My journey through FFXI, Lotro and most recently, Wow, have taught me many things. First, I enjoy leveling for too much. the thrill of when the game ‘Comes together’. Around level 25 FFXI felt like it opened up dramatically. Suddenly I was gaining access to interesting subjob skills and getting some defining skills through my main job. My first double attack was a thrill I still remember. Lotro with my Guardian began to pick up steam at 30 with plenty of tools for survivability as well as counter attacks. In WoW at 45 my Assassination tree spec is really starting to get some good, fun gameplay rotations.
Particularly looking at WoW, being my current full-time game, I am still able to advance fairly well. Thanks to rested EXP, dungeon finder and quests granting generous XP I can still sit down and get one level in a couple of hours. Essentially whenever I want to make some good progression the game still allows me. This easy walk through content has made me start to consider actions at Endgame. Do I want to dip my toe into the raiding scene? I know I will not be able to devote more than one night to raiding and so have some serious limitations already. As a part of TOG though there are still opportunities though.
The other option i guess is spend a month doing some serious raiding and set aside some time for it. highly unlikely seeing as I want to get back into some sport when I return home in a month. Besides i know I’ll just let other raiders down.
There is a problem in all this though. To jump into even Wraith content from what I see there seems to be a requirement for certain stats and items to be at certain levels. LFG calls for people with x GearScore, or the requirement to ‘know’ the content already seems to be putting up barriers all the way. Even if I make it into the content I will be told where to stand, what rotations to do and even what spec to bring.
The whole thing sounds rather tiring, don’t you agree? Right now I am considering an amazing concept. I am seriously considering to stop playing the game so much when I cap out and finish whatever easy quests on dungeons I can do. Instead of stepping on the treadmill I might switch back to Lotro or Age of Conan or FFXI and just keep leveling again. Knowing once Cataclysm hits (Assuming I cap out first) I can resub, enjoy the new content and keep going. Hell, instead of doing the Endgame thing I might even roll a new tank but i can;t see me capping another toon.
Why must MMO games be seen as eternal? With plenty of games now well past 5 years and still going I cannot fathom people who have been there since launch playing constantly. Why must these games be the focus of so much playtime? More importantly, why must they maintain us for such extraordinary amounts of time to be successful. SNES JRPGs kept me occupied on average for 2 weeks on my first play through and I loved them. they didn’t need to keep me up to my eyeballs in content for 6-12 months straight. Now gamers cry out for new content monthly so they can keep playing their favortie game. instead of having some closure, reaching a goal and being able to put it aside for a little while we demand more. like a greedy little kid wanting more and more ice cream until they make them selves sick of that particular flavour and swear it off as yukky. In fact a better, more apt and mature analogy is like the time I got sick on tequila. Now I can’t drink it or even stand the smell of it without my body reminding me what a toxic substance it is. WoW is like my tequila to many people.
So while I still enjoy WoW I will make sure once I start to finish my leveling and just run through some of the endgame content I will stop, Put Down the WoW Jim Beam and pick up a bottle of Jonny Walker Lotro or Jack Daniels FFXI. That way I know that later I can pick up a six-pack of Jim Beam and still enjoy it.
there are so many MMOs that i think I will get more out of this play style then end gaming one game. Hopefully I can Finish WoW and Lotro (Or maybe level 75 in FFXI) before FFXIV releases.
So, avid reader. What about you? Do you prefer Endgame, leveling or both?