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Do Gamer's Really Want An Easy Mode In The Dark Souls Series?

Posted by GnarKills, 02 May 2016 · 9936 views

Xbox Playstation PS4 Xbox One Games Dark Souls Bloodborne

Every release of a new game in the Dark Souls series(Bloodborne included) always sparks a new, heated debate among gamers and the release of Dark Souls III is no different. There seems to be a certain number of gamer's who feel these games should include an easy mode. I have to flat out disagree with that as that is the allure of these games. If you include an easy mode, you completely change the core mechanics of that entry in the series.

 

I'll be the first to admit that I've never came close to beating any of these games besides Bloodborne. These games frustrate the hell out of me and they seem to enjoy doing it. I love the challenge that has been long lost since the NES/SNES/Genesis days. Every small step I make in the game feels like an accomplishment. Every boss I take down feels like I've conquered something huge. That's what makes these games so appealing to the masses. They knock you down and kick you back down when you try to get back up.

 

I, for one, vote against any sort of easy mode for these games.






I haven't played any of the games yet and know them only by reputation. My suspicion is that this is something I would support, as I'm not going to bang my head against a wall over and over. I disagree with your point about this changing the game's mechanics; adding a different level of difficulty doesn't change the way a game plays, especially if you ignore it. What it will do is open the game up and make it more accessible for people who don't have the patience to redo something over and over ad nauseum. If the point of your game is that you don't care to have those people in your playerbase, well, that's fine. But if you want to broaden your game's appeal, I don't see the harm in doing it.

I support difficulty options. I think they're generally a good idea and that if you don't want the game to be easy, then you can just pick the higher difficulty. If every game had an invincibility mode like Star Fox Zero I'd totally be fine with that (as long as there is still a non-invincible mode or higher challenge options). More choices don't seem like a bad thing to me.

 

I also support creators. If they only want people to beat the game if they suffer through a crushing difficulty that's really their call.

 

I guess I really just don't care either way, then.

Only whiny people want an easy mode in a game that's intended to be difficult. Like I posted in the Steam thread, if you want to beat the game then you have to devote time in building skill and playing it. And it's not the end of the world if you never play the series because you don't have time. Super Meat Boy and other intentionally-hard games don't have easy mode where you're invincible through the whole thing--that would defeat the purpose of the game altogether.

 

Not all games should be "pick-up-and-play" easy. People should stop expecting to be awarded a medal for turning on their system/computer.

If there was an easy mode, I'd play it.  I have only so many hours in a day to game with my other commitments and dying repeatedly is just a waste of my hours.  I don't really get a "Oh boy, that was so challenging but I beat it!" feeling from getting past a block but more of a "Thank god that's over, maybe now I can have fun again" feeling.

 

BUT, while I'd play an "easy mode" Dark Souls, I'm totally okay with one not existing.  I don't feel like I'm owed one or anything.  I'm cool with a game franchise not being "for me" because part of its focus is difficulty.  There's a ton of other games with good combat or atmosphere or whatever Dark Souls has to offer that are more my style.  So while it would take an easy mode to get me to play the game, I'm not looking for one to happen.

I don't get people who don't want an easier mode (or the autoplay past the hard parts, like Nintendo games). It isn't effecting how you play, so I don't see the problem. It opens games up to more people, so I think it's cool. 

Only whiny people want an easy mode in a game that's intended to be difficult. Like I posted in the Steam thread, if you want to beat the game then you have to devote time in building skill and playing it. And it's not the end of the world if you never play the series because you don't have time. Super Meat Boy and other intentionally-hard games don't have easy mode where you're invincible through the whole thing--that would defeat the purpose of the game altogether.

 

Not all games should be "pick-up-and-play" easy. People should stop expecting to be awarded a medal for turning on their system/computer.

What exactly are the cons to opening up games to more players? It doesn't devalue other players who get through the hardest modes.

I don't have an issue with most games outside of this series having an easy mode. I suppose it's not a huge deal if they incorporated in an easy mode in the future and it wouldn't upset me or offend me. I can just see a lot of people not playing this game the way it was meant to be played. I feel like it would make this series a little more shallow though if they did and it'd turn people away if they could cruise through the story real quick.

I see a lot of people missing the point about the game mechanics. The mechanics of the game are based around raising and lowering difficulty *naturally*. There is an easy mode and hard more in dark souls; it's called leveling up. Even outside of that, They give you plenty of opportunities to make things easier for yourself. Difficulty comes not from the attack power of the enemies or the health of the player, but from the difference between the player that learns the feel of the game and a player that doesn't. A lot of rage quitters charge in over and over and over again, and if you stopped, slowed down, and took your time almost every death can be easily avoided. Fromsoft are masters of level design, and the entire game is made to both help and hinder your progress depending on whether or not you respect the world. It's a bit hard to verbalize what I mean by this if you don't just see how things are laid out for yourself, but this isn't like a sidescroller where the difficulty is intrinsically tied to the core gameplay. You MAKE things harder for yourself, or easier, based on what you learn or fail to learn from your experience. Youre expected to die, and fail, and thematically it's been said the moment you "give up" is the same as "going hollow". You've lost the will to live, aka learn and improve.

Imagine then putting in a difficulty system slapped on top of the more subtle, refined one already in place. Some say it wouldn't effect that game mechanics? Thats ridiculous. The balance of the mechanics are dependent on a very fair, balanced world. If suddenly the enemies don't play by the same rules as everything else then you've already tipped the scales. Some also say that it's morally correct to broaden an audience and make it more accessible. I would ask why that is? In all things, not just video games, if you broaden the scope of a project, or movement, or idea, then of course the nuances will be lost. Things will get washed out, the fan base will have both more passionate players but also more assholes, and you will disrespect your original fan-base that liked the game because it wasn't afraid NOT to appeal to the masses. Well I say screw the masses, they don't even know enough to know what they want.

What exactly are the cons to opening up games to more players? It doesn't devalue other players who get through the hardest modes.

The problem is that the Souls series puts you in the world, without any shortcuts so to speak, and gives you the tools you need to succeed but just barely. It's a psychological experiment, if you will, in the nature of how people react to SEEMINGLY hopeless situations (Although it's never as hopeless as it seems, and a lot of that is just the theatrics of souls). They go out of their way to create a world for players that seems incomprehensibly bigger than you are, and it distills a sense of insignificance in your role. You aren't the protagonist - you're just a coincidence, and everything you do must be done not because you have some special ability. You have the same abilities as most of the enemies. Your advantage comes purely from your desire to move forward - and the knowledge that comes with failing.

The problem is that if you add a way out of that world, into an easier, less challenging world, then people will choose it, often despite themselves. Suddenly the crushingly open and expansive world that makes you feel insignificant has a back door. A light at the end of this dark and miserable tunnel, and no longer do you push forward because of your will. It make take time, but players that would have persevered will eventually succumb to switching the difficulty, and even if you don't feel the same level of satisfaction in beating an impossible boss, at least you're safe. You've escaped a world of progress and entered a world of comfort.

And even if they DON'T switch the easy mode, by saying "hey, your difficulty is higher than normal!" you automatically instill in the player a sense of confidence as if they're doing something most people can't, and confidence was never the goal of Souls. Again, you aren't suppose to be important, the WORLD is suppose to be important. Imagine the god complex that would form if you managed to best the world. It could potentially replace the end-game satisfaction of "wow, that was crazy, but i made it out alive!" with "Wow, that was pretty crazy, but I'm especially more skilled than the lower tiers so I'm not surprised that I made it out alive"

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