Event encounters early on seem a little overwhelming (evil chest and NPC ambush type of encounters for example)
I’m not sure the best solution for this but a better scaling for new players would be great. One less monster per encounter starting would do it but this may make event encounters feel less rough than normal encounters. I did have some starting equipment (charm was equipped to twisted devil and berserker had a sword but nothing yet on sand golem)
This could be related to enemy monster equipment as well i imagine? Maybe this is an unintended consequence of pairing up monsters with items that better serve them.
The encounters ARE winnable as all it would have taken in any one of my losses is use of petrify so this is more of a learning curve issue. (but maybe new players shouldn’t have such resource management worries.) the difference being about 1-4 attacks difference each loss. (leaning on the far end but it did feel like the enemies snowballed on me)
Some of the regular monster encounters have been slightly rough but i don’t think that’s anything unforgivable (although i would be in trouble fairly early if monsters were on hardcore).
Maybe the best way to deal with this (but potentially the most time consuming) is to passively skew the difficulty of the encounters by fine tuning what kind of encounters you will see early on based on monster element and realm (to make it more likely to fight monsters you have an advantage over due to weaknesses and maybe abilities/stats) but i have funny feelings about this due to potential exploit by players to make the game easier via not unlocking certain realms. This could be remedied if this is an issue by making realm unlocks a sub requirement to many of the base unlocks.
One last solution may be to alter the early loot content to form a bridge to the point you are able to upgrade to the blacksmith. A mixture of this and early enemy tweaks is probably a better early quality of life for new players than any one situation here.
Also shrines are pretty much non existent since the dungeon changes so maybe these would help bridge the gap if fit into the puzzle right.
I’m not yet sure how this reflects on later in the game since i noticed a drop in difficulty as soon as i acquired unique artifacts in my prior play-through but i expect weapon forging will help curve the difficulty later on as well as surprises you mentioned you were planning on adding with the PC’s monsters.
Monster selection here isn’t an option for a new player either since resources prohibit this. Besides stun no other owned spells were viable since combat win/loss would be decided at a higher hp loss ratio than owned spells would be allowed synergy with (no damage/healing spells were useful here so maybe out-scaling the usefulness of these items early game is an issue?)
Can anyone else start a new character and give feedback on their experiences with this matter?