About Systems and Servers
Firstly, we should speak about the function of the cap in itself. A server’s identity can be found in its systems, and in the case of TER, there are various systems that imply what we are about. There are custom classes that work within the setting, skills and feats to better portray a character’s identity and background, and numerous other changes for the sake of balance, functionality, and fun. It should also be noted that TER is not a finished product, we are always (as well as currently) discussing what can be added or changed to improve the experience. More on that later.
About the Level Cap’s Purpose
The level cap is meant as a suggestion for pacing. We like to see a character grow and have a recognizable story-arc, and we try to aid as best we can to help you work towards that, your character’s goals, hopes and dreams, while also being able to portray that mechanically. Given our level 8 limit, we decided to implement a level cap. This way, we can still aid characters in pacing that arc, without losing track of a sense of progression that is appropriate within the setting.
Currently, it is made possible to reach the highest mechanical level attainable in a little under a year. For a character to reach their ‘ultimate form’ in less time than that is something we find we cannot cater to, not while still retaining the integrity of a low-level, low-magic setting.
About the Level Cap’s Settings
The cap is not ideal, this we realise, but few solutions are. The 3k/month cap, in combination with the way experience gain and dungeons are set up, is tailored to cater to both frequent and infrequent players. The reason for this is that not all players, nor staff-members, are subject to the same schedule. When we set a daily, or otherwise more frequent limit, we favour those more frequent players. This is why we set a looser limit, yet for a longer term, so that we can offer more opportunity to those who cannot join us every day, or even every week, to still retain the possibility of keeping an enjoyable pace to those who can.
In essence, this does not disfavour those who play more frequently. It still offers you the freedom, to spend your time as you see fit, and allows us and others to still get a sense of progression that is fair in comparison. When compared that is, to the intended progression arc, not necessarily the amount of time spend between players. Those who spend more time will obviously still progress more quickly, but the way the setting, low-levels and low magic, and thus also the means of progression are set up, the chance for a divide between characters because of mechanical reasons is much smaller. After all, we are not in a race, we are in a story. And we find a story is better when shared.
However, the cap is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to earning experience. DM-given experience for example, is still a viable means of gaining experience even if you’ve hit your cap. This means that you can help, both yourselves and us. Give us more means to work with, and the better we will be able to run events for you, which always helps your character progress, both personally and mechanically, regardless of the cap.
The @work-system has taken the place of a roleplay system, allowing those stay-at-home PCs, and even the hardy adventurers that need a break, to earn both experience and coin. There are also several character levels to be gained in exploration experience alone. Both set at what we feel is an appropriate risk/reward balance when compared to adventuring.
But even with these systems already fully functional and implemented, the staff are also discussing options that allow progression and reward for time spent in the server, and even time spent adventuring. So that you may find your time playing and adventuring rewarding, both story-wise and mechanically, despite having hit your monthly cap. At the same time, work is still being done on the E8 system, so that a PC can still progress despite having reached their highest attainable level, to an almost infinite degree.
A last point that should be noted is that the staff is always open to suggestions. Few things are created in a vacuum, and while we may not always consider something a problem in the same manner you do, we can certainly try to find ways towards a solution we can all appreciate. Currently, we do not believe we can cater to your personal stories at the rate people will be gaining levels, if we are to remove the cap, but that need not be the end of the discussion.
What we can do, is look into a solution for you to still feel you are able to progress mechanically, despite having hit said cap. We’d like to open up discussion regarding alternatives to still feel progression that are not a gain in experience, so that we can still achieve the goals we set for this server, without restraining you in your storytelling or enjoying your playtime in general. And as with all matters, you are welcome to chime in on this with your own suggestions.
As with all things though, we do wish to stress that a lot of these decisions are not made overnight. And the same goes for their implementation. We’ve had a great number of very positive reactions to the way the server looks and runs, and many years of work and decision-making have gone into this. If we make changes, they will likely take an appropriate amount of time, if they are to be done right. For this we can only ask your understanding and patience. There is a lot of work to be done still, but it’s a road we enjoy travelling. We hope to have you there with us for it, let’s have fun on the way there, shall we?
- on behalf of the TER team