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Casual vs Hardcore. Correlation between experience and difficulty.

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I'm a not a hardcore player and I play on whatever difficulty feels right to me. On P:E it's hard. On the IE games it's core rules.

 

Also Dwarf Fortress isn't anywhere near that hard. You just have to learn that losing is fun.

 

Well the point wasn't that it was hard, but the difference between hardcore and casuals. Dwarf Fortress isn't hard as such, but oh boy do you need to learn that losing is fun. And overcoming those challenges, mastering that learning curve, and the rewards that comes with it appeals to the hardcore mindset, which is why I enjoy it as an example. :lol:

 

I'm actually not that big of a fan of Dwarf Fortress. Like the Engagement system, I want to love it, but I just can't.

 

 

I'm a dirty, dirty graphics whore and I have the audacity to enjoy UI:s.

 


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POTD cant be hard , why? because its soloable , so how bad i should be with 6 characters to fail on POTD if its soloable? i play POTD ironman atm and 90% of fights i just auto attack with arbalests because micromanaging is not worth the time , 10% of the fights , it starts raining adds on you and pathfinding starts to really shine doesnt it

 

Your reasoning is flawed. Einstein was able to come up with Special Relativity, Bolt was able to run 100m in 9.58 seconds, Hannibal the Great was able to create the single biggest empire the world has ever seen, all in one lifetime.. just because something can be done by someone, doesn't mean it's easy. It just means that it can be done. If 99.99% of the population weren't able to do what an individual does, or only by a coordinated group effort, no one in their right mind would say that the exercise at hand would then logically have to be regarded as being easy.

 

Difficulty is not a qualitative trait, but a quantitative one. Have you played PotD solo? Do you know how long it takes to figure out all the different encounters, to come up with a proper build, to manage all your available resources just right? That is difficulty

Edited by Eos

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Hoo boy, DF. Been some years since I managed to kick that obsession. Just re-downloaded it now... and man, how it's progressed. They write books. Books! 

 

The Mystery: Further Musings, authored by Rith Tomesrelic. It concerns the learning of the secrets of life and death by the dwarf necromancer Rith Tomesrelic from the teaching of the dwarf necromancer Meng Letterdawn in the late autumn of 50. The writing occasionally changes topic abruptly yet it shows a hint of tenderness.

 

I want to read The Mystery: Further Musings. Why can't I read The Mystery: Further Musings?


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Hoo boy, DF. Been some years since I managed to kick that obsession. Just re-downloaded it now... and man, how it's progressed. They write books. Books! 

 

The Mystery: Further Musings, authored by Rith Tomesrelic. It concerns the learning of the secrets of life and death by the dwarf necromancer Rith Tomesrelic from the teaching of the dwarf necromancer Meng Letterdawn in the late autumn of 50. The writing occasionally changes topic abruptly yet it shows a hint of tenderness.

 

I want to read The Mystery: Further Musings. Why can't I read The Mystery: Further Musings?

 

 

But.. PJ, you're missing the most important question. Have they added individual blood types for dwarves yet?

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I'm a casual gamer but also a completionist.

 

I enjoy moderate challenge when it comes to combat, but the story and immersion are the priority. I do search every nook and cranny, read almost everything and make progress very slowly. However I'm not the least bit interested in numbers and microscopic game mechanics. I want to understand the basics, but that's enough.

 

If I had more time at my disposal, who knows, maybe I would end up a "hard-core" gamer. But with a career and a family, it's not even a remote possibility. But it doesn't mean that I would rush through a RPG. I'm very selective with games, but the ones I like I play through several times - wanting to experience every part of the story and game world.

 

The difficulty with this game seems okayish for me on hard. What I don't like is levelling too fast while doing "everything". But that seems to be such a common problem with games - always being over-levelled.

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POTD cant be hard , why? because its soloable , so how bad i should be with 6 characters to fail on POTD if its soloable? i play POTD ironman atm and 90% of fights i just auto attack with arbalests because micromanaging is not worth the time , 10% of the fights , it starts raining adds on you and pathfinding starts to really shine doesnt it

 

Your reasoning is flawed. Einstein was able to come up with Special Relativity, Bolt was able to run 100m in 9.58 seconds, Hannibal the Great was able to create the single biggest empire the world has ever seen, all in one lifetime.. just because something can be done by someone, doesn't mean it's easy. It just means that it can be done. If 99.99% of the population weren't able to do what an individual does, or only by a coordinated group effort, no one in their right mind would say that the exercise at hand would then logically have to be regarded as being easy.

