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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Difficulty is subjective. I don't want to start an argument about whether or not video games should be difficult or easy. They're such wide categories, with such a breadth of experiences and design choices, that it's impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all rule to them.

    No, what I'm interested in is personal difficulty preferences. How much do you want your games to challenge you? How many times do you want to "fail"? Does getting stuck on a section of the game motivate you to complete it, or does it frustrate you and kill the pacing?

    My personal picks, by the way, are probably Hades and Hollow Knight. I like to feel challenged, but I also want to be able to "get into the zone," and both games had a really rewarding learning curve where I began to grasp the mechanics and feel not just competent, but badass. I also appreciate how both games make failure a part of the experience. Hollow Knight with its Souls-style respawn system (pick up your Shade or lose some Geo), and Hades with, well, dying being the entire point.

    Two games whose difficulty didn't jive with me at all were Spec Ops: The Line and The Last of Us.1 Both of them were very atmospheric, narrative games, so dying killed that pacing and yanked me out of the world. It got repetitive and frustrating. Instead of feeling like an audience member, I felt like a bad actor onstage, who'd forgotten their lines despite numerous rehearsals.

    Not that these games were bad: they were both quite good and I enjoyed them a lot! It's just interesting to notice how different games challenge you and offer consequences for falling short.

    1. I haven't played the sequel so please mark spoilers!

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    You kind of hit the nail on the head. I think it really depends on the kind of game.

    I like high difficulties on gameplay focused games. As a kid I managed to beat Devil May Cry 3 on the Hell or Hell difficulty mode (Dante dies in one hit; enemies have like double the HP and harder attack patterns). I...probably would never do this again. I love the Souls series of games, particularly Dark Souls 2.

    One thing I don't like is games that require you to beat it in one exact way. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was this for me. I hate blocking and parrying in most games, unless there's an immediate and distinct advantage to doing so; I prefer the dodge/counterattack gameplay loop, and that's how I've beaten every Souls game. That game expects you to stand there and perfect parry every attack from every enemy through sheer rote trial and error. I found it tiresome.

    In narrative focused, or exploration focused games, I like a more leisurely difficulty. I won't play a game on Easy, but rarely if ever will I play a game like...Mass Effect on Hard or higher either. Those games have decent gameplay but it doesn't lend itself to difficulty scaling, which in this case just means "fights take longer because enemies can soak more hits".

    In Stealth games, or games with an optional stealth focus that is fleshed out well enough to make for actually good stealth (eg. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dishonored) I go full self-imposed challenge mode. Hardest difficulty, full nonlethal, never spotted by an enemy playthroughs. I find this the most fun for that style of game, and doing it on a second run cheapens the experience because knowing map layouts and what to expect makes it inherently easier the second time around.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    No, what I'm interested in is personal difficulty preferences. How much do you want your games to challenge you? How many times do you want to "fail"? Does getting stuck on a section of the game motivate you to complete it, or does it frustrate you and kill the pacing?
    It depends on the individual game, honestly. High difficulty and the need to try numerous times can be a thrilling challenge to be overcome, or an excercise in frustration that drags a game down, depending on the kind of game it is, how well-executed its elements are, and probably more factors.

    For instance, in particularly good action games, I love a challenge. I will happily bash my head against the wall that is Dante Must Die Vergil in DMC5, or the Sigrun fight in God of War 2018, or many of the boss fights in Sekiro, because those games make the challenge feel good. It feels like I have the tools to win, and I just need to learn to apply them right. The fights come across as legitimately very difficult, but nonetheless fair in a way, so they're a challenge I'm happy to try to overcome again and again until I finally do.

