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When will developers learn that levels just don't work in mmorpgs?

All that happens is the game becomes top heavy so you have to end up grinding 60 odd levels before you can play with everyone else. So you become bored of soloing through the whole game because you played a mmorpg to play with other people. I mean say I wanted to play WOW and all my friends are level 70, well I'd have to grind 69 levels just to be able to playw ith them and really is that fun? No. I want to be able to player with my friends from the moment I log in. When I started up SWG for the first time I was able to join my friends straight away because there was no levels and all professions meant was the amount of skills you knew which made you able to do better damage in combat or better heals etc etc.

Another thing I hate is having to pick a class and then make 100 ALTS to play each class. I joing a game like WAR and theres 20 odd classes but all of them suck because none of them are to what I like. So I pick a class I'm not having fun with and the talent tree things are pointless because theres only two cookie cutter builds that are worth playing. Again what I loved in SWG was putting professions and skills together which fit my play style and being able to switch them in game without having to make 100 ALTS.

 

Why do developers keep trying to copy the class/level based format which is just SHIT.

 

I'm fed up of it.

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Comments

  • Reborn17Reborn17 Member Posts: 414

    Levels ration out the content which is the most precious commodity games have, and keeps players playing longer per character, there are games that offer mentoring so you can join higher lvl groups so you don't have to worry about outlvling, or being outlvld by your friends. There's nothing wrong with them, its how they're done.

     

    "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -Edmund Burke

    Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?"
    (Psalm 94:16)

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Member Posts: 1,803

    as a university student i have to take some elective classes, just for fun i took introduction to marketing.

    and this class actually explained alot on why a business would rather imitate than inovate

    penetrating an existing market is much safer bet and its what investors like. on the other hand developping a new product for a new market is very very risky. again investors do not really like risky maneuvers.

    the thing that they do not understand is that MMO market is not the same as any other product out there. it evolves as the players evolve.

    a toy factory that makes playdoh will evolve with the needs of the new(next) generation. as MMOs evolve on many generation and usually the same one. ive been playing MMOs since UO and that was back when i was in grade/high school. now i passed through college and now in university and i still play MMOs AND the new kids now in high school and grade school also play these same MMOs.

    so the MMO industry has evolved the same way a "normal" industry would adapting versus the same generation. so older (MMO vets) feel everything dumbed down but the fact is that it it remained the same but its the player that has smarten up.

     

    in conclusion, the MMO industry should evolve in a different way than a regular "business" should. and by all means its not the devs that have the last word. the last word comes from the person holding the money. if money says penetrate market, then thats what the devs are going to do. if money says inovate product (its the very unlikeness) thats what the devs would do.

    looking at darkfall for example, its an inovative MMO but it has been fading in and out of existance for the past 5-6 years. WAR/AoC have released in a fraction of the time. though the competition out there for an existing product is fierce so they will not get much business if they do not release a product that is as polished and developped and as complete as the existing game that has been out for 5-6 years.

     

    all in all a MMO business can't run like a regular business just because of its nature. it has to inovate and impress and evolve a whole different way.

     

    P.S. im not doing a major in economy or business or marketing this is just a "i do it for fun" course im taking to get my mind out of my real major (pre-med/human anatomy)

    image
    image

  • ZindaihasZindaihas Member UncommonPosts: 3,662

    As long as MMOs are profitable, companies will continue to use level-based advancement.  When the money dries up, they may make the shift.  Or just stop making them altogether.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,609
    Originally posted by John.A.Zoid


    All that happens is the game becomes top heavy so you have to end up grinding 60 odd levels before you can play with everyone else. So you become bored of soloing through the whole game because you played a mmorpg to play with other people. I mean say I wanted to play WOW and all my friends are level 70, well I'd have to grind 69 levels just to be able to playw ith them and really is that fun? No. I want to be able to player with my friends from the moment I log in. When I started up SWG for the first time I was able to join my friends straight away because there was no levels and all professions meant was the amount of skills you knew which made you able to do better damage in combat or better heals etc etc.
    Another thing I hate is having to pick a class and then make 100 ALTS to play each class. I joing a game like WAR and theres 20 odd classes but all of them suck because none of them are to what I like. So I pick a class I'm not having fun with and the talent tree things are pointless because theres only two cookie cutter builds that are worth playing. Again what I loved in SWG was putting professions and skills together which fit my play style and being able to switch them in game without having to make 100 ALTS.
     
    Why do developers keep trying to copy the class/level based format which is just SHIT.
     
    I'm fed up of it.



     

    lol. Sorry, of course they work. That's why devs use them.

    And what are you thinking? that if they move to skill base system that your character will immediately be able to join your friends because your stats are nowhere near their's?

    In any case they are two different things, being able to join advanced players and being able to make a character exactly how you want.

    In truth, I have no problem with the latter but I feel that being able to max out everything is a cop out and would only like to see a skill system where you have to make hard decisions. are you going to have a broad range of skills but not be the best or are you going to be THE best swordsman or THE best mage, etc.

    In any case this is all your opinion and "oh how well" you express it.

     

    And you know what? There are already too many threads saying the exact same thing on these sites. I just realize that what I wrote above I've written many times on these forums.

    So is that what we've come to? Rehahsing the same subject a million times?

  • TrissaTrissa Member Posts: 251
    Originally posted by John.A.Zoid


    All that happens is the game becomes top heavy so you have to end up grinding 60 odd levels before you can play with everyone else. So you become bored of soloing through the whole game because you played a mmorpg to play with other people. I mean say I wanted to play WOW and all my friends are level 70, well I'd have to grind 69 levels just to be able to playw ith them and really is that fun? No. I want to be able to player with my friends from the moment I log in. When I started up SWG for the first time I was able to join my friends straight away because there was no levels and all professions meant was the amount of skills you knew which made you able to do better damage in combat or better heals etc etc.
    Another thing I hate is having to pick a class and then make 100 ALTS to play each class. I joing a game like WAR and theres 20 odd classes but all of them suck because none of them are to what I like. So I pick a class I'm not having fun with and the talent tree things are pointless because theres only two cookie cutter builds that are worth playing. Again what I loved in SWG was putting professions and skills together which fit my play style and being able to switch them in game without having to make 100 ALTS.
     
    Why do developers keep trying to copy the class/level based format which is just SHIT.
     
    I'm fed up of it.



     

    You can go play EvE or UO or may be wait for Darkfall to be launched.

    As the other posters said is just a question about how developpers think what market is asking for. And right now more than 95% of players in P2P market are playing level/classes based games and it seems they enjoy them. 

    As soon as they get bored of playing these (if it happens at some time) and starts to ask for a non level/class games  you will see developpers launching other styles more often. You know...money rules.

  • SwampRobSwampRob Member UncommonPosts: 1,003

    I don't feel that it's right for any game to let you step in and be on par or close to on par with someone who has been playing for a while and 'maxed' a character, whether that's in terms of levels or skills or whatnot.  The process of levelling through a character, even an alt, is partly to teach the player how to play that class, the mechanics of it, the various pros and cons of different abilities, etc.

    And some might think that they don't need that time, that practice, and I'll agree if they have already gone through the process of maxing another character of the same class.   So, yes, levelling does have a purpose and a point.

    However, if you really hate levelling that much, try Guild Wars or City of Heroes.   Both of those games have levelling, but GW has some options to start at the max level and CoH lets you team with much higher level friends, although you will be somewhat less effective than they are depending on how much levelling you've done.    Both do at least have an option to play at the top level upon starting.

     

  • GameloadingGameloading Member UncommonPosts: 14,182

    Blizzard dev 1:" Hey look what this guy types..."Levels just don't work in MMORPG's"

    Blizzard dev 2:"LOL!"

  • MuffinStumpMuffinStump Member UncommonPosts: 474

    Okay, say your friends are 'max' level and you want to adventure with them but don't have a character of equal abilities/levels...I think they should let you take control of one of the other character's pets :)

    You get to join the party and contribute while having no real death. *poof* cast a spell and you are back. Bonus - you get to zerg to your heart's content. Just don't make any Pokemon jokes

    No pet based characters around? You get to be a talking hat

  • MidnitteMidnitte Member Posts: 510


    Originally posted by Gameloading
    Blizzard dev 1:" Hey look what this guy types..."Levels just don't work in MMORPG's"
    Blizzard dev 2:"LOL!"

    Indeed, any success in the MMO market has only used levels. I still hope by the end of the century we'll have a pretty realistic game that has no visible stats/levels/etc; And you become more efficient in a weapon the more you use it and you can learn skills from npcs or even people like in SWG.

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774

    "When will developers learn that levels just don't work in mmorpgs?"

    Never. Becaues the statement is not even true. All the popular MMOs have levels. That is evidence that it "works".

    And what r u smoking? Just have ur L70 friends twink u and play with their alts.

     

  • pixeldogmeatpixeldogmeat Member Posts: 441
    Originally posted by SwampRob


    I don't feel that it's right for any game to let you step in and be on par or close to on par with someone who has been playing for a while and 'maxed' a character, whether that's in terms of levels or skills or whatnot.  The process of levelling through a character, even an alt, is partly to teach the player how to play that class, the mechanics of it, the various pros and cons of different abilities, etc.
    And some might think that they don't need that time, that practice, and I'll agree if they have already gone through the process of maxing another character of the same class.   So, yes, levelling does have a purpose and a point.
    However, if you really hate levelling that much, try Guild Wars or City of Heroes.   Both of those games have levelling, but GW has some options to start at the max level and CoH lets you team with much higher level friends, although you will be somewhat less effective than they are depending on how much levelling you've done.    Both do at least have an option to play at the top level upon starting.
     



     

    Levels are just a superficial title given to the concept of advancement in game design. Take away the imaginary number and leave the character with all his skills/stuff/etc.. nothing changes. Its just a label like calling someone a "retard" or "nice". Regardless of weather you are retarded or nice, you are still you. See? It's just a label.

    UO could have levels, just take advancement and give a number based on milestones. Thats all leveling is, is a visual interpretation for the player, to easily deduce where they are in their characters advancement.

    You take this away and suprise suprise, you have to know your character for once. At the same time, other players who want to pvp you also don't know anything about you, this is why having neon colored suits in UO was so important, it served as the same mechanism as leveling.

    Honestly, i'd rather look at a players avatar and other information and let the game make me deduce what I think they are, rather than just telling me. I even think its strange we let everyone see each others names, if I want you to know me, i'll tell you my name.

    PLAY WURM ONLINE!! www.wurmonline.com

  • chryseschryses Member UncommonPosts: 1,453

    Actually there are some games that dont have levels or if they do its negligible. 

    e.g.

    EVE - if you have been playing for one month and your friend has been playing for 4 years then it makes no difference.  You can still use a very valuable ship and go out in the squad and be part of the action. 

    Jumpgate - to some degree the same as above.  It had levels and those levels just gave you access to more equipment but not stupidly so.  So its feasible to be a lot lower in level and still fight it out in a squad or even 1 on 1.  The only difference is they are using a .22 rifle and you are using a slug gun. 

    Darkfall has no levels - if it ever comes out.

     

    Overall I agree totally with you.  Levels that force a player through a gaming tube is moronic and bad design.  The developers waste so much time making a beautiful world just for players to grind a few levels and hit the next map never to return.  If you have levels they should make them an add on to your gameplay and effectiveness.  It does away with players quiting once maxing and it means that players will continue to use the same maps over and over, which gets the most value out of them.  In EVE and Jumpgate you could be level 1 or 1 week old and you will be in the same space with level 40 or 4 year old players.  That is good design.

  • keltic74keltic74 Member UncommonPosts: 30

    In essence a level based system obviously works.  The issue with a level based system as of now is that all of said systems lock you into one "class" and have very linear progression.  This is fun the first 10 or so times, but as almost anyone (even WoWsers) would agree that the only real thing that people end up doing is trying to get gear for their "class".   This does start to wear thin and cuts down on play/replay value considerably.  If in WoW you were to level every class and get all the epic/legendary gear possible there is nothing past that for each character.  Then your character becomes meaningless until the next expansion.

