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I was curious what sort of "house rules" people typically use to make the game more challenging or increase the amount of fun you get out of it. Sure, if you play The Ultimate, you probably don't need any of these sort of house rules, but for the average playthrough, what do you do to increase challenge/fun?

Some background on why I've been thinking about this...

On a recent POTD scaled playthrough, I was playing a min/maxed evoker for the first time and things were just getting silly. At level 14, my evoker had 120k damage. The rest of my team, combined, only has about 55k. No battle so far was challenging. I started feeling like my evoker was too good (and maybe the rest of my team were just cannon fodder) and I no longer really feel compelled to finish that playthrough. Shadowflame in particular was doing huge damage and paralyzing in a huge area for 12+ seconds. Plus I figure if my guy was dominant now, at level 19+ battles will just a be a formality with some of the high level evoker spells.

Fast forward to now and I'm wondering how I can create a fun playthough and maybe nerf myself a little bit. Some ideas:
- No evoking spells allowed. I could either purposely choose a sub-optimal wizard class like Transmuter, or I could just informally avoid using any evoking spells.
- No Wizards. Wizards are generally regarded as one of the better classes and maybe banning them from my party would add an element of fun.
- Use a subset of Margran's Fires. I have to say, some Magran's Fires don't appeal to me at all; maybe some people enjoy playing the game that way or really want the challenge, but especially tedious things like hiding stats, food spoiling, weapon repairs... It doesn't do it for me. That said, maybe I could try playing with just some of the Fires turned on, like Berath's.
 

Some things I already do to nerf myself:
- I basically never use consumables. This is partially to nerf myself and partially because of the "what if I need this later" conundrum that happens in all RPGs.
- I never used summons (until I re-bought the game on PC). This was mainly because on PS4 the hitching/lag that would happen when loading in a summoned anything (including Mirrored Image) was absolutely brutal. I kind of retired this house rule now that I purchased the game a second time for PC and the hitching is not nearly as bad.'

 

How about the rest of you? What things do you do to increase the challenge and fun factor of your playthroughs?

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Only minor stuff for me :

- No planned respec.
- No stat dump (not below 6, rarely below 8)
- My own mod Nerfs 🙂 (it kills all gamebreaking combos)

I would also like to define some home rules to prevent myself from fully minmaxing companion. 
(Such as "rolling" semi-random stats and imposing one of the class) 

Edited by Elric Galad
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I just don't use consumables (except basic food when resting and unguents for the occasional hard skillcheck) when playing with a party. It's not because I want a bigger challenge but because I don't need them at all and using them is the bigger incovenience compared to not enjoying their bonuses.

I usually only retrain when I messed up something. I don't even retrain when playing solo. I also don't use scrolls and figurines solo but I will use potions. 

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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22 hours ago, Yefo said:

At level 14, my evoker had 120k damage. The rest of my team, combined, only has about 55k. No battle so far was challenging. I started feeling like my evoker was too good (and maybe the rest of my team were just cannon fodder) and I no longer really feel compelled to finish that playthrough. Shadowflame in particular was doing huge damage and paralyzing in a huge area for 12+ seconds. Plus I figure if my guy was dominant now, at level 19+ battles will just a be a formality with some of the high level evoker spells.

it might have been worth continuing on this party into late game and DLC. DLC can sometimes crush parties you might be doing well with; base game difficulty scaling sort of peaks at 12-14 with possible limited exception with nemnok and the fampyr island. even with the patch tweaks for balancing, base game difficulty mostly just means more health without any appreciable harder challenge after a certain point. meanwhile a FS-end-game oracle can facetank a couple empowered evoker missile salvos (and you actually probably just screwed yourself since you triggered a lot of enemy spawns in the process).

 

22 hours ago, Yefo said:

- No evoking spells allowed. I could either purposely choose a sub-optimal wizard class like Transmuter, or I could just informally avoid using any evoking spells.

ironically, aside from spamming missile salvos end game, I personally don't find evoking spells particularly powerful on potd upscaling. Frankly, Slicken is OP and is a transmutation spell. maybe you're just used to using evoking spells a lot so it "feels" powerful through familiarity? (shadowflame, crushing doom, and missile salvo are all very good evocation spells, but that's a small subset)

 

22 hours ago, Yefo said:

- Use a subset of Margran's Fires. I have to say, some Magran's Fires don't appeal to me at all; maybe some people enjoy playing the game that way or really want the challenge, but especially tedious things like hiding stats, food spoiling, weapon repairs... It doesn't do it for me. That said, maybe I could try playing with just some of the Fires turned on, like Berath's.

I always use some of the Fires for some extra challenge. I only tried once and don't plan on ever using Eothas/Abydon and I will never again switch on The Ultimate and only ever use Magran for turn-based mode, but I always end up mixing some subset of the others. Ondra is very nearly always on for me, because it makes exploration a bit less mindless and makes it harder to use early ship bounties as a "free" xp bump [which means it's harder to outlevel earlier quests and encounters, at least initially]. Galawain is a solid choice for challenge - it can really wildly change up some fights (I had a run become extremely difficult in BoW because every "scourge" gained Unstoppable; I had a Belranga fight become quite a challenge because an entire cohort of spiderlings gained Bullish). I also like Skaen as a subtle party-nerf (you basically have to give up a weapon slot for a torch if you want to improve your stealthing or avoid getting hit by things you can't see, and even then you'll still find situations where enemies will be able to attack you from out of your line of sight). Those are my top three, but I mix and match the rest for a given run. Rymrgand can seem tedious by its description - but I didn't find it so - you basically just stock up on some foods when you would shop elsewhere. What it really means is that it's much harder to get good resting bonuses when you're out and about, and you end up leaning more on alcohol or limiting your rests away from an inn.

Edited by thelee
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