My problem with MMO expansions

The only two MMOs I've played extensively are Everquest and WoW. The problem I had was when I would reach max level the only way to improve my character was to get better gear. I often found it pointless because I would put hours upon hours getting gear. Then the new expansion comes out and I replace everything within an hour or two just from your everyday mobs.

I recall however that the top guilds in Everquest would have to be decked out with the best of the best to be able to tackle the challenges of the new expansion. However, I'm just your average joe player. There was a huge spread between high end raid gear and stuff your average player could have access to.

I tried to use it to my advantage. I remember when Burning Crusade went live and they added a whole bunch of new item suffixes to the game for green items, and in many cases those green items were just as good (if not outright better) than the vanilla game's raid drops.

For the first week of Burning Crusade I did nothing but buy up all the desirable new-suffix green items I saw go into the auction house and immediately resold them for two to three times the original price. I made a killing doing this, because people were in such a frenzy to either replace raid gear or get caught up with the raiders. I did the same thing when Wrath of the Lich King went live. During the weeks leading up to launch I bought up every single piece of Plate armor with Strength/Critical or Strength/Defense that went into the auction house, then marked up the prices massively for the sudden surge of Death Knights. Made a killing again, by being an asshole.

But yeah... I lost all motivation to actually attend raids whenever expansions got concrete release dates. Couldn't justify putting in the effort to get a piece of gear that was just going to get replaced by a reward from a group quest in the new zones.

The solution is to make sure your having fun, and not playing the game in a way that feels like work. The main reason to raid is because you find the game fun, the gear is just a nice bonus.

My suggestion is to enjoy the game at your own pace and not worry about maxing out your character. That way when the expansion comes you won't mind because all your out-dated gear was just for fun anyway.

Ando85:
I often found it pointless because I would put hours upon hours getting gear. Then the new expansion comes out and I replace everything within an hour or two just from your everyday mobs.

New expansion = new content = new gear. New content is a good thing, keeps players interested in the game (why should I raid this new tier when the gear is worse then the one in the last tier of the previous expansion?).

That could be said about virtually any game with a multiplayer. Got a high Prestige level in Call of Duty Multiplayer? Have to do it again when the next CoD game comes out. The treadmill effect isn't just for MMOs.

isometry:
The solution is to make sure your having fun, and not playing the game in a way that feels like work. The main reason to raid is because you find the game fun, the gear is just a nice bonus.

My suggestion is to enjoy the game at your own pace and not worry about maxing out your character. That way when the expansion comes you won't mind because all your out-dated gear was just for fun anyway.

Right on the money.

...I don't play WoW for gear, or to be the best. I play for the encounters (puzzles to be solved, even if rather easy.) and to be with friends.

So expansions are nice, more stuff to do with my friends, more new things to learn and do.

Doesn't mean I don't get bored, I just don't hate myself when they announce a new expansion.

I actually kinda envy you guys.

I played with my friends, which was fun - but my friends also happened to make up what was a pretty hardcore raiding guild. So while playing with them was fun, the game itself wasn't typically fun. Most of the fun came from joking around on Vent and screwing around with vanity items whenever someone was AFK or whatever, not from the actual encounters. When it came time for an encounter, we were all business.

We may have had stuff on farm status way ahead of the curve... but all farm status really means is that the bosses are tedium that stood between us and loot. Loot that would eventually be outclassed, and start the whole cycle all over again.

And then it was just another mad dash to get decked out before everyone else and get stuff on farm before everyone else so that we could have more time in our gear before the next expansion mad dash for loot.

I don't really get why so many people are obsessed with getting into hardcore raiding guilds. There's no faster way to ruin the game for yourself. And we weren't even one of the guilds that use loot systems like DKP or whatever, since we were all close friends. I can only imagine how much worse it is to be in a hardcore guild where there's also loot drama.

I must say this is one of the few place i can both agree and disagree with in unison, it is annoying but it almost must be done if an MMO has no expansion it is 100% irreverent after it's second year and may as well toss all it's servers in to a bonfire get drunk and smile at all the cash it made. Their point is it never ends their detriment is it never ends. Once you reach the top you help others reach the top once they reach the top the bar must be raised above you if not you will blitz all the content and just demand more and that is what they give you, perhaps with to much haste but they still give it to you.

skywolfblue:

Ando85:
I often found it pointless because I would put hours upon hours getting gear. Then the new expansion comes out and I replace everything within an hour or two just from your everyday mobs.

New expansion = new content = new gear. New content is a good thing, keeps players interested in the game (why should I raid this new tier when the gear is worse then the one in the last tier of the previous expansion?).

That could be said about virtually any game with a multiplayer. Got a high Prestige level in Call of Duty Multiplayer? Have to do it again when the next CoD game comes out. The treadmill effect isn't just for MMOs.

.

Yeah I'm all for new content. WoW came out in 2004 and is still going strong. If not for new expansions it would have dwindled a ton by now. I just enjoy the feeling of constant progression. If my character becomes stagnant it isn't fun for me anymore. I noticed a trend in MMOs that I would grow bored of the game once I reached max level.

However, for those who have played Everquest a partial solution to the problem was the alternate advancement points. When you reached max level you could still improve your characters stats and abilities. The exp can be set to those points instead of just going to your level.

Tuesday Night Fever:
I tried to use it to my advantage. -le snip-

For the first week of Burning Crusade I did nothing but buy up all the desirable new-suffix green items I saw go into the auction house and immediately resold them for two to three times the original price. I made a killing doing this, because people were in such a frenzy to either replace raid gear or get caught up with the raiders. I did the same thing when Wrath of the Lich King went live. During the weeks leading up to launch I bought up every single piece of Plate armor with Strength/Critical or Strength/Defense that went into the auction house, then marked up the prices massively for the sudden surge of Death Knights. Made a killing again, by being a capitalist.

There, I fixed that for you.

image

Guild Wars had a set level cap throughout it's lifetime and for the most part a constant set of item stats from the get-go. Expansions just added extra content and unique weapon skins that weren't necessarily better.

Honestly, with the amount of bitching about level treadmills I'd have expected that system to do better. It hasn't, any WoW scrubs that wandered in just threw a hissy once they found out that they couldn't gain levels to offset their lack of skills.

So while people see it as a problem, they don't get too enthusiastic when an alternative comes along.

I never found the end-game raiding to be fun because of how much I HAD TO rely on others not screwing up or actually paying attention to the GAME they were PLAYING to get anything done.

I quit after three months of playing. I was quite bored with the ENTIRE process and EVERY SINGLE ENCOUNTER is 1v1 where you press the same buttons in the same order where you stand still and wait for the cooldowns and cast times while.

None of it seemed rewarding. Nothing about it was truly fun. Once I maxed level, I had NOTHING to do except grind useless materials and reputation waiting for the rest of my guild to plan on doing something, announce all week when and where they need to go to participate, wait HOURS after the deadline for people to actually log in, show up or return from AFK, realize THEN they need to respec, harth home, spawn and split all this water and food, announce continuously that it's available, start the game 3 hours (of having since doing nothing) later, have people whine about they need food and water when it was dispersed and advertised during all this downtime, suddenly realize we should organize our groups, pull two mobs in the first go wiping us immediately because everyone agreed they were too smart to do that except when they run out and do that thing ANYWAY, rebuff, water, drink, respawn, try again, people picking up items and having loot rolls mid-battle, morons clicking need by accident...
Seriously, none of that was fun. Even if you go rolling, none of it was fun. Ever. And it wasn't even free or one time payment, I had to pay to 'get' to do this boring stuff.

MMOs are terrible games.

I used to play WoW with a few friends of mine. It got frustrating though when we joined a very social (and fun) guild. You see, while the guild was focused on being a friendly/helpful/fun guild, it was also pretty focused on progression.

When I say that I mean, about 4 or 5 people were focused on progression, and they were REALLY good players, however since we couldn't get 10-25 people together that wanted to progress and who play well together, and they took ANYONE who wanted to go.

While this wasn't really too bad looking back there were a few time where we hit a few bosses that we couldn't beat due to "baddies" or rather people who don't learn to maximize their output we couldn't beat a lot of raids. I started in "Wrath of the Lich King" my guild never cleared Naxxramas, Ulduar, or ICC (even after the nerfs/buffs) because we only had 5-6 people who knew what they were doing in 25 mans.

After a while I server transferred by request of another friend of mine to a MUCH better guild. They had progressed to Hard Mode Sindragosa (they only had that and Hard mode Lich King after that). I got carried through EVERYTHING in that guild and while I did progress and the guild was pretty fun to be in OUTSIDE OF RAIDING. Raiding with them became a chore due to the fact that they ragged on you over EVERY SMALL MISTAKE (even ones that only effect you).

I eventually quit (about 3 days before getting Shadowmourne), and came back in Cata, and rejoined the first guild, now that they learned they need everyone to be on the same page when raiding. Though we still had an attendance problem and ended up pugging 3 or more people in out 10 mans. We failed nearly every attempt for bosses past the half-way boss in any raid. I ended up quitting again shortly after Looking For Raid came out because that system made the raid WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too easy.

That may sound like it solved my problem of not progressing while playing with friends but I do enjoy a little challenge. If I can tank/dps/heal with only one hand or even AFK through the ENTIRE raid, you made it too easy.

I think another reason I quit was because I had 5 85s, and was raiding weekly on 3 of them, so that probably burnt me out too.

I doubt Pandaria(or however it's spelled) will fix theses problems and I will not be coming back. Also because I don't want to grind those same 5 characters to level 90.

Zen Toombs:
There, I fixed that for you.

:D

thejackyl:
Raiding with them became a chore due to the fact that they ragged on you over EVERY SMALL MISTAKE (even ones that only effect you).

It comes with the territory of being a raiding guild. I'm guilty of doing this from time to time as well. We had one guy who really tried his best, was constantly trying to learn how to gear or spec or play his class better, frequently asked for advice... and we still gave him a hard time about it. He ended up leaving the game around the time Ulduar came out. From time to time I wonder if it was because of how much we nitpicked what he was doing, and if he mistook our ribbing for something more malicious. I legitimately do wish I could apologize, because he really was a pretty nice guy.

And that's why, in another topic, I said WoW has one of the shittiest communities I've ever been a part of. I was including myself in that statement.

Ando85:

However, for those who have played Everquest a partial solution to the problem was the alternate advancement points. When you reached max level you could still improve your characters stats and abilities. The exp can be set to those points instead of just going to your level.

Yes but AAXP was damn near the most tedious thing you could do (outside of yanno, Weapons that gained XP. Thankfully they ditched that pretty quick)

I think a better solution would be a hybridization. A more difficult challenge mobs much like EQ raid mobs for groups, and a long and in depth story line similar to what ToR offers. Coupled with what FFXI did with certain class based missions or Racial missions. Basically Its the developers and the level of content they are able to provide.

However another part of it is the WoW effect. I dont quite understand this one either. For some reason coming from EQ and eventually stopping by in WoW I noticed a massive change on the MMO scene. People simply dont talk to each other as much any more. Im not talking about job like admin discussions in guild chat, Im talking about inane bullshit chit chat, and honestly pointless human drama. Yes it can be aggravating at times, but my word the fun that could be had. It was like watching Springer or the Jersey Shore, but better because you could also participate and even start screwing with people (if your an evil prick like me anyway)

Anyway, the point is, at least to me a major part of the fun of Early MMOs like EQ was that players were able to build the entertainment, now thanks to MMOs like WOW and ToR the entertainment is pre programmed in for you and honestly, its just not as fun.

Tuesday Night Fever:
snip.

That was another thing. There was usually no middle ground about people. Either they were bad, or did care how they did, or they were the elitist jerks that if you weren't playing to you absolute best they would rag on you endlessly.

And my friends don't understand why I won't get into another MMO with them.

viranimus:
snip

Chatting with people in the major city channels in WoW used to be entertaining. Around the time Wrath of the Lich King came out though it sorta degenerated into little more than constant trolling, trying to get people to sing bad 1980's pop songs, or linking items/abilities after saying the word 'anal' (So you'd see nothing but crap like- "Mrcool: Anal [Ravage]" for like nine pages worth of chat). It got pretty old pretty fast.

Tuesday Night Fever:

viranimus:
snip

Chatting with people in the major city channels in WoW used to be entertaining. Around the time Wrath of the Lich King came out though it sorta degenerated into little more than constant trolling, trying to get people to sing bad 1980's pop songs, or linking items/abilities after saying the word 'anal' (So you'd see nothing but crap like- "Mrcool: Anal [Ravage]" for like nine pages worth of chat). It got pretty old pretty fast.

