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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why all the levels?

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49 posts found
  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

11/27/12 11:13:57 AM#21

Games can have some artistic aspect... but games have to have rules and constraints to still be games... Games themselves cannot be art. That said an MMO doesn't nescessarily have to be a game. You can go do second life... But what you have an aptitude for matters there as well, just in a different way.

 

Thing is it is starting to sound like you just want a level playing field that ignores seniority...time put in, effort put in...you want to arrive on the scene and be equal to every one else...games, MMO's. life...nothing works like that.


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  free2play

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/05
Posts: 1795

11/27/12 11:19:25 AM#22
Originally posted by MMOman101

Levels are in almost all games.

kills have levels.

Gear or equipment have levels.

Some games just hide them better.  These games are based on math and the higher the number, multiplier, skill, stat, ect the higher the level.  It is

Does it matter if the content is gated by level, skill points, or gear? 

Most of this is just in the way that players look at things.  They are all the same. 

 

That's true.

I still hate levels but it's true, they happen in all games and it's a method of allowing for repeatability. Same thing just x 5 and x 100 at 'end game'. Most games that tried to avoid levels fell on their face because they failed to give the player any way to guage power in the UI. The only way to find out the blue dragon was above your skill was to run up and get one shot by it.

What levels end up doing to a game is making most of it, done once, never done again though. Mobs, gear, if it goes grey it's junk. EVE has no levels. It's not as bogged down by this. My 60 mill SP char can still find use for the Bestower she could fly on day 3. Or the Rifter that can be replaced easier than a 200 mill Daredevil. Levels might make it easier for players and Devs but the cost to the game is huge.

  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1047

11/27/12 11:21:06 AM#23
This debate is as old as D&D vs RuneQuest/Call of Cthulhu
  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

11/27/12 11:30:40 AM#24

Ortwig you hit on something there when you said it's as old as D&D...probably not the D&D your thinking of though. It is as Old as D&D the paper pencil table top one. Because, the first video game RPG's made that later became MUD's, MORG's/MORPG's, MMORPG's and finally sub-genre'ed out into a plethra of different types of MMO's...Those first RPG's were made as a digital emulation of D&D...A level and requirment heavy game from the 70's.

 

Levels are not only important, but they are core to what make Game MMO's what they are. When your talking about disposing of that in favor of some system that doesn't tell you anything about what is going on around you, your talking about going back to step 1 and making an rpg that in no way, shape or form resembles D&D. Then reworking it through various stages into an MMO...

 

Look...improve the level'ing system in games. Make level based stuff that makes more sense. But disposing of it is taking the Gaming out of our MMO's.

 

This isn't a call for gaming reform this is call for people to become Freegan-Anarchist-Snachronists in  3D environment.


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  User Deleted
11/27/12 11:32:00 AM#25
Originally posted by Helleri

Games can have some artistic aspect... but games have to have rules and constraints to still be games... Games themselves cannot be art. That said an MMO doesn't nescessarily have to be a game. You can go do second life... But what you have an aptitude for matters there as well, just in a different way.

 

Thing is it is starting to sound like you just want a level playing field that ignores seniority...time put in, effort put in...you want to arrive on the scene and be equal to every one else...games, MMO's. life...nothing works like that.

What makes a game a game? What is meant to be ART?

Can art be a game or can a game be a work of art? Do you wish to deny that possibility?

I pursue it.

  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1047

11/27/12 11:41:18 AM#26
Originally posted by Helleri

Ortwig you hit on something there when you said it's as old as D&D...probably not the D&D your thinking of though. It is as Old as D&D the paper pencil table top one. Because, the first video game RPG's made that later became MUD's, MORG's/MORPG's, MMORPG's and finally sub-genre'ed out into a plethra of different types of MMO's...Those first RPG's were made as a digital emulation of D&D...A level and requirment heavy game from the 70's.

Levels are not only important, but they are core to what make Game MMO's what they are. When your talking about disposing of that in favor of some system that doesn't tell you anything about what is going on around you, your talking about going back to step 1 and making an rpg that in no way, shape or form resembles D&D. Then reworking it through various stages into an MMO...

Look...improve the level'ing system in games. Make level based stuff that makes more sense. But disposing of it is taking the Gaming out of our MMO's.

Oh, I'm definitely talking about tabletop roleplaying -- I grew up on the 1st editions of all those games.  Yep, I'm an old-timer. ;)  

RuneQuest was the first skill-based RPG to arrive, and there definitely was a debate going on back in the 70's about skill-based vs. level systems.  When Call of Cthulhu arrived it introduced a sanity mechanic that was also extolled.  People were amazed you coould play a game where the monsters were generally more powerful than the players.  You had to use your head to defeat them -- brute force would never work.

