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Being hard has NOTHING to do with good quality combat design.Perfect example is Darkest Dungeon,that is a crap design and very shallow,yet most would consider it hard to beat.
Being difficult does not make a game good in and of itself.
Being of the correct difficulty for the target audience is, however, a very important aspect of a good game.
The core audience for Pantheon is consistently asking for the difficulty bar to be raised higher than most new MMO's. That should provide a baseline for the developers that can be refined during testing.
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin