This will be split up into two parts. This first part defines my general ideas on it. I believe that there are three types of advancement in an MMO.
- Stat Advancement: Hit Points, Magic Points, Strength, and other attributes fall under this. These are not activities, but passive boosts which affect everything globally. They are intrinsic, happening by leveling up, or extrinsic, in which stat gains are by buffs, gear, or other ways external to you.
- Skill Advancement: These are activities which affect the game externally, causing a character to do new things. It can be linked with stat advancement in that raising a skill also adds stats, or not.
- Spatial Advancement: You advance in locations, either by leveling up enough through the previous two means to enter a new area, or you complete tertiary content like quests or missions to receive access.
There are other ways to advance. You notice I didn’t include economic or PvP. However I think that most real advancement at the core of a game works with these three ways. You get gold to afford gear which boosts stats, or to fund crafting which lets you make rare gear which boosts stats. PvP is part enjoyment, but part stat/skill, as winning gives perks, and even part location, which lets you fight better people as you advance higher tiers, or lets you control areas. I’m not discounting other motivations, or even the fun of playing, it’s just when we play to advance, it’s based on these three things.
This will be continued in the next post.