Okay found some thing on Steam and hacked my LoH save game to be in hard mode. Nominally exploiting elemental weaknesses and having proper equips is a lot more important now, howeveeeeeeer:
- The RNG screw is really exacerbated, since you end up in situations where a single miss from you or the enemy can be the difference between and getting totally wiped. Also if you're doing a craft that amounts to wasted CP which you can't necessarily recover that quickly.
- You're a lot more reliant on the turn bonus things/stopping the enemy from getting then, EXCEPT this also exacerbates the RNG screw mentioned above -- oh hey I navigated myself into getting a crit this turn oh wait I missed whoops -- and when yo have companions sometimes they'll do useless actions outside of your control that, uh, shifts the bonuses around which is just stupid.
- You'd probably need to change your orbal configurations a little between every fight to really maximize everything. Do I really feel like doing this?
- Enemies appear to be getting more turns in general, and getting a preemptive strike doesn't really mean you get two attacks so much as it's guaranteeing that you DO attack first.
- Still too much reliance on surprise/preemptives.
- I don't really feel like you have the necessary recourse for dealing with everything.
In particular there's a chest with a battle suit in it on the way to Ruan. The enemies in the chest have like an AoE attack that does 200 damage and can possibly confuse one of your characters. Up to this point I think you'd only have one anti-confusion necklace, for one thing. Also they move fast enough that they can basically wipe you out in two turns without you being able to do much.
There's no real in-combat strategy for this -- the correct approach is apparently going to Ruan, upgrading your armor, getting another lily necklace, and going back. I guess you could buffing your defense/evasion with orbments -- I think having an identical defense/evade/mind setup for Estelle and Joshua may have worked, but that's not giving you nearly as much defense as the new armor is, and Evade orbals are... green and I've had a problem with getting green splerpf the entire game so far.
Basically the enemies are weak to water attacks, and a single blast of MIND WATER will kill them or put them near death, so the correct approach is to just spam that until they're dead or low enough in HP that Estelle could take them all out with Hurricane (and have the lily necklaces equipped so they can't confuse you), but again you end up relying on whether the RNG says which attacks hit or not/the enemies using their normal attack instead of Pale File, which does less damage and isn't AoE.
- You still tend to take a lot of damage which mostly means you have to horde either healing items or food ingredients now?
IDK it's definitely a lot harder but I can't tell if it's /interesting/ hard or just more drawn out.
To it's credit though it doesn't, by any means, come close to approaching the level of /bad difficulty mod/ that this thing does: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQLezKCtDZo