Zones scaling to your current level.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ShurTugal, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. ShurTugal

    ShurTugal Avatar

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    So something occurred to me and it may well have been address somewhere else and if so I apologize for bringing it up again but I don't frequent the forums much. One issue I hear repeated over and over by players is that there is no reason to go back to any specific zone and as such there are a lot of "dead" zones all over the map. Now port actually addressed this one sort of when they created those 3 day buffs but thay only effects a small number of zones and lets be honest, it takes me 30 sec to a min or 2 or 3 to actually complete the puzzle and get the buff. I am literally zooming through the zone so fast I really don't notice it so that kinda sounds to me like it it defeats the purpose of having a reason to go back. I can agree with the over all notion. there are no reasons to go back to the zones. Even if they create quests and such in the zones, I have my doubts if many would go back to them for one major reason. We out level the zones pretty quick and to go back to one means a serious loss of xp earned to the point of earning NO exp. Plus the stuff is not challenging. one swing of the sword and the mobs drop. Many of us have limited time to spend on this game and so we want to maximize our time in game. this has nothing to do with min/maxing. It has to do with getting the most for our hour or 2 or 3 that we can spend in game so to my idea.....

    What if the mobs and zones scaled to the players current level. Not all mobs. I can understand the argument for having bosses, dragons, and certain mobs and what not retain their high levels but why not have most things scale to the players level. this would have several benefits.

    1. a player could literally choose from ALL of the zones to adventure in (including the outskirts) and they would not suffer for that choice. it would give players variety and choice. I would love to adventure in the outskirts with my current toon, doing the quests and what not but of course I don't because the stuff is well below my current level.
    2. Older more experience players have more incentive to group up with less experienced players and adventure with them and everyone benefits. the older player is not doing all the work (which is what happens when you take a newb to a high teir zone to level) and the newb actually contributes to the fight.

    I know of a number of games that do this with great success. The players who play these games have really liked that feature. I am not a developer so I don't know how complicated it would be to switch to something like this but what does everyone think of this idea??? what other benefits do you think would come from a change like this. This is just an idea of something that could be a good thing and I am interested in your feedback. :) :) take care.
     
  2. FrostII

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    Before I address your recommendations, I have to ask what you mean by "no reason to go back to any specific zone and as such there are a lot of "dead" zones all over the map" comment ?
    What zones do you see as "dead" ?
     
  3. Feeyo

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    I never liked that level scaling zones features of some games out there.
     
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  4. Katu

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    I can answer this.
    For example, I mainly go to tier 5 - 8 scenes. I do this, because I can handle them and get decent xp. There's absolutely no reason for me to go to any tier 1-4 zones ( unless some very specific zone, with some boss/puzzle ), xp/loot wise.
    Thus, many zones I have not visited since the first days, because there's nothing for me there.

    EDIT:
    I don't like scaling, because it makes you feel like you never progress.
    I like scaling, because you have more zones to visit then.
     
  5. FrostII

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    They might be "dead" for you, but they are brand new and necessary for new folks joining us.
    Right ?
     
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  6. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    Nah they both got a good point here. Scaling zones to the player level got pretty common in MMOs by now. I think it would give people a reason to revisit zones they like and it prevents easy farming of resources.
     
  7. ShurTugal

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    I hear what your saying but since our actual progression stems from our levels in skill and not adventure level, I wonder if that would be a problem. Course now the question arrises how to work out the scaling so its meaningful and you still feel the progression of advancement since the real advancement comes from the skills. It was just an idea that may or may not work. In answer to the question about dead zone, I pop in and out of zones all the time just to see. I have my nearby players window open at all times and I see emptiness after emptiness. Like the poster said as well, for me there are only 3 or 4 zones I adventure in cause of my toons level. That can get boring cause there is no variety. This was just an idea to help with that which I have seen work in other games. :)
     
  8. Katu

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    Yes, of course. With level scaling, they would still be the first zones to enter, but could be entered later also ( again, in xp/loot context)
     
  9. Jason_M

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    I think trying to apply level scaling to every scene could be problematic, especially in open mode.

    However, it might be a great idea in some scenes.

    There are many scenes in the world that serve no other purpose than harvesting resources. There's nothing of interest there. There's no reason to visit there except to gather resources. I don't think gatherers would appreciate the extra challenge.

    Other scenes are like benchmarks. Many players measure their skills and progress based on their ability to survive or dominate a challenging scene. I don't think these players would appreciate dynamic challenge scaling.

    Somewhere in the middle, though, there are some scenes that have interesting quests, scenery, or puzzles that everyone should visit at least once. South Drachvald Spur comes to mind. This isn't a resource gathering location nor is it a benchmark. It's an exploration scene. It's an experience. Scaling to level would be a welcome challenge here.

    North/South Midmaer way is another example. Players visit these places once (or again if they bring a new player - which makes the scaling even more appropriate).

    And then there are the main quest zones such as the colossi. They should definitely scale.

    So I think dynamic tiers could be appropriate for some scenes. I would really enjoy this :)
     
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  10. Cirsee

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    Never liked level scaling. I actually like to get stronger and go back and take revenge on what killed me earlier. I think the power and blow things up quick is very satisfying in other games.
     
  11. ShurTugal

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    I am not really sympathetic to mines, harvesters, and gatherers complaint specially since I am one. I think they SHOULD be faced with challenges as they collect resources. :) I understand and agree with the benchmark issue but you can still have your benchmarks in a scene where things scale to players. A good example of this is eso. Things scale there but in the same scenes one creature can die pretty quick regardless of your level while at the same time a short distance away there can be a small group that can be challenging for a group regardless of your level so I believe its doable. We can have our benchmark areas and still have our scaling. :) :)
     
  12. Scoffer

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    Not all levels are equal.

    A level 100 fire and moon specialist is not the same as a level 100 Sword and tactics specialised character.

    I would hate level scaling because it removes the illusion of being a classless system.
     
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  13. Vodalian

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    I'm a strong opponent to level scaling in games. It's the lazy way of solving issues with progression. The big problem with this method is that the world doesn't exist independently from your character anymore. That makes it hard for me to keep up any interest, because it's not real anymore.

    But I agree that low level zones are not interesting for many of us as it is. One way to promote them could be to give equal crafting exp regardless of zone difficulty, and make sure that most zones have some kind of resources which are worth going after. Even if they would still not be as efficient as the popular zones, it would be more rewarding than now to travel around different places.
     
  14. Katu

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    I liked how WoW solved this. They implemented instanced dungeons and the looking for group system on that. You then queue to dungeon and the system puts you with like leveled players and scales the difficulty of the dungeon to match it. You could level you character, by doing those.
     
  15. kaeshiva

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    Personally I hate "level scaling" because if you can't do a scene (due to say, poor build choices, or whatever) then levelling up isn't going to help you. If you're not hard-core optimised and/or are choosing to play something other than the flavor of the month, then you're going to struggle absolutely everywhere. Also I'm fairly certain that the LOOT would not scale, and probably not the EXP, since the loot/xp values don't even seem "right" for static scenes a lot of the time.

    I wouldn't mind seeing an option to enter a regular vs. hard mode for a scene, but automatic scaling causes a whole raft of problems. It works in games where classes are fixed, and where the act of "levelling up" simply makes you stronger, but that's not the case in Shroud at all.

    I agree with you re: the dead scene problem, and to that I can only say what we've been saying all along - there seems to be a lack of understanding about what makes a scene fun, viable, and desirable by players, as evidence'd by so many "new" and uncloned scenes suddenly becoming pointless. Look at the Verdantis/Spectral mines failures resulting in nobody stepping foot in there ever beyond initial exploration, or the changes to scenes like Naryad woods which took it from good levelling place to pointless "give it a pass." Sadly, upper tears is the only one that they really got right, adding a fast, high density spawn of mobs suitable for group play. And that's why everyone goes there. Mysterious swamp is interesting, but the extremely poor loot for the amount of effort, and the annoyance of the "pick a random effect" shrines make the scene anywhere from "inefficient" to "outright pointless." Like if it decides to make everything magic resistant and your party is full of mages or vice versa. The idea of "lets kill a slime with 4000 hit points that drops the same exact loot as a slime with 100 hit points" is just baffling to me...why would anyone do this? Same thing with the big mushrooms. Same thing with a lot of things. I managed to kill the gold slime (which has 4k hp and hits like a truck) and was rewarded with a single useless slime ooze and 12 gold. I will never bother with it again.

