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high ceiling

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Radiac
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high ceiling

I've read in some posts by devs that the plan is to have characters go up to level 30 at roll out and then later extend it to 50 level max. I hope the plan is not to make 50 the hard cap for all time. I mean, I personally would leave open the possibility of going above that if you want to, some time in the future.

CoX had a hard cap of 50 and it was something of problem. They invented the Incarnate System to sort of work around that problem, and arguably that system was levels 51-55 at the time of the shutdown.

Another question this raises is this: Will there be a level cap difference between subscribers and non-sub players?

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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I despise constantly rising

I despise constantly rising level caps. I find them idiotic in the extreme. Sorry. But that is honestly how I feel. Set it once to 50 and leave it there for all time. I would far rather see future expansions concentrate on more locations, more stories, more powersets, more costume pieces, more varieties of architecture, more maps, more content for UGC, etc.

Raising levels just to have a higher number is a complete waste of resources.

Granted, this is my opinion. Nonetheless, I'm very comfortable with it and it is not going to change.

Level is just a meaningless number. Why bother constantly raising it? Higher numbers do not mean better content they just mean a wider gap between veteran players and newcomers. Completely silly!

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Radiac, the way the systems

Radiac, the way the systems are designed we could have well above 50 levels.
At this time the plan is for a level cap of 50.
All the power sets are being designed with that cap in mind.
All of the content is being designed with that cap in mind.
Everything can be built upon if that will result in what is best for the game at whatever future point.

While both internally, here on the forums, and other sources run the gambit on high end advancement, many opinions have leaned toward favoring horizontal improvement over constant vertical growth. Many of the common arguments include the following:

Vertical improvement can lead to further emptying of zones for what amounts to brief periods of time. Players tend to chew new content quickly.
Most gains that rely on cap raising are gear driven, and some use both gear and stat driven , and some of those stat driven are sand box(esque) horizontal-vertical mish-mash.
It can also wreak havoc on economies by introducing newer gear causing a cascading effect on item valuations, game cash earnings per character at the new cap,

Given our game is less stat driven and less fear dependent than the typical level-gear-stat-driven models, suggesting, much less than implementing level cap increases is not to be done lightly.
Even so, as I've mention, the level design is modular. We would have add to our power set frameworks but the design of that is also modular.
As would any horizontal growth systems we would implement would also be.


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I don't mind the level cap

I don't mind the level cap increases. CoH's Incarnate system was basically a level increase and people loved it. I don't care for it happening so often though. That said, I'm sure there's plenty of players who are only about hitting the level cap then leaving the game till more levels are available, so that's why it's done.

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(Posted as fan not dev with

(Posted as fan not dev with no particular knowledge of plans)

I'm pretty ambivalent about level cap rises, I think I prefer the sort of system RIFT/CoH had with post max level development but not more levels. NW have just upped their level cap 60->70 and not many people like the way it's been done, I think there's a lot we can learn from NW in many places, unfortunately it's mainly in the area of how not to do stuff.

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

I despise constantly rising level caps. I find them idiotic in the extreme. Sorry. But that is honestly how I feel. Set it once to 50 and leave it there for all time. I would far rather see future expansions concentrate on more locations, more stories, more powersets, more costume pieces, more varieties of architecture, more maps, more content for UGC, etc.
Raising levels just to have a higher number is a complete waste of resources.
Granted, this is my opinion. Nonetheless, I'm very comfortable with it and it is not going to change.
Level is just a meaningless number. Why bother constantly raising it? Higher numbers do not mean better content they just mean a wider gap between veteran players and newcomers. Completely silly!

Completely agree. Also it discourages new players when the level cap gets too high.

The only good it does is giving companies ways to continually drain money out of the same employees

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Radiac
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All I asked, in the OP, is

All I asked, in the OP, is that they don't hard-wire the level 50 cap into the game without leaving themselves the option of going above that in the far future. Tannim222 has stated basically that I shouldn't worry because they thought of that, so I'm happy.

On the subject of creating ghost-zones when everyone out-levels them, I think the biggest causes of that, at least in CoX, were:
A) Leveling up was very rapid by the last three years of the game or so, so nobody spent much time in any of the lower level zones because nobody remained in those level ranges for very long.
B) Missions were more lucrative than street sweeping so people didn't spend any time outdoors fighting crime on the streets, they did TFs, Trials, and missions. In some cases the exact same mission OVER and OVER and OVER again to generate swag faster and powerlevel people.
C) There were three different zones to start in that were exclusive based on faction. you were automatically sorted into Paragon City, Praetoria, or the Rogue Isles from the start. And that was on top of the fact that Paragon City, which was by far the most popular, was still mostly empty a lot.
D) There were too many servers.
E) The PVP zones didn't actually create any PVP. They were always empty because nobody wanted to get ganked and even the gankers had nothing to do but wait around forever only to be disappointed by the lack of fresh victims showing up 90% of the time.

Problem A is only a problem if the zones are zone-range specific. I think there is a way to make them not like that. i mean, you could just make all the outdoor mobs con say, orange to everyone, like the giant monsters did in CoX. That's not a terribly believable solution ("Why is Superman having such a hard time defeating that purse snatcher?!?") but it would allow all players to use all zones regardless of level.

Problems C and D are likely already solved in the sense that CoT is not structuring the server and instances like CoX did. Having "one big server for everyone" and then instances within that based on population will probably cause most zones to seem reasonably well populated, assuming the software that controls how many instance there are is well done.

Problem B has been deemed "A legitimate play style" by many, and some people think of it as their Well-or-the-Furies-given RIGHT to powerlevel and farm to their heart's content. That said, loading the missions with more rewards upon successful completion and less for just thumping mobs might alleviate that as much as is needed to avoid ghost-zone-ism. I'm optimistic on that front.

Problem E can, I hope, be solved by NOT having free-for-all, 24/7 PVP zones. I think all forms of PVP need to have a specific start time so that those interested can know when to show up (and where) to get their PVP on.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

whiteperegrine
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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

...Given our game is less stat driven and less fear dependent than the typical level-gear-stat-driven models....

WHEW!!! I haaaaaate fear dependant games...they scare me....

in regards to the level cap. I would prefer to see the game have a hard cap and then expand horizontally for those characters that are maxed out. IF the cap is going to be moving target I would only ask that it happen as little as possible and these changes occur a couple years apart.

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I rather see more stories and

I rather see more stories and more story paths across the field then anything above level 50. New content lower level encourages alts and refreshes the older content to newer standards.

I have faith in our Dev teams, but as things go forward they are going to learn more and that going to reflect content. With the idea of more then one story path going from 1 to 50 I much prefer the Devs not have to think of what happens between 51 and 60. You can see it in WOW the starting and midrange content is ... er... alright. The Epic stuff is later content.

I want new players and myself to get that EPIC feel right off the bat. The best way is not to do that is not to think of higher levels but refreshing and adding to what's already there. Like the Devs said "Alting is end game."

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RottenLuck wrote:
RottenLuck wrote:

Like the Devs said "Alting is end game."

Especially for alt-aholics like me!

Wait, was that my outside voice? ;P

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Don't worry

Don't worry ConudrumofFurballs. Here at Altoholic anonymous I'm not just the president... I'm Fifty other members! So you are in good company!

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2.) If it goes as planned it's not good RP

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Radiac, the way the systems are designed we could have well above 50 levels.
At this time the plan is for a level cap of 50.
All the power sets are being designed with that cap in mind.
All of the content is being designed with that cap in mind.
Everything can be built upon if that will result in what is best for the game at whatever future point.
While both internally, here on the forums, and other sources run the gambit on high end advancement, many opinions have leaned toward favoring horizontal improvement over constant vertical growth. Many of the common arguments include the following:
Vertical improvement can lead to further emptying of zones for what amounts to brief periods of time. Players tend to chew new content quickly.
Most gains that rely on cap raising are gear driven, and some use both gear and stat driven , and some of those stat driven are sand box(esque) horizontal-vertical mish-mash.
It can also wreak havoc on economies by introducing newer gear causing a cascading effect on item valuations, game cash earnings per character at the new cap,
Given our game is less stat driven and less fear dependent than the typical level-gear-stat-driven models, suggesting, much less than implementing level cap increases is not to be done lightly.
Even so, as I've mention, the level design is modular. We would have add to our power set frameworks but the design of that is also modular.
As would any horizontal growth systems we would implement would also be.

Best of both worlds! (subject to change over time!)

If you folks can pull off everything you have planned you will change the nature of online gaming forever.

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This is our Revolution!

This is our Revolution!

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1.) Nothing goes as planned.
2.) If it goes as planned it's not good RP

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RottenLuck wrote:
RottenLuck wrote:

Don't worry ConudrumofFurballs. Here at Altoholic anonymous I'm not just the president... I'm Fifty other members! So you are in good company!

Altoholic Anonymous? Why anonymous?
Altoholic Pride is the group where we stand straight and with fervor shout to the skyline "we are one and I am many". Don't be shy/embarrassed of your Altitis - celebrate it, embrace it, rejoice in it, and above all else share in it.

The Phoenix Rising Initiative Rules Lawyer

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

RottenLuck wrote:
Don't worry ConudrumofFurballs. Here at Altoholic anonymous I'm not just the president... I'm Fifty other members! So you are in good company!

Altoholic Anonymous? Why anonymous?
Altoholic Pride is the group where we stand straight and with fervor shout to the skyline "we are one and I am many". Don't be shy/embarrassed of your Altitis - celebrate it, embrace it, rejoice in it, and above all else share in it.

Hello, my name is Conundrum of Furballs, and I.......HAVE ALTITIS!!!!!!!!

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Radiac
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Going back to the "ghost town

Going back to the "ghost town effect" again, I wonder if that problem could be helped by somehow encouraging people to street sweep more? Like maybe have missions given by contacts that say "Go clear Area X of all baddies" or "defeat X baddies in zone Y" instead of "go find 50 Malta in Peregrine, nothing else, JUST MALTA". That way people could get a team together and just sweep through that area and mop up everything in their path. Those people would be outdoors, fighting mobs, being seen, making the place look inhabited, right? And then you have a completion bonus at the end of the mission for when you've successfully defeated the prescribed number of mobs in the prescribed area.

Obviously, you'd want these missions to either be soloable, or else give an up-front warning that you'll need a bigger team to do them. Or maybe have them scale the number of defeats needed for success with the team size somehow?

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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The only way you're going to

The only way you're going to avoid the "Ghost Town" effect is by having content in those areas... a LOT of content. In CoH, Atlas, Galaxy, and Kings Row were all ghost towns because after level six or so, there wasn't any reason to be there. After the first couple of alts, people would just say, "Ok. Creating a new character. I don't want to do those same boring missions yet again. Get me to level 14 (travel power) ASAP so I can kick butt". Fastest way to do that was sidekick and hit the sewers.

No, you have to find a way to get all levels of characters to come back to these initial neighborhoods and not just jumping, flying, or super-speeding over to the next instanced mission. Either that or you need to make people want to continue to play lower level characters in lower level neighborhoods. Maybe something like this.

Level 20ish group pulls an instanced mission in the lower level neighborhoods. You complete the mission objective, but "x" number of mobs have escaped and are now reeking havoc among the populace. You need to capture them.

You get the XP for defeating the boss of the instance, but you don't get the mission completion bonuses (XP/Drops/influence) until you capture all those who escaped. These mobs are tagged in such a way that no other heroes can target/attack them. There's a time limit as well (so abandoned escapees will not remain indefinitely). At the end of that time limit, your bonuses are gauged on the percentage of escapees captured.

And just for fun, throw in the occasional retaliatory ambush. As soon as team members leave the mission to go after the escapees, you find out, they (and some of their friends) have banded together to try and retake the building/cave.

-Wolf sends

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I don't mind the level cap increases. CoH's Incarnate system was basically a level increase and people loved it. I don't care for it happening so often though. That said, I'm sure there's plenty of players who are only about hitting the level cap then leaving the game till more levels are available, so that's why it's done.

The whole "raising the level cap" ploy is what old-timey unimaginative games do when they can't figure out anything more interesting to do. ;)

CoH had its own solution to the problem with its Incarnate system. Yes if you wanted you could say that the Incarnate system was "sort of like" having levels beyond level 50. But what made it better was that it was far more involved and interesting than just allowing us to go from say level 50 to 60. The level cap (whatever its current value ever is) is just a number - as long as CoT gives us something more significant to do than to just worry about going past 50 then I won't care if 50 remains the permanent cap.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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It was my understanding that

It was my understanding that in CoX the way they wrote the code they basically handcuffed themselves to the point where any attempt to actually add in more "official" levels above 50 would cause some kind of instability and crash the game a lot or something, so they basically HAD to do something else instead. It is that problem I was primarily interested in avoiding, that and "keep your options open" basically.

Even if you're trying really hard to avoid level creep, and you DON'T want to just add more levels to retain players, they could still come a day when you feel like adding a few more levels will be necessary for other reasons, so I'd try not to limit myself to a specific cap number, like ever, just in case.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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The only issue with the code

The only issue with the code and levels that I recall was the one where they tried to add more enhancement sockets to the 20's which caused serious problems. It was possible to add new levels but was decided the development cost and effect on the game environment was too high. Particularly the issue of creating sufficient content for levels 50-60. It would devalue all precious content, require additional recipes, devalue the Hami-Os which was revamped to be in-line with what was considered an "end game raid".

