Most RPGs have a built-in reward for your painstaking efforts to grow stronger than the fierce, two-foot-tall sewer rats of the world: you get to beat the stuffing out of the baddies who hung you from flagpoles and gave you swirlies back in the day.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, though? Not so much.
Instead, enemies’ levels would scale with yours, or washed up enemies would be replaced with something more capable of snapping you like a particularly sob-prone twig. As a result, players complained that the game lacked a tangible sense of progression, and it served as a small red mark on an otherwise fantastic game.
Fortunately, this time around, Bethesda’s learned its lesson.
“Since people are asking, wanted to briefly touch on level scaling. All our games have had some amount of randomness/leveling based on player level. Skyrim’s is similar to Fallout 3’s, not Oblivion’s,” wrote a Bethesda community manager on the game’s official forums.
Fallout 3’s level-scaling, of course, was much less pronounced and far more refined. In other words, no terrifying three-eyed gorilla monsters until we’ve got the gear, stats, and (hopefully) psychological preparation to deal with them.