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Automatic Levelscaling

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

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  1. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

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    If we take the shades off for a moment the game is still technically in pre-alpha for just a little while longer.

    You can't possibly know that.. you're already judging future episodes that haven't even begun based solely on an incomplete product.

    This doesn't change the end-game scenario. You'll eventually surpass the scaling and come right back to the same problem.

    You can't really punish them by nerfing them just because they have more time to play.
     
  2. 2112Starman

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    I disagree, I beta tested UO. You should have seen it, it was terribly non-accessible and not fluid at all. 2 decades later its still around.

    This game is still alpha. They are just now starting to work heavily on the things you would define as "fluid" (story line). In fact, Id bet right now they are working on stability for persistence first. Story will probably come 3rd and 4th quarter. You simply cannot make this determination yet. We all know that a game that is "released" is still in beta and thats December for SOTA. So if the game is still not "fluid" by say this time next year I will agree with you. But it took even UO a year after release to be playable to me.

    complexity and "fluid" dont go along that well. That's why games like WoW are actually extremely simple... yet pretty fluid (I refer to its first 2 years when I played it). That's because they are just sending you from one area to the next in a linear fashion. I will take complexity any day of the year.
     
  3. Lord_Darkmoon

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    By fluid I meant the gameplay, too. For example doing everything directly in the world without having to open lists and windows - for example crafting. In SotA the gameplay is interrupted every time we have to open some window and play in lists and those windows instead of in the game world.

    As for complexity: Escape from Tarkov is a very complex MMO yet it doesn't use a HUD or most of the MMO things that somehow stuck to the genre.

    Maybe you prefer such games which are overly complex, full of lists and windows etc. but I doubt that the majority of gamers do enjoy this, too. Sales of games without such elements show this.
     
  4. Sargon

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    Add my vote for NO auto-scaling. It is unrealistic to think that all enemies I encounter will be of similar power to my own character. Some can be weaker, some can be stronger, and some can be much stronger. That is just how it goes. I dislike scaling almost as much as I dislike MMO "hard modes", but don't get me started on that. :cool:
     
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  5. Bluefire

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    If they scale it properly then it will be near the same challenge every time I enter the content as the skillset of the enemies would be scaled to my or my group's skillset (read as level).

    Aye, only the casual player should be punished. Only the person who is not living in the game should be nerfed, lose XP, their house location, pay in game gold for benefits not received (taxes). I'm not asking for a revamp when it comes to this - I'm just pointing out the irony. In games with a level cap the benefit you receive from spending more time in the game is getting better with doing what you focus on. In this game spending more time in the game will continue to make you stronger and stronger - sure with the theory of diminishing returns but I'm pretty sure a player with GM will always pummel a player with level 70 skills and the GM will always be pummeled by the player with level 130+ skills. It even behooves players with the spare cash to hire third parties to keep playing their characters to make them even better while they sleep. Gonna be a RL market in that if this game is as successful as we hope.

    I lean towards more replayable content where we work as a team. I know those will just be left to end-game content and the other quests will just be novelty items for us to go in and pwn when we are bored or want to help a friend complete their journey. Of course our best power gamers will wonder why we need two parties of 8 to go hit the three dragons when they can solo it with their double GM multiple skillset character that can handle it all while naked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  6. Noric

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    Again, this is stale. If i fight a rat and a dragon and they both give me the same trouble, then the world feels dead to me. This feature was always my least favorite in ES games.
     
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  7. redfish

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    Why scale levels, when you can just make levels matter less ?

    I'm not sure what the thought is behind level scaling. Its fun to fight opponents that outmatch you -- even greatly outmatch you. I know that some people will be turned off by this, but its a "balance vs. fun" issue. The fun is in figuring out how to beat the odds, and outwit your opponent. Using tactics and strategy.

    Now, if the goal is not to remove these kinds of fun scenarios where you might be greatly outmatched, but just make level not matter... then why don't we just make level not matter? Or matter substantially less? Make progression primarily about gaining player skills, and using them at the right moment in battle. Less of an emphasis on innate and passive skills, and more of an emphasis on active skills.
     
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  8. redfish

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    Challenges in the game should be more about matching tactics, not stats, anyway.

    Bandit thugs can use defensive tactics, work in groups, use armor and items like shields. Dragons can fly and breathe fire and bite and claw at you, and stabbing them does less damage than stabbing a bandit thug, because they're big and have a thick hide. Tactically, a dragon is harder to defeat than a bandit thug. But when its a tactics vs. tactics battle, rather than a level vs. level battle, challenges always stay fresh.

    Its not an argument for level scaling, but I honestly don't see why we're on this line of thinking in the first place. The nature of putting a lot of weight behind levels is what leads to challenges becoming obsolete in the first place.
     
  9. Bowen Bloodgood

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    In my opinion this viewpoint is half the problem. The casual player isn't punished at all. They're not being nerfed, they're not losing XP.. and taxes aren't balanced yet but it can take weeks to lose your lot for unpaid taxes.. If someone isn't playing THAT much then they aren't using the lot where other players are then being 'punished' if you would cause they can't place their own home despite vacant lots.

    Personally I don't think you're giving the devs a chance here making a lot of assumptions about power differences which even now isn't supported by the math. Balance will continue to improve in the coming months.

    I have a number of problems with this. First.. where is the sense of achievement? Why build your character at all if every encounter is guaranteed to be more or less the same? What's the point in that? Secondly.. as described you end up with all mobs being more or less equal.. you could be fighting a thug, a skeleton, a wolf or a dragon. Not all mobs should be created equal.. and not all NPCs should have the stats of those are who supposed to be exceptional.. ie the players.
     
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  10. Isaiah

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    It is nice to be able to go through easier areas and not fight for dear life.

    If we keep leveling and everything gets stronger with us, then why level? Yeah we get more powerful but it is just smoke and mirrors because our foes level with us.

    Besides we can set fewer skills to raise in weaker areas so our pool isn't drained. That helps simulate gaining less from less taxing tests of skill.
     
  11. Isaiah

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    This is a great point. We can just pick abilities that never increase in power and just use them like an arcade style game. Then the strategy is all about how we use the skills. No grinding nessisary since we never get more powerful. However that would probably also require character classes too.

    Now back to draining my pool.
     
  12. redfish

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    I think its okay for individual skills to increase in power, but then when the level # matters, that's putting a big weight on the scale, plus passive skills that don't require you to do anything also put a big weight on the scale. If it were only active skills, that you had to actually use, then you might be better than a mob, but could still lose a battle if you weren't smart, or, on the other hand, the mob could be better than you, but you could still win if you were smart.
     
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  13. Isaiah

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    I resemble that remark.
     
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  14. Bluefire

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    @Bowen Bloodgood , with all due respect, please do not infer things I do not say and attribute them to me. I would also appreciate not having viewpoints treated as problems. My perception (point of view) is no more wrong or right than yours. I perceive through a lens based on my experience, interests, and problem solving skills that have gotten me to the point I am at in my life as has yours. I apologize if any of the quotes and responses seemed directed at you personally - it was not my intent. I was and am enjoying the discourse.

    I find that I agree with several of your concerns, especially with a sense of accomplishment. To me accomplishment is found in completing tough missions, acquiring rare items, and working together as a group to successfully complete a group task. I find no accomplishment in obtaining the base level required to do so - it simply is a requirement to me.

    My aim is concern for the game as it is now and what does not appear to be getting corrected. I am faithful that the dev team will take actions and I hope they consider options that make the game challenging for us no matter how advanced we make our characters. I don't want to see a game that is literally just a grind fest. I've pointed out specific pain points and facts.
    • Casual players will lose XP - don't log in for a few days and go use a skill (or die) - XP will be lost (level no, XP yes). Meanwhile the person logged in 18 hours a day continues to climb like a rocket.
    • Don't log in for a few days and your tax money will go out the window.
    • Log in just to socialize and not spend the time grinding and those who cannot pay taxes will lose their property location. I understand the design behind this and hope balance will make it more reasonable for casual players. Personally I am not affected because I have a tax free deed - I simply won't use a taxed lot until I am wealthy.
    • Don't keep up with the eternal grind and you will be lack-luster at PVP. The only reason I PVP'd at all in past games is because I stood a chance. My lower level toons received bumps when I flagged and there was a max level with no decay so i could opt in even if I stopped playing for a few weeks.
    • The love quest quickly takes new players to a place they do not stand a chance and the obvious answer is to go grind.
    • In the current system if a player with level 130 skills does not repeatedly outperform a player with level 100 skills then the player who spends that much more time in game is already being nerfed.
    • It only took me 6 days to lose my taxed lot because I didn't know where to go grind. I wasted too much time on MOBs that didn't drop what I needed.
    Nerfs are the worst way to solve an issue. I stated it was ironic that those who consume the most server cycles are the ones to be rewarded the most. It is counter-intuitive for a game that will have limited resources to encourage constant game play. It is obvious that they want us to stand still during combat to reduce lag so why encourage grinding for minimal gain's sake? As a result the player who cannot keep up with diligent grinding is left behind and actually must work harder to achieve the same skills levels.

    This idea of level-scaling has merit - it's not the cure all but I like it's potential. I relish the idea of a lot of re-playable content. Without a max level (let's face it skill leveling is still leveling) we will need frequent higher-end content added to the game to satiate our desire for a challenge ... or content that scales to our new mastery. In a game with a max level the only challenging content left after hitting max are solo and group instances built to push the max level to the edge. Why can't this be most of the content and not just a few end-game scenes?

    With balance as a focus the conclusion that I fear the most is to simplify the skill trees such that they become simple mirrors and copies of each other that result in us wielding different weapons and spells that are actually masks for the same underlying mechanics. I trust that will not happen here.
     
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  15. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Most MMORPGs do have a big problem: If you don't play much, you can't compete. This is why some games introduced items with which you can level faster or get more powerful - this lead to Pay2Win mechanics. Yet how can someone who just wants to have some fun playing from time to time have fun when he basically doesn't stand a chance against those who can invest much more time in the game? Do we want to exclude those who can't invest much time from the game or make them cannon fodder? How can the game be fun for those people?
    Scaling is one way to achieve this. You enter the game and have fun, you don't have to care about grinding etc. If you find a group of players with whom you want to play you can join them and support them, be of use no matter how good your character is.
    It can be very frustrating if you work all day, tend to your children and then if you want to play for an hour in the evening all you can do is grind because the character is not good enough for the next story quest and also no one wants you to join their party because you wouldn't be of any use to them. This could easily lead to people quitting the game which in turn would lead to a very small player base that tries to keep the game alive.
    I am against rats becoming as powerful as dragons but those rats could be substituted with demonic rats or someting else. I don't say that scaling is the best thing ever invented but it is a good way to help make the game accessible to more players and a MMO needs many players.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  16. Elfenwahn

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    I would keep the game as it is.
    Autoscaling of level would render all gaining of level, gaining of skill, crafting of equipment just useless. Half of the work done the last 3 years would be lost. SotA then mutates to an action adventure without character progression.
    And currently there is not enough content for an action adventure ;)
    (but that content is definitely required until release)

    That said, there must be sufficient content on low and high level to have challenges and fun on all levels. But that is the reason why we have 1-5 skull areas.
     
  17. Bowen Bloodgood

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    If I did such a thing I apologize.. but at what point did I do so?

    Here's the thing though.. our point of view directly influences the way we approach issues. In this case, it was in regards to which players get "punished" by the game. That one group should be punished (or nerfed) to make it more fair for another group so that they don't feel punished.. at least in my opinion, will never lead to a good design. Particularly when the casual player isn't punished at all. Everyone plays under the same rules.

    Soon as you starting thinking you need to punish one group in favor of another you're going to have an endless cycle design issues. Especially if your design is driven to your own benefit. And before anyone thinks it.. no I will not be playing 40 hours a week.

