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The most important thing for a perfect coop game is a challenging difficulty level.
Most RPGs have the problem that when the characters are at higher level the mobs die too fast and easy because the *leveled up* attacks are too powerful.


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Or mobs kills you in one hit (a la path of exile)


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I do not think that is a problem that is progression. You work to make your character strong you should be and fell strong, games like TES tried to take a different approach and have level scaling which is one of the worse things ever introduced into a game because no matter how much you progress or how strong you become it does not matter. At high levels I want to feel power as if the journey of getting there meant something.

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A Digression/Objection to above:

But power for power's sake doesn't really mean anything in the strong sense. Raw power has nothing to it but its existence. The narrative of the power is what means something, as it affects other existences and causes differences.

Continuing there, the narrative of the Elder Scrolls series (using your power as the dragonborn to fell great foes and save the lives of many, or re-establish guilds, etc., with most quests) is the only thing as far as I can tell that CAN mean something.

Progression without narrative is probably something like MapleStory, which is effectively absent any point but attaining power. I do not think I need to argue for most people to agree this has no point or meaning when you gain a level in this game, as there is no significance to said power.

More On-Topic (though the digression isn't truly off-topic):

I do think there is a place for difficulty settings, but I'm not sure the structure of this game could handle many "hard" difficulties that feel distinct. It strikes me that all that could happen would be boosting either the stats of enemies or the enemy count, unless lower difficulties would simply be deprived of abilities that enemies can cast.

I do personally have a problem with barring content to difficulty levels somewhat, but I suppose I could see hard modes being, say, a first crab battle where the crab matriarch spawns crablings and the crablings shoot bubbles at range to hurt the players (a new ability) but no stats on said crablings are different.

But there is a clear downside to this: every bit of content they put in a hard mode but not a "normal" mode is content many people won't be experiencing in any way be it from lack of skill or lack of desire to replay after picking normal.

I think it's pretty clear that we should be getting all content we can in every difficulty level to make it as impressive as possible the first time through the game, and there is a limit to making things hard or making things take forever to kill/kite in turn-based tactical RPGs.



TL;DR: You need to be really careful with difficulty levels and I do not see a particularly promising option for this particular type of game.

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If you're talking about progression with narrative, Divine divinity/Divinity dragon knight saga has it. If you are hovering your mouse on the stats, the tooltip will say how powerful you are compared with other heroes. I noticed that DOS is absent on that kind of feature, but it's not important.

I think difficulty should be fixed right at the beginning of the game to maintain the balance if there is any difficulty slider at all. Similar to Europa Universalis IV system in getting achievements on steam wherein you need to be in "ironman" mode to get achievements or similar to witcher. Ironman mode is having only one save and the game saves in every decisions you do or in a monthly basis. It also disables cheats and whatnot. This kind of imposing achievement gathering is addicting IMO. If you look at the global stats, only less than 20% of the player base actually tried in getting achievement before quitting, less than 1% of the player base actually gets the hard achievement, and only less than 5 actually got the almost impossible achievements.

Although, I could tell that this is not an important aspect of the game yet. Priority very low.

TL;DR impose difficulty at the beginning of the game per the player choice. Player can't adjust difficulty during the game. For achievement hunters, achievements could only be gotten at a certain level of difficulty for added replayability.




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Two things many companies do for difficulty that really annoys me consist of adding hp/harder hits and just add more mobs. This is not more difficult to me, it is more tedious. More difficult would be an improvement in the ai as if going through the different levels in a chess simulator that requires better strategy. I would much prefer better ai and believe that could be something that is possible in a turn based game. I would one day love to see companies start using learning machines for ai and difficulty.

I agree with you on it needs to make sense within the narrative or it is pointless, I was only pointing out TES because even a rat you first saw at the start of the game at level 1 levels up with you to level 50, that make no sense that you still struggle with a rat 49 levels later at least they slightly changed that in skyrim.

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The problem with AI, similarly to my stated problem with ability-locking, is that you're mostly depriving people of combat content with that.

I suppose people who pick easy difficulty aren't particularly desiring to experience combat content though, so I suppose it might be most effective to make their tactics very simple and straightforward. The problem I see is deciding what should be "normal" and what should be hard.

I think games like demons souls and dark souls had it more right in having their vision of the difficulty, where it is always hard but can be made harder not by some difficulty you toggled, but by your own restrictions you place upon yourself. A good idea would probably be to have an Ironman save mode.

I really do think that normal difficulty probably deserves and desires the full level of tactics enemies have to offer, and so locking any of it off seems like a bad idea (except those who want easy-mode, who I don't understand [why not read a book or something] but so be it, they can have their fun their way too).

I guess my ultimate point here is that difficulty will probably be more fulfilling and less content-restricting/limiting (be it AI, abilities, stats, etc.) if we have things like Ironman Mode instead, where the additional difficulties are at a meta-game level.

It's definitely something to be thought about, though. What good is having different difficulty levels in a turn-based RPG? There are more straightforward answers in shooters and real-time action games, but with turn-based, stat-based mechanics, difficulty setting seems to be very tricky and perhaps better left alone.

Keep in mind that also having more difficulties means more time balancing each one (lest you want a brokenly difficult mode).

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I think demon souls and dark souls are fake hard. The first play through they are hard but everything is scripted. A mob jumps out at point a every time, two mobs at point b every time it follows a pattern and is easily understood after the first play through. Both of those I never died again because I realized what was going to happen after the first play through. It was very boring in a second play through. In a game such as this where elements and environments work together it makes sense. You cast a fire spell or light the ground on fire for burn effect, the mobs as the ai gets harder thinks more like we would and cast the rain spell to put it out. The other mobs recognize it, take advantage and use a lightning spell to stun you or an ice spell to freeze the surface to make melee more difficult to reach the target. They could even go after barrels before you. As it is right now and I know this may change since it is alpha I have not seen this level of detail or interaction between mobs,

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Yes for example.
there where a group of orcs ....in front some water.
I use chainlightnings to kill the first orcs in the water.
the orcs behind could easily walk around but all
Walked through the shocking water...one after another.

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Originally Posted by YoungFreshNewbie
A lot of stuff.


Agreed with everything stated, from the meaning of power to balancing turn-based RPG difficulty.

Normal difficulty is what most players will pick if they get the opportunity to choose. Normal setting should be the closest to what the overall game experience should be. I do not have much love for games that are designed to be played directly in hard (or harder) difficulty modes to offer decent challenge and a complete game experience. Harder modes are not the answer. Taking the time to make a proper, balanced and challenging yet accessible normal mode is, in my opinion, the way to go.

I'd also like to add that the alpha builds pits us against few different types of enemies (undead and cultists for the most part), most of them warrior or archer archetypes which do not use dangerous spells. We might stumble upon interesting enemies later on, some that will turn against us the very skills and spells we use right now. Having half the group stuck in an electrified puddle or turned into ice statues at the worst possible time might make combat a little bit trickier than what we get to see right now in a level 5 zone with so few powerful spell casters.

I always find it difficult to estimate the difficulty of a game based on the first hours of play. Games tend to become harder as we advance, generally.

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need more challenge plz , or selectable high difficulty levels

http://youtu.be/IU7mmeMtkpk

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I just like a game where the difficulty is very high by default, as far as my memory goes baldurs gate was also very difficult. OR where there are extra rewards by selecting a higher difficulty. For example the dark armor set in the witcher 2. I think the latest patch made the difficulty a joke. First they need to fix the exp system though, then increase the difficulty or just monsters levels. They also need to nerf 2h weapons.

Last edited by xardas22; 04/02/14 02:26 PM.

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