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Old July 22, 2011, 07:38   #1
Derakon
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Changing the level cap to 30

I'm not a big fan of grinding for experience. It's pretty dull on the whole. In contrast, finding new gear is exciting -- in part because you don't see it coming (intermittent positive reinforcement is a powerful psychological tool!) and in part because you aren't usually looking for anything in specific, just better than what you currently have. So I think it'd be an interesting experiment to change the level cap to be 30 instead of 50, without changing the amount of XP needed to gain levels. The idea is that any power gains after that point would come from equipment and stat potions instead of from experience points. Obviously this has some serious ramifications, so let me just run down the list and suggest ways they could be handled.

1) HP and SP. Right now you get about half of your endgame HP/SP from level (and the rest from CON). Of course, per-level gains can be rescaled so that you get the same value at level 30 that you'd normally get at level 50, but that would make the early- and mid-game easier. Alternatively your HP/SP could depend even more on your CON/spell stat than they do now. Or you could find items that just give flat bonuses to HP/SP instead of bonuses to CON. I admit I don't have a good solution to this yet.

2) Ease of maxing stats. It's not currently very hard to get the stats you really care about up into the stratosphere, which effectively means that your power level will peak pretty early in the game, once climbing the experience ladder is removed. Reducing initial stats would mitigate this -- if the baseline maximum was 18 instead of 18/100, then that would make a lot more room for equipment-based character improvement. Even better gear than is currently available would have to be created though, to fill in the extra space created.

3) Spells. Obviously unlocking spells by character level doesn't work so well when you max your level around about the start of stat gain. The town spellbooks can largely stay the same, but dungeon spellbooks are a problem. Here I'd suggest a) adding items that directly impact just the failure rate of spells (in addition to the impact that INT has), b) moving the current dungeon spellbooks much deeper (though obviously Kelek's can't go much deeper than it already is!), and c) creating single-spell books that the player can find and cast from. The idea here is that the player can find specific spells much earlier than they can find the books that contain large numbers of spells, and they'll be able to cast them earlier than they used to be (since the clvl restriction is mitigated), but they may not be able to be cast reliably without some item enhancement.

4) All those monsters that drop nothing but give experience. There's literally no reason to fight them once you have a decent XP buffer past clvl 30. There's a few things you can do here, each of them pretty major changes in themselves, but I'm only going to outline them briefly...
* Replace current XP drain with permanent level drain (removing the concept of an "XP buffer" by acting directly on your level). Killing these monsters can then rapidly get you back up to clvl 30. Thus monsters in the deeps could either give lots of experience, or interesting drops, but not necessarily both.
* A related concept, the player can only "naturally" sustain a maximum clvl of 27 or so, and must continually kill monsters to supercharge their clvl up to 30. Or 30 is the natural maximum and supercharging gets you bonus HP/SP. This creates an incentive to play quickly so you can get as big a supercharge as possible; stopping to rest will all too quickly drain you back down to your "base" clvl.
* Remove player healing and regeneration with something that triggers off of killing monsters (life force absorption, healing slime that can't be bottled, whatever). I've wanted to try doing this for ages too, but it requires completely rethinking the player/monster damage scales. Under this scheme, itemless monsters are still useful for recovery from big fights (so long as you can take them on, anyway), since you can't rest or chug potions to heal. Primal therapy, anyone? Go beat on that Plasma Hound a bit and you'll feel better.
* Rejigger the dungeon so that monsters that don't drop things themselves tend to be placed such that they guard items/vaults/etc. The simplest and IMO least interesting approach.

Anything else I've missed? This is entirely theorycrafting as it stands, but I like the concept.
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Old July 22, 2011, 12:35   #2
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I don't think there is currently much need to grind for experience. Even with the cap at 50, I typically max my character out pretty early. If there is a problem with grinding, a less radical solution could be to make it easier or more desirable to continue on when your exp is still on the low side. I'm thinking that giving access to spells earlier and adding the different eq bonuses might mitigate this problem, without making such intrinsic changes and needing so much rebalancing.
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Old July 22, 2011, 14:02   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Stats View Post
I don't think there is currently much need to grind for experience. Even with the cap at 50, I typically max my character out pretty early.
I have precisely the opposite view - there are many many ladder entries proving that it's possible to win the game without reaching cl50, so there is absolutely no need to grind.

So, much as I find many of the suggestions interesting (and some could be implemented anyway), this doesn't strike me as a problem that needs solving.
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Old July 22, 2011, 16:24   #4
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...well, way to ignore the ideas in favor of shooting down the motivation.

For what it's worth, I don't usually grind for experience either, the only exception being a mage who made it down to the endgame without having naturally hit level 50 yet. But I still like the concept of the player hitting their "inherent" peak early on and having to rely on gear to make up the rest.
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Old July 22, 2011, 16:27   #5
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
...well, way to ignore the ideas in favor of shooting down the motivation.

For what it's worth, I don't usually grind for experience either, the only exception being a mage who made it down to the endgame without having naturally hit level 50 yet. But I still like the concept of the player hitting their "inherent" peak early on and having to rely on gear to make up the rest.
If there's a problem here it's that mage fail rates for the most powerful spells are too high.

I don't think I've ever grinded for experience in V. The closest I get is to purposefully killing a room of Cs or Zs in the early game for the 4-5 levels I'll get from them.
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Old July 22, 2011, 16:52   #6
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...well, way to ignore the ideas in favor of shooting down the motivation.
Sorry - didn't mean to be rude, just in a hurry. Lots of the ideas are interesting - particularly the spell-related ones - but I think they can be taken forward without changing clevs. I think we already have pretty good balance between power from level and power from kit (as you know I have previously opined that it ought to go the other way!).
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Old July 22, 2011, 17:39   #7
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I have had a lot of luck with mage winners before clvl 50. I think it's because mages rely on books much more than gear, and don't need nearly as many consumables for the M fight, which means they can fight him earlier.
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Old July 22, 2011, 17:43   #8
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I think someone should really do something, guys.
I really think that no-one should do anything at all.

Last edited by pav; July 22, 2011 at 18:34. Reason: Fake pav.
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Old July 22, 2011, 18:32   #9
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This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got upset about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

-- Plagiarized from the WWW
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