News Article

Upcoming Child of Light Patch to Rename Difficulty Settings

Posted by Tim Latshaw

From "Normal" and "Hard" to "Casual" and "Expert"

There's more than one way to experience Child of Light, and the developers are hoping to make that a bit clearer by renaming the title's two difficulty settings. Instead of "Normal" and "Hard", there will be "Casual" and "Expert."

Writer Jeffrey Yohalem mentioned during a livestream event with Joystiq that the changes would be coming with a future patch. According to him, the semantics have caused some problems in interpretation of the modes:

This has been an issue, obviously, that some people have had, and I think that the word 'normal' is a misrepresentation. ... Or, rather, implying that there's one way to play that's normal is, I think, too strong.

So which setting would be best for you? Yohalem provided his take:

Casual is for people that want to experience the world and experience the adventure without having hard combat, and then expert is for people who love RPGs and who want to really have a challenge.

More on Child of Light, including behind-the-scenes info on its creation, can be discovered through the livestream.

[via joystiq.com]

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User Comments (70)

mamp

#8

mamp said:

Leave it to people to take this kind of issue up the nose

andreoni79

#9

andreoni79 said:

LOL, and what if they had more than two options? "Very casual" and "Very expert"?

steamhare

#13

steamhare said:

I don't understand the rationale. Is the problem that normal mode is too easy, and not actually the level of challenge the devs intended? Or that they're worried about disenfranchising more experienced players?

Lord

#14

Lord said:

I'm confused does this mean that if I select casual I get no rpg elements?

Beechbone

#15

Beechbone said:

Hmm, that's kinda strange. So, is the game too easy on "normal"? I usually do my first playthrough of most games on "normal" as I think this is kind of "as intented" and not too hard but not too easy setting. I'm gonna get Child of Light in upcoming weeks and when looking at "casual" vs "expert" I feel like I'm fitting somewhere in between in RPGs. On the other hand the first "Gears of War" on "casual" was a pretty big challenge so naming conventions are really not worth much.

Dark-Link73

#16

Dark-Link73 said:

"This has been an issue, obviously, that some people have had, and I think that the word 'normal' is a misrepresentation."

So implying that a "casual" player is not an "expert" on what they play doesn't incur any "misinterpretations"? Some people's own "misinterpretation" of terms cause even further "misinterpretations".

sevex

#17

sevex said:

I wonder if anything else is coming in the patch. I'd like an option to disable uplay notifications.

Also, being able to bind Igniculus's abilities to the right trigger would be cool. I find it awkward to control him with the right analog, but activate his abilities with the left trigger.

A manual save option, or even just "save and quit" would be pretty awesome as well. I'm always anxious about quitting cause I'm not sure when it saved last.

And maybe a bit more clarity when using items and equipping Oculi. I got really far before I realized I could use those stat upgrade items on other party members, or even equip them with Oculi.

Kaze_Memaryu

#18

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Aw, come on! If people actually think that, it's their problem. These kinds of difficulty namings are self-explanatory, and if people don't get it, that's their problem.
Surrendering to such a silly demand is the equivalent of sayin "Yeah, sorry. That's our fault" and only reassures people that they don't need to think for themselves.

Kodeen

#19

Kodeen said:

So are there only 2 difficulty levels? If so, I could see the easier difficulty being named something other than 'normal'.

rjejr

#20

rjejr said:

@andreoni79 - Casualer and Expertier. Whatever it is, you win comment of the day.

If someone isn't smart enough to figure out what "normal" and "hard" means in a videogame they aren't going to be smart enough to handle the RPG skill branching and puzzles on any setting no matter what they are called. And this is a download only game on consoles, it's not an app on FB, gamers buying this should be able to figure it out.

What they really need to patch is the teeny tiny font and the light grey on dark grey background. When the talking heads are on screen w/ the color coordination it's fine, but those pop-up bubbles are nearly impossible to read on a 52" tv from the couch. I know it's mostly sign posts and "locked" but they need to be bigger and a different color, maybe yellow would work.

Any word on when the patch is coming out? I'm only an hour in so I can go back to Xenoblade while I wait.

And I hate to ask this, but do we know for sure the Wii U is getting the patch?

