Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Linkamus

Will PoE have level scaling? (Please no)

Recommended Posts

I'm kind of new to the party here, but I'm a long time infinity engine game fan, so am obviously extremely excited about PoE. I've done forums searches and google searches, and other than a few old posts from 2012, I couldn't find any recent information concerning 'level scaling'. I absolutely despise any kind of level scaling, and am very much hoping that it does not exist in PoE, however the old posts from 2012 I was looking at seem to say otherwise. What's the latest word on this?

 

Thanks,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll leave it to someone else to find the last comment from Josh on the matter, however in the interim I will say this.

 

A lot of people associate level scaling with games like Oblivion and Dragon Age, and hate it as a result.

 

A lot of those people don't realise that Baldur's Gate II used level scaling.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of those people don't realise that Baldur's Gate II used level scaling.

 

What? Where? You must have confused something. The games scales the XP gained from fights, but the enemies are always the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will be no level scaling for side quests. There will maybe a little level scaling for the main quest, but last year level scaling for the main path wasn't implemented.

 

from the pcworld interview:

 

Do creatures scale to your level in this game or is it set from the beginning?

JS: It’s all pretty much set from the beginning. We may—we haven’t really looked into it a lot but we might do specific encounter scaling on crit-path stuff, but we haven’t so far done anything like that.

 

We're not going to promote pixel-hunting, but we are planning a lot of optional areas that are off of the crit path as well as multiple ways into and through areas.  We will place suitably rewarding items in those locations commensurate to the difficulty required to find them.

 

Optional content, like the encounter with Kangaxx, will not scale by level at all in Project: Eternity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of those people don't realise that Baldur's Gate II used level scaling.

What? Where? You must have confused something. The games scales the XP gained from fights, but the enemies are always the same.

 

It's all over the place, oddly enough, it's just very subtle with it. In the Unseeing Eye quest, if you're low level you'll fight a few gaunths and if you're higher level you'll find full blown beholders flung in. During the temple ruins quest you can actually encounter Liches if you arrive there late enough.

 

The beauty of BGII is that, unlike Oblivion and Dragon Age, it doesn't scale ALL the fights, so you will still plow through those dungeons faster at a higher level, it's just that there'll be two or three fights within where you'll need to don your tactical hat.

 

Oh, and, that adds two case in points for my original post - the first case in point being myself when this was pointed out to me.

Edited by Kjaamor
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all over the place, oddly enough, it's just very subtle with it. In the Unseeing Eye quest, if you're low level you'll fight a few gaunths and if you're higher level you'll find full blown beholders flung in. During the temple ruins quest you can actually encounter Liches if you arrive there late enough.

 

The beauty of BGII is that, unlike Oblivion and Dragon Age, it doesn't scale ALL the fights, so you will still plow through those dungeons faster at a higher level, it's just that there'll be two or three fights within where you'll need to don your tactical hat.

 

Oh, and, that adds two case in points for my original post - the first case in point being myself when this was pointed out to me.

 

Never knew about that, well what do you know. But still that is not the classical level scaling where the enemy is just higher level or does more damage, they changed the type of creature you will encounter. That is in line what PoE will do with it's difficulty settings as far as I know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only scaling in Baldur's gate 2 was during "you have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself" moments. Theurgist - I believe (not 100% sure), that you are mistaken on the unseeing eye bit. I'm pretty sure the beholders are there no matter what. Even if you're only level 9.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even for critical quest fights, I really hope nothing is scaled. The player should have to adjust to the world, the world shouldn't adjust to the player. I WANT to ask myself - "Am I high enough level for the last boss of the game?" I don't want to assume I can kill him because I know he/she/it will just scale to my level.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some scaling that is based on your difficulty setting, rather than level.

 

Ref.

 

PC Gamer: How do the Trial of Iron and Path of the Damned modes work?

Josh Sawyer:

...

Path of the Damned is similar to the old Heart of Fury mode from Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter. When we place our encounters in the game, we have different sets of creatures for different levels of difficulty. So if you’re playing on easy there will actually be fewer and less difficult creatures in a given area. If you turn on Path of the Damned it enables all of those creatures at once, so you’re dealing with all of the creatures from hard, medium, and easy, and you get nothing more for it. [laughs] It’s just really hard.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only scaling in Baldur's gate 2 was during "you have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself" moments. Theurgist - I believe (not 100% sure), that you are mistaken on the unseeing eye bit. I'm pretty sure the beholders are there no matter what. Even if you're only level 9.

 

You are mistaken, but by all means go and do the research. As I say, I initially argued that there wasn't scaling in BGII but then I was confronted with the evidence that there was.

 

I did the unseeing eye earlier this week (replaying BGII again) and while there are some locked enemies within the lair, there are certainly scaled enemies in the Rift area. Obviously going there at the start doesn't stop it from being a beholder lair, and even gauths are pretty tough without preparation, but it changes the number and scale of those enemies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The only scaling in Baldur's gate 2 was during "you have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself" moments. Theurgist - I believe (not 100% sure), that you are mistaken on the unseeing eye bit. I'm pretty sure the beholders are there no matter what. Even if you're only level 9.

 

You are mistaken, but by all means go and do the research. As I say, I initially argued that there wasn't scaling in BGII but then I was confronted with the evidence that there was.

 

I did the unseeing eye earlier this week (replaying BGII again) and while there are some locked enemies within the lair, there are certainly scaled enemies in the Rift area. Obviously going there at the start doesn't stop it from being a beholder lair, and even gauths are pretty tough without preparation, but it changes the number and scale of those enemies.

 

I will have to do some testing with this. I am currently in denial. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all over the place, oddly enough, it's just very subtle with it. In the Unseeing Eye quest, if you're low level you'll fight a few gaunths and if you're higher level you'll find full blown beholders flung in. During the temple ruins quest you can actually encounter Liches if you arrive there late enough.

 

The beauty of BGII is that, unlike Oblivion and Dragon Age, it doesn't scale ALL the fights, so you will still plow through those dungeons faster at a higher level, it's just that there'll be two or three fights within where you'll need to don your tactical hat.

 

True story. There are some several more places like this, most notably in the Spellhold.


It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even for critical quest fights, I really hope nothing is scaled. The player should have to adjust to the world, the world shouldn't adjust to the player. I WANT to ask myself - "Am I high enough level for the last boss of the game?" I don't want to assume I can kill him because I know he/she/it will just scale to my level.

I understand this sentiment, but:

 

A) Things don't have to scale to your level or none at all. It can be as subtle as you want it to be.

 

B) Why is that, as stories/progression goes through games like this, you find yourself facing more and more formidable foes and entering more and more dangerous areas as you go? Why don't you fight 6 beholders outside of Candlekeep, in the woods? Because, no matter how "natural" it is, the game is designed with your party's capabilities at any given point in the linear aspect of the game's progression/story in mind. Thus, even if there's "no scaling" of any specific encounters, this entire aspect of scaling/adjustment is already inherent to the design of the game.

 

Here's how I see it: every wolf should not have 6hp. Some should have 7, some should have 5, etc. Some should be bigger, some should be rabid, some should be more vicious. And, again, it's a game, with the progression of capabilities being an inherent part of its design skeleton. So, just like it makes sense to not really get to the beholders until a bit later than level 1, it makes sense to encounter relatively tougher things when I'm tougher. Not randomly. I don't want to go back to some "newbie" area and have all the bandits in town be level 8 instead of level 3. No, obviously that town was safe enough from law enforcement and whatnot that there weren't any major threats around terrorizing everyone. BUT, it does make sense, from a gameplay standpoint, that I MIGHT encounter tougher, more dangerous wolves when I'm level 6 than when I'm level 5, since there's already room for variance amongst wolves.

 

Encounter scaling (adjusting the number/type of enemies) is the exact same principle. It's just got more finesse than "these 5 enemies you would've fought at level 5 actually are a higher level now because you're level 7." But, there's no difference, functionally, between encounter scaling and level scaling. They're both changes to the potential state of a given encounter based on the player's party's capabilities upon actually reaching that encounter.

 

I understand the desire for everything's potential state to remain static. I get that. It's not at all nonsensical. However, we can't really pretend the game doesn't already make "arbitrary" adjustments based upon player capabilities. Again, the game COULD just say "Oh, look at that... turns out all your quests in chapter one are like level 7! Have fun handling those situations, little level 1 party, ^_^". But it doesn't. Why? Pretty much solely because a game wouldn't be much of a game if it didn't present appropriate challenges to you.

 

So, yes, I'll be the first to join in with pitchforks and torches on the 1:1 Oblivion/Skyrim-style scaling. But, there is plenty of room for very subtle, relative changes (and things like encounter scaling, especially) and adjustments based on your party's level. Not in all things everywhere. Just in some stuff.

 

And, according to Josh's comments on this, it seems they will be using any form of scaling pretty sparingly, which is good. It's definitely not going to be "Oh, you're a level higher than you could be, here? SO ARE ALL THE ENEMIES! LOLZ!"

  • Like 3

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only scaling in Baldur's gate 2 was during "you have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself" moments. Theurgist - I believe (not 100% sure), that you are mistaken on the unseeing eye bit. I'm pretty sure the beholders are there no matter what. Even if you're only level 9.

No, there's definitely parts other than the Beholder one where encounters are scaled. The one I remember is the golem in Firkragg's keep, which iirc could be stone or adamantium depending on your level. Doing a bit of Googling, Dan Simpson's walkthrough agrees with me (AR 1202, second paragraph).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the D'arnise keep and the druid grove level scaled. If you do them early, you will face standard trolls. Do them later, and you'll see some spirit trolls. The Planar sphere scales. The golem inhabitants of the engine room are strictly level scaled. Early on, you will face nothing tougher than stone and clay golems. Do it later, and you'll face the entire golem bestiary (Iron, Adamantine etc). Spellhold scales on dungeon level 2. Before you encounter Dace, there's an undead pack encounter. At lower levels it's just ghouls, mummies and skeleton warriors. At higher levels they toss a lich into the mix. The Unseeing Eye quest scales beyond just replacing Gauths with Beholders. That undead area with the Zombie mayor scales as well. Early on, you face Ghouls, Ghasts and Mummies. Later on there's greater mummies and a lich. The Umar Hills scales. Early on it's just shadows and shadow wolves. Later on it's almost exclusively Shadow Fiends.

 

 

Baldurs Gate 1 had level scaling. If you enter a wilderness area, and your party is 1st or 2nd level, you'll face a couple of kobolds, or a couple of wolves, or a couple of hobgoblins. But enter that same wilderness area with a 7th level party and you'll face a half dozen wolves, a small army of kobolds, or an obscene number of Hobgoblins all bunched together.

 

 

I wish I could say that BG1 and BG2 did Level scaling right, as opposed to Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age doing it wrong. But they did not. Because you can't do level scaling right. It is wrong conceptually. Always. Level scaling is Degenerate developer behavior. It is the lazy and cheap solution to the problem of: "how do I maintain encounter balance when dealing with a variable level party in a non-linear game?"

Edited by Stun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

frekraangs dungeon second level has three golems if your party has surpassed a certain level. i like that kind of levelscaling since it ensures that all areas remain challenging no matter in which order you visit them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could say that BG1 and BG2 did Level scaling right, as opposed to Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age doing it wrong. But they did not. Because you can't do level scaling right. It is wrong conceptually. Always. Level scaling is Degenerate developer behavior. It is the lazy and cheap solution to the problem of: "how do I maintain encounter balance when dealing with a variable level party in a non-linear game?"

If I may ask, if this is wrong conceptually, how is it not wrong to simply maintain encounter balance by initially writing the story/laying out the world such that you encounter lesser threats while you're less-capable and worse outfitted, and greater threats when you've progressed a bit? Why does that Level-three quest deal with Trolls instead of wolves, and why is the final "boss" of the game generally the hardest fight?

 

You play through the game with 6 Fighters, then play a new playthrough with 6 Priests. Everything else is the same, but the story now says "and then, 6 feeble-ish Priests were beset by ninjas in the prologue area." Why is everything player-controlled allowed to be completely inconsistent, but the rest of the world is mandated by the heavens to remain exactly the same in completely different instances? Because, you can't do a quest at level 2, then somehow undo that quest, level up to level 4, and come back and do that same quest again. You can't fight a combat encounter like that, either. So, who's to say what's there before you walk up on it and see with your own eyes?

 

What if the game just randomized encounter design. Would that be bad? Sometimes, there are 5 orcs at this bridge, and sometimes there are 7. Just a random seed when you start your playthrough. Would that be fine? And, if so, why would then having the EXACT same inconsistency, but simply basing it on what kind of challenge is being presented relative to your party's actual capabilities, be somehow wrong?

 

I don't understand what makes it conceptually wrong, and not circumstantially wrong. Either it's the inconsistency that's wrong (which, as you can see, happens without a lick of level scaling), or it's simply the basis for the change (in which case the game shouldn't even make sure you're pitted against challenges you can possibly handle at whatever given point of progression you are through the game).


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I may ask, if this is wrong conceptually, how is it not wrong to simply maintain encounter balance by initially writing the story/laying out the world such that you encounter lesser threats while you're less-capable and worse outfitted, and greater threats when you've progressed a bit? Why does that Level-three quest deal with Trolls instead of wolves, and why is the final "boss" of the game generally the hardest fight?

