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#1 Posted by j3ke7zt (17 posts) -

I got this idea while trying to find a solution to the problem of MMORPGs having a limited lifespan.

After reaching the maximum level and obtaining the best gear possible in the game, most players get bored and leave, unless the devs release a new expansion raising the level cap and adding new gear.

Before I begin, I should tell you I don't like this idea at all but I wanted a second opinion.

In this levelless MMORPG of mine there is no progression, weapons of the same kind have the same stats but different types of weapons have different stats. For example a viking sword would have the same attack power and attack speed as a roman gladius but not the same atk power and atk speed as a battle axe or a dagger. Damage is dealt based on a percentage of the target's maximum health so instead of hitting a mob for 120 damage, you would hit it for 4% of its maximum health, same principle applies in pvp. That means as soon as a you enter the world, you can kill any mob from any zone in the game or defeat any player regardless of how many hours they have sank into the game. Players are given a limited number of skill point to spend and can reset their skills only once per character.

That is the core of the game. I know I left out a lot of things like classes, races, jobs etc but I didn't want to focus on them in this post.

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#2 Edited by MattGiersoni (587 posts) -

Well, Elder Scrolls Online does this in a way. Not 100% the same to your idea, but similar. I believe scaling was introduced a year ago I think. So as soon as you create a character you can pretty much go anywhere and fight anything. Some other mmos do that too probably, can't think of any right now though, and ESO came in to my head because I've played it. Though there is plenty of progression and goals.

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#3 Posted by Driadon (3253 posts) -

The issue with a complete lack of progression is that that is a major reason for players to play in the first place, and doesn't actually solve what progression does for MMOs which is long-term retention. That isn't to say that a progression-less traditional fantasy MMO couldn't exist, but you'd have to solve that retention problem first to make it viable. I think the best example of that would be to look at something like EVE Online, which retains not by traditional progression of experience points and quests, but by money assets that can be gained or lost in greater numbers via player interaction.

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#5 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

The Secret World sort of had that idea; they called it horizontal progression. There were hundreds of skills, divided across 9 weapon types, and there was only extremely limited progression (technically there were a couple dozen skill trees, but only the last skill in any tree took any grinding at all). Instead, it was all a question of deciding which of the skills to unlock (since unlocking any one took almost no time but unlocking all would take forever) to fit your playstyle (since you could only equip 14 of them and they had a lot interactions).

There was gear, which did progress traditionally (so its not totally your idea), but all of it was invisible. Instead, your character just wore modern-looking cosmetic clothing; so you could never tell from looking at someone how powerful they might be.

It was an interesting idea, the problem was that unless you made the deliberate decision to change for change's sake, your character would look and play identically 8 hours into the game that they would 60 hours in to the game. And I think the lack of progression caused a staleness that was one of the reasons why the best-written MMO ever was such a failure (also the combat looked and felt bad; that was another reason).

As far as simply scaling stuff, WoW has that now with the its latest patch; though there are limits (e.g. all the vanilla/cata-revamped content scales, but only from levels 1-60)

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#6 Posted by Marokai (3711 posts) -

I just don't think there's any way to realistically have a successful MMO without some sort of progression unless you're just making some sort of Second Life-esque 3D chat client or it's all entirely creative based, like a Minecraft-like MMO or something. Levels are not necessarily progression, it's worth noting, so I think an MMO where characters all have the same base character could still theoretically work, but you would still need some sort of progression system.

I think in some way this would actually be a welcome change for some MMOs if done correctly, since I think some MMOs (like, say, FFXIV, since I've whined about that game in the past) basically just tack character leveling on in a way that doesn't seriously take much time at all and seems solely there just to give some fake sense that you've made any progress, and then everyone's just using predominantly the same gear in the endgame ("endgame") anyway. If you just said "we're ditching the bullshit formality of leveling up a character and just going all-in on gear progression exclusively" I could be way into that.