Thursday, December 29, 2011

Can a Non-Raiding End Game Exist?

I don't believe so. 

I think that raiding is considered the end game for warcraft right now with the design they set in place with the looking for raid. 

I believe that is why the looking for raid was created in the first place, to train us that raiding is end game for everyone and not just something for the elite like some people like to think it is.  A decent amount of the wow player base sees raiding as something that only the good players should be allowed to do.

It was created with the idea that everyone should be able to raid because the end game is raiding and who buys a game with no intention of seeing the end game?

I personally consider looking for raid optional content in the same way I consider heroic raiding optional content.  The normal raid, to me at least, is end game.  I can choose to do LFR to gear up some characters quicker or to make for a quicker valor grind.  I can choose to do heroic raids if there are people on that are capable of doing it.  Both are choices, things I can do but do not feel I need to.  Yes, I like to do them both, sure, but neither of them are required for me to enjoy the game in my opinion.

By firmly placing my opinion of end game in normals I leave myself in the perfect position to enjoy the game.  I can do looking for raid on all my characters so all of them can see the content and I can complete the game as intended in the normal raid and on the characters I excel on I can attempt the challenges that heroic modes might offer me.

If a raid tier is designed too easy I will drag more characters into the heroics.  If a raid tier is designed too hard I can still at least see everything in the looking for raid if I run into problems.

Being stuck in the middle in the game right now is the perfect place to be.  No matter the difficulty level of the content I can enjoy my game play.  Maybe one character gets to heroics, a few might farm normals and everyone else can see everything in LFR.

But this is not about me.  I am but one person, there are many others out there and while it seems, to me at least, like this three version approach to raiding gives me something for all my characters to do, for some it still leaves them out in the cold.

I will not go as far as to call them bad players but there are still some players that are not ready for raiding.  There are some players that can not contribute enough in the looking for raid version.  So for them, even that is too hard.  There are also some people that just do not group with random people for what ever reason.

What is there for them out there?

Perhaps they know they are not ready for raiding, even at the looking for raid skill level.  Perhaps they are intent on just playing the game for fun, for role play purposes, for questing, for PvPing, for whatever it may be.

What is there for them really?

Dailies?  Once done they are done, once you get what you want from them there is no reason to keep doing them.  That is not consistent content.

Reputation grinds?  Once you get exalted you are done and with the tabard system now getting exalted takes no effort.

PvP?  It is not designed content, it is player created content.  You can fight anywhere at any time with any one in any numbers.  The people can make PvP better, there is not a great deal that designing content for it can do.  1 battleground or 100 battlegrounds won't make a difference.  It is still just fighting.

Gold making?  There are many ways to make gold but once you got your niche down it is all repetitive and sooner or later you are left to think, what the hell is there to spend all that gold on anyway?

Raids have more playability in my opinion.  Even if you have done a raid a dozen times it can still be different when done with different people or as a different class or in a different role.

Doing the molten front dailies on my hunter was fine.  Doing them on another character seemed like repetitive bullshit that was not worth the effort. 

Finishing a raid on my hunter was fine, but so was finishing it on my shaman and my warrior and my druid and my priest and... you get the idea.  Repeat raiding is more satisfying than doing grinds for no reason other than grinding them for something to do.

They need to find a way to make non raiding content that is actually worth doing on more then one character.  Grinding out something for the first time is fun for some people, I like it, but grinding it out a second time when there really is no reason to do it is not something that anyone would find particularly enjoyable.

So without raiding what is there?

Can a non-raiding end game exist?

10 comments:

  1. What's special about raiding is not that it's raiding, but rather that it's on a weekly lockout. End game needs a mechanism on some kind of lockout so that people keep their subs going until the next drop of content.

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  2. Agreed.

    More complex chain quests that reset weekly and offers a baggie like the tanks get from randoms at the end of the quest line would be good non raid end game content.

    Things of that ilk.

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  3. PvP is a viable endgame. Rated BGs are a step in that direction, as is Arena. It's less popular, but it's a non-raiding endgame for many players, for sure. And RBGs are more than just fighting, it's properly tactical and requires as much (maybe more) leading and co-ordination than raiding.

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  4. Yes, but PvP is player created content. The challenge is based on who you are playing. The content is the team you are against.

    All blizzard does is give you a venue to fight in. If there is 1 or 100 different venues, it all just boils down to the players creating the content.

    Against a bad team? Easy content.
    Against a good team? Hard content.
    Against a team that keeps switching strats? Fun and exciting content.

    Blizzards has no say in any of that. You, me, the players create that content.

    They just give us a task like hold this area, return this flag, assault this base, none of which is content, it is flavor.

    PvP is player created content and even if you want your end game to be a level 49 twink it can be. See, even players create their own end game.

    Hence the reason I did not really stress on PvP here.

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  5. Your question was can non-raid end game content exist. Obviously it is very limited in scope now with raiding in one form or another being the answer, but that does not mean end game cannot have some other content. Now the question really is will Blizzard ever decide to create such alternatives. I do hope so, for raiding, while fun, is not something I want to do constantly.

    Extremely long and somewhat difficult solo quest lines for epic gear (for each piece of gear) would be one end game alternative to raiding. The scenario phased events could well turn into an alternative, provided there are enough with different degrees of difficulty and enough in terms of sheer numbers of scenarios. Rotating daily quests so that a single quest giver has 10 or 15 or 20 different quests available at one per day would restore a bit of freshness to dailies, both end game and those for leveling.

    With a wee bit of thought, I can come up with even more possibilities, such as phased PvP in the real world with daily attacks on various cities and towns, signed up for by a "looking for" tool much like LFG or LFR. Let there be rewards for successful defense and attacks daily or even several times per day per phased event. This reward doesn't have to be items, though that would be an option. Instead though, earn a hundred gold per success or 500 gold or even more.

    Beyond the phased PvP, have PvP in the world mean something...make the war real. Have Grom'Gol Base Camp fall to the alliance and be held as an alliance base and flight path until the horde takes it back or have Astranaar fall to the horde in a like manner until enough alliance retake the place. If "Goldshire is under attack" and it means that it may become a Horde base, don't you think that would be end game content worth fighting for by a lot of Alliance players. Even more so, if Stormwind is under attack and it might fall to the horde, well...even non-PvPers like me would be sorely tempted to help in the defense. (Yes, obviously there would have to be some changes made in PvP gear to make this work--some of which seem to be coming in MoP. Also what happens if one side totally dominates another as is the case I understand on some PvP servers? So there are things which would be needed to change before real world PvP with consequences could occur but that is simply design/development issues and not something that prohibits such from being done.)

    In short, yes, raiding through LFR or normal or Heroic is the current end game content and it is fun to me also. But it isn't the only thing Blizzard could do. The real question is will Blizzard ever do so. While I hope so, I suspect a lot more subscriptions are going to be lost before Blizzard ever deviates from what they see as a winning formula.

    Anon, Grumpy's GL

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  6. In your opinion, what prevents PvP from being end-game? Or maybe I should ask, what are the necessary features for a game mode to be considered end-game in an MMO?

    In my opinion, the following features are required:
    1) Can't be accessed immediately with a new character (but some leveling and/or equipment gathering is needed for characters to take part in it). After all, it's END-game, which implies that it's not something the characters start at.

    If I use the city/village sieges the previous poster suggested, I would say it fits the criteria - if a weak character tries to take part in it, they most likely die to incidental AoE or thorns-like buff.

    2) Is intended to be consumed over long time - for raids it's the difficulty and learning curve, for PvP I would say the primary cause of this is the "red queen race", the PvP end-game often asks players to put effort in order not to get worse. It also reallocates developer resources; less of them go into the raid/BG design and more goes to the class balance which is "transferrable".

    3) Is intended to be done in permanent groups. I guess this part might not be necessary but I find it a common feature of end-games and many people say it helps to keep the players interested in the game.

    A PvP end-game can fit all the criteria and I see no reason why wouldn't it be a valid one. Even if it's more grindy than PvE.

