rijackson741 wrote:Go to the bridge with the first Irdegh. Attack the Irdegh and knock it's HP down until you can kill it with one hit, but don't kill it. Back off the bridge, and save the game. Then reload, kill, reload kill, etc., until you have the gland.
This is precisely what I ended up doing myself, because killing each Irdegh was taking me a big chunk of life what with the stackable poison effects, so I'd have to wait around to regen or burn through some potions - and even if you're packing 200 of them, that's not a pleasant process.
For me, this game is at its most fun when it dangles some goal out there for you to go chase, with a boss or the like. Rolling through the Charwood Mines, especially to its final levels, was a blast. I saved at the start of the last screen and then tried to see if I could plow through that screen, and the boss, without dying. Took me like 10 tries, it was awesome. Point is, the carrot was there, it wasn't moving, and if I could make it there I could have it.
Meanwhile, shocking, negative effects that players might not have anticipated - like you said about getting back out of the Brimhaven cave with a curse you may or may not have expected - absolutely suck. Having to take on two Vareghs at once, two separate times, in order to fight your way out of there, when your damage output is crippled, leaves open the possibility that you just can't make it. I mean, they heal 10 HP every time they hit you, whether they do damage or not. It's pretty unfair in trying to get out of the dungeon you've just (allegedly) beaten.
One of the best things about RPGs is giving players the choice of whether, and when, to challenge themselves. I did a quick panty raid of the Green Maze and Zortak Leader when I was, I think, L28, in order to get Serpent's Hauberk. The challenge stayed constant: if I was up to it, I got the reward; if not, I could come back later. The issue with the Irdeghs, or the Kazaul curse in the first place, is that it's not within the player's control. In game-designer language, this is called "Agency", the idea that the player feels they have the ability to affect the world they're playing in. You play the game, the game doesn't play you. Deprive a player of the feeling of agency, and they get frustrated, burn out and go do something else rather quickly.
Sometimes, the game's plot itself requires depriving the player of agency. Halfway through Final Fantasy 3, the world is destroyed by the big bad guy, everything you've worked for is ruined, and you wake up in a post-apocalyptic hellscape (alone) and have to put the pieces back together. Sometimes characters are killed and there's nothing you can do about it. Sometimes certain bosses are invulnerable, as a way for the game to say "you shouldn't be here yet" or "this time, your team loses". None of that is true with these situations, they're just designed that way and the only outcome is for them to be supremely frustrating.