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Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:12 am UTC
by Thesh
I'm curious if game developers are wasting their time adding an easy difficulty to the game, so I'm taking a poll to see if people use it. To me it seems like most people would play on normal/default difficulty, and then go harder on subsequent replays.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:25 am UTC
by Amnesiasoft
I played Mass Effect 2 on Insane the first time through. I then played on the lowest difficulty setting thereafter, and the combat was still terribly tedious. I usually do subsequent playthroughs on an easier difficulty.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:03 am UTC
by EvanED
Rarely. Usually I play on the default setting the first time through. However, if the combat isn't the gameplay focus (e.g. the Mass Effect series), if I hit a fight where I die a couple times I'll drop it down for a moment. That... doesn't happen much though.

OTOH, I doubt it adds that much cost to include the setting, and if it reduces the temptation to make the game easier, then it's serving its purpose. :-)

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:25 am UTC
by Menacing Spike
Thesh wrote:I'm curious if game developers are wasting their time adding an easy difficulty to the game, so I'm taking a poll to see if people use it. To me it seems like most people would play on normal/default difficulty, and then go harder on subsequent replays.


Perhaps you are not hanging around the right circles?

While I almost always play on the hardest mode, my father always plays on the easiest mode. As he's getting older and slower, he can't really follow the pace of games like SC2 or even FPSes like Deus Ex HR anymore. I mean, he even has trouble with World of Warcraft, for fuck's sake.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:43 am UTC
by Xanthir
Yes, if you and everyone you know never use easy modes, it's just because you don't know the right people. Children, older people, people with disabilities - they all like playing games, but might not have the physical ability to play it at a hard or even normal level. Easy mode just scales it to the difficulty they can actually handle, so they can still play the game and be challenged.

And sometimes, fuck it, you just want to cruise through a game and enjoy the story. I wasn't impressed with Bioshock 1's combat, for example, so I just turned it down to easiest and had fun. I enjoyed the game far more than I would have if I'd been on normal or hard difficulty. Other games I prefer harder difficulties, because the combat *is* really fun, and the challenge makes the game much better.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:54 am UTC
by Cathode Ray Sunshine
I almost always play on Medium difficulty and it's rare that I go below that. However I lower the difficulty if I'm having a huge amount of time stuck on the same level, or if I want to just experience the game's environment without having to worry about ammo or guns or etc. I'm happy about easy mode. I like FPSs but I'm not particularly good at them, so at least on easy mode I can enjoy the game without dying every minute.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:29 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Game reviewers often use easy modes. Because they have to play as much game as possible in a limited amount of time.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:12 pm UTC
by Derek
I'm pretty sure "Easy" modes are statistically the most played modes. Most people just want to finish the game.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:34 pm UTC
by SurgicalSteel
I always play on easy, because I'm not very good at video games (I'm not a child, elderly or disabled either). I also, unfortunately, don't have the time to spend multiple hours a day gaming, so spending an hour playing the same level six times and making very little progress isn't worth it to me anymore. With easy mode, I can usually play for an hour or so and feel like I made some progress.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:22 pm UTC
by Zarq
I almost exclusively play on Easy. I play for the story and/or to feel powerful. And I'm not really good at games.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:59 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Back when I played games more, I'd start on easy/medium for a first go, and bump up to medium/hard on subsequent passes. I'd also play a lot more than 6 a year.

Nowadays, with a worse setup for twitch-reflexes, slower reflexes, less time for games, and less interest, I usually start at "normal" but drop back to "easy" after a few levels*...

*Even games without formal levels generally have some form of pacing that lets you distinguish stages...

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:06 pm UTC
by Mishrak
Depends on the game, I think. I play normal by default, rarely easy. If I like the game enough I'll ramp up the difficulty, however it's rare that I find a game made in today's era that's worth replaying more than once or twice. Dark Souls has been an exception to that rule and I'm still not tired of it.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:46 pm UTC
by philsov
I use default at first, and then spice to taste.

I'm not averse to easy mode, but I rarely have personal need for it. I usually prefer a hypothetical re-playthrough to be harder, too.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:54 pm UTC
by Adam H
It took me a few minutes to figure out the weird results so far (why would avid gamers be more likely to play on easy mode?), but then I realized it's obvious - the more you play, the more likely it is that you've tried easy mode...

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:56 pm UTC
by broken_escalator
I always play games on the hardest difficulty for the first playthrough. I figure it'll make the game more challenging/daunting if I don't know what's coming! Easy mode usually isn't enjoyable to me, but I don't think they should take it out.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:42 pm UTC
by Koa
Adam H wrote:It took me a few minutes to figure out the weird results so far (why would avid gamers be more likely to play on easy mode?), but then I realized it's obvious - the more you play, the more likely it is that you've tried easy mode...

I'm an avid gamer that generally prefers difficult games. I play some games on easy (not often, but indeed, the question only asked if you do at all) almost always because the higher difficulties don't provide a meaningful challenge. For instance, I always play Half-Life 2 on easy because the difficulty only affects how much health you and enemies have. Enemies become bullet sponges and can take 10 rounds to the face before dying. It's not an interesting challenge or even very difficult. It's time consuming and frustrating.

In games with cover systems and regenerating health the higher difficulties can translate into more downtime as opposed to more challenge. In others, I might be compelled to find and use lame exploits. Sometimes charging into a room full of enemies on easy difficulty is more challenging and fun than sitting behind the designated waist-high cover for several minutes on hard difficulty.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:14 am UTC
by Adacore
I normally play on default, unless I just want to play for the story and don't care about having a challenge, in which case I'll bump it to easy, or if I just want to mess around in a game without too much danger. Conversely, if I'm gaming enough at the time that my skills are up to scratch, I'll sometimes put games on hard. I've only done hard playthroughs on my first time through with a couple of games. It's interesting, actually - because I spent so long doing serious clan-gaming I'm much better at the squad-based multiplayer part of a lot of FPS games than I am at the solo stuff.

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:27 am UTC
by Mordus
When I find a FPS that I actually want to play then I will play through it the first time on hard for the challenge/fun. If it's good enough I will play through it again on easy to try and find everything (depending on if it is a game that has additional things to find).

Re: Easy difficulty in single player FPS/TPS games

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:53 am UTC
by rmsgrey
The Metroid Prime games are another example of hard mode not adding anything to the game - enemies have twice as much health and deal twice as much damage. Anything you can attrit without losing more than a quarter of your health on normal, you can also beat on hard - and in Echoes, particularly, getting beat up more just means spending longer hanging around the nearest light beacon/crystal waiting for your health regen...