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Op Ed

Edge Magazine - Assassin's Creed III devs: "Easy mode often ruins games".
"Itís like if I picked up a book and it said, 'Do you want the easy version or the complicated version?' [Game designers] can simplify the language, you know; we can make it two syllables."

Kotaku - Easy Modes Can Ruin Games? Um, No. Thanks nin.
It' just baffling to see that, in the year 2012, there are still people in the video game industry who approach things as though this was the 1980s, and the only games on the market were there to test you. If I don't have to pass a test just to turn a page in a book, or reach the second act of a movie, I shouldn't have to in a story-rich video game either.

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37. Re: Op Ed Sep 6, 2012, 04:13 Jerykk
 
Also, it isn't "full autoaim." Remember Doom? That was full auto-aim. Point near something and you hit it. In CoD you at least need to snap to it and then hope you're still enough to hit it. It's auto-aim, but not the "full autoaim" every game prior to Quake had. It's a minor step more in the player's control. And it's necessary, since half the time you have guys so far away that they're 5 pixels high shooting you through smoke so, even if you could make those pixels out, they're obscured anyway. Auto-snap-aim will find and kill them and be the only way to survive.
It's idiotic design.

Eh, that's a pretty superficial distinction. Yes, you technically have to press a button to make the game automatically aim for you. The difference between that and Doom is that in Doom, you at least had to be aiming relatively close to the target. In CoD, as long as the target is anywhere on-screen, the iron sights will snap to him.

And while it's true that the ADS snapping isn't in MP, there's still a significant amount of aim assist.
 
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36. Re: Op Ed Sep 5, 2012, 07:46 Beamer
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 23:30:
Beamer wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 18:59:
Kitkoan wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 17:47:
PHJF wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 16:56:
CoD sells because of online play, you dolt. Everybody online is on equal footing.

Because it was made with easy mode. I pointed that out.

Regenerating health, assisted auto-aim, death is more of a bonus to refill on ammo instead of a penalty

These are all on the multiplayer mode. And CoD wasn't the first game to have multiplayer FPS action, many did before it. It was the first to have it all built on easy mode extras though and thats what helped sell it.

Multiplayer isn't easy, though. Most of that autoaim is turned off, and you get people that can regularly go 4:1 K:D and people that regularly go 1:5 K:D. Skill is still very much alive in multiplayer.

As for single player being easy, I'd disagree there, too. Yes, it has easy elements, but then it cheats with unfair elements to balance it out. On the hardest difficulty I had plenty of sections that took me double digit loads to get to the next checkpoint. I would never, ever call it easy, as I found many older PC games much easier (quicksave!) Infinite enemies, 1 hit deaths and a good amount of smoke and darkness outweigh regenerating health and a limited auto-aim (remember, it only autoaimed when you zoomed in, and you had to be motionless to have any accuracy, all of which made you an easy target to infinitely spawning bad guys with incredible accuracy.)

CoD is quite possibly the worst example to give when it comes to difficulty. CoD SP is difficult (on Veteran) because it's completely unfair. Infinitely spawning enemies who spam grenades with pinpoint accuracy every 0.6 seconds = bad design.

Of course, on consoles, CoD SP has full auto aim. Seriously, your reticule automatically snaps to the nearest enemy when you enter iron sights. You don't even have to move the camera. As long as an enemy is on-screen when you enter iron sights, your aim will automatically snap to him. It's the most retarded thing I've ever seen.

I called it "bad design" like 2 posts above you. But bad design doesn't mean it's easy. The game is definitely not easy.

It's just not hard in fun ways. That doesn't mean it's easy. My contention was never that it was well designed or a good example of how to make a game hard, just responding to someone saying it was easy. There's no way in hell anyone can call CoD an easy game on the market right now. Deus Ex: HR was an easier game to complete. The difference is that CoD is hard in really stupid ways.

Also, it isn't "full autoaim." Remember Doom? That was full auto-aim. Point near something and you hit it. In CoD you at least need to snap to it and then hope you're still enough to hit it. It's auto-aim, but not the "full autoaim" every game prior to Quake had. It's a minor step more in the player's control. And it's necessary, since half the time you have guys so far away that they're 5 pixels high shooting you through smoke so, even if you could make those pixels out, they're obscured anyway. Auto-snap-aim will find and kill them and be the only way to survive.
It's idiotic design.

And it's not in multiplayer.
 
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35. Re: Op Ed Sep 5, 2012, 02:48 jdreyer
 
For me it's all about options and control. Games that have easy modes are offering me control so I can play the game I want to play. A couple of anecdotes.

I loaded up SupCom/Forged Alliance again after four years, played skirmish against the AI and got my ass handed to me. I had forgotten most of the controls, shortcuts, build orders, and strategies, so having an easy mode to go back to to learn all of that stuff again was appreciated and fun.

Back in the day, I had a GF who liked Diablo, but no other games. I wanted to get her into FPSs, but every time she played she freaked out and spazed out, and would give up in frustration. Enter Unreal Tournament, which (to this day) allows you to set the game speed. I set it to 50% (essentially slowing the game down to half speed) so she could learn to navigate the 3D environments, get used to the weapons, learn how to track a moving target, etc. She was up to about 90% quickly (although she never went above that) and had a fun time playing it. I would have never gotten her there without that mode.
 
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34. Re: Op Ed Sep 5, 2012, 01:12 Cutter
 
nin wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 18:22:
Cutter wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 16:23:
I like easy women.

Do you like to go swimmin with bow legged women?


No, but I understand Popeye does. I just prefr to get straight down to the banging.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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33. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 23:30 Jerykk
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 18:59:
Kitkoan wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 17:47:
PHJF wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 16:56:
CoD sells because of online play, you dolt. Everybody online is on equal footing.

Because it was made with easy mode. I pointed that out.

Regenerating health, assisted auto-aim, death is more of a bonus to refill on ammo instead of a penalty

These are all on the multiplayer mode. And CoD wasn't the first game to have multiplayer FPS action, many did before it. It was the first to have it all built on easy mode extras though and thats what helped sell it.

Multiplayer isn't easy, though. Most of that autoaim is turned off, and you get people that can regularly go 4:1 K:D and people that regularly go 1:5 K:D. Skill is still very much alive in multiplayer.

As for single player being easy, I'd disagree there, too. Yes, it has easy elements, but then it cheats with unfair elements to balance it out. On the hardest difficulty I had plenty of sections that took me double digit loads to get to the next checkpoint. I would never, ever call it easy, as I found many older PC games much easier (quicksave!) Infinite enemies, 1 hit deaths and a good amount of smoke and darkness outweigh regenerating health and a limited auto-aim (remember, it only autoaimed when you zoomed in, and you had to be motionless to have any accuracy, all of which made you an easy target to infinitely spawning bad guys with incredible accuracy.)

CoD is quite possibly the worst example to give when it comes to difficulty. CoD SP is difficult (on Veteran) because it's completely unfair. Infinitely spawning enemies who spam grenades with pinpoint accuracy every 0.6 seconds = bad design.

Of course, on consoles, CoD SP has full auto aim. Seriously, your reticule automatically snaps to the nearest enemy when you enter iron sights. You don't even have to move the camera. As long as an enemy is on-screen when you enter iron sights, your aim will automatically snap to him. It's the most retarded thing I've ever seen.
 
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32. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 22:10 Ant
 
I play easy level because later levels are just too hard!  
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31. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 20:03 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 18:59:
you get people that can regularly go 4:1 K:D and people that regularly go 1:5 K:D. Skill is still very much alive in multiplayer.

