Poll Question 307 – How long will you play until turning on GOD mode?

26th February 2015

As some may have seen from my Video Playthrough of the CityStreetsVille mod, I switched to GOD mode at the end of one of the maps. I mainly did it because I was livestreaming and it seemed unfair to force people to watch my attempts to beat the final Combine Gunship.

That said, at some point I might have switched but it would have been much longer. It’s a fine line between dying a lot of feeling that it is still possible. It got me thinking about how long readers wait until cheating.

I have asked a similar question before: Poll Question 120: How long do you spend on a puzzle before cheating?, but as you can see, it was just about puzzles.

I’m torn between feeling it should never happen, especially on EASY but I also know that some players (me included) just aren’t very good and that’s hard to design for.

What are your thoughts?

Time to Vote


  1. Hec

    I really think i turn to god mode if i’m like in 1 health points and i realize its a very hard spawning horde of enemies, i mean, when i realize i’m in a no way out situation i probably use god.

  2. Never. The poll will be interesting, as it impacts on game design and the resulting ratings of games.

    Its a sore point for me. If a “game” is stupid difficult (and therefore not a game), and many won’t use god mode, then a game will only be rated by those who use god mode because its required to finish the game before doing a rating. And those people together with the (few?) who are capable of finishing the game normally, will probably rate the game highly because they like extreme difficulty. Thus a game becomes rated wrong as a game, for what it does for the overall community.

  3. Unq

    It’s not a matter of time for me. It’s a matter of whether the game/mod is truly unfair or unbalanced for the player. So yes, that’s a subjective decision but I don’t just switch to god mode if something is time consuming – in fact, some of the more memorable sections in games are the challenging ones, that can take you a handful or even several handfuls of attempts. But when it crosses the line to unfair it gets frustrating quickly.

  4. I’m a bit of a completionist so I rarely just give up. I only turn on god mode if I am frustrated or bored with a mod or map. Otherwise I’ll just reduce the difficulty and then I’m usually fine.

  5. MajorBanter

    In an official title? Rarely would be an overstatement.

    In mods? Buddha as standard, godmode the minute I think the difficulty curve is off. It’s my gold standard for difficulty, and I should never have to use it.

    Simple fact of the matter is that if the mod is fun, I won’t be thinking about cheating.

  6. I never put god mode on, but if I realize a map is too unfair against me I’ll just enable noclip and check the enviroments and finally quit.

  7. JG

    5 minutes is actually a rather long time in the course of a Half-Life level, especially if you are repeating the same segment over and over again.

    My patience is based on how much trust the mapper has established up until this point. If the map has been fairly easygoing, but suddenly spikes, I’m more inclined to keep at it because the mapper previously demonstrated that they know what reasonable difficulty is. And this trust isn’t based solely on gameplay, but also on how well the level looks and feels. There tends to be a correlation between the two. It’s rare to have a level that looks as nice as Research & Development, yet plays like My First Half-Life Map.

    On the other hand, if a mod starts off with a negative impression for one reason or another, I don’t imagine that it’s going to magically get better as time goes on.

    The worst case scenario, which is something that happens for me in games all the time, is the sort of “cascading failure” where a game does something to tick me off, and then I start micro-analyzing everything else. It becomes a self-sustaining loop of frustration until I turn it off.

    It is important to remember that mods are not commercial games which are tested by a large QA staff. You didn’t pay anything for them. Sometimes you will run into problems because the solution really is impossible. However, I think if you have to god mode a battle, or noclip past something along the critical path, it must factor into your final opinion. I could never give something a “Play it Now” and then say “But I had to noclip through half the level and turn on god mode.” That wouldn’t be fair to modders who actually took the time to get these things right.

    I also don’t believe that one has to complete a mod legitimately in order to rate it. This is analogous to saying that you must beat a commercial game before you can have an opinion about it. Well, I’m sorry. If I didn’t enjoy the first 2 hours of a JRPG, I’m not going to subject myself to 50 more. I think what anything deserves is a fair shot to impress the player. There’s no definition for what that is, but I would suggest that it’s long enough for the player to decide whether or not “it’s just them.”

