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Thread: Poll - Difficulty

  1. #1
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Poll - Difficulty

    When given the choice, what's your preferred RPG difficulty?
    Very Easy
    Easy
    Moderate
    Hard
    Very Hard
    Mania
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  2. #2
    Hard. The RPG elements actually come through in harder RPGs. Knowing my efforts at gaining levels or powering up weapons actually mean something is far more addictive than having a whole bunch of cool weapons and abilities that don't matter because you don't need them. I hate it when an RPG balances its difficulty around the bare minimum level your party could possibly be at.

    Anything harder than "hard" has a bad habit of being too grindy.

    And before a certain someone comes in here and says RPGs with complicated systems are too hard to learn, I want to note there is a difference between an RPG that's hard because it is difficult to understand and/or master and one that presents a legit challenge. A confusing RPG isn't hard. It's just poorly designed.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 03-22-2013 at 09:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Suppose that depends on my definition of difficult or the industry's. Going by most hard modes these days, I'd say Very Hard. Because Hard usually isn't that tough, especially in RPGs. Example: I couldn't tell the difference with Hard mode on in Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Fire Emblem: Awakening's Lunatic wasn't too bad either after the first 5 battles and you had the ability to get your units experience. Did Ni No Kuni have a hard mode? Not sure if it was Very Easy-Easy-Normal, or Easy-Normal-Hard.

    The ultra insane modes are usually a little too much for me, in that they often revolve around 1 hit deaths and a large loss in progress. While that can be fun depending on the game, more often than not it just turns into needless time wasting when something unexpected happens, either in the virtual or the real world. Typically I also prefer a game that is hard the whole way through and is constantly asking you to master the mechanics, as opposed to, say, one super secret boss that you need to grind endlessly before you meet the requirements to even face them.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 03-22-2013 at 09:40 AM.
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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Hard and Very Hard for me. RPGs that push you to master the system are the ones that usually end up being far better than the others IMO. Look at SMT: Nocturne, Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Baten Kaitos Origins, etc. They're all considered some of the best RPGs in existence BECAUSE they push the player so hard to master them.
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    The Gratitude Pokemon Shaymin's Avatar
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    Livin' life on Easy St.
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  6. #6
    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    Normal/Moderate for me. Anything easier tends to bore me, and when I play through a game for the first time, I'm usually more interested in the story and learning how the battle system and other mechanics work. If I ever get around to doing another playthrough, I do so on a higher difficulty.
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  7. #7
    Member lolwhoops's Avatar
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    I prefer Hard RPGs myself. Having to figure out the best use of resources and how to exploit the game systems is one of the things I enjoy about the games I play. Also a lot a games that are a bit harder tend to have interesting character customization options or build your own party options which makes things a fun little experiment until you find what works for you.

    That said, moderate or easy games are fun to relax with. Too easy though and it feels like there's no point to playing it.
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  8. #8
    chaotic neutral observer ironmage's Avatar
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    I voted moderate. I like RPGs to be hard enough that I need to actively pay attention to individual battles to avoid dying (if I can progress just by pressing "Attack" it gets tedious quickly). But, I also dislike needing to grind to proceed; regular exploration should provide enough experience. I would say SMT Nocturne on normal difficulty was a fairly good balance.

    Resonance of Fate was interesting in that you get access to almost the full set of skills right from the beginning. I started out using just the basics, but was gradually pushed into using more of the available techniques as the game progressed. I like the kind of difficulty that requires you to improve your own ability, rather than just increase your characters' stats.

    But, my preferred configuration is variable difficulty. In Tales of Graces f, I kept turning the difficulty up until it was significantly impeding my progress, and then turned it down. (I spent some time at evil, but ended up clearing it on hard). When playing FFXII, I equip all my characters with fireflies (earned experience reduced to zero), and leave them equipped for as long as possible.

  9. #9
    Member Kiralyn's Avatar
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    As someone who doesn't naturally min-max/powergame/notice "extreme efficiencies" in the rules.... moderate. Yeah, obviously, you want some challenge. But I generally find normal diff to be enough for me.

