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Rampant Games - Difficulty Levels and RPGs

by Dhruin, 2011-07-06 00:55:12

Jay Barnson writes about difficulty levels in RPGs:

Should RPGs have difficulty levels?

My knee-jerk response is to say, “Of course!” I generally prefer games with difficulty levels. Especially action-RPGs. Especially for an action-RPG like The Witcher 2, which apparently really wants you to play with a gamepad, when I really want to play with a keyboard and mouse. I have a gamepad. When I get back to playing The Witcher 2, I may use it – much to my annoyance – because “Easy” difficulty was far too easy.

So I’m definitely not opposed to difficulty levels. If done well. But for me, traditional RPGs (and this includes action-RPGs) have inherent difficulty levels built-in. I’ve enjoyed them for years. It’s called “leveling up,” among other things.

Is this encounter too hard? If you are hardcore, you can power your way through it, trying different tactics, and keep going. Or you can wuss out (I often do), get an extra level or two under your belt, get a better suit of armor, buy or quest for that Helmet of Brain Protection to protect you from the encounter’s Brain Burn attack, plus an extra few potions of extra healing, and now the encounter (and everything beyond it) is quite a bit easier. So long as this doesn’t involve hours and hours of senseless grinding, we’re good.

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