Jump to content

Best difficulty level for first playthrough?


Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

Just got around to starting my first Pillars of Eternity (with WM1) game, playing a wizard character.

 

I'm currently still based in Gilded Vale, have explored/cleared some of the surrounding areas, done the Temple of Eothas area, and am in the local lord's castle dungeons. It took a little while to get accustomed to the wizard/magic mechanics, but once I've gotten a few companions (Aloth, Eder, Durance) combat goes pretty smooth.

 

Almost too smooth in fact. I'm on Normal difficulty and it's rare for anything yet to pose a challenge unless I've let spells & health get low (and with the ease of replenishing supplies, that is totally avoidable).

 

What in your esteemed opinions is the preferred difficulty level? I've played most of the Infinity E games but am also not necessarily a min-maxer - just enjoy the story and the idea that some planning & tactics are needed, with the corresponding feeling of accomplishment after a tough fight. Probably will just do this one playthru.

 

Should I bump it to Hard? Or does the game let you in easy at the start and then spike difficulty later?

 

Thanks in advance...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on gaming trends over the last 8~ years, I'd say Hard is what you should play if you're remotely familiar with this kind of game especially because there is a even harder difficulty option available. Normal is for those that are familiar with gaming but haven't played this kind of game before, Easy would be for those that either only want the story or are very young (10~ years old)

Edited by Nicholas Steel

Windows 10 x64 | Intel i7 920 @ 2.66GHZ | Gigabyte Geforce 760 4GB OC1 Windforce x3 | Integrated Audio | 8GB DDR3 RAM | ASUS P6T | Corsair AX760 PSU

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Easy would be for those that either only want the story or are very young (8~ years old)

Why would anyone let an 8 year old play a game which starts with a tree full of hanged people, features Durance and explores concepts like children born without souls, macabre ritual sacrifices or nobles impregnating their unwilling nieces?

 

Anyhow, I thought Normal was fine for learning the mechanics (experience with IE games didn't help me all that much), but the difficulty drops later so changing to Hard is a good idea.

Edited by Rosveen
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'd be surprised by what an 8-10 years old can find fascinating. I enjoyed RTS games like Red Alert 2, Tiberian Sun, Starcraft, Warcraft 2, etc. mostly for their stories while also having fairly solid gameplay back when I was 8~ and was pretty interested in games like Baldur's Gate (Found the gameplay for it a little to complex for me to properly enjoy it then though), Dungeon Keeper and The Settlers 2.

 

Edit: You might be right, 8 years is pretty young, I'll change it to 10

Edited by Nicholas Steel

Windows 10 x64 | Intel i7 920 @ 2.66GHZ | Gigabyte Geforce 760 4GB OC1 Windforce x3 | Integrated Audio | 8GB DDR3 RAM | ASUS P6T | Corsair AX760 PSU

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always play on Normal because I assume the game has been balanced for that setting. Changing difficulties tends to cause a shift in things like character builds and effectiveness so I avoid it.

 

Example of these shifts:

 

1) A cheese build becomes overly viable in Easy mode

2) Cookie Cutter builds become overly necessary in Hard mode

 

The Normal setting in most RPG's (hack n slash, traditional, etc), seems to provide the most balance and diversity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always play on Normal because I assume the game has been balanced for that setting. Changing difficulties tends to cause a shift in things like character builds and effectiveness so I avoid it.

 

Example of these shifts:

 

1) A cheese build becomes overly viable in Easy mode

2) Cookie Cutter builds become overly necessary in Hard mode

 

The Normal setting in most RPG's (hack n slash, traditional, etc), seems to provide the most balance and diversity.

 

In PoE, ennemies stats doesn't change until Path of the Damned.

Until number of ennemies change.

 

So basically Builds for Easy, Nomal and Hard are more or less the same.

AoE abilities tends to be a bit more powerful on higher difficulties, but that's about it.

 

On Path of the Damned, Ennemies stats do change, but not that much.

That is not Icewind Dale's Heart of Fury.

Accuracy tends to be a bit more efficient in Path of the Damned, but that's all.

 

Note that it doesn't mean there are no changes between difficulties. Just that the same build tend to work in about all modes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried hard but restarted on PotD because it felt like it was just normal mode.  PotD feels pretty good.  Some of the encounters are challenging and take a few tries to get the hang of, but it's not so difficult that I feel like I'm save scumming.

 

But yeah Act 1 is definitely the hardest.  Difficulty kind of breaks down somewhere in Act 2.  Starting on hard is probably fine for most people so long as you don't get intimidated by the early game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are playing the game already and feeling it's too easy. So... put it up? Just put it down again later if it becomes too hard, though it probably won't.

 

Everybody has very different play styles, preferred difficulty, skill level. We won't know any better than you. It always puzzles me that people feel the need to ask.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are playing the game already and feeling it's too easy. So... put it up? Just put it down again later if it becomes too hard, though it probably won't.

 

Everybody has very different play styles, preferred difficulty, skill level. We won't know any better than you. It always puzzles me that people feel the need to ask.

 

Plenty of reasons to ask...

 

Although difficulty is partly subjective as you say, there *are* games that are widely acknowledged as particularly hard or easy. Just wanted to get the overall consensus on PoE.

 

And many start players out nice & low-key for the intro chapter - a chance to learn the mechanics & such - and then ramp up the challenge fairly dramatically. It's useful for me to hear that PoE isn't one of those.

 

Far as repeatedly switching difficulty levels willy-nilly, that feels a little gamey to me. I find it most rewarding to pick a suitable level and stick with it. Again, hearing others' opinions after they've played through far more of the story is helpful to make an informed choice.

 

Thanks to all who weighed in though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first playthrough was normal, and apart from a few hairy moments in the very early game it was rather easy. I'd recommend hard for a playthrough where you intend to use the standard companions and don't want to min-max too much (but still want a bit of a challenge) and PotD for a genuinely difficult playthrough that requires some more planning and min-maxing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you're playing pretty well; if you're not, the Eothas temple and Raedric's Hold will be quite tough even on Normal. Crank it up to Hard at least.

 

Ideally I'd like Hard mobs with PotD rules. I like any individual encounter better on PotD, but the problem is that the mobs are so uniformly big it becomes all about crowd control which starts to wear thin after a while. On Hard the encounters are more varied, but a bit too easy, moreso towards the end of the game.

 

I've also played the game on Hard with Trial of Iron, and the extra tension Trial of Iron gives makes it a lot more intense. The downside is that you really do have to start over if you completely screw up an encounter -- and there are difficulty spikes that can do that if you go into them blind, especially in the Endless Paths. Even if you're playing pretty well overall.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...