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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    BlackDragon

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

    I wonder what the first game was that locked the higher difficulties? The oldest one I can definitely remember that did it was Diablo 2, where you had to complete Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulty in that order--however, in that game the harder difficulties were balanced on the assumption you'd have a higher level character, and the only way to *get* a high level character was to go through the lower difficulties, so it all kind of made sense.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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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 wonder what the first game was that locked the higher difficulties? The oldest one I can definitely remember that did it was Diablo 2, where you had to complete Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulty in that order--however, in that game the harder difficulties were balanced on the assumption you'd have a higher level character, and the only way to *get* a high level character was to go through the lower difficulties, so it all kind of made sense.
    Considerably earlier than that. Legend of Zelda had it with Second Quest, unlocked after beating the game. Kirby's Dream Land had Extra Mode. Mario Kart unlocked additional cups and 150cc mode as you completed them. Super Mario Land had a hard mode with extra enemies that was unlocked after beating the game. Ditto Super Castlevania IV.

    I'm sure there are plenty of non-Nintendo examples as well that I am forgetting - those are just the ones that come to mind from playing them as a kid.

    I don't mind locked harder difficulties under those circumstances - it's essentially giving you more game to play in a way that would break the game for a first-time player. I wish more games did it, in fact. Giving nastier versions of the same content is a lot more fun than just "all enemies have 20% more HP and damage".

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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 wonder what the first game was that locked the higher difficulties? The oldest one I can definitely remember that did it was Diablo 2, where you had to complete Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulty in that order--however, in that game the harder difficulties were balanced on the assumption you'd have a higher level character, and the only way to *get* a high level character was to go through the lower difficulties, so it all kind of made sense.
    The first Diablo did this as well. Until you killed Diablo on Normal, you couldn't play on Nightmare, and the same for Nightmare and Hell difficulties. If you had a Hell-level character, you could open a Multiplayer game, leave the game and switch to a new character, and then if you didn't access the difficulty screen, your next game would be Hell difficulty - good for leveling new characters quickly.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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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 wonder what the first game was that locked the higher difficulties?
    I'd look at any sort of gaming that uses this as "padding". A damage/health multiplicator is literally just a line of code and thus easy to tack unto a small game. But arcade game also immensely profit from a second quest ala Ghouls and Goblins tacked onto the original run.

    In that vein, padding your game to the brim with pointless stuff. I even liked it when Skyrim did it with its radiant system (even tho the radiant stuff is boring af) but stuff like "rob three households before you can continue your thieves guild quest" is literally busywork.

    And when stuff in a game gets more boring than WORK for me I think I'm doing the wrong things then. I prefer a concise gaming experience to one that needlessly throws stuff at me.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    I'd look at any sort of gaming that uses this as "padding". A damage/health multiplicator is literally just a line of code and thus easy to tack unto a small game. But arcade game also immensely profit from a second quest ala Ghouls and Goblins tacked onto the original run.

    In that vein, padding your game to the brim with pointless stuff. I even liked it when Skyrim did it with its radiant system (even tho the radiant stuff is boring af) but stuff like "rob three households before you can continue your thieves guild quest" is literally busywork.

    And when stuff in a game gets more boring than WORK for me I think I'm doing the wrong things then. I prefer a concise gaming experience to one that needlessly throws stuff at me.
    I think that system would have worked better with a Morrowind style system that required certain levels of skills to advance the main quest lines. So all you actually need to advance in the Thieves' Guild quest is good thief skills, but if you need something to train up on, here are some radiant quests so you can at least get paid for it.
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    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!
    I think that Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has been great in making the user interface actually enjoyable. To make an example of an old pitfall that is now luckily gone, Crawl has vampiric weapons. They absorb health from your enemies and they transfer it to you. However, because they are so powerful, they used to be limited in that you could only swap them by increasing your hunger.

