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A way to specify the grind difficulty when writing guides?


Yrva

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I apologize if this has already been suggested or anything!

 

When writing a guide, most people usually take a glance at the estimated difficulty that the guide writers gave out for said game, but I think it might be a good idea to differentiate the challenging difficulty from the grind difficulty. Since difficulty is entirely dependent on the player, and not to confuse the two as the same subject matter, tedious grinds and extremely challenging tasks are in completely different lanes, but perhaps alongside the difficulty rating on each guide, there could be a way for the guide writers to set some kind of grind difficulty too?

 

Aside from the "grind" label that you can already give trophies combined with the estimated hours, this is a somewhat decent indication of how grindy a game can be, like if it's a 3/10 difficulty but with 300 hours of playtime, but I think it wouldn't hurt to have some kind of clear indicator of how severe the grind can potentially be, alongside the difficulty. Just to eliminate any vagueness and be upfront with the guide reader, I suppose.

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Just now, Undead Wolf said:

What exactly is a "grind difficulty" and how is it different from the estimated time to platinum? I think that's already a pretty good indicator of how grindy a plat is, no?

Some games can have you complete a main story which can be anywhere from 50 to 100 hours, but major aspects of the trophy list rely solely on tedious grinding that are nothing more than a chore to the player. On the other hand, you can have a game that has an equal amount of grinding but the process of it isn't nearly as taxing or boring, making for a much more enjoyable experience, even for those who can't stand grinding.

 

Leaving it up to the estimated time is a fair indication for people who are just viewing from face value (which most are), but I think some kind of direct indication of the grind whether it's on a number scale or something like "Time Consuming", "RNG", etc. Things like that, if that makes any sense. Essentially just clarifying it in the guide summary instead of potentially having to unnecessarily elaborating on it inside the guide. Definitely not the most necessary of changes needed, but I think it would be a nice change for people who do care a lot about what kind, if any kind, of grinding a game entails.

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2 minutes ago, ManaFear said:

Some games can have you complete a main story which can be anywhere from 50 to 100 hours, but major aspects of the trophy list rely solely on tedious grinding that are nothing more than a chore to the player. On the other hand, you can have a game that has an equal amount of grinding but the process of it isn't nearly as taxing or boring, making for a much more enjoyable experience, even for those who can't stand grinding.

 

Leaving it up to the estimated time is a fair indication for people who are just viewing from face value (which most are), but I think some kind of direct indication of the grind whether it's on a number scale or something like "Time Consuming", "RNG", etc. Things like that, if that makes any sense. Essentially just clarifying it in the guide summary instead of potentially having to unnecessarily elaborating on it inside the guide. Definitely not the most necessary of changes needed, but I think it would be a nice change for people who do care a lot about what kind, if any kind, of grinding a game entails.

 

I see what you're saying, and it could work, but there's also a good chance it could confuse readers, especially if there are two time estimates (one for grind and one for overall plat time). Personally, I feel like it's better to describe what kind of grind it is in the guide's roadmap since it would allow you to go into more detail. Having a tag like "RNG" doesn't give me a whole lot to go off and a "Time Consuming" tag for a grind seems quite redundant to me. :P

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Just now, Undead Wolf said:

 

I see what you're saying, and it could work, but there's also a good chance it could confuse readers, especially if there are two time estimates (one for grind and one for overall plat time). Personally, I feel like it's better to describe what kind of grind it is in the guide's roadmap since it would allow you to go into more detail. Having a tag like "RNG" doesn't give me a whole lot to go off and a "Time Consuming" tag for a grind seems quite redundant to me. :P

Oh yeah, those were just random examples, and yeah I totally understand, you're probably right but I thought I might as well throw the possibility out there haha. 

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12 minutes ago, ManaFear said:

Some games can have you complete a main story which can be anywhere from 50 to 100 hours, but major aspects of the trophy list rely solely on tedious grinding that are nothing more than a chore to the player. On the other hand, you can have a game that has an equal amount of grinding but the process of it isn't nearly as taxing or boring, making for a much more enjoyable experience, even for those who can't stand grinding.

 

Leaving it up to the estimated time is a fair indication for people who are just viewing from face value (which most are), but I think some kind of direct indication of the grind whether it's on a number scale or something like "Time Consuming", "RNG", etc. Things like that, if that makes any sense. Essentially just clarifying it in the guide summary instead of potentially having to unnecessarily elaborating on it inside the guide. Definitely not the most necessary of changes needed, but I think it would be a nice change for people who do care a lot about what kind, if any kind, of grinding a game entails.

Those are mainly RPG's characteristics though.And they usually write about that in the roadmap

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2 minutes ago, Dragon-Archon said:

I agree that having another estimated time in the overview could confuse readers. Guide writers always have the possibility to go into details about the grind in the trophy's description or the stage in the roadmap. 

 

I would like to see a trophy tag that says something like "RNG" or "Luck-Based" as using the "Grind" tag isn't entirely correct, since people can be lucky and get the trophy quickly. I have asked for this a few times before, but it hasn't been added.

That is a much better suggestion that what I had asked, I completely agree. My purpose of this post was to eliminate any vagueness to what "grind" could mean and I suppose difficulty in general, but having specific tags like that would surely be a great addition. It's a shame it hasn't been added yet, but here's to hoping!

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I'd like to see an "RNG" trophy tag implemented as well. Just so I'm clear, when I said having a "RNG" tag wouldn't give me much to go off, I was referring to having the tag at the top of the guide next to difficulty/estimated time. Associating them with specific trophies would be really helpful.

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PS3T makes a clear distinction not to rate things based on how much grind, just the pure difficulty of the game. 

They're good like that.

 

Quote

https://www.playstationtrophies.org/forum/mad-max/274134-platinum-difficulty-rating.html
Voting Guidelines

  1. Do not vote unless you have played the game.
  2. Do not vote until you have dedicated a substantial amount of time towards the game.
  3. Do not vote based solely on the descriptions from the trophy list.
  4. A time consuming game does not necessarily mean a difficult game so vote accordingly.
  5. Vote with honesty and integrity.

 

 

Edited by DARKB1KE
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As someone who does not have great twitch FPS skills on console, I really support/appreciate separating skill and grind. When I look at games like MGSV where you need to be able to shoot well, it really matters whether the estimated difficulty and time numbers come from skill requirements or just the fact that there's a lot of repetitive content. The need to complete a difficult shoot house once and the need to repeat copy-pasted missions is apples and oranges, so the more those can be measured differently, the better.

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11 minutes ago, rdhight said:

As someone who does not have great twitch FPS skills on console, I really support/appreciate separating skill and grind. When I look at games like MGSV where you need to be able to shoot well, it really matters whether the estimated difficulty and time numbers come from skill requirements or just the fact that there's a lot of repetitive content. The need to complete a difficult shoot house once and the need to repeat copy-pasted missions is apples and oranges, so the more those can be measured differently, the better.

 

Unless I'm missing the boat here, your comment says two completely different things. On the one hand, you say that you don't have "great twitch FPS skills on console". But how is another guide writer supposed to adjust his/her difficulty assessment for your purposes? Your example is particularly telling, since you leave out one big case: what if a game has a lot of repetitive content that requires you (personally) to shoot well, though other people could do it much more easily? On the one hand, you'd say that they should rate difficulty highly, because you're not that good at shooting. But on the other hand, you say that it should be rated low, because it really is just rinse and repeat stuff.

 

This is exactly why the whole "difficulty" question is pointless. I share your inability to play FPS on console. I even find "easy" games like Uncharted 2 to be difficult. But how in the world is a guide writer supposed to make such a designation?

 

44 minutes ago, DARKB1KE said:

PS3T makes a clear distinction not to rate things based on how much grind, just the pure difficulty of the game. 

They're good like that.

 

To be honest, they're pretty stupid at everything over there. "Pure difficulty of the game" is a nonsense term, and (the former) PS3T just continues perpetuating the myth that somehow, it can be measured.

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3 minutes ago, BlindMango said:

I kind of like the idea of something like this, like keeping a difficulty rating at the top but then also  adding a "Grind Score" next to it, something like:

  • Major Grind
  • Big Grind
  • Fair Grind
  • Minor Grind
  • No Grind

 

It's hard to rate guides to be honest, we try to remind people that a 5/10 should kind of mean "Not too hard, but too easy" and scale from there, and not to include a grind in that score, or should they base the whole difficulty on 1 single really hard part of the game or average it out? And so on. This is tough to manage, and when I write my own guides I sometimes fall into a trap of rating a game too hard or too easy. Basically guide ratings are ultimately of the opinion of the guide writer and should only be used as an approximation but are ultimately still helpful in my opinion, but something like this would help understand it more.

 

This is essentially what I meant when I had the idea in mind. Some kind of indicator of a minor or severe grind could have proved useful, but who knows haha. Difficulty ratings will always just be the guide writers estimate and should never be seen as set in stone, but I think it's important that both the reader and writer understand how the 1 to 10 scale should be used properly. For example in a case of video game completions, 1/10 being minimal to no effort being required, 5/10 being a fair and appropriate challenge, and 10/10 being a very tasking, time consuming, and probably extremely difficult challenge. The issue is that "grind" is more or less impossible to fit onto its own scale like that, which is why I figured a system like the one you just pointed out might be a decent idea.

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On 4/14/2018 at 8:15 PM, BlindMango said:

I kind of like the idea of something like this, like keeping a difficulty rating at the top but then also  adding a "Grind Score" next to it, something like:

  • Endless Grind
  • Major Grind
  • Big Grind
  • Fair Grind
  • Minor Grind
  • No Grind

 

It's hard to rate guides to be honest, we try to remind people that a 5/10 should kind of mean "Not too hard, but too easy" and scale from there, and not to include a grind in that score, or should they base the whole difficulty on 1 single really hard part of the game or average it out? And so on. This is tough to manage, and when I write my own guides I sometimes fall into a trap of rating a game too hard or too easy. Basically guide ratings are ultimately of the opinion of the guide writer and should only be used as an approximation but are ultimately still helpful in my opinion, but something like this would help understand it more.

 

 

Added Endless Grind in your list

 

It's indeed hard to rate the guide. I usually don't trust the rating and time estimation from the guide writers (including myself and other players) because they spend a lot of time to play and figure out how to make the game easier to plat. Since they are "good" at playing their game, therefore their rating is not good enough for the real value of game difficulty. Besides, you may see the low rating in some guides if the guide writer is good at specific genre. For example, I couldn't plat original Dead or Alive 5 as everyone know how hard it is. One day I saw a trophy guide of DOA5 Ultimate with a rating of 2/10, I thought I could plat it due to such low rating; however,I still got stuck with combo and challenge trophies. I don't blame the guide writer like some people usually do when they have a trouble unlocking some trophies, because I know that guide writer has an expert on fighting game while I really suck at this genre. Since I can't plat 2x DOA5, I don't mind to have another "impossible" plat (DOA5 Last Round) later. That's why FPS players may give Fighting games a high rating, or JRPG players may have a hard time to plat FPS game.

 

Here is another example: I rated Bullet Girl 1 as 2/10 in term of difficulty because there is a trick to make the plat extremely easy; however, someone posted a comment asking "I need to have whatever you're smoking to consider this a 2/10 difficulty rating. I'd put this as a 7 minimum. I can't even get past area 4 with how challenging the levels are let alone S rank. I use your little "strategy" but still either die or run out of time ".

 

The Trick:

  • 4x level 1 assault riffles + Dodge + Auto lock-on trick => Clear mission easily
  • 4x level 3 assault riffles + Dodge + Auto lock-on trick => Clear mission with S rank easily

 

Here is the list of Area 4 videos:

 

 

 

I admit that I may rate the game pretty low since I just tried to complete the missions for the first time with auto lock-on trick, then I came back to achieve S rank with fully upgraded assault rifle + auto lock-on trick. This game can't be a 7/10, if so, I think other Third-person shooting games should be 20/10. According to PST's rating thread, the average rating is 3/10.

 

It's also hard to put the hour in time estimation since not every game has in-game clock. Some guide writers write the guide and play game at same time, while others pause the game or put PS4 in rest mode then write the guide. Besides, the time may vary based on how the players play the game. Some people may focus on getting trophies, beating the main story/side quests and ignore everything such as collecting non trophy-related items for completion, while others enjoy spending their time to stalk the NPC.

 

But like you said it's just guide writer's opinion and it should only be used as an approximation. Grindy trophies should not added to the overall difficulty unless you have to kill hard bosses for specific item, and since it's a random drop then you have to "suffer" in killing the bosses countless times.

Edited by Leon Hasegawa
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6 hours ago, starcrunch061 said:

To be honest, they're pretty stupid at everything over there. "Pure difficulty of the game" is a nonsense term, and (the former) PS3T just continues perpetuating the myth that somehow, it can be measured.

Difficulty is subjective and different for everyone.  'Pure' simply means a term for the best general choice out of ten to measure from statistics of others and without taking "grind" into consideration.  Don't get your panties all tied up over it bud. You must not have understood point 4:  A time consuming game does not necessarily mean a difficult game so vote accordingly.

Edited by DARKB1KE
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10 hours ago, Dragon-Archon said:

 

I would like to see a trophy tag that says something like "RNG" or "Luck-Based" as using the "Grind" tag isn't entirely correct, since people can be lucky and get the trophy quickly. I have asked for this a few times before, but it hasn't been added.

 

 

That would be an interesting feature indeed for the concerned trophies ?

 

Another option could also be a have 2 different tags for grinding trophies: farm-based grind and RNG/luck-based grind...

