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All Posts by Gormogon

All Posts by Gormogon

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181 posts found

I don't think GW2 nailed it -- I've called many of their DE's repeatable quests with a short reset -- nor did they invent the approach, but I think they've advanced it a meaningful step away from the tired !-? way of doing things that has made up the vast majority of themepark PvE content.  As I wander the world, I see things happening, and make decisions that, don't necessarily ultimately affect the game world for very long, but which don't rely on me being told to do this or that by the game.  *I* decide if I care or have the support from other players to save the village, retake or rebuild the fort, escort the caravan safely, etc.  It's not the permanency I care about, especially not in a themepark game.  It's the opportunity to feel like I have a choice.


I'm hoping for AI advances and imagination from designers that allows for more than ultimately predictable binary event trees.  Instead of ogres attacking the compound every twenty minutes unless they already control it, let it sometimes be a pack of wolves.  And if the wolves overrun it, let the ogres then come in and fight the wolves themselves at some point.   Have events that include multiple objectives that change how the game responds depending on how man you fulfill.   You defended the fort against the attack but failed to go on the offensive and kill the enemy leader? Now he comes back with siege engines and an even larger force.  Stuff like that should be doable.  Whether it justifies the time and cost, I can't say, but it's a direction I'd love to see things go.


I don't dislike static questing.  I'd love to see TSW's multi-step investigation missions employed creatively in other games.   But dynamic content does help make the world feel like it lives beyond the need to provide you with quests to progress.

I've been involved in collaborative projects in various areas and my experience is that the idealistic, democratic approach to game design and production is generally a waste of everyone's time.  I was involved in a game where votes were put to everything, from character names to music to individual pieces of art, which slowed down production immensely, made the losing candidates bitter, and accomplished nothing because as the whole team turned over over the course of a couple of years, the next generation had different ideas and put everything that had already been voted on to a vote again.   One person with the proper knowledge could have accomplished over a summer what that project did in a decade.


Part of being a pro is doing the job assigned to you to the best of your ability, even if it doesn't match your personal vision.  You might be able to offer suggestions, but ultimately you do what the team needs you to do.  That element is usually completely missing in an amateur, community production.  If things are going in a direction you don't like, you leave, and take all of your skills with you.


The better approach IMO is to develop a prototype among a small, tight leadership group with a shared vision, and then commission out various elements to people who are interested in developing their skills and having work to showcase in hopes of landing a job in the industry.  This way, you're able to match your vision during the search/recruitment process with that of someone who has the skill and time to do what you cannot.


Cannons are controllable (see GW2's cannons for one idea for how this might work).

Players can use firearms to shoot between ships.

When ships enter boarding range, players use grappling hooks to secure the ships and use planks to create a boarding path.

Skirmishing would commence once ships are boardable.

Ships have destructible elements that can be damaged with cannon fire or sabotaged from the inside (such as by blowing up an ammo cache).  Characters with carpenter abilities can repair some types of damage during a battle.

Goals might include things like kidnapping a specific individual, rescuing someone, sinking the ship, capturing the ship, and of course claiming booty.

In some cases the movement of the ship might be controllable by the player, who can ram the opposing ship to cause damage or perform other tactical maneuvers, or even try to escape.

GW2-style down state before death.  A healer/surgeon can quickly get downed players back into action.  Death results in being raised on cot in the ship's hold, but increasing penalties are imposed for each death that delays a return to full movement speed and the use of abilities.  These can be alleviated to some degree by a healer/surgeon type character, as well as drinking rum.


Various solo, group, and raid-level missions involving different elements of the above.  Alternatively, large sea zones using a GW2-like dynamic event system might be used if creatively employed.

Players progress down sea-based play specific tracks such as cannoneer (controls canons), powder monkey (brings ammo and loads cannons), carpenter (repairs the ship), surgeon (heals injured/downed players or characters), navigator (helps guide the ship), and skirmishers (dudes who specialize in boarding actions and close-quarters combat).  Progression grants the ability to perform duties better, such as faster aiming of cannons.


(1) Battleground style.  Players who wish to participate are assigned to a ship (solitary or part of a fleet), potentially based on certain alliances the player has entered.  Player fights with a crew of other players against an opposing crew.

(2) GvG style.  Guilds can acquire and upgrade their own ships and, eventually, their own fleet.  They can enter combat with other non-allied guilds in the zone.  Guilds can accumulate treasure associated specifically with sea-based play that can be captured by other guilds in GvG combat.



Occurs over a large number of islands (some PvE only, others PvP oriented) across the game world reminiscent of the Caribbean.

Combines real and fantasy elements.  For example, there may be English, French, Dutch, Spanish factions, but also cursed islands and crews (think skeletons, ghosts, sea monsters) plus an assortment of wild creatures and natives (friendly, not, and monstrous).

Players have reputations with or perhaps can align with (a la FFXIV grand companies) these factions which offer various mission types, themed gear, and assorted other perks.

Treasure hunts are a big part of play.  Many incorporate TSW-like puzzle elements, but one might also have to talk to local NPCs or simply get lucky exploring to find some clues.   Includes both fixed, one-time treasure hunts and dynamic treasure hunts.  Some hunts may require joining a group and defeating AI-controlled enemies.   On PvP islands players compete against other players for treasure.

On PvP islands, players aligned with a certain faction may be tasked with apprehending or bringing in various players as bounties.  Basically, a player with a high negative reputation with, say, the French might have a bounty on his head.  While on a PvP island, players aligned with the French can try to capture these players in PvP combat for rewards.  If they succeed, the captured player is transported to the island's French fort where he is quickly tried and hung.  In rare cases, if timed right, a rescue party may be able to infiltrate the french fort and rescue him, which grants everyone involved in the rescue a buff and adds to the escapees  notoriety with that faction.

Players progress down tracks that enable them to specialize with certain weapons, armor, or roles.  Pistols, muskets, rapiers, pirate cutlasses, daggers, traps, pole-arms, heavy armor (think conquistadors).   One can also focus on more of a healing role by progressing in medicinal/surgical abilities.  

Healing is not the traditional "toss a heal" spell.  Players who are being healed cannot move or use certain combat abilities while they are being "stitched up."    Healing abilities also improve the speed of getting a player up from the down state and reduce recovery time.  Surgeons may have balms or salves that grant players certain boons or reduce damage for a time as well.  

A reasonably slow rate of fire, along with a high damage/HP ratio would encourage group play as well as tactics like the use of cover or retreating to be healed by a surgeon.

In addition to the traditional European-style combat roles, weapons/abilities related to the native islanders might be available to the player as well (think spearmen, poison darts, medicine men, etc.).

Traditional questing, say on behalf of the locals or for one's faction would be involved, as well as some purely selfish missions (you learn the governor's daughter just arrived from England, so you break into the estate and steal her jewelry).  Some extremely tough areas or dungeons requiring groups or raids would be included.

Would definitely include a gathering and crafting element as well.  I also like the idea of brewing alcoholic beverages using various combinations of ingredients that grant different boons and making deals with taverns to sell it in exchange for part of the sale price.

Pirate hideouts and towns offer player housing for the display of one's treasure.

High-level options might include becoming a skeleton pirate or ghost pirate (like the vampires or werewolves in TES games) which may put some twists on endgame missions and player reputation.

Parrot or monkey pets grant certain boons or a single special ability/attack.

Before history rewrites itself, let's make sure we remember that WoD was supposed to be that expansion that excited players and brought everyone back.  Late last year fans were gushing about how this expansion had taken WoW back to its roots and made it better than ever.  The ability to revisit pre-WarCraft Draenor was supposed to be a return to the heart of the WarCraft story after what many saw as the panda debacle.  Flying, which had supposedly ruined the previous expacs, was removed so that players once again were forced to enjoy the world the way it was meant to be.


It brought back three million players, and failed to hold their attention for even four months.  Even if tokens mask some of the additional decline, it seems inevitable that WoW will continue to shed subs as it has since the end of WotLK/beginning of Cata.   If the "best expac yet" as WoD was touted by many to be less than eight months ago could not halt the decline, nothing will.  Blizzard has no magic expac up its sleeve to reverse things on any kind of long-term basis.


The subs stalled out in the final months of WotLK, and the decline began in the first months of Cata.  Aside from bumps at the start of MoP and WoD, you can draw a downward sloping line through the sub numbers for the next 4+ years.  I came back for the end of MoP and beginning of WoD, but was one of those people who initially left at the very top.  Something changed in late WotLK and into Cata that the game was never really able to recover from.


The subs were obviously going to fall off, but a 30-percent drop in 3 or 4 months is hardly trivial.  It's the second lowest quarter in nine years, shortly after an expansion that many vehemently insisted had revitalized the game.


And because nobody ever gets tired of getting to say "I told you so," here was my December 26, 2014 comment to MMORPG's one-month review:



Unsubbed for the first time since picking the game back up around SoO.  Unlike most WoW fans, I enjoyed my year or so in Pandaria in between playing GW2 and some SWTOR and consider it one of the most underappreciated pieces of MMO real estate.  WoD feels like two steps forward, three steps back for me.


I know there's the whole "Vanilla/TBC was the best time in WoW and WoD is like going back" contingent, and I would be among the first to raise my hand and say "It's not just rose-tinted glasses.  I had more fun back then than I do today too," but the community and my own expectations are different now.  WoD failed to convince me that the game is actually going anywhere.  I actually think it feels more like a mobile gaming and month-long GW2-style living story experiment in a space where it conveniently won't wreck the rest of Azeroth than anything like TBC or WotLK.


My gut feeling is that there will be a lot of "WoD is the best expansion evah!, but I need to take a break" in the coming months.  That of course is nothing new in the months following an expansion, but  I'd certainly love to see a six-month review by the author here.  Hopefully Blizzard will stand on principle and never introduce flying at max level ... I enjoy hearing about how much better it makes the game.


See, I actually thought BioWare handled their Revan "expansion" reasonably well in this respect.  It wasn't geared specifically to returning players, but it did let returning players catch up to the current storyline and help get them back up to speed.  There was a 12x XP phase leading up to release which allowed players to hit max level with just the class quests.  Upon release they gave players who hadn't played the related storyline instances to that point the ability to play them in an evening with a powerful droid companion.


The environment is different now than it used to be.  Contrary to the doom and gloom spouted around here, there are many quality gaming options, and I suspect more players, rather than playing 40+ hours a week, 52 weeks a year in the same game, are bouncing around between those options.  So yeah, I think it makes sense for developers to at least be mindful of that part of their audience and consider ways they can accommodate those players if it fits in their broader plans for the game.



Looks nice.  I still think that the technology hasn't quite reached the point yet where photo-realistic objects look right.  To me, Landmark's look (and therefore EQN's) is more in line with where voxel tech in a major commercial release stands currently, though I could see EQN being "old" in that respect by the time it's released. Either way, competition is a good thing IMO.  It will help push companies to continue to improve the tech.


Landmark's of Landmark

1. no vote

2. Divinity: Original Sin - I suspect I'll like Wasteland 2, but I haven't played it yet.  I would suggest adding a category like "Best Indie Debut" in the future.  There's clearly a difference between indie Larian, which is a significant studio with a record of commercial success, and indie startups like Experimental Games, maker of Boot Hill Heroes.

3. Hearthstone - Not a big fan of TCGs, but I had fun with Heartstone and it's influence is spreading.  FFXIV:ARR is adding one of the card games from the FF series, and I wouldn't be surprised if Pazaak finds its way into SWTOR within the next year either.

This article touches on it, but I think the issues run deeper than just quest design and management (yellow exclamation points, quest counters, arrows, etc.).  Before getting to that though, I will say that trash has always been a part of RPGs.  What has not is having to dangle quest rewards out there for everything.  "I hear there might be some treasure to be found in those ruins. Only be careful, rumors tell of werewolves and worse that inhabit them now," was once good enough to encourage players to show some initiative and investigate them.  Today you have to make it a quest objective and give them gold and gear upgrades to do it.


Other things I think have negatively affected single-player RPGs:


Class equality (aka "class balance") -- as in every class should be able to do everything more or less equally well.    Once upon a time your class or party composition affected the way one arrived at solutions and even controlled access to certain areas and treasure.  Modern players reject this type of choice and consequence, which has systematically been eliminated from MMOs -- not for bad reasons necessarily -- and it has filtered into single-player RPGs.  Follow the development of any SPRPG these days and you will find players clamoring for every class has to have AOEs, ways to unlock chests and doors, ways to disarm traps, ways to heal, and so on that all amount to variations on the same generic spells.


Which gets to another significant area where MMOs have hurt single-player RPGs: combat abilities for every class have been turned into variants of magical spells.   The old school pen-and-paper abilities and ability "modes" based on net stat bonuses and sacrifices (Power Attack raising damage in exchange for reducing accuracy for example) for classes like warrior and thieves have been supplanted by "melee spells."    "Do you want to cast your spells with a sword, bow and arrow, or a magic staff?" is one of the few decisions left.  Tactical statistical advantages -- racial advantages, positional advantages, vs. armor type advantages, elemental advantages, etc. -- that used to be a staple of RPGs are downplayed because modern players consider them inconveniences and hence poor design.   

