Assassin's Creed Odyssey Has New Level Scaling

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a weird approach to way its enemies level. Now there’s an option in the game to change this.

What Assassin's Creed Odyssey Changes From Origins

At a glance, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks a lot like last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins. Despite swapping Egyptian pyramids for Greek temples, the surface-level similarities are numerous. There are plenty of subtle differences, however.

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To recap, here’s how the game approaches enemy levelling by default:

Every region on Odyssey’s map has two numbers associated with it. Those numbers indicate, in part, how leveled up you need to be to explore the region without getting thrashed. If you’re in a region and start levelling up, the quests in that region will level up with you.

Enter a level six zone at character-level six and then improve to seven, and any level six quests you grabbed in that region become level seven quests, complete with tougher enemies. If you hit the max level for the region and playing at normal difficulty, then quests will keep levelling but will lag some and eventually stay wo levels behind your character, no matter how high you go.

As part of Odyssey’s January update, an option is being added to the menu to mess with how the game handles scaling. Players will be able to leave things as they are, lock all enemies to your level, allow them to drop two levels under you or go super easy and let them go four levels under you.

That second option seems the most interesting. I understand the intent behind the game’s original levelling design, but the speed at which I’d bounce around islands meant I’d rarely be facing off against foes who were actually at my level. Be nice to keep things constant for a change while I settle in with the new DLC episode that’s also coming on January 15.

You can read more about Odyssey’s updates this month at this Ubisoft blog post.


    Why is it I rarely see games willing to go the old WoW route anymore? Where the world has set levels, allowing the player to essentially know 'this area is for beginners and that area is where I go when I'm an absolute badass'? At least, that's how it was in WoW when it *started*, I'm not sure how it is now. I would have loved it to have been like that, it's yes, an artificial way to extend a games life, but it's also a great way to make you earn your right to go somewhere.

      A huge criticism with WoW now is nearly everything, from 1-120, scales to your level. It helps in the early levels for people who just want to get to endgame ("where the game really begins"), but the end game zones scale from 110 to the cap of 120, and continue to scale with your total item level (to a cap), too.

      Well AC Odyssey has precisely that but people seems to be not happy being locked out of "high level" area when they are low leveled.

      Too much open world mentality currently that the minority wants to explore without being restricted and then complain about content.

        I've played Odyssey and saw that the levels remained a few levels above you, with some bosses being significantly over, so I was fine with that. Some other games irritate the hell out of me though, trying to make themselves absolute cakewalks consistently through. If they have the option in the settings to give this variable, fine I guess, but realistically, the method WoW adopted when it first came out I find to be the best personally.

      scaling levels means that the game can return you to that area for more quests and have it still challenging.

      Levelling in AC:Odyssey is more like unlocking more skills rather than getting more powerful with the levelling in place only to prevent you from going to areas of the map earlier than the devs would like.

        The war between people who prefer vertical progression against horizontal progression continues.

        The horizontals have decided that everyone will prefer horizontal if they just give it a chance, and have hidden their medicine it in the verticals' dessert.

        I guess the problem becomes 'why have levels at all?' at that point. What's the actual point of it? Levels are designed of course to engage in the idea of 'getting better' and 'improving' but if everything is always going to be the same, doesn't it become essentially arbitrary and cosmetic as opposed to an actual rpg element where it means something to the game itself?

          Yes that's what I've been thinking while playing it. They added scaling to fix a problem that they created (probably to push microtransactions).

            if the scaling was introduced to push microtransactions they did a piss poor job of it.

            I think it was simply used as a device to discourage you from accessing areas until it made sense for the narrative.

              If it wasn't done to push microtransactions like crafting packs and time savers then there wouldn't be crafting packs and time savers offered. They would have balanced it around fun, rather than inconvenience. Or better yet not continued using levels at all like all the other Assassin's Creed games before Origins and Odyssey.

                To be clear it probably wasn't the only reason it was introduced, it was introduced to fix criticisms from Origins' leveling, effectively trying to turn it into what it as before Origins introduced levels. Of course the added bonus being they could have their cake and eat it too in regards to microtransactions like time savers and crafting packs. Sadly this just means that the game is less fun than it should be because of it. The ideal balance for microtransactions is that it is annoying enough for the player to consider purchasing but not so annoying as to create a backlash.

                I never felt pressured to buy the crafting packs and time savers, especially not due to the progression.. and in a previous discussion on microtransactions in a Kotaku article there was a whole bunch of others that agreed with me. Hence why I think it was a piss poor attempt if that was their intention.

                  That's good. I think i misspoke when I said it was the intention. It's more an of insidious outcome of the leveling system. Please see above.

    I never understood why enemies levelling with you is a good thing. With the game like this you never feel like you’re getting more powerful as the enemies just become damage soaks.

    When I level up, I want to be able to beat the enemies I was struggling with.

    Like final fantasy was. If you came up against a bad mothatrucker too early you’d get smashed. But then you were in awe at how strong you’d have to be. So you’d work towards that.

    These leveling systems are a poor excuses for a lack of genuine game design IMHO.

      Yeah, and on top of that, it basically makes the idea of leveling up to get better a worthless idea if you never REALLY get any advantages.

        "If the enemy increases in power when I increase in power, isn't the difficulty pretty much always the same? What's the point of levelling at all, why not scrap it entirely?"
        "Levelling, uh... increases how many options you have?"

        Horizontal progression by another name.

          Well Assassin's creed games have always had more options unlocking the more you play. By adding leveling with scaling it's turned into almost the same thing but now they can try and milk people for money with microtransactions.

      This. Very much this.

      Imagine FF7, you get Clouds best attack and weapon, you deal 999,999 damage normally and you're like "OH YEAH! I'M BADASS!" and you *felt* it.

      In modern rpg's it'd be like "Eh, the mushroom monster has 10934093249009350935 health as it scaled up with me to soak it... clouds still a wimp."

        to behonest, ive found that Diablo 3 does level scaling the best. You feel more powerful as you level up and when you hit max level, getting gear makes you more powerful and it shows. to point that just getting one or two items can see you do over 100% more damage

          Yeah, and if 'it's too easy!' is something you actually care about, you can ramp up the difficulty (and reward) by adding a few more torment levels.

          D3's approach to difficulty is a great system because you can tailor your gameplay session's risk/reward to what you feel like experiencing at the time, and the increased reward can coax people into challenges that they otherwise wouldn't impose on themselves.

          We should have more options to make an experience more enjoyable by our own standards, not a mandate to follow the game designer's personal or market-researched preference and 'like it or leave it'.

            Yes and sorry to bang on about this but the special ingredient as to why the options are taken out of the player's hands is so they can get a few extra dollars from microtransactions. If they allow players to tailor the game too much then the player won't consider those real money purchases. I'm not saying it's a vast conspiracy, it's much more mundane really. Once publishers start pushing devs to develop features to encourage this the balancing becomes less about creating the most fun experience and more about creating an experience that is fun enough so people will still consider that crafting pack or time saver.

      I half agree. I do like that as well, but i also like it when games scale. because in a big game like this i am almost always overlevelled, as i dont leave an area until i basically 100% it. So then when im at the next area i have usually gotten too strong and blast through.
      I think a system that works is where the enemies level up with you so you don't get stronger perse, but maybe you get new powers or abilities that make it 'easier'.
      Actually the division as it is now uses a method i like. It has areas and missions that have set levels so if you go in early you will struggle but then if you have levelled up too much you can set the main missions in that area to hard mode which matches everything up to your level (or even 1 above) so it keeps it challenging.

    I don’t like level scaling. You unlock all these damage and health buffs, new abilities but it doesn’t matter because the enemies get them too.

    The game looked good until I checked the price for the ultimate edition :-|

      There's so much content in the base game I'd just go with that, I picked mine up a while ago for $39. 40 hours in and I feel like I've just scratched the surface.

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