Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

General: Pacing & Enjoyment

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,129

Whether or not one actually pays attention to the pace of a game both with and without regard to leveling, its the elephant in the room at all times. In today's Player Perspectives column, MMORPG.com writer Isabelle Parsley talks about pacing, about those who pace themselves with copious amounts of Mtn. Dew and those who go at a snail's pace, and how pace influences one's enjoyment of a game. Check out Iz's thoughts and then leave us a comment or two.

On the one hand you have those players who believe nothing interesting starts in a game until you hit the level cap, and who are thus quite happy to get to said cap as quickly as possible. On the other, you have the players who believe that games were more enjoyable when we weren’t rushing everywhere and questing like robots, and when getting a level actually meant something other than yet another person yelling “Ding! Level 3!” in guild chat. And in the middle you have the vast majority of players, who log in to have a good time and don’t really ask themselves whether they’re leveling too fast or too slow, or whether travel times are too short, too long, or just right for the perfect game experience.

Read more of Isabelle Parsley's Player Perspectives: Pacing & Enjoyment.



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Comments

  • FikusOfAhaziFikusOfAhazi Member Posts: 1,835

    Pretty interesting ideas. I cant remember pacing in UO or SWG because you were never artificially blocked from anything. You could always help even if you couldnt tank or due much damage. Even pure crafters would come on hunts.

    In the other thempark games, i usually only play if I can get some friends to play too. So I only really care about where my level is in relation to them. usually by the end of the first week, we're all at different levels and can't even play together unless /follow is playing. I suppose being able to tweek pacing would come in handy there for me.

    It's almost to the point were there are just so many problems with this design, on top of countless solutions wich takes a little more away every time, that there is no game left.

    Maybe it's time devs started offering more personalized themeparks. Renting private servers.

    Release at the same time as diablo3:)

    Options are good right?

     

    See you in the dream..
    The Fires from heaven, now as cold as ice. A rapid ascension tolls a heavy price.

  • wahala99wahala99 Member UncommonPosts: 147

    No offense Isabella.  Your articles are usualy the first I read and extremly interesting and spiced with a little controversy.  You are still on average my favorite columnist on this site and have been instrumental in enhancing my vocabulary.

    That said, after reading this article twice I find it a bit ........ facile (I did however learn a new word thanks).

    As always (and probably better left unsaid) this is just one dumb gamers opinion.


    If Ya Ain't Dyin, Ya Ain't Tryin

  • divmaxdivmax Member Posts: 106

    "I’m not an either/or person and I’m not an either/or player; just because I can enjoy what I’m doing at my own pace doesn’t mean I am or have to be entirely oblivious to what’s going on in the wider game community. It’s facile to argue otherwise. It’s equally facile to believe that the hard-coded leveling pace of a game (x kills for y level at an average of z kills per hour, quest hubs spaced just so from each other and quest objectives placed a precise distance from the quest givers) doesn’t influence one’s game experience. Sure, we can step off the design rails, but they’re still there and they still influence us."

    I share this outlook of gaming. But it does unfortunately irritate me when developers make travel and questing "more efficient" in every patch (and even admit to such in their devblogs).

     

    LOTRO is particularly bad at that. I believe that at launch, it had the perfect balance of swift travel options and accessibility to content. Since then, every expansion has been moving the game to the one extreme, to the point where now we have a menu (Join Instance) which we can just select our evening's activties off and have it served on a platter - instant grouping no matter where every is in the game-world. Its utterly ridiculous but keeps the NOW-NOW crowd happy so what can a player do but shut up or move on from their beloved game. Oh wait, I can always play solo....yay me.

  • godzilr1godzilr1 Member UncommonPosts: 550

    Pacing has changed a lot.  One thing i find a bit irritating though is that when i take my time to lvl and do the explore/have fun route, by the time i'm ready to do those Herioce or expert dungoens most peopel are almost doen with them.

