WARNING - Wall of test ahead!!
The problem is a new player can never catch up to the veterans. You can never earn more xp in a single hour than anyone else.
This is the problem with all Sandbox MMOs. The first group of playes join, som e stay and so go then if the game is good, a second batch of players join and the cycle continues. Each expansion or major content update continues this cycle. EvE is the perfect case study. If you joined today, you would be about 8years behind most vets, and probably need 3 months or so just to get a decent level to allow some freedom. These games reward time and effort but unfortunatey the learning curve increases sharply the longer the game continues as more and more depth and content is added.
For a bonus 20 points who remembers EvE when there was no Tech 2 gear? anyone?
Themmepark MMOs are what we get today. Its a story, for lack of a better word, hat we start, and then end. Even endgame content is a continuation of what you had just completed. Its not new, its the same but different. The limitation of most Themepark MMOs is that you cant change a major part of your game, in order to attract new players, without diluting the original purpose / draw of the 'themepark' and therefore alienating your current subscribers. Not many games get the balance right but those that do, and there is really only one truely successful Themepark MMO, dominate the market.
Originally Posted by Trimethicon
I see ESO having an already built-in fanbase, the Elder Scrolls is a huge IP. I think the problem there is everyone is going to come into ESO expecting it to be Skyrim Online, how those expectations are managed, achieved, will be interesting and telling of how it will do imo. I played Skyrim on the PS3 and all I kept imagining to myself was how cool it would be to play that game with others.
I see ESO as the next great MMO. As everyone knows the SRPG following is huge, if they can translate this to the MMO scene, it should be a very very good game.
Originally Posted by Valdis
One thing that always seems odd to me is that all these games have an endgame. Its a bit silly, isn't it? Why should there be any kind of end? I played in a chat RPG where the game was reincarnated every 3 years. Its a good idea. There's so much baggage by the end of 3 years, it worked pretty well hitting reset. Another MMORTS I played used reincarnation. By reincarnating you had higher base stats in the next life, so reincarnation was the only way to improve. Reincarnation might not work for most MMO's - offers too many chances for players to call it quits. But it offers a brand new world every so often, isn't a new game world always exciting?
But aren't there alternatives? Why have a level cap? Its not that hard to design a system without one (or with one defined by the max integer value at any rate). In PvE games I kind of get it, after you outlevel the monsters, what's left. Although, wouldn't it be kind of awesome to have a MMO where over time the monsters level up to match the players? But in PvP games, there's really no reason to have any kind of hard caps.
I guess what bugs me is that its so much work to reach the end game. But if you only like the endgame? The level up grind sucks. What if you liked the level up part? The end game sucks then. I liked GW 2, you could jump into WvW at the very start. The game was the end game. Awesome.
I hear yah. It would be great if someone came up with an intuitive system that rewarded long time players whilst also encouraged new players. If you can come up with that tell Blizzard, they'll probably give you a job.
Personally, I think you need to give PVP games a hard level cap. It needs to be more about skill then buying (either though time or money) victory. EVE is your best bet if you want level-less PVP, though you will get eaten alive until you can complete 6 months later.
GW2 is/was fun. But to be honest if you jumped in WvW as a level 1 and im on my level 50 dual axe warrior or dual dagger thief you havent a chance, even with a couple of buddies with you. The gap between a level 1 and a capped player (level 50 for GW2) is very noticable. Sure you can compete but its also skewed towards the level 50, it has to be otherwise why level to level 50.
PVE games, I think need to move away from hard levels and use materials/gear as an indicator of status and level. This would reward players who play longer with better and bigger gear, mainly through crafting and looting, and also allow new players to be 'lifted' up by guilds/other players who supply the raw materials to craft better gear. Think Planetside 2. Same damage level for weapons but add in some sort of auto loot/salvage system and allow players to manufacture tanks/aircraft out of this salvage gear. It would add a level of randomness and unpredictability that would be most welcome.