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Sorry, Karkarov, but you're mistaken about this. There was level scaling in BG2, and it was there for the reason I stated -- the designers couldn't know how strong the party was at each quest because they could do it in any order, and had to allow for it. It was subtle, though. The fact that you didn't notice is a testament to how well it was done.

 

No, the fact that you're giving the example of a game that had MINIMAL encounter scaling in a few specific places is a testament that you have no idea what you're talking about.

We didn't notice it because there was nothing to notice.

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I get the feeling that when you say 'well-designed game,' you may have in mind something like Gothic 2 -- no level scaling, possibility of getting et by a shadowbeast by stepping off the path for a whizz, open world, enough hints to stop a player from accidentaly going where he shouldn't be going.

You will never see me using the words "well designed" in relation to any game with the Gothic title.

 

Level scaling is not "There are two ogres in this room. Oh the PC showed up at level 7 instead of 5 lets add a third ogre." That is simply making the encounter slightly different to keep the challenge consistent. The ogre is still an ogre, none of them turned into Ogre Mages, none of them suddenly had +5 Katana's on them. If they want to enforce a consistent challenge level I personally think that is dumb because it never works, 3 ogres is really not actually harder to kill than 2 in practice even if it is in theory. It is better than level scaling sure but it is still not as good as simply making a well built encounter and letting the chips fall where they may.

 

You can call the above example whatever you want (encounter scaling or otherwise) and it is fine for a table top game with 4 or more other people, but it sucks for a single player game I am playing alone. Why do you guys seems to have a problem with the idea of letting player go where he wants, when he wants, and maybe getting a rougher ride or an easier one when he gets there?

 

Also for a game that was so unscaled and un linear I sure never felt challenged EVER by Fallout NV except when I went to the deathstalker dens after everyone and their brother told me not to. I still cleared most of the place out at very low level too. I literally started the game by going straight north to vegas then scratched my head reading forums where everyone said "you can't do that death stalkers kill you". I was like.... they do? Sure didn't stop me.

 

The game never felt too "easy" but it certainly never felt hard. If you think they did that without heavy use of some type of scaling you are very mistaken.

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Wait, Skyrim is our go-to example of bad scaling in an Elder Scrolls?

 

True, it's not as bad as Oblivion, but it's hardly better than Oblivion.

 

 

TES level scaling in Morrowind and Oblivion was an issue not because of the actual level scaling per-say. Though bandits in glass armor was an immersion breaker. The real issue, and Skyrim has this issue to some extent but in reverse was you could stay lvl 1-2 or whatever in Oblivion by taking skills you weren't going to actually use. Plan to play a Warrior? Take a bunch of magic skills you wont actually use, you can still max out all the warrior skills, it'll take a bit longer, but your level wont go up but you'll be a super crazy master with your chosen combat style. Then you could use the magic stuff to train lvls at your own pace and ultimately it just let you exploit there horrible lvl scaling system.

 

Wait, you're defending Oblivion's level scaling on the basis of metagaming to circumvent the level-scaling? That's a completely invalid argument. An endorsement of powergaming as a means to worm your way out of the level-scaling system is not an endorsement of the system by any measure.

Edited by AGX-17
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Why do you guys seems to have a problem with the idea of letting player go where he wants, when he wants, and maybe getting a rougher ride or an easier one when he gets there?

 

We have no problem with that, we want that. Why do you have a problem with using a good level scaling system to achieve that?

 

Bolded part. Level scaling achieves the opposite.

 

"Good level scaling system". R0flcopter

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-edit-forgot why I quoted, but yeah what started my train of thoughts I guess:

 

Who says you have to gain a level at each quest or none at all? Perhaps they place this at a point in the game where you only gain 1 or 2 levels by the end of them but the creatures strength is roughly equivalent throughout with varied abilities where the point of this part of the game is focused more on lore, loot, environmental challenges, and challenging the abilities in which you've selected thus far rather than going from lvl 15 to lvl 25. For example:

 

Quest 1 you might be fighting hordes of undead so it might be easier for a cleric or priest or someone specialized in blunt weapons.

Quest 2 might be against a thieves guild so it would be more beneficial to have someone good at detecting/removing traps.

Quest 3 could be settling a dispute between 2 military powers so it would be easier for someone who excels in diplomacy.

Quest 4 could be having to fight in narrow corridors where it's more 1 on 1/hand to hand combat so your party needs to be stronger individually

Quest 5 could be against "swarm" creatures where you have to fight larger numbers and have to fight tactically to not be surrounded/overwhelmed

 

Levels start to become less consequential when they factor in skillsets and "environmental challenges" further. The question then becomes, is their multiple ways to complete the quest and what's the impact of the choices you've made?

 

To be honest, I'd like the bosses (specifically) to be level scaled above my level on higher difficulties and below my level on lower difficulties. They'd still be rough being lower level, just not as much. To be blunt, making the bosses & encounters as "realistic" as possible (statistically & "danger") and then just "down size" them is a good way to go?

 

@Obsidian: Follow your vision first and foremost.

 

In this way, it wouldn't matter how many side-quests I do, the boss I get too (and dungeon?) would be scaled above my level. Would this mean they get better loot or that they statistically are just stronger and more threatening? One Bandit actually becomes like a character in the party in terms of realistic strength/size/physique etc. etc.

 

"You know that's a bear right?" on Hardcore difficulty and "Teddybear!?" on Easy. Now, the Bear is a bad example (as it probably would be a part of that "not scaled" section, unless and if tamed & trained). I can see interesting plots unwinding, a sense of urgency, some areas that you have visited and left scaling slightly in strength because you left, recruiting more members for your next offense or whatnot. With a possibility to intercept in a random encounter on Fast Travel?

 

I think this goes in the "Difficulty"-bin though.

 

Likewise, maybe a business begins to down-scale (go out of business) because you are buying up the market. Thought: Would that have consequences?

 

Maybe by taking all the stones and doing some mysteric secretive hard side-quest stuff actually make some boss & dungeon weaker? I think Level scaling can be great for a narrative, just no no Final Fantasy 8 or Oblivion. No. What FF8 and Oblivion do is that they are trying to appeal to the farmfest, i.e. level grinding. You can get to level "45" fast in both games, and get good gear/upgrades for it. Just run around in a circle for a while, spin the hamster wheel~

 

Luckily! To shred some light, P:E won't be like that. Right?

 

The Bandit Lord is level 5, by default @start of game. I am playing on Hardcore mode, as I reach level 2, the Bandit Lord scales to level 6 etc. etc. I might be level 4 when I face him which would make him... level 8. On the easiest difficulty, the Bandit Lord perhaps starts at level 1, and only scales +1 every other level. The Bandit Lord could still be rough on Easy & Hardcore durr, Normal, just has lesser hitpoints or something.

Edited by Osvir
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Why do you guys seems to have a problem with the idea of letting player go where he wants, when he wants, and maybe getting a rougher ride or an easier one when he gets there?

 

We have no problem with that, we want that. Why do you have a problem with using a good level scaling system to achieve that?

 

Bolded part. Level scaling achieves the opposite.

 

"Good level scaling system". R0flcopter

Thanks for your post Valorian, I was beginning to wonder if I really was the only person on the forum who didn't get why level scaling isn't always a good thing.

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And why exactly it cannot be achieved by level scaling? I gave examples of how to use level scaling to have exact this effect a page or two ago. You can laugh all you want but level scaling can be done in a good way.

Uh the issue with your statement is that the entire concept behind "level scaling" no matter how you achieve it, is that you want the challenge level to stay at a consistent point and always be based on how strong the player is. By it's very definition it is designed to prevent the player from ever being stuck in an un winnable fight or a fight that is too easy. In other words it's entire goal is to make sure the game is never "that hard" or "really easy". My level 20 party wielding vorpal blades of death dealing bad assness should be able to clear the bandit fortress in the woods blind folded, heck I should be able to do it solo or with only maybe one other dude. The bandits should not all suddenly be level 12, have level 15 spell casters with them, and all have magical weapons just because I showed up at level 20.

Edited by Karkarov
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^Most definitely not, we are on the same page.

 

But could realism be taken into account here somehow? The Fighter versus Fighter scenario, equal of size, on easier difficulties you'd chew right through him like tender meat, whilst on harder difficulties he'd be more your size, and mechanically fighting 6 bandits on Hardcore could almost feel like fighting a counter party (albeit way easier than an actual anti-hero party).

 

They don't need to get more gear, but just act more viciously, deal more damage. Kind of like facing another player party, if they can manage to make the AI that good, that's on Hardcore though and this goes for all games. I think StarCraft 2 in Brutal is way more fun and way more immersible than Casual or Easy which is more of a slaughterfest. So I kind of expect P:E to adhere to something like that for Easy, where encounters are a light challenge, not challenging on Casual (story only, play the game like a book), Normal starting to get challenging, Hard to get more challenging and Hardcore to be "phew" or "wake up and rage!!" for good or bad.

 

I almost want P:E to be Dark Souls difficulty at Hardcore but yeah, a bit too hardcore maybe? You pretty much insta-die, but so does the opponent. If the game can somehow link your [Character Level]+[Difficulty]=[Enemy Encounter Level] somehow I think level scaling might be easy. I don't even think the mobs necessarily have to have any "Level" either, but more of a "Hitpoints" statistic

 

Encounter = Not necessarily facing a mob of enemies, but just facing that dungeon could be seen as an encounter.

 

Also, if there is 1000 experience in total of what you can do in Chapter 1, then Obsidian probably has a good clue on what the possible max level you're at at that point and can scale the encounters from Chapter 1 to 2, or introduce new monsters. Perhaps not too often, but every 2nd-3rd chapter perhaps, depending on the amount of... basically 1/3rds. Same thing with Chapter 2 to 3 by the way.

 

With factions, one might grow stronger if you do that thing and the other gets stronger if you do that other thing. Differing the type of soldiers that roam the land in a planned invasion or whatnot. The presentation needs to be good I think, "Why are there new [Combat Enemy] roaming about?". Or does the Tasloi actually bolster in revolt after your destructive path, bringing all their clansmen together to fight you in Chapter 2 IF you slew them in Chapter 1, which I suspect many will. Or they upgrade in Chapter 3 respectively if you take them out in Chapter 2 (or has something else taken them out and occupying?)

 

For those who only follow the main story, I think it is within reason to say that getting the same amount of experience shouldn't be applicable to this. "Mary did 15 quests and gained 1500 experience, Rolf did the 2 required quests, gained 1500 experience". No.

 

How does the enemies scale against the non-lethal path? Do they adapt to your style? Documenting how you are playing in Chapter 1, and slightly creates some sort of counter-evolution against the type of character you play? Likewise, with reputation, wouldn't people start to know more and more about your abilities, and many that would've challenged you before will not and some challenging you just because of the path you've taken? At the same time: Having a low profile could actually be a good thing?

Edited by Osvir
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So your point is bull****

Dude, this whole topic aside. Grow up. If you can't write a post without insulting someone else don't post. Your immaturity makes any argument you might be making pretty much invalid because the minute you open with weak personal insults I cease to care about anything you have to say.

 

So, what I just quoted above? Right back at you.

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-edit-forgot why I quoted, but yeah what started my train of thoughts I guess:

 

Who says you have to gain a level at each quest or none at all? Perhaps they place this at a point in the game where you only gain 1 or 2 levels by the end of them but the creatures strength is roughly equivalent throughout with varied abilities where the point of this part of the game is focused more on lore, loot, environmental challenges, and challenging the abilities in which you've selected thus far rather than going from lvl 15 to lvl 25. For example:

 

Quest 1 you might be fighting hordes of undead so it might be easier for a cleric or priest or someone specialized in blunt weapons.

Quest 2 might be against a thieves guild so it would be more beneficial to have someone good at detecting/removing traps.

Quest 3 could be settling a dispute between 2 military powers so it would be easier for someone who excels in diplomacy.

Quest 4 could be having to fight in narrow corridors where it's more 1 on 1/hand to hand combat so your party needs to be stronger individually

Quest 5 could be against "swarm" creatures where you have to fight larger numbers and have to fight tactically to not be surrounded/overwhelmed

 

Levels start to become less consequential when they factor in skillsets and "environmental challenges" further. The question then becomes, is their multiple ways to complete the quest and what's the impact of the choices you've made?

 

To be honest, I'd like the bosses (specifically) to be level scaled above my level on higher difficulties and below my level on lower difficulties. They'd still be rough being lower level, just not as much. To be blunt, making the bosses & encounters as "realistic" as possible (statistically & "danger") and then just "down size" them is a good way to go?

 

@Obsidian: Follow your vision first and foremost.

 

In this way, it wouldn't matter how many side-quests I do, the boss I get too (and dungeon?) would be scaled above my level. Would this mean they get better loot or that they statistically are just stronger and more threatening? One Bandit actually becomes like a character in the party in terms of realistic strength/size/physique etc. etc.

 

"You know that's a bear right?" on Hardcore difficulty and "Teddybear!?" on Easy. Now, the Bear is a bad example (as it probably would be a part of that "not scaled" section, unless and if tamed & trained). I can see interesting plots unwinding, a sense of urgency, some areas that you have visited and left scaling slightly in strength because you left, recruiting more members for your next offense or whatnot. With a possibility to intercept in a random encounter on Fast Travel?

 

I think this goes in the "Difficulty"-bin though.

 

Likewise, maybe a business begins to down-scale (go out of business) because you are buying up the market. Thought: Would that have consequences?

 

Maybe by taking all the stones and doing some mysteric secretive hard side-quest stuff actually make some boss & dungeon weaker? I think Level scaling can be great for a narrative, just no no Final Fantasy 8 or Oblivion. No. What FF8 and Oblivion do is that they are trying to appeal to the farmfest, i.e. level grinding. You can get to level "45" fast in both games, and get good gear/upgrades for it. Just run around in a circle for a while, spin the hamster wheel~

 

Luckily! To shred some light, P:E won't be like that. Right?

 

The Bandit Lord is level 5, by default @start of game. I am playing on Hardcore mode, as I reach level 2, the Bandit Lord scales to level 6 etc. etc. I might be level 4 when I face him which would make him... level 8. On the easiest difficulty, the Bandit Lord perhaps starts at level 1, and only scales +1 every other level. The Bandit Lord could still be rough on Easy & Hardcore durr, Normal, just has lesser hitpoints or something.

 

Not sure I followed you fully but I'll make an attempt here.....I *think* if I read correctly....much of what you said does go into the "difficulty" bin, as far as scaling encounters up or down but in many ways, I think my original theory stands. The point was is that level scaling based upon the character level(aside from "difficulty chosen") isn't really necessary due to the fact that developers are hand placing encounters/quests rather than consistantly respawning farmable monsters. Back to the example of the Boss of "act 1" being level 5, the developers SHOULD know the max and lowest level that you could achieve before reaching him which allows them to tailor the difficulty of the encounter rather than even need scaling for the sake of scaling. Difficulty scaling should be the only thing they need due to already knowing the strength of the character relative to the encounters.

 

Last ditch attempt to get my point across: Make the game on normal, balance it out based upon knowledge of character level/strength compared to hand placed UNREPEATABLE encounters, then work on optimal DIFFICULTY scaling for hard/easy.

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Bolded part. Level scaling achieves the opposite.

 

"Good level scaling system". R0flcopter

Thanks for your post Valorian, I was beginning to wonder if I really was the only person on the forum who didn't get why level scaling isn't always a good thing.

 

Level scaling is never a good things.

And you're far from being the only one.

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60248-level-scaling/

Out of 600 people who voted, 94% is against level scaling.

 

Now, I hope I don't need to explain to sharp_one why dinamically and artificially adjusting enemies to match the player's power as he levels up is an abomination which damages the internal consistency and common sense in a world. Yes, it's not only about the problem of hand-holding the player with level-scaling as a safety net, but also about throwing verisimilitude (hey, I advanced a level - now this combat encounter is tougher) out of the window.

 

"A good level scaling system" is an oxymoron. It's like saying "he's a lawful criminal".

 

 

 

All that said, an Obsidian dev stated they plan to use minimal level scaling and almost exclusively for the critical path ("because players can go through the crit path at different times", is his reasoning for including l.s.).

 

I wonder if it is really that hardcore to have non-level scaled enemies on the critical path (as with the rest of the game) that are hard to beat so that players actually need to become more powerful by exploring the world and solving side quests to be able to defeat them? Do they really need to accomodate those who want to rush through the crit path by scaling enemies down to their level?

Now, if this "minimal level scaling" for the crit path consists of occasionally including additional monsters (encounter scaling) instead of changing the existing ones.. I can live with that, I guess.

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I wonder if it is really that hardcore to have non-level scaled enemies on the critical path (as with the rest of the game) that are hard to beat so that players actually need to become more powerful by exploring the world and solving side quests to be able to defeat them? Do they really need to accomodate those who want to rush through the crit path by scaling enemies down to their level?

 

Nah. I think it's more the opposite. That without level scaling, the main quest would be so easy it's boring for the most enthusiastic players. Why wouldn't you want it scaled up to your level?

 

Seriously, think about it. Suppose you're trying to accommodate two types of players. Let's call them "knights" and "knerds."

 

A "knight" will probably play the game through once. He'll make an effort at understanding the game system and making educated guesses about character building. He'll follow leads he stumbles across if they seem relevant to his interests at the time. Maybe he'll role-play a particular type of character, and choose dialog options accordingly. The knight wants an experience, perhaps an escape from the daily grind.

 

A "knerd" will start the game maybe a dozen times to get a feel for the mechanics. Once comfortable with them, he'll try to make the most effective character and party he can. He'll meticulously scour the game for sidequests, secrets, and hidden treasures. He'll grab every optional area he can as soon as he's able. He'll manage his resources with care, in order to be able to equip the best, most situationally appropriate gear every time. Sometimes he'll even backtrack to a previous save if he feels he's made a mistake. This is because the knerd wants a challenge, to his dedication, intelligence, and endurance.

 

Now, without level scaling, either the knerd will find the later parts of the main quest laughably easy, or the knight will find them impossibly difficult, or some unhappy compromise between the two. This is the exact opposite of what the knight and the knerd are looking for. This does not make sense to me. All you'd have is knights ragequitting because it's too hard, and/or knerds boredomquitting because it's nerfville.

 

Granted, there is another way to approach this. You could roll level scaling into difficulty levels. "Easy" = encounters scaled to the assumption that you'll only play the main quest + 25% of optional content. "Normal," 50% of optional content. "Hard," 100% of optional content. All content scaled to match. Otherwise everything is the same. The beginning of the game would play the same way at all difficulties, but the challenge would ramp up differently from them. You might more options that let you push up or pull down the difficulty curve without affecting the angle, natch.

 

Don't think they'd go for it this way, though; it's probably too different.

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- snip -

 

I still think relying on different difficulty modes and limiting XP is preferrable for all parties involved.

 

One reason is that "level" might not be a good indication of player strength. A "knight" player might achieve a high level because he's genuinely interested in all those small side quests, but still be very weak when it comes to mechanics. Maybe he never bothered to figure out in detail how damage and armor work, or doesn't use formations properly, or has no idea of good spell cominations. Having encounters scale to his high level might just add frustration. OTOH, a skilled player might be very dangerous in combat but having a low level (because objective-based XP :no: ). Downscaling encounters would certainly not be ideal here.

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Now, I hope I don't need to explain to sharp_one why dinamically and artificially adjusting enemies to match the player's power as he levels up is an abomination which damages the internal consistency and common sense in a world.

 

Oh look another one with reading skills deficiency.

 

If everything scales to your level than it's the wrong one

 

Note, here, that this doesn't mean that everything in the game has to scale to every possible level. I think everything should have a certain range of power that it varies within based on PC level

 

 

And one question how come that the world where only the player and his party gain strenght and level up is not damaging the internal consistency and common sense in a world?

 

The reason is because it's not a true world and you don't *see* the leveling of enemies, it's more of an assumption that they were doing tasks that led to their current level rather than spending their life waiting in an abandoned empty cellar for you to come across. Each event regardless of your choices still leads to them telling you a story, which means even tho you may change this or that or "define" your character in a certain way, you're still coming to one of the choices the developers decided was a suitable ending which means you're on an in game time line.

Edited by Utukka
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I think Combat should reward Combat Exp and Objectives rewards Objective Exp. Basically:

 

Character/Class/Quest Experience

Combat Experience

Non-Lethal Experience

 

And before the non-lethal pathtaker arguers start arguing about "But then I'm going to be weak in combat!!" suck it up! You chose to play non-lethal, then you should not be as lethal as the lethal path, in my opinion. That doesn't mean that being non-lethal wouldn't be able to handle themselves in combat. They shouldn't be as strong physically, but could use their class abilities to overcome challenges.

 

As the challenge for Level Scaling, I can think of countless situations where it can be good, just don't make it like Oblivion or FF8. Enemies shouldn't just become stronger because you get stronger, but they should be strong by themselves and it should represent itself.

 

The Bandit Lord starts of at Level 5 in the game, when I get to him on a standard gameplay I get to level 4. He shouldn't be an equal challenge on Level 1 and Level 4, that's why the "Set Level" which is static. The level of the Bandit Lord gets dynamic when you get a level, so when you are level 3 the Bandit Lord magically levels up to present more of a challenge (on harder difficulties) on an easier difficulty the Bandit Lord might not need to scale at all. It is also a question of the Bandit Lord always being representative of his strength, and that's why he should scale on higher difficulties. This means that on Hardcore the Bandit Lord could be level 8, and on Easy he stays on Level 5.

 

I said it in another post but that would not equal the Bandit Lord having better gear, he just deals more realistic damage and gets advantages that you get. He gets more realistic to the representation in the game. If he is bigger than the party characters (physically) that could represent itself much more in Level Scaling.

 

I don't like Divine Divinity for this, absolutely great game but I was running back and forward like a fool. Ran into a nest of difficult Orcs, simply ran elsewhere, ran into a pack of easier enemies, gained a level, got back to the Orcs, defeated them until it got difficult again, backed up and ran elsewhere, got a level from easier enemies and stragglers, returned to where I couldn't defeat... etc. etc.

 

I wouldn't mind some instances where it is "This is too difficult for you now, so back off", with level scaling you can remove lots of that though.

 

Level Scaling might simply imply just that, on Easy the enemies are Level 3, but on Hardcore they are Level 5. Doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

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One reason is that "level" might not be a good indication of player strength. A "knight" player might achieve a high level because he's genuinely interested in all those small side quests, but still be very weak when it comes to mechanics. Maybe he never bothered to figure out in detail how damage and armor work, or doesn't use formations properly, or has no idea of good spell cominations. Having encounters scale to his high level might just add frustration. OTOH, a skilled player might be very dangerous in combat but having a low level (because objective-based XP :no: ). Downscaling encounters would certainly not be ideal here.

 

Quite. In fact, that makes the knight/knerd divide even broader, even allowing that knerds will probably play at higher difficulty. So not scaling at least some encounters up to knerd level will bore the knerds even more.

 

I'm sure there's no way to please everybody. In a reasonably complex, partially non-linear game with some optional content and lots of character and party build options, it will always be possible to make stronger or weaker parties, and level certainly isn't all of it.

 

However, I feel pretty strongly that not adjusting to player level at all in any way is a bit of a dead end. The game will only play really well if you happen to play it in more or less the same way whoever did the balancing played it. In which case making it open and with lots of options is kind of pointless.

 

Just be perfectly clear, I am absolutely opposed to the braindead way Oblivion did level scaling. However, I'm quite sure the devs on P:E are smart enough not to make that mistake. There are many other ways to do it, many of which have been discussed in this very thread. Level scaling is like sugar; if you have none, your cooking options are kind of limited, but use too much, and you give everyone diabetes.

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Now, I hope I don't need to explain to sharp_one why dinamically and artificially adjusting enemies to match the player's power as he levels up is an abomination which damages the internal consistency and common sense in a world.

 

Oh look another one with reading skills deficiency.

 

If everything scales to your level than it's the wrong one

 

Note, here, that this doesn't mean that everything in the game has to scale to every possible level. I think everything should have a certain range of power that it varies within based on PC level

 

 

And one question how come that the world where only the player and his party gain strenght and level up is not damaging the internal consistency and common sense in a world?

 

It's ironic that you mention reading skills since you obviously need posts scaled down to your level to understand what is being said (including your own posts).

Let me scale it down your level, Captain Innovashun, "a certain level scaling range" is also a level scaling system where enemies magically adjust themselves according to the player's level. If you're within the range, and in DA:O for instance it was a very elastic range, the enemy will be scaled exactly to your level. This "innovation" doesn't eliminate the abomination from level scaling, as the concept remains the same.

 

As for your question..

First and foremost, having enemies with a set level of power doesn't damage internal consistency - why would enemies, in this specific time interval, be required to have a campaign of their own and get wild with solving quests?

Also, it damages common sense much much less than having their level dance to the tune of the player's level.

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I wonder if it is really that hardcore to have non-level scaled enemies on the critical path (as with the rest of the game) that are hard to beat so that players actually need to become more powerful by exploring the world and solving side quests to be able to defeat them? Do they really need to accomodate those who want to rush through the crit path by scaling enemies down to their level?

 

Nah. I think it's more the opposite. That without level scaling, the main quest would be so easy it's boring for the most enthusiastic players. Why wouldn't you want it scaled up to your level?

 

 

No, it's not the opposite because you ridiculously assume that the crit path would have a-walk-in-the-park non-scaled enemies, when in fact it's only logical to assume that devs would design the critical path having in mind a player that has grown in power by doing side quest and exploring the word. You know, designing the game for someone who plays the game to feel the world and not just run straight through the plot.

This means that the crit path would include some of the hardest enemies in the game which would be challenging even for a person who completed the majority of side quest and slain many enemies in the process.

 

And frankly, I don't see why Joe or Jane who are spoiled with Bio hand-holding straight through the movie-style plot shouldn't be disintegrated when they try to finish the game at level 5.

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I explained in details what kind of level scaling I think would be good. I also cleared what I understand by "level scaling range" and its proper usage in a game. I specifically claimed that I don't have the "level scaled to player level" in mind several times. Now if you will (which I doubt as you clearly not inteligent enough) finally understand that I mean exactly what I wrote and not the opposite, then please get back to the discussion. In other case stop trolling.

 

So much confusion in your head, Captain Innovashun, which is reflected in your posts. :wowey:

 

Let me break it to you, your proposed level scaling system is no less ****ty than, for example, Oblivion's level scaling.

Alright, your level scaling innovashun has a cute bow tie on it. Good, but is a feces any better with a bow tie on it?

 

A band of bandits don't sit on their asses. They have to eat something, wear something etc. They have to fight the wild animals as their camp is logically placed outside the safe city limits, they perform thievery, burglary, intimidation, assasination and plain killing. All of this are actions that give exp to the PC and his party, why not to the bandits?

 

It has already been explained to you and you chose to vehemntly ignore common sense.. Enemies had already leveled up when you first meet them; it's assumed that they had done something in their lives prior to that point when they meet the player.

The problem arises when their level is tied (range or not) to the player's level.

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Since this is still on going with new posts about the same stuff. I'll post this again.

 

 

The reason is because it's not a true world and you don't *see* the leveling of enemies, it's more of an assumption that they were doing tasks that led to their current level rather than spending their life waiting in an abandoned empty cellar for you to come across. Each event regardless of your choices still leads to them telling you a story, which means even tho you may change this or that or "define" your character in a certain way, you're still coming to one of the choices the developers decided was a suitable ending which means you're on an in game time line.

Edited by Utukka
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I severely dislike level scaling, as I disagree with its basic premise. The idea, the theory, is that no matter which route you take, you can't make a "wrong" choice. You can wander anywhere, and the game builds itself around you. You also don't have to worry about over-leveling and making lower level areas "too easy". Sounds great, because that opens up an infinite number of ways to play the game.

 

Then you actually play the game, and the world feels.. fake. There is effectively only ONE path possible and ONE level of challenge. It doesn't matter what you do, your experience won't be much different from anyone else's, except in a narrative order sense (though the story in any part is always the same regardless).

 

Having some fixed level quests available, as will be the case in Project Eternity, gives the world some texture. For example, BG2 had the Firkraag quest available before the party even went into the underdark. One time I decided Firkraag was going down before I even started the underdark chapters, and so I was able to create my own sort of challenge. And of course, that particular untertaking carries with it its own rewards! I was able to redistribute some of the game's difficulty into one big score, which then made the underdark that much easier. It didn't break the whole game, it just gave it a different texture.

 

As to P:E scaling its main quest lines.. I'd prefer them at a fixed difficulty level but depending on how they do it, it could be ok.

 

Main quests should always be a significant challenge, and they should be very difficult for those who want to skip right through every other detail of the world. I hate when games point to certain quests and say, "This quest is optional, and therefore an insignificant distraction!" Doing "side content" should be semi-optional... and what I mean by that is you will probably need to do some of the side quests in order to become strong enough to overcome the challenges of the main game. Which side quests, and how many you do (and when), is how your playthrough becomes different from someone else's. Probably my favorite main-plotline quest of all time was from Baldur's Gate 2, chapter 2. It was simply, "Raise 20,000 gold." At the time of the quest, it is an ungodly sum. You set out on numerous adventures and seek out treasure and fortune. It gave you a relatively simple goal and didn't tell you exactly how to achieve it. A more modern game would omit this quest because of the possibility that you could squander your money on high priced magic items and thus never be able to make enough to complete the quest (possibility of failure). Also the lack of a glowing arrow pointing to the next location might be viewed as problematic.

 

Scaling the main-quest portions of the game will tend to 1) shorten the gameplay time for people who find the path of least resistance and 2) greatly reduce the feeling of reward from side quests. I've also found that games which fully embrace the strictly categorized "Plot Quests/Side Quests" dichotomy, will tend to have really mediocre, MMO inspired side quests. This is because the developers know a certain percentage of people will simply not bother, so why lavish detail on content that won't be viewed by a certain percentage of people?

 

So yes, "semi-optional" side quests is the way to go in my opinion (read: instead of level-scaled main quests). I guess my definition for this would be, "Most players will need to do some of the side quests, while some players will be able to get by on exceptional tactical prowess alone." This also has the pleasant side-effect of validating the existence of a level-up system within the game. It will also make those people attempting speed runs really work for their prize!

Edited by JonVanCaneghem
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No, it's not the opposite because you ridiculously assume that the crit path would have a-walk-in-the-park non-scaled enemies, when in fact it's only logical to assume that devs would design the critical path having in mind a player that has grown in power by doing side quest and exploring the word.

 

Strawman much?

 

I'm only assuming that the game is designed for players who have not played the game through yet, and therefore will inevitably make less than optimal choices through it. They'll pick less effective skill/feat/class combinations, spend their gold on less than optimal items, miss or fail sidequests. This applies to knights and first-playthrough knerds equally.

 

In the real world, though, good game designers design games for knights, and accommodate knerds through harder difficulty levels. And, once again, in a game with a significant amount of optional content and a significant amount of openness, you will either have to have a very, very creative design, or some form of level scaling, or frustrate everybody but the small minority who happen to do stuff in the order the designer intended it -- in which case the design isn't really open at all; it's a linear design masquerading as open.

 

You know, designing the game for someone who plays the game to feel the world and not just run straight through the plot.

 

Those would be "knoobs." I didn't even include them in my little parable. And I agree, designing for knoobs primarily is usually a bad idea, and that is exactly the reason behind the famous decline of cRPG's since the golden age. Good game devs do want to accommodate knoobs too, though, even ones designing primarily for knights. Difficulty levels again. "Easy" for knoobs, "Hard" for knerds, "Normal" for knights.

 

This means that the crit path would include some of the hardest enemies in the game which would be challenging even for a person who completed the majority of side quest and slain many enemies in the process.

 

Tell me, if you have to complete all or most of the optional content to become powerful enough to complete the main quest, in what way is the optional content optional anymore?

 

And frankly, I don't see why Joe or Jane who are spoiled with Bio hand-holding straight through the movie-style plot shouldn't be disintegrated when they try to finish the game at level 5.

 

Those would be the knoobs, yes. I agree, I don't as a general rule enjoy games designed for knoobs much either. I think devs should accomodate knoobs by putting in easy difficulty levels. It's usually pretty easy to scale down a game's difficulty so they can be happy too.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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No, it's not the opposite because you ridiculously assume that the crit path would have a-walk-in-the-park non-scaled enemies, when in fact it's only logical to assume that devs would design the critical path having in mind a player that has grown in power by doing side quest and exploring the word.

 

Strawman much?

 

 

 

How is it a strawman when you said this yourself: "That without level scaling, the main quest would be so easy it's boring for the most enthusiastic players. Why wouldn't you want it scaled up to your level?"

 

Instead of misusing terms you clearly don't understand (strawman), you should try using some coherency. It helps when posting.

 

 

I'm only assuming that the game is designed for players who have not played the game through yet, and therefore will inevitably make less than optimal choices through it. They'll pick less effective skill/feat/class combinations, spend their gold on less than optimal items, miss or fail sidequests. This applies to knights and first-playthrough knerds equally.

 

Where's the problem? Respec is confirmed. Easy difficulty is confirmed. Adventurer's Hall is confirmed.

Awww, poor player - he chose a (much) less than optimal build and missed side quests because he didn't bother to explore or tried a bit harder. Let's scale the crit path to his level so he can finish this BOOK without any inconveniences.

 

Oh, but it's not a book, it's a GAME. A game where choices matter, where you need to level-up your party to be good combatants or diplomats or sneakers or good at something. If you fail to do so you have: Respec is confirmed. Easy difficulty is confirmed. Adventurer's Hall is confirmed. And you can always backtrack and try to finish more side quests.

 

 

As for content "not being optional/the game being linear" if the crit path encounters are hard and not scaled down to the player's level. :facepalm: Come on, you can do better than this..

 

The game doesn't need to be linear at all if it's not level scaled. There can be several areas with level 1-2 enemies, several with level 3-4 enemies, some mixed areas.. etc. If the power curve is not too steep you can defeat even higher level monsters if you use good tactics.

 

Mutually exclusive content is also optional content. With the crit path not being scaled you can choose to ignore most of the side quests but that will result in the crit path being much harder.. So you can opt to ignore the majority of the game if you so wish and then turn the diffculty down to finish it.

 

What about the player who finished most of the sidequests and the crit path becomes harder as a result? That's a slap in the face. Or even a worse scenario, what if he plays ironmode or with limited reloads? Doing side-quests is like shooting yourself in the foot for this kind of playthrough.

Edited by Valorian
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