The Planescape settings (see Planescape: Torment) is still my dream MMO setting.  We're at the point where the unique physics of individual planes and plane shifting, like while traveling along the River Styx can be faithfully realized.  Numerous factions with which to work with or against. Some interesting playable races and the ability to advance to higher forms of your race if you're, say, a modron, devil, or demon.  An awesome social hub (Sigil) that can be expansive enough to be an adventure area as well.  Tons of built in lore to generate the stories of the planes, since the setting is already well developed through RPG material and draws heavily from not only other DnD settings but real-world mythology to boot.



Pokemon - already has multiplayer elements; expand into a modern 3D MMORPG with both solo objectives and PvP.

 StarCraft - already mentioned, but offers a lot of interesting possibilities if Blizzard were willing to break from the basic RPG race-class and quest-dungeon paradigms.


Yep. I probably play a dozen or more old releases a year; some are new to me and others like the KotORs or Baldur's Gates or the Zelda games are long-time favorites.  GOG is my go-to online store for old PC games.


My Nintendo systems seem to hold up incredibly well, so I've played some SNES and N64 favorites in the last five years.  My ex's brother had a working NES, so I've even played some SMB 2, Punch-Out! and Paperboy relatively recently.  After years of development in controller design, it's funny how uncomfortable the original NES controller feels.

I don't want it to be an expansion.  Of course, I would love to play new zones and races and fight new world bosses because I think nobody has done it better than ANet with GW2, but there's still plenty of fun to be had elsewhere, and the idea of cosmic justice makes me giddy.  I would gladly sacrifice my 1200 hours and gem store contributions to see the world's worst fanboys get stuck celebrating more LS chapters while other games actually release numerous zones, permanent story (including nearly fully-voiced story in SWTOR's case), new gameplay objectives and options, and even entire expansions over the same amount of time.

1) No vote

2) SWTOR - The game has been much improved from the one that was rightfully dumped on in 2012.  2014 also saw the addition of strongholds and the Revan expansion.  IMO BioWare deserves some recognition for working to give the game some legs after the beating it took.

3) The Witcher 3 - While PoE, T:ToN, and FFXV are on my list, TW3 is the only one I'm expecting to be blown away by.

4) EQN - I seriously doubt 2015 will actually be the year, but it's on top of my most anticipated list.

I used to be a team player.  When I helped run a raiding guild in WoW I didn't care about what my characters had or didn't have, and spent my game time trying to gear up guildmates or work with them on rotations and tactics on various pulls.  That was a really fun group of people to be around though.  I haven't found one like it in any game I've played since.  There are also downsides to it.  I'd go months at a time not seeing my characters do anything but trade gold for raid consumables.   New gear was always going to the person for whom it would help the raid the most, and I didn't have time to work toward acquiring other things in the game.


Today I play MMOs mostly to acquire stuff, but I don't really care what anybody else thinks about it.  I play to feel good about the investment I make in my characters and the subsequent payoff, not to say "Look at me!"  Of course, it is nice when I get a whisper form somebody who says "Hey!  Your toon looks awesome!" or "That (pet/mount/trophy/piece of gear) is really nice.  Where did you get it?" but I don't play for that acknowledgement.  I also make the same complements to others when I notice provided they aren't being obnoxious about it.   And even though I don't particularly go out of my way to actively help anymore, I'm still always happy to share information with players who are looking for it.  We can both enjoy our in-game accomplishments.  It's not a competition.


However, I think there is a substantial subpopulation in the gaming community that does place a high value on social prestige.  They play games to feel good about themselves, which they perceive as a reflection of their social standing.  It's one of the reasons why some gamers have to be "in" as early as possible ... they perceive that being able to say "I was in the beta" or "I was the first warrior to hit 100" confers social prestige. 


I also believe it's one of the reasons why MMOs are so popular despite many of them today being glorified single player games.  They provide a relatively level playing field (compared to playing a single player game with the potential of mods and cheat codes that can make different playthroughs extremely different), and you can show off your accomplishments in the forms of titles, gear, pets, mounts, and so on in a way that you really can't when it comes to single player games.  You can be a great Baldur's Gate player, know the game inside and out and know the perfect tactics to deal with every combat scenario in the game, but it's harder to convey that to the community than it is to show off your accomplishments in an MMO.


