Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 63
  1. #1
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    235

    Challange balance: a lost art?

    In some games, you will have your ass handed big time even on easy(arguably older titles, and some modern ones like STALKER). In other games, the game is just a cakewalk and plays by himself even on hard( see CODBLOPS). So, where is the balance in difficulty?

    Companys like EPIC made games like UT with like eight difficulty modes for the AI, but when they go to consoles they dont reproduce the same feat and end with the same fate as COD. Hell, just watch this guy play Batman blind XD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxIcklF-8hY

    So, whats your thougts on the issue?

  2. #2
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    496
    I see your Batman and raise with a Joy Ride:

    http://youtu.be/KWbLOFGSEDo

  3. #3
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    235
    haha, lol, kinect brings fail to the next level

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Zürich
    Posts
    751
    Any thread that gives me an opportunity to post this video is a good thread.

    On a more serious note, I haven't played Black Ops, but COD4 was unforgivingly difficult on Veteran at times. As are many other games released in recent years. So I wouldn't say the art of challenge has been lost. On average, games are probably easier nowadays than they were during the NES era, but this is mostly due to two factors. One, a lot of the difficulty in past games comes from janky controls, unintuitive interfaces or general buginess, things we tend to tolerate less in modern titles. Two, games used to be a lot shorter, so the high level of difficulty was an attempt to artifically lengthen the playtime.

    Generally speaking, I'm all for games featuring different levels of difficulty. The problem is that many developers do it in the laziest way possible. They create a normal difficulty as a benchmark and then simply scale enemy health and damage up or down. This results in enemies being bullet sponges on higher difficulties and makes the game more tedious than actually challenging. It would be nice if increasing the difficulty meant enemies would get new powerful attacks or a more advanced AI. Or do what Doom did and simply increase the monster count, rather than the monster hp.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,318
    One company that's pushing the edge of accessibility is Nintendo. They are remarkably adept at incorporating multiple difficulties into a single game, frequently by having collectibles inside a level that are harder to get, and more rewarding paths. DKCR is a great example of this. On the one hand, the game will take you through any tough point if you ask it to, but it has some wonderfully hard extra missions, extra areas, and special challenges.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,155
    So you are wondering why all the world's game developers didn't get together and decide to make all of their games the same difficulty?

  8. #8
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
    Generally speaking, I'm all for games featuring different levels of difficulty. The problem is that many developers do it in the laziest way possible. They create a normal difficulty as a benchmark and then simply scale enemy health and damage up or down. This results in enemies being bullet sponges on higher difficulties and makes the game more tedious than actually challenging. It would be nice if increasing the difficulty meant enemies would get new powerful attacks or a more advanced AI. Or do what Doom did and simply increase the monster count, rather than the monster hp.
    Laziness is bad, but "what can we add or change to produce a harder difficulty" is also the wrong way to go about it. The hardest mode is the one that needs the tightest balancing. If the difficulty levels are not really independent from each other - as in different game modes - then the hardest one should always be designed as the first and primary one, and the easier difficulties should be adjustments of the hardest mode.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,218
    Quote Originally Posted by dnf View Post
    In some games, you will have your ass handed big time even on easy(arguably older titles, and some modern ones like STALKER)
    Difficulty with older games generally was a way to artificially extend gameplay time though. Take a look at the sadistic NES games. If they weren't messes of enemies flying everywhere, one-hit-death mechanics, and very limited lives, they'd have gameplay times in the order of bugger all. Fiddlesticks has the measure of it - an artificial increase in difficulty isn't smart gameplay. Having enemies that act as tanks by jacking up the HP isn't something that should be celebrated. But AI is hard, and it's easy to just fiddle with numbers or let the AI cheat, so that's all we're likely to get for the moment.

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,093
    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
    On a more serious note, I haven't played Black Ops, but COD4 was unforgivingly difficult on Veteran at times.
    All modern CoD titles can be frustratingly difficult at Veteran. People who say they're all easy games that "play themselves" likely never played them at all.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,527
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    All modern CoD titles can be frustratingly difficult at Veteran. People who say they're all easy games that "play themselves" likely never played them at all.
    doesn't one of the cod games have a mission where you don't have to do squat and just simply follow some guy? i think i saw a video of it.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    1,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    doesn't one of the cod games have a mission where you don't have to do squat and just simply follow some guy? i think i saw a video of it.
    It's probably the infamous No Russian level where you're supposed to butcher civilians at an airport. So yeah, that kind'a doesn't count. You can also skip the mission entirely.
    Read more here (On hold) or on Twitter! Occasional impressions on random sim games.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,527
    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    It's probably the infamous No Russian level where you're supposed to butcher civilians at an airport. So yeah, that kind'a doesn't count. You can also skip the mission entirely.
    nah. the other one where you have to get to the plane (not sure.) happens in a town.

    this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RULv6HbgEjY
    Last edited by Lukasz; 13-10-2012 at 08:58 AM.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    Posts
    2,176
    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Laziness is bad, but "what can we add or change to produce a harder difficulty" is also the wrong way to go about it. The hardest mode is the one that needs the tightest balancing. If the difficulty levels are not really independent from each other - as in different game modes - then the hardest one should always be designed as the first and primary one, and the easier difficulties should be adjustments of the hardest mode.
    I disagree, I think it's pretty cool to play games on difficulties that the designers clearly didn't even bother to balance, they just threw in to see if you could deal with them. Indeed, it's often a pointless effort to try to balance the top difficulty, because the players playing at this difficulty will be vastly superior to the designers and the testers anyway.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,155
    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I disagree, I think it's pretty cool to play games on difficulties that the designers clearly didn't even bother to balance, they just threw in to see if you could deal with them. Indeed, it's often a pointless effort to try to balance the top difficulty, because the players playing at this difficulty will be vastly superior to the designers and the testers anyway.
    This is why Blizzard often tunes/hotfixes boss fights in WoW after they come out. They've been known to tune fights in between the attempts of the first guild making progression on it as well. A lot of people think it's Blizzard being lazy, but really where are they going to find internal testers capable of playing in the top .00001% of the player population? There are maybe a few hundred players in the world who play at that level. I doubt they are going to go move to California and work for what is basically minimum wage just to help Blizzard out.

  16. #16
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    235
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    All modern CoD titles can be frustratingly difficult at Veteran. People who say they're all easy games that "play themselves" likely never played them at all.
    Im not saying they play by themselves at all. The point of my post is to show unbalanced difficulties both on hard and easy. Games like Gears of War, COD, Batman, etc. became trivial on easy and normal modes. Difficulty in COD or GOW just boils down to how much of a spongebullet you and your enemies are. In most modern games, you need to play on the hardest mode to have any semblance of challange at all. my point just boils down to ask for challange in easy and normal modes.

    Also i dont get the trowback at the NES era by some posters. Early consoles likes to mimic the arcade enviromment, the kind of place that hard modes become key to the sucess of these places.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oulu, Finland
    Posts
    965
    Quote Originally Posted by Ritashi View Post
    Very much this. We have at least Dark Souls and XCom ot mention from the straight hand, and numberless more if we stop and think.

  18. #18
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    235
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaira- View Post
    Very much this. We have at least Dark Souls and XCom ot mention from the straight hand, and numberless more if we stop and think.
    Except that exception is not the rule. For every Dark Souls out there we got 10 more games with unbalanced and trivial challange. Some people are really accostumed with scraps it seems.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oulu, Finland
    Posts
    965
    So exceptions don't count because they are exceptions...? Exception refines the rule: we may get games with badly tuned challenge but likewise we get games with good challenge balance. Unless there is a reason to believe there are only a few well-balanced challenging games and one can prove it, that is.

  20. #20
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    235
    Instead of bringing the old vs new debate here, how about we list games with good and balanced challange(like, Street fighter) and games that suck in this regard as mentioned above?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •