Well I’ve gone through a bunch of potential tests to see how things were working out, and I feel pretty comfortable with what I have right now. I’m not sure how good it really is (it’s only a simulator), but I think it’s completely plausible to think Cez and Lela could survive for up to ~100 battles or so without getting completely destroyed, as long as they have around 10-15 potions. They would gain about 10 levels over the course of those 100 battles, so that’s a plus as well. This was the mark I was shooting for; about 10 battles to gain a level, on average, without needing an exorbitant number of potions to sustain such a plan. This is, of course, only for the first 10 levels which should, hopefully, send the player all the way through the cave and on to the next level (the woods). Once Toma jumps in I think enemy difficulty could probably start scaling a little harder, and once Thorman comes in around level 20 or so, things can get crazy. I also will be able to increase the number of enemies attacking the party, as well as give them abilities beyond just basic attacks. There will also be bosses in place as the party progresses, so that should also make it a little variety and potentially increase the XP gains.
The biggest problem with the simulator, though, is it doesn’t account for focus area scaling. For instance, if both Cez and Lela are increasing their damage abilities they will be dealing higher levels of damage and wiping out enemies more quickly, meaning they will be in reduced danger (has to be some danger, otherwise game is boring). This also applies to equip-able items – if Cez gets a sword that increases his damage by 5 or 10, this could completely change how the simulator is working. The problem is that I haven’t designed items yet and haven’t really determined how I intended to scale the multiple different areas. Regardless, I think the simulator is maybe about 80% accurate, which is all I needed. I wanted a ballpark range, not perfection. Perfection comes later when I actually begin play testing. That’s what I’ve got for now. I think item sets and determining scaling on focus areas will problem be my next step. After that I might start designing some of the enemies.