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Is making all zones immediately playable good for mmo's?

filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
  • I just wanted to bring this to a topic because I think its worth talking about.


    IselinIselinPosts: 7,288MemberEpic
    This is good illustration of the balance problems to come when they make all zones max level with One Tamriel and bolster low level characters up to the zone level... for all zones everywhere. Low level players with less than half of a full ability toolkit on top of being inexperienced with the game will just plain struggle with some routine solo quests.

    I did that quest on my CP 200+ (essentially max level +) stamina sorc with my AOE DPS + passive self-heal off my damage done soloing load-out and it was a cakewalk.

    Bolstering a low level character to do solo content in high level zones has its issues. Most experienced players will tell you to wait to do Orsinium and the Thieves or DB quests and zones until you're at least level 40+ and have a comfortable solo build that can handle mini bosses + adds easily.

    But that's not the way the game is advertised. ZOS is interested in selling the concept of "go anywhere anytime" and holding new players back until they're actually ready for it would go against that concept.

    Now imagine when ALL zones are max level this fall and low-level players get bolstered up. New players won't even have the opportunity to go level up and get their skills sorted out in easier zones -- it'll be this way everywhere: you'll be puttering along doing just fine with random mob packs in the open world... and then you'll run into a solo-only instance that will own you repeatedly... fun?

Are you onto something or just on something?
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Comments

  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    I get the idea that players want ESO to be like Skyrim and allow you to go anywhere anytime and be successful.  The part that Skyrim failed is this exact thing.  There should be places that are too dangerous for a new adventurer.  There should even be places that are dangerous for a seasoned adventurer.  Sounds like right now the scaling is causing things to be too difficult for low level players.   I believe this should exist.  You have to work to be a badass not automatically one because you logged into the game.  After some work other area's should open up and become playable.  But I believe they should keep it so certain area's are harder and have the scaling remain the way it is.
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • fs23otmfs23otm Member RarePosts: 505
    filmoret said:
    • I just wanted to bring this to a topic because I think its worth talking about.


      IselinIselinPosts: 7,288MemberEpic
      This is good illustration of the balance problems to come when they make all zones max level with One Tamriel and bolster low level characters up to the zone level... for all zones everywhere. Low level players with less than half of a full ability toolkit on top of being inexperienced with the game will just plain struggle with some routine solo quests.

      I did that quest on my CP 200+ (essentially max level +) stamina sorc with my AOE DPS + passive self-heal off my damage done soloing load-out and it was a cakewalk.

      Bolstering a low level character to do solo content in high level zones has its issues. Most experienced players will tell you to wait to do Orsinium and the Thieves or DB quests and zones until you're at least level 40+ and have a comfortable solo build that can handle mini bosses + adds easily.

      But that's not the way the game is advertised. ZOS is interested in selling the concept of "go anywhere anytime" and holding new players back until they're actually ready for it would go against that concept.

      Now imagine when ALL zones are max level this fall and low-level players get bolstered up. New players won't even have the opportunity to go level up and get their skills sorted out in easier zones -- it'll be this way everywhere: you'll be puttering along doing just fine with random mob packs in the open world... and then you'll run into a solo-only instance that will own you repeatedly... fun?

    Learn when to give up...

    Not being guaranteed a win is a GOOD thing...
  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    I agree but it looks like ESO is going to boost everyone so they can go anywhere and kill anything at any level.
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • AldersAlders Member RarePosts: 2,206
    Zones should always integrate multiple levels. This is something i miss from older MMO's. Having low level options as well as high level options in every zone makes the game world feel more alive. The problem being this works great when grouping is required and not so well when everyone can solo without fear.
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 4,902
    Level scaling, what a horrible mechanism and immersion breaking to boot, I prefer a game like Gothic any day....

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

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  • SirmatthiasSirmatthias Member UncommonPosts: 562
    Hate it but true. World of Warcraft system was the best way to go thru content. somewhat linear but open at the same time. sure you could try harder content but you'd be running back to your body a lot. sure you could run off and just kill mobs and skip the quest lines altogether. I think that's why I played for so long.
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    I haven't quite got my head around the coming "One Tamriel" concept.

    Will everyone find the content equally difficult (or easy), regardless of "level" or champion points ? Seems a bit dubious to me...

    What is the point of progressing if you can do all content at level 1 ? Will players just be playing for the "story" and to explore the world ?
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,827
    edited July 2016
    I think the issue is not making all zones open but how one does it. I personally would be fine with a mix of lower level and extremely higher level monsters in zones. I personally love the danger and it was something that I really appreciated in certain Lineage 2 areas at launch.

