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General: MMOWTF: Linear Systems

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

This week, in this MMOWTF column, Dan Fortier takes a look at linear systems as a trend in MMORPGs.

You just had to see this new show. All the critics raved that it was the next classic and it's been sold out since it was announced. You had to buy a scalped ticket on E-bay just to get in for the premiere. The seat is comfy and they even pass out delectable H'orderves on shiny silver trays. Eventually the light dims and a man in a top hat who looks like he belongs in a carnival struts across the stage in front of the curtain and bows dramatically.

"Ladies and Gentleman, children of all ages! Welcome to the release of the greatest thing since sliced bread! A spectacle fit for the Gods themselves. You will be witness to a performance that will leave you breathless and steal your heart away with its complexity and drama. You've waited patiently for this day and we're proud to show you what we've accomplished. Now without further ado, let the show begin!"

Read the whole column here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • AfroJoelAfroJoel WoononaPosts: 26Member
    I agree with that. I love MMO's, but they could be so much more.
  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member

    Dividing the games into zones and putting levels on them is hardly original, but I like it...a LOT.  Especially if a noob can walk around such as in CoV, my level 1 can go anywhere in any zone without help...and with help it is incredibly easy!

     

    Critics and "professionnal reviewers" may bitch, they may try to say it is meek or weak...I don't care, I am enjoying that aspect of the games!  I rather watch a movie that is entertaining me such as the LotR then some stuff with Charlie Chaplin, I am sure the critics put Charlie ahead of the LotR, but guess what, I would watch LotR right now, Charlie Chaplin...well, prolly not!    Charlie is good and all, but I watch him in the past, it was fun, but I have no desire to watch him again...unlike LotR.  So, go with the critics or with your heart?  I pick my heart! 

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member

    I agree with the author on this one. However, I can't help but admit defeat on what is more popular. It is obvious that the overwhelming majority prefer treadmill, spoon-fed content games over the sandbox games where both you and the devs create your own content and the goal isn't to gain the next level. So players that want a sandbox game are left wanting and either have to choose one of the currently existing ones, that are old and whose community is smallish or suck it up and try to make do with an MMORPG like WoW. I view the people who give in and play a game that they don't find fun as people who are addicted to MMORPGs and can't find something better to do with their time. Those that like MMORPGs and prefer the sandbox games, but don't need to play a MMORPG to be happy probably have a nice life and will either wait until a good sandbox game is released or will forget about MMORPGs all together.

    I personally play SWG. Even with the NGE, the game is still mostly a sandbox. You can create player ran cities, run a shop, or go out and have an adventure. However, because of the NGE, most of the people playing only care about gaining the max level and doing end game content. The sandbox community that SWG used to have, has quit for the most part. You can still find some in-game, but they are scattered across many low population servers. Slowly, but surely, those people are transfering their characters or creating new characters on the heavier servers.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • TimberhickTimberhick Jacksonville, FLPosts: 44Member
    Linear is so much better for the whole community.



    Lil'Billy shouldn't be going into the Temple of Elemental Evil right after toon creation.



    If you dont have the restriction you get way too many whiners and morons bitching about something being to hard.



    Gamers are stupid and need the hand holding.

    ..........................
    guildwars blows.

  • BountytakerBountytaker Randolph, MAPosts: 323Member

    One of the reasons why I'm looking foward to PotBS is that it seems to have only a few "limits" zone-wise (PvP/PvE, and three "newb" ports per faction).  Otherwise, the entire map is open to exploration.  And yes, while there are skills, there doesn't seem to be the normal "leveling" system of other MMO's.  From what I've seen, ships won't "con" red or orange or purple to you, and you won't be limited to fighting the same faction for 5 levels.  Which, for me, is a refreshing change from the standard MMO practices.

     

    From what I've seen so far, PotBS may be the first release that moves in the direction the article's author would like.

     

    But, I could be wrong.

  • IrishIrish Rochester, NYPosts: 261Member

    I gotta say, this article has really odd timing. I was just messing around with the Lotro beta, and felt myself thinking the exact same thing. I went over to my brothers house (a fellow mmoer who plays wow) and told him this same thing. Within 15 minutes of playing lotro, I felt like I was playing warcraft. Seriously.  I have actually quit being serious with mmorpgs for almost a year now, because Im waiting on that game that does what Grand Theft Auto did for consoles.

    A game that opens up the concept of something new. Personally, I believe it does lie in the sandbox content as the user above posted. I also believe that change will come dependant on the way PvP is implemented.

    All in all, right now I feel that MMORPGs are just like that recent article on yahoo about rebuilding the internet. Someone has to man-up and make the move to scrap the existing way and start over with a clean slate. Now that we know what works, what doesnt, what we can live with or without, why not start anew?

    Better yet, lets just coax MMORPG.com users into making the perfect MMO. We have the best and brightest right here in one place.

  • DabbleDabble Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,043Member

    A depressing article indeed.  And the worst part is, it offers no solutions. 

    I too would like to see a sandbox type MMO, but they don't exist and it isn't clear if they can.  Those kind of enviorments are better suited to single-player games (someone mentioned GTA).  If it can be done, then I'd like to be a part of it.  But for now, I'll appreciate this genre of gaming for what it is currently.

  • minuteman76minuteman76 Pensacola, FLPosts: 28Member
    The article was great and pinpoints my major complaints with MMOs. Part of the problem in my opinion is that developers are too tied to IPs. Given, the big IPs (Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft) bring in the bucks. But when you are too afraid to let players tinker (or disassemble) your world and lore, you have to make things linear to keep players from becoming to focused on some aspect of the game and wanting to shape it a little more to their own liking. From what I have heard of SWG pre-NGE, it sounds like that game was somewhat successful at finding a balance to this problem.



    I am still currently playing MMOs, but I play less and less over time. When I get to the "end" of a game, I don't like that my only option is to go back and redo the "move from X to Y to Z," only to find that there is still nothing new to do when I get to Z. Why can't I stay at Y and have just as much fun. Why should I ever get to Z if I choose to spend my time developing, mastering, and enjoying Y.



    There are several games that show promise of delivering some of the elements I desire, but in the meantime I don't think my interest in anything currently on the market will hold my attention long.
  • AbraxosAbraxos Montgomery, ALPosts: 412Member

    I think the problem people have isn't with an open-ended game. Oblivion sold well and was very open ended. You could close the gate of Oblvion or you could join the Mage's guild or you could help a lizard lady collect some ingredients or fight in the arena. The difference is that for some reason MMORPGs think open ended means lots of land with nothing happening in it. Your choice is to follow the linear path or kill random yard trash or farm a dungeon.

    The sandbox method has always been great on paper but stinks in actual production. The reason I believe is that none of these games are prepared to truely do a sandbox game. It's much more difficult to plan an open ended game than a linear and most people simply run out of time/money and release a big open world that is predominantly empty.

    I got all excitied when Dark and Light and Vanguard commented on how big their seemless worlds would be. The problem is someone needs to work their butt off to give life to that world. If Timmy the Gnome decides to explore instead of following  the intro quest, then he needs to find something besides wandering deer and bear mobs.

    To me, Oblivion was successful as an open ended world because I never found myself lacking for choices. In MMORPGs I seldom have played a game that gave me more to do than I could accomplish. Instead I normally get four or five quests, run into a dead area and grind, find some more quests, run into a group quest, can't find a group and grind some more.

    My decisions in most MMORPGs of late were not based on my own free-will but instead were based off of content and lack of content the game gave me. Dungeons are fast XP in MMORPG A so we go to dungeons, Soloing is awesome in MMORPG B so we solo. I seldom find immersion because I am observing the mechanics and content of the game instead of just logging in and exploring and the game being a true world instead of a series of hoops.

    When you think about how much content exists in the Star Wars IP for instance you could see where a IP could overwhelm you and give you more than you could possibly do with one character. Unfortunately when the MMORPG is released, you see big empty areas devoid of space battles, sand people, jawas, bounty hunters etc.

    A dwarf with a sword running thru an endless forest of beetles and giant spiders doesn't make a good fantasy novel and it shouldn't make a good MMORPG.

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon
    Perhaps Bethesda entering the MMO market, albeit obliquely, could improve the breed a bit away from linearity?



    Shava
  • BountytakerBountytaker Randolph, MAPosts: 323Member

     

    Originally posted by Timberhick

    Linear is so much better for the whole community.



    Lil'Billy shouldn't be going into the Temple of Elemental Evil right after toon creation.



    If you dont have the restriction you get way too many whiners and morons bitching about something being to hard.



    Gamers are stupid and need the hand holding.



    There's definitely a kernel of truth in this statement.  If you want to attract new players to the genre, you have to expect they'll need help getting used to things.  And, if their first few experiences in the game are highly difficult, and end in death and defeat, then you'll lose them just as quickly.

    MMO's NEED to have a way to inform players that, in their current state, a certain zone, enemy, action, etc. may be extremely difficult, and should be avoided if you don't appreciate constant defeat.

     

    But there still has to be a way of signifying that without being so blatant, or constricting, as the current zone, level, and conning systems are.

  • avienthasavienthas FreiburgPosts: 94Member
    Good one. Just about sums up why I have quit halfway through every game (except good old UO) I´ve started.  Great IPs , shallow games, that seems to be the thing . I just hope that atleast one of the low-budget niche games will make it to release some day, because i´ve stopped hoping that one of the big boys will try anything new anytime soon.

    image

  • SuvrocSuvroc Toronto, ONPosts: 2,383Member
    I'd swear this article was written with SWG in mind!   
  • CerionCerion Santa Monica, CAPosts: 1,005Member

    From a site the professes to be about the entire MMO industry, I found this editorial to be rather myopic.  Does the entire industry have to design games that are non-linear?  That's a rhetorical question. Of course not. Some games will be linear and others will not.  Apparently the editor hasn't played Second Life, or Shadowbane, or WWII Online, or Ryzom, or EVE, or.....you get the picture.

    So what could this article mean? Perhaps it means that the editor is pissed that his favorite game didn't end up as a non-linear game. Sorry to hear that if it's the case.

    All of you complaining about there being no non-linear games really have to do your research because they exist.

    And even those games that have story-driven content (Oblivion, anything BioWare, CoX, LOTRO, even SWG) have sandbox elements to them in varying proportions.  Are they 100% sandbox? Of course not.  But then it sounds rather childish to demand an all or nothing state. Ever listen to say a 9 or 10 year old talk? They frame their world in absolutes.  Either you're mature enough to live with a spectrum of playstyles or your not. No one can help you there.

    As for the whole concept of being led through hoops, that's rather simplistic. When I read a book, am I being 'led through hoops'? When I watch a movie, am I being 'led through hoops'?  The creator of the work of art is giving you a story, and is directing you through that story. Directed content in MMOs is the same thing.  A story is being told, and you participate in that story on a level that is unprecedented in entertainment .  To somehow disparage people for enjoying story is to indict the entirety of human race and history for enjoying stories from Plato to R A Salvatore.

    Finally, I do see a place for non-linear MMOs, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a game that gives a player tremendous agency, much like Oblivion. But the MMO space is large enough for the entire spectrum of playstyles to exist.

    _____________________________
    Currently Playing: LOTRO; DDO
    Played: AC2, AO, Auto Assault, CoX, DAoC, DDO, Earth&Beyond, EQ1, EQ2, EVE, Fallen Earth, Jumpgate, Roma Victor, Second Life, SWG, V:SoH, WoW, World War II Online.

    Games I'm watching: Infinity: The Quest for Earth, Force of Arms.

    Find the Truth: http://www.factcheck.org/

  • delateurdelateur Spokane, WAPosts: 156Member

    I would love to see MMOGs move more in the direction of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, which, if you haven't played this amazing game, is a skill/xp based game that gives you diverse clan options and a variety of ways to tackle a problem. It's not quite a sandbox, since there is an underlying story and an "end," but there is a lot of stuff to do on the side that are respectable stories in their own right. I can only imagine how much time and effort it would take to create this kind of content in sufficient quantity to justify releasing it as a MMOG, however. I think I'm starting to see how a developer is really limited in their options in creating MMOGs, because you have to create a model that is able to be constantly infused with new content to keep people paying their monthly fee, or at least make the class choices so diverse that people are willing to go through the same content many times because it is so fun. Let's hope someday someone accomplishes it!

  • LordKyellanLordKyellan Lee, NHPosts: 160Member
    That's exactly the problem. To make an MMORPG with even an undercurrent of storyline is difficult, because everyone has to experience the same story, the same events, at different times. Instances work in some ways for this, but why do the NPCs need multiple people to do the same thing over and over again?



