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What Does No Vertical Progression Mean? Horizontal Progression is an Illusion.

learis1learis1 Member UncommonPosts: 146
I see a lot of complaints against vertical progression and that it should be horizontal progression. As far as I can tell, vertical progression means that the stat numbers on the enemy are increased. So you either have to gain levels or gear or what-have-you to increase your numbers to be able to defeat them.

People dislike this. Fine. Let's take it away completely. So now no numbers ever increase. What then is left? The difficulty comes solely now from the AI. New content just has monsters with different AI, but the overall power level of everything stays the same. The end. Does this really change anything that much? 

I don't think so. And I think that people who obsess over the so called "horizontal" progression have this illogical fantasy that their character will be non-stop transforming their skills into different skills in a never-ending skill customization system. At some point, your character's playstyle is defined. Horizontal progression has its limits. So when you say you only want horizontal progression and no vertical progression, all you're doing is taking something away from the game, and you're not really adding anything in return.

Mend and Defend

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Comments

  • delete5230delete5230 Member EpicPosts: 6,360
    Nothing changes anyway, mmorpgs are so easy, gather up 40 hit a button and kill them all.



    horizontal vertical.... how can you tell ?  



    mmolou
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 35,816
    Is it really progession if everything basically resets with the next expansion, forcing the players into an endless gear grind?

    Maybe for some,  definitely not my style anymore.
    tzervoAlBQuirkyGdemamiachesomaAeanderCaffynated

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,107
    edited May 22
    Something like multiple ending in RPG . Instead of kill the bad guy , you make friend with them and world become peace .

    As for MMORPG , it is about how you build your character . And depend on how you build your character , you may get your own ending .

    For example to change class to paladin you need holy attribute and physical attribute and your journey to become one .
    Or to become king , you need ability to summon knight and being master of aura .

    That's what horizontal mean .


    Post edited by iixviiiix on
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,054
    Most "Horizontal Fans" do admit that some amount of vertical progression needs to occur. It usually the amount of that verticalness they dislike.

    To me, it is folks seeking "fairness." They want a chance to compete when coming late a game. So, in order to compete, they need to do away with the power gaps that usual vertical progression produces. I can certainly see where they are coming from, but disagree.

    Fairness to one is UNfair to another. So these misnamed "horizontal progression" advocates are basically seeking fair to them, fuck the vets who've played for years.

    There is one other side to this. Horizontal progression can also mean progress as in a story. You read chapter 1 before reading chapter 2 (hopefully). You progressed not vertically, but horizontally, kind of :) This can happen in RPGs as yo9u go through a themepark world and experience its story.

    However, if numbers get bigger, it is now vertical. There can certainly be many ways to limit power gaps, but is it a reasonable expectation in a game that never stops building on itself?
    tzervophoenixfire2

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • tzervotzervo Member UncommonPosts: 156
    edited May 22
    What changes with horizontal progression is:

    1) Jumping back in a game you jumped temporarily out of or coming late in it means less/no time catching up with the current power level.

    2) Less power disparity between friends playing together but not the same amount of time.

    3) You get more options, not more power.

    4) Horizontal progression does not get invalidated by new content (what Kyleran mentioned above)

    5) You don't need to choose the content you play linearly the same way you do with vertical progression.

    Example on 5:

    Vertical progression: Map A needs level 20 to survive, Map B needs level 40. You have to play map A then B.

    Horizontal progression: Map A needs skill A to survive, Map B needs skill B. You can get the skill and tackle the maps in any order you decide.

    Personally I see vertical progression offering nothing but a psychological trick that makes players feel they get more powerful and fuzzy inside.
    AlBQuirky
  • tzervotzervo Member UncommonPosts: 156
    edited May 22
    learis1 said:

    And I think that people who obsess over the so called "horizontal" progression have this illogical fantasy that their character will be non-stop transforming their skills into different skills in a never-ending skill customization system. At some point, your character's playstyle is defined. Horizontal progression has its limits. So when you say you only want horizontal progression and no vertical progression, all you're doing is taking something away from the game, and you're not really adding anything in return.
    It has limits because devs cannot put out meaningful and balanced skills and systems and be imaginative that fast all the time. But games limiting vertical progression and mixing it with horizontal are not a fantasy, they already exist: EVE, Albion and Project Gorgon immediately come to mind (and I would assume any other skill-based game as well). GW2 also did the same with its mastery system unlocking new map areas or mechanics without adding power to your character - I loved the concept, and this can actually be exploited limitlessly, I am aware some found it meh though.
    AlBQuirkyGdemamiKyleran
  • tzervotzervo Member UncommonPosts: 156
    edited May 22
    AlBQuirky said:
    Fairness to one is UNfair to another. So these misnamed "horizontal progression" advocates are basically seeking fair to them, fuck the vets who've played for years. 

