Community Input - General Player Progression

BioXide

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Lead Developer
Management
Jun 1, 2017
453
Portland, Oregon
Guns of the Conclave
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Hey Guys,

I've been researching current/upcoming MMOs and I've had this internal dialogue that I would love to flesh out with some community input, I'll go over some points :

(Keep in mind this is just a brainstorming session and nothing here is official or being considered for the game)

- Would you like Mankind Reborn to have some sort of player progression?
- If yes, what kind of player progression?
- If no, why?

The progression can be combat/economy (anything really), if you want to outline different sections, feel free.

Also this:

- How can we prevent the game from becoming stagnant/plateauing after a few months? (In terms of progression)

- You can wear any equipment without restrictions, you can produce any item in the game, how can we keep this loop fresh for older players who've already went through everything?

- Should we have a system where the more you do a certain action (produce ballistic pistols), the better you get at it?

- Should we have an experience system where you gain ranks/levels/mastery based on anything you do? Mainly for bragging rights or other bonuses that don't impact the gameplay as much (Getting exclusive camos/color mods, cosmetics, etc)
 
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Shakespears

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Jun 14, 2017
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I've never cared for skill systems or XP in FOM. The class system wasn't terrible but was pretty restrictive which led to many alts.

Shaping progression around a combination of money and faction control would be the most optimal. Having plenty of bonuses to be achieved from paying in game money or controlling territories/colonies promotes the continual push towards activity. There has to be extremely high costing options for people as they continually get richer and richer to spend their money on with real benefits. This could range from gear, upgrades, items, property, etc that has actual use and benefit besides just "looking different".

As for control, factions need extra desire to control certain locations besides just income. There could be bonuses to mining/production yields or speed. Unlockable upgrades when controlling more areas for their HQs or additions to the colony that can benefit the faction as a whole.

The last major piece of progression is Social/Faction. Often enough, people tend to drop highly in activity after becoming HC in a faction over time. There has to be additional avenues to go after being a r6/r7 in order to ensure player retention. This could be a number of things such as government roles, prestigious rank/positions in factions that hold no real power but honor them, easily promoted RP opportunities to take on a whole new gig, and even a special character remake that's designed to be like a hard mode with handicap but gives them a special title?

All in all, there has to be goals that take awhile to reach but not in grinding ways like levels. There has to be a desire to obtain some super rare or unique upgrade, some limited/rare/coatly collectable items, and generally have something to do besides fighting or eco'ing.
 

Tron

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As far as progression goes, Maybe take a look at DAoC's Realm Points as inspiration. Or possibly even having reputation be a sort of progression.

I like the original idea of having everyone be on the same page combat/crafting wise. I feel like a progression system is really needed to ensure player retention. Take a look at Fortnite, everyone is on the same page yet people keep playing week after week because of new skins and challenges.

I would propose a faction reputation system that would be a form of progression.
Whenever you complete a mission/objective set by your faction you get some faction points.
This could come in the form of crafting/taking an objective/completing an ECO contract etc.
These faction points would allow you to purchase certain equipment only available to people with X amount of faction points.

I would also like to propose some "challenges" or "achievements" that reward cosmetic/trophy items.
There could be daily achievements that give a little bit of credits/basic items and longer term achievements that reward housing/clothing/gun skins etc..

Also I would like to suggest that there be many different types of apartments that players can rent.
Having a decent player housing system that can be upgraded over time can also be a good form of progression.

All in all, MR seems to be in good hands and I have no doubt you guys will figure out something that will work for the majority.
 
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John White

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Jul 23, 2018
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Regarding skills, if you make them finite game will stagnate eventually, if infinite it will turn off newer players later into the game's life. (EVE?)
As for combat, why do people fight? how do shooter mmos survive? idk, I don't play them. I guess haven enough people and give them reason to fight and you'll have loyal beeflords in the game.
Also thought of tournaments where there are global rankings, which are displayed throughout the world. Winning increases your score, loosing decreases, if not participating for a while it naturally degrades. While thinking about this, it reminded me of "employee of the month" some businesses run, you can do for every faction.
Also the whole fombat, it's a skill, a real one. One needs to invest time and master it. Maybe have something similar for ecoers. Most I can think of right now is more "free" schematics, like it only defines the basic idea of the item, rest is up to creator depending on components put in. Probably one of those ideas that sounds good but doesn't work, oh well.
Another thing to consider would be expansions. These sure to make players curious and come back to the game.
And lastly, content recycling. Best name I could come up with. In short allow others to create content based on your work. This can take the form of streaming, videos, memes, comics, etc.
Did I go off -topic in the last part here? ehh..
So to recap, any finite advancement system will at most delay the end. Going to infinity and beyond will create huge gaps between players. So the best way is probably keep expanding the game, adding new systems and game elements that will keep the veterans interested. Wohoo, even more pressure for the devs, congratz.
 

Cadonez

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Jul 29, 2017
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Brumpapa
The Syndicate
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Skills and Leveling Up:
Combat and Ecoing need to be standard from the jump. If you have the money to make it happen you have access to all of it. No skills or leveling, it was awful when implemented.
Achievements:
I agree there should be cosmetic rewards to completing a certain objective that requires time and effort. Skins, apartments, and clothing. MAYBE items for the hardest ones that are in limited in use (Special Alien eggs for say killing a queen).
Area Progression:
Upgrading areas and zones under your control is something that I personally do not like, but seeing as how it hasn't been tried yet it could be alright as a money sink.
Rankings:
There needs to be rankings either in game or offline (forums). Most kills, most deaths, most time logged in needs to be tracked and maybe special titles and rewards for achieving those could be implemented.
 

Winston

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Nov 5, 2017
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Terran Defense Corps
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I don't like the idea of skill based progression. If you have the social connections or enough money to acquire gear, there shouldn't be any magic game rule that stops you from using it. The restriction should happen at the production/buying of said item, everything that happens after that would be up to the players.
The way I imagine it, progression in MR should happen through money and faction ranks.

Money could buy you all kinds of stuff, from properties to gear or vehicles. But next to the generic stuff available to everyone there could be restricted items / properties / vehicles, these could be bought from faction vendors at very high prices and would be limited by rank.
For example: a huge luxury corporate appartment for high ranks of OZ / NSM / AE, an underground hideout for the Syndicate, a Megachurch for FoE, and more military/police headquarters for the high ranks of CPC/TDC/GotC.
Same idea for uniforms, armor and vehicles. Each faction should have its own specific gear but it should be expensive stuff available to very experienced players who want to show off, newbies would use generic gear as it is significantly cheaper.

Faction specific blueprints could also be a thing, only available for confirmed members who have earned the trust of the faction:
A more advanced mining tool only for North Star Mining, more efficient drugs for the Syndicate, Non lethal weapons/ammo for the CPC, Armored vehicles and better armor for the TDC, illegal modified weapons for the GotC (to counter TDC gear)... For FoE I have no idea what they could be producing as it is more of a ideology based faction.
Note: these faction or rank specific items should still be tradeable from player to player, so if someone wants to sell some faction gear to someone else they should be able to. It would be up to each faction to enforce rules around trading these faction/ranked items.

The thing with that kind of system without skills or classes is that we need a lot of money sinks to balance things out. Otherwise every player will end up being a billionaire with tons of gear in storage within a few weeks/months.
Traveling, using gear (decay), cloning, healing, paying rent if you don't own your appartment, maybe even feeding your character. (without overdoing it ((like DayZ)) otherwise its just a chore)
The idea being: playing the game should cost ingame money over time. You should always be looking for a way to make profit, this could push for more interaction between players as you need to participate in faction life and business to make money.
 
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NoahKirchner

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Jun 2, 2017
272
Pittsburgh
Terran Defense Corps
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I've always enjoyed systems based entirely off of skill, for eco and for combat. A system of R&D and the ability to make unique weapons through minmaxing and careful development would be interesting, and would allow combat metas to be shifted by the work of eco factions with enough time/resources to put into making new weapons. I think the more open and the higher the skill ceiling is with eco, the better.
 

Hari Seldon

Advocate

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Jun 17, 2017
230
Cloning
Followers of Eternity
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- Would you like Mankind Reborn to have some sort of player progression?
Depends what you mean but in terms of mechanics then broadly no
- If no, why?
Not a fan of avatar player progression in the normal MMO style for MR, you should be able to use and produce anything from the start and hold any position in a group so long as you meet any other requirements set by that group to hold that said position. The game shouldn't stop you doing things within its systems, other people should because that is what a player driven game is all about.


Very much a fan of the idea of territory development unlocking high level functionality/advanced production/other advantages as this is creates variance of approach and requires collaboration though I wouldn't suggest a flat system of all map development spaces being of the same size and scope, probably shouldn't be able to develop anything anywhere to keep decision points for the powers that be in how they want to prioritise what.

Potentially it would be nice for a dedicated faction to work with the Devs to be able to over a long period of time dump in game resources off screen to turn a dust bowl outpost map into a shanty, into a walled hamlet, into a town that can them specialise on into a fort or production hub or marbled Capitol ect ect but that is an ad hoc thing that would have to be carefully considered and tightly controlled rather than part of systemic/automated progression of territory. No one wants WoW garrisons in MR.


Score boards of most X could be recorded within a faction for player use as a metric of prowess/need but have no mechanical enforcement. notMotB can post it in their ads to get more contracts if people tend to sort for that sort of thing when looking to hire, notFDC can derive combat ratings from it with the top combat department presumably getting the best gear, notBoS can use it for whatever criminal scum get up to, notLED can claim workers comp off the number of deaths they are subjected to ect ect

For most wanted lists would be nice to see notLED have more input into that based around how badly they want a person for the DeMorgans mining crew for various reasons rather than it being directly related to the number of times someone has ganked players or been scanned while traversing unclean.

If you had a more structured sort of combat league in some sort of half sphere that sounded like lightening then there would be another sort of ranking but that can always be player organised if it isn't implemented at the game mechanic level.

