Make it tougher you scurvy sea dogs!

  • Post author:
  • Post category:MMORPG

Is solo play in MMORPGs the equivalent of easy mode?  It depends on who you ask.  It’s been discussed and dissected then beaten to death a thousand times over the past few years as everyone defends their position on the timeless battle of solo vs grouping in MMOs.  In Pirates of the Burning Sea you’re going to have more options than the usual MMO experience.  In response to a forum post stating that solo play could not possibly be anything but easy-mode, Rick Saada of FLS had this to say.

“The difficulty of quests is also scalable if you like. You have the option of saying “make my missions tougher” if you feel you’re enough of a badass to handle it. CoH did something like this with their “toughness” rating, and we did a similar thing. You can adjust a setting on your character that makes all the enemies you face a step or two or more harder than “normal”. Higher level, bigger ships, more ships, what have you. No matter how skilled you get with your class, if you face enough opponents in bigger ships, it’s not going to be easy. It’s kind of like the difficulty mode in single player games. I play Halo on Easy because I suck at FPS’s and I want to have fun. For others this is boring and they pride themselves on playing on Legendary (which for me would be suicide). So if you want our missions to be truly epic, you have it in your power to make it so.

Rick Saada – FLS Dev & EPFBM“

Pirates of the Burning Sea is taking giant steps every day to be that social casual solo’ers paradise.  Scaling content to be as tough or easy as you want?  The idea itself takes the experience nearly out of the devs hands and places it into that of the players.  Giving us the decision if we want our quests more difficult, or our encounters more difficult, is actually an interesting idea that could really only work with instanced content.  Many developers seem to be moving in the ‘instanced’ direction lately with reasoning that it is must easier to control an environment and introduce elements of gameplay that would be impossible otherwise.  From a PvE perspective this system could be implemented in other aspects of MMO gaming.  In FFXI encounters would lock with you and no one else could interfere without your consent.  This could be used to introduce difficulty settings in non-instanced PvE gameplay.  The possibilities are out there.

So, will your ideal encounter against a 101gun Ship of the Line be as difficult as mine?

  • The problem with scaleable difficulty of the instanced missions of Pirates of the Burning Sea is that you don’t know how hard the original mission is before you start it. To find the idea difficulty, you’d have to try the mission, cancel if too easy or too hard, set the difficulty to the ideal value and restart. Possible, but cumbersome.

  • I imagine, not unlike CoH, if you are having an easy time with missions Tobold, and you do not wish to you’ll simply set the difficulty slider to above normal, and go on from there.

    That’s what I did often enough with my MM in CoV, and worked marvelously. You try a few missions, find them extremely easy, and then proceed to knock the difficulty up and keep it there or raise it more if you still find things easy… although eventually in CoV you wind up wishing instead of a difficulty slider, they had an XP slider the system worked well.

  • I never played COH long enough to see these difficulty sliders but I assume that PotBS would have a default setting, right? If not then I agree that a little trial and error could be cumbersome.

  • Si. There would be a default setting, I assume. But isn’t it like in any other game where the user selects a difficulty? Is it really that hard to pick one that suits you? I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to have it measure your skill for you, but I’m honestly asking… what would be so cumbersome about selecting a difficulty level that works for you after you’ve plowed through some content or banged your head against it too much?

    In this I’m assuming that the difficulty slider would stay constant from mission to mission, and not need to be set each time you wanted to.

  • Working with Tobold’s example is where I agree it could get cumbersome. Missions are different and I suppose that one mission being too easy could not necessarily mean that another is also as easy. Finding the ideal difficulty for each mission to be ‘just right’ could be cumbersome. It’s all speculation. For all we know there’s notches of Easy, normal, and hard. In that case it would be simple.

  • Totally agree if every mission it had to be changed. My guess is that it won’t be though. If it’s really like CoH, there could be an NPC you talk to who sets the difficulty across all missions for you. Then, say you run into one you completely hate because you can’t pass it… so you go back to said NPC and change it (or menu, whatever) to something lesser.

    That seems ideal to me. Hope to see it in action soon. 😉