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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 8:20AM (Unverified) said

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I think it's important that i reach the level cap, because other players (don't matter if it is a new game or a game like wow) always have the better chances to play with other, better and rich skilled gamers.

If the story is nice, i try to come into the story. Aion was a good start, because they use ingame movies to tell their story... who wants to read millions of lines of quest text if there can be a movie?
Also a movie helps the player to get the story AND level up to the other players.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 9:04AM SgtBaker said

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Well I play EVE so obviously my "progression", is defined by me. And my progression and goals vary and change about as often as my RL goals go and just like in RL there is no specific "cap" I can aim for.

Sure "being able to fly every ship in the game" might do it if you look at mechanics only - but if that is solely why you play you'll probably get bored and quit before you make it into a battleship (the actual mechanics in EVE are rather simple and boring - and not at all what the game is /really about) :-P

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 9:56AM (Unverified) said

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It depends on the game.

With Everquest and WoW, it was absolutely a goal. The most amazing and complex gameplay was found at the end. There was stuff to see and stuff to do before level cap, but it was soon obvious that the developers stacked everything for the end. All new content was for level cap eventually, the bones to the lower levels eventually came to an end, and instead of more places we got more and more armor tiers.

LOTRO though was much different. It was much more about having a journey. Rushing to the end of LOTRO(pre-SOM anyway) meant you missed out on so much. I had never suggested to so many people that they take their time in an MMO before. Pre-Moria there were 5 ways at end game to get comparable armor and each was so close to each other you felt no need to really upgrade unless you were just being handed better stuff by doing Rift every week.

Yea, when it comes to non-grinding and massive amounts of things to do, LOTRO has got to be close to the top.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 9:59AM Cendres said

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I've yet to reach a level cap in anything so reaching max is not important to me, but it is still something I'd like to do someday, the game where I finally reach max is going to be 'the one' MMO for me. (MMO hopping is kinda like dating.. ;P)

It doesn't matter how the game is set up either, there's just something about the mid level blues I can't get past, at least so far.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 10:35AM (Unverified) said

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I feel like level caps are an archaic concept that should be phased out of modern MMOs. While they certainly create stickiness for a game (I just hit level cap, who cares if the game is boring, I EARNED it!) they result in other problems.

Low level content is phased out and useless. If a level 20 instance is introduced in a 50 level game, you have to level an alt to participate, or you run it with your high level character and it has no challenge at all.

PvP games see a rise in ganking, and if you want to be competitive you MUST attain level cap. Aion's a prime example of this. Classes are imbalanced prior to the cap, and high level players get a myriad of bonuses against low level players. As a result, PvP any time before level cap is an exercise in futility. It takes a tremendous amount of skill to overcome that hurdle.

It also encourages grinding. Name one MMO where reaching level cap requires more effort than grinding elite mobs for hours on end until you get enough points? In WoW, at least, you can pound out a few hundred quests and reach level cap quickly enough to participate, but why bother? If the quests were fun to do, then there's no need to award points for doing them. Other games turn it into another hurdle, you MUST kill this many kobolds to enter.

I'd rather see a game with content all designed for static difficulty levels. Set it up like a D&D module where you have a suggested level, let players tune up a character for that level of power and then set them out. If I want to start at "Level 50", let me. If I want to stay in the level 20 zones for a longer period of time, let me. Make the character grow tangentially, either by collecting achievements or decorative equipment, or just accumulating a high-score in an activity that interests me, be it PvP or crafting. I don't need numbers going up to make me feel stronger. Make me feel stronger because I better know how to build and play my character and react to monsters quickly and effectively.

-SirNiko

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 10:38AM Faryon said

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I feel that if a game force you to reach the levelcap before you can do what is fun in it, then it's a poorly designed game.. WoW suffers from this, though I don't find the constant raid/hc/bg/arena grind at levelcap any fun so I have pretty much put the entire game behind me. The only time I have actually had fun while leveling in WoW was the first time I played through the Wrathgate questline. The story was good, and the Battle for the Undercity was awesome.

I really liked SWG pre-CU because you often didn't need to be capped to join friends and guildmates for some adventuring :P
I'm hoping TSW might bring back some of the "you don't need to be capped to have fun"-concept that was so great about SWG, but since it has been stated that it's going to be an item-heavy game then it will probably be like "you need to have a total gearscore of YYYY to do this content".

