Back when Ultima Online
was young, gamers didn't have to think about things like levels or content walls. Regardless of our skills or how long we'd been playing, we just joined up with our guildmates and went dungeoning. Throw enough people at a lich lord or a demon and that sucker's going down! But with the rise of level-based themepark games, the gap between time-rich and time-poor players has widened -- you aren't going to accomplish much if you're level 15 and your friends are all 50 and knee-deep in the endgame.
To help alleviate that problem, games like City of Heroes
and EverQuest II
pioneered "sidekicking" and "mentoring" systems, which allow highbies to partner up with lowbies, effectively boosting the noobies' levels and enabling their access to high-end content. Other games shun such systems, perhaps because they're difficult to balance and allow players to (at least temporarily) skip grindy level-based content that's meant to slow them down and keep them paying. What do you think -- should more MMOs implement sidekicking systems?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!