    So in that respect long term level based systems don't work.  Skill based systems create more interest in your own abilities because your abilities are based solely on what YOU wanted to do, not what a dev felt you should do.  In his reference of SWG he is correct.  One of the best things was that (as in real life) you never really knew if that Rebel you were about to attack was learned enough to handily kick your ass.  So you always had a sense of danger which also held true in any PvE setting.    Whereas in WoW you knew at lvl 10 that you shouldn't be in Azshara.  No real sense of danger because you knew exactly where you stood in the world.  Which gets old after a while.  Faster to some of course.

    I will always be in support of open ended skill based systems because they will always require more involvement in your avatar's growth, not just in his clothes.

    However the OP's idea of starting max level would never work in either system as you would have ZERO replay ability and no real involvement in your own character which regardless of what you think would cause a very fast loss of interest in the game as a whole.  Best I can recommend for that is not play an MMOG of any kind.

     

  • Obviously levels work fine for mmos and it's obvious the market prefers the level based system.  That being said, I completely agree that skill-based systems are vastly superior.  The problem is that not many people have played a skill-based system.  The market simply has no idea what it is missing.

  • AethiosAethios Member Posts: 1,527
    Originally posted by Reborn17


    There's nothing wrong with them, its how they're done.

     I agree with this. There's nothing inherently wrong with levels, they are simply a system used to measure ourselves. The problem begins when the levels are used to arbitrarily separate players, which is really not necessary and just takes away from the experience. There are plenty of games that use levels without restricting you from certain content, or rendering old content obsolete.

    So I guess the real question is "when will developers learn how to use levels properly?" We need to see more games that use individual skills instead of a class-based system.

  • PatchDayPatchDay Member Posts: 1,641

    Funny, I go to WAR forums and I see newbies crying bout how unbalanced their Classes 24/7

     

    "Omg Burn Wizards can toast my Sorceror!"

    "My magus is a joke its the worse Tank!"

    "Iron Breakers are the bomb! Best Tank in da game! I'm gonna reroll!"

    Whine, whine, whine.

    I've seen this too much. Class envy. Class jealousy. Nerf cries.

     

    You can't tell me Level/Class grinds are awesome because I see that crap fall apart daily.

  • chryseschryses Member UncommonPosts: 1,453

    I agree with the post above me.  No matter what if something is set on a path then there is inbalance from day one.  AoC and some other games try and counter this with skill points and feat system but there are only so many ways you can mod your character.  For me if a game wants leveling then the best system is an open one.  Everyone starts off with the same skills and you spend your feat / skill points on whatever skills you want.  Just add in race modifiers or like in EVE you start with some of the skills already depending on class etc.   That way no one can yell about inbalance and in PvP you wont know what the other player has got.

     

  • IAmMMOIAmMMO Member UncommonPosts: 1,462

     

      There are a lot of gamers out there that would love to see the mix and match skill system first introduced with Ulitma online then redone in SWG since SWG was developed by some of those who developed Ultima online. one main one being RuneSaber. The mix and match skill system is far far better than levels IMHO. I'm itching for a next generation MMO to use this again. One of the excuses I heard developers drifted to the level based system as it's easier to balance.

     I reckon if you recreated Ultima online on whole new engine. One that allowed you to zoom out to isometric view and rotate it 360, then zoom in to over the shoulder 3rd person or first person, nicely animated oceans with boats moving up and down on the waves. Bring the world to life with great animations. Uo redone it would simply rock!

  • ForcanForcan Member UncommonPosts: 700

    I would preach the cons for using level-based design just like all the sandbox advocates, but you can't really say that levels doesn't work.

    Levels works in MMORPG.  It's a simple fact.  It is one of the those things that you may not agree with it, but it is the fact as of now.

    The reason for it to work is comprised of few different area, mainly related to progression and content design.

    With levels, contents and mobs are easier to design due to grouping (and you see that mostly in the form of every 5 - 10 levels you go to another area for mobs/quests.).

    Also, with the use of levels, players have a clear way to know if they have the chance of defeat the opponent or not.

     

    I can list for the cons of using a level-based design, or the cons of a level-heavy design (a bit different cons in both), but overall, they do work in a way that is easier for the developers right now, hence the popularity of it in the MMORPG market.

     

    There's pros and cons for using different systems, it's the preference and the goals of the developers that set the direction and which system to use...

