It does get easier but cakewalk is exaggerated. But I agree it's probably better for you to wait for the new difficulty modes. Hopefully they're not just +enemy health/-player damage though.
I quote your post but it could have been another. But you write, "Hopefully they're not just"...
This evokes all the complexity of difficulty design. I also felt overall a lowdown of difficulty, it was before last patches that are supposed to have change Dark Forest combats. But when I played Dark Forest area during my first play, I skipped most combats, not because they was too hard but because it was more fun to sneak through.
This is leading to a core game problem the dev will hardler fix:
- Class design isn't enough progressive, overall you can rush your character building and get most at level 10, and almost anything at level 14, and really all at level 16. The links with difficulty is no significant new skills doesn't help offer new problems to players.
- The second element is purely design of each combats, if level progressions and enemies change hardly ensure new problems for players, design of each combats would be the way to offer now problems. Because difficulty isn't just tougher, it's also new problems to solve.
- The third problems is OP tricks. For many party builds you could apply a few tricks through most combats. So it makes feel the combats easy because it's just repeat.
Fix first point is almost impossible, I mean without design a new game.
Fix second point is a huge work because improve and tune the design of many combats is a lot of work and can have many side effects. A point is it doesn't help that most combats are outdoor allowing some easy tactics to player.
Fix third point is perhaps part of the coming change about difficulty and balances, it's still a huge work.