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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Dispelling the 'easy' myth

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362 posts found
  neosapience

Novice Member

Joined: 7/17/04
Posts: 166

4/04/13 1:10:45 AM#221

Artificially inflating the difficulty of a game doesn't increase its playability. The main reason people find MMOs too 'easy' is because they're too simplistic. They lack depth and are generally designed to placate teenagers with too much time on their hands.

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5097

4/04/13 2:41:42 AM#222
Originally posted by neosapience

Artificially inflating the difficulty of a game doesn't increase its playability. The main reason people find MMOs too 'easy' is because they're too simplistic. They lack depth and are generally designed to placate teenagers with too much time on their hands.

Indeed, lets gives games (not just MMOs) more complexity. Then look at how much more hard they need to be. This has been a common issue in the past, complex games have been described as hard or difficult.

Crusader Kings 2 on Easy mode is an easy game to play, but it is as complex as CK2 on Very Hard mode.

 

Mass Effect 3, shown at last week's PAX East, showed that only four percent of players completed the game on "Insanity" difficulty. The "hardcore" in text don't seem to be all that "hardcore" in practice."

If I remember rightly you have to play the game at lower level difficulties before you can unlock the game at higher level difficulties? Not sure if that’s the same for D3? This may reflect more on the games lack of replayability than the desire of gamers to play on hard mode.

There are usually four gradings with names like: easy, average, hard and very hard. I always start out at Hard these days. I did not used to, Average mode ten years ago was hard enough for me, but now Average mode plays like Easy mode.

After all the now Ex CEO (thank god) of EA said, “we want all our games to be games your mum could play.” That’s the vision most of the industry still has in mind, the babyfication of gaming.

 

 

  wordiz

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/12
Posts: 481

4/04/13 2:46:48 AM#223

Yeah, this isn't true. Games HAVE gotten easier. Especially MMOs. This is fact. I've cleared the nightmare and expert difficulties, I'm not just imagining things. I've owned and played every console since NES pretty much, and have been a PC gamer since '95.

Naturally, your nightmare dungeons are a post-WoW era thing, the games that came before were much more challenging and rewarding and a lot of them didn't have raids or difficulty levels. OP, you're dated by what you know, and I'm gonna have to assume you're too new to gaming to have witnessed a decrease in video game difficulty. So in a "tree in the forest" kind of way, you're right. Overall, you're not.

http://thewordiz.wordpress.com/

  Sornin

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/07
Posts: 1138

Too weird to live, and too rare to die

4/04/13 2:46:56 AM#224

I think that not enough MMORPG content is difficult. Yes, some of the top-tier content can be very challenging, but the drop off is too steep.

MMORPGs could, in general, use a smoother difficulty curve that allows a challenge that ramps up evenly, or lets gamers have a challenge at all levels, not just top-tier raiding.

  Swollen_Beef

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/15/09
Posts: 203

4/04/13 4:07:17 AM#225
Originally posted by dave6660
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Ebonyfly

Is it fairer to judge the difficulty of a game by a handful of difficult encounters or by some overall assessment of the content? I tend towards the latter because it is so easy for developers to tack some impossible content on to a game which is basically very easy.


 

Yes, if the statement is "challenging content is AVAILABLE" in the game. Is it fair to say it is an easy game when there *is* difficulty content and people avoid it?

 

In most mmorpg's the "difficult" content is at the end.  That means I have to spend 50 hours leveling to ever see it.  That's where I have a problem.  If I'm still steamrolling the game after 6+ hours of play then I'm bored and quitting.

The leveling up process is where the difficulty needs to be added.  I'd much prefer an mmropg where hitting max level is an accomplishment in itself rather then a given if I just put in enough time.

 

 

But the market disagrees with you. 

for some, unknown reason, it makes more sense to hand players max level within an hour, and let them wander around the end content.

 

The entirety of the game is no longer the content, only the last 5% is what gets sold.

  Everwest

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/13
Posts: 75

4/04/13 4:47:41 AM#226
Eh, I don't know about that.  I think the market is full of bad game design all around.  You can't really look to it for what should and shouldn't be done.  What you can't do is design a game where the leveling is slow and there are no "good parts" to look forward to at lower levels.  I don't think players expect to race to the end as much as they're tired of being jerked around at the lower levels just to artificially extend the life of the game.
  phumbaba

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 72

4/04/13 5:25:51 AM#227

This is a nice thread, but as some have said, you need to define difficulty. If you are talking about numbers and gear checks, they can represent difficulty for some. E.g. leveling might be super easy, but if you do everything several levels before, it might not be that easy anymore.

