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Level Syncing

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Huckleberry
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Level Syncing

In another thread someone posted the following:

slagger wrote:

please, just don't add level syncing. i can't stand it and won't play games with it.

This seems to be a conversation worthy of its own thread. Hopefully Slagger can tell us why he or she feels this way. I know I'm interested in understanding the rationale.

    There are different kinds of level syncing:
  • automatic leveling a character to match the level of content in the area.
  • levelling a character to match the level of the party leader
  • de-levelling high level characters to match content or a party

I'm sure each kind of level syncing has its plusses and minuses. Let's discuss why we would want it or not want it.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
Tannim222
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The way we are handling it is

The way we are handling it is adjusting the geoup level to that of the group leader’s level up and down.

Path missions are an exception in that the owner will have their level adjusted to the content. This anyone grouped with the owner will be adjusted as well.


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I suppose, for the sake of

I suppose, for the sake of somebody like slagger, as long as level syncing situations are completely avoidable in CoT then I'm not sure why it would have to be such a "deal-breaker" one way or the other.

I honestly can't think of why that particular feature would be so horrible for a game in general but I suppose everyone has their own "red lines" that would make a game annoying for them. Perhaps what slagger defines "level syncing" to be is something radically different than what Huckleberry described.

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the level sync i am talking

the level sync i am talking about is like star wars the old republic. it started as the standard. you outlevel a place and you get "grey" mobs. no points, or one and low level drops. now you go back to the same planets/areas and are dropped to that level. this bothers me personally because there were times when i just liked going back to those places and just wade through low levels. sometimes for farming, sometimes because it was an area i died alot and wanted to come back as my badass self and take revenge. sometimes to seem like vader and just shrug off the 10 or 20 mobs i gathered and use a high level combo to drop them all.

seems a waste for me to gain levels and outpace an area to get dropped back to that level if i go to it. supeman does not get weaker for returning to his home town. i would rather time is spent on new conten for people to enjoy. if somone wants to stay and enjoy an area at the leveled area, give them a choice to sync to that level or turn off xp and stay as long as they want. if we have enough charcter slots, we can create a charcter to do just that

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slagger wrote:
slagger wrote:

the level sync i am talking about is like star wars the old republic. it started as the standard. you outlevel a place and you get "grey" mobs. no points, or one and low level drops. now you go back to the same planets/areas and are dropped to that level. this bothers me personally because there were times when i just liked going back to those places and just wade through low levels. sometimes for farming, sometimes because it was an area i died alot and wanted to come back as my badass self and take revenge. sometimes to seem like vader and just shrug off the 10 or 20 mobs i gathered and use a high level combo to drop them all.

seems a waste for me to gain levels and outpace an area to get dropped back to that level if i go to it. supeman does not get weaker for returning to his home town. i would rather time is spent on new conten for people to enjoy. if somone wants to stay and enjoy an area at the leveled area, give them a choice to sync to that level or turn off xp and stay as long as they want. if we have enough charcter slots, we can create a charcter to do just that

Seems like you're not technically against the idea of level syncing but the idea of being level synced against your will. I would probably also be annoyed by being leveled down automatically just for traveling to certain places on the main world map. That kind of thing ought to be limited to team situations and/or special instanced missions.

Like I said in my last post as long as any kind of level syncing is totally OPTIONAL in CoT then things should be fine. Related to this there should be a manual way to toggle XP on and off in CoT. TOG provided that feature and it proved to be useful in a number of situations.

P.S. Superman would actually probably get weaker if he ever returned to what's left of the Kryptonian solar system because of A) lack of a yellow sun and B) all the chunks of Krypotnite floating around there. But I'm just quibbling here - I understand your main point here about level syncing in games.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

P.S. Superman would actually probably get weaker if he ever returned to what's left of the Kryptonian solar system because of A) lack of a yellow sun and B) all the chunks of Krypotnite floating around there. But I'm just quibbling here - I understand your main point here about level syncing in games.

touche :)

but yes, choice is awesome

Tannim222
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slagger wrote:
slagger wrote:

the level sync i am talking about is like star wars the old republic. it started as the standard. you outlevel a place and you get "grey" mobs. no points, or one and low level drops. now you go back to the same planets/areas and are dropped to that level. this bothers me personally because there were times when i just liked going back to those places and just wade through low levels. sometimes for farming, sometimes because it was an area i died alot and wanted to come back as my badass self and take revenge. sometimes to seem like vader and just shrug off the 10 or 20 mobs i gathered and use a high level combo to drop them all.

