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News & Features Discussion  » General: Mentoring is Motivation

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30 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13559

 
OP  2/09/12 12:05:28 PM#1

One of the biggest complaints about MMOs today is that we are always seemingly on the fast track to the endgame. But once there, then what? In today's Player Perspectives we offer you the powerful motivating factor that mentoring other lower-level players can bring to players after all of their guildies are off to other games or just aren't around as much. See if you agree and then weigh in with your comments.

There is a solution, and it’s one some games (like City of Heroes/Villains) adopted years ago: introduce a mechanic that temporarily adds or removes character levels. In CoX you sidekick up to within a couple of levels of the higher character, while in EQ2 you mentor down to a lower level, but the basic mechanic is the same. Either way, characters whose levels are too disparate to allow them to meaningfully enjoy content together – so content is neither impossible nor trivial – can close the gap and do stuff as a group.

Read more of Isabelle Parsley's Player Perspectives: Mentoring is Motivation.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  MacroHard

Novice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 105

2/10/12 8:18:06 AM#2

With the sorry state of MMO endgame as it currently is, a filler system such as this doesn't seem like a bad idea but redundancy is nothing awesome.  Player driven endgame content so the journey can keep going is where it's at.  Even if friends among other friends pull ahead or get left behind, everyone hitting level cap will put those differences to rest and they will be reunited never having to worry about pace of leveling further with those characters.





 

  A_Mighty_Wyn

Novice Member

Joined: 7/19/10
Posts: 9

2/10/12 8:29:21 AM#3

As someone who has friends who level much faster than I do, I would love a system like this.  To the above poster(Macrohard) I would say, if I don't ever get to endgame content because I loose the drive to play after my friends outlevel me, how does adding more endgame content help me?  Even if I do eventually hit max-level, with most games I still can't play with my friends because they are doing gated content.  And, if I ever do happen to catch them, that's usually when a new expansion gets released, which starts the the whole process over again.  It's a never ending battle to catch up, and it's a real de-motivator to keep playing the game.





 

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1267

2/10/12 8:48:45 AM#4

It's always good to have features like this. However, I personally feel that player-made content is one of the best forms of entertaining the "end-game", e.g., guilds merging together to form player cities etc. This alone will ultimately lead to player rival cities; thus, prolonging the game.


  Siveria

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/11/11
Posts: 1163

2/10/12 8:55:39 AM#5

I don't bother with endgame in most mmo's mostly because I feel its pointless, Whats the point to pve raids? you have no more use at all for the gear you work for, I just never seen the draw to it. Now dark age of camelot was one of the games that actually did it right. You raid for gear (or used to before spellmaking) and then you'd go pvp with it, taking keeps and such in the frontier, it gave a reason to raid. WoW, Swtor, Rift etc, none of these have any real incentive to raid. I just don't see how people keep falling for wow's "endgame" at all, are they just blind? MMO's used to be about the journey before wow came out, after it did there was a switch where everyone wants to rush to max lv. EQ2 did it well I think, you have the alternate advancement system which gives you points to use on various talent trees, and they are earned by earning xp, completing quests, killing named enemies and bosses, exploring, and various other ways, its a good reason to raid/explore.


Now of course because other game makers have seen wow's formula works/worked they blindly just copy and paste from wow (You notice this heavilty in rift and especally swtor) These games do alright, but players looking for a new mmo aren't looking for a game thats a clone of wow. Sorry, but.. if imma buy a new mmo thats out, I don't want it to feel like a cheezy knock-off of the current most successful mmo.


Me? I've mostly given up on mmo's since they all end up being wow clones and play/feel exactly like it. rift was, swtor was, I bet GW2 will be as well. I am waiting for phantasy star online 2, since this game seems to be about the journey which is what mmo's used to be.


I went a bit off topic here but.. back on topic now. I don't understand why people in a newly released mmo rush to max level, then whine about lack of content. They aren't gonna start mass producing content just because a few people with no life's hit the cap in a few days. Then said rushers get bored and end up quitting due to nothing to do. The new content is not going to come till a few months after release. This is also why mmo's need to stop making it so easy to hit the cap as well. If you want sub retention you can't let them get max lv in a week or so with semi-casual play, especally in a mmo that has just released and lacks any real endgame content. Sadly I doubt we are going to see any real innovation in mmorpg design till world of warcraft dies in nuclear hellfire like it so badly needs to.


