|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » KoA: Reckoning - "Two thirds played on easy"

Default KoA: Reckoning - "Two thirds played on easy"

March 7th, 2012, 21:45
An interesting insight into Reckoning with Big Huge Games' Michael Dawe telling GDC that "two-thirds of players played on easy". Lack of challenge has been one of the common complaints about the game but it seems this was quite deliberate:
“How do you balance a game for difficulty that could be 3 hours long if you’re just doing the main quest or 200 hundred hours long if you’re doing everything?”
“It’s not a simple answer,” said Dawe, “In our playtests when we asked how difficult they thought the game was… it’s sort of about a 4 on the 1 to 10 scale,” which according to the game’s Lead Designer was about right.
“It turns out about two-thirds of our players played on the easiest difficulty,” he confessed, “So I’m not going to say to you that you need to make the game easier or that you need to make it harder, but you need to think about who’s going to play your game.”
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

March 7th, 2012, 21:45
they don't even have to bother much about scalling, users will complain if its impossible, its good to give the challenge, the opportunity to try something heavier.
I for instance, if given the choice i take the easy way out.
But I love hardcore games that have the easiest difficulty a pain . But that means that gamedesign is carefully planned for it, not just +20% life + 20% damage
borcanu is offline

borcanu

borcanu's Avatar
muist

#2

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ro
Posts: 596

Default 

March 7th, 2012, 23:58
I have not gotten around to picking up Amalur yet.

That said, I have a tendency to play most games on the easier settings these days. I don't have as much time as I used to to play games, so when I do, I prefer to feel like I'm making progress toward something. If I spend an hour trying to get past a single battle, it feels like I could have been doing something more productive. Once upon a time, it wouldn't have phased me.

The worst is when I get stuck on a part of a game and stop playing for the night. Next time I consider playing, I remember that I am stuck on a particular battle and opt to play something else. For example, I picked up Darksiders at the last Steam sale, got stuck on the Tiamat battle. I have yet to come back to the game.

I like how Skyrim gives you a challenge slider that you can change on the fly
dpc76 is offline

dpc76

Watcher

#3

Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 93

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 00:10
I haven't gotten Reckoning, nor do I intend to. I generally play games on the normal setting. If it's an easy game, I'll bump it up a notch. I almost never play on the hardest setting, unless it's a really easy game. It's also got to be a super-hard game for me to go to the easiest setting, which I almost never use.

If there's a "realism" setting, though, I always choose that. Fallout: New Vegas, for example, I played on their "survivalist" setting, or whatever they called it.
Capt. Huggy Face is offline

Capt. Huggy Face

Capt. Huggy Face's Avatar
Magicky Utok

#4

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 905

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 00:12
dpc76, I did the same exact thing with Darksiders.
rich ruffo is offline

rich ruffo

Sentinel

#5

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 576

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 01:04
I usually play on "normal" difficulty. Playing on "hard" often takes too much time for my taste, or involves lots of micromanaging. I can remember one game that I found hard even on the "Novice" setting: Evil Islands. That was somewhat frustrating.
Turjan is offline

Turjan

Sentinel

#6

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 453

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 01:20
The issue here is that they had a very large somewhat openworld game where if someone does even some minimal off the track exploring and leveling they would level to the point where the hardest setting would be equivalent to the normal setting on a regular game. That in itself wouldnt be too bad …

However, they also included as core components of the game, skills and crafting that if used to any real extent break the game to the point where it is basically way more than easy. Once you get your smithing skills up, it is quite possible to almost never take damage. The only way around this was to store all crafted gear, use only cheap found gear, not enchant anything, and never use potions.

So in order to make the game any sort of challenge you have to ignore core gameplay mechanics around which leveling and the loot system are designed. Which is frustrating to say the least. Moreover, this does not really become fully apparent how broken it is until you are about halfway through the game. This is the point at which I stopped and am waiting for a patch to make this at all enjoyable again.

This is a decent hack and slash game, but it has a unique, frustrating, and somewhat troubling balance issue currently that is unlike much else I have experienced.

Note: I also find the claim that 2/3 played on easy unless there test group was seriously flawed. If there was a way to honestly assess what people actually played this on who bought it, I am sure it would be nothing like this. This smacks of overdefensiveness and after the fact rationalization to me. In reality, I think they had a big game that they just didnt balance properly.
dagoo7 is offline

dagoo7

Watchdog

#7

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 181

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 01:33
I generally play on easy.

It's not that I'm not looking for any chalange, but it's not the most important thing to me.

I'd like the challenge to be in different things other than the basic gameplay.

Even though I play on easy I normally never test if normal was 'easy enough' for me. But with Reckoning the demo only gave you the Normal option and after playing I found it to be rather easy so when I got the actual game I just played on normal.
JuliusMagnus is offline

JuliusMagnus

Indulgent Wastrel

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 386

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 02:04
My cousin played using my lvl 25+ finesse character, no crafting, on the highest difficulty level and found that he could beat the game just by clicking. Makes skills and builds kinda pointless. At this point, I'm really just playing for the story and trying to get it over as quickly as I can
SonOfCapiz is offline

SonOfCapiz

Sentinel

#9

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 265

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 02:40
Yep, that was my impression as well.
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#10

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 9,645

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 06:46
I think this is a common problem in open-world RPGs. I am not that far in the KoA:R yet, so I don't know how it will be, but in Skyrim, after about 100 hrs in game my warrior was unstopable machine. Having blacksmithing and enchanting on 100 with all perks in it my gear was really strong with resistances to fire/shock/ice/magick from 60% to 90%. Almost nothing could do some heavy damage to me and with my trusty greatsword I killed even those ancient/blood dragons with 5 - 8 power attacks. Alduin was no match for me, about 10 hits.
But for me this is not a problem. First I don't like drinking healing potions during battles and I got that nice feeling that my character is actually a strong hero thanks to his exploration and completing many quests.
I play almost every game on Mediun/Normal difficulty, few of them on harder, but hardly ever on hardest.
MrSanta78 is offline

MrSanta78

MrSanta78's Avatar
Watcher

#11

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 61

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 08:32
I usually choose combat difficulty (because this is what we're talking about) depending on what I want, and how much time I can spend playing: about Darksiders, I finished it at normal and I was going to replay it at the hardest level of difficulty without too much troubles (regarding Tiamat, you should really tri a bit harder guys ); for New Vegas, I've played it with Hardcore Mode on and Very Hard setting to have a bit more challenge, and the same goes for Skyrim.
On the contrary, on my replay of NWN 1 I've chosen the easiest difficulty 'cause of the number of filler fights in the OC, and because I'd already beaten it at Hardcore setting including HOTU .
Usually, choosing difficulty while possible depends on the game for me: for and action-RPG I play at the hardest difficulty available, for other genres I leave the normal settings (e.g. FPS/TPS, but now I'm hating this genre too much to play it again for a while).

I'm not a noob, I'm just differently skilled.
Ball_Breaker is offline

Ball_Breaker

Ball_Breaker's Avatar
Sentinel

#12

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Europe's Boot
Posts: 341

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 10:47
The level of challenge is part of the overall experience for me. I've *never* played a game where the story was so good that I could enjoy it just for that alone. Playing a game like KoA on easy would bore me to tears.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 16,922

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 11:27
The game is easy on hard, so….
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 11:39
Originally Posted by dagoo7 View Post
Note: I also find the claim that 2/3 played on easy unless there test group was seriously flawed. If there was a way to honestly assess what people actually played this on who bought it, I am sure it would be nothing like this.
Why would they have any reason to make it up? They can gather the stats as to what people are playing on, much like Steam games do.
kalniel is offline

kalniel

SasqWatch

#15

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,877

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 11:43
I'm playing on hard; have done no crafting and probably have a very under powered character (sort of just taking random skills; don't really like their skill tree); anyways the game is fairly easy and boring.
-
to be honest i do not recommend this game at all - it is not so much because the combat is easy but it generates no excitement or interest with regards to exploration; objective; story or combat.

