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Roleplaying in the End-Game

Slamz's Avatar

12.19.2011 , 06:03 AM | #1
I don't know what the end-game is going to be like, but I'm worried because Bioware has largely mimicked systems used by other MMORPGs. So I imagine that the endgame is going to consist of a lot of "boss kill" type missions which you run over and over so that you can collect all the tokens, so that you can get all the loot, so that your stats will be high enough to advance to the next "boss kill" type mission.

As a roleplayer, I really really really hate this aspect of "MMORPGs".

There is no way to roleplay killing the same boss 20 times. Even if he's a horrible zombie, at some point my character would say, "You know what? We clearly can't kill this person. Let's just go to the cantina instead. Eventually the death star will be invented and that'll probably do the job."

Bioware has built a real roleplaying game here, though -- far moreso than most other so-called MMORPGs, most of which should really be referred to as "MMOFAGs" -- Massively Multiplayer Online Fantasy Action Game. (Hmm, maybe that acronym needs more work.) There's fantasy-action but really little or no story -- you're basically just killin' stuff.

So I hope Bioware has been thinking of a way to have a roleplaying end-game rather than resorting to "fantasy action". Endless boss kills. Doing the same scenario dozens of times. That just kills the whole "roleplay" concept for me and would leave SWTOR as no better in the end than every other fantasy action game out there.

A couple ideas:

* Warzones. These can be PvE or PvP. A PvE warzone is a very large (multi-map?) area where enemy NPCs are scripted to take over the map. They spawn at certain rates, clump up and go try to advance to the next camp, kill everyone, and take it over. The players are pushing the other direction. It's sort of like a large RTS. This could also be done as a form of PvP but I see no reason it can't be purely PvE (each side is doing this sort of thing on different planets). I could talk a lot more about this but you get the idea -- whenever you log into the game, the war is in some new stage and you are never doing exactly the same thing twice.

* Random elements to missions. So when they develop an end-game boss-kill mission, they will develop a few branches to it. Nothing major, necessarily. Maybe the mission starts with your ship hyperspacing in somewhere. So rather than 1 set background, they create 5 backgrounds and you get a random one. Maybe you kill "Sergeant Jimbo" as the first boss. So they create 5 first bosses with different names and slightly different characteristics. Maybe sometimes this corridor is clogged with debris. Maybe other times it's open and some other corridor is clogged with debris.

Just enough randomness in the mission that we aren't doing the same exact mission every time, over and over and over. At least if there are cosmetic differences, I can roleplay that this is my 4th mission against an enemy ship, different each time, and not simply me killing the exact same people 4 times in a row because apparently Star Wars is actually populated with unkillable zombies. ("Say, didn't I just kill you last week? Congratulations on being resurrected and put in command of another ship. Those wacky rebels! Will they ever learn?")

I hope the endgame is not as anti-roleplay as it is in every other MMORPG.