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Penny Arcade - Comic - DML

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DML!

Penny Arcade - Comic - DML

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

Read the full story here

KoopahTroopahAndy Joetastydonuts

Posts

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    As someone out of the loop: is Gabe shit at WoW or is every random overworld mob now a long-ass fight?

  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The sunny beaches of CanadaRegistered User regular
    Aldo wrote: »
    As someone out of the loop: is Gabe shit at WoW or is every random overworld mob now a long-ass fight?

    If you're decked out in level 60 gear and you hit level 62, then fighting a level 62 duck may mean your doom, yeah.

    Do some quests and get your gear.

    H9f4bVe.png
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Golden Yak wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    As someone out of the loop: is Gabe shit at WoW or is every random overworld mob now a long-ass fight?

    If you're decked out in level 60 gear and you hit level 62, then fighting a level 62 duck may mean your doom, yeah.

    Do some quests and get your gear.

    That's pretty funny if you're unawares. Then again if you're unaware of it then you were probably just following quests and got thee proper gear anyway.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    This isn't a unique problem to WoW. It's a problem for any game with levels and increasing level caps. Fights that are world-ending threats (such as the Lich King) are recontextualized each expansion, and now we're in a situation where normal mobs in Dragonflight are statistically stronger than the threats of olde.

    Level is a measure of advancement and progress, not a measure of actual power.

    HevachSatsumomoPreacherSmrtnik
  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    I love this comic. The joke, the argument against level progression, the fucking duck's face. A+.

    SatsumomoGiantGeek2020
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    This isn't a unique problem to WoW. It's a problem for any game with levels and increasing level caps. Fights that are world-ending threats (such as the Lich King) are recontextualized each expansion, and now we're in a situation where normal mobs in Dragonflight are statistically stronger than the threats of olde.

    Level is a measure of advancement and progress, not a measure of actual power.

    Or you can go the Souls route and the enemies don't even have to get stronger to continue to wreck your world when you don't take them seriously.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Eh even in souls though you outlevel some enemies and they can't do nearly the same damage to you they used to.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
    dennis
  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The sunny beaches of CanadaRegistered User regular
    Also, bear in mind these are the Dragon Isles, and pretty much everything is a fucking dragon here. The people are dragons, the crocodiles are dragons... even the frogs are dragons.

    Odds are high these ducks are part dragon too.

    H9f4bVe.png
    PreacherGiantGeek2020
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Also the level scaling isn't that bad in dragon isles. God damn shadowlands it sure as fuck was though. Like at least dragon lands gears you up as you go.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
    Smrtnik
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    In my opinion, the fact that level 81 kobolds are tougher than level 80 Arthas is just an odd little quirk and a consequence of the fact that a game can't escalate the stakes infinitely.

    But if you go back to Westfall to gather herbs or wrap up quests or to go explore Deadmines just for fun, and the wolves and boars there are level 100 and you actually have to expend effort...that defeats the whole point of going back at a high level and I hate it with a passion.

    Kane Red Robe
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    The old world only levels up with you until you get to the new expansion level range then you leave your chromie time warp and it reverts to its max level.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    In my opinion, the fact that level 81 kobolds are tougher than level 80 Arthas is just an odd little quirk and a consequence of the fact that a game can't escalate the stakes infinitely.

    But if you go back to Westfall to gather herbs or wrap up quests or to go explore Deadmines just for fun, and the wolves and boars there are level 100 and you actually have to expend effort...that defeats the whole point of going back at a high level and I hate it with a passion.

    Some MMOs sort of get around this by having climatic fights against story bosses involve a lot of specific preparations or circumstances to justify taking on the big bad. Elder Scrolls Online has you juiced up by another Daedric Prince to take down Molag Bal. Guild Wars 2 usually has a small army helping out to weaken a big bad, often in the form of a map-wide event that canonically precedes or happens concurrently with the final story battle. It doesn't entirely remove the quirk but does help.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    City of Heroes has superpowers, magic, and time travel. They can explain away anything thanks to genre conventions!

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
  • SkibbySkibby Registered User regular
    Under the conventional leveling model ninety percent of a game is either underleveled grey trash that you have no reason to visit, or so overleveled that it can kill you just by looking at you, and at any given point the game functionally consists of like three zones. Most of the game's content is considered so undesirable that typically the provider offers "character boosts" where players literally pay extra to skip most of it. How utterly dysfunctional is that?

