-One of my players told me of a conversation she recently had with her S.O., who is also a player in my game. They were discussing the difficulty of the dungeon the party was exploring. He told her that his old DM would scale the dungeon if the party is not doing well.
This is something that I philisophically oppose as a DM. Despite the difficulties they have faced, the only monster that is above their hit dice or capability to damage is the lurker, which they have killed. (I must also mention that there was a very simple way they could have avoided the lurker entirely)I would not say the dungeon is "above" their level, but I will not deny that it is challenging.
That being said, I am not going to shrink a dragon by an age category or knock a few levels off the black knight because the party isn't doing well. If they aren't doing well, they need to change their tactics or else run away. I'm not going to cut Sauron's hit points in half if they want to gun it straight for Mordor, you dig?
I am also not opposed to encounters that are "impossible" for the party to take on in a straight fight. However, I will never make such a situation inescapable. Running or being clever or sneaking or bribing... there are ways around a foe who you cannot best with sword or spell.
-Later, that same player was thinking aloud about my game in comparison to WoW. She thinks I have divided my campaign into "zones" and that they need to become more powerful before facing the magic-user in the dungeon outside of town. (They have already made a brief foray into this dungeon)
I certainly hope they don't think that magic-user is going to just sit on his laurels and wait for them to get strong enough to kill him, especially after he is aware of the loss of certain minions...