The Sekiro Accessibility Debate

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  1. Post
    #1

    The Sekiro Accessibility Debate

    Has anyone been following this? This all started when people on twitter and social media said Sekiro should have an easy mode. And now a bunch of game developers like Cory Barlog have chimed in.

    https://twitter.com/corybarlog/statu...81813296259072

    Accessibility has never and will never be a compromise to my vision.
    Whats your take on this? Should games like Sekiro cater to the casuals or do you feel that having an easy mode would compromise the developers vision?

  2. Post
    #2
    Im not a great player, and struggle with quite a few games, some I am able to learn and overcome, others I am not able to, and I will stop playing, as there is no enjoyment for me there even if I get close, that hour or more of intense suffering is not worth the few minutes of feel good accomplishment I get, as usually thats a tipping point of the game too, its not suddenly going to ge easier after scraping past that previous point, and ill drop the game

    in this specific game and case, the game itself does not interest me at all, so it doesnt concern me, though If I was interested in the game, and saw that people were having difficulty issues, I would have avoided it, because if other people, other much higher skilled players are having trouble, I dont stand a chance, but the "Git Gud" group of players are just a pain in the ass, as they will just parrot that, without contributing helpful discussion, or even providing advice at all to those struggling, just sneering on the sidelines, and hiding the fact that a chunk of the "git gud" group, buy and use hacks and trainers as it is, playing through their own "hollow experience" as they tell everyone not to budge as it will do exactly that, apparently

    But personally, if I am playing a game that is difficult for the sake of it, or has difficulty that I personally cannot overcome even if I try and "git gud" then I will drop the game without hesitation, im not a great player, and I dont want to get angry, or suffer, or be miserable when having my evening outlet to get away from a day of misery in any case

  3. Post
    #3
    Valeyard wrote:
    Whats your take on this? Should games like Sekiro cater to the casuals or do you feel that having an easy move would compromise the developers vision?
    I'm with the latter. There's a shitload of easier games out there that casuals can play instead. I'm not the best at these games but I enjoy the challenge & trying to git gud. I don't want every game to hold my hand & care about my feelings lol.

    I don't think most casuals would even really care about these From games even if there was an easy mode.

    The main appeal of these games is the difficulty & challenging your skills as a gamer.

    I don't think devs should compromise their artistic vision. Like when artists make paintings they don't worry if everyone can understand them. People get them or they dont.

    Same with books. Not everyone will understand them but that doesn't mean the author has to go back & write a dumbed down version that everyone can understand lol.
    Last edited by Ins0mn1ac; 9th April 2019 at 2:31 pm.

  4. Post
    #4
    Ins0mn1ac wrote:
    I'm with the latter. There's a shitload of easier games out there that casuals can play instead. I'm not the best at these games but I enjoy the challenge & trying to git gud. I don't want every game to hold my hand & care about my feelings lol.

    I don't think most casuals would even really care about these From games even if there was an easy mode.

    The main appeal of these games is the difficulty & challenging your skills as a gamer.

    I don't think devs should compromise their artistic vision. Like when artists make paintings they don't worry if everyone can understand them. People get them or they dont.

    Same with books. Not everyone will understand them but that doesn't mean the author has to go back & write a dumbed down version that everyone can understand lol.

    I do agree with the git gud sentiment to a certain point there is certainly a sense of satisfaction after spending hours figuring out how to beat a boss and finally understanding the mechanics and cracking it so to speak. But part of me also thinks that its not that difficult to include an easy mode either. The hardcore players will still crank up the difficulty anyway. Why not offer both?

  5. Post
    #5
    Valeyard wrote:
    I do agree with the git gud sentiment to a certain point there is certainly a sense of satisfaction after spending hours figuring out how to beat a boss and finally understanding the mechanics and cracking it so to speak. But part of me also thinks that its not that difficult to include an easy mode either. The hardcore players will still crank up the difficulty anyway. Why not offer both?
    Yeah true I wouldn't have a huge problem with them having an easy mode but isn't it good having niche games that not everyone can beat? If From games had an easy mode what would separate their games from the rest of the pack?

    Do you think casuals would even care about these games in the 1st place if they had an easy mode? Most of them would just stick to playing Ass Creed, CoD & all the other big mainstream games.

    The whole marketing around From Software games is based on the difficulty. If they have an easy mode they will just turn into your typical generic mainstream games that just try to cater to the masses.

    I think if they introduce an easy mode they would lose a lot of hardcore veterans without really attracting any casuals since they probably don't care in the first place.

    Instead of an easy mode they could lower the difficulty a little bit but still keep them harder than your average game.
    Last edited by Ins0mn1ac; 9th April 2019 at 3:00 pm.

  6. Post
    #6
    Accessibility is a cancer on hardcore gaming experiences. People need to get good or get out.

    This conversation reminds me too much of politics, just let people do their thing and if you don't like it move on. No need to get the rabble roused and start a hate campaign because something isn't the way you like it.

    A huge part of the allure of From Software games is the difficulty which is in place to provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction like no other. There are only a few times when I feel the adrenaline rush of gaming, one of those is winning a BR after an intense journey and the other is overcoming a seemingly impossible boss in either a From game or raiding in an MMO after hours of work.

    Gamers who aren't good at games have an ocean of easy crapware available to them (most games ever released).

  7. Post
    #7
    As long as it isn't "cheap" difficulty i.e. the computer doesn't cheat or spam you with sheer numbers.

    Also there must be good controls and camera -if half of the difficulty is due to controller lag or dying from something you couldn't see that isn't fair.

    Otherwise I think it is fine to have hard games. Personally I am not a fan of having pinpoint timing and precision to win but that is only because I don't have the time to spend developing it.

  8. Post
    #8
    Nah, I'm all for harder games. Thing is, these games are generally not hard just for the sake of it, and take time to learn the ins and outs of combat and once it clicks it feels so good.

  9. Post
    #9
    I reckon just leave the hard as nails games alone. I'm a pretty low level gamer myself but I don't put down a game or moan and groan about a game being too hard. There's heaps of games to choose from nowadays. I honestly don't care about the debate. I just get games that look interesting to me.

  10. Post
    #10
    In my eyes, the best element of Sekiro is the depth of it's mechanics and high skill ceiling positioned against it's high level of difficulty. Outside of those things, it's not a particularly spectacular game. There's so many games around where you can grind to get stronger or just switch to a lower difficulty in order to push ahead. Instead, Sekiro forces all of it's players through the same gauntlet without discrimination. Sekiro has even less ways to work around a difficult challenge than Dark Souls did. With Dark Souls, you could level up, find better gear, summon other players or find a way to cheese the boss. Sekiro is a lot more restrictive in that regard and the only way forward is generally to improve as a player, expand your knowledge of the games mechanics, experiment with new strategies, improve your skills etc. And that, to me, is the entire point of Sekiro. To add an easy mode would be to undermine the entire purpose of the game and would be for people to miss the reason why so many people love the game to begin with. And when you consider that a majority of todays games are extremely accessible to all skill levels and barely enough of them offer ways to increase the challenge for those who desire it, Sekiro is a rare breed and a special treat for those gamers wanting a challenge - in fact, it's a love letter to those specific people and isn't really intended for anybody else.

    I'm not opposed to optional accessibility in video games but Sekiro is just not the game for it. If the game is too hard for you to enjoy and you don't want to take the time to learn it and become better at it, you're just not the target audience for it. I'm sorry to say that, but that's just how it is. Not every game has to cater to everybody. DiRT Rally is another example. People coming from the mainline DiRT series got slapped clean across the face by this game and that was entirely the point. It was a more challenging, more realistic, more hardcore rally experience for the more hardcore demographic of rally gaming fans. And just like with Sekiro, adding an easy mode to DiRT Rally would defeat the entire purpose of the games existence.

    It's like someone who hates scary movies watching a scary movie whose entire claim to fame was how scary it was and then complaining that it's way too scary and they should make a less scary cut of the movie so they can watch it. If that's the case, it's just not intended for you. Watch something that DOES cater to you rather than complain about the stuff that doesn't.
    Last edited by Xev; 9th April 2019 at 6:52 pm.

  11. Post
    #11
    Difficulty != accessibility. Scrub game journalists are now infanticiling disabled people, using them as a shield to try to shame From Software into putting in an Easy Mode.

    From should make games how they like. Exclusion is ALWAYS a valid design choice. Not every game has to be for everyone. Eg I don't like MOBAs and sports games, I just don't play them and move on with my day.

  12. Post
    #12
    EvaUnit02 wrote:
    Difficulty != accessibility. Scrub game journalists are now infanticiling disabled people, using them as a shield to try to shame From Software into putting in an Easy Mode.

    From should make games how they like. Exclusion is ALWAYS a valid design choice. Not every game has to be for everyone. Eg I don't like MOBAs and sports games, I just don't play them and move on with my day.
    But couldn't adding an easy mode open the door for a wider audience? And even potentially add some more replay value? If a casual played it on easy and enjoyed it they might be more inclined to crank up the difficulty on a second play through.

  13. Post
    #13
    Valeyard wrote:
    But couldn't adding an easy mode open the door for a wider audience? And even potentially add some more replay value? If a casual played it on easy and enjoyed it they might be more inclined to crank up the difficulty on a second play through.
    ^This. An easy difficulty mode doesn't have to be a compromise to anyone's vision - people who want to play the game to be the way the developer wanted it to be played can simply ignore it. You can have it both ways.

    Take Assassin's creed Odyssey for example, you can tweak the level scaling so you're OP against people at a lower level than you, or you can have it so that enemies are the same level as you the whole way through, or you can leave it at the default 'the way the developer intended' setting. Nothing wrong with choice.

    From should make games how they like. Exclusion is ALWAYS a valid design choice. Not every game has to be for everyone. Eg I don't like MOBAs and sports games, I just don't play them and move on with my day.
    Both genres you quoted there already have systems in place for people of different skill levels i.e. matchmaking for MP and difficulty select for SP.

  14. Post
    #14
    Valeyard wrote:
    But couldn't adding an easy mode open the door for a wider audience? And even potentially add some more replay value? If a casual played it on easy and enjoyed it they might be more inclined to crank up the difficulty on a second play through.
    Wrong. Trying to appeal to everyone and you'll end up appealing to no one. From Software Souls-esque games started off as niche appeal middle-market titles and have organically become popular. The people who flocked to the series like it for what it is. They've their reputation because they provide a very specific, singular experience. Take that away and it loses its identity, i.e. what the vast majority of the audience played them for in the first place.

    Eg see Dead Space. The first two games made good money for what they were (niche, medium budget survival horror games). However EA wanted ALL OF THE MONEY, hence they forced Visceral to make DS3 into an all out action, co-op game to get the normie dollar (co-op action games were all the rage back then). The game tanked because the series' identity was gone, the core audience whom you rely upon had been alienated. The fairweather casual market who EA were chasing were already happy with CoD, Gears, Battlefield, Halo, etc.

  15. Post
    #15
    Yep, completely agree about dead space 3, I couldn't even bring myself to finish it

  16. Post
    #16
    as example of Devs caving in to the scrub crowd and ending up with a game which lacks substance for both hard core and casuals is WoW. The top % is still too difficult to the casuals despite the constant dumbing down and all the hard core players left in boredom.

  17. Post
    #17
    WoW is horrific for it.

  18. Post
    #18
    These arguments are ridiculous. Adding options doesn't compromise anything. Character action games have been able to provide high skill cap, high difficulty experiences for decades while including easy modes for those who want them.

    How is it that Capcom can achieve the best of both worlds with DMC, and Platinum games with pretty much every game they have ever developed, but vaunted developer FromSoft would suddently just suck if they added difficulty options?

    Give me a break. I love hard games, but there is no good counter argument here other than juvenile elitism.

  19. Post
    #19
    Celticknife wrote:
    These arguments are ridiculous. Adding options doesn't compromise anything. Character action games have been able to provide high skill cap, high difficulty experiences for decades while including easy modes for those who want them.

    How is it that Capcom can achieve the best of both worlds with DMC, and Platinum games with pretty much every game they have ever developed, but vaunted developer FromSoft would suddently just suck if they added difficulty options?

    Give me a break. I love hard games, but there is no good counter argument here other than juvenile elitism.
    It's because that's what FromSoftware games are known form their difficulty.

    There is something to that sense of accomplishment that can’t be replaced. Anything to dilute that experience is uninteresting to me.

    Would be like completing a marathon, but riding in a vehicle for 2/3’s of it. Then saying I "completed" a marathon. Beating a boss/game on anything less than standard full strength is diluted and uninspiring, IMO

  20. Post
    #20
    Celticknife wrote:
    How is it that Capcom can achieve the best of both worlds with DMC, and Platinum games with pretty much every game they have ever developed, but vaunted developer FromSoft would suddently just suck if they added difficulty options?
    Devil May Cry is a good example. What is it known for? What is it's identity? It's not for being outrageously challenging, even though it can be. Even without the higher difficulties, Devil May Cry thrives on fun combat mechanics, great graphics, a unique story and the promise of more wacky wahoo pizza-man adventures. It can stand on it's own. Sekiro, without the unique and unrelenting challenge leaves what is overall a fairly average hack n slash. From Software's strength as a developer, the entire reason they're well known and their legacy is the level of challenge their games pose. It's the talking piece of their games. That's what got them famous and rich in the first place. Why would they compromise that? Why would they cave to the whims of gaming at large when they've got such a good thing going? There are so many great examples of developers doing just that and failing spectacularly. Some examples in this thread being Dead Space and World of Warcraft - the latter example is one of the core reasons why WoW Classic is a thing.

    Black Plague*** wrote:
    It's because that's what FromSoftware games are known form their difficulty.

    There is something to that sense of accomplishment that can’t be replaced. Anything to dilute that experience is uninteresting to me.

    Would be like completing a marathon, but riding in a vehicle for 2/3’s of it. Then saying I "completed" a marathon. Beating a boss/game on anything less than standard full strength is diluted and uninspiring, IMO
    This. Saying you've completed Sekiro is much less of an achievement when you can flip a switch and make it a cakewalk. It's a rite of passage. But with an easy mode, what sets it apart from everything else on the market right now? And besides, people would play it on easy mode and realise 'this game isn't very good'. Because the magic of the game lies in the depths of it's mechanics and how it will actively force you to learn them and utilise them. All that goes out the window when there's no real reason to use them because you can progress just fine on a lower difficulty without them. Like I've said in my previous post, I'm not opposed to easy modes, but Sekiro is just not the game for it. It's a love letter to gamers who want a more challenging experience and there's so so few games that provide that as well as Sekiro does. To add an easy mode would entirely undermine that.

  21. Post
    #21
    Black Plague*** wrote:
    It's because that's what FromSoftware games are known form their difficulty.

    There is something to that sense of accomplishment that can’t be replaced. Anything to dilute that experience is uninteresting to me.

    Would be like completing a marathon, but riding in a vehicle for 2/3’s of it. Then saying I "completed" a marathon. Beating a boss/game on anything less than standard full strength is diluted and uninspiring, IMO
    But how does adding in a lower difficulty take away from your achievement? It doesn't. Its just another way to play the same game.

  22. Post
    #22
    The entire Dark Souls trilogy was marketed based on their difficulty, FFS. The vanilla PC version was called the "Prepare to Die Edition". The identity which FromSoft Miyazaki hack and slash games have had since they became popular has been about providing a specific challenge.

    Superman may've hopped leaped around in his early days, but the image of which cemented in the public's conciousness was one of a Superman who flies.

  23. Post
    #23
    ^This. The whole appeal of these games is the difficulty & what attracted people to play it in the first place. Take that away & you just have another third person action game that doesn't really stand out from the crowd.

    There are thousands of games out there that cater to casuals. Why can't there be few that cater strictly to hardcore fans? Not everything has to be for everyone.

    At the moment I'm getting my ass handed to me on this game but I'm not crying & blaming the game for being too hard. I'm just trying to learn from my deaths & slowly get better & better.

  24. Post
    #24
    Valeyard wrote:
    But how does adding in a lower difficulty take away from your achievement? It doesn't. Its just another way to play the same game.
    it does not but what it does is dilutes the experience the Developer wants. Not every experience should be given to anyone who wants it, some mountains are higher than others. If you cannot put the time in or just cannot, then you cannot.

  25. Post
    #25
    Ins0mn1ac wrote:
    There are thousands of games out there that cater to casuals. Why can't there be few that cater strictly to hardcore fans? Not everything has to be for everyone.
    Exactly. And while a lot of games have hard modes, many of them are not particularly challenging and many more are poorly balanced for it (eg: enemies become bullet sponges).

    For those gamers looking for a real challenge, the choices aren't great. Not a lot caters to us. Then a game that does comes along and the unwashed masses whinge that it doesn't cater to them. Welcome to how we feel most of the time. Rather than compromise something that we love, let us have this and go and play something that does cater to you. (And yes, adding an easy mode absolutely would compromise it. See my previous posts as well as many posts from others in this thread explaining why)