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"Leveling ties us to the world MORE THAN ANYTHING"

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  • GGrimmGGrimm Cary, NCPosts: 49Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by GGrimm
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by hammarus
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by GGrimm
    The assumption that Leveling must be part of any MMORPG needs to be challenged more often. Progress does not have to imply Leveling. Decouple the cocepts and you see more variety in MMORPGs.

    I submit that any progress is leveling.

    How would you have progression without some kind of level?

    There are many forms of leveling.  There are the "ding" I'm now level 3 types, and there are the skill training complete, I can now use "X" weapon.

    I"m not sure whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with me.

    Didn't say there weren't many kinds of leveling.  I'm stating that progression of any kind at all, is a level system. So the only thing to argue about is what kind of leveling we want.

    I submit you cannot have progression without some kind of level.  The very word progression means something higher, or something more or a different place which means there was a base to start from and you aren't there anymore. 

    You seem to be missing my point by pursuing a semantics discussion. To be clear, what I mean by Leveling is the gameplay common to just about every MMO. Level 1 -> earn experience -> DING Level 2. As you have said, there other ways to progress beyond this paradigm. That is the Leveling paradigm / assumption that should be challenged.

    Class type levels, absolutely.  But the OP brought up UO which had a different level system.

    EVE is a good example where the popular Leveling paradigm has been abandoned for a character skills progression arrangement. The other key decision was to decouple skills progression with in-game play. That creates a system where your character learns/progresses/improves without you doing anything in particular in-game, effectively eliminating the dreaded "level grind".  The player is freed to choose to play the game in whatever manner he/she thinks is actually FUN!

    How is that not brilliant?

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by GGrimm
     

    EVE is a good example where the popular Leveling paradigm has been abandoned for a character skills progression arrangement. The other key decision was to decouple skills progression with in-game play. That creates a system where your character learns/progresses/improves without you do anything in particular in-game, effectively eliminating the dreaded "level grind".  The player is freed to choose to play the game in whatever manner he/she thinks is actually FUN!

    How is that not brilliant?

    While the EvE system has its merits, the drawback is you lose the immersion factor as well as the reward factor.  In EvE you don't earn your skills.  in a game like SWG to get good at using a pistol you had to actually use a pistol.  in eve you just have to log off and go to sleep.

    In theory a skill based system should not be a grind because you should be rewarded for what you like to do (like to use a 2 hand sword?  youll get 2 hand sword skill).  This always ends up sounding better on paper than in game though.

     

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon

    MMORPGs have progression to endgame aka levelling and endgame.

    Some players only like the endgame. Some players like the levelling.

    So how does a game maximize their playerbase?

    Logically there are two options:

    1) Fast leveling to endgame

    2) Slow leveling to endgame

    Option (1) was increasingly chosen by game devs over the last few years because the competitive types who prefer the endgame are competitive at forum pvp also but it *can't* logically work as has been proven again and again over the last few years because fast levelling in shallow worlds doesn't hold the levellers while the endgamers race to max level and then burn through content and move on to new games. The model fails at retaining both sets of players.

    Option (2) can at least potentially hold onto the levellers (assuming the levelling content is done well) and holds the endgamers for the same amount of time as in option (1) (unless they quit before they get to max level).

    Option (2) but with the ability for endgame type players with one max level character to start a new character already near to max level gives the best of both worlds. That way they only suffer (from their point of view) through the levelling process once.

     

  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXPosts: 1,172Member Uncommon

    Leveling does not equal RPG. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who knows this.

    Then again I'm sure the people who will try to refute this will also believe that Castlevania 2 was better than the Original Castlevania.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tupodawg999

    MMORPGs have progression to endgame aka levelling and endgame.

    Some players only like the endgame. Some players like the levelling.

    So how does a game maximize their playerbase?

    Logically there are two options:

    1) Fast leveling to endgame

    2) Slow leveling to endgame

    Option (1) was increasingly chosen by game devs over the last few years because the competitive types who prefer the endgame are competitive at forum pvp also but it *can't* logically work as has been proven again and again over the last few years because fast levelling in shallow worlds doesn't hold the levellers while the endgamers race to max level and then burn through content and move on to new games. The model fails at retaining both sets of players.

    Option (2) can at least potentially hold onto the levellers (assuming the levelling content is done well) and holds the endgamers for the same amount of time as in option (1) (unless they quit before they get to max level).

    Option (2) but with the ability for endgame type players with one max level character to start a new character already near to max level gives the best of both worlds. That way they only suffer (from their point of view) through the levelling process once.

     

    Or have a type of levelling system that doesn't end, therefore no end game.

    edit -or at least in practical terms no end game, aka eve or istaria where it would take many many years.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by moosecatlol

    Leveling does not equal RPG. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who knows this.

    Then again I'm sure the people who will try to refute this will also believe that Castlevania 2 was better than the Original Castlevania.

    leveling does not equal RPG but character development sure does, and that is what the original article was about.  leveling is a type of character development.

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by moosecatlol

    Leveling does not equal RPG. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who knows this.

    Then again I'm sure the people who will try to refute this will also believe that Castlevania 2 was better than the Original Castlevania.

     

    Maybe not but *if* a MMORPG is going to have levelling (and wants to maximize retention) the levelling needs to be slow (but interesting enough for people not to mind).

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by tupodawg999

    MMORPGs have progression to endgame aka levelling and endgame.

    Some players only like the endgame. Some players like the levelling.

    So how does a game maximize their playerbase?

    Logically there are two options:

    1) Fast leveling to endgame

    2) Slow leveling to endgame

    Option (1) was increasingly chosen by game devs over the last few years because the competitive types who prefer the endgame are competitive at forum pvp also but it *can't* logically work as has been proven again and again over the last few years because fast levelling in shallow worlds doesn't hold the levellers while the endgamers race to max level and then burn through content and move on to new games. The model fails at retaining both sets of players.

    Option (2) can at least potentially hold onto the levellers (assuming the levelling content is done well) and holds the endgamers for the same amount of time as in option (1) (unless they quit before they get to max level).

    Option (2) but with the ability for endgame type players with one max level character to start a new character already near to max level gives the best of both worlds. That way they only suffer (from their point of view) through the levelling process once.

     

    Or have a type of levelling system that doesn't end, therefore no end game.

    edit -or at least in practical terms no end game, aka eve or istaria where it would take many many years.

    Yes.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by tupodawg999
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by tupodawg999

    MMORPGs have progression to endgame aka levelling and endgame.

    Some players only like the endgame. Some players like the levelling.

    So how does a game maximize their playerbase?

    Logically there are two options:

    1) Fast leveling to endgame

    2) Slow leveling to endgame

    Option (1) was increasingly chosen by game devs over the last few years because the competitive types who prefer the endgame are competitive at forum pvp also but it *can't* logically work as has been proven again and again over the last few years because fast levelling in shallow worlds doesn't hold the levellers while the endgamers race to max level and then burn through content and move on to new games. The model fails at retaining both sets of players.

    Option (2) can at least potentially hold onto the levellers (assuming the levelling content is done well) and holds the endgamers for the same amount of time as in option (1) (unless they quit before they get to max level).

    Option (2) but with the ability for endgame type players with one max level character to start a new character already near to max level gives the best of both worlds. That way they only suffer (from their point of view) through the levelling process once.

     

    Or have a type of levelling system that doesn't end, therefore no end game.

    edit -or at least in practical terms no end game, aka eve or istaria where it would take many many years.

    Yes.

    Like Everquest in its prime...you *could* cap AAs, but good luck with that.

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by tupodawg999
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by tupodawg999

    MMORPGs have progression to endgame aka levelling and endgame.

    Some players only like the endgame. Some players like the levelling.

    So how does a game maximize their playerbase?

    Logically there are two options:

    1) Fast leveling to endgame

    2) Slow leveling to endgame

    Option (1) was increasingly chosen by game devs over the last few years because the competitive types who prefer the endgame are competitive at forum pvp also but it *can't* logically work as has been proven again and again over the last few years because fast levelling in shallow worlds doesn't hold the levellers while the endgamers race to max level and then burn through content and move on to new games. The model fails at retaining both sets of players.

    Option (2) can at least potentially hold onto the levellers (assuming the levelling content is done well) and holds the endgamers for the same amount of time as in option (1) (unless they quit before they get to max level).

    Option (2) but with the ability for endgame type players with one max level character to start a new character already near to max level gives the best of both worlds. That way they only suffer (from their point of view) through the levelling process once.

     

    Or have a type of levelling system that doesn't end, therefore no end game.

    edit -or at least in practical terms no end game, aka eve or istaria where it would take many many years.

    Yes.

