I really enjoy playing Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs), as a general rule, as do millions of other people just like me. Except they aren’t just like me. If anything, they are more often than not, completely unlike me.
They are idiots. Walking examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Absolute trash, to be quite honest.
Of course, to all of them, I’m the idiot, and so is most everyone else. It’s a a bit of a mess, actually, which is only exacerbated by the fact that we are all correct, all at the exact same time.
This of course includes the developers of these games, as well. If anything, it especially includes those absolute clods!
So, where am I going with all of these insults? Strangely enough, somewhere hopefully quite positive, if you can bear with me a bit longer.
As many of you know, I’ve run the gamut of MMORPG content over the years. I’ve gone from competitive PvP, to progression raiding, and now, many years later, I’ve settled into a pattern of comfortably casual play. No raiding, no PvP, pretty much nothing but bumming around, doing whatever I feel like in the moment. Mostly solo, to be quite honest about it.
Regardless, the point is, I’ve played the games. I know what it means to be a PvPer, to be a Raider, and now what it means to just want to log in and do something quiet and relaxing, like crafting, or maybe some quests by myself. I would like to think I have a good handle on what content there should be in an MMORPG, what should be prioritized (so-called casual content, as it is what 100% of players do, with Grouped, PvP, and Raiding content coming thereafter), but that’s just my opinion. Obviously, I expect there are a lot of people who would disagree with my assessment of the situation.
They would be wrong, but that’s fine. See the wiki for the Dunning-Kruger Effect, linked above. If only a minority of your players are doing a certain type of content, why make that the primary focus of your game, especially at endgame? Especially when Dungeons and Raids can be scaled to allow for solo, small-groups (2-3 players), full groups, and full raids, with scaling rewards, based upon the size of said group?
In short, Endgame doesn’t have to be a Multiplayer-Only option. Casual, solo and small-group players (who make up the majority of the playerbase) should also be able to enjoy this content, even if it is scaled/nerfed with lesser rewards. This should really go without saying, but to many, I might as well be screaming that “GOD IS DEAD!” in the middle of a Catholic High Mass.
Those people, including many developers, are in fact, idiots. But then again, they think I’m the imbecile, so I guess we’re even?
Anyway, here’s my point overall: As I said before, none of us are wrong. We all have an idea for what is best for the MMOs we play, and just like assholes, everyone has one, and they all stink. Except for mine, as my ideas are well thought out, and have proven to be popular and effective in the games that have experimented with them. Just because something is revolutionary and could be hard to develop for, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. It just means the developers are either arrogant, or lazy, or underfunded… possibly all of the above.
The point is that we all want what we think is best for our favorite games. I want new content for “Rift” and “Secret World Legends”, and for Standing Stone Games to develop new Skirmishes for the latter sections of “Lord of the Rings Online”. Procedurally-Generated and Scaled endgame content for all three games wouldn’t hurt, either. Meanwhile, other players just want new content of any sort for “Rift” and “Secret World Legends”, and to not be made to pay expansion-level prices for normally-free Updates to LOTRO… and they aren’t wrong.
Meanwhile, Gamigo and Funcom just want to milk the players of “Rift” and “Secret World Legends” for as much cash as they can, while providing zero content updates, and SSG is too busy working on finding new and innovative ways to get their players to open their wallets for worthless bullshit in LOTRO. Just saying. Of course, I would love to see Gamigo, Funcom, and Standing Stone prove me wrong, but I doubt that will ever happen.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.
The point is, we’re all the Heroes of our own story, and of course that means, we all right, and everyone that has a differing opinion is wrong. There is no middle ground here. There is no room for compromise, no ability to meet in the middle. The raiders want new Raid content, the PvPers want new PvP stuff, and the Casuals just want to have fun, and perhaps some semblance of a viable endgame. The developers just want to make as much money as possible, for the least amount of effort.
No one here is wrong. Well, except for the Developers, because seriously… F*ck Them.
I think what we need, as the various different types of MMOPRG players, is to actually calm down a minute, and really listen to each other for once. We all need each other (really, we do!), so we need to all be able to co-exist. As such, we should all get a satisfying game experience in our preferred games.
There is no reason why Raiding content should not be the pinnacle of Endgame content, with the best rewards. None. I would say that high-end PvP should be able to get similar, but more PvP-focused rewards at their endgame, as well. Grouping (Dungeon) gear coming in a bit lower, and Solo/Casual/Crafted gear coming in below that, although still quite good. Many would say this is what we already have in most MMORPGs, which is true, after a fashion.
What we need is an Endgame that is not locked to Raid-only, or Group-only content. Scaled content by group size, that would allow everyone to enjoy Endgame content, while providing proper challenges and rewards, based upon the size of the group (or solo person) doing it. Furthermore, to make things easier for developers in the long run, make that endgame content procedurally-generated, with bosses that have randomized mechanics, making every run a new and fresh challenge, especially for Raiders.
It’s kind of hard to burn through all the content, when your endgame is constantly changing things up, perhaps on a weekly basis. This would allow developers more time to focus on making big new expansions to their games every couple of years, rather than having to push out fresh endgame content every few months, so raiders don’t get bored.
But that’s just my opinion. It’s correct, but you can believe what you will, I won’t stop you, regardless of how wrong you might be. I’m even willing to listen to what you have to say on the matter, and will try hard not to shoot down your wrong opinions completely. Really. The point is, we should, as Players, come together and actually listen to what we all want and need from our games, because the developers sure as Hell won’t listen to us.