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Ideas for a new way to level up in a SL combat system


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So, in SL you generally see one of the following methods used to level up a combat system.


1. Xp/Prof Point gained by how much time you spend in a sim / have the hud attached

2. Natural levelling where the skills raise through an action such as being damaged raises health, using a sword raises your sword

3. Xp/Prof Point gained per player kill

4. Xp/Prof Point gained per quest completed


These ideas, like in most non-SL games have been done to death and I have been trying to think up a new way to handle levelling up that is new, fun and most importantly PRACTICAL to how SL works and operates. But sadly I am coming up short. I have looked to other games for inspiration and to observe the different kinds of systems that they use but most of them are either not practical for a single developer or not practical to SL full stop.

I have a system I am working on and I don't want to default to one of the above levelling up systems if I can help it. I have thought about mixing them up a little but I can't help but feel that I am just creating more of the same and not bringing anything too interesting to the table.

So, do any of you have any neat or interesting ideas you can throw at me that might help inspire me?. Any neat levelling up systems in games you have played or ideas you have that you consider to be practical to SL. The HUD im making is a standalone HUD that isn't attached to a sim that the players can wear anywhere in SL and has a series of stats governing health, energy, magic etc etc that I need to figure out a more interesting way to increase.

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this is a big topic

firstly then

a seminal read (among a lot of other seminal reads) on game design, or more correctly how players mentally account for their decisions, is this paper by Richard Thaler:   

https://people.bath.ac.uk/mnsrf/Teaching 2011/Thaler-99.pdf

basically it discusses that players, like people generally, are loss averse. When we lose $5 then our level of loss/pain is deeper, than the level of gain/joy, we get, when we win $5

a more complex example of how we think about loss aversion, and how as game designers we can reverse/ameliorate this

when we stake and win say $100 in a reward/risk endeavour, then players generally would rather do it in 4 lots/levels of $25 rather than as a single lump sum of $100. $100 is an all or nothing effort. Play 4 levels, win $100 or lose $100. We are more unhappy when we lose than we are happy when we win

$25 at a time means that our perceived gain\loss stake at any given moment is $25. Play 4 levels for $25 each and win $100, $100 which is unlocked when we, the player, complete the 4th level

for the player, the number of levels required to be played and the sum gained is the same for both methods

It just costs us less to play 25$ at a time, and our level of pain from losing $25 is less than our level of joy at winning $100 for, as we perceive it, $25 staked. When we lose we lose $25, when we win, we win 4 times as much, or so we perceive

when is all or nothing then we can lose $100 on the first level. And we can win thru 3 levels and lose $100 on the 4th level

how players think about loss aversion is a thing to consider in our game designs

a second thing. Which can be applied in SL also

a game mechanic which enables players to profit as they choose. Stripped right down this kind of game is a gacha. Pay to play. A player will win something each time they play at each level (weps, costumes, energy packs, spells, etc)

what the player needs tho to progress to the next level is a rare, which can be won thru grinding on that level - which could end up being a never-ending quest, or the rare can be bought from another player. Another player who has a whole bunch of rares they have already won in the game

to enable this, players can go back and play on any level they have already achieved

this also figures into the topic of how players think. What else as a player can I get from this game other than a trophy. A player may choose not to sell their spare rares. They may just give them to their friends/others for $0 - altruism in this respect. Altruism also being something other than a trophy

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This topic is so broad! What I can think of is, in a mere SL combat standpoint, is to have your hud interactively communicating something to the other players huds. For instance, in a combat situation, your hud might be configured to make the loser of a battle be unconscious and loot able. The loot in question may release some object that, if attached, boosts a specific xp field (sword, archery, whatever the combat specialty was used to win) further than the victory itself. Now this system could use a method to keep track how long a battle lasted, how health was affected overtime and make decision as to what boost type to give out. It's not simple, rather pretty convoluted and I don't know whether it's feasible without a sort of external server object to communicate data to, also to have an updated and easy to retrieve set of loots. Most importantly, the same weapon should be affected by the xp level of a player, being more effective in the hands of an experienced warrior, while a set of blacksmith tools may be used to improve a weapons quality (a grinding wheel to sharpen a sword) and collection of raw materials to improve the alloy if the weapon is taken to a forge. 

Really, not an easy topic! 

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Not a fan of games that involve incessant grinding to "learn" skills or magic.

I like systems that upgrade stats either through specific/related actions or by usage of specific/related equipment.

Final Fantasy 9 had a system that allowed you to learn skills and magic over time with usage of weapons and armor "endowed" with those "powers".

Dungeon Master had a system that allowed you to raise stats and learn skills over time through actions such as movement/attacking/defending under equipment load (everything had their own weight values) or stealing attempts or climbing ropes, etc.

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