    Now a note on taxes.. one of the reasons the duration on lots is so short right now is because we're testing. We've had wipes consistently every 3 months and they need to know the system works. In the past the devs have stated it will take months. Not days. There would be no point is setting the rate to 4-6 months when a wipe comes every 3. :) So I don't think you have anything to worry about there.

    It's not being nerfed when it's working as expected. Power through skill has always been described as diminishing returns and the tooltips in-game describe this. If you want to think of it as being nerfed then everyone is being nerfed the instant they hit around.. what 40-60 skill is when power progression starts slowing down? Or perhaps we're just having a different in terminology. But as I've always heard it.. nerfing is taking away power that was given.. which in context is not the case here. You seem to be referring to power you would expect from a linear system.
     
  18. Arkah EMPstrike

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    This statment seems to only be applicable in a PvP situation, currently because i dont believe there is any sort of competition in PvE, or single player
    except the "E" that you'll be "v"ing. And people who PvE desire progression and power that they can earn. While they want to minimize the effect of levels on your character, the only thing the adventure levels affect are your hit chance (to retain SOME feeling of lastign progression) and your skills go up so quick that i dont really think its worth complaining about.

    Having a job and a kid, it currently takes roughly 2 weeks to get where i can fight in End-game content, without having to grind relentlessly.

    Saying its not fair that people without as much time to play cant be as strong is the same as saying its not fair that you make less money than a guy that has 10 more hours a week than you. They arent being excluded from anything in the least at all. If they dont have enough time to play, that is FAR more likely the reason they cant play with anyone than their "level" is.
     
  19. Arkah EMPstrike

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    At the moment it takes a very short ammount of time (even compared to Elder Scrolls) to get your character capable of exploring the entire world.

    Adventure level affects your hit chance on creatures relative to their level and a small HP boost (about 50-70 HP fromn lvl 1 to 50) to give a sense of progression (and help prevent beign able to power level too quickly).

    Skills have the largest effect on your power, and are at 75% effectivness at level 40, which takes no time to reach. the difference from 80 to 100 is about 10% and above 100 is intended to be a very negligible ammount. If 120 is alot stronger than 100, its not intended and needs to be bug reported.
     
  20. Bluefire

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    When you stated I was asking for a nerf on power players and stated that I wasn't giving the devs a chance. Granted you framed the dev comment decently, but to the casual reader I may as well have said it myself. I appreciate your kind response.


    Logically the casual player must acquire more XP than a power player to achieve the same goals. Casual players lose XP from any skill they do not use every couple of days. I have never played a game where my accomplishments, including total XP applied to a skill, are lost for not logging in or for logging in for a few days or not using a specific skill. I have played a game where XP was lost on death from a bounty hunter which made that aspect of the game exhilarating...there were ways to avoid the encounter though. I understand this is part of a larger picture to ensure a kind of soft skill cap. It is more punitive to the casual player than the power gamer. As all players are susceptible to the same decay I can understand the argument that it's "fair", but in the end casual players will encounter the decay more frequently and long before they can GM thus it is not fair. I like the concept and appreciate the goal. I find the implementation is inadequate to the task. The result being that casual players will resign to their skills being stuck at a level where they can no longer earn enough XP to progress due to their play style or RL factors. This will likely lead to many casual players giving up on the game or wildly adjusting their play style temporarily to achieve their goal such as becoming a power gamer until they GM the skills they want and then sitting perpetually with the build they could grind out or worse yet afk macroing. I think we may have to agree to disagree here.


    But as it stands the devs are. I have no desire to punish either group of players. I was simply pointing out the irony and see the potential that level-scaling could bring.

    Sounds good. I look forward to this.

    I was addressing this from a perception issue. Why have character development past GM if the gains are going to be too small to matter? I truly believe they will matter and that the devs will correct this down the road thus nerfing what people obtained. Time will tell. From another point of view, some players will probably take pride in how high they can level a skill regardless of any other benefit. More power to them! I agree with you that true nerfing is reducing the effectiveness of something. My useage of it was to make a logical point which was lost by my loose useage of the terminology - again that pesky perspective thing. ;)
     
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