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Leveling up and filling stats bars (STR, INT, AGI, etc) is obsolete game design. Change my mind.

.Pennywise

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It's old design based on paper RPG where the only way to differentiate characters was by sheer numbers.

Now games have a plethora of visual ways to tell how strong, fast, agil, etc, a character is.

I've been playing some Hades lately and then went back to some RPGs and just realized how awful is the old mechanics of rising your stats bar instead of giving meaningful changes and upgrades that change your character's powers and make them visually appealing instead of just changing numbers.


So, the old RPG design of filling up bars is obsolete.
 
Jun 23, 2020
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Nah, gimme numbers that go up and let my brain release that sweet, sweet dopamine.

I also feel that's just enough feedback to let you know hoe your character(s) is being built, makes designing those builds easily and gives you more control.

There are cases an cases tho. For me Bloodborne was a bit too simple, while Dark Souls II was a bit too much.
 

Fbh

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Nah I like it. To me it's on of those "if it ain't broke don't fix it" type of things.

It's an easy and straightfoward way of getting an overview of what a specific character is good/bad at, and an easy and straightforward way to allow you to build a character as you see fit.
 

Physiocrat

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It's old design based on paper RPG where the only way to differentiate characters was by sheer numbers.

Now games have a plethora of visual ways to tell how strong, fast, agil, etc, a character is.

I've been playing some Hades lately and then went back to some RPGs and just realized how awful is the old mechanics of rising your stats bar instead of giving meaningful changes and upgrades that change your character's powers and make them visually appealing instead of just changing numbers.


So, the old RPG design of filling up bars is obsolete.

How does Hades' system work?
 
Apr 27, 2018
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Adventure games have no real goal other than kill enemies or hold your hand. Leveling is the superior system since it gives you a goal to look forward to and xp is a good reward.
 
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Visual upgrades are nice; but most RPGs are designed to have you level 20, 50 or even 100+ times. A visual upgrade every 10 or so would be cool, but tracking the stats is not outdated lol
 

Miles708

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Agree with OP.
Gimme new abilities, new moves, new weapons and new traversal options, instead of a number I have to reach by endless grind.

If the game is a full-fledged hardcore RPG or Strategy game, then by all means. With infesting all genres with bars, grinding and silly numbers? Heck no.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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No. Playing with numbers is fun.

Game worlds could use more simulation, and maybe that's where some attributes would vanish and other new ones would appear. The stats are only there to simulate the natural disparity between different creatures and humans. Otherwise, do you simulate extra pounds-per-inch when one creature strikes another? Do you simulate the speed of a limb when it strikes an object and calculate damage? Plenty of games can and do this method, too. It doesn't work in all circumstances, and the end result (when a player sits down to play) might be that the combat is too dense for them to understand why their punches aren't damaging an enemy at all.

RPG stats are a middle ground between no simulation and "realistic" simulation. It simplifies a true simulated world into understandable, discreet numbers.

As we can see with various fighting games and simulation-genre titles, nerds will min/max and obsess over numbers no matter what.
 

Northeastmonk

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I like it. It makes me think. There’s so much potential to it. NiOh has a lot of stats for its weapons and there’s a lot you can do to pep up. Disgaea is one where it looks excessive. That’s because the numbers are in the millions.

Without it you only focus on breaking down their defense. You aren’t concerned about being put to sleep or insta death. You just know that if your red or green bar goes to 0 you’re dead. That’s just an action game at that point.

I honestly could have it both ways. Don’t make it overly complex and impossible to manage. I wonder how well FFXVI will work. Change spells for certain creature types. Hades had a bunch of buffs to the character and you are managing a bunch of passive buffs every time you start over. It’s a lot different. RPGs that auto level you might just throw you a bone once and a while. I don’t mind that because you unlock certain spells at certain levels. Adding 10 HP to your character for gaining a level adds up over time. I think it works. You just have to find the right game. Honestly, I don’t think it’s dated. I think developers just need to implement it to be a lot more interesting.
 
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DESTROYA

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Nope , completely disagree .
For example , just recently replayed God of War and like knowing how many more Phoenix feathers I need to get to the next level.
If done right it’s completely unobtrusive to the rest of the game
 

BPX

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Miles708

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Most RPGs offer all kinds of upgrades, abilities... weapons.. and tie them to leveling.

