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On Progression, difficulty, and differences in playstyle.

#1 Dec 09 2012 at 8:00 PM Rating: Decent
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IKickYoDog wrote:
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.

It's a feature which allows players to make choices about their character. So, it's great. Lots of successful games use similar features, and I think this would be relatively easy to implement for FFXIV, and among their better options. I especially like that it starts you off with several skills to play with, and you have some idea of what their purpose is. This helps direct goal-setting, which is important for player engagement. It also provides plenty of opportunities for horizontal advancement.

Balance is always the tricky thing with systems like these. Scratch that, it's historically been tricky for companies like SE. It's not at all hard to adjust a number in the code to make something that sucks, because it generates a 10% effect, and turn it into a 25% effect.

The main thing you have to figure out is how you're going to let players change their configurations. That too, is a balancing act.

Part of me wonders if game developers are starting to, or will soon, expect people to be playing the game while on voice chat. I keep seeing people talk about this issue with GW2. Would that help, or is it so hectic that even push-to-talk is a hassle?

It might work for some games, some day. But at the moment, it's a disaster. Players don't want to be forced to voice chat. ******** ruin the community. (It's harder to moderate, too.) It probably would have helped party play in GW2. The problem with GW2 is that you rarely form an actual party. You almost never need to. And the dynamic events are free-for-all. Global chat would include about 50 people in your immediate area.

I wouldn't necessarily call GW2 hectic. The combat is fast paced but doesn't really keep you on your toes. It's just enough to keep you on your hotbar. It still requires very little skill-- you just have to pay attention.

The slower leveling makes not just lower lvl content more important, but it also makes lower lvl gear and items more important.

My suggestion would be to give a bonus to those who level multiple classes/jobs, while not entirely obstructing someone who is power leveling a single class to max. For example, how about for every class that you have at every 10 level intervals, your character receives a 5% exp bonus for every other class except the current class?

Your first statement is true of vertical advancement, but doesn't necessarily have to be true of horizontal advancement. To clarify the terms, vertical advancements are statistical bonuses. Once you get to 20, something with 10 has no value. Horizontal advancement is improving flexibility. It's getting a skill or trait that has an irreplaceable value. The problem with most games, FFXI/XIV being no exception, is that they haven't designed the system with enough "width" to allow for much horizontal advancement. Width is the degree to which features fulfill a unique purpose. It's each stat, HP/MP/TP, status effects, movement effects, etc... The more multidimensional the game is, the more opportunities there are for horizontal advancement. But it requires significant creativity to add width to a game. For example, they can add any number of stats, like Popularity, HP Bar #2, Smelliness... but those have to make sense within the game, and fulfill a specific purpose. And that in itself isn't hard to do, but designers get too stuck in the paradigm that we have now, which was designed for table-top games (which have many other opportunities for horizontal advancement and/or a significant roleplay element) and extended to RPGs (which are short-play experiences), but doesn't work well for MMORPGs.

But for your suggestion that follows, I think it's a good one (I suggested the same thing for FFXI). Too much of the gameplay experience was redundant to not give some sort of leveling speed bonus to players who were going through the content a third, fourth, and even tenth time.
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
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