    Current MMO: FFXIV:ARR

    Past MMO: Way too many (P2P and F2P)

  • EvasiaEvasia Member Posts: 2,827
    Originally posted by John.A.Zoid


    All that happens is the game becomes top heavy so you have to end up grinding 60 odd levels before you can play with everyone else. So you become bored of soloing through the whole game because you played a mmorpg to play with other people. I mean say I wanted to play WOW and all my friends are level 70, well I'd have to grind 69 levels just to be able to playw ith them and really is that fun? No. I want to be able to player with my friends from the moment I log in. When I started up SWG for the first time I was able to join my friends straight away because there was no levels and all professions meant was the amount of skills you knew which made you able to do better damage in combat or better heals etc etc.
    Another thing I hate is having to pick a class and then make 100 ALTS to play each class. I joing a game like WAR and theres 20 odd classes but all of them suck because none of them are to what I like. So I pick a class I'm not having fun with and the talent tree things are pointless because theres only two cookie cutter builds that are worth playing. Again what I loved in SWG was putting professions and skills together which fit my play style and being able to switch them in game without having to make 100 ALTS.
     
    Why do developers keep trying to copy the class/level based format which is just SHIT.
     
    I'm fed up of it.



     

    It seems your wrong and there right wow have 11million who follow this lvl class game:p

    So most others brainless developers think lets do same, look at blizzard:P

    Games played:AC1-Darktide'99-2000-AC2-Darktide/dawnsong2003-2005,Lineage2-2005-2006 and now Darkfall-2009.....
    In between WoW few months AoC few months and some f2p also all very short few weeks.

  • x_rast_xx_rast_x Member Posts: 745

    The thing that annoys me the most about level based games is the sheer amount of obsolete content they generate.

    By the time you hit the level cap, 90% of the game is worthless except as pretty scenery because you've outleveled it.  Throw in a few expansions and you're looking at a huge amount of obsolete end-game content as well.  Content that newer people will likely never get to experience.

    Can't really think of anything that can be done about it though - it's a side effect of the system.  Just don't miss the bandwagon and hold on to your old gear sets as mementos of when Raid Dungeon X wasn't a complete joke.

    As for class based games being "SHITE!", I'd disagree - I love a good skill based game (hell, I'm huge into Eve at the moment, have been for a while now), but for a PvE-focused, themepark style game it's hard to top the advantages a class/level based system gives in terms of setting up raid/pve balance and giving people a fairly easy to follow line of progression.  It's good for what it's designed for - I had a blast playing WoW from launch up to about the middle of TBC, and I'll be playing Aion - both traditional level/class games.

  • John.A.ZoidJohn.A.Zoid Member Posts: 1,531

    WOW doesn't work : It's broken and very top heavy where you'll be soloing the game for 69 levels to play with your friends and by that time you'll be bored or they'd quit the game for a break and try another mmorpg. They're bringing in the new death knight class which will make all the content below 55 completly useless and it's just I bet they'll do the same for every class in future because people will ask for it. Which then will make the whole old game even more pointless.



    In SWG pre cu however I'd log in for the first time and meet people greeting me outside a Starport and they'd offer me a place in the guild and they'd then supply me with a vehicle, some credits and a house and really look after me. I'd then join them on grinds or events and even be an extra person to tag along in some of the instances because back then there was 20 people per group or osmething like that. I could do everything with my friends and have fun and by the end of the week I'd have most of the skills I needed to be great in combat. That as great cause then I could switch them around constantly and have real fun with that instead of being locked to one class or levels. None of the content became pointless and that wasn't just down to the fact that there was only like 2 dungeons lol.



    I just don't get why people go for this linear class/level based mmo that becomes top heavy and makes all the content before that pointless.

  • whistlinjoe2whistlinjoe2 Member Posts: 70
    Originally posted by John.A.Zoid


    WOW doesn't work : It's broken and very top heavy where you'll be soloing the game for 69 levels to play with your friends and by that time you'll be bored or they'd quit the game for a break and try another mmorpg. They're bringing in the new death knight class which will make all the content below 55 completly useless and it's just I bet they'll do the same for every class in future because people will ask for it. Which then will make the whole old game even more pointless.


    In SWG pre cu however I'd log in for the first time and meet people greeting me outside a Starport and they'd offer me a place in the guild and they'd then supply me with a vehicle, some credits and a house and really look after me. I'd then join them on grinds or events and even be an extra person to tag along in some of the instances because back then there was 20 people per group or osmething like that. I could do everything with my friends and have fun and by the end of the week I'd have most of the skills I needed to be great in combat. That as great cause then I could switch them around constantly and have real fun with that instead of being locked to one class or levels. None of the content became pointless and that wasn't just down to the fact that there was only like 2 dungeons lol.


    I just don't get why people go for this linear class/level based mmo that becomes top heavy and makes all the content before that pointless.



     

    And what benefit did taking you provide them if you had just started?  A master BH/Creature handler, master fencer, master rifleman, wouldn't have any need of someone that hadn't even filled in 4 boxes on his/her pistol tree.   They took you for the company/powerleveling/powerskilling.  No difference than a level 70 guy grouping with a level 10 guy and powerleveling him.  You just refuse to see the similarities.

    The truth is there is NO difference.  A skill based system is just a transparent level based system.  In pre-CU SWG, you still got experience points, you still had professions and you still had skill boxes.  Everyone just started as the same generic class.  Of course you had a wide selection of skills, you had one damn character slot when SWG first started.

    WoW works fine for 11 million people.  Its just these 'My MMO palette is so refined' people that thinks it sucks and refuses to acknowledge that many people enjoy different things. 

  • Elder_CLOWNElder_CLOWN Member Posts: 50
    Originally posted by whistlinjoe2

    Originally posted by John.A.Zoid


    WOW doesn't work : It's broken and very top heavy where you'll be soloing the game for 69 levels to play with your friends and by that time you'll be bored or they'd quit the game for a break and try another mmorpg. They're bringing in the new death knight class which will make all the content below 55 completly useless and it's just I bet they'll do the same for every class in future because people will ask for it. Which then will make the whole old game even more pointless.


    In SWG pre cu however I'd log in for the first time and meet people greeting me outside a Starport and they'd offer me a place in the guild and they'd then supply me with a vehicle, some credits and a house and really look after me. I'd then join them on grinds or events and even be an extra person to tag along in some of the instances because back then there was 20 people per group or osmething like that. I could do everything with my friends and have fun and by the end of the week I'd have most of the skills I needed to be great in combat. That as great cause then I could switch them around constantly and have real fun with that instead of being locked to one class or levels. None of the content became pointless and that wasn't just down to the fact that there was only like 2 dungeons lol.


    I just don't get why people go for this linear class/level based mmo that becomes top heavy and makes all the content before that pointless.



     

    And what benefit did taking you provide them if you had just started?  A master BH/Creature handler, master fencer, master rifleman, wouldn't have any need of someone that hadn't even filled in 4 boxes on his/her pistol tree.   They took you for the company/powerleveling/powerskilling.  No difference than a level 70 guy grouping with a level 10 guy and powerleveling him.  You just refuse to see the similarities.

    The truth is there is NO difference.  A skill based system is just a transparent level based system.  In pre-CU SWG, you still got experience points, you still had professions and you still had skill boxes.  Everyone just started as the same generic class.  Of course you had a wide selection of skills, you had one damn character slot when SWG first started.

    WoW works fine for 11 million people.  Its just these 'My MMO palette is so refined' people that thinks it sucks and refuses to acknowledge that many people enjoy different things. 



     

    There ARE differences. There are ALSO similarities. Two systems with pros and cons (depending on wich side of the fence your on).

    A few highlighted words from your last sentence. Read them carefully ;)

    Personally, I agree with the OP. I too prefer a skill over classes/levels based game.

    M M O S S I N C E |1998|
    P L A Y I N G F A L L E N E A R T H
    T I M E I N V E S T E D |uo|swg|wow|
    B E T A T E S T E R |rz|gw|hz|tr|hgl|potbs|potc|gw|hz|wish|fe|wow|df|war|

  • tkobotkobo Member Posts: 465

    Your expecting the current Dev teams to learn ?????????

    Good luck with that.

    Many of them have been sticking their hands in the same fires now for almost ten years......

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