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Anyone else love endgame but hate leveling?

TolmosTolmos North, FLPosts: 135Member Common

I'm one of the older MMOers- started with UO back in 97, though I skipped EQ almost entirely. Level grinds are not a foreign thing to me, for sure, but it's for that reason that I find myself... struggling to enjoy them.

When I think back to all of my best MMO memories, none of them involve leveling. Not a single one. All of them involve endgame content which was either PvP, dungeon grinding or something else. For me, MMOs have 2 draws: the social aspects, and the persistent worlds. The latter exists regardless, but when questing it is extremely rare to find many opportunities to be social.

Sure sure, every couple of levels you might find someone who needs help with a superior quality NPC or something, but at the end of the day, leveling is a very solitary act. Some games have tried in recent years to enforce a group based leveling, where leveling alone is nearly impossible, but that doesn't work well due to an eventual lack of players at the different level ranges. It's all fun and games until you simply can't find a group.

That said, I don't mind endgame grinds. The games I stick with are the ones I hit max level in, at least until they raise level cap. Example- I played Rift from the day it launched until the day it launched its expansion. I LOVED that game, I really did. I had a great static raid group, a ton of folks I played with every night, and a pretty awesome overall social dynamic. But there was a huge issue- thanks to work, I was a casual, and my fellow raiders were hardcores. For raiding, this wasn't an issue at all. Takes what...a couple hours a night tops to raid? I could do that. We all played together and it was great. The problem, however, came when Rift upped the level cap. Because of our playstyle differences, my raid group hit max level within a few days... while a week later I wasn't even halfway there. The end result is that my raid group had to continue progressing without me, as I leveled in a completely solitary fashion attempting to catch up just do what I wanted, and get back the dynamic I had before they upped the cap. :(

Anyhow, I dunno... maybe it's burn out on leveling, but I'd love to see an MMO with all the other endgame aspects, and a little less of the solo level experience.

http://imgur.com/a/kU0qS
Players of Balmung- a compilation of different characters I've come across during my adventures in FFXIV ARR.

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Comments

  • BurntCabbageBurntCabbage jeffersonville, INPosts: 371Member Uncommon
    there should be no such word as endgame in a mmorp imho
  • SamuraiXIVSamuraiXIV Philadelphia, PAPosts: 354Member

    To me it's the other way around I like the journey to end game but end game itself is a grind of same few dungeons over and over for 500 times or more then new tier dungeons and another 500 times same dungeon and so on.

    Good example why leveling is more fun (to me at least):

    Final Fantasy XI Online: Time played ~10 years, why that long cause with the same character you could level all 22 jobs (classes) and at start it took like a full year to get to level cap with 6 members party ONLY no solo you could not. There were no server transfers no name changing if you were an ass you would not be able to play and level up in this game so the overall community was stellar and all the scrubs left the game.

    [put here any mmorpg name that leveling is fast and easy and solo] I did try them all ANY mmorpg with fantasy setting and all were about the endgame grind and not the journey there didnt keep me playing for more then 3 months(wow) the rest even less including Rift.

    "mmorpg.com forum admins are all TROLLS and losers in real life"
    My opinion

  • TolmosTolmos North, FLPosts: 135Member Common
    Originally posted by BurntCabbage
    there should be no such word as endgame in a mmorp imho

    Fine, how about "post leveling".

     

    Originally posted by SamuraiXIV

    Final Fantasy XI Online: Time played ~10 years, why that long cause with the same character you could level all 22 jobs (classes) and at start it took like a full year to get to level cap with 6 members party ONLY no solo you could not. There were no server transfers no name changing if you were an ass you would not be able to play and level up in this game so the overall community was stellar and all the scrubs left the game.

    I wanted to like FF11, but the problem was that by the time I played there was no one my level to group with. I loved the idea of grouping to level, but couldn't actually find a group :( I ended up quitting because, after 2 weeks of being stuck at level 19 attempting to solo grind mobs that weren't meant to be soloed, I simply wasn't going to be going anywhere any time soon.

    That's the danger of a required group leveling experience, and another reason I dislike the arbitrary gap leveling creates. People didn't group with me because they were a higher level, and I couldn't group with them because I was lower. It wasn't that some social rift existed between myself and the other players of the game, stopping us from wanting to play together... it just wasn't feasible :(

    http://imgur.com/a/kU0qS
    Players of Balmung- a compilation of different characters I've come across during my adventures in FFXIV ARR.

  • bohrium924bohrium924 Atlanta, GAPosts: 10Member Uncommon

    Im somewhat the opposite.

     

    I enjoy the leveling experience, but not what it has become.  I love the drive for the next set of dungeons, and group play.   MMO's are all about groups imo and that is why I play them.  It is a shame everything these days has become a quest grind with a dungeon maybe thrown in.  Im not sure if Im becoming bitter to the whole MMO experience these days because my playtime has drastically reduced due to RL obligations but I struggle to stick with a game for more then a week.  Its a shame cause I used to shake my head when I heard people say they couldn't stick to a game, but sadly I have become one of those people.

     

    Lets hope the future is brighter and the Massively Multiplayer portion of the genre returns.

  • SamuraiXIVSamuraiXIV Philadelphia, PAPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by bohrium924

    Im somewhat the opposite.

     

    I enjoy the leveling experience, but not what it has become.  I love the drive for the next set of dungeons, and group play.   MMO's are all about groups imo and that is why I play them.  It is a shame everything these days has become a quest grind with a dungeon maybe thrown in.  Im not sure if Im becoming bitter to the whole MMO experience these days because my playtime has drastically reduced due to RL obligations but I struggle to stick with a game for more then a week.  Its a shame cause I used to shake my head when I heard people say they couldn't stick to a game, but sadly I have become one of those people.

     

    Lets hope the future is brighter and the Massively Multiplayer portion of the genre returns.

    That's where I stand too well said ^^

    "mmorpg.com forum admins are all TROLLS and losers in real life"
    My opinion

  • TolmosTolmos North, FLPosts: 135Member Common
    Originally posted by bohrium924

    Im somewhat the opposite.

     

    I enjoy the leveling experience, but not what it has become.  I love the drive for the next set of dungeons, and group play.   MMO's are all about groups imo and that is why I play them.  It is a shame everything these days has become a quest grind with a dungeon maybe thrown in.  Im not sure if Im becoming bitter to the whole MMO experience these days because my playtime has drastically reduced due to RL obligations but I struggle to stick with a game for more then a week.  Its a shame cause I used to shake my head when I heard people say they couldn't stick to a game, but sadly I have become one of those people.

     

    Lets hope the future is brighter and the Massively Multiplayer portion of the genre returns.

    Pretty much nailed my recent MMO experience on the head. 

    I feel bad, constantly starting games and giving them up, but they all lack something. Examples of this are Wildstar, TERA and ESO. I started all 3, and never reached max level because they all inherently lacked something I was looking for. The experiences while leveling were so solitary, and so well designed to keep me separated from the people who joined the games with me, that I felt like I playing a really repetitive and grindy single player game. :( 

    http://imgur.com/a/kU0qS
    Players of Balmung- a compilation of different characters I've come across during my adventures in FFXIV ARR.

  • berenimberenim KasselPosts: 134Member Uncommon
    The moment I reach max lvl I usually don't know what to do anymore, since all progress is broken down to repeat the same stuff again and again. Nothing new anymore. Why should I grind token, just to grind more tokens in the same instances?! Those single player like mechanics (play through, play agin through a harder level) should be done with IMHO. So there is nothing new. I'm the other way round. I love to see what comes next, what's around the next corner, what I can learn next, but grinding gear? Not really...

    image

  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    I don't like leveling, attunement, gear grinds, or any other timesink, I just want to jump in, be competitive and be able to enjoy the content with my buds. Being able to pay for quick access is not an option either, I don't care about video games enough to pay.
  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,660Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tolmos
    Originally posted by bohrium924

    Im somewhat the opposite.

     

    I enjoy the leveling experience, but not what it has become.  I love the drive for the next set of dungeons, and group play.   MMO's are all about groups imo and that is why I play them.  It is a shame everything these days has become a quest grind with a dungeon maybe thrown in.  Im not sure if Im becoming bitter to the whole MMO experience these days because my playtime has drastically reduced due to RL obligations but I struggle to stick with a game for more then a week.  Its a shame cause I used to shake my head when I heard people say they couldn't stick to a game, but sadly I have become one of those people.

     

    Lets hope the future is brighter and the Massively Multiplayer portion of the genre returns.

    Pretty much nailed my recent MMO experience on the head. 

