There was a post in Dating Sims in the Holodeck about high difficulty in games. The gist of it is that they play games for entertainment and a harder difficult in games gives them opposite sensation. This has been so bad before that they abandoned games before due to a sudden spike in difficulty.
This made me think a bit about the topic, enough that putting everything in a single comment would be too much so time to write it all down here!
One of the most common arguments I see for harder difficult in games is that people feel like they achieved something by beating a hard challenge. I can see where they are coming from with that statement and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However when it comes to games challenge is not what motivates me. I like to play games to relax and harder content does not make me feel relaxed. It only makes me feel anxious, stressed and frustrated. If there is a sudden spike in difficult in a game I will try to push through but after that it just leaves me drained and unhappy.
This is in large part why I don’t like raids in MMOs. It is a lot of work, a lot of frustration for a reward that will only be really necessary for more raiding. Not to mention that at best it might last for a couple years. At worst it will only last for a few months. That doesn’t feel worth all the hassle for me.
I also don’t really care about who cleared it first or last. At the end of the day the raid will still be there for anyone to give it a try.
I have similar feelings about PVP. If it is an one on one duel at the end of of it I don’t feel anything whether I lose or win. While ganking just feels like bullying for me. Being at the end of that is extremely frustrating.
With all that in mind I will just gravitate towards the games that have just the right balance of difficulty and activities that tickle my fancy. Some times it will be uber relaxation ones like Stardew Valley other times it might be something that requires some more skill like Monster Hunter World. But it really varies depending on the day and my mood.
But there is always an exception
Like everything in life there are exceptions to this. For instance, I do like Dark Souls and other games developed by From Software. It is hard? Yes, very much so. But like any Dark Souls fan will tell you it is also fair. What this means is if you play cautiously, watch out for the enemies attacks, learn their patterns and wait for the right moment to strike then you will be able to progress in the game.
There aren’t really any complicated mechanics in Dark Souls, nor any “gotcha!” moments. It is all pretty well telegraphed and there is enough time for you to react to an enemy attack and act accordingly. It is a game that rewards caution and punishes reckless behavior.
It is because of that I found myself enjoying Dark Souls despite avoiding it for a long time thinking it wasn’t a game for me. If you are wondering how I got into it, it was thanks to this “Let’s Play” series that got me curious enough to give it a try. 🙂
And I am glad I did! Not only I found a new franchise I love but Dark Souls taught me a few things. Now I don’t think that if I am having trouble with a fight it is because I just suck at it. Maybe I just am not understanding some mechanics correctly, maybe it is my timing or maybe I just did the wrong preparations.
The other exception is Splatoon 2 (and the first one). I usually avoid multiplayer shoots because I honestly can’t shoot the side of a barn. But the Splatoon games are more about territory control than shooting your opponents. So even if I am terrible at shooting my opponents I feel like I can still contribute to my team by helping to conquer territory.
I still try to hold my own and defeat anyone that comes my way, of course, but that isn’t my priority. It helps sure, but it isn’t what will win the match. Having more of the territory under your team’s color is what will win it. That is what I will try to accomplish.
Sadly I found the Splatoon series to be the only kind of multiplayer shooters I actually enjoy. I’d like to try others as they seem pretty fun but with my inability to shoot I’d just be dead weight.
Maybe some day I will find other exceptions too. But for now these two suffice for me. 🙂