Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

23 February, 2009

How to replace levels, part 3
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 5:42 AM

In my previous post about levels, I detailed some of the pros and cons of levels. I promised that I’d propose some solutions to the problems that levels introduce to our games.

But, first, let’s define what the goals of a replacement system are, and take a look at why we want to replace levels.

A Number is Not The Enemy

As people have pointed out in comments, it’s not really the concept of levels that we’re tackling here; rather, we’re taking a look at levels as they are usually implemented in a game. There is no fundamental problem with having a numeric value associated with a character to represent a character like levels do. But, levels as they are currently implemented have a specific load of baggage along with them.

So, something that replaces levels doesn’t necessarily have to shy away from being a number. Our goal here is to eliminate specific problems levels require.

Our Goals

As I mentioned in the first article, levels serve three purposes: achievement, information, and pacing. A proper system should fulfill all these purposes. For my system, I want to focus on pacing and achievement more than information.

In the second article, I mentioned some of the benefits of levels. Unfortunately, a new system can be neither familiar or popular, so we’re left with only being able to develop a relatively simple system.

Deeds in LotRO

Some of this idea comes from my experience playing LotRO, so if you’ve played that you might understand a bit better where my inspiration comes from. The main concept that I’m drawing upon here is Deeds; these are a specific action you have to do, usually within a specific zone, in order to get a reward. They’re kind of like very simple quests that don’t require an NPC.

The typical reward from a deed is a title or a trait. Traits can be selected on your character to give you a benefit; they’re kind of like specializations. For example, you might have to kill wolves in The Shire; after killing 30 wolves you get the title “Fur-cutter”. After killing 60 more (for the “advanced” trait) you get the Discipline trait which increases Might, Disease Resistance, and reduces incoming Melee Damage. (You can only activate or “slot” a limited number of traits, though. They act a lot like talents, but they’re not in a tree formation.)

Some deeds might have you find certain locations on the map, perform specific activities in an area, or even finish a number of quests in an area. Some deeds have multiple parts; like the wolf-killling example above, you get a title and later a trait for the same type of deed. Each class and race also have unique deeds that the player can accomplish; class deeds usually require using a class ability, whereas racial traits require killing racial enemies.

The interesting thing about the deeds is that they’re a good way to tie together a bunch of quests without requiring players to keep a quest around in their log. Players can also choose to do a deed or not, depending on if they want the reward. The deeds can also be useful to do at almost any level, since the traits scale with how many times you earn the specific trait. Finally, the deeds aren’t always obvious, sometimes you have to explore around or try things out in order do discover a new deed; well, being an explorer-type, I find that to be a good thing.

The problem with deeds as implemented in LotRO is that they tend to feel like a grind. You’ve killed 10 wolves for a quest and 20 more have aggroed on you. Great! But, now you have to go find 60 more to slaughter to get your carrot. Gah! I’ve been told this gets worse when you have to go find and murder hundreds of trolls in more advanced areas. (Tell me again why trolls are so feared?)

The Proposal

So, drawing from this system: why have levels at all? Why not just have deeds that are tied to specific locations/zones (perhaps with a few meta-deeds to show how many zones a player has mastered)? Finish the deed and you get a benefit for your character; these benefits would be incremental improvements to your character, and players could choose how they want to specialize their characters.

In essence, you’re eliminating experience points from the equation as well as levels. Quests would no longer be the main method for advancing the character, although you might still want quests for the storytelling possibilities, or as a way to give loot to players.

I think with this type of system you want to flatten the power curve as much as possible. A specific trait might only give you a 5% bonus to an aspect of your character. If you focus on a enhancing a particular trait, you might get an overall 30% advantage over someone with no enhancements. This means that all character are roughly equal in power, with some of the more advanced characters having a slight advantage.

Note that this system would work with or without classes.

So, the typical player experience would be as follows:

  • Get introduced to a new zone.
  • Enter the new zone.
  • Finish the introductory activity, such as a breadcrumb quest to introduce an NPC.
  • Find some new deeds by doing the introduction.
  • Finish some deeds and find new deeds along the way.
  • Finish a selection of deeds in a zone, and get an introduction to a new zone.

Compared to Levels

Let’s look at our goals and the advantage of levels we wanted to retain:

Achievement – This accomplishes this by allowing players to master the deeds in a zone that he or she wants. This would be similar in concept to how a player is “done” with a raid dungeon once he or she has all the gear required from that dungeon.

Pacing – This is also partially accomplished. Once a player has mastered the deeds of a zone, there is no further benefit to “bottom feeding” in that zone. However, the concept of a “high level” zone is less distinct in this system; restricted entry to a particular zone would need another reason besides just level; perhaps you need a specific key to enter the area, or you need specialized equipment with certain resistances to survive.

Information – This needs more work. Specific deeds completed might be displayed in an examination window, just as talents are in WoW. Titles earned from accomplishing specific deeds might also be used to judge how experienced a character is.

Simple – It’s hard to make a system that is quite as simple as levels, but I think this one is almost as simple. As I said above, deeds are kind of like very focused quests in the game world. My better half picked up the concept of deeds quite quickly, even though she’s not an experienced MMO player.

What disadvantages typically associated with levels have we avoided?

Segregation – This is a big one. Since we don’t have level requirements for zones, players can pick from a much wider selection of zones. Someone who has just started playing could easily tag along with a friend who has been playing for a few months to explore a new zone, assuming there are no special requirements. Instead of the new player feeling isolated, he or she could get the benefit of playing with their friend without the friend feeling like he or she is slumming, or just rushing the new character through content as fast as possible.

Cockblocking – This is reduced unless specific restrictions are introduced in a zone. A player who is clever enough to survive in a harder zone can face the challenge when he or she wants to, instead of being required by game mechanics to attain a specific level. However, you might still have players putting limits on who they will take along to an event like a raid (or its equivalent).

Oversimplification – If monsters in every zone are roughly equal in power, then advances I gain with my character are meaningful. I can also pick and choose how I want to upgrade my character for the most part.

One big advantage for development is that you worry less about “level-appropriate zones”. Instead of adding content and having to focus on low-, mid-, or high-level zones, you can add a zone and players of all experience levels have an incentive to visit it.

New Issues to Consider

A game using this system needs to educate its players about the new system. It’s definitely not a familiar system, so you can’t expect players to compare it to other things they are familiar with, outside of LotRO. Even LotRO had the advantage of also using levels, so players were motivated to gain xp from the system they were familiar with, and were introduced to deeds along the way.

The other tricky thing here will be to make sure that you give the players proper motivation in the game. Instead of seeking bigger challenges to get more experience, players will need to have a reason to go to new areas. I don’t think this is too much of a challenge, since directing characters to new zones is already part of what a good MMO is expected to do.

You also have to worry about power inflation with this system, too. If you already have 10 zones that give bonuses to stats, adding another zone means you’ll be increasing the maximum bonus by 10% of its old value, assuming the bonuses in all areas are roughly equal. Now consider adding 5 new zones in an expansion area and say hello to our old friend “mudflation”.

Okay, enough blathering. What are your thoughts? Do you have an alternate suggestion?







20 Comments »

  1. I would add some diversity to zones. They could have a “general” difficulty level, but some easier and some harder and some impossible mobs mixed in them. This would encourage going back to former zones once you feel strong enough to accomplish a certain task. I got this idea while playing King’s Bounty, there are groups of mobs in the starter zones that only become manageable much later.

    Another problem is still the constant progression of player abilities. It is always fun to get stronger, but this ultimately leads to power creep. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_creep

    Guild Wars tried to eliminate this with a max 8 skill selection and a fixed level 20 cap, but later features like “heroes” (pimped NPC henchmen) and new skills still made your chars much more powerful.

    GW required constant re-evaluation of player skills, but I think also zones need that. If players got new toys that suddenly make things to easy, the mobs need to change, too, to keep up some challenge.

    So I suggest a dynamic world: Do not only add new zones and leave the old ones outdated, add new mini dungeons to them, add new mob groups to them, update the mobs. This could also help to create a more dynamic, living world and a much better experience for players.

    It is an awful lot of work, on the other hand. But a task well worth, I guess such a game could really keep me occupied for a long time. I could burn out for sure, this is always the case, but I would not get this “been there, done that, finished with it” feeling that I have when I see the whole of Azeroth in WoW.

    I would totally recommend setting a max level or basically forgetting about player levels at all. Just let them gain abilities or whatever, but limit it with a max number. Let them distribute their attribute and whatever points freely, a bit like in Ultima Online. Allow them to learn new abilities, at the cost of losing abilities in anothr skill.