    I haven't played WoW in years, but I play ESO where everything is scaled, and I'll never go back to a game that works the old way. I don't care how nostalgic someone is for the time in 2006 when they died twenty times running through Western Plaguelands at level thirty. I like being able to log in and play anywhere instead of consulting my approved chore list. And anyway, it was always corny and immersion-breaking to cross the wrong bridge at the wrong time and discover that the mice on this side are stronger than the ogres on that side.

  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Skibby wrote: »
    Under the conventional leveling model ninety percent of a game is either underleveled grey trash that you have no reason to visit, or so overleveled that it can kill you just by looking at you, and at any given point the game functionally consists of like three zones. Most of the game's content is considered so undesirable that typically the provider offers "character boosts" where players literally pay extra to skip most of it. How utterly dysfunctional is that?

    I haven't played WoW in years, but I play ESO where everything is scaled, and I'll never go back to a game that works the old way. I don't care how nostalgic someone is for the time in 2006 when they died twenty times running through Western Plaguelands at level thirty. I like being able to log in and play anywhere instead of consulting my approved chore list. And anyway, it was always corny and immersion-breaking to cross the wrong bridge at the wrong time and discover that the mice on this side are stronger than the ogres on that side.

    That's fair, although if there's functionally no progression I don't see why the game needs levels at all.

    I spent a ton of my time in WotLK in "grey zones" working on achievements. I found it fun to move through areas that once challenged me but were now trivial to move through, especially running old dungeons by myself.

    In Classic, there's a real sense of accomplishment if you are able to make progress in an area above your weight class. If the stat inflation is so crazy that you can't possibly survive in higher level areas, this is a problem, but it doesn't have to be that way. You should have the choice to attempt things early and get rewarded commiserately if you manage to do it.

    Now, I'd never hold up WoW as an example of proper pacing that every game should follow (either modern or classic). But there are advantages to having real level progression, in addition to disadvantage. I'd just rather a game dispense with the stuff that's merely illusions, like having levels and stats going up in a world that levels with you and completely invalidates your progress.

  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited January 6
    Skibby wrote: »
    Under the conventional leveling model ninety percent of a game is either underleveled grey trash that you have no reason to visit, or so overleveled that it can kill you just by looking at you, and at any given point the game functionally consists of like three zones. Most of the game's content is considered so undesirable that typically the provider offers "character boosts" where players literally pay extra to skip most of it. How utterly dysfunctional is that?

    I haven't played WoW in years, but I play ESO where everything is scaled, and I'll never go back to a game that works the old way. I don't care how nostalgic someone is for the time in 2006 when they died twenty times running through Western Plaguelands at level thirty. I like being able to log in and play anywhere instead of consulting my approved chore list. And anyway, it was always corny and immersion-breaking to cross the wrong bridge at the wrong time and discover that the mice on this side are stronger than the ogres on that side.

    That's fair, although if there's functionally no progression I don't see why the game needs levels at all.

    I spent a ton of my time in WotLK in "grey zones" working on achievements. I found it fun to move through areas that once challenged me but were now trivial to move through, especially running old dungeons by myself.

    In Classic, there's a real sense of accomplishment if you are able to make progress in an area above your weight class. If the stat inflation is so crazy that you can't possibly survive in higher level areas, this is a problem, but it doesn't have to be that way. You should have the choice to attempt things early and get rewarded commiserately if you manage to do it.

    Now, I'd never hold up WoW as an example of proper pacing that every game should follow (either modern or classic). But there are advantages to having real level progression, in addition to disadvantage. I'd just rather a game dispense with the stuff that's merely illusions, like having levels and stats going up in a world that levels with you and completely invalidates your progress.

    ESO's approach to scaling is unique, partly because on release it was a more traditional level based MMO without scaling and limited player exploration a lot compared to a mainline Elder Scrolls game. That bit got dropped when they realized they had to overhaul the game to survive. The gist of it is that the mobs are all max level and players below that get scaled up. These stat boosts are general boosts though so you aren't as specialized as an actual max level character. You also won't have the skill selection. An effect of this is that even if squishy dps is your end build you get to be more durable while still learning the game and that buffer lessens over time.

