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The Casual Life by Wintyre Fraust

An older, casual player's perspective on MMOG's in general and GW2 in particular.

Author: Meleagar

No More Dead Areas or Ghost Towns

Posted by Meleagar Monday June 14 2010 at 2:54PM
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Why are starting cities and low-level areas usually abandoned? Why is virtually everyone in the game in one area?  Why are they camping one boss or repeatedly trying to get into a very few areas? 

Some might point to bad or lazy game design; I disagree. I think that's the necessary result of the current mainstream MMOG design, which promotes min-max, efficient gameplay. People don't lounge around in town, hang out in Taverns, or wander around lower-end areas because it's a waste of precious online time.  The less time you can spend in the game, the less you are likely to spend it inefficiently when it comes to maximizing the potential of your character.

The game I advocate here, though, has no such problem, because players can do whatever suits their fancy during their online time because all characters advance 24/7 at the same general pace. You can get drunk and stumble around and go on naked gnome runs or attend all the social events you want without a single concern that you're wasting valuable advancement time or that you'll be falling behind your  friends or guildmates.

In fact, you never have to set a single foot outside of your city or area of birth. You don't have to engage in a single battle or fight. You can learn a craft or trade, work hard, save your money, buy a house and open up a shop without ever leaving town. 

Without the core design of the game driving players into more efficient areas of the game and out of non-experience giving areas, there is no longer any dynamic that so often turns what should be great social centers into ghost towns; nor does the code drive virtually everyone into competition for the same experience-efficient mobs or areas.