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The Concept of Reverse Leveling

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So there is this concept that most game developers tend to avoid. It's called Reverse Leveling. Basically what it means is that the character starts out as powerful, but as the game progresses, he becomes weaker and weaker.

I can list some examples of this. Here is one: in the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne


in the campaign where you play as the undead, Arthas starts to lose levels, thus decreasing them from 10 to 2. It happens gradually, and he has periods of pain, where the Lich King starts to lose power, which is causing the level drain. While it is pretty bad, it is balanced out by another hero and still-present army of the undead


And there is this game called Resin: http://store.steampowered.com/app/525630/

It's a post-apocalyptic game that revolves around this concept. Also underrated

To quote the Steam page:

You control an android woman made out of Resin, who was programmed with a task to slay the Warmth generators. Ironically, without their vital energy her life would also fade away.


So! What do you think about this concept? If you like it, how do you think it can be utilized in a game in a way that is enjoyable?

A.K.A. UberCatSR

Favorite game: Quake 1.


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Well games are supposedly supposed to get harder the further you get along, that just seems to be the common trait. Like, puzzles in Portal 2 would become more difficult, in MMOs you'd level up and become more powerful, however so would everything else. So reverse leveling is a super easy way to get that 'increases in difficulty' curve. If done right, I think it's an awesome concept, though I don't think I've ever played a game that has it.

"Ross, this is nothing. WHAT YOU NEED to be playing is S***flinger 5000." - Ross Scott talking about himself.


PM me if you have any questions or concerns! :D

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I like the idea of levels not being constant in one direction too. Like how in some of the earlier final fantasy games there are spells that can raise or lower the level of a character. Of course, naturally leveling up needs to not be too difficult if you're going to give an enemy the power to delete your experience

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It's mostly a solution to the trend in RPGs where the game starts out hard but gets easier as it goes on. You can see it with rpgs like Baldur's Gate, Fallout or Morrowind where you start the game as a really weak character but by the end of it you're basically death incarnate and even the final boss is occasionally a joke.


Most modern rpgs have solved this by just making the game easy in general or by giving it action elements and balancing the game as an action game.

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