Self-aggrandizing behavior transcends both genders and all ages.  It's good at least to see people acknowledging that old farts in MMOs can be among the worst offenders.  I know that half the population of the games I play would be considered my peers in the real world (I'm 36), so I wind up shaking my head a lot when I see "kiddies" being blamed for the behavior of 35+ year-olds-going-on-10.

It would be fun to see the correlation between players that don't really read quest text and players who think all quests are boring and the quest model is awful.

Yeah, there's mostly a bunch of "kill this guy," "fetch this," "deliver this," "save her," "forge this," and "activate that," and MMOs do a horrendous job allowing players to arrive at the necessary solutions using different approaches, but these types of quests aren't an MMO invention.  They go back to the days when RPGs were only something played on table tops.  I own many  DnD modules that can attest to that.  If  a video game (or DM in the case of a tabletop game) does a good job providing the proper context, it can mask the rather generic nature of the tasks the player is being asked to do.


WoW has had some involved quests lines, and many of the vanilla quests were rich in WarCraft lore, but I know many players didn't bother to read them.  Now a lot of that wonderful writing is gone.

Personal favorites:

Fallen Hero of the Horde, The Redemption of Tirion Fordring, Marauders of Darrowshire, Hero of the Mag'har (Outland, Horde), and the multiple lines beginning in the 40s covering the history of the trolls and leading up to a confrontation with Hak'kar the Soulflayer in ZG.

Even in more recent times though WoW has still had some fun quests, even if they aren't as interesting lore or taskwise:

The "This is madness!  This is ... DRAGONMAW!" quest in Twlight Highlands (whose chain actually begins with Garrosh's pretty cool attempted aerial invasion of the zone).  The Horde quest where you become a quest giver to NPCs in Hillsbrad.  The "Give me minutes, and I will give you a thousand lifetimes" defense quest from the dying ancient tree in the Hyjal quest line.  Tortolla's  "I slumbered in the healing silt of Hyjal. I slept until the world broke open. When the others came, I was not ready. I am ready now.  My children and I. Slow to anger.  But our wrath is final.  Tell those who sent you that we are prepared for war. The others will be cast from the mountain."   Sunwalker Dezco trying to save his wife in Pandaria but losing her even as she gives birth to twins.   The Battle for Ox Gate, which climax's with some of the greatest game music ever.


SWTOR ranges from obnoxiously tedious to really pretty cool depending on the class, chapter, and how you play your characters.  The smuggler storyline from Belsavis on is awesome as far as providing context for rescuing a criminal mastermind from an off-the-map prison and taking down a Republic senator, among other possibilities.


RIFT's Defiant prologue has a really cool hook overall, with the player entering the fail safe and being sent back in time as the world ends.


At the end of the day, if you're not actually interested in experiencing the blasted game -- that is to say not paying attention to what the game is trying to convey -- that's on you.



From a "mechanical" standpoint, like many others, I particularly enjoyed the investigation missions in TSW and would like to see quests like that expanded to fantasy scenarios too.  The same thing applies here too, though.  If you look up the solutions well of course they become trivial and uninteresting.

Unsubbed for the first time since picking the game back up around SoO.  Unlike most WoW fans, I enjoyed my year or so in Pandaria in between playing GW2 and some SWTOR and consider it one of the most underappreciated pieces of MMO real estate.  WoD feels like two steps forward, three steps back for me.


I know there's the whole "Vanilla/TBC was the best time in WoW and WoD is like going back" contingent, and I would be among the first to raise my hand and say "It's not just rose-tinted glasses.  I had more fun back then than I do today too," but the community and my own expectations are different now.  WoD failed to convince me that the game is actually going anywhere.  I actually think it feels more like a mobile gaming and month-long GW2-style living story experiment in a space where it conveniently won't wreck the rest of Azeroth than anything like TBC or WotLK.


My gut feeling is that there will be a lot of "WoD is the best expansion evah!, but I need to take a break" in the coming months.  That of course is nothing new in the months following an expansion, but  I'd certainly love to see a six-month review by the author here.  Hopefully Blizzard will stand on principle and never introduce flying at max level ... I enjoy hearing about how much better it makes the game.

For many gamers I suspect it's really whatever their game-of-the-moment has.  This mind trick allows them to get around their own petty "If you hate it so much, go play something else!" argument.


