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- Most of the subtropes were made of codified by Tabletop RPGs (Especially Dungeons & Dragons) The reason that Character Levels exists is so that the Game Master can make tougher encounters for the party as they continue on.
- Descent: Journeys in the Dark has three tiers of enemies: minions, master monsters (like minions but with more HP and some unique abilities), and lieutenants (named enemies who grow stronger, the more heroes are on the field, and can perform skill checks unlike the monsters).
- Star Trek Online has several interlocking tier systems. Ships have five tiers, with tier 1 being Starter Equipment (the Miranda-class, B'rel-class, and T'liss-class depending on faction), and tier 5 being admiral ships (further broken up into rear admiral, vice admiral, and fleet). Equipment comes in Mk I through Mk XII and also has a rarity system. There are also tier systems in the reputation and fleet grinds, which unlock better gear.
- Kingdom of Loathing has a tier system for consumables: crappy, decent, good, awesome, and epic, Color-Coded for Your Convenience as grey, black, green, blue, and purple, respectively. For adventure-giving consumables, the quality is determined by how many adventures it gives divided by how many points of stomach/liver/spleen consuming it uses, with a range for each tier. For others, it's a bit murkier.
Role Playing Game
- This is the center of the Pokémon metagame. All Pokemon have a spot in Smogon.com's fanmade tier system (one of many such established systems), said to ensure fairness on competition. The top tier is Ubers, which is simply a ban list to keep Game Breakers from taking over the metagame. The standard tier is Over Used, the membership criteria being defined roughly as "this mon is popular enough that if you play 20 matches with Ubers banned, you have a 50% chance of fighting it at least once", and lower tiers being defined recursively from that.
- In Dragon Age: Origins enemy mobs come in five tiers: critter, normal, elite, boss, and elite boss. Weapons and armor are also tiered by the material they're made from.
- War Dragons divides its dragons into Red, Blue, Orange and Green, with each successive color being stronger than the last. Extra eggs are used for researches, which fall into the same tiers.
Turn Based Strategy
- Weapons in XCOM: Enemy Unknown are divided into three tiers: Kinetic (regular bullets), Laser, and Plasma. Certain class abilities give soldiers bonuses that depend on the tier of the weapon they wield.
- Disgaea has 3 tiers and 40 ranks for their items. The Ranks denote how powerful they are when you acquire them, and the Tiers (Normal, Rare and Legendary) denote how powerful they can be. You can level up items in the game by going into the Item World, but the tier of the item dictates how many floors you can travel in the item (and thus how many levels the item gets.)
- Sword of the Stars used several different tiers, usually with three tiers.
- Planets have a size and a climate hazard, both with numerical values. Size were grouped into small (1-3), medium (4-6), and large (7-10), where each new size allowed larger platforms and more stations. Climate hazard was grouped into nice (easily colonisable), unfriendly (colonisable, but expensive), and prohibitive (not colonisable).
- Ships are tiered by propulsion and size. Propulsion went from fission, fusion, to antimatter, each one not only giving higher speed and range but also unlocking several other techs. Size went from destroyer, cruiser, to dreadnought. New ship sizes also opened up several new uses for ships.
- Weapons were also tiered, by the mount size (small, medium, large, and special), and by the propulsion era.