Assassin's Creed

Difficulty level of opponents and well… stuff

Not a complaint thread but an observation / random musings of a problem with Non-linear games and RPGs in particular (this is not an attack on the AC series but really, again, about games in general):

The combination of the need to provide a challenge to the player in certain quests, and everything else. In this game I had to set the difficulty to Easy to get thru the Arena. I am 47 years old with a 47 year old's reflexes combined with the fact that I am left handed so I can't use keyboard and Mouse properly (because there are too many keys used by the interface, so I can't remap to fit my right hand properly) without using the mouse with my "bad" hand and I am not used to using a Controller (I keep pressing trigger instead of bumper every time despite having now played the game for 60+ hours).

Anyway, the point / example is that I had to set Difficulty to Easy to get thru the Arena at lvl 51 and 52, but "in the wild" I totally dominate opponents (except for boars, even non-magical ones!) now on Normal. As in the Tier 1 mercenary guy? I randomly came across him after the Arena in a forest and I pwned him completely. But i died 9 times to the King Of Bandits in the Arena on Normal.

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But again this is a problem that is as old as Baldur's Gate (the old one, from 1998), at least. Probably older, as long as it's not a completely linear game. "I just killed a Red Dragon / Lich / Beholder but these two town guards just pwned me!". It is the same yet opposite problem of "Everyone in this town is lvl 3, but all the monsters outside are lvl 40 because i discovered this town late and now the random rats sneak into town and eats all the NPCs" that Bethesda has going all the time. Level shenanigans.

I get that it is much easier in a completely linear game. Tomb Raider and Mass Effect can properly ramp up difficulty because one is a completely linear Action Adventure / Stealth game and the other is non-linear, but heavily sectioned out in smaller parts ("you can do these four quests in any order you want but after that we will force you to follow the main story for a bit") plus of course that the enemy types and complete lack of NPCs on the battlefield makes it easier.

It just never stops amusing me that there always seem to be these two problems, and if you are unlucky you get both of them in the same game: Either you have low level NPCs living in an undefended town with lvl 50 Giant Scorpions right outside the door OR you get lvl 50 peasants that can kill anything that they come across but somehow needs the Protagonist's help to fetch 10 bear asses in a cave anyway.

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