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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » A Diffrent way of thinking about an mmo, have no levels

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57 posts found
  Amathe

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/02/05
Posts: 1666

3/02/13 1:43:21 PM#21

Character advancement is the defining characteristic of most mmos.  It's one of the main reasons many people play.

You can take away levels, such as TSW did, but they still want you to have a feeling of progression.  So you accumulate more abilities, better weapons, etc., (instead of levels) that make it possible for you to experience more challenging content.  All that means is there is a system that is the equivalent to levels - they just don't put numbers next to your name.

 

 

EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

3/02/13 1:45:21 PM#22
How old is the OP..?

He is about 15 years too late on his idea of a skill based game.

"No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


-Nariusseldon

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

3/02/13 1:53:55 PM#23
Originally posted by Phelcher
How old is the OP..?

He is about 15 years too late on his idea of a skill based game.

A lot of people only started playing MMOs after 2003, so most mechanics outside of what WOW and mainstream MMOs offer are pretty foreign to the majority of MMO players.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

3/02/13 2:06:51 PM#24
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Phelcher
How old is the OP..?

He is about 15 years too late on his idea of a skill based game.

A lot of people only started playing MMOs after 2003, so most mechanics outside of what WOW and mainstream MMOs offer are pretty foreign to the majority of MMO players.

Or the concept that games existed just fine without PvP at one time.

Or the concept that a game could/did exist without Loot.

Or the one that almost no one "gets"--games existed without graphics.

Strange and foreign concepts, even to a whopping healthy chunk of "old school" MMO players.

It's not a cutoff date; it's "I was not exposed to those game(s)" and therefor "they couldn't have been any good". Something that, reading the boards, you will note very nearly every player is prone to, to one degree or another. "My experience is an average gamer experience, because...I am an average gamer."

Most 'old school' gamers will tell you they spent most of the 'old school' period in a single title, yes?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  bnxbandit

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/12
Posts: 23

3/02/13 2:24:28 PM#25

My thoughts on this:

  • Motivation

     Having no levels mean no progression. Now with your thought on grouping with people to kill those mobs. We can put dynamic events fairly easy with that thought then. The way the character/s drive themselves would be either crafting, farming, clearing that zone(if instanced). Character/s would assume different roles based on what kinda of skills, weapons, armor, passives, enhancements, etc. Skills don't have levels and you can swap out sets therefore changing your role.

  • Professions
     The single profession everyone has is crafting and it is divided into multiple parts which they can pick limitedly. Say you can craft metal weapons and armor but you need special potions so you pay an alchemist to do so. Note that the professions also don't have levels, the reason why you can pick only a portion of them. If you can pick them all then you wouldn't need to pay anyone and you would craft it yourselves. The crafting can be a success or a fail and the chances can be tipped with specific items. At the starting points you would have to craft your own gear first at the starter areas and you would slowly group up with others and farm up mats and such. One could also assume a npc role such as blacksmiths, clerks, alchemists. 
  • Items
   These are seperated into two divisions. Mats and Crafted Items. Simple system except there are no misc. items or garbage items. I won't go through this a lot.
  • Mobs
    Mobs aren't scaled through their sizes but how they react. Say a small rat is easily killed but there are some rats that can group up and attack you. When mobs have coordination with each other they can be as deadly as dragons. Also you might see huge hunking fire golems when suddenly you just take a bucket of water and pour it on its head and it goes down fast. You will need to judge the mobs carefully.
  • Grinding?
     Yes I admit it will feel grindy. But then dynamic events come up. These should be at random and occur in hourly-daily rotation. It could also last for quiet some time. Say some bandits ambush you from the bushes while you are healing from a long fight. If you fail they will steal some of your gear or loot but if you succeed they will run back to their base and you have the option to follow them and realize their plans that you can foil or rescue a little girl they kidnapped and get rewards from doing so. But aside from dynamic events grinding is also for clearing the zone to find the way to get to other area and activate the device that can let people know where the other area is. 
  • Areas/Quests
     These are open and there are 3 types: PvE, PvP, PvP and PvE. The goal in the area is to find the way to get to other areas    , explore the treasures of that area if there are, fight a boss that you need to kill for the mats, etc. Dynamic events and quests can go together whichever you choose. The rewards ofcourse are mostly items and can't reward exp. In each area there is atleast one town which has npcs that can give out quests or has a noticeboard for quests. One example of a quest is a wanted wizard who has been disturbing the whole town everyday. You will find him and might come across some dynamic events while passing by stuff.
  • Roles
     There would be no classes since you would craft gear and build your skillset from the starting area. Honestly you could go with trinity roles of more hybridized ones. It all depends on what you want. Say you want to defend someone and heal them. You could go for a shield and a sceptre then have a balanced set of healing and defending skills. How about a more different role? Say an evasion tank that casts curses on enemies and buffs allies. You could get  gear with low weight and high movement and have the weapons specifically for cursing and buffing. Maybe a some kind of vodoo doll or a magic crystal. 
 
