I have both played and GMed FATE 2.0 a lot but, while deciding the target number for rolls as a GM has somehow always been easy, knowing what difficulties to expect as a player for a long time was hard. I eventually came to realize that, when I GMed, my baseline difficulty for a generic, 'average' action varied a lot between even games with the same points for character creation and the same was true for the people who Gmed for me. We started listing an 'average success' threshold along with the other information we gave out to players as they built their characters.
Here's the situation:
All three of the primary GMs (of which I am one) almost always run 5-aspects 4-skill points each or 4-aspects 5-skill points each games (both of which total 20 skill points, just enough for a level 4 skill at the start of the game with no points in intrinsics or equipment), and answers to this question should assume that players have between 4 and 5 aspects and exactly 20 skillpoints (though an answer that deals with arbitrary values for each would be awesome)
One of the DMs believes that the average success for such a game should be a 1, and runs his games accordingly. This leads to him assigning massive negative penalties (typically -2 but it's -3 or higher for specialized skills) to anyone trying to do anything they don't have points in , which I want to avoid doing except for skills where an untrained penalty actually makes sense (e.g. brain surgery, ice magic, ks: Inuit History).
The other DM usually sets her average success at three and as a result the PCs are generally weaker than random NPC 'extras', let alone NPCs of any real talent.
I put mine at two, because it's in the middle, but am unsure about this and don't really have any real reasons for it. Because my average average success was the result of observation, I don't really know how to expand it to non-average situations. What's a good difficulty for a difficult action in a 5-aspect 20 skillpoint game if I want an average trained individual to fail the task about half the time? Is two a good number for an average success? How do I tell?