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A Difficult Subject (The Jimquisition)

Nov 3, 2017
5,710
This has nothing to do with the difficulty of a game, you're talking hardware. Should I play all my PC ports using an Xbox controller because that's how they were designed? I have a 1080ti and ultrawidescreen monitor at home, should I not hack Ace Combat 7 so I can take advantage of that? Not of this is intrinsically changing the game itself.
Control choice directly impact difficulty, it's not even arguable at this point.
That's why RE4 ended up way easier on Wii than originally made.
And if you're telling me the game isn't impacted by that, you haven't played the game at all.
Your example for AC7 could make the game significantly easier than originally designed since you have a much better view of the game than what the game was originally designed for after all.

Look, if you want to hack Sekiro to make it easier, that's on you, you could do that on PC. It's not up to the developer if they choose not to.
Whether or not From decides to add a difficulty setting or not is their prerogative, it's not a bad thing if they decide to add one and it's not necessarily a bad thing if they don't either.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,570
My problem with easy modes in games isn't the actual easy modes it's how pretty much every AAA game with an easy mode will harass you about it if you die more than 3 times (Capcom and Nintendo are the worst offenders). I play games to have fun, not to have some shithead game developer condescend to me.
That’s more of a design decision where the devs want you to first play the game on its intended difficulty, but offer an easy difficulty if they’re worried it’s becoming too frustrating.
 
Oct 30, 2017
852
No level grinding and no summoning.
Makes sense. But even so I think From said that this would be a departure from BB/Souls game, so I don't see why people would still enter this game with the same mindset, like From would really lie about something like that.

And even upon seeing how the combat mechanics are, why not just take it for what it is and just...adapt? Its NOT BB or Souls so why try to play it like that...even after they said NOT to?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,790
Yeah, pretty damn far off what Bloodborne and Sekiro are like

Also I get any criticisms about narrative and whathaveyou but "sluggish controls"? If anything the games are too responsive, your character often seeming like a mad puppet dancing to your moves
I felt like my character was lagging the whole time I played those games.

But my point with that comment is that I'm not some "couldn't get past the first boss lol" player like that idiot was saying. It's just not a real argument.
 
Apr 9, 2019
152
Apologies ahead of time as I'm a noob with the quoting system, here's hoping this works.

I think you completely misinterpreted what Jim was actually saying, he never said that ALL gamers that like a challenge are a elitist gatekeepers, Jim was taking aim at a very specific group of people that attack people for using cheats and mods to make games easier, he was not attacking people like you.
He is very specifically saying that anyone who wants a challenge should get over it when it comes to players wanting easier difficulties and how it supposedly doesn't affect them. It doesn't affect them directly, sure, but it does affect the medium for reasons I'll go into for your other point about homogenized difficulty. Jim is great, I love Jim, but I think he's doing the exact thing I talk about a lot and hyperbolizing the argument without looking at why people might feel the way they do about the medium/niche games, which I went into possible reasons why earlier.

It's not farfetched to me at all seeing how shitty big publishers are. I think it's only people on one side who are truly being asshats and that's the elitist assholes, I had one guy rage against me because I chose to exploit a glitch in that new Prey game(the infinite recycling glitch that allowed you to infinitely duplicate materials)those are the types of people Jim hates, not people like you. You need to stop taking every video like this as a personal attack.
That guy's an asshole, but anecdotal evidence aside, is irrelevant to the medium being discussed. That being said, nothing in my phrasing should have come off as "taking this as a personal attack." I apologize as I know text bias is a problem, especially in a topic as charged/heated as this one, but I didn't take this as an attack at all, simply commenting on the fact that he only seems to be really caring about one side of the argument.

I don't think difficulties are being "homogenized" at all, that sounds like a really silly argument. I liked how Shadow of the Tomb Raider had different difficulty sliders for things like exploration, combat and puzzles, i'd hardly call that homogeneous since most games just have binary "easy, normal and hard" difficulties.
One example does not a rule break. Majority of gaming these days is either shorter (your cinematic games) , or padded open world (Other games from big studios). I love BOTW's durability system, but the Master Mode was clearly not made with this in mind as it becomes a tedious grind dealing with the hp sponges and regenerating health in that game.

I believe majority of games are easy enough to be beat with little to no effort for a vast majority of people with even the slightest control of hand eye coordination, and that's fine because the gaming medium has become more accessible to more people as a result. A "Necessary evil" if you will in terms of the medium being more "hand holdy" to help with giving more people with less experience with gaming more room to breathe when going into it.

But the flipside to that is that MOST (not all) difficulty systems now are simply bloated HP values and/or ramped up bloated damage numbers, not only because most are built around "RPG" systems that are there for the sake of being there, but because the "accessibility" of gaming has made the "easy" the new "normal." While I myself couldn't care less as I'm more of a story guy myself, I'm not blind enough to pretend like gaming hasn't taken a huge dive in difficulty in a vast majority of cases and the difficulty settings present don't offer the people who want that difficulty a "good" option for difficulty.

And yet they are not constantly taking up threads to ask for hard modes for games and in fact most share the frustration of badly designed hard modes being simple bullet/damage sponges. I think that speaks more to the people who are thirsty for more difficult content. From games are rare examples where "Hard" is not just bloated time wasting hp inflation. Things like From Games and even DMC5 to an extent with its varied mob placement and changes in where enemies appear is interesting to people looking for difficulty because it presents something for them they just don't get out of other games. So when that has the potential (even if it's not a real threat) of being taken away from them, they are annoyed because it's telling them that the game they like should "reprioritize" to the ones who aren't into what they came to those games for.

Now does easy mode mean that hard mode would disappear? I'd argue Furi and Celeste say no, but there's a reasonable defense to be made about "bad difficulty modes" in gaming to lead people to believe what maeks those games "unique" could disappear if made to lean towards what other games already offered. Thus Homegenization.

