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A Difficult Subject (The Jimquisition)

Dec 2, 2017
4,321
#1

Okay... let's wade into this debate again. It's raged for years and has only gotten more poisonous in that time, but we're gonna step in anyway and try to talk about difficulty options. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest From Software game to spark a debate over difficulty and the merits of an easy mode. We're gonna talk about how weird the discussion is, and maybe get some elite wisdom from gaming aristocracy!
 
Dec 29, 2017
622
#2
I'm hoping they patch in a over 40's mode for Apex Legends as I'm sure the young whipper-snappers are way to good for me due to faster reflexes and more time to practise.

Being able to filter out these young'uns would make that easier for me.

Would that count as an easy mode?
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,161
#3
I'm hoping they patch in a over 40's mode for Apex Legends as I'm sure the young whipper-snappers are way to good for me due to faster reflexes and more time to practise.

Being able to filter out these young'uns would make that easier for me.

Would that count as an easy mode?
Well I believe that the assumption is that we're talking about single player games here goes without saying really. Esp in regards to Sekiro as it doesn't even have the few online modes DS has.

So nope basically.
 
Dec 29, 2017
622
#5
Well I believe that the assumption is that we're talking about single player games here goes without saying really. Esp in regards to Sekiro as it doesn't even have the few online modes DS has.

So nope basically.
I thought this was about making games more accessible in general rather than specifically about Seriko.
 
Oct 29, 2017
44
#10
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
And, more importantly, who would implement it? And how much effort should be spent on this, enough that the game would not be able to meet its original deadline?

Personally this is a more important aspect of different difficulty modes - the time and resource it takes to implement them. It sounds as if people think that From had the option to just magically put in an easy mode and refused to do it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,537
The Danger Zone
#13
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
When we have so many games with difficulty design choices to pull from like Halo, Cuphead, Celeste and even REmake 2 its kinda silly that every thread about sekiro asks this question.

Have wider parry windows, reduce amount of boss phases, have different enemy placement/attacks, give more healing items but keep damage the same. Even if you only agree with one of those examples it really shouldnt be rocket science.

Unless you want like God Hand dynamic difficulty instead?
 

Majukun

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,725
#14
i feel pretty much the same about the argument..if developers want to add an easy mode, be free as long as it gets it's separate setting

but at the same time they shouldn't be forced to add them if they don't want to, and they shouldn't be called out for being disrespectful because of that

and if someone wants to mod the game to make his life easier, again, he is free to do so..in fact i grew up in an era where you had cheat codes ready to pretty much modify the experience as you liked.

also, and this is on a personal and less rational note, when i was havig a bad experience with games because they were dumbed down to be appealing to everyone, nobody made a crusade for me to make them more challenging, despite making the games less fun for me, so i'm sorry but i'm not gonna go out of my way to fight for those 2 or 3 games that are challenging to become accessible when the 95% of products nowadays are more than welcoming, but if developers want to add those option,those easy modes, by my guest, it doesn't effect me whatsoever.
 
Last edited:

MrNelson

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,309
Tampa, FL
#15
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
I would say more assist toggles that players can pick and choose that altogether amount to an "easy mode" rather than just a wholesale easy mode.

Just off the top of my head, there could be toggles for increasing timing windows, increasing damage dealt, reducing damage received, and reducing the aggression of the enemy AI.
 
Oct 31, 2017
155
#16
I'll get total hate for this but.

Not every game has to be for every player.
I know that we're accustomed to games being a capitalist venture that is trying to reach wide audiences, but it's still a creative industry and if the creative team decides "this is how i want my product to be"... so be it.

Gamers feel entitled to enjoy every single product in any way they want because they're accustomed to feeling like everyone is trying to cater to them.

I'm not saying one should "get good" or something, i just think that (and this argument puts physical accessibility issues aside, because i feel that is a separate, very important subject) not all games need to be for all gamers and folks should feel at peace with that idea. Fromsoft owes their recent success to the creative vision and design decisions of the souls team (as much as I, being an old fromsoft fan dislike that mentality) not in spite of it.

tl;dr - Your mindset as a capitalist consumer has lead to the argument that all games need to be targeted at all audiences and skill levels. Even regular "anti capitalist" commentators cannot see past this consumer mindset.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,901
#20
I'm hoping they patch in a over 40's mode for Apex Legends as I'm sure the young whipper-snappers are way to good for me due to faster reflexes and more time to practise.

Being able to filter out these young'uns would make that easier for me.

Would that count as an easy mode?
This is actually not the worst idea ever. Like a YMCA rec league version of Apex.

Lmao.
 
Nov 6, 2017
262
#21
And, more importantly, who would implement it? And how much effort should be spent on this, enough that the game would not be able to meet its original deadline?

Personally this is a more important aspect of different difficulty modes - the time and resource it takes to implement them. It sounds as if people think that From had the option to just magically put in an easy mode and refused to do it.
Small indie teams like the one behind Celeste can do it in a very elegant way, so can FROM with the backing of a big shot publisher like Activision.
Hell, people have been doing this with the PC version and cheat engine since day one. The biggest effort on FROM's side would be creating menues for these options.
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,341
#22
Great video by Jim. I couldn’t agree more. If From Soft doesn’t want to add an easy mode they should be allowed not too. It’s their design.
At the same time if they decide to do one that’s perfectly fine too.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,659
#23
I'm hoping they patch in a over 40's mode for Apex Legends as I'm sure the young whipper-snappers are way to good for me due to faster reflexes and more time to practise.

Being able to filter out these young'uns would make that easier for me.

Would that count as an easy mode?
I would just find a way to play with you older peeps for the EZ WINZ
 
Nov 7, 2017
413
#24
And, more importantly, who would implement it? And how much effort should be spent on this, enough that the game would not be able to meet its original deadline?

Personally this is a more important aspect of different difficulty modes - the time and resource it takes to implement them. It sounds as if people think that From had the option to just magically put in an easy mode and refused to do it.
The mod thats existed for weeks that just slows enemy movement down/quickens players
the game already features a built-in 'harder' mode. how about simply that mode, but tweaked in the other direction? :) ...
When we have so many games with difficulty design choices to pull from like Halo, Cuphead, Celeste and even REmake 2 its kinda silly that every thread about sekiro asks this question.

Have wider parry windows, reduce amount of boss phases, have different enemy placement/attacks, give more healing items but keep damage the same. Even if you only agree with one of those examples it really shouldnt be rocket science.

Unless you want like God Hand dynamic difficulty instead?
Thanks for the replies. IMO they should implement it the way wargroove did. Besides difficulty options there’s also a couple more options that tweak damage and gold received per turn. Perhaps that way people can tweak the difficulty as they see fit? Like damage done or taken and parry window
 
Dec 1, 2017
2,574
#25
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
Hopefully, not toggles where you can change the difficulty at any time in the game. Sure, if the game is to hard than go down in difficulty, but it should be a permanent change, and not something you can do willy-nilly.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,375
#26
I'm not against an easy mode at all, but the simple fact of the matter is FromSoft doesn't want there to be one. That's their decision. That's really all there is to it. They want people to play the game in the way they want to. If you don't like it, well play something else and I guess stick it to the developer by not buying their game.
 
#27
I'll get total hate for this but.

Not every game has to be for every player.
I know that we're accustomed to games being a capitalist venture that is trying to reach wide audiences, but it's still a creative industry and if the creative team decides "this is how i want my product to be"... so be it.

Gamers feel entitled to enjoy every single product in any way they want because they're accustomed to feeling like everyone is trying to cater to them.

