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Suggestion: Character Level Scaling(?)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
Suggestion: Character Level Scaling(?)

StealthColt's Avatar

05.09.2012 , 11:31 PM | #1
Now bear with me on this one it might take some explanation.

Personally I am often a hard sell to start a new MMO and as a result of that generally when I start playing the MMO all the people who are convincing me (my friends) are already either maximum level or darn close to it. That said it is a rare find these days to meet someone who is willing to start a brand new character and play it exclusively with your character until they are caught up. That said some people may not even have the character slots to start a new one for you and also if you play without them suddenly your character is now the one who is too overpowered for their quests. Now the reason this really hits home to me is because I tried WoW and when my friend said he would help me he would either be too busy with his level 70-80 stuff or he would show up and murder EVERYTHING and I would totally lose out on the plot due to him just rushing me through it.

Possible Solution:
Now I am a big Gran Turismo player and in Gran Turismo 5 they introduced the feature of engine limiters so that a person who just bought their new VW Beetle can race my fully modded Camaro without having an unfair race because the limiter lets me drop my cars "performance points" to match that of the Beetle and make the race worth racing. Now I don't have a specific plan as to how to do this with higher level characters but there needs to be a way that my experienced fellow players can come back to an old planet and help the new player without two things happening.
1) Experience for the new player being stunted due to extreme level gap.
2) The experienced player merely being so OP that this turns into a rush instead of a helping hand.

So if there was a way to make it so that at my choice I can suddenly have my level 40 Jedi Shadow play as if he was a level 15 for my friends on Coruscant that would be truly helpful. Also then it would also give me the option of playing all those flashpoints I skipped because now they are grey and what's the point of playing a grey mission?

So that's my thoughts. If anyone has a method of doing this fairly and efficiently please post your ideas. I just thought that the game could be more appealing to new and old players alike.

firephly's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 12:02 AM | #2
That actually would be pretty flippin' cool. They've already implemented a similar system with the WZ where everyone 10-49 is buffed to be essentially equal so I don't see why they could do a debuff similarly to have a guildy (whoop guild perk idea here as well lol) be scaled down to match the lowbie. They get to keep the same skills they already have as a level 50 or whatever but reduce their damage to be on par with whatever level the other character is. Would toootally make group questing more viable for social points and heroics running - especially on servers that have low populations right now. I think it would definitely make it worthwhile to reroll a character. At least that way you can actually play with your higher level friends and do some FPs!

Good idea!
I'm not just a thug in a uniform - I'm a heavily armed thug in a uniform.

mattgyver's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 01:00 AM | #3
They talked about this recently in the podcast. /support

SithLady's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 01:40 AM | #4
I like this idae. make it an optional thing you can turn on or off in prefrences like the allow same class option in preferences.
The 'scaling mechanism for the WZ', don't even get me started on broken that is.
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Sliverspark's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 02:02 AM | #5
What you're talking about is character level down-scaling. You have to be very specific when you're talking about game designs so people can understand exactly what you are talking about.

I very much like the idea, but I wonder how often it would actually be used. Pros and cons need to be considered. From just reading this post I have thought of a couple hills that may need to be overcome:
  • Abilities, because a level 50 ability wasn't designed to be used at level 15
  • Stats and gear need to be adjusted, but this issue can probably be handled easily
  • Experience & Legacy gain needs to be turned off
  • Quests that your character has already completed - this is probably the biggest issue that needs addressed as you won't be able to pick up all the quests your friend can because you've done them already (I ran into this issue while trying to level with a friend some time ago)

If you're serious about seeing this in the game, then write up a design in as much detail as you can, then have the community help you find more cons, and solutions to them.

The reason this appeals to me is because I really would've liked to play through Flashpoints at their appropriate levels for the challenge. I would've also like to be able to not feel like I was grinding Social Points, because at level 50 that's really the only option you have. You can't exactly go back and quest with someone because of the reason listed above, and it's really not that much fun for your group if you are such high level you can one-shot everything.

firephly's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 07:25 AM | #6
[QUOTE=Sliverspark; [/QUOTE]
  • Abilities, because a level 50 ability wasn't designed to be used at level 15

    I could see them doing this one of two ways: A debuff that scales back the damage/heals to each of their skills by a set percentage to be on par with the lower leveled character. Or - and probably more easily to implement - simply gray out the skills that the level 50 character wouldn't have at, say, level 16. Would kind of suck to have to go from knowing all of your keybinds to having to take skills off your hotbars, though. I would prefer they just ticked the damage back on all skills.
  • Stats and gear need to be adjusted, but this issue can probably be handled easily

    The same as above pretty much. A debuff that reduces all stats and voids out a percentage of the higher level character's gear bonuses.
  • Experience & Legacy gain needs to be turned off

    Experience gains for the higher level character would be moot, obviously, but I don't see the problem with the lower level character gaining group experience. After all, they would be - in theory at least - the same strength as a party they would be if it were two 15-17 level characters grouping together. I don't see the reason why legacy experience should be turned off either. You would still be playing the game in a "challenging" setting and not a run through with the higher leveled character.

    The only obvious restriction I can think of for any type of gains would be WZ. They shouldn't be allowed to group together in spite of down scaling in WZs. However, for purely PVE stuff, I don't see why the lowbie wouldn't be allowed to gain exp and they wouldn't mutually be able to get legacy exp if they're eligible to. If you could elaborate if you had specific reasons maybe I'd think differently but strictly for the purposes of a higher level character acting as a lower leveled one to group quests with I don't see an issue.

  • Quests that your character has already completed - this is probably the biggest issue that needs addressed as you won't be able to pick up all the quests your friend can because you've done them already (I ran into this issue while trying to level with a friend some time ago)

    Pretty much the only legitimate problem I see. Maybe the quests could be repeatable for level 50 characters only in group setting with toggled "down scale" features on. Instead of earning exp like their lowbie buddies the higher level character would earn instead a specific amount of credits depending on the quest's target level.

    To a point, however. I think that once the lowbie got to within a certain level range - probably 40 or so - they would be ineligible to continue down grading until that particular character got to 50 as well.

    Something else I just thought of to add to this idea:

    The higher level character in question can only have one lowbie friends character attached to their legacy at one time that would be able to benefit from this sort of group effort thing so the higher level character can't just be funneling credits over to themselves for helping every single alt their buddy's have. Example Jane Sith is attached to John Inquisitor's character up til level 50. John Inquisitor can't benefit Jane Sith's alt Carrie Bounty Hunter until Jane Sith is level 50. Bob Agent, another one of John Inquisitor's friends, however, can be allowed to down scale with John Inquisitor when Jane Sith is offline.

    Or it could go that you can only attach one other legacy to yours for this purpose. So instead of the above scenario it would be: Jane Sith and John Inquisitor "link" their legacies together. Any of Jane Sith's alts can benefit from the down scaling at any given time provided they are below level 40. Bob Agent, however, cannot benefit from down scaling until John Inquisitor decides to unlink his legacy from Jane Sith's.

    For Jedi/Sith they could actually be called apprentices/Padawan to the higher leveled character. I dunno what kind of lingo you'd use for a Trooper/Bounty Hunter or Smuggler/Agent though someone more creative would have to come up with terms for them.

I'm not just a thug in a uniform - I'm a heavily armed thug in a uniform.

Sigmaringen's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 07:45 AM | #7
They have this in Everquest II. You can mentor a fellow player which lowers you to that player's level. You get a huge xp penalty and the mentored player gets a small xp boost. All of your abilities and equipment are scaled down to the appropriate level. It's great for helping out your friends.
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JakkFrost's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 08:35 AM | #8
Yep, a similar feature in FFXI is called level-syncing. It scales down your stats, your gear (so you don't wind up naked), and removes access to abilities that are level-dependent.

I don't know about other games, but the gear-scaling in that is a little broken though, as it doesn't always scale properly. For example, (and this is just an example, as I can't remember specific numbers offhand), say at level 30 I could equip a neck piece with +3 strength, or at level 65 I could equip a neck piece with +5 strength. Yet if I wear the 65 piece and sync to level 30, it only scales to give me +1 strength, when i could wear the level 30 piece that gives me +3 strength.

I don't know how hard it is to make gear-scaling work, but I hope they'd take that into account if they do this.
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DarthZwicky's Avatar

11.25.2012 , 09:10 AM | #9
In my opinion, the level scaling should be in consequence of the area in which the player stand in. This way it eliminates few problems.

1st, i don't know if it's a big issue but on PvP server it eliminate ganking, well at least it makes it fair since everybody is at the same lvl.
2nd, It makes it worth while to go back and explore early planets and do the heroic quests and the bonus series quests you haven't done. The challenge is still there and it's appel to the solo player too.
3rd, well for stating the obvious, it makes the Master / Padawan relationship possible between players. Which is a big part of the star wars universe.
4th, it will greatly improve the social side of game. Because for now like the OP said, it's either you play your character alone or you play it only with a friend to stay at the same lvl.
5th, well any other reason you can think of. It will only improve the game altogether. Isn't it the best reason?

Thanks for reading and keep up the good work!

DarthZwicky's Avatar

11.25.2012 , 09:19 AM | #10
"Quests that your character has already completed - this is probably the biggest issue that needs addressed as you won't be able to pick up all the quests your friend can because you've done them already (I ran into this issue while trying to level with a friend some time ago)"

I don't see a big problem here. Isn't it the role of the Master to guide the padawan? So if the Master has already done this quest he can more easily guide the padawan. Maybe to add a feature where the Master can be in spectator mode for the conversations he already had. Or maybe the padawan could simply share the quest.