The Playground Model

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I would personally like an MMO that lets me level up and gear up doing nothing but playing Battlegrounds. Warhammer Online came close to that ideal but had too many faults to be the solution.

The game in RPGs is to empower your character with gear, talents, levels, etc. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about it--good players know the right ways, i.e. picking the right instance with the right boss that drops the right staff and then doing it until you get the high roll. Pretty much you are strategizing how to budget your time for the highest payoff (though, honestly, nearly always the best solution is to forget about gear and just grind levels). If you are cool with that then RPGs are perfectly good entertainment and generally deliver a lot more hours of single-player fun per purchase, way more, than pretty much any other game type.

My favorite part of gameplay in an MMO is that which involves a casual group of people working together to accomplish a moderately challenging dungeon. I think Pre-Buring Crusade WoW is a great example. A very high percentage of players were leveling so the whole world was being used. I think a couple things should be instituted with MMOs that would work exceptionally well with allowing new players to participate with older players.

Level Sync was first seen in FFXI and in my opinion is one of the best aspects of that game. Can't get a group together in a zone because you are short a damage dealer? Is there a higher level one wanting to group for something? Have them come join you and sync down to your group's level. He get's the same exp you do because he temporarily levels down to where you are, and your group fills up allowing all the other lowbies to fight over gear. There are some flaws with this system but it works more often than not.

The Second thing I think should be transposed into other MMOs from FFXI is level capped dungeons. These were very difficult fights that require a lot of cooperation. The lowest level ones started at level 20 when the level cap is 75. This allows higher level players the challenge of the fight and lower level players don't have to wait as long as say WoW to get into a raid difficulty fight.

I like the idea of a playground, though I do think there needs to be at least some way to tell a player that a certain aspect of the game requires this entry level task. We don't want to toss new players that don't understand class roles in a group that requires a lot of knowledge with the class of choice. It isn't fair to the new player getting the hate from others.

Want a playground MMO just wait for Mortal Online to be released, its currently in open beta.
No level system, just login create a character and live in the world. They just released a new trailer on their webpage http://www.mortalonline.com/

World of Warcraft is a playground where you have to play on the spring horse for 80 levels-- though if you find 4 other people you can occasionally use the slide. Now at level 80 you can use the swings and jungle gym, but you have to find a group of 20 others to do it.

Warhammer Online is a playground where you can use all the equipment, but the swing lag, the sea saw is broken in half, and somebody barfed on the slide--so everybody just gets in the middle and beats up each other.

Champions Online's playground has one sea saw, one swing, and one spring horse. But everyone is dressed up in cool costumes and pretending they are super heroes.

Eve Online's playground is an empty grass field, where you can dig holes and chase the occasional squirrel. Now you've heard there are swings and seasaw's somewhere, and you keep reading how awesome they are, but hell if you've ever seen them.

The spring riders add an appeance of variation and choice to the otherwise climbing-frame filled park.

HellsingerAngel:

dragontiers:
Raiding requires you to be at max level, otherwise you won't be fully equipped/powerful enough to "max" the stats necessary to best implement the strategies necessary. And again, I don't know how you could let people be at max level without having to "grind" their way up. It might be possible to let people pick a level to start at, so people could start out max level, but I have no idea what the consequences of that would be on the game. It could be disastrous, or have no effect whatsoever.

I have to disagree. Warhammer Online had quite a few "raid" type scenarios, though admittedly they were one shot, big arse bosses rather than full dungeons. Still needed a full warband to beat them, though, and they always dropped some purple loot!

I think overall WAR had the most things in common with the equation Shamus is talking about. They had a wide veriaty of things to do from old fashioned solo PvE, to Public Quests to grind for area reuptation, to massive PvP battlegrounds that you just simply needed to walk into and you're in the fight with as many players that care to be there, to low level raiding using those "MvP Boss" type characters that drop very satisfying loot. PvP was actually pretty balanced from my experience and varied a great deal (defend the keep, capture the objective, or just flat out raid the main city) so that even players focusing on one point could get some veriaty. The classes were very distinct, too, because they were linked to what race you picked. Usually the classes had a counter-part on the opposite faction, but no two classes were turly copies within the same faction. A cornucopia of experiences all wrapped in a neat little game.

too bad the player base is a little smaller than anyone would have hoped =(

I totaly agree, I think war did the best of any mmo Ive played of balancing out the experiance, it just needed a bigger player base or for ea to wise up and get word about it out again

Lately I've been getting into Mabinogi because of this very reason - it offers a whole lot of different attractions at once. It's mostly combat and crafting but there's a lot of different kinds of crafting.

The game actually pretty heavily encourages diversification of activities via making some of them be rigged up to a game day cycle. My daily cycle (which takes about 30-60 minutes of real time) might go:

    7:00am - Noon: Do a "part time job" for a store - usually available at 7am or noon. Lots of different potential activities running the gamut of all the activities the game offers, you won't know which activity until you ask for it. You can only do one part time job a day. (There's also schools where you can take classes, with one class session a day, but I've only run across one that functions.)

    Noon - 8pm: Run a dungeon/explore wilderness performing quests. Combat is actually unusually satisfying here in that it's a rock/paper/scissors combat and timing mechanism where paying attention to the enemy's posture is vital. It's very challenging, battles can be lost in a blink if you screw up.

    8pm - Midnight: Collect an inventory full of trade resources. There's a lot of collection activities from harvesting from plants, shearing sheep, collecting spider cobwebs, ect.

    Midnight - 4am: Convert collected trade resources into trade goods using trade skill. Trade skills, incidentally, often have a challenging minigame attached.

    4am - 7am: Cash in some quests, perhaps engage in a little fishing or manage my pets.

This is an unusually varied day, usually I'll just be doing one activity and try to make time to get my daily Part Time Job in since that's a good source of gold. Really, for a day that runs 30-60 minutes that's diversification enough. You might say that this game has a tremendous grind in that gold, levels, and skill use advancement is always going on, and mastery is rarely ever accomplished, but here's the kicker: given the high variation of activities, it really doesn't bother me at all.

So I'd say Shamus has at least one good example in Mabinogi to point out he's right in what he's saying here about giving players lots of activities and the freedom to switch between them as they see fit.

I want to play an MMO that doesn't have levels at all everyone starts out exactly the same level and they all stay that way the only way you can improve is by getting "levelled" gear either by buying it, crafting it or looting it.

I've said before I'd love to play a western MMO where you can pretty much do whatever you like as it's a player run economy, I'd love to have my own weapon shop where I gather resources and then craft guns to sell in it, but if you want to be a bad ass you can become a train robber or something but be careful about your bounty level, if it's super high player controlled lawmen might come for you and can give you a permanent death. That's the kind of game I want.

Shamus, this ideology will never change until developers finally realise MMORPGs are not Dungeons and Dragons. Get rid of the leveling concept if you want your grind gone for good. It's one of the main deterrents gameplay-wise freeform MMOs like Runescape carry.

Wow, I'd never thought of it that way, but that's a pretty good analogy. Great read!

I'm not sure if the escapist lets me post an article from cracked but it explains this perfectly

http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html

the article is brilliant and disturbing.

the only mmo I ever played (for few days) was dead frontier online, it was because I knew the offline precedessors. I'd say there has to be environment populated with enemies for the gory stuff done with modern weapons to get me in.

Pots:
Want a playground MMO just wait for Mortal Online to be released, its currently in open beta.
No level system, just login create a character and live in the world. They just released a new trailer on their webpage http://www.mortalonline.com/

Too bad it sucks. Yes, I can say that since I wasted part of my life testing the game.

To answer your question:

Crafting, crafting and more crafting. Some gathering thrown in too, but that's to get at the crafting. hence why I enjoyed Everquest 2 so much. Not only was crafting a whole mini-game of its own, but being a woodworker allowed you to make stuff for your own home. Which was great :)

Oh and dressing up is fun too.

I remember a few years back when I finally had the computer to be able to play GW. All my friends had been playing it for a long time, so I knew what I was getting into. The first few months whenever my ex boyfriend wasn't pestering me about doing the main storyline, I'd just explore. Sure, I died all the time because I mostly tried to avoid engaging enemies and when it failed I'd die because I didn't have the party or the skills to stay alive.

I guess what I still love about GW, and what I hope they'll bring into GW2, is the big open world. And the fact that they actually have a bunch of outposts or hilariously named bosses out there that you would never find if you only did the main storyline.
Strangely, grinding in GW pretty much starts AFTER you reach lvl 20.

And yeah, in a way the analogy works. Still, I wonder if streamlining mmos into more playgroundish behavior would remove all the sense of achievent. Because as it stands, everything worth having is worth fighting(grinding) for.

