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Michael Rathbun



Joined: 2003.10.28 00:00:00
Messages: 63
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Okay, it's true that there is some basic customizability - but that comes mostly from the base stats. I guess my point is that if your Health/Energy and practices were calculated from your starting attributes after a base rate, it would eliminate the carrying around of a set of INT and CON items. This is not to say that the characters would be any less customized - they would still have their strengths and weaknesses. (they just wouldn't come from items, at least not during level up. Players, of course, would still wear some items to boost their attributes, it's just that these wouldn't be factored in to the health/energy/practices given during level up.)
So, I guess what I don't understand about your comments is how this new system removes customizability. The customizability will remain the same - a warrior would just put his attribute points into CON so he/she would get more health/energy (and the attribute boosts would not be arbitrary, they would be the players choice, i.e. at level 2, Poobah is given 4 attribute points. Poobah thinks about this, and decides that it would be best to put 2 points into Dex, 1 point into INT, and 1 point into Wis). A thief would put points into INT and DEX for more practices, and so on.
The biggest thing this system has going for it is the non-reliance on items during level-ups(they'll still be important later, when a character is not levelling up). Veteran players have whole sets of items, but new players don't have any. Then, after they've played for a while, they find out about these items and realize their character is "ruined". If the items were to not affect the amount gained during level up, they would be encouraged to continue with their character.
Michael Rathbun



Joined: 2003.10.28 00:00:00
Messages: 63
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Good point that attributes and equipment aren't necessarily that ipmortant, although Energy tends to be pretty high on my list, just for moving around an interacting with things in the world. It's true that the current system creates very different characters in terms of unequal... however, I think that characters can still be very customized and be "equal" at least in terms of... hmm.. for lack of a better word, power.
I guess the problem is balancing game balance and customizability. I think under the proposed system customizability would still be there, and balance would be more evident. Your thief may still have a high con and low wis, and those will both affect the character in the same way, except at level up, assuming those come from items, of course.
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
Messages: 2177
Location: Watsonville, CA
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It seems to me that a basic difference in emphasis between the positions in this debate are that Sascha and Michael want to make it easier for characters to develop without help, while Lisa wants it to continue to be difficult. I may be putting words into your mouths! But I think that's where the logic goes.

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Ah, well, upon re-reading the posts, I have to say that I guess that is what I've been trying to say - character development should be, if not easy, then at least... fixable? I have no qualms about needing groups of people for characters to succeed, but I think that the best way to get those groups is to have a more accessible levelling system.

There, that should sufficiently re-complicate the issue! ; )
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
Messages: 2177
Location: Watsonville, CA
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Well, you've got yourself a nice thread going here.

Let me just pipe-in with a couple of notes. Please understand these are just my personal two cents!

1. I'm in general reluctant to endorse permanent attibute enhancements. Ironically enough it was Lisa who helped talk me into supporting the suggestion of tattoos! Anyway I feel it moves things away from the concept of dynamic values which underlies a lot of how we do things now.

2. I'm not following how *permanent* attribute boosts would lead players to feel that their characters are less 'ruined'. Doesn't it simply give them the chance to make permanent mistakes? Kinda seems like six of one half a dozen of the other: once you've made a decision at level you're stuck with it, just as you're stuck with the consequences of wearing or not wearing particular eq.

This is just thinking out loud, I don't have any strong personal position, except to note that in general I'm suspcious of permanent attribute boosts.

--Mark

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Understood, Mark - I won't take anything personally (that's what school is for)

in reply: 1. Okay, I appreciate that. I have no big stake set on attribute boosts; I just thought they'd be a nice thing to add, but if they are unpopular then so be it! As for dynamic values underlying the way we do things, I agree`- that's the issue I'd like to address; why not make health and energy a dynamic calculation like max items/weight carried are? Energy is already dynamic with regard to items (rings of thanks, energy shoes) and that doesn't seem to cause any glitches or lend itself to abuse...
2. Well, I don't think we claimed that they would, and they are a chance to make permanent mistakes - but at least they wouldn't be very serious ones, like levelling without cobalt and losing 30 energy. So then let's do away with the attribute boosts - clearly they aren't wanted. But what about energy/health values?
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well, if we compare your level 11 warrior with 800 energy to another warrior made by a newer or less fortunate player at the same level, even despite the player's best efforts to 'customize' them into a massive-energy powerhouse, they may have no more than 200-300 energy. When this sort of event occurs, that's no longer customization; that's imbalance, and a pretty marked one at that. Why shouldn't two warriors with the same starting attributes and the same level have an equal shot at success? Sure, the one with more equipment will be more powerful - but with dynamic calculation, the other one can someday catch up. 'Customization' becomes a bad thing when it leads to two characters of the same role and level whose players both intend them to be similar end up having a 2:1 or more ratio of relative power.
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
Messages: 2177
Location: Watsonville, CA
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I dunno, glass half empty, glass half full. My way of thinking has always been that eq at level is a chance to gain extra energy. Before now I've never thought of it via the double negative: level without eq and lose energy. Maybe we should just take away the boost from eq and leave characters with their natural attributes?

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
[Email] [WWW]
Michael Rathbun



Joined: 2003.10.28 00:00:00
Messages: 63
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I think this is a good plan; the only problem is then that the balance would be set off - players are used to a certain amount of energy and health now, and if it were removed they wouldn't be able to move around as much, skills would be tougher to use, and combat would be extremely difficult. A possible solution for this is to make health and energy less dependent on your CON scores(maybe INT, for practices, too?). I'm not sure, what do you think?
The problem, otherwise, is that you're left in the same boat as you stated earlier(if players were given points at each level)- characters will "ruin" their character right at character creation in the same way if they don't know what they are doing.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well, I kind of like that idea, but then all warriors would NEED to have 25 con or be worthless (IMO, admittedly) ... maybe if health/energy gain was not a direct proportion of attributes, but instead a flat rate gain plus a moderate bonus for high attributes? This would help to keep one's power in line with their level.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Hey, Mike posted within one minute of me? what a loser! ; )
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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OMG I think that would be awful! It would be dreadful if all characters with the same role at the same level had the same health/energy! There'd be no differentiation between characters: every one would be stamped from the identical cookie-cutter. I hate that idea!

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well, it seems awful as long as you're not the one with 200 energy, right? I'm not saying that all characters should be identical. I'm saying equal.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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But as I've noted I actually am the one with 200 energy, and I think it would be awful.

Anyway I can't follow how there's a difference between identical and equal, when these numbers are central to the way characters are different from one another.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well, suppose that you were a warrior with 200 energy - as I've said elsewhere, a thief can get away with low energy, but a warrior, ranger, healer, or malopath is a different story. So, if you are a warrior who has 200 energy and somone at your level has 800, would you call that customization? it's not as though you exactly chose to be weak; let's say you were wearing the best gear you could get your hands on, but the other character has played a long time and has much more stuff. So in this (very plausible) case, it is not a matter of customizing anything - it's a clear imabalance. Let them have different totals, sure. maybe one of them has more or higher skills - but not a 4:1 ratio of power. That's just not customization.
 
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