- Darren and Karen's Shut Up, We're Talking podcast has returned from its vacation imposed hiatus. With Brent (from Virgin Worlds) and Michael (currently of SOE), they discussed the current state of grumpiness in the MMO blogging community.
- I've already got a article on the back burner out the topic, but I heard something from Brent that I wanted to circle back to. He mentioned that the disconnect between the leveling game and the endgame in current MMOs does a disservice to players who have a preference for one style or the other. It's something I've commented on before. Several times. However Brent provoked a few additional thoughts from me.
- The current endgame has been a weird evolution over the last decade. Early games, from MUDs to UO to EQ at launch didn't really have, or see the need for, an endgame. The level cap was this lofty goal that only the greatest (or those without a life) could ever hope to attain. Raiding as an endgame was a reward for those who persevered though leveling.
- As years passed and more expansions were launched, the endgame became a focus for players. So much so that, when WoW launched, raiding was a primary focus for some MMO players. Leveling had become the grind one had to overcome to earn their way to the real game. "The game doesn't start until the level cap" has become a common belief. But it wasn't always that way.
- As it stands, endgame raiding has become this weird evolutionary offshoot that is, to my mind, only half formed. MMOs must have an endgame to keep the subscribers busy since leveling has become a matter of quickly digestible content. And you need something for guilds to participate in as a group. But neither half of the MMO is really servicing the other that well.
- I think it's time to let raiding become its own game. Someone needs to realize that there are many people out there who want to play together in a large group setting and forced to play through what is to them a grind so they can get to the good stuff. I think a raiding leveling path would be an awesome undertaking for an MMO.
- If anything, we'll see if Karen is right and guilds need proper content to flourish or if people only group up for the loot. Me, I'll be sticking to my solo friendly MMOs, dreading the day I hit the level cap.
- Anyway, it's great to have Darren and Karen back at the microphone and I can't wait to hear more from them.
© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.