Are You a Level Addict?

Like a week or two ago I found about this browser based zombie game Urban Dead. I joined the game, created a character (zombie of course) and then stared a screen that said where I am. There was an available action “attack barricade”, and I started clicking like 30 times or something until I run out of action points.

I thought… okay, what’s this game? I get to join and click 30-50 times some button and then I have to wait for the action points to restore. I noticed my experience points increasing and spotted that for the next skill I would need 100 points. I thought I wouldn’t never touch the game ever again.

The day after… I knew my character action points were revived, so I thought to have a quick login. I spotted that somebody had shot me in the head, so I needed to stand up (cost 10 action points out of maximum 50) I moved couple of blocks away and again started attacking some barricade. All this happened in like 3 minutes or something. Again I gained some experience points.

Again I pondered: what’s this? Why would people play this?

Some reasons:
Some days later I still came back to gain some experience. I moved around, and even attacked and bited some other human characters and I really started pondering what was the reason I still come back. According to the Wiki and forums, some people seemed to complain about the 50 action point per day limit, but I think that might be one of the reasons why people come back as often as possible. After all, since you can only have 50 points per day, if you don’t spend those you are kind of like missing an opportunity (and spending the action points – and receiving experience – takes like a few minutes so there’s really no reason not to play the game).

Third reason – and perhaps the main reason – for me was the fact that I gained experience points and noticed that when I get 100 points I will get something fun. I know that gaining levels and experience points are like the oldest trick in the design, but I kind of felt that “I’ve done and seen this ‘gain experience, gain levels’ like in zillion games, why would I be interested about this any more?”

But, it doesn’t go like this. Even though I know that gaining experience and then gaining levels is as old as a Santa Claus it doesn’t mean it should be used. I believe that this “experience point gathering” (even if it’s as stupid as “come here every day and click button 20 times”) was like 90% of the reason I logged in again and again.

Are you a level addict?
What about you guys, do you think gaining experience points is fun… or is it a dull mechanism that needs to be replaced with something else (I know some people prefer skill based experience gaining: “by using a sword your sword using skill gets better”).

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. phu: cool. :) what kind of rewards you get for leveling up in Disgaea 3? :)

    Jake: true. Sim (not such a typical example) also had “levels” (so to speak) and at some point it got boring to lift weights… so I just put it speedy mode and went on until it was maxed out…

    Katherine: true, that can be annoying…

  2. I am a level addict. However games with limited action points per day really put me off. I hate feeling like I need to log in every day at a certain time to stop feeling like I am falling behind (behind what? who knows).

    And just rabidly clicking buttons isn’t really my thing, but I have been known to do that on occasion still.

  3. Oh yeah, huge exp addict. I just passed 150 hours on Disgaea 3 (so I may now be over 500 hours for the series).

    The small accomplishment of leveling up is what hooked me utterly and completely on RPG’s a very long time ago and keeps me coming back (well, that and the fact that I’m a huge item whore).

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