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It's simply providing a tangible reward system. A measure that one can use to monitor the progress acheived in the game. How else would a game implement echelons, or tiers if you will, of content? Plus, in MMO's, the rewards one recieve are often so paltry and superficial that it just feels good to know you're making progress in an otherwise desolate and open-ended environment.
I used to think that I'd like to just have essentially one "level" so to speak. My character would just gain additional bonuses after achieving enough experience. But there's just something about that "ding!" that feels right.
"Woah....Wait......Dude, am I driving right now?"
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.
dude you're so blind .... A skill based system is NOT a bull**** everquest/world of warcraft level based system...
For example, in Ultima online you don't have gay tiers where you can slay a level 10 orc, then level 20 orcs. An orc is an orc ... a Wolf is a Wolf . You got skill based on how long you fight much like oblivion.
Levels are absolutely ridiculous along with non-degrading items. Gee lets have items and weapons that never break so crafting becomes pointless.
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.
Developers prefer levels because that way they manage gameplay more easily. With classes/levels thay balance every character to reasonable levels. You cannot create unusable char and cannot create "imba" char (except if they make his own mistake).
At all with lvl you have less control over the character developement, becasue the most of the work is already done by developers. Thats why some ppls (like me) prefer sandbox where you have much bigger freedom to experiment and balance your char to your needs.
The bigger problem in sandbox char developement from developer side is to balance gameplay mechanics so there will not be only 1-2 specific char builds that rulz...
Originally posted by John.A.Zoid 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.
You fail at grasping the essence of gaming. Having fun. How can pre-endgame content be pointless when I'm having fun going through it?
I mean, isn't that why I'm playing a game? I reserve my "achievements" for actual, real life. You know, where it actually matters.
[No spell check at work ]
Im a Skillbased fan myself and am glad that there a few indie's making Skill based mmo's again.
Class based just got the luck, it worked in One game, big guys copy it as its less work / cost to maintain and it became a standart for the mmo industrie. nowadays on tv people talk about skill based mmo's as its someting new :P .
We just gota remember that curently the bigger part of the games are no MMOGAMERS. tthey like single player games but like games were they can play whit there friends more, there not in a mmo for freedom but for the game itself WHIT there friends.
A smaller part of us play MMO's for the freedom it "used " to give. to relex and do wahtever your mood is in roleplayer of casual alike.
Its bin a decade of fallbacks in the tech used in mmo's but the industrie is crawling back up slowly. they have to , the simple easy mony making games do not atrack so mutch anymore so they have to reinvinte the market, were seeing bigger cusmesation options in bigger IP's comming in and the smaller are adding more gameplay/freedom.
I guess it be the next gen of mmo's that would bring us back on track were we left it " 5 " years ago.
dude you're so blind .... A skill based system is NOT a bull**** everquest/world of warcraft level based system...For example, in Ultima online you don't have gay tiers where you can slay a level 10 orc, then level 20 orcs. An orc is an orc ... a Wolf is a Wolf . You got skill based on how long you fight much like oblivion.Levels are absolutely ridiculous along with non-degrading items. Gee lets have items and weapons that never break so crafting becomes pointless.
Your point is valid.
Mind telling me how character progression is different?
Edit: Elder_CLOWN The difference is that there isn't a new thread on these forums every day exclaiming "Sandbox games and skill based games suck!"
Originally posted by whistlinjoe2 dude you're so blind .... A skill based system is NOT a bull**** everquest/world of warcraft level based system...For example, in Ultima online you don't have gay tiers where you can slay a level 10 orc, then level 20 orcs. An orc is an orc ... a Wolf is a Wolf . You got skill based on how long you fight much like oblivion.Levels are absolutely ridiculous along with non-degrading items. Gee lets have items and weapons that never break so crafting becomes pointless.
there's a huge difference ... skilled based system is pretty much taking out "character progression" and making the least important part of the gaming experience. All that I'm asking and I think people who agree with me is a world that is realistic and game economy that works. Not some ... oh ive grind X mobs so therefore I'm level 70 and you're lvl 1 because you've just started.
if you would of played Ultima online, you'd know what im talking about. People spend majority of the time racing to the end game and areas within Level based systems go unused -- look at everquest for christs sake and see how many old zones are barren. I mean is a skill-based system really that radical? How many failed mmorpgs does it take for devs to realise this?
Skill-based games allow players to fix Developer mistakes. Let's say there are only 10 skills in the game:
Sword, Black magic, White magic, Fire magic
Let's say only Black magic works well. the devs suck at math (in which most do sadly). So only Black magic is worth training.
In a class based game, only Black magicians would be good and FOTM. Everyone else would suck and just have to live with it or reroll.
In a sandbox title- players can fix this imbalance by learning other skills. Perhaps a mix of Black with Fire will make a viable character. Perhaps Sword, White, and a tiny bit of Black will also make a great character
Additionally, assuming some sort of skill cap is in-place, players can generate infinite amount of unique Classes all dynamically created.
Also, in a skill-based title, newbies and vets can team together. you can play with your vet friends just fine. In skill-based titles, you simply need the vets to hold aggro while the weaker guys toss in some dmg/heals or whatever
Additionally there is no grouping limits. So if you want to bring 50 people to raid a dungeon its fine. Additionally, you dont even need to click on others to invite them to your group. Everyone skills up great
So check it. In a sandbox game you see a stranger grinding on some ghouls. you can walk up right beside him and just help out. Not say a word, just start grinding with the guy. And you both are in a team. and you both gain XP because its through use. So DEvelopers cant nerf XP gains for grouping
you know how stupid MMOs are getting now right by forcing you to quest for XP? This makes teamming suffer right? In sandbox indy titles I've played grouping was just fun and casual. We dont even bother asking how 'vet' the other is. You just walk up and start earning XP together
Originally posted by John.A.Zoid ...Why do developers keep trying to copy the class/level based format which is just SHIT. I'm fed up of it.
My guess is:
When WoW is no longer the #1 MMO on the planet.
That is when Devs will stop using the class/level based format.
Until that time comes... the majority of MMOs will probably use that formula. There are some that break out from the mold though. Give them a try and see if you like them instead.
A game need to have a system to distinguish new players from veterans. So far I see no problem with levels, as even skills work that way. The problem is when you start to divide players into leagues or tiers. This way you have to advance several times - first you have to advance from bad to good in tier 1, and after that you start over again in next tier, and after that the next one, etc. The result of this is that you divide your player base, and only allow people in the same or very close tier to play with each other.
You could still have levels, but decrease the difference between min and max level, not the number of them, but what they represents. In for example WoW, there is huge difference already between a level 1 and a level 5, where the second of them can do things the former can´t dream of at this moment. That would almost be enough of difference in power, but in WoW and the most other level based game the gap is so huge between min and max level so it is almost like compare a fly with a god. But even as "the god" you are not really much better for your level, because every enemy you encounter are gods too. The only thing this results in is that you as high level can´t play with your low level friend, and vice versa, because you play in different leagues. If you could decrease the the gap, so everyone could play in the same league, you would have a system where the highest level still was much more powerful and able to survive than any newbie, but still be able to team up.
Take a look at CoH, where you have levels and tons of instruments to work around them, with sidekicking, zones with automated levels like the pvp zones, and events where the enemies adjust their level for everyone they are fighting with. This works fine, and those who are low level need those who are high level, but still can be of valuable help. If a game with levels worked as they do in the Rikti raids in CoH, I would not have any problems with levels. But as it works in most games, I hate them.
Originally posted by bob_sandwich there's a huge difference ... skilled based system is pretty much taking out "character progression" and making the least important part of the gaming experience. All that I'm asking and I think people who agree with me is a world that is realistic and game economy that works. Not some ... oh ive grind X mobs so therefore I'm level 70 and you're lvl 1 because you've just started.if you would of played Ultima online, you'd know what im talking about. People spend majority of the time racing to the end game and areas within Level based systems go unused -- look at everquest for christs sake and see how many old zones are barren. I mean is a skill-based system really that radical? How many failed mmorpgs does it take for devs to realise this?
I guess my problem comes like this. So I have to grind X number of mobs to get from 1 to 70. Don't I have to grind Y number of mobs to get from Novice Swordsmanship to Grand Master Swordsmanship?
This is how my brain works. I see a different UI, but see the same underlying method. I realize it isn't that cut and dry, but i can't help but think about it that way.
Originally posted by whistlinjoe2 Originally posted by bob_sandwich there's a huge difference ... skilled based system is pretty much taking out "character progression" and making the least important part of the gaming experience. All that I'm asking and I think people who agree with me is a world that is realistic and game economy that works. Not some ... oh ive grind X mobs so therefore I'm level 70 and you're lvl 1 because you've just started.if you would of played Ultima online, you'd know what im talking about. People spend majority of the time racing to the end game and areas within Level based systems go unused -- look at everquest for christs sake and see how many old zones are barren. I mean is a skill-based system really that radical? How many failed mmorpgs does it take for devs to realise this?
I see the same thing as you whistlinjoe. You're still leveling. It is just skills instead of levels. Someone earlier said in levle based, a lot of content becomes obsolete. Well, if you only need to grind the same wolf over and over to raise your skills, whats the point of ever changing to something else?
I remember 1 skill based where that wolf no longer advanced my skill in swords. Oh no, I now need a new bigger badder wolf. That is a freaking level. If the skill based games didn't have hidden levels, there would be no reason to visit all the content. Why group at all, why raid, because stuff is stronger, they are a higher level!. Will people on a raid take someone who just started or the guy with level 5 in 6 different skills with his special attacks etc. Hmm, I wonder. There will always be a gap between the vet and the newly made character.
In EVE, there is a gap, but it can be narrowed, but you're kidding yourself if you think someone just starting is going to have the skill (in more way than 1) to defeat or even compete against someone around for a year.
Eventually in a skill based game, people will start to equal, but I'm curious if there were an endless progression of skills, that if anyone could catch up to someone who always plays. The thing is, it stops at some point, just like a level/class game, because if not, no one would ever even out. You would have so and so with skill 10 million if swords while someone else who played a year later is only at 4 million swords. So even there in a skill based game, there is a level max.
Another thing I've seen in skill based games is, people talk about FOTM classes in other games, well skills become the same way. it happened in SWG where everyone had the same stuff, then the nerf bat came, and everyone got rid of it.
Whether skills or levels, people will go after FOTM, but I think it is worse in skill based because, since there is no distinction between the classes and everyone can get the same skills, when certain skills are far superior, everyone tends to get them, because they NEED them to compete.
I don't mind either system, but they're really the same thing cloaked in different skins. As long as I am having fun, I don't really care about how the system is set up.
It doesn't have to be a grind. Skill-based games can have quests if they desired to award skill points (like ryzom does). Just don't make me do the quests. Allow me the freedom to skillup by exploring the world and meeting new people/. If I see someone having a tough time with a boss. Allow me to jump in and we all reap the rewards
Skill-based games work so well you do even need to stop and click 'invite to group'. You just naturally just jump in and assist
Ultima online was really on the right track and so incredible. It's such a damn shame EQ took over and now thats all people know (not directed at you Joe)
For me the problem is OVERT levels.
WoW has levels in your face, all the time. Furthermore, the levels are rigid and gate content, and stratify the players so that if you're 10 levels above someone else, you'll kill their XP gain from killing mobs if you group with them, and you won't get any XP either for that matter.
SWG preCU had levels, but they were not overt, and they were not rigid. A n00b could join up with some more experienced players and go on a krayt hunt without being penalized by the levels, only by the lack of skills. The n00b would not get huge amounts of XP, but could at least participate and get some XP. PUGs were possible with anyone.
The other advantage of the SWG preCU system was that the mobs enhanced the feeling you were in a virtual world. Your /consider tool told you how dangerous a mob was, and your /consider actually changed if you equipped another weapon. A swordsman, for example, would be much more effective with his trained weapon and be much less effective with a pistol than a sword if he had no marksman skills. Weapons themselves were rated according to your skills, and if you tried using a weapon you did not have the skill to use, you could use it, but it would not be nearly as effective as it would be if you were certified.
The fact is, rigid level systems appeal to lazy developers who just plug in numbers to create "challenge" for players. Subtle things like "will this acid pistol work on this rancor" are lost in such a system. It becomes much less of a challenge when anything you use inflicts the same damage based on your level and the mob's level, and there are mathematical formulas that penalize you if you go after something "too high" for your level.
The major crime of the CU was the imposition of overt levels to dumb down the game because it was too difficult (or quite possibly too expensive) for the combat system to be maintained by SOE's clown car of developers. So they dumbed the game down. Then they went into dumb down overdrive with the NGE.
CH, Jedi, Commando, Smuggler, BH, Scout, Doctor, Chef, BE...yeah, lots of SWG time invested.
