Difficulty/Skill Gap

I’m just going to put this in the General section because it applies to most of the newer Halo games.

A lot of fans are complaining about the skill gap being reduced in Halo to attract more players. This is not the developer’s fault (as much) because the average gamer has a 5 second attention span nowadays. Hell, even the board game Operation has been made easier just so kids don’t give up on it in frustration.

I personally blame indie/mobile games for this lack of attention and how quickly casual gamers/new gamers are to give up trying on a game. With a smartphone and an internet connection, someone could download hundreds, if not thousands, of free games. And I’ve seen dozens of people give up on even the simplest mobile games because “they got too hard” and they just switched to one of their other 50+ games. One of my close friends recently got a game where you guess the band based on their logo. He managed to get about 1/3 of the bands, then he jut looked the others ones up (or he just deleted the game, he didn’t go into great detail about it). He had the game for 3 days. And the first time I saw him after he got rid of the game, he already had a few other games.

So most gamers, and I’m talking most, aren’t going to invest the dozens of hours it takes to become even proficient at a moderately difficult game. So, to literally stay alive, Halo has to become easier. If it just stays true to what the hardcore fans want, they won’t make enough money to even make another game. So they have to attract new gamers.

And there is really nothing we can do about this. The only way to fix it would be to get casual gamers to stop gaming, which just won’t happen. I guess we could also just stop supporting indie/mobile games altogether, but that would just be terrible for the overall industry (and likely wouldn’t happen because casuals would support those games regardless).

I see what you’re saying, and it is certainly true that gamers have reduced attention spans. After all, early video games had little to no content. Playing the original Doom or Duke Nukem gets boring to me after about ten minutes. However, instead of succumbing to the peer pressure of reducing skill gaps perhaps companies should strive to make their games so incredibly engaging that skill progression occurs naturally and people want to invest the time without even thinking about it. I don’t really know how to accomplish this, though.

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> I see what you’re saying, and it is certainly true that gamers have reduced attention spans. After all, early video games had little to no content. Playing the original Doom or Duke Nukem gets boring to me after about ten minutes. However, instead of succumbing to the peer pressure of reducing skill gaps perhaps companies should strive to make their games so incredibly engaging that skill progression occurs naturally and people want to invest the time without even thinking about it. I don’t really know how to accomplish this, though.

I want them to get better as well, but it just doesn’t look like it will happen. We should give out blame where blame is due though. It’s not like it’s 343’s fault for the lack of skill gap in most games.

I would believe people with short attention spans and who are “bad losers” will drop a game quickly regardless if it is difficult or easy.
I don’t believe in the stereotype that the majority of gamers are people who are unsuccessful/uncompetitive in real life and hence are looking for instant gratification in games to compensate for that as well.

I also don’t really get the relation you try to make between free mobile games and AAA video games. I mean the expectations people have towards their entertainment value and their purposes are completely different.
Mobile games are for the quick and casual instant entertainment, to kill some (waiting) time. Video games however are a hobby and/or a social activity where you invest a fair amount of time (and money) in the expectation to get a fair amount of (fun) time out of.

That being said, I don’t think the difficulty/skillgap of a game has much to do if people consider games entertaining or not because “fun” gets obviously generated by much deeper qualities.
I mean, in case the majority would consider “easy to win/perform well = fun game”, “difficult to win/perform well = frustrating game”, then why did Halo significantly lose popularity once it became much “easier” with H4 than the former titles, while CoD, a game generally considered being easy (or being one of the more easier FPSs) to perform well into, remained popular?
Because making a game easier doesn’t automatically make it more fun, nor does making a game difficult automatically frustrating.
In case of Halo I would argue that in the process to make the game easier/ more “accessible”, 343i killed/removed/changed many aspects that made the game previously fun and entertaining to play, no matter if you lost or won, performed good or bad.

People often say that people have changed and hence Halo isn’t as liked as much anymore but it appears to be much more likely that they do not like it anymore or aren’t as interested in it as much anymore because it, Halo, has changed and now doesn’t offer the entertainment value, qualities, characteristics and fun anymore people expected and/or remembered it to offer.

Buck up

Luck up!