Endgames and Raiding

I rather liked this thread on the World of Warcraft forums, “Is Raiding always the endgame to MMOs?“. Several players recount the endgames of various MMOGs (bonus: in an intelligent, articulate and non-confrontational manner!) and give their opinions on what was fun and what was definitely not fun.

The original poster, Fappa, level 13 posting alt of the Argent Dawn realm, wrote:

WoW is the first MMO that I’ve ever really played extensively and gotten into, and it’s clear to me after playing the game since 2005 that raiding is and will always be the endgame to WoW. Yes, there’s arena (which occupies like one hour a week), and there’s daily quests, heroics, professions, etc. to do at 70, but really, if you want the best gear and the hardest challenges this game has to offer you have to raid.

Since I haven’t played any other MMOs extensively, I don’t know what their endgames are like. Is the endgame to MMO always raiding (10+ highly coordinated players)?

Reply #8 described DAoC’s endgame:

The endgame of DAOC was entirely PvP based, and still is if you want to play it… Game goes like this:

-3 factions
-Level to 50
-Do some raids and get some gear crafted
-Enter the frontier, an area as big as the leveling areas for the 3 factions, had like 24 captureable keeps, siege weapons, like ballista, catapults, and boiling oil you could dump on people trying to break into a keep you were defending… each faction had a relic that if captured, gave your entire faction a boost to damage, as much as a 20% bonus if you held both relics. Also, there was a whole system of PvP experience points that opened up a whole new progression of abilities that you could get only by PvPing.

I really wish WoW would steal this concept.

Reply #17 recounted old skool Star Wars Galaxies (pre-that mess where they turned everything upside down):

Sadly with the success of world of warcraft, many companies will keep thinking this is the way to go. Before SWG got forked up “endgame” was what you made of it, some of us were content with running our businesses, trying to create items that were better than our competition. Or organizing player cities and keeping them running, things that didn’t always involve scurrying in the same dungeons week after week. However I can’t speak for what everyone else considers fun, just more or less it would be nice if a game offered more options for gameplay than simply tossing instances at us that not everyone wants to do.

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The g-news (I lay copyright claim on that, by the way, but pronounce it gnews, with a silent G, so you don’t nerd out your coworkers) summarized in five paragraphs:

Schild of f13 caught wind of some Wall Street presentation by Castle Blizzard warning of discussing their plans to create MMOGs from all their franchises: “All Blizzard franchises will become MMOGs.” (f13 link reblogged around the world) No other details are immediately available like, oh … where on Wall Street this was or to whom was it directed — I spent five minutes of fruitless googling, that seems plenty. Hey. f13 redesigned their site. Looks good.

Penny Arcade, the comic lifestyle, has inked some sort of deal with the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) for a public service ad campaign targeted at gamers. From GameDaily BIZ, the purpose of the campaign is to “… inform the gaming population why the video game rating system is important to them.” (GDBiz link) Is it? I don’t really think it is. It’s important to me the citizen, it’s important to parents certainly, but me the gamer, it’s only important so far as I avoid the “E – Everyone” games, like I avoid the “G – General Audiences” movies. Y’might think this is exactly why I need to be educated about the benefits of the ESRB, but I think it’s just a “W – Waste of Money”.

That combat revamp many months ago in Star Wars: Galaxies just might go down in history as the worst business decision ever in gaming — and I am hopeful because I like to witness history in the making, like I enjoyed being part of the Anarchy Online launch. Unlike the typical major retool where players become resigned to their new fates and move on with their lives (usually elsewhere), there’s a solid core of old school SWGers committed to resurrecting the pre-CU/NGE SWG world. (ShardWire SWGEmu link: The First Step into a Larger World) Sony, there’s opportunity knocking. Also, a SWG-classic-ruleset server would eliminate future emails in my inbox from the old SWG gang about getting the pvp guild back together for some wtfpwnage and I would very much appreciate that. Thanks.

The Wall Street Journal, the spam of American offices everywhere, published an article last Friday about gamers that meet in game and get married in real life. GOD NO! When did this start happening?!? (Uhh, back in Ultima Online … seven years ago.) You know all that. What caught my eye were some stats they quoted, courtesy of Nick Yee, game industry voyeur of Stanford University: 29% of women players and 8% of men said they had gone on to date someone they met in a game. Edge Online and We Make Money Not Art chased down this additional stat from Yee’s website: 80% of females and 60% of males have engaged in a little light flirtation [in game]. Holy gender gap. Age? Lying? We’ve got some real playahs in MMOs who are too busy working the shemales to log out and complete a survey?

Lastly, no patch this week in World of Warcraft. Still. It’s like watching a glacier carve a new landscape — which makes me think I’ll be buying that Starcraft MMO for my grandkids, and I haven’t even started yet.