  • divmaxdivmax Member Posts: 106

    Originally posted by wahala99



    No offense Isabella.  Your articles are usualy the first I read and extremly interesting and spiced with a little controversy.  You are still on average my favorite columnist on this site and have been instrumental in enhancing my vocabulary.



    That said, after reading this article twice I find it a bit ........ facile (I did however learn a new word thanks).



    As always (and probably better left unsaid) this is just one dumb gamers opinion.


     

    For your information, pacing is a big deal to some people. No need to ridicule it.

  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759

    We are all so very very busy because we want to be successfull at everything in life. Offcourse that is impossible for most, and instead of turning down our activities or expectations to fit what we can manage, we skim through it all and convince ourselves and others that we are successfull.

    With that in mind, if we choose to be gamers, then offcourse we have to be successfull in that aswell - No one does anything they can't succeed in. Time beeing an issue in our lives, games offers us success at a faster and faster rate to be competetive with other games. Instant gratification or whatever you call it.

    In the old days (funny as it is only 10-15 years ago), gamers were geeks who dropped other things in life to be successfull at gaming, but then it became cool to be a geek and everyone wanted to be one, but without the bad things that were necessary to become one. So now everyone wants/needs to be a super social, great parent, perfect partner, emplyee of the year and so on, and have success in games too.

     

    It is not only the xp rate that is increasing constantly, it is also the game pace .. we are offered maximum action with minimum downtime and no need to stay committed for more than a few minutes, so we can pop in and out of the game whenever we feel like it - Just like everything else in life. But you can't ride on top of the waves forever, at some point as a gamer you want to dive and experience more than the surface, or you will have to deny gaming as something kids do (it's the best excuse). I wanted to compare to reading a book for 2 hours sunday morning, ignoring your busy life for some time, just experiencing the story.. but I am am rambling now so over and out.

  • FikusOfAhaziFikusOfAhazi Member Posts: 1,835

    Originally posted by kjempff

    We are all so very very busy because we want to be successfull at everything in life. Offcourse that is impossible for most, and instead of turning down our activities or expectations to fit what we can manage, we skim through it all and convince ourselves and others that we are successfull.

    With that in mind, if we choose to be gamers, then offcourse we have to be successfull in that aswell - No one does anything they can't succeed in. Time beeing an issue in our lives, games offers us success at a faster and faster rate to be competetive with other games. Instant gratification or whatever you call it.

    In the old days (funny as it is only 10-15 years ago), gamers were geeks who dropped other things in life to be successfull at gaming, but then it became cool to be a geek and everyone wanted to be one, but without the bad things that were necessary to become one. So now everyone wants/needs to be a super social, great parent, perfect partner, emplyee of the year and so on, and have success in games too.

     

    It is not only the xp rate that is increasing constantly, it is also the game pace .. we are offered maximum action with minimum downtime and no need to stay committed for more than a few minutes, so we can pop in and out of the game whenever we feel like it - Just like everything else in life. But you can't ride on top of the waves forever, at some point as a gamer you want to dive and experience more than the surface, or you will have to deny gaming as something kids do (it's the best excuse). I wanted to compare to reading a book for 2 hours sunday morning, ignoring your busy life for some time, just experiencing the story.. but I am am rambling now so over and out.

    Some social gaming lets you game around your lifestyle, rather than streamline it to accomodate the lifestyles they assume the average customer has. Are MMO's capable of this. Eve does it for skilling.

    See you in the dream..
    The Fires from heaven, now as cold as ice. A rapid ascension tolls a heavy price.

  • icreepinicreepin Member UncommonPosts: 29

    Well I have played many different MMO's and I started like everyone in UO then in 1999 I went to EQ and never looked back. I think interms of success most gammers look at the "end game" or "high end" content to measure there level of success. I will also admit that for a long time I was one of those types of players.

    After, my wife and I had childern I learned that I can't game for 7 to 9 hours after I get home from work so in the desire to keep my hobby and my wife from killing me (by ignoring her and the kids) I had to relook at what was important for me in my game play and I found myself leaving the high end raiding guild I was in and settled for more of a family type where I raided less got less gear but spent more time actually discovering EQ all over again.

