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robert4818

Lvl 1 Kill a Lvl 20 WTF?

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Now that I have your attention :D I am liable to get flamed alot for this idea, but here goes. Why can''t a level one kill a level 20 (DnD...), or a level one kill a level 65 (EQ). It comes from the unreality that comes from leveling up. When a person levels up the get more HP. This sounds logical, until you realize that HP represents a portion of a persons life. It does make sense that a rough and tumble fighter can take a blow better than an acedemic wizard. This is represented by a different in Hit Points, however what does not make sense is how after so many levels getting hit by a level one sword at level 65 does the equivelant damage of getting bit by a misquito. My opinion is that a level one character should have at his disposal th means to kill a higest level character. The balancing factor is not HP its skill. Should a level one fighter swing a sword at a level 65 fighter, the fighter should be able to easily block the swing, and then kill the level one without a problem....but in the case of a very lucky hit, attack from behind, or anything else that allows the level one''s sword to hit, it should do a substantial amount of damage. I am personally not in favor of having HP rise drastically as players progress in level, sure someone might toughen up, but the rate at which its done in games is rediculous.

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I can agree with that and there are two answers to that question that come to mind, the first is easy and that is games aren''t real, so designers can bend the rules and make characters almost superhuman in comparison to low level characters, the reward for putting time into the game.

The second is what stops designers from leaving the HP raising system in the dust, and that has to do with player skill and NPC''s. There are plenty of games that do what you say, where a level 1 can kill a level "20", one of the newer ones that come to mind would be planetside, or other first person shooters. Players health can raise, but not drastically enough that a skillful level 1 player can''t overcome. Now in games such as EQ, where fighting NPC''s plays a larger role, Designers use HP''s to balance out who can take on a rat, and who can stand up to a dragon. So when it comes time to pit player vs player, the system leaves an unbalanced taste in your mouth. Why not make monsters low in HP''s or at least make them killable by skillful level 1''s? because people wouldn''t play long after learning the tricks, and NPC''s AI isn''t at the point where this is feasable yet. Maybe in the future, you could be a level 1 adventurer who lucks out and stabs the dragon in it''s heart with your rusty dagger based on the fact that you out manuvered it and jumped over it''s attacks and doged his tail and ran from fire...

And if you could do all of this at level 1, why would someone play longer than a few months? No one has figured out a better way to draw players in then to put them on a tredmill. Blame EQ''s success.

Hope it sheds some light.

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The problem with this is that it encourages greifing, although it is more realistic. If a level 1 can kill a level 65 and has a good chance of doing it then what''s stopping someone with a newly created level one (with very little to lose) from killing a level 65 and taking all their loot? This is of course very game specific and you could design a game where is situation is ok. I think it is ridiculous in these types of games when 30 level ones are wailing on a high level character that''s just standing there and not even hitting him.

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Leveling is kind of a bad idea for a multiplayer game to me because of many things. If a lvl 65 dude comes up to a lvl 1 dude, the lvl 65 dude could sit there and completely own on the lvl 1 dude and keep doing it without worrying of losing. This makes the lvl 1 guy get discouraged from playing the game because of the bully (Whats the point in playing a game if your just gunna get slaughtered all the time?).

I think EQ''s(EverQuest) success is based on the leveling factor. Hardcore RPG''rs out there like to get huge levels and people like to be ultimate at stuff. EQ makes you level really slow so you HAVE to play to get higher levels to beat the dragons and other monsters and to have an advantage over the other players.

Just my 2 cents.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Remove levels alltogether. They''re the root of all evil. There are other ways to develop characters than levels. Attributes, skills etc. When was the last time you "raised a level"? Did you start looking down on your friends then because they''re "lolvls"? I find the "good old levelsystem" incredibly boring.

Just had to work some on my Anti-level campaign.
- Benny

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I think that the point of the level system was intended to represent in a tangible format the skill level of a character/player. Thus, a level one character represents an absolute beginner, with no experience whatsoever in combat etc., and this seems to be exemplified in a lot of single player RPGs where the player starts out a simple farmboy or whatever the situation demands. Also with this respect, it makes sense that even an incredibly lucky level one character would not be able to more than dent a dragon, or, say, a level 65 character, by sheer virtue of the fact that he has not yet learned the "tricks of the trade," so to speak.



"Skepticism.... that great rot of the intellect." - V.H.
Bah, what does HE know?


Albekerky Software

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One possibility would be to move away from DnD based level systems to something more like Shadowrun (I believe Vampire and the like are similar). Basically, you can never increase the amount of damage you can take. What does change is your skill level (which has an affect on how much damage you can do, or even your ability to find solutions other than fighting), your attribute ratings (measures of strength, intelligence, etc. This can affect the amount of damage you take, when your turn is in combat, etc.), and (maybe most importantly) your equipment. A new character doesn''t have access to the best equipment and hasn''t made connections with various NPCs. There are many tasks new characters can''t do, not because of lack of skill, but because of lack of equipment. No, you can''t hack into Aztechnology with your Allegiance Alpha. Don''t care how good you are, it''s just not going to happen.

Basically, there are other ways to deal with "levelling up" than levelling up.

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A simple way to get around the HP tradition is to institute Dodge(skill).

As each level is gained you may gain 1-5 HP so eventually you will gain a substantial amount of HP but not drastic

With Dodge, the more you fight/play the better (skilled) you become. Thus a level 1 could take on a level 30 character he just might have a hard time hitting him (unless weilding a good weapon)

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Have you played Asheron''s Call 2? That game sucks like hell, and compeletely out of balance.

Coming from a DnD background, I was thinking that a wizard may suck at the beginning, but own at the end (with uber spells and so on, while fighters just have lots of HP). So, without looking at guides whatsoever, I chose a wizard as my char and started playing. At first, it was fun. But, once you reach ~level 15, things start to get messy since ppl start killing you. I got killed by a level 20 with 3-4 hits, but I needed 100 hits to kill him. For some odd reasons, I kept playing that game until I reached lvl40 (God, why would I even buy that game?). I was basically in the high level areas, where hardcore RPG-ers hang around and kill everybody they see. I was level37, fought a level41 "bad guy" (he suddenly attacked me without reasons and killed me. Later on, he was sorry and allowed me to kill him. Seemed to be his guild was mad at him because I was hunting with some guys from his guild. And my guild was not in war with his guild.) How much difference is that? 4 levels. In real life, that shouldn''t take much of a difference. If you look at a learning curve (forgot what it''s called), more you learn, less you gain (it is an exponential function). So, it should be like that. The difference of lvl37 and 41 shouldn''t be that much. But what? I hit him: 50 damage, lots of miss (he was not wearing ANY armor because he allowed me to kill him). He hit me: 300 damage, very few miss (full armor and upgrade). WTF? I had no idea how that could happen because I didn''t know how uber his items/weapons were compared to me. But for a level37, my items could be considered uber (fellow 37ers had less damage). And 4 levels of difference should not mean THAT much!

Now, as a developer, of course, I always think what went wrong there. AC2 has the following system:
1. less HP gains. You don''t have 100HP at level 1 and 10,000 HP at level50. 100 at level1. ~1,200 at level50.
2. Evade system. There are skills that let you evade attacks automatically. These skills can be improved. Higher level on these skills increases the chance of your character to evade attacks.
3. Minimum level for items. Each item has a minimum level requirement. So a level 1 can''t use a weapon with 300 damage.

If you looked at each point above, they seem to make sense. You don''t have insane HP at high levels. To avoid lag issue, you implement an automatic evade system. To avoid n00bs using uber items, you set a minimum level requirement in every item.

So, what was wrong about it? If you looked at each item individually, they looked balance. But, if you looked at it as a whole, they suck.

Evade system can make your character evade attacks 100x from a much lower level, and one hit from you, he is dead. The difference is way too high. I once looted together with another guy. His evade skill was about 24 (evade skill also determines how often your character hits a target), and my evade skill was about 27. His level was one level above me, but we spent our points differently and he didn''t put much on his evade skill. The xp you got from killing monsters was determined by how much damage you hit that monster. For example, a monster with 10,000 HP. You hit 3,000 damage total. You will get 30% xp. We killed a monster, guess what I got, 70-80% of xp, while he only got 20%. Meaning I hit the monster 4x more often that he did. In case of PvP, imagine a lvl50 player (with lvl50 evade skill) fought a lvl40 guy (with lvl32 evade skill, due to the inversely exponential function), think how many times the lvl40 can hit the lvl50! 1 out of 10 with 50 damage each. While lvl50 hits lvl40, 9 out of 10 with 700 damage each.

Minimum level requirement sucks because some powerful items are meant to be used after your character reaches a certain level. If your char is one level below, you just suck your finger and eat your a**. For example, a weapon deals 280 damage min lvl40. A weapon deals 180 min lvl39. If you are level39, your damage is 180. If you are level 40, your damage is 280. That''s a lot difference. That''s why when I fought a lvl41, I barely did any damage.

Of course, there are always other factors, and one of them is class. But that''s offtopic, and I''m tired of typing.

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quote:
Original post by sliderag
I think that the point of the level system was intended to represent in a tangible format the skill level of a character/player. Thus, a level one character represents an absolute beginner, with no experience whatsoever in combat etc., and this seems to be exemplified in a lot of single player RPGs where the player starts out a simple farmboy or whatever the situation demands. Also with this respect, it makes sense that even an incredibly lucky level one character would not be able to more than dent a dragon, or, say, a level 65 character, by sheer virtue of the fact that he has not yet learned the "tricks of the trade," so to speak.
But I think experience point alone is enough to represent how experienced a character is, if you don't reset xp to 0 at each level.

Why do we need level anyway? Is there such thing called 'level' in real life? But there is such thing called 'experience.' I don't know who invented level system, but I think it sucks and unnecessary. It creates barrier between levels, especially when you introduce skill points every time your character levels up.

[edited by - alnite on June 5, 2003 4:51:40 AM]

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