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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Oct 8th 2009 2:30PM (Unverified) said

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I'd like to see leveling taken out of more MMOs. Leveling is fine when youre doing it in tabletop games where your friends are generally the same level and all the content is provided on a personal basis. Also, in single player RPGs where your character levels as a consequence of playing the game and experiencing the story at your own pace. In MMOs, where "the game opens up" at a certain level and all the while you pay for completing the story at your own pace, I think this antiquated holdover will begin to drive people away as more options arise.

Posted: Oct 8th 2009 2:52PM Firebreak said

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I could not agree more.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2009 3:04PM Marz said

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I think leveling will be taken out of MMO's when a non leveling game becomes popular.

I have played both Wow and EVE and one thing I find that is night and day about the two games is there are no starts and stops in EVE. I enjoy that a lot more.
When I played wow I raced to 60 and then waited for the new expansion. Then when it came out I leveled to 70 and then you have to wait....then you level to eighty then have to wait; To Blizzards credit they add a bunch of things to do while you are waiting, adding a new high end instance every couple of months and new high end quests.
Playing EVE because there are no levels there is no waiting. You simply keep on learning skills and will probably never learn every skill even if you play for 10 years.
I prefer the skill based learning of EVE to the leveling of WoW and most other MMO's, Darkfall tried to do a skill based game but it hasn't really caught on. Hopefully more MMO's will not only go to a skill based progression.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2009 4:04PM Anatidae said

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+1000

I have made comments everywhere begging MMO developers to scrap the overarching level system.

I have come to realize that if a MMO developer were to actually read other game's forums that inside one can find some outstanding ideas from the MMO fanbase. I have read so many brilliant suggestions that get ignored. Maybe, someday, someone will actually be an innovator instead of a WoW replicator?
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Posted: Oct 8th 2009 5:43PM Myria said

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Wait, there's no levels in Eve?

And no waiting?

Now I truly have heard it all.

SP is a proxy for levels. And you absolutely have to wait for skills to train before you can do just about anything. Eve has one of the most uniquely rigid and punishing level system because it's purely time-in-game based, the longer you've been playing, the higher your level, nothing else matters.

As for how great it'd be if MMOs didn't have levels, as Champions how well that whole "no classes" thing is going. Take a good hard look at the number of problems, many of them unsolvable, that has caused and what it has meant for both PvE and PvP in that game.

There's a reason things like classes and levels are in every single successful MMO there's been, and it's not just to piss off clueless game designer wonnabes.
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Posted: Oct 9th 2009 6:46PM Sonoran said

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I agree, leveling is an isolating mechanic for players. The player progresses through this narrow "window" of playable content that moves forward as he/she levels. Other players outside the window are not suitable partner/group members. Getting their levels out of synch is a major reason that players stop playing together.

If MMO's are looking for ways to encourage group play... ditch leveling.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2009 4:29PM (Unverified) said

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I think this contest was a fantastic idea. It introduced me to a great community of bloggers and interesting thoughts on the MMO genre. Thanks Massively! :)

Posted: Oct 8th 2009 8:41PM Graill440 said

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The masses speak, but ignorant devs never listen.

I had a convo with my brother and some friends in regards to no levels and simply finding things and figuring out how to use them effectively. he then went on a very comical rant (a pretty good one as we all nearly got tossed from olive garden for the laughter) in which he tried counter every argument i could come up with, he made some good and very funny comparisons and shut me down on several points, most to do with the current dev way of thinking and the staleness of MMO's for the last ten years plus.

With no levels come some comical problems (et uo) new players come into game with nothing or next to nothing and someone with a better branch hides at a popular fishing spot comes running from the bushes and brains you, steals your meager belongings and fish simply because they have a bigger stick (the scenario is hilarious if you think about it, but it isnt for the new folks, and lost subs mount up.

To cope, a level playing field must take priority. This is for the new sub coming into game and the vet that has found a multitude of information and items to use. Consequence must be brutal ingame to prevent rampant griefing and the reward for such behaviour (the griefing if they can get away with it) must be extravagant.

But, alas..............ah well.....screw it.

Posted: Oct 8th 2009 9:12PM Graill440 said

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I need to point out something to the folks blogging all the warm and fuzziness, its making me want to puke. I got half way through the "Analytic view" and had to stop because i started seeing the carebears, happy bear scared the shit outta me. The blog was total shit if your into reality and common sense, but if you live in lala land and are looking to kiss a professors ass then i am sure its a grand piece. I refused to read the others as i am sure they were picked with the same fuzziness in mind.

Its because of the very way some of these bloggers communicate (wearing rose colored glasses and carrying a cute puppy while they type) we have what is the current MMO state. There is no passion anymore, no honesty, its gone, folks are told this is the way it should be and they blindly follow ignorant devs wasting cash.

The person that typed "Analytic view" needs to pair up with ex senator Palin as her speech writer, you two have the same outlook, warm, bubbly and out of touch with reality.

I am feeling to warm and fuzzy right now, i need to go hit someone.

Posted: Oct 9th 2009 1:01AM (Unverified) said

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Well Graill, Analytic View is my blog. Sorry it wasn't your thing, but you don't have to be so mean about it.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2009 11:42PM Marz said

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Myria says:SP is a proxy for levels. And you absolutely have to wait for skills to train before you can do just about anything.

Perhaps you misunderstood my point. For waiting in Eve to be like Wow; (or most other MMO's) You would Max your skills then have to wait a year or two before you could start learning more skills. Then the expansion would come out and you would max out your skills then have to wait another year or two before being able to learn skills again.

