Sunday, November 29, 2015

There is No End Game

Often when people talk about MMOs, they mentioned that, to them, the end game is the game (well they often leave often the 'to them' part of that).  I have always enjoyed questing and leveling and have known that they are not speaking for me.

One reaction to this attitude has been to remove leveling from the game and make everything accessible to everyone.  I can understand this works for some people but it doesn't work well for me.  I like the experience of gaining skills and becoming more and more powerful over time.

My middle daughter is now interested in Dungeons and Dragons (she will be getting the starter set for Christmas, don't tell her!).  In Dungeons and Dragons, leveling slows down a lot and the idea of becoming max level is not something most people consider.  I was wondering if someone could make an MMO like that for people like me.

When World of Warcraft came out, the idea of having 'rested experience' so people who played less was an innovation.  Over time, people have become so focused on the end game that this is nothing but a slight speed bump, only slowing the 'end game' people from getting to the end game with each subsequent expansion by a minimal amount.  What if a company made an MMO where you couldn't ever get to the End Game?

My thought is that you would put a hard limit where you couldn't exceed 1 level a week.  You would start the game with some number levels, let's say 50, and by the time 50 weeks have gone, you would have content for the next 25 levels and at that point you'd have regular 6 month expansion cycle.

The game would need to have other content where people could explore and do things besides leveling, things like the pet games in World of Warcraft.  Another advantage of this is that there could always be content that would be tough.  If you kept areas with 5 extra levels around, people would always have areas they could explore that would be dangerous.  I imagine a system where mobs about 2 levels above you should pretty much always beat you if you are alone.  Mobs 5 levels above would be pretty much unable to be injured, so even with a group there would be areas that would be very dangerous to explore.

Has any company tried anything like this?  I am guessing this would be a nitch game, but I think most of the MMOs coming out now are.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Week in an MMO Life: Wandering

Not a screenshot from World of Warcraft!
After reading about Heart of Thorns, particularly from Inventory Full and Kill Ten Rats, I decided to go ahead and download Guild Wars 2, particularly since the original game is free.  The download took a VERY long time (I ended up just letting it finish over night) and even after it finished it still had to patch again.  I only played through level 5 so I don't feel like it's enough even for a mini-review, but I don't feel like it's the game for me.  I will try to give it another chance, possibly over the holidays.

My middle daughter and I played Don't Starve Together again and I felt like we made more progress this time.  It is nice because my daughter knows more about what she is doing, so she can be in control and I can help her, particularly by gathering what she needs.  We still died from the hounds when they appeared, but we at least had spears to protect ourselves and have some gardens and clothes in preparation for winter.  We'll see how that goes the next time we play.

I am still playing World of Warcraft, but I haven't been doing much other than basic Garrison activities and auctioning enough to still buy the now more expensive Tokens to keep the game free.  I would expect the cost to keep going up until the expansion arrives when a influx of players will include those who don't want to wait to buy things.  It was hovering around 20,000 gold in the US after the release for several months but is now over 37,000.  In the EU it has always been more expensive and is now at 61,000 gold.

I was able to use the Garrison to gather the stones required for the second part of the Legendary quest.  I need to do two parts of LFR to complete it, but haven't been able to find the time and inclination to do it.  Again, maybe it'll be a holiday thing since I am so close.  It also should be pretty quick to level my Mage to 100 but she has been stuck at 95 for more than a month now because I just don't have the inclination to play.  I may let my subscription lapse in December and just wait until Legion comes out.

Since my last post Blizzcon happened and I'm generally pretty positive about what I have heard about the Legion expansion.  For someone who doesn't care about raiding, it is usually pretty easy to sell things early in an expansion so it should be easier to justify paying for it knowing that the subscription for it will probably be covered by Tokens.  However, the Demon Hunter doesn't appeal to me that much (I'll probably eventually play it like I did the Death Knight primarily to see the starting quests) and I don't even know how I would use the Level 100 character upgrade so there isn't a reason for me to buy it early.  I'll probably just purchase it a week before it comes out so I can be ready.

I really seem to be in a gaming lull.  It'll be interesting to see if something changes that.  All the talk about Fallout 4 has been fun, but, though I have been playing computer RPGs since the original Wizardry, the post-apocalyptic setting has never really appealed to me, so I'll probably wait until I can get it for $10 or so.  My daughters may spark some gaming as well, particularly if something takes off over the holidays.  I played a little Diablo III with my  middle daughter but it didn't seem to appeal to her.  I'll probably go ahead and buy myself a copy assuming it goes on sale for $10 again.  I really enjoyed the first two games, but I still feel it is rather dark to play in front of my daughters so I'd rather play other games where I am more comfortable playing with them, or at least with them watching me.