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Bracketed scaling would be a good solution, imo. Or scaling only for critical path material, so that it stays challenging while side quests can be super-hard or ROTFLSTOMP depending on your level.

 

My preferred solution would be optional bracketed scaling for everything, provided that the final boss (and perhaps other climatic boss fights like the dragons) would scale all the way up to maximum level.

Scaling is a solution for implementing a poor leveling system. I think the areas you can visit in the game on the critical path are too low level the further you get into the game, that does not necessitate scaling. It just means those enemies were too low level to begin with. If I do all side quests I am level 10 when I get to twin elms. Yeah.

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Scaling is a solution for implementing a poor leveling system. I think the areas you can visit in the game on the critical path are too low level the further you get into the game, that does not necessitate scaling. It just means those enemies were too low level to begin with. If I do all side quests I am level 10 when I get to twin elms. Yeah.

 

What you say stems from a broader problem PoE suffers from: A disproportionate power divide between completionist and non-completionist runs. In PoE the amount of XP required to level up increases linearly and therefore remains relatively small at higher levels; gaining a level makes a big difference in terms of how powerful a character is. These two things make it so that a completionist who maxes out has significantly more power than a non-completionist who doesn't.

 

By contrast, in IE games the amount of XP required to level up increased sharply the higher your level (quadratically, if memory serves, but don't quote me on this), and at the end of the game completionists would be but a very few levels above non-completionists. All of this was explained in detail in an excellent thread over here back when the game was released; no link handy unfortunately.

 

In this context, balancing PoE is necessarily hard. An assumption was made at Obsidian that most people who'd buy the game would be casuals who wouldn't do completionist runs, and the game was balanced in a way that would let characters below maximum level beat it. Unfortunately this also meant that completionists would end up steamrolling the second half of the game, as we know. A solution would have been to balance the hardest difficulty setting and the optional high-level scaling around full parties of 6 optimized (not necessarily min/maxed) characters within the context of a completionist run.

 

For a sequel, the leveling scale should be changed to reduce the power divide between completionists and non-completionists, thus making it easier to balance the game—and of course the hardest difficulty setting should be balanced around a full party of optimized characters who do completionist runs. I don't mind maxing out relatively early, as I have the most fun when all my characters are maxed out, fully equipped, and realize the full potential of their build while looking totally badass XD But at that point I would like what fights are left to be challenging. If enemies die after two swings of my estoc, stuff gets boring fast.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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With respect to difficulty scaling, it would've been nice if PoE didn't always scale difficulty with more enemies. Encounters with small numbers of exceptionally tough enemies should occur too. That would tend to reward builds/abilities/etc. that don't focus on AoE damage more evenly. "Variety is the spice of life," you know.

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^ I'll add that I normally prefer higher difficulty setting to change A.I. and encounter design, rather than to give arbitrary cheesy bonuses to enemies' stats.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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Count me as a member of the "hates level scaling" tribe.

 

My solution to this issue probably wouldn't be very popular. I'd make it so that only story quests give experience, so that the developer can control precisely what level the player will be for given content. Side quests should still reward the player with interesting items (perhaps a bit more powerful than what the player doing a minimalist play through would have at the same time). Beyond that, side quests should focus on interesting stories and challenging encounters.

 

This goes pretty heavily against the norm for CRPGs, which is why I suspect it wouldn't be popular, but it solves this problem in a stroke and I, at least, would enjoy it. It would even make intermediate builds more important since beating a challenging mid game encounter would require the player to use builds lacking end game abilities.

 

Baldur's Gate had a level cap of 7 and it took ages to gain a level. No one complained about it then.

 

I sure as hell did, though mostly because of AD&D's terrible low level (1-3 for mages, 1-2 for other characters) experience. I don't actually mind levelling being slow.

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In PoE the amount of XP required to level up increases linearly... By contrast, in IE games the amount of XP required to level up increased sharply the higher your level (quadratically, if memory serves, but don't quote me on this)...

 

The amount of experience required for level n is 1000 time the (n-1)-th triangle number, so  it's also quadratic (500*(n^2-n)) but AD&D had exponential growth for the first 10 levels (the formula was approximately 1000*2^(n-1), with the somewhat arbitrary exception of level 8 being 125,000 rather than 128,000).

 

^ I'll add that I normally prefer higher difficulty setting to change A.I. and encounter design, rather than to give arbitrary cheesy bonuses to enemies' stats.

 

Whilst I definitely agree, this requires a disproportionate amount of work by the developer for a feature that the majority of players won't care about (always remember, we who discuss PoE on this forum are by far the minority).

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Well the thing is. Most developers (and gamers alike) think that levelling up should mean gaining stats. Herein lies the problem that you end up with a character that is not a bit stronger than their level 1 counterpart, no they end up being 10-10000 times (YES it's over 9000!) stronger. There is no amount of scaling you can introduce in a game to let the player feel strong and balanced at the same time.

 

Now there's different types of players. Players that enjoy challenge, and don't mind working for their gains. And there's players that enjoy stomping the enemy as much as possible. " Ohw hahaha I just one shot this dragon dude". You can imagine my comical reaction when I was playing FFX (International) and was leveling up so much that when I continued in the story to beat Seymore's final form (mind you I had bested all Dark Aeons)  I one shot him. He laughed at me asking me to give him everything I got. Poof. One Shot. 

 

Now even though this is funny, it's also disappointing. Because a lot of RPG's are heavily story driven and the big bad boss is supposed to be tough and strong. 

 

In my opinion leveling up should not entail increasing you strength from 10 points to 5000 points with levels and weapons. levelling up should mean gaining abilities and improving said abilities. Sure you may want to increase HP, Stamina, Magic reserves if applicable, because in training these types of things should naturally increase, but it should not increase into supersaiyan levels. Which is sadly what a lot of RPG's do. Of course games like Star Ocean allow the player to gain 200 more levels than the player needs to complete the game (50 levels) because there's more and stronger baddies out there. But trust me the final boss of the game is not level 250. Developers know this from the start, but allow the player to unimmerse himself anyway. I don't think that's right.

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Whilst I definitely agree, this requires a disproportionate amount of work by the developer for a feature that the majority of players won't care about (always remember, we who discuss PoE on this forum are by far the minority).

 

True, but Tyranny already does it (they mentioned in one of their dev streams that higher difficulties feature improved A.I.) so I don't see why PoE 2 couldn't, wouldn't, or shouldn't get the same treatment ;)

 

In my opinion leveling up should not entail increasing you strength from 10 points to 5000 points with levels and weapons. levelling up should mean gaining abilities and improving said abilities. Sure you may want to increase HP, Stamina, Magic reserves if applicable, because in training these types of things should naturally increase, but it should not increase into supersaiyan levels. Which is sadly what a lot of RPG's do. Of course games like Star Ocean allow the player to gain 200 more levels than the player needs to complete the game (50 levels) because there's more and stronger baddies out there. But trust me the final boss of the game is not level 250. Developers know this from the start, but allow the player to unimmerse himself anyway. I don't think that's right.

 

I agree to an extent. What you say would make a lot more sense in the context of a more simulationist-inclined RPG system (which could certainly pave the way for very interesting and fun-to-play games) and would also make it arguably easier to balance games—the caveat is that I would still want there to be room for powergaming, for I'm an inveterate powergamer :p

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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True, but Tyranny already does it (they mentioned in one of their dev streams that higher difficulties feature improved A.I.) so I don't see why PoE 2 couldn't, wouldn't, or shouldn't get the same treatment ;)

 

Oh, I didn't know that. Obviously we'll have to wait and see how much of the difference the difficulties make, but if it's good then this is a really good sign for PoE2.

 

I agree to an extent. What you say would make a lot more sense in the context of a more simulationist-inclined RPG system (which could certainly pave the way for very interesting and fun-to-play games) and would also make it arguably easier to balance games—the caveat is that I would still want there to be room for powergaming, for I'm an inveterate powergamer  :p

 

 

I was going to make a similar comment in that I agree with AeonsLegend in general, but it depends on the style of the RPG in question. I feel like some RPGs are deliberately going for an over the top feel to them, and in those having a huge difference when levelling up fits. A game like PoE fits somewhere in the middle ground: it's not trying to simulate reality but at the same time it's going for a fairly realistic feeling tone.

 

I will say that my absolute favourite tabletop campaign used a setting where, even with very experienced characters, getting into a fight with a thug armed with a dagger was usually best avoided because it could result in pretty hefty injuries or deathif you were unlucky. I like this style a lot for tabletop, where the emphasis is less on combat, but for a CRPG I feel like combat is always going to be a bigger focus and so letting go of realism for the sake of enjoyment is a good idea.

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I feel like the level cap and the way things scale worked fine.

 

I just really hope that they release a sequel, allow people to import characters from this one, and increase the level cap accordingly.

 

If they did increase the level cap for a sequel and allow imported characters what seems like an appropriate level to cap everyone at?

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I would prefer if we could import the characters story, but not the build. If we do so, that would mean that PoE 2 will work EXACTLY the same way. Not sure I want that.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love PoE. But I also would like a new challenge.

Edited by Ben No.3
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Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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That largely depends on how big the game is and how much content they're developing. Because most of the infrastructure and rule set is done, I suppose they could develop a game about as big as the first one but with more reactivity and more content in areas that felt poor. In that case, another 12-16 levels would be about right imo.

 

That said, when you can max out 2/3 in and subsequently steamroll everything on the highest difficulty setting with high-level scaling on, something isn't quite working fine ;)

 

I enjoy being powerful and I like the way characters can be developed in this game, so I would only call the nerf hammer on a very few selected OP things (*cough* Druid's ROTFLOL Storm *cough*), but the ante on PotD and high-level scaling should be upped a notch or twenty.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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I really hope they don't carry over the exact same levelling scheme into PoE2, and in particularly don't allow simply let us carry on a PoE character with a higher level cap. We ended PoE at epic level. The game might not have done a great job of making us feel epic, but we'd killed multiple dragons, high level undead, arch mages and servants of gods. What exactly will we spend a whole game doing? Killing encounters consisting of multiple dragons?

 

The super high level style of gameplay worked fine for the relatively short Throne of Bhaal, but had we started at that sort of power level in Shadows of Amn it would have grown boring fast.

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