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MMORPG Game Concepts  » Leveling Sucks

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40 posts found
  Chimps

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/19/07
Posts: 201

9/18/11 12:35:51 PM#21

I'd rather do my math homework than read all the crap you guys posted.

If you don't like leveling don't play MMORPGs.

Was it really so hard to just say that people?

  heimdall22

Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/11
Posts: 76

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

9/18/11 1:55:56 PM#22

i guess it is all dependant on what are we really going to achieve, what is the purpose of setting this or that system. Because every system, no matter which one we take, has it's advandages and disadvantages.

Most common and typical leveling system isn't problem per se, because in theory it only reflects your experience in the game, at very least in theory.  But quite obvious flaw of  "open level system" is the more you play, the more powerful you are. As long as in pen and paper RPG it wasn't an issue at all, in computer games it drives new players and that with limited time away.

That's how they started with level cap, but another problem is, that in many games treat level cap as the moment, when the real game and real fun starts, so the whole leveling process is created only for the purpose of "getting there" and, arguably, learn the basic mechanics of the game.

And that IS an issue, especially if you like to create alts - most of the people i know rush it as fast as they can, in easiest possible way. Moreover, quite often it is boring and dull, especially  when it is done for the 3rd time or more...

Another issue, which is even more problematic in my humble opinion, is PVP. In games like Aion it is not enough that you need to play considerably long to get to lvl 50, then more time must be spend on grinding endgame gear to be competitive in PVP. So basically yoinger players have literally liitle to no chance whatsoever to get to the level of oder ones, because they have to spend way too much time on something boring and unnecessary, from the point of their interest in the game. (Assuming that they want to do pvp).

I think that cutting leveling curve in PVP games is only logical step for further MMOS. It allows people to almost immidiately have fun instead spending time on something that they don't wanna do. If it comes to experience and advantage of being "old player", I think that plainly understanding of the mechanics of the game is huge advantage itself, and theres no need to spend awful lot of hours on just "getting there". (Im not saying that there shouldnt be any gear difference of course, all fun on rpg is based on that, but it shouldnt be HUGE difference)

 

On the other hand, we have upcoming mmos like GW2 and SWOTOR which promise to deliver personal stories and these stories are main part of the game experience itself, so in these cases it doesnt matter what sort of "leveling" process they're going to implement, your toon supposed to be ready after this story ends. At very least that's how i see it.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation

  Ataaka

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/01/08
Posts: 161

Anyone can act, just be yourself -aTaaka

9/18/11 2:40:42 PM#23

No levels in RPG=No game RPG

Progression has two faces (in my scenario):

One face is character levels (e.g. L1 Bard, L127 Mage)

Another Face is Skill Progression (e.g. L1 Bard-L12 Heal, L127 Mage-L8 Buffs)

You will do one or more of the following to 'Level':

Level the Character:  stat  and player levels (magically acquired stats - +2 Dex awarded)

Level the Character Stats:  allows player stat manipulation (more dex, less int, etc...)

Level the Character Skills:  allows skill/talent manipulation

Level the Character Gear: boots stats

Level the Character Class: progress class through unlocks or tiers

I think everyone should Trial DDO. It will make you appreciate all the other games out there and opne your mind to the fathers of D&D Style gaming by the Wizards of The Coast.

 

save a cop, eat donoughts.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

9/18/11 4:17:08 PM#24
Originally posted by grawss

Actually, I feel I didn't write enough in the first part of the post. I was attempting to explain the reasons why leveling needed a change from my own viewpoint, which would give people an idea as to what the system would be attempting to accomplish. It seems that despite the beginning of the post, people still get an extremely limited idea of the system in their head. It's fine to get an idea of what they want it to be, but they then attempt to use that as a reason for why it wouldn't work. I'll explain a bit.

 

Most of your post is about learning ability and how people react to being tossed into the "actual game." What I don't understand is where you're getting this idea that the system would be completely different from the rest of the game, or somehow worse than leveling is as a teaching method, or that starting a character over would be any worse than leveling is.

 

This system is shorter than leveling in most cases, while more focused on teaching them how to play their character. It would also be exactly the same as the game world, with several elements added. They progress with other players as well; it isn't some single player induction period where afterward they are dumped into the main MMO (though I do like that idea :P).

It's a matter of many factors;

  • The player interactions can be different - no open pvp prior to the "main world" (ex.), trade is different because of the ladders at hand for gear/consumables (therefore the economy will differ).
I don't wan't to bullet-note all the things here, I can seriously go all day on flaws to any system - then it's someone's job to cover those holes with revisions. The idea you have *could* work, but you need to think many steps ahead and assume what's going to actually happen if it went live. What you have in mind here would absolutely have some kind of drastic shift in the way the game feels to the player when the changeover is made. Population-wise, interaction-wise, PvP/PvE-wise, economically, etc.

I like constructive criticism, but it seems you're just creating a bunch of problems in your head that would only exist if someone completely botched it up putting it into an actual game. I'm not an actual developer, but feel free to take the problems that don't exist yet to the developers that don't exist yet so they can implement fixes

 If you're not thinking at least 5 steps ahead of *yourself*, you are dooming your game. Everything you choose to go with in design has natural flaws that you can work with, but do not pair with other ideals. Splitting a game between the lead-up and "real game" means you'll have one of the two be the BETTER half. Regardless of which one it is, the problem will be that people hate the endgame, or dealing with that lead-up. It could all be pristine, and perfection incarnate, but one half of your game will be better than the other - and that's only noticed when there is a drastic shift in how things work in it - and it will happen.

Lemme give you a minor rant, because it's bugging me (and has a good point to it)

I recently tried to get back into UWO, because it's an awesome game, but word it it went to Gpotato. Therefore, it went into the hands of people that don't bother to *understand* the nature of the game they run before revising things. They added cash-shops ships, which doesn't bother me, but they fucked up hardcore by adding +50% sailing speed items, and [no-pvp] ones as well. This means that not only can a paid player catch you, no matter what, if things get hot he can flee and not be attacked for a while later on. Nobody bothered to think about how the game works, or namely the possible outcomes, before filling their cookie jar with drywall mud.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16810

9/18/11 4:25:08 PM#25
Originally posted by Ataaka

No levels in RPG=No game RPG

Progression has two faces (in my scenario):

One face is character levels (e.g. L1 Bard, L127 Mage)

Another Face is Skill Progression (e.g. L1 Bard-L12 Heal, L127 Mage-L8 Buffs)

You will do one or more of the following to 'Level':

Level the Character:  stat  and player levels (magically acquired stats - +2 Dex awarded)

Level the Character Stats:  allows player stat manipulation (more dex, less int, etc...)

Level the Character Skills:  allows skill/talent manipulation

Level the Character Gear: boots stats

Level the Character Class: progress class through unlocks or tiers

I think everyone should Trial DDO. It will make you appreciate all the other games out there and opne your mind to the fathers of D&D Style gaming by the Wizards of The Coast.

save a cop, eat donoughts.

What? RPGs are really a pen and paper game, but what we usually means is a P&P game ported to a computer.

Most pen and paper RPGs don't have levels. Levels is one simple way of handling experience, or in words they make you better as you play.

If you truly can't think of any other way to handle that I fear that your imagination could be better.

I think you should try something that isn't mnade by TSR or wizards of the coast...

DDO is a fun game even though I wish they would upgrade from D&D to pathfinder but it is not using the only good RPG mechanics. Take a look on Runequest or Warhammer Fantasy RPG (not Phantasy flights version but GWs), those systems would make great MMOs.

There is really nothing wrong with levels but it is wrong that every friggin game uses exactly the same mechanics, it gets boring after a while. That is from someone who played D&D and AD&D for a long time.

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16810

9/18/11 4:32:21 PM#26
Originally posted by lizardbones

I kind of like the idea of testing your way up in a game. Your character does enough of something (killing monsters) and stores enough XP up to level, but in order to make it actually happen, you have to pass a test of some sort. The tests would be a demonstration of the skills you've earned since the last test or level up session.

When you passed the test(s), you would level up, buy your new skills if there were any and then go on about your game.

