No level cap

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RangerThanatos
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Re: No level cap

Post by RangerThanatos » April 17th, 2012, 9:18 pm

No level cap or atleast a very high one like the first wasteland.

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Re: No level cap

Post by KayAU » April 19th, 2012, 11:06 am

I completely agree with the original poster. As I wrote to inXile earlier: hitting a level cap is like taking a pay cut because you have accomplished too much. It's neither fair nor fun. I don't mind if there's a finite amount of XP available, as it is in the Gothic (all three of them)/Risen games, but at no point should the player stop getting XP just because he has hit an artificial limit.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Game_Exile » April 19th, 2012, 8:23 pm

KayAU wrote:hitting a level cap is like taking a pay cut because you have accomplished too much.
How have you accomplished anything by level grinding in an RPG?
KayAU wrote:I don't mind if there's a finite amount of XP available
Good, because the devs should design the game so that they decide exactly when you stop getting XP. In fact, the entire XP mechanic needs to be reworked. Why should shooting aliens in the head make you a better computer hacker? I wish they would design some mechanics that make you think about what you're doing and plan ahead... :( .
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Re: No level cap

Post by KayAU » April 19th, 2012, 11:13 pm

Game_Exile wrote:
KayAU wrote:hitting a level cap is like taking a pay cut because you have accomplished too much.
How have you accomplished anything by level grinding in an RPG?
I'm not talking about "level grinding". I'm talking about doing quests and fighting baddies. Within the framework of a computer role-playing game, these are accomplishments, and the primary reward mechanism is normally that your character(s) become more experienced and capable. When you hit a level cap, this reward mechanism is taken away, and this naturally reduces the enjoyment you get from doing stuff.

I'm the kind of player who likes to do as much as possible, finding and doing as many quests as possible, seeking out the strongest foes and finding all the best treasure. Unfortunately, in some games with level caps, this means I will max out my character before the end, reducing my enjoyment of the end game. I hardly ever do any grinding, and my favorite games don't really support it anyway.

That being said, if it was possible to grind, and someone wanted to do this, who would I be to tell them how to enjoy their game? While it is not enjoyable to me, I see no reason why others should be prevented from it. Grinding isn't immoral.
Game_Exile wrote:Good, because the devs should design the game so that they decide exactly when you stop getting XP. In fact, the entire XP mechanic needs to be reworked. Why should shooting aliens in the head make you a better computer hacker? I wish they would design some mechanics that make you think about what you're doing and plan ahead... :( .
I actually think the system currently used in most CRPGs works all right. Doing things earns you experience, which again makes your character more capable. It kind of makes sense, and I enjoy it. Another thing which I find enjoyable, is when doing certain things earns you related stat points. For example in Gothic 3, you could improve your hunting skills by doing hunting-related quests.

One game series which has tried do get rid of the XP mechanism, is TES. Unfortunately, I think this has been rather unsuccessful, as the player is strongly incentivized to act "out of character", e.g. jumping everywhere and throwing fireballs at harmless pieces of countryside. I'm not principally opposed to new solutions, but I think that if they are to replace the current system, which is popular and works reasonably well, it should be with a system that works better.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Game_Exile » April 21st, 2012, 8:19 pm

KayAU wrote: I'm not talking about "level grinding". I'm talking about doing quests and fighting baddies. Within the framework of a computer role-playing game, these are accomplishments, and the primary reward mechanism is normally that your character(s) become more experienced and capable. When you hit a level cap, this reward mechanism is taken away, and this naturally reduces the enjoyment you get from doing stuff.
Ideally, the "reward mechanism" for having your character do things would be simply to get things done. Your "reason" for doing quests should be as close as possible to your characters' "reasons" for doing quests. Long term planning in the game should be shifted away from the character stats and, instead, into the game "world" and the ways players interact with it. RPGs should be about exploring and learning about a complex game world which works in complex ways.

This game isn't a pen-and-paper rule system that needs to fit as many different worlds and adventures as a "dungeon keeper" can imagine. There is no "dungeon keeper", and there is only one world and adventure in a video game RPG. The only reason D&D had those bloated character stat rules in the first place is because people naturally want to have complex rules, and they needed to have them somewhere. And in a video game RPG that "somewhere" should be in the game "world" and in the ways the player directly interacts with the game world. I know it would be asking a lot for the devs to make too many innovations, but every game should at least be moving in this direction.
KayAU wrote: That being said, if it was possible to grind, and someone wanted to do this, who would I be to tell them how to enjoy their game? While it is not enjoyable to me, I see no reason why others should be prevented from it. Grinding isn't immoral.
If you can level grind, then everyone will level grind every time it removes a challenging obstacle. It is the mentally most efficient, i.e. simplest, way to win the game. If you know there is a simpler and safer way to do something, then purposely doing things in a more complicated and dangerous way would require either extreme self discipline with respect to challenge or a nihilistic/suicidal instinct. Basically, you have to not care at all about reaching your goals (and this is what always happens in games that are not challenging enough). Grinding is immoral in the most extreme sense. It is more evil than evil itself, if you get my drift.

Now there are two ways you can get rid of level grinding:
1) Make it so that there is little time for side quests. Or alternatively,
2) Make it so that it so that every quest is challenging no matter what your character's stats.
Both "solutions" are problematic if you don't balance the game very carefully. Basically, you want to make it so that the entire length of the game is challenging in order for players to get the "good" ending. If they play badly, they should get a "bad" ending. If you want to understand my views more deeply, see my post on this page.
Last edited by Game_Exile on April 22nd, 2012, 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No level cap

Post by Ryzak » April 22nd, 2012, 1:49 am

I'm actually very much in favor of a level cap - it encourages choice, which is an important part of what makes an RPG, an RPG. I don't have a particular preference for what that level cap *is*, but there should never be a point where you level so far that all challenge disappears in the game.
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Re: No level cap

Post by GSoda » April 22nd, 2012, 3:29 am

Just don't handle it like Bethesda does where at the end of all their games everyone is a demi-god, master of all trades and with 10/10s in every stat.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Balls Out 3 » April 22nd, 2012, 7:08 am

Game_Exile wrote:The only reason D&D had those bloated character stat rules in the first place is because people naturally want to have complex rules, and they needed to have them somewhere.
I can't speak for everyone, but I know I wouldn't want complexity for complexity's sake, but rather to have a way to define my character in the game world that isn't subjective. First edition D&D had few rules, and this lead to people asking questions like "What if my character wants to do X or Y?. How is it accounted for?" Some roleplayers don't care about these type of mechanics and just wing it, and that's fine, but a lot of people like having them. Second edition expanded greatly on mechanics. 3.5 simplified and streamlined these rulesets, and so on.
Game_Exile wrote:And in a video game RPG that "somewhere" should be in the game "world" and in the ways the player directly interacts with the game world.
Isn't that precisely what character stats and skills do? If you can't define your character in terms of game mechanics, how does he interact with the game world? If he wants to lift a boulder, how do I know if he's strong enough? Your suggestions remind me more of Skyrim than a 90's style isometric CRPG.
Game_Exile wrote:If you can level grind, then everyone will level grind every time it removes a challenging obstacle...Grinding is immoral in the most extreme sense. It is more evil than evil itself, if you get my drift.
No, not everyone will level grind once they hit a difficult obstacle. I just go and do something else and come back later. Grinding is evil and immoral? C'mon, dude. It's just a video game. You don't have to grind if you don't want to, as long as the game is designed well. I literally don't recall the last game I played where I purposely grinded, unless it was an MMO I played many years ago.

You've made proposals in other threads for complex systems in certain areas, yet you speak against them when applied to character levelling. It just seems to me that you don't like those systems, and I don't yet see why.

edit reason: typo
Last edited by Balls Out 3 on April 22nd, 2012, 9:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Azriel » April 22nd, 2012, 7:15 am

Ryzak wrote:I'm actually very much in favor of a level cap - it encourages choice, which is an important part of what makes an RPG, an RPG. I don't have a particular preference for what that level cap *is*, but there should never be a point where you level so far that all challenge disappears in the game.

I don't think it encourages choice, I just feel its an artificial barrier in place that suddenly freezes your character to a specific level. One of the biggest motivators is to reach that next level, to get a more powerful or new ability. When I reach it and can't go no further. The game stops being as fun, and I usually lose interest after a while. Sometimes I keep playing if the story/setting is really good, but the fights usually get boring because there is nothing new added. I really don't see what the problem is, the game already encourages choice by being an RPG, you don't need a forced limit to do it. It is that same logic I hate when people who like time quest, saying it puts tension in the game, not for me, it just pisses me off that I have to run through a game and not have time to properly explore it. Anyway, I am in the no level cap group.

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Re: No level cap

Post by FeelTheRads » April 22nd, 2012, 7:29 am

I don't think it encourages choice, I just feel its an artificial barrier in place that suddenly freezes your character to a specific level.
So it's better to have 4 identical characters? What's the point of choosing if you can get everything anyway? What's the point of the party?
The best way is to have a level cap if there are respawnable enemies because it will only lead to grinding, but have it be unattainable if you play the game normally. That way you don't hit any artificial barrier and you still have choices.
Fallout 1 for example had a quite low level cap. But, in all the times I've played I never reached it. So, for example, I never had all the perks.

Or, alternatively, it should be very difficult to get all the abilities and/or max the skills. If you get everything there's to get and then just get levels for the sake of getting levels, what's the point? For the "artificial" feeling of getting levels?

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Re: No level cap

Post by KayAU » April 22nd, 2012, 9:20 am

I disagree with the notion that not having a level cap somehow removes choice in how you build your character. I just finished replaying Risen, which as far as I know doesn't have a level cap. It does, however, have a limited amount of XP you can earn, and even though I did pretty much everything (save for "farming" the settlements for XP, which I never do), there where skills I wanted but had to choose away, because there were others I needed more. Even in a game with unlimited XP, there will be the choice of which order you acquire skills. With a sufficiently large and expensive selection of skills, there will be just as much choice with or without a level cap.
Game_Exile wrote:Ideally, the "reward mechanism" for having your character do things would be simply to get things done. Your "reason" for doing quests should be as close as possible to your characters' "reasons" for doing quests. Long term planning in the game should be shifted away from the character stat and, instead, into the game "world" and the ways players interact it. RPGs should be about exploring and learning about a complex game world which works in complex ways.
If the game world results of your actions are sufficient reward, that's great, but I don't think many games today accomplish this, and in any case, I don't see why you couldn't have both rewards.
Game_Exile wrote:If you can level grind, then everyone will level grind every time it removes a challenging obstacle. It is the mentally most efficient, i.e. simplest, way to win the game. If you know there is a simpler and safer way to do something, then purposely doing things in a more complicated and dangerous way would require either extreme self discipline with respect to challenge or a nihilistic/suicidal instinct.
You have a point, and I agree with you to some extent. However, I think grinding is the enemy here, and I don't think a level cap really is part of a solution. I also think that there are other, and far better, ways to combat grinding than the two you listed. Basically, I think what you want to do is make grinding less feasible as a solution, by getting rid of unlimited XP, and/or by balancing XP rewards differently. For example, you could make it so that only quests or challenging enemies, both of which are fun to tackle, yield significant XP. Scaling things, Oblivion-style, is a horrible solution, and time limits are a mixed bag. Personally, I don't like them, but others might feel differently.

To sum up my opinion: level caps - not fun, and don't accomplish anything which can't be accomplished better in other ways.

Kay

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Re: No level cap

Post by FeelTheRads » April 22nd, 2012, 9:27 am

Limited experience is not the same as level cap? I don't get it. If the character could still grow but there's no place to get experience from... what's the difference? Just because you have some illusion that you character is not limited? It still is.. but indirectly.
With a sufficiently large and expensive selection of skills, there will be just as much choice with or without a level cap.
Yeah, as I said in my previous post that would probably be a viable alternative.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Phaederuss » April 22nd, 2012, 12:17 pm

A level cap is objectively better gameplay wise and design wise than having no level cap. Honestly I've never heard of this notion of playing the game just to level up. I mean if that's your only motivation then you might as well not play at all in my opinion.

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Re: No level cap

Post by oneyedjohn » April 22nd, 2012, 3:53 pm

I'm not against an level cap. but if there is one, make it REALLY HARD to get to it.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Azriel » April 22nd, 2012, 7:50 pm

Phaederuss wrote:A level cap is objectively better gameplay wise and design wise than having no level cap. Honestly I've never heard of this notion of playing the game just to level up. I mean if that's your only motivation then you might as well not play at all in my opinion.

Because nobody said that. Nobody plays JUST to level up, BUT leveling up IS one of the many reasons why people enjoy rpg's. Putting a cap on is silly, if people want to grind and keep leveling in THEIR game, why stop them? Meh, maybe they can put in an option setting in to turn on/off level caps.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Phaederuss » April 22nd, 2012, 8:21 pm

"One of the biggest motivators is to reach that next level, to get a more powerful or new ability. "

This is the wrong reason to play an RPG I think. If you just want omgzzzzz new awesommeeesss powersazzzz gtfo honestly.

Explain why it's silly to put on a level cap for any other reason than that stated in the quote above.

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Re: No level cap

Post by Drool » April 22nd, 2012, 9:39 pm

FeelTheRads wrote:So it's better to have 4 identical characters? What's the point of choosing if you can get everything anyway? What's the point of the party?
That only happens with point-buy attributes and skill points every level. With randomly generated attributes, skill increase through use, and XP being separate from skill progression, you won't end up with four clones.
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Re: No level cap

Post by KayAU » April 22nd, 2012, 11:15 pm

FeelTheRads wrote:Limited experience is not the same as level cap? I don't get it. If the character could still grow but there's no place to get experience from... what's the difference? Just because you have some illusion that you character is not limited? It still is.. but indirectly.
I will explain then: :)
Level cap - at some point your character will no longer gain experience for doing stuff.
Limited experience - your character always gains experience for doing stuff, until he runs out of stuff to do.

I'm not concerned with creating any illusions that the characters are neither unlimited nor limited in potential. I just think that doing stuff should make your character more experienced and capable througout the entire game, as this is one of the things I find enjoyable in RPGs.

Kay

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Re: No level cap

Post by KeltecRFB » April 23rd, 2012, 11:07 am

/signed

I understand the company needs to make money but do that through continuous updates to the game and allow us to increase in level. Perhaps in addition, make the game dynamic and it auto adjusts to our level. I guess Fallout New Vegas kind of does this now?

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Re: No level cap

Post by Bad Santa » April 24th, 2012, 5:28 pm

infestor wrote:how would that work if enemies' level do not upscale? you could probably take out the end boss with one punch if you are lvl 183 :)

Yeah well if you haven't won by then...

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