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Do most people really play the hardest difficulty level?


Community difficulty poll  

407 members have voted

  1. 1. What difficulty will you play your full first game of DeadFire?

    • Story
      21
    • Relaxed
      14
    • Classic
      126
    • Veteran
      123
    • Path of the Damned
      123


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That would depend entirely on the player. Lots of people love Planescape: Torment because they like the story despite the fact that the game itself is terribly designed. On a similar note, as you might guess, I love Morrowind because of its fantastic atmosphere and setting despite the fact that, again, it's not a very well designed or difficult game. But that's hardly universally true. Given that video game writing is, on the whole, rather terrible, I have to assume that most players are not like this, however.

 

Pillars has a decent story but I enjoy the problem solving aspects of the higher difficulties and for me that's what puts it above many other RPGs. This difficulty is much more than simply memorizing a formula unless you go out of your way to seek out overpowered cookie cutter builds on the internet, in which case you have only yourself to blame.

EDIT: Also I hate this segregation of gameplay and story in games and only use that language myself because everyone else is so dedicated to it. A story is meant to evoke emotions and gameplay can aid in that by making a desperate fight actually feel desperate. But story driven games often neglect this to their detriment, with things that are supposed to be threatening simply seeming pathetic due to the ease of their defeat; all playing in to the plague of overpowered Mary Sue style player characters in modern RPGs.

 

I agree with that. I loved PST and Morrowind, but not because of good game mechanics or combat ( its terrible in both games ) but for the atmospere, characters and story.

On the other side I never finished IWD1 although combat was great but I got bored by the absence of story.

 

I admit that it can be boring for some players if they win every fight without problems, but for me it would be more frustrating if I have to try the same fight again and again when I want to see how the story continues. I have tried to solo a few RPGs, but usually I quit after a short time because the interaction between characters is more importent to me than creating a self imposed challenge.

 

At the moment I play legend of heroes: trails of Cold Steel 2 and I like the game. Sometimes there is a boss fight, I beat the boss in a few turns without getting hit but in the cut scene after the fight the chars sweat and pant and say "Uff, that was a tough one. Im glad we made it through here alive."

I can live with that, because the opposite ( I need to try 100 times and when I finally make it my chars say "piece of cake") would be much more frustrating.

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To answer your question, hmmmm... I never actually believed that story mode was for players to focus on story rather than gameplay but to erase combat but I have never played story mode so I am probably missing something. It really has nothing to do with what I consider challenging or a threat but more of "I play normal because it's the best balance and likely the way it's meant to be played." Also it seems to be the default of any game but in a game like Dungeon Of The Endless, Super Easy mode is actually hard and Easy mode is almost unwinnable odds. The balance makes one thing that sometimes titles are of placebo affect and what may be easier for some may be harder for others. And then some people want to just relax. I have to remind myself that the vast majority of members here on casual rpg'ists.

 

As for the story vs combat argument, well it's the first time that I read peeps on a forum argue that story isn't more important that combat anywhere. Just surprised me is all, I guess times are changing.

 

I'm am old dude and as the saying goes, can't teach an old dog new tricks, I guess. Character build (in my time) was never bred for combat exclusively (which seems to just now in recent years to be changing), even in the IE games but how one would interact with the world as a whole and in dialouge, which I got into a discussion about this topic the other day as well but that's another dry football yard with a yacht in the middle.

 

Thanks for the answers, I'm just starting now to understand this shift I think.

I wish there was an easier mode in FTL ;(

 

As for the story in rpgs, it is not that combat is more important, but that on your third playthrough you might be more interesting in trying different builds and tactics. It depends on the player, of course.

There is a mod for FTL that removes the time limit aspect. I enjoyed the game much more after I installed it
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I started my first playthrough of PoE a few days ago on Veteran + Expert mode. My party is now level 12. Much of the game was rather easy, and player power level seems to continually snowball until you can terrorize most of the gameworld with autoattack only.

 

The only battle I haven't won yet is the last level of Endless Paths and a certain cave in Cragholdt bluffs, and the latter mostly because there's no room to maneuver - and I'm not sure what the appropriate strategy is.

 

I find that some of the early difficulty can be easily offset by playing around doors, whereas later in the game (for much of it, frankly), Whispers of Treason, Confusion and Puppet Master tend to be the easiest way to tip the scales. Back in DnD days Charm type magic was strong but it nowhere near as reliable as it is in PoE, where you can turn difficult encounters into a massacre by having half the enemy team make continuous own goals. My main is a Cipher so at this point I can string up Whispers with a shot fired in-between for focus so that the enemies are mostly fighting each other.  

 

Generally, status effects seem to be bonkers in this game. I chalk it up to the the combat system that strongly favors things being hit in general with its combination of 'full' and 'partial' successes (graze/hit), meaning that successful use of debilitating status effects snowballs since there is a good chance you will be able to use all the enemy down time to good effect (make many successful hits).  

Edited by Drowsy Emperor
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И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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I agree with that. I loved PST and Morrowind, but not because of good game mechanics or combat ( its terrible in both games ) but for the atmospere, characters and story.

On the other side I never finished IWD1 although combat was great but I got bored by the absence of story.

 

I admit that it can be boring for some players if they win every fight without problems, but for me it would be more frustrating if I have to try the same fight again and again when I want to see how the story continues. I have tried to solo a few RPGs, but usually I quit after a short time because the interaction between characters is more importent to me than creating a self imposed challenge.

 

It's just a shame that so many RPG devs have pretty much embraced the story vs. combat false dichotomy. Video games are an interactive medium. They should each inform the other.

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Just recently, I started playing most games I like on the easiest difficulty, simply because I don't have as much time like I used to. Especially when it comes to games like this. I love them long and story heavy, but I don't want to take 2 months to complete one of these due to insane difficulty or having to lower the difficulty or restart.

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I will play on classic/normal. The PoE combat isn't that interesting for me, so I can't be bothered reading up on all the spells, effects, etc. I play the game for the story. From experiences in other games, you at one point tend to find a few rotations well suited to counter most of the stuff thrown at you.

 

If you want the ultimate challenge in tactical gameplay, face off against a human opponent in Gargy Grigsby's War in the East. No game is ever the same :)

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Came back at level 14, wasted end boss of Paths and Cragholdt. 3 Reloads for the Cragholdt boss.

 

I have a sinking suspicion that I cleared up the hardest fights in the game and that the rest is going to be a cakewalk.

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Came back at level 14, wasted end boss of Paths and Cragholdt. 3 Reloads for the Cragholdt boss.

 

I have a sinking suspicion that I cleared up the hardest fights in the game and that the rest is going to be a cakewalk.

There is one fight which is potentially more challenging than those two - but I have a feeling that you will be fine.

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I play on normal or hard usually, lately hard more than normal. I like to roleplay and i'm not really interested in powergaming. For Pillars my first playthrough was classic but I found most of it easy outside of a few fights and even those were easy once I realised I just wasn't buffing my party properly. Then after that I played on hard, I have considered trying a POTD playthrough but I haven't gotten around to it yet and I don't imagine I will any time soon. 

 

Difficulty also depends on the game, I barely managed to finish Divinity OS 2 on their classic mode. I'm sure I just need to learn the system though as many of the hardest fights in that game can be won easily using specific strategies. 

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I feel it also depends on the motivation and perception of the player.

 

I found Divinity OS 1 pretty and well crafted, but very dull to play, story wise - quickly draining my motivation  to engage with the game's challenging combat. If the game was more engaging I'd have found the difficulty a positive instead of a negative. 

 

Eventually I realized that I've matured past the point where the old style RPG's of the Gold-box era type, that have a very rudimentary story and the principal enjoyment is in engaging with the game's mechanics - are satisfactory to me. These days I perceive demanding mechanics to be needless busywork in general and I quickly lose interest if they aren't backed up by an intriguing story or setting. 

