Skyrim - Difficulty Setting

shantd

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Aug 2, 2008
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I went with the hardest one (master I think it's called) mainly because I want the experience to last, and because it seems like with RPGs, hardcore gamers like us are always finding ways to become over-powered and I want to try and compensate for that from the start.

I do have to say, it takes too long to kill enemies at the moment (I'm only a couple hours in), but I'm guessing it will balance out soon enough as I get better gear.

What about you guys? What is your overall impression on the difficulty of this game, and what difficulty level did you start on? I'm anxious to hear from people who have played through Dark Souls. Is Skyrim on the hardest difficulty level anywhere near the challenge Dark Souls was? After beating that game, I can't see ever playing another game on normal mode again.
 

DeathPrincess

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I never even noticed a diffuculty setting TBH... I guess it's in the menu like fallout 3. It's not really the same kind of challenge as you have much less control, and can pause to heal/eat etc.
 
D

Deleted member 174368

Guest
I'm playing on Master and it's pretty obvious Bethesda never really tested it (I later asked an employee and he confirmed it). It's a real chore to go through as a melee character because a lot of the enemies will kill you in 1 hit even with heavy armor and several perks to go with it; thus it's almost a necessity to play a ranged or sneaky character in this difficulty because you really can't take any damage at all. Sounds similar to Dark Souls, but it really isn't when you consider just how awful the combat system is (oh geez, he used his instant-cast lightning spell, better reload) and how most enemies don't follow the same rules as you do.

So yeah, the experience is less "wow I died to Centipede demon again, should probably study his attack pattern better this time!" and more "I need to glitch this AI so it doesn't hit me and I have an actual chance".
 

Wildace

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lol the difficulty controls were a joke in oblivion too all it does is jack up the creatures health to extreme level not increasing the difficulty just making combat more tedious.

if you want a challenge youll have to wait for a mod or intentionally gear/magic deprive your self.
 

B2BigAl

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I'm just keeping it on adept(default) difficulty. I just finished dark souls and one run through ng+, and I have no desire to play anything that pisses me off or stresses me out again for a very long time. Having a perfectly good time just exploring and getting killed by the occasional tough enemy I run across. I have to admit though, I do feel like kind of a bitch playing on normal after playing DS.

Does anyone know if there is any advantage to playing harder difficulty on skyrim? Do you get better drops or more xp, anything like that?
 

tunatime

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You get more skill up becues you have to hit the mobs 50 times to kill them. Iam playing the whole game on master and even if I get a sneck shot in that doe 3x damge a baindt hp doesn't droop much only about 25% if I dont it takes about 10+ shots to kill a bandit at lvl 12. Just for fun I put it on adept and I killed said npcs in 1 sneck atack or 2-3 shots
 

Jellylesg

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You get more skill up becues you have to hit the mobs 50 times to kill them. Iam playing the whole game on master and even if I get a sneck shot in that doe 3x damge a baindt hp doesn't droop much only about 25% if I dont it takes about 10+ shots to kill a bandit at lvl 12. Just for fun I put it on adept and I killed said npcs in 1 sneck atack or 2-3 shots

NypFV.gif
 

BETA.

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You get more skill up becues you have to hit the mobs 50 times to kill them. Iam playing the whole game on master and even if I get a sneck shot in that doe 3x damge a baindt hp doesn't droop much only about 25% if I dont it takes about 10+ shots to kill a bandit at lvl 12. Just for fun I put it on adept and I killed said npcs in 1 sneck atack or 2-3 shots

I love you
 

PrincessFrosty

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It seems like stuff levels with you like in Oblivion, one of the issues with this system is that if you use combat skills a lot and you level up using those then your attack power keeps level with your enemies or gets ahead and it becomes easy.

When you start levelling up using other non-combat skills such as apothecary or speech, then your enemies level up and become tougher while you fall behind in combat, I noticed that after getting to about level 30 I had focused on archery and stealth and was super effective in combat, then after 3-4 levels of mostly leveling apothecary and other trade skills I found myself weaker in combat.

It also creates a somewhat backwards difficulty curve where things tend to start out tough because you have no perks and get easier as you specialize, by about level 20 you're criting stuff for x15 damage with backstabs and 3x damage from bows it's crazy. You're punished for levelling several different combat techniques, once I started levelling single handed combat for backstabs with the daggers I found myself less effective than with just bows.

I basically started over from scratch with the game after about level 33, I hadn't done any of the main story anyway, but I really wanted to manage my skills better, especially aftering finding out the level cap for perks is only 50
 

spaceman

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I never noticed a difficulty level. I was actually wondering about not seeing it too. lol

Whatever, I like the game as is. Whatever the default difficulty level is, it suits my rpg skill level. I die enough as is thanks. Oh, and is it funny to you that a character can be head shot with so many arrows that it looks like a pincushion replaced their face?
 

Johnked6

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I basically started over from scratch with the game after about level 33, I hadn't done any of the main story anyway, but I really wanted to manage my skills better, especially aftering finding out the level cap for perks is only 50

You still get perks after lv 50.
 
Joined
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I normally don't like going with the highest difficulty with these Bethesda games. The game doesn't get any more difficult, it just gets tedious. That said, I'm playing on the level above normal.

What I would have liked is a hardcore mode a la New Vegas, where you have to sleep, drink, and eat to survive. Maybe a few optimizations from the original idea, but the game being so focused on open world and adventurer type game play I don't understand why they wouldn't implement something like this.
 
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Korben, they should make that an option. I think that would be interesting. They do kind of do that with Vampirism by limiting your regeneration and other effects while in Sunlight, for example. So in a way, it is there. But I agree, it should be an option.
 
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Korben, they should make that an option. I think that would be interesting. They do kind of do that with Vampirism by limiting your regeneration and other effects while in Sunlight, for example. So in a way, it is there. But I agree, it should be an option.

Indeed, oh well. Here's to hoping the modding community will make up for what we lack in vanilla. I have no doubt we will see some incredible mods for Skyrim :)
 

Ritorix

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I basically started over from scratch with the game after about level 33, I hadn't done any of the main story anyway, but I really wanted to manage my skills better, especially aftering finding out the level cap for perks is only 50

Level 33? I beat the main questline at level 19 just leveling organically, never trying to powerlevel. Normal difficulty with a one-hand/block/heavy armor character, other skills way behind. Since the monsters level with you, it almost doesn't matter what level you are.

As for the difficulty level, even on normal a pure melee character has a hard time with some fights. Any spellcaster enemies, especially groups of them, is very nasty.
 

UtopiA

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As for the difficulty level, even on normal a pure melee character has a hard time with some fights. Any spellcaster enemies, especially groups of them, is very nasty.
I have a caster, fighting other casters is just as nasty as playing a melee character.
I think the only way to really own enemy mages, is by playing an Archer.
 

Ritorix

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The hardest non-boss fights for me were those underground elves. Three at a time, sword in one hand and lightning flying out of the other. Ugh.
 

Dark Shade

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Yeah the falmer are very aggressive and often comes in packs of 2-3, and I tend to make short work of them now because I realize how dangerous they are. I drop runes and toss fireballs quickly so they don't swarm me.
 

dr.stevil

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heh... started it out on hard and had to move the difficulty down to normal. I lost around 2 hours worth of adventuring and countless money/treasures from getting gang banged by a bunch of bandits. One on one, it's usually not bad... but when you get jumped, playing on a high difficulty setting is beyond frustrating.

On my next play through, I'll probably give it another shot.
 

chockomonkey

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Been playing on master since day 1, as i tend to find the default difficulty level is just too much of a breeze.

Can't say it's been too frustrating or anything. I one-shot bandits now at level 17, still come across boss fights where i have to use my entire arsenal, which is what i like.

This thing really needs enhanced hotkeys though so you don't have to pause the game 50 times in a battle to use more than 8 spells. Seriously with all the shouts, spells, and racial--they must have expected the game to be a pause-fest.

Cast. Pause to select move. Unpause. Cast. Pause to select another move. (fuck just let me bind spells all over my keyboard!)
 

veilv0x

Weaksauce
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Oct 15, 2009
Messages
112
Just wanted to throw this out there,
I was super disappointed with the visuals in this one until I looked up how to force SSAO on along with self shading on trees and terrain.
Its nvidia only but it really does make the engine look amazing. Wish proper ssao support was in the engine. BTW use FXAA and not traditional AA, looks just as good and only costs a fraction of the performance.

Use the performance setting and not quality for SSAO btw (looks great costs less), also the screen shots they linked are the same...

link = http://www.dsogaming.com/news/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-how-to-enable-ambient-occlusion/
 

PrincessFrosty

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You still get perks after lv 50.

Not what I've been told by friends. Apparantly the level cap and perk cap is 50, you can still level your skills all up to 100 each but you can't pick perks.

Level 33? I beat the main questline at level 19 just leveling organically, never trying to powerlevel. Normal difficulty with a one-hand/block/heavy armor character, other skills way behind. Since the monsters level with you, it almost doesn't matter what level you are.

As for the difficulty level, even on normal a pure melee character has a hard time with some fights. Any spellcaster enemies, especially groups of them, is very nasty.

I was never trying to power level I was just doing side quests, in fact I'd say 90% of the quests I did were in the miscellaneous category in the journal, I only did a handful of the main quests, and only 1of the main story quests.

The problem with levelling is that your enemies get tougher every level you go up, but your level doesn't decide your weapon damage, its your skill with that weapon that decides your weapon damage.

For example say you're level 5 with 30 archery skill and 30 apothecary skill. You save up loads of ingredients and visit a town and brew hundreds of potions and level up your apothecary skill from 30 to 40. By levelling your apothecary you manage to go from level 5 to level 6.

