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Hey all,

 

I'm sure this info is elsewhere but I wasn't able to find it in searches so I hope you don't mind me asking too much.

 

What are the concrete differences between hard and POTD?

I know hard has more enemies than normal, but otherwise the same class of enemies (not buffed beyond "normal rules).

 

POTD has "buffed" creatures I have heard, but how much? Is there any place I can maybe see how POTD creatures stats look compared to normal/hard? (do they show with enhanced stats in the beastiary maybe, or are the enhancements "invisible" ?).

 

Is it also the case that POTD has even more enemies than hard? The only reference I've seen to this is some mention in a thread about there being "twice as many as on hard" but I'd like some confirmation or refinement on that statement.

 

Here's the thing - after spending a lot of time playing around at the start of the game, playing with builds and such I feel I have a good grasp of the game without having spoiled the content of the game too much, and hard seems maybe a bit on the easy side. I hear people say that if anything it is the early-game that is a bit tougher than average (raderics hold, eothas ect. assuming you don't outlevel it). I have my PC, Eder, Aloth and Durance as my starting core party, and I've allowed myself to rebuid the companions (keeping the classes though) so they are essentially like hirelings - a bit more optimized. I do this primarily because I'm anal about details like this and it would annoy me otherwise, but I really want the interactions.

 

With this, the early game seems a bit on the easy side. Many "normal" encounters feel a bit trivial - they are over before I can use up my pr-encounter abilities a lot of the time, and even with 2 casters in a party of 4 spells aren't really needed until I bump into "hard" encounters. Does it only get easier from there on out? If so then I am kind of considering POTD for my first playthrough - even though I am not really into the whole "challange runs" thing. I am playing for enjoyment of the game primarily. I just don't want content to turn trivial as combat is a major part of the game after all. To be fair though I haven't played through more than the starting parts of the game - so I don't know how this tends to scale later on. I am just going by what I've read a few places.

 

My main fear about POTD is that I don't want to play a game in which enemies have "cheaty" stats to the point where abilities turn very unreliable because everything gets resisted. I can't do a ton to influence the accuracy of most abilities anyway, and "resist, resist,resist" isn't hard - it's just frustrating and random. Just "more, and more dangerous" enemies on the other hand I wouldn't mind much.

 

Can anyone with experience of both hard and POTD give me some feedback and insight into this?

-Stigma

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Regardless of difficulty, the game becomes much easier after act one. I think POTD has a challenging early game, but afterwards is trivial outside of specific encounters.

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POTD enemies have 15 more in accuracy and the four defense stats, they also have 25% more endurance. DR is the same and I believe they have the same damage too.

 

Edit: Ofc I haven't checked every enemy type so there might be exceptions.

Edited by Tvättbjörn

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POTD enemies have 15 more in accuracy and the four defense stats, they also have 25% more endurance. DR is the same and I believe they have the same damage too.

 

Edit: Ofc I haven't checked every enemy type so there might be exceptions.

 

Ah, excellent information. I'd expect there to be some fairly flat system like that added to the normal stats so that makes sense.

 

So basically its more enemies, and the enemies will hit you a bit easier and you will miss a bit more (but 15 more doesn't sound insurmountable.

 

Thanks a lot for the info :)

-Stigma

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So far I did some testing on phantoms and shades in Cad Nua and wolves and bears in Valewood. The differences are indeed big between hard and PoTD.

 

Most mobs on potd have up to 50% higher stats, I tested it on phantoms and shadows. On hard shadows and phantoms have around 52-54 deflection defence, while on potd they have 75, this is also true for other defences. In addition, they also have 50% higher accuracy. In game mechanics this means they also do more dmg, as they will score critical hits on your characters more often.

 

As far as numbers of mobs go, in Valewood on hard you encounter 1 elder wolf and 2 young wolves, on potd it's 1 elder wolf and 4 young wolves. In the bear cave on hard you encounter 1 big bear and 1 young bear. On potd you encounter 1 big bear and 2 young bears.

 

I haven't gotten to Defiance Bay yet on potd, but I did beat the game on hard. If the XP and item mechanics are same for hard and potd, it means that the game will be hard as hell untill you get to DB. After DB, due to abundance of XP and good gear the difficulty should ballance out a bit, but still remain a challenge due to increased monster stats. As far as endgame goes, I can't say for sure but considering that final boss has 150 deflection score on hard, on potd that would be 220... And that's just crazy, so I'm guessing endgame on potd should be a nightmare ;)

 

As I said I can't be certain for mid and lategame, but so far the numbers hold on my early game potd playthrough.


"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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Path of the damend adds nothing to the game. It just makes its weakest part (before DB) even more tedious.