Once a denizen of Ahazi
Originally posted by Vynt Originally posted by whistlinjoe2 Originally posted by bob_sandwich there's a huge difference ... skilled based system is pretty much taking out "character progression" and making the least important part of the gaming experience. All that I'm asking and I think people who agree with me is a world that is realistic and game economy that works. Not some ... oh ive grind X mobs so therefore I'm level 70 and you're lvl 1 because you've just started.if you would of played Ultima online, you'd know what im talking about. People spend majority of the time racing to the end game and areas within Level based systems go unused -- look at everquest for christs sake and see how many old zones are barren. I mean is a skill-based system really that radical? How many failed mmorpgs does it take for devs to realise this?
Sandbox games (skill-based) are not intended for you to rush to endgame. there is no endgame and often times there is no skill cap (like EVE). You don't have to grind wolves to skill up. You can skillup in duels / pvp (like UO) or crafting, etc.
Yes the point of sandbox games is that you can stay in your favorite area forever. This allows Guilds to find a spot they like and settle down there. Guilds can live together in this area and not be spread out all over the game.
Actually a newbie can compete in EVE. You can train up Interceptors and fill a Tackle role. You can train covert ops and do recon. See where I'm going? In EVE, bigger does not mean better. Frigates can take down battleships. It may take multiple frigates but ppl do it. This is much better then level based games where Level 1s have no chance or hope to kill a Level 60. you just die and and die and die. Defenseless turds is what ppl ar ein level based pvp normally
Skill-based games, again, bigger does not usually mean better. Skills are just that- raw skills. Vets die to newbies all the time in skill-based titles. You will have to see for yourself here. Don't take my word! This is why people confuse skill-based with player-skill based. Because they both are so similar. In a skill-based title, if you don't play your character right you just die to a much younger person.
Never played SWG pre-CU which just sounds like they didnt balance for PVP at all. Class based games are turdy like that as well. See city of heroes where for longest time only build for pvp wa sreally Ice/* Corrupters and EM/* for Brutes and so forth
Right on. That's because players have the ability to easily fix developer errors. If they only make 2-3 skills worth getting, now everyone will get their ability. This makes you more flexible to compensate for developer incompetence
Nope, see my post there are major differences. I play both types of games concurrently and there are major differences. Class based can be good cause it allows ya to be more lazy. Developers alreayd made a character for you. Skill-based tends to require more research and playing around with attributes. You can usually gimp yourself more easy in skill-based. Hence, why Class based is obviously a big win. Unfortunatelry, players are stuck with horrid Classes until Devs get around to fixing them.
Actually, it's all in the design of the system.
The visible difference in using a skill-based (in many case, skill-tree based) character progression an using a class/level based character progression is the idea of specialization and play-style. I don't think I need to go into this further...
The non-visible difference would have to be the "balance" between skills.
The argument people always get into is "well, a skill-tree based system would have you end up either 1.) everyone is the same and/or 2.) everyone going after the FOTM". But there is a catch for saying this - it's the SAME in class/level based system, you just pick it in advance or reroll when that happens.
One of the main focus for skill-tree based system is the options in character progression. That is, many do not wish to be the best, but they do wish to be what they WANT to be. Yes, you will get the min/max'er in the mist of the gamers, but you can't use that as an excuse to skew the view on the demography.
You made a point on "level max" in a skill-based system... It isn't really a "level max" but rather a "skill limiter" which functions similar to the level cap but with one difference - the inherent design of the system allows more freedom.
Let's say that class/level based system is a vertical one (1 - XX), and a skill-tree based system is more of a horizontal one (vast choice of skill-trees.) To add content in the form of character progression, devs raise the cap on both system. But for skill-tree based, that isn't enough. This is due to the inherent design of all available choices. So in order to add contents, the devs need to add in more skill-tree (in form of tiered skill-trees, specialized skill-trees, hybrid skill-trees, etc...)
So if you are just looking at the grand picture of the character progression system, then you would feel that there is no difference between class/level and a skill-tree based system. But the difference is in the detail, and in the end, that make world of difference in actually playing with and utilizing the system.
Current MMO: FFXIV:ARR
Past MMO: Way too many (P2P and F2P)
Biggest MMORPG on the planet, WoW, uses levels. Most MMORPGs use levels. Levels are used in Paper 'n Pencil games, like Dungeons and Dragons, and in the early Computer Roleplaying GAmes taht were single player.
Levels aren't going anywhere, anytime soon.
Levels increase your damage output and you health etc etc. Gaining skills just add abilities to make you better at combat. This is why the skill system works sooo well.
