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So the company xmas party wasn't as grand as I would have expected from an organization like this, but it was fun nonetheless.

Almost all of my stuff has been moved into my new place, which is in the most awesome location downtown. The real question now is how loud I can get on Rock Band without my neighbors complaining/hearing it. Turns out three noise complaints and you get evicted here. Doh!

As for Delta Spire:

Leveling up - there are 55 levels that you can reach for each race. However, in the style of Call of Duty, when you reach the 55th level you will be given the option to go back to level 1 and lose all of your progress. Why would you do this you ask? I know, I asked the same thing. Because something changes at that point that you wouldn't have normally been able to get. In CoD4 all you got was a lousy insignia to show others that you spent entirely too much time playing the game.

The way I see it, you'll unlock different 'features' such as being able to choose gender, obtaining some lousy insignia, being added to some leaderboard, etc.

But...when you reach the final level (let's say level 55 for the 5th time) with the same race, you earn Legendary status. This would entail joining some elite group and having a new character in the game created based on your character. Not currently sure how I would implement this just yet. Any suggestions?

I was thinking maybe you send in a photo and I get an artist to create your likeness in some character of the race you maxed out, or I just make one up. I don't really want to give them that much of an option on what to create since there will be some where I obviously have to say no.

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As you know, I am already against the leveling idea as a whole. A game like this has a lot of room for strategy, planning, and skill, and has no need for levels at all. There is no reason that that a bad player with a 55 level grind should be able to beat a good player with only 20 levels. Unless, of course, levels have no bearing on how good your character becomes, and just represent the amount of time you have spent playing. If that is the case, then by all means, include levels.

Anyway, on to this idea. From a player's perspective, this is awesome. If ever there was an achievement that I would want, it would be for everyone else to see that I was awesome by allowing me to permanently add to the game. Sort of like the Ultimate version of the high score on an arcade game.

From a developer's perspective: this would be a real hassle. The only way that this is feasible is if it is nearly impossible for players to get to this stage. Like, stupidly difficult (more difficult than just playing a lot). Then, I would think that it would be a good idea. But then it loses a lot of it's player draw value, and what's the point of including a feature that your player's won't appreciate?

That is, unless it seems to be reasonable, but in reality is much more difficult than it appears. Sort of like when you're in Elementary School and the fund raising committee turns you into a pity salesman, to go door to door and beg people to fund your education. They promise you glorious prizes for selling 100 ButterBraids, which seems possible. So you go out, sell 10 of them, and then realize that there is no possible way you are going to sell 100 and give up. The school wins on both counts, since they get the money that they wanted and still don't have to give you some expensive prize. But again, this turned us all off from selling stuff for school, and it will probably do the same for your game.

So, my opinion: don't do it unless it is a really hard, but still fun and achievable, goal. What kind of goal would this be? I have no idea, but it sure wouldn't be grinding out 225 levels.

Actually, I do have an idea for this. Since this is a really great prize for players, and if you are willing to do it for them, then I think that it ought to be implemented. So here's my idea: Hold a tournament. Your game is well suited for such a virtual tournament. Whoever wins will get to hold "legendary" status. This works for you because it is great publicity, and it allows you to keep control over the amount of "legendary" statuses that you give out. So there aren't 100 people demanding to see their faces in your game each week. It also works from a player's perspective because it is a fun and achievable goal, and they get fame on top of their "legendary" status, which is always nice.

Just my thoughts.

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I know how much you are against the leveling and it's understandable if you look at it from the perspective of "some player will win more just because they are a higher level and spent more time 'grinding'". However, if done right, I think it just provides a few 'advantages' that provides an incentive to keep playing.

I keep referring back to CoD4 (b/c I've been so impressed with this game) and how they handle this. It would seem that the guy that earned 3 frag grenades to your one would have the advantage but if he can't hit the broadside of a barn with his P99 then you still have a chance. The skill and strategy of the individual player can still overcome things like this because the Perks are fun and useful but not gamebreakers. And they give you a reason to continue 'grinding'. But if the game is fun, it's not really grinding is it?

As for the tournament, I think that's an excellent idea. Let's say we followed my previous model. I think it takes at least 24 hours in CoD4 to get 55 levels (more if you're not a stellar player), so 5 straight days of playing probably isn't enough time for something like that since everyone will have a character before too long.

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Ok, If levels were done like that, where a low level player can still beat a high level player, provided that they are skilled enough, then I give levels a thumbs up. I had never thought about levels being a reason to keep playing. I mean, obviously they are, but I had never really thought about it.


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