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AnneliesTheComposer

Level-Up Systems Ruin Games

You kill seven boars and are promoted to Level 2. You feel your time killing boards is justified because a number next to your character changed from one to two. So that means you "progressed." You, the Player, are now "progressing" through the game. Do you feel accomplished? Perhaps. You're stronger now, so that means you can kill boars faster. You keep killing boars until you reach Level 5. At this point, the boars cannot hurt you. You're a boar-slaying God. The experience gained begins to decline but who cares, you're Level 5 now. Your time killing infinitely re spawning boars is justified. You've been "progressing." You spent one hour going from Level 1 to Level 5. You don't even realize an entire hour has passed. Time flies!

 

What do you don't realize is that an artificial increase in the game's length has been generated. So, imagine you finish the game in 50 hours. That's 49 hours + 1 hour of boar farming. You will tell your friends "Ya, the game is about fifty hours long." and they will interpret that as "That game has a lot of content." when the only reason you did that was because an increasing number felt like a proper reward for your time. Now imagine boars weren't the only creatures farmed. Let's say in total you spent 10 hours farming monsters. So that's 40 + 10 hours of monster farming. 20% of the game was a mindless grind for the sake of a number telling you "You're stronger now." Is that progression?

 

Developers encourage this because they themselves have no idea how to offer alternative methods of progression and it helps hide how barren and empty their worlds actually are. Role-playing developers are the biggest offenders but this crime is not limited to that genre or those people. A real sense of progression can be accomplished through a good enough story, good enough characters, good enough everything. You can feel like you've progressed without a number telling you that you have. 

 

/rant

 

 

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Not many quality games forces you to go on a wild farm-grind.. Its mostly F2P games that uses that method.

Proper MMORPG, or just RPG, uses quest systems and/or events instead. Sure, you have to kill stuff there as well, but its not the killing that generates the most XP/progression - its finishing the quests/events.

It only becomes a chore after youve played the same MMORPG for years, and been doing the same dailys, every day, for at least a year.... Been there, done that, lived to tell the tale.

 

An MMORPG would suck without a leveling system.... single-player RPG's can survive without levels, but would be quite boring...

What youre describing, "a good enough story" or "good enough characters", is what we in the trade call LINEAR PROGRESSION - Which basically completely defeats the whole point of an RPG.

That means you HAVE to play through the linear story/whatever in order to get stronger, and that means you will always only ever get ability X at X point in the story etc etc.. With level based progression you give the player a choice - play it linear, or go kill "boars" until you've reached max level and can faceroll through the story - the choice is yours...

It only ever becomes an issue when theres not enough story/quests to cover the entirety of the leveling. When you suddenly reach a point in the story where you find yourself severely underleveled, just because you didnt spend 5h killing boars. Now THATS bad design/not-very-well-thought-through, but dont blame that on the leveling system itself.

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I love levelling up and gaining new skills, it makes the game more exciting.

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Levels allow the developer to dictate which content the Player is able to experience. The developer is able to "pace" the Player which is fine for some but restrictive nonetheless. Imagine a cave with monsters inside of it. You, the Player, know that if you were somehow able to get past these monsters, you'd find a chest containing a legendary sword inside of it. You want that sword. The monsters are Level 27 beasts which would indicate to you, the Player, that your character would need to be at least Level 27 or above to challenge the monsters. Let's say at this moment, your character is Level 21. Whereas obtaining this sword should be a test of skill and might, you are now forced to leave the area to grind out six levels before challenging the monsters. Potentially performing hours of trivial tasks before tackling content you actually want to do. The problem with this is it forces everybody to play the game (relatively) at the same pace and experience content at the same time. "Did you get the legendary sword at Level 27?" 

 

Instead of saying "No, I got the sword at Level 6 because I'm a skilled enough rogue (or warrior, or mage)," everybody will say "Yes, at Level 27 I got the legendary sword." This is the developer in direct control of your experience. The facade of freedom where there is none. Levels are a barrier to entry that artificially lengthen any game. You don't need a number to tell you how good you are, you naturally develop the ability to overcome obstacles over time. So imagine a game where there were no Levels. Somebody may have gotten the sword four hours into the game, but somebody else may have gotten it seventeen hours into the game. There's nothing wrong with either approach and they both achieved something special (truly) at their own pace. That is the freedom that I want and that is the freedom I believe we need.

 

Developers are over-complicating content delivery and make it seem like there are no alternatives. Level-up systems are lazy barriers to entry. You can have a great game, a great RPG, without Levels. It's possible.

Edited by DeadAim6219
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... You have clearly missed the entire point of a proper RPG with a leveling system, and it seems you have your head stuck in the sand so further conversation seems quite pointless....

 

At the end of the day its like this though; If you dont like RPG's dont play RPG's. The day leveling vanishes from RPG's will be the day RPG's dies. Leveling system has been a part of RPG's long before they became video games... Its just a fundamental part of an RPG.

Just like real life, you cant just go out and buy the fastest car in the world and suddenly drive better than Schumacher, no, You need practice and experience before you can do that. And how do you translate that to a game where all you do is facesmash buttons even a braindead zombie could do? Levels. Simple as that. You gain experience - you get stronger. End of story.

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First, I want to say that I love the RPG genre. I have an appreciation for role-playing games like no other. You do not know how much time I've invested into the genre and I do not know how much you have, it's impossible for either of us to know, so I will not make any rash assumptions about your history with it or with what you like in general. Unfortunately, not only have you done this to me but you also brought uncalled for levels of elitism and scorn with you. Can we just have a conversation about video games without that? I don't do that to you so I'd appreciate it if you didn't do that to me. Thank you.

