Adapting Level Based Progression to TES

The Elder Scrolls Online walks a delicate tightrope, trying to meld traditional features of the single player franchise with the staples of the themepark MMORPG genre in a way that will draw in fans of both game types and leave everyone satisfied.  This is no easy task, and I can’t help but feel that in the end, some people on both sides will have to be marginalized – the key is to not do it unnecessarily.  Normally I focus more on the MMORPG elements that I feel ESO needs to implement, but in this case, I’d like to talk about the preservation of the rich exploration and the freedom of the player to do the quests they want to do, when they want to do them, and how that central pillar of the single player games is being needlessly compromised to fit the game into the MMO mold.

Windhelm with ENB

Admittedly a lot of what I wanted to do was stand around marveling at how great my mods were, so for me this is kind of a moot point.

When beginning development on the game, the team at ZeniMax decided to go with a level based system similar to what we’ve experienced in most mainstream themepark MMORPGs.  While I personally would have preferred a level-less system with progression focused on gear and significant horizontal development, it’s a sad fact that we’re simply far too long into development to spend time dwelling on my sandbox pipe-dreams; it’s not going to happen.  This decision has left us with a game where content is constantly gated by a character’s level, which is decidedly a failure in terms of maintaining the core appeal of the recent TES games.

 

Outlining the problem

This is a problem I feel is most clearly illustrated by the Mages and Fighters guilds, where content I would complete consecutively in the single players games is either split up while I go complete other content to catch up in level, or done while at max level with no challenge in combat whatsoever. Worse yet, guilds that may be added post-launch like the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood will either require max-leveled characters to go through lower level content with boring and easy combat, or they will be new high-level quest chains which prohibit new players from experiencing that content for a very long while.

The folks at ZeniMax have promised us a quest experience and a world that feels exploration driven, even within the confines of the level locked progression, and based on the reports from players who have experienced the game at conventions, I am inclined to believe that they’ve succeeded in this aspect of zone design.  However, exploration is only a part of the equation, and the ‘what you want to do, when you want to do it’ component has been hopelessly hamstrung.  So what can ZeniMax do to get this central element of the single players back on track for the MMO?  As you may have guessed, I have some opinions on the subject.

The best solution, in my opinion, is to make liberal use of level scaling technologies – particularly with regard to quest rewards and combat difficulty.  This isn’t a fool proof system; if you want to go into the game, join the Fighters Guild, and do all of their quests immediately, you’re still out of luck.  But at least you’ll be able to do them all consecutively if you decide that’s important enough to justify putting them off for later.

Skyrim Daedric Armor

I don’t care if I look overqualified for the position – I came to kill some rats, and that’s what I’m going to do.

Quest reward scaling is the easiest to implement, and ensures that there will always be incentive for players to venture back out into the world, and allows them to put off completing guild specific content until later in the game without fear of missing out on rewards when they would have been useful. At the same time, however, I feel that rewarding players for completing quest content if the content is 40 levels below them should not reward them with current rewards. With that in mind, I’d only like to see quest reward scaling implemented when the player has completed those quests using the combat difficulty scaling technology.

Scaling of combat difficulty presents us with a much larger range of possible options, which I will try to address in the order of difficulty of implementation:

 

Give players access to the +/++ versions of their own alliance’s content

For those not in the know, upon reaching level 50 and completing the main story in ESO, you will gain access to a scaled up version of the next alliance’s zones, allowing you to progress through them at an upscaled difficulty and being rewarded with high level rewards.  Upon completely finishing that alliance’s zones, you’ll gain access to the third alliance’s zones and do the same thing, only at an even higher difficulty and with rewards being some of the best gear in the game.  The developers have been referring to these two alliances at 50+ and 50++, in reference to the increasing difficulties of the areas.

These areas have already been developed and tested, the technology for scaling enemy difficulty and loot rewards already exists (or at least it will by launch), and it would not require any additional development time to allow players to use this feature to up-level their own alliance’s content.  This freedom would go a long way towards letting players put off content until later, even if “later” is restricted to level cap exclusively.

