What if We Leveled Backwards?!

GartarkMusik

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Jan 24, 2011
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That sounds pretty cool, or you can always see if you could give old enemies new abilities as you get stronger, that way there's still variety in combat, and that even the weakest enemy will keep you on your toes.
 

Dobrev

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Mar 25, 2009
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You are Wrong! (edit: after reading the whole thing) You are Wrong in so many levels.

Mind you I do watch your show and enjoy reading your column for being smart and cynical. Yet when sometimes people talk shit they need to be called on. And today you are Stupid. Let me explain:

A single player game is fun when you are progressing and accomplishing something. And your hero getting stronger is exactly the part of character development of him getting better and more skillful at what he does. And while you can design a game where you progress in another more important path than strength, all you proposed was being nerfed. No fun there. If its too easy for you go ramp up the difficulty setting.

Haven't played Two Worlds 2, so I'm left to respond on your WoW comment that misc spells are unnecessary. If you are only using 30% of you skill that is perfectly fine. You are probably doing only quests which after all are designed to be easy for new players. Add dungeon groups, raids, PvP and extreme soloing and you'll end up using almost all your spells or die alot. But I forgive you since you are new to the game. WoW indeed does have some spells that have no use and are relics of old design, but these are pruned or updated over time.

Limiting ganks? What are you thinking? The only thing to prevent me to gank other people is the amount of preparation it requires. Ohh I only need to press two buttons and make you character - GG!


So yeah, while I wonder how far have you actully gone this time to write something funny, all your rambling is just plain dumb.


Here is a better tip for you: Make it a facebook game. The less friends you have the more you win. At least then you'll find a demographic that enjoys your game. (while you spam them with singles adds and cat toys)
 

Csae

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Sep 8, 2010
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GunGame Reverse.

CSS mod, i loved it and played it a ton.

Starts you with the strongest gun, and by the time you"ve "leveled" up to max level, you have to kill the other guys with a knife. Who btw are lower level then you, so they still have the strong stuff.

Quite fun and challenging and winning is a real show of skill and gives a sense of achivement :)

I'd love to try this concept in a RPG of some sort. Definitely would have to go heavy on the story though.

Its always irked me that i get "stronger"... but the enemies got stronger too... so i didn't really get any stronger did i... since its all so relative, games irk me when they do this too much. See Diablo2. Loved it. Hated the concept of fading strength.
 

Withall

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Jan 9, 2010
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"Level backwards"... that sounds like ageing. We start off building skills, physical performance and aptitude, and as we grow older, our physical performance deteriorate, which forces us to use the skills we learned and the (usually) mental aptitude we honed when we were younger <--First impressions.

Post read impressions: I agree wholeheartedly with this idea. The idea is sound, but a bit dicey to actually implement: "Who'd want to play a game where you get less good the longer you play?" is a thought that comes to mind. There'd have to be some thing that off-set the "young elite warriors" and "Wizened old guy". As I was writing that, I actually wanted to fill in with "banker" or something similar.

Aside from those thoughts, I'll leave it up to you guys to figure any flaws or ideas inspired from this.
 

Supp

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Nov 17, 2009
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That sounds like an awful idea! Having a final boss be a kobold...not a good thing.

I don't see how this could work. It sounds like Yahtzee took the idea from story telling that it is always darkest before the dawn and then tried to apply it to video game gameplay.

And this coming from a man who says not to confuse mediums.
 

Hiraeth

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May 19, 2009
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This idea fascinates me for a number of reasons. I'd be really interested to see the way in which the overarching plot of the game would incorporate this dynamic - if it'd just be an aging thing, or whether your character would suffer some kind of disease. I'm imagining something sort of 'fisher king' like - where as the world gradually decays through the course of the game, so too do the skills of your character. I also feel like there could be more of a focus on developing your own skills at playing the game, rather than your character's skills within the game, unlike, say, the Fable games, where there's a point at which you're so good at magic that the only skill you need is to be able to hold down a button.

I also got reminded of this: http://nerfnow.com/comic/459
What would the effect on pvp be if as your abilities (or gear) decayed, they were replaced by actual experience on your part in playing the character? I have no idea.
 

00slash00

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Dec 29, 2009
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this is not one of his stronger arguments. i agree that, after slaughtering all the enemies in the game, the final boss never seems all that daunting. however, i dont agree with his initial point, that rpgs get easier as you get closer to the end. you get stronger, but unless you spend a pathetic amount of time leveling, the enemies should still be stronger than you, or at least an even match. i think his solution of just making you weaker and taking away your abilities wouldnt make it harder, it would make it more frustrating
 

Centrophy

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Dec 24, 2009
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While it does sound interesting I don't know if I personally would go for that. I mean, I play video games to pretend to feel powerful and awesome(One of the many reasons I don't play an MMO, if it takes a raid party to just kill Thrall/King something face/etc or whatever why doesn't he/she just go and kill the big bads by himself?). If I wanted to feel like a weak loser I wouldn't be playing video games... wait did I just call myself a pathetic weakling? Nevermind... move along, nothing to see here.