Edit: After reading the article, Normal is fine for this type of game, "causal" makes me think Candy Crush, and any causal player isn't going to make it thru the first difficult fight, if they can even figure out how to get there. I haven't died in an hour, but I also scoured every nook and cranny and fought every bad guy I could find to level up. Normal is normal for a typical JRPG like this. It's not difficult, but they seldom are, except the boss battles.

Cinaclov

#22

Cinaclov said:

@sevex Pretty sure you can opt out of that when setting up the Uplay account (or just not bother signing in with it, I don't think I have). And you can activate Igniculus's abilities by clicking the right stick, if that helps. I agree with the auto-save only though, that's something I don't like about many modern games.

withoutdk

#23

withoutdk said:

hmm... this makes we want to buy the game... reminds me of the old Wolfenstein days...

can i play daddy? :D

BlueStar101

#24

BlueStar101 said:

If that's it, then why isn't it out? Shouldn't this only take a few seconds of development?

AltDotNerd

#25

AltDotNerd said:

Filthy CASUALS! Soon "casual" will be a slur towards certain gamers. Example: "Look at those 'casuals' playing their games on EASY difficulty."

jcags

#26

jcags said:

But what about those of us who aren't casuals yet we're not experts either?

the_truth

#27

the_truth said:

Casual is loaded with a lot of really negative connotations. I think this is a mistake.

unrandomsam

#28

unrandomsam said:

Is uplay mandatory with the Wii U version of this ? (If its in every version then they just reduced the chances of me getting it to zero).

sevex

#34

sevex said:

@unrandomsam uPlay isn't mandatory, but even if you're not signed in you'll still get these "uPlay Action Completed" prompts every now and then, which are likely just to make you feel like you're missing something by not logging in. I just find them ugly and intrusive considering how pretty the game is.

mipaol

#35

mipaol said:

Can't decide if some people feel superficial changes to the names of difficulty settings is something worth complaining about, or if people are nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. Either way I look forward to learning more about additional updates for this most excellent, nay exquisite, game.

Lobster

#36

Lobster said:

I don't really care what they call the difficulty levels, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who dislikes that you can't save manually or "save and quit."

MotorTCD

#38

MotorTCD said:

this patch implies you wanting the game to not be too har makes you casual though

Galenmereth

#39

Galenmereth said:

I take offense to being called casual for selecting "Normal" in the first place. Somebody rename Casual to "Brohard" and Expert to "Noscope" plzkthnx.

Einherjar

#40

Einherjar said:

So, games in dire need of crucial patches wont recieve them and they go the length to patch something so insignificant ?
Stuff like this makes me wonder how some dev teams manage their work schedule...
Call me old school, call me a retro hardliner but "normal" and "hard" are basic terms for difficulty levels. If you feel that your "normal" mode is meant to be easy, call it that. These days, casual is not a gaming term, its a stigma. Its almost offensive to some folks.
So, if you dont want to use the regular terms, since "there should be no normal way to play" call them "Story focused" and "Gameplay focused". The first being for people more interested in the games overall story, without being hindered by hard combat scenarios, the latter one for people more interested in the games combat mechanics, wanting a bigger challenge.
But overall, who does even care ? Is this really worth the effort ?

pr0t0man

#41

pr0t0man said:

So are they telling me I should reset and play expert cause normal is really the easy mode of the game?now I'm only maybe 30mins in and love the game but I do find it easy should I restart on hard/expert someone with some good time in the game tell me if it ever gets really challenging even on normal and why can you even select a difficulty on a RPG I don't think I have ever played a RPG that let me pick so I don't know what to do lol

EarthboundBenjy

#46

EarthboundBenjy said:

If I was presented with "Normal" and "Hard", I would pick Normal for a first playthrough.
If I was presented with "Casual" and "Expert", I would pick Expert for a first playthrough.

Names like this are actually very important to how the player thinks and feels about the game modes. Even if changing the name does not actually alter the game itself in any way.

Razzle

#49

Razzle said:

Playing this through on 'normal' with my other and we're having fun. The story and narrative is a bit wishy washy but it's cool. I wish they included motion control with the Wiimote for the glowbug, using the d-pad is ugly.

Noonch

#50

Noonch said:

I'm changing my status on this game from not buying to not caring. I think it's a more accurate representation of my apathy.

