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Reader Comments (34)

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:15AM Metalheart said

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Get to the end as quick as possible most mmos make leveling boring
with the exception of GW ;), then go back and help others and
actually explore the place

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:19AM (Unverified) said

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"We think there's definitely room for both types of players.."

I actually think I'm both types of player(s) ;p
The first time through content, I'm most definitely a 'stop and sniff the roses' player, as I thoroughly enjoy being soaked up in a great story and adventure of sorts (as long as the lore has had lots of development-love applied to it).

Having said that, the second pass through is generally a 'click click get quest ok get it done' exercise, unless the new character takes me to new areas or brances into different storylines.

What I always find amusing however, is hearing players complain about being bored at max level, and that said game 'sux', while simultaneously boasting that they got there in 2.5 sec flat the first time through..

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:23AM (Unverified) said

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WTB edit function available for 2 mins after posting..

*branches (brances)
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 6:33PM (Unverified) said

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That's the way I am too. I play Lotro and I'm an avid reader of anything Tolkien. The lore was what attracted me to the game. But, I am also guilty of leveling alts with lightning speed to the point that now when I encounter new or revamped content, I hit continue/accept/finish out of pure reflex before I get a chance to read the text.

Like you, I am also confused by some of the disenchanted end game players; I've had three kinships fall apart on me because of it. The real soul of this particular game is the journey and Turbine's rather surprising ability to stick to the lore and pull gems out of obscure references in the appendices. I've found the game is most enjoyable when one can find a small group of close-knit friends to hang out with and level at a steady pace - experience ALL of the content, socialize. Some MMOs are actually designed for fellowship and community rather than bragging rights.

This is not meant to suggest that LOTRO is not a game for everyone. It also has end game raiding and a region dedicated to all out pvp. Both of these can be the source of a very enjoyable end game experience if you match up with the right people (star huggers and loot whores aside).

whew. long post. didn't realize i had so much to say. =)

I just prefer it when those I play with remember that games are essentially about having fun.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:58AM Arkanaloth said

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With the exception of GW, most games have pretty exclusive end-game destinations, since one either needs the uber-guild or the uber-gear or both to even have a hope in taking part in the end-game.

Personally, I'm a journey person, so I tend to prefer the leveling game than the end-game and as a result I have a fleet of alts in quite a few games.

GW differs since the journey isn't to get to the level cap, the journey is the storyline Mission progression and quests and developing a series of situation-handling builds.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:42AM agitatedandroid said

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Sometimes it depends on the game.

DDO, I take my time. I log in now and then, run a dungeon or two.

Guild Wars, dunno why but I don't even notice what level I am. I suppose that has to do with the feeling that I'm not playing a game but playing a novel.

WoW, I was 80 inside a week after Wrath's release. It's a competition, I don't know with who but it is.

LOTRO, so many roses how can you not stop to smell them?

Champions I have no idea about. Might actually go slower since I got a character to 26 in Open Beta. This was done without ever reading the quest text because I was in a rush to see what Nemesis was like and wanting to see if I'd like the feel of the game. Come release I'll probably take more time and actually read the damn quests.

SW:TOR, I have a feeling we won't even be able to race considering the voice dialogue will likely slow us down anyway. All of Bioware's talk of "story story story" has me hoping it will be a story I'll care to hear.

EVE, don't even know how once rushes in EVE.

Star Trek Online? Well, duh, Warp Speed.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:50AM fzzzt said

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There is definitely room for both types of players, in the same genre, but maybe not in the same game (unless you're EQ and do server rulesets right). The problem with this is PvP, especially open PvP games, where more time spent gives you a direct, realized advantage over casual gamers. I don't have evidence but I would easily suspect that PvP games have a much higher percentage of hardcore versus casual players--for this exact reason. In PvE, people get higher level faster and use up content, but it doesn't really affect you. Sometimes through unlocking new content or events, but that's usually not a big deal to a casual player, who has fun at their own pace anyway. In PvP, hardcore gamers have better gear, more skills, etc., and can whoop your ass without a second glance often times even at the same level. This impacts enjoyment and is the only reason there isn't room for both, IMHO, though there is always plenty of gray area with complex systems like MMOGs and people.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 8:50AM Tom in VA said

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I very seldom max out characters.

As an example, I have probably played 20 toons in WoW and my highest-level characters are in their low 70s. I prefer to come along after the crowds have stampeded through and so will probably only come back to WoW to complete WotLK once Cataclysm arrives and Northrend clears out. And maybe not even then -- since WoW's overall vapid/silly/all-but-nonexistent story structure is kind of boring me these days.

My problem with most MMOs is that they follow a set path, wherein the endgame always boils down to repeatable group instances, faction grinds, PvP, and raids grinding for gear and/or rep. Ick.

I am not interested in any of those things, so the endgame of most MMOs is something I am in no hurry to get to.

I think it's a basic truism in MMOs that the end content has to be gear and faction grinds because the developers have to find some way to "slow down" those players who rush through the content and then need something to do to keep them subscribing. "Throw 'em a boring Rubik's cube to keep 'em occupied" seems to be the most common answer to this problem.

I don't like Rubik's cubes. When I get to the endgame portion of most MMOs, I usually move on to something else.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 9:08AM Wisdomandlore said

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I guess I'm more about the "journey," because I'm always disappointed in the end game. Even if certain elements of it are fun, the adventure usually dies because end game content is a very, very thinly disguised grind (much more so than the rest of these games). I'll usually putter around and take a swing at end game content, but since I'm not an altoholic, I just land up moving on.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 9:25AM engrey said

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Like others have mentioned Guild Wars never felt like it was a race, but more of a story based game.

I think the next MMO to bring "stop and smell the roses" would be SWTOR, and GW2. Both are going to be story heavy but GW2 will have a big open world, like most modern MMOs.

These games, where story does matter, makes for a much more immersive world, and feels like your character is really growing or progressing.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 9:32AM Sente said

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I am mainly a "stop and smell the roses" person, at least in that I do not really care about leveling as fast as possible and I do not really care what kind of "end-game" there may be or even if there is one.

I am more interested in trying out different gameplay and playstyle options (e.g. create a number of alts) and happily alternate between those for variation. If that is not enough I alternate between different MMO games - normally at any given time I have at least 2-3 games I play regularly.

In some games I reach the max level (or whatever "max" might be defined as) in some I don't. It does not really matter.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 9:49AM Aganazer said

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"End game" in most MMOG's is just a slower grindier form of character progression. During that time the new content slows to a crawl. Character development is minuscule. Your fun is much more dependent on other players (which is both good and bad).

Compared to the journey where content comes very quickly, character development is constantly evolving, stories start and resolve themselves in a timely manner, and it typically has a bit more focus on solo and small group content.

Both can be fun, but I greatly prefer the journey. I think the whole concept of "end game" came to us when there weren't many choices out there for MMO games. You had all the fans sitting around bored needing something to do so the developers gave it to them. Nowadays there are plenty of MMOG's. Enough that you could spend 100% of your game time on the journey without ever running out of new games and content.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 10:04AM (Unverified) said

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" "End game" in most MMOG's is just a slower grindier form of character progression. "

That really shows the hypocrisy of some of the race-to-the-end types. For some reason, if an MMO takes too long to reach the maximum level, it's too "grindy", yet they have no problem doing the raid and gear grind once there. It makes little sense.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 10:10AM StormEagle said

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I am definitely your "stop and smell the roses" kind of player. I started playing WoW when it first came out and I've dabled in every MMO that's come out since but none have really grabbed my attention (save for maybe LOTRO). My testament to this is that the character I very first created (Thanolas, NE Hunter, Thrall) has never hit the level cap before the release of the next expansion. He's still sitting at level 72 right now. And as a matter of fact, I left him to roll a DK and he just hit 72 last night. I am determined to hit 80 (on both) before the Cataclysm but WoW for me is all about the exploration and the experience with the other players.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 10:23AM (Unverified) said

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I think something today's gamers are missing is the idea of it meaning something to reach a level -other- than max. I hear people complaining all the time about grinds, and how it takes more than an hour or two to level up in some games.

Back in my EQ days, it actually -meant- something when you reached a given level like say... level 20. It took time to get there and when people saw you with the surname you were allowed to get at level 20, it meant you had put in some serious effort. And leveling up gave you the chance to do more fun things. I remember feeling accomplishment when I was able to get into Crushbone and hold my own. Or making it to High Keep. Or so many other things. And levels weren't typically a passing thing. It might take a week or 2 of solid play just to level through the 20s back then, something that would take what, a day in WoW? It promoted a sense of pride for reaching certain points in the game. That's something I feel is missing from current MMOs.

These days, people seem to be only concerned with hitting max level. It's like to them, the only content is end game raid content. If they can't reach it within 2 weeks a la WoW, then they don't want to bother with the game. So I guess you could say... mark me down for "The Journey"

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 10:57AM Willogram said

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This, a thousand times over. I think part of it is that just because you are a WoW player does not mean you are an MMO player. I've met many people who hate any game that is not WoW--it has become a glorified chatroom for many people.

I love the journey, and it actually frustrates me if it is too easy. I loved FFXI because of the challenge of that journey. Getting a subjob at 18 was a big deal. So was getting advanced jobs at 30. Great times.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2009 10:49AM Arkanaloth said

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""End game" in most MMOG's is just a slower grindier form of character progression. During that time the new content slows to a crawl. Character development is minuscule. Your fun is much more dependent on other players (which is both good and bad)."

I think this is my issue with MMO end-games.. I don't mind slow progression, as long as it's evident progression.. I don't mind grinding in the slightest, what always gets me is the *requirement* for other players to achieve that progression at end-game. I've played a few mmo's and one thing I've never liked is the inability to even tie your shoes without 5, 10, 15 other people. I'm not saying *all* end-game content should be soloable, but on the flip-side, why must nearly all end-game content seem to require enough people to eclipse the sun?

I think that's what has really turned me off to end-game in most MMO's. I've always been a journey type of person, I think my time in MMO's has simply re-enforced that mentality. The Journey is fun, group if you want, solo if you want, challenges have many solutions. The destination (end-game) is not fun, they're all "this way or no way".

One thing I've noticed is, with the exception of GuildWars, have you noticed that the higher level you get, the less choice you have to do anything meaningful and in the things you can do that are meaningful, you have very little choice about *how* to do it?

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 11:22AM (Unverified) said

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Like the above comment I like to know I am getting somewhere. I am not keen when you play for 4 hours and it seems as you have gotten no where as a character. I like to have a sense of achievement from every session of the game I play. Like many here I never blaze toward end game because it tends to be rubbish. There are very few games that have ever achieved not having any "drag" in the course of leveling. One that made it fun all the way along was Shadowbane.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 11:46AM (Unverified) said

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I have the "smell the roses" approach. To me there is no point to playing the game if you do not have fun doing so. Also, rich lore and storytelling are in general very important to me, so I am the type who will stop to read all the texts and look at the surroundings. It is actually one of the main reasons why I prefer to level solo even in MMOs, if I am going through the storyline for the first time. Few people have the patience to wait and I want to enjoy the game at my own pace.

As a result I tend to dislike games that have too much grind and are poor on the story and setting side. Quest-driven advancement is preferred to mindless slaughter of thousands of monsters in the most efficient way.

Posted: Aug 27th 2009 12:02PM Pingles said

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I'm a "ding" addict.

I love the lower levels. Quest, quest, quest, DING, quest, kill, quest, DING, train, quest, DING!

Alt-a-holic here. Just give me enough low level areas and quests and I'll play your game forever.

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