The lights are on
What if you got access to your character class's entire skill tree as soon as you logged into an MMORPG for the first time? GamersFirst hopes that the answer is "play that game for a long time."This PvP-focused 2011 release, codenamed Hailan after the swords-and-sorcery fantasy world it's set in, aims to change the way we think about MMORPGs. Producer Adam Smith has been working on MMOs for much of his career, and on free-to-play Western MMOs for the last three years. He contends that the genre's obsession with levels and XP grinding is baseless. "The only reason anyone does that is because of Ultima Online and EverQuest," he insists. Smith is building a game that puts no faith in these outmoded traditions. Hailan gives players all the tools of their main class from the very outset.Though there are no traditional levels, Hailan does feature persistent progression and power growth. Each of the eight classes has 29 skills of its own, which can be boosted up to level 11 for maximum power by collecting tokens that drop during combat. By achieving specific goals, which work exactly like Xbox Achievements right down to having some being hidden at the outset, you can earn points which you can then spend purchasing access to other classes' skills. Because this is tied to an achievement system rather than an XP grind, Smith hopes that players will be driven to experiment and strive for success rather than spending obnoxious amounts of time on monotonous repetition.The cost of purchasing additional abilities depends on your class's relationship to the skill you want. For example, a mage could purchase a healing spell relatively cheap since he's already a magic user. Alternatively, a priest has to pay through the nose to learn how to wear plate armor. Depending on your choices, you'll end up with between three and twelve cross-class skills after getting all 50 achievements.Unlike most free-to-play games, Hailan is a seamless non-instanced world. The entire gameworld consists of public zones. Its PvP-centric nature means that the two factions will be constantly clashing in the many PvP-flagged areas. When asked about the inevitable numerical imbalance, Smith teased Hailan's nascent political system. Though he declined to provide specifics, he mentioned that players will vote for player representatives who will then have to make compromises in a political arena that have real gameplay effects. Smith laughingly declared that Hailan's system for dealing with faction imbalance will be "less clumsy than Wintergrasp."Smith is aiming at newbie-boosting consumables and cosmetic stuff for the microtransactions that will fund Hailan. Post-launch instances will be made available for purchase, as well as new islands to journey to. Additionally, players will be able to rent access to a third combat vector to complement the baseline land and sea-based battle: airships. This isn't a segregated experience; players on land, in boats, and in airships can interact through ranged attacks or airdropping hit squads behind enemy lines.Having been just recently announced, a number of questions remain about Hailan -- its real name, for one. Smith and GamersFirst are talking an interesting game with it, but we have no idea how good the content itself will be or how tight the gameplay is. We should be able to bring a more detailed report back when the game enters its closed beta (currently slated for September), but for now it's nice to see people innovating in the free-to-play space rather than crapping out yet another Lineage clone.
"He contends that the genre's obsession with levels and XP grinding is baseless."
"Though there are no traditional levels, Hailan does feature persistent progression and power growth. Each of the eight classes has 29 skills of its own, which can be boosted up to level 11 for maximum power by collecting tokens that drop during combat."
...Yeah, that's totally different.
I agree that XP grinding is stupid, and it just rewards people who are willing to rot in front of a computer for hours on end killing repetitive enemies for mediocre spells (in WoW's case especially.)
This guy almost has a good idea here, but totally sucked up the idea. I think MMO don't need to have a game where you level up, gaining experience. It should be more like a FPS game, everyone is equal, you gain new equipment and clothes, but everyone can start in the game and play against anyone. Yeah of course you can tell who is good and who isn't good, but why have it that because your character is level 50 and mine is level 10 it shows how good you are. Have it where everyone can do the same thing, but you just know when a player is good.
I dont think the concept of grinding for leveling up in rpgs is stupid, that's how a lot of real world skills work. The stupid part is how it's made to be such a boring and arduous process for a videogame which is made to have fun with, and only having fun with; therefore, failing at a massive piece of the game. The concept of leveling up is totally fine and even a brilliantly simple concept on it's own. The true innovation in rpgs doesn't lie in taking out leveling. The true innovation would be making the game just as fun in the early levels as is it in the later levels.
i dont play MMO's, i prefer games like Zelda
lol true this guy needs to check out sites like mmorpg and check out the slew of failed mmo ideas. Sounds like a guy who hasn't had much experience with mmos trying to make one
How about creating a game that makes leveling up and grinding fun and innovative instead of getting rid of the concept completely?
That's cool, I like the idea of never having to deal with a grind.
All of these new MMO's are going to flounder and die when TOR comes out. They should literally stop trying...
This sound like it could have some serious potential for a fun free-to-play MMO. The genre needs some innovation like this, and by the looks of it, it could work to pull in a respectable crowd. I'll definitely try this out when it comes.
No grinding is good. Still i need more info if this is to be a convincing game.
Mmmmm...so grinding achievements instead of grinding quests. Achievements have always felt like quests without the quest givers. And sorry but collecting coins sounds like it will as monotonous and "grindy" as questing. I fail to see how repeatedly farming mobs for coins will be any more dynamic or more innovative then questing.
MMOS ARE FOR PEOPLE NOT QUITE SKILLED ENOUGH FOR FPS LIKE COD OR BFBC2
I'm confused about the tokens/coins that drop. Are they used to purchase permanent skill upgrades (up to lvl 11)? Or do they grant temporary buffs to existing powers, like the way rogues in WoW accumulate combo point dots that they can spend all at once for a more powerful strike? If the former, it's still a grind by another name (a combination of leveling skills and the item based faction turns ins that open items for purchase in WoW, a la unidentified plant parts for Cenarion Expedition or Relics of Ulduar for Sons of Hodir.)
well its f2p and its PvP centered so im up for it
Well, I love gaining lvl's and earning experience in my RPG's, so this game doesn't sound very promising to me. And the whole coin system sounds a lot like grinding to me....I think I will be sticking with WoW, lol.
I think that it's a bit risky to try to make an mmorpg without levels and XP but I see how the coins and achievments system could work it is either going to be a total victory or an epic fail. I can see where it could work , not constantly fighting the same enemies to get stronger but the system is dangerous because people might find the spending system annoying because they always have to collect the coins. in the end its a 50-50 chance that it might work or fail.
Trying this as soon as I get a chance. Not saying I'm guaranteed to stick with it, but level grinding is the #1 reason I don't play MMOs and if this provides an alternative, I'll play.
Probably won't pay though. I'm saving up for trying out TOR.