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Automatic Levelscaling

Discussion in 'Release 30 Feedback Forum' started by Lord_Darkmoon, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    As Bethesda/Zenimax announced that all restrictions will be removed from The Elder Scrolls Online and substituted with automatic level-scaling I thought that this might solve many problems in SotA, too.

    We would not have to grind anymore in order to continue the story. If I just want to do the main quests and reach The Necropolis the scaling would let me enjoy the content without forcing me to do grinding which I don't want.

    If I want to join some friends in doing some high-level content I can simply do it and even participate in a meaningful way without having to watch them or grind before I can join them.

    Even PvP would be fair as there would be no high-level players ganking low-level players. Everybody would be equal and would have the same chances.

    Bethesda/Zenimax have realized that in order to reach a broad audience and bring in as many gamers as possible they have to make the game accessible to everyone. Someone who just joined that game can do everything he wants to to without having to spend days, weeks or months on doing tasks he thinks is not fun before he can do the content he wants to do.
    And doesn't SotA want to reach as many gamers as possible in order to make money and survive a long time? Maybe making it more accessible by removing restrictions and introducing automatic level-scaling would be the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  2. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    I'd be against any scaling in SotA simply due to my personal opinion that it would be less fun a a sandbox game.
     
  3. Vallo Frostbane

    Vallo Frostbane Avatar

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    Not compatible with Sandbox. If I'd have wanted a game on rails I would have backed Shenmue 3.

    I know some are here solely for the story though.
    Maybe singleplayer can be dumbed down a little?
     
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  4. Svahn

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    I expect us to be able to follow the storyline and that the storyline alone will keep us at a sufficient level to reach the end of the it.
    Anything else would be somewhat of a failure if you ask me.
    As for automatic levelscaling in Sota I don't think I have an opinion on it, if it could be done well then why not, but it makes sense to me that some enemies are not suitable to go after for new people.
     
  5. Roycestein Kaelstrom

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    It would work awesome for single player offline mode assuming there will be alot more content for people to go through. Otherwise level scaling will let people finish the game much faster since they would spend less time building up characters to fight mobs at certain level.

    I'm not quite sure how well it would pan with multiplayer mode, though. However, I would like to see how ESO scale players in PVP. Based on what I read, it would be like Guild War or SWTOR, which were not too bad when I tried them awhile back.

    We'll find out more this fall, I guess. If it turns out to be something that make everyone in ESO happy forever after, I don't see the point of not adapting the concept.
     
  6. Oba Evesor

    Oba Evesor Avatar

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    It used too. Still does if you choose to go into the PvP zone while under level 50.
    They added an 'under lvl 50' server for PvP too. So you had your choice. Go to the higher level area w/limited skills but buffed stats, or go to the under 50 area where its a fairly even playing field. I think they still buff everyone in the under 50 area too, just to get them up to lvl50 if they go in there at lvl 15 or something.

    Edit: ESO isn't open world PvP, it has a PvP zone so scaling players is easier. Not sure its do-able in open world.
     
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  7. Noric

    Noric Avatar

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    I really hate auto scaling games . It both breaks immersion and makes combat quite stale.
     
  8. Curt

    Curt Avatar

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    I suspect the storyline solo scenes may be scaling

    As the 3 paths can be done in arbitrary order
     
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  9. Roycestein Kaelstrom

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    Last time I asked about having final wipe occurred before the story lines for EP1 are completed may end up making the unfinished story lines become too easy when the players made progress way far beyond the quests were designed for (e.g., hitting adv level 100+ with some heavy DPS skills at 100+). I was told that it was a non-issue since other Ultima games were like that too.

    Having mobs in the solo quest scene scalable may lengthen the challenges for the story lines, I think.
     
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  10. Bluefire

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    This is the difference I see between level-scaling and non-scaling games.

    Non-scaling:
    Grind until you reach level max - then go play the game. Possibly enjoy some quests during the initial grind, but anything that is a challenge is easily put off and then revisited later. Group instances become manageable by a solo player that goes off and grinds for a while. This was definitely true for me in SWTOR PVE. Same held true for SWG. The only challenge left once leveled was to get with other players and hit high-end PVE or PVP content. All but repeatable instances in the game were a yawn fest - except for exploring areas not yet visited.

    Level-scaling:
    Don't grind - a challenge is going to be a challenge no matter when you go into the content. It is not going to be impossible (unless you try to solo a group area) nor is it going to be easy. It is about mastering skills and timing things correctly as a group or solo. A Boss MOB is not easily killed just because a player ground out XP and got more skilled than the Boss MOB. You cannot be victorious in a group required setting no matter how god-like you get your skills or gear. The MOBs in a group setting will out damage your ability to solo-heal so you don't stand a chance no matter what your experience/skills/level are.

    I do not see how sandbox elements matter in either environment. I still impact my environment by my actions. I just didn't have to power grind to have a chance at challenges. At the end of the day sandbox is really about having my space, decorating it my way, and having a visible or tangible effect on the environment. I see nothing sandbox about SotA outside of the player housing so far. Unfortunately the online versions cannot reflect our individual actions without adversely affecting other players ability to progress through the stories. Sure we might be able to affect crafting bonuses, magic strength, or things associated with a virtue by summation of actions if ever coded, but that is not being discussed from what I have seen. There is no sandbox element to PVP other than body part trophies.

    Immersion - how does this break in level-scaling? In reality I know I can become a better fighter than someone who never works to advance their skills, but that doesn't mean that are necessarily easy to beat. Also I do not walk into a fight in reality against a player or creature that has 500x more health than me. Immersion speaking why wouldn't a boss get better over time like I did? Technically the boss should never come back after I killed him - immersion-wise speaking.

    Less content or combat boredom? How does this apply in level-scaling? I can revisit a boss and find it challenging again. I do not progress to the point that the boss is no longer a challenge. That actually provides more challenging repeatable content!

    I'm sure I am missing something, but I cannot find an actual CON to level-scaling.

    I'm open to anyone providing more than generic speak and tricky phrases as good arguments against level-scaling -- other than "because the devs haven't committed to it". :)
     
  11. 2112Starman

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    I vote to keep the nanny mechanics to nanny games :)

    If theres on thing about SOTA that everyone overlooks its complexity. I have waited for a decade for a complex game like UO and SOTA is very much like that. the game has a given complexity that can take a long time to learn. You cant walk in this game, go find the npc with a yellow exclamation point standing right in front of you and then start your journey of finding the next exclamation mark.

    EQ came out soon after UO and games have not changed since.

    Im for complexity and maturity over a game being linear like Wow was... follow the line of exclamation points.
     
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  12. Bluefire

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    @2112Starman, that is true for the quests, but how does that tie-in to not having challenging content after you GM several skills?
     
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  13. 2112Starman

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    I dont see how SOTA now is really any different from any other game I have played. SOTA has the same kinds of stuff (like PvP), they just arnt established yet due to wipes. I have 5 GM's in game now, Im doing the PvP tournaments and they are awesome and fun. If persistance was in, we would be doing a lot more team stuff. This game has complexity and any given day you can already do many different things. If I feel like logging in tonight and farming ore to create some gear, I can do so. Tomorrow I may go farm some silver and gold to upgrade my gear. In 2 nights, I think I'll go hit some dung's to find some more items to use for decorations in my house or PoT. 4 days from now I think I'll do some gold farming to save up to buy an in game deed. 5 days from now is a big social event Im going to attend, 6 days there are 3 going on hat day that Im going to attend. 7 days from now Im going to work hard on decorating my PoT. 8 days from now Im going to do a exp farm with the guild in a pass. 9 days from now Im going to find a newby player and teach them. 10 days from now im going into a dungeon raid with my guild mates. etc... etc... etc...
     
  14. Lord Dreamo

    Lord Dreamo Avatar

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    Does character level even actually affect your power in any way? I thought it was all about your skill levels... maybe I'm wrong... I haven't done a ton of combat/adventuring as I am waiting for final wipe to explore that stuff.
     
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  15. smack

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    In their current state, that would mean each storyline would only take about 30 minutes to complete :D:rolleyes:
     
  16. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Ok here's my take..

