I always get the feeling that in games with a linear plot and leveling system, players never go back to the older levels because the monsters there are too easy and the world has nothing new to offer there.
Players usually don't go visit floor 1 just for memory's sake or to remember the good times they had there. In fact, they probably forget what happened there and move on like it's nothing. For some reason, this bothers me to no end.
Is there a way to remedy that? I don't want the feeling of certain game areas to become obsolete to the player as the story progresses.
I want my game to be dynamic and ever-changing, with things to offer at every location, at every point in the player's game progress, even if one place is not at the right "level" to match with the player's current overall character levels. There should be a kind of equality, where at no point does the player tire of one place and can move freely from one place to the next. Does this sound slightly open-world ish?
This is not only for replayability, but also to provide a certain kind of elegance to the game. I feel like there is something lacking, and something that might be able to be improved, in RPGs, where the story is everything and so "old" levels are treated as second-class citizens. I was always slightly bored when I had "conquered the world" and ran through every monster like it was spaghetti.
One of the solutions I thought of is to simply update the monsters, treasure chests, items, dialogue, etc. at the old locations. Perhaps even updating the graphics would provide a visual cue that the player can have some more novel experiences there. However, isn't that essentially just changing the very nature of the location itself? The problem I have with that is that players will then forget what happened because the place itself disappeared/changed.
If anyone thinks of any good ideas, I would like to hear them. Thanks!