EBF5: Forgotton Ruins gif

Woop, here’s a mountainous area. I wish I had done more vertical areas in the game, there’s not a lot and I think they look pretty cool. (even though it’s all just an illusion, this map is completely flat logically)

I’ve named all of the areas now, and there’s 20 of them. That number is not a very useful measure of anything though, as they’re all different sizes and may or may not have a boss involved. But it sure *sounds* impressive at least.

Finally, I’m strongly considering making the monsters level up with the players, meaning they will always be around the same level. This will:
• Make grinding to beat fights mostly useless. (Though a tiny amount of grinding to get a certain skill might help)
• Make rushing through the game easier, as you can skip most of the fights without making the bosses harder.
• Allow playing through the optional parts in any order you like.
• Possibly make balancing much easier for me.

So overall it gives a lot more options in play styles, which I think is a good thing.
Final Fantasy 8 tried this, but they did it WRONG because if you wanted to min-max you would level up as little as possible until you got the best summons (which boost your stats at level up). EBF5 will have no such exploits.



43 thoughts on “EBF5: Forgotton Ruins gif

  1. Sporelord1079

    I don’t really like this idea. One of the things that impressed me about EPF3 and 4 was that the game was paced so well I never needed to grind anyway. I find that games that do this end up losing a lot of the sense of progression. It’s like going back to the starting forest in EBF4 only to find the bushes are all level 30 and still taking off a quarter of your health with each hit.

  2. Project>Cosmic

    Just saying, speeding through the game isn’t a benefit. :bleh: Depending on how well the optional parts introduce themselves, this could be a good thing or a bad thing. I think grinding should be allowed though (but also not excessively forced :scared: ).

  3. Just2383

    I know it may sound strange at first but there are a lot of people conflicted with having enemies level with you so here I go. It may take a bit longer but if you added the option to turn enemy levelling on or off, like how you can change the difficulty. This would make grinding for specific skills easier but make it less of a hassle when you accidentally missed something and have to do another 2 min fight to get it. I myself purposefully skip parts of the game so when I’m stronger I can come back and one shot them. Anyway it’s just an idea. I’m totally hyped for EBF5. :hurray:

  4. Drake

    How about sth. like this:
    After beating the story mode we get a option to enable the monster levels scaling with the party level. This with an offset we can chose from -3 to +3 monster levels. Those who want it taking easier might lower this offset while others might want to increase it to keep the battles challenging.

    I personally like more dynamic power levels and am on the pro-side “Allow playing through the optional parts in any order you like.”. Rewards (and lootchances?) will be hopefully a little bit increased for the extra time spent for battling enemies at higher levels instead of “speed farming” weaker foes.

  5. Den

    Matt, guys, imho, the idea to bind monsters’ levels to the player’s one is not bad at all. This approach will save us from boring during the game. Be honest, fight with weak monsters at the latest stages of the game is extremely boring and meaningless. Suggested approach can fixed this issue. Also would be great to code different level coefficients for different areas: normal coefficients in some areas could coexist with increased coefficients in others for hard-core players. =)
    P.S. I really consider Final Fantasy 8 one of the greatest RPG of all the time. =)

  6. Trycka

    I saw LOTS of comments saying that they don’t want scaling levels or have it only as an option.

    About me i think scaling levels is FAR more better for this kind of game. FF8 did it WRONG like you said Matt but it still was a really great idea. When it’s done correctly the scaling levels of monsters makes the game even better.

    So i think scaling levels would be a good idea and yes it’s easier to balance than fixed levels. But i still think that making a “scaling table” for each area would be necessary in order to make early ennemies being extremly easy to kill when we get in the endgame.

  7. Bob

    I’m very much against enemies being scaled. It takes away from the feeling of getting stronger when you level up and sometimes it might even feel like leveling up is detrimental to you.
    I’ve never felt that you needed to grind much, if anything at all in EBF, but if there are people that don’t play rpgs in the most optimal way I see no reason to not allow them to grind a bit before a boss to compensate for it.

  8. Dewayne

    And I’m sorry for even saying this but that is probably the laziest block puzzle i’ve ever seen in my life 🙂

  9. Snake Key

    I think that it would be interesting, but it might be more convenient for players if it was a setting instead of a required game feature. Unfortunately, that might make your job harder, sorry Matt… :coffee:

  10. Dewayne

    I don’t quite understand how scaling will make the balancing any easier. You still have to test the fight and everything with the appropriate skills and weapons and all that. Just test with the level you want them to be at to begin with and change stats from there. But anyway, if your going to use scaling I can’t honestly find another game where it would work betetr since you need to kill monsters to get to places, you get items and skill points from them, and the summon collection anyway. I prefer you not do it but honestly, I don’t think it would take much away from the game. Could always add a percentage of how much monsters scale or something so earlier monsters don’t quite keep up in strength after 10 levels or something but that would kinda throw away the whole point of it i guess? Idk.

  11. FinalClaw

    I recommend using the system proposed, but with a caveat, make each area have a minimum level. That way you’ll always feel challenged by the world, but it also shows progression, there should be areas where the player simply isn’t strong enough to tackle yet, or a hidden boss that should make you feel pain for fighting him.

  12. gimmethegepgun

    Like pretty much everyone else has said already, being able to level up is pretty much pointless when the enemies level up with you.
    A somewhat alternate option would be what Guild Wars 2 does:
    In GW2, the player’s level is reduced if they go to a lower level area. They’re still a few levels above the average enemy in any given area, the players probably have higher rarity gear, and they may have traits or skills they wouldn’t have when they were at that level normally, so they’re still pretty significantly overpowered in lower level zones, but not so ridiculous that nothing provides any challenge.

  13. DevilSun

    i think it would be a lot easier if the monsters were the same level.
    cause i like fighting higher level monsters, how will the players level up if they are the same level tho?
    oh and can you add an option like if you choose epic the monsters are a level higher than you and if you choose zero they are a level lower than you?
    its okay if you dont like my idea i dont have any game making experience anyway

  14. shoggoth

    One other option: enemy levels scale, but are frozen the first time you fight them, and capped by the zone’s boss level (if you skip a fight at lv5, beat the boss at 10, and then come back at 15 the skipped enemies will be level 10).

    So you can skip fights and not be underleveled, but you can also grind if you need more levels (after fleeing), and if you go back to an earlier zone you will be OP.

  15. faeries

    After reading some more comments, I’m going to add another one because those were some really good ideas…
    So basically I’d love if scaling was done in one of these ways:
    – only bonus/optional content scales up but the rest is regular. This would still give you the opportunity to do optional stuff at any time in pretty much any order, while avoiding the pitfalls of scaling in the main path (that others pointed out better than I could). (This is probably the best idea, since a lot of people find the scaling idea bad but you have a point about the optional content. And it’s not a big change from the previous EBFs!)
    – every enemy’s level DOES scale up, but for each of them (maybe for each area?) there is a lower end and a higher end aka: let’s say the first area has (I’m gonna invent some numbers to give a rough idea)1-10 level enemies. if you’re lv1, the enemy is lv1, lv2 > lv2 etc until you reach lv11, because the enemies in that area won’t go over that. The second area has, idk , 5-15 level enemies – same as before. And the third 10-20… And so on and so forth. (with lower end levels chosen as stuff that would be a bit challenging to face if you skipped all non-compulsory battles [like idk let’s say you’re lv3 after the 1st area, so in the 2nd you’d have to face lv5> enemies…] but easy to reach if you fought all enemies in one area [with your lv being around 7 or so if you did so after the first area], and the higher end ones being levels that you’d only reach with A LOT of grinding or after some areas doing things normally) This would make it so that you can’t just go against the final boss at lv1 (or, you know, less extreme versions of this), that levels do mean something, and you’ll be able to do that sweet, sweet one-shotting once you go back, but you can still somewhat rush things.
    (This is a bit gimmicky, but I think it’d work as a compromise. Though it might require even more work than regular balancing!)

    If you really are bent on doing this scaling thing… well, then what are levels for? Since equipment and skills are independent from leveling up, and your stats – whatever they are – will be matched by the enemies.

  16. Bladesinger

    I personally am against the idea of level scaling. I like the intrigue of difficult monsters, and about the grinding thing: your games have never seemed grindy to me.

  17. Shraderc.inc

    I love this idea of scaling however i have some ideas:

    Scale with area, once you cross some thresh-holds into new areas, old areas shouldn’t scale with you or at least scale less. In previous games i loved coming back to the woods and nuking a a single shrub.

    All together though i think scaling is a good idea.

  18. pionoplayer

    I like this idea. It makes it feel like the enemies of the same type in a certain area aren’t just arbitrarily stronger than enemies in a previous area that have nothing to differentiate them except arbitrary “levels”. What’s improving isn’t just arbitrary stats, its your skill, equipment and knowledge of abilities.

    That may be a silly reason to like this change, but it’s mine nonetheless.

  19. Gray

    Matt, for your own good and the good of all others, do NOT make the monsters scale to the player’s level. That can single-handedly ruin all the elements of RPGs that people love. It makes leveling up completely useless, and it’s what made South Park: The Stick of Truth terrible. Don’t do it. Seriously.

    I know it makes balancing easier, but hell, we’d rather wait an additional 5 months for completion than have the quality of the game drop 20%. Take your time, and for god’s sake, don’t take any silly shortcuts. We want this game to be as awesome as humanly possible, as I’m sure you do as well.

    1. Danexing

      I agree! I want the next game of the series to be like the others, I mean new game mechanics are good but you need to remember to make it the same style of game play or it may as well be a spin-off. Or just make it optional because some people like the idea (not me though) 😐

  20. djcian

    I would like to throw out my vote against level scaling as well. it just never seems to end well and makes leveling up meaningless. and personally ive never felt that any of the points you mentioned were an issue in past games.

    If you do decide to add level scaling though, maybe just limit it to certain enemies, like the bosses or side area monsters.

  21. waffles2401

    i don’t know how hard it was for you to balance 3 and 4, but i felt like they were excellently design to push you without breaking you – i never felt overpowered or underpowered unless i went somewhere i really shouldn’t have lol. if you wanted to make stat mirroring a mechanic for the dark players i can totally see that making sense and being justified, but i love the sense of progression and being able to demolish things when i go backwards. god knows i don’t want to be a lvl 50 powerhouse that has to worry about green slimes XD

  22. Danexing

    To be honest I don’t really want there to be a level scale on the enemy’s. I totally understand if you were to add it to certain areas (like battle mountain) but make sure that it would i dunno have a base level of 20 and as you get higher then that then it follows. Meaning you cant just rush the game like only kill bosses and stuff from level 1 to make the game faster. But I’m sure you’ll find a way around that…. anyway the Difficulty option (easy-epic) would be pointless because the enemy’s just scale with you, or if you use the %’s like ex. on easy they have 20% less stats or on hard they have 20% more, it would make it more hard. I never rush the game when I play with the exception of my 2nd and 3rd run on EBF4, and I find that the scale was just fine in EBF3 & 4, I would also be ok with the option to toggle it on and off like Manabender said, but maybe you can make that an option at the start of the game when your choosing the difficulty, that would be cool. But yeah, my final opinion is to make it togglable or just to leave it out, but the choice is of course yours… choose wisely. :meh: :coffee:

    1. MorganRue

      Difficulty already works like a %multiplier. Easy is 50% enemy stats and Epic is 200% enemy stats in EBF4. + some other things on Epic(and maybe Hard?) that make the game straight harder, like enemy attacks applying debuffs or enemies using attacks they normally don’t use on lower difficulties.

  23. Green

    I can understand why people would want it, bit since there will be players who don’t want it because it can make the game less difficult, I’d rather have it as an option. However, if you decide to make ot not an option, making the player lvl to enemy lvl scale differently on different difficultie would be a good idea to still allow player to expuerience a challenge.

