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Difficulty in games.. is it that difficult to understand?

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Previous Entry Difficulty in games.. is it that difficult to understand? Oct. 14th, 2010 @ 07:04 pm Next Entry
I hate difficulty levels in games, to me it just looks like you didn't know how to make a balanced game, so you give us, the gamers, the option to balance things out... which is just adjust a how much health you have and how much damage you deal...

The most confusing and infuriating thing about difficulty levels is that there is NO STANDARD FOR IT!

You can beat "Boom Boom Shooty Shooty 37" on the hardest difficulty and yet "LOL Headshot 14" is too much for you even on easy... What's worst is that sometimes sequels can have drastic changes in difficulty...

Could it be that... game developers have never tried to understand what gaming skills really mean?

Surely people know that gaming skills is not just one skill, but the sum of various skills and that each gamer is skilled differently in each area? Right?

I'm no scholar, but I can name a few "skills" that we gamers have:
-Short term pattern recognition
-Long term pattern recognition
-Pattern memorization
-Timing
-Short term strategy
-Long term strategy
-Game logic
-"Endurance": You can make a pixel perfect jump, but can you do 50 in a row?
-Patience

I'm sure you guys could name quite a few more, but am I insane to think that game developers should actually study gaming skills instead of just doing the lazy difficulty level thing?

Furthermore, we all have different views on what difficulty actually is! Some of use will say a game is hard because they died a lot, even though the punishment for dying is none, while others will judge how difficult the game is depending on how it punishes you and some of us view some things as more punishing as others...
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From:lordrexfear
Date:October 15th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
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I've never been into difficulty levels, but sadly some of the best games have them.

Although some my favorite games have been programmed with strong enough AI that there are patterns but they're are over 272836347563762387234832728 versions of that pattern and it can be different each try and it becomes more luck than skill.
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From:tanukitsune
Date:October 15th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC)
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I hate it when it's more a question of luck than skill... :(
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