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Is Linear Leveling Progression dead?

RungarRungar Member RarePosts: 478
edited April 21 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
My opinion is that part of the death of mmos is the over reliance on levelling and levelling mechanisms instead of focusing on making the worlds...more worldly. To me levelling is a crutch to keep players interested when designs are very weak and shallow, and covers up the general lack of interactivity with the world.

are you sick of "levelling" yet? I am.  
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Post edited by Rungar on
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Comments

  • DemogorgonDemogorgon Member UncommonPosts: 361
    edited April 5
    No... You are in the wrong genre of game if you don't like rpg progression of your character.

    Level have nothing to do with wordly world. Dev are just lazy greedy little f**k. 
    delete5230RemaliIselinAsm0deusAlBQuirkyGorweGdemamiTimukasPo_ggILLISETand 4 others.
  • DibdabsDibdabs Member RarePosts: 2,976
    I'd much rather play a game where skills train with use and there are no actual character levels.  Character levels are so year 2,000-ish.
    tzervoAlBQuirkyBrainyILLISETMastaccolliHiromant
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,667
    IMHO, Leveling serves a great purpose to function as a intro to the game, where they do not drop too much on you at once, so that you can play, gain skills and abilities, unlock gear options and the like in smaller chucks, and they are part of the leveling process.

    This is good for me, as a player, so that I can learn the game, at least for the first time, with my first character.

    When I played ArcheAge, everything was just dropped in my lap in that first 10 min intro, and truth be told, that both extremely annoying and overwhelming, I like the idea of getting into the game, and just playing it.

    So too much info-dump at the start, is a huge turn off. I liked the way GW2 did it, where you leveled your first toon, learned the game, and what have you, gained skills, abilities, traits, as you leveled, so that first run up, was both a good way to feel out the game, and all the various parts were given to you in small chucks, so you could process them individually, and play with this new feature for a few levels, until the next new feature hit you.

    So in that regard leveling really was a great aspect of the game. Equally so, in GW2, unlike other games when you make max you get bottle necked into a small "End Game" with GW2, their level scaling allows players to fully branch out into the whole game at 80th. So the leveling, is ideally a training period to really learn the game.

    In that nature, once you make 80th, you can start to earn Leveling Tomes, that you can use to level alts, because you don't want to go through the level process again. I personally have 8 characters all 80th, with 800+ levels in tomes on back up, so, leveling in GW2, after your first character is totally optional. They give away a free level 80 boost with HoT, so, you don't even need to level your 1st toon either anymore.

    But it still serves that purpose of really giving you a feel for the game, that first time in, allowing the player to learn things in small chunks, which is a great system IMHO.
    AlBQuirkyringdanyPo_ggtzervoxpsync
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • XatshXatsh Member RarePosts: 438
    edited April 5
    Character Levels are a backbone of the RPG genre as a whole.

    Would be like saying I hate guns lets remove them from the next call of duty and do all hand to hand combat instead. Just not genre fitting.

    Now for death of mmos. This is not one of them in my opinion at all.

    The reasons they are dying are the following:

    1) Overcasual gameplay and massive lack of content endgame.
    2) Community being horribly degraded due to lack of guild purpose and duty/raid finders.
    3) Lobby Server style gameplay where the world is marginalized and people just que into everything.
    4) Economies which are absolute trash. Aka crafting is not integrated into top tier endgame at all.
    5)  F2P BS... yea p2w kills games been proven over and over now.
    6) Games selling and offering the bare minimum to cut cost to development while maximizing shareholder profits. Aka things are not "Grand" Scale anymore.
    7) Copy Cat Syndrome... How many WoW style themepark mmos have launched in the last 10yrs... 20-30? Most with almost no innovation or just a small gimmick. Lead to stagnation of the genre.

