Hello my fellow forumites
The patch v2.0 (and v2.1) has been out for a few weeks now and a few threads about the LoB mode were already created, containing a lot of speculations and many advices to defeat it. We even have a thread dedicated to powergaming in LoB mode.
But today I would like to open a discussion about what does this difficulty setting truly does and the gaming experience it creates.
First, a reminder of what LoB does:
enemies' HP * 3 + 80
-5 to saves (?)
-5 to THAC0 (?)
+12 levels for some checks
+ 1 APR (?)
Summons' HP * 2 + 20
So as you can see, these changes are mirroring the Heart of Fury mode from Icewind Dale (except for summons) but so far most players including myself don't exactly know what it does. I searched on the internet on many sites and asked in different threads in the Road to v2.0 back then and I was not able to find a strict, precise definition of the Legacy of Bhaal mode. This is I think a minor problem in itself but let's continue forward.
Here I'm quoting the official Siege of Dragonspear website :
"Legacy of Bhaal Mode : A difficulty setting offering tactical challenges only the most skilled of players can hope to defeat"
This appears on the website since the extension's announcement.
But is it true?
In my opinion, the Legacy of Bhaal mode doesn't offer any "tactical" challenges, it just increases the HP of your enemies by a enormous amount and that's it mostly.
It slows the game down and doesn't change the gameplay experience in a good way to my mind.
Though I agree that it offers some challenges. Of course a Dragon with 530 HP instead of 150 HP is stronger and thus the game is harder, depending on your party setup it can be a lot more difficult or it can simply be longer.
But is this kind of difficulty setting fun? Do you really enjoy fighting 83HP rats in Candlekeep?
Put in another way, do you think the Legacy of Bhaal mode is an interesting and fun difficulty setting?
Because I think it isn't, and to be honest, when I look back at the quote I posted above, I think the developers were actually thinking of something completely different when they first thought of the Legacy of Bhaal.
Maybe they were thinking about a "super-SCS" mode, which could explain the "tactical" challenges that only the most "skilled" players could hope to defeat, but because of time restrictions, they gave up and instead replicated the Heart of Fury difficulty in Baldur's Gate.
Another reason I think the LoB mode was originally designed as an improved SCS is because of the Insane difficulty changes in SoD. As you may know, moving the difficulty slider in SoD actually change the number of enemies spawning during battles, including new foes (like a caster in a group of fighters) which does offer new tactical challenges!
I think this is really good and a lot better than simply buffing enemies' stats to the point they don't make any sense whatsoever in a D&D setting.
So I would also like to ask Beamdog another question: is the Legacy of Bhaal mode final? Will it receive others updates or will it stay like this?
Because if it is going to get some more love, then it's excellent and I'm eager to see what you have in store for us.
But if that's not the case, no big deal. But I would like to know about the community's opinion about it and what do you think is an interesting difficulty setting.
Have a nice day!
PS: I apologize for my English, especially as I wrote all of this on my phone.