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KoolHndLuke

Game Difficulty- Do You Like it Hard? ;)

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Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I HATE games that are piss easy (like unmodded vanilla Fallout 4; after awhile you're able to railroad ANYONE, even Alpha Deathclaws just become a mindless slog).  Challenges are made to CHALLENGE YOU in order to reward the experience of triumph over an obstacle.  Lets take FFXIV for example.  In the latest patch the Bozjan Front was added and some of the Boss FATEs are REALLY difficult.  I may complain but will NEVER ASK FOR A NERF.  We've seen MMORPG's before become little more than a loot feast with little or no skill involved. 

 

WoW is a great example of that in its current format (don't kid yourself; Mythic+ is anything but extremely challenging.  I actually encouraged a Mythic + Raider to try his hand at Extreme Alexander in FFXIV and after 7 wipes he gave up, stating the encounter was over-tuned, only to find out he didn't even attempt to avoid boss mechanics..AT ALL).  Its the reason I loved Darksouls, Darksouls 2 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.  Challenges are not a bad thing, especially for someone that doesn't want a game becoming a mindless cheese.

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5 hours ago, legendarytoyou said:

FFXIV

Playing FFXIII again and am reminded how rewarding having to think about how to defeat different enemy compositions at different levels with different skill sets is. Do I upgrade this weapon/accessory or another? Do I sell these items I hardly ever use or hold on to them for tough fights with enemies that do a specific kind of damage? Do I use this teammate for this fight or another? How should I level them all because sometimes you need a ravager/commando and sometimes you need everyone to be sentinels against enemies that do a crazy amount of damage in swift or built up attacks. Figuring it all out and being king of the hill is it's own special slice of heaven. :classic_biggrin:

 

Typically I play heavily modded games like FO4/Skyrim to get off. When done I switch to something like FF to satisfy my gaming fix for all the hours that follow. Can you imagine what it would be like if had the same mod support for JRPG's? Awesomeness.

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2 hours ago, KoolHndLuke said:

Playing FFXIII again and am reminded how rewarding having to think about how to defeat different enemy compositions at different levels with different skill sets is. Do I upgrade this weapon/accessory or another? Do I sell these items I hardly ever use or hold on to them for tough fights with enemies that do a specific kind of damage? Do I use this teammate for this fight or another? How should I level them all because sometimes you need a ravager/commando and sometimes you need everyone to be sentinels against enemies that do a crazy amount of damage in swift or built up attacks. Figuring it all out and being king of the hill is it's own special slice of heaven. :classic_biggrin:

 

Typically I play heavily modded games like FO4/Skyrim to get off. When done I switch to something like FF to satisfy my gaming fix for all the hours that follow. Can you imagine what it would be like if had the same mod support for JRPG's? Awesomeness.

Hence that sense of accomplishment.  You don't really get that in un-modded Skyrim and Fallout 4.  Certain mods that I'm using DO make it more interesting though.  TiFA for example makes the game INFINETLY more difficult and challenging (please don't get mad at me moderators for posting this https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/19956

Behemoths with TiFA installed for example are insane (getting one shot is a norm in some occasions).  Deathclaws are nightmarish at times and I won't even count how many times I've been smoked by Fog crawlers in Far Harbor.

 

Point is though the game is actually fun instead a chore.  A lot of Fallout fans didn't want a Borderlands clone; THEY WANTED FALLOUT.  Nearly everyone I know goes out of their way in Fallout New Vegas for example to go Hardcore because by itself New Vegas is great but with Very Hard mode and Hardcore involved it becomes REALLY enjoyable.  That should be a sign to Bethesda to stop making games that hideously easy and the most challenging stuff is little more than bullet sponges but no real difficulty at all really.

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It really depends on the game whether I like it hard or not. Many games I also just play for the story. And most games don't really get the difficulty curve right anyway - just think back to any rubberbanding racing game which is just annoying rather than challenging.

Games like New Vegas sit in the middle because I can mod them and have done so to up the challenge where it does not affect NPCs just having a trillion health and pin point one shot you. They can be a challenge but more so in a roleplaying sense, less of a combat sense.

 

Other games I absolutely want to be brutal, like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta or even XCom 2 which got the difficulty right right out of the box.

On higher difficulties, enemies become faster, take a bit more damage, deal more damage and higher level enemies are thrown into the mix right from the get go. However, in both DMC and Bayonetta higher difficulties are locked until you cleared the easier difficulties and the game expects you to have a good grasp on the mechanics. Both games still make everything feel balanced (even when Bayonetta takes away witch time on Infinite Climax difficulty), but you really have to know the mechanics and patterns by then.

 

A bit different is XCom where the game starts super difficult but gets easier the more time you play and unlock higher tier equipment and have your people live long enough to level up. Of course, ADVENT gets bonusses in form of health and damage buffs, but the progression curve is also changed on legendary difficulty. Throw in an optional Ironman mode which makes your progress and decisions persistent (you basically can't cheese by save scumming anymore) and you've got one hell of a difficult strategy game. It's one of the few where they got difficulty right. Throw in randomized maps, missions and overall campaign progress, mod support with #sufferingisfun (yes that's an acutal hashtag in the modding community for this game) that adds even more brutal enemies, lategame challenges and a far more advanced AI and a couple of other goodies and you have a really replayable game, even if you curse your "soldiers" for not hitting that 95% hit chance like every mission.

 

However, challenging games have become more popular of the past years. Dark Souls, Kaizo Mario hacks (check out Grand Poo World 2 or Invictus for reference) have become pretty popular, so for a lot of people difficulty is part of the enjoyment. That's a good thing I'd say.

 

Overall I'd say it really depends on the game, not even on the genre, if difficulty should be a trait that defines it. The Diablo 2 immunities are annoying at best, but Titan Quest can be downright vicious on the highest difficulty. Senua's Sacrifice is a tense and very atmospheric story whereas DMC 4 boasts an indepth combat system. And that's where I'm drawing the line. Do I just want to experience a good story or an atmospheric game? Do I want to challenge myself? And if so, how well done is the game to actually support the challenge? Speedrunning against time, myself? Or overcoming the toughest of bosses on the hardest difficulty setting? Do I want to play Kaizo Marios? I don't want the game to become a slog, that's when the setting is off.

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And now I remember what western RPGs have over JRPGs; side quests that you can go back and do once the main story is finished. Craftmanship wise JPRGs are far superior to most, but follow a very familiar formula giving the player very little (if any) choice. In terms of difficulty the approach of many do give you more flexibility, but also in a very rigid structure that still doesn't deviate from an all too familiar formula. Great polish with not a lot of innovation because they like to play it safe whereas WRPGs will try new things and don't mind a few scrapes and bruises from learning.

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