The four difficulty settings for Dragon Age: Origins are:

  • Causal - Suited for players new to the tactical RPG genre or for people that just want to lay back and enjoy the story.
  • Normal - For experienced RPG gamers.
  • Hard - For veterans of tactical PC RPGs such as the Baldur's Gate series, who want a challenge.
  • Nightmare - For the clinically insane.

A word about Nightmare difficulty

Nightmare difficulty is designed to provide a challenge to players not content with the challenges that the hard difficulty setting is offering. This mode is punishingly hard and requires the player to understand all aspects of the game in order to overcome their enemies. A well planned character and optimized playthrough path are required to succeed in this mode.

Players should NOT try to play on Nightmare the first time they play the game, it is guaranteed to be not fun that way.

Switching difficulties

Difficulty settings in Dragon Age: Origins can be switched on the fly at any point from the game options menu, and the effects are instantaneous. Difficulty is stored on the player profile, not savegame.

The different difficulty settings in Dragon Age: Origins exist to allow the player to customize the challenge level and game experience to their liking. Because of this, no achievements or other encouragements (such as higher experience gain) are given for playing on higher difficulties. It also encourages players to temporarily switch to a lower difficulty when stuck at a particularly hard battle.

Technical Details

The following table explains some of the technical details of how different difficulty settings affect the game. These values pertain to the PC version of the game and are significantly altered on the consoles to compensate for the different control scheme of the game.

SettingCasualNormalHardNightmare Comment
Attack Bonus20500 Implicit Attack bonus given to the party members.
Defense Bonus20500 Implicit Defense bonus given to the party members.
Damage Bonus7100 Implicit Damage bonus given to party members.
Healing Modifier175%100%85%85% Effectiveness of healing spells.
Rank Damage Scaling27916Amount of damage at which rank damage (down)scaling kicks in. Lower means easier.
Enemy Spell Resistance-101.52.55 Bonus % to resist spells given to enemies.
Player Spell Resistance10000 Bonus % to resist spells given to party members.
Enemy Damage Resistance-10055 Bonus % to damage resistance given to enemies.
Player Damage Resistance2500-5 Bonus % to damage resistance given to party members.
Reactive Potion Limit201280 Limit of potions after which the loot system will no longer prefer potions.
Reactive Potion Chance10.750.50.25 Chance for the loot system to substitute other loot for potions if party limit not reached.
AI Ability Frequency111.251.5 Modifier for the AI to prefer the use of high powered abilities.
Trap Damage Scaling0.501.001.251.50 Scaling factor for trap damage.
Friendly Fire0% 50% 100% 100% The percentage of damage friendly fire generates on party members.

Nightmare also modifies the AI behaviour slightly.

Challenge Scaling

Dragon Age employs a complex but limited system for challenge scaling. See Challenge Scaling for more details.

difficulty.txt · Last modified: 2009/11/12 07:24 by dr_allcom3