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Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648326
29/08/18 08:44 PM
29/08/18 08:44 PM
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gaymer Offline OP
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Well the changes seem underwhelming to the difficulty

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648327
29/08/18 09:42 PM
29/08/18 09:42 PM
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Tredvolt Offline
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My friends and I have gone over the changes and we think there were some good moves in the right direction.

1. Reduced damage of the 3sp skills. I'm not sure how much they lowered it by, but you might as well have stopped playing the game once you hit level 16 in vanilla, or even lower if you picked up Blood Storm. We were happy to see these were pulled back.

2. Reduced damage bonuses on non-unique weapons. If we are understanding it correctly this means many of the weapons we would normally have used will be a bit weaker making for a more challenging fights. Even if it is small - the cumulative effects should be noticeable.

3. Lone wolf MIGHT be playable. We aren't holding our breaths on this one but reducing the stat caps to normal levels will hopefully have a large impact on the ridiculous power of Lone wolf. We played lone wolf once when the game first came out and decided that unlike the first game lone wolf was completely overpowered and as a result not fun in the least. Our first campaign will be a double lone wolf party in 2 days.

4. Slower stat growth will definitely help a lot. They really missed the mark on scaling and they are pulling back in a significant way (35%). I really think this was a great move on their part and should really make the game feel a lot better especially later.

5. Various nerfs (overpower/flay skin/grasp of the starved) I'd have liked to have seen Teleport/Skin Graft/Living on the Edge/Bouncing Shield/Death Wish/Spider Form/Netherswap take some hits but any progress is progress. Grasp was definitely overtuned and that double nerf is very well received.

------------------------------------------------------

My guess is that with so many tweaks to content they didn't want to be too heavy handed with nerfs/buffs until they get a good sample size of feedback. Our group intends to do a big review after 3-4 playthroughs. We are looking forward to working the summoner into our ideal setups in some capacity and maybe a tiny bit more emphasis on necro for mosquitos and infect.

Last comment - I still feel experience is way too high and it stops us from enjoying more of the game because we constantly feel compelled to skip content in order to keep our levels reasonable and preserve the challenge. We've left the 2nd island at level 18 before and it is just silly. This never feels good and I think about a 20% reduction in exp across the board (starting at 2nd island) would be very warranted. The first island is perfect though - we do absolutely everything and still don't feel overleveled. Just our opinion!

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648342
30/08/18 12:23 PM
30/08/18 12:23 PM
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shadow85 Offline
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so what changes have they made to making the game more challenging? Anything, where do I find info for those changes?

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648344
30/08/18 12:27 PM
30/08/18 12:27 PM
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Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: Tredvolt] #648352
30/08/18 04:49 PM
30/08/18 04:49 PM
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Froggy Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tredvolt
My guess is that with so many tweaks to content they didn't want to be too heavy handed with nerfs/buffs until they get a good sample size of feedback. Our group intends to do a big review after 3-4 playthroughs. We are looking forward to working the summoner into our ideal setups in some capacity and maybe a tiny bit more emphasis on necro for mosquitos and infect.

Last comment - I still feel experience is way too high and it stops us from enjoying more of the game because we constantly feel compelled to skip content in order to keep our levels reasonable and preserve the challenge. We've left the 2nd island at level 18 before and it is just silly. This never feels good and I think about a 20% reduction in exp across the board (starting at 2nd island) would be very warranted. The first island is perfect though - we do absolutely everything and still don't feel overleveled. Just our opinion!


I think that reducing experience gained after level ~10ish would make the game harder and, in my opinion, more fun by default.

However, i'm quite sure that the reason for this not being the case already is due to many of the quests being optional. This in turn would most likely cause issues for some players that are only interested in the main story arc and/or do little of the side activities, resulting in those players being under-leveled, thus creating a less than ideal scenario for both the player(s) in question and Larian Studios. (Which would end up dealing with criticism)

When it comes to the rebalancing of certain spells; I'm not really concerned about most RAW Damage output abilities, with the exception of those mentioned by Larian themselfs, ofcourse. Most of the vastly overpowered spells are based on their utility. such as; Living on the Edge, Death Wish, Spider Form, Wings, Invisibility, Haste, Skin Graft, Etc. Each skill on their own is not that big of a deal, untill you decide to fully buff one of your characters, use Flight and/or Invisibility to the High Ground and simply wait for the opportune moment. By making some of these abilities personal you could restrict the player of doing so. However, i wouldn't want to be limited in this manner simply because there are no alternatives nor content that lend themselves to this level of min-maxing.

In the end, i would need to play trough the game again in order to make a proper final judgement, in terms of overall satisfaction and sense of challenge, provided by the changes made to the game. Besides, if this is not going to be the case then, we can always try to tailor the experience in our favor, with the use of mods.

