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Reader Comments (29)

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 8:42AM Arkanaloth said

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Nahh the game begins at level 1, IMO if it begins at the level cap then they did something wrong. I can't say I'm a big fan of most end game structures. Out of all the MMO's I've played the only one so far that I've enjoyed the hell out of the end game has been GuildWars, but then again you hit the level cap long before you are far into the game so the vast majority of everything you do in GW is end-game.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:30AM Tom in VA said

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Agreed.

And Guild Wars indeed had about the best "endgame" of any game I've played, since the "endgame" in GW sort of starts once you get out of the lowbie areas. GW starts well and stays good and remains mostly accessible to the majority of players, whereas most other endgames are a major hassle and are reserved for people who can dedicate themselves fully to it (generally a small minority of the player base).

I usually leave MMOs once I get to their "endgame" because that's when the fun part ends (quests, leveling, exploring, story, etc.) and the grindy stuff (raids, repeating the same-old same-old dungeons for the ubermost gear, etc.) begins. I really hate that kind of garbage. Most endgames are designed to keep people playing/subscribing even when the game's content is essentially sucked dry.

In WoW, I usually complete the questing content, max level my character(s), and then unsubsubscribe until the the next expansion comes out. My sister, meanwhile, remains in WoW always, does regular raids, and all that stuff. I just don't get her enjoyment of all that, but to each his own.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:52AM Ozewa said

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@Tom
The best and worst part of any MMO is, has been, and always will be the people.
Either A: She has found a fun group of people that make the repetitive raiding experience fun and exciting week after week with hilarious ventrilo chatter and crazy antics or
B: Her guild gives her a bunch of free stuff for being a girl and she likes the attention.
Either way, to each their own.

Also, you're right about some games being designed more as a time sink than a game.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2010 8:43AM Rilgon said

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Yeah, I do. "Endgame" is usually where the real challenges in a MMO await - where several people work together to tackle more significant challenges than are feasible in leveling content.

I've always been the sort of person that grudgingly deals with leveling and gearing up to get to the juicy bits of a MMO to me (RO: War of Emperium; PSO: Ultimate Seabed and C-modes; WoW: Endgame 25-man hardmodes), just because the drudgery of leveling isn't that enjoyable or engaging.

Except for Lego Universe, that is, but LU is amazing, so :)

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 8:48AM Snichy said

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I come for the levelling, I stay for the end-game.

A game needs to be good at both - if the levelling is poor then I will not even reach endgame but if I hear the end-game is rubbish or worse still non-existent I wont even bother levelling no matter how good it is.

Its about time developers realised this and released games accordingly!

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 8:54AM Ozewa said

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I am a fan of the endgame.
If its good, I may even be a devotee.
But the path to the endgame is even more important than the endgame, because if it isn't fun and compelling then we will never reach the endgame.
On the flipside, if the endgame isn't compelling then what is the point of playing it. take for example Cabal Online. The first 100 or maybe even 125 levels are fun as all get out, but once you hit Mutant Forest and the associated dungeons in that level range where the difficult of monsters nearly quadruples and you aren't able to do anything by yourself even with the most powerful gear... the game sort of loses its luster.

On the flip side of that, you have games that don't really have and endgame, like League of Legends, which only serves to party you with more effective opponents and party members as you do better in the game, but at some point you reach the apex of competition and it suddenly becomes not as much fun because you're struggling to keep up, and even when you win you feel like you've been kicked in the teeth.

Then there is even more facets to it, because some games have PVP scenarios that aren't available until the "endgame", but would be perfectly viable 20 levels sooner. Take for example "Eye of the Storm" in world of warcraft. When it was first introduced it was based around people getting their epic mount at level 60, and was thusly and appropriately locked to the 61-69 and level 70 battlegroups. Several patches later they moved the point where you get your epic mount to level 40, but did not reevaluate the level brackets for eye of the storm battleground. Or if they did reevaluate it, nobody ever heard about it.
I for one, would love the hell out of the patch notes that boubouille is saying are going to come out tuesday if they said that they were adding that battleground into the 41-49 and 50-59 brackets.

Then there is games like Valkyrie Sky which is just fun from start to finish and then for some time after you finish too. Wish fishing in WoW was more like that. Not so much the cooking, but if it was I wouldn't complain.... too much.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:04AM Pan1 said

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End game shouldn't start at the end of the game.

Why include X levels if only the last 1 counts?
Thats something a lot of MMO's don't seem to get.

Its really not that complicated.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:53AM timthel0rd said

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I play so many games and wonder if the people making them know I'm playing them for fun.

Sure challenge, is good, but boring grind is not. I get that have to keep me there as long as possible, but I'm paying them for fun, not to do something boring.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:09AM Faryon said

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Nope. If the endgame was more than endlessly repeting the same raids over and over for gear/achievements I might be a little more interested.. Not a real fan of PvP or financial endgame either (mostly because I suck at both).
Most raids I have tried have been fun first time I ran them, but after doing them a few times they quickly get boring.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:31AM timthel0rd said

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My favourite MMO ever is WAR, simply because it threw the "the game begins at levle cap" mantra out the window.

I never felt like I couldn't do anything until max level, it was just as much fun (if not more, sadly) to level up, then it was to play the end game.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:36AM Ocho said

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If the endgame of most games wasn't the equivalent of playing a slot machine with the odds even heavier stacked against you than in Vegas, I think I'd be more interested. As it stands, the endgame in most games for me is just... meh. I play the games for the leveling. Most times, when I reach the level cap and stop all forward progress, where the only progress to be made is bashing your head against the same wall over and over again... no thank you.

Posted: Oct 15th 2010 6:50AM (Unverified) said

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When a new game comes out, the #1 priority for info is endgame content. Sadly, thats also the LAST thing they tell you about, if anything at all. All the rest, its just interesting lore and training for players that need that long to learn their class.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:45AM Pingles said

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There are very few games Ive seen that even have an endgame worth driving towards.

The one exception I can think of is Allods' Astral raid/exploration but then there's that whole problem with the JOURNEY to endgame for that game. :(

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 9:57AM Tom in VA said

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I think endgame is generally affected by the business model a game uses.

Subscriber-based games have to find a way to keep players playing, but constantly generating new content is costly, so ... they invent titles, and dailies, and raids, which in my opinion is a clumsy (but necessary, I suppose, considering the business model) way to hang onto your hard-core player base.

However, most MMO endgame scenarios are totally unappealing to casual players like me.

Guild Wars, as I mentioned above, is not subscription dependent, so I think this gave them a lot of freedom in game design. "So, you're done with the content? That's cool. We're OK with that. Go play something else and come back for the next campaign. We don't mind that at all. Thanks for stopping by."

There was such a great feel to Guild Wars because you knew that if you were a casual player you'd never be that far behind or beneath the uber players with the uber gear that you find in other games. Guild Wars is not so freakishly gear, build, and class dependent as other games I've played.

My Monk/Ranger and my Mesmer, for example, were not wanted in most player groups because I used unconventional builds, but that was no problem and I completed all three campaigns with them anyway (using heroes/henches where necessary). In short, I could play my characters pretty much the way I wanted. Compare that to the narrow "requirements" and build/class/gear elitism demanded of players trying to get into most endgame activities.

Most subscription-based MMO endgames accomplish end up creating a "great divide" between casual and hard-core players, something that simply did not exist in Guild Wars.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 10:04AM Darkmoone said

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Max level should be where most of your content is, it's going to be where you spend the most of your time. Take AoC for example first 20 levels are good, then the next 60 a wasteland with absolutely nothing to do at the end. Why bother making content for early levels when most people will zip by it in an hour?

Then later on you focus on early level content to satisfy all the non competitive fodder who like to reroll multiple characters, because for them that is the content.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 10:18AM J Brad Hicks said

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"Endgame" = "the part of the game that you will repeat every day until you get bored." Which, for me, tends to be "the 2nd or 3rd time." I mean seriously, your average modern MMO has 250 hours' worth of leveling content and 2 or 3 hours' worth of end-game repeatable content; when doesn't it make more sense to repeat the 250 hours' worth by rolling a new alt than to repeat that 3 hours' worth?

WAR came the closest to holding my attention; PvP probably is the only way to make repeatable content that isn't the exact same (expletive deleted) think day after day after day.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 11:03AM Averice said

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For me, the real game is everything until I've hit level cap. At which point level cap becomes the real game. Once I've hit the level cap, well the leveling portion of the game is over, now there's a new game. I've "completed" leveling, it's done, it's over, yay I won (I really did feel like I won when I finally hit 60 in Vanilla WoW, I felt like I won and the game was over so much that I logged out for over a month and didn't feel like playing).

But yeah, level 1 through level cap, all game. Once I've hit level cap in a game though, none of that previous stuff matters, even on new toons, because it isn't The Game anymore, it's the Old game, It's what I do to get to the New game.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 11:16AM VioletArrows said

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Lord knows I've tried, but I'm just not cut out for the endgame. Too stressful. Over at WI, they're talking about what hits they've taken for the team. ...Yeah, raiding ain't worth half the stuff they're talking about. Not even a quarter of it. :/

I'm all about the questing, collecting, and exploring. Not that that doesn't several ups and downs. Hey devs, can I see the game on my own terms and not just the way you want me to, which usually means getting my ass kicked over the bump-mapped hills?

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 11:41AM (Unverified) said

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Endgame is tough as people mentioned due to the business model. I love the leveling (provided its not too grindy) and I have raided hardcore for a while... now I dont. It gets boring for me now. (Specifically in WOW... where I did most of my raiding)

I am a big fan of user generated content--- and had such high high hopes for the CoX Architect. I don't love that game, and I don't really feel its worth my 15$ a month, but I think users should be building out dungeons and there should be a calculated loot/badge plan for the user generated dungeons.

In my mind, it would play out something like... user generated dungeon doesnt yield loot, but a badge or token (like in WOW)--- and you collect/turn in for gear. To me that gives the best of both worlds... progression and variation.

Now sure, as CoX found out user generated content has its flaws too... which is a shame and ruins it for the good people.

Posted: Oct 11th 2010 11:38AM Purkit said

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End game is were the epeen lives.

But seriously most end game content is only tolerable because of the social aspect of the experience. The 'doing' is rarely the fun part of end game content, its sharing the experience and challenge with others. Levelling with friends and taking the time to be social as your character develops can be just as rewarding, unless the game has been made so easy its almost impossible to team up and find challenging content outside of instanced dungeons. Cough*WoW*Cough.

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