Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Linkamus

Will PoE have level scaling? (Please no)

Recommended Posts

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?

Level scaling can also be used to keep tough encounters tough. I support level scaling, it means I will always have challenges left. But I'm also happy that not everything scales. as is, I'm satisfied with the current choice.

  • Like 1

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.

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.

 

But will some of this optional content be "time based"? Say, for instance, that I skip a part that is a Level 6 area, but I'm only Level 4 so I continue on the path forward, and when I get to Level 7 or 8 I want to return, but I progressed so far into the story that the Level 6 area got cleared out by another faction or adventuring party.

 

Or is all optional content "set" so that I can pretty much finish the game and then return to a Level 2 area and the enemies there are still all "Hurrdidurr!" and oblivious to the progression of the rest of the world?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But it doesn't mean that the game doesn't have level scaling. Having level scaling in a game does not obligate the developers to scale everything in the game.

True. So you're ok with situations where there's no level scaling at all...?

 

 

 

 

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.

It was in the original discussion about level scaling. I will find it and link it.

 

Here, let me help you with that.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60889-level-scaling-dont-scale-individual-enemies-scale-encounters/page-3?do=findComment&comment=1219467

 

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

 

Find it for me, now.

 

 

That wasn't the question, and you know it. The question is how encountering level 6 Ogre with party of level 2 that was level scaled is different than encountering level 6 ogre with level 2 party that wasn't level scaled for the first time?

Lets see. Oh yea, there's no difference. And there won't be a difference unless that party is 12th level, and stumbles upon that same ogre, in the same area, and suddenly that ogre has broken the lore, broken the setting, and is, magically, an epic level ogre.... for no reason than the fact that the party happened to enter that area at a much higher level.

 

Please do your research about how Obsidian will implement LS,

I did. In fact, I did YOUR research for you. Admit your error, now. Edited by Stun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I will concede that BG2 does have some level scaling after seeing all of the posts backing up that claim. However, I will say they must have hid it well, because I never noticed it at all. It sounds like it was quite minimal, and most unique encounters were not scaled at all. 

 

I hope if PoE uses level scaling that it is JUST as minimal, or more preferably, completely non-existent.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is important to ask the question, what makes level scaling necessary at all?

 

1. If it is hard or impossible to avoid certain conflicts while progressing in the game; this would also mean the game is more linear

2. If there is a bigger rather than a smaller difference between being low and high level

 

I think the 1. should be avoided whereas the 2. is debatable whether it is good or bad. I made a thread about 2. much time ago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is important to ask the question, what makes level scaling necessary at all?

 

1. If it is hard or impossible to avoid certain conflicts while progressing in the game; this would also mean the game is more linear

2. If there is a bigger rather than a smaller difference between being low and high level

 

I think the 1. should be avoided whereas the 2. is debatable whether it is good or bad. I made a thread about 2. much time ago

 

These are two good questions to ask. If the game isn't super linear, and you come across a battle that's just too tough, there should be PLENTY of places for you to explore and quest to level up, and then you can come back to the more challenging stuff later.

 

For your second question, that is definitely a hard tight rope to balance on. I definitely think leveling should feel rewarding, but at the same time I think a good party based RPG should be very tactical, and challenge should be less based on your level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think it is important to ask the question, what makes level scaling necessary at all?

 

1. If it is hard or impossible to avoid certain conflicts while progressing in the game; this would also mean the game is more linear

2. If there is a bigger rather than a smaller difference between being low and high level

 

I think the 1. should be avoided whereas the 2. is debatable whether it is good or bad. I made a thread about 2. much time ago

 

These are two good questions to ask. If the game isn't super linear, and you come across a battle that's just too tough, there should be PLENTY of places for you to explore and quest to level up, and then you can come back to the more challenging stuff later.

 

For your second question, that is definitely a hard tight rope to balance on. I definitely think leveling should feel rewarding, but at the same time I think a good party based RPG should be very tactical, and challenge should be less based on your level.

 

I agree with you on both.

 

The first - precisely. I CAN beat you mother****ers now, hah! Thats always satisfying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not level scaling. This is simply making the game linear.

I didn't say it was level scaling. Please, please, please actually just read my words. For once. If I wanted to argue with you that making the game linear was literally the changing of things levels, dynamically, in reaction to the player's party's level, I would've said that.

 

Do you not agree that both actions are based on the same thing (i.e. the finalization of encounter numbers based on the player party's capabilities at some given point in the game)? If not, please tell me how, specifically.

 

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>

I don't understand what you're saying, except for the part about settings being ruined by everything suddenly scaling to the player's level, all the time, with no rhyme or reason.

 

What I'm saying is, if you only ever fight a specific encounter once in a given playthrough, then that instance of the game world is, undeniably, *set* for that entire playthrough.

