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Why does GW2 need levels?

HarttzHarttz Jacksonville, FLPosts: 91Member

After playing the game for about 60 hours now (level 49) and reading the blog posts by ArenaNet I am wondering why GW2 needs levels. Players are boosted up to 80 for any PVP and have their level reduced to the level of their PVE content so why even have the levels at all? 

Reasons to have levels:

1. MMO/RPG tradition- People are used to levels and might not like not having them. TSW doesn't have levels however and people seem to have adjusted to it fine. 

2. Progression- Levels are an easy way to measure your character's progression. But, couldn't this just as easily be determined by the number of traits you have unlocked or some other measure?

3. Content scaling/gating- Having levels for not just the player but also the mobs allows devs to provide a clear path of content (1-15, 15-25, 25-40, etc until 80) and allows devs to gate the best content (can't go to Orr until you reach high level). But couldn't content also be gated or scaled based on traits and character strength or just the story progression?

Reasons not to have levels:

1. More open world- Not having levels would allow players to more freely explore the world in any manner they see fit as certain zones would not be arbitrarily gated by level requirements. ArenaNet seems to be big on giving players freedom and options so this would seem like a natural fit. It can be very annoying trying to level in a zone that is appropriate to your level but not getting enough xp early in the zone and therefore not being able to progress to the higher level part of the zone without grinding some mobs or DE's first. ArenaNet said they wanted to remove grind but there it is rearing its head.

2. No leveling/endgame distinction- ArenaNet seems to be struggling to convince players that not having a dedicated endgame for level 80 players is fine because the entire game is endgame (https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/the-endgame-reimagined/). Any game that has a level system is going to have this distinction in content by nature. By removing levels you could truly say that the entire game is endgame and that the game is focused on participating in the world events rather than a hamster wheel endgame.

3. No levels works better with ability system- I personally think that having all skill points come from skill challenges rather than gaining levels would be a massive improvement. Something similar for traits rather than just gaining them passively from levels would be great too. Weapon skills are already earned outside of levels so why not do the same for utilities?

4. Social aspects- Without the level distinction players won't be as segregated as any level system tends to create. GW2 has been designed to create a system where casual and hardcore players can work together and not be antagonistic so why not go the next step and remove a distinction which divides them?

5. Leveling speed- It doesn't really take that long to get to 80 if that is your goal so why even have that relatively meaningless carrot? If the goal is to have people enjoy the game and the world rather than grinding then why include a quintissential grind system and then nerf it to meaninglessness? I think the map completion could replace the level system here as many GW2 fanatics have been immediately commenting on anyone who races to 80 "but what is their map completion?" I think map completion is a far more meaningful metric for this game than levels ever could be.

Conclusion:

What do you guys think? Does the game need levels? Are there other reasons for having levels that I didn't consider? Is there any point arguing about it since the game is already released and a change this big will likely never happen? 

Comments

  • snapfusionsnapfusion San, CAPosts: 954Member
    I think all of your suggestions amount to less choice for an individual player.  Something more and more games are giving us these days, fewer choices.
  • Johnie-MarzJohnie-Marz La Puente, CAPosts: 865Member
    Originally posted by Harttz

    After playing the game for about 60 hours now (level 49) and reading the blog posts by ArenaNet I am wondering why GW2 needs levels. Players are boosted up to 80 for any PVP and have their level reduced to the level of their PVE content so why even have the levels at all? 

    Reasons to have levels:

    1. MMO/RPG tradition- People are used to levels and might not like not having them. TSW doesn't have levels however and people seem to have adjusted to it fine. 

    2. Progression- Levels are an easy way to measure your character's progression. But, couldn't this just as easily be determined by the number of traits you have unlocked or some other measure?

    3. Content scaling/gating- Having levels for not just the player but also the mobs allows devs to provide a clear path of content (1-15, 15-25, 25-40, etc until 80) and allows devs to gate the best content (can't go to Orr until you reach high level). But couldn't content also be gated or scaled based on traits and character strength or just the story progression?

    Reasons not to have levels:

    1. More open world- Not having levels would allow players to more freely explore the world in any manner they see fit as certain zones would not be arbitrarily gated by level requirements. ArenaNet seems to be big on giving players freedom and options so this would seem like a natural fit. It can be very annoying trying to level in a zone that is appropriate to your level but not getting enough xp early in the zone and therefore not being able to progress to the higher level part of the zone without grinding some mobs or DE's first. ArenaNet said they wanted to remove grind but there it is rearing its head.