Relatively it is of course but overall it has gone way down. Had some friends hop in CS:GO that haven't played since probably '01/'02 and have spent most of the time playing MMOs, MOBAs and F2Ps in the meantime, these guys have no business beating anyone in an FPS and yet they were regularly in the top 1/4 of the scoreboard. Which of course prompts the question, "Why the hell are the majority of players so bad these days?" And the only thing I can think of is coddling by developers. Anecdotal of course but it's something that's been bothering me for years now.
 
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30. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 19:17 Beamer
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 19:12:
I would never, ever call it easy, as I found many older PC games much easier (quicksave!) Infinite enemies, 1 hit deaths and a good amount of smoke and darkness outweigh regenerating health and a limited auto-aim (remember, it only autoaimed when you zoomed in, and you had to be motionless to have any accuracy, all of which made you an easy target to infinitely spawning bad guys with incredible accuracy.)

Trial and error doesn't equate to challenge.

Sure it does, it's just cheap challenge. There was still some degree of skill involved, and it never felt as cheap as the end of Far Cry, but it was still cheap. Bad design, but not "easy" design. And unskilled player would not be able to beat the game on the hardest level.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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29. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 19:12 PHJF
 
I would never, ever call it easy, as I found many older PC games much easier (quicksave!) Infinite enemies, 1 hit deaths and a good amount of smoke and darkness outweigh regenerating health and a limited auto-aim (remember, it only autoaimed when you zoomed in, and you had to be motionless to have any accuracy, all of which made you an easy target to infinitely spawning bad guys with incredible accuracy.)

Trial and error doesn't equate to challenge.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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28. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 18:59 Beamer
 
Kitkoan wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 17:47:
PHJF wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 16:56:
CoD sells because of online play, you dolt. Everybody online is on equal footing.

Because it was made with easy mode. I pointed that out.

Regenerating health, assisted auto-aim, death is more of a bonus to refill on ammo instead of a penalty

These are all on the multiplayer mode. And CoD wasn't the first game to have multiplayer FPS action, many did before it. It was the first to have it all built on easy mode extras though and thats what helped sell it.

Multiplayer isn't easy, though. Most of that autoaim is turned off, and you get people that can regularly go 4:1 K:D and people that regularly go 1:5 K:D. Skill is still very much alive in multiplayer.

As for single player being easy, I'd disagree there, too. Yes, it has easy elements, but then it cheats with unfair elements to balance it out. On the hardest difficulty I had plenty of sections that took me double digit loads to get to the next checkpoint. I would never, ever call it easy, as I found many older PC games much easier (quicksave!) Infinite enemies, 1 hit deaths and a good amount of smoke and darkness outweigh regenerating health and a limited auto-aim (remember, it only autoaimed when you zoomed in, and you had to be motionless to have any accuracy, all of which made you an easy target to infinitely spawning bad guys with incredible accuracy.)
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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27. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 18:22 nin
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 16:23:
I like easy women.

Do you like to go swimmin with bow legged women?

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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26. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 18:11 Mashiki Amiketo
 
It's funny though, that if you look at the most popular mods outside of the usual nekkid bodies, armors, weapons and textures for skyrim, oblivion, and FO3/NV you'll see that they're mods that not only increase the difficulty of the enemies but increase the overall difficulty of things that are in the game itself. Such as hardcore mode.

So there's obviously a draw for not only hardcore, but even a higher level of difficulty. Hell when I played DX:HR I found DX mode stupidly easy, right around normal mode compared to the original DX.
 
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
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25. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 18:11 Acleacius
 
Leave it to ubi!

The very foundation of their company, seems to be "let's find a new way to be condescending bastards to customers".
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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24. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 18:04 Bhruic
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 15:53:
Challenge is a pretty integral part of most game experiences. Imagine if you couldn't die in Amnesia. Imagine if you had regenerating health in DayZ. Imagine if you didn't actually have to aim in shooters (actually, you can just play CoD on consoles if you want to see that in action).