    Each expansion to the game would start a new “age” of the game. New skill balance, new mob balance, dungeons and stuff re-designed and updated. More modular content than long quest lines. Only few of them should be allowed to exist, instead offer “task” style quests with more complex and interesting things to do.

    OK, I am babbling too much… enough for now. :)

    Comment by Longasc — 23 February, 2009 @ 6:37 AM

  2. Hmm, this is close to what I commented about in the first article: base advancement more on the character’s skill level (of a specific skill) rather than an overall level.

    That is, if you need a combat skill of X or more to reasonably tackle a special type of mob, and there are deeds that lead to an enhancement of that combat skill, you’re likely going to finish those deeds first.

    Back in the day when I was still playing paper & pen RPGs regularly, we ended up modifying the system we were playing to have no overall XPs or levels, but an XP-like system per skill. The idea was that if you use a skill often, you get good at it.

    With deeds, the feedback for employing a skill is less direct. You use a skill to finish the deed, which may improve the same skill or another, possibly unrelated one (or an entirely different aspect of your character). If chosen wisely, that might give more control to the designer, but there’s the slight danger of silliness: you don’t want to give a better snorkeling skill for killing bears, I think.

    Comment by unwesen — 23 February, 2009 @ 7:19 AM

  3. To flatten even more the power curve, I’m coming back with my idea of more options instead of more power. I think that a system like the one you described would fit this idea. Now instead of getting lost in theory, let’s build an example:

    I’m a magician. I have the usual force bolt spell at first. I can chose to go wherever I want but, my friends are planning to go visit the trolls soon in zone A (to get X deed done, improve reputation toward a faction to unlock something or anything else in this line). I can fight these trolls with the spell I have but since trolls are regenerating, maybe it would be useful to get my hands on a fire spell. There’s this strange hermit in zone B that maybe can teach me how to cast a fireball and there’s rumors that a grimoire can be found in zone C with a spell of sword of fire in it. These spells are not more powerful than my current force bolt but may prove more useful against trolls. I chose the fireball so here I got to zone B to find that hermit. Who knows what I’ll have to do to get to him but I have now a motivation for my actions. If I don’t make it I’ll still be able to fight the trolls with my friends, we’ll just have to be more careful.

    The thing I can see with this is that some will come and say “so that noob’s force bolt is as powerful as mine?”. Yes but that force bolt is not always the best answer to every situation. You have learned when to use it and also have alternate options compared to the noob. Maybe that spell requires components to be cast and you have found a way to cast it without them (after completing Y deed).

    Comment by Over00 — 23 February, 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  4. This post reminds me of a thought I had a few months ago: when are we going to get a game that ties advancement to Achievement Points instead of the traditional XP? (Yes, this was prompted by Lich King).

    Personally I think Magic: the Gathering would be a good model for MMO advancement. Guild Wars tried it with some success. Magic’s balance is largely dependent on the regular retiring of cards though. New expansions aren’t MOAR POWAR so much as they are a new mix of mechanics and spells to work with. If they keep piling up then you get a fairly stagnant pool of degenerate combos, with only 1 or 2 new cards out of several hundred being of any interest for the new combos they enable.

    An MMOG could emulate Magic’s “Block” and “Standard” formats by limiting spells geographically. That way each new expansion could be the same kind of “reset button” that you get when the level cap raises, but new characters could start on the same footing as the others. That kind of thing is harder to justify for a melee-styled character though.

    Comment by Vargen — 23 February, 2009 @ 8:11 AM

  5. I find this to be somewhat interesting for an advancement system. It is different, but it does have some ability to be familiar if you have played something with an achievement system before – more so one that provides bonuses to characters, like Lord of the Rings Online. While this system is interesting, it does leave me with a few worries – perhaps they were addressed before and I missed them, but all the same:

    So, you’re going for an deed to help you out in some area related to how your character fights. You, however, want to take a another character with you who has some skills that will help you out. However, this person gets no real benefit from doing the deed that you are going after and they are far more concerned about going after some other deed, and they’re not really willing to spend the time helping you out. What do you do?

    Also, I could see this being rather “grindy”. Yet, most MMOs are, so that isn’t really an issue.

    Still, it is different, though not hugely different. I’d be curious to see it actually used in something, but until then I’m not real sure I can give a real solid critique of it.

    Comment by Arrakiv — 23 February, 2009 @ 11:21 AM

  6. I’m not sure this would be such an unfamiliar concept for players. It is essentially an Achievements system for character progression and those have been entering into more and more online games of late.

