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Columns Climbing The Difficulty Curve

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

  1. Kipman725

    Kipman725 When did I get a custom title!?!

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    "Truthfully, nobody wants a return to the days of gruelling games that had to be completed in a single sitting." I do! frequantly I have to set myself chalenges like using only the pistol or knife to have fun in moden games. Also the orignal DOOM on nightmare mode I can only get to level 4 but it's very impersive to show noobs that you can even get that far, rember there is only keyboard controll to make it even harder :D
     
  2. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Maximum Win

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    games are too wasy but then they do cater for the casual gamer too much, id like to see some more shmups being released.
     
  3. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    My fave hardcore game is the Thief Series, which added extra objectives with increased difficulty. Not only were you easier to detect and the guards hunted for you for longer, but you'd also have to grab more loot and find more treasures. There's a whole community of people applying challenges to the game on top of that. Personally, I only ever managed to Ghost a level (no detections) once, though my Dad managed to Iron Man Thief once (No saves at all, no use of the shop)
     
  4. naokaji

    naokaji whatever

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    but why not proper difficulty adjustments?

    i mean why lock out gaming noobs like me (i've been playing games for years on the pc, but i'm just not good at it) from games just to give hc players their fix... woudnt it be better if the hard setting would mean challenge to good gamers and easy would mean possible to bad gamers like me?
     
  5. Bionic-Blob

    Bionic-Blob New Member

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    gah, i really want to play thief (played thief 2 & 3, but missed out on the first). Tried to play it a few months back, but turns out it isn't compatible with all nvidia drivers 9x.xx and up. Which sucks, because the lower ones don't recognise my card :X
     
  6. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    M'eh. Just whip the card out then - chances are your parents or friends will have a really old card lying around if you can't run it in software.
     
  7. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    games do seam to be getting easyer :(
     
  8. Bungle

    Bungle Rainbow Warrior

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    FPS wise I would say the original Unreal Tournament, pretty much catered for all skill levels. What maybe they should have done was completely change the Trophy room based on what difficulty level you were playing. When you got the AI settings right the game was magic and most rounds were closely fought. This is certainly the title that stands out for me regarding balanced AI for all comers. I think as long as there is extra content or reward for trying to ramp up the difficultly level in a game then it makes for great replayability.
    Diablo II as mentioned had Hardcore mode which gave better rare drops and other beneifts for playing with just one Life. A major feat to complete the game considering the level 2 boss (Durial? sic) pretty much could kill with one charge.
    One novel feature which I haven't seen reproduced since was from the game Cannon fodder, whereby every soldier you lost in the game was represented as a cross in a field which was displayed between levels.
    There has to be more incentive to try and attempt the harder difficulty levels other than ramped AI, reduced health/ammo packs etc. The rewards need to be tailored to the skill level of the player. Hardcore players (of which I am not) need proper recognition for their efforts. But at the same time the core game needs to be available to all.
     
  9. ImInTheZoneBaby

    ImInTheZoneBaby Bring it on sucka!

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    I wish games were as hard as Ninja Gaiden Black. That game was haaaaard. Even on Normal mode. Then you have to go through Hard then Master NInja (or Very Hard or something).
    It was craaaazy. I only hope they get the difficulty the same in the sequel. Otherwise i'll be dissapointed.

    Most games should have difficulty levels, and the hardest being nearly impossible, for those willing to spare their life to complete a game. =P Obviously, the easiest mode should be easy enough for anyone to complete the game. That unfortunately is something that Ninja Gaiden missed out (until Black was released and Ninja Dog mode was avaliable).
     
  10. Spaceraver

    Spaceraver Ultralurker

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    Well. I sometimes long back to the days of the "no save" games (Super Mario Brothers für dass winn) :) And then again.. After having my console on for a 30 day period, that poor power brick was almost toast.
    The idea of AI dumbing down is sad in a way, because unless there is only one way in and out there is a saying: Flank thy enemy! The only fair firefight is the one you win.
    Far Cry is one of those games I haven't even completed yet even with an ammo cheat. ( yes I use that cheat because I tend to use lots of sniper ammo or have a preferred weapon) That said, the enemy should find me none the less anyways, because for me that is part of my challenge.
    If they can hear the shots, why not. Unless the whole level comes bearing down on me at once even without radio comms.
     
