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/games/ - Games

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I feel grind based leveling in games like diablo and destiny is a shallow form of progression compared to action based leveling in games like RuneScape and TES

But after play testing im questioning if leveling should even be a part of “standard” role playing games and games that take this mechanic like GOW4. My reason for this proposal is that I feel that leveling in games indirectly makes progression feel overly complicated and can sometimes make ingame elements default into a numbers game rather than a test of how items, mechanics and actors function mechanically


Leveling systems are definitely shoved into games where they either don't belong or make the gameplay worse. It can be a useful stand-in for the player character's power level where they canonically start off relatively weak, but it doesn't make sense when the character is already a professional or when you aren't comparing levels with any other NPCs/players anyway. Mass Effect comes to mind, like why doesn't a secret agent super soldier have access to all the end-game high level powers right from the beginning? None of them are tied to the story and have no reason to be locked behind abstract point investments. If anything it would benefit from a system more like what you find in Zelda games, where you acquire abilities and expand your toolkit as you progress through the story instead of fretting over point distribution to make arbitrary tradeoffs imposed by the developers.

I guess another thing to consider is that it's a very easy solution and it's so widespread most people won't complain. Grinding out skill levels to get perks in Skyrim (or to be able to cast spells of a certain level in Oblivion) was extremely annoying at higher levels and I wonder how much the gameplay and progression would have been improved by locking perks, spells, and abilities behind quests, vendors, faction membership/rank, and/or trainers. That would require a lot of fine tuning when you could just slap on a level requirement as a time gate and give it no further thought.


Game design wise leveling is just lazy

Games are a way to express ideas much like articles, books, paintings and music. Games just do something different and make that idea interactive
Leveling systems in games are a mediocre way of making progression feel interactive and dynamic being that it leveling reduces actions to simple numbers like you said which makes things feel shallow, generally speaking the more simplistic a game is the more “dynamic” it is because the developer can focus on a single or few ideas and produce the most amount of possible interactive outcomes out of it compared to large scale role playing games

Example Celeste runs off a single mechanic dash jumping which provides a lot of replay ability in endgame sections and a lot of depth to its movement for players that understand how to beat levels outside of the way they were designed
Another Minecraft whom didn’t have leveling systems for most of its run sees alot of complex movement styles and mechanics like water bucket falling(or the recent boat trick), strip mining at low heights, masks and companions to scare off enemies etc similar with terraria where progression is almost entirely gear based

It shouldn’t necessarily be removed however it’s role in games should realistically just die out as time passes or at the very least diminish because it can seriously just serve as a stand in for fundamentally lazy components of design

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