I'm not saying one should "get good" or something, i just think that (and this argument puts physical accessibility issues aside, because i feel that is a separate, very important subject) not all games need to be for all gamers and folks should feel at peace with that idea. Fromsoft owes their recent success to the creative vision and design decisions of the souls team (as much as I, being an old fromsoft fan dislike that mentality) not in spite of it.

tl;dr - Your mindset as a capitalist consumer has lead to the argument that all games need to be targeted at all audiences and skill levels. Even regular "anti capitalist" commentators cannot see past this consumer mindset.
This is kind of my thought as well. If someone hates JRPGs but wants to play Final Fantasy, well, you're not going to have an option there outside of an action-oriented spin-off game. Not every game is for every player. I'm a huge Nintendo fan, but will fully admit that there's a lot of players who won't play their games due to their perceived childish nature. And that's okay.

Honestly, it should be really a really simple concept. You don't like that this game is too hard? Good, you don't have to buy it.

...and you might as well wait for Ghost of Tsushima anyway. It's going to be better (and probably easier)
 
Oct 27, 2017
316
#28
I'm hoping they patch in a over 40's mode for Apex Legends as I'm sure the young whipper-snappers are way to good for me due to faster reflexes and more time to practise.

Being able to filter out these young'uns would make that easier for me.

Would that count as an easy mode?
I don't see how (especially on PCs) they can't have an over 40s server. It would make it a more level playing field but there are gamers over 40 who are still very good...
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,594
Moscow
#29
While I understand the value of options in games, and tend to praise any developer including them, I still can't help but feel a bit of entitlement from some people demanding games too hard for them to have an easy mode.

Like Sekiro is too hard for me, i even did some salty complaining. But ultimately what I do is move on from the game, not feel like it should be tweaked for me personally.

Like, it is an interesting subject in general, and it's easy to come off either as elitist, like I probably did, or entitled like some people did for me, but I do feel like ultimately, it's fine that there exist games that aren't necessarily for everyone.
 
Oct 25, 2017
119
#30
And, more importantly, who would implement it? And how much effort should be spent on this, enough that the game would not be able to meet its original deadline?

Personally this is a more important aspect of different difficulty modes - the time and resource it takes to implement them. It sounds as if people think that From had the option to just magically put in an easy mode and refused to do it.
People made an easy mode within a day after the game is released. Yes, it's just a mere damage increase/decrease and slower/faster mode, but it's what it is and people would take such easy modes than nothing at all. They don't need to rebalance the whole game to fit the easier difficulty.

They simply don't want to give that option. It's as simple as that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,410
#34
Let developers decide how to make their games and deal with it. If it's not for you, then don't play it. It is really easy. Not everything can and should be for everyone. There is no need to streamline and homogenize games even more.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,004
#36
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
Something like this:
Assist Mode (Deflect):
Off: The base Sekiro experience.
Low: The window to deflect incoming attacks is increased.
Medium: The window to deflect and Perfect Deflect incoming attacks is increased.
High (Automatic): While blocking, incoming attacks will be automatically deflected.
Extreme (Automatic): While blocking, incoming attacks will be automatically Perfect Deflected.

Assist Mode (Healing):
Off: The base Sekiro experience.
Low: The Wolf will have one extra use of the Healing Gourd.
Medium: The Wolf will have two extra uses of the Healing Gourd, and will receive less damage if attacked while healing.
High: The Wolf will have three extra uses of the Healing Gourd, and will receive less damage if attacked while healing.
Extreme: The Wolf will have unlimited uses of the Healing Gourd, and will receive less damage if attacked while healing.

Assist Mode (Resurrection):
Off:
The base Sekiro experience.
Low: The Wolf recovers more health upon resurrecting.
Medium: The Wolf starts with one extra node of resurrection, and recovers more health upon resurrecting.
High: The Wolf starts with two extra nodes of resurrection, and recovers full health upon resurrecting. Dragonrot is slower to afflict others.
Extreme: The Wolf may resurrect as many times as wanted. Dragonrot no longer spreads.