Being a pessimist is a win-win pattern of thinking. If you're a pessimist (I'll admit that I am!) you're either:

A. Proven right (if something bad happens)

or

B. Pleasantly surprised (if something good happens)

Either way, you can't lose! Try it out sometime!

  darkhalf357x

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1109

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

2/10/12 9:13:28 AM#6

Originally posted by Siveria

I don't bother with endgame in most mmo's mostly because I feel its pointless, Whats the point to pve raids? you have no more use at all for the gear you work for, I just never seen the draw to it. Now dark age of camelot was one of the games that actually did it right. You raid for gear (or used to before spellmaking) and then you'd go pvp with it, taking keeps and such in the frontier, it gave a reason to raid. WoW, Swtor, Rift etc, none of these have any real incentive to raid. I just don't see how people keep falling for wow's "endgame" at all, are they just blind? MMO's used to be about the journey before wow came out, after it did there was a switch where everyone wants to rush to max lv. EQ2 did it well I think, you have the alternate advancement system which gives you points to use on various talent trees, and they are earned by earning xp, completing quests, killing named enemies and bosses, exploring, and various other ways, its a good reason to raid/explore.




Now of course because other game makers have seen wow's formula works/worked they blindly just copy and paste from wow (You notice this heavilty in rift and especally swtor) These games do alright, but players looking for a new mmo aren't looking for a game thats a clone of wow. Sorry, but.. if imma buy a new mmo thats out, I don't want it to feel like a cheezy knock-off of the current most successful mmo.




Me? I've mostly given up on mmo's since they all end up being wow clones and play/feel exactly like it. rift was, swtor was, I bet GW2 will be as well. I am waiting for phantasy star online 2, since this game seems to be about the journey which is what mmo's used to be.




I went a bit off topic here but.. back on topic now. I don't understand why people in a newly released mmo rush to max level, then whine about lack of content. They aren't gonna start mass producing content just because a few people with no life's hit the cap in a few days. Then said rushers get bored and end up quitting due to nothing to do. The new content is not going to come till a few months after release. This is also why mmo's need to stop making it so easy to hit the cap as well. If you want sub retention you can't let them get max lv in a week or so with semi-casual play, especally in a mmo that has just released and lacks any real endgame content. Sadly I doubt we are going to see any real innovation in mmorpg design till world of warcraft dies in nuclear hellfire like it so badly needs to.





 


+1


Feel exactly the same way.  I am playing EQ2 now and loving every minute.  I would also say the mechanic to stop XP or to 'slide' more of your XP into AA is ingenious as it allows the player to determine how fast they level (which in turn controls the challenge). 


Or how about removing levels all together and just having 'skill' points that can be awarded to new abilities.  I have always been a fan of the 'get-better-the-more-you-use-something' rather than an abiguous level. This way there is no race to the top because there is no top.  Some may say it would be unbalanced for PvP, but I would turn that around into a challenge.  If you keep losing in PvP develop more skills.  That presents a better reason (for me) to take part in PvP then raiding over and over again for the same gear.


Rushing to max level ruins the point of MMO in general.  If you are rushing to PvP why cant they just make a PvP game and start everyone high level.  Would be more economical.  Not saying to get rid of those types, but create others along side it. MMOs (or at least a subset of them) should be about the Journey, giving me grand vistas to experience that just cannot be done on a console.  Whoever produces THAT MMO will get a lot of money and commitment from me


  TruthXHurts

Novice Member

Joined: 6/20/10
Posts: 1641

I am here to chew bubblegum and to kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum!

2/10/12 10:34:16 AM#7

Who needs to be mentored in games that only really require you to hit tab and then mash your number buttons?


"I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3498

2/10/12 10:53:54 AM#8

Mentor/sidekick system should be a required feature in any lvl gearbased MMO. I usually start a new MMO with a couple of rl friends or people I know from other MMO's. The most annoying part in any MMO for us, is when we get seperated because of the lvling curve and cant team together without destroying xp, or worse (imo) that the higher lvl player is one shotting each mob.

Im always amazed that not a lot more players ask for this feature. Most players really seem to approach MMORPG's as a solo experience. Because the way casual grouping with LFG tools works, it makes other players in your PUGS nothing more then anonymous people you ride the subway with. Nothing wrong with that of course, but its the irony in it when some of those same ppl want to see more forced grouping with the argument that its supposed to be more social lol.

For me its clear. If a level based MMO doesnt have a mentor/sidekick feature, I see it as a flaw.

Im also happy that Arenanet with Guild Wars 2 chose for automatically scaling down of high lvl players in low lvl areas. No more silly one shotting of mobs.

  VikingGamer

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/08/10
Posts: 1264

The strong are sometimes wrong but the weak are never free.

2/10/12 11:05:28 AM#9

More game designers need to actively care about seeing players able to play who who every they want when ever they want. Don't call it an MMO if you are going to design all kinds of barriers to put between people.


All die, so die well.
Join SOLA in ArcheAge.

  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3737

RIP City of Heroes!

2/10/12 12:30:28 PM#10
Originally posted by darkhalf357x

Originally posted by Siveria

I don't bother with endgame in most mmo's mostly because I feel its pointless, Whats the point to pve raids? you have no more use at all for the gear you work for, I just never seen the draw to it. Now dark age of camelot was one of the games that actually did it right. You raid for gear (or used to before spellmaking) and then you'd go pvp with it, taking keeps and such in the frontier, it gave a reason to raid. WoW, Swtor, Rift etc, none of these have any real incentive to raid. I just don't see how people keep falling for wow's "endgame" at all, are they just blind? MMO's used to be about the journey before wow came out, after it did there was a switch where everyone wants to rush to max lv. EQ2 did it well I think, you have the alternate advancement system which gives you points to use on various talent trees, and they are earned by earning xp, completing quests, killing named enemies and bosses, exploring, and various other ways, its a good reason to raid/explore.




Now of course because other game makers have seen wow's formula works/worked they blindly just copy and paste from wow (You notice this heavilty in rift and especally swtor) These games do alright, but players looking for a new mmo aren't looking for a game thats a clone of wow. Sorry, but.. if imma buy a new mmo thats out, I don't want it to feel like a cheezy knock-off of the current most successful mmo.




Me? I've mostly given up on mmo's since they all end up being wow clones and play/feel exactly like it. rift was, swtor was, I bet GW2 will be as well. I am waiting for phantasy star online 2, since this game seems to be about the journey which is what mmo's used to be.




I went a bit off topic here but.. back on topic now. I don't understand why people in a newly released mmo rush to max level, then whine about lack of content. They aren't gonna start mass producing content just because a few people with no life's hit the cap in a few days. Then said rushers get bored and end up quitting due to nothing to do. The new content is not going to come till a few months after release. This is also why mmo's need to stop making it so easy to hit the cap as well. If you want sub retention you can't let them get max lv in a week or so with semi-casual play, especally in a mmo that has just released and lacks any real endgame content. Sadly I doubt we are going to see any real innovation in mmorpg design till world of warcraft dies in nuclear hellfire like it so badly needs to.





 

+1


Feel exactly the same way.  I am playing EQ2 now and loving every minute.  I would also say the mechanic to stop XP or to 'slide' more of your XP into AA is ingenious as it allows the player to determine how fast they level (which in turn controls the challenge). 


Or how about removing levels all together and just having 'skill' points that can be awarded to new abilities.  I have always been a fan of the 'get-better-the-more-you-use-something' rather than an abiguous level. This way there is no race to the top because there is no top.  Some may say it would be unbalanced for PvP, but I would turn that around into a challenge.  If you keep losing in PvP develop more skills.  That presents a better reason (for me) to take part in PvP then raiding over and over again for the same gear.


Rushing to max level ruins the point of MMO in general.  If you are rushing to PvP why cant they just make a PvP game and start everyone high level.  Would be more economical.  Not saying to get rid of those types, but create others along side it. MMOs (or at least a subset of them) should be about the Journey, giving me grand vistas to experience that just cannot be done on a console.  Whoever produces THAT MMO will get a lot of money and commitment from me

You are taking it off topic with the no levels bit.  The topic was talking about games that have levels.  I know how levels must offend you but do you have to open your pie hole about it?

  troublmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/11
Posts: 340

2/10/12 12:56:25 PM#11

Originally posted by TruthXHurts

Who needs to be mentored in games that only really require you to hit tab and then mash your number buttons?





 


RPGs are not inherently welcoming to new players.  As an example I was speaking with someone who stated he quit playing Fallout: New Vegas because he could not beat the last boss.  Like 95% of people he leveled up guns throughout the game and because of this he was missing core skills for beating the boss (like speech, endurance and melee).


