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Reader Comments (114)

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:21PM Degu said

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End the endgame! Smash the treadmill!

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:23PM (Unverified) said

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Something to consider on the PvP point: What is the practical difference between say, playing a team FPS online and PvP MMO content?

There isn't much of one. Two teams attempt to complete some objective. True, they rely on slightly different gaming skillsets, but at the end of the day, the team with the players that know the game better are going to win. The FPS players will know the maps better, etc while the MMO group will know their classes.

The point of all of this is that the satisfaction of a PvP MMO comes from the battle. It's why those FPS games are so 'popular' - there's a certain thrill of victory over other humans. Yeah, it's repetitive, and I agree overall with you points about the fundamental disadvantages of sandpark MMOs, but you're too dismissive of PvP.

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:34PM The Ogre said

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@(Unverified) "Something to consider on the PvP point: What is the practical difference between say, playing a team FPS online and PvP MMO content?"

The lack of anything even remotely resembling a level playing field in the latter, due to the effects of gear overshadowing skill.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:40PM (Unverified) said

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@The Ogre

Sure, sure, but one could make a similar argument for, say, Call of Duty - if you've leveled up and kitted yourself better, players who haven't aren't going to be as competitive.

Say Aion was a twitch-based game. Would "skill" matter more? At what point does the like between MMO and team-FPS blur too much to be indistinguishable?
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:41PM Ehra said

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@The Ogre

Depends entirely on the game you're playing. No one should be at a gear disadvantage in Guild Wars, for example.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:49PM Jef Reahard said

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That's fair enough, I'll definitely admit to not being a proponent of PvP. Part of that is the way it's currently implemented and part of it is the fact that I'm old and simply bored with it.

As it stands, PvP in most non-EVE MMOs is utterly pointless (and even in EVE, most people don't fly stuff they can't easily replace). If a game were to come along that featured a bunch of sandbox elements as well as PvP that had real and lasting consequences, I'd be on board with it. Just fighting for the sake of fighting, eh, been there and done that.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:28PM (Unverified) said

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This was one of my largest worries with GW2, a developer statement that there not really going to be endgame, and more focus on replay. This is brake slamming, this is a big assumption that most players want to reroll constant toons. NA like the level cap power they obtained, we like to show boat, vanity items, gear, skill, and achievements. Now I do agree that perhaps endgame shouldn't be raiding, not everyone can raid, time restraints, finding a team. However I do think raiding should exist also, there a huge groups of raiding teams that do there raiding on a schedule muitiple days out of the week. Everyone wants that big moment where story lines find closers, they beat down that big boss, get something few have been able to obtain. PVP is NOT for everyone, I know some people love it, and it should be a great experience for them, but you can't force it on everyone.

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:45PM Ehra said

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Something to keep in mind is that GW2's "re-playability" doesn't necessarily mean you have to make a new character to do so. Because of how the game adjusts your level based on what area you're in, you can go to a low level area you've never done on your max level character and your experience should be roughly similar to what a character of the intended level would be. I recall a developer saying something along the lines of "everything being endgame content" because of this (if you're max level then the Karma you earn doing events at low levels can still be spent on high level items. Not to mention the item skins you'll find).

Then there's the (hopefully) inherent re-playability in events themselves. An area could have a different feel from one day to another depending on what events are running and if the players are winning or losing.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 2:37PM (Unverified) said

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@Ehra

I don't think it works that way, I might be wrong. However I don't want to weaken myself, I want to use the super level cap powers I worked to obtain, and my top level flashy looking gear to trash the baddies. I like there more focus on story, and getting away from walls of text (all video clips with audio clips baby) There no grind at all when you have good story, it's the ulitmate reward, and every second is entertaining. The question is how do you adapt this to the level capped elite people (which in the NA, is ALOT of folks).

Also GW2, appearance tab and color dyes please.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 2:59PM Irem said

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GW2 will have both dyes and customizable armor.

Ehra is correct as to how it works. They won't take away skills or gear or anything like that, but the content will still be worth your while if you go back to "lower level" zones. They want the content to be worthwhile, regardless of the level you're at, but they still want it to be challenging for higher level players. From what I've heard, higher level players will still be more powerful in a given zone than a player leveling up there (which is unavoidable when taking into account traits, skills, ect.), but they won't be able to faceroll everything.

Honestly, I don't think they NEED to adapt that to the "level capped elite people." There are tons of games that cater to nothing but that set, and they really aren't as huge a chunk of the the overall MMO fandom as you might think. They're the most vocal, and the most visible, but part of the reason MMOs are in this rut Jef's talking about is that so many games start out with exactly that premise: that they absolutely need to find some way to keep hardcore endgame players pushing the lever, until the majority of content is getting designed for a relatively small number of players. At this point, there's a strong and vibrant community chock-full of people who are sick of it just waiting for some brave developer to come along and make a metric crapload of money off of our desire to not have to deal with a traditional endgame.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 3:04PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) "I don't think it works that way, I might be wrong."

You are. What he said is true. Instead of rerolling, imagine level 1 quests you haven't done have been scaled up to your max-level. Experience it all with whatever toon you want.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 5:18PM (Unverified) said

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@Irem

Very cool to know about the appearance option, that's huge! Not quite understand the temp level down stuff, doesn't really sound interesting or logicial to me, but hey I could be surprised.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 9:12PM Irem said

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"Not quite understand the temp level down stuff, doesn't really sound interesting or logicial to me, but hey I could be surprised."

Think of it this way: instead of outleveling content as you go, you're unlocking more of it. At max level you have the entire game world available to choose from for character progression, rather than a handful of areas designed for high level players.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 9:32PM Ehra said

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The best way I can think to explain it is this:

Say you're level 20 and an area is meant for level 5. Once you enter you might be bumped down to level 8 for as long as you're in the area. You won't actually lose anything (I can't imagine Anet would disable skills you've already earned), your damage/health will just be adjusted to be roughly equivalent to a level 8. The intent is all of the game's content is "relevant" to you, you're not just running a one shotting everything because you're higher level. That sort of thing is entertaining for a bit, but I don't think it's good for long term interest.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:29PM Ryukan said

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The grind for gear endgame of most games is a boring, tired and stale gameplay element.

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:53PM Mikkhail said

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@Ryukan
/signed
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 2:48PM (Unverified) said

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@Ryukan

Agreed, I think there needs to this massive amount of content that unlocks for max level. Something to look forward to. Mind you I'm not big on phasing, not talking about that. Phasing tends to divide players rather then making them interact. Aion new mentoring system is something other game might want to check out too, really positive effect on the community, and opens some interesting endgame quests ideas. Got side tracked there, I think so many people are looking for great white whale of MMO games, we haven't seen the quality, and features we want so badly.

Appearance tab and dyes are a plus
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Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:33PM Borick said

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Wonderful post.

The idea of an 'end-game' with ever-scaling rewards just reeks of diminishing returns. Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure that we'll find some marketable end to whatever system of mechanics we derive for an online game, but the current options are oversaturated with DIKU-derived combat clones.

Most folks seem to know that the social aspect of gaming is what is failing us, but unfortunately developers seem to be getting their ideas from Facebook -- looking for new shell games to hook the vapid and disinterested. What makes things worse is that money is tight everywhere and the big game studios have been invaded by B-list Hollywood jerkoffs who want to sell their big screen process to us in a new medium.

I don't mind if you sell me a raiding content package, or a story-driven pop-up book adventure, so long as it is part of and not definitive of MY world, MY resources, and MY playstyle.

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 1:43PM Irem said

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I agree with almost everything you've said here, although even as a non-PvPer I don't understand the point about PvP. For someone who isn't a huge fan of PvP, I imagine it'd get extremely old, fast, but for PvP fans the thrill is in fighting a thinking enemy, which is only repetitive on the same scale as PvE in a horribly unbalanced game (one in which you already know the outcome of a fight with just a glance at your opponent's class, every time).

There was a point at which I looked forward to endgame, but it was when I was new to MMOs and "endgame" might as well have been a magical cupcake gumdrop land where all the cool kids rode around on unicorns and basked in the light of glory. Once I'd actually participated it didn't take long for the "OH MY GOD I'M DOING ENDGAME :D :D :D" new car smell to wear off and I realized that I wasn't enjoying what I was doing so much as enjoying the knowledge that I could do it. After a while, that didn't do much for me, either. I went through a few games going through the cycle and eventually abandoning endgame for stuff that I'd enjoyed while I was leveling up. Of course, I had shut the only door to character progression and made myself kind of a weird relic wandering around in outleveled zones alone. It's how I got hooked on MMO economics and achievements, eventually, in WoW. But it was frustrating knowing that the only road led up, to gameplay I didn't want to do. Sure, I could level more characters (and did), but eventually they'd have to go up, too, or become more half-finished artifacts.

After WoW, I can't get immersed in any game that I know has a traditional endgame any more. I just can't. I already know where the road goes, and I don't want to go there. I don't ask for much, but acknowledgment that many players hit max level and find themselves either raiding when they don't want to or quitting when they don't want to would be a good start. If that acknowledgment came in the form of content aimed at non-raiding characters (minipet collecting is not enough), so much the better.

Posted: Jun 7th 2011 2:36PM Borick said

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@Irem "I wasn't enjoying what I was doing so much as enjoying the knowledge that I could do it."

That's a great way to put it. Even though I've enjoyed a few raids in WoW, I could never re-invest after EQ. I no longer needed to know I 'was good enough' to raid any more than I needed to prove myself at the local C&W line dancing competition. It just wasn't my thing anymore.

I'm ready to build, to farm and to defend my patch of the MMO world with other real players against an active and hostile environment.
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