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Why Scaling isn't hitting its intended goals

hypnotorioushypnotorious Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 10 Arc User
Express goals of this system
  1. Support scaling so that content is evergreen. As you gear up, new content becomes available and old content remains engaging
  2. Support scaling in a way that doesn't require different builds for down-scaled content. No removing gear to be competitive
Inferred goal: a stat sink
Create a system where nobody can max their stats. Everyone needs to choose how to distribute their stats
Here, I'm talking about the stat contribution portion. Not the "other" portion, which is another layer of non-maxable stats

Full disclosure, I am a fan of the Inferred goal. I prefer a system where you have to specialize on a few stats/traits instead of being great at everything.

Ratio of stats to item level
Most gear gives 15 stats per item level. Each point of combined rating is contributing one point to each of the 15 stats. (Hit Points are a special case: they aren't part of the core 15 stats and they gain at a rate of 4:1)
This rate is applied evenly to the base stats for things like equipment, enchantments, runestones, insignia, most guild boons, etc.

Some things give Item Level while giving less than the standard 15:1 rate. I'll call them Out-of-Ratio Gear. Some, but not all, examples
  • Companion Enhancement Power gives no stats (the purple hued item buff on the companion sheet)
  • Collars give half their item level in stats
  • Tenebrous enchantment gives 90% of it stats
  • Mount Attack Powers give no stats
  • Weapon and Armor enchants give no stats
  • Gear with conditional stat bonuses give an out-of-ratio gain instead of loss (+2500 combat advantage when over 75% stamina, for example)
How the system is intended to work
  • These items offer a desirable bonus that offsets the lack of stats.
  • The increase in item level increases base damage and Hit Points which further offsets the lack of stats.
What does this accomplish?
It creates a stat sink. By increasing Item Level without commensurate stat increases, it becomes impossible to get all stats to their 50% cap.
The loss of stats is offset by the bonuses gained as well as a Base Damage increase given by improved Item Level. Even junk collars give a small dps boost in unscaled content.

This all works well, until you start scaling. Then it rapidly falls apart.

How scaling is handled
  • The stat percentages on the character sheet are set. They don't change when you enter scaled content
  • The item level cap for scaled content is used in place of your actual item level
  • Item level is used to calculate Hit Points and Base Damage
Why Out-of-Ratio Gear breaks scaling
These items increase the gap between your stats and your item level. To optimize your stats, you need to reduce non-optimal stats to increase the most desirable stats.
For dps, this usually means sacrificing non-offensive stats and prioritizing some offensive stats over others to get your favourite stats capped to 50%.

End game builds have maxed out their Collars, Weapon and Armor Enchants, etc. As such, they have to make a lot of stat sacrifices for these benefits that lower geared players don't have to make. Without the benefit of the increased item level to offset the stat sacrifices, anyone being scaled down is losing dps compared to those who havent made those sacrifices. Most collars result in a net dps loss. Mount Attack Powers have very high ilvl which significantly reduces their effectiveness when capped.

A player has to either accept a loss of effectiveness in scaled content or run multiple down-geared and balanced builds for scaled content. This is contrary to second expressed goal.

Here's the kicker. Virtually everything is scaled. With the exception of Tower of the Mad Mage and Zariel: Master, every piece of content has a level cap, even the upcoming new dungeon is slated to launch with a 51k cap. Sure, that cap isn't a concern for the majority of players, myself included, but it is a concern for many.

Consistent scaling relies on a consistent ratio of stats. Having a mix of standard ratio items (equipment, enchants, etc) and off-ratio items (collars, mount attack powers, etc) simply cannot scale well.

Suggestion
If everything that gives item level gives the same ratio of stats and if all stat bonuses on equipment are replaced by "Other %" bonuses, scaling will be more consistent. If a 15:1 ratio is used, everyone would be able (with some effort) to balance all their stats to the 50% cap.

If a lower ratio is chosen, ie) 12:1, the players won't be able to cap everything, but scaling will still be smooth. However, this still results in the non-dps collars incurring a small penalty when down-scaled. Or, more accurately, a loss of the small gain when not scaled.
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Comments

  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    Good post, hypnotorious. I think you've pinned down exactly why the scaling implementation is weirding everything out right now.
  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User

    I appreciate the OP explication, but I agree with greywynd, I don't think things should be scaled.


    If I'm lvl 80 in the tower district, I don't expect it to be engaging, I'm not there to relive the fight I had at lvl 10. If I want to relive it I'll start a new character.


    And how they are trying to scale everything, it makes leveling pointless, it merly indicates time spent and some places require that you've played longer

    Only certain areas with group content are scaled. If you go to Tower District as lvl 80 you will be immortal. Scaling is for dungeons and skirmishes and so on.
  • Great post. I understand the need for some scaling just not a fan of this current scaling. I like darthpotater's idea for scaling. Clean and simple to understand. I do not think that scaling should exist in general open environment content though, just dungeons, trials, etc.

    I am a newer player that just started getting used to the pre-rework system. Now I watch as I play leveling content when I get a new item, my stats lower. This really breaks the original D&D feeling of progression and fun of finding that new piece of loot.

    I need to ask those who know, is there a list of what the equivalent item levels were for leveling content before the combat re-work and a list to show what they were through all the patches? I am curious to note where the changes settle in comparison to what I was used to running in.

    Don't misunderstand my post as a negative towards Neverwinter or Cryptic. The content is enjoyable and I really do not mind if leveling is more challenging - especially if it forces me to be less of a button masher but play smarter and utilize all my character's powers. I just want to have a sense of scope as to what it was before rework, to the blood bath immediately after, and to where it is expected going forward.
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,182 Arc User
    We can keep posting we dont want scaling (we do that since years) or we can accept finally that this game will have scaling and give feedback to make scaling more friendly.
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  • haludor#3628 haludor Member Posts: 16 Arc User
    edited January 2021
    > @ultramath#3953 said:
    > Only certain areas with group content are scaled. If you go to Tower District as lvl 80 you will be immortal. Scaling is for dungeons and skirmishes and so on.

    Really?? Only group content was ment to be scaled, then they screwed up even bigger than I originally thought... Or they went to make everything group content
  • armadeonxarmadeonx Member Posts: 4,952 Arc User
    I absolutely agree that scaling should maintain all percentages of the non-scaled character, otherwise it's not scaling, it's nerfing.
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  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    armadeonx said:

    I absolutely agree that scaling should maintain all percentages of the non-scaled character, otherwise it's not scaling, it's nerfing.

    Well, if you ran RDQ's recently and saw what has happened with player behavior due to the scaling down of lvl80 "demigods" compared to the nubs they were running the content with, one could make the case that a nerf was absolutely called for and worked out pretty well for the most part in that particular content. You can't just faceroll everything in the dungeon by yourself in 5 seconds anymore... it takes like 20 seconds now. The point being, now the nubs get to play and contribute too. Running ahead of the group as a non-tank is now risky and dangerous, even for an 80 sometimes.

    I can only speak for the RDQ's so far, but what I've seen after a dozen runs or so is very encouraging. Teamwork is back. Everybody on the team matters now, no matter the level. Tanks matter. Healers matter. If you try to be a lone ranger superstar you get punished. I would say that right now the scaling system works for the normal basic RDQ.

    The other queues and other content might be completely borked and terrible, though. I've heard a lot of horror stories. I'm not inclined to just dismiss the horror stories out of hand just because I've had numerous good experiences in the lesser content.
  • lordmelchett#1830 lordmelchett Member Posts: 33 Arc User
    I totally agree with the OP - there is something fundamentally flawed in scaling as it is right now.
    Looks like all it is doing is nerfing your HP & Damage - so having high IL actually punishes you. How is that different than the old system where people just dropped half their gear to become more powerful in scaled content? It more and more looks like the same thing will apply in this new system - drop all collars/ drop all enchantments and you may actually get stronger.
    If that's the case then the least we can ask for is to make it free to unequip enchants.

    I would have expected that in scaled content, my hard work to improve my character would pay off. So, now that all my stats are over 40K - when I go into scaled content that is lower than 40K I expect all these stats to just get the orange colour and I'll be at 50% base on all stats. (Isn't that what cap is for?)
    That's just one suggestion; any other scaling formula like some of the ones suggested above would be good as well.
    Leaving it as it is really doesn't make much sense in my view.
  • mushellkamushellka Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 357 Arc User
    edited February 2021

    armadeonx said:

    I absolutely agree that scaling should maintain all percentages of the non-scaled character, otherwise it's not scaling, it's nerfing.

    Well, if you ran RDQ's recently and saw what has happened with player behavior due to the scaling down of lvl80 "demigods" compared to the nubs they were running the content with, one could make the case that a nerf was absolutely called for and worked out pretty well for the most part in that particular content. You can't just faceroll everything in the dungeon by yourself in 5 seconds anymore... it takes like 20 seconds now. The point being, now the nubs get to play and contribute too. Running ahead of the group as a non-tank is now risky and dangerous, even for an 80 sometimes.