That WoW use levels don´t prove levels popularity. You don´t know how popular it had been with another solution instead of levels. The only thing it prove is that people are OK with levels if the game is well done.
Most games with levels have, on the other hand, not been so very popular compared to WoW or so much more popular than the skill based games - some have been popular, but the reason can be explained by other factors than that "they used levels".
Linage 1 & 2 have been very big, but thats mainly in Asia, and not very popular in NA/EU at all what I know. The same may be the case with FFXI, but I may be wrong here. GW have also been very popular, but that game is´s not a pay to play and should not be compared with games with a monthly fee. WAR is still to young to judge, and LotRO may be very popular, but its questionable and can very well doing bad. Vanguard - big flop. AoC - do I need to comment on this one?
The few skill based mmorpg´s in the top of my mind have been fairly popular, considering the time they were released and despite their problems (UO - a game from the beginning of the mmo era and outdated 2d graphics, SWG - buggy and mismanaged, EVE - very niche and sci-fi).
Post WoW no big title except EVE have used a skill based system (not what I can think about anyway). Every other game used levels, so it´s no wonder level based games are more popular than skill based. Past the newness, most post WoW level based games have dropped down to around the same subs as the original EQ or less. Actually most level based games today have about the same or less players than pre-cu SWG had.
Much more people play mmorpg´s today, and still a very few of them can beat the box sale and subscriptions (after the initial few months) of pre-cu SWG. So I don´t think levels are in demand, just that the most popular game right now happens to use it.
Actually levels work very well in MMOs...The reason being they want you to play for a few months....remember most of them get 15 bucks a month out of you.......IF you arent working on leveling or developing your character what is there to keep you interested long term???........We always hear how great sandbox games are that have no levels but to tell the truth Ive never subbed to any sandbox for more than a month because I lost interest quickly.......
After reading a million threads on the subject of levels / quests / sandbox / whatever, I've come to the conclusion that people really one of two types of MMOs
MMO as a game - Where you get with your friends and the goal is to go out and 'beat the game', or at least whatever content the devs have put in it for you. These games work best with levels and classes since there's always a path of advancement and balancing for groups is easier when you have pre-structured jobs for everyone to do. It's easier to make sure everyone knows where they're at and easier to add new stuff by just sticking a number after it, or when they get to 'max level' by using gear sets and attunements as a rough replacement.
MMO as a virtual world - When you get with your friends, go out to conquer territory, play the markets, craft the best gear, explore, or some other freeform activity. These games work best with a skillbased system since advancement (and how to go about it) is up to the players and all content needs to be kept viable to everyone at all times . It's easier to balance a wide array of completely disparate activites by tying them loosly to individual skills rather than to an overall 'level', and new activities can be added that exist alongside the old ones by simply adding new skills for them.
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!"
Cant be bothered to read the rest as this sums things up perfectly.
Another great example of Moore's Law. Give people access to that much space (developers and users alike) and they'll find uses for it that you can never imagine. "640K ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981
250k people play EVE, 11 million play WoW. The people have choosen which system they like most.
Originally posted by ginfress01 250k people play EVE, 11 million play WoW. The people have choosen which system they like most.
On one hand I agree. On the other I must argue that Eve is an extremely niche game with harsh death penalities that are unacceptable to the average gamer along with other game concepts that are a much longer term approach to gaming then the average mmo. There's so much more to mmos then leveling that your statement really can't correlate levels to the popularity of wow.
Some of these have already been mentioned, but here you go, the differences between skill based and class based:
1) Freedom - In a skill based system you have more freedom with character creation. If it's a skill tree system, you can combine which ever trees you want, regardless of how well they fit together. In a class system, you're stuck with a specific number of classes and maybe a few options for speccing.
2) Power gap - Class/level systems usually have a MUCH MUCH bigger gap between new characters and capped characters. Yes, skill systems still have a gap, but it's not nearly as big by design.
3) Trade skills - In class/level systems, trade skills are always a secondary form of progression. Basically, they're something you work on when ever you're not out leveling. They have no effect on your character class or level. In skill based systems, trade skills are part of your primary progression. If you want, you could dedicate your entire character towards nothing but trade skills. Or, if you build your character around nothing but combat, you might not have room for trade skills.
4) Game play - All of this adds up to a different game play focus. Class/level based will be more focused around combat, quests, and moving up the level ladder. Skill based will be focused around what ever style of game play you've built you character for. Maybe it's combat or crafting or harvesting or what ever.