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July 30th, 2018, 10:11
I just realised you were actually asking a question as well

Well, then:

For me, it's not so much the genre in itself that sets the tone for what I like the most. There are features and "kinds of games" that I love more than others, and much of what I like seems to be present in a variety of genres.

However, for what I would consider traditional CRPG features - or features originating from CRPGs - I tend to enjoy progression more than anything, I think.

That would be meaningful progression. Not just in terms of my character and his skills, but also in terms of what I call the gameplay horizon and all the tools and toys a great CRPG can have.

But it's funny, it wasn't actually a CRPG that made me realise my love of progression. That was an entirely different game called Civilization.

Civilization was the first game I played that more or less revolved around powerful progression.

I can clearly remember how the game felt like it was constantly evolving, and it wasn't just numbers growing. It was new buildings, new units, new ways to expand, and so on.

I was madly in love with that concept - and I played the first Civilization to death. Thousands of hours of trying out all kinds of tactics and ways to maximise my strategy.

I bring it up to underline my understanding of games - and how I think it's sometimes a mistake to think of genres as "feature holders" - and how the way games appeal to me can carry across several completely different games.

Anyway, if a CRPG has interesting choices and meaningful progression - that goes a very long way to keep me entertained.

Beyond that, I'm a huge fan of exploration. It doesn't have to be huge open world exploration - it just has to be interesting and meaningful.

Again, the best exploration - for me - hasn't really been in CRPGs.

For me, the best exploration I've experienced has been in immersive sims. Games like System Shock, Deus Ex, Dishonored and Prey have the strongest exploration in terms of unique and interesting content with tons of fidelity.

The reason I love games like Fallout 3/4 and Skyrim is because they take that kind of exploration - water it down somewhat based on necessity for content creation - and give me hundreds and hundreds of hours of it, rather than merely 15-20 hours.

Beyond that, Bethsoft games are full of progression - and if you mod them correctly, you can reach a stage where most of the progression is meaningful. You don't even have to mod Fallout 4 much, because Survival takes care of most of it.

Lastly, I'm also madly in love with immersion. To me, immersion is about forgetting that I'm playing a game - and I know I'm immersed when I'm physically trying to dodge arrows or spells - which still sometimes happens to me in certain games.

Yet again, it wasn't a CRPG or an immersive sim that made me realise my love of immersion.

No, the number one influence - for me - that showed me just how powerful immersion can be in a computer games would be MYST.

MYST was the first game I played where I felt truly transported to another place that was actually interesting.

Games like UU and Doom were also very immersive - but MYST felt like a true alternate world, and it still stands out as the most powerful example of that - for me.

So, those are the three most interesting features for me.

The reason I prefer CRPGs to most other games is that it's the only genre that combines all three to a sufficiently interesting extent, for the most part.

Then again, games like Deus Ex, SS2 and Prey also combine all three - but they're much shorter - and so they're not as good at making me feel like I could actually live another life in those worlds. I know they will end.

So, ultimately, if I absolutely had to name a "favorite" kind of CRPG - it would be Skyrim or games like Skyrim - because it combines all three AND make them last for as long as I want to, AND I can mod all the things that annoy me until they more or less go away.

The one way to improve that kind of game for me, would be cooperative multiplayer - because, to me, actually sharing my favorite kind of experience means it's an order of magnitude more satisfying.

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July 30th, 2018, 10:27
Ooops, almost forgot a most important thing.

Yet another game that taught me something about my own preferences:

Frontier - Elite 2.

That game taught me that, no matter how great the features are - or how impressive the world might be, I absolutely NEED some kind of story or ultimate objective to be able to enjoy a game.

When I was a kid, I enjoyed sandboxes - because I just used my imagination in place of there being "a point" - but I can't do that anymore. There are too many games out there with too much interesting content for me to lose myself in a hollow sandbox.

MMOs and WoW - in particular - cemented this lesson for me, later on.

So, I simply can't enjoy a game if there's no over-arching story or objective that I can achieve and declare myself "done" with the game. I need that ending for the rest of the game to feel meaningful. I can't just grind eternally so I can grind even more eternally.

Ultimately, that's why I can't enjoy games like Warframe - which has a ton of great mechanics and feature - because there's really no content to finish. It's all procedural or way too limited for what's not procedural.

Many games out there are absolutely brilliant - but lack this one vital element for me to enjoy them.

The story doesn't have to be very good at all. It just needs to be there and be presented in a reasonably accessible way. As in, I don't want games where I have to imagine my own story from bits and pieces - it needs to TELL me the story.

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July 30th, 2018, 11:20
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
Like you had with SCL, sure
I gave good info on SCL, didn't I?

I'm not always right but I'm always honest!

for example, here's some of the old character creation info I posted.

RACES

Human: +1 all stats

Variant Human: 3x +1 stat (max +2 to any single stat), +2 skills

Half-Elf: +2 CHA, 2x +1 stat, Sleep Immune, +2 Skills

Sun Elf: +2 DEX, +1 INT, Sleep immune, Search, Long/Short sword & Long/Short Bow (aloof)

Moon Elf: +2 DEX, +1 INT, Sleep immune, Search, Long/Short sword & Long/Short Bow (friendly)

Wood Elf: +2 DEX, +1 WIS, Sleep Immune, Search, Mark of the Wild, Fleet of Foot, Long/Short Sword & Long/Short Bow

Gold Dwarf: +2 CON, +1 WIS, Toughness, Poison Resistance, Battleaxe & Handaxe

Shield Dwarf: +2 CON, +2 STR, Poison Res, Battleaxe & Handaxe, Light & Medium Armour

Lightfoot Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 CHA, Naturally Sneaky

Strongheart Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 CON, Poison Res, Stout Resilience



BACKGROUNDS (most have 10-25 gold as well)

Acolyte: +1 WIS, +3 all healing given, bonus scrolls (restoration & shatter)

Charlatan: +1 CHA, +2 WIS & CHA saves

Criminal: +1 DEX, +2 Lock picking

Entertainer: +1 CHA, HOT aura 1hp/10s

Folk Hero: +1 CHA, +1 damage

Gladiator: +1 STR, +50%xp from beasts & +1 tohit & damage vs beasts

Guild Artisan: +1 INT, bonus scrolls (Cone of Cold & Thunderstone)

Guild Merchant: +1 WIS, bonus pots (Healing, Sharpness, Hill Giant STR), Healer's Kit

Hermit: +1 WIS, +2 Radiant/Necrotic/Psychic damage dealt, -2 Radiant/Necrotic/Psychic damage taken

Knight: +1 STR, +1 damage

Noble: 800 gold, Cormyr Brandy & Vilhon Cherrybread

Outlander: +1 CON, -3 to physical damage taken

Pirate: +1 DEX, -1 damage from Thunder/Lightning/Cold

Sage: +1 INT, +1 Fire/Cold/Lightning/Force/Psychic/Thunder damage dealt

Sailor: +1 CON, -1 damage from Thunder/Lightning/Cold

Soldier: +1 STR, +1 damage, Healing Pots

Spy: +1 DEX, +10% found gold

Urchin: +1 DEX, +10% move speed
That was the first anyone outside the devs heard about this info
Last edited by SirJames; July 30th, 2018 at 11:49.
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July 30th, 2018, 13:04
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I think you missed out on people RPing in Skyrim in completely different roles and not even looking at combat.
No. Skyrim has no role. Hence no roleplaying attached to it.
I know people even RP as traders in Mount & Blade for a while.
M&B had a few roles in it. Players' reception was to dilute them as much as possible so they do not meddle with their quest for domination.

Example: role as a mercenary, committment period was felt too long at first, players could not suffer role's constraints. It was shortened to minimal duration with the possibility to bail out anytime.

Role as a vassal: despite the importance and the oath pointing out, players could not suffer having to provide their support to their king's wars. They had better thing to do than acting out of a role in a RPG, like satisfying their hunger for dominance.

Not talking about woman stuff as people could not take it and pleaded for dilution.

The absence of roleplaying in an RPG is the best part of it, no matter the RPG. Always met with satisfaction. The attempt of adding roleplaying is met with rejection.
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July 30th, 2018, 13:34
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
No. Skyrim has no role. Hence no roleplaying attached to it.
Erm.. yes, you have a role in Skyrim. You play the role of Dragonborn. Those who refuse to follow the main plot can play whatever role you want.

I played the role of interior designer, who loves to snoop around other's house in dark to steal valuables at night.

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July 30th, 2018, 14:03
Skyrim is definitely a larping simulation and is best enjoyed that way. Its funny that Bethesda seem least able to appreciate the true strength of that game. The no restrictions, plenty of choice and few consequences style necessitates an active imagination. That was certainly why I was enjoying Skyrim.
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July 30th, 2018, 14:36
So many walls of text…
The Best Part of a cRPG is…
Plain and simple the best part of it - it's on PC.

Means it can be:
- fixed by players when ignored or abandoned by it's publisher
- modded in any way including adding fanmade sidequests/sidestories
- thanks to SATA3 loading times measured in seconds (except if unoptimized garbage)
- 60+ frames per second
- hairworks/tressfx spectacle
- no checkpointsonly outdated design thanks to enormous HDD/SDD space to save world state numerous times
- no mushrooms!
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July 30th, 2018, 16:23
Skyrim as a larping simulation, I don't believe I've ever heard a more perfect description of the game!! And thanks for almost making me choke on my morning coffee, too funny! =p
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July 30th, 2018, 17:13
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
No. Skyrim has no role. Hence no roleplaying attached to it.

M&B had a few roles in it. Players' reception was to dilute them as much as possible so they do not meddle with their quest for domination.

Example: role as a mercenary, committment period was felt too long at first, players could not suffer role's constraints. It was shortened to minimal duration with the possibility to bail out anytime.

Role as a vassal: despite the importance and the oath pointing out, players could not suffer having to provide their support to their king's wars. They had better thing to do than acting out of a role in a RPG, like satisfying their hunger for dominance.

Not talking about woman stuff as people could not take it and pleaded for dilution.

The absence of roleplaying in an RPG is the best part of it, no matter the RPG. Always met with satisfaction. The attempt of adding roleplaying is met with rejection.
Skyrim certainly has a standard role but you do not need to play it that way.

For mount and blade you can play however you want. I never played for domination and played through as vassal throughout.

It's not because you didn't see streamers do so that it means people don't…

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July 30th, 2018, 17:29
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
It's not because you didn't see streamers do so that it means people don't…
You mean although streamers never shown my brain, perhaps it exists?
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July 30th, 2018, 19:09
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
You mean although streamers never shown my brain, perhaps it exists?
I doubt it but its possible…

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July 30th, 2018, 21:01
The Best Part of a cRPG are the fun parts. Period. As to what makes the fun parts well it differs from games to games. In DA:I I thought it was the relationships; in witcher 3 it was the mini stories; in D:OS-2 it is the exploration. I don't think there is a recipe that someone has to follow that will produce a fun game; in fact I suspect that is the forumlae for disaster. Oh and skyrim; the graphics - er just getting to a high point and looking across the terrain. Today it probably sucks but when I played it that is what grabbed myself. It has no story; no 'role playing'; no stories; no real mechanics; just pretty scenes. Hum almost forgot to mention for Dogma I loved grabbing a dragon the first time and flying only to discover I had no way to get back down and panic not to mention first getting flustered at that bloody thief and then not being able to catch him for 30 minutes and rage quiting..
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July 30th, 2018, 21:29
Lots of good posts. As it turns out, it appears Darth and I share quite a bit in common with what we like in our games.

There's obviously and endless number of roads to analyse with "the best part of a Crpg is…" I was tacking in just one particular direction. Like many of you, I like a number of things in cRPGs… good story, character progression, exploration, discovery and so many other things already pointed out.

But behind all that, I really need a world to provide challenge as that's fundamentally what compels me to complete a game. When I consider the games I never finished, at a fundamental level, it's because it became un-challenging and I got bored. All the pretty scenes, great dialog, fun crafting and other things that might be spectacular seem meaningless without that challenge being there.

That's why I like the start of many cRPGs, there's a strong likelihood that the beginning will be tough and that everything you can find or do with your character will matter. I just love that so much.
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July 31st, 2018, 09:47
There's probably two aspects, action games (real rime RPG) and others that is turn based or Real Time with Pause. I won't consider action games, I don't think there's any tactical game using single character and real time, and there's a good reason for that. Such games are much more based on a different skill set, and I don't argue on this in this post.

For having a really good progression along a play, (non action) RPG should start first to be really good at tactics design. Almost none are.

Even when picking very indie (good) Tactical games, they are a lot superior for tactical value than most RPG. And I include DOS1, BG series, PoE series, many more.

Nowadays and since more than one decade if not two, characters building in RPG are designed on a wide amount of variations, and with a party the amount of variations is a lot huger. This makes very difficult to design tactics balances, and without this you can't have a good base for tactical design.

So in general in party RPG, if you want have good combats and useful tactics, you need a flair to detect OP elements. If you see party building as a challenge, I doubt you'll find much RPG with a real tactical depth, nor even with much interesting combats.

There's perhaps some exceptions, but I wonder. Icewind Dale first half or even 2/3 of a full play, achieved the quadrature of the circle? I had this feeling but I wonder. DAO/DA2? I can't make a list myself as I have an instinct to avoid OP tools despite it could lead me to some raging to not have build better a party. :-P
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July 31st, 2018, 10:01
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Lots of good posts. As it turns out, it appears Darth and I share quite a bit in common with what we like in our games.

There's obviously and endless number of roads to analyse with "the best part of a Crpg is…" I was tacking in just one particular direction. Like many of you, I like a number of things in cRPGs… good story, character progression, exploration, discovery and so many other things already pointed out.

But behind all that, I really need a world to provide challenge as that's fundamentally what compels me to complete a game. When I consider the games I never finished, at a fundamental level, it's because it became un-challenging and I got bored. All the pretty scenes, great dialog, fun crafting and other things that might be spectacular seem meaningless without that challenge being there.

That's why I like the start of many cRPGs, there's a strong likelihood that the beginning will be tough and that everything you can find or do with your character will matter. I just love that so much.
Good point about challenge.

I'm sort of torn when it comes to that aspect of games.

I think, to me, it's less about challenge and more about an appropriate sense of investment versus reward.

I mean, the easiest thing in the world is to create a game that's challenging - and it's just as easy to create a game that's not challenging.

You can always tweak numbers until they're unfair or until the challenge goes away.

However, potentially the hardest part of game design is to create an appropriate challenge level.

That becomes even harder when you're also creating a huge open world game, where you give players the capacity to do whatever he or she wants.

In fact, I struggle to imagine a harder task than to balance a complex game that's also very open and big in terms of scope.

MMOs usually approach this by severely limiting what the players can do - and by creating an extremely rigid power curve. That's why you'll never find a sword that's too powerful in WoW - because the mechanics ensure you will never exceed a certain DPS ceiling.

I think that's sometimes what people forget when they bash games like Skyrim - because that game actually lets the player do whatever he or she wants. It's fully possible to come across a powerful artifact (though much of it is scaled down to a certain extent) - and it would be almost impossible to balance a game properly, with that amount of freedom.

But games that are hard without an appropriate reward bore me. I don't play games to "work" - I play games to be rewarded for my time.

Just like I work in real life for my paycheck - I "work" in my game to become powerful, so that I can be properly rewarded.

So, the better and more engaging the content - and the corresponding rewards - the more I'm willing to invest, and the more satisfying it will feel to invest.

But games that expect me to do all the work, and only throw me a bone in return will never excite me. I don't get excited by "overcoming" challenge in itself if there's no reward to speak of.

