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here's an example of level scaling that you may not realise it's there

every enemy has a starting level, and after your level goes above that of the enemy, for every x levels you gain, the enemy gets 1 level

let's say max level is 50

you are lv1, the wolf is lv2

when you are lv5, the wolf will be lv3

every 4 levels after that, the wolf gets 1 level so after a while you will outlevel the wolf heavily, but he will still have the power to do damage and survive more than 1 hit, so a pack may be trouble up to your lv20 instead of 10 that would be without the scaling

at the same time, a troll or an ogre, start at lv20 (therefore are impossible to kill at the start) and when you pass lv20, they get 1 level for every 3 of yours, so you cant outlevel them completely, but if you take your time to get levels before facing them you will have an advantage

a fire giant will start at lv30, and will get a level for every 2 of yours after 30

a dragon will be lv 40 and will get 1 for 1 so after 40 you will always be equaly matched

this way weak enemies will become weaker as you get stronger without becoming bugs you can step on right away, while stronger enemies will remain chalenging even if you are getting ahead of them and are getting easier to kill, while the highest level enemies will always be hard to kill

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

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What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

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"Zzzzzzzzzz" *annihilates the fly with a fly swatter* There.

No level scaling can lead to people encountering things

 

 

Trial of Iron can lead to people dying and being horribly frustrated because they have to start the game from 0... oh wait, they selected the mode for it themselves.

 

Right, in a perfect world people would take responsibility for bad choices.  Unfortunately, in our world, people wandering some place and ruining* their experience in the game by either making it too hard or too easy for themselves leads to poor reviews, snarky videos and lots of accusations of "Obsidian can't balance their game properly" and "Obsidian's QA is hopeless".  At least that's my experience.

 

*I've never thought a game being too challenging or too easy was a deal breaker when it was my choices that made it that way, but that does not seem to be the case for all people.

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"Zzzzzzzzzz" *annihilates the fly with a fly swatter* There.

No level scaling can lead to people encountering things

 

 

Trial of Iron can lead to people dying and being horribly frustrated because they have to start the game from 0... oh wait, they selected the mode for it themselves.

 

Right, in a perfect world people would take responsibility for bad choices.  Unfortunately, in our world, people wandering some place and ruining* their experience in the game by either making it too hard or too easy for themselves leads to poor reviews, snarky videos and lots of accusations of "Obsidian can't balance their game properly" and "Obsidian's QA is hopeless".  At least that's my experience.

 

*I've never thought a game being too challenging or too easy was a deal breaker when it was my choices that made it that way, but that does not seem to be the case for all people.

 

Sure, let's start by removing Trial of Iron, Path of the Damned and other modes that make the game (much) harder or almost impossible because it could lead to bad reviews and snarky videos on youtube.

 

This forum is full of wonderfully intelligent observations.

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Sure, let's start by removing Trial of Iron, Path of the Damned and other modes that make the game (much) harder or almost impossible because it could lead to bad reviews and snarky videos on youtube.

 

This forum is full of wonderfully intelligent observations.

 

Yeah...well I didn't suggest that so I'm not entirely sure what your point is.

 

In short, and to be perfectly clear, I have no problem with optional modes you suggest and I'd imagine most players aren't going to get upset they add extra difficulty at their choice.  And if there was a "click here to have no level scaling, ever, in PE" I'd be pro that too so people could get what they want out of the game.

 

That said, I'm not against scaling the critical path within a small frame of levels as Josh suggested.  They expect you to hit the critical quest around level 5-8, making that encounter work for 5-8 level parties.  If you're below 5-8 or over 5-8 you have to deal with the challenge/lack-thereof.  Seems to me that isn't an unreasonable design and a lot better than the "level one rat in a sewer becomes a level 100 Wererat with Adamantine Armor and a vorpal sword when you visit later in the game" level scaling which is - I gather - the thing most people dislike about level scaling.

 

Further to this, I can understand how people will - in ignorance - complain about games that allow them to do things that give them sub-optimal play - including professional reviewers.  Its hard to click "Trial of Iron" button (presumably with a description like Heart of Fury mode) and claim ignorance and get much traction.

 

Note I also have to say, I really don't care if reviewers do complain about the "difficulty" of the game.  But I can understand from a designers perspective why you'd want to consider what kind of play experience the player will have on the critical path if the game isn't terribly linear.

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Yeah...well I didn't suggest that so I'm not entirely sure what your point is.

Don't be ridiculous. Valorian is a rogue AI aboard a military satellite, and he speaks only truth. He has ascended beyond the intellect of literally every single person on the planet.

 

DO NOT QUESTION THE VALORIAN! He knows none of us can comprehend his majestic truths, anyway. He just likes toying with us, out of boredom... like a trickster deity. 8P

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Level scaling is fine as long as it's completely invisible.

smiley-laughing0011.gif

 

The irony...

What irony?

 

I'm not being snarky; that is actually a genuine question. Where is the irony in saying that level scaling works if I never notice it? "Invisible," in this context, does not mean the thing that is invisible doesn't exist. It means it is not visible to me. A single atom is invisible to the naked eye, but it still exists.

 

Is this Alanis Morrisette irony?

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Level scaling is fine as long as it's completely invisible.

 

smiley-laughing0011.gif

 

The irony...

 

It's obvious that you have some knowledge that none of the rest of us have, and that you refuse to share, which means that everything anybody else says is automatically deemed ridiculous. You've pretty much dumped all over anything anyone else has said in this thread yet offered absolutely no actual criticism. As somebody who's just read through this thread for the first time, I'm afraid you're just making yourself look like a bit of a jerk. You might want to do something about that.

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I'm all for a no-level-scaling mode. Add another control for encounter difficulty -- Easy locks all crit-path encounters to the bottom of their scaling band, Normal to the middle, and Hard to the top. Make it a startup option only, like Trial of Iron. Should be quite easy to implement and would add a lot of value for people who object to any form of level scaling for whatever reason.


It's a pity they didn't think of that as a stretch goal actually -- I'm sure it would've pulled in a few more pennies from the Valorians of this world and it would've been easy to do.

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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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I hope I don't get snarked all over, being new to the forums, but I'm going to throw my two cents in as well.

 

The OP's example of that Lich in Baldurs Gate 2 was spot on btw.  I loved that it seemed ungodly impossible and frightening when I first walked into its room, and then later in the game I took it down with superior spells/gear.

 

I guess the problem with level scaling (or as ffordesoon really said it, noticeable level scaling) and probably how the OP felt is that it kind of makes experience points and leveling up seem rather pointless.   I mean if I play through the game like someones holding a gun to my head, skipping every optional quest and side story like its carrying the plague, and yet I can still beat all of the major story line game points, then why even have levels?  They clearly don't mean anything if all your opponents are scaled to your level.  Combat ends up being grindy and repetitive and not tactical at all, to me anyways.

 

That being said, I'm sure Obsidian gets that and is striving very hard to create a situation that most of us are happy with :)

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You've pretty much dumped all over anything anyone else has said in this thread yet offered absolutely no actual criticism. 

 

Yet you people are still wasting your time trying to make him see reason. He's a fanatic, absolutely incapable of changing his mind, or even the subject. I suggest a "don't feed the troll" policy. "Ignore" also comes in handy.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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OT: If there's snarking, just let me know ... ;) Thanks for your input & intention to add to the conversation!

I hope I don't get snarked all over, being new to the forums, but I'm going to throw my two cents in as well.


The universe is change;
your life is what our thoughts make it
- Marcus Aurelius (161)

:dragon:

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@Boo's Brother Hoo:

 

You'll get no snarking from me. Snarfling, marmling, a slight tincture of squandrarmkling, perhaps even a good solid karnsling, but no snarking. Bad for the pores, don't you know. ;)

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@Boo's Brother Hoo:

 

Welcome to the forums! Also... *snark snark... snark!* 8)

 

Your two cents have splashed their way, majestically, into the Discussing Well. :)

 

And you're right. It's a matter of moderation, to avoid too-much/too-little scenarios. The main thing is, if you've got an encounter/quest that you want to be available when the character is at least (but not necessarily higher than) level 7, then maybe you set it as level 7, or level 8, or whatever challenge level you want, relative to the potential level range of the player's party at the time (at least level 7, in this case).

 

Well, it might make perfect sense for that quest/encounter to still be available when the party is level 12. But, at that point, level 7 enemies are most likely (in the event of a low-maximum-level ceiling game) going to be as easy as proverbial RPG rats. So, basically, the alternative would be to make that quest/encounter no-longer-available, and have the player simply deal with some other side quest/encounter that's level 11 or 12 or 13 or so. But, the only problem there, and reason to potentially scratch that quest off the availability list, is that it would be ludicrously easy at that point. The problem isn't that it's simply easier than it would've been had you done it first, but rather that it can get to a ridiculously easy point. You run into problems like "does this even produce a good reward now? At level 7, 100 gold was a pretty good money reward, and 1,000 XP was a pretty good XP reward. But, now, at level 12, that's piddly." But then, if you scale the rewards without scaling the challenge of the encounter, then that gets kinda silly. "I literally emptied this cave merely by coughing, but I got half-a-level's worth of XP, and enough gold to buy all-new equipment! 8D!"

 

So, yeah... It just needs criteria in place, is all. I mean, if you can encounter a level 13 thing at level 11, and you can get as high as level 14 before fighting it, then you probably don't need any scaling at all. BUT, if you can reach level 19 and still fight it, then bumping it up to level 17 makes a bit of sense. Even then, you don't necessarily give all the enemies all new equipment and such, but the Level system encompasses a nice grouping of traits and factors, so it makes for a pretty convenient thing to adjust without having to say "Okay, how much more HP should they have? Okay, how much more damage should they do?", etc., on an individual basis. Plus, you've already got creature differences, even at the same level. A level 7 troll is most likely going to be tougher than a level 7 goblin, simply because of the differences between a troll and a goblin. So, you can scale a troll up to level 9, and he's going to retain his toughness relative to a goblin scaled up to level 9.

 

The main point is, it shouldn't be about keeping things exactly on-par with the player characters. That's why Oblivion (the first one I know of that used 1:1 level-scaling) was so ridiculous. However, it actually had a slider (at least on Xbox 360), for the level-scaling, so that you could adjust it. It was defaultly in the middle, at 1:1, and I think you could drag it up as far as 1:2 (the enemies were always twice the level you were), or something like that. OR, you could slide it down some. I think it probably went in decimals, since it was a ratio, but, I found that dragging it down just a bit made the game QUITE fine. 1:.7 or something. So, if you were level 10, the enemies were level 7. If you were level 100, they were level 70. Etc. Of course, an across-the-board thing is still not a great implementation, but that was just an example of how easily the problems with even Oblivion's extreme, across-the-board level scaling could be significantly lessened.

 

Annnnnywho, this thread is about so much more than simply level-scaling. 8P. It just seemed to be the hot sub-topic here for a bit.

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Challenge Ratings.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Maybe I'm just tired (I did came back home after 12h shift) and missed something crucial (and belive me, I did read all of it), but I do not see any reason for the whole argument. If Obsidian decide (and I hope they do) to add an self-contained/standalone OPTION for switching level scaling off then... what's the problem? It would be optional after all and in all honesty I cannot imagine anyone self-centered enough, to be infuriated because someone, somewhere have decided to add some (maybe pointless, who am I to say) difficulty to their gameplay.

Common, would it make any of You mad because I like it hard way? Why would you care about a loser* in a country far away, that has this issue with masochism?

 

I for certain wouldn't claim my superiority over anyone because of some difficulty level/factor I've decided to pick among the way, though we know for sure, that there are people who do this all the time. But then again, why should any of you, who didn't turned level scaling off care? As long as it is not a multiplayer experience we should be allowed to cherish it ALL the way we want, because we're only imposing our decisions upon ourselves not others!

 

So again, what is the problem here? Again - maybe I've missed the point and it's about money and workforce needed for implementation of such "no level scaling" mode? I'm for sure no programmer, so I do accept possibility that I have not even the slightest idea about just how much money and time consuming would such addition be.

Personally I really hope for as many options (and I do not mean gameplay only) in this game as possible. Just do not overkill.

 

 

* - obviously I do not really see myself that way, because I do symphatize with Lillycake here, as I too have very fond memories of Kangaxx smearing my party all over the walls of his tomb incountable many times.

 

/sorry for any typos and mistakes, but that honey beer didn't helped in overcoming fatigue ;)


"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones." - Ross Scott

 It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care.

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Maybe I'm just tired (I did came back home after 12h shift) and missed something crucial (and belive me, I did read all of it), but I do not see any reason for the whole argument. If Obsidian decide (and I hope they do) to add an self-contained/standalone OPTION for switching level scaling off then... what's the problem? It would be optional after all and in all honesty I cannot imagine anyone self-centered enough, to be infuriated because someone, somewhere have decided to add some (maybe pointless, who am I to say) difficulty to their gameplay.

 

First off, I don't understand what you mean by "someone might decide to add some difficulty to their gameplay." If anything, difficulty is subtracted, rather than added, when level-scaling is altogether removed. I might've missed something or read something wrong... *Shrug*

 

The "problem" is that it's unnecessary. Or rather, the only problem is that it's a fix for a non-existent problem.

 

The idea of an option for no level-scaling didn't infuriate me. I simply pointed out that it's not necessary, and when someone tried to argue that it was, in fact, necessary to fix a problem, I merely rebutted.

 

In short, the difficulty option, along with even other challenge-affecting options that might be separate (friendly fire, togglable UI indicators and such, etc.) already cover all combat challenges throughout the entire game. If you're going to put in a "Have those several instances that were going to level scale in the game, NOT level-scale" option, then you might as well have level minimum options, and level maximum options.

 

To put it another way, all level-scaling (in the implementation Obsidian is using) really does is lessen the relative rate of challenge difference as you progress past a given enemy's lowest encounterable level. So, if, on Normal difficulty, Boss #1 starts at level 5, and can go as high as level 6 (depending on your progression before facing him), and on Easy difficulty, he starts at level 3 and can go as high as level 4, why does anything else need to handle the increased relative difficulty of that boss?

 

If it was going to be 1:1 scaling, then I could see a reason for an option. But, if you leveling up ALWAYS = that handful of core, level-scaled content being easier than it was before you leveled up, how nitpicky do we need to get? "Yeah, but I SHOULD'VE been allowed to be 3 levels above that boss before facing him than just 1 level above that boss before facing him, even though I'm perfectly fine with the fact that there's other content in the game that I can never even face when it ISN'T at-or-below my own level."

 

So, yes. If you should be able to change the way in which challenge is decided with an option, then that might as well extend to everything in the game. "I don't ever want to face level 20 enemies, because 20 is the level cap, and I always want to be a higher level than my enemies." Boom. *Implements Enemy Encounter Level Cap option.*

 

Maybe we should also put an option in for Nobody Dies mode, for the people who hate to see main characters die in a storyline. Because, how dare the game determine the scenarios we have to deal with in a perfectly reasonable fashion! u_u

 

Note: The sarcasm is meant only to emphasize the point. It is not directed at anyone in a hostile fashion.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Well first of all thanks for being first person to answer me here, and for that note at the very end. It helped 'cause my English is not good enough to always get other's intentions. No irony or sarcasm here.

In fact this forum is the very first time I'm trying to communicate more elaborate thoughts in English since... high school and failed attempt to study English philology almost 10 to 13 years ago. So it's quite a task and again, thanks for the help provided. But enough about it.

 

Now, about turning off level scaling to add some "difficulty". After giving it second thought I have to agree with you. It wouldn't make my game any more "harder" or more demanding because I would be able to recognize the challenge being the one, who picked it in the options menu. Therefore even if given boss or a skill check for that matter, would be maxed (in terms of that part of game where I would most probably meet him), and not scaled down to my own level, I could still easily go back and do few more sidequest to get additional level or two, learn new spells and combat tricks. And it wouldn't even make that much difference, if I would do so by loading or running away in case that encounter took me by surprise. Therefore it looks like I would gladly go with "maximize (or even spice up a little) opponents levels" option just to make the main plot and related battles "feel" like a "real thing". MUCH (not a little) harder to win if I'll happen to decide to rush for them because of whatever reason I would do so (most probably at my second playthrough, when I know the game already).

 

Right, so "selective level scaling removes challenge" goes out the window - 1:0 for you :)

 

And now, let me address your other point. So, I do not know how difficulty levels will translate to the leveling speed of my party/PC. Maybe it won't have any impact on xp distribution, but maybe (as many times before) I will be able to develop my skills faster, the harder game mode I pick. If that would be the case, then it would be entirely possible to "overgrow" that given boss even without much of sidetracking. Obviously this shouldn't be a problem here if done otherwise or with even further widening that bosses possible level cap. And again turning LS off wouldn't address the problem in such situation. So for a second time I'm with "maximize opponents levels" option here, and let's forget about my issues with selective LS.

 

Oh and about that changing every possible challenge to my own fitting - people do this all the time. Console commands, cheats, codes, hex editors, trainers, exploits - you name it. So I do not see how valid is your claim to dismiss wishes of possible "optionalization" (I made that word up as I can't come up with anything adequate). In the end, old school games pretty much allowed (by typing some silly cheats) to become immortal and wreak havoc upon the realm.

Yes, yes, I bet you will say that those are CHEATS and by all means they are not a legitimate way to play a game. But in the end of a day isn't it just semantics? If someone will got stuck (also bored or curious about "what if" scenarios, like killing Gorrion in BG), he will most probably look for solution over internet, and if there won't be any (because of bad game design or bug) he will utilize those god forbidden tricks and then finish a game as if nothing happened (reload if boredom/curiosity was a factor).

Well, not that it has much to do with a topic, but I couldn't let you win all that argument without a sweat. Ok, ok just kidding.

 

So, to sum things up - turns out I'd be happy with an independent feature of maxing opponents levels and overall customizing given difficulty levels (much like original System Shock did it long time ago).

 

<sigh> In any case, I hope you're right, my guts are wrong and I won't be disappointed by difficulty factor of the main quest. Because, you know, I find myself to old and to busy to (re)play (over and over again) a hard boiled iron mode only for making that story driven encounters worth the build up.

If not, there's always hope for some kind of Kangaxx incarnation in the P:E universe  ;)

 

cheers


"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones." - Ross Scott

 It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care.

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Level scaling is fine as long as it's completely invisible.

smiley-laughing0011.gif

 

The irony...

 

What irony?
You want a gameplay mechanic that is so horrible that you don't want to notice it, ever.

 

Maybe I'm just tired (I did came back home after 12h shift) and missed something crucial (and belive me, I did read all of it), but I do not see any reason for the whole argument. If Obsidian decide (and I hope they do) to add an self-contained/standalone OPTION for switching level scaling off then... what's the problem?

It's quite simple, really. It is the way things work here.

 

Even if you agree with something and you can answer with a simple "yes", it's preferable to put on a monocle, and explain to the whole auditorium, that it is perhaps 'yes', but it's also a bit 'no' - add in a copious amount of excruciatingly futile philosophy coupled with a basic misunderstanding of what is being talked about - and there you have it.

 

Also, if you think you can have an intelligent discussion with a being that doesn't understand the difference between difficulty levels and level scaling, you're sorely mistaken.

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Some great ideas. More please. :) Though I don't agree about adding lots of randomness just for replay value or preventing walkthroughs.

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You want a gameplay mechanic that is so horrible that you don't want to notice it, ever.

Just curious, here. Do you go out of your way to notice which shots were filmed with a Steadicam when you watch movies?

 

I'll save you some time: unless you're deliberately watching the film with an analytical eye, no, you don't. Because, if the movie's any good at all, you will have bought into the illusion that you are witnessing events that are, on some level, true. Great cinematography puts you inside the reality of the film immediately and never takes you out of it. It is meant to be - yes - invisible. That is no indictment of its quality; it is simply the nature of the art.

 

If a boom mic swings into frame, then the illusion is shattered and you are suddenly painfully aware that you are watching a film. The invisible has become visible, and has failed as a result. So it is with level scaling. It is a system, and, like all systems, is neither good nor evil in itself (though I have no doubt you disagree). The quality of the system is simply a question of implementation.

 

Level scaling is not a gameplay mechanic, by the way; that implies that it is a variable the user can control from within the game (i.e. not in a pause menu or main menu). Level scaling is a system that runs entirely "under the hood," and as with all "under the hood" systems, its presumed existence is only confirmed when it fails to work properly. When it works, it quietly supports the illusion presented in the game, just like all the other systems.

 

The test of a given level scaling system's quality is simple: if you hadn't been told it was there before you played the game, would you have noticed it? If the answer is no, it's a quality system.

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You want a gameplay mechanic that is so horrible that you don't want to notice it, ever.

Just curious, here. Do you go out of your way to notice which shots were filmed with a Steadicam when you watch movies?

There's a cute difference though. You need cameras to make a movie. You don't need level scaling to make an rpg.

I don't find steadicams horrifying compared to shaking cameras, at all. It only enhances what cameras are supposed to do. Your vision, if you're human, doesn't shake most of the time when you look at something.

On the other hand, level scaling destroys entirely an aspect that I believe enhances an rpg universe; verisimilitude.

 

Try a better analogy, I'm sure you'll find one, one day, that can't be dismissed in less than 2 seconds.

Level scaling is not a gameplay mechanic, by the way; that implies that it is a variable the user can control from within the game (i.e. not in a pause menu or main menu). Level scaling is a system that runs entirely "under the hood," and as with all "under the hood" systems, its presumed existence is only confirmed when it fails to work properly. When it works, it quietly supports the illusion presented in the game, just like all the other systems.

Aww, and I was just talking about excruciatingly futile philosophy that falls flat on its face...

 

Game(play) mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce a game or gameplay.

So... unless the player can control them from within the game then they're not actually gameplay mechanics? KennyKola-LoonSmileyGIF2000.gif

 

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On the other hand, level scaling destroys entirely an aspect that I believe enhances an rpg universe; verisimilitude.

 

Interesting approach; I suppose this may be the crux of the difference between us in that I see the game mechanics as an abstraction that never approaches "real" but simulates same (in this case, equating "real" with "true"). So as long as the mechanics are relatively consistent within themselves I'm not terribly bothered with how faithfully they adapt the setting.

 

Two questions come to mind -

 

(1) "would you rather have no level scaling even if it makes the game worse for all experiences because it still reads as "false" in your verisimilitude test?"

 

and

 

(2) "If the RPGs main storyline is a fight against another adventuring party who has also been gaining experience during the time the player has, shouldn't the adventuring party have its own leveling system that equates to what experience it has gained during the time you took to get to it so as to be "real" within your verisimilitude test(ie level scaling)?"

 

Or am I misreading your use of verisimilitude?

Edited by Amentep
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[...]

 

(2) "If the RPGs main storyline is a fight against another adventuring party who has also been gaining experience during the time the player has, shouldn't the adventuring party have its own leveling system that equates to what experience it has gained during the time you took to get to it so as to be "real" within your verisimilitude test(ie level scaling)?"

 

Or am I misreading your use of verisimilitude?

Giving that particular example some thought (since I've used it before), you really don't need level scaling specifically to make that happen -- just some form of scaling.

 

It could be scaled to in-game play time or the number of key trigger points activated, for example.

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