Also, Sid Meyer's Pirates! did this already. As you aged(IE: played longer), the worse you became at melee combat, until eventually it became in your best interests to retire that character and start a new career. Let's also not forget the enemies leveling with you mechanic from Oblivion. Everyone hated that. Everyone.
 

BiscuitTrouser

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May 19, 2008
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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
I love it. That sounds awesome. However i suggest a different idea. Imagine you. A swordsman in your prime, finished his training. You can swing that massive oversized sword fast and hard but without much skill. As you age you become more masterfull, but weaker as age ravages you. You downgrade to smaller swords and daggers, moving from tough guy SMUSH easy mechanic to, duelist small dagger right spot difficult mechanic. The first levels would make you use the easy young, tough, you to crush enemies with brute strength. As you get weaker you get more finesse. You have to be less dependant on strength and more on tactics, skills and application. The skill range morphs. You lose one skill (a shield blash for example. lack the strength) and gain another (catch blade, gain the finesse) which has to be applied more carefully and skillfully. Im totally thinking a kinda brute to yoda transformation.

I think a direct downlevel would be a poor mechanic. I would miss my favourite skills and being powerfull without ANY compensation. This is different. This is a focus switch over time. You dont just detract from an entire character. You add while doing so.

Experience is now more than a number. It is now properly experience. The learning of things through time as you grow older.

In fact for an awesome climactic boss you could fight an enemy with all your original powers, youth, strength, a massive sword. And beat him. With your weaker but more skillfull gameplay you aquired throughout the game.
 

JokerCrowe

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Nov 12, 2009
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I like the idea of you starting with everything and then moving more and more into specialisation. If I ever make an RPG I think I'll utilize that idea, because if you get to choose from everything you actually get to Roleplay, because then you can specialize. :)
 

fundayz

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Feb 22, 2010
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Except he missed a little tiny point. ENDGAME.

It makes no sense to give your customers less variety and more monotony in a game whose business model revolves around keeping the customer playing(and paying). This system might make a good "de-leveling" experience but it quickly drive players away after reaching stat de-progression, which is exactly the opposite of what the developers want and need.

How about actually playing an MMO up to endgame next time?
 

Biscotti187

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Aug 12, 2009
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the scourge campaign for Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne does something like this with Arthas and the gradual level reduction though out the campaign
 

Jedamethis

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Jul 24, 2009
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How about as you age, becoming weaker, older, and your armies grow smaller, so does your enemy.
Makes sense to me, if there was somebody who might have enough power to challenge me, I'd send my strongest men in first, to finish them off quickly. But shit, he killed them! No matter, now that they've softened him up a bit and wrecked his shield, my somewhat lesser minions will be able to take him down...and so on.

...Until we reach a showdown. The years spent killing your way to each other have taken their toll, your gear has been destroyed, neither of you have the strength to unleash a killer spell. Two old men, facing each other, breath ragged, clutching their swords.

Lets do this shit.

Oooh, no, wait, another idea. What if we make it more like aging? You start off on top of the world! Inexperienced, but strong, fit, and agile. Over time, you learn how to swing a sword, or aim better, but you get weaker. So your stats go down as your skills go up.
 

DarkRyter

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Dec 15, 2008
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I'm surprised no one has actually tried this.

It's a simple, creative method of creating a difficulty curve.
 

-Ulven-

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Nov 18, 2009
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I can see some pros in the concept. But I play RPG's to become a heavy armoured dude. I just love seeing the change on my character. Starting with some rags at lvl 1 and having fire coming out of my boots at top.

But the choosing away skills sounds like a good mechanic.
 

iamultraman

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Nov 27, 2010
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Well here's a point for trying.

People generally have a bad intuition when it comes to innovative ideas, but I have to trust mine this time. It seems like those concepts that only serve to make the paper they're on look nice; the "looks-good-on-paper" idea. I understand I am criticizing the man who solidified the definition of the term "immersion", but such a mechanic would only bring attention to the gameplay, though not inherently. This breakaway would occur when the player sees his/her character doing less damage; it doesn't matter whether the situation is treated with resentment or disappointment, what is brought to mind is the counterpositive gameplay. In a normal RPG no one gives a damn because it works for them, rather than against them.

However that's a strict interpretation of the idea. A game with GPR elements (yes I did, in fact, went there) would reap all the benefits without receiving a lot of harm. Metal Gear Solid 4 is an example; at the climax of the game, Snake, after hours of gameplay mowing down giant frog robots, was reduced to crawling on the floor, and if anything else brought attention to his utter decay in the game it was this moment. So...yeah, I will give you that.

Speaking of the relationship between age and RPG elements, would The Curious Case of Benjamin Button translate well into video games? I would like to see you try me, makers of The Great Gatsby video game.