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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » POLL: Are traditional levels outmoded?

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73 posts found
  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

7/02/13 5:29:51 PM#41
Originally posted by ReallyNow10
Originally posted by Axehilt

Levels will always be one of the simplest and most elegant designs for indicating player progression, so clearly they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Agreed.  And levels exist in almost all MMORPG systems, whether overt or not.  SWG and UO were skill-based but those are like levels, in a sense.

 Because it has always been therefore it always will be is a bad line of reasoning.

 

Things improve and change all the time. Video games are no exception. I fully expect there to be plenty of games in the future that get rid of leveling. In most MMOs right now levels are fairly pointless. People rush through them in two weeks and spend the rest of all time playing endgame. Whole parts of the world are wasted to support those earlier levels and it keeps new players from getting to play with their friends right away. The concept is broken at this point and doing away with it completely wouldn't change all that much.

 

People always went to the store to buy things so it will always be the case. The internet changed that.

MMOS were always P2P, now there is a lot of F2P.

MMOs always had kill stealing yet they've improved systems to counter this fact.

MMOs always had brutal content that needed groups to do in order to get the best gear, now a lot of games you can get everything you need solo.

 

Just because MMOs have had levels does not mean they will always have levels. I even see plenty of reasons for them to move beyond levels in the future for better gameplay.

  Vynt

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/04
Posts: 601

7/02/13 5:59:57 PM#42

In a game that has progression, there will always be levels of some kind. MMORPGs have progression, thus levels of some kind. If you get rid of all forms of levels, such as traditional, skills, items, then it is no longer a mmorpg.

I've always liked multiple forms of levels. EQ had the traditional levels, then your skills had to be leveled, and then the alternate advancement that added more abilities.

Also, if there is progression, there will be separation from others. Someone with 1000 in 1hs is not going to want to group with someone who has a skill of 5. That person would be useless, probably unable to even hit stronger mobs, or if they can, the damage is negligible

I love progression. I love the journey. More people use to play that way, but that seems not to be the focus now. I tried WoW again when I was able to pick up Pandaria for $10. I had fun leveling up, but when I got to endgame, I was sick of it after a while. 

Anyway my point was, you're going to have levels of some sort, and people will be gated , otherwise you won't be playing in a mmorpg, lol.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16835

7/02/13 6:05:46 PM#43

Levels became outdated in 1978 when a few SCA gamers created Runequest to make RPGs more realistic.

Levels are simple so it is fine that some MMOs use it but they are also dumbing down the games so I rather see a few alternatives models. Runequests or Shadowruns systems for example, both would make great MMOs which rewards you for playing without totally destroying the balance of the game.

I am not too found about current levelless MMO mechanics though. They are just too unbalanced.

  BrucyBonus

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 224

 
OP  7/02/13 6:22:17 PM#44
Originally posted by Vynt

In a game that has progression, there will always be levels of some kind. MMORPGs have progression, thus levels of some kind. If you get rid of all forms of levels, such as traditional, skills, items, then it is no longer a mmorpg.

I've always liked multiple forms of levels. EQ had the traditional levels, then your skills had to be leveled, and then the alternate advancement that added more abilities.

Also, if there is progression, there will be separation from others. Someone with 1000 in 1hs is not going to want to group with someone who has a skill of 5. That person would be useless, probably unable to even hit stronger mobs, or if they can, the damage is negligible

I love progression. I love the journey. More people use to play that way, but that seems not to be the focus now. I tried WoW again when I was able to pick up Pandaria for $10. I had fun leveling up, but when I got to endgame, I was sick of it after a while. 

Anyway my point was, you're going to have levels of some sort, and people will be gated , otherwise you won't be playing in a mmorpg, lol.

My initial point was always that you will require levels of some sort or another.  I just dislike the traditional system of leveling from 1 - 60 and then onto raid gear.  

I would like to see a broadly competitive base point and small improvements upon that; they might be small incremental improvements in your general power (very small advantages) or trade, politics, construction, exploration, skill discovery, aesthetic rewards, titles etc.  There would be something to work towards that would differentiate you from other players and yes you could call them levels but they would not create the huge level gap you get in most mmo's.  

In fact all areas would be equally as useful to all players despite their 'level'.    

