Fri 22 Aug 2008
This article is in direct response to this thoughtful post over at Wolfshead Online.
“It seems to me that the real problem that is causing the clamor for the removal of leveling is the fact that content in MMOâ€™s is not dynamic”
My favorite line of the whole post.. and this harkens back to a now few years old, yet seems to be ongoing or often revisited discussion between Wolfshead and I on the reason and purpose behind the actions you do.
If the content is stale, and there’s no “fun” to the leveling game, then THAT is the problem. Removing the leveling game is NOT the answer, but refreshing the experience to regain the apparent loss of “fun” value is key.
The fact that people get bored of actions, experiences, games, etc. is a well understood fact about game development. In a non-MMO game, it’s perfectly ok because you expect limited REAL replay-ability. An MMO on the other hand is expected to sustain interest and to be dynamic enough to keep the equation changing and thus, retaining the player’s interest in continuing to invest their time into the game. Some of this is flooding with many different choices of what to do catering to various gameplay styles, and some of this is simply making gradual modifications to existing gameplay and content to keep it “familiar, but different”. Funny how this theme keeps manifesting itself!
Speaking of “familiar but different”, I need to give kudos to my friends over at SOE for continuing to take time to revisit older legacy content in EverQuest II and refreshing it based on the needs of today. This kind of agile evolution in response to the changing needs of gamers really helps to make the most of the existing world. Of course, I’m speaking about the recent revamp of Everfrost by the lovely and quite talented MissDoomCookie, but even historically we’ve seen content revamps of quite a few zones including the Commonlands, Antonica, and more recently Runnyeye. I hope that the team will continue to devote at least a few spare cycles towards that end as it’s great for the health of the game.