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How do you feel about scaling?  

298 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about level scaling?

    • I don't want any scaling whatsover.
    • Minimal scaling (i.e.: only in particular plot areas, only in far-off dungeons, etc.)
    • All levels and encounters completely scaled to my character's level.
    • I leave it in the hands of Obsidian!


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I figured it might be helpful to start a poll on this to supplement the other discussion thread we have. It will give a good at-a-glance view for what people think of level scaling.

Edited by Gyrotica

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I vote (d): let obsidian make the call. But there's no such option, so the poll results are questionable. :)


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What;s the point of this? They already stated multiple times, that there will be next to no level scaling. Honestly. Let this campaign finish already. This is beginning to look like a mass hysteria.

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I feel like it would be more mass hysteria if I pounded out a message in bold caps decrying decisions they may or may not have made. As it is, I was kind of curious how people in general felt about scaling, and tried to make the poll representative of what choices people might take. Sorry if it looked a bit panicky; that was not my intention :)

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How about optional scaling? So that you can choose to turn it off entirely or choose 5%, 10%, 20% scaling etc. Or even scale by area. If you know in advance that you want to get to an early area much later in the game you can let the game know this and it can scale up the encounter by doubling or tripling the number of enemies or by giving the enemy party a dragon on their side or something like that. The only valid excuse for scaling IMO is for replay value. So that you can choose different paths and still be sufficiently challenged by the later encounters. And of course scaling should never make things easier. Only more difficult. For me I think the first option would be the safest, but the second option could also be viable as long as it is optional.


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I feel like it would be more mass hysteria if I pounded out a message in bold caps decrying decisions they may or may not have made. As it is, I was kind of curious how people in general felt about scaling, and tried to make the poll representative of what choices people might take. Sorry if it looked a bit panicky; that was not my intention :)

You are right. Sorry. Of course, you have the right to satisfy your curiosity.

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For me it would really depend on how it is done.

Some scaling can be done without it being noticeable and immersion breaking. Random encounter tables could probably change a bit depending on character levels or some ingame explanation could be used. Also it could be limited a so a given area would be say lvl 5-8 and the npcs would scale with that level range, that way areas could be dynamic without it being too noticeable and extreme.

 

If they add it though I just hope it will not be like Oblivion where normal animals disappeared as the player levelled and bandits went from wearing leather to ebony and daedric armour.

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Depends on how it's done, any of those options is viable.

 

I agree with the scale encounters, not mobs thread, however.

 

I would rather not see bandits spawning with +3 vorpal weaponry, but after a certain point bandits and most wildlife should know enough to stay away from the party and leave them the targets of more specialized, better trained assassins and mercenaries instead of just way over-equipped bandits.

 

If story encounters are scaled, I'd prefer they kept the power level of the bosses and named NPCs constant and just throw in more/better trash mobs as a scaling mechanic.

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I would prefer the absence of scaling, as the thrill of encountering enemies much more powerful than yourself by accident or wanton exploration was a big draw for me throughout the Might & Magic series. I am not excessively opposed, however, to the minimal scaling option.

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No scaling. That's just another form of casual hand-holding. There's no greater thrill in combat than winning an encounter that's above your level and reaping the rewards for it.

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I don't think there is anything more immersion breaking than a PC who does anything without player input. Level-Scaling is a close second though. I don't see why a petty thug should be a challenge for a high-level character or a powerful dragon should be fairly weak for low-level characters.


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I'm not completely opposed to scaling, but I'm not in favor of it, either. In any case, if you design important encounters and the basic game mechanics well, you shouldn't NEED scaling. I mean, yeah, if you design the game so that a level 10 character is 10x as powerful as a level 1 character, then level 1 mooks are a joke when you hit level 10. If you design the game so that a level 10 character is more like 3x as powerful as a level 1 character, but with a lot more flexibility, then even level 1 mooks in quantity can still be problematic, particularly if they're, say, shooting at you from high atop a rise with several trapped switchbacks to climb to get up there.

 

I consider scaling to be kind of a lazy way out to cover for mediocre AI, encounter, and mechanics design. Granted, doing all of those well is expensive and time-intensive, so it's not The Devil or anything. It's a matter of priorities.

 

I expect them to skip it for Project: Eternity since they're (hopefully) going to be aiming more towards tactical combat and less toward "spam spells and attacks until everything is dead" style.

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I'm not completely opposed to scaling, but I'm not in favor of it, either. In any case, if you design important encounters and the basic game mechanics well, you shouldn't NEED scaling. I mean, yeah, if you design the game so that a level 10 character is 10x as powerful as a level 1 character, then level 1 mooks are a joke when you hit level 10. If you design the game so that a level 10 character is more like 3x as powerful as a level 1 character, but with a lot more flexibility, then even level 1 mooks in quantity can still be problematic, particularly if they're, say, shooting at you from high atop a rise with several trapped switchbacks to climb to get up there.

 

I consider scaling to be kind of a lazy way out to cover for mediocre AI, encounter, and mechanics design. Granted, doing all of those well is expensive and time-intensive, so it's not The Devil or anything. It's a matter of priorities.

 

I expect them to skip it for Project: Eternity since they're (hopefully) going to be aiming more towards tactical combat and less toward "spam spells and attacks until everything is dead" style.

 

Well, Sawyer did say there would be scaling for the "critical path" storyline quests, but the rest of the world wouldn't be scaled. I don't remember how BG did it, but it did have scaling and was pretty low-key about it. I voted based on his reasoning, which makes sense to me.


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I can live with the main plot being scaled (although still challenging!), but sidequests definitely should not be.

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The game needs a degree of level scaling if we are to get some freedom in choosing where to go. Otherwise it would just end up more linear than I think most of us would want it to be.


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Well, Sawyer did say there would be scaling for the "critical path" storyline quests, but the rest of the world wouldn't be scaled. I don't remember how BG did it, but it did have scaling and was pretty low-key about it. I voted based on his reasoning, which makes sense to me.

 

I have a feeling they will scale the main storyline more than Baldur's Gate did.

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The game needs a degree of level scaling if we are to get some freedom in choosing where to go. Otherwise it would just end up more linear than I think most of us would want it to be.

Yes but some areas should be too hard to tackle (yet accessible in order to rub in the fact that they're impossible).

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction from clearing an area that handed you your ass a few levels ago.

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The game needs a degree of level scaling if we are to get some freedom in choosing where to go. Otherwise it would just end up more linear than I think most of us would want it to be.

 

No, it certainly doesn't need it, other games don't have scaling and aren't linear at all.

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A mild amount of level scaling can create a game that has more interesting battles more often. Because you are more likely to enter an area in the right level-range to get combats that are rewarding to win instead of painful, impossible, or just tedious busywork. But there should be limits, otherwise you end up with Oblivion stupidity and no feeling of progression at all.

 

Skyrim does level scaling, but it does it more or less right. I can go places as a weakling and get slaughtered. And then go back much later and steamroll it. But most of the time, I get a decent challenge. Something like that would be fine.

 

Insisting there be *no* level scaling at all, not even a 15-25% window of monster strengthening/weakening seems pedantic.

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I like the idea of certain things being completely out of my league when I'm a n00b, and dirt easy when I'm all buff. I went with "minimal". I know a guy who hated Oblivion because the scaling was so extreme, that he felt there was almost no point in leveling. I kinda see his point.

 

I don't see the "NO SCALING" arguement as pedantic. Though, arguing that it's "realistic" might be kind of silly, since the counter-arguement could be made that, "Why do you think that while YOU'RE out levelling like a mad dog that THEY'RE sitting around doing nothing?"


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Let Obsidian decide, but I'm in favor of minimal scaling. In D&D terms, an encounter designed to be appropriate for a 2nd level party should scale up or down a single level so as to work for levels 1-3. It should not attempt to scale up for a 7th level party. Keep it in blocks of three (e.g. 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, etc.) and things should work out just fine.


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I would say, don't scal enemies down, but scale the lower level ones up. Helps keep combat challenging, and if a player feels they've hit a wall on too challenging enemies, they can always go back and grind in former stomping grounds.

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