Game Difficulty

2 weeks ago (edited)

I'm on my third playthrough (1st on Spring Update) and the game seems far too easy.  I began with adding +1 to enemies saves and hit and enemies having 125% health.  The only encounter that was challenging (and it was very tough until I metagamed and used the environment to protect softer characters) was the 2 invisible soraks side quest.  I know I can just increase enemy stats, but shouldn't the normal game be challenging?  My fighter tank has ~26 AC, and I haven't even bothered attuning two +1 AC items because there's no point, he doesn't get hit.  The melee goblin skirmishers in the zone with the minotaur did have iirc +16 to hit (possible bug), which caught me off guard and was refreshing, but still proved to be no issue.  

I remember facing down the minotaur and thinking, awesome, he's going to wreck my party and make me think about using a different strategy other than swarm the enemy, but alas, he just had more health than most enemies and didn't do anything offensively.

Enemies tend to attack what's next to them, so its not an issue having them target my tank.  The 2 invisible sorak encounter did have the enemies targeting my less hardy characters which was a nice change of pace.

This isn't just a result of the influx of magical items the spring update brought (although it exacerbates the issue).  My second run during the winter update was also a similar experience with enemies proving to be no issue.

I just read a post where someone advised Ashka (vamp boss) was bugged and gaining extra life off of piercing damage (I believe this is what the post said), but it made me recall the fight I had with her, and she never even landed one hit on my tank in the battle, while focusing on the tank the entire time.  It wasn't even that I held everyone back and just sent the tank in, I had everyone enter the room together.

Game is great overall, especially the 3d aspect of battle and the voiced dialogue.  I'm curious if other people have had similar experiences.

Edit:  I forgot to state my 3rd playthrough uses point buy, with some min maxing, but not absurd.


silverblade
Level 10
2 weeks ago

The standard difficulty seems pretty easy. But as I am familiar with 5e, this maybe the reason why the game isn’t challenging. I’ll try harder modes in the future.

I think having Dwarven Throwers so accessible in the game might be a problem. I managed to find or buy three and I think I could have gotten a fourth. And you don’t have to be a dwarf to use it.

And it’s also pretty easy getting magic plate so my front liners end up with 20+ AC fairly early. As a result my paladin and clerics became instant walking tanks.  I also have a couple of shields +2 by the time I get to Razan.

I think having +3 weapons and magic plate armor so early messes with the balance. In fact there are so many magic items I can acquire, my party becomes almost unstoppable. And I can get all this from questing and factions. 

I didn’t need to craft once which I like since I’m not a fan of crafting in general.

My party makeup was a Motherland paladin, life cleric, shock arcanist and Hunter ranger. I think my cleric and wizard fell once each but it was due to concentrated attacks by the mobs and some unfortunate criticals. 

silverblade
Level 10
2 weeks ago

I should also add that collecting and selling raise dead scrolls was a huge money maker. I mean it’s not hard to get gold in the game in the first place but selling the scrolls got me 13k gold. I didn’t need them since my guys never died.


Baraz
Level 13
Steam Link Newsletter Link Kickstarter Backer Weaponsmith (Bronze)
2 weeks ago

In 5e, "tanky" characters have around 21 to 22 AC (Plate, Shield+1, Defense), as defensive magic items are rarer or more precious than past editions.  While non-warrior classes have pathetic AC (between 14 and 18 tops).  In Solasta, I get 24 AC around level 4 before I even use buff spells.  So the 5e game balance needs to be tweaked a bit for this adventure that has more defensive magic items. 

