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Do most people really play the hardest difficulty level?

Community difficulty poll  

405 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
      121


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With Curse of the Blackened Sight.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I have only ever played POE on Potd. I count myself as very experience player in this type of game so it was fairly easy for me even in the first playthrough. When you know the game mechanics and how they work even potd is easy.

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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.

 

 

All the priest spell icons kinda look alike so it took me half an hour to realize there is also a charm immunity spell. 


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 have only ever played POE on Potd. I count myself as very experience player in this type of game so it was fairly easy for me even in the first playthrough. When you know the game mechanics and how they work even potd is easy.

White March had some very challenging encounters I found, especially upscaled. Hopefully there will be more like that in Deadfire. Josh Sawyer has claimed on twitter that PotD is tougher than in Pillars 1 but at the same time that veteran may be too easy for a Pillars 1 veteran. So we'll see.

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What people are missing in their contemplation about which difficulty setting was ment as "default" is that they are all "default" but for different people. You get people that can't invest much time into the game but still they want to finish it before some next game hits the market so they have lets say 2 weeks to finish it, they won't go for potd trial of iron because they'd never get to mid game not knowing the game at all and having just 1-2 hour to play every now and then. Then you have people with more time, if they also come from gaming places that have baldurs gate etc in background they will want to go for hardest difficulty, they will research forums for tips and tricks to learn the game and its mechanics. 

 

Then there is a question which setting is most popular and then why is that... I think popularity reflects quantity of people described above... you got more people that don't have that much time to really dig into games, it has nothing to do with what was ment as default or what is "best". Difficulty settings are pure way of providing people with challenge they are up to... both competence and time requirement wise... although competence comes with amount of time invested so I guess it boils down to time factor alone really. 

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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).

 

 

The last battle in DOS2 was so funny for me. I was going to give up and try again because two of my characters died and the other were almost dead. Then the last boss slipped in a puddle of ice and was killed by two storms that I cast before dying. I had no idea of what was going on, but I had beaten the game and the ending animation started.  :dancing:


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I was thinking alot about the "passive players" comment and was debating whether to write this entry since there is always a debating force on the forums but ultimately I decided it had to be said.

 

My thoughts are that if a gamer accepts everything and treats everything passively in the state mentioned, then it's not because they "want" to. It's more than liekly that they don't see a point to diverting. It really comes down to knowing that the game will not penalize you for choices you make in dialouge. The consequences in rpg's have always been... underwhelming compared to other genres in the gaming industry.

 

(Someone will probably read this and assume a different interpretation of my writing so I'll give an example.)

 

Example 1: You have a secret admirer, you reject the secret admirer a'plenty, secret admirer gets bitter and turns on you, leaves the party on their own free will and attempts to frame you for murder later in the game, police arrest you and you must spend a good portion of time doing prison work with no ability to skip sentence (per usual, as the norm in games with wait option or other features to fasten time). This type of scenerio has never really been put in any game.

 

 

Example 2: You are a master thief, you steal from a house when the owner is away and nobody sees you - normally where you are successful- in this case, the owner comes home from work, notices something is missing, reports to authorities and a conduct an investigation, later a private investigator finds the player and if the player still has the item they stole, they're at risk for arrest.

 

Example 3: Romances to be treated as respect. You (speaking to any member of the forum) do not want romance that's easy to get where there is no sense of "Wow. I worked so hard to be here and finally she says 'Yes' to me." Companionship and romances in video games always felt a little stepford wives-ish. There's no transparency or even more importantly, reltability as games have never been able to replicate the feeling of a real relationship. It's possible but difficult to achieve because there are alot of risks. The important thing to remember here is that rpg gamers have accepted and made the robotic response of npc to player romances the standard of romance dialogue. It's sad.

 

 

 

This level of detailed realism and interactivity is a much needed thing in rpg games. Surely realistic and logical situations as such would make the games better but maybe tech hasn't caught up, in the matter of respect, if that is the reason then we'll be there soon.

