I started a new character in Skyrim a week ago, and for some reason the game set itself to expert difficulty. It’s weird.
The only thing i noticed that expert difficulty changes is that every enemy does extreme amounts of damage. They aren’t any harder to kill, but if they hit you, you’re dead. This weird unbalance can be quite annoying. I can hack through a draugr dungeon without using any pots or even healing, but if two scourges get stuck in a small corridor, they can easily kill me by summoning a frost atronach on my neck for example.
Especially problematic if you’re up against mages for example, who’ll just keep casting ice spells on you, exhausting and slowing you, which is deadly for a melee fighter. Armor is easy to build against draugr for example, but even then simple wild animals like bears or sabertooth tigers could still kill me in a few hits.
On the other hand, magic is tough to protect against. Even with element resist enchanted gear, it hurts a lot. Worth mentioning that story characters don’t get stronger. Dungeons will generate stronger and stronger draugr, but Alduin will be piece of cake compared to an ancient dragon.
To sum it up: monsters don’t last any longer on expert, so if you got someone to catch the bullets for you, it’s not much of a challenge. Followers like Lydia are also immortal to monsters, so unless you kill them, they’re gonna heal up quick. Doing the Night to Remember quest at level 14 is also a must for the (then) very powerful dremora summon.