    There was this foggy marsh area past Dark Elf Village. In it there were hook horrors that were dangerous but at a corresponding level to the players.

    However, there were these haunted tree things that were much higher, took a party to take out. If you were leveling there and not paying attention (as the area was really foggy) you might hear the "thump, thump, thump" of the thing comign up behind you and then you were screwed.

    In the Sea of spores there was a raid boss called "Orfen" that had a huge aggro radius. As long as you were careful you could level there no problem. But if you weren't paying attention Orfen would come for you.

    So having an instance "own me"? that IS fun. I want to be able to figure out a way to beat it. It might take several tries, I might have to level a bit that that's what I WANT from an mmo.

    In skyrim, at the start of a game I would come across a Dragon Priest. Extremely hard fight at lower levels but I absolutely loved it, especially the first time I saw one rise out of its sarcophagus only to have it waste me. 
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  • MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,562
    edited July 2016
    lahnmir said:
    Level scaling, what a horrible mechanism and immersion breaking to boot, I prefer a game like Gothic any day....

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    I actually prefer level scaling. You can still get the desired effect by making the individual creatures more (or less) threatening through their stats, abilities, and AI. For example, even with scaling, you could say, cap certain creature types' HP or damage. If you're fully decked out in a scaled sandbox, an early game creature doesn't necessarily need to feel like a threat later on, even if it is being scaled to you, whereas another creature might, simply due to what it brings to combat via stats and such.

    Without level scaling, it's harder to foster player freedom because you don't know exactly how they've played your game, and so you can end up giving players inconsistent experiences and force them to experience your 'sandbox' in a more directed fashion out of necessity. Maybe I want to go here or end up here organically through my travels and the mudcrabs in this area are now arbitrarily too hard or too easy. Or if you play long enough you end up being stronger than anything the game developers anticipated and everything except for maybe one zone is too easy. Scaling helps keep the experience consistent while still affording developers the ability to tailor the individual creatures so that they are only challenging to a point in a player's progression while ensuring other creatures are always as challenging as they should be.

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  • MyriaMyria Member UncommonPosts: 699
    To me level scaling removes much of the sense of progressing that makes the whole leveling journey worth it. As you get stronger, enemies that were difficult become cannon fodder, enemies that were impossible become difficult but possible, and so on. Your strength and abilities, relative to the challenges you face, improves in a substantial and measurable way, relative to the world around you and the threats you face.

    If the world around you and the threats you face are meant to forever keep pace with you, then I don't see the point of having leveling at all. Just remove leveling and be done with it, no more need for the illusion of "bolster" or worrying about whether the monster scaling is tuned right. The very need for either says you don't really want or feel your game needs a leveling system, not if you're doing everything possible to negate a leveling system's entire reason for being.

    And that's ignoring that most bolstering and mob scaling systems just plain don't work very well. Typically higher level characters still have an overwhelming advantage over mobs in lower level zones by virtue of conservative scaling factors, increased spell or skill abilities, and/or gear advantages, and lower level characters typically don't fare all that well in high level areas due to the lack of same. Just makes the whole thing seem so pointless, and, again, to me argues strongly that you either go with a zoned level system, a mixed zone level system, or no level system. Halfway measures, like bolster/mob leveling, too easily do more harm than good.
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,852
    I don't think this is the issue. The problem is this:
    Remember in WoW when you would go to the Badlands, there was an area where Dragons would fly around. They were somewhere in the level 40s, So, you are running around killing dragons in one zone, then you are supposed to "graduate" to a new zone where you start by killing boars. It's not a natural progression.
  • MardukkMardukk Member RarePosts: 2,222
    Probably a good thing for this game, not all.  Seeing as that they didn't have a bunch of different paths to leveling.  You were pretty much stuck, regardless if you liked the zone or not.
  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    I just hope they don't make so its cakewalk for every class at every level.  The idea is bold and ESO has a habit of doing bold but they usually do it well.
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • rodingorodingo Member RarePosts: 2,870
    I think ultimately with One Tamriel they are just simply going to have people who claim that everything will be to easy and others that everything is to hard.  Apparently ZOS feels this is the better direction to go with their game than the current system in place.  It will, after all, reflect more of the general feel that the name sake of the IP carries. 

