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Reader Comments (43)

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:12AM Kalis said

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Depends really on if the skill based system still has unique classes or not. I don't care for classless systems.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:13AM The Ogre said

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Level-based is far better for fun. You get more tangible progress, a general indication of where you can go and what you can do, and it drastically reduces the odds of your character becoming too specialized to survive.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 5:19PM spacentropy said

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@The Ogre you talk like casual
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:19AM Space Cobra said

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"When you think about it, the concept of "levels" in MMOs is downright strange -- and contrary to how we live life. I mean, do you suddenly "ding" to a new, arbitrary level after gaining a whole bunch of generic XP for killing spiders because your spouse/roommate/sibling is too scared to do so?"

Boss " "Welcome to the Mailroom."

Man : "Thanks, I hope I can get promoted..."

8 months later...

"You've been promoted to Head of Stockroom."

After a few years...

"You've leveled up to CEO!"

Then...you get caught because of fraudulent business practices!

"You've experienced XP/Level debt. You are now out of your CEO job and have to change your class. The choices we offer you are :

1) Prisoner, where you start at level one and have the potential to change into "Big House Daddy". This is a longer way, but you have more points to spend on your Reputation grind/skills into the next class or you can start directly into the next class, if your lawyer is good. The class being...

2) University Speaker/Consultant/Media-Darling/Lobbyist: Here, you start with a different set of points, especially if you craft an Epic-Best-selling novel that helps you on your journey. You have a different set of "connections", but are still tangentially tied to your former contacts when you were CEO.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 1:14PM dudemanjac said

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@Space Cobra Spot on, right there.
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 6:31PM potaco said

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@Space Cobra

On the other hand, not everyone wants a game to emulate real life... Hence the reason many people play games in the first place.

I can't get to work in real life by flying on a gryphon, either, but that doesn't mean that a game that includes it is "bad".
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:20AM Ehra said

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My preference is systems like Guild Wars and Champions. You still have some structure in the form levels and/or classes but you still have a great deal of open ended character building and ability selection.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:26AM fallwind said

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skill

If I never see "Fireball rank IV" again it will be too soon.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:43AM syberghost said

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@fallwind except that happens all the time in skill-based systems.
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:29PM fallwind said

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@syberghost that's why I'm looking forward to TSW.
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Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:30AM Space Cobra said

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"Big number good. Small number bad."

In real life, some folks find certain jobs rewarding, even the small jobs.

But leveling can be applied to those...as can skills in "Specialization". The better you get and more happiness you maintain, the better your skills improve.

But really, in some sense "Skills" or "skill based", to me, can be viewed as just another form of "leveling". ("I have to improve my base skill number to 100, so I can craft these "Sneakers of Speediness +10" because I am at 96 now and can only craft the +8 versions atm.")

Both have "gateway" functions in most games with stats (RPG-type games). People like to improve their character, be it "stats" or "levels" or even items. That's a big component of RPGs; building something you own, particularly character. And, while I can point to an example of a Pen-n-Paper game that may have no levels/stats and is strictly oral/verbal, I can argue you STILL are "building a character" in terms of you are building/weaving a story and a character's history, even though no numbers are involved.

So see? Maybe I've broken down this arbitrary wall for some of you, maybe some still don't understand. In the world, "big numbers" are easy to understand. They may not be correct. You may get bored playing another game. There IS another way, but to implement such a system and be understood by the masses of players...very tricky. Very hard. Not impossible, but very much not easy.

;P

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:34AM Nerves said

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I don't mind some general vertical progression, but levels? No thanks.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:39AM tooright said

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Either skill based or level based doesn't matter to me provided that it is gained through online play.

As long as I'm being rewarded for playing the game and interacting in the world it's all good.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:45AM Beau Hindman said

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Oh, good one! Skill based for me.

Beau

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:56AM smartstep said

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Anything else but no levels please.

Can be skills can be something else I don't care - just not anything that divide content and playerbase as much as levels.

Level-based system is old and obsolete and should go to trash bin finally...

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 11:56AM aurickle said

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A well developed skill-based system has a significant advantage in that it doesn't also require the world to be mysteriously split into sections where a bear in one zone is 10x more dangerous than a bear in another. In short, it wouldn't segregate the players.

Players with higher skill development would be better equipped to take on certain challenges and will have more tricks up their sleeves than newer players. Yet new players would still be able to be competitive and participative from day 1.

I really believe that this is the next evolution of the MMO genre. We're unlikely to ever see the theme park go away but I expect that the path will evolve to be one more of story than of levels. Meanwhile, the world will also incorporate more sandbox elements, made possible in large part by the fact that levels have gone away.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:04PM (Unverified) said

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Some players like to have a clear goal when playing which is why they might prefer a level system. Its all about getting the experience to get to the next level. I like the skill system personally, with a lot of unique possibilities. Players might need a push to get going. One of my favorite games is Ultima Online. Has no levels, only skills, but it took some investment in a new character to start having fun.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:06PM Scuffles said

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....I would tend to lean towards skill based but nothing like EvE.

The skill system in EvE was what eventually drove me away from the game. Sure it was nice to add something to the queue log out and have it done two days later ..... but I could spend all day scanning and glean exactly 0 skill points for said action unless it was queued.

Skills should be based on what you do not adding something to a list and walking away.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:15PM (Unverified) said

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http://shirt.woot.com/derby/entry.aspx?id=58882

Maybe your life has no leveling in it, but mine certainly does.

I consider school a form of leveling up. You do pointless quests (homework) and challenges bosses (essays/tests) to gain skill points (grades) until one magical day you level up (graduate), and gain a nice new housing item (diploma) that functionally tells very little about how you live your life. Much like an mmo, it's the addictive nature of the grind that keeps you going and the promise of higher levels (a job, for instance), in the future.

Posted: Dec 12th 2011 12:28PM Dalano said

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Gimme both.

I miss the heck out of AC's hybrid system. Forget Ultima, AC1 is the game that really deserves a spiritual successor.

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