    AlBQuirkyBrainyeoloe
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 8,296
    edited April 5
    WHen I look at the success of games like Fortnite I often wonder if players don't like to level anymore...To me that is the fun of the game...improving my character and gaining new skills and spells is the fun of hte game, not having a max level character with everything all ready handed to him from the start.
    RemaliKyleranAlBQuirkyGdemamiBruceYeeHiromant
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,068
    The problem with leveling as a tutorial is that the leveling process typically covers something like 90% of a game's content, and only maybe 5% of that can plausibly be called a tutorial.
    AlBQuirkyGorweBrainytzervo
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,667
    WHen I look at the success of games like Fortnite I often wonder if players don't like to level anymore...To me that is the fun of the game...improving my character and gaining new skills and spells is the fun of hte game, not having a max level character with everything all ready handed to him from the start.
    Fortnight is a Pure PvP Game, and players who play that game, are looking for PLAYER vs PLAYER. Also keep in mind, Fortnight is a basically a Full Loot Perma Death game, where you only get 1 shot to win, and if you die, all your gear drops to the ground.

    People who play RPG's are looking for Character Advancement. 
    KyleranAlBQuirky
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,667
    Quizzical said:
    The problem with leveling as a tutorial is that the leveling process typically covers something like 90% of a game's content, and only maybe 5% of that can plausibly be called a tutorial.
    That is a flaw in the game design itself. Some games, like for example, GW2, you will reach max level before you will be able to complete 60% of the maps and that would just be doing map completion, much less also getting involved in all the other stuff, like World Bosses, Jumping Puzzles, Dungeons, Fractals, Personal Story, or even getting started on the expansions.

    Which is really how an MMO should be.. VAST.. so vast in fact, that you can't see it all without maxing your leveling, and realize that once you make it to max level, that is when the game really starts.

    and GW2, really does a great job to embrace that feeling. As opposed to trying to squash everything, it makes that first time up a fun, and often easy, journey to experience the game world, with level scaling going only down, the world expands as you level, unlike other MMO's where the world shrinks as you level.
    AlBQuirkyGdemamiringdany
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • CuddleheartCuddleheart Member UncommonPosts: 341
    edited April 5
    WHen I look at the success of games like Fortnite I often wonder if players don't like to level anymore...To me that is the fun of the game...improving my character and gaining new skills and spells is the fun of hte game, not having a max level character with everything all ready handed to him from the start.
    I love watching numbers go up and being rewarded, I'm just tired of having to spend months doing trivial(mostly solo) content that always comes with the promise of 'oh, it will get better when you're level capped'. 

    I really enjoyed the way monster player progression worked in LoTRO.  It was my favorite feature of the game and the only PvP I ever really sunk substantial time into.  It was great to be able to start a monster and jump right into playing with everyone.  You got progression that felt meaningful(mostly) as you ranked up, yet some arbitrary number wasn't a gatekeeper to group content.





    UngoodKyleranAlBQuirky
  • WargfootWargfoot Member RarePosts: 463
    edited April 5
    Leveling is a silly mechanic and it should be eliminated.

    It ends up producing weird immersion breaking effects like a level 10 skeleton beating on a level 50 fighter while he's AFK -  and doing absolutely no damage.  

    Other immersion breaking impacts includes color coding MOBS such that you've no chance against purple MOBS while grey MOBS give you no EXP.

    Nothing wrong with enjoying levels but they're not required as an indication of progress.  I think skill progression is much more immersive, interesting, and flexible.


    AlBQuirkyGdemamiBrainyeoloeFrodoFraginsPalebaneHiromant
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,567
    edited April 5
    Dibdabs said:
    I'd much rather play a game where skills train with use and there are no actual character levels.  Character levels are so year 2,000-ish.
    You might like that but those who complain about character leveling would complain about that instead. What they want instant play at "end game" all leveled up and equal to everyone else. They want a MOBA or Fortnite or one of the countless shooters that have always worked this way. 

    Some people don't get that RPGs are about growing a character or a build. Whether you do it with character levels or skill unlock and growth it's irrelevant.