The incarnate levels could theoretically have unlimited levels but not affect all the previous content. To my knowledge the solution wasn't born of technical limitations, but an innovative take on alternative progression, one that provided the sense of vertical progression but operated like horizontal progression.


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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

It was my understanding that in CoX the way they wrote the code they basically handcuffed themselves to the point where any attempt to actually add in more "official" levels above 50 would cause some kind of instability and crash the game a lot or something, so they basically HAD to do something else instead. It is that problem I was primarily interested in avoiding, that and "keep your options open" basically.
Even if you're trying really hard to avoid level creep, and you DON'T want to just add more levels to retain players, they could still come a day when you feel like adding a few more levels will be necessary for other reasons, so I'd try not to limit myself to a specific cap number, like ever, just in case.

In some sense CoH was in fact "handcuffed" into a system that would have made increasing the level cap above 50 very difficult.

As we all know there are many ways to design a game with character-based progression. Some games use a "points" based system where you have stats like Strength or a One-Handed sword skill (that say range from 1 to 100) and every level you get say 10 points to distribute to those stats. With that kind of game it's relatively easy to raise the level cap because all you're doing is giving players more points to spread around on their stats. On the other hand CoH (and presumably CoT) are "powers" based games where instead of generic stats we actually got certain powers/skills assigned to us at specific level thresholds. This means that by level 50 we had a precise number of powers from our various primary/secondary/tertiary power pools. If CoH had simply tried to raise the cap from 50 to say 60 they would have had to completely rework all the powersets to allow for higher level powers to be assigned at say levels like 52, 55, etc. They would have had to essentially redesign/rebalance the entire powerset system in order to go past level 50.

Now having said that I don't really think that makes a "powers" based system worse than a "skills" based system. It simply means that being able to arbitrarily tinker with the level cap is not really an option. Again you have to unlearn the mindset that "increasing the level cap" is the only way to provide players more to do in the end-game. As I implied before that was simply an easy workaround for older games that couldn't really think of anything cooler to do (like CoH's Incarnate system). The level cap is just a number and it's not really a priority to make sure that a game can easily raise it as long as it provides alternatives that are just as good or better. There's no point in keeping "that option open" if its not actually desirable in the first place. Frankly things like CoH's Incarnate system are much better solutions than simple-minded level cap increases and people need to learn to see that.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Another thing that makes

Another thing that makes raising the level cap a PITA with COH-like skill sets is that with all the new skill slots opened by the higher levels, you get a bunch of problems.

  1. More powers need more buttons.
  2. Characters get more homogeneous, because they have all or nearly all of the powers for their promary and secondary skill sets.
  3. If you want to increase the number of available powers in each skill set, that is a lot of work after you get a bunch of skill sets in the game, and balancing gets a lot hairier, too.
  4. The XP requirements for the new levels get exponentially huge.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

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So, whats better as far as

So, whats better as far as return on investment for us?

a) Raising Level caps to existing Power-sets? Get one or two new powers. Allot of code changes, and possibly allot of testing/balancing Again!
b) Create New Power-sets? Might or might not need small Code changes/additions, normal testing, normal balancing, once.
c) will the Majority of players care How new Shiny power are available?
Just as long as there's NEW POWERS every 3 to 4 months? Need to Roll a new toon (many more powers) or for Existing toons (one or two new powers)?

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Lin Chiao Feng wrote:
Lin Chiao Feng wrote:

Another thing that makes raising the level cap a PITA with COH-like skill sets is that with all the new skill slots opened by the higher levels, you get a bunch of problems.
More powers need more buttons.
Characters get more homogeneous, because they have all or nearly all of the powers for their promary and secondary skill sets.
If you want to increase the number of available powers in each skill set, that is a lot of work after you get a bunch of skill sets in the game, and balancing gets a lot hairier, too.
The XP requirements for the new levels get exponentially huge.

Using WOW as an example there other drawbacks to Raising the levels. Rebalancing and new systems for the expanded powers.

I played WOW for a time I have now two level 90 characters. They play completely different then when I started I lost count how many times Blizzard redone the skills to apply for the greater levels. I dropped a character or two just because I would have to relearn the new systems for them (alts I didn't play for a long time). I hate to see that in COT.

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2.) If it goes as planned it's not good RP

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Izzy wrote:
Izzy wrote:

So, whats better as far as return on investment for us?
a) Raising Level caps to existing Power-sets? Get one or two new powers. Allot of code changes, and possibly allot of testing/balancing Again!
b) Create New Power-sets? Might or might not need small Code changes/additions, normal testing, normal balancing, once.
c) will the Majority of players care How new Shiny power are available?
Just as long as there's NEW POWERS every 3 to 4 months? Need to Roll a new toon (many more powers) or for Existing toons (one or two new powers)?

I favor expanding narrative content. This includes:

New story-based mission arcs
New signature NPCs, perhaps in association with new regions, perhaps as immigrants into the city
New powersets, quite difficult with the way CoT will be set up, but not impossible
---->After the game is released I'm sure I'll be in the suggestions forum with fresh details!
New map zones, some more serious, some more whimsical
Entire new regions, So we start with Titan City, then a year later add Cornerstone City, then a year later add Breakpoint City, etc. (or whatever they want to call the new cities)
Perhaps every third year or so something dramatic: alternate dimensions, interplanetary travel, etc.

This can all be done thematically, for example:

Researchers at the university accidentally open a portal to a strange world with lush vegetation, a treetop dwelling simian civilization, and revolt in progress between treetop dwellers and humanoid forest floor inhabitants with unusual coloration (pink, purple, or blue skin, rainbow-colored hair, neon-bright eyes in orange, purple, red, and yellow)

Unusual, dangerous wildlife (zebra-stripped unicorns, brightly colored gigantic raptors (birds, not dinosaurs), a river-dwelling animal that is a cross between a hippo and a rhinoceros

New starting area in this new world, full progression possible in the new world from 0-50, three or four high-level story arcs (or raids, but I prefer a full story arc) for max level characters traveling to the new world from Titan City

New powersets,
---------> jungle vine themed control set (alternative art includes pipes, robes, chains, etc.)
---------> water themed damage set (alternative art includes fire, ice, plasma, etc.)
---------> new pet set featuring animals from the new world
---------> new power Augments and Refinements (venom boost, vine hold boost, or something)

Different themes can provide a dramatically new regional expansion. History, of course (Roman era, Medieval era, Wild West, Steampunk, etc.). A moonbase on our moon, or on a moon around Jupiter, or on a moon in a completely different galaxy reachable by rocket, by portal, or by a teleporter-like gadget.

