Dynamic Scaling


#21

I don’t know… I liked attacking more powerful foes solo, not just for extra xp and loot, but also for the challenge. I also like returning to a old annoyens and just killing it with one shot.

At the same time, i want to pull friends that just started into the good stuff…
Would be nice if you could turn on and off level scaling I guess.


#22

i guess a partial solution would be to make enemies that spawn around roads/paths/often traversed areas to be non level scaled so as u level u can gain access to a quicker way to farther away areas, and then the mobs off the beaten path are level scaled so if u travel off the beaten path u will have to fight enemies your level


#23

I log into Orbus daily, exactly to do that, but surely not because out of a power fantasy that would be silly. Yea, it feels good to “clear” an area, if noone else is around I work like a vacuum cleaner, killing all, harvesting all :smiley: , but the main thing is loot. It would take me hours to get dram and resources if all mobs sitting on ores/plants were level 20. (Fun-fact, the muskie normal shot - T12 gun - doesn’t even oneshot most starter bunnies and kelpies; the jungle-area mobs take at least 2 shots as well).

As for hunting-groups it is all a matter of time. I play MMOs to do endgame dungeons, at evenings, this is what I do with groups, the rest like farming, daily (reputation) quests I expect to play solo, specially in Orbus with the lower player count.

If similar activities are still available, as stated above, fine (though I don’t quite believe that if loot still comes from mobs or completing quests… but lets see). If not it would be a turn-off for me, I’m just not the type of person to hop on and invest major efforts to form groups for normal game activities. I used to lead or co-officer guilds in other games yet organizing and asking around feels quickly like work and isn’t relaxing at all.

I’m a bit worried because most of the mobs I met in the Beta were not soloable with my low musky, they took very long, came running towards me in packs of two or more, like aberrations only without leash-option. To level up I had to roam around looking for the few spots with single mobs; for the warrior it took even longer to find those because of mobs standing too close together.
The game is FUN with the friend I showed it off to yesterday btw, doing it together is not prob, we even got smoothly through the swamp area; only that he will not be round most of the time I am playing.

But as others said I don’t think feedback can revert the decision, there is many advantages, too, like not having to wait until being able to visit new areas (though I am used to that from games and it’s an incentive to level, to discover all one by one…).
Also if level-scaled, then the current way, reverting to lower levels without talents would suck majorly. Perhaps the concerns can be addressed by going forward, like spacing mobs wide enough apart so that solo-farming is possible, have areas or even instances which can be farmed for dram etc.


#24

Hhhhhmmmmm. Whatever path is chosen, I’m not going anywhere. My Orbus experience has been the best possible one: I joined with a great wave of players in the best possible timezone. I’ve watched countless new players sprinkle in, especially outside the biggest population timezones, and end up falling by the wayside because they were always alone and didn’t want to be. Ideally all timezones would have ample players across various levels, but we don’t yet. Hopefully we’ll get there sooner than later with VR becoming more affordable and mainstream, but in the meantime, this newer player isolation is stunting our growth.

So reflecting on everything, here’s my two cents of a possible idea.

I do really like an overarching storyline to follow from beginning to end and progress in strength/ knowledge along the way, where level and assistance does matter to cross certain milestones. I know some people had issues following it or get stuck due to not having available help to progress, but I think it itself could be worth keeping as the backbone of the game (or at least “tree trunk”) as long as there’s plenty of “fluff” (deviating branches) and community resources (discord, Orbus Free Press, etc). I really like the idea of daily/weekly quests with its structure being much more nebulous, but I do want that in addition if possible instead of as a complete replacement. I’ve been able to meet and have fun with newer players with scaled Defend the Realm and the scaled dungeons. So while the lower level players can’t raid with me yet (and I don’t want anyone to rush to endgame), I’ve enjoyed escorting lower level friends I’ve made to Frosted Spit so that we could still fish at Bay of Two Souls together (considering any level of fisher can fish anything anywhere, just gotta have the lure and a way to get there). Plus this could be a practical function of the airship - lower levels can take the airship from “safe town to safe town” and hang out with activities that don’t require a level / are scaled, but can’t necessarily just walk to anywhere (and gather resources along the way, explore, reach certain “out there” areas worth visiting) but still have the opportunity to meet and hang out with higher levels so it isn’t we’re “helping random lowbies” but helping friends we’ve had the opportunity to make (although probably still need a ‘reward system’ for certain things). I like the idea of certain things and places being level scaled, pockets of overworld and some instances, but not everything only minus endgame. I think Kamina is on to something with his idea. I would also appreciate certain pockets of instanced areas always being a certain level regardless of the player’s actual level (this instance is always level 1, that instance is always level 5, the other one always 10, etc). Aside from farming for dram/reagents, solo farming (or in small groups with established friends) is a very “zen” activity for many. They like the instanced areas so that it isn’t a matter of taking those mobs from anyone else, and sometimes it’s nice to be alone if you don’t feel like being social at the moment, and other times yea group stuff is great.

