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Skelton: It's Lonely At The Bottom

Posted Oct 23, 2009 by Jon Wood

Skelton: It's Lonely At The Bottom player columnist Jamie Skelton writes this new article on the population vacuum that often exists in the lower levels of an MMO as more and more of a game's population settle at the end-game content. She also touches on what can be done to make going through those early levels a better experience or all involved.

Jaime Skelton

Visit almost any MMORPG that's been around for a year or longer, and you're bound to find that the game is top-heavy. A heavy focus on end-game content, whether it's raiding, instances, or other max-level content, has led many community populations to become heavily concentrated with characters at maximum level; for example, almost a full 50% of active World of Warcraft characters on US servers are level 80 based on Warcraft census data. While lower-level characters do exist in the form of new players and alts, and these games usually have a reasonable amount of low-level group content created during their development and growth, that content often becomes abandoned and neglected by players on their rush to join the masses on top.

There are plenty of players who want to experience that content, of course, even if they have experienced it before. Unfortunately, the numbers of those players are often scattered widely between time zones and servers, making it difficult to find the prerequisite number of people to fill a group - much less a good group composition. For the lucky people who have managed to hit the right compromise of factors, low-level group content still gets its time in the spotlight. For those who aren't so lucky, other solutions have to be found.

Read It's Lonely At The Bottom.


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