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Adding difficulty to normal starchart missions via Dynamic Level Adjustment.


(XBOX)Nightseid

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I'm curious, how many players play normal starchart missions vs steelpath missions? Additionally how many players are playing low level mission (under 30) vs higher level missions (above 30)? I ask because we (players) are constantly having to farm resources in order to craft and build items; we can aqcuire almost everything in the normal low level starchart. I have a feeling the majority of us probably do low level content because it is faster. Only going to higher level content when we are looking for something specific like an aura or riven mod.

I'll be the first to admit, if I see a Nora's kill X enemy challenge i got to a mercury survival and finish it in one mission, along with other low challenges she has.

So what am I getting at? Normal starchart doesn't offer a challenge to veterans and most players, who have beat the star chart at least once, but it is the most effective way to farm for most resources and items in the game. My suggestion to DE is to introduce a Dynamic level adjustment system to the game.

For those that don't know a Dynamic level adjustment basically lowers your characters level to be in line with the content you are playing. This is a system that exists in the MMORPG "Guild Wars 2". The purpose of it is to keep newer low level characters and high level character roughly the same power level so content can maintain a relatively challenging for both players and so lower players can still contribute to the game and not be carried by the veterans.

The way it works is if you (a level 80 player) decided to play in a level 10 zone then your character's active level is adjusted to 10 (or the highest allowed level), only affecting your base stats, like health, energy, etc. This would NOT affect stat bonuses or effects from your gear. You still gain levels and XP, granted at much depreciated rate, but your activate level remains 10 until you leave the area or complete the mission. The system however will not adjust a low level character entering high level content, so a level 23 character entering a level 80 zone will remain level 23 - who will justifiable get one shot by a level 80 grizzly bear for having entered. 

A system like this could work with warframe where if a player enters a mission designed for rank 20 warframe then the warframe's active rank, along with thier weapons, will be set to no higher than rank 20 but not affect any mods, or acranes they may have equipped. This would present a small challenge for players still doing low level missions, enforces better teamwork with newer players as its hopefully more difficult to one-shot speed run the mission.

One last thing about the DLA system. The Guild Wars 2, releases new content and have world bosses in older (often lower) level zones all the time and it is super fun! Requiring max level players to defeat them but allowing low levels the ability to participate. Why mention this? Because this has allowed GW2 to revitalize thier old content at times. Something that can applied to landscape missions like plains of eidolon,  orb valis and the bounty system. These maps have a default level and changes based on the bounty you select - works fine. The problem with bounties is that it separates the content into different levels, so new players are cut off because it is too hard because we all know it's not the rank of the warframe that matters, and veterans do not find it challenging enough because they "out-level" most of the content. With a DLA system on these maps, the missions and enemies could simply be set to the default level with players adjust to them. This would allow DE to expand the maps with new bounties types and areas for both veterans and new players alike without having to parse thier content out into different levels and simply worry about mechanics.

Now I am aware that the Dynamic level adjustment system wont work exactly the same for warframe as it does on MMORPGs because warframe ranks don't exactly match up with character levels. This difference however should limit DE to exploring this option and implementing a similar system that could hopefully allow more variety in thier mechanics, content and possibly player retention.

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The issue with this is weapon performance isn't tied to their level, but either their base stats, as some 1 shot low level enemies with hardly any mods, or the mods put in them. If you don't limit/remove mods limiting the level does nothing to lower their damage.

The same applies to Warframes, even if abilities stayed minimum rank, with the mods the damage for damaging abilities will still one shot enemies, they'll just do it from less range in cases where range is impacted by levels. Although, weapons would just delete enemies anyways.

Also, Guild Wars 2 doesn't just lower your level, it impacts the stats on your equipment and I believe even traits that grant passive stats. They also didn'y easily add content to lower level maps, any enemy in those maps centered around being defeated with the presence of maxed scaled down characters still have inflated health values because the dps potential of a scaled down character is still noticeably higher than a character at the actual level. This means these newer enemies are actually nearly impossible for actual low level characters unless a bunch of them are very experienced.

