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Scalable challenge MMO for small groups?

quix0tequix0te Member UncommonPosts: 130
I play with a couple of buddies once or twice a week, and sometimes we throw in the two sons.  We've been playing CoH on the free servers.  We've also played some WoW.  I'm not up on the new MMOs.  Are there any polished MMOs which have scalable challenges so that when I'm soloing, they are appropriate to my ability, but when I'm with my buddies the threat is higher?  Bonus points if there were a difficulty slider for greater rewards/xp or instanced missions/adventures where there was a story baked into the zone.    Also, no open PVP.  I'm old and don't need the hassle of a 14-year-old killing me while I'm trying to have fun.
As it stands now, most MMOs don't accomodate threesomes and fivesomes in their normal content.  I've thought of GW2 scaling events, but they were never very challenging.  
Any suggestions?


  • Po_ggPo_gg Member EpicPosts: 5,206
    I quote here your other point from the unique characters thread, to kill two supervillains with one POW:
    quix0te said:
    Other than the crafting side, City Of Heroes allows you to make a pretty distinctive character, with 12 classes and 60-80 powerset combos for each.
    How about something without classes and powerset combos? Their next game, CO :)
    Ok, there can be a debate on "Are there any polished MMOs", but CO is polished enough, imo. No open pvp either.

    It has the same mechanics as CoH (no surprise, same old Cryptic), you can adjust everything either manually,
    -in the open world, via mentor/sidekick for smoothen out the level difficulties, and the difficulty setting for additional challenge (and better rewards)

    or automatically,
    -for instanced/story content it sets dynamically between 1-5 at enter, based on the size of the group (solo is a 1-man group)
    -in open world "dynamic event" content, based on how many players show up.

    This last one is actually the same mechanic Trion used, so as honorary mentions I put here Rift (the rifts), and Defiance/Defiance 2050 (the arkfalls).

    I believe the two Defiances have other use of the mechanic too, on the general story missions. The more players are present (no need to group, just show up), the higher the difficulty is - just as the rewards.
  • quix0tequix0te Member UncommonPosts: 130
    I had to look up CO+Cryptic to figure out what you meant.  
    Funny story.  I've played the Champions TTRPG for 35 years, off and on as have my two friends.  It was interesting seeing the setting brought to life.  The game is kind of limited, with true character freedom only through a sub.  I think my friends have played it as well.  The stories are lackluster, although repeatable.
    I might take another look at Rift though.  It's a little surprising so few other games have played with scalability.
  • UngoodUngood Member EpicPosts: 4,214
    Gonna suggest DDO for this one.

    The game is PvE, and All Dungeons are Instance based. So you never have to worry about other people jumping into your game, or rolling over you.

    All Dungeons are Designed around 1 - 6 person groups, and will directly tell you if there are mechanics that might require more than one people (Like needing to pull several levelers at the same time)

    Each Dungeon has 5 Selectable Difficulty Levels you can pick from: Easy/Normal/Hard/Elite/Reaper (1 - 10).

    This is something you pick before you go in the dungeon.

    The dungeons also scale by the number of players that enter them: So if you run solo on a Normal, it will be easier then if you had 3 people in your group, but since you have 3 people, it should be easier overall to do the Dungeon.

    It's built off the AD&D 3.5 Rule set, so if you know AD&D, this should be an easy MMO to jump into, even if it has a lot of numbers and things going on.

    There a lot of lore and story that is going on around you, but, there is no direct story that guides you along, You are "A" Hero in this world, you are not "THE" Hero.

    With all that said, It was made by Turbine Interactive in 2006, backed by Disney, and is a AAA title game, however, it is 14 years old, and the graphics do show their age.

    However, It is a F2P game, with an Optional Sub, and right now, they are making the whole game open for anyone, because of the Covid-19 Lockdown, so this would be an ideal time to check it out.
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member EpicPosts: 5,206
    edited April 24
    quix0te said:
    It's a little surprising so few other games have played with scalability.
    It's "hard" to get it right (needs work and testing), easier for the devs to just slap forced scaling everywhere and call it a day... that's why you need to seek it in older games.

    Heck, Cryptic themselves went the lazy route, they've already proven in the past they can do it... still, with Mod 16 (Neverwinter) they just did the overall forced scaling - and failed with it, obviously.

    The difficulty adjustment (be it automatic or manual, aimed for group size or challenge) is far more than just a lawnmower-style HP/damage scale based on stats.
    It takes work and effort, the two things devs don't want to waste on it - especially since they apply scaling to make their own life easier in the future, and not because they want to give options or better challenge to the players...

    DDO is a nice example for dungeon adjusting, I'd add LotRO too (also Turbine, but has an open world gameplay too :) ) with a more flexible mechanic, you can adjust the dungeons wherever you want.
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