The site has been very quiet since I’ve been waiting to make big announcements regarding the game… which I will do… y’know… soon.
But for now I’ve decided to complain about Experience systems in games. Rather my usual longwinded rant, I’m making a concise list of XP system failures in otherwise fun games.
- Final Fantasy Tactics: XP is awarded for hitting/healing teammates, so the optimal way to grind is by smacking yourself over and over. Not fun.
- Final Fantasy 2: Stats increase based on how often they are used, so optimal leveling means letting weak monsters wail on you and/or casting your spells over and over. Also not fun.
- Neverwinter Nights: XP gains are reduced by how many party members you have – including summons. This means Summon Creature spells are actually harmful to use.
- Skyrim/Oblivion/Morrowind: XP is tied to repetitive, unfun tasks, such as crafting 1000 Iron Daggers, or casting Muffle over and over.
- Morrowind: Morrowind also has its own slightly insane leveling system where you gain more stats based on how many relevant skills increased. To get good stat bonuses the player has to limit themselves to increasing specific skills certain amounts- and no greater. It’s a pain.
- Fire Emblem: XP is awarded to characters based on how many actions they take, encouraging you to pointlessly prolong battles or use suboptimal strategies (which is not fun).
- Telepath Tactics: Inherits some of the same problems from the Fire Emblem series.
- Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: Each level brings massive stat upgrades, such that a Level 7 character will flatten a Level 5 character. Because you can train/grind at any time, the game is either impossible or pathetically easy, depending on how much time you spend on (very boring) training.
I’m going to continue adding to this list as I think of more games. I find this stuff fascinating, so let me know of other games with bad experience systems in the comments!