Been a busy few weeks, which means I’m late to join any conversation of what I’ll loosely call the The End Game Discussion(tm) which swirled around a range of topics. On the narrower side of the discussion, you have for want of a better label, the “How TBC Killed WoW” discussion including Tobold’s departure, and on the broader side, a hardcore v. casual who-should-get-access-to-end-game content discussion. There were quite a few other quality contributors, so sorry for being lazy and only linking these few, but the posts and comments are all worth a read, if for no other reason to get a feeling for what makes people respond to a post about an activity they spend a great deal of time on.
I haven’t really been playing WoW since LotRO came out. Partly due to LotRO’s release with it being something new and different and one member of our regular WoW group leaving town on an extended RL hiatus. This most recent WoW group was our second dedicated group. Four of us had played on one server since release and had been idling at sixty for more than a year when TBC came out. We only founded our second group of five on a new server a few months before TBC, so we weren’t anywhere near the new content as a group and as a result, I still have quite a bit of TBC content in the bank so to speak. I have been playing my old 60s from time to time in TBC to explore Outland and level a bit.
Logged on for a bit last night and messed around with my former-holy-now-shadow priest and pally. I ran around doing a few of the quests and raking in the green gear rewards which are vastly superior than most blues in WoW 1.0. Kill tens rats has become kill 30 rats and after a while, I found myself looking at the experience bar and dreading the idea of a slog up to 70 only to run into the whole keyed instance attunement nightmare with “difficulty” settings. Not that WoW has that much of an immersion factor, but having a hard and easy mode just sticks in my brain as way too “gamey”.
Well, its one approach (along with the linearity of end game progression) that helps keep the progression alive for level capped players. It did make me think hard about the whole End Game Discussion floating around and left me with this one simple question:
Q: If you could only start your current MMO of choice as a character at the level cap, would you still play the game?
I guess if the answer is “yes”, then maybe a follow up question is:
Why then, do we bother with the whole early bit? Couldn’t we ‘learn’ all we need to know on some slightly extended (and optional) noob island?
If the answer is “no,” then there’s probably a whole section of the old whiteboard that needs to be filled in…
There’s a corollary in there too: some of you I suspect (alt-itis sufferers know who you are) may not be able to answer that question which raises another question: Why not? What about the early game keeps kicking you off the train?
So, would you play any of these games if you had to start the game at the level cap?