How I made my 2nd play through very interesting

I posted this earlier to another thread but I'm interested to see what other people have to say. On my 2nd play through I decided to implement a few rules to make my game more interesting. I jumped from Normal to Very Hard (which I also found out disables the aim-assist, not even knowing it was on previously)

  1. No Side Quests or errands can be turned in – too much XP

  2. Fast travel and potions must be made, no purchasing (and certainly no infinite fast travel)

  3. No use of Lure + Silent Strike – way too OP vs. humans and smaller stuff

  4. No pre-order gear

So far, this game is WAY more intense this way. Watchers can 2-shot me. I've been 1-shot by a sawtooth & a fire bellowback. Also, not using fast travel has been a pretty rewarding experience. I ride the different animals a LOT more, now. More than anything, my play style has completely changed. My first play through, once I got shadow bow, warbow and sharpshot bow, I never needed anything else. Playing this way, traps are not useful… they are absolutely necessary.

Has anyone else started a game like this, implementing your own "house rules"? If so, what are they? I'd be intereted to turn my difficulty up another notch!

I'd like for this to be a discussion, not an exaggeration so please no "don't use your controller hur hur hur."

Thanks, and happy horizons!

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