The leveling curve.

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The leveling curve.

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:42 pm

I made this thread to discuss about a topic that might influence the gameplay a lot: The leveling curve.

(yes, in the character system of the new mana world the characters level won't be as important as the skills that are optained learning by doing. just replace "level" with "characters experience on various combat related skills" when you feel uncomfortable with the word "level" as synonym for the abilities of a character)

What is the leveling curve?
The leveling curve basically states how much stronger a character becomes when he gains experience. A steep leveling curve means that the player will become much stronger with every levelup. a character that reached the maximum level possesses godlike abilities compared to a low level character. a flatter leveling curve means that the character will only become marginally stronger when advancing. a maximum level character will still be compareable to a low level character.
the strength of the monsters has to represent the leveling curve, too. In a game with a steep leveling curve there have to be monsters with many different strength levels while in a game with a flat leveling curve the monsters don't differ that much.

A steep leveling curve would mean that the player really feels that his character becomes stronger. Monsters that were a real thread are suddenly not even a challenge after a few levelups. This can be very motivating. The downside is that the character is limited to fighting only a small range of the monsters in the game because most monsters are either no challenge at all or unbeatable for him.

But a flat leveling curve means that low level monsters are still a thread while the character has a realistic chance beating enemies that are above his level. This can make the game more interesting because the player is able to fight a larger palette of monsters regardless of his characters level. The player can explore large parts of the world without getting into areas where his character has no chance of surviving or where the weak enemies bore him. A flat leveling curve is more party friendly because it is easier to find a level area for a party with characters on different levels. PvP is also more interesting with a flat leveling curve because low level characters have still a chance to beat characters with a higher level. You can't say who will win a fight just by comparing the level numbers.

But on the downside a flat leveling curve can be frustrating because the player doesn't see that his character becomes much stronger over the time.

What do you think? should the new mana world have a flat or a steep leveling curve?
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Post by Tarm » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:31 pm

I like flat levelling because in most rpg games the level is the primary way to get a good character and skills are secondary and in worst case scenarios only cosmetic.
I love tinkering with various skills and that you really feel a difference if you build your character in different ways.

Edit : Why dont you make it a poll question. :)
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Post by LEG0LAS2 » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:57 pm

Tarm wrote:I like flat levelling because in most rpg games the level is the primary way to get a good character and skills are secondary and in worst case scenarios only cosmetic.
I love tinkering with various skills and that you really feel a difference if you build your character in different ways.
agree.
flat levelling and many kinds of jobs and skills are the best option.
but you have an interesting idea. reading dont looks good to me but maybe using this on a test server where the players can see what they think its better. the players can change theyr opinion playing with levelling curve.
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Post by Dr Wahl » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:16 pm

In an MMORPG that I am playing right now, they seem to have a pretty good idea on leveling...

I am not exactly sure the exact math that they use to figure the experience points, but it goes something like this. The monsters have levels, for example, a red scorpian might be level 20. When a player kills the scorpian, the levels are taken into consideration. The way to get the most experience is by having the same level as the scorpian, so a player level 20 will get, lets say, 100 xp. If a player is + or - 1 level, they will still get like 90% of the xp, but not the full ammount. When there is a party (deciding how to do parties should be another topic), the xp is distributed evenly, with the levels taken into consideration again. So, if two players the scorpian in a party, and one player is levle 20, and the other player is like level 15, the level 20 player will get 50 xp, while the other player will get about 40. This is good because it gets the lower level player to venture out and see the world, but not abuse the party system and just level up in parties.

I am not so good about curves, so I will leave that part up to you guys, but I thought that it might be helpful to consierder.
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Post by Tarm » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:23 pm

Doesnt world of warcraft work like that?
If it is wow it's a bad example.Levels are everything in wow. :(
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Post by Rapier » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:55 pm

There are two components to any levelling curve. The balance between them is what determines how fast/easy it is to level.

The first component is, obviously, how many XPs it takes to get to a level and the second is how much XP you can get from kills.

There should be a graduated scale based upon you level compared to what you have just killed. There should also be a cap on it. If I'm lvl 5 and am partied with a lvl 75 character, we will be killing creatures MUCH past my level. Even a fraction of that lvl 75 monster would gain me TONS of XP. So the max is something like 10% of what it take to gain you the level (if you need 2000 XP for the level, your max is 200 XP per kill).

When killing a creature within 3 levels (for instance) of your character you should get full XP. After that there should be graduated earns. If the creature is over your level, you should get more XP. If the creature is under your level you should get less XP. Minimum XP is 1.

4 - 6 levels: 10%
7 - 9 levels: 20%
10 - 13 levels: 30%
14 - 18 levels: 40%
etc.

If I'm level 10 and kill a lvl 14 creature I should get 110% XP. If I'm level 10 and kill a lvl 4 creature I should get 90% XP. Of course these are just for demonstration. A lot of testing would need to be done to find the balance.

The big question, and the one that should be answered first, is how Kill XP is determined. Perhaps a difficulty rating? Level of Creature + Level of Attack Skill + Level of Defense Skill + Levels of Spells. Take that difficulty rating and multiple it by some kind of base 100 XP.

It's hard to say at this point. Clearly there needs to be some kind of formula so there is some consistency. We don't want someone accidentally creating a lvl 1 bunny rabbit that gives you 40,000 XP.
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Post by Crush » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:58 pm

most of you misunderstood me.

i am not talking about how long it takes to get a levelup or how much exp what monster gives under what circumstances. i am talking about how much stronger a character becomes.

When you compare a new character to a character who reached everything that can be reached in the game, how much stronger will he be?

100 times stronger? 10 times stronger? or maybe only 3 times stronger?
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Post by Tarm » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:07 pm

Isnt The Mana World going to implement a Learn By doing system?Then why not do as in Daggerfall?You have skills and by using them they gradually gets better.You get better at certain kind of things like swinging a one handed sword.When you have improved enough skills (One or more skill areas.I'm not certain if we should have one, more or a mix.) you get a level and a overall boost.
This means that you can be very good at swinging a one handed sword or using a bow or any other such thing but still be low level.It would still be hard to beat a higher level character because the boost you get when you level but levels are not the most important thing.
It worked very well in Daggerfall and should work here. :)
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Post by Crush » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:26 pm

yes, a system like that is planned. but that hasn't got anything to do with the topic.

the question is how good a player character can become. maybe i shouldn't have used the word level at all. it seems to confuse you all.
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Post by Tarm » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:15 pm

Crush wrote:yes, a system like that is planned. but that hasn't got anything to do with the topic.

the question is how good a player character can become. maybe i shouldn't have used the word level at all. it seems to confuse you all.


Well my last post was about that.Im not sure if I can clarify it but if you want I can try. :)

Regarding how stronger a topped out character should be I'd say they need to be significantly better otherwise most players would loose interest.I'm not one of them but most players are.
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Post by Maniac » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:37 pm

In my point of view players, that are a hundred times stronger than you just because they are well trained, are destroying the atmosphere. A player, who reached everything he can, should be about 5-10 times stronger than a new player, if he uses his skills well.
Last edited by Maniac on Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Crush » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:44 pm

finally you got me right. please go on in that direction.
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Post by kiba » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:46 am

I prefer somewhere in the flat leveling curves.

I could not like to be easily owned by high level players.
But at the same time, I could like to see my characters grow.

A high level player should not be invincible to a low level player (at full health). But a low level player shouldn't be too much of a threat if the high level player play the cards better than the low level player.

The high level player do have a distinct advantages aginast a low level player.

I think this is the balance.
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Post by Dr Wahl » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:02 am

would it be possible to do a system where there is no top level. just have the highest level be whatever a determined player would reach? maybe another topic.....

i think that similar to what maniac said should be the goal, although i would come at it from a different angle....

if there is a level 5 player that just has a few skills, if he uses his skills with good strategy, he should be able to win a fight against a player that is level 10.

on the other hand, i think there should be a pay off for players who are willing to grind for hours to reach a higher level.
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Post by Crush » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:11 am

we planned to have no theoretical maximum level, but we can't avoid to have a practical maximum level, because at some point there will be no more game contend that will give you enough experience to level efficiently.

do you really want to advance your sword skill when you have to kill the strongest monster in the game (which you can kill with one hit) about one million times to do so? ok, that's an extreme example, but you get the idea.
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