The problem I have with modern Multiplayer-games

They all try to be RPGs, by having a leveling system.

Maybe this trend started with Call of Duty 4 or the tremendous success with World of Warcraft, I don't know, but it is getting annoying.
In the FPS-genre it's almost a given, that you start with a basic pistol and some machine guns and have to unlock everything else by playing the game. There are so many things wrong with it, it's almost scary how the devs can't see it. 
First of all: You're giving the people who already have an advantage by having the game played for longer another one. I could understand the concept, if the rewards were given out for special actions, as a reward for being a good player, but it's not even that. You get a reward for simply playing the game a long time, because you never ever lose points or experience, you can only win. Almost like a role-playing-game, isn't it? (dur hur)
Another problem with the system is, that it doesn't add anything. I've already established that it only costs you time to get the extra-weapons or whatever and that everyone can get them, so all this pointless leveling up is doing is hindering me from enjoying the game. It's like the Developers are holding a carrot in front of my face, saying: Oh, you want to have access to all the content in the game? Yeah, you'll have to invest a week of playtime for that, maybe you'll have fun than. Are the devs really that afraid that the core gameplay isn't enough to keep us satisfied? Do they really think that our generation's attention span is so low, that we get bored with the game if there's not the next level to get or the next perk to unlock? Well...that might actually be true, but it's still sad that the developers have to cater towards that group.


Awesome, only 2 more levels and I can get the medipack. Yes, I am playing a medic without any way to revive my team-mates or even heal them. That's advancement!

One of the weirdest and absolutely gamebreaking examples of a leveling system I can give is command and conquer 4. Yes, a Real time strategy-game, that starts you off as a lvl 1 general with only 2 types of units. 2 types. The normal marine and something else. It actually hinders you at developing strategies, you can't react to anything the enemy throws at you. The only way this system worked (well, it still didnt), was because the only game-modus that was available was 5vs5. Your team-mates had to win the game for you, so you could get Xp and someday actually get units that can compete with those of the enemy or actually counter them out. We will never find out, what the devs were thinking about it, because they got fired before the game came out and rightfully so for treating the last game of a saga with such less respect.
Strangely enough, one of the games that does the leveling-system right is halo 3. The achieve a high level there, you 
have to consistently be good playing, otherwise you'll lose levels (oh no, my precious levels). The only rewards you get for having a high-level are of cosmetic nature, like new armors or new helmets. This way people can still see that you are totally super awesome rad dude, but you're not stopping them from having fun, like those akimbo shotgun-abusers in modern warfare 2.

What's your take on the matter? Am I overexaggerating with the impact these systems have on the games? Do you mind a leveling system or not? let me know in the comments, I'll sure read them (even though there's no achievement for that!)



28 Comments
29 Comments
Posted by Balls_of_steel
They all try to be RPGs, by having a leveling system.

Maybe this trend started with Call of Duty 4 or the tremendous success with World of Warcraft, I don't know, but it is getting annoying.
In the FPS-genre it's almost a given, that you start with a basic pistol and some machine guns and have to unlock everything else by playing the game. There are so many things wrong with it, it's almost scary how the devs can't see it. 
First of all: You're giving the people who already have an advantage by having the game played for longer another one. I could understand the concept, if the rewards were given out for special actions, as a reward for being a good player, but it's not even that. You get a reward for simply playing the game a long time, because you never ever lose points or experience, you can only win. Almost like a role-playing-game, isn't it? (dur hur)
Another problem with the system is, that it doesn't add anything. I've already established that it only costs you time to get the extra-weapons or whatever and that everyone can get them, so all this pointless leveling up is doing is hindering me from enjoying the game. It's like the Developers are holding a carrot in front of my face, saying: Oh, you want to have access to all the content in the game? Yeah, you'll have to invest a week of playtime for that, maybe you'll have fun than. Are the devs really that afraid that the core gameplay isn't enough to keep us satisfied? Do they really think that our generation's attention span is so low, that we get bored with the game if there's not the next level to get or the next perk to unlock? Well...that might actually be true, but it's still sad that the developers have to cater towards that group.


Awesome, only 2 more levels and I can get the medipack. Yes, I am playing a medic without any way to revive my team-mates or even heal them. That's advancement!

