Gordian Quest. Deckbuilding roguelike meets tactics RPG. Full release!

How are you finding the difficulty, @Lykurgos?

I’ve restarted a few times now, and this time round I’m playing on Nightmare, which sounds impressive but is in actuality the Normal difficulty, I think. There’s a reasonable amount of pushback by the game at this level which wasn’t there before, I’m having to engage with all the systems, and think about my play. All very agreeable.

It’s taken me 3-4 hours to get my guys to level 8, and next quest is opening the gate near the burial grounds to the northeast. Which is fine, but the game is telling me I should be level 16 to do this. I don’t know if it expects me to hang around the city for another three hours levelling up, or what.

I have tried a couple of battles and they are tough but doable with health potions. However I don’t get enough gold to replace those health potions, so I’m stuck for now.

I know getting better at the game will help; I assume I’m just not getting something for now, and hoping the game doesn’t get too grindy. Still looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow - it is very enjoyable.

You mean I WASN’T supposed to blaze through the first 3 combats without any enemies getting a single turn? Feh.

I find the beginning too easy, but when I last played it was like that then got really hard. I don’t want to crank up the difficulty and find that it goes from a fun challenge to impossible. If I had to choose I’d rather go from easy to a fun challenge.

There is a normal difficulty, and then 2 more above that is nightmare. Should I not have started on normal? Taking the storehouse has been very easy.

So is normal difficulty easy to start and then becomes at least somewhat challenging?

There are a LOT of battles, I went Normal so I wasn’t constantly banging my head against a wall when I had inevitably made poor choices while learning the game, and it’s also nice for the small battles to go by swiftly.

There have been, on Normal, more than a few boss battles that challenged me and caused a total party wipe - thankfully I have it set to let me come back to down and try again, or I’d have already started over many times. No thanks.

I’m towards the end of Act 3 and at 16 hours. The campaign is long, on Normal. I can’t imagine how long it would take on higher difficulties where every decision has to be the right one.

that’s how it was when I played it in early access, but possibly a lot changed since then.

I have also been playing on normal difficulty while learning the game. I wiped out once I believe it was labeled a Deadly Encounter (was purple glow as I recall on the map).

There is a lot going on in this game that I am still trying to wrap my head around. For example, I do not understand renown in the campaign? Is renown only for the roguelike play?

I am enjoying the game a lot so far.

I got over my little bump in difficulty and am continuing on Nightmare for the moment. However, from what Scott and Harkonis say, and from reading online, there is a big leap in difficulty at some point. I think what I’ll do is just bump the difficulty back down as I hit those spikes, probably ultimately ending up back at Normal.

As Geewhiz says, Normal is good to learn the game as it is jam-packed with systems/mechanics - I spent several hours doing that - but I don’t think the first few hours shows off the game in a good light as a result. The game on Normal doesn’t push you to use any of those mechanics in the first few hours - you barely have to use Blocking cards - so putting it on Nightmare once I got the lie of the land worked for me. I should emphasise I don’t play many deck builders so I’m not some l33t player.

By the way @robc04 - I played Battle Academy for the first time earlier this year and came across a very good review of yours online when I was looking for tips on playing the game! Enjoyed it a lot, cheers!

I am playing on Hard, which is the middle-spot between Normal and Nightmare. I am using a Monk, Cleric and Wizard (forget the name) and have just completed Act I, but I do have a lot more experience from the early access.

On Hard, in Act I, my experience is . . .

  1. At no time did any fight come close to knocking out any of my heroes
  2. Only in 1 or 2 fights did I have any need to make use of a consumable
  3. I was able to adventure almost continuously, without any real need to return to garrison.
  4. The end of Act I boss fight was interesting but also no serious threat

Whilst I am carefully planning my actions in the individual battles, and I am carefully selecting my level-up unlocks and making use of gems, there is a heck of a lot I am not doing to strengthen my party that I might want or need to do if I stepped up to Nightmare.

For examples of things I am not doing yet . . .

  1. I have not used item enhancing (crafting) at all
  2. I have also not made use of the option to add / change the gem slots on items
  3. I have made zero use of buffing consumables
  4. I have not looked for synergies between heroes decks, nor have I examined different hero class decks to pick out and target specific cards that might compensate for a weakness e.g. for Monk, maybe picking up 1-2 key cards from the Spirit or Mind class to compliment a mainly Body class build
  5. None of my heroes has much in the way of buff / debuff / heal or resist skills

So in other words, if I did step up to Nightmare for more challenge, there is a heck of a lot more I could do more of!

Oh man, okay, risking this off topic but I freakin’ loved Battle Academy. I still miss it . . . miss playing it multiplayer so much. Can still hum the intro music to myself.

Interesting, thanks for the feedback!

On Nightmare:

Party composition definitely affects early difficulty too. I’m rolling with a very basic Paladin, Scoundrel, Turret Ranger, with almost all damage being directed at single targets. Would like to swap out one of the Dex guys but haven’t worked out which yet. My Scoundrel has the Glass Cannon card and I don’t think I can part with him ;)

Overall, I’m finding it really excellent, lots of depth to be discovered etc.

Edit: Battle Academy is great; I’m gonna be picking up DLCs in Steam sales for a while to come :)

Aha, prompting me to mention one more thing I AM doing, which is deliberately running with a team where there is one hero with very high STR, one with DEX and another INT. This way there is very high success rate for events, more benefits, fewer penalties, and possibly less exhaustion, and I can also easily make good use of the relevant stat-boosting equipment and gems. If I had say, two with DEX, and was missing a hero focused on STR or INT, that might mean worse event outcomes and a competition for equipment and gems between the two DEX heroes.

I am saving this for a probable second run after I finish the first. Then I might stick on hard but go with a funky composition, or might bump up to Nightmare.

Scoundrel was my favourite within early-access. He was horribly over-powered, with easy access to a deck which featured near-infinite or simply very high volume loops of damage cards.

Thanks for the feedback on difficulty everyone. It sounds like I may want to bump it to hard, but not be afraid to go back down to normal if it starts getting tedious or too difficult. We can switch difficulty at will, right? Is there any downside, like it screws up balance or something?

Thanks for the good words on my review @Pedro ! I appreciate it. Did you find it on Steam, or my site OneGuyTooManyGames.com? I haven’t put anything new up there in ages and was considering not renewing my registration for it.

There are some restrictions, I remember a pop-up screen when I started a game, but I think it was “you can’t go above Hard mid-game and you can’t go back up to Nightmare if you started there and went back” or similar. If you are talking about Normal/Hard/Easy I think you’re fine.

As to how it works or what might be screwed up, I doubt anyone here has done any testing to be able to give you numbers or answers really - so personally, I’d assume it works as written. If you set it to Normal, it’s Normal from that point on.

Campaign mode was designed to be much easier for newcomers, as well as serving as an introduction to the game. It was made to be casual and less taxing :).

However, we certainly recommend you to hop into Realm Mode on a high difficulty to see if you also feel that way. They’re vastly different modes so we would love to hear your thoughts!

Difficulty tends to be fairly subjective and there is no perfect ground for it, even through the balancing we have done over development. Nonetheless, we’d still like to hear what you have to say :).

Steam link

I definitely need to get an INT person in there.

My scoundrel just got an extra AP via some fancy gauntlets so can cycle through quite a few cards now :)

Your Steam review is quite near the top of the store page but your website review is the one I found…DuckDuckGo returns it as the third result if you search for Battle Academy Slitherine (because there’s a Pokemon one too apparently) Review :) I liked reading about the mod you did too but didn’t install it.

Yeah, must be a bit of a wrench letting a website lapse.

So far I’m glad I bumped up the difficulty. I’ve taken some damage but haven’t lost a hero yet. But, I’m pursuing the rift lord and it’s a level 15 location. I’m only level 9. I guess the only way to level up is to grind some battles around the town locations. Some seem to repopulate after resting in town.

On ‘Hard’, I am still finding it fine to take on fights indicated at anything 1-5 levels above those of my heroes. At level 3, I was able to take on level 6. At level 10, I could take on level 15.

Your level 9 vs 15 may be a stretch, unsure.

Lots of nodes do repopulate. They do so when you rest in town, or rest at a rest point, and also if you visit a shrine and pray.

One thing deterring me from Nightmare is that whilst I might welcome the extra challenge, I might not welcome it for every single of the very many fights. I think I will reserve Nightmare for the more roguelike, Endless Run mode, rather than the narrative Campaign.

I did try and Endless Run on Nightmare in early access, and reached the current-at-the-time level cap of 60 for the heroes, at which point I lost interest, since that took away a sense of progression. I think the high difficulty is a great fit with the Endless run mode, since you are supposed to fail at some point, and the challenge is to push that point a bit further.

This is what I found, too. The level indicated for fights seemed good for comparing whether the battle will be a step up or not, but I did not find it needed to match my characters’ levels.

I tried hard for Act 1 but had to go back to Normal for the big boss battle. Getting my butt handed to me in Act 2 on normal. I bow to all of you who can beat this so easily. I still am enjoying the game on Normal so no big deal that I stink at it!