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Documentation For The New Levelling System

This is a general document discussing the new levelling system within TerraFirmA.

Of late it had become increasingly obvious that there were less and less occasional runners within TF. Whilst there are normally a few hardcore runners, on the whole the mud was becoming more socially inclined. This is something I wanted to stop, as it makes all the hard work that goes into zones and quests and game systems redundant. I don't mind having social memebers of the mud, in fact they are an integral part of TerraFirmA, but I'd prefer them to be in the minority.

The problem was that mortals were afraid to explore and run on the mud because the penalties were 'perceived' as too harsh. It was only when you reached counsel or app, that you realised that they are actually quite fair. It's this perception that we needed to combat, to regain a mud where ppl will run around willy-nilly just looking for stuff or trying all sorts of quests. The real fun, cut and thrust of what we are all about.

Through discussions it was decided that the best way to tackle the problem was to change the way the leveling system worked. The rest of this page details what I believed could be a much better levelling system. I know some ppl had reservations about changing the system, but it was a necessity to ensure the long term popularity of the mud.

Proposal Behind The New System

For all of you who remember the old Abers, you will recognise the look of the new system. However, I don't see it as a retrograde step in reverting to something similar to that which we tried before, since we have a new complimentary system in place now, that was not available before : The Morphing system.

The new leveling system and its requirements are based jointly on both experience AND credit.
There were previously several general ways of attaining experience and credit :

                  EXP                          CREDIT
                  / \ 		                / \
                 /   \ 		               /   \
          Quests  Killing/Puzzles        Mobiles   Treasure

The new levelling system is based on both these totals eg. :

Level Experience Credit
1 - 100
2 - 200
3 - 400
4 1000 800
: : :
7 5000 10000

N.B. This is just an example to show how the lower levels work.

This will encourage lower level mortals to run around and die as much as they want since it will be VERY easy to regain, at least, a level of 4 without too much hassle. This should, hopefully, encourage a lot more exploration. The lower levels will see the requirement for gaining a level as obtaining credit : ie killing mobs, or finding treasure.

There are two types or experience, and this remains so, but the demarcation of which exp is lost has changed. You will _never_ be able to lose any of the QuestExp that you have gained, but you are be able to lose all _other_ experience.I guess some examples here would show how this works :

The Reasons

At first glance, this new system looks to make it a lot easier for the mortals. This isn't strictly true, although it does make the lower levels a lot more flexible, and even offers hope to the higher levels that they won't lose their QuestExp.
I think its important to realise that it makes the levelling system a lot more dynamic. Currently it is only the lower levels that move up and down often. Once the runner make level 6 or above, they get very cautious.

The reason behind the addition of further mortal levels was driven by the continuing addition of new quests. As the amount of available QuestExp increased, and the requirements to make Apprentice followed, the gap between each of the twelve levels also increased. However, due to the fact that we weight the gap exponentially, to encourage the lower levels, it was felt that the higher levels were being penalised too much in having to achieve great success just to move up a level. With the addition of six more levels we are now able to distribute the requirements more fairly through out the entire levelling system, and thus encourage all levels.

The Mechanics

Only by changing your experience and credit will you move up and down the levels. Quest Experience is safe and cannot be lost at all. This is the experience shown when typing 'quests', but also is part of the overall experience for a character shown in 'score' command.However dying or fleeing from fights causes the loss of non-Quest experience.
In summary, if you die in a fight, you lose 12 percent of non-quest experience. If you don't have sufficient Experience to fullfil the full 12% loss, then you instead will lose the remaining percent from your credit. Eg. If you have 1200 exp, 1100 of which is qexp, and you die in a fight, you should lose 144 exp. However, this is not possible, so you will lose 100 exp, and 44 credits.
Dying automatically incurs a 10 percent credit fee for hospital bills so it is advisable not to die having only Quest Exp. However, regaining credit is very easy. Death and Trap rooms incur no exp loss, but do incur hospital charges. A flee will cost 3% experience.

What about everyone making App really quickly?

This too shouldn't be too much of a problem. I've tried for a while, and we are getting there, to make the Apprentice level a REAL apprenticeship, such as you might read in some old fashioned fantasy novel. With the new Morphing system, we can allow ppl to make apprentice, without having the required quest exp for counsel. They will then HAVE to morph if they wish to move further up the hierachy. In implimenting a system like this we can kill two birds with one stone : help the lower levels, and keep the higher levels running for longer.

In the near future we will add some more UT levels and I think we can probably combine the new leveling system with a new 'Conclave/Clave' system, whereby you can gain a higher UT level from doing more quests.

To Finish

I think this system will help us in the long run in making the game more accessible to the occasional and new runner, and on the whole a lot better balanced.


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