** Obviously, these are my opinions and I am not in any way shape or form attempting to insult young gamers, women, men, zebra, or your mother.
After discussing the current state of WoW with several people, I have noticed a change in gamer attitude. People around my age (34), they seem to be looking for that game that takes skill and intelligence to play. We are looking for a game that caters to all game styles be it: crafters, pve, pvp, rvr, pvpve, etc. For the most part, the older crowd seems to enjoy the thought process behind designing a character: whats this character going to look like, where shall i spend skills and attributes, am I aggressive defensive or support, and lastly lets take an hour to come up with a name. With old school games, we sought enjoyment the second we installed the game.
The younger crowd doesnt seem concerned about roleplaying or character design. This new crowd just wants to get in the game and play. " Character name, oh lets just go with bigballs00 or some orther name that could offend, because thats what we enjoy ". To get to the topic at hand, " lets power through those levels as fast as possible because you know, the game doesnt begin til level (insert max level here )". I am not sure exactly when this new mentality started to take over. I would love to blame it on World of Warcraft and Halo, but I just do not think it started there.
When did games lose the, " this game should be enjoyable from level 1" mentality. When did we tell developers, " hey man, I just want a game that wastes my time for a month, you know, I love monotony, then after a month of doing random EXPLETIVE that I hate, then the fun can begin!!!". I just dont recall that memo. Usually when people talk about " the game begins at max level " garbage, it usually pertains to game balance. I have noticed a rather large portion of people that believe " Its just to damn hard to balance a game at all levels, so balance only matters at level 1337, dude you can get there fast, just skip 99% of the game content, it will only take 137 days, then you can have fun like me". Personally I do not see the difficulty in balancing a game around max level and half that. A level 60 mage spell does 1000 damage and the level 30 equivalent does 500, hmmm, math is hard?
I would say the biggest problem in balancing an MMORPG doesnt come from a vast number of classes nor a huge skill base. I believe that the majority of balancing issues arise from what I call " the shock and awe" campaign waged against your senses. Most developers have this idea that in 10 levels, you should quadruple your health and damage, a level 60 should have around 6000 health where as a level 70 should have 24,000 health and that level 1 oh he has 100 health. I just do not understand why there isnt one guy in a group of programmers with the common sense to say " hey guys, lets have this fire spell do 100 base damage + 10 per level + intelligence bonus" damn that sounds to easy. Seriously, by doing this we now have a solid base damage progression which includes every level from 1 to 60 what an absurd idea. Now the average developer shouts out "no way man, we need this spell to get better every 5 level, the damage goes from 100, 500, 900, 1100, 2000, and at level 60 man you do 9000 damage man!!!".
"As a developer you have to imagine scenarios like, two level 30s are fighting a level 60, man that level 60 is going to cast two AoE's man and boom, two dead 30s, cause you know man, level 30 cant be half as powerful as 60, it just cant happen man".
I guess I just do not understand the concept of the new generation of gamers or developers. I am not a big "shock and awe" fan. Just give me a game that is designed logically. I want a game that gives me choices, that rewards me for roleplaying, that rewards me for doing what I enjoy, one thats challenging at level 1 through cap, one that embraces the content that is implemented meaning " do not add in PvP, Crafting, Etc, unless you are going to support it". I do not care if a spell has a 30 minute dynamic visual effect that ends with Demon Lord Boredom ascending from the pits of hell to do that awkward anime stare at me for 10 mins then striking mine enemy with his Pitchfork of the Whale for 7 damage. Simply, I want enjoyable content. Is this to much to ask?
** Yes, I did attempt to insult developers. Suck it developers, you take our money and give us garbage such as: All Points Bulletin, DAoC Trials of Atlantis, Warhammer, Age of Conan, Fury, Tabula Rasa, the Matrix, and lastly but definitely not least SWG NGE ...
** If I insulted your favorite mmo, deal with it, your favorite mmo doesnt define you, you are not the contents of your paladins inventory, You buy gear. You tell yourself, this is the last sword I will ever need in my life. Buy the sword, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sword issue handled. Then the right pair of boots. Then the perfect shield. The platemail. The bags. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. Yes, I just watched fight club...
- Tony D the Bored...