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  1. #1

    The Importance/Redundancy of Player Levels

    i believe leveling is necessary for 2 reasons:
    1. to give a sense of advancement(psychological)
    2. to restrict player movement(game design)

    to keep a player engaged in a game, we need to give them something to attain(max level) and a feeling they are achieving that goal(level increments). leveling is a simple way to get that.
    to keep a player moving in a predetermined route(maybe so they dont get ahead of themselves in terms of storyline), we label certain zones as level 1-10, 11-20 and so on.

    for the people who like levels:
    how much level is too much? as expansions increase and level caps increase, it becomes a drag for new players to come in and level from 1 to say, 100 levels. what started out as a tool to measure advancement becomes a hindrance that a new player has to overcome. is there a better way to balance the need for increase in power for the existing player and the barrier of high level cap for a new player?

    for the people who dislike levels:
    now if we take away player levels, what else can we do to give players a sense of advancement? better gear? if all zones are the same "difficulty" then where is the challenge and sense of becoming more powerful as you play?

    what other pros and cons do you see in the concept of player levels?

  2. #2
    I am Murloc! Mif's Avatar
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    As much as I hate carrot on a stick mechanics, I think removing levels is too big of a jump for people to get their heads around.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Questar View Post
    for the people who dislike levels:
    now if we take away player levels, what else can we do to give players a sense of advancement? better gear? if all zones are the same "difficulty" then where is the challenge and sense of becoming more powerful as you play?
    More skills and abilities, for example. Having no levels does not mean all characters are of equal power.

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans Ynna's Avatar
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    There are plenty of ways to improve character performance without using levels. From using gear, to new skills, skill points or attributes.
    I don't dislike levels; they provide a lot stuff that makes the live of the developer and the player easier
    Retired Holy Priest
    As a rule, I try to act on the internet as I would in real life. If I have offended you, feel free to point it out. Unless I meant to offend you, I will probably apologize.

  5. #5
    Without a level-system, the game needs to be thoroughly motivating, making you want to play it regardless of the lack of "levels".

    Modern FPS have adopted a similar concept. Above all, Battlefield 3.

    To be honest, I don't think I would have played BF3 quite as extensively if it hadn't been for my obsession to unlock everything. Then again, without unlocks, motivating myself to play is getting harder and harder. Unlocks have made my drive to play very "frontloaded". I'm not sure that's a good thing for an MMO.

  6. #6
    I think the levels act more as a sort of tutorialish thing opening more and more option for ur character on the way but giving enough time to try evrything on the way in stead of just giving evrything and overwhelming you from the start. The sidekicking makes sure movement isn't restricted from the start.

  7. #7
    The Lightbringer Durzlla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sindacairion View Post
    I think the levels act more as a sort of tutorialish thing opening more and more option for ur character on the way but giving enough time to try evrything on the way in stead of just giving evrything and overwhelming you from the start. The sidekicking makes sure movement isn't restricted from the start.
    This exactly!!

    Personally I enjoy leveling in games due to the experience, not the actual leveling... When xpacs come out I want NO level cap increases at all!! However I do want more personal story quests and DEs!
    Quote Originally Posted by draykorinee View Post
    Youre in the mmo forums and you find mmos boring, Im heading on over to the twilight forums to add my unecessary and shallow 2 cents.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sindacairion View Post
    I think the levels act more as a sort of tutorialish thing opening more and more option for ur character on the way but giving enough time to try evrything on the way in stead of just giving evrything and overwhelming you from the start. The sidekicking makes sure movement isn't restricted from the start.
    with regards to sidekicking, from what i know sidekicking only goes down in pve and goes up in pvp. while i have no problem with powering up a player in pvp to equalize the field, i do not really like this idea of penalizing a player in pve who had already worked had to get his levels.
    this is a problem with regards to levels... where the players are introduced this system of leveling, yet at certain points in the game we feel the need to take away those levels. it feels artificial to me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Questar View Post
    with regards to sidekicking, from what i know sidekicking only goes down in pve and goes up in pvp. while i have no problem with powering up a player in pvp to equalize the field, i do not really like this idea of penalizing a player in pve who had already worked had to get his levels.
    this is a problem with regards to levels... where the players are introduced this system of leveling, yet at certain points in the game we feel the need to take away those levels. it feels artificial to me.
    it is because the leveling is treated as a tutorial that a "downscaling" is needed it keeps the content exiting for higher level players instead of allowing them to roflstomp it griefing all lower levels in the zone. They still keep the bonusses they recieved from being higher levels. Namely more skill/trait options and slightly higher level then the others

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sindacairion View Post
    it is because the leveling is treated as a tutorial that a "downscaling" is needed it keeps the content exiting for higher level players instead of allowing them to roflstomp it griefing all lower levels in the zone. They still keep the bonusses they recieved from being higher levels. Namely more skill/trait options and slightly higher level then the others
    maybe this is the problem or rather.. the solution to the use of levels then: it should only be used to denote that the player has learned something new. frivolous gaining of levels only results in uneven growths in power. the game will need to "correct" this by "side-kicking" players down.

    too often, rpgs use levels where it causes problematic side-effects.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Questar View Post
    maybe this is the problem or rather.. the solution to the use of levels then: it should only be used to denote that the player has learned something new. frivolous gaining of levels only results in uneven growths in power. the game will need to "correct" this by "side-kicking" players down.

    too often, rpgs use levels where it causes problematic side-effects.
    don't you feel they handeld it rather elegantly then? Still giving players the feeling they grow stronger without trivializing other content, alowing all options to be open at all times but there will still be some "standard" paths to take.

  12. #12
    Bloodsail Admiral Haggerty's Avatar
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    I would have been interested to see what the game would have been like without levels. I don't massively mind that we have them...but I'm not really that attached to them either.

    I think the only reason I associate levels with a sense of progression is because a lot of the games I play have them...and have therefore been designed to drip feed progression that way.

    When I reach max level in other MMOs - it is not the fact that the experience bar stops moving that makes me feel bored...it's everything else. If I could do a bunch of compelling story driven quests (maybe to collect a new spell or cool looking aesthetic item but maybe just for the excellent story), then I'm more than happy. Therefore, if we did away with levels totally - but I always had options as far as feeling as if my character was moving in a worthwhile way, or even just options to do something fun/challenging...then cool.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sindacairion View Post
    don't you feel they handeld it rather elegantly then? Still giving players the feeling they grow stronger without trivializing other content, alowing all options to be open at all times but there will still be some "standard" paths to take.
    well, i think there will be 80 levels in gw2, plus the need to introduce a "side-kick system" to compensate for the flaws of over-using the "level system". i think they bowed too much to rpg convention in this regard: deliberately sticking to an old school system(to keep conventional players) while introducing another new system to cover-up the flaws.

    i would love to see a more elegant system.

  14. #14
    I am pretty sick of leveling as a mechanic in MMOs/games in general. Often nothing more than an extended tutorial in the former and cheap gimmick in the latter. Delayed gratification at best.

    Leveling doesn't really work in video games. The concept belonged to another form of media.

  15. #15
    Blademaster Pridefox's Avatar
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    I'm actually not sure that I like pvp having no levels. Instead of picking a character, leveling it up, and investing time in it it seems in pvp people can just swap Over to the "flavor of the month " or character that the community declares op at the time.

  16. #16
    That was possible in GW1. The PVP thing. Worked out okay.

  17. #17
    I don't know if anyone here has played Tibia, a 2D, online oldschool game - it's very similar to the Elder Scrolls - it revolves around levels and skills, and there is no cap.

    The whole game is based on gaining levels and improving your skills, in order to defeat more powerful creatures and be able to explore dangerous and mysterious areas for rare artifacts and hidden items. Levelling is not the goal, it's a means to an end. Imagine the Warglaives of Azzinoth being a part of a secret, long, mysterious quest chain with dozens of puzzles and the like - that's pretty much the case in Tibia, and no one except for a few dedicated people have gotten a hold of these items and know how to get them. It gives you a sense of character progression to find artifacts and explore the depths of the gameworld.

    GW2 seems to have some things in common with Tibia, they've allowed for exploration, secrets and mysteries in the game - you can make your own recipes in crafting, you can find hidden bosses and items through exploration and so on. It's a winning concept, people like it.

  18. #18
    Mechagnome Vewen's Avatar
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    I like the journey where you can become stronger, even if it may be a fictional feeling. That's part of the RPG experience. Though I also feel that the best content shouldn't be all locked away for the max level.

  19. #19
    I don't know if anyone here has played Tibia, a 2D, online oldschool game - it's very similar to the Elder Scrolls - it revolves around levels and skills, and there is no cap.
    Asheron's Call, UO, Mortal and the upcoming Secret World have skill based level up systems with no definitive classes. Concept has been around for a while. Mixed results.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Asheron's Call, UO, Mortal and the upcoming Secret World have skill based level up systems with no definitive classes. Concept has been around for a while. Mixed results.
    Yeah, but Ultima and Tibia are 2D Games that put a huge focus on exploration and danger, which sorts them out from the rest of those games. It gives you an adrenaline rush, standing above a hole 3 levels below the surface in a place covered with lava and fire, not knowing what's down there or what kind of artifacts can be found. Elder Scrolls in 2D-format = Tibia/Ultima.

    In WoW, there's no point to exploration as there's nothing to discover really, everything is known to everyone and there are no secrets or mysteries to be found.

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