Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Endgame?

Why, oh why, do certain gamers (and devs) think that “The game doesn’t even start until the end-game content”?

I had a friend and coworker say this to me back in 2007. He played Vanilla WoW through the Naxx runs. Twenty hours (plus) per week spent raiding he said, and this back in the days before tokens meant steady gear progression. You had to hope the piece you needed dropped AND that you had enough luck or DKP to actually get it instead of that stupid hunter. Much of that time in the raid was spent waiting around for someone to repair, eat, pee, something besides actually playing the game. But the fights were EPIC!! Doing the Heigen Dance with 40 peeps, someone was sure to die. But then he was finally brought down. After 40 (50?) attempts. Then on to the next boss.
Oh, and every week they got to start over again, killing Heigen and all his friends. Whheee! Isn't Endgame fun? This was WAY better than the varying interweaving stories and quests--some monumental, some mundane--where the devs had spent 98 percent of their time--leading up to this Legendary Epicness.  All you people who came afterward can never be as über 733T as those few who were level-capped at 60 for nearly three years. My friend quit the day The Burning Crusade was released, because he couldn't keep up with his own addictive tendencies. We've lost touch; I wonder if he ever came back.

How is doing the same content over and over (only a bit harder these next 100 times) better than seeing new stuff you’ve not experienced before, learning new abilities, and generally becoming more badass? And no, getting that über helmet or sword doesn’t make you or your toon more badass, especially in the not-so-old days when getting THE BEST gear was essentially a slot-machine style game of chance.

What happened to the RPG in MMORPG? You know, Dear Reader, that I am not an avid in-game role-player. But I do play for story. The fall of the Lich King was an epic event--that occurred 1000s of times behind the closed walls of an instanced dungeon that many players never saw in person because they didn't want to or couldn't take the time to do THE SAME FIGHTS OVER AND OVER, to get a little better than last time so they could move on to the next boss and start the process all over again. That is not story, that is tedium. We were (yes, I did raid, got to Professor Putricide) doing the fantasy equivalent of playing Madden 20XX. Repetitive, story-less, soulless.
Gordon, over at We Fly Spitfires, feels almost as strongly as I do about endgame item progression. Actually, I think he is a little more articulate about it. Also, a chunk of this post was a comment on someone else's blog on this topic on 28 December. But I can't remember whose. : / If it was yours let me know and I'll cross link.

9 comments:

  1. I have felt the same way about the MMO I've spent the most time in, FFXI.

    With each expansion pack, they released a whole new set of missions with a story line. The story line was epic in 3 out of 4 expansion packs. (I did not enjoy the last expansion's story at all. Too bland.) But it always amazed me how people just in general didn't give a shit about it. I remember leveling my....5th or 6th alt, the goal wasn't to simply get through CoP missions. It was "get it done and over with as quickly as possible." I formed a static to get the missions done, and it was always the same thing: "Just click through the cutscene, I need access to the area by next week so I can start getting gear."

    Very disappointing...

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is. I am gald I got through most of the WotLK instance content before the improved LFG.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everytime I get to end game I play fir about 2 months and quit until they come out with something new. I never completed any of BC or Wrath end game instances. I get so sick of doing the gear grind, I quit. But I come back... What is wrong with me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The first time taking out a new boss is probably the most fun I've had playing WOW. Especially if it was a tough boss for us, and we had to pull together as a team, barely succeeding. Unfortunately the worst part of the game was all the hours farming to support raids, the endless gear grind, and killing that same boss over and over again never getting the piece of armor that I needed to progress.Or worse, repeated wipes on a boss that we had on "easy mode" because someone was being an idiot. While there are really great aspects to the game, there is too much work involved for me. I don't see myself ever coming back. Only way I would is if I could make the same amount of money (or more) as I am now, but for playing WOW. I've been entertained with reading, simple pocket games on my phone, and streaming Netflix for about the same price a month of WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The first time doing those raids is fun, even doing it a few times. But eventually I'm only in there as a grind, and it stops being fun.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do not come hear to read about "pocket games" -- am I at Scarybooster.com!!? ;)

    Seriously, preach on, brother! I agree completely. I play for the journey and seeing the new sites and learning new skills and hearing new stories.

    Hitting cap to me pretty much is the equivalent of the Game Over screen in a single player game that let's you play past the ending. Sure I might dink around a bit but all the good parts are behind me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Seconding pasmith on this one. I have no interest in the endgame. I don't mind that it's there for those who like it, but I don't care for it, and when the game design bends to cater to it, I'm left feeling a wee bit in the cold.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh they're bending it big time over in Irvine.

    ReplyDelete