Dev Discussion #19 - Dungeon Scaling

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Comments

  • gravitey390gravitey390 Member, Founder
    I love the idea of going back after reaching a certain LV/unlock a new ability to unlock a area We where unable to reach before. As long as it has meaning.
  • I would also like to be able to take my lower level friends into dungeon to boost exp. so scaling should also take account of that.
  • QuinQuin Member
    dungeon_scaling.gif?h=250

    Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

    Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!


    Dev Discussion #19 - Dungeon Scaling
    Should open world dungeons scale up in difficulty significantly as you go deeper (ex. level 30-50), or should the difficulty band of a given dungeon be more narrow from top to bottom (ex. level 45-50)?

    Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding NPC behavior!


    I would like to answer your question with a question of my own
    Does dungeon scaling making the game more fun?

    In D&D character "levels" were assign to show progress in campaigns and to quickly determine an appropriate challenge for that specific group of players.

    Have you guys assign a point system to gear and abilities to allow you to change or balance character levels?

    If a character charges through a dungeon without any challenge they will probably say it was boring.
    If a character gets pwned in a dungeon in the first room or cant even beat a boss they will say it was too hard.

    A system that scales to a players character does not account for player skill and thus does a disservice to them by judging them weak or too strong.

    I personally would think of a dungeon more like a mini game where your invading a hostile faction and choosing to attack down specific paths. Every room should have a boss and every boss should be able to make decisions that change the flow.

    If a player progresses faster the enemies might get harder or lay more traps to slow them down and if the group is too slow the enemies may be running away and only leaving trash behind.

    No idea how your game classes or levels work, I just don't want to one shot every enemy or get ganked by a gear check boss.

    Wouldn't spend too much time-designing these when you could implement Guild Strongholds or player created dungeons as a reward for finishing a raid
  • ValentineValentine Member, Pioneer
    I like the idea of it getting harder as you go down. Make the dungeons HUGE!!! Then have them scale to the level of the players but get harder as you do more if it so that we can come back to dungeons and discover something new each time! =D
  • hawiiftbllhawiiftbll Member, Braver of Worlds
    I think if the dungeons are going to be open world where anyone can get to them them and the enemies are visible to anyone who is in that area on that server cluster then I don't think scaling is really a great idea. However if they are somewhat of an instanced thing and you wanted to complete it and felt that with you current skill set that you could I would say go ahead and scale it. I understand it is hard to balance the mechanics of scaling content and balancing the overall experience. I think some dungeons in games I have played have been intentionally harder to complete and maybe it is possible to have scaled option for those of lower level but if you don't scale it down the rewards are much better.
  • IksurdIksurd Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited June 12
    Lvl 20 Expert Crafter, Looking For Escort into Lvl 30 Dungeon to protect as i farm rare materials.

    That is how you create fluid and relevant content, public dungeons where people who are interested in other aspects of the game outside of end game pve/pvp can influence the world and not feel punished for wanting to player at a slower/different pace and focus on other aspects.
  • darthadendarthaden Member, Braver of Worlds
    I just want to see some random elements to the mobs if possible. Instead of the exact same trash mobs every time you run a dungeon it would be nice to have to determine on the fly which mob is the healer, which is the one that hits like a truck, which one might silence the healer and so on.

    I'd also like to see less trash in one room but make them at least somewhat aware. It's pretty immersion breaking play a game like WOW when your beating on a mob and his buddy who is clearly in the line of site just stands there. If a mob can see you attacking their friend they should be coming to their comrades aid
  • Highope wrote: »
    For me it's the ability to be able to just jump in at anytime ie: Que for random small dungeons and auto join a random group rather then having to spend hours trying to find a group and eventually start disliking the game very fast.

    Lots of rewarding quests for xp and items.
    Grinding areas for expensive loot drops to make $ in a pvp zone.
    I hated the gear score system it divides everything. "I like the old school way ok we know your gear sucks come run with us lets gear you up" rather then ah sorry your gs is too low no runs for you.

    I loved leveling my gear and powering it up i hated so bad how it's very expensive to repair the armor it was quiet unfair and required way too much to do so "BDO" this is what made me quit the game grind for hours days to repair one armor and it doesn't repair the whole thing just a portion which made it so expensive and stressful this is suppose to be a game not a job. Point is materials should be not hard to get and the amount needed shouldn't be over crazy amount.

    Check points at each nodes, cities you can fast travel flight to other check pointed explored node, cities.

    fun themed dungeons & mobs rewarding in some way.

    Oh you will be so pleased
  • CaerylCaeryl Member
    If it's going to be a mostly-/semi-permanent location, I'd definitely prefer a wider level range so I have a reason to revisit as time goes on.

    If it's meant to be tied to temporary content (lasting weeks rather than months) then I'd prefer a more narrow level range so I can experience it all before it's gone.
  • RavudhaRavudha Member
    edited June 12
    I like the idea of a dungeon covering a wider range of levels because it also provides a bit of flexibility in the way the dungeon is populated.

    Minions could actually be at a lower level than some hyper-inflated power level just to fit into a dungeon (I'm looking at you, lvl 50 <insert mundane critter type>). The dungeon could also have a wider variety of mobs to flesh out the dungeon's theme.

  • CaerylCaeryl Member
    Highope wrote: »
    For me it's the ability to be able to just jump in at anytime ie: Que for random small dungeons and auto join a random group rather then having to spend hours trying to find a group and eventually start disliking the game very fast.

    Lots of rewarding quests for xp and items.
    Grinding areas for expensive loot drops to make $ in a pvp zone.
    I hated the gear score system it divides everything. "I like the old school way ok we know your gear sucks come run with us lets gear you up" rather then ah sorry your gs is too low no runs for you.

    I loved leveling my gear and powering it up i hated so bad how it's very expensive to repair the armor it was quiet unfair and required way too much to do so "BDO" this is what made me quit the game grind for hours days to repair one armor and it doesn't repair the whole thing just a portion which made it so expensive and stressful this is suppose to be a game not a job. Point is materials should be not hard to get and the amount needed shouldn't be over crazy amount.

    Check points at each nodes, cities you can fast travel flight to other check pointed explored node, cities.

    fun themed dungeons & mobs rewarding in some way.

    Man you're gonna be disappointed by the complete absence of group finders, grind spots, and on-demand fast travel. You comment also has no relevancy to the discussion topic.
  • RoseRose Member
    Depending on the rewards from lower level mobs
    General movement and game speed
    The size of dungeons
    The ability to mount in in dungeons
    The ability to "skip" mobs
    The ability to kite and group up mobs

    A wide level range could cause utter boredom!
    Imagine having to kill 50 mobs before reaching mobs worth killing at your level.
    Now imagine doing the same thing, but you're on a mage where you need to regenerate your mana every 3rd kill, as your spells mana cost scaled with your level.


    WoW has handled this quite nicely in my opinion. Nearly every class/spec is able to sneak past lower level mobs or tank; group them up and slay them all at once with AOE abilties (In dungeons) or simply walk past them until they deaggro (Open world).

    There are several other MMORPGs where if you return to a lower level zone, perhaps to repair your items or store the items in your backpack, you need to spend 30 minutes traveling back to your original location as there is no fast-travel or teleportation options. This is definitely a factor which has caused me to say "Ah, screw this, im going to bed" several times in the past as I simply cannot be bothered to hold W for 30 minutes.
  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member
    edited June 13
    What would be really cool if the lore could accommodate it would be to have an open world dungeon like dnd's Undermountain.
    In case those that dont know this it's a dungeon sitting on top of a tavern called the yawning portal.
    There is a huge circular platform in the center of the inn and it cost 1gp to get lowered down into the dungeon. To get back up if you survive there is a wall with shields on the wall, you bang on them and that signals them to raise you up.
    The dungeon(s) are immense, over 25 total. (Google undermontain map. Hold your jaw though because it will fall open and down to the floor once you see the sizes of some of these.)
    This way each level could be increased by 5 as you go down.
    Feeling cocky and want to give a level a go that is a little over your head, you can but there is danger down further and not just from denizens alone....other guilds or parties are fighting for gold and treasure as well.
    I just dont know how you could fit the tavern into the lore....or...hmmm...have the tavern level up as it becomes more popular with PC's. The gold entry fee could help in advancing the tavern since someone has to stand by the platform almost 24/7 to raise adventurers out if they beat on the shields.
    Once it advances to its highest level the tavern is there and will become part of the lore.
    Of course, all this would be open world...no instancing. :)
    Pic is of level 1 of Undermountain.
    https://images.app.goo.gl/ntGWNhS69jWPtKeJ8
  • XenantayaXenantaya Member, Braver of Worlds
    If there's a wide level range, will there be a way for higher level characters to teleport to the bottom, at least if they've cleared the initial levels? That is, if there's a 30-50 level dungeon, where the top three levels are 30-45 and then the fourth and fifth levels are 50, will level 50 characters be able to go directly to the fourth level? Could be annoying if you're max level to run through a bunch of low level mobs to get to the deeper levels that provide a challenge each time you want to do a dungeon.
  • botbot Member
    I think scaling as you go deeper into the dungeon would work great as long as the dungeon's design supports it. For example, the lower level mobs should be better grouped up or easier to agro as a whole so if you're strong enough to clear the end of the dungeon you should be able to burn through the earliest part of the dungeon. Using the 30-50 example, if mobs at the entrance are level 30 and the end mobs are 50 then my team of level 50s should be aoe to just aoe all the earlier mobs easily. Nothing would be more frustrating then having to go through the tedious process of slowly killing weak mobs.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Hard to say but I think I'd prefer the wider level range as long as the lower level mobs had drops that were still valuable at the max level or at least could be broken down into something valuable. Obviously shouldn't be as valuable as what the higher level mobs drop but should still be usable and something you can farm without completely wasting your time.

    If this is not possible, then the level range should probably be tighter so a portion of the dungeon doesn't become irrelevant to most of the population later on in the game.
  • ardanzaardanza Member
    Just to add my 2 cents to the discussion:

    - Based on node level, it would be neat if the dungeon "expanded" as the node level increased which aligns to the design of the world "growing" with more event triggers happening.
    - New creatures/replaced creatures per node level on each floor
    - As the dungeon "expands" due to node level increase, i would have that expansion area contain higher level mobs, instead of dungeons level 40-45 throughout the whole thing. The deeper you go, the stronger they get.
    - This enables more exploration and a reason to revisit a particular area when a user becomes better geared (if necessary)
    - with each "floor" of a dungeon, let there be a REASON to complete dungeon floors 1, 2, 3, etc. Risk vs. Reward for each floor based on node level

    I think it would be pretty cool to go to a dungeon at level 10, clear it with a node stage level 1, nothing but goblins and a goblin chief boss, only to come back later when node is stage level 5 and see that walls have fallen inside the dungeon that a horde of demons came sprawling out to claim the dungeon for themselves, annihilating the left over goblins hiding in the corners of the cave from the adventurers who have killed many of them. Delve to the deepest parts of the dungeon only to find the demons were controlled by an ancient undead dragon or necromancer who has signed a pack with the devil himself. Maybe even have those goblins retreat to the nearby forest after being expunged by the demons and a small camp is now located in that area who performs raids on caravans travelling through the area now; what was once a safe passage is now dangerous..