    I don't know a whole lot about game design, but I don't think we're going to see much difference in MMOs until the hardware power is available to really make dynamic quests and content a reality. On a basic level, things like:



    A shepherd is having problems with wolves. He asks the player to cull the wolf population so his sheep can be safer. This, in turn, causes the local deer population to run out of control, and the local farmers suddenly cannot keep them away. Another player is asked by the farmers to take care of the deer, and this in turn causes another problem.



    Unfortunately, I have no idea how this could possibly work on a programming level.

    --------

    "Give a man a fire, and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he is warm for the rest of his life."

  • KenorvKenorv Richmond, VAPosts: 112Member

    The best solution would be to just get rid of standard quests altogether. Just make an MMO full of real time events. Of course that would require GM's that actually cared enough about a game to put in the time and effort to run the real time events. Yes I know that a lot of people would be upset if they missed out on an event but I think it would be better than everyone doing the same standard quests all the time. Real time events would give life and breath to a MMO world. And becaue they're real time events and not standard quests, there's no way to know how they will turn out. They could have a positive or negative effect on the world, and most importantly a lasting effect on the world. If an NPC is killed he doesn't come back to life in 5 minutes so he can be killed again like in most MMO's. If a town is raided and burnt to the ground, it isn't rebuilt in 5 minutes so it can be raided again. That's the type of MMO that I want to see.

     

  • VroshnakVroshnak Atlanta, GAPosts: 38Member
    More and more I think the only way to get the open ended gaming experience I want is from a game that is multiplayer but NOT massive, and that one person plays as the Dungeon Master... a la Neverwinter Nights.  Playing a weekly Wednesday night game where decisions the players made actually affected the world... it was great.  How could a massive game compete until we have helmets with brain spikes sending us directly into another world where we could actually have a "Second Life"?
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cerion


    From a site the professes to be about the entire MMO industry, I found this editorial to be rather myopic.  Does the entire industry have to design games that are non-linear?  That's a rhetorical question. Of course not. Some games will be linear and others will not.  Apparently the editor hasn't played Second Life, or Shadowbane, or WWII Online, or Ryzom, or EVE, or.....you get the picture.
    So what could this article mean? Perhaps it means that the editor is pissed that his favorite game didn't end up as a non-linear game. Sorry to hear that if it's the case.
    All of you complaining about there being no non-linear games really have to do your research because they exist.
    And even those games that have story-driven content (Oblivion, anything BioWare, CoX, LOTRO, even SWG) have sandbox elements to them in varying proportions.  Are they 100% sandbox? Of course not.  But then it sounds rather childish to demand an all or nothing state. Ever listen to say a 9 or 10 year old talk? They frame their world in absolutes.  Either you're mature enough to live with a spectrum of playstyles or your not. No one can help you there.
    As for the whole concept of being led through hoops, that's rather simplistic. When I read a book, am I being 'led through hoops'? When I watch a movie, am I being 'led through hoops'?  The creator of the work of art is giving you a story, and is directing you through that story. Directed content in MMOs is the same thing.  A story is being told, and you participate in that story on a level that is unprecedented in entertainment .  To somehow disparage people for enjoying story is to indict the entirety of human race and history for enjoying stories from Plato to R A Salvatore.
    Finally, I do see a place for non-linear MMOs, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a game that gives a player tremendous agency, much like Oblivion. But the MMO space is large enough for the entire spectrum of playstyles to exist.



    Ah... a post I can get behind.

    I feel the exact same way. The article makes very bold statments, offers no solutions and essentially says that if it isn't his way it is the highway.

    That's fine and good. But as you pointed out there are games that are completley open and yet they aren't juggernauts.

    I do have to agree with one point that he makes and that is that once player finish with a certain area and level they have to move on. I have always thought that this was a shame as there are some very nice places that then become ghost towns (cough L2, cough)

    My thought is that dungeons should have several "layers" or levels. The first few can be for lower level players and the lower (or higher if it is a tower) levels could be for higher level players.

    Also, why can't an area have dynamic quests that become available once a player is of the appropriate level? This way you get a mix of players in an area and you can have more in one area than just noob quests.