    There is also some vertical progression that the level scaling does not affect in the form of Champion Points that act like a big skill tree with points buying various small boosts but with diminishing returns. These add up over time, but a big thing is that any time the devs raise the cap on them when they release new content, the cap is raised for all players and all experience contributes to their accumulation, not just the new content. You do end up with some power creep going back to old zones but it's slight and you can't just walk up to an old world boss solo without a very good plan.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

    Steam Profile
    3DS: 3454-0268-5595 Battle.net: SteelAngel#1772
    GiantGeek2020
  • SkibbySkibby Registered User regular
    That's fair, although if there's functionally no progression I don't see why the game needs levels at all.

    Because players expect them to be there, and because they're an easy way to hand out small dopamine hits on a regular schedule. That and because they provide a mechanism by which to make gear obsolete and send players out looking for more. Once you put on your They Live sunglasses and look at the design of something like ESO, you realize that it's actually an unleveled game with a relatively shallow power curve, carefully dressed up to look just enough like the old model to keep the aforementioned dopamine hits coming.

    The thing is, the word "relatively" is doing a lot of work there. The power curve under the standard model is typically insane, some real Dragon Ball Z shit where a high level character can't be hurt by a newbie even while buck naked and trying to commit suicide. Getting away from that means getting away from the need for periodic "level crunches" and ugly kludges like that.

    The ESO model gets a bit more vertical at endgame, as Steel points out above, but it never gets out of hand to the point that you're going back and blowing Arthas over with a fart because you killed enough level 100 chickens.

  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist กรุงเทพมหานครRegistered User regular
    Skibby wrote: »
    Under the conventional leveling model ninety percent of a game is either underleveled grey trash that you have no reason to visit, or so overleveled that it can kill you just by looking at you, and at any given point the game functionally consists of like three zones. Most of the game's content is considered so undesirable that typically the provider offers "character boosts" where players literally pay extra to skip most of it. How utterly dysfunctional is that?

    I haven't played WoW in years, but I play ESO where everything is scaled, and I'll never go back to a game that works the old way. I don't care how nostalgic someone is for the time in 2006 when they died twenty times running through Western Plaguelands at level thirty. I like being able to log in and play anywhere instead of consulting my approved chore list. And anyway, it was always corny and immersion-breaking to cross the wrong bridge at the wrong time and discover that the mice on this side are stronger than the ogres on that side.

    That's fair, although if there's functionally no progression I don't see why the game needs levels at all.

    I spent a ton of my time in WotLK in "grey zones" working on achievements. I found it fun to move through areas that once challenged me but were now trivial to move through, especially running old dungeons by myself.

    In Classic, there's a real sense of accomplishment if you are able to make progress in an area above your weight class. If the stat inflation is so crazy that you can't possibly survive in higher level areas, this is a problem, but it doesn't have to be that way. You should have the choice to attempt things early and get rewarded commiserately if you manage to do it.

    Now, I'd never hold up WoW as an example of proper pacing that every game should follow (either modern or classic). But there are advantages to having real level progression, in addition to disadvantage. I'd just rather a game dispense with the stuff that's merely illusions, like having levels and stats going up in a world that levels with you and completely invalidates your progress.
    It totally depends on how you play the game and what you want out of it, I guess. I vaguely remember an article way back in the day describing distinctly four different type of MMORPG players, who would seek out different experiences and interact with the game and other players differently.

    I don't play any more so not sure of the exact parameters the strip is describing but I'd imagine if mobs through most zones scaled with player power that would seem totally weird and immersion breaking for me. But if you were a player more concerned with the mechanics of fighting or whatever it could totally be your thing!

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    This is not new to DF. Hell think about going into TBC from vanilla in "just reached 60 the day before TBC dropped" gear and how HFP would go for you.

    steam_sig.png
  • SkibbySkibby Registered User regular
    Solvent wrote: »
    I don't play any more so not sure of the exact parameters the strip is describing but I'd imagine if mobs through most zones scaled with player power that would seem totally weird and immersion breaking for me.

    I'm curious about your perspective here, because for me it's just the opposite.

    Like for example, under a scaling system there are no enemies with absolutely zero ability to hurt you. Random trash mobs in something like current ESO aren't a threat to a built-up character, but you can't literally take a nap while three bandits stab you and expect to wake up alive either. But if you're playing WoW during WotLK and you're in a level 80 slumming in level 30 zone to farm materials or help a newbie or something, you're literally invincible. You can run into the middle of six ogres twice your size, tab out to read the wiki for ten minutes, and come back to a full health bar.

    By the same token, under a scaling system there's no such thing as a sewer rat that's stronger than a dire wolf. If you do see a rat that's stronger than wolf, it's because the developer made a straightforward mistake and gave the rat higher stats. There isn't some immersion-breaking explanation about how the sewers are higher level than the forest, so really everything is working as intended and you're just supposed to pretend you don't notice.

    To the extent that I do miss the old way (and in certain respects I do) it's because going back and kicking the shit out of old content is fun. It's fast-paced and makes you feel like a superhero. But my paladin singlehandedly killing everything in Stratholme with a single fart isn't exactly immersive. You're not going to canonically hear the king say that they've reduced the garrison in Goldshire to two guys because they're fifty levels higher than all the kobolds anyway.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    I mean again in WoW currently once you've leveled up the old content is 100% grey and farmable.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • SkibbySkibby Registered User regular
    Then what are they complaining about in the comic?

    Did they just broaden the brackets so that 20 years of content can fit into less than 200 levels?

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    Skibby wrote: »
    Then what are they complaining about in the comic?

    Did they just broaden the brackets so that 20 years of content can fit into less than 200 levels?

    I believe currently, all content is scaled to your level until you reach the level of the current content. Then the scaling stops and you can go back to being head bully of Durotar.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Skibby wrote: »
    Then what are they complaining about in the comic?

    Did they just broaden the brackets so that 20 years of content can fit into less than 200 levels?

    They are talking about just level scaling in general. Wow itself did a level squish so the current max level I think is 70, but it covers what used to be 100's of levels of content. Like I think Wrath content is level "30" in the game.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    If you're actually designing with immersion in mind you can do two things.

    (1) Don't have a huge gap in power between low and high levels. You can make the numbers whatever you want so instead of +10 INT when you level, +1. Or +.01. "But then it won't feel cool to level up!" Well, it'll feel a whole lot better than having your INT go up by 10,000 and watching every Boar's HP go up by the exact same amount...

    (2) Actually escalate threats that you face during the game in a reasonable way. This is hard if you aren't planning the game 100% at the beginning. I seem to remember Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance doing this pretty well, having you fight rats, the kobolds, then skeletons, the assassins, then drow, etc etc. But this solution doesn't really work for an MMO.

    But I fail to see how this issue is at all addressed by having every kobold, rat, dragon, and god have *exactly* enough HP for your current damage output, and by having your character periodically flash yellow with a level up that means absolutely nothing because everything you fight is exactly as challenging as it was before.

    OverkillenginePALaxxTamerBill
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    This is why I feel like level ups that only give talent/skill points are the way to go. Your power increases not by better stats, but by expanding your toolkit

    steam_sig.png
    PreacherV1mRingo
  • SkibbySkibby Registered User regular
    This is why I feel like level ups that only give talent/skill points are the way to go. Your power increases not by better stats, but by expanding your toolkit

    That's my preference as well. But players want bigger numbers, so you give them bigger numbers, then sweep them under the rug by having everything scale so they make no functional difference. It seems kind of pointless, but that kind of psychological gamesmanship is the lifeblood of the genre apparently.

  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The sunny beaches of CanadaRegistered User regular
    Oh hey, just found a secret Mages-only area where an NPC is literally attempting to magically weaponize ducks as 'the ultimate weapon of mass destruction,' so... maybe Gabe ran into one of those.

    H9f4bVe.png
    RingoRhesus Positive
  • LtPowersLtPowers Registered User regular
    Skibby wrote: »
    This is why I feel like level ups that only give talent/skill points are the way to go. Your power increases not by better stats, but by expanding your toolkit

    That's my preference as well. But players want bigger numbers, so you give them bigger numbers, then sweep them under the rug by having everything scale so they make no functional difference. It seems kind of pointless, but that kind of psychological gamesmanship is the lifeblood of the genre apparently.

    It's not just the players wanting bigger numbers. The need for (drastically) bigger numbers is an easy way to gate out beginning players from endgame content.


    Powers &8^]

  • RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    Or you could play City of Heroes! Featuring Sidekicking/Exemplaring, adjustable Mission Difficulty, Team Scaling, and all sorts of ways to interact with all content! Don't just feel like a superhero, BE a superhero!

    (I like City of Heroes)

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
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