Rampant Games - Learning the Scales
Jay Barnson writes on scaling in CRPGs, with examples showing the frustrations of getting it wring but the potential advantages with appropriate use:
I was going to make another post on Wizardry 8 today. I took about a week off from playing it, and jumped back in, only to find the "random" encounters were once again consuming a good deal of my time. I've been running around Rapax Rift for a while now, and found an interesting situation - the random encounters seem to be much harder (and longer) than the "fixed" encounters at my level (pushing level 20).
When I open a door, I'm often faced with four to six monsters at or below my character level. The patrols, on the other hand, consist of eight to sixteen creatures around my level, and I'm frequently running out of spell points by the time the battle is over. So - resting and returning, I'm facing the same encounters again immediately. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's a relief to hit some rooms, because I can fight four or five of these semi-fixed encounters in a row.
Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but it feels like gaining higher levels is actually penalized... things get harder, instead of easier, as you improve.