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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Larian Studios » Divinity Original Sin » Difficulty

View Poll Results - How do you rate D:OS' handling of difficulty?

It's always easy even without cheese 1 7.69%
It's hard without cheese 4 30.77%
It's hard even using cheese but I dig the pain 1 7.69%
Just toggle the difficulty and hope for the best 6 46.15%
fightan is teh hard 1 7.69%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

Default Difficulty

November 2nd, 2015, 21:13
So, I'm playing the D:OS for the first time really and the difficulty seems the biggest detriment to enjoyment. Well, not just difficulty in itself, but also how combat plays out due to its mechanics.

Elemental damage seems to be what every combat is about, period. Playing in anything other than Explorer mode makes elemental damage necessary for any fight. To me, it's a flawed concept that RPG combat should be about controlling the elemental properties of the terrain, exceeding any other use of skills and abilities. In the early game at least, that also means you're strapped for cash as you need to buy arrows, grenades and scrolls. Which means you have to spend your time robbing everyone in sight. This just made me feel like achieving Pyrrhic victories even when I managed to win all encounters with some reloading because I felt I was running out of funds. So I switched from Classic to Explorer, but that just makes things a tad too easy. Mostly because of HP bloat. My Lone Wolf fighter can soak up anything with his +155% HP boost.

Now I've heard a lot of people claim how easy this game is, which made me curious. I looked around and people resort to things like stealing literally everything, picking up candles to preserve arrows, reloading for treasure and boxing enemies in with crates. To me, all of that seems like busywork and not gameplay.

Am I missing some less cheesy, obvious tactics that trivialize the difficulty?

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November 2nd, 2015, 22:10
Elemental damage was touted as one of the gameplay major features both in design and gameplay.
All the KS updates and trailers featured intentional freezing, burning, electrifying, needlessly complcated methods of killing.

I know Minsc even commented and said "Boo thinks magic is too complicated. Butt kicking for goodness!!"

If people still bought the game expecting not to have to deal with that, then explorer really is their only option. I imagine its hard to create a mode that is easy to ignore all mechanics yet difficult enough to Make someone feel challenged.

I'll post some tips in a minute.
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November 2nd, 2015, 22:10
I play in tactical mode with Ranger, Rogue, Cleric, Shadowblade - not a perfect party and the fights are challenging. No need to cheat to get funds.
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November 2nd, 2015, 22:41
Learn what status effects can be combined. I'll admit it took an embarassingly long time for me to figure out the fog effects in the original.

Watch the terrain! Sometimes the graphics dont make it crystal clear what they are standing in/around.

Party synergy. Make sure you are not cancelling another status effects.

Melee characters can carry multiple weapons with diff elemental effects but for me thats no different than older games requiring blunt, slashing, peircing. I remember games where piercing damage to skeletons did zero damage… even if you were wielding "Godly Diamond Rapier of Death and Destruction +3"

In DOS it might just take you a bit to figure out a mobs resistances. Not all of them are intutive, but more are.

Don't play archer if you dont want to craft/find/horde arrow types. I'm glad they didn't go the route of stacks of 20 arrows in every slot, but also glad they didnt just let the ranger pull magic effects out of nowhere on unlimited ammo. The archer requires a little micromanagement. Same for inquisitors limited charge wands.

Food and beds can heal you.

Steal paintings for cash.

Teleport is godly. Consider dropping barrels, throwing bosses away, pulling enemy mage to your fighter etc.

Setup the battlefield with water or oil prior to engaging.

Charm and debuffs. Charm is ridiculously OP. Dont underestimate debuffs. I've found dropping npc saving throws is enough for my party to status effect.

Don't spread your stats. Try and focus on a primary and secondary.

Overall don't forget that as a whole the people that backed the KS wanted a more detailed experience in combat. There were massive threads with options to make it even more complex but Larian didnt chose that route. I think they tried for a semi balanced approach.
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November 2nd, 2015, 23:39
Would you recommend putting an elemental skill on every character? I feel like my aversion to the whole elemental thing has gimped my party.

My current party: Lone Wolf dual-wielding Man-At-Arms, water/ earth/ witchcraft wizard, Bairdottr (ranger)

How do you build hybrids if you focus on only two stats?

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November 3rd, 2015, 00:20
I played on release so my experience may be very different now, but I found the game had a reverse difficulty scale. Hard in the beginning, then medium, then trivial.
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November 3rd, 2015, 10:59
No need to go all out elemental damage, nor is there any need to spend a fortune on consumables. The key is to control fights, which is made easier by doing a few things:
- Get skills/spells that incapacitate enemies.
- Use skills/spells (such as haste) that improve action points. Preferably as an opener, right before the fight starts (lets you use a ton of action points already in the first round).
- Get the glass cannon feat on the non-tanky types to get even more action points.
- If I recall correctly, Rangers had some sort of "ranged charm" ability, which is fantastic in the first round. Basically, all the charm stuff is amazing.

At least one character should have high Perception (probably the Ranger in this case), which allows you not only to detect traps, but guarantees that the character in question will get to start fights, so you'll get off the charm right away.
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November 3rd, 2015, 19:33
In my first run of the game (pre-EE), I had 3 spellcasters that focused on elemental schools and 1 physical damage/tank oriented character because early on that seems to be the most powerful combo. I regretted it later. They make the early game easy, but enemies start to have multiple elemental resistances later which reduce their effectiveness.

At the end of the playthrough, I was focusing on crowd control and buff/debuff because it was more efficient.
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November 4th, 2015, 07:59
There is also a HUGE difficulty jump when you leave the city. Cyseal is supposed to prepare you for what's outside but it doesn't…
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November 4th, 2015, 09:55
Summons also make early fights significantly easier.Earth mage has spider summon right away and in witchcraft there is summon skeletal warrior.I agree that debuffs are very useful, I have character who's only use is to take damage and debuff enemies.

I experimented with default and tactical mode.On default difficulty EE is significantly harder than original.Enemies use greater variety of skills and generally act smarter.I am now playing Tactical mode and I so far it's challenging.I had to reload several fights already, I just hope it doesn't get easy as game progresses like original game did.
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