 

Difficulty is not a qualitative trait, but a quantitative one. Have you played PotD solo? Do you know how long it takes to figure out all the different encounters, to come up with a proper build, to manage all your available resources just right? That is difficulty

 

 

You make a good point, Eos. But the real world is much more complex than combat in Pillars of Eternity. Amongst PoE players, there will never be a skill gap as vast as that between Hannibal the Great and the janitor at my elementary school.

 

Anyways, I don't think the solo-ability of the game is what causes the lack of difficulty, though logically it makes sense if you think of it in a limited context. I think it's exactly the problem outlined in the OP of the thread: if you do all the side content in the game you're going to be over-leveled.

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Said completionists are well aware that they are going to be more powerful by the end of the game. That's part of the deal. Maybe there should be something stronger than the Aedra Dragon but *shrug* I'll leave that to said completionists.

 

I think it's more important to make sure that anyone playing this from a quasi realistic "hero logic" stance should have enough experience to complete the main quest with sane, if hard, difficulty for the difficulty level. In other words, you should be able to complete the game role playing your character, even if it's really difficult. POE does that I think. Maybe a bit inconsistently (the Raedric quest comes to mind, or just the last battle). But I think it works out in that sense.

 

Off Topic though

 

You want a real challenge, roll your scores for ALL of the characters with 3d6 and cheat the scores into the game. Since the game is geared towards a 75 point build it would probably make for a pretty big challenge.


It's good to criticize things you love.

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The way I see it the story quests should be the most difficult.

 

It would be an intensive to and go extra stuff in order to find a bit better equipment and level up.

 

In PoE however the story quests seem to be the easiest which is a bit weird.

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Also, what about the people (me included) that do one run just to finish the story, and the second to complete? And then the third to speed?

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The way I see it the story quests should be the most difficult.

 

It would be an intensive to and go extra stuff in order to find a bit better equipment and level up.

 

In PoE however the story quests seem to be the easiest which is a bit weird.

This contradicts with your original post, where you said 'casuals'* may find the game too hard because they have done less side-content, causing them to have worse equipment and levels. By making the main quest even more difficult would force the 'casuals'* to go do the side stuff more carefully, essentially making them 'hardcore'*. 

 

I think it's fair to reward the work 'hardcore'* players have done to get the equipment by making them feel more powerful than the people who are too lazy** to do the side content. I'd be (mildly) pissed if the game makes my party feel equally strong to those who have done less content. Of course it would be ideal if the game rewarded your sidequesting with more balanced rewards, but realistically it wouldn't make any sense to make the rewards even despite the difference in work.

 

The easiest way to balance the game (design-wise) would be difficulty settings, which most devs use. Hardcore* players can pick harder difficulty, casuals* easier - simple. There is a video by Extra Credits  explaining the "genius" behind Dark Souls 2's way of making the game more suited for casuals. In general, developers should avoid making too many compromises. Instead of marketing for casuals* and hardcore* players, making a game for only specific audience is a lot better way to please people, IMO.

 

*The definitions are not that simple so using these words causes a lot of misunderstandings

**'Maybe a bit too strong word, but you get the message.

Edited by Emc2

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The way I see it the story quests should be the most difficult.

 

It would be an intensive to and go extra stuff in order to find a bit better equipment and level up.

 

In PoE however the story quests seem to be the easiest which is a bit weird.

I'd imagine it's because hard story quests would form a barrier to finishing the game, while you could just skip a side quest that was too hard. 

 

On normal I've found the combat tedious, but not difficult. Occasionally I think about bumping it up to hard, and then I think about only being able to carry two  nights worth of camping  supplies and think, "Yuck."  I'm still curious about the world, but have shelved the game until after at least the next big patch. 

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By the definition of hardcore gamer some people use in this thread speedruners would qualify as casuals.

 

That's an awfully specific edge case you're feigning concern about. Sure it would be a valid concern if this was something scholarly where you have to say exactly what you mean, but... Come on.

Edited by Grand_Commander13

Curious about the subraces in Pillars of Eternity? Check out 

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The thing we need to remember is that the designers might find it a wasted effort to fine-tune the game to the point that it becomes really hard even for really good players. As of this writing, 4.5% of players have even completed the game. 1.2% have killed the hardest boss. 0.2% of completed it on Path of the Damned. 0.1% have soloed it (and it might be even lower, but 0.1% is the minimum displayed). 

 

Sure, we are less than a month from release, but with these numbers I can easily see why Obsidian doesn't really bother to ensure the hardest of hardcore players crack their teeth on the game. Even titles renowned for their difficulty like the Souls series have a subset of really skilled players who destroy the games with minimal deaths. And short of adding an enormously cheap difficulty level designed specifically for those who abuse everything, min-max up the whazoo and still want to fight to an inch of their life every battle, there's not much designers can do about that I feel.

 

And anyway, there's always the Solo Triple Crown achievement for people who still think the game is too easy. Beyond that.... I don't know, solo the game with a Ranger pet? Try the 6 bear party challenge PC Gamer had going shortly after release, perhaps.

 

One thing I do agree with is the the difficulty curve of the game needs some work. Act 1 seems just right, even if a bit cheap at moments, but Acts 2 and 3 are far easier, and the main story quests are by and large a walk in the park. But for a first effort from Obsidian with a homebrewed ruleset, it could still be far worse.

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I consider myself casual player yet I want the game to be challenging and I want to look at as much stuff as I can.

 

I see it differently:
There are people who play a game the way they like as they figure it out through playing, and people who believe the games should be made and played the way they think they should. All design descision that they don't like have to be "forced" to the devs by the console conspiracy to make us all dumb.

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I dismiss the premise. There is no reason to believe that "hardcore" players are inherently more interested in exploring and doing side content than casuals are to any truly meaningful degree.

I completely agree. I've known lots of gamers and crpg'rs that want the combat to be super easy/relaxed precisely because they want to see every single nook and cranny of the game, but don't want to have to deal with "all that combat" just to do so. Their main interest is not in outwitting or conquering tough combat challenges, but they may still spend 100's of hours doing whatever it is they enjoy.

 

You can be "hardcore" about many things re:games, it's not only about super punishing combat or number crunching. I don't really like the term that much, even as I use it sometimes.

 

Thank you, you both took the words right out of my mouth. ^_^


"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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I like my games to be challenging and do all quests my PC would, as I like to roleplay the character consistently. I never solo in a party-based rpg and don't chase achievements. Not sure what that makes me, although I do dislike casual modes that make combat effortlessly easy. Don't really care if someone wants to play it that way, as long as I have my difficult options.

 

IMO, vanilla PoE isn't very challenging on PotD. Tactics very rarely need to be changed, and the only enemies I find difficult are the ones who can inflict status effects. This needs to be tweaked, with more status abilities given to enemies and more intelligent encounter design.

 

I'd also say the DT system, as of the current version 1.04, pushes to DT piercing weapons and high damage weapons in almost all cases, making fast weapons generally sub-optimal. Armor is also flawed, as it pushes characters to either wear cloth or plate with the in-between armors being ignored. There are also quite a few junk talents, optional abilities, and spells/chants/powers. IMO, equipment as a whole needs a rebalance, as does talent progression and class progression.

Edited by KaineParker

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It is easy.

 

For those who want to enjoy the story (finish the game) - immortality. They can't die.

 

Then 3 different hardness levels (easy, hard, insane).

 

Insane should be so hard that for a party oriented game like PoE, it should be impossible to solo. Closing, locking doors where before archways were (no doorway tactics, ect.), teleporting m0bs, bosses, etc!

 

And for explorers, etc. Out of the way places, secret bosses and so on.

 

Should basically make everyone happy.

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I dismiss the premise. There is no reason to believe that "hardcore" players are inherently more interested in exploring and doing side content than casuals are to any truly meaningful degree.

 

Furthermore, the defining issues in terms of challenge is not one of experience (which is doled out at an insane rate) or equipment (which is pretty meh at best, anyway), but systemic issues dealing with things like immunities, a lack of strategic and tactical depth as well as reactivity, and easily repeated and replicated encounter approaches that are almost universally successful.

 

Of course hardcore players are going to be more thorough in doing side content.  Are you serious?

