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A Difficult Subject (The Jimquisition)

Oct 25, 2017
25,595
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).
No no. Now if you die it deletes your save.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,327
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
Not that I need an easy mode (going into my fourth playthrough with only three achievements left), but one very useful 'easy mode' I could imagine for Sekiro is a mode that makes the deflect window bigger or even make deflects automatic if you block (which would be the very easy mode, comparable with how Rock Band 4 and Lego Rock Band had an 'automatic kick pedal' mode).

Of course this would impact achievements (disabling them or restricting them), but it's not that hard to imagine things to make Sekiro easier for people who might have a difficult time.
 
Oct 25, 2017
666
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.]
There are books that will go over people's heads due to their subject matter but they're made accessible by translating into multiple languages, audiobooks for dyslexic people or people who just don't have time to read and for classic books, there's often commentaries to help a modern reader understand things that are culturally unique to when the story was originally told. Should those people just git gud or is attempting to make the experience accessible to as much people as possible only a good thing?
 
Aug 4, 2018
1,013
California
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.
I get people often have selfish reasons for bringing up disabled folks. But at the same time, if the only people allowed to open the discussion to how disability/gaming intersect are disabled (or "well educated") folks themselves, that just stymies the discussion.

I'm not in the mood to beat around the bush. Your statement comes across as rather than engaging how disabled folks are impacted form decisions like Sekiro's lack of easy mode, you'd rather just not have the conversation in the first place under the pretense that most people are bringing it up in bad faith anyway. And like, this is a conversation that needs to happen anyway, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. As long as people aren't speaking for me or people like me (but it's fine if they advocate--big difference), I really don't see what the issue is.

By comparison, when GameFreak pointed out that Let's Go was going to force motion control or Toy for Bob defended not including subtitles in Spyro, and abled folks immediately understood how disabled folks were impacted, I don't remember "well, if you're not disabled, it doesn't imapct you, don't bring it up unless you are disabled" ever in those conversations. Why is it suddenly different with difficultly settings?
 
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Mar 25, 2019
60
Modern one-player games having an easy mode or casual mode (whatever you want to call it) is one of my favorite things about this era of gaming. I bought Spider-Man for PS4 a few months back and was kind of regretting it because I just don't have the time to put into getting killed by a boss 100 times, for instance, before I can proceed with the story. I was thrilled to find a casual mode. Same with God of War! I would not have been able to enjoy these games otherwise.

Look, I grew up during the NES era. I have lots of warm fuzzy nostalgia for those types of games. The best of them were far from perfect. Video Games are supposed to be a source of joy! Why would you insist that someone else have to suffer just because you happen to have better eye-hand coordination? Especially if there are no leaderboards (or at least leaderboards separated by difficulty modes)?
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,155
There are books that will go over people's heads due to their subject matter but they're made accessible by translating into multiple languages, audiobooks for dyslexic people or people who just don't have time to read and for classic books, there's often commentaries to help a modern reader understand things that are culturally unique to when the story was originally told. Should those people just git gud or is attempting to make the experience accessible to as much people as possible only a good thing?
better accessibility does not automatically mean lower difficulty

and if somebody needs a commentary to understand something, then it's equally true for games, there's walkthroughs, guides etc.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,790
Glitches are a flaw.
Okay, so how about the melee combat? People have criticized that in ES games for years. Have we gotten to the point where that becomes entitlement, because as you say, the argument has been made "over and over again?"

claim their design is bad without an easy mode is simply acting entitled.
It's all part of design. Come on now, what part of a game isn't design? All things in a game are fair game to be criticized.
 
Oct 25, 2017
666
better accessibility does not automatically mean lower difficulty

and if somebody needs a commentary to understand something, then it's equally true for games, there's walkthroughs, guides etc.
I am willing to concede that let's plays and stuff do cover for some accessibility although I'm not sure it's the best solution.

In terms of equating accessibility and difficulty. Well, video games are an interactive medium and accessibility should be defined in the roadblocks that prevent a person from interacting with it. And not able to get further in because you just can't get past anything is inaccessible to some people. It really diminished the value of Soulsborne games down to their difficulty. There's plenty world design, level design, lore and atmosphere to enjoy that someone not good at games could still very well enjoy without the difficulty.
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,341
Okay, so how about the melee combat? People have criticized that in ES games for years. Have we gotten to the point where that becomes entitlement, because as you say, the argument has been made "over and over again?"



It's all part of design. Come on now, what part of a game isn't design? All things in a game are fair game to be criticized.
The melee combat in ES is bad. Hence the critizism. There is nothing bad about the difficulty in FROM games. If the games where unbalanced or unfair you could level that as a critique, but the issue is that they are extremely fair and welltuned to that it is possible to learn and beat the encounters. There are plenty of games that are difficult by being unfair, the From games are different.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,623
I am willing to concede that let's plays and stuff do cover for some accessibility although I'm not sure it's the best solution.

In terms of equating accessibility and difficulty. Well, video games are an interactive medium and accessibility should be defined in the roadblocks that prevent a person from interacting with it. And not able to get further in because you just can't get past anything is inaccessible to some people. It really diminished the value of Soulsborne games down to their difficulty. There's plenty world design, level design, lore and atmosphere to enjoy that someone not good at games could still very well enjoy without the difficulty.
A number of those aspects are also seen as working well in part because of the difficulty as well.

But I'm not sure if that should even matter. All games come as a package that includes what it includes and doesn't what it doesn't. There are a multitude of games that people would play were it not for a specific aspect they find undesirable. If the argument doesn't work there regarding admirable individual elements why does it matter now?
 
Oct 27, 2017
869
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.
Between normal, demon bell, and as I understand it seven stacks of NG+, there are currently nine different difficulty modes in the game. Yes, it would have taken work and balancing to do an easy mode and something would have had to have been cut, but I don't think it would've ruined the game for many people if NG+ only stacked to five.
 

Professor Beef

YOU WANNA GO DUMB, I'LL GO DUMB WITH YOU
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
8,617
The Digital World
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 completely agree with you, and this has mostly been my own take from the get-go.
 
Oct 25, 2017
666
A number of those aspects are also seen as working well in part because of the difficulty as well.

But I'm not sure if that should even matter. All games come as a package that includes what it includes and doesn't what it doesn't. There are a multitude of games that people would play were it not for a specific aspect they find undesirable. If the argument doesn't work there regarding admirable individual elements why does it matter now?
I agree that the difficulty is additive to those things for me and you apparently and a number of other people. But worrying about the "pure" experience and not wanting people who can't handle the "pure" experience to not even be allowed a "lesser" experience is just a way of locking people out; people who could still very much enjoy the thing.

I can't really address your second point because you say the argument doesn't work there without referring to anything specific but I think you're saying is that anyone could like anything if we change it enough to be like something they like. Which yea, sure. But there's differences in tastes and then there is differences in accessibility. Now which one does difficulty fall into? Both. I love difficulty in games, I enjoy The Last of Us for example on harder difficulties way more than on the medium and easy difficulty. It's additive to my experience in the gameplay department because I find it more engaging and it is additive to my experience with the story because it helps me connect with how hard the characters have to fight to survive. So in that case, difficulty is a matter of taste. But it is also a factor in accessibility. It can just be in the way of people interacting with the medium. Adding options like The Last of Us takes nothing away from my experience but adds so much more to those who can't play the game without them.

And ultimately, I just want to encourage more options. That's why I don't like your point about people playing things if not for a specific aspect they find undesirable because more options is always a good thing. It may not be realistic for developers to add an option to every conceivable aspect of a game as they don't have unlimited resources and time to do everything and I don't think they should be forced against their will to put it in either. But putting more options that allow more people the ability to actually interact with your game should always be encouraged and lauded when done well. Take Assassin's Creed: Origins for example. I love that there's a super hard mode in that game because I always felt that series was a bit too easy and it allowed me to engage further with the new RPG mechanics they put in the game. I also absolutely love that there's a mode that just allows you to wander around Ancient Egypt with a tour guide and look at the gorgeous art. It's awesome. It's an option that adds value to the game.
 
Oct 29, 2017
572
My favorite Jim video ever. Developers are perfectly free to make games as difficult as they want. Ppl have every right to complain about this difficulty, but they're not entitled to an easier game if the developer doesn't want it to exist.

If a developer decides to include an easier mode, then who really cares? It has zero impact on those who want to play a game on higher difficulty levels.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,311
USA
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.
Framing this as a capitalist venture motive is missing the mark for people who are still advocating for accessibility.

Now, I get that not every game has to be for everyone, but I also think it is important to advocate for urging developers to consider a wider base of skill levels in any of their games by being aware of the parameters of the game's design that give a game its level of challenge and by giving users access to those parameters to fine tune to their own enjoyment. Basically, in an ideal scenario, the game basically has a menu similar to a debug menu that can alter parameters within the game's design to the user's liking -- both up and down. Still provide a "Normal" mode that is basically the "intended" way to play, but also provide options.

For one, I don't think this is a big ask. The "intended" way is still present, and the user can do whatever they want anyway. It, in my eyes, never dilutes a game to let the user determine how they approach it. The intent is nice, having a curated method of play is nice, but I don't think it's necessary when you're just looking at a game as entertainment. I do not think a sense of accomplishment achieved via difficulty in videogames is sacred, and maybe that's really the center of this ongoing debate. Yes, it did help me once, but I would still encourage anyone to experience Dark Souls for themselves -- if they need mods to hack it, so be it. I think the game has a lot more intrigue and artistic merit beyond just the sense of accomplishment from its gameplay that is worthwhile to experience.

It's also not about the game's success and sales metrics and shit. It's just about enjoying a video game, an inherent entertainment product. Difficulty as intended design is nice, and I even credit Dark Souls for literally pulling me up out of a deep depression in 2011 thanks to the sense of accomplishment I derived from it, but for fucks sake at the end of the day, there is plenty to like about Dark Souls or most well-put-together games that goes beyond just overcoming a challenge. Let the user decide what the threshold is for them. Be smart enough to know exactly what parameters contribute to that "normal"/"intended" mode's sense of challenge and then give users access to those parameters to customize.

I am personally able-bodied and able-minded. I can handle and I do enjoy Sekiro. I do not believe that FromSoft being acutely aware of what makes their game tick and then opening those elements to users to cater to their own needs undermines their core design goals or my experience as someone who would willingly opt for a "normal" or "curated" playthrough. It didn't do that in Celeste, and I don't think it would do that there, and I don't think that the normal mode's sense of accomplishment is sacred enough to prevent people from having fun any way they wish with the game. There is no dilution to speak of.

Please note that while I strongly believe in this from an accessibility perspective, I also don't think that games should be designed with conceits for everyone. Someone tried to "slippery slope" right down to an example of someone not having operational hands just because the poster they quoted provided a theoretically physically-challenged person that lacked the same level of mobility in their fingers as an able-bodied person as an example. There is hardware that can largely overcome their input needs, but there is still a barrier of reaction time. That person might still find Sekiro just as gratifying and challenging and accomplishing to get through if they could alter the game speed, for instance, but it seems like most people want to just slippery slope right down to "that person lacks operational hands, does every designer have to go that far?" No. No they do not, and that's seriously not what we're trying to say here. Sekiro is not a difficult game to scale if you just modify its gameplay parameters. Yes, altering those parameters as an able-bodied person does make it a different experience than the "intended" mode, but such a relatively simple ability to adjust that parameter to someone who is maybe not quite as able-bodied could make the experience largely as gratifying. That's the advocacy here, not "every game is for everyone." Yes, every game is for everyone would be goddamn amazing, but that's not really what we're getting at here.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,623
I agree that the difficulty is additive to those things for me and you apparently and a number of other people. But worrying about the "pure" experience and not wanting people who can't handle the "pure" experience to not even be allowed a "lesser" experience is just a way of locking people out; people who could still very much enjoy the thing.
It's not a matter of not wanting or wanting people to enjoy anything. It's out there for them to do as they wsh with it and nothng you or I could do will stop them. But modding aside, and I have no issue with modding as what you do with what you bought is your business (except when you use it to diminish or sabotage another player's experience), what we've got is what we've got and if those who make that decision decided "Nope, intended experience or nothing" not really much we can do.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,790
The melee combat in ES is bad. Hence the critizism. There is nothing bad about the difficulty in FROM games.
These are your opinions. These are not facts. People disagree with you. That's why they level these criticisms.

Trying to shut them up isn't an argument. It's quite the opposite!
 
Oct 25, 2017
666
It's not a matter of not wanting or wanting people to enjoy anything. It's out there for them to do as they wsh with it and nothng you or I could do will stop them. But modding aside, and I have no issue with modding as what you do with what you bought is your business (except when you use it to diminish or sabotage another player's experience), what we've got is what we've got and if those who make that decision decided "Nope, intended experience or nothing" not really much we can do.
You're denying the importance of criticism and feedback if you just want us to shrug our shoulders about anything we think can improve in games.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,311
USA
Would the Nintendo Battletoads be as iconic if it hadn't been so hard?
Difficult to say -- I know I kept persisting with the game because I liked the 90's-cartoon-looking visuals and expressions of the toads and the arcade beat-em-up gameplay design was familiar and comfortable at the time. I do also remember it being hard, but wanting to see the end wasn't why I kept playing it as a kid -- I just liked how 90's quirky and relateable it seemed at the time. I just looped the first 2 or 3 stages over and over and over.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,623
You're denying the importance of criticism and feedback if you just want us to shrug our shoulders about anything we think can improve in games.
I'm just open to seeing a pattern of behavior rather that acting like each new game happened in a vacuum. It makes no sense at this point to think that because we had this conversation again the next one will be the souls game with a difficulty slider. I think they'll put an easy mode in a game when they feel the design allows for an easy mode in the game.

Also not everyone sees it as an improvement either so there's that to contend with.

And yes, on some level I am denying the importance of feedback, because companies will create what they want to create and will do so for their own reasons. How many entire games have we seen that smell like cash grabs now? How many beloved IPs have been debased? But sure, feedback. The only feedback that seems to work is the feedback on the monetary kind, or lack thereof rather. And this one seems to be doing fine.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,257
It's quite clear that it's not that Sekiro can't have an easy mode. If Fromsoftware wanted they could add it by rebalancing the game and adding options. The problem is:they don't want.
 
Oct 25, 2017
666
I'm just open to seeing a pattern of behavior rather that acting like each new game happened in a vacuum. It makes no sense at this point to think that because we had this conversation again the next one will be the souls game with a difficulty slider. I think they'll put an easy mode in a game when they feel the design allows for an easy mode in the game.

Also not everyone sees it as an improvement either so there's that to contend with.

And yes, on some level I am denying the importance of feedback, because companies will create what they want to create and will do so for their own reasons. How many entire games have we seen that smell like cash grabs now? How many beloved IPs have been debased? But sure, feedback. The only feedback that seems to work is the feedback on the monetary kind, or lack thereof rather. And this one seems to be doing fine.
How is wanting developers to respond to feedback acting like each new game happened in a vacuum? I would almost say that's the complete opposite. But sure, yes, we having this conversation won't change much but it just goes along with my viewpoint that more options should be encouraged. Regardless of what From does, the fact that this is such a hot topic issue will show developers that more accessibility options are a thing wanted in video games. And things would never change if these things weren't encouraged. Colour blind options would have never been added into games if people didn't keep bringing it up for example. And although you may share the viewpoint that difficulty and accessibility shouldn't be conflated, there's of course people who do and want to encourage more options in every game so we keep talking about it. You are, of course, free to disagree but the reason I keep responding is because I want others to see why this stuff is important to others even if yes, us having this conversation here isn't going directly to Miyazaki's eyes and totally influence the designs of the next game.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,225
Cory Barlog wants God of War to be accessible and for everyone to be able to experience the story, and we're all on board with that.

Miyazaki wants the game to be the same for everyone regardless of ability and to have the same bar that must be reached to pass its tests, and we have to respect that too.

The "this game should be made for me too" attitude is stepping dangerously close to entitlement at this point.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,172
Finland
I'm kinda with Derek Yu on this one:

I think having it marked clearly what is the "intended" difficulty setting clears up some of that confusion. Or having something like Celeste assist mode, it definitely leaves no questions how the game was "intended" to be played. What is the "right" one for each invidual of course varies, so having this be adjustable during the game can be a solution. Just like the assist mode in Celeste is available at any time in the settings. With assist mode everyone starts with the same settings, it's not until the person feels the need for adjustments they open the settings up. They aren't forced to choose.

Edit: Actually Derek Yu even complimented the devs about this.
 
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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 a great post.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,311
USA
Cory Barlog wants God of War to be accessible and for everyone to be able to experience the story, and we're all on board with that.

Miyazaki wants the game to be the same for everyone regardless of player abililty (and this includes disabilities) and to have the same bar that must be reached to pass its tests, and we have to respect that too.

The "this game should be made for me too" attitude is stepping dangerously close to entitlement at this stage.
The "this game should be made for me too" feels almost entirely like a Red Herring that's been imagined up by people missing the point. It's creating a narrative of hardline demand that... Kind of doesn't exist.

The actual argument that pro-accessibility folks like myself are trying to make is "developers should consider this more and we would argue that it won't harm anything, not even their intention, by implementing more options within their games."

It's not "SEKIRO NEEDS AN EASY MODE RIGHT NOW AND THE DEVELOPER HAS COMMITTED A BIGOTED ACTION BY NOT CONSIDERING OR IMPLEMENTING IT."

It's more like "I see what the developer went for here but maybe next time we might be able to onboard more folks by giving them more options to scale it to their level of play."

Is the difference apparent by that example? People are feeling like the former is what's being said when it's really the latter. If the difference isn't apparent, then I think that's where the tension of the ongoing discussion is coming from.

When a game that carries infamy for its difficulty releases, it is always a good time to bring up the push. It's not trying to "fix" a game that's already out there, it's just trying to prop a current game up as an example that might be improved next go around. It's not an entitlement thing, really, it's just an urge (and often a passionate one) that is suggesting that developers give players options to alter the parameters of gameplay design to suit a larger (but not necessarily all-encompassing) audience.

If we need games as examples that were both very challenging by their intended design but also provided alterations to their design parameters that increased accessibility, look at Celeste and Devil May Cry 5.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,623
How is wanting developers to respond to feedback acting like each new game happened in a vacuum? I would almost say that's the complete opposite.
Simple, we've not only seen the decision 6 times now, but the same defense of it. We've seen the same logic for adding the mode repeatedly ignored or at the very least overruled by their desires. There's nothing new. No new twist. No grand observation that tips the argument somehow. I guess I just don't see the hope that this incarnation of the debate will run any differently. And now the truly vitrolic git gud'ers have fresh fuel for their trollish fire.

Seems like such a waste of a fight.

Or maybe I'm just tired from the argument that came of the Kotaku article thread.

But sure, yes, we having this conversation won't change much but it just goes along with my viewpoint that more options should be encouraged.
In what way are they discouraged currently? What actual issue is this working against in the case with the focus on these games? Do people actually think a reduction is choice is a self fulfilling decision? That they do it for the point of having less choice? I ask because otherwise the argument of choice seems misguided. No one's trying to deny it (well, except maybe a few who genuinely don't want people playing certain games but I'm more conviced than ever we're dealing with a vocal minority in that group than ever). The denial is a result of another decision process and just saying, "there should be more choice" doesn't even begin to look in the same direction of the actual problem.

Regardless of what From does, the fact that this is such a hot topic issue will show developers that more accessibility options are a thing wanted in video games. And things would never change if these things weren't encouraged. Colour blind options would have never been added into games if people didn't keep bringing it up for example. And although you may share the viewpoint that difficulty and accessibility shouldn't be conflated, there's of course people who do and want to encourage more options in every game so we keep talking about it. You are, of course, free to disagree but the reason I keep responding is because I want others to see why this stuff is important to others even if yes, us having this conversation here isn't going directly to Miyazaki's eyes and totally influence the designs of the next game.
Actually, my disagreement here is that colorblindness options didn't come about because people wanted easy modes in souls games. It's because people asked for colorblindness modes in games.The conversation of specific options and how they could be implemented should probably stand on it's own rather than obfuscate itself by hiding in the shadow of cals for From games to have easy modes yet again. The entire reason for this back and forth is that simple need to conflate the 2 arguments of purposeful design and developer choice vs the quest fr near perfect accessibility. Colorblindless/button remapping/custom controller support/better subtitle control/etc all get lost because now it's about Sekiro.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
1,509
Seattle
Honestly every point I would have made has been regurgitated to death in so many threads that my only takeaway from this video is a simple one.

I fully approve of this message. Also learn to have fun, just do what you enjoy.
 
Oct 27, 2017
243
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 love to see matchmaking that isn't predicated on age, or some kind of skill level (like Halo's old system), or even a performance metric (e.g., wins, losses, kill/death ratio),, but is simply associated with the number of hours you have played the game. That's all I want - the occasional ability to play with people who have invested a similar amount of time into the game as I have.

I probably would only use it part of the time, because I want to learn from people who are much more experienced, but for me the biggest frustration is in simply going against people who have way more time on task than I could ever afford to put into a game. When I can afford to invest a lot of time into a game, it levels the playing field considerably, but I just don't have that kind of time anymore (yet I don't want to concede competitive online play entirely).

Granted, this is far and away the very definition of a "first-world problem."
 
Oct 25, 2017
666
Simple, we've not only seen the decision 6 times now, but the same defense of it. We've seen the same logic for adding the mode repeatedly ignored or at the very least overruled by their desires. There's nothing new. No new twist. No grand observation that tips the argument somehow. I guess I just don't see the hope that this incarnation of the debate will run any differently. And now the truly vitrolic git gud'ers have fresh fuel for their trollish fire.

Seems like such a waste of a fight.

Or maybe I'm just tired from the argument that came of the Kotaku article thread.



In what way are they discouraged currently? What actual issue is this working against in the case with the focus on these games? Do people actually think a reduction is choice is a self fulfilling decision? That they do it for the point of having less choice? I ask because otherwise the argument of choice seems misguided. No one's trying to deny it (well, except maybe a few who genuinely don't want people playing certain games but I'm more conviced than ever we're dealing with a vocal minority in that group than ever). The denial is a result of another decision process and just saying, "there should be more choice" doesn't even begin to look in the same direction of the actual problem.



Actually, my disagreement here is that colorblindness options didn't come about because people wanted easy modes in souls games. It's because people asked for colorblindness modes in games.The conversation of specific options and how they could be implemented should probably stand on it's own rather than obfuscate itself by hiding in the shadow of cals for From games to have easy modes yet again. The entire reason for this back and forth is that simple need to conflate the 2 arguments of purposeful design and developer choice vs the quest fr near perfect accessibility. Colorblindless/button remapping/custom controller support/better subtitle control/etc all get lost because now it's about Sekiro.
I don't see it as a waste of a fight because I'll always want to encourage more options.

I suppose the way you could see them as being discouraged is them just not thinking about the importance of an easy mode. Now you say that they have thought about it and have decided against it which is probably true but people will continue to bring it up every time they release a game because they still think it's important regardless if From will ever heed it. Also there is active discouragement from the fanbase, it's why these threads always get so big. Although the time that Miyazaki claimed he thought about an easy mode was a mistranslation, this article claims there was an uproar from fans afterwards and then the Metro quote claims that was a good thing. There is plenty discouragement.

I actually don't really disagree with your last point. It is a little unfair that From and their games keep getting dragged into these conversations; I'm not gonna claim that they're ableist because they don't have an easy mode. But they're mainstream games that are notorious for their difficulty. The conversation is gonna come up, it is inevitable. Maybe they shouldn't have had so much edgy lame ass "Prepare to die" taglines attached to their games if they didn't want people discussing the difficulty. And yes, we won't agree about an easy mode in these games being the same as accessibility and I certainly don't agree with the sanctity on the pure purposeful design argument because there are so many layers in between a creator's design and the way it's interacted with. Even if the accessibility conversation is unfair to From games, it constantly happening will show how important it is to many people and other developers will take note, even if From never will.
 
Mar 25, 2019
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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'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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.
I fail to see how any of these things have "no bearing" on the discussion, sounds like they have plenty of bearing to me.

It's not ignoring anything, I already know why gamers like hard difficulty and Jim was not disparaging that notion in any way.

I don't think difficulty has been nerfed nearly as much as people think it is. Whether difficulty modes in certain games are poorly designed is only your opinion, not an indisputable fact.

Nothing I talked about was in any way irrelevant, I think you just don't like admitting when you're wrong.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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His take on the jimpression about Sekiro was great and his take in this one is as well.

From shouldn't put an easy mode in Sekiro if that is what they wanted to create and i have expressed as such in this forum. But i'm also perfectly fine with people modding their game to make it easier for them and if From decided to put an easy mode in their next game i will not be against it except if they are forced to.
 
Mar 25, 2019
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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.
What about gamers who are disabled advocating for it? I do have a disability so I think I have at least some authority to speak on this.
 
Mar 25, 2019
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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.]
It is thin air though, it sounds like you don't know Jim very well at all, you must be new to watching his content because he's one of the honest people out there, I have zero reason to believe he would lie and i'm done with people spouting asinine conspiracy theories. I get enough of that from the idiots whining about The Last Jedi and "comicsgate", I don't need it here too.

I see nothing wrong with Jim's stance at all, he NEVER I repeat NEVER once said that Sekiro NEEDED an easy mode and he specifically said he was not demanding one, he just said that if From did decide to put one in it wouldn't be the end of the world. Jim didn't like Sekiro because he's not a fan of parrying and he's not fond of being forced to play down a single path, period end of story, stop trying to invent conspiracy theories.

Jim, Laura and Gavin did a whole podcast talking about Dark Souls III, so Jim knows what he's talking about when it comes to From games, he was able to beat those.
 
Oct 24, 2017
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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
(who is forcing them)
 
Mar 25, 2019
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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...
I don't think it's disingenuous at all, at the end video games are just another toy for entertainment, I know some people get defensive about that, but it's true. Nobody is making demands here, just saying it wouldn't be the end of the world if it did happen.
 
Mar 29, 2018
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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.
Yeah definitely I don't take issue with that

The responsiveness thing is weird, the games are notoriously responsive
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
A couple of these aren't right, but yeah mostly true
 
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Mar 25, 2019
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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.
I have autism as well and I know where you're coming from, I always turn on subtitles myself and I get pissed whenever a game does not include an option for them, that just reeks of laziness to me(also don't like it when games don't give you the ability to pause during cutscenes). My autism has caused me some challenge for certain games, sometimes i'll hit my head against a wall for about 10 minutes, then look up the solution and facepalm at me missing the obvious, sometimes I don't feel bad about doing that though, like with that stupid fucking Rosetta puzzle in Dead Space 3, no way in hell would I have figured that out without Youtube(yes I know about the markings, still didn't help me much).
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Not every game needs to appeal to every consumer . If a game is too hard don’t play it. Do people who want to play Forza ask for the game to add machine guns and flying mechanics ? No it appeals to racing fans .

Adding in easy mode is pointless in a game like this where the game experience is the challenge and being rewarded for overcoming it. The game doesn’t have incredible cinematic and cohesive story telling. Easy mode would deflate the quality of game.
 

Dahbomb

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,622
What would be a well implemented easy mode for Sekiro to the people that want it?
Just a simple number tweak would be enough. Parrying does not increase posture damage on you, you take less vitality/posture damage in general and enemies take more posture/vitality damage.

Basically tweak it so that you don't get two shot at the start of the game. Honestly that's like the #1 most difficult aspect of Sekiro.. is that your character is made of glass and a boss breathing on you makes you fall over.


Could you tell me which ones do you mean?
You can die from falling if you are below 50% HP. And you can't even resurrect from that.

But I generally agree that Sekiro is easier than Souls games from a quality of life standpoint. Once you know the base mechanics of parry everything, counter the unblockables with the appropriate action... it becomes a lot easier.
 
Mar 29, 2018
1,215
Could you tell me which ones do you mean?
It's almost semantics but
- you can't run from bosses and they're generally the worst
- there isn't a flask for "enfeeble" or "shock", also flasks don't remove statuses but just improve your resistance a bit
- there are a few "fake" walls, but unlike the Soulsborne games they don't hide anything important
- against a number of harder enemies you cant block very long at all
 
Mar 25, 2019
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Not every game needs to appeal to every consumer . If a game is too hard don’t play it. Do people who want to play Forza ask for the game to add machine guns and flying mechanics ? No it appeals to racing fans .

Adding in easy mode is pointless in a game like this where the game experience is the challenge and being rewarded for overcoming it. The game doesn’t have incredible cinematic and cohesive story telling. Easy mode would deflate the quality of game.
Did you even watch the video? Jim said nothing like that, also your analogy makes no sense, asking a game to be a different genre is a whole different ballgame then wanting more accessibility options.


From's games are about way more then just difficulty, so no if they decided to put an easy mode in it would not "deflate" anything.