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Would you consider that to be cheating? Is it all right to lower the difficulty in such a situation?


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Hey i know it isn't about an Obsidian game, but this is the only forum i could think of that i already had an account on, and which was populated by nerds like me.

 

So i was playing Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition on Core Rules difficulty, for the first time ever. I faced the first serious boss in the game, the goddess Yxounomil (or something like that). She was very tough, and i couldn't beat her. I didn't want to lower difficulty, because i swore to myself at the beginning of my plathrough i wouldn't. Eventually, through a right combination of spells, good timing, and favourable RNG, i managed to slay her, but she and her yuan-ti mages absolutely slaughtered my party. Only Gloin, my dwarven fighter/thief, managed to live. I led him back to Kuldahar (cause her mages were still alive), had him revive all my party members, so i could go back to Dragon's Eye and retrieve the items that my party members had dropped. I didn't grind through so many hours only to lose all my items just when the story was picking up. 

 

So i went to the place where the boss fight had taken place and... All my items were gone. All, except for the heartstone, some keys, and a shield related to some quest i did a while back. Naturally, i was furious. I was so happy to have managed that boss fight and then boom, i am set back many hours.

 

After a while, i decided to just reload a save and kill both the boss and her mages on story mode. I decided that even if i had promised to myself i would never lower difficulty, that promise became irrelevant when the game made a mistake itself. I had every right to expect my items to be still lying on the ground, but they weren't, cause the old game had despawned them. So in that case, i have the right to cheat my lowering the difficulty. If the game isn't playing fair with me, i should be allowed not to be fair towards it, either, right?

 

Sorry for the rant

 

And i know it's just a video game so it might be silly to be wondering about stuff like that, but i am just a little bit frustrated.

If you were me, would you have a) done as i did b) kept retrying the boss fight until all your party members were able to survive c) continued the game even despite the loss of items?

 

Sorry for the bad English

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Pretty much boils down to how it makes you feel. My first play through of IWD2 I figured out that if you pause the game and spam the bard song for AC I could have unlimited armor, beat the whole game by cheesing it. Still had a lot of fun and it remains one of my fondest games.

As to your scenario, I would have a question. Was what happened a bug, or is that by game design? As far as I remember items should not despawn, so I would say it's not cheating.

If you feel like playing that fight again is a chore or that you were cheated I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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56 minutes ago, Sarex said:

Pretty much boils down to how it makes you feel. My first play through of IWD2 I figured out that if you pause the game and spam the bard song for AC I could have unlimited armor, beat the whole game by cheesing it. Still had a lot of fun and it remains one of my fondest games.

As to your scenario, I would have a question. Was what happened a bug, or is that by game design? As far as I remember items should not despawn, so I would say it's not cheating.

If you feel like playing that fight again is a chore or that you were cheated I wouldn't worry too much about it.

 

 

I don't have a clue. I asked somebody on another forum once whether the items in Baldur's Gate 2 ever despawn, and they said they despawn when you enter another chapter, unless they have been put into a container. I suspect that this might be similar in Icewind Dale... Meaning when i killed the boss, i entered a new chapter, and thus my items despawned after i had left the place.

 

I  don't know why Beamdog didn't remove that. I suspect that it was an old limitation to save PC's of old some calculating power. But this is 2020. Even the weakest $200 laptop could easily handle preserving memory of dropped items.

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In the non EE version of Icewind Dale the key to the Yxunomei fight was choke points and using Messenger of Sseth (? or whatever that speed bow was called) well.

But really, single player game, play on whatever difficulty you want and don't feel bad about it. Especially if it's the first playthrough.

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I thought items decayed after a certain amount of time has passed unless they are in a container related to quests.

Anyway, lower the difficulty and don't worry. If you ever play the game again you'll steamroll over her anyway. :)

2 hours ago, Zoraptor said:

In the non EE version of Icewind Dale the key to the Yxunomei fight was choke points and using Messenger of Sseth (? or whatever that speed bow was called) well.

In the EE it's bringing a sorcerer along, playing on Insane and reducing party size a bit.

I mean... it's the EE's solution to everything. Nuke it, DoT it, help the whelp groups. Game just wasn't designed for her catching fireballs with her face. The best you could do in the original I think were Skull Traps, and that was a random scroll and you needed a caster high enough in level. 's not something you know on your first rodeo. 

Always thought that "Insane" difficulty on IWD was hilarious, making the game easier after the first cave with the Orcs instead of harder. Even without adding classes the game was never designed for.

Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
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On the rare instance where I have to refight the same battle over and over, I'm happy just to lower the difficulty and get through it. I find repetitive battle scenes to be no better in design than respawning creatures. It's also why I often skip the final boss battle.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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The only competition is for your time. "Cheating" would be letting a game get away with having you spend time doing stuff you don't enjoy.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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8 hours ago, Tale said:

The only competition is for your time. "Cheating" would be letting a game get away with having you spend time doing stuff you don't enjoy.

In way yes but i like to think that i have achieved something. Playing on easy just wouldn't be as fun because you would be able to steamroll everyone. So i was just wondering if you guys thought my case of the game cheating me could be used as an example of where that rule can be relaxed with clear conscience

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I never even hesitate for a second to change my difficulty settings in a game if I'm feeling exasperated or aggravated with something in the game. In the IE games I always activate and use the cheats console. By definition there is no such thing as "cheating" in a single-player game. It's my game and my time and my enjoyment. I'll play it as I want. :)

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The most important thing is you do what's fun, if you aren't enjoying the game then I don't see the point of playing it. Toning down the difficulty for a difficult fight is something I would definitely do if trying to slog through it on higher difficulty was tedious or boring.

15 hours ago, majestic said:

Always thought that "Insane" difficulty on IWD was hilarious, making the game easier after the first cave with the Orcs instead of harder.

Well it is called "Insane" after all.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

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11 hours ago, kanisatha said:

I never even hesitate for a second to change my difficulty settings in a game if I'm feeling exasperated or aggravated with something in the game. In the IE games I always activate and use the cheats console. By definition there is no such thing as "cheating" in a single-player game. It's my game and my time and my enjoyment. I'll play it as I want. :)

As mentioned above, the goal is to have fun. If you like hard challenges, by all means seek out hard challenges. if you want to experience an adventure, adjust the difficulty (if possible) to suit your skill level on the particular day (I know I've rushed through fights that would in later playthroughs stop me dead in my tracks). If you want to show off your leet skills to ohers, join a hard core mmo raiding group 😛

 

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Theoretically I'd like to say it is your game, have fun with it any way you want. In practice I do tend to feel let down when I end up changing the difficulty of cheating. It can take away the sense of accomplishment or challenge and then I typically drop the game shortly after. It's a tough balance. Some games I know right away to play on easy to avoid frustration.

For some reason, save scumming has always been ok with me. I can do that all day as long as I accomplish what I'm trying to do. But that tends to be a much better strategy in turn based games.

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15 hours ago, Gorth said:

If you want to show off your leet skills to ohers, join a hard core mmo raiding group

Terrible advice, don't. It will suck out your soul until you're nothing but an empty husk full of hate and rage, and if you go beyond that you'll end up getting sick to the stomach when thinking about playing with other people.

Or you might win the lottery and actually end up in the one raiding group on the planet where everything is happy-go-lucky, fun and joy and the people have the skill to raid. You just see a unicorn, the sasquatch, a yeti or perhaps discover the cure to old age and every disease. 's all equally likely I guess. :p

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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47 minutes ago, majestic said:

It will suck out your soul until you're nothing but an empty husk full of hate and rage

This is a bad thing ?

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I wouldn't call it cheating, no.  To me cheating is intentionally using a known bug/glitch to dupe stuff or be able to steal/kill/whatever without any intended consequences, for example, or using 3rd party hex edits/trainers/mods to force abilities, items, skills, circumvent time-grinds, and all of that.  Now, personally, I don't mind the latter in a single-player game - especially as I get older sometimes I'll use those to save time, because I'm pretty lazy these days and don't feel like spending 30 hours killing the same enemy 5000x, or because I'm more interested in seeing/exploring a world vs. game progression goals and "beating the game", or something along those lines.  Or I've finished a game and am just goofing off at that point.

Anyway, changing difficulty isn't cheating and as others said, it becomes more a matter of ... how do YOU feel about it.  I might do something like ... lower it to get through it, save the game, then reload and try again a few times on the original difficulty the next day.  If I don't manage it after a few tries I'll shrug and continue on with the save I made after the "easier" fight.  I might get more emotional satisfaction from beating it on my originally chosen difficulty but I don't waste a lot of time if it becomes too hard (or the game is cheesing things too much etc) in one fight.  I typically have other game things that I want to waste spend time vs. "beating something" so for me, after a jolly good try or three, I don't regret stuff like that. 

Edit: I should say there have been some games (usually RTS) where I can get very stubborn and keep trying to figure out how to win a map scenario for a long time where it sorta becomes a thing, but more action-oriented "boss battle" type games ... for me, nah, not so much.

 

Edited by LadyCrimson
“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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2 hours ago, Malcador said:

This is a bad thing ?

You tell me, enjoy working a second job? :p Heh.

Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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41 minutes ago, majestic said:

You tell me, enjoy working a second job? :p Heh.

All that you need to do is transform yourself into a being fueled by said rage and hatred.  Then you'll love hardcore raiding with its toxicity, drama and endless repetition.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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47 minutes ago, Malcador said:

All that you need to do is transform yourself into a being fueled by said rage and hatred.  Then you'll love hardcore raiding with its toxicity, drama and endless repetition.

toxicity and drama might be things many people seek

but are repetition doesn't seems to add anything to the experience

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Repetition adds to the hate. 

Really, all Palpatine had to do was make Anakin be a main healer.

Edited by Malcador
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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Perhaps a better game design would be to track when you are having difficulty with a certain section of the game and be willing to suggest hints during the game restart?

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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1 hour ago, Melusina said:

I personally dislike high difficulties, but people think they are fun. Difficulty isn't fun.

 

Depends on how fair the difficulty is, imo. A game can be difficult and still fair (Dark Souls, etc) or it can be difficult and just frustrating (usually high difficulty in any RTS game, which usually just means the ai will cheat more).

/Edit: This forums quote functions are just such a god damn pain in the arse. This is a good example of difficulty that is unfair and unfun.

Edited by Lexx
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"only when you no-life you can exist forever, because what does not live cannot die."

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Perhaps difficulty isn't fun, but learning can be. The process of getting better can be. Of course if you are along just for the narrative and don't care about the nuts and bolts then any difficulty is going to be a bother -- and that is fine. But some people lean more toward the pure "game" side of computer games than the visual novel side and to them a game that requires little learning to progress can feel unengaging.

And then there's the epeen measuring and achievement hunting aspects. I'm not drawn to that myself, but different strokes and all that.

  

18 hours ago, Lexx said:

/Edit: This forums quote functions are just such a god damn pain in the arse. This is a good example of difficulty that is unfair and unfun.

Not sure why you're having difficulties (heh) with the quote function. Could you give some feedback that could be passed along to admin? Are you on desktop or mobile?

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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