Now you face level 6 monsters, only your archery skill is still level 30 so your damage output is the same as level 5, but your enemies take more damage. So your enemies are now relatively harder than they were before, essentially by levelling non-combat skills you've actually become weaker vs enemies around you.

Now that's an extreme example based on grinding 1 specific skill but underlying premise is correct. Consider the long term effects, almost everything you do in the game raises non-combat skills.

  • Taking damage and blocking increases armour and blocking skills
  • Trading/Convincing increases speech
  • Crafting increases smithing skill
  • Apothecary increases Alchemy
  • Lockpicking increases lockpicking
  • Stealing from people increases pickpocket
  • Sneaking increases sneaking

It means every time you pick a lock, or smith a weapon you're contributing to your own level which means you're contributing to the enemies level and you're giving your enemy an advantage over you.

It's counter intuitive you assume that any skill such as archery is earned and that once you're level 75 in archery then you're bad ass at it and will remain so, but if you stop levelling archery and focus on other skills then your archery will get weaker and weaker over time (relative to your enemies).
 

NukeDukem

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Can I raise my archery skill by shooting arrows at trees or do I have to hit enemy NPCs?
 

shifty68

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You need to hit npc's.

If you points into backstab and get the gloves that give you double back stab dmg you can get your dmg up to 30x, which works well even on the master.
 
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Messages
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Cast. Pause to select move. Unpause. Cast. Pause to select another move. (fuck just let me bind spells all over my keyboard!)

Pretty much my biggest complaint with the game. Godamn xbox controllers ruining my hotkeys! *shakes fist

You can. In your favorites, press the number key of what you want a specific item to be.

Open Favorites.
Highlight or click on item. Activate it. Don't close Favorites.
Press desired "buttan"
Voila.

Didn't ruin it, you just didn't explore it right. :p

I can use 1 for my sword, 2 for my double-healing, etc.

Not what I've been told by friends. Apparantly the level cap and perk cap is 50, you can still level your skills all up to 100 each but you can't pick perks.

Strategy guide states there is no level cap (ie level 50). Unsure of the perk cap, but that would seem awfully limiting. I'm curious where they got their "info"

Can I raise my archery skill by shooting arrows at trees or do I have to hit enemy NPCs?

Weapon skills are based on total damage done to Targets. I am citing the strategy guide on this one. This is why people on higher difficulty levels tend to have an easier time grinding out skills. Amount of damage done according to the difficulty is adjusted, but only slightly.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
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You can. In your favorites, press the number key of what you want a specific item to be.

Open Favorites.
Highlight or click on item. Activate it. Don't close Favorites.
Press desired "buttan"
Voila.

Didn't ruin it, you just didn't explore it right. :p

I can use 1 for my sword, 2 for my double-healing, etc.

:eek::eek:

I had NO idea. THANKS SO MUCH I<3UUUU
 

DudeItsMe

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Playing Master. It is tough. This morning I ran into a Bandit Marauder who would one shot me (220 HP) with his bow. I had to be VERY careful to kill him. Some fights are pretty hard without my loyal doggy (going to have to replace him now). I don't think I could truly solo a dragon.

Playing ranged/sneaky, but I mostly stick to the bow. The dagger just isn't that awesome even with the 15x damage perk.
 

Soul_Guile

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Hi everybody, Im new to the forum and I like this thread as I play with difficulty set to Master as well and there's finally someone to share my frustration with . :mad:

I'm half caster/half warrior red guard, and mages are my curse!
As soon as I started the game I headed towards Brittleshin Pass (you just need to go left and cross the river) and the Apprentice Negromant inside is unbeatable. with my whole magicka+all the magicka potions I manage to crash his magic armor and deal him 10-15% damage but after that he heals himself making my efforts useless. I then try to stab him with my sword but he gets almost no damage. not to mention I have to avoid being hit by his frozen dards all the time, 3 of them are enough to kill me. anyone with similar experiences?
 

ob1

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I can't imagine playing on master level with some of the boss fights I have done. Even on the default setting there have been some bosses that can two shot me, plus they heal themselves to full if I don't mana draing them. If I were playing master level, wow, they would be god like I would imagine...
 

DudeItsMe

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Hi everybody, Im new to the forum and I like this thread as I play with difficulty set to Master as well and there's finally someone to share my frustration with . :mad:

I'm half caster/half warrior red guard, and mages are my curse!
As soon as I started the game I headed towards Brittleshin Pass (you just need to go left and cross the river) and the Apprentice Negromant inside is unbeatable. with my whole magicka+all the magicka potions I manage to crash his magic armor and deal him 10-15% damage but after that he heals himself making my efforts useless. I then try to stab him with my sword but he gets almost no damage. not to mention I have to avoid being hit by his frozen dards all the time, 3 of them are enough to kill me. anyone with similar experiences?

You should probably level up your skills and stuff before you go after him. Any time I run into something I can't handle, I go elsewhere.
 
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