Balancing difficulty is always going to be an exercise in hard mode when people approach it from the standpoint of wanting to meet a pre-set notion of “hard enough.”
It sounds like they had the right idea - to make some balance changes compared to the original so that players don’t hit a point where the game simply just loses all tension - but approached it in such an extreme “now the player can’t do that” way which is always going to be more frustrating.
I always felt something like what Outlast 2 does by default, instant death if one runs into an aware enemy, would work better if there was some changing stakes involved. Like instead of having it so they either instantly kill you or not, have it so each time one barrels into an aware enemy the odds of that enemy killing them instantly increases a little. I don’t know there’s a lot of ways to keep a game intense while still giving the player a fair chance to learn the ropes.
Either way I was really happy with the demo and will eventually get this, I’m really happy to see that they’re enthusiastic about trying to create an experience as many people as possible can get into.
There are a lot of games I absolutely adore that some would say fall on the really difficult side of the spectrum, but there’s a difference between difficult in a way that truly serves the experience the game is going for and difficulty just to be more difficult.
Pretend this sentence has some profound thoughts about Dark Souls that somehow haven’t been put to text yet.
I’m always excited when developers attempt to address major balance and difficulty issues in a game after it’s released. You get to see some real creativity in trying to keep the game experience the same while making what, before the game is released, would have sometimes been considered some pretty major changes. I find the process more interesting for single player games, with multiplayer stuff, not that it’s easy, but for say something like an online fighting game or an MMO there’s tons hard data regularly collected to look at and evaluate potential changes from.
With single player stuff, I mean everyone’s different so one would have to be very precise in how they ask for and interpret feedback.