If the themes are dramatically different enough, and the major expansion is every third year or so, from a marketing perspective it would be like coming out with an entirely new game. With the right advertising campaign this provides a massive opportunity to bring in new players or bring back players who left. It also provides an opportunity to update the core foundation as newer versions of Unreal Engine are released. It seems to me the key to recovering cost is to have a market campaign aimed at attracting new players rather than simply encouraging current players to experiment with the new features.

With this kind of horizontal expansion, why would there ever be a need to raise character levels? The development investment would not be that much different and the core game would still be there for diehard fans.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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New stories and maps. That's

New stories and maps. That's all I need. I'll RP my way to max level and will likely never create an alt nor will I change my characters design again and again. But the second I have no more stories to tell, I'm out.

This is why I'm excited about Player Generated Content.. but more-so I hope the game developers have a post launch plan that really focuses on story content

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JayBezz
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New stories and maps. That's

New stories and maps. That's all I need. I'll RP my way to max level and will likely never create an alt nor will I change my characters design again and again. But the second I have no more stories to tell, I'm out.

This is why I'm excited about Player Generated Content.. but more-so I hope the game developers have a post launch plan that really focuses on story content

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ConundrumofFurballs
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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

I hope the game developers have a post launch plan that really focuses on story content

We have a plan...

There's more districts, there's more story, there's a lot of horizontal expansion to be done. There will be at least *some* vertical expansion post launch, but that's only part of the plan; there's way more horizontal expansion planned for than vertical, at least right now. Admittedly, I can only speak for the composition team, but boy do we have a lot for horizontal expansion...

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Izzy wrote:
So, whats better as far as return on investment for us?
a) Raising Level caps to existing Power-sets? Get one or two new powers. Allot of code changes, and possibly allot of testing/balancing Again!
b) Create New Power-sets? Might or might not need small Code changes/additions, normal testing, normal balancing, once.
c) will the Majority of players care How new Shiny power are available?
Just as long as there's NEW POWERS every 3 to 4 months? Need to Roll a new toon (many more powers) or for Existing toons (one or two new powers)?

I favor expanding narrative content. This includes:
New story-based mission arcs
New signature NPCs, perhaps in association with new regions, perhaps as immigrants into the city
New powersets, quite difficult with the way CoT will be set up, but not impossible
---->After the game is released I'm sure I'll be in the suggestions forum with fresh details!
New map zones, some more serious, some more whimsical
Entire new regions, So we start with Titan City, then a year later add Cornerstone City, then a year later add Breakpoint City, etc. (or whatever they want to call the new cities)
Perhaps every third year or so something dramatic: alternate dimensions, interplanetary travel, etc.
This can all be done thematically, for example:
Researchers at the university accidentally open a portal to a strange world with lush vegetation, a treetop dwelling simian civilization, and revolt in progress between treetop dwellers and humanoid forest floor inhabitants with unusual coloration (pink, purple, or blue skin, rainbow-colored hair, neon-bright eyes in orange, purple, red, and yellow)
Unusual, dangerous wildlife (zebra-stripped unicorns, brightly colored gigantic raptors (birds, not dinosaurs), a river-dwelling animal that is a cross between a hippo and a rhinoceros
New starting area in this new world, full progression possible in the new world from 0-50, three or four high-level story arcs (or raids, but I prefer a full story arc) for max level characters traveling to the new world from Titan City
New powersets,
---------> jungle vine themed control set (alternative art includes pipes, robes, chains, etc.)
---------> water themed damage set (alternative art includes fire, ice, plasma, etc.)
---------> new pet set featuring animals from the new world
---------> new power Augments and Refinements (venom boost, vine hold boost, or something)
Different themes can provide a dramatically new regional expansion. History, of course (Roman era, Medieval era, Wild West, Steampunk, etc.). A moonbase on our moon, or on a moon around Jupiter, or on a moon in a completely different galaxy reachable by rocket, by portal, or by a teleporter-like gadget.
If the themes are dramatically different enough, and the major expansion is every third year or so, from a marketing perspective it would be like coming out with an entirely new game. With the right advertising campaign this provides a massive opportunity to bring in new players or bring back players who left. It also provides an opportunity to update the core foundation as newer versions of Unreal Engine are released. It seems to me the key to recovering cost is to have a market campaign aimed at attracting new players rather than simply encouraging current players to experiment with the new features.
With this kind of horizontal expansion, why would there ever be a need to raise character levels? The development investment would not be that much different and the core game would still be there for diehard fans.

+1*

As I see it, the best return on investment for us, CoT players, is if MWM just built the Tools that will let Us Create the content going forward.

Mission Builder, Avatar Builder (for NPC's), etc... can be reused for that. Of course there's no instanced Open World Builder just yet, but I saw some discussing a Neighborhood / Blocks / Zone Builder... and maybe we might get that a few years down the line.
Of course, this would take a bit more time and effort, but the return on investment might be worth it in the long haul. ;)

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I'm glad to hear that

I'm glad to hear that horizontal will be the preferred expansion direction, at least to start. Plus UGC down the road? Fantastic. However, if ALT-ing is going to be a primary avenue for keeping us playing, I expect a bunch o'slots. Dozens. At least. To start. :)

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*Moose looks at list of

*Moose looks at list of inwork districts*

Ah, yep, we've got a whole lot in the pipe.....

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This looks like a job for SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!!!!!

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*looks at the wiki-moose*

*looks at the wiki-moose*

You have NO idea.....

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ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:

JayBezz wrote:
I hope the game developers have a post launch plan that really focuses on story content

We have a plan...
There's more districts, there's more story, there's a lot of horizontal expansion to be done. There will be at least *some* vertical expansion post launch, but that's only part of the plan; there's way more horizontal expansion planned for than vertical, at least right now. Admittedly, I can only speak for the composition team, but boy do we have a lot for horizontal expansion...

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

... gee. Yeah, I'm, uh, all about those squeegees. >.> <.<

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And now we find out how

And now we find out how loudly a moose can EEP!......

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This looks like a job for SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!!!!!

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+1 to a very firm level cap.

+1 to a very firm level cap. +1 to more missions, more maps and more stuff to do over cap increases. +1 to 'horizontal power increases over vertical max level increases. Utterly agree with Greyhawk:

Quote:

I despise constantly rising level caps. I find them idiotic in the extreme. Sorry. But that is honestly how I feel. Set it once to 50 and leave it there for all time. I would far rather see future expansions concentrate on more locations, more stories, more powersets, more costume pieces, more varieties of architecture, more maps, more content for UGC, etc.

Raising levels just to have a higher number is a complete waste of resources.

Granted, this is my opinion. Nonetheless, I'm very comfortable with it and it is not going to change.

