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Casual games can learn from CoX's difficulty


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Cox is, or was, a pretty laid back MMO.  You can roll up just about anything and it'll work.  You can get a group of almost any mix of powers and ATs and it'll work for most, if not all, content as long as people know what they're doing.  But the game is still rough enough to keep you on your toes, kick you in the face for being stupid or wandering to the wrong place, and more.  And if it's not?  You can freely crank the difficulty until it is!


I feel like a lot of the other casual online games seem to forget being a bit challenging.  Like, ESO is fun, but you can sleep walk your way through 95% of the content with no way to make it harder without resorting to challenge builds or something.  And then you hit like, raids and vet content and suddenly you need to be hella min-maxed.  Warframe's in the same boat-ish.  Kinda tricky early on, but once you get some gear, it's GG until you cross a line and suddenly face plant due to the way the game scales.  I can certainly enjoy not neading to run 100% optimal stuff to get anything done but... yeah, where's the challenge?


Oh, I'm sure the game will get trivial if I make super IOed out characters again, but even then I can still tweak things up.  And I can go mid-way and still have the game be challenging for me, unlike others where you get stuck in an awkward point where everything is too easy or is meant for uber hardcore and is way too hard/demanding.  Yeah, it's not perfect, but why haven't other games learned from this, years later?  :/


Yeah, some of CoX's difficult things are kinda frustrating, like spawning a mission in a hazard zone +10 levels above you but... at the same time, the challenge is refreshing.  It's never too much and never something you can't figure out.  And if it still is, you can always adjust your difficulty or find other solutions, like flying over the zone with a jetpack.  I kinda missed the more casual, relaxing play that still bopped you from getting complacent.    Yeah, it's not a hard game, never was, but it was, and still is, engaging on its own.

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