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The esteemed Richard Bartle (of MUD1 and Bartle Classification system fame) lobbed a little hand grenade on a design issue into the waters at TerraNova, and created a really juicy thread of comments to pick through.  (He is really quite good at that.  Gotta admire the man.)

His post titled Pointless Killing asks a deceptively simple question: do we really need “experience points”?  The “end-game” of many games already implement a situation where activities are rewarded in ways other than XP, simply because the character has reached the level cap.  He asks if it wouldn’t be possible to simply do that from the very beginning of play.

Of course, the discussion itself moved way beyond that, and into lots of equally interesting territory… but for this little screed, I’m going to stick to providing my perspective on the initial question.

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