One of the questions that have popped up over the last few weeks asks how we are going to handle level progression in an RvR-focused game. I have said things like “we aren’t going to have realm abilities or realm ranks” which left some people shaking their heads in confusion and a few, I think, truly wondering if I understand the concept of progression, rewards, longevity, etc. in an MMORPG. What is important for players to understand is that as an old school RPGer, that I truly understand the importance of having systems that reward players as they engage in activities that benefit their realm over the lifetime of their character(s). The other thing to keep in mind is that as an RvR-focused game, there is no PvE leveling so increasing your stats, gaining new skills and abilities have to come from <drum roll please> RvR. Thus, having a complimentary leveling system on top of a standard PvE-based leveling system is not necessary since there is no standard PvE-based leveling system in the game.
Okay, so what does this mean to you? First, it means that every time you do something to help your realm it the game will note it. If you are fighting other players, crafting items, building structures in the frontiers, etc., your ruler will note the actions that you are taking to help your realm. Secondly, some of these actions may have an affect on your physical body and your stats. You may grow stronger, gain more attunement with certain magical forces, and become more proficient in one of your skills/abilities/runes/etc. or actually, the opposite at times. Thirdly, while there is not going to be a traditional leveling curve (Ding Gratz! Level 8 calling; Please deposit coins to add more health, more strength and new abilities!) but rather there will be a system that rewards you based on the combination of the actions you participated in (and more that we will talk about later) that we will substitute for the traditional system. How we are going to take what I have talked above and put it into practice will, I am quite sure, get us some cards and letters but that is for another day. What is also important to note is that we want players to get into RvR right from the beginning of their journey in CU. We want to create a system where a high level character is better than he was, better…faster…stronger… than a low level player but it should also not be a system (if we want to have a truly open world) where the high level player sneezes and the low level player is scattered to the four winds. You must be able to have actual RvR in an RvR-focused game and that means that the cavernous gulf of disparity between characters that can be found in other games must not be part of the system here. Again, being a more experienced player will come with tons of perks, benefits, abilities, etc. but it should not be instant death to see somebody a bit more powerful than you coming at you if we want this game to succeed.
So, hopefully that assuages some of the concerns and, I’m sure, might raise some new ones but as I said right from the get-go, we’re trying to build a great RvR-focused game and we need to be willing to do some things that might/will piss some people off and Monday’s post will be a doozy.
Have a great weekend all!
Next up: Rock, paper, scissor, ‘Natch!