Just curious...

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Solitaire
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Just curious...

Postby Solitaire » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:06 am

Just curious about the enemy levelling system in Oblivion, since the enemies and battles are levelled to provide a challenge to a character regardless of how high a level they are (in theory), and its possible to select major skills that you do not use at all during a game, is it possible therefore to complete the game (or the main quest at least) at level 1?

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Postby fable » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:51 am

Oh, yes. There have been quite a few complaints up on the official boards about that.
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Postby Siberys » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:08 am

It's where Bethesda completely lost my respect for gaming. My first RPG ever to be played was Morrowind, I LOVED it, then I thought, they're coming out with oblivion now so it must be just as good.

Nope, and as fable said, there have been many complaints, a few of which were mine.
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Postby Anarchy Nooblet » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:31 pm

to answer your question yes, although i would not recomend it. going through such a huge part of the game u will get leveld loot su at lvl 1 ull get close to nothin. besides when ur a higher lvl dealing with hard eneimeis i find that it all depends on which skills you chose and use and what equipment u have. after i was having a hard time with the arena and then i completed the db quest i got some descent loot but lvl twice maybe and it was easy from there on.
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Postby Belthan » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:16 am

Technically, you have to be at least level 2 to complete the main quest (spoiler - [color="Black"]you need a daedric artifact, and the daedric quests all have minimum level requirements, the least stringent of which are 2 quests that require level 2[/color]).

It's an interesting coincidence you'd ask right now, because at the moment I'm running a character with all major skills she never uses for the specific purpose of staying as low level as I can. I've run the game more or less all the way through with several other characters (skipping quests that didn't fit each character's personality for roleplaying reasons), and they all ended up being around level 40 (give or take) by the time they had done everything they were going to do. The new character is Champion of Cyrodiil, arch-mage and master of the fighters guild, all at level 3 (and would be level 2 except she accidentally read a couple skill books that bumped her major skills).

So... I can verify Anarchy Nooblet is absolutely correct - by the time I finished 2 or 3 major questlines with my other characters, they had more money than they could spend because even random bandits would have a couple K worth of glass armor I could sell. The new level-3 character has only been able to buy two houses (and is now broke again after buying the house & furnishings in Skingrad) because I'm picking up 10-20 GP from chests and leather armor from bandits. I actually get excited about steel weapons and bonemeal!

That said, as far as complaints about the leveling system, from an old-school P&P D&D geek perspective it's lacking something, but it really helps the replay value of the game (2nd level character with limited spells facing a horde of scamps is a completely different challenge than a 30th level character with tons of spells & equipment buffs facing a horde of Xivilai).
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Postby Xandax » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:28 am

Belthan wrote:<snip>
That said, as far as complaints about the leveling system, from an old-school P&P D&D geek perspective it's lacking something, but it really helps the replay value of the game (2nd level character with limited spells facing a horde of scamps is a completely different challenge than a 30th level character with tons of spells & equipment buffs facing a horde of Xivilai).


Funny, I find it completely destroys the replay value, as no matter what you do the game is (intended/supposedly) scaled.
It has no exploration aspect as you simply teleport out to the nearest dungeon and face monsters for your level and get rewards for your level.

One of the major things which provide replay value is exploration and risk taking, namely to see what you might find in remote areas and dangerous dungeons.
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Postby Solitaire » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:05 am

re.

Well, I have power gaming tendencies and since only gaining levels in major skills improves your overall level, it struck me that it may be possible to become a master in blade, if your major was hand to hand say, without affecting your level. Similarly in armour, if you favoured using light armour and selected heavy armour as your major, you could become a master in light armour without levelling. Leaving you at an advantage when compared to your levelled opponents.

I agree that the loot gained would be substantially less, however this can be covered by using Sigil Stones to enchant weapons & armour (since they still provide an enchantment at level 1), or using the Arcane University. A further interesting method of stacking the deck whilst playing at lower levels is the making & use of poisons on your weapon of choice.

There are 2 down points as far as I can see:

1.) Since you have exploited your minor skills, you may suffer when you level later on (having maxed out the minor skills will hinder your attribute bonus due to the swift nature of advancement associated with the major skills - this also assumes you wish to continue with this character once you have achieved what you wish to do)
2.) Whilst you may have the appropriate level and (possibly) gold to acquire Journeyman/Expert/Master spells, you will probably lack the Magicka to cast them.

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Postby Fljotsdale » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:27 pm

;)
Anarchy Nooblet wrote:to answer your question yes, although i would not recomend it. going through such a huge part of the game u will get leveld loot su at lvl 1 ull get close to nothin. besides when ur a higher lvl dealing with hard eneimeis i find that it all depends on which skills you chose and use and what equipment u have. after i was having a hard time with the arena and then i completed the db quest i got some descent loot but lvl twice maybe and it was easy from there on.



Hiya, Anarchy Nooblet. :)

Do you think you could write words normallly, rather than in text-speak? It makes it easier to understand you. I had to read the post 3 times before I got it all.

But yes, I agree with you: going through the game at level one and therefore only getting low-level loot, would drive me nuts with frustration!
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Postby Fljotsdale » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:36 pm

Xandax wrote:Funny, I find it completely destroys the replay value, as no matter what you do the game is (intended/supposedly) scaled.
It has no exploration aspect as you simply teleport out to the nearest dungeon and face monsters for your level and get rewards for your level.

One of the major things which provide replay value is exploration and risk taking, namely to see what you might find in remote areas and dangerous dungeons.


Erm... why do you fast-travel (it's not actually teleporting) to places if you like exploring? I have my characters treck all over the place, very occasionaly fast-travelling to get my loot to the shops before they close if I'm overburdened and short of Feather potions/have inadequate Feather spells. My girls find lots of interesting places. Some boring ones as well, LOL! :laugh:
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Postby fable » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:45 pm

Fljotsdale wrote:Erm... why do you fast-travel (it's not actually teleporting) to places if you like exploring?


Because in the unmodded game, there's nothing worth seeing? The landscape is always the same, and the caves/caverns/forts etc all offer the same leveled monsters and loot everywhere you go, save for a very, very few.
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Postby Siberys » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:34 pm

Fljotsdale wrote:Erm... why do you fast-travel (it's not actually teleporting) to places if you like exploring?


Because unlike Morrowind where it was worth while to travel across the lands, Oblivion as said has the same land types, forest or plains, and the same amount of monsters each and every time you play the game.

I know that when I'm in morrowind, I could be in the plains and merely see a Scrib or a Kwama, but I know that there are dangerous places to go. I could see a nix hound in the rocky parts, a Kagouti or a Guar that will just ultimately hurt a level 1 character if I don't fight right. And then i could go into ghost gate, and then my character has little chance for surviving, so it makes traveling by foot worth while. It gives me that "should I go here or make that left turn on alberquerki?" feeling.

In oblivion, wolves, more wolves, wolves, an NPC bandit, wolves, traveling by foot becomes tedious and unnecessary. It's not worth it.
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Postby Anarchy Nooblet » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:23 pm

im starting to see this thread turning into argument into fast travel. sry to be a kill joy but can we keep it on the subject :) . but for the fun of it ill add some wood to the fire.
Fast travel can be very useful. unless ur a vampire then it could go downhill but otherwise it saves time, for the player not the game, you got loot u want to sell and do it fast well fast travel to the nearest market. but u want to explore look around gets some quest here and there, just walk. the game gives you an option to use it u want to use it u may, u dont u dont have to.
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Postby Siberys » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:25 pm

Erm, we were on topic, we were talking about how crappy the leveling system is and how it's just tedious to walk because of it, which was the subject of this thread, the leveling system.
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Postby Belthan » Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:40 pm

Well, it's not the first time my opinion is in the minority :) but except for a few very well-beaten paths (e.g. Skingrad to Imp City) I run everywhere, even after having played the game with 4 different characters. There's almost always another mine or ruin my current character hasn't explored between point A & point B. Plus it really moves your Athletics skill right along.

