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Casual vs Hardcore. Correlation between experience and difficulty.

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One of the biggest gaming industry problems nowdays is that even such games as CRPG try to bend their knee to casual scrubs i mean there is ton of Call of Duty released every year , assassins creed you can buy atleast 5 times a year , and we get 1 CRPG a decade and it has to be winnable for every dumb kid .. and if that is not enough the hardest difficulty of the game ofcourse has to be SOLOable for the fakin achievement  .... **** yeh commerce.. ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY , and even then you guys donate couple of millions before the game launches so kids can come to this forum and cry how paladin is a bad class or how monk sux because you cant play him without armor and with bare fists aka leesin or smth  ...  lol i wonder how many steam kids would kill themselves if they had to play something like Commandos 2 at present day , there was no place for casuals in that game 

 

CRPGs have never really been hard though, at least not in the way something like Starcraft is hard. As long as you can save all the time this will remain the case. If you absolutely want PoE to be hard then play it without pausing the game and refuse to load your games when you fail. if you die you have to start over again. That sounds hard enough for me and you won`t have to spend any time complaining about the difficulty of a game that isn`t about being difficult, but telling a story and making the player figure some things out to advance the story. It`s not just lazy slackers who make games boring. "Hardcore" people do as well because they always always start moaning about balance, whether or not the game in question actually needs balance.

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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.

 

 

Why bother wasting time online if you have nothing of substance to contribute anyway :)

 

You already have 2 posts and your contribution to the matter is 0.

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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.

 

 

Why bother wasting time online if you have nothing of substance to contribute anyway :)

 

You already have 2 posts and your contribution to the matter is 0.

 

 

He has a tendency to do that. Most of us just ignore him and carry on.


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I don't feel like this is a problem, or that it needs fixing at all.

Personally,i'm one of those people that does all the quests and looks everywhere for potential loot. and sure, i guess my characters have an edge over players that skip content.

Point is though, i feel that if you skip content, you should feel the consequences ; there's allways the option of having content and/or mobs levelled according to the players level/stats, but if a game uses a system like that, it totally removes the need to do anything but the main content at all, since the difficulty of the situations you encounter will allways be the same no matter what loot you have found, or what level you are.

 

I feel like a cRPG should mirror real life in this regard, If you prepare the correct tools and put in the effort to learn how to tackle a certain task, of course you are going to have an easier time doing so, compared with someone who did not.

A set amount of difficulties is fine. if you feel like doing all the quests and grabbing all the loot is making things too easy on you mid to late-game, you yourself should be the one responsible for making the decision to either skip side-quests, or to crank up the difficulty by a level,whereas the opposite is also true.

If you just want to get to the endgame fast but are running into trouble, you will have to make the decision to either do some of the side content to beef up your character a bit, so you have an easier time, or just decrease the difficulty level. There's no reason why the game should hold your hand for you throughout the entire game and make those decisions for you in the first place.

 

One minor gripe i do have with Pillars is that there's probably not enough range in difficulty to properly execute this. Easy mode feels like very easy, and hard is more what i would expect of normal.

So i'll say this - the game could do with a boost of difficulty across all modes, maybe even coupled with additional very easy& very hard modes so the player has more control over what level he is going to play at, making it possible for casual players to bumrush the ending (albeit only on easy mode) and for more experienced players to tackle all the content and still feel challenged even later on in the game. ( even if that is only the case on hard mode)


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CRPGs have never really been hard though, ...  As long as you can save all the time this will remain the case.

 

 

Hmm.... I think I'd have to disagree they've never been hard.  Exhibit A: Nethack. :geek:

 

My opinion is that the trend over time has been towards making CRPGs easier, more hand-holdy, and requiring less and less thinking.

 

Or consider Bard's Tale - the 1985 original.  It's nowhere near as hardcore as Nethack, but you couldn't "save all the time" because there was no way to.  You could only save at the Guild, and often surviving to get back there was dicey.  Dungeons would trap you inside, with no map, no idea how to get back out, and intentional features to screw up your own mapping like invisible teleporters and rotators.  Unlike PoE you couldn't easily turn and run back out if the going got rough.  Auto-spawn monsters to block your exit, or you'd be teleported deep into something with no clue where you were.  You needed to carefully manage your party over time to survive.  (Think: zero camping supplies, not the 2 PoE gives you that people complain isn't enough, plus no way to simply run back to an Inn).  Sometimes getting one character back alive was a huge relief.

 

Back to exhibit A: NH.  Permadeath only.  Die = start entirely over, and dying is really, really, really easy to do.  I'd say NH is on the order of a hundred times harder than PoE.  I've never completed NH - I've always died, in dozens of tries, but I've no doubt I can do an Iron run PoE.  I think I've got a decent shot for my second play through.  My second... not still failing after 60+.

