1. #1

    On Difficulty

    The problem with a poll on general difficulty is that the difficulty is a bit wonky no matter what you do. Also, there are a number of issues with the game in general that need to be examined, many of which affects difficulty. But here is my categorized rant for right now, to put this discussion on the right track:

    Potions:

    The game is both too difficult and too easy, for the reason above. Right now potions are entirely too plentiful and powerful, and it trivializes the difficulty of Warrior. It does so in a very bad way, as well: my success through Warrior is not determined by how I build my characters, but instead by how many potions I have in my bags, because potions are out-healing almost any form of damage that mobs can put on me. Why should I worry about any boss when all I need to do is drink a potion to make his damage insignificant?

    Potions need to be heavily nerfed in the current system. However, this comes with one problem, and that's party down-time. At the moment, mobs are so tanky in Warrior that you become very wounded with every fight you engage in, especially against the more problematic, damage-heavy enemies like elite bandits and kenshi. This makes things a bit awkward because you end up being heavily reliant on potions and magic to be able to go more than one fight before resting, and resting after every fight is anti-fun. This is further made strange by...

    Mana Costs:

    A lot of the current game's difficulty comes from the strange way mana costs are balanced. Spellcasters have very little mana at low levels compared to the costs of each spell, and since mana is not gained naturally on a level-up, you end up having to rely entirely on a stat and the meditation skill to have any mana to cast spells at all. Combined with the HP levels most mobs have at Warrior difficulty, this makes non-shaman mages completely worthless in almost every fight. They exist solely to dispense regeneration spells, and a shaman will do that better because he can also poke people decently well with a spear.

    It therefore becomes difficult to gauge difficulty because you'll often have one of your four party members essentially exist for no reason other than to reduce the need to rest.

    Repairs:

    I've ranted on this before, but it bears repeating until it's changed: the current weapon break/repair system is anti-fun and serves no practical purpose.

    This might not seem like a difficulty issue, but it is. Since the weapon degrade is worse on Warrior, all this does is force the player to run back to Sorpigal to get repairs. Every. Single. Time. A. Weapon. Breaks. Which is, from my experience, roughly every other fight with militia or kenshi. But even if the chances are reduced, the weapon break still adds nothing to the game beyond a frustration mechanic that forces the player to backtrack every time it happens. It doesn't need to exist, it serves no purpose. You can't even say it's a gold sink, since we already have the need to pay for rest supplies. And no one is going to carry extra weapons around: you simply don't have the gold for it when you first encounter militia, right after Sorpigal.

    There was hints that a follower would be available that could allow repairs on the field. Great! We need one in Sorpigal if this isn't going to change otherwise.

    Warrior Difficulty Changes:

    Here's the problem with Warrior difficulty: it changes the difficulty in all the wrong ways. For example: yes, enemies should be harder in Warrior difficulty...but not by making them massive HP tar pits. In the current iteration, enemies like kenshi and militia are annoying to fight because of how long they survive under concentrated fire.

    I've already explained why I think making the item break penalty worse is bad. The other major problem: higher difficulty shouldn't mean "restrict player choice." Yet this is exactly what you do when you raise the prices on spells. Yes, all of these things make the game harder...but they make it harder in all the wrong ways, by making the game more annoying or more restrictive.

    There are minor things that also complicate this issue: taunts still don't work on bosses, for example. But in general, my point is that talking about difficulty right now is problematic since there are too many things that need a re-examination before the difficulty curve itself.

    I still love this game, don't get me wrong. I want it to succeed. That's why I criticize.
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  2. #2
    I think you're pretty much spot on about all your points.


    Potions

    Potions are indeed Op right now, they are both cheap, plentiful and powerful. You should remove one of those three adjectives in order to balance this out.
    Making them healing less is the easiest solution but not the best imo : because it'll highlight another problem you mentioned : mana costs. If you simply makepotions less powerful, it means we'll need a back up option to recover from blows : a caster using healing spells such as regeneration. the issue is, right now you can only use a couple of them before running out of mana and while you're healing you aren't throwing spells onyour ennemy's face. So making them less powerful without balancing the other healing possibilities won't be enough.
    Making them more expensive is a viable option but it will only make the beginning of the game harder and once you have bought every spells you want and got correct equipment you'll have enough gold to buy plenty of them and the issue won't be solved. It'll severely damage any end-game encounter because you could simply farm your way until you buy enough potions to defeat the boss.
    Making them harder to come by is the solution I'd favor and is the one chosen in the previous games (I'm talking bout 6-8, i don't know about the others) where potions were powerful (even though they tended to be less useful late game) but scarse. Reduce the number of potions sold by merchant to a handful of them (0 to 3 per shop) and make it so that the shops don't refill so often. Add some in chests and as rewards on powerful ennemies and you get a rarer ressource to be used sparingly.