Thats all my thoughts for an MMO with no levels currently. Have any opinion? Feel free to talk but be kind too.
 
 
 
 
  Sengi

Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 300

3/02/13 2:25:27 PM#26

Ok, people like differed things. If you like to go lower zones to see how you can one-hit everything a lot, then it is a good system. I find that not very exiting. On the other hand you will often see higher level players run by and do just that with a mob you are having trouble with at the moment.

I find it often sad when I out-levelled a zone, but I still wanted to experience the stuff there. But now there is hardy any challenge there unless I roll an alt.

I like it that in GW2 you can go to a different starting zone and have fun there even at level 80.

---

Yes of course, tabletop rpgs and mmorpgs are two differed pair of shoes. The first something like impro-theatre with dice and the other one is in fact an action game with strategy elements. (unless you try to rp but this ends quite awkward from my experience) They are both called the same but they have not much to do with each other except maybe the setting. And that misconception causes many problems of the genre, I think.

But that’s a differed story and I don’t think the op wanted to say something in particular about role-playing. But game mechanics that are more based in reality and more group centric could maybe encourage rp. 

  Sengi

Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 300

3/02/13 3:01:44 PM#27

@ Amathe and others:

 Wait a minute! This thread is not about level based character progression versus skill based progression. We talked about no character progression at all, including gear progression.

Does someone know if there ever was a game that had this, and how it turned out? Maybe a text based one, or something?

@bnxbandit:

Sounds good. +1

As I experienced them, dynamic events have their flaws too. The players do most the time form a big zerg but there is not much real interaction.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

3/02/13 3:08:07 PM#28
Originally posted by Sengi

@ Amathe and others:

 Wait a minute! This thread is not about level based character progression versus skill based progression. We talked about no character progression at all, including gear progression.

Does someone know if there ever was a game that had this, and how it turned out?

"This" meaning "Skill based progression"? Sure, there have been several of them (DF springs to mind). Hardly a new idea, it goes back at least as far as GURPs, Call of Cthulu.

"This" meaning "Skill based non-progression, as described by op"? Nothing springs to mind, except pure Roleplaying systems like LARPing, maybe some Steve Jackson games. Paranoia, maybe?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  azmundai

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/18/10
Posts: 1421

3/02/13 3:09:04 PM#29

Someone basically said it, but what is needed is answers.

What are you replacing leveling with? Do the mobs drop loot? Is progression just a gear grind? Lets hope not. But if not, then what?

LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  Sengi

Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 300

3/02/13 4:13:06 PM#30

I meant no progression in stats at all. In the end this means you create a char that is max level and has maxed out gear. And the mobs are also all max level but some of them are veterans, some are champions and some are world bosses or anything in between. And the farer you go into the wilderness, the harder the ones you encounter.

 

Of course there is that thing called horizontal and vertical progression.

Vertical progression is when your char gets a stronger version of what he already has, for example a super-fireball instead of a normal fireball.

And horizontal progression is when he gets something that has the same level of power but is different, an iceball that does the same damage but freezes instead of burning, or something completely differed like Invisibility, or something purely visual like a new hat with the same stats as the old one.

 

The vertical progression is the one that shall be removed. So you can start as a fighter and then become a assassin/priest with a bow and find a golden armour or whatever you like. But nothing of that makes you kill mobs faster.

  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 5739

3/02/13 7:03:58 PM#31
Originally posted by Benedikt

first of all i would probably not play it since character development is one of the main reasons i platy mmo(rpg)s.

but if i omit that, i still have to ask - what would i kill those mobs for? what would be the drive?

i can understand making mmofps w/o char progression, where you would pvp other players (tho i think "normal" multiplayer fps are better for that), but to kill mobs? i can understand making them challenging like raid mobs, but then again - i would kill each of them once and then left bored.

Levels != Character Progression.

its just a type of character progression. Don't confuse those two statements. It's hard for most people to understand without seeing the idea themselves. I learned this over my years dealing with MMOs.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

3/02/13 7:16:44 PM#32
Originally posted by Icewhite

Or the concept that games existed just fine without PvP at one time.

Blasphemy!

 

:)

 

 

  bnxbandit

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/12
Posts: 23

3/03/13 12:25:44 AM#33
Originally posted by Sengi

@bnxbandit:

Sounds good. +1

As I experienced them, dynamic events have their flaws too. The players do most the time form a big zerg but there is not much real interaction.

    That's where smarter mobs come up. Like I said before, mobs can also group up to rape you. It will be a matter of strategy and not zerging one mob but I think some players will find a way to zerg things up no matter how smart mobs are. If a big monster is attacking a village I suggest it should use the village's resources. Say rather than stomping people it could take a rooftop and use it as a shield and a pillar for a weapon. Having interaction even for mobs can really do a lot imo. But if the zerg does happen it should just happen in daily rotations.

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 4733

3/03/13 3:19:15 AM#34
There are MMO's without levels already out there, TSW springs to mind. Not sure thats quite what the OP was going on about though.
  tom_gore

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1789

3/03/13 3:26:28 AM#35
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Sengi

@ Amathe and others:

 Wait a minute! This thread is not about level based character progression versus skill based progression. We talked about no character progression at all, including gear progression.

Does someone know if there ever was a game that had this, and how it turned out?

"This" meaning "Skill based progression"? Sure, there have been several of them (DF springs to mind). Hardly a new idea, it goes back at least as far as GURPs, Call of Cthulu.

"This" meaning "Skill based non-progression, as described by op"? Nothing springs to mind, except pure Roleplaying systems like LARPing, maybe some Steve Jackson games. Paranoia, maybe?

To be fair, both GURPS and CoC both have very little in practical character progression. Every game session you're lucky to get 4-5 points in GURPS and 3-10% in skills in CoC. Given how lethal both game systems are, most characters will never advance that much before dying.

But as said in this thread already. Mass market today requires instant gratification and fast leveling. And I cannot blame them, as leveling and stat/gear progression is pretty much all there is to modern MMOs.

If you think about Ultima Online, it wasn't much of a chore to max out your character's skills and stats, but still people kept playing because there was so much to do and the game offered great tools for actual roleplaying. Making your own events, waging your own wars, building a village of player owned homes, etc.

All that has been reduced to level to max, raid for gear, wait for next content patch, rinse and repeat.

 

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

3/03/13 5:31:00 AM#36
Originally posted by tom_gore

If you think about Ultima Online, it wasn't much of a chore to max out your character's skills and stats, but still people kept playing because there was so much to do and the game offered great tools for actual roleplaying. Making your own events, waging your own wars, building a village of player owned homes, etc.

All that has been reduced to level to max, raid for gear, wait for next content patch, rinse and repeat.

I used to tell people that roleplay was the secret to getting years out of a game, long after everyone else was bored and surfing the market again.

But--99% of the gaming world rejects roleplay. They outnumber me (at least) 99:1 now. My answer is not a valid answer for very many people. I get that.

Some large percentage (X) doesn't want to associate with other people, doesn't care about 'community' or any of the other things that we used to play games for. The min/maxer, two-percenter that we used to make fun of? Just about all there is in the market now.

I choose not to try point a gun at someone's head, "Play the way I say is Right (capital R)." If the industry finds it easier and cheaper to collect their dollars (as, apparently, it does) than mine...well, I'm told I post too much anyway.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Dzone

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/12
Posts: 290

 
OP  3/03/13 8:31:20 AM#37

Ok so this thread is sounding like some proggrestion is still needed somehow. I was originally just thinking about having no levels at all for progression, because its so quick to level to max so why bother. 

 

A little bit about me, i started playing mmo's in 2003 with ffxi, wich was a vertical progression game. But times have changed so much since then i started to think why have levels at all the way there going with verticall proggresion. It doesn't keep peaple playing for the long run anymore.

