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Question about difficulty settings

I just played through BG:EE and SoD on core difficulty using a chaotic good cleric and I'm currently working my way through BG2:EE. Once I wrap this game up, I plan to play through both games again as a neutral evil fighter. I'd like to play on a harder difficulty, but I'm not sure which one to pick. I plan on turning off the extra damage because it seems unfair and like it would probably just frustrate me. I also don't think I'll play on Legacy of Bhaal mode because the extra HP also sounds cheap.

So I'm split between hard and insane difficulty. I'd like to have a challenge, but I don't want things to be too crazy. I'm reasonably good at these games, but definitely not amazing. Plus, I've never played an evil character before and I'll be using an unfamiliar party.

Basically, I'm just interested in input on what to expect from the different difficulty settings so I can choose which one to play. Also, I'd like to know if playing on a harder difficulty raises the experience cap, gives higher experience rewards, or better loot. Any help would be appreciated.


  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,977
    unless extra damage is increased there is absolutely no difference what the difficulty does between core and insane in bgee ( as far as im aware ) although in SoD rumor has it that the higher the difficulty the better AI enemies will use and the bigger groups of baddies will be fought at once

    difficulty also has no effect on XP earned from baddies, does not raise the XP cap or give out better treasure

    my suggestion would be, if you want a bit of a better challenge, just play on hard and keep on the increased difficulty damage

    difficulty of hard on all the games
    bg1 - easily doable without using exploits to win battles
    SoD - for the most part you should be okay, the last boss battle may be very challenging
    SoA - easily doable without using exploits to win battles
    ToB - for the most part you should be okay, although against some major bosses you might have a real hard time with ( abizigal's enclave for instance )

    i've been playing on insane difficulty ever since the late 90s when this game came out, and at this point in time ( with no mods installed ) the only time i find it to be difficult is when i get to abizigal's enclave in ToB

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,042
    In BG1 and 2, most of the differences in difficulty are in the damage done. SO turning off the damage increase basically makes it normal mode. The only difference in BG2 is that certain high level encounters will have an extra script or two. For instance, a certain boss will have the Horrid Wilting spell added to their spellbook. Its only a small handful of specific changes though.

    SoD is a whole other beast however. Not only will the number of enemies faced change, but groups will actually have good composition with a variety of classes to cover weaknesses. Enemies will have better targeting as well as giving almost every spellcaster additional spells. Its based off the SCS mod. For this reason I find SoD on hard, or even core to noticeably more difficult than BG 1 or 2 on anything short of Legacy of Bhaal difficulty. The jump going from normal to core is like going from normal to hard in the other games.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    I think that when you increase difficulty, which should include the extra damage, you have to play differently.
    That's what seems to get missed.

    It's not a matter of facing a mob and getting hurt more, it becomes,
    " you can't face the mob and survive so you need to try out different tactics".

    Really does change the game and it keeps it fresh.
    You don't have to be "good" at the game, I'm not by a long way. You just have to consider things more. You can, for instance, be one shotted.
    So it makes you really think about equipment, who is positioned where, have you buffed the party properly, what spells to use ect. ect.

    Overall, playing on the higher difficulties encourages you to appreciate all the game's complexities far more.
    IMO of course.

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