Also this:

- How can we prevent the game from becoming stagnant/plateauing after a few months? (In terms of progression)
N/A in terms of progression but in general; periodic adjustments of meta via introduction of alterations to and new instances of; maps, resources and items. I would favour very infrequent such patches but there are arguments to be made. Largely speaking players should keep things rolling by competing over the things they want which are in uneven distribution be that faction rank, legal power, rare natural resources, advanced production facilities, secure homes, defensible positions ect ect

- You can wear any equipment without restrictions, you can produce any item in the game, how can we keep this loop fresh for older players who've already went through everything?
The main point of a gun should be what you can do with it not that it is a new and sleek looking item, not that good atheistic aren't nice. The point for North Korea unlocking Nukes in the tech tree isn't because they are new, just swell to look at and provide a sense of pride in the achievement (though it is also all of those thing), the implications of their potential use is the main driver.

If an arms(/defence) race is in the offing then I would suggest the majority is based around providing options for situational niches rather than general case power creep to reflect the progress of technology.

- Should we have a system where the more you do a certain action (produce ballistic pistols), the better you get at it?
Not beyond the same way doing any action in the game helps you get better at it, so if there is a production mini game that effects some stats of the end product then hopefully doing it more often will mean you get better at it in the way the more you shoot at people hopefully the better you should get at it. Possibly there could be hidden info like batch size cost reductions but again that should be discovery based not repetition/grind based.

- Should we have an experience system where you gain ranks/levels/mastery based on anything you do? Mainly for bragging rights or other bonuses that don't impact the gameplay as much (Getting exclusive camos/color mods, cosmetics, etc)
I could see some sort of Achievement CV people can look at with maybe "title" or minor cosmetic rewards but it won't add that much in the way of "end-game" content. A bloated or open ended list to my experience tends to rather quickly loose the sense of achievement it is supposed to reflect.
 

Royoun

Clone

Aug 13, 2018
3
No Faction
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
Would you like Mankind Reborn to have some sort of player progression?
If by progression you mean raising numbers by doing tasks, except for money earned by real participation in the game economy and possibly promotions in faction rank earned by participating in faction efforts, I'm against it unless someone has any really good ideas that wouldn't violate the original spirit of FoM.

- How can we prevent the game from becoming stagnant/plateauing after a few months? (In terms of progression)
Expand the gameworld itself. Create new and interesting clothes, objects, weapons, or even technologies. Expand the story so that humankind discovers new worlds or colonies for factions to vie control over (maybe even take inspiration from Planetside in this area). Have apartments again as in FoM except make them customizable and continually release new furniture and ornaments. People loved having their own little place and people love customization, making things "their own." The possibilities are really only limited by imagination.

You can wear any equipment without restrictions, you can produce any item in the game, how can we keep this loop fresh for older players who've already went through everything?
Well, a big part of what made FoM what it was was that it was RP driven and "content," in terms of new situations and so on, was created by the players. Of course, to keep things fresh, I think it would be important to have new cities or expand existing areas, new items and cosmetic objects every now and then as I have mentioned above, but ultimately the appeal of FoM was the platform it gave to people to play freely and create their own life and adventures in the world.

Should we have a system where the more you do a certain action (produce ballistic pistols), the better you get at it?
In FoM, part of what made it wonderful was that except for equipment, I was effectively on equal standing with someone bigger than myself (wealthier, more experienced, etc.) and the most important thing that determined who would succeed in a firefight was skill with the mouse and keyboard. Of course I had very little so naturally I died often, but it was something that I really appreciated about the game that I was not weak because I hadn't sunk so many hours into the game, but because I was just so naturally unskilled at video games in general. Practice meant that your skill was your own, undetermined by points and levels and to me that felt much more fair, interesting and rewarding overall.

Should we have an experience system where you gain ranks/levels/mastery based on anything you do? Mainly for bragging rights or other bonuses that don't impact the gameplay as much (Getting exclusive camos/color mods, cosmetics, etc)
Except as a reward for purely cosmetic things, I don't agree with experience in any numerical form. Ranks can be gained by in-built faction systems and so on. FoM was unique because everything was decided by the people who played the game and not calculated numbers.
 
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Cammy

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- Should we have a system where the more you do a certain action (produce ballistic pistols), the better you get at it?
Bio, i think on this front, instead of people grinding to get good at everything, there should be a balance.

i.e the period of time youve not produced equals to a reduction in how much progress you have towards creating items quicker.

I.e if someone focuses on producing meds all week long, and they realise once a war comes allong - "theres a gap in the market for 7.62, i think ill focus on that" so they start producing something they dont usually do, which is at a slower rate, but if they continue making 7.62 for another week without producing meds, the quickness of meds attribute drops, unless you were making multiple different products at any given time.

The reason i say this - is its unsustainable for people to produce so many things at one time given funds/credits, and time getting raw and production materials, which gives a fair market gap for some people, and especially corporations who own colonies that can produce at better rates than say; a Gotc member who is manufacturing on a colony owned by someone else which would reduce the margins and profits in comparesen.

There is plenty of choice in the game for people relating in guns, ammo, armour, meds, implants etc - the higher the player count in the game the more of a market there is for ALL players producing their desired products, especially when factions are looking for beef.

I really beleive the game should have a balance to maintain a fair and competitive market for everyone.