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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Poll: are traditional levels necessary

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54 posts found
  User Deleted
12/18/13 8:36:39 AM#21

Some good alternatives have been mentioned in this thread. Obvious levels are not the only way to go, but progression seems to be something that most mmorpg players need.

 

TSW's attempt at a slightly alternative method of character advancement/leveling via their skill wheel system is better for me that just being level 80 or whatever in my class. There is a lot more flexibility  and choice once you max out all your skills. You can do whatever  you want: dps, heal, tank, support.

 

Also, Mortal Online and Darkfall 1 tried to use skill systems that have their heart in the right place but were poorly implemented. Just because those systems failed, doesn't mean it is impossible to have a skill system similar to those that works. Darkfall's attempt reminded me a lot of Morrowind's progression. You run and your running skill improves. You swim and you get better at it. Of course, it led to afk macroing, afk swimming, bloodwalling, and all kinds of nonsense that ruined the game. Maybe Darkfall needed a skill cap. 

 

For me, something like Morrowind that is not exploitable or otherwise poorly implemented.

  CrazKanuk

Elite Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 936

12/18/13 8:59:55 AM#22
Originally posted by MikePaladin

For example you at lvl 1 start using 2 swords and you barely hit your enemy  at lvl 100 you can solo 10 man  and at 100 you become master of dual wielding   so to improve game immersion lets simply remove Numbers   there still will be a level of progression only that it will be presented in a new way which is more interesting  so TSW has a lvl proggresion only that it's presented in a completely different  way  STILL DON'T THINK THIS WILL HAPPEN, BIG COMPANIES DON'T give a SHIT ABOUT WHAT PLAYERS WANT so yeah useless conversation guys...

And why people are against it we have level progression in our every day life  poor English Level Advanced Level  Fluent Excellent level   or different job title witch scale with our progression in that field

This is not due to laziness and that's such an old and tired argument. Please don't talk about "too expensive" when 300 million dollar games don't have it. In fact, the argument that "... big companies don't care what users want ..." is lazy because it makes absolutely no sense. Is EA making games about 3D balls bouncing around a vast world of colored shapes? No, why? Because it's not what people want. 

 

Fyi, Blizzard did have weapon levelling as you suggest, but it was removed. Why do you think it was removed? I highly doubt that it was due to laziness. It was already in there! It would basically be like adding a few levels onto a Profession (which still have levels). So the notion that big companies don't listen to players is so tired. The fact of the matter is that the companies DO listen to players, but there are just a whole lot of other players who want a more tangible progression system and fewer barriers to achieving them. Case in point (apart from above), with the latest expansion of WoW they re-introduced a more lengthy reputation grind (similar to how it used to be), but in the wake of the massive amount of backlash, then needed to implement changes that would find a happy medium between those who wanted that longer grind and those who were complaining. There's nothing trivial about that type of change and nothing that illustrates how companies listen to users any better. If anything, smaller companies don't have the resources to listen to their community and implement changes quickly at all. 

Crazkanuk

----------------
Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
----------------

  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

12/18/13 9:27:54 AM#23

I am not completely apposed to alternatives to a traditional leveling system. But, when you change that you also change how a game is played.

 

Take EVE online as an example. You don't have a strict level for your characters. And, age often equates to seniority in both ability and actual authority. Instead you simply level skills from skill books you acquire. There are dozens of basic skills, and more specific skills under each of them that you can train in once you have reached a predetermined level of competence in the prerequisite skills. All skills go to level 5.

 

However, skills are not trained based on practicing them and earning experience for them. Skills in EVE are trained in real time (based on rl time durations and weather or not you are online). As you inject skills, you add their training selectively to a que. After so much time having waited, your skill simply levels up. Your first basic skills may take something like 16 min 31sec to get to level 1, and by the time you are ready to train to level 5 it will take about 20hours. More advanced and specific skills can take days or a week to train to level 5. end game skills can take weeks to train up.

 

This system of advancement lets players focus on actually playing. It also means no one can no-life it, or bot it, and get there any faster then any one else did. But, the downside is makes it a game that is highly afkable. Strictly speaking in order to advance you need only make enough money to buy new skill books. I have friends on that game that i don't see for a week at a time. Because they log on to add more stuff to their que, and they are basically waiting on training to complete.

 

While this is an odd way of doing it to me, versus what i am used to seeing. It works. EVE is over 10 years old and still going strong. But, in changing that their MMO also behaves differently as a whole. The player base has a much more laid back attitude about everything from what i have seen. And, it's mostly about being social while making money.

 

Of course the point there was to give an example of system that is somewhat removed from the traditional, but still works just fine. And my over all point is if it is done right, if it is interesting, if it works for the game. I don't mind it.


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  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

12/18/13 9:39:51 AM#24

I've never been a huge fan of levels in MMOs to begin with - don't get me wrong, I find grinding progression to be enjoyable, but I prefer that progression to be specific to a minigame, zone or event/plot rather than a universal number that suddenly obsoletes *all* content you're currently playing in one "ding!".

  MikePaladin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/04/13
Posts: 234

Creative nick name nuff to say...

12/18/13 9:39:59 AM#25
Originally posted by CrazKanuk
Originally posted by MikePaladin

For example you at lvl 1 start using 2 swords and you barely hit your enemy  at lvl 100 you can solo 10 man  and at 100 you become master of dual wielding   so to improve game immersion lets simply remove Numbers   there still will be a level of progression only that it will be presented in a new way which is more interesting  so TSW has a lvl proggresion only that it's presented in a completely different  way  STILL DON'T THINK THIS WILL HAPPEN, BIG COMPANIES DON'T give a SHIT ABOUT WHAT PLAYERS WANT so yeah useless conversation guys...

And why people are against it we have level progression in our every day life  poor English Level Advanced Level  Fluent Excellent level   or different job title witch scale with our progression in that field

This is not due to laziness and that's such an old and tired argument. Please don't talk about "too expensive" when 300 million dollar games don't have it. In fact, the argument that "... big companies don't care what users want ..." is lazy because it makes absolutely no sense. Is EA making games about 3D balls bouncing around a vast world of colored shapes? No, why? Because it's not what people want. 

 

 

Integration of new content cost more because it involve problems of Interaction of content A with B  also Integration testing is more expensive because you need experienced staff  that developed and tested product. they have all on paper and if  number don't coincide to what the want  they will never implement what gamers wants. Yes they fool most of us with cheap parody they create but non of them are focused to satisfy customers first on list is money return . Yes they have 300kk but why do you think they would invest them is some random ideas of people from mmorpg and even they will do so only to make a  cheap version of it in order to satisfy as much wallets as possible But when you combine Lobsters with Shit  = you eat shit right ? . You're so naive ))

sorry for off topic  

  CrazKanuk

Elite Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 936

12/18/13 9:56:56 AM#26
Originally posted by MikePaladin
 

Integration of new content cost more because it involve problems of Interaction of content A with B  also Integration testing is more expensive because you need experienced staff  that developed and tested product. they have all on paper and if  number don't coincide to what the want  they will never implement what gamers wants. Yes they fool most of us with cheap parody they create but non of them are focused to satisfy customers first on list is money return . Yes they have 300kk but why do you think they would invest them is some random ideas of people from mmorpg and even they will do so only to make a  cheap version of it in order to satisfy as much wallets as possible But when you combine Lobsters with Shit  = you eat shit right ? . You're so naive ))

sorry for off topic  

Well someone is naive, you're right. 

 

You're exactly right! New content is expensive. That's why games like WoW charge you for content every year or so, on top of monthly fees. There's a reason for it, though, nobody WANTS to play tired, old, content. You're right, there is a niche market for those who are interested in just doing the same things over and over. Look at The Sims or Second Life. However, the question is how do you sell your next game to them? How do you have them maintain their subscription? 

 

BTW, lobsters were shit until demand told the market it was a delicacy, so your example doesn't help you. Basically there isn't a significant demand for niche games without measured progression or continually updating content, regardless what you find on this or any other forum. 

 

Basically, if you can prove the demand for the game you're describing, someone will make it, but right now there is no precedent, other than a small group of people acting like their collective is larger than it actually is.

Crazkanuk

----------------
Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
----------------

  Isometrix

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 252

12/18/13 10:38:38 AM#27

I like levels a lot because they're a good sense of progression. I also think they're grossly misused and are a major reason why you're done with an MMO so fast these days. When an MMO launches with 25 zones, 1-2 of those will typically be endgame, while the rest is reserved for leveling. That means that over 90% of the game you designed, becomes completely obsolete for me the second I hit the max level. It doesn't matter how many quests you built, how many events you stuffed into those awesome looking zones, or how epic your storyline is. I am now higher than the level of all your zones, and thus I have no reason to ever go back. So now I either grind in the few zones that are for my level, or hangout in the designated main townhub.

I would feel a bit disappointed without levels, but I would like them to look at singleplayer games for examples on how to do it right. If my sense of progression nullifies a major portion of the game the second I hit the level cap, then having levels sucks.

 

 

Additionally, MMOs that raise the level cap with every expansion are epic failures to me. The raids we spent days, weeks completing. All the dungeon runs, all the PvP grinding, nullified 5 minutes after your expansion comes out as the first quest I take to kill 10 rats offer better gear. You also chase new players away because wow, now I need to get 100 levels before I can hang out with the rest? That's a lot!

 

TLDR: 

I like levels when done right. Nobody does it right.

  Classicstar

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/04
Posts: 2518

12/18/13 10:48:12 AM#28

Mmorpg's with lvls is a JOKE.

This 10x !

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  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3680

12/18/13 11:46:29 AM#29
There has to be some measure of progression, without progression you're not playing an MMO.  It doesn't necessarily have to be levels, it can be skill points or some other metric, but you just can't have a game without any measure of advancement and still call it an MMO.

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  Novusod

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 861

12/18/13 2:05:45 PM#30
Originally posted by CrazKanuk
Originally posted by cura

RPGs are (or, in case of computer bastardisation, should be) primarlily about roleplaying not gaining levels.  I would gladly leave levels for Call Of Duty series.

Ummmmmmm, but pen and paper D&D had levels...... just sayin' it's not like they pulled levels out of their butts. 

D&D technically had 30 levels but nobody really cared about those levels. Anything over level 20 was epic and took forever to make. Most people killed their characters off at level 10 or so for story reasons. The fun part about D&D was being weak and experimenting what you could take on or just roleplaying the story. Really like cura said D&D was not about gaining levels at all. Level 30 represented the power of Dragons and demi-gods. The story of Drizzt Do'Urden which spanned 20 different novels was only about a level 14 character.

 

Leveling in MMOs has really become a bastardisation of what it meant to play an RPG.

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4655

12/18/13 2:20:29 PM#31
Originally posted by PWN_FACE

 

Darkfall's attempt reminded me a lot of Morrowind's progression. You run and your running skill improves. You swim and you get better at it. Of course, it led to afk macroing, afk swimming, bloodwalling, and all kinds of nonsense that ruined the game. Maybe Darkfall needed a skill cap. 

 

to this day I still jump as  I run anywhere in mmos....damn morrowind!

Skill systems are far more complex to design into a game than levels are. They're also much harder to develop desirable content for. If someone is at the skill cap..why do they need to go into the new content more than once to see what's there ? 

Levels are just easier to manage. The problem of course with a level based system is, as soon as you pass the level of the content it may as well not even be in the game anymore. How long does a dev team spend designing content for level 10-15...how long does a player stay in that level zone ? Once you raise the level cap you've pretty much done the same thing to the whole game.

I think level based content may be easier to impliment in the short term but long term it's more expensive to keep developing. Wow for example pretty much makes a new game every 2 years.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  jazz.be

Novice Member

Joined: 8/26/06
Posts: 780

12/18/13 3:00:29 PM#32

It's a game and I want to be entertained.

I don't need the game to be realistic. So I'm ok that mobs levels with me when I change zones. As long as it keeps me entertained.

That said I don't think it's necessary.  It's just that no other system has entertained me other than this traditional system.

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

12/18/13 3:26:42 PM#33

- Progression itself is not neccesary but it is something that quite a number of gamers do enjoy.

- Levels are not the only way to present a progression mechanic....pure skill based is an example of another method.... but they certainly are the most common way to represent progression and something that is relatively simple for gamers to understand.

- Within the concept of Levels there is a significant variety of ways of implimentation within the game mechanics. Power curves between levels can be steep or gradual, a top level character could be x64 combat power of a level 1 character or only x1.5. Levels can be broken down to represent different aspects of play....for example a Level 4 Warrior but only a Level 2 Crafter. They can be hyberdized with different types of systems.....for example gaining a level could unlock access to different types of abilities but those abilities may still need to be gained individualy through some other mechanism (skill use, quest completion, etc). Levels can represent a portion of the characters progression but other aspects can also represent another portion....for example a level can give a character +20 base to sword skill for each level advanced but the character can obtain another +50 in total through some other system (questing, traits, etc). These are only a few of the many possabilties.

