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Leveling: Chore or Fun

ConsuetudoConsuetudo Member UncommonPosts: 191
The vast majority of an MMORPG is contained in the experience of leveling. In the process of going from level one to max, you experience a huge amount of content, lots of which you probably never even see. If a game caps at level 60, and each zone occupies your time for 5 or 10 levels, then you're going to see a large amount of diverse content for a very long time. This to me is what defines a game. 

The process of leveling is where all the fun is in a game done correctly. It is in leveling that we feel a part of a living virtual world, not in end game. End game always focuses itself on end game mechanics. It is always an afterthought. 

If I feel that leveling is a chore, the game is a chore. It is one and the same. 

The purpose of the next expansion is not to present you a challenge so that you can reach the next stage of endgame, but to present you with a continuation of the living virtual world you experienced while leveling previously. 

In WoW I am now repeating the same content over and over again no matter how you look at it, for I am at endgame. If I rolled an alt, I would only experience the same content I leveled in before. I have spoiled it for myself. 

Leveling is the superior MMO experience and it to me is what should be focused on beyond all else. My best memories come from leveling, by worst memories come from end game. 
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Comments

  • DaikuruDaikuru Member RarePosts: 797
    I hate leveling in most MMOs.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    - Albert Einstein


  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 26,555
    fun.



  • ConsuetudoConsuetudo Member UncommonPosts: 191
    Daikuru said:
    I hate leveling in most MMOs.
    I contend that those MMOs would be bad then. If they do not feature worlds that take you away, they are clearly not immersive or compelling.
  • LeiloniLeiloni Member RarePosts: 1,257
    Leveling is fun if the developers make it fun. A game like ESO or GW2 do it really well. But a lot of themeparks don't and it just becomes a boring grind to get to the fun stuff. The latter is just poor design IMO. The game should feel like the fun starts at level 1.
  • DaikuruDaikuru Member RarePosts: 797
    Daikuru said:
    I hate leveling in most MMOs.
    I contend that those MMOs would be bad then. If they do not feature worlds that take you away, they are clearly not immersive or compelling.
    No, its the leveling itself that i hate, the whole idea of leveling, its an archaic and stupid mechanic IMO, i dont need leveling to explore a living breathing world, there are other ways for immersion.

    The whole idea behind leveling is to give the players a feeling of progression and prevent them to get too fast to the "endgame".
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    - Albert Einstein


  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,182
    As I've said many times (not that I'm an authority on the matter) but I feel leveling should just be a byproduct of playing and enjoying your time. If it feels as though the only purpose is to elevate an arbitrary number, it's bland and archaic. 

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • Kaisen_DexxKaisen_Dexx Member UncommonPosts: 326
    Personally, I think the vast majority of games do "leveling" wrong. Its meant to show progression of character. That newbie rat slayer transforming to a veteran orc slayer at the end of his adventure. A vertical power curve is probably the easiest (or at least most stream-lined way of doing it), but there are other ways to model it. We've started to see a rise in thoughts of Horizontal progression which I think is a better direction. When we look at ESO, we know it has scaling, so your vertical position doesn't really change that much. However, there certainly is a drastic feeling of progression with a new character as he unlocks new abilities. Taking it further, if you unlock abilities as a consequence of your adventure, I think it'd feel even more unique and progressive. You may have abilities other characters of the same class don't have, as you haven't been on the same adventures. Also, in games like Eve, the primary form of progression isn't your skills, it is your wallet. There is another form of "leveling" that is seldom used. 

    Without going on another three page essay where I use twice as many words to say half as much, I think its better to look at designing "leveling" as a narrative instead of a focus. It shouldn't take the back seat, but it shouldn't be the primary reason for playing a game. The adventure should be the primary focus.
  • LeiloniLeiloni Member RarePosts: 1,257
    edited February 2017
    I'm not sure why some people want to do away with leveling. Progressing your character has been at the core of RPG's since the beginning, including both solo and MMO RPG's. You can't take that away without making a game into an entirely different genre. There are different ways of going about it as we've seen (ESO vs TERA styles for example), but the idea of leveling and progressing is pretty integral.
  • EsuarfeeeeEsuarfeeee Member UncommonPosts: 91
    I think it depends on how the combat actually works for that game. it would definitely be a chore if you are constantly bombarded by telegraphs just for one mob that gives you 0.005% xp

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,791
    It really depends on whether the game has enough content for the leveling process and whether that content is interesting.  I'm okay with doing a bunch of simple quests once each that give you a lot of variety and keep you moving around.  I'm not okay with kill 10 rats giving way to kill 100 rats before you're high enough level to move on.
  • AoriAori Member EpicPosts: 4,151
    Leveling is fun when there is actual character progression. Leveling is dumb when it is just a means to an end. I love games with nearly unobtainable level caps so long as the next level gives something.
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 3,832
    I found WoW Legion fun to level surprisingly but its more a single player game for me.  I have no desire to do dungeons and meet with meters and hostile players.
  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus Member EpicPosts: 2,689
    I had fun leveling in SWTOR, TSW and ESO. Others, not the entire run.
    Constantine, The Console Poster

    • "One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves." - Carl Jung
    • Song of the Week: Blackfield by Blackfield from Blackfield (2005)
    • Currently Playing: Devil May Cry 1
    • Favorite Drink: Bruichladdich Black Art 5th 1992
    • Gaming Timeline: Arcade, Commodore 64, Amiga 500, SEGA, IBM, PS, PC, PS2, More PCs, PS3, Giant PC, PS4, No More PCs, PS4 Pro.
  • MoiraeMoirae Member RarePosts: 3,318
    The important thing is the journey, not the goal. I have no problem with leveling. 
  • VardahothVardahoth Member RarePosts: 1,472
    edited February 2017
    The whole reason I would want to play an mmorpg is for progression and getting stronger (aka leveling). If you don't like leveling, please just stick with your fps and survival games.

    Leiloni said:
    I'm not sure why some people want to do away with leveling. Progressing your character has been at the core of RPG's since the beginning, including both solo and MMO RPG's. You can't take that away without making a game into an entirely different genre. There are different ways of going about it as we've seen (ESO vs TERA styles for example), but the idea of leveling and progressing is pretty integral.
    Unfortunately, that is pretty much what they have already done.

    I would like to quote someone from a link in my signature >>> "For people that cry about leveling in Tera, Aion, WoW, Rift, and all the other MMO's currently saturating the market, you have no idea what a grind is till you play L2....You're ruining MMO'S with all this casual play!"

    I Quit.

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/436845/page/1 -> http://forums.mmorpg.com/discussion/436845/what-killed-mmorpgs-for-you/p1

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2316034
    .............
    Retired Gamer: all MMORPG's have been destroyed by big business, marketing of false promises, unprofessional game makers, and a generation of "I WIN and GIVE ME NOW" (brought to you by pokeman).

  • pantaropantaro Member RarePosts: 500
    Daikuru said:
    Daikuru said:
    I hate leveling in most MMOs.
    I contend that those MMOs would be bad then. If they do not feature worlds that take you away, they are clearly not immersive or compelling.
    No, its the leveling itself that i hate, the whole idea of leveling, its an archaic and stupid mechanic IMO, i dont need leveling to explore a living breathing world, there are other ways for immersion.

    The whole idea behind leveling is to give the players a feeling of progression and prevent them to get too fast to the "endgame".
    yep,leveling in most mmo's does nothing but separate the player base yet you have players who scream at the top of their lungs at the solo players how mmo's are about playing with others.yet majority of your leveling content is pretty much a generic single player game til level cap.then you have dungeons which also separate the player base,which sends a couple ppl off to some magically space outside of the game world.

    given a few mmo's utilize scaling to try and solve this problem but then some players claim that kills their sense of progression as well. which is simply hilarious when you think about the design choices of the thempark mmo. this is why i now play eve online and i dont even like pvp,but apparently only pvp games seem to get that mmo's are supposed to be about all the players interacting with each other in the same virtual world,a world that actually matters
  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus Member EpicPosts: 2,689
    Vardahoth said:
    The whole reason I would want to play an mmorpg is for progression and getting stronger (aka leveling). If you don't like leveling, please just stick with your fps and survival games.

