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Three red skulls difficulty level means... nothing?


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So I'm playing with the difficulty level right below PotD (Hard?), with upward scaling allowed. I'm at level 10. I'm thinking of going all the way up to PotD because frankly, there is no challenge in the game. While I'm thinking of this, I wander around a desert area where there's a ruin, and in front of that ruin I'm attacked by a really fearsome-looking thingie, an Engwithian Titan. According to the game, this is a "three red skulls" monster, something I realistically shouldn't be able to handle. I've never had one of these before, the most dangerous before this has been two white skulls. Whee! I think. This could be serious business!

 

But no. A very short while later the Titan is dead and I have suffered no injuries and very little damage. I didn't have to use any consumables, potions or anything of the sort. After the encounter, all my resources are at 100% compared to where they were before it.

 

Seriously, folks, what did Obsidian do? I'm going to crank this up all the way to PotD, but I'm not a hard-core combat gamer, I play for the story. But while I want to play for the story, I also want some challenge. Why isn't there any in the game?

 

I played PoE mostly on Hard, sometimes on Normal, and I found it just fine. (The Alpine Dragon was by far and away the most difficult beast for me. I also think the encounter design there was frankly unfair with the spirits teleporting in, but that's another story.) Deadfire appears something like five notches easier, i.e. Hard seems Very Easy.

 

D'oh.

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So I'm playing with the difficulty level right below PotD (Hard?), with upward scaling allowed. I'm at level 10. I'm thinking of going all the way up to PotD because frankly, there is no challenge in the game. While I'm thinking of this, I wander around a desert area where there's a ruin, and in front of that ruin I'm attacked by a really fearsome-looking thingie, an Engwithian Titan. According to the game, this is a "three red skulls" monster, something I realistically shouldn't be able to handle. I've never had one of these before, the most dangerous before this has been two white skulls. Whee! I think. This could be serious business!

 

But no. A very short while later the Titan is dead and I have suffered no injuries and very little damage. I didn't have to use any consumables, potions or anything of the sort. After the encounter, all my resources are at 100% compared to where they were before it.

 

Seriously, folks, what did Obsidian do? I'm going to crank this up all the way to PotD, but I'm not a hard-core combat gamer, I play for the story. But while I want to play for the story, I also want some challenge. Why isn't there any in the game?

 

I played PoE mostly on Hard, sometimes on Normal, and I found it just fine. (The Alpine Dragon was by far and away the most difficult beast for me. I also think the encounter design there was frankly unfair with the spirits teleporting in, but that's another story.) Deadfire appears something like five notches easier, i.e. Hard seems Very Easy.

 

D'oh.

The DLCs and Mega Bosses are harder than the vanilla game.

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Do consider playing with reduced party size, potd upscaled, disabling a few helper features, not touching blessings, installing some difficulty mod.

 

I am at a sweet spot with two party members with no Paladin, Monk, Cypher, Wizard or Chanter x). 

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The short answer is they added way too many ways for you to make the game easier, and took out various sources of difficulty. So now it's easier to inadvertently give yourself a cakewalk, and you have to deliberately give yourself a challenge.

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I would suggest PoTD with upscale:

 

 

For instance that fight you mentioned on PoTD has also some serious skeletons that are a pain along with the Titan and the other nasty creatures, and it makes it much more difficult.

 

 

I don't think it is just Obsidian but all games lately I have played are pretty easy on the lower difficulties - including the DOS games, BG games etc...

Edited by aaronghowell
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“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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The first time I played BG I set it to 2nd highest difficulty--that's highest difficulty from the menu. Meant that all my toons would take double damage. It was perfect.

 

PS:It is still perfect xD.

Edited by Hulk'O'Saurus

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That might not be the greatest UI design, but an enemy having three red skulls doesn't mean you should be able to beat him. Alll that means he is couple levels higher than you.

Any boss type enemy should have couple skulls over their heads if you fight them at intended level. That's not the case with skulls in world-map, journal which is supposed to indicate if that level is appropriate to your party.

deadfire does have difficulty problem, though I didn't try the recent patch. I found first half of the game on POTD satifying. 

