The Lessons of History

I often cite smaller games because people are unaware of them or vastly underinformed. So if you like Darkfall’s prowess system, you can go play that right now in Asheron’s Call 1. Seriously, that system existed in 1999, although games did not have achievements at the time. You could even be playing the PvP version on Darktide!

To explain from the comments on that post, AC1 never had level adjustments. Levels are (were) estimates of relative power, not like in most MMOs where you must fight within the range of a few levels or there will be massive penalties that mean instant death. Level 30 archers can (could) hunt level 100+ monsters just fine with the right preparation. Levels give you more skill options, but the rest of the xp/skill system work(ed) exactly as described: doing things gets you a pool of xp that you can spend on whichever skills and attributes you like.

AC1 did mix in a bit of use-based skills by giving extra “practice point” xp for skill use. This involved an interesting formula that rewarded you for doing increasingly difficult things (rather than repetition), but it may not even still be in the game, so I am not going to spout algebra just now.

: Zubon

9 thoughts on “The Lessons of History

  1. SynCaine

    Replied on my blog, but it’s not as similar as you believe (I’m assuming you have not played DF:UW?)

    Close in some details? Yes.
    The player behavior being similar when all factors are added up? No.

    1. Zubon Post author

      If you have secret information on how the systems differ, well, I guess that’s secret. If you have any differences to articulate other than “you cannot usefully hunt level 5 shreth forever,” go for it.

      1. SynCaine

        How did you read “one game has a siege system, the other does not” and get “hunting lvl 5 shreth forever” from it (as just one example of differences)?

        I said that to those who have experienced both systems, and seen how player behavior is influenced by them, they are not as similar as they appear on paper. No secret info needed.

        1. Zubon Post author

          That’s a non-sequitor when you are talking about the prowess system. That’s like saying the achievement systems differ because one game has a siege system. I’m asking if you have anything on-topic.

        2. SynCaine

          But systems don’t exist in a vacuum when talking about virtual worlds. The DF:UW system is brilliant because it exists in DF:UW. It would be rather terrible in WoW. If implemented in AC1, it would make that game play differently as well.

          Your post says I can go play DF:UW’s character progression right now in AC1. I know I can’t. Login to DF:UW and you will see that you can’t either.

        3. D506

          It seems that what you’re trying to say isn’t so much “the prowess system is brilliant” but that “the progress system fits brilliantly in Darkfall”. On it’s own, it is neither particularly good nor particularly original.

          It’s basically EVE’s skill system but based on actions rather than a timer. Hopefully, it will serve the needs of an open world sandbox as well as EVE’s system does. Time will tell I suppose.

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  3. bernardparsnip

    “The DF:UW system is brilliant because it exists in DF:UW. It would be rather terrible in WoW. If implemented in AC1, it would make that game play differently as well.”

    This seems like a big step back from:

    “Funny that it took 15+ years, and a small indie studio to get us there, but better late than never.”

    Unless you are saying that it took AV 15+ years to come up with a system that would perfect for their game but terrible in others?

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