What is your incentive to keep playing a game? Do you want to find out what happens at the end? Do you want to see how powerful you can get? Do you believe that the game begins at the end-game? Do you just want the shiny loot? Are all your friends there and you want to catch up so you can hang out? No matter what a MMO does, in the end you, the player, will decide for him/herself as to what they are looking forward to, and a justification to keep playing. Incentives will no doubt change over time, as you achieve new things in the game and discover new aspects, but ultimately it is you that drives the game along.
Every MMO should have content ready and waiting for the eager players to consume when they finish leveling, its a given. However what I'm finding more and more often is that the devs don't really tell you (The player) what it is you should be looking forward to until you actually hit it. Therefore you are often going to get it off the internet or from guildies who spent their lives powering to the top. Incentive is a big part of MMOs and when the devs don't give you any idea of what is to come then your only incentive then becomes to find out what is at the far end of the tunnel. That isn't right. You shouldn't be looking forward to finding out what you are going to be doing, because for that to work well then you need to be having a brilliant time leveling up, otherwise it won't sustain you.
In RoM I am losing my incentive to get to the top as I discover more and more about what is ahead of me. End-game in RoM is focused on raiding which is great, but from reports from others who have already been there and done that I'm beginning to get the idea that the end-game is just another grind. Thus my incentive to keep on playing went from looking forward to finding out what I was going to be doing, to looking forward to more grinding...
I have complained about this before but to me this is the most important aspect of an MMO. Today's MMOs have a reputation of a lot of grinding before you reach the end-game which is meant to be the most fun. So when you begin a new MMO and find out that the next few weeks is going to be mostly monotonous grinding, you need to be aware that the end-game is going to be super awesome!!! Nevertheless, I look forward to the day when MMOs have incentives to keep playing throughout the whole leveling process not just solely sitting at the end-game. (Which may not be the great in the end anyway!)
I think I better quit RoM because all my posts have turned into grinding whines. :P
KOTOR 2: The Harbinger
1 day ago