Are you sure you are quoting the right place there? This portion of the discussion specifically discusses how games are no longer like D&D in that regard.
In earlier days of D&D, enemies didn't scale up with you. You could end up facing ogres that you were underleveled to beat up, or weaklings you could squash like flies. That gave sense to player improvement as your decisions (thus the amount of XP you'd get) mattered. If you carefully delved in each room of a dungeon, creatively solving everything, you would end up facing enemies that would be much less of a threat, but this was a reward in and of itself. If you went stright for the objective, then, you might be facing challenges.
As new games emerge, the idea of monsters scaling along with you (Oblivion, to name one) seem to defeat this curve, and I'm left to wonder what this logic really adds.
Individual monsters in D&D did not improve, but the challenge as a whole did. But you shouldn't focus on the individual agents, because ultimately they are mostly just skins. There is little difference between a goblin, an orc and an ogre relative to a level 1 goblin a level 2 goblin and a level 3 goblin other than cosmetics. Whether familiar skins level or the agents is just switched out for something effectively identical in all but total difficulty is differentially spurious. The game either has static agents (and thus a preset difficulty curve), or dynamic agents in which case there is no difficulty curve. The former has your position relative to the curve whilst the latter has nothing.
It may be temporarily satisfying to squish an agent that previously caused you difficulty but this will be fleeting and thus unsustainable as an entertainment medium.
And what does the training action consist it. Selecting training and logging off? Pressing trainaing and waiting in front of the character? Performing actions that are unrelated?
All of the above ;)
Once training is selected it just runs in the background. Some things do have an effect, such as installing implants to raise your stats and reduce training (or other enhancements) for the cost of wealth. If you die then your implants are lost, so effectively it is just a wealth->xp transfer. But you rarely die (which involves losing your ship and then losing your escape pod) except in deep lawless space. Most mission running players do so exclusively in high security space, for example, so will never lose their pods, in which case there is little in the way of wealth risk.
So you can see there is a benefit vs systems like Darkfall where a player doesn;t have to decide between a grinding xp and a having fun path, but it suffers from the simultaneous failings of being a very bland system and also separating new characters from experienced characters.
Are you referring to Deus Ex Human Revolution here? I can distinctly remember doing that in one of the rooms that was filled with computers, along with every office area with any comp I could see. It was indeed a bit of a grind.
Yes Human Revolution - apologies for not specifying.
So, actual exploration then? For example, long interconnected landscape with no actual fighting? I think you'd need some form of action to pace this, like a jumping ability or something. Mystic Quest had some of those, but they weren't the best...
I was thinking of having fighting along the way, because otherwise there is no sense of accomplishment. Anyone can just walk somewhere. It wouldn't even necessarily need to be dangerous as long as it has the impression of being so. I think large open world exploration would only really work in an MMO environment. For something like I think you are designing I think I would personally find it more fun to be doing something regularly. So if I really needed to get somewhere (like Deus Ex HR, I would see fighting in the way as a distraction and nuisance, slowing down my progress. If I didn't need to get somewhere specific but was wandering around (like Fallout 1 or 2) then regular encounters would make things more interesting than an empty world.
Redguard: The Elder Sea Scrolls I think had a really nice balance of this.
I agree that putting 'treasure rooms' dissociates the reward from the actual combat. The drawback to this is that it makes combat less rewarding, more of an obstacle, and players may be tempted to run away more, leading to under-leveled characters. That means before long, players will be having a hard time fighting monsters, and their easiest solution will be to grind up a few levels. Would there be a way to avoid this loophole?
Yes that's definitely a possibility. It's a hard one to dissociate I think. On the one hand these treasure points are a nice way to give a passive wealth value to the intervening monsters, but on the other hand it might make players focus on the treasure as the objective which would make the monsters an annoyance. If you didn't mind it being a bit arcadey you could openly express that the amount of treasure in the room depends upon how many things you have killed on the way. Not very realistic, but could work in some settings.
Other than that I'm not sure. I'd personally avoid the mixed stealth/combat flavour many modern titles aim for. Thief and Commandos behind enemy lines have a lot to answer for in that regard - both worked because of their complete consistency, but were so effective that many other games tried to borrow from their ideas. Not sure - what ideas do you have?
I like this idea as its not exactly scaling monster level based on player level. There could be some form of range. For example, monsters here are level 5 +/- 3 depending how well/bad you're doing, and it scales back up as you seem to be getting the hang of it. Slowly shifting up and down would require to define powerful metrics though. Player level alone wouldn't be enough as you point out. I can see how one player character dying means the player is in trouble, but how do you determine the player is blasting through 'too easily'?
Also, how do you determine that 'score'? a measure of the level of monsters you fight compared to the max level they could be?
Exactly! You'd want to have some range because otherwise everything could be forced to be easy just by being rubbish at the start. I think it is the unknowingness that creates the interest. And even if you could calibrate a dungeon to the skill of the player you could still set the monsters to be "difficulty + 2" or something to keep things at the upper edge.
I think one way to define the challenge that a mob could cause is the length of time it takes to kill all monsters in that mob. One difficulty is in correctly assigning the difficulty rating of the monsters - especially when used in combination. For ease of example I'll use one type of enemy - an orc grunt. We'll give this mob an arbitrary score of 10. We also know that difficulty tends to grow exponentially rather than linearly, but again for ease let's assume it is linear. We can work out the complicated stuff later.
So we enter an area and there are 5 Orcs, so 50 points of difficulty. The player starts fighting and after 30 seconds all the enemy are dead. It took 30 seconds to kill 50 points, so the score is 50/30 = 1.67 pps. This dungeon may be set to 60 seconds per zone, so we'd take 60s * score of 1.67 = 100pts which would be placed in the next zone. If the player managed to do it in 60 seconds then the difficulty is judged to be correct. If they did it in 67 seconds then we'd have 100/67 = 1.5, a slightly lower score and thus the next room would be a bit easier. You could base the reward on the total score, but the next room difficulty on the score run rate (so say average of last 5 rooms) so if the player started to sharpen up or tire then the game would adjust.