An example might simply be this, say their are three play styles, melee, ranged and magic (I hate magic but will run with it). Depending upon which you choose you enter that school, but you must complete certain tasks to do so.  This is not leveling in the traditional sense, more an entrance exam.  And then once you have entered your school you must progress through it via the completion of more tasks spread throughout the entire world.  

You are not leveling as such, but there are tasks that must be completed for small advantages and prestige rewards.  

And once all this is done you can still walk out into the starter area and you are not so far removed from the newbies as to make the area worthless.  You can farm there, group, do whatever you choose to in any part of the map and it will assist you in your trading, crafting, exploration etc.  In addition, that first dungeon you entered, you have now unlocked the second level of it as a result of your general progression through the game.  It is not significantly harder but you have now earned the key and the rewards that come with it.  

 

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/02/13 7:30:00 PM#45
Originally posted by BrucyBonus

There would be something to work towards that would differentiate you from other players and yes you could call them levels but they would not create the huge level gap you get in most mmo's. 

A small amount of differentiation sounds like being a little bit pregnant.

  BrucyBonus

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 224

 
OP  7/02/13 8:18:33 PM#46
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by BrucyBonus

There would be something to work towards that would differentiate you from other players and yes you could call them levels but they would not create the huge level gap you get in most mmo's. 

A small amount of differentiation sounds like being a little bit pregnant.

Which only leads to better things.  Until they reach their teens and become a pin in the arse.  WOW isn't far off that.  

  ReallyNow10

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/11/10
Posts: 1724

Don't give us stories. Give us worlds and we will make our own stories.

7/02/13 9:52:40 PM#47
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf
Originally posted by ReallyNow10
Originally posted by Axehilt

Levels will always be one of the simplest and most elegant designs for indicating player progression, so clearly they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Agreed.  And levels exist in almost all MMORPG systems, whether overt or not.  SWG and UO were skill-based but those are like levels, in a sense.

 Because it has always been therefore it always will be is a bad line of reasoning.

 ...............................................................

 

Just because MMOs have had levels does not mean they will always have levels. I even see plenty of reasons for them to move beyond levels in the future for better gameplay.

All leveling is, whatever form it takes, is persistence of skill attainment (i.e., you get better swinging a sword and stay better at it, and generally only improve over time).  This can be done with skill increases or overall character level increase, or some combination. 

But, it involves the concept of self-betterment and gives players additional goals in the game world.  Leveling went all the way back to paper&pencil Dungeons and Dragons back in the mid 1970's (I was there, saw it).  It works and is great, and I do not see it going away.  Could morph maybe, take different forms, however.

  Novusod

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 877

7/02/13 9:58:22 PM#48

For a long time there were two schools of thought on this.

Ultima Online model (1997) - Designed with no levels or classes but used rankable skill selections. Some skills increased faster than others based on player choice.

Everquest Model (1999) - Kill monsters until your character gains enough XP to level up. All stats on your character increase at the same time in a single instant or "ding." WoW is actually and Everquest clone when it comes to leveling design.

 

What the industry really needs is an entirely new design as both the UO model and EQ model feel rather dated. I really like the Vindictus model which introduced new types of progression.

Vindictus Model (2010) - Players have levels but the mobs don't. Zones are gated by a point system. Get 100+ points in mission before you are allowed to go the next. Players become more powerful by gaining titles. An example title would be kill zone boss 5 times and gain +5 STR and +5 INT. This can loosely be called title based progression. Some original players have 400+ titles and are much more powerful than newer players that only have 150 titles at level cap.

In contrast to the UO or EQ model where one could gain XP from any monster the 'cons' to gain levels. In Vindictus specific things have to be done to power up your character. No other MMO has this system as far as I know.

  jesad

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/06
Posts: 733

Think of something witty and pretend that I typed it in this spot :)

7/03/13 2:32:07 AM#49

I don't think that levelling is outmoded as much as improperly implemented in most titles.  To be clear, all progression is levelling, so it would be difficult to create a game where levelling didn't happen in some form, but the idea of creating all of this empty real estate just to pretend that there is a world out there, when 90% of your player base is just going to follow whatever cow path has been laid out for them really seems dumb and wasteful to me.

The problem of course is that levelling is one of the single most lucrative means of getting a player to keep playing, and so other, less popular ideas are not only overlooked but often not even dared.

Even more so the problem with levelling now days is that there isn't even any risk attached to it anymore.  As far as I know, most of these games simply give the player experience (in a twisted metonymic placebo puzzle of making them think that they are actually doing something when they are not) simply for spending time in the game hitting buttons.  I suspect, and I honestly believe this, that given the time, a monkey could achieve max level in any of these titles.  That is, provide you had enough banana's to keep him interested in playing.

The original rogue* game allowed you to level.  It gave you gear too, but upon death it sent you all the way back to the beginning, every time, and you lost all of your gear.  As simple a game as it was, straight line travel, zero scenery, and only a few options to change what was definitely a linear path, it still made you think, take your time, and it charged you dearly for taking risks.  And who here that ever played that game is going to tell me that it wasn't epic?

20 some years later Rogue is now the MMO and it is BORING.  That's because the whole reason and purpose behind leveling in the first place, which was simply to make it easier to reach your previous level of incompetency in the dungeon faster, has been removed from the game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_%28video_game%29

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3460

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

7/03/13 2:45:24 AM#50


Originally posted by botrytis
People on this forum, always talk about progression - levels are progression whether it is skill or an actual level. Peopl who are wanting outmoded levels at the same will want progression. 

Can't have it both ways.



Exactly! If levels are not the measure of progression, what is? Do we all just start out at "end game", fully grown?

Progression is a measure of a character, no matter what is measured, be it levels, skills, gear, abilities, what have you. Something will be measured and compared to see if a character "qualifies."

Otherwise, there is no progression or growth.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  Blackaddera

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/13
Posts: 70

7/03/13 2:46:37 AM#51
Originally posted by Loke666

Levels became outdated in 1978 when a few SCA gamers created Runequest to make RPGs more realistic.

Levels are simple so it is fine that some MMOs use it but they are also dumbing down the games so I rather see a few alternatives models. Runequests or Shadowruns systems for example, both would make great MMOs which rewards you for playing without totally destroying the balance of the game.

I am not too found about current levelless MMO mechanics though. They are just too unbalanced.

Mate, how could lvls been outdated in 1978? MMO's didn't even excist then. Computers weren't widely spread for that matter. Furthermore not some MMO's  but most use lvls.

the steel shines red with enemy blood. It sings of victory, granted by the gods. And as they return bleeding but proud, the horizon burns and the song is ringing LOUD!

  rojoArcueid

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5803

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

7/03/13 2:56:38 AM#52

we need to see mmos without levels. TSW tried it but all it did was hide the levels behind the skills instead of the character.

I love the idea of an mmo where you gain proficiency with the weapon / skill / gear you use while your character doesnt gain any levels. Imagine SKyrim without the character levels.

 

While GW2 doesnt have the proficiency system, thanks to the level scaling up and down it feels like you dont even have to focus on getting the levels. i love that too. Just wished there was gear / skill proficiency so the leveling would be less important. I would love it even more. But still...

 

...Im tired of the leveling system in games and mmos, i would kill for a real levelless mmorpg, no experience bar, no character leves, only pure proficiency and deep crafting that really matters.

  BrucyBonus

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 224

 
OP  7/03/13 3:30:14 AM#53
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by botrytis
People on this forum, always talk about progression - levels are progression whether it is skill or an actual level. Peopl who are wanting outmoded levels at the same will want progression. 

 

Can't have it both ways.



Exactly! If levels are not the measure of progression, what is? Do we all just start out at "end game", fully grown?

 

Progression is a measure of a character, no matter what is measured, be it levels, skills, gear, abilities, what have you. Something will be measured and compared to see if a character "qualifies."

Otherwise, there is no progression or growth.

I wish people would read the original post before commenting on it.  

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5725

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

7/03/13 4:34:10 AM#54
Originally posted by Loke666

Levels became outdated in 1978 when a few SCA gamers created Runequest to make RPGs more realistic.

Levels are simple so it is fine that some MMOs use it but they are also dumbing down the games so I rather see a few alternatives models. Runequests or Shadowruns systems for example, both would make great MMOs which rewards you for playing without totally destroying the balance of the game.

I am not too found about current levelless MMO mechanics though. They are just too unbalanced.

Skill levels are still levels. And encounters were all over the place in Runequest. I remember whole parties wiped on a couple of relatively weak mobs and then at times the party would wipe out extremely powerful mobs easily with just few swings.

Encounters were far more predictable (in a good way) in games like D&D. Adjusting challenge was far easier too.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3547

7/03/13 4:58:51 AM#55
Originally posted by BrucyBonus
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by botrytis
People on this forum, always talk about progression - levels are progression whether it is skill or an actual level. Peopl who are wanting outmoded levels at the same will want progression. 

