Continuous range of game difficulty

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by infinity4, May 5, 2009.

  1. infinity4

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    Basically, whenever I play a game I always try to do the most difficult one, and see how good I am. Then I adjust difficulty as I go on, but quite often I end up finding myself between two difficulty levels - too easy for one and too hard for other.

    I think Prince of Persia has sort of this, so as Oblivion which has a bar scale of difficulty.

    One day I want to see discontinuous range of difficulties, with some option of auto adjusting. :cool:
     
  2. Cheezdoodles

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    In most shooters i find the hardest difficulty level to be the only relatively challenging one.

    Often i want higher difficulty, however i want that to be achieved by having smarter enemies, not just cheating the stats.

    Such bar scales of difficulty only "cheats" the AI to be better, by raising their stats\reaction time\health\whatever, i dont really like that.

    Come to think of it, most difficulty settings (regardless of bar or selecting between hard - normal - whatever) sadly also tend to do the same thing. I understand it thought, its by far the easiest way of raising the difficulty levels, and it requires next to 0 additional work.
     
  3. infinity4

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    Well a lot of games I just find that it is just a matter of probability. AI is not smarter, it is just they do things better. Gears of War 2, they just aim better, I dont notice "better movements" or whatsoever unless you count aiming as a smartass thing.
     
  4. Rangers

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    Because AI is a dead end street. There is no "great" game AI..
     
  5. ShadowRunner

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    I disagree with the idea that the AI should scale with dificulty.

    I play most games on easy/normal settings i dont want to be punnished, for not enjoying the frustration of dying lots, with dumbed down gameplay. Simply having extra health in most cases is fine, it reduces frustration while keeping the core experience the same.
     
  6. I.S.T.

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    I play on normal, generally, as it's usually not too hard, not too easy.

    I rarely play on hard, and occasionally play on easy(I put easy mode on by default when playing 8 and 16 bit games... oh, I do suck at them so much.).
     
  7. inefficient

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    I hate games that have dynamically adjusting difficulty because you should not be punished for playing well. And games that let you change difficulty on the fly (for example Fallout3 or FC2 from recent memory) just feels like cheating to me.

    These are the days of "self regenerating life bars" and developers pandering to a more casual audience. The Normal setting on games is starting to mean Easy mode.

    The only time I am not happy with a game being very difficult is when the game is mediocre or poor. As long as it is a quality game I enjoy playing on Hard settings.
     
  8. tuna

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    How are you being punished for playing well?
     
  9. Silent_Buddha

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    Well part of the attraction for RPG's is that you can either

    1. Progress along the storyline as normal and everything is generally balanced around what your skill level "should" be by the time you get there.

    2. Work a little harder, grind a little more, Min/Max your gear and stats and being able to feel like God manifested on earth eradicating everything in your path.

    3. Decide to go ahead and check out area's currently beyond the scope of your character to see how long you can survive without the proper gear/levels. And then feeling HUGE walloping gobs of satisfaction when you beat something you aren't supposed to be able to kill yet, and end up getting some nifty piece of gear that you can't use for 2-10 more levels. :D

    Games that auto-adjust everything to always be at (1) where everything is always near your ability cheats you of (2) and (3).

    You never get a sense that you are becoming more powerful by beating enemies you shouldn't be able to beat, or absolutely creaming monsters that you have been fighting the past 10 levels.

    That's why I absolutely hate games like Oblivion. Freaking waste of money for me. And yes, I know there are mods available that "fix" this, but the original experience has already ruined the game for me, other than the great visuals.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  10. h0munkulus

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    well there are basically 2 ways of looking at story-driven single player games and their difficulty balance:

    1. since your playing a story driven game, death should not occur unless the player makes major mistakes. the game should only be hard enough to keep players head in the game and not bore him. the death of the player is a frustrating moment and breaks the flow of the game. players have to repeat part of the game which breaks the illusion of the ingame world and takes the focus of the player away from the ingame world. a few examples of games developed with this school of thinking in mind:
    - fable 2 (can't die at all)
    - bioshock (you can die, but never have to reload, because you are "cloned" in the tanks)
    - to some extend every shooter with auto-regenerating health or shields (with some exceptions)

    2. the difficulty should challenge the player and intensify the gameplay experience. progress in the storyline should feel like a real achievement which was only possible by learning the game. to excel in the game the player has to dedicate time to learn and practice the details of the game. players are often times not just rewarded by simply progressing in the storyline, there are often point or ranking systems which show the player exactly how good he performed. examples of games with this philosophy:
    - devil may cry
    - resident evil
    - lost planet

    personally i am a supporter of the first philosophy. if you want a challenging gameplay experience play a multiplayer game!

    singleplayer games are for sitting back, relaxing and experiencing a great time in a great world with a great story. i think valve really is on to something with their AI Director technology implemented for left 4 dead. i am interested how it will work in a singleplayer game. they may add this technology to episode 3 which would be great. this could balance the difficulty to keep your head in the game without losing it shortly after because you died the for the 3rd time at the same point...
     
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