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  7. PvP is a competition, one that will never be the same. You can face the same team 6 times in a row in arena and have 6 totally and completely different battles.

    PvP is not scripted, it is not part of the game, it is an additional side game within the game.

    With that said, you can not have an end game for something that has no end.

    The end of leveling is 85.
    The end of a dungeon is the last boss.
    The end of a raid is the last boss.
    The end of everything, if you wish to push for the extra bosses (heroic) is the heroic last boss.
    Achievement add another level to the end game, can you beat the last boss and get these achievements.

    Stuff like that, stuff that has an actual end, is end game.

    PvP by nature is designed better being it is player driven content. There is no end.

    When you win the battle there is always another battle around the corner. As it is player designed content, the next battle will not be the same as the first.

    PvP is a perpetual game. There is no end game to a perpetual game. There is no beat this team and you are done.

    Blizzard puts an end to the "season" to give it the end "feeling", but it is nothing more then a way to reward a few people and make new seasons for new year, to reset it.

    PvP does not change because it is a new season (outside of nerfs or buffs).

    It is still you vs others whereas raids are added to give additional end game to raiders. PvP does not need end game because it is not a game in the sense that PvE is.

    As long as the act of playing PvP remains the same there will never be an end game to it.

    Even if you made PvP scenarios that say defeat so many people in the siege of this town it will be different every time you siege it because it will always depend on who is playing on the other side.

    PvE... is a game.

    PvP... is a competition.

    They are not the same thing.

    A game has a set end.

    A competition has a "time based" ending just for the purpose of giving out reward for who won the most.

    PvE gets a new raid, for new end game.

    PvP gets another season that ends whenever they feel like it.

    See, PvP can not be end game because there is no "last boss" for lack of a better analogy.

    Not to mention, PvP is viable content at all levels even if some classes are so over powered at lower levels whereas PvE is useless until you are max level and raiding.

    PvP is fine, PvP is player designed, PvP can be fun at all levels, PvP designs its own content by fighting other people so each battle is always new.

    PvP does not need an end game.

    PvE does.

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  8. I never said end game had to be finite (as in the end of the game), in fact an infinite one fits the conditions I provided quite well if not better. And that's my answer to your statements - the premise, the assumption you build them on, is something I disagree with.

    If you think about games like chess or go, there is one important thing about endgames - the strategy the players consider changes. And I consider similar to be true for MMOs as well, the game changes. In PvP, it could change from limiting the choice of the opponent (think WoW - BG and Arena always try to match your and opposing teams' strength so both are approximately as strong as each other) to an unlimited choice (i. e. you can face with the best of the best - and probably do if you want to achieve anything).

    PvP is viable content at all levels even if some classes are so over powered at lower levels whereas PvE is useless until you are max level and raiding.
    I do agree WoW's first place among subscriber MMOs is 100% deserved but I don't think it's a holy grail that shouldn't be deviated from. A different MMO can have PvE as a viable content for all levels while PvP is useless unless you're at the top and engaged in PvP endgame.

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  9. @ Imakulata

    I guess for me it comes from being a different type of player then what you are describing.

    I can never be a world class arena player or rated battleground player, my mind is just not into it enough to ever develop the skill that would be required.

    However, I love world PvP because of its open ended nature. So sad there is way to little of it. It seems the only good world PvP I ever have any more is in the deep run tram and I could easily spend hours doing it and not even notice the time pass, I love it. For me, that is the one true PvP, it is what real PvP should be and that is where my opinions of PvP come from.

    I PvP to have random fun. I raid to down bosses. Meaning, PvP does not have an end game because it does not need one, it is always there to have fun with no matter your skill level or gear level whereas raiding has an end that requires a certain level of skill and gear.

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  10. @Grumpy Elf, as far as I understand it, you're saying PvP can indeed have an endgame but it wouldn't be fun for you, am I right?

    Also, raiding does not have an endgame, raiding is an endgame. Your last paragraph might as well say nothing about PvP vs. PvE differences and everything about the "opening game" vs. endgame ones, and I think it does.

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