The complacent structure of the genre

Did I get your attention with the headline? Good. Now that you're here I'll explain, every MMORPG does the same thing, even though it might not always look like it, even Ashes of Creation is falling into this pitfall. I'm talking about the Level Up and Class mechanics.  Every MMORPG, that I am aware of, uses levels and classes/jobs for character archetypes. I don't think there is anything wrong with races, for the most part, I like seeing diversity. That said, the races of Elf and Dwarf are a bit overused in that there are is little to no variation in them when compared to other fantasy races. More often than not you'll see forest dwelling elves all over the places in the Fantasy genre and almost every fantasy dwarf society is structured the exact same way, a subterranean dwelling race of short folk with burly builds that prize themselves on mining, stone crafting, and smithing.

But for the purposes of the argument I'm going to focus on the fact that just like every other MMORPG before it, AoC uses a Level Up and Class system structure. It is my opinion that levels in RPGs are stupid, they encourage a potentially toxic mindset and relegate experience points to being a tracking gauge which means they are next to pointless. So my question here, and it should be taken into consideration very carefully, why does AoC even require a Leveling system?

The Class and Level mechanics are staples of the MMORPG genre, even though probably don't really need to be, but it just makes them all come across as trying to imitate classic D&D. D&D is TTRPG and the oldest known RPG in the world. But it's not the only tabletop RPG out there, there are a plethora of tabletop RPGs out there now, and not all of them use classes and/or levels. One of my favorite tabletop RPGs is World of Darkness, and its spinoff games, and that game series doesn't use classes or levels. World of Darkness uses a Point Buy system for character advancement, which means you use the experience points you earn in the game to advance your character. So, why doesn't AoC utilize a system that makes levels obsolete?

Comments

  • TL:DR
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited December 2018
    TL:DR
    Sounds like they are asking to scrap the class and level system for a skills and skill points.

    for OP:
    Quick answer is balance and ability diversity. 

    In a lot of skill based systems, the biggest problem is you want to balance all skills. Not only is this hard but not necessarily a good thing as it can lead to all skills being similar. In a class system, they are allowed to make some skills more powerful then others in the class's kit as it's unique to that class. Another plus is by limiting abilities to certain classes, it's easier to avoid potentially op ability combos.

    The short of it is, in a class system they are allowed to make a more diverse array of abilities because they don't have to worry about them being compared to all other abilities as well as them being used with all other abilities. We still have a skill point system so abilities will still need to be balanced within their class, at least to some degree, but it's not as bad as having to balance them to all other abilities available in the game.

    Levels are intuitive goals that provide a good tutorial system to help players to get acclimated to the game and their characters. Not the only way to do it but most players are familiar with them and how they work.
  • Leveling in MMOs serves as a method of power progressions over the course of your career as a player.  Even if we didn't have character levels we would just end up seeing skill levels so players feel like they're progressing the longer they play. 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited December 2018
    McStackerson I'm not saying both need to be completely scrapped, I'm just saying I would like to see MMORPGs show bit more diversity in their player progression and put a few more spins on the Class system. I've actually been working on a tabletop RPG, with MMORPG plans for the game also written up, by myself for a few years now, I finally got it to the point I'm comfortable with playtesting everything. You can check out the info via the Discord I created for it here, https://discord.gg/t5FqmSA
    or give it a look via the first test game I'm working on here, https://www.rolegate.com/welcome-to-the-new-world

    The game I've been working on does use a class system, of sorts, but it also puts on spin on it I haven't seen before. With all existing MMORPGs, and from what I gather on AoC, once you choose your character class you are locked into it unless you meet certain requirements, usually paying real money to change your character's class. The MMO plans I wrote up for the game, which I will not provide a link to for, hopefully, obvious reasons has it set so you can change your class by just going to a preset location in the game world and paying a set amount based on your character's advancement, but you can't change your race as well, everything has to have limits. Even though my game doesn't have levels, it does have a system for helping players chart their advancement and determine the danger levels of potential threats at a glance.

    My point is, you can have one without the other potentially find a way to make it work, provided you have an understanding of how things are meant to work


  • dracone said:
    McStackerson I'm not saying both need to be completely scrapped, I'm just saying would like to see MMORPGs show bit more diversity in their player progression and put a few more spins on the Class system. I've actually been working on a tabletop RPG, with MMORPG plans for the game also written up, by myself for a few years now, I finally got it to the point I'm comfortable with playtesting everything. You can check out the info via the Discord I created for it here, https://discord.gg/t5FqmSA
    or give it a look via the first test game I'm working on here, https://www.rolegate.com/welcome-to-the-new-world

    The game I've been working on does use a class system, of sorts, but it also puts on spin on it I haven't seen before. With all existing MMORPGs, and from what I gather on AoC, once you choose your character class you are locked into it unless you meet certain requirements, usually paying real money to change your character's class. The MMO plans I wrote up for the game, which I will not provide a link to for, hopefully, obvious reasons has it set so you can change your class by just going to a preset location in the game world and paying a set amount based on your character's advancement, but you can't change your race as well, everything has to have limits. Even though my game doesn't have levels, it does have a system for helping players chart their advancement and determine the danger levels of potential threats at a glance.

    My point is, you can have one without the other potentially find a way to make it work, provided you have an understanding of how things are meant to work


    Hahahaha! I love it. Using shameless promotion tactics.
  • @Inticari Maybe just a little, but I mostly used it as an example of using existing mechanics in ways that are lesser utilized. Well, that and I want to get as many playtesters as possible for this. Granted, it might be some time before the MMO version can be utilized
  • Perhaps the reason that AoC uses the traditional system is that it is proven to be what people enjoy playing.  What is that old saying?   "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  • @TauTau But is it really unbroken or does it just look that way? Sometimes what looks unbroken does have a few hard to see cracks
  • dracone said:
    @TauTau But is it really unbroken or does it just look that way? Sometimes what looks unbroken does have a few hard to see cracks
    100% irrelevant, leveling is like <1% percent of game, it doesn't matter. Same with classes. The overwhelming majority of players doesn't care about those mechanisms, so wasting time on changing it is pointless.
  • dracone said:
    @TauTau But is it really unbroken or does it just look that way? Sometimes what looks unbroken does have a few hard to see cracks
    Yes, it really is unbroken. More to the point, its a psychological thing. A major incentive to keep people going is a sense of accomplishment. Every time you ding a new level, there is an endorphin release in a normal brain. 

    In a purly skill based game, there is no need for levels, becuase you want every one to have the same same stats so skill is the determining factor. Think "PUBG" or "Sea of Thieves". You will notice these games aren't played in the same durations as a mmorpg that keeps you going for years. 
  • tl;dr #2 'w'
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