Instead you are always learning skills; they never run out. you are not waiting for an expansion. Having played both types of games, I like this method much better.

That is what I would like to see changed in more MMO's, that waiting for an expansion to continue leveling or learning skills. I would like more games to have continuous skill building or leveling.

Posted: Oct 9th 2009 5:54AM (Unverified) said

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Thanks for including my post.

My name is mikel evins, rather than "Mike Levins". That's a new and interesting typo for my name. I think my favorite, though, has to be "Mike Elevens", because it's pronounced exactly like my actual name. Maybe I could spell it "Mike 11 11".

Readers may find the layout and typography of the essay more appealing at

http://mikelevins.livejournal.com/

The essay appears there dated October 1, 2009, under the title "Redefining MMOs: The game no one is making".

Posted: Oct 9th 2009 7:02AM (Unverified) said

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Ah, sorry about that! It's fixed now.
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Posted: Oct 30th 2009 9:02AM (Unverified) said

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It appears to me that alot of people aren't really comprehending what an MMO-RPG can be. Alot of people don't understand how an RPG works and works well. Furthermore, the understanding of what makes a fun game objectively (and not just subjectively) is a bit skewed, but this is to be expected given that not everyone grows up reading concepts from novels like Dream Park and studied role-playing game books as these books came out in the seventies and eighties.

Now, we must understand that MMO-RPG are in essence what an RPG was without a referee; they might be considered similar to solo-adventures undergone by a group. Clever approaches in the game can't truly be had, no more than we can cleverly move a rook to "shoot a phaser at a boulder" over a pawn's head in a game of Chess. As such, only the more complex and thorough rules or simplest rules absenting independent approach can be brought into the game. The person who thinks that old RPG are all too simple should take a look at Rolemaster or Empire of the Petal Throne (fancy learning a complete language to play an RPG?) or Arduin Grimoire.

One thing that's often ignored in MMO-RPG is the boss monster that actually uses its resources. An AI opponent rather than a dancing graphical target. Scaling levels of AI tactical intelligence might provoke more interest in the game. And we must also have AI allies as well -- or better yet, have AI parties that may become allies or rivals however temporarily or long term or even chimerically.

Another issue ignored in MMO-RPG is that for a guild to be properly challenged, there should be competing NPC run guilds that function fairly much like a guild run by a player character -- and also NPCs that might join guilds, have needs, have demands, have usefulness. This could improve enjoyment when combined with wise and artistic game design.

Finally, we find there is a problem with ghost accounts. A person can purchase more than one account for themself in a game where such a thing is cheating (not all multi-player games are like this). And there are other forms of cheating that are difficult to prevent, even unto administrative corruption. There are guilds of hundreds composed of five people. It's almost as if the pressure to win (or boredom of life) forces many to compete unfairly for a fictional reward.

All considered, more enjoyable games might mean better interactions with others in the game. Life is composed of many things, games can be a rewarding portion of life.

Posted: Dec 15th 2009 3:54PM (Unverified) said

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I wish i would have come across this topic sooner but as it goes heres my 2 cents...
1st. I dont believe that a "Natural" evolution is happening. For a "Natural" evolution to happen the best charectoristics of each said genre of game would be making its way into the newly created ones. Take WoW and Guild Wars for example 1 team split, and emerged two games that should have been 1. For those theory crafters GW has great attention to its PvP minded players as a Social progression (your guild defends against other guilds) and WoW raiding can well even after many many flames be said to be an exilerating event. But i doubt due to "intellectual copyrights" you will see a merger.So you will instead get a "same feel as" with new games because every great working idea belongs to someone else and will only stay within the title of ownership.

2nd.The transition from yesterdays unique feel of "You" as a singularity may be gone forever, murdered by a fiend,thug, a common villian who is so without origianlity it is defined by its allias in which we gave it....enter the infamous "Cookie Cutter". Sad really when atlevels 1-10 you look so different from even the others in your own starting areas only to find that somewhere in "Max Level" range you the warrior looks just like the rogue or spellcaster to your left and right. Even in your own class you must skill this way or you fail.

3rd.Probably to me the most serious and honest observation and one i feel got missed was the "Star Wars Disease or SwD" when the popular Swo title decided that it wasnt big enough and wanted more subscriptions it made a corporate decision to make the game easier to appeal to a more broad demographic. Enters the "Disease" greed, its masses left the game in droves. This event was notice by the check signers who see the games as monthly subscriptions and its point has spread to every MMO or MMOrpg out there. As soon as the trollers hit the forums and start what has come to be known as QQ or cry they yield by giving them what they want to avoid a mass exodus like the Star Wars event. Instead of finding a more creative solution to player research they yield to the power of forum rage. Say what you will but those of us who play have seen how easy it is to do everything now there is no challange. And worse we have no reliable communication to any devs or assistant devs we as gamers do want things, but an open forum is not the stage to have that communication..Maybe when we paid $140.00 a month to play and if your charector died and you didnt have a rezor you stayed dead. But again gone are those days.

I could go on with more topics but in conclusion.
I would not want a redefinition, to redefine it means its something other than what it is. And its simply a Brand. Instead of the focus being on the game i believe the redifining comes at the player level where to experience new content you have to watch youtube for the strategy, and hit wiki for the correct build before you ever set foot in the event. And the power of the mighty subscription fee is wielded by those who spend more time in the forums than the game correcting spellin and flaming grammer instead of supporting or debating a topic.
Thank you for your time friends.. again i wish i had been aware of this topic from the beginning i have alot to say on these topics. Happy Hunting

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