    I think if more game developers looked at and promoted different levels of success in a MMO there would be more successful MMO's vs the failed ones. Over deliver but under promise.

    I think the formula for leveling EQ (again my biggest experience) had when they first launched was perferct you could be a power player and still not level that much faster then the casual players which controled the high end game content.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Member UncommonPosts: 7,979

    Pacing is very important, and is best when you don't even notice it.

    If you feel like "jeeze, this is taking forever" then the pacing is off.

    If you feel like "huh, that was quick... what now?" then the pacing is off.

     

    Problem is, there are no set metrics to measure against. There are no hard lines to stay within.

    The answer lies in psychology and systems of reward structure.

     

    Lately, MMOs have skewed themselves towards the pyschology of the "gimme" generation - instant gratification, we want in now we want it faster we want more of it!

    Old-school games catered towards the "uphil both ways" generation - very long, dark, rocky roads but there was light at the end of tunnel, far enough away to keep you moving but close enough to see.

     

    Alone, both are wrong. Together, both are also right.

    Balance... as in all things, balance is key. Short term gains and rewards, long term objectives and goals. These things must exist outside of the simplicity of a linear statistical progression system (like levels) and move into the social/economic/political facets of a MMO to truly evolve the genre to the next level.

    Remove levels. Such an artificial end point, such an artificial "goal" it has no meaning anymore.

    Remove the very concept of "end-game" and allow simply "game." More systems, better features, more reason to play, remember play? Fun? Intrinsic rewards, play time valued for the time itself not the carrot.

     Less so-called "content" to devour and move on in the artificial "quest" for bigger numbers and larger pixels.

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Member UncommonPosts: 195

    What it comes down to are some key game-play / life-play factors:

    "Player Capability Attenuation" (for lack of a better term).  The difference in levels that restricts the scope of teaming between players.  Apart from the first month of a game's release players will find a great deal of time spent just trying to "level up" to enable participation with others.  Desperately trying to catch up with higher level players so they, and their guilds, can run around either nuking lowbies (PvP) or raiding instances wherever their guild is at in the levelling climb.

    The PCA phenomenon has insidious side-effects players keep themselves ignorant of whilst grinding away, the most common being: 

    players who don't know how to play their classes in the rush to just level, and

    groups/raids who don't know how to team together because they count on a now OP higher-level to just bomb through an instance, no strat involved, and

    player dismissal of "lower level" zones and instances having actual game-play value, instead being viewed as chaff/waste to be mown through without thought.

    Available Game Play Time.  This is a life factor.  Some people have 24hrs a day to play, some a couple of hours a week.  Contributes to PCA above.  The problem here is that everyones 1 hr of game play time is equal in value, while many game's design devalues the hours of those players who only have a few to spend each week.

    Game World Architecture / Design.  A chair is designed for sitting in, a towel for mopping up water, a hammer to drive a nail, etc.  Any human construct will service the parameters it was designed to support.  Most games today (and what I consider an evolutionary stallout) are DESIGNED to enslave players to "The Grind" in service to a linear uphill climb up the levelling ladder.  That's the game-play factor most important to the devs, not actual competative game play (which is secondary on the concern scale).

    That design enhances the PCA phenomenon (which negatively affects game-play across the playerbase in increasing measure as time and chapters/releases occur), and devalues Available Game Play time (e.g. The player with 4 hours a week to play isn't presented with the same game play value per hour as someone who wastes 18hrs of their life at a keyboard).

    What's the fix?  A better design.  Trite and obvious, yet ultimately the truth.

    At some point I'm hoping to see a true genius of a designer/developer appear who will:

    Design a game where "The Grind" (because that mechanism does need to exist to some degree) operates in service to Game Play (e.g. content, challenges, world events/instances, trials/puzzles/quests/tasks), instead of Game Play subservient to the mechanical, insipid dictator called The Grind.

    Design a game where the game world more exhibits the qualities of a Living World with cyclic value to zones, with recurring changes.  The counter to a linear construct where a trodden path is now burned off wasteland is to engage in some form of renewal/change dynamic to those places over time.

    Design a game where World PvP is actually available to everyone at every level, instead of being one of the largest freedom restrictors imaginable in MMOs.  Sorry, Arenacraft (little instanced boxing rings) don't count IMO. 

    Open Level World PvP, even on PvP servers, immediately destroys freedom in PvP for everyone, and funnels it exclusevely to the few who level to the cap fast as they can.  In short, Open Level PvP (where say 60's can run around a 20's zone) is the slave-master cracking the whip in service of PCA, not game-play value per hour for all subscribers.  PvP means risk, danger, excitment, and surprise for everyone, and shouldn't include a dynamic where simply burning off PvE activity allows a shield of invulnerability in PvP game-play.

    My .02 anyway.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

     


    Which is silly on several levels: first, because I occasionally like to level slowly or not at all, going off for days into the wilderness to explore, harvest, or just see how many times I can get killed in the space of a couple of hours. Why, then, should a leveling restriction bother me?And second, because the pace of my leveling is dictated by the design of every game I play in any case. It’s hard-coded, more or less, even though there’s usually quite a bit of wiggle-room; basically, with the same amount of playtime and similar activities, two different players will nonetheless tend to level at approximately the same pace. It doesn’t bother me when it’s inherent to the design, but somehow it does bother me when developers tell me that after a certain amount of playtime, my earned xp is going to get drastically lower. It’s no more artificial than any other design pace, and yet it feels artificial; and worse, it feels imposed.

     

    This is the nut inside the shell of this article and it's worth cracking open for imo. I agree the xp metric has it's uses but also has it's limitations if relied on exclusively to "track or tell" the player where they should be and what they should be doing! A few games have really interesting designs that mitigate this successfully. I wish more games would think about the effect artifical pacing has on the player's experience especially the different categories of players: Results, Social, Narrative, Sandbox etc...

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    If you want to control the pace itself...

     

    Stop making everything so "level based" as that is the central problem. Instead make the game more attribute based and character/profession based. You can then have players who will make their characters a certain way, play a certain way to get there and it will be reflected by the way the character works at the end of the story.

     

    If you make a system where EXP ----> Leveling and use skills as a way on to differentiate, rather than be the center of a profession, you will always end up with the grinding. Always end up with the race for cap....and everything will be level based to the point when an expansion comes, a game will be broken by the addition (or reduction) of levels. 

     

    I remember the old Console Video game "Saga Frontier" which your characters had no levels and you had to actually work to make your characters into good characters and learn more about professions and how they work. ^_^

  • psycrospsycros Member Posts: 15

    Wow, I could have written this article and many of the replies.  In fact, I more or less did on a forum a couple years back.  I've been watching the MMO scene steadily descend into an unrewarding, hyperkenetic click-fest for about the past six years, and sadly, I don't see it changing.  WoW was the first mass market "casual" MMO and it took over.  Now we have nothing but WoW clones like Rift who seek to replicate that success.  Look at something like EVE that gets all this critical alacclaim for some reason: very hardcore, more unforgiving than FFXI...and it has 100,000 active players worldwide.  How it survives I have no idea, but if I had to guess its probably the fact that it has very low overhead and committied financial backing.  CCP isn't a big outfit with a humongous staff, but they do almost everything Blizzard does (CCG, fanfests, etc).  But their the rare exception.  As far as the industry is concerned, the money is in casual fantasy.  Nearly every current AAA game still going is a theme park, and RIFT is about the worst example yet.  Its not challenging 90% of the time, esp. if you're in the (rare) questing party.  You have a raid going everywhere you look..the overstimulated generation finally has a game where raids literally rain from the sky.  Its not even that interesting, thanks to the - yes, I'll say it again - totally rehashed high fantasy world.  Now, I have to give it a pass on that last one, because the pen-and-paper Rifts game has been around for eons.  BUT - the original game had far more than high fantasy.  It was a whole collection of worlds that the players could visit via the rifts.  Trion made a clear decision to follow the money and adapt this old franchise for online play..and they chose to make it a WoW clone.

