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.
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.
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.