Notice: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a game about accomplishment in the face of unbeatable odds. As such, the intended game experience is without Assist Modes enabled. Certain Trophies/Achievements will not be available if Low options are enabled. Most trophies and achievements will not be available when enabling Medium or above settings.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,405
#37
I'm hoping they patch in a over 40's mode for Apex Legends as I'm sure the young whipper-snappers are way to good for me due to faster reflexes and more time to practise.

Being able to filter out these young'uns would make that easier for me.

Would that count as an easy mode?
Haaahaaahahaaahaaa... I'll have you, Butlaahhhhh, you slaggg!
 
Dec 29, 2017
722
#41
I'll get total hate for this but.

Not every game has to be for every player.
I know that we're accustomed to games being a capitalist venture that is trying to reach wide audiences, but it's still a creative industry and if the creative team decides "this is how i want my product to be"... so be it.

Gamers feel entitled to enjoy every single product in any way they want because they're accustomed to feeling like everyone is trying to cater to them.

I'm not saying one should "get good" or something, i just think that (and this argument puts physical accessibility issues aside, because i feel that is a separate, very important subject) not all games need to be for all gamers and folks should feel at peace with that idea. Fromsoft owes their recent success to the creative vision and design decisions of the souls team (as much as I, being an old fromsoft fan dislike that mentality) not in spite of it.

tl;dr - Your mindset as a capitalist consumer has lead to the argument that all games need to be targeted at all audiences and skill levels. Even regular "anti capitalist" commentators cannot see past this consumer mindset.
I fully agree here. I can't play Sekiro. I gave Bloodborne half a chance and knew that it would just frustrate me. I'm perfectly ok with it existing for the people who can enjoy it. There are tons of games for me to play. I don't need that one.
 
Nov 7, 2017
839
#42
I'll get total hate for this but.

Not every game has to be for every player.
I know that we're accustomed to games being a capitalist venture that is trying to reach wide audiences, but it's still a creative industry and if the creative team decides "this is how i want my product to be"... so be it.

Gamers feel entitled to enjoy every single product in any way they want because they're accustomed to feeling like everyone is trying to cater to them.

I'm not saying one should "get good" or something, i just think that (and this argument puts physical accessibility issues aside, because i feel that is a separate, very important subject) not all games need to be for all gamers and folks should feel at peace with that idea. Fromsoft owes their recent success to the creative vision and design decisions of the souls team (as much as I, being an old fromsoft fan dislike that mentality) not in spite of it.

tl;dr - Your mindset as a capitalist consumer has lead to the argument that all games need to be targeted at all audiences and skill levels. Even regular "anti capitalist" commentators cannot see past this consumer mindset.
I’d say you’re on the ball.

I respect that some people are earnest in their desire for accessibility options in games.

But it’s clear to anyone taking a step back at the kind of arguments and rhetoric used in defending the demand for “easy modes” that “accessibility” is mostly an excuse.

Be honest with yourselves, guys. You feel left out that a super hard game series EVERYBODY loves is too hard to enjoy, so you want to both deride a vocal group of crappy purists to feel better about being left out, and campaign to make it accessible enough for you that you won’t be left out of the party in the future.

Obviously not everyone is arguing in bad faith, and the people who shout Git Gud like it makes them better then others are total A-holes, but let’s not pretend more people are using it like that then those who derid the culture triumphantly.

Play with cheats, watch a play through, or do anything you want to experience the game the way you like, that perfectly fine. Ask for more options for more people to enjoy it, including difficulty, that’s fine.

But reconsider the reasons you are doing this for. Understand the way you feel about this, and grow past a petty desire to just be in an “in-group” that you most likely recognize is already problematic. It’s not going to make you any happier to get this fed up over a popular game series when there are so many others that are amazing in their own way, and so many ways to experience it already.

