Should I stick with Nioh (regarding later game difficulty)?

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sweetz

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I'm not a big Souls-like fan, but I've ended up playing several of them. I played Dark Souls 1 and 2 out of interest for the zeitgeist around them; enjoyed the former, disliked the latter. I ended up playing Bloodborne and The Surge due to them being PS Plus free games. I enjoyed both (except for the Surge's technical issues - it crashes more than any console game I've ever played), but I still wouldn't call myself a fan of these games.

I similarly starting playing Nioh due to it being a PS Plus game. I just beat Umi-Bozu, but the game has been a slog for me. Far harder than any of the others I've played. It probably took me like 25 tries to beat Hino-Enma. I watch videos of people, and they make it look so easy, when I tried to duplicate it. I see the patterns, I see how people dodge...I just don't have the reflexes.

However, there are things I really like about the game (design, story, Japanese mythology), so I'd like to stick with it, but I'm not sure I'll be able to make it through...and I really don't want to sink 50 hours into the game only to find that'll get near the end, but can never beat it.

I've seen some people say that the game actually gets easier as it goes on, but it's hard to trust the opinion of people who area really into these kinds of games because they're definition of difficulty rarely matches my own.

Are they any other fair weather Souls-like fans out there that can comment on whether you think I should stick with it? I'm just interested in beating the main storyline. I don't need to "100%" it.

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inevpatoria

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I fell off right about the point you're at. Nioh is a novel attempt at the whole Souls thing, but it never quite stuck.

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blackichigo

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I beat nioh and really enjoyed myself throughout. And I would say nioh does become a bit easier as it goes along, but it might also be that you get used to the combat and you get better as it goes along. Middle stance Katana was my main weapon and High stance axe was my secondary weapon. Using that I crushed every boss until the post game where I promptly said f*** this.

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Gundato

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Disclaimer: Nioh is probably my favorite Souls-like. Dark 2 being second. My opinion probably doesn't matter and is most likely wrong

Nioh does great things with style and mechanics that no other Souls game does.

Hino-Enma is kind of a mofo and is one of the worst bosses in the game. Mechanically she isn't that bad, but her punish is generally a long animation that does large damage to the player AND heals her. All of which just makes for a very frustrating fight. But if you've made it past Umi-Bozu you seem to have things down. You are clearly able to learn patterns and capitalize on them.

All I would really say is to give it a bit more time. But I would also point out: Those special moves you unlock? They are actually really powerful and the key to increasing your DPS to make boss fights a lot less frustrating. I reached the penultimate boss in the pre-DLC game by playing like a normal Souls game (dodge, strike, repeat) and it was kind of brutal. Then I summoned someone and saw them shred that boss in nothing flat with the charging flurry and the game got a LOT easier. Pretty much every boss is built around being punished heavily by at least one or two of the special moves. And once you realize that you start to figure out how it is reasonable to have later game side missions where you fight two really strong boss enemies at once.

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sweetz

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#5  Edited By sweetz

Umi-Bozu wasn't actually that hard for me; I died more times from falling off the edge of the platform (which was incredibly annoying in its own way) than damage. It's relatively slow moving. That one is all just patience and pattern recognition - I can do that. It's the quick bosses that require precise dodging I have a really hard time with.

I had to give up on the side mission version of Tachibana Muneshige for example. He requires a quickness of reaction I just don't have.

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Gundato

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The thing is: With very few exceptions, all the bosses in Nioh are patience and pattern recognition. It is just about spotting the tells and remembering what "mode" they are in

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SilverSaint

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#7  Edited By SilverSaint

Nioh is an amazing game, I think it rivals DS2 and even 1 (as 1 has aged). That being said the earlier bosses are SIGNIFICANTLY harder in Nioh, especially as the core of your build and gear take quite a while to get going with both stats and drops (DLC weapons have initial weapon drop problems and builds use different sets that are usually later game). Hino is a giant roadblock and I have heard many people mention problems with Umi. I myself had numerous problems with bosses, namely Hino, the optional warrior of the west, and the Frog (after Umi) on my initial playthrough, but I was also doing a light armor ninja build and you can easily get 1 shot or wombo'd by numerous enemies using light armor.

Recently (like 3 months ago after Surge 2) I went back and redid all of Nioh on PC as I had never done the DLC. I decided to do a stam based odachi build using heavy armor. Hino was still a masssive pain, but after getting some decent stats (basically after Umi) so I could wear heavy armor with B agility the game became a breeze, with only the final optional DLC dual boss fight being a true challenge.

The game does continue to get easier and easier. If you are using a light armor build I would suggest respecing to another weapon. Odachi and Axe both have solid stamina scaling allowing for heavy armor, Spear uses medium armor, but scales off body for damage, so you are increasing your health more then other builds. All 3 weapons have builds that heavily increase your effective HP and its actually really noticeable over light armor as there are plenty of times you die with light armor where with these builds you will live with that sliver (or more), use an estus, and be fine.

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wardcleaver

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I have never played any of the Souls games, but I did play some of Nioh. I quit at the Umi-Bozu fight. I may go back at some point. . . I don't know. I did enjoy the game, but I might be over these types of games. The toughest boss for me was the first boss, in the ship, I think? I felt very underpowered and it took me around 20+ tries to beat it. So for me, yes, I felt that the bosses got easier.

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wardcleaver

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Totally forgot about Hino Enma-yes, that boss fight suuuucked.

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Gundato

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God, Hino-Enma was the second boss, wasn't she?

I actually really liked her later on in side missions and Other Stuff. Once you have the levels and have learned her patterns she isn't that bad.

But as an early boss she is just complete hell. Status effect in the form of paralysis (I don't think she did poison?) and obnoxiously long punishes around the time you are learning i-frames and the like is just mean. And the healing is just a good way to say "Yeah... fuck this game"

Hell, Hino-Enma in the alpha and beta is what turned Nioh from "I will beat this on launch day" to "I'll give it a few weeks"

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Brackstone

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In terms of difficulty, the game does very much get easier as you go along. For reference, the final few missions had a suggested level that was maybe 30 levels higher than what I was, and I had no issue with them at all, and this was with a character build that was frankly a complete mess, I put stats all over the place cause I just wanted to play around with all the weapons and such. Early game is definitely the toughest part.

It's a slightly different suggestion, but if you're having doubts about the game right now, you're not even really half way there, there's a lot more of the game to go. It's quite long and I think you're roughly at the point where the repetition of the enemies and environments really started to drag for me.

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sweetz

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I played a little bit more last night. I got to the spider lady, wandered into her boss arena without realizing I was doing so (that pissed me off a little), but I beat her first try. That felt good.

Then I tried a sub-mission where you fight a single big axe wielding guy on a bridge and...I went back to not enjoying the game. I was like "oh shit, I've made a mistake" as soon as I loaded in and saw the bridge absolutely covered in player graves. I did beat him, but I ended up having to completely cheese him by using the spear thrust attack over and over. It took forever to wear him down, but it was a safe way to do it. I've got to learn to just stick to the main missions...

I'm using single sword and spears since I've just been pumping points into Body and Heart. Odachi seems to be a DLC weapon, so that's not an option for me.

I'm wearing the Warrior of the West Armor set. Almost every player ghost I've come across is wearing it and people seem to keep upgrading it. I keep getting higher and higher level pieces from ghosts. I'm wondering if people just upgrade this armor for the whole game.

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Brackstone

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@sweetz: Nioh has a serious loot problem. Not only do you get a ton of it that's pointless, but the best loot you get is in fact from player ghosts, so the entire game you'll be using a very limited number of armour sets because that's what you get pieces of because that's what people are using because that's what people get pieces of and so on. You won't stick with it for the whole game, but eventually it'll switch to a different set of armour that's the popular armour, mostly when the older one can't keep up any more. If you want to wear something else you've got to invest in it yourself, you're probably not going to get anything different as a drop.

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TheRealTurk

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Some of this is adjusting your thinking. I remember the gaming press was super eager to anoint the game "Samurai Dark Souls," and unfortunately that perception stuck. Really the game is only very superficially like Dark Souls. I mean, yes - you've got shines/bonfires and Amrita/souls and you drip stuff when you die, but that's pretty much it. The heart of Nioh is in the other systems - the weapon stances and combos, the blacksmithing system, etc. It's less of a Dark Souls and much more of a pure action game.

The turning point for me from going from being kind of "eh" to making this one of my favoritist favorite games ever was when I was able to realize that.

So if it helps, try thinking of it as less of a "harder Dark Souls" and more like "an easier Ninja Gaiden."

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dudeglove

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Nioh's difficulty is a pretty steep drop for the first few missions. If you weren't put off by paralysis bat lady (even though the level leading up to her is scattered with paralysis resistant gear) after angry boy ogre, then lighting all the torches for the annoying giant water blob fight might also irritate the hell out of you. The base game probably reaches its peak with the fight with the Kunoichi lady whose name escapes me, but it's legitimately a hard fight. After that it's mostly fine and then when you get to the DLC bosses you'll wish you'd never bothered to clear the game.

However, the game can be completely broken. Once you understand not only stances and combos, but also the various degen effects and buffs from positioning and spirits and spells and charged counter hits, you can literally one-shot some of the hardest bosses on the highest difficulty. It's thoroughly satisfying to break things, though it's debatable how well the game bothers to tell you any of this.

I think Nioh was a lot of fun, not just as a faster spin on the soulslike with loot, but also a fun way to explore the Sengoku Jidai which is almost as absurd as Nioh, just drop the magical stuff.

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TobbRobb

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Nioh has a bit of an awkward difficulty curve. It starts off very hard, then it only gets easier and easier up until about the 85% mark, and then the last couple of missions are fairly difficult. The very last one being a notable spike.

Arguably Hino-Enma is top 3 hardest bosses in the entire game for a first playthrough. I think everyone gets destroyed by her initially. I know it took me 20 something tries as well. Most of the midgame bosses I did on first or second try. That's the difference we are talking about here.

And yeah I think the game requires faster reflexes than Souls. Maybe comparable to bloodborne, but I think BB maybe has a more forgiving window for dodging (and definitely more forgiving healing).

All this said, you can probably build or overlevel yourself out of your problems to a decent extent. If you pick up higher level equipment sets from phantoms on the floor and abuse the set bonuses you get from Warrior of the West or other common early game sets, you can definitely feel more powerful much faster.

You could either bulk up quite a bit so you can survive more mistakes, or you could try more of a glass cannon thing. As a glass cannon you can actually play very safe. Just focus on dodging and only go for single safe hits when you know its ok. You will do about as much damage in that one safe hit as you do risking your life by wailing on the enemy with a lower damage build. Killing the enemy faster results in less chances for it to try and kill you overall.

As for my personal opinion. While the game's setting is very cool, and it's fun to have a really good samurai game. Nioh is 95% mechanics to me. The combat is everything. I don't necessarily think it's worth playing for the setting or the story alone. You kinda have to be in for the gameplay to enjoy it. It turns into a HUGE slog otherwise because of the sheer length of it. And updates on storybeats just get less common as you go.

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Rebel_Scum

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#18  Edited By Rebel_Scum

I love this game but I'm heaps stuck on Umi-Bozu. I've used up all my fire based items so everytime I fight him I have to do it the hard way and I don't have enough time to play for 2-3 hours dying relentlessly and not progressing.

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Shindig

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#19  Edited By Shindig

There are sconces across the level that you can light. They'll give you corresponding sconces in the boss arena to set your weapons on fire for free.

I believe there's 3 of them?

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Gundato

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@shindig: ... Did the sconces/braziers really give you fire damage?

Evidently I managed to beat that mission four or five times and never realize this. I am an idiot

----

And just to motivate the "stick with it"

Some of the later missions are just stylistic as all hell. One of them truly feels like you are fighting your way across a battle field right down to needing to make a mad dash across no man's land to avoid getting shot. Another has one of the most awesome "sense of power" moments in a Souls game as it really feels like you are just tearing through hordes of midboss level enemies (and then some).

And there are a few really shitty boss fights that I absolutely hate everything about to break up the moments of greatness.

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Shindig

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#21  Edited By Shindig

Yeah, I just watched a video to confirm, there's 3 you need to find which can then be used in the boss arena to light your sword.

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sweetz

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Well, still sticking with it for now. I thought I was going to have a lot of trouble with the ice lady, but got her on the 3rd try. Beat white tiger on the first try.

I wish I understood how the parry works. I played a sub-mission with a bunch of strong revenants. I had a string of successful parries and thought I had it down, but then I couldn’t get it again. It seems you have to start the parry before the hit connects.

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Rebel_Scum

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@shindig: yeah i know, but if the fire goes out, when Umi Bozu goes to his final form some of the little blobby bastards come out so then its a fight between me, umi bozu and a few little minions. Death is certain so I dont use those to light my swords.

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jimmyoct87

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I died to Umi-Bozu more than any other boss, so just keep at it. That being said, there is probably a spike in people playing because it was free so maybe summon in some help?

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Shindig

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Maybe you've got skill points available to unlock some fire talismans?

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TheRealTurk

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@rebel_scum said:

@shindig: yeah i know, but if the fire goes out, when Umi Bozu goes to his final form some of the little blobby bastards come out so then its a fight between me, umi bozu and a few little minions. Death is certain so I dont use those to light my swords.

If you've got any Hykotto Masks, you can use those, too.

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Rebel_Scum

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#27  Edited By Rebel_Scum

@rebel_scum said:

@shindig: yeah i know, but if the fire goes out, when Umi Bozu goes to his final form some of the little blobby bastards come out so then its a fight between me, umi bozu and a few little minions. Death is certain so I dont use those to light my swords.

If you've got any Hykotto Masks, you can use those, too.

lol all spent. Was gonna see if I could farm them but that would take hours so bugger that. Just have to do it the hard way.

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Quantris

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@shindig said:

Maybe you've got skill points available to unlock some fire talismans?

This. Don't be reluctant to cheese the hell out of the unlockable tools.

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sweetz

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#29  Edited By sweetz

Beat the Toad guy last night after 5 or 6 tries. Almost bailed on the game there simply because the walk back to the boss was so annoying. There was no challenge, as there was literally 1 easily killed regular guy on the path, but you had to go through several hidden doors which require holding a button and waiting for an animation to play out.

In general, I have not once had even the slightest challenge running from the nearest shrine to the boss after a death, which makes me question why the hell they even bothered making you do that run. It does absolutely nothing except waste your time as a player. That's one Souls game element they should have dropped. Just put the respawn point right outside the boss door.

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sweetz

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#30  Edited By sweetz

So just a little update for the curious. I found the game's cheat code, aka the sloth spell :)

Boss fights have been pretty easy since finding out about that. For anyone who is not aware, it's a spell that slows enemies down, including their attack animation. It doesn't last very long for bosses, but it's long enough to make several fights nearly trivial.

I just beat the boss after the giant skeleton (Ishida Mitsunari). Looks like I've got about 4 bosses left in the main game (looked it up, don't care about spoilers).

I'm actually having a harder time just making it through levels to get to bosses now. Some normal enemies are starting to be able to one shot me.

I still can't say I'm really enjoying the game all that much (Souls-like games just aren't my thing), but it's not quite as frustrating and I have a compulsion to finish it. I will say that the inventory management has actually become more annoying than the difficulty. Sorting through item, selling them, upgrading them, etc. after every mission is getting tedious.

Also, I'm still finding many people wearing Warrior of the West armor upgraded to their level. First notable armor set you find used for pretty much the entire game! It makes sense on the players' part, it has arguably a better balance between defense than any other armor in the game. The medium armor sets in the later game all take me above 70% load despite upgrading my stamina a decent amount.

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sweetz

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Well, saw credits and beat the post credits boss that was on loan from Bloodborne. Worth it just for the humorously out of place credits song.

Nioh is interesting, but I sadly still wouldn’t say I liked it all that much. I like the speed and responsiveness of the combat compared to From games, but for me the game suffers from systems overload. It’s really crazy how much equipment management is in the game in addition to the skills complexity.

There‘s a ton of stuff to play around with, but I think most players tend to find something that works and stick with it. Sometimes too much complexity actually leads to less experimentation. I think the game would have benefitted from a little simplification.

Also the difficulty curve is indeed out of whack. Even accounting for my abusing of the sloth spell, Hino-Enma, the second boss, was the most difficult boss in the game. She shows up again in a boss rush at the end and I still had problems with her. Never had more than around 5 attempts on a boss after her, and several I beat on first try.

I curious how I would fare with Sekiro. That one definitely seems too hard for me, but I guess I’ll find out whenever it eventually hits PS+ :)

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