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December 8th, 2017, 13:56
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post


It sounds to me like there's a RTwP system in place now, so that'll be interesting to see.
That will only make things worse as players get things complicated. They feel that, thanks to pausing, they can make up for any bad decision.
Rimworld streams are full of examples.

Better to take good decisions from the start rather than working on patching up poor ones through pausing.
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December 8th, 2017, 16:39
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
How gloriously assumptive of you. How about developers have a primary difficulty which accurately represents what they've balanced the game around to which all other difficulties represent an awareness that you're not playing 'normally'.

Have you any idea how annoying it is to start a game and then not have any idea what regular difficulty is, which, baring in mind most games start off easy anyway, can result in god knows how many hours lost to playing the wrong difficulty. Can they not just say what is the intended difficulty?

I don't know if you played with other children when you were a kid, or with adults, but everyone I knew used to hate it if you "let them win". There's an inherent emptiness in achieving a fake victory which is naturally within the human soul from birth, the desire to win 'properly'.

What you're expressing is am off-shoot of the confusion created from a decade of difficulty obfuscation across the entire gaming spectrum, you're making up self-imagined excuses as a result of poor design. Shifting the blame of unfocused game development from the creators of it to the consumers of it.

Really underhand stuff, dontcha know.
Wow. I don't see it this way. Some people are better players than me, so they get bored on normal difficulty, so they developer gives them a higher difficulty so they can enjoy the game too. The same goes for easier difficulties. I play most action games on easier difficulty because of my terrible reflexes. And I enjoy them, because they are challenging for me, at that difficulty.
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December 8th, 2017, 18:26
Played SFII way…way back when. And I think the first one, too. It was always an interesting concept with a pretty janky implementation. I liked how you could have diff races in the II one - and that the Dwarves' special characteristic was the ability to gain experience and grow more powerful.

Anyway, the storyline was pretty atrocious (some sort of shitty closed time loop, iirc) and the RTS elements were bland compare to the RPG ones. Maybe when this inevitably discounts down to 10% of its initial retail, I'll consider. Clearly THQ anticipated there was *still* an audience for this, but they've let them down again.
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December 8th, 2017, 20:17
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
Wow. I don't see it this way. Some people are better players than me, so they get bored on normal difficulty, so they developer gives them a higher difficulty so they can enjoy the game too. The same goes for easier difficulties. I play most action games on easier difficulty because of my terrible reflexes. And I enjoy them, because they are challenging for me, at that difficulty.
There's a difference between providing well designed different difficulties and making a game balanced around one specific difficulty and then manipulating that via macros once the game is complete, usually via speed or quantity modifiers to whatever stats make the game work.

Most games will be different in their implementation of difficulty, depending on genre and complexity. For example, chess will be balanced with the very hardest setting in mind, the maximum the computer can compute, and then the macro just reduces the number of moves ahead the computer is permitted to think. An RPG will likely be balanced around the idea of getting the player to complete the story on what we would commonly term 'average' difficulty, and then the macros modify the game to be both harder and easier. Something like Space Invaders would be balanced around easy and then further levels simply inflate the macro until the game becomes literally impossible.

What I said was that it's an inherent trait among the human species to want to play a game without feeling like someone is 'letting' you win. The desire to win 'properly' and 'fairly'. The specific difficulty a game is designed around is the difficulty the game should be judged by. If by doing so the game garners a reputation of being 'too easy' and a lot of people recommend upping the difficulty, then that is a design fact, not a bunch of people being 'gaming snobs'. Likewise if a game gets a reputation for being too hard on normal and a lot of people recommend reducing the difficulty, then that is also a design fact, not a bunch of people being 'gaming n00bs' who need to 'git gud'.

If a game expects you to jump around the difficulties while playing it, ie: that's what a lot of people are recommending, then that's a design flaw and should be expressed as such.

Even your own words express this situation. You said to me "I play most action games on easier difficulty" which suggests that you yourself are indeed aware that you are not playing these games on their intended difficultly, that you are not playing them 'properly'. Because you enjoy the experience regardless, you have developed a psychological excuse that permits you to do that without feeling guilty: "And I enjoy them, because they are challenging for me, at that difficulty", which is fine, that's the whole point of difficulty macros, for precisely this reason.

Now let's imagine you review the product for a living. Imagine you're a professional reviewer. Is your experience of the game on 'easier' a good and accurate representation of the game:

a) As the developers intended you to play it, as experiencing the game at its design optimum.
b) For other players who might be interested in the game and what the game is like.
c) In enabling you to spot what works and what doesn't.

And people shouldn't really be reviewing games on the harder difficulties for the same reasons. And you shouldn't expect a game developer to make 5 different games every time they make a game, you should expect them to make one, one good one, which permits macros for alternative difficulties.

