18 votes

Do you feel bad for playing games on easy?

I’m a very incompetent gamer and won’t access much of the content if I use regular difficulty. That makes me feel like a cheater and a lazy bastard. I know that’s silly but I grew up with the Super Nintendo. Our generation has certain values!

26 comments

  1. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    No, not a bit. If anything, I'm annoyed at developers who hide content behind harder difficulty levels! That being said, I play almost every game on at least "normal", and it takes me a lot of...

    No, not a bit. If anything, I'm annoyed at developers who hide content behind harder difficulty levels!

    That being said, I play almost every game on at least "normal", and it takes me a lot of tries before I get desperate enough to switch to easy.

    We are living in an age of plenty when it comes to games. Do you know what happens when a game gets to percieved-unfair levels of hardness? I lose interest. And if I lose interest, I'm playing a different game.

    But it should also be mentioned that there are two different factors that will affect my view of difficulty. The first is what is being offered as a reward. For many games, plot is the reward - beat this section, get another part of the story. While that's perfectly fine, you need to make sure that the story is engaging enough to make me want to continue. Badly delivered plot is the main reason why I stopped playing The Messenger.

    Probably the most important factor, though, is the type of difficulty. If you're just testing how quickly I can react to things, that's not terribly fair; my reaction time will likely not improve beyond a certain point. The best kind of difficulty is the kind that tests you for mastery of skills. Mastery is inherently rewarding - it's the entire reason why fighting games are so popular! A well designed action game is not just going to have me trying to conserve health at the final boss - it will also require me to correctly use the entirety of additional moves and techniques that I've gathered on the way there.

    13 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      There is very much a difficulty/reward system in play for games. If everything is too easy, no challenge to overcome, the game won't hold the same kind of weight. I largely forget the easy games...

      There is very much a difficulty/reward system in play for games.

      If everything is too easy, no challenge to overcome, the game won't hold the same kind of weight. I largely forget the easy games I've played, but the hard ones stick.

      That said, there should almost always be difficulty ranks, and content not gated behind them. Especially games where plot is the primary purpose.

  2. Saigot
    Link
    I think the important thing is to play the game as close to how the developers intend as possible (at least on a first playthrough). That usually means playing at the default difficulty where...

    I think the important thing is to play the game as close to how the developers intend as possible (at least on a first playthrough). That usually means playing at the default difficulty where mechanics are playing off each other in a balanced manor, but if you are particularly good or bad then setting the difficulty appropriately is going to make the experience closer to what the devs intended. Dying 10 times in a row isn't usually fun, dying 0 times usually isn't either but it depends entirely on the devs vision.

    But I also don't think difficulty settings or easy modes make sense for every game or genre. I think Dark souls is a much more enjoyable game when you struggle for instance, because part of the intended experience of the game is to "suffer". If you tune the difficulty down to the point where you only die a handful of times then you really aren't experiencing the game the way it was meant to be played, and so in this case I think the lack of difficulty options is warranted as it improves the majority of players experiences with the game. Binding of Isaac is also an interesting case where they don't really have difficulty options (you can't unlock a lot of interesting content without engaging with the higher difficulties) but instead lower level players either never dicover the harder content and enjoy the early game content which feels complete by itself, or have to invest more time into the game. I think this game doesn't need an easy mode because players who are worse at the game can still interact with almost all the content from the game, all they miss out is the completitionist aspect, you can give the game to practically anyone and they will have very different but still enjoyable experience. I have talked to people that absolutely love the game but haven't discovered what to me is the mid-game content and they still love the game. I think an easy mode would thus cheapen the experience in this case.

    So I for one, don;t think anyone should feel bad for using easy mode, but I think some players take away from their own enjoyment by turning the difficulty up too high or too low and not experiencing what the game is really trying to offer.

    4 votes
  3. moocow1452
    Link
    Nah, I get to try more games and not get stuck on that freaking level over and over again? That sounds great.

    Nah, I get to try more games and not get stuck on that freaking level over and over again? That sounds great.

    2 votes
  4. Silbern
    Link
    Nah. The difficulty I play at varies based on the type of game and my comfort with it - I'll tackle Pokemon games with Nuzlockes or the C&C games on brutal all day, but no way I'd ever consider...

    Nah. The difficulty I play at varies based on the type of game and my comfort with it - I'll tackle Pokemon games with Nuzlockes or the C&C games on brutal all day, but no way I'd ever consider trying Ninja Gaiden on anything but the easier difficulties. If I have no idea how difficult the game is, I'll typically start at the highest available one, and downgrade as needed until I find the right balance of reward vs challenge.

    The ultimate goal of the game is to give you enjoyment after all, and if playing on harder difficulties doesn't bring you that enjoyment, then it's no longer serving it's purpose. Sometimes you can play games entirely outside their intended purpose - like people who speedrun games, or using something like Breath of the Wild as a walking simulator of sorts. As long as you're having fun doing or playing however it is you are, that's all that counts! :)

    2 votes
  5. reese
    Link
    Depends on the game. For predominately story-driven games, no I don't feel bad at all for playing them on easy. I've decided I'm done playing Quantic Dream games on anything other than easy. I...

