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    By Icebeast | May 31, 2011

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    Hello possible blog reader,

    So this is going to be a little bit of a different rant than my previous rants.  This time, I’m going to talk about difficulty, specifically in video games.  Apparently there has been a bit of a tiff with the WoW players.  No, I do not play WoW.  But as a game player, I hear the scuttlebutt.  Anyway, apparently Blizzard is going to reduce the difficulty of some encounters in the next patch.  The idea is that players who have not beaten the content yet will get a chance to beat it, while they feel the players who have are ready to move on.  However, a vocal group of players say that Blizzard has been making the game easier over time, and this has led to players getting worse, thus needing easier content.  Yes, that is a cycle.

    Now, I’m going to say two things here.  First, I agree that players should have the ability to try all the content, but I don’t believe players should be given the content gift wrapped.  In a single player game, this problem is already solved.  It’s called variable difficulty.  Most games have the anywhere between 3 and 5 difficulty options (or Civilization’s a billion), and players can progress through the content at their own pace.  Even a moderately difficult game like the Witcher 2 has an easy mode.  Some games are purposely challenging (see Demon Soul’s), but they are designed with this in mind, and any educated game buyer would know the game is insanely difficult.  The problem with WoW, is all of its content has either 1 or 2 difficulties.  Dungeon content is either “normal” or heroic.  First, having options is good, but two options makes no sense.  An easy, medium, hard, and heroic set would cater to a lot more players of different skill.

    This leads me to my second point.  The following equation in games should hold true:  Reward = Work.  That is, if you work hard to beat hard content, you should get a better reward.  If Blizzard wants to dumb down old content, make the rewards worse.  I would definitely be annoyed if I spent months learning some boss fight and beating it, only for them to make it easier and then give the same rewards to the players who beat it.  Again, I believe players have the right to see the content, but they shouldn’t necessarily get the same rewards for different difficulties.  In fact, Blizzard already adopts this policy by giving better rewards for heroic content than normal mode.  Anyway, that is my rant about game difficulty, in this context.

    If anyone is still reading at this point, have a nice day (or evening).

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    Topics: Icebeast, Rants | No Comments »