Jump to content
Strider

Predicitive Difficulty

Recommended Posts

I was just reading about a bloke on the PZ subreddit that was having difficult as a beginner. He had enquired as to what else he could do to make the game easier.

 

See it strikes me that many of us have spent many hours in PZ dying repeatedly and learning the various crafting recipes and making their mistakes in a less aggressive PZ environment. That's because PZ is a lot more difficult now than it's ever been and don't for goodness sake, think that this is a complaint because it isn't.

 

Now that the difficulty has jumped it's less jarring for those with experience and to new players it's a big jump when they first join. Not to all but to some.

 

That's when I started thinking about the A.I director (governor) that's in the pipeline and I thought, wouldn't it be good if the game could look at your previous attempts and make changes to your starting settings or adjust them in-game depending on the success you are or are not having.

 

There is two main reasons why I think this might be useful.

 

1. For new players, if they learn quickly they don't need to restart the game.

2. If the player is struggling the game could reduce the difficulty.

 

To explain how this might work, here are some examples. These are just examples of how it could be done:

 

Scenario #1 

 

A player starts a game and picks up the basics very quickly. He crafts many things but kills very few zombies due to the low population in the game. However that small amount of Z's that the player killed was over 80% of the Z's from his cell and the surrounding cells. In that situation it's clear the player has hit the ground running. If he has enabled the predictive difficulty it could (upon loading the game or on the fly) up the spawn rate of Z's or drop item spawn from abundant to common. (Doesn't PZ decide spawn rate when the player searches a container?)

 

Scenario #2

A player purchases and downloads the game. The put it on 'first bite' and play five games in quick succession. Those five games in two hours all resulted in him dying in increasingly horrific ways. The game reviews what items have been looted, crafted and zombies killed, realizes the player is hopeless. It does a quick check to make sure his name isn't Strider and then when the player starts a new game it increases the spawn rate for items/food/medicine (as appropriate) and decreases the Z count at start with a gradual increase for spawn to slowly break the player in.

 

I'd like to stress this is something that would need to be enabled by the player. If the players first games are all very short the game might offer this to them the next time they start. That or exclusive to the easiest setting of the game so as not to irritate the experienced players. For players who are struggling I could see it being very useful. I appreciate that some might see this as hand-holding but if a player joins and becomes immediately frustrated and never comes back then who does that help?

 

I understand that this might be good for the player but not represent a worthwhile investment when weighed against the amount of time it took to code it and if that's the case, no problems.

 

As with all my suggestions, I'm just throwing ideas around. Don't be scared. If you don't like my ideas please do feel free to complain. You can find the complaints forms on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard'.[1]

 

[1] Free air-donught for getting the reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But dying over and over until you figure out all the exploits in a survival game is like... all the fun.

 

Also this sounds like oblivion's leveled lists and I fking hate that stuff, it really cheapens the experience when the game tries to adapt to the player, it should be the other way around especially in survival games, double so for a game that sells itself on the premise of it's difficulty.

 

Idk, as a sandbox setting, maybe, It would hurt nobody but I really don't like the idea in general. especially when sandbox already allows for so much freedom it's possible to create a preset that goes from tutorial to hardcore as game goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snip for the sake of saving space.

 

Playing First Bite aka [beginner mode] is where the player learns how to play and learns the basic stuff from the game without begin chased by 100 zombies.

 

From what i read you want to make the game or atleast First Bite, some sort of L4D1 type of director mode but with some sort of like other said, "level scaling", which is something i quite dislike a lot in RPGs (Oblivion is the worst one of all, letting me become a god at level 1 because i never leveled up).

 

I prefer having a balanced hard difficulty and let good players dwell on it a bit while average players have a hard time but at the same time they learn from their mistakes and get better and better at the game.

 

What you want to do however is rewarding begin bad at the game and punishing begin good at the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always hated level scaling. *Shrug*

 

Ok, just so we're clear. I'm not speaking about the rate or breadth of level 1 or level 2. I'm talking about the game adjusting it's difficulty on the easiest setting or even this being an entirely new sub-difficulty for the game although I do agree with Blasted_Taco that first bite is where the player learns the game.

 

Just try and appreciate the harder difficulties you used to face or likely less tasking than the easiest difficult right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playing First Bite aka [beginner mode] is where the player learns how to play and learns the basic stuff from the game without begin chased by 100 zombies.

