Lets skip the formalities and get to the endgame

The general consensus about WoW is that the game begins at the level cap. I'm not going to get into whether this statement can be considered true or not, instead I was wondering what would happen if Blizzard took away 1-80, and just focused totally on the endgame. I don't know how much work goes into designing hundreds of quests, new zones, and new spells and tweaks to classes but its easy to imagine that making that 1-80 content wouldn't have been easy. And if this is so then isn't a waste for it to be disregarded so easily? Blizzard has made it even worse now with a player able to power through the levels much, much faster then it would have been possible in vanilla WoW. So not only do people completely ignore the 1-80 content and focus on the aspects of the end-game but it seems that Blizzard itself believes that the game believes when a player hits the cap.

So it would make sense for Blizzard then to throw away the formalities and just throw away levels altogether. Throw out the unused zones and concentrate on raiding and PvP. Give the player a fairly long tutorial in a single player instance where they are shown the ropes of their abilities and such. The zones around the place would be highly populated with instances of varying degrees of difficulty. You start with simple 3-5 man instances and move up to the 20-40 man raids. With this, Blizzard will be able to make the raiding even more epic then it is, and perhaps bring an element of skill to the plate rather then make everything rely on gear. This way Blizzard will be able to focus all its mighty power on making the PvP and raiding even more awesome. There are of course a few problems with this idea, mainly the fact that Blizzard will be unlikely to completely throw away something they spent millions on creating, but its a nice thought. And who knows? Perhaps one day when WoW has dropped down to a measly 3 million subscribers/dedicated raiders, they will go for this option.


Crimson Starfire said...

Smart idea, but I couldn't see Blizzard going for it. In the time it takes a player to reach end game, Blizzard has made 3-6 months worth of sub fees off them. No sense in making it easier on the player if it means losing money. Another reason why the subscription model sux ;)

...and why WoW sux :P

Lars said...

No, I think a full raiding game would work. Raiding substitutes the level grind with a gear grind.

They could make an infinite number of levels of gear checks. You could still have faction or token farming with a raiding-based game.

The main difference (and the reason why some of us prefer raiding over the level grind) is that differences between levels are usually exponential (a level 1 usually can't effectively group with a level 80) whereas with raiding, usually the gear upgrades are small enough some skill still applies and newer less-geared players can still find a role (even if it means they are squishier than the rest there are tactics that can still make them useful.)

If done right, much of the gear would be situational, adding an element of strategy to it (what gear do I bring) and inflating the amount of gear you can add to the game and provide content for people to acquire (i.e., instead of a tiered progression of better armor like in WoW, make everything have bonuses and penalties so nothing is absolutely better than another.)

Personally, I like EQ2 for the dungeon instance runs. I love TSO because I love the dungeons. Even though I am not geared well enough to see half of them; even if I instan-levelled to 80 there is enough content there to keep me occupied for months.

So I would totally love a game centered around instance runs and raiding. I hate grinding quests but I love a good dungeon crawl. The boss battles feel epic. Killing 15 more rodents (albeit of unusual size) does not.

Anton said...

I'm with Lars. I play WoW mostly for those wonderful instance run nights with my friends. Why not allow players to do instances from the start instead of waiting around until level 15 when they're ready for Deadmines?

Tesh said...

I wrote something like this a while back in an article to the effect of "the endgame in the main game". Since the "endgame" does indeed have a narrower power band (greater social opportunities), reusable content (lower overhead) and that's where everyone ends up anyway after the race through the "leveling game", why not design the whole game around that sort of content?

Or at least sell level-capped characters straight from Blizzard to those who want to jump in and raid, and leave the "old world" (ignored) content for those who actually like to explore and play alts.

Copyright © Chappo's Corner Blogger Theme by BloggerThemes & newwpthemes Sponsored by Internet Entrepreneur