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sylin city parliament cordially invite you to attend the second annual masquerade ball in order to stave off the dreariness of the season! refreshments will be provided, and formal attire is required. please leave your weaponry at home and dance the night away! ...however, this year not all is as it seems. it appears someone has placed a riddle on the back of the invitations. who-- or what-- could have done this, and why?
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henlo i am super stuck on this and i'd appreciate some assistance if possible c:
i run a site based on the pokemon special manga and recently, i have been unsure if i want to implement a exp/levels system or if i want to remove levels entirely. personally, i have never used levels on any pokemon site i've been apart of... i've been lurking around pokemon sites for about 9 or 10 years and have never really run into them in my time roleplaying. it's always been a buy evolution items or tms to acquire the moves and evolutions you desire but now that i run my own site, i'm not sure if a system that uses experience and levels is something i can get behind?
perhaps it's just that i have absolutely no experience in using a system like this but i don't believe that i'd ever use it myself... i don't want to deny the members that are focused on levels the opportunity to have their pokemon grow and become stronger but i also don't want to be implementing a system that i can't fully get behind in the first place. i considered a hybrid system but my ideas for it were contradicting themselves and now i'm just plain stuck :c
should i consider putting a system into place or just getting rid of levels all together and offering items in the site shop to work around the need for a level system? i don't want to upset the members that enjoy levels but at the same time, i don't want to put a system into place that i, myself, wouldn't use...
✿ nikki it's great that you're considering your members interests but if you don't want a leveling system, then don't implement one. because what will you do when there are members who dislike the leveling system? Not only that, what will happen to new members whose pokemon are a significantly lower level than older members?
Who will be the one keeping track of the leveling system and making sure everyone follows it correctly? You. And your staff. If you don't have the passion for it and not willing to put in the work to maintain one, then do not implement one, especially if you are worried that your inexperience won't be able to pull it off well.
I think offering items in the shop is the best option if you want to implement a system. It'll be easier for you to manage and it seems you'll like it more.
okay, real talk as someone who ran pokemon sites across three years - i absolutely hated level systems and do not recommend them at all.
while yes, some of that dislike is tied to the dislike i have for game-ifying rp to the point of turning it into grinding (because real talk, if i wanted to level grind, i'd play an actual pokemon game), a lot of it is also tied to the terrible experiences i've had with the system. leveling systems are really easy to break in the long-term (we had 3 or 4 members max out one pokemon and then spam mod threads to farm out v high level wild pokemon to catch, it was a nightmare and turned any idea of power balance on the site into a joke), and it tends to attract rpers who are into powergaming and minmaxing, which tends to create some p toxic environments (i cry at how many times we had to deal with people getting nasty over their shenanigans in their mutual desire to curbstomp everyone around them) that are not fun to moderate or exist in. but i also just think leveling systems (and a lot of the systems pokemon sites use) just in general do a real disservice to rping in a whole lot of ways but especially in a situation like yours where you're trying to focus more on the narratives and the storytelling than the power progression or endgame character setup.
personally, what i'd do is take a leaf out of go and standardize evolutions to all use the same method and vary thresholds more by evolution count/tier (ie 1 stage versus 2 stage) than anything else, maybe give an option for permanent mega evolution (or gigantimax or whatever that is, idk what sword and shield is doing) at a v high threshold, and maybe even take a leaf out of mystery dungeon where everyone has a basic typeless attack but each pokemon can also learn new moves they can use with xyz cooldown in threads. idk i'm also kind of "if you don't want to run a system, just make the battle system optional and disclaim that this is what the staff will use to determine winners if there's a disagreement and call it a day" but idk how well that would work for you tbeh. a shop might work well in terms of limiting evolution but if it's the only thing in there imo it might be better worth your time just making it into something you don't deal with or just "have some meaningful encounters that show growth or improvement".
pokemon is hard just because i don't like dealing with stats and systems but i also know it's easier to deal with the troublemakers when they exist since then you can point to something to keep them in line but it's really hard to come up with a valid system that stays fair in the long-term and is v hard to break, so it is... a conundrum...
I'm someone that loves systems when they're done well, and my last few sites have had systems. I thought I'd offer my perspective as someone that loves designing and using these things.
If you have to ask yourself whether or not you should have a system, the answer is almost universally no. They'll end up tacked on and just kind of bad. I know there are a lot of Pokemon sites out there with systems, but that's also kind of the point here. If someone wants a Pokemon site with systems, they already have plenty of options. If you want your site to just be freeform, it means the people that want Pokemon, but don't want to deal with systems have a place to go now. It doesn't mean you can't have some combat guidelines to make sure everyone's on the same page (eg general etiquette guidelines for dodging, using the wiki for a general guideline of how strong you should expect attacks to be relative to each other, or whatever else), but you don't need more than guidelines for that kind of thing.
This is at least the impression I get from your OP. I think this only answers half the question though, so I'm going to go into when systems should be used and what they're good for. This is all just my opinion based on my experiences with systems.
It's important to remember that RP is not video games. The mediums and the goals of each medium are very different. Video games want to take you through an experience crafted by their developers and mechanics, whereas RP is about collaborative writing and creating a story with a group of people. Thus, people shouldn't necessarily look to video games when creating systems. They can make good inspiration, but ultimately the goals of the two mediums are very different.
So what does this mean for RP systems? It means they should focus on helping players create a narrative. They should exist to help people agree on an outcome so the story can move forward. This will ultimately mean sacrificing a little bit of their narrative control when compared to freeform, but in exchange they can be surprised by outcomes (because in freeoform players decide everything and thus are limited to what they and their partners think of, whereas systems can effectively provide writing prompts and scenarios they may never have thought of themselves), and be on the same page as their fellow roleplayers (so people won't go raid the same warehouse 50 million times while the organization that owns them feels 0 effects).
This is where I think most tier systems fail. They don't make any kind of resolution system, so they still rely on entirely freeform combat and RP, only giving people a more rigid structure for what a text description could provide. People just seem afraid to let go of that narrative control that freeform provides, but still want to put numbers on things to keep combat 'fair' or to head off troublemakers, which results in the worst of both world: adding just enough structure to limit peoples' ideas, while also not giving that sense of surprise and direction that systems can provide.
So that's my two cents on systems. Since the system should imo, help determine the direction your site's story will take, it's just as important as your site's setting. I would even go as far as to say it's a different way to define your site's setting. So if you're asking if you should tack a system onto your site, that's pretty much always going to get a no from me. If you want to be freeform, be freeform. There is absolutely nothing wrong with freeform.