    Mana-Costs

    I think there is two major issues related to mana costs in this game presently. The first being the fact that mana and Hp pools don't increase per level (as opposite to the previous games where Hp and mana were gained automatically by leveling up accordingly to your class) : it means you have to spend points in stats that make no sense to level up. Right now, if i don't increase my spirit with a defencer he won't be able to cast more than two taunts before running out of mana even if he's level 100. The same issue applies with caster and HP, if I don't want them to be OS late game I'll HAVE to spend some points in vitality. This is particularly obvious on hybrid class such as the ranger. Not only you have to spread your points between ranged and melee damage but you also have to add vitality, now if I also want him to be able to cast more than one Gust wind I have to spend points in magic and spirit. In past games hybrid classes were limited by their mastering of magic (as they are right now in legacy) and also by a less degree on their mana pool, but they were still able to throw a lot of spells before running low on mana.Whereas in legacy I fell like I HAVE to specialize my hybrid class into melee OR range OR magic user and you can't be a jack of all trades master of none as were hybrid classes in MM 6-8.
    The second issue regarding mana-costs is the power of the spells themselves : spells aren't worth their mana costs. Right now if it weren't for infinite mana potions and a couple of utility spells I wouldn't see any reason to bring casters in a team. "Utility spells" such as protection vs X magic or light spells cost way too much ; in previous games when I cast such spells I barely noticed my mana bar decreasing. And because spells don't gain any increased effects or don't last longer when you master the magic related, they don't scale relatively well into the late game. You have to add some scaling system for them : many people have proposed such evolutions of spells on the forum and I'd advise you to check it out. Buff spells are also ridiculously weak and costs way too much for such a small enhancement.

    What would I do if I were to balance this out ? I'd reduce the attribute gained per level to 1 or 2 and decrease their effect on health/ mana BUT I'd add permanent gain of health and mana upon level up for each character based on their class (a defender gaining obviously more Hp and less mana than a freemage. It would allow every class to use magic in some extent and prevent magic classes to be oneshot later in the game.
    I'd also make spells scale with how many points you spend in the mastery in addition to magic attribute (similar to the way it worked in previous games : 1-4 damage per points spent in X magic or lasts more turns the more you spend into X magic) and gain new properties when you get expert, master or grandmaster.

    Repairs

    Once more, I agree. Right now it is a very cheap mechanic serving no purpose but sending you back to the city, a thing that curing conditions and healing wound already make us do thanks to the supply mechanic. In MM 6-8, only a few ennemies and death could break equipment AND we had the possibility to fix it ourselves with the repair skill. Not only the repair skill doesn't exist anymore but the break rate is WAY more frequent. Get rid with it or save it for a few ennemies or situations, it is not fun to carry 3 swords for my mercenary because I know one will break after I walk 3 steps out of Scorpigal.
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  3. #3
    foolycoolly's Avatar Junior Member
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    Agreed
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  4. #4
    +1 agreed.
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  5. #5
    deja2k's Avatar Junior Member
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    IMHO u're all complaining too much about game difficulty!!! I don't know about u.. but I'm 29 years old and have been playing RPG/Strategy game since I put my fingers on a keyboard more than 15 years ago.., what do u want? A game that is playable by a 5 years old baby? Come on, dont make it easier, make it harder or more balanced, u have to enjoy the challenge...easy games are boring! Thats my point of view... I like the game as it is right now with a very few changes in game play that wouldnt really mess with game dificulty, except for the bugs and some graphics frustrations (I expected "live" characters, 3D models for Heroes and Items) Not Microsoft Paint portraits
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  6. #6
    Originally Posted by deja2k Go to original post
    IMHO u're all complaining too much about game difficulty!!! I don't know about u.. but I'm 29 years old and have been playing RPG/Strategy game since I put my fingers on a keyboard more than 15 years ago.., what do u want? A game that is playable by a 5 years old baby? Come on, dont make it easier, make it harder or more balanced, u have to enjoy the challenge...easy games are boring! Thats my point of view... I like the game as it is right now with a very few changes in game play that wouldnt really mess with game dificulty, except for the bugs and some graphics frustrations (I expected "live" characters, 3D models for Heroes and Items) Not Microsoft Paint portraits
    Fully agree with that!

    Although maybe they can add a "hireling" that does at least the weapon repairs like in MM7.
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  7. #7
    Originally Posted by deja2k Go to original post
    IMHO u're all complaining too much about game difficulty!!! I don't know about u.. but I'm 29 years old and have been playing RPG/Strategy game since I put my fingers on a keyboard more than 15 years ago.., what do u want? A game that is playable by a 5 years old baby? Come on, dont make it easier, make it harder or more balanced, u have to enjoy the challenge...easy games are boring! Thats my point of view... I like the game as it is right now with a very few changes in game play that wouldnt really mess with game dificulty, except for the bugs and some graphics frustrations (I expected "live" characters, 3D models for Heroes and Items) Not Microsoft Paint portraits
    If you think that this thread was complaining about the game being too hard, you clearly failed to actually read it.

    Also, I've been gaming longer than you. I don't see how that matters anyway.
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  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Minos34 Go to original post
    I think you're pretty much spot on about all your points.


    Potions

    Potions are indeed Op right now, they are both cheap, plentiful and powerful. You should remove one of those three adjectives in order to balance this out.
    Making them healing less is the easiest solution but not the best imo : because it'll highlight another problem you mentioned : mana costs. If you simply makepotions less powerful, it means we'll need a back up option to recover from blows : a caster using healing spells such as regeneration. the issue is, right now you can only use a couple of them before running out of mana and while you're healing you aren't throwing spells onyour ennemy's face. So making them less powerful without balancing the other healing possibilities won't be enough.
    Making them more expensive is a viable option but it will only make the beginning of the game harder and once you have bought every spells you want and got correct equipment you'll have enough gold to buy plenty of them and the issue won't be solved. It'll severely damage any end-game encounter because you could simply farm your way until you buy enough potions to defeat the boss.
    Making them harder to come by is the solution I'd favor and is the one chosen in the previous games (I'm talking bout 6-8, i don't know about the others) where potions were powerful (even though they tended to be less useful late game) but scarse. Reduce the number of potions sold by merchant to a handful of them (0 to 3 per shop) and make it so that the shops don't refill so often. Add some in chests and as rewards on powerful ennemies and you get a rarer ressource to be used sparingly.

    (my reply) I have always played an all magic party in M&M. It is a very long time before I have enough money to spend on potions. After I buy one light spell for seeing in the dark because I don't like the burning torch sound, I don't have the money to buy the find secrets spell. So I have to do the spider dungeon without the spell until I get enough money to buy it. The money drops are very low and when you play an all magic team, you have to spend your money on spells and training. The devs have already said there will be no monster respawn so there will be no farming for experience or money. (my reply)

    Mana-Costs

    I think there is two major issues related to mana costs in this game presently. The first being the fact that mana and Hp pools don't increase per level (as opposite to the previous games where Hp and mana were gained automatically by leveling up accordingly to your class) : it means you have to spend points in stats that make no sense to level up. Right now, if i don't increase my spirit with a defencer he won't be able to cast more than two taunts before running out of mana even if he's level 100. The same issue applies with caster and HP, if I don't want them to be OS late game I'll HAVE to spend some points in vitality. This is particularly obvious on hybrid class such as the ranger. Not only you have to spread your points between ranged and melee damage but you also have to add vitality, now if I also want him to be able to cast more than one Gust wind I have to spend points in magic and spirit. In past games hybrid classes were limited by their mastering of magic (as they are right now in legacy) and also by a less degree on their mana pool, but they were still able to throw a lot of spells before running low on mana.Whereas in legacy I fell like I HAVE to specialize my hybrid class into melee OR range OR magic user and you can't be a jack of all trades master of none as were hybrid classes in MM 6-8.
    The second issue regarding mana-costs is the power of the spells themselves : spells aren't worth their mana costs. Right now if it weren't for infinite mana potions and a couple of utility spells I wouldn't see any reason to bring casters in a team. "Utility spells" such as protection vs X magic or light spells cost way too much ; in previous games when I cast such spells I barely noticed my mana bar decreasing. And because spells don't gain any increased effects or don't last longer when you master the magic related, they don't scale relatively well into the late game. You have to add some scaling system for them : many people have proposed such evolutions of spells on the forum and I'd advise you to check it out. Buff spells are also ridiculously weak and costs way too much for such a small enhancement.

