Theukon-dos

Let's talk about the difficulty curve.

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Baark0    981

This game is hard to have a difficulty curve for, considering the most dangerous area of the game can be accessed by day 2 with a little luck. Let's go back to Hollow Knight real quick: the game, while somewhat open world, still lockes the player from going too far without abilities; you can't get into fungal wastes/fog canyon without dash, can't get into the City of Tears without the wall jump, can't get to Traitor lord without the dash upgrade, etc. Now look at DST; there's no such ability system or areas that require a certain item to go to, the only places that do something similar to this are the caves (requiring a light source) and the ocean (requiring a boat). All biomes can be accessed with the same equipment, so having things scale in difficulty can really only be done by time survived in a world. This would be a good way to introduce a difficulty curve, except for the fact things more or less stop scaling past day 100, which is only like a little over 14-15 hours of gameplay (I think).

If Klei wants the game to be harder, the best way of doing that would be to make the world get harder and harder the longer you survive. If I've survived 1600+ days, there should be more threats than a Deerclops every winter, a Bearger every autumn (except oopsies you can just leave him in some far off place and never deal with him again), 7-10 hounds every couple of days, and a midly angered Antlion every summer.

But yeah as Guille said mods and self imposed restrictions are the way to go to make a game more fun/harder. Take a look at pokemon nuzlockes, by limiting the amount of pokemon you can catch per playthrough, you suddenly have to strategise and plan out your fights, or risk running out of pokemon and losing.

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minespatch    89210
1 minute ago, Baark0 said:

Let's go back to Hollow Knight real quick: the game, while somewhat open world, still lockes the player from going too far without abilities;

In the short inevitable, the treeguards can spawn trees at will. Makes me wonder if that could be explored in the game?

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Mantispidae    162

On one hand, guaranteeing some sort of set piece- especially ones with "high value" items like fridges can potentially be a bit /too/ soft a start, and with RNG they add a hard find, but a big boon if you happen across them. I know for me and my friends, who range from "good" to "i just want to sit in base and make meatballs" getting to the point of a fridge and crockpot can be its own hassle, and that's part of the game. 

I do think DST could benefit from the set piece suggestion though, they're fun, they're cool, rare ones are exciting and it's always nice to have a leg up. I don't know what sort of creative ones you could potentially implement, but I think custom-coded ones like non-spoiling food in a chest could be potential inclusion for people to play around with. Just have to avoid any "winter trap" type setpieces where you can grief a whole server, but otherwise something like an empty miner hat with some fireflies nearby and a bug net could potentially be a poke in the right direction, kinda like the bathbomb on the moon island. Give people the parts of the puzzle and let them figure out the best way to put them together. You still have to get lucky enough to get those parts, but when you do you get something new to play with. 

To a degree, even as a softer game, Dont starve together is largely about throwing yourself at a wall until you, or a friend, figures their way through it. And I think thats fine- obviously lots of 'veterans' know this game in and out and will have every new boss autofarmed in seconds no matter what you do, and you can't easily make these things brutal for them without making it unfun for the people who like the current state of mostly relaxed learn-and-conquer. 

As for the vet complaint- a big part of it is that DST doesn't really have a progression system. Everything not straight up season-locked is free game at the start, provided you know how to get to it, and that changes little from day 5 to day 200 short of how prepared people usually are. While I don't agree with some of the suggestions of unavoidable difficulty shifts on principle of the surviving too long (no, i do not want to deal with 4 deerclops every winter just because i've been enjoying farming too long), I do think it would be cool to implement some changes to the world that pop up with progression, maybe not full-on 'harder seasons', but I myself played with the idea of certain biomes being subject to seasonal changes randomly following the first year to add variety, like the savannah becoming a non-stop thunderstorm area over spring- while other areas stayed same. Perks for perseverance, even if they aren't game changing. Let people see some new things here and there.

It might be the Constant, but the gameplay doesn't need to be. It also doesn't need to kick you in the knees just because you did a little too good this time around.

Edited by Mantispidae
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Theukon-dos    3271
33 minutes ago, BezKa said:

Tbh, all of me says no. Like, I really don't like the idea. At all. 

But I already learned the game. I won't ever experience the "learning wall" in this one. I think the experience is very enjoyable and strapping new players of that would be taking away the fun. 

On the other hand, DS isn't changing. I personally played DS first, when I bought both games intending to play with friends. I don't know if people share the sentiment of playing the original first, but who knows. I don't know what's better for new players. For me it was a breath of fresh air, to not be led by hand and explained everything. I reveled in the fear of unknown, and took each death as an opportunity to improve. Maybe new players don't need that. Maybe that is the price of popularity. 

Idk, I feel like DST does with compendiums to help organize the amount of information. It's steadily increasing after all, new recipes etc, having some way to keep that info in the game instead of outside notes sounds like a good idea even for people screaming git gud at every chance. But the set pieces you suggested sounds like putting a tutorial for a program hidden in several folders in the zip file. If we're doing tutorials, just put it in one place. Like a starting world. You pick a gamestyle, choose "noob mode", you spawn in a world with health bars, pre-made base and said set pieces. People who don't feel like climbing a wall and chill there. And the fans of falling on their ass every couple minutes can play normal mode. 

Like I said, I really don't know. It feels damn wrong to "soften the curve". I don't want it. I think it takes away the biggest charm of the game. But in the end, it's Klei's decision. 

And modders I guess, who can make a tutorial mod if they want to. 

I do agree that the "Learning Wall" is an important part of the game. But at the same time, Klei has said that they've been moving away from the "Uncompromising" aspect of the original game. So if the game was built to be uncompromising, and the devs are removing that aspect. Then what else can and should be removed?

 

I also disagree that the setpieces would be like your analogy. While we can't really say for sure without an actual system like this being implimented into the game (which, last I checked, Set pieces are an absolute pain to work with). When other games use such a system, it generally feels less like a tutorial and more like a discovery. Finding a mechanic or structure that I didn't know existed and thinking "I can do that?"

 

In addition, The original game and RoG actually does this already; just to a much lesser degree. In those games, you can find set pieces with an ice box, a chest, and a thermometer. The chest contains items for surviving winter (or summer in the desert), and opening it has a large chance of instantly turning the season too winter.

 

Now, these set pieces where cut from DST for... obvious reasons. But the spirit's still there. A set piece with specifically designed to teach players how to survive a season.

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ZombieDupe    312

Your interpretation of the two type of players may work for some, but I'd say I'm both and neither at the same time, kind of like you from the looks of it actually. I have played the game for a significant amount of time and know it well enough to be a "veteran" but I understand newbie struggles and argue in their favor more than asking for challenge (though I would prefer a lot of good and fun challenges, I think at the moment they should be less of a priority than fixing existing faults with game's design). I want the game to be both harder and easier at the same time in different aspects personally for that reason, so thank you for bringing this topic up.

Would also like to bring up the concept of Skill Ceiling and Skill Floor. You may have already described it through some of your discussion about the Difficulty Curve, but I'd like to be a bit more specific about this particular subject. The idea is basically that a well designed game will have a low skill floor and a high skill ceiling, meaning that the game is easy to pick up and start playing and learn through playing but becomes increasingly harder to master as you play as the game keeps challenging your knowledge of it more and more.

If we were to scale the game's Skill Ceiling and Skill Floor on a scale of 0 to 10, it's backwards. By that I mean, the Floor is much higher than the Ceiling. I would personally rank DS/DST's Skill Floor at 9 and Skill Ceiling at 3. Why am I saying this?

Because a new player is almost incapable of learning most fundamentals to progress in the game, so the floor is at around the 9 mark. If a player somehow does learn (through external guidance and help most often), the game becomes almost a walk in the park, which personally sets the ceiling to 3. In other words, game almost impossible at first, but if you seek help and try a little, game is almost too easy.

A game with excellent game design should have that reversed. But a game with this in place is, has, as you described, a Learning Wall, hehe.

 

Regarding setpieces, that's a type of game design that would work more in single player actually. Because in multiplayer those setpieces may already be hammered and resources salvaged by other uncaring players (or griefers) in public games by the time another player reaches that location. There would need to be some way to respawn setpieces if at all possible in some way for some of them if they became an integral part of the learning curve for the multiplayer version of the game. But overall they could be a very great way of teaching the player about the game by interacting with things they never thought about, and they look awesome too.

8 hours ago, HowlVoid said:

The "learning wall" was an enjoyable part of the game for me. I think the game already does a good job at guiding the player secretly.

How was that? Could you describe some aspects of your experience? How did the game "secretly" teach you things? Have you for example ever reached the Fuel Weaver and how did you learn about this boss? If you don't mind sharing, roughly how many hours into the game you have so far also may be useful for understanding your point of view. And I don't think you understand the described idea of a "learning wall". It basically implies you cannot and will not learn most things through gameplay because of the way the game is set up.

 

8 hours ago, BezKa said:

Tbh, all of me says no. Like, I really don't like the idea. At all. 

But I already learned the game. I won't ever experience the "learning wall" in this one. I think the experience is very enjoyable and strapping new players of that would be taking away the fun. 

Lucky for you, but would you stick with the game if you had to go past the "learning wall" again for a tremendously extended period of time, maybe even forever? Maybe spending hundreds of hours trying to get past it via playing for 5 minutes then dying over and over again? Would that be fun for you? Also how did you get past the "learning wall" in the first place? What about other games, would you like to do that for them too, maybe stuck at level 1 for some game for dozens of hours when a "veteran" could breeze through it in 10 minutes?

