Level scaling ruins the game

Worst decision ever. I remember my first gameplay on 1.6 version. I died all the time in the beginning. Taking on 5 Tyger Claws at level 1 or 2 was an immediate suicide. I understood I'm just a regular low-iife thug and have to progress in order to be able to fight groups of enemies. Now I started new gameplay on Normal difficulty and went through first 3 firefights with breeze without breaking any sweat. This is ridiculous. 4-5 Tyger Claws agains me with a basic pistol? No issue. Reading your comments, the futher into the game, the more opposite it goes. What a disgrace. We should be able to scan enemies, analyze if we're strong enough to face them and then some we would leave for later and some we could take down right away. Now (at least at the stage I'm currently playing) it's simply going all out on anybody and being a death machine from the very beginning.

In theory that makes sense, but normal should be the "balanced" difficulty setting, right? And, as I mentioned, in the 1.6 version everything was as it should be (well, it was a bit too easy at the level 50, but maybe it's the way that it's supposed to be when you're all maxed out in the game...).
Level scaling is a lazy way to balance a game because whoever is responsible don't wanna plan stats per encounter.
Game story and questing is still linear without much variance where you go so it makes even less sense to add this feature. Unless you could start questing in Pacifica or other places then I'd somehow think this decision would make sense?

Let us opt out of this, hope we don't have to rely on modders once again to fix the game.
So far I like it. We will see how it will be when playing closer to level 40 but its more challenging and fun so far.
In theory that makes sense, but normal should be the "balanced" difficulty setting, right? And, as I mentioned, in the 1.6 version everything was as it should be (well, it was a bit too easy at the level 50, but maybe it's the way that it's supposed to be when you're all maxed out in the game...).
Exactly! I like a challenge. I like, when there is an area, where i am weak. Where i find great loot. But the level scaling does not allow this.
Honestly, I think NPC scaling is the worst thing that ever happend to gaming. At all. Worse that microtransactions and loot boxes together.

NPC scaling is just lazy and it ruins games.

Pretty much all RPGs have player progression, and player progression means that the player character gets stronger over time. Gets better gear, learns better skills, new perks. And thats good, its a major driving element in RPGs. It gives you a purpose.

But player progression poses a problem for game design: If the player gets stronger then he will need stronger enemies, right? Lets call this the power level problem

The traditional solution to this problem is simply populating the game world with different groups of enemies, with a different power level, dwelling in different areas. Start the player in an easy area and let him make his way. That works really well. Its the way it was in CP until a week ago, and it did work pretty well.

Sure in open world games you have the problem that some players might take more optional content then others, thus getting stronger then other players at the same stage/ in the same area. In case of CP there was a certain lack of strong enemies and a surplus of weak enemies in late game, if you did everything. A minor issue, I just dialed up the difficulty mid game.

The lazy solution is just coupling the strength of NPCs to the strength of the player. On first glance it solves all problems. But on closer inspection it solves none, and creates a multitude of new problems.

1. It negates progression. If the player gets stronger and the NPCs get stronger as well, the player isn't really getting stronger. He might deal a higher damage, numerically, but the effect is still the same. The game cheats the player out of his progression. And that makes a large part of the game mechanics completly pointless.

Example 1: The last time I played Skyrim (2nd playthrough) I didn't got far. Maybe level 10? I had just leveled up, got a new fancy sword AND I had unlocked a perk for that sword. Awesome, right? So I went into the next dungeon. Same general style as the one before, same 'set' of enemies. Draughr. But literally every enemy had just been replaced with the next stronger iteration of them. A bit bigger, 50% more HP. Before I needed 10 hits to kill one, and now I again neeeded 10 hits to kill one. I never finished that dungeon. I stopped halfway through, and uninstalled a week later. Never touched it again.

2. It forces you to do silly meta games. Typically the NPC level is just bound to the player main level. Lazyness. But player main level isn't necessarrily bound to effective combat strength. That means, that in order for the player to actually get stronger, he needs to get stronger FOR THAT LEVEL. But if on the other hand the player makes progression choices that are not super rational, thought through, maybe out of role playing considerations... then the player will get weak FOR THAT LEVEL. And thats why NPC scaling doesnt actually solve the power level problem. A player thats not meta-gaming will soon find himself in a world were he is outleveled by anyone. A painstaking min-maxer will find himself getting stronger then anyone.

Example 2: Skyrim again, first playthrough. Somwhere around level 20 I started messing around with alchemy. Was nice, fun. Collecting ingredients, mixing them together, trying to create something usefull. Did this for a few hours, just for fun. But I leveled up while I did this. When I got back to work, into the next dungeon, I didn't stand a chance. All enemies were suddenly far stronger, because I was a higher level. I was outclassed. So I was forced to strike back. I took some time to study the skill tree, and finaly I closed the unholy trinity of crafting, alchemy and enchantment. Combining all three I crafted an echanted sword with 50 times more dps then any regular weapon. That big bad dragon in the end? One strike, dead. Made the whole game super boring, thats why I started a second playthrough.

In CP I started a new playthrough on thurstday, my V is now level 15.
I'm easily one-shooting NPCs with a silenced pistol. And I wont tell you how.

3. It ruins the ingame power plausibility. In the game there are NPCs that are supposed to be strong, and NPCS that are supposed to be weak. In a realistic setting you might at least argue that they are all humans, and a bullet to the head will kill every single one of them. But not so in a Cyberpunk setting. Here we have beings, merged from flesh and chrome, that can easily shrug of 10 headshots. Take Adam Smasher. This thing isn't human anymore, its a cybernetic one man army. Or at least it should be. But thanks to NPC scaling he is bound to your power level, so if you meet him early he'll be just weak. Laughable weak.
On the other hand if you meet a random small gangster towards the end of the game he'll be automatically super strong. Simply because you are.
It totaly breaks the immersion.

Example 3: Oblivion. Very early in game I came out of that capital, and on a crossing I was abushed by three bandits. Three pretty lame bandits, bad skills, bad eqippment, but it was 3 of them and I was level 2. Was a hard fight but i won.
A few weeks later I came to the exact same crossing, and I was ambushed by... three bandits. This time I was level 80 wearing full deadric armor. And so were the three bandits. Each of this bandits was stronger than an average deadric demi-god, wearing armor that was worth more than a small kingdom. Was a hard fight but i won. :shrug:

And that's why I hate NPC scaling.
the way as i see new system stamina , perks and level scaling , just a short come solution to let the player feel the fight in Night city : a guerilla on night city . but the things , even if the combat during more time , i feel all combat a bit "easy" on the normal difficulty .
IA steel "weak" , ...
the good , some boss , mini boss can give more challenge . but its seems we need to play this on the hardest difficulty to see how efficient is this new scaling system .
You can still do that with the right upgrades, it' s just not a one off easy kill and I'm good with that because it made no sense that they have chromed up heads and always just die from a bullet. As for enemies being alerted, no. They just won't ignore the slumping noise of a body only few feet away from them so they may investigate if close. It just means being smart and luring one away before you do a headshot or try to deal with both simultaneously. You could also just wait to get the skills you need to execute those kills more efficiently...you know, that character progression that OP said isn't in the game. It just requires actually being strategic, as most snipers generally are.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem like luring one in a secluded area and then trying to headshot or kill them fast enough would work, since if the enemy lives after your first attack, he gets alerted and when he gets alerted, the group gets alerted. Even if you are behind multiple walls etc.

That part is quite meh tbh. Though I think there's a perk called "gag order" or something that, if you attack the enemy just as they get alerted, it delays the alert of others? I'm not quite sure how that works... I hope it'd be a solid solution...
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Honestly, I think NPC scaling is the worst thing that ever happend to gaming. At all. Worse that microtransactions and loot boxes together.

NPC scaling is just lazy and it ruins games.
And that's why I hate NPC scaling.

I think it matters a ton how it's done. When it's done right, you won't really notice it but it's also good that it's there.

In Skyrim, I remember there's a very bad scaling spike in the first third of the game or so.. at hitting level 20, or 30 if I'm not mistaken, where it feels like you having levelled up was a punishment. I remember that from several playthroughs. When I played that game a ton, I remember even planning around that, trying to level slower so I won't hit that spike before doing some particular task.

That is often where you will then try to over-correct against that and grind something to make something waay more powerful and due to the game not having such a scaling spike again, the end always kinda starts feeling easy.

If I have to mention a game that has truely done it horribly, then I'll immediately say Diablo 4. That game made me feel like nothing is changing after I filled up my spellslots etc. but kept leveling up, finding miniscule item improvements in an obnoxious sea of loot.

As a good example, I'd say Fallout New Vegas. I bet you've never even thought of the scaling in that one, since it's not intrusive in the slightest. Enemies just have a minimum and maximum level per area and depending on when you go there, they scale somewhat around that to provide some challenge. Meet them later and they have better gear and items than they would if you meet them early. But there is a stopping point and they won't just scale across the whole world to be just like you.

Tons and tons of games do this sort of scaling.

I feel having no kind of scaling in a world like this would result in jarring immersion breaking moments where even your most powerful attacks would do nothing to the highest level things to the point of them not even feeling human or your guns not even feeling like automatic rifles... as well as at lvl 50 you feeling like automatic rifles are waterguns, despite them still being very much rifles, real bullets and you still a human, even if augmented.

But since I guess you meant scaling all NPC's to your level, then I agree that it is for sure something that'll give a miserable experience in most games. In this one... I'm not sure yet. I hope it has more nuance than that, where the lower end scales some higher as the game goes so they won't start feeling absolutely useless, but still ofc will be easier etc.
It would be weird to shoot a low level thug in the toe with the same pistol and have them practically explode just because of my level.

