Hours to level 20 question

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GladDog
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Hours to level 20 question

Postby GladDog » Sun May 14, 2017 8:59 am

First of all, my preference is that after the level cap goes up, the time to level to 20 drops accordingly.

I voted 100+ hours, which for most people is about 5 weeks. Maybe 3-4 when the game first releases, since we will almost all take vacation/ call in sick a couple of days and place many, many not-so-nutritious snacks on our desks, and maybe buy a mini-fridge for cold drinks.

The goal for the patch that will bring the level cap to 30 will likely be 3 months after release, so that is enough time for most people to get three to four characters to the cap of 20.

I think that is about right for the new game to enthrall all of us!
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Lazarus » Sun May 14, 2017 12:58 pm

I agree with pretty much everything you said GladDog, except for me about a month of gameplay is about 50 hours (which is what I voted). It's also about the amount of time I spend on first play-through for a moderately-priced single-player game, so that seemed reasonable for release 1.0 of the game, assuming 1-month subscription cost is roughly $15.

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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Greyhawk » Sun May 14, 2017 2:10 pm

I prefer slower pacing in a MMORPG. Much slower pacing. I suppose I'm old school.

I voted at least 200 hours to level 20. Anything less than that and within two weeks there will be powergamers in the forums begging for the level cap to be lifted. Certain players have no consideration for the time and effort that goes into providing content because they have no interest in content to begin with. The only thing they care about is the level number.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby GladDog » Sun May 14, 2017 3:11 pm

My first character was an opening day Energy Energy blaster. It took me 643 hours to level that character (I level capped this one when the cap was 40, so no idea how many hours were added while I wan not actually leveling). My second level cap was a Fire Tank that took 401 hours. So my first two characters took over a thousand hours.

I really did not like having to invest so much time into leveling up a character. Apparently I was not the only one, and they changed the leveling curve so it took about 250 hours to level cap if you followed the main questline and did about 50/50 solo/ teamed. I think that was about correct for a game like CoH, where altoholism and specific builds for certain missions were such big things. For most people that would be somewhere between two and three months. My 100 hour estimate was about where zero to 25 was when CoH first released, so I thought that was a good litmus test for such a game as this.

EQ2 was a game that people would level a character and then put in tons of hours doing secondary leveling and crafting. For such a game, knowing most players will only level cap about 2 characters, a long leveling curve is appropriate so you take the time to learn every nuance of a character and see the best way to do alternative leveling. I don't think SoH is such a game, and the devs have even admitted they were altoholics when they played CoH like so many of us.

Keep in mind that 20 is no where near where the level cap will be eventually. They made it sound like 60 is the minimum they are looking for.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Greyhawk » Sun May 14, 2017 8:44 pm

My first character was an opening day Energy Energy blaster. It took me 643 hours to level that character (I level capped this one when the cap was 40, so no idea how many hours were added while I wan not actually leveling). My second level cap was a Fire Tank that took 401 hours. So my first two characters took over a thousand hours.

I really did not like having to invest so much time into leveling up a character. Apparently I was not the only one, and they changed the leveling curve so it took about 250 hours to level cap if you followed the main questline and did about 50/50 solo/ teamed. I think that was about correct for a game like CoH, where altoholism and specific builds for certain missions were such big things. For most people that would be somewhere between two and three months. My 100 hour estimate was about where zero to 25 was when CoH first released, so I thought that was a good litmus test for such a game as this.

EQ2 was a game that people would level a character and then put in tons of hours doing secondary leveling and crafting. For such a game, knowing most players will only level cap about 2 characters, a long leveling curve is appropriate so you take the time to learn every nuance of a character and see the best way to do alternative leveling. I don't think SoH is such a game, and the devs have even admitted they were altoholics when they played CoH like so many of us.

Keep in mind that 20 is no where near where the level cap will be eventually. They made it sound like 60 is the minimum they are looking for.
All good points, but I still prefer 200-220 hours to level 20.

In Ship of Heroes at launch, suppose 15% of the players hit the level cap on day one. With a pace of 50 hours to level 20 for an average player, it would be no problem for them to knock that out in 8-10 hours. Then what? Do they vanish back into League of Legends which contains the kind of gaming they actually prefer? Do they hang around the arch bragging about hitting the cap on day one? Do they come to the forums and whine about the lack of endgame and how easy it was to hit the cap?

A 200 hour pace to level 20 will frustrate them, but their response will be exactly the same as it would be if the pace was designed for 50 hours: they go back to League of Legends, they stand around the arch and complain, they come to the forums and whine. The difference now is that the folks like me who prefer a slower pace are right at home doing what we love: reading story, reveling in the personalities of the NPCs, chatting with each other in character, living in the virtual world as if it were a second home.

League of Legends and other MOBA are now very real and easy to get into. Those players are not going to waste more than a day or two playing a MMORPG because they never really enjoyed the RP side of things anyway. What they have always wanted is a way to test their "1337 5k11z" against as many people in the world as they could convince to do battle with them.

How big do you think the market for a MMORPG is now? It's not growing. Younger players are doing everything on their phones. Most of them have no interest in owning a computer, let alone playing in PC-based persistent virtual worlds. This is a dying market and superheroes are a tiny fraction of it.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Consultant » Mon May 15, 2017 7:02 am

There are a lot of interesting points in this thread. One thing to consider is the market size for a game of this type. The market is actually quite large, and much of it is unserved. In marketing terms there is a large, busy red ocean market for players currently involved in WOW or other similar games. WOW alone has (the number is often disputed) 5-10 million players. Most studies show them as having about 10% market share in that portion of the MMO market.

I've often said that neither SoH nor any other game is going to displace WOW. The only guys who can crush WOW's market share work at WOW. But more people leave WOW, and also join, every week, than we need to sustain this game in perpetuity. We are not EA or Bioware. We keep a tiny overhead and we can spend our revenues on making and expanding this one game. We can live on a smaller population of players -- 5,000 to 20,000.

Roughly 500,000 players played COH at one time or another. Just roughly maybe 130,000 people sat down and spent 35 minutes each to see a YouTube retrospective on COH in Q1 of this year. How many of those 130,000 will subscribe to SoH? Many. And we believe that former SoH players only make up about a third of the potential playerbase for SoH. Placing the game aboard the Justice triples the pool of interested potential players.

And we haven't even quantified the market for a game that suppresses the toxic players. There are a lot of them. But there is no game I can think of off-hand that actively suppresses toxicity and accepts that the playerbase will be smaller because of it. Those players are actually unserved right now. Which is why so many of our supporters report that they tried other games after COH closed and could not find one.

Right now, with the advent of self-driving cars, autos are a dying business too. And yet, Ford will do very well over the next decade, and is still bringing out new models.

We will too.

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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Mister Nice Guy » Mon May 15, 2017 8:45 am

As a chronic alt-holic... 50 hours is a long ass time. It didn't even take that long for me in CoH with "non-farming" gameplay to get from 1 to 50.

So I was looking for a vote option which said something like " around 10 hours"

:: little off topic::
What I enjoy most - is getting a crapload of toons to max level and gear them all up (this is why I hate expansion system like in WoW.. 'cause then I have to find "y" amount of raids again on all my "X"+ toons).
All those hours of play on alts feel wasted when you suddenly can't change to the most "needed" archetype/class for a raid, because the level cap has been raised by 5 or 10 - so the gear you have farmed is now hopelessly outdated practically in an "instant"...

:: (more :lol: ) off topic::
"The Secret World" however... it was my new home for at least a few years and sometimes I return for a few weeks... The only "problem" for me with that game is that it lacks "faster" gameplay (superspeed, flying, teleportation) and some "cooler" animations. But it's no superhero game after all, so I can't blame them for anything really.. other than the animations, 'cause they could use an update, imo. :P

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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Jelly_Jiggler » Mon May 15, 2017 9:06 am

I think even 50 hours is too much.

Imagine, classic world of warcraft (without expansions) took maybe 18-24 hours to get to level 20.

Pretty sure you could get to 20 in City of Heroes in 8 hours.

@ people saying it should be 200 hours, the amount of content will be the same regardless of how many hours it will take to get through. 4 times the amount of time just means doing the same thing 4 times, or the same missions, or just grinding to fill in the gaps.

It doesn't mean there are more npcs or dialogue.

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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby GladDog » Mon May 15, 2017 9:51 am

That is why I think the true future of MMOs in general is in smaller projects; not necessarily Indy projects, but smaller, more focused projects.

I think I have a solution to both sides of the argument; a slider. One side is XP, and the other is rewards. For the people that want to level like a freight train, they can move the slider all the way to 75-80-90% XP (whatever you would want the max to be), or whatever the cap is, and those that want to level slowly can go 75-80-90% to the other side, and get mo' money and stuff to build their empires! I think most players will be middle of the road, but there are enough that are on both sides of these arguments that it would be nice to have this slider available.

My gaming industry buddy said that UE4 has a slider built into it that does such things, but he had no idea how much work would go into adding it into a game.

And once again, I want to remind everyone that the level cap when the game releases will be 20, so it should take longer to get there than when the game has a level cap of 60. When CoH released the cap was 40 and the leveling curve was tougher; it took about a hundred hours to get to level 25.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Greyhawk » Mon May 15, 2017 10:01 am

Right now, with the advent of self-driving cars, autos are a dying business too. And yet, Ford will do very well over the next decade, and is still bringing out new models.

We will too.
I have to admit, it makes a compelling analogy.