Siberys wrote:In oblivion, wolves, more wolves, wolves, an NPC bandit, wolves...


OK, there's that :angry:. I actually talk to them. "Do you MIND? I'm trying to DO something here!". But I have the same reaction to the constant barrage of bears & minotaurs when running thru the woods with a higher level character.

The character I'm running now is still 3rd level, already finished MQ, MG & FG, just finished TG last night and found the first thing that made me unhappy about purposely staying low-level. SPOILER: [color="Black"]all my previous chars were pretty high level when doing the TG quests, were able to unequip the boots of Springheel Jak, still survive the fall from the battlemage quarters, and keep the boots. Tried that with my 3rd-level character and wound up a grease stain. Thank goodness for savegames.[/color] Overall, though, it's been interesting & very different from doing the various questlines with a low level character.
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Postby Belthan » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:00 am

Solitaire wrote:...since only gaining levels in major skills improves your overall level, it struck me that it may be possible to become a master in blade, if your major was hand to hand say, without affecting your level. Similarly in armour, if you favoured using light armour and selected heavy armour as your major, you could become a master in light armour without levelling. Leaving you at an advantage when compared to your levelled opponents.


A significant advantage. Being 3rd level with Destruction skill of 65 is almost unfair. A single fireball toasts almost anything foolish enough to attack me.

Solitaire wrote:A further interesting method of stacking the deck whilst playing at lower levels is the making & use of poisons on your weapon of choice.


Almost required. Plus in my mind it makes the Alchemy skill much more valuable than it is for a higher level character (but no master calcinators laying around in Necromancer lairs at low level :( ). Previously mentioned fireball takes my magicka down to zip, so I carry a ridiculous inventory of potions (restore magicka, restore health, nighteye, feather, plenty of other potions to simulate miscellaneous spell effects thereby conserving magicka, etc.).

Solitaire wrote:Whilst you may have the appropriate level and (possibly) gold to acquire Journeyman/Expert/Master spells, you will probably lack the Magicka to cast them.


Yep, in many cases.
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Postby beornica » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:50 pm

It's so much more fun once you get to the higher levels. Low-level enemies are so boring. I loved it the first time I ran into a land dreugh and was like HOLY CRAP!!! WHAT THE HECK IS THAT THING???? It makes taking the time to level up so much more worthwhile. I generally play a magica user all the way, so as my major skills I'll have restoration & destruction, plus random things like sneak, armorer, mercantile etc. (armorer especially is SUCH a pain to get up for me!!!) But like I said, it's all worthwhile when you get to cast all your nifty spells at, say, land dreugh and minotaurs as opposed to annoying imps and wolves.
you know what they say about all work and no play...
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Postby Fljotsdale » Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:09 pm

Belthan wrote: Well, it's not the first time my opinion is in the minority :) but except for a few very well-beaten paths (e.g. Skingrad to Imp City) I run everywhere, even after having played the game with 4 different characters. There's almost always another mine or ruin my current character hasn't explored between point A & point B. Plus it really moves your Athletics skill right along.


Make that a minority of two... :cool:

Belthan wrote:OK, there's that :angry:. I actually talk to them. "Do you MIND? I'm trying to DO something here!". But I have the same reaction to the constant barrage of bears & minotaurs when running thru the woods with a higher level character.


And Will-o-Wisps, Land Dreaughs, Spriggans+Bear, Trolls, Ogres, Atronachs, Dremora, Daedroth, Clannfears, Boars, a Unicorn...

Much better than those pestilent Cliff Racers that drove me insane in Morrowind :mad:

And the scenery is MUCH better (even with the grass switched off) in Oblivion. Morrowind scenery depressed me.

Belthan wrote:The character I'm running now is still 3rd level, already finished MQ, MG & FG, just finished TG last night and found the first thing that made me unhappy about purposely staying low-level. SPOILER: [color="Black"]all my previous chars were pretty high level when doing the TG quests, were able to unequip the boots of Springheel Jak, still survive the fall from the battlemage quarters, and keep the boots. Tried that with my 3rd-level character and wound up a grease stain. Thank goodness for savegames.[/color] Overall, though, it's been interesting & very different from doing the various questlines with a low level character.


LOL! That must have been a disappointment! I've never done it with a low-level character, [color="Black"]but I always buff as much as I can before the drop, so I can keep the boots.

As well as the obvious Shield potion/spell, and 2/3 long-acting strong Heal potions, have you thought of taking a strong Feather potion/spell before you drop down? Feather really does help.

I noticed how much better my chars could jump if they took a Feather potion/spell, so I tried it when doing the drop as well.[/color]
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Postby FalconReaper » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:29 am

I think the leveling is good for some reasons and is bad for others. There's always going to be pros and cons for any type of leveling or not leveling. Pro for the leveling is you'r never overwhelmed with 10 monsters that are double your own level and getting pwned in a matter of seconds. Also some creatures don't level with you and therefore their toughness stays the same. And if you're finding the game to easy go to options and make the difficulty higher. That should boost your playing time when you fight a monster. Also try to use horses instead of fast-traveling to make it real.

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Postby ishuman » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:40 pm

From a design perspective, I had assumed that they did this to allow the game to be more open-ended. That is, if the challenge doesn't auto-level with the player character than the designers would have to know what level the player is likely to be when they reach a certain area. But, in theory, if everything auto-levels than they can allow the player to travel and do quests in any order and the game doesn't have to be a linear story.

How did this system work in Morrowind?

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Postby Xandax » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:21 am

ishuman wrote:From a design perspective, I had assumed that they did this to allow the game to be more open-ended. That is, if the challenge doesn't auto-level with the player character than the designers would have to know what level the player is likely to be when they reach a certain area. But, in theory, if everything auto-levels than they can allow the player to travel and do quests in any order and the game doesn't have to be a linear story.

How did this system work in Morrowind?

-ishuman


There is no doubt that such consideration i sone of the major ones for the implementation of such a system.
However, in my view there are still far to many disadvantages and annoyances with such a system that I can't overall view it as good.
As already said, such a leveling system takes away from the exploration aspect in a game, it subtracts from or even ruins the story aspect and it is generally anti-RPGish in my book.

The reasons It subtracts from exploration, is because there is quite frankly little to no reason to explore anything. You'll not need to investigate various dungeons because the monsters and equipment is scaled, so the "normally weak" dungeons close to the hubs of trade, rest and safety (the general "newbie areas") will be as well guarded and equipped as the ones hidden away in the wilderness which originally tends to be wellguarded by stronger enemies; and thus you need never adventure out into the wilderness. (You can if you want to, but there is no other incitaments to it) because of the many scaled dungeons close to the Imperial City. You don't get the satisfaction of exploring a dangerous dungeon, circumventing dangerous monsters, finding that strong piece of equipment for your level.

It ruins the feeling of progress, because what is the advantage in getting stronger if you still face opponents of the same strenght - a bandit suddenly is a super bandit because you have increased your level. That makes it "anti-RPGish" because character development is a huge aspect of RPGs, and when things are at a comparable level according to you, there is little advantage gained from leveling.

It ruins/subtracts from the story aspect, because as others have said - they could complete the game as a L2 or so character. Here we have a story where the gates to Oblivons get opened, yet a L2 adventure can solve the problem? Why is the gameworld then "worried" about these gates? The lonely guard would be able to solve this issue. Also a part which makes this game "anti-RPGish" in my book.

If we can bring "realisme" into this, it also adds a level of realisme that you can outlevel your enemies. But in Oblivion world - If you practice with a sword 10 hours a day for 10 years, everybody else would still be as good as they were if you did not train: "unrealistic". Now I know realisme is not really a factor, however it does illustrate the point. You'll not be the powerfull hero who saves the land, because .... well .... levelscaling.

And so on.... I simply see far to few advantages with such a system and I surely hope no other company falls for such technology.

In Morrowind - IIRC - the monsters had a fixed level-range (or perhaps a fixed level), so once you outleveled the monsters you would have little to no problems with them. That means when your character got powerfull, enemies were weaker
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