Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
That's kind of how this started.

People said my game was too hard, I said I am just following the guidelines in the DMG, and people responded that maybe the DMG doesn't know what it is talking about; hence this thread.
Go back to these people and ask them what about the game is too hard. We can't help until we know what they think the problem is.

Most of the time when I have run into this issue (regardless of where in the situation I was located-- DM, complaining players, non-complaining players, or bystander) it has come down to DM and Players having different understanding of the actual situations. Often it comes down to every/most fight having the players feel on-the-ropes, whether that is true or not. Do the players feel like their characters can run if things go badly? Do they think they will know when things are going badly soon enough to successfully run? When they feel like they are in a fight, holding their own, and expending a reasonable amount of resources, does that seem clear to them or are they constantly second guessing whether they know how things are going?

D&D isn't 'too hard,' but it is bad at some things, especially related to these kind of issues. Enemies showing no real sign of injury until they drop, combined with opportunity attacks and that enemies can effectively keep up with you (or snipe you with readily-switchable-to ranged weapons) as you retreat conspire to make running when things go bad seem like a really bad idea. This can lead to a stand-your-ground attitude, regardless of how prepared you are for the fight, which unfortunately makes one think that they aren't ready for the fight (or one certainly doesn't know if they are ready for the fight). This, along with a game system (in this case 3e being worse than most editions of the game) not providing a lot of clues as to whether you are underbuilt, built to the level of optimization the game expects, or ridiculous cheeze, tends to make players feel like they are facing worse hardship than perhaps the DM (who knows darn well how close the PCs are to dropping a given opponent) knows to be the case.