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Rosbjerg

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Adding more enemy damage makes sense in games where the enemies are already designed to take mountains of damage.

 

Smarter AI is the ideal, but you also probably want to have the best AI in all or most all of the difficulty settings.

 

I think making the player character weaker or the enemy attacks stronger is usually the best option. Maybe with a few AI perks, or occasioned cheating by the AI.

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Most of the time, it's not even clear what a difficulty setting does. I prefer enemies doing more damage/the player having less life if I'm increasing the difficulty setting, whereas I pretty much always hate enemies becoming damage sponges/the player doing less damage. And difficulty settings where it affects BOTH are usually especially crappy, because then you pretty much have to stick to normal/easy unless you're a masochist. Also, yeah, realistically, the AI in most games that aren't real time strategy games are usually at their smartest on all difficulty settings, but additional options are the ideal.

Edited by Bartimaeus

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I'm playing Gothic 3 with mods, now that I am done with the second game and its expansion.

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Two games where I remember the A.I being exceptionally well are F.E.A.R and Half-Life: Opposing Force.

F.E.A.R. was the first time an ai impressed me. It was the first mission and I'm at a garage. I can hear patrols outside so I do a couple of pot shots to lure them in the door. Instead I was caught with my pants down when 2 came to the door and "distracted" me while 3 other went around the building and came up from behind in 2 different directions and spanked me. I was floored because I never saw ai in a game before that was actually good....sadly I haven't seen many games years since that I can say the same. I think I might reinstall the game and try it again. Damn that was a really good game.

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I don't know why, but Uncharted 1's AI has always impressed me, then it gets dumb again in 2. Enemies also become bullet sponges in 2.

 

Perfect example of two games in the same series of a good difficulty setting with good AI, and the exact wrong way to do things.

 

One reason why AI hasn't really improved much is because all the games assets still need updated on the CPU, even though things are rendered out on the GPU. So FEAR landed in the perfect Era of high-computational power but graphically moderate, so they had a lot of overhead for the AI.

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Bullet sponge enemies are one of my biggest pet peeves.  I have flat out given up on many a game for the sole reason of bullet sponge enemies.  Increasing enemy health to ludicrous proportions might be the laziest way of increasing "challenge" in a game.  All it increases for me is tedium.

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Bullet sponge enemies are one of my biggest pet peeves.  I have flat out given up on many a game for the sole reason of bullet sponge enemies.  Increasing enemy health to ludicrous proportions might be the laziest way of increasing "challenge" in a game.  All it increases for me is tedium.

 

Yup.  Enemies should be difficult because they offer a challenge due to their powers/abilities/adaptability, not because they stand out in the open but require you to shoot them a million times because their health bar takes up half the screen.


"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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Difficulty settings seem really hard to balance out for broad audiences, without the use of individual mods for individual tastes. I've seen lots of discussions on difficulty and "how to" do them but none of them sound very good for wide audience utility or even implementation. Most of the time suggestions are somewhat to very niche, as well, if that makes sense.

 

Bullet sponges/player damage reduction - some types of grinders don't mind them very much, others hate them with a passion. I'm kind of in the middle - depends very much on the type of game and how much sponge the result really is. What I've come to dislike is when there is a dodge mechanic but the enemies don't have any "tells" or the tells are so short they may as well not exist anyway.

 

I think game dev's should always include some basic sliders and a few checkboxes that relate to difficulty. There would be a single default position for all of them, of course (Normal), but instead of Easy/Hard/Insane etc you'd instead mix/match those sliders to where you want them. Enemy Dmg, Enemy Health, Player Dmg/Health, Friendly Fire/Not, and so on. I see plenty of games do this in some form so even that basic level of customization doesn't seem like it'd be that hard to implement.

Edited by LadyCrimson

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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^ Want to add that such sliders wouldn't work for every single game in existence. Just that it (seems) to be a simple solution for action/combat heavy games and/or general audience use. There is always room for games that are supposed to be very hard by design/choice, or very relaxing layabouts, for example. But if every game was like Dark Souls or some mobile-web-toon game I would never buy another game. :p


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I think game dev's should always include some basic sliders and a few checkboxes that relate to difficulty. There would be a single default position for all of them, of course (Normal), but instead of Easy/Hard/Insane etc you'd instead mix/match those sliders to where you want them. Enemy Dmg, Enemy Health, Player Dmg/Health, Friendly Fire/Not, and so on. I see plenty of games do this in some form so even that basic level of customization doesn't seem like it'd be that hard to implement.

yep, that's pretty much what I was mentioning wanting in my original post. alas, it seems as though we will likely be stuck with mediocre difficulty settings in perpetuity.

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Eh, so I battled through the entire game but the trench run is glitchy on Canoe. TIE attacks coming from the sides are overlayed by the Death Star trench, rendering them invisible until they smash into my shields.

 

Guess that means as far as I'm concerned I managed to finish the game, the trench run was always only more of a formality anyway. Ah well.

