[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels versus Skills, who uses them and when.

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Wed Jan 6 20:53:00 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Tue 05 Jan, Adam Wiggins wrote:
> On Tue, 5 Jan 1999, Koster, Raph wrote:

> > Rather than argue the semantics of what a "level" is, it seems like it
> > would be more fruitful to discuss methods of giving visible levels
> > without curbing the myriad ways of advancement possible. Thoughts?

> Now *this* I can agree with.

This was actually one of the points being discussed in the Overlord
discussion -way- back. You can find a summary of that discussion on

> I typically hate levels because they are so restricting.  But as I've
> often argued, there's something very comforting to a new player starting
> the game, typing "score" and seeing "You need 10 exp to reach your
> next level."  Instantly they have a goal, something to *do* in the
> game world, a reason for being there.

Personally I think that is the only reason why it should be there at
all. I do not particularly like for levels and prefer games that you
play  without investing inordinate amouns of time  gaining a certain
abstract level so you can walk around with relative freedom.
Or start all characters at level 10 or so and forget about the rest,
just assume they had sufficient training to go out and about.

> I think I've suggested abstracting classes into "guilds" before.

This also was one of the ideas that came up in the discussion I men-
tioned. I do not doubt it was not the first time it came up either.

> That is,
> by joinging the Harper's guild, for example, you become a Journeyman
> Harper (aka level 1 harper).  This gives you certain privilages and
> responsibilities within your guild. Reaching Apprentice Harper (level 2)
> requires a certain set of tasks be completed, and gives you a new set of
> privilages and responsibilities.  It *doesn't* tell you what skills you
> can learn, what your character's physical abilities should be like, or
> what you can wear, which is of course where the level-based restrictions
> usually come in.  Gaining guild levels wouldn't give you hitpoints or
> practices or anything else.  It *would* give you the chance to learn more
> advanced harper skills from the guild's teachers; give you access to more
> of the guild's resources; and potentially also straddle you with more
> duties (such as passing on your harper knowledge to the newer members
> of the guild).

Basically you end up with gaining rank (instead of level) becoming a
product of guild politics. Game goals shift away from combat and to-
wards social and political play.  Personally  I think that is a good
idea as long as you can prevent some players from totally dominating
a guild.

> I'm sure there's many other ways you could achieve a level effect without
> restricting the character.  I think the above would be a pretty easy
> modification to a standard Diku or LP mud, however.  (Actually, some of
> the better LPs I've played do have a system similar to this: Lost Souls
> comes to mind.  But it still very much dictates what sorts of things your
> character can and can't do, which I think is a Bad Thing.)

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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