I tried replaying the first missions on way of the samurai. I used a book of reincarnation, I sold all my gear, and went naked, level 1 into the first mission. I found a level 1 hammer and a level 4 sword. So... I was killing most mobs in one combo with the sword in mid stance, and the level one hammer demolishes them... now, I clearly remember that when I started playing in february, when the game came out (let alone alpha and beta but that's in the past, we'll not see that anymore in our life), I couldn't kill mobs in one combo in the first level. Also notice that I'm not using Kato as a spirit, I have Isonade primary and Daiba Washi secondary, which means basically I don't get any bonus. And also enemies have incredibly slow attacks, and when they are in groups their AI becomes incredibly passive, I can attack one enemy and, most of times, the other ones are just watching.
Now, I get you want to make the game accessible to anyone, but... why I should be able kill an enemy in one combo at base ki? Isn't this game about ki management? Isn't the first level a good environment to teach players ki management? Is an enemy that doesn't die in one combo making the game unaccessible to newcomers? Is this good game design? Am I ranting too much?
So, now I'm in the spiders mission (I skept some side missions, Umi Bozu and Centipede because I don't like them), I've also done some of the sub-missions, like the one on the brige and the other in the arena in which you fight multiple enemies. I'm at level one, I'm using useless spirits, I have level 1 hammer, lvl3 spear, lvl4 sword and dual swords, and I'm not having any kind of trouble because enemies are slow, passive and don't have much health. I die more of haste than lack of skills.
So, I guess... they nerfed enemies again. Congrats.