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I'm running with the "Reduced XP"-part of Deadly Deadfire, and I'm enjoying it quite a lot. Not only is it keeping me from out-levelling everything, but it also ensures I don't hit the level cap until much later in the game so I keep having new levels to look forward to.

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The short answer is they added way too many ways for you to make the game easier, and took out various sources of difficulty. So now it's easier to inadvertently give yourself a cakewalk, and you have to deliberately give yourself a challenge.

 

This would seem to be it. An excellent comment. I would really like to hear Obsidian comment on the thinking behind this.

 

I believe this is a game on level with PoE: the setting is delightful and there are so many good things in general. I, for one, am quite happy without the dungeon crawls, given what else there is in the game. But the general lack of challenge (combat too easy, no resource management, etc.) means, to me, that this isn't better than PoE, which is a bit of a shame.

 

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

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For what it's worth: He wiped the floor with me the last time on PotD (i was on level 7 or 8 i think). I can imagine the encounter on level 10 on hard being too easy. Especially if he hasn't his undead buddies with him then. I plan to fight him on level 10, too. I think below that level would be too annyoing for me on PotD.

Also i would suggest a way to reduce the experience gain (is part of Deadly Deadfire for example, can also be downloaded separately).

Edited by frogmoth
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There were no undead buddies on Hard, just a couple of other critters that I could completely ignore until I had destroyed the main enemy.

 

I played on hard too and I vaguely remember some annoyance during that battle. Maybe there were some critters. Or it was just the weather. :p

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I just visited this boss on level 10 and i find him really hard (he almost one shots my frontliners). Can this be a result of the new changes to PotD? Or am i just too neglectful? Whatever, not that i'm complaining... PotD (+upscaling) was proper difficult so far...  :bow:

(But the performance of this game on my PC... that's what really frustrates me... the game looks good, but not good enough to justify this.  :banghead: )

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I don't know... maybe my GPU is way too slow now. On the other hand: Pathfinder: Kingmaker runs really smooth (apart from the loading times), and it looks good enough, especially the spell effects... and both games use unity, so it seems possible...

Edited by frogmoth
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I just visited this boss on level 10 and i find him really hard (he almost one shots my frontliners). Can this be a result of the new changes to PotD? Or am i just too neglectful? Whatever, not that i'm complaining... PotD (+upscaling) was proper difficult so far...  :bow:

(But the performance of this game on my PC... that's what really frustrates me... the game looks good, but not good enough to justify this.  :banghead: )

 

Did you go to that area before, left and saved you game? If you did, the PotD changes didn't apply. See here.

sign.jpg

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I don't know... maybe my GPU is way too slow now. On the other hand: Pathfinder: Kingmaker runs really smooth (apart from the loading times), and it looks good enough, especially the spell effects... and both games use unity, so it seems possible...

 

Deadfire is quite unoptimized. It uses stuff it shouldn't use like first person lightning effects and such. 

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m0x5eY5.pngtBxm170.png

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I just visited this boss on level 10 and i find him really hard (he almost one shots my frontliners). Can this be a result of the new changes to PotD? Or am i just too neglectful? Whatever, not that i'm complaining... PotD (+upscaling) was proper difficult so far...  :bow:

(But the performance of this game on my PC... that's what really frustrates me... the game looks good, but not good enough to justify this.  :banghead: )

 

Did you go to that area before, left and saved you game? If you did, the PotD changes didn't apply. See here.

 

No, this is from a new game with a new character, first visit. It would also be easier with my last character because of the scaling being applied on visiting an area, i think.

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Deadfire is quite unoptimized. It uses stuff it shouldn't use like first person lightning effects and such. 

 

Yeah, it's mostly with certain spell effects (insect swarm=pain). At least give us an option to tone them down somehow.

Edited by frogmoth
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Yet another post complaining about difficulty while playing non-POTD.  Is this really rocket science?  Turn up the difficulty?

 

Also, turn off the stupid skulls thing.  This isn't an ARPG, stop playing it like one.

To be fair: I made the mistake in PoE I, too. Who could have expected that "hard" doesn't really mean "hard"? If you play Pathfinder: Kingmaker on hard you get your ass kicked.

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