Payday 3's Progression (rant)


Okay, very quickly before we get started, I've been having these weird audio issues where, in either ear, you'll hear some sort of popping or staticky sound. It's fantastic to hear his thoughts, and you know processes in terms of how they get the game design done, so it's fantastic, so full props to him, but this is where they talk about it, where he specifically talks about progression, and I wanted to analyze it, go over some quotes, and then bring my own opinion about progression into it, kind of cross-referencing what I think should be done and what they're doing, and why the progression in Payday doesn't work.

I thought it would just be a quick, easy article to make, and it's quick, like a three-minute section, so yeah, we're just going to analyze it, go as deep as we can, and have some fun while we're doing it. What our intent was with the challenge system was that players, you know, just keep playing The Heist.


Have the same amount of Health across all difficulties and it's not about like U getting as much damage as possible so he talks about how in Payday 2 the levels the higher level you were the more power you had and in Payday 3 it's different the higher level you are the more options you have then he goes on to explain, that the way that they thought people would play is not at all how people are playing people are rushing the challenges and I think this is important because you have these two different systems one in Payday 2 and one in Payday 3 but the problem there is not with the system itself, when we're talking about optimal ways to play any article game really with progression especially in a game like payday the problem is not with the system itself it's not with what happens when you know.

Gain more levels. It's not with what happens, whether it's horizontal or vertical; it's not that people, you know, no matter what the system is, will find the most optimal way to play it. No matter what the system is, no matter how you do it, no matter how you make the progression system, no matter what you put into it, people will find the most optimal way to play, and with challenges, unfortunately.

It's this, you know, super repetitive grindy. Get the kill challenges done because that gets us the most XP quickly to level up, and then we can go horizontal. It's unfortunate, but I think it's just the reality that no matter what system you go for, people are going to find a way to abuse it. Get it done quickly.

co op

Again, no matter what system you go for, I think that's just going to happen in a game like this, so yeah, let's move on. You know, basically, go in and farm. You know, kills for the kill challenges and so on, and we didn't think people would resort to that, mostly because it's not. You also get cash that you use for buying stuff from the vendor, upgrading or unlocking mods, and exchanging it for C stacks.

You also get challenges in the meantime, so you're kind of doing three things at once, but if you just farm challenges, you're only doing one thing, and then you're bottlenecked. By other things, okay, so this is also very important, more important than the last thing we definitely step up in importance here, and there's some smoking guns in here too, but this is very interesting because he talks about how they thought the most optimal way to play would be to play heists normally, as in, just go through a heist and complete it like you would because when you do that, you get currency, and you get weapon XP.


You get infamy points, so those are the three things you get in skill XP as well, so let's put those three things into context: weapon XP/skill XP currency to spend on whatever you want, and infinite points. Those three things have a value attached to them. But it's hard but they [ __ ] it up so much because two other things aren't even that important SL not really rewarding to go for, so infam points and completing challenges is the best way to get yourself to the point where you can enjoy the game to the fullest extent and I if I was a game designer I feel like I'd rack my head at night trying to figure out how to get all the you know perceived value the subjective value and the objective value correct I would it would kill me, but, yeah theyve definitely not got it right in this one so this is the Smoking Gun this next upcoming statement and when I first heard this on stream I was watching this live I'm pretty sure I actually had a fit, because there is simultaneously.


Self-awareness in it and not self-awareness in it, like there's retroactive self-awareness. But you think that. Anyway, I'll just listen to it. This is a very longwinded way of saying we thought people would use this system in one way, but they ended up using it in a different way. We did expect that some people would use Rush Challenges, but we also thought that they would see that that's not actually the optimal way to play because you know if you complete challenges early.

You won't have them later, so when later, if you do all the kill challenges and then you're like, you know level 100, and then you start playing normally, you know you already completed the kill challenges, so now you have fewer challenges to complete, so you're kind of like taking an advance on your leveling rather than actually making progress, so it gets really weird.


Yeah, so if you complete the challenges early, you have no more challenges to complete. That is a red [__] flag, like that's a huge red [__] Flag in a progression system. No, there's nothing underneath the challenges; there's no fundamental; through line, you know, underneath the challenges to make the progression consistently satisfying, it's just challenges, that's it, and you can run out of those challenges.

You can't just play the game to have fun, but you can still be rewarded. You just have to go through the challenges. That's it again when they were playing? How did they not come up in development? How did this not how did this get through QA? How did this get through design? How did people at home or the developers feel when they were playing?

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How did they not get to a point where their own challenges stopped and they were halted? I just don't understand. I genuinely when I heard this I lost my mind I don't understand how they can be so self-aware and retroactive, but then this fully gets through during the design phase. Yeah, I have no idea, so the reason this is important is because players need some sort of safety net.


I think when it comes to general satisfaction from progression, at least that's how I think about it, and by safety net. I mean a progression system. Or, you know, bonus challenges that you can actually gun for, like, you know, boss fights or things like that, and then there's passive progression, so it's underlying systems to add flavor to the game.

THEY'VE ANNOUNCED CHANGES TO THE PROGRESSION SYSTEM. My thoughts were not as clearly communicated as I could have done with a script but this was really fun to record, I should do more of this. Hope it entertained.
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