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rdwpa

Your Personal Vocabulary for Difficulty

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The metric I find most useful is how challenging it is to get an exit (yes, a single one) on a map playing without saves.

Naturally, 'low difficulty' turns out to be the most robust category. It can describe anything from low-pressure maps that probably won't kill your grandma, to hectic maps that might kill you a dozen times but are short enough that an exit will almost certainly occur within a short (~30 minute) session without anything precise. (This definition might represent the greatest departure from traditional definitions. That is, I get the impression that most people would describe a short but lethal map of this sort as being either of moderate or high difficulty, even if they themselves have no trouble eventually getting an exit after a short while.)

After that, 'moderate difficulty' refers to maps that aren't exactly gimmies. If its fights are mostly of the non-lethal variety, the map might fit in this category because of its sheer length, coupled with some occasionally testing moments and a thing balance that doesn't allow you to just steamroll at some critical mass. Shorter maps belong here when they require more in the way of outside-the-crate thinking to solve encounters, or accurate execution of more typical strategies. It shouldn't be likely to just RNG jesus them, e.g. by running around like a headless chicken and hoping everything works out. But for the most part, these maps will be exitable within a few hours, maybe a bit more but nothing crazy, and without a superhuman level of exertion.

Even above that, 'high difficulty' maps have a skill threshold below which an exit will be unfathomable. They often require thorough and deliberate practice of individual encounters, and thinking wayyyyy outside the crate for effective solutions. They usually skew longer. Occasionally they might offer nothing harsher than what one might find in moderate difficulty maps, but achieve their high difficulty by being long as hell. Shorter maps can make this category when they require precise execution of insane tactics (mandatory double AV jump followed by a mid-air rocket jump followed by a quick glide for exit, trololol). Even when you are good enough, an exit won't be guaranteed with a solid day's effort -- you might need several days or more of consistent playing!

These definitions are for casual survival-oriented play. For speedrunning, 'exit' would be expanded to 'exit with a sufficiently low time in the chosen run category'.

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i play doom for the chess-like challenge, so i too would rate difficulty by how long it takes to get an exit on UV

15 minutes or less is normally an 'easy' map
30 minutes is 'average'
1 hour + is 'hard'
multiple days is 'bastard hard'
weeks is 'Sunlust Map30' :p

of course this is dependent on map length/size. an easy map can be a real slog and take 30 minutes just to navigate through the first time, even if you dont actually die

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I base difficulty on how many times I die on a casual playthrough. On ultra violence...

0 deaths is easy
1 death is moderate
2-4 deaths is difficult
5+ deaths is "Fuck this"

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My personal metric is how difficult the individual encounters are without "in combat" savescumming. So how difficult each fight plays from a mechanical perspective. In this instance, the length of the map doesn't matter as opposed to looking from a no-save/demo-recording angle. Which is why I don't consider something like Sunder to be super harcore compared to, say Stardate/Sunlust, since the actual combat is significantly easier, and prone to cheese. So something like map24 in BTSX E2 is way more difficult compared to the hour long maps due to the lethality of the AV encounters from pistol start.

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Well to properly equate difficulty, we must know which monsters, weapons, and how much health is in a map. If there are enough cells in a map and a bfg is present , but the number of boss monsters is low, it is an easy map. That said: if the ratio of arch-viles, masterminds, and cyberdemons to normal monsters in a map is high, then it is a hard map even if there are cells. But then we must take health into consideration, if the number of megaspheres to items is high then that lowers the difficulty. Ergo, if we take the number of monsters, multiply it by the number of boss monsters, then divide by the sum of weapons and ammo and soulspheres and megaspheres, we get the maps difficulty class.

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rdwpa said:

'low difficulty'...
hectic maps that might kill you a dozen times but are short enough that an exit will almost certainly occur within a short (~30 minute) session without anything precise.

See guys, Italo-doom is low difficulty :^)

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low difficulty is where the mapper uses monsters mostly as ambient encounters with no particular pressure; high difficulty is where the mapper pitches the monsters directly against you with set-pieces and constant pressure from all levels. I don't think the length of the experience particularly factors into my definition. similarly, tricky stuff like platforming, puzzle-solving, scavenging for ammo and so forth don't add difficulty either, unless you only get one chance (a different type of pressure) or you're stuck doing it while you're being pushed around the map by enemies you couldn't really have killed off first. aggressive placement directly corresponds to difficulty I guess

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Easy = I don't even pay full attention to the game and I can still play it without dying for as long as I want.
Moderate = When I die, I feel like I could have avoided the death with the skill and reflexes that I have, if only I've tried harder during this game.
Hard = When I die, I feel like I could have avoided the death if my skill and reflexes were better than they actually are, if only I had trained harder before playing this game.
Unfair = When I die, I feel like I couldn't have ever avoided the death.

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scifista42 said:

snip



pretty much this.

easy: trololol

moderate: too much trololol if i died here

hard: no trololol just play seriously

unfair: trololol no way

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