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So far, I've gone a couple of hours into the game and just reached level 10. I'm feeling adventurous and am striving to reach every safehouse to unlock them. To do so, it means I have to venture off to areas I'm technically not ready for. I can deal with level 15-16 enemies one at a time. But will die in 2 hits or less.

I usually do this when playing RPGs to hopefully get valuable loot that I can use or sell. But slowly, I'm starting to feel like it might not be worth it after all.

  • Surviving is tough. I can go around mobs but the moment they notice me, I'm dead.
  • Killing is really tough. At 5-6 levels over, they're manageable. But 10+ is suicide.
  • Crafting material loot is lame. They're found at the same rarities and quantities in lower level areas.
  • Equipment found would not be usable at all. Since there are level requirements, there's no point in struggling to get them so early.
  • Loot quality sucks. All loot are still at green/blue levels. The only neutral items that could be found are vanity items and even then, there's nothing good I've found so far.
  • Selling loot sucks. Higher level items don't cost that much more than those at my level.

The only good things I can think of are:

  • Areas can be scouted early. In my case, going to the safehouses, I'm opening fast travel opportunities and reveling mission locations.
  • It's uhh... fun... to... sneak around past enemies?

That's a lot of cons, are there any pros?

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I think the normal pros found in RPG's, mats, loot etc you've already debunked in your original post.

I think playing the game at the appropriate level will make it more 'as it's meant to be played' but that might not do it for you!

If you get enjoyment from the sneaking, and regaling your work colleagues with stories of how you killed an enemy 10 levels higher than you, then it may be worth it just for that.

From a purely 'economic' point of view, it's probably not worth it.

  • Because ist not worth an 'answer': So you want to take the time (1x) to visit safehouses for saving time in future (also 1x)? You can easily do missions on your level or even +2 (if alone) to level faster. In a group even more. – Martin Mar 10 '16 at 13:05
  • @Martin: I don't think it'll necessarily help doing the missions. Though you can gain more XP per higher level mission, the enemies you encounter would be near unstoppable. If you can find a mission that takes place on the ground and you can find a nearby roof to camp on, then you'll have a shot at surviving. But it'll still be very tough. – Jeff Mercado Mar 11 '16 at 2:47
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No

From my experience I'd say quite the opposite is more efficient: do all the missions (including side missions), as they come. If you do that you'll be always at level above the requirements for the missions, which means that they will be relatively fast and easy. OTOH, if you try to do a mission above your level, it is possible, but it's slow, tedious slog and the rewards are just not worth it.

If you want challenge, rather than going for higher level missions, you can choose to take missions on hard (which also gives you better rewards).

  • 1
    I've created a number of characters since and skipping around to the safehouses was mostly a fruitless endeavor. The fast travel was helpful but there's not much more that could be done. One thing I'm trying out now is trying to build up the wings as fast as possible before hitting level 14 (the max level of the first DZ bracket). I managed to get the medical signature skill on one play which has its uses. Getting the other signature skills seems a lot more challenging since you will need to venture off into higher level areas for supplies. – Jeff Mercado Mar 20 '16 at 21:19
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Having experience with the loot system and leveling scaling, and having unlocked all the safe houses at an earlier-than-expected level, the only thing I could argue as a benefit of exploring high-level areas as a low-level agent would be the bragging rights.

Challenge

It depends on the exact level you are going after, here. If you want the challenge of facing up against enemies 2-3 levels higher than you, go for it. It will likely take longer to level, if you account for the extra time it will take to kill each enemy and the unavoidable increase in having to re-spawn, but the bragging rights are there. It does not take long for the higher level to mean instant death.

Collectables and Vanity Gear

If you collect every collectable in a category, you are awarded with a unique vanity item. For instance, if you collect every phone recording, you will be given the Shoreline jacket. It might be cool to be the only level 10 running around with one of these on, but considering the extra exploration that goes into collectable hunting, this could easily be a painful task.

Experience

You earn more experience in high-level areas. This is both a result of the higher rewards for missions, and the higher level of enemies. In my experience, the difficulty increase draws out the time it takes to level, considerably. It is actually much quicker to progress through the missions suited to your level, as you are able to achieve the experience reward much quicker.

Loot

You might still find lootable chests, however, you run in to a few more issues:

  • From what I have seen, gear drops are leveled to the character, so your still going to find the same kind of gear as in the lower areas. If I am wrong, your most likely to find average gear for the intended level group. So you either find average gear, or average gear that you won't be able to use while it is an upgrade.
  • Enemies will destroy you. At level 25, a level 30 enemy could kill me in one shot. Enemies were also more drawn to me, and seemed to be able to hit me way outside the range at which they can hit me, now I am at a matched level. Even if you are able to down an enemy, and lucky enough that the enemy drops some gear, you still have the same problem of the gear requiring a much higher level for use.
  • Material and Consumable chests will provide the same items, regardless. That includes chests that give you crafting material. For the purpose of farming these items, a low level area is more desirable, simply for the lower danger you will encounter.
  • Contaminated Zones are more likely to be outside of your reach, making it less likely that you will be able to venture in to these areas for some easy gear chests.

Safe Houses

You can unlock quick travel, yes. However, you have no real reason to quick travel to the location, until you are within the level requirements, or higher. Missions will be difficult, enemies will be difficult. Yes, you will earn a lot more experience then from the missions suited to your level; but it will also take a lot longer, and your leveling over time will not be as good as if you started on the challenges suited to your characters level.

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