Level is just a meaningless number. Why bother constantly raising it? Higher numbers do not mean better content they just mean a wider gap between veteran players and newcomers. Completely silly!

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Count me in with the folks

Count me in with the folks who prefer horizontal expansion over vertical. Obviously we need vertical at first till we get to the planned level cap, but after that I much prefer a variety of things to do rather than an ever-extending ladder. I still think that holding to a level cap allows for better power set design.

Besides, isn't switching from vertical to horizontal expansion a sign of maturity? That's what I tell my gf when she questions whether I really need that dessert... :-)

Spurn all ye kindle.

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I personally like a more

I personally wouldn't care too much either way as long as the game is fun. I'd likely spend more time in the costume creator messing with my concept designs because my brain does not like that one specific off detail.

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Kiyori Anoyui
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I somewhat agree with Bleddyn

I somewhat agree with Bleddyn, I will be spending countless hours in the costume creator as I did in CoX. But I do have to say that I LOVED the incarnate system and I so wish that I could have seen more of it. I was at the max and ready for more, so I would not be dissapointed at all if a system like that got put in place after they raised the cap to 50

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Keep the easy sidekicking

Keep the easy sidekicking going, both up and down, which will ease burdens on the feelings of emptiness.

Indeed, with a more dynamic world (abandon theme parks and start dynamic invasions and shifting NPC control of areas should invasions succeed, to start) you could abandon the idea of proper levels entirely, at least as segregators of content experience go.

People could level in the sense of opening up more power choices, but otherwise lowbies hang with highbies doing the exact same things -- and not just because they're sidekicked for fun. The content, being dynamic, is experienced newly by everyone at once.

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There was a lot of good

There was a lot of good discussion around levels and progression in another thread. I gave a lot of input there, and the gist of it was that I also strongly prefer horizontal progression to vertical progression.

Plexius wrote:

Continuous level cap increases
This is one thing that really turned me off to WoW after a while. You spend so much time reaching a certain point, then after a few months, the level cap goes up and all of your spent effort to gear up and achieve your desired build is no longer relevant. This was especially painful because I was into Battlegrounds for a while, and once the level cap went up, it's like I had to grind my way back up to max level and adjust my build just to stay in the game even though the Battlegrounds themselves remained the same.
In the end, it always felt like too much stick and not enough carrot for me. I'd much rather see more content and more challenges at max level without forcing me to grind my way back to the status quo every time a major update drops.
That said, I did like the Incarnate system in CoX. I think the major difference there is that your build did not become obsolete---it was simply given more room for improvement. Of course this kind of thing naturally leads to power creep, but I won't delve into that here. Suffice it to say that level cap increases feel more like a setback than an opportunity to me.

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Kiyori Anoyui wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

I somewhat agree with Bleddyn, I will be spending countless hours in the costume creator as I did in CoX. But I do have to say that I LOVED the incarnate system and I so wish that I could have seen more of it. I was at the max and ready for more, so I would not be dissapointed at all if a system like that got put in place after they raised the cap to 50

Well the the problem is I wasn't around when the Incarnate system came out. I never simply got a chance to try it. Although I have played games with level caps being raised constantly and yeah that does get quite annoying. One of the MMOs I am playing now out of boredom (Warframe) has such a huge gap between a beginner and a seasoned player because of artificial levels and gaps that it's absolutely ridiculous

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Perhaps another idea. Make

Perhaps another idea. Make Influence (or whatever the IGC is) zone dependent. Any respect you earned in Atlas Park is lost if you spend the next few weeks over in Skyway. Again, I don't have a problem with level 40 Rikti in Atlas Park. If you're levels 1-30, you're too low to draw their notice. Level 31-36, you should know better than to draw their attention and move to avoid them (who didn't have to travel to the far corner of The Hollows at level 14?).. Level 37-42, you earn the respect of the citizens (assuming you're successful in defeating them).

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Gorgon just made a valid

Gorgon just made a valid point regarding side-kicking. We want it and we want it to be easy. However I think there should be a lower limit to it.

I think all characters should have to get to lvl 10 without the benefit of a Mentor. Think about all this conversation regarding empty zones. It normally occurred at the lowest levels and for a variety of reasons:

1) Players leveled faster and moved to other zones.
2) The zone range in AP was a mistake. You could hit The Hollows by level 5-6 IIRC so why stay around AP for the last couple of missions?
3) Why stay anywhere below lvl 20 when your buddies are willing to SK you and essentially PL you along?
4) We didn't get enough new players to continue to feed the system. You NEED a certain amount of new blood since alts can only carry the game so far.

Here's an interesting notion: Stop out-leveling the missions. Seriously...how many times (before we could shut off xp) did we out-level something and then wish we could go back? I know this encouraged alts but seriously...if you need to do something like that to encourage players to stay then you need a new game.

So is there any harm is simply making ALL of the missions set so you never out-level them? I'm off to start a thread on this topic...

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

Gorgon just made a valid point regarding side-kicking. We want it and we want it to be easy. However I think there should be a lower limit to it.
I think all characters should have to get to lvl 10 without the benefit of a Mentor. Think about all this conversation regarding empty zones. It normally occurred at the lowest levels and for a variety of reasons:
1) Players leveled faster and moved to other zones.
2) The zone range in AP was a mistake. You could hit The Hollows by level 5-6 IIRC so why stay around AP for the last couple of missions?
3) Why stay anywhere below lvl 20 when your buddies are willing to SK you and essentially PL you along?
4) We didn't get enough new players to continue to feed the system. You NEED a certain amount of new blood since alts can only carry the game so far.
Here's an interesting notion: Stop out-leveling the missions. Seriously...how many times (before we could shut off xp) did we out-level something and then wish we could go back? I know this encouraged alts but seriously...if you need to do something like that to encourage players to stay then you need a new game.
So is there any harm is simply making ALL of the missions set so you never out-level them? I'm off to start a thread on this topic...

I also agree with Gorgon's point. I don't agree with your point that I cannot have a mentor till after lvl 10 though. Only reason for that is that I cannot then team with my friend's established toon until at least then so I'd have to be on my own until I got there (which may not take long, granted but I hope you understand my point).

I love the thought of the dynamic content and faction control of an area changing. You'd then have to scale up or down the level of the enemies to match the level of the area.

Why would I stay in an area? The story. I'm one of those people who play the story. I don't just dash to end game or power level just to race to the end. For me the story and the journey are the key to why I play a game (It's why I love Mass Effect so much). I hate reaching the end so I always avoid doing it. It's one reason I never maxed out in CoX (that and I suffer altitis really badly).

I love dynamic events in things like Rift or Defiance. Dynamic content is the way forward, I think. Surprising the players and keeping them on their toes is a good way to keep them coming back for more (IMHO).

