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Old 07-Feb-2012, 21:39   #776
Cornsnake
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Maybe unavoidable death is there by design. It may not be fair, but it creates a lot of tension, always keeping you on the edge of your seat trying to avoid it. The risk is always very real. And because the bosses are to a degree trail and error, you'll eventually get past them. For me Demon's Souls a lot of its appeal when I beat it. Knowing everything I needed to know makes it easy. The risk was gone when it became just a matter of repeating patterns.

It's like a good horror game, not having complete control makes it scarier.

I do think some the bosses could be better though. A lot of them can be defeated by simply staying on their sides. I do like boss battles though because they pose the greatest risk.
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Old 07-Feb-2012, 21:49   #777
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Cornsnake: I don't disagree that this is one possible outcome.

Everyone has a line where "tension" becomes "stress" and "risk" becomes "punishment". It's sort of the challange/reward ratio (challange in this case being more generally anything that needs to be overcome, regardless of whether it's fair or reasonable or whatever).

I completely agree that there are people whose personal line falls in such a way that the things that I personally find to simply be frustrating about the Souls games are a source of tension that makes beating parts of the game more rewarding.

For me, that line is crossed regularly, at which point the game simply becomes frustrating. And the things in the game that cause it to cross that line I do not believe are necessary (particularly given that many of them could be remedied by simply providing options to the player, better in-game guidance, or tweaking bosses to be more a test of skill than rote tactics and cheap exploits).

The thing I challange is the notion that (in particular) providing an option to retry a boss without running through the level again would somehow "ruin the game." I tire quickly of people telling me that somehow I would have less fun with the game if the thing that most frustrated me were removed as a factor, as if somehow I don't know what my own opinion on the matter is.

If I could retry at bosses, I would be less motivated to exploit them, would take much bigger risks, and find it much more enjoyable to beat them. For example, it would almost certainly be more fun to fight False King at melee... but the smart money is on poison spam because otherwise you have to replay all of 1-4. It is impossible to convince me that being able to simply retry the boss directly would make that situation *worse* instead of better.
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Old 07-Feb-2012, 22:36   #778
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Cornsnake: I don't disagree that this is one possible outcome.

Everyone has a line where "tension" becomes "stress" and "risk" becomes "punishment". It's sort of the challange/reward ratio (challange in this case being more generally anything that needs to be overcome, regardless of whether it's fair or reasonable or whatever).

I completely agree that there are people whose personal line falls in such a way that the things that I personally find to simply be frustrating about the Souls games are a source of tension that makes beating parts of the game more rewarding.
I've broken plenty controllers playing games and getting frustrated. But never on Demon's and Dark Souls. I guess I have just excepted that that's the way it sometimes does things. Killing me when it's no fault of my own.

Quote:
For me, that line is crossed regularly, at which point the game simply becomes frustrating. And the things in the game that cause it to cross that line I do not believe are necessary (particularly given that many of them could be remedied by simply providing options to the player, better in-game guidance, or tweaking bosses to be more a test of skill than rote tactics and cheap exploits).
A good tutorial is something I find extremely lacking in both games. A lot of frustration early on could probably be avoided if the games would simply explain their mechanics.

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The thing I challange is the notion that (in particular) providing an option to retry a boss without running through the level again would somehow "ruin the game." I tire quickly of people telling me that somehow I would have less fun with the game if the thing that most frustrated me were removed as a factor, as if somehow I don't know what my own opinion on the matter is.

If I could retry at bosses, I would be less motivated to exploit them, would take much bigger risks, and find it much more enjoyable to beat them. For example, it would almost certainly be more fun to fight False King at melee... but the smart money is on poison spam because otherwise you have to replay all of 1-4. It is impossible to convince me that being able to simply retry the boss directly would make that situation *worse* instead of better.
You could make the argument that more checkpoints would allow them to increase the difficulty in between them. Taking away some of the frustration of going through the whole level again, while keeping the difficulty. The trips back to bosses are already shorter in Dark Souls. But Dark Souls is also about resource management. The healing flasks and spells you don't spend going through the levels you'll have available during the boss fights. In that sense it forces you to master a level rather then simply getting through it.
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Old 07-Feb-2012, 23:06   #779
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You could make the argument that more checkpoints would allow them to increase the difficulty in between them. Taking away some of the frustration of going through the whole level again, while keeping the difficulty. The trips back to bosses are already shorter in Dark Souls. But Dark Souls is also about resource management. The healing flasks and spells you don't spend going through the levels you'll have available during the boss fights. In that sense it forces you to master a level rather then simply getting through it.
As to the first sentence, yes, exactly. Overall I don't think the Souls games are so much hard from an execution perspective... it's more just that it's easy to rush and make mistakes. The more frequently you checkpoint, the harder the game can be without causing players to be likely to give up. This is exactly the philosophy that "short levels, instant respawn" style brutal platformers like SMB and N+ are based upon.

I do actually really like the limited flasks mechanic in Dark Souls for a lot of reasons. However, let's be honest... in Dark Souls, most of the time there's nothing but a couple of peons between a bonfire and a boss, and many times they can even be skipped. I don't think getting to a boss with max flasks really represents any particular mastery of anything.

In this regard, Dark Souls is a *lot* better than Demon's Souls. But to some extent, it's also almost more frustrating because the fact that it's just a slog is even more obvious. Okay, it's not *actually* more frustrating, but it's ultimately still the same problem.

In terms of mechanics... I actually wouldn't design it as putting bonfires right next to the boss, but rather that there would be a virtual checkpoint whereby if you die on a boss and used it, you would permenantly lose any souls carried and respawn at the fog gate with however many flasks you had when you passed through it the first time (possibly with a max of 5, I'd say losing the bonus from a kindled bonfire would be fair).
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Old 08-Feb-2012, 02:38   #780
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I get that you're a "blame the player" type when it comes to these games. I get that you don't think that anyone has a right to an opinion about these games that's different than yours. You're wrong. Stop telling me that I can't have an opinion about something that I see as a huge flaw. I already explained why I don't think Blue Phantoms represent a good solution. Telling me that they're the solution a second time doesn't change anything.
All I'll say about this is that the ability to summon phantoms is there for a reason. If you choose not to summon... well the game is going to be a lot more frustrating.
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Old 08-Feb-2012, 04:49   #781
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dlm, I'm too busy to discuss DarkSouls with you tonight. ^_^

I remember during my last post, I pushed you quite hard to get your ideas straightened up. I kinda get what you're trying to do, but I don't think you said it right. And I believe there are holes in your line of thought.

Will talk to you later, probably later this week. ^_^
I haven't read others' follow up too. Probably someone scolding me for being harsh on you. . See you guys later !
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Old 08-Feb-2012, 16:52   #782
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As to the first sentence, yes, exactly. Overall I don't think the Souls games are so much hard from an execution perspective... it's more just that it's easy to rush and make mistakes. The more frequently you checkpoint, the harder the game can be without causing players to be likely to give up. This is exactly the philosophy that "short levels, instant respawn" style brutal platformers like SMB and N+ are based upon.

I do actually really like the limited flasks mechanic in Dark Souls for a lot of reasons. However, let's be honest... in Dark Souls, most of the time there's nothing but a couple of peons between a bonfire and a boss, and many times they can even be skipped. I don't think getting to a boss with max flasks really represents any particular mastery of anything.

In this regard, Dark Souls is a *lot* better than Demon's Souls. But to some extent, it's also almost more frustrating because the fact that it's just a slog is even more obvious. Okay, it's not *actually* more frustrating, but it's ultimately still the same problem.

In terms of mechanics... I actually wouldn't design it as putting bonfires right next to the boss, but rather that there would be a virtual checkpoint whereby if you die on a boss and used it, you would permenantly lose any souls carried and respawn at the fog gate with however many flasks you had when you passed through it the first time (possibly with a max of 5, I'd say losing the bonus from a kindled bonfire would be fair).
I agree that the Souls games aren't that difficult. In the God of War games I usually have to change the difficulty to easy just to beat the games. But Demon's Souls I could finish just fine.

The limited flasks was a great improvement over Demon's Souls. I have been able to run past a lot of enemies in Dark Souls to reach the boss fights. But not everywhere, like with the Taurus Demon, or the Catacombs. Then again, I have never kindled a bonfire. I could have more flasks if I wanted to.

Dark Souls is all about risk versus rewards, with severe immediate punishment for failure. Any changes to it should still reflect that. Losing your souls and limiting the flasks may still be getting away with dying in to a boss too easily. It's not a good idea to bring many souls into a boss fight, so losing what little you have isn't very punishing. Certainly not when you already lost them on your previous attempt.

Perhaps reducing the amount of flasks you start over with further each time you retry. Or having it cost one SoulLevel, and maybe spawning a Black Phantom version of your own character in the next level, giving you a chance to earn one SoulLevel back if you kill it. That way it would also tie in somewhat with the story, which the mechanics in Souls games often do.
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Old 08-Feb-2012, 18:31   #783
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I actually when having this discussion with some friends once said, "I would actually be totally fine with losing a soul level in exchange for being able to restart at the boss." I like your black phantom idea, the flavor of it from a game lore perspective is excellent.

That said, I could see a mechanic like that coming across as pretty harsh (levelling up once is *much* harder than running back). One possibility might be to have the boss "hold" a percentage of the souls drained in level from your deaths which you could reclaim when the boss died (maybe say 75% of souls drained). This is semi-similar to the mechanics of False King in Demon's Souls where any soul levels that were drained from you were left at your bloodstain.

Reducing the number of flasks per attempt is also an idea I'd thought about that I like. Although I think it doesn't play as nicely with the lore and mechanics of the game as something tied to your souls / soul level.
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Old 08-Feb-2012, 18:32   #784
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All I'll say about this is that the ability to summon phantoms is there for a reason. If you choose not to summon... well the game is going to be a lot more frustrating.
My argument is that not summoning should make the game "harder", not "more frustrating." It gets messy because "frustrating" is very subjective, but there are types of challange that are more likely to be frustrating than others, and I believe that the Souls games in many cases default to having things just be grindy and frustrating instead of interesting and challanging in a lot of cases.
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Old 08-Feb-2012, 18:33   #785
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dlm, I'm too busy to discuss DarkSouls with you tonight. ^_^

I remember during my last post, I pushed you quite hard to get your ideas straightened up. I kinda get what you're trying to do, but I don't think you said it right. And I believe there are holes in your line of thought.

Will talk to you later, probably later this week. ^_^
I haven't read others' follow up too. Probably someone scolding me for being harsh on you. . See you guys later !
No rush. I appreciate having discussions with people who are passionate. Particularly when those people disagree with me. I find that it tends to lead to a lot of ideas ending up on the table and usually there's a bit of amusing light trolling on the side that can keep things entertaining while the real points develop
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Old 09-Feb-2012, 02:19   #786
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My argument is that not summoning should make the game "harder", not "more frustrating." It gets messy because "frustrating" is very subjective, but there are types of challange that are more likely to be frustrating than others, and I believe that the Souls games in many cases default to having things just be grindy and frustrating instead of interesting and challanging in a lot of cases.
I think the souls games are supposed to be grindy by design.
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Old 09-Feb-2012, 08:02   #787
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I think the souls games are supposed to be grindy by design.
That doesn't make it *good design*. I have a pretty good sense of what these games *are*. What I'm laying out is what I'd like to see some developer (possibly even From) do in this space in the future.
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Old 21-Mar-2012, 20:54   #788
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Dark Souls announcement on the way
http://www.gamespot.com/news/dark-so...he-way-6367347

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Namco Bandai reveals announcement planned surrounding 2011's role-playing game, asks gamers to "Like" Facebook page to reveal info sooner.

...
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Old 22-Mar-2012, 18:35   #789
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Announcements of announcements are the dumbest things in history. Why do game developers insist on this sort of childish crap?
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 19:45   #790
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Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Is Coming To PC This August
http://www.siliconera.com/2012/04/11...c-this-august/

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However, after observing strong fan request for a PC version, Namco went to developer, From Software, to make the necessary arrangements to bring the game to PC. Director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, expressed his gratitude to fans for the feedback, and mentioned that the petition from PC fans was encouraging.

Namco didnít provide any details of new content on Dark Souls for PC, but did confirm that the PC version would include new content that isnít present in the console versions. The game will be released on August 24th worldwide, via select retailers and download release.

...

Please support PS3 and PC cross play so I can bring my character there to kick some *sses !

And about that Vita version... can we talk in a closed room ?
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Old 31-May-2012, 11:35   #791
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That settles it - Dark Souls PC will be available on Steam, and the game's extra content will be offered on console.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...nt-for-console

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Old 22-Jul-2012, 10:05   #792
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This game has such annoying design elements that really discourage one from playing! We've revisted where we left off, after a healthy break ready to progress. Rung the second bell and returned, feeling all powerful against the skeletons that sued to be such a bane. Visited the blacksmith and had the option to upgrade our bow to a Divine Bow which we did, to supposedly add magic damage to our attacks. Only it doesn't work like that. This game lets you upgrade a bow to a Divine Bow to add damage to your attacks according to the stats, but doesn't actually add the damage to your attacks, and the end result was worse than the bow we upgraded! Contrary to every other game where a 'fire bow' adds fire to every arrow shot, and the stats of the bows themselves where the physical damage stat of the bow affects arrows daamge, and thus all expectations, the Divine Bow shows a damage stat but will only add magical damage if you hit someone over the head with it.

