Thursday, 13 November 2008

WoW dead end and the Gnomeregan Problem

My levelling experience on a PvP server was undoubtedly made less painful by the fact that Azeroth is empty at the moment, and hence ganking was rare. This was fine for me as an experienced player, but I'd really hate to start WoW for the first time at this stage.

As players inevitably get bored and leave the game, if there's a barrier to entry to new players then that ultimately spells a problem for the game. New players will still get hooked on the easily and polished introductory experience, but probably at about level 20 they'll realise that most of the game is at the end game which is 60 (and presumably later 70 and 80) levels away. Some will be happy to level slowly and enjoy the journey, but not all.

I'm wondering how Blizzard is planning to tackle this - will all characters soon start at level 55, with an introductory process to teach them how to play their class? Or does WoW just have a built-in expiry date?

There's also the Gnomeregan Problem, in that for years the vast majority of players have been able to reclaim the gnome's homeland solo, but they're still exiled, and even more so for the Darkspear trolls. More bothering to me is that Ragneros - a god - is now a pushover at 70, and presumably will be trivial at 80. Although there are upsides to this - our guild ran Blackwing Lair after the 3.0.2 nerf and so I got to see a zone I'd wanted to see for a long time - it also damages the feel of the game. It's traditional in computer games for the player to overcome challenges that should be impossible, but you just can't see LotRO ever letting the player slay a major figure in this way.

No comments: