The difficulty balance in an RPG is an incredibly hard tightrope to walk on. You don’t know exactly what state the player will approach a challenge. Sure, they may be leveled up high enough, but what about their equipment and their strategy? After Another Star, I have a lot more respect for the developers of RPGs in general! Even generic RPGs make player progression seem so easy.
A few people have said that Another Star‘s late game is less fun than earlier sections. However, it’s too soon for me to decide if they’re actually right. I designed the later enemies in the game with specific strategies in mind. Thus, I’m not even sure yet if players are approaching the challenges correctly, or if it’s a failing on my part. And even if it is my fault, is it because the enemies are actually “broken”, or because I didn’t explain a mechanic well enough in game?
I was hoping to see more discussion among players about strategies: enemy weaknesses, what items to use, the best ways to use magic, the fastest ways to take down enemies. This sort of open discussion is an aspect of games that I really love, so it’s really disappointing to see no dialog at all between players. I’m really not sure what to do about it, either.
That said, I’m certainly not above applying “balance patches” in later versions of the game. If a section of the game is just not fun no matter what, then of course I’m open to changing it. However, I don’t want to “fix” anything until I have enough input to know for sure that it’s actually broken, and that players aren’t just missing something.