Difficulty levels in games

not sure if Doom is the best example. I think for bragging rights, you could increase the difficulty. Or (in the 90s) when Doom was new, and you already replayed it on HurtMePlenty several times, and it became too easy, lets increase the difficulty and suddenly it felt fresh again.

But today? I don’t have time to replay Doom Eternal, so I play on HMP and it appears there is no reward for playing on harder difficulty, sadly.

A lot of racing games do reward you if you turn off assists with more XP or credits. Then I am actually willing to play above normal difficulty. Diablo 3 did it at some point, you could get better loot and more xp I think when you increased the difficulty. Nice!

I find it is always nice when a game does this. Or Agents of Mayhem. Make it harder, but your rookie agent will level up faster! It is so obvious, that this is a better system than one where “make it harder” only means it will be more stressful and nothing else.

The worst offender I think is Darkest Dungeon (a game I adore). There are so many options in the menu like play without corpses, radiant mode, and what not, I can’t even compare my play through with my buddies if I change a switch. Let me play how it is intended. I don’t touch any of the options, because I don’t know how they change the experience.

Oh you’re right! I’d forgotten about that.

I don’t think it is obvious at all. Levelling up faster is the opposite of what many people want out of a higher difficulty, because you get more powerful more quickly and thus the game is less likely to stay challenging. In extreme cases, it can even ramp up to the point where you’re trivializing the game well before the end. Whereas a system that makes it more stressful is exactly what they’re looking for.

(Not me, to be sure.)

But XP do not level up linear. Usually you will need more and more XP to level up, or in a car game, you get more credits to buy new parts or new cars.

I don’t think I had an issue where Wreckfest got trivial because, I earned more credits for harder difficulty.
The devs really did a good job in balancing it. Also Infested Planet did it that way. Of course it is more work on the dev side.

Agent of Mayhem can get really nasty in a mission on a high difficulty, but if I know that it is worth it for the XP and money, I will try it and leave my comfort zone. It did not make the rest of the game trivial.

It still counterbalances the increased difficulty. Maybe not fully, but when the increased difficulty is what you want, that’s a bad thing. And making it still harder overall is, as you say, more work. So that’s why it’s not obviously the correct solution.

Only to a degree. Yes, players who like their games challenging do want the game to push back more as you make your way up the power curve, and usually a good game design balances it so when you get stronger, the enemy gets stronger. But eventually, those of us who prefer more challenging games still want to get to the top of the power curve. We still want that feeling of being a badass when we get to the top.

What I meant, it is obviously for me as a player the better system and more work for the devs. In the car game example, the game does not get easier when I level up, because the driving is harder. Maybe I can overtake cars now because of greater speed, but the driving with less assists or manual shift is still harder.
But I got to buy other cars sooner or could improve my cars faster. Wreckfest did it that way and I did not breeze through the game at all.

Right, my point is that it’s the better system for you, specifically, but there are other players for whom it would be worse. So, given that and the additional part where balancing it is more work for the devs, it’s not at all the clear choice.