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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had a prominent difficulty-scaling system, but I've heard that Shivering Isles may not be "suitable for low-level characters". Does level-scaling work similarly to the the base game?

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    Where did you hear that Shivering Isles "may not be suitable for low-level characters"? The Wiki doesn't mention this at all, and AKAIK, the expansion will have the same scaling in effect, meaning a level 1 character with a Drain Health 100 spell will WTFPWN absolutely every enemy they meet for a tiny drop of magicka. – Nelson May 29 '17 at 18:53
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    Perhaps you heard about item scaling and got it mixed up with enemy scaling? Some people recommend holding off on certain Shivering Isles quests until you're of a certain level, such that the leveled reward (e.g. Dawnfang/Duskfang) you get is better... but that applies to most quests in the game, not just SI quests. – pushasha May 30 '17 at 19:16
  • @pushasha: Yes, that's exactly what happened. – user598527 May 30 '17 at 22:08
  • @Nelson and pushasha: Feel free to post answer, you both have answered the question. – user598527 May 30 '17 at 22:13
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    Well, the entire premise of the question isn't even valid because nobody will ask that question. It came from a mis-understanding... so I don't think it really warrants an answer. – Nelson May 31 '17 at 7:59
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After double-checking in the TES Construction Kit, I can confirm that the enemy scaling in the Shivering Isles expansion is exactly the same as it is in the base game -- leveled creatures are picked from a leveled list, based on the player's current level and the creature's base level.

Base game leveled creature list:

Base Game Leveled List

Shivering Isles leveled creature list: Shivering Isles leveled creature list

Then, if the creature itself has a "PC Level Offset" (a level offset based on the player's current level), that gets applied separately: Player Offset

As mentioned in the comments, you seem to have misinterpreted what others meant when they said that lower-level characters should hold off on starting Shivering Isles -- this advice is normally given because of the leveled item rewards that one receives in the expansion, not the leveled enemies. If you get the scaled items at a low level, they will quickly become weak/irrelevant as your player levels up; however, if you receive them at a higher level, they will remain relevant and powerful for much longer (if not for the rest of the playthrough). Check out the leveled stats for Dawnfang/Duskfang for an example of how this looks.

Therefore, if you are playing unmodded and want to use the Shivering Isles scaled items for more than a few levels, many will suggest that you wait until your character is at a higher level (30+) so you get the best version of the leveled rewards.

  • Related Construction Kit screenshots would improve the answer. – user598527 Jun 30 '17 at 15:03
  • @user598527 I'll add some when I get back from holiday, but they'll basically just show the SI enemies in the same leveled lists as the normal ones. The other thing I checked for was scripts that might have altered leveling (of which there were none), but that's not really something I can provide screenshots of. – pushasha Jun 30 '17 at 16:30
  • The scaled item problem is rendered irrelevant with the right mods. – Nelson Jul 22 '17 at 13:08
  • @Nelson Agreed, I certainly use mods that negate this issue. – pushasha Jul 22 '17 at 21:09

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