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If the first levels are balanced for the very early game and the difficulty curve is linear you will end with a dungeon very easy for the ~60% of the floors. Easy for another 20% and balanced for the last 20%. That's not my idea of "good".

 

Exactly.

 

One of the problems I see is if you get to level 4 of the dungeon and your characters are at level 2 and find it too difficult, when do you come back? When you're characters are level 4? Level 5? How would you know?

 

So you come back to do level 4 of the dungeon when your characters are at level 5 and find levels 4 & 5 are too easy but then you hit a wall at level 7. What level do your characters have to be to come back to make it enjoyable and not too easy? You don't know. And I don't have the time to experiment and find out the right level of your characters to enjoy each level of the dungeon to make it challenging and yet not too easy.

 

I'd rather have the dungeon as an end game thing like with Durlag's Tower. You would never do Durlag's Tower at low levels. It was always an end game dungeon.

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^ Level scaling is a relatively new thing, (if that's what you mean) and among a lot of people on these forums, a bad thing. A sort of hand-holding exercise. Dungeon levels used to correlate with character levels in the games upon which P:E is based. That is to say the first dungeon level was for first level characters and the tenth was badass for tenth level characters. Obviously, this was a rule of thumb.

 

But the idea that you have a big, multi-level dungeon that you visit episodically is a long-established fantasy RPG mechanic. Whole campaigns would take place in The Dungeon.

 

The mega-dungeon is a nod to that, and personally I am delighted with everything I've heard about it. It shows that the developers completely understand and respect many of the conventions of the genre. IWD did, too. It's my favourite Black Isle game, and this seems to be a spiritual successor.

 

I'm sure some of the more modern, story-driven and NPC heavy features will exist in the plethora of other areas, such as TWO FRICKIN' ENORMOUS CITIES.

 

But it's good that they've also created a fun-for-the-sake-of-it dungeon.

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I'd rather have the dungeon as an end game thing like with Durlag's Tower. You would never do Durlag's Tower at low levels. It was always an end game dungeon.

 

 

I don't know about other folks but I always did the upper levels of Durlags Tower as soon as I possibly could, the tomes, the weapons, the XP!  It was a magical place!  Of course the process of learning just what you needed to have to get in and out in a reasonable time involved a lot of dying  practice.

 

Anyway I much prefer Durlags Tower over Watchers Keep.  Maybe it was just that I was much lower level and the risk made for a more exciting adventure.

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I can kind of see why Crius is concerned in terms of the dungeon being too decisive a factor in character progression (mainly in terms of it possibly making the main quest too easy if you gain too many levels in the dungeon) but isn't this a problem that you'll always have with RPGs that lack level scaling? The main quest will always be geared towards player characters of a specific range of levels. In most games (that I've played) the main quest has tended to be something that proves relatively difficult (if not impossible) without taking part in a certain amount of levelling unrelated to the main quest, either through sidequests or general grinding. But on the other hand, too much levelling outside of the main quest will make it too easy. That's just how it is with CRPGs.

 

In this specific case, yeah, the dungeon offers a lot of potential for gaining experience and loot, and it has the potential to make the main quest too easy... especially if you feel obliged to complete the entire dungeon before finishing the main quest. (Which maybe you are, I'm not actually sure that a post-main quest endgame state is confirmed.) But (hopefully) you're not. This is the beauty of CRPGs, you're not obliged to do anything. If you feel like too much time spent in Od Nua is making your party too tough to fully enjoy the main quest, you can just ignore it for a while. Likewise if the main quest is kicking your ass too hard (and I hope to god that is a strong possibility in PoE) you can head on over to the mega-dungeon, or any other source of exp and loot, and improve your party a bit. The only way I can see this being a problem is if you personally are the kind of completionist who has to do as much as is humanly possibly in each playthrough. If you want to hit up every side-quest, dungeon, map location and optional source of exp in the game then obviously the main quest is going to be easier for you than it would be otherwise. But you don't! This is a CRPG, you can see all there is to see and do all there is to do over a multitude of different playthroughs, with different characters, choices and builds.

 

I personally will probably have one playthrough (probably as a more generic neutral good character) where I focus entirely on the main quest, and another (maybe as a more mercenary, self-serving chaotic neutral character (excuse the DnD terminology, it's inescapable)) where I maybe ignore the main quest entirely and plan my entire game around conquering Od Nua. That kind of variety, to me, is what I find attractive about the genre. And it also allows me to be a completionist and maintain a sense of difficulty. If you want that difficulty while also trying to accomplish everything in a single game... you might be more likely to be disappointed.

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My only concern is that the difficulty might spike up too quickly at points. Since I plan on starting with a Paths of Iron run, going in blind, I'm worried that instead of just a challenging fight to warn me that I need to come back later, I'll go down a level and have my whole run wiped out. And I certainly don't want to do everthing there overleveled.

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Everything I've heard about this dungeon sounds fantastic.

 

I love the idea of the main quest leading you to a relatively inconspicuous dungeon which ties in with the story, and then the player finding out that both the mystery and extent of the dungeon go far far further than they first expected.

 

It's just a shame that we all know how many levels the dungeon has already so we're always aware of how much further we have to go. I can imagine how much more enjoyment someone with no knowledge of a megadungeon would have exploring it - espescially as they have to pace themselves throughout the game to overcome it's challenges.

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It's just a shame that we all know how many levels the dungeon has already so we're always aware of how much further we have to go. I can imagine how much more enjoyment someone with no knowledge of a megadungeon would have exploring it - espescially as they have to pace themselves throughout the game to overcome it's challenges.

 

Hopefully that just means we won't be as disappointed when we reach the end.

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(editited for brevity)

Later on, you go back and do L7-9... get beat up bad in L10 and leave

You come back, do L10,11, get beat up in L12 and leave ...

You come back, get 12-14 done, and 15 is too hard.

You come back, finish 15 and the megadungeon story arc... (or, find out that obsidian was totally awesome and it goes deeper than they told us)

 

 

And this is really really a terrible vision of how the Dungeon experience. Seriously. Remind me of the mmorpg farming. I don't want to have to "farm" something in a single player crpg. I expect it to be a goddamn cRPG with a good story focused on my main character/s.

 

It's actually more of a throwback to P&P RPGs rather than anything else. Yeah, you have your "crown quest" ... but there's nothing saying that you can't (won't) get sidetracked and start exploring some random ruins because you can -- the better hooks for exploring deeper are finding a key on the BBEG, and remembering that steel door you couldn't pick the lock on ... so you finish the quest, but then you start off exploring that.

 

Really, cRPGs are pretty terrible in that regard, because they're like "OK, so you have 2 days to get my daughter..." (you do it) "... great, so now do this!" ... and very little in the way of "you know what, I just wanna go see what's at this old keep..."

Edited by neo6874
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the mega dungeon would be **** if it doesn't require leveling up for the deeper levels, most people dont want Oblivion/Skyrim scaled leveling, I'll be happy to go too deep and get my arse handed to me, only to come back later and get revenge :D

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I'd expect it to have "some" level scaling, but the proper scaling akin to P&P RPGs --> i.e. a CR6 encounter might have anywhere from 4-12 scorpions (1d3 scorpion * 4) ... but then if you're needing to scale it to CR8 (minimum is CR4 * 4), you would have maybe 4-8 ankhegs or another NPC party (2nd level adventurers) ... or maybe the CR6 group of scorpions, plus the other adventurers (i.e. they're killing each other).

Edited by neo6874
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Ofc I understand that a certain degree of scaled leveling is required, i.e. BG1 & 2, not bandits in legendary daedric armour tho :) Therefore it should be possible to go places that make you feel out of depth, thus giving actual meaning to leveling up.

 

To avoid going too far off topic though I'm fairly pleased with what I've heard so far and the fact the dungeon will have its own seperate storyline and lore excites me :D

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I like a bit of dungeon crawling, but i hated icewind dale's approach where most of the game was crawling through them. I will try to finish it but i hope the content does't take a huge portion of the game.

And i like the approach where you return after each few levels, mainly because i think that spending too much time in it will make it incredibly tidius. I still cringe everytime i go to do watcher's keep because i know i'm going to be there for a long time, since it's pretty high level and the great xp you get there just doesn't want to make you stop.

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I personaly hate any kind of level scaling. I like the idea to have hard fights and some easy ones. Why? Just because i can see my character's progression, and for the sake of credibility. Level Scaling make leveling mechanic a no sense, and the world unrealistic (because the fact all opponents you meet are about the same strenght as you is totally dumb)...

 

I like having to kill some plain rats in the middle of Fallout 2 instead of tons of deathclaws just because i "have the level".

 

And... If the hook and the whole story are believable, tied to the main plot (at start), the dungeon crawling will be immersive (this is my only worry subject because without kind of story/varied types of challenges, it would make it a boring hack n slash to me). Level Scaling is the total opposite of immersion. It's just a ****ty crap you should throw away along with your ****ty Fallout 3 copy...

 

Just my motivated opinion...

Edited by Abel
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I don't want to ignore the Dungeon. I want to do it very badly.

Then you've come to the right place, because a dungeon hasn't been done this badly since Durlag's twin brother ordered 50 animate dead scrolls, mispelled so that adventurers were attacked by their fathers.

[sorry, couldn't resist - been watching Blackadder Goes Forth:

Bob: I want to see how a war is fought... so badly

Edmund: Well, you’ve come to the right place, Bob.  A war hasn't been fought this badly since Olaf the Hairy, High Chief of all the Vikings, accidentally ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.]

 

---

 

On topic - looking forward to the dungeon.  Don't like level-scaling, but do like the idea that the lower levels are harder than you can just level-up by doing the previous levels.  Will be an interesting challenge to see how far you can get each time before having to back out.  Also it appeals to my sense of non-serendipity that a dungeon's levels aren't just there to prepare you for the next levels.

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*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

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I have mixed feelings about this. If lvls are somehow connected to the story it makes sense coming back and really how many adventures one had to put aside becouse one wasnt powerfull enough. IN BG 2 I had to go back and kill Firkraag after underdark. I just dont want mine character to die 10 times before I realise I should come back.

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Some amount of level scaling might be necessary depending on how open the world is. In Baldur's Gate 2 you have class related quests which had encounters scaled by level. This was kind of alright, because you'd be pretty annoyed if you went to do the cleric's quest and ran into a bunch of beholders on the other side of that bridge that were impossible for you to defeat. The game told you to go there in your pathetic state, it shouldn't punish you for that. On the other hand, the main quest probably shouldn't have scaled encounters quite as much as it did. If you went through the trouble of completing every side quest in Athkatla, being rewarded by facing crazy ass golems that require +4 crushing weapons in Suldanesselar is really irritating. Now if quests encounters are more like Fallout or the first Baldur's Gate, then scaling as little as possible would be preferable. 

 

As for the dungeon, I think that's one place where there should be no scaling at all. That's a true progress or build measurement.

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I have mixed feelings about this. If lvls are somehow connected to the story it makes sense coming back and really how many adventures one had to put aside becouse one wasnt powerfull enough. IN BG 2 I had to go back and kill Firkraag after underdark. I just dont want mine character to die 10 times before I realise I should come back.

it is a problem with many rpg. of course with Firkraag, you knew what you were up against so you could try but failure was expected. the real problem lies in non expecting a situation and having no means to react to it in real time, even with pause. a recent example from my IWD2 playthrough, was the battle against the lost followers. you are told that the ancient sword of a paladin, lies in a tomb near Kuldahar and that if you aproach with the pommel jewel it will come out of the ground and so far is fine. however nobody tells you that the ghosts of the 6 insanelly powerful evil people he killed will come with the sword. so when they appear, you have no time to cast a buff, get in defensive formation or anything except to try to pick them off one at a time with little chance of success, since all of them have damage resistance to most damage types. the only thing you can do is lose, load and this time buff up before you dig up the sword

Edited by teknoman2

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-Teknoman2-

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

 

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We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

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Just to be clear: I'm allergic to any kind of level-blocked content. If I get a popup anywhere in-game that says: "Your party needs to be at least level X to enter", I'm gonna throw a fit. Such abominations must be eradicated, and they won't be inserted in PE on my watch! :bat:

 

Please make it so that you simply get killed over and over instead, because the encounter is simply too hard, or at least make that part of the game unreachable until you have safely passed a few levels. Just don't give us "Talk to the frigging hand".

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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What if, in terms of scaling the content of levels of Od Nua, the tie between the dungeon and the rest of the world/story was mainly that several things you do/choices you make in the world effect the powers-that-be in the Mega Dungeon?

 

You know... in the story, you end up firing up some Animancy laboratory (or engaging someone who activates it, etc), and its energy disturbances to the ether (or the "plane" of souls, or what-have-you) affect entities sleeping within the mega dungeon. Or, you handle some big story situation, resulting in the driving-off of some group of bandits/creatures or some crazy researcher guy or something, and they end up with nowhere else to go but to the mega dungeon.

 

Therefore, if you go to the dungeon BEFORE doing these things, there's less activity there (sort of like encounter scaling) and different threats there, for an actual story/lore reason. And if you go afterwards (when you've done more other stuff, and obviously at least leveled/progressed to SOME degree before attacking the next portion of dungeon), additional threats are there.

 

I'm not saying just pepper the whole story with these, so that every 5 steps presents you with a choice to make sure the dungeon scales exactly with you at all times. But, I'm sure there's plenty of room for perfectly feasible instances of this relationship in the story, and the lore of the dungeon. Or, what the lore of a dungeon like that in a world like that allows for, at least.

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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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Everything I've heard about this dungeon sounds fantastic.

 

I love the idea of the main quest leading you to a relatively inconspicuous dungeon which ties in with the story, and then the player finding out that both the mystery and extent of the dungeon go far far further than they first expected.

 

It's just a shame that we all know how many levels the dungeon has already so we're always aware of how much further we have to go. I can imagine how much more enjoyment someone with no knowledge of a megadungeon would have exploring it - espescially as they have to pace themselves throughout the game to overcome it's challenges.

OR they could pull an old school final fantasy on us and have the levels not accessed all at one time. Like u would go down 6 lvls and then find urself going up a couple of levels and then going down a few levels and so forth :-) would really throw people off if they got to the 14th level and saw a staircase going UP instead of down lmao.

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What if, in terms of scaling the content of levels of Od Nua, the tie between the dungeon and the rest of the world/story was mainly that several things you do/choices you make in the world effect the powers-that-be in the Mega Dungeon?

 

You know... in the story, you end up firing up some Animancy laboratory (or engaging someone who activates it, etc), and its energy disturbances to the ether (or the "plane" of souls, or what-have-you) affect entities sleeping within the mega dungeon. Or, you handle some big story situation, resulting in the driving-off of some group of bandits/creatures or some crazy researcher guy or something, and they end up with nowhere else to go but to the mega dungeon.

 

Therefore, if you go to the dungeon BEFORE doing these things, there's less activity there (sort of like encounter scaling) and different threats there, for an actual story/lore reason. And if you go afterwards (when you've done more other stuff, and obviously at least leveled/progressed to SOME degree before attacking the next portion of dungeon), additional threats are there.

 

 

Wow, that's a pretty clever idea. I doubt they will do it, but clever nonetheless.

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

 

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Therefore, if you go to the dungeon BEFORE doing these things, there's less activity there (sort of like encounter scaling) and different threats there, for an actual story/lore reason. And if you go afterwards (when you've done more other stuff, and obviously at least leveled/progressed to SOME degree before attacking the next portion of dungeon), additional threats are there.

Wow, that's a pretty clever idea. I doubt they will do it, but clever nonetheless.

