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Levels... Why?

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    Levelling systems are designed to give people a sense of accomplishment. Alternate systems could work but the reason levels are everywhere is because it gives players a visible indicator of their progress. 
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    I'd have thought defeating a boss with your team that was way tougher than yourself that took real skill and finding some awesome loot, competing a difficult quest and learning some new abilities to throw your enemies of guard, or finally reaching the end of an epic journey with your friends against all odds, after accidentally wandering through an area overrun with more powerful creatures, would give more of a sense of achievement than "yay, I'm one number closer to being the maximum number I can be"...
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    AndyW85 said:
    I'd have thought defeating a boss with your team that was way tougher than yourself that took real skill and finding some awesome loot, competing a difficult quest and learning some new abilities to throw your enemies of guard, or finally reaching the end of an epic journey with your friends against all odds, after accidentally wandering through an area overrun with more powerful creatures, would give more of a sense of achievement than "yay, I'm one number closer to being the maximum number I can be"...
    Well that's just based on the individual's mentality. If your mentality is to not enjoy the moment and instead look to max level we have discovered the origins for your abhorrence on levels
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    op you are suggesting a different kind of levelling.  that's all. 
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    It is personal preference of course, but I hope most people would agree that levels are one way to represent a players progression, and it is the achievement itself that is rewarding rather than the number. It's a role playing game after all. Just because table top and digital role playing games have always used a leveling/dice roll system (to my knowledge) it isn't those things that make them role playing games like one of the posters above seemed to suggest before my previous post, its the role playing that makes a role playing game of course. The player created story and interactions should be the highest priority. That is what will keep players playing because they are having fun, not because they are trying to have the best numbers possible. That's all most mmo's are now days, a collection game that has a periodically increasing number target so players feel like they can still play it as there's still more to do, even if that's just getting slightly higher numbers. Ffs, let's get some role playing and story back into these games. While we're at it, who the hell decided fast travel and group finder was a good idea? Way to shrink the game world and eliminate the need to actually travel with and interact with people. All these concepts need to go if you ask me (which I realise no one did, but I'm gonna say it anyway because I'm passionate about this, sorry if it grinds anyone's gears).
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    AndyW85 said:
    It is personal preference of course, but I hope most people would agree that levels are one way to represent a players progression, and it is the achievement itself that is rewarding rather than the number. It's a role playing game after all. Just because table top and digital role playing games have always used a leveling/dice roll system (to my knowledge) it isn't those things that make them role playing games like one of the posters above seemed to suggest before my previous post, its the role playing that makes a role playing game of course. The player created story and interactions should be the highest priority. That is what will keep players playing because they are having fun, not because they are trying to have the best numbers possible. That's all most mmo's are now days, a collection game that has a periodically increasing number target so players feel like they can still play it as there's still more to do, even if that's just getting slightly higher numbers. Ffs, let's get some role playing and story back into these games. While we're at it, who the hell decided fast travel and group finder was a good idea? Way to shrink the game world and eliminate the need to actually travel with and interact with people. All these concepts need to go if you ask me (which I realise no one did, but I'm gonna say it anyway because I'm passionate about this, sorry if it grinds anyone's gears).
    Just in case there was a misconception, Your opinion is fully respected
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    AndyW85 said:
    I'd have thought defeating a boss with your team that was way tougher than yourself that took real skill and finding some awesome loot, competing a difficult quest and learning some new abilities to throw your enemies of guard, or finally reaching the end of an epic journey with your friends against all odds, after accidentally wandering through an area overrun with more powerful creatures, would give more of a sense of achievement than "yay, I'm one number closer to being the maximum number I can be"...
    Actually, it should be more raid v raid action than defeating one boss.
    That's part of the point of keeping levels comparatively shallow - shallow vertical progression and wide horizontal progression.

