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Niphty

Who needs levels?

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Ok, So many people are arguing this in other posts.. it''s about time we had one dedicated to it. Who cares for levels and who doesn''t? why or why not? Levels can add to a system or can take away. I can see it going both ways. If you don''t have levels, how do you plan on showing the player that they''ve gained in some way? Cyberpunk uses a totally skill-based system which is level-less and class-less. This works well for the setting and game design, but not for all games. How do you plan on making your game design work out regardless of if you choose to have levels or not? J

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Game stats come in the end of the game design process IMO.

First off, you design the game, write the story, prepare some cut scene...

You think about the gameplay, how, what, why should be done by the player to make the game a good experience.

Thereafter you think about a gaming system like in RPG (well stats in RPG are just a way to avoid the players killing themselves or the MD cause ''hey, I can''t miss it! I killed this ugly monster !"), if required.

Most of the time, you''ll ask yourself: ''what does it gives to the player ? In which way does that enhance the gaming experience ? Does that allow more freedom ? Or Will this feature make my game sell good ?''

And here, if you''re an experienced pen&paper RP Gamer you can think about the kind of system you want to include, if not, you just look at previous game systems.

I want a simple system working in a classic way : I''ll do AD&D like rules.
I want innovative and free system : I''ll design a ''proficiency'' based system.

I don''t know : Many games don''t use any visible rules, look @ OutCast, FF... No known rules but still a good gameplay.
Just forget about it.

Don''t forget that a rule system might not give you anything usefull.
(For a FPS for example, it''s pretty useless)

-* So many things to do, so few time to spend *-

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Actually, I think levels have their place, not as part of the RPG game system, but as a talking point. "I made level 30 last night!" boasts some guy. "Just one more level and then I can use the this Vorpal Mace of God-Slaying!" quotes the long enduring player before he gets PKed. Sounds a lot better and simpler than "Just need to get 50% in sword use, 30% in style attacks, and 45% in Agility and then I can use the Dance of Flying Ferrets attack"...

Levels provide a common comparison. Heck, just have levels in a game, but don''t acutally use it for anything!

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I''m against leveling myself. I go against the other designer for my current free-time project here, but that just makes it more interesting ''cause we''re always bouncing ideas off eachother.

I think usually levels are done a little too artificially. You gain a level and all of a sudden you''re stronger, faster, meaner... that''s not realistic or immersive to me. I''d rather find out gradually that things are getting easier. Perhaps, if you make the leveling detailed enough, it''s not so bad. In the end, the PC is a discrete math machine, so you''ll always have SOME kind of leveling ( just with 32k levels )


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Why have levels at all? I mean, if you can improve your physical attributes in a game (which is absolute crap aswell) they who cares what level they are on anyhow.

I personally think levels are on the way out. They are becoming an obsolete part of the game due to the fact that we''re adding more to rpg''s.

That''s my logical thinking any how.





WE are their,
"Sons of the Free"

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I think the question of whether or not to have levels relies on how they are treated.

The usual problem is that an increase in level brings a ridiculously higher degree of ability. Some games go as far as treating these increases as compund interest; that is for every level you go up you gain a percentage of your points, not just a fixed amount. That means the higher in level you are, the more points you''ll get for leveling. This method encourages powermaxing to no end.

I say, if levels are waranted {given the theme of the game}, give fewer points for each sucessive leveling, up to a certain level {but don''t cut out points entirely, unless there''s a logical reason.} This way there is less and less return on leveling, forcing the player to pay more attention to the skills they learn.

---Sonic Silicon---

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As I mention earlier, levels are just remanence (?) of the older Battle systems that mutated in RPG.

They were used to make easy comparaison between different characters/creatures to choose to fight or not.

I prefer games based on proficiencies that are adjusted by the characters attributes.

(Attributes = Strength, Intelligence, willpower...)
(Proficiencies = Sword mastering, blacksmith...)

Anyone has best words for my attributes and proficiencies words ?
(Please)


-* So many things to do, so few time to spend *-

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I for one detest levels.
I played AC for about two months... Got to level 6 and decided that I hated the game for one reason.
If you look up in the right hand corner of the game screen there it was, big... 72pt font numbers... containing your level. Under that was a progress bar showing how many total XP''s you had and how many you need for the next level.

In the 2 months that I did play, I have finally figured out the reason I hated the game so. "Level chasing" thats what I did.
Everytime I got on (which wasn''t often, I''m a busy guy) I chased the next level. Never taking the time to meet anyone as I had done in UO... I just wanted the next level.

At any rate, I think the internals of the game need to keep levels. But the game the player sees needs to give them another way of progressing. Be it the UO way of Noteriety and Fame or a Title that your given. Again, with these you will find that people chase these, but they are much more arbitrary than a progress bar.



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

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I think everything we''ve been talking about is very connected. In a game where murder is not the priority I don''t think levels are a good idea. They cause ppl to just focus on leveling instead of actually playing the game. However, if you want a game to be murder-based then levels are just fine.

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Well, I need levels, why? Because players think they are fun, so do I. I don''t see anyother ways to express gaining experience, but if I find better way I''ll do that, probably. Old, safe and reliable way. Only game where I have seen good non-levels is Cyberpunk, but since I don''t copy anything I won''t use it.

Why are you guys using them anyway if you hate them SOOO much as I can see many, many posts.

Time comes, time goes and I only am.

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