Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Changing the Game

Missing content seems to be a big issue on the GuildWars 2 forums lately with all the "temporary" content that comes and goes so some people are angry that they have to actually make time to play the game or miss out (this is actually common in many MMORPGs). Some have suggested being able to "replay" missed content which is ok I guess, but GW2 doesn't seem designed in lore or in practicallity to handle that so well unlike Mabinogi which caters for it splendidly for main arcs, however even there there are hot-time events and most things only also run for two weeks. Someone likened the experience to watching Game of Thrones, but missing an episode which was then destroyed forever because it is temporary content. My counter was this:

"I can just imagine Rickon Stark (youngest of Eddard’s kids) being annoyed that he can’t take part in the final part of the Baratheon rebellion against the Targaryens because he hadn’t made his character yet when those events took place and now argues with the old gods and the new to make a time loop so that that battle can continue to happen, along side the day to day life at King’s Landing, the numerous weddings, and the battle of the Blackwater at the same time so he can take part in all of them, knowing that no matter what he does it won’t change the outcome but he doesn’t care. At least this way he gets to experience it. Reading about it or being told about it afterwards isn’t good enough you see. He has to live it."

That's the sort of the logic that people who want replayable content to follow, and in some cases it simply just doesn't work. Then ofcourse there's the content which no one would replay anyway - I'm specifically talking about their latest release involving a solo enemy dungeon where instead of being able to use all those skills the rest of the game was encouraging you to get better at, you need to pickup an "everyman" tool to defeat him with gimmicks regardless of who your character is. When you alter the game in such a way, it should always be "more fun" than the standard. The Super Adventure Box did it. Hell even Bloodrayne did it in one level instead of slicing and draining everyone dead she was in a nazi-mecha (though the video poster disagrees with it being "fun"). :P

To be fair, there's not a lot Bloodrayne can't do.

One thing GW2 and Mabinogi have going for them though is that they clearly state what and when content is going to appear/vanish. As a contrast Age of Conan celebrated it's fifth year anniversary by having five days of giant bosses attacking random parts of the world. They didn't say where or when. I logged in to see if I could find them and the short answer was nope. I wouldn't have even known I missed anything if they didn't put the announcement up. Did it matter in the overall scheme of things? Not really.

Meanwhile in Neverwinter, where most of my time is spent creating my campaign in the foundry (only like 5% done >.<), my character just logs in for the shortest amounts of time to pray and send his mercs on missions. Both of those actually generate a bit of XP and some coin which I find interesting, given that I'm not actually "playing" the game. Ofcourse I was slightly surprised then to learn that I had out levelled some instanced quests that I was waiting on my guild to do, and could no longer participate in them. Odd given that all the foundry quests can already adjust to party level that their main content doesn't but it isn't really a big deal though because I like the thought that my dude's too busy to handle every little problem that occurs and that he wisely lets others take care of garbage that's unworthy of his time. If only more people viewed their MMORPGs the same way, maybe there'd be less complaints about missing content.

As a last bit of wisdom/common-sense: Real life > In Game. There's no amount of MMORPG gold, exp, monster slaying glory that can compete with experiences in real life. Just remember that kiddos! ;)

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