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Removing the xp bar

I think how AoC plans to have good content for all levels and not emphasize 'end game' is great but how counter-intuitive that is for MMOs at this point. I think most players will naturally struggle with this and their daily login goal will be to accrue as much xp as possible before logging out. I think one way to resolve this would be to just remove the xp bar. When you don't know the numerical values of xp gain from mobs, crafting, quests, dungeons etc you are less likely to be bogged down with optimizing and can focus on what you like without FOMO. Quest completion could provide some audio+visual feedback that could scale with the amount of xp you earn to make you feel the weight of a particularly important and rewarding quest. Otherwise, when fighting mobs for a quest or grinding, you gauge based on how difficult or easy it is if this is giving you good or mediocre xp for your level.

On the flip side, I actually was struggling to come up with reasons why removing the xp bar would be bad/detrimental to play. The only real reason I came up with (outside of being annoyed it isn't there if you expected it) is if you had to plan your level up with visiting some NPC for gaining your new skills (I don't even know if this is the case). Without fast travel, I'd be annoyed if I was a hair away from leveling without knowing it just to travel super far from the NPC I was right beside that would give me my new skills/augments. This can have easy solutions though, like if you visit your class trainer NPC (if there is such a thing) and talking to them would give you some idea 'you are still quite a ways away' (<50%) vs 'you're halfway there!' (~50%) vs 'you are close' (~25%) vs 'just a bit more' (<10%).

I wonder what other people think, would this enhance gameplay with AoC's goals in mind? Would it be annoying?
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    SongcallerSongcaller Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I love the idea behind no xp bars. Fir a second I dreaded the crafting grind, however, I guess you could have other ways to determine investment needed without falling into a black hole of despair.

    I think the rush of a sudden ding would be awesome. I would hope xp gain would still be given per activity because I like to plan kills etc.
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    VeeshanVeeshan Member
    edited March 2022
    Neurath wrote: »
    I love the idea behind no xp bars. Fir a second I dreaded the crafting grind, however, I guess you could have other ways to determine investment needed without falling into a black hole of despair.

    I think the rush of a sudden ding would be awesome. I would hope xp gain would still be given per activity because I like to plan kills etc.

    WTB the old Everquest DIng noise on leveling :P

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P1SQYWChIM&amp;ab_channel=SothisSpielwiese
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    McShaveMcShave Member
    edited March 2022
    A similar idea I like to your OP is the idea of not relying on character level for everything, instead having many different systems to level (like OSRS, but not as many things to level). I don't like the idea of locking combat abilities, armor, weapons, dungeons, etc behind an arbitrary number like a character level, especially when there are many ways to level up your character. Like what if you gathered to level 50 (unrealistic, but for example), and then you walked into an end-game raid having never fought a monster before.

    It makes sense to me that the more you do a specific thing, the better you get at it. Similar to older WoW with their weapon skill. You had to use a weapon a bit before you were good at it. In practicalities, it was not a fun gameplay system since it arbitrarily made you bad at a weapon that might have been an upgrade for you, but I like the idea that you had to use something before you were good with it.

    Like, what if instead of saying you must be level XX to wear this certain plate armour, you had to have a strength of XX to wear it, since plate is heavier and more cumbersome than mail or leather and it makes sense that you would need to be a stronger person to use it.

    You can still have a character level, maybe an accumulation of all the different leveling aspects of a character, but you wouldnt have new skills when you level up your character level, but you would get new abilities when you level up your combat level.
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    ShoelidShoelid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The biggest downside to removing the XP bar is that watching it go up feels good. Seeing the big jump in progress after a difficult quest has always been the most satisfying part for me.