Perhaps it would only be used at the times when a character could or does earn new skills. Or perhaps it would only be used at the 'max' level, once a character demonstrates mastery of the skills they've learned while leveling, they can earn additional enhancements to their skills.

I'm not sure how well this type of thing would actually play out though. I guess, like most everything, it depends on how the developer implements all the details.

That would be more of a tier system really. It would work though, you could even take away the XP totally and use achivements instead.

Say that you have 8 tiers. To get from 1 to 2 you need 5 achivements and to kill the black knight (or whatever). Once you done it you either automatially gets better as with levels or you get points to improve your character.

This system would work excellent in a game where each tier represent a technology level. Say that tier 1 is stone age and you have hide armor and flint spears. Next tier would move you to bronze age and give you access to bronze weapons and armor. New technology gets in to all new tiers and people would actually learn a thing or 2 while they play. And crafting would be awesome. :)

  katasteel

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/06
Posts: 27

9/18/11 4:35:37 PM#27

I love leveling.

Without it I don't think I would play.

Usually when I hit max level I only play for a short time after and then start a new character.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

9/18/11 4:37:49 PM#28
Originally posted by Loke666

That would be more of a tier system really. It would work though, you could even take away the XP totally and use achivements instead.

Say that you have 8 tiers. To get from 1 to 2 you need 5 achivements and to kill the black knight (or whatever). Once you done it you either automatially gets better as with levels or you get points to improve your character.

This system would work excellent in a game where each tier represent a technology level. Say that tier 1 is stone age and you have hide armor and flint spears. Next tier would move you to bronze age and give you access to bronze weapons and armor. New technology gets in to all new tiers and people would actually learn a thing or 2 while they play. And crafting would be awesome. :)

Yeah, but you have to think about how many degrees of seperation there are gonna be.

Stone age will be ok, since new players pass through, but everyone funnels into whatever is at the end while the middle gets slammed through without a second notice. It really seems like all that matters is the beginning and end.

~Which is why the OP's version with only 2 is the best idea, but still has the issues I explained earlier.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Zadawn

Novice Member

Joined: 11/04/10
Posts: 676

9/18/11 4:41:40 PM#29

it is funny how some of you find end game too repetitive but grinding your way to max level not.

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16810

9/18/11 4:47:23 PM#30
Originally posted by GTwander

Yeah, but you have to think about how many degrees of seperation there are gonna be.

Stone age will be ok, since new players pass through, but everyone funnels into whatever is at the end while the middle gets slammed through without a second notice. It really seems like all that matters is the beginning and end.

~Which is why the OP's version with only 2 is the best idea, but still has the issues I explained earlier.

I always thought the journey is more important then the goal myself, but I might be in a minority there...

Still, if that is what is the case we might as well take away experience altogether. If it is just a tutorial to the endgame there really is no point.

I think it might be best for the genre if we split it up to 2 games instead, one with just endgame and the other with a long path for the players who like that. Right now it feels like no one is happy and we all play some kind of compromize.

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16810

9/18/11 4:49:52 PM#31
Originally posted by Zadawn

it is funny how some of you find end game too repetitive but grinding your way to max level not.

It really depends on the game. Sure, standing in the same area killing mobs is boring, just as running the same 3 raids for 6 months but usually is 90% of the content before endgame so the repetition is less therefor.

The question is why we spend 90% of our time in 10% of the content, it makes no sense. 

  SgtFabulous

Novice Member

Joined: 3/29/11
Posts: 46

9/18/11 4:54:01 PM#32

Agreed, is really the only reason why I'm a little hyped for the secret world. MMO's without leveling is like an even playing field, and there's no "uggh I have 40 more levels to go to 80 till I play even an ounce of end game!". How about jumping into the game, and progressing because you WANT to progress, not because you have to level to the cap to be able to play the actual end game.

 

TL:DR I believe MMO's without levels are the future, including the hybrid F2P model.

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

 
OP  9/18/11 4:54:38 PM#33



Originally posted by GTwander

Stuff



What you're requiring of me is to create an enormous thousand page list of every possible problem that could crop up, and flesh out the entire system to such an extent that it could work in any MMO, regardless of IP, setting, atmosphere, or target audience. Sorry, but I'm just not up to the task.
 
Let's have a hypothetical situation to get my point across even further. Let's say you posted an idea which describes World of Warcraft's leveling system incredibly well, and suggested that it could be incorporated into a game. Let's also say WoW doesn't exist, and you didn't describe every portion of the game. If I wanted to take after you, this would be my reply:

"If you're not thinking at least 5 steps ahead of *yourself*, you are dooming your game. Everything you choose to go with in design has natural flaws that you can work with, but do not pair with other ideals. Splitting a game between the lead-up and "real game" means you'll have one of the two be the BETTER half. Regardless of which one it is, the problem will be that people hate the endgame, or dealing with that lead-up. It could all be pristine, and perfection incarnate, but one half of your game will be better than the other - and that's only noticed when there is a drastic shift in how things work in it - and it will happen."

See what I mean? Your exactly reply, without any changes what-so-ever, can be applied directly to any system with any kind of lead-up, leveling or otherwise. And to top it all off, I even wrote: "This system definitely needs fleshing out" toward the end of my post in an attempt to avoid people nitpicking too much. Yes, there are problems with any and all systems, but most mature people can suspend their skepticism and look at the big picture rather than every little problem. This isn't the place to design an MMO; it is a place to post about MMO concepts. Please keep that in mind.

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

9/18/11 4:54:47 PM#34
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by GTwander

Yeah, but you have to think about how many degrees of seperation there are gonna be.

Stone age will be ok, since new players pass through, but everyone funnels into whatever is at the end while the middle gets slammed through without a second notice. It really seems like all that matters is the beginning and end.

~Which is why the OP's version with only 2 is the best idea, but still has the issues I explained earlier.

I always thought the journey is more important then the goal myself, but I might be in a minority there...

Still, if that is what is the case we might as well take away experience altogether. If it is just a tutorial to the endgame there really is no point.

I think it might be best for the genre if we split it up to 2 games instead, one with just endgame and the other with a long path for the players who like that. Right now it feels like no one is happy and we all play some kind of compromize.

I honestly thought that's what the OP was about, to make it quicker and less painful.

As for people racing through games... thot yu knu!

C'mon man, this ain't the first time it's been brought up, and honestly, I'm starting to see the 3-step process to gaming boredom.

 

Step 1) New Car Smell

Everyone is happy to just mess with everything and learn the ropes, start slow, have fun with it.

 

Step 2) Paranoia on the Freeway

At this point you can taste Vegas about 200 miles away, and you want it so bad that you're willing to drive 120 miles through the desert heat and millions of worgs to get there. You feel like you need to catch up to your friends that are already at the party, and if you all left at the same time (aka launch), then it's a fucking race.

 

Step 3) Ain't what it is

You got there, did the party scene for a week straight, but you can only deal with the same raid bosses and douchebag hipsters for so long, now you need a rest... but I hear a new MMO is coming out in Atlantic City now, race ya there!!

 

 

 

@grawss

If you can't take constructive criticism, then put a sign up front saying so.

[fragile novice, please don't tell it like it is]

 

When you stick to design long enough you learn to accept various patterns of thought, and earn a willingness to second-guess your own work. If you really don't care about design, that's fine too, but don't tell me about my bidness then.

~and yes, this is a place where people discuss design. Newer games coming out are taking notes on things we've touched on years ago here, somebody IS reading it.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16810

9/18/11 5:01:13 PM#35
Originally posted by GTwander
Originally posted by Loke666

I always thought the journey is more important then the goal myself, but I might be in a minority there...

Still, if that is what is the case we might as well take away experience altogether. If it is just a tutorial to the endgame there really is no point.

I think it might be best for the genre if we split it up to 2 games instead, one with just endgame and the other with a long path for the players who like that. Right now it feels like no one is happy and we all play some kind of compromize.

I honestly thought that's what the OP was about, to make it quicker and less painful.

As for people racing through games... thot yu knu!

C'mon man, this ain't the first time it's been brought up, and honestly, I'm starting to see the 3-step process to gaming boredom.

