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?
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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