Personally, i enjoy the leveling the most in MMO's. Hitting a new level brings new skills and gear to get/exploit and new regions to rumage around in. Once you hit the levelcap, your basically stuck doing the same things: raiding and Pvp. That gets old for me after a while.

I guess im more of a explorer, i want to see the world the developers made, doesn't matter if it's new abilities to get or regions to see.

Ok here's something I've been saving for an article of my own (someday). I'm going to share because Shamus rocks and maybe he'll pick up the idea, thus saving me the trouble of writing the whole article :D

Consider the source of our MMOs and their environment and motivations as they create . Do those people work directly with gamers, or do they work directly with co-workers in a cubicle environment?

My take is that virtually all of our problems with failed games are attributable to the work environment. You can't immerse someone in a place which forces them to personally behave according to one ruleset and then expect them to have an easy time of creating a place with a ruleset from the entire other side of the spectrum ( maybe alternate universe would be a better metaphor). That's a hard enough job as it is, imho.

I mean seriously, we're talking about people who are forced to schedule meetings to discuss what's going to be fun in their game. While some may be able to work with that, they have to be the exception that proves the rule. I think we'd get better games if they took any and all meetings about gameplay and held them out of the office just to get people out of the "work" mindset.

Singing Gremlin:

BioTox:
EVE online is different though. They say, "there is the playground... don't die." I wish more games were like this. You didn't have to level up in the sense of go here and kill things to get experience. You just play. Yes, I know it, "takes a long time to get the big ships in EVE" but the smaller ships are needed in PvP warfare too, don't worry. ;)

That made me laugh. Although I'd argue that EvE is closer to being thrown naked into a playground where a dozen kids have secured the facilities, carefully selling play time to the other kids, several kids are engaging in mortal combat while hanging from the monkey bars, and the handful of sad gits content to ride the springed animals get brutally lynched the moment they step away, and several competing teams of kids have seized sections of the roundabout, fighting visciously amongst each other and themselves, all the while the horrifically rich kids that control the supplies laugh and have weaker children trim their toenails.

Damn, I want to play again now.

Don't forget the fixed-rate skill gain system makes it like having to wait to physically grow up before you can move up in the pecking order. "Small ships are valuable in PvP" blah. That means you get to sit on gatecamps being "valuable" while the bigger kids build their empires via the alts they bought on CCP's forum with isk they bought via game time cards (although a veteran player has likely raised their own alts by now).

Your only way out of this trap is to buy yourself some game time cards and trade them for isk to buy some alt characters and gear so you can start playing at a higher level :(

Well, I want to start off by saying that WoW does acknowledge your exploration in the form of achievements, after you explore a certain area of the map fully. That being said, I completely agree with you. I hate having to grind, I hate having to rely on other peoples professions (or the auction house, but people quickly realized what was necessary for other professions, so usually these are grossly overpriced) to be able to advance mine, and I hate, I really hate, being forced to team.
Now, mind you, teaming is one of my favorite aspects of the game, as long as it's with people I know and are friends with, or grew to be friends with while playing the game (I will spontaneously team with someone now and again, especially if it seems we're on the same quests) but I hate the fact that, after a while, almost all quests require you to team with someone to be able to finish them. I like doing quests because, most of the time, they are the largest form of XP gain while still being non-repetitive, but I also like to try and finish all the quests available to me in a certain area before moving on to another area, and sometimes that's not possible, just because you have to team with someone to be able to complete it.

Vipermagi:
"Exploring is one of my favorite activities, although as far as I know only Lord of the Rings Online formally acknowledges it as such. LOTRO has exploration deeds that you can earn for fully scouting areas of the game. " -Shamus

Guild Wars has something similar; the Explorer title. If you really want to max the title, you're in for a long walk. I like watching scenery, but having to look at almost every pixel in the area gets a little tedious, especially in forests (petrified moreso than living). How lenient is LOTRO with exploring?

Actually, WoW -does- give you achievements for exploring, true, this only came later with Wrath, but it's there. You even get a nice tabard and title.

Edit: Beaten to it, but the point stands ^^'

I actually love crafting, if i could I'd just be an NPC who tells others to go get me stuff just so I can make it but you need inordinate amounts of money for that so I go and destroy the flying machine

I LOVE to boldly explore new areas. I can't stand having to grind for stuff. I dunno why but every time I'm 20 levels below where I should be and I'm running for dear life, it's a thrill than killing everything, taking the loot, and selling it indefinitely.

Maybe it's the fact that I've burnt myself out but if you're where you're supposed to be in level, where's the challenge?

What I like about MMO's:
-Scale. Massive worlds. Lots of places to see and explore, lots of content to sift through so I can avoid the parts that bother me and pick up the parts I like without needing to do all of it to move on with the game. (Not all MMO's deliver on this, of course. Champions Online comes to mind. That game feels tiny.)

-Character development. While classes and races tend to be very strict in their paths of progression in most of the MMO's I've played, they tend to include a lot of options anyway. There's usually an "optimal" talent setup for leveling in WoW, but you can mess around with your talents and abilities to make some interesting alternatives if you just fiddle with it enough. Some classes might not feel very different in one tree compared to another (warriors always felt like warriors to me regardless of being fury or arms, though prot's another bag), but going from a feral druid to a balance druid is practically an entire class switch. This is also what I enjoy about leveling up as I like unlocking new abilities and adding them to my current strategies to see what I can improve as I go on.

-Outfitting. What can I say, I like to play dress-up with my characters. Sue me.

-Space to RP. Not everyone does, and this obviously does require other players around somewhat - though it can be amusing to RP on your own with the NPCs in response to their sheer weirdness (much like Shamus's stories do, basically, except writing that humorous little story for your own amusement) - but when it works it can be quite satisfying.

What I dislike about MMO's:
-Required grouping. Yes, I know that second M stands for Multiplayer, which is neat and all, but to be honest, if WoW were an offline game tweaked for solo play - raid content would probably have NPCs included with some altered difficulty/boss abilities to be possible or something, details not important for the moment (since raiding isn't my thing anyway - more on that later) - I'd have probably enjoyed it just as much. Possibly more. Hard to say. On the one hand I wouldn't have had to deal with jerks and strip-miners so I could do what I wanted/needed to get done without people acting as obstacles in my way. On the other I wouldn't have been making friends and socializing during play as I did. The latter point is less significant when considering most of my friends had already quit by the time I left the game, however. Given I was spending a lot of my non-raid time soloing the game anyway I don't think playing it offline would have been a significant change aside from making questing easier due to a lack of competition. And, of course, the AH not being there. That would bite a bit. Alright, that's enough on this topic. Moving on!

-Raiding. I play games to have fun. I don't want to feel obligated to play a game. This transforms fun into a responsibility, which saps the fun out of it. Raiding is less of a game and more of a job. LK Naxx aside (lul), raiding generally requires you to be at the top of your game and focused for several hours at a stretch to be successful. It's tedious, lengthy, monotonous and stressful. All that and you still fail if the rest of your raid isn't up to par. I can't recall how many times my raid team wiped on Archimonde because of people not paying any attention to doomfire crawling toward them, not activating their tears before making little player-sized craters in the ground, not popping potions/healthstones to survive if someone was a second or two late decursing them, etc., and there wasn't anything I could do about that. There were always people behind on DPS who, even after I tried advising them on various ways to improve, never showed significant progress. It was an exercise in frustration trying to complete a goal that, if it was something I could have done alone, I might have been able to do, but being unable to do so because of some team members holding us back. Could I have joined a more serious raid team? Probably, but that would have led to an even more rigorous raid schedule and required leaving behind the people on my team who I liked and with whom I joked around - the people who made raiding bearable at all. Moving to a "serious" raid team would have crushed out any remaining interest in raiding - a self-defeating prospect.
tl;dr - Hate depending on other people to complete personal goals. Extension of point one.

-PvP. I'm sure the basics of this argument are already understood so I'll just say this: it's never balanced, it never will be balanced, and competition with variance in lag is always rage-inducing even in a balanced environment. No thank you. No.

-"Random" quest drops. Someone mentioned this above. If you give me a quest to kill monsters for their organs, make them drop the bloody organs. A quest to kill # of monsters is infinitely preferable to a quest to kill ?# of monsters until they drop # of macguffins to complete the quest unless those items are a 100% chance to drop on each kill. Making them an arbitrary chance to drop is bull - cut it out. At the very least make a maximum kill limit: after X kills you're guaranteed to get all your drops. More than once I've gotten 9/10 items I need only to then get stuck killing upwards of fifty (sadly not exaggerating - sometimes the dice just SUCK) additional monsters to get one more item to finish the quest. It eases the tedium to just think of this as grinding monsters with a bonus waiting at the end, but only a little, and self-discipline of that sort only goes so far. It shouldn't be needed for a game in the first place, of course, given a game is supposed to be fun, yes?

