I don’t consider myself a “throwback” type of gamer. What I mean is that when I look at a game today I don’t judge it on games from the past. “This game sucks because it doesn’t do things like XYZ game did” That being said I think MMORPG’s have moved in a direction that is harmful to themselves. I think there is a reason why games like Anarchy online, Everquest, FFXI and such have a fairly stable fan base and most newer games don’t.
When WoW first came out I was playing FFXI. Before FFXI I had been playing AO for about three years. When I left AO for FFXI it was a HARD decision. I actually put a lot of thought into it. When I left FFXI for WoW I did the same. I had a genuine attachment to my trader in AO and my samurai in FFXI. I wasn’t attached to them simply because they were “cool” or fun to play. I was attached to them because I had put a @#*$ load of time and effort into them. They were like that 68 mustang in the garage that you spent years restoring. Once you were finished you didn’t WANT to sell it. Even if some new flashy model came out you still wanted the one you put all the time in effort into.
A few years ago a MMO character was something to be proud of (In game). Being high lvl would get you a certain lvl of e-props because it took actual effort to get there. Now days being high/max lvl means nothing because it takes a massive 2 weeks to get there. There is no feeling of accomplishment where there is no effort. Players don’t think twice about leaving a game because there is no attachment to their toon because it took no effort to get that toon to where it is.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a reason that MMO’s have moved in this direction and the reason for the most part is legitimate. As the gaming demographic has gotten older they have less time because of things like family and jobs and such. It’s natural for the industry to move to a more accessible model. Hence the death of the 20 minute corpse run and the massive experience penalty for death. But it is my opinion that the pendulum has swung TO far.
In games coming out in today’s market it is possible to reach max level in a few weeks. There is no longer any accomplishment in capping out. There is no accomplishment in getting a nice piece of gear because you lvl so fast it will be replaced in a day or two. All of this leads to players becoming bored quickly and makes developers rush out more and more raid contend to try to keep their subscription numbers up.
It’s not just that the gaming demographic has grown up. That’s only about half the reason why design philosophy has changed. The other problem is that the younger gamers are more impatient. They have more of a instant gratification philosophy. They tend not to see the journey and simply look at the finish line. I spend a good amount of time reading the forums here on MMORPG.com and it never fails. I see TONS of threads “How long to max lvl??!!?”.
I read a AoC review thread a few days ago on these forums and the title was something like “Lvl 70 somethingoranother, My opinions on the game”. And I just thought to myself ‘Dude… lvl 70….are you kidding…”. It’s like walking into a high end steak house and ordering a 10oz
I guess at this point I am now speaking directly to game developers and the younger generation of PC gamers. To the devs – The reason you are having to scramble to put out and expansion to your games ever 2 months is because they are too bloody EASY. If you stop catering to the 14 year old twitch xbox owner that has a heart attack if they don’t kill something every 30 seconds then your games will have a LOT more longevity. This will bring costs down for you as the dev because you don’t have to develop new content every week and it will give you happier customers because you have more time and funds to devote to things such as fixing bugs.
To the 14 year old twitch xbox owner that has a heart attack if they don’t kill something every 30 seconds- CALM THE (#*$ down. Lay off the red bull and just try relaxing and enjoying a game for once.