    Also, ESO is way ahead of you. They do still have character levels but with full level scaling that is more legacy than anything else. ESO is all about unlocking skills and leveling those skills by using them. It's been that way actually since long before level scaling. You have dozens of skill lines to choose from and level independent of each other. Only one of those lines, and a very minor one with skills hardly anyone bothers to use (EDIT: I was conflating the "Soul" line which is a main quest based skill line with the Racial Passives - it's only the racial passives that follow your character level), depends on your character level. They did that 7 years ago :)
    Post edited by Iselin on
    UngoodSovrathKyleranAlBQuirkyTheocritusTimukasGdemamixpsync
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

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  • WargfootWargfoot Member RarePosts: 463
    Leveling is for people who spend a lot of time trying to get bubble gum out of their hair.
    KyleranAlBQuirkyILLISET
  • WargfootWargfoot Member RarePosts: 463
    Another goofy side effect of leveling is level gated gear.
    I literally cannot put this gear on because... of a level?






    AlBQuirkyBrainy
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,689
    Wargfoot said:
    Another goofy side effect of leveling is level gated gear.
    I literally cannot put this gear on because... of a level?







    While I love leveling, I agree this is a problem with some games that use level gated gear.

    I'd rather have a more narrow set of parameters for gear where better gear is only "a little better."

    I would like to see a pack of wolves be terrifying at level 1 and still very concerning at top level.
    MendelAlBQuirkyGdemamieoloe
  • RungarRungar Member RarePosts: 478
    I think mmo's need to end their association with rpg's and start a new romance with survival type games. 
    SovrathAlBQuirkyGdemamiILLISETMMOExposed
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  • WargfootWargfoot Member RarePosts: 463
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Another goofy side effect of leveling is level gated gear.
    I literally cannot put this gear on because... of a level?







    While I love leveling, I agree this is a problem with some games that use level gated gear.

    I'd rather have a more narrow set of parameters for gear where better gear is only "a little better."

    I would like to see a pack of wolves be terrifying at level 1 and still very concerning at top level.
    I've thought about this some from the perspective of PvP.

    Ungood and I had a good laugh over the initial New World  implementation of leveling in a PvP game - such that someone could literally have 20x your hit points.  That is a ganker formulae right there.

    Anyways, I can understand the appeal of leveling and wouldn't mind having it trivialized somewhat.

    What if a starting character had 100 hit points. and a level 50 had 150 hit points.
    The level 50 would have an advantage, but he wouldn't be full on godmode.

    One type of leveling I like was in New World where you gained reputation with a particular town. I could see those alternate types of leveling being fun without creating such a disparity in the playerbase.
    UngoodAlBQuirkyGdemami
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,277
    Rungar said:
    I think mmo's need to end their association with rpg's and start a new romance with survival type games. 

    PnP RPGs were the original survival types. Players needed to account for food, sleep, weather, and several other factors in order to survive. Don't blame RPGs because MMOs dumb mechanics down to the lowest common denominator.
    KyleranWargfootAlBQuirkyGdemami
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,667
    Wargfoot said:
    Leveling is a silly mechanic and it should be eliminated.

    It ends up producing weird immersion breaking effects like a level 10 skeleton beating on a level 50 fighter while he's AFK -  and doing absolutely no damage.  

    Other immersion breaking impacts includes color coding MOBS such that you've no chance against purple MOBS while grey MOBS give you no EXP.

    Nothing wrong with enjoying levels but they're not required as an indication of progress.  I think skill progression is much more immersive, interesting, and flexible.
    Levels exist in real life as well.

    Every Competition has Levels that you work through, tiers, and the like.

    Local, Regional, State, National, International, Professional, Etc.

    And lets be honest, a lot of people never make it past Local.

    This is why, (Under normal circumstances) You aren't going to sit and play against a grand master of chess as your first opponent, entering the chess league. 

    You do not make your first Boxing debut against the Heavy Weight Champion of the World.

    You're first football game is not going to be played against NFL Pro's.

    And truth be told, in real life, you also have hard caps on what your body will get to.

    There are many people that play Football in Highschool that never make the College Teams, they simply lack the determination and genetics, to be a top level football player.

