Kingdoms of Amalur features an "Area-Level Cap" for enemies, which will permanently lock the enemies in a certain area according to the player's level when he first enters.
As an example, an Area that has an Area Level Range of 2-12 will:
- never have enemies lower than Lvl. 2 or higher than Lvl. 12
- lock at Lvl. 2 if you enter with a character of Lvl. 0-2
- lock at Lvl. 8 if you enter with a character of Lvl. 8
- lock at Lvl. 12 if you enter with a character of Lvl. 12+
This level will remain for the rest of the game. Dungeons and "Dungeon-Cities" (Cities you have to enter via door and loading screen) have their own level range - often with a higher upper range than the surrounding area - so if you enter a general area (like Webwood), you will only level-lock the outside enemies, not the ones in Dungeons. In short, enemies do not scale to your level, they stay at the level you had when you first entered an area.
Both DLCs may be an exception to this, with Dead Kel allegedly featuring dynamic scaling to your character's level, although reports have been contradictory.
Due to the amount of available Side Quests, the high XP rewards (especially when employing Fate-Shift), and the respawning enemies (every 72 hours), this creates the distinct possibilty of quickly "over-levelling" your character, i.e. reaching an area for the first time with your character at a higher level than the maximum enemy level range. This can lead to increasingly boring encounters, with enemies constantly being "grey" ( at least 6 levels below the character level), as well as frustratingly useless loot.
The picture on this page is a Spreadsheet showing the Level Ranges of both Open World and Dungeons in Amalur. All credit and many thanks for this goes to Igwyn from the sadly now defunct official Reckoning Forums.
While there are several quite complicated guides online, detailing when to go where for a constant challenge, you can minimize the risk of over-levelling by following a few simple guidelines:
- When you first enter a new map area, take the time to fully explore it - but DO NOT enter any dungeons unless you have a quest asking you to go there;
- If you like to complete all possible side-quests, finish all outdoors quests in one area, and only then move on to the dungeon quests or another map area (see below);
- Dungeons usually have a slightly higher upper level range than the surrounding area and can, if necessary, be "saved for later";
- Faction Quest Dungeons usually have a significantly higher upper level range than the surrounding area, and can, if necessary, be "saved for later";
- Open World Map areas are separated by long, narrow pathways, so unless you want to level-lock the next area, stay away from those until you are ready;
- Do not use Fate-Shift unless necessary, and if you do, do not try for the XP bonus during the execution;
- Do not use XP enhancing gear, potions or altars.
- Do Not Grind
Should you find yourself at the upper range of the levels for upcoming open world locations, you can opt to explore them before finishing all quests in your current part of the world. This will maintain a steady challenge during exploration and allow you later to simply fast travel to dungeons your quests ask you to go. Since dungeons usually have a higher level range than the surrounding area, with the help of the spreadsheet this will maintain the challenge and the possibility of getting adequate loot.
As a last resort, you can simply go to jail several times in a row, and sleep away your sentence at the cost of 1/20th of the XP needed for the next level (if you need an accumulated 20,000 XP to level up, a spell in the clink will cost you 1,000 XP of the XP you currently have). XP penalities from Jail will not level you down, however.
Together with the Spreadsheet and a curbing of your explorative urges, it's quite easy to keep the challenge, but at the same time never lose that wonderful feeling of progress and power.