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Even if you allowed side

Even if you allowed side-kicking at all levels, it's not a question of whether or not it exists, it's a question of what the XP gain rates are like for the lowbies as compared to just teaming up with another low level peer. If the sidekick gains about the same XP either way, then there's no real power leveling problem. If anything you'd think that the person who needs added rewards for sidekicking someone would be the mentor. I mean, the sidekick, presumably, will cause the maps to spawn more baddies and won't really be able to defeat a full 50% of the maps alone, so if anything they're drawing more business and aren't really equipped to deal with it. That being the case, the model of high-level mentor teaming with low level sidfekick ought to be one that benefits the mentor a little more than they would get from teaming with an equal-level peer and the sidekick ought to get about the same reward rate, or maybe a little worse, then they would get from teaming with an equal level lowbie.

Frankly, I'm all for letting anyone of any level join any team and letting the team leader decide what level content the team will do. Then you just scale everyone to that content accordingly. So if we have a levlel 50 , a level 20 and a level 3 teamed up to do level 40 content, the 50 get's exemped down, the 20 and the 3 get SKed up, etc. Obviously, there's a drawback to being a level 3 that's SKed up to 40 in the sense that you don't have the powers and so forth yet, whereas the level 50 is at an advantage in that sense. The reward/XP rates ought to make sense in that context. In any event the higher level toons ought to get some reward for volunteering to help out a lower level toon, because otherwise they probably have no incentive to team with anyone, not in the strictest economic sense anyway.

The idea of back-end loading mission rewards such that they not so great for repeat farming, if it happens, would tend to do a lot towards discouraging people from just filling a team and clearing 95% of the same map over and over and over again, because you wouldn't get the desired swag until you finished it. Despite the fact that CoX had issues with that stuff (4 level 50s side-kicking 4 lowbies and power leveling them while they destroy a map stocked to the gills for an 8-person party, etc) it still had a lot of soloing anyway, so I don't think anyone needs any encouragement to go and solo their character. Rather, if there needs to be incentivize of anything, it should be rewarding high level people for helping out lower level people.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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On a related note, this point

On a related note, this point about XP and IGC rewards something that can be really tricksy to balance.

In Elder Scrolls Online (and a bunch of other games), the "real" rewards aren't to be had from going out and slaughtering trash mobs. Defeating NPCs isn't the cash cow/power level route in those games. The XP and IGC rewards for defeating NPCs is actually pretty low. The high rewards for XP and IGC instead come from (as Radiac and others have noted) Content Completion ... but can also be found in Exploration as well (discover new zone, open up new part of map, earn XP and maybe free IGC). That way, the game becomes less about "farming" and more about "completing" the content within the game.

Make that content easy to replay and ... {hint hint}


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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

Continuous level cap increases

This is one thing that really turned me off to WoW after a while. You spend so much time reaching a certain point, then after a few months, the level cap goes up and all of your spent effort to gear up and achieve your desired build is no longer relevant. This was especially painful because I was into Battlegrounds for a while, and once the level cap went up, it's like I had to grind my way back up to max level and adjust my build just to stay in the game even though the Battlegrounds themselves remained the same.

In the end, it always felt like too much stick and not enough carrot for me. I'd much rather see more content and more challenges at max level without forcing me to grind my way back to the status quo every time a major update drops.

That said, I did like the Incarnate system in CoX. I think the major difference there is that your build did not become obsolete---it was simply given more room for improvement. Of course this kind of thing naturally leads to power creep, but I won't delve into that here. Suffice it to say that level cap increases feel more like a setback than an opportunity to me.

I tend to agree with this. As others have said - obviously there will be increases at first until we get to the planned cap of 50, but after that I'd prefer those 50 levels to be filled out with more content (missions, zones, raids/TFs, mobs, animations, themes, powersets, classifications, specifications etc etc etc.) because I will want new things for my inevitable alts to try when I start levelling them.

That said I didn't really mind the incarnate stuff in CoH because it felt more like horizontal growth than vertical - it was more about broadening your abilities and unlocking content.

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The one thing that I didn't

The one thing that I didn't like about COX incarnate progression was that it seemed inconsistent with progression up to that point. You got these very generic powers that you could not slot or modify the way they worked. It was true that you could change the appearance of the power but not the values under the hood. It seemed very much like the afterthought that it really was. That and they were tied to those horrid incarnate trials. I do not understand why you couldn't get them through more normal gameplay. Also, why not be able to slot and enhance them so that your incarnate powers were not photo copies of everybody else's? Just my 2 cents.

I reserve the right to have an opinion. You reserve the right not to agree.

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Here's a tangentially related

Here's a tangentially related question for everyone.

We all know (and accept) that when the game launches the Level Cap will be set at 30 and that EVENTUALLY it'll get raised on up to 50. We all clear on that?

So my question is ... how big should the stair steps from 30 to 50 be?

5 Level increments?
10 Level increments?
A single jump of 20 Levels from 30 to 50?

My personal preference would be for 5 Level increments, if only so as to guard against the Too Far, Too Fast syndrome that might occur with 10 Level increments. It also stretches the development out over a longer period of time, reducing various pressures on the development team(s) to get everything absolutely perfect the first time.

Where does everyone else stand on this question?


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I suppose it all depends on

I suppose it all depends on how big a pain it is for them to rebalance everything after the increase.
All that I know about game design I picked up reading these forums.
It sounds reasonable that smaller steps would give them more time to get out the content for each step
On the other would "snatching the bandage off quickly" and doing it all at once be less stressful?

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Only if everything works

Only if everything works perfectly is the "do it all at once" strategy a superior choice.

Learn to walk before you run and all that.


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I think the climb from 30 to

I think the climb from 30 to 50 would be gated by how fast they can produce enough good content to do to get you from 30 to 50. If several 5-level steps is the most appropriate in terms of what they can handle, that's fine with me.

I'm really a lot more interested in finding ways to make the existing content more re-useable and almost as fun the 50th time as it was the 1st time, etc.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Here's a tangentially related question for everyone.
We all know (and accept) that when the game launches the Level Cap will be set at 30 and that EVENTUALLY it'll get raised on up to 50. We all clear on that?
So my question is ... how big should the stair steps from 30 to 50 be?
5 Level increments?
10 Level increments?
A single jump of 20 Levels from 30 to 50?
My personal preference would be for 5 Level increments, if only so as to guard against the Too Far, Too Fast syndrome that might occur with 10 Level increments. It also stretches the development out over a longer period of time, reducing various pressures on the development team(s) to get everything absolutely perfect the first time.
Where does everyone else stand on this question?

For me, it depends a huge number of variables far outside my personal realm of control.

Are there enough players?
Has the game generated sufficient revenue to cover the cost of the new content?
Is the 0-30 content wide enough and deep enough to enhance replayability?
Which scheme would allow for more effective implementation, stepped or all at once?
Which scheme will provide better marketing opportunities to bring in new players?
How will the new scheme be deployed, as online updates or as a fresh expansion?
How long will it take to thoroughly test the additional content?
Is the current server stable enough to handle heavy early front loading on the new content?
Is there enough narrative depth in the 0-30 content to form a stable, predictable foundation for expanded storytelling?
What other bonuses (power sets, costume pieces, NPC contacts, map zones) will be added on top of the additional content to provide incentives to new players, established players, and returning players?

If:
servers are stable
0-30 content is broad enough to provide a good narrative foundation
playerbase is large enough to take advantage of new levels
new material has been sufficiently tested
a solid marketing campaign is ready to launch
the 31-50 content can generate more than enough revenue for a solid ROI (as a boxed expansion, for example)
player anticipation, media anticipation, and market anticipation are all eagerly awaiting the new content

Then I'd suggest releasing the entire package of 31-50 new content as a boxed expansion that can also be purchased for download (and yes, that includes requiring current players to buy into the expansion).

If one or more of those conditions are not met and cannot be met in the foreseeable future, then a staged release of perhaps 5 or 10 levels at a time through normal game updates is probably a better idea.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I think the climb from 30 to 50 would be gated by how fast they can produce enough good content to do to get you from 30 to 50. If several 5-level steps is the most appropriate in terms of what they can handle, that's fine with me.
I'm really a lot more interested in finding ways to make the existing content more re-useable and almost as fun the 50th time as it was the 1st time, etc.

I'm in agreement with Radiac here. As long as it is good content that is fun to replay it doesn't matter to me much how they do it.

I reserve the right to have an opinion. You reserve the right not to agree.

Plexius
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While there are some great

While there are some great reasons here in support of gradual level increases, I fear that it could lead to players expecting more level increases, and that it could possibly lead the devs to consider increasing the level cap even further. As I've posted previously, this is something I am not in favor of. Of course this is pure speculation on my part, but...well, I want to speculate for a minute. :p

Hypothetically, say that the level cap is increased in increments of 5 levels from 30 to 50. This might appear to many players as a traditional MMO endgame (more content, more levels). But what happens when the level cap stops increasing? I fear that many players might become disillusioned with a sudden halt in "progress" and consequently abandon ship.

Also, it's possible that the devs may see level increases as a sustainable development pattern for the game's future and thus continue the trend. This would be hard to argue against if it ultimately draws more players to the game and increases revenue. Still, it would run counter to CoH's horizontal progression and put us on an endless treadmill like so many other MMO's.

So...I don't know. I think it's a double-edged sword. That's not to say that I'm 100% against gradual level cap increases, but I think it entails some risks.

cybermitheral
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I think part of the problem

I think part of the problem seen with constant level increases is the need to "Re-Gear" in order to complete end-game Raids.
However this is also perceived, by me, to be for those games where in order to complete a Raid you have to do the following:
- Watch YouTube for the exact parameters needed in order to defeat the Raid.
- Practice the Raid numerous times with friends where if 1 person makes a mistake the entire Raid can fail
- If one person of your Raid team cant make it you cant just advertise for a random person to join instead as they may not know the tactics.
What is the above based on? My observations of friends playing WoW and FFXIV.

In both those games in order to be successful you need your character to have VERY HIGH LEVEL GEAR of a VERY HIGH QUALITY.
In CoH I could Tank most of the TF's without IO Set's and IO's that were not Max Level. Most TF/SF that I did I learned by doing or advise during the TF/SF from other players as the content was not so cumbersome that it needed me to watch YouTube 10 times so I can memorise that fight.

Also CoH didn't have the same type of Gear.

I am not adverse to the dev's being able to at some point say we can increase the level cap beyond 50 as long as it doesn't break anything. It could be that every level you get 1 extra slot to put somewhere while still maintaining no more than 6 slots per power (purely an example only). If my character has level 50 IO sets and I can now get level 55 IO Sets then its not a huge deal to me as the difference between those values would not mean my death/failure if I run level 55 content with level 50 IO's.

/Sorry for using old CoH terms instead of the new CoT terms :(

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Plexius your concerns are

Plexius your concerns are noted. If anything what Redlynne suggests is for the game devs to handle the release of post 30 levels with increments that are sustainable in concert with content development. This is a topic we had already broached internally.

The current plan is to release the content and unlock levels for 31 - 50. Since we are not purely relying on engine assets but building modular systems based on engine assets, we will have all the tools place necessary for developing the new maps (and everything spawning on those maps), stories (which already exist but the comp team will have the tools to continue implementing their stories into the game), drop tables, level rate (which exists but we will be able to use the 1 - 30 player progression to make adjustments), and more.

One of the crucial reaons we're holding off post 30 release is time. Time to get all off this stuff in and tested, as well as Ai behavior for basic combat pets for our Control sets as they'll be the model we build off of for making Operator pets. Since we know time is of a crucial factor we wouldn't want a bunch of player characters beginning to languish at the. 30 cut off, so our fall back is currently to unlock levels 30 - 40, then 40 - 50. We could go as low as 5 level increments, but it isn't ideal as far as story or character progression is concerned. It would be a making best of a worse case scenario.

To sum up: the plan is 1 - 30, then 31 - 50. If time becomes a major issue (or other problems arise), the change would be 31- 40, then 41 - 50. 5 level increments are possible but not ideal.

Post 50 advancement could go either way though we recognize the many problems surrounding constant level cap increases. The systems we have are desgned for the possibility but we are also considering horizontal growth systems.


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whiteperegrine
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I kinda echo the concerns of

I kinda echo the concerns of Plexius regarding setting up the expectations of players about continual level growth, especially considering a vast majority will not visit the boards for info. given this I would rather see it done as Tannim mentioned...all at once and barring that incriments of 10. 5 seems a bit small and would be limiting from a design aspect.

Redlynne
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Y'know guys, that slope is

Y'know guys, that slope is only "slippery" if you pour oil on it by the barrel and then willfully hurl yourself over the ledge like a complete moron. There's just an unforgivable degree of Not Paying Attention required in order for the circumstances you've described to even be possible, let alone become the conventional (lack of) wisdom.

The Willful Stupidity required to support your doomsday scenario, while certainly *possible* (because there's an inexhaustible supply of stupidity out there) isn't something I'd worry about developing any form of legitimacy. We're talking "microwave your tin foil hat on high power" levels of Rub Both Brain Cells Together Sparky compounded by a refusal to learn/figure it out when everyone who knows better just points and laughs.

I simply don't find the scenario Of Doom™ (+3) as presented by Plexius to be a credible risk. Extant? Maybe. Credible? Not by a longshot.


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As long as it is communicated

As long as it is communicated as well as possible that the game, while initially limited to 30 levels, will eventually sport 50 levels, I figure we should be alright. Put it "right on the box" so to speak. There will also likely be a wiki for the game, news on the CoT website, not to mention in-game chatter (though admittedly some people will likely miss or ignore some or all of those; for instance I rarely ventured onto the official game forums and the chat is easy to miss when you're running missions).

Even go as far as have a post-patch window pop-up on screen upon entering the game world detailing such level increases (whether in bite-sized chunks or the whole 20-level enchilada) and accompanying new content - they can read it there before closing the window and playing the game. Just have a big eye-catching "NEW TO THE GAME". Even CoH did this IIRC.

If you put it "right on the box" or in the product blurb/sales pitch, (starting with a cap of 30 levels, with plans for expansion to 50), and have in-game patch note pop-ups when the level increases go live (repeating again that the planned limit is 50), then your arse is covered as far as I'm concerned.

whiteperegrine
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I do like the idea that

I do like the idea that Interdictor brought up though. make the knowledge known via the log in screen, in addition to all the other methods he mentioned. using the login scree to pass on this bit of info would mean that everyone is getting the information and becomes very hard for people to say they never saw and/or read about it.

...and Red, I dunno, maybe it's just me but turn it down a notch...you have been getting more and more rude with your responces as of late if they run counter to your own thoughts. discussions can be had without the vitriol you seem to enjoy putting out there.

Plexius
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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Even go as far as have a post-patch window pop-up on screen upon entering the game world detailing such level increases (whether in bite-sized chunks or the whole 20-level enchilada) and accompanying new content - they can read it there before closing the window and playing the game. Just have a big eye-catching "NEW TO THE GAME". Even CoH did this IIRC.

This is a good idea. With ample communication, players will be informed and can make their own decisions up front about how they feel about the level cap. I think a one-time post-patch in-game popup would be a great way to communicate it since---as you mentioned---not everyone visits the forums or official website.

Redlynne wrote:

I simply don't find the scenario Of Doom™ (+3) as presented by Plexius to be a credible risk. Extant? Maybe. Credible? Not by a longshot.

If you think my concerns are unfounded or illegitimate, Redlynne, the least you could do is explain why. Using labels like "complete moron" or banking on "willful stupidity" as an explanation doesn't help. I know you can do better than this.

It wasn't my intention to spread hysteria. I posted my speculations only to illustrate a couple of potential pitfalls. These pitfalls may be entirely avoidable or non-issues in practice, but is it so unreasonable to add it to the discussion?

Redlynne
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Plexius, my point is that

Plexius, my point is that although your concern is almost certainly going to be something that happens ... it isn't going to be a widespread or common mistake. It's not like a majority or even a significant minority of Players will come to the conclusions you cited as being worrisome. A few, yes, will commit the error (simply because in a large enough group of people there's always going to be someone who screws up something). The problem I have with the proposition you made is the ... persistence ... of the error, as well as the perception that it will possibly be widespread and enduring. In order for the concern you have to be valid AND something that must be actively and effectively countered requires three things ...

  • Ignorance ... by which I mean simply not having been given accurate/correct information
  • Resistance ... by which I mean that once correct information is given it gets refused/denied in favor of wrong information
  • Persistence ... by which I mean that repeated attempts to inform and correct the original error are rebuffed with increasing ferocity

As I said, the scenario you cited with people taking the WRONG information and "running to the bank with it" (so to speak) simply isn't credible in my view. There will be some "cranks" out there who do, but the overwhelming supermajority of people won't make that mistake if the communication channels between Players and Staff are both open and in good working order (because if they aren't you've got bigger problems!). This kind of situation is so ... easy ... to guard against, in my opinion, that it simply isn't a credible threat of a problem in a game that features decent Community Management with good communications.


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Plexius
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Thanks for clarifying,

Thanks for clarifying, Redlynne. This makes a lot more sense to me.

Redlynne wrote:

Plexius, my point is that although your concern is almost certainly going to be something that happens ... it isn't going to be a widespread or common mistake. It's not like a majority or even a significant minority of Players will come to the conclusions you cited as being worrisome.

I absolutely agree. I'm sorry if my wording suggested that the scenario would cause a mass exodus. Although I did say "many" players, I didn't mean to imply that the entire player community would suddenly defect as a result. Perhaps I overstated my concerns a bit.

Well, that's assuming...

Redlynne wrote:

...the communication channels between Players and Staff are both open and in good working order (because if they aren't you've got bigger problems!).

...which I also strongly agree with.

As with business in general, communication and expectations are key. I don't doubt MWM's capacity in that regard, but I think it bears a little emphasis that communications in regards to any long-term plans for the level cap should be made clear to the player community when those plans are settled upon or change at any time. I personally consider this to be very important, and I doubt I'm alone in saying so.

I think we can agree that a little communication will go a long way.

Redlynne
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Aye.

Aye.


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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

As with business in general, communication and expectations are key. I don't doubt MWM's capacity in that regard,

Rather you than me...

Quote:

but I think it bears a little emphasis that communications in regards to any long-term plans for the level cap should be made clear to the player community when those plans are settled upon or change at any time. I personally consider this to be very important, and I doubt I'm alone in saying so.
I think we can agree that a little communication will go a long way.

And welcome to the one thing that always helps out. If the playerbase at large gets the wrong information, then it becomes a problem. If something is ambiguous, it's a problem. But above all, make it *easy* to read.

If the important information is tied into the middle of a wall of text, that is badly formatted, the person doing the communication only has themselves to blame. Yes, I know that we should all read everything, and take care about it. But if you (as in the author) cannot be bothered to lay it out to make it easy to read, why should I put in the effort to try to understand what you have written?

Sometimes it is also better to say early when the doors open with BIG LARGE LETTERS, and SIMPLE WORDS *exactly* what you are planning.

So if you release levels 31-40, go and say "This is the first part of our roll out to level 50. We have no plans at the moment to increase the level cap beyond 50" or something along those lines.

Sure, the vast majority might well already know that you won't be increasing the level cap beyond that at the start, but you cannot expect people who have NOT been following the game to NOT know that. So whilst you might feel that the developers are repeating themselves, they are. But only for the existing player base. For the newer people though? This news is *gold*. So even if the developers put links to other dev comments/articles about X/Y/Z topics, this helps the NEWER (and the older) player base as well, to at least make it easy to find information.

Side note: This is why having a table of contents on newsletters is handy, it makes it easier to find stuff, without having to read the whole article.

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