In short, very little is actualy NECCESSARY to make an MMO save a network connection and a massive amount of players. Levels can and do work, and they can work in a wide variety of implimentation types so that 2 "level" based games might play very dissimalar from one another, however there are other things which can work as well.

Personaly, progression doesn't hold a huge amount of interest to me. However, I don't mind it's existance if implimented well and not done in such a manner that it comes to completely eclipse or harm other aspects of play.

 

 

 

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1360

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

12/18/13 4:17:32 PM#34

I voted the first option because I prefer levels. But, some RPG games like Star Frontiers and Gamma world had skill based advancement; which I also liked. The problem with skill based advancement is some players can over-specialize and, as a result, create a character which turns out to be ineffective/useless. This issue doesn't really occur in level based systems.


I happen to love Everquest's system: Level-based progression with Alternate Advancement (kinda like skills/boosts) added in.


After reading some posts, I'd like to add that level-based progression brings the benefit of clearly defined class roles; which facilitates grouping.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  JJ82

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/13
Posts: 918

12/18/13 4:28:13 PM#35

"I would like alternative forms of advancement (please explain what)"

Scalable content. It will keep all content viable no mater how long a player plays the game.

it would not be extremely difficult (but time consuming) to create a table for each monster that increases its damage and abilities according to what it is facing. All that would need to be done is for each piece of armor/weapon/jewelry in the game to have a number associated to its power level that can be added up to give a player an unseen "level" which a mob can then be auto-adjusted to.

Player gear level 1 = mob has x power with y set of skills

Player gear level 2 = mob has z power with t set of skills

This can also be done by group of players with tables created by amount of players in the group as well as classes in the group.

Player group of 4 players automatically places mob at one power set with a sub table for skills to use against the group.

Group has a healer? Give mob skills to AoE

Group has a tank? Give mob greater health and DD skills

Group has a CC class? Give mob CC breaking abilities and a skill to call for aid

"People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1360

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

12/18/13 4:33:58 PM#36

Here's an idea for unlimited level progression:


At launch - effective level cap is 50. Any levels gained after that simply add a small percentage of power to the character, but does not add new spells/abilities/etc.


When the expansion launches six months later, the effective level cap is raised to 60 and the same player immediately enjoys the power/spells/etc. of being level 60. Plus the bonus for being perhaps 240th level at that time.


So at 240th level, this character is (240/60) = 4x as powerful as a level 60th character. That doesn't make them invincible, by far. So they won't be God-like, especially considering how much time they took to level up.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  Haites

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/24/13
Posts: 70

12/18/13 6:11:27 PM#37

Yes they are necessary to an MMORPG.  There is a lot more to "levels" than the number they represent.  It gives players a milestone to reach.  It allows players to quickly and easily "size up" each other for PvE, PvP, etc.  It's a motivational tool.  It's a gatekeeper.

The only problem I really have with levels is that most developers now treat them like an annoyance, only serving to get in the way of a player until they can start the "real game" at max level.

  User Deleted
12/18/13 6:23:12 PM#38

I find levels immersion-breaking in some ways. I agree that progression systems are good, but I don't like them to be so overt. I prefer them to be hidden more like in TSW or Darkfall. As I've mentioned above, how they are implemented is another matter.

 

To me, gear based progression, strict classes, and overt level numbers are "primitive" and the genre will hopefully offer games that evolve beyond that type of progression. I prefer skill based or other means that offer more options and flexibility.

 

They are "primitive" in the sense that we might talk about how we define success. If we define success as being primarily based on what we own, this matches the gear-based and overt leveling model in my mind. If we define success as something more intangible -- for example in the number of options open to us (which means freedom and power), that would be more advanced or evolved. I think we can have some games like that in future once someone finds out how to implement it well.

 

 

  DocBrody

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/24/13
Posts: 1434

12/18/13 6:28:01 PM#39

Secret World got it right!! 

No levels no classes, very cool

  Haites

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/24/13
Posts: 70

12/18/13 6:47:46 PM#40
Originally posted by PWN_FACE

 I think we can have some games like that in future once someone finds out how to implement it well. 

Hey I'd love to see someone invent a better mousetrap, but so far I haven't seen anything that can do everything that levels do so simply and eloquently.

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