I believe Unreal Tournament featured something called adaptive difficulty (Not sure if that’s the correct name). Instead of setting a difficulty level the game itself would adjust the skill level of the bots to ensure that the player encountered enemies that almost matched his or her skill. So this weeks question is this:
Do you prefer having a pre-defined or adaptive difficulty setting?
Personally I preferred the pre-defined settings because , as probably you did, I set it one level above what I thought I could manage. Having bots that were supposed to be better than me made me take the game more seriously. Now, I know that UT is not a story-driven SP FPS but the actual gameplay can be similar, especially in the Assault mode. I was later to learn that in reality the setting were easily beaten because of the predictability of the enemies.
Within a story-driven SP FPS using pre-defined difficulty settings may be a bad thing because you may pass one area or even get a long way into the game only to find yourself stuck. Of course you could simply go back to an earlier save point but that may not be the solution. I suppose the perfect option would be to be able to simply reduce the difficulty level for the particular area where you are stuck and then jump it back up again but that misses the psychological defeat!
I occasionally used the setting to see if I had improved. (Which wasn’t very often!) It’s nice not to have to worry about setting and just let the game make the changes for you but in reality it doesn’t seem to work. Can anybody think of a really successfully SP FPS that used adaptive difficulty settings? I like the idea and have little doubt that eventually it will become better but for now I choose pre-defined.
What about you?