MMOs are no different.  What stat should you stack as X class?  As an experienced gamer I know the answer is look at your highest stat.  But then how do you get there?  Hrm...


When I hit Level 50 I didn't know where anything at all was.  I needed guild mates to help me figure out that there was a transfer ship that would bring me to raids.


The ability to ignore level for the purpose of questing would not be all that value in SWTOR because it is largely based around personal adventure.  Why would I as a Level 21 command for example leave Tatooine for Hoth when my personal adventure quests are on Tatooine and Alderaan?


Website: http://www.thegameguru.me / YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/users/thetroublmaker

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2320

2/10/12 1:25:29 PM#12

D: Isabelle didn't mention the brotherhood system that Vanguard had. Ya know, where you spit xp amount your friends so you stay within the same level range. I really liked the idea even though I didn't use it much. Ofcourse it doesn't work so well with people you don't know like mentoring did for doing just a few quests or a named.


Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

"blocked nariusseldon since forever"

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3190

Veni, Vidi, Converti

2/10/12 2:51:23 PM#13

This is what impresses me about EvE: Academy, many efforts to offer mentoring in recognition that there is a need: 1. Learning Curve 2. Dangerous players/parts of space.


I wish more mmorpgs had this vibe. Eg more of a Hero's actual Journey being created if an "old guide" is not just an option but a requirement almost, to progress.


  AvsRock21

Novice Member

Joined: 7/26/10
Posts: 262

2/10/12 2:58:39 PM#14

  This subject has been beaten to death.  Hey Isabelle, have you heard of this game coming out called Guild Wars 2??  You might want to read into that game, because it will have a sidekick system.  And most mmos after GW2 will probably follow suit.  So writing yet another article about this, when this feature is already coming in the future, is kind of redundant. 


  entityx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/04/09
Posts: 41

2/10/12 5:01:45 PM#15
Aion uses mentoring quite extensively
  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

2/10/12 6:28:01 PM#16
Originally posted by VikingGamer

More game designers need to actively care about seeing players able to play who who every they want when ever they want. Don't call it an MMO if you are going to design all kinds of barriers to put between people.

That is basically what it boils down to.  A lot of MMO's nowadays go out of their way to discourage grouping.

I actually like TOR's companion system, even though I'm a group based guy.  It does help solo players.  BUt they did nothing to enhance group based play, outside of maybe 10% of quests on a planet requiring a group.  Yes, you get XP bonuses for grouping, but for most people who play over 3-4 hours a day, it is pretty worthless.  Even the very casual player is going to hit 50 in 6-8 weeks.  (And right now, I am that very casual player, who is in the high 20's after 3 weeks, who only plays if he can group with his guildies who are rarely on during my playtime lol)

  djmtott

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 182

2/10/12 9:06:39 PM#17

The lack of some type of mentoring is actually my biggest regret about SWTOR. It's because I only play a few nights a week because of my work schedule.

For example, I'm playing on Taris, think my level is 24, and I'm running missions with two other players, a 22 and 23. We have a good time and add each other to our friends lists. Now, I'm saying my goodbyes and letting them know I won't be on for another 3-4 days.

Fast-forward to 3-4 days later when I'm able to play again. I'm at level 24, but the two players I would have liked to run missions with are 30 and 31. They're so far ahead and that puts a big block between us. It just sucks.

  EveJunkie

Novice Member

Joined: 1/11/04
Posts: 21

2/11/12 7:18:05 AM#18

Yeh I just cancled my swtor sub for this reason too. A group of my friends all restarted on a server together to play as a group after all soloing to 50 on a previous server. We've tried for a few weeks to keep things thogether but its just impossible. If you dont log in for even one evening everyone is 4 levels and a whole planet ahead and we cant play together. I'd like to see a mmo that lets you play with your friends rather than putting up so many barriers. I'm hoping GW2's mentoring/sidekicking system and dynamic events will be the answer.





 

  SanHor

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 342

2/11/12 7:33:10 AM#19

For games like SWTOR, where you have a linear level design and progression, even mentoring wouldn't be a solution. Many players cancelled subscriptions before trying all classes becuase no one felt like doing those same quests all over again. Then, why would they do it for other people?


  Ergload

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/12
Posts: 294

2/11/12 6:09:57 PM#20

The mentoring system in Achaea is fantastic. The mentor and protege gain double experience while exploring together



Currently playing: Achaea

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