Poll Question 238 – What do you do when a mod gets hard?

19th August 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Most poll questions can be answered with “It depends” but as with all my poll question they are asking about generalized situations.

The reason this question is in my mind is that because I have had to cheat a lot recently, but only because I am on a deadline to finish each and every mod. This changes the way I play and if you are one of the players trying to play all the 100SDoN maps and mods, then you might feel that pressure too.

Normally, I take a break and come back another day. Hopefully by then I am fresh and eager to take on whatever particular challenge had previously stumped me.

In fact, it’s the same for all challenges, not just gaming. Taking a break and sleeping really does seem to help me.

What about you?

The Poll


  1. Da Fat Cat

    If I’m playing on nornal or hard, I turn it down and keep playing. If I’m already on easy mode, I find the least challenging way to solve it (like camping in a corner and waiting for the baddies to come to me) and use that until I get through the hard part.

  2. Anon_271061

    I try for a very very long time and on almost all occasions I pass it, however, if I just cant then I stop playing from boredom. I may watch a walkthrough but even after I know how to pass an area I generally can’t be bothered to load up the game again.

  3. Ionel Tudor

    I do the same
    I retry a few times until I consider it’s best to try later. By retry I mean analyzing the environment for a better strategy, thanks to the saving system. For a challenge with no “saves”, then more patience and thought speed will pass me through it.

  4. Miigga

    I keep trying again and again and if I don’t succeed and I get too frustrated, I stop playing. Unlikely to return to that mod.

  5. Combat situations are rarely too hard, only real exception is when you don’t have ANY cover at all, or when you only have short ranged weapons during long range encounters. So I don’t really ever give up due to combat difficulty. If I end up dying a couple of times, then I figure that my method of attack is wrong and I soldier on, trying different things. (like breaking out the grenades, which I never use unless I’m having trouble)

    But sometimes the solutions to “puzzles” are so arcane/broken that I can’t carry on, and in those situations I refuse to cheat. If the game is so broken that I can’t complete it, then I usually stop playing right there. That said, I often spend a great deal of time trying to figure them out, and I’ve gotten pretty quick at completely inspecting a scene.

    I feel that if I have to cheat, that something is so horribly broken that it’s not really worth trying to salvage. And I guess I have two answers. If the combat is the problem, then I keep trying until I get it, no breaks, no giving up. But if the puzzles are too hard, then I stop playing.

  6. Frohman11

    When a mod gets hard , I get harder !

  7. If it’s the combat I’m having trouble with I will generally keep going until I’m too frustrated and then I will leave it for another day. If it’s way over the top I may try lowering the difficulty but if that’s still not enough then I resort to cheats.

    If it’s finding my way around that’s the problem I’ll generally have a good search around but once I have exhausted all my logical avenues of thought I tend to look for a walkthrough or hints and failing that I use noclip. I also have a similar policy to puzzles.

    Even though I do use cheats occasionally, I really try to avoid it where possible. I only use them as a last resort.

  8. Hec

    I think I cheat but I normally hate to do it!!, but I only do that if I tried more than 8 times or more!

  9. MikeS

    I voted ‘stop playing completely’. Valve have the resources (i.e. testers) and tailor their games so players have to slow down to work out puzzles and figure their way through the environment. With mods, I often become frustrated to find myself walking around a series of dark rooms looking for a way out. And I hate mods that don’t give me any weapons but expect me to go out and find them and worse, let me progress past the point where I should have found the appropriate weapon to defeat enemies. Valve never let you do this.

    So when I get stuck or the going gets particularly tough, I wonder if I’ve missed something and I then become irritated and rapidly lose interest.

  10. RunningJack

    imo stop playing is the only right decision. It seems to be like “working” on the game if you sleep or take a break when the game ist too hard. that problem should be given back to the creator.
    games must be fun to play. they are giving you a break from the “hard reallife” just like hobbies do. it would be stupid to keep working on finishing a game or mod.

  11. Bramblepath

    I generally ragequit, and then possibly continue a few months later when I get bored again.