 

It's sad in a way, but after close to 20 years and many games played, generic fantasy adventuring is no longer all that captivating. 

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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I agree with that. I loved PST and Morrowind, but not because of good game mechanics or combat ( its terrible in both games ) but for the atmospere, characters and story.

On the other side I never finished IWD1 although combat was great but I got bored by the absence of story.

 

I admit that it can be boring for some players if they win every fight without problems, but for me it would be more frustrating if I have to try the same fight again and again when I want to see how the story continues. I have tried to solo a few RPGs, but usually I quit after a short time because the interaction between characters is more importent to me than creating a self imposed challenge.

 

It's just a shame that so many RPG devs have pretty much embraced the story vs. combat false dichotomy. Video games are an interactive medium. They should each inform the other.

 

 

You are correct.

There are several games with a good setting or story but terrible mechanics while others have good mechanics but a terrible or no story.

 

There are some games who do it right and PoE was one of the better examples. It could be hard or easy depending on the difficulty level, your char, your party, if you triple crown solo and so on . . . and the setting is also very good. If I have something to complain about, I think that the world of PoE1 felt almost too depressing with soulless children and mad cultists everywhere. I like it dark ( the impending doom atmosphere from vampire:bloolines is fantastic), but PoE PoE feels sometimes more depressing than just dark.

 

regarding difficulty, there are some good games who do it wrong. Arcanum and D:OS1+2 are good in terms of setting and reactivity, but some builds are so OP that you steamroll everything while others are completely useless. There is hardly a middle ground so in some sense they are both too hard and too easy which means that both new players and experts can become unhappy easily.

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PotD all day, every day.  Personally, my favorite part of PoE1 was the first 6-9 levels on PotD with my Priest.  I scrounged for every penny, potion, and scroll.  Those Shades/Phantoms in the Temple of Eothas were a pain.  

 

Of course, once your Priest reaches a certain level, it can wipe the floor with most encounters.        

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Well I don't know about you guys but I play PotD for that sweet sense of humility that accompanies defeat.

I did not have the words to say it but it’s this. You said it much more elegantly than me.

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Have gun will travel.

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I don't get how when this many people on the forums played PoTD the first time Josh said it was the least tested in the beta. There must be some overlap between the beta testers and the forum goers.

Well the question was at what difficulty level will you play your first game of Deadfire, not PoE. My first playthrough of PoE was on hard, but I now feel comfortable enough with the mechanics that I intend to start Deadfire on PoTD.

And yes, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of all backer beta players have posted here at one point. That's a very specific subset of highly invested players.

 

I play on normal or hard usually, lately hard more than normal. I like to roleplay and i'm not really interested in powergaming. For Pillars my first playthrough was classic but I found most of it easy outside of a few fights and even those were easy once I realised I just wasn't buffing my party properly. Then after that I played on hard, I have considered trying a POTD playthrough but I haven't gotten around to it yet and I don't imagine I will any time soon. 

 

Difficulty also depends on the game, I barely managed to finish Divinity OS 2 on their classic mode. I'm sure I just need to learn the system though as many of the hardest fights in that game can be won easily using specific strategies. 

 

PoTD doesn't require power gaming. I beat it the first time with a suboptimal RP focused chanter build with no forethought and a party composed entirely of story companions without minmaxed stats. You'll have trouble with a few fights, but it's not remotely insurmountable without minmaxing.

Honestly anyone that doesn't play exclusively PotD with a blindfold on like me is drooling fool.

Are you implying you didn't also stop your ears and bind your hands? Pleb.

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Came back at level 14, wasted end boss of Paths and Cragholdt. 3 Reloads for the Cragholdt boss.

 

I have a sinking suspicion that I cleared up the hardest fights in the game and that the rest is going to be a cakewalk.

There is one fight which is potentially more challenging than those two - but I have a feeling that you will be fine.

