Originally Posted by DArtagnan
Well, I'm personally not a fan of difficulty levels - because it takes the design and balance out of the hands of the developers and into the hands of the players - to an extent. This assumes that the player can make a fully qualified choice without having actually played the game before - and that's largely impossible. So, you never end up with a pure experience, and you'll inevitably start to doubt whether it's too hard or too easy. I hate that - and I just want the game as it was envisioned, and I don't want any doubts that I'm not experiencing the game to its full potential.
So, I'm a great fan of how Dark Souls is handling it - and I think it's a brave design choice - because it WILL reduce the potential audience.
Then again, I think it's fantastic when designers go for the art, rather than the commerce. It's a risk - but I do think it can pay off big time. Sometimes, it can even turn casual/mainstream gamers into enthusiast gamers - because they might like the game enough to put forth the extra effort.
In my opinion, the developers of Dark Souls should focus on the kind of experience they want the players to have - and they should not be too concerned by people who're not able to enjoy it. I don't think all games should be for everyone - and I actually think games are much better when being developed as something the designers would play, rather than what they think the players might want.