 

What people don´t understand is that the easiest way to increase difficulty settings in a game designed with a party of SIX members in mind is to reduce the party size.

 

Try hard difficulty with a trio or squad (the companions have nothing interesting to say, so stick to the two or three you like the most) and, perhaps, even restrict yourself to not playing with a cipher, and only do the sidequests which do truly fit to the RP-background of your watcher, and here we go: The game stays reasonably challenging while still being enjoyable even after entering DB.

For god´s sake, most people who complain about "hard is too easy" should decline Durance´s offer to join the party and play without a cipher, that alone would make a huge difference without pumping the monsters´stats in PotD.

Edited by Valeris
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gotta disagree on the party banter not being interesting, at least the first time around.  I found it just as entertaining as the party banter for BG was, better in some cases.

 

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Durance? Is he considered OP somehow?...

 

 

-Stigma

the only thing I find overpowered about priests is painful interdiction. I start EVERY fight with that, which tells me it's likely just a bit too good.

 

Other than that?  not sure what the OP meant by Durance specifically.  priests in general are not nearly as overpowered in the early game as ciphers are.

 

and ciphers eventually balance out with the rest towards the end, imo.

 

 

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His primary job is to buff the party, and the more members your party has, the bigger is the advantage of having him with the team. Most partys will already have five members when entering Old Nuad, six by the time you reach DB or shortly after. GG, your priest can carry you through every encounter now thx to synergy of buffing spells and party size.

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His primary job is to buff the party

which you can do with anyone, with scrolls instead if need be.

 

so you're saying a priest is a giant walking scroll. 

 

frankly, I typically use durance as offensive caster instead of buffer.  seals are the things that are brutally effective and unique to priests.

 

so no, I don't agree with your assesment.

 

 

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His primary job is to buff the party

which you can do with anyone, with scrolls instead if need be.

 

so you're saying a priest is a giant walking scroll. 

 

frankly, I typically use durance as offensive caster instead of buffer.  seals are the things that are brutally effective and unique to priests.

 

so no, I don't agree with your assesment.

 

 

 

Those seals are pretty brutal aye... preplacable AoE trap that knockdowns all the incoming enemies for half the duration of the encounter? yes plz ;)

 

-Stigma

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O, that is the reason my toons are so poor in this game.

Everytime Durance casts a spell, I have to pay several hundreds worth of money and invest in three different ingredients. :(

Edited by Valeris

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Path of the damend adds nothing to the game. It just makes its weakest part (before DB) even more tedious.

 

What people don´t understand is that the easiest way to increase difficulty settings in a game designed with a party of SIX members in mind is to reduce the party size.

 

Try hard difficulty with a trio or squad (the companions have nothing interesting to say, so stick to the two or three you like the most) and, perhaps, even restrict yourself to not playing with a cipher, and only do the sidequests which do truly fit to the RP-background of your watcher, and here we go: The game stays reasonably challenging while still being enjoyable even after entering DB.

For god´s sake, most people who complain about "hard is too easy" should decline Durance´s offer to join the party and play without a cipher, that alone would make a huge difference without pumping the monsters´stats in PotD.

Hmm you might want to move this to another thread as it is completely off topic. After all the OP asked about differences between hard and potd

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"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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Path of the damend adds nothing to the game. It just makes its weakest part (before DB) even more tedious.

 

What people don´t understand is that the easiest way to increase difficulty settings in a game designed with a party of SIX members in mind is to reduce the party size.

 

Try hard difficulty with a trio or squad (the companions have nothing interesting to say, so stick to the two or three you like the most) and, perhaps, even restrict yourself to not playing with a cipher, and only do the sidequests which do truly fit to the RP-background of your watcher, and here we go: The game stays reasonably challenging while still being enjoyable even after entering DB.

For god´s sake, most people who complain about "hard is too easy" should decline Durance´s offer to join the party and play without a cipher, that alone would make a huge difference without pumping the monsters´stats in PotD.

 

While I agree with the general notion - especially with reducing party size as way to adjust - that these kind of difficulties tend to be tedious more than challenging skillz, PotD pushes player to limits. This means that mechanics or items not essential and/or usually used need to be utilized. Like Food or changing set up depending on encounter or even finding that one item which will make that one encounter winnable.

 

Personally, I am glad the game is   not balanced around  playable without full party. Not that I do not like characters and their stories but managing 6 is just something I do not enjoy.

Edited by knownastherat

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My main fear about POTD is that I don't want to play a game in which enemies have "cheaty" stats to the point where abilities turn very unreliable because everything gets resisted. I can't do a ton to influence the accuracy of most abilities anyway, and "resist, resist,resist" isn't hard - it's just frustrating and random.