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I played a little Hitman Absolution, but I switched to INSIDE. I like it. The only part that frustrated me so far is when I'm in a line with the zombified folks and have to play that mini-game of Simon Says. I prefer it when my guy can just run, dodging light zappers and fleeing dogs. Puzzles have been very simple so far. I guess the water one took me the most time to figure, but that was still only a couple of minutes. It did, however, show me what to do with the red hatch when I came to it in the next section. I haven't played a platform jumper in a long time. The last one was Deadlight and the main character in that *always* gave me the eebie jeebies. Kind of a depressing game. Not that INSIDE isn't a little on the dark, dreary, and depressing side, but at least the main character is more sympathetic.


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Watched Twitch folk play the Monster Hunt World beta. After playing Comrades, I may buy this game, looks kinda fun and looks great. Never played any of the previous Monster Hunters. AND, I think if you play single-player you get an anthropomorphic sentient cat companion, which of course, major bonus points.

 

MH-World_Official_09-22-17_017.jpg

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Two games where I remember the A.I being exceptionally well are F.E.A.R and Half-Life: Opposing Force. 

 

FEAR's AI is great and its combat barks are still the best for maintaining atmosphere even a decade+ later as well. The AI in FEAR is extensively scripted rather than being 'proper' AI though- if it were proper AI its system would surely have been used extensively in other games, and that is also why you can break the AI system in some encounters if you get somewhere they aren't programmed to respond to properly. FEAR is also a very linear game with set piece battles despite giving the illusion of freedom, which helps immensely in making the AI believable. Its system would not work properly in a more flexible setting. OTOH it ought to be flexible enough to set up different behaviours with different difficulty levels.

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Watched Twitch folk play the Monster Hunt World beta. After playing Comrades, I may buy this game, looks kinda fun and looks great. Never played any of the previous Monster Hunters. AND, I think if you play single-player you get an anthropomorphic sentient cat companion, which of course, major bonus points.

 

MH-World_Official_09-22-17_017.jpg

Melynx and Felynes are a staple of the Monster Hunter series, you can pretty much count on meeting a bunch of them in the next game.\

 

I started playing Watch_Dogs 2.  Early going so far, but I'm having fun.  If nothing else, Marcus is a way better protagonist than the first game's protagonist.  Of course, that's not exactly a high bar to clear, given that Aiden ranks quite high on the list of least likable video game protagonists.  I'm doing my best to play the game as non-violent as possible.  I won't even 3D print any weapons, outside of stun guns and other non-lethal gadgets, unless the game absolutely forces me to.  I don't want to be a commando, I want to be a nerdy hacker who uses stealth and gadgets to get the job done.  Hopefully the game doesn't force me to mow people down with assault rifles.

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Finished Dishonored 2 with Emily. I tried not to kill anyone, but apparently a couple people did die from untimely accidents. That being said, it was a great playthrough and I enjoyed the challenge of not using any magic.

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I've knocked people out and had them fall to theirs deaths or drown. I've gotten to be super careful about it. I guess I'll have to get Dishonored 2 after I finish INSIDE.


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Finished Dishonored 2 with Emily. I tried not to kill anyone, but apparently a couple people did die from untimely accidents. That being said, it was a great playthrough and I enjoyed the challenge of not using any magic.

 

That happened to me when I played through as Emily.  I didn't use lethal on a single enemy, but apparently one that I hit with a sleeping dart fell over a ledge and died, ruining my perfect ghost playthrough.


"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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One guy fell on some wooden planks or something was falling down on him after I used one of them fancy knockout grenades. I thought, well.. sheeeeeet, and then went on with life.


"only when you no-life you can exist forever, because what does not live cannot die."

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In the Daud xpac, I used a stun mine on one of the witches and she fell into the water. I don't think the fall killed her, but she was floating face down in the drink when I noticed she was dead. Saving allows the player to see what's going on and that makes it easier to figure out the exact sequence. Blood Money is harder in that regard. Harder to inadvertently kill someone, but harder in trial and error when there's no save for the mission. My favorite (and most hated) Blood Money level is the river boat. Seven targets, no detection and only 'accidental' deaths. Ugh. Fun times, my brothers!


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One guy fell on some wooden planks or something was falling down on him after I used one of them fancy knockout grenades. I thought, well.. sheeeeeet, and then went on with life.

 

Pretty much the same thing happened to me while playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the first time.  All that hard work went to nothing because some dude fell off the ledge while he was unconscious 


Katphood on PSN, Steam & Xbox Live

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Finished INSIDE. I enjoyed the game immensely. However, I only started my serious run ~1100 yesterday, had time to do chores and go out to dinner with wife and friends, came back to finish, and it's all over. I don't regret it. Certainly as good as a movie and, at $20, it was worth the price, but the ending certainly left something to be desired. Nothing was explained at all. The platforming was good. A lot of fun and I'll probably play again to see what other stuff I can find, but I think they should make things make more sense. Even if the ending is bad, at least make it clear as to what it means or drop more breadcrumbs. Still, it was a great romp for cheap and I'll have to look into it again after I finish Dishonored 2.

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