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

Exius Xavarus

Casually hardcore. :}
May 19, 2010
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thesilentman said:
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If an Easy Mode has to be implemented, I'd prefer it be done in a mirror fashion of Dragon's Dogma. To implement Hard Mode all Capcom did was increase the damage dealt to the player and increase stamina usage.

Ergo, we could reduce stamina usage and decrease damage dealt to the player in order to implement an Easy Mode. I think it's probably the easiest and most effective way to go about it, without ruining the game, because literally all it does is increase survivability.
 

ThePuzzldPirate

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No, the game doesn't need an easy mode cause it would miss the entire point of it. Your going to hate it regardless of it being easier cause your going than complain how it has no substance. Why support a lose lose situation. Just wait for the sequel that will most likely address this.
 

Souplex

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Jul 29, 2008
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I would buy it, and play on normal, even if there was an easy mode.
Easy mode does kind of go against the spirit of the game though.
 

BreakfastMan

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Jul 22, 2010
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Hagi said:
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.
That doesn't mean they sacrifice stuff related to the game. I mean, how much would it really effect the game if they brought in a couple guys from the Armored Core team, hmm? If FROM plans ahead, the additional development-time needed for an easy mode should have little to no impact on the bottom line.
 

ClockworkUniverse

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Tanakh said:
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.
True. I guess what I'mm getting at is that the sequel should try to expand that design principle.
 

BreakfastMan

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Jul 22, 2010
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Casual Shinji said:
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?
In your post, you basically implied that it is only non-fans who would be okay with an easy mode, because you say fans care deeply about the game's "identity" and had stated that adding an easy mode would result in the game losing part of that "identity". That point was further solidified with this statement:

But then it's become very apparent that a discussion between the fans and the people who aren't a fan is totally useless.
Which implies that there are two sides to this argument, fans and non-fans, and since in your post you had already established that it was fans who are against an easy-mode, it must be non-fans who would be okay with one. I assumed you said it with a straight face, because there were no real signs you were not.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Why would I care if there was an easy mode? I wouldn't have to use it. Do I think lower difficulty would detract from the experience? Sure I do. But "difficulty" is an extremely subjective concept. Which is something that the peen strokers in this thread would do well to remember. What's easy to you might be very hard to someone else, and visa versa. A lot of us have been gamers since we were in short pants. It's like a guy who has spent 15 years in medical school scoffing at you because you don't feel comfortable performing surgery.

Dark Souls has several layers of difficulty. Some worthy of praise, some worthy of question.

1. Very low margin of error. This, combined with needing to see an enemy in action to fully understand what it can do, can result in chain deaths while learning an opponent.

2. Very opaque presentation of information. Very little is spelled out for you. At best you get some flavor text and you're left to discover what everything does through rigorous trial and error. There's no map, hints and tips are given in an unusual fashion, enemies are total bloody mysteries until they're whomping on you, etc, etc.

3. Somewhat rickety/cludgy controls, native to consoles. If you could hot key inventory items and have splash screens with detailed, informative statistics things would be a lot easier. You can't, so they're not.

4. Someone else said it well in this thread...intimidation. Dark Souls wears you down psychologically. Enemies are horrifying, the world is dank and sad, you're often isolated and lonely.

5. Invasions. Having other players constantly horn their way into your game and kill you.

6. No pause, no saves, less than fully generous allotment of save checkpoints.

It's one of the hardest games on the market, full stop. I honestly cannot fathom an argument that suggests otherwise. Whether or not you personally find it hard is irrelevant. The vast majority of its fellows have luxurious save functions, at the very least, which allow for a dramatic reduction in difficulty and repetition.

I'd say the best comparison for Dark Souls is old school, pre-Luclin Everquest. Player-hostile, confusing UI? Check. Opaque, confusing world with no clear directions on what to do or how to do it? Check. Random insertion of deadly enemies into "low level" areas? Check. Forcing the player to backtrack to recover their body in order to avoid losing gear/souls upon death, thus creating higher tension and higher stakes? Check.

And that's cool, really. EQ was my favorite MMO for a reason. But this shit ain't for everyone. By all means, add a difficulty slider. Would likely just make for higher sales and mean a bigger, more content rich Dark Souls 2.
 

chadachada123

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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.