    Basically, the core of the RPG genre is that "number goes up" feels good, and the XP bar is one of those numbers.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Or or.... people that dont have time for such an mmo, can come to terms with it?
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    CROW3CROW3 Member
    I think @McShave & I are in the same boat, though I may take it to a greater extreme. I feel like player levels are the vestigial tail of PnP. Had I my druthers I'd eliminate levels entirely and push toward a skill based system similar to UO. We have systems that can handle many more sophisticated ways to quantify and normalize player character (not necessarily twitch) skills to create a character growth experience without micromanaging bar progression.
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    I don't like the idea of not having the xp information, about how much i get from x thing. If i grinded something, i would like to know how much i would need to progress. Take crafting f.x. I would like to know how many of x item i would need to level. I don't grind mobs to level. But there are people that does it. You would want to know if it was worth your time and/or how many you would need to kill
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    Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I like the idea of no xp bar. I'd extend that to health bars as well. I enjoyed in lost ark having no indication of where the boss was at until we died or the boss did.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Good... keep attacking the same mob not knowing if it's a good grind or not.
    I begin to think that some people dont know how mmos are played. Anyway, this topic wont get any dev attention.
    "Remove xp bar cause my feelings"
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    CROW3CROW3 Member
    edited March 2022
    Good... keep attacking the same mob not knowing if it's a good grind or not.
    I begin to think that some people dont know how mmos are played. Anyway, this topic wont get any dev attention.
    "Remove xp bar cause my feelings"

    hm... I find your projection ironic. If you're unable to tolerate a discussion about disrupting the status quo because of your feelings, that's fine. I'd rather entertain the irrational to help move the needle in a new direction instead of assuming that 'grandma knows best' and accepting what was as what should be just because.

    So a more productive question would be 'What are other ways (even totally irrational ways) to provide players a sense of progress and accomplishment for their character without a % progress bar?'
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Yeah - I don't know that it has to be a XP progress bar...
    I much prefer the NW compass over a mini-map...
    But, I definitely want some form of gauge of xp progress that will help me determine the length of a play session.
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    CawwCaww Member
    Give players the UI option to hide the XP bar but let other players have the familiarity of the usual setup.
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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The idea of untying the progress of various skills from xp/level is an interesting one. Perhaps learning new spells, for example, could be tied to use of current related spells instead. Crafting ability related to crafting usage, cooking to cooking, stealth to use of stealth, and so on.

    Leave something tied to xp, perhaps new weapon usage and armor, too. But just because someone is level 50 shouldn't make them good at horseback riding if they have never ridden before or good at growing corn and 'taters if they have never worked on a farm.
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    VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    edited March 2022
    Interesting discussion so far, everyone! ^_^

    What are some creative ways you can think of to reimagine the XP bar?
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    Caww wrote: »
    Give players the UI option to hide the XP bar but let other players have the familiarity of the usual setup.

    This. Give options, no need to lock into one way or another. You don't like XP bars? cool, turn it off.
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    Caww wrote: »
    Give players the UI option to hide the XP bar but let other players have the familiarity of the usual setup.

    The most reasonable choice. UI customization freedom is king.
    6wtxguK.jpg
    Aren't we all sinners?
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited March 2022
    Yeah, I'm really looking forward to Alpha 2 where 'whether or not they have skilled enough coders to deliver on the ui customization that would result in a lot of solved problems like this' will be clearer. However it is a very specific skill and such customization does cost resources both to create and to run on the client side. Good coding is really going to make or break the ux experience for a game that has this many problems to solve.
    Small print leads to large risks.
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    pyrealpyreal Member, Warrior of Old
    I feel this notion falls into the same category as 'please remove classes', which has led to McClassless crap MMOs where every 'non-class' special snowflake character does everything.
    It follows a siren song of 'limitless freedom and personal expression' but falls to shallow gameplay and dumbed down yet polished tropes.
    Some think by removing supposed "restrictions" you are guaranteed a better experience, well you're not.
    Finding the way forward within limits is what makes one stretch the imagination and allows you to find pleasure in excellence, a job well done, trials be damned.

    I know from experience that sometimes your satisfaction from a play session is not playing so much as feeling you've moved forward in the game.

    Your character has progressed, grown slightly more powerful, and that slight power boost is going to move you closer to exploring the world more, kicking that mob's ass that wrecked you on the way to the other town, and so forth.
    MMOs are like a classic Hero quest story. From weak to strong, with all the trials in between.
    The XP bar is a definitive marker of your progression towards Hero.
    Leave my XP bar alone!

    I appreciate Steven's new ideals, such as nodes. I feel they will foster player ownership of the game and foster longterm players. But the primary reason I am here is because AoC is at heart a CLASSIC MMORPG!

    Lets drop classes and be freeflowing and kool
    Lets drop mobs because swords aren't constructive
    Lets drop xp bar because.... "less likely to be bogged down with optimizing"

    What does THAT mean? 'bogged down' by developing my character?! This is an RPG, THAT ITS PURPOSE!
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    pyreal wrote: »
    Lets drop classes and be freeflowing and kool
    It's funny. Because why then limit the number of professions? It's a mmo after all. If you have the time, shouldn't you be able to master all classes? That is a design choice Steven made.
    The fact that you have no levels, doesn't mean you get all skills.
    Example: You can only have X amount of skills at the highest level, so if you want to be a tank, maybe you will have Mace+Shield+Resistance, after being hit a lot by many mobs. Maybe your physical resistance is high because you always grind physical mobs.
    The archetypes might be end up being the same, but you could have an Archer that on purpose got hit a lot, and now it has a lot of physical resistance, maybe to counterattack assasins.

    So, there you go. Now you have a whole new system where you're free to do what you want, but there are restrictions.
    The XP bar is not a necessity, unless, of course, you want the most efficient route to level. And that's the idea behind, isn't? I MUST KNOW the fastest way to level. Might as well look at the source code and find out all the most efficient ways.
    Imagine having skills instead of levels, now there's no fastest way to max level.

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    CawwCaww Member
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Interesting discussion so far, everyone! ^_^

    What are some creative ways you can think of to reimagine the XP bar?

    So, the question above implies that there is some sort of XP bar but how can it be approached with a twist to add something special but practical to game play.

    There could of course be Multiple XP bars; one for mob xp, one for quest xp, one for pvp xp, one for crafting xp, one for node development xp, etc. and their combined effect would determine your increase in leveling (which is what already happens in games, just without the granularity). This matrix of xp could have "trip points" where each xp category would, as an example, increase the amount of xp gained with that activity or just trigger a certain jump in the overall level bar. Having multiple triggers and other benefits along the way would probably encourage players to at least try a little of each xp category to get the bumps along the path to 50/60.
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    neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited March 2022
    Shoelid wrote: »
    The biggest downside to removing the XP bar is that watching it go up feels good. Seeing the big jump in progress after a difficult quest has always been the most satisfying part for me.

    Basically, the core of the RPG genre is that "number goes up" feels good, and the XP bar is one of those numbers.
    insomnia wrote: »
    I don't like the idea of not having the xp information, about how much i get from x thing. If i grinded something, i would like to know how much i would need to progress. Take crafting f.x. I would like to know how many of x item i would need to level. I don't grind mobs to level. But there are people that does it. You would want to know if it was worth your time and/or how many you would need to kill

    Yeah so I under-represented the pro-xp bar side, but at least I said as much in the op. I think these 2 comments hit the nail on the head as to why xp bars are useful. A sense of progress and the ability to plan for it. Even though I said lacking an xp bar would prevent feelings of having to optimize, it also sometimes feels good to plan to optimize haha, I guess it's a bit of a personal preference. I do not think it should be that much of a mystery if your mob grind is efficient or not though ( @georgeblack ) if the mobs are near your level, and you can kill a decent number of them per hour, that's a good grind. Realistically people don't test 10 different grind spots every couple levels anyways, when people have exact xp info though they can pool their knowledge in spreadsheets to come up with youtube video guides on 'best grind spots for lvl 1-50' and that to me sounds bland.

    All I'm saying is that I'd not hate it if we either had the UI option to hide it in an alpha/beta or just have one of the alphas/betas start with them turned off to get some feedback on how it feels. I definitely want to avoid this convo going down the same path as the dps meter, erm, discussion (??) though haha. But I do think not having super detailed info on how much xp per mob and how much xp till you lvl will be good, perhaps not remove the xp bar completely but dumb it down to 10 little circles, when you hit 10% progress, 1 circle fills up and you don't know how much xp each mob gives, plus your quests will give xp in increments of 10%, so a big quest may give 30% and a little one gives 10%, or something like that... easy peasy.
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    pyreal wrote: »
    I feel this notion falls into the same category as 'please remove classes', which has led to McClassless crap MMOs where every 'non-class' special snowflake character does everything.
    It follows a siren song of 'limitless freedom and personal expression' but falls to shallow gameplay and dumbed down yet polished tropes.
    Some think by removing supposed "restrictions" you are guaranteed a better experience, well you're not.
    Finding the way forward within limits is what makes one stretch the imagination and allows you to find pleasure in excellence, a job well done, trials be damned.

    I know from experience that sometimes your satisfaction from a play session is not playing so much as feeling you've moved forward in the game.

    Your character has progressed, grown slightly more powerful, and that slight power boost is going to move you closer to exploring the world more, kicking that mob's ass that wrecked you on the way to the other town, and so forth.
    MMOs are like a classic Hero quest story. From weak to strong, with all the trials in between.
    The XP bar is a definitive marker of your progression towards Hero.
    Leave my XP bar alone!

    I appreciate Steven's new ideals, such as nodes. I feel they will foster player ownership of the game and foster longterm players. But the primary reason I am here is because AoC is at heart a CLASSIC MMORPG!

    Lets drop classes and be freeflowing and kool
    Lets drop mobs because swords aren't constructive
    Lets drop xp bar because.... "less likely to be bogged down with optimizing"

    What does THAT mean? 'bogged down' by developing my character?! This is an RPG, THAT ITS PURPOSE!

    Well that's quite a dramatic take. i actually end up forgetting about xp bars until I hit an obstacle when I'm playing RPGs or when I run out of immersive quests and have to watch my xp bar crawl through grinding. The best RPGs I've ever played have made me forget about the xp bar completely while games that 'really start at the endgame' have me glued to my xp bar so I can finally start raiding or w.e but maybe that's just me. This isn't some slippery slope where 'FIRST THEY CAME FOR OUR XP BAR AND NOW WE ARE PLAYING FORTNITE!'. I'm just throwing out an idea that felt in line with AoC's design philosophies and goals and ultimately would be easy to test in an alpha/beta by giving the option to remove it or just removing it for everyone for a bit just to patch it in.
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    I like the idea of no xp bar. I'd extend that to health bars as well. I enjoyed in lost ark having no indication of where the boss was at until we died or the boss did.

    I didn't like that.
    But people are different. Maybe an option to remove the xp bars. So those that want it, can keep it, and those that don't, can remove it
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    CROW3CROW3 Member
    edited March 2022
    There's a significant difference between hiding the xp bar and fundamentally rethinking why an XP bar (and maybe XP entirely) is necessary at all. I'm assuming the XP bar - and all UI elements - can be moved, resized, and hidden as just baseline UI customization.

    It also sounds like rethinking XP in general is a triggering issue for some, so maybe we'll just set that down for now. :D
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
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    I can see an argument being made for no XP bar, but I can see an equal argument for seeing your XP bar go up when turning in quests, or killing a big mob, etc. Some people enjoy the smaller accomplishments, not just the DING of a new level.
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    neuroguy wrote: »
    I think how AoC plans to have good content for all levels and not emphasize 'end game' is great but how counter-intuitive that is for MMOs at this point. I think most players will naturally struggle with this and their daily login goal will be to accrue as much xp as possible before logging out. I think one way to resolve this would be to just remove the xp bar. When you don't know the numerical values of xp gain from mobs, crafting, quests, dungeons etc you are less likely to be bogged down with optimizing and can focus on what you like without FOMO. Quest completion could provide some audio+visual feedback that could scale with the amount of xp you earn to make you feel the weight of a particularly important and rewarding quest. Otherwise, when fighting mobs for a quest or grinding, you gauge based on how difficult or easy it is if this is giving you good or mediocre xp for your level.

