Your post is choke full of the "gitgood" elitism that is ruining modern gaming. It was also called Path of the Damned in PoE1 where it was much better balanced. Is single-player gaming supposed to be some kind of elimination contest these days with each new installment being progressively harder until video games are unplayable for everyone but the select few?
But it's called "Path of the Damned". What do people expect?
Ehhh, like MountainTiger said, I would actually consider PotD on PoE1 incredibly brutal early on, moreso than Deadfire. The Eothas dungeon or the throne room in Raedric (god help you if you don't take a stealthy way in) or even Caed Nua getting to Maerwald are all things that can very quickly obliterate a suboptimal party or under-skilled player (hell, even the cave bears can wreck a suboptimal or underskilled player). And unlike Deadfire you really have no choice to get around most of these - that's pretty much all you can do in Act I, whereas in Deadfire you can skip some of the harder fights (Gorecci St, the risen skeletons at the dig site) and once you get your boat fixed you have the flexibility to do all sorts of things to build up your levels. Eventually I got gud enough to do Act 1 in PoE1 pretty easily with a five (instead of six) person party that is not completely optimized, but it took a while to get there.
Now for reasonable people: the main issue with PotD in Deadfire is that too many mid-game enemies have 10 or 11 armor when in fact they all should have around 9. Again, I'm talking about regular trash fights, not about bosses. What's funny is that endgame trash rarely has more than 11 armor too and gets completely obliterated. (And before anyone mentions it, no, Grave Calling shouldn't be the "I win" item. Encouraging people to beeline to Crookspur for completely metagaming reasons because other weapons are more or less useless in certain fights is bad design.)
maybe actually try working with the PEN and AR system...? Also over hundreds of hours in and I've never needed to metagame to get to Grave Calling, early PotD is eminently doable without it.
edit: also, there are other difficulty levels than PotD. Expecting everyone to be able to do PotD is a) not the balancing goal of PotD and b) ...entitled? It would be less entitled if people were more willing to admit "maybe I'm not good enough to beat PotD." I mean... what's wrong with admitting that? I will never beat the hardest AI in SC2 much less stand much of a chance on ladder, I'm not going to be great at Overwatch, and I'm really never going to be able to invest the time to do the hardest few difficulties of any of the modern Civs (if I even had the potential to do e.g. Deity)
Edited by thelee, 12 February 2019 - 10:37 AM.