This is not level scaling. This is simply making the game linear. As for final Boss battles being the toughest of all encounters. That's not level scaling either, unless that final boss encounter's toughness changes based on the level of the party when they encounter it. Which should never, ever, EVER happen. It would cheapen the experience. It would kill all semblance of accomplishment.

 

You play through the game with 6 Fighters, then play a new playthrough with 6 Priests. Everything else is the same, but the story now says "and then, 6 feeble-ish Priests were beset by ninjas in the prologue area." Why is everything player-controlled allowed to be completely inconsistent, but the rest of the world is mandated by the heavens to remain exactly the same in completely different instances? Because, you can't do a quest at level 2, then somehow undo that quest, level up to level 4, and come back and do that same quest again. You can't fight a combat encounter like that, either. So, who's to say what's there before you walk up on it and see with your own eyes?

Not quite sure what you're saying here, but I can say that scaled encounters that occur in game tutorials and prologues are generally not part of any (rational) Level Scaling vs. No Level Scaling discussion. Also, the best designed game worlds should Always be *set*. That's why they're called Settings. Level scaling typically rears its ugly head, then proceeds to ruin settings when devs decide that the setting should mutate based on the party's level. <gag>

 

Thankfully, Obsidian knows better than to do something so obnoxiously banal. Thus things like the Mega Dungeon will become progressively tougher the deeper you go down it regardless of what your party's level is. (Sawyer has actually said that the difficulty progression of the Mega dungeon will be much faster than party level progression, meaning it's going to be set up gloriously old school-like: You can tackle it whenever you want, but if you're a level 3 party of squishies, you'll eventually discover, the hard and painful way, that the world does not cater you just because you think that it should due to "balance" or whatever.

 

(and you have no idea how rosy I'm feeling on the inside, as I ponder Sawyer's comment here, then think about you.... then ponder his comment some more....then think about you...)

 

What if the game just randomized encounter design. Would that be bad?

You mean what if a game sacrificed its own world's integrity by generating its encounters on the fly based on your level, like some arcade game? Of course it would be bad.

 

Sometimes, there are 5 orcs at this bridge, and sometimes there are 7. Just a random seed when you start your playthrough. Would that be fine? And, if so, why would then having the EXACT same inconsistency, but simply basing it on what kind of challenge is being presented relative to your party's actual capabilities, be somehow wrong?

Is this slight change in numbers based on party levels? Yes, that would be ungood. (it would also cease being random since it's based on level now) BG1 did that. It did not need to. A game world with exploration should not CARE who is exploring it. It should simply be there to be explored. Thus, if the player stumbles too far off the beaten path and into an area where he finds himself way over his head.... then by golly, lephys, those are the risks involved with exploration. Solution: high-tail it out of there and come back later, when you've gained more skills.

 

Stop asking for your hand to be held.

Edited by Stun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have to do some testing with this. I am currently in denial. ;)

Lol! This is what SCS2's "Increase difficulty of level-dependent monster groupings" component is based on.

 

"At various points in the unmodded game, BG2 chooses the strength of the monsters you face based on your level. Typically there are four encounters, and which one you get depends on your experience level."

Edited by Zeckul
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baldur's Gate most certainly did level scale. Kjaamor is entirely correct. Personally, I've never had a significant problem with level scaling. Then again, I've never played Oblivion. I didn't really notice it in Dragon Age: Origins, though I've only played through the full game once--so I'm sure that I'm lacking perspective. Like many things, I liked the way BG handled it. Dungeons were largely the same with a select few encounters being significantly "elevated".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question for people who actually support Level scaling.

 

OK, You have an open (or semi open) world. You're done with the obligatory prologue and you're ready to go out exploring. Which of the following makes you more excited/happy:

 

1) That secure, comfortable feeling that everything's going to be ok, because the devs would never toss an encounter your way that you're not powerful enough to handle?

 

Or:

 

2) That ominous feeling of the Unknown.... that lingering thought in your head that maybe exploring comes with definite, sometimes even unfair, risks, not just rewards, and you could very well stumble upon something not meant to be tackled early on?

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In games that have PC that levels up, using level scaling on critical path is somewhat necessary to keep game challenging, because main plot can easily become too easy if player can out level foes on it by doing side quests and in of game beginning it somewhat necessary that enemies in critical path are in lower level than what they are in end of the game, but outside of critical path use of level scaling becomes much less necessary thing. 

 

Although even if you use level scaling outside of critical path it don't mean that it there can't be challenging encounters that you need to come back later on.

 

For example there could be a dragon that has level scaling from 15-20 level depending on what level player's party is, more closely when player's party is on levels 1-2 dragon is on level 15, when party is on levels 3-4 dragon is on level 16 and so on, but in all probability player's party has to be at least on level 7 to have chance against the dragon, but even if player maxes his or her party's level dragon will still be deadly challenge.

 

So level scaling don't mean necessary that there isn't such challenges where player finds him/herself overpowered by the foe.

 

Therefore it is for me quite same if there will or will not be level scaling in PoE, as long as game's encounters are challenging (and rewarding) enough through the game to be interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second.

And that is what good level scaling does.

Nonsense. Level scaling cannot ever instill a fear into the player that his party might stumble into a situation not meant for him to tackle, since the whole POINT of level scaling is to scale encounters so that they're not too far off in either direction from the party's level.

 

 

I have a guestion for people opposed to LS why the PC and his/her party should be the only beings capable of getting stronger in otherwise set and frozen world?

They shouldn't. An Ogre should be totally free to gain levels by wandering around and adventuring, killing things, etc. just like the party. A creative developer can even go so far as to give an observing party updates on this Ogre's progress.

 

But who ever said that this Ogre's advancement had to scale with the party's level? It doesn't. And it shouldn't, as it would totally ruin an otherwise potentially awesome mini-storyline (should the party seek him out and kill him off while he's still a weak, level 1 n00b Ogre, or should they ignore him until he amasses insane power and ambushes them later, when he's hit the level cap but they haven't, and gained an army of followers/admirers as a result of his vast adventuring)

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, the point of level scaling is to change the level of encounters to fulfill developers vision.

Specifically, their visions of balanced encounters. Remember, there's two directions, here. When a game's encounters are strictly level scaled, it will also mean that a high level party will never enter map and face level 1 monsters, even if the storyline suggests that this map is the home of a small pack of feral chickens, led by a lone Xvart.

 

The set level of encounter cannot instill fear in player because he will always know exactly what and where he will encounter.

Sure, after wandering too far off and getting his ass handed to him the first time. But we weren't really discussing meta-gaming, since obviously there will be no fear (level scaling or not), once the exact nature of the encounter has already been revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

They shouldn't. An Ogre should be totally free to gain levels by wandering around and adventuring, killing things, etc. just like the party. A creative developer can even go so far as to give an observing party updates on this Ogre's progress.

 

But who ever said that this Ogre's advancement had to scale with the party's level? It doesn't. And it shouldn't, as it would totally ruin an otherwise potentially awesome mini-storyline (should the party seek him out and kill him off while he's still a weak, level 1 n00b Ogre, or should they ignore him until he amasses insane power and ambushes them later, when he's hit the level cap but they haven't, and gained an army of followers/admirers as a result of his vast adventuring)

So level scaling is ok if it's tied to elapsed game time instead of party level?

 

I didn't give an example of level scaling. And I most certainly didn't give an example of a level scaled encounter. I gave an example of a completely UNSCALED scenario (a quest, in fact) were a game's monster simply leveled, because of his Own actions... OR DIDN'T. (the party may decide to kill him before he levels at all.) Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Says who? What exactly prevents a party of level 10.000 to encounter level 1 rat in level scaled game if the developers wants a party to encounter this rat?

If the developers want that party to encounter a level 1 rat, then by definition, that encounter is not level scaled.

 

 

 

And according to JS the approach they will use is having some monsters that will not change at all (fixed level), some having a range of levels (ex. between 3 and 6 level) and some having always fixed number of levels above or below party. Also mix of the above.

Prove it. Link me to where Josh says any such thing. We have heard josh say that if there is ANY level scaling at all in PoE, it will be only in the main quest. And even then, he gave no such specifics.

 

 

 

So, without metagaming, how exactly a player would know that the level 6 ogre he fought by the bridge with his level 2 party would be level 8 if he had a party of level 4 and above when aproached? And how this knowledge, if he posses it, would make the fight less fun or less difficult?

Well, if the game boasts of level scaling, then he'd probably know before even buying the game, that encounters will be balanced based on level scaling. I knew Skyrim would have level scaling about 1 year before ever playing it. Didn't you?

 

 

Ok, what? If the Ogre will change his level during the game to be more powerful - IT IS LEVEL SCALING.

No it's not. It's just leveling. And specifically, it's a unique instance of leveling. If there was a system of level scaling involved, then all Ogres everywhere would level either relative to the party, or else based on the game's chapter.

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...