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If anyone can help me out with some research, would really enjoy your thoughts on the subject of an easy mode in games.
@Mayor D Sure. I think easy mode is good for 1st time playthrough before starting on the higher difficulties. Like me with the 1st Lost Planet, now I'm at hard or extreme and I can't finish whatsoever.
Now for games that have upgrades, that's another story. Like the Ratchet & Clank games starting with Deadlocked and the Future series. All have a difficulty of easy to hard with extreme unlocked after 1-playthrough. Then there's the challenge mode afterward which'll give even further upgrades. Now the thing about R&C games, when everything's upgraded, it can be very easy even on the harder difficulties.
I hope this helps out.
So, me personally, I think an easy kind of defeats what I find to be the purpose of SoulsBorne games.
While they could do with significantly better balancing more often then not I find that the core of the games is presenting the player with a challenge and asking them to overcome it. Sure some of those challenges are harder for some than for others to the point that I recall the percentage of players with the achievement for beating the first boss of DS3 was well under 50% when I had been playing. I think what surprises me more though isn't the number of people actually succeeding being so small, but more so how many gamers of today just give up as soon as they fail. The lack of imagination they demonstrate by this to come up with new strategies and approaches significantly astounds me, and since with DS3 you can literally just keep grinding the starting area enemies to level yourself up to have the HP to better face that boss you don't even necessarily have to be more imaginative to succeed but rather be a little more patient. Of course in today's society with the constant emphasis of have something done before you were even told about who really was the luxury of harboring patience?
Still, much as I feel it defeats the purpose of facing and overcoming challenges (a necessary life skill at that) I could see adding the option to turn on an active tutorial when facing new enemies including bosses so that way the game can teach you how to fight the boss without compromising on the goal of overcoming the challenge. But just like the time it takes to adjust values, attack patterns, test, and balance all of the changes for a second difficulty that would consume a massive amount of time in an era where game design takes ridiculously long as it is. Now considering how time is money that isn't necessarily viable to the investors and that isn't to speak of project fatigue among the developers for working on a game for an extended amount of time.
But, back to the question at hand, I feel certain games better accept difficulty levels than others. As I explained above I find that the approach of giving the players a challenge to overcome with the SoulsBorne games with the only real reward for clearing one is to be able to face the next I find no value there. This is also considering the games' story which requires extensive exploration and imagination to even make anything of which the lack of patience to get better to proceed already prevents the average player from ever experiencing. As a result, the average player gains nothing from the SoulsBorne games just for clearing it as it is a gameplay focused game first and foremost.
Now other games like racing games actually wear difficulty levels quite well since you can adjust it to match your skill level in a genre that is all about coming in first and unlocking new tracks and cars. The downside here though is just like a lot of the games I played as a kid didn't let you play the whole game on easy (Golden Axe anyone) modern racing games penalize your earnings for adjusting the game to be easier. It's a sign that game developers don't understand that you can't encourage less skilled players to play better by punishing them out of the gate for not being at the entry level of skill they want them to be at. This gatekeeping practice of game developers needs to go long before you can even hope to see properly implemented difficulty levels in games. If and when it does happen though I expect contemporary single player game design to change quite significantly. The next problem that arises however is dealing with games that are designed in a way that difficulty can't reasonably be affected.
If not for the difficulty settings on Sonic Jam for the Saturn back in the day I normally find Sonic to be one of those games that don't work well with difficulty adjustments. The game already gives you an unlimited health resource that lets you bungle your way through without any regard for skillful play and on top of that their is almost no major difference usually between completing the optional side challenges beyond the end card. Now from personal experience I can't say I'm aware of other games with Sonic's distinct difficulty problem but I would not be surprised to know that other games have similar problems. Unlimited lives with frequent checkpoints comes to mind though.
So, in the end what I find myself looking at it is creative vision, reward, and financial viability. When I break it down like that I don't believe that all games should have an "easy" difficulty. It can conflict with the creator's vision resulting in a game made without passion, it takes away any value in clearing the challenges presented without punishing the player so those who do overcome the original form of the challenges can feel rewarded, and the time it can take to develop everything can become a financial burden that either the studio cant afford or the investors won't support. So as someone who couldn't even clear Green Hill in Sonic 1 back when I was six I more than sympathize with those who just aren't good enough. The difference is, I was raised with patience and perseverance as core values of mine so I kept at until I could and developed the skills as a result and even with a lack of time in my adult life due to multiple commitments I don't find myself sympathizing with the lack of patience of today's gamers. In actually respect to time I find myself more often than not feeling sorry for the game developers whose own limited time to balance their vision with the demands of the gamers and investors who have little care for what goes into their work. As a result, I'm not 100% against the inclusion of easy modes, but until developers can actually handle it and disregard their own gatekeeping practices around player skill level I can't support the type of easy mode that would fostered in our current environment.
Hope that wasn't to long and unconcise.
sure, why not.
different people have different skill levels and physical abilities, and different amounts of time and patience that they can afford to spend on a game. easy modes and other optional assist-type features open up a game to more people with no detriment to more skilled players. can't see reason to complain about more people playing a cool game.
My opinion is exactly the same as @Diogenes. A lot of people a) Aren't that skilled yet, or b)have physical disabilities such as deficient motor skills, vision problems, etc. Games should be accessible to everyone who wants to play them imo.
I personally think not all games are for everyone and that's ok. I also think the intention of the games design should be kept as well. If it was made a certain way, then it could or could not have an easy mode. Easy mode for souls is magic builds, or summoning help. Makes things a lot easier having help. The tough but fair challenge is part of the experience. The games want you to fail and get better.
Easy mode I think is fine for games that welcome it as well as the intent behind the games. Like having it in Spider-Man or God of War which there is one, is fine to me. It's not the games intent to have you die and try again and again, unless you want the challenge. They focus on solid gameplay and story. Challenge exists if you want it.
I think for Soulsborne/Sekiro that's part of the point. You're supposed to deal with failure and improve, rather than breeze through everything. Super Meat Boy also follows this and it's damn hard. If difficulty is supposed to be part of the experience, I don't think it should have to cater to break that experience.