 

For the rest the current format is already specific enough in my opinion - the header gives a difficulty rating and how much playthroughs & estimated hours are required for the platinum. It’s simple and synthetic, which is the very point of an introduction...

 

Edited by Neef-GT5
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9 hours ago, BlindMango said:

I kind of like the idea of something like this, like keeping a difficulty rating at the top but then also  adding a "Grind Score" next to it, something like:

  • Major Grind
  • Big Grind
  • Fair Grind
  • Minor Grind
  • No Grind

 

It's hard to rate guides to be honest, we try to remind people that a 5/10 should kind of mean "Not too hard, but too easy" and scale from there, and not to include a grind in that score, or should they base the whole difficulty on 1 single really hard part of the game or average it out? And so on. This is tough to manage, and when I write my own guides I sometimes fall into a trap of rating a game too hard or too easy. Basically guide ratings are ultimately of the opinion of the guide writer and should only be used as an approximation but are ultimately still helpful in my opinion, but something like this would help understand it more.

 

Nice, I like how the grind rating isn't depicted as a number, which would be a good way to avoid confusion with the overall difficulty.

 

Just throwing some stuff out: Deciding on the right grind rating would be dependent on how much of the overall playtime is spent on grinding? Maybe something like:

  • Major Grind - >40%
  • Big Grind - 25% - 40%
  • Fair Grind - 15% - 24%
  • Minor Grind - 5% - 14%
  • No Grind - <5%

But then again, that wouldn't be completely accurate either, as having a 60-hour game with 15 hours of grinding would be a Big Grind, while a 100-hour plat with 20 hours of grinding would be a Fair Grind. Then there are skill-based games like Super Meat Boy, that requires flawless runs. Does this count as grinding too? I personally don't think practicing to get used to a level is, but others may. Some games even have a combination of skill and luck, such as Catherine's Babel Mode, where players have to ascend a tower by moving blocks. The game randomly decides between 20 or so patterns and drops one of those. After ~10% of the total steps to reach the end have been reached, a new set of patterns is chosen. Do people count this as grinding too?

 

7 hours ago, Leon Hasegawa said:

Added Endless Grind in your list

 

It's indeed hard to rate the guide. I usually don't trust the rating and time estimation from the guide writers (including myself and other players) because they spend a lot of time to play and figure out how to make the game easier to plat. Since they are "good" at playing their game, therefore their rating is not good enough for the real value of game difficulty. Besides, you may see the low rating in some guides if the guide writer is good at specific genre. For example, I couldn't plat original Dead or Alive 5 as everyone know how hard it is. One day I saw a trophy guide of DOA5 Ultimate with a rating of 2/10, I thought I could plat it due to such low rating; however,I still got stuck with combo and challenge trophies. I don't blame the guide writer like some people usually do when they have a trouble unlocking some trophies, because I know that guide writer has an expert on fighting game while I really suck at this genre. Since I can't plat 2x DOA5, I don't mind to have another "impossible" plat (DOA5 Last Round) later. That's why FPS players may give Fighting games a high rating, or JRPG players may have a hard time to plat FPS game.

 

It's also hard to put the hour in time estimation since not every game has in-game clock. Some guide writers write the guide and play game at same time, while others pause the game or put PS4 in rest mode then write the guide. Besides, the time may vary based on how the players play the game. Some people may focus on getting trophies, beating the main story/side quests and ignore everything such as collecting non trophy-related items for completion, while others enjoy spending their time to stalk the NPC.

 

But like you said it's just guide writer's opinion and it should only be used as an approximation. Grindy trophies should not added to the overall difficulty unless you have to kill hard bosses for specific item, and since it's a random drop then you have to "suffer" in killing the bosses countless times.

Epic Grind sounds better :awesome: . 

 

Then there are games like God Eater, where the in-game timer doesn't stop, even when using the Home button or putting it in rest mode.

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8 hours ago, DARKB1KE said:

Difficulty is subjective and different for everyone.  'Pure' simply means a term for the best general choice out of ten to measure from statistics of others and without taking "grind" into consideration.  Don't get your panties all tied up over it bud. You must not have understood point 4:  A time consuming game does not necessarily mean a difficult game so vote accordingly.

 

What are you on about (again)? Perhaps you didn't understand your own first sentence:

 

Difficulty is subjective and different for everyone.

 

For some people, the grind might be the ONLY difficulty they find in a game. As a quick example, Pier Solar's slippery game is probably the hardest part of the game, skill-wise. But for me, it definitely wasn't the worst part. The worst part was having to play the game twice. Given your very first statement, the adjective "pure" immediately makes...zero sense.

 

That's the whole problem with a site telling people what is difficult and what isn't (just one of the many problems with PS3T).

