I don't get why Beamdog changed default difficulty to normal from core. It was core on both vanilla BG1/BG2.
Yes, I know one can change difficulty. However, people tend to play on 'default' difficulty when they are new to the game. Frankly while I think core is difficult, I would recommend core to newbies even if they later change it to normal or easy.
When I first played BGEE I didn't realize this upto the point I've already beaten 90% of the game. I was like, "Oh shit so I've been cheating all the way? I don't feel legit" then deleted my character to start over.
I know not everyone's like me, but setting normal as default just doesn't seem justified when vanilla BG1/BG2 had it on core. Most new players play on default in any games because many feel default is what gives player/ai neither penalty nor bonus, which makes them feel that their experience is more legit. What rationalization is there to change the default difficulty?
If newbies find the game hard, they will simply tone down difficulty instead of quitting the game; but most likely even if they find it easy they won't move away from default 'normal' difficulty which I personally think diminishes game's fun because it makes int less effective, plays unfair for AI, and each battle has reduced tension due to no perma death. So having it on core provides newbies broader range of experience and ways to play the game.
I've written this suggestion 2 years ago when EE was released but apparently devs decided to stick to the choice. Why, I wonder? It is trivial, yet default difficulty plays quite a role on determining what majority of new players will experience.