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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sidesteps scaling enemy levels

Monday, 24th October 2011 00:27 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Big Huge Games and 38 Studios have found a neat work-around for the dilemma of scaling difficulty levels and gating.

Systems designer Will Miller told The Average Gamer that Reckoning is divided into regions of varying difficulty, to gate the player from accessing endgame loot and equipment, which can make earlier encounters too easy.

But instead of fixing each region at a specific level of difficulty, which can ruin the fun for players slightly too high or too low powered, Reckoning attaches a range of difficulty levels to each area.

“When the player first enters one of those regions, we clamp all of the region’s NPCs to the level of the player, provided he’s within the range,” Miller explained.

“So if you’re a level 20 character and you go to a level five to ten area, we clamp it at ten. And if you’re too low, we clamp at the low value. So if you’re one of the players who tries to run way ahead of the game trying to get the ‘sweet loots’ further away from where you’re supposed to be, you’ll quickly run into regions that clamp at much higher levels than you are.

“Enemies don’t level with you always – when you encounter them the first time, that’s the level they’re gonna be at for the rest of the game but we intelligently decide what that level is.”

Reckoning thereby avoids the eternally powerful enemies of games like Oblivion, but gives the player more chance to come across enemies of an appropriate level than in a fixed-difficulty game.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is the first game from 38 Studios, a single-player RPG introducing the world featured in an upcoming MMORPG. It’s expected on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in February 2012.

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7 Comments

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  1. OrbitMonkey

    Another big EA rpg? Are they just trying to be the best at everything?

    Oh they are?

    Carry on then EA, I’d ask you to not rinse the fuck out of this with dlc, but we both know that ain’t gonna happen :)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    @1

    EA only distributes this game. Big Huge Games is an independent studio with big names like Ken Rolston, Todd Mcfarlane and R.A. Salvatore with money from a rich baseball player.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OrbitMonkey

    ^ That maybe true, but when you look at the Bioware/Dice/EA hookups, you see a shitload of DLC.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @3

    You do realize those are all in house development studios look at all the EA partner games. Do you see a shitload of DLC for those?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. The_Red

    Why the HELL do they have to try and even think about scaling? What’s wrong with classic static levels for all enemies? Fallout 1 & 2, Arcanium, Deus Ex, Demon’s Souls and many other RPGs have had that and were superb games while the same system almost destroyed likes of Oblivion and Dead Island.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Telepathic.Geometry

    In fairness, it’s not true scaling. Those enemies will always stay inside their own range, so a level 25-30 monster will still quickly kick your level 20 arse. Where’s the beef?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @5

    Its outdated and restricts the player that’s why. Oblivion and Dead Island used the Player Level = Enemy Level scaling. Where Bioware and CD Projekt uses scaling but with tiers. For example a boss depending on difficulty is Player level + 10 levels.

    #7 3 years ago