I also really, really like the idea of hitting max level but that leveling bar still rolling and getting cosmetic rewards, resources, dram, etc. Sure, dungeon stuff always stronger and whatnot, but that is a nice plus I’m looking forward to.

Speaking of the power aspect, I loved that difficult pocket of Narrow Orchard Almas Sprites (the pilgrim is a ghost trying to get us killed, I swear) so I enjoyed the difficulty and the horror of realizing YOU WEREN’T EVEN SAFE IN TOWN, THEY FOLLOWED YOU, YOU STILL DIED (not that I want all towns to be unsafe, but Narrow Orchard is haunted with vengeful ghosts!) and coming back as a level 20 to just watch them fall with a single arcane missile :no_mouth: that’s just fun :sweat_smile:

Part of me wants to keep elaborating if I wasn’t clear, and another is worried about an unnecessarily long post repeating itself and beating a dead horse, so… I’ll try to end like this.

  • maintain current structure of overarching questline and the extent to which levels matter. Return instanced areas that always maintain its level regardless of player level. I think there is benefit to a sense of progression, a sense of satisfaction, and also “zen activities.” Maybe not consider every instance a dungeon, but a themed farming ground.

  • each area also have ample pockets of scaled mobs (see Kamina’s idea), also scaled dungeons, and a reason we want to go to scaled areas and do scaled things (resources, rewards, whatever to make them enticing enough and easily accessible)

  • continue expounding upon social activities that do not require level to participate even if level may be required to reach (like escorting lowbies to Bay of Two Souls to fish)

-endgame how it’s been, no scaling there


#25

I also am not a fan of the idea of leveling up to a higher level and not being able to easily traverse lower level/starter zones with ease. I believe this could be circumvented with tiered areas, but not too many. I think a 1-10, 11-20, 21-30 (yes like wow) so that if you are in that range monsters scale with you, but if you are above you can have the power fantasy. Each tiered zone will have easy,normal, difficult, hard, and group monsters. This allows for some solo-able monsters for people new to the tier, or bad gear drops, but allows a sense of progression as you get geared.

The gear for each tier can have the +Y feature for the within the zones so good drops still feel great. They could be labeled as qualities instead of just a normal number, so like you get a Tier 2 green is better than your Tier 2 white and the stats would be appropriate. If you are in a lower tier zone the gear can’t go below the tier the armor was acquired so you can do the one shotting in lower tiers (with reduced drops, and no or negligible xp).

To allow for all levels to work together though there can be specific events that have an instanced area that scales everyone together so that a dynamic group quest or world boss can be taken on. These areas would be instanced so that mages, rangers and such couldn’t just fire into the zoned areas/mobs from the outside and ruin the scaling (we all know people would do this).

To encourage farming in groups, allow people to opt into scaling that matches you to the lower level party member so you can join them in the lower tier zones, and increase gear and dram drop rates while in parties outside of dungeons and such. I don’t believe in taking talents away so if you do get scaled down, then you will just have those extra benefits to help out, that way there is some form of power leveling without it being too broken.

The idea of all mobs being scaled is nice in thought, but most people who have played MMO’s expect areas higher than them to be death and in their own right can be fun to cross saying you survived those zones you weren’t supposed to be able to. It gives structure and a strive to level, knowing you can tackle those areas eventually.

