it's your fault. ;)

    Either way, fixed now.
     
  4. willyolio

    willyolio New Member

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    there's another option (often seen in japanese RPGs)- optional bosses.

    the core of the story is relatively easy for a jRPG fan, and challenging but possible for a newbie. the player gets to see the whole story and cinematics. for the more hardcore player, there's the optional dungeons and bosses, secret items and such.

    Diablo II (while being most fun on multiplayer) also had the "hardcore" option, which was fantastic for players who wanted a real challenge.
     
  5. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    My favourite difficulty model is still Sin: Episodes. It properly matched my skill, was fun to play, highly adjustable and best of all it had a variety of settings. You could break down difficulty into two settings - Challenge and Aid. Put the challenge high if you want it to start off tough, and put Aid high if you don't want to be stuck for too long. If you got stuck at one bit for too long (though how long that was was determined by how high or low the Aid setting was) then the game would chip in, weakening the AI and increasing your damage resistance. Once you got past it and started doing well again then the game would bump the difficulty back up.

    The result is that you get a game which you progress through at a steady, enjoyable rate and you remain as challenged as you want to be.
     
  6. cyrilthefish

    cyrilthefish New Member

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    Interesting article

    Myself, i can't decide. As i tend to play FPS's on easy setting anyway due to me not having particularly good aim, and that i want to see the storyline more than have challenging gameplay
     
  7. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    i'm a big fan of the hardcore option mentioned above. I just went bananas when i finally defeated Ruby Weapon in FF7 :rock:

    that Aid model sounds absolutely fantastic. I'll have to try that game, just for that :D
     
  8. naokaji

    naokaji whatever

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    i'm no good at games, i mean i very rarely manage to complete one due to easy being too hard for me. bioshock on easy was okay for me... but, there should be proper difficulty options, easy should mean possible without much trouble (and without a university degree infinding your way (i hate you doom 3 for your repetive backgrounds that make it impossible to find what way to go) and hard should mean its a challenge even to hardcore gamers.

    with many games he reality is far away from that, its either trivial on all difficulites or insane hard on all... the majority of games fails if it comes to actually making it easy on easy and really hard on hard.
     
  9. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    It's pretty good, but don't expect to be overly-wowed. When it works well you won't even notice that its there unless you get loads of headshots in a row and the enemies start donning helmets.
     
  10. Bauul

    Bauul Sir Bongaminge

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    I think developers are getting lazy with what quantifies the difference between "easy", "medium" and "hard". Take a classic example: Doom. On "I'm too young to die" setting (v. easy for you younguns), there was, amongst other things, plenty of ammo, fewer enemies, the keys were in easier places to reach and you took less damage. On "ultra violence" setting, there was less ammo, far more and differeing enemies, important items were placed in harder to reach locations, timing puzzles were more difficult and you took more damage, amongst other things. Point being there were many differences between easy and hard, even down to the level design and selection of enemies you fought. As such, completing the game on Easy gave you a totally different experience to completing it on Hard, really emphasising the differences and providing replay value.

    Now-a-days though, the difference between easy and hard usually boils down to... you take more damage per hit. The game itself is identicle, you just have to be better at it to finish it on harder difficulties. I think that's a shame, as personally I usually play my games on easy now because I know that, overall, I'm going to get the same experience as playing it on hard, just without worrying about repeatedly dying so much.
     
  11. [USRF]Obiwan

    [USRF]Obiwan New Member

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    My finding over the years is that single player FPS games are not so challenging anymore. What i mean to say is, early fps games had a lot of puzzlesolving to do, like finding colored keys or (not early found) passages or finding hidden 'things' in every level. It was fun to solve these puzzles and on the way shoot some alien scum, even more enjoyable if you walked thru a wall and got in some other part of a level with more stuff to explore etc.

    But nowadays the only fps game that had any kind of puzzle solving was HL2 episode2. Not as much as i liked to but way better then all the others shooters. The other fps shooters that just do things like start level, shoot all badguys move to next level, shoot all badderguys, move to next level.

    I think thats why Portal was such a hit. It got puzzles to solve...
     
  12. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    I find that my time for gaming is pretty limited, and there are more games out than I have the time to play.
    In order to see the games entirely, not just the first few levels, I've started to play on the easiest level available some time ago.
    Only this enables me to see the entire title, the eyecandy and the storyline, and it creates the space and time needed for the next highlight.

    …must find a copy of deus ex though, somehow never got round to it. Should be well inside the bargain bin ;-)
     
  13. Hamish

    Hamish New Member

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    yea i liked that system too
    although i managed to complete it before they patched the bug where it never ramped down the difficulty, that was a bitch :p
     
  14. TurtlePerson2

    TurtlePerson2 New Member

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    In my opinion there are two ways to play a game. You can play it on the hardest settings and have a deeper/longer experience, or you can play it on easy and get a shorter experience where you basically just play through the story.
     
  15. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Is it though? I'm still seeing the same quote all green and bolded and <h2> twice. Or blockquote. Whatever. It's the green text on the left side.

    Anyways, a nice perspective on the problem. As I still tend to do most of my gaming single-player these days, games that are way too easy just bug me. It happens that I've been playing mostly on my 360 in recent days and my thumbs never matched the accuracy of my whole hand so it's a renewed challenge, but it's all a call-back to the days of Sonic 2 for me, where to this day I'm far better playing as Tails where death is nothing but a cute, fuzzy, 16-bit animation.
     
  16. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Block quotes are supposed to be like that, making specific sentences stand out.
     
  17. Bionic-Blob

    Bionic-Blob New Member

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    you should try prey 8)
     
  18. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Prey wasn't a puzzle solver! If you want a game with puzzles then and drama then Thief is where I'd go looking. Then Call of Cthulu.
     
  19. Djizasse

    Djizasse New Member

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    Every new game I play is always played on the hardest setting. I want to get what i paid for! But it seems that even in this setting, games are getting easier, take for example Crysis, i find it easier than far cry. Far Cry continues to challenge me more.
    But as game complexity and freedom grows (more variables in the "difficulty level function"), so does the challenge to balance the difficulty level. It's easier to balance a shoot'em up (vars= number of enemies/bullets/power ups and damage) than a FPS game (vars= AI, weapons, pick-ups, environment, suit/character skills, etc.).

    Another problem is that games need to cater for a heterogeneous population of gamers, from the "I can't use this damn thing" (mouse) to the "on bullet one head-shot".

    We (the hardcore players) are the multi-player generation, continuously honing our skills online, against the best "AI" there is, the human player. There's no match for us, unless you fill the game with uber strong enemies that kill you with a shot, and that would ruin the experience. It's a very fine line between satisfaction and frustration.

    The fact is that we (the hardcore gamers) keep asking for fuller imersive experiences with better AI and realism, but the industry is (and will allways be) trying to keep up.
     
  20. Trefarm

    Trefarm No matter what... It's all good

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    I really miss hard games... my older brother was trying to remember a game he'd watched me play a few years ago and liked (some generic FPS) no idea what he was on about!! But i still remember the first time i tried flowers and meat to get past the dogs on Monkey Island after trying every other possible permutation... or actually writing a Res Evil 2 puzzle on bits of paper and moving them around my bedroom floor till I worked it out.
    There might be another side to the whole issue in an era when some developers don't even bother with gameplay just shiny graphics or length ( i rented most PS2 games, you could complete them in two days and still hold down a job!) Are we that shocked about remedial games. Maybe a bit of the problem is that they used to write games for me( well alright serious gamers, not just me.) But the industry is bigger than that now and the majority are happy with easy games, many won't even remember when games made you so frustrated your mum called up the stairs to ask what you were shouting about... It sucks but what are you gonna do?
     
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