No more experience points please!

“Killzone: Shadow Fall” screenshot courtesy of Sony.

Experience points in multiplayer shooter games have given players reasons to stay up late at night in order to level up or obtain new gear. Looking back at older games, I think it’s unnecessary to be rewarded for every action in multiplayer shooters.

The upcoming Playstation 4 launch title, “Killzone: Shadow Fall” will not have experience points, unlike other multiplayer shooters. The experience points will be replaced with a ranking system and challenges for the player to complete. While not much of a departure from the experience points in other titles, it’s interesting to see a modern multiplayer shooter abandoning experience points to show in-game progression.

Thanks to the adoption of experience points in franchises like “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield,” players have become accustomed to gaining experience for actions that benefit the team such as kills, assists and completing objectives.

Because of this system, players are pushed to play more to keep leveling up. Game developers love this, because you spend more time playing their game for bigger numbers and new guns. If you enjoy the game unconditionally, then these experience points probably don’t mean much to you.

I will note that some shooters use experience points effectively, as seen in”Payday 2.” Players gain experience for completing heists instead of being rewarded for actions performed in-game.

As someone who enjoys games that use experience points like in “Battlefield 3,” and games that don’t have experience points like “Team Fortress 2,” I prefer the latter.

Being rewarded for every kill, assist and action has gotten out of hand in modern games. In older games like “Quake 3,” “Battlefield 1942” and “Unreal Tournament,” rewarding actions were points on the scoreboard, not experience points going to an ever-increasing number next to your name.

Games that don’t have any incrementing numbers next to your name aren’t perfect either. You join a match and put your skills to the test without any numbers telling you if a player has spent 10 or 100 hours playing a game. It’s no fun fighting against players with hours of experience that can annihilate you without blinking.

Developers have adopted experience points because it keeps people playing. Some players might enjoy gaining experience points for everything, although it may drive away others. Or you just probably ignore it like I do. It’s just a number after all.

With games changing and adapting to what players want, maybe games that use experience points will decrease. Or they’ll just keep going up.