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Blogs Thoughts on Difficulty Settings

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 22 Apr 2010.

  1. WildThing

    WildThing Member

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    I always used to play on normal as I thought that's how it's meant to be played, and I also used to look down on people playing games on easy or with cheats the first time through. The important thing though, is to have fun. So recently I have been playing a lot of games on easy, because after a day at work, the last thing I want is to be repeating the same section of a game over and over again. Also, ever since Mass Effect, I have realized there are some games that are not about challenging gameplay, and that actually focus more on immersive story telling. So I prefer to play those games on easy.

    The thing I don't like about some modern difficulty systems is, when harder modes simply equate to enemies having more health, therefore requiring more damage to die, and you having less health or being weaker in some way. Ideally I would like a system (for FPS anyway) where the AI was major factor in the difficulty. For example, on every setting, a head-shot killed but on harder settings, the AI had better aim and would evade/use cover etc, and on easy, they basically stood still and couldn't shoot a thing. In this case I would more than likely chose hard every time. Crysis came pretty close to this, I have to play that on Delta, but then that's mostly because I like to hear the more authentic Korean.

    I just really hate grinding and repetition.:wallbash: I game for fun! :rock:
     
  2. eternum

    eternum *blam* shotgun fanhole

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    I play for the escapism, not for a tough challenge, personally. I usually play a new game on easy just so I can soak up the story and not worry as much about resources (ammo and such in FPS games). I find I enjoy the time spent more than if I were to set the difficulty higher (some games get changed to normal if they are TOOOO easy of course). That being said, once I know the mechanics and general layout of the game, I always turn up the difficulty on subsequent playthroughs. The story is no longer new, and with the knowledge gleaned from the first run, you have an advantage that can be offset by upping the difficulty. Ideally, I like it to be a challenge the second time around since I at least have the confidence of understanding the obstacles I'll face and setbacks are less likely to be as frustrating. I don't mind a challenge, but the frustration and stress of playing games "hard-core" just isn't worth spending my free time on - I get enough of that in the rest of my life owning a retail business and raising a toddler...
     
  3. tron

    tron New Member

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    The reason I usually put difficulty levels high is not due to much of a hardcore ego, but simply because 'easy' levels are usually unchallenging, boring, and give no sense of achievement.

    Any racing game I play, the first thing I do is search the menus for any driver assists that can be switched off.
     
  4. logan'srun

    logan'srun following the footsteps of giants

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    That's interesting really, I did 'Hardcore' as a vanguard (continuation of my ME1 character) and thought it was extremely difficult. I did another run on Insanity and tried Infiltrator to see if I would like that class, and found that it was actually easier than hardcore.
    I felt once I got the Widow Sniper and bumped my class score to a 4, that the rest of the game became fairly easy (easier I should say). IN fact, for me the final stages was a world of difference between the two settings as Vanguard took forever to do, but I managed all final levels on first go, half the time, no deaths. IMHO Widow Sniper was way overpowered and made Insanity feel like Normal.
     
  5. Aragon Speed

    Aragon Speed Busily modding X3: Terran Conflict

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    I'm a bit like Joe, I tend to play games on the easy setting most of the time, and only cranking it up a bit when I find that too easy.

    Ironically I am Playing Borderlands for the first time, and while I am enjoying it, I wish I could change the difficulty to an easier one. Currently the enemies seem to be getting tougher at about double the rate I am. XD
     
  6. AshT

    AshT Custom User Title

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    I play on easy as well. It's not always been the case. There was a time when I'd play all my games on hard or insane, whatever the highest level of difficulty is for whatever game. I loved the challenge and wouldn't let games beat me. However, I have a life now, other interests. I also like playing lots of varied games. So, to make sure I get to play as many games as possible in as shortest time possible I now play on easy levels.

    Confessing that is like confessing to being an alcoholic ... I feel much better.
     
  7. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    I for one welcome you to the "Old Gits" section of Bit-Tech. Please hang you "Hardcore" hat on the stand and come over an have a cuppa cocoa with the rest of us :naughty:
     
  8. DbD

    DbD Member

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    Worst difficulties are rpgs because they have such trouble keeping the difficulty level consistent as you level. I ofter start at say hard, and find it hard, but then as I carefully level the game gets easier till it's a walk in the park. However if I start at insane I'll take half an hour to kill the first rat.
     
  9. GiantStickMan

    GiantStickMan New Member

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    I usually game after work to blow off steam (the joys of working in a demanding role where you are underappreciated and often abused) so whilst I like a challenge, I hate being forced to do the same thing over and over when I can't get it.
    I've played a few games that give you the option to change the difficulty or make an enemy/boss easier after a few retries if you can't get it. I like that idea, the people who want to soldier on can, but the people who just want to get past it can drop the difficulty down for that section.
     
  10. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I would to see a set of sliders in games which would allow you to tweak the difficulty to your tastes along with the normal easy, normal, hard settings. For example in a FPS you had sliders for enemy health, AI, awareness (how easily they spot you), accuracy etc, along with sliders for your health, amount of med kits, ammo and so on.

    That way you could adjust the challenge to how it suited you.
     
  11. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. MartyEF

    MartyEF New Member

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    I think difficulty settings should have a real meaning. If every game would have settings from "complete newbie" to "ultra over the top hardcore gamer" setting, games would be more accesible to all players. I respect hardcore gamers, but it should take the fun away for newbies. Some people play a game for its story, others because they want to beat it. Both types of players (and everything in between) should be catered for.
     
  13. tad2008

    tad2008 New Member

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    I have always played games on Normal for the first time through, if the game then has enough merits to make it worth playing through again, then I crank up the difficulty to take account of my knowledge of the game and to give me something more to work at.

    Playing on easy just for the story is I am sad to say, rather lame, especially, since normal is where the developers have targeted the main focus on the overall quality and atmosphere of the game. If it's just the story you want, go watch a movie.

    Replayability is about more than just the story, it's about raising your personal bar, increasing challenges and overall accomplishment.

    That said I do agree that only a handful of games have truly grasped the concept of sensible difficulty settings in much the same way as other games give you a different story arc when replaying.
     
  14. M3G4

    M3G4 talkie walkie

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    I appreciate difficulty settings on games. I played Dead Rising on the 360, and I must say after a few hours I'm left screaming at the 360 for mercy.

    I'm an occasional gamer, and I'm not going to lie - I'm terrible at most games. I play most (if not all) on easy, and still manage to fail at some of them - but they're not so frustrating to the point of not wanting to play any more. Dead Rising is so ridiculously hard, no matter what settings you play it with. Some of the areas are so thickly covered with Zombies that I wonder if even talented players could get through some of the parts - and this is only a couple of hours after playing. The sheer lack of save points, and lunacy of having to restart the ENTIRE GAME after being killed is unforgiveable. It wouldn't be so bad if there was some degree of replayability, a slight variation perhaps, but no. It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again.

    I understand that hardcore gamers need something challenging, but to make a full price game all but inaccessible for the light-dabbler is inexcusable.

    I have to say I don't agree with tad2008:
    I feel that if it's a good enough game, the story, atmosphere and quality should shine through no matter what difficulty setting you play it on. That's like buying a car and being told you can only use the first 2 gears until you're 35 years old.
     
  15. Scootiep

    Scootiep Member

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    Thief still gets my vote for most original game of all time. I still vividly remember using all 5.1 channels of my Alltech Lansing ADA880R's for that game and loved every second of it. They took the whole concept of stealth gameplay to a level beyond groundbreaking.
     
  16. mighty_pirate

    mighty_pirate New Member

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    I remember being absolutely livid about the difficulty settings in Dawn Of War. I just couldn't work out how the AI beat me all the time, especially since their tactics weren't all that clever. It wasn't until I watched a few replay videos with a stopwatch & a finger on the pause button (because I'm cool, you understand) that I discovered the AI wasn't getting smarter on higher difficulties, it was just cheating. FPS difficulty can focus more on realism (a single bullet can kill you, etc) RTS difficulty in particular needs to be smarter, the cheating just feels unsavory. I'd like to see more intelligent RTS AI, it's the area in which I feel the genre should, but doesn't really, spearpoint advancement.
     
  17. GiantStickMan

    GiantStickMan New Member

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    I hear you on that one, those convicts in the park with the giant jeep mounted gun and all you have to take them on with is a wimpy handgun and a bottle of OJ. Stick with it though, once you level up a few times and get extra health and item slots, the game really shines.
    Focussing on only saving survivors and not doing the story missions on the first play-through is a great way to level up fast.
    Sadly you have to invest a lot of time and effort to get an enjoyable return but it is REALLY worth it.
     
  18. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    try Diablo2 LOD on Hardcore and survive the lags till Levels 90-99. Now that is challenging.
     
  19. VaLkyR-Assassin

    VaLkyR-Assassin Member

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    I only ever play games on easy these days, as I like to take in the story and avoid the occasional annoying boss battle. Some games are quite playable on a harder difficulty, then all of a sudden a single impassable and over the top difficult bit can ruin the game. I can never understand why the developers do this.
     
  20. D-Cyph3r

    D-Cyph3r Gay for Yunosuke

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    SupCom against multiple Supreme AI's can be fairly brutal, with constant experimental attacks after the 20-25min mark.

    L4D2 on expert realism is outright sadistic though, spitter splits the group up, charger runs away 1 team mate, smoker drags another off, jockey runs the last into a group of infected and your on your jack with a hunter about to pounce on your face. :S
     
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