 

Modern games have to be soft and hand-holdy, because they are expensive to make and need to sell in mass numbers.  And that's probably okay - no reason CRPGs should remain niche.  I love modern games like BG2 or PoE every bit as much as the old games, but for different reasons.  I do think there has been a reduction in difficulty over time.  Witness Oblivion/Skyrim: zero thinking, it shows you where to go with a little arrow, and doesn't let you fail.  It's the anti-Nethack, a game that finds great delight in making you fail, badly, and repeatedly.

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I think some sort of mechanic where conflict will escalate over time (modified with difficulty or as seperate diff. slider), could solve this issue.

 

If you do too much side questing, things will get more difficult due to <insert story reason>, but player will be better prepared due to better gear and level.

 

This would sync well with supply system and give some sense of urgency.


Spell Fixes compilation for Neverwinter Nights 2, as well as my other submissions for this great game.

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CRPGs have never really been hard though, ...  As long as you can save all the time this will remain the case.

 

 

 Sometimes getting one character back alive was a huge relief.

 

Reminds me of OG XCOM.... :)

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An easy way to fix this is to make the PotD difficulty actually hard for those hardcore players. Currently PotD does not satisfy me in terms of difficulty because as you said I explore everything pick every item i can find and do all the side quests. I'm a completionist in rpg games like these and i'm sure a big portion of the backers have a similar play style to mine. After act 2 the game becomes really easy for us and it takes away most of the fun. Also, how about making the game way harder in PotD and put some unique items specially designed for PotD ? That'd be really rewarding for hardcore gamers. Would love to see that in the next game or the expansion.

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Hardcore players should never play a game on normal for starters. If your first run is on hard i bet you are definitely gonna get enough challenge to have fun, if you are still finding it easy just play PotD or try to "play fair" by not abusing the AI (Don't split groups, doorcheese, etc).

 

You missed the point completely. Did you even read what I wrote? 

 

 

I thought he hit it right on the head. The way to deal with this is by introducing different difficulties that cater to every player.

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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?

 

What you're discribing is not "casual" vs "hardcore" but "non-completionist" vs "completionist".

 

There are casual completionists and hardcore rushers. Those playstyles are not bound to any stigma.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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unlike an action game where you can just spam the combo button, the difficulty of the crpg is directly correlated and wholly dependant on your investment in the details of the combat and mechanics.
when you read every description of every item and weapon, sit and compare stats between sabre and stiletto, and learn what every single spell does; then the game will be easy.
if, however, you try to minimize the research time by reading the bare minimum amount of text, you will end up with a decent challenge, even if you're higher level than the enemies.
why? because crpg's have a hundred times more rock-paper-scissor interactions than your normal "mainstream" game. for example :

  • if you just compare damage numbers, you'll probably end up equipping weapons on people who aren't proficient with them, inflating difficulty by reducing efficiency.
  • if you ignore all the debuff spells because of all the text, you'll end up only using direct damage spells; and we all know how useful cc vs damage spells are...
  • if you can't be bothered to test and figure out the difference between potion of power(name?) and potion of rejuvination (since both give Endurance), you'll end up using the wrong one or at the wrong time [or not at all].

my party is level 10-11, and i continue to have an adequete level of difficulty [challenging enough to be fulfilling, but not really "hard"]. i feel i have a decent grasp of a large chunk of the spells, but i'll admit i am ignoring some just because i'm lazy and i know what worked previously so i know what i know and that's that.
i'm using Obsidian companions, like most "average" or standard players of the game will probably do, as making adventurers would be extra time they dont want to spend, and as we know the game companions are pretty subpar. this also keeps the challenge up [i suppose you could make an argument for using the term " artifically inflated" here]. (although if i decide to do all 15 levels of caed nua later, i will probably make new party for it)

my point is, the OP was on the right track with his thoughts about the "casual vs hardcore" players, but he didn't go deep enough. it's not simply about having more levels and gear but the drive to sift through all the items in your inventory and actually utilizie them. some of you would be surprised at how much of the items your average player actually uses (and i'm referring to all games, not just pillars). hell, a large swathe of players never even make it to the ending credits of games 60% shorter than pillars, let alone learn all the ins-and-outs of combat.

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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?

 

What you're discribing is not "casual" vs "hardcore" but "non-completionist" vs "completionist".

 

There are casual completionists and hardcore rushers. Those playstyles are not bound to any stigma.

 

 

*claps*

 

Bravo. I was going to say something similar, but you described it far better than I could.


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

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