    Which is a concept the Ashes devs seem to be borrowing from the EQNext game design.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    AndyW85 said:
    It is personal preference of course, but I hope most people would agree that levels are one way to represent a players progression, and it is the achievement itself that is rewarding rather than the number. It's a role playing game after all. Just because table top and digital role playing games have always used a leveling/dice roll system (to my knowledge) it isn't those things that make them role playing games like one of the posters above seemed to suggest before my previous post, its the role playing that makes a role playing game of course. The player created story and interactions should be the highest priority. That is what will keep players playing because they are having fun, not because they are trying to have the best numbers possible. That's all most mmo's are now days, a collection game that has a periodically increasing number target so players feel like they can still play it as there's still more to do, even if that's just getting slightly higher numbers. Ffs, let's get some role playing and story back into these games. While we're at it, who the hell decided fast travel and group finder was a good idea? Way to shrink the game world and eliminate the need to actually travel with and interact with people. All these concepts need to go if you ask me (which I realise no one did, but I'm gonna say it anyway because I'm passionate about this, sorry if it grinds anyone's gears).
    I think you're trying to trash the wrong mechanic in order to deal with a shared concern.

    First and foremost, we're attempting to experience the Hero's Journey in a high fantasy virtual world. In such a setting, the protagonists start as an average joe and then gain the experience and power to rival Gandalf... and sometimes even the gods.
    In D&D, godhood was represented by reaching Level 20.
    Level cap for vanilla EQ was 60, IIRC. WoW is now at 110.

    Player created story or dev created story are both fundamental to RPGs.
    Doesn't really matter which of the two reigns supreme as long as there is always a steady flow of story content.
    Which there should be in Ashes - if they're able to achieve the full potential of the game design.

    In traditional MMORPGs, the world is static. We can't adequately measure our impact on the world because everything resets to status quo - even with phasing. Also, with everyone experiencing the exact same quests, the only thing we have to brag about is gear and numbers. Just about every player in WoW has defeated the Lich King.

    Lack of levels isn't what will focus us on story.
    Building and Destructibility will cause us to focus on roleplaying and story.
    What role did you play in building the grand metropolis? Were you even here before it was built? What are role are you now playing in order to maintain the city's glory?

    Why are you talking about fast travel and group finder in the Ashes forums as if you know nothing about the Ashes game design?
    It's as if you know nothing about how the Ashes game design might just bring you the gameplay you're longing for - while keeping levels as a mechanic.

    Do some research, my friend.
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    AndyW85 said:
    How about:
    -Players increase a skill (swords or healing magic for example) by using it.
    -The higher the skill, the POTENTIALLY better abilities the player unlocks.
    -The higher level abilities have a higher risk, higher gain, requiring higher real life skill to pull off.
    -If a player stops using a skill to focus on other skills, eventually the skill will start to fall again, loosing access to the best abilities.

    This sounds something like Chronicles of Elyria...another game I backed. You start out at age 15. Your character actually ages. He will live to be 100 years old (unless you manage to kill him off before then) and eventually perma-dies. As you grow older, your strength wanes, but your wisdom is higher. You can leave lineages, heredity traits to your next life. The skills you learned in your original progress faster in your heir's life. It's rather hard to explain. Interesting concepts, though.
    Chronicles of Elyria is pay to win though, in the worst way. That's why i didn't back it. You can pay rel money to have a position of power in the game, which is way worse than paying for a good item. 
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    AndyW85 said:
    I would love to see them have the balls to not include levels. I'm seeing a lot of posts about "end game" "grinding" and "level cap". All these things are boring as hell. Character progression is important of course, but why does it need to be levels? I personally would love to see them scrap the standard leveling system and instead have players unlock new skills and abilities, spells and utility instead of hit point and DPS increase. Levels are a habit not a necessity.

    How about:
    -No levels.
    -Players increase a skill (swords or healing magic for example) by using it.
    -The higher the skill, the POTENTIALLY better abilities the player unlocks.
    -The higher level abilities have a higher risk, higher gain, requiring higher real life skill to pull off.
    -If a player stops using a skill to focus on other skills, eventually the skill will start to fall again, loosing access to the best abilities.

    With that system a player could constantly shift their play style, experimenting with different skills, that would keep players busy without it being a grind, and skill levels would give players an advantage, but not guaranteed victory over players with lower skill. New players and veterans would be able to play together against the same mobs, and a mob/boss or region would be more or less difficult due to the mechanics and intelligence of the mob, of number of enemies, etc rather than hit points and DPS.

    People's thoughts?

    This sounds too much like runescape. People like to level. People like to play till they hit endgame and progress. Honestly it would would be lame if a new player could be equivalent with veterans. This would encourage Gold Farmers and such to join the game to turn a profit. The grind barrier helps discourage that.
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    How about this:

    Each skill will have a max level at 99. We will have skills such as; Attack, Strength, Defence, Hitpoints, Magic, Ranged and Prayer. Including other non-combat skills like Herblore, Agility, Firemaking, Woodcutting, Fishing and many more.

