Author Topic: Name the difficulty levels!  (Read 1541 times)

Offline x4000

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Name the difficulty levels!
« on: August 31, 2016, 09:15:06 AM »
How many difficulty levels should we have, and what should they be called?

Personally, I'm not sure that difficulties 1-4 were really used much in the past.  Difficulty 5+ were used by people to varying degrees, and 7 and 8 were used so much that we had to make decimal places to go in there.

We then had to have the tutorials say "play as blah blah if you have XY experience," etc.

Clearly the topmost difficulty (previously 10) should be "Literally Impossible - It's A Bug If You Win."
The lowest difficulty (previously 5) should probably be called "Relaxed But Interesting"
Difficulty 7 should probably be "Experience RTS Player" or something like that.

Anyway... thoughts?

Obviously there are a couple of things to note:
1. The names will be moddable.
2. What these do will be moddable.
3. How many there are will be moddable.
4. Longer descriptions that explain what these do will be there.

So let's not get into those parts just yet, at least not in this topic. :)
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 09:23:54 AM »
I actually learned the game in the sandbox (dif 1).  It's a good place to learn mechanics and play with other things without extreme AI pressure.  I still recommend 1 for those having trouble with the game.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 09:34:33 AM »
I actually learned the game in the sandbox (dif 1).  It's a good place to learn mechanics and play with other things without extreme AI pressure.  I still recommend 1 for those having trouble with the game.

Agreed, just name it "sandbox" mode.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 09:40:11 AM »
Well.

For me, AI War should have the image of being an difficult game, so I'd go for 5 or 7 difficulty level at most. I'd go for something that would look like this, more or less:

(lowest difficulty)
1) "Relaxed But Interesting"
2) "New to the genre"
3) "Experienced RTS Player" (old diff 7).
4) Experienced with AI War (old diff 8 )
5) Cyborg (old diff 9)
6) AI in disguise (old 9.6)
7) "Literally Impossible - It's A Bug If You Win. PS: the bug report with attached save will be sent to the devs for review and bug correction."
(Topmost difficulty)

Ok, I'm bad with names.
I don't know if "moddable" is good. I'd rather, if possible, have "pre-settable", like a bunch of sliders in the "main lobby", for each "settable" difficulty mechanic an,d the possibility to save (possibly steam workshop ?) the saved settings.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 09:42:43 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Lord Of Nothing

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 10:45:06 AM »
I'd argue that old diff seven should have at least four levels below it. Further, simplicity is king in a name. So maybe...
1-Sandbox (Old diff 1)
2-New to the Genre (There must be a shorter way to say this...) (Old diff 3)
3-Beginner (Old diff 5)
4-Casual Game  (This sounds a bit better than just casual, as it's not talking about the player so directly, but I still don't like it.) (Old diff 6)
4-Moderate (Old diff 7)
5-Hard (Old diff 8)
6-Expert (Old diff 9)
7-Master (Old diff 9.2)
8-Champion (Old diff 9.4)
9-AI in disguise (Old 9.6)
10- Time to Die (Old 10)

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 10:51:49 AM »
So... one central difficulty level, or still one per AI?

If it's the name that is important, then a naming convention is required. What is named? The AI? The player?

I will use a dummy naming just for you identify the difficulties:
1) Sandbox (1)
2) Easy (5)
3) Normal (7)
4) Advanced (8;9)
5) Extreme (10)

For instance, we can name the difficulty with an adjective for the player:
1) One Hundred Monkey and a Keyboard
2) Aspirant Strategist
3) Cryo Commander
4) Elder General
5) Lawful AI

Or we could name the AI having that difficulty:
1) Empty Loop
2) Basic Script
3) Emergent AI
4) Alien Software
5) Quantum CPU

Or the difficulty's name could be a taunt of a comment on the player selecting it (maybe not engaging for new players):
1) Don't you want to actually play?
2) Afraid of nasty AI, little one?
3) Brave but not reckless.
4) Are you ready for this?
5) You'll die. Or find a bug.