 

 

The terms "casual" and "hardcore" are vague, mean different things to different people, and have different implications for different kinds of games.  As generalizations go, they're not as useful as you might think, and layering another level of generalizations on top of them is very questionable.

 

It's not hard at all to imagine people who just aren't into game mechanics but love story, who don't want to miss anything, and therefore will explore as much as possible.  Or maybe they're just very methodical and want to uncover the whole map.  That doesn't make them hardcore.

 

I spend a fair amount of time on the forums -- partially as something to do in dead time at work.  I've put some thought into game mechanics, have explored the game world fairly thoroughly (and was disappointed to find that finishing the main quest prevented me from continuing the Endless Paths and further exploration), am playing a second time with a custom party, am considering a solo or duo run... and have no interest in hard or POTD modes.  I don't consider myself either hardcore or casual, frankly.

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This problem is not unique to Pillars of Eternity.

 

However, it is still interesting from design perspective and overall enjoyment of the game.

 

Casual players usually stick to the main quest, don't feel compelled to check every corner of the game,

look behind every rock. They don't do every single side quest and therefore they have lower level and worse equipment.

It's funny because they would prefer the game to be easier but their play style make it harder.

 

Hardcore gamers on the other hand don't want to miss anything. They will walk into every house,

look for every hidden stash and usually complete every single side quest before moving the story forward.

This result in them having much better equipment and more experience than the former players.

For the people looking for a challenge the game becomes less challenging.

 

System of additional quests and rewards seems broken as it does exactly the opposite.

People who should get more challenge get more smooth experience while people looking for an easy game get it on hard mode...

 

It would be boring to remove side quests, having quests without rewards would also be rather bad.

 

How to fix this?

 

Your realization is true, however I think the solution is simple:

 

-Casual Player plays game on easy setting

-Hardcore Player plays on hard

 

Also, many hardcore players looking for a challenge intentionally 'hamper' themselves to up the challenge by not exploiting game systems (eg not rest spam in the Baldur's Gate and similar games)

 

 

As for PoE, my personal exp to get a nice challenge:

 

-play on hard

-use Obsidian Companions

-don't use consumables/scrolls/traps in battle, as to play with the same terms as my enemies

-advance main story without searching every nook and cranny or doing all side-quests. Leave content either to return in a later part of the game or for another playthrough if I lose interest

-try to win hard encounters/quests that except me to lv up and return to them at a lower lv


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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People play how they want to.

 

You must sit around thinking "How can I say nothing of significance today just to get my post count up?"

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How to fix this?

 

The Hardcore mode in New Vegas fixed this problem perfectly for me.   I think every game should have a Hardcore mode and it should be customisable to what aspects you want harder, and its a one off choice you cant change at the start of the game.

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People play how they want to.

 

You must sit around thinking "How can I say nothing of significance today just to get my post count up?"

 

No, that was pretty much a summary of my thoughts on the issue. I don't really tend to think about post count or it makes me realize how much time I've wasted talking online.

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I dismiss the premise. There is no reason to believe that "hardcore" players are inherently more interested in exploring and doing side content than casuals are to any truly meaningful degree.

 

Furthermore, the defining issues in terms of challenge is not one of experience (which is doled out at an insane rate) or equipment (which is pretty meh at best, anyway), but systemic issues dealing with things like immunities, a lack of strategic and tactical depth as well as reactivity, and easily repeated and replicated encounter approaches that are almost universally successful.

Of course hardcore players are going to be more thorough in doing side content. Are you serious?
He didn't say they'd be equally thorough. He implied they'd be equally interested. I agree with that implication.

 

Also, consider this: to actively avoid side quests, you must be fairly hardcore (either research or rerolls), while a casual player is almost certain to do lots of side content out of shear uncertainty of direction.

 

Extreme completionist or minimalist playplaythroughs do imply a hardcore mentality, but there is a lot of room between those two extremes... and the two extremes should to some extent cancel each other out in terms of overall statistics. Average % complete is probably about the same for both casual and hardcore demographics.

Edited by scrotiemcb

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IMO it doesn't matter how easy you make a game, some people will still find it hard.

 

And it doesn't matter how hard you make it, some people will still find it easy.

 

So IMO Potd should have been the base normal difficulty. Trying to cater to players who find everything too hard and even believe that they shouldn't ever die once is a bad thing to do.

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