What RPG doesn't?

Usually they're tied to an arbitrary number. Your Intelligence is 42 instead of 43, so you can't use this armour. Welp.
It's detached from the actual gameplay.

Bethesda rpgs at least tie the character's progression to the actual, physical usage af an ability, so that your character gets molded over time by your playstyle, gradually and pratically. That's a good way to do it.

Moreover, useless stats and bars have infested other genres now, like actions and open-world adventure games, so that Horizon, Assassin's Creed or Mirror's Edge Catalyst tie abilities or equipment to a "character level" that has no real reason or purpose (except giving an excuse to grind side-quests).
Tie progression to the story, instead. Tie it to challenges, usage, events, heck even side-quests. Make it more eventful and less of a damn work.

Again, it works for full-fledged rpgs, like now I'm enjoying Yakuza 7 very much. It can have his place.
But at his base, the system is fundamentally stupid.
 
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StormCell

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It's old design based on paper RPG where the only way to differentiate characters was by sheer numbers.

Now games have a plethora of visual ways to tell how strong, fast, agil, etc, a character is.

I've been playing some Hades lately and then went back to some RPGs and just realized how awful is the old mechanics of rising your stats bar instead of giving meaningful changes and upgrades that change your character's powers and make them visually appealing instead of just changing numbers.


So, the old RPG design of filling up bars is obsolete.

Why not have both? Regardless of whether you see it in the UI, behind the scenes you're still working with numbers. In some RPGs, leveling up strength or speed has a noticeable effect in-game. In turn-based battles, your character gets to attack first if his speed stat is higher. In real-time battles, your character actually swings his weapon faster. These aren't difficult concepts to understand. Dare I say that Oblivion handled these stats much the way I've described. Your acrobatics were tied directly to how high or far you jumped, and you could even use magic to enhance this stat to the point that you were basically superman and could jump over a building. Enhance your fall rate with feather fall and you could fly.

I prefer this to games that simply grant you new moves and new visuals where progression is just a series of unlocks. I'd rather train my character and unleash his true potential in a game engine designed for that progression.
 

Desudzer10

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So that way you have various types of characters. A fast attacker, a strong person, defensive person, magic person, etc. You can add equipment to change these stats.

Having 4 bland characters playing with only stats based on equipment seems worse.
 
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Jigsaah

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It's old design based on paper RPG where the only way to differentiate characters was by sheer numbers.

Now games have a plethora of visual ways to tell how strong, fast, agil, etc, a character is.

I've been playing some Hades lately and then went back to some RPGs and just realized how awful is the old mechanics of rising your stats bar instead of giving meaningful changes and upgrades that change your character's powers and make them visually appealing instead of just changing numbers.


So, the old RPG design of filling up bars is obsolete.
It's be cool if you could maybe suggest a change. I been playing Valheim, and as basic as the game is, I like that you level up stats by simply performing the relevant action. It kinda mimics real life, practice makes perfect. I suppose Elder Scrolls Oblivion did things similarly.

Warframe's Mod system is wholly unique as well.
 
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RoboFu

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Wrong ... it gives any game much more depth and replay-ability. With out it there is nothing new to achieve. Nothing ever changes. It’s same crap over and over.
 
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Belmonte

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Could not disagree more.

One thing is saying "x game would be better without RPG stats" or "wearing an item should not be tied to any stats". These sentences can be right in some circumstances.

Another thing is saying it is obsolete. There isn't anything as precise as numbers to know how good a character is with something and there will never be. We put numbers even in real life to help recognize excellence/patterns/etc.

Would be cool if videogame characters get more buff when you increase strength? Sure. But numbers are more to the point and many genres need the clarity.
 
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So gear shouldn't have stats? It's just supposed to "look cooler" as you get stronger? Horrible idea. Does the armor grow? Do your legs get faster? Is it a mix of some dumb shit like Fable 1? Making different kinds of builds in games like Dark Souls, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, etc is always fun. Progressing your character is fun. Limiting yourself like doing level 1 runs of FF15 is fun. Like there's a million examples we can give but I disagree with you completely.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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paper RPG where the only way to differentiate characters was by sheer numbers
Now games have a plethora of visual ways
instead of giving meaningful changes and upgrades that change your character's powers and make them visually appealing
the old RPG design of filling up bars is obsolete

Not sure what your point is really.
You mention "visual ways" and "visually appealing" as replacement for numbers.

There's the visual representation and the simulation. The latter needs numbers to produce a result, because it runs in a computer.
Even if it is a complex simulation, if it runs on a computer, it needs numbers.
 
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jaysius

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Filling up bars isn’t obsolete it became the most easily abused mechanic by hack game makers that put F2P mechanics into $60 games. They made this an awful grind and no fun to encourage transactions of boosters and overly complex skill trees that merely add 1% chance of something instead of a significant advantages, again to encourage transactions.
 
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ethomaz

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Love it and it is pretty modern too.
Including paper RPG.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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If you're talking about games where the stats change but visually things stay the same, then I think more, or even most, people would agree with you.

Which of those old RPGs were you playing anyway? I'd like to see for myself exactly what you're referring to.
 

MetalRain

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I think you are right. Only meaningful change happens in the player and the story (if there is one), we don't need any point system (attributes, skill points, experience points, perks, health points) to tell you have progressed.

I think something like Dark souls could be balanced in such way that you don't have stats, you just get more familiar with enemies and get better as a player. It would probably be shorter game since there would not be all that grind and all areas and boss fights don't really make sense on their own if you don't get anything from them.

Only downside I see is on-boarding, if game gives you all the tools from the start, new players might be overwhelmed by options. Should I use staff or sword or fireballs, should I be heavy or nimble etc. Maybe those games don't need that many options.
 
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Lanrutcon

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Irrelevant
"When numbers scare and confuse me, they should be removed from games." is is the new "Every game should be an action game, since I have the attention span of a 4 year old" .

In 2022 they'll probably ask that every game should feature procedurally generated levels or some shit.

It's like variety is a foreign concept to these people.
 
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Kamina

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Disagreed.
Stats allow for a overview of the character and often help planning builds.
Its not for everyone, and it doesnt fit every game. But its far from obsolete.
 

Lady Bird

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Stats are a simple-to-understand mechanic that is ultimately very flexible to developers and appealing to many players.

They aren't going anywhere.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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It's old design based on paper RPG where the only way to differentiate characters was by sheer numbers.

Now games have a plethora of visual ways to tell how strong, fast, agil, etc, a character is.

I've been playing some Hades lately and then went back to some RPGs and just realized how awful is the old mechanics of rising your stats bar instead of giving meaningful changes and upgrades that change your character's powers and make them visually appealing instead of just changing numbers.


So, the old RPG design of filling up bars is obsolete.

Totally agree. Having the same identical number one is green and the other is purple is pure BS.

At least respect the player and put some effort, like this AK-47 in The Division is premium and lighter, faster RPM, because it's using titanium/carbon vs steel/iron, barrel is lazer-cut with carbon finish for longer/faster bullet travel, etc. This bullet vest is also lighter yet more powerful for using this and this.

Same with other games/weapons/armors etc.
 
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OP wants character stats to be represented in physical gameplay. Which is fine; you can do that. But that isn't going to be done by removing the numbers, because the numbers have to be there anyway. All you are asking is for the numbers to be hidden away, which benefits no one.

You know what games hide away the numbers and stats? Games that try to deceive the player by having their stats and items be meaningless. Namely, Anthem. A game that have many upgrades barely do anything because the enemy stats auto-scale to what you are using. So much so that using the starter weapon is the best gun in the game. And they were only able to get away with this design because they kept the entire game mechanics hidden and have all the damage numbers in the game being outright made up. You only do percentage-damage to enemies, never actual numbers that was shown.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I think something like Dark souls could be balanced in such way that you don't have stats, you just get more familiar with enemies and get better as a player. It would probably be shorter game since there would not be all that grind and all areas and boss fights don't really make sense on their own if you don't get anything from them.
You've just described Furi :)
 
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Labadal

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I won't change your mind, but I disagree with your statement. It's half the fun for me.