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Level scaling in Assassin's Creed Odyssey :|


legend
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I started Assassin's Creed Odyssey today and was immediately annoyed to find it does level scaling. Rather than pursue one of the very early on quests, I thought: "I'll finish up these side quests first so I can go in a level above."

 

Nope. To my surprise the quest auto leveled to match my level after completing the side quests. After some googling, apparently this happens everywhere, including the mercenaries systems which I haven't gotten into much having just started. And worse, because equipment has levels, the auto-leveling means that by leveling up, you may have just made a quest harder, because your equipment is still behind a level.

 

What asshole thought this was a good idea? I can maybe understand a weak leveling so that you can never be so far above that it's just silly, but making it lower-bound by your own level is colossally stupid design. Apparently they will be releasing a feature at some point to turn it off, and that can't come soon enough.

 

/rant

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14 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

So it's already not shaping up to be as good as The Witcher 3? :p 

 

I need to play this on my next days off. I still haven't gotten off the first island, though I'm on a mission that will take me away.

 

:lol: No, not shaping up to dethrone it so far. The other thing it's done that irked me was in the last quest of the first island, I'm stealthily approaching this fort to silently take down all the men, but as soon as you get within a range it undoes that, and goes to a story cutscene where you antagonize everyone and then have to fight everyone there.

 

Fuck your agency and this being an "assassin game" fight everyone now because we say so!

 

 

I'll keep playing, but so far it does have some annoying decisions.

 

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12 minutes ago, legend said:

 

:lol: No, not shaping up to dethrone it so far. The other thing it's done that irked me was in the last quest of the first island, I'm stealthily approaching this fort to silently take down all the men, but as soon as you get within a range it undoes that, and goes to a story cutscene where you antagonize everyone and then have to fight everyone there.

 

Fuck your agency and this being an "assassin game" fight everyone now because we say so!

 

 

I'll keep playing, but so far it does have some annoying decisions.

 

 

Yeah this game kinda drops the creed and playing exclusively as an assassin. I mean you CAN still play that way. I love sneaking into a huge fort. Burning supplies, looting chests then leaving without killing a single guard. 

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Okay. I think I'm done. At least for now. Waaaay too much irritating shit in this game. I don't know how it's been as well received as it has been.

 

To make the level scaling issues worse, if you do punch above your weight and get higher level gear, too bad! You can't use it! You have to wait until you're a high enough level.

 

This is the like GOP heath care bill. They broke all the things that made leveling interesting and instead left you with something completely unsatisfying.

 

Then on top of that, you have a really bad camera system that is constantly blocked by random junk, and the lock on system seems to just arbitrarily stop working.

 

I started walking somewhere apparently I wasn't supposed to be, got yelled at, so I turned around and walked out, and then the AI decides to go aggro *after* I've left and the town starts attacking me with the guard. (Including an NPC who I literally just gave free money to out of hte goodness of my character's heart)

 

Finally, I'm standing in the center of town when I'm randomly attacked by a higher level merc out of nowhere and wonderfully they're just a damage sponge taking practically no damage from any hit I make. Naturally, the enemies have unbreakable combos, but on the flip side, your combos absolutely can be broken while they're being stabbed in the face.

 

This game gives an absolutely terrible first impression.

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10 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

I didn't find it that bad, though it's been a minute since I played and I didn't get far. 

 

I'll probably play it on Tuesday. 

 

I will say I think Origins is better. 

 

It's possible it feels extra bad because I'm coming right off of playing through Spiderman (and GoW before that), and Spiderman is in another league when it comes to polish. Maybe if I was coming right off of RDR2 I would have felt it was amazing :p 

 

I feel like I have to decide whether it's worth learning to work around the jank and other questionable design decisions.

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3 hours ago, legend said:

I started Assassin's Creed Odyssey today and was immediately annoyed to find it does level scaling. Rather than pursue one of the very early on quests, I thought: "I'll finish up these side quests first so I can go in a level above."

 

Nope. To my surprise the quest auto leveled to match my level after completing the side quests. After some googling, apparently this happens everywhere, including the mercenaries systems which I haven't gotten into much having just started. And worse, because equipment has levels, the auto-leveling means that by leveling up, you may have just made a quest harder, because your equipment is still behind a level.

 

What asshole thought this was a good idea? I can maybe understand a weak leveling so that you can never be so far above that it's just silly, but making it lower-bound by your own level is colossally stupid design. Apparently they will be releasing a feature at some point to turn it off, and that can't come soon enough.

 

/rant

A lot of the side quest give gear and weapons as a reward, if you go in at a higher level then the rewards are worthless. The game also throws enough gear/item/weapons at you combined with the skills you can get that the auto leveling never hinders you from completing the quests.

 

58 minutes ago, legend said:

To make the level scaling issues worse, if you do punch above your weight and get higher level gear, too bad! You can't use it! You have to wait until you're a high enough level.

Your never going to take enemies down that are more a few levels above you, the wait to use it isnt long. Games have had level restrictions on gear for ever its a non issue.

 

1 hour ago, legend said:

Then on top of that, you have a really bad camera system that is constantly blocked by random junk, and the lock on system seems to just arbitrarily stop working.

 

Cant say I have that issue and I never use lock on so I cant really comment on it

 

1 hour ago, legend said:

I started walking somewhere apparently I wasn't supposed to be, got yelled at, so I turned around and walked out, and then the AI decides to go aggro *after* I've left and the town starts attacking me with the guard.

This has happen to me, the guards seem to have a weird aggro range also there is nothing saying "you are not allowed here" so you kinda just wander into the area and you get mobbed.

 

1 hour ago, legend said:

Finally, I'm standing in the center of town when I'm randomly attacked by a higher level merc out of nowhere and wonderfully they're just a damage sponge taking practically no damage from any hit I make. Naturally, the enemies have unbreakable combos, but on the flip side, your combos absolutely can be broken while they're being stabbed in the face.

My mercs show up  on the mini map and as red icons when playing far enough in advance I can avoid the higher level one.

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Just now, SFLUFAN said:

The contrast between the reception for RDR2 on the site/our Discord compared to the rest of the gaming public is pretty stark :p

It blows my mind that people are fine with the clunky controls and stupid design decisions. I fully expected to drool all over this game and it easily be my favorite game of the year, maybe one of the best of the generation. 

 

But small, constant issues can ruin the fun of an otherwise well done game.

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57 minutes ago, SimpleG said:

A lot of the side quest give gear and weapons as a reward, if you go in at a higher level then the rewards are worthless. The game also throws enough gear/item/weapons at you combined with the skills you can get that the auto leveling never hinders you from completing the quests.

 

Hmm. I haven't tested it, but when I googled about it after being surprised by the quest leveling, I found conflicting information: it scales the rewards/gear too.

 

That said, it's not that I'm worried that I can't "get over" the the auto leveling. I'm sure I can play through the game. I played through Hollow Knight earlier this year and have enjoyed Dead Cells a lot, so I'm sure I can manage the difficulty of an AC game.

 

The issue is that their implementation of leveling is simply unfun and misses the point. You're supposed to be rewarded for preparation of your character and feel that by the change in power level.

 

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Your never going to take enemies down that are more a few levels above you, the wait to use it isnt long. Games have had level restrictions on gear for ever its a non issue.

 

Plenty of games have gear restrictions, but the way the whole system is handled in them can still make for a more compelling experience.

 

If they're going to auto-level the quests to match you, it would at least be nice if you could be appropriately rewarded for managing somewhere (or fighting someone) above your level by getting better loot to make you more prepared than you'd otherwise be for some other encounter. But there seems to be no reward for doing so. It's like they're trying to make an open world "RPG" game linear and that's just silly. Pick a style.

 

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My mercs show up  on the mini map and as red icons when playing far enough in advance I can avoid the higher level one.

 

It's not that simple unfortunately. I've had two absurd encounters with this. In the first, I was in a cave for some minor side quest. The cutscene ends, and the NPCs I just interacted with are walking out of the cave, and Kassandra is speaking. In the middle of her speech though, the game has a merc walking into this cave for reasons beyond me, and interrupts Kassandra's post quest speech by attacking.

 

There was literally no way to "avoid" this because he apparently spawned right next me during a cutscene for a rather minor side quest.

 

 

In the other case, I'm in the middle of the city where all the quests at my level are initiated and they happened to spawn them there. There was nothing to avoid. 

 

 

That these were my first encounters with this system makes it all the more worrying about the whole design.

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4 minutes ago, legend said:

The issue is that their implementation of leveling is simply unfun and misses the point. You're supposed to be rewarded for preparation of your character and feel that by the change in power level.

The removal of change of power level make it more fun for me.Its not a bad mechanic just a mechanic thats not for everyone.

5 minutes ago, legend said:

If they're going to auto-level the quests to match you, it would at least be nice if you could be appropriately rewarded for managing somewhere (or fighting someone) above your level by getting better loot to make you more prepared than you'd otherwise be for some other encounter. Instead, there seems to be no rewarded for doing so.

I cant sat I agree or disagree with this because I dont know if the loot tables are static or not

 

15 minutes ago, legend said:

t's not that simple unfortunately. I've had too absurd encounters with this. In the first, I was in a cave for some minor side quest. The cutscene ends, and the NPCs I just interacted with are walking out of the cave, and Kassandra is speaking. In the middle of her speech though, the game has a merc walking into this cave for reasons beyond me, and interrupts Kassandra's post quest speech by attacking.

 

There was literally no way to "avoid" this because he apparently spawned right next me during a cutscene for a rather minor side quest

This happens all the time in open world games its just jank that come with the style of game.

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22 minutes ago, SimpleG said:

The removal of change of power level make it more fun for me.Its not a bad mechanic just a mechanic thats not for everyone.

I mean, they could just make it a linear campaign with an open world then, much like the previous AC games. One of the reasons I was more excited for this AC was that they were embracing RPG mechanics. I don't think the middle road they've taken is compelling.

 

Quote

I cant sat I agree or disagree with this because I dont know if the loot tables are static or not

 

Sticking it out and killing the higher level merc that came into the cave I mentioned  (rather than just running) yielded me higher level gear... which I couldn't use. So what I described is present to at least some extent.

 

Quote

This happens all the time in open world games its just jank that come with the style of game.

 

Naturally how much any game flaw irritates someone is a subjective evaluation. I was simply pointing out that no, I can't just prepare and avoid it because my very first two experiences with it were ridiculous scenarios that I couldn't, and that those are my first experiences is disconcerting.

 

 

I very well may push on with the game despite these issues, but from the praise it's getting I was expecting something much better. And having just come off the much more polished Spiderman, these flaws are a bit off putting.

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What I find funny is, after 75 hours put into Odyssey, finding out about all the "problems" this game has. Lol.

 

Like every game ever made, it isn't perfect. It doesn't have any issues worth mentioning to be honest and it's easily one of the best AC games made and is a definite step up and evolution from Origins. 

 

Like was mentioned above, with such a large game, there's going to be a bit of jank. This game might as well be perfection compared to a Bethesda game, though. 

 

EDIT : I think either way, the game gets better as it goes along. 

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1 hour ago, Man_of_X said:

What I find funny is, after 75 hours put into Odyssey, finding out about all the "problems" this game has. Lol.

 

Like every game ever made, it isn't perfect. It doesn't have any issues worth mentioning to be honest and it's easily one of the best AC games made and is a definite step up and evolution from Origins. 

 

Like was mentioned above, with such a large game, there's going to be a bit of jank. This game might as well be perfection compared to a Bethesda game, though. 

 

EDIT : I think either way, the game gets better as it goes along. 

 

I wasn't expecting perfect. I was expecting something competitive with GoW and Spiderman and right now it very much does not feel that way.

 

My issues with the leveling system is not jank, it's a fundamental design decision that I think is poorly thought out and feels shoehorned. Right now, it seems like they shouldn't have even bothered pretending this was an RPG because the result seems like a worse system than going more pure action-adventure (as in former entries) or pure Action-RPG.

 

My issue with them removing the choice to play as an assassin (which is in the title of the damn game!)  in one the early missions is not jank either. Hopefully that's more of a once off since it was early.

 

Some of the jank also amplifies what I dislike about their leveling system, and some of it is just more typical jank. (And some of the more typical jank I've experienced I didn't even mention because it is so damn typical. E.g., horse issues :p But, jesus, compared to RDR the horse control is a gift from God even with the jank that it has)

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15 minutes ago, legend said:

 

I wasn't expecting perfect. I was expecting something competitive with GoW and Spiderman and right now it very much does not feel that way.

Don't know what to say, other than giving the game more time. It's kind of massive, with a lot to offer, so judging it before you really get out of the gate, isn't very accurate or fair. 

My issues with the leveling system is not jank, it's a fundamental design decision that I think is poorly thought out and feels shoehorned. Right now, it seems like they shouldn't have even bothered pretending this was an RPG because the result seems like a worse system than going more pure action-adventure (as in former entries) or pure Action-RPG.

 

My comment was obviously referring to your two examples, which isn't indicative of the game as a whole and is really quite rare. As for the leveling, I feel this game was designed for the player to progress by doing main quests and side quests. I did that and never once had a problem with being under leveled. Picking up gear that may be a level or two higher? I've played probably a dozen games over the years that do this.

 

I'm not going to change your mind but these are non issues from my point of view. 

 

My issue with them removing the choice to play as an assassin (which is in the title of the damn game!)  in one the early missions is not jank either. Hopefully that's more of a once off since it was early.

 

Some of the jank also amplifies what I dislike about their leveling system, and some of it is just more typical jank. (And some of the more typical jank I've experienced I didn't even mention because it is so damn typical. E.g., horse issues :p But, jesus, compared to RDR the horse control is a gift from God even with the jank that it has)

 

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27 minutes ago, Man_of_X said:

Don't know what to say, other than giving the game more time. It's kind of massive, with a lot to offer, so judging it before you really get out of the gate, isn't very accurate or fair. 


My comment was obviously referring to your two examples, which isn't indicative of the game as a whole and is really quite rare

 

Perhaps I can pacify your concern then. I'm not  yielding final judgement. I'm expressing my reaction from what I played, because these elements have been deeply discouraging when I was hoping for another great experience like I've had with back to back GoW and Spiderman. That's why I 've used phrases like "terrible first impression" and "Hopefully that's more of a once off since it was early." :) 

 

I do hope that the game's strength's start taking over with time. Right now I'm sadly mostly thinking "why the fuck did they do this?" as I play :p 

 

27 minutes ago, Man_of_X said:

As for the leveling, I feel this game was designed for the player to progress by doing main quests and side quests. I did that and never once had a problem with being under leveled .

 

As I stated earlier, the concern isn't difficulty--I'm sure I can manage the difficulty. Games are built on reward systems, and their system inherently lacks the reward that leveling in other RPGs (and even some action-centric games) provide. I'm criticizing the game design, not whether I can beat it or how easily I can beat it.

 

27 minutes ago, Man_of_X said:

Picking up gear that may be a level or two higher? I've played probably a dozen games over the years that do this.

 

And also as stated earlier, other games have different interactions of their various mechanics in which gear level restrictions, done in certain ways, can be effective, or at least not damaging. The way the AC gear leveling interacts with the rest of the game leveling system does not interact well. It compounds the issue (or perhaps highlights it).

 

27 minutes ago, Man_of_X said:

I'm not going to change your mind but these are non issues from my point of view.

 

Clearly it doesn't bother you :p How we respond to the facts of a game's design is always subjective. We can, however, discuss the facts of the design and other aspects of a game. That should make for a more interesting conversation than "I liked it" and "I didn't like it." :p 

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See, I guess the idea of leveling up and just becoming stronger has long since lost its appeal to me. I find leveling as a means to simply get bonus stats to be dreadfully boring after nearly 3 decades of RPGs. The interesting part for me isn't that I unlock the means to suddenly beat the shit out of some dude, but rather the expansion of my options via skill points and gear unlocks/upgrades. The fun upgrades that do weird stuff work best for me. Again, not a fan of plain stat increases as a main form of progression.

 

I mean, that stuff's in there, too, so it's fair to ask why, but I think a not-insignificant part of stat increases is simply because it's an easy Skinner box element that people don't just expect or welcome, they outright demand it. Frankly I think the game is still way too easy and would like to have customizable difficulties so I could make the AI more aggressive and give it more tactical options. I kind of feel like I've "mastered" the combat, in that if you play right, you never take damage, which is good, but playing to that degree of perfection isn't particularly hard. I'd like to decrease the timing windows on iframes and parties as well, to make it truly a set of skills to master over a long period of time. It's still thousands of years ahead of the primitive mash-the-counter-button-to-win-literally-every-fight combat of the previous games, but it feels to generous in defensive options, despite the removal of the shield to make players more aggressive.

 

EDIT: As a matter of fact, I'd say while the addition of options is the most exciting part of any RPG to me ("You learned a new spell!" gets my attention every time, "You got +2 dexterity!" stopped registering in my brain as an actual event or reward years ago) the linear increase of stats and strength has the total opposite effect. As I become more powerful, I have less incentive to use my cool new abilities because my basic attacks do more and more of the heavy lifting, making large sections of the game's enemies (and therefore large sections of the map, in terms of gameplay) really tedious and mindless. When combat is reduced to me shooting a single arrow for 85,000 damage rather than having to plan a series of attacks for a few hundred each and be aware of my environment for escape routes and such, it ceases to be a reward and feels more like I was punished and thus lowered my difficulty level.

 

I think auto leveling helps keep enemies relevant, because while some folks get off on going back to an "old" area and one shotting everything, that kind of thing entertains me for about five minutes before I get bored, same as using cheats in a game. I think if a game is designed around being overpowered, it can work, otherwise stats eventually break the game.

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35 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

See, I guess the idea of leveling up and just becoming stronger has long since lost its appeal to me. I find leveling as a means to simply get bonus stats to be dreadfully boring after nearly 3 decades of RPGs. The interesting part for me isn't that I unlock the means to suddenly beat the shit out of some dude, but rather the expansion of my options via skill points and gear unlocks/upgrades. The fun upgrades that do weird stuff work best for me. Again, not a fan of plain stat increases as a main form of progression.

 

I mean, that stuff's in there, too, so it's fair to ask why, but I think a not-insignificant part of stat increases is simply because it's an easy Skinner box element that people don't just expect or welcome, they outright demand it. Frankly I think the game is still way too easy and would like to have customizable difficulties so I could make the AI more aggressive and give it more tactical options. I kind of feel like I've "mastered" the combat, in that if you play right, you never take damage, which is good, but playing to that degree of perfection isn't particularly hard. I'd like to decrease the timing windows on iframes and parties as well, to make it truly a set of skills to master over a long period of time. It's still thousands of years ahead of the primitive mash-the-counter-button-to-win-literally-every-fight combat of the previous games, but it feels to generous in defensive options, despite the removal of the shield to make players more aggressive.

 

Whether you like numeric levels or not, the point is that with they way they did it, there's not an interesting risk-reward dynamic about taking quests at different stages.

 

Indeed, I would also be happy with a different system that still retained the risk-reward dynamic. Lets take Zelda BotW as an example. BotW, IMO, is masterclass in how it handles its character development reward system. The enemies you fight in BotW are static and you can in fact go fight Ganon right from the very beginning of the game. Every quest is purely optional to make you better able to fight him. The consequence of that is you get to decide when you're ready and get rewarded accordingly. If you did everything in the game to prepare (all hearts, stamina, etc.) and then they just autoleveled Ganon to match you, it would be deeply unsatisfying for the work you put in. By making everything optional, they very directly rewarded you for each endeavor you undertook.

 

The same went for other aspects of BotW: go to a hard region and you might get your ass kicked, but you could also get better items that you could hold onto and use in other lower-difficulty areas. For example, consider making a small raid of the castle for high-quality items to take with you to another area.

 

Or you can consider Spiderman, since I keep talking about that one. Leveling largely just gives you new skills, but you still get the payofff of improving your character because certain kinds of enemies and mobs are simply harder, and as the campaign advances, it will offer increasingly hard activities mixed in with activities with the old. Consequently, you can prepare and be rewarded for that.

 

 

 

Point is, AC doesn't need to make the reward system work by using numeric levels, they can do it other ways. But the way they did it simply doesn't offer anything interesting and actively removes that possibility.  It's like they adding leveling, just to check an RPG box without understanding why levels can be fun. I would much rather they have used a different system that retained the reward-risk mechanic than put in this half baked version that adds nothing.

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31 minutes ago, legend said:

Every quest is purely optional to make you better able to fight him. The consequence of that is you get to decide when you're ready and get rewarded accordingly. If you did everything in the game to prepare (all hearts, stamina, etc.) and then they just autoleveled Ganon to match you, it would be deeply unsatisfying for the work you put in. By making everything optional, they very directly rewarded you for each endeavor you undertook.

See, I guess this is where I fundamentally disagree.

 

The idea of power being equal to rewards in games just doesn't gel with me. So, someone like me, who wants to do all the content, but also wants the game to be as hard as reasonably possible, is punished for doing all the content, I make the game stupidly easy for myself by doing the quests. Alternatively I can not partake in the quests and have a hard game where my punishment is instead vastly less content.

 

My ideal RPG would be one where you started out with simple but powerful attacks, and as you "leveled up" it would become more difficult, your character would be weaker and weaker, but you'd gain vastly more strategic options. This is indeed how many RPGs already work, whether people realize it or not. That's why you have to go to old areas to feel "powerful," your power just ends up being a sort of key to get to new areas or take on harder content, and you are effectively much weaker by the end of most RPGs than when you start out, relative to the enemies. My kind of game wouldn't play that pretend game of getting more powerful, I'd want base mechanics to actually get harder to master as you leveled, but you'd have a crazy arsenal of ways to tackle anything.


Again, it's like a lot of current RPGs, but without the facade of power gains, or, for me, the disappointment of making large swaths of the game totally obsolete, which I fucking hate. I want the entire world to feel dangerous, otherwise the stakes are just pretend bullshit --which, yes, it's a video game, but you get what I mean-- that I couldn't care less about.


Although in an ideal scenario, it wouldn't be enemies simply leveling up to match you, but rather new and more dangerous enemies replacing them (which Zelda does a bit of, if I recall correctly? Shame the game has such a sadly tiny amount of enemies.) with enhanced tactics and AI. I hate the feeling that I conquered an area in most games, at least long-term. If half the map has enemies that literally couldn't kill me if I stood still and did nothing for an hour, how is it an adventure?
 

I do think a good middle-ground is just having options, which this game should've launched with, as Origins added a level-scaling option pretty early after launch, but I think it was the other way around, where you could turn it on (since it was off by default if I remember correctly) which I did immediately, because of the reasons listed above.

 

I'd really like the option to take power or "something else" as a reward for doing content in games going forward. Like, you choose either this big barrel of experience points and a sweet breastplate, or something different. I was gonna list something, but honestly I feel like anything I'd choose would be considered too vital to pass up because in most games you can just farm for XP or armor. I don't think I have the solution to players like myself, but I'd love to see some experimentation. Maybe instead of heart pieces in Zelda, I could've collected Halo Skulls that made the world even more dangerous, but then what's the reward for beating the game with all of those? You risk making these things borderline mandatory to completionists, and I don't want anyone else to feel like they need to play these modes for the "real" experience or whatever, I just like having them for myself. It's a tricky subject. You can go with no reward at all, but that still makes that playstyle feel second-class, like an afterthought to shut people up rather than just different ways to play the game to your liking.

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4 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

See, I guess this is where I fundamentally disagree.

 

The idea of power being equal to rewards in games just doesn't gel with me. So, someone like me, who wants to do all the content, but also wants the game to be as hard as reasonably possible, is punished for doing all the content, I make the game stupidly easy for myself by doing the quests. Alternatively I can not partake in the quests and have a hard game where my punishment is instead vastly less content.

 

My ideal RPG would be one where you started out with simple but powerful attacks, and as you "leveled up" it would become more difficult, your character would be weaker and weaker, but you'd gain vastly more strategic options. This is indeed how many RPGs already work, whether people realize it or not. That's why you have to go to old areas to feel "powerful," your power just ends up being a sort of key to get to new areas or take on harder content, and you are effectively much weaker by the end of most RPGs than when you start out, relative to the enemies. My kind of game wouldn't play that pretend game of getting more powerful, I'd want base mechanics to actually get harder to master as you leveled, but you'd have a crazy arsenal of ways to tackle anything.


Again, it's like a lot of current RPGs, but without the facade of power gains, or, for me, the disappointment of making large swaths of the game totally obsolete, which I fucking hate. I want the entire world to feel dangerous, otherwise the stakes are just pretend bullshit --which, yes, it's a video game, but you get what I mean-- that I couldn't care less about.


Although in an ideal scenario, it wouldn't be enemies simply leveling up to match you, but rather new and more dangerous enemies replacing them (which Zelda does a bit of, if I recall correctly? Shame the game has such a sadly tiny amount of enemies.) with enhanced tactics and AI. I hate the feeling that I conquered an area in most games, at least long-term. If half the map has enemies that literally couldn't kill me if I stood still and did nothing for an hour, how is it an adventure?
 

I do think a good middle-ground is just having options, which this game should've launched with, as Origins added a level-scaling option pretty early after launch, but I think it was the other way around, where you could turn it on (since it was off by default if I remember correctly) which I did immediately, because of the reasons listed above.

 

I'd really like the option to take power or "something else" as a reward for doing content in games going forward. Like, you choose either this big barrel of experience points and a sweet breastplate, or something different. I was gonna list something, but honestly I feel like anything I'd choose would be considered too vital to pass up because in most games you can just farm for XP or armor. I don't think I have the solution to players like myself, but I'd love to see some experimentation. Maybe instead of heart pieces in Zelda, I could've collected Halo Skulls that made the world even more dangerous, but then what's the reward for beating the game with all of those? You risk making these things borderline mandatory to completionists, and I don't want anyone else to feel like they need to play these modes for the "real" experience or whatever, I just like having them for myself. It's a tricky subject. You can go with no reward at all, but that still makes that playstyle feel second-class, like an afterthought to shut people up rather than just different ways to play the game to your liking.

 

Yeah it sounds like you just don't enjoy optimization then. I'm sure it's shocking for you to learn that I do :p 

 

This is where subjective differences can come to play. I accept that you don't see optimization as rewarding, but adding the leveling system as it is doesn't provide any means of reward. They could have, you know, just not including numeric leveling at all and just kept every region/quest static difficulty and character stats other than the skill's you acquired. Instead, we have this baggage that doesn't do anything for anyone. It's like they're pretending there is a leveling system.

 

Increasing active skill difficulty is also perfectly fine and what's used in a lot of games. The reward systems in that tend to be a bit different though (it's an interesting discussion that maybe we should make another thread on). You can also have increasing difficulty *and* character optimization, though you may prefer a game that only has the former.

 

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Yeah, I've never been one for optimization, I always place what I find more fun above it at all costs, which, as it turns out, never sat well with any of my raiding guilds in MMOs! I mean, if I'm failing and the only reasonable solution is to up my stats and gear, sure, keeping up with a baseline is okay I guess, I just hate getting way ahead of the enemies' power curve.

 

Above I said that I think the numerical leveling system was added as a sort of vestigial remnant of player expectation. Like, if you had gear upgrades and stat trees, but no levels, people would also want the levels. I feel like maybe rather than paying lip service to the feature or nixing it outright, they could try and come up with a unique twist on it. Certainly having it there but not be satisfying to those who want it is not the solution.

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1 hour ago, Xbob42 said:

Yeah, I've never been one for optimization, I always place what I find more fun above it at all costs, which, as it turns out, never sat well with any of my raiding guilds in MMOs! I mean, if I'm failing and the only reasonable solution is to up my stats and gear, sure, keeping up with a baseline is okay I guess, I just hate getting way ahead of the enemies' power curve.

 

Above I said that I think the numerical leveling system was added as a sort of vestigial remnant of player expectation. Like, if you had gear upgrades and stat trees, but no levels, people would also want the levels. I feel like maybe rather than paying lip service to the feature or nixing it outright, they could try and come up with a unique twist on it. Certainly having it there but not be satisfying to those who want it is not the solution.

 

Yeah, I'd be quite open to trying a new twist rather than this.

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I’m playing on Nightmare, which I believe ramps up the enemy scaling to its potential maximum. Nothing is ever below my level.

 

I get why this is frustrating to players, but it compels me to make sure that I’m optimizing my equipment so that my assassinations to as much stab as possible, that I have kit that I can swap to when needed to do more warrior damage, etc. When I run into enemies I can’t OHKO when stealthy either because they’re too beefy out I’m out of potion or juice or adrenaline or whatever the fuck the games calls the gold bar, it forces me to vary my approach during base clearing.

 

As someone who’s doing a lot of side content in Odyssey, I find that I’m always leveled appropriately when I decide to jump into story missions. I imagine someone on Nightmare who wants to take the critical path through the story would probably be forced to grind, which I think is a different problem from just straight up enemy level scaling.

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46 minutes ago, Mr.Vic20 said:

I rarely had an issue with the leveling, but I am the kinda of gamer that plays all of the side missions. Additionally, I found doing as many battle field missions (Athenians vs Spartans) as possible, really rounded out my XP. 

Same here but if a player has to do side mission to be able to advance the story due to XP levels can they really be called “side missions” ?

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Just now, SimpleG said:

Same here but if a player has to do side mission to be able to advance the story due to XP levels can they really be called “side missions” ?

Agreed! While I have largely enjoyed the majot changes to AC over  the last two installments, I realize that Ubi is making it less an AC game and more an RPG, which sucks for fans of the earlier AC games. This game is meant to suck you in for large swaths of time! 

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2 hours ago, Kal-El814 said:

I imagine someone on Nightmare who wants to take the critical path through the story would probably be forced to grind, which I think is a different problem from just straight up enemy level scaling.

 

If leveling from all the other content is required, I think the game and mission structure has been poorly designed. Whether it's a hard game as a baseline or not, doing other things ahead of when you play a main encounter should make it easier, not make it possible.

 

Also, I'm not sure I would use the word grinding, or if you're using the same meaning I attribute to it, I wouldn't want that because I dislike grinding. I define grinding as doing rote unchallenging and uninteresting material in an effort to increase your character's level. If side quests are grinding, then they're shitty side quests. A good game would make the means to increase your level interesting optional activities in their own right.

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