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10 good reasons why MMOs do not need vertical progression

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  • mmoskimmoski plymouthPosts: 282Member

    For me none of these points have any reflection on vertical character progression, and while you most probably have determined that the cause of these issues is vertical progression, too me all of these points just scream "Environment Design Issues".

     

  • RandomDownRandomDown Louisville, KYPosts: 145Member
    Originally posted by BahamutKaiser
    SotN maintained top game between 1-3 on most RPG ratings over a decade after the playstation declined RandomDown, I'm not concerned about whether your willing to acknowledge a wildly successful and popular game.

    And there are generations of games with little vertical progression, I've been around long enough to remember when character growth started to become a widespread part of many genre, but they remain within reason in many games because deep vertical progression can take away from a game as well as give.

    But the most important point is that nowhere have I said that purely horizontal development is better. I plainly state that horizontal development is superior and the true attraction in most games. I made it clear to begin with that horizontal development naturally makes you more powerful anyway, the main difference is that it also makes the game more fun. Fun in a way that vertical development can not even approach. Failure to realize that is simply failure to distinguish what we are discussing as vertical and horizontal. Just like disagreeing with a wildly popular and timeless classic being great is a personal bias that holds no weight.

    I didn't say it wasn't a popular game. But the sweeping generalization you made implies everyone thinks so, and that is clearly not the case. Timeless classic is a personal opinion, so your personal bias holds no weight with me either.

    If it makes you more powerful it isn't horizontal progression. That then makes it vertical. A gear grind is vertical, gaining secondary abilities make those skills more powerful if they don't replace something as they are simply increasing a skills permanent utility. Horizontal progression can't increase some abilites power, it can only add other options that still have the character perform on the same level, but in a different way. Otherwise it is vertical because there is a direct increase in utility and/or power.

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member
    Congratulations, you arrived at the conclusion of my first response Random. If you learn to follow context you'd realize I was challenging a polar comment, not starting one.

    And I honestly don't care about isolated personal bias, I'm not compelled to suit your specification...

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon

     Well everyone has their opinions.....

    However in RL without growth there is only stagnation and death.  Life in all its forms constantly strives to to grow, evolve and become stronger.

     

       Games to me are much the same if you take away all the power growth and sugar coat the lack of any real progress with the term horazontal progression your are just killing the game. Yay, you have the same 25 health you had after 5 years of playing as you did on the first day! Yay you do the same 2-3 points of damage after 5 year of playing as you did on day one (as the OP's point is growing in power must be removed because it is bad!)

       Sure you may have different names or different colors/effects but its still the same 2-3 point damge that you had at the very beginning. Sure for some players having that moose head over the mantel of their fireplace in the imaginary game world is the be all and end all of their gaming experience (Horazontal progression for the win! ie cosmetics) but for most that just doesn't cut it, and vapid arguement that style is better then substance just lacks weight.

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
     

     While I understand that vertical progression does indeed bar a player from the majority of content and currently forces the player base to be split among each other; I love vertical progression. Not for the fact that it separates the player base but because I enjoy having a high level curve to achieve.

     My favorite leveling system that I've ever played with was Warhammer Online. They essentially had two forms of progression. The first was your actual PvE progression and once you maxed that out you still had your RvR progression. This allowed me to have a goal post PvE level cap.

     I don't believe it's the leveling system that's the issue; so much as it's how developers are implementing it currently. The leveling progression is too fast and is greatly tiered which in turn splits the player base. Take for example Neverwinter Online, if you're a moderately good MMO player you'll reach the level cap in roughly 1-2 weeks. This is a major issue.

    (1) You're leveling so quickly that it makes the content during the progression of the game almost completely worthless and I personally love actually being able to use the rare gear from dungeons and loot drops.

    (2) Players only tend to play with each other only when they're doing dungeons or at the end game due to the different speeds at which people progress. Which results in lack of communication.

     If a developer is going to implement a leveling based progression system they need to make the stats in which you obtain from leveling much more subtle. By lowering the stat bonuses from leveling you balance out the issue of higher level players being significantly stronger than lower level players. I'd also suggest slowing the leveling down or greatly increasing the leveling cap depending on how fast the progression in the game is.

     I know many people don't have the "time" for them to spend grinding all the time in an MMO but lets face it. Leveling quickly in these games is a major issue and it takes a lot of the achievement and fun out of the game. I don't quite understand why people play MMO's for the "end game" I suppose people just love raiding. However, when I get to end game that's essentially telling me that the developer has no more gameplay for me to experience and it's time to find a game worthy of occupying my time.

     

      Good points.

     It would seem alot of the problem is not vertical progres but speed of progression, in todays games its easy to out level content, and friends/guild members in a matter of hours .

     

       I would say slowing down progression tends to allow players to more frequently stay in the same level range, allows players to enjoy the content more fully (rather then accidently level right past it) and makes the actual progression rewards more fulfilling , as people tend to appreciate things they actually worked for more then things that were just given to them or easily aquired. unfortunately most times these days people don't understand this are tend to be the I want it NOW instant gratification type that complain when they do get it now that its not what they thought it would be and want more of something else (Now!) In short they don't understand it was they themselves that destroyed any enjoyment they would have gotten due to the ease they demanded it be given to them.

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Shadowguy64

    We need diagonal progression. Some of both.

     

    That way we keep the simple-minded people (per earlier post) who like vertical progression happy

    and we also keep the Mensa members happy (opposite of above group) with their horizontal progression

      Hahahahaha. Thanks needed the laugh (because you know having that glowy sparkly sword that does the same damage as the plain normal looking sword makes ones  a super genus!)

  • EverwestEverwest Como, MOPosts: 75Member

    Personally I'm a fan of diagonal progression, but I definitely agree that designers rely far too heavily on vertical progression and far too little on horizontal (for many reasons not discussed yet; hopefully I'll have time to articulate some later).  e.g., an overemphasis on vertical progression makes it incredibly difficult to balance the game and manage power creep.

    However, GW2 is NOT a good example of horizontal progression.  In fact, it's a rather bad one.  Horizontal progression fails when you bottleneck the extensibility and flexibility of the rewards.  e.g., if I'm learning new skills that I'll never use, even though I might theoretically have a more diverse skill set, in reality, I'm rewarded with... nothing.  You can't even change classes in GW2.  As a result, there's a great deal of emphasis on vertical progression.  There's only a significant amount of unrealized potential for horizontal progression, but a combination of making those rewards useless or just unusable COMPLETELY undercuts it.

  • DanitaKusorDanitaKusor AdelaidePosts: 549Member Uncommon

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    The Enlightened take things Lightly

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member
    Horizontal progression is never the same amount of power, fundamentally it is suppose to be the same power with different options, but since no unlike options are perfectly balanced in these games, in practice something different is more powerful or weaker, likewise options equal more power.

    It's just like a fighting game or MOBA where one player has all the characters and the other has one. The player with options can only have an advantage as his worst option is to mirror match.

    And all of that is to assume horizontal options aren't cumulative. Unless they are sacrificing one option for another, the accumulation of options on one unit are very powerful, the biggest difference is that different actions are far more interesting than the same action with more power.

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • Squeak69Squeak69 Colorado Springs, COPosts: 956Member
    this is why i prefer gaqmes that allow people to play with mixed levels, CoHs sidekick system was a good example of this, cause any level could play with any level,

    F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used toimage
    Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  • onlinenow25onlinenow25 San Diego, CAPosts: 275Member

    There are two games that come to mind that did Horizontal progression well TO ME.

    First is Diablo 2.  Yes there were best builds for classes and such but there were still many different viable builds that could still do the content, balance issues are well balance issues and is just a sign of failing at balance.  End game was about PvP for some or creating builds to others.  The different builds did things differently, some where good at different things aside from the most imba builds many builds were viable and there was not as significant of power creep as the game released more and more patches.  Yes there was vertical progression I never said vertical progression was bad simply that the end game had good Horizontal progression.

    Next is the Monster Hunter series and probably a much better example.  Again yes there is Vertical Progression but again I am not saying vertical progression is bad.  In this game though monsters of the same type get faster and have new mechanics based on the rank of the mission.  Next is after you get to the highest rank is where to game really starts.  There are no best weapons, each weapon has advantages and disadvantages based on the monster or a players play style.  There are no BiS items.  None not a single one.  MH3U you can make a Lance build based on dodging or a Lance build based on blocking using different sets of armor to achieve different sets of armor skills.  Not to mention gear is no replacement in this game for skill.

    Again there are imbalances with the game with a team using Slime weapons in MH3U but that is a balance issue not something that was intended.  

    These both have Vertical progression as well as Horizontal progression.  An issue with many MMOs to me is they don't have a good balance of both.  As already stated by many WoW and its expansions are probably the worst offender of Vertical progression with no Horizontal progression.  

    The issue being that you can't really play a class different as time goes on, they always play the same.  Specs don't change inside them selves.  An Arms warrior will always be an Arms warrior and will never play differently, the spec is limited to one play style and no amount of gear will change the way the class is played.  Unlike a game like Monster Hunter where each person can be using the same weapon type while using different weapons inside that type with different advantages and have a set of armor that completely changes the way they play.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are almost all of them failing to reach their projected numbers and going F2P, yet a recent game with very little vertical progression (GW2) smoked just about every release since WoW?  That's a better question.

    Things can change over time, even if your opinion does not.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are almost all of them failing to reach their projected numbers and going F2P, yet a recent game with very little vertical progression (GW2) smoked just about every release since WoW?  That's a better question.

    Things can change over time, even if your opinion does not.

    Because of competition, of course.

     

  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are billions not playing MMOs?

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member

    very nice post Sengi.

    i agree almost entirely with everything you said.

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    and the number 1 recent why those 10 good reasons failed to change the way MMO is designed .....

     

    People like vertical progression, and the skinner box works.

     

    except for all the people that have started leaving MMOs.......

    and the vast majority of gamers (who positively DWARF the MMO niche) who never played them, or barely played them because of how crappy they are.

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by NaughtyP
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are billions not playing MMOs?

     

    indeed.  8)

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by NaughtyP
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are billions not playing MMOs?

    Because they don't have computers, internet, or food?

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

     

    Gear is not horizontal in most games.

     

    guess what ELSE is not primarily horizontal in most MMORPGs?  EVERYTHING ELSE TOO!

     

    lol

    way to completely miss the whole point of the thread with your usual irrelevance to the topic.

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by NaughtyP
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are billions not playing MMOs?

    Because they don't have computers, internet, or food?

     

    no.

    EXISTING GAMERS that hate MMOs.  

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by BahamutKaiser
    Actually Dogblaster, horizontal development is almost always more enjoyable, if not for the horizontal changes coupled in vertical progression, you'd be doing the exact same thing at LVL 80 as LVL 1, just more damage, the addition of AoE strikes, lunge attacks, slow on your magic spell, all of these are actually horizontal, they are adding different actions, not empowering existing ones linearly.

     

    yup.  people are too simple minded on the issue, the same way they are with the sandbox vs. theme park crap.

     

    most people act like you are only one or the other.

     

    as you said, all current MMOs are a mix of vertical and horizontal progression.....RIGHT NOW.

     

    this isn't about switching from one form of progression to the other. 

    its about turning one down, and amplifying the other.  its remixing.

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by BahamutKaiser
    Horizontal progression is never the same amount of power, fundamentally it is suppose to be the same power with different options, but since no unlike options are perfectly balanced in these games, in practice something different is more powerful or weaker, likewise options equal more power.

    It's just like a fighting game or MOBA where one player has all the characters and the other has one. The player with options can only have an advantage as his worst option is to mirror match.

    And all of that is to assume horizontal options aren't cumulative. Unless they are sacrificing one option for another, the accumulation of options on one unit are very powerful, the biggest difference is that different actions are far more interesting than the same action with more power.

     

    yep.  great points.

    as you say, even when the design attempts to be purely horizontal, some verticality is inevitable

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by NaughtyP
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DanitaKusor

    How about,

    1) It's fucking boring and everyone is fed up with the same old crap from every MMO in existence.

    If so, why millions are still playing MMOs?

    Why are billions not playing MMOs?

    Because they don't have computers, internet, or food?

    Nearly 2.5 billion are connected to the internet. http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,975Member Uncommon

    MMOs only need one thing: A persistent world.

    Of course you can make MMOs without vertical progression whatsoever but I think the real problem here can be solved better. As I see it we have 2 problems here:

    1. Levels. Levels are very simple but it tends to make characters very similar, splits up the player population unnecessarily and it limits your choices (all thieves gets backstab at lvl 12 and similar).  All characters of the same class gains about the same hitpoints and so on.

    This could easily be fixed by using smarter progression, like Shadowruns (the pen and paper RPGs) use of karma which is a pool you can buy upgrades for whenever  you can afford it, a skill based system as we seen in some sandboxes or Eves time based system.

    2. The gap between the levels (or noobs, normal players and vets). This really split up all the player populations due to level and gear. While some difference really should exist the huge gaps we seen in modern MMOs tend to screw up PvP, makes it a lot harder to find a group and actually lower the skill of many players since they easily outlevel any hard content and then ace it without actually becoming better at playing. And as I said this includes gear as well as levels.

    I would recommend a gap that means that a noob actually could beat a vet if the noob play great and the vet totally sucks if they have similar gear and that a guy in the poorest gear could do the same to a top gear player if the top gear player really sucks. Of course the vet would have a lot more options for his builds and so on but right now 20 noobs really cant kill a max leveled character in good gear in almost any MMO.

    With those 2 mechanics you would still get better gear and better character as you play (something most RPGers really like) and still avoid the bad stuff from most MMOs. Progression is actually important in MMOs, players should feel the are getting better and better as they play but there is really no reason to start out as a worthless peasant and become a demi god as you play, that just makes PvP really boring. 

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