Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Expansion Packs: Leveling the Playing Field

Themeparks run out of content.  I know this.  When I reach the end of content I want more to play through.  Instead of immediate new content I am forced to run on the gear treadmill, slowly gaining small upgrades for a huge amount of effort invested.  After raiding 5 days each week for months I might have the best armor and weapons in the game for my class... until the next expansion.

This is why the gear treadmill is so unappealing to me.  Why work my ass off to be the "best" on the server when the playing field will be leveled come the next expansion?  And that next expansion is always on the horizon for any MMO with a decent following.

As long as I am max level it won't matter what kind of gear I have when the next expansion hits.  The MMO developer will want everyone at the max level to be able to participate at the max level +1.  Therefore, the content will be tuned to the lowest common denominator; someone who has newly attained the max level.

They want everyone to buy the expansion, so they need to create an expansion in which everyone can play.

This is one of the reasons some people rush to endgame.  They want to feel special and be the best on the server.  They don't want to admit that they are the same as everyone else again, even if just for a day.  They need to be "hardcore" and I think that is a little sad.

I tried raiding for a few weeks and determined it wasn't for me.  Too much effort expended for too little reward.  I quickly realized I was on a treadmill and felt that I was being held hostage for my monthly subscription money.  I did not enjoy the feeling.

So, while many of you run full-speed ahead on that hamster wheel of raiding, I'm spending my time with other games, hobbies, and pursuits.  But - once that expansion pack draws near - I will be there with you, on the same level, enjoying the same content, and paying my monthly subscription fee once again.


  1. That is always another way to play, but if you have played through all the leveling content already with a main you would still be repeating the same content over again. If there is enough quest diversity then playing an alt could be a completely different experience.

  2. If you want another take on the subject of higher levels and alts you should read Syp's post about middlers.

  3. That's cool. It doesn't match my desires, and what I find fun, but you pay your $15 a month for what YOU find fun, not for what I find fun.

    I like "PvP Auction House", as a business simulator it falls pretty short, but there are real people there to be crushed, so it is more fun then most more comprehensive simulations. I'm guessing almost nobody else enjoys WoW this way. That doesn't make me better (or worse) then the rest of you, it just means WoW is a flexible game.

    I happen to like endgame raiding, I like seeing the little bits of the game that not everyone will experience (except by watching strat guides on youtube). Again, this doesn't make me better (or worse) then non-raiders. No matter what so many other raiders say :-)

    Of corse I still haven't see the last boss in Uldar, and I have a big chunk of ICC left to clear. (which many raiders would say makes me worse then them...but that is another issue entirely)

    However I don't enjoy traveling around finding stuff to whack with a mining pick, and I fully expect other people find learning the complex dances you need in many raids about as exciting as WoW fishing (or maybe "if I wanted to dance, I would go dancing, you know with chicks!").

    Not everyone likes the same things. The world would be a sadder place if we all did.

    So I hope you enjoy your...other MMOs, or non-MMOs, or pen n' paper games, or whatever it is that is floating your boat (if you are interested in pan n' paper games, may I recommend Dogs in the Vineyard? It is nothing like WoW, but it is a great deal of fun...and check it out: no gear inflation -- not even D&D level gear inflation!)