    There are always ways to appease the vets though. More options and versatility via skills is something they can exploit and boast. Deep systems and combat mean they will always mop the floor with the newbies since their knowledge of the game is better. Cosmetics/achievements etc can show that they cleared more/harder content already.

    Unless they are "this guy" that wants to kill a mob with one click in front of a new player that needs 10 clicks to do the same, in order to show off. Heh, personally I don't care about "that guy" :P
    AlBQuirky
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,318
    edited May 22
    I find no vertical progression absolutely matters.

    I played GW2 a few years ago.  It is a game with no gear progression.  

    For starter everyone have equal stats gear in PvP.  So you don't need to grind gear to pvp.  You don't have power gap between player just because of gear level.

    For pve, people dont' check your gear score to see if you are fit to do the content.  But still, people check your achievement point, if it is too low, people don't want to do content with you.  

    It is just much more enjoyable because you can just do the content and not the grind for gear.  A big reason I never return to mmorpg is because it is too grindy and require too much effort to get gear to compete in pvp.
    tzervoAlBQuirky
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,036
    There is no such thing as horizontal progression, progression is always vertical.
    lahnmirkitaradSensaiChildoftheShadowsVengeSunsoarAeander
  • deniterdeniter Member RarePosts: 1,363
    MMORPG games need both horizontal and vertical progression. It's like building a pyramid - in order to make it taller you have to expand its foundations or it will collapse.
    AlBQuirky
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 6,895
    edited May 22
    There needs to be a method by which characters become more powerful through their adventuring efforts, or they will grow bored and feel that the game is pointless.

    What you CALL the system for becoming more powerful is unimportant.

    Players will always find a way to judge one another in terms of their relative power. "Babathet run. DPS spot open. Must have 500 skill points. " Same thing as levels. 
    AlBQuirky

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

  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,336
    Gdemami said:
    There is no such thing as horizontal progression, progression is always vertical.
    I can’t believe it but I completely agree with you. Horizontal means its not progress at all. 

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    kitaradKyleranAlBQuirky
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...
  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,685
    edited May 22
    Actually @Gdemami is right all progression even if you do not get higher level make you stronger so it is vertical in the end.

    It is a very shallow description when you say a game that has no level increase is horizontal. It isn't though because even in EQ 2 AA is an increase in power.
    AlBQuirkyAmathe

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,036
    lahnmir said:
    I can’t believe it but I completely agree with you.
    ...everyone can have their bright moments, even you.
    Kyleranlahnmir
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 35,816
    lahnmir said:
    Gdemami said:
    There is no such thing as horizontal progression, progression is always vertical.
    I can’t believe it but I completely agree with you. Horizontal means its not progress at all. 

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    Except that....you are both agreeing on two different things. 

    He's saying there is no way "progression" can be horizontal, if it exists in a game it is vertical, period.

    You are saying if it truly is horizontal,  it can't  really be called progession then, as you aren't making any sort of actual progress. 

    At least that's how I'm reading between the lines this morning.

    Happy Friday.


    tzervoGdemamiChildoftheShadowsAlBQuirky

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • tzervotzervo Member UncommonPosts: 156
    edited May 22
    Gdemami said:
    There is no such thing as horizontal progression, progression is always vertical.
    Then just call it progression. Otherwise you also make the distinction.

    An existing example, so we don't get into definition and semantics wars:

    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Itzel_Poison_Lore

    You can now enter poison haze areas and pass through poisonous Mordrem vines without taking damage.

    This skill unlocks areas in some maps. It does not affect your way of handling any other content. It does not let you do more damage to mobs, craft more efficiently or anything else. I call this horizontal progression.

    In my previous imaginary example with skills vs levels:

    - horizontal: skill B does not help you in any way clear content in map A faster.
    - vertical: level 40 helps you clear content in a level 20 map twice as fast.

    The qualitative difference I see between horizontal and vertical is: horizontal adds options, gameplay loops, activities and careers etc. and does not affect the rest of your activities in any meaningful way. Vertical progression means you can do content that is already available faster or more efficiently. Existing game examples are vertical, horizontal or many times hybrid. It is not either/or, it is a slider.
    Gdemami
  • tzervotzervo Member UncommonPosts: 156
    edited May 22
    kitarad said:
    Actually @Gdemami is right all progression even if you do not get higher level make you stronger so it is vertical in the end.