Folks expect to find magic items in cRPG, but maybe items that give better AC should be much rarer.  They would find other special armors, that give bonuses other than AC.  A +1 armor is a big deal in 5e and could be a rather precious and rare item


Steam profile : https://steamcommunity.com/id/baraz/

agigabyte
Level 3
2 weeks ago

I agree with pretty much all of this--in particular, the AI not being very clever and always going for my tank, and the issue of defensive items. In my Fighters/Rogues only campaign, my Mountaineer has 22 AC normally, 24 if she's next to a wall (and it's very easy to put her next to a wall). My Champion Fighter has 19, with Twin Blade letting her get up to 22 against a single enemy per round very consistently (since she doesn't use her reaction otherwise). My Darkweaver has 19 as well, plus Uncanny Dodge, and even my 16 AC Shadowcaster in non-magical leather armor can usually shrug off the rare attacks that go her way through Shield and Uncanny Dodge. 

And they are rare, because I can almost always put my Fighters up front and melee enemies will attack them almost exclusively--even ones like the Broods, who can disengage but only use it to run away after making an attack. 

Now of course the game is still really fun in spite of that, but I'd like the AI to be a bit smarter and hit my tanks a bit easier without me having to make my squishies even squishier. 

Even the bug where Vampiric Touch is an auto-hit doesn't really end up mattering because I take so little damage otherwise.

IXI
Level 9
2 weeks ago

i second the easiness of the game, i'd rather not morph the foes into something they are not [eg increasing to hit, damage and HP] i'd rather have the difficultly level slider increase the number of foes instead.  even if you have too many magic items at low level [i agree there is too many magic items] getting swarmed by a few dozen low level foes can make things interesting plus once you have a swarm they all can't attack the tank so they will innately spill over onto the squishy back line


yellow flower of courage

IXI
Level 9
2 weeks ago

another way to increase the foe/PC ratio is to decrease the number of PCs.  i realize that the game seems to be built around 4 PCs but the combat seems to be able to handle increasing [tag alongs] and decreasing [knocked out PCs] numbers fine, the only issue would be the social interactions.  it should be a simple thing to allow a party of two and just double those for social interactions.  it might be weird to see double but it is a doable stop gab until they have more time to fix the code.  i think it would be fun to run the game with less than four PCs


yellow flower of courage

IXI
Level 9
2 weeks ago

another stop gap option would be to have a party of "four" but only the first two are on the map.  the other two only pop up during social interactions 


yellow flower of courage

Heldred
Level 9
2 weeks ago

The sliders can make your life a nightmare.  However, I agree that having a +300% hit point Orc really isn't an Orc.. that is more like a Hill Giant.  

Personally, I would like to see more mobs in many of the early battles (levels 1-3) and crank up some of the tier-2 and tier-3 version of the mobs in the mid levels (levels 4-6).

Lastly, with the Deadly AI options turned on I didn't see much of a difference, even with casters.  I think this is because of the earlier feedback items above... making the AI deadly, when the mobs aren't a challenge to start with, means nothing is deadly :)

Oh yeah, I don't mind armored characters having a high AC, but I have a magic-robe-wearing Wizard with magic bracers rocking an AC22.  One buff puts that at AC24, and if you add in Blur or Greater Invisibility, that is a frightening character.  That seems high for a Wizard.  The biggest issue is that Leather, Scale, and Chain really don't serve a purpose in the game (they are in the no man's land between Plate/Half-Plate and Robes). I would suggest making some "really special" magic version of Leather, Scale, and Chain or they won't serve a purpose (which would be unfortunate).  

As always, great game. Minor fine tuning will make it even better.  Thanks!


silverblade
Level 10
2 weeks ago

The sliders can make your life a nightmare.  However, I agree that having a +300% hit point Orc really isn't an Orc.. that is more like a Hill Giant.  

Personally, I would like to see more mobs in many of the early battles (levels 1-3) and crank up some of the tier-2 and tier-3 version of the mobs in the mid levels (levels 4-6).