That's Dark Souls to me, by the way. If the content was more interesting - and the mechanics more appealing - then I would be much more willing to invest the kind of time it takes to learn the various patterns of the enemies.

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July 31st, 2018, 10:14
Other point, CRPG (computer RPG? weird tag but I'll skip the topic) are boring.

Since a few years my favorite game genre has switched, from RPG to Tactical games, but I have a shortage of ammo, so it's an half switch, I still play a lot more RPG.

The point is almost all RPG, including among the best of the best, have tedious parts along a play. It could be some excessive wandering not much interesting, some junk combats too much repeated, some tedious picking/searching loot phases, some tedious inventory management, some tedious NPC/companion, some weak part of a story, some too basic secondary quests, many more.

The problem is classic RPG is the most complex blueprint of all video games, and worse since a decade or more, a large majority of players aren't attracted anymore by non huge RPG or at least non big RPG. This makes very difficult to do a RPG that isn't a bit tedious during some part of a play.

With (good) tactical games, the game flow is constantly targeting the essential, the combats. And the combats design depth and diversity is the core of the genre. Strategy/management layout are always simplified, they are important enough and quickly done, so they are hardly boring or tedious.

Now if you are a genius, that is among 0.01% of the population if not a lower percentage, most tactical games will be too simple for you, you'll solve all problems without even notice it. But that's not my problem, I'm no genius, hence I can have a lot of fun in tactical games, and a very constant fun with no noticeable tedious phases.

But does this make those tactical games superior to RPG? No because RPG can offer a lot more, even if there's a price of some tedious phases.

Pillars of Eternity 2 first play has been for me an uncommon RPG gaming experience. I wasn't such in hurry to come back continue play, but each time I was making play sessions a lot longer than it should have been, and I noticed that I didn't felt the game tedious at any time, despite I have hard time to remember even one RPG without any tedious parts. And at end, I consider it as a good to very good RPG, not great.
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July 31st, 2018, 10:31
@TheMadGamer

Dart hates a challenge. IF he gets to a boss in a game and can't defeat it with his normal trash mob strategy he takes it as a personal insult from the developers. He think's they're trying to waste his time on purpose.

Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
What you call bosses, I call guess what the designer came up with to counter your sound and feasible strategy - because that's the only way he can delay your progress.

Sort of like WoW high level raids. The challenge wasn't performing my role, it was coordinating 40 people and getting them to do relatively simple tasks in unison.

Dark Souls bosses work much the same way. You have to die X amount of times - depending on how much research you're willing to have others do for you (wiki browsing and YT videos) - and then it's a matter of simply jumping through hoops as the designer intended.

Since I always prefer figuring things out for myself, it's usually a matter of dying a few times until I get it right. Trial and error.

To me, that's not only boring - it's work - because I find it endlessly predictable and dull. I know my skill means nothing. Only my patience and my willingness to endure whatever little puzzle they came up with for me.

I prefer fights that are more systemic and less "designed" - much like I don't enjoy puzzle-games too much.

I prefer excelling in my role and being efficient in my role. I don't enjoy guessing what the designer intended - until such time as it becomes a complete pushover, because there's no way they can make a trial and error fight require ACTUAL skill once you've figured it out.

Of course, Dark Souls bosses aren't unique in any way here. But Dark Souls doesn't really have much more to offer in the way of content and challenge. So, it's essentially grind, grind (trash) - trial and error (boss) - grind, grind (trash). Over and over and over.

To me, that's not exactly a great experience and MH:W looks a little like the same thing.

But, to each his own.

That said, please let me know if there's an actual story that's interesting - that I don't have to piece together myself from an array of vague exposition. Also, if there's interesting stuff to find in the world that tells a compelling tale or two.
So much contradiction! Vague exposition != stuff that tells a compelling tale? Who knows!
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July 31st, 2018, 10:34
Maybe you don't have to turn every thread into this stalker-like obsession, SJ? I mean, it's cute that you're obsessed with me and how I work as a human being - but it's probably not particularly interesting to everyone else.