 

Also I fundamentally disagree with what others appear to perceive as "uncompromising" for the game. If it means "you will keep dying, learn nothing and you will enjoy it" why the hell would that be a good thing? That doesn't sound fun, that sounds like torcher. Personally I think it should refer to the unexpected and weird things that you find in the game, which you can do and still will even if the game's difficulty curve were to fundamentally change. If you even just encounter a strange creature like a Tallbird for example, that's uncompromising in my mind.

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ArubaroBeefalo    11022
13 minutes ago, ZombieDupe said:

How was that? Could you describe some aspects of your experience? How did the game "secretly" teach you things? Have you for example ever reached the Fuel Weaver and how did you learn about this boss? If you don't mind sharing, roughly how many hours into the game you have so far also may be useful for understanding your point of view. And I don't think you understand the described idea of a "learning wall". It basically implies you cannot and will not learn most things through gameplay because of the way the game is set up.

 

Fw is an exception.  The character has quotes and the items has puns in their description to teach you.

Dying teach you to dont repeat what made you die. "Raw monster meat/ red cap kills me". "Pigs respawn if i kill then, full mook transform them" "nightmere cycle and monkeys is a bad combination" "wetness cools me off" "the character says something if im under a tree, might be sun and rain protection" the etc is long

Yes, it was so fun learning the game for me too

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ZombieDupe    312
58 minutes ago, BezKa said:

Yes. That's the point. I would enjoy it. Maybe not forever, because that's impossible, but for a very long time, yes. And I would not spend 5 minutes, then die. I would spend 3 minutes, die, then 5, then 9, and so. Because I have a brain, and I can learn, like any other human. 

How did I get past? The same way everyone else. I tried stuff. Science machine unlocks new stuff and tabs? Better check what's in there and see if I can make anything useful. Magic tab? Same thing. Find pile of dirt? Check it out. Oh, character says Koalephants look delicious. Stab time. I saw that I can make a spear by the machine. Clearly, it's for stabbing alive food. Koalephant attacks once every couple seconds? Let's see how many hits I can fit in. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7- okay not 7. Try 6. Worked. Oh, and look what it is. The trunk used for making clothes I saw back at the machine. But I can eat it too. 

And so on. People are not as stupid as you think they are. 

Almost all of what you outlined sounds awfully a lot like you looked it up in some way, especially the Breezy Vest crafting part. I have never seen anyone learn combat on their own or have any reason to assume that's how it works. You read the forums a lot, that probably influenced your perception of what to do in the game as well, or in other words you provided yourself a form of... external help.

I would also like to know how you play. Public servers or entirely privately, something in-between? Play with friends or people who know the game well?

1 hour ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

Fw is an exception.  The character has quotes and the items has puns in their description to teach you.

Dying teach you to dont repeat what made you die. "Raw monster meat/ red cap kills me". "Pigs respawn if i kill then, full mook transform them" "nightmere cycle and monkeys is a bad combination" "wetness cools me off" "the character says something if im under a tree, might be sun and rain protection" the etc is long

Yes, it was so fun learning the game for me too

Same goes for you...

Fuel Weaver is an exception, hmm... Quotes. That's something I hear every now and then. It is a wider topic to discuss actually, but the short answer is most new people won't read signs, let alone quotes.

Edited by ZombieDupe

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Mike23Ua    11234

I agree with a lot of what you said Op but at the exact same time I DONT agree with all of it.

let me explain what I mean, prior to Klei actually listening to fans who said they needed to put more time and attention into that promising looking menu full of things you can toggle on and off/ more and less over…  (this will be important later but I’ll get back to it in a few minutes)

Players wanted (& some still want) a Progressively difficult world, one that changes and evolves WITH the player as they play the game, now as someone who’s been playing games over 30 years let me explain why wanting something like that in a Single-Player game is fine, but in MULTIPLAYER it can start to become a problem- I’m not going to sugar coat this: I have a lot of Xbox friends who play this game and they each have varying skill trees some can live FOREVER others.. die of Starvation on Day 3 with an inventory full of Birchnuts they didn’t know they could cook on a campfire. I guess you can say I’m that jerk who just sits silently laughing at & enjoying the mistakes my friends made: 
I didn’t have anyone help me learn Solo DS, Why should I suddenly help them with to me what the most important part of the game was: “Figuring things out for myself.”

The problem comes in that if you had a progressively difficult world (again I’ll get back to the menu of toggleable things later) Then you now have the problem of being able to play with those friends of various skill levels- If I’m on Day 1042 and my world has “Progressed with Me” then- HOW am I supposed to play with my friend who still struggled on Day 3??? What am I supposed to do? Delete my world or create a new save so we can play together?

basically what your asking for is a point where you can no longer play the game with friends because X or Y will make it highly unenjoyable for them.. it would be roughly equivalent to playing State of Decay and how each day you’ve stayed alive the zombie outbreak gets worse and worse until eventually you have no choice but to abandon all hope and leave to a new town less infected.

This WAS how I used to feel about DST- But thanks to that menu full of things you can toggle on/off more/less over: It’s no longer how I feel about the game. Thanks to Klei actually listening to people about that menu- I can now play this game with my friend who always died to nightmare creatures and can turn OFF the Nightmare creatures so that friend can have a good time. If I have a friend who wants more of a challenge I can make weather seasons happen at random or I can completely remove noob reliant food sources like butterflies or Ice.

This MENU is being highly overlooked, And it has STILL yet to reach its fullest potential imagine being able to choose if food could heal the player at all or if they had to rely entirely upon the games actual healing tab for heals.. imagine being able to choose how fast or how slowly things burn (the difference between burning a blade of grass in DST and burning it in Hamlet) Imagine having control over things like if frog rain dropped normal frogs or hamlets poison dart frogs.

This Menu IS your Difficulty Curve- this Menu can make the game as easy or as hard as you want it to be… This Menu is being highly overlooked… And it’s because of this Menu’s existence that the game CAN become harder & easier at the exact same time as long as there will always be this menu full of things you can toggle on and off more and less over that gives you control over it.

The TL:DR version of my post is you can now set nightmare monsters to TONS or NONE ….. shouldn’t that set off ideas in someone’s head that hey.. this game can be custom tailored to how much or how little the player feels like suffering today? Case in point- I set my world to cookie cutters set to MORE: As a Solo Player… that was a very BAD IDEA and I’ve lost more boats then I care to admit to.. but I’ve also learned to leave them at default/less or none when playing by myself.

Edited by Mike23Ua

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ArubaroBeefalo    11022
30 minutes ago, ZombieDupe said:

Almost all of what you outlined sounds awfully a lot like you looked it up in some way, especially the Breezy Vest crafting part. I have never seen anyone learn combat on their own or have any reason to assume that's how it works. You read the forums a lot, that probably influenced your perception of what to do in the game as well, or in other words you provided yourself a form of... external help.

I would also like to know how you play. Public servers or entirely privately, something in-between? Play with friends or people who know the game well?

Same goes for you...

Fuel Weaver is an exception, hmm... Quotes. That's something I hear every now and then. It is a wider topic to discuss actually, but the short answer is most new people won't read signs, let alone quotes.

seems like isnt a game for you if you cant see the point. There is games with tutorials for that people you talk about, not everything is made to be mainstream

and yes, what you bring is something for other topic, topic already made by you and was already discussed

Edited by ArubaroBeefalo

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Mike23Ua    11234
23 minutes ago, ZombieDupe said:

-snip-

Again.. there are OPTIONS that make the game as Easy or as Hard as You feel like playing it, if you don’t like dying and losing your worlds- Play on Endless or Wilderness modes.

Endless: Dying makes you a ghost, but you can just float back to the portal and Respawn or have someone else revive you (I play on this mode with my noob friends) most resources Respawn faster, Dead players don’t have any negative impact on gameplay. 
 

Wilderness: Dying you DONT become a ghost at all and instead return to the character selection screen to pick a new character and Respawn in the world somewhere randomly like nothing ever happened.. have fun, die as much as your heart desires!

Survival: Dying makes you a ghost and anyone who becomes a ghost forces every still living player to suffer continuous sanity drain until the ghost leaves the server or gets revived, if All players become a ghost a countdown timer starts for those ghosts to find a method of reviving (such as a one time use resurrection slab) if that timer reaches 0 and no one is revived- the world deletes itself forever. Resources become non-renewable AND some wildlife can even go entirely extinct.

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AlternateMew    924
11 hours ago, Theukon-dos said:

3. Set pieces. 

 

Probably one of the best ways to teach the player things without holding telling them anything. I'd suggest a series of common set pieces be added that teach the player things that would help them. Some of these set pieces could be.

Without reading through all the long, thought-out replies above me, I want to say that I love this idea in particular. It's the perfect compromise of a tutorial without a tutorial. Such set pieces will be useless to experienced players. Just a one-time freebie because why not. But great for new people making world after world and dying constantly, seeing more set pieces and learning more new things. And more setpieces make the world more interesting to explore anyway, even if a particular one is useless to a better player. More spice.

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Hornete    10690
14 minutes ago, HowlVoid said:

but I have been playing since 2005

Do you mean 2015? The game didnt exist til 2013 :-P

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HowlVoid    4349
20 minutes ago, Hornete said:

Do you mean 2015? The game didnt exist til 2013 :-P

Lol yeah, thank you. Heck, even the Wii U didn't exist then.

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