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Posted: Jan 10th 2008 12:03PM GreenArmadillo said

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When Ultima Online came out, it had free-for-all PVP, allowing griefers to kill and loot players anywhere at any time. A lot of people LIKED that setup, but, when UO finally offered the choice NOT to participate in that kind of PVP, the vast majority (80+%) opted out. It used to be standard practice for players not to be able to reach the level cap of an MMORPG solo, and a lot of people LIKED that setup. Then Blizzard figured out that they could sell 10 times as many copies of their game as everyone else if they allowed solo players to play their game and reach their level cap, and now most games are scrambling to make their MMO's soloable.

And now the status quo is that you can level to the cap, but then the "elitist endgame content" takes over. A lot of people, mostly ones who are actually experiencing said content, LIKE this status quo too. And more importantly, game developers (who, in Blizzard's case, are former raiders themselves) like it. To use WoW as an example, most solo content can be beaten on the first attempt, or maybe with one corpse run because there were adds or the mob had some ability you weren't expecting. If you allow players to beat all the content in the game in one or two attempts, they will run out of game and stop paying your monthly fee. The raid game allows Blizzard to impose both a logistical roadblock - getting 25 players of the correct classes in the same place at the same time - and a difficulty roadblock - of course raids require months of farming old content (no more than once a week) to pass DPS checks, consumables, and night after night of costly wipes, they're supposed to be elite and harder.

My point being, the fact that some people like the way endgames are run today doesn't mean that many more people wouldn't like things a lot more if endgames had more resemblence to beginning- and middle- games. The way to make this work just hasn't been found yet, and it's not going to be found until other companies stop spending all their time trying to copy WoW.

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