Last edited by Froggy; 30/08/18 04:50 PM.
Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: Kalrakh] #648421
30/08/18 11:39 PM
30/08/18 11:39 PM
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Cyka Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kalrakh
One of the my biggest concerns since EA:

At some point you will have every skill you need for your tactic and therefore combat will turn very static and repetative, because:

A. Character developement got pretty dumbed down: no influence on how much AP you have and gain, attributes pretty much only increase damage, nothing else, skill tree don't offer additional benefits on higher skill level (no reduced cost or other stuff)
B. ridiculous low requirements to learn high level skills, therefore you don't need any kind of dedication


With making AP static in the second game they killed most of their options to make character development more interesting and worthwile and they failed to come up with a replacement or did not even try.


I have posted multiple threads in the EA to suggest soft stuns mixed with hard stuns for a more complex combat system. As it stands the current armor + positioning makes one solutions fits all encounter. High ground + DPS + infinite stun lock until your inevitable victory is just boring to do over and over.

Not to mention 60% of the fight requires pre-positioning, but once that is done it trivialities the encounter since enemies have to waste AP, you move first then you dps and stun and fights over. Constitution is still a crap stat because once your armor is down prepare for insane charm + chain of anguish + stun lock combo from the enemy, and game over soon after, your health doesn't matter.

Heck i dont mind pre-positioning if surfaces doesnt become useless as soon as Act 2 when everybody including the boss's mother learns to fly without cooldowns and just ignore the surfaces you set up. One of the funniest part about EA is successfully set up a powerful surface and watch your work doing it's job, but since everyone has as much as 10k armor late game, that 200 damage max surface wont do anything even if they have no teleport....

Look at how dynamic Pillar of Eternity combat is, you can stack for buffs or scatter to avoid AOEs, you can risk to cast long casting hardstuns or buff yourself first, you can choose soft disable to weaken the enemies or go for hard long stuns that might be interrupted.

You can set up walls, block off entrances with tank, abuse choke points. You can stealth, kite, tank, reset, trap and many more. Enemies have weaknesses and your hit chance is a percentage, but you can make that percentage 100% by figuring out enemy's weakness then carry buff/debuff, or alternatively you can do a full dps party and rely on scrolls, even then it isnt a garentee success and you have to deal with effective healing, buffing, planning your next half of the fight once buffs run out.

Do we have any of that complexity here?

Last edited by Cyka; 30/08/18 11:44 PM.
Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648471
31/08/18 01:43 PM
31/08/18 01:43 PM
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Hayte Offline
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This thread suffers from using terms that are ill defined. Everything in this game is easy when you know exactly what to do and ranges from difficult to impossible if you don't.

I prefer to think of combat in this game as a sequence of puzzles to be solved by the player. On my first blind playthrough (tactician), I stumble into fights without the benefit of hindsight, so I first needed to discover the rules. I often discover game rules by failing. Failure is an amazing tool for discovering how things work.

Once I know roughly what skills/abilities are effective, what skills/abilities the enemies use and how the AI uses them, I try to identify potential win conditions. It doesn't matter if I fail because I am eliminating methods that don't work.

Then comes executing a win condition. For example, the first time I ran into Alice Alisceon, I got owned repeatedly. After numerous failed attempts I came to the conclusion that in order to win, she had to be separated from her healing totems and she could not be allowed to attack. I was level 10 or 11 the first time I did the fight so she blew up my entire party in a single turn.

The first time I beat her, I settled on a strategy of moving 3 characters up to the abbey, pre-emptively casting Living on the Edge on an unchained character, initiating dialogue/combat on this character and forcing Alice to waste her first turn on a target that couldn't be killed. Then I teleported her up to the abbey, shredded physical armour, and chained physical cc (battlestomp, battering ram and chicken).

A "difficult" fight to me is one that has very strict win conditions. If you know what to do, its still "easy" but at this point you have the benefit of hindsight, build theorycrafting and repeatable/predictable results in testing. I expect it to be easy to execute a strategy that I have pre-prepared and already know will be successful.

I think the "difficulty" of Tactician/Honour is fine in a broad sense. You can plan a consistent route through each act in order to match or overrun the hp and damage scaling of enemies at each level. The game subtly corrals you into fighting within +/- 2 levels of your enemies.

If you do things out of sequence, then you can run into fights very under-leveled, get out scaled hard and the win conditions become super strict like fighting Alice at level 10, where you cannot engage her where she spawns and you cannot allow her to attack.

Later in the game the opposite problem emerges where it becomes easy to out scale and over-level enemy encounters. The win conditions become very relaxed. Many strategies will be successful and you can execute them all poorly but still win. There are less consequences or no consequences for allowing enemies to hurt you.

We know Larian is addressing the scaling issue. For me, Act 1 is fine the way it is and is a good template for the other acts to follow. I think the fights can be approached in a mostly linear fashion with increasingly stricter win conditions the nearer you get to the end of the act. The one outlier for me was Radeka, who I thought required the most elaborate setup to beat. Fights are designed to be tackled +/- 1 level.

The scaling issue begins around level 9 (act 2, zone 2) due to the vitality leap growth levels at 9, 13, 16 and 18. There is a mod to reduce the stat growth rate (both constant growth and leap growth) but you will note that it only reduces vitality scaling and all item defence and damage values are calculated automatically based off vitality using ratios (which can be edited).

When people talking about making the game "more difficult" by imposing arbitrarily stricter win conditions, they invariably involve falling behind the vitality scaling curve. One such example would be to self impose a "no thievery" rule. One consequence of this is you can no longer upgrade all your gear at vitality leap growth levels by shopping stat upgrades for free, which will put you massively behind on the damage scaling curve.

I don't think arguing about difficulty is productive. The game is as easy or as difficult as your knowledge of how the game works on a mechanical level. What I'm really looking forward to in Definitive Edition is re-thinking my assumptions about how Classic Edition works. Hopefully I will have a new set of puzzles to figure out. I am under no illusion that the game will be easy once I figure out all the puzzles and that's ok.

Last edited by Hayte; 31/08/18 02:24 PM.
Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: Froggy] #648472
31/08/18 02:40 PM
31/08/18 02:40 PM
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vometia Offline

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Originally Posted By: Froggy
I think that reducing experience gained after level ~10ish would make the game harder and, in my opinion, more fun by default.

For me this would do the exact opposite. I tend to view role-playing games as predominantly about role-playing, not combat. I'm not really interested in "hard" and neither am I interested in analysing the minutiae of builds and the ideal tactics. As far as I'm concerned they're obstacles to be overcome and not the point of the game: the point of the game for me is to be who I'm playing, to explore, to learn about the other characters, to absorb the story and atmosphere. Combat trails rather a long way behind all of those.

The trouble with OS2 is that there's a "winning strategy" behind many if not all of the battles. If you've figured out what it is, whether by luck or judgement, you'll walk it. If you haven't, you won't. Arbitrarily hobbling the ability to succeed based on the experience of the former is unlikely to do anything usefully interesting but it will likely make it impossible for people who haven't studied every strategy and actually puts them at a disadvantage compared to those who went before: so it really only becomes hard for new players, who will probably give up and tell all their mates, "this game sucks".

Some have suggested imposing your own limitations to increase the challenge. Even as about as non-hardcore a player as you can get, I have often done this myself so I don't buy the claim that it's unrealistic, and for those who need hand-holding in order to set themselves a challenge, I'm not sure there's really an answer to that.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: Hayte] #648474
31/08/18 03:21 PM
31/08/18 03:21 PM
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Froggy Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hayte
I don't think arguing about difficulty is productive. The game is as easy or as difficult as your knowledge of how the game works on a mechanical level.


This is something i don't really agree with. I do think that you brought up a few good points in regards to Boss fights and how they should revolve around... primarily, dealing with the Boss Mechanics the most effective way possible.

Now the main issue i have with the aformentioned quote is; That many of the Boss encounters in this game do not require any knowledge related to this fight in order to defeat them. So instead of applying custom tactics to boss encounters, that you've previously wiped on and therefore want to apply your new-found knowledge to your overall strategy in order to defeat said boss, is simply not required after reaching level ~15ish.

If EVERY Boss fight can be defeated by applying the same strategy then, how does this NOT warrant cause for concern or criticism? I mean, is it so much to ask for to add a difficulty whereby the player always wipes the first 3 - 5 attempts, in order to learn the mechanics and figure out an appropriate strategy to apply to the circumstances? This is what i would expect from playing a game of this nature on the hardest possible difficulty, which it achieves in the first Act.

To clarify my point: The game is not hard enough for some players to ever have to bother with new boss mechanics, simply because they either die too fast or the mechanics in question can be dealt with adequately using a general stratagy. This, in my opinion, should really not be the case when i have no other options in terms of difficulty at my disposal. Aside from using arbitrary handicaps to effectively limit my knowledge and build varirity, ofcourse.

If that is the case then there SHOULD be an additional difficulty added to the game. The amount of effort and resources required for this to happen are practically nil, we're talking adjusting Armor, Health and Experience modifiers per act. I mean, hell, they could've circumvented the entire issue by having better players in their QA department. But this should really have been the default experience for every player on the highest difficulty.

The difficulty i would IDEALLY want, from a personal standpoint, would have to be much, much harder. Where you would respec your characters, do the entire zone for gear and gold to buy resistance potions, ingredients for Flasks and food, plan potential kite routes, etc. Simply to wipe over and over again. Because that is fun to ME. And this is not something i would ever 'expect' or 'demand' from a developer. Obviously because this would require alot of resources for a extremely small number of players. This is just something i like to bring to their attention just so they know that there are atleast some people that would enjoy such a game.

