Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ranking Systems: Are they becoming the main focus of games?

It seems to be the new trend, having a number ranking system in shooters and other games that usually don't have a rank up system. While it's a great way to reward players by consistently playing and performing well, I feel like the short term instant gratification comes hand in hand with an unfortunate side effect. Are we playing the game because it's fun, or are we playing it just to hit that next level?

I remember dumping endless hours into Halo PC. It had no ranking system or unlocks, it was just fun. The gratification came from winning and outscoring the opponents, and often to absurd degrees. The thing about it was that the reward never changed. You won or you lost, and it was usually fun either way (assuming you didn't choke, horribly). With newer shooters, you play the main game, but it's as if there's a completely different game on top of that, and while the depth of some of these rank up and reward systems is definitely something to be praised, I feel like it detracts from what should be center stage.

So this brings me to my question: will future shooters feel complete without a ranking system? Will we be able to simply play because it is fun or will the game lack the gratification of other shooters?


  1. Does this also tie in with an Achievement System for said game? With a game like Team Fortress 2, there's progression, but that comes from the Achievements. Granted, you can get the unlock items through random drops, but the question still remains.

  2. No, the achievement system in TF2 (as far as I know) compliments the game rather than overshadows it. The issue with Reach is that there's a deadline for the challenges that make you feel like you've wasted playtime when you go to shut off your console if you don't suck it up and finish them off.

  3. Ah. Unrelated note, you can make seperate tags using the comma, instead of having one tag with 10 words in it :P

    Mr. Residential Halo Man.