It has a lot to do with prices
Oh, you mean rebuying gear every few levels acts as a moneysink. I'd prefer other mechanics, camping shops isn't fun.
Repair costs, consumables being more practical, anything else really.
What's actually wrong with simple though? As I mentioned previously, your class levels give you stats as well.
There are less meaningful choices, removes a lot of depth.
In most systems there are inevitably better and worse choices, but "pump mainstat every level" is something I'd expect from a browser game.
What is actually wrong with a few zeroes except if you have something against zeroes?
- Finding an interesting unique doesn't feel as rewarding. Got a silly axe that makes humans generate a pool of water below themselves on hit? You will replace it in an hour anyway.
- I really, really dislike the artifical progression and difficulty it generates. A lvl 20 character is practically a different species than one at 15.
Not because it has access to powerful abilities and dirty tricks, simply because it has 5 times your stats.
- Not the cause of, but exacerbates the problem of camping vendors being the best way to get gear. Drops 1-2 levels below you are practically guaranteed to be useless.
- Smaller numbers are just more comfortable to work with(before anyone asks, yes I'm kinda familiar with the 4 basic mathematical operations
I said inflation is mostly used for gating and procedural generation and don't see the purpose here, not that it's a low effort copout(although I do think one of the reasons was to reduce time spent balancing).
The only purpose I can think of is making sure that munchkins and roleplayers are both roughly in the same league at a given level, so both can go for roughly the same areas.
Dunno why would that be important with explorer/classic/tactician modes being an option though.
Don't see why you feel gating is something new or innovative here, if you really don't want people to wander into areas 3+ levels higher just lock those.
The end result is practically the same, you just can't use "total freedom of movement(you'll get creamed ofc)" as a marketing bullet point.
Overall I'm probably part of a minority in that I practically only liked OS:EE for the combat and that being interesting/somewhat challenging is my main priority.
Seems like plenty of people love the game as-is so I'll just wait for some updates/mods, or just skip the next game if this one doesn't end up as something I enjoy.