Difficulty Levels

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Difficulty Levels

Postby dogthenine » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:16 pm

I'd like to have the ability to adjust the difficulty.
And I don't mean the few options at the start of the game like requiring food and water.
I'm talking monster strength.
I found eschalon 1 very hard to start, especially with how dark that first dungeon was. NOT a good place for a level 1 noob. As a result, i stopped trying to play that and moved on to book 2.

For me personally, I generally like a game to be easy the first time through. I am playing it more for the adventure and not the challenge. Let the challenge come later or by choice.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:34 pm

That dungeon in the first town is very tough if you accidentally wander into it before you go to the first town and get the quest to head down there (and likely have earned a level or two first). However, if you stay above ground until you've gained a couple levels and picked up stuff to help you, it's really not that hard. Part of the give/take with very open worlds like Eschalon is that you can wander into areas that you're really not ready for yet, and you have to recognize that and step back and look somewhere else for a path forward until you're ready.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby IJBall » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:10 pm

dogthenine wrote:I'd like to have the ability to adjust the difficulty.
And I don't mean the few options at the start of the game like requiring food and water.
I'm talking monster strength.

It's on the Book III 'Wishlist'.
(It was also on the Book II 'Wishlist' IIRC...)

Still, even if BW does add it, I'm not sure we can expect more than an "Easy" and a "Hard" difficulty setting - I'm not expecting BW to do what Spiderweb does, and give you 4 different 'difficulty settings'...
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Necromis » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:38 am

actually it wouldn't be all that hard to implement multiple difficulty settings vs one or two. After all you would just have a multiplier for the monsters stats. So that at easy level it is like X .5 and at hardcore it is like X 2. Or something along that line scaled to a set jump at each difficulty level.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:19 am

Necromis wrote:actually it wouldn't be all that hard to implement multiple difficulty settings vs one or two. After all you would just have a multiplier for the monsters stats. So that at easy level it is like X .5 and at hardcore it is like X 2. Or something along that line scaled to a set jump at each difficulty level.

That is an easy way to do it, but it often results in things like people talked about with the Avernum games, where it didn't make the games more difficult so much as more tedious. You end up with mountains of HP you have to hack your way through.

I know I'm an oddball in many ways, but I've always preferred the opportunity to impose challenges on myself rather than have the game just become more annoying by the programmer dumping challenges on me.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby IJBall » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:42 pm

Kreador Freeaxe wrote:I know I'm an oddball in many ways, but I've always preferred the opportunity to impose challenges on myself rather than have the game just become more annoying by the programmer dumping challenges on me.

The two aren't mutually exclusive though: guys like you and me could still play on "Normal" mode (assuming there's a "Normal" mode in addition to "Easy" and "Hard") while still self-applying all the challenges to ourselves that we want.

Just to be clear on this, I'm not actually one of the people clamoring for 'difficulty settings' - I will be just fine with it if they're not implemented. :wink: It's just that I have definitely noted that 'difficulty settings' has been a popular request over the years.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Necromis » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:03 pm

Kreador Freeaxe wrote:
Necromis wrote:actually it wouldn't be all that hard to implement multiple difficulty settings vs one or two. After all you would just have a multiplier for the monsters stats. So that at easy level it is like X .5 and at hardcore it is like X 2. Or something along that line scaled to a set jump at each difficulty level.

That is an easy way to do it, but it often results in things like people talked about with the Avernum games, where it didn't make the games more difficult so much as more tedious. You end up with mountains of HP you have to hack your way through.

I know I'm an oddball in many ways, but I've always preferred the opportunity to impose challenges on myself rather than have the game just become more annoying by the programmer dumping challenges on me.

dang site ate my post. LOL

Anyways, what I was saying is you are actually over simplifying my thoughts, not only are HP modified but also armour, damage, tohit chances. So not only do you have a rate that now deals out 20 damage instead of 10, he also had a 60% chance to hit you vs 30%, and you have a 40% chance to hit him vs your old 80%. You can also make traps and locks harder too, but with a certain cap obviously.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:49 pm

Necromis wrote:Anyways, what I was saying is you are actually over simplifying my thoughts, not only are HP modified but also armour, damage, tohit chances. So not only do you have a rate that now deals out 20 damage instead of 10, he also had a 60% chance to hit you vs 30%, and you have a 40% chance to hit him vs your old 80%. You can also make traps and locks harder too, but with a certain cap obviously.

I understood your point. I was just saying that the effective experience for the player when a game is scaled that way it that the higher difficulty settings are more tedious, rather than more difficult.

As Randomizer says, I could and would do exactly what I do with Spiderweb Games and only play them on Normal difficulty.

I just think there are better ways to scale the game. Perhaps rather than changing anything about the statistics around the game, there's a simple X factor in every calculation that is adjusted out of the player's favor as you make the setting more difficult. That would run across all possibilities in the game (from fights to picking locks to random loot).

I'd still opt for the Normal setting, of course, so it wouldn't matter to me. ;-)
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby dogthenine » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:55 pm

The thing with me and difficulty is that, the first time I play a game, I play it for the adventure, not the challenge. If I run across some area that is just too tough, I am liable to stop playing and never pick the game back up.

If the game has replay value, that's where the more difficult or "normal" and challenging settings come into play for me. Now that I have finished it and enjoyed the adventure, I will want to play it again for the challenge.

Like book 2, I was very glad that I could turn off the food/water/repair requirements. Let me understand the game before making it tedious.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:36 pm

dogthenine wrote:The thing with me and difficulty is that, the first time I play a game, I play it for the adventure, not the challenge. If I run across some area that is just too tough, I am liable to stop playing and never pick the game back up.

With an open-exploration type game such as Eschalon, you're really doing yourself a disservice with finding an area too difficult and stopping the game. That just shows you that you wandered into an area you weren't ready for yet. Time to look elsewhere in the world.

I know you particularly had a problem with the darkness in Book I (as did a lot of people, which is why there's a brightness control setting in Book II). Once you can get Cat's Eyes and any light source, you won't have a problem though. It makes anywhere in the game as bright as day.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Randomizer » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:14 pm

After years of complaints that changing difficulty level in Spiderweb games just made fights long and boring using a multiplier, Jeff Vogel changed it so in boss fights the boss would have additional abilities as the difficulty increased. The fight was more complex instead of just taking longer to implement the same tactics. Now the complaints are about how many extra attacks the monsters have in a round compared to the players.
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:10 am

Randomizer wrote:After years of complaints that changing difficulty level in Spiderweb games just made fights long and boring using a multiplier, Jeff Vogel changed it so in boss fights the boss would have additional abilities as the difficulty increased. The fight was more complex instead of just taking longer to implement the same tactics. Now the complaints are about how many extra attacks the monsters have in a round compared to the players.

Heh. It just annoyed me that, even when you stunned them, they still got those extra attacks every round. :)
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Re: Difficulty Levels

Postby deathknight1728 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:49 pm

The difference between jeff's new games and old was that jeff's old games like geneforge 1 and 2, avernum 4, were horribly imbalanced to the point where if you dont know exactly how to play your character, you'll give up due to frustration and inability to get farther. I barely got through 1 and geneforge 2 i gave up mid way through.

The newer games being Avernum 5, 6, geneforge 3-5, avadon, and avernum remake dont have that same problem which is why i think he got the difficulty just right. I can play on normal first time, and if im feeling bold, try hard the second time. I still will never play on torment regardless of anything.
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His face turns a twisted grin. Its a little disturbing. "Vicious vermin, I'd like to strangle every one of them."-Captain Johnson, Avernum
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