    2. No leveling/endgame distinction- ArenaNet seems to be struggling to convince players that not having a dedicated endgame for level 80 players is fine because the entire game is endgame (https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/the-endgame-reimagined/). Any game that has a level system is going to have this distinction in content by nature. By removing levels you could truly say that the entire game is endgame and that the game is focused on participating in the world events rather than a hamster wheel endgame.

    3. No levels works better with ability system- I personally think that having all skill points come from skill challenges rather than gaining levels would be a massive improvement. Something similar for traits rather than just gaining them passively from levels would be great too. Weapon skills are already earned outside of levels so why not do the same for utilities?

    4. Social aspects- Without the level distinction players won't be as segregated as any level system tends to create. GW2 has been designed to create a system where casual and hardcore players can work together and not be antagonistic so why not go the next step and remove a distinction which divides them?

    5. Leveling speed- It doesn't really take that long to get to 80 if that is your goal so why even have that relatively meaningless carrot? If the goal is to have people enjoy the game and the world rather than grinding then why include a quintissential grind system and then nerf it to meaninglessness? I think the map completion could replace the level system here as many GW2 fanatics have been immediately commenting on anyone who races to 80 "but what is their map completion?" I think map completion is a far more meaningful metric for this game than levels ever could be.

    Conclusion:

    What do you guys think? Does the game need levels? Are there other reasons for having levels that I didn't consider? Is there any point arguing about it since the game is already released and a change this big will likely never happen? 

    I don't know about GW2;

    but since leveling is so fast now days, Why have levels, why not just go straight for the dungeons, raids and gear grind?

    (BTW I am not for this, I am saying it as a hypothetical question)

    (P.S. one reason for leveling is to slowly learn your class I would guess)

  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Brandon, FLPosts: 3,649Member
    Originally posted by Johnie-Marz

    (P.S. one reason for leveling is to slowly learn your class I would guess)

    Aye, these days it seems like little more than an extended tutorial...

    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

    Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  • Johnie-MarzJohnie-Marz La Puente, CAPosts: 865Member
    Originally posted by VirusDancer
    Originally posted by Johnie-Marz

    (P.S. one reason for leveling is to slowly learn your class I would guess)

    Aye, these days it seems like little more than an extended tutorial...

    That's funny, I never thought of it like that but you are right.

  • HarttzHarttz Jacksonville, FLPosts: 91Member
    Originally posted by Johnie-Marz
    I don't know about GW2;

    but since leveling is so fast now days, Why have levels, why not just go straight for the dungeons, raids and gear grind?

    (BTW I am not for this, I am saying it as a hypothetical question)

    (P.S. one reason for leveling is to slowly learn your class I would guess)

    I think a game that was raiding focused would be better off just removing leveling so that the players could just do what they are there for without some mandatory sideshow. It would also revent a dev of a raiding game from wasting their time and resources on creating a leveling game and zones that people are just going to abandon as soon as the hit max anyway.

    I could understand the slowly learning your class if there was an overwhelming amount to learn but there are a limited number of abilities and you get boosted to 80 for sPVP anyway so do they really think you need 80 levels to learn your character? Especially since you stop progressing other than traits after level 40. All it really seems to do is force people to play a gimped character for a while until they unlock all the stuff.

  • eggy08eggy08 erie, PAPosts: 525Member
    Originally posted by Harttz

    After playing the game for about 60 hours now (level 49) and reading the blog posts by ArenaNet I am wondering why GW2 needs levels. Players are boosted up to 80 for any PVP and have their level reduced to the level of their PVE content so why even have the levels at all? 

    Reasons to have levels:

    1. MMO/RPG tradition- People are used to levels and might not like not having them. TSW doesn't have levels however and people seem to have adjusted to it fine. 

    2. Progression- Levels are an easy way to measure your character's progression. But, couldn't this just as easily be determined by the number of traits you have unlocked or some other measure?

    3. Content scaling/gating- Having levels for not just the player but also the mobs allows devs to provide a clear path of content (1-15, 15-25, 25-40, etc until 80) and allows devs to gate the best content (can't go to Orr until you reach high level). But couldn't content also be gated or scaled based on traits and character strength or just the story progression?

    Reasons not to have levels:

    1. More open world- Not having levels would allow players to more freely explore the world in any manner they see fit as certain zones would not be arbitrarily gated by level requirements. ArenaNet seems to be big on giving players freedom and options so this would seem like a natural fit. It can be very annoying trying to level in a zone that is appropriate to your level but not getting enough xp early in the zone and therefore not being able to progress to the higher level part of the zone without grinding some mobs or DE's first. ArenaNet said they wanted to remove grind but there it is rearing its head.

    Honestly, then players would just rush to the last boss, kill it without really experiencing anything in the game and be angry that the game is too short because the last boss is killed. It might be open, but you need restrictions if you want that.

    2. No leveling/endgame distinction- ArenaNet seems to be struggling to convince players that not having a dedicated endgame for level 80 players is fine because the entire game is endgame (https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/the-endgame-reimagined/). Any game that has a level system is going to have this distinction in content by nature. By removing levels you could truly say that the entire game is endgame and that the game is focused on participating in the world events rather than a hamster wheel endgame.

    Same as above.

    3. No levels works better with ability system- I personally think that having all skill points come from skill challenges rather than gaining levels would be a massive improvement. Something similar for traits rather than just gaining them passively from levels would be great too. Weapon skills are already earned outside of levels so why not do the same for utilities?

    4. Social aspects- Without the level distinction players won't be as segregated as any level system tends to create. GW2 has been designed to create a system where casual and hardcore players can work together and not be antagonistic so why not go the next step and remove a distinction which divides them?

    With no restrictions, you get more social, but also the best zones that are high level areas that are meant to be more epic will have way too many overflow servers, while low level ones that aren't that great are barren.

    5. Leveling speed- It doesn't really take that long to get to 80 if that is your goal so why even have that relatively meaningless carrot? If the goal is to have people enjoy the game and the world rather than grinding then why include a quintissential grind system and then nerf it to meaninglessness? I think the map completion could replace the level system here as many GW2 fanatics have been immediately commenting on anyone who races to 80 "but what is their map completion?" I think map completion is a far more meaningful metric for this game than levels ever could be.

    Why bother completing maps, when you can already get whatever you want at low levels.

    Conclusion:

    What do you guys think? Does the game need levels? Are there other reasons for having levels that I didn't consider? Is there any point arguing about it since the game is already released and a change this big will likely never happen? 

    Besides above, reasons to have level scaling:

    1. Crafting pointless: Why bother leveling crafting when you get whatever gear right off the bat. All prices are pointless. Farming any mats is pointless since you have nothing to progress with. All sense of getting the best gear from crafting and improving yourself is void since crafting would be a pointless part of the game.

    2. Weapons/gear: You get everything you could want in the first 5 minutes of the game. Making crafting/farming/exploration pointless for any purpose. All mobs would be far too similar in difficulty since all gear and all weapons and all players will be almost exactly the same. They can't scale mobs if there are no levels.

    3. Dungeons: Possible now at any level, but is that a good thing? They make you wait till your 30 for a few reasons. Mainly for you to get experience playing your character and getting used to using skills, dodging and mastering your character better. Throw a bunch of newly made chars in there and you got an equation for a 5 hour long wipefest with no progression that ends in rage quits.

  • NevulusNevulus Miami Beach, FLPosts: 1,288Member Uncommon
    That's because there was a time where levels was part of the journey. You looked forward to getting certain skills at certain levels. There was a time when players didnt reach max level in 3 days. Despite the people who whine, some of us liked it that way. We were not in a hurry to get to max level. We enjoyed the journey, similar to how I am enjoying the journey in gw2. Unfortunately as a casual player i reached max level in gw2 entirely too fast. At least there's no sub.
  • HarttzHarttz Jacksonville, FLPosts: 91Member

    I would agree with your concerns somewhat eggy but I have played a bit of TSW and they don't seem to have those problems with a levelless system so I definitely think it is more workable than you might think. I wouldn't want them to use TSW's system in GW2 but I think there are many ways to encourage players to play content in a certain fashion or direction without levels.

    I am definitely going to disagree with you about removing levels making crafting pointless as crafting is already pretty much pointless since gear is so easy to obtain. And with so many people crafting in one giant marketplace driving supply of crafted goods up way above demand every crafted item is selling for less than the cost of the mats to make it. At the moment crafting really isn't much more than a way to convert gold into xp.

  • eggy08eggy08 erie, PAPosts: 525Member
    Originally posted by Harttz

    I would agree with your concerns somewhat eggy but I have played a bit of TSW and they don't seem to have those problems with a levelless system so I definitely think it is more workable than you might think. I wouldn't want them to use TSW's system in GW2 but I think there are many ways to encourage players to play content in a certain fashion or direction without levels.

    I am definitely going to disagree with you about removing levels making crafting pointless as crafting is already pretty much pointless since gear is so easy to obtain. And with so many people crafting in one giant marketplace driving supply of crafted goods up way above demand every crafted item is selling for less than the cost of the mats to make it. At the moment crafting really isn't much more than a way to convert gold into xp.