    It is a very shallow description when you say a game that has no level increase is horizontal. It isn't though because even in EQ 2 AA is an increase in power.
    This is why I claim that it is not an either/or, but a slider (this progression is more or less horizontal or vertical compared to that). In my previous example from GW2, if the Itzel Poison Lore skill just unlocks more content, it is horizontal. If that content allows you to get to maps with materials that will help you elsewhere, you bump that slider towards vertical. It is easy to find vertical progression elements in all games that claim "horizontal progression", most of these are hybrid up to some extent.
    Kyleran
  • AngryElfAngryElf Member UncommonPosts: 146
    However you choose to label it, Project Gorgon has an interesting way of doing the horiz/vert balance. Can pretty fluidly mix high and low level gear/skulls/situations without significant penalties. 
    tzervoAlBQuirky
  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 1,855
    If you gain power it's vertical.
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 1,022
    learis1 said:
    I see a lot of complaints against vertical progression and that it should be horizontal progression. As far as I can tell, vertical progression means that the stat numbers on the enemy are increased. So you either have to gain levels or gear or what-have-you to increase your numbers to be able to defeat them.

    People dislike this. Fine. Let's take it away completely. So now no numbers ever increase. What then is left? The difficulty comes solely now from the AI. New content just has monsters with different AI, but the overall power level of everything stays the same. The end. Does this really change anything that much? 

    I don't think so. And I think that people who obsess over the so called "horizontal" progression have this illogical fantasy that their character will be non-stop transforming their skills into different skills in a never-ending skill customization system. At some point, your character's playstyle is defined. Horizontal progression has its limits. So when you say you only want horizontal progression and no vertical progression, all you're doing is taking something away from the game, and you're not really adding anything in return.

    What is left is a broadening of abilities over time, which increases character power, until the number of concurrently usable abilities are reached, and flexibility by being better able to customize which abilities you concurrently use out of a larger pool available.

    So it isn't solely the AI, but what you can bring to bear against that AI. This is largely the same benefit of vertical progression simply done by another method. So, it doesn't change the result overly much, but it does the method.

    Some prefer that difference in method, so for them it adds satisfying their preference in return, and through that their enjoyment of the game increases. That this enjoyment will likely lead to more fun for these persons provides inherent validation of it.

    Those that dislike that method will find it less fun and thus choose to play games with the vertical progression they enjoy more.

    I'm not seeing a basis for complaint here.
    AlBQuirky
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,036
    tzervo said:
    Then just call it progression. Otherwise you also make the distinction.

    An existing example, so we don't get into definition and semantics wars:

    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Itzel_Poison_Lore

    This skill unlocks areas in some maps. It does not affect your way of handling any other content. It does not let you do more damage to mobs, craft more efficiently or anything else. I call this horizontal progression.

    In my previous imaginary example with skills vs levels:

    - horizontal: skill B does not help you in any way clear content in map A faster.
    - vertical: level 40 helps you clear content in a level 20 map twice as fast.

    The qualitative difference I see between horizontal and vertical is: horizontal adds options, gameplay loops, activities and careers etc. and does not affect the rest of your activities in any meaningful way. Vertical progression means you can do content that is already available faster or more efficiently. Existing game examples are vertical, horizontal or many times hybrid. It is not either/or, it is a slider.
    No.
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,336
    Gdemami said:
    lahnmir said:
    I can’t believe it but I completely agree with you.
    ...everyone can have their bright moments, even you.
    Now now, don’t get cocky because you happen to be right for once. You still rate well below a broken clock.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    KyleranAlBQuirky
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 14,026
    Horizontal is like the cosmetics of game play: you're not better just different. 

    It's like playing an alt without actually playing an alt in that mythical RPG with perfect balance: It still takes you 15.2 seconds to kill that elite mob but now you're doing it with a 2HD sword instead of a bow.

    I think it's promoted as a better system by altoholics who don't want to level alts :) but they really should drop the progression bit and just call it horizontal game play because tacking on progression to a system where you don't progress defies common sense,

    PS - I play RPGs to progress and I don't mind leveling alts in the least.
    KyleranAlBQuirky
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 1,756
    Iselin said:
    Horizontal is like the cosmetics of game play: you're not better just different. 

    It's like playing an alt without actually playing an alt in that mythical RPG with perfect balance: It still takes you 15.2 seconds to kill that elite mob but now you're doing it with a 2HD sword instead of a bow.

    I think it's promoted as a better system by altoholics who don't want to level alts :) but they really should drop the progression bit and just call it horizontal game play because tacking on progression to a system where you don't progress defies common sense,

    PS - I play RPGs to progress and I don't mind leveling alts in the least.
    Special snowflake progression!
    tzervoIselinKyleranAlBQuirky
    Ungood said:

    Wake up, It's RNG, there is no such thing as "rare"
  • tzervotzervo Member UncommonPosts: 156
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