 

That's exactly what PotD is. It's more difficult but not in a fun way, it just forces you to use niche builds and skills, and it's overall frustrating. The difficulty consists of enemies having inflated stats so forget about using most of the abilities in the game - it's not worth it there. Miss miss miss - that's PotD.

 

If you find Hard easy like me, then you can make it intentionally more difficult by taking less party members or like me atm, going with a full monk dps party (ironman) and seeing how far I get. People play PotD because they want a sense of achievement that way, that's about it.

 

Ever played Guild Wars 1? PotD is just like hard mode they added there. Inflated stats so in normal mode elementalists nuke everything in seconds, and in hard mode all their normal damage spells are useless because of armor reduction, and what works are utilities and armor ignoring spells. That's fine if you don't mind that now you're restricted to few skills/abilities instead of a hundred.

Edited by The Josip

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Thanks for a lot of good input. I wish there was more of consensus about how the POTD stats are actually inflated though (one guy says +15accuray/defence and the other says +50% which are not only huge differences but also completely different scaling). I understand that the information might not be easily available though so it's not like I'm complaining :)

 

I think I am leaning to stick with my game on hard - not because I don't think I could handle POTD, but because I think that risks the game turning "more annoying" rather than "harder". Kind of wish there was a middle-ground with POTD number of enemies but not inflated stats (or just a very slight boost and/or a decent amount more endurance for enemies so they take more punishment). If it's true that some enemies get as much as +50% stats increases that I'm sure would just make it so that abilities aren't really reliable anymore - and that just makes for too random combat and frustration. I don't want to have to cast some spell 3 times over to make it stick.

 

If things get a bit on the easy side on hard I guess I can just make my own fun by having more opportunities to experiment with abilities and spells that aren't strictly optimal. Too optimized usually results in very narrow rinse&repeat strategies.

 

Again, thanks for the feedback so far :)

-Stigma

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Just play POTD. In terms of how it feels, it isn't cheaty and it's not annoying. There's no infuriating one hit kills, massive HP bloats or anything. If anything enemies are still too vulnerable to disabling spells. Once you know how the game works, POTD is the Normal. 

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Just play POTD. In terms of how it feels, it isn't cheaty and it's not annoying. There's no infuriating one hit kills, massive HP bloats or anything. If anything enemies are still too vulnerable to disabling spells. Once you know how the game works, POTD is the Normal. 

 

Well gee, thanks for making me uncertain again right after I kind of made up my mind lol =P

 

By the way - those things in your signature, are those video recorded ironman playthoughs? I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

 

-Stigma

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Well, there is no harm in trying it out ;) Truth is potd is a bit frustrating in the begining, but once you get a few lvls under your belt, backed up with some decent gear, it becomes fun (at least for me).

 

And no, potd does not invalidate "half of abilities and spells" it simply makes spells you never bothered using during normal or hard playthrough useful, if anything it makes more things viable.

 

Things like food for example...Sure you can still run through encounters without it, but in potd it helps a lot.

Traps, you find a ton of them troughout the game and now you actually have a reason to use them ;)

Slaying enchantments, they are completely irelevant on hard, on potd, the added accuracy makes things a lot easier.

Scrolls, yup pretty useful especially early on.

 

As for niche builds, not sure what ppl mean buy that. I play with standard npc companions, so the only character that was minmaxed is my main char.

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"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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Potd forces the use of debuffs too, so damaging abilities can actually do damage. In hard mode in never had to debuff things to land my spells.

It makes the game more interesting imo.

Icewind Dale had a  "heart of winter" mode, which added stupid buffs to every monsters in the game, but it was poorly implemented since the only thing that worked was melee and cc, everything else was trash. PoE's POTD is much better tought out and plays right.

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i just wanted to say thanks to those who encouraged me tot try POTD. its just right for me. doesntfeel cheap but genuinely challanging. i think they made a mistake in how they did difficulty levels. hard should be like 2/3 of what potd is now probably, and potd maybe even little harder if it was intended for that "crazy trial" level difficulty mode that it sounds like it is.

 

id i remember to do so i will try to go back and see if i an shed more light on stats differences once i have more playtime and data.

sorry for poor spelling -mobile device...

 

-Stigma

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The important difference seems to be the defense thresholds.  In a game where there's a lot of options, most of the work you do to get past Hard is in party composition and overall combat fluency.  I like the idea of the next level of difficulty making slaying/weakness targeting/consumables the next problem to figure out - planning how to take down the dragon/ancient evil in a way that requires leveraging every resource at your disposal can be fun, along with avoiding the wilderness trash mobs (tough survivors in their own right) that would otherwise be killed for being in your way.

Finding the balance of "using every resource optimally" versus "use all your resources and full rest after every fight" is something to be appreciated, and it's great to hear that this might be the case.

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