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MMOG Creators On The Levelling Treadmill 74

Posted by simoniker
from the step-step-stepping-up dept.
Thanks to RPGVault for their article discussing the problems of repetitive gameplay in MMORPGs. The article defines the issue as "...the so-called "levelling treadmill" that involves repetitive play, often combat against NPCs that present little real challenge, in order to advance [the player's] characters" Representatives from NCSoft, Microsoft, and Auran offer their opinions, which range from "...levelling in and of itself is not evil" to "...levelling has to become dull or the level-up reward would lack value."
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MMOG Creators On The Levelling Treadmill

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  • by deemah (644363) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @05:17AM (#6633313) Homepage Journal

    I don't understand why levelling must be a dull process for the reward to mean anything. The main problem with the majority of MMO*s is that combat is the main focus of levelling. The game then devolves into a "who can get to the spawn point fastest" competition.

    Star Wars Galaxies has gone some way to remedy this with experience granted for other skill use but in doing this they've neglected the section of their playerbase who want to fight hordes of creatures.

    What's needed is a balance between the two - have the tunnels of orcs or caves of tuskan raiders for players who want to go all out hack'n'slash to haunt but also have experience/level points awarded for other actions. Neverwinter Nights is one that balances these very nicely but then it's just a translation of the D&D rule set.

    • "The main problem with the majority of MMO*s is that combat is the main focus of levelling. The game then devolves into a "who can get to the spawn point fastest" competition."

      Or camp with the most high levels that protect other players or just make it really difficult to 'steal' the kill.

      I reached the point with Anarchy where everyone was going uber and calculating their point score increases to wedge in that one implant, or they were twinking their level 2 characters with millions of credits to ensur
      • Lastly I'd personally want to see an economic model worth a damn.

        Try Arctic [arctic.org]. It's a MUD. I haven't played it in a while but the economy there was the best I've seen, both for equipment and for xp (and even large quantities of currency were hard to get, so that the coins were actually worth something rather than just being 'gamble money' like in games like Diablo 2). Good equipment there was really rare, because 1) it popped very rarely, and 2) the total number active in the game was capped. So you defini
    • I don't understand why levelling must be a dull process for the reward to mean anything.

      I think the guy who said that has it exactly backwards. Levelling in my pen-and-paper D&D game certainly isn't dull, and even then the main focus is often (though not always) combat. Then again, we generally are fighting opponents that are actually appropriate to our power level.

      Star Wars Galaxies has gone some way to remedy this with experience granted for other skill use but in doing this they've neglected the
      • D&D leveling's fun mainly because of the context.

        A party's typically supposed to be able to handle four encounters at their level before resting or heading back to town. A party's supposed to level after 12 or so such encounters.
        So depending on your players and your DM, the typical party will level once every month to three months. This is more than consistent with the stance that leveling has to be rare to be enjoyable.
        On the other hand, because that wait is broken up into 3 or 4 hour sessions weekly
        • You make some excellent points, and several of them I hadn't considered, but I also think you missed my point to a large extent.

          I think a big part of the problem in the situation you're describing (D&D in realtime) is that gaining a level in D&D means so much. Contrast that with Morrowind, where leveling really doesn't mean that much (you get to increase your stats a bit). The real character advancement is in your skills, which is fairly smooth and yet still enjoyable.

          You could also look at "level
    • Star Wars Galaxies has gone some way to remedy this with experience granted for other skill use but in doing this they've neglected the section of their playerbase who want to fight hordes of creatures.

      They haven't gotten it right for the non-combat professions either. In fact, the leveling treadmill is far worse for the advanced artisan professions (Architect, Chef, Droid Engineer, Tailor, etc) than for the combat professions. Basically to level in these professions, your game play consists of sitting

  • game based on FUDGE? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tirel (692085)
    I found the role-playing system called FUDGE (the docs can be downloaded for free here [fudgerpg.com] wondefull. It has no concept of levelling at all, but a skill based system and is far more realistic than say, ADND. The only problem is that is relies on the GM more than other systems, but that could be changed. If they're trying to remove levelling (to an extent) they should definately check fudge out.
    • how come you don't get wiped out by the first monster with an excess of constitution or skill compared to you?

      Leastways I liked monsters or other players that matched my level approximately rather than being completely obliterated every time I played before I even knew what happened.
      • by KDan (90353)
        With many no-levels systems, you still get points for achieving stuff (so there is a levelling system, but it's hidden). So for instance if you've been playing for a long time and you've put a lot of points in various skills, you might be a lot more likely to dodge that backstab and respond in kind than if you just started.

