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wodinoneeye

How hard should the 'Easy' difficulty level be ????

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I have been playing 'Far Cry' recently (third time thru it at 'Easy' difficulty) and was puzzled at how hard playing many of the situations were. Im not that bad and I didnt appreciate having to play the same savepoints a dozen times to beat and progress onto the next part of the game. I started going back and playing the same set of locations on the 'realistic' (hardest) difficulty setting and again was puzzled by it not being all that much harder. The NPCs dodge around a bit more but not all that much else that I could notice. The scenarios that cause the most problems are ones the 'big goons' with the rocket launchers (that have an area effect to do damage) and usually there are a number of them in a limited area so that you get caught in alot of crossfire. They seemed to fire the same whether in hard or easy mode -- and the savepoints are the same (far apart). They didnt eliminate some of the opponents (to make it easier). They (enemies) dont seem to fire any more accurately (maybe a little more damage). The powerups seem to be the same.... In the easy setting some do stand around waiting to be shot quite a bit more (especially if there is blocked visibility -- foliage). They didnt add additional savepoints (which would could have helped). It confuses me what they thought an 'easy' difficulty should be (I consider that a complete lamo should be able to play thru with only a few repeats at the easiest level). What opinions have people heard about a proper difficulty range spread for games??

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Quote:
Original post by wodinoneeyeIt confuses me what they thought an 'easy' difficulty should be (I consider that a complete lamo should be able to play thru with only a few repeats at the easiest level).

You already have a good idea of what an easy difficulty setting should be, why do you allow the obviously unbalanced difficulty settings of a popular game to erode your opinion?
Just set the same kind of objectives for the other difficulty settings and try to playtest them with many players; don't use yourself as a yardstick.

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Every game genre is different. It depends on the developer to find out how difficult it should be. For instance, in Doom 2 the hardest difficulty level is challenging on just the first level. I actually prefer for most RPG games and FPS games that a difficulty slider bar is used, because face it sometimes in games a mission on normal mode in some games can seem nearly impossible or just frustrating enough that you wanna just finish it and move on with the story.

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Easy should be easy enough a casual gamer can complete the game without too much difficulty. It sounds like Far Cry got this one wrong. I quite like the levels in Quake II – easy mode omits some monsters, and everything does less damage.

Basically, you were right, ignore this game which doesn't get it right ;).

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I thought the Realistic setting was much harder. I couldn't do anything on that setting, especially on indoor levels. As I recall, the enemies were muc more responsive to your actions, much more powerful, more armored, and possibly more accurate. And yeah, those big, hulking, rocket-spewing trigons were freaking impossible (remember stepping out of that broken elevator... right into the path of two of them?).

The easy mode, in my opinion, was a little too difficult, and probably should have been considered the normal mode. That said, I didn't have too much trouble with it on easy (more correclty, it was the difficulty I wanted to play the game at), but I think that you're about right on how tough an easy mode should be.

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FarCry was never meant to be a proper video game anyway. It's a fluke. I like it, but it's a fluke. F.E.A.R. is the same way. Once you get the hang of fighting the bad guys, you can do it indefinitely, and if you don't get it, you're meat.

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I kinda liked how BF 1942 handled this with the AI bots (yeah, lame, I know, but at the time I only had dialup). You had a couple of different settings that you could change about to determine how 'good' the AI was. I spent a bunch of time tweaking the settings trying to see how high I could get them before not winning most of the time. It was enjoyable since playing a game where the AI far outnumbered your team, but was quite stupid, was very different from a game where you had even teams, but the AI was 'good'.

I'd like to see that taken to the extreme, though. The three or four settings that BF 1942 had didn't really give *that* much freedom. So mabye letting the player tweak their damage, enemies damage, enemy frequency, enemy accuracy, how good the enemy is at spotting you, etc. could be fun, especially if you can set anything to very high settings. It might be interesting to play bots that have terrible aim, but spot you really easily (and then overwhelm you with numbers by calling in the helicopter).

Would be more work playtesting, though.

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Its very different in different games. I like it to be a bit hard so i cant just do anything and still beat the levels.

in old doom2 the hardest setting is kinda hard... I played far cry on above normal and though that was just right. Easy was to easy for me.

in hitman2, the easiest setting lets you do anything (for example run around and just massacre EVERYBODY with a small handgun which spoils the game).

when you make the game, you tend to play it a lot and know how it works so its gonna be easy for you. My plan (before playtesting with others) is to set levels so for me they are:
EXTREME: i have to plan and concentrate to make it.
HARD: i have to concentrate but i progress without to much sweat
MEDIUM: way to easy
EASY: silly

This makes a good start for other players.

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Generally, I rank them this way:

Easy: A trained monkey could do it, and if you just want to sit down and win at something, this is what you want.

Normal: If you've never played this game before, but know a thing or two about similar games, you should be able to figure it out without too much frustration.

Hard: Once you get the hang of the game, this keeps you on your toes.

Super Hard: If you've memorized every enemy's spawn point, could draw the maps by hand down to the tiniest detail and are able to calculate damage per second on the fly, do this for an added challenge the eightieth time through the game.

Halo had it just about right.

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I did some more testing at the most difficult level and found that it (again) wasnt that much more difficult than the 'easy' (easiest) level. Hardly realistic when you get sprayed with bullets many times and still survive.

I would have had the 'hardest' level have almost no powerups (healkits/armor) and had the weapon hits almost fatal (3 good ones and your dead) to force a much more
realistic game requiring the player to have to make use of the terrain (flank and rear attack moves) and think out the tactics much more (and use the alternate weapons like the grenades etc..) to avoid closerange firefights.


Something else I also noticed was that many of the explosive type weapons (cannon, grenade launchers, rockets) really didnt work as well as you would think they should (especialy when the enemy fired rockets WERE quite effective).
Long range (yet accurate) hits with there did nothing (like the LOD mechanism wasnt doing the damage effects) and in other cases the projectile collision wasnt done right (nailing the big goon trigons in the chest with the rocket launcher or the grenade launcher did nothing - many passed right thru). The 'easy' level would have been ALOT easier if those weapons did work properly.

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