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There are four difficulty settings in Dragon Age II:
- Casual difficulty is best suited to players who are new to role-playing games or expect to play combat in real-time, rather than pausing often to plan tactics.
- Normal difficulty is the recommended setting for players familiar with role-playing games, providing a good balance of challenge and survivability. It requires moderate use of tactical pausing to plan actions during combat. You will generally only need to control your main character, and can allow the game to control your companions.
- Hard difficulty provides a considerably greater challenge than normal difficulty. To survive most fights, you will need to make sophisticated use of tactical pausing as well as clever combinations of spells and talents, controlling each of your party members in turn.
- Nightmare difficulty is intended for tactical geniuses who found hard difficulty too easy. Aim carefully: At this setting, errant spells and attacks will harm your allies as easily as your enemies.
|Enemy ability cooldown||100%||100%||80%||50%|
|Enemy effect duration||100%||100%||80%||60%|
Some handicaps are specific to Nightmare difficulty. These are: