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Hard Mode - Active Topical Banter

Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News EditorRPGamer Staff
Game difficulty is a lot like whiskey, in that most people are going about them wrong. Our panel examines what and how RPGs are hard where the critical value in difficulty.

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Talking Points:
-Gamers talk about difficulty the way teenagers talk about scotch
-Types of difficulty
-Aesthetic value of hardness
-Hepler mode
-Judgement
-Grind or skill
-Settings
-Options

Next time: Nostalgia, olde schoole and pirates (maybe)

Comments

  • ArtyPartyArtyParty IllinoisFull Members
    I don't mind difficulty as long as it isn't fake and/or requires endless repetition.
  • BudaiBudai Paladin Full Members
    I’m going to say something that was very relavent 20 years ago. 7th saga is notorious as one of the hardest rpgs of all time. For two reasons, the American version had some edited values, so it was coded to be harder. Second, the game had a mechanic that if you defend, the damage was halved but you did twice as much damage on attack next round. This was mildly mentioned in the manual. Time passes by and no one cares, but as Rpg history goes, 7th saga was the defacto hard jrpg that no one knew that you had to defend before every attack to half damage and then double it.
  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 17
    it depends on what the game is ie star ocean 2nd story/evolution its 'hard" mode Universe is a total joke once you bloody armor the entire party hit 999 users of Opera's healing star at 999 uses AND has 999 MP add in a fairy/emerald ring in game and NOTHING will kill you.

    For other games ie any of the legend of hero's games I simply won't do hard mode without being very close to the games max level and playing thos games enough times to take 1 time only equipment and own between 4 and 6 copies of it that way I could actually end every boss fight in under 30 seconds.


    Depending on the game grinding does you no good see my above bloody armor abuse reason why is I had all the enemies on the harder difficulty settings hit for 9999 damage (max damage per hit) AND never had guts kick in leaving you dead instead of only at 1 HP.

    Bloody armors remove the 100% luck factor of guts never kicking in at ANY difficulty level once enemies start to hit for max damage that's why I won't take on any of the games top 3 super bosses even on "earth mode" the games "easy" mode setting without 4x bloody armor users and being immune to ALL enemy damage in the process.

    Yep on SO 2's earth mode I still had every super boss hit the entire party for max 9999 damage per hit.

    Heck in SO3 I had the games super bosses on earth/galaxy mode post game hit for 99,999 damage IN 1 hit below 5000 defense at 5000 defense the same 99,999 per physical hit damage becomes zero damage against you.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 18
    While I do like a little challenge in my games, I'm the type who plays everything on normal, at least for a first playthrough. I assume that the normal difficulty will be the most balanced. If a game allows me to, I will change the difficulty if I find it too hard or too easy. If I get around to replaying the game, I will do so on a harder difficulty.

    And yes, the people who disparage those who play on easy are terrible. Let them play how they want. I also believe more difficulty options in a game are best. One example I'll point out is the Fire Emblem series. A small, but vocal, minority despise casual mode. I can maybe understand if the FE games with casual mode no long have classic mode (permadeath), or if it has to be unlocked, but both options are available from the beginning. At least some of this bile seems to be because casual mode allowed more people to play the series for the first time. These elitists see new players, and Fire Emblem: Awakening in particular, as having "ruined" the series. Granted, the reasons why do go beyond Awakening being the first western-released FE with a casual mode.

    Personally, I'm glad that the series from now on will have casual mode. I see so many people who played Awakening because they wanted to check out Fire Emblem for a long time but permadeath scared them off or they thought it was draconian.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 18
    While I do play games on "normal" mode when ever possible if a game has a difficulty below normal mode ie the legend of heroes games "easy" mode difficulty then on the first runs of the game I play on nothing but easy mode.

    If a RPG can take easy mode and make it easier ie very easy mode then I'll play on very easy mode until you can have max levels then use your level 99+ party members at the start of any NG+ runs at max level that way for those RPG's I kill all the first enemies for the first half of the game in like 30 seconds into the fights.
  • ArtyPartyArtyParty IllinoisFull Members
    While I do like a little challenge in my games, I'm the type who plays everything on normal, at least for a first playthrough. I assume that the normal difficulty will be the most balanced. If a game allows me to, I will change the difficulty if I find it too hard or too easy. If I get around to replaying the game, I will do so on a harder difficulty.

    And yes, the people who disparage those who play on easy are terrible. Let them play how they want. I also believe more difficulty options in a game are best. One example I'll point out is the Fire Emblem series. A small, but vocal, minority despise casual mode. I can maybe understand if the FE games with casual mode no long have classic mode (permadeath), or if it has to be unlocked, but both options are available from the beginning. At least some of this bile seems to be because casual mode allowed more people to play the series for the first time. They see these new players, and Fire Emblem: Awakening in particular, as having "ruined" the series. Personally, I'm glad that the series from now on will have casual mode. I see so many people who played Awakening because they wanted to check out Fire Emblem for a long time but permadeath scared them off or they thought it was draconian.

    Yeah, I didn't care much for Shadow Dragon, but I'm definitely glad I gave the FE series another chance with Awakening.

  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 19
    As for grinding I do it mostly when optional not required ie have 3x Godhands (a advanced job class) in Dragon Quest/Warrior 7 as soon as you unlock jobs but before you actually fight the next boss battle in game.
  • ArtyPartyArtyParty IllinoisFull Members
    Vegh, does it ever occur to you that you're just needlessly wasting your time by overgrinding? DQ7 is perfectly beatable without doing so.
  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 19
    I know that but I enjoy breaking the game via mastering all jobs in game besides i find it faster to master all jobs in game AND grind loads of gold/money in the process vs using the casino which in turn is 100% luck to make millions of gold via selling casino items which doesn't require to battle just 100% luck to win the crappy mini games.

    So I'd rather just job grind of gold over playing slots/poker at all.

    So yes as soon as jobs unlock I'll spend the next 10 to 20 hours having 3x Godhands at level 24 (PS1 version) while on the 3DS version of DQ7 I could actually master all 20 human jobs in game on all 3 possibly party members in only 20 hours (and still be around level 25).


    DQ6 DS version I did the same as soon as jobs unlock I spend the next 30+ hours having 6 party members master all the human class jobs including the Hero job itself.
  • OmbresOmbres Games horder Full Members
    One of the games I really like how the difficulty setting is integrated into the games is in The World End with you.

    You can change anytime the difficulty and you level and it affecting what drop you will get and what % you have to get that item.

    I guess I really like hard game too, I rarely put a game on easy and really like the SaGa series too that is quite hard!
    Always enjoy all the experience in life, you might gain a level or two.
    sig.gif
  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 19
    For games like that once I start the game on very easy/easy mode I will never change it to anything else but very few games I do own even allow that so once I set the game to easy/very easy mode I'm suck at that difficulty for the entire game which is ok since I won't play on hard mode onwards without level/equipment/item transferring AND being at the games max level for every playable party member IE the last 2 LoH Cold Steel games.
  • ArtyPartyArtyParty IllinoisFull Members
    I almost always play games on the easiest difficulty, since gameplay flaws tend to be most apparent on higher challenge settings. And yes, TWEWY does difficulty well. The only SaGa games I really like are the WonderSwan Color remake of the first game, and the DS remakes of the second and third.
  • jscarpejscarpe RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    The older I get, the more I gravitate towards Easy St. I used to always start on the default difficulty and sometimes went for hard on series I was familiar with, but these days I just want to see more games rather than spending lots of time with a game thanks to difficulty. Of course, choice is great and I wish games were more granular with it; modern Fire Emblem games are a good example where you can really fine tune difficulty to produce the sort of challenge you want.

    I've also thought the Trails games handled difficulty well. Every time that you die, you immediately get to restart the battle and the difficulty is turned down slightly (I think they reduced HP and stats of enemies by 5% for each death). A nice mechanic for keeping a player from being constantly frustrated by a tough battle without having to just choose Easy, Normal, or Hard.
  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 20
    Yes but the cold steel games gets rid of retry offset if your insane enough to attempt nightmare mode on your very first run which is why i maxed out lvs before attempting nightmare in the first place but played those games only on easy mode cs3 has a very easy mode but the game itself won't have a English version made for at least 1 year.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Again, "if you're insane enough to attempt nightmare mode on your very first run." It's doubtful anyone would, so making a point of saying this proves anything is a waste of good electrons.
  • VeghEstherVeghEsther Full Members
    edited October 20
    Actually MOST import Sen No kiseki III first run youtube video's are ALL Nightmare ones that's why I posted here if your insane enough to attempt that I am NOT.
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