Author Topic: A question on leveling  (Read 1279 times)

Offline GrimTrigger

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A question on leveling
« on: May 21, 2012, 03:50:02 AM »
Hey guys. I have a question for you all....

How do you handle leveling in your game? Is it secondary to item/equipment obtainment, or are baseline stats more important to character strength?

Here is what I do:

I start most of the players off at low levels, (1-5) and set the cap to 99 (the default). However, I tone back the growth rates significantly. For example, my main character is a war vet, and starts off at level 5 (considered fairly strong for a human). His HP starts at 750, and following the growth rates, his max HP ends at 3000. Other statistics are handled similarly. My whole idea is to allow for a decent growth rate between levels, but to keep monsters and enemies somewhat difficult for a longer period of time. I put a higher premium on using characters efficiently, and obtaining the best gear, and learning new techniques in order to max out combat effectiveness. I did this mostly because I wanted to avoid issues of over-leveling.

So tell me, what is your philosophy behind leveling and character growth?
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Offline Blizzard

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Re: A question on leveling
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 08:43:40 AM »
In CP I didn't pay too much attention to that. I basically playtested dungeons in such a way that I would use a savegame where I have played trough the game up to that point and then I would simply continue. Since I always kill every enemy (never run away), I kept the battles at a easy-medium difficulty level for myself. This would translate into medium-difficult enemies for the players, especially for those who like to escape from a battle sometimes. When I playtested "Warrior" which is basically the hard mode in my game (half the EXP and half the gold from battles), I noticed that the levels of the party were not that much lower than usual, but it provided a real challenge. I also noticed there that equipment doesn't make too much of a significant difference since I could never afford the best equipment. In the end it turns out that they were more or less equally important, though levels would make a bigger difference than equipment, especially in the early parts of the game.
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Offline djskagnetti

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Re: A question on leveling
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 11:43:10 AM »
In my game I start them off with 20 HPs and 1 SP, 5 in each stat at level 1.  It's on a slow growth rate for everything.  Max level is 169, max HPs/SPs is 29,000 and 269 for max stats.  It starts as a low numbers game, the lowest monster does 2 or 3 damage, the lowest weapon does 4 damage, lowest armors all has a PDEF of 1, lowest monster gives 2 xp and 1 gold, xp to level 2 is 13, etc.  I play through it like Blizzard does, and make the monsters in a new area a decent match for the characters.  I also try to see what the characters are lacking, if they are weak for the area I'll try to tweak the monsters a bit and/or give a bit more xp so they level a bit faster.  If they're low on HPs maybe I'll put in an armor that adds 10% HPs or something, either it will be well hidden or a reward for a boss fight.  If they are doing crappy damage, I'll try to give them a bit more gold in a hidden area to buy better weapons or a sword that does a bit more damage than others for a boss reward.  So it's kind of like:  make monsters hard, then try to give the characters stuff as rewards in the area to match them a bit better to the monsters, by the time they are done with the area they are doing pretty good against the monsters in the area, and then it's on to the next area and starting over.  If you become decent at an area 2 or 3 areas ahead and then come back to that area, monsters that used to slaughter you are now no match for you.  Everything in my game is also really expensive and you have to buy your skills.  I hate having 999,999 gold for the last 20 hours of a game and nothing to spend it on.  So the characters always have something they could get to make them better.  They just have to be able to find it/afford it.  To be able to find it/afford it, they have to beat the monsters.  To beat the monsters they have to level up.  To level up they need to get better stuff.  To get better stuff they have to be able to find it/afford it.  and so forth.  It's a delicate balance you have to maintain. :D

Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: A question on leveling
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 03:18:48 AM »
  Everything in my game is also really expensive and you have to buy your skills.  I hate having 999,999 gold for the last 20 hours of a game and nothing to spend it on.  So the characters always have something they could get to make them better.  They just have to be able to find it/afford it.  To be able to find it/afford it, they have to beat the monsters.  To beat the monsters they have to level up.  To level up they need to get better stuff.  To get better stuff they have to be able to find it/afford it.  and so forth.  It's a delicate balance you have to maintain. :D

I style my game similar to an MMORPG, where you don't get money for fighting enemies, you collect their loot, and can sell it, or use it. I also make the progression of stats slow, so that grinding away at a characters level serves more to "top off" your abilities in an upcoming fight, rather than be the sole source of fighting strength. I too make things expensive, and the loot off of monsters is useful for healing and crafting more than farming up money. The real money comes from quests. I think in all, you can earn about 1mil from the main quest, maybe another 500K throughout the side quests. I price things so that you will feel a financial pinch if you don't plan out your purchases and your fighting style. If you choose to plow through an area with 200 health potions, it's allowed, but you'll be broke....
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Offline djskagnetti

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Re: A question on leveling
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 05:23:54 AM »
Yes my monsters drop a lot of items as well, I use Blizzard's multi-drop, so you are always collecting things and selling them off to merchants.  I don't have any kind of encumbrance (hate encumbrance), and you can have up to 200 of anything.  But buying 200 hp or sp increases (potions and mana shrooms in my game) is going to hurt that pocketbook, especially when Regeneration 3 or something else sounds like a pretty awesome spell to buy.  I have a fair amount of strategy in the battles, monsters could also cast regeneration 1-5 on themselves, but then your characters can cast wipe clean, which destroys all enchantments on the monster, good or bad.  Monsters could cost an sp poison on your characters, sucking up valuable sp points, but you can use a remedy or cast the spell remedy to destroy that spell's effects, but that would take up a turn while you could be dealing damage.  Healing spells are deliberately set low in healing hps, and also cost a lot in the game so you can't afford them, so potions are a  viable option, but those cost money, and most only heal one character a time.  It's actually better to use something like a high potion that heals 4100 hps in battle than a spell that heals 1600ish for all, and save the spells for outside of battle, so you can cast them multiple times and heal up to full, and then use mana shrooms to get your sps back up.  There are accessories that block against negative states, but there are also spells called psionics that no person can block against, but the effects can be neutralized like any other negative status effect, if you are able to.  I too plan to implement a crafting system that you can make a variety of potions and even special potions that you can't find or buy.  My game is set underground, and the characters don't know why they woke up there, so their main quest is trying to get home, but to do that they need to get/buy everything they possibly can so they can make it to the last part of the game.  I do have a job place where you can get jobs, kill x amount of monster, kill a boss, find this or that, etc, that gives extra money or xp or both.  I like the sound of your game a lot though, I'd like to hear more about it.

Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: A question on leveling
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2012, 03:30:34 AM »
@DJ

I have my game's profile up on New Games
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