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A Diffrent way of thinking about an mmo, have no levels

DzoneDzone bowling green, KYPosts: 351Member Uncommon

So lets say the maps that are around the starter cities are solable, usually are in mmo's, so you can learn to play better. So what happens when you venture into something like a fort or a dungean and thers no levels, what do you do then? Well you would get more peaple, the combined strength of everyone would naturally make you stronger.

 

The idea for a no level mmo, is that everyone would have the strengh as the next, and the only way to increase it would be to work as a team. The mmo developed like that could have zones desinged for solo play, which would be fewer mobs running around, same strength as you are. Then they could have zones that would have more mobs running around depending on how many peaple are gona be together. Lets say that make a zone that would be good for group of 4 peaple, and some zones good for groups of 8 peaple, and so on. There could also be NM (Notorias Monsters) that has the strengh of 10 men, so would take around 10 ppl to kill it.

 

In a game like that there would be no level grinding. Everyone would be the same. There would be evened out content across the entire world for soloist, small groups, and for alliences. Peaple would beable to see on the zone maps how many peaple its designed for. Then when you log in you can deside how you wanna experiance the game.

 

Basically thinking of an MMO like real life. Everyone is generally as strong as each other, but when thers a gang of peaple the'll be much stronger. A diffrent way to think about MMO's.

 

Wonder how this way of thinking for an MMO design would pan out. Your thoughts?

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Comments

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member

    Taking away a "carrot" and you need to place it with another equally as good or bad, depending on how you percieve arbitrary advancement.

    Romanticising "group play" as a carrot is only going to take you so far, before people flee to other games that has that "carrot" instead

  • BenediktBenedikt PraguePosts: 1,406Member Uncommon

    first of all i would probably not play it since character development is one of the main reasons i platy mmo(rpg)s.

    but if i omit that, i still have to ask - what would i kill those mobs for? what would be the drive?

    i can understand making mmofps w/o char progression, where you would pvp other players (tho i think "normal" multiplayer fps are better for that), but to kill mobs? i can understand making them challenging like raid mobs, but then again - i would kill each of them once and then left bored.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Starpower

    Taking away a "carrot" and you need to place it with another equally as good or bad, depending on how you percieve arbitrary advancement.

    Grinding up skills instead of levels (the typical no-level mmo scheme, same wine with a different label).

    The way he describes it sounds rather like Counterstrike. (non-persistent, no progression) In any case, doesn't seem to provide much incentive for continued play.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by Starpower

    Taking away a "carrot" and you need to place it with another equally as good or bad, depending on how you percieve arbitrary advancement.

    Grinding up skills instead of levels (the typical no-level mmo scheme, same wine with a different label).

    The way he describes it sounds rather like Counterstrike. (non-persistent, no progression) In any case, doesn't seem to provide much incentive for continued play.

    Is that why nobody plays counterstrike anymore? :P

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member
    Originally posted by tom_gore
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by Starpower

    Taking away a "carrot" and you need to place it with another equally as good or bad, depending on how you percieve arbitrary advancement.

    Grinding up skills instead of levels (the typical no-level mmo scheme, same wine with a different label).

    The way he describes it sounds rather like Counterstrike. (non-persistent, no progression) In any case, doesn't seem to provide much incentive for continued play.

    Is that why nobody plays counterstrike anymore? :P

    Counterstrike the MMO. I can't believe that game hasn't been made yet. Just slap that title on it and it would already be making money

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by tom_gore

    Is that why nobody plays counterstrike anymore? :P

    I would assume no one plays it any more because it's old. What's the modern equivalent shooter, MW3?

    Anyway, he's describing a world that doesn't need persistence, because the characters don't change or evolve.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by tom_gore

    Is that why nobody plays counterstrike anymore? :P

    I would assume no one plays it any more because it's old. What's the modern equivalent shooter, MW3?

    Anyway, he's describing a world that doesn't need persistence, because the characters don't change.

    Oh wow. Way to miss the point AND the sarcasm.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    It would be a small market game and that alone would make funding hard to do. Any game can be fun. That has less to do with progression and more to do with what you have to do in game.

    If they could make the content fun and open ended or snadbox like I don't think people would care so much that it had no player progression.

  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member

    I completely agree with the op. To keep it right, one should rather say stat progression instead of levelling, because it includes also skill based systems and gear improvement.

     

    Levels are a thing that originates form tabletop rpgs and single player rpgs that gives the player a sense of accomplishment and direct the player through the story. You can’t run towards ganon right away.

     

    In mmos you also want your players to do the low level first and nor run straight to Orr an get Zhitan in GW2 for example. But at lest I don’t get much accomplishment from getting to a level where most other players already are. It only makes me feel weak all the time.

     

    The main problem is that levels they divide the playerbase. GW2 has this quite complicated system where you do level up but the game then scales you down again to match the zone you are in. And you quite fast get max level and high end gear. So levels don’t mean much anymore. I would say the mmo without levels ist the endpoint of a trend that is already there.

     

    The system of small mob = weak and big mob = strong, that you are suggesting, just feels natural and solves a lot of problems. With stat progression a rat at level one and a dragon at level 80 are essentially the same thing. You tend to run into a Dragonball-Z-problem, where at max level you are hacking your way though an army of giant overscaled mobs.

     

    A problem is that it will alienate most players at first, because the quintessential feature of computer rpgs  is that you level. Rpg-elements just mean that you level up something in a game.

     

    One benefit of levels is that they make the game automatically match the skill of the player. If you use all your tools, you can do mobs 10 levels above you, and if not you can hack on mobs 10 levels below you and still feel like a badass.

    The downside of this is that it never encourages the player to improve his skill. In most games you can with no problem get to max level by just hammering the 1-key.

     

    And then there are those players that will not improve their player skill or group no matter what you throw at them. (There is nothing bad about it. Some people just want to relax their mind when playing.) Theses players will hit a brick wall once they leave the easier zones. They will realize that they can only access a fraction of the game with their play style. And then they will ragequit and find the next forum to tell everyone how broken the game is.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,642Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sengi

    A problem is that it will alienate most players at first, because the quintessential feature of computer rpgs  is that you level. Rpg-elements just mean that you level up something in a game.

     Then don't call it an RPG :)

    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

  • BenediktBenedikt PraguePosts: 1,406Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sengi
     

    i dont think you understood what OP ment - he ment no progression at all, only way to take on stronger mobs would be band with other players, you would not get stronger "over time"

  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member

    What would you kill the mobs for then? That is a good question. The answer is you won’t, I think, unless the mob is standing in your way to achieve anything else. Killing mobs just for xp is called grinding, I guess, and most people hate that. Also it is bad and lazy game design. If your game isn’t fun to play without skinner-box-features, then you did something wrong.

    I would say a good way to keep players interested would be to let them build stuff and compete about stuff and interact with each other and best do something creative, what is called a sandbox. But that is quite hard to achieve of course.

  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    Originally posted by Sengi
     

    i dont think you understood what OP ment - he ment no progression at all, only way to take on stronger mobs would be band with other players, you would not get stronger "over time"

    No, that was what I was talking about too. What I meant was that if you level up in an conventional mmo the only thing that really happens is that you go to a differed zone and kill differed coloured und bigger scaled mobs. So as I said a lv 1 mob is to a lv 1 player the same as a lv 80 mob to a lv 80 player. It just looks differend and there are higher numbers displayed.

    So for that matter one could just leave behind the whole levelling stuff.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,642Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sengi
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    Originally posted by Sengi
     

    i dont think you understood what OP ment - he ment no progression at all, only way to take on stronger mobs would be band with other players, you would not get stronger "over time"

    No, that was what I was talking about too. What I meant was that if you level up in an conventional mmo the only thing that really happens is that you go to a differed zone and kill differed coloured und bigger scaled mobs. So as I said a lv 1 mob is to a lv 1 player the same as a lv 80 mob to a lv 80 player. It just looks differend and there are higher numbers displayed.

    So for that matter one could just leave behind the whole levelling stuff.

    But is that how or even why people play these games? Isn't there a certain reward for progressing in power past a certain enemy or in finding it easier to overcome an obstacle? 

    Take for example, Dungeon Runner. One of the issues that became evident with dungeon scalling was that it diminished the feeling of advancement/progression. Whileit's true that a level 1 to a lvel 1 is the same as a level 80 to a level 80, I don't believe it's true that players solely take on even-matched challenges. The purpose of level 2 isn't to give you something to fight at level 2, but to give you something to advance to, defeat and surpass... so on to max level.

    I'm no fan of level-based systems, but their purpose and reward is definitely greater than just the tiers the content exists in.

    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

  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon

    Leveling and character stats progress don't actually have anything to do with role playing. It's just something that has been around since the first tabletop RPGs such as D&D came to life. In computer games, RPG is something that has taken only this leveling and progress and many times ditched what it actually means to role play.

    I think this is what the OP is after. A game where you actually play a role, and not do menial and repetitive tasks just to gain levels. Alas, such a game would not be understood by the great majority of the players and as such, would be a great risk to invest in.

