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I brought this up long before the beta, but I thought in light of where we are that it might be worth bringing up again.

 

My motivation last time around, as is my primary motivation this time around, was encouraging the asynchronous leveling up of party members. This was something that BG and IWD did, and NWN2 and many other RPGs did not. To my mind asynchronous levelling (i.e. that different classes/races level up at different times rather than simultaneously) provides three huge benefits, and in PoE's case, one smaller but not insignificant one.

 

1. It helps to spread out the reward of levelling, more often giving the player a reward and encouraging the "just fifteen more minutes" feeling that BG and IWD were so good at.

 

2. It easily enables different classes to shine at different points; giving a power burst to the class who has just levelled without maintaining a constant power imbalance.

 

3. It provides encouragement to utilise the new-found abilities of each leveled class, because potentially 6 abilities are not given to you at once to discover their merits and incorporate them into your playstyle.

 

And for PoE...

 

4. In a class system that is imbalanced (particularly over time), it provides opportunity to address the balance in an easier to implement manner than remodifying the abilities and traits of all the classes within.

 

The last factor being particularly true as we cruise towards the end of PoE's development.

 

Asynchronous leveling is something I'm fairly passionate about (rather moreso than engagement) as I truly thing it adds something to RPGs, although I am aware that many people dislike it on the grounds that all classes should either be equal or deliberately unequal. I also know that it came from an effort to rebalance D&D rather than design a mechanic, but I do not believe that undermines the benefits it brings.

 

Since the beta forum is almost exclusively backer-based and people here have had chance to see the game in action and consider steps moving towards the end of development, I wondered what the feelings on this were.

 

As a final note, I know that leveling in the beta is not wholly synchronous, but I am trying to encourage a more deliberate asynchronous-ness a la BG/IWD.

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Kjaamor: I have been advocating the same points over and over last year, and so far to no avail. Passionate about asynchronous levelling? You bet!!!

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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In practice, characters advance asynchronously in the game because you acquire companions at different times.  They don't in the Backer Beta because all of your BB companions are given to you with equal experience at the same level.  Obviously there are cases where some party members will advance together because MATH but that also happens in the original IE games if characters are created/acquired together and share an advancement table.  In 2nd Ed., the following groups shared XP tables: paladins/rangers, thief/bard, and fighter/druid up to a point.  There are also a lot of coinciding values across tables.  E.g. 20,000 and 90,000 are shared by druids and wizards, 750,000 is shared by fighters and wizards, 40,000 is shared by wizards, thieves, and bards.

 

IME, you get a slightly higher rate of coincidental simultaneous leveling in PoE than you do in IWD, but I've never seen more than three characters leveling at once in the main game (though that situation could certainly be engineered by creating an entire party of adventurers simultaneously).  Usually characters advance individually or two at a time.

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This sounds promising, but one big question remains as far as asynchronous char advancement is concerned: Will there be no xp for any downed characters?

 

This is something I always loved about many CRPGs - if one of your characters turn out to be more resilient, it will indeed advance faster, and the reverse of that is also true: Characters that keep keeling over will advance more slowly.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Sounds good. I had feared that the situation might be exacerbated by the beta.

 

My only concern with the exp levels based on when party members are acquired is that there appears to be potential for characters to begin to level in an asynchronous manner, but as the exp rewards increase, those level-ups at the end become increasingly synchronised.

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This sounds promising, but one big question remains as far as asynchronous char advancement is concerned: Will there be no xp for any downed characters?

 

This is something I always loved about many CRPGs - if one of your characters turn out to be more resilient, it will indeed advance faster, and the reverse of that is also true: Characters that keep keeling over will advance more slowly.

 

Really? You like that?

Doing "thing" and all party members except one get a big chunk of XP, eternally damning him to trail behind. That'd make my OCD flare up hard. Reload. Redo.

 

 

I don't really have OCD

 

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Sounds good. I had feared that the situation might be exacerbated by the beta.

 

My only concern with the exp levels based on when party members are acquired is that there appears to be potential for characters to begin to level in an asynchronous manner, but as the exp rewards increase, those level-ups at the end become increasingly synchronised.

 

You may see more synchronization at higher levels, but so far it seems to not exceed 3 characters leveling simultaneously.  At least according to what we've seen.

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This sounds promising, but one big question remains as far as asynchronous char advancement is concerned: Will there be no xp for any downed characters?

 

This is something I always loved about many CRPGs - if one of your characters turn out to be more resilient, it will indeed advance faster, and the reverse of that is also true: Characters that keep keeling over will advance more slowly.

 

Really? You like that?

Doing "thing" and all party members except one get a big chunk of XP, eternally damning him to trail behind. That'd make my OCD flare up hard. Reload. Redo.

 

 

I don't really have OCD

 

 

I'm a bit crazy like that. All I know, I have always been fond of that - it has even been an indicator, when I am new to a CRPG, if I've built a char that most likely won't pull her weight.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I'm a bit crazy like that. All I know, I have always been fond of that - it has even been an indicator, when I am new to a CRPG, if I've built a char that most likely won't pull her weight.

 

I don't think I have ever played a single-player CRPG where my created character wasn't the most useful thing in the party.

 

Somewhat predictably, the reverse is true in MMOs.

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Here's a simple idea to achieve a little more char advancement asynchronicity (Gotta love that word!):

Whenever a certain character is landing a killing blow, a tiny xp bonus gets added, for no other reason that it's fun - it could even be in that character achievement list: Most kills, most powerful foe vanquished, etc...

 

Kjaamor: I should add, I am speaking of both self-rolled parties and parties consisting of companions picked up along the way.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Definitely don't want them all levelling at once a la NWN2 - that breaks up the game flow too much - 'stop for levelling'

But sounds like it's going to be ok in PoE with characters levelling up at different times.

Thanks for the clarification :)

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