August 5, 2018 at 9:54 pm #4882
Gaining generic xp and levels is dull. It’s bland. Almost every game has some kind of xp to be gained one way or another. I really think this is the most boring way to present it, and it can be vastly improved to make it feel more fresh and tasteful by fairly simple means.
Take the Souls games. They did something new there, something very fitting to the style and setting. You gather souls which you then distribute on stats at bonfires to grow stronger. It’s just xp in a different skin and everyone knows it, but because of the presentation it feels like something different.
Today I remembered a game I’d come across on Steam before, but never bothered purchasing, even though I thought it looked somewhat interesting. I looked it up again and realised it had a free demo, so I decided to try it out. It was flawed for sure, from what I saw, but it was enjoyable enough, and also had some interesting ideas.
The game was Vikings: Wolves of Midgard. It’s an ARPG similar to Diablo, but in a Mythological Norse setting. I found the levelling system interesting. You of course gain xp by defeating enemies, in essence, but what it’s actually called in this game is Blood. And you need to physically collect it, as it drops like any other item drop from enemies. Once you have gathered enough Blood, you don’t level automatically, but must go to a shrine/altar to put the Blood up as an offering and then gain a point to spend as desired. Very similar to souls in Dark Souls.
There’s obviously many ways you can add flair to the levelling system in RUNE, and I spent some time trying to come up with something that I personally found interesting and fitting to the setting. And the thing I gravitate towards the most is the concept of Urd – Fate.
The Norse believed that everyone’s fate was decided by the Norns. But it was how one faced one’s fate that mattered. There was no honor or glory in simply submitting to fate passively. Facing one’s fate head on like a battle to be fought would earn you glory and honor. Basically, everyone’s end destination has been set at birth. But how we get there is what we can decide ourselves, at least to some extent.
So our character in RUNE has their fate decided already – to attempt to end Ragnarok. And everything they do will be moving them towards that end, one bit at a time, even if it might seem unrelated. Therefore I think you can think of it as that everything you do “gains” you Fate. Bit by bit, little by little, until your Fate is fulfilled.
In that case you can change “Xp” to the more fitting “Fate“, or if you want to have even more Norse flavor – Urd.
I also think it would be more interesting if you didn’t automatically level up when your earn enough Urd, but that instead you need to do something similar to Dark Souls and Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, by having to go to a specific place to spend it on your stats. Perhaps those resurrection statues could work as shrines or altars where you can reflect on your deeds and your journey towards your fate so far.
Similarly, I’m trying to come up with something else to replace the “Level” label. It’s not quite as abrasive to me as the generic “Xp” term, but something with more flavor and style would be welcome.
I’ll keep struggling with that.
August 7, 2018 at 2:04 pm #4885
Thanks for your thoughts HT! There are cool concepts in here. If they’ll be applicable at this stage in development is hard to say, but they are appreciated nonetheless.
August 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm #4894
I’m churning out way too many ideas and suggestions, and I don’t expect any to actually make it into the game as such. 😛
I’m just glad you guys encourage us to share thoughts, criticisms and suggestions with you. And if one or two of my ideas might help the devs to look at something from a different angle, that’s great!
Yeah, I fully understand big changes can’t be made when you’re deep into production and have a roadmap and milestones to hit etc. 😛
But even changing the name “XP” to something else would be a small yet significant enough touch to make it a little different from other games in that area.
August 9, 2018 at 7:16 am #4895
If I understood the latest AMA correctly, XP = Favor and the unlockable/upgradable abilities from the skill tree = Blessings. This looks pretty straightforward and typical IMO, that’s why I had the idea of separating character leveling by gaining XP and spending on basic skills (well, except weapons and shields, which require nothing but training and practicing) and leveling by gaining Favor for special actions to spend it for supernatural abilities (blessings). I’m not gonna criticize the leveling system at this point, because I haven’t seen it that deep, and it’s Beta, so there’s a room for reworking the system more or less. So really, if XP is Favor, why not call it
And one more little thing: I personally don’t like numerical indications in UI for Rune. The original Rune didn’t have any for your health, shields or rune power nor does the new one. And I liked simple graphical bar indications because it fits great with the atmosphere and brings some realistic
analog feeling– you don’t know exactly how hard you’re hit and how much a specific food will restore and it’s as cool as it can be. Now, why not make the same for leveling up? If you see the bar you can roughly evaluate your collected XP and XP bonuses you gain for specific activities, rather than calculating them. If you see the numbers on your screen you might go like “now, here’s 975 XP till the next level, so I need to kill 3 of those dudes, plus make it quick with headshots and steal that thing, then open this chest, that means (100+50)x3 +200 +250×110%, no, this won’t be enough, better take a path to hell knows where where I can get that level up, then return to objective… Dang, I forgot where it was! Let’s see the map… No s**t! Do I have to travel that far? This game s***s, it’s forcing me to go in circles, I quit!” – but that’s totally your decision to run around hunting for XP. If you’re free out of math in your head, you may less worry about the leveling, because you don’t know the exact moment of levelup and you can really dive into the gameplay and story, rather than constantly chasing XP bonuses. Plus when you finally level up, it actually may be a small but pleasant surprise, that feeling when you finally got what you were struggling for.