Likewise complexity is oftern interpreted as difficulty. You can introduce complexity at any level and it will be difficult until patterns can be seen or wiki's and other sources are utilized. Randomization will help somewhat, but at least I haven't seen implemented anywhere to the extent that it would truly make 10+ repeats difficult.

Further, different difficulty levels such as diablo or hm dungeons etc. most often simply raise the numbers and maybe put a bit more complexity. Once you pass the gear check and see the patterns, it all boils down to replayability and incentives: whether the players find it worthwhile and fun enough to redo the content. Often hm is actually more simpler as many things become unusable and being forced to always use similar methods outweighs the slight increase in complexity. As such, it get's boring for some.

As to the overall premise of the topic that simply having 1% of game difficult makes the game difficult, well-- I might actually agree with you on that, but not sure if I would ever represent a mmorpg's difficulty with just a single variable.

  KaosProphet

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 384

4/04/13 5:38:28 AM#228
Originally posted by nariusseldon

http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/03/26/the-soapbox-dispelling-the-easy-myth/#continued

"This isn't a WoW-specific issue or even one limited to MMOs. Gamers from all disciplines seem to be fond of complaining about games being easy without actually attempting anything to accomplish difficult. Big Huge Games noted in a GDC 2012 talk that "too easy" was a common complaint about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, even though two-thirds of its players completed it on the easiest difficulty setting. BioWare's awesome infographic for Mass Effect 3, shown at last week's PAX East, showed that only four percent of players completed the game on "Insanity" difficulty. The "hardcore" in text don't seem to be all that "hardcore" in practice."

Oh, they are.  They're just not as numerous as they like to think they are.

  fivoroth

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 2605

4/04/13 6:03:07 AM#229

Difficulty is always a tricky thing to balance in a game in my opinion. I have had times when I start a new game and I hit the highest difficulty from the start.  I still remember starting the Witcher on the highest difficulty setting and it was challenging but at some point it became frustrating? Why? Because I probably messed up my skills/stats etc. and it got so difficult to the point that i could barely progress. So my option was to reroll and start over, maybe on a lower difficulty but  I couldn't be bothered to repeat the content again. 

So nowadays what happens is I play a game on the normal settings to get a feel for it with the idea to play it on the hardest difficulty afterwards. But 99% of the time that never happens. I just don't have the desire to do it all over again. I guess if a lot of people do this then they will complain that games are easy. On Easy/normal settings you can faceroll your keyboard/controller and still win without much trouble. 

But yeah I do agree that 99% of the people don't experience games on the hardest difficulty and they usually play on easy/normal so they QQ that everything is so easy. Same for MMOs. Everyone says WoW is dead easy and that a mentally handicapped person can steam roll through the game. But have they actually played the most difficult content the game has to offer? Most likely not.  They probably only quested a bit and did a few dungeons.

The only difference, in terms of difficulty, that games in the past used to have is the ability to choose the difficulty. A lot of the old games never actually had difficulty sliders and they were automatically set at a fairly high difficulty level. Now all games I have played you can choose the difficulty and the difference between the two extremes (e.g. easy and difficult) is insane. If you want challenge crank up the difficulty to max and only after steamrolling through a game on super insane difficulty can you say that a game is easy.

But the main point is that making a game super difficult does not make it fun. Brilliant game designers know how to balance the whole difficulty thingie. The easy way out is to either A) make it ultra easy or B) make it ultra hard. Making a game ridiculously hard can be very counterproductive ESPECIALLY if you are using cheap means to accomplish it and you ruin the fun of the game.

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  Slapshot1188

Elite Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4087

4/04/13 6:17:17 AM#230
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by azmundai

first ... you list non-MMOs with difficulty settings. I can't really comment on single player games as they bore me to tears.

then you list sunwell. the general theme of the complaint is that mmos have become too easy. there are not many people who thought BT/Hyjal/TK/SSC were too easy. Even if there is a final boss on a hard mode that is very hard, the other 98.923% of most new mmos are still way too easy for my taste. im not saying all mmos have to be hard, but overall I havent been able to find one that I consider to be all that challenging outside of a few bosses on hard mode.