 

I still am not comprehending the fundamental basis for the whole "changing things based on party things is bad" argument. In essence the sheer act of saying "If you're THIS level, this encounter shall consist of X... if you're THAT level, this encounter shall consist of X + 1" is no different (again I re-iterate, in function -- it can still be overdone or done poorly, just like anything else ever) from any other mutually exclusive change to the game world. Did your main character have 20 Resolve and a huge Reputation for being Merciful this playthrough, as opposed to some other playthrough when you didn't have that? Then Encounter X actually has your foes back down from you and put down their weapons, as opposed to actually throwing all those foes against you as a definite obstacle. Guess what? An encounter just altered itself based on your party's capabilities.

 

Furthermore, in regard to the way level-scaling is most often used, you do A before B, and thus have a great chance of being, say, level 10 instead of level 9 when you get to B (when you COULD'VE done B before A). Thus, the game says "okay, we're gonna make changes to this encounter B based on the fact that you're level 10 instead of level 9," whatever those changes might be (it could add just one hitpoint to one foe -- which would admittedly be almost pointlessly subtle -- OR it could add in 10 extra foes and increase the whole foe group's level by 3 levels; the change is not a binary 1:1 thing just because it is based on your level, just for the record). Okay, so it's "based on your level." But, what if encounter B is some kind of bandit fortress, and they hear about whatever you did in Quest/encounter A in the time it takes you to make it to their Bandit Fortress, encounter B (because reactivity and all that jazz, and word spreads, etc.). So, Fearless Bandit Leader calls back all his little raiding groups, and replaces his standing guards at the fortress with his toughest fighters (because, obviously, all bandits aren't clones, right?).

 

Boom... Guess what just functionally occurred? You have a situation in which, had you faced the Bandit Fortress at level 9, you would've encountered lesser resistance, and not-as-tough bandits. But, because of your actions and delay that accompanied your attainment of level 10 before reaching the Bandit Fortress, the Bandit Fortress was "scaled." But, guess what? It wasn't based on your level, but you wouldn't have been able to tell even if it was."

 

Does that make sense? If you just arbitrarily scale crap the millisecond you level up, then yes, that's dumb. But, if you scale stuff in a proper/appropriate fashion, you've done it the right way.

 

It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the game's encounters are adjusted to present you with an appropriate challenge, and everything to do with specifically how it's done.

 

That's what I'm saying, and I don't how that doesn't make sense.

 

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.

But the world does cater to you. Why aren't there horrific, horrific level 10 beasties on the 3rd floor of the megadungeon, and a village of peaceful Dwarves on the 7th floor? You think they just found an existing game world, and left it alone so that it wasn't tainted by the evils of... *gasp*... adjustment!? No, they said "Hmmm... when you get to this point, how do we design the foes there such that they'll provide an appropriate challenge?"

 

I patiently await the explanation on how the sheer act of adjusting foes you have yet to encounter or even face -- thus, they don't really exist in any specific state of being, until you actually face them (We'll call them Schrodinger's Foes, :) ) is somehow evil, but hand-tailoring the difficulty of even static encounters in the first place, solely based on the amount of challenge they'll present to at the level/state-of-progression your party will feasibly be at that point in the game is 1,000% fine and totally different.

 

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.

How so? So, there are just 5 orcs of specific HP and skill, chilling in some spot in some forest, 24/7, for the entire time that passes before you actually encounter them? It's not possible that you might actually encounter some unspecified group of patrolling orcs at some given point in time, at some given location in the forest that happens to be near an orc encampment? They don't ever like... change shifts, or die to wolves over time and be replaced by other orcs?

 

You have yet to explain why the sheer aspect of dynamics, here, is fundamentally wrong. I didn't ask for everything in the entire game to always be completely random. "Maybe the last boss is a single rat, instead of the actual villain! 8D!" I'm saying, "Why would the 'randomization' of any encounter at all be a bad thing?"

 

The reason I ask this is, you say it's bad to base encounter adjustments on a party's level, so... as long as they're not based on the party's level, they should be fine, right? If not, then the sheer specification of encounter factors seems to be fundamentally wrong in the first place. Why is it okay to "change" an encounter from a state of non-existence, to "there will be 5 orcs here with X HP and such" in the first place, but it's not okay to simply alter that determined list of criteria for that encounter before the encounter even takes place?

 

Is this slight change in numbers based on party levels? Yes, that would be ungood.

No. I literally just said "It's just a random seed determined at the start of that playthrough." IT doesn't matter what level you are. SOMEtimes, there are 5 orcs at that bridge, and sometimes there are 7. Then, I asked, IF that would be fine, why would the exact same change (facing 7 orcs instead of facing 5 orcs) be suddenly not-fine, just because it happened when you were more capable? What is causing a problem? Please point out the structural flaw on the blueprint, so-to-speak. Because "Because it's based on your capability now even though the result is the same!" isn't really a reason.

Stop asking for your hand to be held.

Also, this has NOTHING to do with hand-holding. I don't even comprehend what you're talking about. Yes, Obsidian, please hold my hand by making me fight MORE orcs instead of FEWER orcs.

 

Seriously, Stun. Seriously... You've lost me.

Edited by Lephys
  • Like 1

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

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?

For the record, the sheer usage of level-scaling in no way requires the presence of point #1 OR the absence of point #2.

 

Stop arguing nonsensical things.

 

All scaling of everything to your level at any given point in the entire game (even DOWN to your level if it's tougher than you) is level-scaling, but not all level-scaling is making everything your level (or even adjusting everything in any way, shape, or fashion.)

 

Stun. What're you doing? Stun! STAHP!

 

:)


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 the level scaling has no discernible effect on gameplay that I can intuit on my own, it's good level scaling. BG2 clearly has good level scaling, since many people are convinced it doesn't have any scaling to this day. Good level scaling means the game is an excellent liar, and that's all we really want out of our games (and our entertainment in general): to be lied to so convincingly that we believe it.

 

It's only when level scaling betrays itself that it's bad. Because then the game is a bad liar. Latter-day Elder Scrolls games are pretty lousy liars, because everything is dependent upon the player's actions to an utterly absurd degree. They're Mary Sue simulators.

 

Personally, I'd like to see a game with Elder Scrollsian Mary-Sue-simulator mechanics that makes those part of the narrative. Have it be about how, simply by adventuring, the player is making the entire world worse. The bandits are armed with better weapons because the player needs better gear. The dragons start murdering people because the player needs dragons to challenge him. More undead start terrorizing the world because the player just got a bow that's good at fighting undead. Etc. Have Avellone write it.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you not agree that both actions are based on the same thing (i.e. the finalization of encounter numbers based on the player party's capabilities at some given point in the game)? If not, please tell me how, specifically.

What actions are you talking about, exactly, Lephys?

 

I don't understand what you're saying, except for the part about settings being ruined by everything suddenly scaling to the player's level, all the time, with no rhyme or reason.

And here I thought that the entire RPG community would be on the same side of the fence with the easy-to-understand notion that,Ideally, all encounters should be meticulously designed and hand crafted by the developers, and then placed into the part of the game world where they'd make the most sense, and then present that world, as is, to the player. And thus the need for level scaling would not exist. Since level scaling is nothing more than the practice of mutating encounters, changing them to FIT the Party, instead of the game world and its lore. Again, it is BAD developer behavior to design, say, Level 1 rats, then put those rats where it makes sense to put them (in the sewers of a city), and then say: "Great! Done! Wait.... we have a Problem: BALANCE!!!! We believe that it will be wrong if the player party is 10th level when they enter those sewers and fight those rats. Because Level 1 rats are not a challenge to a 10th level party. We must do something about that. Wait. I know what we can do! Lets have those rats level scale with the Party! Yeah, lets make 10th Level Rats! Hopefully, that party of powerful seasoned adventurers will not notice (or won't care?) that a pack of f*cking rats is battling them on equal terms.

 

 

Laugh if you wish Lephys. Dismiss this away as a silly "extreme" or whatever. But the FACT remains: This phenomenon is not extreme or rare. it is an overly common problem in RPGs. it is what happens when developers resort to level scaling. And it happens ALL THE TIME.

 

Even in the example given at the start of this thread (BG2), were the Level scaling is so 'subtle' that many players can miss it, it STILL negatively tampers with the game world's setting and believability. In BG2, Level scaling caused the devs to insert random liches into trash mob encounters in unimportant areas, thus cheapening and insulting the presentation of what should be the rarest, and most powerful type of ancient undead in the realms.

 

The argument has been made (by you I think), that if the devs level scale their encounters, then it won't make a difference on a 1st playthough, since the player likely won't *know* if that encounter has been scaled to his level or not. Well, Lephys, I've never in my life played a game with level scaling where I didn't notice, usually before I got halfway though the game, that the devs have lazily decided, because they weren't smart or creative enough to come up with a better solution, to level scale their encounters in order to keep up the challenge for the Party.

 

 

But I digress. Unlike you, Lephys, I don't really need to defend my stance here. Because this is one of the rare gaming issues where the PoE developers are on my side and not yours! POE will not have level scaling, except for maybe portions of the critical path if at all. Feel free to Cry, Sigh and Wail about that, at your convenience. :)

Edited by Stun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What actions are you talking about, exactly, Lephys?

The actions of:

 

1) Determining the specific traits of a given encounter in the first place, and

2) Determining the specific traits of a given encounter at any other point in time before that encounter actually "occurs" in the game world.

 

Thanks for asking and not just assuming what I was talking about. I mean that, genuinely.

 

And here I thought that the entire RPG community would be on the same side of the fence with the easy-to-understand notion that,Ideally, all encounters should be meticulously designed and hand crafted by the developers, and then placed into the part of the game world where they'd make the most sense. And thus the need for level scaling would not exist. Since level scaling is nothing more than the practice of mutating encounters, changing them to FIT the Party, instead of the game world and its lore. Again, it is BAD developer behavior to design, say, Level 1 rats, then put those rats where it makes sense to put them (in the sewers of a city), and then say: "Great! Done! Wait.... we have a Problem: BALANCE!!!! We believe that it will be wrong if the player party is 10th level when they enter those sewers and fight those rats. Because Level 1 rats are not a challenge to a 10th level party. We must do something about that. Wait. I know what we can do! Lets have those rats level scale with the Party! Yeah, lets make 10th Level Rats! Hopefully, that party of powerful seasoned adventurers will not notice (or won't care?) that a pack of f*cking rats is battling them on equal terms.

 

 

Laugh if you wish Lephys. Dismiss this away as a silly "extreme" or whatever. But the FACT remains: This phenomenon is not extreme or rare. it is an overly common problem in RPGs. it is what happens when developers resort to level scaling. And it happens ALL THE TIME.

I'm not going to laugh. Everything you've said in that quoted segment is 100% true, with the sole exception of "this is what happens when developers resort to level scaling."

 

The thing is, you've pointed out that it would be ridiculous and easily noticeable if rats in a Level 1 sewer fought the level 10 party on equal footing. That is absolutely true. I couldn't agree more. What that fails to point, however, is how making any change to what you face in that sewer, before you actually face anything in that sewer, is somehow bad just because going so far as to make all the rats level 10-capable fighters is bad. What if there were some dire rats thrown in? If you performed actions and traveled places to attain level 10 (as opposed to miraculously willing your party to become level 10 in a single instant before simply stepping on into those sewers), then would not the infestation of the sewers go unchecked? Doesn't mean it reached level 10. But, maybe it's just a little different, not than it was (because it never was anything... it didn't "occur" because you haven't been there yet), but different than it would have been under different circumstances?

 

You see, advancement requires time and reaction-inducing actions. So, observing changes in advancement is actually a perfectly useful way of observing the general passage of time and advancement of other things in the world. So, again, if you played through the game once, and went STRAIGHT to the sewers, and were swarmed by numerous (but admittedly feeble) vicious rats, THEN played the game another time, went about leveling up for 5 levels, then came back and actually entered that sewer (assuming there was still anything there to threaten anyone because the rest of the world didn't react to it and clear it out without you instead of just waiting on you to do it), and there were some larger rats, and/or the rats were even MORE numerous, would that be preposterous?

 

Please, explain how that example, right there, wouldn't make sense. What about it would be fundamentally bad or nonsensical/arbitrary? Not some other one I didn't make that we both agree is preposterous, but that one. Because, you're the one arguing "there isn't a single way to do it, at all, to any extent or degree, that isn't 100% ridiculous and bad," and yet countering ONLY the blatantly horrible examples you choose to single out that I'm not even advocating.

 

Even in the example given at the start of this thread (BG2), were the Level scaling is so 'subtle' that many players can miss it, it STILL negatively tampers with the game world's setting and believability. In BG2, Level scaling caused the devs to insert random liches into trash mob encounters in unimportant areas, thus cheapening and insulting the presentation of what should be the rarest, and most powerful type of ancient undead in the realms.

Then, again, they shouldn't have done specifically what they did. Does the fact that liches shouldn't have randomly shown up automatically render the appearance of ANY other foe in the entire game unbelievable as well? Or is the problem there specifically with liches?

 

The argument has been made (by you I think), that if the devs level scale their encounters, then it won't make a difference on a 1st playthough, since the player likely won't *know* if that encounter has been scaled to his level or not. Well, Lephys, I've never in my life played a game with level scaling where I didn't notice, usually before I got halfway though the game, that the devs have lazily decided, because they weren't smart or creative enough to come up with a better solution, to level scale their encounters in order to keep up the challenge for the Party.

Developers have statistically done it problematically in the past. Agreed, as before. The difference between you and I is that you're choosing to assume that means it can't be done, while I see this as an "aren't we a little overdue for a proper implementation, then?"

 

I'd even have absolutely no issue if you simply said "I believe, 100%, that no developer will ever actually do it right." It's the fact that you're arguing that it isn't even possible to be done right. Which is no longer subjective and can actually be determined. Whether or not you like ANY amount of it, it clearly has a purpose (unless you're going to tell me that designing an encounter with the amount of challenge it will present in mind is somehow bad), and it can be done in a sensical and not heavy-handed, blatantly stupid way.

 

Maybe you just disagree with that, no matter what, for no other reason than that you just feel in your gut that it's wrong. But, pointing out instances in which it's been done crappily doesn't prove an inherent flaw in the method itself. Just in the individual attempts.

 

Unlike you, Lephys, I don't really need to defend my stance here. Because this is one of the rare gaming issues where the PoE developers are on my side and not yours! POE will not have level scaling, except for maybe portions of the critical path if at all.

Haha. Rriiiiight. You say there's absolutely no way to do it that isn't horrible, while I say there IS a good way to do it and advocate subtle/sparing use of it, and somehow, the developers' decision that any use of it they go with will be quite subtle/sparing (and therefore good) is somehow on your side of this issue (the side where KILL IT WITH FIRE!).