It is not an awful game when individual things are studied but the game as a whole just fails (for me). I thought dragon age 2 (which most soundly condemned) to be a much more enjoyable experience (i played it just before reckoning as I initially passed due to the poor reviews). With dragon age 2 the only thing I absolutely hated was the maps and reuse of the already very poor maps; but that was a single portion of the game.
-
Anyways I digress - I find the game very easy on hard setting with a gimp character (I'm only level 21 so i have a bit more to do) - and even if the combat was a bit more difficult i give this game a very sound thumb down (absolutely no interest in buying any dlc or version 2 of this IP).
you is offline

you

Lazy_dog
RPGWatch Donor

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 311

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 16:28
Have had too many other games going on to dig really deep into Amalur yet, but since I'm not the kind of player who engages in a lot of crafting unless it's very intuitive and seamlessly integrated into the game (and Amalur's systems most definitely aren't) I might not break it too bad once I do.

As for higher difficulty in general, I likewise tend to feel these days that endlessly replaying the same section over and over again must somehow be a waste of time. At the same time, I never play on Easy and often feel guilty for playing on Normal since I know there's some real satisfaction to be had from beating even badly designed Hard modes. Mass Effect 2 on Insanity, for example, was both infuriating and wonderful at the same time, and a mainstream success (critically speaking, anyway) like Dark Souls obviously wouldn't make much sense if there weren't a lot of punishing (albeit fair) difficulty spikes to overcome.
Demiath is offline

Demiath

Watcher

#17

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sweden
Posts: 70

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 16:43
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
The level of challenge is part of the overall experience for me. I've *never* played a game where the story was so good that I could enjoy it just for that alone. Playing a game like KoA on easy would bore me to tears.
Word. That's why I play KoA on HARD. It's almost a must-do type of thing, you just gotta play it on hard. I would play on "Insanity" or a similar difficulty level if I had the option, because while hard is definitely more challenging than Normal, it still leaves a little bit to be desired. Honestly though, I never play RPGs on hard for the most part, this is the first game I wanted to play on hard and haven't looked back. I enjoy the challenge. But all that said, I still have encountered some challenges in KoA, and Hard mode is not an easy pushover. I'm level 6 and threshes, ettin shamans, even wolves can drain most of my life in just a few hits and I have to use a potion. So so far I can't say Hard is too easy, but it may turn out to be that way in the long run.

Good news is they are addressing the difficulty with a patch. They are probably going to add a new difficulty level for those who want it. Until then just play on Hard, it's a lot of fun.
Fluent is offline

Fluent

Fluent's Avatar
RPG Fiend
RPGWatch Team

#18

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,555

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 17:47
I only played about 3 hours of KoA on Normal setting and didn't die even once, even getting used to a new control system.

So it's pretty easy in the beginning at least. My main issue is that I have almost no desire to ever play it again. It's competent and polished, but not a very interesting game.
Ovenall is offline

Ovenall

Ovenall's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#19

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Downtown Chicago, IL
Posts: 911

Default 

March 8th, 2012, 18:11
Originally Posted by you View Post
I'm playing on hard; have done no crafting and probably have a very under powered character (sort of just taking random skills; don't really like their skill tree); anyways the game is fairly easy and boring.
-
to be honest i do not recommend this game at all - it is not so much because the combat is easy but it generates no excitement or interest with regards to exploration; objective; story or combat.

I'm playing on Hard as well,its a nice challenge,I can thoroughly recommend KoA.
Did you play the demo at all ? If not,why not? you'd have saved yourself a few bob on a game that you clearly have issues with.
fatknacker50 is offline

fatknacker50

fatknacker50's Avatar
Watcher

#20

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Great Brittania
Posts: 24
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » KoA: Reckoning - "Two thirds played on easy"
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:31.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch