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"Leveling" Statistics in MMORPG

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Hi everyone. I would like to get your opinion on what is the best method of leveling Statistics (Strength/Agility/Dexterity/Intelligence/etc...) for an MMORPG. What would give the best results as far as Balance goes and what players would like more? For example, there are 2 kinds of leveling statistics right now: 1) Regular, gain level, gain stat points, allocate them to anywhere you want. Thi method ensures that the player has the maximum flexibility to enhance his character, and whatever the player chooses would be in a way helpful for his playstyle. 2) The "You are what you eat" method, this is a method which makes it so that players will be able to level their statistics based on what they do, if they do melee, they gain points in strength, if they do magic, they gain points in intelligence/magic/etc... . This method takes away the flexibility from the player in a way, but it also makes alot more sense than just leveling up and spending points in things you didnt even train in. Based on these 2, I take it that the first one could be well balanced (And the second actually, but the first is more "Traditional" and it always makes sense to have players leveling the traditional way because they are much more free to spend points in whatever they will without being too restricted to one class), but I'm still unsure, I have a twist for both of them though, so they dont end up being the same as in other games, Im just asking for your opinion based on these 2 statistic leveling methods. I'm looking forward for the replies, and Thanks for anyone who does so.

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I'm not sure if you meant this but, if not there is also the method, where by players earn stat points when they go 'up a level' and they can spend these any way they wish on whatever attributes. I presonally don't like this method, as it can confuse player's on how to make their charachter dodge faster, or be better at magic, etc, and I also don't like it as players can end up spending all their points on strenght and at the end of the game they can hardly defend just have super strong attacks.

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Quote:
Original post by OdHero
I'm not sure if you meant this but, if not there is also the method, where by players earn stat points when they go 'up a level' and they can spend these any way they wish on whatever attributes. I presonally don't like this method, as it can confuse player's on how to make their charachter dodge faster, or be better at magic, etc, and I also don't like it as players can end up spending all their points on strenght and at the end of the game they can hardly defend just have super strong attacks.


That's the first method I listed, The way Diablo 1/2 do it, for example.

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I don't see how the first method is more flexible than the second.

I'm level eleven. I've been working on my intelligence attribute because I wanted to be a mage. Now that I'm a bit more experienced, I realize that magery isn't the path for me. I want to get into the thick of things with a big sword and some heavy plate.

Do I:
A) Restart my character at level one because I need to reclaim my attribute points.
B) Hit the punching bags for a while to make up for my lack of strength training.

Anything that removes the absoluteness of levels is always a good thing. Magical "untrainers" you find in MMO's now a days are extremely lame.

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Quote:
Original post by GroZZleR
I don't see how the first method is more flexible than the second.

I'm level eleven. I've been working on my intelligence attribute because I wanted to be a mage. Now that I'm a bit more experienced, I realize that magery isn't the path for me. I want to get into the thick of things with a big sword and some heavy plate.

Do I:
A) Restart my character at level one because I need to reclaim my attribute points.
B) Hit the punching bags for a while to make up for my lack of strength training.

Anything that removes the absoluteness of levels is always a good thing. Magical "untrainers" you find in MMO's now a days are extremely lame.


That's the question, what's more flexible and gives players the freedom while balanceable in an mmorpg...

So you say that the Training way (Or "You are what you eat" method) is better?
Wouldn't it also not be too flexible because if players want to concentrate on something and then want to change to a different class and it will take the same amount of time getting there?

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I do believe the training through use method is more flexible.

Let's say I'm a warrior. I have all of my levels put into strength. I've decided I want to experiment with my agility attribute to try to make myself faster, just to see if it's better for me.

If I invest ten levels of agility and find out it's shit, I've basically lost ten levels. In order to be as good as my peers I'll have to start at level one again and rebuild back up to where I was.

Under the train through use system, I could just hit the speed bag for a bit and experiment with my agility. If it doesn't work out, just beat up on the punching bag for a bit to regain any strength I lost.

Levels and attributes force cookie-cutter templates. If I've invested two hundred hours into my character (not unlikely after six months of MMO play), I'm not going to just mess around with my attributes to experiment. What I have now works good enough so there's no point experimenting. No one is willing to throw away six months of game time and risk "gimping" their character just to try something new.

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I think that a blend of the two can be good. Think of Morrowind. That gave you a skill based system where you got points for doing whatever you did. These skill points (obviouslt) made you better at what the skill was about. When yougot enough of them, however, you could level up and add points to your attributes (strength, agility, intelligence etc.)

This system blends the two in a way that I think gives you the best of both worlds.

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Fable.

You get stat points for killing things. If you use melee, you get melee points, AND 'general' points that you can spend anywhere. Same with magic, etc. An ideal system would reward the player for the skill they use in defeating enemies and award them points with a bias towards the skills they used most often in victory.

Perhaps give a bonus when you level up too.

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I created a system which makes use of the levels of abilities as much as the levels of characteristics in the calculation of almost everything. But you can't change the base characteristics. What you CAN do, is work on your abilities, and in gaining ranks and/or levels in your abilities, you get bonuses related to your characteristics. This way, no whining.

When you train in sword-wielding, what you get is sword-wielding benefits.
First, you get more profdicient at sword-wielding, which allows you a second type of attack.
Then, each level, you get a characteristic bonus related to your ability. This bonus will be some dexterity one level, some strength the following, some knowledge the next, and so on and so forth.
And at last, since you can loose some proficiency if not training in the skils you used, you might loose the bonuses, and fall back to previous bonus, like, if you used to run ten miles each evening when coming back from work, and you stopped doing that for a whole month vacation, then when you come back from vacation, you feel like it's hell to run your previous ten-mile track. You've lost some of the bonuses.

This system makes it logical to play. There is no way you can get me to believe that by training long enough in shield-wielding, you will make me a better apothecary. Or fireball-hurler. And if I run long enough, will I be able to speak five languages perfectly? Stop kidding me...

On the other hand, it all comes down to what kind of game system you are trying to achieve. You want to make it either believable, or easy to take on for the hardcore level-treadmill fans. You can make it so that you don't have a level-based system, but skill-based system. Or you can make it so that your levels are everything to you and each death you pay your toll to Charon with hard-earned XP. Although Hard-earned may be too strong a word for uber-geared Power-Players...

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Hey, Thanks to everyone who contributed :)

I don't really know about Morrowind or Fable as I haven't played Morrowind too much (Hated Roll the Dice hit rate calculation system), and I do not own an xbox console, so I can't really see the Image in my head on how it's working even through this brief and somewhat descriptive description.

But What I do like is what Fournicolas said, or at least how I interpret it.
Yes, I completely agree with you that if a player trained in sword wielding he should get points into sword wielding efficienty and anything related to it, not for example different languages or something related to bow wielding or running or something else.

And I'm not quite sure if you're talking about what I think you're talking (I think I need some more sleep today...), but I think I get an idea from this, A skill based system which applies to levels as well (As you may only get skill points from Leveling, unless we're refering it to the second method I listed), it would be cool to Statistics increase based on exactly what you do, If you do alot of melee (Sword Wielding in this case) you would gain points into Sword Wielding Skill which will increase damage (And allow you to use better swords) while at the same time it will increase your strength and agility (So that you could have better chances to hit the enemy). But this one leads to the Vitality part which I would like to incorporate, Vitality allows the player to gain HP, as in most RPGs, I think I will give this one a little twist. But I'm wondering, If I'll put in Vitality, how would I increase this one? Through Statistic points? Or through getting hit repeatedly and surviving it or what?

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