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Game News Disco Elysium gets a Hardcore Mode

Infinitron

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Tags: Disco Elysium; ZA/UM

A dialogue-based RPG with no combat system isn't the most obvious vessel for a hardcore game mode, but when you're as successful as Disco Elysium, life finds a way. Today ZA/UM updated the game with a "Hardcore True Detective Mode" which makes skill checks harder, money more scarce, and drugs both more expensive and less effective. The upside is that you gain more experience points, allowing for more well-rounded builds than in normal gameplay. As usual they put together a brief trailer for the update, which also adds ultra-widescreen support to the game. I'll post it here along with an excerpt from their latest devblog update:



Welcome to Hardcore True Detective mode. The city at the end of the world just got more existential.

So, what’s different about Hardcore Mode?

YOU’RE GONNA FAIL MORE
You’ll fail more. That’s a fact of life in Hardcore Mode. The difficulty of every Check goes up, bringing your chances of success down. Solving this case without being a Total Disaster Cop is even harder than normal. On the bright side, you’ll have more to be proud of if you do solve the case, even if your dignity got left behind with the Union of Moribund Alcoholics. And the Cuno. And Klaasje. And — well, just take your victories where you can.

YOU’RE GONNA BE POORER
The pornographically poor people Martinaise have even less money to drop, meaning there’s less for you to pick up. Lining your pockets with that delicious lucre is going to be nigh on impossible. Better get used to picking up every scrap of tare you can find. At least Roy still gives okay deals in his pawnshop, as you sell off your material wealth for a pittance. You’ve always had to hustle to survive. Now you’ve got to hustle more.

YOU’RE GONNA GET SCREWED BY BIG-PHARMA
What’s more, pharmacutical prices have gone up. That’s right! Failing costs you even more. Not only are your favorite over-the-counter drugs are more expensive — they don’t even heal you as much. Even if you find a forgotten stash in the streets, it won’t be as good. That’s how they get you though, isn’t it? They charge you more for less, and make a killing as you die.

YOU’RE GONNA WISE UP FASTER
There is one saving grace you have in Hardcore Mode. The self-help books, at last, are right: Failure builds character. In this worse world, you’ll gain token amounts of extra XP every time you finish a Task. You’ll lever faster and higher, if only marginally. You’ll be able to become a more well-rounded cop, better than you ever were before. So that’s something, at least!

The trailer apparently features animations not known to be found in the game itself. A hint of content updates to come?
 
Joined
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Disco disco #1!

However, I don't think this mode will work well. This kind of thing never does. Increasing exp gain always ruins all the power curves and fun, see Dragon's Dogma for example.
 

ArchAngel

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And here I hoped they finally removed all the beeep sound from voice acting so I can finally play the non censored version of the game. Wake me up when that update comes..
 

Forest Dweller

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And here I hoped they finally removed all the beeep sound from voice acting so I can finally play the non censored version of the game. Wake me up when that update comes..
Yeah they need to fix that shit. Pretty amazing that that happened because of Twitch.

Anyway, regarding this update, I fully expect Prime Junta to give us the details of what exactly was changed and how this new version plays.
 

Absinthe

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It takes more than fucking with skill thresholds, consumable availability, and money in order to raise the degree of player skill required to advance through the game. It requires a more fundamental redesign of the game so that it doesn't autopilot you through the main plotline, so you don't play dress-up every time you want to hit some higher difficulty skillchecks, and so that the game appropriately challenges you to problem-solve in a meaningful capacity to get ahead. Save-reload abuse to achieve dicerolls is also an abomination and they should sooner randomize skill thresholds on initialization and keep them fixed afterwards. Gear should matter more for their inherent utility as items rather than as a collection of skill modifiers. The player should engage more in actual detective-work and the work you do should actually matter. Disco Elysium is a bit too fundamentally lacking in gameplay, reactivity, or even puzzle design to be a game, much less an RPG, and that's the sort of problem that makes these kinds of band-aid difficulty modifiers a pointless affair, since practically speaking it doesn't change anything about how you'd approach the game and even with skill failures you can progress right through. So the fundamental problem with the difficulty mode patch is this: The overwhelming majority of skill checks simply do not matter. It's all cosmetic. And the consequence of that is that fucking with skill checks doesn't do much either. The game is mostly narrative text really, and you just pick your flavor text and infodumps on the way.

In summation: You need to have gameplay first for the concept of a difficulty mode to not be a joke.
 
Last edited:

Strange Fellow

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
It's just a balance pass. The game needs it, because as it is it's too easy to game the system to pass checks your character shouldn't have any reasonable chance of passing. Labelling it a "hardcore mode" is silly, but that's probably just the megalomania shining through as it did when the game was supposed to have 100 hours of content.
 

AwesomeButton

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The game definetly needs some constraning of the number of skill points it dishes out, or a raising of skillcheck requirements. It is currently too easy to be running around with 5 undistributed spare points.
 

rhollis

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And here I hoped they finally removed all the beeep sound from voice acting so I can finally play the non censored version of the game. Wake me up when that update comes..

I saw on Reddit that the censoring of “faggot” is dropped if you become a Homo-Sexual Underground Cop. You should get that option if you talk to Kim about your fascination with the smoker on the balcony. Isn’t that more of a design decision than censorship?
 

vota DC

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I'm waiting for the Story Mode.

I finished this game without touching alchool since first play and I think that changing the Story giving more replayability would be vastly more useful that this gender of changes.
If they want to change gameplay they could add some real brawl (turn based, not something like Measurehead or worse punching a kid that doesn't react) and other shootouts.
 

Carrion

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Save-reload abuse to achieve dicerolls is also an abomination and they should sooner randomize skill thresholds on initialization and keep them fixed afterwards.
I generally agree with this sentiment, but I also think that it takes a special kind of cretin to savescum in Disco. I just ironmanned it since everything else felt wrong.

This mode might just give me an incentive to go for that elusive second playthrough, so it's fine by me, as pointless as it might be.
 

AwesomeButton

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
It takes a special kind of cretin to complain about his own activity of savescumming. I mean, no one is making you savescum.

And by extention it takes a special kind of game designer who tries to fight player savescum practice by stuff like normalizing rewards (every solution to a quest shall give the same xp/money/item reward). Notable example - Josh Sawyer, POE.
 

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