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How big of a spread should there be between level 1 and max level?


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Exactly what the topic says. How much more powerful should a max level PC be, compared to a level one PC?

 

Personally, my preference is for an experience where normal enemies at the start of the game (wolves, drunken street thugs) are simple minions at the end of the game, but always stay relevant. Something which could pose a threat to you at the start of the game should never become an insect for you to crush, imho. One way I'd really love to see this implemented is by having none of the PCs attributes automatically increase. Unlike in, say, DnD where a fifth-level fighter automatically has five times as much health as a first level fighter, I'd like to see a situation where you have to put points into Constitiution (or whatever) to increase your health (and by doing so you'd be choosing not to increase your attack power or accuracy). By the end of the game, I think a reasonable (not min-maxed) PC should be able to be about 2x as powerful (double all the important stats for his class) as a starting character, + have a lot more options (special attacks, spells, et cetera).

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Agreed.

 

My biggest problem with DnD is characters' power curve. I find it completely idiotic that an arrow (not to mention a fireball) can kill a level 1 hero, but the same guy advanced to to 10th, can survive a dozen of them. You can explain that HPs are not exactly health, but an abstract measure of toughness and survivability, yet it still bugs me from hell and back. It's too heroic when an experienced character won't get bogged down by a hundred novices.

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I liked the curve in Baldur's Gate; It only stretched a measly 7-9 levels, and depending on your class, each level was a tad bit "meh" on their own, but from a "Start Game" vs. "End Game" viewpoint, I think it was great. Gibberlings and wolves were a great threat in the start, but by the end, they weren't completely powerless against you, but they had ceased being the dominant threat (goddamned werewolves, curse them all!).

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Agreed with OP.

 

By not scaling HP and power like a lunatic, you create more tension.

 

Suddenly you don't require entire armeis to make a battle challenging. Suddenly that dragon will ALWAYS be a big problem.

Edited by TrashMan

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Max level should be hard to get but once there you should essentially be like a god and simply looking in the direction of even the greatest enemy should be enough to send it cowering in a dark corner somewhere to commit suicide before you get to it. Beyond that level 1 should be like....well...level 1, fighting rats is a life threatening activity for you and such.

 

Now THAT would be the way to beat the final boss....after many hours of doing every little side quest and turning over every rock in search of treasure in order to reach max level.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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BG curve was ideal, IMO. Though TotSC was kind of pushing it with it's items and extra xp(I mean after Aec' Letec and Durlag's Tower I found Sarevok and his cronies to be a cake walk). Though I think it would be good for the player to be powerful enough to feel like a hero, but not like a demigod.

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I'd want something like what you get in planescape (not including the crazy xp boost from the sphere or grinding in undersigil), something that starts you at level 1 as about equivalent to AD&D level 3-4 and ends at about equivalent to AD&D level 12-14. You don't start completely useless, and don't end up completely godlike.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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One way I'd really love to see this implemented is by having none of the PCs attributes automatically increase. Unlike in, say, DnD where a fifth-level fighter automatically has five times as much health as a first level fighter, I'd like to see a situation where you have to put points into Constitiution (or whatever) to increase your health (and by doing so you'd be choosing not to increase your attack power or accuracy). By the end of the game, I think a reasonable (not min-maxed) PC should be able to be about 2x as powerful (double all the important stats for his class) as a starting character, + have a lot more options (special attacks, spells, et cetera).

Yes, I agree with this mechanic.

 

Also, I'd like to see some type of learning curve for attributes (assuming these can be changed, I hope so) and skills, such that after a certain threshold you need to use 2 skills points for a 1 point increase, and then 3 skills points for 1 point increase, and so on.

 

At end game I'd like to be a respected and known adventurer across some lands, but nothing epic or even close to god-like.

Edited by hideo kuze
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don't end up completely godlike

Except you do. By the end of the game TNO really was a god, complete with insane stats and abilities. Near the end of the game he could take out greater demons with bare hands if fighter or annihilate them with death star-like beams from another dimension if mage. Hell, you could resurrect people starting from level one, how crazy is that? If anything, Torment has a fine example of a ridiculously overpowered protagonist. Not that I think it's bad. In fact, it was quite awesome.

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Updated my journal.

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don't end up completely godlike

Except you do. By the end of the game TNO really was a god, complete with insane stats and abilities. Near the end of the game he could take out greater demons with bare hands if fighter or annihilate them with death star-like beams from another dimension if mage. Hell, you could resurrect people starting from level one, how crazy is that? If anything, Torment has a fine example of a ridiculously overpowered protagonist. Not that I think it's bad. In fact, it was quite awesome.

 

Finally, somebody gets it. Difficulty is all fine and well at the start but once you get to max level you should just feel awesome.

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don't end up completely godlike

Except you do. By the end of the game TNO really was a god, complete with insane stats and abilities. Near the end of the game he could take out greater demons with bare hands if fighter or annihilate them with death star-like beams from another dimension if mage. Hell, you could resurrect people starting from level one, how crazy is that? If anything, Torment has a fine example of a ridiculously overpowered protagonist. Not that I think it's bad. In fact, it was quite awesome.

 

He doesn't come close to the level on 'CHARNAME' in Throne of Bhaal or the spirit eater in MotB, which is what I'd consider godlike. Sure he can take a greater demon like a glabrezu or a cornugon on his lonesome (though not that easily) but you never get the feeling he's unstoppable (again, unless you grind yourself up to like level 20+).

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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I'd want something like what you get in planescape (not including the crazy xp boost from the sphere or grinding in undersigil), something that starts you at level 1 as about equivalent to AD&D level 3-4 and ends at about equivalent to AD&D level 12-14. You don't start completely useless, and don't end up completely godlike.

 

I think with sphere you end up at like 24-25 and without it 16 - 18, though it depends on class. At least that's my memory.

 

What I'd like to see is initial level depending on character background/class combo, like peasant wizard? start at level 3 with some special skills in practical magic/herbology, noble wizard from wizard academy start at level 7, but have a penalty to social skills.

 

I think having an extended levelling curve that allows for a lot of specialization rather than purely powering up is also good. Like maybe a level cap of 50, and requiring 10 proficiency slots to fully utilize a weapon in a 'u' shaped curve, where veteran soldiers maybe have 7, freshly trained recruits 3, and 3 or 4 slots of difference would be enough to be near impossible to overcome.

 

There could be a big trade off in getting the last three slots two, like maybe it could require a special quest with intensive training by a grand master that comes with some sort of opportunity cost depending on the weapon.

 

As for wizards, while I hate spell progressions, I wouldn't be against inexperienced wizards having slightly reduced spell effects or a chance to trigger a different spell by accident that decreases until it's gone as they get more experience.

 

Also, I think ranged weapons should be on an easier proficiency curve than melee ones. If you think about it most shooters can be good enough without being Robin Hood pretty quickly, whether with guns or bows, while it takes a significant amount to training to fight another person with a sword and not getting yourself killed. Being Robin Hood or William Tell should be hard, but hitting someone in general shouldn't be. Think Agincourt or Mongol Hordes. I actually think most of the other IE games did this well, or at least it's been my experience that ranged weapons could easily outdo melee.

Edited by khango
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Character strength is only relevant to how strong enemies are. This is my preferred type of game progression:

 

Early game (Weak PCs): Weak "must beat" enemies, but strong/impossible enemies accessible by straying off the general "main story path".

Mid game (Moderate PCs): Small amount of weak enemies, mostly moderate "must beat" enemies, but strong/impossible enemies accessible by straying off the general "main story path".

Late game (Strong PCs): Almost no weak enemies, few moderate, mostly difficult "must beat" enemies, but very strong enemies accessible by straying off the general "main story path".

 

There should always be a challenge ahead of you, but your should also be able to feel more powerful.

This assumes the game doesn't have level scaling (which it shouldn't - **** that). You should be able to enter an area, get completely demolished and then go "oh, I guess I should go somewhere else first".

Edited by Zed
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don't end up completely godlike

Except you do. By the end of the game TNO really was a god, complete with insane stats and abilities. Near the end of the game he could take out greater demons with bare hands if fighter or annihilate them with death star-like beams from another dimension if mage. Hell, you could resurrect people starting from level one, how crazy is that? If anything, Torment has a fine example of a ridiculously overpowered protagonist. Not that I think it's bad. In fact, it was quite awesome.

 

He doesn't come close to the level on 'CHARNAME' in Throne of Bhaal or the spirit eater in MotB, which is what I'd consider godlike. Sure he can take a greater demon like a glabrezu or a cornugon on his lonesome (though not that easily) but you never get the feeling he's unstoppable (again, unless you grind yourself up to like level 20+).

Wait, you mean you were less than level 25 by the end of the game without even using the bronze sphere? Quite frankly, I find that hard to believe. And besides, TNO was omnipotent right from the beginning, he just didn't remember it. After he merged with his Mortality he could do things like using 9th circle spells without preparation, and that's no mean feat.

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I'd want something like what you get in planescape (not including the crazy xp boost from the sphere or grinding in undersigil), something that starts you at level 1 as about equivalent to AD&D level 3-4 and ends at about equivalent to AD&D level 12-14. You don't start completely useless, and don't end up completely godlike.

agreed, 3-11 would be ideal. at least as far as skills/perks/feats are concerned. hit points can get a different treatment.

 

what i'd really like is that every level gained would matter greatly. spreading them thin is one (good) way of giving them value.

 

 

path to god-hood should be long - spawn of bhaal needed 3 games to get there. let's not be hasty, eh?

Edited by sesobebo
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Well I'm all for the no max level philosophy :)

However I do agree that I'd prefer that the level 1 street thug will always remain relevant.

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don't end up completely godlike

Except you do. By the end of the game TNO really was a god, complete with insane stats and abilities. Near the end of the game he could take out greater demons with bare hands if fighter or annihilate them with death star-like beams from another dimension if mage. Hell, you could resurrect people starting from level one, how crazy is that? If anything, Torment has a fine example of a ridiculously overpowered protagonist. Not that I think it's bad. In fact, it was quite awesome.

 

He doesn't come close to the level on 'CHARNAME' in Throne of Bhaal or the spirit eater in MotB, which is what I'd consider godlike. Sure he can take a greater demon like a glabrezu or a cornugon on his lonesome (though not that easily) but you never get the feeling he's unstoppable (again, unless you grind yourself up to like level 20+).

Wait, you mean you were less than level 25 by the end of the game without even using the bronze sphere? Quite frankly, I find that hard to believe. And besides, TNO was omnipotent right from the beginning, he just didn't remember it. After he merged with his Mortality he could do things like using 9th circle spells without preparation, and that's no mean feat.

 

I had a friend who beat the game at level 12 (he called me a munchkin), it's really not that hard to do esp. if you avoid undersigil & skip the massive-xp awarding quests in Curst.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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don't end up completely godlike

Except you do. By the end of the game TNO really was a god, complete with insane stats and abilities. Near the end of the game he could take out greater demons with bare hands if fighter or annihilate them with death star-like beams from another dimension if mage. Hell, you could resurrect people starting from level one, how crazy is that? If anything, Torment has a fine example of a ridiculously overpowered protagonist. Not that I think it's bad. In fact, it was quite awesome.

 

He doesn't come close to the level on 'CHARNAME' in Throne of Bhaal or the spirit eater in MotB, which is what I'd consider godlike. Sure he can take a greater demon like a glabrezu or a cornugon on his lonesome (though not that easily) but you never get the feeling he's unstoppable (again, unless you grind yourself up to like level 20+).

Wait, you mean you were less than level 25 by the end of the game without even using the bronze sphere? Quite frankly, I find that hard to believe. And besides, TNO was omnipotent right from the beginning, he just didn't remember it. After he merged with his Mortality he could do things like using 9th circle spells without preparation, and that's no mean feat.

 

I had a friend who beat the game at level 12 (he called me a munchkin), it's really not that hard to do esp. if you avoid undersigil & skip the massive-xp awarding quests in Curst.

Truth to be told, I did grind Undersigil, but that's just about 2 to 5 levels at max, so if you did all of the sidequests you should be no less than level 20. Again, that's without using the bronze sphere.

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This should really depend on how far Obsidian plans ahead.

 

How many sequels will the character from the first game be the main protagonist?

In the last game the character takes part in he/she should be an awsome legend at the end of the game. (But that doesn't mean there shall be no challenge of course)

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Obsidian plans to make a sequel - I want my character to be a God-slaying machine by the end of the 2nd game. A BG-like progression (albeit a tad more equally divided between two games) would suit it the best. To be honest, though, it's really hard to determine things like this without knowing anything about the game itself.

Edited by True_Spike
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If there have to be character levels I'd want to have twenty to forty of them, but on a nice little moderate curve (think pre-Industrialization population growth). While I want to be able to easily wipe the floor with enemies that posed a proper challenge in the beginning, I don't want to be ridiculously overpowered by the end. For many a reason (believability of the world, primarily). And especially considering that Obsidian have stated that they want to follow the adventures of our protagonists through additional content and/or sequels I seriously doubt they want to either. It's totally fine in other games, but not in a proper deep and mature RPG, please.

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I liked the curve in Baldur's Gate; It only stretched a measly 7-9 levels, and depending on your class, each level was a tad bit "meh" on their own, but from a "Start Game" vs. "End Game" viewpoint, I think it was great. Gibberlings and wolves were a great threat in the start, but by the end, they weren't completely powerless against you, but they had ceased being the dominant threat (goddamned werewolves, curse them all!).

 

Agreed. This would really help an open world game too, as with enough wits, you can get to a lot more places than if there were a huge power curve(applied to enemies, anyways). And it makes character creation and what your character learns all that much more important, as you can't simply become a jack of all trades. Of course there are the class restrictions for PE which already does that mostly.

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I disagree that early game enemies should remain relevant throughout. There are few memories I remember more fondly than finding the Death Spell in BG2 and seeing everything not worthy of my level just instantly vanish at a single word. That had me giggling like a little girl. To me, the bigger the spread, the more exciting character leveling becomes: I want it to go from "scared of rats" to "not much scared of gods". That doesn't mean it all has to happen in a first installement of PE; like Baldur's Gate, the entire level scale could split in two games, each featuring roughly half of it.

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I'd like my character to be pretty overpowered by the end of the game. At least so that early game threats really aren't any threat at all anymore. Not saying anything about mid to late game monsters or the like. But really. Once I equip my magic armors and start slinging the high level magic I really don't want giant vermin like rats or spiders to be a threat to me any longer.

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