TLDR:
-3 Tiered areas (1-10,11-20,21-30)
-Quality of items within tiers (white,green,blue, etc) that are powerful in lower tiers
-Instanced dynamic event and world boss zones that scale everyone
-Opt in scaling to lower tier party members, and drop rate boosts for parties in overworld


#26

I was writing a post, then read this post and realized it was nearly identical. An over-world where everything is relatively the same challenge level would be horrifically boring. A tiered system to allow for some progression feels like a great start to addressing this. More important is the idea you mentioned where monsters within zones have different challenge ratings. If everything is scaled to a single level, you never get the chance to challenge yourself and test your limits while leveling. As far as monster-hunt and world bosses, I don’t think an instancing system would be necessary. Just have the mobs for the quest scale to any level (even if they are in a 21-30 zone). This way even lower levels can do the quest, but will need higher level escorts to get them through the more dangerous zone (or find a way to sneak through the zone).


#27

I agree that dynamic scaling sucks.

It makes the word feel pointless and not immersive to me.

I want mobs to be more powerful than me in high level areas so I can choose to feel challenged.


#28

How about:
Party: scaling
No party: no scaling

Would kind of like it if it only scaled between the lowest and the highest of those in the party, and the rest stays as it is.


#29

I like this idea, and similarly I like Dante_D’s suggestion.

These 2 ideas still allow someone a sense of power gain and the accomplishment of conquering an area such that you can return later to farm or just walk through on route to a more difficult area and not have to aggro every single mob, and go toe-to-toe with each one like you were still a weakling n00b adventurer. :wink:


#30

…that being said…
I’m on the fence about outside world level scaling in games.

I love that friends of various levels can play relevantly with each other!

I don’t love that I don’t feel a power progression, and just harvesting herbs in “low level” zones becomes a long, involved chore. (In Orbus that can a bonus effect of raising the prices on harvested materials, nice; but on the flip-side potions take a lot of ingredients and multiple types, slowing one’s own potion availability and skyrocketting potion prices, right?)
In MMORPGs I’ve enjoyed “carrying” my lower level friends, in dungeons and through quests, to help them level up (or get gear, or currency) quickly. I’ve had that done for me from when I started playing WoW in 2009, and I’ve always paid it forward to friends and guildies over the years and across games.

.


In the single player Elder Scrolls games it feels fine to have mobs scale. In Morrowind for example as your level hit milestone numbers, you’d see different, stronger mobs spawn at spawn points (and treasure in containers, all determined by what RNG pulls from the Leveled Lists); so instead of say a low level animal mob on that hill, you’d later see tough Daedra who matches your level range. You weren’t fighting that level 1 rat still at level 90 and feeling like a wimp.

In WoW starting with the Legion expansion (previous expansion) I strongly disliked level scaling when I hit level cap. I wanted to go back to zones I fully completed just to farm herbs or ore nodes (not to mention the World Quests) and the density of most areas of WoW’s mobs meant constantly fighting to get to 1 stinkin’ flower.
(WoW also failed at level cap because as soon as you hit level cap, all mobs scaled not to your level but to your level assuming a certain advanced item level of gear, which just hitting level cap you did not and could not have, so you instantly felt weaker at level 110 than you did at level 109. That did NOT feel good.)

In Elder Scrolls Online I don’t mind level scaling because ESO is dense with stories and involved quests. I can go anywhere in the entire world of Tamriel and pick up a storyline and play in that zone – that’s cool!
ESO when leveling thus doesn’t focus quite as much on raw level numbers since you choose which abilities you want to unlock and use for your rotation so there’s much more going on than raw stats.


#31

This pritty much covers my feelings about orbus.

  • while leveling you stare at the cool powerful players
  • starter tank drags along the mage untill mage gets good enough
  • kill awesome monsters, try some pvp, explore the world and drink way to many potions.
  • kill the last raid boss and… wait where is the reward?

But if enemies never are hard or impossible, and never become easy, it kind of removes the awesome effect. Everyone is equally mediocre and you can’t shout for help from the max level heroes when things go wrong.

Being able to kill everything right from the start works… but not beeing able to kill things and then slowly getting strong enough gives you much more of a reward.


#32

Another thought I meant to bring up in my long post above is how sometimes you personally are not good enough of a player to overcome a mini-boss for a quest, or other challenging scenario of a questline, at-level.

