Difficulty of single-player computer games


  • Admin

    Hey folks,

    I was wondering about the difficulty setting you usually play single-player computer games at. If you can also explain why that'd be swell!

    This probably doesn't apply to multiplayer stuff at all, but if you want to include your thoughts on competitive online gaming that's on topic for this thread.


  • Pitcrew

    For me it is simple I do not change the preset difficulty so that ends up being normal.
    If i got game that was already pre-set hard or easy I would likely leave it there.
    On a rare occasion I will lower the difficulty if I am totally stuck but more often in that case I just set the game aside and move on to the next one, I only change difficulty like that if I am near the end and really want ot see the end of the story.
    The exception to this is sport games or fighting games, those I tend to start on easy to get the hang of the controls then up the diff as I need to so the game presents a challenge.



  • I always go with hard, and if I hit an impossible impasse I drop it down a notch. I play for the challenge and the mechanics more than the story, usually. Story-players likely stick with difficulty settings that let them immerse themselves better.

    There's nothing like beating a tough game on a hard setting without killing anyone though, like on Dishonored or Deus Ex. Super satisfying.



  • Depends on the game.

    If it's more story-driven, I err towards the easier side of the spectrum (though normal difficulty is usually fine) as I don't want to be without story just because I can't beat the Firey Thresher Maws of Doom or whatever.
    If it's a strategy game (big fan of Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV, for instance) I turn the difficulty way, way up. Because I hate myself and want to see what happens.


  • Coder

    I have read somewhere that 'Normal' is normally the mean-coded difficulty for the story/system/whatever, meaning that it is the difficulty that the developers built to. Anything softer or harder is just tweaking spawn rates, damage amounts, Hitpoints of NPCs, etc. In a rare few games, the NPCs actually use different, smarter AI (searching, following, finding, guessing and even to the point of combat tactics such as pinch maneuvers and flushing) but those are very rare and mostly in the military sim arena.


  • Pitcrew

    Won't lie. I go with Easy. Sometimes Normal, but I play to relax. Like video games are where I go to kick back, shut my brain off, and just forget work/school. I don't ant no goddamn difficulty.



  • @Auspice Amen to that. The super hardcore "broz" (it's almost invariably persons identifying as men) that belittle playing anything but OMGNO difficulty are... well. Broz.


  • Coder

    Eh, I have different experiences.

    It is very rare that I run into any 'men' that are self-identified gamers ('serious' PC/Console versus someone who plays games on their phone). Most of the 'Broz' that I run into are teenaged kids focusing their lives into this one little area of interaction where they can be someone other than whom their classmates see day-to-day. Oddly, I know more women/mother gamers due to children than fathers that are gamers. I have more game-related conversations with those mothers than I meet any fathers that don't immediately scoff at games as a complete waste of time.

    Then again, I live in a small rural area, not a metropolitan area where these stereotypes wildly differ.



  • @Rook When I say men I mean 'persons of any age that identify as but may not biologically be male'.

    That said, most of the time I'm having conversations that revolve around the idea of hardcore or go home with self-identified adults. And I live in the developed world's personal 'rural' area, Australia.


  • Coder

    @Auspice said in Difficulty of single-player computer games:

    Won't lie. I go with Easy. Sometimes Normal, but I play to relax. Like video games are where I go to kick back, shut my brain off, and just forget work/school. I don't ant no goddamn difficulty.

    Ditto. I'll play Normal if the game is inherently easy. Otherwise, Easy.


  • Admin

    How do you guys feel when a game offers both single- and multi-player modes? Are you feeling the urge to compete in ladders?


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said in Difficulty of single-player computer games:

    How do you guys feel when a game offers both single- and multi-player modes? Are you feeling the urge to compete in ladders?

    Newp. Largely because of the time devoted. Competitive matches in League, for example, averaged 45-60 minutes whereas non-ladder (Player vs AI) generally ran me 20-40.

    Doing one single thing for an hour straight is hard on me. I don't know how some of you do it.



  • @Arkandel I play games for the single-player.

    If I am "manipulated" into buying what is ostensibly a single-player game and it turns out the single-player options are either limited or clearly tacked-on afterwards... I get annoyed. I rarely, if ever, play multi-player due in part to the fact, as I've said before, I play games for the story over anything else. I'm not there to be challenged, or to compete. I'm there to enjoy myself. I don't like sports, but I like reading, for lack of a better analogy.


  • Admin

    @Auspice said in Difficulty of single-player computer games:

    Doing one single thing for an hour straight is hard on me. I don't know how some of you do it.

    That's how I felt about raiding on WoW.

    Although I had 3-4 hours to spare a few nights a week it was impossible to do it straight. When my dog wants out she wants out. If the dishes are sitting in the sink something needs to be done before I go to bed; as much as I'm nostalgic about chasing progress - one of my fondest memories is going out to a McDonalds after we finally downed Princess Huhuran after she took us like, 4 resets to kill - that's no longer possible for me.

    Also I suck at FPS. So much suck.



  • Amen to that, on both counts. I have only so many hours in the day - between children, work, and other real-life commitments... I don't have time to wait around for people to be ready for a five hour raid.

    RP being different, of course. I'm not always expected to act every second of a scene. If I need to pee, I can pee. If I need to let the dogs out/in I can do that. If the child pops up and demands attention 90% of people would understand.


  • Admin

    @Tinuviel Even back when I had next to no responsibilities (just a gf, who raided with me) it was hard to keep up with the hardcore players. What do you mean we'll only raid four times a week? What will I do with the other 3 nights?! What, give up after only 4 hours? The boss was at 40%, we were making progress, come ON!

    ... Then the hardcorest of the hardcores would leave and form another guild which just meant we lost a geared main tank and three good healers... there we go again into the recruiting cycle.


  • Pitcrew

    Exactly, with the RP. You can do things as you RP.
    Play a MOBA and... anything else? Nope. Raid and anything else? Nope.

    That's why multiplayer games that aren't like, quick matches are out for me, for the most part.



  • @Arkandel Aye, I remember those halcyon days of yore. Now, even when playing with other adults that work the same hours I do it's very... ugh. I have three hours, give or take, from when child goes to bed to when I have to go to bed. I also have things I need to do in that time.

    This is why I have over a hundred hours in Andromeda, for example. Single-player (with multi-player forays, I was curious, please don't hate me) that I can pause, or stop, and come back to as needed.


  • Coder

    RE: Multiplayer - used to. A decade or so ago, when my evenings were gaming time (had an ex-wife who was also a gamer, it was our life). Not today. I don't even look at MP games on Steam if they don't offer a SP experience. I don't game in the evenings anymore, which really takes away a large chunk of devotable time.

    In addition, the MP mentality that I ran into on several games (played Clancy's Seige for a while) was just anti-social-driving crap.



  • I start on Normal, and switch to Easy if it's too time-consuming.
    See, I have a job, a girlfriend, and other hobbies. I don't have time to keep grinding against high difficulty stuff. Would it be cool to be a 40th level Dancemaster? Sure, I guess. But it would be cooler to be a Gamemaster with 40th level players at my table every Saturday (when I get a house... soon... ish).


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