Level Locking Looses

padlockSo, there has been a fair amount of talk lately about instituting a level locking system in this game similar to that seen in other games, like EQ2. Like all things, there are advantages and disadvantages to this idea. I can appreciate the desire to stay in some of the lower tiers and compete on that level of the game, it’s fast and fun. However, and this is a big however, I think it is a terrible, terrible idea.I played EQ2 when it came out, and was aware of the system from the beginning. It functioned decently for it’s intended purpose, to help you stay within a level range similar to friends that you had out-leveled. In this manner, you got experience only from quests, and discovery locations. It significantly increased the time it took to level. The downside, and this is a giant caveat, was when they released PvP servers and Alternate Achievement levels.

The problem with these different systems in conjunction was that once a level was locked, all the other experience was applied directly to the AA levels, rapidly increasing the power of many abilities and increasing your place on the power bell-curve. A second negative to all this? The ability to get all the top gear and skills you can, putting you at maximum power far beyond what anyone else will have. The best way to explain this to anyone outside of the PvP of EQ2, was that you were essentially fighting someone who, in terms of power, was about 10 levels over your head. I can attest to the incredibly demoralizing aspect this has on anyone who goes to play on either of those two servers.

Now, some of these conceptual problems are corrected in WAR. The lessening of the importance of gear on player power, and the “bolster” and “chicken” effects. Each of those help to ensure that people are all on a comparable power level. The lack of any type of AA also is in the favor of the implementation for this game. Still, none of us know what the future really holds for the game, or how they are going to expand content for the players.

In terms of game design, I think this runs counter to the entire reason and intent of our hobby. See, the ultimate goal for all of us, is to attack, and raze the enemy city. As Paul and Jeff said, it’s like the Superbowl, and every NFL player wants that ring. I’m a big fan of playing games as they are intended. Going outside of the box can lead to interesting results and discoveries, but going against the grain is rarely as fun as accepting the games parameters and playing within them. That explanation is half the reason I didn’t roll on a PvP server, they are not the way the game was originally planned, and was added on after serious outcry from some vocal groups (whom had every right to do so).

I’m curious to see how everyone feels about this as well, so I’m going to try my hand for the first time at a poll.

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Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

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