    What's it going to get something different, something that hearkens back to the old days (but perhaps without the huge time demand)?  Two things: courage and money.  Someone is going to have to make a game that falls squarely between the utra-hardcore experience of EVE and the mush-brained eye candy of WoW.  That's going to be the task of Hercules because the industry is totally stratified right now, with 99% theme parks and 1% grindcore.  It will probably happen one of two ways: either It will take a personality like Garriot or Carmack to pull it off, or it will be a lone wolf with a small, dedicated team all pooling their life savings.  And I would put money on the fact it will NOT be pure high fantasy..I think most people are worn out on that.  (P.S.: yes, i remember Tabula Rasa and it doesn't fit the template I've described.  It was more along the lines of Fallen Earth from what I heard/read).

  • psycrospsycros Member Posts: 15

    I should add (and apparently must since I don't see an edit button) that many of us had really high hopes for Final Fantasy XIV.  The last one demanded a party to do almost anything - legitimate solo leveling was only added about two years ago.  If SE manages to salvage that epic fail, and recreate the old magic with a few less annoyances and artificial constraints, it might still be a big deal.  However, nothing they did made any sense, esp. not the reusing of virtually every visual element with only the names altered.  Why not a steampunk world this time?  It could even have been Vanadiel a hundred years in the future!  Imagine hopping a train from Bastok to Sandoria..and suddenly its boarded by goblins racing alongside in a dune buggy.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Originally posted by psycros

     

    What's it going to get something different, something that hearkens back to the old days (but perhaps without the huge time demand)?  Two things: courage and money.  Someone is going to have to make a game that falls squarely between the utra-hardcore experience of EVE and the mush-brained eye candy of WoW.  That's going to be the task of Hercules because the industry is totally stratified right now, with 99% theme parks and 1% grindcore.  It will probably happen one of two ways: either It will take a personality like Garriot or Carmack to pull it off, or it will be a lone wolf with a small, dedicated team all pooling their life savings.  And I would put money on the fact it will NOT be pure high fantasy..I think most people are worn out on that.  (P.S.: yes, i remember Tabula Rasa and it doesn't fit the template I've described.  It was more along the lines of Fallen Earth from what I heard/read).

    Good post.

    The problem for devs is you have exactly this: Casual players who want minimal frustration and effort(hassle) and want to enjoy the story, the experience, the steady progress as well as the hardcore who want gratingly difficult trial and error and challenging systems.

    I think as Shinami alludes to, devs need to go back to the drawing-board and put the level of REAL progress back into players' hands and heads and removing the indirect measure of progress that is levels/xp system. How's that done? By how much in-game controls/options a player can use/know how to use.

  • kado2kado2 Member Posts: 80

    Good column and a good read. I honestly miss the days of slower leveling. I consider myself a semi-hardcore gamer, often devoting almost all my free time to some sort of game be it MMO or SPRPG, and I have to say that the ridiculously brief period of time to go from low level to max is destroying the sense of community and ultimately cheapening the genre in the case of MMO's.


    Retired: EVE, SWG, STO, EQ2, Ryzom, AO, LotRO, FFXI
    Currently Awaiting: SWTOR, TSW, ArcheAge

  • DusntmatterDusntmatter Member Posts: 32

    Originally posted by Shinami



    If you want to control the pace itself...



     



    Stop making everything so "level based" as that is the central problem. Instead make the game more attribute based and character/profession based. You can then have players who will make their characters a certain way, play a certain way to get there and it will be reflected by the way the character works at the end of the story.



