UI/UX: Rename game modes
issueid=5336 10-14-2017 12:30 AM
The Creator
Number of reported issues by adom-admin: 479
UI/UX: Rename game modes

According to our test players the advice from the community was wrong:
  • The "easy" name is not attractive as people fear to miss something when playing it and are kind of ashamed when starting it.
  • Classical sometimes sounds easier than it is.
Thus I consider renaming gaming modes once more to:
  • Tutorial -> Easy (tutorial)
  • Easy -> Standard or Normal Average
  • Classic (roguelike) -> Hard (roguelike)
Issue Details
Issue Number 5336
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category All
Status Implemented
Priority 1 - Highest
Suggested Version ADOM 2.3.5
Implemented Version ADOM 2.3.6
Milestone "Ease of Use" UI
Votes for this feature 1
Votes against this feature 7
Assigned Users adom-admin
Tags (none)




10-14-2017 08:59 AM
Senior Member
> The "easy" name is not attractive as people fear to miss something when playing it and are kind of ashamed when starting it.

What's the problem? This is exactly how they should feel!

10-14-2017 10:04 AM
The Creator
But it's how they react. Psychology is difficult :-)

And I understand that but didn't wand to deduce that form my own actions: I also _never_ play games in easy mode (if that is offered) because I imagine it could reduce my enjoyment or keep me from certain features. It's stupid to think that but the tests seem to confirm that people feel uneasy with easy modes ;-)

10-14-2017 10:05 AM
The Creator
And to be honest: I'm not really sure that they miss something in ADOM if hunger doesn't kill them very soon and they live a little longer. New players still keep dying to many things. It's easier but not trivial ;-)

10-14-2017 10:46 AM
Ancient Member
I think they do miss a lot. With this name change, new players will never play the standard roguelike mode, and they will miss a lot of what makes ADOM great.

10-14-2017 10:51 AM
Qui Qui is offline
Senior Member
Dying horribly is part of the experience.

10-14-2017 04:43 PM
Senior Member
The "easy" name is not attractive as people fear to miss something when playing it and are kind of ashamed when starting it.
Isn't it a bad idea to rename the tutorial to "easy" then? You don't want people to be "ashamed" of playing the tutorial.

10-14-2017 07:47 PM
Junior Member
But it's how they react.
Who are they, anyway?... A people who quit game anyway in some time? Im think Cteator is very nice with this(easy,autolocking,shame)stuff these days. Im think ADoM is a Great Game for nicest persons, like some of you guys. Im think most of players seek some selfchallenge ingame, and love (in some way) to suffer from vomiting deaths in totaly dark places. Too many time wasted on some people comfort feelings.

10-15-2017 08:34 AM
The Creator
Quote Originally Posted by JagaJazzist
Who are they, anyway?... A people who quit game anyway in some time? Im think Cteator is very nice with this(easy,autolocking,shame)stuff these days. Im think ADoM is a Great Game for nicest persons, like some of you guys. Im think most of players seek some selfchallenge ingame, and love (in some way) to suffer from vomiting deaths in totaly dark places. Too many time wasted on some people comfort feelings.
Just read the Steam comments. That's why we now are testing with gamers who voice and interest in ADOM and never played it. These are (among others) folks with hundred and thousands of hours of experience at other games... smart people... curious people... but if you watch them trying to get into ADOM you really learn one thing: ADOM tries to do a lot to stop you from enjoying the interface in the first couple of hours. And that's too much time to win the hearts of most new players these days.
But ADOM needs new players to survive for a long time. And I see no reason in being adamant about not adjusting to the perceptions of a majority of players as long as that doesn't ruin the game. Which in this case it doesn't as the existing fan base knows very well what it wants to play.

10-16-2017 06:15 AM
Senior Member
This is one thing I think ToME handles very well. While the case in ADOM is a little different, one of the ways ToME labels their difficulties is "Exploration", "Adventure" and "Roguelike". This doesn't imply one way is "the right way" or "standard" (which will still upset some purists) - that's for the player to decide how they want to best enjoy the game. So, maybe consider words that aren't necessarily a linear progression.

10-16-2017 06:39 AM
The Creator
Quote Originally Posted by hapro
This is one thing I think ToME handles very well. While the case in ADOM is a little different, one of the ways ToME labels their difficulties is "Exploration", "Adventure" and "Roguelike". This doesn't imply one way is "the right way" or "standard" (which will still upset some purists) - that's for the player to decide how they want to best enjoy the game. So, maybe consider words that aren't necessarily a linear progression.
To be honest:
  • Upsetting _these_ special purists IMHO doesn't matter. They are part of the problem because their is one right way of playing (which there isn't). And they are part of the problem segment who enclose roguelikes in a niche due to their small-minded horizont.
  • Upsetting the general community definitely would be a problem - but I don't see why the proposed change should upset them.

I personally so far am not convinced about the TOME example because the idea of the linear progression is to provide guidances for new players who get into the game. Thus no-linear (and non-obvious) name choices won't guide them - which defeats the whole idea.

Sometimes I wonder if prefixing the label with "Difficulty:" already is the solution (and maybe "Average" is the better word than "Normal" or "Standard"). Like in
  • Difficulty: Easy (tutorial)
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Difficulty: Hard (roguelike)

10-16-2017 06:41 AM
The Creator
P.S.: So far the votes against simply don't sway me. Feels like a traditionalist problem. Or I don't see the point.

10-16-2017 06:47 AM
The Creator
P.S.: Game logs need to display the game mode under which they were played!

10-16-2017 07:53 AM
Junior Member
Hm, you say the point of the rename is to not make people feel they miss something when they start the game. But the fact is, they do miss a lot. As I'm not a prerelease tester, I haven't seen what it's actually like, but I say this based on what you've said about the game mode. Deadly hunger is an important game element. Talents add a nice flavor to character customization. But the most important change, I think, is the "pampered" dice rolls. They could potentially greatly affect how you approach the game and certain situations in it, simply because you're much less likely to encounter certain situations, like say, something drops you to 20% health instantly and you make a mental note: okay, I need to be more careful around these monsters/doing this stuff. Maybe I should use different tactics settings? Or try ranged combat? It's too fast to stay in range, can I slow it down somehow? If a monster is less likely to, say, shrug off bolt spells, then the player's less likely to experiment with other stuff he has access to (ball spells/wands, throwing potions etc.). As always, difficulty inspires creativity and exploration of game features that might otherwise stay unused.

Now I did find the Easy/Classic naming scheme to be fitting, because it guides the players toward the standard game experience. And if someone doesn't care about playing on full difficulty, well, they're free to play "Easy". Personally I always play games on the hardest setting, and if I get what I bargained for, I don't complain. I'd imagine if someone doesn't specifically need the challenge, they would be more comfortable with playing "Easy" mode.

But then again, maybe you're right in that "Easy" discourages that setting too much in the middle-ground of casual/hardcore players. But I think calling the other setting "Hard" doesn't offer that subtle nudge towards the player, or rather that middle-ground type player: "Hey, once you're comfortable, give me a try." The existing fanbase indeed does know what it wants to play. But the prospective fanbase does not, and some of those who would enjoy the "classic" mode (after getting used to the game a bit), might not try it without some encouragement. So I propose the following:

"Tutorial (easy)"
"Average"
"Classic" or "Classic (roguelike)"

10-16-2017 07:56 AM
rho rho is offline
Member
Personally, I like to be given explanations of what different difficulty levels mean. Not in terms of game mechanics (since I often don't know the mechanics when I'm originally selecting difficulty) but in terms of the general philosophy behind the difficulty levels. These seem to vary so much from one game to the next that picking a difficulty level that's just labeled with one word feels like a lottery. Does "easy" mean "there's basically no challenge here and this is just if you want to play through for the story"? Or does it mean "this is a good introductory level of difficulty for a new player"? Or "this is actually still extremely challenging, but it is the easiest of the options available"? And does "hard" mean "all features are enabled" or does it mean "deliberately imbalanced and unfair"? My choice would depend on what is meant, but too often, there's no way of knowing without further research.

So, my vote would be that I don't really care what the options are called so long as they have good descriptions of the philosophy behind them, and what sort of player would benefit from each.

10-16-2017 09:34 AM
Ancient Member
I would name them

Exploration
Softcore
Hardcore

if you want players to understand the differences and you already have games like Diablo 3 / Path of Exile which means explaining it is a bit easier.

Obviously would mean the old "easy" mode doesn't have permadeath.

10-16-2017 09:52 AM
Qui Qui is offline
Senior Member
because their is one right way of playing (which there isn't).
There is one way of playing that made this game a success despite suboptimal UI/UX, lack of graphics and sound, long breaks in development, no tutorial, etc. The experience we had made us stick with ADoM, as you could see by the success of the Kickstarter. So I'd say it is proven to be good and should remain as the "go to" difficulty.

These days some of the horrible things I mentioned are gone, or are being taken care of right now. What's left is difficulty, which probably was a major part of what made ADoM what it is today. Now, I don't have anything against easier modes. Many people will appreciate them. And personally I don't care much which mode is named what, as long as it's obvious which one is the one I want to play, but I don't matter here, because I know the game. If I didn't, I might have chosen "Average" instead of "Hard", which would be a mistake (for me, maybe not for someone else). I second the idea of having extended descriptions, because, for example, one could assume "Average" is what the game was made for, and "Hard" is a mode specifically aimed for hardcore players (like for example Nightmare+ in ToME).

10-16-2017 10:02 AM
Ancient Member
maybe try the fifa approach - if you die too often the game pops up and says "how about easy mode? You look like your struggling a bit"

10-16-2017 01:54 PM
Junior Member
Quote Originally Posted by Qui
There is one way of playing that made this game a success despite suboptimal UI/UX, lack of graphics and sound, long breaks in development, no tutorial, etc. The experience we had made us stick with ADoM, as you could see by the success of the Kickstarter. So I'd say it is proven to be good and should remain as the "go to" difficulty.

These days some of the horrible things I mentioned are gone, or are being taken care of right now. What's left is difficulty, which probably was a major part of what made ADoM what it is today. Now, I don't have anything against easier modes. Many people will appreciate them. And personally I don't care much which mode is named what, as long as it's obvious which one is the one I want to play, but I don't matter here, because I know the game. If I didn't, I might have chosen "Average" instead of "Hard", which would be a mistake (for me, maybe not for someone else). I second the idea of having extended descriptions, because, for example, one could assume "Average" is what the game was made for, and "Hard" is a mode specifically aimed for hardcore players (like for example Nightmare+ in ToME).
I mostly concur with your reasons to guide players towards the more difficult mode if they're not particularly averse to it. If there is a way to give players some more detailed summary of the game modes, that would indeed be nice, but as it is, I advocated for keeping at least the "Classic" term, because it serves that purpose to an extent.

10-16-2017 05:54 PM
Ancient Member
How about calling last one just roguelike without hard? Lots of people would have general idea that to expect. Same for average - just call it something descriptive (Story mode/Action/whatever)

IMHO, soft/hard or easy/hard just mislead people.

10-16-2017 06:17 PM
Junior Member
Easy / Average / Hard is quite fine. My vote would go to Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced, which is also used in rather many games. It also implies that the game gets more complex with increased level.

But I especially concur with rho's suggestion to have good descriptions available somehow.

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