Level Scaling

As far as I can tell, enemy levels are based directly on your creatures’ individual levels, which leads to some interesting gameplay interactions. While I’m all for dynamic scaling, I feel as though the current system has some weaknesses which can be improved.

  1. It feels as though the enemies outscale your general leveling, once the enemies have access to artifacts and spells. e.g. A level 5 realm with six level 50 creatures is much more difficult than with six level 5 creatures. You have to keep updating your artifacts to maintain the same difference in power, but this scales poorly and it becomes harder and harder to keep up. Eventually, it is simply easier to start a new set of six creatures. Of course, this is in turn balanced by increased rewards at higher levels, but I can’t help but feel that the progression is backwards. Leveling up should feel rewarding, not punishing and foreboding. You mentioned Diablo 3 in a different post, which serves an excellent example to draw from. By setting a level cap (I don’t know if Siralim has one yet… If so, explaining this would give a greater sense of purpose), the game scales up to a certain point [level 70], and then allows you access to fixed difficulties in order for you to progress. The greater rifts are challenged only by those at level cap, so dynamic scaling is no longer a factor. Certain achievements as well have being max level as a requirement, to prevent people from abusing the scaling to earn it easier, and setting a fixed benchmark for the difficulty of the achievement. Paragon levels also add to a sublime sense of progression, existing outside of dynamic difficulty and subtly rewarding you for your grind. Basically, by providing options at a fixed difficulty, the game provides a sense of “growing stronger” or “getting better at the game” that dyanmic difficulty does not. Similarly, some sort of flat-scaling realm in Siralim would give players a good benchmark and goal to work towards, without dreading being too high-leveled and thus making the realm too difficult. Currently for example, I feel small satisfaction from completing major sigils because I know they would be far easier if I used a low-level party instead of my current one. However, if all major sigils were at some fixed level, overcoming the challenge would truly reward a sense of accomplishment and provide a tangible late-game goal.

  2. The fact thst enemy creatures individually match your levels leads to certain abusable scenarios. This is exasperated by the fact that the levels are always in the same positions e.g. it seems the lowest level is always on the top-right, at least when my low-level monster is on the bottom-left. You can easily abuse this with say, a Fallen Carnage by having 5 low-level or nether creatures and one high-speed Fallen Carnage to sweep every fight. While I’m all for creative synergies, this strategy in particular is highly binary and very annoying to maintain as it requires constantly swapping in mook creatures. I feel that setting a minimum level for the enemy creatures, taking the average level, or at least randomizing positions would help alleviate this problem. Overall, the fights feel very unnatural and unfair in favor of the player when you have a party of mixed levels.

A couple things about level-scaling that you may not think about:

While the enemy levels are dynamic, the level bonuses that they get from realm levels are static. For example, at realm 10 all enemies may get twenty four levels above your own creatures, which is a huge obstacle for low-level creatures, but a difference that becomes more negligible when you’re much higher. This is the intended benefit for being higher level.

Also, enemy creature levels, and thus your own creature levels, impact the character experience that you get, which means more royalty points. If you keep starting over, eventually your character level will stagnate and progress very, very slowly.

Re: enemy placements: yeah, I too have noticed that enemies always put the lowest level critter in the top-right, for example. That said, I think it’s fine, since no matter where you put your low-level creature, the AI always seems to know which of your creatures it is capable of doing the most damage to. So, fair is fair, I suppose.

Ah, I didn’t realize the first point. That is indeed important (and it might make sense to make note of it in-game).

I did notice scaling exp/rewards, but I feel the sense of becoming more powerful as you gain levels is still missing. Plus, the petty royalty points hardly provide the greatest sense of reward and achievement.

I feel like it’s just in order from bottom-left to top-right for the enemy, as far as I’ve noticed. And the enemy targetting is only another weakness, as it is easy to manipulate the enemy into trying to focus down a high-health creature it can’t actually kill. If the fixed placement is intended though, again, I feel like an NPC in-game could at least mention it.

It actually feels quite natural as you get further in the game imo, how you progress by getting into deeper realms, which also leads to more resources, better loot and more experience for your mage and creatures.

I was not aware that the enemy teams have fixed placements (based on level) and this I belive should be randomized.

I will note that Zack has said the creatures and the levels they are set off of are completely random in terms of positioning. (Perhaps the randomization process isn’t very effective?)

Also, I felt the same way as you when I first played this game, but as my teams gained in level I found that I could go significantly deeper in realms and gain greater rewards and progression. That being said, there is a steep progress curve.

I noticed the same pattern about enemy positions as Yokipi for normal fights. Major sigils on the other hand really do have a random pattern.

As for level scaling itself. Stats scale linearly with 0.2*(level-1)basestat + basestat. So a realm 10 enemy has 0.224base = 12basestat more points in a given stat than your creature.
Say creature has 40 attack, 40 health and 15 defense, a fight in realm 10 looks like this:
Your creature level 11: 120 attack, 120 health, 45 defense
enemy creature level 35: 312 attack, 312 health, 117 defense
Your creature got one-shot. You plan to return later to exact revenge on the creature when your creature is level 101.

Your creature: level 101: 800 attack, 800 health, 315 defense
Enemy creature level 135: 1112 attack, 1112 health, 417 defense
Your creature survives the first hit with 3 health points and deals a terrifiying blow to the enemy for 383 health. Afterwards it get killed again, but it got a punch in. Next time it will bring friends.

The example should demonstrate what Grakor already said, that the level difference between you and the enemy in a specific realm level begins to matter less and less the higher the level your creatures are.

With Royalty points and nethers you can actually match the enemy statwise. Assuming your nether has twice the base stat of its normal counterpart, you will have the same stat as that creature at twice its level, so a level 100 nether in the example above would have had 1680 attack and oneshot the enemy creature.

All in all the leveling/stat system in Siralim is pretty solid math wise. It puts focus on good team composition over crushing the enemy with higher numbers if your creatures outlevel the enemy. It is still possible to crush the enemy with stats by creating nethers.

Amazing, thanks for the thorough reply! Part of the reason I like Siralim so much is because I’m a dirty min-maxer and theorycrafter, so I love to see detailed posts like this. Would you happen to know the formula for realm level vs. enemy level as well? (I think there are some typoes in your math at the moment, though no big deal.)

I should withdraw my earlier premature judgement: upon learning that realm levels add a flat level difference, a lot of things make sense, albeit in the slower scheme of things. The math does indeed work out. I’m a fan of synergy over grind, and the system seems to really reinforce that. Though, I would still like some sort of late-game benchmark (and something like the Daily Duels suggestion sounds absolutely perfect for this).

Thanks for all the replies!