 

That's hilarious. See, what's even funnier is, I wouldn't have come in here and childishly even brought up whose "side" the developers are on, as if that's somehow pertinent to discussion and not just a "Hah-hah! I'm better than you!" But, not only do you do that, but you're literally contradicting yourself.

 

"Hah-hah! You think level-scaling has its uses, and so do the devs, and I hate it! Luckily they're on MY side. CRY ABOUT IT!"

 

I fear you will forever baffle me, Stun. But, oh well. I wish you well in life, however you forge your path through it.

  • Like 1

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

I say there IS a good way to do it and advocate subtle/sparing use of it,

Wait wait wait...

 

If a feature is a *good* feature, why would one want to only use it sparingly, or make it so subtle that it's un-noticed?

 

 

What that fails to point, however, is how making any change to what you face in that sewer, before you actually face anything in that sewer, is somehow bad just because going so far as to make all the rats level 10-capable fighters is bad. What if there were some dire rats thrown in? If you performed actions and traveled places to attain level 10 (as opposed to miraculously willing your party to become level 10 in a single instant before simply stepping on into those sewers), then would not the infestation of the sewers go unchecked? Doesn't mean it reached level 10. But, maybe it's just a little different, not than it was (because it never was anything... it didn't "occur" because you haven't been there yet), but different than it would have been under different circumstances?

Gosh! I could have sworn I already addressed this about 50 times. Ok, lets do attempt #51. We'll use the same sewers-under-the-city scenario.

 

We have level 1 Rats. And hell, we can even have a quest tied to them (Quest: the local health department is concerned that its rat infestation may cause a disease outbreak. The citizenry is demanding that someone clear the sewers of the rat infestation.)

 

Ok, well With level scaling we've kinda already made this quest meaningless, since as soon as a 10th-12th level Party enters the sewers, those Rats will suddenly be replaced with a far FAR bigger threat (10X bigger, to be exact.) There is now an infestation of Highly intelligent Vampiric Wererats. And a cognizantly aware gamer...one who had previously taken the game seriously, suddenly questions the entire game's logic and storytelling.

 

Why is this a health department issue, when this actually rises to the level of a MILITARY THREAT?

Why is the citizenry worried about a disease outbreak, when they should instead, be terrified, and screaming about how these rats have snatched and murdered citizens every night?

 

Answer: Oh shut the hell up you logic fans. Games aren't supposed to make sense, they're just supposed to mindlessly and nonsensically BE BALANCED AT ANY COST.

Edited by Stun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I say there IS a good way to do it and advocate subtle/sparing use of it,

Wait wait wait...

 

If a feature is a *good* feature, why would one want to only use it sparingly?

 

 

No feature is inherently "good," just as no feature is inherently "bad."  It's all in the execution.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait wait wait...

 

If a feature is a *good* feature, why would one want to only use it sparingly?

Gee, I dunno. Critical hits are good, so let's make critical hits occur 90% of the time! 8D! Pepper's good. Let's put THREE CUPS of it into our soup! You know, because it's not like it's good in moderation or anything.

 

Guess you've got me there.

Edited by Lephys

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

 

Wait wait wait...

 

If a feature is a *good* feature, why would one want to only use it sparingly?

Gee, I dunno. Critical hits are good, so let's make critical hits occur 90% of the time!

 

What a terrible analogy.

 

If it is determined that Critical Hits are a *good* feature, then an intelligent developer will make sure that critical hits occur every time the player rolls a 20.

 

But yeah, I get the whole "execution" thing. Apparently, The best way to execute level scaling is to make it invisible, as if it's not there at all. Yeah, that makes sense. We can't just...you know just not have it there in the first place. Thus we wouldn't have to conceal it, or deceive the player into thinking it's not there, or hide it, like a hideous tattoo that we're ashamed of.

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is determined that Critical Hits are a *good* feature, then an intelligent developer will make sure that critical hits occur every time the player rolls a 20.

And yet, sometimes the player will roll seven 20's in a single combat, and others he won't roll a single one.

 

Would you not say critical hits occur sparingly, in relation to all hits in the game? Out of all the rolls in the game, how many will be 20s?

 

Just because you don't know what "sparingly" means doesn't my example was bad. Also, you just completely ignored the pepper example. Here's another one, in case there's some reason threshold you've got going on that absorbs examples until I've hit you with enough of them to break it:

 

Legendary swords as loot are good, too. Are they not also used sparingly? Do you not RARELY find such things, out of all the loot found?

 

So, how is it a bad example? Encounters/combat challenges will be sparingly altered. Again, before you even encounter them. For actual reasons.

 

But yeah, I get the whole "execution" thing. Apparently, The best way to execute level scaling is to make it invisible, as if it's not there at all. Yeah, that makes sense. We can't just...you know just not have it there in the first place. Thus we wouldn't have to conceal it, or deceive the player into thinking it's not there, or hide it, like a hideous tattoo that we're ashamed of.

You're thinking of it backwards. If it's not initially designed in such a way that it's noticeable in the first place, then there's nothing to conceal.

 

It's not like dialogue's written well to CONCEAL the fact that some stat check produced the dialogue response you're seeing on-screen. It's written well because of the benefits of well-written dialogue. You don't have some NPC say "this sword will produce like... +3 more damage than your other sword" because you're CONCEALING the mechanics. It's simply counter-pproductive to have an NPC, within the world, breach the world's barrier and reference abstract computations going on in your computer. Thus, you just make it fit something you don't need to conceal in the first place, by having them say "this is a fine piece of steel. It sharpens much better than the Engwithan (I think I spelled that wrong) design, and is shaped for cleaner thrusts."

Edited by Lephys

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

 

But yeah, I get the whole "execution" thing. Apparently, The best way to execute level scaling is to make it invisible, as if it's not there at all. Yeah, that makes sense. We can't just...you know just not have it there in the first place. Thus we wouldn't have to conceal it, or deceive the player into thinking it's not there, or hide it, like a hideous tattoo that we're ashamed of.

You're thinking of it backwards. If it's not initially designed in such a way that it's noticeable in the first place, then there's nothing to conceal.

 

What do you mean there's nothing to conceal? It's still Level scaling, remember? And you yourself have said, over and over, that the best way to implement level scaling is to conceal its implementation. ie. craft a LIE.

 

It's not like dialogue's written well to CONCEAL the fact that some stat check produced the dialogue response you're seeing on-screen. It's written well because of the benefits of well-written dialogue.

I guess this would be a good time to ask then: what are the benefits of Level Scaling?

 

Go ahead, say "Encounter Balance". Say "Encounter Balance" so that I can point out the many ways that such a thing goes counter to the spirit of a believable explorable open world.

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean there's nothing to conceal? It's still Level scaling, remember? And you yourself have said, over and over, that the best way to implement level scaling is to conceal its implementation. ie. craft a LIE.

Where have I said that? I willingly await a quote. Also, you've blatantly ignored 75% of everything I just typed, answering the very questions you're asking. You just quote like one little snippet, then ask as question as if I didn't already elaborate.

 

You know what, though? I'll actually just go ahead and explain, again.

 

You're not CONCEALING anything, because there's nothing to conceal until you've done it wrong. You no more need to conceal an encounter with slightly beefier orcs, in comparison to less-beefy orcs, than you need to conceal the very existence of the orcs and their combat attributes in the first place.

 

If you don't play the game twice, you don't even know it's happening. You just go "Oh man, that was a fight, and I fought it, yay!" You don't magically see what orcs you WOULD'VE faced, in an alternate reality. The only thing you notice is what you DID face, and whether or not it was appropriate.

 

Having everything be your level doesn't require level-scaling to achieve. You could just design the game such that NOTHING was ever weaker or stronger than your party at any given point throughout the advancement of the story. And that would be just as horrible as Oblivion/Skyrim "everything always just matches you."

 

I mean, I guess you could say the entire game is concealing the fact that it's an intentionally designed-by-a-person interactive piece of software that consists of only 1's and 0's being read and executed by computer hardware? And that it's disguised as an actual world in which you take on the role of your main character and interact with "people" and "creatures" that are all really just illusions?

 

But, other than that, there's nothing to conceal. You just implement things appropriately, so that they don't punch holes in the wall. Not-punching a hole in the wall in the first place is not the same thing as concealing a hole in the wall. A car isn't bad. But it COULD punch a hole in the wall -- which is bad -- if used incorrectly. Thus you don't drive cars into walls.

 

Sweet jeebus, man. I worry about you.

 

I guess this would be a good time to ask then: what are the benefits of Level Scaling?

 

Go ahead, say "Encounter Balance". Say "Encounter Balance" so that I can point out the many ways that such a thing goes counter to the spirit of a believable explorable open world.

Go ahead and point out the many ways in which a video game doesn't need to concern itself with the challenge presented to the player, even though, in a believable world, nothing makes sure the bad guy doesn't just burn down your whole village when you're a baby and prevent your adventure from ever happening. Go ahead and point out how a believable, explorable world wouldn't conveniently save the level-5 threats for a bit later in the game (because you start at Level 1 and would be annihilated by them), but a video game has to or it would literally be impossible.

 

You can't start people out at Level one and make them fight their way through Level 5 foes to progress, and you can't let people reach Level 10 and continue fighting Level 5 foes for the rest of the game and never present them with a greater challenge.

 

So, what are the benefits of level-scaling? Hmmm... I dunno, the appropriation of challenges that would otherwise remain stagnant and static throughout the entire game, for really no reason at all? I'll go with that.

 

And seriously, this is my last actual response to you if you're going to continue being ridiculous and ignoring half the stuff I say.


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

I think one aspect of "controlled" level scaling has been overlooked in this thread. Some people seem to have implied that level scaling within a range is somehow better than full blown oblivion scaling, but I contend it is actually worse.

 

Even in a limited form where encounters scale within a range, level scaling does the opposite of what it is intended to do, which is provide an appropriate challenge.

 

Without level scaling, if the player becomes over-levelled from side questing, they will be getting less xp from kills because of fighting lower level monsters. So while things will be easier for a time, it will even out in the long run compared to a player that skips the side-quests.

 

Level scaling interferes with this natural moderation of xp gain. The over-levelled player finds that the encounters are scaled up, and there is now more available gross xp on the table. So instead of gaining less xp than normal, they continue to gain at the same rate because of higher level or simply more numerous monsters, or possibly even gain xp at an accelerated rate if the devs weren't very careful with the scaling implementation. The player continues to stay above the level for which the encounters were designed, and will continue to race further and further ahead with every optional thing they do. Even though the encounters are scaled up, they were designed for a lower level party, so they are still inherently easier.

 

Now imagine the player that skips the side quests. They are under-levelled for an encounter, which not only makes it inherently difficult, but the encounter is scaled down slightly. So they gain less xp and loot than they would have if it were not scaled. As with the last example, but opposite, the player is prevented from "catching up" to the expected level that the encounters were designed for, and they will get further and further behind as they are using more potions and whatnot to get through the more difficult encounters.

 

Even if loot is not deliberately scaled, simply placing additional creatures or higher level creatures will affect the amount and/or quality of loot, assuming that those monster's corpses can be looted. It might only be rusty swords and trinkets, which would be meaningless to the over-levelled guy, but the under-levelled guy might be scrounging for every last scrap to buy more potions and get sorely needed gear, since they have been getting less loot overall and skipped some optional areas.

 

So you can see that inappropriate use of level scaling can undermine itself. Giving a more appropriate short-term challenge while making things worse in the long term. I say this is worse than oblivion style scaling because oblivion was (sadly) actually designed to be the way it is, it therefore successfully achieved its design goals, whether you like them or not. The same can't be said for a system that does the opposite of what it is intended to do.

 

 

I won't go into how level scaling negatively impacts exploration, since exploration is my favourite thing and when I think about such things I start hissing, foaming at the mouth, and clawing at my eyes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Fair point, Brainmuncher. Except, in PoE, there isn't simply per-kill XP, so this won't be an issue. But, yes, that is an issue when it comes to per-kill XP.

 

Also, the thing about the loot, while valid, only presents a problem in actually supplementing the quantity of creatures there, and/or altering their equipment (such as in Oblivion/Skyrim). If you just beefed up their HP/defenses/weapons-skills a bit, this wouldn't be an issue.

Edited by Lephys
  • Like 1

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

 

What do you mean there's nothing to conceal? It's still Level scaling, remember? And you yourself have said, over and over, that the best way to implement level scaling is to conceal its implementation. ie. craft a LIE.

Where have I said that?

 

LOL

 

It can be as subtle as you want it to be.

^that's from your very first post on this thread.

 

Now, I'm sure you're all c*cked and ready to give me your own Lephysville definition of what subtle as you want it to be, means, and that this definition in no way can ever mean so subtle that it cannot be noticed, ie. it is CONCEALED. But I'm really not interested in partaking, again, in your bizzare, nightly mental gymnastics.

 

 

 

Also, you've blatantly ignored 75% of everything I just typed,

Lephys, this has already been explained to you a year ago. It is because you ramble on pointlessly. You are like a bubbly teenage girl with a phone. You are the Don King of message boarding. You take 10,000 words to say what a normal person can say in `1 quick sentence. And I told you that I will NOT waste my time addressing your deliberately long-winded rantings. I will pick and choose the parts that approach coherency.

 

 

If you don't play the game twice, you don't even know it's happening.

^I think it's time for you to cease this pretentious arrogance of yours and speak for yourself. I have never played a game that had level scaling and didn't realize within halfway though the first playthrough, that I was being subjected to level scaling.

 

I guess, though, that one would actually have to play an open world (or semi-open world)RPG that doesn't employ level scaling, in order to truly see the refreshing difference.

 

 

 

Having everything be your level doesn't require level-scaling to achieve. You could just design the game such that NOTHING was ever weaker or stronger than your party at any given point throughout the advancement of the story.

Yes, this can be done in a strictly linear game. The Icewind Dales do this. Of course, such a design WORKS in linear games.

 

 

You just implement things appropriately

Oh, what a great talking point. The giant Blanket catch-all to fix any game flaw that has ever existed: JUST IMPLEMENT THINGS APPROPRIATELY.

 

I have news for you Lephys. Contrary to your fantastical belief that YOU have the answer to everything, you...um....Don't. If Level scaling could be implemented appropriately, someone would have succeeded to do it by now. But as it stands, no one has. Because no one can. Because the problem with level scaling is that despite how subtle and rare you make it in a game, it will always be in direct conflict with other game features and Ideals. And your myriad of analogies, examples, suggestions, anecdotes, and sarcasm cannot overcome this fact. The best that anyone can do is severely limit/minimize its existence so it doesn't do too much damage to everything else. But that's neither a cure, nor is it an ideal. It's just turning down the volume, instead of unplugging the device..

 

We have not even scratched the surface on the subtle problems that Level scaling causes. I would love to engage you in a discussion of the effects level scaling has on loot placement in the game world (for example). Or it's effects on experience point gains.

 

 

 

 

Go ahead and point out the many ways in which a video game doesn't need to concern itself with the challenge presented to the player, even though, in a believable world, nothing makes sure the bad guy doesn't just burn down your whole village when you're a baby and prevent your adventure from ever happening.

Uh...NO. When a game begins it is assumed that you survived whatever travails were hurled your way right up until the decision to become an adventurer occurred. The explorable game world does not need to explain its so-called "static" nature, or your miraculous survival to adulthood within it. You survived, and that's all that matters. And now it's time for your journey to begin. This is not the case with level scaling. Level scaling travels with you. With level scaling, the player literally witnesses its occurrence, and the world that contains it must then offer up an acceptable explanation why it is happening -- why the goblins in act 2 are literally healthier than they are in act 1; Why that mage suddenly has 2 iron golems guarding his tower when you invade it at 12th level, but only had 2 straw golems guarding it just 3 weeks earlier when you were 5th level (Iron Golems take YEARS to create); Why that wolf den has 4 wolves in it when you're 1st level, but 15 wolves in it 2 weeks later when you're 5th level (did they have a pack recruitment drive? Did the ladies get horny and then cast Otilukes extremely expedient pregnancy on their own bodies?

 

I can go on. We can discuss the policial rammifications of level scaling if you'd like - how if you visit a big city at level 2, the milita there are 3rd level, but then if you visit a nearby small town at level 10 its militia are 12th level.... and how this fact should logically mean a successful sacking of the big city if the two should ever go to war.

 

 

But, again, you are the one who believes that Level scaling can actually be implemented in a way where none of these problems occur. Count me as a skeptic. You haven't actually come close to explaining any such thing yet. And neither has any game developer in history.

Edited by Stun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one aspect of "controlled" level scaling has been overlooked in this thread. Some people seem to have implied that level scaling within a range is somehow better than full blown oblivion scaling, but I contend it is actually worse.

 

Even in a limited form where encounters scale within a range, level scaling does the opposite of what it is intended to do, which is provide an appropriate challenge.

 

Without level scaling, if the player becomes over-levelled from side questing, they will be getting less xp from kills because of fighting lower level monsters. So while things will be easier for a time, it will even out in the long run compared to a player that skips the side-quests.

 

Level scaling interferes with this natural moderation of xp gain. The over-levelled player finds that the encounters are scaled up, and there is now more available gross xp on the table. So instead of gaining less xp than normal, they continue to gain at the same rate because of higher level or simply more numerous monsters, or possibly even gain xp at an accelerated rate if the devs weren't very careful with the scaling implementation. The player continues to stay above the level for which the encounters were designed, and will continue to race further and further ahead with every optional thing they do. Even though the encounters are scaled up, they were designed for a lower level party, so they are still inherently easier.

 

Now imagine the player that skips the side quests. They are under-levelled for an encounter, which not only makes it inherently difficult, but the encounter is scaled down slightly. So they gain less xp and loot than they would have if it were not scaled. As with the last example, but opposite, the player is prevented from "catching up" to the expected level that the encounters were designed for, and they will get further and further behind as they are using more potions and whatnot to get through the more difficult encounters.

 

Even if loot is not deliberately scaled, simply placing additional creatures or higher level creatures will affect the amount and/or quality of loot, assuming that those monster's corpses can be looted. It might only be rusty swords and trinkets, which would be meaningless to the over-levelled guy, but the under-levelled guy might be scrounging for every last scrap to buy more potions and get sorely needed gear, since they have been getting less loot overall and skipped some optional areas.

 

So you can see that inappropriate use of level scaling can undermine itself. Giving a more appropriate short-term challenge while making things worse in the long term. I say this is worse than oblivion style scaling because oblivion was (sadly) actually designed to be the way it is, it therefore successfully achieved its design goals, whether you like them or not. The same can't be said for a system that does the opposite of what it is intended to do.

 

 

I won't go into how level scaling negatively impacts exploration, since exploration is my favourite thing and when I think about such things I start hissing, foaming at the mouth, and clawing at my eyes.

Damn. Why doesn't this forum allow me to like a post more than once? ^this is eloquent and accurate stuff.

 

Lephys... Pay attention. You might learn something

 

 

Also, the thing about the loot, while valid, only presents a problem in actually supplementing the quantity of creatures there, and/or altering their equipment (such as in Oblivion/Skyrim). If you just beefed up their HP/defenses/weapons-skills a bit, this wouldn't be an issue.

Loot placement is Hardly limited to what level-scaled critters have equipped/on their persons. In open worlds, there's also the matter of what those creatures guard, what those creatures block, and what can be looted in the caves/dens/castles/dwellings/bridges where they reside.

 

Not even BG2 could solve that problem, which is why they had to SCRAP level scaling whenever it was time for decent loot dispensing. (Firkraag guards the Holy Avenger, and Firkraag... Does not scale to your level.)

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...