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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 1:58PM (Unverified) said

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theres no difference between lvl60 and lvl80 or whatever. its just a number showing your progress towards level cap.

i think its a shame that most games seriously lack inovation when it comes to measuring a characters progress.

personally i love games that let you advance skills, you get better at what you are actually doing.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 2:50PM Tizmah said

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I don't understand how some people can say it's easier to group in other systems such as a skill based one. You weak buddy isn't near as useful when fighting a dragon, he should be off killing mongbats. He's actually a big burden that makes the situation even worse if you want to protect him that is.

I find Skill base / Level based to be basically the same thing. Level based is somewhat more convienient.

It could be level 1000 and I wouldn't care. It really depends on the time vs. grind/quest/missions/grouping ratio in what it takes to get to the next level.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 4:23AM SgtBaker said

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No, not really so in EVE.

A character that's played for 2 years is generally around 30M skillpoints while a newbie is 800k - there's a big difference in skills.

Yet it doesn't matter much - if we take PvE-centric example, my newbie buddy can tag on in his noob frigate and help my battleship to get rid of frigate sized NPC spawns - and to salvage/loot the wrecks.

That will help me immensly because - the big guns on my Battleship have hard time hitting the little frigates and my Battleship is slow as hell, so salvaging takes a long time.

PvP-centric example - my newbie friend can fit tackling gear and tackle enemies (prevent them from escaping) - while I lay on the DPS from my more advanced ship. Works really well.

We're both having good time and doing useful things that help each others.

So there you go.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 2:53PM Allegos said

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Chasing arbitrary goals on a treadmill has never appealed to me as much as the promise of freedom to explore. I'd be perfectly content to play an MMO that runs like the old side-scrolling fighters of yore, like Double Dragon or Bad Dudes. No level-grinding time sink, no skill-grinding time sink, you quest for gear and ingredients, and you advance your character's class after the creation screen by mastering combos.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 2:55PM (Unverified) said

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Again people are confusing MMO with MMORPG.Understandable I guess since MMORPGs are the dominant subgenre right now but they aren't really the same thing.What most people seem to be asking for here is an MMO that isn't of the RPG variety which is fair enough and I think companies are looking in that direction now.

As For Skill grinding Vs level grinding MMORPG's it's all much the same in the end because RPGs are about character progression and advancement so either way some zones will be off limits to you because your too low level and don't have the stats and abilities to survive or you don't have the ground out level of skills required to survive in a zone.

Unless your talking about being actively locked out of a place because of your level not just because you'd be wtfpwned there if you did go.That always seemed silly to me.You should be able to go where you want and suffer the consequences for it.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 3:17PM Cicadymn said

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Levels should be in the game for nothing other than teaching a player how to play their character. If a player can learn to play a character in 10 levels then that's all the game needs.

However, MMO companies have taken Levels and used them as filler to keep players subscribed longer. I firmly believe if a game focused on using levels to teach players how to play their class, and only that, while focusing instead of trying to keep a mundane flow of XP to keep the player on the wheel a little longer, and instead focused on endgame that would be a very successful MMO.

On this note, I am very much looking forward to Planetside 2. Assuming they did it like Planetside 1 at launch.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 4:35PM Randomessa said

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I start to squint and disapprove of any level cap above 40, with 20 as my ideal due to Guild Wars' masterful way of handling them. Level caps of 70 and 80+ just make me snort with laughter. As if I'm going to even attempt to start a new game that's had a level cap raised by 30 since launch!

*squints at STO*

Posted: Jan 19th 2010 12:34AM GaaaaaH said

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It's a shame that the GW2 devs don't agree and will be putting higher leveling system in.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 5:36PM Heraclea said

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I'd almost always prefer that games add more character slots and/or made it easier to level up, than that they add a new goal that your once maximum level character needs to grind up to. I'd rather explore other sides of the game --- other origins, other zones, and other play styles --- than play the character I've played several months for new gear and new late game content.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 5:58PM wjowski said

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No different from skills caps. Nobody's going to want your 1-Point-In-Swords-Skill noob anymore than they'll want your Level-1-Fighter noob.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 4:28AM SgtBaker said

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Of course it doesn't matter if your game has built-in restrictions.
Some games don't have those restrictions and are degined around grouping.

For example (again, my favorite, EVE):

Even if I have played 2 years non-stop, there are just certain things I can't do well alone (no matter skill). Then again, those things can be done quite easily, if I take a friend with me - even a complete newbie friend.

He becomes very useful to me and I have a incentive of grouping with him as he makes my life easier. At the same time my newbie friend benefits from my "uber" skills, because I can provide him with access to things he wouldn't have normally.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 7:45PM (Unverified) said

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As I've mentioned before I don't think it's the *number* of levels that matters so much as the problem of having such a vast difference in base stats between a lower level player and a higher level one. It's a ridiculous notion to begin with, to think that one person would have 50 hit points, and another 50,000 when they are both supposed to be human (or the race of your choice).

It's this vast difference that impacts MMO's so badly. It wrecks world PvP, it prevents friends of different levels from grouping together, and it sets up a false sense of elitism which further divides players from one another.

As far as I'm concerned, it'd be fine to have just 20 levels earned in a week, or 200 levels that take years to get through, just so long as the leveling process doesn't go overboard in making slugs out of some and gods out of others. And especially so long as it doesn't gate content so severely you have to spend all your time in a single subzone just to level up and move on (I'm looking at you, Aion *shakes fist*).

