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Would you play a MMO without character progression?



  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I certainly would like to do away with numerical linear progression - as in at level 1 you have 100 HP and 80 MP and do 20 damage, while at level two it's 110, 90, 25 and then level ten is 1000hp, 800mp, 200dmg etc.

    It's been the same since UO, EQ... now WoW, EQ, FF, WAR, AoC... almost everything.

    Between level ranges, or skill ranges like UO/EvE/Darkfall, or gear/equipment stat ranges - the combination always works out to be the same way - gear > skill for much too large of a percentage.

    The actual % gear and level/skill points trumps player skill varies from game to game, but the point remains the same.


    I'd like to see a MMO where the progression from complete starter-noob to maybe being 75-80% of your characters "maximum" theoretic power to be quite short. Maybe 20-30 hours maximum play time. Why? This is really just a tutorial.

    Then the last 20-25% of maximum theoretic power comes from a combination of only two variables:

    -Firstly 10-15% from something like the AA points in EQ2 or Mastery/Path of the Titans in WoW or Traits like LotRO. These points or talents or traits whatever would be earned by doing whatever it is you love to do in the game, be it PvE, PvP, crafting, solo, group, raid... and the amount you can progress per 24 or 30 hours or some such value is limited. So it'd be kind of like a progression over time system via EvE, but unlike EvE you'd actually have to play to earn your points.

    Spend time doing PvE solo and you'll gain in areas that will help you be better solo, group and you'll get more group oriented abilities/stats etc. PvP, crafting even, your choice.

    I'd say for someone who makes a conscience effort to earn their daily maximum every day would get that last 10-15% for one chosen path in about 30 days. However if you miss a day, you have a rest xp type system  where the next day you gain a little faster or maybe instead you can gain a little more then normal to make up for the lost time.

    I say one chosen path because you could "respec" to another path, however more like FFXI's job system you'd have to earn all the points in your new path again, however if you switch back to your orignal path you'll still have the points you've already earned in that path etc.

    -Secondly is gear. Gear should only make up that last 10% of a characters maximum theoretic power. Here's the catch - max "level" can be earned by doing challenging content in PvE be it solo, group, or raid, or from dominance in PvP, from dedication to crafting.. etc. and it's all equal.

    However, all the gear you have, if you wear it, you gain "xp" for your gear so your gear can level up to max. So what that means (in WoW terms for easy relation) if you start out with blue rare-quality gear, you can do dungeons or raid or do pvp etc. and get epic gear, but even if you get no drops your gear will slowly evolve over time. So it's kind of like a badge system where you still gain "points" for doing content and being successful even if you don't get any drops.

    So this way the "best" in both pve, pvp, crafting, etc. get the best gear the fastest because they earn the drops or ranking to purchase it etc. but everyone else can slowly play catch up.

    All of this, however, is maybe only 60% of your total chance to defeat another player one on one in PvP. Or only 60% of your potential effectiveness in PvE. The other 40% all about how well you play your character.

    No gimmick fights in PvE that require a specific class/build etc. No PvP based around rock/paper/scissors where you lose half the fights before they start.

  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Somewhere in nowherePosts: 2,432Member Uncommon

    Sure, an MMOFPS for example, I'd like to see that actually, a lot of those games bored me to death with slapped on character progression that really didn't do anything but hinder the FPS part.

    Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  • SanguinelustSanguinelust Plainfield, NJPosts: 811Member Uncommon

    After having played countless MMO's for over, well a really long time now, I feel that I can call myself an experienced player and I can tel you from my experience that I get the most enjoyment out of leveling. Sure hitting cap gives me a sense of accomplishment but now that I'm older I find I don't really care for the competition that's involved to get and keep a raid spot in most guilds these days. I don't have time in my personal life to watch the countless youtube videos on how this boss is done or read the multitude of forum guides about it either.

    I'm more of a laid back person who doesn't mind taking my time learning the bosses and actually playing the game rather then burning through all the content as fast as possible just to make myself a symbol of envy. If I wanted to do that I could brag about how much I make a year or all the "toys" that the big kids get to play with in the real world that I have because of all the money I make working, but like I said earlier, I don't much care for that sort of attitude anymore.

    So the answer is no, I would most likely not play a game that doesn't require leveling to reach a cap. what would be the purpose?

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 2,631Member Rare

    Levels I can take or leave. But I wouldn't enjoy a game where raiding was mostly what there was to do. It would have to be more diverse than that.

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Originally posted by bobfish

     but I think for it to work you'd really need to redesign how the MMO is built from the ground up, not just chop off part of how existing MMOs are made.

     I agree whole heartedly.

    Give me dynamic "end-game" content in both PvE and PvP not a continual carrot-on-a-stick gear grind using the same rehashed fight mechanics in an instanced space.

    Or FPS like PvP in arenas/battlegrounds/scenarios with no permanence or effect on the world.


    Why did games like DaoC RvR and UO factions do it better with dynamic PvP, ownership and open world conflict? Or of course EvE is like the mecca of open world PvP, I just don't personally agree with the FFA part and full loot (though I know it makes the experience richer for what it is.)

    And honestly Tabula Rasa was the closest MMO to achieve truly open world dynamic PvE with the Bane attacks on outposts and their ability to actual take and control land. Where player interaction and participation was the only way to stop their attacks and retake territory.

    Now take that concept... and apply it to the whole PvE world... use bosses and dynamic public quest like encounters too, and THAT'S your PvE end-game.

  • Rockgod99Rockgod99 Manhatten, NYPosts: 4,640Member

    The dreaded "endgame".

    The bane of the mmo genre.


    Playing: Rift, LotRO
    Waiting on: GW2, BP

  • DraemosDraemos Antartica, AKPosts: 1,498Member Uncommon

    Nope.  Character progression is what MMOs are about.

  • AladyleynaAladyleyna SingaporePosts: 269Member

    Nope, I would be bored after a while, if I wasn't able to progress. There wouldn't be any drive to compell me to play. The main reason why I play games is because I want that sense of achievement I get when I accomplish something, be it a difficult quest or mission, or even gaining a level and reaching max level if the game has a low level cap. It could even be armour progression, that is, I make enough money and earn enough materials to get myself a nicer armour than the one I already have. The stats need not be better than my previous armour; as long as sense of achievement is there, I'm happy.

    That's not to say that I am a fan of the leveling type of progression. To me, there are other types of progression, such as the accomplishment of moving through missions to know what happens next in the storyline. That, to me, is my favourite part of gaming, to advance my character so that I would know what happens next. It's like reading a book really; you finish one page and turn to the next to find out what happens next. In a way, I guess I treat my gaming like I'm reading a good book; if I'm engrossed and I desperately want to find out what happens so much that I end up loosing track of time, I'm happy with it.

    Main characters:
    Jinn Gone Quiet (Guild Wars)
    Princess Pudding (Guild Wars)

  • dreamscaperdreamscaper Somewhere, NCPosts: 1,592Member Uncommon

    If the game was built like City of Heroes, then yes.


    It's really the only MMO that I've found to be fun for the sake of it, not because of progression. It's because of the combat system - combat in the game is simply fun in a way that I normally only find in non-MMOs. I love tossing baddies around with my storm/energy defender, or completely controlling the battlefield with my ill/kin controller. You can take away the XP, enhancements, and it would still be fun to jump into a group with some of your friends, turn up the difficulty, and start blasting away.


  • xaldraxiusxaldraxius Hastings, MIPosts: 1,249Member

    I would definately play an MMO without character progression.

    As long as it involved zombies, had a persistant world and was more about teamwork and survival rather than advancement. Each time you play your goal would be to find a group to work with and set up a base that would be secure enough to survive during the period you were offline. Your character would never actually 'leave' the world, they would just find a place to lie down and if your 'fort' was built well enough, and other players didn't ravage it to scavenge items for their own forts, then when you logged back in you'd wake up where you were. If not? YOU DIED! Make another character and try again.

    The main goal of the game would be to listen to radio messages, find clues and rescue NPCs to get info on where the last bastion of human civilization can be found, and then survive long enough to make it there. There would be several areas, but each player would be attuned to one when they are created and all of the clues would lead them to that possible one. If you went to any of the other ones, say you looked online for a map of them and just picked one, you'd find it locked against you. If, however, you are on a team with someone who's clues you followed to find it then you would be able to get in with them.

    Once you've won once, and I feel this game should be Hard with a capital OMFG, you could then create a zombie character to go out and attack players with. Human zombies would make the game exponentially harder as time went on.

    There'd be crafting, and in that there would be the advancement of skill in you ability to create better defenses and cobble together weapons, or make ammo.

    So no character progression, and also there is a way to 'win'. Of course the longer you play and the less you log off the better chance you have.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Would story progression be enough even if you didn't get any extra XP or loot or $ from questing, just the stuff you get from killing/exploring/gathering/making etc. ?

    As in would you do the story progression for the sake of story?


    Imagine a world... of warcraft where you don't get any XP from quests, nor any additional money nor items.. and instead monsters gave a lot more XP to kill, gave more money, and had higher drop rates of greens/blues. Now also, you gained some XP from gathering and from crafting.

    Now imagine it was balanced so where doing these things netted you about the same experience that the current quest XP grind gives you now.

    So the only motivation to do quests was the story... you could from 1 to 80(5) and it'd probably be more efficient...

    Would you still quest IF they were high quality and chains ala more WotLK / wrathgate etc. then "kill 10 kobolds" quests?

  • JuJutsuJuJutsu Toronto, ONPosts: 331Member

    Would I play an MMO without character progression? No.

  • HyanmenHyanmen KolkkalaPosts: 5,356Member Uncommon

    I need to have some kind of character progression to know that I am advancing forward.

    If I can not see my progression, it's just not the same. 

    I know it's shallow to calculate "skill" with numbers and not actual player skill, but I'm not looking for honest skill-demanding game anyway. Just one that I can enjoy.

    Using LOL is like saying "my argument sucks but I still want to disagree".
  • JosherJosher Deerfield beach, FLPosts: 2,818Member

    I think most people need progression.  New weapons isn't enough.  Swapping classes or skills isn't enough.  Personally  and with everyone I know who enjoys RPGs, once the leveling ends, our interest begins to fade.  Theres only so many times you can do a dungeon, fight the same people in PvP, capture and lose the same fortress, ect.  With all games, it just gets boring after a while.  Removing the progression part only shortens the time most people will stay interested.

    Realistically, no developer can create enough content to keep most people busy enough to keep playing month after month if theres no goal to reach.  It just takes too long to create quality content.   Remove progression and what are people doing?Chatting?  Who wants to pay for that?  Crafting?  Not a big market there.  Socializing?  You don't need a MMO for that.   Most people who enjoy RPGs like the leveling up part, even if they do rush through it.  Thats the fun part.  Once that ends, the real fun ends as well.

    Remove the levels and you have to replace it with something else.  Not sure what that is.  I can play an online FPS for a few weeks with no progression, but thats just a few weeks.  I sure can't play for months and theres no way I'd pay a fee to do it.

  • uquipuuquipu Roma, PAPosts: 1,516Member

    So, applying this to WoW.
    You'd start at 80, never worry about xps. You have the best equipment in the game so you'd never worry about gearing up.
    I'd still hang out in my guild. What would we do? Why raid? Why harvest mats?

    Well shave my back and call me an elf! -- Oghren

  • sn0wblind00sn0wblind00 Posts: 388Member Uncommon

    I would think it would have to be situational, OP.

    If the gameplay is interesting and unique in every battle, then yes.  If it is like most current MMO's where auto-attack and pressing a few hotkeys determines a battle outcome, then no.  I would say only twitch- and tactics-based games would work in this scenario.

  • TyratopsTyratops LondonPosts: 98Member

    Originally posted by uquipu

    So, applying this to WoW.


    You'd start at 80, never worry about xps. You have the best equipment in the game so you'd never worry about gearing up.


    I'd still hang out in my guild. What would we do? Why raid? Why harvest mats?

     The idea (I think) is that you would raid because it would be fun and content would be implemented faster, rather than being reward based and having other things todo, meaning content is developed at a slower pace.

  • PalebanePalebane Tucson, AZPosts: 3,225Member

    Progression is actually near the bottom of my list when it comes to things I really enjoy in an MMORPG. In my opinion progression has a tendancy to break the community up (read gear gap), which is never a good thing in an online RPG. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that a good majority of modern gamers are reward oriented, meaning they play to accomplish or acquire something rather to just play round, meet people, and have fun. It is possible to do both I suppose, but the priorities are obvious.

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • z80paranoiaz80paranoia chicago, ILPosts: 410Member

    id love to play an mmo without "character" (power) progression but i wouldnt want it to be too much gear progression either and i dont want the game to be just raiding either

    i still want progression but i would like the progression to be aesthetic so that the more (combat) stuff you do the more visual customisation options you get

    i guess apb fits that description but apb (afaik) gives you access to more powerful weapons when you progress so its still power progression

    Guild Wars 2 is my religion

  • Cactus-ManCactus-Man The Ocean, NCPosts: 572Member

    I certainly like character customization much more than progression.  I like being able to choose what my character looks like and does but I don't like having to use some arbitrary XP or skill system to do it.  I also don't like having to chase down the best gear.

    I am not very reward driven, I am driven more by experiences, if there are interesting things ahead then I will keep playing, promises of levels, armor and candy no thanks.

    That is what bothers me about most MMO players, the concept of doing something just for fun eludes them, if there is no reward then why bother doing it?

    I mean I like unlockables too, but I don't want the game to be about collecting stuff.  If you gave me character customization, a good combat system and lots of potential for great battles and adventures then I would play it.  I am easy to please really.

    All men think they're fascinating. In my case, it's justified

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 13,206Member Epic

    I would play a game without character progression if it had a great crafting engine (which by the way wouldnt require skill progression to be fantastic).

    As a RPG player who has been around character progression for more than 20 years I will say it instinct is to say no but if you think about it creatively and listen to ideas some people have around this subject its very much a good idea.

    Do NOT respond to this reply if you think the contents of the reply is unwarranted in this discussion. 

    On replying to the content of this reply you are participating in the discussion of its contents

  • AcalexAcalex Delran, NJPosts: 33Member Uncommon

    Leveling your character is a way to learn your class. If everyone started at max level and could instantly jump in the raids, what's to stop people from making characters they have NO idea how to play and fuck everyone over? Max level is an accomplishment; if you want to play a different character, you start from the beginning.

  • AdamaiAdamai derbyPosts: 476Member Uncommon

    thats just the problem with todays games, its either one or the other, and most of the games that have charecter progression grant us the most linear form of charecter progression you can possibly have, smack monsters to gain exp to reach lvl 2 then repeat untill lvl max level. at max lvl the players are then left to raid for the best items..


    its all alittle ruished and not very well thoughtout to be honest.


    now if they was to prioritise player charecter progression and give the players control over their charecters so they they can define what kind of charecter they create. i.e.   remove the class chioce system fro mmo's why force players to select a class which will have skills that can make him heal and support other chareters or a tank class which makes it so he can ake more dmg... instead why not have a free form player charecter classing system. make it so players gain exp but that experience has to be speant training up a class tree of skills..


    the players would have to choose carefully between a huge array of skills and attributes to get the most from their charecters.


    for instance the charecter would have the follow base stats as all mmorpg's have -








    the playter would have to spend points in these areas based of the kind of role he/she would fullfill in the game, obviously trying to max out all these would leave no exp left for the allimportant skills re quired to cast spells or use blocking abilities and aoe attacks from all the run of the mill classes you expect to see in these games..


    instead of predetermining the growth direction of a pre-selected class. it could instead be put into the players hands to develop their very own unique charecter that isnt restricted by level cap.  this alone would make charecter creation something enjoybale.. have a charecter customisation and growth system like this with a very complex and indepth crafting system and you could have a very time consumeing thrillinh and enjoyable game. and still have your raids and item drops too..

    you could have it where useing a sword, would level up your skill with that type of weapon unlocking more sword related skills as you progress. apply the same concpet to all weapon types with their own unique skill sets and you have something vast and none linear, then chuck crafting into the mix with its ery crafting related attributes and a player run economy and you now have a game fit for all types of players.


    if there is one thing i hate to do, thats logging in slecting a charecter  such as a tank and then only being able to be a tank for the entire duration of that classes growth. i would like to be able to multi spec him into other areas.  such tank healer caster obviously multi speccing means he wouldnt be as good as some one thats specced purely as a tank but his role on the battlefield isnt determined by his class but more of what hes able to do. and how usefull he is and   the players skill level not the charecters ability.


    cause lets face it, any muppet can tank or heal. their is no skill behind clicking on a heal skill. its not a tank you stand their and take all the agro while a healer keeps you alive. boreing dull unimaginitive and well it gets really old really fast..  let the player choose and change their path as they play.. take a leaf out of eve onlines book with player skills. obviously we dont want those skills to train over time because thats eve's problem. thats eve's only problem time related progression which dictats for you to reach a certain stage in the game you have to spend x amount of dollars.

    all you need is monthly sub and a skill system like eve-online that is progressed through spending experience points on the skills rather than waiting for the time to count out before you can level that skill or ability.

    chuck in a really deep important crafting system, and add raids that are only beneficial to guilds and alliances. such as resource rewards or something to put towards that all important guild fortress upgrade or to allow your guilds crafters to produce the best armours in the game for your guild warriors. raids shouldnt give you best loot drops or weapon    drops. it takes something away from the game play and limits the game purely to end game content.  thats never a good thing, all that does is tell new players that the game is rubbish untill your max level and at the end game raids..


    im not surprised these games dont last long..

    so get rid of the player levels let the players class their own charecters how they want to skill them up and clas them up

    and take away loot from raids and make them more worthwhile to all players rather than just the elite pve raid runner types.. raids are boreing and once you have the items that they drop you are less inclined to do them again. someppeople will help their friends to get the geer,. but most of us just dont play them again.

    i know for a fact once ive aquired all raid items i dont play the raids again. reason for this is because i usualy have to run the raid 30-40 times in pug groups and every one roles need on the items you want. some peopel are running raids a second time for their alt charecters. so people farm raids for end game items for alt charecters or to sell at rediculous prices on the ah.  its really a bad game mechanic. and it doesnt entertain for long enough.

    no single developer has tried to use all types in one.. i think it would be great.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 6,332Member Rare

    I have to admit I did skim the OP's post, bad Scot. :)

    I can't see this working, leveling is 90% of what we do in a MMO, you need more than the 10% left to make a new game. Also your MMO model is moving away from progression and attainment to end games. Guild Wars has a 'skip the leveling and jump straight in' model, anyone know how well that works?

     25 Agrees

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  • FalfeirFalfeir istanbulPosts: 492Member

    long term enjoyment in a game depends on one major thing - having things to do, things that give you a feel of progression.

    now what can that be?


    more levels   ______ more content------> alot more, not feasable (money)

                          I______ harder leveling---> grind

                          I______ raid



    community   I--------- sandbox -----> you need to have proper tools,

     based                                                   player driven economy, crafting, housing etc

    features       I---------- pvp------------> has to be balanced, fun, meaningful

                                                                     (note. pvp lot are the least forgiving folks out there)



    more levels are about character progression and attach you to your character, the other is about your progression and attaches you to the server, community; the former is more forgiving if you fail at first you can add things to bring back people you lost, latter not so much, hit-or-miss.

    i would play a mmo without character progression, but it has to have some kind of progression.

    I need more vespene gas.

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