Upcoming changes to group level ranges in instances!

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Prathun, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Prathun Developer


    As Phathom mentioned in his December Producer’s Letter, we wanted to let you know about some upcoming changes to how level spread will work in instances. We’ve taken a look at this system and wanted to make it more relevant to the game EverQuest is today, as well as make it a better player experience overall. This is a good time to make the change, as Heroic Adventure instances are such a big part of Call of the Forsaken and the upcoming release Call of the Forsaken: Hate Rising.

    A brief history of scaling instances: a decade ago, back in the era of Lost Dungeons of Norrath and Dragons of Norrath, our methods for scaling a zone were a bit less advanced than they are now. When we wanted a zone to scale to player level, we would create multiple versions. Each version of the zone was populated with the same type of NPCs in the same locations, but at 5 level intervals. This is a lot more work than it sounds, as each version of the zone requires hundreds of new interconnected records. When a group requested an adventure, the average player level determined which difficulty version they were assigned.

    This system has served us well for the past decade, but there are a few things we'd like to improve.
    1. The maximum level spread for group members has been 10 or 15 levels since max level was 65. Now level 100s and level 70s can group together and still gain experience, but they cannot participate in many instances together.
    2. Because instances check the group's average level, it can be difficult to get the version you want without stacking players of a certain level to shift the average.
    So we propose to change the system in the following ways:
    1. For modern content, we feel the level spread of 10-15 is no longer relevant. We'd like to increase the level spread to 30.
    2. We feel the concept of the average level is confusing and requires unconventional gameplay to work around. We would like to replace it with an actual minimum and maximum level.
    This is a large-scale change. As with all big changes, it may require some iteration, but we feel that the changes will make EverQuest a better game. We hope you are as excited as we are about this change, and look forward to hearing your responses!
    Grue, moogs, Lenowill and 22 others like this.
  2. Falos Augur

    I'm glad to see the instance level spread be greatly increased, a few things overall i'd like to see though is make the instance and exp spread actually 35-40 levels (assuming there will be future level cap increases)

    I also noticed that as of level 96+ the level required to receive max level buffs went up, it used to be up (presumably to match this level spread) It was nice in the past being able to reach level 61 though and obtain max level buffs, now you need level 76 to get max level buffs. Honestly given how barren the low level game is I don't feel there is a need for level caps linked to buffs anymore. I personally would like to see max level buffs able to be cast on level 1's, it's not as if people are really grouping those levels anymore anyway.

    Overall this is a big step in the right direction, it would just be nice to see the other things I listed as well!
    Ishtass likes this.
  3. Moklianne Augur

  4. Xenariel New Member

  5. skien Journeyman

    A simple response: EXCELLENT
  6. Sinestra Augur

    This is fantastic! Thank you all very much for doing this.
    Leerah likes this.
  7. Crystilla Augur

    Few questions come to mind for me:

    1. Future level spread - It's taken a number of expansions for us to get to a 30 level spread for exp due to the spread formula. Is the current system flexible enough that in the future (thinking positively years from now) when we have a 35 or 40 or possibly 50 level spread, will the system accommodate that or will it be another "large-scale" change that has to be undertaken?
    2. What are you looking at for min/max options? Will it be referenced by the min level that gear can be worn, or will the gear need to be adjusted based on the min level to enter?
    3. With the current CoF (1st release) heroic adventure systems, there were large discrepancies related to currency, etc (based on level of the player inside the instance task where based on level a player either earned all currency, half currency or no currency). Will those discrepancies be part of the adjustments going in?
    4. With the lower level HA systems discussed by Phathom, is the gear/vendor items available and currency offered being adjusted downward to reflect the lower level players?
    Ishtass likes this.
  8. Yesway Augur

    Holy crap you want a lot. Max buffs on level 1? Spread of 35-40 levels? Why not just allow level 1's to group with level 100's and be done with it? Low level game is already easy mode, you'd like to just make it god mode with those buffs.
  9. Falos Augur

    Won't really benefit me personally, I have all the characters I want to level 95+ It's about making a trivial portion of eq optionally more accessible (which is also something they seem to be interested in doing right now) You already can get 'god mode' essentially with mercs + slightly lower level buffs, but at least this way it's easier for those players to get hit by MGB's or get buffs from players without forcing those players to mem their low level versions (which not everyone buys)
  10. fransisco Augur

    its a great idea.
    How would the min/max level work?
  11. Edrick Augur

    So you didn't like my proposal that people can only join instances together if they are the exact same level, within a 5% real exp gap, and have the exact same number of AAs, plus or minus five? And that they had to have their armor dyed the same color? I'm being marginalized!
  12. Sinestra Augur

    This happened years ago. There weren't level requirements on receiving buffs and it was far from God Mode. It was much easier to be sure, but not invincible and back then they didn't have OOC so if you lost 2k hps/mana, you had to med through getting them all back.

    Regardless, I can't see a huge issue with it as it is. It's certainly not needed, but I can't see it really hurting anything.
  13. Falos Augur

    That's pretty much my thought on the matter, not "needed" but something that would be nice to have as a convenience while they are working on this level spread revamp.
    Sinestra likes this.
  14. Tiqou Elder

    With Heroic Chars inc, just give an option to a low level to 'upgrade' to level 85 and leave level spread to 15. If not, how are you going to manage loots? difficulty? shrouds? etc.
  15. Yesway Augur

    I've never seen anyone refuse to buff people with lower level spells. I would be better to code the max spell to only apply a level appropriate version if your premise is the inconvenience of having to mem a lower spell.

    The buffs we have now for max level would be the equivalent of god mode, if you can't see it then you are blind. I mean seriously you are talking level 1 characters running around with 10k+ stats from buffs alone, plus insane attack and ac.
  16. Sinestra Augur

    Yes, I must be blind, that's it....
  17. Falos Augur

    You can solo level up to level 12 within 5 minutes of character creation without buffs or powerlevels in todays game, I doubt allowing low levels to have level 100 buffs is gonna ruin any game balance :p
  18. Trajet D'Or Augur

    The maximum level spread for group members has been 7, 10 or 15 levels since Level 65 when instancing was introduced to the game. Plane of Time, Old Man Monster Missions and other exceptions do not follow the 7/10/15 level range limit.

    The confusion largely consists of players being surprised at the Level of an instance as barring decent math skills and knowledge of the underlying mechanics it was indeed fairly confusing to a "typical" player why 65-65-63-62-62-61 and 65-64-63-62-62-61 groups got completely different LDoN missions.

    There are a variety of methods to eliminate the confusion for instance call them things like Elddar missions or going ooc and call it 63+ and later a 63-67.9 mission and the 65-64... group can decline and choose a Hard mission if they want a 51 point reward and get a Skylance or 58-62.9 mission without having to know math or mechanics.

    Whatever changes all that really matters is you actually communicate with the players, preferably in game as that's the source of information that all players will encounter. "Your group exceeds the 30 level range for this mission." "Bixie Warfront: Working Overtime - Platinum is now available."

    You already have instance tech in game (mech guardian seasonal) that specifically checks the level of the person that is requesting the mission. It would be the logical basis for requesting other instances if you find average level too confusing. That tech will currently deny an instance if the requestor is not within the average level range, you would have to remove that part.
  19. Tharrg Augur

    Imagine POK and Guild lobby filled with hundreds of alts sitting there waiting for group buffs from high levels? NO!!!
  20. Yesway Augur

    I don't know what else to call it, considering a level 1 character would be pretty close to equivalent to the stats of a level 70 character now from buffs.