This started as a comment to Wilhelm’s post but the tale grew in the telling…
Regarding SoE’s discussion point about selling max level characters…
As someone who doesn’t raid, I suppose I don’t really care. In my mind, its a bit like hiring someone to carry you to the top of Mt. Everest so you can take a snapshot and put it on your wall.
But still, SoE’s proposed solution raises a more interesting question which many folks have been discussing of late– how do you reconcile vertical progression with a raiding end game and permit a game to grow and thrive? How do you bridge the gaps for new and old players and between new and old content? Or between current content and the “end game”?
What experience seems to show is that shoehorning both games into one does a disservice to both.
An ideal solution in my mind would be something along the following lines:
- Raiding is a separate game along the Guildwars PvP model with limited world interaction
- Leveling unlocks the ability to roll a new character at any level up to the highest level attained
- With the purchase of each expansion, players may roll a character at the base level of that expansion
- Experience curves wouldn’t be compressed, previous content remains intact
Raiders would get what they want and avoid the exercise of leveling through trivial content unrelated to raiding skills.
Levelers new and old could come into a game at any point in the game they desired and be with the pack but still have the opportunity to play previous content as it was intended.
Levelers could choose to level 1 to cap or leapfrog along experiencing a new chapter of content as they saw fit much like choosing which film or book of a series to read.
Completionists can play cover to cover and replayability is preserved.
Whether “expansion” characters would be permitted to visit the old world is something I haven’t fully considered. Locking them out of the old world isn’t very immersive, but probably strengthens the lowbie economy. Forced down-mentoring maybe to avoid the usual problems?