Not sure I am down with that.  1: Really really complex.  2: Why are all these different sleeping beasts, displaced whacko's, and ancient animancy labs all linked to the same place/have no where else to go or be? 3: This idea means it wouldn't be a mega dungeon, it would be like 5 floors where depending on story progress different stuff may or may not be there.

 

I would rather have a straight forward dungeon and if you want to do these sort of one off things let it happen based on the event and let those events trigger things that make the most logical sense.  Don't shoe horn it all into Od Nua just to give it some weird spin.  I also find it weird why people are so upset about a story mission leading you there.  Who cares?  So you have to do the first floor early in the game for a story mission?  It is just a way to introduce the player to the area so they don't somehow miss it.

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 displaced whacko's

 

 

ROFL! :lol:

 

I do agree with your arguments against that kind of leap-frog switcharoo dungeon that takes a different shape along with some storyline. Perhaps not a relative comparison at all, but I much preferred Durlag's Tower over Watcher's Keep precisely because the first is very well written and have several cool surprises woven into the dungeon progression itself, while Watcher's Keep felt like stacked over-sweet RPG-nerd pancakes of trap absurdities and giggling demon pranks. At least the encounters were tough, but so were those in Durlag's Tower. I really hope for some coherency and a cool story behind this mega dungeon, regardless of how varied some encounters and environments may be - a red thread to it all.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm writing a couple of thoughts after reading this article published on RPS a couple days ago.

 

To be more specific, these lines:

 

[...]

Sawyer: My direction for designing it has been that the ramp in difficulty goes up faster than you can level while in it. [laughs] So I kind of want the player to hit… You go through, you go down a couple levels, then you go to the next level and you’re like, “WHOA! Okay!” Either it forces them to get really serious about tactics, or they’re like, “You know what? I’m gonna go out to do some more quests, come back, and go deeper down.”

 

RPS: So it’s something you work through gradually.

Sawyer: Yeah. And we’ve come up with some ideas for mechanics that encourage continuing to return to the dungeon, so that it becomes kind of like a cyclical thing. You go down for a while, you back off, you deal with some things, and then you find a reason to go back down.

 

RPS: Is there a story surrounding the dungeon? Something huge and labyrinthine like the dungeon itself?

Sawyer: Yeah, yeah. You’ll start to learn [that there's a lot more to it than you first suspect]. Initially it just seems like a cursed, abandoned place. The Glanfathans warn people away from it. But they kind of say, “If you wanna go buck wild in here, it’s your funeral. Go down in there if you want.” As you go deeper you start learning more about what it was and what it is now and what’s going on in it. There’s a mystery. It’ll be a fun mystery to solve and get to the bottom of it.

 

RPS: And I’m guessing the rewards are pretty incredible? Like, some of the best in the game?

Sawyer: Yep.

Brennecke: Of course.

Sawyer: I mean, we want our dungeons to feel like dungeons, but this should be the dungeoniest dungeon that we have [laughs]. Lots of monsters, lots of loot, lots of cool exploration and stuff.

So... my doubts follows:

  • Having the Dungeon the best loot and the hardest fight can lead to some problem in my opinion. Knowing the Dungeon has the best loot will lead the player to just level up enough to go down again and loot shinies to easily overwhelm the enemies in the main quest-line.

    Last but not least if I just ignore the dungeon... how the main campaign will be balanced? I will have anyway a decent gear to finish the game?

    And again, if I just stop myself before the last boss to go into the dungeon? I'll steamroll everything till the last floors? And when i've completed even the dungeon, with an extremely easy feelings, i'll come back with a huge xp boost, an overflow of powerful items and just steamroll even the final encounter of the main compaign?

 

Did you not read the many quotes from Sawyer about how loot is not leveled and the ultra-mega-super dungeon is not something that low/mid-level characters can survive beyond a given few floors? It's designed to be challenged incrementally over the course of the game. He also has stated that there are many areas designed to be highly challenging to characters of a given level, with loot appropriate as a reward for succeeding at the challenge, which will be obsolete and worthless once the player is at a level where said dungeons/quests are easy to clear.

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