If someone does make a game where there are 5 to 10 difficulties all perfectly balanced and cared for like bonsai trees in the development process, then more power to them, but in no way should that be an expectation. And people are happy with that scenario. Releasing a game where the difficulty is either messy and uneven or unspecific as to the intended difficulty is a flaw, and one that should be pointed out, that is the whole point of constructive criticism. Saying "everything's fine" because you have 20 random options or the game gives you the ability to swap difficulties on the fly is merely apologist rambling that helps no-one except the ego of the person who's found themselves debating from an absurdists point of view.

No-one cares what difficulty you choose to play your games. Play games on whatever difficulty suits you best. If you're offended by my post because you sometimes play on different difficulties to 'normal' then you simply haven't understood the post.
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December 8th, 2017, 20:37
I'm not offended by your post, I just didn't really get your point of view. Now you've clarified it at length, I understand it better. Normally I'd agree with you (that fluxuating difficulties is a design flaw), with a game that has two different genres that require two different computer game skill sets, it seems intuitive to me than any individual gamer might experiences the two parts differently. I played the original game and also found the RTS part harder, but I don't play many RTS games. A friend of mine who loves RTS games didn't find it that hard. Again, I think that's part of the problem.

Now let's imagine you review the product for a living. Imagine you're a professional reviewer. Is your experience of the game on 'easier' a good and accurate representation of the game:
I found this interesting. A professional tester is probably going to be very good at a particular type of game. Are they required to play a game like Skyrim from beginning to end at "normal" difficulty if its boring for them, or can they not note the relative ease of the game on normal difficulty and crank up the difficulty? What if they enjoy the game at higher difficulty should they still say its a bad game, because they couldn't enjoy it normal difficulty? And what is a normal gamer?
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December 8th, 2017, 20:46
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
I found this interesting. A professional tester is probably going to be very good at a particular type of game. Are they required to play a game like Skyrim from beginning to end at "normal" difficulty if its boring for them, or can they not note the relative ease of the game on normal difficulty and crank up the difficulty? What if they enjoy the game at higher difficulty should they still say its a bad game, because they couldn't enjoy it normal difficulty? And what is a normal gamer?
If someone is a professional anything then why would you expect them to never have 'boring' days at work? Does being a professional game reviewer absolve you of your job if your job suddenly becomes boring? Perhaps I should try that at work sometime? "This spreadsheet is too complicated/boring boss, can you give me a more easier/interesting one?

What is a normal gamer is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is what is the designed normal difficulty, any gamer of any kind can then play the game with known difficulty of the designed game in mind.
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December 8th, 2017, 22:33
Well games are supposed to be fun. Of course a professional game reviewer will have to play bad or mediocre games, be bored, and slug through them. But am I correct that you think that reviewer should play an entire game through whatever the normal difficulty is and not switch to another difficulty if that makes the game more "fun?" That's like making a chess professional play a chess program at normal difficulty. How can he possibly determine if it would be interesting for the majority of players?
I also work in a very different field than you, apparently. I teach children, which can be challenging, enjoyable, frustrating, and difficult. If I purposefully made my job boring than I think it would a torment for everyone involved. Sure I have the responsibility to import certain information, but how I do that is up to me.
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December 8th, 2017, 22:57
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
Well games are supposed to be fun. Of course a professional game reviewer will have to play bad or mediocre games, be bored, and slug through them. But am I correct that you think that reviewer should play an entire game through whatever the normal difficulty is and not switch to another difficulty if that makes the game more "fun?" That's like making a chess professional play a chess program at normal difficulty. How can he possibly determine if it would be interesting for the majority of players?
I also work in a very different field than you, apparently. I teach children, which can be challenging, enjoyable, frustrating, and difficult. If I purposefully made my job boring than I think it would a torment for everyone involved. Sure I have the responsibility to import certain information, but how I do that is up to me.
And what might be fun for you might not be fun for all the children But that's a sidetrack no-one here would be able to debate to any accuracy, yourself included (obvious bias )

With regards to professional reviews, none of the things you state effect the central requirement to examine the game in it's primary state. If the reviewer cannot complete it for any reason in that state then that information combined with an explanation of why is more useful to the reader than have them manipulate the game into a state that becomes less and less relevant to the point of the exercise.

You hope that at some point in their career they'd get a good handle on what kind of games they like reviewing and split the workload accordingly or only review those that take their interest. There's no reason why someone couldn't specialise in only reviewing at a specific difficulty level, either harder or easier than the designated primary, but by doing so they'd have to be aware that if they controlled too much of the audience then they'd be having a detrimental effect on the market a as whole, as they'd be applying a financial pressure for devs to spend more time developing various difficulty levels instead of developing one solid primary difficulty, spreading the resources wider and thinner instead of focused and meatier.
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December 8th, 2017, 23:10
I stand by my statement.
Too much evidence supports it.
In fact half your argument aligns with my comments. Not sure why you took offense to it.
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December 8th, 2017, 23:11
Also its labelled a strategy game, so if someones only experience of strategy is COD, Candy Crush, or Farmville? They are going to have a hard time. No level of difficulty will fix that.
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December 8th, 2017, 23:27
Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
I stand by my statement.
Too much evidence supports it.
In fact half your argument aligns with my comments. Not sure why you took offense to it.
I'm delighted we're in half agreement. I Have no idea which half is which but as long as you do then that's all that matters

Yes, your litany of evidence for your statement is overwhelming, I have no idea how anyone could possibly dispute any of it.
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December 9th, 2017, 14:09
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post



I found this interesting. A professional tester is probably going to be very good at a particular type of game.
No. Professional testers do not test products from that angle.
With streaming on the rise, professional testers come to stream, they are often mocked by people in chat for their lack of skills and the way they got the job is commonly questioned.

In addition, for this product, it is unlikely to be tested by someone with a RTS background as RTS products are scarced, testers come from the other side, RPG and mostly UgoIgo products.
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December 9th, 2017, 14:13
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post

What I said was that it's an inherent trait among the human species to want to play a game without feeling like someone is 'letting' you win. The desire to win 'properly' and 'fairly'. The specific difficulty a game is designed around is the difficulty the game should be judged by.
What a strange point of view to hold.
Video products are designed to let players win. The objective is that players win.

These days, it goes as far as the highest difficulty settings allowing to win smoothly without ever knowing of the product's specificities on a first run.
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December 9th, 2017, 18:10
Well, old Worthabuy definitely likes it, and he's pretty grumpy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd--FJLuEMQ
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December 10th, 2017, 20:24
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
What a strange point of view to hold.
Video products are designed to let players win. The objective is that players win.

These days, it goes as far as the highest difficulty settings allowing to win smoothly without ever knowing of the product's specificities on a first run.
Thanks for the interest in my posts, but you clearly haven't fully read nor tried to understand them fully if this is your reply. The extent to which games want you to win them was mentioned in one of my posts, in discussion of different genres having different difficulty requirements.

If you want to go to the 'nowadays' angle, let us not forget that even way back in 2000 Icewind Dale is actually easier on harder difficulty settings because their macro also supplied you disproportionately larger Exp gain. Which is more in line with my position that 'normal', or whatever difficulty the game is specifically designed around, is the most important when communicating about aspects of a game.

I don't know about you, but if I see someone say "the game is really easy on its hardest setting" then I wont digest that information at all, I'll pretty much ignore them as I would a troll-post. Likewise, if someone says "I still had trouble on the easiest setting" then I'll equally ignore that, again, even going back to the early 2000s, it's actually harder to a get quick date finish in Civilisation 3 on its easiest setting than on any other difficulty right up to the highest difficulties, because the AI is so nerfed that it refuses to expand at all, so you can't get a Domination win without settling most of the territory yourself, instead of the quick takeovers of the ready-roaded lands of others.

And as I keep repeating, there's nothing wrong with playing any game at any difficulty, games have difficulty levels for a reason, its just the communication about those games is only really relevant/useful when discussing the specific difficulty the game was designed around. That information is worth 100x any discussion about any 'alternative' difficulty.

If you have an issue with certain games seeming too easy to you in certain genres then its more likely your looking at games which either don't actually interest you or are not in a genre you like. If you have an issue with developers wanting you to complete their game then you certainly don't 'get' the RPG genre specifically, as the RPG genre has always wanted their player to complete the game (baring some titles in the early 90s and before who ran cash generation tricks to encourage people to call cheat help-lines or buy magazines to get cheat codes etc, such as implementing deliberately obtuse puzzles or pixel-hunting hidden items etc, which all had nothing to do with difficulty and everything to do with milking cash, not too dissimilar to the mindset of lootboxes).
Last edited by lackblogger; December 10th, 2017 at 21:32.
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Today, 13:51
There is nothing like different genres having different difficulty requirements.

For the rest, the posts were read and the answer was adequate.
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Today, 13:52
This product is less and less streamed. People switched. Never a good sign.
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Today, 17:02
Initial user reviews seem positive. Not sure why they have to 'stream' it to make ChienAboyeur happy. The single major complaint are bugs so if they do some patching it should be great. Suppose to have a very good rpg'ish campaign.
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Today, 17:33
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
This product is less and less streamed. People switched. Never a good sign.
RTS products live on twitch beyond week 1 on streams of competitive MP players with an occasional campaign streamer popping in here and there.

Since SF3 has no competitive MP feature, it will die on twitch very fast.
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