    So far, most of the development around the game has been about a uniquely expanding world that changes with node levels, why not keep the dungeons aligned with the same principles?
  • kthulukthulu Member
    Keep it so things scale as you progress more. In addition, keeping non-linear dungeons could allow players to get to the difficulty they are aiming for. That way higher players don't have to spend 10min pushing just to get to their content.
  • consultantconsultant Member
    edited June 12
    Well if the difference or disparity between levels is small or the floor really cose to the ceiling (one player suggested one percent increase in attack power per level or stats in generall ) Then I suggest making 3 tiers. level 1-10 really does not count more of a learn your class level. So We are left with 40 levels to play with. Now the actuall division here goes getting abilities. For example if you get you last ability at level 45 and usually your most powerful ability then last tier should be 45 to 50. A toon not having their most powerful ability with a player that does is at a huge disadvantage performance wise. So if you take that into consideration then 40 to 50 could work if all toons had all abilities at level 40. Not to sure what the benefit would be of having 30 to 50 open world dungouens.

    Little of topic but you should have low level open world dungeouns and low level world boss and low level events to instill group game play in people. Skipping game mechanics for this one.

    Suggested Tiers are 10 to 24 25 to39 and 40 to 50 As far as content in general goes abilities also need to be balanced out per tier as well. This is really more a repost.

    Want to say that every one is head toward max level and most players will be at max level eventually so not quite sure what the benefit is of having 30 to 50 open world dungeouns. As far as tiers go that means that more people will most likely play togehter during the leveling process. vs well cannot play with other toon cause five levels ahead of me.
  • As far as the actuall open world dungeouns I suggest a non-linear design so people can go in there and do what ever bosses they can. So let say a certain group just does not have what it takes to finish certain boss they could just skip it and go to next one let say last boss is always the same but have a choice of beating lets say three of six bosses to unlock last boss. That way you one open wourld dungeoun could accomadate groups of different skill levels not necessarily levels. So players end up doing what they can at the time and can come back and do more challenging parts later maybe when they have more gear,

    Or the last boss could increase in difficulty and reward by number of bosses killed.

    You said should the open world dungeoun get more difficult the deeper you go into it well you do have to levels 30 to 50 it could all happen at max level. You could have an open world dungeoun with all level fifty players and all level fifity mobs and have it get more difficult as you go into it. Not sure what levels has any thing to do with it.
  • FloweringmindFloweringmind Member
    edited June 12
    If we look at ESO you will find scaling and it seems fine. But the reality is that most of the dungeons are boring, super boring. Having a group makes it a little better but dungeons are just hack fests. Dungeons and Dragons Online has some of the best MMO dungeons I have played. Ultima Underworld was the most memorable.

    Dungeons should be tricky and deadly. The challenge makes us value the reward. If players rush into a dungeon they should expect to be killed.

    Key Features of great dungeons:
    Make the design change every 7 days so we can't look them up on the internet.
    Deadly traps are so important and forgotten.
    Traps that trap players deeper down and they have to escape.
    Puzzles for better treasure and cool location or for story.
    Secret doors
    Red Herrings
    Timed escapes
    Stealing an item from a large deadly group of monsters.
    Force players to resurrect in specific place in the dungeon until they escape like a prison. cell.
    Make us dependent upon each other with different skills.
    NO AUTO MAPPING or LIMITED VIEW MAPPING - or make it a special skill that is really difficult so maybe one player the group has the skill and has to lead the other people around.

    This article is great on what makes a good dungeon from computer game:
    https://medium.com/@felipepepe/what-makes-a-good-rpg-dungeon-505180c69d00

    Tie the dungeon into the rest of the world
    Making dungeons key for finding unique items for crafting or allowing towns to grow or build certain items would be great.
    Having dungeons grow creatures power where if left unchecked more creatures attack towns would be fantastic.
  • AuronAuron Member, Founder
    One thing i hate doing in MMORPGs is that speed-running same dungeon over and over again... Upscaled to my level or not, if the content of the dungeon is always the same, I don't want to be there for more than 3-4 times.

    I prefer various different dungeons to choose from. Maybe it's hard to do from a design perspective but i could everyday go for exploring a different dungeon or a different part of the world.

    Back on topic though... I think I prefer experiencing increased difficulty as I go deeper in the dungeon. For example, you have Sorrow's Hunger locked in a cell right before the Dragon in one of the Alpha Island dungeons. Why not introduce Sorrow's Hunger as a boss right before the Dragon. The people who finish the dungeon by killing Sorrow's Hunger would get great rewards. But the ones who continued to take down the Dragon too would be rewarded even greater.
    Auronsyg.png
  • nastrandnastrand Member
    I am going to take it back old school and how designers thought back in the day.

    Dungeons had a level range and for the example just say 10-20.

    when you first entered the dungeon the level 10 mobs where there and as you kept going deeper they would progress higher in level. If you were higher level then the lower level mobs would not aggro you up until you got to the point in the dungeon where they start to con an appropriate color/level.

    Dark Age of Camelot had an awesome area called Darkness Falls. in the early game it was the prime jewel to get good items for the level 50 toons and even upgrades for everyone along the way. It promoted PvE and PvP or RvR in DAoC's case.

    Another approach is boosting of toons. you might be in a level 20 dungeon but your friend is level 10 and he can boost up to you or you can boost down to him. You do not get all the bells and whistles of being a level 20 but you get the added stats of being boosted but not all the cool skills.

    Another approach is Mobs are equivalent to your level no matter who you are.. if you are 20 then they mobs are 20 and if you are 10 then the mobs are 10 and they progress in power as you go deeper at a similar scale no matter character level.

    -Nasty
    MMO'n since 1997
  • This the first time I feel like I want to weigh in on a subject since I backed this game. MMOs that including scaling are really looking to build community. The ability to team with any friend and any guildie is what MMOs should have always been about. Making content relevant not just for a few levels but for the entire life of the game. Now thats just a smart move. IMO, all content should scale and progression should become vertical at some point. So stater areas could all be somewhat easier to teach and level and all other areas of the game could be made at the same challenge skill level, making the entire game worth playing no matter how long you have been playing. In short, dont just make dungeons scale, make the game scale.
  • catibriecatibrie Member
    nanfoodle wrote: »
    This the first time I feel like I want to weigh in on a subject since I backed this game. MMOs that including scaling are really looking to build community. The ability to team with any friend and any guildie is what MMOs should have always been about. Making content relevant not just for a few levels but for the entire life of the game. Now thats just a smart move. IMO, all content should scale and progression should become vertical at some point. So stater areas could all be somewhat easier to teach and level and all other areas of the game could be made at the same challenge skill level, making the entire game worth playing no matter how long you have been playing. In short, dont just make dungeons scale, make the game scale.

    First time I have posted as well. This is 100% how I feel on the subject. Please make the game about playing with guild members and friends no matter their level. This brings unity to the community.
  • AnvilAnvil Member
    I will weigh in on this One. I Agree that The Dungeon should become more difficult the deeper you go into it. I Also agree that it should Scale. Also IMO, A Dungeon should NEVER Become "Farmable" it should be a challenge EVERY time a Character steps into it. (Ex. Group "A" Beats a Dungeon that had an Armored Giant as the Final Boss, decides to go back in The Next week only to discover that 1. The Floor layouts have changed: Larger/ more floors., 2. The Creatures they are facing have changed: Goblins last week, Kobolds this week. 3. The Bosses have changed. Boss in Room "X" is no Longer in Room "X" as a Matter of fact, Room "X" isn't there anymore. Boss WAS a Goblin Lord, Now a Young Dragon or A Giant Gnoll.. etc.)
    Mobs should be "Aware", I.e. attack a mob and other mobs come in to help. Not just stand around waiting for your group to come slaughter them next or just pass them by.
    Drops should be Individually rewarded, (Don't know how many times I have gone into a Dungeon and only come out with a few Coins, some trash drops, and a Lot of salt due to the drops being on a group loot with a master looter giving the loot out to his Buddy/ Guildmate who wasn't even the right class. It was "For an Alt."
    One reason I quit playing certain games.
    The Truth has 3 sides, Your Point of View, Their point of View, and The Actual Truth, so, Be careful How you wield the Sword of Truth, It Cuts 3 ways!
  • trokairtrokair Member
    ardanza wrote: »
    Just to add my 2 cents to the discussion:

    - Based on node level, it would be neat if the dungeon "expanded" as the node level increased which aligns to the design of the world "growing" with more event triggers happening.
    - New creatures/replaced creatures per node level on each floor
    - As the dungeon "expands" due to node level increase, i would have that expansion area contain higher level mobs, instead of dungeons level 40-45 throughout the whole thing. The deeper you go, the stronger they get.
    - This enables more exploration and a reason to revisit a particular area when a user becomes better geared (if necessary)
    - with each "floor" of a dungeon, let there be a REASON to complete dungeon floors 1, 2, 3, etc. Risk vs. Reward for each floor based on node level

    I think it would be pretty cool to go to a dungeon at level 10, clear it with a node stage level 1, nothing but goblins and a goblin chief boss, only to come back later when node is stage level 5 and see that walls have fallen inside the dungeon that a horde of demons came sprawling out to claim the dungeon for themselves, annihilating the left over goblins hiding in the corners of the cave from the adventurers who have killed many of them. Delve to the deepest parts of the dungeon only to find the demons were controlled by an ancient undead dragon or necromancer who has signed a pack with the devil himself. Maybe even have those goblins retreat to the nearby forest after being expunged by the demons and a small camp is now located in that area who performs raids on caravans travelling through the area now; what was once a safe passage is now dangerous..

    So far, most of the development around the game has been about a uniquely expanding world that changes with node levels, why not keep the dungeons aligned with the same principles?

    When I think about dungeons within Ashes of Creation, this is the type of node interactions and dynamic content I would love to see and think it could pull off very well.

    To directly answer the question, I think that dungeon scaling should take into account the overall area it takes up, and the player capacity it has.

    I think small to medium dungeons probably wouldn't benefit too much from significant level scaling, especially when they can't hold a large population of players.

    However, I think that very large dungeons that have different environments and can hold hundred or thousands of players should scale significantly as you adventure into the dungeon.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    One simple answer:
    Scale the sh*t out of it in my opinion! I would like to see dungeons that went from lvl 10 to 50 from beginning to end if possible.
    My main reason is, that no other mmorpg currently has such a thing implemented to my knowledge.
    KkvMmA5.png
  • EezzjrEezzjr Member
    Honestly I think it would be sick if dungeons had certain side areas that were much harder than the base dungeon, or areas that required certain skills to access (such as the Cleric's Cleanse spell). It would really give the dungeons the incentive to adventure there multiple times, as well as help facilitate more player engagement.

    Let's say there is a newly discovered dungeon of levels 10-20 or whatever. It would be cool if there was a small offshoot of the dungeon that had like some sort of "Turn back wayward traveler" message and some mobs of super high level. It would make the player remember that dungeon and add it to their list of stuff to do as they become stronger.

    The poison gas example could also help groups interact more with strangers since if your party doesn't have the necessary skill(s) to access the area, the group wouldn't be able to get in there. They would go to the nearest town and shout "HEY DOES ANYONE HAVE CLEANSE", and it would engage the community. It would create its own type of rumors and legends that would entice appropriately strong adventurers to go to those areas to explore.

    Just my hot take on cool dungeons! The West Marches style of D&D is where most of these ideas come from. It is an amazing way to create cool areas and dungeons when running for multiple groups of players (or in this case, multiple parties in an MMO.)
  • DayuhanDayuhan Member
    So, when I initially saw the discussion title, I thought you meant dungeons that scaled to your level - which I am a huge fan of, for a number of reasons. However, that's not what you are asking about, so I had to adjust...

    In terms of the scaling you are talking about, in open world dungeons, I am fan...conceptually. I think there is a lot of potential for fun, in a certain MMO built a certain way.

    Unfortunately, I don't think AoC is structured in a way that will make that type of scaling effective. Here's a couple thoughts as to why:

    - First and foremost, blending level ranges will end up being inconvenient for everyone.

    The higher levels will be forced to chew through the low level stuff to get where they want, resulting in the lower levels not being able to have things to fight, because it was mopped up as "trash". Higher levels get an annoying "trash clear" (that no one likes), and low levels have to compete with the high levels to get the stuff that is relevant to them.

    - "Reward" balancing.

    In order to make it relevant for all parties, there has to be relevant reward. This ties into the first part in that you are either making the low levels compete against the high levels for rewards (which seems inherently imbalanced - I don't image they would be able to), or you are simply wasting the higher level's time by making them wade through stuff that has no value to them.

    - PvP

    I don't know that this is going to be unique to this particular system, but mixing high and low levels seems like it would encourage higher levels preying on low levels. Granted, I am not 100% familiar with all the intricacies of the PvP system, so this may either not be an issue at all, or be an issue in any open world dungeon, regardless of the level ranges.

    POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS/COMPROMISES

    - "Wing" based, instead of scaling

    One way to work around the issue of "scaling", or mixing the level ranges, is that instead of having the difficulty scale as you go further in, you have "wings" or areas of the dungeon that branch off a central hub.

    As an example, once you get in to a certain point, you go "left" for level 30-35 content, or go "right" for the 35-40 content.

    This keeps the level range in which people are interested in the "zone" wider, and limits people just abandoning a dungeon/zone just because they outleveled it. It also keeps people from wasting their time in content they outlevel and removes the need to make all content relevant to all people in the overall range. This could be built on to have even more "wings" with various level ranges.

    Frankly, that is the only solution I can see that would work with AoC. Any other suggestions, such as overall level scaling, individual scaling rewards, dungeon buffs, etc. all rely on game mechanics and design that I don't think would be effective in AoC.

    So, long story longer - while I like the idea, I don't see how it could be implemented into AoC in a way that is effective and respects the general vision of the game. I think it would create more problems than it would potentially fix, and end up as something that is an overall negative, instead of a positive.

    Unless you want to do some type over overall character scaling per zone a la ESO, or other games out there, in which case that opens up a whole other can of worms.

    I would like to offer an alternative view for these scenarios you brought up.

    The first one is blending level ranges:
    The higher levels will be forced to chew through the low level stuff to get where they want
    This is not necessary, especially if the mobs have some combat intelligence. The lower level mobs could, and probably would, run away from a no-win battle once they realize they were grossly out-matched. This would leave the way clear for the higher level characters to move down to the lower levels without having to clear the "trash" along the way.

    Your second scenario was related to the first:
    there has to be relevant reward
    This is actually where having the lower level mobs flee is a bonus. The higher-level characters do not have any incentive to chase down the fleeing low-level mobs because the reward, for them, is not worth it. Once again this leaves the lower level mobs intact for when the lower-level characters come along, where the reward is commensurate with the risk and their ability.

    Your third scenario is:
    but mixing high and low levels seems like it would encourage higher levels preying on low levels
    We already have the corruption system in place, but even in the place where corruption is not an issue - such as both characters are flagged as combatants - the high levels still have little incentive to attack the low level characters because the reward would be negligible to non-existent for them. Now of course their is always going to be the small percentage of griefers that you see in any MMO; simply put where PVP combat is allowed their are those who will use it to grief simply because they can. However, this would be true even if their were no dungeon involved, so to alter the dungeon design for this reason would not really solve anything as those who really want to grief will find a way.
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