-Endgame in general. I've learned all my class abilities, I've explored the whole map, and seeing the final story-related bosses requires getting upwards of 9 other players of similar power and skill to cooperate with me for hours at a time. All that's left to do is get shinier gear...for no reason, since my current gear is obviously enough to do the available solo content since, well, I'm at the end of it already. Bored now. If only I could see that raid content without needing an entire gang to do it...hm...

Eh...I could probably go on but it'd be getting into nitpicks. That probably covers the broad strokes. I'm indifferent to crafting, for instance: it's more a means to an end than an end in itself for me.

I immediately must bring up my favourite example here, Tibia, that is Tibia before they sold out and decided to become JUST LIKE WOW in order to rake in as much cash from newbies as possible.

In ye olden days, Tibia didn't have any linear progression. No helpful guides pointing you in the direction you needed to go to most effectively progress to the next level. No quest logs letting you know EXACTLY how to solve the "mystery" of the treasure. It was a vast open landscape, and you were free to explore at your leisure, which people did, because that is what was fun. When people didn't want to explore, they organized games, like a crude version of football constructed from stacking boxes around a rectangular area and pushing a bear carcass around (that is, until the devs took notice and implemented an actual football). There was a sense of community, unlike stuff like WoW where you press the dungeon-button and get paired up with 4 strangers from different servers to unlock that next elusive achievement and piece of worthless equipment.

People in Tibia would stand by the beaches and fish all day, just socializing and using the "broadcast" spell (since defunct because of newbies) to communicate over longer distances. There were quests, one-of-a-kind items protected by fierce demons or a clever trail of well-hidden clues, that would not instantly respawn and reward the next player with the exact same thing for his skills at reading a quest-log or wiki-page.

I understand that things like this are hard to implement in a high-player environment, but I believe developers REALLY need to think things over. If they do really want to steal so many hours out of the life of youngsters, they could at least do it well, really giving the feeling of an alternate universe, instead of a linear grind-fest where every player can reach exactly the same goals and never pose a threat to one another or really matter, even in the game universe, like f***ing World of Warcraft.

Though it may not seem like a decent way at all to keep players engaged, forcing them to level tediously, while making most players quit before 20 in a small f2p title, actually keeps the hardcore gamers engaged longer. I don't like it, and I have quit many games simply because the grind was too much... but I've also played games that dumped you into the endgame without so much as a second of work. It's fun at first... and... maybe if we were all kids, the endgame could keep us occupied for a long time. Simply put: as gamers, most of us get bored easily. If we're simply handed all of the content from the start, we'd sample it, and in most cases, move on. In a multimillion dollar heavily designed project... they don't want us to just run around a playstructure a few times and go "this is boring," then walk off. Theoretically, if the playstructure really was that great, that it could keep all the angsty 16-24 players busy, then handing it to them from the start would work.

What makes an MMORPG an MMORPG, simply put, is the, whether I like it or not, fact that you have to work to get to the good stuff in it. It keeps a number of players constantly engaged and keeps them more inclined not to leave once they hit endgame and actually see it all. There are, however, a few examples where handing players the endgame early has worked... kinda. Guild Wars has a level cap of 20 but keeps players engaged through thousands of quests to gear up. It's a PvP game, however. Aika took the step of giving its players good solo content so they can enjoy their long, long trip to endgame alittle more. The giant World of Warcraft has 80 slow levels for the aforementioned reasons, as well. There's a sense of progress in it; it feels more like an RPG than a game where you go and press buttons till other things die. Maybe I'm wrong, however. I tend to quit both the games that require levelling, and those that hand me endgame content equally. It's a paradox, and I say, it comes down to the quality of the content more than anything.

Exploring is by far my FAVORITE part. In the first world of WOW (Not the expansions.) there were these little engineering shops. They were hidden all over the world. I loved finding them, but there was something more. These little secret engineering shops had schematics that I could sell for a profit in the auction house. I think it was an accident, seeing as how they don't exist in the expansions, but they are some of the most fun I have had while playing a game.

"What gameplay drives you to play an MMOG? What parts do you dislike or avoid?"
I don't play MMOG at all. I hate them all - it's just time-consuming frustration.

