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Difficulty select in DE2

01-01-2010, 11:57 PM,
Difficulty select in DE2
For those of you that have played DE2 Chapter 1, you probably realized that there is no difficulty select.. Early in development, I thought that the difficulty select made the game a little too hard to balance (as I found in Dissolution)... So i decided to scrap multiple difficultys.

Lately, I've been wondering if people miss that option at all, and thinking about re-instating it in a unique manner different from simply changing the battle speed/type.

My initial idea revolves around your starting items. It would be something like,

Easy - 30+ swag herb, 20+ budding herb, 10+ dank herb, +30 dry resin, +20 sticky resin, 10+ hash, 30+ chronic herb, 10+ hydro herb, 40+ morning buds

Medium - 20+ swag herb, 10+ budding herb, +20 dry resin, +10 sticky resin, +15 chronic herb, +20 morning buds

Hard - +10 swag herb, +10 dry resin, +5 chronic herb, +10 morning buds

Eternal(Nightmare) - No items

Aswell, each difficulty unlocks a "Tier" of special chests that you can only see on the map if you are on said difficulty or higher.

In contrast to that, each difficulty jump would add an extra tier of traps, puzzles and mob encounters.

For the eternal difficulty, I envision near impossibility with every boss encounter. It would be mainly for a very very small minority of players that like every single moment of a game to be life and death.I Would also make sanity gains increase by 3x, making every decision incredibly damaging to your psyche and making the balance act much harder to maintain.

Anyone have any thoughts? I'm open to other ideas, I would like to make the decision impactful on gameplay/rewards but not make you miss out on any story.
01-02-2010, 01:50 AM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
Having a multiple-difficulty system is always good. Eternal Difficulty might seem a bit too much if boss battles are impossible. Are the monster statistics being changed as well?

Just on a random note, I want to reference the difficulty system in TWEWY, because that difficulty system was used very well. The difficulty system was adjustable at any time. You could set it to Easy -> Hard and back, and you could set your level from 1 -> Normal and back. In addition, there was a lot of replayability, so you could go back to past days and fight old bosses.
01-02-2010, 02:23 AM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
yeah well like i said there will be no reason you have to do eternal difficulty mode, no extra story or anything like that.. It would merely just be a bonus difficulty for people that are crazy and want near-impossible challenges.

I'm not sure if the difficulty would effect the difficulty of the mobs/bosses, I might do it but if I did it would be on a limited scale as I think other more unique means of increasing the difficulty would be preferable.

Anyway, there isn't gonna be a difficulty select in chapter 2; this is something that would be added either chapter 3 or 4 so there is time to think about it
01-10-2010, 02:00 PM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
There will always be die hard RPG fans who want games to really test their abilities, or gamer`s who just want to enjoy game`s without having to worry about much, so I dont see a reason why not to include it.

One thing bothers me though, although you say that the difficuly will not affect the game story wise, it does on the other hand affect the sanity system quite a lot, and if I read correctly the sanity system is integral to the game`s plot and really changes the game experience, so by playing the eternal difficulty you get an entirely different game, not only by boss battles but by the decisions that you choose to make.
01-11-2010, 05:50 PM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
Well, kinda. The sanity system will not affect the main plotline of the game. No matter what you do, the *main* plotline will remain in tact.

However, there is *alot* of stuff that will change depending on your sanity, including cutscenes, battles, treasure, essences, secret dungeons, etc.

The sanity aspect of the proposed "Eternal Mode" would not change any of those events, all it would do is make the gains/losses in your sanity struggle more pronounced, making it harder to balance and easier to lose it completely and do something.. regrettable.
12-19-2010, 12:40 PM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
(On story vs difficulty) I think leaving the story unaffected by difficulty is key. I played DEBig Grin on Normal, as was slightly disappointed not to see "the other guy" at the end of the game. I didn't want to go back and play a second time right away. Thankfully, I gathered all the "things", and found the "place", and had my own "other guy". I'm glad that the story will remain unchanged based on difficulty.

(On sanity vs difficulty) As long as the harder-to-control sanity doesn't ruin the game, it alright. I just don't think its necessary. The difficulty is meant to control how hard battles, trap, or puzzles are. I'm not sure that story events, even side story events, need to affected by difficulty.

On the other hand, players usually want the *good* ending, and it will be *more difficult* to get that ending. I'd look at the good/evil (sanity/insanity) like this:

If you meant for sanity to be a choice, so the players could control how wickedly evil or heroically stoic their heroes are, then there's no need to force higher difficulty players to be one, rather than the other.

If the idea was that the 'sane' character is the better one, someone who played the game 'right', then sanity penalties increasing up makes sense.

(On items vs difficulty) Different starting items is okay for different difficulties. I totally understand that. I simply think it has to go a little beyond that. By the end of the game, the difference in Stash will be a distant memory. If you want this approach, consider more items later in the game as well, like a chest each chapter to give you newer items later on. The chests would be easy to find, in plain view, and would have different items based on your difficulty.

Secondly, I'm mostly against elite items in chests only appearing at 'higher' difficulties. Unless enemies or bosses are actually harder, that means the higher diff characters get better items, giving them an easier time. If the items are 'different', but not 'better' (e.g., Interceptor's Collar in DEBig Grin), then go for it. Otherwise, don't power the high diff characters because it makes things easier again.

(On difficulty vs difficulty) If the changes to boss fights and mobs are going to be smaller and well-placed (not just every fight), and the story is mostly unchanged, you don't need too many difficulty levels. One for normal players, one for 'easy' players, and then one more for hardcore. The idea of the Eternal difficulty is only needed if you actually intend to have impossible battles. Unless it gets that difficult, stick to DEBig Grin's three settings - Easy, Normal, Hard.

A lot of hardcore gamers still pick normal on their first time through, because they don't know the game. Hard wasn't that hard in DEBig Grin. It should be noticeably harder in DE2.

(On me rambling on for 10 paragraphs) Yeah. I do that.

12-24-2010, 11:38 AM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
Just to clarify a bit, the sanity system is a little bit different than the simple evil/good choice system in DEBig Grin.

Instead of being good or evil for the sake of story progression, in DE2 you are simply just trying to balance your sanity so you don't go insane and kill yourself. There is no "good" or "bad" side of the sanity bar.

Depression <<<<< (X) >>>>> Anger

X represents the default sanity.. Perfectly Sane. That is where you start. Rather than being super good all the time, or super evil all the time; the goal is a perfect balance of both. The deeper you get into either side, the worse off you are. Does that make sense? If you take being evil or being good to an extreme, it's game over. Basically, it's the same system; but with the exact opposite purpose.

I'm defiantly with you on difficulty philosophy. Difficulty should really only affect gameplay, never storyline or plot progression. That is the reason i removed the original difficulty system from DEBig Grin for DE2.. It just didn't work the way I intended it to and I don't think people should miss out on the story just because they are not quick-witted with active battle systems.

Thanks again for all the thoughts!
12-24-2010, 02:57 PM,
Re: Difficulty select in DE2
I agree with Excel about TWEWY. It would certainly be great if we get to keep our items when playing a new game and changing the difficulty *in* the game whenever and not just permanently.

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