[DIS] Level cap - CR1

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Rotonen
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[DIS] Level cap - CR1

Post by Rotonen » 02 Oct 2009, 21:41

I'm proposing level caps with each release. This is to allow natural development of characters. How so?

It'd be a gargantuan task to plan a full set of game content from the humble beginnings to the higher levels. If we decide a level cap for a content release, we can carefully plan out the intended content for the level range in question: How many hours of playing does it take to reach the level target? What can we add to the mix on the way to make it less repetitive and more interesting? Are we introducing new things too often or too rarely? Is the player going to stay entertained by this content at an estimated median speed, is the player going to be overwhelmed or is the player going to be utterly bored? (The last option has pretty much happened with our eA, IMO. We let the players grind to higher levels with low level content or randomly scribbled together content. It has been slowly patched up to be more tolerable, though.)

To propose caps for release1, I do not know enough of our intended gamesystem. What does a level actually mean in our LBD system or do we have a better measure than character level for progressing in the game? How does that transfer to character's usefulness in combat? What room does it leave for craftmanship?

We should also keep in mind that the future will also exist: you should be able to migrate to release2 content before hitting the cap of release1 content. Why? It'll be both overwhelming and boring to have to grind through ALL of the content created for each phase of the game. This way it allows a bit more of selection for the path a character (as in a player) will take in exploring and/or powerplaying the world.

My proposal:

You should be able to leave the tutorial and the island combined in less than an hour. You should be able to at least somehow survive in slightly higher level content.

There should be up to five hours of content available for people who like to explore it all. This shouldn't take the player too high to make further content too easy and hence boring.

The player should come out with at least basic equipment and knowledge on the base aspects of the game. Dedicated players should come out with slightly better equipment and deeper knowledge of how the world works.

Combining these two sounds like a challenge for me.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Crush » 02 Oct 2009, 22:26

A hard level cap on the character level doesn't make sense in our character system. It does however make sense to set one on the skill levels. This results in a maximum character level a char can reach by maxing all available skills. How to calculate the exact one can be found here: http://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/ ... rom_skills

But I still think we should go for the "soft" levelcap approach: Just don't offer content which allows to gain exp efficiently after a certain level for now. The players will feel much less restricted that way.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Rotonen » 02 Oct 2009, 23:09

Or do what a lot of the big ones do: if your combat ability is too much above the combat ability of your opponents, you don't gain any exp at all.

This migrates people rather nicely and automatically to higher level content. It also allows you to have a smoother exp curve without having to make stuff exponentially more out of hand "every 10 levels" like most Korean grindfests do.

The only problem I can see with this is if you cram in too much content of the specific subtype into such a gap: the player will feel frustrated if he has clearly merely scratched the surface of the content available for the range in question and already has to move on.

So, I think we should take combat ability as a starting point and build other things around it. I'm assuming this as the median motivator for people to play the game further for quite some time from the beginning.

Crafting skills included in a release should produce some stuff which is useful for the current level, but mostly concentrate on providing sensible content for the range of players still in the content of the previous release. This is to encourage player-to-player economy and to keep prices at bay somehow.

Are we going to have gathering skills or are higher level materials going to just come from more dangerous areas?

Are we going to do simple one or two step production chains or are we going to do a three to five step production network scheme with the resources to crudely simulate how industry works and to create competition over resources?

Summa summarum: level cap totals for groups of skill by theme, not for "all skills in total".
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Ces » 03 Oct 2009, 10:51

Instead of cutting experience gaining completely for wide monster–player level gaps the gained experience could get progressively less instead. That would encourage players to move on, but still reap some benefits if they decide to explore that level of content more.

For multistep production schemes, having trading between lower and higher players would be benefitial for the game economy. That is in general, lower end players mostly gathering “low level” resources while higher end players rather making use of the resulting low level products (as well as gathering higher level resources) in their own higher level productions. Of course the higher end players could gather everything themselves, but should be encouraged to move on.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by i » 03 Oct 2009, 11:05

Maybe drop rate should be smaller with every player LV above monster LV. I saw similar solution in Nos Tale.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Freeyorp101 » 04 Oct 2009, 01:56

Personally, I'd rather have an implied limit rather than a hard limit. IMO, this is something that should be done anyway, to discourage players from depleting monsters aimed for characters well below their level and to encourage attempts at more difficult monsters, where available.

Perhaps making rewards and requirements increase exponentially with difficulty and skill level respectively could be one way to do this?


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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by John P » 04 Oct 2009, 20:20

In support of the soft cap argument:
Gradually decreasing reward (experience) would make experience more manageable in the numbers game. Level 99 won't need five billion experience points to level up, and the number wont stretch across the window, or even off the window.

Against decreasing drops:
It just doesn't make sense logically. Because you are more skilled, the maggots have less loot? Loot might be the only saving grace for people who have maxed skills and have nothing else to do but collect for the future, or to sell to those who have not yet maxed.

Worries about caps:
Unless skill experience gains bottom at 0, I fear low derivatives might lead to botting: especially if we are behind in releasing content. On top of that, grinders will max out their skill before content releases, and likely they won't be interested in working on their other skills, or even exploring the content. What will they do? We don't want to lose them... (My only thought was afore mentioned loot collecting)

Exploration of gameworld:
As far as the game world goes, "areas" should not be limited by levels. For example, Tulimshar is currently surrounded by maggots and scorpions, and at the same time snakes. If each 'area' has at least two service levels, this will provide ample time to explore, and make NPCs more dynamic (they will have new things to say to higher skilled characters). The point is, if a player 'missed' something the first time around and advanced to a new area, there is a chance that the second time around, when they return, they might catch what they missed. Naturally, the over-arching storyline will have to be explicit - someone will tell you if you missed important plot information from someone else, and if you need to return to the last town.

This of course does not include Newbington, but is for consideration of future release level caps. In the case of Newbington, they are trapped anyway and can't go anwhere. When release-2 arrives and they finally can escape, the boatman might ask if they need more information on
  • before they go, and direct the player to the appropriate NPC for explanations.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Rotonen » 06 Oct 2009, 19:57

So the consensus is going for some sort of a soft capping system?

Let's define how this'll work and get this issue resolved.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Kage » 07 Oct 2009, 14:15

Rotonen wrote:So the consensus is going for some sort of a soft capping system?

Let's define how this'll work and get this issue resolved.
My vote is for setting the maximum skill exp / level via the configure xml file.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Crush » 07 Oct 2009, 16:52

I think it might be possible to implement the soft cap by just not creating any monsters which give more than a certain amount of exp.

When a character is advancing in level he will still be able to gain exp, but because of lack of stronger monsters he will need to kill a huge amount of enemies to advance.

To further reinhance this effect we could also assign a "recommended level" to every exp source and reduce the exp gain of a skill when the skill level is above it (exact formula required)

This would require some internal refactoring, though.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Jaxad0127 » 07 Oct 2009, 17:02

Crush wrote:I think it might be possible to implement the soft cap by just not creating any monsters which give more than a certain amount of exp.

When a character is advancing in level he will still be able to gain exp, but because of lack of stronger monsters he will need to kill a huge amount of enemies to advance.

To further reinhance this effect we could also assign a "recommended level" to every exp source and reduce the exp gain of a skill when the skill level is above it (exact formula required)

This would require some internal refactoring, though.
In such a system, should it apply to weapon level, character level, or both?

IE: should a level 50 character get as much experience from a maggot when starting out with a knife (no or limited previous knife skill) as a level 10 player does starting out with a knife (no or limited previous knife skill)?
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Crush » 07 Oct 2009, 17:32

Skill level only.

Otherwise the danger of ruining a character by pushing the level with the wrong skills would be too big.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Rotonen » 08 Oct 2009, 12:02

I'm still vouching for grouping skills for calculating levels: battle strength - crafting skill. Any other groups come into mind? For me healing and such falls under battle strength and should hence balance things out a bit.

(LVL x combatant, LVL y craftsman)
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Bertram » 08 Oct 2009, 13:19

Hi,

We agree about the fact that soft capping is the way to go.

As for myself, I'd soft limit the skill level and the character level separately.
(and to keep it KISS-like, I would simply subtract the current level from obtained
points, but it's just a thought.)

Examples, only based on my humble thoughts:
A level 1 character with a knife (Warrior Level 1)
--> would receive 10 XP, and 10 SP (skill points) from a maggot.

A level 5 character with a knife (Warrior Level 3)
--> would receive 5 XP and 8 SP from a maggot.

A level 11 character with a knife (Warrior Level 5),
--> 0 XP and 5 SP.

...

This way, we could ensure a maximum level without add complex calculations.

What do you think?

Regards.
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Re: [DIS] release1 level cap

Post by Jaxad0127 » 08 Oct 2009, 13:28

Bertram wrote:Hi,

We agree about the fact that soft capping is the way to go.

As for myself, I'd soft limit the skill level and the character level separately.
(and to keep it KISS-like, I would simply subtract the current level from obtained
points, but it's just a thought.)

Examples, only based on my humble thoughts:
A level 1 character with a knife (Warrior Level 1)
--> would receive 10 XP, and 10 SP (skill points) from a maggot.

A level 5 character with a knife (Warrior Level 3)
--> would receive 5 XP and 8 SP from a maggot.

A level 11 character with a knife (Warrior Level 5),
--> 0 XP and 5 SP.

...

This way, we could ensure a maximum level without add complex calculations.

What do you think?

Regards.
The level of the player depends on the levels of their skills: http://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/ ... rom_skills.
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