  24. Kupofan

    I understand why some people would like scaling levels on monsters, but I’m personally against it. If the level of monsters changes according to the level of players, then the whole levelling up becomes meaningless: the players could stay at level 1 for the entirety of the game and it would make no difference. Which means that, unless you want to get achievements, all non-boss battles become irrelevant, which goes against the previous EBF experiences.
    I totally understand why premium dungeons or challenging post-game content should have scaling levels, but I feel that regular monsters should have fixed levels so that levelling up has some purpose and the player has a sense of progression. However, this is just my opinion.

  25. Manabender

    I’ve never been a fan of the whole “enemies scale with player level” thing. It’s one of the reasons I could never get into FF8, and it’s the biggest flaw with Oblivion. Unless EBF5 is going to be significantly more open-world than 3 or 4, there’s no real need for it.

    Besides, 3 and 4 didn’t need it and I felt like the progression was spot-on. I was never steamrolling, and I was never getting steamrolled. So whatever you did for 3 and 4, do that again for 5, and you’ll be set.

    I’m not opposed to level-scaling being an option you can toggle on or off, however. I’m also not opposed to level-scaling in areas where there is no other option; IE, EBF4 Battle Mountain. There’s no telling when the player is going to go there, and it’s supposed to be challenging, so scaling is fine there.

    1. Jade Hadassah

      Well said, and I agree with the sentiments in paragraphs 2-3 wholeheartedly ❗ (No experience with FF8/Oblivion.)

  26. faeries

    First of all, congratulations for the areas! You are right, it *does* sound impressive… :stars: and even if some of them are smaller than others, the variety will be really nice, I bet. :stars: :love: :stars:
    Regarding the level of monsters changing with your own… I have to admit I am a bit conflicted. :wut: On one hand, it does mean that optional content will always be balanced – not too hard, but not too boring – so that’s cool. But on the other, I don’t know if my paranoid am-I-strong-enough-for-this-monster-yet-well-another-level-won’t-hurt heart can take it… Though to be fair, if played like intended, there is little grinding necessary even in EBF4 (including even Epic difficulty!) – I never had to beat the same enemy twice, I swear (even with the aforementioned heart). So I trust in your ability to make things balanced! :yay:
    Though I do have one question – will all five players level up at the same rate? Because every single time I played EBF4, I ended up focusing on just three players – and because of the times one or more of them fainted, they got behind the one I rarely used (leading to me having to make that one player faint purposefully more than a few times). And given that it’s two players in the reserve spots now, it could get a bit annoying! By itself it wouldn’t be a big problem – hey, I managed in EBF4, and I could always learn to use all of them consistently (I didn’t cause I love the three I use and I can’t bear to put them in the backseat for too long, but that’s just something *I* do) – but if the monsters level up with them it begs the question: what if not all the players are the same level?
    So I guess what I’m saying is, please make all players level up at the same rate, fainting or no fainting, backseat or active spot!
    Thank you for your hard work – woah, I think I’m here following your progress since about 30% or less? :ooo: :stars: can’t remember, but a long while for sure – and inventiveness! :yay: :yay:

  27. ShadowsSun

    I’d like to have it as an option. I like the feeling of getting stronger as you fight stronger stuff, and the progression balance in your games has always been excellent. I like the feeling of going back to an earlier zone and squashing previously-tough foes into paste, but I can certainly understand why some might not. It also means that you can’t go up against enemies that are a lot stronger than you in hidden areas or such, and has a tendency to make fights become a little samey after a while.

    A good compromise might be to give areas a range of levels that the enemies can be, so a midgame area might scale from L10-L20. That way you can have the advantage of fighting enemies near your level for most things, but you will still be squashed going into endgame areas at low level and can crush the foes in the starting area into dust.

  28. Alex Warner

    I had that one shot thing for EBF3 not EBF4, fighting the zombie hydras was a slight pain when I was grinding up to level 40, this especially makes it harder when doing it on Epic difficulty

    I’m for and against the whole “monsters leveling up with the party” motif

  29. TheOne

    Honestly that sounds like a wonderful idea. You have no idea how many times I’ve played through EBF4, learn that I missed something and then go back to find that I one shot everything. :tongue:


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