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Reader Comments (54)

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 8:56AM (Unverified) said

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for me the best = the most challenging
and that goes to Final Fantasy XI easssyyy just for that fact that you had to fight other linkshell for claim on the 3 kings;

relic weapon took years and alot of team work before you started seening ppl with them and when u did it was just 1 or 2 per serverr;

AV anyone?! release a couple of years ago and it still havent been beating

oh and there also another endgame boss with the last exp. that a linkshell fought for 18hours before quitting and they never got it pass 95% of it heath

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 7:26PM breezer said

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I see what you did there?

FFXI's endgame isn't bad (anymore) but the examples you listed are some of the worst endgame designs/experiences in all MMOdom.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 11:09AM Kuriboh said

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I second this. To me, in the PvE department, FFXI has one of the best end-game setup in all MMORPG today.

To me, WoW can only place second. Here is the reason. In WoW, end-game is a progression. Once you get pass it, the previous contents become trivial and not worth doing anymore. That's why they have to keep releasing new tiers, new dungeons, new contents, yet their older contents get abandoned. The whole end-game contents is a climb upward and never go back.

FFXI is different. You are level 75 and there are so many low level encounters can be just as challenge as the level 75 one. Low level contents in FFXI was never abandoned. Why? Level cap and itemization. Low level contents still drop many material as well as loot that high levels are still very much want to get. And with level cap they are always challenge. It's not like in WoW you can take your level 80 character and pretty much run the level 70 dungeons. In FFXI, for several encounters, when you are fighting level 30 encounter, you are level 30 with level 30 skills and level 30 equipments.

To me, that is a smart way to do it. Not the tier progression that keep adding craps to the game that never get look at again once a new expansion is released.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:01AM (Unverified) said

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MMORPG's have an "Endgame"

Anyone else see a problem with this?

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:06AM Valdamar said

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100% agree. It's pretty ridiculous really.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:41AM phobic99 said

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Agreed. I guess the days of having a persistent world are all but over. Ah well, developers/publishers have to go where the money is.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:41AM Saker said

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The idea of MMO's having a "endgame" is just bad. It's a basic part of the mechanics that make such a mess of so many of them. Hurry through the content to get to the precious "endgame", then you need endless expansions to further move the "endgame" out (and empty out the lower "level" areas, destroy any community/population for new players). It's just bad mmkay.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 11:23AM Kuriboh said

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Look at my comments for FFXI. I think WoW and a lot of new MMORPG does this wrong. The end-game progression make the game very unbalance contents wise, very end-heavy. The amount of contents wasted are just ridiculous.

I think FFXI has the right idea. It was not perfect but it goes in the right direction. You make the encounters challenge for all levels and the loot drop valuable for everyone then people will do it, no matter what level range the encounters are at.

In the case of FFXI, the encounters drop loots that are still very valuable at high level as well as crafting material that can still be used in high level recipes.

And you have a level cap for the encounter so people will always have to fight the encounters at the level intended for them. That will make them always challenge.

So, now, the developer can spread the contents evenly for every level and the leveling process does not have to be just the rush toward the end for all the juicy contents anymore. People still do it but at least this way people can enjoy the leveling up a bit more.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:05AM Valdamar said

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City of Heroes, because it doesn't have much of an endgame at all (until Going Rogue anyway). With no destination to rush towards I enjoy the journey more - and when my character does reach the "end" of its journey I can just start the journey again with a new character that plays completely differently, looks completely unique and has different experiences.

I hate the MMORPG trend of focusing on endgame - it makes levelling/progressing up to that point seem a worthless chore of a treadmill to so many players that most just want to rush past it, which wrecks teaming and cooperation at all but higher levels.

Also most endgames either encourage loot-greed or ganking - for bragging rights usually (in both cases) - so all characters are pushed into ultimately becoming muggers, murderers or both. When the "murdering" is so much more fun in FPS games, and I'm not interested in mugging NPCs repeatedly for a progressively bigger carrot, plus I find the bragging meaningless because there's no real achievement there (just time spent), why would I look forward to any existing MMORPG's endgame? Admittedly I've done both the uberguild raiding thing and the PvP clan thing in previous MMOs so I'm probably a little jaded/burned-out on both existing styles of endgame - I'm looking for something new.

My dream is an MMORPG with dynamic content, so that it never ends and there is no endgame - where you participate in the story of a world and the story of your character, continually having new unexpected experiences and meeting new people while doing it - where experiencing new types of gameplay, story and events are your core drive to play a character, rather than loot or progress - instead of the repetitive "by rote" raiding gameplay of most PvE endgames or the seething cesspool of unpleasantness of most PvP endgames.

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 11:08AM Heraclea said

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This is pretty much what I was going to say.

Loot based games involve the ugliest kind of PvP --- the one that pits you against your teammates and guild mates. Quite possibly the worst experience I ever had in an online game was in World of Warcraft. The encounters themselves were annoyingly scripted, but that was not the problem. The problem was that everybody's damage/healing/aggro/etc. were being metered by other players, who'd post them periodically for bragging rights or to claim that somebody wasn't doing enough. I feel badly enough for people with Jobs from Hell in real life, and I sure don't want a Job from Hell in a video game.

Also, the typical "endgame" encounter involves elaborately scripted encounters with multiple steps and phases. A single person out of place means the raid is wiped. And since you're on the clock and being metered, the world will know who missed the step.

And the more elaborate and scripted the encounter, the more specialized characters need to become to get through them. "We can't continue because we don't have a Methodist/Mormon mixed spec shaman who already has the Amulet of Um-Aida-No from the Lord Hoodat raid, so she can survive Queen Buzfuz's killler bee swarm phase. Does anyone know of one on their friends list? We can bump somebody now on the raid to bring them in."

Finally, in my experience, the more elaborate and scripted the encounter, the likelier it is for the characters I enjoy most --- armored melee DPS/offtank hybrid characters --- to go to the bottom of the list in terms of being able to contribute. The most common complications seem to be:

- force everybody out of melee range
- AOE debuffs
- resist/immunity to physical damage
- massive damage that bypasses armor

all of which tend to devalue melee DPS more than anything else. This is rather frustrating as well.

I just want to get together with groups of friendly people and beat stuff up for relaxing. I don't want to spend hours waiting for a tank or a healer.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:05AM Dashx747 said

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I think that most MMOs have learned how to make the endgame a really engaging experience, so it's hard to point just one as there are a lot of great examples.

Just to name a few, I would say Eve, DDO and Guild Wars are games that I have played more time on the endgame then on the leveling up part. Eve really has no "level cap", so it's hard to say when the endgame (if there is one) really starts, but I can attest that there is always something new to do (I've been playing for a couple of years now).

DDO and GW are the opposite, since you can reach the level cap in a fast manner (compared to Wow or other games), but it's also where you start having a blast with the endgame content, which is very impressive in both cases. Epic and Raid quests in DDO are really fun to do in a group in group (tip: you need a very good group), and GW has some great PvP content (which I hope gets even bigger and Better on GW2).

Honorable mention for Ultima. It runs on a 400 Pentium II and yet it never ceases to surprise you. Finding a friend there even after 10 years is a really unique experience.

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:16AM Serious Table said

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I think EVE Online really does it best, because there isn't technically an "End". End-game is what the player decides it is. When they've trained up the skills that they wanted most, have the ship that they want, doing the job that they want, that's "end-game". And in a blink of an eye, you can lose that.

That helps keep the game engaging, because they can switch between careers at any point. The end-game is no longer static, but dynamic. That is seriously lacking in other MMOs. ESPECIALLY World of Warcraft. Because no matter how many characters you level to 80... the end-game is the exact same for each and every one of them.

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:27AM RunsWithSporks said

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Easy, DAoC had the best end game because it was forever changing. PvP and the whole defend your realm thing was amazing. If someone took one of your realms keeps you gather up a group or two and went out to try and get it back. If you were a stealther you had your own little mini wars with other stealthers at choke points. It was just perfect. If none of the above suited you, you could form an 8v8 group and go roaming around the frontier to find other like minded groups.

Posted: May 14th 2010 7:55PM (Unverified) said

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The endgame in DAoC is superb. It's the best simulation of war I've found in a videogame, period. I wouldn't have called myself a hardcore gamer, but I (accidentally) spent 10 hours online in DAoC the other day because I was having too much of a thrill defending a crucial keep, then beating the enemy realmers back, to notice time was passing at all. The endgame is the point of DAoC, and it's still the best.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 1:55PM (Unverified) said

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I'm shocked it took so long for DAOC to get mention. Sadly, Mythic has run it into the ground, but back in the heyday I was obsessed with DAOC and it really did feel like hitting level 50 was just the beginning.

It's really the only other game than UO that held my attention for YEARS and not MONTHS.
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Posted: Apr 29th 2010 9:47AM Thorium88 said

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I am actually quite heartened to see so many other players recognizing that the very idea of "end-game" is flawed.
So many MMOs are built upon the design pattern of single-player adventure games with finite goals and finite content -- and then expect you to keep replaying it. Whether or not you like EVE, the endless and goalless nature of its gameplay is far more appropriate to a game that expects you to keep playing month after month.

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 10:02AM Boojum said

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Amen to that. Much as I love my WoW I despair of the endgame gear grind, be it pvp or pve. I'm hoping against hope that Cata brings with it a bit more than the last two expansions when it comes to keeping us entertained beyond 'Kill boss X for loot Y - wait one week - rinse/repeat'.

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 10:06AM Firebreak said

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I really only ever made it to the end game of three games, WoW, DAoC, and EVE. I would have to say that EVE did it best as it is so hard to tell when it begins or wether there is one at all. I would go with DAoC next as sieging keeps was just very rewarding, not always fun but rewarding. I personally could not stand the WoW system of grinding out dungeons every week, I enjoyed playing through them once but then I would have really liked to have never gone back. Hell I still have horrific nightmares about Molten Core, I realized at some point that I was committed to a game for most nights of the week. I decided at this point it was best to walk away and rediscover my life.

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 11:11AM Snichy said

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A lot of people are critical of MMO end games and saying there shouldnt be one etc or critical of the popular end game of raiding, pvp etc but no one is coming up with any alternatives.

The reason why raiding and pvp are popular end game machanics among developers is because most people actually like it (note: majority opinion on massively and other blogs/internet sites does not constitute majority opinion of the whole game playing community)

Posted: Apr 29th 2010 5:23PM (Unverified) said

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Ac2.



....In Asheron's Call 2, it was impossible to hit the level cap. The level cap was 150 and the highest level was around 90.

This eliminated the rush to the "end game," because there wasn't any. Now, to some this may sound like an endless grind, but it was the opposite. Due to the fact that there was no end in sight, playing the game wasn't about getting there, but about actually playing the game.


I want to stress that even though it does look like a grind, it really is the best part of any game, exploring new content. Rather than being stuck repeating the same at non-progressing level (rather than gear(.

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