With that, interest in the game plummeted once again...
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Old 22-Jul-2012, 13:28   #793
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This game has such annoying design elements that really discourage one from playing! We've revisted where we left off, after a healthy break ready to progress. Rung the second bell and returned, feeling all powerful against the skeletons that sued to be such a bane. Visited the blacksmith and had the option to upgrade our bow to a Divine Bow which we did, to supposedly add magic damage to our attacks. Only it doesn't work like that. This game lets you upgrade a bow to a Divine Bow to add damage to your attacks according to the stats, but doesn't actually add the damage to your attacks, and the end result was worse than the bow we upgraded! Contrary to every other game where a 'fire bow' adds fire to every arrow shot, and the stats of the bows themselves where the physical damage stat of the bow affects arrows daamge, and thus all expectations, the Divine Bow shows a damage stat but will only add magical damage if you hit someone over the head with it.

With that, interest in the game plummeted once again...
After 150+hrs I still don't have an elemental bow but I guess you have to use Moonlight arrows to get the most out of your new bow, also you should upgrade it to make it stronger - Divine weapons go up to +10 and you will need Green titanite shards for up to +5, then White titanite chunks for +9 and one White titanite slab for +10.

Also if you have a high faith stat it will also make the damage of the bow higher.
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Old 22-Jul-2012, 13:58   #794
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Yes, reading online you need fancy arrows to get the weapon bonus. This is contrary to the expectations set within the game though, and just another severe frustration that this game delivers like no other! Why wouldn't an upgrade to the bow's damage stat apply to every shot? What warning was there that our damage would decrease in making this upgrade?

The proper way to play this game seems to be to read up about it online before hand and every step along the way.
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Old 22-Jul-2012, 16:55   #795
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The game needs a proper tutorial badly.

But why are you making a divine bow anyway? Unless you plan to invest heavily into the faith stat, and until you've actually done that the other bows will be more effective. There aren't a lot of enemies weak to magic damage either. The fire and lightning upgrade paths are a lot better without the need to invest in a specific stat. If those aren't available stick to the regular upgrade path.
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Old 22-Jul-2012, 18:11   #796
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Yes, reading online you need fancy arrows to get the weapon bonus. This is contrary to the expectations set within the game though, and just another severe frustration that this game delivers like no other! Why wouldn't an upgrade to the bow's damage stat apply to every shot? What warning was there that our damage would decrease in making this upgrade?

The proper way to play this game seems to be to read up about it online before hand and every step along the way.
Moonlight Arrows are magic arrows so it makes sense to try these out, as I said I don't have a Divine bow so I don't know for sure but that's my guess, besides it's not bad to try things you know...plus when you make a Divine Bow from a standard +5 bow you see that the base damage lowers so there is actually a warning that the bow's physical damage lowers.

Dark & Demon's Souls is all about finding stuff about the game by discussing the game with other players, if you don't like that and you want detailed tutorials about everything then this game is not for you.
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Old 22-Jul-2012, 18:48   #797
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But why are you making a divine bow anyway?
Because we went to the blacksmith and that was the option available to us. Our longbow was listed as about 50 damage at +5. The Divine Bow said it'd do nearer 80+ combined damage at level one.

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Moonlight Arrows are magic arrows so it makes sense to try these out.
Except they're not available to us at the moment.

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Dark & Demon's Souls is all about finding stuff about the game by discussing the game with other players, if you don't like that and you want detailed tutorials about everything then this game is not for you.
That appears to be the case. That's not intrinsicallly a problem except that it's not advertised as such when you are chosing to buy the game, and the amount of effort needed to experiment is astronomical. For example, in this case you'd have to accumulate the materials needed to convert the bow, convert it, find it doesn't do anything, then decide to keep the bow as it is just in case you happen to stumble across something later in the game that makes it useful or convert it back to a regular bow and try something else.
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Old 22-Jul-2012, 20:07   #798
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If my guide is still correct then Moonlight Arrows cost 500 souls each. That will get expensive fast.
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Old 23-Jul-2012, 14:15   #799
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That appears to be the case. That's not intrinsicallly a problem except that it's not advertised as such when you are chosing to buy the game, and the amount of effort needed to experiment is astronomical. For example, in this case you'd have to accumulate the materials needed to convert the bow, convert it, find it doesn't do anything, then decide to keep the bow as it is just in case you happen to stumble across something later in the game that makes it useful or convert it back to a regular bow and try something else.
Wasting time and resources on shit you may never use isn't exactly uncommon in the genre, though. It's actually much less of an issue in Dark Souls than it was in Demon's Souls. Most items aren't that hard to come by in the first place, and some of the really cruel mechanics, like the vanishing Crystal Geckos for example, have been excised from the sequel.

At the end of the day it's a niche game. It wasn't built with the intention of pleasing everyone.
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Old 24-Jul-2012, 18:36   #800
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Having an experiment go wrong is not uncommon in JRPG's. Having no ability to restore from a previous save to undo the damage, however, is pretty rare.
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