    Leiloni said:
    I'm not sure why some people want to do away with leveling. Progressing your character has been at the core of RPG's since the beginning, including both solo and MMO RPG's. You can't take that away without making a game into an entirely different genre. There are different ways of going about it as we've seen (ESO vs TERA styles for example), but the idea of leveling and progressing is pretty integral.
    Unfortunately, that is pretty much what they have already done.

    I would like to quote someone from a link in my signature >>> "For people that cry about leveling in Tera, Aion, WoW, Rift, and all the other MMO's currently saturating the market, you have no idea what a grind is till you play L2....You're ruining MMO'S with all this casual play!"
    I like leveling never to end because for me too RPG is about leveling. But that doesn't mean all MMORPGs have managed to make it fun. 
    Constantine, The Console Poster

    • "One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves." - Carl Jung
    • Song of the Week: Blackfield by Blackfield from Blackfield (2005)
    • Currently Playing: Devil May Cry 1
    • Favorite Drink: Bruichladdich Black Art 5th 1992
    • Gaming Timeline: Arcade, Commodore 64, Amiga 500, SEGA, IBM, PS, PC, PS2, More PCs, PS3, Giant PC, PS4, No More PCs, PS4 Pro.
  • TENTINGTENTING Member UncommonPosts: 262
    I like balancing questing with fun group content.

     To use WoW as example, I loved that it was viable to lvl via dungeons and bgs earlier, which was destroyed in WoD. Blizzard decided that people should quest to max lvl and do just that. It felt forced an uninspiring, still does. Blizzard demanded by design that we had to give their solitude questing all the focus, they feel it deserves.

    But the absolutely most fun lvls to lvl in WoW now are the first 60 lvls in dungs, cause lowlvl dungs are great for nostalgia and still viable for xp. And you meet the funniest people in those dungs, Tanks entering in cloth gear and int staffs, healers that has not yet found out that it is possible to heal more players than just the tank and dps that asks for green loot, despite it cant be traded cross server. Lot of fun stuff and I really mean that, it cracks me up.
     Love it even more when tanks have masspulled everything up to around Stratholme (lvl 50ish) and then completely ignores that certain mobs can silence healers and the tanks just goes on pulling even more, wiping the groups. Watching such a tank and how they wake up to reality or stubbornly continues their denial, I love love love those runs.
     
    But then yeah Blizz decided that dungeons at a later lvl should not feel same way or be as xp rewarding and while Im sure they have elaborated so called reasonable reasons, I get the feeling they just make the lvling a hazzle so people will buy the lvl boost later in an Xpac these days. Manipulating business.

    But when! dungs were viable and bgs were viable it was awesume to do a lot of group content and then just every now and then relax with questing.

     The balance of these things was / is what makes questing fun.
    Only questing and typically doing that alone, it is really boring. Has to be a balance of group play and questing.


  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,130
    The process of leveling is where all the fun is in a game done correctly. It is in leveling that we feel a part of a living virtual world, not in end game. End game always focuses itself on end game mechanics. It is always an afterthought. 

    If I feel that leveling is a chore, the game is a chore. It is one and the same. 

    The purpose of the next expansion is not to present you a challenge so that you can reach the next stage of endgame, but to present you with a continuation of the living virtual world you experienced while leveling previously. 

    Leveling is the superior MMO experience and it to me is what should be focused on beyond all else. My best memories come from leveling, by worst memories come from end game. 
    I pretty much disagree with everything you've said. I absolutely hate leveling in modern MMOs and I get nearly all my enjoyment from endgame. 