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 12:00PM bleyzwun said

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I think leveling to cap asap is normally done in games with PvP. It doesn't matter as much in PvE games, since it won't really give you an advantage.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 12:29PM jpo said

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I've been playing MMORPG since EQ release...and have played many of them...EQ, AC, EQ2, AoC, LoTRO, WoW, FE, WAR, Vanguard, etc.....and I have NEVER reached max level with a character.

I find that I like the "journey" so much that I never leave it. I like to do everything with my character...all the quests, exploration, socializing, reading....and if you do it all, it takes a long long time.

End Game? WTF is that?

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 12:31PM (Unverified) said

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In my experience games like WoW become quite boring as soon as i reached the level cap. WoW's so called endgame is more or less the same as leveling just with items instead of experience points. It's still character progression but much slower and much more grindy and repetitive so i'm not rushing towards it.

In other games this can be different.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 12:36PM (Unverified) said

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i definitely enjoy games which focus on the journey and progression over games where you have to get through most (or all) of the levels for the "fun" to begin. it adds to the immersion factor; life is not all about racing toward (or grinding to achieve) a specific goal, but about the actual growth of the individual along the way. the Zen saying is, "The obstacle is the path." of course end-game content is important in an MMO, but early- and mid-game content should be just as much a priority.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 1:15PM (Unverified) said

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I've gotten to end level in a couple games (at the time of playing them anyway) and It's a bit different.

I'm definitely a "journey" guy, not a "destination' guy. But take WOW for example, you level cap, then you grind instances to gear up, or grind PVP to gear up..and wait for the next instance to get patched in.

This is boring imo. And it seems that's all that's following suit lately.

I miss a real AA system where I could have something else to do if I wanted when I was capped.

Either way you do it, its a grind, so why not? Maybe its just me, but I've always cared more about crap like grinding aas to get the ability to cast my self illusions on groupmates at random times of my choosings for Lulz than the newest, greatest Purple Item of Infinite E-Peen Elongation.

/shrug

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 2:18PM Dumac said

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I most often see leveling as an obstacle standing between me and fun. whether i am at the beginning levels and have to "work" to get to the fun areas, or i am at max level and have a large portion of the lower level content obsolete because going through it is a trivial task, not to mention being a different level from my friends and unable to play with them (unless the game offers such features like CoH and WAR but those are a rarity). I just dislike leveling very much.

I haven't actually played Eve but i think the skill system offers the most flexibility even if it is a little difficult or slow to master, it tends not to cut too much content from you, gets rid of classes and enables you to play what you want... Well, that's how i imagine it to be anyway.

I love the low level cap in Guild Wars, 20 levels is very easy to achieve, the real character advancement comes from acquiring your primary and secondary skills, but content is not cut from you even at level 20 because most of the game is designed for that level, your friends easily catch up to you, and you can even return to the starting areas with hard mode. I was very disappointed to hear they will be raising the level cap in GW2, thinking how that might turn out is the biggest fear i have regarding the game.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 3:50PM (Unverified) said

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Level cap should be a goal for all players. Generally it's not too hard to reach. The only game that was even remotely a challenge was Everquest (which should be universal for any MMO). Due to games like World of Warcraft a huge portion of "exposed" MMO players now expect leveling ease and gear to be handed to them on a silver platter.

If you've never been able to reach a level cap due to anything non real life related (work, kids ect) I say it's time to hang up the keyboard and mouse and move to a different genra of game.

Disclaimer: For those who play MMOs to explore or craft this isn't directed at you. This is directed at the players who put in nothing and expect
everything.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 4:19PM (Unverified) said

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Always, unless its Anarchy Online

Then I make endless twinks

and one level capped Keeper

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 6:46PM Rialle said

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I think we need more PvE-based MMOs that reward exploration and other aspects of play that deviate from the formula of grinding out to max level as fast as possible and then hitting the same raid instances every week. This is WoW's model and many other games have copied it.

I think that it is possible to have a more sandbox-like, skill-based game without the brutal FFA PvP that exists in games like Darkfall and EVE. (While this is great for a certain subsection of players, I think it turns a lot of players away.)

I would really like to see some more advancements in the ways of dynamic content as well, but I think technology needs to improve a bit before GOOD dynamic content is realized.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 7:07PM (Unverified) said

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I have only attained the level cap in WoW. Besides that, I am a middler.

I think game companies need to worry more about introducing new features and new ways to play instead of just tacking more content onto the end of the game. There are so many people who never reach endgame because of the repetitive nature of the lower levels.

Besides that, what about the endless treadmill that is endgame in our current MMOs? Why strive so hard to be the "best" when everyone is equal come expansion day?

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 7:34PM zetetic said

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I prefer the leveling experience. When WoW first came out, it took me a full year for my first character to reach 60. Granted, I did create alts and play them as well during the year.
I find "end game" boring. I hate the whole idea of grinding 1 or 2 major dungeons just for the possibility of a chance of getting an upgrade to 1 item (and don't get me started on the infantile elitism that players seem to breed).
It's a blatant time waster to make you keep paying to play.

Though I think "end game" is still a valid gameplay element, someone needs to come up with something that is much more interesting and entertaining than the current grind that most MMOs seem to stick by.

Posted: Mar 27th 2010 10:38PM Scotland Tom said

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I find that when I'm faced with a system based around level progression (which is most of the time) a natural goal I set for myself is to reach the level cap. It's not an urgent goal, rather more an eventual one to be achieved by experiencing whatever content I can along the way.

However, when faced with other systems like an intricate economy that includes player crafted items; or an in-depth customization system such a character creator or player housing, my primary goal shifts to encompass success in those areas.

I recently re-subbed with City of Heroes. When I left the auction houses had literally only been added days before and I hadn't really experienced any kind of player driven economy. Now there is a fairly interesting economy going on as well as other things like the Mission Architect that I now get to experience. Instead of leveling as fast as I could to get to 50 I found myself getting caught up at Wentworth's with one of my characters around level 20 just trying to buy, sell and craft my way to influence abundance. With my previously created level 50 character I jumped into the Mission Architect and started creating all kinds of new villain groups and stories.

So, when I'm given more to do beyond just get to the level cap I incorporate those other activities (as long as they're deep and interesting enough) into my goals. If all I have to work for is level 50 (or whatever the cap is) then that's what my goal will be; and I guarantee I'll get bored with that goal pretty quickly without the other systems to distract me.

Posted: Mar 28th 2010 12:56AM cray said

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I hate leveling with passion, I think it's an unnatural progression of role-playing. I don't recall making 'leveling up' a priority when playing old-school AD&D. It was all about the whatever the Dungeon Master threw in for the adventure.

I think MMO industry has lost it's way in regards to character progression. There seems to be this unspoken rule that 'Leveling up' is just as important as the 'Trinity' caste. I wholeheartedly disagree with this notion.

Guild Wars has such low level cap that an avid player could reach in less than 2 hours of playing. Yet there was plenty of character progression after reaching the cap. If anything reaching level cap is totally insignificant to the PVE game itself. The true means of progression would be learning to develop your skill bar for situation at hand, as well as finding the right skills that compliment your party. Capturing elite skills from bosses. Armor and weapons play a big part, as you want to seek out the right type to compliment your skills and style of play. This kind of progression encourages players to traverse and seek the places to help their character along.

Guild Wars proves you don't have to have leveling to show progression. I certain hope they have similar system for the sequel.

Posted: Mar 28th 2010 12:40PM Sorithal said

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Leveling (via quests - not mindless grinding) is actually what I enjoy most out of games like WoW and LotRO.

While sure, I really want the end game goodies, end game just always seems like a major grind to get stuff that will be made obsolete with the next expansion/patch, while leveling (to me) provides a fun challenge of taking the character from that of a lowly trainee/helper to that of an actual hero/legend. Maybe it's due to never fully recovering from the burnout I had during Burning Crusade, but that's how it's been for me.

Leveling is almost like a giant adventure to rise to the status of a powerful hero, while end game to me is more just about getting your new hero outfitted/geared up to do basically one of two things: fight for your people in PvP, or fight for them by defeating that which threatens their existence in PvE. It just gets boring/repetitive for me after awhile of doing it. Which is why I usually work on alts if I get bored of working on end game.

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