Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Darwinian Difficulty: How Throwing Players In Headfirst Can Work

quote [ having such a high degree of difficulty early on hurts the appeal of the game. Games these days are being designed around having as much appeal as possible, which in this case means having a lower difficulty. A game where the player can die at any moment is not something a lot of people enjoy. Demon's Souls and its sequel, Dark Souls, may have created a lot of buzz, but they aren't truly mainstream hits. ]

On the appeal of hard games. There are both good reasons for making games harder or easier on the player. See extended for 2 examples.

Super Meat Boy is a punishing and popular title.

Casual clicker games like 12 Labours Of Hercules make it impossible to loose but are rewarding nonetheless.
[SFW] [games] [+3 Interesting]
[by Paracetamol@12:22pmGMT]


Paracetamol said @ 12:43pm GMT on 3rd Mar
There was another bookmark on game difficulty, gonna leave this here:

Difficulty is about trust and communication, not ‘hard’ vs. ‘easy’

Why game designers and players talk about difficulty very differently

smoki said @ 2:36pm GMT on 3rd Mar
I am really disappointed in how low the bar is set on many new games. This makes them easier to get into, but no one will convince me that the reward and feeling of exhilaration after completing an easy game challenge is anywhere near to what you feel when completing a hard one.
5th Earth said @ 6:27pm GMT on 3rd Mar
This is why I still think Morrowind it's the best Elder Scrolls game. The difficulty is predetermined instead of scaled to the player's level, and it's an open world, so there's nothing stopping you from getting into situations way over your head. The world feels like a real place, where you don't know if any given random cave or tomb is going to be a cakewalk or a slaughter. There's a real tension in exploring the unknown, instead of an endless "oh look, more bandits equipped in a fashion suspiciously close to what I'm already wearing".
mechanical contrivance said[1] @ 9:12pm GMT on 3rd Mar [Score:1 Underrated]
I didn't know the other Elder Scrolls games did that. That sucks. I like being able to go places I shouldn't go yet, knowing there are enemies that might kill me with one hit. It adds to the thrill and there's often goodies that you can't find in the easier areas. It also gives you a reason to try to get stronger. There's no reason to get stronger if the enemies get stronger right along with you.
biblebeltdrunk said[1] @ 8:21pm GMT on 7th Mar
My experience with morrowind is trying to clear out the nearest cave to the staring town and not being able to kill the first enemy in it from constantly missing. My understanding was that a friend messed with me by using a turbo controller to level acrobatics to 100 and over level me, if level scaling isn't a thing I don't know why it was so hard. its like 40 feet from town & I broke 3 swords fighting the vampire(?) trying to atleast get levels and never actually hit him enough to do anything. This is dispite hitting lots on the animals right outside the cave that showed up while resting to get hp back.
It Killed my interest pretty fast.

But ya in oblivion i just never slept as it felt like it was punishing me. I wanted to level up every skill i could which made my overall build weaker in combat when i didn't specialise as a punishment for training other things.
5th Earth said @ 4:24pm GMT on 8th Mar
The problem wasn't difficulty scaling, the problem was vampires are really hard to kill in straight melee. Among other things they have a flat 50% resistance to normal weapons. You were just in over your head and using the wrong technique, should have gone somewhere else first and gotten some magic ability.

That said, the "invisible dice roll" combat is definitely frustrating at times. It's often not obvious why something isn't working. Morrowind is far from a perfect game, especially by modern standards, but I still love it.

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