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Author Topic: scaling enemies to your experience level  (Read 3344 times)
Willy Elektrix
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« on: April 06, 2007, 12:21:30 AM »

I've been trying to get into Might & Magic 2 on the Genesis for the longest time but I'm just disgusted with damn thing. Every encounter in the game gets more powerful as you level up, even boss encounters. In fact, on the first dungeon, it's very easy to over level and (because you have high levels but poor equipment) be unable to beat it because the enemies are too strong. Even more ludicrous is the fact that the number of enemies in an encounter group get larger as they get more powerful. Therefore, it's not uncommon to meet groups of 40 or 50 enemies (when you should be fighting 5 or 6) and having to struggle through random battles that take half an hour...

UGH! Why even bother with an experience system?

I've heard Oblivion scales enemies on the world map to suit your level, is it handled with any degree of balance or tact? Anyone else play a game like this or have any horror stories?
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007, 12:51:31 AM »

Oblivion's got mixed stories: I suppose it depends on how you play and your skill set. If you try to abuse it as hard as possible, the game can backlash fiercely. However, Oblivion's got difficulty scale that you can adjust whenever you want, so in theory the game can never become impossible with no solutions whatsoever at your disposal.

Personally, I think the idea should jsut be saved for specific instances or special dungeons: Maybe a boss scales, or there's a bonus dungeon you can attempt at any point in the game or even return to and get better rewards each time. In a whole game, it seems to really negate the point of leveling.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2007, 01:07:19 AM »

For a game massive such as Oblivion, I felt it gave the player TOO much freedom, and completely killed the feeling of accomplishment and progress.
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Eusis
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007, 01:13:54 AM »

Quote from: "Thoren"
For a game massive such as Oblivion, I felt it gave the player TOO much freedom, and completely killed the feeling of accomplishment and progress.

ACHIEVEMENT POINTS MOTHER FUCKER.

Ok, that only applies to the X360 version. Still.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 03:57:51 AM »

Achievments are nice, but I enjoy really powering up my character to be able to explore a dungeon that was too hard for me previously. I guess I mean gameplay and personal achievements, :P

If you mod the game to hell and back, it can feel that way on the PC of course.

They revamped the lockpicking system and put treasure and bounty inside houses, made NPCs patrol more for thieves, completely revamped every indoor random dungeon level in the game to have specific enemies, lore, and a boss and unique loot at the end, and so much more. Modded Oblivion is great. If I only had a powerful PC rig (My PC that was barely capable of playing it broke).
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Eusis
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 04:06:53 AM »

Well, the achievements are unlocked basically by following the major questlines. So the points are really like a cherry on top, as finishing those quest lines would be satisfying too.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 05:57:04 AM »

Yeah but being able to be the grand master champion of the arena at level 1 isnt very satisfying, nor does it give the feeling of achieving anything.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2007, 02:01:10 PM »

Quote from: "Thoren"
Achievments are nice, but I enjoy really powering up my character to be able to explore a dungeon that was too hard for me previously. I guess I mean gameplay and personal achievements, :P


I pretty much agree with this. While it can sometimes be satisfying just to watch the numbers on your statistics increase as you become more powerful, it's even more satisfying when higher numbers have some reflection on how easy it is to do things (perform skills, kill monsters, etc.). Games where all enemies are level-scaled lack this element.

Quote from: "Eusis"
Personally, I think the idea should jsut be saved for specific instances or special dungeons: Maybe a boss scales, or there's a bonus dungeon you can attempt at any point in the game or even return to and get better rewards each time.


Yeah. All of these sound like pretty good uses for level scaling. Ultima 3 (or at least the NES version, Ultima: Exodus) handles level scaling like this: only the world map scales levels to you, while the dungeons stay at a consistent level. Therefore, you use the world map to gain levels so that you can beat the dungeons. That makes sense to me.
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Eusis
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 02:01:34 AM »

Quote from: "Thoren"
Yeah but being able to be the grand master champion of the arena at level 1 isnt very satisfying, nor does it give the feeling of achieving anything.

Hmm, point. I did level up a bit before conquering the Fighter's Guild, so that made it more rewarding. Then again most of the Arena quest is, well. Fighting, resting, fighting, rinse and repeat over and over.

What they should have done is similar to what Willy said: Questlines don't scale, but some of the overworld stuff does. Then you'd simply be prompted to do other stuff if a quest is too hard, rather than nerf the difficulty or something.
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Evil Gately
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2007, 02:02:45 PM »

I'm currently replaying FF VIII, and that incorporates enemies that level with you. Its quite relieving to know that a new area isn't going to gank you just because you haven't spent the last few hours grinding!

This, however, isn't what I would call the best use of synchronous levelling. I think to get a good example, you need to look at Lunar's hybrid system. While normal enemies have their set statistics, every boss' stats will be linked with Alex's or Hiro's, depending on which game you're playing. This means that you while, in theory, should be able to take the bosses at extremely low levels, levelling up will give you access to more abilities that will help you with the tougher fights.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2007, 08:14:13 PM »

Quote from: "Evil Gately"
This, however, isn't what I would call the best use of synchronous levelling. I think to get a good example, you need to look at Lunar's hybrid system. While normal enemies have their set statistics, every boss' stats will be linked with Alex's or Hiro's, depending on which game you're playing. This means that you while, in theory, should be able to take the bosses at extremely low levels, levelling up will give you access to more abilities that will help you with the tougher fights.


Of course, in a system like this it might be possible to run from every single battle in the dungeons and then just kill the bosses at extremely low levels. Like you said, if the abilities are really powerful, that might make the game more balanced...but in some games abilities aren't all that useful.

I guess that my point is this: any sort of enemy leveling requires careful testing and balancing on the part of the designer. Sadly, many games don't seem to work too hard on this.
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Masamune
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2007, 02:17:51 AM »

FF8 did a pretty good job scaling.  If you leveled too much, the game was actually much harder.
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Chimpbot
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 03:36:31 AM »

Quote from: "Masamune"
FF8 did a pretty good job scaling.  If you leveled too much, the game was actually much harder.


Funny thing is...they actually leveled with Squall.
If you managed to keep him dead and, therefore, stuck at a relatively low-level...you could still manage to over-level and crush enemies and bosses relatively easily.


Personally, level-scaling all but defeats the purpose of leveling in the first place; the point is to increase your power and, subsequently, become more powerful than your enemies. If their power grows with yours at roughly the same rate...why bother?
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Tridius
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 12:48:37 PM »

I know the romancing saga series had this feature.

Especially Saga Frontier.  The leveling scale was based on how strong your party members were. Especially with up to fifteen characters. if you trained one group and left the rest weakened. then the enemeis suddenly become really tough to beat.

Hoshigami aslo had this but there was a level cap on how strong the enemy was. so you can just overlevel to find out the level cap for the enemies.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 02:27:34 PM »

Quote from: "Chimpbot"
Personally, level-scaling all but defeats the purpose of leveling in the first place; the point is to increase your power and, subsequently, become more powerful than your enemies. If their power grows with yours at roughly the same rate...why bother?

To a certain degree, I agree with you, although, in the case of FF8, it worked because the "level" system wasn't as important as the skill and junction system. I think it was interesting trying to keep your level low, while trying to keep the AP and new magic junctions flowing in. The "Card" command becomes a very important part of the game, and added a whole new dimension to battles. If, say, FF4 had scaled the enemies with you, that would have been terrible, but for FF8, specifically, it worked like a charm.
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