Diablo® III

RoS: Please Reconsider the Level Scaling Mechanic

Indeed, I hope that nonsense will be optional!
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I made a thread about this on the RoS board too. Level-scaled monsters is an absolutely crappy idea.

Under the system, leveling up makes you weaker. That's especially true given how little your character's base stats scale as you gain levels in this game. If you want to see how terrible the system is, all you have to do is look at Borderlands 2, another action RPG that did the exact same thing in Ultimate Vault Hunter mode. When you gain a level you get put at a massive disadvantage until you can replace all of your gear, at which point the difficulty is back where it started. You end up getting gear to fight against your own level rather than getting it to overcome the monsters you're currently fighting. You gain no satisfaction from leveling up or from clearing zones. You cannot run ahead to fight higher level monsters. You cannot go back to see how much stronger you've become. Everything is simply adjusted just for you and it becomes a very dull experience.

I admit it works well for adventure mode since it's totally non-linear, but it doesn't make any sense to have campaign mode auto-scaled. At the very least, let players manually adjust their game's level when creating it so that there is a sense of progression and so gaining a level isn't treated as a punishment rather than a reward.
Edited by Tulki#1930 on 11/17/2013 2:08 AM PST
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I understand that balancing is a complex problem, but please don't resort to level scaling. When I level up, I like to be able to feel a difference, to feel a sense of progression. Leveling up should feel important. If enemies level up with us, we'll quickly get the "hamster on a wheel" mindset, and won't feel motivated (especially with 70 levels to gain).


One of the things I hated about Oblivion was the level scaling for the reason above. You gained power when you gained levels, but when everything else did to it seemed like nothing would change. You would actually get weaker when you leveled up if you didn't have a strong build. Mine wasn't very good as I only played through the game once I wanted to use my own setup rather than research one online.

I don't think I'll really care about this feature in RoS though. The reason being is that the level up process is such a small part of the overall game. For me, once I get through the story a couple times I just try to level my characters up as fast as possible. Once at max level then the real play starts. Now if the system takes paragon levels into consideration than I would be against it.

In D3 a HUGE portion of our power comes from gear. The auto stats don't have nearly as big of an effect. I am not worried about this at all, I don't even think we'll notice it. If you're having a hard time just farm a bit until you get a new weapon... now you're plowing through monsters again.
Edited by Matthew#1923 on 11/17/2013 6:44 AM PST
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That's what the DIFFICULTY settings are for - to make the game easier if you want.

Basic scaling is a must. with difficulties you can still make it easy if you want.
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Level scaling means I can't farm for lowbie gear to help twink my lowbie toons.

They can level scale Adventure Mode, but lets not have it in Story Mode, that lets most everyone have what they want.

I also like running around with my boots and watching trivial mobs die in my path of fire.
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Lets say i want to farm lower level mats for crafting purposes,, level scaling will negate that.
Example i have some 70 chars and want to farm 30~ lvl crafting mats to gear up upcoming toons, with level scaling all the mobs will will lvl 70 and no way to get 30 level mats.

There is no way to farm lower level mats with level scaling because all of your lower level toons they wont be able to stay at the level needed to farm mats because of xp gain.

level scaling will destroy lower level crafting.
Edited by felix1961#1324 on 11/17/2013 9:56 AM PST
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Level scaling will hurt glass cannons the most. Sometimes you need to lower the difficulty so you can do an efficient 1-2 monster shot runs.

My vault/multi shot demon hunter around level 60(40 paragon) can out farm my level 60(50 paragon) ww barb between inferno mp0-3 by a long shot with speed and range.

If take the same character and amp up to inferno mp4-10. My demon hunter has to go at a snails pace or gets crushed. While my Barb really shines at higher mp's. They are clunky but more tanky for that.

If you forced my Demon Hunter to always scale up to higher mps. I will not play her.
Edited by pkthebird#1549 on 11/17/2013 10:19 AM PST
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I believe they said this was only the case after you've completed the game.

My understanding is that the first time through you do not have access to areas you haven't progressed to, and monsters don't scale to you. After that you can go anywhere and it's all based on your character level.
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So in theory, with level scaling, could you just conceivably sit in the same small extremely packed area of a zone, clear it, reset, and do that all the way to max level?

edit (as long as you had gear in stash to adjust to monster levels)

If that's possible, that seems to sort of trivialize hardcore leveling.

How is that any different to how it is now? Instead of moving from place to place skipping through dialogue you're replaying the same place without dialogue.
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One of the things I hated about Oblivion was the level scaling for the reason above. You gained power when you gained levels, but when everything else did to it seemed like nothing would change. You would actually get weaker when you leveled up if you didn't have a strong build.


This!

In Skyrim you had level scaling. You could gain levels (easily, actually) by leveling your professions. Except your combat powers would be the same as they were. So theoretically you could have level 5 fighting skills - then go mess around with professions and get to level 20. When you left the safety of town suddenly all of the mobs would be level 20 and would crush you!

You could say 'well that is the players fault for leveling incorrectly' and I would have to agree - but that is not the point.

Diablo would face a similar issue. You get very minimal stats for leveling (a piddly +3 to main stat ...), I suppose the new loot system would make this a non issue if you're getting upgrades as fast as you do in console.

A question for whoever cares to answer - do you enjoy being able to zoom through low level areas? For example - I've recently been trying to go through and find all of those rare spawn ghosts for the Haunted achievement. I've been doing it on normal difficulty just so I can clear a dungeon really fast and speed up the progress on the achievement. With level scaling I would not be able to do this.
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People complaining actually havent doneany research at all on this....

The scaling stops at 70 max level....where your gear can still get X potentionally better......Its scaling to your LEVER OF 70 not to your GFG Gear you find eventually.

Using SKYRIM as an example is horrible b/c theres no such thing as a godly rolled weapon or itemin that game lol.

What this scaling also allows is when leveling up a new character you do not have to go through the same acts 4 times.
Edited by MASKOAA#1251 on 11/17/2013 10:54 AM PST
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I agree with OP, the level scaling seems like it could be an easy way out. But I dont know enough about the expo and we will have to really see when it actually comes out.
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That's what the DIFFICULTY settings are for - to make the game easier if you want.


Don't confuse difficulty with sense of progression. I enjoy a challenging game, I'm not concerned about it being too hard for me to enjoy. I'm concerned about gaining a level and thinking, "cool, I got nowhere" 69 times.

In WoW, it's extremely satisfying to go back and clear Tempest Keep with a level 90 character. After months of wiping in there back when level 70 was the cap, I like to go back and slap things around. It's a reminder that all my grinding has actually gotten me somewhere. That's the sense of progression I crave in RPGs, and that's the same sense of progression that level scaling takes away.

The scaling stops at 70 max level....where your gear can still get X potentionally better......Its scaling to your LEVER OF 70 not to your GFG Gear you find eventually.


Fair point, and I'm glad this is the case. However, I'd planned on leveling up a significant number of alts with paragon levels being shared. I'm pretty casual too (2 kids), so it's not a simple matter of playing for a day and getting to 70. Getting to 70 will take me weeks, and I can find better places to spend my waning free time than running on a hamster wheel of level-scaled content. I can understand why this change doesn't bother hardcore gamers much, because they'll be at max level in no time. For me, it's a pretty big deal.

What this scaling also allows is when leveling up a new character you do not have to go through the same acts 4 times.


Level scaling isn't what allowed that. Blizzard dropping the restriction of completing a previous difficulty to enter the next is what allowed it. They don't have to go hand-in-hand. See my original post for one possibility of making it work without scaling. May not be perfect, but if I can pull something like that out of my rear in 5 minutes, Blizzard can think of something better that doesn't involve scaling.

Mort
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I don't like level scaling because it feels like it negates my progress. I can't then go back and bash up the idiots I was previously struggling against.

Having to turn down the monster power just reminds me of why I hate the Elder Scrolls games: Bethesda is horrible at game balance and I have to make my own game by fiddling with the difficulty slider because they didn't care to check. My "spell caster" in Oblivion was so weak I have to put the damn slider all the way to the left and it feels like I have this stupidly weak mage that runs out of mana before anything is dead. I quit playing, and I never leave a game unfinished.

People say leveling isn't part of the game, and yet we have Paragon levels because people wanted to keep leveling. Gaining a level in Diablo 2 meant something. It was a small but noticeable jump in power. The linear leveling path in Diablo 3 feels even less rewarding and monsters scaling with your level is just going to make it feel even more bland than it already is until you're level 60.

It also takes away the sense of progression, which is what "RPG" (especially an item-focused one like Diablo) is all about. I don't like having to turn down the slider to go beat monsters up because it feels like I failed. If my gear and skill as a player would allow me to beat the curve set by the developers, it has to let me or I also feel like I failed. I can't tell you why set difficulty modes do this for me and a slider doesn't but that's just how I'm sure most of us feel but can't put into words. Structure, maybe? The developers said "this is how it's gonna be and if you got this, you have my permission to continue" instead of just making up your own rules because the game lacks a firm hand.

Diablo 1 and 2 let you almost break the game. That was fun. That's something you pretty much can't do right now in Diablo 3 because there are so many rules in place. I don't want more rules. I want less. For example, let me give Ancient Spear to my Wizard so I can then Wave of Force them away. It'd be like playing baseball, and be funny.

There are also all sorts of problems with this. What do you do with the guy who just wants to stay in Act 1 forever? Is that good for the game? Or the guy who wants to get to the torture dungeons in Act 1 and just stay there until he stops playing? Or go straight to Malthael as a level 1 because it has the best stuff? How does it work in multiplayer? What if you want to mix a level 1 and a level 70? Can you no longer power-level people? Is taking that away good for the game? What if you want to force the game to a higher or lower difficulty in this scenario? Is the slider enough?

I don't remember anyone in Diablo 1 or 2 ever asking (at least as vociferously as I hear it in Diablo 3) to skip Normal and go straight to Nightmare. I think the monster density and itemization (AH) went a long way to bringing that up as a topic.I personally hate leveling now because it's a lot more boring compared to Inferno MP1.

There were a lot of things set up in the original Diablo that worked really well and it seems like Blizzard is now systematically trying to fix the problems they caused without seeing why the worked so well (legendaries vs. rares, /players 8, skill trees, allocatable points, etc.). If we're keeping count, I'm pretty sure almost everything that was changed from Diablo 1 and 2 in 3 were eventually changed back. I'll give on the skill trees but even after a year I'm not totally sold on it because leveling is so uneventful. All a level means now is that I can go hit up the AH for a higher-level item. I don't seem to gain any fricken power from leveling because the loot hunt is so dull and skills barely gain power from leveling.

Someone's really going to have to sell me on this level-scaling thing because words can't describe how viciously skeptical I am on the idea. I've never seen it work. In the beta, you guys will need to open up the whole of Act 5, from 1-70, with all the features available. If you must, just give us Adventure Mode if you don't want the story ruined, or leave out the last few areas.

I know you guys are damn good and that's why you're one of the most successful game developers in the world but you need to see this from our perspective and not undo what worked for 2 games and an expansion. I think there are other reasons people are clamoring to get rid of Inferno but I don't think Nightmare and Hell need to go with it.

You guys have been surprising me since Rock 'n' Roll Racing. If it works, I'll eat my shorts. Until then, I'm waiting.
Edited by Domiran#1424 on 11/17/2013 2:17 PM PST
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11/16/2013 03:15 PMPosted by Surtr
why do you people care about level scaling? Level 70 is all that matters anyway and it takes less than a day to reach. Pick your battles people.


It may take you less than a day if you live to play video games. Many people do other things than play video games 24/7. You dont even know how long it will take from 60-70 lol.
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[quote="105858661963"]You dont even know how long it will take from 60-70 lol.


Do you honestly believe its gonna be a significant amount of time now that we have endless paragon? I mean really just use common sense it wont take that long.
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11/17/2013 03:42 PMPosted by HeavyDuty
why do you people care about level scaling? Level 70 is all that matters anyway and it takes less than a day to reach. Pick your battles people.


It may take you less than a day if you live to play video games. Many people do other things than play video games 24/7. You dont even know how long it will take from 60-70 lol.


I heard a rumor that 60-70 was supposed to be the same as plvl0 - plvl100. That would be quite something ... I think it would go really nicely too with the scaling back of life steal.

Buuuut.... personally, I don't believe it. I plan to be lvl 70 the day of release and I'm guessing it will only take a few dozen runs. (More precisely, my wild and unfounded guess is that 45 vsorcs runs will do it)
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11/16/2013 03:57 PMPosted by Khyras
Which ARPG or RPG or MMORPG you play that uses level scaling? Only game i can think of that used level scaling was Oblivion and Bethesda dropped it for their future games because because it was that bad - high level hero that managed to close gates of hell barely survives fight with common bear, that system makes no sense whatsoever.


Oh Gawds, I hated the level scaling in Oblivion. No feel of progress, numbers just got bigger, or gear required improvements to effectively boost your level.
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11/16/2013 02:56 PMPosted by DrothVader
How would you suggest balancing a mode where all areas can be played from level 1-70 without level scaling?


Exactly how they're balanced now: A second data set for monsters that are level appropriate to the act.

There is a way to alleviate the primary concern here, which is that players will no longer be able to farm for lower level items for their alts if they like to twink: Along with fnding legendary items that drop at the current monster level, why not allow them to scale with the character equipping them? No more need to farm lower difficulties/acts for alts and you get to twink while remaining relevant at any level.

The downside to this, which even I can see right off the bat, is that this has the potential to lessen the loot hunt overall on a given account to a small degree. Whether or not that is worth obliterating an entire playstyle is something the developers are going to have to come to terms with, and soon if they intend to create a good system of any sort.
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