 

Penalizing the players is hardcore, but lends a sense of reason and responsibility. To be more careful with their decisive actions in game and in dialouge. I know that this idea wouldn't go over well with casual rpg gamers but that doesn't mean it's wrong. This is the only way we will move forward in rpg story wtiting and freedom to the player. And as such, this type of complex narrative interaction will be the future of rpg games in general.


Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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The most casual one but if it (as in any rpg game) would be like how I described, I would play on the hardest one. Unfortunately that will not be for years and I'm already so old (in my tirties).

 

The only mode I finished for Pillars 1 is Classic.

Edited by SonicMage117

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Example 3: Romances to be treated as respect. You (speaking to any member of the forum) do not want romance that's easy to get where there is no sense of "Wow. I worked so hard to be here and finally she says 'Yes' to me." Companionship and romances in video games always felt a little stepford wives-ish. There's no transparency or even more importantly, reltability as games have never been able to replicate the feeling of a real relationship. It's possible but difficult to achieve because there are alot of risks. The important thing to remember here is that rpg gamers have accepted and made the robotic response of npc to player romances the standard of romance dialogue. It's sad.

 

 

It's sad to think that we've not even come further than what BG2 achieved in this regard, even if BG2's answer was still extremely linear, at least it caused players to reflect upon what the NPC was saying and consider their answers carefully.

 

As you say, romance in most RPGs nowadays has devolved to 'choose the answer that has the heart next to it and receive instant adoration'.

 

Where there are mechanics that allow the player to build up friendship points or whatever, as a barrier to romance progression, these rarely involve any critical reflection; usually they're just 'give random gifts until this person likes me, then I can **** them'.

 

It's lazy, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and it sickens me.

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Honestly not really. I mean I like a challenge but not THAT much of a challenge. I don't really have as much time to game as I used to so I'm not really super interested in ultra min-maxing stuff that would be required to probably finish on the highest difficulties. 

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The most casual one but if it (as in any rpg game) would be like how I described, I would play on the hardest one. Unfortunately that will not be for years and I'm already so old (in my tirties).

 

The only mode I finished for Pillars 1 is Classic.

So essentially you're saying you want two sets of difficulty settings: One for combat resolution (like we currently have) and another for story resolution? In essence the latter ranging from "You are the hero of everything and everyone loves you, ever choice you make is ultimately vindicated" (Mass Effect, for short) and "Haha you talked to this guy in act 1 now he's killed everyone you loved in act 2 out of spite" (Like the original Witcher and the Walking Dead had a horrible thalidomide baby)? Interesting but would be even more work than different combat difficulties I think.

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Example 3: Romances to be treated as respect. You (speaking to any member of the forum) do not want romance that's easy to get where there is no sense of "Wow. I worked so hard to be here and finally she says 'Yes' to me." Companionship and romances in video games always felt a little stepford wives-ish. There's no transparency or even more importantly, reltability as games have never been able to replicate the feeling of a real relationship. It's possible but difficult to achieve because there are alot of risks. The important thing to remember here is that rpg gamers have accepted and made the robotic response of npc to player romances the standard of romance dialogue. It's sad.

 

 

It's sad to think that we've not even come further than what BG2 achieved in this regard, even if BG2's answer was still extremely linear, at least it caused players to reflect upon what the NPC was saying and consider their answers carefully.

 

As you say, romance in most RPGs nowadays has devolved to 'choose the answer that has the heart next to it and receive instant adoration'.

 

Where there are mechanics that allow the player to build up friendship points or whatever, as a barrier to romance progression, these rarely involve any critical reflection; usually they're just 'give random gifts until this person likes me, then I can **** them'.

 

It's lazy, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and it sickens me.

