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  1. #1
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    Games which allow almost limitless character upgrading...

    In a world awash in 'roguelike' games where permadeath is king, I find myself looking for games which do the very opposite.

    Games where your character(s) can 'level up' or 'gear up' indefinately - where there's content to support that (even if it's the same stuff over and over at ever-greater difficulty)

    and yes, I know some roguealikes offer perks and equipment unlocks for subsequent play but I'm really looking for some attached to my character rather than just the same avatar reincarnated over and over.

    Obviously almost every MMO offers this, so we can avoid listing all of those - but I'm sure there must be less obvious examples?

    Series like TES and Fallout certainly do this and even games like Disgaea (which I believe offers level 9999?)

    Basically, I'm looking for games which offer near-infinite 'loot carrots' - even greater levels of achievement (leaderboards and stuff are nice but not essential)

    Also - story is nice games which are heavily linear (most CRPGs then) don't really grab me because - well - it makes no sense to play those things more than once with the same character (New Game+ doesn't work with a 60+ hour story!?)

    What games might I have missed/do you enjoy which offer this?
    Last edited by trjp; 30-04-2016 at 02:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Warframe. Disgaea. Monster Hunter. Dark Souls.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Series like TES and Fallout certainly do this
    Not really, in your typical TES or Bethesda Fallout game hit the level cap when I'm perhaps a third of the way through the game if I don't install a mod to slow experience accrual (which is why that's just about the first thing I do when I get a new one now).

  4. #4
    I'm a little curious why you think you'd have fun. A game that does this, if there are any, would basically have to have <some arbitrary growing numbers> for your character's stats. Past a certain level, you would already have every effect that has been programmed into the game, and bigger numbers for your character just means you hit for bigger/tank for more/hit more often.

    The environments cannot be that interesting, at least with current state of the art in random map generation. After a while everything will look the same and you will have seen every art asset the game has to offer. More dungeons and more maps at that point will simply be rehashes of what you already saw.

    Ditto the enemies.

    Say there's, oh, a goblin commando. You fight it at level 50. You beat it down but lose half your health. You fight the level 100 goblin commando at level 100. The fight goes exactly the same way, with your character winning but ending at half health.

    By the time you get to that point, you'll already have seen every behavior the goblin is programmed to do. (albeit most game AI is <move until in range> <use attacks on player opponent in range> <if hurt and have health potions, use them> <repeat>)

    So, what are you looking for? The only problem I have with level caps personally is I think the satisfaction of leveling up in a game is being able to beat down previous threatening enemies. Enemies that level with you suck because they become harder to beatdown as your character becomes better at issuing beatdowns. What is fun is to eventually level up to where you can defeat most enemies handily. What is not fun is when the game level caps you so that certain enemies are always a grind.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    Dark Souls is probably very good at this, specially since in I think every entry in the series, New Game+ has some exclusive items and changes enemy and item placements a bit so you still may find some surprises and need to stay on your toes. Plus, increased difficulty.

    Also maybe Diablo 3 as well, with the near endless Paragon levels.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Dark Souls 2 does some mad things with NG+, like letting you NG+ a single level, which when you are finally complete and restart the game, will be pushed ahead to an even further NG+.

    Consequently you can find 'more challenging' areas even if you have ran into a wall on the narrative path. Personally, I think that's genius.
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  7. #7
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    Dark Souls is for you. In theory you can play with one character forever, beating the game over and over.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Borderlands 2, kind of. Obviously there are limited skill points but you can get infinite tiny (like 0.3% each time) boosts to a set of stats by completing challenges, then when you complete enough of those challenges you can reset them and earn those points all over again. Also with all the Ultimate Vault Hunter DLC you have additional levels that don't give you skill points but do improve your stats, and you'd have to find new versions of all your gear...

    It's not quite what you want, but it'd keep you busy for aaaaaages. That is if you can deal with all the other aspects of the game, which not many people can.
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickedKeyboard View Post
    I'm a little curious why you think you'd have fun. A game that does this, if there are any, would basically have to have <some arbitrary growing numbers> for your character's stats. Past a certain level, you would already have every effect that has been programmed into the game, and bigger numbers for your character just means you hit for bigger/tank for more/hit more often.
    A common complaint about vanilla WoW was that you attacked raptors around the Crossroads as a new player and the same raptors in UnGoro Crater eons later. I'm sure there's a WAY larger example in current WoW and yet it's one of the most popular games ever made so clearly it's not a big deal...

    If a game is enjoyable, who cares if it's repetitive - I'd just like to feel like >I< am constantly improving myself and have some goals (I can make up from a variety of options) to aim for.

    Always a score to beat, a leaderboard to climb or maybe you're building a house you need furniture for or you want a really nice pair of shoulderpads - grinding is fine if it's fun and games like this I find 'cosy' - somewhere to spend a bit of time you're familiar with, if you like.

    I suppose another way of asking this question is

    "Which games allow extensive New Game+ or rearrange their content for missions that you can play indefinately"

    Doesn't HAVE to be a levelling system per-se - but obviously some sort of difficulty system is required (How does Dark Souls handle that?)
    Last edited by trjp; 30-04-2016 at 01:30 PM.

  11. #11
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    (How does Dark Souls handle that?)
    Enemies hit better, have more health and drop more souls on each NG+, capped at NG+7.
    In DS2 you have also additional items and enemies exclusive to NG+.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Not really, in your typical TES or Bethesda Fallout game hit the level cap when I'm perhaps a third of the way through the game if I don't install a mod to slow experience accrual (which is why that's just about the first thing I do when I get a new one now).
    It's worth noting that Fallout 4 has no level cap. Skyrim sort-of had a level cap, in that level is defined by total skill points, and once you have 100 in all skills you're at the cap. In practice, I never came close. Word is that they've even removed that through a convoluted reset process.

    Fallout 3 certainly had the problem you describe. New Vegas did prior to DLC which raised the cap significantly. The cap was still reachable, but you weren't going to do it early.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Series like TES and Fallout certainly do this and even games like Disgaea (which I believe offers level 9999?)
    Disgaea really is the most extreme example of this I can think of, because of the whole Item World thing. What you do is go "inside" an item magically. There you find a randomly generated dungeon. The more levels you clear in the dungeon, the more you boost the stats of the item. It really is an infinite loop of boosting your character and boosting your gear.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad View Post
    It's worth noting that Fallout 4 has no level cap. Skyrim sort-of had a level cap, in that level is defined by total skill points, and once you have 100 in all skills you're at the cap. In practice, I never came close. Word is that they've even removed that through a convoluted reset process.

    Fallout 3 certainly had the problem you describe. New Vegas did prior to DLC which raised the cap significantly. The cap was still reachable, but you weren't going to do it early.
    Interesting. I've not gotten around to Skyrim or FO4 yet, so I'm just out of date I suppose.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad View Post
    Disgaea really is the most extreme example of this I can think of, because of the whole Item World thing. What you do is go "inside" an item magically. There you find a randomly generated dungeon. The more levels you clear in the dungeon, the more you boost the stats of the item. It really is an infinite loop of boosting your character and boosting your gear.
    I love the idea - the game itself lacked a bit of polish (it was PS2 era and the recent PC release seems clunky) so I wonder if the sequels improved it (I have a PS3 - I should probably check!!)

  16. #16
    Moderator alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad View Post
    It's worth noting that Fallout 4 has no level cap. Skyrim sort-of had a level cap, in that level is defined by total skill points, and once you have 100 in all skills you're at the cap. In practice, I never came close. Word is that they've even removed that through a convoluted reset process.
    With the Legendary update, any skill can be reset back 1 upon hitting 100, this is also handy because you're not forced to branch out, if you don't want to, stay loyal to your build.

    Just reset one or more skills you like using, and you will keep progressing in levels. I seem to recall there still is a hard level cap though, however the Legendary update also raised that.

    Despite having logged close to 300h in Skyrim with the same character, I'm not even sure I've reached the original level cap.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    Borderlands 2, kind of. Obviously there are limited skill points but you can get infinite tiny (like 0.3% each time) boosts to a set of stats by completing challenges, then when you complete enough of those challenges you can reset them and earn those points all over again. Also with all the Ultimate Vault Hunter DLC you have additional levels that don't give you skill points but do improve your stats, and you'd have to find new versions of all your gear...

    It's not quite what you want, but it'd keep you busy for aaaaaages. That is if you can deal with all the other aspects of the game, which not many people can.
    BL2 is the only game that I have personally played that I could think of. With some DLC, the game supports three playthroughs on a single character and has a large amount of challenges to finish. While not technically endless, it would probably take you upwards of 160 hours to complete three 100% playthroughs on a single character - you can do it all again on a new one. In all probabilty, you'd grow bored of it long before that time (and I say that as someone who loves Borderlands 2).
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  18. #18
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    Someone today tried to imply Dying Light falls into this - but as I've only played (mostly bouncing-off) the demo I can't confirm that - anyone care to chime-in?

    Note: when I say 'unlimited' I'll settle for 'or at least for so long you'd never bother getting there'

  19. #19
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    I see where you're coming from. Do you mean something like a story in the game. Games like Infinity Blade (although mobile) do this slightly.

  20. #20
    Network Hub icemann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I
    Obviously almost every MMO offers this, so we can avoid listing all of those - but I'm sure there must be less obvious examples?
    In terms of leveling up. I've yet to play a MMO that offered an unlimited leveling system (so no level cap at all). *Technically* Ultima Online would fit this. Though you never level up in that. Instead you improve skills via use which have knock on effects of improving related stats and lowering the opposite skill. So technically, you could in theory do that forever as long as you switched to improving a different skill each time.

    Gearing up wise, this isn't infinite in MMO's. Sure new content gets released semi-often, but that's not infinite.

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