    Scaling is not a long term solution. Eventually mobs max out. Bethesda is a prime example of not following through with scaled content. Eventually all their mobs max out about 40-50% of player potential and then the challenge just stops and the player who continues to grow is grossly overpowered. I don't care if you are dovakin.. nobody should be killing dragons in a 3 seconds with an iron dagger.

    Also, the OP seems to be confusing scaling content with no player progression at all. Which would kill the game for a lot of players who enjoy building their characters. What's to build if you can't progress? If you can progress then you can't scale the player.. Oh sorry you've put hundreds of hours into your build but we're going to nerf you now so that level 1 character has a chance. Ouch.

    There are other challenges to consider.. What happens if you have more than one party in an instance? Or your party members have a large level difference? If you scale down the difficulty so the low level are participate safely.. the high levels have no incentive to group with them. If you artificially buff the low level you're basically power leveling. You'd need to drastically reduce their gains.

    Scaled content isn't a good fit here. In fact, I'm a bit surprised they're going to do it with ESO. I don't see how it'll work well with any online game unless you cap player progression to match the toughest content.

    Besides, if you think about it, we already have scaled content.. you just have to move around to go to the right area. I'm not sure what unnamed problems that SotA has that auto-scaling content would solve? If anything, in an online game I want my progress to feel meaningful. I don't want a game where fighting a dragon at level 100 feels the same as bandits at level 1.

    I also disagree that such a move increases accessibility and therefore longevity. If anything, it seems like people will get bored faster and leave.. and trying to scale players would kill what PvP there is. Rather it sounds like a short cut for people who want to blast through the story. Few of which are likely to continue to play online if that's all they care about.
     
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  17. Bowen Bloodgood

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    The end result is the same either way. In both cases if the player is allowed to progress past the toughest mobs you end up with the same problem. Scaling only goes so far unless you want bandit thugs = dragon. You still have to introduce challenging content for high level players.

    The difference between auto-scaling and not is without auto-scaling you have to move around and to specific places to find the tougher content. Typical scaling such as that employed by Bethesda is only replacing one mob for another with better stats.. and beyond that with better gear.. Eventually you run out of mobs to upgrade to.
     
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  18. Lord_Darkmoon

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    If we take off the rose-tinted glasses und see SotA as it really is, the game is neither accessible nor fluid to play. And this won't change with release of Episode 1,2,3... The basics of the game make it something that is catered to a niche which is slowly shrinking.
    Richard always talks about the new generation of games and how many players we can reach nowadays. Millions with MMOs like WoW and even more with Facebook games and mobile games. The market is opening up because games become more and more accessible and more fluid to play. Yet SotA is going in the exact opposite way and I can't help myself but think that this wasn't the plan.
    Just take a look at the UI. All of those windows, floating texts, numbers etc. Is this really neccessary nowadays? Take a look at modern games like Hellblade, Escape from Tarkov or Sea of Thieves. All of those remove the UI and HUD completely and thus offer a new, more immersive gameplay experience. Yet SotA caters to very few players who still want to see those numbers, windows and bars. On the other hand they want to get more and more people to play this game - ignoring every evolution games have made in the past decades. Sure, I don't agree with everything. For example I don't want to see floating exclamation marks above the heads of NPCs or bread crumb trails. But not every step games have made in the past years was bad. Many new features do indeed make sense and make games more fun to play.

    I think that character progression the way it is since the advent of RPGs is no longer relevant. Sure there needs to be some character progression but not in the way we have it now. I think the skill system SotA has as well as the grinding through which we have to advance those skills is a very old-fashioned and obsolete way to progress the character. And I think that this system will turn many new players away from this game. It is cumbersome, it is a chore, it is not fun and it is in the way of experiencing the story. Some people might say that it is neccessary for a sandbox experience but even if this would be true (and I don't think it is) then this game has a much bigger problem. If the sandbox aspect is preventing people from having fun with the story then something is fundamentally wrong. Then the whole game doesn't work.

    Let's take The Elder Scrolls as an example. The games got "dumbed down" in terms of skills and character progression from game to game. Old fans complained about this but each new game sold more copies than the one before. Because the games got more accessible, reached a broader audience. In fact I couldn't go back to the days of Daggerfall. It would be a chore to play such a game whereas Skyrim is so fluid and fun to play.

