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About max level - EXP cap


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So far I played PoE 4x. Twice with full party, twice solo. Each time, I reached max lvl before I entered Twin Elms.

 

I played now PoE+White March with solo Rogue. I have to say, it feels much better to play White March as part of PoE, rather than load an old save in Burial Isle and do a little Dtour...

 

Max lvl was increased, which is nice, but only to 14. I was always dissapointed, when my characters reached max lvl and so many content was still ahead! I was always wondering, how much exp I am gonna "waste". So now, I decided to write every single exp I received with my solo rogue. Here is result:

 

I played as solo Rogue on Easy difficulty.

I did every quest, every bounty and I did also some companions quests (Eder, Kana, Sagani, Devil of Caroc(?))

I reached max lvl (14) before I even entered to these locations:

 

Elmshore

Twin Elms (4 maps)

Northweald

Temple of Hylea

Longwatch Falls

Durgan`s Battery

Cragholdt Bluffs

 

(So you can figure out how many quests I didnt finished (or even start) before reaching max lvl.)

 

My rogue entered to around 70 (+-) new locations/maps (you know, buildings, rooms...), he disarmed around 100 traps and picked around 50 locks.

 

Total number of "wasted" exp is....92 000 (+- 1000). Yes, I know, this number is VERY(!) similar to a max level exp which is 91 000, which is funny. 92 000. That is a LOT.

 

I always thought, that hey, I could reach at least 2 new lvl`s! After I did this math, I see that I could reach with no problems lvl 20.

 

I understand, that solo advance better than full party, but only a little. Those of you who played with party and with solo can agree. With full party, I expect lets say around 80 000 "wasted exp".

 

This is very demotivational. When I reach max lvl I always feel bad for not being able to receive some "reward". Thanks god there are some talents in Twin Elms you can receive (I think 3 or 4) regardless of exp or max lvl.

 

This game is compared to old IE games, which I played (still playing) a lot. Lets have a closer look about max lvl in there:

 

BG1+datadisk - Max exp was 161 000 which means different lvls for all of your party. You could reach max lvl with your party of 6 at the beggining of datadisk - which also wasnt really good (very similar to PoE).

 

BG2+datadisk - Max exp was 8 000 000 which means different lvls for all of your party (31-40). You COULDN`T reach max lvl with your party of 6. Even as multiclass solo, I wasnt able to reach max lvl for ONE playing.

 

IWD1+two datadisks - Max lvl was 30 for all of your party. You COULDN`T reach max lvl with your party of 6.

You reached only around lvl 22 for ONE playing.

 

IWD2 - Max lvl was 30 for all of your party. You COULDN`T reach max lvl with your party of 6. You reached only around lvl 18(!) for ONE playing.

 

As you can see, PoE is closest to BG1. Which is the oldest. You reach max lvl and one third of the game you receive nothing Other 3 games have way higher max lvl, which means that you can do all the quests and you are still rewarded.

In PoE it is just not fun, when you are playing without getting exps. I always feel that I shouldnt even do sidequests, when I dont need exps and just go end the game. It doesnt feel good and it shouldnt be like that.

 

Some of you say that if there was higher lvl, characters would be overpowered. Ok, I take that, lets see how it can be "fixed".

 

1. You can change game difficulty to hard.

2. Obsidian can do the same thing IE games did, that after certain lvl you will not get the same bonuses. In IE games it was for example lvl 9 for fighter. Until this lvl, fighter got 15 HP/lvl. After this lvl, he got only 3 HP/lvl. You could do something very similar. The cap lvl for this could be lvl 12, or 14, or whatever you want. Or you could do, that after this certain lvl, player wouldnt receive anything (endurance, life, deflection, accuracy bonuses) BUT he would be able to pick only some ability.

3. Think about something else if you dont like first two options :-)

 

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to some up all of these :-)

 

I hope, that in not-so-far future, we will see max lvl raised, or someone will introduce EXP cap remover (working one!) which enable at least lvl 20. For content which we have now. With White March 2, it could be even higher.

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I absolutely agree. The level cap considering the design makes no sense whatsoever. It already does not have a steep enough curve of difficulty to count the cap as a true barrier. I too lose interest when i reach the level cap because there is no more goals for my character progression which is very important to me playing this type of game.

 

I despise having to think ahead and micro mange the content so I do to not reach cap. That ruins the fun of doing the content. It is literally as if I get punished for doing content wherein a completionist who goes through the game fully and with precision should see nice bonuses in both power and equipment.

 

I have my game bumped to 50% increase with iemod this playthrough with PoTD. In the hopes I will not fall into the same problem like you did my first playthrough where I hit cap before completing Elms or Caed Nua. After which time I basically stopped playing. If I do reach cap again I will just shelf the game wait for the next expansion and wait for a true exp cap remover.

 

I understand they design many games today for the casual player so with PoE they had to make it so you would near cap if you just steam rolled to the end and ignored side quests or character content. However it is also a lazy design because they could have plotted exp gain in other difficulty levels and any difficulty hard or above would have an increased cap or an entirely removed cap. I play an RPG to gain progress not to just click button and read a story (which was exceptionally well written) I need to the progress or else it becomes more like a passive experience like a movie and even the most amazing story does not keep me coming back to load the game up.

Edited by sapientNode
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POE definitely has a lot of trouble handling xp progression, and probably even more now with White March. Bounties, for example, just give broken amounts of XP. Nobody wants to hit level cap 10 hours before the end. 

 

That said, just removing the cap would fix nothing - it'll just make the game more broken. You'll gobble up every single talent you'd want to take - but levelling up will still cease being really exciting (arguably, if you plan your characters, you probably take all the important things by level 10), just cleaning up the secondary talents, and the game will become even more easy when it is already quite easy late game (non-WM content). 

 

It's hard to make a game and make the systems and enemies and levels handle such a huge variation in power level from level 1 to level 12/14/etc. I would hope that in POE2 they design the level range (e.g. 8-20) better from the start, to make sure you don't sit there with max XP.

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This is largely just a result of the way XP cost per level up scales. Since it only takes 1,000 more XP for each level than it did for the prior ones, the value of the XP rewards decreases pretty gradually, and the pace you gain levels at in areas you're too strong for isn't much decreased.

 

Basically, the 3E D&D-esque experience chart works pretty well for linear games or games where a single level doesn't matter as much, but pretty poorly for games with a more open world or games where a single level makes a huge impact on performance (as it sometimes does in PoE).

Edited by gkathellar

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I don't agree at all.  I like that I get to experience my FULL build for more then 5 minutes and the end boss fight.  Its what bothered me about the Dragon Age Series.  What I planned in my full build was irrelevant as I would only be playing the game with that build for the last few hours.  All that mattered was how I leveled in the middle levels because thats where the meat the game was.  I like that I can max level early in POE  and play my full planned build for a long time.

 

Lastly, if there is an infinite level cap there is very little point to any build because you can get everything.  Yes attributes will change your game play experience but don't have an impact like talents/skills.

Edited by Torm51
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Have gun will travel.

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I understand the issue with the problem of having the cap right at the end which is why the level cap removed would be perfect.

The argument that having no cap will make it so we can get everything is incorrect.  We are not going to be able to get everything.  And we still have to plan to take certain things so our early game and mid game progress is what we want it to be.  A cap makes more sense in the old BG and IWD days than it does in PoE.

Why?

 

Because as it stands they throw an enormous amount of weapons at you which are magical.  You get so much gold by the end you are swimming in pools of it.  And enemies are by far not at all difficult even on PoTD.  I mean seriously you can use knockdown on a frakin Dragon...  And the first time I fought Wyverns it was a yawn fest.

 

The game has already ceded to a more mainstream approach with very little in the way of forcing actual tactical progression and a really thought out character path.  So there is no reason to have a cap except just to have a cap.  It would not affect casual gamers and it would give completionists further paths for development.  And for me when I hit cap I lose all interest.  Before cap I am thinking about what skills I can choose and what will be new level of power.  After cap I feel like I am dragging myself to each encounter and wishing I could go back and not do certain quests.

 

Luckily iemod does offer a solution with a increase in exp needed to level.  However this just solves the problem of outleveling content and keeping things somewhat difficult.  Especially on PoTD and solo plays.

 

If they do not want to plat out progression so it has a balanced than removing the cap just reduces their work on that aspect of the game anyway.

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I understand the issue with the problem of having the cap right at the end which is why the level cap removed would be perfect.

The argument that having no cap will make it so we can get everything is incorrect.  We are not going to be able to get everything.  And we still have to plan to take certain things so our early game and mid game progress is what we want it to be.  A cap makes more sense in the old BG and IWD days than it does in PoE.

 

I dunno if I agree, but I can see where you're coming from. What might be cool is an E6-esque system, where levels were capped but experience was not, and could be spent to buy certain minor character bonuses after they reached max level.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I understand the issue with the problem of having the cap right at the end which is why the level cap removed would be perfect.

The argument that having no cap will make it so we can get everything is incorrect.  We are not going to be able to get everything.  And we still have to plan to take certain things so our early game and mid game progress is what we want it to be.  A cap makes more sense in the old BG and IWD days than it does in PoE.

 

I dunno if I agree, but I can see where you're coming from. What might be cool is an E6-esque system, where levels were capped but experience was not, and could be spent to buy certain minor character bonuses after they reached max level.

 

 

Reading through that system I would say that would be a totally awesome way to do these games now.  At least some derivative of it since we are entering an age that the games are gaining so many variable and non linear paths that we need a new style of progression.  Also designers are not at all spending the time they did back in the day hand placing things like that shiny +2 blade you would have through your entire game back in the day.  Having the ability to continue to expand your character the way E6 does would be fantastic.

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My suggestion would be to just make the XP leveling requirement a little steeper at the higher levels.  With no level cap the end game content would need to be massively scaled up in difficulty, because Burial Isle/Court of the Penitents/Sun in Shadow and final fights are already painfully easy with a level 14 party.  Concelhaut and Master Below were the only worthy foes of such a powered up team.

 

I agree about trying IE Mod, which has an XP nerf feature (I downloaded it solely for that).  It's not really quite what I wanted though, as it just applies a 25% (or more) increase in XP requirement for all levels, which makes early game more painful.

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Yah iemod is definitely not the best alternative but its better for me.  I am using it at 50% which has indeed made early game painful.  Yet still on PoTD I feel very powerful against the phantoms and anything I have fought so far.

 

As was mentioned a system like E6 would be fantastic.  Keep whatever cap they want where the linear progression happens and then just offer feats and skills per each or every other level.  Potentially an attribute point or 2.  I think with the cap removed we perhaps would gain another 5 to 6 levels perhaps?  If all side quest and character content was completed.

2 more attribute points and maybe a few more skills would not be too out of bounds.

 

Of course I am not sure what the innate level to hit and defense formulas are for characters.

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As Torm said, it's nice to actually experience your final build for more than the final battle.  Also, due to the number of OPTIONAL side quests that don't scale you would end up even more overleveled as it is, or you would get the inevitable power creep.  The power creep issue is especially important as they do plan on continuing the story in the sequel with the option to import your character with all levels.  If reaching max level is such an issue for you then I suggest you ask for the levelling to be slowed down rather than open the metaphorical genie, especially as they haven't really had a chance to work on the higher levels for balancing and suchlike.

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For those who says that its good that you can play your build for a long time before you hit end of the game. Well I believe, you had your "build" finished also in previous IE games pretty soon, maybe in 1/2, or in 2/3 of the game. Then you just got few more levels and got some more HP, some saving throws and so on.

 

And the same could be here, in PoE.

 

I agree with Tigranes, that most important levels are first 10, you pick the most crucial skills during that time. And after that, you just pick some skills, that are not neccesery, they just give you small bonuses. And the situation would be the same if max lvl would be lets say 20. First 10-12 lvls are the most important and then you could just pick some "meh" offensive/defensive skills. These skills are not crucial but they could be fine picking later. I mean skills like +10 fortitude/reflex/will, +10 against Charmed...and other attacks...and so on. I believe almost no one pick skills like that, because they are simple not so good.

 

So I could pick some of them on my way to lvl 20, I would still feel rewarded and I wouldnt be so overpowered.

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My suggestion would be to just make the XP leveling requirement a little steeper at the higher levels.  With no level cap the end game content would need to be massively scaled up in difficulty, because Burial Isle/Court of the Penitents/Sun in Shadow and final fights are already painfully easy with a level 14 party.  Concelhaut and Master Below were the only worthy foes of such a powered up team.

 

I agree about trying IE Mod, which has an XP nerf feature (I downloaded it solely for that).  It's not really quite what I wanted though, as it just applies a 25% (or more) increase in XP requirement for all levels, which makes early game more painful.

 

In effect this is what I do with IE Mod:  I don't use it until it's starting to feel as if I'm outleveling what's left of the game.  So I've done pretty much everything with this group excepting Cragholdt, the premade companions' quests (as I don't use them), the levels in Od Nua from 12 to 15, and the final battle; and they're about 3/4 of the way to Level 13.  That's a much nicer "feeling" for me.  I set IE Mod to 25% at around level 9 IIRC; I really can't remember for sure now.

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For those who says that its good that you can play your build for a long time before you hit end of the game. Well I believe, you had your "build" finished also in previous IE games pretty soon, maybe in 1/2, or in 2/3 of the game. Then you just got few more levels and got some more HP, some saving throws and so on.

 

And the same could be here, in PoE.

 

I agree with Tigranes, that most important levels are first 10, you pick the most crucial skills during that time. And after that, you just pick some skills, that are not neccesery, they just give you small bonuses. And the situation would be the same if max lvl would be lets say 20. First 10-12 lvls are the most important and then you could just pick some "meh" offensive/defensive skills. These skills are not crucial but they could be fine picking later. I mean skills like +10 fortitude/reflex/will, +10 against Charmed...and other attacks...and so on. I believe almost no one pick skills like that, because they are simple not so good.

 

So I could pick some of them on my way to lvl 20, I would still feel rewarded and I wouldnt be so overpowered.

There were no builds in the IE games except for IWD2 (which used 3rd ed D&D rules).  I don't like your idea I'm sorry to say, it sounds counterintuitive as you pick all your skills at the start, leads to a lot of bloat... no sorry it's just unnecessary padding that wouldn't bring anything of value and would make it harder for them to then develop the higher levels in Pillars 2 when you import your character.  Sorry, but slowing down the progression so that you gain levels slower would be a better option to this.

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Well, look - there are two XP cap issues that segments of the PoE community would like to see changed.  One is that they hit the cap too quickly and therefore need to be able to gain additional power afterward.  The other is that they hit the cap too quickly and therefore need to slow the rate of XP progression.  It's no wonder that so much of the XP cap discussion is at cross-purposes because the different sides don't agree on why the cap is a problem.

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POE definitely has a lot of trouble handling xp progression, and probably even more now with White March. Bounties, for example, just give broken amounts of XP. Nobody wants to hit level cap 10 hours before the end. 

 

That said, just removing the cap would fix nothing - it'll just make the game more broken. You'll gobble up every single talent you'd want to take - but levelling up will still cease being really exciting (arguably, if you plan your characters, you probably take all the important things by level 10), just cleaning up the secondary talents, and the game will become even more easy when it is already quite easy late game (non-WM content). 

 

It's hard to make a game and make the systems and enemies and levels handle such a huge variation in power level from level 1 to level 12/14/etc. I would hope that in POE2 they design the level range (e.g. 8-20) better from the start, to make sure you don't sit there with max XP.

 

I agree on all points, but I would also point out that a story like PoE would probably do well with a larger system of progression and more powerful enemies intermixed into the latter parts of the game.  Having a story that progresses in danger as the character progresses is arguably "storytelling 101" and I feel like there are some pretty easy, if creative ways to address that.  I mean -- your character is making no small number of enemies and some powerful people are out to destroy you, so of course it should be easy to add some more challenging enemies and justify a higher level.  I'm hoping that will at least be the case in PoE2, if not in expansions or changes to the current game.

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