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Thread: Auto-scaling to zones

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default Auto-scaling to zones

    There was a discussion in chat this morning about players auto-scaling down to the level of the zone they are in, and frankly I didn't hear a single reason why it shouldn't be implemented.

    First, let's look at reasons why it makes sense:

    Zone events/seasonal events are often ruined for low level players by maxed out players who won't mentor down for the event. "But they don't get credit"--that's true, and they don't care, they do it anyway. And this isn't occasional, you can go from shard to shard when an event is happening, and the same maxed players will be there one shotting the event boss. How is that helping to retain the new players who are giving the game a chance when the highly promoted seasonal events are being spoiled?

    Then there is the issue of open world PVP. I've heard the people claim "no one pvps at low level in this game anyway"; isn't it possible that the reason that there's no low level open world pvp because a person level 35 in, say, Scarwood Reach, doesn't want to be one shot by a maxed out player, without any chance? Where's the fun in it for the low level player, and where's the challenge in it for the maxed out player? That hardly counts as "pvp," does it?

    People who are grossly over-leveled for the zone that they are in aren't "playing the game how they want to," they are robbing the people who are leveled appropriately for that zone their gaming experience. The maxed level player in newb land isn't being shafted for being leveled down to the zone level, but the people in that zone who are at the appropriate level are being shafted by that max level player who won't mentor down.

    Now let's look at the arguments against auto scaling:

    "It's a hassle aggroing mobs when I'm artifact hunting/mat gathering/fishing."

    "My mount is slower."

    "I earned that level, why should I have to mentor down?"

    Okay, you are still ridiculously OP even when you are leveled down to match the zone you are in. It's very, very easy to avoid the mobs. And the game may be nothing but a crafting simulator for you--you may be a person who does level down if they participate in a zone event--but that doesn't change the game for new players who are having the game spoiled for them by those who do not. There is nothing about the drawbacks of auto-scaling that breaks the game for those who are forced to mentor down; when people don't mentor down to the appropriate level for the zone, the game IS spoiled for those people who are playing at the appropriate level. The arguments against auto-scaling are just selfishness--I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

    The mechanics are already in the game for auto-scaling--people are auto-scaled every time they participate in a NMR, adding that capability to zones would be a simple enough thing to implement.

    So what would happen if auto-scaling was implemented? Well, it's a better experience for new players--they get to experience the zone events the way they are supposed to be experienced, a positive when it comes to new player retention. It might also encourage OW pvp, which would appeal to those players who would like to pvp at low levels. Who knows, a more positive OW pvp experience might get people to foray into low level Warfronts as well. And the negatives for the maxed out players who have to scale down? Negligible. I've heard people claim "I won't play if I'm forced to scale down," and to that I say, "Why?" That's a silly argument. Furthermore, those handful of people who would quit playing are not as valuable as the new players who are having the game spoiled for them; the potential for recruiting new players is greater than the few who would quit playing because they'd have to play on a level playing field (and that's what it really is).

    In short, there's absolutely no legitimate argument AGAINST zone auto-scaling; I'd really like to hear someone try to make that argument.

  2. #2
    RIFT Community Ambassador Slipmat's Avatar
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    I concur, after playing Prime for over a year auto-scaling was one of the best additions to the game, followed by the auto-scaling in Dungeons but still giving you level appropriate gear.


    I've made this suggestion for years, even before Prime implemented it due to the issues you raised, little heroes staying at max level, refusing to mentor down and just ruining zone events and bosses and like you, nobody has put forward even a half way decent argument about why auto-scaling is bad, not a single point.

  3. #3
    Ascendant Seshatar's Avatar
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    I agree, despite the few inconveniences this brings for high-level players, that this would overall be a good thing to implement.
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    Rift Disciple AsteroidX's Avatar
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    Going through the Prime experience there was some issues that came with it but are mostly documented.