There is no problem free way of scaling players down to a level, as for the opposite end Tera had a system to allow max levels to que for low level dungeons to lower que times for people leveling... max level players got gear that was significantly worse than players at that level did to the point a tank could lose 90% of their HP even when blocking and damage on some classes were nearly half due to no crits for the max player as opposed to near 100% for standard.

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10 minutes ago, Yamazuki said:

Guild Wars 2 doesn't just lower your level, it impacts the stats on your equipment and I believe even traits that grant passive stats

It's been a while since I played but I do think you are right.  

19 minutes ago, Yamazuki said:

any enemy in those maps centered around being defeated with the presence of maxed scaled down characters still have inflated health values because the dps potential of a scaled down character is still noticeably higher than a character at the actual level.

Again, true but it still allows low level characters the ability to observe and participate in high level group making the world more ... "living." 

That said, I know a direct implementation would be impossible i was speaking more towards the concept of dynamic level system. In order to implement a DLA system, Warframe would definitely need more than lowering the ranks of weapons and frames.

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1 hour ago, (XBOX)Nightseid said:

I'm curious, how many players play normal starchart missions vs steelpath missions? Additionally how many players are playing low level mission (under 30) vs higher level missions (above 30)? I ask because we (players) are constantly having to farm resources in order to craft and build items; we can aqcuire almost everything in the normal low level starchart. I have a feeling the majority of us probably do low level content because it is faster. Only going to higher level content when we are looking for something specific like an aura or riven mod.

I'll be the first to admit, if I see a Nora's kill X enemy challenge i got to a mercury survival and finish it in one mission, along with other low challenges she has.

So what am I getting at? Normal starchart doesn't offer a challenge to veterans and most players, who have beat the star chart at least once, but it is the most effective way to farm for most resources and items in the game. My suggestion to DE is to introduce a Dynamic level adjustment system to the game.

For those that don't know a Dynamic level adjustment basically lowers your characters level to be in line with the content you are playing. This is a system that exists in the MMORPG "Guild Wars 2". The purpose of it is to keep newer low level characters and high level character roughly the same power level so content can maintain a relatively challenging for both players and so lower players can still contribute to the game and not be carried by the veterans.

The way it works is if you (a level 80 player) decided to play in a level 10 zone then your character's active level is adjusted to 10 (or the highest allowed level), only affecting your base stats, like health, energy, etc. This would NOT affect stat bonuses or effects from your gear. You still gain levels and XP, granted at much depreciated rate, but your activate level remains 10 until you leave the area or complete the mission. The system however will not adjust a low level character entering high level content, so a level 23 character entering a level 80 zone will remain level 23 - who will justifiable get one shot by a level 80 grizzly bear for having entered. 

A system like this could work with warframe where if a player enters a mission designed for rank 20 warframe then the warframe's active rank, along with thier weapons, will be set to no higher than rank 20 but not affect any mods, or acranes they may have equipped. This would present a small challenge for players still doing low level missions, enforces better teamwork with newer players as its hopefully more difficult to one-shot speed run the mission.

One last thing about the DLA system. The Guild Wars 2, releases new content and have world bosses in older (often lower) level zones all the time and it is super fun! Requiring max level players to defeat them but allowing low levels the ability to participate. Why mention this? Because this has allowed GW2 to revitalize thier old content at times. Something that can applied to landscape missions like plains of eidolon,  orb valis and the bounty system. These maps have a default level and changes based on the bounty you select - works fine. The problem with bounties is that it separates the content into different levels, so new players are cut off because it is too hard because we all know it's not the rank of the warframe that matters, and veterans do not find it challenging enough because they "out-level" most of the content. With a DLA system on these maps, the missions and enemies could simply be set to the default level with players adjust to them. This would allow DE to expand the maps with new bounties types and areas for both veterans and new players alike without having to parse thier content out into different levels and simply worry about mechanics.