    And of those that make it to College Football, do not make the Pros, and try as they might, they just hit a cap where they simply aren't going to get any better, and for many of them, that ends up not good enough to get into those top positions.

    So hard reality check.. no one really wants reality in their Video game.

    Levels are an easy way to chart progress that players can grasp and know when they are ready to face their next higher up challenge, which is why they are used.

    Sure, an MMO could build a vastly complex system of skill development, and thousands of behind the scenes equations going on, from physical attributes, to skill, to balance, to weather temperature, to a lot of other things, to give you the feel of what a real simulation would be, where there was invisible progress gained from repeated use of a weapon, or armor, and the like, but, how do you know when you are ready to face a bear?

    In real life, you don't. You really have very little to no idea what the bear can do to you, and when the fight starts, you either live and drive the bear off or kill it, or the Bear mauls you, and you either escape to live another day with the scars and physical damage that will get calculated into your ability to fight in the future, or you die and the game is over.

    Seems harsh, and I bet, most players don't want that anyway.

    On top of that, players want to fight dragons, ride unicorns, and cast fireballs, So realism can suck it.. 
    AlBQuirkyTheocritusxpsyncILLISETeoloe
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • RungarRungar Member RarePosts: 478
    its really more about whar you would rather waste your time at. Valheim is a good example where 3 types of food is your hp and stamina. The better food you use and maintain the more you get. Additionally while rudimentary your base provides extra stats in the form of rested and duration in the form of comfort for the regeneration of those stats. The armor is the only thing that really has a level to it and although there are skills in the game they are more or less vestigal and really dont impact the playing of the game.  

    so a great many mmo people are also crafters so its a better match in my opinion to use these environmental ways to improve your character rather than just kill everything. 
    AlBQuirky
    .33 of a second to midnight
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,689
    Wargfoot said:
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Another goofy side effect of leveling is level gated gear.
    I literally cannot put this gear on because... of a level?







    While I love leveling, I agree this is a problem with some games that use level gated gear.

    I'd rather have a more narrow set of parameters for gear where better gear is only "a little better."

    I would like to see a pack of wolves be terrifying at level 1 and still very concerning at top level.
    I've thought about this some from the perspective of PvP.

    Ungood and I had a good laugh over the initial New World  implementation of leveling in a PvP game - such that someone could literally have 20x your hit points.  That is a ganker formulae right there.

    Anyways, I can understand the appeal of leveling and wouldn't mind having it trivialized somewhat.

    What if a starting character had 100 hit points. and a level 50 had 150 hit points.
    The level 50 would have an advantage, but he wouldn't be full on godmode.

    One type of leveling I like was in New World where you gained reputation with a particular town. I could see those alternate types of leveling being fun without creating such a disparity in the playerbase.

    The thing is, my first mmorpg was lineage 2 and that was sort of the idea: keep leveling and get more powerful or else your enemies would take you out.

    that was part of the whole experience and it spurred people on. So I was ok with that. I'm sure others were as well.

    Now, that doesn't mean every game has to be like that, that's ridiculous.

    Personally I would like to see a more narrow power gap where player skill was a more significant component to winning.
    AlBQuirkybcbully
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,667
    Wargfoot said:
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Another goofy side effect of leveling is level gated gear.
    I literally cannot put this gear on because... of a level?







    While I love leveling, I agree this is a problem with some games that use level gated gear.

    I'd rather have a more narrow set of parameters for gear where better gear is only "a little better."

    I would like to see a pack of wolves be terrifying at level 1 and still very concerning at top level.
    I've thought about this some from the perspective of PvP.

    Ungood and I had a good laugh over the initial New World  implementation of leveling in a PvP game - such that someone could literally have 20x your hit points.  That is a ganker formulae right there.

    Anyways, I can understand the appeal of leveling and wouldn't mind having it trivialized somewhat.

    What if a starting character had 100 hit points. and a level 50 had 150 hit points.
    The level 50 would have an advantage, but he wouldn't be full on godmode.

    One type of leveling I like was in New World where you gained reputation with a particular town. I could see those alternate types of leveling being fun without creating such a disparity in the playerbase.
    I stand by the fact that fact that Leveling in PvP games is "Eh

    I hate to bring this game back up, the Eternal Crusade, has a solid leveling system for a PvP Game, where as you leveled, you gained access to wargear, and while this gave you a slight advantage to people below your level, anyone and everyone on that battle field was a real threat. a 1st level character could kill a max level character, while the max level character had some advantages to access to stronger weapons and wargear, they both had the same points to spend on their loadout.

    Ideally this was a nice way to work with levels in a PvP Game.
    AlBQuirkytzervo
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,480
    Sovrath said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Another goofy side effect of leveling is level gated gear.
    I literally cannot put this gear on because... of a level?







    While I love leveling, I agree this is a problem with some games that use level gated gear.

    I'd rather have a more narrow set of parameters for gear where better gear is only "a little better."

    I would like to see a pack of wolves be terrifying at level 1 and still very concerning at top level.

    I think this problem is an artifact of the leveling process -- there is a degree of planned obsolescence in every leveling system.  When a level 1 and a max level have nothing to do with one another, that's a problem.  Games have built in "grouping ranges" to try to control (or mask) the issue.  All that has really done is segregate the players based on their level.

    As far as gear goes, that's 100% a design decision.  I think it started as a mechanism to ensure players would stay in a subscription-based game (and keep the revenue flowing).  Now, I think it still exists because no one really knows how to deal with balancing issues, except by throwing more and more HPs onto either side of the equation, mobs or players.  Designers use this as a crutch, because it's easy.  Players accept it because every game does it.

    That's why I think HPs (and some more of the 1974-era original D&D ideas) are in desperate need of a serious re-think.  We deserve a better.



    RungarAlBQuirkyBrainy

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,742
    Wargfoot said:
    Leveling is for people who spend a lot of time trying to get bubble gum out of their hair.

    HAH! I shaved my hair the last time that happened!  LOL

    I do like levels. I play RPGs to take a character from a shoe shine boy to Underdog!
    UngoodWargfoottzervoxpsyncPalebane

    - 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


  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,174
    To me the issue is not levels or anything it is that in an RPG or any game there has to be a level of achievement that isnt just handed to you.

    In starcraft 2, the more you play, the better you get, the higher your rank is. The rank or level is an achievement.

    In PoE, the farther you get without dying is the goal, and your level is an achievement as you can only make 1 mistake. That ia hardcore mode. 

    Regular mmos often have leveling where to level up is just a matter of tedium and not challenging nor does it really unlock anything.

    I realized in WoW in 2004, there was no point to play the game as leveling or raiding just had you doing same shit over and over again. 

    Instead of levels, i'd have achievements, you improve your char by achieving stuff. 

    AlBQuirky
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 18,934
    edited April 6
    No the real problem is that rpg's are not role playing games,they simply use the title because it was made popular and the login is simply to enforce ongoing costs to play which in turn is undeserved ongoing revenue.

    For years we bought games,paid one price and that was the end of spending.Then came along the subscription model that was NEVER warranted.

    Then when competition rose because of  MANY new studios they tried another deceptive gimmick called free to play.

    Role playing games should have plausible realistic worlds,moving living npc's and they SHOULD be acting liek a real person would and not just standing there with a non believable marker over it's head waiting to trigger a quest.
    So the worlds are super crap,the npc's are crap,there is VERY little interaction and the MMO aspect is even ruined with so much instancing.

    The MMO part is also made laughable because outside party members cannot interactt,so much for the MMO claims.FFXI was the one game that DID allow interaction outside the group but of course not inside the crappy instances.

    So basically to sum it up,mmorpg's have done NOTHING to reinforce the MMO or the rpg,they are instead just leveling treadmills with some simple carrots to chase.

    low budget survival games are better at being an RPG than the games claiming to be mmorpg's.So it is not the leveling it is the entire genre that is DEAD...stagnant...going nowhere.


    AlBQuirky

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

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