Lastly, with the Deadly AI options turned on I didn't see much of a difference, even with casters.  I think this is because of the earlier feedback items above... making the AI deadly, when the mobs aren't a challenge to start with, means nothing is deadly :)

Oh yeah, I don't mind armored characters having a high AC, but I have a magic-robe-wearing Wizard with magic bracers rocking an AC22.  One buff puts that at AC24, and if you add in Blur or Greater Invisibility, that is a frightening character.  That seems high for a Wizard.  The biggest issue is that Leather, Scale, and Chain really don't serve a purpose in the game (they are in the no man's land between Plate/Half-Plate and Robes). I would suggest making some "really special" magic version of Leather, Scale, and Chain or they won't serve a purpose (which would be unfortunate).  

As always, great game. Minor fine tuning will make it even better.  Thanks!

That's one serious juiced up orc. :D

I hardly bothered with buff spells.  When my frontliners have AC24, my dual wielder has AC21 and my mage has AC20, they don't get hit much.  I just went pure damage and mobs fell apart like paper.

It's hard for me to suggest raising the standard difficulty only because there may be some people who are not familiar with 5e that will struggle.  My son who isn't, struggled until I gave him some pointers.

But I still think dwarven throwers, magic plate are too easy and too cheap to acquire.  There should not be any +3 items until close to the end, like say level 9 or 10.  Technically very rare items shouldn't appear even then but players will want some cool magic items at the end.  

Maybe the way to solve the robes or full plate route is to have mobs use attacks that require more DEX saves?  That will encourage people to invest in some DEX which means medium armor becomes valid again.  Or stealth becoming more important so breastplate becomes more valuable?  Chain serves a purpose early on but once I could afford plate, I never looked back which I think is generally true for most parties.

IXI
Level 9
2 weeks ago

as a someone who started with 1st ed, i do find high AC a weird thing [lower is better, THACO forever!!] and historically it has been hard for wizards to get high AC but with 5th ed there are lots of ways to get high AC even within RAW.  so we cannot rest the blame with high AC.  [though we do need to cut back on the magic items] 

as pointed out things that might help: mobs, alternate attacks but also area of effect stuff like spells or poison clouds.  also as a DM i like to use fog and foes with blind sight or webs and spiders or creatures with tremorsense 


speaking of crazy AC, for fun in a high level one shot i looked at how high i can make the AC, so far i have a base of 28 [although really 31 while in her flying chariot] with a cap of 43, however, i could raise that cap over 50 if i added another class, and the character is not wearing any armor, with some legendary items the base could easily go over 30 and with some tombs of dex and int the base could go over 40 with a cap in 60s.  however, all that extra is unneeded since, as is, i only get hit with criticals so there is no point to going higher 


yellow flower of courage

haladin7
Visitor
1 week ago

I agree with all that has been said above about the lack of difficulty in Solasta.

Solasta has the making of being a really good game. The developers have done a good job of implementing the D&D 5e rules.  I thought the Caer Lem Outpost map was well designed with tricky combat situations and hidden areas to find.  After Caer Lem Outpost the battles in the early access version stops being challenging.  I don't think more creatures need to be added, but the game could be improved by swapping low level creatures with those of a higher challenge rating. 

Plus, I find there are too many magic items in the game. The balance of magic items started well.  I found some Leather Armour +1 in the Caer Lem cave, and got enough ingredients to craft one +1 weapon.  But soon after that I got a Dwarven Thrower +3 weapon at level 4.  I know fighters suffer compared to spell casters in D&D 5e, but this is way to low a level to get a +3 weapon.  Part of the excitement of RPGs for me is getting magical items to make your characters stronger, but after you unlock the fraction shop sellers, magic items are way to cheap and easy to get. In my opinion, since the max level in version 1.0 will be level 10, I would cap the weapons at +2, and increase the price of the magic items in the fraction stores.  That way, you can leave all the +3 weapons to be include in future sequels and DLCs which hopefully will be release to enable characters to reach level 20.  

My only other wish would be for more hidden areas where you need a high perception to find.  The Caer Lem Outpost some hidden areas, but subsequent maps were more linear.  Hopefully there will be more secret areas to find in version 1.0.

As several people think similarly about the lack of challenge in the game, please can the developers take note and rebalance the game for version 1.0.