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Sekiro

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04 Apr 2019 15:17 #294991 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
FromSoft games have their themes woven into their gameplay. Tension, battles against seemingly insurmountable foes, learning, and eventually mastery and catharsis. Every fight has some sort of lesson that you have to learn in order to get through it. Not all of them are created equally, obviously, but when FS games are great they are truly great. Difficulty is the means by which this is handled, but crucially the physical demands are not particularly ridiculous. Just about everything is patterned and reactable, especially in Sekiro where you have an entire subsystem of counters.

However, the games are consistently very punishing. Mistakes do not slide. That's why watching someone overcome the challenges over many tries, or demonstrate complete mastery in the case of speedrunners, is so satisfying. That journey of progress IS the FromSoft experience. To make the player invulnerable would completely defeat the purpose. The difficulty is the game.
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04 Apr 2019 15:22 - 04 Apr 2019 15:25 #294992 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
To me, if I were the creator, some of it hinges on whether you think an easy mode would actually dissuade otherwise interested consumers from engaging the systems and "getting gud" in the first place. I would argue it would bring in some more tourists but that there aren't that many players who would take easy mode and "ruin" their designed experience who might otherwise have fought through to mastery.

But that's sort of an empirical question. And my overall feeling is who gives a shit, put in an easy mode. But ultimately as a piece of art, it is the creator's decision imo and this is just theoretical debate.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2019 15:25 by Gary Sax.
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04 Apr 2019 17:04 - 04 Apr 2019 17:08 #294995 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Sekiro
Turning into an interesting discussion. Some random thoughts.

- I know what you mean by the 'git gud' crowd and why they're poisonous, but 'git gid' isn't exclusively used that way. It's sometimes seen as a friendly exhortation, even a congratulation. The problem with 'git gud' is. as Jon says, its central role in a culture of masculine dominance.

- Like most things, there's a lot of context and sliding scale in this discussion which is regularly ignored. To unwisely return to the literary metaphors, I reckon modernised Shakespeare works because much of the joy in his work is from the character and plot and their exploration of the human condition, not the poetic language. You could not say the same of Joyce. And if you read Joyce, many might enjoy Dubliners. Fewer would enjoy Ulysess because it puts up greater barriers. And almost no-one is going to appreciate Finnegan's Wake unless they have years to spend dissecting it. Likewise in games, difficulty comes in many forms, flavours and levels.

- Speaking of which, it's funny how these debates are always triggered by From Software games when they are, in my opinion, one of the least offensive in this regard. Why does no-one ever complain about the absurd difficulty of John Blows' puzzle games? Isn't that discriminating against people who aren't clever enough to solve them, especially when he's so adamant that no-one should ever check spoilers? Or ridiculously hard platformers like the aforementioned Super Meat Boy which, unlike a From game, you have no hope of grinding through?

- From Software games aren't all about the difficulty. It's a part of it, sure, but what brings me to these games is their astonishing, second to none world building. Barely a scrap of text in the games, yet they seethe with fascinating lore, begging for exploration. And don't get me started on the brilliance of the way they interlink physical spaces.

- Also worth repeating that From already have an "easy mode" of sorts which is looking stuff up and grinding. It works for most players. I don't agree that an invulnerability mode would ruin it though. Especially if it came in the form of some limited in-game consumable.

- This entire discussion is extremely relevant to board games, from the angle of my "masculine competition" piece the other week. Might actually be worth me dragging another piece out of it.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2019 17:08 by Matt Thrower.
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04 Apr 2019 20:19 - 04 Apr 2019 20:21 #295001 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
fwiw, my understanding is that Sekiro has fewer tools to grind your way through and they pulled multiplayer. As you say, those are two ways in which soulsborne used to facilitate play by less practiced/skilled gamers. I personally have not beat a couple of the ringed city bosses without cooperators (that shitty dragon boss, gael), nor the orphan of kos. I am a little confounded by the news some of those crutches have been removed, but I have an open mind about it.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2019 20:21 by Gary Sax.

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05 Apr 2019 02:28 #295010 by Erik Twice
Replied by Erik Twice on topic Sekiro

JonathanVolk wrote: 1. What could FromSoftware do to make their games more accessible to players who love their worlds but can’t play their games either because of a difference in ability or an aversion to difficult games?

I don't think most people are unable to play their games because they aren't skilled enough. Getting skilled is, after all, the point and they do not require previous expertise to start (Unlike, say, Battle Garegga). I also don't think there's anything that can be done to make a difficult game appealing to people who don't like difficult games. It's a bit of a non-starter.

2. How much of “Difficulty Gate” is tied into a bigger discussion of “get gud” culture—which brings in discourses of masculinity, aggression, dominance, etc?

