4 comments on “Bad XPs: A List

  1. Ultima Online has a system similar to TES in that skills increase as you use them. However, some skills are difficulty based — a master blacksmith will get very little skill gain from crafting daggers and instead must craft plate armor, and a master swordsman has to whack against a dragon in order to see skill gain.

    I like this system; however, not all skills are difficulty based, which means for some skills you can just set up a macro, leave for a while, and come back with max skills. I’m curious how you’d address this problem. If you can macro a skill and get it maxed out (in any game), I’d question why you can even level that skill at all and should instead make it a passive. UO throws another interesting wrench in the mix, though, because you have a skill cap of 700 total skill points and thus must choose your skills wisely.

    • Ooh, UO’s an interesting one. It’s much harder to come up with good objectives that grant XP in non-combat systems. Ideally XP/skill gain would result from doing things that are fun. Possibly, for crafting, you could gain XP when you make something new for the first time? So the goal would be to make everything once, which might be fun and non-grindy.

      Either way I agree- if you can macro it, it’s probably not fun and should change. In those cases I’d prefer to just allocate points gained from other tasks (like completing quests or combats) to those skills, even though it might be ‘unrealistic’.

      • If your goal is to make everything once though, isn’t that just a different type of grind? I’d like to see gain based off of actual usage of the skill rather than “I need to craft XYZ to level”. Perhaps the problem here is that it’s just too easy to do something like grab all the ore you find to craft 500 iron daggers. If crafting experience gained has a linear correlation with how many raw materials you expended, then you wouldn’t have to game the system as much because your progress is then tied to what you find/mine instead of what you craft. That way the player is free to craft something that actually matters to them instead of picking the most efficient item.

        And as for the low-level materials (like iron in Skyrim)? Maybe make them a requirement for high level crafting recipes still (like Eve does). As long as those low-level materials stay relevant (but don’t flood your inventory), you won’t feel pressured to craft through the entire stack of crappy materials just for the skill gain. It’s probably tricky to balance the availability of materials, though, particularly if you have an open ended world where the player can just go farm/grind whatever they want.

        Side note — Eve has an interesting leveling system, too.

        • Yeah, it would be a grind of a sort. Hopefully it would be interesting and fun to find all the recipes/materials/etc though.

          Basing it on materials might also work, since it’d encourage finding rare/expensive stuff, which would hopefully be fun. If it wasn’t fun, that could be a problem with the rest of the game…

          Unfortunately I don’t know anything about Eve – I’m sure it’s all suitably complex though : P

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