    It's also interesting to see how they deviate in some places from the singleplayer games and how they try to copy in other places.  Basically like an ongoing experiment on trying to find the happy middle ground between the company's most successful game and their latest venture.  Usually the axiom of, "don't fix what isn't broken" can keep you out of hot water more often than not and I was under the impression the game was doing pretty solid and staying consistent.  I'm not saying that the switch to One Tamriel proves otherwise, but rather just makes me curious on how the overall affect will be received.  For my part I think it's a good idea.

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  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 4,902
    edited July 2016
    MikeB said:
    lahnmir said:
    Level scaling, what a horrible mechanism and immersion breaking to boot, I prefer a game like Gothic any day....

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    I actually prefer level scaling. You can still get the desired effect by making the individual creatures more (or less) threatening through their stats, abilities, and AI. For example, even with scaling, you could say, cap certain creature types' HP or damage. If you're fully decked out in a scaled sandbox, an early game creature doesn't necessarily need to feel like a threat later on, even if it is being scaled to you, whereas another creature might, simply due to what it brings to combat via stats and such.

    Without level scaling, it's harder to foster player freedom because you don't know exactly how they've played your game, and so you can end up giving players inconsistent experiences and force them to experience your 'sandbox' in a more directed fashion out of necessity. Maybe I want to go here or end up here organically through my travels and the mudcrabs in this area are now arbitrarily too hard or too easy. Or if you play long enough you end up being stronger than anything the game developers anticipated and everything except for maybe one zone is too easy. Scaling helps keep the experience consistent while still affording developers the ability to tailor the individual creatures so that they are only challenging to a point in a player's progression while ensuring other creatures are always as challenging as they should be.
    In theory I could not agree with you more, in reality...... not so much. I have yet to experience a single game that does all of this meaningfully. I feel no progress, that silly mudcrab still hurts me while I am donning a full set of "mega awesome ultra rare dragonbone armour from the 3rd generation of medieval house of blahblahblah."  To balance stuff like this would be a nightmare, besides basic stat scaling there are so many extra variables to take into account then, it seems like an impossible task.

    I love exploring dangerous, out of my league places, it feels more realistic when I get smashed to pieces when my lvl 1 mage enters a lava cavern filled to the brim with ogres and he tries to kill them. I love that sense of danger, not knowing if you have pushed to far. It gives me a sense of growth when I enter a previously impossible place in the world and can actually fight back. I could actually achieve all of this too if we ditched levels completely and made all of the game gear and skill dependent. Actually, I would love that even more.

    Say no to levels :)

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    edited July 2016
    I agree with the sentiment that such universal level scaling is a superfluous change.  If you wish to allow players to roam freely without fear of enemies far too powerful for them, then just create a completely action-based combat system (ala Shadows of Mordor) and have the entire game be skill-based with unique boss/LT mob abilities and tactics.

    This level scaling will cause as many issues as it seeks to solve all the while leaving some players with the feeling of "huh, so I'm in a tattered robe and sandals...  Yet I can take down the same mobs this guy, with his elite enchanted armor and sword, is fighting...  So what's the point of spending time progressing if it doesn't enable me to explore new areas that were too dangerous before?"

    In a single player sandbox game such as Skyrim, this works because there's no point of power reference for the player.  They were the chosen one; all the other entities in the game are merely pawns or vessels to usher your character to greatness.  It follows that every fight should be interesting, but the chosen one should always have a fair shot of winning.  It will be a jarring reality for new players that ESO ISN'T a true ES game when they first meet Johnny Champion farming the same delve he/she is doing for the first time in an early zone.  Not only that, but Johnny Champ isn't beating this early content handily?  Confusing.  Not only is the idea that I'm playing a central role in the world destroyed (just as it is now), but they also realize that they will only tangentially be able to feel their character's personal power increase.  Yea, my DPS might have gone from 32 to 120 over those last 5 levels..  But since my attacks do roughly the same amount of relative damage to both the mobs I fought then and the ones I'm fighting now..  Did I really even progress?

    IF you're going to scale, do it the way Witcher 3 does it: low level mobs scale up to you...  You don't scale up to higher level mobs.  It keeps every fight interesting without making things boring by eliminating all real danger.

    EDIT- As a side note, if this change is coming in the interest of player freedom...  It's overkill.  Just allow players to utilize all three realms' zones from level one and you are giving them more freedom than the vast, vast majority of MMORPGs without making the main progression system seem completely superfluous.  3 entirely unique zones per level range?  That's more than enough.

    image
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 9,000
    I think it's a good idea.  Playing with a group of friends should be easier if they are different levels and it should give higher level players a reason to return to lower level content and help out new players.

