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General : Editorial: Moments in an Instance

Posted Apr 10, 2006 by Dana Massey

In the second act of our husband and wife editorial duel, Danielle "Sachant" Vanderlip joins the site with her first opinion piece. In her debut article, Danielle examines instancing.

Casual players rarely get to see upper end content of games. It is argued that if they don’t have the time to put in they won’t miss the upper content. In many cases, this may be true. In many others it isn’t. Some games are created to allow for casual gamers to at least work as a crafter or be quickly piggybacked onto a higher player’s experience runs and level right along with them. In these games the pinch of upper end content isn’t as painful. For those that take part in games that are not only unfriendly to solo players but offer little to nothing for the solo player at the upper end, the last level they can achieve is the end of the road. At best what they have to look forward to is creating another character.

While it’s painful for an individual, it can be traumatic for guilds. Rifts are created between the casual and ‘hardcore’ players. The upper end players don’t want to repeat content they have found boring or have repeated countless times for others and so those that are more casual are left behind. Guild leaders must decide what is best for the guild. Go forward? Or wait? Neither is an easy choice and inevitably if a game is not flexible enough to allow for a compromise, guilds will and do fracture or even collapse completely under the strain. Even worse is when a small guild is unable to accomplish tasks alone. They either must give up on the idea of upper end content or they must join with another guild to cooperate. Given the nature of MMOs and the communities in them this can either be a way of bonding and creating a larger guild than originally intended or it can lead to drama with a capital ‘D’.

To read her full opinion, click here.

 
 
 
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