It’s late. My eyes blur with the monitors haze, and the repetitious attempts have long since morphed me into an automaton. At my side, my wife Abryn is slumped in her desk chair, posture sagging even as her eyes remain fixed on the life bars of our companions.
Months of attunement, back-flagging, farming, and hour after hour of failure at the same critical juncture in the encounter. It seems so simple, yet so impossibly complex at the same time, and frustrations abound, as we continue to throw ourselves against the same brick wall.
That juncture comes and goes, and the raid is fighting on…
I snap to attention as a rush of adrenaline pours through my veins. My heart is thumping wildly, and on Ventrilo, the raid leader calmly reminds everyone to remain focused. A quiver can be heard in his voice, and I know he is feeling as I do. I glance to my left, and Abryn’s eyes are starring daggers at her screen, traces of her malaise all but vanished as we press on…
Heartbeat pounding in my chest, palms sweating, stress building as the fight wages on, but the team has never responded so dynamically. Ventrilo explodes with cheers of elation, and Abryn and I shout aloud as one; the boss has fallen.
I play MMOs for those moments. There is so much that is wrong with the current state of the MMO endgame, but when all is said and done, I continue to slog through the endless cycle of farm, wipe, farm, wipe in search of the high that only comes from the thrill of that first boss kill.
The key to unlocking the kingdom of MMO greatness is the moment a studio can design an endgame that provides the same level of accomplishment as I experience in those sacred moments, for all of the residents of its world.
Vanguard had their Diplomacy, but in the broken state of the world, we’ll never know the success that could have embodied. Blizzard has developed the PvP game, however it is wholly a game of repetition and numbers, and is not accompanied with the same feeling of conquest and victory. Other games seek to address the issue in various ways, but the general consensus seems to indicate we face more of the same, and those precious thrills are reserved for a small fraction of the population.
What does your ideal endgame look like?