MMORPGs needs to be based on interesting encounters, not high-end content only
Online games needs to open up to accommodate none MMO fans.
To me MMORPGs are a very peculiar subject. I have always struggled to stay interested in one for more than 2 weeks because of various reasons sometimes independent or common between each game. For example I always wanted to get into World Of Warcraft but every time I would start a 14 day trail (before the starter edition was out) I would end up playing for a couple of days and completely stopping. My brother on the other hand is an MMO fanatic. He loves the whole experience of leveling up and having a guild and raiding, etc. While I definitely see why he as well as tons of MMORPG fans out there love the genre, I couldn’t help but wonder if the genre itself needs a big revolution. The question then rises up: Should MMORPGs open up to accommodate none MMO fans?
There are tons of MMORPG fans that love what I hate about that specific genre of gaming. To start off let’s talk about the main issue, the grinding to level up. Most MMOs out there require the user to go through a lengthy process in order to reach a high enough level in the game to experience high end content. This on its own is a really weak design mechanic. By making people just focus on leveling up for the majority of the first part of the game just for them to reach the end game content is not a good design philosophy. Most people would say MMORPGs really start once you reach the max level. That is not how designing a game should be approached. Quality content need to be available all the way from the start up till the end. This is needed to ensure that the the experience as a whole is filled with interesting encounters. I for one would probably be enjoying MMOs a lot more if I am experience entertaining portions of the game right from the first few levels in.
Another thing MMOs have problem with is class flexibility as most of the time the game breaks down classes into very strict paths. Many new players would probably say, “I don’t know what I want to be” . A starting player is often very confused as to what he should choose since he/she is worried that they will put in a good chunk of hours into a character that turns out to be not to their suiting . This needs need to be adjusted and changed so that it allows a player to explore the character and have the flexibility vary enough to adjust the character somewhat to his own liking. I am not talking about full on class switches, but rather a softer change to accommodate different interests.
World of Warcraft was a definite revolution in MMORPGs that brought the whole genre to a brand new level of quality. However, as the game grows older and older it becomes harder for the game to continue to innovate because the foundation it was built on was based in 2002. New MMORPG titles such as the recently releases Star Wars: The Old Republic and the highly anticipated Guild Wars 2 are starting to show a branching path from what traditional MMOs are like. Titles are now beginning to make sure the experience all the way from level 1 to the max available level matters by providing abundant content from the start. Saving everything for the end is a thing of the past and MMORPGs need to develop away from its fundamental rules since that will benefit both current MMORPG fans and new prospective newcomers.