It's hard to get motivated to play yet another MMO sometimes. While some of the industry's most prolific bloggers are comfortable playing the role of their life not being complete until they play upcoming MMO X, I like to take my usual approach of being skeptic and pessimistic.
One reason is that MMO's are a huge timesink when it comes to committing to a game. Like any business model, one most prevalent in the illicit drug business - MMO's want to hook you early and get you committed to their product. While morally and ethically this might raise a few eyebrows, most of us are too involved in spending the next 4 days of our lives in our underwear trying for a magic pair of gloves in a world that doesn't exist.
Anyway, on to Conan. I've been lucky enough not to give a flying fuck on getting into the beta-test to help QA their product, so I'm just going on what I've read from other bloggers and such, mainly from the recent "Open PVP Weekend" where the NDA was lifted. As stated, this was mainly PVP based, so we're pretty much in the dark about this right now.
What I'd like to put out to my readers is: In a PVP based game, for a PVP focused player, how much PVE content should you have to do to compete in the game?
My concern for AoC, and any game, is the associated timesink that usually goes along with the PVE aspect of the game. As players we usually expect the normal leveling treadmill to at least get to the "Max Level" to be able to enjoy PVP. This might seem like another low blow the age-old "Level System" (and it is) - but most players, even myself sometimes, can at least appreciate and accept playing through the game once to experience it's content.
So, what should we expect? Myself, I'd say the holy grail of PVP / PVE balance would be Dark Age of Camelot, pre-Trials of Atlantis. A PVP-focused player could spend most of his playing time roaming the Frontiers and engaging in PVP combat, and not fall behind too much without committing to the normal grind and treadmill of PVE content - raiding, reputation grinding, etc.
I know for myself and many players like me - the first sign of having to do all of this "work" to stay even on a PVP basis, and it's bye bye Age of Conan. As great as the game might be, many players just can't justify the enormous amount of time that's needed to compete in these games. Let's hope a good balance is found in keeping the true PVP players happy in not forcing them to boring-ol PVE content to keep up with everyone.
So, what's everyone elses thoughts on this? What's your perfect balance? How do you want AoC to be - and what would make you leave?
This article orginally appeared at the r1ft Gaming Blog and is mirrored here with permission of the author(s).