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Themepark MMO without Level: how often is this done, and why isnt this done more often?

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon

Levels, part of older school themepark MMO model like Everquest, in which the genre was new to many people, so people really didnt know what to expect out of a MMO.

But in theory, over time, MMO gamers begun to understand the reality of MMO game play, and begun to see what Levels really are. Which is a useless time sink

This I believe started after WoW, the most popular western MMO in the world, released its first Expansion (Burning Crusade), which reminded many old vet WoW players, just how unfun it is to be weakened, and content locked, simply because of a few levels was added making your former max level character into a low level character again.

Ever sense, I have notice a large number of complaints during the launch of post WoW(TBC) MMO, in which the community tend to complain about the level grind, and how boring or slow the level grind is.

take note of games like AoC when it released. The major complaint was how after the starter area the only way to level was by mob grinding. (but in reality, isnt this the same method of leveling in older themepark mmo like Everquest? constant mob grinding) So whats the problem with that now days unless the mindset has also changed?

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Theory is simple really. More people are waking up to the truth, that Levels in themepark MMO are useless and only acts as an artificial content lock.

Instead of gaining the Key to a dungeon door to unlock the dungeon, themepark MMO make you level to unlock the dungeon. the Dungeon's Locked Door and Levels basically do the same role. locks players from content. from the fun.


Its time to move away from this kind of design.

But how many themepark MMO out there have moved away from Levels?

and just why isnt this done more often?

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Comments

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    How late do you stay up everynight thinking of threads to start?
  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,537Member Uncommon

     

    Character level is a arbitrary number.  You still need to progress in some way, whether it's % skill based or just acquiring skills.  TSW very much so has the soul of a "level" system with it's EXP bar; Ultima Online had player designated sayings and in game titles: "Lord Name, Grand Master of".  In addition there were "I'm a 6x GM" to designate their level up power when talking to others of how strong you were.

    Ultimately having or not having numbers won't matter if it's a themepark.  You'll still have levels of power, content you can't do until you're at that plateu (no matter how it's phrased) and the same types of end game.  Only if the game is a Sandbox in spirit could it really have some semblance of being relevent as you actively change the world around you regardless of your strength.

    That or the Themepark has it so you always have 100 HP and the same strength with no items that grant extra power and everything is completely relevent and difficult.

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    I would disagree with this.

    "But in theory, over time, MMO gamers begun to understand the reality of MMO game play, and begun to see what Levels really are. Which is a useless time sink"

    Not a time sink. During the leveling process you are supposed to learn to play your character. You should be honing your skills. You should learn to live on your own and how to use your skills in different combinations. During the leveling time you are effectively saying to the rest of the game - still working on it.

    If you don't agree with that then you would accept grouping with people that just bought their characters that afternoon and it was their first play time? No one would if the person admitted it was their first time unless they wanted someone to carry. They especially wouldn't take them to something like a progression raid where they were figuring out strategies with the person still reading their skills.

    Leveling has a point, it's for you to practice. You ever notice they don't just dump every one of your skills on you at once? They are gained thru levels so as not to overwhelm you with all the combinations... ahhhhh... now you know.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yaevindusk

     

    Character level is a arbitrary number.  You still need to progress in some way, whether it's % skill based or just acquiring skills.  

    But you are using Levels and Progression as synonyms for each other. Which means to you, you cant have one without the other. But in Endgame of all Themepark MMO, how is progression done if leveling has stopped? Because they all do it.

    TSW very much so has the soul of a "level" system with it's EXP bar;

    But is level and exp bar the only way to do progression?

    Ultimately having or not having numbers won't matter if it's a themepark.  You'll still have levels of power, content you can't do until you're at that plateu (no matter how it's phrased) and the same types of end game.

    But is that a requirement in a themepark. That seem more like a restriction to levels that are found in most themepark MMO. not the themepark itself.

     Only if the game is a Sandbox in spirit could it really have some semblance of being relevent as you actively change the world around you regardless of your strength.

    Dont need to be a sandbox to change the world. Look as some of the ways WoW and GW2 has done this. Just never in great design.

    That or the Themepark has it so you always have 100 HP and the same strength with no items that grant extra power and everything is completely relevent and difficult.

    And this is a requirement for not having levels?

     

    image

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,550Member Uncommon
    Aren't levels and themepark the same thing?  Well, that and level area zones.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Aren't levels and themepark the same thing?  Well, that and level area zones.

    Levels are us going to school.

    Themepark is asking your mother for advice on how to live your life once you should be on your own.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Neither planetside has,levels
  • mrw0lfmrw0lf LondonPosts: 2,269Member
    It's not good enough to know you are having fun, adventuring or even progressing, you need to be able to see it. In many cases you need others to be able to see it, they need to know your number pwns theirs.

    -----
    “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.”

  • mindw0rkmindw0rk St-petersburgPosts: 1,351Member
    Developers minds are sucked in templates, they cant imagine theme-park MMO could be done unlike WoW. Which is sad, since I really think progression through levels is the worst thing to ever happen to MMORPG genre. I really hope companies start exploring new ways to let players feel progression, not just "ding, 78!" bs.
  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by greenreen

    I would disagree with this.

    "But in theory, over time, MMO gamers begun to understand the reality of MMO game play, and begun to see what Levels really are. Which is a useless time sink"

    Not a time sink. During the leveling process you are supposed to learn to play your character. You should be honing your skills. You should learn to live on your own and how to use your skills in different combinations. During the leveling time you are effectively saying to the rest of the game - still working on it.

    If you don't agree with that then you would accept grouping with people that just bought their characters that afternoon and it was their first play time? No one would if the person admitted it was their first time unless they wanted someone to carry. They especially wouldn't take them to something like a progression raid where they were figuring out strategies with the person still reading their skills.

    I play GW2 to level 80 on my Guardian, than started playing on my alts. I know exactly how to play.

    in Rift, the expansion added 10 new levels. I had 4 max level characters from each calling. I dont need 10 new levels to learn how to play a game I already know how to play...

    that old argument is moot. Levels arent needed to learn how to play a game. Especially when Endgame content isnt even taught to player nor experienced during the leveling process.

    example, in Vanilla WoW, endgame consisted of Raiding for PvE and Old AV for PvP. Nether of which is done during the leveling process. So how would I learn the skills needed for those while leveling?

    image

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mrw0lf
    It's not good enough to know you are having fun, adventuring or even progressing, you need to be able to see it. In many cases you need others to be able to see it, they need to know your number pwns theirs.

    Is levels the only way to see progression?

    image

  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member
    Originally posted by Yaevindusk

     

    Character level is a arbitrary number.  You still need to progress in some way, whether it's % skill based or just acquiring skills.  TSW very much so has the soul of a "level" system with it's EXP bar; Ultima Online had player designated sayings and in game titles: "Lord Name, Grand Master of".  In addition there were "I'm a 6x GM" to designate their level up power when talking to others of how strong you were.

    Ultimately having or not having numbers won't matter if it's a themepark.  You'll still have levels of power, content you can't do until you're at that plateu (no matter how it's phrased) and the same types of end game.  Only if the game is a Sandbox in spirit could it really have some semblance of being relevent as you actively change the world around you regardless of your strength.

    That or the Themepark has it so you always have 100 HP and the same strength with no items that grant extra power and everything is completely relevent and difficult.

     

     

    I have to disagree that TSW's leveling system has anything to do with the XP bar. all the XP bar can get you is different skills. What the progression we see is players being able to do more than play with themselves in a fight.  When our EXP bar gets to full we dont suddenly get stronger. We have to allocate things to the nessessary area, usually we dont have enough to allocate so we have to wait more. And before you say our SP is our level, if you read what each level of those SP Notches is, it describes what it adds. 

     

    As further proof that your lvl being useless is by the fact that no one asks what your SP level is in any fight. Not even in normal. Quality level can vary however quality level has little to do with your XP.

     

    Wanna know what the elitest ask for in TSW. Experiance, thats it. When you see people asking for 4.1k Attack rateing most of them haven't a clue what they are doing. Those who i have actually had good times with had the experiance nessessary to fight.

    Because i can.
    I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
    Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  • mrw0lfmrw0lf LondonPosts: 2,269Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Originally posted by mrw0lf
    It's not good enough to know you are having fun, adventuring or even progressing, you need to be able to see it. In many cases you need others to be able to see it, they need to know your number pwns theirs.

    Is levels the only way to see progression?

    Well no, we also have progessively proportionally larger shoulder pads. Also if your weapon doesn't glow to the point of blinding you whilst playing it just ain't going to cut it.

    How exactly do I know I've won the game and can move to the forums to tell everyone how ez mode it is if I don't have a number to tell me so?

    -----
    “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.”

  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member
    Anyway to the actual topic of the post. Age of Wushu is quite good for it. While it does have a Inner skill that serves as your level, its not required. Your personal skill level at the game ranks over everything, Remembering how to fight the different schools, and gaining the abilities you need from various sources really shows how to use your character.

    Because i can.
    I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
    Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon

    I personally disagree with it being unfun to be weakened for expansions.

     

    walking into wolk with full sunwell gear, it has been very long since i felt vulnerable. It was nice.

    image

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I think TSW has a good mix of progression, without using the usual levels. I guess it's more that it isn't enough to have the right level of gear, but you also have to have the right mix of abilities.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Originally posted by greenreen

    I would disagree with this.

    "But in theory, over time, MMO gamers begun to understand the reality of MMO game play, and begun to see what Levels really are. Which is a useless time sink"

    Not a time sink. During the leveling process you are supposed to learn to play your character. You should be honing your skills. You should learn to live on your own and how to use your skills in different combinations. During the leveling time you are effectively saying to the rest of the game - still working on it.

    If you don't agree with that then you would accept grouping with people that just bought their characters that afternoon and it was their first play time? No one would if the person admitted it was their first time unless they wanted someone to carry. They especially wouldn't take them to something like a progression raid where they were figuring out strategies with the person still reading their skills.

    I play GW2 to level 80 on my Guardian, than started playing on my alts. I know exactly how to play.

    in Rift, the expansion added 10 new levels. I had 4 max level characters from each calling. I dont need 10 new levels to learn how to play a game I already know how to play...

    that old argument is moot. Levels arent needed to learn how to play a game. Especially when Endgame content isnt even taught to player nor experienced during the leveling process.

    example, in Vanilla WoW, endgame consisted of Raiding for PvE and Old AV for PvP. Nether of which is done during the leveling process. So how would I learn the skills needed for those while leveling?

    So, you are the person that would take someone that bought their character and didn't level it?

    The one person on the planet that thinks they would know what they are doing. Riiight.

     

    No, you knew how to play your guardian, you didn't know how to play my mesmer.

    When did you mention expansions in what I quoted, oh you didn't - changing the subject.

    It's not an old argument to me, first time I ever typed it out. Where is it an old argument - quote a source.

    You learn how to raid by raiding with others but you don't get to be Team A when you can't even name your skills or know when to use them. That's Team B or below category. When progression groups say - the boss does this... your job then is to speak up and say what YOU can do to stop it. Everyone that spoke may then be asked "How often can you do that" and they decide when things can be staggered or used together. That's how strategies are formed.

    English isn't your first language so I don't think I can read all your spelling issues to continue this and I can't believe I actually explained progression tactics to you. Seriously though, I don't think you knew them or you wouldn't retort with something so .... yeah I need to exit.

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    I'm not sure of my opinion on the poll, but if Themeparks gave donuts instead of levels, I'd never log off.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,066Member Uncommon

    I've been toying around with the ideal for a skill based non-level MMO patterened off of Asheron's Call, GW2, WoW, TSW & SWG for a few months now.

     

    The premise is it would have the combat style of GW2 (hybrid tab target with active dodge) The Production quality and Auction House/Mail Box and stats and UI of WoW, the skill wheel of TSW (but include many many more schools) the Housing of SWG and the majority of the game based on Asheron's Call open seemless world and experience based advancement and loot system.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

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  • RusqueRusque Las Vegas, NVPosts: 2,228Member Uncommon

    While levels as progression aren't mandatory, they've been pretty well accepted in RPG's. You can go crack open an old AD&D book and see experience tables for each class. Again, it's not the only, nor might it be the best way of character progression, but it's tried and true.

    So levels having anything to do with Everquest and being "new" to people is a bizarre statement considering levels in RPG's were very expected by the time EQ came out.

    The problem with mob grinding is when it occurs in a themepark setting with a structured world. When you're limited to a certain handful of mobs or small area of a zone due to level restriction with a limited ability set due to level, it is very tedious and boring. That was AoC's problem. If you're going to make someone grind, open up the world to them and let them explore and grind. If not, you need well done quest hubs like WoW.

    WoW has spoiled themepark MMOers with varied zones and buttery smooth transitions. You level with quests to spare.

    Also, levels while typically used to lock content, but a game can easily be made to include levels and free form content availability.

  • TyriasTyrias ZwollePosts: 12Member

    Levels to represent experience is a good system for tabletop RPG'S but for MMORPG's it's terrible.  In a MMORPG experience can be represented by the players mastery of the various game mechanics. A FPS is a good example, in a FPS you don't have a level to represent your experience and determining how powerful you are, imagine jumping into a match and getting your ass kicked by high level players just because their number is higher. 

  • MuppetierMuppetier SouthamptonPosts: 277Member

    All themeparks eventually do away with levels.

     

    Most player hours are spent at endgame.  (<-- a guess)

     

    The levels are only the appetiser not the main game.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • TenkouseiTenkousei BrusselsPosts: 72Member Uncommon

    No matter what you do, whether it be by levels, gear or some other arbitrary stat, you'll always need to have a warming up before you get to the actual game. A lapse of time where you progressively acquire a skillset and learn to master those skills.

    Granted, most games don't force you to use most of your skills till you actually get to the endgame, but that's a matter of poor design.

    As far as expansions go, introducing a new level cap is just allowing players who've started playing after the exp-pack, to be on an equal level. This could obviously be achieved by just allowing them to gear up to the current standard (a typical example is the justice point mechanic in WoW), but you'd be back to the whole "mastering new skills" deal, for which the levelling proces does serve a purpose.

    In the traditional MMOs (not like the 5-button MMOs released more recently) it would allienate newcomers if you'd just hand them over 30 odd skills and told them "here's what you can do, now go use it in this here raid/dungeon/pvp situation".

    Edit: just read the OP's post on the top of page 2 where he states he doesn't need levelling to learn to play the game. Like i stated before, if the game has a very flat learning curve, i can see why you'd argue against the whole levelling proces, but that's more a matter of game design and accessibility, rather than excluding the need for a period where you can get acquainted with the various skills your toon has.

  • WalicWalic Fort Polk, LAPosts: 41Member
    Originally posted by azzamasin

    I've been toying around with the ideal for a skill based non-level MMO patterened off of Asheron's Call, GW2, WoW, TSW & SWG for a few months now.

    You do realize SWG was a skill based MMO when it was first released and they didn't have lvls? The only reason they added lvls was because one SOE was stupid and WoW was doing so well.

     

    IMO it seems like the OP was saying WoW started everything.  There were MMOs before WOW.  Im sure I miss understood it but anyways I think themeparks will always have lvls I think that just gives it more of a progession, I think themeparks and lvls go hand and hand, unless you get like the hybrid type themeparks that go away from your tradition themeparks I.E. TSW.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,657Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mindw0rk
    Developers minds are sucked in templates, they cant imagine theme-park MMO could be done unlike WoW.

    You guys really don't realize how arrogant and insulting you come across as when you say thing like this?

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

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