Just finished a playthrough of all the Early Access content. I had a great time! I have a few thoughts on difficulty of encounters through the game.
- The first properly hard encounter was the Soraks in the Crown room in the Tower of Magic. I really enjoyed this encounter - it properly made me think tactically and had to play really optimally to win. Took me a few tries. This is the kind of thing this game is all about! I think the party was level 3 at the time.
- There wasn't a single other encounter for me that felt at the same extreme difficulty level - I only had one other TPK which was actually on the road when ghouls surprised my party during a rest and the one awake character got paralysed on the first round of combat.
- One that came close was the ghoul/ghast ambush in the Dark Castle, just before Aksha. This was hard as they closed to melee distance very quickly and took out my casters first. But ultimately they weren't varied enough opponents as none of them had casting or fought at range.
- Another that came close was the brood undead ambush outside the Wizard's Tower. Again for the same reason they took out the casters first in melee. But with a few potions I could still prevail.
- I think the reason the soraks were so hard was having a caster of higher level spells than mine, frontline fighters and stealth and range in one encounter. I'd like to see more encounters like that.
- The legendary boss fights I found relatively easy due to their weakness to light. Also they just didn't have enough henchmen helping them to trouble the party sufficiently.
- I think the dwarf/sorak ambush in the Coparann prison could have been made much more challenging - e.g. if the baron had been the flying spellcaster sorak and there were a few ranged soraks too. I think ultimately it was made a little easier by having an extra fighter join the party (Joris). I don't think the party should get help here. And it might be fun if the soraks went for lady Kythaela first and ignored the party entirely! As it was, this one felt easier than the crown room encounter.
- So my main suggestion would be just to put in a few more fights with really overwhelming odds to spice things up a little. Also nerfing long rest safe areas to only be usable once each would be a great change.
Anyway just my opinion, all very subjective. My run was with a hill dwarf fighter (champion), island halfling rogue (thief), half elf cleric (life) and high elf wizard (shock).
It's a great game and I'm going to go back for another play through with a different party on a harder difficulty! Looking forward to release...!