    However, in very old versions of Crawl you needed a tool to chop up corpses for food. If your weapon had a blade, you would use your weapon. If your weapon was e.g. a mace, then your character would instead use a pocket knife. To do this, he would unwield the weapon, chop up the corpse with the knife, and then wield the weapon again. Unfortunately, this meant that you could suffer an instadeath by starvation when you butchered a corpse while wielding a vampiric mace.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    I'd look at any sort of gaming that uses this as "padding". A damage/health multiplicator is literally just a line of code and thus easy to tack unto a small game. But arcade game also immensely profit from a second quest ala Ghouls and Goblins tacked onto the original run.

    In that vein, padding your game to the brim with pointless stuff. I even liked it when Skyrim did it with its radiant system (even tho the radiant stuff is boring af) but stuff like "rob three households before you can continue your thieves guild quest" is literally busywork.

    And when stuff in a game gets more boring than WORK for me I think I'm doing the wrong things then. I prefer a concise gaming experience to one that needlessly throws stuff at me.
    I can think of one example where the difficulty settings actually matter. In Hero Core, Hard mode changes all of the enemy and boss patterns, and starts you off in a different part of the world map. Then Annihilator Mode is a completely new map.

    But that's really the only game I can think of where there's that big of a difference. And in any case, you can play both Normal and Hard right off the bat.
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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 can think of one example where the difficulty settings actually matter. In Hero Core, Hard mode changes all of the enemy and boss patterns, and starts you off in a different part of the world map. Then Annihilator Mode is a completely new map.

    But that's really the only game I can think of where there's that big of a difference. And in any case, you can play both Normal and Hard right off the bat.
    Thief: The Dark Project made a similar difference, but you could select the difficulty for each mission before starting. On the first mission, for Easy mode, the mission ended once you reached the object of the heist. On medium difficulty, you had to grab the object and then escape the manner, without killing any non-combatants. On hard difficulty, you had to do all that without killing anyone.

    On the second mission, on easy mode you just needed to reach the cell block without triggering an alarm, which would end the mission. On medium, you had to rescue your friend and reach the exit, and on hard you had to do that without triggering an alarm and without killing anyone, and there were additional enemies in the beginning of the mission.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2019-11-20 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Fixed Hyperlink
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    BlackDragon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    On hard difficulty, you had to do all that without killing anyone.
    And I found out the hard way that the game knew that dropping an unconscious person into a six-inch puddle of water was very likely to drown them, because I did that on one mission and then got a mission fail about a minute later when I was just walking up a corridor.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    And I found out the hard way that the game knew that dropping an unconscious person into a six-inch puddle of water was very likely to drown them, because I did that on one mission and then got a mission fail about a minute later when I was just walking up a corridor.
    ****. It would consider Batman killings as *killings*?

    It's so unfair

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Thief: The Dark Project made a similar difference, but you could select the difficulty for each mission before starting. On the first mission, for Easy mode, the mission ended once you reached the object of the heist. On medium difficulty, you had to grab the object and then escape the manner, without killing any non-combatants. On hard difficulty, you had to do all that without killing anyone.

    On the second mission, on easy mode you just needed to reach the cell block without triggering an alarm, which would end the mission. On medium, you had to rescue your friend and reach the exit, and on hard you had to do that without triggering an alarm and without killing anyone, and there were additional enemies in the beginning of the mission.
    And often, additional required objectives on the higher difficulties. Thief: The Dark Project was nice enough to not label its difficulties Easy/Medium/Hard, but as Normal/Hard/Expert. Having done the entire game on expert, I assure you the difficulty rename is warranted...At least it's somewhat forgiving in that expert doesn't care about killing non-human enemies (or at the very least, never when it would matter).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    ****. It would consider Batman killings as *killings*?

    It's so unfair
    Knocking enemies unconscious with the blackjack (or gas arrows) renders them unconscious for the rest of the level, so it's not quite as harsh as it seems (other than the near-impossibility of blackjacking someone who's seen you already).
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Yeah, Thief was pretty progressive for its time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    In that vein, padding your game to the brim with pointless stuff. I even liked it when Skyrim did it with its radiant system (even tho the radiant stuff is boring af) but stuff like "rob three households before you can continue your thieves guild quest" is literally busywork.

    And when stuff in a game gets more boring than WORK for me I think I'm doing the wrong things then. I prefer a concise gaming experience to one that needlessly throws stuff at me.
    Normally I'd agree on eschewing grinding as a general principle, but for this example, I'm with Skyrim. Thieves Guild isn't needed to advance in the game, so actually doing a little of your guild's namesake action to rise through the ranks is not only tolerable, it's pretty sensible as well.

    Ironically, the rest of Skyrim goes in the exact opposite direction, allowing a newbie to casually become a champion of all guilds at once.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    That reminds me of another old school thing that I'm glad we don't see anymore - there isn't as much macho posturing in difficulty selection anymore. I don't miss games calling their easiest difficulty settings stuff like "Don't Hurt Me Daddy" (thanks, Doom).
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    That reminds me of another old school thing that I'm glad we don't see anymore - there isn't as much macho posturing in difficulty selection anymore. I don't miss games calling their easiest difficulty settings stuff like "Don't Hurt Me Daddy" (thanks, Doom).
    Probably veering into no-go territory here but I don't really see that as being particularly macho. Posturing, sure, but there's only a gender attached to that name because you assume so. Personally I like it when option names get creative, and I'll tolerate a fair amount so long as I feel its in line with the theme of the game (and likely due to my white hetero-male privilege)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Driderman View Post
    Probably veering into no-go territory here but I don't really see that as being particularly macho. Posturing, sure, but there's only a gender attached to that name because you assume so. Personally I like it when option names get creative, and I'll tolerate a fair amount so long as I feel its in line with the theme of the game (and likely due to my white hetero-male privilege)
    You'd be correct on that last bit, at least.

    I also love idiosyncratic difficult names, as long as they're... you know, good. Deus Ex the modern bad ones having "Play For The Story, Play For The Game, Play For A Challenge" is probably the best in terms of telling you exactly what you get. No More Hero's Sweet, Sour, Bitter is my favorite in terms of creativity.


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

    The lowest skill level in Doom wasn't "Don't Hurt Me, Daddy", though, it was "I'm too young to die". I think you're getting confused between the two lowest difficulty levels in Wolfenstein 3D, which were "Can I play, Daddy?" and "Don't hurt me" respectively. Oh, and Wolfenstein's name for its hardest difficulty level ("I am Death incarnate!") is just awesome, sorry!
    Last edited by factotum; 2019-11-20 at 02:47 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    You'd be correct on that last bit, at least.

    I also love idiosyncratic difficult names, as long as they're... you know, good. Deus Ex the modern bad ones having "Play For The Story, Play For The Game, Play For A Challenge" is probably the best in terms of telling you exactly what you get. No More Hero's Sweet, Sour, Bitter is my favorite in terms of creativity.
    Did you just call Human Revolution bad? Fite me. 😁
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    A new mechanic I wish would die in a fire? Automatically generated, unchangeable, save file names. Sure, the journal can tell me what I might have been working on, but let me at least give myself a clue when I'm going through old files.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Poorly designed split-the-party?

    In the Arc the Lad games... I think the second one (using the 'box set' remake on the PS or PS2)... each stage is basically a couple levels harder than the one before it. That's fine; you just need to level-up your team to stay on board, with reasonable grind for a game that old.

    BUT there's one time where you split the party into two or three groups. So Group A fights a few stages, starting at level (let's say) 5 and ending at level 8. Then Group B, still level 5, starts fighting but needs to be around level 8 to really do well. I think around then was when I stopped playing.

    And I think the game gave you no good forewarning, and it's not like it would've been easy to grind Group B if it had. And there wasn't any way to backtrack to grind Group B up to level 8.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Speaking of FF9, Blargh, that strategy guide though! For years it was tradition that these games would come out with an official strategy guide that was generally a major help for figuring out everything in the game. Sure there would often be secrets not covered in the guide, but probably 90% or so of the rpg content was included. But FF9, I couldnt believe what a ripoff it was. It covered like 50% of the content, then told you to go to their online site and type in a keyword to find out more. I mean, i kinda get what theyw ere aiming for, an online guide would probably be much cheaper than a gossy paper one for them to provide so it was probably meant to ease us into it, but good lord did it stink! I remember having all sorts of issues just using the freaking site, and in the end just gave up and went to the unlicensed gamefaqs and such. FF9 was probably my favorite title in the series. I felt like it blended gorgeous graphics with the classic gameplay style that I loved so much with an entertaining story. But that GUIDE!!!!!!
    I know this is a couple pages back, but wanted to follow-up:

    The Ogre Battle strategy guide for Playstation was similarly bad. After so far in the guide, it just says "you are now pretty good, so we're going to stop explicitly telling you all the hidden stuff you use this guide to find. Good luck!"
    I think maybe Tactics Ogre's was, too, but don't remember as I didn't use it as much. Though I kinda remember it being outright wrong about whether you could recruit one NPC or not. (It was a hard mission to keep the NPCs alive so they join you after the right, but possible if you overleveled a bit and used Canopus' ranged attack to take out the enemies near the wizard NPC.)

    All that said, I'd agree it wasn't as frustrating as FF9's guide. I buy these paper guides so that I don't have to look stuff up online.

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The lowest skill level in Doom wasn't "Don't Hurt Me, Daddy", though, it was "I'm too young to die". I think you're getting confused between the two lowest difficulty levels in Wolfenstein 3D, which were "Can I play, Daddy?" and "Don't hurt me" respectively. Oh, and Wolfenstein's name for its hardest difficulty level ("I am Death incarnate!") is just awesome, sorry!
    Shows me for going by memory.

    Like, I have no issue with idiosyncratic names, I'm just not a fan of stuff like I Want To Be The Guy's "easy" mode marking all the extra save points with WUSS. Stuff like this (warning: tvtropes).

    I feel I've explained myself poorly. I apologize.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Shows me for going by memory.

    Like, I have no issue with idiosyncratic names, I'm just not a fan of stuff like I Want To Be The Guy's "easy" mode marking all the extra save points with WUSS. Stuff like this (warning: tvtropes).

    I feel I've explained myself poorly. I apologize.
    TBF IWTBTG has to scare people off playing on easier difficulties; the entire game is based around trial and error instakills from stuff you never could have predicted happening. When save points are more frequent it actually shows the cracks in the game's design which are papered over by the scarcity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    TBF IWTBTG has to scare people off playing on easier difficulties; the entire game is based around trial and error instakills from stuff you never could have predicted happening. When save points are more frequent it actually shows the cracks in the game's design which are papered over by the scarcity.
    I have never rage quit a game quite like that one. My first time yelling (I don't normally yell at games) was when the last apple in the second room fell UP and killed me. There was a competition on a forum I was on at the time for who could get furthest, and I did not win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I have never rage quit a game quite like that one. My first time yelling (I don't normally yell at games) was when the last apple in the second room fell UP and killed me. There was a competition on a forum I was on at the time for who could get furthest, and I did not win.
    Everybody in my programming class in high school played it to completion when we had free computer time after assignments.

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

    One thing I thought was kind of neat when I first ran across it, speaking of 'gating' difficulty levels, was how Quake did it.Or... one of the Quake games, can't remember which one now.

    You pick which portal to go through in a small-ish room, clearly marked 'easy' 'normal' and 'hard', each one looking more and more intimidating. To get to the highest level of difficulty, you had to dive into the lava pool you had to bridge over to get to 'hard' and swim down, taking damage as you did so, until you got to the entrance for the highest difficulty setting.

    It isn't gating the difficulty so much as requiring you the player to be a) familiar with the game's mechanics, b) willing to explore a bit even in the difficulty selection room, and c) have the courage to check down there where you know it is going to hurt/kill your character since there is no obvious way back up.

    This is a form of difficulty gating I can respect. Because technically you can install and head right there, if you know where it is, no grinding required. But, equally good, it isn't somewhere a newbie is likely to accidentally get to on their first time, be cruelly punishingly difficult, and turn them off from the game.

    Also, it made you sound pretty metal when you described it. "Yea, I jumped off the bridge into the pool of lava, swam through it, and then the game actually started..."
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    I might be weird outlier person here, but I like having my games insult me a bit.
    I am trying out LPing. Check out my channel here: Triaxx2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
    I might be weird outlier person here, but I like having my games insult me a bit.
    I enjoyed the Stanley Parable for that reason. The game abuses you pretty much continuously.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The lowest skill level in Doom wasn't "Don't Hurt Me, Daddy", though, it was "I'm too young to die". I think you're getting confused between the two lowest difficulty levels in Wolfenstein 3D, which were "Can I play, Daddy?" and "Don't hurt me" respectively. Oh, and Wolfenstein's name for its hardest difficulty level ("I am Death incarnate!") is just awesome, sorry!
    You can have the latter (awesome!) without the former (regarding players)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Did you just call Human Revolution bad? Fite me. 😁
    Human Revolution was decidedly okay. The second nuEx is pretty bad from what I've heard. both are kinda just... weirdly lifeless compared to the first after playing said first game. I'm not here to fight, just discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I enjoyed the Stanley Parable for that reason. The game abuses you pretty much continuously.
    There is a mutual understanding with games like that where That Is The Point. No one got mad at GLaDOS or SHODAN insulting you, that was their entire character point. It's when the developer themselves are making fun of you for trying to have fun with their game that is the issue. It's a consent thing, I guess.


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  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    One thing I thought was kind of neat when I first ran across it, speaking of 'gating' difficulty levels, was how Quake did it.Or... one of the Quake games, can't remember which one now.

    You pick which portal to go through in a small-ish room, clearly marked 'easy' 'normal' and 'hard', each one looking more and more intimidating. To get to the highest level of difficulty, you had to dive into the lava pool you had to bridge over to get to 'hard' and swim down, taking damage as you did so, until you got to the entrance for the highest difficulty setting.

    It isn't gating the difficulty so much as requiring you the player to be a) familiar with the game's mechanics, b) willing to explore a bit even in the difficulty selection room, and c) have the courage to check down there where you know it is going to hurt/kill your character since there is no obvious way back up.

    This is a form of difficulty gating I can respect. Because technically you can install and head right there, if you know where it is, no grinding required. But, equally good, it isn't somewhere a newbie is likely to accidentally get to on their first time, be cruelly punishingly difficult, and turn them off from the game.

    Also, it made you sound pretty metal when you described it. "Yea, I jumped off the bridge into the pool of lava, swam through it, and then the game actually started..."
    I believe you misremembered unless you were talking about quake 4 or higher.
    For getting nightmare in quake 1 you did not have to go into lava: you only needed to do some swimming in a thin layer of water above the entrance of a specific episode(regardless of difficulty) for then landing on a beam then you had to do a jump toward a corridor.(there was also a fish that displayed a message when shot in that corridor)
    Last edited by noob; 2019-11-21 at 04:23 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The lowest skill level in Doom wasn't "Don't Hurt Me, Daddy", though, it was "I'm too young to die". I think you're getting confused between the two lowest difficulty levels in Wolfenstein 3D, which were "Can I play, Daddy?" and "Don't hurt me" respectively. Oh, and Wolfenstein's name for its hardest difficulty level ("I am Death incarnate!") is just awesome, sorry!
    That's actually reassuring. Doom having a difficulty setting called "Don't hurt me, Daddy" would have been about as bad as Daikatana having one called "John Romero's about to make you his b****"
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Daikatana having one called "John Romero's about to make you his b****"
    That would have been really funny.
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