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 1:31AM (Unverified) said

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Levels don't really matter to me unless something comes with them. Such as the abilty to get new armour, weapons or skills, mounts etc.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 2:47AM (Unverified) said

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The first thing I'd like to say is that levels only belong in MMORPGs, any other MMOG should use skills or nothing.

As for how high I consider too high, I'd have to say 150, I've never played a game that needed more than 150 levels, although I think 100 is a nice number. I played AO back when it only had 220 levels and I thought that was overboard. I also played Conquer Online (NetDragon) and the cap was 130, well actually more like 360 because you could level to 130 then get reborn (which put you back to 15) and then get back to 130, and then get 2nd reborn and get to 130 a third time.

The important thing is not the actual max level but the difference in power, I want to be single handedly killing dragons at max level not fighting spiders http://www.wowhead.com/?npc=29411

As for skills vs levels, a lot of people seem to think that levels go hand in hand with vertical progression and heavy content gating. Many people also believe that skill based games are synonymous with horizontal progression and a complete lack of content gating. Neither of those beliefs are necessarily true.

On the belief that in a skill based game you can play with your friends right away, here's a bad analogy to show how that's a misleading statement. If a skill based mmo were about running a chuck-e-cheese then high skill characters can make pizza, fix games, work at the resister and even design new games, but a low skill character can be the master of pepperoni placement, and maybe place some sausage on a pizza or two, but they can forget about vegetables.

I know I got off topic, but so did a bunch of other people and I wanted to talk about their topics as well.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 4:22AM (Unverified) said

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It all depends on the game itself really. Not necessarily the amount of grind. In a game like Aion (level 50 cap) the grind is huge, but compared to WoW (level 80 cap) its still a lot more of a grind. Even FFXI with its level 75 cap is not as much of a grind as Aion is. Well, it could but the difference was that FFXI was built with a lot of things to do and leveling was supposed to be as much a fun part of the game as the endgame content.

I truly believe that companies need to think long term when deciding on a level cap. Its widely known that Square originally planned out spells and abilities for all the original classes to level 100. They found the original "world" release cap of 75 to be sufficient and stuck with it. They planned far ahead and when they found a place they liked they stopped.

The problem is, if you do not raise the level cap of a game that does not encourage repeat play, then any new areas or quest content you add must "mean" something. Thus the raise in level cap every expansion cycle. With SE you are encouraged to level through new areas because leveling new classes strengthens your character. In WoW, Aion, Warhammer, Lotro, etc you have to create a new character. Sure new lower areas are nice. Burning Crusade gave a 4 lower level areas to WoW, and they are perhaps the best the game has currently to level 1-20.

In the end, new content areas equal new monsters to kill, new quests to complete and all in all a requirement to increase the cap. If WoW didn't raise the cap with an expansion what would you do? Hop in a raid and be bored after a month or two?

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 8:20PM tenfootgoatman said

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the problem with increasing levels with each new expansion pack means hard earned gear becomes redundant with every couple of years . taking warcraft as an example keeping the level at 60 while introducing new armor and quests that allowed you to advance you character would have been preferable . to me that game seams to have been a mess albiet a popular mess since the burning crusade .

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 8:35AM cray said

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I definitely prefer skill based MMOs after having played GUILD WARS. Once you reach level 20 all the progression is based on your own ability to use the skills that are available to you as well as select regional skill trainers.

It's simply a matter of knowing which skill works well with other skills in your limited skill bar. As well as knowing the effectiveness of your skills against mobs, as well as other players.

Leveling is such a vain mechanic that ultimately segregates players and zones.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 1:57PM (Unverified) said

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When it stops feeling fun and feels more like a very stubborn crawl to the top.

If it takes like 6 months+ of regular leveling just to hit the end game level, that's going a wee bit far.

That and if it's to where 50%+ of the good stuff requires the end level, and it takes forever to get to that point, that's really bothersome.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 5:42PM (Unverified) said

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Pure Numbers don't tell anything - nonetheless they should stay on a manageable scale.

What i don't like is when a high level charakter has 200x the health does 500x the damage of a beginner. Such things are just to unrealistic for my taste. If you get hit by an arrow you bleed, regardless if it was shot by a lousy goblin or a highly trained arcane archer.

Posted: Jan 17th 2010 7:50PM (Unverified) said

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Always has been a huge pet peeve of mine. I don't care about the number Either if its 100 or 10 what number you are at on release should be max. Raising level cap just makes me crazy. Why ruin your own game and slap your entire player base across the face because you cant come up with something more innovative or fun in order to sell an expansion to the lemmings?

You ruin the game you spent so many years making and putting all your focus on making it a joke. Where people spent months if not years locked inside fighting something to learn it and advance to the top to be the best and you come along and say Gee thanks guys, thanks for your timem here ya go you are all noobs again and next week 5 people will be in here killing this thing naked with their bare fists.

I just really always took it very personal when companies decided to do this. My two longest tneured games it was the sole reason I eventually quit them just being completely fed up. EQ and WoW. Unlike the vast populous when I read about Cataclysm I was just shocked at the depths the they would stoop to and canceled that day never to return after playing since beta.

So whatever it is , it is just a number but It should be the same from Day one until the end. Use you brains to let people expand and grow their characters. Enough is enough. I wonder if when the end is near if People will even attempt to play the game any longer or if they will just get a command code to get max level and all the goodies. Since they owe it to them for destroying the original game anyway right?

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