    Depends on the game. For predominately story-driven games, no I don't feel bad at all for playing them on easy. I've decided I'm done playing Quantic Dream games on anything other than easy. I always mix up the controls, and when that happens I make some unintended decision that takes me down a rabbit hole of more panicked decisions where my mastery of the controls declines further, and then the game's like "wow you're incredibly fucking dimwitted if you're on this path" and I'm like "I just wanted to see what would happen if I did X, ugh."

    I mean, I'm good with Dark Souls. But Quantic Dream games? They leave no room for error.

    2 votes
  6. [5]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    Yes, while also telling myself to shut up and focus on enjoying the game. I started playing Minecraft recently, and feel it's too overwhelming on Normal, especially with how they implement...

    Yes, while also telling myself to shut up and focus on enjoying the game. I started playing Minecraft recently, and feel it's too overwhelming on Normal, especially with how they implement difficulty (a chunk gets harder as you stay on it, aka, clamp difficulty).

    I started semi-seriously playing the original DOOM games, and have been getting the difficulty up on those, but that's because when you get a feel for it, you know what you're doing.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I guess I play Minecraft a lot differently, or you're playing some different variation? Once you know how to make a bed, it seems easy to stay away from monsters and do what you like.

      I guess I play Minecraft a lot differently, or you're playing some different variation? Once you know how to make a bed, it seems easy to stay away from monsters and do what you like.

      1. [3]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        I got tired of working a cavern and having them drop in on me, and it seemed like there were too many mobs, I'd get down there and there would be six of everything.

        I got tired of working a cavern and having them drop in on me, and it seemed like there were too many mobs, I'd get down there and there would be six of everything.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          I mostly stay on the surface or dig my own well-lit mines, but then I'm more into building.

          I mostly stay on the surface or dig my own well-lit mines, but then I'm more into building.

          2 votes
          1. knocklessmonster
            Link Parent
            I decided I want to play through to the End endgame, but I'm primarily into building stuff. My mines are always lit up, but the cavern I was in got intense until I switched to Easy and lit it up.

            I decided I want to play through to the End endgame, but I'm primarily into building stuff. My mines are always lit up, but the cavern I was in got intense until I switched to Easy and lit it up.

            1 vote
  7. [3]
    emnii
    Link
    Fuck no. I'll start most games on "hard" but I'm playing games to have fun. I'll dial down the difficulty until I'm having fun. I would've never gotten through Dragon Age: Origins if I didn't turn...

    Fuck no. I'll start most games on "hard" but I'm playing games to have fun. I'll dial down the difficulty until I'm having fun. I would've never gotten through Dragon Age: Origins if I didn't turn down the difficulty to "easy".

    2 votes
    1. Erik
      Link Parent
      Origins had insane difficulty spikes. I can remember beating the Mage Tower on hard and the extreme astral horror bosses without too much trouble. But then on the road from the Tower to the next...

      Origins had insane difficulty spikes. I can remember beating the Mage Tower on hard and the extreme astral horror bosses without too much trouble. But then on the road from the Tower to the next area I was going to, I was ambushed by some highway men that absolutely wiped the floor with me until I turned it down to easy. That happened way too much in that game. Really great experience overall, but it's clear the focus was not on mechanics for that first one.

      2 votes
    2. Ellimist
      Link Parent
      I see you are a person of culture The original Dragon Age game and still the best of the trilogy. I like all three, mind you, but Origins just gave me the right balance of everything

      Dragon Age: Origins

      I see you are a person of culture

      The original Dragon Age game and still the best of the trilogy. I like all three, mind you, but Origins just gave me the right balance of everything

      1 vote
  8. culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I don't think I've ever actually played a game on easy, so I don't know how useful my opinion actually is here, but I'm more likely to stop playing the game rather than lower the difficulty. I...

    I don't think I've ever actually played a game on easy, so I don't know how useful my opinion actually is here, but I'm more likely to stop playing the game rather than lower the difficulty. I think if the game is designed well I'd be invested enough in the story or enjoy the gameplay enough to overcome the challenge; if I'm not, I'd rather be doing something else than playing a badly-designed/unbalanced/frustrating game. If I were to switch to easy, I don't think I'd feel bad per se but I would think my experience tainted somewhat. I usually do enough research into the games I'm interested in nowadays that I know what to expect.

    Come to think of it, I've used cheat codes in a lot of older games, which I guess is comparable. Those were usually arcade games designed to eat your money though.

    2 votes
  9. [4]
    monado
    Link
    I play FE on normal (most people I know play on hard) with classic mode. Sure it allows you to become OP, but there is always some kind of strategy involved. It might not be as involved as hard...

    I play FE on normal (most people I know play on hard) with classic mode. Sure it allows you to become OP, but there is always some kind of strategy involved. It might not be as involved as hard mode, but it gives you some room for error, and for some people that makes the game more enjoyable.

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      Wes
      Link Parent
      At first I assume FE was an acronym for a game I didn't recognize. Nope, turns out it really is just called "Fe".

      At first I assume FE was an acronym for a game I didn't recognize. Nope, turns out it really is just called "Fe".

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        With the mention of strategy, I assume he is talking about the Fire Emblem series. I haven't played any of the newer ones but I believe that "classic mode" enables permadeath for all units. Normal...

        With the mention of strategy, I assume he is talking about the Fire Emblem series. I haven't played any of the newer ones but I believe that "classic mode" enables permadeath for all units.

        Normal mode for these games tend to be fairly easy. The last time I played one of these games I managed to make one or two superpowered units who could practically kill every boss with one or two hits.

        6 votes
        1. Wes
          Link Parent
          I see. I think you're probably right then. I googled "fe game" to see if I could find the reference, but every result was for Fe as linked above so I assumed that was the answer after all. I've...

          I see. I think you're probably right then. I googled "fe game" to see if I could find the reference, but every result was for Fe as linked above so I assumed that was the answer after all.

          I've never played a Fire Emblem title unfortunately. Games that allow such an imbalance in power can make for interesting design, though.

          3 votes
  10. [3]
    aymm
    Link
    Nope. I've long come to accept that I suck at games (got 40ish hours on Oxygen Not Included and didn't yet make it through!), so no shame

    Nope. I've long come to accept that I suck at games (got 40ish hours on Oxygen Not Included and didn't yet make it through!), so no shame

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Don't beat yourself up about Oxygen Not Included, it's in that area of games that can be beaten, but the expectation is you likely won't easily.

      Don't beat yourself up about Oxygen Not Included, it's in that area of games that can be beaten, but the expectation is you likely won't easily.

      2 votes
      1. aymm
        Link Parent
        Heh, but I even managed to spaghetti my way through factorio! I'm not too sad about ONI, I still enjoy dabbling around in it!

        Heh, but I even managed to spaghetti my way through factorio! I'm not too sad about ONI, I still enjoy dabbling around in it!

        1 vote
  11. vegai
    Link
    I could feel remorse about that if I was playing a game where the challenges are completely new, and I would still go the easy route. But for 99% of the games these days, I've already done all...

    I could feel remorse about that if I was playing a game where the challenges are completely new, and I would still go the easy route. But for 99% of the games these days, I've already done all that. I cannot be bothered to break the game to win the thousandnth boss in an RPG in almost the identical way as I did in Curse of the Azure Bonds in 1990. So I play those games in easy or story mode these days.

    Games where the difficulty is the main driving force of the "fun" should still be difficult. Such as Doom, or Dwarf Fortress. But of course there always should be possibility of winning within reach.

    1 vote
  12. Ellimist
    Link
    Not one bit. Most of the games I play, I play for the story anyway, and, more often than not, the difficult doesn’t change the story in any meaningful way. Sure, some games like the Halo games...

    Not one bit.

    Most of the games I play, I play for the story anyway, and, more often than not, the difficult doesn’t change the story in any meaningful way.

    Sure, some games like the Halo games might include an extra cut scene that expands on something if you complete the game on certain difficulties but overall nothing really changes

    I play games for entertainment and enjoyment. I get little of either out of cranking the game to the higher difficulties.

    Nope, I’m just gonna sit back, look at the pretty explosions or scenery or scantily clad females in whatever game I’m playing and enjoy myself

  13. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    I'm gonna add one more voice to the chanting of "hell no" in this thread: I cheat in single-player games on the regular. If it enhances the game's appeal to me, I would rather modify a value or...

    I'm gonna add one more voice to the chanting of "hell no" in this thread:

    I cheat in single-player games on the regular. If it enhances the game's appeal to me, I would rather modify a value or two. (If the game's whole appeal is to not die, and the only thing I can modify is HP amount, I'll abstain: it would take away, rather than add, to the experience.) I never cheat in multiplayer games because it takes away from someone else's experience.

    If it's too much grind to gain currency in a game where currency affords wider opportunities (like new abilities, or new areas, or new kinds of weapons), I'll add cash to my in-game account. If there's a gun I like to shoot too much, I'll give myself enough ammo to never run out. If not running out of Action Points allows me to perform a really cool stunt, guess who's not running of AP this turn?

    There's a certain satisfaction in performing well within a set of limits, which I'm sure you understand. Sometimes you have to adjust your experience to fit your preferences; if at any point "challenge" isn't one of those and nobody's hurting by the chance of circumstances, might as well make your rest pleasant.

  14. hamstergeddon
    Link
    No. Sometimes I'm in the mood to just experience a game's story and characters, not challenge my reflexes. Whether I beat the game on easy or hard, nobody's going to know or care, so why should I?

    No. Sometimes I'm in the mood to just experience a game's story and characters, not challenge my reflexes. Whether I beat the game on easy or hard, nobody's going to know or care, so why should I?