[MUD-Dev] What level maximum do players like best?

cruise cruise at casual-tempest.net
Thu May 19 20:53:58 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Eric spake thusly...

> I see a distribution of level ranges that include 20 to 60, 70,
> sometimes level 100.  I remember 18 being a holy number for a long
> time, but I just assumed that it was because the demographic at
> the time was, in effect, aged 18.

> Is there some magic maximum level that players particularly prefer
> to achieve?  Or do the majority of players simply prefer to
> achieve the maximum level?  Or is level 42 that magic number that
> most players like to achieve and then stop at?

There's two issues here, I think. One is related to my recent
question on ranges and granuality. The smaller the number of levels,
the greater the achievement in reaching each one, and the larger the
boost in player ability; but the longer the time between each level

Having a large number of levels gives the player a more continuous
feeling of advancement, but each level becomes less of a
milestone. It depends on the feel you want for your game.

> People that I play with, we don't like to reach those maximum
> levels because we are all well aware that maximum levels involves
> a whole new style of gaming that just isn't, well, fun (for us).
> It's sort of like having the option of buying an expensive car
> that has outrageously priced repair parts or a moderately
> expensive car with cheaper repair parts.  So in games like
> EverQuest, we like to achieve about level 20 or so, and then try
> to keep there as long as we can until we eventually eat up all the
> content.  This is because, well at the time, the level 30-40
> content required an additional time investment that was at an
> exponential like growth when ranked according to other level
> spreads at the amount of time it took to play the grouped game.

> I don't even like to max out my levels in the RPG console games
> like KOTOR or what have you.  Instead, I like just enough power to
> feel dangerous, but to be weak enough to still have a challenge
> that can be approached when I go under attack.  Like God-mode, its
> only fun for a while.

This is the second issue, and is more about game balance and
difficulty rather than what number the actual level cap is. If a
level-capped player can stroll through anything in the game, then
you've done something wrong somewhere. Players shouldn't have to
voluntarily nerf themselves to keep the game fun.

Players choosing to not level because they enjoy the content at a
certain part of the game is entirely different, and indicates a good
degree of success.

[ cruise / casual-tempest.net / transference.org ]
   "quantam sufficit"
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