    For instance the epic storyline quests that send you to old zones to fight level 50 mobs. So you would get mentored to level 35 but the mob from quest would be a level 50 elite. Thats an example. Some were really bothersome and took a decent sized group to get through what is normally a solo quest.

    The other example was the lower level zone events were awful to do with a small population. Achievment hunters got cut off from completing what there goals were in that gameplay. Players that were late to join basically had to not compete for what was fun gameplay when the major push of players was going through getting zone events to complete.

    I did like auto mentoring and I think it was a better experience in general but was in no way a system without problems.

  5. #5
    Plane Walker Merlin666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshatar View Post
    I agree, despite the few inconveniences this brings for high-level players, that this would overall be a good thing to implement.
    i totally agree, I've mentioned this repeatedly in forums and in game. in fact if i remember correctly i think one of my very first threads was in regards to auto mentoring ... personally it really would not be that much of a inconvenience only cuz anyone high lvl that was affected by auto mentoring would still have access to there skill or abilities making it easier than its low lvl counter part ...
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  6. #6
    Rift Disciple Jubinibi's Avatar
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    And what about moments 'Find yourself a (raid) group to finish a specific chain quest'? Whenever I have reached those quests at Prime, it was practically a dead end. Most of the group quests were doable first few days, maybe a week, after the release. Then it become significantly harder (and often impossible) to find people willing to participate. Stillmoor, Droughtlands and Shimmersand, I am looking at you.

    Don't get me wrong, it was fun to do a group quest for the first time when there was a lot of people around, but it turned very annoying later on.

    Whole auto mentoring functionality depends on the play style of the population and it's distribution over the world map. That means constant precise tuning of the rewards to keep certain quests attractive through the time. Do you think Gamigo will be capable to keep content balanced?

    Perhaps some hybrid system would work better. Auto mentoring would trigger when there will be enough participants in zone event. For example.
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  7. #7
    Sword of Telara
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    Not that it is going to happen but why not just set an auto-mentoring area around the event bosses? If it is possible to set a zone around Nightmare Tide rifts for auto-mentoring I would think it shouldn't be too hard to do the same for event bosses. I realize the rifts are static and the bosses roam but that shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. This could also be extended to other objectives for the zone events but the bosses would be a good place to start.

    Doing it this way you don't inconvenience those that are in the zone for other reasons than the event.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhipf View Post
    Not that it is going to happen but why not just set an auto-mentoring area around the event bosses? If it is possible to set a zone around Nightmare Tide rifts for auto-mentoring I would think it shouldn't be too hard to do the same for event bosses. I realize the rifts are static and the bosses roam but that shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. This could also be extended to other objectives for the zone events but the bosses would be a good place to start.

    Doing it this way you don't inconvenience those that are in the zone for other reasons than the event.
    This is all that's needed to fix the few real issues in lower level zones. Forcing people to be mentored constantly creates a whole bunch more problems (as Prime showed) which would require a significant amount of dev time that is not available for more important things in the first place. The mentoring system is very far from perfect and would require a complete rework for this to be anything other than an annoyance to most people. I would rather see the few changes we get monthly apply to things that concern a larger percentage of the playerbase and don't unnecessarily inconvenience the majority for the sake of a small minority.

  9. #9
    General of Telara arus2001's Avatar
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    I've never, ever been a fan of forced scaling, even if it it's true that higher level players are still technically stronger than their augmented level counterparts.

    A very simple and traditional facet of RPGs is growth. This didn't change the moment MMO got slapped to the front. You kill monsters and chase gear in order to make yourself stronger, to take on more difficult challenges, but to also make older hurdles easier to clear.

    I'm cool with giving people the choice to level themselves down to experience things, as had existed for quite a while now, but Prime taking the forced angle was one of the reasons I opted not to bother with it. The implication of it being a contested issue would infer others felt similarly. And while as slippery slope as the inquiry may be, why even have gear and levels if they are to be so flippantly taken away?