The risk of failure is what forces you to try new things and extend beyond your comfort zone. It promotes planning and forethought. Basically, it's what makes gameplay meaningful.

That's one possible experience to get from a game. It's not the only one. Some people, for example, enjoy the story element of a game. They might want to play Skyrim, for example, and interact with people, do quest lines, etc, but don't want the frustration of constantly having to reload or redo sections because they are too hard (for them). Or someone might enjoy the feeling of being "invincible", and run through hordes of enemies slaughtering them all easily.

Making assumptions about how players enjoy games tends to shut out people who don't enjoy games in that fashion.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 17:47 Kitkoan
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 16:56:
CoD sells because of online play, you dolt. Everybody online is on equal footing.

Because it was made with easy mode. I pointed that out.

Regenerating health, assisted auto-aim, death is more of a bonus to refill on ammo instead of a penalty

These are all on the multiplayer mode. And CoD wasn't the first game to have multiplayer FPS action, many did before it. It was the first to have it all built on easy mode extras though and thats what helped sell it.
 
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*automatically refuses to place horse heads in anyone's bed*
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22. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 16:56 PHJF
 
CoD sells because of online play, you dolt. Everybody online is on equal footing.  
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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21. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 16:23 Cutter
 
I like easy women.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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20. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 16:02 Kitkoan
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 4, 2012, 15:53:
Challenge is a pretty integral part of most game experiences. Imagine if you couldn't die in Amnesia. Imagine if you had regenerating health in DayZ. Imagine if you didn't actually have to aim in shooters (actually, you can just play CoD on consoles if you want to see that in action).

And yet, you've mentioned the exact problem.

Look at CoD on consoles. It has easy mode pretty much all over it. Regenerating health, assisted auto-aim, death is more of a bonus to refill on ammo instead of a penalty. This game has been made so easy to make it more "reachable" to the average player. And for this it has become the biggest selling game ever.

Amnesia, DayZ, Super Meat Boy. These games were hard and sold only a fraction of what CoD sold. And publishers watch this. People vote for what they want with their wallets and big business follows want the people want. And they want easy mode. They want their games to have no real challenge. Gamers like you and I don't want these games but in the end we are just the few against the loud voices of the many casual gamers and business is more concerned with the bigger group. Yes you will have the rare exception like Dark Souls, but those are rare. CoD-style easy mode games are the common money makers.
 
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*automatically refuses to place horse heads in anyone's bed*
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19. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 15:53 Jerykk
 
Challenge is a pretty integral part of most game experiences. Imagine if you couldn't die in Amnesia. Imagine if you had regenerating health in DayZ. Imagine if you didn't actually have to aim in shooters (actually, you can just play CoD on consoles if you want to see that in action).

The risk of failure is what forces you to try new things and extend beyond your comfort zone. It promotes planning and forethought. Basically, it's what makes gameplay meaningful.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 15:42 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I guess I just miss the days when beating a game was an actual accomplishment, rather than a preordained consequence of playing for 6-8 hours. Games are terrible at storytelling, probably because the people who write them generally aren't very literary -- Christ, look at David Gaider, or Chris Metzen -- so I have a hard time being sympathetic to the view that games need a Tell Me a Story Mode a la DXHR. What separates games from other media is gameplay, but gameplay is only engaging when there is a failure state. Would anyone watch a football game if your team was always guaranteed to win? Trying to remove failure states from gaming just spoils the whole experience, in my opinion. Furthermore, by making gameplay less engaging in favor of making it easy to see the end of a (terrible) story, developers are playing to the weakness of their medium rather than its strength. If adding an easy mode didn't affect the rest of the game design, I wouldn't have a problem with it -- people can skim chapters of novels that don't interest them too, although such a practice defeats the purpose of reading, but whatever -- but the reality is that designing a game around the inclusion of an easy mode generally alters the rest of the difficulty design as well. And that's why I can only support an easy mode with major caveats.

 
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