I think it is you that is missing the nuance in this video, Jim clearly stated he would personally never use an easy mode in the From games and he's not demanding one.
I see his nuance, but I also see the same hyperbole I see in other posts about the subject. There's more to this argument than "it doesn't affect you" and "you're just gatekeeping." That's all I wanted to point out because that's what most people focus on and even in this thread sing praises about.

So what if people take he path of least resistance? Why should that bother you so much? Besides there's a simple way to fix that so that people are less tempted to switch to a lower difficulty-make it so that once you pick your difficulty at the start of the game, you can't lower it without starting a new game, that way if things get tough for you you'll be less tempted to switch to a lower difficulty.
I believe due to interactivity in gaming despite it being "entertainment" provides real feats of accomplishments for some people who like it. The same type of accomplishment people feel when playing personal sports or maybe doing puzzles/brain teasers in their free time. Games can test your brain in multiple ways and I think that different people come to gaming for different things.

I love JRPGs and strategy games because I love crunching numbers and figuring out the most efficient and interesting strategies to beat hard to defeat enemies. Other people love From games because it really tests their reaction times and maybe it lets them get a sense of accomplishment of overcoming something they don't get elsewhere.

The path of least resistance, at the risk of being meme'd out of existence, offers less for players and the medium as a whole. There's nothing wrong with it being there, or being offered. It's just when that's the standard and most games are so forgiving it provides nothing for an audience who seek out the difficulty and problem solving that maybe games of the past or certain smaller games provide them.

It's just when such a stink is raised when 1 game a year, out of all games, doesn't cater to that need I feel like the people who often tout the word "entitlement" don't understand how that argument can be used for anything. It doesn't bother me that there's an easy mode offered, in the slightest. I just see why people might be upset that the few games that actually scratch their itch might be defensive about the formula changing.

I do like your solution to being stuck on the difficulty and having to start over though, as it makes the player more engaged and has to make a decision if it's worth starting over just because ONE fight is too hard. Good idea.
 
Oct 30, 2017
4,691
Denmark
Would it still be a bastardization if the developers themselves put in an easier mode though? I disagree on that, and what about if people use mods to make it easier? I see nothing wrong with that.
If it's what they want, no. In some games, depending on its design I would consider it a flaw but most games are not attempting what Souls is doing and aim more for accessibility and generosity to pull the player through its enviroments whilist giving a sense of challenge.

I think in most games it is true that the real difficulty is found in the optional endgame content, as in Arkham games' AR Challenges or the big level 80 bosses in a Xenoblade game. Souls isn't all about the difficulty, but it is a big staple to give a set challenge that only works one way and the player has to get a proper grasp of the mechanics between themselves and NPCs to win.

It kind of feels like a PS2 era game but with a modern AAA budget to me, and I'm very happy we can get that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,076
Barnsley, UK
I’m not going to ask for an easy mode per say but what I will say is for any devs reading....

Please take into account that some of us have been gaming for a long time and we can’t all push buttons as rapidly or waggle sticks as furiously as we may have once being able to 20+ years ago.

Hell I’ve always hated having to roll the sticks to escape a stun lock or perform a QTE even when my hands could function normally.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,009
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?
Isn’t that what people are asking for in MP games when they ask for better matchmaking?
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,094
Control choice directly impact difficulty, it's not even arguable at this point.
That's why RE4 ended up way easier on Wii than originally made.
And if you're telling me the game isn't impacted by that, you haven't played the game at all.
Your example for AC7 could make the game significantly easier than originally designed since you have a much better view of the game than what the game was originally designed for after all.
This is a weird argument, it's like I shouldn't take advantage of whatever input and display I have available and I'm comfortable with. It's not changing the game itself at all, and it's my prerogative, since Namco couldn't be assed to add in a UW option for graphics. The game's difficulty hasn't changed at all. They did the same with Sekiro, no ultrawide, and I can tell you that hacking it for ultrawide doesn't change the experience one bit, save for the game looking better.

I had this experience with Doom 2016. I tried playing it on my TV with a xbox controller, and it felt unplayable, but I can zoom through it with m+kb. Is the game easier? Or are controllers just an inferior control scheme. The game is still the same.

Whether or not From decides to add a difficulty setting or not is their prerogative, it's not a bad thing if they decide to add one and it's not necessarily a bad thing if they don't either.
This I agree with. It's up to the developers, and I feel they shouldn't have to if they don't want to.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,832
As Jim said, what is so bad about a developer implementing an optional difficulty that you--the purist--will never ever be forced to play?
I suspect it boils down to "Time spent catering towards people who aren't me is time not spent catering to me". Which... I get the sentiment, and I can understand feeling nervous about it. But I'm okay with sharing!
 

plagiarize

Skinny Dipping in Cauldron Lake
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,645
Cape Cod, MA
Interesting how many posts in here just echo points already addressed in the video, like 'not all games are for everyone' or 'some people with disabilities beat Sekiro so therefor everyone with a disability could beat it if they wanted'.

From Software don't want to put in difficulty modes. That's fine. They can make the game they want, targeting the audience they want. I don't think that's a point that can be reasonably argued against. If they were forced, under duress, to add one in, I can't imagine it would be all that good. But I cannot wrap my head around the idea that when people who want an easy mode ask for one, that they are met with such venom. Are people afraid From Software might listen to them? If they did... so what?

So what I want to say, personally, is clearly you don't need to worry about From Software adding an easy mode to Sekiro. They haven't budged to such request for ten years.

So maybe stop getting so upset that some people want it.
 
Nov 3, 2017
5,710
This is a weird argument, it's like I shouldn't take advantage of whatever input and display I have available and I'm comfortable with. It's not changing the game itself at all, and it's my prerogative, since Namco couldn't be assed to add in a UW option for graphics. The game's difficulty hasn't changed at all. They did the same with Sekiro, no ultrawide, and I can tell you that hacking it for ultrawide doesn't change the experience one bit, save for the game looking better.
No one is saying you can't or shouldn't do that but you do understand that if the option is not provided it's hasn't been part of the vision of the developers.
That doesn't mean the game is worse because of it (but it can make the game easier, you have a wider field of view so you more easily assess some threats coming from the sides).

I had this experience with Doom 2016. I tried playing it on my TV with a xbox controller, and it felt unplayable, but I can zoom through it with m+kb. Is the game easier? Or are controllers just an inferior control scheme. The game is still the same.
The game is markedly easier with m+kb mechanically (controllers have to compensate with autoaim and all kinds of assist).
I would argue that the game is the same between m+kb/controller as it is with difficulty setups, enemies will die more easily and be more easily evaded in one case similarly with an easy mode.

This I agree with. It's up to the developers, and I feel they shouldn't have to if they don't want to.
Really it's more the prerogative of the publisher most of the time but really whether they add one or not is not something that will ruin the game either way.
 
Oct 25, 2017
173
So what I want to say, personally, is clearly you don't need to worry about From Software adding an easy mode to Sekiro. They haven't budged to such request for ten years.
Except the combat, everything else in Sekiro is much easier than any souls game. There's also a training mode and a tutorial for everything.

They do listen.
 
Dec 1, 2017
8
The difficulty issue for me boils down to people just not wanting to take the time to learn how to play the game. If you play video games, there is nothing about Sekiro that you can't do. Bosses that took me hours during my first playthrough took seconds in my next playthrough, because I stopped being so stubborn and finally stopped playing it like a typical action game.

If you want an easy mode because you've died 20 times in a row against the same boss; instead, take a step back and try different strategies. That fistful of ash that you keep finding tons of during the early game? The fact that it's the only item you can hold 10 of? That is the game telling you to USE IT. It works on almost every boss. Also, almost every boss has a weakness or a disadvantage against one of the shinobi tools; try all of them out on every boss until you find one that works. For people who say they're reflexes are too slow, the shinobi tools are there to slow the game down for you; that's literally all they do in most cases (stun/distract/hinder an enemy long enough for you to get hits in or catch your breath). If your timing on the unblockable attacks is bad, practice on the training dummy until you really get a handle on it.

The game bends over backwards to help you.
 
Aug 4, 2018
1,013
California
Mostly injecting my own thoughts here. Beyond "I mostly agree with Jim," I'm sure if I agree that if developers don't want an easy mode, they shouldn't feel obligated to include one. I kind of feel they do?

The truth of the matter, I'm not good at games. It probably is an autism thing where I'm generally too slow to process games in real-time (which, btw, is 100% related to the fact most of my favorites series--Pokemon, Fire Emblem, and Animal Crossing to name a few--don't require real-time combat). Even easy difficulties often give me a fair amount of challenge if they're real-time combat, like it's a thing ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. And if your response is "maybe you don't like real-time games?" the answer is no, I do enjoy them.

While part of me wants to say, "developers' game, their rules," when you have to go through a lot of life being unable to access what other people can, you have to question when is this okay? For example, recently Toys for Bob was called out for not including subtitles in their game, and I'm trying to figure out what exactly is different here? And yes, I am equating subtitles and easy modes because they're both tools made to help people be able to play the game where they might otherwise not be able to. And the thing with difficultly modes is they can keep the intended experience unchanged--you can always just not play on easy mode. You're adding options, not changing the DNA of the game. And for me, I'm struggling to see what artistic merit is lost by making your game more accessible.

By the end of the day, not being able to play Sekiro is whatever because it's hardly going to be the first game I had to skip because it seemed too risky a venture (albeit, Sekiro is a sore thumb in that regard), but the whole 'developers don't need to include an easy mode because it'll compromise their artistic' just always struck me as disingenuous. People provide all sorts of ad hoc excuses to deny accessibility, and I just don't how this is different.
 
Nov 7, 2017
413
The game has a bell you can ring that buffs enemies, and in NG+ you can choose to debuff yourself in combat a little by losing a certain item.

Why not have another bell, equally well hidden but perhaps before any main bosses, that debuffs enemies and/or an object that buffs the player

They can make an easy mode that still fits in their design style and lore, honestly
I feel this is the best one Ive seen so far
Everybody’s happy
I frankly don’t care about an easy mode. They can do it if they want to, its not like it would diminish my experience as a difficult game since I play these games for the challenge
 
Nov 6, 2017
1,609
Got to the part where someone actually said "beating Seikro is much more of an accomplishment then learning Elvish!". You know what neckbeard Gamer? It's also just as a useless/meaningless accomplishment as learning Elvish.
 
Apr 9, 2019
152
I feel this is the best one Ive seen so far
Everybody’s happy
I frankly don’t care about an easy mode. They can do it if they want to, its not like it would diminish my experience as a difficult game since I play these games for the challenge
I also like it because it "starts" the player at the "intended" difficulty mode that they might not have tried and/or might enjoy.

It also gives the player an attachment to the mode change. Just keep it early enough in the game after the tutorial where players are given a chance to learn mechanics but not too far that it would push players away.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,155
Well Jim wasn't good enough to beat it and he made a video saying he didn't like it much (despite loving previous FS games), so this isn't really surprising.

As far as I'm concerned, there's place for easy games and hard games (even though the ratio is like 9:1 for the ez games). Let From Software make the games they want to make without always bitching about easy mode, people finish their games using laggy voice commands and on guitars using feet, so once you put in the effort you will be rewarded, that's the core of FS games and they should stick to it.
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
Apologies ahead of time as I'm a noob with the quoting system, here's hoping this works.



He is very specifically saying that anyone who wants a challenge should get over it when it comes to players wanting easier difficulties and how it supposedly doesn't affect them. It doesn't affect them directly, sure, but it does affect the medium for reasons I'll go into for your other point about homogenized difficulty. Jim is great, I love Jim, but I think he's doing the exact thing I talk about a lot and hyperbolizing the argument without looking at why people might feel the way they do about the medium/niche games, which I went into possible reasons why earlier.



That guy's an asshole, but anecdotal evidence aside, is irrelevant to the medium being discussed. That being said, nothing in my phrasing should have come off as "taking this as a personal attack." I apologize as I know text bias is a problem, especially in a topic as charged/heated as this one, but I didn't take this as an attack at all, simply commenting on the fact that he only seems to be really caring about one side of the argument.



One example does not a rule break. Majority of gaming these days is either shorter (your cinematic games) , or padded open world (Other games from big studios). I love BOTW's durability system, but the Master Mode was clearly not made with this in mind as it becomes a tedious grind dealing with the hp sponges and regenerating health in that game.

I believe majority of games are easy enough to be beat with little to no effort for a vast majority of people with even the slightest control of hand eye coordination, and that's fine because the gaming medium has become more accessible to more people as a result. A "Necessary evil" if you will in terms of the medium being more "hand holdy" to help with giving more people with less experience with gaming more room to breathe when going into it.

But the flipside to that is that MOST (not all) difficulty systems now are simply bloated HP values and/or ramped up bloated damage numbers, not only because most are built around "RPG" systems that are there for the sake of being there, but because the "accessibility" of gaming has made the "easy" the new "normal." While I myself couldn't care less as I'm more of a story guy myself, I'm not blind enough to pretend like gaming hasn't taken a huge dive in difficulty in a vast majority of cases and the difficulty settings present don't offer the people who want that difficulty a "good" option for difficulty.

And yet they are not constantly taking up threads to ask for hard modes for games and in fact most share the frustration of badly designed hard modes being simple bullet/damage sponges. I think that speaks more to the people who are thirsty for more difficult content. From games are rare examples where "Hard" is not just bloated time wasting hp inflation. Things like From Games and even DMC5 to an extent with its varied mob placement and changes in where enemies appear is interesting to people looking for difficulty because it presents something for them they just don't get out of other games. So when that has the potential (even if it's not a real threat) of being taken away from them, they are annoyed because it's telling them that the game they like should "reprioritize" to the ones who aren't into what they came to those games for.

Now does easy mode mean that hard mode would disappear? I'd argue Furi and Celeste say no, but there's a reasonable defense to be made about "bad difficulty modes" in gaming to lead people to believe what maeks those games "unique" could disappear if made to lean towards what other games already offered. Thus Homegenization.



I see his nuance, but I also see the same hyperbole I see in other posts about the subject. There's more to this argument than "it doesn't affect you" and "you're just gatekeeping." That's all I wanted to point out because that's what most people focus on and even in this thread sing praises about.



I believe due to interactivity in gaming despite it being "entertainment" provides real feats of accomplishments for some people who like it. The same type of accomplishment people feel when playing personal sports or maybe doing puzzles/brain teasers in their free time. Games can test your brain in multiple ways and I think that different people come to gaming for different things.

I love JRPGs and strategy games because I love crunching numbers and figuring out the most efficient and interesting strategies to beat hard to defeat enemies. Other people love From games because it really tests their reaction times and maybe it lets them get a sense of accomplishment of overcoming something they don't get elsewhere.

The path of least resistance, at the risk of being meme'd out of existence, offers less for players and the medium as a whole. There's nothing wrong with it being there, or being offered. It's just when that's the standard and most games are so forgiving it provides nothing for an audience who seek out the difficulty and problem solving that maybe games of the past or certain smaller games provide them.

It's just when such a stink is raised when 1 game a year, out of all games, doesn't cater to that need I feel like the people who often tout the word "entitlement" don't understand how that argument can be used for anything. It doesn't bother me that there's an easy mode offered, in the slightest. I just see why people might be upset that the few games that actually scratch their itch might be defensive about the formula changing.

I do like your solution to being stuck on the difficulty and having to start over though, as it makes the player more engaged and has to make a decision if it's worth starting over just because ONE fight is too hard. Good idea.
I don't think he's being hyperbolic at all, Jim was specifically aiming at the obnoxious gamers that attack others for preferring to play on an easier difficulty, not everyone who likes a challenge. So no you are wrong there, he was not very specifically targeting you at all. I think one issue here is that people who love hard games get overly defensive and assume that every person making fun of elitist assholes is making fun of them, rest assured Jim isn't mocking you, that's just his style of humor. I've fallen into that trap too of getting overly defensive in the past and I know it's a hard one to break so I can sympathize.

The past of least resistance might offer less for you, but not for everybody, I use cheats on games sometimes and I never regretted it. For example when I finished Marc Ecko's Getting Up a few weeks ago, the last couple of levels were giving me some trouble and by that point my hands were getting sore from fighting enemies that took ages to go down, so I just said "fuck it" and put in the invincibility cheat for the last few levels, did that lessen my enjoyment of the game? Hell no, in fact there were some previous levels where I wished I had entered the cheat earlier instead of banging my head against a brick well(the one level with infinitely spawning CCK guards is one I really should've cheated to get past, as I got no satisfaction from beating it without cheats whatsoever).

Same with the GTA games before IV, I tried my best but there always came a brick wall in the form of a particularly annoying mission that was hard for all the wrong reasons and I had no choice but to use cheats if I wanted to actually finish the damn games, and even with cheats some missions were still hard as hell, so in that case I felt like I was just leveling the playing field to actually stand a fighting chance.

Personally I never got into JRPGs as I agreed with Yahtzee's criticism of them where they had a tendency to separate gameplay and story with an iron fence, plus they require a HUGE time investment which is frankly really intimidating to me, western RPGs like Fallout are long enough for my liking, hearing that stuff like the Xenoblade series is even more insanely long and drawn out is frankly more of a turn-off then a selling point to me. Number-crunching is not something I play video games to do as I suck at math in real life, so the last thing I want to when playing video games is feel like i'm doing homework(that's one reason why I don't touch grand strategy games like the Civilization series).

I think it's inaccurate to say that "most games" are easy, just because most games are easy for you personally does not mean that's the case for everybody. I don't know if there has been that big of a drop in difficulty, plus as others like Yahtzee have pointed out, that whole mentality for "old school" Nintendo hard difficulty originated with arcade games and the designers had an incentive to make those games as hard as possible to get as many people pumping quarters into them as humanely possible and that attitude carried over to console games as well and eventually after a few generations developers realized how outdated that mentality was thankfully. But there it was balanced out by the existence of things like Game Genie where people could make the games easier for themselves, since we don't have cheat codes anymore and you can't shortcut your way through console games anymore I feel like it's pretty balanced out.

There are actually a lot less shorter games now and more live-service games as Jim pointed out because publishers don't want to make games people can beat in a weekend after renting it, they want to make games that encourage you to log in every day. That's why i'm excited for Jedi Fallen Order, because linear single-player games have become so rare these days that's a breath of fresh air whenever one gets announced. I'm still expecting a catch cause EA, but i'll still play it.

Moviebob also did a much shorter video about this and he's even older then Jim and he did in fact grow up during the NES era, so you might want to listen to what he has to say:https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/2019/04/04/git-over-yurself/
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
1,030
This discussion got exhausting really fast, yet it's pretty interesting to think about.

Mostly, I just wish people would stop conflating accessibility features for disabled people with difficulty. These aren't always the same thing, they usually don't overlap at all with some exceptions for certain disabilities depending on the game.

If you're writing up your big treatise on why we need easy modes, please leave that out of your discussion. You're just using disabled people as a shield when you approach the topic this way.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,155
This discussion got exhausting really fast, yet it's pretty interesting to think about.

Mostly, I just wish people would stop conflating accessibility features for disabled people with difficulty. These aren't always the same thing, they usually don't overlap at all with some exceptions for certain disabilities depending on the game.

If you're writing up your big treatise on why we need easy modes, please leave that out of your discussion. You're just using disabled people as as shield when you approach the topic this way.
This is especially jarring whenever those discussions arise.
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
Well Jim wasn't good enough to beat it and he made a video saying he didn't like it much (despite loving previous FS games), so this isn't really surprising.

As far as I'm concerned, there's place for easy games and hard games (even though the ratio is like 9:1 for the ez games). Let From Software make the games they want to make without always bitching about easy mode, people finish their games using laggy voice commands and on guitars using feet, so once you put in the effort you will be rewarded, that's the core of FS games and they should stick to it.
No it has nothing to do with him not being good enough to beat the game, that's total bullshit, had you actually followed him on Podquisition you would've known that. Jim got decent enough at the game, but he simply was not having any fun with it because unlike other From games Sekiro does not really let you experiment with multiple play styles, you HAVE to be good at parrying and since parrying was something Jim never liked doing in DS, it made sense that he wouldn't get on with a game with a heavy-focus on parrying.
 
Aug 4, 2018
1,013
California
This discussion got exhausting really fast, yet it's pretty interesting to think about.

Mostly, I just wish people would stop conflating accessibility features for disabled people with difficulty. These aren't always the same thing, they usually don't overlap at all with some exceptions for certain disabilities depending on the game.

If you're writing up your big treatise on why we need easy modes, please leave that out of your discussion. You're just using disabled people as a shield when you approach the topic this way.
And telling people to leave disabled folks out of the discussion does what for those disabled folks? 🤔

I am a disabled folk whose frustration with games' difficultly is probably related to said disability (it's not always easy to tell with autism, but that's neither here nor there). Like, I'm sorry, but my issues do deserve to be part of the conversation. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
This discussion got exhausting really fast, yet it's pretty interesting to think about.

Mostly, I just wish people would stop conflating accessibility features for disabled people with difficulty. These aren't always the same thing, they usually don't overlap at all with some exceptions for certain disabilities depending on the game.

If you're writing up your big treatise on why we need easy modes, please leave that out of your discussion. You're just using disabled people as a shield when you approach the topic this way.
As someone with a disability myself, please don't try and use that lame "shield" argument, I heard enough of that in GG with that "not your shield" nonsense(which was largely made up by 4chan anyhow), frankly I do think there is some overlap between the two.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,155
No it has nothing to do with him not being good enough to beat the game, that's total bullshit, had you actually followed him on Podquisition you would've known that. Jim got decent enough at the game, but he simply was not having any fun with it because unlike other From games Sekiro does not really let you experiment with multiple play styles, you HAVE to be good at parrying and since parrying was something Jim never liked doing in DS, it made sense that he wouldn't get on with a game with a heavy-focus on parrying.
Early game can be pushed through simply by mashing guard, so I somehow doubt that he got decent, unless he showcased it I'm gonna remain unconviced.
 
Oct 25, 2017
173
You are the first person I've heard say this. So I'm going to take it as a matter of opinion and not demonstrably true.
I'm glad to explain with some examples:

- There's no stamina management
- Resurrection!
- You can run incredibly fast finishing a whole level in just seconds.
- You can pause the game
- Strong fellas can be killed with stealth
- Running from any fight is a piece of cake
- You don't die from falling
- No invasions
- Bonfires everywhere
- No traps, even if there's 2 or 3 you can just resurrect.
- You can block for a very long time
- No overwhelming rpg elements and the need to build properly
- No invisible walls
- Flasks for everything even for poison and burn
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
Oh no, i get that. It's probably not a smart comparison because of the huge difference in how one engages with a medium.

I think my general point was just to pull an example that didn't have the baggage that comes with the current debate.

Anyone can spend the same $$ and buy-in, but that doesn't mean the creators are obligated to work harder to please more imo. But i think maybe that's coming from my mindset. I don't really consider FROMSOFT a triple-A dev, and i never have. They've been thrust into a spotlight with the run-away success of a single formula, but they're still making games the same way they always have which is now creating friction.

Although, i'd much rather never come to an understanding and agreement on this point than see another dev become a design by committee share-holder pleasing pablum factory like ubisoft.

At the end of the day, i just believe that not all games are for all people, and that's generally fine as long as we're doing something to address physical accessibility issues. I am happy they at least have full controller customization, i think that goes a long way for many people.
I don't see anything wrong with Ubisoft games(well apart from the AC series anyways), at least they seem to actually treat their employees like actual human beings unlike a lot of devs, so if their games being similar means better treatment for their employees then fine by me, I like their formula anyways.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,030
And telling people to leave disabled folks out of the discussion does what for those disabled folks? 🤔

I am a disabled folk whose frustration with games' difficultly is probably related to said disability (it's not always easy to tell with autism, but that's neither here nor there). Like, I'm sorry, but my issues do deserve to be part of the conversation. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Of course you should be a part of the discussion. Everyone with disabilities, or who is particularly educated on the topic of how to make games more accessible, should be heard from in all contexts.

People who are simply saying "make the games easy, because disability?" aren't actually considering your particular need or anyone else's, though. They're making the assumption that making games outright easier is somehow core to accessibility, when that discussion should be about addressing specific needs in specific ways.

I don't think someone like Brolylegs, a competitive level player, wants fighting games to have one button combos or something, while many abled gamers make demands like that for entirely different reasons. Now, maybe there are disabled gamers who absolutely would like one button combos, either as a matter of need or a matter of taste, and obviously we should hear from them. What I think is in poor taste is when abled gamers try to conflate their own needs with those of disabled people writ large.
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
Early game can be pushed through simply by mashing guard, so I somehow doubt that he got decent, unless he showcased it I'm gonna remain unconviced.
Why would Jim lie about something like that though? That makes zero sense. He's been upfront several times that he's not that good of a gamer so I have zero reason to believe he's lying here, let's not try to invent nonsense conspiracy theories out of thin air please? I get enough of that on Reddit.

It has nothing to do with Jim being bad at the game, after all Jim was decent enough at the other From games yet in the past he's said he's not opposed to them getting easy modes either, so your logic does not hold any water.
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
Of course you should be a part of the discussion. Everyone with disabilities, or who is particularly educated on the topic of how to make games more accessible, should be heard from in all contexts.

People who are simply saying "make the games easy, because disability?" aren't actually considering your particular need or anyone else's, though. They're making the assumption that making games outright easier is somehow core to accessibility, when that discussion should be about addressing specific needs in specific ways.

I don't think someone like Brolylegs, a competitive level player, wants fighting games to have one button combos or something, while many abled gamers make demands like that for entirely different reasons.
Maybe you shouldn't try to act like you know exactly how all disabled gamers think, that comes off as more then a little bit arrogant.
 
Mar 25, 2019
66
My problem with easy modes in games isn't the actual easy modes it's how pretty much every AAA game with an easy mode will harass you about it if you die more than 3 times (Capcom and Nintendo are the worst offenders). I play games to have fun, not to have some shithead game developer condescend to me.
I wouldn't insult the devs, i'd take more aim at the publishers.
 
Nov 10, 2017
720
The thing is: to play the game you either own the game or get someone to borrow it. So, you have no way to measure if the game is too hard for you, since demos are a thing of the past. Then, if you ARE a customer, they owe you at least being listened to. I don’t get the pressure to silence every opinion pro-difficulty settings.

And just in case: I own Sekiro and the whole Soulsborne saga. I’ve finished all, and platinum’d 2. But Sekiro is just frustrating, tedious and plain not fun to me. But I fucking bought it and deserve to criticize it.
 
Oct 29, 2017
688
This discussion got exhausting really fast, yet it's pretty interesting to think about.

Mostly, I just wish people would stop conflating accessibility features for disabled people with difficulty. These aren't always the same thing, they usually don't overlap at all with some exceptions for certain disabilities depending on the game.

I know you said "usually don't"

As someone possibly on the border of having life long wrist issues (amongst other joints) I disagree, it's not a disability though it's just near endless pain when I try to do things with them for longer periods. I am starting to find I need to put stuff easier to have a nicer time - accessibility can cross in to difficulty, they are part and parcel of the general access and ease in to a game.

Being able to play is one thing, needing the skills and reflexes and pain free experience is another, but part of the same.

I have a problem that doesn't need accessibility features but can be helped from difficulty so I can slow my pace down, even writing this post is making the pain flare up. 3 months ago I wouldn't have written this at all. Difficulty settings can help me.

Side note, I should try playing on a controller for some games I guess. :P
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,030
Maybe you shouldn't try to act like you know exactly how all disabled gamers think, that comes off as more then a little bit arrogant.
I haven't made any judgement at all on what disabled gamers think except one (I think reasonable) assumption about a competitive player.

Abled gamers encouraging devs to make games easier to help disabled people play them, as if that addresses accessibility concerns, is unhelpful compared to hearing from disabled gamers to develop in-game tools and assistive hardware. I don't see that as a particularly controversial thing to say.

I'm not discounting things that could objectively make the game "easier," either. Things like slowing the game speed by a substantial amount are very helpful for some gamers. It makes it easier, sure, but that's besides the point. It's much more targeted to someone's needs than simply designing the same easy mode you would make for your abled audience. An easy mode that still requires about the same amount of inputs per second leaves that player in the cold just as much as the standard difficulty.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,257
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?
Even sillier is how any discussion about difficulty options (IN GENERAL ) in games (IN GENERAL) somehow turns into a discussion about difficulty options ONLY in From games.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,155
Why would Jim lie about something like that though? That makes zero sense. He's been upfront several times that he's not that good of a gamer so I have zero reason to believe he's lying here, let's not try to invent nonsense conspiracy theories out of thin air please? I get enough of that on Reddit.

It has nothing to do with Jim being bad at the game, after all Jim was decent enough at the other From games yet in the past he's said he's not opposed to them getting easy modes either, so your logic does not hold any water.
Well if he's not that good at games then I wouldn't really be so adamant about that "thin air".

Either way, it's just my personal opinion/belief, not really trying to convince you otherwise or concot some sort of grand conspiracy, just saying that unless I see some receipts I'll remain sceptical, that's it. I enjoy his content, however as far as his stance on easy mode goes it's one of those cases where our stance differs heavily.

There are books and movies that will pass over some people's heads due to their subject matter and I see nothing wrong with games being too difficult for your average consumer [be it hard action/platformer/puzzle games etc.]
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,341
This isn't an argument. It's just a condescending ad hominem.

I played Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 1. I didn't really like them. There's almost zero narrative, and the controls feel very sluggish. The difficulty was not a problem since DS difficulty (I haven't played Bloodborne or Sekiro, so this may have changed) is essentially just Simon Says where you just have to memorize attack patterns, and take attacks when you can. Maybe it's because I used to game AI like that all the time when I was a kid, I find it boring to do in these games when that's largely the point. Who knows.





Well, no, I disagree. As long as one keeps doing the thing being criticized, they'll be criticized for it. Do you think when ES6 comes out with some glitches that people will argue any criticism of that is entitlement? Would you argue that?
Glitches are a flaw. A difficulty setting is not.
There is also the question as to how you go about it. Saying you wish it had a easy mode is fine, starting to claim From has bad intentions or claim their design is bad without an easy mode is simply acting entitled.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,439
Switzerland
Good video and I think most of the discussion points were raised here.

Similarly, I wouldn't mind if FromSoftware (themselves) put in an 'easy mode' if it fits their project. But let's be honest, it would only come with sacrificing something else probably. I don't think FromSoftware would offer you easy, normal, hard at the outset. Difficulty is treated as part of a bigger whole in these games; it is part of the design and philosophy. Even such experiments like Messages, Summoning, World Tendency in Demon's Souls were born from this approach. Accepting the game 'as is' must have some merit. However, it's true that Sekiro gives you the least options to deal with things unlike Souls and even Bloodborne. It demands to play a very specific way. Maybe one approach would have given you free access to unlimited spirit emblems in storage? Who knows... But there's essentially nothing wrong with this. It's the kind of game they wanted to make.

Quoting it as "just a toy" like moviebob did the other day seems disingenuous here. It relegates looking at as just/only a product. Likewise, making demands (patch in an easy mode) seems arrogant and kind of unappreciative as well. The 'base' difficulty must have hours of playtesting behind it. Even if I can't/couldn't finish Sekiro, I'm glad of its existence 'as is' in the market, as daring to do things their own way. If I can't complete it 'that's fine'. I will walk away. I paid for the admission, in my eyes. It would be similar to walking out on a film I couldn't grasp.

How easy it could have been for Activision to add beads, gourd seeds, skill points and memories as microtransactions... that could have been the "easy mode" (and, ironically, the easiest and effective way to implement too). Because that's the norm for many projects. In short, I'm glad Sekiro being the game it is, not game we want it to be.

This entire debate has been a minefield...
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,603
The difficulty issue for me boils down to people just not wanting to take the time to learn how to play the game. If you play video games, there is nothing about Sekiro that you can't do. Bosses that took me hours during my first playthrough took seconds in my next playthrough, because I stopped being so stubborn and finally stopped playing it like a typical action game.

If you want an easy mode because you've died 20 times in a row against the same boss; instead, take a step back and try different strategies. That fistful of ash that you keep finding tons of during the early game? The fact that it's the only item you can hold 10 of? That is the game telling you to USE IT. It works on almost every boss. Also, almost every boss has a weakness or a disadvantage against one of the shinobi tools; try all of them out on every boss until you find one that works. For people who say they're reflexes are too slow, the shinobi tools are there to slow the game down for you; that's literally all they do in most cases (stun/distract/hinder an enemy long enough for you to get hits in or catch your breath). If your timing on the unblockable attacks is bad, practice on the training dummy until you really get a handle on it.

The game bends over backwards to help you.
Why does it matter why anyone wants the game to be easier? Whether you think the reason is valid is irrelevant. I'm pretty bad at Souls-like games. I'm currently playing through Sekiro and while I'm doing ok so far, I know I'll probably hit a wall at some point and won't be able to get past it. I went in knowing that and I'm ok with that. If there was an easy mode would I use it when I get stuck? Yes I would.

People are drawn to all kinds of different games. I prefer RPGs. I love getting into the numbers, planning attacks etc. For some people, that kinda shit would just cause their brain to glaze over. But if a really amazing rpg came out, one that even people that only play Madden and Fifa wanted to play, I'd be all for new modes to help the game be super inclusive. I want those that don't normally play my favorite kind of games, to get to experience them. And vice-versa. So I just can't understand how others wanna gatekeep. Not claiming you are, just in general. No matter how many of these threads pop up, I just never see any argument to make me change my mind.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,439
Switzerland
Miyazaki's solution to the difficulty debate? Add in difficulty options but they're only harder versions of the base game.
I thought that's already in Sekiro? Ring the giant bell at Senpou Temple. There's even a note next to it telling you not to ring it. I think item drop rate is increased to compensate (reminds me of Demon's Souls world tendency, a little bit).
 
Apr 9, 2019
152
I don't think he's being hyperbolic at all, Jim was specifically aiming at the obnoxious gamers that attack others for preferring to play on an easier difficulty, not everyone who likes a challenge. So no you are wrong there, he was not very specifically targeting you at all.
It's fine that you don't think that, but I think that, and it's fine for us to have different perceptions of his discussion. I'm not any more wrong than the person who perceives an insult as such when it's not intended to be an insult. As many on the forum say, the audience has a right to feel however they do about a piece of media. But I digress that is pointless to this discussion, again.

I think one issue here is that people who love hard games get overly defensive and assume that every person making fun of elitist assholes is making fun of them, rest assured Jim isn't mocking you, that's just his style of humor. I've fallen into that trap too of getting overly defensive in the past and I know it's a hard one to break so I can sympathize.
I'm glad that you sympathize. I'm not sure with what as I've stated time again that I can understand why people not myself like hard difficulties, and have reiterated I take no offense to either this video or your communication. I was merely putting out a critique in regards to the consistent rhetoric on the subject.

The past of least resistance might offer less for you, but not for everybody, I use cheats on games sometimes and I never regretted it.
Neat. I do too. I'm more of a story guy. I still don't dictate other gamer's experiences by my own. I will go out of my way to hack games and use cheats on PC because I don't have time for it. I'm not going to get mad if a game provides no avenue to do so or if I buy something on console. Different strokes for different folks aside, I'm not playing devil's advocate, I merely understand why a perspective of difficulty is enjoyed, something you seem to keep circling back to personal experience that is irrelevant to the discussion.

For example when I finished Marc Ecko's Getting Up a few weeks ago, the last couple of levels were giving me some trouble and by that point my hands were getting sore from fighting enemies that took ages to go down, so I just said "fuck it" and put in the invincibility cheat for the last few levels, did that lessen my enjoyment of the game? Hell no, in fact there were some previous levels where I wished I had entered the cheat earlier instead of banging my head against a brick well(the one level with infinitely spawning CCK guards is one I really should've cheated to get past, as I got no satisfaction from beating it without cheats whatsoever).
Again. Anecdote. Irrelevant to the audience who thrive and relish in difficult combat/engagements/gameplay. I'm glad those options exist for you. I also would not be mad if they didn't.

Same with the GTA games before IV, I tried my best but there always came a brick wall in the form of a particularly annoying mission that was hard for all the wrong reasons and I had no choice but to use cheats if I wanted to actually finish the damn games, and even with cheats some missions were still hard as hell, so in that case I felt like I was just leveling the playing field to actually stand a fighting chance.
Anecdote. "had no choice" is interesting because there's normally difficulty changes and stuff in games, something you yourself referenced previously, but again the argument of using cheats and/or hacks is not anything I'm arguing against. You like to cheat, as do I when I just want a good story, and that's fine. It's also fine if I have to watch a youtube video of a game to experience that same story because I don't own it or can't find a copy. There are always solutions to these problems. Whether or not they're solutions you enjoy is on you as a person.

Personally I never got into JRPGs as I agreed with Yahtzee's criticism of them where they had a tendency to separate gameplay and story with an iron fence, plus they require a HUGE time investment which is frankly really intimidating to me, western RPGs like Fallout are long enough for my liking, hearing that stuff like the Xenoblade series is even more insanely long and drawn out is frankly more of a turn-off then a selling point to me. Number-crunching is not something I play video games to do as I suck at math in real life, so the last thing I want to when playing video games is feel like i'm doing homework(that's one reason why I don't touch grand strategy games like the Civilization series).
Irrelevant to the discussion. Citation of Youtubers as well has no bearing on the conversation. Again, another example of coming at this conversation from only your perspective while ignoring why people might have issue with it. You don't like JRPGs, I do. I could make a whole thesis about how people who don't like JRPGs have made JRPGs try to chase other audiences like FFXV with its terrible combat, but that's a tangential argument that isn't worth getting into. I'm glad you know your likes and dislikes. Other people love that stuff.

I think it's inaccurate to say that "most games" are easy, just because most games are easy for you personally does not mean that's the case for everybody. I don't know if there has been that big of a drop in difficulty, plus as others like Yahtzee have pointed out, that whole mentality for "old school" Nintendo hard difficulty originated with arcade games and the designers had an incentive to make those games as hard as possible to get as many people pumping quarters into them as humanely possible and that attitude carried over to console games as well and eventually after a few generations developers realized how outdated that mentality was thankfully. But there it was balanced out by the existence of things like Game Genie where people could make the games easier for themselves, since we don't have cheat codes anymore and you can't shortcut your way through console games anymore I feel like it's pretty balanced out.
More citation of Youtubers and an argument/observation that revolves around nothing but your own experience and/or background information. It's great that you understand why games were nickel takers back in the day but people like that difficulty, regardless of the reasoning. Again, a point that has zero relevance to the audience who enjoy From games and others for difficulty and challenge.

There are actually a lot less shorter games now and more live-service games as Jim pointed out because publishers don't want to make games people can beat in a weekend after renting it, they want to make games that encourage you to log in every day. That's why i'm excited for Jedi Fallen Order, because linear single-player games have become so rare these days that's a breath of fresh air whenever one gets announced. I'm still expecting a catch cause EA, but i'll still play it.

Moviebob also did a much shorter video about this and he's even older then Jim and he did in fact grow up during the NES era, so you might want to listen to what he has to say:https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/2019/04/04/git-over-yurself/
It's great to cite a bunch of wikis and background information on "this is why games were designed that way" but it pretty blatantly ignores my discussion of "Here's why gamers like hard difficulty" and instead goes with the same attempt of responding with anecdotes and your own personal views on the subject.

I cheat and use level skips all the time. I'm here for the story, as previously discussed. I also can understand (like most would expect) why people who enjoy difficulty and don't like the way difficulty has been "nerfed" for gaming in recent years feel the way they do. It doesn't matter "Why" it just matters that people can faceroll through games and when they go for a challenge those "difficulty modes" are typically poorly designed, thus them defending the good examples like From and Cuphead and the like.

Good discussion, but with the over citation of youtubers, some of which I blatantly disagree with like Moviebob, I'm going to agree to disagree and bow out on that one. We seem to be speaking past each other and I don't think we'll come to an agreement. Honestly we all have better things to do than go back and forth on a topic about things we're not going to change our mind on. Cheers.