    Other changes, like spawn rate nerfs on mines, have made places like spectral/ely involve a long "time out" of waiting around with nothing to do/kill/gather, and appeal on those scenes has dropped significantly as a result. Several scenes (like Sequanna Colossus and Deep Ravenswood, which have this very noticeably) have broken/bugged spawners. The initial spawn in the scene is dense and good, but thereafter, never reaches the same level of spawn again. So its not uncommon for players to do one pass through a scene and then leave and do something else. Its a good scene, but only for about 15 minutes, then there's nothing left to kill and it wont reach the initial spawn density state until you leave. Alternating two of these scenes however is viable for a solo player, but trying to move a group around hitting a string of scenes is usually not viable.

    A good scene needs:
    • Reasonable spawn density, the ability to pull as many mobs as you can handle. None of this extended running between isolated spawns. Scenes with 'camps' of mobs seem to be more popular, higher levels charge into the camp, and lower levels pull things out of the camp.
    • Respawn rate that can keep up. Most scenes in the game can't keep up with a single player in terms of respawn making group play detrimental. This applies to both monsters and resources.
    • Loot worth the player's time. Scenes like the Rise are popular because in addition to higher than normal artifact drop rates, and a scene almost completely full of humanoids, you have a lot of elves for elven components, special elven recipes (and now fragments!), a handful of high value targets (dragon, trolls, etc.) for those who want to handle them, located conveniently out of the way in avoidable but optional areas. Elsewhere, drop rates on things like bandit weapons, sturdy weapons, heavy weapons (low tier special components) are so poor that combined with low respawns it can take hours to get even a handful of these. So they quickly become not worth bothering with. Anyone who's ever tried to farm katanas for patterns can appreciate this premise.
    Those are the three main things. Sure, aesthetics are important, and an interesting backstory is important, but if it lacks density, respawn, and loot then there's not a lot of reason for a repeat visit. To clarify, loot doesn't need to mean "make drops drop more money" and certainly doesn't mean "make them drop more dirty clothes and rusty housewares" or even "make them drop really bad player crafted items that were so horrible the crafter's best course of action was to vendor it for pennies." Components in weapons was a good idea, it keeps things from being sold for faucet cash and instead they are used for crafting. The problem is there aren't many places where you can get them and there's no sort of consistency in the drop rates. Loot table should absolutely reflect the amount of effort the mob takes to kill.

    The last thing to consider is that double XP was a real game changer.

    A new player by the time they do all three outskirts questslines to completion and have started to progress the main questlines, even buying "okay ish" gear off vendors, can easily post-outskirts handle carefully chosen Tier 4 and even some Tier 5 scenes (depending on build and level of competence, of course). Which basically makes every Tier 1- Tier 3 scene in the game pretty pointless beyond whatever quest content players go in, do once, and never return. North Midmaer Way is beautifully done, its got the witch and her quest for special deco, some npcs with histories/stories that are visited as part of another questline, etc. But there's nothing to actually do/kill there. Mob density is just enough to make harvesting frustrating but not enough to make any meaningful experience, and the low tier of the harvestables makes the scene of limited appeal and almost zero replay value.

    When players ask for a good place to hunt, I'm always recommending the same half a dozen places, and this is a real shame since there are so many scenes in the game some of which are absolutely beautiful. It would be nice if some of the others were brought up to par. Full unclones/do overs of a lot of these aren't necessary, spawner times/tweaks and loot table adjustments would redeem most scenes from the "pointless" list.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  16. Senash Kasigal

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    Scene Scaling or Player Scaling?
    I like the Player Scaling to the Scene Level in Guild Wars 2.
    Works pretty good and all Players can play together in one Scene.
     
  17. Katu

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    I'm a real life example of this "dead zone thing". It might be me not knowing anything better, but as AdLvl 79, only place where I grind is Ulfheim. Other places are either way too hard or way too easy ( with little xp also ). So everytime I log in, I get my buffs up, eat and head to Ulfheim. I guess I'll be there until end of times..
    There is no point for me to go any tier 5 or below scene.
     
  18. Elwyn

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    I hate this scaling meme. I've heard people complaining about it with ESO, it makes it pointless to level up if the rest of the world just gets stronger along with you. Not everybody can deal with the effort or stress level required to match with whatever the scaling is set to; what might be too easy for hardcore players would be too hard for casual players, and it eliminates the good feeling from finally being able to get your revenge on a zone.

