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Character level

Posted: 08 Mar 2005, 07:36
by Talaroc
This was just brought up to me by a gamer friend of mine, and I thought I'd bounce it off of you folks.

I seem to recall that the general consensus earlier was for there not to be such a thing as overall character level; that "level" would only refer to stats and skills (if I am incorrect about this and it is all moot, well, joke's on me). I would like to argue that they would, in fact, be a good thing.

The reason is the prevention of power gaming. The skill system (level up as you use it) that we've got is fine; I like it. But it does have a bit of a loophole; all a character needs to do is to set a macro on their computer to make their character perform a skill or spell over and over in an out-of-the-way place, and leave their computer for the day, and they've got a character with stupid-high level in that skill.

Character levels could eliminate this. Only one thing would be required to gain character levels; experience points. And the only way to gain experience points would be to kill monsters. It would act independantly of skill and stat points, and have only one effect: imposing caps on skill growth. After a while, without leveling, you can perform your skill all you like, but you won't get any better until you level again. A bit of a pain? Yes, probably. Worth it to close a power-gamer loophole? I think so.

Posted: 08 Mar 2005, 09:55
by Bjørn
I have a few remarks.

* I was already under the impression that you needed to kill monsters to advance, at least with the fighting. For crafting you use resources. For all or at least most skills there will basically be something that makes it not-so-trivial to advance in them.

* Who says you can't use a macro to kill monsters repeatedly? This will actually be unavoidable.

* Suppose you would leave your computer on doing a certain thing all day, what would be the actual result? While you describe it as a character with an insane level skill, I'd describe it as a super-specialized character. It's doubtable if this is a useful thing, as because of this one super high skill the character basically won't be able to advance in anything else anymore.

Posted: 08 Mar 2005, 16:03
by Talaroc
1. Not for magic, unless something's been put in that I'm not aware of. Just keep casting an area of effect spell over and over all day...

2. True, but it'd be rather more difficult to make a macro to seek out, target, and attack monsters than to make one that just sits there and hits the same button constantly.

3. In terms of power gaming, the worry isn't people doing this with only one skill. I know some gamers who are willing to spend hours upon hours in regular PRGs sitting in the same spot fighting the same monsters over and over in random battle, just because they found some benefit to doing so. I have no doubt that some people would be perfectly willing to power-level a number of skills, even though it would take them a long time.

Posted: 08 Mar 2005, 16:20
by Bjørn
1. I highly disagree with gaining XP just because you cast an area damage spell. You need to cause actual damage, otherwise the spell is just useless and shouldn't gain you any XP at all I think. Just like healing somebody outside of a battle shouldn't gain you any experience, or at least a hugely reduced amount, because it'd allow people to just avoid the danger.

2. More difficult, yes, but still pretty easy, I mean the server side controlled monsters will already do this and the source it open.

3. Actually wouldn't my preference at 1 not imply something similar to what you proposed? That you have to kill monsters to level? I like this approach more, as some characters like a healer won't be killing so much but will be more busy healing people that do.

Posted: 08 Mar 2005, 18:13
by Talaroc
Well, if there is something put in place like what you mentioned (where you actually have to be putting the skills to use to upgrade them), that's fine. I was working off the assumption that use=experience, regardless of location and intention.

Posted: 08 Mar 2005, 18:30
by imorgado
Prevent bots it's almost impossible. Just rank you preferred game, and yes there is a bot, cheat or anything.

We should not care about boting (not now), It's the same as software copy protection, what you do by software can be undone. There is always a way to break your system (this is Godel Theory, there is some math here? ;-).

The better way to avoid botting it's creating a supported system (inside of official client), that allow macros for some tasks, as select last kind of item, target near enemy, cast last spell.

Another way to prevent botting is blocking the amount of XP gained in a period (ex. one week), or doing you xp gain be reduced in a logaritimic process.

First Slime: 10000 xp
Second Slime 9000 xp
Third Slime 7000 xp
Fourth Slime: 3000 xp
And goes (this is just an example).

If want to play to have fun (that what we want), ok.. keep playing, but you won't gain the high ammount of xp.

If you're a bot only account (so bad).

I'm haven't too much time to play online games (only weekends), and I really hate those little boys that keep playing all the time (that is the reason for I'm use bots).

Chopping fast lvling for full time players it's the better way to stop bots (bots are full time players).

That is my 20cents tip

Posted: 10 Mar 2005, 00:06
by WakkaCraft
Not everyone is a weekend player. Take your issues with full-time players somewhere else. :roll:
True, there isn't a lot you can do against bots, but stiff penalties can be tried. (erase account/ban IP?)

I'm for levels. It makes it easier to find teams that are close to your growth level, and if tweaked properly can allow for more character specialization. I'll try to demonstrate what I'm talking about.

lvl 1
growth for stat x: 1/5

person levels stat x up to 5/5, stat x cannot grow more for the moment.

person reaches lvl 2
growth for stat x: 5/10
as a reward for getting to level 2, you can put a bonus onto the growth for any stat you choose.
bonus into stat x
growth for stat x: 5/11

the scaling I used may not work, maybe use 3 per level instead of 5 or maybe more than 5? But the bonus should definately be smaller. It's a bonus, not something to make or break the build.

As for effective use, there's still tons of ways to abuse that, such as nuking monsters way weaker than you and healing someone who's fighting a monster, but not attacking it. I suppose you could script stuff in for this, but what to scale it on? It's not as if anything has levels...

Disclaimer: for those of you who are versed in MMOs, I'll admit right now that this idea is the bastard child of WoW's skill system and CoH's enhancement slot system, but I still think it's original in this form, especially when applied to TMW's specs.

Posted: 10 Mar 2005, 02:20
by Bjørn
Ok I'm not saying I'm totally against the kind of system proposed above. It basically enforces that to gain more specific knowledge about something, you need to gain a more general knowledge of other things too, I think.

Posted: 10 Mar 2005, 03:54
by Kyokai
I'll admit we do need a system that ensures basic generalization. That's the real beauty of the formula given to us by imorgado (I'm not sure if everyone is familiar with it, so I'll try to explain). Basically, there is a limit where the specialization penalty actually kicks in. As long as as skill is below level X, it remains as easy to level up as normal. So suppose we set X equal to half the level of the most specialized skill in that particular skill group. The idea is that as the player specializes, he becomes easily able to keep his general skills at a decent level.

As for "level" calculation (so that players can guage the strength of monsters relative to themselves, etc.). I think we can safely define "level" as the average value of all the being's stat skills. Since stats are leveled exclusively through gameplay, and not by any sort of training. This will accurately reflect the way the player is advancing through the game.

On another note, clothing and such have skill limitations, rather than level limitations, to promote a more realistic, yet still fair world. (ie: everyone can wear the robe of fire magic, but it's only actually useful to someone who does know fire magic).

We've abandoned levels because almost everyone I've talked to is tired of them (ever seen an MMORPG, or any RPG, without levels? not often.) I can't say I blame them, myself. :) Of course, I recognize the problems that this radical approach presents, but I'm positive that we can find an original, fresh solution to these, rather than eat our words and follow the same old course as everyone else. Let's try to think about how to get around these problems without reinstituting (the dreadfully unrealistic and mundane) level system and character EXP.

Posted: 10 Mar 2005, 07:19
by HaLLanHype
Something other than the general level up system would be a nice change but make sure its something that will work good.

Leveling up skills and spells and stuff is kinda good cause the more you do something the better at it you would get...

why not have places around the world you go to train for the stats... like place to practice battlign and all for strength, a place to study and learn for intelligence and so on

Posted: 10 Mar 2005, 22:48
by Kyokai
HaLLanHype wrote:why not have places around the world you go to train for the stats... like place to practice battlign and all for strength, a place to study and learn for intelligence and so on
That's a good point. We've already been talking about a few of these, as well as offline training. I think we will definitely have training centers for all the skills, including stats.

Posted: 11 Mar 2005, 22:17
by WakkaCraft
The reason for my big push for some sort of character levels is community. If you want to find someone to adventure with, you want them to be around the power you are at. A level system would make identifying potential group mates much easier.

Perhaps we could use some sort of morrowind system where leveling skills builds level or something.


Posted: 12 Mar 2005, 03:13
by Bear
for this topic, i would suggest we follow somewhat close to the Ragnark Online system, it seems fair enough and is very balanced.

Posted: 12 Mar 2005, 07:50
by Usiu
I'm for lvl system.
First of all this is a thing that keeps player online.. the will of leveling up, there should be a quests that require a specific amount of XP and are for more than one player.
So the people with the similar XP would gather and try to solve the quest in a team. It's so much fun in it... those boys spening hours playing and leveling up... and having fun... And spending so much time playing is their own hard work.. so I think it's fair...
What's more I think monsters should be stronger for those on higer levels.
As to bots we can limit them on many ways...
It's hard to track looping of more than 10 actions..
but maybe login out when those occur
- staying in one place for a longer...
- entering a single square more than 20 times in a 30minutes
- maybe being silent we someone talks to you for a longer than 15minutes
more agressive restrictions on leveling would also cause boting for sure,
without leveling the game will lose it's magnetism...

Posted: 12 Mar 2005, 08:51
by ElvenProgrammer
Heh I remember when I was playing UO people using bots to go mining and so on, and they looped the same action a lot of times. Bot I've seen nowadays are alot more complex and they're hard to identify... :(