Truer Words

In the middle of an epicly-long Kotaku article expressing the virtue of Dark Souls’ difficulty, the following lines jumped out and strangled me (emphasis added):

Because you repeat each section of the game so many times, and commit it so firmly to memory, you build up certain tricks and patterns. You achieve mastery, which is satisfying, and yet you always feel like something could go wrong, which is exciting.

When it comes to discussing difficulty in MMOs, I firmly fall on the “make it easy” side of the fence. I enjoy difficulty, I enjoy taxing my abilities to their maximum, but I also believe difficulty has its place; specifically, not in waiting for someone else to finally stop failing so I (we) can succeed. Games like Dark Souls work precisely because they are single-player.

That being said… the bold sentence in the quote above is perhaps the most succinct, inspired description of the mechanics of fun I have ever read.

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Posted on January 10, 2012, in Commentary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. To be fair, it was the type of fun MMOs provided before everyone decided they’d rather play WoW.

    I think it’s safe to say not everyone out there is down with the notion that fun is synonymous with challenge.

  2. @Stabs: Uh? That statement describes WoW raiding pretty well….

  3. “Difficulty” is the driving Force behind PC Gameing, always has been and always will be. This is what seperates us from the newer Generation of Consoles.
    The Master himself however, explains this very well in his Video on why Darksouls should be ported to the PC. It is a little bit lengthy, but definately worth watching.

    • Having played the Binding of Isaac for 26 hours (beating Satan with every character), having slogged through Far Cry 1 with no Quicksave, I say… bring on Dark Souls. I had Battletoads when I was a kid, and while I never beat it, I did reliably get to the mechanical snakes level (5th stage?) and felt lord over all I surveyed.

      It just doesn’t have a real place in the normal MMO group experience, e.g. heroics and pre-LFR normal-mode raids.

  4. Kudos Sir to Battle Toads… Kudos

    Stage 4 was the End for me.

    If you find likeminded Gamers in an MMO your possibilities are virtually limitless of what can be achived. The further you climb the Ladder the more of them you will find in WoW.