    In the end, the problem seems to be more a matter of content being complained about than maintaining the traditional approach of character growth. Perhaps event mobs shouldn't only be in newbie areas to encourage those with power to fight of level prey. Perhaps certain things could be coded to take only 1 point of damage per attack, spawning with a relative HP pool tied to active people in the area. Maybe certain things shouldn't even be about combat at all? There's more than one way to skin the proverbial cat here, and I feel just taking away the ability for people to keep niche zone events alive by being overleveled, as an example perk, is not worth whatever convenience some feel is gained by forcing everyone into a box. Instead, ask for better designed seasonal content.

  10. #10
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    Auto-scaling to zones works very nicely for Guild Wars 2, which claims 11 million players.

    I do agree that high level players killing zone event bosses is a problem, but even without high level players, a low level player often cannot reach a boss before it is killed due to slow mount speed and lack of nearby porticulums. High level players mentored down can still kill a low level zone boss very quickly.

    I'd rather see zone events put on a schedule so they occur more often. Either that or sell more zone event lures for reasonable amounts of planarite as is done for the new Call to Arms events. There are often no zone events running on any shards late at night. That made the Battle Pass daily quests to complete a zone event in a specific zone impossible to complete at off-peak hours.

  11. #11
    General of Telara arus2001's Avatar
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    I've always been a fan of the idea that if you participated a certain amount in the event, when a boss pops you're offered a teleport to it. Maybe slap a shield on it for a minute to subsequently prevent insta-gibs and let people load up from the port, too.

    Those that just sit at portals waiting for the end can hoof it, though.

  12. #12
    Ascendant Aranka's Avatar
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    i'm not in favor of the 100% automentoring..

    I've seen the calculations on prime, and they were crap.. auto-mentoring in zones made you have lesser stats than you had when you had that level.. And the differences were big enough to not like them.

    It might work if calculations were better, but that would cause issues as well..
    People would be top-geared while mentored.. be it mentored down, or sidekicked up..
    And questing in zones would become a walkthrough instead of at least some form of challenge to get a certain piece of gear or kill a particular mob.

    Next, would one need reward/xp scaling... what reason would a higher level have to auto-mentor down to crap stats when a chosen mentor level would make things easier to accomplish and still give the same rewards?

    As for high levels killing/one shotting the boss.. that should have been taken care of long time ago, but maybe something changed? From memory, not being mentored meant you could only do like 1hp damage per shot to an event boss...If that's no longer active, then maybe that should be activated again.

    As for the requirements to get the event boss to spawn.. many higher levels will close the rifts, kill invasions and footholds without being mentored, to speed up the event.
    And with battlepass and kills needed for gear/weapon upgrades, not everybody wants to mentor to the mob's level when 7 levels higher is good enough already.

    I do think it would be nice if event bosses had a forced auto-mentor area.. This could be relatively easily accomplished.. make the event boss spawn in a separate instance.. and have several temporary portals all over the map to be ported into that instance.. A bit like the faerie rings during autumn harvest, so everybody can reach the boss in time
    It would take some conditions..
    Enhancements, feasts, runes, (weapon)buffs, should be nullified in the instance, everybody in the instance would have comparable stats and be mentored/kicked to the same level.

    Next. if you force auto-mentoring, you will force more people into IA.. without forced auto-mentoring in zones/instances, there is a good alternative for powerlevelling. Forced auto-mentoring would take away that alternative.
    Last edited by Aranka; 07-14-2019 at 04:50 AM.

  13. #13
    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by arus2001 View Post
    I've never, ever been a fan of forced scaling, even if it it's true that higher level players are still technically stronger than their augmented level counterparts.

    A very simple and traditional facet of RPGs is growth. This didn't change the moment MMO got slapped to the front. You kill monsters and chase gear in order to make yourself stronger, to take on more difficult challenges, but to also make older hurdles easier to clear.

    I'm cool with giving people the choice to level themselves down to experience things, as had existed for quite a while now, but Prime taking the forced angle was one of the reasons I opted not to bother with it. The implication of it being a contested issue would infer others felt similarly. And while as slippery slope as the inquiry may be, why even have gear and levels if they are to be so flippantly taken away?

