Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Discussion, generally of an in-universe nature, regarding any aspect of the franchise (including movies, spin-offs, etc.) such as: techniques, character relationships, internal back-history, its universe, and more.

Moderators: Kanzenshuu Staff, General Help

User avatar
JSnively03
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 4:59 pm

Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by JSnively03 » Fri May 29, 2015 11:41 pm

A lot of people ask, "Are power levels accurate?".

Toriyama says nowhere on the Kanzenshuu that they're inaccurate. Kanzenshuu says they aren't accurate, but Toriyama only said that they are hard to measure.

Goku in the Frieza Saga had a power level of 150,000,000.

To destroy the moon, you have to have a power level of 139.

36 moons = the size of of Earth, so 150,000,000/36 = 1,079,136.

1,079,136/139 = 29,796, so that's how many planets Goku can destroy in his SSJ form (Frieza Saga) according to power levels.

This would make Goku multi-planet level in his SSJ form (Frieza Saga) and that's more than his maximum destructive capability was in the Frieza Saga.

In conclusion, power levels are accurate depending on how we use them.
Joshua

User avatar
Rocketman
Namekian Warrior
Posts: 10798
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Rocketman » Sat May 30, 2015 12:05 am

The entire point of power levels was that they were unreliable.

User avatar
Saiga
Kicks it Old-School
Posts: 8293
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:36 pm
Location: Space Australia

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Saiga » Sat May 30, 2015 12:32 am

Rocketman wrote:The entire point of power levels was that they were unreliable.
I've seen this said so many times before but that simply isn't true. There's no evidence that Toriyama intended this, as battle powers are just a common and popular in Japanese shounen series.

And if that was the intent, it just didn't even remotely work out in practice. Battle powers are 100% reliable, the Earthlings could just manipulate their ki. Which meant... the numbers were never actually wrong, it was simply a mistake to assume a given number was somebody's maximum power. A 5,000 was always weaker than a 10,000.

They're just a numeric expression of ki, which the protagonists constantly rely on anyway. All confusion comes purely from a few villains being unable to understand that some people could change their power. It'd be the exact same if they were sensing ki instead of using scouters, or if the protagonists used scouters and battle power numbers in place of all those scenes where they sense ki.
I'm re-watching Dragon Ball GT in full on my blog. Check it out if you're interested in my thoughts on the series as I watch through it!

Zephyr
I Live Here
Posts: 3572
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:20 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Zephyr » Sat May 30, 2015 1:05 am

You can rely on power levels for some things. Not as many as some parts of the fandom would like to think though.

Is there a consistent scale and system from which you can extrapolate feats and such consistently? Toriyama's recent contributions seem to want to say "no". Seems to ruffle a lot of peoples' johnnies.

User avatar
Darkprince410
I Live Here
Posts: 2286
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:12 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Darkprince410 » Sat May 30, 2015 2:00 am

JSnively03 wrote:
To destroy the moon, you have to have a power level of 139.
There's nothing saying that Roshi was at 139 when he destroyed the Moon. When Bulma read off that number with Raditz's scouter, he was lounging around at his house. He was certainly not combat ready in any sense, nor was he in his bulked-up state that he was in when he fired the Kamehameha that blew the Moon up.

User avatar
Kamiccolo9
Namekian Warrior
Posts: 10280
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:32 pm
Location: Regensburg, Germany

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Sat May 30, 2015 2:13 am

"Toriyama says nowhere on the Kanzenshuu?"
Champion of the 1st Kanzenshuu Short Story Tenkaichi Budokai
Kamiccolo9's Kompendium of Short Stories
Cipher wrote:If Vegeta does not kill Gohan, I will stop illegally streaming the series.
Malik_DBNA wrote:
Scarz wrote:Malik, stop. People are asking me for lewd art of possessed Bra (with Vegeta).
"Achievement Unlocked: Rule 34"

User avatar
Polyphase Avatron
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 6132
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:48 am

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Sat May 30, 2015 3:52 am

That really depends on what you mean by 'accurate'. With a few exceptions, it can generally be said that someone with a higher power level will be stronger, faster, tougher, and able to throw more powerful blasts than someone with a lower power level. So someone with a higher power level will more than likely win in a fight, and the bigger the difference is, the easier the victory will be.

However I don't think you can actually apply ratios and things to power levels to determine precisely how much faster/stronger/etc. one character is than another. That way lies madness.
Cool stuff that I upload here because Youtube will copyright claim it: https://vimeo.com/user60967147

User avatar
Dayspring
Kicks it Old-School
Posts: 7753
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Dayspring » Sat May 30, 2015 9:27 am

I saw it more as the stronger you got, the less important a gap between Battle Powers became, as well as how fast a person could become even stronger through training and fighting. This very problematic aspect of Battle Powers simply wasn't an issue for people like Freeza and co, because an extremely small amount of people in the Universe surpass a BP of 1,000 (1,000 is considered "strong" by scouter readings and 177 is considered "large." That tells us at least half the Universe has a BP under 177.). Prior to SSJ, nobody was on par with Freeza's 120,000,000 before, let alone in the hundreds of billions.
Captain Christopher Pike wrote:The away team will consist of myself, Cadet Kirk, Mr. Sulu, and Ensign Olsen.
Freeza Heika wrote: for the land of the cool, and the home of the Appule
The Geeky Gentleman: For all your comics, movies, TV and other geeky needs.

User avatar
Polyphase Avatron
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 6132
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:48 am

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Sat May 30, 2015 10:06 am

Dayspring wrote:I saw it more as the stronger you got, the less important a gap between Battle Powers became, as well as how fast a person could become even stronger through training and fighting. This very problematic aspect of Battle Powers simply wasn't an issue for people like Freeza and co, because an extremely small amount of people in the Universe surpass a BP of 1,000 (1,000 is considered "strong" by scouter readings and 177 is considered "large." That tells us at least half the Universe has a BP under 177.). Prior to SSJ, nobody was on par with Freeza's 120,000,000 before, let alone in the hundreds of billions.
Except the Kaioshin, possibly Kibito, Yakon, Dabura, Buu, Beerus, Whis, and a bunch of others if you include anime/movie material...
Cool stuff that I upload here because Youtube will copyright claim it: https://vimeo.com/user60967147

User avatar
The Monkey King
OMG CRAZY REG
Posts: 908
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:53 am

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by The Monkey King » Sat May 30, 2015 10:53 am

I'd say so. Vegeta found scouters reliable enough that he still senses ki as though he were using a scouter to detect their Power Level.

Chapter: 461 (DBZ 267), P4.6, P5.4-6
Goku: “It’s a ki…! A huge ki has appeared…! Majin Boo has finally come out…”
Vegeta: “Fuffuffuh…Majin Boo, huh?...Here I was wondering what kind of amazing guy he would be, and he’s got this kind of battle power number?...I thought so…Kakarot, you and I have now become too strong…By a wide margin! By his nature, Kaioshin is supposed to be someone tremendous, but have you ever once thought that he was incredible? Quite the opposite, it's Kaioshin who’s been bewildered…Majin Boo is fearsome from Kaioshin’s perspective, but from ours he’s not so much…”
Goku: “N-no…That’s not it…There’s something abnormal about this ki...”

Although Vegeta's method of sensing proves to be too 'scientific' in this case, Vegeta doesn't really ever dub ki 'abnormal' or 'evil' as Goku, Gohan and co do. He just calculates a number and gets down to business.

Also Toriyama simply stated that he created scouters for it to be easier for himself and the readers to keep track of how powerful characters so he had a number attached to them.
garfield15 wrote:"Now Goku, we shall have our Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Movie 14, now available on DVD and blu-ray!"
http://i711.photobucket.com/albums/ww11 ... wesome.gif

User avatar
Dayspring
Kicks it Old-School
Posts: 7753
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Dayspring » Sat May 30, 2015 11:19 am

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Dayspring wrote:I saw it more as the stronger you got, the less important a gap between Battle Powers became, as well as how fast a person could become even stronger through training and fighting. This very problematic aspect of Battle Powers simply wasn't an issue for people like Freeza and co, because an extremely small amount of people in the Universe surpass a BP of 1,000 (1,000 is considered "strong" by scouter readings and 177 is considered "large." That tells us at least half the Universe has a BP under 177.). Prior to SSJ, nobody was on par with Freeza's 120,000,000 before, let alone in the hundreds of billions.
Except the Kaioshin, possibly Kibito, Yakon, Dabura, Buu, Beerus, Whis, and a bunch of others if you include anime/movie material...
None of whom are are regularly being encountered by people who use scouter technology prior to the introduction of SSJ. Hence my point.
Captain Christopher Pike wrote:The away team will consist of myself, Cadet Kirk, Mr. Sulu, and Ensign Olsen.
Freeza Heika wrote: for the land of the cool, and the home of the Appule
The Geeky Gentleman: For all your comics, movies, TV and other geeky needs.

User avatar
ParkerAL
Regular
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:05 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by ParkerAL » Sat May 30, 2015 11:30 am

I've said it before, but battle powers (or power levels, whatever) really are the bane of this franchise. Everybody gets hung up on them and they contribute nothing of real value. Rather than look at the strategies and techniques one fighter might employ against another, every fight in Dragon Ball Z ultimately boils down to a dull numerical equation. I wish they were unreliable. If that were the case, combat in the series would be far more interesting, and less prone to absurd exponential power creep.
Favorite Movies: Alien, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Thing, Evil Dead, The Land Before Time
Favorite Shows: Cardcaptor Sakura, Doctor Who, Wallace and Gromit, Wakfu, Yu Yu Hakusho
Favorite Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter x Hunter, Dragon Ball
Augenis wrote:The power level view into the series has trained a significant portion of the fan base into real life stereotypical members of the Freeza empire, where each and every individual is reduced to a floating number above their heads and any sudden changes to said number are met with shock and confusion.

User avatar
B
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5561
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:15 am
Contact:

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by B » Sat May 30, 2015 1:28 pm

Battle powers were unreliable in the context of the Freeza arc because those guys didn't know how to pick up on ki without Scouters and could be caught off guard. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, Krillin successfully sneaking up on Majin Buu means nothing because of the huge gap, but at that point BPs are in the billions, certainly not being counted by anything official, and the win goes to whoever isn't screwing around. Toriyama even had to simplify them to two-digit numbers to talk about Goku, Beers, and Whis.

I truly believe, for example, if Vegeta makes a tactical mistake, Gohan could sneak a win on him. Everyone is so strong now that the gaps are negligible.
Keen Observation of Dragon Ball Z Movie 4's Climax wrote:Slug shits to see the genki

User avatar
FoolsGil
I Live Here
Posts: 4350
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by FoolsGil » Sat May 30, 2015 3:00 pm

The tricky thing about the PL talk is while they are unreliable, they are reliable at the same time.

-Raditz being defeated was due to luck, not Goku's and Piccolo's determination and sheer will.
-No matter what plan was enacted, and how stupid Nappa was, it was all settled by Goku raising his PL via Kaioken.
-Vegeta became a great ape, ten times his normal power level to attempt to win, and was still dangerous when he was shrunk down again.
-Vegeta killed Dodoria and Zarbon when there was only a 1000 pl gap between them.
-Humans become absolutely worthless because of a low power level.

User avatar
Lord Beerus
Namekian Warrior
Posts: 21048
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:20 pm
Location: A temple on a giant tree
Contact:

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Lord Beerus » Sat May 30, 2015 5:09 pm

Power levels are really double edged sword. I certainly think that power levels can be useful guide for gouging a person's strength or potential strength in the future. But at the same time, fans have become some hung over on numbers since the Freeza arc, how strong a person is, or can be become, has been seriously taken out of context due to misinformation, bad math or flat out fan-wanking.

supercat
I'm pretty cozy, here...
Posts: 1641
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by supercat » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:11 pm

Power Levels are great at evaluating and helping to determine outcomes of battles, as well as predicting how a battle may potentially turn out.

With that being said, the whole concept of how one must be at a certain power to accomplish a particular task (destroying a planet for example), doesn't necessarily have to be taken so literally in my opinion. I strongly agree that certain numbers can be too restricting in terms of exploring further into the depths of creativity.

User avatar
Hitiro
I Live Here
Posts: 3433
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:43 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by Hitiro » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:36 pm

JSnively03 wrote:A lot of people ask, "Are power levels accurate?".

Toriyama says nowhere on the Kanzenshuu that they're inaccurate. Kanzenshuu says they aren't accurate, but Toriyama only said that they are hard to measure.

Goku in the Freeza Saga had a power level of 150,000,000.

To destroy the moon, you have to have a power level of 139.

36 moons = the size of of Earth, so 150,000,000/36 = 1,079,136.

1,079,136/139 = 29,796, so that's how many planets Goku can destroy in his SSJ form (Freeza Saga) according to power levels.

This would make Goku multi-planet level in his SSJ form (Freeza Saga) and that's more than his maximum destructive capability was in the Freeza Saga.

In conclusion, power levels are accurate depending on how we use them.
It wouldn't actually work this way. You can't use "Well Earth is 36 moons worth so this battle power should be enough." Because gravitational binding energy increases to pretty much exponential proportions the more gravity and mass an object obtains. But I've never believed that the destructive force of a Ki attack is linear either. In all eventuality it would would be something like exponential itself. Because Freeza could destroy a planet with 10x Earth's gravity with just a battle power of 530,000. So 18,000 to blow up Earth is a complete possibility.

supercat
I'm pretty cozy, here...
Posts: 1641
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Can We Rely on Power Levels?

Post by supercat » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:29 pm

Hitiro wrote:
JSnively03 wrote:A lot of people ask, "Are power levels accurate?".

Toriyama says nowhere on the Kanzenshuu that they're inaccurate. Kanzenshuu says they aren't accurate, but Toriyama only said that they are hard to measure.

Goku in the Freeza Saga had a power level of 150,000,000.

To destroy the moon, you have to have a power level of 139.

36 moons = the size of of Earth, so 150,000,000/36 = 1,079,136.

1,079,136/139 = 29,796, so that's how many planets Goku can destroy in his SSJ form (Freeza Saga) according to power levels.

This would make Goku multi-planet level in his SSJ form (Freeza Saga) and that's more than his maximum destructive capability was in the Freeza Saga.

In conclusion, power levels are accurate depending on how we use them.
It wouldn't actually work this way. You can't use "Well Earth is 36 moons worth so this battle power should be enough." Because gravitational binding energy increases to pretty much exponential proportions the more gravity and mass an object obtains. But I've never believed that the destructive force of a Ki attack is linear either. In all eventuality it would would be something like exponential itself. Because Freeza could destroy a planet with 10x Earth's gravity with just a battle power of 530,000. So 18,000 to blow up Earth is a complete possibility.
A bit off topic but somewhat related, I feel like certain attacks are more condensed and concentrated forms of ki. For instance, Frieza's Death Beam and even Piccolo's Makankosappo, are thin blasts of energy, and not nearly as physically large in volume as the Kamehameha fired by Roshi during the events of 21st Budokai. Regardless of this size difference, a Death Beam and/or a Makanksosappo can easily one-shot a powerful enemy that Roshi's 21st Budokai Kamehameha would never even be able to conceive of taking down. I feel like just because an attack looks more amplified, or it creates an explosion that appears physically larger, it doesn't mean it is better at taking down a stronger opponent. Nappa's attack on the city may have been damaging to his surroundings, but in no shape or form would that attack (despite all of its volume and destructive capabilities), have the same effect on a powerful enemy who knows how to leverage ki, as a Makankosappo from Piccolo from Buu arc would have. We see powerful attacks in subsequent events that don't seem to dish out nearly as much damage to the environment as Nappa's attack on the city However, it is likely these attacks can one-shot fighters who wouldn't even be fazed by the attack Nappa used on the city. I guess what I'm trying to say is, when it comes down to taking down or one-shotting a powerful opponent, how large or destructive an attack looks doesn't mean much if the ki contained within that attack is weaker than a physically smaller or more condensed attack with stronger ki. An attack with stronger ki and condensed volume can easily outshine a massive blast with weaker levels of ki put into it despite how much more destructive the attack with the larger volume and weaker ki may appear to be.

Post Reply