     

  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sengi
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    Originally posted by Sengi
     

    i dont think you understood what OP ment - he ment no progression at all, only way to take on stronger mobs would be band with other players, you would not get stronger "over time"

    No, that was what I was talking about too. What I meant was that if you level up in an conventional mmo the only thing that really happens is that you go to a differed zone and kill differed coloured und bigger scaled mobs. So as I said a lv 1 mob is to a lv 1 player the same as a lv 80 mob to a lv 80 player. It just looks differend and there are higher numbers displayed.

    So for that matter one could just leave behind the whole levelling stuff.

    But is that how or even why people play these games? Isn't there a certain reward for progressing in power past a certain enemy or in finding it easier to overcome an obstacle? 

    Take for example, Dungeon Runner. One of the issues that became evident with dungeon scalling was that it diminished the feeling of advancement/progression. Whileit's true that a level 1 to a lvel 1 is the same as a level 80 to a level 80, I don't believe it's true that players solely take on even-matched challenges. The purpose of level 2 isn't to give you something to fight at level 2, but to give you something to advance to, defeat and surpass... so on to max level.

    I'm no fan of level-based systems, but their purpose and reward is definitely greater than just the tiers the content exists in.

    Unfortunately in most "RPGs" today the leveling itself is the only reward you get, and perhaps the ability to see more of the world. As he said, the power gain is just an illusion, as the monsters become tougher too and in many cases, you're fighting the same enemy model in the later levels, with only higher stats.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,642Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tom_gore
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sengi
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    Originally posted by Sengi
     

    i dont think you understood what OP ment - he ment no progression at all, only way to take on stronger mobs would be band with other players, you would not get stronger "over time"

    No, that was what I was talking about too. What I meant was that if you level up in an conventional mmo the only thing that really happens is that you go to a differed zone and kill differed coloured und bigger scaled mobs. So as I said a lv 1 mob is to a lv 1 player the same as a lv 80 mob to a lv 80 player. It just looks differend and there are higher numbers displayed.

    So for that matter one could just leave behind the whole levelling stuff.

    But is that how or even why people play these games? Isn't there a certain reward for progressing in power past a certain enemy or in finding it easier to overcome an obstacle? 

    Take for example, Dungeon Runner. One of the issues that became evident with dungeon scalling was that it diminished the feeling of advancement/progression. Whileit's true that a level 1 to a lvel 1 is the same as a level 80 to a level 80, I don't believe it's true that players solely take on even-matched challenges. The purpose of level 2 isn't to give you something to fight at level 2, but to give you something to advance to, defeat and surpass... so on to max level.

    I'm no fan of level-based systems, but their purpose and reward is definitely greater than just the tiers the content exists in.

    Unfortunately in most "RPGs" today the leveling itself is the only reward you get, and perhaps the ability to see more of the world. As he said, the power gain is just an illusion, as the monsters become tougher too and in many cases, you're fighting the same enemy model in the later levels, with only higher stats.

    Agreed. The design has changed a lot since the UO, EQ, AC days. I'm positive someone will correct me if I am wrong here, but it seems that in the older MMOs you didn't need to beat boss A in order to beat boss B to beat boss C, etc etc. It was something you could do but wasn't the sole purpose of the game. The emphasis on level, on both sides of the fence, has gotten so ridiculous that it is focused on to the exclusion of everything else.

    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

  • wizyywizyy Novi SadPosts: 629Member
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,472Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    Originally posted by Sengi
     

    i dont think you understood what OP ment - he ment no progression at all, only way to take on stronger mobs would be band with other players, you would not get stronger "over time"

     If you look at the history of pen and paper RPGs how did those game which had no progression at all do in the marketplace?

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    Character advancement is the defining characteristic of most mmos.  It's one of the main reasons many people play.

    You can take away levels, such as TSW did, but they still want you to have a feeling of progression.  So you accumulate more abilities, better weapons, etc., (instead of levels) that make it possible for you to experience more challenging content.  All that means is there is a system that is the equivalent to levels - they just don't put numbers next to your name.

     

     

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

  • PhelcherPhelcher Boston, MAPosts: 1,053Member
    How old is the OP..?

    He is about 15 years too late on his idea of a skill based game.

    "No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


    -Nariusseldon

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,642Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Phelcher
    How old is the OP..?

    He is about 15 years too late on his idea of a skill based game.

    A lot of people only started playing MMOs after 2003, so most mechanics outside of what WOW and mainstream MMOs offer are pretty foreign to the majority of MMO players.

    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

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Phelcher
    How old is the OP..?

    He is about 15 years too late on his idea of a skill based game.

    A lot of people only started playing MMOs after 2003, so most mechanics outside of what WOW and mainstream MMOs offer are pretty foreign to the majority of MMO players.

    Or the concept that games existed just fine without PvP at one time.

    Or the concept that a game could/did exist without Loot.

    Or the one that almost no one "gets"--games existed without graphics.

    Strange and foreign concepts, even to a whopping healthy chunk of "old school" MMO players.

    It's not a cutoff date; it's "I was not exposed to those game(s)" and therefor "they couldn't have been any good". Something that, reading the boards, you will note very nearly every player is prone to, to one degree or another. "My experience is an average gamer experience, because...I am an average gamer."

    Most 'old school' gamers will tell you they spent most of the 'old school' period in a single title, yes?

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • bnxbanditbnxbandit quezon cityPosts: 23Member

    My thoughts on this:

    • Motivation

         Having no levels mean no progression. Now with your thought on grouping with people to kill those mobs. We can put dynamic events fairly easy with that thought then. The way the character/s drive themselves would be either crafting, farming, clearing that zone(if instanced). Character/s would assume different roles based on what kinda of skills, weapons, armor, passives, enhancements, etc. Skills don't have levels and you can swap out sets therefore changing your role.

    • Professions
         The single profession everyone has is crafting and it is divided into multiple parts which they can pick limitedly. Say you can craft metal weapons and armor but you need special potions so you pay an alchemist to do so. Note that the professions also don't have levels, the reason why you can pick only a portion of them. If you can pick them all then you wouldn't need to pay anyone and you would craft it yourselves. The crafting can be a success or a fail and the chances can be tipped with specific items. At the starting points you would have to craft your own gear first at the starter areas and you would slowly group up with others and farm up mats and such. One could also assume a npc role such as blacksmiths, clerks, alchemists. 
    • Items
       These are seperated into two divisions. Mats and Crafted Items. Simple system except there are no misc. items or garbage items. I won't go through this a lot.
    • Mobs
        Mobs aren't scaled through their sizes but how they react. Say a small rat is easily killed but there are some rats that can group up and attack you. When mobs have coordination with each other they can be as deadly as dragons. Also you might see huge hunking fire golems when suddenly you just take a bucket of water and pour it on its head and it goes down fast. You will need to judge the mobs carefully.
    • Grinding?
         Yes I admit it will feel grindy. But then dynamic events come up. These should be at random and occur in hourly-daily rotation. It could also last for quiet some time. Say some bandits ambush you from the bushes while you are healing from a long fight. If you fail they will steal some of your gear or loot but if you succeed they will run back to their base and you have the option to follow them and realize their plans that you can foil or rescue a little girl they kidnapped and get rewards from doing so. But aside from dynamic events grinding is also for clearing the zone to find the way to get to other area and activate the device that can let people know where the other area is. 
    • Areas/Quests
         These are open and there are 3 types: PvE, PvP, PvP and PvE. The goal in the area is to find the way to get to other areas    , explore the treasures of that area if there are, fight a boss that you need to kill for the mats, etc. Dynamic events and quests can go together whichever you choose. The rewards ofcourse are mostly items and can't reward exp. In each area there is atleast one town which has npcs that can give out quests or has a noticeboard for quests. One example of a quest is a wanted wizard who has been disturbing the whole town everyday. You will find him and might come across some dynamic events while passing by stuff.
    • Roles
         There would be no classes since you would craft gear and build your skillset from the starting area. Honestly you could go with trinity roles of more hybridized ones. It all depends on what you want. Say you want to defend someone and heal them. You could go for a shield and a sceptre then have a balanced set of healing and defending skills. How about a more different role? Say an evasion tank that casts curses on enemies and buffs allies. You could get  gear with low weight and high movement and have the weapons specifically for cursing and buffing. Maybe a some kind of vodoo doll or a magic crystal. 
     
    Thats all my thoughts for an MMO with no levels currently. Have any opinion? Feel free to talk but be kind too.
     
     
     
     
  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member

    Ok, people like differed things. If you like to go lower zones to see how you can one-hit everything a lot, then it is a good system. I find that not very exiting. On the other hand you will often see higher level players run by and do just that with a mob you are having trouble with at the moment.

    I find it often sad when I out-levelled a zone, but I still wanted to experience the stuff there. But now there is hardy any challenge there unless I roll an alt.

    I like it that in GW2 you can go to a different starting zone and have fun there even at level 80.

    ---

    Yes of course, tabletop rpgs and mmorpgs are two differed pair of shoes. The first something like impro-theatre with dice and the other one is in fact an action game with strategy elements. (unless you try to rp but this ends quite awkward from my experience) They are both called the same but they have not much to do with each other except maybe the setting. And that misconception causes many problems of the genre, I think.

    But that’s a differed story and I don’t think the op wanted to say something in particular about role-playing. But game mechanics that are more based in reality and more group centric could maybe encourage rp. 

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