    On the flip side, I actually was struggling to come up with reasons why removing the xp bar would be bad/detrimental to play. The only real reason I came up with (outside of being annoyed it isn't there if you expected it) is if you had to plan your level up with visiting some NPC for gaining your new skills (I don't even know if this is the case). Without fast travel, I'd be annoyed if I was a hair away from leveling without knowing it just to travel super far from the NPC I was right beside that would give me my new skills/augments. This can have easy solutions though, like if you visit your class trainer NPC (if there is such a thing) and talking to them would give you some idea 'you are still quite a ways away' (<50%) vs 'you're halfway there!' (~50%) vs 'you are close' (~25%) vs 'just a bit more' (<10%).

    I wonder what other people think, would this enhance gameplay with AoC's goals in mind? Would it be annoying?

    Uh, for someone who likes to track progress, it would be a nightmare for me not to see how much xp I'm getting per mob killed.
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    RevengeRomanRevengeRoman Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It seems to me the removal of the XP bar in its entirety would directly change how core features of AoC work. For example, if you engage in PvP and accrue negative XP as a result dying a few times, you have no way to tell how much negative XP you have accrued.

    This would require a fundamental change to how dying affects systems such as the corruption system.

    I think a way both the removing XP from being a factor for those who don't want it on their screen crowd, and the crowd that wants to be efficient with grinding could be satisfied with my suggestion.

    What if XP was showcased as a Journal? Let's say the XP bar doesn't need to be present 100% of the time on your screen but if you press let's say the "J" key, it pulls up a journal that tells you what actions earned you what XP recently in a format similar to your character writing about their experiences but also provides some data on what you encountered, a time-line so that efficiency oriented players can readily deduce how much XP per hour they are earning, and a means to hide the journal or have a static condensed version present on your screen thats togglable for those who want to see where they are live.

    This provided lots of flexibility, keeps with the theme of immersion, and provides players who aren't worried about efficiency the ability to opt out and clean up their UI.
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    Undead CanuckUndead Canuck Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I have always wanted to have the system just show the percentages, never numerical amounts.
    I don't need to see that I got 123 XP for taking out mob A and 219 XP for mob B. Why not 1% (rounded for display) for mob A and 2% (rounded for display) for mob B? That way the XP bar works just like it looks.

    This way, changes to the back end would not affect players as they are just used to seeing percentages. Plus it might help prevent min/maxing since you cannot see the values.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited April 2022
    I have always wanted to have the system just show the percentages, never numerical amounts.
    I don't need to see that I got 123 XP for taking out mob A and 219 XP for mob B. Why not 1% (rounded for display) for mob A and 2% (rounded for display) for mob B? That way the XP bar works just like it looks.

    This way, changes to the back end would not affect players as they are just used to seeing percentages. Plus it might help prevent min/maxing since you cannot see the values.

    At high lvs you will be looking at 0.0%. It would take a few mobs to see the bar progress by 0.1%. I never cared for the numbers until I reached 76+ in L2. And then, when you had 9 fully buffed people with the best gear in the game, spent 10s to kill a mob I started caring about the very best numbers in the system log.
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    fabulafabula Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    This just seems like a major inconvenience and it will not have the effect of making people suddenly not care about getting to max level asap.

    Having no xp bar is a big problem when you consider that there is xp loss in game or is "just don't die" the solution here?. This would have a major chilling effect on the way players interact with the world.
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