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  • SlyLoKSlyLoK Member RarePosts: 2,698
    I think it is a good idea for ESO. Not every game will play well with scaling but for ESO I think it fits. You are still going to need better skills , gear and stats to improve your efficiency and who knows with this addition maybe ESO will move away from EXP Levels and use Skills and Champion Points as the heart of progression for all of the game and not just end game.
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    I think we need to see how it is done.

    Irrespective of whether its a good or bad thing there are concerns - see above. MF did indicate that he / they were aware of the potential problem and the value of the leveling experience and of the significance of getting to level 50.
  • epoqepoq Member UncommonPosts: 394
    edited July 2016
    I prefer scaling down, but not scaling up.  GW2 had it right, you could go back and re-do content to scale, still get the right amount of XP, and play with your friends who weren't caught up to your actual level yet.  Typically in games the further along you get in the game, the more the story progresses and sucks you in, as well as the atmosphere and changing dynamics.  If all games starting zones were as good as their end game content, then maybe scaling up could work, but I haven't really seen many games that fit the bill for that.  ESO is no exception.

    The only acceptable bolstering of characters I am OK with is in PVP.  You're still gimped to a certain extent but you can still usually kill other players and have it be somewhat enjoyable
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,407

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  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    epoq said:
    I prefer scaling down, but not scaling up.  GW2 had it right, you could go back and re-do content to scale, still get the right amount of XP, and play with your friends who weren't caught up to your actual level yet.  Typically in games the further along you get in the game, the more the story progresses and sucks you in, as well as the atmosphere and changing dynamics.  If all games starting zones were as good as their end game content, then maybe scaling up could work, but I haven't really seen many games that fit the bill for that.  ESO is no exception.

    The only acceptable bolstering of characters I am OK with is in PVP.  You're still gimped to a certain extent but you can still usually kill other players and have it be somewhat enjoyable
    Problem with GW2 is the game becomes too easy when you are scaling down.  It is too easy if you are merely 8 levels above.  Yea its a good idea but like all good ideas they need to be implemented correctly to work.
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 17,785
    Torval said:

    I think this system, when it's tuned and matures, will provide an interesting progression where levels are more of a rough measure than the arbitrary goal.
    Well that's the key, "tuning and maturing." 

    The problems with low levels bolstered to do high level content can be minimized somewhat and in some ways it is slightly better since the removal of veteran ranks because there are extra skill points awarded now at level 5, 10, 15, etc. This allows for slightly better builds earlier than before.

    Also, part of the PVE in bolstered zones problem is that there is quite a disconnect presently between the normal level-appropriate zones which have become a cakewalk and the bolstered zones which work in a way similar to the original zones at release. World bosses in Orsinium, for example, are truly group events there once more even for high level players and they can be soloed easily in the normal zones with a good build. If world bosses and public dungeon "group challenge" are meant to truly be content for groups, it should be more or less the same everywhere.

    Also currently group dungeons and Cyrodiil unlock at level 10 which, IMO, is 5 levels too early. They could easily keep the first zones after the starter islands in their current level appropriate state to let players at least unlock that second set of 6 skills before they're thrust into the bolstered dungeons and zones and PVP. Besides, from what I have seen grouping with others in many PUGs, those extra five levels help new players a lot in getting the hang of basics like blocking, dodging and the best used of their skills.

    I don't think there is anything wrong inherent in the One Tamriel concept but I do think it requires some extra thought and some tweaks instead of just turning on the switch.
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  • Po_ggPo_gg Member EpicPosts: 5,749
    edited July 2016
    Is it good for MMOs - no idea. All I know it is good for me :wink: 
    All my main games have this, when you're out of the intro, you can go anywhere you want (maybe with 1-2 exceptions), and if you're outmatched, and they rip off your arm to slap you around with, that's your own fault :wink:
    Three of them even have Alders' notion, tough areas inserted seamlessly into "regular" areas, for the extra thrill when stumble into them. Sadly when LotRO started the early zone revamps, they took out many of those places... still there's a couple left.


    As for the level scaling, I'm with Lahnmir, a very dumb mechanic indeed. The only level scaling I'm ok with, is the optional, within the player's hand, like CoH did (or CO, for some extent). When occasionally you need to scale it to help and play with lower / higher friends and not wreck / hinder their gameplay.
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 9,000
    Some of the best fun for me has been taking a low level character into a high level zone.  But it has to be for a reason.  In ESO it was the Vampire quest.  In GW2 it was to catch some rare pet.  It's thrilling knowing that one wrong move can get you one-shotted by a mob or set you a great distance back because you didn't mark a port.  It's also a nice change from regular leveling.

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

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