We are doing what we call level lensing - that is enemies lower than your level give less rewards until the reward drops off, and higher level enemies over your level give higher rewards.

As I said earlier, you will only be scaled up or down if you are in a group where the group leader is higher or lower level than you, or if you are doing your Path content that is under your level then you are scaled to the mission content for the Path.

If the Path scaling works well, I want to incorporate it into our version of a flashback system.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
slagger wrote:

the level sync i am talking about is like star wars the old republic. it started as the standard. you outlevel a place and you get "grey" mobs. no points, or one and low level drops. now you go back to the same planets/areas and are dropped to that level. this bothers me personally because there were times when i just liked going back to those places and just wade through low levels. sometimes for farming, sometimes because it was an area i died alot and wanted to come back as my badass self and take revenge. sometimes to seem like vader and just shrug off the 10 or 20 mobs i gathered and use a high level combo to drop them all.

We are doing what we call level lensing - that is enemies lower than your level give less rewards until the reward drops off, and higher level enemies over your level give higher rewards.

As I said earlier, you will only be scaled up or down if you are in a group where the group leader is higher or lower level than you, or if you are doing your Path content that is under your level then you are scaled to the mission content for the Path.

If the Path scaling works well, I want to incorporate it into our version of a flashback system.

Mainly there shouldn't be anything in the game that drops your effective level just by traveling through different areas of the world map. By the same token I agree there need to be level adjusted rewards (what you're calling "level lensing") where, for example, even if you can kill millions of -25 level mobs you end up getting nothing for doing that other than the satisfaction of massive mob death. ;)

I think the main concern being raised here is having overall character effectiveness changed automagically by the game for any reason. Anything that can change your effective level should be under the complete control of the player via joining specific groups or by entering specific instanced missions.

Basically it sounds like what slagger was talking about might have been some kind of anti-farming measure that ended up being a little too drastic for its own good.

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I recall a few instances

I recall a few instances where I enjoyed playing with altered levels in the old game.
One was where a 53 was power-leveling me. As long as I was in Sidekick range, I could contribute, Meaningfully to the progress of the battle and get good experience. Later, when I tried the same trick with my Defender, it was more useful to stay out of range and Buff like mad, receiving less Exp per mob, but with more mobs going down and my character being lower-level, I would gain More Exp, Faster.
Another time, my Mid-level Tanker picked up a side-arc that I had heard a lot about, but never played. Unfortunately, he was dreadfully overpowered for the mission. However, by cranking up the level and team-size equivalents on the mission I was able to turn a few cowering grays into an Ocean of aggressive blues and greens. Which just happened to crank my defensive auras into Overdrive, so that even the Bosses could hardly touch me. That was my first taste of 'Taunt, Laugh, and Murderize'. My dual-blade Tanker got to use ALL of his combos.

On the other hand, being De-leveled, either by content or teammate level could be so frustrating, as one effect of that, in TOG, would be to have powers removed and my carefully balanced, enhanced, and trained attack chain nullified. I can completely agree with Slagger's negativity about that experience!

I have played other games where I have been de-leveled in a zone, but where none of my powers or weapons were Removed, just my DPS reduced. Where hopeless grays would aggro and charge and I'd have to exert myself a bit, to brush them off, but at least I'd get a sliver of experience from them. I'd consider that a reasonable 'level-synch' experience in a game.

I also recall that TOG had 'level-synch' settings in Preferences, so that we could have better control and CHOICE of how we were affected. That was good design.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

On the other hand, being De-leveled, either by content or teammate level could be so frustrating, as one effect of that, in TOG, would be to have powers removed and my carefully balanced, enhanced, and trained attack chain nullified. I can completely agree with Slagger's negativity about that experience!

Again as long as the effect of being "de-leveled" is completely optional and under player control I don't have much trouble with it being in the game. In fact it was an interesting aid to roleplaying back in TOG because it allowed you to "self-kryptonite" yourself. It was more fun to "pretend" to lose your superpowers when the game could actually neutralize them for real as part of the game. ;)

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
slagger wrote:

the level sync i am talking about is like star wars the old republic. it started as the standard. you outlevel a place and you get "grey" mobs. no points, or one and low level drops. now you go back to the same planets/areas and are dropped to that level. this bothers me personally because there were times when i just liked going back to those places and just wade through low levels. sometimes for farming, sometimes because it was an area i died alot and wanted to come back as my badass self and take revenge. sometimes to seem like vader and just shrug off the 10 or 20 mobs i gathered and use a high level combo to drop them all.

We are doing what we call level lensing - that is enemies lower than your level give less rewards until the reward drops off, and higher level enemies over your level give higher rewards.

As I said earlier, you will only be scaled up or down if you are in a group where the group leader is higher or lower level than you, or if you are doing your Path content that is under your level then you are scaled to the mission content for the Path.

If the Path scaling works well, I want to incorporate it into our version of a flashback system.

I'm definitely with slagger on this, so I'm pleased with Tannim's response.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

As I said earlier, you will only be scaled up or down if you are in a group where the group leader is higher or lower level than you, or if you are doing your Path content that is under your level then you are scaled to the mission content for the Path.

Will there be a few levels of leeway or will this always kick in? I.e. If I'm level 21 or 22 and the group leader is level 20, will I be dropped to 20 or 19 or is that close enough to remain at the current character level?

I'd also be curious to learn if the scaling works as it does in SWTOR (your character may be lower level but keeps all of their powers and abilities) or if a high level character could become relatively useless because their build wasn't optimized for sidekicking.

- - - - -
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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

I'd also be curious to learn if the scaling works as it does in SWTOR (your character may be lower level but keeps all of their powers and abilities) or if a high level character could become relatively useless because their build wasn't optimized for sidekicking.

This is a good question. Let's hypothetically assume you have a level 50 character that joins a group and gets "throttled down" to level 10. Would it still make sense for that character to be able to fire off their top Tier 9 Nova Blast power even if it's debuffed down to do only like 10HP damage instead of its normal level 50 amount? It might not actually be worth having such a level 10 character like that - sure you might have a "complete" attack chain of multiple powers but that chain might have to be so reduced in power that it'd be more of a pain than anything else.

As with everything else I'm sure the only answer you'll get from Tannim right now is "that's something we're going to have to test during beta testing".

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

you will only be scaled up or down if you are in a group where the group leader is higher or lower level than you, or if you are doing your Path content that is under your level then you are scaled to the mission content for the Path.

Sounds like Super Sidekicking to me ...


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Earth Fez wrote:
Earth Fez wrote:

Will there be a few levels of leeway or will this always kick in? I.e. If I'm level 21 or 22 and the group leader is level 20, will I be dropped to 20 or 19 or is that close enough to remain at the current character level?

I'd also be curious to learn if the scaling works as it does in SWTOR (your character may be lower level but keeps all of their powers and abilities) or if a high level character could become relatively useless because their build wasn't optimized for sidekicking.

Your character’s level will be adjusted to that of the group leader if you are a higher level.

We need to test how much variance or leeway a lower level character can be compared to the group leader.

The concern here is when a group leader increases the difficulty of their mission content by increasing the level of the enemies that spawn in instances content. If we had characters that were say, up to -4 levels of the group leader snd the mission content was +5 levels, that 9 levels of difference would really mess up the lower level characters in the group. Hence, the thinking is bringing lower level characters up to the group leader.

As for higher level characters adjusted downwards, the powers they could access would match to the adjusted level.

Our power design system doesn’t scale powers up and down by level. Thus a tier 9 attack that is accessed at a higher level, if it were to be used at a much lower level, would retain all of its values of its native higher level.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

If we had characters that were say, up to -4 levels of the group leader snd the mission content was +5 levels, that 9 levels of difference would really mess up the lower level characters in the group. Hence, the thinking is bringing lower level characters up to the group leader.

Counter-proposal.

Leader difficulty spawns opposition -1 to +0 levels relative to Leader:
PCs more than -2 levels relative to Leader are level increased to be -2 levels relative to Leader.
PCs more than +1 levels relative to Leader are level decreased to be +0 levels relative to Leader.

Leader difficulty spawns opposition +1 to +2 levels relative to Leader:
PCs more than -1 levels relative to Leader are level increased to be -1 levels relative to Leader.
PCs more than +1 levels relative to Leader are level decreased to be +0 levels relative to Leader.

Leader difficulty spawns opposition +3 to +4 levels relative to Leader:
PCs more than -1 levels relative to Leader are level increased to be +0 levels relative to Leader.
PCs more than +1 levels relative to Leader are level decreased to be +0 levels relative to Leader.

The Leader is the team leader while in the open shared world.
Inside of an instanced Mission, the Leader (in this context) will be the holder of the assigned Active Mission that the team leader has chosen to be active for the team.
Difficulty levels are pulled from the team leader, regardless of which team member's Mission is currently assigned as the Active Mission (so you don't have to coordinate difficulty levels across all team members).

I figure that ought to be easy enough to compute and program.


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From the discussion of the

From the discussion of the Update Discuss: What We Can Do: Rewards:

Tannim222 wrote:

If you are lower level to that of the group leader, your level is adjusted to the group leader’s -1....
Lower level characters don’t get access to new powers, their base effectiveness is adjusted to their adjusted level to that of the encounter level.

Tannim has said elsewhere that when it comes to level differences, a level affects more than just the the numbers a character can generate.

For example, the following quote is from the Update: What We Can Do: Augments and Refinements:

Quote:

The Augments you earn will have a level to them. The Augment’s level is checked against your character’s level and if you are over or under the Augment’s level, the improvement bonus will be adjusted. The adjusted value is based on a curve which starts off gradual and then declines sharply for both going over and under the level. You won’t have to immediately replace Augments when you out-level them, and will always receive some bonus from them. For example, if your level is increased by joining a team, causing you to temporarily outlevel your Augment, you won’t be high and dry. Of course your adjusted level will affect how your powers perform as well.

So syncing both up and down will reduce the efficacy of a character's refinements and augments, but not by much unless the level difference is great.
As a counterargument to that, Redlynne had this to say:

Redlynne wrote:

However, the marker that I want to lay down is (again) the notion that keying Augment effectiveness off ACTUAL Character Level (when not being Mentored/Sidekicked) is a superior system to keying Augment effectiveness to CURRENT Character Level like you are intimating here, if only because the former is less of an impediment to freely Sidekicking (or even just running Flashbacks!) to run content together with anyone and everyone, while the latter imposes costs and barriers to playing "outside your native Level range" that would then discourage such free associations and grouping (not preventing it, but certainly penalizing it).

You can get the full context of the quote here. To which Tannim222 had no germane response. So I'm not sure how to interpret that.

Let us assume that synchronizing our level up or down increases or decreases our base stats, respectively. So our control stats (concentration, volition, calm and movement) will be dependent upon our level. This brings us to the efficacy of controls. The following is a quote from the Update: How It Works: Control Mechanics:

Quote:

Every power in the game also has a Willpower value. Willpower is basically a measure of how much effort it takes your character to activate it. As a general rule, the higher the power tier of the power, the more Willpower is required.
As long as a power’s Willpower requirement is below your current control stat value, the power is unaffected. But if attacks reduce your control stat below a power’s Willpower requirement, that power will suffer the control effects of the attack. Thus your highest tier powers will generally be affected by controls before your lower tier powers. This top down cascading effect means that you will rarely be without some recourse as controls start to have their effects, making true helplessness unlikely.

If I understand this correctly, a low level character who's level has been increased will have greater control stats, providing greater resistance to controls for the low-power spells he or she knows. So a low level character who is used to getting controlled doing in-level content might be more highly resistant to controls while up-levelled. Conversely, a high level character who's level has been reduced will have lower control stats than normal, making his or her high-powered abilities much more vulnerable to control effects. This would result in the high level character reduced to using more level-appropriate abilities for fear of constantly suffering control effects to the higher tier abilities.

Then there is the XP system.

From this post:

Tannim222 wrote:

We have already addressed leveling systems internally. Not too dissimilar to this proposal. But there are modifiers for certain aspects.

"This proposal" meaning that an enemy is worth a set amount of XP regardless of the level of the character. I can see this being vastly abused for low level characters who are synced to a high level party for whom a single trash Mob can provide an entire level's worth of XP. I urgently request that Mob XP be adjusted to reflect the character's actual level and not synced level. I know other games do this and it is received well.

Then, there is the effect of level upon Mob ago. Apparently, it appears as if the formula for determining a Mob's aggro is level agnostic:

Tannim wrote:

The level lens does not apply to aggro.

I interpret this to mean that whether a character is leveled up or down, mob aggro does not take it into account. So take that for what it's worth. I like the idea, but sometimes when my lvl 50 hero wants to go through a starter level to get someplace, I don't want to have to deal with all the low level mobs aggroing me. There was a great thread started by Cinnder called please make grey mobs act grey mobs. So when grey mobs aggro on a high level character their subsequent behavior is determined by the level difference. This keeps aggro level-agnostic, but really makes powerful characters feel powerful. (in fact, I would recommend having the behavior keyed to Renown rather than actual level.)

Having said this, however, Invisibility, Stealth and Perception will probably also be affected by level syncing. I would expect it will be handled similarly to controls, but I don't think it will be. Perception is a character stat while stealth is merely the state of being "not perceived." Accordingly, I expect perception to be level-synced. However, Perception debuffs and invisibility are granted by abilities. Without the same opposed willpower vs. control stats situation, the brings to question how Perception debuffs and Invisibiliy abilities will scale. It seems to me that high level characters de-levelled will have overpowering perception debuffs and invisibility abilities, while low level characters who have been up-levelled will be underpowered for their synced level.. I'm hoping someone at MWM will be able to shed some light on this aspect.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Our power design system doesn’t scale powers up and down by level. Thus a tier 9 attack that is accessed at a higher level, if it were to be used at a much lower level, would retain all of its values of its native higher level.

This is unfortunate. I think it would be more fun to scale powers by level so that you don't lose powers when you get sidekicked. You still may not be able to 'learn' that power until x level, but you'd keep it when you get sidekicked. So if 'Nuke' is a tier 9 power you get at level 40, I think you should still have it sidekicked at level 5 but it would be adjusted to a level 5 power level instead of 40. But that's just me.

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
slagger wrote:

the level sync i am talking about is like star wars the old republic. it started as the standard. you outlevel a place and you get "grey" mobs. no points, or one and low level drops. now you go back to the same planets/areas and are dropped to that level. this bothers me personally because there were times when i just liked going back to those places and just wade through low levels. sometimes for farming, sometimes because it was an area i died alot and wanted to come back as my badass self and take revenge. sometimes to seem like vader and just shrug off the 10 or 20 mobs i gathered and use a high level combo to drop them all.

We are doing what we call level lensing - that is enemies lower than your level give less rewards until the reward drops off, and higher level enemies over your level give higher rewards.

As I said earlier, you will only be scaled up or down if you are in a group where the group leader is higher or lower level than you, or if you are doing your Path content that is under your level then you are scaled to the mission content for the Path.

If the Path scaling works well, I want to incorporate it into our version of a flashback system.

see, even with the paths, i would like a choice. at least after the first time. if you want to say that i can't out level a path the first time it makes sense. after i have beaten it, give me the choice to go in syced or at my current level.

Lothic wrote:

Basically it sounds like what slagger was talking about might have been some kind of anti-farming measure that ended up being a little too drastic for its own good.

it was more of a "we are not going to throw any more money into new content and want to make it seem like going back to start and getting exp for it is just as good" thing. swtor started great. individual stories for each starter and different companions to track down and recruit. then they went all wallstreet, lost a crap load of players, went to free to play and trimmed the story. instead of new designs, they took the companions away from everyone and forced us all into the same story arc to get them back.

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Dark Cleric wrote:
Dark Cleric wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Our power design system doesn’t scale powers up and down by level. Thus a tier 9 attack that is accessed at a higher level, if it were to be used at a much lower level, would retain all of its values of its native higher level.

This is unfortunate. I think it would be more fun to scale powers by level so that you don't lose powers when you get sidekicked. You still may not be able to 'learn' that power until x level, but you'd keep it when you get sidekicked. So if 'Nuke' is a tier 9 power you get at level 40, I think you should still have it sidekicked at level 5 but it would be adjusted to a level 5 power level instead of 40. But that's just me.

I understand. Our design system doesn’t support reducing the base output of powers which determines their values.

I’m response to Huckleberry:

Augment levels are for basic augments. When you get to crafted augments, the ones with refinement sockets, they don’t have a level associated with them at this time.

Control parameters and movement do not change with levels, neither does a power’s Willpower rating, which is determined by the power’s tier.

The concern with VP is handled in the system already. A “trash mob” at level 40 would be worth the same as if it were level 1 to the level 1 character if it were synced to level 40.

Enemy VP is set by the enemy rank and modified by our lensing below and above the character’s level and clamped to 0 at -5.

And it is correct that your character level difference to enemies doesn’t matter for aggro. Your character’s Renown however, can affect how enemies react.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Augment levels are for basic augments. When you get to crafted augments, the ones with refinement sockets, they don’t have a level associated with them at this time.

Interesting. I think this is a decision you will ultimately change. A shelf life for augments and refinements leads to a crafting economy and lively markeplace, not to mention an impetus for players to go on certain missions to farm for the ones they want the most. More interaction between players and the emergent behavior that results is usually better for a game, especially one that claims to be an MMO. Even if the augments don't have a level associated with them, some sort of durability or other lore-dependent reason for giving them a shelf life should probably exist. (Edit: I don't necessarily agree with that last statement I made. We shouldn't artificially cause a max level player to constantly have to renew his or her augments. I prefer the level-dependency because it can at least be explained away with "I outgrew it." Close Edit)

Tannim222 wrote:

Control parameters and movement do not change with levels, neither does a power’s Willpower rating, which is determined by the power’s tier.

If a character's own stats don't change with level, what does? (I'm not being facetious, I really don't know the answer to that question and think this is something you should write an update about)

Tannim222 wrote:

The concern with VP is handled in the system already. A “trash mob” at level 40 would be worth the same as if it were level 1 to the level 1 character if it were synced to level 40.

Excellent.

Tannim222 wrote:

Enemy VP is set by the enemy rank and modified by our lensing below and above the character’s level and clamped to 0 at -5.

Okay... in combination with the above statement I will assume that the level lens applies first, so we get a +/- level up to 5, and then that result is applied to the character's actual level to determine VP. Sounds good.

Tannim222 wrote:

And it is correct that your character level difference to enemies doesn’t matter for aggro. Your character’s Renown however, can affect how enemies react.

Excellent. I love to see aggro and aggroed behavior distinct from each other and based upon different factors. This sounds like fun.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Interesting. I think this is a decision you will ultimately change. A shelf life for augments and refinements leads to a crafting economy and lively markeplace, not to mention an impetus for players to go on certain missions to farm for the ones they want the most. More interaction between players and the emergent behavior that results is usually better for a game, especially one that claims to be an MMO. Even if the augments don't have a level associated with them, some sort of durability or other lore-dependent reason for giving them a shelf life should probably exist. (Edit: I don't necessarily agree with that last statement I made. We shouldn't artificially cause a max level player to constantly have to renew his or her augments. I prefer the level-dependency because it can at least be explained away with "I outgrew it." Close Edit)

Things like durability make sense for games where you have actual times with “wear and tear” on their usage. Augments and Refinements aren’t considered “items” but a progression of your power. Hence they don’t wear down or break.

Not only that but, when you study games with such systems, what they actually serve as is a drain for the economy. Which can actually be achieved with how a designer makes the base reward system.

You will need to wait until we are more ready to show and talk about our crafting system. It doesn’t quite work the way you are framing it

Huckleberry wrote:

If a character's own stats don't change with level, what does? (I'm not being facetious, I really don't know the answer to that question and think this is something you should write an update about)

The only true “stats” that characters have is health, power, and momentum. The only one of which changes with levels is health. The things you think are stats aren’t viewed as stats but parameters. They are effectively not tracked by the player.


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Tannim222][quote=Dark Cleric
Tannim222 wrote:
Dark Cleric wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Our power design system doesn’t scale powers up and down by level. Thus a tier 9 attack that is accessed at a higher level, if it were to be used at a much lower level, would retain all of its values of its native higher level.

This is unfortunate. I think it would be more fun to scale powers by level so that you don't lose powers when you get sidekicked. You still may not be able to 'learn' that power until x level, but you'd keep it when you get sidekicked. So if 'Nuke' is a tier 9 power you get at level 40, I think you should still have it sidekicked at level 5 but it would be adjusted to a level 5 power level instead of 40. But that's just me.

I understand. Our design system doesn’t support reducing the base output of powers which determines their values.

This is actually one of those rare times when I'm in complete agreement with Tannim about something. I know... it's sort of creepy isn't it? ;)

To follow along with Dark Cleric's hypothetical scenario the idea of -still- being able use a power that you couldn't have access to until you reached level 40 when you are sidekicked down to level 5 seems completely weird to me. It almost seems WORSE to think you could artificially throttle (via arbitrary game mechanics) such an awesome power down to be workable at such a lower level.

Let's assume that for whatever reason there's an actual game lore REASON for why a character has to wait to get a Tier 9 Nuke power at level 40 (again just using the number 40 for the sake or argument). Maybe that power unleashes fundamental forces of nature that could ONLY POSSIBLY EVER do like 1,000+ HP of damage and only a character of such a high level could ever hope to be strong enough to direct it without being vaporized by it themselves. Why on Earth would/could such a power ever be scalable down to a firecracker level that might only do like 10HP of damage at level 5? Why would a level 5 character even be able to unleash that kind of power in the first place regardless of how it's scaled?

Also the idea that a "level 40 character sidekicked to level 5" should still have all their level 40 powers (even if they are temporarily scaled down to level 5 effectiveness) basically defeats the whole purpose of being sidekicked in the first place. What NORMAL level 5 character has access to full attack chains that high level characters get to enjoy? Basically as I implied in an earlier post I'd rather NOT be able to use my Tier 9 Nuke at "sidekicked level 5" if all it's going to be able to do is something like 10HP of damage. It'd be like a level 25 Wizard in D&D still being able to cast a Meteor Swarm spell (designed to deliver a combined 40d6 HP damage) while sidekicked down to level 5. How does a "Meteor Swarm scaled to level 5" even make any conceptual sense? It'd be like having a IRL nuclear bomb somehow scaled down to only being as destructively effective as a hand grenade.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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When I played Destiny 2, the

When I played Destiny 2, the game started you at level 1 in Trostland, in a zone where there were Cabal air-dropping nearby and you pretty much fought them, as a level 1. Then later I did the main story, got leveled up, got my characters ults unlocked, got decent gear, and when I returned to Trostland, the mobs air-dropping still felt about the same difficulty to fight. All of the levels etc I got didn't seem to matter much. I mean, I had a better gun and could use Ults now, and pretty often, so the fights WERE easier, but nothing was ever "all grey to me" easy. You could go in and do the same Lost Sectors all over again and they were still easy, but not trivial.

On the one hand, this meant I was never going to outlevel and entire map or area, and if I had to come back for a quest of some kind, I was still fighting stuff that felt like a fight. There were outdoor open world events that you could do solo or join others, without having to official form a team to get rewards, which was nice.

On the other hand, leveling up didn't really feel like it meant anything. It was a number the screen, and that was pretty much it. There were still content areas where you felt very outclassed if you were too low for them, but you never felt too high for anything, which, in a way, made it feel like kind of a waste of time to grind for levels in the first place.

I personally don't want the outdoor events, if there are any, to be totally ignored by most players due to them having outleveled the events. And I'm talking about events that are small and fire off like once per hour or whatever. In Destiny 2 this was stuff like Arsenal Walker, Witch's Ritual, Aether Resupply, etc. It wasn't terribly important to do them, they didn't drop a ton of really valuable loot, but they'd fire off and people would do them, because they were in centrally located "busy" areas. The Clockwork Paladin, on the other hand, get's totally ignored in CoH because everyone has outleveled King's Row by the time they've finished their second or third DFB.

I want outdoor world map areas to be reasonably full of people actually doing stuff, not desolate and forgotten once you outlevel them. Guild Wars 2 and Destiny 2 both did a better job of that than COH did, in my opinion. Not that I want to have to go around chopping down trees to get wood in CoT.

Both of those games achieved that via some kind of player power level adjustment to the zone you're in, somehow, as far as I know. I can see where this sort of thing takes away the fun of leveling up, but what it gives back in terms of open world "action" seems to make up for that. And for whatever higher levels are actually worth, people still want to grind for them anyway.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

As for higher level characters adjusted downwards, the powers they could access would match to the adjusted level.

The reason I brought this up is because I didn't do much sidekicking or (significantly) lower level content because I didn't want to bother with building a character set up for such a task. From my admittedly very limited experience, this meant taking my level 50 character to content that was below level 25 or so could result in my character becoming largely useless. That awkwardness when you volunteer to help some lowbies with a mission and realize that you're more of a liability than an aid. I'd rather not experience this in CoT.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

The reason I brought this up is because I didn't do much sidekicking or (significantly) lower level content because I didn't want to bother with building a character set up for such a task. From my admittedly very limited experience, this meant taking my level 50 character to content that was below level 25 or so could result in my character becoming largely useless. That awkwardness when you volunteer to help some lowbies with a mission and realize that you're more of a liability than an aid. I'd rather not experience this in CoT.

THIS.
This right here, is precisely the reason why I preferred to plan all of my character builds for City of Heroes such that they would "degrade gracefully" when Exemplared ... rather than "fall off a cliff" in capability because I designed for maximum throughput from powers and enhancements at Level 47+ ONLY.

I always got questions on forums after posting my builds asking why I didn't just "up everything" to be Level 50 enhancements across the board ... and the answer I always gave people was, because I don't want to lock myself into only being able to play endgame content and nothing else with my builds.

Some people got it.
A lot of people didn't.

Or to put it another way ...

Redlynne wrote:

Some people drink from the Fountain of Knowledge
While others merely gargle
And some pee in it...


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One thing to keep in mind is

One thing to keep in mind is once you get to crafted Augments (and Refinements), they don’t have a level assigned and retain their full value. So when reducing your character level to a lower level, your character still retains the improvement.

Now later on, when we get to making sets of Augments / Refinements that have bonuses, those bonuses may come with level limits.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

The reason I brought this up is because I didn't do much sidekicking or (significantly) lower level content because I didn't want to bother with building a character set up for such a task. From my admittedly very limited experience, this meant taking my level 50 character to content that was below level 25 or so could result in my character becoming largely useless. That awkwardness when you volunteer to help some lowbies with a mission and realize that you're more of a liability than an aid. I'd rather not experience this in CoT.

THIS.
This right here, is precisely the reason why I preferred to plan all of my character builds for City of Heroes such that they would "degrade gracefully" when Exemplared ... rather than "fall off a cliff" in capability because I designed for maximum throughput from powers and enhancements at Level 47+ ONLY.

I always got questions on forums after posting my builds asking why I didn't just "up everything" to be Level 50 enhancements across the board ... and the answer I always gave people was, because I don't want to lock myself into only being able to play endgame content and nothing else with my builds.

Some people got it.
A lot of people didn't.

Or to put it another way ...

Redlynne wrote:

Some people drink from the Fountain of Knowledge
While others merely gargle
And some pee in it...

I never sidekicked down very often in TOG but I designed most of my "main" alts to be able to do that gracefully if necessary. I sort of considered it another fun "sub-game" puzzle to figure out the system to be able to do that.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012