    City of Heroes has had Badges (some of which provide new powers which are highly desirable) for several years now. Planetside added medals which can eventually unlock certain certifications for free and Warhammer Online has the Tome of Knowledge (probably the best PvE related element in that game).

    The only difference is that these aren’t the primary method of character customization (and I don’t see a good reason why they couldn’t be).

    However I don’t see a reason why an Achievement system would be any better than an Experience based one. Both are still forms of Grind it’s just the Achievement based grind is more specific in what you need to do to be able to advance. You can still have quest chains that lead to Achievements in the model. Instead of earning experience you are moving through content on the way to unlocking the “Helped Timmy Out of the Well” achievement and it’s associated reward. It’s essentially still a progress bar that is getting filled up.

    Unfortunately I can’t think of any alternative systems that mesh with traditional RPG gameplay that aren’t progress bars of one form or another.

    Comment by Rob Hale — 23 February, 2009 @ 6:06 PM

  7. You, however, want to take a another character with you who has some skills that will help you out. However, this person gets no real benefit from doing the deed that you are going after and they are far more concerned about going after some other deed

    To accomplish your next deed, you need to help someone to accomplish one you did in the past. Of course, I don’t believe we can ever do enough for achievers if they’re only after the next deed.

    Also, I could see this being rather “grindy”. Yet, most MMOs are, so that isn’t really an issue.

    It’s grindy if they constantly have do to X to get to Y. Again, past that, if the only interest of a player is to hear dings, I don’t believe there’s much to do beside pushing more dings into the game to please this mindset. The difference is between forcing the grind and letting players grind.

    Comment by Over00 — 23 February, 2009 @ 6:52 PM

  8. What is the major difference between a deed or achievement, and a quest? In LotRO, there are a lot of deeds that are kill tasks. You’re tasked with the objective to slay ‘x’ amount of ‘y’ creature. If the only difference is that one doesn’t involve an NPC, and the rewards vary, I think they both serve a purpose. They’re also very similar. Add in meaningful quests that have depth, and leave the monotonous delivery and kill tasks as tiered achievements. You can also add in novelty achievements to the system as well as world achievements for exploration, pvp, etc.

    An NPC serves a purpose, in that it tells a story to the player. It gives meaning to the actions a player is going to take. Why are they slaying sixty wolves? What is the significance of their reward? I’m not a huge fan of kill tasks, but for the sake of this argument, I think they fit the category of an achievement much better than a quest.

    I don’t see a large difference in your implementation of achievements, and hunting and questing in an area for advancement. Once you’ve gotten the the achievements from an area that you need or want, there is little reason to return. The becomes obsolete, in the same way a level 20-30 zone would be obsolete to a level 60.

    I’m not confident that an achievement system can function as a replacement for levels. They’re a great supplement for hunting and questing, but it becomes much more of a grind when they are necessary. However minimal the benefit, people will be segregated based on achievements, as they are with levels. This will occur in any game that offers advancement.

    You don’t want to lock players into one form of advancement, but you don’t want to overload players. A player should be able to get the same rewards that an achievement offers, through an interactive quest. Perhaps even something greater.

    If each zone is available and level appropriate for all players, how do you differentiate between zones? What makes each zone unique? What is stopping players from crowding into the zones with the best achievements? Do you segregate based on achievements? If so, is that very different from current systems?

    You’re going to run into a lot of the same problems, for any system that is based off of the current system. Whether there are levels, or no levels. You’re also going to create new problems and restrictions for your own system.

    Comment by Septa Scarabae — 23 February, 2009 @ 11:37 PM

  9. The difference is between forcing the grind and letting players grind.

    The current system doesn’t force people to grind. In the same way that achievements would be optional, leveling is optional. You can explore without leveling, albeit with a much higher risk. You are limited, but that is an option for developers, not a flaw in the design. Who’s to say a level 1 can’t get a mount and learn to ride a horse? Or, maybe their character is designed around it’s ability to ride horses.

    Comment by Septa Scarabae — 23 February, 2009 @ 11:40 PM

  10. Lots of insightful comments. Let me post a few follow-up thoughts.

    First, the goal here isn’t to get rid of “the grind”. The core of an MMORPG is to have a repeatable activity that the player engages in and wants to continue to engage in over a period of time. Anything that is repetitive can become “a grind”, especially if not designed very well. A good design should let players feel like something is happening at all times. I think a deed system like I proposed might actually help since you might always have a deed that is “almost done”. Obviously if you just make every deed “kill 1000 monsters”, you’re not going to have a fun game.

    Second, the rewards don’t have to be super-specific. For most zone-based deeds in LotRO, you get a trait called a “virtue” as a reward. You can get the same virtue multiple times, and the stats it affects can increase with each reward. Here’s an example of the Charity Trait. If you choose to use the Charity trait, it will give you the effects of its current level. To get the highest levels, you have to go earn the trait in all eight zones. This should answer Septa Scarabae’s question, “What is stopping players from crowding into the zones with the best achievements?” All zones may offer similar achievements, but they would build on each other. This gives you freedom to go explore an area to either get away from the crowds or join the throngs of people in an area. Once you’ve gotten the deeds you want in an area, however, there’s a strong incentive to move along, just like all your quests turning gray in existing level-based systems is your hint to move along. Richard Bartle would probably argue that the mastery of an area is important for people to master an MMO as a whole.

    Third, the deeds rewards don’t have to be super-specific. To use Over00′s example above, I wouldn’t necessarily do a deed to get a “fire sword” spell, but I might do a deed that allows me to learn a spell (or, perhaps a fire spell if you wanted to be specific). After accomplishing the deed I might go talk to a trainer and be able to learn a new spell of my choosing. So, as I do more deeds I get more spells. Or I might get enhancements to existing spells. Or, bonuses to my stats, etc. But, the trait could give me a class of rewards that I could choose for myself.

    Finally, this is just one idea to replace levels. It’s heavily cribbed from an existing systems, I admit, but that shows that it can be implemented in a game. My goal here is to show that if you take a methodical approach to evaluating a design decision and isolate the design goals it satisfies, and take a serious look at the pros and cons of the design decision, you can recognize alternatives and start thinking in new ways. I don’t think this proposal is the only possible solution, but it fits the criteria I laid out in my previous two posts. There’s no reason for us to continue to blindly follow previous designs just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

    So, please, feel free to do your own evaluation and post your own ideas about how to improve games.

    Have fun,

    Comment by Psychochild — 24 February, 2009 @ 5:07 AM

  11. What about player skill rather than character skill? Can that supplant, or supplement, levels? Or does that further aggravate the problems of segregation and power creep/curve?

    Comment by Black Molly — 24 February, 2009 @ 7:29 AM

  12. Player skill is the backbone of Puzzle Pirates, and it’s not uncommon to see players of widely varying skill levels playing together. Sometimes low skill players are just new, sometimes they are genuinely incapable, but anyone who at least tries can contribute to the game mechanics. (There is a gamut of PvE difficulties, to keep the “elite” gamers from getting bored.)

    There has been an interesting discussion on skills and changing the verb toolbox for gamers going on between a few blogs I frequent. Word of Shadow and Stylish Corpse have the “Begone Skills!” articles that sort of tie things together. I believe that a horizontal toolbox design, like MTG, is a great way to foster creativity and individuality, while maintaining a fairly narrow power band. Making skills and abilities vary by context and concurrent/sequential use around other skills can make for a wide variety of effects with a relatively small vocabulary. The path to mastery there is experimentation and player skill, rather than grinding more levels.

    …on another tangent, this article made me think of Onimusha Tactics. Yes, that game has levels, but to make your characters change class, they must have earned certain badges by completing certain tasks. Any unit can be any class (well, almost), they just have to unlock it through specific actions. I think that a Deed system that retained classes could use such a system to good effect in an MMO. Now, if we’re jettisoning classes, too, well…

    Comment by Tesh — 24 February, 2009 @ 2:33 PM

  13. Player skill is an interesting topic. I should do a blog post on that in the near future.

    For now, let me say that requiring player skill does segregate people. Most of the PvP in Meridian 59 relies on a fair amount of player skill, and it quickly becomes apparent who is good and who is just meat for the grinder. For the people who can’t hang with the best because they don’t have enough skill, they quickly become frustrated with the game. You can see the same problem with FPS games. If you didn’t have direct competition, then things might be different. But, if you look at traditional types of MMORPG type gameplay like raiding, someone who just couldn’t pass muster might not be able to get into any raids, and therefore not be able to participate in a significant part of the game.

    Dave Rickey used to have a great post about player skill and his time playing Tribes 2. The reality is that player skill requires a long period of getting marginally better, and requires an obsessive amount of time in order for people to become one of the best; the main difference is that there is no guaranteed payoff even if you dedicate your whole life to the game.

    Comment by Psychochild — 24 February, 2009 @ 4:24 PM

  14. I’ll point again to Puzzle Pirates; player skill doesn’t unlock parts of the game like raiding, it just gives players a goal to strive for and a metric for progress. It becomes less of a quest to use skill to unlock the game, and more of a quest to use the game to unlock your own skills.

    Comment by Tesh — 27 February, 2009 @ 5:03 PM

  15. Not that it really needed to be any more wacky than it already was, but after writing my most recent post, I was thinking Tabula Rasa would have been a great game to do this with. Levels just didn’t seem appropriate for a game like that. In the big finale, the level thing was a huge ugly spot for people who didn’t log on to work up characters for the last big event.

    They already had this partially in place. One of the “quests” you could do was a laundry list of things: go kill 20 of X monsters, kill 5 boss types, explore 13 locations, etc. After doing this, you’d get some experience and a nifty title. Splitting these things out into separate deeds, and then having every area have its own set of deeds would have worked well, I think. Better than the grind-to-level type gameplay the game had.

    Comment by Psychochild — 2 March, 2009 @ 4:35 AM

  16. I was on Tabula Rasa for its last month and the nifty title wasn’t once you had finished all the laundry list. It was each time you finished an element of the list, plus another (meta) once you had every element.
    What I found interesting with it was that you did not know what the elements of the list were. You had to explore the area, and gradually uncover them. Most of them I did without grinding, just while exploring and questing (I admit I had to grind the pyrodrakes… Still hate them with a vengeance). You also got a clone voucher, which wasn’t really useful, sadly, as you got them automatically before each class change.

    How would you have managed the class advancement, then, Brian? Doing specific quests enabled you to evolve your character? Or would the deeds give you the different skills of the classes as designed?

    Comment by Modran — 13 March, 2009 @ 7:59 AM

  17. Modran wrote:
    [T]he nifty title wasn’t once you had finished all the laundry list. It was each time you finished an element of the list, plus another (meta) once you had every element.

    Ah, you are right, you got titles for each step, too.

    How would you have managed the class advancement, then, Brian?

    I’m not sure I would have kept the same class system they did; it worked well enough with levels, but remove those and the advancement system feels out of place.

    Assuming I had to retrofit the advancement system into a deed-based system, I would probably have the reward for doing a certain number of deeds in a zone be picking a class ability. So, as a Recruit you get all the starting skills. After completing the first zone (or perhaps tutorial), you’d pick one of the abilities from a Tier 2 class (Soldier or Specialist). If you picked abilities from one class, it would preclude you picking from the other; in other words, you can’t cherry pick the best skills out of every class. After you get enough Tier 2 abilities, the appropriate Tier 3 abilities open up and you make a decision about which classes you want to take.

    I think the guns in Tabula Rasa were already pretty well balanced; the higher level weapons had some neat abilities, but my Commando still relied on his rifle and shotgun in most situations; my chain gun and launchers were useful in some situations, but I didn’t use them as often. So, I think you’d still have a relatively flat power curve without levels.

    Those are my thoughts.

    Comment by Psychochild — 13 March, 2009 @ 2:22 PM

  18. This was cross-posted on my Gamasutra expert blog: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/BrianPsychochildGreen/20090422/1229/How_To_Replace_Levels_In_MMOs_Part_3.php

    Comment by Psychochild — 28 April, 2009 @ 1:36 PM

  19. My experiences in Middle Earth

    [...] final complaint in this area are the slayer deeds. As I have written before, I like the idea of deeds for an area instead of a bunch of FedEx and “kill ten rats” type quests. [...]

    Pingback by Psychochild’s Blog — 7 June, 2009 @ 3:13 AM

  20. I’m with OverOO – make bonuses from deeds be situational in effectiveness, as opposed to the usual across the board power boost in dps whenever you ding. I would however try concentrating similar things into the one zone, to avoid having to traipse all over the world just to complete one quest.

    That said, to avoid the wrath of “attunement” haters I would make sure any given bonus is applicable in a few other zones. Just not all zones for ever after. Deed traits giving bonuses in snorkling would be good in many coastal zones, but not very handy when stalking dragonkin on the ashy slopes of Mt Doom.

    Comment by Garumoo — 19 July, 2009 @ 7:21 AM

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