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Wolf Kanno
10-01-2017, 03:17 AM
We often discuss gameplay balance but where does everyone fall on the spectrum. It would be silly to imagine people could agree on what is a fairly balanced game as we all have different tastes and what not, but I would be interested to know what people consider to be a balanced game difficulty-wise. I'd define it for this thread as being a game that is not too hard or easy, just the right amount to keep you working at it until you win.

Psychotic
10-01-2017, 12:31 PM
I like it when it feels like I've lost because I fucked up, not because the AI essentially cheated or because the game became a test of my patience rather than my skill.

My favourite hard but fair games are roguelike-likes. Spelunky, Binding of Isaac, Rogue Legacy, FTL and my current favourite Downwell. I definitely feel like it's my fault if I fucked up, and I'm also happy to accept a little bit of RNG shafting too. The random nature of them goes a long way to making it feel a lot more fun rather than repeating the same checkpoint over and over again, as does the feeling that each death is a lesson.

Spuuky
10-02-2017, 01:01 AM
I prefer games that other people think are really hard, but hard in a way that requires thought rather than twitch skills; Super Meat Boy is really hard, but not my style, for instance, that's a lot of muscle memory/reflex skill. I prefer ... "intellectual" difficulty? That's a bad word and not really what I mean, but I think it conveys the point. I love puzzle games, the harder the better.

I like Dark Souls, because it's pretty hard but the skills that it requires aren't really twitchy and reflexive, because it's not fast-paced despite being an action game.

I really love hard turn-based games the most. I feel like I mention the game a lot, but Divinity: Original Sin on Tactician difficulty? Sign me up.

I really hate difficulty that is just a test of patience as Psy said - how long can you repeat this single pattern to wear down a giant HP sponge, for instance.

On the "easier" side, one thing I've always appreciated about Dragon Quest is how balanced the games always feel, all the way through - I never feel like I have to grind (well, except for in DQ1 or whatever of course, which is really a kind of different style than the rest in reality), but I never feel "too strong" for the areas I'm in either.

Del Murder
10-02-2017, 07:00 PM
For more difficult games, I much prefer turn-based RPGs or platformers rather than action games. In action games, I just want to hit or shoot a bunch of stuff or explore the world without worrying too much about dying. Fire Emblem games on the traditional ('hard') difficulty have a great balance for the most part. They require careful planning and assessing your strengths and weaknesses. For platformers, the recent Donkey Kong Country Returns series has been satisfyingly difficult but with a great balance that did not make me feel the levels were cheap or the mechanics sloppy in any way. They are just well designed levels that require thought and observation.