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December 18th, 2010, 21:19
Originally Posted by Cthulhufan View Post
I prefer games with no difficulty settings at all. Take Severance: Blade of Darkness (not an RPG I know), you got one choice; you can play the game on very hard or you could put it up and go play mario cart.
I disagree. The more difficulty options the better. In fact, I dislike easy/normal/hard options because it's far too limiting. System Shock (1) did it well. It had easy/normal/hard presets but they just automatically set the actual difficulty sliders. Those sliders allowed you to control specific difficulty settings. For example, I liked playing it with all sliders to max difficulty except the one that added a time limit to the game, as I liked playing it as a slow, careful stealth game even though stealth wasn't implemented. I'd have enjoyed it less (all those many times I played it through) if I had had to set all of the sliders to 1 short of max because of the one time limit setting.

I can't list the number of times that games would have features in multiple difficulty levels that I wanted at the same time (e.g. player HPs, player damage, enemy HPs, enemy damage, friendly AI quality, enemy AI quality, save limitations, etc.). For example, I like playing shooters with realistic game-play and damage (ArmA), but most people seem to hate that (Call of Duty). Flight simulators tend to get this right as well, sometimes with pages of configurable settings but also simple presets for people who don't want to get their fingers dirty.

Often I have to go to the hassle of modding games just to get the experience I want. Crysis was like that, it had very limiting difficulty settings but fortunately you could tune them just to your liking by editing some text files. For the Hitman games, not being particularly mod-able, I had to hack to get the game-play I wanted. It was a big hassle but it was worth it.

There's no way for the devs to know how I like to play a game, so giving me the flexibility to choose is a great big win for me.

As for Witcher 2, I rather enjoyed The Witcher's hardest difficulty - it wasn't hard but it was entertaining. I don't think I'm likely to play Witcher 2 in ironman mode, to be honest, but it's good that it exists for those that do.
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