Stigma attached to reducing difficulty shouldn't be a thing. Here's why.
I’ll readily admit it: I frequently play on “Normal” difficulty. Sometimes, I even turn it down to “Easy”. I stay away from ultra-hard souls-like games. I feel no shame in this. You may think it odd that someone who runs a gaming site dedicated to what tends to be considered one of the more challenging genres of games (stealth) plays on easier difficulties, but I really don’t care.
Many gamers, however, get shamed on a regular basis for it. Cries of “git gud” heap up on gaming communities where players seek out advice and help for completing challenging scenarios in games, or lament their inability to get past a certain boss.
Everybody has their reasons for needing a reduction in challenges, however.
I myself, while still relatively young at 37, have the body of someone much older. Besides already having a significant amount of gray hair in my beard, I have numerous physical impairments that reduce my reaction time and coordination. Fast-paced online shooters are a complete non-starter for me. Souls-like combat is cool, but if I’m forced to compete on the same level as everybody else, I’m going to die.. A lot.
Even then, some people just want to enjoy a game for the atmosphere and story. To feel like they ARE powerful, even if it means dropping the difficulty down a notch. Not everybody is looking to struggle and push through challenges; sometimes, they just want to play a game.. And that’s perfectly OK.
We, as gamers, need to start considering that not everybody feels the need to flex and show off their skills by cranking up the difficulty.
With Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s latest updates, I’ve actually been working through the new ranks of some of the classes. In order to do so, I’ve had to drop the difficulty down; some of the challenges are fairly absurd, as most would agree, and some even require difficulty settings to be dropped no matter what (one particular sharpshooter challenge has you take someone out with a sniper rifle, and then a DMR quickly – meaning no single rifle loadout Ghost Experience settings). Ordinarily I’d play on a higher difficulty just due to my experience in games like this, but for these challenges? I was glad to drop the overall difficulty down to ensure I could complete them.
The challenges were still challenging, but at least I and many others can complete them thanks to difficulty settings.
Just remember this.. Gaming is something we do because we enjoy it. Some people enjoy being challenged. Others enjoy immersing themselves in a world or character. Both types of gamers should feel welcome to set the difficulty slider to whatever they like and be free of criticism.