August 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm #4897
Totally agree about the numbers. I really don’t like the idea of it. I’d rather the health bar actually increased in size as you gained more max health, the way it did in Rune Classic.
I think I came up with a better idea for what to call XP. Why not just call it Worth, That’s a common thing to hear anyway, isn’t it? “Prove your worth, Warrior!”
It also ties into the whole Norse culture. They were all about proving their worth and gaining fame and prestige. A man’s actual worth also increased the more he knew and the more skills he possessed. So if you murdered a useless layabout and his family demanded you pay wergeld, the price would be maybe equal to that of a goat. If the man you murdered instead had been a skilled blacksmith or shipbuilder, the price would be significantly higher. Also, a man who performs heroic feats and earns fame would probably be worth more as well.
So to me it makes sense that everything you do in RUNE, fighting enemies, learning to craft more things, completing quests, slaying powerful monsters and exploring the dangerous seas and islands…. it all adds to your Warrior’s Worth while at the same time making him stronger, wiser, more skilled and gaining more knowledge.
So when you gain “xp” you can simply relabel that as gaining Worth.
I also think the character level should simply be called Worth as well, but as Painka says, have it shown in a non-numerical way. I’m thinking something like a vertical bar on the character screen, patterned in a way that it can be filled tick by tick in a nice nordic pattern. So each time your Worth bar at the bottom of the main screen fills, you gain one tick of Worth in the vertical bar in the character screen. One tick equals one level. Filling all ticks and completing the bar, maxing out your Worth, makes you a Hero. Or Champion of [insert deity here].
And on a final note – this will probably make most gamers and devs alike recoil in disgust and horror at the mere thought of it – but I think important level, or Worth – milestones should NOT be the typical 5, 10, 15 and so on. That’s dull! 😛
Instead, why not embrace the significance the Norse placed on the number 9? 3 x 3 and all that. Very important number. 9 worlds. Aegir and Ran has 9 daughters. Odin hung from Yggdrasil for 9 nights, and so on.
So have every third levelup be important in some way. And have it divided in thirds all the way through. I personally would find it fun if the maximum Worth you could achieve would be something like 27. :p Thematically that would make sense;
|| 3 – 6 – 9 || 12 – 15 – 18 || 21 – 24 – 27 ||
It would definitely be unusual. XD
Then again – I’m weird…
August 10, 2018 at 3:21 am #4898
Yeah, I like the idea of patterned pieces, they look more interesting than monochrome bar and make the evaluation easier. Reminds me of AvP games, if you play as Predator, your bars are filled with segmented symbols which literally mean nothing, but show your stats nonetheless.
Max level of 27 is not enough, I`d prefer something like 99 or 111 or 999.
August 13, 2018 at 7:52 am #4909
Your point about the predator HUD in AvP is pretty spot on. I always liked that.
For RUNE I’d see it more as a slab of stone or iron with carved marks, and when your Experience/Worth level increases the carvings/symbols might fill with a blue or gold color – Gold obviously being very easily associated with the concept of Worth.
I suppose this could be applied to the health bar as well, with carvings/symbols filled with red “blood“, but on the other hand I like the health bar as it is now, similar to the one in Rune Classic.
August 14, 2018 at 9:49 am #4927
More good ideas. Thanks for the discussion.
November 26, 2018 at 8:19 am #10234
I’ve been thinking a bit more about the idea of calling Xp Worth again, and reading through my previous posts here, I still stand firm by these ideas.
In addition to everything said above, calling it Worth simply ties into gameplay a lot smoother.
Having a god tell you; “You are not ready for this next task yet. You must prove yourself worthy.” is a clear way to tell a player to go kill some mobs/explore/do quests to gain a level or two more or Worth while still sounding entirely fitting in dialogue.
Another thing I think is pretty interesting and that I will touch on here, is an idea I have about god interactions. I’ll probably write a little more in detail about this in the Road Map section, but essentially, I’d rather see gods have little to NO chatter at all before you go to pick one. You should not be treated as some kinda VIP, in my opinion, so keeping god interaction to a minimum at first would be good. The small talk, as suggested before, could be done by a crow that might join you at the start of the game and be your companion/guide. Much like Odin has two ravens, Thor has two goats, Freya two cats etc, you have your own crow. Like a step down from a raven, and only ONE, since two companions might be reserved for gods. Actually, having the crow be your spirit companion, or fylgja, makes a lot of sense.
Anyway, if the small talk is done by the crow, and the gods don’t speak to you until you try to align with one, then I think it would be cool if the gods don’t accept you straight away, but instead tell you you must prove worthy of their blessing. That makes sense to me, and what makes even more sense is that perhaps different gods require you to be more or less worthy. Say, Hel might be willing to accept you fairly quickly, but Odin, who’s more concerned with more elite people, might demand you be more worthy, maybe lvl 10 before he grants you his blessing.
Just a thought, but I think it’s a pretty cool one and one that would make the gods even a little bit more different feeling.
November 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm #10237
Thanks for expanding on your ideas Torulf!
November 27, 2018 at 8:30 pm #10242
Here’s another idea regarding your Worth. Currently you can use the blessing for free, restricted only by the timer. My guess is put some sort of penalty system to prevent spamming blessings and on the other hand, allow you to use them more freely when the conditions require. Since there are no resources such as ‘Rune power’ or ‘Mana’ or ‘Spirit’, you may be subjected to loss of Worth if you use your blessing ‘out of turn’, in accordance to the timer – the less time passed, the more expensive the penalty will be. If you dare to request a blessing out of turn over the previous extra blessing the penalty or/and timer will multiply and so on till you have zero Worth at given level (levels cannot be lowered) and won’t be able to use blessing(s) till you gain something.
This may be a reasonable way to keep the balance between hunting for the level-ups not relying on divine powers too often, thus pitting you to a risk and keeping you and your loot safer if you suddenly (or intentionally) ran into a tough situation and blessing is a last resort.
The gods might also comment your choice, by labeling you ‘cowardly’, ‘overcautious’ if you like to spam blessings or ‘bloodthirsty’, ‘avaricious’ if you like to engage in massive combat then use blessings or ‘reckless’ ,’perky’ if you prefer not to use them.
Offtopic: would love to have more interesting blessings you can request in game except BFG style attack.
November 28, 2018 at 8:04 am #10245
Good idea to use Worth as a resource to other things than level ups! Would allow for some really interesting choices, and would be fun to see how it would affect how people play. I definitely support this concept!
Hell, Worth could be used to power a wide variety of upgrades/powers and whatnot.
December 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm #10293
Hello. I’ve soent a vast amount of time researching Rune:Ragnarok. From watching developer streams to reading updates to forum suggestions. I have yet to play Rune myself but playing ao many MMORPG’s over years there is a lot to learn and use from other examples.
In regards to levelling dynamic events would keep the questing/exoloring more enjoyable. Dynamic events could be timers or at random. While questing and grinding away and exploring the world dynamic events can also allow a more engsging and immersive playstyle.
For example. You could be completing a quest or simply exploring when a dynanic event will trigger nearby to your location. This will allow more world interactions amongst players to engage with one another, especially solo players. Make the event scale depending on the amount of players within the event area. So even if a solo player wishes to complete the event alone thet can and still be rewarded without forcing peoole to group if they desire not to. Events could be triggered by choices you make in the open world or simply the Gods speak down to you.
This keeps the world more interactive and engaging while exploring and questing to level Or in ant case “Worth”.
June 25, 2019 at 5:29 pm #11033
I like where this post is going. In regards of not calling levels by numbers, why not have title thresholds?
For example when reaching “level 10” you go from a “Unworthy” to “farmer” or “hunter”. Maybe even tying the titles to stats allocated.
The game “Kingdoms of amalur: Reckoning” has a system like this where you gain a new title when you’ve invested X Number of skillpoints in either Might, Finesse or Sorcery. For example you start as “The fateless One”, but having 1 skill in sorcery you have the title of “Acolyte”, that gives a bonus to elemental damage and reduces mana costs. Investing 10 points more gives the title of “Initiate” and enhances the bonuses further. 10 more to “Sage” that both adds bonuses as well as enhancing the others and so on.
This would make the “Level” appear more dynamic while making the leveling system a bit fun to experiment with. It will probably be harder to balance, but this system could break from the boring norm and make for a great Norn experience (Pun intended).
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