To quote one of the many right-wing demagogues (they all blur together into one, annoying mass of noise, after a while): “Facts don’t care about your feelings”… and I’m about to drop some facts that might just hurt many a Gamer’s little fee-fees.
First of all, I’d like to be quite clear on whom this article is directed to, and that would be the self-described True Gamers™. You who kneel at the altar of From Software, denouncing any who cannot – for whatever reason – play at the skill level of the top 1% of video game players. Or more to the point, those who can’t “GIT GUD”, as you might say.
I’m about to say something that will most likely upset quite a few of you, but that’s fine, because most of the time you come off as upset about something or other. It’s okay, though, you’ve heard this before, so it won’t really shock you, or at least it shouldn’t.
Soulslike games should all have optional difficulty levels, without exception.
This is not a new idea, and I realize this is an extremely unpopular idea, with most of you. Too bad, because this is where the facts come in.
While part of the ‘charm’ of Soulslike games is their level of difficulty, the simple truth here is that this is very Ableist, not to mention constraining the potential market of these games. There are a lot of people who simply cannot “GIT GUD” enough to succeed at games in this genre, as things stand now. The truth is that these are people who aren’t going to buy these games, which is money left on the table for the publishers. This eventually will make continuing to develop new Soulslike games not worth the investment.
I know many of you scoff at this idea, because FROM Software ‘will always make Souls games’, but keep in mind that people have said the same about a lot of other game genres, that slowly dwindled away. In the end, the simple fact is that video game publishers are in it to make money, and the moment Soulslike games aren’t making enough money for the Suits, the genre will collapse.
Frankly, there are a lot of other people playing video games out there, who don’t currently play Soulslikes because of the difficulty. These are people who have money – way more in total, than those who currently play Soulslikes – and this is money not going to the companies making those games. So what could resolve this problem, and help keep this genre alive for decades to come?
Optional difficulty levels.
I have no problem with leaving Soulslike games with their current difficulty being the default choice. Furthermore, I have no problem with locking certain achievements to this high difficulty level, thus showing those who are the True Gamers™, compared to the Scrubs. Hell, they could even restrict those who play at lowered difficulty away from multiplayer games with you. But there should always be options for lowered difficulty levels, as well as accessibility options, so that those who are differently abled can still enjoy these games. This also applies to all games, not just Soulslikes, but it is with Soulslikes that the issue is most pronounced.
Another huge point is that it shouldn’t matter to you at all if other people can play and enjoy a Soulslike game on a lower difficulty than you. Much like what someone else does in their own bedroom with another consenting adult, how does another person’s gaming affect you? Their enjoyment of a game you also enjoy should be something you celebrate, as it leads to more money pouring into future Soulslikes development, as I said before.
Let’s say Scrub X jumps into some new Soulslike, maybe tries it at the standard (highest) difficulty, and decides to play at a lower difficulty instead… because Scrub, right? They then finish the game, and have a lot of fun in doing so. Maybe they then try the game again at a higher difficulty, having learned some skills, and eventually is perhaps even able to “GIT GUD” enough to join the ranks of the The Gamers™, beating the game “for real”.
Isn’t that what you want, or at least profess to want?
The thing is, based off of years of experience with folks like you, the True Gamers™, I don’t really think this is what you want. What you instead want is to feel superior to anyone who can’t beat – for whatever reason – Soulslike games, as they currently are. This is incredibly Ableist of you, at a minimum, and would be why, frankly, most other Gamers hate people like you. In fact, the playerbase of Soulslikes who oppose optional difficulty levels for these (or any other) games are generally regarded as Elitist Trash™, and one reason why people in general don’t like Gamers.
You aren’t better than others because you have the skill to play a certain type of game, no matter how difficult they might be. It’s just that simple. Furthermore, opposing the inclusion of lesser difficulty options for those games just exposes you for the trash people you really are.
To be honest, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.