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Arukas

General Game Designer Questions Inflation

7 posts in this topic

Hello all,

I have some game design question. I want to know if there's a point or is it just lazy game design.

My first one is:
What's with the inflation of numbers? Simple because I level up and do "more" damage. Yes you are doing more damage, the increase in the enemies helath can out weight the increase in damage. Or is the to deal with the pychology.


-Thanks
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[quote name='Arukas' timestamp='1328070068' post='4908280']
Hello all,

I have some game design question. I want to know if there's a point or is it just lazy game design.

My first one is:
What's with the inflation of numbers? Simple because I level up and do "more" damage. Yes you are doing more damage, the increase in the enemies helath can out weight the increase in damage. Or is the to deal with the pychology.


-Thanks
[/quote]

It's partly down to psychology, and many MMO's use this game mechanic heavily, to keep the player addicted. However, its main purpose is to increase the difficulty and variety of enemies as you progress through the game, for example, you start off killing giant rats with a crude spear and you finish killing undead chaos wyrms with your 4D20 adamantium broadsword of undead chaos wyrm slaying.
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Inflation of numbers in modern MMORPGs is trendy, there're several reasons.

1. You can easily block content (you need to do more damage before you can enter area X)
2. It is quite transparent (3x hp = 3x more difficult, 3x more damage = 3x better weapon).
3. An ongoing feeling of progress.

Thought, the gamedesign impact is small. As warrior, at level 1, you reduce the hp of a rat by 10% per hit, at level 100 you reduce the hp of a demon by 10% per hit. Take a look at pen'n'paper rpgs like DnD, there's by far not such an inflation of number, still you need to get better to beat higher level mobs.
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[quote name='Arukas' timestamp='1328070068' post='4908280']
Hello all,

I have some game design question. I want to know if there's a point or is it just lazy game design.

My first one is:
What's with the inflation of numbers? Simple because I level up and do "more" damage. Yes you are doing more damage, the increase in the enemies helath can out weight the increase in damage. Or is the to deal with the pychology.


-Thanks
[/quote]

RPGs were not about real human skills. Although training real skills takes similar practice as it does in games RPGs were invented as PnP all in your head type affairs with dice roles as opposed to the twitch possibilities we have in modern games. It was all math and not models. Suppose you have a monster with a weak spot but obviously it tries to not let you hit it there? How do you model that with a PnP game? This is sort of legacy mechanics from those initial games.

Personally I enjoy the numbers game to a degree. You can actually convince non nerds that solving math problems is fun or a good skill with some games. Its quite interesting. There is a bit of a veil in front of the numbers in some games to get non math nerds into it in some cases though.
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Just to state the obvious, it's also about making lower end enemies easier to defeat. Putting as much effort later in a game to defeating an enemy as you did early on in the game is usually seen as undesirable. If you decrease the challenge and pay off for defeating the lower end enemies you encourage the player to take on tougher challenges.
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[quote name='Arukas' timestamp='1328149155' post='4908590']
Are there any other systems to use besides the number inflation system?
[/quote]
Well, yes.
The basic,general 'game' concept is learning. That is, you need to have a challenge you need to overcome, once you learned to overcome it, you will be encountered with the next challenge. This game concept is often encountered in action games, or general speaking, in player skill based games. You need to learn your starting skills to overcome weak opponents, later on you encouter the next big challenge and need to master new skills etc. (i.e. bioshock, new plasmids/weapons are needed to overcome new challenges).

An other game concept is progression through collecting gear/equipement/runes etc. Many late-game MMORPGs like WoW or Guildwars work this way. Instead of gaining higher character levels, you need better skills/equipment to beat the next challenge (i.e. in Guildwars you reach the max level really quickly, but after that you need to find all those special skills).

Games without real character progression are often adventures (nowadays wrapped in a fps game). They are story driven, getting better weapons/skills etc. is not the game core any longer.

And eventually games with very low number inflation, but still with character progression, are often older CRPGs or PnP RPGs.


There're many ways to design (character) progression from a game design view. In fact you should think about your target audience first. Who do you want to play your game ? MMORPGs players, FPS player, casual gamers, adventure game players, yourself ? Each of these groups have certain expectations.
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