Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Lowbies and High level Encounters

    • VR Staff
    • 548 posts
    August 24, 2023 12:24 PM PDT

    Something we have found in PA is that lower level players basically do no damage to higher level mobs. There are various schools of thought on this mechanic, one being that lowbies should be nothing more than a gnat to high level mobs, so sure, no damage should happen. Others believe that even at low levels, players should be able to do SOME damage to a mob, even if it is negligible. 

    What do you guys think? How impactful should a low level player be against a high level mob?

     

    • 2419 posts
    August 24, 2023 1:05 PM PDT

    Nobody, regardless of level or the comparison between PC level and NPC level, wants to feel useless.  There is no worse feeling in a game than that.  But, at some point you do have to realize that your character does not belong there.  A level 10 character in a fight (with friends who are level 50) attacking a level 50 mob?  Why should that level 10 be able to do anything?  There needs to be a line where, below it, you just dont bother.

    That said, I want to look more at the converse where the NPC is drastically lower in level than the PC.  Too quickly NPCs become zero-risk to the player, allowing the player to do anything they want with impunity.  You want to grind some faction?  Go find a bunch of low level mobs, drag them all to a spot and mass murder them while taking near zero damage. Boom!  isntant faction boost.

    No. NPCs should be the ones who retain the capability to damage players for far longer than PCs should be able to damage NPCs that are too high of a level.

    • 903 posts
    August 25, 2023 2:18 AM PDT

    From my view, a real world example is that a wasp wont (always) kill me if it chooses to attack. It will cause me some discomfort, but that is all. Enough wasps, however, will do significant damage and cause real harm or even death. If approached from this perspective, I think it is pretty ok for a low level PC to damage a NPC.

    Having said that, you have to apply armour effects, buffs, debuffs, weapon effects, etc. etc., to the mix. So, could a level 1 character with a standard rusty dagger, damage a level 50 dragon with level 50 buffs and the like? I would think not. But could a level 1 character using a "Dragon's Bane" sword with a dragon specific proc on it be able to damage said dragon? I think it reasonable. I would also suggest that the damage to the NPC would be that of a wasp rather than a death blow.

    All in all, I dont have an issue with a low level character being able to damage a high level character (and it could lead to some fun and intense game play). I also suggest though, that such an encounter would leave the PC doing little meaningful damage and recieving nothing more in XP than a standard level 1 boss would give.

    • 3852 posts
    August 25, 2023 7:31 AM PDT

    I am not sure the answer to the question really matters. Suppose I am level 10. Suppose an enemy is level 50. Does it really matter whether I do 0 damage with an attack or do 10 points of damage if the enemy has 50,000 points? 

    Maybe it does matter. Maybe doing 10 damage as two level 50s kill the enemy lets me get partial credit for the kill, and be power-leveled or get a share of good drops that I really do not deserve to get. If that is the reward mechanic then the answer is quite clear - I should do no damage at all.

    I find Vandraad's question far more important in terms of impact on normal gameplay. Whether a mob of significantly lower level ignores me, notices me but with a lower than normal aggro range, or suicidally treats me as if i were its own level is extremely important in terms of almost everything we do. Combined with the question of whether we get any experience or loot or faction rewards from killing it whether it notices us or not. 

    My own preference is for very low level mobs to totally ignore me. Travelling through an area purely to get to another area I do not find it much fun to frequently stop and fight enemies that are no challenge and give no reward useful to a high level character. Since Vandraad's point about being able to do anything you want with impunity is manifestly valid - the only way my approach works is if I get nothing from killing these very low level enemies.

    Apart from my dislike of being constantly interrupted by trash as I try to travel - there is a more compelling support for my opinion. Do we want level 50s farming a level 5 zone making it almost impossible for the characters that belong there to do their quests and get money and experience. I say no - in fact ... NOOOOO. Few things more drive away new players than this type of frustration. 

    If killing 100 enemies 10 levels below me adds up to real money from the drops or good experience per minute spent or useful faction - Vandraad is entirely correct. These enemies should die more slowly than the level difference would suggest and hurt me a lot more than the level difference would suggest. But I vote for the opposite approach - make them both harmless and useless. Same bottem-line and less chance of exploits and abuse. 


    This post was edited by dorotea at August 25, 2023 7:33 AM PDT
    • 903 posts
    August 25, 2023 9:29 AM PDT

    dorotea: I am not sure the answer to the question really matters...  

