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Level Progression - Is Zone/Character Scaling the Future?

EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,220
edited July 2018 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
*This thread is specifically about Vertical Level Progression*

So far, I have played two MMORPG's that have used two different ways for scaling for level progression. 

Guild Wars 2 - Your character scales to the zone you're in. Example - If you're level 80, and you venture into Kessex Hills, your character level scales to level 15-25 depending on the area of zone. 

World of Warcraft - The NPC scales to your level. Legion did this, where you can choose any zone to level in and will continue with BFA. 

I am on the fence for Zone/Character scaling for level progression. I can see the merits but yet does it devalue the sense of progression?

As an mmo vet, who started with Everquest in 2001, more time spent on game meant a faster progression rate even with the slow leveling. If I were a level 50 Wizard and I had a friend who wanted to play Everquest, I would have to make a hard decision to make an alt if I was dedicated to my main. 

The traditional level progression system, where each zone had a specific level range can hurt new players from easily being integrated into a game. Especially if the leveling is moderate to slow. 

The new scaling system for level progression is an interesting one because it does benefit new players to help them integrate into the game a lot easier. Friends would be more apt to play the MMORPG you're playing if they can transition into it easier. From a business standpoint to accumulate new players, the scaling system we are seeing now makes sense. Here are some questions I'd like the thread to discuss. 


Is Character/Zone Scaling for Level Progression the formula for MMORPG's moving forward? Should it be? 

Does Character/Zone Scaling for Level Progression devalue the essence of leveling?

Do you find Character/Zone Scaling to be fun or make the leveling process more boring? 

And I have attached a poll, so please discuss why you voted the way you did. 



Let me expand on the last option here... 

Compromise - Tiered Scaling: Tiered Scaling. T1 = 1-20, T2 = 21-40, T3 = 41-60 Ect.

I believe this is what Blizzard did for leveling your character for Vanilla and the rest of the expansions. 

Essentially, the Compromise is NPC will scale within a certain tier for a bundle of zones. The player has a choice of what zones they want to level in that tier. Then after reaching threshold for the next tier, the player can choose the  next bundle of zones they'd like to level in. This still utilizes the scaling system, but still also gives a sense of progression.

Level Progression
  1. Which Level Progression System Do You Prefer?46 votes
    1. Traditional - No Character or Zone Scaling
      82.61%
    2. Character Scaling Only - Like WoW
        2.17%
    3. Level Scaling Only - Like Gw2
      13.04%
    4. Compromise - Tiered Scaling. T1 = 1-20, T2 = 21-40, T3 = 41-60 Ect.
        2.17%
Kyleran
«134

Comments

  • ikcinikcin Member RarePosts: 2,211
    edited July 2018
    Horizontal progression is the future.
    [Deleted User]Blaze_RockerSorill
  • LokeroLokero Member RarePosts: 1,514
    Level-scaling is a dumb Band-Aid fix to a broken system.  We all know why they added it, because of abandoned, obsolete content as you level up.  
    When you do level-scaling, you are basically making the levels altogether pointless.  So, why even have them?
    This is like one of those old jokes/proverbs about cutting a foot off one end of a blanket and sewing it on the other end to make it longer.

    The only thing it accomplishes is to keep you out of harder zones and slow down exploration.  Frankly, you don't need levels to make enemies in a certain area to be more difficult to fight, or for the environment to kill you in an area for which you aren't prepared.

    I'm a big believer in having experience counts/gains and such, but only as a more of a statistic to *gasp* show how much experience you've gained.

    Obviously, I think more skill-based systems are the way to go ;)
    [Deleted User]AlBQuirkyTokkenScotSteelhelmBlaze_Rockerwaynejr2PhryScorchienSorilland 3 others.
  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,297
    I prefer traditional, but I like the content to reflect it. It makes sense that my seasoned warrior can easy kill those wolves he fought all that time ago. Some rag tag bandits, no threat, but experienced assassins make sense as being difficult. If a wolf can stand up to my max level character, it needs to be a BIG wolf... not just a reskin with a higher number in the nameplate.
    EronakisTokkencraftseekerwaynejr2Deddmeat
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • Morgenes83Morgenes83 Member UncommonPosts: 181
    I wrote traditional, but only if it has some adjustments.

    First of all why not something else.
    Level scaling is really bad if you lose any skills with it.
    If not I see no difference to character scaling as I have said it many times 100hp > 10 damage, or 10000 > 1000 damage, where is the difference.

    I would rather see mixed zones, where there are low and high level mobs mixed, like the roaming world boss, or caves with higher lvl mobs (with different wings where the lvl is different. Or the mobs get higher level when going deeper into it)

    I also loved it when you had to cross zones with higher lvl mobs to get somewhere you need to go (e.g. some trainers in Meridian)
    MadFrenchiecraftseekerSorill

    1997 Meridian 59 'til 2019 ESO 

    Waiting for Camelot Unchained & Pantheon

  • deniterdeniter Member RarePosts: 1,367
    My humble opinion is that any designer who thinks level scaling is a good idea should find a new job.
    AlBQuirkyTokkenFangrimcraftseekerwaynejr2ScorchienSorillThunder073
  • KajidourdenKajidourden Member EpicPosts: 3,019
    edited July 2018
    Definitely.  Most here don't agree I'm sure.

    I'm not one to stroke it to my character though, so....*shrug*
    Post edited by Kajidourden on
  • VelifaxVelifax Member UncommonPosts: 413
    If vertical progression is the assumption, tiered scaling is my third place preferred investment gap mitigation strategy. 

    First place would be EQ's method of having very wide progression tiers and second would be Eve's method, where mechanics that young players have, old players still need.

    However, as a primarily solo player I've had little experience with needing this gap mitigated.
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,541
    I do not like level scaling....If I want easier I go to a zone that is easier, if I want harder I go to a harder zone...I want it more realistic not matching my level regardless of where I go
    waynejr2
  • KajidourdenKajidourden Member EpicPosts: 3,019
    I do not like level scaling....If I want easier I go to a zone that is easier, if I want harder I go to a harder zone...I want it more realistic not matching my level regardless of where I go
    If it's done right (like in ESO) it's still easier in places and harder in others.

    Still, I get that one-shotting things give people a hard-on.
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,098
    Traditions leveling or none at all.  Level scaling is a complex answer to a simple problem.  
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,147
    Lokero said:
    ...
    When you do level-scaling, you are basically making the levels altogether pointless.  So, why even have them?
    ...
    Obviously, I think more skill-based systems are the way to go ;)
    My thoughts exactly! "Level scaling" of any kind negates leveling as a system. Why even have leveling in the first place?

    I voted for the "old way" in the poll. It's certainly not perfect, but it "made sense" that the wolf that killed me when I started was easily dealt with later on in my career.

    Also, why does level/zone scaling only work one way (higher stripped to lower)? The OP "complained" about the "friend's new character" and having to roll up a new one with them. Zone/level scaling still made your main character leave what they're doing to adventure with the lower level buddy. The new character does not go adventuring in the zone of the old player, does it? City of Heroes is the only game I know that went either way with its mentor/sidekick system. Is this still true, or does this go both ways now?

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,098
    I prefer traditional, but I like the content to reflect it. It makes sense that my seasoned warrior can easy kill those wolves he fought all that time ago. Some rag tag bandits, no threat, but experienced assassins make sense as being difficult. If a wolf can stand up to my max level character, it needs to be a BIG wolf... not just a reskin with a higher number in the nameplate.
    Yeah but does it make sense my character can one shot a whole raid because its 4 expansions old?  
    Jean-Luc_PicardOctagon7711
  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 7,335
      Scaling is terrible and has ruined every game that it has reared its ugly head in .. imo
    KyleranAlBQuirkyFangrimcraftseekerkjempffDvora
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,631
    It is the way for the lazy cheap developers.We got no time to figure it all out,just scale everything,it's easier,make all gear the same,all mobs the same,just give everything a level 1.Crafting stops at level 1,every zone is level 1,pretty much the entire game is meaningless,might as well stop at one mob and one set of gear for the entire game.
    Dvora

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • VyntVynt Member UncommonPosts: 755
    I hate scaling, but there are some things that involved it that I found to be interesting. I liked the mentor system in eq2, where a high level character could lower there level to group with friends and gain exp, and be slightly stronger. I think since it wasn't a forced scaling but a choice, I liked it.

    The other one that I thought worked well is in ffxiv. Doing the roulette instance for lower level instances, your level became the max for it. Lost most of your skills, but still felt a bit stronger and it helped lowbies have people to run an instance. 

    Overall though, I don't want zones to raise to my level or mine lower to their level. I don't want to be attacked running through a starter area because my level has been normalized. I also lose the sense of progression if I keep getting stronger, but everything keeps scaling to me. I don't want that bear cub to be just as vicious at level 3 and then at level 50, lol. Even the opposite, that raging dragon just as hard at 5 as 50. I know there is some variance even with the scaling, but it still annoys me.


    EronakiscraftseekerDvora
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,220
    Velifax said:
    If vertical progression is the assumption, tiered scaling is my third place preferred investment gap mitigation strategy. 

    First place would be EQ's method of having very wide progression tiers and second would be Eve's method, where mechanics that young players have, old players still need.

    However, as a primarily solo player I've had little experience with needing this gap mitigated.
    I too, prefer the EQ method. Having a mix of low and high levels.
  • ChimborazoChimborazo Member UncommonPosts: 146
    I like GW2 system A LOT, actually: they should scale your dps down more, you're still too powerful when you use elite specs and full ascended gear IMHO
    EvilGeekOctagon7711Dvora
    Currently on: Guild Wars 2
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147
    In both ESO and GW2, despite the level scaling you still become more powerful. WAY more powerful. Difficulty lies in the content and geography, you have easy and hard mobs, easy and hard places.

    What makes little sense to me is that that level 10 orc archer can one hit you when you're a noob and can pincushion you with arrows without even denting your health when you're level 40.

    I prefer traditional, but I like the content to reflect it. It makes sense that my seasoned warrior can easy kill those wolves he fought all that time ago. Some rag tag bandits, no threat, but experienced assassins make sense as being difficult. If a wolf can stand up to my max level character, it needs to be a BIG wolf... not just a reskin with a higher number in the nameplate.
    Yeah but does it make sense my character can one shot a whole raid because its 4 expansions old?  
    Nope, it does not. It may be "fun", but it doesn't make any sense.
    TorvalPhry
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
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  • skadadskadad Member UncommonPosts: 392
    I loathe scaling. Ruins immersion for me. I want there to be dangerous places where only the experienced can thrive. Newbie places for the young and unexperienced etc. Then again, plvling and/or making alts to play with friends is an issue. Mentoring, like in eq2, solves this problem to an extent. Then again, in todays mmos where you level to max in a matter of days, this is not really an issue. I also like the brotherhood method that was in vanguard ( unrelated :)
    AlBQuirkycraftseekerkjempffDvora
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147
    skadad said:
    I loathe scaling. Ruins immersion for me. I want there to be dangerous places where only the experienced can thrive. Newbie places for the young and unexperienced etc.
    You definitely have that in ESO, despite the level scaling, and it actually improves immersion to me (see previous post).
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Intel Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO 8GB DDR6 - RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Samsung U32J590 32" 4K monitor - Second display: Philips 273v 27" monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset - Sound: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.


  • skadadskadad Member UncommonPosts: 392
    skadad said:
    I loathe scaling. Ruins immersion for me. I want there to be dangerous places where only the experienced can thrive. Newbie places for the young and unexperienced etc.
    You definitely have that in ESO, despite the level scaling, and it actually improves immersion to me (see previous post).
    Interesting, I stay out of ESO for other reasons ( animation cancelling ) but that sounds good. A MMO with mobs like in the souls-series would be nice aswell on a larger scale. If you are not careful even the basic mobs can rip you apart etc. 
    StoneRoses
  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,826
    I love vertical character progression and I hate scaling.

    Solution that I like is mixing events / monsters of various levels into each zone.

    There is no reason that a zone has to be restricted by levels (e.g. zone lvl 1-10, 11-20,...).
    AlBQuirkySteelhelmwaynejr2
  • GaendricGaendric Member UncommonPosts: 623
    edited July 2018
    Yeah but does it make sense my character can one shot a whole raid because its 4 expansions old?  
    When judging it by real life logic, no it does not make sense.
    But then again, judging the rules of a longterm gameplay focussed magical game world by real life logic also doesn't make much sense.

    It's a matter of taste.
    Some people will not like it due to (understandable) immersion issues, others will say "I hurl fireballs from my hands.. so why not also accept magically becoming much more powerful through training over long periods?" and some others will not care about immersion in the first place and just want good gameplay.

    I don't think there is a general right or wrong here, just target audiences, varied tastes and different game design approaches.

    Velifax
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,122
    edited July 2018
    In both ESO and GW2, despite the level scaling you still become more powerful. WAY more powerful. Difficulty lies in the content and geography, you have easy and hard mobs, easy and hard places.

    What makes little sense to me is that that level 10 orc archer can one hit you when you're a noob and can pincushion you with arrows without even denting your health when you're level 40.

    I prefer traditional, but I like the content to reflect it. It makes sense that my seasoned warrior can easy kill those wolves he fought all that time ago. Some rag tag bandits, no threat, but experienced assassins make sense as being difficult. If a wolf can stand up to my max level character, it needs to be a BIG wolf... not just a reskin with a higher number in the nameplate.
    Yeah but does it make sense my character can one shot a whole raid because its 4 expansions old?  
    Nope, it does not. It may be "fun", but it doesn't make any sense.
    Sure it makes sense. I suspect a single Abrams tank could have won the US Civil War almost single handedly......

    Especially if it was in a "magical" world where weight had no meaning, (aka it could swim over water despite its heavy armor) and required no fuel.)

    The mismatch in power is on that sort of scale.
    AlBQuirky

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    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

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  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 12,972
    If you take away scaling you have to have a buddy system which scales players to the average level in their group. That way top level guy can still group with his mates in a meaningful way in "Level One Zone".

    Apart from that I have to say I am rather ambivalent to scaling. It solves some problems while causing others. The realism argument is of no interest to me, but I see how it can concern others. I am not playing ARMA here, so I put my rationality on hold and go with the flow.
    Velifax

     25 Agrees

    You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!

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