Difficulty

Here's where all things related to Book III are being discussed!
User avatar
SpottedShroom
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1367
Joined: June 4th, 2010, 6:18 pm

Difficulty

Post by SpottedShroom »

BW just posted on Facebook:
This is a public service announcement from Basilisk Games.

Eschalon: Book III is a very challenging game, especially the first time through. If you are the type of person who, in real life, likes to explore abandoned factories with weak floors and crumbling ceilings, then Book III might be right for you. If you enjoy receiving puzzles that your very life depends on solving, or perhaps swimming in shark-infested waters with meat strapped to your legs sounds like a thrilling afternoon, then you might have fun playing Book III. If you always chose "dare" instead of "truth", or if you are one of those people who does things your own way because your boss is an idiot, then you’ll enjoy Book III.

However, if your idea of a good time is snuggling up with a safe choose-your-own-adventure book and a hot mug of cocoa, then email us and we’ll direct you to a few mainstream RPGs that are more your speed.
The reactions have been mixed - lots of people are psyched for a hard game, but a couple of people are saying they don't want ultra-challenging, or want an option to adjust the difficulty. What do you think?
User avatar
tykinruoka
Initiate
Posts: 16
Joined: December 7th, 2013, 11:46 am

Re: Difficulty

Post by tykinruoka »

I like a game that gives you a good challenge. But if the game is ultra difficult from the beginning to the end, then there is a chance that I get bored and don't want to finish the game. I don't have many hours in a month that I can put into gaming, so when I have that free time, I want to enjoy instead of pounding my head against the wall in every turn.
Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk ?
Randomizer
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1467
Joined: December 11th, 2007, 6:51 am
Location: Wandering the Rift

Re: Difficulty

Post by Randomizer »

Let's say if you don't read the instructions and just wander in killing everything in sight, this game is probably not for you. :)
User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3803
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Difficulty

Post by BasiliskWrangler »

Here's what I meant by that:

I've had ten people play the alpha/beta versions. Not everyone finished; about half did.

The number one issue people had were the puzzles, or "what do I do next", which we've addressed with additional dialog, narratives, signs, and so on. Generally, the more you explore, the more successful you will be.

Only a few testers really had problem with the combat. Sure, it can be hard if you are the "gung-ho" type of gamer. But if you use your skills, keep your gear repaired, make wise choices at level-up, and practice smart combat techniques you will be fine. Our best testers have been able to absolutely crush the game with creative character builds. Trust me, some of you will actually complain the game is too easy while others will find it very challenging.

The secret is in the starting rules. If the game is too hard, turn off the food requirements and weapon wear. Those two elements can really challenge new players who don't pay attention to the micro details.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.
User avatar
Calathon
Marshall
Posts: 104
Joined: November 3rd, 2013, 9:08 am
Location: Grimmhold

Re: Difficulty

Post by Calathon »

I assume the game mechanics will not be too different to the predecessors, so the difficulty depends on how you play and understand the game. When I started EB II my character did not know anything about alchemy, he did not know any spell and he was broke, too. So what did I do for healing? I just camped and waited until fully healed, killed two more rats, camped again... and nearly starved to death: low hitpoints, no money, no food, no healing skills.

So I sold some stuff, bought some food and started to explore the world to gain some experience. Whenever I had enough money I started to store all the food I could find, which ended up in carrying about 30 pounds of meat, apples, grapes, bread and fish.

Long story short: if you do not know that certain things are a bad idea to do at the beginning, you might find some areas pretty hard to survive. But the game does (or at least did, for EB I + II) not force you to go to dangerous areas at the beginning, so I think the third part will be a challenge (depending on the decisions you make concerning need for food etc.) and I am really looking forward to it! :)
"It is early morning, quiet and peaceful."
Burress
Pledge
Posts: 4
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 3:34 pm

Re: Difficulty

Post by Burress »

I was hoping a cheats option would be available natively in-game (without outside programs modifying saves and such). I know Spiderweb started doing this to all their games (as well many other companies) and I enjoy them more for it. I am one who compulsively tries to min/max, and having the freedom to just gift myself things I would obsess about alleviates my worries about whether I am wasting points in things like cartography which I can get without points later. I also like to get all content in one playthrough and this lets me enjoy that.

I played the first 2 games and I know this hasn't been implemented. I enjoyed the games immensely, but resented the time I spent avoiding "wasting" points, or holding off on helpful features until they could be bought with money, and looking in guides to know which were which. Would you consider adding this or is this against your design philosophy?
User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3803
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Difficulty

Post by BasiliskWrangler »

Burress wrote:I was hoping a cheats option would be available natively in-game (without outside programs modifying saves and such). I know Spiderweb started doing this to all their games (as well many other companies) and I enjoy them more for it. I am one who compulsively tries to min/max, and having the freedom to just gift myself things I would obsess about alleviates my worries about whether I am wasting points in things like cartography which I can get without points later. I also like to get all content in one playthrough and this lets me enjoy that.

I played the first 2 games and I know this hasn't been implemented. I enjoyed the games immensely, but resented the time I spent avoiding "wasting" points, or holding off on helpful features until they could be bought with money, and looking in guides to know which were which. Would you consider adding this or is this against your design philosophy?
I think we can do that! :wink:
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.
User avatar
SpottedShroom
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1367
Joined: June 4th, 2010, 6:18 pm

Re: Difficulty

Post by SpottedShroom »

This is a bit less interesting a discussion than I had expected it to be - I thought BW was saying that Book III was going to be significantly more difficult than I or II, but he said in a reply on Facebook that he was talking about the Eschalon series in general being tougher than "mainstream" RPGs.

Sorry if you found my introduction overly dramatic, PM. I was just trying to start talk about what I thought was an interesting topic. At least you're reading my posts again :)
User avatar
KillingMoon
Officer [Gold Rank]
Officer [Gold Rank]
Posts: 460
Joined: December 10th, 2009, 6:34 pm
Location: NW Europe

Re: Difficulty

Post by KillingMoon »

Burress wrote:I played the first 2 games and I know this hasn't been implemented. I enjoyed the games immensely, but resented the time I spent avoiding "wasting" points, or holding off on helpful features until they could be bought with money, and looking in guides to know which were which. Would you consider adding this or is this against your design philosophy?
It helps immensely to know where the trainers are. Of course it won't be long after release of the game that someone in this forum will publish a list of trainers and their locations, obviously with a strong spoiler warning. :wink:
It sounds like you would appreciate a bit of foreknowledge like that. Maybe you're keeping an eye on that sort of stuff already, I don't know.

I certainly have problems playing a game like Eschalon blind. If I'm playing blind, I need a restart, it's as simple as that. That doesn't mean the game is necessarily difficult, but it's tough on noobs, absolutely. The game doesn't guide you much. You'll often go "Oh, if I had only known this in advance!"
There are lot of little cheats that you can already use, like replaying from your last save if you've just found a spell in some chest that you've just shelled out a fortune for at a merchant... Err; let's go back to that save from just before I bought that spell... :|
Burress
Pledge
Posts: 4
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 3:34 pm

Re: Difficulty

Post by Burress »

BasiliskWrangler: That is awesome! Thank you! :D

KillingMoon: I am exactly like that. I have to start the game entirely over if I wasted points. I sometimes start over multiple times in games where foreknowledge helps in this way. I don't like this aspect of my makeup, it is not enjoyable, but I can't help it. I have come to just desire a few extra points in places that are nice but not game-changing (non-combat skills and speech skills especially), so I always feel relaxed and ahead even if I discover a missed opportunity. People are different though, my girlfriend looks at me like I am crazy when I tell her I started over for the fourth time because I could get an extra point if I waited until point X. She can just go with the flow, I can't. I am happy some devs are taking sad souls like me in to account. :D
User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3803
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Difficulty

Post by BasiliskWrangler »

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:I'm curious BasiliskWrangler, has anyone emailed you yet? :D
Has anyone emailed me yet? Um, sorry PM, I'm not sure I know who/what you're talking about. Right now I'm getting 100+ emails a day from fans, reviewers, distributors, testers, as well as my normal smattering of tech support emails, family and friends, etc. You'll have to be more specific.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.
User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3803
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Difficulty

Post by BasiliskWrangler »

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Have you been hitting the malted ale of late?
Basilisk Games wrote:...if your idea of a good time is snuggling up with a safe choose-your-own-adventure book and a hot mug of cocoa, then email us and we’ll direct you to a few mainstream RPGs that are more your speed.
Oh...nope, not yet!
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.
User avatar
Weird Heather
Fellowcraft Apprentice
Posts: 54
Joined: February 9th, 2014, 5:06 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Difficulty

Post by Weird Heather »

I have found that the Eschalon games are not unduly difficult or too easy; this balance is hard to reach, and I can see that a great deal of design work and effort has gone into balancing these games. I enjoy all aspects of role playing games - exploration, puzzles, dialogue, and combat. However, many games overemphasize combat or make it too difficult or mind-numbingly tedious. The Eschalon games have just enough combat to make things interesting, and they have a few tough creatures and situations that require some strategy, but they don't get bogged down.

Like KillingMoon and Burress, I have a tendency to start over and build a better optimized character when I know where the trainers are and how many points I can buy from them. This goes for many other games, however. I will often start a game without thinking too much of how best to build the character and level it up, and just play around and get a feel for what works best for the game and my playing style. For Book III, although I have a good idea of what sort of character I will build, I'm sure I'll create one character just to poke around until I get a feel for the game, and then I'll start over with a new character that is much better designed and optimized to take full advantage of the trainers. This isn't a problem for me at all; it is just part of the process of learning how the game works. I enjoy replaying games, or parts of games, with different character builds.

I am an experienced player of role playing games dating way back to their beginnings, so I'm probably more tolerant of their difficulties than a casual player would be. I think the Eschalon series might be hard (although not impossible) for people completely new to the genre, but there are games that are considerably more difficult.
Bob the Thief
Apprentice
Posts: 35
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 10:21 pm

Re: Difficulty

Post by Bob the Thief »

I found the difficulty of Book II to be fairly well balanced. It was hard enough to keep it interesting without making so difficult that I wanted to give up. When I did get stuck I was able to find hints and help in this forum that let me continue.
AtheneWins
Initiate
Posts: 9
Joined: July 18th, 2011, 10:34 am

Re: Difficulty

Post by AtheneWins »

Games are pretty easy imo. If you choose to use magic you won't be challenged at all at any point in the game. I guess putting restrictions on yourself adds difficulty
Post Reply