 

Allow players to voluntarily downlevel to match the zone they’re in at any time

Look at My Shit

Pictured: Actor James Franco showing off his leet purples to some noobs.
(Click for animation.)

This method has numerous advantages over the first option, as in addition to allowing players to return to complete older content at a challenging difficulty, it also gives veterans the option to adventure with new players without having to roll a new character. Given ESO’s focus on continually progressing your character’s skill lines, they would even be able to continue improving their character while they did it. This system would require some sort of reward scaling (though it could just be currency, a la World of Warcraft), as well as a feature where players would be able to track and get credit for helping group members complete quests they had already done.

Such a system would have the side effect of getting higher level players out into the world, flaunting their awesomeness for new players. This gives newbies a glimpse of the cool looking gear, mounts, and abilities to aspire to. This is a feeling I often miss from my early gaming days, and that I think this type of motivation been missing from modern MMOs where higher levels are rarely seen outside of cities.

A similar system was implemented in Guild Wars 2 and has met a mixed reception by the gaming community.  The central complaint is that their system was mandatory upon entering lower level areas, causing players to feel that they weren’t progressing in power while playing.  This was exacerbated by the fact that returning to lower level content was part of the endgame experience, and heroic difficulties were foregone in favor of simply encouraging players to re-experience down-leveled content.  As player damage numbers shifted wildly depending on what level-bracket they were scaled for, it was very hard to track your own performance to see how you were doing.  These pitfalls can easily be avoided by making the system entirely voluntarily – we already know that ESO has incorporated heroic difficulty dungeons, so this system would not be at risk of being used to send players back to lower level content for endgame progression.

Zenimax has already developed a level scaling system to scale lower level players up to max level for Cyrodiil, so it stands to reason that this already implemented technology could be modified to downscale players elsewhere in the world by simply inverting the up-scaling function.  While hardly as simple as my first solution, it would offer significantly more value, and in my opinion, is the best option when considering cost-benefit, as any company should.  I know that’s kind of stupid to say in the middle of the editorial, but do me a favor and continue reading anyway.

 

“Upscale” enemies to match players

Probably the most difficult option, a system of mandatory level scaling removes the aforementioned faults of Guild Wars 2’s system by scaling NPCs, not players. This would be a tricky system to implement because of the possibility of a level 50 and a level 10 working together to fight the same mob – you can’t objectively scale the mob upwards in level, you have to do it subjectively while leaving its power at an appropriate level for each player. So how would this be accomplished?  Essentially, mobs engaged in combat with players of a different levels would have to filter outgoing and incoming damage and translate it accordingly. This is best explained by giving an example:

Rat Armor

Either the rat is ridiculously overpowered or you are. There is no middle ground here.

Player A is level 50, player B is level 20, and they are both fighting a level 20 mob. Player A engages and attacks the mob for 2,000 of level 50 damage. The server has calculated that the mob has an actual amount of 1,000 health at level 20, and 10,000 health when upscaled to level 50. Thus, player A’s attack is translated as being for 20% of the mobs health (2,000/10,000), and his actual health at level 20 is reduced by 20% (200) to 800. Since Player B is at level with the mob, there is no translation of his damage. Scaling the damage is much simpler – as the mob’s damage output is just individually calculated for the recipient (similarly to what is already done with mitigation). When attacking Player A, he does level 50 damage. When attacking Player B, he does level 20 damage.

Under this system, quest rewards would automatically be upscaled to match the player’s level – though I would personally want lower level quest rewards to always be slightly worse than at level rewards; I just don’t want them to be completely useless by not being scaled up at all.

I believe this to be the most elegant system, as it would seamlessly match the world to the player in a way that would not look odd if scrolling combat text is available. It may end up looking a little funky in the combat log (again, if available), but they’ll at least be able to extrapolate their own information accurately – and let’s face it, Player A shouldn’t be comparing his performance to Player B’s regardless of if they’re scaled to the same point anyway. Its seamless nature and reward scaling would allow players to not feel pressured to progress if they want to stay in one zone to complete absolutely everything, but also allow them to return whenever they want if they went the opposite route.

Of course, the best system is also the most difficult to implement. My main concern would be that in addition to the development cost of implementing this feature, that it would add a lot of extra calculations for the server to process, and as I know absolutely nothing about the technical side of this, I’m not sure exactly how difficult this would be to maintain. Fortunately, at least, this would never be an issue in Cyrodiil due to players there already being upscaled to level 50, as I feel that’s where this would be of the largest concern.

Closing thoughts

These are what I consider to be reasonable suggestions for improving what I truly feel is one of the most pressing issues with regards to translating the TES games to an MMO setting. They aren’t perfect, as I would prefer a completely level-less system, but I feel that they are a fantastic compromise that would be good enough for the vast majority of players. The best part is that these systems (particularly the last two), would appeal to all of the game’s demographics – be they veteran MMO players wanting to go back and continue to progress their character with new friends, TES fans who want more freedom to explore and do what they want, when they want to, and filthy casuals (kidding) who similarly want to be able to experience a less gated, more open system under which they can play the way they want to – and hasn’t that always been one of the central promises of ESO?

Hist Tree

I felt like I needed I needed another picture, so here’s the concept art used on the top of our site. If I put it down here, it makes the page symmetrical! I’m not as crazy as that makes me sound. Things just need to be symmetrical, OK?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

62 responses to “Adapting Level Based Progression to TES”

  1. Profile Photo
    Rial

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    Argonian Sorcerer

    Not being able to go where I want when I want is also one of my major problems with ESO. The division of races and lands into three factions as well as the railroading-via-level of the questing content are all severe constrictions that wouldn’t have been necessary, and definitely aren’t Elder Scrolls. But I agree that the mistakes leading to this point can’t be rectified without starting from scratch, and if ZOS did that they might as well scrap everything and move on to Fallout.

    So they have to make do with what they have, and a system to dynamically level up or down players or NPCs seems to be the best solution. It would have to work both ways, of course, because what use is it if I can go anywhere with my max. level character and find worthy enemies when my new character is still railroaded by meatwalls?

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    Isarii

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    Breton Templar

    Rial said on August 19, 2013 :

    It would have to work both ways, of course, because what use is it if I can go anywhere with my max. level character and find worthy enemies when my new character is still railroaded by meatwalls?

    I actually thought about bringing this up in the article, but I left it out due to not wanting to go to long, and not being sure how I feel about implementing such a system.  Essentially, this would take the entire game to a point where it is essentially level-less, and although that’s what I wanted, I think it would be a bit odd (especially in terms of gear and quest rewards), and is very unlikely to happen.

    That said – would it be better?  Maybe.  Probably.  As it stands, even with my proposed systems I would most likely put off doing any of my favorite guilds until level cap, just so I could do their quests consecutively; when I put it that way, I can’t really think of anything to call that but bad design, though I’m hesitant to do so.

    I’m trying to stay within the realm of what I feel actually has a chance of being implemented, and unfortunately, I feel both this and the superior level-less system fall outside of that realm of possibility.

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    Broice

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    Dunmer Templar

    My solution to these kinds of problems in MMO’s was just to make new characters.  The developers put in multiple classes so people with different play styles can play how they want, but for me it’s practically a whole new game.  I make new characters all of the time because you get to have new experiences while trying a different approach to the game.  To me it’s very rewarding, and it’s just a plus that you get to experience some of the content you have not completed before.

    I think most MMO’s put in enough content so that you don’t get to it all in one character unless you come back to complete it at a later level.  Coming back to do it is ok with me even if it is a little easy.  In my opinion if they can change it so you can have some sort of added challenge for more fun at a higher level then more power to them, but if they don’t then there’s always other ways to get to that content again.

    “I run the Fo’c’s’le, a boarding house for sailors.  Sorry.  I reserve my beds for seamen.”

    - Mirabelle Monet, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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    IceFireWarden

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    The Outriders

    Rial said on August 19, 2013 :

    Not being able to go where I want when I want is also one of my major problems with ESO. The division of races and lands into three factions as well as the railroading-via-level of the questing content are all severe constrictions that wouldn’t have been necesary, and definitely aren’t Elder Scrolls. But I agree that the mistakes leading to this point can’t be rectified without starting from scratch, and if ZOS did that they might as well scrap everything and move on to Fallout.

    So they have to make do with what they have, and a system to dynamically level up or down players or NPCs seems to be the best solution. It would have to work both ways, of course, because what use is it if I can go anywhere with my max. level character and find worthy enemies when my new character is still railroaded by meatwalls?

    I agree with the division of lands and races being extremely weird. Sadly, the Alliane War sounds pretty awesome, but I was looking forward to having a party of all the nine races of Tamriel.

    However, I have gotten over this (mostly).

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    Isarii

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    Breton Templar

    Broice said on August 19, 2013 :

    My solution to these kinds of problems in MMO’s was just to make new characters.  The developers put in multiple classes so people with different play styles can play how they want, but for me it’s practically a whole new game.  I make new characters all of the time because you get to have new experiences while trying a different approach to the game.  To me it’s very rewarding, and it’s just a plus that you get to experience some of the content you have not completed before.

    I think most MMO’s put in enough content so that you don’t get to it all in one character unless you come back to complete it at a later level.

    The problem is a little different in The Elder Scrolls Online, largely because of its single player legacy.

    In a normal MMORPG, the content you do isn’t really important; you have various zones to quest in, and you may have an individual story to progress on the way.  Let’s take, for example, the story of Guild Wars 2.  While leveling, you went from zone to zone, returning to the main quest after a few hours of grinding between them.  The grind itself was incredibly immersion breaking, forcing you to abandon your current point in the story (A dragon is about to attack a Lion’s Arch!  We have to rush there to stop it!) in favor of returning to monotonous questing (We have to help this farmer weed his garden!) to progress to the level needed for the quest.

    Because Guild Wars 2 actually had level scaling technology, I would often put off completing these story quests until I could do several of them in a row.  While still not as satisfying as being able to just do it all at once, it was really the best I could do if I wanted to receive rewards when they were up to date.

    This problem is much bigger in the case of The Elder Scrolls Online, because, as I said in the article, there are a lot more stories going on than simply that of the main quest line.  You have the Mages Guild, the Fighters Guild, the main story, and at least the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild coming soon after launch – which further compounds the problem because there will be players already at level cap when they release.  If you’re playing a level 50 Nightblade when the Dark Brotherhood releases, will you have to go back to do level 5 quests with no level scaling when that patch is released to get access to the new skill line and the story?  It could be released as level 50 only content, but then new players won’t be able to access it until much, much later.

    This isn’t even taking into consideration that the game is part of a single-player franchise where players are used to doing what they want, when they want to do it – and frankly, what I want to do is all of my story quests consecutively.  If I have to wait until level cap to do it I will, but we need some sort of scaling technology to facilitate that.

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    Broice

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    Dunmer Templar

    Isarii said on August 19, 2013 :

    This problem is much bigger in the case of The Elder Scrolls Online, because, as I said in the article, there are a lot more stories going on than simply that of the main quest line.  You have the Mages Guild, the Fighters Guild, the main story, and at least the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild coming soon after launch – which further compounds the problem because there will be players already at level cap when they release.  If you’re playing a level 50 Nightblade when the Dark Brotherhood releases, will you have to go back to do level 5 quests with no level scaling when that patch is released to get access to the new skill line and the story?  It could be released as level 50 only content, but then new players won’t be able to access it until much, much later.

    This isn’t even taking into consideration that the game is part of a single-player franchise where players are used to doing what they want, when they want to do it – and frankly, what I want to do is all of my story quests consecutively.  If I have to wait until level cap to do it I will, but we need some sort of scaling technology to facilitate that.

    It’s true that Elder Scrolls as a single player game that you were supposed free to go wherever you wanted and do whichever quest you wanted, but it was not really the case with Morrowind(my favorite of the Elder Scrolls I’ve played).  In Morrowind the later parts of the quest lines for the fighters and mages guild were much more difficult to complete than the starting quests because the enemies were much more difficult.  This didn’t bother me too much because by the time you got to those sections of the quest lines you were ready to do them because of the training and exploring you had done on your way to that point.

    Now if they release the guild quest lines after a period of time, and you are already level 50 then I understand your frustration.  I think it would be kind of ridiculous to do that and force the people who were Sorcerers to go back to a level 5 area to do the beginning quests in the Mages Guild, and if that’s the case I think scaling the difficulty to your level would be the best option.

    No game is perfect and it is too late to change major things like the leveling system, so I think we’ll just have to play with the cards we’re dealt.  Either way I will play this game and hopefully enjoy it a lot.

    “I run the Fo’c’s’le, a boarding house for sailors.  Sorry.  I reserve my beds for seamen.”

    - Mirabelle Monet, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

    -Reserved For Seamen- Elder Scrolls Online Guild

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    Isarii

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    Broice said on August 19, 2013 :

    It’s true that Elder Scrolls as a single player game that you were supposed free to go wherever you wanted and do whichever quest you wanted, but it was not really the case with Morrowind(my favorite of the Elder Scrolls I’ve played). In Morrowind the later parts of the quest lines for the fighters and mages guild were much more difficult to complete than the starting quests because the enemies were much more difficult. This didn’t bother me too much because by the time you got to those sections of the quest lines you were ready to do them because of the training and exploring you had done on your way to that point.

    Morrowind is the reason in the article that I used the word “recent” TES games.  While I don’t want to completely dismiss Morrowind, it was Oblivion and Skyrim that pulled in most of the franchise’s fans, and mostly because of the unparalleled freedom of exploration it offered.  While Morrowind was a great game – especially for its time – gating progression by level in TES is a dated mechanic, and one that’s completely anathema to the fans that came in when the games truly became more than simply a niche phenomenon (A decently sized poll I found showed 70% of respondents had only played Oblivion and/or Skyrim – hardly scientific, but it sounds right).

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    Elloa

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    I very much agree with @Isarii proposition n°2. I’m surprised that this isn’t already implemented in game, as it seem obvious for me that this solution is a huge benefice for both Zenimax and the players.

     

    To add downscaling would improve:

    1. The social experience of the game (You can play with all your friends no matter what level they are)

    2. The longevity of the game (Players will have access to a lot more content as they can downlevel)

    3. The exploration and freedom feeling of the game (Players wil have good reasons to go back to low lvl zones, and will be free to choose tod o it or not. New content can be easily added aswell, liek a new chain quest, or some new treasures/dungeons)

    4. Keep low level zones active and dynamic even long time after launch. (This create a better experience for new players that jumped in the game later)

     

    I see only advantages… So I suppose that Zenimax have all interest to implement such a system in their game and I hope they will do!

     

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    Does Not Exist

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    My favorite suggestion is the one to allow players to access their own alliances +/++ version.  I had actually suggested this many times before, and I feel like it would be a great addition.  The leveled zones would only act as a gate until you hit endgame, and then everything is fair game.

    The leveled zones are actually the reason I plan on rolling AD for my main.  I am not a big fan of the Aldmeri Dominion, but I have to play a character from this alliance to get the areas I like as endgame.  I would much rather play an Argonian, but alas, I would rather have morrowind and black marsh be challenging.  Hammerfell and high rock as well, for that matter.

     

    EDIT: Also, since there are no combat numbers anywhere on screen, I feel like most players would not even notice downscaling, so I am a fan of this Idea.

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    BroScottcho

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    I haven’t been following ESO as closely as I should have been lately so forgive me if these are obvious.

    Have they said we wouldn’t be able to do 50++ of our own alliance content?  Maybe they will have a mentoring system that has yet to be announced?  I think Rift got that one right.

    Great article!  Many topics of discussion.

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    R4VID

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    My issue with level scaling…

    1. What is the point of being level 50 if a level 20 does the same damage as you? You get a variety of attacks perhaps, but effects are generally evenly spread. (monster scaling)

    2. What would be stopping players from repeating dungeons in order to boost level especially if loot is scaled with the monsters. (moster scaling)

    3. Even if it was optional, the system you have means that the dungeon would be just as difficult as when you traversed it the first time at level 20. It doesn’t really feel all that “heroic” (monster scaling)

    ——-

    I prefer (heaven forbid I say it) Morrowind’s system of challenge vs discovery. You find dungeons, and you don’t realize you’ve screwed yourself until you hit your enemy, he laughs and runs you through. The real reason this system is preferred by me is because the Devs designed every location to be doable at any level, but it was harder for a specific archetype. You felt like you could always talk your way into and out of situations, if not you could raid individuals… and if not you either can massacre the populous or get butchered yourself. By not having “levels” a player could save up and buy a pricy potion and be OP for 2 minutes. I mean Morrowind can be beat in under 5 minutes if you know the game.

    By having level scaling I see the developers as being too lazy to think of alternative ways a player could clear a dungeon.

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    Phazius

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    A down-leveling system is becoming more and more come GW2 does it automatically or Rift allows you to set a level 5 or more below what you are. I think its a simple solution to keeping lower level content relavent.

    These continue to be conflicts between MMOs vs ES games sacrifices have to be made somewhere but there are ways to find a middle ground. The level curve doesn’t bother me but I’m looking at you Mr. UI

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    Arya

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    @BroScottcho I am pretty sure you cannot experience 50++ content of your own faction’s territory.

    This is a bummer, in my opinion, because as a player who wants to play Aldmeri Dominion, I will be restricted to explore based on my level. I love exploring in all TES games; basically picking a direction and wandering off to find secrets and cool places. On top of that, we are yet to experience any of the areas in the AD, and it disappoints me that I will not be able to explore it in its entirety until I level up properly.

    So, a player who chooses the Aldmeri territory as their 50+ zone, will have a different experience in the area than myself, solely on the fact that they have no exploration restrictions.

    This brings up a specific question for me: Will players have a different perspective on their environments based on having or not having exploration restrictions? i.e. Will I have a worse experience in the AD faction territory than say a Daggerfall player who chooses AD for his 50+ zone with no restrictions?

    Just some food for thought. Awesome write up @Isarii ! Keep it up

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    Boromir WolfsBane

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    Great article!!! :D

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    JuMPMan347

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    Aegis Nocturnus

    I like these ideas. Really think the second would work the best, especially since it would be a choice to down-level(it’s fun to one-shot mobs just cause you can every once in a while).

    @Arya I also really hope that they do allow you to return to your own faction’s zones for 50+/++ content. This would definitely add longevity to the game. Though for us PvE players, I’m sure doing your own factions dungeons at heroic levels will be great already, but exploring them in a difficult way would be more fun. I don’t want to have to fight a bunch of low level mobs in Morrowind.

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    Arradir

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    First off that was well put @Isarii, great article.

    And @R4VID i agree with what your saying.

    [Removed inane political garbage] Some people will think its unfair they are getting dominated. They think they are “entitled” to being able to compete. If not they will scream bloody murder. In my opinion anyways.

    :)

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    glak

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    R4VID said on August 19, 2013 :

    My issue with level scaling…

    1. What is the point of being level 50 if a level 20 does the same damage as you? You get a variety of attacks perhaps, but effects are generally evenly spread. (monster scaling)

    2. What would be stopping players from repeating dungeons in order to boost level especially if loot is scaled with the monsters. (moster scaling)

    3. Even if it was optional, the system you have means that the dungeon would be just as difficult as when you traversed it the first time at level 20. It doesn’t really feel all that “heroic” (monster scaling)

    I like the down-leveling idea for when I’m running with a group that I out-leveled.  But the gear I get should be say -1 of my own real level and so none of it could be heroic+ level 50.

    On the other hand, I also like a modified version of the monster scaling idea.
    The monster would be scaled say 3 levels below my level so I still feel like being higher level than the content but not egregiously overpowered.  Thus the mobs would be way simpler and popping out -3 leveled gear instead of at my level.

    In either case, no experience for myself; just helping the group or farming for gear/mats to sell.

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    R4VID

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    glak said on August 19, 2013 :

    R4VID said on August 19, 2013:

    My issue with level scaling…

    1. What is the point of being level 50 if a level 20 does the same damage as you? You get a variety of attacks perhaps, but effects are generally evenly spread. (monster scaling)

    2. What would be stopping players from repeating dungeons in order to boost level especially if loot is scaled with the monsters. (moster scaling)

    3. Even if it was optional, the system you have means that the dungeon would be just as difficult as when you traversed it the first time at level 20. It doesn’t really feel all that “heroic” (monster scaling)

    I like the down-leveling idea for when I’m running with a group that I out-leveled. But the gear I get should be say -1 of my own real level and so none of it could be heroic+ level 50.

    On the other hand, I also like a modified version of the monster scaling idea.
    The monster would be scaled say 3 levels below my level so I still feel like being higher level than the content but not egregiously overpowered. Thus the mobs would be way simpler and popping out -3 leveled gear instead of at my level.

    In either case, no experience for myself; just helping the group or farming for gear/mats to sell.

    I suppose it boils down to what is more important… immersion in the world or the social pool?

    I think thats like Defiance vs Oblivion vs Skyrim vs Morrowind vs Ogame.org

    Defiance scales you and your abilities based on the number of players fighting a creature. Your gear means nothing except a few curtesy points compared to low level players. (I was playing as a day 1 with people at level cap and I couldn’t tell the difference between them)

    Oblivion scales the world around you. Low level critters die away and monsters take their place. You never get to feel progression. And you are forever climbing a ladder until you reach the pinnacle where enemies and you are essentially equal.

    Skyrim scales the world on a gradient around you. Each location has a set min and max level  where the player can wander in and find themselves in a difficult situation at a low level (like dragon priests), a situation tailored to your level (the baddies in Bleak falls [like frost troll is upper level, and the level of draugr is different based on level]), or you may be too OP for the location (Embershard mine stays level 5 I believe)

    Morrowind is ruthless but doable. Every location at the beginning is a challenge and you have to be smart and careful. Then as the game progresses you get more freedom in how you approach a situation eventually to the point where you are able to kill “gods”.

    Ogame.org is a PvP free-for-all MMO where you lead an empire that you build and expand with the hope of being #1 out of thousands. In the beginning there is a slight “noob protection” but that is dropped at 5000 points where you are able to be targeted by players in the 100’s of millions of points. Your small fleet of light-fighters would potentially be facing down an equal number of battleships… or even an equal number of deathstars. You are entitled to nothing and survival is the name of the game until you earn your spot among the greats.

     

    I am all that is, all that was, and all that will be

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    Darkintellect

    Expert

    Total Posts: 251

    Altmer Nightblade

    Fate of The Dominion

    R4VID said on August 19, 2013 :

    2. What would be stopping players from repeating dungeons in order to boost level especially if loot is scaled with the monsters. (moster scaling)

     

    They would have diminishing rewards for continual use of a dungeon or area in the map. A similar system to anti-camping.

    ~Yes, Altmer have a superiority complex, but that’s expected of them when they are, in fact, superior.
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    Phazius

    Moderator

    Total Posts: 832

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    You cant have the game scale around the player, its more work and causes a ton of issues. Its much easier for the player to be downscaled, a Players lvl wont effect the lvl of drops since they are based of the lvl of stuff that you are fighting

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