5,000 to 20,000 is a very realistic goal, I think.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby GladDog » Mon May 15, 2017 11:03 am

Right now, with the advent of self-driving cars, autos are a dying business too. And yet, Ford will do very well over the next decade, and is still bringing out new models.

We will too.
I have to admit, it makes a compelling analogy.

5,000 to 20,000 is a very realistic goal, I think.
IMO FWIW YMMV and all of those other letter combos;

I think this game will sell very well out of the gate as long as there is enough promotion. There is a big hole in the MMO world that used to be filled by CoH. It would not surprise me if 250-300 thousand people buy in at first. The question really is of retention. Most games end up with about 20-30% of their initial player base sticking around after 3-4 months, so at the low end that WOULD be 50,000 subs. However, there are other mitigating factors; Valiance Online and City of Titans, which both should be ready to go somewhat after SoH. Some will quit SoH to play one of those, others will stay with SoH and add a game. But there is another factor; former CoH players that are not playing anything right now. The word will take a while to get to them, so they will be added several months or maybe even a year after, and they will probably split between whatever has released up to that point.

In the end I expect a fiery loyal player base of about 40-50 thousand players, a number that will vary considerably based on updates and expansions. It is nice that the HGC team is ready to hold the fort with far less players, but I really expect there will be more than their baseline 5000-20000.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby indigowulf » Mon May 15, 2017 6:21 pm

If it's 200+ hours to level 20 on release, it should definitely go down when level cap goes up. As others said, many of us love making alts, and with the huge amount of playstyles available with all the powersets, we could easily make 5-10 alts each without getting redundant characters. If I made, say 5 alts, and wanted to cap them, at 200 hours each.. oy! And that's before level cap goes up? We'd only be able to ever cap 1 character, and not experience end game stuff with other power sets!! Some of us have jobs, family, etc. but still would like to play more than 1 char end game.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Consultant » Tue May 16, 2017 6:05 am

Indigowulf, you and others are making a really good point. The time it takes to get to level 20 will change as the game gets bigger. GladDog kindly offered some numbers from the early days of COH as an example. As some of you may have noted, the number one game that COH players moved into after COH closed was SWTOR, which sort of indicates that this was the best of the other options after closure.

In SWTOR the same thing happened as in COH -- initially it took a week of play to get to level 13 or 14 and leave the first world. Today, with the devs at SWTOR focusing on hurrying players to the end-game content, you can get off of the first world at level 15 or 16 in about 2-3 hours. Now I think this kind of collapsing time requirement is actually bad because it is too severe. But the SWTOR devs are rushing players toward the end, as I said. Perhaps the game, or the early game, is actually going to close and this is a final cash grab -- I don't know. But the level curve is accelerating.

Another thing that happens in real life is that players simply get better. Suppose just for argument that it takes a typical player 200 hours to level their first character to 20. It might only take 100 hours for the second, just because he/ she is a better player for the second alt.

Finally, a thought about player preferences. SoH is a game where the experience of playing a fun game with buddies is the main draw. As devs we need to create compelling content -- missions, story arcs, locations, raids, etc. but there is a class of players that want to come to a game, play the content and leave. We're designing primarily for the players who want to come, play the content, and stay to do it again. How many times did we do the ITF? How many times did we run the Positron Task Force? Quite a few, at least for me. One of the key things we want to create in SoH is a game that is fun to play again and again. A big piece of that is the friendly community. Another piece is for alts to play quite differently due to subtle power distinctions. A third piece is really powerful character creation and costumes. A fourth piece is compelling stories. A fifth piece is growth potential for the game in terms of changing settings and enemies (the ship moving through space).

All of these elements impact the number of hours it takes to get to level 20, right at the start.

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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby Greyhawk » Tue May 16, 2017 8:38 am

A fourth piece is compelling stories.
Fourth????????????? :shock: :? :(

For me, story is everything. All the rest, combat, fancy graphics, community tools, and so on, are all a distant second. Without a compelling story (and no, I do NOT mean a messianic fantasy), what's the point of even playing?

Story in a MMORPG is not narrative, per se. The story is the story of everything that came before I logged in. From that point onward, my choices and actions become my own story lived out within the virtual world through interaction with both players and NPCs.

For me, it's all about finding my place in the ongoing story. Without the story, I might as well play chess.
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Re: Hours to level 20 question

Postby JestersGhost » Tue May 16, 2017 4:54 pm

I only levelled two characters to 50, from beta to close.

I created a tonne of alts, most of whom never made it past 25.

I also play League of Legends, and played The Secret World.

All just context for my opinion: levelling is not the point of playing SoH.

Playing the game is the point of SoH. Being in a team with friends is the point of SoH. Customising your character (and later base) is the point of SoH. Playing alts is the point of SoH.

Given that, I don't really see that a long-time to level is particularly necessary. Especially as we'll want to be trying different combinations, finding issues, figuring out balance, etc.
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