My first PC games were text adventures, and most of the games I played until KotOR were predominantly text-based.  I'm a big fan of the old Infinity Engine games, including Planescape:Torment, which has so much text it's basically an interactive novel.  I played WoW for thousands of hours and unlike most people actually read the quest text.


BUT... I personally would prefer interactions with NPCs be voiced.  Modern games and computers can support it.  The only major barrier is cost, which I accept as a valid reason for not having voice in one's game.  For games with large budgets, if not having voice truly means more quality content and gameplay features -- and doesn't just use that as an excuse -- I would definitely support that decision.   On the other hand, I think good voice work (among other things) adds character to the characters and makes them feel less like glorified quest boards.  


Discarding SWTOR's interactive conversations, which have certain demands on conversation flow, my ideal game would offer a text window that mirrors what the NPC says and allows one to turn on, turn off, pause, and replay the voice component of a chunk of text.  And if you want to turn off the voice or text options completely in the game options, go for it!   Given a theoretically unlimited budget, allowing players to experience the game either way is ideal IMO.  While group play could cause conflict with the propensity of modern players to want to rush through everything whether it's text or voiced, a logging system could allow players to at least be able to go back and listen to and reread the dialogue, even if they can no longer influence it.

Dwarves.  You could take a dwarf from one game and put it in another game with dwarves and it wouldn't be out of place.  Even more than elves and humans, dwarves and dwarven culture are virtually identical across games.  I have probably a hundred different MMO characters and none of them are dwarves.



The reality is that many gamers DO place a value on preorder perks and advantages.  That people get mad over the existence of preorder packages is absolute proof that these things are not worthless regardless of their lack of physical substance.


Part of the disconnect is that the value is mostly in the enjoyment "feeling special" grants to the gamer.  We don't want to recognize it because of what it might say about us, but we can't escape the economic reality of it.  It means something to many gamers to be one of the first to play a game.  It means something to be the first to hit certain in-game milestones.  It means something to have in-game items that other players don't have access to.  It means something to believe one has an opportunity to contribute to a game's development or direction.  It means something to be able to dream/delude oneself about being noticed cheerleading/apologizing on a beta forum and being offered a job by the developer.  It means something to show your loyalty to a brand or franchise. 


Maybe not to you or me, but it does to a lot of gamers.  Millions of them, in fact.  And because these things DO mean something to many gamers, they are willing to pay for the opportunity to experience them.  If everybody felt ripped off by preorders, everybody would stop preordering, and they would go away.


In the long-term, of course, it's not so simple, for reasons identified in the OP.  Players can wind up feeling ripped off, either because of the quality of the perks or because of the quality of the game itself.   Players who didn't preorder can become angry and disillusioned because they don't have access to certain things that might be associated with a preorder (or maybe were just removed from the game).  I might not value X now, but after a couple of years I really get into the game and now I place a high value on X.  Sometimes the perception that a developer is catering to certain players during development because those players threw money at them can actually negatively impact the value somebody else places on the game.  Sometimes the perceived value gamers place on having preordered leads to a caustic element in the community.  Basically, there are long-term "costs" to having dissatisfied customers that are not easily quantifiable.



I'm not convinced there is a problem. 

If people are getting the requisite amount of enjoyment for their preorder -- and there are many people who obviously do or they would cease to exist -- who are you or I or anyone to say they shouldn't be able to spend their money on said preorder?  If you feel you got ripped off, learn to both better assess the enjoyment you will derive from preorder perks and advantages and better inform yourself about a game before you preorder again.   In a free market economy the onus is on you to be a responsible and informed consumer.  Of course, sometimes companies probably do need to be more mindful about the potential negatives and figure out ways to manage player disappointment associated with preorders, with eye toward to minimizing those negatives in the long-term, or even turning them into positives if possible (ie trading in perks, rolling things over to other games, etc.).

I find GW2 to be the fastest for the way I play.  The ability to earn really good XP in different ways and a pretty good variety of PvE paths (different zones one can efficiently level in at a given level) make it possible to go from 1 to 80 without getting bogged down by what becomes a repetitive experience in other games.


Without boosts and legacy perks, I found SWTOR leveling agonizingly slow after the first two planets.  I mean, like, "**** it.  I'm done with this game" slow.   F2P leveling in SWTOR must be a kind of living hell.  It's not really a "math problem" with XP being too hard to come by; it's an issue with the game being structured in a way that exhausts me very quickly.

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