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Anton Vatchenko

Level/Money balance in MMO

3 posts in this topic

I try to understand what is the best balanced system for online games where you have your level and money.

Level is your power. For example, class of the car in racing games, class of the tank in tank game. It lets you play with opponents the same as you - not novices, not advanced users.
Money is your financial state. More money - more weapons, power and so on.

After every small competition (race in racing game, battle in battle games etc.) you must earn some level and money. The problem is how to change these parameters?

1. Change them linearly. If you earned 20 money for track, you get 20 points of level, 30 money - 30 points. Gained 100 points - got 2nd level. The problem is that all the users are in the same situation on the next level. If you need 100 points to level 2, you gained 100 money. If you need 500 points to level 3, you got 500 money. Also the problem if you spent some of them inefficiently (bought some speed-up and broke it). Then you will never overtake your opponents (until they make same mistakes).

2. Non-linear change. If you get X money, then you get (X ^ 0.8) points. It means that if you play bad, you will get more points than money and when next level taken, you have less money than others. The problem is when you played bad a lot then understood that need to play better - you will never overtake other players.

3. Level is a power of your player (car, machine, tank). For example, you have 1000 money after registration, you buy a car for 1000, get 0 and gain about 100 money for win in every track. Then you can afford some power-ups, better motor. When the power of your car reaches X points, you are on the 2nd level. Or you can buy another car - more powerful. Also can be a feature if you sell power-ups and motor or buy cheap car - you'll be again level 1. This approach equal to a rule "Play good - advance fast, play bad - play long".

Maybe there are some other solutions?
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How about separate the concept of level gains and money.

For example, a track pays out 100 per a win and maybe awards a player with 25 for a loss. This way if the player doesn't win; they are still given something to help them move forward; however at a slower pace than that of someone who may have better driving skills or a different approach to the current level than the player who lost. Level experience is awarded only on a win and the experience earned depends upon difficulty rating of the track they chose to run. An easier track would earn less level experience than of a more complicated track.

Now you give players variable ways to progress in the game and at different rates. Players who want the easier routes can do so and still have a chance to win but at a slower pace than the more outgoing, eager, and dare devil types who want to place high risks.

Thoughts?
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This is more of a game design question, rather than a game _programming_ question. This should probably be moved to http://www.gamedev.net/forum/17-game-design/.
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[quote name='thok' timestamp='1326296937' post='4901661']
This is more of a game design question, rather than a game _programming_ question. This should probably be moved to [url="http://www.gamedev.net/forum/17-game-design/."]http://www.gamedev.n...7-game-design/.[/url][/quote]
Moved.

In future, you can use the 'report' button to suggest this directly to the moderators, without cluttering the thread.
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