    But you could also make such fights in a way where they're difficult, but no longer feel fair, and at that point they just become frustrating. While it's a fighting game rather than an action game, an example of this that's fresh in my mind would be the highest-difficult boss to the arcade mode of Guilty Gear Strive. It's a suped-up version of one of the game's characters, who gets a lot of extra health, does more damage, gets invincibility on some of his moves that don't normally have it, and has a mechanic that the character normally has a limitation and drawback turned into strictly a benefit for him*. At that point, the boss fight feels like one you can only win when the AI decides to let you, not a fight you can win if you play well enough, and thus it's just frustrating, not fun.
    Spoiler: *Details, if anyone cares.
    Show
    The character, Nagoriyuki, has the ability to cancel his special moves into each other - and since one of those special moves is a teleport-dash that's quite quick, that can basically let him make anything safe; and another is a a fast forward-moving special, which could therefore let him keep his pressure going endlessly once you block anything he does. The limitation is that every special move he does builds his blood gauge (he's a vampire), and if it maxes out, he enters a "blood rage" state, where his health drains rapidly, he cannot use his special moves, and you basically get a free hit on him after the animation where he enters the rage. His normal attacks get more range and damage in this state, but that's not nearly worth those drawbacks (entering the blood rage state in a normal match will usually get him killed). This boss version of him keeps those power ups, but all of the drawbacks of the blood rage are removed, so entering it is strictly beneficial for him.

    And because one of his special moves gets invincibility that it doesn't normally have and his blood gauge/blood rage mechanic no longer forces him not to use his special-into-special cancels constantly, well, if the AI were smart enough, it could just keep spamming special moves infinitely and basically never be able to be beaten.


    On the flip side, in certain other action games, I might not want so much of a challenge. The Dynasty Warriors spin-offs (Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors, etc), for instance, are more fun when actual difficulty is rare, because they're fairly simple and more about the power trip of hacking your way through hundreds of enemies with characters you like.

    Or in games that I'm playing more for the story, like RPGs or visual novels, less difficulty is typically preferable. In a straightforward, traditional turn-based RPG like Dragon Quest, for instance, I like for some of the boss fights to be challenging and maybe take a couple of tries to overcome, but otherwise I'm fine steamrolling most things. A turn-based RPG with a more intricate combat system like the Persona series I'll like a little more challenge in, but only when done right - for instance, I enjoyed the early boss fights of Persona 5 much more so than, say, the Shadow Okumura boss fight, whose gimmicks included a hard time limit of (I believe) forty minutes. Which yes, you could legitimately end up running down, because you were fighting numerous waves of enemies in that fight (among other reasons it was frustrating). Or on that visual novel end of things, I'm not looking for a big challenge when playing, say, an Ace Attorney game. The occasional puzzle I have to take a couple of minutes thinking about is fine and good, but in the rare case I get legitimately stumped on something I will just look up the answer online, because I want to get on with the dramedy more than I want to work out some brain teaser.

    Oh, a big one: the more RNG that's involved, the lower my tolerance for difficulty. If I'm facing a difficult challenge to overcome, I want to be able to overcome it entirely through my decisions and skill, not through doing my best to set up situations where the odds are in my favor, but RNG can still just say "nah, screw you." Early portions of the XCOM games are kind of the big thing that comes immediately to mind here - when you're still early enough in those games that your troops don't have levels under their belt and your equipment is still basic, you're a lot more vulnerable to the game's RNG just deciding, say, that you're going to miss three shots in a row against an enemy with no cover, giving it the chance to go flank one of your guys and one-shot kill him with a crit. That kind of thing just isn't fun to me on any level.

    Or, alternatively, there's challenges that are strictly BS. Like when Fire Emblem Awakening, on higher difficulties, let enemy reinforcements act on the same turn as they spawned, potentially letting them pop into the map already in position to attack and kill your guys. If you were playing on classic mode, where death for your units is permanent, that means either accepting those losses, or restarting the map - every time that you get a map where that happens. Which was a lot. Yeah, that's the reason I started using casual mode in that series (which turns off perma-death).

    So, yeah, depends on a lot of different factors, and is hard to sum up simply.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Difficulty is largely subjective, as already said. My timing in games is poor, which makes Arkham Asylum style combat particularly awkward because of having to time those blocks to near perfection--it's why I never completed Asylum, got stuck on the massive mook fight before the final boss and just could not get past it. The other thing about me is that I really hate having to repeat the same bit over and over again, so the Dark Souls "respawn at nearest bonfire and have to hack your way through the same bunch of enemies to even *get* to the boss fight" approach is something I just can't be dealing with--to my mind it's right up there with the unskippable pre-boss cutscene for annoyance factor.

    This is probably why I prefer turn-based games. Not the sort of turn-based they have in Yakuza: Like a Dragon or South Park: The Stick of Truth, where they still expect you to do a QTE in order to achieve the best result, but the sort where you issue an order to your character and they carry it out. At least that way I can definitely say it's me to blame if I fail and die.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    I am a pretty strategic, focused and impatient gamer, so I was really happy to find a game like Furi to challenge me. It does an excellent job of making sure that your mistakes can be compensated for, while also punishing you for making too many of them. It also has a huge number of mechanics you can master while requiring only the basics.

    CRAWL is pretty damn good too, if you have competition nearly on the same level. It's like Mario Party mixed with Hades/Diablo, where players take turns playing the hero and the monsters and both try to work as a team while backstabbing each other. Probably one of my favorites. It has a lot of negative feedback loops so that the gameplay feels intense for most players, I just have to get really high first before I play with my circle of friends as the skill gap is just a bit too high to be fair.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    In narrative focused, or exploration focused games, I like a more leisurely difficulty. I won't play a game on Easy, but rarely if ever will I play a game like...Mass Effect on Hard or higher either. Those games have decent gameplay but it doesn't lend itself to difficulty scaling, which in this case just means "fights take longer because enemies can soak more hits".
    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    On the flip side, in certain other action games, I might not want so much of a challenge. The Dynasty Warriors spin-offs (Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors, etc), for instance, are more fun when actual difficulty is rare, because they're fairly simple and more about the power trip of hacking your way through hundreds of enemies with characters you like.
    It took me quite a long time to get over the stigma of lowering the difficulty. You're totally right: some games are meant to be fun in ways that don't lend themselves to constant retries, and the fun is in overcoming loads of challenges without breaking too much of a sweat. Reminds me of DMing philosophy in a lot of ways: sometimes you give your party the big scary hard-hitting monster, but sometimes you give them twelve different squads of goblins, and the challenge is in the attrition and resource management (or there's negligible challenge and it's a power fantasy, and there's nothing wrong with that!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Or on that visual novel end of things, I'm not looking for a big challenge when playing, say, an Ace Attorney game. The occasional puzzle I have to take a couple of minutes thinking about is fine and good, but in the rare case I get legitimately stumped on something I will just look up the answer online, because I want to get on with the dramedy more than I want to work out some brain teaser.
    I've done this for several games. I don't like looking stuff up because I hate spoilers and want to experience the game on my own terms, but I've definitely looked up several hints on what to do next in, say, Spiritfarer, just because I wanted to get on with the story. Now there's a 30-hour game that would've been a lot smoother as a 20-hour game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Oh, a big one: the more RNG that's involved, the lower my tolerance for difficulty. If I'm facing a difficult challenge to overcome, I want to be able to overcome it entirely through my decisions and skill, not through doing my best to set up situations where the odds are in my favor, but RNG can still just say "nah, screw you." Early portions of the XCOM games are kind of the big thing that comes immediately to mind here - when you're still early enough in those games that your troops don't have levels under their belt and your equipment is still basic, you're a lot more vulnerable to the game's RNG just deciding, say, that you're going to miss three shots in a row against an enemy with no cover, giving it the chance to go flank one of your guys and one-shot kill him with a crit. That kind of thing just isn't fun to me on any level.

    Or, alternatively, there's challenges that are strictly BS. Like when Fire Emblem Awakening, on higher difficulties, let enemy reinforcements act on the same turn as they spawned, potentially letting them pop into the map already in position to attack and kill your guys. If you were playing on classic mode, where death for your units is permanent, that means either accepting those losses, or restarting the map - every time that you get a map where that happens. Which was a lot. Yeah, that's the reason I started using casual mode in that series (which turns off perma-death).
    Ugh, I hate fake RNG difficulty. Kind of an old example, but I remember the old AdventureQuest missions where you had to fight several monsters and then it just literally rolled a d100 and you had to get higher than a certain number or the mission failed. Looking back, I realize how much BS that was, and that it was designed to keep you playing, but it's such a manipulative approach. In my personal opinion at least, fights should be difficult due to the ingenuity and (reasonable) unpredictability of the boss's attacks, not because they have a bajillion health and it takes an eternity to whittle them down.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    It took me quite a long time to get over the stigma of lowering the difficulty.
    Shadow Warrior 2, in regard to the Easy difficulty:
    "This difficulty level is for people who don't feel like they need to prove anything to themselves or anyone else. Playing Shadow Warrior 2 on Easy is perfectly fine, if by the end of an exhausting day all you need is to feel like a goddamn superhero."
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    About fair vs unfair, one example I like is Hotline Miami 1 vs Hotline Miami 2. They are both minimalistic top-down shooters. I think HM1 is one of the best of the genre: it's fast, difficult, and offers you many ways to handle the same scenario, as well as some optional challenge modes. Its levels are fairly small. HM2 instead has huge levels. This is a problem, because you are constantly getting shot from beyond line of sight in a completely unfair way. Otherwise, the games are very similar, but it's enough for me to never replay HM2.

    Ghostrunner instead I think is difficult the wrong way. It's a cyberpunk first-person platformer where any hit will kill you. You can run on walls, slide on the ground, and so on. The problem is that this platformer part is surprisingly easy, to the point of feeling shallow, and combat, while difficult, is also really simple (you have a very fast blade, don't get shot, kill them first, maybe you can jedi-block). I don't know, maybe it's just the comparison with Mirror's Edge. Anyway, there'a demo available for free to get an idea.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Ugh, I hate fake RNG difficulty.
    Oddly enough, while the "missed three 95% chance to hit in a row" scenario is really annoying when it happens, it's...well, rather unlikely, so it doesn't come up so often that I find it a problem. Having the outcome of multiple fights depend on a single die roll is just BS, though, that's definitely true. Speaking of fake difficulty in games, the reason I stopped playing Heroes of Might and Magic 5 was because I realised the enemy could create new troops out of thin air on some maps--I'd have their towns under blockade with my armies and another army would appear from nowhere and attack my own town, which I'd left unguarded because I thought I had the enemy locked down! I don't think the original HoMM games relied on cheap tricks like that for their difficulty, and they were plenty difficult enough, believe me.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Fun fact about X-Com, at least XCOM 2, it definitely cheats...but in your favor. The back of the house math actually tweaks most percentages upwards from what the actual number shown is, to help prevent "feels bad" misses and maximize those "hell yeah!" moments.

    Article from 2016 on the subject.

    “Players may view that number not from a mathematical sense, but from an emotional sense,” says Solomon. “If you see an 85 percent chance to hit, you’re not looking at that as a 15 percent chance of missing. If you thought about it that way, it’s not an inconceivable chance you’re going to miss the shot. Instead, you see an 85 percent chance, and you think, 'That’s close to a hundred; that basically should not miss.'”

    ...

    “The fact is, we’re trying to entertain players,” said Solomon. “So how do you deal with a player who’s missed an 85 percent shot? Emotionally, they’re probably strained. We don’t want the players missing multiple 85 percent shots, because then the game starts to feel punitive. That number boils down to a very simple thing on the UI, but our experience tells us that players have invested a lot of emotion in it.”

    So how did Firaxis make sure XCOM 2 wouldn’t unduly batter the psychologies of their player base? Well, the calculations that go into each shot aren’t as heartless as you might think. “There’s actually a number of things that tweak that number in the player’s favor at the lower difficulty settings,” said Solomon. “That 85 percent isn’t actually 85 percent. Behind the scenes, we wanted to match the player’s psychological feeling about that number.” That 85 percent, according to Solomon, is often closer to 95 percent.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2021-07-29 at 11:11 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    About fair vs unfair, one example I like is Hotline Miami 1 vs Hotline Miami 2. They are both minimalistic top-down shooters. I think HM1 is one of the best of the genre: it's fast, difficult, and offers you many ways to handle the same scenario, as well as some optional challenge modes. Its levels are fairly small. HM2 instead has huge levels. This is a problem, because you are constantly getting shot from beyond line of sight in a completely unfair way. Otherwise, the games are very similar, but it's enough for me to never replay HM2.
    I don't think that's an issue in and of itself, it only becomes a problem here because Hotline Miami doesn't let you save the darn game; it's like some barbaric arcade box from the 1990's except there isn't even an option to insert a coin to continue
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-07-30 at 12:07 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    I typically like my difficulty to be on the higher end, as long as I can immediately jump back in and try again. Something like Dark Souls where the cost of failure is spending 20 minutes crossing a tedious map is just frustrating. On the other hand, Sekiro where I can jump right back in and fight the boss again is perfect. I don't know how many times it took me to finally beat Lady Butterfly in that game, but it was a lot. I guarantee I would have quit if you had to rerun the map every time.

    Basically I'm fine with harsh difficulty as long as it is consistent. I don't want long periods of boredom followed by spikes in difficulty at the end. Keep me engaged.
    Last edited by Anteros; 2021-07-30 at 01:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Cave Story and The King's Bird both have fantastic difficulty curves, growing organically more difficult both within each region and over the course of the game itself. Cave Story in particular takes this to an absolutely ludicrous level with the true secret ending, but it feels earned, and gods damn do you feel like you've earned your victory when you finally triumph.

    For a game without much of a curve, Halo: CE on Heroic always feels just right to me, especially with the Boom skull active (which turns grenades into a much more lethal threat for both you and your opponents). Perhaps starting to get a bit easy, now that I think about it, though; maybe I'll throw in another negative skull the next time I replay it.

    For a different style of difficulty, Subnautica nails the sweet spot where everything is threatening enough to be genuinely scary, but not enough to actually kill you (unless you don't respect it), preventing them from getting stale or you from acclimating to them.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    I'm sort of increasingly... moving away from difficulty? I don't think I like challenging games anymore. I used to like, say, hard strategy games, but I'm getting frustrated with those too. In action games, it varies a lot. I finished Hollow Knight nad played quite a bit of Hades, but I quit Hades after defeating the end boss once, because I didn't want to do it again. Some puzzle/adventure games I still like a lot, but basically no one makes those anymore.¨¨

    I think I've played a combined maybe 20 minutes in various souls games, before deciding every time it wasn't for me. I occasionally watch lore videos, though.

    Edit: I also don't have a problem with cheating anymore if I think a game is wasting my time. I hate repetitive gameplay and any kind of grinding.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2021-07-30 at 03:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Amen. Grinding is not difficulty. Grinding is a waste of my time. If I hit a point where I need to do the same repetitive, un-fun action repeatedly to get something done (like leveling crafting in Skyrim), I just reach for the console if available, or start looking for mods if it's not.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Amen. Grinding is not difficulty. Grinding is a waste of my time. If I hit a point where I need to do the same repetitive, un-fun action repeatedly to get something done (like leveling crafting in Skyrim), I just reach for the console if available, or start looking for mods if it's not.
    Ah, yes. Crafting. On my last Skyrim character, I made three iron daggers, before sighing and opening the console.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Amen. Grinding is not difficulty. Grinding is a waste of my time. If I hit a point where I need to do the same repetitive, un-fun action repeatedly to get something done (like leveling crafting in Skyrim), I just reach for the console if available, or start looking for mods if it's not.
    For me it just depends. If the grind is engaging and not too tedious I don't mind grinding levels in an rpg. I don't mind grinding for gear if the drop rate isn't terrible. I even enjoy it to an extent. Something like crafting 1000 daggers in skyrim can die in a fire though. Clicking the same 3 buttons over and over is not difficulty. It's just tedious.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Ah, yes. Crafting. On my last Skyrim character, I made three iron daggers, before sighing and opening the console.
    Yup. I love the IDEA of crafting.

    I'd love to be able to just take the ebony, silver and finest steel and craft a viking-looking wootz-like sword (folding steel, silver and ebony in patterns) that would get the strength of ebony, elasticity of steel and ability to kill a werewolf. Add some rubies to the pommel, just for the look. Enchant with runic magic.

    Unfortunately, the idea is too far from Skyrim. The crafting there was a chore. I liked looking at the crafting menu, but did not enjoy crafting itself.




    Perfect difficulty?

    I immensely enjoyed Hotline Miami on this accord - it required certain amount of reflexes, but was mainly based on skill and calm, and I was able to get into flow state rather quickly.

    Similarly, Max Payne was extremely enjoyable experience, as was Alan Wake. There were harder parts - I remember one section from Alan Wake that was without your main weapon (flashlight), where you had to run through relatively long stretch of forest, chased from all sides, evade attacks and reach safe haven (there was a point of light in between, but if you tried starting it, most of the time they caught up with you). As for Max Payne, the tools at your disposal (different weapons + bullet time) gave you both enough possible solutions, but also switched the game from shooter to tactical simulator for a brief moment (the moment when you went into bullet time changed the gameplay from "shoot first, shoot straight" to "there are these three pieces... which one do I need to knock down first...?"). That gave you that sweet spot of "oooh, I'm smart" together with "awesome, I destroyed the enemy".

    In both these games, the experience was crafted in such way, that there were not too many irritations. Because difficulty - the game requiring a high skill, concentration, knowledge or all of these - is fine, as long as it's not irritating (for examples see above; e.g. backtracking 20 minutes, that one boss...).

    Crimsonland was also fun: there were irritating maps (looking at you, stupid spiders), but most of those could be beaten with the right weapon (i.e. the one you were best proficient with) and several tries.

    Saboteur and Mercenaries 2: World in Flames were also the "right tool for the right job" difficult, but due to the amount of tools, I actually cancelled some of the missions right before the end as I wanted to try another approach (e.g. destruction of the prison island in Mercenaries, if I remember correctly). There was one frustrating mission (something with protecting a guy on rooftop). What I find interesting is, that I mainly enjoyed the first few missions - before the big players enter the game - because after that there were too many possibilities & tools and it was no longer about having the right tool, just about going in and destroying everything.

    Overall, if there are multiple ways how to play/succeed in the game, I can bear high difficulty (meaning: multiple attempts with high skill/knowledge/focus required). If I have to repeat the same path again and again, it becomes irritating. If there's too much irritation, I won't play for long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I don't think that's an issue in and of itself, it only becomes a problem here because Hotline Miami doesn't let you save the darn game; it's like some barbaric arcade box from the 1990's except there isn't even an option to insert a coin to continue
    I think it is, because the bullets are too fast to dodge. A top-down shooter is all about shooting and avoiding being hit. A situation where you cannot shoot the target because you cannot see it and you cannot dodge and you have to expose yourself to fire to progress is a problem in and of itself. Even with a save system, the gameplay is broken.*

    However, it's true that HM1's save system was carried over unaltered to HM2, and it was inadequate for it. Each chapter is made up of around three levels, and there is a checkpoint each time you pass a level, but the game will force you to restart the chapter from the start if you close it. HM2 should have allowed you to save by level, instead of by chapter.

    *I mean, HM2 still got mostly very good reviews. It's something that surprises me.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Amen. Grinding is not difficulty. Grinding is a waste of my time. If I hit a point where I need to do the same repetitive, un-fun action repeatedly to get something done (like leveling crafting in Skyrim), I just reach for the console if available, or start looking for mods if it's not.

    And that goes double for permadeath. It just makes the game more repetitive, it doesn't make any part of the game actually more difficult; each challenge is the same with it or without it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    However, it's true that HM1's save system was carried over unaltered to HM2, and it was inadequate for it. Each chapter is made up of around three levels, and there is a checkpoint each time you pass a level, but the game will force you to restart the chapter from the start if you close it. HM2 should have allowed you to save by level, instead of by chapter.
    I wasn't talking about it resetting if you close it, I was talking about the fact that it uses checkpoints and remembers level completions instead of letting you actually save the game when you need to. In a well-made game you would be able to save the game at any point in the level and so those offscreen blasts would be no big deal because they'd only set you back a couple of seconds and then you;d know they were coming

    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    Yup. I love the IDEA of crafting.

    I'd love to be able to just take the ebony, silver and finest steel and craft a viking-looking wootz-like sword (folding steel, silver and ebony in patterns) that would get the strength of ebony, elasticity of steel and ability to kill a werewolf. Add some rubies to the pommel, just for the look. Enchant with runic magic.

    Unfortunately, the idea is too far from Skyrim. The crafting there was a chore. I liked looking at the crafting menu, but did not enjoy crafting itself.
    I think the big problem with Skyrim's crafting system was that the game tracked encumbrance. That's not something you want in a game with crafting unless the crafting system is dead simple. If there's a lot of parts to keep track of it just becomes a chore of unnecessary back and forth.

    In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say that limited inventory systems are a waste of the user's time in general. Whether there's a crafting system or not. If I wanted to do that I'd clean out my attic.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Amen. Grinding is not difficulty. Grinding is a waste of my time. If I hit a point where I need to do the same repetitive, un-fun action repeatedly to get something done (like leveling crafting in Skyrim), I just reach for the console if available, or start looking for mods if it's not.
    See also: requiring you to eat and drink to not die in an RPG. It's just busywork that forces you to do stuff you don't necessarily want to do (e.g. make food and find water).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say that limited inventory systems are a waste of the user's time in general. Whether there's a crafting system or not. If I wanted to do that I'd clean out my attic.
    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    See also: requiring you to eat and drink to not die in an RPG. It's just busywork that forces you to do stuff you don't necessarily want to do (e.g. make food and find water).
    These are actually pretty fun things in something more like Minecraft. I very much enjoy the simple satisfaction of resource gathering, food collection, and inventory/storage management in that style of game! Which makes sense, because that's the entire point.

    But it is definitely the least appealing part of Skyrim, because Skyrim is mostly designed around killing dragons and shouting stuff off of things, and the crafting got bolted on as a justification to collect every last scrap of Dwemer metal. Half-assed crafting systems (Skyrim, Spiritfarer, BotW) are effective as goals or to pad the game length, but I've never found them enjoyable on their own merits.

    I don't mind inventory limits in Skyrim, since it keeps me from stealing LITERALLY everything while looting and makes the valuable things feel all the more valuable. Though I do wish the limit was higher across the board.

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    I'm generally far more tolerant of inventory limits than crafting in games. You can have interesting decisions with wide-reaching consequences about what to carry. Although most games are so spineless about making the limit small enough to force decision making that they usually fail at this. STALKER's small weight limit, caliber-specific guns and ammo, and both guns and ammo being relatively heavy forced decisions. Pick wrong and you can end up with a bad gun, or not enough bullets for a good gun. Bethesda Fallout's ginormous carrying capacity and weightless semi-universal ammo does not and is boring, because the only question is, basically, what has a good value/weight ratio?

    I'm not sure I've ever encountered interesting decisions around crafting. It's just another means of accruing bigger numbers, so about the only question possible is whether current thing < potential new thing? If yes, craft, otherwise do not.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Bethesda Fallout's ginormous carrying capacity and weightless semi-universal ammo does not and is boring, because the only question is, basically, what has a good value/weight ratio?
    To be fair to Bethsoft here, on the highest difficulty levels ammo *does* have weight in Fallout--in 4 at any rate. Unfortunately it brings along a whole load of the aforementioned annoying busywork, because at those difficulties you need to eat, drink and sleep; and Lord forbid that you can just sleep anywhere, like you can at normal difficulties, oh no--you have to sleep in a bed you *own*, and since fast travel is disabled, you pretty much have to set up settlements with spare beds across the entire Commonwealth for fear you'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way to sleep. (Oh, and the only way to save your game in this mode is to sleep, did I forget to mention that?).

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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    To be fair to Bethsoft here, on the highest difficulty levels ammo *does* have weight in Fallout--in 4 at any rate. Unfortunately it brings along a whole load of the aforementioned annoying busywork, because at those difficulties you need to eat, drink and sleep; and Lord forbid that you can just sleep anywhere, like you can at normal difficulties, oh no--you have to sleep in a bed you *own*, and since fast travel is disabled, you pretty much have to set up settlements with spare beds across the entire Commonwealth for fear you'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way to sleep. (Oh, and the only way to save your game in this mode is to sleep, did I forget to mention that?).
    Parts of that sound like an interesting challenge, and parts of that sound like an ugly miserable nightmare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Fun fact about X-Com, at least XCOM 2, it definitely cheats...but in your favor. The back of the house math actually tweaks most percentages upwards from what the actual number shown is, to help prevent "feels bad" misses and maximize those "hell yeah!" moments.

    Article from 2016 on the subject.
    I'm aware - it was mentioned last time I played XCOM and posted about it in the "what are you playing?" thread. Doesn't seem to stop early game XCOM from RNG-screwing me frequently when I've played it. The earlier example being the most extreme case of course, but there's plenty of ways for it to happen without getting that ridiculous, since early on if you're taking shots at enemies that even in half cover, your to-hit odds are probably somewhere in the low to mid 60s, which makes missing a bunch a not infrequent occurrence. And you can only bring so many explosives with you until you get some leveled-up grenadiers, and you have only four soldiers on a mission at the start, and with them being low level there's a much greater chance that any hit the aliens score on them will cause someone to panic and either expose themselves to more shots or even fire on one of their friends, etc.

    Early-game XCOM just gives you a lot of ways to get screwed by RNG, and it's never fun when anything of that sort happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I finished Hollow Knight nad played quite a bit of Hades, but I quit Hades after defeating the end boss once, because I didn't want to do it again.
    Ironically, I thought Hades got a lot easier after my first success. Learning the attacks to expect from each boss and how to handle the game's weapons and powers is kind of the biggest key to winning, so once you've learned enough to succeed once, there's a lot less you need to learn to keep succeeding. Plus you've got the mirror upgrades you can keep piling on to keep getting more and more powerful at a base level over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    See also: requiring you to eat and drink to not die in an RPG. It's just busywork that forces you to do stuff you don't necessarily want to do (e.g. make food and find water).
    Are there games that actually make you do that? Hell, even in tabletop D&D, DMs handwave that. Or at least, every DM I've ever known does.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Eating/drinking/sleeping is fine in a game designed to have a survival focus. In crafting games like Minecraft and Valheim it's a necessary part of the experience, and it can make for some tense moments in certain RPGs as well, like Outward, which I'm playing now.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2021-07-30 at 04:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Are there games that actually make you do that? Hell, even in tabletop D&D, DMs handwave that. Or at least, every DM I've ever known does.
    It's a fairly large component of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, or at least the first chapter - it's designed to replicate the hexcrawl style of game, where exploring large chunks of overworld map and managing your supplies versus carrying capacity and the passage of time is a major part of the map-level part of the game. (And I don't know for sure if it will actually kill you if you run out of food, but you will either be unable to recover HP/spells when you rest, which will have basically the same result, or have to spend enormous amounts of time having your characters hunt/gather food instead, which will make you fail the multiple time-gated quests and situations you would have been able to get to pretty easily otherwise.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Eating/drinking/sleeping is fine in a game designed to have a survival focus.
    I guess? I don't know, personally it just sounds like it would make any game a worse experience to me, as that's one of the most boring sounding things I can imagine needing to worry about in a game. But hey, if there's people who like it, I guess different strokes and all.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    It's a fairly large component of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, or at least the first chapter - it's designed to replicate the hexcrawl style of game, where exploring large chunks of overworld map and managing your supplies versus carrying capacity and the passage of time is a major part of the map-level part of the game. (And I don't know for sure if it will actually kill you if you run out of food, but you will either be unable to recover HP/spells when you rest, which will have basically the same result, or have to spend enormous amounts of time having your characters hunt/gather food instead, which will make you fail the multiple time-gated quests and situations you would have been able to get to pretty easily otherwise.)
    Wow. Well, guess I won't ever be trying that game, then. Not that I planned to before, honestly, but still.
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    Default Re: Which video games are the perfect difficulty for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    I guess? I don't know, personally it just sounds like it would make any game a worse experience to me, as that's one of the most boring sounding things I can imagine needing to worry about in a game. But hey, if there's people who like it, I guess different strokes and all.
    I like resource management, that's really all there is to it that's the make or break.

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