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Chromodar
02-15-2012, 02:48 PM
.. of making a patch to implement a higher difficulty setting, what would you change?

Obvious parameters are enemy durability and damage. As part of that, you could also increase aoe size of enemy effects, make their crowd control last longer, make them less vulnerable to crowd control themselves. You could increase all enemy resistances except if they have a vulnerability (ie fire for boggarts), making it important to know your enemy and bringing the right tool for the job.

Beyond that, you could increase enemy aggression. For example, ever noticed how if you're fighting a mixed group of tuatha, you only really pay attention to the archers and spear guys, because the sword ones just sort of moves around in a blob slowly trying to close on you? They're so easy to kite. If they would be a little less stand-offish, you'd have to be a little more on your toes.

Then there's the de-aggro thing. Often if you kite around you can make some enemies in a group de-aggro and run back, while a few stay and die. With some groups you can even pull some, while others just don't follow. Maybe some work should be done on this?

How about increasing restrictions on item use? That weapon you're about to blacksmith is really awesome, but you're 6 points in one of the skill trees short of actually being able to use it. Restricts access to high end gear until you get close to max level. Might punish multiclass characters lategame though.

How about enemies that have more of the "special" damage types? I mean, move some of their physical damage to piercing or give them a bleed or poison on hit or whatever. Make spellcasters do more burning/shock/freeze. Punish players who have left a defensive hole in their gear, or force them to carry multiple sets.

I'm very much not a fan of nerfing the player abilities. The idea is to increase the challenge enough that you need those OP abilities to survive. That being said..

You could decrease xp gains. Slow the player's levelling so the content is often ahead of you in level, especially if you don't make sure to get some good fateshifts as often as possible. The xp booster potions can partially counteract this, putting increased value on alchemy as a side benefit.

Also, with the same caveat, you could increase enemy movement speed while in reckoning mode a bit. That, and/or decrease the time it lasts. Not sure if any other changes to reckoning mode would be justifiable.


There's a bunch of suggestions to get the debate rolling. Any of them you really like? Ones you hate? Why? Or maybe you have your own suggestions? Let's hear them!

Zaole
02-15-2012, 04:43 PM
some of your suggestions seem designed to drain the fun out of the game (such as really high resistances, slower exp gain, longer CCs). it wouldn't take much to fix the difficulty because it's simply broken in a few key areas.
i would:

1. raise damage of all enemies on hard mode by 10-50% depending on what enemy it is, what ability they're using, etc. damage in general is lower than it should be on hard.

2. nerf the bonuses from blacksmithing/sagecrafting. there's a lot of weird stuff involved in this- why do i have "advanced" rivets that give +7% damage during daytime, yet i can buy "basic" rivets that give +10% damage at all times? that makes no sense. not to mention stackable damage increases to all damage i deal is a really big deal. i'd reduce the bonuses from the +% damage and from health regeneration by about 50%, maybe a little more for health regen.

3. raise the number of enemies per battle by about 1 or 2 more per "common group" and increase their frequency of attacks slightly.

4. reduce the potency of health regen, damage dealt, and damage mitigated potions by 50-80%. these things are EXTREMELY strong currently. alchemy would still be good with these nerfs; i don't need +20 health per second and -50% damage taken. you could add a buff to alchemical potencies into the alchemy tree so that players who invest heavily in it will be rewarded (such as +10% potion strength in 3 slots along the alchemy route), but people who simply buy/loot herbs won't get equally strong potions while also having really high blacksmithing or sagecrafting.

5. reduce the time it takes to blink by about 10-30%, reduce duration of flinches for you and for all enemies by about 20-40%. give a short-lasting stacking flinch resistance, so that if you or any enemy flinches multiple times in a row, flinches become extremely short for a couple seconds. (this puts the flow of the combat more in the player's control and puts more responsibility on them to make an intelligent series of decisions instead of keeping every enemy occupied with flinches by spamming basic attacks)

the potential for difficulty in this game is already there because the combat is good. it's just that there's no reason to play the game correctly because you can faily miserably and still win when using health regen and certain other tactics/abilities.

NorthernKingdom
02-15-2012, 07:00 PM
Go through every ability, make sure it works, and re-balance them accordingly so you can use one ability to kill 5+ enemies with one hit when they are yellow. I'd also significantly decrease the damage output of abilities in hard mode by a clear percentage.

Zaole
02-15-2012, 07:08 PM
I'd also significantly decrease the damage output of abilities in hard mode by a clear percentage.

decreasing the player's damage output does not make the game harder. it just turns it into a grindfest. it's no different from skyrim's absolutely abysmal method of making the game "harder" by giving the enemies 8x HP. instead of mashing left click for 5 seconds, you mash left click for 40 seconds. that is NOT harder. that is stupid.

Chromodar
02-15-2012, 07:17 PM
some of your suggestions seem designed to drain the fun out of the game (such as really high resistances, slower exp gain, longer CCs).

Those weren't "my suggestions" as such. I was merely listing options in order to get a discussion going.

1. raise damage of all enemies on hard mode by 10-50% depending on what enemy it is, what ability they're using, etc. damage in general is lower than it should be on hard.

I agree with this one. A 3-part attack chain from a tuatha should almost kill you, trolls should probably oneshot squishy builds if you get hit. They probably shouldn't up bow damage from enemies too much though, since that's actually harder than most things to dodge while trying to do damage.

2. nerf the bonuses from blacksmithing/sagecrafting. there's a lot of weird stuff involved in this- why do i have "advanced" rivets that give +7% damage during daytime, yet i can buy "basic" rivets that give +10% damage at all times? that makes no sense. not to mention stackable damage increases to all damage i deal is a really big deal. i'd reduce the bonuses from the +% damage and from health regeneration by about 50%, maybe a little more for health regen.

4. reduce the potency of health regen, damage dealt, and damage mitigated potions by 50-80%. these things are EXTREMELY strong currently. alchemy would still be good with these nerfs; i don't need +20 health per second and -50% damage taken. you could add a buff to alchemical potencies into the alchemy tree so that players who invest heavily in it will be rewarded (such as +10% potion strength in 3 slots along the alchemy route), but people who simply buy/loot herbs won't get equally strong potions while also having really high blacksmithing or sagecrafting.


Like I said in my first post, I personally prefer nerfing as little as possible. That being said, basic rivets being both stronger and less situational than advanced ones is a bit silly. That could use a look through and adjustment so it makes more sense (and the overall power level drops a bit).

3. raise the number of enemies per battle by about 1 or 2 more per "common group" and increase their frequency of attacks slightly.

This one I fully agree with. On it's own it doesn't do a lot, but coupled with the other things it should move things in the right direction.

5. reduce the time it takes to blink by about 10-30%, reduce duration of flinches for you and for all enemies by about 20-40%. give a short-lasting stacking flinch resistance, so that if you or any enemy flinches multiple times in a row, flinches become extremely short for a couple seconds. (this puts the flow of the combat more in the player's control and puts more responsibility on them to make an intelligent series of decisions instead of keeping every enemy occupied with flinches by spamming basic attacks)

I like the idea of a diminishing return and eventual temporary immunity to stagger. You would still get a rather large benefit from landing the final attack from your weapon of choice's basic attack chain, but you wouldn't be able to convert it into a spam-to-win scenario.

the potential for difficulty in this game is already there because the combat is good. it's just that there's no reason to play the game correctly because you can faily miserably and still win when using health regen and certain other tactics/abilities.

I agree. Which is why added durability to enemies is pretty much a must too. I'm unsure which way would work best, add more hitpoints, more resistances, whatever. As long as a multitude of abilities such as tempest, meteor, gambit doesn't oneshot everything below sub-bosses.


I wish the game had mod support so you could tweak stuff yourself. For now, we're left hoping they're having a similar discussion to this at 38, except on a higher level since they have actual number to play around with, and that we will see the results of it at some point in the future.

Final11
02-15-2012, 09:32 PM
I'd just throw in more enemies, but I wouldn't let it end up like Dynasty Warriors.

I also keep wishing the fights would last longer and be more technical, so some of your suggestions to increase the time to kill would be great.

KilgoreTrout XL
02-15-2012, 10:14 PM
1. A decent cooldown on health and mana pots would be a good start.

2. I think some nerfing might be in order too. For instance, Mark of Flame is a pretty cheap stunlock -> kill 95% of the time. That might make sense if it wasn't (1) spammable, and (2) an AOE. A similar case can be made for high-level frost chakrams.

3. My biggest gripe is probably the fact that I don't need to think a whole lot before a fight. I don't need to worry about getting behind mobs, knocking shields/barriers away, or dispelling any kind of protection. No buffs necessary, either. Excepting some elemental % resistances, everything is effective in a frontal assault.

4. A lot of potential for long, elegant, and more timing/skill based fighting is also wasted by the fact that blocking is often impractical (though I changed to a caster about 7 levels into the game- might work for melee).

To be honest, I thought trolls were a pain for a while . Then I discovered that you can hit them through trees, columns, etc., but they can't. I try not to use that much, but I still do once in a while.

That all being said, I love the game so far.

Chromodar
02-16-2012, 04:11 AM
1. A decent cooldown on health and mana pots would be a good start.

Oh yeah, this one is really good, I like it. Only minor problem is that it would need UI work to show this.

2. I think some nerfing might be in order too. For instance, Mark of Flame is a pretty cheap stunlock -> kill 95% of the time. That might make sense if it wasn't (1) spammable, and (2) an AOE. A similar case can be made for high-level frost chakrams.

Well, we already talked about making enemies somewhat more durable, which should prevent the oneshotting, but other than that.. Well, if you have to nerf player abilities, I personally see the most accepable way to do it is raising cooldowns. It lets you retain the satisfying feeling of landing a huge nuke on several targets. If nothing else this will make you vary your ability use instead of just doing tempest every fight. Of course, the cooldown change should affect different abilities differently. For example, no need to raise harpoon, lunge or frost trap cooldown, since they're mostly for utility.

3. My biggest gripe is probably the fact that I don't need to think a whole lot before a fight. I don't need to worry about getting behind mobs, knocking shields/barriers away, or dispelling any kind of protection. No buffs necessary, either. Excepting some elemental % resistances, everything is effective in a frontal assault.

Well, as difficulty goes up from other changes, the value of laying down a trap field, or getting a sneak attack off on one of the enemies, or even just positioning to attack from the best angle, and maybe even having considered optimal approach in regards to what weapons and abilities to use on a specific pull, all these things gain more value. I'm not sure what more could be done without introducing new gameplay elements that go far beyond the scope of a +difficulty patch.

4. A lot of potential for long, elegant, and more timing/skill based fighting is also wasted by the fact that blocking is often impractical (though I changed to a caster about 7 levels into the game- might work for melee).

The one thing that decreases block's value by a lot is that you can stagger lock groups of enemies with aoe weapons like chakrams and greatsword.. The earlier suggestion to make followup staggers less effective should help quite a bit here.

To be honest, I thought trolls were a pain for a while . Then I discovered that you can hit them through trees, columns, etc., but they can't. I try not to use that much, but I still do once in a while.

This one would take a lot more work than just rebalancing numbers. Same with the de-aggro issue. Not sure it's realistic to ask for this to change. But yeah, it doesn't make much sense.

KilgoreTrout XL
02-16-2012, 06:45 PM
Yeah, the troll/tree thing was mostly a joke, and if it's a bug, it's not that big of a deal. Just about every troll I ran into after I learned of that exploit was in the wide open.

Anyway, I wanted to add that I got to and eventually beat the maid of windemere after posting above. Man, that was a hell of a lot of fun. I think it took me 6-7 tries or so (the ents are cheap) Hectic, nerve-wracking, tough, rewarding, etc. I'm not saying I want Dark Souls, but I'd love to see that kind of challenge pop up a bit more frequently in KoA.

p.s. I also got smashed by that iced-out troll 5 or so times before winning- another great fight.