Character Level Methods/Usefulness, General Achievements (old news!)

I was wanting to start some fresh talk about a couple of things… First being “bragability”, for lack of using a real word… For current Cataclysm you can show off your kills list and your current inventory/equipment (though few do), you can show off nice screenshots and images of custom built vehicles…

Although I’m not much of an online gamer and don’t put much weight in achievements or bragging myself, I know lots of people do (of course, I do enjoy showing off some amazing/unique close-call scenarios or character builds or random humorous situations).

First (I’ve mentioned before) its strange to me that when you level a skill up you don’t get an announcement saying so. Also (and I’m sure this has been mentioned) I think some kind of loose “player level” would help people feel like they’re achieving something. Sure, a screenshot of your stats ‘@’ screen is technically your level, and is highly detailed… And this work would be somewhat fluffy and unimportant, but I feel like it’d help players feel like they’re conquering milestones or doing better than their previous characters.

I thought all the melee skills could come together to form a Combat (or Lethality) Level, all crafting skills for a Craftsman Level, and all survival type skills for a Survivor Level. Granted, someone with a Combat/Lethality Level of 15, you still wouldn’t be able to tell if they gained that level by dodging and crossbows, or cutting and shotguns, etc, I’m not quite here to outline an exact suggestion, either way, mostly here to sound out other peoples thoughts and opinions on it.

Even a generic levelup system wouldn’t hurt (in my opinion!), where monsters are worth certain amounts of experience points, each level gains you minor character buffs, maybe an extra point of hitpoints every five levels, a stat point every ten or fifteen levels, something like that… For that route we’d need non-combat ways of gaining experience as well, since lots can be done in Cataclysm without harming a single rotten innocent :wink:

And then achievements, I feel like (though I honestly don’t care too much one way or another, and I know multiple forum posts have went over this topic already…) that these would be useful sooner rather than later… For one it speaks to the perfectionist in a lot of people, and even when you hit those “Meh, what should I do now?” moments, you’d have a list of unachieved milestones you could refer to for inspiration (though some of these would be non-spoiler ‘???’ listings, I’d imagine). To me a good in-depth set of achievements (especially with multiple tiers per achievement, where the final tiers are truly tough/impressive to tackle) are just as good as a kill counter or screenshot… Could even group them into sets and offer small rewards for completing an achievement set for incentive beyond bragging to complete them…

Anyway, I’ve definitely rambled too long… What do you folks think on the multiple subjects? (General level, specific levels, achievements)

A leveling system is a bit non-realistic. However, I can see some sort of character growth aside from skill improvement and mutations/bionics (I have mixed feelings about both).

I would say the smart way to do it would be time based: Each season you survive grants a bonus. This also means season length can scale character growth rates. The whole point of the game, ultimately, is to live as long as possible by whatever means. This divorces the growth from kills or any other specific activity (and no exp system is needed, the game already tracks time).

I would limit it to stats, maybe each season grants you 0.2 to a stat point. So after 5 seasons you can raise one stat by one, points past 14 would take twice the points (as per the same rule at char creation). You could consider the boost as semi-realistic: after a year of survival you are likely a tiny bit stronger, faster and your mind and eyes are a little bit more sharp from your experiences.

I thought of that earlier and forgot to mention it, that in a way your “days survived” pretty must is a level :slight_smile: Its definitely a bragging point, at least… Also forgot to mention earlier that the planned difficulty rating during character generation is (I think) a step in the right direction (and doesn’t change how you generate a character or play the game, to boot…)

I don’t really think this game would benefit from a leveling system. For me personally, it’s all about how long my char has managed to stay alive. I do like the idea of getting a message when a stat increases though, and I certainly like the idea of getting more character information to share after one dies. The memorial file or whatever it’s called was a great addition and I like what I saw on other players. I’m just kind of waiting to see how it works since my current dood is actually managing to stay alive.

Like the messages you get when you get to certain stat levels in Oblivion? (I think its 25 50 75 100)
Like for hand-to-hand: Thick calluses cover your knuckles and joints from long hours of punching and kicking.

You can try and introduce fictional levels with Cataclysm. It’s actually a AD&D 2nd leftover so don’t go all berserk on Google - the concept is fairly simple. The gamemaster (the app here in the question) throws at you certain challenges, and you need to put some effort in coordinating some skills, actions and possibly materials (your “Harvest Pool”) to meet certain requirements. Even though there were disputes between players/people who tend to like plotted RPGs more than sandbox (open) scenarios, this seemed to me as the only way to encourage players to… well… just don’t die out there when they set sail in the world.
For example, vehicle building is favoured by the most. Furthermore, it’s a requirement if you wish to survive a greater part of the game; but it shouldn’t come with better benefits. But finding greater and greater challenges and items is. (!!!)
Here’s the drill to start testing from, if you want: the first tier should be improving your vehicle significantly; even better if it means building it with RV kitchens, additional tanks and survival stuff like spikes and blades. The second tier should come after you’ve tested your driving skills along with melee/marksmanship (e.g. you’ve coupled a few thousand hitpoints damage). Final tier could be (still an example, though) finding a Military ID card, entering a Silo facility and finishing what needs to be done there.
By that time, you have a lot of meta-gaming and in-game experience - and your leveling should improve on per-feat basis. For example, your more likely to find interesting spawns on map (+1 or so for that matter), you’re a Military-UNIX adept (a chance to run into good stuff with the logs, +1 to hacking those) AND you get to pick a trait, or put one point into stats if you’ve practiced the skills needed for the tiers - thus driving, mechanics and so on count as you’ve picked them from the beginning:
1/6 is your (starting point)/(point base) reference. Your Archery skill 3 gives you 1/6, your mechanix skill 4 yields 4/6, and your driving skill 4 further 4/6, that’s 9/6 total or 1 point rounded down. This system gives you a chance to pick a trait worth 1 point, or increase a base stat below 14. Note that this is not overpowering with the character base and comes as a reward only if you’ve completed the tiers I made example of.