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.
This gave me an idea.

New Game+ is the same as the first playthrough, except with enemy stats increased, correct? The exact same game, just with less room for error.

Why not take the formula used for New Game+ (and ++, etc), and work BACKWARDS to create an easy version, "New Game-"?

People starting on New Game- are playing just a slightly easier mode that *cannot* transfer to New Game(0) upon completion. Once they beat New Game-, that's it, and they can then choose to start on New Game(0) with a new character or continue playing New Game-.

I think this would be acceptable, so long as this New Game- is indicated to be easy and not what the developers designed the game around. It will essentially be a "tutorial game" to introduce them to combat and the like, a "headstart" of sorts.

Another idea, that I feel can be combined with this one, is to make it so "easy mode" can only be played until midway through the game, after which point your game will disallow further progression. Several old "Nintendo Hard" games from the past did this, and I would find it sickly hilarious to include.
 

maxben

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It makes sense that a 3rd of the people on the Escapist are selfish unfriendly people who it would suck to play with.
There are always those who want hardcore or nothing, not because it makes a difference to their game but because they just hate other people enjoying the game in a different way than they do. In fact, they hate people enjoying ANY game that does not fit into their hardcore standards.
 

Hagi

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BreakfastMan said:
Hagi said:
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.
That doesn't mean they sacrifice stuff related to the game. I mean, how much would it really effect the game if they brought in a couple guys from the Armored Core team, hmm? If FROM plans ahead, the additional development-time needed for an easy mode should have little to no impact on the bottom line.
Yeah...

It's not like these games have individual budgets or anything. I'm sure FROM is privately funding everything and thus can reassign a few developers from one game without pissing the investors of that game off. Besides, having to pull members from a team will surely go over well with the publishers and show just how valuable FROM considers that property.

And it's not like this easy mode will need to be tested and balanced appropriately, with their QA team running through each zone multiple times with multiple builds to ensure the difficulty curve is where they want it. They can just double the player's health and damage and be done with it for sure. And hey, they can always pull a few QA guys from another project right? It's not like other projects have milestones that need to be reached or anything.

Even if extra developers somehow could be pulled from other projects without consequences the opportunity cost of assigning them to work on additional content for the normal mode is still there. It's always there. For every single second spend on an easy mode there is always, without exception, the opportunity cost that it could have been spend on something else, namely the normal mode. That's how opportunity costs work, there's absolutely nothing that doesn't have one, sitting in the sun has an opportunity cost.
 

chadachada123

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maxben said:
It makes sense that a 3rd of the people on the Escapist are selfish unfriendly people who it would suck to play with.
There are always those who want hardcore or nothing, not because it makes a difference to their game but because they just hate other people enjoying the game in a different way than they do. In fact, they hate people enjoying ANY game that does not fit into their hardcore standards.
Nice generalization there, buddy.

Just because I enjoy some hardcore games doesn't mean that every game I play has to, or even should, be hardcore/difficult.

When I want an easy, non-stressful time, I love playing simple games that don't require thought, or games where button mashing is a viable strategy. Other times, however, I like to be rewarded for patience, thought, and defensive gameplay.

I do not know a single gamer that is a fan of Demon's/Dark Souls that doesn't similarly enjoy a multitude of games with various difficulties for different occasions, and reasons for wanting to exclude an easy mode in Dark Souls 2 are not mutually inclusive with being "selfish."

Additionally, you clearly have no idea how difficult balancing is for a game, let alone the resources required to make a game balanced for just ONE difficulty, let alone many.
 

BloatedGuppy

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chadachada123 said:
Additionally, you clearly have no idea how difficult balancing is for a game, let alone the resources required to make a game balanced for just ONE difficulty, let alone many.
Dark Souls would not require incredible difficulty balancing. Tone down enemy damage, upgrade player statistics. And you're done. Frankly the VAST majority of the game's difficulty stems from how hard you get hit.

You tune ONE mode. That's your "normal" difficulty. Nothing else really needs to be fine tuned, just "easier" or "harder" as befits the tastes of the person selecting it.
 

CManator

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BloatedGuppy said:
chadachada123 said:
Additionally, you clearly have no idea how difficult balancing is for a game, let alone the resources required to make a game balanced for just ONE difficulty, let alone many.
Dark Souls would not require incredible difficulty balancing. Tone down enemy damage, upgrade player statistics. And you're done. Frankly the VAST majority of the game's difficulty stems from how hard you get hit.