  11. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    :0 that game was too hard
     
  12. Bauul

    Bauul Sir Bongaminge

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    With a source port enabling mouse look on Doom, I can complete about an episode and a half on Nightmare mode without dying, but that's really only because I know the levels, and the engine, like the back of my hand. I miss games where the hardest difficulty setting is nigh on impossible to complete. When you try to play Doom in Nightmare mode, a message pops up saying "Are you sure? This difficulty setting isn't even remotely fair!" Lol, now then you know you're in for some pwnage.
     
  13. leexgx

    leexgx CPC hang out zone (i Fix pcs i do )

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    Tomb Raider is also an good classic game as you realy had to make sure you did not die untill you got to an check point, the game allso used Gun track so all you had to do was aim it lock on and you could bouce around and she would stay aiming onto it (watch out the big dinosaurs are comming :p )
    did not like the 3rd game tho (you had Very poor save points in that game useing gems or somthing to save)

    i forgot about doom level options, been that long from when i played doom now did not rember items been moved around but thats an good idea makes it more intresting

    there was one game Medal_of_Honor:_Pacific_Assault i think? one level was basicly nearly imposable to complete as it had no medic to bring you back and no support, at points as you moved along you get ambushed with lots of Germans, at that point i think i did not play the game after that level as i was allways dead on the first or second rush

    i realy should play more single player modes
     
    Last edited: 16 Jan 2008
  14. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    That is my concern with the system Joe mentioned (Challenge and Aid) - It's OK if I never want to replay the game but otherwise... I want a different game experience on hard mode.

    I remember the original Pirates! being like that (though the remake got old too fast) - as you played the difficulty level also effected how much of the loot you got and when you decided to retire it had a huge effect on your final fate in life (did you retire as a bartender, farmer, shopkeeper, wealthy landowner, governor, ...?). I'm guessing the FPS equivalent would be better medals & promotions for higher difficulty levels. These should not be hard for developers to implement.

    In summary here's what I would like from different difficulty levels:

    1) Different game-play: move items, change enemies abilities &/ numbers &/ type
    - (as willyolio mentioned) Optional bosses are one way of doing this even without difficulty levels.
    - maybe even optional storylines (which might be another way to implement difficulty levels without even calling them that (which would increase immersion for me))
    2) Different rewards: not only in game items (maybe you can only get the flamethrower in hard mode or from an optional boss) but also different endgame rewards / titles (heck, even a scoring system that recognizes difficulty levels).

    P.S. Good article :thumb:

    Edit: I'm not into multi-player games (besides a few strategy games & Guild Wars - all of which I play cooperatively) so I'm really Really hoping developers implement the ideas above more often.
     
    Last edited: 16 Jan 2008
  15. Cabe

    Cabe New Member

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    I agree with Obiwan, Portal is a very good example of how a game as differing difficulty levels that truly mean something when completed.
     
  16. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    I think that gamers are getting better.

    Just a few days ago I played HL2 all over again. On the same difficulty setting (medium), I breezed through it depsite not having touched the game for a few years.

    It's the way games are varied that makes it tougher or easier. For games that only change weapons and damage variables, a gamer can plow through the game once he's more familiar with it. For games which change other variables, a replay is just as difficult as the original play.

    FEAR and Halo had very different AIs depending on the difficulty setting, although not so much FEAR as HALO. Halo on Legendary took me a very long time to beat even after playing through the game. It wasn't just the volume of firepower as other games usually increase in the higher difficulty levels, but the AI change dramatically. The badies were unrelenting and unpredictable. It often took tricks for me to outmaneuver the AI and wipe the badies out. These days, it seems that with game designers under tighter deadlines, they take the easy rode out and make quick changes to the code to differentiate between difficulty settings.

    Gamers are getting better, games are sometimes getting harder, but as our experiences grow, games are not evolving to match them. That's also what the problem is. Someone who plays several FPS games is going to walk into a game with some capabilities. Game designers either have to match and predict those capabilities, or throw twists at the player. HL2 did that with the gravity gun. Some games do that with slow-motion. Doom3 tried to do that with artifacts and the grav gun in the expansion. It simply isn't enough. What game designers have to do is work on the AI and make it more unpredictable and life-like. I want to see more traps, and not he obvious ones where you can see the blinking lights or see the enemies planting the traps.
     
  17. glynallinson

    glynallinson New Member

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    Just wondering, what is the game pictured in the article?
     
  18. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Geometry Wars for the Xbox 360, PC and DS
     
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