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Question Everything: Levels, Who needs em?

TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless ColumnistM, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

New blog up with my idea for leveling in CU and the fundamental flaw in current MMOs.The long is in the link.She short is, a skill based system that combines GW2 and SWG and some EVE. The flaw in MMOs now? They put all the resources into the leveling aspect and tack on end game. It should be the exact opposite of that with all the resources going into the endgame. It makes no sense to put so much time into the content everyone can only do 1 time per character not to mention its the stuff we rush past the fastest.

http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/042013/25089_18-Question-Everything-Levels-Who-needs-em

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Comments

  • TaldierTaldier Camp Hill, PAPosts: 235Member

    Is the question itself even really relevant to CU?

     

    With a horizontal progression track, whether we happen to choose to use the word "level" or not, there wont be "levels" in the common MMO sense of that word.  There is no "end game", just be an increasing variety of options to choose from in combat.

  • skyexileskyexile MelbournePosts: 692Member

    im sure there will be levels as just another goal or to note milestones. but for the purpose of power? in this id consider traditional realm ranks as levels and then traditional levels essentially scrapped.

    SKYeXile
    TRF - GM - GW2, PS2, WAR, AION, Rift, WoW, WOT....etc...
    Future Crew - High Council. Planetside 1 & 2.

  • BoardwalkerBoardwalker Austin, TXPosts: 384Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    They can adjust a game all day, but they can't help the issue between the keyboard and the chair.
    Played: UO, DAoC, AC, WoW, EVE, TR, WAR, Aion, Rift, SWTOR, GW2, TSW, ESO, Elite:D
    Play EVE for free for 21 days

  • TaldierTaldier Camp Hill, PAPosts: 235Member
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    ....

    Have you been paying attention at all?  Its a PvP based game.

     

    If maxed out players could just one shot newbies on a whim it would be impossible to get involved in combat when you are starting out.

     

    Since the game is based on player combat... with a vertical progression system you just wouldnt be able to play the game at all unless you were one of the first people to do so.  How would you ever level?  You cant just go and grind mobs like in PvE games.

     

    I dont see why you need to just be able to completely annihilate anyone beneath you without effort in order for progression to be "meaningful".

  • zeroumuszeroumus edmonton, ABPosts: 54Member
    I am pretty sure MJ is aiming for a system where there will be still levels,  but they will only scale up in power something like 1-2% at a time.  
  • BoardwalkerBoardwalker Austin, TXPosts: 384Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    ....

    If maxed out players could just one shot newbies on a whim it would be impossible to get involved in combat when you are starting out.

     

    I see. You don't want progression. You want a lobby, fantasy-based FPS shooter where the only differentiation among players is connection speed. I guess if that's what CU is going for, more power to 'em. Personally, I prefer DAoC's realm rank progression, where improving a character in meaningful ways keeps a player invested in that character, and thus the game as well. Horizontal progression is a sure fire way to engender little to no investment in players with their characters.

    They can adjust a game all day, but they can't help the issue between the keyboard and the chair.
    Played: UO, DAoC, AC, WoW, EVE, TR, WAR, Aion, Rift, SWTOR, GW2, TSW, ESO, Elite:D
    Play EVE for free for 21 days

  • zeroumuszeroumus edmonton, ABPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    ....

    If maxed out players could just one shot newbies on a whim it would be impossible to get involved in combat when you are starting out.

     

    I see. You don't want progression. You want a lobby, fantasy-based FPS shooter where the only differentiation among players is connection speed. I guess if that's what CU is going for, more power to 'em. Personally, I prefer DAoC's realm rank progression, where improving a character in meaningful ways keeps a player invested in that character, and thus the game as well. Horizontal progression is a sure fire way to engender little to no investment in players with their characters.

     

    keeping the levels in the game while making them not a steep would still promote being invested in your character.   level 100 is still level 100,  got to have it !  even if its only a a little better than level 5

  • Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    It most definitely will be a horisontal progression system. MJ has been very clear about that, and this also seems to be exactly what many backers are hoping for. There will be *some* vertical progression. You'll get some better equipment and some stat increases, just not like in WoW where a high-level character can sneeze on a level 1 character and kill him. A small group of skilled low levels will be able to take on a high level character. The main value of leveling will be that you acquire more skills and abilities.

    Look through the kickstarter updates if you want to learn more. If you're looking for mostly vertical progression where you simply endlessly add higher and higher stats, CU isn't the game for you. But there will definitely be meaningful progression.

    Most people interested in CU are also not fans of the lobby-based PvP that usually follows traditional vertical progression style games. One of the main things we like about CU is that the PvP will be open world with more sandbox elements.

  • SlampigSlampig Chantilly, VAPosts: 2,376Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tierless

    New blog up with my idea for leveling in CU and the fundamental flaw in current MMOs.The long is in the link.She short is, a skill based system that combines GW2 and SWG and some EVE. The flaw in MMOs now? They put all the resources into the leveling aspect and tack on end game. It should be the exact opposite of that with all the resources going into the endgame. It makes no sense to put so much time into the content everyone can only do 1 time per character not to mention its the stuff we rush past the fastest.

    http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/042013/25089_18-Question-Everything-Levels-Who-needs-em

    Ok, how can you blame developers for that? You decide to fly through the content that is on you.

    That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  • UOloverUOlover Mullica Hill, NJPosts: 327Member Common

    Ultima Online didn't need levels. I don't need levels. There was still plenty of character advancement. 

    Very interesting the shooter comment by the way, the people making the game have made many shooters :)

  • TaldierTaldier Camp Hill, PAPosts: 235Member
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    ....

    If maxed out players could just one shot newbies on a whim it would be impossible to get involved in combat when you are starting out.

     

    I see. You don't want progression. You want a lobby, fantasy-based FPS shooter where the only differentiation among players is connection speed. I guess if that's what CU is going for, more power to 'em. Personally, I prefer DAoC's realm rank progression, where improving a character in meaningful ways keeps a player invested in that character, and thus the game as well. Horizontal progression is a sure fire way to engender little to no investment in players with their characters.

    As you advance in a horizontal progression system you get more options, more skills, more abilities.  You get better in combat without just exponentially increasing your base stats every level until you can squash other players like bugs.

     

    Sorry, but you arent going to be able to lord yourself as an all powerful god over newer players in this game.  Charging into a dozen enemy players just by yourself is probably going to be a pretty bad idea, even if they havent been playing as long as you.

     

    I shouldnt even dignify your other comments with a response, but no, I dont want to see a super twitchy FPS style game at all.  It should be very strategy based and reward smart decisions.

     

    "I play longer than you, my gear gives +20 to awesome, You Die!  LOLOLOL", isnt a strategy, and its just pointless in a game that has absolutely no purpose for a PvE style treadmill.

     

    Just to be clear:

    Knowing not to wake up the target that your teammate has mezzed = skill

    Starting out with 10k extra hitpoints and being able to kill half the enemy group with an AOE = not skill

  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member
    Originally posted by Slampig
    Originally posted by Tierless

    New blog up with my idea for leveling in CU and the fundamental flaw in current MMOs.The long is in the link.She short is, a skill based system that combines GW2 and SWG and some EVE. The flaw in MMOs now? They put all the resources into the leveling aspect and tack on end game. It should be the exact opposite of that with all the resources going into the endgame. It makes no sense to put so much time into the content everyone can only do 1 time per character not to mention its the stuff we rush past the fastest.

    http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/042013/25089_18-Question-Everything-Levels-Who-needs-em

    Ok, how can you blame developers for that? You decide to fly through the content that is on you.

    Well exactly, its a pretty poor argument as its based on the ops opinion and little else.

    The success of level based mmos clearly shows this is what players want. For the vast majority of players the journey to top level is what they enjoy, levelling compartmentalises this experience. Players like to progress, it doesn't really matter if its vertical or horizontal (which by the way is actually a complete nonsense), as long as they have something to show for their efforts. It can be a new level which makes their character more powerful and unlocks access to harder areas of the game or a shiney new sword or armour, maybe just a title a-la DAoC realm ranks. People need something to strive for.

    Not everyone rushes to endgame, not everyone cares about endgame content, people generally seem happy as long as there is something to do regardless of what that is. In a pvp game like CU there won't be any measurable end game, there simply cannot be otherwise it would turn into another EvE, whoever has played the longest wins.

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    ....

    If maxed out players could just one shot newbies on a whim it would be impossible to get involved in combat when you are starting out.

     

    I see. You don't want progression. You want a lobby, fantasy-based FPS shooter where the only differentiation among players is connection speed. I guess if that's what CU is going for, more power to 'em. Personally, I prefer DAoC's realm rank progression, where improving a character in meaningful ways keeps a player invested in that character, and thus the game as well. Horizontal progression is a sure fire way to engender little to no investment in players with their characters.

    As you advance in a horizontal progression system you get more options, more skills, more abilities.  You get better in combat without just exponentially increasing your base stats every level until you can squash other players like bugs.

     

    Sorry, but you arent going to be able to lord yourself as an all powerful god over newer players in this game.  Charging into a dozen enemy players just by yourself is probably going to be a pretty bad idea, even if they havent been playing as long as you.

     

    I shouldnt even dignify your other comments with a response, but no, I dont want to see a super twitchy FPS style game at all.  It should be very strategy based and reward smart decisions.

     

    "I play longer than you, my gear gives +20 to awesome, You Die!  LOLOLOL", isnt a strategy, and its just pointless in a game that has absolutely no purpose for a PvE style treadmill.

     

    Just to be clear:

    Knowing not to wake up the target that your teammate has mezzed = skill

    Starting out with 10k extra hitpoints and being able to kill half the enemy group with an AOE = not skill

    What you describe is progression, vertical progression.

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • skyexileskyexile MelbournePosts: 692Member

    I think part of leveling as described by mark which alot of people are missing is specializing your character, eg through boons and banes etc, you would be increasing your power a specific task but there would be trade off for that. more bones and banes slot could open up as you level.

    theres going to be inevitable power differences between new players and older players. but i think those differences would be greatly minimilased with no presences of "lol n00b because of our 100 levels of difference you instantgib yourself on my shield spike when you attack me trololol."

    using GW2 as an example, i think it would be acceptable if, a new player in UC was essentially a new player in GW2 thats then had their stats buffed to 80 and then a vet player in UC would be a level 80 in GW2, fully speced out and geared....theres a differences, but i think its acceptable.

    SKYeXile
    TRF - GM - GW2, PS2, WAR, AION, Rift, WoW, WOT....etc...
    Future Crew - High Council. Planetside 1 & 2.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon

    A variation of the system used in Guild Wars and The Secret World would work nicely IMO. Basically, you'd have no level, but would get skill points every time you "level up". You could then use those skill points to purchase new abilities that aren't more powerful than (but are functionally different from) your old abilities. Of course, combining those abilities in a build could result in you being noticeably more powerful than a newbie whose abilities don't synergise as well.

  • TigsKCTigsKC Kansas City, MOPosts: 145Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier
    Originally posted by Boardwalker
    Originally posted by Taldier

    "With a horizontal progression ..."

     

    Yikes! Can you explain how CU is doing this? It would be a nightmare if they stunted *meaningful* character progression by instituting some type of abominable, dung-like "horizontal" progression scheme.

    ....

    If maxed out players could just one shot newbies on a whim it would be impossible to get involved in combat when you are starting out.

     

    I see. You don't want progression. You want a lobby, fantasy-based FPS shooter where the only differentiation among players is connection speed. I guess if that's what CU is going for, more power to 'em. Personally, I prefer DAoC's realm rank progression, where improving a character in meaningful ways keeps a player invested in that character, and thus the game as well. Horizontal progression is a sure fire way to engender little to no investment in players with their characters.

    As you advance in a horizontal progression system you get more options, more skills, more abilities.  You get better in combat without just exponentially increasing your base stats every level until you can squash other players like bugs.

     

    Sorry, but you arent going to be able to lord yourself as an all powerful god over newer players in this game.  Charging into a dozen enemy players just by yourself is probably going to be a pretty bad idea, even if they havent been playing as long as you.

     

    I shouldnt even dignify your other comments with a response, but no, I dont want to see a super twitchy FPS style game at all.  It should be very strategy based and reward smart decisions.

     

    "I play longer than you, my gear gives +20 to awesome, You Die!  LOLOLOL", isnt a strategy, and its just pointless in a game that has absolutely no purpose for a PvE style treadmill.

     

    Just to be clear:

    Knowing not to wake up the target that your teammate has mezzed = skill

    Starting out with 10k extra hitpoints and being able to kill half the enemy group with an AOE = not skill

    There are times when I read a post and say, "OK.  I want to make this point and that point and emphasize another thing and ensure the reader knows X and Y and why Z is not a good option."  And, then I look up and someone already said what I meant, but did so in such an articulate manner that all I can say is...

    "Well said, Taldier."

    This represents my understanding and is one of the reasons I am so excited for this game.  It also explains why I feel levels are not necessary.  Levels serve to provide a stamp of summarization as to how "progressed" the player might be.  With a subtle and slow horizontal progression system, the traditional level stamp seems misplaced and misleading (at best) in this context.

     

     

  • zeroumuszeroumus edmonton, ABPosts: 54Member

    One system you could use if you must NOT have levels that fits into the Horizontal progression idea is after getting enough kills or "points" instead of just getting a level and a few skill points,  why not actually buy the fully functional skills them selves

     

    example,  at the start of the game,  you get 1-2 brawling moves bound to your action bar.   punch and kick lets say

    after killing 100 players you get choose from a pool of all the moves in the game for your class, 1 move that you can bind to your bar,   you could pick up "charge".  or maybe you go a different route and go for the swing melee weapon.   or maybe you go right for you characters self healing ability or maybe you go for a passive ability.

     

    point being,  as you get enough kills,  you get to choose new "horizontal" abilities, or side-grades.     The abilities themselves work the same from the beginning of your progression to the end..   what changes is your skill options as you progress.   you get more tools and skills the more you play,  until you have them all.

     

    the only problem with this system might be,  the beginning might be a little hard if the abilities are too lame.

     

    The other problem will be,  after choosing the optimal 15-20 out of 50 abilities, there may not be too much motivation to collect them all

     

    both these problems can be addressed by fine tuning, and using prerequisites on some skills/actions

     

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Slampig
    Originally posted by Tierless New blog up with my idea for leveling in CU and the fundamental flaw in current MMOs.The long is in the link.She short is, a skill based system that combines GW2 and SWG and some EVE. The flaw in MMOs now? They put all the resources into the leveling aspect and tack on end game. It should be the exact opposite of that with all the resources going into the endgame. It makes no sense to put so much time into the content everyone can only do 1 time per character not to mention its the stuff we rush past the fastest. http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/042013/25089_18-Question-Everything-Levels-Who-needs-em
    Ok, how can you blame developers for that? You decide to fly through the content that is on you.

    You dont make the game based on how you "want" players to play, you make the systems work around how they actually play. Most players have been blowing through levels since the first level was introduced into an MMO. Personally I would prefer all players form a strategic battle line with tanks in front, DPS middle, healers back, ranged DPS behind them for every combat situation, but that is simply not how the play. I can try to get them to because I think its a better way to play, but changing human behavior is almost impossible.

    I loved how the SWTOR devs were so caught up in the "story" they were "surprised" at how fast player blew through the content and got to the endgame, which they hadn't finished. LOL.

  • Zu_beiZu_bei Holbrook, MAPosts: 17Member
    The way CU will be will give players an endless endgame. An ever changing battlefield that the players create and destroy. How great does that sound?
  • Zu_beiZu_bei Holbrook, MAPosts: 17Member
    So, with that endgame you need to give new players a chance to compete, which is why CU will have horizontal progression.
  • Four0SixFour0Six Missoula, MTPosts: 1,181Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bamboozle
    The way CU will be will give players an endless endgame. An ever changing battlefield that the players create and destroy. How great does that sound?

    Sounds great, sort of.

    I play MMOs for lots of reasons, mainly fun but lots of reasons. 1 of the other biggies? Charatcer progression. Playing a game that is "all endgame", wheather or not it is "player created battlefield", sounds to me to be shallow. There is a misconception that "endgame" is large and a majority of content, It is not, the majority takes place before the "endgame".

  • EasymodeXEasymodeX No, VAPosts: 149Member

    Most of this discussion is stupid.  People are getting caught up in their own terminology and arguing for meaningless distinctions.  All the "horizontal" progression examples in this thread are no different than most "vertical progression".  In all cases you increase in power from acquiring a greater variety of abilities.

     

    In all cases you're not really competitive until you hit your max "horizontal level" and get all (or at least most of) your abilities.

     

     

    A truly horizontal progression would look more like the following:

     

    - you have 30 spec points

    - trees have 30 possible points

    - you have 5 trees

    - trees are unlocked via "progression"

     

     

    That is horizontal progression.  In order to invest and acquire "horizontal" capabilities, you have to subtract investment from your initial tree.

     

     

    Or GW2's beta weapon model:

     

    - at level 1 you have access to certain weapons that provide X set of skills

    - at level 10, 20, 30, you gain access to other weapons that provide Y and Z set of skills, replacing X

     

     

     

    As a general observation, level-based systems are useful for devs because they are simpler than skill-based systems.  The result is that they're actually balanceable.  Skill-based systems (a la UO) are the most exploitable, most min-maxable.  They provide the most "theoretical" build variety, but usually the least practical variety -- unless you want to wait through 4 years of balance patches/tweaks before playing.

     

     

    CU could implement a class / subclass / subspec / guild faction / realm spec system where the first is baseline, middle 3 are horizontal and the last is slightly vertical.

     

    For example, you choose a base class at char creation.  You promote to a subclass based on whatever criteria and set an actual spec.  You can go back and change your subclass via some random mechanism.  You can respec at any time.  You can also join a guild faction within your realm that has its own shallow customization / spec.  You can drop that guild and join a different one that has a different customization.

     

    That's just an example.

  • Zu_beiZu_bei Holbrook, MAPosts: 17Member
    On my tablet so I can't quite, apparently lol. Besides the combat and rvr there's a lot more to it. That's just my favorite part.
  • EasyModeX, you should look at the kickstarter updates. Mark explains in one of them the difference between vertical and horisontal progression.
  • Rainfall13Rainfall13 cedar park, TXPosts: 7Member

    For the record - there was a fellow named Sashieden(SP?) on Bedevere / Midgard ( DAoC).  He managed, even on DAoC .. one of the kings of the grind in Western games of its time ... to max to level 50 within the first month to month and a half of game releasing and be halfway through his next level 50 already on top of that ... + help power level 2 others to 50 in the process.  I think he had one of the world firsts.

    That said .. it took me about 6-8 months to get my first level 50.  I still look on that 50 fondly.  :P

    I want to be powerful right out of the gate.  Powerful meaning competitive.  I don't want to sit around bored and idle all day long waiting to be able to compete and influence the game world.  I do NOT want to deal with having to hit max level to be able to do anything worth doing in the game.  Do you know how many games I've quit because I just can't take the grind anymore?  Literally, I WANT to play TOR .. but I just can't force myself to do it.  I just can't.  I want to enjoy TERA because it's got a fun combat system ... but it's just too damn grindy.  I've spent so much time grinding out MMos in the last near 15 years that I just can't do it anymore.  My time is precious and I don't need to kill swamp rats for hours a day to justify a meaningful connection to my character.  As long as I see some sort of progression, goals met or otherwise in my character ...or I obtain certain levels of gear or certain appearances of gear - I feel like my character is growing and so am I as a gamer in this particular game.

    That is all I want - is measurable growth even if it is not in the typical means of doing so.  I want to know I am improving as a player and my character is improving as it grows and I spend more time on it.  Realm Ranks were fun and all .. but trying to knock out a RR8+ at RR 4 ... Chances are slim.  Then you get the RR12 who drop entire groups on their own.  It feels great to have achieved absolute bad-assery.  But, when you can spend 1 weekend and get from RR1-8 in an 8 man super team ... 24 hours ... its value is lost.  Entirely.  24 hours = your investment.  Whoopty fricken-do.

    The quicker you speed up leveling, the worse it gets.  The longer it takes, the more we are used to it.  The quicker it goes, the faster we want it.  It's a snowball going downhill.  Just like flying mounts and mount speed.  The faster it goes, the faster we need it.  It's not going to stop until someone outright removes levels all together and makes you instant badasses capable of taking on the most seasoned vet and not just being coughed at and dying on hour 1 and you have epic huge battles and everyone is viable ... wait a second .. isn't that CU's goal?  Have we perhaps come full circle?

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