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: vometia] #648477
31/08/18 03:30 PM
31/08/18 03:30 PM
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Froggy Offline
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Originally Posted By: vometia
Originally Posted By: Froggy
I think that reducing experience gained after level ~10ish would make the game harder and, in my opinion, more fun by default.

For me this would do the exact opposite. I tend to view role-playing games as predominantly about role-playing, not combat. I'm not really interested in "hard" and neither am I interested in analysing the minutiae of builds and the ideal tactics. As far as I'm concerned they're obstacles to be overcome and not the point of the game: the point of the game for me is to be who I'm playing, to explore, to learn about the other characters, to absorb the story and atmosphere. Combat trails rather a long way behind all of those.


I mean, that's fair enough. I personally, have never cared for the story in any game. The games that i enjoy are those that have a very indepth character customization system. The type of combat doesn't really matter either. Action Combat, Turn Based, etc doesn't really matter either.

Point being; This is very subjective.

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: Froggy] #648486
31/08/18 04:36 PM
31/08/18 04:36 PM
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vometia Offline

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Originally Posted By: Froggy
I mean, that's fair enough. I personally, have never cared for the story in any game. The games that i enjoy are those that have a very indepth character customization system. The type of combat doesn't really matter either. Action Combat, Turn Based, etc doesn't really matter either.

Point being; This is very subjective.

It certainly is. Which is why getting a proper range of experiences is important, but even then I'm not sure it's actually possible to please everyone (even ignoring the sort of people who want to intrude on others' gaming experiences, who are annoyingly commonplace). A good example of how it goes bad is the "nerf this, nerf that, nerf everything!" which suits one particular style of playing regardless of difficulty, and some studios do take that on board which ends up satisfying a small niche at the expense of everyone else. Perhaps it's the case that difficulty isn't simply a one-dimensional element of easy to hard (Oblivion's being a good example of this, where it simply acted as a multiplier of the opponents' damage compared to the player's) but is a multi-dimensional thing. But complexity brings all of its own problems, and that's before you get the aforementioned people who insist on making other people's experience worse.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648494
31/08/18 04:53 PM
31/08/18 04:53 PM
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Vilenica Offline
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Why is story mode so easy? I'm currently playing story mode and I expected very easy game and I love easy casual experience, but not stroll everywhere easy. I'm in Hollow marches.

Last edited by Vilenica; 31/08/18 04:54 PM.
Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648570
01/09/18 01:00 AM
01/09/18 01:00 AM
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shadow85 Offline
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God damm there is just too much variety of peoples preference of what they want in a game in terms of difficulty.

Somebody wants it to be easy or just a stroll to see the storyline, some want it to be harder, some want inbetween. You would think that out of the 4+1 new difficulty options to chose from it could cover everyones desire for what the difficulty should be.

Unfortunately not. It seems the lower end is fine, with the story mode and explorer or classic mode. But the higher end, i.e. tactician has still alot to be desired for because it simply is not hard enough.

They should have increased the challenge alot more on the higher end of the difficulty, because then that could make every type of player happy all the way from easy to really hard!

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648755
02/09/18 05:16 PM
02/09/18 05:16 PM
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gaymer Offline OP
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Playing through now and so far I can't see how the game has gotten harder. Still +0/1 level right now above all encounters due to doing optional quests.

The difficulty is just not there; fights are still a formality

Re: Definitive Edition Difficulty Mode [Re: gaymer] #648987
04/09/18 08:57 PM
04/09/18 08:57 PM
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Personally, I think people were spoilt by the additions made to Tactician mode in D:OS:EE as the team had more time and focus on rebalancing fights to get around standard strategies.

Sven explains it best here: https://youtu.be/tEn0B31burc?t=5m25s

So they effectively rebalanced a lot of the bigger scenarios to make them more challenging and expanded on the skills of the standard enemies, and I don't feel that the team has had that time and resources to do that for D:OS2:EE so instead Tactician mode is just a hard mode with higher health values.

Originally Posted By: Stabbey
Concrete suggestions on how to change it would be more helpful, because there is an incredible variety in player skill and experience. Some people struggle on explorer, others sleepwalk through Tactician.

What kinds of changes would you like to see to make the game more challenging?


A really simple change, which I believe was in the original Tactician mode was that basic enemies were more likely to use special grenades and specialist arrows than in Normal mode. Expanding on this you could also expand generic enemies skill pools, even one new skill each would be useful.

I'm sure if there isn't the time to recode the AI for the bosses, you could add elements to spice up certain fights, explosive/elemental barrels, a few elemental puddles here and there, hell... even a respawn mechanic for mobs of certain bosses.

Last edited by Wellzy4eva; 04/09/18 09:35 PM. Reason: spelling
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