    What would I do if I were to balance this out ? I'd reduce the attribute gained per level to 1 or 2 and decrease their effect on health/ mana BUT I'd add permanent gain of health and mana upon level up for each character based on their class (a defender gaining obviously more Hp and less mana than a freemage. It would allow every class to use magic in some extent and prevent magic classes to be oneshot later in the game.
    I'd also make spells scale with how many points you spend in the mastery in addition to magic attribute (similar to the way it worked in previous games : 1-4 damage per points spent in X magic or lasts more turns the more you spend into X magic) and gain new properties when you get expert, master or grandmaster.

    (my reply) I don't have a problem with the way spell points, hit points, ranged and melee damage is set up in leveling up. It makes sense to me that you need to put a point to raise them when you level up. (my reply) (ETA) You are talking about hybrid mage characters their spell points won't match with full mages. You will have to increase their spell points much slower than if you were using full mages. (ETA)

    Repairs

    Once more, I agree. Right now it is a very cheap mechanic serving no purpose but sending you back to the city, a thing that curing conditions and healing wound already make us do thanks to the supply mechanic. In MM 6-8, only a few ennemies and death could break equipment AND we had the possibility to fix it ourselves with the repair skill. Not only the repair skill doesn't exist anymore but the break rate is WAY more frequent. Get rid with it or save it for a few ennemies or situations, it is not fun to carry 3 swords for my mercenary because I know one will break after I walk 3 steps out of Scorpigal.
    (my reply) I can't really comment on the repair system because I don't have that issue when playing all mages. Thankfully the monsters can't break spells. (my reply)
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  9. #9
    +1 to balance issues, particularly where you need to rest pretty much after each battle.

    Something that helped balance this in previous games was where characters could get more than one turn per enemy turn. They had a "recovery time" based on their speed stat, their weapons, type of armor they were wearing, etc. This meant if my character was fast and light-weight, he could get a lot more damage per turn done. The way the game is now works fine when you only have to fight one monster at a time. However, when there are 3 or more, your character just can't keep up. Additionally, the fact that I can't turn around and run away from the monsters the way I did in previous games is really infuriating and takes away some of the tactical possibilities. I should be able to continue to withdraw and keep shooting at the enemy from far away - can't tell you how many times this saved me in previous games. otherwise, i'm stuck in a situation where i'm forced to fight and take damage, leading to the above problem.
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  10. #10
    On mana:

    I don't think this (or most things in the game, period) are balanced around the first few levels. At level 10 and above, especially in Act II, you have plenty of mana to cast your most powerful spells several times, which amounts to killing several groups of monsters before resting.

    Generally I feel like the expectations of players is just out of wack with the way the game is designed. You are supposed to rest every few encounters, not once or twice per dungeon. Keep in mind that not very far into Act II, there are taverns that give you 20 supplies at a time. Resting is a common occurence, not something to be metered out carefully.

    I agree completely on the potions side of things, though. They're silly. While they become largely unnecessary and just a goldsink if you are playing properly (i.e you should have a balanced party with healing and use that gold on actually important things like Grandmaster skill training which goes for 5K a pop), I still think it's ridiculous you can just keep popping potions nonstop as long as your gold holds out. And it's not as if they taper off at some point--there are potions that heal 650 health a go, so this is going to be just as effective at the end of the game as at the beginning.

    I'm not sure what the intended design of potions was. Just to offer the maximum freedom to the player? To make sure parties didn't REQUIRE a spellcaster to succeed? The balance is wacky... admittedly, so was alchemy and black potions in previous M&M titles, but at least that was a skill that required some fairly unobvious tricks to really get all the mileage out of it.

    If I were making a mod for Warrior difficulty, I'd keep HP of enemies the same, increase damage by 20%, cut the healing/mana restoration of all potions in half, remove item breaking, and increase the costs of supply purchasing by 30-50% (to make up for no item breaking, obviously). Not sure why people were talking about the enemies on Warrior having too much HP. It's kind of the opposite. Every encounter in the game is over in 1-2 rounds if you focus your characters properly and don't invest your skillpoints too thinly across too many skills.
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