Game Difficulty Settings Poll - Can realistic be fun?

What difficulty do you prefer?

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I've played over 300 hours and started probably a dozen characters, and have played largely with the difficulty settings set to realistic (with normal combat AI difficulty). I want a realistic experience. I'm not looking to be some godlike hero who singlehandedly wins wars. This has led to a lot of frustration and abandoned characters.

I was going to write a post about how, in my experience, trading and horse archery seems to be the winning strategy that beats all others in the game, because it lets you avoid pretty much every dangerous encounter and make a lot of money while doing so (and often even if you get caught you can win, if you have enough arrows). But I realized that the two characters that largely depended on that strategy in the early game were two for which I turned the difficulty down one notch (taking 2/3 damage, etc.). So I'm not sure if it was the difficulty or the strategy that has made those two easier.

So I wanted to post the question to other players: what difficulty do you play on or think is most fun? Can realistic be fun, or is it just too punishing? (Or am I just doing it wrong?)

My current evaluation is that there need to be more viable alternatives to trading in order to have fun in the game. If you don't start out with decent trading skills, you are going to suffer and have a hard time competing even with basic bandits, since you won't be able to afford the troops you'll need to survive, and this problem is especially punishing on realistic. There are a number of factors that go into this that I won't get into all the details about (perhaps one of the biggest being a lack of explanation/clarity on some mechanics/features), and I know some of them will likely be changed/fixed, but I'm just looking for some idea of where people feel the difficulty settings are at and how balanced they are for the current experience.

Mostly I just want to know if I suck or if I'm being too hard on myself, lol.


Sergeant Knight
Recruitment: realistic (makes getting relations with notables useful)
map Speed: very easy (I like to be able to pick my fights)
Damage to player: 1/3 (I don't like being one-shot by a two hander/javelin)
Enable death: nope (I only enable it if I want to try to kill my squire Morcon)
Damage to Party: realistic

this are the settings I have the most fun with, granted I rarely play for more then 3 years before taking a break and restarting my character
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Lord Grindelvald

Sergeant at Arms
I started off with Very Easy, but realised about 50 hours in that out of the countless battles I fought, I hadn't lost even one.
Then I went on to Easy, which turned out to be the same case, with the occasional slip up where I fought a battle 200(me)vs400(ai) an lost.

Then I went to Realistic and I like it so much better.

Im not a Godking anymore who can easily squander every enemy, you have to really think about who you're going to attack and what army you're going to bring.

If you dont have to be afraid of enemys anymore the game starts to become stale and boring, because the challenge is missing.

So I love Realistic because I actually have to use strategic thinking in who I encounter and how I play my battles.


I only apply that logic in battle/strategy.

I DONT like realistic settings in regards to finances etc. I must confess, I use Mods to counter those effects and give myself a fighting economic chance.


i started off with medium difficulty and after a time i realised it is pretty ez to win a fight even if you are 1:2 in a battle. yeah sure i used savescamming to see what works out and how the game works, how the AI behaves and so on. thats the difficulty you should use to have fund and dont be pressured to hard to get a good army, because you have those 3 recruitment slots and can choose which faction units you want to use.

right now i started a full realistic/perma death/ no save scamming / no smithy exploit campaign. the first difference i noticed was, it isnt that easy to get money and you really have to think of it if you want to upgrade your soldiers and increase your wage or you just want to farm any type of bandits. i also only play as mercanary, so i dont get fiefs.
its just you really have to think of how and what you want to do next.

Lord Irontoe

Master Knight
I always play with 2/3 damage for me, and realistic damage for everyone else since I like to actually participate in battles, but I don't want it being too easy. I did one campaign where I forgot to change any of the settings and I was amazed at how much my troops were kicking ass until I realized I was on easy mode and felt like a dork.

For speed and recruitment, it depends on how masochistic I'm feeling. Sometimes I'll do a campaign on hard settings, and sometimes on easy. Its just whatever whim I'm feeling when I start a new game and whether I feel like grinding quests or not.


I had my first character on 2/3 damage for some reason. Didn't find out until about halfway through the campaign. I prefer it at realistic, although I'll still curse when an enemy noble sneaks up behind me while I'm commanding the army and turns me into shish kebab.

I think it's cool that you can choose to play it like Dynasty Warriors as well if you want. Maybe I'll do that in the future and smith me some ridiculously slow but powerful 2h axe. Or a maul. Can we have mauls, TW? But for now, everything is on realistic.


Personally i use a mod to reduce player damage to 80%.
Currently on full realistic armour is next to useless and 2/3 damage is still too easy imo. There is a sweet spot with 75-80% i think as i feel if i have the best armour i should be able to fight 2-3 recruits with out dying, but i should be in trouble if im up against 2 or 3 high tier troops

i have damage on realistic for everything else though


Grandmaster Knight
I started off on 2/3rds but they nerfed looters rocks from release, so I went up to realistic.


Sergeant Knight at Arms
Everything on realistic and still the game feels pretty beatable IMO. I still manage to get money pretty fast, recruits pretty fast, good kills in every battle, etc.


Melee combat is not that hard at all as long as you have a high enough athletics skill.
Once that is high enough you can even consistently solo a group of 90 sea raiders.
What did you just ask? "What about 90 steppe bandits?"
*Takes up fetal position and starts sobbing*


Melee combat is not that hard at all as long as you have a high enough athletics skill.
Once that is high enough you can even consistently solo a group of 90 sea raiders.
What did you just ask? "What about 90 steppe bandits?"
*Takes up fetal position and starts sobbing*

Heh, that must be using the swinging exploit. I'd still end up looking like a pincushion, I'm sure!

I like how the athletics skill improves how well you do in combat although it feels a bit OP to me when you get around the 100 mark. Tournaments become a bit too easy. I don't even want to know what 200+ looks like.
Interesting responses. Honestly I expected more in the middle ground (easy). It occurs to me, as well, that my own recent experience of increased success may just be due to me getting good lol. Perhaps I'll give realistic another go in my next campaign, since they just updated.


Realistic all the way except movement speed on map. Because things simply take way to long otherwise, I like to run around the map alot.


I played 350 hours. I played in Realism from the very beginning and only once went to easy difficult. On easy difficult I have not once lost, make a conclusion yourself :smile:


All on realistic except for player damage (1/3).
I like tinkering with battle tactics, using height and formation advantage... but if your troops are almost immortal and enemy is rushing mindlessly, there is no satisfaction in winning.

As for the damage to the player, I like roaming around the battlefront, watching, controlling, but since all your tactics go to nothing if you got knocked by a single hit, I prefer to stay alive al least untill 90% of the battle. However sometimes I reload saves to try another approach if the battle went terrebly wrong.

For that reason I also don't like going to battle with allies outside of my army (like 400 + 400 vs 600) since if you don't have full control they'll just rush to the enemy heavy defence and I have either to rush with them or wait and fight on my own, but it will be like 400 vs 550.


In my current play through we at war with everyones favourite Khuzait (10k power against our 10k power Vlandia). And there is a kind of masohistic satisfaction when you go like 700 vs 600 (incl 250 archers and 150 HA) and you either lose, or if you make your best you'll still end up like with 100+300w left.


I'll out myself. As of now, I prefer very easy. Because it is the standard setting and I think it retains a challenge for now.

As of now, I go into the game with the mind set on testing the game. As long as I am not bored, I'll leave setting the way the game recommend to me. Godking or not.
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