Star-Fired Beef

Slow-rolling Character Development (Blaugust Day 4)


Today’s post is in response to a post of Belghast’s from July. I found it interesting that he was slightly put off by the way he didn’t seem to be accruing skills very quickly in the early days of his Skyforge adventure. What is the best way to pace your character development (in a non-writing, non-story sense)?

I can certainly understand the frustration of having to spam the same two or three buttons over and over in the early game, especially if the mobs survive more than one or two rotations. It quickly feels tedious. If you are, like Bel, trying out a game that you are wavering over, attempting to decide whether to commit to it or not? Immensely unrewarding. Even if, like Skyforge seems to, like FFXIV does, it really transforms for the better once you progress past a certain point, how are you supposed to know whether that point exists in this new game you are investigating? How much of a chance do you give it before you throw your hands up and declare that it is not worth it?

Then there is the opposite problem. When a game gives you so many skills early, just piles them on every level, it can be overwhelming. More importantly (in my mind, anyway), we often find that the more individually named skills that you are given, the more likely it is that there are simply a handful of archetypes that get repeated with a little variation. They either do the same thing just with a different damage type, or there is one that is clearly the most powerful. If there is a cooldown, those ones are often mutually exclusive, like having your two different shield bubbles share the cooldown. You tend to just end up weeding out the redundant skills and are left with the same limited rotation that every other game has. Yes, some of those redundant skills do have a niche use (looking at you, Hibernate) but the opportunity to use them is rarely enough to make it worth having.

How many games (I’m thinking mostly about MMOs here but single player/co-op games can have these problems too) get the pace of character development right?



4 thoughts on “Slow-rolling Character Development (Blaugust Day 4)

  1. I like starting with several skills at once, and then getting a nice steady dripfeed of others. I hate when MMOs don’t give you something new or exciting to learn every level, but I don’t need leveling to be especially fast if it is going to take me any time at all to learn.

  2. I like getting something new every other level or so. Having to many makes it confusing or just annoying like u said with the bubbles. But having to few makes it boring. Ive been quite happy with the amounts in wow. It was good for a while but they have been cutting down a lot. I like gw2 in that sence, not many buttons but whe u change weps u suddenly have more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s