I posted this in another post somewhere else but I thought perhaps it could inspire some discussion more along its own lines of reasoning.
There has been a LOT of discussion recently about how difficult Epic Elite content is, and the ways it has been designed to be difficult, and yet at the same time there has been a lot of cries from players for more difficult content.
I feel that it is very important for an MMORPG to have a scale of content from very easy all the way to mindnumbingly difficult that it requires extreme planning, building, and mental endurance to achieve. I believe that the extreme fluctuation in views and tones of peoples views on the state of game content difficulty is directly caused by the way DDO has been up until now.
People have become very used to being able to do absolutely everything in the game and have developed a feeling of entitlement towards that ability. (And I don't mean content, I mean up to the highest levels of difficulty - there should at least be ways for players to witness every bit of content the devs have put in the time and resources to design and implement without too much of a struggle) This should not be the case - for a lot of reasons.
First off, if people didn't have such a sense of entitlement towards being able to complete the hardest content in the game, they could instead be looking at it as something to strive towards. Truly hard content makes for a game with a lot longer lifespan as it gives people goals to achieve.
Even that unmentionable MMORPG has hardmodes that fewer than 10% of players ever manage to beat - and if anything it has made unfortunate strides towards the too easy end of the spectrum.
The reality is that there absolutely should be content in the game that people should struggle with, that should require near perfect builds and gear set ups, that should require very high levels of teamwork and skill. Content that people should expect that they CAN NOT DO!
HOWEVER, all that said, DDO has several glaring flaws that hamper that ideal.
1) The scale of difficulty is ridiculous - Epic Normal should be slightly harder than it is, leaning towards the current difficulty of Epic Hard. This is reasonable since it is still end game content, theoretically everyone here should have had 20 levels to learn how to play well enough to accomplish content at a slightly higher level of difficulty than one could expect from players pre epic. Epic Hard should then be a much closer mid point towards Epic Elite than it currently is. The problem is people have no way to truly assess their own playing skills and readiness to compete in the next level of content since the jump from Epic Hard to Epic Elite is... staggering.
2) There exists builds that are too easy to achieve that are able to handle epic elite with almost no gear, little skill, and little effort into build - most notably right now the Shiradi arcane. This is the end of the spectrum that needs to be corrected, not the other end. It is not that the other arcanes need a buff because Shiradi is too powerful, it is that Shiradi arcanes need a nerf because they are too powerful too easily.
That said, due to the desire of the devs to attempt to make DCs a challenge for tactics users who have a much easier time boosting their tactics DCs than casters, DC requirements have become slightly unreasonable for arcanes. A possible solution to this is either giving monsters skewed saves towards fortitude (most combat DCs are fortitude, while most arcane spells outside of instant death spells which SHOULD be difficult to land, are reflex or will.) or introducing another item modification with a benefit along the lines of combat master, providing a +3-5 boost to caster DCs.
3) Hate mechanics in this game are not well designed, which significantly cuts out a lot of possible group dynamics - it is great that the game doesn't require the old school holy trinity, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't ALLOW the holy trinity as a viable option.
All in all, I feel that this game does need a level of content so difficult that fewer than 10% of players will ever succeed at it, however it needs to take strides towards giving a much more linear progression of difficulty towards this content, fix some of the ways of cheaping out the content, and provide a bit more potential possible strategies towards combating the content in the game.