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Canon difficulty? (if any)


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Hello everybody. I'd like to know if there is some sort of "canon" difficulty setting (or, how the devs envisioned the game to be). I know that in many cases, difficulty is a matter of preference/skill, but I am more interested in knowing what the original encounters for this game would be. Should I take it is Easy, as it's the default setting at the difficulty selection screen? Or Normal, as it's the setting Story Mode is based off? For some reason, some people think it is Hard... Also, Expert Mode on or off?

 

Thank you very much!

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When they designed the game they made the encounters for hard mode first, then made normal and easy by removing enemies and PotD by adding some. PotD also has increased stats for all enemies, while on easy/medium/hard enemy stats are the same.

 

Would definately not take Expert Mode on a first playthrough.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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Most of Expert Mode can actually be replicated by means of menu options, so I'd keep it off (don't think you can turn it off after selecting it at the beginning, but don't quote me on that.) At a later time you can go to the option menu and hide any helpers you find superfluous.

 

Story Mode and PotD both alter the game's rules; other than that, I wouldn't pick "Easy" as "canon." Either Hard or Normal; probably Hard based on limaxo's post.

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Thank you very much. The thing is, in the Prima Official game guide, they use Normal for their descriptions of encounters; however, I keep reading over and over that Hard mode is the game as the devs intended it to be originally played. It may be a little bit silly, but I was interested in knowing how the authors imagined the adventure in their minds (how many bears were really in the cave?).

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Based on the J E Sawyer mod from New Vegas, I'd wager the difficultly that his canonical difficulty would be PotD. However, naturally, there won't ever be a "canonical difficulty" (as in, one actively espoused by the devs) for any game as it is too prohibitive in terms of developing a general audience.

 

I like expert mode (which essentially hides helper functions) and PotD myself. I think expert mode encourages acting naturally without every bit of information being provided to you, but as AndreaColombo mentioned the vast majority of options can be toggled on and off in the core game anyway. Expert mode just catches them all, so it's helpful to people who may toggle between choices during the course of their game and then regret it and want to replay the character without the help. But it's really up to you, anything that can be done in PotD can technically be done in Expert PotD ToI as well.

Edited by Jojobobo
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Imo, it's normal. Because as you aptly noticed, when that guy mentions a BEAR in a cave...well that's singular for you.

 

If you ask me, they designed Normal first and then added enemies. Story mode came later than launch iirc. Idk for PotD.

 

I also like to play games "as devs envisioned them". Proper difficulty choosing is actually a game changer here. Because the entire game's balance and design hinges on that choice.

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For sure it's Normal. All others difficulties after Normal add additional enemies, ignoring dialog information. For example I myself remember mill in the first village, that quest where you need to resolve tension between city folks and owner of the mill. So the thing is: in description when you're speaking with him, it said that there are this guy and two of his sons, but with higher difficulties there are also two random guys with them.

Therefore i believe it's Normal, and of course BEAR cave.

BTW how do i spoiler?

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Yeah strange to see this much analysis on this.  Common sense rules the day at the friendly arm, who cares what difficulty came when?  You don't name a difficulty setting "normal" and not intend for that difficulty to be the standard "this is the game as intended" setting.  If Hard were meant to be the standard "cannon" setting it wouldn't be called hard and it would be the setting the game picks by default.

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Yes, Karkarov, you're totally right. I can be a little obsessive with silly things like this one. As "the difficulty select screen defaults at Easy, but Normal is Normal, but there is people who says it's Hard...". LOL. I am by no means a hardcore gamer (although I have played and completed all Infinity Engine titles at least once, in their "core rules" setting), so I'd like to play this game with a more RP-oriented, non min-maxed character, along with standard companions who are also not min-maxed. I usually don't shy off the harder difficulties, but for this particular case, I just wanted to know what the standard difficulty is. And I think I have opinions and facts enough to make up my mind about it. So thanks!  :)

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Yes, Karkarov, you're totally right. I can be a little obsessive with silly things like this one. As "the difficulty select screen defaults at Easy, but Normal is Normal, but there is people who says it's Hard...". LOL. I am by no means a hardcore gamer (although I have played and completed all Infinity Engine titles at least once, in their "core rules" setting), so I'd like to play this game with a more RP-oriented, non min-maxed character, along with standard companions who are also not min-maxed. I usually don't shy off the harder difficulties, but for this particular case, I just wanted to know what the standard difficulty is. And I think I have opinions and facts enough to make up my mind about it. So thanks!  :)

Lol no prob.  I am going to be an outlier here and tell you this though.... forget min maxing.  Yes, it can be done in Eternity, done it before myself for testing/goofing around.  It just isn't super critical in this game, and is no where near as large an impact as it was in say a D&D 3.0 or 3.5 based setting.

 

As long as you don't make just outright crazy choices and keep things reasonably balanced you can beat this game with pretty much any class makeup.  Challenge just comes down more to what gear you have, tactical choices you make, and how you use that gear/party abilities.  That and the game is sadly plagued by the same issue as a lot of modern PC focused RPG's, it's front loaded.  The game starts hard, but around the midpoint gets markedly easier due to access to good gear, additional levels, more powers, etc etc.

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As far as I know, the game was designed around "Hard", and "Hard" was intended to replicate the difficulty of the original IE games, but they also generally expected PoE to be played by most people on "Normal", as they didn't figure old-school IE fans would be the majority of players.

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