 

Now, simply because things been done a certain way for many years doesn't mean that's how they should be done forever. People change. Games evolve. At one time, level-up systems could be justified in games from a technological standpoint, but we are past that, and I'll dig deeper into that in a second. First, there are inherent issues with level-up systems that I failed to mention in my above posts. One such issue being diminishing returns. The power-spike from Level 1 to Level 2 is greater than the power-spike from Level 29 to Level 30 which is greater than the power-spike from Level 87 to Level 88. You will reach a point where the number associated with your character essentially has no meaning because the benefits from leveling naturally diminish. You actually get weaker going from Level 78 to Level 79 in relation to a character going from Level 1 to Level 2. Whereas the Level 1 to Level 2 power-spike (in theory) should strengthen your character from anything in between 50-100%, you do not gain a 50-100% boost in strength going from Level 78 to 79. The percentage gets lower and lower.

 

Take World of Warcraft for example. A Level 61 character hits Level 62. How much stronger are they? What can they do now that they couldn't do at Level 61? They think they're stronger. They think there's a boost. But the truth is, the power-spike is so negligible, they might as well remain Level 61. Compare this to a Level 1 character going to Level 2 and then Level 3 -- they're having a blast. They feel like they're going somewhere. They notice a power-spike. Unfortunately, this is why most people quit MMORPG's in the early-game because doing repetitious tasks for the sake of leveling, where you actually get weaker per-level, is not fun and enjoyable gameplay, and is one of the major flaws to having a level-up system. This is not limited to MMORPG's, the power-spike example I gave can also be applied to games such as The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4, among others.

 

The point is: LEVELING UP IS NOT FUN. In addition to what I just argued: what's fun is being able to access the content locked behind that level-barrier. I'll use World of Warcraft (again) as an example again because it's arguably the biggest offender I can think of. Going from Level 109 to Level 110 is not fun, but taking your Level 110 character into the raids locked behind Level 110 is what's fun. Getting gear for Level 110 characters is what's fun. There is reason people say "The game doesn't start until max level." That's because all content between Level 1 - 109 is a pointless waste of time and the Player should never feel like what they're doing is a pointless waste of time! This applies to MMORPG titles across the board. Basing your game around levels, especially in a multiplayer-only title, is horrible game design because 99% of the time it leads to the example I just gave! This especially applies to single-player games as well. Hours of grinding for experience to get to Level 27 before you can challenge for the legendary sword I mentioned earlier is not fun, what's fun is actually challenging for the sword. Grinding for the right to access content is very poor game design.

 

I'd be okay with you not responding if you find conversing with me pointless. :cool:

Edited by DeadAim6219
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25 minutes ago, DeadAim6219 said:

The point is: LEVELING UP IS NOT FUN.

 

 Grinding for the right to access content is very poor game design.

 

Levelling up for me is fun, it makes the game more exciting for me, i find games that don't have a levelling system to be bland and boring.

 

Grinding for access is not poor design, its a rewarding design, you work well you get a bonus. 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, GregoryRasputin said:

 

Levelling up for me is fun, it makes the game more exciting for me, i find games that don't have a levelling system to be bland and boring.

 

Grinding for access is not poor design, its a rewarding design, you work well you get a bonus. 

 

 

 

But do you enjoy actually leveling itself or the rewards you get from leveling? (A new ability or something)

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5 minutes ago, DeadAim6219 said:

 

But do you enjoy actually leveling itself or the rewards you get from leveling? (A new ability or something)

I enjoy both.

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On 30-11-2016 at 10:37 PM, DeadAim6219 said:

You kill seven boars and are promoted to Level 2. You feel your time killing boards is justified because a number next to your character changed from one to two. So that means you "progressed." You, the Player, are now "progressing" through the game. Do you feel accomplished? Perhaps. You're stronger now, so that means you can kill boars faster. You keep killing boars until you reach Level 5. At this point, the boars cannot hurt you. You're a boar-slaying God. The experience gained begins to decline but who cares, you're Level 5 now. Your time killing infinitely re spawning boars is justified. You've been "progressing." You spent one hour going from Level 1 to Level 5. You don't even realize an entire hour has passed. Time flies!

 

What do you don't realize is that an artificial increase in the game's length has been generated. So, imagine you finish the game in 50 hours. That's 49 hours + 1 hour of boar farming. You will tell your friends "Ya, the game is about fifty hours long." and they will interpret that as "That game has a lot of content." when the only reason you did that was because an increasing number felt like a proper reward for your time. Now imagine boars weren't the only creatures farmed. Let's say in total you spent 10 hours farming monsters. So that's 40 + 10 hours of monster farming. 20% of the game was a mindless grind for the sake of a number telling you "You're stronger now." Is that progression?

 

Developers encourage this because they themselves have no idea how to offer alternative methods of progression and it helps hide how barren and empty their worlds actually are. Role-playing developers are the biggest offenders but this crime is not limited to that genre or those people. A real sense of progression can be accomplished through a good enough story, good enough characters, good enough everything. You can feel like you've progressed without a number telling you that you have. 

 

/rant

 

 

I appreciate your opinion about level up systems, but my opninion is just the oposite of yours, level up systems keep you challenged & keep the game fun in my opinion :) 

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internet+argument+ecard.png

 

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