And that's the reason we ultoimately switched over to skill based systems such as RuneQuest, Stormbringer and Call of Cthulhu -- there was always a real sense of danger for your hero -- there was no feeling that your gear would always protect you;  the smartest groups succeeded in their adventures.  It was about brains, not brawn.

For a little history on the whole thing, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Role-Playing

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

11/27/12 11:44:12 AM#27
Originally posted by Psy410
Originally posted by Helleri

Games can have some artistic aspect... but games have to have rules and constraints to still be games... Games themselves cannot be art. That said an MMO doesn't nescessarily have to be a game. You can go do second life... But what you have an aptitude for matters there as well, just in a different way.

 

Thing is it is starting to sound like you just want a level playing field that ignores seniority...time put in, effort put in...you want to arrive on the scene and be equal to every one else...games, MMO's. life...nothing works like that.

What makes a game a game? What is meant to be ART?

Can art be a game or can a game be a work of art? Do you wish to deny that possibility?

I pursue it.

"What makes a game a game? This: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/game

"What is meant to be ART?" This: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art

"Can art be a game or can a game be a work of art? Do you wish to deny that possibility?"

Yay for circular arguments capped off with rehtorical questions, that don't actually mean anything?

"I pursue it."

Like a dog persues his tail... doesn't have to make sense, but it does have to happen (apparently) over, and over, and over.

 

Your not an existentialist so please stop talking like a poorly informed one...it's like you ran out of points in your first post.


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  User Deleted
11/27/12 12:01:32 PM#28
Originally posted by Helleri
Originally posted by Psy410
Originally posted by Helleri

Games can have some artistic aspect... but games have to have rules and constraints to still be games... Games themselves cannot be art. That said an MMO doesn't nescessarily have to be a game. You can go do second life... But what you have an aptitude for matters there as well, just in a different way.

 

Thing is it is starting to sound like you just want a level playing field that ignores seniority...time put in, effort put in...you want to arrive on the scene and be equal to every one else...games, MMO's. life...nothing works like that.

What makes a game a game? What is meant to be ART?

Can art be a game or can a game be a work of art? Do you wish to deny that possibility?

I pursue it.

"What makes a game a game? This: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/game

"What is meant to be ART?" This: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art

"Can art be a game or can a game be a work of art? Do you wish to deny that possibility?"

Yay for circular arguments capped off with rehtorical questions, that don't actually mean anything?

"I pursue it."

Like a dog persues his tail... doesn't have to make sense, but it does have to happen (apparently) over, and over, and over.

 

Your not an existenlist so please stop talking like a poorly educated one...it's like you ran out of points in your first post.

Your not an artist at heart or you would probably know that the definition of art is a theme of debate, so controversial that can not be fully explained or covered by those kind of constraints that you hold so dear.

Why do I chase my own tail, because I want to make a statement or maybe because like a dog, it is part of my instincts?

Who are you to tell us what we are or why do we act?

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3774

11/27/12 12:04:34 PM#29

So... are MMOs more like reality TV or a well written fantasy/sci-fi epic?

 

D&D didn't invent levels. They simply abstracted what is part and parcel of every good fantasy book.

 

It goes like this: queue Unusually Dangerous Setting... young person, unaware of their potential, enters stage left... meets wise old fart who becomes The Mentor... young person learns and develops into kick-ass heroic dude... evil is vanquished... BUT THEN.... more evil arrives immune to old ass-kicking method... new skills must be acquired... the end... or is it?

 

Reality TV: dumbass does soething stupid... dumbass does it again

 

It's all about learning, developing and acquiring new skills... all MMOs have it in some form so I guess they're more like books than reality TV... works for me.

  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1440

11/27/12 12:06:30 PM#30

Levels seemed always to me like a way to practice your character skills.

If someone has done enough fights to make it to the level cap, they should by now know how to survive alone and hopefully have centered on a path of skills that they like. Not necessarily a role but at least know which skills seem to be outperforming others during playtimes.

Isn't that pretty much why people don't want to play with people that bought their characters.

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

11/27/12 12:19:05 PM#31
I Never said that  D&D invented levels... But the core roots of MMO's today are planted in a want to make D&D more automatic (instead of having to figure out what stat to roll on and manually role dice...doing all the various little simple math, having that part done for you, so you can get to the point).


