At one point or another, every gamer will have come across the standardized leveling up system that was once virtually exclusive to Role Playing Games but has now become so prevalent that it has been used in almost every genre of video game. Initially, this system was designed to reward players that invested time into the game; as a players level increased through accumulated experience they would earn more health, become stronger, move faster and gain access to thicker armor, stronger weapons, and more powerful abilities. This system was perfectly suited to the expansive world, campaign driven games such as those found in the Final Fantasy, Diablo and Warcraft.
Strange then that games series such Overwatch and Gears of War have also adopted this system. Neither of these games, nor their contemporary's benefit from such a reward system; in Overwatch, there is no discernable difference between a level 5 Junkrat and a level 55 Junkrat, and there is no guarantee that the player controlling the latter is any more competent or capable at the game than the player controlling the former. However, games like Injustice 2, and Destiny do implement both the Levelling System and the associated reward system for the PvE (Player vs Enemy) aspects of their games but disable the rewards gained for the PvP (Player vs Player) aspects, making the necessary grind a fruitless endeavor for PvP fans. Ultimately for these games, the PvP experience of the game suffers from the same issue as games like Overwatch, and Gears of War a leveling up system that serves no real purpose.
One could say that the system is indicative of a players time served playing the game, but this is simply untrue. In a game like Overwatch a player that frequently loses matches will earn less experience per match and thus take longer to level up than a player that frequently wins matches. And in a game like Destiny, where each of the players owned characters level up independently of each other, there is no indication as to how many characters a player owns or the length of time they have spent at the games maximum level of 40 with any of those characters. While Overwatch's season rank indicator is a step in the right direction, it is essentially just a visual representation of a players position in that season's leaderboard, whereas the KD (Kills vs Deaths) ratio system doesn't take into account game mechanics such as Gears of War's and Player Unknowns Battlegrounds' DBNO (Down But Not Out) or Halo's execution systems.
What is truly needed for competitive PvP video games is an indicator that, at a glance identifies the number of PvP matches a player has played and the ratio of those matches of which they have won and lost, which would be a better indicator of a players competence and ability. A simple medal (bronze, silver, gold etc) based system could be used to indicate the number of matches played, with embellishments surrounding the player's in-game profile picture indicating their capability, with more embellishments showing they have won the majority of their matches, thus suggesting a more capable player.
Of course, should any game adopt such a system it would negate the need for any type of prestige system; a system which is defunct in the current wash of PvP games as a needless extension of the leveling up system, and was always just a way of some players advertising how little of a life outside the game they had anyways.
This article was written By Gavin and published on 2017-09-27 22:54:46