And for the most part I agree. I enjoyed the unforgiving nature of this game, it's part of it's appeal. Just remember that people have different levels of proficiency and some might not have the option to plough hours upon hours into this game.

 

Does anyone know how many people have bought this game and stopped playing it because of it's difficulty?

From what i read you want to make the game or atleast First Bite, some sort of L4D1 type of director mode but with some sort of like other said, "level scaling", which is something i quite dislike a lot in RPGs (Oblivion is the worst one of all, letting me become a god at level 1 because i never leveled up).

When Enigma said level scaling I cringed because he wrote one line, shrugged and left. He didn't explain what he considers level scaling to mean. Level scaling (as I understand it) has little to nothing to do with what my idea is.

 

I don't remember any Bethesda game adjusting the difficulty on the fly. Not Daggerfall, Arena, Oblivion, Morrorwind or Skyrim. I know this because only recently I had another playthrough and found as I reached higher level I could manage the game on master instead of expert due to the gear and skills I'd acquired.,

I prefer having a balanced hard difficulty and let good players dwell on it a bit while average players have a hard time but at the same time they learn from their mistakes and get better and better at the game.

it's a fair point but that appeals to the likes of me and you. We enjoy the repeated dying and likely learnt something from game to game. My worry is that there might be others out there aren't enjoying it. Aren't learning the game as quickly as we do. Maybe they're stuck, maybe they're struggling?

 

How difficult would it be on the easiest (or even easier) setting for the game to adjust, even a little. It's not enough to say 'This isn't a game which coddles it's users' for if that were the case then shirley, there wouldn't be a 'first bite' option at all and instead the player would be dumped into normal difficulty right away.

What you want to do however is rewarding begin bad at the game and punishing begin good at the game.

I don't understand this. Sorry

Edit: I just re-read that and I get what you mean.

 

Yeah, true. It's not a competition though. We can all learn at our own pace when we're playing SP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You described it; I didn't really have to myself.

With this sort of system, you inevetiably end up catering to the weaker player, then providing a singular difficulty throughout the game, because if it becomes too hard, the difficulty most be scaled back.

 

At some point you just got to accept there'll be people who don't like difficult games or aren't willing to put in the time to learn them. It'll happen even with a system such as the above, only it'll be "the game is too easy," or "the game makes itself too easy," if someone catches on. They're the same people that refuse to play anything other than Survival.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With this sort of system, you inevetiably end up catering to the weaker player, then providing a singular difficulty throughout the game, because if it becomes too hard, the difficulty most be scaled back.

No, not at all. I've been at pains to explain that this should exist only in first bite or a difficulty below it. I think that this might have applications on harder difficulties but only to make the game more difficult.

At some point you just got to accept there'll be people who don't like difficult games or aren't willing to put in the time to learn them. It'll happen even with a system such as the above, only it'll be "the game is too easy," or "the game makes itself too easy," if someone catches on. They're the same people that refuse to play anything other than Survival.

I'm not sure about that. With the reworked menu it's quite clear what the game considers difficult and what it doesn't. It's all explained well enough. Shirley a player wouldn't play first bite and then come to the forum and complain that it's too easy before playing the harder difficulties?

 

It seems to me that your main reservation is that it coddles the user. It might do that but only on first bite or a difficulty that exists below it. There is no reason that any of the other difficulties should be touched at all unless it's to make them even more difficult.

 

For what it's worth, I do understand your reservations. I just can't agree with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree to disagree here and leave it be, please.

 

Ok, but I have to ask. How can this be a forum if you're prohibited from disagreeing with one another?

 

Isn't the definition of forum the free exchange of ideas?

 

Now I know I've not been rude to Enigma. I've been very careful this time around and i'd respect your comment if Enigma and I we're being rude, impolite or insulting one another but we're not. He disagrees with me, fair enough.

 

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Agree to disagree here and leave it be, please.

 

Ok, but I have to ask. How can this be a forum if you're prohibited from disagreeing with one another?

 

Isn't the definition of forum the free exchange of ideas?

 

Now I know I've not been rude to Enigma. I've been very careful this time around and i'd respect your comment if Enigma and I we're being rude, impolite or insulting one another but we're not. He disagrees with me, fair enough.