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  Thorbrand

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/04
Posts: 1217

11/27/12 12:23:03 PM#32

First line says it all. A MMO isn't about end game or starts at this level. The problem is today's MMOs have no depth to create a gaming experience that is epic form 1-80. You are not suppose to be watching your level bar but enjoying the game and developing your character. Of course that requires players to actually want more out of a game than action adventure single player story driven game calling itself a MMO.

MMORPGs should be like playing a PnP game not a console game.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3774

11/27/12 12:37:51 PM#33
Originally posted by Helleri
I Never said that  D&D invented levels... But the core roots of MMO's today are planted in a want to make D&D more automatic (instead of having to figure out what stat to roll on and manually role dice...doing all the various little simple math, having that part done for you, so you can get to the point).

 No you didn't and you have a good grasp of what they're all about.

 

I just wanted to make sure we all knew that it's not just about "gating content" as a business model nor "end game" stasis... progression is key to the enjoyment in this genre. It's all a smulation of progressively getting "stronger", learning, evolving...It can be done in a variety of ways and people, naturally, like some ways better than others.

 

One of the key differences between RPGs, including the Massive Multiplayer Online variety, and first person shooters is levels/progression: RPGs have them, FPS not really although some do make you work for the chance to use the more powerful gear. But that's just adding an RPG element to an FPS game. The FPS model is to let you use everything as soon as you join a game. I've always suspected that the MMOers who race to the level cap so they can play the "real" game, are just FPS fans wanting to treat the MMO as if it was that other genre.

 

I just find questioning progressively getting more powerful in an RPG game an unnecessary bit of navel gazing. It's what these games are all about.

  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1047

11/27/12 12:43:07 PM#34

Levels to skill-based systems are like comparing Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.  One is "epic and story-real" while the other is "gritty and simulationist."  It's really all about the type of game you want to play -- if you want a "sense of danger," you'll tend to skill-based.  If you want the "epic mythological heroicness" you'll tend towards levels.  

That said, both systems can deliver both types, it's just ,more baked in and templatized in a class and level based game.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3774

11/27/12 12:46:58 PM#35
Originally posted by Ortwig

Levels to skill-based systems are like comparing Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.  One is "epic and story-real" while the other is "gritty and simulationist."  It's really all about the type of game you want to play -- if you want a "sense of danger," you'll tend to skill-based.  If you want the "epic mythological heroicness" you'll tend towards levels.  

That said, both systems can deliver both types, it's just ,more baked in and templatized in a class and level based game.

Funny you should mention GOT. My favorite character in both the books and the TV series (what a great bit of casting!), Arya Stark, is all about "levelling"... it's inescapable in fantasy :)

 

  User Deleted
11/27/12 1:15:31 PM#36
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Ortwig

Levels to skill-based systems are like comparing Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.  One is "epic and story-real" while the other is "gritty and simulationist."  It's really all about the type of game you want to play -- if you want a "sense of danger," you'll tend to skill-based.  If you want the "epic mythological heroicness" you'll tend towards levels.  

That said, both systems can deliver both types, it's just ,more baked in and templatized in a class and level based game.

Funny you should mention GOT. My favorite character in both the books and the TV series (what a great bit of casting!), Arya Stark, is all about "levelling"... it's inescapable in fantasy :)

 

Funny how you use her to promote leveling, you know because she is all about the "skill" she was more skilled than the boys, who were all about practice and training or would you call it "leveling". I would call it honing your skills until you can be as graceful, stealthy and balanced as a cat.

  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1047

11/27/12 1:24:23 PM#37
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Ortwig

Levels to skill-based systems are like comparing Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.  One is "epic and story-real" while the other is "gritty and simulationist."  It's really all about the type of game you want to play -- if you want a "sense of danger," you'll tend to skill-based.  If you want the "epic mythological heroicness" you'll tend towards levels.  

That said, both systems can deliver both types, it's just ,more baked in and templatized in a class and level based game.

Funny you should mention GOT. My favorite character in both the books and the TV series (what a great bit of casting!), Arya Stark, is all about "levelling"... it's inescapable in fantasy :)

Hmm, you CAN do an Arya on leveling, but in that show it kind of doesn't matter how skilled you are -- anyone can be killed at any time.  Character's don't all have 10,0000 health in GOT -- they all have around the same amount, maybe the big ones a few more.  That and a bit of armor help but it's mostly about their skill.  You'll never see a Boromir scene where he can take 6 arrows before he's dead.  On or two good shots, and that's it.

The thing I always liked about RuneQuest is that your health always stayed pretty much the same.  You got better at attacking and defending, but there was ALWAYS a chance you could die from a less-experienced creature if the situation was right and they got very lucky at the same time you got unlucky.

Not saying one is necessarily better than the other -- it's just the style of play you prefer -- mythological/heroic vs. simulationist/realistic.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3774

11/27/12 1:57:53 PM#38
Originally posted by Psy410
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Ortwig

Levels to skill-based systems are like comparing Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.  One is "epic and story-real" while the other is "gritty and simulationist."  It's really all about the type of game you want to play -- if you want a "sense of danger," you'll tend to skill-based.  If you want the "epic mythological heroicness" you'll tend towards levels.  

That said, both systems can deliver both types, it's just ,more baked in and templatized in a class and level based game.

Funny you should mention GOT. My favorite character in both the books and the TV series (what a great bit of casting!), Arya Stark, is all about "levelling"... it's inescapable in fantasy :)

 

Funny how you use her to promote leveling, you know because she is all about the "skill" she was more skilled than the boys, who were all about practice and training or would you call it "leveling". I would call it honing your skills until you can be as graceful, stealthy and balanced as a cat.

Well there's her learning to use "Needle" as well as her assassin training but there's a lot of growth in that character too. Probably the main reason why she's my favorite is that I liked her reaction to personal tragedy best of all... she is becoming all about vengeance and retribution. She didn't start out that way. Yes she was a feisty and capable tom-boy in the beginning but she is evolving into something much darker and a formidable stealthy assassin.

 

The same can be said of all the other children: Bran learning to be a Greenseer... Jon becomimg the leader of the Night's Watch... Daenerys going from child bride to dragon rider and queen... even wimpy old Sansa is beginning to learn how to play the Game of Thrones from the best possible teacher, Petyr... she might actually do something useful soon :)

 

Yes the adults are mostly fully-formed and more static and their adventures are all about dealing with changes using what they already know. But this is also the standard role for adult characters in fantasy books... they don't usually "level."

 

EDIT: It just occured to me after writing that, that some adults are also "levelling"... like Jaime Lannister when he had to "re-spec" into 1-hd fighting :)

  User Deleted
11/27/12 2:04:34 PM#39
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Psy410
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Ortwig

Levels to skill-based systems are like comparing Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.  One is "epic and story-real" while the other is "gritty and simulationist."  It's really all about the type of game you want to play -- if you want a "sense of danger," you'll tend to skill-based.  If you want the "epic mythological heroicness" you'll tend towards levels.  

That said, both systems can deliver both types, it's just ,more baked in and templatized in a class and level based game.

Funny you should mention GOT. My favorite character in both the books and the TV series (what a great bit of casting!), Arya Stark, is all about "levelling"... it's inescapable in fantasy :)

 

Funny how you use her to promote leveling, you know because she is all about the "skill" she was more skilled than the boys, who were all about practice and training or would you call it "leveling". I would call it honing your skills until you can be as graceful, stealthy and balanced as a cat.

Well there's her learning to use "Needle" as well as her assassin training but there's a lot of growth in that character too. Probably the main reason why she's my favorite is that I liked her reaction to personal tragedy best of all... she is becoming all about vengeance and retribution. She didn't start out that way. Yes she was a feisty and capable tom-boy in the beginning but she is evolving into something much darker and a formidable stealthy assassin.

 

The same can be said of all the other children: Bran learning to be a Greenseer... Jon becomimg the leader of the Night's Watch... Daenerys going from child bride to dragon rider and queen... even wimpy old Sansa is beginning to learn how to play the Game of Thrones from the best possible teacher, Petyr... she might actually do something useful soon :)

 

Yes the adults are mostly fully-formed and more static and their adventures are all about dealing with changes using what they already know. But this is also the standard role for adult characters in fantasy books... they don't usually "level."

How can you compare learning to leveling? With leveling you unlock something, when you unlock it you can start learning how to use it.

Leveling could be applied to the number of times you pick your nose.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3774

11/27/12 2:09:30 PM#40
Originally posted by Psy410
Originally posted by
 

How can you compare learning to leveling? With leveling you unlock something, when you unlock it you can start learning how to use it.

Leveling could be applied to the number of times you pick your nose.

 Because "levelling" is just a D&D-derived abstraction of "learning." In that sense, yes, learning to wipe your own ass is also "levelling" a new skill which, hopefully, you get better at through repetition.

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