Difficulty preference poll

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Windows i7, Feb 4, 2018.

?

Which would you rather a game be?

  1. too hard

    7 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. too easy

    14 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. Windows i7

    Windows i7 Veteran Veteran

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    I'm curious as to how people see games that aren't perfectly balanced, or that they find easy or hard.

    Personally, I'd rather a game be too easy than too hard (to some degree). Extremes on either end are bad, but for me too hard is definitely worse.
     
    #1
  2. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    You can't progress if the game is too hard. But you can make a too easy game harder by limiting yourself :p
     
    #2
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  3. Puruiro

    Puruiro Artist and wannabe Game Dev Veteran

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    I can enjoy too really easy games if the the story is good or the gameplay kind of makes fun anyway.
    Too hard would make me look up a guide often or give up, which is far more annoying to me than playing a too easy game.

    If you want to provide real challenges, either market to that kind of audience or make them optional (through difficulty setting or optional extra bosses/levels)
     
    #3
  4. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Depends on my mood. So make sure to market the game appropriately. I had fun with Gothic 2, which is really hard at times, but I was in the mood for that kind of game when I played it. But a poorly balanced RPG that is too hard when I wanted an easy relaxing game is going to make me mad.

    Also just remember that as the developer, things you find easy the player will probably find to be just right. That is because you know all the tricks of your battle system. Likewise, things you find hard the average player will find to be near impossible.
     
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  5. SpunkyWunky

    SpunkyWunky Veteran Veteran

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    I probably shouldn't have cast my vote as I have a tendency to play games on God mode for the hell of it :LZSangel:
     
    #5
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  6. BehemothTheBeast

    BehemothTheBeast Villager Member

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    This is a tough call for me. I like easy games because they are fun... I like hard games for a challenge. It really depends on the game for me.

    Alundra, for example, was fun but had some good puzzles, so it was expertly balanced...aside from running around aimlessly sometimes, but even then I really didn't mind!
     
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  7. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

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    A strange dichotomy, but if I absolutely had to pick, I'd pick too easy as well, because even if the gameplay fails to thrill me, at least other elements of the game might. If I enjoy the story or even just the visuals and music, I might continue playing. But if it's too hard, you'll be constantly stuck and getting frustrated.
     
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  8. Philosophus Vagus

    Philosophus Vagus The drunken bird dog of rpg maker Veteran

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    I kind of hate both options, and feel that you should always try to engage players with some sort of challenge, the real possibility of failure but while trying to avoid hitting brick walls where only the most astute can survive, which is a difficult balance to be sure. Granted, I cannot really think of too many games that were genuinely "too hard to beat". The last that comes to mind is Zelda 2: The adventures of Link, a game in which I never really got much further than the second dungeon of. The closest modern game I can think of that comes close would be the soulsborne dlc (especially dark souls 2), but that was more a case of throwing too many enemies in a narrow hallway and giving the enemies cheap mechanics like allowing them to swing their weapons through walls uninterrupted while your own attacks fail every time you graze one, forcing you to essentially memorize the placement of enemies and then run past them to the boss in order to win which is more bad design practices (letting enemies cheat) than it is actual difficulty.

    At the end of the day, I guess I prefer too hard simply because they are so rare that at the very least they make a nice change of pace from the run of the mill button mashers that permeate modern gaming right now. At the same time however, talking as a game developer rather than as a player, it's certainly better to make a game that is too easy than one that is too hard, as while players might complain about it being too easy as they breeze through the game at least they still will play it most often, whereas if you do accomplish making it so hard that the average player can't beat it, that tends to stir a lot of negative emotions (especially in paid games) and you end up with negative reviews and such raging against how unbeatable your game is and turning other players off.

    It's a subjective field, while I can't name any modern games that actually gave me pause as a player, I'm not everybody. The safe bet is to make a button masher, that's just simple economics and catering to the lowest common denominator. Whether that's the game you want to make or not is an entirely different matter, and depends on your priorities. My personal priorities are that I'm making the type of game I enjoy most, and am not worried about profit, and it is likely going to be a painfully difficult tactical game from the perspective of someone who likes to just breeze through modern games at their own pace. If I were dead set on making profits and trying to make a career out of game development I would be making a horrible mistake to do that, but since I'm primarily just making it for myself and other gamers who like the same kinds of challenges I do then it is perfectly alright for me to go that route.
     
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  9. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I'm going to quote Ross Scott here for my personal opinion.

    "If I have to choose between a game so hard I'll never see the end, versus one that's too easy... I'd rather play the one I can... you know... play."
    -Ross Scott
    --Ross's Game Dungeon.
    ---Polaris Snocross

    Yep, that's me all over. I'd rather play a game I can finish and see everything in, against one I can barely get 20 minutes into without wanting to quit out of frustration.

    Also, like Ross Scott, I can appreciate a challenge, but I don't want the game to destroy me and cheat me and mess with me at every opportunity to provide that challenge.

    I beat Zelda II on the NES legit. No game genie. No emulator and save states. 1000+ continues. I've been to the Ice Level of Battletoads with a cooperative partner and solo. No warps. No cheats. No emulator and save states.

    I appreciate a challenge.

    But, given the choice of playing a game that's too hard or too easy... I'd rather play one that's too easy so I can at least finish it. I have no desire to waste large swathes of my very limited Lifespan playing a game that actively causes real stress and real frustration instead of fun. I see no reason to do so for "bragging rights" or "to prove I'm better" or even "self satisfaction in overcoming adversity".

    At least with a "too easy" game, I can complete it and move on to something else. A "too hard" game is a waste of my $60 and will collect dust on my shelf as I ignore it and play something else.
     
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  10. Zemtax

    Zemtax Secret Open World Game Dev Veteran

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    I'd prefer it being too hard, DEPENDING on the genre. I usually stick to grind-y games, like Path of Exile, Diablo, and the sorts. If a certain part for progression is too difficult, I can just grind away for a couple hours, change up my equipment, learn something new about the game etc.
    On the other hand, if you present me an insanely hard puzzle game you're gonna lose me in no time. Also, if the difficulty arises from unhealthy mechanics or something like that, it'd also make me drop the game.
    I'm also in the camp of "games can sometimes cause real frustration" and I don't mind. For me it's more than a relaxation session of gaming, I want to be challenged. Given that I have waaaay too much playtime in Path of Exile (3.2k), I love having options regarding equipment, skills etc. so if there are a lot of options to solve one problem, I also don't mind difficulty.
    That being said, the games I enjoy tend to be too hard to 'balance'. It's more about finding somewhat overpowered combinations which makes it fun (Disregarding patch cycles in online games).
     
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  11. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Tai_MT : Funny story, I actually was the first of my friends to beat Zelda 2. Everyone told me the final boss was unwinnable, so when I get there, I just smash buttons and happen to win on my last bar of health.

    Which goes to show an important point here. If you make the game too hard, there will still be someone who wins it by dumb luck. I shouldn't have won that battle in Zelda 2. But I did. Sometimes a stubborn enough player will win the game.

    At the same time, make sure your game doesn't spike your players blood pressure levels. I have no interest in playing a game that raises my blood pressure to 156/125 in 1 hour of playing as it is so unfair. Hard I can handle. Unfair...forget it. I'll uninstall, go get my money back (if an option) and go to one of my 300+ games in my Steam Library.
     
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  12. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    Personally, I would say that it depends upon the game in question.

    Frankly I can still enjoy a game that is too easy, if I am primarily interested in the story, & in a frivolous mood.

    On the other hand I can enjoy games that are absolutely punishing to any kind of mistakes, for example perma death of characters you've invested hours into, because the RNG gods turned against you. When I am in the mood to play such games.

    However, it's important to note that number of people who will play "too hard" games, because they enjoy the punishing experience are very much in the minority of game players. I.e. far more people will play a candy crush, than the number of people who will play a Dark Souls.
     
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  13. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    @bgillisp I beat Zelda II not because I was stubborn, but because every death felt like my fault. Sometimes, I hadn't talked to the right NPC and gotten information I needed. Sometimes, I was missing a useful spell (Fairy is SO ENDLESSLY USEFUL). Sometimes, I failed to just master mechanics in the game.

    I think it's important that if you're making a "difficult game", it NEEDS to feel like this. Every single death. It needs to feel like it's your fault and that you can learn something from it. Most games don't do that. Or, they do it poorly (for my tastes, Dark Souls does this poorly as my initial 25 deaths in the game felt like the fault of the controls, the janky camera, the poor explanations, the lack of a proper tutorial...).

    But, that's the thing. You need to create a difficult game that is fair. A game that feels fair at every single opportunity. That spells out precisely what it wants from the player at every single moment. Harder to accomplish than most devs think :D
     
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  14. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

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    For action games, I prefer them medium to easy in difficulty. For FPS and MOBAS I prefer to play ranked so that people are somewhat my own skill level. For puzzle games and point-and-click games I prefer them to be completely inscrutable.
     
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  15. Failivrin

    Failivrin Final Frontiersman Veteran

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    Depends. If we're referring to RPG combat, I prefer too easy. Combat is balanced by other elements which make the game enjoyable.
    If the game is non-stop action, I prefer it to be challenging. Some games auto-adjust their difficulty, but I hate that because I need challenge to improve my skills.
    I agree with the above comments. There is a difference between challenge and difficulty. A challenging game is one that sets a high standard but gives players resources to excel. A difficult game is one that is mechanically flawed, which sets a high standard but does not give players resources to excel. Difficult games are never enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
    #15

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