 

So it seems like some kind of proggrestion is needed still though, so im thinking about having a player ranking system instead of the basic level system. The way it would work is everyone would start off the game as a rookie, and as you complete things in game and keep logging in ocationally you will gradually gain higher ranks. With each rank you would unlock more powerfull spells/abilities. But on the flipside if you stop playing for a period of time the system would down rank you, like if you dont log in for over a month. So basically lets say you play for like 3 months regularely and complete a certain amount of game content, you would go up a rank, would keep peaple playing the game for the long run.

 

This idea makes me think of what peaple have said about proggresion in EVE online, maybe player ranking would work for fantasy style mmo's. Then that would take away the whole play the game for 3 months and quit idea that's been going around these forumns.

  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 5739

3/03/13 9:50:30 AM#38
Originally posted by Scot
There are MMO's without levels already out there, TSW springs to mind. Not sure thats quite what the OP was going on about though.

thats not the same since it still uses exp and content locks similar to level based MMO.

  Squeak69

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 952

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

3/03/13 9:57:07 AM#39
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by tom_gore

If you think about Ultima Online, it wasn't much of a chore to max out your character's skills and stats, but still people kept playing because there was so much to do and the game offered great tools for actual roleplaying. Making your own events, waging your own wars, building a village of player owned homes, etc.

All that has been reduced to level to max, raid for gear, wait for next content patch, rinse and repeat.

I used to tell people that roleplay was the secret to getting years out of a game, long after everyone else was bored and surfing the market again.

But--99% of the gaming world rejects roleplay. They outnumber me (at least) 99:1 now. My answer is not a valid answer for very many people. I get that.

Some large percentage (X) doesn't want to associate with other people, doesn't care about 'community' or any of the other things that we used to play games for. The min/maxer, two-percenter that we used to make fun of? Just about all there is in the market now.

I choose not to try point a gun at someone's head, "Play the way I say is Right (capital R)." If the industry finds it easier and cheaper to collect their dollars (as, apparently, it does) than mine...well, I'm told I post too much anyway.

i agree Roleplayning is what bring about longevity to MMOs and is often the most fun part of mMOs, but sadly most MMOs these days actually make it difficult to RP, and more often then not people dont wanna RP but POWER RP which basicly = i am all powerful and all others should fear me ( i swore off RP fighting years ago)

but on the other hand i enjoy good rp and such will chose a bad mmo with a good rp group and decent mechanics to make life easyier on a RPer then a more advanced pretty game that makes RP difficult or has no real rp community

P.S. ERP dose not = RP, i dont kick those who enjoy it but i dislike non RPers saying all RP is ERP

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  wormywyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

3/03/13 4:48:37 PM#40

Interesting OP.  Thanks for that!

I am interested to see how a mmo like this would play out.  In one way, I think it would be getting rid of a meaningless gameplay mechanic that adds no real value to the game.  On the other hand, it removes a powerful reward for playing the game.  There could be alternative achievements however, in the form of items that change the way you look or trophies to decorate your home.

In my opinion, developers continue to utilize levels because it is a cheap and effective reward system.  Alternative rewards take more time and effort to implement in the game as far as graphic design and programming goes.  To implement levels, all it really takes is a simple increase in XP --> increase in level --> increase in health/other.  Since each level is represented by a #, no graphic design is necessary.  Yet it gives the player a feeling of great achievement.

It is a 'high yield' feature for that reason (quality/development time).  Of course, that depends on what you think yield means.  Is it really good that players are playing a game because they are enjoying being given arbitrary rewards that a developer put little or no work into?  The answer is a resounding yes, it is good, because the vast majority of RPG players choose to get enjoyment out of this arbitrary reward thus giving it merit (I wlll call them traditional players).  In fact the genre has been in part defined by this, and people who do not enjoy arbitrary reward tend to steer clear of RPGs.

So in other words, your MMO would be a neutered RPG.  People may even end up labeling it an 'action game' or 'adventure game' instead of RPG, depending on the rest of the content of the game.  This might be preferrable because there are certain expectations in players minds when playing a MMORPG that the game will have leveling.  By not callling it an RPG you reset their expectations and can build a game that does not cater to the traditional player.  You would be in a different section of the market than most MMOs, thus not competing completely with other MMOs, which is nice for your game.

This may grant you access to a larger player base if there are players who have been steering clear of RPGs in the past.  There is a HUGE LACK of non-traditional MMOs on the market.  The market percieves a lack of demand, but that may be because there has not been any attempts to create such a product; which is the catch-22 that MMORPG fans have been trapped in the last 10 years.  No developer has the balls to make a unique AAA title.

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

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