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Lets talk time based training systems


TheCreativeType

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Hello bro and broettes!

 

In this thread I wanna talk about time based training systems. Love them or hate them the idea of them is interesting. For sake of conversation lets define a "time based training system" as follows:

 

Generally a players prime none item form of advancement comes through using a currency that is gained over time, for the most part regardless of a players actions. This currency is either spent in advance by allowing a player to select what part of their advancement they wish to advance and then waiting on it to progress, or saving  the accumulated currency to buy advancement.

I feel like a system like this has two primary pros. First is that it makes for a vast amount of ways a player can customize a character. Generally games that implement a system like this have tons of things you can get each advancing you a bit. These ways for the most part are extremely easy to implement being just data and math. (I feel like if the combat formulas, spells, and crafting allowed for usage of player variables it could be done even with intersect)

 

The second is I feel like it prevents players from rushing to "max level". Often times mmo developers spend a lot of time crafting worlds and stories only for the majority to rush through them not because they are bad or the player doesn't want to experience them, it is just the player wants to keep up with everyone else and do the content his friends are doing or get to where his friends are.

 

The main con of a system like this is what I call "Prison Syndrome" . This is when a player simply maintains an account or character to advance and doesn't experience the game world. The player feels like they shouldn't play because they aren't good. So they wait out a "prison sentence" until their character is good enough to join the real world. Often times players find that sense they haven' been accumulating wealth then they have no way to experience the game at their characters current stage of advancement and they typically leave the game shortly after.

 

Even though at current time I feel like intersect isn't the proper engine in which to do this system. I still wanna create a discussion on this kind of systems pros, cons, and ideals to implement or stay away from this kinda system.

What do you bro and broettes feel think?

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Basically you're talking about offline or down-time training, kinda like in Eve online, except instead of skills, you gain 'XP' based on a timescale, yes?

 

First of all when considering game systems I try to follow the following rule; if a system or mechanic in question supports the game world then give it a try. If the system can't be linked to the world, and you're only planning on using it because you've seen it somewhere else... consider whether or not it actually contributes anything to the game.

 

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I feel like a system like this has two primary pros. First is that it makes for a vast amount of ways a player can customize a character. Generally games that implement a system like this have tons of things you can get each advancing you a bit. These ways for the most part are extremely easy to implement being just data and math. 

 

I disagree, at least when it comes to the type of 'customization' you're referring too. It really depends on the type of game you're playing. If it's a competitive rollercoaster like WoW, then most people are going to pick some kind of optimal build within a specific role (tank, dps, etc), so you'll mostly see the same few archetypes running around. A sandbox RPG allows people to pick different kind of specialties (crafter, builder, combat focus, etc), though almost everyone will try to max the most 'useful' skills either way, given enough time. If you want players to build a unique character mechanics wise, you'll need to build a game with a game-world that supports and rewards creativity, and you have to give players these tools right from the start. It's not something you can do with mere systems, rules and formulas.

 

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The second is I feel like it prevents players from rushing to "max level". Often times mmo developers spend a lot of time crafting worlds and stories only for the majority to rush through them not because they are bad or the player doesn't want to experience them, it is just the player wants to keep up with everyone else and do the content his friends are doing or get to where his friends are.

 

You can't force people to 'enjoy' your game world if they don't want too. If someone is only interested in the grind and advancing towards the end-game, and you won't let them get to that point by their own efforts, they simply won't play.

 

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The main con of a system like this is what I call "Prison Syndrome" . This is when a player simply maintains an account or character to advance and doesn't experience the game world. The player feels like they shouldn't play because they aren't good. So they wait out a "prison sentence" until their character is good enough to join the real world. Often times players find that sense they haven' been accumulating wealth then they have no way to experience the game at their characters current stage of advancement and they typically leave the game shortly after.

 

That's one problem, sure. But I think most people won't even bother to go that far. They make a character; find out that they can't advance by their own merit and will simply quit playing. Why bother making a character that they don't want to play for a month? By that time, they'll have forgotten about your game and are already playing something else.

 

If you want players to make unique characters and enjoy the setting and the writing of your game world, make this the focus of your game. Reward people for creative thinking and exploration instead of putting them in an even smaller box.

Edited by Skaveron
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