One of the weirdest and absolutely gamebreaking examples of a leveling system I can give is command and conquer 4. Yes, a Real time strategy-game, that starts you off as a lvl 1 general with only 2 types of units. 2 types. The normal marine and something else. It actually hinders you at developing strategies, you can't react to anything the enemy throws at you. The only way this system worked (well, it still didnt), was because the only game-modus that was available was 5vs5. Your team-mates had to win the game for you, so you could get Xp and someday actually get units that can compete with those of the enemy or actually counter them out. We will never find out, what the devs were thinking about it, because they got fired before the game came out and rightfully so for treating the last game of a saga with such less respect.
Strangely enough, one of the games that does the leveling-system right is halo 3. The achieve a high level there, you 
have to consistently be good playing, otherwise you'll lose levels (oh no, my precious levels). The only rewards you get for having a high-level are of cosmetic nature, like new armors or new helmets. This way people can still see that you are totally super awesome rad dude, but you're not stopping them from having fun, like those akimbo shotgun-abusers in modern warfare 2.

What's your take on the matter? Am I overexaggerating with the impact these systems have on the games? Do you mind a leveling system or not? let me know in the comments, I'll sure read them (even though there's no achievement for that!)



Posted by trophyhunter

That's what makes them good 

Posted by Jimbo

Psychological addiction as a substitute for (or in addition to) compelling gameplay.  Same deal with WoW, same deal with Achievements, even 'loot'. 
 
If you look at the long-term mega-popular games, it's this 'reward' mechanic that they have in common, rather than a particular type of gameplay.  A lot of players would have stopped playing these games a long time ago if they weren't hooked on the feeling they get when the game 'rewards' them.   It's pretty cynical game development, but what can you do?  It works.  I only really mind them once people are more worried about levelling than they are about winning the game (a la Bad Company 2).  
 
I agree that there is a distinction between rewards for skill and rewards merely for time spent.  There is something pure about putting hours into something to become good at it just for the sake of it, no matter how useless that thing might be.  There is something kinda pitiful about putting hours into something just to get an inevitable pat on the head from the game.

Posted by ThePhantomnaut

I don't really care. I play the fucking game.

Posted by natetodamax
@Jimbo: You make a really good point.
Posted by Skytylz

Halo doesn't. :)

Posted by AhmadMetallic

i know right ? 
 
fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded 
 
what can we do? people suck

Posted by ArchScabby
@Skytylz said:
" Halo doesn't. :) "
Yes it does.
Posted by Jimbo
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
"fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded"
Well put.
Posted by n00d13z
@ArchScabby said:
" @Skytylz said:
" Halo doesn't. :) "
Yes it does. "
Well play'd sir.
Edited by yellownumber5

I think the trick is how well games can match you with similarly ranked players.  I used to be a fairly big Halo 2 player back in the day, and played some Halo 3.  Why Halo has worked so well is that they got this right from the start.  I'm not sure other games have been able to do this as well.  Now days I tend to put down the controller quicker in contemporary MP games.  If I'm a noob and start a game for the first time I should be in a match with other people who also only have that crappy pistol and pea shooter rifle.  It is frustrating to play a game for the first time and feel underpowered and overwhelmed.  Who wants their first experiences of a competitive game to be getting their ass wiped?

Posted by MrMcgillicutty
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
" i know right ?  fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded  what can we do? people suck "
Yeah, people really suck a fuck.
Posted by ArchScabby

Also, I don't mind getting rewarded, it feels good.  The only problem I have with modern mulitplayer is that now mulitplayer almost has an ending.  Once you level up all the way and unlock everything it feels like you've "beaten" the multiplayer, and it can cause you to lose interest.  It has for me before.  At the same time though, you can't have rewards go on forever because that's unfair.  I wouldn't want to buy a game where I know I'm not going to get certain items because I would have to play for a thousand hours just to get them.

Posted by Icemael

The problem I have with modern multiplayer games is that they don't have split-screen.

Posted by Jasonofindy
@yellownumber5 said:
" I think the trick is how well games can match you with similarly ranked players.  I used to be a fairly big Halo 2 player back in the day, and played some Halo 3.  Why Halo has worked so well is that they got this right from the start.  I'm not sure other games have been able to do this as well.  Now days I tend to put down the controller quicker in contemporary MP games.  If I'm a noob and start a game for the first time I should be in a match with other people who also only have that crappy pistol and pea shooter rifle.  It is frustrating to play a game for the first time and feel underpowered and overwhelmed.  Who wants their first experiences of a competitive game to be getting their ass wiped? "
This right here.  Halo 2 got matchmaking more or less right in 2004.  How come so many other games still do such a horrible job of it now?  I can understand if the game has been out six months and is only moderately popular and there really aren't any other "level 1" players playing.  However, most online games seem to dump early level players in with level 20+ players even in the early weeks when there should be plenty of low level players available.
Posted by EternalDarkWing
@MrMcgillicutty said:
" @Ahmad_Metallic said:
" i know right ?  fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded  what can we do? people suck "
Yeah, people really suck a fuck. "
Oh please, tell me Mr. McGillicutty, how exactly does one suck a fuck?
Posted by SteamPunkJin
@EternalDarkWing said:
" @MrMcgillicutty said:
" @Ahmad_Metallic said:
" i know right ?  fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded  what can we do? people suck "
Yeah, people really suck a fuck. "
Oh please, tell me Mr. McGillicutty, how exactly does one suck a fuck? "
Step 1: Open your mouth
Step 2: ????
Step 3: Fuck sucked.
Edited by MrKlorox
@Jimbo said:

" @Ahmad_Metallic said:

"fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded"

Well put. "
Almost coulda been a haiku.
 
fucking rewards, yo
feeding fuckers' shitty needs
to be rewarded
Posted by Deusoma

Huh, I never really thought about it that way. You definitely have a point there, though, I've never played Bad Company 2, but if a starting Medic really can't heal his teammates, there's something wrong with the system.
 
I'm glad Reach's system is just for aesthetic armour stuff, you're definitely right, if I have to start a match with my trusty assault rifle and the infamously shitty pistol, I wouldn't want another guy to spawn in with a different, superior assault rifle and a rocket launcher just because he's been playing longer. :P

Posted by DoctorOptimist
@ArchScabby said:
" @Skytylz said:
" Halo doesn't. :) "
Yes it does. "
Not entirely, there is a ranking system, but it doesn't reward you with overpowered crap that most watered down military shooters spoon feed these days. It just ranks the player based on his skills, than places them against players with an equal rank or higher rank. It becomes more and more challenging as you play, developers should try using this method instead of having a RPG system that rewards players with overpowered weaponry or gadgets.
Posted by Meteora

Its a little bit of an annoyance, especially if you play with another copy of the game or something and they don't have all the stuff unlocked. However, the advantage is that you won't become overwhelmed the number of options you can have. Imagine if all Modern Warfare 2 players had access to all the camouflage, accessories, perks and weapons right off the bat. You know how overwhelming all of that customization is when you first start out and have no fucking clue what's good for you?

Posted by Skytylz
@DoctorOptimist said:
" @ArchScabby said:
" @Skytylz said:
" Halo doesn't. :) "
Yes it does. "
Not entirely, there is a ranking system, but it doesn't reward you with overpowered crap that most watered down military shooters spoon feed these days. It just ranks the player based on his skills, than places them against players with an equal rank or higher rank. It becomes more and more challenging as you play, developers should try using this method instead of having a RPG system that rewards players with overpowered weaponry or gadgets. "
Thank you for answering him for me!
Posted by ZanzibarBreeze

I don't play the multiplayer, but I played the bots a fair bit in Killzone 2. My only qualm was that the offline bots mode wouldn't let you level up for that specific mode. If it would let you have a separate character for that specific mode that you could level up it would be rad.

Posted by Ferginator4k
@Icemael: That is a good point., we need more splitscreen games.
Posted by ShaunassNZ

I don't mind it, as long as it's balanced, MW2 could be very balanced if 1) the FAMAS etc. was not so easy to turn into a automatic gun 2) No fucking explosives except for the frag etc. 3) If all guns had the scope unlocked right away. I like Halo for not doing so but I like to have a different outload from everyone else.

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@SteamPunkJin said:
" @EternalDarkWing said:
" @MrMcgillicutty said:
" @Ahmad_Metallic said:
" i know right ?  fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded  what can we do? people suck "
Yeah, people really suck a fuck. "
Oh please, tell me Mr. McGillicutty, how exactly does one suck a fuck? "
Step 1: Open your mouth Step 2: ???? Step 3: Fuck sucked. "
you forgot Profit 
  

@MrKlorox said:
" @Jimbo said:

" @Ahmad_Metallic said:

"fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded"

Well put. "
Almost coulda been a haiku.  fucking rewards, yofeeding fuckers' shitty needs to be rewarded "
i'll get my guitar
Posted by EternalDarkWing
@SteamPunkJin said:
" @EternalDarkWing said:
" @MrMcgillicutty said:
" @Ahmad_Metallic said:
" i know right ?  fucking rewards feeding fuckers' needs to be rewarded  what can we do? people suck "
Yeah, people really suck a fuck. "
Oh please, tell me Mr. McGillicutty, how exactly does one suck a fuck? "
Step 1: Open your mouth Step 2: ???? Step 3: Fuck sucked. "
You're such a fuckass.
Posted by iam3green

it is to keep the people from playing the game. what you said i only need 2 more level to unlock this. it is why the put it in the game, to make people want to play more. i enjoy a little bit of it. games like halo make the game easy because you just pick up guns that you want.

Posted by AestheticSynthesis

I think Counter Strike had the best multiplayer to date: 
 
 
Want a better gun? Quit fucking up and guard that damn bombsite for once.