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Itemized Difficulty  

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  1. 1. Would you like to see itemized difficulty options

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One thing that I've found myself wanting in many games is a really customizable difficulty. Many games have a difficulty slider, but each setting on that slider may have multiple changes.


What I'd like to see is an itemized Difficulty.


For Example: (note this is a super simplified example)


Say that normal mode has the standard settings. But Hard mode adds 50% to enemy HP, damage, resistances, etc and increases the AI level. Extra Hard add 100% to those values and increases the AI even more.


An itemized difficulty setting would allow the player to chose to use the Extra hard settings for Damage, Resistance, and AI but only the hard setting for enemy HP (perhaps the extra HP in Extra hard just make the fights seem to long to someone but they want the rest of the challenge that extra hard more provides).


This could also work to the benefit of people who might want an easier experience without completely lobotomizing the AI.

Edited by PrinceNimzar
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I only care that normal mode is reasonable. It shouldn't be nerfed for casual morons. Newer games have a tendency to be bloody easy. Like Mass Effect, for example. The first two were ridiculously easy even on hardest difficulty (haven't played the 3rd).


That said, I'm not a fan of impossible, either. And forcing a rest-fight-rest slog is pretty obnoxious, too.

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Options should all be toggles in the "Difficulty" Menu under options.


I like my enemies hitting hard on harder difficulty, while not suddenly becoming monstrous tanks. If my enemies can kill me in a single blow, I should be able to do the same (within the limits of context, I would not like this for a boss, for example).


I'd like it. To me choosing how difficulties work is an awesome way to allow player freedom. If I played my mage, I'd want my enemies to have more resistances, so I'd have to strategize around them. I wouldn't want everything to have over 9000 HP, taking infinite arrows to take down, just because I cranked the difficulty to the 9th degree (Oblivion).


Basically, more HP and more damage on average=/=more difficult, but more tedious. Every option should be separate.

Knight Drei of the Obsidian Order

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I'm not sure that examples of poorly implemented difficulties are a reason to create several dozen toggles (each of which creates its own set of implementation problems). I also think that whining about games being too hard or too easy and expecting the devs to allow for every. single. potential. option. is really absurd.


The difficulty slider only really exists to make the game easier for people who aren't having fun. (That and apparently to stroke the egos of twits who think they've accomplished something by playing the game on the "hardest" setting.) If you want a REAL challenge, do something like playing the game without healing potions or without ever donning a magic item. And, with these sorts of self-imposed challenges, you can customize them exactly how you want without trying to make the devs read your mind and cater to your personal preferences. Want mobs to do more damage but not have more HP? Take off all that armor. Or dump your con. Want them to be tougher but not stronger? Use only the weakest weapon in the game.


Making the game harder depends mostly on you.

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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Not the way it's suggested in the OP, but yes.


Enemy AI should always be at max. They probably wont qualify for mensa anyway.

Don't see the need to separate resistances from HP's or stuff like that.


But as mentioned in some other thread, I'd like to see "disable friendly fire" kind of options for combat,

and why not "easier puzzles" for someone else who basically just likes combat.

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I've always hated how IE games tended to control difficulty. I liked to always leave things at the standard (core?) difficulty where the standard rules were followed and where AoE spells damaged the party, but sometimes I wanted a bit more challenge without resorting to the enemy not playing by the same rules. 50% more damage is a very clunky way to increase difficulty. Both sides should have to play by the same rules. I found FONV to be much too easy on the standard difficulty level and hated having to resort to enemy cheating to make the battles at least a little bit challenging.


I agree 100% that difficulty should be 'itemized'. That you should be able to individually adjust the various factors that make a battle more difficult without resorting to the enemy not playing by the game rules. Increasing enemy damage across the board by some percent for instance just is not fair. Allowing the enemies to cheat is not fun, and I really don't see the need. Anyone who has played BG2 vanilla and then BG2 with Sword Coast Strategems installed can easily see that such cheating is not necessary.


You can make the enemies smarter. You can increase their hit points. You can increase their number per encounter (a method that I particularly like). For monsters you can even increase the damage they do as long as the damage variations can be accounted for in the narrative. For instance, maybe on difficulty 7 you encounter a lot more ancient dragons than on 4. The increased damage and hitpoints is explained by natural variations in the species.


OTOH, with humans, you cannot simply arbitrarily increase their damage. Their weapons are not built in and they should have to use the same tables as the player. It makes no sense that the same sword does 1-10 points of damage in the player character but 2-20 damage just because someone other than you is wielding it. Same goes for magical damage. If a fireball causes 1-6 points of damage per level for the player character it does not make sense for it to cause 1-10 points of damage per level when the enemy is using it.


I'd also like to see the differences in difficulty be more finely adjustable. There should be more than 3 or 4 different levels of difficulty per category. I think a scale of 1 to 10 or even 1 to 100 would be nice. And, yes, this kind of stuff is worth spending development time on. Combat is a core part of RPG play and actually has much more replay value than a good story. PS:T is my favorite computer game of all time, but I haven't played it for many years. I continue to replay BG2 and ToEE however at least once a year because the combat is so much fun. Good strategic combat is resistant to becoming boring in the same way as playing chess. A narrative OTOH, especially a suspenseful one, can become boring after playing it enough times to anticipate everything. So I do think that combat mechanics are very important and shouldn't be ignored just because MCA manages to write an intriguing and suspenseful story.

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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I like the idea and think it would actually be very easy to implement: most games have values for each of these items, but are lumped together when choosing easy, normal, hard. Separating them wouldn't really be any extra work, nor would I see it as "distracting".

I'm sure Obsidian won't make this as easy as Half-Life 2 (original) on easy settings, nor as hard as Dark Souls (I rage quit that game).

Edited by themanclaw
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