On a game design level, not much. On an anglospeaking gaming culture level, quite a bit. This is not Gamergate, but it rings the same bells and the same people get involved.

Couldn’t From include an “invulnerable” mode that allows you to soak up all damage? Would the inclusion of this seemingly quick and easy fix (you can tell I’m a programmer, right?) change the game in fundamental ways? Especially if it was buried in an Accessibility Menu for those few who might use it? Would we be too tempted, knowing it was buried there? I don’t know!

They could include it, but it would make the game pointless. I don't believe anything that makes a game pointless is an accessbility feature, just bad game design. It would be like saying My Dinner with André would be more accessible if we removed all dialogue.

JonathanVolk wrote: I just think we should be suspicious of ever agreeing with the “git gud” crowd.

I think it's just as dangerous, if not more, to base our views on what angry people say on the internet.

Anyways, I'm writing about this subject so I don't want to give too much away!

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05 Apr 2019 08:18 #295012 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro

Gary Sax wrote: nor the orphan of kos.


no no no NO NO NO

no.

I don't want another aneurysm.

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05 Apr 2019 13:49 - 05 Apr 2019 13:50 #295044 by Ah_Pook
Replied by Ah_Pook on topic Sekiro
That orphan was a pain it's true. The first dlc boss was the real killer for me for whatever reason. Fuck that guy forever. And yea the beginning of Bloodborne is a real kick in the dick. But you can level up once you beat the cleric beast too, and he's closer to the beginning than gascgoigne and approximately a million times easier than gascoigne. Also, I don't think I ever parried anything in Bloodborne so if that was supposed to be the lesson I failed and just hit everything with my big axe instead.

Wrt easy modes, i don't look for easy mode 18xx games I just don't play 18xx games as I don't find them enjoyable. I don't need them to change, there are plenty of games I do enjoy (and plenty of people who enjoy 18xx games). There are tons of video games out there also, I don't see why some of them being hard af is bad.

Anyway, I'm going to buy Sekiro today so I guess I know how my weekends is shaping up.
Last edit: 05 Apr 2019 13:50 by Ah_Pook.
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05 Apr 2019 13:52 #295046 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
Yes, Ludwig is brutal. I believe I managed to solo him but it was agony.

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05 Apr 2019 14:02 #295048 by Ah_Pook
Replied by Ah_Pook on topic Sekiro
The fire dog in the half life chalice was a pretty close second if memory serves...

Man Bloodborne. Matt Lees of SUSD did a great series of videos of his Bloodborne play through that are well worth watching. They saved me the insanity of playing back through that game myself somewhat recently.

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05 Apr 2019 14:04 #295049 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
OH MY GOD I FORGOT THAT MOTHERFUCKER IN THE DEFILED CHALICES.

I blocked that part of my life completely out of my memory, along with the laser spider dude whose name escapes me right now that follows him. Those defiled chalices were like unforgivable.
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10 Apr 2019 23:20 #295310 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
So I got past the first large reptile sequence, I also got to the drunken dude in the past. The drunken dude was a motherfucker so I haven't gone back.

I've been enjoying the game but if I had something negative to say I have been having annoying long miniboss/boss runs. I think that kind of sucks. The hard part is the boss and adds. Don't make me grind through a bunch of chumps every time.

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11 Apr 2019 08:20 #295321 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
I've found the runs are typically skippable, either through spidermanning past or just good old fashioned sprinting. The path to the drunk in particular is pretty easy if you run on the roofs and hop off into the watery area between them and the boss.

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11 Apr 2019 14:36 #295348 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
So frustrated with this drunk dude fight I had to put the game down. Why does he recharge all his health when he gets deathblowed? Is that a normal thing all the bosses do...? It's fucking terrible.

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11 Apr 2019 15:08 - 11 Apr 2019 15:09 #295349 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
That's normal, yeah. Most bosses have multiple lifebars = to the number of red circles next to their bar. When you deathblow them they lose a circle and you start on the next bar. When they're out of circles they die.

Tips for drunk dude: Kite his mooks around and kill them. Bail out when you clean them up. Then try to get a stealth deathblow so you only have to do one more. Make sure to only get the samurai NPC to help you out once the boss is the only one left. Having him around to pull aggro is a huge help.
Last edit: 11 Apr 2019 15:09 by Vysetron. Reason: formatting

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11 Apr 2019 18:37 #295352 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
Thanks for the advice. I watched a video of a relatively normal player taking him down. Made me realize that the bigger fights in this game go on a long, long time and that was my mistake. I was doing fine but I felt like I had to do damage and block a bunch of attacks. The fight with this dude goes on for a long time of getting in and getting a slash or two and deflecting a few things but mainly it's just a long, long buildup of poise on the dude once his health is low enough.

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