Or it could be a phrase the player would say when selecting that difficulty:
1) I just want to run some tests.
2) Could you explain me the game?
3) Let's play a game.
4) I'm ready to be challenged!
5) I will hack you.

I have a personal preference for naming the AI: Empty Loop, Basic Script, Emergent AI, Alien Software, Quantum CPU.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 11:07:08 AM »
5) You'll die. Or find a bug.

I love this one.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 12:20:30 PM »
1. Sandbox
2. Training ground
3. Rookie
4. Intermediate
5. Seasoned
6. Veteran
7. Elite
8. Impossible
9. Doom

Or

1. Sandbox
2. Walk in the park
3. Piece of cake
4. Easy
5. Moderate
6. Challenging
7. Nightmare
8. Insane
9. Doomsday

Or

1. Sandbox
2. Tame
3. Very easy
4. Easy
5. Medium
6. Hard
7. Very hard
8. Impossible
9. Doom

Or

1. They must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel when they hired the programmers to program us
2. I have a money, give me the weapon
3. Puny humans
4. I've come here to kick ass and chew bubblegum and I'm all out of gum
5. Extermination
6. Alt F4
7. I'm no longer out of gum
8. Bring it on you little s**t
9. Welcome you new AI overlords
10. Get terminated
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 01:56:33 PM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline steelwing

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 01:10:15 PM »
1. Sandbox
2. Peaceful
3. Casual
...
8. Misery
9. x4000
 :P

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 01:24:25 PM »
Why so goddamn many difficulties?

1. Sandbox
2. Easy (old 5)
3. Normal (old 7)
4. Experienced (old 8)
5. Hard (old 9)
6. Impossible (old 10)

Even THAT is too many to me, but I feel AIW needs the granularity.
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Offline Tridus

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 02:31:33 PM »
Because I want to avoid words like 'casual' due to the negative connotion it has with some gamers, and words like 'easy' because people tend to avoid it even when they shouldn't because they don't want to "play on easy", and 'sandbox' because lots of people won't understand what it means...

AI Aggressiveness (aka: Difficulty):
  • Helpless
  • Passive
  • Reactive
  • Proactive
  • Aggressive
  • Ruthless
  • Exterminate All Life

Maybe not a list you'd use as-is, but I hope it stirs up some ideas. :)

Offline zharmad

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 02:42:12 PM »
Oh, I did use 3 in my very first game. Then upped to 5, then 7 from there on.

Here is a computer-themed set of difficulty names for lols.
3.0 Hello World!
5.0 AI reprogramming for dummies
7.0 Summer of Code champion
8.0 Script-fu master
9.0 Zero-day hijacking
9.6 Single point failure mode
10.0 Chomsky Type-Zero Solution

= = = = =
And here's a more serious line of suggestions. The basic names, I think, need to be simple and clear-cut.
3.0 Sandbox (achievements disabled)
5.0 Easy
7.0 Normal
8.5 Difficult
9.3 Legendary
10.0 Real-life

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 03:04:24 PM »
If it wasn't for the bug report name, 10 should be called "Grey Goo".
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 05:51:30 PM »
For what it's worth, we shouldn't toss out 7, 7.3, 7.6, 8, 8.3, and 8.6

That was the sweet spot in terms of experienced players and that some of us were slightly better than others of us (myself, I'm probably really only a 6 on my lonesome, but with the friend that got me into AI War in the first place, we'd play on 7.6 most of the time).  And it had to do with the exponential nature of some of the effects, so jumping from 7 to 8 was really big--as big as the jump from 4 to 7.

So, whatever the names, the "values" I'd keep would probably be:
2, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10

Which...interestingly...makes for 10 difficulty levels.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Name the difficulty levels!
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2016, 07:41:27 PM »
I'll just agree on the 'We really only need one of the sandbox difficulties'. I don't think anyone used 2-4 for much, but I did use 1 occasionally for the sandboxyness.