  8. I’d lower the difficulty first, but if Easy becomes a challenge, then either the map has already established a negative impression since, or you have an okay map, with a bump in the road that shouldn’t ruin the journey by dying repeatedly. Half-Life maps should be played to have fun, preference of a challenge or none. I never considered Half-Life 2 to be especially challenging, even on it’s hard difficulty mode, but when the player has little supplies, isn’t given many despite through exploring, then there’s more than a problem than the player’s skill.

    One great example of maps like this is Tr1p, fairly well designed, and had lots of potential, but dang was it put down by the sheer amount of enemies and zombies.

    I remember James Partridgen stating in a video about the level design for Episode 2 that “The player should only be damaged, when they have the opportunity to know to avoid the damage. [If] you damage the player without giving them forewarning, then you are cheating the player out of an opportunity of doing well” In cases like Tr1p, one could easily see how these errors could be countered. To be fair one of the major problems I had with that map was that the Combine and Zombies refused to fight each other.

    I’ve noticed a lot of custom maps are very difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to complete in the logical ‘Half-Life’ way, facing Soldiers for example, the player should be able to see where cover is, not scramble around in the open, being gunned down by dozens of Elites or shotgunners. Mappers should be able to complete their own mods on at least normal mode and judge for themselves where the shooting become death after death, and vice-versa, too drab and uninteresting.

  9. Zekiran

    I was actually just thinking of asking about “when do you justify rage-quitting” so this is almost exactly the question. 😀

    There are two options:

    For me it’s a matter of whether I *know* the rest of a mod will be seemingly brutal or unrelenting. If I hit under 10 hp and stay there with a fight that seems dramatically unfair or poorly arranged, if there’s just an endless plod of dying and restarting ahead of me. That disappoints me greatly and makes me wonder why the modder decided to build a fight in that manner or with that kind of attitude toward game play.

    The other option is if I’ve managed to stick myself into a spot that’s far enough into the mod that I don’t want to just start over, or doesn’t have a good save point, and I’ve got that endless loop of “dying because you saved just before the rocket hit”.

    For the most part, I will turn OFF God-Mode after those events are over. It’s a sign of a poorly made mod when you just have to stay in god mode most of it. That said, there have been a couple mods that are truly hilarious using it, because you get to pull stupidly super-powered stunts like crowbarring a massive enemy to death and laughing in the face of endless rocket barrages. (( Gateways and The Great Forever Tomorrow both come to mind as that kind of mod.))

    My own thoughts before you posted this, about rage-quitting, have been inspired by the absolutely shit-poor game play style of Borderlands the Pre-sequel. It’s always been my thought that “dying and reloading should not be part of a learning curve”, yet even “triple a” games (or supposed ones) still do that, I guess in thinking that they’re somehow appealing to the “hardcore” crowd. Instead, what they’re doing in my opinion is just being incredibly lazy, not taking any time to show the player even subtly what to do, and leaving it up to the player to finish a terribly made game.

    I rage quit that game more than I think I’ve ever done with anything else. I came up with the term the other night, “justifiable rage-quit”. Where you reach the point that you are just *done* for the play session, not going to keep banging your head against that brick programming wall again. Some games (like the pre-sequel) punish you several ways for not being “badass enough” – since when you die you do respawn, but it’s at a monetary cost, and eventually you don’t even have enough money to *buy ammunition* in order to *finish the fight you can’t win*. When it becomes that circling the drain type of play, I am just Justified In Rage Quitting.

  10. aster

    If im sick of trying over and over again. depends on what it is. Sometimes enemys are the reason sometimes climbing or puzzeling

  11. Wesp5

    For me it all depends on the quality of the mod itsel! If I think it’s a good mod and just hard and not unfair, I will try to finish it without using godmode. A recent example would be “Raining Down Hell” from the latest competition. Two striders and two hunters were hard at the end but satisfying if you manage it! On the other side I killed everything off in “Trolleying Times” without godmode, but then used noclip in the end to find out where I should go next, because I thought it was the mods fault.

  12. I feel like I probably shouldn’t be speaking to this one, given people’s thoughts on my map in the contest, but ‘Noclip’ is more my style than ‘God’ mode.

    As in both cases, they’re very much a last resort for anything, and I don’t really use either one unless I’m having a bad time. I say I use noclip more because I don’t come across cases where I have too hard of a time fighting the enemies in mods as often as I used to. My bigger problem is getting lost in a map or mod because there’s no clear indication of where to go, and it looks (and most likely is the case because of a bug) like I explored all possible routes and that I have to use noclip to see what paths are actually there.

    God mode doesn’t become a thing as often, I feel, because it’s easier for a level designer to see that a level is too difficult on the health bar (Why do I keep dying?!) than it is to tell that it’s too difficult to understand. (OMG, where do I go?!) Those things do come hand in hand, however, during situations of high stress, where even slightly obscuring resources behind a corner (or even moving them mid-fight) can make a challenge impossible.

    Already, I’m dodging the question. My only issue is that the poll implies that I’m not the obsessive type of person who WILL tear apart the entire level before admitting defeat and use god mode, but I don’t really ‘stop’ playing.

    So… probably 20-30 minutes

    1. I want to change my answer.

      “How long will you play until turning on GOD mode?”

      Answer : Freeman’s Return 1 and 2. Just… that mod.

  13. JG

    I mainly did it because I was livestreaming and it seemed unfair to force people to watch my attempts to beat the final Combine Gunship.

    Now if only you’d take the same approach when it comes to stacking boxes and trying to escape the level! 😛

    1. Unq

      How do I favorite this post

  14. For me, it depends on the quality of the level to determine if and how long it takes me to cheat.

    In some cases, I would use noclip to hover around and try to get alternate views of the predicament if I cannot figure it out within a good amount of time, not to simply bypass the puzzle.
    However, if I’ve not enjoyed the map at all, I’ll just say “to hell with this” and noclip through the thing, although I will try to give the author his effort’s worth and try to solve it anyways.

  15. Years ago I used to cheat in singleplayer games and used god mode too, however, I’ve become more experienced and patient since then. Now I only use cheats if I’m stuck because of a bug and would waste hours when reloading. If a game is too hard, I just never play it anymore, but that almost never happens, since I buy my games wisely :).

  16. If its possible to proceed without God, I do it. If Im at low health just before a big arena fight, I’d rather restart the map and preserve my health.

  17. lucifer372

    I always play and even replay on “easy”. Despite all my years of gaming experience, I just feel I enjoy all of the aspects of a (shooter-)game more when not constantly battling hordes of enemies.
    My main reasons for turning on God-mode are the two things I hate the most in shooters:
    1.arena or boss fights or other insanely difficult battles (like the EP2 ending)
    2. spawning.
    And of course the noclip when the game has bugs, in mods mostly.

  18. Mega Sean 45

    I never God, but I might Noclip from time to time if I’m lost, and if the game is too hard for me, I usually just switch the difficulty to easy mode, because I ALWAYS beat easy mode! I can’t really answer this poll because I don’t God, but that doesn’t mean I don’t cheat.

  19. I choose the 10 -20 minutes option. However I must add this, I only go to God mode when in a mod the puzzle is impossible to beat.
    In one haunted house mod, it said “you will never leave”. I fought and fought and always died. The endless spawning of enemy’s made it unfair. GOD showed me that after expending every piece of ammo and killing zombies with my crowbar, they were never ending.
    In another mod, I forget the name I had to make a jump to a broken piece of metal. I am sure some people did it, I used noclip, but would fall into the radioactive goo. GOD allowed me to continue on, otherwise I would have quit.

    I will say I cheat very rarely. Many years ago, I could not complete the final jump sequence in Poke. I would get almost all the way up and fall, then have to start all over. Planet Phillip’s members suggested I use NOCLIP. that was the first time I used cheats, and have found them most helpful.

    I must also say that after learning how to use cheats, I went and settled an old score in HL1. In the chapter service tension I think, you are going up the elevator and come to the courtyard full of marines and an Osprey. The game would not let me ride up in the elevator in GOD mode. So I rode up, hit GOD mode, and had one heck of a fight. It was interesting that even after I shot the Osprey down, the game knew it should be there, and so even with no plane it sill attacked me. I also got to explore the area past the electric fence, turned out nothing was there.

    That’s my thoughts and few experiences.

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