Did you read the article?

I guess not.

So i suppose you have all the achievement on all the hard mode stuff? Care to show us?

Playing a game over and over again to "unlock" harder levels of the exact same game is just something that does not appeal to me.  It's a developer copout in place of real content.

How about the game scale up in difficulty as you play it?  With oh.. actual new content?

 

Anyhow, to me the problem is simply that games are made "harder" in a very poor manner.  Mobs get more HP and do more damage.  Great.  They did this back in the 70' with games like Telenguard

 

 

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  nhiscool

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 16

4/04/13 11:30:21 AM#231

Oh look, everyones talking about difficulty now.

 

Well, the main idea that we're trying to get at here is that the most hard games to play are more attractive is when we see better players doing "walkthroughs" of the game.

If we can do what they do, or something else maybe even better the game seems more fun. Which is the problem of the games of today, they are too easy, theres no skill etc, walkthroughs are just pointless unless the video commentary is amazing :P

People want to imitate pros, MMORPGS don't have any, but when there are "pros" anyone can say they can do it better but lack videos etc <_< Theres not a big gap between noob / pro except levels and character builds? Or funding through the cash shop o.o

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19152

 
OP  4/04/13 11:49:14 AM#232
Originally posted by Slapshot1188
 

Playing a game over and over again to "unlock" harder levels of the exact same game is just something that does not appeal to me.  It's a developer copout in place of real content.

How about the game scale up in difficulty as you play it?  With oh.. actual new content?

 

Anyhow, to me the problem is simply that games are made "harder" in a very poor manner.  Mobs get more HP and do more damage.  Great.  They did this back in the 70' with games like Telenguard

 

 

No one says you have to run easy raids. You can jump to hard mode raid right away. And since everyone is complaining about how short the leveling curve is ... that is not an issue.

And who says mobs just got more HP? LFR raids have easier mechanics .. sometimes quite different. than hard mode.

  fivoroth

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 2605

4/04/13 11:59:20 AM#233
Originally posted by nhiscool

Oh look, everyones talking about difficulty now.

Well, the main idea that we're trying to get at here is that the most hard games to play are more attractive is when we see better players doing "walkthroughs" of the game.

If we can do what they do, or something else maybe even better the game seems more fun. Which is the problem of the games of today, they are too easy, theres no skill etc, walkthroughs are just pointless unless the video commentary is amazing :P

People want to imitate pros, MMORPGS don't have any, but when there are "pros" anyone can say they can do it better but lack videos etc <_< Theres not a big gap between noob / pro except levels and character builds? Or funding through the cash shop o.o

In MMOs there are no pros because MMORPGs have very low skill requirement and a low skill ceiling. But this has always been the case. I might be wrong but I can't think of a single MMO which is competitive and has a pro scene. If we exclude MMOs, there are quite a few games where you just can't get perfect (aka there is no limit to how good you can be). At the moment I mostly play just SC2 and there is no way you can ever achieve perfection (not even what most people consider "good") at that game. There are tons of pros which you can only look at on youtube and admire. OBviously I will never be as good as they are.

When you say "games of today", do you mean that there were actually game back in the past which were different to what we have today? If yes, care to give examples? 

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  papabear151

Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/12
Posts: 72

4/04/13 12:05:12 PM#234
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by papabear151

 

Diablo 3 is probably the worst example you could ever give. The difficulty was nerfed repeatedly because only a few classes that had spent hundreds of hours farming an easier difficulty could complete the difficulty. It was literally as easy as

(useless stuff eliminated)

You said it .. nerfed repeated .. why .. because it is too difficult.

And not everyone plays DH, and not everyone plays for hundred of hours.

And now, even with hundred of hours .. unless you are super lucky and have billions and billions of equipment, MP10 is still diffcult.

Gah, you're just trying to strawman this.