    Why bother collecting mats, getting free levels, getting free gear and then making your own epic gear late game? Sorry, I thought I missed something here. Crafting is pointless to those who don't get it. But for those who can find easy ways to integrate the system to get themselves constant gear throughout leveling and then maxing it to get epics... ya, it kinda has a point.

  • HarttzHarttz Jacksonville, FLPosts: 91Member
    Originally posted by eggy08
    Originally posted by Harttz

    I would agree with your concerns somewhat eggy but I have played a bit of TSW and they don't seem to have those problems with a levelless system so I definitely think it is more workable than you might think. I wouldn't want them to use TSW's system in GW2 but I think there are many ways to encourage players to play content in a certain fashion or direction without levels.

    I am definitely going to disagree with you about removing levels making crafting pointless as crafting is already pretty much pointless since gear is so easy to obtain. And with so many people crafting in one giant marketplace driving supply of crafted goods up way above demand every crafted item is selling for less than the cost of the mats to make it. At the moment crafting really isn't much more than a way to convert gold into xp.

    Why bother collecting mats, getting free levels, getting free gear and then making your own epic gear late game? Sorry, I thought I missed something here. Crafting is pointless to those who don't get it. But for those who can find easy ways to integrate the system to get themselves constant gear throughout leveling and then maxing it to get epics... ya, it kinda has a point.

    Except it is cheaper to just sell all of your raw mats and buy the gear that other people craft. The only thing you lose out on is the xp from crafting.

  • AmjocoAmjoco Layton, UTPosts: 4,777Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Johnie-Marz
    Originally posted by Harttz

    After playing the game for about 60 hours now (level 49) and reading the blog posts by ArenaNet I am wondering why GW2 needs levels. Players are boosted up to 80 for any PVP and have their level reduced to the level of their PVE content so why even have the levels at all? 

    Reasons to have levels:

    1. MMO/RPG tradition- People are used to levels and might not like not having them. TSW doesn't have levels however and people seem to have adjusted to it fine. 

    2. Progression- Levels are an easy way to measure your character's progression. But, couldn't this just as easily be determined by the number of traits you have unlocked or some other measure?

    3. Content scaling/gating- Having levels for not just the player but also the mobs allows devs to provide a clear path of content (1-15, 15-25, 25-40, etc until 80) and allows devs to gate the best content (can't go to Orr until you reach high level). But couldn't content also be gated or scaled based on traits and character strength or just the story progression?

    Reasons not to have levels:

    1. More open world- Not having levels would allow players to more freely explore the world in any manner they see fit as certain zones would not be arbitrarily gated by level requirements. ArenaNet seems to be big on giving players freedom and options so this would seem like a natural fit. It can be very annoying trying to level in a zone that is appropriate to your level but not getting enough xp early in the zone and therefore not being able to progress to the higher level part of the zone without grinding some mobs or DE's first. ArenaNet said they wanted to remove grind but there it is rearing its head.

    2. No leveling/endgame distinction- ArenaNet seems to be struggling to convince players that not having a dedicated endgame for level 80 players is fine because the entire game is endgame (https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/the-endgame-reimagined/). Any game that has a level system is going to have this distinction in content by nature. By removing levels you could truly say that the entire game is endgame and that the game is focused on participating in the world events rather than a hamster wheel endgame.

    3. No levels works better with ability system- I personally think that having all skill points come from skill challenges rather than gaining levels would be a massive improvement. Something similar for traits rather than just gaining them passively from levels would be great too. Weapon skills are already earned outside of levels so why not do the same for utilities?

    4. Social aspects- Without the level distinction players won't be as segregated as any level system tends to create. GW2 has been designed to create a system where casual and hardcore players can work together and not be antagonistic so why not go the next step and remove a distinction which divides them?

    5. Leveling speed- It doesn't really take that long to get to 80 if that is your goal so why even have that relatively meaningless carrot? If the goal is to have people enjoy the game and the world rather than grinding then why include a quintissential grind system and then nerf it to meaninglessness? I think the map completion could replace the level system here as many GW2 fanatics have been immediately commenting on anyone who races to 80 "but what is their map completion?" I think map completion is a far more meaningful metric for this game than levels ever could be.

    Conclusion:

    What do you guys think? Does the game need levels? Are there other reasons for having levels that I didn't consider? Is there any point arguing about it since the game is already released and a change this big will likely never happen? 

    I don't know about GW2;

    but since leveling is so fast now days, Why have levels, why not just go straight for the dungeons, raids and gear grind?

    (BTW I am not for this, I am saying it as a hypothetical question)

    (P.S. one reason for leveling is to slowly learn your class I would guess)

    Even better, the devs could design the game to play for us. We just have to sit and watch! Oh man, the future looks great! ;)

    Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

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