TeeJay

#51

TeeJay said:

Fire Emblem: Awakening had a Casual mode added and that was praised. So there's no difference here, really. Well , except for the fact that they're going out of their way to change it via patch, which is strange.

cornishlee

#53

cornishlee said:

So now people who enjoy playing games on normal difficulty are designated as casual gamers? That word already carries so much baggage that I'm surprised studios want to encourage it.

brandonbwii

#54

brandonbwii said:

I never liked the idea of casual taking the place of easy. It was popularized by Epic Games I believe. It's SOMEWHAT forgivable when talking about RPGs as the setting is usually good for those that want to enjoy the story (like the options in Deus Ex and Mass Effect).

Still a little annoying though. :(

Spoony_Tech

#55

Spoony_Tech said:

I'm playing it on hard just because of a few reviews I've seen. I can see why this is a problem but the game has so much more to offer even if on normal mode! Btw I've yet to die and hard mode should be normal mode lol!

Spoony_Tech

#56

Spoony_Tech said:

@cornishlee If you had the game I'm sure you'd understand. Normal should be easy here and what the dev is saying is easy mode and experienced mode. Easy being new to rpg experienced being obvious.

Spoony_Tech

#58

Spoony_Tech said:

@unrandomsam Not only is uplay not mandatory in this It doesn't even ask if I recall correctly to link an account. Its there but doesn't prompt anything. As a matter of fact I had to log on to the app to see if I was even getting my achievements. Btw uplay isn't mandatory in any of ubisofts games!

Spoony_Tech

#59

Spoony_Tech said:

@Beechbone I believe there is some challenge on hard mode and also think easy here would be far to easy imo. I've yet to die on hard mode or even come close really but I'm only about 2hours in. I really don't see it getting any harder though to be honest!

rjejr

#60

rjejr said:

@Galenmereth - You might be right about the contrast, Im not very good at tv settings. My tv has standard, movie, game, dynamic but I just leave it on standard since hooking up everything to 1 HDMI via the sound system and I just change inputs on that. The writing could be twice as big though without becoming obtrusive.

sinalefa

#61

sinalefa said:

@TeeJay

The difference is that in Fire Emblem it does not simply mean an easier difficulty, it means removing a staple feature of the game.

Here it only seems as if they are changing the name of the difficulty settings, so it is only an aesthetic change.

FineLerv

#62

FineLerv said:

I see normal as the default difficulty and hard the challenging difficulty. By contrast, I see casual as my wife's difficulty and expert as my difficulty. There is a lot to be said about the nomenclatute we consciously use. Must we do everything to appease the NuHardcore who grew up on XBox360s?

Genesaur

#64

Genesaur said:

@mike_intellivision @cornishlee Yeah... I don't like this. It's a lot of psychological hooey, but those names aren't attractive for me on a first-time playthrough. "Normal" is what I pick on my first run; "Casual" equates to "Easy" in my mind, and I never select easy mode, unless I have to. Am I so easily affected by diction that I'll be starting on hard mode, should I get this game? Yeah, probably.

Clearly, you're not alone, @EarthboundBenjy.

cusman

#66

cusman said:

I think the patch is a good idea. I played the game on Normal and enjoyed, but it was too easy (or maybe I am that good). I just pick "normal" because it implies this is how the game was designed/intended to be played. If I had seen "casual vs. gamer" options then I would have picked the "gamer" option.

I don't want "casual" or "hard". I just want "normal" for gamers as the game is most designed/tested. Not too easy to be boring and not too hard to get frustrating.

Nickvp95

#67

Nickvp95 said:

we now live in a world where "normal" is too derogative a term for it to be used to represent the difficulty of a game..

Razzle

#68

Razzle said:

@Spoony_Tech
Yeh controlling the glowbug is ok in single player (touch screen or right stick) but when playing co-op it is done with a Wiimote d-pad only. There is no option for the WiiU Pro Controller or for motion controls with Wiimote. No big deal but it would have been nice.

Kitsune_Rei

#69

Kitsune_Rei said:

That seems a little unnecessary- Normal and Hard are really standard difficulties. To me "Casual" sounds like "Easy Cakewalk" and "Expert" sounds like "Hardcore". In a way that makes the choice harder for me.

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