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Torchlight Frontiers & Its Vision of Horizontal Progression - MMORPG.com

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  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,859
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    There's not really much more straight forward a vertical progression system than overall equipment level.  We can't predicate an argument on the assumption devs are gonna screw it up.

    That doesn't necessarily preclude scaling, as we see with WoW or Destiny.  But both still retain vertical progression throughout in spite of scaling.  Scaling and vertical progression aren't mutually exclusive, and it seems like some folks are conflating scaling and horizontal progression into one thing.  They're two separate things, and vertical progression remains popular among the gamer population.

    Vertical progression is still vertical with scaling.
    iLvl is only vertical until you reach max level. At that point it's all about horizontal gearing.


    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    There's not really much more straight forward a vertical progression system than overall equipment level.  We can't predicate an argument on the assumption devs are gonna screw it up.

    That doesn't necessarily preclude scaling, as we see with WoW or Destiny.  But both still retain vertical progression throughout in spite of scaling.  Scaling and vertical progression aren't mutually exclusive, and it seems like some folks are conflating scaling and horizontal progression into one thing.  They're two separate things, and vertical progression remains popular among the gamer population.

    Vertical progression is still vertical with scaling.
    iLvl is only vertical until you reach max level. At that point it's all about horizontal gearing.


    That's not true.....  At least, now with WoW.  Higher iLvl items provide higher primary stats, as well as (generally) higher secondary stats.

    It's vertical as can be.

    image
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    Aeander said:
    Aeander said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    It just depends on content design.

    If zones are designed with dynamic content and replayability in mind, scaling is a necessity.

    If zones are designed with linear quest design in mind, then scaling is unnecessary because zones lack inherent replay value.

    If the game is purely instanced, ala GW1, Dragon Nest, etc., then scaling is unnecessary because difficulty settings achieve the same thing with more flexibility.
    Right, but I'm not speaking to design philosophy fit, I'm speaking to popularity.

    It appears to me there's crowds that enjoy both forms enough to make both styles profitable.

    There's been an unstated implication that scaling with horizontal is objectively superior, but the market doesn't seem to be bearing that out.
    Well, design philosophy is a pretty clean way of dividing up the MMO pie into the two crowds that want two different things.

    As far as the market goes, the market doesn't seem to be bearing MMOs out as a whole, given that most of the same successful MMOs we have right now are the same ones we had 5 years ago.
    True, but as I cited, the pseudo-MMOs have been borrowing the vertical gear progression directly, and have been popular doing so.

    image
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,859
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    There's not really much more straight forward a vertical progression system than overall equipment level.  We can't predicate an argument on the assumption devs are gonna screw it up.

    That doesn't necessarily preclude scaling, as we see with WoW or Destiny.  But both still retain vertical progression throughout in spite of scaling.  Scaling and vertical progression aren't mutually exclusive, and it seems like some folks are conflating scaling and horizontal progression into one thing.  They're two separate things, and vertical progression remains popular among the gamer population.

    Vertical progression is still vertical with scaling.
    iLvl is only vertical until you reach max level. At that point it's all about horizontal gearing.


    That's not true.....  At least, now with WoW.  Higher iLvl items provide higher primary stats, as well as (generally) higher secondary stats.

    It's vertical as can be.
    I think you and I have a fundamental disagreement on the meaning of horizontal lol.
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    edited October 2018
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    There's not really much more straight forward a vertical progression system than overall equipment level.  We can't predicate an argument on the assumption devs are gonna screw it up.

    That doesn't necessarily preclude scaling, as we see with WoW or Destiny.  But both still retain vertical progression throughout in spite of scaling.  Scaling and vertical progression aren't mutually exclusive, and it seems like some folks are conflating scaling and horizontal progression into one thing.  They're two separate things, and vertical progression remains popular among the gamer population.

    Vertical progression is still vertical with scaling.
    iLvl is only vertical until you reach max level. At that point it's all about horizontal gearing.


    That's not true.....  At least, now with WoW.  Higher iLvl items provide higher primary stats, as well as (generally) higher secondary stats.

    It's vertical as can be.
    I think you and I have a fundamental disagreement on the meaning of horizontal lol.
    Maybe so.

