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Poll: Game Progression - Which do you prefer? (10 votes)
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Game Progression - Stats vs. Upgrades/Unlockables (Forums : Development Banter : Game Progression - Stats vs. Upgrades/Unlockables) Locked
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lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 19 2013, 1:50pm Anchor

To ellaborate on the thread title, I want to discuss the pros and cons of the different types of game progression. There are games that focus solely on the RPGish features, where your abilities/armies/equipment/etc get stronger over time. There are other games that focus soley on acheiving high stats, competing with other players for spots on the leaderboard. Now, the ideal scenario is a healthy mix of both, but this causes problems in multiplayer games with a small user base. IE when the 'high level' player faces off against a new player, its no fun for either of them. This is the issue I want to discuss, and hopefully find a solution to.

Keep in mind that I'm dealing specifically with multiplayer mobile games, but I'm going to keep it generalized for the sake of discussion.

One solution is to have a single player mode/campaign where there is an rpg type progression, but then in multiplayer all players have access to the highest level abilities/armies/equipment/etc. You could of course give the option to play games with only a subset of the abilities/armies/equipment/etc, in order to provide more diverse gameplay. The problem with this solution is that it somewhat nullifies the purpose of the single player campaign.

Another solution is to simply scale down the higher player to have the same abilities/armies/equipment/etc as the lower player. The problem with this is the higher player might get annoyed at never being able to use his new shiny abilities/armies/equipment/etc in multiplayer because there are so few high level players.

To summarize, my hope is to come up with a design for a multiplayer game where there is enough progression/rpg to keep players in the game, while maintaining an enjoyable experience for newer players (ie not getting stomped by high level players). In conjunction, as it is a multiplayer game there should be leaderboards that all players could compete for the top spots.

For added interested, I'm including a poll to see which type of progression this community prefers.

Delta_17
Delta_17 @shadowflar3 try getting more logos than me! ha!
Aug 19 2013, 1:56pm Anchor

Level up this way its not like king of the hill with a struggle to the top and never being able to get there Most people would rather work there way up in levels on their own. (then again most games on moddb dont make it so far in multiplayer.)

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lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 19 2013, 3:33pm Anchor

I don't think its accurate for u to say most people. 6.5 million people are playing dota2 (recently released), and it ihas no RPG progression from game to game. Its all about PvP and getting good stats.

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Delta_17
Delta_17 @shadowflar3 try getting more logos than me! ha!
Aug 19 2013, 3:43pm Anchor

Runescape alone has more plus wow plus like 10 more games with atleast half of dota.

and like i said i doubt your game will get far enough for a million people to play.

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Delta_17/Striker Clone Commando Sniper

lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 19 2013, 4:32pm Anchor

Yes, I understand. And yes I do not expect to get a million players hence the low player base statement in the original post. I wasn't asking why u think RPG is better, please stay on topic.

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Delta_17
Delta_17 @shadowflar3 try getting more logos than me! ha!
Aug 19 2013, 4:33pm Anchor

Levels.

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Delta_17/Striker Clone Commando Sniper

Aug 19 2013, 5:56pm Anchor

I think unlockables/upgrades get people to keep playing even if they are doing the same thing.

lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 19 2013, 6:34pm Anchor

Yea, I agree. The discussion is about how to effectively do both.

Edited by: lancer611

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Aug 20 2013, 9:36am Anchor

I definitely think that levels would be a good solution. It allows for progression and encourages you to keep playing

Delta_17
Delta_17 @shadowflar3 try getting more logos than me! ha!
Aug 20 2013, 9:48am Anchor

lancer if you want to contact me pm me when were both online i can send you a link and we can discuss this :eyebrow:

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Delta_17/Striker Clone Commando Sniper

Aug 20 2013, 9:56am Anchor

Why not make this thread about your game and your situation instead of speaking on general level? I have hard time trying to see this clearly. Are you making both SP and MP with SP progression affecting MP? Or is this just MMORPG where you want some kind of quest /level progression? Is this solely about end-game (max level / progression) balance newcomers vs experienced players?

I think when you make a multiplayer game the "balance" issues will be there and getting your butt kicked, improving and being able to take your revenge one day is one of the feasible ways to drive people to play more. You can try to balance them by creating matchmaking system that pits the players according their skill rank with scenarios like 1 vs 2 and 2 vs 3.

Delta_17
Delta_17 @shadowflar3 try getting more logos than me! ha!
Aug 20 2013, 10:44am Anchor
shadowflar3 wrote:Why not make this thread about your game and your situation instead of speaking on general level? I have hard time trying to see this clearly. Are you making both SP and MP with SP progression affecting MP? Or is this just MMORPG where you want some kind of quest /level progression? Is this solely about end-game (max level / progression) balance newcomers vs experienced players?

I think when you make a multiplayer game the "balance" issues will be there and getting your butt kicked, improving and being able to take your revenge one day is one of the feasible ways to drive people to play more. You can try to balance them by creating matchmaking system that pits the players according their skill rank with scenarios like 1 vs 2 and 2 vs 3.


True Dat.

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Delta_17/Striker Clone Commando Sniper

lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 20 2013, 1:32pm Anchor
Delta_17 wrote:Levels.

twigthe1st wrote:I definitely think that levels would be a good solution. It allows for progression and encourages you to keep playing

Levels is the easy way out. I'm hoping to come up with something not so overdone.

shadowflar3 wrote:both SP and MP with SP progression affecting MP. balance newcomers vs experienced players

This. Since I don't expect a large player base, I want all players to be on somewhat equal footing.

We already have matchmaking planned, but again, with a small player base there will either be extremely long waits for games, or players will have to be put in unequal games to lessen the wait times.

Another idea I had was to go TF2 style, and have all abilities/armies/equipment/etc upgrades give both benefitial and negative qualities. Ie an item which changes the soldier from having a 1h sword and shield, to just a 2h sword. He'll do more damage, but be less durable.

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Aug 20 2013, 8:08pm Anchor

I think WoW is an excellent example to look at.

Lets take a look at its PvE aspect first. It has the standard stat leveling system which gives you the sense of slow, consistent progress. It also has unlockable abilities and talents which gives the player a more satisfying chunk of large progression. It also has equipment gathering which represents a good mix of both.

Now look at its pvp arena system. The thing with any PvP is that you want it to be skill based but you still want the same kinds of progression types (small/consistent, large/infrequent, and a middle ground). The way they achieve this is with ranking systems(consistent), vanity items and titles(infrequent), and PvP specific equipment(mid). They have different rank requirements for using pvp equipment.

I don't think you want to entirely eliminate one of the progression types. You want to find out how you want to tweak each one and evaluate what the progression feels like for the player.

lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 20 2013, 10:01pm Anchor

I dont have the money, time, or experience to build a WoW clone. Nor would I want to. Though I do agree with your last statement, which is basically what I said in the first post.

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Aug 21 2013, 2:25am This post has been deleted.
Aug 21 2013, 9:02am Anchor

Stats, score and leaderboards are not progression, they are competitive natured metadata about the player's performance. So it's not really a vs thread and the poll is misleading in addition to being confusing.
And no, an online game is not required to have a leaderboard because who cares about being the fourteen thousandth at something.

lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 21 2013, 10:56am Anchor
somonels wrote:Stats, score and leaderboards are not progression, they are competitive natured metadata about the player's performance. So it's not really a vs thread and the poll is misleading in addition to being confusing.
And no, an online game is not required to have a leaderboard because who cares about being the fourteen thousandth at something.

Touche, I should have put rpg vs competitive/pvp, though as stated in the original post the poll was not the intended focus. I guess my original post wasn't very clear though, as most ppl haven't said anything about what I was hoping to discuss.

Edited by: lancer611

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Aug 21 2013, 10:31pm Anchor
somonels wrote:Stats, score and leaderboards are not progression, they are competitive natured metadata about the player's performance. So it's not really a vs thread and the poll is misleading in addition to being confusing.
And no, an online game is not required to have a leaderboard because who cares about being the fourteen thousandth at something.

I would disagree with you on that. There is a definite feeling of becoming a better/more skilled player through increasing competitive rankings.

I never suggested or assumed you were making a WoW clone, Lancer. It was an analysis on how another game handles its progression. You could look at other examples to help brainstorm.

League of Legends / Dota
-In-Game PvP stat, level, and equipment progression that resets with every new session. (Very fast progression)
-Persistent level, talent, rune system (summoner). (Mid progression)
-Has rankings and leader board systems. (Slow progression)

Delta_17
Delta_17 @shadowflar3 try getting more logos than me! ha!
Aug 22 2013, 11:09am Anchor
brokenknight wrote:
somonels wrote:Stats, score and leaderboards are not progression, they are competitive natured metadata about the player's performance. So it's not really a vs thread and the poll is misleading in addition to being confusing.
And no, an online game is not required to have a leaderboard because who cares about being the fourteen thousandth at something.

I would disagree with you on that. There is a definite feeling of becoming a better/more skilled player through increasing competitive rankings.

I never suggested or assumed you were making a WoW clone, Lancer. It was an analysis on how another game handles its progression. You could look at other examples to help brainstorm.

League of Legends / Dota
-In-Game PvP stat, level, and equipment progression that resets with every new session. (Very fast progression)
-Persistent level, talent, rune system (summoner). (Mid progression)
-Has rankings and leader board systems. (Slow progression)


What He just said.

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Delta_17/Striker Clone Commando Sniper

lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 22 2013, 2:17pm Anchor
brokenknight wrote:
League of Legends / Dota
-In-Game PvP stat, level, and equipment progression that resets with every new session. (Very fast progression)
-Persistent level, talent, rune system (summoner). (Mid progression)
-Has rankings and leader board systems. (Slow progression)

Thats a good way of looking at it, thanks. We're definitely going to have the first part (except strategy game style, upgrading units/buildings). The second part is whats up in the air. Currently we're thinking about offering ways to customize your units/armies via badges that offer both beneficial and negative qualities (ie 1h sword + shield to 2h sword, more dmg but less durability). The point of this is to make sure all players are on roughly equal footing, while still giving them something substantial to work for. The third part we are also definitely going to have.

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Aug 22 2013, 4:05pm Anchor

This would really only work for sandbox games, and would probably be a pain to implement, but ideally, you'd want to let the player set their own goals and progress towards those, rather than creating an arbitrary "progression" that everyone has to follow.

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lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 22 2013, 8:48pm Anchor

Well this is a no budget game, and only my second one, so I still want to keep it pretty simple. Plus I"m not really interested in making a sandbox game.

--

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

Aug 22 2013, 9:58pm Anchor

I view an arbitrarily set path of 'progression' to be undesirable. For non-sandbox games, the best I can suggest is allowing people to mix and match gear/abilities/both until their avatar plays exactly the way they want it to. If that's still too complex then I have nothing of use to you.

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lancer611
lancer611 Professional Software Developer
Aug 23 2013, 3:27pm Anchor
TerranAmbassador wrote:allowing people to mix and match gear/abilities/both until their avatar plays exactly the way they want it to

That basically what I'm planning on doing. We're thinking of implementing badges which modify the way a certain unit or aspect of the game works, giving both beneficial and negative qualities. The benefit of this is that everyone will always be on roughly the same footing, but players will be able to mix and match the badges to choose a play style of their liking.

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Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.  --Brian Kernigan
Game I was paid to make - Play.google.com

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