Monday, July 27, 2009

What's missing

Over at Keen and Graev's blog, Keen (or was it Graev) was reminiscing about playing MMORPG and what they are missing today. He mentioned enjoying leveling and not caring about endgame and how today it is all about the endgame.

Well I think its easy to understand how he feels since he's talking about Everquest. I'm not sure if EQ created endgame. But it is very easy not to care about an endgame if it doesn't even exist yet.

I know WoW was my first game I played that had an endgame, but at the time I was playing it I didn't know really what that meant. It was fun to spend a lot of time to level up your crafting and craft an item at level 20, or spend a ton of time doing a class quest that would give you a reward at level 40. But now, why bother when it will be so easily replaced? And the reason why it is easily replaced is because we're all in a hurry to level and the reason we're in a hurry to level is because the bulk of players aren't leveling any more. They are at endgame and we want to play with them. The most fun I had in recent memory was when at one point I decided not to participate in endgame. I wasn't in a rush to level, so everything I got was valued more because I knew it was going to last longer.

Over at CoX when new players hit max and ask "Now what?" forum vets say "well the game is the journey". Weird advice for someone who completed the journey. Are they saying go run the journey again?

What's missing can't be captured again for player who has been there and done that.

If a new game is created today would developers tell us in advance the game is in the journey? Would you play such a game?


whats my main again? said...

To me an MMO without an endgame isn't much of an MMO. Games that are just about the journey are much better placed in single player RPGs. Look at games like Oblivion, fallout, fable or KoTOR. Those are games that are about the journey and are so much more immersive then any MMO can be.

MMO's are about playing with people and the easiest way to accomplish that is to have an endgame. You set a goal for people to get to that in the process helps them learn to play their character, then you give them challenges that they can overcome with friends.

Granted you can level with other people but leveling with a full group of 5 people is way too easy to be any fun. Atleast in WoW anyway.

On the flip side, Guild Wars is a game entirely built off of the endgame. After I had done everything there was to do... I got bored and left. There was no challenge in going from 1-20 in that game, and while there is little from 1-80 in WoW.. it atleast is more entertaining.

Verilazic said...

I might play a game that's just about the journey, but once I finished the journey, there probably wouldn't be any reason to keep playing.

Part of it, imho, is that no one has done the journey right. WoW got closest, but when it comes down to it, it's more like they dodged the issue by making it quick, easy, and soloable, and then focusing on endgame.

To do it right though, you'd probably have to break down the whole focus on leveling we have right now. Make it less about how much you've progressed, and more about what you've done, and will do. Of course, that may never fly for the simple reason that most treadmills in MMOs are disguised as ladders; if you remove the ladders, you can no longer hide the treadmills.

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