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TOPIC: Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep?

Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #13

I am sure there will be some consideration of how to handle these differing levels of difficulty. For instance, my wizard did huge damage to the Deeperdark boss (Lava Beast), but was worthless against the Beholder b/c I don't have two eldritch items.

An extra DM could be helpful, but it's difficult to require more volunteers. That being said, each dungeon has a back-up DM scheduled in case of emergencies, so if there is not an emergency, perhaps they could be a second DM in a room with a difficult combat.
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #14

Well the power creep is certainly real.

I'd like to see an Epic difficulty even if the rewards are exactly the same as Nightmare.

Part of the issue too may be that there were more puzzles this year? Majesty Puzzle only had 2 combats and Majesty Combat only 4. I think Deeperdark was the same?
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #15

Jeff321 wrote: Well the power creep is certainly real.

I'd like to see an Epic difficulty even if the rewards are exactly the same as Nightmare.

Part of the issue too may be that there were more puzzles this year? Majesty Puzzle only had 2 combats and Majesty Combat only 4. I think Deeperdark was the same?


Deeperdark Puzzle had two combats, Deeperdark Combat had 4, so yes.
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #16

Time is your greatest enemy in the dungeon.

If you can't take down the monster in two rounds you stand a pretty high chance of failing on time.

You can get three in with a highly organized group and a strong DM.

On one occasion in the last few years, we didn't even get two rounds finished.

Any solution has to take this dynamic into account.
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #17

Some ways to deal with these issues:

Add HP and AC to the monsters - we adjusted both for some of the monsters in the Deeperdark adventure, and the results were pretty positive, although NM groups still had it fairly easy.

I'd like to see monsters, especially in later rooms, have more than one attack. This would lessen the effectiveness of taunts and the Shadowskin cloak. It would also lead to some interesting combats - for example, if the Spidaur could cast two spells per round, she could cast Lesser Maze on the Bard (or biggest threat) and then a Ray attack on another player.

Magic resistance made me worthless against the Beholder, though of course many NM wizards have the 2-eldritch set to prevent that.

I like immunities and vulnerabilities that make the monsters interesting (elemental immunity, for example).
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #18

Great idea about multiple monster attacks on Nightmare, in addition to significantly higher AC and HP.

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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #19

On 5 nightmare runs I didn't use a single consumable nor receive any healing. In fact I never even was hit so I never had to use my Cloak of Shadowskin. We killed every monster in 1-2 rounds. That being said I still had a good time, but I need a higher difficulty.

I still think the best solution is an Epic mode and I have a lot of suggestions and ideas for that (some stolen for others). The reality is that with power creep and player skill there is just such a huge divide between a blind 10-pack team and an optimum team. This range makes 4 difficulty levels almost necessary.
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #20

Yeah, I remember one nightmare run where I was the only person who needed healing and then it was because I was cutting myself on spells. After a while I stopped doing it until the final room because it just wasn't necessary.

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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #21

Kirk Bauer wrote: On 5 nightmare runs I didn't use a single consumable nor receive any healing. In fact I never even was hit so I never had to use my Cloak of Shadowskin. We killed every monster in 1-2 rounds. That being said I still had a good time, but I need a higher difficulty.


Pretty much sums up my runs too.

In a run where I played Templar I cast zero spells. Nobody needed healing.

And that is despite the fact that every run this year had a ranged monster. I wasn't too effective vs those but the rest of the party still cleaned them up easily.
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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #22

I think Nightmare should be more of a terror, with horrific monster save or die effects.

We had the perfect monster this year, the beholder, but the death and disintegrate eye-stalk rays were removed. Perfectly understandable on normal or even hardcore. Simply raising the hp only increases the chances of running out of time, not liked by anyone. I would of left normal alone, added the death ray to hardcore and added both death and disintegrate rays to Nightmare. Instead everyone fought a nerfed injured beholder.

There have been several threads regarding difficulty throughout the last couple of years, whatever is decided, I think players playing Nightmare should have the opportunity to die more than normal. Right now the opposite is true.

I do like the extended final room suggestion that could allow more involved fights and puzzles to occur, but that might prove logistically difficult.

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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #23

on the other side of things...I ran BHM puzzle saturday night on normal. I had purple gear but everyone else only played once or twice before and had reds and below. the last room was way too hard for us. we got three rounds in. I was dazed for the 1st and 3rd round... on the second round I got a slide but missed with a 16 or so. everyone else couldnt touch it either. so those that didn't die simply ran away at the end.

When we ran combat on thursday we left with the feeling of "yeah! we fought hard and won!" on saturday we just walked out shaking our heads saying there was no way we could hope to beat that thing, we all wondered if the DM messed up our difficulty.

Anyway, my point is I think the normal difficulty should be set for new players with few tokens so they still have a chance to win after a hard earned battle. If someone goes into it with good gear, they could get bored and coast, but that is their choice, maybe they have the gear because they like to champion for new players without ruining their fun, like I do. I dont give gear to every player either, only bits and pieces if they are totally missing something important, like a weapon...it is my hope that they enjoy themselves and want to get gear for themselves, not just expect someone in the group to just give them everything they need.

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Difficulty Assessment / Power Creep? 2 years 9 months ago #24

Our first NM run we killed everything pretty easily then the upped the HP of the Beholder... we did 690 damage and it was still alive, but the first time we did 580 and it died. Making more HP is a good option too, but as we have had many discussions on the board about another level... it might be time to address that option. Or just bump the NM monsters to make it a serious challenge. I like to use my consumables! :)

The DM was good at spreading the attacks around this year. I think the issue is the AC of players. We had a few hits on us but we all use the Cloak of Shadowskin, they seemed to target the lowest AC this time... but one combat the monsters targeted the biggest threat, even though they could not really it them.
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