– Est. 1981

I am Xanuusus of the Stormreapers! The State of MMORPG; Part 3

Leveling / Questing

The quote I used in the title of the post was from the first Druid Epic quest in EverQuest 1. I spent the better part of a month on this quest, not the entire time I was in the game but it definitely took a month to finally gather the resources (people to help) and factions to complete the quest. The quest involved a lot of running around, gathering materials, killing rare spawning mobs in various zones, it was actually a lot of fun and extremely rewarding. At the end of the quest I received a "Naturewalkers Scimitar." A sword that when held glows and shimmers in the shapes of leaves. Druids don't really even use weapons, but this was SPECIAL. Because I worked so hard for it and it meant something. This quest gave nearly no experience what-so-ever. It wasn't about that. I mentioned it in one of my previous entries and I'll say it again, the game was about the journey and not the destination. The game was fun to play and highly rewarding from early levels.

The above is true for other games as well. From what I have gathered people that played Asheron's Call had similar experiences and so I will not make the mistake of comparing EQ to WoW, but instead the modern MMO vs. Older.

Today's MMO players don't have the patience, we're spoiled, and I lump myself into this category as well. The only thing that matters is how much experience you get, how fast you level. If your quest log isn't full of absolute garbage grind quests you aren't playing the game efficiently. Kill a boar, kill a panther, kill a spider, kill a genre. This last week I have been playing WoW with my girlfriend. It's her first MMO and her first REAL video game in general. She's doing really well with her shaman, sometimes she forgets she can cast and melee at the same time, sometimes she forgets to do both but overall we have only died twice as a duo because of something that was completely our fault. (It's our fault because if it was her fault I would be sleeping on the couch.) Occasionally she'll show a little irritation with the amount of questing involved in WoW. Everything is a quest, and if you're not on a quest you're wasting time. Sometimes she will say things like "another quest?" or "this bitch has another quest!" Better still, she'll sometimes ask me to go into the depths of some random cave or some random keep just to see what's in there or find some challenge that is not found frequently outside of dungeons.  The reason I mention this is because I was very reluctant to introduce her to my favorite gaming genre on a game like WoW because it spoils the player, making leveling easy, constant quests for some trash loot and massive amounts of experience. However, because of these sudden outbursts from her, and sudden urges to explore I am very hopeful and relieved that she will also be a player that seeks to be challenged. Maybe when the genre finally has a proper rated "M" game that is challenging and rewarding to play she will be ready for it.

Enough of the rambling; This is what mature players want.

  1. A game without kids shouting and talking about their penis in the auction channel.
  2. A game without kids.
  3. A game that is challenging to play and is rewarding when you succeed, but does not necessarily have to be a huge time sink. We have jobs too.
  4. Rewarding quests that have depth and tie into some sort of lore.
  5. A reason to explore that has nothing to do with a quest log.
  6. The ability to level while doing so.

If I'm wrong, feel free to tell me. But I have a feeling if you've been around long enough to remember EQ you're going to agree. I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing WoW, I'm actually having a blast playing it again. Mostly because I'm playing with friends this time around and we're having a lot of fun together. The game is a good game, it's just fairly easy and it attracts an audience that is undesirable. I'll say it again, the game should be a journey, fun at all levels and rewarding at all levels. Slow it down a little bit and add quality content. Make new loot and gear usable, not just throw away because you'll out grow it in a week.

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