I mean, I don't mind so much when it's my own thread - but this is actually a very interesting thread - and I doubt MadGamer appreciates you ruining it.

If my ways bother you so much, there's probably a lesson to be learned.

In any case, grow up a little and consider just letting others be who they are.

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July 31st, 2018, 10:41
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post

I think, to me, it's less about challenge and more about an appropriate sense of investment versus reward.

But games that are hard without an appropriate reward bore me. I don't play games to "work" - I play games to be rewarded for my time.

Just like I work in real life for my paycheck - I "work" in my game to become powerful, so that I can be properly rewarded.

So, the better and more engaging the content - and the corresponding rewards - the more I'm willing to invest, and the more satisfying it will feel to invest.

But games that expect me to do all the work, and only throw me a bone in return will never excite me. I don't get excited by "overcoming" challenge in itself if there's no reward to speak of.
It's like no matter the game, a part of the game is boring/tedious work/non interesting. And this can only be compensated with some sort of reward.

Are you meaning that reading a book is boring, unless if there's a reward like it's great writing so a lot of fun to read?

I probably don't read well your comment, but it looks more like if there's necessary boring parts compensated by some rewards, what are rewards isn't clear.

I'm not sure what you tried explain, but for me a game need be fun to play, all along. And if some parts are boring, it's a flaw. If I play the game anyway despite it has some tedious parts, it's because almost all have boring parts and I don't have much choice on that.

But ok, I misread your post which was only about challenge and tedious/reward.

It's not changing much my answer above, if a combat is boring, it is boring, that it's a challenge should not make it boring.

I believe it comes from a very different perception of challenge, and we don't share the same. It's related to difficulty, but difficulty is largely a perception and includes a lot of subjectivity. But that's another debate, the point remain, if it's too easy combats are quickly awfully boring, so a challenge level is required. But the point is all combats should be fun to play, and I don't care of the reward.
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July 31st, 2018, 10:45
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
It's like no matter the game, a part of the game is boring/tedious work/non interesting. And this can only be compensated with some sort of reward.

Are you meaning that reading a book is boring, unless if there's a reward like it's great writing so a lot of fun to read?

I probably don't read well your comment, but it looks more like if there's necessary boring parts compensated by some rewards, what are rewards isn't clear.

I'm not sure what you tried explain, but for me a game need be fun to play, all along. And if some parts are boring, it's a flaw. If I play the game anyway despite it has some tedious parts, it's because almost all have boring parts and I don't have much choice on that.

But ok, I misread your post which was only about challenge and tedious/reward.

It's not changing much, my answer above, if a combat is boring, it is boring, that it's a challenge should not be boring.

I believe it comes from a very different perception of challenge, and we don't share the same. It's related to difficulty, but difficulty is largely a perception and includes a lot of subjectivity. But that's another debate, the point remain, if it's too easy combats are quickly awfully boring, so a challenge level is required. but the point is all combats should be fun to play, and I don't care of the reward.
I would guess we all have different ideas of what a reward is.

To me, the best reward would be the combination of the "big three" things that I mentioned as my best parts of a CRPG.

I mean, if a game is very challenging - but rewards me with a proper sense of progression, immersion and exploration - and underpins them all with a great narrative - then I'm very likely to be willing to invest and overcome that challenge.

It should be noted, however, that very, very few singleplayer CRPGs feel "challenging" to me.

An interesting challenge is EXTREMELY hard to accomplish when you're up against the AI - especially when you have to appeal to a wide segment of the audience.

For instance, games like Dark Souls aren't very challenging to me - because they're so predictable. They have to be, because it's not going to be a fun game if only 1% of the people buying it can overcome the challenges.

So, instead of meaningful challenge - Dark Souls just requires more work and more grinding.

Which is fine if you enjoy that kind of content.

So, unless you're an extremely competent game designer - it's going to be very hard to create an appropriate challenge level for me in the kind of games I prefer to play.

But, that's where multiplayer comes into the picture - because when you're up against another human being - you can no longer easily predict what you have to do to win.

Darth Tagnan

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