     



    If you make a system where EXP ----> Leveling and use skills as a way on to differentiate, rather than be the center of a profession, you will always end up with the grinding. Always end up with the race for cap....and everything will be level based to the point when an expansion comes, a game will be broken by the addition (or reduction) of levels. 



     



    I remember the old Console Video game "Saga Frontier" which your characters had no levels and you had to actually work to make your characters into good characters and learn more about professions and how they work. ^_^


     

    I totally agree. While I love levels, I think we're getting to the point where they are beginning to feel limited.

    If you think about it, all levels boil down to is you get rewarded with X1 until you hit threshold Y1, at which time you start collecting X2 until you hit threshold Y2 and so on. That instantly puts a division between players who are at X1 and players who are at X2.

    Just to spitball and idea, imagine a currency system. You get points for doing stuff and you can choose to spend those points on gear, new skills, stats, etc. That way you could craft and sell your stuff on the AH, take those points and buy gear or further upgrade your crafting. You could even level your crafting through PvP if you wanted to. The point is, with a leveling system the game feels too divided. You are either grinding to level cap, PvPing, or raiding. All seperate activities you divide your time doing. Pacing isn't as big of a deal when logging onto a game means "I'm just gonna enjoy playing in a living breathing world" and less of "okay, today I'm gonna focus on my crafting, and then tomorrow I'll get back to leveling".

  • jayartejayarte Member UncommonPosts: 450

    Once again, Isabella, your article reflects what I have been thinking for some time and articulates it beautifully.

     

    Like a number of other mmo players, I don't any longer want to/have time to play for hours every day.  I tend to play a couple of hours max per day, and even then I'm not playing every single day, but maybe 5 days a week.  Add this to the fact that I am a s...l...o...w leveller for a variety of reasons (age, ill-health, being an altaholic, inclination to relax and enjoy the journey rather than rush to the destination, tendency to stand still whilst chatting to other players rather than continue questing, etc etc) which means that I am constantly one of the lowest level players in any guild I join. 

     

    Now, in some ways this matters not a jot (I mean e-peen ways), but in other ways it makes my slow, relaxed journey a very lonely one.  Sure I can chat away on vent or in guild chat, making friends galore, but I really miss that sense of bonding which working through content with a regular group brings.  I love to do dungeons with the same folks every time (as far as possible), and preferably guildmates (though I'm not adverse to pug's, too).  I remember once in WoW a group of guildmates happened to be at a similar level and really gelled when we did a few instances together.  We made a commitment to level together (a static group as it is sometimes called), and to play on alts if we were unable to group together.  Well, guess how long that lasted, eh?  Despite the cameraderie, the excellent teamwork and so on, the group soon split into those who wanted to race ahead to end game for raiding, and those of us who wanted to take our time. 

     

    I'm not suggesting that either approach is "wrong" (although it goes without saying mine is best :p), but when this happens over and over in mmo's it means that players like me always feel we are dragging along at the tail-end, eating dust whilst the majority of the service gallops into the distance.  Again, that doesn't matter to me in terms of achieving anything virtual (ie gear, status through high level etc), but it does matter to me in terms of not being able to feel part of a community anymore due to the lack of players at my own (always much lower) level to enjoy the content with.

     

    So, I'm with all the posters who suggest that game designers take some time to think about how to address this problem.

     

    Thanks again for the article, Isabella; I really enjoyed reading it and all the replies (well, apart from the trite, dismissive one).

     

    p.s.  I remembered something about the approach to levelling in Guild Wars 2 being a bit different, and looked up the article:

     

    http://www.arena.net/blog/progression-and-leveling-in-guild-wars-2

     

    It certainly felt like a different approach in GW1, so it'll be good to see if that continues or even improves in GW2.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726

    This really brings up a major problem with the themepark games.  Doing things with others is difficult at best.  The other day I was playing a themepark game and wanted to play with another individual.  They had no characters in my level range so I had to wait until they got one there.  That is a big problem if you ask me.  I never had that problem with games like UO.

  • SwampRobSwampRob Member UncommonPosts: 1,003

    Interesting article.    For me, pacing comes down to progress.    Everytime I log in, by the time that session is done I want my character to have progressed in some way, be it a level or two, improved gear, increased crafting skill, etc.    Just something.   I never seem to have trouble accomplishing this in any MMO I've played except at endgame.

    The pacing problem I see with a lot of MMOs is that at endgame, I obviously can't gain any more levels.    Usually, I've maxed my crafting skills at this time.   I generally have all the gold/credits I need.   So what's left?   Gear.     I'm not a fan of raiding but I have done so and often you participate in a raid and walk away with no new shinies.     I don't consider myself a player who has to have new lewt all the time, but I usually don't enjoy my playtime if after several hours my character has progressed in no way at all.

    This is a pacing issue I'd like to see new MMOs address.     Offer more ways for players to progress their characters at endgame, other than a fickle RNG raid loot mechanic.     Let me level up other skills or something.

     

  • CheriseCherise Member Posts: 232

    Originally posted by heerobya

    Remove the very concept of "end-game" and allow simply "game." More systems, better features, more reason to play, remember play? Fun? Intrinsic rewards, play time valued for the time itself not the carrot.

     

    Great article and responses.  So many sharing my same thoughts on the current and future MMO offerings.  I'm not looking for quite the chore original EQ was but the lightning speed leveling with nothing left but end game tiered dungeons in Rift is the other extreme.  Like Isabella, I'd be all over an MMO which offered a slower pace and options.

  • ideationideation Member Posts: 19

    One thing that's changed in the past decade is the heavy emphasis on player leveling to be a key part of a gamers experience. I don't believe it's a bad thing to have leveling, however most games that adopt a system of leveling that requires a player to progress counters the intended experience (at least it has from my experiences).

    For instance, WoW has reached a level cap of 85. Each expansion tends to have a background/storyline and new quests. But in order to actually enjoy the content of the game, it's almost a mandatory expectation to level your character to compete against the new adversaries. This requires the player to go back to the grind, which generally means power leveling. while you could pace yourself, you're in a situation where you have to complete a certain level of work (effort you're not entirely interested in) in order to enjoy the content you wish to pursue.

    What I have yet to see is a game that creates a balance in story/quests/leveling. Something that allows the player to immurse themselves in every aspect of the game without feeling like they're on the "grind" (noob or filler quests) but actively enjoying the content for what it is. Or better yet an innovative concept that removes leveling entirely and allows players to dictatate their characters growth (one great example is Ultima which emphasizes a skill based system vs a leveling system).  This would create a system in which the player doesn't need to feel rushed to enjoy the latest content and can level slowly, or quickly depending on their playerstyle.

    It's also important to note that most mmos available tend to start all new characters at the same exact point. Meaning you as the player will probably repeat the majority of the initial quests/story a number of times which leads most players to a fast paced grind until they reach their desired point in the game where they can pace themselves. Repeativeness is the killer in mmos in my opinion. It would be awesome to see a game that makes each character class contain its own unique play through (quests, story alterations etc) allowing players to play the game from different aspects (some do this through factions).

  • MMartianMMartian Member Posts: 46

    First off every game has levels even if they do not publish a number where you can see it. Having a certain number of skills/abilities equates to a certain level of ability.

    Game designers have a fine balance to walk when they design a game. In one case you can be like FFXIV or EvE and restrict how much experience can be earned. The problem with that is it discourages people who come to the games to join and play with friends since they can not put a little extra game time in to catch up. In the other case you can let players gain skills or level up based on time and effort.

    For games like this game developers have to make the content avaliable to players as they progress through the game fun and exciting so that players do not feel like they have to get to the end game to have fun.

    Many games do not provide a good experience while leveling and focus on the end game too much. Even games that were good at this when they started eventually have evolved into focusing on end game and let the game while getting to there lapse and become less than enjoyable. This is all to sad.

Sign In or Register to comment.