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Posts Tagged ‘The Old Republic’

There’s no such thing as ‘enough’

October 25, 2009 1 comment

I bought Brütal Legend last week and I have already finished with it. It took about 8 hours (a guess) to fully play through it. The story, the mood, all of it was just great. I think that my enjoyment/time played in BL was a lot higher than I have during a normal MMO. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed at the finish, because I had the feeling I was about 2/3 through the story when I was, in fact, at the final battle. I skipped most sidequests though and I have been playing through it again on hard mode to unlock everything.

I do not think an MMO could deliver this kind of story driven and varied content for the time people normally spend in those games. The Old Republic seems to pretend this, but I doubt they can pull it off. Writing a compelling story just takes time and then it still needs to be translated into the game. Bioware, please prove me wrong.

Champions Online is criticized for the lack of content. There’s one path up to 5, two up to about 13 and from there on there’s a pretty linear set of quests and almost all quests have to be done to reach level 40 without grinding. Apparently, this is bad, but many people are enjoying that game that was launched in the Western world just after CO, Aion. Now I am not playing Aion myself. I planned to, but I cancelled my preorder when I learned about their Game Guard security system (look it up, there are massive threads about it on the aionsource boards). NCSoft removed Game Guard at the last-minute, but I was having too much fun in CO to start playing another game. From all I have read it is not possible to fully quest a level in Aion from about level 20 on (the level cap is 50). I have heard about a patch that would add more quests and more quest XP soon, but that’s not relevant to this story, because people are playing and enjoying the game as it is. So for the majority of the game people in Aion are just killing monsters to get XP. They make their own quest to get to the level cap and killing monsters is the way to do it.

More Nemesis mission like Bunker Buster, please!

More Nemesis missions like Bunker Buster, please!

It is impossible to add enough completely new content to keep people constantly entertained, because people play MMO’s for much longer than they play console games. So either 1)  the journey has to be entertaining enough to do more than once, 2) players have to be able to make their own fun or 3) the goal, while difficult to reach, must be so compelling to keep going for.

  1. Champion’s leveling content is just enough to get to the end, but it’s definitely entertaining to do more than once, especially with difficult powers
  2. This is more for sandbox games like EVE or for PvP, because PvP’ers are generally happy with a few good maps and enough opponents. PvP in CO does not really need more maps, but it needs more people at level 40 and to get those a few important balances need to be made.
  3. Either this is done through great rewards for getting to the cap, or by unlocking new and alternative progressive paths at the cap, like a reputation grind with good rewards in WoW. CO’s UNITY and Nemesis rewards are not really impressive, so incentive to do those often is low.

While CO has all three elements, those are shallow. There’s enough content for one or two playthroughs to 40, but there’s not much to do at 40 yet, unless you really enjoy PvP (I do). However, there are already three promised updates for the coming three months: Blood Moon, Nemesis and Winter King. If Cryptic can deliver on those and keep monthly/bimonthly updates coming, there may actually be enough entertainment to keep playing.