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Thread: Improve Leveling Experience

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    25

    Default Improve Leveling Experience

    [Post Cross-Posted from Newcomers Forum]

    I recently purchased RIFT three weeks ago and finally hit level 60. Some thoughts on Leveling and Class UX.

    Ideas:

    1 - Retune Quest XP to make quests offer more progression. Current rewards are tuned as if 50 was the end game.
    2 - Consider allowing the 7x Daily refresh for PVP for levels under 50.
    3 - Make Brevane/Dusken quests require level 48 or 47-- something where a full party of that level could complete the quests.
    4 - Consider raising the random dungeon XP rewards and a 3x daily refresh for levels below 50.
    5 - Consider changing events on the main continents to reward players that mentor down to do the events.
    6 - Consider adding new quests that follow the Crucia Storyline in each zone and offer more reward than other quests.
    7 - Revisiting the leveling process in a future expansion or with content updates (touch up 1 zone per 2 months) might be a viable way to improve the experience.

    Pacing
    -------

    The leveling experience from 1-40 was actually a positive experience. Quests, Dungeons, PVP, Instant Adventures, etc-- all of these things felt appropriately paced and allowed my character to progress at a reasonable rate. The zones were a little empty past the starting areas, but it was not particularly concerning because the pacing was very fast.

    However, shortly after level 40 the pacing of leveling slowed significantly. This would normally not be a problem, but, because of the lack of population at these levels, it became a very solitary and grindy experience. Grinding is not problematic when there are others to do it with (innuendo intentional), however, doing it alone was very tiresome. Add that PvP bonuses began to contribute less and less to the total XP pool and that the content itself feels irrelevant (all zone events were ignored) and you get a very poor user experience.

    At level 48 I was starting to wonder if anyone else played Rift. I was nearly ready to stop playing because I had assumed that the game was empty and that there would not be anyone around, that all zone events were ignored, and that all dungeon queues would take three hours.

    At this point, I decided to see if quests were available in the expansion area. They were. Shortly after taking the starting quests I ran into other players who were doing the same quests, we formed a party, and finally it felt like an MMO. I leveled to 50 within a few hours and made it to TB, a very busy city. Suddenly the chats were active and there were actual conversations with players. I was glad I decided to stay, because the game is much better with people.

    Now that the minimum level has been set to 50, I really worry about the User Experience of 40 to 50 leveling, particularly the last leg of it, where you are grinding content that no one cares about.

    This is made worse by the abysmal Quest XP at those levels:

    Quest Turn In: 6k
    Dungeon Turn-In: 10k
    PVP Experience: 30-60k

    The quest content from pre-SL feels hollow and meaningless and prevents players from enjoying the much better content in SL. The ghost town feel of pre-SL is also very off-putting once you get past the free-trial levels.

    Other MMOs (EQ/WoW/etc) have mitigated this a little by adding a new race. This encourages players to re-roll and gives new players more experienced players to level with (as well as the networking opportunities for those looking for endgame content). There are other methods of mitigation-- redoing the quests/maps for the areas and/or boosting the leveling speed as a stop-gap measure.

    I would like to see improvements made in this area. Not because it is "hard" or "difficult" to level in the present system, but because it is a bad experience. Leveling 1-50 does not feel like an achievement or accomplishment and slowing it down serves little purpose, if everyone is going to be in the SL zones anyways.

    Basically, anything that makes the old world less ghost-town, or, that gets players out of the ghost-town faster would be good.

    Removing training costs does not affect the user experience significantly. I paid for all of my skills prior to 60, but it was never a concern.

    Class
    -------

    A downside of the current Souls system (where they are all just granted) is that it discourages learning the trees and how they fit into character builds. Since every tree has a ton of unlock-able abilities, there is a bit of "overwhelm" in getting them all at once. Maybe consider quests that specifically require certain abilities from trees to help players learn these, since many characters can get to 50 without ever needing to use an interrupt.