Games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne (and CrossCode which I’ve lately been ~in love~ with!) and RPGs and MMORPGs-without-scaling will let you level yourself up and come back stronger to tackle the task a bit easier.
…Or way easier, if you leveled that far beyond.
…Or not that much easier, as the Souls/Borne games still require skillful play and mechanics can’t usually be cheesed by being high level, you only get more flexibility in margin of error. :wink:

Right now, as a level 17 Rune Mage, I have a couple of quests to kill individual, named baddies which I cannot even come close to killing before they smash me. Even with a 2 of us we get rocked fast.
I’d like to be able to come back at level 19 or 20 and in turn smash them. Good ol’ fashioned retribution. :smiling_imp:

Will level scaling mean those “mini-bosses”/elites will never be solo-able?


#33

I love that video!!!


#34

Just want to throw my vote against dynamic scaling as well!

A huge part of MMOs is the feeling of progression along all sorts of dimensions. There’s the progression of gear, the progression of exploring the world, the progression of power, etc. I do believe for immersiveness, you need to ensure a feeling of progression along each one of these dimensions (and perhaps others that I haven’t thought of).

Let’s go through these 3 progression dimensions:

  • Gear: Better gear should be both more powerful, and more attractive. This is a no-brainer, and OrbusVR already knows that.

  • Exploration: The world should get bigger as your capability to take it on gets bigger. New players should not be able to go everywhere in the world and participate in every activity. There’s nothing more exciting than setting foot into a new world, seeing how massive it is and how little of it you can currently take on, and getting pumped up to get strong enough to venture out into the rest of it.
    On the flip side, there’s nothing less exciting than stepping into a world, and already being able to pretty much see and experience all of it. At that point you have to convince yourself to seek out higher levels and better gear for their own sake, because they won’t actually empower you to experience anything new.
    It’s a little bit like the haunted house at a theme park. While walking through the darkness with a small flashlight, the corridors seem windy and endless, and the whole place feels massive. But if you were to flick the lights on so you could see the world in its entirety from the beginning, it’d instantly become much smaller. The limitation makes the world much bigger.

  • Power: Perhaps the most important dimension of progression is that of power. Much of life in MMOs is based around combat, and so combat is the motivation for most activities. If you just like fighting, you’ll love seeing that your enemies fall more quickly as you advance. Even if you just like fishing, you may realize that it’s expedient to advance combat abilities, to make it much easier to gather ingredients for fishing lures.
    Reflecting back to early forays into MMOs, probably the coolest thing ever for me - was coming back into starter areas and one-shotting monsters that had previously trampled all over me. And that’s an example of the emergent kind-of fun that MMOs should encourage. In WoW, my fun could even be as simple as riding the elevator up Thunder Bluff and base jumping off, as soon as I had enough health to cover the damage.
    Additionally, one of the coolest things about partying up with people was actually the exact opposite of what you’re aiming for. Teaming up with vast level differences was SO COOL! If you were the higher level, it felt good to take a newbie under your wing and show off your progression by demolishing every enemy in sight. And if you’re the newbie, it felt really cool when higher levels would offer to guide you through a difficult zone. Even if it made certain things easier than they should be, it added a different dynamic, that was very enjoyable.

I understand considerations about power-leveling and keeping the game fun, and all that. But in MMOs especially, fun comes NOT ONLY from challenges, but also from progression. The power fantasy is huge. Use dynamic scaling, or don’t allow enough distance in power between the lowest and highest levels, and it dies.

Plus - this can be handled in many different ways. Perhaps even when partied up, players only receive exp from their own actions - so maybe an advanced player can guide a newbie through dangerous territory, but the newbie can’t be power-leveled - he will still need to do some fighting himself to grow. Or, this can be opt-in and there can be different incentives in either direction. Maybe if you allow levels to be scaled down to the lowest player, then the exp is shared. But if not, exp isn’t shared, but stronger players are able to leverage their power to help newbies. Each would be beneficial in different situations.

And especially coupled with a more dangerous world - it could be that much more intense. Imagine wanting to jump ahead to a high-level zone, because of some gear only sold in that city. You’d have to find a strong player to help you cross a desert filled with monsters that can easily one-shot you, and that would become its own adventure. Moreover, it’s emergent fun, which is even more valuable since it’s more versatile than anything that can be programmed into the game directly.


#35

Speaking of emergent fun, that reminded me of this.

I was a level 5 and got invited to a “desert raid.” About 16 of us relatively low levels (mostly ranging from level 1 to 8, maybe one 10, maybe one person actually a high level) entered the desert from the Midlands to attack the cactaurs. We had a great game plan: dedicated frost mages, dedicated polymorph mages, rangers line up over here, warriors circle the cactaur but leave enough room for dps shots to get through, musketeers to focus on certain groups… it was chaotic, panic-worthy, and tons of fun. Sometimes the cactaur would run around chasing dps, warriors trying to chase it back down, panic yelling “AAAAAHHHHHH MORE FROST MORE FROST” and “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH GET IT OFF ME” and “$#@% my polymorph spell missed the other one! Just run!”
At one point, the cactaur ran around one shotting everyone, and 4 of us realized it was futile and panic fled. Four survivors, lost in the desert, none familiar with its terrain whatsoever, hiding up against this rock face… until someone decided to try to venture and we followed, tiptoeing, hoping beyond hope we could dance around aggro ranges till the rest of our group made it back. We all died :ghost:
Group reformed, and after another while, we finally decide to call it a night.
Okay, nice meeting you, this was fun, good ni-AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH
An unseen cactaur ninja’ed into our midst, and despite the panic scrambles, fighting, or fleeing, it killed every single one of us. We stood there as ghosts laughing our asses off until we reawakened and logged for the night.

My fond story (one of my favorite Orbus memories) was possible due to a high player count. In those days, there was easily 200+ players on when I was, with most of them lower level and very few mid level or 20s. Once more people reached 20 so that the majority of players are higher level instead of lower, many lower levels don’t seem to last long / make it to 20 themselves unless they’re lucky or very determined. Level scaling was an idea on how to address this problem that has plagued and stagnated us. I hope we come up with something that addresses the issue but also maintains the fun.


#36

This is the primary driving force of us making a change here. It’s only going to be worse in the expansion launch when half of the people playing are starting at Level 20 instead of Level 1.


#37

Well if you are saying the problem now is that half of your community base is maxed, maybe release something with the base game to bring some new players in. If nothing is done before reborns release your problem might be a lack of community as a whole…


#38

As someone who admittedly didn’t get to try out the beta (I only found out about it after it ended ;-;), I actually rather like the idea of having everyone be the same “power level”. (in a similar manner to the Elder Scrolls Online) - in that game, your power isn’t really determined by level, more as it is by gear, abilities and player skill. All levelling gets you in ESO is the ability to specialise and unlock new skills (which are often more powerful than your current ones, so the progression lies there instead of just in the numbers)

The end result is having players be able to play together no matter what level they are, which is actually really nice. I can actually join a Lv6 friend as my Lv50CP300 Sorcerer and, while I’m still more powerful (due to specialisations and unlocked skills), the Lv6 player still actually gets to play and learn about their abilities due to the even stat playing field. Plus, if I wanted to do something a little more difficult, I don’t have to worry about everyone levelling up to the level cap. (Honestly, it’s the power difference in levelling - along with the grind - which put me off so many MMOs in the past. Being forced to make a new character just to bring a new friend into the game isn’t fun.)

However, I do think that areas themselves shouldn’t all be of even difficulty. Enemy count and minor stat scaling on the enemies would help immensely with that sense of scaling power. Earlier zones would have sparce enemies probably with a negative multiplier on their stats, while later zones would probably have groups of enemies attacking you at a time with a positive multiplier which would require better gear and skills in order to match.


#39

Just wanted to add, we are hearing this feedback and will definitely be making a change to the way that this worked compared to the last Beta test. It’s still going to be a scaled sort of situation, but I think we are trying to find a way that has a little more leniency to a) still allow you to feel more powerful compared to more of the world as you level up, and b) prevent the feeling of getting “weaker” when you level up but haven’t gotten new weapons/gear yet for that new level. Those seem like two of the areas we can focus on to make it feel better for everyone.


Request from a solo player
#40

Yeah I think this, generally, is also something we’d like to do, via pockets of tougher groups of enemies in each zone as well as a general increase in mechanical difficulty as you go farther out from the Highsteppe area.