I played Emerald Spire Level 7: the Shrine of the Awakener last night with a three man party rounded out by 7th level pregen Kyra (the cleric).
The three players were a 7th level Fire Kineticist andd two level 7 Monkbucklers. (Two levels of Monk, 5 levels of swashbuckler).
The quetion is about the difficulty of the levels in ES: the four of us pretty much kicked the crap out of all our opponents without all that much trouble. The Monkbucklers had such high Ac they were almost never hit and Kyra & Egil (myself) have barrels of HP. the Monkbucklers didn't do all that much damage per strike, but always play together and had worked out tag-team with Broken Wing gambit and a few other teamwork feats & tactics, so there was a _lot_ of swings going off. And of course the Pyromancer was blasting away.
There were gaps in our Knowledges, and no one could detect traps, but still, the of the four of us Kyra & one Monkbuckler got below 50% HP once each.
Was it supposed to be this easy? Or did it just seem this way?
I was the GM for this level just last night in a PFS game. It's a pretty easy level. There's a couple of things you can do with terrain to have some monsters escape and warn others, and of course a larger fight poses more risk to the players. If the PC's make the various checks for the traps and don't have escapees from the early fight, it's easy for them to pick off the separated groups of enemies.
Each level challenges different parties in different ways. That being said, Level 7 can be pretty "easy."
Part of it is Level 6 is the culmination of the previous levels talking about Klarkosh and his clockwork abominations. So the party's just overcome their first "boss" fight, and the next level is a big thematic swing.
My experience was that my party (consisting of cleric, wizard, barbarian, and druid) tore through it. But they had fun doing it - the traps nature of the level made them feel "strong" for the first time in the game. And it provided a lead in for the next level, which worked a number on them.
The last fight was going so badly for Sartoss that the only enemy threatening my party - the dark naga - escaped up the spire. She ambushed them on the surface as they were retreating back to Fort Inevitable after a brutal slog on Level 8, and nearly got them.
Considering how challenging some levels can be, let the party have their big moments!