Well it is possible that might be the cause to the effect. But would that effect like the abundance of casual guilds who without a specific gameplay structure linking them all that is really left to bond over is discussion. Yet basically every casual guild or starter guild I encountered in WoW (round about 8 or 9) their guild chat channel was quieter than a concert for the deaf.

Same has been true in ToR thus far. Not only does no one really speak in their guild channel, unless its to link items or MT. And to me thats really unforgiveable, considering im playing on an RP server.

I think another cause of this is because WoW is like MMOs for kindergarteners. Its so mind numbingly easy that when it comes down to it you can run from begining to end game content solo. If you do not have to rely on people at any time, then there is really not a lot of reason to get to know people, or earn reputation with others. Its not till you find yourself needing someone elses help to do something for yourself will you see people start to willingly open up and get to know each other.

*shrugs*

the MMO i keep going back to, CoH gives free expansions that just add content, well used to ... now some of it is in the pay shop, but not key to the issue. the point is the DID add away to go beyond the lvl cap with out leveling up, and o.0 it was pretty beastly to be honest.

Ando85:
The only two MMOs I've played extensively are Everquest and WoW. The problem I had was when I would reach max level the only way to improve my character was to get better gear. I often found it pointless because I would put hours upon hours getting gear. Then the new expansion comes out and I replace everything within an hour or two just from your everyday mobs.

I recall however that the top guilds in Everquest would have to be decked out with the best of the best to be able to tackle the challenges of the new expansion. However, I'm just your average joe player. There was a huge spread between high end raid gear and stuff your average player could have access to.

That's the major problem with MMO's in general, not specifically their expansions, and the main reason that I stopped playing WoW. The problem with MMO's is that there's no official "Congrats, you won! The end." As such when you get to the max level indeed you're no longer playing a game, you're playing dress-up so you can look exactly like the 800,000 other players that are playing your class. You start to realize that raiding isn't really fun anymore...essentially you're waiting for 2-3 nights out of the week to hope you can down the boss that has the item you need, hope it drops, and hope that it is awarded to you and not one of the other people in your class. So raids are a hope for a hope for a chance at a hope that you'll get that epic helmet you've been looking for to complete your set. Didn't drop? Awww shucks, better luck next week. "New content" isn't so much "new content" as it is "bigger numbers" (to steal a phrase from Yahtzee) with which to beat the bosses whose strats have already been posted on the interwebz and you're expected to have studied and memorized them. That's right: MMO's are games that give you homework assignments.

my issue with expansions is this..

We pay to play a game, then get told we cant have the latest stuff unless we buy the expansion..

should the expansion not be part of the package of the 8.99 a month we already pay?

MMOs are about the journey not the end. If you aren't having fun improving your character and killing new bosses then you really shouldn't be playing an mmorpg.

Jodah:
MMOs are about the journey not the end. If you aren't having fun improving your character and killing new bosses then you really shouldn't be playing an mmorpg.

Not true since 2004. WoW was all about end game. Everything in that game was focused on end game progression, be it through Battle Grounds, Raids, end game 5 man dungeons, or later Arena and daily quests. Later MMOs followed that formula reducing the time it takes You to get to high levels.

Back in "old days" it took a long time to gain a level, nowadays You can pretty much level up every 1-2 hours. It's all about opening as much content to as many people possible, sadly at cost of meaningful challenge in the long term.

Want a non-gear based MMO tho, wait for GW2. You can do end-game PvP as soon as You finish "intro" section (10-15 minutes), there is no linear gear progression and there is always challenge around because if You revisit old dungeon you get scaled down to the dungeons level, plus they have 3 modes including hard mode (at the dungeons level, no bullshit with "You have to be 80 to see any illusion of challenge")

Keava:

Jodah:
MMOs are about the journey not the end. If you aren't having fun improving your character and killing new bosses then you really shouldn't be playing an mmorpg.

Not true since 2004. WoW was all about end game. Everything in that game was focused on end game progression, be it through Battle Grounds, Raids, end game 5 man dungeons, or later Arena and daily quests. Later MMOs followed that formula reducing the time it takes You to get to high levels.

Back in "old days" it took a long time to gain a level, nowadays You can pretty much level up every 1-2 hours. It's all about opening as much content to as many people possible, sadly at cost of meaningful challenge in the long term.

Want a non-gear based MMO tho, wait for GW2. You can do end-game PvP as soon as You finish "intro" section (10-15 minutes), there is no linear gear progression and there is always challenge around because if You revisit old dungeon you get scaled down to the dungeons level, plus they have 3 modes including hard mode (at the dungeons level, no bullshit with "You have to be 80 to see any illusion of challenge")

End game is not the same as game end. During WoW's end game it is still a journey. You are still improving your character and killing new bosses. The only time an MMO's end game will become it's game end is when they release a final boss before shutting down their servers.

I found it stupid when i spent ages getting good gear in Wrath, then just replacing it all with greens within 5 minutes of going into a new Cata zone.

viranimus:

Well it is possible that might be the cause to the effect. But would that effect like the abundance of casual guilds who without a specific gameplay structure linking them all that is really left to bond over is discussion. Yet basically every casual guild or starter guild I encountered in WoW (round about 8 or 9) their guild chat channel was quieter than a concert for the deaf.

Same has been true in ToR thus far. Not only does no one really speak in their guild channel, unless its to link items or MT. And to me thats really unforgiveable, considering im playing on an RP server.

I think another cause of this is because WoW is like MMOs for kindergarteners. Its so mind numbingly easy that when it comes down to it you can run from begining to end game content solo. If you do not have to rely on people at any time, then there is really not a lot of reason to get to know people, or earn reputation with others. Its not till you find yourself needing someone elses help to do something for yourself will you see people start to willingly open up and get to know each other.

Part of the problem, I think, is that a lot of people join casual guilds in WoW just to be in a guild - and no other reason. Just to have the guild title, and (later on in Cataclysm) the guild perks. Some people join casual guilds just so that they won't get random whispers asking if they want to join a guild whenever they enter a populated area.

With ToR... I dunno. The server I, and some of my old WoW guildmates, joined doesn't seem to have that problem. The zone general chats usually have people talking in them, we all chat in our guild channel (granted, we all know each other from a previous game), and people seem to always be looking to group up for content. I could have gotten lucky and just ended up on a server that's an anomaly though.

As for MMOs being solo-friendly... yeah... that's not just a WoW problem, although it was a problem that may have been exacerbated by WoW. So far the only MMO I've played that was actively hostile toward the soloing crowd was DDO... and even DDO, from what I've heard (haven't played in a long time), has gotten much more friendly toward solo players. It's a problem I'm really not sure how to fix. I thought ToR actually put in a reasonable effort at trying to promote grouping by having group quests actually be fairly difficult to solo and by offering Social Points to get you some orange gear sets. I'd rather a game promote grouping and give benefits to groups than to actually require groups for everything.

Yup... that's an issue, alright. Expansions means better stuff. Sometimes stuff is added to make things a little easier for lower-leveled players, like more useful quest rewards. WoW cut level requirements for riding in half, as well as drastically reducing the prices... But overall, it's all about the new content.

Maybe, just maybe, big MMOG developers will find a way to implement a kind of trade-in value system, whereby old end-game gear, pretty much anything epic level, I guess, can be used as either points toward new stuff - WoW players in particular can understand what I'm getting at - or cold hard gold, which can be used for materials to enhance whatever they just picked up.
Alright, I see a flaw in this - the possibility of trading in one piece of gear and not having anything to replace it - but the basis of the system is sound, I think.

EVE Online I think is the only one that gets expansions right. Expansions don't just do stuff like raise the level cap (EVE doesn't have one) and add a few dungeons and story arcs, they often add entirely new gameplay mechanics.

They EXPAND on gameplay and increase depth, rather than just prolong it to keep people playing.

Plus, they're free.

DANEgerous:
I must say this is one of the few place i can both agree and disagree with in unison, it is annoying but it almost must be done if an MMO has no expansion it is 100% irreverent after it's second year and may as well toss all it's servers in to a bonfire get drunk and smile at all the cash it made. Their point is it never ends their detriment is it never ends. Once you reach the top you help others reach the top once they reach the top the bar must be raised above you if not you will blitz all the content and just demand more and that is what they give you, perhaps with to much haste but they still give it to you.

RuneScape has been around for 11 years, and never had an expansion. It does, however, receive content updates twice a month. Which explains the 930k paying subscribers.

I can't wait for pandaria to come out, as I can no longer justify myself paying the 40$ per expansion anymore. Blizzard can no longer interest me enough to fool me into paying them twice. You can argue me your paying for new content, but you already pay them for it per month for as long as your interested in playing.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked