Poll: Would you mind if Dark Souls had an easy mode

Casual Shinji

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Yeah, I would mind.

This has nothing to do with not wanting "casuals" to play it, or that it would make my own achievements in the game feel somehow less. It's about the game losing a chunk of it's identity if it did.

There aren't really any games out there today like the Souls games, and it offers a lot of people a particular experience they can't get anywhere else. This is why fans are very protective of it.

But then it's become very apparent that a discussion between the fans and the people who aren't a fan is totally useless.
 

Hagi

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Yes, it would have taken development time away from the game itself.

Easy modes don't magically spring into being. Developers have to spend time designing, implementing and balancing them. All of it time that could have been spend instead on further designing, implementing and balancing the normal mode.

The question isn't if you'd prefer Dark Souls as is plus an easy mode over Dark Souls as is.

The question is if you'd prefer Dark Souls minus a single boss or even entire zone but with an easy mode over Dark Souls as is.

For a game that's about challenge and dying it's not worth sacrificing time that could have been spend developing more content on developing an easy mode.
 

BreakfastMan

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Jul 22, 2010
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Casual Shinji said:
Yeah, I would mind.

This has nothing to do with not wanting "casuals" to play it, or that it would make my own achievements in the game feel somehow less. It's about the game losing a chunk of it's identity if it did.

There aren't really any games out there today like the Souls games, and it offers a lot of people a particular experience they can't get anywhere else. This is why fans are very protective of it.

But then it's become very apparent that a discussion between the fans and the people who aren't a fan is totally useless.
Love how you can just casually throw out there, with a straight face, that people who don't think an easy mode would be a bad idea aren't fans. Really makes your point that much stronger. :D
Hagi said:
Yes, it would have taken development time away from the game itself.

Easy modes don't magically spring into being. Developers have to spend time designing, implementing and balancing them. All of it time that could have been spend instead on further designing, implementing and balancing the normal mode.
This idea is fecking insipid. I mean, the devs should take away NG+ mode, so they can spend that time "further designing, implementing and balancing the normal mode", right? -_-

Yes, I know my counter-example is silly, flame baity, and unfair, but I am really freaking tired of this idea that has been floating around the forums since practically forever. Devs can, and often do, delay products if they are not confident in their quality, and FROM does not strike me as a studio that is likely to push an unfinished game out the door before it's time. You can't take "development time away from the game itself", when you can just go and add more fecking development time. Or hell, even add in a couple designers and programmers to the team to work on that while everyone else is working on something else at the same time. There are plenty of ways to add modes to games during development without it effecting development of the main game at all.
 

Baron von Blitztank

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Nah. After all it's only an option and if you still want the balls-hard challenge then you should still be able to select it from the start. What's there to say that the easy mode isn't going to be a free ride anyway? All that might happen is either a health increase, damage decrease or mob decrease which still means there'll still be problems with bosses and platforming which all seem to be the cause for the most of my deaths in the game.
 

TrevHead

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(In my most elitist voice)

Yes I would! Because most games have sucky difficulty scaling, can't please everybody so concessions in game design have to be made and usually it's in favour of the lame.

There also something enjoyable about a game that won't let you chicken out with easy mode, it's man up or GTFO
 

Hagi

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BreakfastMan said:
This idea is fecking insipid. I mean, the devs should take away NG+ mode, so they can spend that time "further designing, implementing and balancing the normal mode", right? -_-

Yes, I know my counter-example is silly, flame baity, and unfair, but I am really freaking tired of this idea that has been floating around the forums since practically forever. Devs can, and often do, delay products if they are not confident in their quality, and FROM does not strike me as a studio that is likely to push an unfinished game out the door before it's time. You can't take "development time away from the game itself", when you can just go and add more fecking development time. Or hell, even add in a couple designers and programmers to the team to work on that while everyone else is working on something else at the same time. There are plenty of ways to add modes to games during development without it effecting development of the main game at all.
Learn some basic economics next time... mkay? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost]

You can't magically conjure up more development time or developers without sacrificing something else.
 

anthony87

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As long as I still have the option to play the game as it is now then no, I wouldn't mind.
 

thesilentman

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Rawne1980 said:
What made the game great?
It offered a challenge. Far, far different from being difficult.

How will a difficulty slider compromise that?
I said that conventional methods of moderating difficulty cannot be used. It will quickly destroy the atmosphere of the game.

If everything's easy, everything ceases to be challenging, which ruins the whole atmosphere the game's trying to get across. You know, the feeling that you are just a lost soul in a dangerous world.

I've said it once and i'll say it again DARK SOULS ISN'T HARD.
As have I. But it offers a challenge, which is severely lacking in the majority of games today.

Demon's Souls was hard, Dark Souls is only difficult if you're shit at it. Dying more than four times in any fight in Dark Souls isn't down to it being difficult it's down to the player using shit tactics.
Um, new players aren't going to be good at Dark Souls on their first try. And dying more than four times? That's too low of a number for new players.

New game?

Would you like it easy or hard....
NG is supposed to elevate the difficulty of the game and make it more of a challenge. Probably for the first playthrough you could offer easy, but not all of them.

Oooh look, the problem is solved. Easy mode for those that can't beat a Capra Demon in less than 5 attempts (let's face it, if they took more than 5 attempts, they NEED an easy mode) and a hard mode for everyone else.
If it took you five attempts to finish off the Capra Demon, good for you. Most people aren't going to able to do it even if they knew about the dogs and the staircase. And that's not a great example as the Capra Demon will jump you right from the start with the dogs.

I fail to see why people are bitching about it. The difficulty will still be there but with a mode for new players and returning players that suck arse at Souls games.
*Sigh* People are bitching about it because the addition of an easy mode could change the game substantially. A good amount of the mechanics and the environment are built around the fact that everything's out to kill you. It's what makes the Souls games such a good experience.

Exius Xavarus said:
thesilentman said:
I dare anyone here to suggest ideas on how to implement an easy mode without compromising what made the game great.
Decreased stamina usage
Player takes less damage, deals more damage
Enemy AI utilizes surprise attacks less often
Increased parry window
Wider angle for backstabs
Drop only half souls/humanity upon death

There are lots of ways you can make Dark Souls into an easier game. One of the easiest ways? Mirror the way Dragon's Dogma did it and simply decrease stamina usage and decrease damage dealt to the player when activating Easy Mode. And to avoid difficulty cheesing, every time you activate Easy Mode you have to start from the beginning(even if you activated Normal Mode and switched back to Easy).

I wouldn't care if they added an Easy Mode as long they do not tweak Normal Mode in any possible way.
That seems... fair. The only thing that I'd see that would become an issue is:

Player takes less damage, deals more damage
People would figure out this pretty fast and get OP right from the start, which could ruin the point of the game for many people.

ClockworkUniverse said:
thesilentman said:
I dare anyone here to suggest ideas on how to implement an easy mode without compromising what made the game great. Go on, I'll wait.
The easy mode could have a tutorial that provides basic information about how the game works.

(before anyone gets mad, please note that Dark Souls is probably one of my favorite games)

I've said it before: the main source of difficulty in Dark Souls is not the gameplay. It's the lack of a good tutorial. For example, if you start as a Pyromancer, your Pyromancy Flame says that it scales damage with Intelligence, so you will probably spend a few levels on Intelligence. You will eventually realize that the damage scaling only applies to its secondary punch attack, which you will never use, ever. Thus, you are now effectively several levels lower than the game is balanced for and will remain so until you start the entire thing over.

Don't get me wrong; the game provides a reasonable challenge when played properly, but it's less "difficult" and more survival-oriented, if that makes sense.
Yeah, the game only needs a better tutorial. Other than that, I think that the Souls games are perfectly fine as is.
 

blackdwarf

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Yes, and This thread already has been done to dead. Everyone made his/her say and It is clear that we are divided on the matter. Lets move on.
 

CManator

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Where's the option, "No, but with conditions"? Dark Souls is designed in a way that YOUR OPTIONS CAN AFFECT MY GAME.

- As long as as the normal mode keeps all the things that make the series great. I worry that many fundamental design choices would be changed with easy mode in mind. It's not just damage rates that make the games challenging.

- Easy mode disables online play. Hint messages can stay, but no co op or pvp. Easy mode would allow players to level up and get high end gear more quickly, don't bring your easy gains into my game.

Meet both of those conditions, and I will welcome easy mode and all the players it brings.
 

Rawne1980

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thesilentman said:
NG is supposed to elevate the difficulty of the game and make it more of a challenge. Probably for the first playthrough you could offer easy, but not all of them.
By "new game" I meant the first start not NG+.

As for changing the core of the game no, no it doesn't have to.

Easy mode, lower damage done by mobs and bosses, increase health and stamina of player, lower boss/mob health and increase weapon damage ... that is all it needs.

No need to change layouts or how anything else works.

It does not .. DOES NOT .. destroy what made the game enjoyable for many, THE HARD MODE IS STILL THERE.

And that is the argument that literally makes me laugh at people. "It takes away from the core game" fuck off does it, people are just pissing and whining for the sake of it.

No argument against an easy mode come across well. All it sounds like is "other people want to play with my toys but I won't let them ner ner".

If it turns out they have to change the hard mode to fit in an easy mode THEN people can complain. I highly doubt that will happen though.
 

Casual Shinji

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BreakfastMan said:
Casual Shinji said:
Yeah, I would mind.

This has nothing to do with not wanting "casuals" to play it, or that it would make my own achievements in the game feel somehow less. It's about the game losing a chunk of it's identity if it did.

There aren't really any games out there today like the Souls games, and it offers a lot of people a particular experience they can't get anywhere else. This is why fans are very protective of it.

But then it's become very apparent that a discussion between the fans and the people who aren't a fan is totally useless.
Love how you can just casually throw out there, with a straight face, that people who don't think an easy mode would be a bad idea aren't fans. Really makes your point that much stronger. :D
Where exactly did I say people who want an easy mode aren't real fans? And for that matter, where did I have straight face?

This right here is why this discussion is totally useless, because each side will missunderstand something the other side says.
 

ClockworkUniverse

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Okay, I didn't expand on my main point enough, so...longpost time.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that Dark Souls is not a difficult game. Well, okay, it's probably a bit above average difficulty-wise. But what it really focuses on is intimidation. That is, giving the impression of being difficult without actually being as difficult as it seems.

Well...okay, as I said above, the shitty tutorial adds a great degree of difficulty, but let's assume that you've either looked up or been told the relevant stuff you need to know or the game doesn't tell you, or have restarted the game after figuring it out four hours in.

Okay, to a lot of you, this probably sounds like I'm being elitist or something, but how to put this...okay, people in this thread have mentioned that:
Prince Regent said:
Part of the appeal of dark souls is that it is hard and that you have to die dozens of times.
Well, yeah, you can expect to die a lot. But...that isn't particularly unusual. Play a campaign of the average FPS. Barring a huge gap in your relative skills at the genres, you will probably die just as often as you do during Dark Souls, if not more. But those games don't draw so much attention to it. If you die, you time-warp back ten to twenty seconds, and that's it.

Dark Souls, meanwhile, devotes a huge amount of energy to ensuring that you're constantly thinking about death, even if it isn't particularly likely right at that instant. That would be why the most prominent elements of your HUD are your Souls and Humanity, the things you will lose if you die (but actually probably won't if you can do something you've clearly already done).

Furthermore, there are very few circumstances for which you can't just walk back to the Bonfire if you find yourself in a bad situation -- mostly boss battles, and even then, there's an item for that. But you don't want to walk back to the Bonfire. It takes up time and makes you redo stuff. The whole mechanic is a way of creating cognitive dissonance; you want to go back, but you can't go back.

All this actually does in terms of difficulty, though, is ensure that assessing the survivability of your situation is something you need to focus on as a player. It doesn't actually outright make the game harder. It just makes it seem harder, as well as being slower-paced and more deliberate.

Okay, I'm kind of rambling away from the topic, and it occurs to me that there's one really strong reason why there's nothing wrong with an easy mode in Dark Souls:

The game has an easy mode.

Yeah, you heard me. What did you think summons were for? On the hardest parts of the game, you have the opportunity summon another player to help you. No connection? No problem. The game features NPC summons, some of them powerful enough to reliably solo their associated bosses while you hang back and watch, even.

Of course, summoning has its drawbacks, as it requires you to be human, which is both the one thing you're guaranteed to lose on death and the circumstance that lets you get invaded. But invasions aren't constant, and the scripted ones are almost all avoidable (and the one that isn't is kind of pathetic).

But it does take up resources (resources which, interestingly, you tend to get as rewards for boss fights) and create a risk, which means that you probably don't want to do it unless A) you really need to and B) you're already low on the resources you lose on death. Like, say, you might be after losing to the boss on your own a few times. Thus, the game provides you with an easy option, then encourages you to use it only if you really need to.

Essentially, my take from Dark Souls is that the whole "Prepare To Die," this-game-will-be-the-hardest-thing-you've-ever-played marketing thing is a somewhat misleading effort both to enhance the game's atmosphere of horror, and to make you feel like a badass for succeeding.

So...actually, thinking on that, I guess the game doesn't necessarily need a traditional easy mode that you select from a menu, but rather should implement other ways of letting the player control the game's difficulty from within gameplay.

Sorry if this post was a bit rambling. I typed it right after waking up and right before going to work.
 

GameChanger

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I don't see why people WANT an easy mode. Besides, it wouldn't change much. It wouldn't suddenly make the controls more accessible or the level design less prone to 'pushing-you-of-a-ledge'-monster incidents.

An easy mode would devalue the accomplishment of getting further into the game. Besides, if you want an easy game, there are enough other dark-fantasy games with easy modes. Just leave our little gem alone, there are people enjoying it.

Yes. I hate the elitism the DS community has just as much as you do, but that's no reason to tamper with the formula a lot of people like.
 

Tanakh

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ClockworkUniverse said:
So...actually, thinking on that, I guess the game doesn't necessarily need a traditional easy mode that you select from a menu, but rather should implement other ways of letting the player control the game's difficulty from within gameplay.
I somewhat agree with most of your post, just wanted to point out that the game does that. By choosing if you level or not and what kind of items you use, you can control the difficulty of the gameplay; if you know what you are doing the game is really easy even if you are bad at it's mechanics.
 

burningdragoon

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thesilentman said:
I dare anyone here to suggest ideas on how to implement an easy mode without compromising what made the game great.
Okay, bear with me here. What if, and this going to sound crazy, there were several different classes you could choose from. And one of those classes, like, and this going to sound crazy, had some big advantages in damage output department. For example, and I'm just spitballing here, some sort of infinite ammo spell (or maybe there's something like a ring that recharges your magic pool or something) that was very powerful to start out with. Of course enemies would still be able to dispatch you quickly as well and obviously you'd still need to grow in skill/patience to beat the whole game, but you'd have an easier time starting off.