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December 30th, 2012, 20:30
Originally Posted by Kefka View Post
Sure the designer should do what they want. But a company also needs to make money, more money more they can invest in more games, or games with bigger budgets. I think easy mode would make Dark Soul a little more popular, so more sales, more money, bigger budget for sequel, etc. So I think its a good thing for all.
It's not a good thing if it impacts the design and approach to overall difficulty - for people who enjoy the way it's designed right now. You can't just adjust sliders in a carefully balanced game - you need to design the entire game around multiple difficulty levels. This means that the design is in danger of changing at the core - and it's very challenging to make a pure experience with multiple difficulty levels. You're almost guarenteed to compromise parts of the design - so a challenge or an encounter will work in all difficulty modes. Some parts are not challenging based on hitpoints or damage - like traps or timed puzzles. Do you make them lethal or do you make the timing required more forgiving? That means you have to make everything work together with multiple animation speeds and all kinds of things that most people don't think about. If setting off a trap isn't lethal - then why would you ever fear it, really? You know? It's not so simple as it seems.

And you say I can't make a choice without having played the game, have you consider that many people including me play the game then make the choice? I play TES/Fallout games vanilla first, on normal so I know what I want to change. If I do play Dark Soul's I will surely try the normal difficulty first, maybe I will like it. Knowing me I don't think I will and I don't wish to go to the trouble of installing a game that I don't think there is a good chance I will want to play it. The mods for Dark Soul that make it easier make it so I might just give the game a chance.
I'm not saying you can't make a choice - I said you can't make a fully qualified choice.

I think it's very, very bad that a game motivates players to play it through once so they know what difficulty is right for them. You may not realise this, but the first playthrough of any strong experience tends to be the most powerful - by far. So, if you're not getting a properly balanced or "pure" experience the first time, you will taint the full experience forever.

However, that's my opinion - and I know a lot of people don't invest as much into thinking about these things, because they don't really care.

Also I don't care much when is come to artistic vision, I know what I like. I almost always mod every game I play, I am picky. I wish I where not as it would make it easier to just enjoy the game for what it is, but I can't. This is perhaps why I am a part time gamer, just hard to find enough games to keep me playing daily that I enjoy.
No, I understand that you don't really care - and you just want them to do what's best for you.

I feel the same way, and I want them to follow their vision and ignore players who're not fans of that vision. That's what I wish all artists would do.

As an artist/designer - the only thing you can really know with certainty is what YOU like to play and what YOU want from a game - and once you start guessing and trying to please everyone, you move away from the vision and you end up with something different from what you set out to create. This is why 90% of all games released are not all that good.

As for the commercial consequences, that's something they're going to have to deal with themselves. It's almost always a sacrifice to go for the art, and very few developers are willing or even able to make it. I'm not telling them what they should do - I'm just saying what I think would make for the best and most interesting experience.
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