    Combat level is based on how high your combat skills are and when you first create your character you will have to go through a tutorial on 'Tutorial Island' where you will learn the basic skills necessary to go forth on your adventure in Gielinor, starting outside of a little Castle in Lumbridge.

    All in favor?
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    The thing about character progression that turns me off is the grind. In the golden days of SWG you could change combat professions and be ready for endgame content (which for me was mostly PvP) again in a matter of days.

    Now, most games since then have followed a model of one character, one profession (class, etc) and it can take weeks using the vast majority of my free time to hit max level. In reality, that means months, since I can't afford to spend 6-7 hours a night in-game anymore. Makes it really hard to follow your friends to new MMOs if they've got a significant head start on you. In SWG at least they could help you level, but these days it doesn't pay for high-level characters to interact with lowbies.

    So, yeah, I don't really care what the system is as long as it doesn't have a horrendous grind although I'll say I'll never be in favor of skill decay.
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    I'm inclined to agree with most of what people are saying here. I think you're right, it isn't leveling I hate, it's leveling done badly, and the symptoms that creates. I just thought, Divinity Original Sin has levels but I never felt them holding me back because it was well designed and the level progression is well timed with content progression. Also about me mentioning fast travel and group finder. I understand such things are unlikely with the whole caravan and node system, I just want to be doubly sure :p wow never had group finder, but they introduced it later on and ruined the game (which was never perfect to start with but you know what I mean)
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    Deyarn said:
    How about this:

    Each skill will have a max level at 99. We will have skills such as; Attack, Strength, Defence, Hitpoints, Magic, Ranged and Prayer. Including other non-combat skills like Herblore, Agility, Firemaking, Woodcutting, Fishing and many more.

    Combat level is based on how high your combat skills are and when you first create your character you will have to go through a tutorial on 'Tutorial Island' where you will learn the basic skills necessary to go forth on your adventure in Gielinor, starting outside of a little Castle in Lumbridge.

    All in favor?
    It's not the Ashes game design. That might work for some other game.
    99 levels sounds like it's going to be the same problem as WoW and EQ, though.
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    Dygz said:
    Deyarn said:
    How about this:

    Each skill will have a max level at 99. We will have skills such as; Attack, Strength, Defence, Hitpoints, Magic, Ranged and Prayer. Including other non-combat skills like Herblore, Agility, Firemaking, Woodcutting, Fishing and many more.

    Combat level is based on how high your combat skills are and when you first create your character you will have to go through a tutorial on 'Tutorial Island' where you will learn the basic skills necessary to go forth on your adventure in Gielinor, starting outside of a little Castle in Lumbridge.

    All in favor?
    It's not the Ashes game design. That might work for some other game.
    99 levels sounds like it's going to be the same problem as WoW and EQ, though.
    (((Runescape)))
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    Kehtal said:
    The thing about character progression that turns me off is the grind. In the golden days of SWG you could change combat professions and be ready for endgame content (which for me was mostly PvP) again in a matter of days.

    Now, most games since then have followed a model of one character, one profession (class, etc) and it can take weeks using the vast majority of my free time to hit max level. In reality, that means months, since I can't afford to spend 6-7 hours a night in-game anymore. Makes it really hard to follow your friends to new MMOs if they've got a significant head start on you. In SWG at least they could help you level, but these days it doesn't pay for high-level characters to interact with lowbies.

    So, yeah, I don't really care what the system is as long as it doesn't have a horrendous grind although I'll say I'll never be in favor of skill decay.
    *meh*
    The thing that turns me off about character progression is having an endgame rather than ever-questing.
    I'm not a fan of changing combat professions. Han Solo should not be able to swap roles freely from Pilot to Jedi to Bounty Hunter to Lounge Singer.
    Just like everyone shouldn't be able to freely swap race or gender.

    I would say that most games continue the traditional RPG model of one adventurer class per character. Most MMORPGs I'm aware of do not restrict players to one character.
    It should take weeks and/or months to hit max in the adventurer level - a person doesn't turn into Gandalf over night. That takes years.

    Rather - there should be plenty to do for everyone... and plenty of things that characters of all levels can participate in together.
    Like building a city. Like defending one's town from attack.