Step 1) New Car Smell

Everyone is happy to just mess with everything and learn the ropes, start slow, have fun with it.

Step 2) Paranoia on the Freeway

At this point you can taste Vegas about 200 miles away, and you want it so bad that you're willing to drive 120 miles through the desert heat and millions of worgs to get there. You feel like you need to catch up to your friends that are already at the party, and if you all left at the same time (aka launch), then it's a fucking race.

Step 3) Ain't what it is

You got there, did the party scene for a week straight, but you can only deal with the same raid bosses and douchebag hipsters for so long, now you need a rest... but I hear a new MMO is coming out in Atlantic City now, race ya there!!

@grawss

If you can't take constructive criticism, then put a sign up front saying so.

[fragile novice, please don't tell it like it is]

When you stick to design long enough you learn to accept various patterns of thought, and earn a willingness to second-guess your own work. If you really don't care about design, that's fine too, but don't tell me about my bidness then.

Yeah, that is kinda why I want to split up the genre.  The companies makes it harder and harder for someone to just enjoy the ride.

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

 
OP  9/18/11 5:01:17 PM#36


Originally posted by Loke666

Still, if that is what is the case we might as well take away experience altogether. If it is just a tutorial to the endgame there really is no point.
I think it might be best for the genre if we split it up to 2 games instead, one with just endgame and the other with a long path for the players who like that. Right now it feels like no one is happy and we all play some kind of compromize.


I imagine the system would definitely have more replay value than a tutorial. Between completing it as fast as possible, leveling up different characters, trying PvP over PvE, etc.

I do like the idea of making a single player game which leads into an MMO, but I feel like being unable to group with buddies, or as GTwander said, having such a huge separation between end game and the initial learning process would make it unpalatable.

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

 
OP  9/18/11 5:09:08 PM#37


Originally posted by GTwander

@grawss

If you can't take constructive criticism, then put a sign up front saying so.

[fragile novice, please don't tell it like it is]

When you stick to design long enough you learn to accept various patterns of thought, and earn a willingness to second-guess your own work. If you really don't care about design, that's fine too, but don't tell me about my bidness then.

~and yes, this is a place where people discuss design. Newer games coming out are taking notes on things we've touched on years ago here, somebody IS reading it.


I love constructive criticism, but what you're complaining about isn't constructive. If you'd like to poke holes in the actual system, great, but saying, "it wouldn't work because it would be difficult to implement" is the exact same thing as saying, "you'd have to implement it correctly for it to work." The latter is friendly and slightly worthless; the former is just inflammatory and worthless.

Please, second guess the idea. Bring up all sorts of problems. Just don't take the current MMOs and whine to me that I haven't explained how it can be stuffed into them.

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

9/18/11 5:11:58 PM#38

I didn't say "it won't work because it's too hard to implement."

I said "the design is shooting itself in the foot".

 

You can go back and actually read where I said that, if you like.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

 
OP  9/18/11 5:17:49 PM#39
Originally posted by GTwander

I didn't say "it won't work because it's too hard to implement."

I said "the design is shooting itself in the foot".

 

You can go back and actually read where I said that, if you like.

Semantics.

Let's see, my question: Why is it shooting itself in the foot?

The answer: Because this reason would be different, this reason would be different, this reason would have to be changed.

Oh my gosh, so what you're saying is it would be hard to implement?

 

Edit: Note, I'm not actually angry at you or anything. Just a bit dissapointed that most of these types of topics devolve into nitpicking, followed by arguing. Your signature says game designer, so I imagine your thought process goes more toward the actual specific implementation rather than the concept as a whole. Please note that most people aren't like that; they focus more on how the concept would effect them were they to play the game. As much as I enjoy discussing the implementation of ideas, this isn't the place for it. As you said, that's the developer's job. Other than these few posts, I do enjoy most of yours. :D

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

9/18/11 5:19:24 PM#40

I said my piece, if you're going to get toosh-hurt (mods won't let me say butt-hurt, we'll see how long this one lasts...), I'll just let you have at it then. Think whatcha want.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

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