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The Future of "Endgame" Progression and its Paradigms

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
The Future of "Endgame" Progression and its Paradigms

kORVVY's Avatar


kORVVY
02.28.2012 , 09:41 AM | #1
okay, let's unpack this loaded topic a bit.

firstly, the raid progression in TOR is nearly identical to WoW, or really, any other MMO out there--that is to say, it progress linearly and has a finite amount of content. trash > boss > loot> repeat, in a (usually) hierarchical difficulty sequence. some call it the "treadmill", others call it "standard". i say let's call it "antiquated".

i think we really need to find a new way to explore this idea of "raiding" and by extension the way to acquire power, perhaps more specifically gear. but man-oh-man, that's a daunting task--that's like creating a sub-genre; a new avenue of science; a new freakin' ninja turtle--it takes ingenuity, dedication, time and a crap-ton of different ideas or paradigms.

perhaps a stronger question would be: "SHOULD we miss "proper" raid progression?"

look at Diablo 3: it's trying to obfuscate what is "endgame" a bit by having the hardest difficulty nearly standard across all the chapters, as historically chapter 1's content isn't as punishing as chapter 4 or 5. this creates a world in which EVERY area, mob, event, scenario or boss is viable for endgame playing. a chapter 1 boss will just be slightly less difficult than a chapter 3 boss, but probably solely on the merit of mechanics, not stats or loot. not to mention random and non-specific events and extra mobs/bosses.

this is the kind of paradigm i would like to see in more MMO's : have endgame content not be a treadmill; a linear, confined and shiftless world of 1 + 1 = 2, but rather make it more like a hamster ball; always mobile, never stopping; a new dimension to explore and play around in, by adding the ability to modify, on the fly, your "path of destruction"--much like our hamster friends and their plastic perforated balls.

what could this mean? make everything, or nearly everything, viable for endgame content? obliterate the need to even identify something as "endgame", as it would not be sufficient a word to use in the given context? hyper-connectivity and multi-play experience? meta-games?

the frontier of what defines raiding, and indeed "endgame" paradigms, is starting to curl into itself like a gosh darn caterpillar in a cocoon: hopefully we'll see an emerged, beautiful butterfly soar above the dead, antiquated sheddings of past archetypes.

the ideas of videogames are ever-changing--and this is a VERY good thing.

(tl;dr)THESIS: what are your thoughts on how endgame content should be, or where we can take it into the future!

roccorossi's Avatar


roccorossi
02.28.2012 , 10:58 AM | #2
your going to be waiting a long LOONG time for that Butterfly..

I agree with you don't get me wrong I like your ideas but like most industry (if not all) its always about the $$$

And the fact is you rarely make money RE -INVENTING the wheel....

90% of business is jumping on the wheel that is moving, copy it and move on to something else...

Your going to need people who dont care about making their money back but just want to make a great new kind of game for people to enjoy and test the waters...
Stock 'AKA' Kalan
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randrewcp's Avatar


randrewcp
02.28.2012 , 11:54 AM | #3
The whole game is linear.

You have probably hit a part where you are stuck. Maybe your not in a guild or your not in a guild that is organized enough to hit the end of end game content. Your solution isn't wait a couple of weeks or months to get geared up. Your solution isn't to change the way you play or who you play with.

Your solution is to nerf end game for everyone to allow you (and many if not most) of the players to see all of the content when they normally wouldn't.

The problem with that is that most of the players like goals, strait forward goals, that allow you to show progress. Many players like doing things that are hard that give them a feeling of accomplishment. Making all content at level 50 something you can complete without much work takes away the "end game" for most people. That leaves PvP as the only "replayable" content. That makes for a short lifespan for an MMORPG.

Thebigkabooa's Avatar


Thebigkabooa
02.28.2012 , 12:08 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by randrewcp View Post
The whole game is linear.

You have probably hit a part where you are stuck. Maybe your not in a guild or your not in a guild that is organized enough to hit the end of end game content. Your solution isn't wait a couple of weeks or months to get geared up. Your solution isn't to change the way you play or who you play with.

Your solution is to nerf end game for everyone to allow you (and many if not most) of the players to see all of the content when they normally wouldn't.

The problem with that is that most of the players like goals, strait forward goals, that allow you to show progress. Many players like doing things that are hard that give them a feeling of accomplishment. Making all content at level 50 something you can complete without much work takes away the "end game" for most people. That leaves PvP as the only "replayable" content. That makes for a short lifespan for an MMORPG.
That..doesn't sound anything like what he was saying. At all.

What he's talking about sounds more like the Guild Wars approach to content. That is, about 40% of the content created is for the leveling process, and 60% of everything else is dedicated to max level players.

Right now you got Ilum, Half of Belsavis, and the Flash Points / Operations for Level 50 PvE.

And frankly, they're done quite quickly. It's not a matter of "Boo hoo I can't do it", it seems more like "I've done this. Now what?"

anstalt's Avatar


anstalt
02.28.2012 , 12:22 PM | #5
Sandbox content = ultimate endgame.

From a purely philosophical point of view, that is the only truth to creating the perfect endgame. Developers will never be able to churn out enough content to keep us entertained.

From a practical point of view, creating a sandbox that is easy and rewarding to play is extremely hard, which is why nearly all of them fail. SWG closest to the goal, which I think can be broken down in to:

* Endless, player driven economy
* Player driven PvP
* Extremely strong community features
* Complete control over your character
* "Random" pve

Really though, having crafted gear as the ultimate top-tier gear, and making it decay and eventuall break meant that everyone had access to the best gear but must continually replace it. So, awesome economy plus player has complete control over how to acquire it - grind dailies for cash, sell rare stuff for cash or craft it yourself. Just epicly simply in concept.
Anstalt - lvl 50 valor 81 Shadow Consular

Currently retired due to poor design decisions within the game that have killed its longevity. Get rid of Hickman before he ruins the game completely!

Steelyeye's Avatar


Steelyeye
02.28.2012 , 12:45 PM | #6
How about throwing out the whole concept of raiding. Ever since WoW standardize what raiding should be we all have been playing the same MMO ever since. Time to think out of the box.

I am with Anstalt...

Open sandbox design
Crafted items being the best in game
Player driven economy
Combat not being the only way to improve your character.
World PvP that is just as important if not more important than PvE
"The first thing an agent develops is an immunity to guilt" Rassad, Imperial Intelligence - (Ebon Hawk)

kORVVY's Avatar


kORVVY
02.28.2012 , 07:09 PM | #7
that's kind of what i'm trying to goad out of the community--what IS raiding, what defines it, and HOW can we evolve it into something wholly novel.

i feel we need to redefine what "endgame" is like how the internet redefined humanity. lol, i know: a tall order and maybe a little hyperbolic, but ultimately the best way to clarify our OWN needs and wants in endgame territory.

perhaps user generated content? (obviously with some sort of checks-and-balance system in place, even that perhaps user generated)

perhaps some sort of infinite, ever changing dungeon with interchangeable bosses--like a "set" of random bosses, mobs and scripted events but within a context of the unknown, randomly generated terrain and setting--perhaps when AI scripts become powerful enough, a truly UNIQUE experience at any/all times.

these idea could work--only IF we break ourselves away from the paradigm of linear endgame or even gameplay. not saying TOR will/should/could even do it, but it's some brain chicken to munch on.
"Angle of incidence equals angle of reflectance. Meaning, if you can see them, they can see you. Use the environment around you. Free yourself from the tyranny of eye-level!"--Roger Dodger