    Destiny also includes some horizontal by stacking specific traits on gear (those trait bars that increase things like damage mitigation or shield recharge, and I thin the third is movement speed), but a higher light weapon is objectively better than a lower one.  Is that not the definition of vertical progression?

    iLvls function the same: within the same iLvl, you can find gear with a focus on a variety of secondary stats.  But the iLvl governs not only the amount of primary stats (which Blizzard has actually made more important in BfA), as well as the overall amount of any given secondary stat on the item.  Again, higher iLvl = objectively more powerful.  That, again, seems about as straightforward vertical progression as possible. EDIT- It also doesn't end at max level, and actually becomes the sole measure of progression at max level.

    EDIT- Admittedly, Blizzard has screwed up the tuning with Azerite traits and iLvl isn't the guide Blizzard wants it to be atm.  But we don't classify a game's systems by the quality of the implementation, but the underlying design mechanic.

    image
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,859
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    There's not really much more straight forward a vertical progression system than overall equipment level.  We can't predicate an argument on the assumption devs are gonna screw it up.

    That doesn't necessarily preclude scaling, as we see with WoW or Destiny.  But both still retain vertical progression throughout in spite of scaling.  Scaling and vertical progression aren't mutually exclusive, and it seems like some folks are conflating scaling and horizontal progression into one thing.  They're two separate things, and vertical progression remains popular among the gamer population.

    Vertical progression is still vertical with scaling.
    iLvl is only vertical until you reach max level. At that point it's all about horizontal gearing.


    That's not true.....  At least, now with WoW.  Higher iLvl items provide higher primary stats, as well as (generally) higher secondary stats.

    It's vertical as can be.
    I think you and I have a fundamental disagreement on the meaning of horizontal lol.
    Maybe so.

    Destiny also includes some horizontal by stacking specific traits on gear (those trait bars that increase things like damage mitigation or shield recharge, and I thin the third is movement speed), but a higher light weapon is objectively better than a lower one.  Is that not the definition of vertical progression?

    iLvls function the same: within the same iLvl, you can find gear with a focus on a variety of secondary stats.  But the iLvl governs not only the amount of primary stats (which Blizzard has actually made more important in BfA), as well as the overall amount of any given secondary stat on the item.  Again, higher iLvl = objectively more powerful.  That, again, seems about as straightforward vertical progression as possible.

    EDIT- Admittedly, Blizzard has screwed up the tuning with Azerite traits and iLvl isn't the guide Blizzard wants it to be atm.  But we don't classify a game's systems by the quality of the implementation, but the underlying design mechanic.
    To me it's simple with respect to vertical and horizontal gearing: if an item is better because it's a higher level and you can't use it until you are that level, that's vertical gearing. If it has nothing to do with your level and is just better because it's a better rarity color or just special and has nothing to do with character level I call that horizontal gearing. 
    MadFrenchieTorval
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    edited October 2018
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    There's not really much more straight forward a vertical progression system than overall equipment level.  We can't predicate an argument on the assumption devs are gonna screw it up.

    That doesn't necessarily preclude scaling, as we see with WoW or Destiny.  But both still retain vertical progression throughout in spite of scaling.  Scaling and vertical progression aren't mutually exclusive, and it seems like some folks are conflating scaling and horizontal progression into one thing.  They're two separate things, and vertical progression remains popular among the gamer population.

    Vertical progression is still vertical with scaling.
    iLvl is only vertical until you reach max level. At that point it's all about horizontal gearing.


    That's not true.....  At least, now with WoW.  Higher iLvl items provide higher primary stats, as well as (generally) higher secondary stats.

    It's vertical as can be.
    I think you and I have a fundamental disagreement on the meaning of horizontal lol.
    Maybe so.

    Destiny also includes some horizontal by stacking specific traits on gear (those trait bars that increase things like damage mitigation or shield recharge, and I thin the third is movement speed), but a higher light weapon is objectively better than a lower one.  Is that not the definition of vertical progression?

    iLvls function the same: within the same iLvl, you can find gear with a focus on a variety of secondary stats.  But the iLvl governs not only the amount of primary stats (which Blizzard has actually made more important in BfA), as well as the overall amount of any given secondary stat on the item.  Again, higher iLvl = objectively more powerful.  That, again, seems about as straightforward vertical progression as possible.