I'm an explorer. Many times in WoW I did go into harder regions when my curiosity got the better of me. It actually also helped me understand aggro radius a lot better to the point I could ninja through a region that was even 20 levels over me. Took time and wasn't foolproof. There is always the chance of the creature you don't see.
PvP should always remain an element of MMO's, and I don't think it will ever be perfectly balanced without sacrificing the fun and challenge. Every class has its strength and weakness. Yes paladins are uber, but with the right maneuvers even they can be taken down.
The playground is a nice analogy, and EVE fits best as a playground MMO, but not all MMO's are for those looking for the hardcore mechanic. Which is where WoW and EQ comes in for the lighter sect. It does still feel as something is missing to really nail MMO's as an accepted game genre. It's like on the tip of the tongue.

I am so with you on that one. Sometimes I even used to think, it woould be better if they just asked for

lesterley:
What I hate most in any MMO is DROP RATES!

For the love of all that's holy, why do developers think I want to waste an hour of my life killing the same damn boars over, and over, and over again until the Pristine Cleft Hoof of Doom finally drops?

I think this type of game play only appeals to people who have a 'gambling' mentality. For them, the tension/expectation that the next drop might be "The One" is exciting.

For me, it's pure torture.

Leslee

I am so with you. Sometimes I would think why didnt they just ask for 100 Pristine Cleft Hoof of Doom, each boar dropping one, then making me killing loads till it actually would drop. The drop rate might be 1% but i could either be lucky and get it on first 10 kills or be extremely unlucky and having to kill more then one thousand.

EVE is getting a lot of love in this thread already but it's still worth mentioning that it's probably got the biggest exploration element of all the MMOs.

Exploration was the entire point of nullsec space before it became the personal stomping grounds of huge alliances and in the current iteration of the game wormhole discovery and exploration serve the same purpose but with the added excitement of not knowing when the wormhole back to safety is going to collapse and strand you Lost in Space style leaving you to survive with only your wits and whatever resources you happened to have with you as you begin a desperate search for a way home.

MNRA:
To answer your question:

Crafting, crafting and more crafting. Some gathering thrown in too, but that's to get at the crafting. hence why I enjoyed Everquest 2 so much. Not only was crafting a whole mini-game of its own, but being a woodworker allowed you to make stuff for your own home. Which was great :)

Oh and dressing up is fun too.

EQ2's crafting was definitely the best out of any MMO I've tried. I used to get a huge kick out of inspecting random people milling about and seeing them wearing a piece of armor that I'd made, and the crafting and gathering itself felt involved enough to be interesting and yet not so much as to be annoying.

Unrelated to the quoted post: good article and good analogy. It's a shame that WoW will need to die before any other developers can try something new without it being doomed to failure before it's conceived. It could take years.

Treat article, The Secret World seems to be doing something like this. No levels or actual classes and you can build how you want. Don't know if it will hold up to the promises though...

ps.

The game beings at 80

I think you meant to say "The game begins at 80"

When I started playing WoW in 2005 there wasn't much pressure to reach the level cap. There were only a couple of raids available. So I had 60 levels of content to play with and I was pretty happy with all of it. Solo, grouping, PvP, exploring, gathering and crafting never feel like a grind. I even enjoyed fishing. If I ever got bored, I would roll up a new character and play in a different part of the world.

The only two things I hated was grinding reputations and quest lines that required multiple dungeon dives. Killing the same mobs over and over again just to unlock content or get access to rep rewards is slow torture. While having a quest line that requires you to go right back into a dungeon you just cleared, means you are going to group with people that want to skip all the content. Many times I grouped with "GodIHateThisPlace" and never got to look around because he's got a key to the back door and knows a way to sneak around the mobs.

In Cataclysm, I think Blizzard is trying to deflect the race to the level cap mentality. You level out after five levels but then a new mechanic opens up to improve and customize your character. We have to see if this keeps the game interesting or turns out to be grind.

As an analogy-based thinker/writer myself, I have to say this is one of the most entertaining beautiful analogies I have read in a long time, bravo.

It also highlights my central problem with MMORPG's, in the fact that you have to do chores and pay a monthly fee to do them.

Bravo sir, bravo.

NnooooOOOoOooO!

Devs, please don't change grinding! Think about how adicting these games would be without grinding??? Think about the children!

Good day!

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