What is Level Scaling?
In the original Kingdoms of Amalur, determining the level of enemies a player had to face was pretty straightforward: Every zone a player entered was marked with a specific difficulty level, ranging between a minimum and maximum level.
For example, one of the starting areas, Webwood, had a level range of 2 to 12. That means the enemy NPCs inside this zone could differ in difficulty rather strongly, spanning 10 levels. The way the game determined which level your specific enemies would be was static.
“Level Locking”, as it was called, worked like this: upon entering a zone, your current max level determined the level of the enemies you would encounter therein, and they would stay that way forever.
So if you entered Webwood at, say, level 6, your enemies would also be level 6, regardless of your potential and inevitable increase in level later on. While that was a great way to ensure players felt progressively more powerful on their first few runs through the game, it did little for experienced characters.
If you entered this zone at level 13, the mobs would still only be at a maximum level of 12.
Entering at level 6 and fighting mobs your own level feels challenging, but as you near, say, level 12, those level 6 mobs simply die too fast to pose any sort of threat. That’s great if your primary focus is the RPG-trope of slowly ascending to a god-like state and being able to wipe the floor with enemies that only hours earlier gave you trouble. However, it cannot be denied that this does become stale upon a repeated play-through and subsequent increase in player skill.
In Kingdom of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, the system works a bit differently.
First off, there is no more “enemies are this level forever”. Every time you enter a zone, their levels are recalculated to scale with your level. However, this is still limited by the zone’s minimum and maximum level range.
So if we take the aforementioned Webwood as an example: When you first enter at level 6, mobs will also be level 6. But whereas this would always stay the same in the original game, if you were to leave Webwood and then come back at, say, level 10, Re-Reckoning would then put you face to face with level 10 mobs, significantly enhancing the potential danger.
In addition, the current difficulty level will also be used as a means to determine the level of enemies. If you just play on Casual mode, their level is actually decreased a bit, but on Hard and Very Hard it gets increased rather noticeably.
More specifically, on the newly introduced Very Hard mode (which also increases the damage output of enemies and the amount of attacks they can do in a specific time frame, in addition to a decrease in your health and damage), the level of mobs will be increased by +3 of your level – again, staying within the zone’s limits.
For example, if you are playing on Very Hard and you enter a zone with a level range of 10 to 25, you can expect enemies to follow a level pattern such as this:
- If you enter the zone at level 8, they will be level 11
- If you enter the zone at level 20, they will be level 23
- If you enter the zone at level 30, they will be level 30
And of course, let’s not forget that you can “reset” this level every time you leave and re-enter the zone, based upon your current max level.
How to Survive the Level Scaling?
Well, first off: the level scaling is something that will only affect you if you consciously let it. If you just play through the game, staying in every zone until you are done, you will likely never notice any difference in difficulty.
If you want the enemies to scale with you, you’re going to have to leave a zone and re-enter it. If you don’t do that, it will not affect you.
Secondly, if you just play on Casual mode, you will never notice it either. The mobs are in fact slightly weaker, so you can just have a relaxed and leisurely time going through the game.
But if you make the decision to start playing on Hard or Very Hard, you will have to be aware of stronger mobs – but we hope that this does not come as a surprise – or a problem – for anyone!
Tips to Take Advantage of the Level Scaling
Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning level scaling can in most cases not be used to your advantage. Usually in RPG-games, the higher level a specific mob is, the more experience you get, and thus the faster you level. This makes sense in a way that you get a bigger reward (XP and loot) for the extra effort you put in.
Here, however, the XP gain has been reduced to take the increased level of enemies into account. XP also does not get increased when you play on a higher difficulty. In addition, their loot does not become significantly more valuable the higher level they get.
In short, this level scaling is not meant to offer players a faster way to reach max level, but rather to provide them with a noticeably higher level of difficulty, something they for years have been clamoring loudly for!
For any experienced gamer, this is a feature with great promise. We urge you to try it out, but be aware that you might be getting more than you bargained for…!