 

 

I agree that most 'romances' in modern games are shallow, click the right choice and you eventually get rewarded with some soft porn. In the ME series I thought there was one thing Bioware managed very well, the (as a male Shepard) bromance with Garrus. I actually realized I cared for this guy and started picking him for missions. In ME3 I didn't have the heart to win in the friendly competition :)

 

If Obsidian can take this approach, I am very interested. Already Eder has a bit of that Garrus quality, IMO.

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The only romance that  I ever felt was done right was with Jaheira in Baldur's Gate 2. The rest weren't really romances as I understand them (mutual attraction of mature adults), what with the companion's almost compulsive attachment to the Nameless One in Tormet, or were kind of a joke (Viconia) or... questionable... (Aerie). Subsequently, all the Obisidian romances were more or less a total rehash of the Torment approach "PC is a black hole of the universe, sucking everything up like an existential vaccum cleaner" (KOTOR 2, Mask of the Betrayer) and Bioware romances developed toward this horrible 'curing' of other people's 'issues' (often abandonment/daddy issues) and being rewarded with their affection in return.

 

What I found repulsive about the Bioware approach was the implied sleaziness of 'being a shoulder to cry on' and being rewarded with sex in the long run (even with Jaheira). This was not the intention of the writers, but that's how it came off.

 

I believe that this is the result of something rampant in the media -  equating 'issues' with 'depth of character', where shorthand for writing a 'good character' is making them 'really, reallly ****ed up'. So everyone's been: raped, abandoned, abused, had family members killed, ousted from their home - making one of literature's great examples of a 'hard life', Ana Karenina look like a spoiled, entitled, brat. The result is that game characters loaded with all this 'tragedy' lose emotional impact. Oh, your family was killed? Get in line, there, behind the man with the bat ears. 

 

The resolution, I think, is to steer clear of emotional extremes, unless one is extremely confident that they have something worth saying in that regard. Romances and tragedies are all well and good, but like humor, when they fall flat, they bring the overall experience down with them. 

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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Example 3: Romances to be treated as respect. You (speaking to any member of the forum) do not want romance that's easy to get where there is no sense of "Wow. I worked so hard to be here and finally she says 'Yes' to me." Companionship and romances in video games always felt a little stepford wives-ish. There's no transparency or even more importantly, reltability as games have never been able to replicate the feeling of a real relationship. It's possible but difficult to achieve because there are alot of risks. The important thing to remember here is that rpg gamers have accepted and made the robotic response of npc to player romances the standard of romance dialogue. It's sad.

 

 

It's sad to think that we've not even come further than what BG2 achieved in this regard, even if BG2's answer was still extremely linear, at least it caused players to reflect upon what the NPC was saying and consider their answers carefully.

 

As you say, romance in most RPGs nowadays has devolved to 'choose the answer that has the heart next to it and receive instant adoration'.

 

Where there are mechanics that allow the player to build up friendship points or whatever, as a barrier to romance progression, these rarely involve any critical reflection; usually they're just 'give random gifts until this person likes me, then I can **** them'.

 

It's lazy, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and it sickens me.

 

 

I agree that most 'romances' in modern games are shallow, click the right choice and you eventually get rewarded with some soft porn. In the ME series I thought there was one thing Bioware managed very well, the (as a male Shepard) bromance with Garrus. I actually realized I cared for this guy and started picking him for missions. In ME3 I didn't have the heart to win in the friendly competition :)

 

If Obsidian can take this approach, I am very interested. Already Eder has a bit of that Garrus quality, IMO.

 

I'd actually argue that the bromance is no deeper than romance, it's just something they often don't bother to do. Garrus is basically Shepard's lapdog regardless of what happens.

 

@Drowsy Emperor Part of the problem there is you absolutely can do romance out of daddy issues/abandonment issues/whatever. But to avoid it being the phenomenon you describe where it's just "Lend a sympathetic ear until humping commences", to make it actually realistic...you'd have to have the main character have similar issues they could commiserate over. Main characters do not have issues in these kinds of games. Ever. They have plot hooks, but no personality, no psychological scars, nothing. They can't. It ruins the power fantasy.

Edited by The Sharmat

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The only romance that  I ever felt was done right was with Jaheira in Baldur's Gate 2. The rest weren't really romances as I understand them (mutual attraction of mature adults), what with the companion's almost compulsive attachment to the Nameless One in Tormet, or were kind of a joke (Viconia) or... questionable... (Aerie). Subsequently, all the Obisidian romances were more or less a total rehash of the Torment approach "PC is a black hole of the universe, sucking everything up like an existential vaccum cleaner" (KOTOR 2, Mask of the Betrayer) and Bioware romances developed toward this horrible 'curing' of other people's 'issues' (often abandonment/daddy issues) and being rewarded with their affection in return.

 

What I found repulsive about the Bioware approach was the implied sleaziness of 'being a shoulder to cry on' and being rewarded with sex in the long run (even with Jaheira). This was not the intention of the writers, but that's how it came off.

 

I believe that this is the result of something rampant in the media -  equating 'issues' with 'depth of character', where shorthand for writing a 'good character' is making them 'really, reallly ****ed up'. So everyone's been: raped, abandoned, abused, had family members killed, ousted from their home - making one of literature's great examples of a 'hard life', Ana Karenina look like a spoiled, entitled, brat. The result is that game characters loaded with all this 'tragedy' lose emotional impact. Oh, your family was killed? Get in line, there, behind the man with the bat ears. 

 

The resolution, I think, is to steer clear of emotional extremes, unless one is extremely confident that they have something worth saying in that regard. Romances and tragedies are all well and good, but like humor, when they fall flat, they bring the overall experience down with them. 

 

> kind of a joke (Viconia) or... questionable... (Aerie)

 

How dare you.

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I found Viconia's romance one of the best, actually. It's difficult to do successfully and while you can get "sex" almost immediately, doing so actually destroys the romance progression--successfully getting a "romance" with Viconia requires *turning down* the sex when offered and further working within *her* context for what a worthwhile man is.

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Viconia, maybe the best definition of what a Sidekick is, as opposed to a full companion.

[Although she had Romance, but no Personal Quests like full companions]

 

I'm sure Sidekicks will be in the same vein as she was, not fully fletched out, but cool characters nontheless.

I loved her. Ydwin might be the Viconia of Pillars.  :p

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God I hope not. The dialogue in those games was embarrassing.

Haha. I must say, it really was. I would have lynched you for that couple years ago, but after replaying BGs... well, they can be endearing but It can get really awkward.

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I made the huge mistake of playing PoE on hard first playthrough. It was too easy. I should have known better. Ever since I have always played every game on hardest difficulty. I have two main reasons for playing PotD (or equivelents in other games):

 

* it gives me a much greater sense of immersion. Decisions matter. Danger is everywhere. Makes me think, makes me sweat.

* I enjoy hitting a hard boss fight that hands me my arse and having to figure ouit some tactics to beat it. Lot of satisfaction in that for me.

 

Since I adopted this policy I have also noticed I spend a lot more time closely examining the rulesets and systems in games and as a result have discovered a lot more of what games have to offer and therefore enjoyed them a lot more. I has a real ding-dong with the early game in DOS2 for example, it was totally epic.

 

Unfortunately I have also become one of these insufferable snobs constantly posting that such-and-such a game only truly shines on max difficulty. I guess I try to justify this to myself on the grounds that it is very defintely my experience and that, although defintely not everybody has any real interest in putting as much effort into understanding the mechanics of these games as I do (and there's no earthly reason why they should) I suspect a lot more people than one might expect would get a huge kick out of biting the bullet and going for glory becasue it really does jack up the experience a notch or three.

Edited by Gregorovitch
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I've played the beta with three different characters for close to three hours now on classic difficulty. Getting my ass handed to me every single time in the langufaeth mini-bossfight. >_< 

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You're going there too early. First solve the Poko Whatevara quest, level up and then wander around on the main island. :)


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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