 

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Evelyn Beatrice Hall

 

 

You're not prohibited. However, I don't see this conversation going anywhere good, so am stepping in with my Moderator hat on to say "Ok, you know what you disagree about, that's enough before this gets out of hand, thanks"

 

This isn't a free-speech zone, we will act to keep the peace, as you well know Strider. Don't force our hand. We've been lenient with you, you've walked the line with a few of your threads. Don't throw that leniency in our faces when we see something going off the rails, and so step in with a friendly nudge. I do not like using my moderator powers, but that won't stop me from using them if I have to.

 

If you want to continue this conversation, do it in a PM please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually agree with this idea.

For a new player it starts easy, they learn the basics and figure out the game. As they 'prove' to the game they know what they are doing, it up's the difficulty.

 

They are getting killed quickly? Drop Z pop a bit when they start over, but still higher than on Playthrough #1.

They are killing tons of Z's? Increase the Z's stats and pop.

 

They are crafting a variety of items? Drop loot spawns because they know what the system can do now and how to use it to survive.

They are constantly starving, sick or injured and doing nothing about it? Increase some spawn ratings for containers, bring up the old 'spiffo's tips' talking about food and medicine, and let the player figure it out.

 

They haven't had LOS to a Z in awhile? Maybe a small group (Like 10 or so?) begin wandering to the area (Not the player Position, just the general area) to remind them of the constant threat and to 'test' them. Or maybe they catch an ambient disease that forces them towards town.

 

I think a few people misunderstood what strider was saying, the system will increase the difficulty UPWARDS not downwards. It will start at the bottom and drag the players up along the way, ensuring that they learn.

 

Someone mentioned L4D and it is similar, but different. The L4D director will start the game at the difficulty set and then adjust it on how the player is doing. It will show hints, it will give items to help them survive, or drop infected spawns to help them struggle to the safe room. It does this mostly because it is a linear game, and to let the players co-operate and survive. They can still die, but it is unlikely as long as the player learns at a decent pace, co-operates, and actually tries. At lower diff, it is lenient, as it goes higher it becomes less so and is more willing to kill off the group without any hand-holding.

 

Someone else mentioned Oblivion, which was awful (Seriously, everyone hated that system, it was literally put in to stop skilled players from doing well, it was a ****-block in a literal sense)and not like this system.

In OB you were lvl 1, whether the most or least skilled player you were lvl 1. You would find items 'fitting' your LVL but not your SKILL. In PZ we don't have leveled items.
The least skilled PZ player in the whole WORLD could find the best shotgun in the game and a hoard of ammo just because they spawned in the right house, and the most skilled player can be killed by a single scratch without finding anything for an in-game month. It isn't 'level scaling' at all in PZ, it is 'skill scaling' that Strider suggests.

 

Strider has seemingly suggested that it starts at the bottom of the scale, at easy. Then as the player shows they understand different systems, begins to cut ropes and let the player climb on their own without hand-holding.

It up's the Z spawns, it drops loot levels, as time goes on it begins to pile on the challenges, heavier and heavier until the player breaks. Next time they start a new round, it starts near where they died (On a difficulty scale, no re-birth) and sets them back on the learning trail.

It never leaves the player in their 'comfort zone' like other modes can and do. It constantly pushes them out of it.

 

And I agree that it should be a separate difficulty. Like 'Skill Tracker Mode' or 'Evolving Crisis Mode' or something.

 

 

And for the experienced player? They will quickly show their experience, they will sneak not run. They will go for the kitchen first, then the closets, then the book-shelf (In my experience anyways).

They will try all the windows and doors before smashing one. And if they do smash, they will remove the glass.

It will show them already knowing what to do, and then ramp up the difficulty for them as it tests them to try and improve them.

If they choose to hide their skill? It will be boring, and all their fault.

 

It makes the game too easy? So we should get rid of sandbox mode then, and first bite I guess. Oh you don't want to? Why not?

Those modes are 'too easy' and for a decent player will always be. And that won't change.

Meanwhile,this mode will become constantly harder instead of how sandbox will always be the same.

This mode will always push players just outside of their comfort zone, to sharpen their skills one in-game day at a time.

Example:

 

Day one: Both players haven't seen a Z all day and amassed a big stockpile, barricaded a house.

 

Week 1:

TM (Testing Mode Player) is dealing with small groups of Z's hitting their house, and is really beginning to feel the pressure to leave town.

SM (Sandbox Mode Player) hasn't seen a zombie in about a week, and has made several obscene constructions to pass the time. Probably burned down a few houses too.

 

Month 1:

TM has been dealing with hordes of Z's tracking them down, and has learned the lessons to survive and has probably died and restarted a few times to get here. They are an average player now, having fun with the struggle to survive.

SM stopped playing shortly after week one and made a new map, at a higher difficulty and got immediately creamed having no real knowledge about the game. They then go and complain about the game, get hit by a wave of 'Git Gud' and decide not to play it again, maybe leave a bad review and complain to their friends. Great for growing the fanbase.

 

With a bit of testing and tweaking this could be the perfect tutorial experience, that could still be a challenge later on and could continue to be fun to boot. So I like the idea.

It is a great way to get new players to stick around until they know better, and to let skilled players sharpen their skills a little bit more with a mode that will actively look to kick them where they least expect it so it hurts.

 

In essence, it is the perfect way to give new players a way to learn how to play (Especially the part about eventually dying) without feeling overwhelmed or cheated, AND it doesn't effect experienced players by dumbing down THE REST of the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not prohibited. However, I don't see this conversation going anywhere good, so am stepping in with my Moderator hat on to say "Ok, you know what you disagree about, that's enough before this gets out of hand, thanks"

You know what, you've forced my hand. I was going to just shut up and accept your post but after re-reading it I realize I simply cannot do that.

This isn't a free-speech zone, we will act to keep the peace, as you well know Strider.

Ok, let's just pretend you didn't just imply an insult there and move on. I mean, you do realize using that is pretty unprofessional for a moderator?

Don't force our hand. We've been lenient with you, you've walked the line with a few of your threads.

Yep. In the past. I left the forum, came back and have made every effort to be as civil as possible. However you're clearly not going to let any mistakes I've made in the past slde.

If you want to continue this conversation, do it in a PM please.

No, thanks.

 

I'll be banned from the forum for this so before I go I'm going to explain exactly why I think you're an awful moderator. I mean, really, really bad.

 

Here goes.

 

I posted a suggestion. A couple of other members explained to me why the didn't care for the idea and went into detail where they thought the idea fell down. I, in turn replied why I disagreed with those points and at no point did anyone insult, or like you've just done, imply an insult.

 

In fact the whole thread was completely benign. Or was until you posted.

You imply insults or use them out-right in private messages. Sometimes you don't even keep them private and you think I'd enjoy a PM discussion with you?

 

No matter what the vindication (and I'm not vindicating the actions of that poster) there is no excuse for moderators to act this way. You've completely over-reacted in this instance as you have in the past.

 

I couldn't stay on this forum, even if I wasn't banned. Shame, lot of good people. It's a really nice community.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strider, Kirrus wasn't trying to insult you. The point of that comic link is not to be insulting. It's to help people understand that the right of free speech is something that protects you from the government. You do not have free speech on this forum. That's not to say we censor people- but it is to say that when you agree to join these forums, you agree to be bound by the rules of them- rules which you have flagrantly violated again and again.

 

I always feel bad when I have to ban people- always- not matter how horrible the person is I've got to ban. But posts like yours make it much easier on us, because you show us where your priorities are. If your priorities were to have a positive experience on our forum, or even to give helpful feedback to us on our mod staff, you would have just PM'd Kirrus, myself, or any of the other staff. But you didn't. You showed that your true priority is escalation and attention. You were offered a way to discuss the situation and have a favorable outcome, but you turned that down in favor of making a public spectacle.

 

As much as I hate to dampen your mic drop at the end of the post, you won't be taking part in our forums any more willingly or otherwise. You've shown that you are incapable of respecting the rules or the human beings who work every day to make this forum the great place it is. And while this post isn't as egregious as some, it is the final straw for you; and you're right, we're not going to forget about the stuff you've done in the past. We'd be idiots if we did. We can only forgive so many times before our patience is worn out. I appreciate your passion about the game and your participation in the community, but you're making it a worse place for people. Sorry it had to come to this.

 


 

General reminder to everyone that if you feel something a moderator or admin does needs to be discussed, please do it by private message. Doing it in public just derails threads. We're willing and capable of reviewing our actions if someone feels we've erred. Thanks everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...