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XP System - Pro Efficiency idea

gameplay idea pen and paper

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#1
El Duderino

El Duderino

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Hello, members of the Order! I'll just post something I was discussing with some of your friends in the Kickstarter page. It's about XP System, and started with someone saying that doens't agree with the XP gain from killing a monster. As I never liked it, I said something I used to do in my days of pen and paper rpg.
Here's what I wrote in KS page:

"As for XP system everyone's been talking about, I'll write something I said earlier:
I always felt like killing people/monsters and level up really makes no sense to me. As for leveling up I imagine you as a experieced player (as it's what xp means), I don't get how experienced you might be just killing people. So, I don't agree with gaining much xp out of random kill. If it's somehow attached to your objective, then ok, it makes sense. But just randomly walking through the woods and killing a bear shouldn't make you lvl up. You may get some XP out of it, but very little, and only if it adds to the gameplay.
What I think killing a bear in these conditions should do is give you an bonus. Like a Pro Efficiency. You spent your day in the woods, hunting. At the end of the day, you haven't finished any quests. You haven't seen many of what the world can give you. But you have indeed hunted a lot of wild creatures. So, what you actually are doing great is at killing bears, hunting and using your bow. So let's say you get a bonus after X hours doing that. Bow Pro Efficiency +3 and Bear Trapper + 3.

After that, you spent a whole month in a dungeon, without seeing the sun. So you'll loose your Bear Trapper Pro Efficiency +3, it'll go back to 0. As you're in a dungeon, you may get some bonuses, like Dungeon Crawler Pro Efficiency + 8 (now you're much more experienced in dungeon crawling, seeing paths and solving puzzles much faster than before).

Ok, so you got out of your Dungeon and got back to the Woods. Now you'll start loosing your Dungeon Crawler Pro Efficiency slowly. Let's say you spent another whole month without stepping into a Dungeon. But now your Dungeon Crawler Pro Efficiency is not 0 as it was when you got away from the Woods for a while, it's only +3. What happenned is that you spent so much time in a Dungeon that you're good at it, even if you pass three years of your life out of it, you'll remember when you get back. That's the minimum your Pro Efficiency may get. The same would've hgappenned with your Bear Trapper Pro Efficiency, if you spent so much time doing so.
And it can even add some lore to the game. You may have a companion that is Dungeon Crawler Pro Efficienct lvl 8, so exploring the dungeon with him is much easier and safer.

Your companion hunter may teach you a little of Bear Trapper if you ask him to do it.
These are not skills, just Bonuses you accumulate. Your skills in battle still add to your Pro Efficiency, so you can get really good at Bear Hunting if you spent a lot of points in a Marksman skill and spent a lot of time in the Woods. The difference is that one you achieve only with experience, the other only with your time on that especific situation.

I'm saying that just to share with you guys what I used to make in my old days of paper and pen RPG. And that's how I've approached in a game like Skyrim for example. I liked the new system, but I don't like the fact that I'm leveling up by raising my Sneak skill since I'm playing a Barbarian character.
Of course, in a RPG table it's much easier to balance, since you have the master and etc. In a video game that'd be a lot harder not to make it boring or overpowered."

"Like, you're a Hunter and use a Crossbow. If you use it a lot, you'll get your Crossbow Pro Efficiency +X. If you don't, you won't get it. Maybe you've choosen a Bow or another weapon. Or maybe you're using a two handed sword, and then you need to revisit your char, 'cause you may be spending a lot of skill points in something you're not using.
It have to be something natural, like something you'd naturally do after raising a skill, since your point in raising that skill is to become better at it. The difference is that it adds many ways of being better at something"

Some things already said about it: much work to implement something like that; it needs to be completely balanced to work, or it's just be boring/overpowered/frustrating; some people may find it boring to have to actually kill a lot of Bears to be the best at it; it has to reward the player in a way that he feels it's worth doing so, or it'll just be worthless, and at the same time it may get overpowered.

And of course, there's a whole lot of people who won't agree with me, and that actually think that killing a monster and obtaining xp to raise your Skills makes sense. I don't think that makes sense in every situation, but you may not agree, and I totally respect your point of view.

I'm only sharing this to see what you guys think. If you like it and play a pen and paper rpg, try it out. Maybe it already exists (probably). Maybe a video game already tried it (I haven't played them all, of course, so I don't know). Maybe you have more ideas and I can use it on my future pen and paper sessions - if such time is yet to come again ))):

Thansk for your time and interest!
  • Tarthrin likes this

#2
DocDoomII

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@El Duderino (I'm expanding what I said to you on Kickstart)
The idea of being "Pro Efficient" in something is not bad as it is, but it seems a bit simplified.
Being Dungeon Pro Efficient in general seems a bit far-fetched. You should be pro-efficient with a different efficiency value for each dungeon, or else I don't see why, exploring a dungeon should make me more efficient in exploring a different dungeon 2 days later, if said dungeon is completely different and infested by different creatures.

This Pro Efficiency idea seems to be more suited in replacing the arbitrary proficiency points of the old IE games.
An maybe it could be applied to social skills (talking to a lot of people of a region would allow you to understand their mentality better and benefit your attempt at swaying their belief to your interests).

It is nonetheless an aspect to keep in consideration when trying to create a better XP system.

My take in improving XP in general would sadly make it very complex and unappealing to most people.

The "XP-reward for killing/questing" system and the "Your abilities grow with use" system should be interpolated (something attempted with Skyrim, but it was still way too similar to the previous installment of the series).
There should be 3 different XP bars:
-Combat (related to killing and using combat equipment)
-Social (related to NPCs interactions, companions interaction and quests completion)
-Exploration (simple exploration, locating hidden passages, solving puzzles, lock pinging, and so on)

These bars should fill up by repeatedly using the required abilities (that much to the likeness of TES games, level up with use) and when a bar fills up it's current level capacity, the character should gain a suitable amount of points to spend in perks (as in Skyrim).
The perks available should be reactive though. It would be totally stupid if I could take a "+25% success in lock picking" because I leveled up by solving the riddle of a talking statue.

It is very complicated to implement, and maybe too complex for the average player, but it would be way better than most systems we have as of now.

Edited by DocDoomII, 16 October 2012 - 10:25 AM.


#3
Frenetic Pony

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I'm fine with just getting experience for a bunch of stuff.

Kill an enemy? Get XP. Complete a quest? Get XP. Make a successful use of a non-combat skill? Get XP. Find something cool? Get XP.

Half the idea of XP is just to reward players for doing stuff. So if they succeed, at whatever, they get rewarded XP. How the players expend those XP "points" can also be considered. Do you only get to improve things you use? Do things require trainers? But, frankly, Skyrim was boring as sh*te in this manner and the MMO trainer thing is more for draining gold out of the economy than anything else. So the standard of level up screen with a "select a reward" level up such as Fallout, D&D, and etc. is fine with me. There can be room for improvement and innovation elsewhere.

Edited by Frenetic Pony, 16 October 2012 - 04:58 PM.

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