    Like Everquest in its prime...you *could* cap AAs, but good luck with that.

    Yes i think if you make the "end" really far away people forget about it and just play.

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,673Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by hammarus
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by GGrimm
    The assumption that Leveling must be part of any MMORPG needs to be challenged more often. Progress does not have to imply Leveling. Decouple the cocepts and you see more variety in MMORPGs.

    I submit that any progress is leveling.

    How would you have progression without some kind of level?

    There are many forms of leveling.  There are the "ding" I'm now level 3 types, and there are the skill training complete, I can now use "X" weapon.

    And then there's progression where it's you learning the game and it being built in such a way as to take it easy on you while you're still learning, such a progression system could have absolutely no levels and progression to be completely freeform (it could be story based, exploration based, crafting based, crafting in such a system would be all about experimenting to get the best items or the best possible not leveling a arbitrary level skill to unlock pwnboots of +50, etc).

    The notion that progression = leveling is fundamentally flawed, leveling is just the simplest most rudimentary form of progression, progression is in itself evolution, the most obvious way to quantify evolution is with numbers but being obvious does not mean being good. The only reason people equate leveling with progression in RPG is because the original PC RPGs were at least inspired by D&D which used leveling as a metric for character progression but in D&D you can excuse this because it was already relatively hard to quantify leveling, if you added in a freeform evolution of character it would've made DMing damn near impossible but here's the thing we're not limited to Pen and Paper here, this is a medium where freeform evolution of a character is not only possible but would also be a massive improvement.

     

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    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

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 7,906Member Uncommon
    Hm, acutally I agree. It goes so far, that I instantly lose interest in a character at endlevel. When I can't learn new skills and discover new areas it's "game over" for me, and reroll or quit.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    Well "Leveling" clearly has a very specific meaning in terms of gaming which may not be semanticaly accurate in the broader usage but I think is fairly commonly accepted among gamers to encompass a much narrower and more specific term.

    It usualy is taken to mean a specific methodology of character power progression which is itself a specific subset of Character Development.

    The prevelance narrower sense of "leveling" I think is more due to happenstance and tradition in RPG's then anything else. Some things exist simply because Gary Gygax decided to do them that way more then anything else. "Leveling" is not the only way to functionaly do character power progression, even in PnP RPG's. For example FASA's Star Trek PnP had a highly functional and easy to use skill-based progression system. However "Leveling" is a methodology that is very functional and alot of people are familiar with it.

    I would contend that character power progression does a relatively POOR job of tying players to "the World" they are playing in, in general. It does do a fairly good job of investing players in that avatar (due to the man-hours sunk into advancing that avatars power)....and therefore the PRODUCT that avatar is represented in. However this is entirely tangential to "the World" that avatar inhabits. I offer as evidence (anecdotal, I will admit) the number of top level characters in most MMO's who have barely the dimmest and most rudimentary understanding of  "the World" they are playing in. They generaly could not tell you who the Gods are, the History of any of the Races, Peoples or Nations, including thier own, demonstrate a basic understanding of the Geography. They generaly couldn't even tell you much about thier own characters histories, including why they performed the actions they did while progressing, why the people that asked them for help wanted thier help or why the things that are hostile to them are hostile to them. They may be able to tell you thier exact DPS or the exact set of keys to press to defeat a boss....but knowledge of the actual "World" is pretty minimal.

    That is not to say that character power progression is neccesarly a bad thing, but (IMO) it doesn't have any relation to whether the player has any real interest in "the World" they are playing in or anything aside from the mechanical aspects of thier characters.

    Players who are interested in "the World" will be interested in the "the World", players that are interested in character power progression are interested in character power progression. The two don't neccesarly have anything to do with one another....although it certainly is possible for both to exist within the same player...but that's just happenstance.

    Frankly I think MMO's tend to focus so much on character power progression and give everything else such short shrift that it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy. They get mostly only players that are interested in character power progression because thats mostly only what they provide and focus thier resources on. Players that are mostly interested in other types of things from games don't bother to look for them in MMO's because they know they are unlikely to get them....they look to other gaming venues for that....and the cycle continues.

    As I said, I find that rather sad. Not because progression and achievement are bad.....but because there are so many other forms of entertainment that games (in general) could provide....and for the most part MMO's ignore.

     

    P.S. One of the reasons for the above is that power progression is something that is very easy and straightfoward for Developers to design and control. The other stuff tends to be tougher and more organic.

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