    If I saw a zone boss (for argument sake - but any other mob will do), then I would want to participate whatever my level; just for the fun. Just for the kill flag. Just to help whoever was there. After all a butterfly's wing beat can change the course of a hurricane, so it follows, that my insignificant damage, may be the amount required that brings the mob down and without it, the attackers wipe. I think it matters.

    I think all higher-level mobs should be aware of all PCs within range and act as appropriate; but I do agree that it would be tedious if low-level mobs attacked me at every turn though. Lower-level mobs should definitely keep away, unless they are pulled into a fight through player actions, that is.

     

     

    • 326 posts
    August 25, 2023 10:33 AM PDT

    Is Low-Level aggro a thing in the game? Half the fun/challenge of PL-ing chars in other games was keeping the lowbie alive. Staying alive will grant a pittance of XP, and being dead gets you bupkis. If a level three only has one die 4 to roll and the level 30 mob has the equivalent of 20 points of armor or evasion or elemental resistance to overcome then too bad so sad for the level three. I mention low-level aggro because I think it best to have an ever-shrinking aggro radius (in regard to level disparity) that never quite reaches zero. After all, if you step on a level one snake it will try to bite you.

    • 2419 posts
    August 25, 2023 12:51 PM PDT

    dorotea said:

    I am not sure the answer to the question really matters. Suppose I am level 10. Suppose an enemy is level 50. Does it really matter whether I do 0 damage with an attack or do 10 points of damage if the enemy has 50,000 points?

    In many games, powerleveling is a something that happens sooner than later and many people really do not like it.  Powerleveling, typically, requires that the powerlevelee must do at least some damage in order to get credit on the kill thus earning XP.  If the NPC is significantly higher than the player, that player earns the maximum amount of XP possible for their level.  If the character cannot do damage then they cannot earn XP. That's why I want to significantly limit the capability of a player to do damage to an NPC that is above some set limit (PClevelx1.5, for example).

    • 34 posts
    August 25, 2023 5:17 PM PDT

    Vandraad said:

    Nobody, regardless of level or the comparison between PC level and NPC level, wants to feel useless.  There is no worse feeling in a game than that.  

    I like the points that others have made so far in this thread and while I do not have a specific answer to the original question, I did want to highlight this comment from Vandraad and add a little more to it.

    Regarding the initial question -- How impactful should a low level player be against a high level mob? -- let's use the recent PA recap scenario of the black dragon spawning at the crossroads. Were I a low level character in this area when that happened, I personally would not expect to have a strong, direct impact on the fight (i.e., I would not expect to do much damage to the dragon and, in fact, I would expect it to be dangerous for me to be too close); however, I would still love to contribute to this fight in some indirect and meaningful way.

    The obvious example might be my healing people from a distance who are in the thick of the fight. But I think there is so much more potential for this type of indirect support, especially for those not playing healer classes. For example, perhaps there are slow firing canons or large crossbows, which could be manned by lower level characters, which actually did some damage to the dragon. And maybe those fixed-firing-features require supplies for reloading, which require other low level characters to run and bring said supplies. Or, perhaps the dragon is near some cliff face, and at the top of that cliff is a large boulder... a team of lower level characters could climb the cliff and start working those pick axes as a group to eventually release the boulder which would fall onto the dragon for a large chunk of damage.

    These are just a few examples that quickly come to mind, but my point is that I find it satisfying when I know I can still help in even some indirect way -- but I fully expect to be squashed by a dragon if I walk up to smack its face as a low level character. :P

    • 16 posts
    August 25, 2023 6:36 PM PDT

    Yes. When enough players band together, negligible can become significant.

    The Game Archaeologist: When EverQuest players killed the unkillable Sleeper | Massively Overpowered (massivelyop.com)

     

    I died a lot and wasn't well-geared or max level at the time, but I at least felt impactful enough to keep throwing myself back in there and waiting for a res.

    Over and over and over again. I was mainly a temproary distraction so others could do their thing, and it helped keep him off the healers.

    I certainly felt I was making an impact at the time, because it took hours and I wouldn't have de-leveled myself for nothing. 

    That was 20 years ago and I've lost a lot of brain cells since, but I surely would remember this differently if had I only been able to watch.

     

    • 1404 posts
    August 26, 2023 10:12 AM PDT

    My thoughts on this aren't so detailed as some in this thread, just more general "ideals".

    Nothing on this topic should be absolute. A low level player can't damage a high level mob, a high level player can't agro a low level mob. these go against my vision of what Brad meant when he said he wanted to build worlds. 
    The example given of the high level stepping on the snake for example, the snake WOULD retaliate and try to defend itself. The result would most likely be a miss, but could be a hit for 0 that could interrupt a cast, or a crit for1 hp. Mostly insignificant, but flat out non agro to me is world breaking and artificial.

    the same for the low level players attacking a boss, mostly insignificant, but occasionally getting in a lucky shot.

    Once in WoW I was starting a mage, lvl 4 or 5 I think it was, a friend I used to duel with (on our mains) logged into her lvl25 mage and thought she would be funny and challenged me to a duel. Knowing I only had a hope in hell I loaded my sheep spell, accepted the duel, cast the spell expecting to die real soon... and it landed!! Sheeped her and ran for my life! 
    the possibility for damage or to land the spell/blow should ALWAYS be there, no matter how slight!


    This post was edited by Zorkon at August 26, 2023 10:22 AM PDT
    • 3852 posts
    August 27, 2023 8:02 AM PDT

    I agree with the comments above that for "feel good" if not gameplay reasons it is best if low levels can have some impact.

    Higher up I said that:

    "Maybe it does matter. Maybe doing 10 damage as two level 50s kill the enemy lets me get partial credit for the kill, and be power-leveled or get a share of good drops that I really do not deserve to get. If that is the reward mechanic then the answer is quite clear - I should do no damage at all."

    I still feel exactly the same way - but if the much lower level character cannot be power-leveled in this manner the concern goes away and so does the opinion that *if* this is the mechanic the character should do no damage.

    • 729 posts
    August 28, 2023 11:31 PM PDT

    Savanja said:

    Something we have found in PA is that lower level players basically do no damage to higher level mobs. There are various schools of thought on this mechanic, one being that lowbies should be nothing more than a gnat to high level mobs, so sure, no damage should happen. Others believe that even at low levels, players should be able to do SOME damage to a mob, even if it is negligible. 

    What do you guys think? How impactful should a low level player be against a high level mob?

     

    A low level player should not be able to deal significant damage to a high level NPC, only some lucky hits here and there perhaps.

    There must be a fall-off in hit chance and damage the bigger the difference between player level and NPC level. I would argue for making that fall-off reasonable instead of steep however: It should be possible to fight NPCs several levels above you. Encountering a red con (when you are in an area with mostly yellow or high yellow mobs) must not mean "Ohh too bad, guess we have to go home now" (or set up for an hour long fight on a single mob).

    Also, this matter is even more pronounced for casters than for melee, since spells occurr less often than melee attacks, and a miss/resist hurts even more than a melee miss. Resist debuffs should be important, and they must help significantly!

    On the matter of high level PC vs. grey con NPCs: I would prefer if there was no aggro at all from grey cons. In the interest of a "world" feeling however, I guess there should be a chance for that. But then I want to see the same fall-off that I suggested above.

    • 1289 posts
    August 29, 2023 1:17 PM PDT

    What if the number of PC's attacking an NPC actually had an effect on how defensive it could be?  Can it realistically defend itself against 3 characters?  How about 100?  

     

    I don't have an answer, only more questions :P

    • 2419 posts
    August 29, 2023 2:02 PM PDT

    Ranarius said:

    What if the number of PC's attacking an NPC actually had an effect on how defensive it could be?  Can it realistically defend itself against 3 characters?  How about 100?  

     

    I don't have an answer, only more questions :P

    If the NPCs defensive capacity decreased as the number of PCs increased, that may cause more zerging of content.  Many players dont like to lose so if you know bring more increases you chances of winning why would you not do that?  Yeah, I know someone will say "but that just reduces the chance if you getting loot"..which is true, but those additional characters could be alts or boxed and aren't there for loot. With a higher chance to win still means a higher chance to win something even if you bring more people.

    There were statements made years ago from VR about some NPCs fleeing if you brought more players than the encounter was designed to handle or it dynamically increased in difficulty.  I'd rather see the encounter get more difficult than less if you bring more people.


    This post was edited by Vandraad at August 29, 2023 2:03 PM PDT