General News - The Problem with Levelling - RPGWatch Forums
|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » General News - The Problem with Levelling

Default General News - The Problem with Levelling

March 15th, 2020, 18:54
Click4Gameplay examines the problem with levelling in RPGs:

The Problem With LEVELLING In RPGs and Different Progression Methods

loading…


It's really hard to imagine a role playing game without character levels, because we usually associate that with getting stronger. Creating a sense of character progression by levelling up, is much more than just gaining experience and watching that number go up.
More information.
HiddenX is offline

HiddenX

HiddenX's Avatar
The Elder Spy
RPGWatch Team
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin 1 & 2 Donor

#1

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NRW/Germany
Posts: 12,378
Mentioned: 60 Post(s)

Default 

March 15th, 2020, 19:07
Games made for the English-speaking market just have too big experience point numbers. They level imho far too fast because the amounts are just too high.

Plus, most people - infused by the Action-RPG sub-genre - believe that RPGs are nothing but power games. Who gets into Godhood as fast as possible ? And after that, even names as "Godslayer" etc. … people want RPGs no more to be about characters, only about gaining power. Thanks, especially Blizzard, you made people believe that power play is the normal way of playing roles.
--
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR
Original Sin 1 & 2 Donor

#2

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 19,117
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)

Default 

March 15th, 2020, 20:56
I really like the 'Gothic' method of character progression with NPC fixed levels. I truly felt a sense of accomplishment in those games when I finally passed the Wimp Stage and could survive and explore. Oh, I still died frequently, but it was due to overconfidence and stupidity instead of using my head to defeat opponents.
Zephyr is offline

Zephyr

Sentinel

#3

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 499
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)

Default 

March 15th, 2020, 21:23
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Games made for the English-speaking market just have too big experience point numbers. They level imho far too fast because the amounts are just too high.
Absolute numbers are irrelevant. The leveling system defines how fast the PC can achieve new levels. That has more to do with how much experience points are available to the PC compared to how much the PC needs to reach the next level.

I agree with your seond paragraph. Way too many games do this. If I play those games I do it because of other qualities, not because of there leveling system, it's just something I accept.
There are RPGs like Disco Elysium, where PC progression is not about becoming a god, but sadly those games are exceptions.

The video is strange. Usually the second option is called level scaling, but this term was never used in the video.
I expect no level scaling in an RPG in general, that's the reason I did not like Skyrim. I love level scaling in ARPGs - but this is a very specific sub genre.
There are other interesting progression systems - Underrail comes to mind. If I remember correctly, your PC could only progress through specials items found in the world. Would love to see systems like this in more RPGs!
Kylex is offline

Kylex

Watcher
RPGWatch Donor

#4

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

March 15th, 2020, 21:48
I am a big fan of the character(s) I am controlling in a game increasing their capabilities ("levelling") slowly over the course of a game.

When levelling is too frequent in a game, as it is in many games, the impact of levelling up is reduced and could get to a point where I just don't care any more.

Increasing capability doesn't have to specifically be going up a level, as it could be something else such as increasing some other stat.

I also like for levelling up to have a noticeable or at least understandable impact within the game, rather than just going from X hit points to X+1% hit points. I like to be in an area of the game thinking to myself "This is a difficult area and I am glad my character(s) levelled up earlier."
NFLed is offline

NFLed

Keeper of the Watch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

March 15th, 2020, 22:59
Level scaling is what made me quit ESO. I hate it. You need to feel some sense of accomplishment after grinding your tail off and getting more skills, better stats, and better gear. Level scaling takes that away.
Hyperion is offline

Hyperion

Sentinel

#6

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 14:06
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post

Plus, most people - infused by the Action-RPG sub-genre - believe that RPGs are nothing but power games.

Action RPG sub genre acts as a usual suspect. There is a cause behind it: players who like action RPG sub genre and players who dislike it usually share as a common point their lust for power.
They expect to prevail, to dominate no matter the vid product.

There is something else behind it.