  12. When a mod gets tough I get tougher, but that usually means I die a lot! If the combat becomes too hard I will eventually resort to “impulse 101”, just to get more ammo and weapons. Sometimes “God” mode is used to negotiate a tough section as this does less damage to the game play!
    A walkthrough, vid or text, temps you into looking ahead and ruin any upcoming surprises so I try to avoid them, if I can.
    I have often “noclip” my way over an obstacle if I got trapped or could not get off a ladder and even to explore around a room where the way out seems to elude me.
    Usually I play through a mod on “Easy” and generally have no huge problem finishing them in one go or maybe a few trys if I run up against trouble. A clean victory is so satisfying so why spoil it by cheating!
    As some reviewers have said we play games and mods for recreation so any challenge should be entertaining and achievable for the casual player.
    ie; Playing on “easy” should be a challenge, playing on “normal” should be tough and of course “Hard” can be for the gifted combat game veterans, and insanely difficult!
    Just an idea from a casual , “Easy” gamer.
    i have also found taking a break from a mod helps me. Except in an earlier case when Valve’s infamous update made my break from a few mods very long indeed!!!!

    1. If you’re gonna use God mode and say it is less gamebreaking, you should instead use Budhha mode.

  13. Poison_Berrie

    It’s a toss up between trying again or checking a walkthrough.

    If the problem is especially stubborn or I just can’t see what I have to do I check a walkthrough to see if I missed something.

    If it is me failing at staying alive or making the jump I just try until I succeed (or in rare cases quit).

  14. Nihillo

    I always try to beat the mod fairly. However, some mods are just badly balanced because of the lack of beta-testing, as such I may end up having to fight several squads of Combine soldiers or Hunters or whatever with 15 health and little to no ammo. If that’s the case, then I’ll cheat, and I’m not ashamed of it.

    If I have gotten to the point where I have to cheat to win, I am clearly tired of playing the mod and just want to get it over with.

  15. mnemekore

    There was no option in the poll that said that you cheat from the beginning (:, pretty much every time after the first time I got to Ravenholm in HL2 I was cheating its like a compunction or something.

  16. Herr_Alien

    I give up completely. Mods compete only for the attention of the player. It’s not like you payed for it and you should do your best to get the most entertainment possible out of it. If it becomes frustrating, just play something else.

  17. OG Loc

    Remember Coastline to Atmosphere? That’s so far been the toughest mod I’ve played! Leon sure put on a lot of Combine Soldiers, even with Shotguns! And not having an HEV Suit in some parts didn’t help. That’s why I do all mods in easy mode to start with, if I’m used to it, then I shake it up a bit! You guys should too. Research and Development was tough at first as well, because in some parts I didn’t know I what I was suppose to do. For example:
    The Fast Zombie that fights the other Zombies wasn’t that easy to start with. I didn’t know the steam destroys the glass, can steam even destroy glass? The parts that had number codes weren’t easy, because I didn’t know the colors were connected to the numbers. The Toxic waste level was the hardest one I played, too much stress. The Helicopter and Gunship scenes weren’t too hard for me. The final tough scene was putting the Antlion Guards in the pens. I knew what to do, but it was tough doing it.
    Strider Mountain was tough at some parts too, mostly the bonus level. But it wasn’t as tough as Coastline to Atmosphere. I played Final Project Diary before Coastline to Atmosphere so I didn’t know to swim to the island with the Hunter on it, I thought I would be eaten by Leeches. The RooftopVille contest was tough in some levels too, because I couldn’t get to the end in some levels. There are mods that are tougher than others sometimes, and some are waaaay to easy, like Joutomaa or Powerstation 17.

  18. Error 404 Not Found

    I turn the difficulty setting down. I don’t like to cheat on games I haven’t already completed. It ruins it for me.
    If I’m really stuck on some kind of obscure puzzle or something I’ll stop playing for a while and return to it later. Sometimes I’ve solved puzzles or figured out other things while I’ve been asleep.

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