fishI had an idea for a mmo that had no character levels, that was inspired by Rift. Now in my opinion Rift is severely let down by its dull quests and lack of narrative. Now I have recently played through Mass Effect 2 again, and in that game there is levelling up but it is ancillary at best. I kept playing because I wanted to know what happens next, not for any other reason.

So my grand scheme for an mmo is to scrap levels, and give skills and stat rewards as part of the narrative story. So you can have a decent length story were you get to play a hero. And when you finally hit the end of this sweeping narrative, you get your final skill upgrades and that is when you hit the endgame.

imagesNow I can understand that people like levels but I am beginning to think they are yet another crutch that mmo’s (and their players) have become far to reliant on. With my plan hopefully people will enjoy the story and not be focussed on their next level. In fact it should give people focus on completing the story. I mean how much more enticing is a new aoe skill for defeating a boss, than an helm that is a little better than the one you are wearing.

I personally think this would be a step in the right direction for mmo’s, especially if the mission’s and writing are creative and interesting (unlike Rift’s). I don’t know if it is just me but I sort of believe that there is something inherently childish about the levelling system, like somehow the bigger the number the larger you digital star-wars-the-old-republic-20090330101854383_640wmanhood is.

I realise this is a pipe dream and all the upcoming mmo’s have stuck firmly to the levelling constraint, but I will cling to a pipe dream. On the plus side it has given me hope for The Old Republic, because if rift had had quest of Bioware’s calibre, I would probably be happily playing Rift right this second.