Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

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Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:11 pm

I'm a fan of 3rd Edition D&D (aka the d20 System) and I don't usually find discussion of rules systems very interesting, but I'm wondering if tabletop games for World of Warcraft might work better if they used the same sort of character level system that the WoW: MMO game uses.

We are always talking about converting things from the MMO to tabletop, but it seems that if tabletop used the same power levels as the MMO, a lot of things would be easier to map over if the rules of the MMO were copied almost literally.

There would be some issues, because a lot of abilities are tied into some sort of timer countdown, but in general, it should be possible to take the MMO stats of something and use those stats as the tabletop stats.

And if the XP system and crafting point system was copied over to tabletop, then PCs could improve their characters non-combat skills by doing roleplaying encounters that test those specific skills. Something like fishing could be done with random encounters, for specific bodies of water, with specific fish having some sort of fishing combat against PCs. Non-living items could just work a bit like some sort of search check.
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Re: Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

Post by Bonetti » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:20 pm

I will point out that the easiest way to capture a lot of the feel of both itemization and mechanics of WoW as an MMO on the tabletop is to run it with D&D 4e. It's pretty rigorously balanced by role, it has a lot of tactical mechanics that work similarly (heal-over-time (HoT) and damage-over-time (DoT)), pet mechanics, disenchanting, and magic item crafting. Also, the items have both similar slot mechanics and stat boosts, and you can research easily in the books to figure out your Best In Slot to aim for.

The recommended way of slicing campaigns into adventures (Heroic, Paragon, Epic tiers) makes dividing storylines pretty handy, too.

Mind you, since the RPG sources weren't released in that format, it does require some work to bring material over. On the bright side, I've seen a couple 4e treatments of WoW races (at least through Blood Elves/Worgen), and there's probably more material out there. I'd also be willing to throw in some ideas myself, as needed, but I have neither time nor inclination to lead on such a project.
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Re: Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:23 am

Bonetti wrote:I will point out that the easiest way to capture a lot of the feel of both itemization and mechanics of WoW as an MMO on the tabletop is to run it with D&D 4e. It's pretty rigorously balanced by role, it has a lot of tactical mechanics that work similarly (heal-over-time (HoT) and damage-over-time (DoT)), pet mechanics, disenchanting, and magic item crafting. Also, the items have both similar slot mechanics and stat boosts, and you can research easily in the books to figure out your Best In Slot to aim for.

The recommended way of slicing campaigns into adventures (Heroic, Paragon, Epic tiers) makes dividing storylines pretty handy, too.

Mind you, since the RPG sources weren't released in that format, it does require some work to bring material over.
There is the thing. You have to do some work. I was wondering if someone that didn't try to crunch WoW down to 20 levels (instead of using the original MMO level system) might be able to do this with less work.
Bonetti wrote:On the bright side, I've seen a couple 4e treatments of WoW races (at least through Blood Elves/Worgen), and there's probably more material out there. I'd also be willing to throw in some ideas myself, as needed, but I have neither time nor inclination to lead on such a project.
The guy, called Darkkami, that was working on the official 4e Conversion turned up to Xander212's forums said that the attempt to convert WoW to 4e stalled. I don't know exactly what derailed the conversion, as Darkkami said that Blizzard contacted him and asked him to stop talking about it. (Shame he didn't just sign up with a different name and talk about other stuff instead.)

I'm not into 4e, but if you think you can get some stuff done that helps 4e fans use WoW it would be great to see some conversions get done (although that is probably a topic for another thread ;) ).
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Re: Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

Post by Bonetti » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:42 pm

Big Mac wrote:There is the thing. You have to do some work. I was wondering if someone that didn't try to crunch WoW down to 20 levels (instead of using the original MMO level system) might be able to do this with less work.
My point was you can keep the feeling of the mechanics similar, complete with a similar progression curve, without adopting the MMO mechanics directly.

The thing is, what 1-[level cap] means changes with each expansion. For 1-60, 1-70, and 1-80, you got small buff talent points every level or two levels, and new ranks of existing abilities. Periodically, they would take the new (introduced in a given expansion) abilities and spread them back lower in the leveling curve.

Cataclysm simplified the character advancement systems, spreading out the rewards a bit more (and scaling abilities with levels instead of requiring learning new ranks to get new power, as well as eliminating a number of abilities). Mists kept the changes, plus revamped the talent system.

However, the reward structure doesn't make sense for tabletop, unless you're giving out levels every couple of fights. (Thinking back to the games I've played, it would take a couple decades to hit 90 if one didn't drastically speed up leveling.) Might as well stick with a system which has similar mechanics and a similar design approach but compresses the level range down -- it simplifies a lot of it pretty well, I think.

Having said all that, the best approach probably is to reinvent from the ground up anyway -- the levels spread around the game don't make sense because they're driven by gameplay and not lore :-)
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Re: Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

Post by dulsi » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:29 am

The amount of play is different in tabletop vs computer. To use computer game levels you would either have to play tabletop a lot more often than most folk or increase the frequency of leveling. Since leveling involves some changes increasing the frequency of leveling would increase the time involved for players.
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Re: Would WoW tabletop games work better with MMO levels

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:31 am

dulsi wrote:The amount of play is different in tabletop vs computer. To use computer game levels you would either have to play tabletop a lot more often than most folk or increase the frequency of leveling. Since leveling involves some changes increasing the frequency of leveling would increase the time involved for players.
True.

But maybe if the levels were more simple than tabletop games, it might be a faster process.

People could also suspend levelling during game sessions, and maybe go up 2 levels in one go.
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