 

Can't have it both ways.



Exactly! If levels are not the measure of progression, what is? Do we all just start out at "end game", fully grown?

 

Progression is a measure of a character, no matter what is measured, be it levels, skills, gear, abilities, what have you. Something will be measured and compared to see if a character "qualifies."

Otherwise, there is no progression or growth.

I wish people would read the original post before commenting on it.  

me too.. I see a big word in there "TRADITIONAL" that seems to be ignored..  The topic isn't about ALL levels being outmoded..  Anyways!!!.. lol

  xerax

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 58

7/03/13 5:23:26 AM#56

I think levels or some progression system is important.

One thing we have seen in mmo's as they progress is less significant  progress both in terms of how much of a power boost a level is and how easy it is to obtain.  I am not sure i like this.

a game where progression is purely through gear or not their at all is a big turn off for me, conversely a game with a large number of different forms of progression,  skill system, AAs, perm power ups through difficult group content and items is much more attractive.

Freedom to travel in my opinion is created good world design rather than removing levels. The EQ1 world was pretty good at release.  Overland zones didnt really have levels in the same way they do in modern MMOs, There were 11 or 12 starting cities and there were a few easy monsters near each city to get you started but there were also some really hard stuff. the plains had small game you could hunt at low level but there was also the odd gaint wandering arround which was hostile and level 40.  I think that adds to the excitment and immersion. For any given stength of character/group there were a varierty of places to hunt but they werent all next to each other(same zone) and often involved a dangeous and exciting journey to get where you needed to be.

 

 

  GroovyFlower

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252

Skyrim

7/03/13 6:11:07 AM#57

Im a FAN of no numbers at all.

Like in DayZ no lvls no xp no stats no armor nothing.

Just a health number which for every one same and no influence on that then try keep it high by not been attacked or find food and water.

GET RID OF THE NUMBERS!!!

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5725

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

7/03/13 6:15:20 AM#58
Originally posted by Rydeson
Originally posted by BrucyBonus
 

me too.. I see a big word in there "TRADITIONAL" that seems to be ignored..  The topic isn't about ALL levels being outmoded..  Anyways!!!.. lol

He never did explain what that means.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Akerbeltz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/12/13
Posts: 157

7/03/13 6:57:53 AM#59

I'm inclined to agree with the OP. I think the EQ/WoW/Diablo leveling model is one of the reasons the majority of recent MMORPGs feel so constrained and linear, closer to a hack'n'slash arcades than a proper MMORPG. This is especially true when it's accompanied by leveling brackets that the character has to follow in tunnel-vision fashion, therefore killing the virtual world essence and trivializing content - also, in these leveling models we always gonna have to resort to nihilistic exercises like the gear treadmill, and power creep as a consequence, to give players a (false) sense of progression.

 

In broad lines, I think the "leveling process" and "end-game" are two side of the same coin, basically concepts that - although having been accepted as an standard by a lot of gamers - just serve to define a lazy game design.

 

I would bet for a more ambitious system that would cover the maximum number of indicators to progress and develop your character and his/her legacy. Of course, we would have combat related indicators but there would be many more. In this sense, UO and EVE systems come to mind as foundations to work upon.

 

The aim of this would to have more possibilities of developing your character without the need of following a line, to make character building more realistic and, therefore, to optimize the connection and empathy between a gamer and his/her avatar.


 

 

 

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3547

7/03/13 7:04:20 AM#60
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Rydeson
Originally posted by BrucyBonus
 

me too.. I see a big word in there "TRADITIONAL" that seems to be ignored..  The topic isn't about ALL levels being outmoded..  Anyways!!!.. lol

He never did explain what that means.

     True and we all will have difference of opinion there..  To me, traditional would mean similar to what EQ1 did, WoW, TOR and dozens of others have done..  In the end traditional was the formula in which power of a character increased so much that content of the world becomes trivial.. I can't speak for Brucy, nor read his mind, but I do think we are on the same page that we would like a game world in which character progression does not make vast areas of the world obsolete because of traditional leveling.. IMO  That is one reason why I do like GW2 and it's the only MMORPG I have on my computer.. At max level, I can still go to other older zones and be challenged.. I'm not a fan of Godmode character progression..

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