        And these systems are simply more realistic. Hitpoints that increase so drastically as in AD&D are a fun but stupid concept - no matter how great you are, if someone slashes at you
        • It's interesting to consider how a system would work without levels at all (neither hidden nor visible)

          It's been a while since I've played it, so I could have some details wrong, but IIRC the origional Call of Chthulhu game by Chaosium was pretty close to that. Basically, if you used a skill you put a mark by it and if your character survived the session you would then get to make a role to see if the marked skills went up (Make a skill roll and if you failed you got to add 1d6 to it I think). I don't rem
    • I agree, I think a non-levelling based MMOG would be a lot better one which was much more focused to traditional Pen and Paper styled XP where you constantly gain XP and it is up to you to apply this when and wherever you want. You apply it wrong its your fault. There are many systems which would be useful for this sort of thing, FUDGE, GURPS, Uni-System and the rest.

      Having played Pen and Paper before any MMOG's I can say that levelling is a pain in teh butt and free form XP allows much more varied and int
  • There are several things lacking in todays MMORPG's. The main issue is AI; you won't get any sense of realism with script-based npc's. Another problem is that for every mystery/quest the designers create a FAQ always pops up on the net. Thus every single mystery/quest needs to be totally unique. This can only be accomplished if they are created by the previous mentioned npc AI's (some npc's create problems, other npc's pays you to solve them). But of course these types of things require immense amounts
    • by KDan (90353)
      Another option is to play a less popular game. MUDs, being so cheap to run, had the advantage of being so numerous that even the most popular of MUDs didn't have a lot of information available on the net. The only pages with such information were private clan pages, on a MUD I played.

      Another trick is to make that information *very* costly (and not in monopoly money, but in ingenuity, time, etc), so that people who do discover it will not be so quickly inclined to put it on a webpage so that joe newbie can
    • FAQ off (Score:3, Insightful)

      by truffle (37924)

      FAQs are primarly useful in static quests, quests where you need to find 11 items in 7 zones dropped by 14 creatures. You can follow them like an instruction manual, bam.

      This isn't necessarily a problem, the original questers have fun solving the quest before it's spoiled. Many people (myself included) enjoy completing quests without the slightest application of ingenuity. At that point the quest becomes a simple timesink with a rewards, but the reward is still fun.

      You can make quests more dynamic by havi
      • Medievia [medievia.com] has worked in that autoquest system into the world. You find a scroll with a quest on it on a monster's corpse and you can choose to do it, or throw it away. The quests are created on the spot, for your level and class. Some are harder then others, but almost all are fair. You get money for completing the quest and you get quest points.

        How leveling works is you have a list of things you need to get the required number of points in before you level, but you can level without meeting one of the thin
    • Not neccesarly.... Basically, this is the SIMS. Put a bunch of sims in the game and have them act to fulfill needs. They don't need to be even as complex as in the sims...
  • by jsse (254124) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @06:01AM (#6633432) Homepage Journal
    you can pay people to level for you. In Taiwan you can pay less than 2 bucks per days to hire someone who happens to hang around in Internet shop all day. Those kids are so willingly to do what they love to do while earning a little wage and staying in shop for free. It's becoming popular as those 'power gamers' you hire can level much better than you. :D

    You don't approach those 'power gamers' directly rather you pay the Internet shop owers to hire them for you. The shop owner bascially charge no commission in this deal but he'll charge you internet access fee for the gamer(s) you hire.

    It has already become a social problem in Taiwan as that actually encourage kids skipping classes and social life. Besides, this is an awful sweatshop practise, though the employees seem to be very happy about it, but not their parents. :)

    I've been told similar business has been found in Korea. Anyone knows?
  • by Golias (176380) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @07:04AM (#6633649)
    A lot of game designers look at the ruts that EQ and AC players complain about, and think "monster camping is no fun... what we need are more quests/missions!"

    The problem with that is, if monster farming is a treadmill, most single-player quests (and their MMORPG equivalents) are monorails.

    Sure, there are some people who really get off on reading all that carefully-scripted NPC chatter, paragraph after paragraph of it, like you find in a lot of NWN modules, but most of us don't fire up a High Fantasy Adventure game so we can read pre-generated text. If we wanted that, we could re-read our LOTR books, including all of Tom Bombadil's meandering poetry, a copy of which is probably sitting in the immediate vicinity of each of our computers.

    Here's a little secret for you "let's make lots of missions" guys: Everquest if chock full of quests, but the vast majority of players find it less boring to "kite" wandering guards, "farm" bandits, or "camp" the minotaur caves than to perform them. The only popular quests are the ones which drop some coveted piece of l00t that you could not get any other way. In other words, most of the players don't find the quests all that much fun, and only bother with them for the rewards, so that they really just end up being an even-more tedious form of The Treadmill. Plus, questing limits both the options of behavior and possibilities of outcome.

    When I talk to people who continued to play EQ long after the Level Treadmill got boring for them, they almost always say the same thing: They continued to play for the social aspect of the game. That's right, those "EQ Weddings" we all snickered at when they first started happening, along with silly player-organized events (such as the infamous Naked Troll Run) are what keep people paying their subscription fees for a game that it now very long in the tooth.

    Why not develop a game which throws the D&D/MUD convention of levelling out the window entirely? A sort of Tolkein-esque version of The Sims Online, if you will. Create a world that's full of fun things for your avatar to do... really fun things, not just reward-driven things. Interesting game-within-the-game diversions that players can get involved in while making small-talk. Give out meaningless medals or something to show off to others when difficult challenges are met, rather than ramping up character powers in ways that can actually interfere with the social interaction which is the true drive behind the game.

    Before somebody has a cow about my suggestion being less appealing than good ol' hack-n-slash RPG's, those games will still be out there. Go play EQ and see how fast you can level that Iksar Necromancer, and be sure to use the EQVault and Caster's Realm web sites to find the phattest quests, so you don't waste your time actually talking to NPC's.

    All I'm talking about is the possibility of just one MMO game out there for those of us that just don't care about that sort of bullshit anymore.

    • You want to read this [mud.co.uk]. It's a bit more advanced than your theory. Social interactions is just one of the things that keeps people in a multiplayer online game.

      Daniel
      • Mudding harbors a very different gaming culture than the mainstream gaming scene. I know, because like a lot of geeks, I ruined myself academically for a semester upon discovering MUD's and forfeiting lots of sleep and study time. It's a whole different crowd.

        Like I said before, a lot of people find enjoyment in power-leveling... for a while. Some get a kick out of quests and interesting story elements... for a while. However, what's keeping people on the EverQuest servers long after far more interesti

    • "Why not develop a game which throws the D&D/MUD convention of levelling out the window entirely?"

      You should look into some of the free UO shards that have sprung up. I play on one called Darkenwood, where roleplaying is enforced. When you start out, you get a crap load of money to practice up your skills with. When you do that, they train up to however much you decide to spend, but it doesn't happen instantly, it happens over a long period of time, many hours in fact. You can still level up skills

    • Sure, there are some people who really get off on reading all that carefully-scripted NPC chatter, paragraph after paragraph of it, like you find in a lot of NWN modules, but most of us don't fire up a High Fantasy Adventure game so we can read pre-generated text.

      I recently finished a six-month contract on a high-profile MMORPG, scripting missions and writing NPC dialogue of exactly the type you disdain. The company's polls show that about 5% of the player base enjoys reading the dialogue. With that fi

      • Well, I'm not calling for RPG story-text writers like you to be fired off. I'm just saying that not every frikken game has to take the exact same approach to making their content richer.

        Also, forcing the other 95% of players to follow the path of that 5% is not the way to make your MMORPG a richer experience. The reason why most people don't bother with it when it's "optional" is because most people don't find it all that much fun.

        Remember how flipped out we all were when Quake added 360 movement to the

    • I think carefully crafted quests will be much better than the treadmill. For example, in Everquest in Qeynos there wis a series of quests implemented a while ago dealing with badges that you get for performing tasks. You get a little manual of the laws, and then you get an investigator as a pet and travel around to various suspects. You retrieve a warrant, hand it to them, try and get them to sign a confession, etc. There's also action, in that some of them don't want to come willingly. You have to pun
  • I remember in the good old MUD days, leveling was still a pain in the butt, but you still enjoyed it.

    You would get large hunting parties together, try to make your skill % go up. When you would level you would allow yourself a break, maybe for a PK-fight or what not but then you put your shoulder to the boulder and started leveling again.

    Sometimes, I would be so fulfilled when I leveled. I would tell myself "just one more level" then I'll hit the sack... sometimes this went on for ever.

    Oh good times!

    mu
    • There is one game which has the option of not fighting in order to increase in power. Gemstone 3 gave Empaths experince for doing no more than healing the wounded. They could sit in town, never hunt, and still gain experince. Rogues could pick locks, well more than just rogues, and still gain experince. And every time you searched foraged for an item you also got a bit of experince. Of course it is a mud though. There were a few quests, but not many. And this game actualy falls under a true role-playing
  • by truffle (37924) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @07:30AM (#6633756) Homepage
    Interesting article, but I think they're kind of missing the point. People aren't forced on the leveling treadmill, they jump on voluntarily. People hop on the leveling treadmill because they want more power, for its own sake or for the social status that comes with leveling.

    It's possible to level by constantly facing new opponents, taking on the most challenging opponents available, and trying new things.

    It's generally more efficient to go to a place that is "good" for your character to level. It's often more efficient to face weaker opponents, because it adds consistency to your hunting experience. Consistency is what allows you to play for eight hours straight, with a group of less than competant adventuring mates, while watching TV. It's less fun, it's less challenging, it's slower, but at the end of the day you're higher level and that's what counts, not whether you "had fun" along the way.

    People complain about the leveling treadmill because they find it boring (it's still fun because leveling is constantly reaching goals, and every goal reached is fun). Sometimes people don't know what they really want though. It's easy to go completely off track in responding to these complaints. Lets look at what people really want:

    - They want to be able to gain power consistently, constantly reaching short term goals
    - They want to be able to come home from work, tired, play for a few hours, and reach some goals
    - They want this entire experience to be easy

    You can make this process as interactive, and fun, and mission based, and private dungeoned as you want, but it will still end up being a leveling treadmill of some sort. People are going to skip and ignore your NPC text, power through your dungeon to save the princess to go on to the next quest, do whatever they can to 'ding' as soon as possible. The fundamental goal is to gain power, over their peers, more quickly, and everything else is gravy.

    That is fine though, I think we can make better MMORPGs with less repetitive leveling treadmills. Make people experience different content to level, literally force them. They may not care, they may not appreciate, they may even complain (don't fall into the trap of making this new content "hard" they still want "easy"), but at the end of the day they may have more fun.

    • quote
      "- They want to be able to gain power consistently, constantly reaching short term goals
      - They want to be able to come home from work, tired, play for a few hours, and reach some goals
      - They want this entire experience to be easy
      "

      and this is why the diablo series was so successful. Honestly they could make a game that would sell by expanding upon diablos ideas and adding more classes, dungeons areas and such. Pure hack and slash with goals that are easy to obtain. This would satisfy the needs of a nic
    • "People aren't forced on the leveling treadmill, they jump on voluntarily. People hop on the leveling treadmill because they want more power, for its own sake or for the social status that comes with leveling."

      What you miss is that they may get on the treadmill for those reasons, but many quickly get bored of it, yet are unable to get off the treadmill. Why you ask? Cuz its a bloody Skinner Box. There is a very well written article on it here [nickyee.com]. Its simple psychological addiction. I'd love to see what t

  • I am not surprised that they didn't talk to Mythic in regards to Dark Age of Camelot. Lots of little treadmills in that one.

    First off you have the 1-50 treadmill which isn't so bad until you get past level 35.. then it slows down alot (unless you are being Powerlevelled)

    Then when you hit 50 you have to start treadmilling the Realm Points to make your guy stand a chance in RvR combat..

    While you farm the points you also have to farm the cash to get the full suit of customized spellcrafted armor and weapons
    • That's why I don't play on RvR servers anymore, just the cooperative one.

      I liked RvR, but it isn't what it used to be, and I frankly don't care about the new "RvR expansion" because it'll be just as infested by idiots as the current RvR system. If Gaheris got taken down, I'd cancel. I've deleted my characters on the other servers. I just don't care.
    • Yes, Mythic was absolutely brilliant with their treadmill.

      They basically said, "Ok, we'll get you started by warming you up on PvE. Then, when you hit level 50, you're on your own to make your advancement."

      Brilliant. They script monsters, for one treadmill, then you use each other for the other treadmill.

      The thing is, RvR is totally fun in that game. I think DAoC will be one of the few MMORPGS from this era to last for a long time.
  • The problem with MMORPG is that they haven't found a way to properly do PvP and integrate leveling with it. Fighting the same computer generated enemies over and over again is boring. Fighting a thinking human is much more of a challenge, and much more rewarding.

    Sure, some games do realm or faction based PvP, but if you could level in a PvP free for all leveling wouldn't be quite as boring. Of course, everyone is afraid of "griefers" but this fear is driving away the mass market appeal of MMORPG.
  • I kill monsters
    So I can get XP
    So I can get skills
    So I can kill monsters
    So I can get XP
    So I can get skills
    So I can kill monsters....
    I'm always running 'round in circles...

    (with apologies to the "running in circles" anti-cocaine ad.)

  • by johnkoer (163434) <johnkoerNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @09:06AM (#6634440) Homepage Journal
    There are a lot of gamers out there that are looking for the easiest way to reach their goal, so even if there were plenty of ways of getting experience, many (not all) gamers would still stay with the camp and kill method. I have met plenty of players online that come from an FPS to an MMORPG, all they want to do is PVP. So they basically just keep camping different spots until they are powerful enough to go PVP. They have no interests in the quests, unless it will make their guy more UBER.

    They are basically looking for a different market, more like a MMOFPS.
    • I agree 100%.

      Leveling and skilling up do not work in a competative environment. They work in single player vs ai. As has been stated numerous times above, players want power, to be stronger then the other guys, so they can walk their level 65 guy back to the starting point and awe the newbies with their greatness, or kill them, depending on the game.

      This does not work, because, as was said, 75% of the guys are on the bottom rung. Being bottom rung sucks, but of coarse the upper tier wont have as much fun
    • I have not been able to understand the appeal of most MMORPGs as they are all about who can level higher, quicker. The only goal these games offer is a chance for a power ego trip...yeah, that sounds like fun...get 1000 of your buddies all wanting to be 'the best'.

      I played 10six for years from early beta to 1 year before it was closed. 10six did not contain a single AI, it was all PvP in a good way, teams. There were 4 major groups trying to mine a planet, these groups were broken down into player created
      • by Anonymous Coward
        All crap about weapon balance and bugs aside.

        I love the game. The funny thing is I hate PvP in all other MMORPGs and that's all there is. The thing that draws me in is that I can be part of the big battles, still hit the BR20 (Battle Rating is your level) and take them out just as easily as a BR1. But I think that's the reason I can stand it. On Darktide in AC (the pvp only server) you portal in as a new character and you're immediately assaulted by X player that's probably 20-80 levels ahead of you ju
        • Funny you mention all that, that was exactly how I feared Planetside would be. Underdeveloped skills and not much for defense...

          It is good to see that levels don't affect gameplay as much, that is a huge plus for me, I hate leveling games. And the current crop of RPGs, I just got Morrowind and after playing it for 2 hours I was so bored I thought I was playing Everquest! I'll have to give it more of a chance later (when I'm done playing System Shock 2, again!)
  • Welcome to MUDs.
  • One aspect I miss (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tragedy4u (690579)
    Is truely adventuring...thats what made D&D and other pen and paper RPG's fun. Getting out and exploring the realm, going into new area's, fighting new enemies, solving new puzzles and completing an adventure....one of the people in the article is right...its not about 'leveling' its the adventure that made RPG's fun and unfortuneately every MMORPG that I've played is nothing more than a hack n' slash repeditive game. Ultima Online was an exception for me for a short while, despite all its numerous fa
  • by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:53PM (#6636770) Homepage
    but the mere existance of levels themselves. Personal enhancement can only affect your physical ability to a certain degree, and probably leaves other faculties lacking. Lifting weights all day doesn't make me signifcantly wiser, or smarter. In fact, I'm not sure what does make a person smarter. And practicing military drills all day might make me a better fighter, but the psychological impact is likely more profound. This sort of trait should be emulated by the Role Player, but the notion of RPGs as an acting exercise left long ago.

    RPGs come with a buttload of predefined genre baggage. Designers are all too eager to accept them all. Numbers dictate actions, rather than the other way around. There needs be change, but god help us all should our Savior be The Sims Online!
  • The people saying leveling as a goal is okay are idiots. Well, maybe not idiots - people play chess over and over again because (they hope) they are getting better.

    But as far as mass media goes - if you want a game to really attract a large crowd - you have to cater to people's attention spans. No one but a geek (and I am one of those) has an attention span that will sit still for this crap.