    Let's look at Sea of Thieves. The only MMO that was annouced during E3. Watch the trailer. There is no HUD, there are no windows, no floating numbers or bars. It is just fun. A fluid, immersive gameplay and I am sure that this MMORPG will reach a very broad audience because it is so fluid to play.

    Do we really want SotA to be a game for a very small niche? A niche that gets smaller and smaller? People complain because Portalarium introduced ingame currency. But how else can they make money? By creating a game that won't ever reach a broad audience because of antiquated game mechanics? They have to rely on those niche-gamers who think that SotA is fun and charge them more and more money so that the game can survive.

    If the devs shut themselves from game mechanics that would open the game up to more players - like automatic level-scaling - then I cannot see that SotA will survive for a long time.

     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  19. Bluefire

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    Seems like 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other until you consider that with proper level scaling I can go back to any quest or Boss challenge and still find it challenging as the MOBs in it would scale to be a challenge for me still. With the game the way it is I might as well go out and grind to GM and then go run the missions, especially considering the flaw in the love quest that leads me post haste into a situation I cannot handle otherwise.

    I've been there and done that with certain areas with certain difficulty MOBs and I'll tell you I never got it. The missions typically ran you through the areas too fast to level you up to what you should be so you found yourself grinding just to keep pace. Then I just give up, join a grind group and then go play the game after I'm "maxed out". When I do that I laugh as 30 MOBs swarm me and I drop them all using AOE attacks. I do, at least, get to enjoy the stories but there is literally no challenge. That's how I normally end up being a "helper" to help the people rushing through the quest series who aren't even half as skilled (leveled) as they should be to be there. Thus I take XP they need to help them through, they thank me, and go on into the next challenge well under-equipped. That's standard level dependent play and that is what we have right here. How is that good for the game?

    My invested time should be about gaining new and more interesting skills to develop the build and role I am interested in for combat. Yes, I should feel like I'm working towards something but I shouldn't be bored by everything I've passed. In linear progression we all become Neo fighting pitifully sad MOBs and the high-end MOBs are nothing but 200,000+ health slug fests.

    In linear progression we need high-level group instances in order for there to be an end-game. Without that people are going to be done with the game in three months. I'm sure it will be worked out, but will that be before or after we lose our niche audience?

    I have to agree with @Lord_Darkmoon here. Why aren't we being offered a way to key-map more so we can UI less? Then I could hit F9 and go into battle. (Shhh, don't tell anyone but because of how I arrange my deck I pretty much can anyway!)

    SWG started on this path - deep skill sets and incredibly complex professions and interesting combat. But because focus continued to be placed on balance and ease of play the game was re-written twice and forever destroyed. They removed what made it special - kneeling or going prone for better ranged attacks (for one example of many) - tried to become WOW and drove away their player base. I know SotA is not trying to be WOW, but it is trying to be a level dependent game that pretends it doesn't depend on levels (been there, done that). It is trying to force us into a short-cycle replacement (demand heavy) relationship with crafters and making the building requirements steep so that it is going to be a luxury to buy good gear from them that we won't want to use for fear it will crumble. (Been there, done that - Armor used to cost 500,000 credits in SWG for a suit until they reduced the decay). So far there isn't even a need for the top end gear (again I'm sure that will change eventually).

    I'm not saying SotA has to go this route (level-scaling) but it sure would be nice if I could flip a switch in options and *bam* the MOBs in the quest line or the area I'm in were suddenly raised to near my level or a above (Boss) depending on the original intent of the devs instead of leaving it all up to my desire to go grind.

    I've never been able to make sense out of rewarding the players who consume the most server cycles. Kind of counter-intuitive to me.
     
  20. Arkah EMPstrike

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    The intent is for it to be difficult and take a long time to GM skills, the people you see running around now with a bunch of GMs are most products of folks taking advatage of exploits while they still can, i think.

    There will be more dynamic content thats challenging to endgame folk, aside from the challenges available atm (The Rise, Control Points, theres 3 damn dragons together in grumvald.)
    Any of these you dont consider a challenge yet is due to combat bugs and imbalance. Like air magic stuns and chain lightning bugs (which im assuming everyone who is completely un-challenged is using)
     
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