S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

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    Which is the most rational approach to DS2 accessibility?

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    S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by eminusx on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:40 am

    There have been some great ideas on the forum recently, but it seems theres a real sticking point over 'accessibility', so why not approach it logically? In an attempt to be as 'matter of fact' as possible, the following breaks down the issue and offers a sensible compromise that would, in theory satisfy every gamers wishes:


    Firstly:
    The crux of the issue surrounding DS2 is that there are two conflicting camps making demands:


    A) those who want the original 'no compromise' Dark Souls
    B) those who want some clarity of direction and some accessibility introduced.


    . . the problem is that one is in direct conflict with the other as 'accessibility' is entirely dependent on its context and use within the game environment:

    - In most games the atmosphere and 'core' gameplay isnt dependent on fear, tension or obtuseness so you can afford to play around with accessibility features like simplified mechanics, intrinsic help systems or explicit directions and descriptions without them detracting from the central core of what makes the game work.

    - In stark contrast, Dark Souls is utterly dependent on tension, fear and ambiguity, they are the very foundations upon which its reputation and its gameplay rest, ultimately its lack of compromise. Players have discovered a real love in scraping around for clues, reading between the lines and struggling to stay alive, its a pure distilled gaming experience!


    The Conclusion:
    Its clear that explicit explanation, descriptions or overarching 'accessibility' would blatantly violate the core of what makes DS so appealing, so the big question is why change it or settle for an 'all or nothing' approach? Instead, why not let the player manage the context themselves in the options menu? ON or OFF. Black or White. zeroes and ones. . .. Monkey Island 2 did it 20 yrs ago ffs so its hardly impossible!

    Ive no idea if FROM have chosen to use such an option, but it seems rational to offer both 'accessibility' and 'no compromise' within the same game, because technically how difficult can it be to design the game around the original raw DS gameplay, then introduce an optional help/hint system that can be switched either ON or OFF in the options menu.

    OFF gives you Dark Souls just as the devil intended, no help, no hints, same trial and error gameplay for the vets. Dark, obscure. . .
    ON gives you extended item and npc descriptions, in-game hints and direction, tutorial style messages and an easier difficulty curve at the earlier stages.


    From a business point of view, Bamco would get the sales of all the existing fans, and lure in newcomers with the promise of an easier ride and more clear explanations of the lore etc, seemigly everybody gets what they want, it makes sense to me so im interested to hear what you think?


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Juutas on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:47 am

    Overhaul.

    I think complete overhaul can be done without risking any of the game's potential or difficulty. Knowledge must still be power in Dark Souls II, but it doesn't have to be THAT big aspect that it was in Dark Souls.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by dancash1808 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:51 am

    The only problem with the original suggestion is that it would be alot of extra work for little extra saleable content from their point of view. if you have to remake everything in two modes and some people will never use both then it is a large chunk of time, also if you made it a toggle rather than select at start and is then fixed I can see it being incredibly buggy xD


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by eminusx on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:01 am

    As opposed to creating two separate games, which I too think would be ridiculous, one idea was really to just extend the descriptions of the items and what the npcs say to try and fill in some of the lore without having to fill in the gaps. This could be easily done I think, full fat mode is cryptic as normal, and the rest of the info is added on or embellished if youre in 'help' mode. . my reasoning was that it would retain the gameplay and feel of the game but also help fill in some details for those who dont want to figure it out themselves.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by ComaPrison on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:07 am

    It's a lose-lose situation either way.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Serious_Much on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:10 am

    A rational approach is for the back cover to say: "for accessible play, grow a pair"


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by eminusx on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:18 am

    Ha yeah
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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Slarg232 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:15 am

    Just make the crestfallen say "Across the bonfire and up the ramp is the path to the Undead Burg. If you are really crazy enough to go after the Bells, I would recommend going there for supplies...."



    Boom, instantly pointed one direction, but it's not heavily implied that you need to go that route.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Nybbles on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:51 am

    Serious_Much wrote:A rational approach is for the back cover to say: "for accessible play, grow a pair"

    putting that tag line on the cover would probably sell allot more copies of the game than trying to actually make the game more"accessible" … whatever FROM means by that.

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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by defacto on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:11 pm

    1. Get rid of humanity
    2. Make an item that turns you human
    3. Explain to the player that making you human lets you summon other players for help and get invaded
    4. Increase the reward for cooping

    Coop makes this game a complete joke. Making it easier to coop will make the game much easier without compromising anything.

    Heck if they did this they could make the game much harder and it would still be a cakewalk for those using coop but still brutal for solo players.
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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by ComaPrison on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:22 pm

    defacto wrote:1. Get rid of humanity
    2. Make an item that turns you human
    3. Explain to the player that making you human lets you summon other players for help and get invaded
    4. Increase the reward for cooping

    Coop makes this game a complete joke. Making it easier to coop will make the game much easier without compromising anything.

    Heck if they did this they could make the game much harder and it would still be a cakewalk for those using coop but still brutal for solo players.

    That's a brilliant idea.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Serious_Much on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:13 pm

    Nybbles wrote:
    Serious_Much wrote:A rational approach is for the back cover to say: "for accessible play, grow a pair"

    putting that tag line on the cover would probably sell allot more copies of the game than trying to actually make the game more"accessible" … whatever FROM means by that.

    Dark Souls II…Play Like You Got A Pair!
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    I would love to see them use a ad campaign sending an open challenge to everyone lol!


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by carlucio on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:00 pm

    ComaPrison wrote:It's a lose-lose situation either way.
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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Buggy Virus on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:12 pm

    I mean. . . an explanation of poise in Dark Souls would have been welcome instead of having to go to the wiki. Explaining stuff that isn't explained isn't a bad thing.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Nybbles on Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:49 pm

    defacto wrote:1. Get rid of humanity
    2. Make an item that turns you human
    3. Explain to the player that making you human lets you summon other players for help and get invaded
    4. Increase the reward for cooping

    so…Demon's Souls?
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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by defacto on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:00 pm

    Nybbles wrote:
    defacto wrote:1. Get rid of humanity
    2. Make an item that turns you human
    3. Explain to the player that making you human lets you summon other players for help and get invaded
    4. Increase the reward for cooping

    so…Demon's Souls?

    No.

    I mean a permanent item like the OSS or the Dried Finger that has infinite uses but does nothing but turn you human.

    Humanity is a broken concept for an item anyway. It heals you to full essentially giving you grass, you can farm it easily and it's the only way to become human.

    Also players who are new or bad at the game have a really hard time getting humanity. My friends would complain about playing coop because they had to use their humanity.

    Also making it unlimited wouldn't break anything since becoming human has ZERO benefits. There are no stat differences between the two. All it does it make it easier to PvP and coop.

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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Nybbles on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:25 pm

    defacto wrote:
    Nybbles wrote:
    defacto wrote:1. Get rid of humanity
    2. Make an item that turns you human
    3. Explain to the player that making you human lets you summon other players for help and get invaded
    4. Increase the reward for cooping

    so…Demon's Souls?

    No.

    I mean a permanent item like the OSS or the Dried Finger that has infinite uses but does nothing but turn you human.

    Humanity is a broken concept for an item anyway. It heals you to full essentially giving you grass, you can farm it easily and it's the only way to become human.

    Also players who are new or bad at the game have a really hard time getting humanity. My friends would complain about playing coop because they had to use their humanity.

    Also making it unlimited wouldn't break anything since becoming human has ZERO benefits. There are no stat differences between the two. All it does it make it easier to PvP and coop.

    ah…i agree completely on the humanity item being like grass. but i don't think there should be an item to restore your humanity that was unlimited.

    i think that being human should come with a greater benefit at the risk of beng invaded, other than just having the ability to kindle fires. there should also be a drawback to being hollow, other than not being able to summon as well. i think Demon's was on the right path in this regard.
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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by MasterofShadows on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:40 pm

    Yeah, you guys are on to something here.

    I knew some people that could barely ever stay human that long, because they died constantly throughout the whole game. My buddy had me laughing when he said that the character creation section at the beginning of the game now felt pointless, considering the fact that he now found himself spending more time with the dead and ugly version of his character than the one he actually created at the beginning.

    By the way, both of the options mentioned in the OP are decent, but which one is viable is going to depend on how much time and resources are available.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by eminusx on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:58 am

    I dont think Humanity needs replacing, they just need to re-define how it is acquired, how it is used and what it affects in the game world.

