It’s no secret that RPGs have certain standard mechanics when it comes to gameplay, but developer High Level Studios is looking to buck that trend with its new title Void Arena, an RPG that will not have character leveling up or skill points.
Those familiar with RPGs, whether they’re Western or JRPGs, know that a core part of the gameplay loop for these titles is having your character/s complete different tasks or quests to gain more experience and level up. By leveling up, you’re able to make your characters stronger and they can usually gain access to better equipment and abilities as they advance. Changing this progression scale would really shake the RPG genre up, and that’s exactly what High Level Studios is .
“One of the core pillars of our game is ‘unique progression experiences’,” Sad_Gandalf, owner and operator of High Level Studios, said in an interview with . “Something that we are really after is making your decisions feel as if they are directly driving the growth of your character. With this said, we veered away from a path where your character’s main form of progression was dictated by some arbitrary numbers in a spreadsheet. Instead, your character progresses mainly through exploring the world and learning new skills while also both finding powerful gear and the materials necessary to create it themselves.”
This isn’t to say there will be no stats in the game at all. Quite the contrary. Your player character will have armor, elemental resistance, health, etc. stats, but you won’t be able to increase or strengthen them via leveling. Rather than relying on skill points and increasing your level, Void Arena players will instead need to focus on their equipment. Completing quests and other activities will grant you gear which you’ll be able to use to advance further. The game’s difficulty settings will also come into play, as higher difficulty settings will yield stronger gear. It will be up to you to determine how you want to play.
Abilities will be tied to how you travel the world, rather than a pool of points to spend. Some will be accessible by simply speaking with an NPC, while others will require you to follow more complex storylines. This is also in pursuit of making the player feel more emotionally invested in their character and that they have more control over their progression.
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