    In games that require min-maxing (like, say, ARPGs where you've progressed to the higher difficulties) I tend to have severe problems. I've never played a Diablo game beyond the second difficulty level before, for instance - my characters aren't built properly for it and I have no inherent desire to follow some "correct" build through all the earlier bits in order to have a chance of beating my face against Hell or NM diff.

    Rarely, I'll turn a game down to easy, either because a boss fight is being unenjoyably obnoxious or because I just don't care about the game mechanics anymore but I want to see where the story ends up. (Dragon Age:Origins, for instance. I had a non-ideal party makeup - rogue/rogue/healer/tank - and found the combat to just be incredibly tedious. To the point that even though I've got lots of mods now, and there's all the other quest resolutions & party interactions, I've never been able to bear playing the game again. So, yeah. Turned that sucker down to easy and left it there.)

  10. #10
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    Hard or Very Hard, as most "normal" settings today are pretty soft. Sometimes I even turn them all the way up. (The mage class rocked DA:O.)

    Although, if I get sick of a game's mechanics, I turn it down and blow through the combat, because a lot of games are really too long anymore and the gameplay gets stale in the last 20-30%.

    I can't stand when "increased difficulty" is just giving the AI cheesy cheats because the developers were too lazy to make them smarter or giant HP pools that just make things take longer.

  11. #11
    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    That reminds me watcher, I feel that Mass Effect 2 did a pretty good job of the hardest difficulty. In the normal and easy modes, you could sail by while barely or never using your class skills at all. But on the hardest difficulty, they were the key to your success, as the enemy would slowly move towards your location and just a few shots could tear down your shields and health. So strategy ended up playing a major role in that mode. As an Engineer I ended up having to use everything in my arsenal to stay alive in that mode, and even found myself having to restart entire missions because I didn't take the right squadmembers with me or set my weapons to the ones I needed most for the mission.
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  12. #12
    Classic Console Junkie redwing42's Avatar
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    RPG difficulty for me is always "normal" the first time through. If I enjoy the mechanics and plan on playing it a second time, I'll jump up a difficulty level then. This is partially because sometimes "hard" difficulty is just adjusting sliders to take more damage and dish out less, which isn't that enjoyable by itself. Mainly, though, I figure that normal is the difficulty that the game is designed around, so the balance will likely be best. There are some exceptions, though. After the first Mass Effect, I settled on Hardcore difficulty for most of my ME play. I've done Insanity runs just to say I can, but I think the best balance is just below that. I also sometimes start at a higher level for shooters. Straight to Heroic for Halo games and Hard on Bioshock.

  13. #13
    I always take the easiest difficulty possible as long as it promises to enjoy the full story. I don't really want to die in games. I like the feeling that I COULD die, but it should never really happen.

  14. #14
    Member Ryumoau's Avatar
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    Easy. I care more about story and character than actual difficulty. Thats why enjoy rpgs with optional difficulty scales rather than games that force a set difficulty (usually hard) on me.
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  15. #15
    Moderate. Easy is usually rather too boring for my tastes; I like moderate because I can enjoy the story while being given a slight challenge.

  16. #16
    Member GrayWolf323's Avatar
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    I usually play on easy because I mostly play for the story

  17. #17
    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaymin View Post
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  18. #18
    Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff Fowl Sorcerous's Avatar
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    easy st is long enough for the both of you. I may end up joining you. there are too many games where difficulty is a matter of scaling the numbers up than anything to with AI soo my days on Normal way may be numbered.

  19. #19
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Have some results!
    Moderate 818 51.03%
    Hard 477 29.76%
    Very Hard 106 6.61%
    Mania 87 5.43%
    Easy 84 5.24%
    Very Easy 31 1.93%
    Total Votes 1603
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  20. #20
    Member SiliconNooB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuMeSyn View Post
    When given the choice, what's your preferred RPG difficulty?
    Very Easy
    Easy
    Moderate
    Hard
    Very Hard
    Mania
    Depends on whether or not it is a series or developer who is known for their difficulty...

    If it is a standard mainstream game then I usually opt for normal.
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