There has been difficulty settings to adjust to ones preferred game in almost every game I've played.
Difficutly does not magically un dumb down games though... and even then, the highest difficulty settings are usually too easy anyways.
Modern AAA WRPGs can be generalized like this (there are naturally exceptions)
- Full health and mana after each fight
- Mana is plentiful and abundant, but may stop excessive spamming
- No penalty for dying, press A to resurrect dead party member.
- Threat, meaning that the monsters will only ever attack the target the player wants them to attack
- Buffs are either non existant or irrelevant
- Level scaling, so players can go anywhere without any fear of gettting killed. BieberWare games are particulary bad when it comes to this.
- Plot may encourage urgency, but this is in no way expressed in the gameplay. Players can dillydally for 5 years when they were told to meet the emperor's son NOW!
- Only skill checks will be press blue or red dialogue option to win conversation.
- Only 3 classes or styles: Magic, Melee and stealth/archery.
- No attributes, only skills and/or perks.
The Dark Savant trilogy can be summarized like this
- Healing is done with potions and healing spells, mana slowly regenerates out of combat, faster if resting.
- Spellcasting comes from 4 schools and 6 elements. Each individual element has its own mana pool. So at one point I may have 6 Earth MP and 3 Fire MP. This (combined with the fact that every spell in the game is useful) results in that the 5 dedicated spellcasting classes end up casting more than just 1 spell type each battle.
- Dead party members can only be resurrected with expensive resurrection spells. Characters resurrected permanently lose 1 point of vitality. Characters who get stoned may very well lose 2 vit from the ordeal. Characters with no vit left can not be resurrected and are permadead.
- The front line are more prone to being attacked, but those behind are in no way safe. In the final entry of the trilogy, foes attacking the player from the behind would frequently target the mages, priests and other squishy characters.
- Buffing and debuffing is in my honest opinoin far more useful than most attack spells. Bards are easily one of the best classes in the trilogy.
- Level scaling only exists in the third entry, and each zone still has a minimum level. You will end up fighting creatures several levels stronger than you.
- There is definately a sense of urgency in the trilogy. As characters rest and time flows, your characters get older, once characters get old enough, they permadie.
- Plenty of skill checks, for diplomacy, swimming, searching for secrets, identifying items, identifying monsters, climbing, stealing, disarming traps, unlocking doors. Characters with less than 10 points into the skimming skill instantly drown when they jump into water.
- There are 14 classes in the first 2 games, 15 in the final game. These classes all have their own quirks and mechanics to justify their existnace. The thief is best at stealing, but not so good at combat, the bard can buff and debuff without spending any mana, monks and ninjas can instantly kill, alchemists have superb buffs and debuff spells and can cast even when silenced and brew potions when resting, valkyries can cheat death, gadgeteers can combine items into powerful new items, and the list goes on.
- 7-8 attributes dephending on the game. These attributes affect multiple lesser statistics (Vitality affects more than just HP, ect), as well as what classes are available to the character.
Changing the difficulty will not magically alter the game this much to be more like The Dark Savant trilogy. The problem is the lack of complexity.