So yeah, this all, to me has a golden middle road where the sweet spot to this kinda thing would be (for me)... I still absolutely want the game to have moments where I see an enemy I "don't wanna take on yet" but also don't want to grow in power so much my old neighborhood gangs all die when I sneeze.
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Add me into the "I hate level scaling" crowd.

If EVERYBODY is a "Legend" in Night City then nobody really is. And that's what level scaling does from an immersion perspective.

It is also just plain lazy design. Want to avoid the issue that someone brought up earlier about making the gangs unbalanced? Have different groups of the same gang type of different levels in various areas. So you come across a group of Maelstrom that are way tougher than average in one area? Cool. They're probably higher up the food chain of the same gang. The gangs as a whole overall can still be made to feel balanced, it just requires a bit more work and effort to make it believable.

Make it so you do missions against low level Sixth Street Gangs for a bit, but then need to go do missions against the Animals for a bit because you aren't ready to take on the higher up Sixth Street areas yet: and that's the story reason why the gangs have their own territories. They have stronger and weaker members but overall are fairly balanced against each other.

This isn't even getting into how it makes leveling up no longer feel like an accomplishment or meaningful because the fights all feel the same. As you go from a random nobody to a "Legend" of Night City most fights SHOULD feel easy. Only certain enemies or situations should be a challenge. Otherwise it doesn't do a good job differentiating between Big Epic Moments and RANDOM ENCOUNTERS.

You think Adam Smasher has a hard time mowing through a couple of dozen random street level Tiger Claws or has to shoot them ten times each? Of course not. He's a Legend for a reason.
Is there a way to finish this quest without meeting Strength requirement? I read about Gorilla arms giving you extra points but this was from pre 2.0 era. I don't really want to spend 15k just for this right now. I guess Brendan will have to wait until I get rich enough lol
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I don't mind level scaling too much, but I would prefer to have an option to choose. I like having areas/gangs you should avoid before meeting certain level requirement. When you're like level 50 then level scaling keeps the game more fun if you go back to forgotten low level areas.
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Level scaling in an RPG is as bad as the dreaded "rubber band AI" in a racing game.

With the pretext of providing a constant challenge, the game tries to adapt every single encounter to the player level. This works for a fast paced action or arcade game, where the entire gaming experience is a race to get better and overcome harder challenges.

But with an RPG? And an open world one, on top of that? No chance. Part of the fun for me is starting from being a nobody who has to carefully avoid fights and choose his opponents, or postpone the exploring of the most dangerous areas, and work my way to the top.

After 100+ hrs of exploration, I don't want to be on the lookout for a simple street punk because everybody scaled to my level. On the contrary, in a good RPG, low level critters should avoid fights once they recognize that you're a walking legend. At the same time, new challenges should appear in the form of dedicated quests for high level players.

Level scaling also encourages meta gaming because people will be forced to exploit whatever combination of perks/abilities/weapons regardless of the "role" taken. Again, something I would expect from an arcade game, not an RPG.
It's not like CDPR didn't just revamp the entire skill system.

As if the game doesn't have progression without levels.

As if the game doesn't have progression without levels.

Yes, but it's progression for progression's sake. You acquire more skils and cyberware, but with them you can defeat the same people that you could defeat at level 1. The progression stops there.

It also makes no sense in the world itself, as end game V can take on Adam Smasher. But how does it make sense that at that point all NPCs are a match for V? That means that all NPCs could take on Adam Smasher, which is nonsense.
Just feel like giving my 2 cents; new gameplay options are fantastic, balance changes are horrendous. Stealth netrunning is simply not fun now, in 1.6 you DID have to be aware of the trace but it was a fairly non-issue if you knew where the netrunner was. Now trace is nearly unavoidable, it's implemented like a timebomb imo and it's anxiety inducing trash. You CAN play around the trace still but it's very tedious, also I hate the glitching graphic when using overclock. Actually I just don't like Overclock at all tbh, don't like being forced to use it either. ALSO stealth netrunners now have to make a choice between the camera deck or the arasaka deck, as someone who used to use cameras a lot and is now using them very little... Neat. Honestly the balance of cyberpunk has just been bad from the beginning and it hasn't really gotten better, it's just achieved different levels of bad, some worse, some better, some much worse (like 2.0 stealth netrunning). OH and since I got a little distracted by my hate for the new stealth netrunning, the level scaling makes me want to puke in my mouth, it's a trash mechanic that should be 100% optional.
Idk, i don't have any serious issues with the progression system as it is now.

From what i could gather, "normal" difficulty is tougher than it used to be and "hard" difficulty is easier than before.

If anything i find that i'm not really trying to keep up with the competition but to keep up with myself, gear wise. That requires a bit more thought into what to craft/sell/upgrade/specialize into etc. Definitely enjoyable so far though.
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