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MMORPG Thoughts and Other things that I can't get out of My Head

As a disciple of the MMORPG system, I offer my humble thoughts in this blog.

Author: fansede

SWTOR Longevity: Short Term and Long Term

Posted by fansede Monday January 30 2012 at 9:10AM
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So just over a month of the launch of SWTOR and many veterans and powergamers alike are critizing the lack of end game content. Some of it is legit , but much of it is not due to game design. Why? Because i feel we, as gamers, yearn to progress in some way/ shape or form. So we spend hours and hours levelling. Why? because it unlocks more skills, or improve the ones we have, or gives us access to better gear and/or gaming content. All MMOs have this. 

The problem is that gamers outpace years of development. I thought I read somewhere that it takes weeks to develop 1 hour worth of playable content. Avid gamers know how to streamline this even more (Skip through dialouge/ spacebar/ know what gives the best experience, etc.  Then if they really love the game, they roll alts. If they don't love it, they gripe on forums. 

No game design company wants their investment to burn in the hellflames of the internet, because that will translate into subscription dropping and into failure. So I have some thoughts that could assist this problem.

1) Unlimited levels - What? If there is not enough content for 50? Why assume there would be for level 100? Hear me out. the Unlimited level idea major purpose is to satisfy the insatiable need to progress. The rewards for over 50 (for now) will simply be 4-5 stat points. Perhaps alternate stat distribution between primary and secondary stats. So level 51 - you get 5 points for your primary and level 52 you get to boost your secondaries and so on.  Make the exp gap higher to slow the pace down.  the stats should have little bearing on charcter performance until the character gets to level 75 or so versus a 50, but by then the design should figure a level 75 should be attained after 1 year of gaming or so (because of exponential exp curve). 

How do you gain exp after 50 without adding more content? Daily Missions, Flashpoints, Space Combat and PvP Warzones. Note: Bioware has already added a Flashpoint in one month of launch. 

Adjustment: Daily heroic missions can remove the minimal exp gain if the player decides to play at recommended level (remember how Cryptic used the mentor system?) or the player can run through the mission and farm commendations. 

2) Adjust Commendations after level 50 - Commendations should be a coveted commodity after 50. Any planet commendations are worth something. I propose an option to trade in commendations for experience points and/or cash 1000 commendations of a planet for 1 skill point.  This keeps players doing things on all worlds because any daily mission on any planet can be repeated for commendations. Provide incentive if the mentoring system is used - more commendations for players who scale their level down with others versus blowing through the easy stuff. 

3) Skill points - these are rare to obtain as they should be, but they can become an option for players to strive for. Perhaps after an epic chain of assisting a planet  of daily missions a mystery box is earned. A small chance in that box is a skill point to be redeemed at the skill vendor. Also put that drop on World Bosses

 

I can't imagine how much work it is necessary to make these adjustments, but this "bandage" should be enough until more content becomes produced. Expansions obviously would have something for level 50 -60 and beyond, but other ideas for content besides the obvious:

Companion missions - you get to play as your companion in the game world. Rewards inlcude exp for your main character (after 50) and chance to obtain rare craftables as well as companion upgrades. As a companion avatar you don't participate in the conversations, but you assist in other player missions as often as you want. What if there was a companion only pvp battleground? Prizes again include experience for main character, credits, rare gear for companions, companion commendations for access to new looks and rare crafting components. This is an opportunity to really make your companion stand point from the other clones.

New neutral battleground - Huttrace 500 - Speeders only please - raceway for credits. Now all your speeders have slots for upgrades like a spaceship. Hull plating, weapons, a Nitro burst of speed, greaser to slow or slick the area, etc. Que up against 10 other players and race through a hostile terrain. Your speeder falls apart and you have to spend time with a mobile droid pit crew before you can get back in. 

Political games - We all expect SWTOR to have PvP objectives in the future, but we hope there will be things a guild can strive for. A guild can align itself with a leader of influence in the political power structure. A Senator, a member of the Dark Council, etc. This figure provides daily missions for the guild members to complete and in return the guild gains influence which can be turned in for rewards like guild wide buffs, access to guild only world boss fights and access to guild vs. guild battlegrounds.

Space PvP 

THIRD FACTION: The Neutral Nar Shadda becomes home for players who have no desire for either side and are geared for self interest and preservation. Smuggler/ Bounty Hunters are an easy transition to be allowed to start here. Melee tank types can wield vibroswords, electostaves and similar for their journeys and/or the versatility of Grey Jedi can be playable here! Throw in a buff breasted beast of a bard type that brings memories of SWG: the Dancer and whatcha get? 

Here is to wishful thinking!