    I can only speak for the RDQ's so far, but what I've seen after a dozen runs or so is very encouraging. Teamwork is back. Everybody on the team matters now, no matter the level. Tanks matter. Healers matter. If you try to be a lone ranger superstar you get punished. I would say that right now the scaling system works for the normal basic RDQ.

    The other queues and other content might be completely borked and terrible, though. I've heard a lot of horror stories. I'm not inclined to just dismiss the horror stories out of hand just because I've had numerous good experiences in the lesser content.
    Well, okay, I was gonna keep quiet, but I'll make an exception.
    I laughed at your statement, because scaling didn't really change anything about the queues. Still, if you are alone and grouped with noobs, you can't get anything done.. Even though they've been equaled in stats and damage to "demigods", noobs remain noobs. Tank-noob doesn't tanks because he can't and falls like a rag doll. Healer-noob doesn't heal because he doesn't know how. DPS-noob doesn't do damage..
    The queue must be at least two people who know how to play. By trial and error, the best option turned out to be good tank + dps.
    And no amount of nerfs and scaling will change that truth.
    Random queues now are pain and agony.
    To a much greater extent than before.

    Better to feed the troll than listen to the idiot .
  • zimxero#8085 zimxero Member Posts: 876 Arc User
    edited February 2021
    In general I prefer some scaling, but this seems too flat to me. It shouldn't be so flat that you gain nothing by buying a collar, that you gain nothing for making it all the way through to the end game. Every enchantment stone is identical now, so it doesn't even matter which one you slot or where you slot it. Our only balancing mechanism is through companion bonuses, gear effects, mount special, and that's about it. The rest of stat development is a grindfest to tweak about 10% away from here and get it over to there.... and this seems overshadowed by the fact that it is much easier to remove "meh" gear, than to grind for gear with better bonuses.
  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    mushellka said:


    Random queues now are pain and agony.
    To a much greater extent than before.

    I hear what you're trying to say, but I'm actually playing the game as it is right now and you're simply wrong. I've run dozens and dozens of RDQ's now. The only issues I've had AT ALL aside from nubs not knowing to concentrate adds in the boss fight at the end of Cloak Tower (hey they don't know yet... so i now say something at the campfire in chat before we fight Vansi) is from DPS lone rangers who think they can run ahead of the group and pull all the aggro instead of letting the tank do their job.

    You wouldn't happen to play a DPS, would you? :)
  • armadeonxarmadeonx Member Posts: 4,952 Arc User
    edited February 2021

    armadeonx said:

    I absolutely agree that scaling should maintain all percentages of the non-scaled character, otherwise it's not scaling, it's nerfing.

    Well, if you ran RDQ's recently and saw what has happened with player behavior due to the scaling down of lvl80 "demigods" compared to the nubs they were running the content with, one could make the case that a nerf was absolutely called for and worked out pretty well for the most part in that particular content. You can't just faceroll everything in the dungeon by yourself in 5 seconds anymore... it takes like 20 seconds now. The point being, now the nubs get to play and contribute too. Running ahead of the group as a non-tank is now risky and dangerous, even for an 80 sometimes.

    I can only speak for the RDQ's so far, but what I've seen after a dozen runs or so is very encouraging. Teamwork is back. Everybody on the team matters now, no matter the level. Tanks matter. Healers matter. If you try to be a lone ranger superstar you get punished. I would say that right now the scaling system works for the normal basic RDQ.

    The other queues and other content might be completely borked and terrible, though. I've heard a lot of horror stories. I'm not inclined to just dismiss the horror stories out of hand just because I've had numerous good experiences in the lesser content.
    So you think it's right that players stats jump all over the place depending on which dungeon they find themselves in? I didn't disagree with scaling in lower dungeons but forcing players to have multiple sets of gear to swap into depending on where they find themselves doesn't strike you as an issue?

    Wouldn't the correct (and probably INTENDED - going from Cryptic's own statements) thing be for players to scale down but not have to swap gear so you'd keep everything in place but still find the dungeon challenging enough to require proper teamwork?

    If you don't find yourself having to swap gear, maybe you can let us know your IL, Class and if you actually play endgame dungeons? Your comments indicate you only play the lower versions - if that is the case it means you can run with cheapo gear and never experience the problems many others are having?
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  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    armadeonx said:



    So you think it's right that players stats jump all over the place depending on which dungeon they find themselves in? I didn't disagree with scaling in lower dungeons but forcing players to have multiple sets of gear to swap into depending on where they find themselves doesn't strike you as an issue?

    Wouldn't the correct (and probably INTENDED - going from Cryptic's own statements) thing be for players to scale down but not have to swap gear so you'd keep everything in place but still find the dungeon challenging enough to require proper teamwork?

    If you don't find yourself having to swap gear, maybe you can let us know your IL, Class and if you actually play endgame dungeons? Your comments indicate you only play the lower versions - if that is the case it means you can run with cheapo gear and never experience the problems many others are having?

    Read what I actually wrote. I literally say exactly "these are my experiences in the normal lesser RDQ's, everything else might be messed up for all I know."

    Look at what you quoted. I don't think I could have been any more clear, and still.... here we are again. LOL
  • armadeonxarmadeonx Member Posts: 4,952 Arc User

    armadeonx said:



    So you think it's right that players stats jump all over the place depending on which dungeon they find themselves in? I didn't disagree with scaling in lower dungeons but forcing players to have multiple sets of gear to swap into depending on where they find themselves doesn't strike you as an issue?

    Wouldn't the correct (and probably INTENDED - going from Cryptic's own statements) thing be for players to scale down but not have to swap gear so you'd keep everything in place but still find the dungeon challenging enough to require proper teamwork?

    If you don't find yourself having to swap gear, maybe you can let us know your IL, Class and if you actually play endgame dungeons? Your comments indicate you only play the lower versions - if that is the case it means you can run with cheapo gear and never experience the problems many others are having?

    Read what I actually wrote. I literally say exactly "these are my experiences in the normal lesser RDQ's, everything else might be messed up for all I know."

    Look at what you quoted. I don't think I could have been any more clear, and still.... here we are again. LOL
    You can tell I inferred correctly that you weren't playing higher level content - I asked for clarification as to whether you were also playing endgame content just to be sure. Thanks for clarifying.

    As such, you are not experiencing the full spectrum of how the changes are impacting segments of the broader player base and your feedback/comments are based on a very narrow perspective.

    This is interesting as you appear to dismiss opinions put forward by players who are having issues that you haven't come across (due to IL etc) based on nothing more than your limited experience.

    Of course you don't have an issue with stats jumping all over the place because you have yet to experience it! Try projecting yourself into the mindset of those it's happening to (it's called empathy)
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  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    armadeonx said:


    This is interesting as you appear to dismiss opinions put forward by players who are having issues that you haven't come across (due to IL etc) based on nothing more than your limited experience.

    Of course you don't have an issue with stats jumping all over the place because you have yet to experience it! Try projecting yourself into the mindset of those it's happening to (it's called empathy)

    From my post above that you have an issue with --

    I wrote: The other queues and other content might be completely borked and terrible, though. I've heard a lot of horror stories. I'm not inclined to just dismiss the horror stories out of hand just because I've had numerous good experiences in the lesser content.

    How am I being dismissive of other people's experiences?

    Look, we're having a communication breakdown and we're getting off-topic a little bit. I have the sense that you are not really letting yourself say anything good about the patch, which is fine. I know full well it's "be negative or get flamed" for the most part on the forums right now, but the truth -- the absolute truth -- is that this patch is not 100% bad. That's a fact. From what I've seen leveling a barb and now just getting to 80 with a healer cleric, this patch is like maybe 10% bad so far, tops. And most of that 10% that I have seen is just because of Mt Hotenow being out of whack... and that area can be skipped. I don't quite trust the devs to ever fix it anytime soon.

    Back on topic: I can vouch for the normal RDQ scaling. There's no need to be hyper-dialed in for that content, you just have to play your role somewhat coherently and you'll be fine. When I start healing the harder stuff, things might be different.
  • lordmelchett#1830 lordmelchett Member Posts: 33 Arc User



    The issue i've experienced is that formerly experienced, long-term (i.e. playing for greater than 5 years) and highly-geared players are now quitting the game. Whether they will return or not is anyone's guess. However, the unanimous reason amongst all of these players, is that they enter into scaled content, then perform WORSE than a player who may have only been playing for a month, who barely has any idea how to play, and who may struggle to reach even 50% of their TIL. To believe or argue that a system whereby a player who has invested many millions of AD into their character, and who have invested years into the game, should perform WORSE than someone else purely because that other player is lower TIL, is simply stupefying. After all, what incentive is there, then, to ever bother progressing a character, if that character will perform (comparatively) increasingly worse the more it is 'progressed'?

    Well said!
    That's exactly what I'm seeing. I may be fairly new - but I busted my a** and invested some money getting geared up - and now I'm at 50K IL.
    What good does that do me when I enter scaled content and have the exact amount of HP & Damage as players who have 20K IL lower than me? I get the worst of it since my base stats percentage is compared to my high IL which conveniently remained unscaled.

    I hope very much that some of this will get addressed.
  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    Just curious about the players complaining about the scaling making them worse, help me out here please:

    Is this ONLY in endgame stuff that you are having this issue? In other words, when you are comparing yourself to other players with lower TIL, are these also 80's like yourselves with 25k+ TIL?

    Assuming "yes" to the above, could the OP's math on "out of ratio" gear be exactly why you are having these problems? Meaning you have all tricked out stuff like maxed mount collars, mount attack powers, weapon and armor enchants, etc. (look at the list in the first post) and having these on basically is a self-nerf? Could you take the "out of ratio" gear off and perform better, essentially proving the original poster's hypothesis?

    If so, let's make a case to the devs for real. It doesn't make sense to have all this expensive extra sparkly stuff actually nerfing you instead making things better, does it? We can do more than complain if this is the case. If we have data that proves this, that's different than random forum whining. You guys with 50k can make really good test subjects for this. I have like one green mount collar --> I'm not really going to be much help. lol
  • datarider#1036 datarider Member Posts: 210 Arc User
    lots of items give more ilvl than stats - thats a piramide scheme :D
    ilvl = dmg and hp, but without stats its just shiny nothing
    very nice post - OP is op :D
  • ultramath#3953 ultramath Member Posts: 143 Arc User
    greywynd said:


    Doesn't matter. Shouldn't happen. If I can tank demons in Avernus, but get tanked by orcs in the Cloak Tower there is a serious flaw in the game's system.

    Just to be clear, are you claiming that you can't tank mobs in CT with a 50k setup or whatever? Do you have a large amount of "out of ratio gear" like maxed mount collars, maxed armor and weapon enhancement enchants, mythic mount attack powers, tenebrous enchants, high level conditional stat gear that gives temp bonuses, etc.?

    On a different note, if someone is a very powerful character in a DPS role, you probably shouldn't expect to take over the tank role even from a low level actual tank in CT, for example. I have seen DPS lvl 80 warlocks get eaten alive by the trash mobs because they ran ahead of the group, pulled all the aggro on themselves thinking that they are immortal because of their TIL, and then I am once again trying to save them with dedicated heals when the rest of us catch up to them. LOL If you aren't a tank, don't try to be a tank. Yes, even in Cloak Tower. I'm not saying this is you, greywynd... I'm just relaying what I've seen happen more than once. Sometimes it's a rogue, sometimes it's a warlock or ranger. But it happens more than rarely that a DPS thinks he can be a tank, and the new system punishes them. I'm pretty sure that's not a bug, and exactly what the developers had in mind.

    If a tank can't tank, that's something else entirely.
  • mushellkamushellka Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 357 Arc User
    edited February 2021

    mushellka said:


    Random queues now are pain and agony.
    To a much greater extent than before.

    I hear what you're trying to say, but I'm actually playing the game as it is right now and you're simply wrong. I've run dozens and dozens of RDQ's now. The only issues I've had AT ALL aside from nubs not knowing to concentrate adds in the boss fight at the end of Cloak Tower (hey they don't know yet... so i now say something at the campfire in chat before we fight Vansi) is from DPS lone rangers who think they can run ahead of the group and pull all the aggro instead of letting the tank do their job.

    You wouldn't happen to play a DPS, would you? :)
    I play mostly DPS or healer. My boyfriend plays tank or DPS, we have the possibility of different configurations.

    edit:

    Hmm. We decided to check specifically Cloak Tower to see if anything has changed in combat that would cause the need for an entire pt. Well, nope. Mobs, yes they are like everywhere with annoying CA and disproportionate damage, but you can use your disliked warlock to get in front of a tank and survive :) Bosses on the other hand are trivial. Adds on the last boss? Really? I didn't notice. Vansie was down in 2 sec. . .

    Post edited by mushellka on
    Better to feed the troll than listen to the idiot .
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