Otherwise, you’re just going to keep getting in arguments, get further radicalized to garbage up discorse, and start fights over not being able to play a video game.
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,094
#43
Wouldn’t it just be easier to learn the game than get a leg-up at the start with an ‘ez mode’? The game is a lot easier than the Souls games once you learn it’s core concepts . . .
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,483
#45
If I was to make an easy mode for Sekiro, I would make it so the game factored in how many times a player died and restarted a particular battle. After X number deaths, player damage would decrease and damage output would increase. If they still struggle after that, I would lower or eliminate enemy unlockable attacks and adjust the damage input/output even further. Everything could reset to its base values after that until the player encounters another challenging fight and the process begins anew.
 
Apr 9, 2019
152
#48
If more games were like Dark Souls and From games I'd understand the many many posts about how From games need to be easier, but since there aren't that many already I don't really see the merit in so many complaints about how a single piece of entertainment media isn't "accessible" for everyone. It doesn't mean they've slighted anyone or hurt anyone. As most people who would defend easy mode not affecting other people's enjoyment would say, "It's just a game."

If they want to put an easy mode in? Sure fine.

On the other hand given people's normal inclination to take a path of least resistance, and the fact that anyone could argue anything is "too hard" or "bad for the game" (the example I always bring up is like BOTW's Durability and people believing it should be "patched") still becomes a circular argument. Too hard for anyone can be too easy for anyone and vice versa. He thinks that people won't be tempted by easy modes, but even in Souls people find the way to break the game or builds to make some encounters easier or get weapons before they're supposed to. Like with BOTW, if there was an unbreakable sword in the game people would go to it because there's no reason "not to" take the most efficient path. I think part of the brilliance of game design and interactive media is making you go out of your way or take on challenges you otherwise wouldn't.

In the end I'll never understand why so many people are so upset about difficulty and video game content to begin with. "Hardcore" gamers should leave people alone who want easy modes, and Easy mode people should (in my opinion) stop thinking that everyone who likes challenging content and likes being catered to in their niche as gatekeeping. I understand that's the point of a forum but I saw people even before I had an account go on many post long rebuttals with people when most people aren't going to change their minds on these things to begin with.

There's plenty of examples (even on this forum) of people being jerkish gatekeepers, sure, but there's clearly an audience for it and they enjoy being catered to, just like weebs like me enjoy anime aesthetics in gaming. I don't really consider it elitist to enjoy something catered to them (like "why are all these anime games anime), but that's a whole different can of worms.

Furi put in an easy mode, and while the game imo is best experienced on difficult I have no reason to shit on the devs for wanting to provide more people a means of experiencing the game. I think at this point people have more of a problem with the conversations surrounding the difficulty/mechanics than the actual question of easy mode itself. I see most the conversations devoted to labeling each other and name calling and I have to wonder how many more threads on this topic will be needed.

I don't like that the video makes it about anyone liking difficult games that are actually catering to their niche audience as "gatekeeping" or "Hoarding" games when there's SO FEW that actually try to cater to this group without bloated numbers and Damage sponges in "hard modes" in other games. I normally agree with everything Jim has to say, but I think there's a ton of nuance being missed in this video, just like it usually is when having a conversation about these topics.

Then the conversation of "this is why monetization" seems really farfetched as well. I'd argue that the Homegenization of a lot of game difficulties and tying everything to "RPG systems" of bloated numbers is why games like Sekiro and From games are so appealing to people, because while yes they have numbers, it's not avatar based difficulty that most games are taking so that you just "Grind" and/or pay money to get more strength. I say this as a huge fan of JRPGs, but shoving numbers into everything for arbitrary gates is some of the weakest game design I've seen, and yet it's becoming even more standard across the industry.

"If you like something you should want to share it" makes for a great bumper sticker, but some people just want to be able to have something "For them" at the end of the day and some media catering to that niche being told that "They need to change because other people don't like it" will naturally set everyone on the defensive. It's just like Jim said, it's a cycle that will continue so long as FromSoft Develops games and hard games have the audacity to be hard, but isn't helped by people reducing both sides of the argument to caricatures of themselves.