Oblivion by the way, I never finished once I realized the level synch system. It so very killed the game for me I simply didn't care and just quit it right then and there. Didn't even care I was in the middle of the story.
New TES game won't have it like that though so me=happy
This is a very interesting topic. Have you played any of the previous Elders Scrolls? Typically in the series, you will be over-powered for all missions after the first time you go off on your own to level up and find new gear.
The monsters in Oblivion scaled to your level, but not to your gear. So you had a monster that was of a challenging level, but your stacked magical gear/ spell buffs would put you leagues ahead in terms of overall power.
They (Bethesda) have yet to create a system that does not allow for you to become over-powered very quickly, and I would expect that some version of level scaling will be absolutely necessary to achieve this.
The difference between a player that understands every stat/weapon/spell/attack/buff and stacks them for optimization, and a player who is just playing along for fun, with very little understanding of the game mechanics is vast
Does this mean that we would prefer:
A.) A simple difficulty setting at the beginning of the game?
B.) Monsters that are so tough that casual players will never beat them?
c.) Monsters that are so easy that experienced players will be bored?
D.) Enemies that scale to your performance
Do we want end game content to be:
A.) Predetermined difficulty, regardless of how strong you are? (I stomped through the Morrowind and Oblivion endgames with nary a challenge in sight.)
B.) Scaled to your level, but not gear?
C.) Impossible for casuals to complete?
The most satisfying RPG experience I've had of late is completing Dragon Age: Origins on Nightmare difficulty. Every second was precious. Every spell cast was a win or lose decision. Every command input was meaningful. The victory was exhilarating. This would indicate that setting the entire game's difficulty is the best way to fit the challenge to the player.
But in the Elder Scrolls, even with level scaling, the combination of the right spells/weapons/buffs would just make you invincible. The final bosses were laughable. Hack, Hack, Hack. Deamon Lord indeed. Bah.
How do you create a endgame challenge for a player that could range in power from feeble, to godly, to whatever-is-more-powerful-than-godly?
The difficulty settings should be: