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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Because opinion doesn't count.

    I should probably addend my previous statement with "their implementation is". A game feature is not a good or bad design choice. Adding a feature to a game and making it useful to the themes and goals of the game is good design. Adding a feature to the game counter to those themes is bad design. The implementation is what makes good or bad design, in light of the design goals of the game in question. Adding a "jump" function to Command&Conquer clone would be both nonsensical and difficult in my opinion. That doesn't make jump functions bad design.
    Sure, but ALL design is evaluated in the context it is given, for the specific game you're talking about.

    That's why discussing whether Wasteland 2 has too many skills is a potentially interesting discussion, but arguing for multiple pages about whether there is a hypothetical game where it is good design is a waste of time.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Sure, but ALL design is evaluated in the context it is given, for the specific game you're talking about.

    That's why discussing whether Wasteland 2 has too many skills is a potentially interesting discussion, but arguing for multiple pages about whether there is a hypothetical game where it is good design is a waste of time.
    I just disagreed with the statement that (to paraphrase) "more skills in a game is always bad". That's been the entire point. I've never even played Wasteland 2 (which I stated in my first post in this thread, I believe); whether or not it has too many skills or not is entirely irrelevant to me. *shrug*
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Because opinion doesn't count.

    I should probably addend my previous statement with "their implementation is". A game feature is not a good or bad design choice. Adding a feature to a game and making it useful to the themes and goals of the game is good design. Adding a feature to the game counter to those themes is bad design. The implementation is what makes good or bad design, in light of the design goals of the game in question. Adding a "jump" function to Command&Conquer clone would be both nonsensical and difficult; that would be bad design. That doesn't make jump functions bad design.
    I'd say that there are game features that are legitimately bad design choices. If I made a VR game where part of the game mechanics involved smacking your face against a wall, it'd be very difficult for anyone to argue that that would be an appropriate mechanic anywhere.




    My own take on this little argument - while having a huge number of skills is not necessarily a bad choice, it's going to usually be an ill-advised one. Good designs are usually relatively small because a given team only has a finite amount of time and effort that they can apply towards a project, and everything pulls from that pool. The time it takes to design and test 90 extra skills could've been spent polishing something else.

    Like, seriously, what does adding a large number of extra skills do for your game, in concrete terms? It extends design and testing time, which means that it will cost more than an equivalent game with a fraction of that skill count. And your payoff is that an indeterminate number of people will buy your game who wouldn't otherwise. If you're lucky, that number of people is larger than the number of people who decided not to buy your game because of your design choice. Those don't seem like good odds to me, not in this case.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Hmm...no (tentatively). I'm saying that the game mechanics are not a valid metric to measure the value of the game design by.
    "...Game mechanics are not a valid metric to measure the value of the game design?" That's... I'm struggling to find the right words to express myself. The game mechanics are some of the most important parts of the game's design; if the mechanics don't work, it's badly designed. It's like saying that whether or not a car is a functional vehicle should not be used as an indicator of that car's design.

    Whether your game has 10 or 100 skills, that choice is not inherently good or bad design. The implementation of those skills, whether they be many or few, is what determines the quality of the design. A game can still be bad with few skills, just as much as it can be bad with many.
    I'm not saying that complex, esoteric skill systems cannot be implemented well, or that some people don't like them. However, as the complexity of the system increases, it becomes harder to implement and balance. A simpler system is easier and quicker to develop, more intuitively understood by new players, and is simpler to implement in a balanced and rewarding fashion in the game world. While a game with simple skills can be just as bad as one with a complicated system, I think you're far more likely to find a complex bad system than a simple bad one.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    I just disagreed with the statement that (to paraphrase) "more skills in a game is always bad". That's been the entire point. I've never even played Wasteland 2 (which I stated in my first post in this thread, I believe); whether or not it has too many skills or not is entirely irrelevant to me. *shrug*
    And by paraphrasing, you mean misunderstanding. I'm not saying and did not say "more skills is always bad." I'm saying that lots of old games include complexity for complexity's sake, without thought given for implementation.
    Last edited by Balmas; 2019-11-17 at 07:12 PM.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    And by paraphrasing, you mean misunderstanding. I'm not saying and did not say "more skills is always bad." I'm saying that lots of old games include complexity for complexity's sake, without thought given for implementation.
    One instance of that where I definitely agree: some older roguelikes would have a different keypress for drinking something as opposed to eating it, and if you tried to drink food or eat water you'd get a snarky message. Why they did this I have no idea--having just one button that does both works fine to my mind. Mind you, it often seemed to me that roguelikes had obscure and difficult to understand control schemes just for the hell of it!

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    "...Game mechanics are not a valid metric to measure the value of the game design?" That's... I'm struggling to find the right words to express myself. The game mechanics are some of the most important parts of the game's design; if the mechanics don't work, it's badly designed. It's like saying that whether or not a car is a functional vehicle should not be used as an indicator of that car's design.
    No, it's more like saying that a cars design isn't predicated on car stereos. Someone might think one stereo is enough, another might think they need five and someone else again might consider a stereo entirely superfluous. Then there's qualitative factors of the stereo; does it have a cd player? iPod docking station? Does it have the latest sub-woofer double magatronic bass? The fact is that the stereo itself is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether you have the right stereo for the car you're designing. The feature doesn't make or break the design. If the stereo is broken and doesn't work, that isn't a fault in the design of the game, per se, but a fault of the stereo itself and that can be fixed whilst still maintaining the integrity of the games design. Yes, if the design calls for an overcomplex feature that is prone to breaking, then the designers should probably reconsider their design, but that is another design choice to make and it still isn't the fault of the feature.

    I'm not saying that complex, esoteric skill systems cannot be implemented well, or that some people don't like them. However, as the complexity of the system increases, it becomes harder to implement and balance. A simpler system is easier and quicker to develop, more intuitively understood by new players, and is simpler to implement in a balanced and rewarding fashion in the game world. While a game with simple skills can be just as bad as one with a complicated system, I think you're far more likely to find a complex bad system than a simple bad one.
    I don't disagree at all.

    And by paraphrasing, you mean misunderstanding. I'm not saying and did not say "more skills is always bad." I'm saying that lots of old games include complexity for complexity's sake, without thought given for implementation.
    Who said I was paraphrasing you? My apologies. I used your quote to preface my introduction into this thread and that wasn't, as you say, your stance necessarily. As I mentioned in my original preamble, I used you as a starting point, but it was not my intention to be pointing fingers at you, but rather the conversation you began.
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2019-11-18 at 07:03 AM.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I kinda want to see an indie game where you have to unlock easier difficulties, just to be contrary.

    Like how Lost Vikings 2 gave all of your characters superpowers if you managed to get a character killed in the first level (which has no enemies or stage hazards).
    There is also a devil may cry where you unlock lower difficulties by losing a lot.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-11-18 at 07:16 AM.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    One instance of that where I definitely agree: some older roguelikes would have a different keypress for drinking something as opposed to eating it, and if you tried to drink food or eat water you'd get a snarky message. Why they did this I have no idea--having just one button that does both works fine to my mind. Mind you, it often seemed to me that roguelikes had obscure and difficult to understand control schemes just for the hell of it!
    Kinda true, but in something like ADOM, for example, it becomes way easier and faster to choose with a different keystroke to a) eat something from your 54 foods, b) drink one of your 81 potions, or c) drink from the fountain next to you.

    Also, don't quote me on this, but the whole "lots of different keystrokes for different actions" thing in oldschool roguelikes might have evolved from the text adventures and MUDs, so that we don't spend time trying every verb in the dictionary with every item we can see. Not to say that it's not still a bit clunky and outdated, but still.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2019-11-18 at 08:04 AM.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cespenar View Post
    Kinda true, but in something like ADOM, for example, it becomes way easier and faster to choose with a different keystroke to a) eat something from your 54 foods, b) drink one of your 81 potions, or c) drink from the fountain next to you.

    Also, don't quote me on this, but the whole "lots of different keystrokes for different actions" thing in oldschool roguelikes might have evolved from the text adventures and MUDs, so that we don't spend time trying every verb in the dictionary with every item we can see. Not to say that it's not still a bit clunky and outdated, but still.
    Roguelikes developed the different keystrokes for eating and drinking from...*drumroll*....Rogue. The original.

    Eating and drinking were entirely different gameplay mechanics. You could only drink potions (which were unidentified and randomized in their effects), and none of those effects related to your thirst or your hunger. Drinking was purely to apply buffs or debuffs to yourself. Eating had one purpose - staving off hunger. There weren't multiple types of food, there was just food. The keystrokes being separate made sense, because when you were hungry you needed to eat and there was no reason to go into your potion menu.

    Future versions (Nethack et al) built on both the code and the design philosophies of the original. As such, they wind up with weird stuff like a separate eat and drink button when the game has become complicated enough that the distinction no longer really matters.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Talking about "useless stuff from a previous time that still exist for some absurd reason"

    A: and b: drives on Windows install. Come on.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Talking about "useless stuff from a previous time that still exist for some absurd reason"

    A: and b: drives on Windows install. Come on.
    What do you map your floppy drives to? Next you'll tell me that my 8-track player is obsolete...
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    I've only ever seen a: and b: drives if the system actually has a floppy drive installed, and I haven't owned such a system for years. In fact, if you don't have a floppy installed there's nothing stopping you formatting a hard drive as A: or B:--Windows will allow you to do that just fine.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I've only ever seen a: and b: drives if the system actually has a floppy drive installed, and I haven't owned such a system for years. In fact, if you don't have a floppy installed there's nothing stopping you formatting a hard drive as A: or B:--Windows will allow you to do that just fine.
    But why not have the default drive install as A:

    If you have, for some fetishtic reason, a floppy drive, map it to B or C. Why force the entire business world have a C Drive because Windows

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    But why not have the default drive install as A:

    If you have, for some fetishtic reason, a floppy drive, map it to B or C. Why force the entire business world have a C Drive because Windows
    Retro compatibility, which is one of the major points for businesses.

    Also, reading this thread for a while, it's interesting to see some old mechanics that you love (random encounters, for once, and extensive skill trees for another) being mentioned, and the reasons for the dislikes. I think I can agree that some mechanics may be seem as dated, and inappropriate, but I can enjoy the game so long as the mesh of mechanics, pacing, and music is good.

    As for my contribution to the list: bad controls, because that sucks and has always sucked since ever. And micro-transaction focused gameplay, which is my pet peeve with almost all mobile games and most modern AAA games (except card games, for historical reasons).
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    Quote Originally Posted by heronbpv View Post
    As for my contribution to the list: bad controls, because that sucks and has always sucked since ever.
    "You don't get it, the tank controls were on purpose to make Resident Evil scarier, it was brilliant!"

    Resident Evil literally came out before analog sticks were a thing on home consoles, and was working on figuring out the genre in general, so I give it a lot of slack, but that doesn't make the tank controls *good.*

    What it did do pretty well was design around its controls. Most of the enemies were slow and deliberate, so you have time to adjust and react. Everyone remembers the famous/infamous dogs for a reason. :-)

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by huttj509 View Post
    What it did do pretty well was design around its controls. Most of the enemies were slow and deliberate, so you have time to adjust and react. Everyone remembers the famous/infamous dogs for a reason. :-)
    Indeed. I remember liking RE3 a lot, for the few hours I played it. Just proves my point about "the mesh is the end goal that matters", even though in this case it is with something I don't miss, the tank controls.
    On the other hand, RE2 remake shows clearly that the design can definitely be improved with modern takes, but then a lot of things had to be changed in order for it to make sense for the remake, see the new enemy behavior (and Mr. "I hear you" X).
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    But why not have the default drive install as A:

    If you have, for some fetishtic reason, a floppy drive, map it to B or C. Why force the entire business world have a C Drive because Windows
    If you produce a Windows computer that doesn't have its primary working hard drive mapped to C:, you will immediately break tens of thousands of installers, .ini and config files, readmes and troubleshooting guides. Some of these will break immediately and obviously, but others will just subtly misbehave in ways that no one will be able to diagnose until they decide to spend a couple of days really focusing on why their template upgrade isn't working as expected.

    Most people will never get that far, they'll just return the computer to you complaining that it doesn't work. There's no way to a happy ending from that position.

    So why should anyone attempt it? What's the point?
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    If you produce a Windows computer that doesn't have its primary working hard drive mapped to C:, you will immediately break tens of thousands of installers, .ini and config files, readmes and troubleshooting guides. Some of these will break immediately and obviously, but others will just subtly misbehave in ways that no one will be able to diagnose until they decide to spend a couple of days really focusing on why their template upgrade isn't working as expected.

    Most people will never get that far, they'll just return the computer to you complaining that it doesn't work. There's no way to a happy ending from that position.

    So why should anyone attempt it? What's the point?
    Microsoft could just change the default installation path to A: drive?

    I mean, will people in the year 2541 install their OS on their C: drive still?!

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    I believe that A and B being set to floppy drives is built into the motherboard standardization from decades ago. I'm sure it pre-dates Windows, it probably pre-dates microsoft.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Microsoft could just change the default installation path to A: drive?

    I mean, will people in the year 2541 install their OS on their C: drive still?!
    ...What does it matter if they do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Microsoft could just change the default installation path to A: drive?

    I mean, will people in the year 2541 install their OS on their C: drive still?!
    Are you really hurting for drive letters so badly that you begrudge backwards compatibility?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Microsoft could just change the default installation path to A: drive?

    I mean, will people in the year 2541 install their OS on their C: drive still?!
    Microsoft can change whatever, but that does nothing to update the software produced by thousands upon thousands of other companies that runs on Windows.

    If you pay attention to such stories, you may remember the sad tale of Munich city government's attempt to migrate to Linux. In 2012, a wealthy and sophisticated city of 1.5 million people decided to ditch Microsoft from its city govt and go full open source. They spent almost five years trying to make this work, before admitting defeat and going back - because, apparently, no one had realised how complicated it was. The city government, it discovered, relies on some 800 separate applications, about half of which don't run on Linux at all and those that do, don't do it smoothly.

    So think about those 800 applications for a minute. We're not talking about email and mail merge and spreadsheets - those things are perfectly well covered in Linux. We're talking about the applications that manage the city-run art galleries and cemeteries and rubbish collection and sports programmes and land registration, signposting, animal welfare, libraries, parks, elections, storm drains, fire safety, and dozens more things we could spend all day trying to list. Those programs are not maintained by Microsoft, they're maintained by countless small software businesses - such as the one I used to work for - called, with various qualifying adjectives, "partners" of Microsoft.

    And that is the ecosystem that keeps Microsoft in business. MS has an incredibly strong interest in not upsetting those thousands of businesses.

    As for what we'll be doing in 50 or 500 years time, MS's bet is that long before then we'll have completely lost interest in where anything is stored, the operating system will manage that in the background. Of course that will also require work from all those "partners" of theirs, but it will be suitably dressed up in the language of upgrades and new tools and features and, above all, it will be interesting and/or fun, if you're into that sort of thing, to develop. Not like "changing a letter".
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Are you really hurting for drive letters so badly that you begrudge backwards compatibility?
    Not even just backwards compatibility. There are times when "THIS IS THE NEW STANDARD, EVERYBODY CHANGE" is warranted with the fuss it creates. This...is probably not one of those times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Microsoft could just change the default installation path to A: drive?

    I mean, will people in the year 2541 install their OS on their C: drive still?!
    If we're even still using the same paradigm of file management by then, it'll probably all be dynamically-managed symbolic links. Your 'install location' will be your User folder or equivalent but the actual data will just be somewhere in the storage volume with no defined or preferred home; the OS will manage the actual location of stuff and update the target of your link as needed. But yes, primary storage will probably still be conventionally referred to as 'C' because humans don't tend to change anything like that without an actual reason (and no, 'there's no reason to keep this and nobody remembers why it's this way' doesn't count as a reason. If it did the floppy disk wouldn't still be the icon for 'save file'.)

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Microsoft could just change the default installation path to A: drive?

    I mean, will people in the year 2541 install their OS on their C: drive still?!
    As Veti points out, it's not Microsoft you need to worry about, it's sloppy third party developers who will assume the Windows installation drive is C: and their programs will break if it's not. Don't imagine this sort of thing doesn't happen--I was an early adopter of Windows 2000 back in the day, and I had a problem with the game "X-Wing: Alliance". Basically, rather than using the DirectX API to determine what the 3D capabilities of the system were, it just checked the Windows version and assumed that any NT kernel based OS would not have hardware 3D acceleration, because Windows NT 4.0 didn't support that. Windows 2000 did, but the game would insist that it didn't and wouldn't allow you to run it in hardware mode.

    For a similar reason, despite the massive differences between the operating systems, Microsoft made the version number for Windows 98 4.10.1998 (while Win95 was 4.0.950), because there were actually third party applications that would check the first digit of the version and refuse to run if it was anything other than 4, or would complain if the minor version was less than 950. They bought several years of additional backwards compatibility with that trick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    There is also a devil may cry where you unlock lower difficulties by losing a lot.
    I really hated how Devil May Cry handled easier difficulties. It really came across to me as "LOL you suck, play on easy mode instead loser!" I'm sure it can be done in a way that doesn't come across as insulting, but as a general rule I think lower difficulties should be available from the start.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I really hated how Devil May Cry handled easier difficulties. It really came across to me as "LOL you suck, play on easy mode instead loser!" I'm sure it can be done in a way that doesn't come across as insulting, but as a general rule I think lower difficulties should be available from the start.
    I personally don't see any good reason to deny players access to difficulty settings at game start regardless of whether the locked difficulty levels are lower or higher.

  28. - Top - End - #238
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeson View Post
    I personally don't see any good reason to deny players access to difficulty settings at game start regardless of whether the locked difficulty levels are lower or higher.
    Yeah, I'd agree with that.
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  29. - Top - End - #239
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeson View Post
    I personally don't see any good reason to deny players access to difficulty settings at game start regardless of whether the locked difficulty levels are lower or higher.
    TBF to DMC (but not DmC) some of the difficulties fundamentally change the way the game is played (Heaven or Hell and Hell or Hell), and those are usually the ones you need to unlock. I think in most you can play Normal, Hard, and Master from the start, though sometimes Master needs to be unlocked by beating a level on Hard first, I think it varies by game. Typically you can also unlock a difficulty for a specific level and then immediately play on that difficulty; you don't need to play the whole game on Hard to unlock Master.

  30. - Top - End - #240
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeson View Post
    I personally don't see any good reason to deny players access to difficulty settings at game start regardless of whether the locked difficulty levels are lower or higher.
    For me it's a matter of how important the default difficulty is from a design standpoint. With DMC I can see the argument that by the end of the game you should develop the skills to look AMAZING in combat, and lower difficulties deny the player that reward. But yes, the execution was terrible. Lock the difficulty until after the first chapter, prompt the player to slide up or down based on how they fared. Done, nobody's insulted (unless they're a huge OG DMC fan playing the reboot game's first chapter).
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