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CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
RPG character advancement

 
What is a better way to improve a character in game?
Level Based System [ 9 ]  [64.29%]
"Karma" or skill point based system [ 1 ]  [7.14%]
Skill use system [ 3 ]  [21.43%]
other [ 1 ]  [7.14%]
Total Votes: 14
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Posted: 6th July 2017 11:02

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Black Mage
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Let me explain a little bit about what I mean about each of the systems I've mentioned.

Level-based system- This is the tried and true system and by far the most common of any of the ones I'll mention. A character has levels, and through various actions gains experience points. After he/she gains enough experience points, a level is gained. Sometimes you are allotted skill points, other times, skills and attributes are improved automatically.

Most of the DQ/FF series uses this system.

Skill points/karma system- A character is given a set of attributes and skills. When performing various actions, the character is allotted a certain number of skill points to apply to the attributes and skills.

Games that use this system include: Shadowrun, Deus Ex, System Shock, Shadowrun returns.

Skill Use system- Instead of waiting to be awarded points, a player simply uses a skill to cause it to improve.

The Romancing Saga/Saga Frontier games use this system, as does Final Fantasy II.

(Sorry for over explaining, I just wanted to be as clear as possible)

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Posted: 6th July 2017 13:21

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Chocobo Knight
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Skill use definitely did NOT get my vote. I'm currently replaying FFII and it can be a pain to level skills. Especially since I am playing the PSX version, in which skills can decrease: level your intelligence and you might see your strength go down, ugh.

I'm not too familiar with Karma based systems, though I think that is what Tomb Raider uses.I liked it well enough, so can't complain about it.

But I voted for leveling systems, and here's why: I was a math major in college, and this system is the most mathematical. I can compute how many fights it will take me to reach the next level, which helps in grinding. And the ding of leveling really tickles the reward center of my brain. So yeah, I much prefer leveling systems.
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Posted: 4th August 2017 06:43

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Omega Weapon
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I might say it's nice to have a skill-point-based system, but from my own personal experiences, I think I prefer to let the game take care of this sort of stuff instead of having me fret over the right character builds, while I focus on experiencing the story and gameplay in a more intuitive way, so I'm going to say that my personal preference is a leveling system.

What's a karma system?

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 4th August 2017 06:54

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Post #213113
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Posted: 7th August 2017 18:17

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Cactuar
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I voted skill use system. I love a game that rewards your style and it makes perfect sense that the more you use a certain skill, the stronger it gets.

Level based is tried and true, but a little stale at this point. I like a hybrid system, usually.

FFX was a great departure from the traditional level-based system and I prefer something like that, too, where you just build up your characters skills to your liking.

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Post #213192
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Posted: 9th August 2017 00:54

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Omega Weapon
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I remember I found Secret of Mana's skill-use system to be rather annoying.

Though that was partly because I had very limited MP and had to keep on going back to town.

It was more tolerable when I was playing with a friend, because then it became an excuse to hang out.

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Post #213205
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Posted: 4th September 2017 06:23

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Returner
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I chose level based system, I don't are much about character customization and stat assigning,. I don't even like it in FFXiV but obviously I have to do that. It's one of the drawbacks that the "western" RPG has for me.

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Post #213369
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Posted: 4th September 2017 12:30

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SOLDIER
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Leveling is an effective way of conveying to the player that they are becoming stronger, as Symphony of the Night shows. It was one of the first games to use it that really made leveling an obvious and 'periodic reward' type experience. The sound effect of leveling up sounds nice, the visual effect is cool to watch, and you get an item, shortly into the 3rd area, which actually shows you damage numbers as you strike enemies, so you get to monitor your damage as you play.

Final Fantasy and even Simon's Quest were doing this years beforehand, but they didn't make leveling up quite so obvious an improvement to your situation, you kind of had to be savvy enough to know where to look to really see how your character was developing.

But using anything but a Level-based growth system in a game that has character growth, is, in my opinion, more for aesthetic value than anything. If the player has control to distribute stat points, that merely allows them to decide what the computer would have rolled dice for (or had a schedule or system for), and as for skill-use systems, they are not necessarily a bad thing.

But I will shout this at skill-use based growth programmers. I will SCREAM THIS through a MEGAPHONE at them.

MIND THE TIME. If it takes too many uses of the skill/weapon/magic to get to the next level, you are not doing your job, and you are making your player BORED.

Do you want to be the guy who is responsible for a person playing your *game* which is *supposed* to be *fun*, being *bored?*

I don't want to be that guy. 40 uses tops would be my cap for the number of times in a skill-based growth systems the player must use the skill/etc to level up in it. We in the music business have a saying: "Don't bore us, get to the chorus."

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Post #213371
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Posted: 5th September 2017 00:21

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I voted Skill Use, but with a big qualification: I think this is best in theory, but I'm not sure that I've ever played a game that really got it right for the majority of the game. The risk of party members becoming unbalanced because they don't use sufficiently diverse skills isn't the problem for me -- I think that's one of the things that makes this system interesting actually, if frustrating. The bigger issue seems to be, as several people have already commented, that it causes trouble with maintaining reasonable difficulty levels over the course of the game, whether by overpowering or underpowering. And as much as I like a sense of realism, uh, being chronically underleveled is not exactly a cup of tea for someone like myself who is more story-focused to begin with.

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Posted: 26th December 2017 06:23

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Behemoth
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I hate to be that person, but I think it really depends on circumstances and execution. I don't think there's a perfect formula. Above me, Death Penalty talks about recently beating Skyrim in his signature. Skyrim incorporates elements of each system, with levels, allotted points for skills, and skill level-ups as you use them. I think each system has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its gameplay purpose. Skill use/allotment is great for games that want to allow more customizable characters. Games like Skyrim can lean on those elements to allow the player almost complete control over what their character looks like and how their character plays. Meanwhile, a level-up system allows the game designer control over how a character plays, which provides a useful storytelling tool. The designer can engineer a character's stats to force the player to use them in a certain way. The player may also have the choice of which character to use by choosing to invest time in leveling them.

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Post #214309
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Posted: 16th January 2018 15:29

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Black Mage
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Don't worry, BlitzSage. I love to be that person.

At the top of our list is a games sellability and playability. The more returns a game has the worse things are. It's as simple as that.

While the game might not be ideal, some kind of creativity is introduced. It can take on too many forms to name.

If it's good I'd like to profit off it myself and not give it out for free. There's the battleground between capitalism and a good story.





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Post #214447
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Posted: 19th January 2018 00:30

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Omega Weapon
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> There's the battleground between capitalism and a good story.

Such a dichotomy does not exist as cleanly as you imply, if it even exists at all.

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