Sentence of the Weekend

Once a MMO embarks upon the “new expansion, gear reset, more love for raiders” road, the danger is that the game becomes so linear and focused on the end game that players new to the game may feel they can never catch up — and that even if they have the desire, the largely unpopulated lands between them and the bulk of the playerbase could be very discouraging.

7 thoughts on “Sentence of the Weekend”

  1. Yes! Which is a wonderfully succinct way of explaining why I am not a fan of vertical expansions and heavily gear dependent gameplay.

    One of the only ways I have seen for an MMO to counter these problems is to “speed up” early leveling, at which point you end up diluting the game for those who enjoy the journey rather than just the destination.

  2. This was very noticable in Aion when I first played it. I was in the beta and then played upon release, so I was up there with the curve. But when I took a break and decided to come back to the game after a month or so, I felt so far behind that I had no motivation to play.

  3. Tipa’s whole piece on where Rift is going is very astute. I’m still playing Rift and enjoying it, but if this pandering to the high-end isn’t alleviated reasonably soon with some broadening and deepening of the rest of the game, my time in Telara may draw to a close.

    That said, the game’s only been out for a few months. Everything happens on such an accelerated timescale nowadays, changes we’d have been content to wait a year for once we now want in a couple of weeks. Who’s to say that in a year from now Rift might not look an entirely different game?

  4. And this is starting to be noticable in City of Heroes after 7 years of avoiding this trap, too. So sad.

  5. Man I wish more MMOs followed the Asheron’s Call skill system. While characters had levels, it was only an indication of how much total exp that player or mob had. It did not necessarily limit what level monster you could take on. Logically, it followed that that magic users and melee-ers were naturally better at taking on certain mobs.

    While I later played WOW, I think it’s greatest weakness is reliance on the level system. Once players are locked into this kind of level system where players had to fight critters within a few levels (up or down) of them, you really lose the ability to let the player explore and just go out and find out what he can handle.

    Man I miss picking a direction and just running in Dereth.

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