 

It wasn't nerfed because it was difficult, it was nerfed because releveling to the correct class and refarming modes you've successfully and easily beaten is BORING and TEDIOUS. Nobody wanted to do it and they were bleeding active players. 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19152

 
OP  4/04/13 12:29:52 PM#235
Originally posted by papabear151
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by papabear151

 

Diablo 3 is probably the worst example you could ever give. The difficulty was nerfed repeatedly because only a few classes that had spent hundreds of hours farming an easier difficulty could complete the difficulty. It was literally as easy as

(useless stuff eliminated)

You said it .. nerfed repeated .. why .. because it is too difficult.

And not everyone plays DH, and not everyone plays for hundred of hours.

And now, even with hundred of hours .. unless you are super lucky and have billions and billions of equipment, MP10 is still diffcult.

Gah, you're just trying to strawman this.

 

It wasn't nerfed because it was difficult, it was nerfed because releveling to the correct class and refarming modes you've successfully and easily beaten is BORING and TEDIOUS. Nobody wanted to do it and they were bleeding active players. 

There are plenty of complaint about how difficult Inferno was ... look it up.

And they are still top 11 on xfire, better than 99% of online games.

  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

4/04/13 3:28:31 PM#236
Doesnt matter what some scoreboard says... that is all fecetious anyways.

WoW raids have modes, because the game itself, poses no threat, no challenge. The exact same reason people sit in lobbies lfd...

10 instances... no matter how many times done, on whatever mode doesnt make a game hard, it makes it easy.

For comparison... getting to a dungeon in EQ was an adventure...

"No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


-Nariusseldon

  User Deleted
4/04/13 4:19:53 PM#237

Maybe the games aren't easy...maybe it's just that we are all so pro...

 

 

  Aelious

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2295

World > Quest Progression

4/04/13 6:17:54 PM#238
To be honest, I'm glad they were able to add a level of complexity to running a handful of dungeons in WoW and that people enjoy it. I personally don't find it exciting but I'm only one man.

I'd prefer to have the difficulty be at every mob (or adds!!) deep in a dungeon somewhere than be racing to see how quickly I can get to the end. To me that's more conducive to an RPG experience which is part of the reason I started playing MMORPGs.
  tupodawg999

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 571

4/04/13 11:59:07 PM#239
Originally posted by Psychow

Forum Guy #1 "MMOs are so easy! The quest of ultimate truth was a faceroll!! Give me a challenge!"

 

Forum Guy #2 "Wow, I thought it was kind of hard. I died twice trying to complete that quest chain. Forum Guy #1 must be a REALLY GOOD PLAYER!"

 

Forum Guy #1 "Thank you for acknowledging my leetness!" 

 

Basically, Forum Guy #1 just wants his epeen stroked.

 

 

It's weird how people can't get very simple logic. If you have a solo quest game that *every* player has to pass through then the level of difficulty *must* be set at the level of the least able.

 

A class version of the same thing would be if one player is levelling a priest and a second player is levelling a hunter then the level of difficulty *must* be set for the priest to be able to complete which makes the entire levelling game a faceroll for the hunter.

 

The only way to get round that (what should be completely obvious) *logical* truism is to have difficulty modes like single player games or different levelling routes so players can pick the exact level of difficulty they prefer.

 

  taus01

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 1419

4/05/13 12:30:19 AM#240
Originally posted by Squeak69
Originally posted by BadSpock

I've found a lot of people who say MMOs are too "easy" are 10+ year veterans who, after this amout of time, should damn well be quite skilled at playing them.

If it is still "hard" after 10 years, you're doing it wrong...

 

good point this

I am one of these 10+ years veterans (more like 20+ really) and i recently played Bioshock Infinite on 1999 mode (what they call insane) for the first time. I never played it before. The whloe thing can be viewed on my twitch page in the recent broadcasts ( twitch.tv/skyrant ) if you want to see an old man cuss and rage.

The game is hard, really unforgiving, hair pulling hard. But its not unfair or impossible. It is exactly as i remember games from back then (sounds so nostalgic doesn't it). 

It's not so much about skill, as it is about adapting and experimenting with possibilites. If something does not work, try something else. Study your enemy and then when you find his weakness, make him pay.

Games today *usually* do not have this learning phase anymore. They are very easy and not challangeing at all. This is mostly the developers fault because they do not give their audience enough credit to figure it out. 

I have yet to see an outrage by gamers about a game beeing too hard. In fact, some games pride themselves in beeing hard ( DarkSouls).

Anyway, just my 2c

"Give players systems and tools instead of rails and rules"

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