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BadSpock's Logical Conclusions.

My random thoughts about MMORPGs. A bit of critique, suggestion, debate, and insanity. Enjoy.

Author: BadSpock

Linear+Radial progression? Possible?

Posted by BadSpock Monday October 15 2007 at 2:45PM
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Just decided to go on a rant about MMORPGs....

I define linear progression as you move from area A to area B.... from level 10 to level 11 to level 12...

I define radial progression as you can start in area A, B, or C and can then go to area D, E, or F... and you can level from 10 to 11 to 12 in combat, or 5 to 6 to 7 in crafting, or social etc.


The biggest problem in many MMORPG games is that they force players onto a rail system. Saying that you WILL go from point A to point B. The biggest culprit is World of Warcraft.

"If you are a Night Elf you start in this zone. Then you go to this zone. By the way you can only be this class, or that class."

I want freedom! And the only way to give that freedom is through radial progression.

Imagine a WoW where you could start any race in any of the starting zones (split by faction still ok, no Alliance starting in Horde areas etc that's just silly.) Now also imagine you can choose from whatever of the nine classes you want to.

True, an Undead Druid starting off in the Blood Elf home lands is kind of wierd... and it doesn't really mesh with the principles of the IP... but what does it really matter?

You end up going to the same zones doing the same content anyways, you just hate your character more because you couldn't:

A)pick the race you wanted or

B)pick the class you wanted.

C) You hate the starter zone and joining zone for that race because you've been through it 99,000 times.

True, you can make the long trek from one side of the world to the other to adventure in the different noob zones, but what's the point? You end up in the SAME zones doing the SAME content anyway.


I want choice! I want more options!

Why not have 3-4 zones for every level range? Why does every 30-40 and 40-50 have to adventure through the same quests in the same zones?

See THAT is the kind of expansions I want to see. Add new mid and low level zones and content. Don't force everything to the end game. If players knew that companies cared about the journey as much as they cared about the end, it'd probably just the fundamental nature of the game so much it'd be far better then anything we've seen on the market so far.

I also love the idea of different "types" of levels. Let me say first, that level system are generally a good thing because they make it easier to balance content. I think games go too far in the fact that the ONLY factor in PVP in many games is level, and if at even levels then it's gear.... but that's another story...

Give me alternate paths of advancement. I like how Everquest 2 had crafting levels that were completely separate from the combat or adventuring level or whatever they called it. I think Vanguard went further by also adding gathering levels and diplomacy levels.

Give me options! Don't force people down a linear roller coaster. Let them branch out and try different things. Let them make the character that they want to make, not bound by any rules or stipulations.

That's one really positive thing about Warhammer Online that I am looking forward to.

They have level 1-40 zones for each racial pairing. So, in essence, you could play one character of each race and have 8 completely different game play experiences. That's the kind of choice and freedom I like to see.

So combine the natural balancing effect of linear progression system with the freedom and flexibility to define your own game style in a radial progression.... don't follow stigmas and hard coded rules about this 'having' to be here and that 'having' to be there... offer different advancement paths for expanded re-play value...

and you just may have yourself a winner.

MacScarfe writes:

You want more choice, you want more options.

But you say that the mmorpg market is stagnant, we have the most mmo's operating and in development, we have almost any class, race, or hair colour available some place in a mmo.

And i agree with you the market is at a stand still, but i don't think the best way forward is more of the same which is what you are advocating.

Lets get radical, perhaps less choice, less options, perhaps abandonment of the entire class/level/skills system. Lets just try something new perhaps and not try to rehash the same old ingediants into a new mmo.

Mon Oct 15 2007 3:36PM Report
Flungmuk writes:

Well EQ2 allows any class/race combo, some require a little extra work, but you could be a halfling necromancer or an ogre paladin.

EQ1 also has many zones for each level range, the trick is getting a group there. :)

I only played Vanguard for beta and havent really looked at warhammer yet. I guess it comes down to what's your flavor of grind for the time being.

Mon Oct 15 2007 4:03PM Report
Deatrix writes:

too bad WoW is doing just the opposite, instead of making more content for lower levels they are just making it easier to get through the mid lvls >.<

Mon Oct 15 2007 5:14PM Report
Runefruit10 writes:

Freedom = Darkfall

Levels = Not Darkfall

Skills= Darkfall

Mon Oct 15 2007 6:57PM Report
vajuras writes:

Darkfall would be so totally awesoke if they could deliver. unfortunately heerboya is not a fan of twitch based gameplay. He's like my evil dark half- we share many similar ideas in 'essence' like player created factions, skill based progression, and so forth but differ on some other things

But I agree with him in a way. but coming from the Warcraft RTS- it woulda been upsetting to see things to out of order. so I did like what they did in one way they staid true to the IP somewhat at launch but then it all went downhill from there.

I do agree any race should be able to be anything. but i cant get over how crazy an undead druid would be lol. coming from the Warcraft lore and Books- i know the Druid god Ceniruis was a night elf so he'd never teach an undead. But perhaps they coulda had undead night elves I dunno lol.

good blog

Mon Oct 15 2007 7:15PM Report
daetheven writes:

im with you on this i cant stand will this person can only be these classes crap . the very first mmorpg i played was asherons call , wich is still up and running , there was no classes, you made your char exactly to what you wanted , i had a jump skill so damn high i could easily jump over most trees... why cuz i wanted to . that and i had friends that could jump higher , while yes to those that played the game knows that when you go over board on a skill you can easily gimp your char , which is why the ones that dont give you a choice on stats are more pick me up and play , took me 4 try's to get my critter archer just right ,wich brings another point ATTACK Of the clones, every one looks like every one, but ill get into that on a different post

Tue Oct 16 2007 12:10AM Report
Cathalaode writes:

I'm more interested in freedoms that come along the road in an MMO, like having different ways to level, and having customization as you level. That said. Give me liberty, or give me perma-death, Whichever is easier.

Tue Oct 16 2007 12:33AM Report
Cathalaode writes:

P.S: The only hard thing about WoW is staying awake.

Tue Oct 16 2007 12:35AM Report
soulwynd writes:

Have you played Neocron? I honestly think you'd like it. In your definitions, it's radial, and you can max crafting without ever touching combat, and players can kill a very wide range of levels, for a lack of better word, so you don't have to be stuck in a certain area.

Thu Oct 18 2007 9:20AM Report writes:
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