Thursday, May 20, 2010

Easy Mode: Why it's here to stay

Thinking back, I can hardly remember a time before Easy Mode. I'm talking of course of DotA times, back a long time ago when I had no idea what I was doing and played Easy Mode regularly. It wasn't until I started lurking the DotA forums that I learned that Easy Mode is actually shunned by most players as a "noob" mode. For a while I tried to defend my love of the mode with arguments, but competitive players would always be there to tell me I'm wrong and why.

As I continued on, I learned to stop playing Easy Mode and started playing normal games. Eventually, I began to loathe Easy Mode for what it was: A mode that imbalanced the game and turned it into a carry-marathon. My eyes had been opened to the injustice that Easy Mode was and still to this day is, and I wasn't going to stand for it. So, naturally, as anyone with an opinion on a game would do, I took it to the forums.

Suffice to say, I, like many, failed at getting Icefrog to remove Easy Mode. But why? He never seemed to give a straight answer. When HoN rolled around, I had high hopes that with the revamp of everything, the upgrading of the engine and whatnot, Easy Mode would be a thing of the past, something we had to deal with in DotA but now would be gone for good. But alas, I was shocked to see Easy Mode still in the game.

To this day there remains no shred of doubt in any knowledgeable player's mind that Easy Mode imbalances the game and removes a lot of aspects such as teamwork and skill.

If Icefrog and S2 know Easy Mode sucks, why does it still exist?

I, like most people, despise Easy Mode for what it represents: people rolling their head around on the keyboard and getting rewarded for it. To understand why Easy Mode is here to stay, you have to factor in that both Icefrog and S2 like one thing: having people play their game, regardless of who it is.

Easy Mode may imbalance the game, but it also makes the game accessible to people who have never played it. Fact is, if you have never played a game of HoN or DotA before in your life, the odds of you having a decent score, and hell, having more fun playing for your first time whilst playing Easy Mode are significantly higher. I don't need proof for this, the proof is in the pudding.

Easy Mode, as we would all agree, does not punish as hard as Normal Mode. Deaths aren't as a big deal as they usually are, and generally, despite getting killed, you can farm up a sizable inventory and generally be more productive than you would be playing normal mode.

Fact of the matter is, nobody wants Deferred gratification. The HoN tutorial says it best, "Heroes of Newerth is a tough game with a lot to master, but stick with it!". Think about that for a moment. Have you ever had a video game have to tell you to "stick with it"? That's something most people expect to hear when they are learning the Guitar, not playing a video game.

Video games are, for most people, a recreational activity, where they demand instant gratification. Although HoN, like DotA claim to be competitive games, they will never shut their doors to Easy Mode, for the simple reason that it attracts more customers.

"People who pick Rampage every game are still people with 30 dollars."

So the next time you are thinking about making a post letting S2 know that Easy Mode is an imbalanced game mode that should be removed for the sake of getting people to learn the game properly: Don't bother.


  1. I completely agree. But what about the damned hardcore mode? It deserves some special mention of sorts. By the way, who's the corporate dude?

  2. Haha. Just a picture of Reggie from Nintendo. I was making the allusion to Nintendo as they have chosen a similar route in gaming, namely going the casual route. As we see today, they're making a lot of money.

  3. Mario is hardcore.

    Yeah. The world's best selling game EVER is Wii Sports (I know, it doesn't count) . I wonder, Easy Mode on Mario would be hilarious. 2 coins per block, jump is twice as high, and you start at 25 lives.

  4. Just to make it straight. I do not play EM.

    But why do you want Easymode to be removed? Let thoose who want to have their EM rating 93% and never be able to join a desent 1600+ game have it like that.

    Does it hurt you that Easy mode exists? Just ignore it: Problem Solved.

  5. That's the problem, Alexander.

    Newbies who have so much potential end up drowning themselves with EM.

    This phenomenon then lessens the amount of good players, resulting in a hierarchy of good players that never ends.