 

You know I took down Concelhaus without to many problems, but the ****ing dragons are real bastards for some reason. The Master Below and the dragon in WM both kick my ass with great regularity.

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Came back at level 14, wasted end boss of Paths and Cragholdt. 3 Reloads for the Cragholdt boss.

 

I have a sinking suspicion that I cleared up the hardest fights in the game and that the rest is going to be a cakewalk.

There is one fight which is potentially more challenging than those two - but I have a feeling that you will be fine.

 

 

 

Is it the Alpine dragon? Just killed him on fourth try or so.

 

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Came back at level 14, wasted end boss of Paths and Cragholdt. 3 Reloads for the Cragholdt boss.

 

I have a sinking suspicion that I cleared up the hardest fights in the game and that the rest is going to be a cakewalk.

There is one fight which is potentially more challenging than those two - but I have a feeling that you will be fine.

 

 

 

Is it the Alpine dragon? Just killed him on fourth try or so.

 

 

 

 

I'd say the Magran's Faithful bounty could be harder, as could Llengrath.

 

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I feel it also depends on the motivation and perception of the player.

 

I found Divinity OS 1 pretty and well crafted, but very dull to play, story wise - quickly draining my motivation to engage with the game's challenging combat. If the game was more engaging I'd have found the difficulty a positive instead of a negative.

 

Eventually I realized that I've matured past the point where the old style RPG's of the Gold-box era type, that have a very rudimentary story and the principal enjoyment is in engaging with the game's mechanics - are satisfactory to me. These days I perceive demanding mechanics to be needless busywork in general and I quickly lose interest if they aren't backed up by an intriguing story or setting.

 

It's sad in a way, but after close to 20 years and many games played, generic fantasy adventuring is no longer all that captivating.

Yes I agree on DOS1, I had the same experience. The story was generic and badly-written.

 

I can say that DOS2 is an entirely different beast. It's still whimsical at times but it is a massive improvement on DOS1 in the storytelling department (and every other department).

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I don't get how when this many people on the forums played PoTD the first time Josh said it was the least tested in the beta. There must be some overlap between the beta testers and the forum goers.

Well the question was at what difficulty level will you play your first game of Deadfire, not PoE. My first playthrough of PoE was on hard, but I now feel comfortable enough with the mechanics that I intend to start Deadfire on PoTD.

And yes, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of all backer beta players have posted here at one point. That's a very specific subset of highly invested players.

I play on normal or hard usually, lately hard more than normal. I like to roleplay and i'm not really interested in powergaming. For Pillars my first playthrough was classic but I found most of it easy outside of a few fights and even those were easy once I realised I just wasn't buffing my party properly. Then after that I played on hard, I have considered trying a POTD playthrough but I haven't gotten around to it yet and I don't imagine I will any time soon.

 

Difficulty also depends on the game, I barely managed to finish Divinity OS 2 on their classic mode. I'm sure I just need to learn the system though as many of the hardest fights in that game can be won easily using specific strategies.

PoTD doesn't require power gaming. I beat it the first time with a suboptimal RP focused chanter build with no forethought and a party composed entirely of story companions without minmaxed stats.

Lagufeth are real c****. Adragan fights can be a ball ache if you don't have some kind of counter to dominate.

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I meant Llegrath but those two can be tricky as well

 

 

 

I wonder if it will require preparation. I beat the

Alpine Dragon

on Hard+Expert merely with the party I had on hand, using no rest bonus, with the same strategies that have worked for every hard fight so far: bait with 1 character, protection spells cast on the rest of the party party at a distance, wait for enemies to close, unleash best status magic, then beat everything into submission while stacking bonuses, casting AoE spells and renewing status effects.

 

Party composition: Arabalest/Pistol  Cipher PC, Eder tanking, Aloth, Durance, Kana (Arquebus) + Ogres to distract, Sagani, Ituumak tying up flankers. No min-maxing but best items I could find, most of them upgraded.

Edited by Drowsy Emperor

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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