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 Desslock Explains Level Scaling View next topic
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King of Creation
Righteous Subjugator
Righteous Subjugator


Joined: 20 Dec 2003
Posts: 5103

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

[ Game -> Article ] - More info on Game: Fallout 3

Desslock of PC Gamer has written a column explaining level scaling in Fallout 3 in more detail.

Gaining power to kick some serious butt is a hallmark of RPGs. Typically, you're initially relegated to exterminating rats and similarly mundane vermin, but after questing for a few dozen hours, you're capable of dragon slaying. One of the great perks of becoming more powerful is the ability to strut through previously ominous territory and beat the crap out of enemies that used to terrify you. But Oblivion scales in difficulty and denies you that sense of accomplishment. If you return to a crypt after gaining some experience levels, hoping to stomp the zombies that previously manhandled you, you discover that those blasted undead have upgraded to deadly Wraiths. Oblivion's enemies reorganize into groups, and as you advance in level, enemies are supplanted by more powerful creatures within those groups. So, the Goblins you once encountered are replaced by Goblin Skirmishers and finally by Goblin Warlords. There isn't even a reprieve once you've encountered a group's most powerful creatures, as those enemies constantly scale up in attributes and equipment to match your level. Oblivion's scaling makes level advancement less rewarding, makes its world unrealistic-eventually, bandits demanding pennies end up decked out in glass armor and magical equipment worth more than lavish estates. You're actually regarded for not advancing in level-quests such as the Kvatch Siege are easier you undertake them as a pleb, since you'll only encounter Stunted Daedra instead of their more formidable counterparts. A demonic invasion isn't so terrifying when its bridgehead forces could have been routed by a lone wild bear.


Fortunately, Fallout 3 will not use Oblivion's level-scaling, but contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, scaling isn't completely discarded. The first important change is that creatures never scale up in abilities to match your level, so each Deathclaw in F3 will always have the same attributes, regardless of your character's level when you have the misfortune of encountering it. Second, each territory in the game is now assigned an encounter level that determines the level and equipment of critters when you discover that area, so a first-level character that wanders into an area designated as "encounter level 5" will be badly outmatched by the inhabitants. Loot is also generally scaled to the area's encounter level, but some item items will be hand-placed, which is similar to how Morrowind handled loot.


An area's level doesn't remain static, but it gets locked as soon as you enter it. If you enter a city block designated as a level 5 area, it will remain a level 5 area and never scale up in difficulty. Areas you haven't yet encountered do "tether up" in difficulty level, but the tethering level doesn't linearly scale with your level, so there's still an advantage to gaining experience levels. The city block that's initially designated as a level 5 area will tether up and be designated as a level8 area if you don't wander into it until you're a level 15 character. But since an area's level is locked once you enter it, you'll still get the satisfaction of returning to a previously difficult area and annihilating its residents once you have a more powerful character.


Bethesda's still tweaking these systems, but they should make exploration more interesting and not diminish the regard for advancement by making you feel like you can never really get ahead. I'd still prefer a static world like Gothic's, where encounters are always consistent regardless of your character level, but this toned-down scaling system sounds like a huge improvement over Oblivions.

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Zetura Dracos
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Joined: 20 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That actually doesn't sound too bad. Its better than straight scaling anyways, and is at least a kind of new idea. Now all we have to do is hope that they explained it Desslock properly and that they're actually capable of it.
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Wolfman Walt
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Joined: 15 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree actually. While I always think level scaling sucks, atleast this does provide me with some sort of sense of accomplishment when I level up my character.
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VasikkA
No more Tuna
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Joined: 15 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That requires a lot of balancing, but initially sounds OK.
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Killzig
Hero of the Desert
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Joined: 18 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

sounds good, does that mean I should go on scout/recon missions with my Snipey McStealthington character early on to make sure everything spawns at the lowest possible level?
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Niektory
SDF!
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Joined: 29 Jul 2004
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Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It's still horrible. It encourages silly behavior like scouting areas early to ensure the enemies are weak or avoiding them to get more phat loot later.
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Wolfman Walt
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Joined: 15 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well I read it as that when you leave a zone, the level adjustment goes away until you re-enter it? Dunno. If its the way you guys read it, shit sucks.
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popscythe
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Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

They couldn't take scaling completely out, because without it their tiny, tiny world would talk half as much time to get through (read: one hour instead of two)

I agree with the walt, shit sucks.
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Koki
250 Posts til Somewhere
250 Posts til Somewhere


Joined: 19 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I won't even read their petty excuses. Level Scaling = rofl
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PsychoSniper2
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Joined: 04 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

In another thread spiders were mentioned.

Im guessing they replace those birds in morrowind as the annoying enemy that pops up everywere.
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