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 Post subject: Stop the linear leveling
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:57 am 
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This is the worst trend of all: Linear leveling.

If these are real worlds, make them real. Real maps, real cities, real zones. Take this cue from EQ1.

There maybe a high level dungeon in a mid level zone or remember the roaming Brownies in LFay. Make the world adventurous not some safe for your level grind fest. It was hard just to get to Temple of Veeshan AND IT SHOULD BE. This is where EQ1 failed because they made it easier and more linear when the latest expansions came out after Velious.

Have the cities as safe hubs for exploration expand out to wilderness like real life.

This was the best achievement of Everquest 1 and it is simply lacking in all other games.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:25 am 
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I agree, sometimes just getting to the dungeon you wanted to explore (commit genocide on) was more difficult than the dungeon itself.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:26 am 
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Nothing is more fun than wandering around and being 1 shotted by some mob 20 levels higher than you.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:09 am 
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I think you are looking at it the wrong way Jake. Watching out for a mob that can one shot you is no different than say, staying away from the edge of a cliff from which falling would kill you. In pretty much every case the idea is to be on alert at all times in dangerous new places. If you were watching for these high level mobs in new zones you could 99% of the time avoid them and still get to your destination. I can't think of any case where they just dropped mobs of that strength from the sky without warning. Non-linear zone progression made every trip to a new location more exhilarating.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:29 am 
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Not sure I'm getting the difference.

EQ, WOW and WAR all had linear zone progression. The biggest difference was that EQ didn't actually tell you where the next zone was. I mean, you could log into WOW and make way to the nearest higher level zone and die if you wanted to. Even WAR let you into T4 at low level if you could actually get to the gate on foot.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:45 am 
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My impression was that EQ mixed in a few more surprises into zones that kept you on your toes where say I never felt threatened in WoW. If I was in a zone for 20-25 then I was pretty much guaranteed to only find mobs of that level while roaming around.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:12 am 
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The novelty may make it more 'exciting' the first time but that quickly becomes annoying. On the level 10 beach in aion theres a lvl 20 elite crab that wanders around and will most likely aggro and kill you at some point with really no chance to get away. Yay fun.

If you wanna keep people on their toes fine, but do it some way other than a one shotting mob. I'd much rather be kept on my toes aion abyss style, with the threat of other players killing me at any moment - at least thats a winnable encounter.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am 
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How's that a more winnable encounter? Can't a player one shot you with enough of a level difference?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:28 am 
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If its a ganker, i've yet to be one shotted, but its certainly a better dynamic than tossing in unbeatable mobs.

Just seems like old EQ players are deluded into thinking the many many shortcomings of that terrible games were good things.. Apparently you guys find annoyance and excitement synonymous :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:50 am 
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To be fair, your annoyance coping levels are well below the global mean. I rank you past 3 STDVs.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:06 pm 
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Makes sense, the more awesome you are the harder it is to cope with the plebians. I am certainly past 3 STDVS above the awesomeness mean.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:12 pm 
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you make and excellent case study in how statistics can be used to prove anything you damn well please. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Of course I do - because I piss excellence.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:59 pm 
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On the other hand, sending unbeatable mobs around to surprise the inattentive should be good training for later, when unbeatable players will surprise the inattentive. All the whining about PvP in WOW probably has something to do with players being coddled by PvE, so of course they are surprised and upset when the game actually does something that doesn't coddle them.

That giant crab never did get me. I graduated from the School of Lockjaw. That punk crab has nothing on the true master of surprise ganking. A giant, obvious crab? Pfft. Try a slightly bigger alligator in a sea of identical looking alligators that agros from out of the water where you can't even see him.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:42 pm 
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I don't take Zero's comments having much to do with mobs that one shot you.

While I have no problem with them because like Slamz, Lockjaw, random Giants and the fucking random hidden dwarf in the middle of no where ready to jack you up is what we learned on. If you played an Ogre or Troll then those random elements are a mark of a good game.

I take what Zero is saying is zones need random elements. Going to barrens from Orgimar means traveling past a lvl 50 camp or dungeon as well as the lvl 14 mobs across the road. Zones like the Ferrot are zones that cover mobs from 1 to 50. You have to learn how to travel other wise there is a price.

Removing the linear aspects of a game makes exploration neccessary. With out praticed exploration there are risk. With out risk it isn't any fun.

I understand what Jake is saying. Mobs that one shot are a bummer. Yea it is. That is what will make you come back and play the game. Games that don't have danger are boring. Jake may find it a bummer but he will play that kind of game longer then the game that coddles its players.

I am not saying you be stupid about it but you must punish soft players. Again 1 Shot mobs is a very small part of what Zero is talking about but Zero makes a great point on the entire linear play style. It is boring.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:33 pm 
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I hate linear systems and agree stuff should be more mixed and natural feeling. Just like Eye of the Beholder or Neverwinter Nights. If you are foolish enter the sewers under the city, you should be ready for some very nasty things. Good games usually accomplish this with foreshadowing, ambeiance and whatnot. There are several ways to warn players and give them tips they should probably not be here.

I do have a problem with some random ass crab sneaking up on me with no audio que's. How would a 10 ton crab not make some kinda of fucking noise walking.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:47 pm 
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Diggles wrote:

There are several ways to warn players and give them tips they should probably not be here.


How about the good ole fashion method of conning? Put your cursor over a mob and make sure you won't get your ass kicked.

I haven't conned a mob in years.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:08 pm 
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You have, but they made it so easy that you don't really notice doing it anymore.

In EQ, "con" really just told you its level relative to your own.

In newer games, they bypass this by simply showing you its level. Sometimes they still color the name but mostly you just need to look at the level to understand how it cons to you.

And lest we forget, EQs conning system was pretty much crap anyway. Sand giants would still kick my ass long after the con system told me they should be easy. Actually I think most things kicked my ass because EQ warriors couldn't solo worth a poop.



Incidentally, Aion made a slight change to the conning system. When you click a target you see:
* Its level (which is most of what you need to know)
* How many "gold arrows" it is. 1 = meant for solo, 2 = meant for group, 3 = meant for raid
* How many "red dots" it has. 1 = easier than normal, 2 = normal, 3-6 = harder than normal

e.g., a 1 arrow, 2 dot mob is easily soloable if it's around your level. 1 arrow, 5 dot mobs are soloable but more difficult. A 2 arrow, 2 dot mob your level means you should really have at least a group of 3 people. 2 arrows and 5 dots means you should probably have a good group or be higher level than it.


Although, IMO, if we were making this into a proper "roleplaying game", you would never know how hard a particular type of creature was until you attacked one or at least saw someone else fight it. When Jim the Brave Warrior steps forth and immediately get chopped in half, you know it's strong.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Vllad wrote:
Diggles wrote:

There are several ways to warn players and give them tips they should probably not be here.


How about the good ole fashion method of conning? Put your cursor over a mob and make sure you won't get your ass kicked.

I haven't conned a mob in years.


Vllad


I dont think there should be levels shown or anything remotely close to con. I think it should be common sense and much ability vs counter.

Ie...if I'm attacking a red dragon, they're kinda known to breath fire, so if I dont bring tools to counter this, I'm gunna get my ass handed to me.

If I'm going to fight a cyclops, hes probably going to throw boulders at me, so I better bring something to counter that.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:25 am 
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Well as I understand it, it is very hard to determine the level of a player in Aion. That at least is a step in the right direction.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:57 am 
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Doh I hit the edit button on your post on accident Slamz. I think that's the original text. Anyhow back to my post.


Quote:
That giant crab never did get me. I graduated from the School of Lockjaw.


And that's the point I've been trying to make in a nutshell. MMOGs have the ability to really set any baseline they want for how you contextualize what you experience. The unexpected lockjaw encounter put you on alert. It was good training for the unexpected pvp encounter but more than that it made you not take anything for granted. Most of the games we play these days have very predictable boundaries and these make the game seem safe by comparison.

If you want your gaming experience to have some emotional return on your investment then they need to encompass as much of the range of possibility that the real world possesses and that includes getting one shotted by shit once in a while.

Part of the sense of wonderment that EQ possessed was engendered by the understanding that 'anything' might happen or that you had no frame of reference for what might be possible in that virtual world. This is most important in the early stages of the game. Am I saying you need this in every game to appreciate a good game? No, but persistent worlds ought to have some random elements that aren't entirely player driven. The reason for this is that players are perhaps too sporadic to have a significant impact. If the random elements are so random that there's no anticipation or too long a period transpires before the element surfaces, then that can have the same net effect as those elements that are too predictable, i.e. a general apathy towards random encounters.

I suppose I contradict myself. I'm not really talking about random elements at all. Truly random events aren't experiences that let you learn from and adapt to. I guess what we're talking about is some mixing up of the leveling progression. Instead of feeding you content in a serial progression such that one area sets you up for the next area without much thought, it might be nice to be surprised once in a while like a scary movie sets a pattern and then switches tracks to give you a good scare.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:43 am 
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Hoofhurr wrote:
Well as I understand it, it is very hard to determine the level of a player in Aion. That at least is a step in the right direction.


And you can reskin your equipment too so in theory you could probably hide your class..


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:10 pm 
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I liked the conning system in EQ. You got someone to attack it and see how hard it hits.

Then you rez him.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:15 pm 
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Veraphim wrote:
I liked the conning system in EQ. You got someone to attack it and see how hard it hits.

Then you rez him.


...Or drag him away from the cave entrance and then rez him.

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