Unleveled world

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
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NikitaTheTanner
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Unleveled world

Postby NikitaTheTanner » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:26 am

All Bethesda games abuse this system. Some more, like Daggerfall and Oblivion. Some less, like Morrowind. But all Bethesda open world games rely on this awful practice of leveling the world according to the player level.

I am sure that most people here are aware of it by now. Frankly, I hate that system. In my opinion it is the biggest weakness of The Elder Scrolls from RPG point of view. I always try to mod it away as much as possible.

Now there are reasons why it is done and I understand them. But to me, the negatives just outweigh all possible benefits.

It takes away way too much from the world. It makes you feel sort of central to everything, it all revolves or evolves around you. And it completely kills all immersion for me. As well as it takes away the challenge and feeling of progression.

I believe it could be removed and should be removed ASAP. Obviously, it should be optional, but I would consider it a recommended option. Like playing Oblivion with OOO or Skyrim with SkyRe or Requiem. Original game just doesn't give that satisfying feeling of beating the world, of becoming truly powerful.

I would like to make proposals on how best it can be done in my opinion. I might even try doing it, when it is implemented into the game. I am not a professional programmer though, so it's a bit tricky. I only have experience from modding other TES games.

My suggestions:
Shops' merchandise depends only on shop quality – good stuff always available for high price.
Enemy level depends on the difficulty of the place – dungeons have grades just like shops do.
Loot quality depends on the level of the enemies – good stuff for good fight.
Quest spawned enemies level depends on the quest difficulty – harder quests are hard.
Treasure found in dungeons depends on the dungeon – best stuff is locked away!
Random encounters in the world are tied to player level, but a small chance of higher level enemy.

Why I think it's okay for random encounters to be leveled? To avoid frustration. Plus, there is no reason for low level player to be targeted by powerful enemies. Once you become strong and famous, you gain more enemies who want to fight you.

But there should also be a slim chance to encounter someone above your level. Just to keep things interesting and realistic. There should also be a good chance to encounter someone lower level than you, because these are common.


Stores
The stores are still the same as in original game, but items do not depend on player's level.

"Rusty relics lie wherever they were last tossed. All the wares show the cracks and chips of shoddy workmanship. A mouse scampers over your feet before burrowing into a nearby sack. "
1)Worst quality store: cheapest items at lowest prices, very easy to steal, very easy to haggle, almost no money to offer.

"Sturdy shelves, cobbled together out of scrap lumber hold the shops wares. The items are sound and functional, but little more than that."
2)Poor quality store: cheap items at low prices, easy to steal, easy to haggle, little money to offer.

"The shop is laid out in a practical and straightforward manner. All the items seem to be of adequate construction."
3)Average quality store: average items at average prices, hard to steal, hard to haggle, has good money to offer.

"The shop is better appointed than many. Its wares lie neatly on the shelves. Although not fit for a king, all are skillfully crafted."
4)Good quality store: good items at high prices, even harder to steal, even harder to haggle, has lots of money to offer.

"Incense and soft music soothe your nerves as you cross the threshold. Each item in this shop is carefully mounted and displayed. Not the slightest defect can be detected in any item within."
5)Best quality store: best items at highest prices, almost impossible to steal, almost impossible to haggle, almost limitless money to offer.


Dungeons

Same standards should apply to dungeons. Difficulty and amount of treasure depends on the dungeon, not on the player's level. Similar to shops, message appearing at the entrance of the dungeon will signal the difficulty of the place (here are also some examples of these):

"This place does not look that scary. There is probably nothing to worry about."
1)Easiest dungeon: weakest enemies, worst quality loot.

"This place looks spooky, but not too dangerous. Still, it is better to keep up your guard."
2)Easy dungeon: weak enemies, bad quality loot.

"This place is definitely creepy. Something is not right. Brace yourself."
3)Average dungeon: average enemies, average loot.

"This place is outright scary. One should be extremely cautious here, for there is danger behind every corner."
4)Dangerous dungeon: dangerous enemies, better loot.

"A cold shiver passes through your body. Death lives here. You should probably leave if you are not ready to face it."
5)Deadly dungeon: deadly enemies, best loot.

To make sure player does not abuse the system put the best loot on the enemies and inside locked chests, leave only the worst loot on the ground. That way, even if player gets into high level dungeon, he has little chance of stealing something very good easily.

Another thing is how dungeons are discovered:
1) Easy quests take place in easy dungeons;
2) Harder quests take place in harder dungeons;
3) Maps to higher level dungeons are much rarer;
4) Maps to the dungeons can be bought at the stores;
5) Best maps cost much more.

It is not hard to implement these features, at least it should be relatively easy compared to many other things planned. But if it's done early on, it could provide a network around which future mod will structure themselves. It could even have some cool configuration menu, so everybody can tune how much the world levels to the player. Maybe completely remove it, maybe leave some places leveled and some not. But it's a must have option in my opinion.
Narf the Mouse
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Narf the Mouse » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:08 am

I like this idea, overall. One change I would make is to make the dungeon text relative to your level. Ie., if the dungeon is a lot higher level than you, you get the "very deadly" text, even if you are high-level yourself. OTOH, even if the dungeon is only "level 3", if you're level 1, you still get either "deadly" or "very deadly", details TBD.

Edit: If that's what you meant, sorry for the redundant post, but it wasn't clear. :)
Previous experience tells me it's very easy to misunderstand the tone, intent, or meaning of what I've posted. If you have questions, ask.
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NikitaTheTanner
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:57 pm

Re: Unleveled world

Postby NikitaTheTanner » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:53 am

Narf the Mouse wrote:I like this idea, overall. One change I would make is to make the dungeon text relative to your level. Ie., if the dungeon is a lot higher level than you, you get the "very deadly" text, even if you are high-level yourself. OTOH, even if the dungeon is only "level 3", if you're level 1, you still get either "deadly" or "very deadly", details TBD.

Edit: If that's what you meant, sorry for the redundant post, but it wasn't clear. :)


I was thinking about just giving the level range with the message, but it could be relative to player's level. And the warnings I put is just an example of what could be an indication, because there definitely needs to be some sort of dungeon level indication on entrance. How exactly it's going to be implemented is not too important as long as it is implemented. I was just thinking in terms of similar to the shop concept, having one version applied to all places, but it doesn't really matter too much as long as it is consistent.

There also should be a good chance of finding weaker enemies and lower class gear in higher level dungeons and shops, just not too make it too rare. Like rats and bats, which should be pretty common. But finding a high level enemy or high level gear in low level dungeon or shop might be a unique thing. Again, just to spice things up a bit.

Exact levels and percentages can be calculated through testing. Maybe gear and enemies should also be rebalanced first. I would also love an option to configure all desired settings in separate menu.

Overall, the game needs a lot of balancing IMO. Some things can be adopted from later TES games, other can be taken from other RPGs, something unique can also be created. But the feature to remove world leveling would be awesome in any case, even with no other balance changes.
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Interkarma
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Interkarma » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:09 am

Thanks for the detailed write-up and thoughtful feedback on a leveled world.

I agree Daggerfall needs a lot of balancing. It is kind of glorious in its brokenness however. :)
Bobthedead
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:34 pm

Re: Unleveled world

Postby Bobthedead » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:57 pm

Hi new member here I have been following Unity after finding daggerfall on gog. I like the idea of an unleveled world because it feels relevant to one of the balance issues I think daggerfall suffers from. Item progression feels slightly bugged. Im not sure if this is 100% relevant to your topic but I think balancing the game would add a lot to the experience. But for me specifically I would just like to see some of these weapons/armor actually play more of a roll in the progression system. I would not mind seeing the vast majority of deadric items only spawned in the most dangerous locations.


So new to playing the game but after playing it quite a bit I noticed a huge acceleration in gear quality. On my first character I started finding deadric weapons while I was still wearing dwarven/mithril armor. Then I finished a lot of mages guild quests and found I had access to a lot of enchanted deadric armor.



Iron>Steel>Silver>Elven>Dwarven>Mithril>(Adamantium>Ebony>Orcish>)Daedric?
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Gaggerballz
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Gaggerballz » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:39 am

I realize I'm late to the thread, but I just wanted to comment in support of the idea of an unleveled DF. The world level-scaling is one of my biggest gripes with the TES series and one of my biggest issues with DF, and any mod attempting to fix this or at least tone things down a bit would be a wonderful thing IMO. Hope to see something implemented one day, so that my level 20 character doesn't come across daedric items in every shop or on every random human enemy, and every dungeon isn't miraculously all of a sudden home to nothing but ancient liches and master vampires.
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Interkermit
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Interkermit » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:43 am

What I've always wanted is for the whole world to be completely unleveled, but for each dungeon to have a level (with monsters appropriate to it) and for quests to send you to dungeons with levels around yours.
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Interkermit
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Interkermit » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:50 am

Gaggerballz wrote:I realize I'm late to the thread, but I just wanted to comment in support of the idea of an unleveled DF. The world level-scaling is one of my biggest gripes with the TES series and one of my biggest issues with DF, and any mod attempting to fix this or at least tone things down a bit would be a wonderful thing IMO. Hope to see something implemented one day, so that my level 20 character doesn't come across daedric items in every shop or on every random human enemy, and every dungeon isn't miraculously all of a sudden home to nothing but ancient liches and master vampires.


I just noticed, you're the 300th member to join the forums!
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Gaggerballz
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Gaggerballz » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:55 am

Interkermit wrote:
Gaggerballz wrote:I realize I'm late to the thread, but I just wanted to comment in support of the idea of an unleveled DF. The world level-scaling is one of my biggest gripes with the TES series and one of my biggest issues with DF, and any mod attempting to fix this or at least tone things down a bit would be a wonderful thing IMO. Hope to see something implemented one day, so that my level 20 character doesn't come across daedric items in every shop or on every random human enemy, and every dungeon isn't miraculously all of a sudden home to nothing but ancient liches and master vampires.


I just noticed, you're the 300th member to join the forums!



Rad! Thanks for noticing me :D . Nice idea btw, I believe the DF main quest is kinda similar, each dungeon having a set level range and a level requirement before the quest becomes available.
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Interkermit
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Re: Unleveled world

Postby Interkermit » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:42 pm

Gaggerballz wrote:
Interkermit wrote:
Gaggerballz wrote:I realize I'm late to the thread, but I just wanted to comment in support of the idea of an unleveled DF. The world level-scaling is one of my biggest gripes with the TES series and one of my biggest issues with DF, and any mod attempting to fix this or at least tone things down a bit would be a wonderful thing IMO. Hope to see something implemented one day, so that my level 20 character doesn't come across daedric items in every shop or on every random human enemy, and every dungeon isn't miraculously all of a sudden home to nothing but ancient liches and master vampires.


I just noticed, you're the 300th member to join the forums!



Rad! Thanks for noticing me :D . Nice idea btw, I believe the DF main quest is kinda similar, each dungeon having a set level range and a level requirement before the quest becomes available.


It is isn't it... I've never really thought the idea through to much, so there might be some issues. The reasoning behind it is to be able to have an unleveled world without constantly dieing around every corner at lower levels, while it still being mostly plausible.

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