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Level cap or no level cap?  

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  1. 1. Do you prefer a level cap or no level cap?

    • Level cap (example: KOTOR is 20, BG is 8million xp)
      110
    • No level cap (example: D&D Heroes never ending xp)
      190


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Having a lower level cap makes balancing everything far easier. In games with very high level caps, most JRPGs for example where the cap is something like 99, the developers can't accurately judge what level players are going to be they encounter things like bosses - which is why people often end up having to grind so they can get to a suitable level for the encounter. Having fewer levels, like in Fallout or Temple of Elemental Evil, allows the developers to better gauge the level at which people are approaching combat.

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Level cap, always. I find it annoying when all my friend just cheat their characters to level infinity.


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I think a game without a level cap does not balance your place in the world. It makes sense that even a very experienced fighter, ranger or even wizard at the end of the game still has at least some difficulty with, for instance, a huge ogre you would meet during the middle of the game.. Even a goblin could be able to dodge your blow - they're still small!

 

I really disliked the Elder Scrolls games in this aspect. After finishing the main storyline you would explore all the caves and do all the quests, but almost every single opponent you encounter is dealt with, with only 2~3 blows! Heck, you could even fell dragons with 3 slashes!

 

So if the game would not include a level cap, I would appreciate enemies to be scaled to your level accordingly. But, in truth, I prefer a level cap.

Edited by Keldorn
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I was just curious what would people prefer, a level cap or a game without a level cap. Dungeon and Dragons Heroes had no level cap but I can’t remember any other game that removed the level cap.

 

Planescape: Torment didn't have a level cap. Well except if you call the half of FF, that is 127 (Hexadecimal) a cap. Even when hitting 127th level though, you didn't stop leveling, you just continued to be at 127th level, while still getting the ability points and hp.

 

I tink the finite amounts of xp you will be able to gather in the game should be cap enough, a hard cap is just annoying when you suddenly can't get any better before the end of the game.

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I was just curious what would people prefer, a level cap or a game without a level cap. Dungeon and Dragons Heroes had no level cap but I can’t remember any other game that removed the level cap.

 

Planescape: Torment didn't have a level cap. Well except if you call the half of FF, that is 127 (Hexadecimal) a cap. Even when hitting 127th level though, you didn't stop leveling, you just continued to be at 127th level, while still getting the ability points and hp.

 

I tink the finite amounts of xp you will be able to gather in the game should be cap enough, a hard cap is just annoying when you suddenly can't get any better before the end of the game.

 

 

Good point, I agree with you.


Derpdragon of the Obsidian Order

Derpdragons everywhere. I like spears.

 

No sleep for the Watcher... because he was busy playing Pillars of Eternity instead.

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I, too, would strongly prefer a "soft" level cap.

Depending on how much xp you need for the next level and how much is available in the game. An artificial, hardcoded wall o' bricks you just hit somewhere makes the whole adventuring thing suddenly seem hollow and pointless.

An exponential level progression table and limited exp available in the world should make it pretty easy to limit the end game level difference between a quick playthrough and a manic completionist to a few, maybe as little as 1-2 levels.

It just feels extremely wrong and frustrating, hitting the cap 2/3rds into the game (Kingdoms of Amalur being a rather recent bad example).

Edited by ArminW
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I, too, would strongly prefer a "soft" level cap.

Depending on how much xp you need for the next level and how much is available in the game. An artificial, hardcoded wall o' bricks you just hit somewhere makes the whole adventuring thing suddenly seem hollow and pointless.

An exponential level progression table and limited exp available in the world should make it pretty easy to limit the end game level difference between a quick playthrough and a manic completionist to a few, maybe as little as 1-2 levels.

It just feels extremely wrong and frustrating, hitting the cap 2/3rds into the game (Kingdoms of Amalur being a rather recent bad example).

 

This. And considering we have a 15 level dungeon that will mostly be non-critical path we are talking about situations where some players might finish the main quest + little additional content in 30 hours while others will be completionist (like me) and spend 80+ hours turning over every rock in the Dyrwood for loose copper pieces.

 

Almost every game I've ever played with a level cap I've topped out long before the end-game. It makes the last bit of combat and encounters a bit of a drag at times. Hopefully there will be a mechanism, whether exponential cap, or just reducing xp rewards after the end game balance level, that will avoid this annoying scenario.

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well since you only get xp for completing quests and other objectives, its not really necessary to have a cap. there will be a finite number of xp in the game and the max level is when you get all of it. at least that's how i would do it. of course, if you get to lv 10 and have a companion at lv 2 join your party, it will be hard to get him to a high level if you keep sharing the xp, so in that case a "give up my share of xp" switch or a level cap should be available in order to let the companion grow faster

i voted no cause im generally against the idea of caps, but i dont really mind either way if it is implemented in a way that makes sense

Edited by teknoman2

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Either a level cap or carefully balanced XP gain within the game, to prevent issues like the character being able to excel at everything.

 

Wa-la!

 

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Make the exp in the world capped (no reoccuring quests and monsters) but don't give me an artificial wall. It doesn't make any sense and is retarded, because I don't feel like doing quests anymore.

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I would like no cap but with a reasonable soft cap:

So basically there would be no limit for earned XP and (as given) ability- and skill points, but once you would clear a map, where the enemies would yield a fixed amount of XP, there would only respawn enemies that yield XP up to a certain level (player level at first determination on map + x ) and then no XPs at all. The enemy strength, when first entering the map, would be determined by the player level... just a little bit of math here and there. Thus the enemies would pose a challenge, no matter what level the player would have, with the exception of the enemies' strength being determined once and after that the player would have the possibility to visit previous locations and return stronger... at least on low and medium difficulty.

 

I just like to get the most out of a game in terms of character ability while having a fair challenge at the same time.

Edited by Fimbul

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I wish there would be no need for a level cap. It all depends what level your character can reach. For me it´s no fun if the game get´s to easy because of my level, like in BG2 with "Throne of Bhaal" installed.

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Soft cap or the like, please. Dislike waste and activity that is/can be artificially restricted (yes, I know that that's what happens in a 'game', but y'all know what I mean).


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No cap. It's stupid IMO that I stop leveling in the middle of the game because I've hit some artificial cap.

 

Also, I support the "only objectives/quests give xp" system of xp distribution, which would make a level cap more or less pointless. You'll simply stop leveling when there's no more stuff to do.

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I picked no cap but I have no idea what your example is, kinda confused by that. I don't want unlimited XP, but I don't want there to be a hard cap (least not one anyone could ever hit). So, kind of like DAO, For the most part games designed around the idea of you hitting 20, but you could potentially just hit 23. It allows for room to grow when you go all out and do everything in sight. It's also nice to have progression capable of continuing, even if it gets cut or winds down once you hit the pseudo-cap, the 'target' general level you'll probably be at the end.

 

So yeah no idea what your no-cap example is but not 'unlimited XP'. No cap on levels, but a general limit on actual xp gain. If they do that it also works well with expansions as its already setup to allow for further progression, they can add more skills in or ones for late game only but it would be pre-setup to allow that.


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In a well made and balanced there will always be a level cap because you will simply run out of ways to gain exp. If they ultimately plan to make a PE:2 and have you carry over characters than a PE:1 level cap would be a good idea. If they don't then I see no reason to insert a cap beyond only having so much exp out there to get.

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I was just curious what would people prefer, a level cap or a game without a level cap. Dungeon and Dragons Heroes had no level cap but I can’t remember any other game that removed the level cap.

 

I actually have no preference about this, because I can't think of any circumstance where it matters to my particular playstyle. In fact, I find I enjoy the game a lot where I use cheat codes or the dev console to max out my characters right away and THEN play the game, so obviously "leveling" per se is not that important to me.

 

I think the question ought to be, what is the level/exp cap in there to limit, exactly? What design purpose is it serving? Also, what do you GET for additional levels? Are there systemic limitations that might cause the system to become completely deranged if someone (somehow) leveled their character OVER 9000? I mean, heck, even something like the potential to overload the integer field that holds your HP total and end up with -32,337 HP might be something worth avoiding by putting in a hard cap, even if that cap is something like twice as many levels as there is potential xp in the entire game.

 

One point, though--if you have potentially many more levels than available possible XP, this does (in some people, anyway) encourage people to play in such a manner as to maximize their XP rather than their enjoyment. Granted, I've seen some people complaining that they farmed up to the XP cap before they were halfway through the game--apparently they want some kind of Zen perfection where they hit the level cap at the EXACT MOMENT when they get the end credits. But, here's the thing--what's the point of having that highest level if you never really get to USE any of those ultimate abilities you just got?

 

There's no one perfect solution. The devs just have to decide what type of game they're going for and go for it.


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I think a game without a level cap does not balance your place in the world. It makes sense that even a very experienced fighter, ranger or even wizard at the end of the game still has at least some difficulty with, for instance, a huge ogre you would meet during the middle of the game.. Even a goblin could be able to dodge your blow - they're still small!

 

I really disliked the Elder Scrolls games in this aspect. After finishing the main storyline you would explore all the caves and do all the quests, but almost every single opponent you encounter is dealt with, with only 2~3 blows! Heck, you could even fell dragons with 3 slashes!

 

So if the game would not include a level cap, I would appreciate enemies to be scaled to your level accordingly. But, in truth, I prefer a level cap.

 

The same general principal I applied to XP can also be applied to levelling.

 

Past a certain point attributes could increase as part of an infinite series that approaches a particular value.

 

A really simple example might be making attacks per second for a particular class with no stats bonuses equal to the summation of 1/(2^n) from 0...n-1 where n is your current level. The series converges on 2, so no matter how many times you levelled, mathematically your attacks per second would approach 2, though you'd probably hit rounding error fairly quick.

 

Level 1: 1/1 = 1 attack per round (1-1 = 0, 2^0 = 1)

Level 2: 1/1 + 1/2 = 1.5 attacks per round

Level 3: 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/4 = 1.75 attacks per round...

... and it gets closer and closer to 2 attacks per round from there. No matter how high you level, you'd never break 2 attacks per round, but you'd always improve.

 

Now I'm sure you could find a better convergent series for number of attacks per round, though maybe this one would actually make sense for a wizard or something

 

The downside to this is that the first few levels become much more important than later levels, though if the convergent series only began to apply at later levels, that would be less of an issue.

 

Anyway, just pointing out once again that if you use math you can almost have it both ways. Personally, though, I'd rather apply this kind of thing to levelling overall as in my first example, than to progressions of specific stats when levelling as in this example.

Edited by khango

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It always annoys me when there's XP to gain, but nothing is gained due to level cap.

Instead of capping, a better planning of the xp system is preferred.


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I have not read all the posts in this thread so sorry if I repeat something already said

 

I would prefer not having a level-cap, I really find it strange how a character suddenly stops advancing in levels.

 

In relation to balance:

If it is easier to balance around a levelcap or not is quite hard to say. In a linear game it is yes, but without scaling enemies I would love to see how anyone would balance anything if I can do 50 side-quests and gain a few levels that way.

If you have a really low levelcap it makes it somewhat easier yes as it restrict the players options quite a bit. However in the end balance would come down to how much xp I can gain before a boss fight. What some levelcap that might be 10 levels above my current level means absolutely nothing.

Take Baldurs Gate, the levelcap there is what ensures Sarevok is Difficult and to a lesser extend bosses like Davaeorn (cloakwood mines boss) due to him being fairly late in the game, Mulahey, the very plot boss in the Nashkel mines is not affected at all by it!

 

The only way a levelcap can balance anything is if you hit it fast so the designers know what level you will be for half the game (to some extend Kotor did this).

 

 

Also with regard to grinding I would also say it means little. Again take baldurs gate as an example, you effectively still have to grind your way to the highest level to fight Sarevok. if it is easy or not to get to cap is another story but what it comes down to is how many sidequests the designers expects you to do (or monsters you kill) before you get to the boss. The problem with JRPG's is not the effectively unlimited level range, but that they expect you to be a certain level before a boss. Again with Baldurs Gate the designers could have assumed you did quests until you where lvl 5 before you cleared the Nashkel mines. That has nothing to do with caps, it is all about design choices.

 

 

Having a softcap, either where the character outlevels just about all opponents and stops gaining xp (e.g. only xp from challenging opponents) or simply does everything there is to do is fine, but artifically stopping progression in an established system just appears wrong to me.

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In short: No.

 

 

Longer answer: A Level Cap, in my experience, is a sign for bad game design most of the time.

Why? Because, also often (and of course onlky speaking of personal experience) it is hit too early, and artificially "stops" your evolution.

Most negative Examples in the last few years include Kingdoms of Amalur, Dragon Age origins (vanilla) and Mass Effect 2.

All ahd the sudden "stop" which made one lose immersion.

 

Now a soft Level Cap, for example if a sequel is planned one that makes it REALLY hard to climb over a certain Level 8say the one one should have when importing the Character into the Sequel) is fine IF it also fits into the Logic of the World.

Nothing is more frustrating than, for Example, the "Oh and you`re a Newb again" Charactertakeovers of ME 2 or the otherwise good Gothic Series in Gothic 3.

 

So to sum it up: ideally: No Cap.

Realistically: one that is not noticeable unless one really "goes for it".

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I prefer a soft level cap, and a lot of sequels where you can continue playing your character, rather than creating a new character for each sequel.

 

I don't need to max out my characters before the game ends, so there also is no need for pointless endgame grinding levels like in NWN2.


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If they're handcrafting most of the world, level cap kind of seems pointless - they should have a measure of the total amount of experience points able to be earned in the game etc.

 

It kind of depends on

 

A. How they construct their ruleset

 

B. How much content they put into the game

 

C. How quickly experience points are gained, what the XP curve is.

 

Hopefully they'll get it about as right as Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast

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