    Humanity is a classically dark-romantic concept that really adds to the ethos of DS, it reminds me of Paradise Lost or John Martin's paintings, being dropped in a desolate land literally searching for your humanity to stop you withering into a hollow, its your humanity that separates you from the ills and demons around you and it adds to the lore of why the world around you has fallen so gravely ill. If you replaced it with a simple item it would lose a lot of that dark romanticism which would detract from the tone of DS, so maybe the concept of Humanity should stay but the acquisition and use should undergo some changes?
    Also, I find Humanity adds to the tension in-game, which is what DS is both about and is so masterful at. During your first bout with O&S, knowing youre on your last Humanity and wont be able to summon help without it adds tension during the big battles, it also makes summoning a bit more special, not just something you take for granted, it makes you value your fellow man in times of difficulty.

    On the other hand, ive found myself numerous times scratching around for humanity or farming for it in the depths for these very same reasons, so I agree that that part of the mechanic is broken. Newer players also need to be able to understand the concept more clearly or have greater access to the 'human state' as it soon becomes a chore if youre continually hollow. . .so 'ease of access to Humanity could itself be one of the perks of having an ON / OFF assistance option as in the OP. When the help system is ON there are more humanity drops from a wider range of enemies, it wouldnt mean writing an entirely new system or game mechanic just adding a new stat to reflect the gamemode.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Serious_Much on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:51 am

    Serious_Much wrote:A rational approach is for the back cover to say: "for accessible play, grow a pair"

    Ill just leave this here....


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by eminusx on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:55 am

    dancash1808 wrote:The only problem with the original suggestion is that it would be alot of extra work for little extra saleable content from their point of view. if you have to remake everything in two modes and some people will never use both then it is a large chunk of time

    I understand why that would at first seem to be a problem, but that is why I tried to split it into two distinct groups, the vets and the newcomers, and try to find a logical way to appeal to both groups but with the minimum of disruption to the other. If FROM did something similar then the game might not have such a fearsome reputation for being inaccessible and put some people off buying it.


    Vets will buy DS2 guaranteed if its the same style and difficulty as DS.
    Newcomers are more likely to buy iDS2 if they learn that it has been made more accessible.


    So this could lead to an increase in sales, sales to the dedicated fanbase and also sales to the many newcomers lured in by the changes. The additional new sales would make up for the 'little extra saleable content". And as ive said previously, the on/off 'hint' sections would mostly come in the form of extended descriptions and npc dialogue which is merely additional text based and not a complex programming issue. When theyre writing the dialogue and descriptions just add some more on the end that appears when the hint system is on.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Acarnatia on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:08 am

    Perhaps they can just lower the maximum amount of held humanity you can have (to, say, 10?) and increase it's just a little in the early parts of the game.


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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by defacto on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:31 am

    So I just thought of something that would make the game more accessible while keeping humanity.

    Like I stated previously the game can be made accessible without extensive ideas like an easy mode or a long drawn out tutorial. All it needs is very easy access to co-op and better rewards for helping people do co-op.

    There would be a new item that you get very early or it starts in your inventory. Crystallized Humanity. We all know crystal is one of the strongest elements in Dark Souls, so it fits here.

    Crystallized Humanity

    This item was forged in an experiment by Seath the Scaleless in an attempt to lure undead to him for experiments. The humanity squirms in the crystal but cannot escape. For this reason the humanity has no lasting impact on the user. It only allows the user to regain the appearance of being human once again, it does nothing to stop the hallowing process.


    So there is this item Crystallized Humanity that can be used to turn you human whenever you want for co-op. Making the game much, much easier for new players but making it so vets can go solo and keep the game hard if they want.

    But there would still be hard humanity in the game. It would only cure status aliments when used but soft humanity is more useful. In addition to kindling bonfires it can also be used to purchase some rare items and when you have 10 soft humanity you can sacrifice it to the bonfire to get a 40% bonus in souls gained until you die or rest again. Oh and humanity keeps giving you item find+ and resistance+.

    So keeps the humanity concept, expands soft humanity and makes the game more accessible.

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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by Nybbles on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:30 pm

    i think i would actually prefer it if there was humanity but not a humanity counter. you either are or you are not human. humanity would function exactly like ephemeral eyes in Demon's essentially.

    Demon's had a much better system that encouraged both co-op and invasions while not being that difficult to figure out. it had a nice balance of punishment and reward, being human or hollow actually meant something. i think they had it right the first time and i would like this system to return…well everything but world tendency anyway.
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    Re: S.O.S. . the easy way to Save our Souls?

    Post by raecor14 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:55 pm

    while i don't want it to change, the only plausible way for them too really do it well is to redo the entire system. i personally think that they are meaning something else by accessibilty but oh well, lets see.


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