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Expansion Suggestion #2: Dual Difficulty Sliders


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Currently, I and those I often speak with about the game find all difficulties below PotD to be a bit of a cakewalk. Similarly, the game seems to me to be far less interesting below PotD because taking down enemy resistances or weapon swapping just doesnt matter all that much.

 

Also, some cRPG newbs are finding even easy level boss fights to be too difficulty for them since easy does not affect npc stats. 

 

So, my suggestion is: Two Difficulty Sliders

 

One should be pretty similar to what we have now but only governing encounter sizes/make up. So, Easy, Normal, Hard, Hardest (not PotD, more on that in a minute). But none of these should govern enemy stats.

 

Another should govern enemy stats. So Weak (~10% less than normal), Normal (what we have now), Strong (potd level), Intense (~10% more than potd).

 

I know this is counter to the design philosophy the devs set out with concerning difficulty. They wanted a more unified system where it only affected enemy numbers. Sadly, without PotD, the only difficulty that affects enemy stats, the game has very little challenge or incentive to use/learn its assorted mechanics. With 2 sliders, we could play with reduced encounter sizes (which can turn a bit chaotic and less tactical) but still maintain challenge by boosting enemy defenses/etc.

Edited by Shevek
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I second this request, though my top priority for increasing the challenge is still better enemy A.I. (what we have right now is not only very basic; it is fairly dumb.)

Edited by AndreaColombo

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Heya,

 

I think this would be a good thing too. Especially for re-playability. I often like to replay things and either do it at an easier level, to increase speed, just for fun and casual play. Or, harder, to slow it down and make it more meaningful and stretch it out over time to enjoy the game for weeks on end, doing it from a strategic stand point, or a weird build, or solo even. Gives you the best of both worlds.

 

I definitely like the idea of being able to increase number of mobs in encounters, without increasing their stats, significantly more. Fighting a mob of 20+ skeletons, fanatics, paladins, etc, in various places would be intense. Adding superior stats would just make it even more intense if you wanted that.

 

Very best,

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I'd prefer it if PotD was a toggle, and Difficulty only ever affected encounter design. I loathe the Difficulty-by-stat-bloat approach to "balancing", and would not want to see a separate "difficulty"-slider dealing with across-the-board buffs or debuffs to in-game stats.

 

The game should only ever be balanced around one set of stats and only ever take those default assumptions into consideration when it comes to balancing mechanics or tailoring gameplay content of any kind, with difficulty as a concept revolving around encounter design.

 

Turn PotD into a toggle independent of Difficulty, and done.

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I'd prefer it if PotD was a toggle, and Difficulty only ever affected encounter design. I loathe the Difficulty-by-stat-bloat approach to "balancing", and would not want to see a separate "difficulty"-slider dealing with across-the-board buffs or debuffs to in-game stats.

 

The game should only ever be balanced around one set of stats and only ever take those default assumptions into consideration when it comes to balancing mechanics or tailoring gameplay content of any kind, with difficulty as a concept revolving around encounter design.

 

Turn PotD into a toggle independent of Difficulty, and done.

Thats just the slider I recommended except  only with 2 positions.

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I'd prefer it if PotD was a toggle, and Difficulty only ever affected encounter design. I loathe the Difficulty-by-stat-bloat approach to "balancing", and would not want to see a separate "difficulty"-slider dealing with across-the-board buffs or debuffs to in-game stats.

 

The game should only ever be balanced around one set of stats and only ever take those default assumptions into consideration when it comes to balancing mechanics or tailoring gameplay content of any kind, with difficulty as a concept revolving around encounter design.

 

Turn PotD into a toggle independent of Difficulty, and done.

Thats just the slider I recommended except  only with 2 positions.

 

 

Practically, yes, but I usually don't consider it a slider if it's only got On/Off.

 

I personally think it was a bad decision to have PotD in the game to begin with, they should've just had PotD create crazy hard encounters.

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Without PotD the game would lack any semblance of challenge for "IE veterans", though. I'm glad they tried; maybe now they will make the necessary changes in The White March to allow all levels of players to be reasonably challenged throughout the game.

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Without PotD the game would lack any semblance of challenge for "IE veterans", though. I'm glad they tried; maybe now they will make the necessary changes in The White March to allow all levels of players to be reasonably challenged throughout the game.

 

That's a problem with the mechanics of the game, and not something PotD actually changes. Difficulty and complexity shouldn't hinge on the enemy cheating or having inflated attributes. I thought the way PoE was going to be balanced in regards to difficulties was the best idea for the genre in decades, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired, but that's due to the lack of complexity in regards to the mechanics of the game.

 

PoE is easily abusable, the combat formulaic, the tactics repeatable ad nauseum, and practically lacks any strategic depth whatsoever.

 

Now, if it sounds like I'm dumping on the game, I want to stress that I like a lot of things PoE did, but there's just so many things that could've been done better, and no-where else is this more evident than in the countless combat encounters. And it's not even a problem with the encounter designs or the enemy AI, but with the mechanics themselves - even if encounter design and enemy AI of course could also be better, it's not what creates the issues.

 

Encounter design and the AI in the IE games were complete trash, and it still managed to be better on average, unless you specifically abused the flaws of the system. In PoE, you don't have to specifically abuse the flaws of the system, they come running headlong against you and can't be avoided, and you can drunkenly just sorta stumble through the entire game without ever reading what the spells do or how this or that skill or talent interacts with whatever or whomever.

 

If we want to fix those issues, we're talking reworking the armour system (and it's interaction with weapons), reworking enchanting, adding appropriate and intuitive immunities and resistances, unique powers, talents, skills or tactics used by certain groups of enemies, and so on. Variant blanket buffs or nerfs to enemy attributes does nothing good.

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Its not that PotD values are inflated. Its that regular enemy values are deflated. In the regular game you can ignore enemy defenses and brute force everything. In PotD, you actually benefit from flanking' exploiting weaak defenses, using abilities to take down other defs and so on. PotD is the real game.

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Amentep yes it would. Path of the Damned clearly demonstrates this: the higher Accuracy and generally higher stats mean that, for example, status effects like Poison or Deep Wounds become potent threats rather than something you can just ignore until it wears off. Also, during the BB there were several builds where the numbers were way up from where they ended up, which completely changed the way the encounters played out.

 

Right now the game has a serious difficulty problem -- Easy is too hard for casuals while Hard is a snore once you've figured out how the mechanics work. Path of the Damned occasionally reaches the sweet spot in difficulty, but it gets a bit monotonous because the mobs are always so big. (And yes, before you start snorting about filthy casuals, Obs does need to care about them too -- in this sorry excuse of an economic system we live in, the game has to sell. Besides, an Easy mode that nerfed the enemies to half-strength would be no skin off anyone else's nose.)

 

Twiddling stats for different difficulties can be done badly or well, just like level scaling. If it's done badly it turns into mindless bloat; if it's done well, it gives different types of players what they want.

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Interesting; I obviously just went through on Normal being an of-average-cleanliness normal player.  But large changes to stats when I played around with the PC stats with the console didn't seem to make much of a difference in attacks outside anything that effected the deflection bonus (which seemed to make the most difference in Combat).  I guess I didn't test enough spells with effects to see how the benefits worked with respect to duration.

Edited by Amentep
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