    In the end, the problem seems to be more a matter of content being complained about than maintaining the traditional approach of character growth. Perhaps event mobs shouldn't only be in newbie areas to encourage those with power to fight of level prey. Perhaps certain things could be coded to take only 1 point of damage per attack, spawning with a relative HP pool tied to active people in the area. Maybe certain things shouldn't even be about combat at all? There's more than one way to skin the proverbial cat here, and I feel just taking away the ability for people to keep niche zone events alive by being overleveled, as an example perk, is not worth whatever convenience some feel is gained by forcing everyone into a box. Instead, ask for better designed seasonal content.
    This--is garbage. You're growth isn't "taken away"--when you are in a zone appropriate to your level, you have all of your stats at your disposal. Why do you need your grossly overpowered stats in a low level zone? And what does that say about you if you feel that your enjoyment is hampered if you're NOT grossly overleveled? That the only way you enjoy a game is if you are grossly overleveled and that content is so easy as to prevent no challenge at all? Why should a game cater to people who don't want a challenge rather than those that do? And how good is your game if you cater to the former rather than the latter?

  14. #14
    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zornar View Post
    Auto-scaling to zones works very nicely for Guild Wars 2, which claims 11 million players.

    I do agree that high level players killing zone event bosses is a problem, but even without high level players, a low level player often cannot reach a boss before it is killed due to slow mount speed and lack of nearby porticulums. High level players mentored down can still kill a low level zone boss very quickly.

    I'd rather see zone events put on a schedule so they occur more often. Either that or sell more zone event lures for reasonable amounts of planarite as is done for the new Call to Arms events. There are often no zone events running on any shards late at night. That made the Battle Pass daily quests to complete a zone event in a specific zone impossible to complete at off-peak hours.
    It is frustrating to not make it to a boss in time when there is a party (properly scaled) that happens to be close when the boss pops who kills it before you get to the boss, but that's a case of luck--you just couldn't get there in time. It's frustrating, but it happens. That's not the same thing as an overleveled player making quick work of the boss; that overleveled player is, in effect, "cheating," and cheating you out of your opportunity to play the game.

  15. #15
    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsteroidX View Post
    Going through the Prime experience there was some issues that came with it but are mostly documented.

    For instance the epic storyline quests that send you to old zones to fight level 50 mobs. So you would get mentored to level 35 but the mob from quest would be a level 50 elite. Thats an example. Some were really bothersome and took a decent sized group to get through what is normally a solo quest.

    The other example was the lower level zone events were awful to do with a small population. Achievment hunters got cut off from completing what there goals were in that gameplay. Players that were late to join basically had to not compete for what was fun gameplay when the major push of players was going through getting zone events to complete.

    I did like auto mentoring and I think it was a better experience in general but was in no way a system without problems.
    There is the quest line in IPP that you get at 35ish that can in no way be completed until you are close to 50; there are other quests that send you do low level areas that involve enemies that are much higher level than the zone they are in. This is, indeed, an issue that would need to be addressed. I like the way that those quests send you back to areas you've already been through and outleveled--those kind of quests help tie the story and the world together, rather than separate rooms that once you leave you never bother with again. That is a good point, and would need to be addressed.

    And it's kind of a different issue, but is related--if half, or better, of the population wasn't doing IAs exclusively to level 50, and I mean people who don't quest or see OW AT ALL outside of IAs (they exist--there are people who will do nothing BUT IAs from 10-50) then there would be plenty of people to do those zone events. People say the game is dead and the population is too low to do dungeons or zone events; the truth is there ARE enough people to do those zone events--enough people to form a group large enough that you don't have to be overleveled to solo those events, as is oft argued in defense of not auto-scaling--if people weren't being non-participants by circumventing the game taking the detour of IAs. And yes, you are a "non participant" in the game if you level through IAs. IAs are a detriment to the game--but that's another post.

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