I don't see the length of the game as a problem, tbh. It's its mechanics that just don't appeal to me in the slightest. The fact that a party can be crippled completely without any chance to do anything about it is horribly bad design in my mind. I guess this becomes less of an issue several hours into the game as your characters become potent and strong enough to deal with even horribad RNG, but early on it's just no end of frustration where you keep losing without no say in it.
Once again, I feel like we're talking about different games.
One of the great strengths of Darkest Dungeon in fact is that the difficulty is so progressive. In that way it's like AI War. To a new player, difficulty 6 may be near impossible, but compared to 8, it's absolutely child's play.
To a person who has learned how to beat 8, difficulty 6 becomes no contest. Even though just a few weeks prior, difficulty 6 was near impossible. And difficulty 10 is that much harder than difficulty 8, etc. etc.
And this is a fair comparison because I've been around these forums for a very long time, and I've heard many new players who have invested 30+ hours into the game making these complaints, even about the lower difficulties. They complain about how unfair the game is, and how BS it is that the AI gets all these advantages, and how AIP is broken, on and on ad infinitum. Perhaps the game wasn't made for these players, or perhaps they just lack the ability to understand the essential mechanics which would forge their path to victory.
In any case, that's how I feel when I see you say things like this. By the time you are on the hardest Darkest Dungeon missions, the "easy" missions are so freaking easy you could do them with any party combination, no items, in your sleep. That's why I'm struggling to understand or comprehend your points.
Not to mention the extreme "trial and error" aspect of the game, which is a major no-no for me in a game like this.
I think the trial and error portion is part of what's supposed to make the game so fun. If the game built your parties for you, and equipped them with all the right skills/items, there wouldn't be much point in playing it would there?
I had most of my fun coming up with the most overpowered party combinations and sharing them with friends, and granted this led to a lot of trial and error, but that was fun too. If you don't like the style of trying out new parties and seeing what works and what doesn't, then this game just isn't for you.
Sometimes games are like that. I hate sandbox games BECAUSE of the exploring part. I just want to have an objective and complete it. But games like Skyrim, Fallout 4, etc., half of the fun is just randomly exploring shit and seeing what happens. I *hate* that, but just because I don't like it, I don't think that makes them bad games. That's just not my thing.
4X games I can't stand because all the diplomacy and ship design just freaking bores the hell out of me. I just want to build armies and get into the combat. But to a lot of players, the empire management and ship building is what makes the game fun.
So once again, I think this is just a subjective thing. The trial and error is what makes Darkest Dungeon enjoyable. But you have to be a certain personality type. I personally love getting my ass kicked, because it appeals to something deep down inside of me to be better, to overcome all odds, to be the best I can be. So games like this that really challenge me in an intellectual way are my forte. I had some of the most epic and memorable moments of my entire gaming life playing this game, and I'll never forget them.
But yes, I will agree with you, one of the stupid aspects of the game is what TotalBiscuit calls "Wikiculty". That is, an artificial difficulty that can be solved simply be looking at a wiki. And indeed, this is the kind of game where you must
do that in certain circumstances. I learned all the chests and props in the 4 dungeons, and how best to interact with them (and when to avoid them) as fast as possible, and learning this was vital to my success. Figuring these things out on your own would be horrible.
Likewise, before fighting any boss, looking at a wiki for help about which party composition to bring is extremely important. It's not that you can't beat the bosses by trial and error, only that doing so would take quite a bit of time, and I said before, the game already takes forever even with these shortcuts.
So yes, I think of Darkest Dungeon as a heavily flawed game, but many of its flaws are also what make it so damn impressive. It's just like people. Perfect people are boring, interesting people are usually kind of twisted or strange in some sort of way. Blizzard games are usually *the standard* when it comes to gaming perfection, they have refined the formula down to its essence, and these games bore the living hell out of me.
I don't blame people for hating Darkest Dungeon for the same reason that I don't blame people for hating DotA. It has all these stupid and unintuitive mechanics that shouldn't be there and that just make life on the player unnecessarily frustrating and/or hard. That's also why I love them.