 

And why don't you do everyone a favor and stop talking down to them? Weren't you the one complaining not so long ago about this very thing?

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On 4/14/2018 at 5:30 PM, starcrunch061 said:

 

Unless I'm missing the boat here, your comment says two completely different things. On the one hand, you say that you don't have "great twitch FPS skills on console". But how is another guide writer supposed to adjust his/her difficulty assessment for your purposes? Your example is particularly telling, since you leave out one big case: what if a game has a lot of repetitive content that requires you (personally) to shoot well, though other people could do it much more easily? On the one hand, you'd say that they should rate difficulty highly, because you're not that good at shooting. But on the other hand, you say that it should be rated low, because it really is just rinse and repeat stuff.

 

 

Maybe I wasn't clear. I want the difficulty rating to be based on the single hardest task that is needed for platinum, and it shouldn't matter whether it's a 10-hour plat or 100 hours. Grind, RNG trophies, rare drop hunting, luck — none of that should count as difficulty.

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On 4/15/2018 at 9:06 AM, starcrunch061 said:

 

What are you on about (again)? Perhaps you didn't understand your own first sentence:

 

Difficulty is subjective and different for everyone.

 

For some people, the grind might be the ONLY difficulty they find in a game. As a quick example, Pier Solar's slippery game is probably the hardest part of the game, skill-wise. But for me, it definitely wasn't the worst part. The worst part was having to play the game twice. Given your very first statement, the adjective "pure" immediately makes...zero sense.

 

That's the whole problem with a site telling people what is difficult and what isn't (just one of the many problems with PS3T).

 

And why don't you do everyone a favor and stop talking down to them? Weren't you the one complaining not so long ago about this very thing?

Grind doesn't equate to be difficult.  It could be a very simple task that takes hundreds of hours.  that doesn't make it "difficult" by any means.

A time consuming game does not necessarily mean a difficult game so vote accordingly.

They are saying do not give a game a 9/10 rating if it's actually closer to 3/10 if it requires a very long grind that is easy to do. 

If you can't understand this simple concept then there is no helping you. 

 

 

7 hours ago, rdhight said:

 

 

Maybe I wasn't clear. I want the difficulty rating to be based on the single hardest task that is needed for platinum, and it shouldn't matter whether it's a 10-hour plat or 100 hours. Grind, RNG trophies, rare drop hunting, luck — none of that should count as difficulty.

Precisely.  rdhight gets it. 

Edited by DARKB1KE
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I'm not sure a grind difficulty is appropriate. If a game had a 9/10 grind difficulty then I don't really know what that means. Does it mean 9/10 of your time will be spent grinding?

 

For a game like Friday the 13th where you will spend around 60 hours boosting matches purely for councillor/Jason/kills are you basing the difficulty from boredom (subjective) or how difficult it is to perform the grind? When it comes to how difficult it is to perform what is needed it's a 1/10, if you're talking about boredom it's an 8/10 (subjective), if you're talking about time then maybe 6/10 compared to other games. 

 

When looking at guides if I see a game has a difficulty of 5/10 but takes 100 hours to complete I deduce this is down to grinding. The overview of the game will then break down why the game takes x amount of hours or why the game is so difficult.

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I think ''grind difficulty'' is not the best way of putting it in the first place. It should be more focused on the tediousness or effort and not the difficulty itself.

 

Aside from that. I think the concept is unesesarry. There's already a Grind tag writers can add to trophies and you can also put on the roadmap if your game is really grindy. Like what i did on my most recent guide forr 99Vidas for example. There i just indicated in the first sentence of the road map that the game is a big grind.

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On 15/04/2018 at 1:07 PM, Dragon-Archon said:

Nice, I like how the grind rating isn't depicted as a number, which would be a good way to avoid confusion with the overall difficulty.

 

Just throwing some stuff out: Deciding on the right grind rating would be dependent on how much of the overall playtime is spent on grinding? Maybe something like:

  • Major Grind - >40%
  • Big Grind - 25% - 40%
  • Fair Grind - 15% - 24%
  • Minor Grind - 5% - 14%
  • No Grind - <5%

But then again, that wouldn't be completely accurate either, as having a 60-hour game with 15 hours of grinding would be a Big Grind, while a 100-hour plat with 20 hours of grinding would be a fair grind.

 

You can just factor out the total completion time right. Just take the 2 examples from you. The factor I would be using is 100. So that makes 100/100 = 1 and 60/100= 0.6. Then 1x20=20 and 0.6x15= 9. The first one will still be a fair grind, but the second one changed to a fair grind (15%).

 

But to be honest then your just looking at the time it tooks and I think that aint bad.

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