Who killed adventure? I'll give you a CLUE: "The raid", in the newest MMORPG, with boredom.
Raiding and instances have revolutionized gameplay in MMORPG's today no doubt, but something inside of me wants to send me back to the stone age where MMO's had ADVENTURE!
I think most people would generally agree with me that MMO's are all about adventure with your character and with other people and friends characters that you meet in game.
So what is adventure exactly? I got this definition from dictionary.com:
ad⋅ven⋅ture: -noun. A bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
Think about it carefully with me! Bold: something that is exciting or monumental. To me "Raids" are only bold a few times. I could only really get excited about the content that I was about to explore and the bosses I was about to conquer the first few times. Don't get me wrong, when the idea of raids first came out and new raids were announced I used to sit and wait eagerly to get my taste of what was inside! But now I can't help but get frustrated with every new piece of end-game material that comes out in MMORPG's these days because I know I will get bored doing the same thing over and over again monotonously.
Usually risky undertaking: While certainly something that hardly exists in MMORPG's these days, a lack of risky undertaking isn't necessarily the creation of the raids fault. Something else has undone the idea of risk in MMO's. I am not necessarily talking about death penalties or armor repair bills for dying (though these are certainly risky penalties a player can feel if they get out of control), but rather an immediate sense of risk that should be associated with assuming an adventure in game. Having a risk and a reward makes achieving greatness that much more special and especially so when participating in it with friends.
Uncertain outcome: This is the main gripe I have with the invention of end-game raiding. Like being bold, uncertainty as to what lies ahead really only happens the first couple of times you and your guild enter an instance or raid to do battle with the epic monsters it contains. After the first couple times you know how to do the dance, avoid certain death or at the very least know exactly what to do to barely survive the boss monsters attacks. You can't possibly get everything you need from one dungeon run either, especially when splitting the loot with your guild/friends, so mindless planned runs of the same instance or raid over and over again insue. Over the coming months until the game developers cook up something new for players to drool over is where I so desperately get bored with raiding.
So what exactly is all this complaining about? I guess its the fact that I miss not knowing what me and my friends are getting themselves into. The raid has become the cookie-cutter way for MMO's to deliver endgame content to people and as such has removed any and ALL element of adventure except for the first few times players set foot inside.
Worse yet are the websites and guides on the internet that share with players how to exactly destroy the content new dungeons hold.
Ah yes, the internet guide site. The "raids" most trusted accomplice in the murder of adventure. Lets take Boss Killers - http://bosskillers.com for example. I understand the appeal of knowing a boss fight down cold to get loot and gear that much quicker. Players that know the fights can kill the bosses quicker and show off their new loot to their friends. I also understand the need for high performance guilds to show off and post their elaborate strategies on the website so less fortunate players can learn from them and praise them. BUT COMMON GUYS AND GIRLS! Where is your sense of adventure?! It's so much more fun for me and hopefully for others to discover the secret to taking down a monster. Sorry to pick on Boss Killers but its probably the most well known site. Allakhazam, WoWHead, etc. are all equally guilty.
Raids have taken out the element of adventure in discovering things in game as well. Gone are the days when you and your friends would look at a map and argue over which unexplored area you all should check out next and then setting out to explore. Gone are the days when all the sudden your party adventures into a small cave on a map no one really thought to look in before and it turned out to have a hideous and very powerful monster that dropped epic loot for you all. And why would you EVER tell anyone where your new found location is? That would only give away your secret, give others a chance at the loot, and ruin others from having an adventure as well.
So if you agree or disagree with me please write back and let me know! Perhaps even pose a solution or maybe turn your idea into a game? Who knows, maybe the developers that can bring adventure back from the dead and figure out new ways to create endgame content will make the next greatest MMO.