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Old 12-19-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
msgnomer

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I thought the dungeons players made scaled depending on the number of players in the group.

However, I keep reading about people marking their dungeons solo or group.

Do the dungeons scale or not?  I had assumed that a dungeon I might design to be challenging for a single player would scale up in difficulty if two players or more entered as a group. 

Are dungeons not scaling for groups.  If not, how are people designing differently for a group verses solo.  I'm assuming you might need to boost attributes or place larger encounters.  Yes?  No?

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Old 12-19-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
Judist

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Supposedly the mobs scale up becoming ^^ or ^^^ depending on how many people are in the group. However many designers place larger groups of mobs to make things more difficult, then they label it a "Group" version when testing shows it to be difficult solo.

With current balancing, solo fighting 2 mobs at once is easy for all avatars. Groups of 3 can be a pain for some of the weaker scout/mage avatars. Groups of 4 can be a tough fight solo, especially when designers stack mob enhancers.

At that point I'll label a dungeon "group" because it has groups of 4 (or more) ^^^ mobs (if you bring a group) all stacked with buff packages.

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Old 12-20-2011, 12:36 AM   #3
msgnomer

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So it sounds like you're saying dungeons don't really scale up sufficiently.  In order to get a dungeon scaled up for a group it's necessary to also add additional mobs and buffers.

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Old 12-20-2011, 03:52 AM   #4
WanyenII

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The individual mob difficulty seems to generally scale well.. if the placement and grouping is appropriate to begin with.  That is where I think most of the concern is.

Three mobs per grouping/encounter as a solo adventurer is probably a typical persons limit, 4 is possible; and rarely would I ever expect one person to handle five.  That many mobs for any group would be tough with scaling.. but certainly not impossible from what I've seen.  As an aside, the limit might be significantly higher with AEs, but I havent had the right mix/mood to push for testing that. 

The advantage a group of course has is some flexability in the composite make-up.  They can bring two healers into the mix.  Or whatever they feel they find they are most effective in concert as.  A solo player will of course not have that flexibility.  Obviously some adventurer group compositions are more suited to larger counts of multiple mob encounters.

That is why an indication should be made about the intended partipants and challenge.  When adventurers go into these, they expect/want either high challenge, or something laid back.. as reflected in the numerous posts here and beyond.  If the design intent is not for high challenge, the people unknowingly going until it will down-rate it, perhaps unfairly; and vice versa, if the design intent was challenge, it might be doable and intense, but not at all what a laid back adventurer wanted for intensity.  They in turn will unfairly rate down a challenging map because they felt it was overkill/overwhelming.  I personally like the mix, and like the surprise.. but I dont think everyone (as many as you might think) have quite the degree of spirit and determination I do.

This -might- be easier if the map makers could control the extent of the scaling (limiting an encounter of five mobs from at most scaling to double up at max group size for instance, instead of a group of five triple up; and when solo, perhaps that group of five should be double down arrows). Along with that, if map makers had a better idea (both an automatic visual perspective in the form of semi-translucent sphere indicatative of the reaction, call for help, and/or aggro radius, they might know ahead of time where problems with the design might lead to over-/under-whelming pain for adventurers and simply adjust group placement as they build. A test mode would help verify that layout; but until they can 'see' the radius in layout they are just guessing.  These won't stop bad designs from happening, or from adventurers not enjoying a particular map, but it would help clear up at least what the stated intent of the design, and the expectations of the adventurers.   When the intent is clear to both sides, the ratings might start to mean something .. right now, they mean nothing, other than -somebody- liked it or didn't.  Currently we have no way of knowing why.

EDIT: As part of the 'editing' and 'publishing process,' SOE could even parse and verify/suggest a challenge rating as designed, because they 'know' how mobs will react, and they can see the exact placement on an author/designers map; and they have a fairly god idea of how they will apply automatic scaling; and how that might effect an intended difficulty rating...

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Old 12-20-2011, 05:08 AM   #5
Keran77

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It's seems for me, that group of 2 gets the same dungeon that solo adventurer, without any scaling.

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:19 AM   #6
msgnomer

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WanyenII,  I agree about the 3 mob limit for solo, conceivably 4 in some instances.  I'm getting from you that the mobs do scale sufficiently.

The key I guess is more in the difficulty level.  If it's "laid back" for solo, it will scale up but still be "laid back" for a group  If it's hard in solo, it will scale up and be hard in group.  Solo deathfest would scale to group deathfest.

That is actually how I was expecting it to work, although I'm not far enough along to track down a group to test my dungeon.  I agree the rating could get messed up because of expectations.  It sounds more like rating should be not so much solo/group but easy/med/hard. 

That said, my criteria  would be create and environment and tell a good story with a moderate level of challange. 

I'd planned to stick to 2 to 4 mobs because of the dungeon limitations.  Having played several dungeons I can see there are many variations possible, but I want more.  I'd actually really love to be able to power down mobs as well as power them up for story telling and progression purposes.  That and talking variety npc as well as combat mobs.

...and not sure how having the option to use your own character will affect this.   It's got to throw a wrench in the works to some degree as the variation between the adventurers will be nothing compared to the variation between different players' characters of the same level.

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Old 12-21-2011, 04:15 AM   #7
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A group which brings 2+ healers along will be able to handle a far more difficult challenge than a group which brings one or no healers. A few of the healers have group heals which are not only cost effective but also heal by a percental rather than a raw amount. There's really no way to truly measure balance in this scenario, but a group can build their team for success and overcome greater challenges than a solo player can.

It'll be interesting to see if they give player characters static scaling as well. It could be that the healing avatars will be exceptionally more powerful because they heal by percental rather than static numbers. On the other hand the scout avatars, who are already lackluster and no fun to play, will appear even worse. But they could very well give players a 'buff' which adjusts all their stats in such a way that they have static values in dungeons, and causes their broad array of skills to have strength similar to the avatars.

In this case, player characters will have versatility over the avatars, and they will still seem a much better option. I just hope that the avatars are given some tweaking to make them a more feasable option.

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Old 12-22-2011, 01:02 AM   #8
apwyork

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The scaling is not set up very well so the dungeon creator needs to consider what they are making it for, and how that amount of players will affect the scaling.  As it stands, a dungeon meant for 2 players works very well for 2, somewhat harder if 3, and becomes a total drag out time waster for 4.  The rewards themselves do not scale up to make it worth the addition work if you increase the group sizes.  2 monsters = 1 mark, whether you have 1 or 6 people to kill them.  A 6 person dungeon is going to be all ^^^ and a lot harder (just guessing, since I only went up as high as 4 people and the mobs were all ^^) and more time consuming however, so the draw for those dungeons is in the design, and story if any, otherwise nobody's going to waste their time on it. 

Current testing to enable characters in these dungeons is underway right now, which means any issues we are having just with the avatars alone is going to get even worse as raid-geared 90's are going to be scaling with level 20 trash gear characters in the same dungeons.  I don't see how this would be workable, but not my job so I will wait to see how they do it.   I do however think SOE is making a huge mistake by working on making dungeons available to characters when they can't even get them to be workable with avatars.

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