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Dungeon Scaling also known as Difficulty Scaling, is the mechanism introduced in DDO Unlimited Patch 2 that decreases the difficulty of quests and non-raid zone adventure areas (but not raids) depending on the number of players in the group, the number of hirelings in the group, and the group's composition in order to help smaller parties face a more appropriate challenge. As a result, several dungeon elements are adjusted, possibly including monster spell durations, hit points, and damage output.
Dungeon Scaling adjusts the challenge of an instance depending on the number of players and hirelings in the quest. Hirelings do not count as heavily as a player character and Gold seal hirelings count even less heavily than a normal hireling. This is done to reduce the likelihood of a player over-scaling him- or herself by accident and to make gold seal hirelings a little more valuable.
Most dungeons are supposed to be balanced for 4 players. Having less than 4 causes the dungeon to scale down, while having 5 or 6 causes no additional scaling. That means a dungeon should be easier with a full group.
Dungeon Scaling behaves differently depending on the difficulty setting. Quests on Casual scale more than quests on Normal, which scale more than quests on Hard, which in turn scale more than quests on Elite. Quests with Solo-Only difficulty, raid-zone adventure areas and Raids at any difficulty do not scale at all.
Characters' classes affect Difficulty Scaling. No data has been given about how each class affects the difficulty of a dungeon, however.
Characters' levels do have a minor effect on Dungeon Scaling.
Scaling in epics
Update 50 changed scaling in epic dungeons.
Party Strength is a value that each member of the party you are in contributes to as soon as they step within the dungeon. A lower Party Scaling value is better than a higher one. The lower the number, the greater the reduction in damage, maximum HP, and player-affecting-CC durations in your instance. Previously, all characters were considered party strength 1.5 in most of Epics, while in heroics most players are closer to 1 if not 1 exactly. We've changed this so that all players at level 21+ have a party strength of 1. The results are as follows:
- A 1 person party (party strength 1) will have monster hit points of at 62% of normal (compared to right now, which is 68% for a party scaling of 1.5)
- A 2 person party (strength 2) will have monsters at 75% hit points instead of 87% (because they were strength 3 previously)
- A 3 person party (strength 3) will have 87% (previously 100% because strength was 4.5 for 3 people)
- A 4+ party will operate the same (because 4 is the maximum).
Note that Party Scaling does not function in Reaper Mode or Raid Instances, so players will see non-party-scaled-monsters in those situations.
- Difficulty - General article about the differences between each difficulty setting