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On Progression, difficulty, and differences in playstyle.

#1 Dec 09 2012 at 12:42 PM Rating: Good
Hyrist wrote:
“I want to feel whole.” A common trend in RPGs, something that we have all taken for granted, is that many primary combat moves and techniques are held back from the player until late levels – leaving a player, regardless of their previous experiences in games, left with a sense of weakness they must rise up form. While originally novel, the average MMO player is no longer one that has never played MMOs before. Typically there may be one or more other games now under their belt. And the concept of starting over from scratch with nothing but mundane abilities (in contrast to the ones granted late game) to keep them occupied as they grind up the levels.

Guild Wars 2 changed the approach. The primary combat skills and combinations are available almost immediately (within the first 9 levels or so). Secondary skills, and traits, however, were granted gradually. This gave the player the feeling of empowerment and exploration at the start, and allowed the concept of progression to be established through refinement, rather than through level-gating abilities.
After pondering over the systems I believe this right now to be the best answer to the progression question – but do not think it can be implemented at this stage with A Realm Reborn.

There is, however, and alternate route and it is inspired from FFXI: The Merit System. The merit system would allow players to progress quickly up the levels required for them to have a full starter set of abilities, but the Merits itself can provide long term goals of refinement of these abilities. Between the Job Quests and the Merit system, there will be plenty of special access abilities those who want to feel the long term progression of the game to experience, but without the sacrifice of the base level of empowerment many players want to experience early in.

I was thinking on this last night and was wondering what y'all would think of this:

What if you got all WS's and abilities at level one, but they were virtually useless. Through leveling, you would basically get "merit points" that you could use to upgrade your character. For WS's, points could be used to add damage, accuracy, critical chance, and some could add status enhacements/effects. Such effects could be things like poison, stun chance, temporary lower def, etc. Abilities could have their effects enhanced, like increased enmity from Provoke, longer stealth time from Invisible, greater accuracy gain from something like Sharpshoot. Casting time could be reduced and duration could be increased also. You could also use the points to build up specific attributes, such as STR, MND, etc.

I thought this could be potentially awesome. On one hand, if I want to go full-on DD I can put points strictly into one WS and max it out, with adds to STR and DEX and max any DD abilities I wanted. This would give me tons of damage potential, but I might be suscewptible to attacks (low eva or def maybe) and my pool of WS's that actually do real damage would be constricted, by my own choices. If SE puts in a really good Skillchain system, then I could raise a few more WS's more evenly. If I don't want to be a one-hit powerhouse that gets one-shotted then I can create a more balance setup. Gear wouldn't necessarily need to change, as it would only build upon whatever stats your character already has. An all-STR and little/no-DEF DD could have a little more survivability if he had enough DEF added through his gear.

I think this would give everyone the most flexibility in creating their characters and would produce some really unique builds, since everyone is given the same stuff up front and it's up to you to build that stuff up on your own. Yes, we would do what all MMO players eventually do and start figuring out the "cookie-cutter" builds. Could be cool to be able to get a group of friends together and create some really specialized characters though.

Edited, Dec 9th 2012 2:00pm by IKickYoDog
Our team is like a flock of woodpeckers in a petrified forest. We just need to keep working and keep an eye open for opportunity.

Toofar - Asura (Formerly of Lakshmi (Garuda)) - WHM BLM SMN
Rafoot - Asura (Formerly of Lakshmi (Garuda)) - THF SAM BRD
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