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vaneger

MMO's The Grind

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The leveling grind is often cited as the worst part of an MMO. What would people prefer in place of it ? A grind like that seems to be a method to moderate the speed at which an MMO's content is completed, so what kind of alternatives are there?

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No levels. Let players complete quests to acquire new skills and gear.

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Purchased statistics?

Got some kind of trainer instructor in there that you can pay to do some of that experience gain for you automatically. It may also keep the cash flow in the game more critical to advancement, and speed of advancement.

That way there is a point in the game where the user can think about saving to make the most powerful character, or save to buy the most powerful item... for the obsessed player... both.


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Quote:
Original post by vaneger
The leveling grind is often cited as the worst part of an MMO. What would people prefer in place of it ?

A grind like that seems to be a method to moderate the speed at which an MMO's content is completed, so what kind of alternatives are there?


More content. There really isn't any other way.

Any leveling system is going to be based off of completing content, whether you complete that content once or you grind it out 100 times.

The only exception to this is fixed advancement over time, such as leveling up once a day, every day, regardless of play time. That, however, defeats the entire purpose of low level content. Plus, it encourages your players to create a character and not play for a month so that they can max out. The danger with that is that your player is likely to find something else to do in that time period and cancel his subscription.

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new content.....maybe you can base it on, oh i don't know, the amount of time they have spent in game.....?


Just a thought really, expand on it.


Ian

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Well my current idea for content anyway , is to have a given event but the player can play it from 3/4 different factions. The goals of each faction might be different, so that might add replayablity once you get to the 'end game' with one character.

as for 'leveling' i dont know yet.

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Eve Online does the levelling system fairly well.

You can spend all day killing rats (pirates actually) and you don't gain a lick of skill from it. You do gain some cash and resources, but your 'skills' come from training skills. This takes real world time, and it happens while you aren't playing, however you can only set one to train at a time, which can make the early ones annoying because training times are short so you'll lose out on time because they'll finish while you are offline if you don't plan it.

Things are offset by the fact that you still need to play the game to buy the base skill (each skill has 5 levels) and then you also need to play to be able to build or buy or steal your items.

Balance is also fairly nice. The game is based around users flying spaceships, from smallest to largest: Frigates, cruisers, battleships, (and then capital ships and tech two ships, as well as a few subclasses, and non combat ships)

Battleships are 'king' of space but can knocked out by a two or three guys flying frigates, which cost far less to buy and outfit than a cheap battleship, if that battleship isn't fitted out to deal with frigates. And if it is fitted out to deal with frigates then it is going to be crippled against other battleships.

The game is based around working in groups, and while a brand new player isn't of much value, in just a few weeks you can play very key roles in a large group.

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Quote:
Original post by vaneger
Well my current idea for content anyway , is to have a given event but the player can play it from 3/4 different factions. The goals of each faction might be different, so that might add replayablity once you get to the 'end game' with one character.

as for 'leveling' i dont know yet.



I would agree that is probably the best way to add additional content.

One more thing I'd like to add (that I left out of my first post), is to not treat leveling grinds differently than equipment, skill, etc. grinds. A grind to improve your character is the same regardless of the reward.

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Well all in all you'll have to come up with an entirely new system all together.

Grinding means going out and killing monsters for hours on end right? So if we charged money for skills how would they obtain this money? Currently you'd have to go kill monsters, for hours on end - or compelte quests making you kill mobs, for hours on end. Or perhaps you'd say have it skill based, the more you swing your sword the beter you get at it right? So how do we swing our sword? Go kill mobs for hours on end.

The point is, if you take out killing monsters, or humanoids, or quests that involve that - you've changed the game completely. One way to get out of the grind is to offer it in a more intuitive way - more pvp and make it more important and dominant to the game.

However, we are still disguising it. If your out on a battlefield killing and being killed for hours on end - all of a sudden your grinding again.

To take out the grind is really asking for a completely different game. Find ways to disguise this better, but don't look to remove it.

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I also think that we should start experimenting more with ways to completely ditch the level system. There is absolutely no reason for having "levels". I think gamers are sohisticated enough to understand that "levels" are merely an abstraction for the size of a character's skillset and the throughness with which they have developed their physical/magical/etc attributes.

I would like to see characters acquire skills and items and develop attributes over a non-discreet scale (you don't have a 80/100 strength, you are just "pretty damned strong").

No levels, no grind. I'm with smr.

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