Now I am aware that the Dynamic level adjustment system wont work exactly the same for warframe as it does on MMORPGs because warframe ranks don't exactly match up with character levels. This difference however should limit DE to exploring this option and implementing a similar system that could hopefully allow more variety in thier mechanics, content and possibly player retention.

This sounds similar to the damage attenuation system DE already uses. Damage attenuation is a band-aid to circumvent the need for proper balance in power progression and a lack of content to meet that progression. It devalues players' progression as a result, frustrates players, confuses them and leads to distrust of the game, the mechanics and the developer. On top of that, band-aids in Warframe tend to be ineffective and many a time, results in more imbalances.

If Warframe was some obscure title with a small community, or DE was a small developer, one could forgive this. They aren't. They are massive. Warframe is massively popular. There is little excuse for poor balancing to the extent found in Warframe.

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I thought what would be best is not to scale with player level (whatever player level is, MR? mod points? On warframe, or weapons?) but instead tor slowly raise the level of planets as you unlock them.

So: you start Earth with level 1 enemies, training wheels on. As you progress and unlock tghe venus junction then you not only get the level 3 enenies there, but all Earth enemies should increase their level by +2. And when you unlock mercury, both Venus and Earth add another +2 levels. So as you progress through the planets the training wheels come off until at the end, they are all level 30.

Now that might be too low for endgame content (but that's why we have sorties, steel path etc) but it gives DE a chance to balance our equipment to a level they are comfortable with. That is also better than infinite scaling.

To cater for squads, you can have an average of all players enemy levels, or just use the lowest ones of all the squad members.

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24 minutes ago, Silligoose said:

This sounds similar to the damage attenuation system DE already uses. Damage attenuation is a band-aid to circumvent the need for proper balance in power progression and a lack of content to meet that progression. It devalues players' progression as a result, frustrates players, confuses them and leads to distrust of the game, the mechanics and the developer. On top of that, band-aids in Warframe tend to be ineffective and many a time, results in more imbalances.

If Warframe was some obscure title with a small community, or DE was a small developer, one could forgive this. They aren't. They are massive. Warframe is massively popular. There is little excuse for poor balancing to the extent found in Warframe.

It's not suppose to the same thing but I get where you are getting the similarities.

16 minutes ago, CephalonCarnage said:

I thought what would be best is not to scale with player level (whatever player level is, MR? mod points? On warframe, or weapons?) but instead tor slowly raise the level of planets as you unlock them.

So: you start Earth with level 1 enemies, training wheels on. As you progress and unlock tghe venus junction then you not only get the level 3 enenies there, but all Earth enemies should increase their level by +2. And when you unlock mercury, both Venus and Earth add another +2 levels. So as you progress through the planets the training wheels come off until at the end, they are all level 30.

Now that might be too low for endgame content (but that's why we have sorties, steel path etc) but it gives DE a chance to balance our equipment to a level they are comfortable with. That is also better than infinite scaling.

To cater for squads, you can have an average of all players enemy levels, or just use the lowest ones of all the squad members.

I feel this would result in the same thing that's going on now. Enemies that are too easy for some and enemies are too hard for others. 

With warframe not having a true level system (or least one that I'm aware of) like other games a Dynamic level adjustment system becomes harder to think how a system could be developed.

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1 hour ago, (XBOX)Nightseid said:

I feel this would result in the same thing that's going on now. Enemies that are too easy for some and enemies are too hard for others. 

There is no "solution". But this would at least end up with DE getting a level they can target. Right now, enemies are all over the place, they have to be weak for the MR1 guys with an unmodded Lato, and will never be anything but, meaning I can walk past them and kill them with a mean stare. Having a constantly-increasing level means you might as well stay at MR1 for the same difficulty and raises other issues in squads. So a MR30 baseline, makes things easier to get better overall.

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