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Reader Comments (4)

Posted: Apr 3rd 2008 8:53AM (Unverified) said

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The problem is that most current MMORPGs are not really difficult... not game mechanic-wise. Combat is fundamentally trivial.

Besides from learning new raid encounters, players are generally not challenged on skill, but on numerical values (gear, level, stats and so on), which equates to 'time spent'.

How does that translate to "Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment"? "Dynamic Time Spent Adjustment"... does it even make sense?

Posted: Apr 3rd 2008 11:07AM Scopique said

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Maybe dynamic adjustment would work if applied in limited amounts. It might actually allow for more replayability in certain areas (like raids). It might actually also allow certain areas which are traditionally reserved for the higher level players (raid areas) to be made accessable to groups of lower level players: adjust the difficulty and drops based on the levels of the participants.

Inherent in this, though, is the "Oblivion Factor": If the difficulty scales with the players, the balance is more important. Either the difficulty will either ALWAYS be just a little more difficult for the player, or will never be difficult enough. That's why you could never have this world-wide.

Posted: Apr 3rd 2008 1:09PM (Unverified) said

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God of War and Devil May Cry are both linear games. If the player can't get past something, that's it; there's no way to see any more of the game. At the casual, non-raiding level in most MMOs there's no requirement that the player kill a particular boss, or complete a certain quest, before progressing. If something is too tough, the player gives up and finds something else to tackle.

And most MMOs with character levels allow the player to set the challenge level, by allowing a slower, safer progression path through green content and a more risky, rewarding path through yellow+ content (using the colors in WoW as an example).

Posted: Apr 3rd 2008 5:31PM (Unverified) said

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Personally I think that mmos should not have any difficulty sliders in them, one of the key features of mmorpgs when leveling is picking your battles.
I'm sure everyone remembers after grinding rats in their first mmo the moment when they thought "I want to kill the big things now" and went running off to some crazy zone to try their hand at the more challenging content.
With me it was level 5 in wow, i got on the zepplin from undercity to STV and jumped off into a pack of raptors... needless to say i died in a matter of seconds and was motivated to become stronger then those raptors.
Now imagine if wow had a difficulty slider... I could simply turn the raptors down to critter level and kill them without even trying, no doubt i would have done.
But that would have robbed me of the feeling of fighting to become better then the raptors now wouldn't it? I would have simply been grinding mindlessly with no purpose and no challenge.
That is why I think difficulty sliders have no place in mmorpgs.

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