    EDIT- Admittedly, Blizzard has screwed up the tuning with Azerite traits and iLvl isn't the guide Blizzard wants it to be atm.  But we don't classify a game's systems by the quality of the implementation, but the underlying design mechanic.
    To me it's simple with respect to vertical and horizontal gearing: if an item is better because it's a higher level and you can't use it until you are that level, that's vertical gearing. If it has nothing to do with your level and is just better because it's a better rarity color or just special and has nothing to do with character level I call that horizontal gearing. 
    Hmm, that is where we disagree then.  I would consider horizontal two items on the same iLvl with differing secondary stat priorities.  iLvl isn't the same as rarity; two pieces of gear can have the same iLvl, and one be epic while the other is uncommon.  Iirc, the iLvl still governs the effectiveness, so an epic that comes out to, say, 320 is pretty much the same as an uncommon that comes out to iLvl 320.  I may be wrong there, but my experience has been iLvl governs the overall strength of the item, not the rarity.

    EDIT- but, extrapolating on your definition, wouldn't that mean that pretty much every MMORPG on history has, in the end, been horizontal progression???  They almost all have a hard cap on levels of character or skills.

    image
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,859
    edited October 2018

    EDIT- but, extrapolating on your definition, wouldn't that mean that pretty much every MMORPG on history has, in the end, been horizontal progression???  They almost all have a hard cap on levels of character or skills.
    Exactly. "End game" for most has always been horizontal. Ironically, ESO is one of the few that isn't because of the vertical CP system at end-game.

    iLvl to me is just a handy dandy way to see how much better that same level item might be than another one. I have never consider them to be in any way equivalent to character levels. WOW created the illusion that they represent vertical progression when they started using iLvl to gate content but that still doesn't make it vertical the way I think of vertical.
    MadFrenchie
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    When I think of horizontal character progression, GW2's elite specs come to mind.  They aren't objectively superior to the original specs, but provide more flexibility in playstyle and roles a character is able to fill.  They also required some effort to unlock, fulfilling the progression part of the label.

    image
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 6,684
    edited October 2018
    When I think of horizontal character progression, GW2's elite specs come to mind.  They aren't objectively superior to the original specs, but provide more flexibility in playstyle and roles a character is able to fill.  They also required some effort to unlock, fulfilling the progression part of the label.
    I think of elite skills (and skill collection in general) and Sunspear/Norn/etc. title track skills from the original game. There were so many skills to collect that it felt fun and rewarding to do so without making you objectively more powerful.

    If Guild Wars 2 had skill collection alongside its trait specializations and masteries, it would be a much better game. Alas, skill hunting was just one more victim of the game's dumbing down of buffs, debuffs, and skill complexity from its predecessor.
    MadFrenchie
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Member LegendaryPosts: 8,505
    Aeander said:
    When I think of horizontal character progression, GW2's elite specs come to mind.  They aren't objectively superior to the original specs, but provide more flexibility in playstyle and roles a character is able to fill.  They also required some effort to unlock, fulfilling the progression part of the label.
    I think of elite skills (and skill collection in general) and Sunspear/Norn/etc. title track skills from the original game. There were so many skills to collect that it felt fun and rewarding to do so without making you objectively more powerful.

    If Guild Wars 2 had skill collection alongside its trait specializations and masteries, it would be a much better game.
    Never got to play GW1.  But yeah, the defining factor that I've always used to determine if a system was horizontal or vertical was whether the devs were adding things that made you objectively more powerful, or whether they added things intended to open up playstyle/roles and such without being objectively superior in all situations.  Many games seem to include both (i.e. different types of grenades in Destiny along with light level gear).

    image
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,404
    Iselin said:
    I've mentioned it in other threads: there's a significant portion of folks who like to see the numbers go up and retain vertical progression.

    We see it bleeding into the genres that have taken things from MMORPGs, such as Destiny.  Many have even made this as straightforward as possible for players (iLvl/Light level).

    There's room for both I think.
    We all want to see numbers go up but I am much more interested in which numbers and what they do for me.

    Even something like iLvl in games that use it, do not necessarily mean vertical progression and worse, if the developer screws up the meaning of those numbers they become kind of meaningless.
    Battle for Azeroth is a timely case in point.
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 4,024
    Scaling is a great way to ruin an RPG.
    lahnmirAeanderkjempff
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