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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 3:33PM (Unverified) said

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Part of the problem is the writing, its a common problem nowadays. There is no cohesive, interesting way of putting all the pieces together. Quests are merely XP fountains to advance to that next level, we don't really care why we need to kill 10 rats and collect 45 intestines, what we care about is the loot!. Writing does make a difference.
If MMOs were designed to be skill based then things would be different, you would not have a divided player base (how many times have we been kicked out of a group because our level wasnt high enough?). If you think about it most mmos, you fight the same type of enemies all the way through, the only difference is that now they have more digits in their life bar, everyhting else is the same.

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 4:45PM (Unverified) said

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The problem is, you really can't give new characters just starting out an epic quest. If some wizard approached your first level rogue with a quest to slay a dragon and free a dwarven citadel, you'd probably tell him to get stuffed... Yet that's essentially what Gandalf does to Bilbo Baggins at the start of the Hobbit. Of course, Bilbo didn't march right off and stick a dagger in ol Smaug right away. No, he traveled the land, killed a lot of monsters, outsmarted Gollum, found treasure, developed skills and had all sorts of side quests thrust upon him... Essentially levelling up and gaining loot so he could go on to the final quest.

In the same way, so does a character in a MMO level up. They just don't have people show up in the starting areas and give you the quest to kill Onyxia, then leave you to it. They give you small, bite sized quests that lead you from one place to another, slowly building up your skills, experience and gear until you can take on those epic quests.

Progression is the same, just what they present you from goals is reversed. Start small, work larger instead of drop the end goal in your lap from the start and let you figure out the rest.

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 5:25PM (Unverified) said

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You hit the proverbial nail on the head. As a writer, I am passionate about this subject. There are ways to mitigate this problem, but you have to bridge a few deep, dark crevices.

Unfortunately it isn't likely the current or even upcoming generation of mmogs will bridge this gap. It requires fundamental changes to basic reward systems.

Robert

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