You tune ONE mode. That's your "normal" difficulty. Nothing else really needs to be fine tuned, just "easier" or "harder" as befits the tastes of the person selecting it.
This is what the "pro-easy" side doesn't understand. Very little of the difficulty comes from the damage rates. Lower enemy damage, increase player damage, and I guarantee people will die just as often. Maybe more often since they will confidently charge into a group of enemies and get killed. The game is designed to punish that style of play, regardless of damage dealt. Making easy mode actually easy would require changes to the fundamental design. Enemy behavior, environments, even combat mechanics.

That is why many people are opposed to easy mode. It's not as simple as you are making it out to be, and seasoned players know this.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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BreakfastMan said:
Casual Shinji said:
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?
In your post, you basically implied that it is only non-fans who would be okay with an easy mode, because you say fans care deeply about the game's "identity" and had stated that adding an easy mode would result in the game losing part of that "identity". That point was further solidified with this statement:

But then it's become very apparent that a discussion between the fans and the people who aren't a fan is totally useless.
Which implies that there are two sides to this argument, fans and non-fans, and since in your post you had already established that it was fans who are against an easy-mode, it must be non-fans who would be okay with one. I assumed you said it with a straight face, because there were no real signs you were not.
If that's how it came across I'll say it like this...

A discussion between the people who like the game and the people who dislike it, generally results in everyone talking past eachother. Why this is I have no idea. Possibly because the reason some people like it is the exact same reason others don't.

That sentence was aimed at these Dark Souls threads in general, in which there are clearly two camps head butting.

I can only speak for myself as to why I wouldn't want an easy mode.
 

BloatedGuppy

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CManator said:
This is what the "pro-easy" side doesn't understand. Very little of the difficulty comes from the damage rates. Lower enemy damage, increase player damage, and I guarantee people will die just as often. Maybe more often since they will confidently charge into a group of enemies and get killed. The game is designed to punish that style of play, regardless of damage dealt. Making easy mode actually easy would require changes to the fundamental design. Enemy behavior, environments, even combat mechanics.

That is why many people are opposed to easy mode. It's not as simple as you are making it out to be, and seasoned players know this.
Oh god, spare me the appeal to authority. You don't get all "seasoned players herp derp" on me, and I won't bring up the fact I've probably been gaming longer than you've been alive, and we'll call it a draw. Unless the game takes a dramatic left turn into shocking new territory, there is nothing in the base mechanics (aside from clunkiness) that creates an unreasonable difficulty that would require addressing via sliders. How many games have you even played, really? How often do you see designers completely re-making levels or completely re-doing AI in order to accommodate difficulty levels? The correct answer to that question is "I haven't, because it basically never happens". Suggesting that it does, or that it would need to in this specific case, is absolutely ludicrous.

There is NOTHING in this game that could not be mitigated through the judicious beefing of player statistics, including hit points, endurance and resistances. Nothing. The fact 98% of the people who play the game moan about how "easy-mode" you can make it by out-leveling the content is testament to that fact. It doesn't matter how reckless you are if you can shrug off hits. Throw in some industry-standard regenerating health and call it a day.

"Seasoned" players. Give me a fucking break. You are not a Naam vet, and this is not rocket science.
 

StriderShinryu

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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.
Basically this. ^^^

I think developer intent is an extremely important aspect of game design. Maybe Dark Souls 2 will have an easy mode or just be more traditionally easier. In fact, I'm betting it will be seeing as how the director of Demons Souls and Dark Souls was basically ousted in favour of directors with a different stated approach. But Dark Souls stands as it is now and an easy mode would run counter to the design of the entire game, as many others have stated in the many other threads on this exact same topic. If you don't like it, that's cool. There's tons of great games out there that you might enjoy more as they don't share the design philosophy found in DS.

As a side note, I still find it hard to believe that many of those wanting an easy mode have even played the game as it is. A traditional easy mode would not make the game all that much easier and, to be quite honest, if you're willing to learn how to play the game it's not even that hard to begin with.
 

loa

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Easy mode already exists, it's called "summoning people" and I like me some coop boss murderfest with overpowered weaponry.
Much more fun than grinding for souls which, in turn, makes my game and the game of the person I helped easier so I don't mind I guess.

If someone summons people to kill ornstein and smough because fuck those guys, that won't "take away" from my achievement of soloing them so I don't even know what people are on about when going on about that.
There is nothing I can say against the sentiment of "fuck those guys" and I will merrily smash their skulls when summoned to do so.

thesilentman said:
No, I wouldn't mind an easy mode, but it has to be more than a difficulty slider. 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.
How about speeding the animations up so you don't lie on the ground for 30 seconds when knocked on your ass cause most deaths involve you getting hit once and then slowly standing up so whatever knocked you down has all the time in the world to swing again.

Oh also backstabs in pvp or pvp in general, a way to disable people literally invading your game to ruin it with the same broken crap everyone uses would be dandy too.
Really, nothing of value is lost if random level 1 maxed out pyromancy spammers that literally spend the entire day killing low level chars in the first area just for the sake of being an annoying prick would be disabled.

That right there, a way to disable that broken ass mandatory pvp alone would be a godsend.
Unless you think those things "made the game great".

Another thing would be the possibility to summon npc phantoms at the start of areas so you're not coerced into subscribing to that shitty xbox live gold "service" to access easy mode.
 

maxben

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chadachada123 said:
maxben said:
It makes sense that a 3rd of the people on the Escapist are selfish unfriendly people who it would suck to play with.
There are always those who want hardcore or nothing, not because it makes a difference to their game but because they just hate other people enjoying the game in a different way than they do. In fact, they hate people enjoying ANY game that does not fit into their hardcore standards.
Nice generalization there, buddy.

Just because I enjoy some hardcore games doesn't mean that every game I play has to, or even should, be hardcore/difficult.

When I want an easy, non-stressful time, I love playing simple games that don't require thought, or games where button mashing is a viable strategy. Other times, however, I like to be rewarded for patience, thought, and defensive gameplay.

I do not know a single gamer that is a fan of Demon's/Dark Souls that doesn't similarly enjoy a multitude of games with various difficulties for different occasions, and reasons for wanting to exclude an easy mode in Dark Souls 2 are not mutually inclusive with being "selfish."

Additionally, you clearly have no idea how difficult balancing is for a game, let alone the resources required to make a game balanced for just ONE difficulty, let alone many.
Easy, we call it God Mode where you are invincible and everything else is the same. Teaching you how to play the game without being able to lose. Done and done. Or maybe an auto-heal when you get to a certain percentage? You COULD die, but its difficult. How about adding an invincible shield with regenerating health? Honestly, you are thinking in the most limited fashion possible, and you are doing it on purpose precisely because of my first point. The second might have been an hyperbole because I was upset, but you merely proved my first point.
 

Taurus Vis

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If you want to play an easy game play Fable. Dark Souls isn't difficult. If you think it is hard, it is because you can't read the enemy. How would being able to get hit twice as much make the game better. Dark souls is about not getting hit. The game has absolutely ZERO "cheap" enemies. All you need to do is read the opponent and you can beat any opponent with shit equipment at the lowest level. It is also the only game that does this. Easy mode would also ruin the PvP and Co-op element since it is integrated directly into the single player. So yes, I would mind if easy mode is added. It doesn't need it. It's the reason it endears itself to so many players. It doesn't tolerate ignorance. It doesn't tolerate mistakes. It is pure. It is the last bastion of truly fantastic gameplay. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Skyrim, but it's gameplay is SHIT!!!
 

viranimus

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Nov 20, 2009
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Again? Really?

Ok, personally not going to elaborate why I think there shouldnt be an easy mode. Instead I have to pose a question.

Most of the souls fanbase are at most vehemently opposed to it, and at least indifferent to the idea and would not utilize it.

Given that there IS a large portion of the fanbase of this game who IS in fact opposed to easy mode, is there really any compelling reason to include one?

In all of the various threads on the topic, the focus always seems to come around to nonsensical elitism, but really never offers any meaningful rationale to justify upsetting the die hard fans of the series just to accommodate others in the name of "accessibility" essentially resulting in trading a neglected demographic, for one far more catered to and far less defined.

So really, before you ask the question IF, you need to answer the question Why?