Since there’s no definitive answer or community consensus on what to do about the post-cap situation, I don’t feel that trying to tie everything in a bow for a conclusion is appropriate.
Instead, here’s most of the rest of what I saw fit to print–in no particular order–as a last reminder of the many nuances and angles to this ongoing, highly-faceted discussion.
My mage and cleric have 2,000 PTPs kicking around because there’s nothing worth sinking points into.
If there’s any one overarching thing I’m hoping for from post-cap, it’s specializations within professions.
Interesting post-cap progression is an important part of Gemstone. It’s an important part of any significant MUD or the graphical MMORPGs they inspired. In the confines of this broad issue, I include the capped treasure problem, the lack of capped hunting areas, and the tedium of the capped xp grind. The first two items could be solved without any drastic changes to the game.
The last problem, the need to add some new postcap progression, is more complicated. I am in favor of modest proposals that make good IC sense and fit with the spirit of Gemstone. On my understanding, that would exclude level 100 critter camps in every area and it would definitely exclude dual classing.
Alternatives abound: they could have some profession-appropriate powers to choose from at certain postcap milestones, they could create some new postcap societies requiring both xp milestones and significant additional tasks for progression, they could add another system comparable to the bounties but with much better rewards and even slower progression.
I’d love a capped spell/cman list that you can only train in at cap and costs like 1 million exp per spell level. Basically, I’d see the list as a select 10 or so spells/cman (maybe different per profession) to choose from (training in a CMP-style: pick and choose). They could be spells/cmans from other lists, or some totally new ones.
Nothing profession-defining (raising, enchanting, demons, etc.), and nothing really super-useful for combat. Things like disk, transference, foraging, skinning, phase, gem purifying, arcane decoy, etc., etc., maybe even 1750 (costing 50 million exp of course).
Honorary member of the chronomage guild. Presented with a gold ring that allows:
Rank 1 – Free cross realm teleport once per month.
Rank 2 – Free cross realm teleport twice per month.
Rank 3 – Free cross realm teleport three times per month.
Honestly, anything would be better than the current system, which is, “Welcome to the end of the game. Here’s a skill point … please go away.”
An arcane master path [ability to learn the 1700s spell circle] would be something I’d sacrifice for greatly to align with Dion’s backstory and future.
“hero” classes or dual classes are a popular suggestion. I would draw more of a parallel to what I envision for lore skills: sub-classes. Instead of literally dual-classing, the post-cap could offer distinct tiers, trees, or paths (whichever you prefer!) that dramatically modify the skillset of the class to focus upon a specific and distinct theme.
You know the drill: I’m talking talent trees, but designed for the post-cap only (the leveling game would rely on lores to achieve a similar effect). Thus, when you reach the post-cap, you’re really just beginning your journey.
I like diversity in the playerbase. To achieve this you need to make sure you have a wide variety of relatively equally useful options. Further compounding by allowing multiple ranks in something to achieve greater benefit at greater expense. So you create a situation where a player can specialize, or generalize, and those choices will further compound the level of diversity.
[…] it has to be more than just looking at skill caps, as much as those alone would help. I think the real challenge is finding a post-cap solution that simultaneously appeals to people who want to eventually reach their full potential (or near enough to it) at 3x cap, or whatever other benchmark they think is attainable to them, and people who want to still have meaningful goals when they’re 8x cap or beyond.
[…] chasing HESS items is kinda all I have left for my main, at least gameplay-wise.
How about taking a dozen low level monsters in out of the way areas and making changes to them as was done to Minotaurs without changing the map layout, and making them level 90 to 110 for the big chunk of the playerbase who are capped?
The Anwyn Castle area would be good for this, out of the way and with undead to boot. The abandoned inn would work as well.
The Broken Lands/Sheruvian Monastery would make a great capped area too. It’s terribly underused by like leveled players in its current state, has a great layout, can’t just be mindlessly fogged in and out of for rescues, […] fits for having big huge scary things, etc.
[…] turn those almost mythical ki-lin into something incredible[…] why not make them as fearsome as they are rare?
[regarding a post-cap points skill system] have the PP earning start BEFORE cap, maybe at level 40 or something, and have alternate ways to get PPs besides turning in EXP. Perhaps a one-off quest…or get a PP for mastering your first society, or something. A thing where you can gain 3-4 PPs before cap just to get to play with the system a bit, and then have cap transition into strictly PP earning, with a hard cap on total EXP you are able to have.
Huge disparities in levels are a wholly different problem from disparity in power between characters of like level. The former requires that we continuously add content for fewer and fewer individuals. This is an untenable situation and was the primary reason for the cap, as you say. However, disparity between classes of the same level is a much less severe issue.
Obviously, nobody wants to play the weak class, but as there are virtually no competitive goals built into the design of this game, the impact of this disparity is far less than you might find in a more competitive game like WoW. The end result is that our interpretations of “balance” are rather subjective, due to the lack of any meaningful metric to determine “success”. If you aren’t in competition, your success relative to that of others matters less.
Cap-only hunts or mini invasions or mini quests. I suddenly imagine a nice post-cap clubhouse where there is a sign up board for people to join different types of adventures.
Like specialized bounties where you have the options of like.. raid a pirate base, end a zombie outbreak, or rescue a kidnapped maiden.. a few different formulaic mini-quests that can have details easily swapped around to change the scenario, but back-end-wise is still basically the same[…]
I personally think any system that allows you to train in existing skills as if you are a higher level […] aren’t a good idea, they basically bypass the level cap which, if that was the goal, why do we have one?
The higher exp characters […] are already beyond the point of the challenge envisioned during design. […] that ship has sailed, and isn’t really a valid reason for forbidding mechanical advantages for the post cap crowd.
One thing I can say for my own main character at cap is that the skills don’t seem as limiting as I thought. He has always been weird (even by design). He’ll probably be the first sorcerer with the first post-cap goal of 2x survival, for instance. For example, he used to be double-open-hand brawler back in GSIII; runestaves are too good now I think to go back to that any time soon.
The really cool thing about cap is you can do some skill training without sacrificing your basic training path or hunting ability. It depends a lot on your character as well as what you’d like to do.
I liked the idea of gaining shortcuts to skills via post-cap points. Being able to prep-cast stuff with no component costs, like Animate Dead. No else really has to deal with components beyond the occasional runestone, but I can tell you, it would make a huge difference to be able to forgo them in certain situations.
we [could] use lifetime BP thresholds to unlock benefits in a tiered system conceptually modeled after the CMAN system. We would earn points for every so many lifetime BPs. These points could then be spent to unlock boosts from the list of perks we haven’t devised yet. As with the CMAN system, unlocking successive ranks in a boost would provide increased benefit at increased cost.
As I envision it, you talk to the treasure master to apply a known item boost to a piece of equipment held in hand. […] Once you unlock an item boost, you may apply it to any item you own for a reasonable BP fee. However, this bonus applies only to you and will not work when the item is used by another player. The treasure master can remove applied boosts for a small BP fee, so that new ones may be applied.
This also presents an opportunity for an attractive new BP sink and Simu Store item.
Bard: Painful Singsong – 1 PCP – Ability to renew spellsongs while incapacitated 2 times a day.
All: Everybody’s Hero – All shop owners recognize your reputation and stand in awe of you. They grant some % off goods and make better offers than normal.
Challenging Roar – Creates swarm of indigenous creatures from the area in the room. Probably needs a cooldown timer […] but lets someone skip waiting around for the gen rate to fire up enough creatures.
Work Better WITHOUT Pressure – Reduction of Non-Combat RTs by 1 second
Unique abilities only learnable to specific professions and societies. Including no society! […]
Make post-cap start with a bang. Like how level 0 characters go through an initial burst of gaining ten levels in a week or so […] something similar to the pre-level-20 fast skill migration so we can experiment[…]
I imagine expanding the ways to gain experience through the different progression routes […] of combat, crafting/artisan, service, and roleplay […] People who love combat can go whole hog […] but allow other methods of gaining experience […] to also have game longevity. Sometimes people get tired of combat for awhile and want to still feel like they’re progressing.
the most wonderful thing about Leafiaras is I’m the only one.
So I want a system where everybody can be even more fully and even more expressively “the only one.”
I don’t want to be the very best. I want to be like no one ever was.
You can never ever go wrong making it possible for someone to further develop the character they have spent years or decades building and playing.
What Do You Think?
Though we’re at the end of this report, it’s a very open end–because this isn’t a conclusion, but if anything a start.
The conversations presented here came from ten years of posts on the official GemStone forums, but still more years were lost to the ages through older posts being deleted. And, of course, there have been posts on the Players’ Corner, discussons on lnet channels, back-and-forth on Discord, and more.
But what do you think is the best solution? Do you lean toward one of the proposals given before or do you have something entirely new to offer? Maybe your feedback will be the most important of all.
Until the very day that GemStone finally has a post-cap system in place, may the discussion never end!
Part 1: What’s the Problem?
Part 2: Post-Cap Points
Part 3: Character Differentiation
Part 4: Scaling Up or Down
Part 5: Remorting
Part 6: Full or Partial Multiclassing
Part 7: Going Sideways
Part 8: Powers That Be
Part 9: Enhancive Convenience
Part 10: Non-Mechanical Perks
Part 11: The Salad Bowl of Commentary