BG3 has moved away from anything similar to action RPG (aka RT) yet it is structured so that players can feel powerful at little cost.

It has nothing to do with action RPG, it appears no matter the vid product.

Rimworld is a story generator. It originally started locking players on a single tile. Then a full world, made of thousands of tiles, was added. Opening travel tied story lines.
Including travels that might result from temporary weakness: a threat might be overwhelming, causing a community to abandon the settlement to move elsewhere.

It never digged with players. When it started, threats were made obvious as non manageable, flight was the solution. It happened rarely but already too many times for players and their insecurities. So threats had to diminish by design.

The situation has grown up to the point that the last DLC has lines trying to sell the idea that surrendering a colony is not that bad, the story goes on. By design, this option was obvious, design worked well to put flight as a credible option. When devs are compelled to point out one way to play their game, it is an issue.

Players do not want it, they prefered to sacrifice a colony rather than settling elsewhere and keep the story going on. Leaving a colony on an exterior pressure makes them feel weak. And they are strong. They prevail. They dominate.
--
Backlog:0
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#7

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 15:34
There is nothing wrong with levelling, and it is a proven and satisfactory mechanic.
Telstar is offline

Telstar

Watcher

#8

Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 16:36
I too prefer games where you level slowly. This only works though if the other content has been fleshed out. I actually prefer loot to generate character power but that can be taken to an extreme too.

I almost always replay the beginning areas of games several times because I like the feeling of gaining those early levels. Once I can slay everything with little effort, the game becomes meaningless unless it offers good role-playing along with combat fodder.
--
c-computer, r-role, p-playing, g-game, nut-extreme fan
=crpgnut or just
'nut @crpgnut
crpgnut is offline

crpgnut

crpgnut's Avatar
Skyrim Worshipper
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin Donor

#9

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: St. Louis, Mo USA
Posts: 8,001
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 18:17
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I too prefer games where you level slowly. This only works though if the other content has been fleshed out. I actually prefer loot to generate character power but that can be taken to an extreme too.

I almost always replay the beginning areas of games several times because I like the feeling of gaining those early levels. Once I can slay everything with little effort, the game becomes meaningless unless it offers good role-playing along with combat fodder.
I could have sworn you were one of the people who regularly states you play on easy given the choice, so it would be no wonder you keep experiencing games where the combat becomes meaningless quicker? Or am I confusing you for someone else?
lackblogger is offline

lackblogger

lackblogger's Avatar
retired poster
Original Sin 2 Donor

#10

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3,318
Mentioned: 51 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 19:13
I'll repeat myself here. Apologies.

Call of Cthulhu doesn't have levelling. You can increase your skills, but the games most important skill, "mythos", gets earned and a severe cost - your player's permanent sanity.

Murder Parties also don't have levelling. Would they be considered Role Playing Games in a computer game sense?

But the value of levelling as a mechanic was an incredible invention. I'm not sure it existed in Braunstein but the openendedness of it caused TSR to form in the first place because all the gaming companies rejected D&D over it.

(was Boot Hill published first? Did it have levelling?)
--
Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
Lucky Day is offline

Lucky Day

Lucky Day's Avatar
Daywatch

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The Uncanny Valley
Posts: 5,094
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 19:48
The point is leveling or not leveling. The point is giving the player a real sense of progression and achievement. The leveling system is adjacent to that goal, but doesn't determine it. Some games level you up constantly and it barely feels like it does anything. Other games provide interesting and meaningful choices every time you do. Some games don't have levels at all, like Yakuza, but keep a steady stream of new abilities and gear coming your way to reward and rejuvenate play.

There's been a lot of talk about how the level cap in BG3 is "only" 10. That's plenty if the levels matter, which they should in D&D. As has been pointed out, you don't gain 20+ levels in BG1 or BG2 either. Levels matter in those games, and BG2 also has some of the best loot in any RPG, which is a big part of the sense of getting more powerful.
JFarrell71 is offline

JFarrell71

Keeper of the Watch

#12

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 20:14
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I could have sworn you were one of the people who regularly states you play on easy given the choice, so it would be no wonder you keep experiencing games where the combat becomes meaningless quicker? Or am I confusing you for someone else?
Nope, I play on easy because:
1. I suck
2. Combat is too frequent in most games. If I've fought the sewer rats, I don't need 50 instances of that to feel I've accomplished something. Two to three fights are sufficient.
3. Combat is dead last on things I enjoy about role playing games.
--
c-computer, r-role, p-playing, g-game, nut-extreme fan
=crpgnut or just
'nut @crpgnut
crpgnut is offline

crpgnut

crpgnut's Avatar
Skyrim Worshipper
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin Donor

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: St. Louis, Mo USA
Posts: 8,001
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 20:56
Hence why it amazes me you have games like Grim Dawn (309 hours) in your top 10 hours played on Steam. And Two Worlds Two at 434 hours. And etc etc etc. Those are games where you'd expect to be fighting the same thing over and over and not do much else before you even fire up the menu screen.

And both are examples of how the action RPG genre kinda abuses levelling to the point where it does start to become somewhat meaningless as level 80 passes by in a flurry of equipment requirement and intensive grinding for the sake of intensive grinding.

When most games with enjoyable combat, of the type you suggest you might prefer, that aren't endless waves of rats, usually top-out somewhere between level 10 and level 30.

In fact, a lot of those old classic AD&D games didn't even have much player participation in levelling, very often it was just a case of clicking the button and reading what it told you had been improved by you pressing the button!
lackblogger is offline

lackblogger

lackblogger's Avatar
retired poster
Original Sin 2 Donor

#14

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3,318
Mentioned: 51 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 21:24
Anyone else not able to get to the article link? Just says loading..
sakichop is offline

sakichop

SasqWatch
Original Sin Donor

#15

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,159
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 22:13
For me, leveling should have significant rewards, and should take some time to accomplish. I'm generally a bit dismissive of any game that just throws level after level at you, with little or no real accomplishments per rise. I think that just might be some of the Everquest in me, but it might even go back to games like Wizardry/Bard's Tale/Might and Magic.
Carnifex is offline

Carnifex

SasqWatch

#16

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ormond Beach, FL.
Posts: 10,758
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 22:30
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Anyone else not able to get to the article link? Just says loading..
Same here.
--
The delightful and ever novel pleasure of a useless occupation.
Winterfart is offline

Winterfart

Winterfart's Avatar
Passenger

#17

Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: France
Posts: 998
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 22:36
I still remember me and cousin sitting before the mighty Commodore 64 watching our freshly generated, 1st level fighter trying to deliver successful blows onto the wretched weak Draconian in Champions of Krynn. All we heard were the shiisssh.. shesssh.. sounds of unsuccessful strikes hitting the air and mainly the draconian hitting our poor fighters head.. Then the idiot managed to score a hit and the entire room erupted in our victory cries!! WRAAAAAAAHH! Then the soldier gained a level and he started to hit more often. Aww.. those were the really good times! Then at 5th level our fighter attacked TWICE.. OMG he totally became a destroyer then.
mercy is offline

mercy

mercy's Avatar
SasqWatch

#18

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,365
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)

Default 

March 16th, 2020, 22:53
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Anyone else not able to get to the article link? Just says loading..
None of the videos appear to be loading anymore.
--
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Douglas Adams
There are no facts, only interpretations. Nietzsche
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. Oscar Wilde
Myrthos is offline

Myrthos

Myrthos's Avatar
Cave Canem
Administrator
RPGWatch Team

#19

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 9,637
Mentioned: 117 Post(s)

Default 

March 17th, 2020, 01:03
Should be working again. If not, force reload your page.
--
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Douglas Adams
There are no facts, only interpretations. Nietzsche
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. Oscar Wilde
Myrthos is offline

Myrthos

Myrthos's Avatar
Cave Canem
Administrator
RPGWatch Team

#20

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 9,637
Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
+1:
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » General News - The Problem with Levelling
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:51.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by DragonByte Security (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright by RPGWatch