    I feel that when leveling up, I:
    • Am in a static world, not a living one. The content is static, the NPCs are static. The gear I have and the builds I use are pretty much 100% controlled by the game, enforcing that static feeling. 
    • Experience generic content. Leveling up usually involves 1000s of quests, but the overwhelming majority of them are super generic. The storylines are dull and the quest objectives are samey. 
    • Am bored by trivial content. There is rarely any challenge during leveling up because player power fluxuates wildly so the devs cater to the lowest common denominator. 
    • Am mostly solo. Levels, quests and classes tend to enforce segregation by putting artificial barriers in the way. Running around by myself enforces that feeling of being in a static world. 
    But, when I reach endgame, that all changes. Endgame is where the majority of players are. We're all the same level and usually all fairly close in power to one another, and usually playing / hanging out in the same areas. The world comes alive! I have 100s of people to play with. PvP becomes super active and enjoyable. The player economy is usually focused on endgame, so auction houses / player shops become really active and relevant. As I'm not focused on being out in the world questing, I have more time to be social, so I meet more people, have more chats, see more roleplayers out and about. Finally, endgame is the first chance the devs have to really start balancing content and give us something challenging to do, so even though there is much less content at endgame than there is leveling, the content is more enjoyable. 


    Now, with that said, I feel this way because I believe modern MMOs do leveling totally wrong. Modern MMOs focus on story: for me, that is completely the wrong emphasis. Computer games in general are bad for telling stories - the tighter the story, the worse the gameplay - so they shouldn't be focusing on story. Stories also enforce a linear way of thinking about content (beginning, middle and end) which, again, makes for a worse experience in terms of gameplay. 

    These are MMORPGs we are playing - massively multiplayer - so the games should be designed around playing and interacting with other people. You know, the massively multiplayer part. It is the one unique feature of the genre, everything else can be found elsewhere, yet every single modern MMO has forgotten that. MMOs should focus on creating your own stories, not following an arbitrary story with generic, filler content. It is other people who make the world a living place, so we should have an MMO designed around playing with, grouping with, trading with, roleplaying with and killing with other people. That means breaking down the barriers between people (arbitrary levels / quests and power gaps) and allowing them to progress together, creating their own stories within the game world. 
  • WarlyxWarlyx Member RarePosts: 2,816
    edited February 2017
    both , based of tons of things

    i enjoy leveling is relaxing , u dont need to think anything , go from quest to quest , finish and gain some lvls , gear and discover some places...

    however after u have leveled 5-6 classes if gets boring , but still kinda enjoyable....

    FFXIV is the only mmorpg where alts suffer , since u level doing dungeons or fates , now Deep dungeon too but still ugh....
  • some-clueless-guysome-clueless-guy Member UncommonPosts: 188
    I wish there was no levelling at all. Every area being relevant at all stages of your game-career.
  • winghaven1winghaven1 Member RarePosts: 696
    Hella important! Always a good feeling having progressed your character.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,006
    Leiloni said:
    I'm not sure why some people want to do away with leveling. Progressing your character has been at the core of RPG's since the beginning, including both solo and MMO RPG's. You can't take that away without making a game into an entirely different genre. There are different ways of going about it as we've seen (ESO vs TERA styles for example), but the idea of leveling and progressing is pretty integral.
    Another way to look at "MMORPG" is massively multiplayer online "Regular Progession" game.

    Progression can be incorporated with designs other than levels, but at the end of the day progression and character growth are core pillars which have defined the genre since it's first days.

    Sure you can diminish or take them away, but then you are creating something else, perhaps an adventure or combat game.

    "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 POE 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






  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,006
    I wish there was no levelling at all. Every area being relevant at all stages of your game-career.
    I'm all for this, EVE does a pretty good job at this, and other games such as ESO have designs to make the "world" always relevant.

    "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 POE 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






  • ShaighShaigh Member RarePosts: 1,982
    When I play RPG my core focus is experiencing the game and quite often I don't even think of levels. When I have to think about gaining levels to grow in power to kill new stuff my fun gets killed quickly. Its not a fun way to play games.

    If we think of leveling as a mechanism I find that when leveling is done right you get abilities that fundamentally change the way you experience the game over time, you get abilities like stun and disarm which allow you to do things you just couldn't do from the beginning. At the same time your foes becomes more tricky and if you don't use your new tools you will fail.

    When leveling is done wrong you only become more powerful which is countered by monsters becoming more powerful. You play in the same way and nothing really changes when you get levels and it makes the whole leveling experience pointless.
    The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
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