    Finally, I enjoy leveling up a character, becoming more powerful and then using my power. I don't want a house. I don't want to craft objects just for the sake of crafting.

    I really loved Morrowind and Oblivion (Morrowind is why I decided to try online games as I wanted to see if they were like Morrowind where you can discover things that were off in the distance and open up a storyline - but with the competition of that real people give) and would't mind quest systems like that in an mmorpg. However, what then happens is that people have to grind quests or else the designers have to be so prolific as to make it impossible to keep certain players happy.

    And what of URU? That seems to be a pretty open ended game. And I don't believe there is leveling. I tend to wonder if author of the article will be playing that?

  • DarkeOneDarkeOne Pemberton, NJPosts: 36Member
    Originally posted by Cerion



    And even those games that have story-driven content (Oblivion, anything BioWare, CoX, LOTRO, even SWG) have sandbox elements to them in varying proportions.  Are they 100% sandbox? Of course not.  But then it sounds rather childish to demand an all or nothing state. Ever listen to say a 9 or 10 year old talk? They frame their world in absolutes.  Either you're mature enough to live with a spectrum of playstyles or your not. No one can help you there.
    As for the whole concept of being led through hoops, that's rather simplistic. When I read a book, am I being 'led through hoops'? When I watch a movie, am I being 'led through hoops'?  The creator of the work of art is giving you a story, and is directing you through that story. Directed content in MMOs is the same thing.  A story is being told, and you participate in that story on a level that is unprecedented in entertainment .  To somehow disparage people for enjoying story is to indict the entirety of human race and history for enjoying stories from Plato to R A Salvatore.
    Finally, I do see a place for non-linear MMOs, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a game that gives a player tremendous agency, much like Oblivion. But the MMO space is large enough for the entire spectrum of playstyles to exist.
    I have to second Cerion's opinion here. MMO games tend to be linear to tell a story. If you're dealing with a level based MMO, don't you want to have some content for you at every level you're at? Some quest lines are story driven, some not. Even if you have a true sandbox MMOG do you want to fill in your time hunting x monster while dodging the Y monster that can kill you flat since 'tier' areas were removed.  Sure you can scatter quests around but imagine the hard time finding one if low level monsters and high level monsters roam freely in the area;seperate them or the organize the quest areas and before you know you're linear again.



    If you take away the level system,then its no longer and RPG is it? Point is, you need the linear in these games because its the base structure that supports not just the content, but the means for the player to enjoy that content.



    Keep in mind that articles under the banner MMOWTF are designed to be rants, not necessarily logical ones at that.


    D

  • delateurdelateur Spokane, WAPosts: 156Member


    Originally posted by DarkeOne
    Keep in mind that articles under the banner MMOWTF are designed to be rants, not necessarily logical ones at that.

    That's an excellent point, but it only gets you so far. Part of why I rarely find Dan's articles entertaining is that they are often not much different from any cleverly worded rant I can find on any number of MMOG forums. I have come to expect more from editorials than a few paragraphs about "what really grinds Dan's gears." Another part of me thinks that the readers can certainly contribute ideas about what we can do to improve the genre, but I really would like to see Dan offer at least one helpful suggestion about how the genre could be improved if he's going to take up a page complaining about it.

  • PimpopotamusPimpopotamus Dallas, TXPosts: 31Member
    Originally posted by DarkeOne



    If you take away the level system,then its no longer and RPG is it? Point is, you need the linear in these games because its the base structure that supports not just the content, but the means for the player to enjoy that content.

    Ok, I have to say that you obviously don't know what you're talking about.  Think about what that term RPG actually means; Role-Playing Game.  That means that when I go to play that game, I can create a character exactly like me, or something completely different.  To say that taking away the level system causes a game to no longer be an RPG is just wrong.  It can be an RPG with or without the leveling system.  In my opinion, a sandbox MMOG would be more of a true RPG than others, simply because I can make my character how I really want it to be.  I would be able to choose my class based on my character, not my character based on my class.  I'm not trying to say that games with linear systems aren't RPGs, because they are, all games are really RPGs when you think about it.  I'm just trying to clarify that you should think about things before you say them.

    "It is better to have people think you're incompetent by not talking, then to prove them right by talking."

    *Edit: Added: In my opinion
  • Chase05Chase05 Mississauga, ONPosts: 113Member
    yes i do think MMOs need to be more in variety, no ofense but most mmo have the same basic principals
  • neilh73neilh73 EdinburghPosts: 239Member

    I agree with most of the points in the article.

    From a personal perspective, I am only interested in sandbox style MMO's. From my experience, the linear grindfests are just not my cup of tea at all.

    This is probably because of SWG being my first MMO. Pre-CU SWG is still to my mind the greatest MMO ever made. I dont want to be led by the nose through content. I dont want to be locked into one class and one class alone. I want to be able to build my characters skills as I see fit, not the developers. I want to be able to explore huge worlds. I want character interdependancy and I'm not talking about the raiding group interdependency of Tank, DD, Healer. I want player housing/cities and decorations/trophies. I want to be able to just hang-out in a bar somewhere and talk crap, or play music, dance etc.. Basically, I want a world where I can do pretty much anything I want.

    On the other hand, I understand that not everyone likes this style of MMO, in fact people like me are in the minority. Just look at the huge success of WoW, a more linear, hand-holding MMO than any of the others that I have tried. Personally, I cant stand the game and felt like I was losing a few brain cells every time I logged into it. But that is what the majority want. They want to be able to switch off, relax and enjoy killing, looting, repeating (curse you Nancy MacIntyre :p). I dont blame people for that, some times I just want to blow some crap up, but when I feel like that I play FPS's. Horses for courses I suppose.

    I realise that there has to be room and scope for both playstyles within the MMO genre, the problem is that the sandbox style is lagging way behind the linear style in terms of choices. If you want a true sandbox MMO you have 2 choices - EvE or Ryzom. MMO's with some sandbox aspects - SWG (although its class-based now, it still has some sandbox aspects to it), Vanguard (same as SWG in that its class-bassed, but has other sandbox aspects to it), MxO (only thing sandboxy is the skill system, you can learn everything in the game). Thats about it, now look how many linear class/level-based MMO's that are out there....

    Personally, I am hoping that AoC has enough sandbox elements to it, that I will be able to overlook the rest of its design and if not its a long wait for Fallen Earth.

    Anyway, enough rambling from me (I shouldnt log on when I get back from the pub). Take care all.

    MMORPG History:
    Playing - EVE Online.
    Played (Retired) - AO, SWG, MxO, WoW, RFO, SoR, CoX, EQ2, GW, L2, Vanguard, LotRO, AoC, TCoS, Aion.
    Favourite MMO - Pre-CU SWG, 3 Years, 4 Accounts, 2 Pre-CU Jedi (1 Pre-9).
    Awaiting - Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World, Earthrise.

  • DragonmuseDragonmuse Lethbridge, ABPosts: 12Member

    First of all, if you only spent 15 minutes in LOTRO, you have not begun to experience it.

    Yes, it does seem like every other game out there at first. There are advantages to the linear nose-leading.. people learn to use the skills they are given before encountering harder things. The pace people learn varies, so they usually do start out very simplistically. Even books, movies and other forms of entertainment are linear.. It is a rare author that can start at the middle and keep you interested without going anywhere but sideways.

    There is a choice to skip the Intro. The first NPC you talk to offers it. You do not have to do the beginning stuff. Of course you end up in a level 6 zone with a level 2 character, but even that is not all that big a deal.. I currently have a maxxed character in LOTRO that has not grouped or killed anything.  She has also earned many abilities and traits. Those are earned through completing objectives, not levelling.

    You also have missed out on Monster play... It  does not depend on levels.. once you are level 10 (by which time people should understand the game mechanics), you can enter it and you are on a par with all other players, both in level and gear... you earn abilities there by completing objectives and through PvP.

    There are people who have already mastered some of the crafting professions too, despite the current level 15 cap.

    One thing I really enjoy is the streetcorner musicians all over the place.. I think the addition of player instruments was a wonderful innovation.

    Yes, I would like to see more things to do such as  player shops, customizable housing or other ways to express creativity, and am hoping something like them will be added, but for now, I feel they are at least taking baby steps in the right direction.

    I would also love to see people making positive suggestions on what they would like to see rather than moan about what they see as wrong. 

     

    P.S. If you really hate the concept of levelling so much, try a FPS :)

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