|Decline of the OUCH-factor?|
Posted by a fellow gamenerd of mine this morning. While his post was mostly directed at video games on console, there’s essentially no difference of platform here and none between offline and online games either. Never have these media been closer than today, if not even multi-platform.
Game difficulty is a tough nut to crack, especially from a historical point of view – what was really harder about old games vs. what was simply broken? Are today’s games challenging in other ways maybe or should we admit that they had to become easier in order to motivate and appeal to a wider mainstream audience? After all, what good is a game that only a handful of players have the nerve to beat?
As for MMORPGs, the question is roughly the same and so are the factors to be taken into account. Have they become too popular and too polished to be hard(-core)? If so, is there a limit to how far this should go?
There is still a strong belief among some players that more than for other games, MMOs allow the player to create his own adventure and find his own challenges; personally, I find this a rather weak point when I look at today’s MMO tops. It assumes that the player is given enough freedom to do so, the tools to shape and co-create content and impact. It also assumes that said concept is not being “disturbed” from the developer’s side.
But then, maybe we should be looking at entirely different games? Less well-known, less popular – more difficult? You decide.