    Also, I hated it in FFXI when they level capped some zones, with the monsters all 5-15 levels above the cap, making it almost impossible to even wander around solo. Solo play is a thing these days with many MMO players, and that kills it for people who don't have the perfect uber class or build. One particular (main story line!) mission fight was infamous for being way too difficult due to the level cap and its 45-minute (!) time limit. Anyone who played FFXI back then knows about the "airship fight". With a full six players, basically five of them had to be on their A game and the sixth had to be at least B game.

    I've heard talk from the devs about having level caps in areas, but I heard it more like capping skills to 80. I don't think they're going to go quite as harsh as those FFXI areas. I think this could work for T1-T3 areas, though it still wouldn't keep them from being a cakewalk. The thing is, even if they went full into scaling, would you actually go to all these places, or would everybody still go the same six zones?

    Just because it's common doesn't mean everyone likes it. And we already have enough trouble farming resources when mobs often re-pop before you can harvest the stuff after dealing with half a dozen of them aggroing you from a mile away. I think that's one of the many reasons Verdantis mine was so bad after being uncloned. Being constantly swarmed by re-popping mobs is bad enough in this game already, having them get stronger to "match" my alleged ability based on a single stat would just be worse.

    Some of this may be that (from my gut feeling) mob spawns in most scenes have a shared limit scene-wide from 2x as many pop points, so if you start grinding one corner, eventually the pops will appear elsewhere in the scene where nobody is fighting them. I think this is how resource spawns work in many MMOs, but SotA does it with mob spawns as well. In contrast, in FFXI you can count on spawns being like a clock, they will always appear (sometimes with a different mob) at the same rough place, and always the same exact number of minutes after the previous mob de-rezzed.

    One of the less noticed reasons why UT is popular is probably because it has its own spawn group, so you don't have to keep chasing spawns.

    But I don't think every zone should be designed for XP camps. Not only do we have the ability to make party instances so that favored camps aren't overloaded, but only a few places get that status. Most "camps" in FFXI aren't even usable as second or third tier choices because the mob types are problematic. And I don't think an MMO should be focused on XP grind camps anyhow.

    More component drops would be a good thing. Changing the salvage rate from "even GM has a hard time seeing anything from salvage" to "happens often enough to be worth not just selling the gear to an NPC" was a good thing. Also, mob effort isn't strictly by level even though the game acts as though it is. Archers can be very overpowered, especially multiple archers spread out, and same with mobs that have self-heal, yet you get XP for them just the same as "regular" mobs of the same level that have to run up to you where they can be AoE fodder. This goes back to why so much of an average MMO is useless for an XP grind camp.
     
  19. Lars vonDrachental

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    I like scaling not that much and see it just like @Vodalian as a lazy solution for develeopers.
    I think the loss of the feeling to get stronger is also for me one of the largest disadvantages. E.g. the wolves you killed during the first day on novia are even two years later no piece of cake or the normally most dangerous scenes can also be visited by a new avatar.
    If it has to be some kind of scaling maybe they could implement instead min and max levels to all monsters.
    E.g.
    youngster wolves lvl 1-50
    growing up wolves lvl 21-70
    mature wolves lvl 41-90
    elder wolves lvl 61-110
    obsidian wolves lvl 81-130
    ...
    But as it wouldn’t be reasonable that a sub-species of a monster is stronger in scene A than in scene B they might have to rework the monster population in all scenes.
    This way the new avatars could stay a while in “starter-regions” as the enemies would scale up with them but as they continue to get stronger the enemies stop at a certain point making them weaker and weaker but even with a much higher level you would mostly need still more than one hit to kill them. With this you might still have the feeling of progress even with scaling.
    In this scenario the "boss monsters" in a reagion might be the sub-species of a higher tier. E.g. in scene A you are normally fighting youngster wolves with lvl 1-50 but there is one lair with a matured wolf with lvl 41-90 inside.

    But I think too that the most difficult part for the devs would be the balancing. If monsters are scaling they possible could get more difficult to one set of skills than to another and even if most avatars are training everything they use at least different specializations and will fight the monsters differently. I would guess scaling is much easier if there are predefined classes with predictable class progress. ;)
     
  20. Jaesun

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    Absolutely detest level scaling. I like how leveled areas are currently handled in the game currently.
     
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