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Why arent there any MMORPS with a leveling system like the elder scrolls?

(Leveling skills/stats by using them and upgrading your character level at X skill lvlups)

And what are the Pros and Cons of this system?
EG:

Player's POV:

Pro:
You cant skill/stat your character wrong, because you can maximize all your skills/stats.

Cons:

Developer/Publisher POV

Pro:

Cons:
One character can maximize all skills/stats (so a player will probably only create one Character)

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closed as not a real question by Anko, msell, Byte56, Josh Petrie, Trevor Powell May 19 '13 at 1:22

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Following my answer, KatShot's and the comments, I wrote a little rant about TES system vs level/class system that doesn't really answer the question, but may explain the purpose of each: pastebin.com/ynRSm85x –  Vasco Correia May 17 '13 at 14:07
    
Part of the fun of TES is building overpowered characters. That can't work for a competitive multiplayer game. UO solves this in a few interesting ways, but those wouldn't work for TES. ESO solves it other ways. I'd write an answer... But I'd probably get in trouble. –  DampeS8N May 17 '13 at 20:48
    
The though of an mmo where everyone constantly jumps to level their ahtletics skill is both amusing and terrifying. –  sarahm May 18 '13 at 16:17
    
Also, "Design Patterns of Successful Role-Playing Games" (rpg-design-patterns.speedykitty.com/doku.php) is the rpg equivalent of the pattern book. This question is basically asking for the differences between rpg-design-patterns.speedykitty.com/doku.php/pattern:level pattern and rpg-design-patterns.speedykitty.com/doku.php/… (which brings us back to the 'jumping to level athletics' bit I mentioned earlier). –  sarahm May 18 '13 at 16:26

3 Answers 3

See Ultima Online.
It has
3 Attributes: Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence.
3 Derived Attributes: HP, Mana and Stamina.
And a ton of skills, from weapon related skills, healing, stealth, cooking and even forensics. No levels! Character development is continuous rather than discrete.

You improve your skills by using them, an by increasing them you also increase the attribute related to the skill.

IMO, it's the most interesting character development mechanics in a game. It would rock in an sandbox single player game. I think the levels in TES games are not really needed.

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Ultima Online system was just flawless at the day, though, now I see how to merge a tweak or two inside of it. :) –  joltmode May 17 '13 at 11:23
    
I wish there were more ultima-like games out there. If I'm not mistaken it was the first MMO. Unfortunately not much has changed since, in terms of graphics & technology at least. Gameplay is still great but they need to do new stuff. –  tbkn23 May 17 '13 at 12:26

Something like that is far from being ignored by MMORPGs.

Most just favor using some classic level/skill point based approach, because it's far easier to balance and control progression ("when being there, characters will have skill x, but not skill y").

Therefore most games skip something like that alltogether, or limit it to non-story/non-combat elements like crafting.

There are a few exceptions, as mentioned already:

  • Ultima Online uses a similar system like the one you described.
  • Mortal Online does so as well (don't quote me on that, might confuse the name).
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (do I have to explain?).
  • Possibly a few others...

However, I have to disagree with some of your pros/cons, because there are ways to limit/neutralize these without actually changing the mechanics:

  • You can limit the total amount of skill points available/obtainable. Once some limit is reached, you'd have to "unlearn" something to improve further. Skyrim's initial release hasn't had unlimited skill points/levels for example.
  • You can further limit the overall set of skills available (e.g. not everyone is able to cast spells). This is something The Elder Scrolls Online will use for their class skills (stats and other skills aren't limited by class though).
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Another one: GTA III+ (the character has no levels, but he improves his skills by continuously using them) –  Pasha S May 18 '13 at 11:48

I can tell you only one thing - even in single player there are some overpowered builds with such huge stats and skill base. You need ages to balance such huge rpg leveling system for mmo. Coming back to classic - DnD system is great, but you need long time to know it and learn how to play. And still, it's (mostly) main goal and lore is "fantasy". Now look on GURPS. It's simple enough to start playing almost without knowledge at all, and it's lore is can be configured easy - you can make almost any rpg universe (sci-fi, fantasy, or even dynosaurs-on-submarines-world) easily. And you can keep balance easily too, without overpowered stuff.

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The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS, is a tabletop role-playing game system designed to allow for play in any game setting. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GURPS –  KatShot May 17 '13 at 11:25

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