    One of the main things that needs to change in MMORPGs is making a town or city a low level hub which always remains a low level hub, from which people spread out to congregate in higher level hubs.
    Rather, as happens in Ashes, the hubs should grow in level along with the player characters...and there should always be content for player characters of all levels to participate in at the hubs.

    The gap between high level characters and low level characters needs to be decreased. And there needs to be activities that allow characters of all levels to make a significant impact on the world.
    You don't have to be max level to be in an influential citizen. You don't have to play 6-7 hours a night to be an influential politician. You might be able to remain an influential politician even at low levels and playing 6-7 hours a week... if you choose to be a citizen of a Scientific node rather than a Militaristic node.

    Shallow levels helps. That's not the same thing as getting rid of levels.
    More importantly, the way we interact with the world is what needs to change - like building the cities we live in rather than occupying pre-built cities.
    And having mob and quest and story generation intrinsically tied to the growth and decay of the villages and towns and cities we build.
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    Hopefully if you die it's possible to go backwards in level
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    AndyW85 said:
    I'm inclined to agree with most of what people are saying here. I think you're right, it isn't leveling I hate, it's leveling done badly, and the symptoms that creates. I just thought, Divinity Original Sin has levels but I never felt them holding me back because it was well designed and the level progression is well timed with content progression. Also about me mentioning fast travel and group finder. I understand such things are unlikely with the whole caravan and node system, I just want to be doubly sure :p wow never had group finder, but they introduced it later on and ruined the game (which was never perfect to start with but you know what I mean)
    Group finders are intended to help players find other people to play with.
    RPGs are traditionally designed for group play rather than solo play, but...
    MMORPGs are persistent worlds which make it possible to play whenever you want - even when few people are playing and those people are on the other side of the in-game continent.

    RPGs are traditionally designed to provide ample combat challenges versus a group of diverse character classes which balance each other's strengths and weaknesses. Thus, making it prudent for players to be able to form those groups fairly easily.
    That's problematic for MMORPGs when players are playing without their friends.
    Group finders are intended to help players find other players on the same quest and fill the roles required to overcome the challenge(s).
    The problem group finders fail to resolve is helping players find people with compatible playstyles: casuals are not going to enjoy grouping with hardcores; Explorer/Socializer/Achiever/Killers are not going to enjoy grouping with Killer/Achiever/Socializer/Explorers... and vice-versa.
    A player who enjoys exploring every nook and cranny of a dungeon is not going to have fun in a group with people who want to speed run killing everything in the dungeon and move on... and vice-versa.

    So, again, we need to change the way activities work in MMORPGs.
    All playstyles can enjoy contributing to the growth of a village, town or city.
    When a Spider Demon or a Dragon threatens to literally destroy the town players have been striving for days and weeks to build... all playstyles will be invested in defending the city. Don't need a group finder for that.
    But, also, where the homes in the village, town or city are open world... it becomes easy to know when and where to find the players we like to play with without the need of a group finder because we will be working with and near the same players day after day as we contribute to the growth of our node(s).

    Levels are not the primary culprit for the problems people are hoping to solve.
    Group finder and fast travel didn't ruin WoW - they just helped highlight the overall problems intrinsically caused by a game design where players outlevel pre-built cities and spread out in an every widening arc to adventure in the zones that are introduced with the latest expansion.
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    "The problem group finders fail to resolve is helping players find people with compatible playstyles: casuals are not going to enjoy grouping with hardcores; Explorer/Socializer/Achiever/Killers are not going to enjoy grouping with Killer/Achiever/Socializer/Explorers... and vice-versa.
    A player who enjoys exploring every nook and cranny of a dungeon is not going to have fun in a group with people who want to speed run killing everything in the dungeon and move on... and vice-versa." - You sir, hit the nail on the head. Great point!
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    This discussion was created from comments split from: Levels... Why?.
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    @AndyW85 writes

    I would love to see them have the balls to not include levels. I'm seeing a lot of posts about "end game" "grinding" and "level cap". All these things are boring as hell. Character progression is important of course, but why does it need to be levels? I personally would love to see them scrap the standard leveling system and instead have players unlock new skills and abilities, spells and utility instead of hit point and DPS increase. Levels are a habit not a necessity.

    How about:
    -No levels.
    -Players increase a skill (swords or healing magic for example) by using it.
    -The higher the skill, the POTENTIALLY better abilities the player unlocks.
    -The higher level abilities have a higher risk, higher gain, requiring higher real life skill to pull off.
    -If a player stops using a skill to focus on other skills, eventually the skill will start to fall again, loosing access to the best abilities.

    With that system a player could constantly shift their play style, experimenting with different skills, that would keep players busy without it being a grind, and skill levels would give players an advantage, but not guaranteed victory over players with lower skill. New players and veterans would be able to play together against the same mobs, and a mob/boss or region would be more or less difficult due to the mechanics and intelligence of the mob, of number of enemies, etc rather than hit points and DPS.

    People's thoughts?
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    Sounds like the idea was about getting rid of over all character levels and having your character be determined solely by their proficiencies (yes measured it levels probably) in all the different categories of actions (swinging swords, swinging hammers, casting spells, etc). The only game that comes to mind that did something similar to that was entropia universe.

    The idea of having a chance to unlock new abilities as you climb in proficiency is interesting, but then again heavy RNG like that makes me cringe.

    I would think that stats could be derived from those proficiency levels, swinging swords increasing strength slowly, taking damage slowly building up vitality and HP, etc.

    Proficiency atrophy is interesting but I think you'd find players would just learn the timing for it and go swing 1 sword or cast 1 spell to reset the timer.


    I'll add that I think I'd like to see a game with no hard leveling caps on it, just a soft cap walled behind exponential grind, basically Korean MMOs cranked up to 11 starting at the 'soft level cap'. It could work with meta-level systems or with proficiency systems.
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    I agree, maybe make a prestige lvl system to??? Like lvl 10 times to max lvl. I would do that for a cool cosmetic reward ++++
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited August 2017
    AndyW85 said:
    I'd have thought defeating a boss with your team that was way tougher than yourself that took real skill and finding some awesome loot, competing a difficult quest and learning some new abilities to throw your enemies of guard, or finally reaching the end of an epic journey with your friends against all odds, after accidentally wandering through an area overrun with more powerful creatures, would give more of a sense of achievement than "yay, I'm one number closer to being the maximum number I can be"...
    That's because on the bartle test scale you'll be somewhere around explore/killer or maybe even socializer with your first line, an achiever type personality enjoys levels.

    You are essentially arguing against human psychology.
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    AndyW85 said:
    Interesting comments and opinions. I would agree maybe removing levels altogether might not be necessary, as long as those levels don't become the deciding factor. I think a good example is Dragons Dogma. You can go back to a level one area as a level 50, and you are massively more powerful than them because you have a wide range of powerful skills.... BUT, you can still die if you get cocky and charge into a hoard of bandits before your team catch up. They surround you, one grabs you and the rest slowly kill you. You still need to fight smart. As for when you know whether you are an appropriate skill to enter a specific region... You DON'T always know, but you run away if a fight is too hard, because the level difference is never enough to cause an unavoidable one hit kill, and NPC's drop plenty of hints about how tough enemies are anyway, which is far more immersive than a magical floating number telling you exactly how strong something is. In a multiplayer RPG I think it's a cool concept to not know how tough an area will be, to maybe start a fight only to find you have to run away. You'll quickly learn to ask around the other player characters how safe the area is and how tough the monsters are. And hey, there you go, more role playing, a reason to interact with other players. Bonus. I would reinforce that level should only be a contributing factor, along with the TYPE AND QUALITY of gear you have equipped, not it's "level", the players available abilities, and the players skill. No one or two of these things should dictate the winner, only the combination of all these things.

    Against, I'd love to hear other opinions again on this slightly revised thought process.
    absolutely agree!
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    Leveling up in every skill separately would be the best option imo. There can ofc be overall level, which is determined when you combine all different skill exp points together. Overall level can unlock some general things which are not inclueded in any skills. That way the overall level would meen something, but be mostly more like status symbol. Invidual skill progression should be the thing what matters the most. We should progress in things we actually do.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited August 2017
    Why don't we just play/enjoy the f-ing game instead of trying to reinvent the damn thing every 3 days?
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    Karthos said:
    Why don't we just play/enjoy the f-ing game instead of trying to reinvent the damn thing every 3 days?
    And how we can play and enjoy the game atm? Also with that logic why we should discuss about anything game related..  ;)
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