Smarter Difficulty


Before development gets too far, I think now's the perfect time to avoid the generic arpg difficulty system of cranking up the health and damage of enemies to make things "harder". It simply does not work in Martyr because Martyr isn't a generic arpg. The cover system, charge based utility items, suppression mechanics and direct combat all only work properly when tuned to a specific amount of enemy health and damage.

How to make things more difficult then, since variable difficulty is certainly a desireable feature to have?

My proposal is that, instead of increasing health and damage of enemies and thus breaking the various unique features of the game:

Difficulty increases the frequency of champion and elite enemies. For example, an "easy" mission might have no big dreadnought/Tank sized champions at all, while Space Marine/Ogryn style enemies would only show up in singles every couple of rooms. On a "normal" difficulty mission, Space Marines would be in most rooms, somtimes in multiples, and the mission would usually have 1 big dreadnought sized target. "Hard" missions would have elites in every room and multiple champions.

Additionally, what kind of abilities and types of enemies show up would also be tied to difficulty. Ground targetted abilities that require the player to move, for example, could be entirely or nearly entirely absent on "easy", while they'd be fairly frequent on "hard" (requiring more player skill and input).

Third, harder difficulties could have rooms with enemy mixes that don't exist on easier ones - such as strong ranged elites combined with swarms or other synergistic combinations of enemies.

Those 3 things combined, as well as dropping the generic health and damage percentage boosts, would make for difficulty levels that still present variable challenge (and reward) to the player, without making limited weapon charges, suppression and cover health impossible to balance for all difficulties.


Instead of % boosts to stats, make harder mission enemies more formidable through type combination, AI and ability use, because it's impossible to properly balance unusual mechanics with variable enemy damage.

This post was edited 327 days ago by DatonKallandor
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Smarter Difficulty
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326 days ago

Well, cultists ARE dumb, or they would not have become cultists in the first place. Their speeches tell you how far their intelligence is gone ;-)

But besides that, I have noticed that some enemies stay in their positions, until you kill the near by commander, then they rush you. So in effect, their intelligence lies in their commander, otherwise they behave like drones, exactly what I would expect from Chaos. It would not be very WH40K-like if the simple cultists would behave overly clever, rushing towards the inquisitor in overwhelming numbers is all they can do, should do, and they do it just fine at the moment.

Now Dark Eldar should have an entirely different AI/behavior, but we have not seen any DE so far...

327 days ago

Even if it all balanced out at the end game (which I'm not positive it would), that still means the vast overwhelming playtime it's not working out well. You can't build a game for "it'll take a long time to get to endgame" and simultanously build it in a way where the gameplay is subpar and core mechanics are broken because you're not at the endgame yet.

For reference, the developers have specifically described the game as a game in which the focus is on the journey of levelling to the cap, not playing after hitting the cap. So it'll be fine in the endgame is a horrible way to look at core mechanic design.

This comment was edited 327 days ago by DatonKallandor
327 days ago

This is something we might see in the endgame zones anyway. At this point we are in the first sector in arpg terms the early game and i dont think that drastic changes are needed thus far. Sure the game is a nobrainer if you kite everything but sometimes you have to fight and things get rough already.

I wish there was a better AI for the Enemys, they chase a player out of a good to defend position just to get killed one by one and thats so stupid that i ask myself if there was any investment in the enemys AI because those folks are stupid like a brik. If they change the enemys behaviour i think many things would change but mixing in another playstyle that changes enemy spawns.. i dont think thats the key.