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Default Dark Souls II - Interviews @ EDGE

December 20th, 2013, 04:09
EDGE has three short articles for Dark Souls II. Enjoy and give feedback in the comment section. Links and a brief description of each article below.

Dark Souls II’s co-director Apologises for Saying the Game Would be “Accessible”

What of players who are daunted by Dark Souls’ difficulty? What would you say to them?

A main theme in all games developed by FromSoftware is to not fully explain all the elements of how to play and challenge players to figure it out for themselves. We would like to encourage players to conquer the elements they face by paying attention to the surroundings and also being creative in strategising [about] how to overcome the difficulties.
Dark Souls’ Producer says PC version Was Rushed, Problems “Were Expected”

“This is going to sound bad but our main priority was to get the game onto the PC as fast as possible, because people wanted it on the PC,” Miyazoe says. “The PC market in Japan is so minimal that originally there were no plans to make it on the PC, but with the strong petition from the North American and European fans, even with the lack of experience of working on a PC platform we still did our best to try to get it out as fast as possible. [The problems] were expected to a certain extent.
Dark Souls II – "All Hail The Last Great Adventure of a Generation"

And while 2014's release schedule is full of tantalising prospects on new consoles, the year’s first surefire success is Dark Souls II. In E262′s eight-page cover feature we visit FromSoftware’s offices in Japan for a look at how, with that March date rapidly approaching, the game is shaping up. Co-director Yu Tanimura and producer Takeshi Miyazoe detail the expanded Covenant system, explain the greater focus on network play, and discuss the difficulties in balancing a game that’s as punishing as they get, but always feels fair.
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; December 20th, 2013 at 05:52.
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December 20th, 2013, 04:09
Nothing but a bunch of elitists. Having an easy setting does not affect the people who want more difficulty at all.

To compromise they should disable trophys, achievements, and separate the easy and normal mode players online. That way the hardcore group can retain bragging rights while those of us who don't have hours to master every aspect of the game can still get our money's worth and enjoy playing.

Signed a king's field fan who likes the atmosphere, but doesn't have hours to master playing such a brutal game. Or they could just release King's Field 5 and all would be forgiven.
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December 20th, 2013, 04:25
I think you're underestimating the possible effects and influence that a decision like making an easy mode can have over the overarching design. Once you start implementing things like that, where does that type of thinking stop?
Give the company some credit for actually pursuing their own very specific design goals instead of making it open slather for everyone.

I also fundamentally take issue with the notion that it's elitist at all - this is a computer game after all, not some kind of select mensa like academic achievement.

It can't be denied however that genuine satisfaction can be gained from overcoming the obstacles that this great series of games provide. I like that Tanimura stands by his principles in the article.

Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
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You've a goodly way to go.
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Last edited by Pessimeister; December 20th, 2013 at 20:10.
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December 20th, 2013, 05:46
@Pessimeister I agree with most of everything you said.

Really I don't see why people want to turn every game into something they like by fundamentally changing it. Certain games have their audiences and if basic tenets of their design leave you cold then this is just not your cup of tea. Its one thing suggesting improvements and another this need to homogenize all games to the same kind of experience. (There are other very atmospheric very accessible games out there i.e Take your pick)

Don't people like some variety in their gaming menus
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December 20th, 2013, 06:06
I usually never play games on hard mode, so i thought i would absolutely hate DS, which i didn't. I'm glad there wasnt an easy mode, that would have made the experience a lot less fun and a lot more generic. DS was a breeze of fresh air for me, they should keep sticking to their vision.

SiiiiLENCE the DISCOOOORD…
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December 20th, 2013, 07:36
There is no way you could implement an 'easy mode' for a Souls game without affecting the experience for the players that the game is intended to appeal to. So many games these days are basically trivial in terms of challenge, I can't believe people would begrudge those of us who like these games to have one this one series that caters to us. Not all games can be all things to all people.

Can't wait for this one. I hope it works nicely on PC.
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December 20th, 2013, 09:17
Can't wait it is going to be great… easy mode would ruin the game.
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December 20th, 2013, 09:41
Originally Posted by TimtheTaxMan View Post
Signed a king's field fan who likes the atmosphere, but doesn't have hours to master playing such a brutal game. Or they could just release King's Field 5 and all would be forgiven.
I'd also love to see a new King's Field game, but I think we have to accept that that's probably never going to happen at this point. The last KF title was over a decade ago, and afaik that series was never very successful outside of Japan.
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December 20th, 2013, 16:53
Everyone keeps saying it would ruin the game, but they are never specific. Your experience wouldn't change. The only thing that would change is that the game wouldn't be specifically for the hardcore audience. I think that is what bothers people. They don't want the filthy casuals even playing the game. They are not worthy.

Again I don't think they should change ANYTHING for the hardcore players, just add an option for those with less time.
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December 20th, 2013, 17:19
Originally Posted by TimtheTaxMan View Post
Everyone keeps saying it would ruin the game, but they are never specific. Your experience wouldn't change.
That would only be true if

A) Designing the "easy" game did not in any way effect the design of the core game. There would have to be no loss of development time for the core game, and no mechanics sacrificed because they didn't translate well to multiple difficulty levels.

and

B) Everyone automatically picked the correct difficultly level for themselves, and there was somehow no chance that a person who might have loved the core game would pick the "easy" version and ruin their experience.
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December 20th, 2013, 17:31
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
That would only be true if

A) Designing the "easy" game did not in any way effect the design of the core game. There would have to be no loss of development time for the core game, and no mechanics sacrificed because they didn't translate well to multiple difficulty levels.

and

B) Everyone automatically picked the correct difficultly level for themselves, and there was somehow no chance that a person who might have loved the core game would pick the "easy" version and ruin their experience.
This could be easily done by simply making the enemies do 1/4 of the damage they do now, or increasing the number of flasks. In other words nothing that would take time to implement or change anything for the existing players.

As far as picking the wrong choice, that can happen in any game with selectable difficulty and could be solved by putting the word "recommended" by the default difficulty.
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December 20th, 2013, 17:33
Reducing the damage enemies make by 1/4 on the easy setting is certainly possible and would take very little development time. But I don't think it'll gain them any players, bad players are still going to die die and die just as much.

While the real players will never choose easy. So it'd be pointless and a waste of time.
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December 20th, 2013, 17:48
Originally Posted by TimtheTaxMan View Post
Everyone keeps saying it would ruin the game, but they are never specific. Your experience wouldn't change. The only thing that would change is that the game wouldn't be specifically for the hardcore audience. I think that is what bothers people. They don't want the filthy casuals even playing the game. They are not worthy.

Again I don't think they should change ANYTHING for the hardcore players, just add an option for those with less time.
I think the big selling point for dark souls is that its HARD. If you add an easy option then its dilute their big selling point and they might even loose lot of their core audience. Basically the game will loose some of its "mystic" if filthy casual can play it. In other words dark souls will become just another game…

PS: I suck at dark souls…
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December 20th, 2013, 17:57
Well honestly making enemy damage go down to 1/4 would make the game really easy. I don't think "bad" players would still die as much. I think they would be bored by how easy the game is, and so would not so bad players who would have enjoyed the normal game but who made the mistake of choosing to play on easy.

Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Reducing the damage enemies make by 1/4 on the easy setting is certainly possible and would take very little development time. But I don't think it'll gain them any players, bad players are still going to die die and die just as much.

While the real players will never choose easy. So it'd be pointless and a waste of time.
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December 20th, 2013, 18:05
Games like Dark Souls are usually too hard for me. After decades of mastering tough 80s arcade games and 90s RPGs, and not to mention, ahem, that I'm getting older and my coordination, reflexes, available time, and patience just aren't what they used to be.

But I wouldn't change the "hardness" of this series. It certainly does cater to a specific audience but I wouldn't want this game to change for my tastes as much as I tire of games that I like changing in ways I find appalling in favor of an 'expanded audience.'

So leave Dark Souls hard and let the kiddies brag. It's a game and there are already thousands of casual games out there for more casual players.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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December 20th, 2013, 18:31
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Games like Dark Souls are usually too hard for me. After decades of mastering tough 80s arcade games and 90s RPGs, and not to mention, ahem, that I'm getting older and my coordination, reflexes, available time, and patience just aren't what they used to be.

But I wouldn't change the "hardness" of this series. It certainly does cater to a specific audience but I wouldn't want this game to change for my tastes as much as I tire of games that I like changing in ways I find appalling in favor of an 'expanded audience.'

So leave Dark Souls hard and let the kiddies brag. It's a game and there are already thousands of casual games out there for more casual players.

Normally I'd agree with you, but the King's Field series one of my all time favorites and it was more or less abandoned to start making these games which have a wider audience (believe it or not).

The atmosphere and exploration is very similar to king's field, but they added this difficult twitch combat that take hours of practice to master. From a certain point of view just what you described "changing in ways I find appalling in favor of an 'expanded audience.'" happened to King's Field and resulted in the Souls series.
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December 20th, 2013, 19:01
I couldn't care less who plays this game, as long as I like it myself

Yeah, I guess they could cheese it. Simply adjust the HPs and damage of the enemies, imo it would make for a tepid unbalanced, short game that you could speedrun through to get to the next shiny thing… And the players not wishing to invest a bit of their time would still die, as the difficulty does not come from the "twitch" factor but from the level/combat/encounter design and how they set up every bit of combat as a specific set piece to challenge your tactical thinking and problem solving more than your reflexes (I am a lousy action game player yet finished this on m+k !). I can respect them for keeping to a certain vision about how their game should more or less be.

This is a unique sort of game and I would not wish to see it diluted to a samey action RPG. I am also not made out of time these days too you know! But I find it preferable to take my time in a game and take as much time I need to finish it (one month? Great!) rather than play 2 or 3 forgettable ones in the same time. But hey to each his own and thankfully FromSoftware is keen on continuing on this vein…

P.S Hey extreme difficulty is not really my thing either. Its the atmosphere and exploration that are the main draws in this one for me too. I don't believe this game is as brutal as most people who didn't invest the time to get over the learning curve think it is(*). It does need a fair share of investment though and if that is not your thing…

(* Elitist… right trust me, and I say this in all honesty. If I could do it probably anyone can. Its just that we have grown unused to challenge the last few years… I also finished the game at a bit over 70 hours. I think that is pretty reasonable. I put around 100 to Skyrim my first time through i.e.)
Last edited by JonNik; December 20th, 2013 at 19:13.
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December 20th, 2013, 19:42
Originally Posted by TimtheTaxMan View Post
Normally I'd agree with you, but the King's Field series one of my all time favorites and it was more or less abandoned to start making these games which have a wider audience (believe it or not).
I agree with you and I'm a big fan of King's Field - I've played every single North American iteration of the series. I also have two similarly styled gameplay gems from FROM Software, "Evergrace" & "Eternal Ring."

I too would love to see another King's Field game. When I first heard of Demon's Souls I was hoping it would be a spiritual successor to the King's Field franchise. Though Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have similarities to King's Field there are some differences.

But I can still see the appeal of Dark Souls and lately I find that I too can enjoy these games. They're not exactly what I'd prefer from FROM Software but they're still fun. At this point, I'd love to see another "King's Field" style game, but not to replace Dark Souls, but rather be an additional offering from the developer.

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December 20th, 2013, 19:47
Those Kings Field's games do sound like something I'd really like to play too.

Who knows, if From gets a boatload of money out of DS2 they may hop on the trend of resurrecting old cult classics

I mean was the original wasteland any more successful than KF in the end ?
(actually I don't really know the answer to that question so more than a rhetorical one )
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December 20th, 2013, 19:51
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
P.S Hey extreme difficulty is not really my thing either. Its the atmosphere and exploration that are the main draws in this one for me too. I don't believe this game is as brutal as most people who didn't invest the time to get over the learning curve think it is(*). It does need a fair share of investment though and if that is not your thing…
I agree with everything you wrote there. And I agree that the game is challenging, but it isn't insurmountable. The key question is if the player has the patience and time to spend more time in areas and/or figuring out how to defeat a boss than is customary these days.

It took me about two hours to kill the Tower Knight in Demon's Souls last night. For the first hour I was just trying to stay alive and with enough resources just to get to the boss. The first half of the second hour was spent running into the boss area and being killed in 5 seconds or less. The last half of the second hour included the discovery of stairs and archers and a way to kill the boss from a ranged position.

Mentally, I've settled in with the notion that Demon's Souls and Dark Souls require that you sort of 'marinate' in an area for a while and 'stew' around with a boss for a time. That is one aspect of the style of these games.

But it does fly in the face of most modern games where you zip through the game world and glide past hordes of baddies/bosses.

I've come to actually appreciate what this series is offering because it is quite rare in the lineup of contemporary titles.

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