  2. #2
    Ascendant
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Retune Quest XP to make quests offer more progression. Current rewards are tuned as if 50 was the end game.
    No. You want gear to be useless right away? There are people who love their ID gear and kept it till 60, there are others who didn't care... IMO, they have a good middle ground. Don't change that.

    2 - Consider allowing the 7x Daily refresh for PVP for levels under 50.
    No. If this were implemented, the xp would have to be nerfed or else you'd hit 60 in 1 day. If they did nerf xp, then people would QQ about the lack of PA gains (for those not capped) at max level.

    3 - Make Brevane/Dusken quests require level 48 or 47-- something where a full party of that level could complete the quests
    Meh, its fine as it is.

    4 - Consider raising the random dungeon XP rewards and a 3x daily refresh for levels below 50.
    Why? Its fine as it is. Don't need more useless crap to vendor, and 1-50 takes what, 3 days played time?

    5 - Consider changing events on the main continents to reward players that mentor down to do the events.
    They already do, you get xp, just not a good amount. If they were to good xp, then no reason to check out the new stuff. That would be dumb imo.

    6 - Consider adding new quests that follow the Crucia Storyline in each zone and offer more reward than other quests.
    They have these types of quests... its called story quests.

    7 - Revisiting the leveling process in a future expansion or with content updates (touch up 1 zone per 2 months) might be a viable way to improve the experience.
    Touch up? I don't know what this means.

    IMO leveling from 50-60 isn't bad. It takes 48-60 hours played time depending on how much you slack.

    A downside of the current Souls system (where they are all just granted) is that it discourages learning the trees and how they fit into character builds. Since every tree has a ton of unlock-able abilities, there is a bit of "overwhelm" in getting them all at once. Maybe consider quests that specifically require certain abilities from trees to help players learn these, since many characters can get to 50 without ever needing to use an interrupt.
    rofl no.

  3. #3
    Shadowlander
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I am going to guess you have not leveled lately and assume this is a carebear post. That's not the case.

    Your response to 1 is misreading what I am saying. I am saying that the quests from level 1-50 on the main continent begin to offer really poor xp returns around level 40 or so. They should be re-tuned.

    I am not talking about "just items" I am talking specifically about rewards in general. However, the disproportionate scaling of level 40 greens to level 50 quested greens could be fixed so that the 50 items would be a linear, rather than exponential upgrade. Often this is just left "as-is", but changing it would still allow for a 51 to be an upgrade over a 49 item, just not a 5x upgrade and instead a +5 upgrade.

    Your response to 2 also misses what I am saying. I am saying "Allow the refreshes once per day prior to level 60." This means that you would get 7x pvp instances a day. At the current reward rate, this would be about a 2.5 level per day boost. The daily wait period would prevent what you are thinking would happen.

    For 3, I am going to guess you have not leveled lately. I went from 48 to 50 rapidly because of the Brevane and Dusken quests being accessible. If they were not, I would have been forced to go through more empty zones for those 12 hours. I am glad that didn't happen and it will suck for my next character. The zones are empty, there is no one who will do any events, there is no community, there are two players in all of Scarwood Reach. Maybe 3 in all of Stillmoor. It is really bad to be isolated and in zones that are neglected.

    For 4, its largely to reduce the tedium and reward people more for queuing. It took around an hour or so to get into a group every time. Encouraging lower level players to instance would reduce these times.

    For 5, I am talking "Infinity Stones".

    For 6, I am talking about "In Zones Before The Expansion"

    For 7, try doing it again. It will feel extremely tedious, isolated, boring, and you will not see anyone in any of the zones. That's fine if you are doing it for an alt, for new players, it would not be fine.

    The overall leveling time is fine. It took me 2 days 12 hours to get to 50. 5 days (total) played to 60. However, the early game user experience is awful. I felt like I had been tricked once I left the silverwood and there were no more people in the game for the next 36 hours played. It is bad design.

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