    No, the games that will last through the ages will continue to engage your mind all the way through the game. Nov
  • Players, as a general rule, don't level anywhere they can die easily (Which is "Dull"). Sure, the Rabbit Cave gives a fifth of the experience of the Troll Cave, but the trolls kill you easily. In games that seriously penalize death there's even more of an incentive to stay in the Rabbit caves until you're powerful enough to stay alive for hours in the Troll cave (But you don't dare enter the Dragon Cave).
  • Any game that requires me to be bored to tears before I'm worthy of the next level won't hold my interest for long. Sure, you need to reduce the pace now and then, but this sounds like a cop-out for lack of creativity. After a while, you barely pay attention, farm out your levelling, focus on the social elements, or quit. The only interesting one there for me is the social one, and that means the developers are failing in their task of creating engaging gameplay. Not that social interaction is bad, but
  • er above says it all... no levels - almost everything is player bought inc skills. PVP openended.. different but amazingly fun.. Elite on steroids. esp for my non eq nights
    • I don't consider watching my ship mine asteroids for 3 hours straight so I can get a better ship a fun experience. Maybe it gets better once your character becomes stronger and you get deeper into the game. But I can only recall going into combat once in the game, and that was the tutorial. The only MMO game that I have yet to lose interest in is Planetside. You gain levels and skills just like RPG's but combat is just like quake3 and other FPS's. And you have to work as a team and communicate well in o
  • I used to play AO and now I play Planetside, so I like to think I've tried both sides of the equation.

    The thing about AO was that you had a character to upgrade and advance in a multitude of (albeit tiny, almost meaningless) ways to get an overall better character. This persistent character can then go around and have fun in the world, killing monsters and gaining levels. There was permanence, my characters cool stuff stayed with him, and if you took over a section of Notum mining you kept it and the bo
  • EVE doesn't use a Level or experience system in the classic sense. You train skills by simply investing the time required to advace that skill Ok, skills have levels. They also have Ranks, which is a multiplier of the time required. Attributes affect training time as well.

    Going on vacation ? Start training something like Minmatar Cruiser 5 and it'll be done when you get back. The only real catch is you can't freely switch between skills under training, nor train with more than one character per account at
  • As promised, I'm still working on a commercial project to deliver an MMORPG that addresses this and many other problems with MMORPGs. The leveling system is horrid, but hard to get rid of because characters want to compare themselves to gauge their progress. I personally favor a skill-based approach. It's not hard to tell if a player is actually *challening* themselves. And it's really easy to tell which skills are being used, and which are rotting from disuse. This RPG, which may be announced later thi
  • Creating a long running massively multiple game is next to impossible. One of the main problems is that it is difficult to design a game that will handle both the casual player as well as the hard core game (many of which essentially live online).

    Every new game states in their FAQ that they are designing the game with the casual player in mind. But every time this is tried, it is a disaster. The hard core gamer quickly exhausts the content of the game and moves on. That is a problem, since the hard cor
  • I've played muds for over 10 years, and have played almost every mainstream MMORPG on the North American market. I believe that the missing element from an RPG vs Levelling 'ad nauseum' MMORPG game, is the idea of permanent character death.
    Mentioning the phrase usually incites people to reflexively assume that perm character death could NEVER work. But I don't think it has been
    given serious treatment as a conceptual game element.
    Consider the following.
    -One of the primary appeals of an RPG game is the crea
    • Diablo II has hardcore - in it, once a character dies, it's back to the char creation screen. You can save the items you have equipped if someone else is playing hardcore with you and you've allowed them to loot your corpse; otherwise, the player has to start completely from scratch. After many, many runs through the game, hardcore has become the only exciting way to play Diablo because softcore holds no challenge - if you die, no problem, you'll just respawn in town. And since you have to beat the game in
    • While it's a cool concept and I've played a few MUD's that had permanent death. The reality is that the large commercial MMORPG's want that residual income, meaning that they WANT you to keep playing on and on and on... so if I spent 6 months of my life leveling up a character only to have him die some idiotic death (due to lag, stupidity or whatever) and have a permanent death.. well the bottom line is that I and I'm sure almost any other player would simply quit. It would've been a complete waste of ti
      • Lets start out with the idea of taking 6 months to level up a character. They key problem is having a 'character' that you have put effort into die 'some idiotic death'.

        What MMORPG's producers are selling, is a sense of character, whether game producers, or players even realize it. Your own example of levelling up a 'character' for 6 months, then getting pissed becuase they died 'idiotically' illustrates the point perfectly. The idiotic death was not consistent with the hypothetical character you were cr
  • I almost like the implementation of leveling in Eve:TSG ... almost... Rather then gaining XP for actions, you have to train your skills. More or less, once you have the base skill it can be set to train, and will keep training whether you are logged in or not. Sounds too easy, but once you get to level 3 or 4(of 5) It starts to take days of constant training that one skill. But that isn't so bad, since you don't have to be logged in.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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