    I feel bad, constantly starting games and giving them up, but they all lack something. Examples of this are Wildstar, TERA and ESO. I started all 3, and never reached max level because they all inherently lacked something I was looking for. The experiences while leveling were so solitary, and so well designed to keep me separated from the people who joined the games with me, that I felt like I playing a really repetitive and grindy single player game. :( 

    Though I eventually grew bored with it after a few months myself FFXIV:ARR can be quite the opposite of this and is worth checking out if you have had that experience in a lot of games.

    Granted, you have the option of soloing through to max level or just joining random groups and Fate grinding, but if you enjoy having lots of group dungeons and stuff to do throughout leveling there are tons of them you can complete along the way, as well as group trials (major boss fights, such as primals). The trials (pre-50) arent very rewarding as far as XP, but dungeons are good for both XP and top tier gear for their intended level range. Many of them also have some unique mechanics to the fights that make them different than other dungeons and require different types of teamwork to accomplish with ease.

    Both dungeons and trials are also required to complete at least once for quite a bit of the main storyline, and mob kills inside several of the dungeons are needed to complete Grand Company hunting logs. Theyre also great practice / training for some of the endgame content you will need to do. For example the trials involving primal fights are generally a shorter and less complex version of the hard / extreme mode fights you will encounter in end game.

    Joining a fairly large Free Company (aka guild) can also help a lot with getting dungeon groups. I used to be the #2 in a 400+ member FC and we constantly had both new / low level members running some of the lower dungeons as well as vets who were working on alt classes and running the dungeons for xp & gear.

     

    Personally, I found the leveling experience in ARR quite enjoyable due to the above. But most MMOs in general I try to avoid PvE and get right to PvP because the leveling experience is extremely dull and just a repeated quest grind of the same crap over and over again.

  • bobfishbobfish SouthamptonPosts: 1,688Member

    *raises hand*

     

    I've played MMOs for two decades! So i've done plenty of leveling in that time and don't really mind it, but, I play online games for the multiplayer aspect and many modern MMOs gate multiplayer content behind leveling.

     

    Wildstar is a good example of this, Arenas unlock at level 5, Adventures at level 15, Dungeons at level 20, etc.

     

    Just let me play with other people ffs.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member

    I used to be really into end game. Then I realized how much of a raiding treadmill all end game is today. Games like ESO, FFXIV that are giving players options beyond raiding are rekindling my interest in end game.

     

    By moving away from the traditional end game and giving players challenging single player, duo, and small group combat I'm enjoying end game activities again.

     

    I can never go back to raiding full time. It's some of the sorriest filler content and usually is much less difficult than a well tuned small group dungeon. Once you realize the only difficulty in raids is getting together 10-25 people that know the difference between their butt and a hole in the ground, it kind of makes you wonder why raiding is necessary at all when 2-6 man content can be much more difficult and rewarding due to not having to rely on Joe Guy trying to take care of his baby while he tanks.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • TolmosTolmos North, FLPosts: 135Member Common
    Originally posted by AeonbladesI can never go back to raiding full time. It's some of the sorriest filler content and usually is much less difficult than a well tuned small group dungeon. Once you realize the only difficulty in raids is getting together 10-25 people that know the difference between their butt and a hole in the ground, it kind of makes you wonder why raiding is necessary at all when 2-6 man content can be much more difficult and rewarding due to not having to rely on Joe Guy trying to take care of his baby while he tanks.

    For all but 1 game out there, I agree entirely with this assessment.

    The 1 outlier for me is FF14:ARR. It is a massive treadmill, like the other games, for sure. Big BIG grind there. Buuuuut the raids are actually a pain. Some of the content is actually difficult, even by single player game standards. The Extreme trials are brutal, to say the least.

    Of all the MMOs I've played, the raids in that game are the most enjoyable for sure.

    http://imgur.com/a/kU0qS
    Players of Balmung- a compilation of different characters I've come across during my adventures in FFXIV ARR.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Tolmos
    Originally posted by AeonbladesI can never go back to raiding full time. It's some of the sorriest filler content and usually is much less difficult than a well tuned small group dungeon. Once you realize the only difficulty in raids is getting together 10-25 people that know the difference between their butt and a hole in the ground, it kind of makes you wonder why raiding is necessary at all when 2-6 man content can be much more difficult and rewarding due to not having to rely on Joe Guy trying to take care of his baby while he tanks.

    For all but 1 game out there, I agree entirely with this assessment.

    The 1 outlier for me is FF14:ARR. It is a massive treadmill, like the other games, for sure. Big BIG grind there. Buuuuut the raids are actually a pain. Some of the content is actually difficult, even by single player game standards. The Extreme trials are brutal, to say the least.

    Of all the MMOs I've played, the raids in that game are the most enjoyable for sure.

    I'm looking forward to trying them out to be honest. I haven't really been excited for a raid since vanilla WoW, but leveling in FFXIV has gotten me pretty excited and optimistic. It's the reason I mentioned it specifically in my post, the game has a level of polish and fun that is not seen any other modern MMO today.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • AzzudyenAzzudyen St. Albans, WVPosts: 11Member
    Older gamer from 1999. I like leveling but hate endgame is most MMO's now
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXPosts: 3,493Member Uncommon

    When I first started playing MMO's or even MUDs like Gemstone 3 ( now Gemstone 4 ) I immediately compared them to my days of table top AD&D which incorporated leveling because half the fun in a campaign session was creating a character and watching them develop into a force to be reckoned with.

    The thing about levels though is that they create a chronological record of achievements. If you start out at MAX level in a game, you greatly diminish the amount of achievements available. Because at MAX level, you have MAX skill points, MAX health and MAX mana and so on.

    If you skip the journey to endgame, where is that sense of accomplishment? That's been the point of RPG's long before computers even existed. Sure, you still have equipment to differentiate players of the same level, but there's no history or journey to compare.

    MMO is a general term and MMORPG's are a completely different mindset / approach to gaming than an MMOFPS where you will most likely find what the OP was talking about. FPS games aren't about the journey or story. They are about the instant gratification reward system that doesn't make the player wait for rewards.

    Now you can see where that "instant gratification" term comes from when referring to FPS gamers who are now playing MMO's and what they are looking for. MMORPG's and MMOFPS's are two completely different genres basically.

    image

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,952Member Uncommon

    The two terms "leveling" and "endgame" are pretty much accomplishing the same thing, which is "progression"

     

    I hate the term "endgame" as well as "leveling"  IMHO these two terms do a great disservice to the genre as they both imply an end. An end is something you don't want to reach in a good MMORPG.

     

    Personally I'd like my MMORPG of choice to be a virtual world full of mystery, where no one knows when or where the "endgame" ends.

     

    "If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you." - Bruce Lee

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by laserit

    The two terms "leveling" and "endgame" are pretty much accomplishing the same thing, which is "progression"

     

    Yeh .. raising gear level is leveling. Raising paragon level is leveling.

    It is all leveling. There is no end-game.

  • TolmosTolmos North, FLPosts: 135Member Common
    Originally posted by Rhoklaw

    When I first started playing MMO's or even MUDs like Gemstone 3 ( now Gemstone 4 ) I immediately compared them to my days of table top AD&D which incorporated leveling because half the fun in a campaign session was creating a character and watching them develop into a force to be reckoned with.

    The thing about levels though is that they create a chronological record of achievements. If you start out at MAX level in a game, you greatly diminish the amount of achievements available. Because at MAX level, you have MAX skill points, MAX health and MAX mana and so on.

    If you skip the journey to endgame, where is that sense of accomplishment? That's been the point of RPG's long before computers even existed. Sure, you still have equipment to differentiate players of the same level, but there's no history or journey to compare.

    MMO is a general term and MMORPG's are a completely different mindset / approach to gaming than an MMOFPS where you will most likely find what the OP was talking about. FPS games aren't about the journey or story. They are about the instant gratification reward system that doesn't make the player wait for rewards.

    Now you can see where that "instant gratification" term comes from when referring to FPS gamers who are now playing MMO's and what they are looking for. MMORPG's and MMOFPS's are two completely different genres basically.

    For me, one of the most satisfying MMO experiences I've had, with the most sense of accomplishment, was my time in Shadowbane. It was a niche game- few people heard of it and fewer even played it, but it had a political system that was amazing. Players could form guilds, which could then form nations. Guilds/nations could build cities (as in take a blank space on the map and build up a city with walls, shops, etc) and other guilds could wage war on that city and raise it to the ground, leaving that blank spot once again.

    Leveling was a practically ignored part of the game. You could go from level 1 to max level in a single day. What kept us playing was our guilds, our nations and the cities we built. There were dozens of cities, so even small 3-4 man guilds had opportunities to build them.

    Our "endgame" was constant- gathering resources for the city, gathering runes (customization "power ups", basically), helping lowbies level up safely, fighting for mines, defending our cities, fighting for enemy cities, and even just generally roaming around looking for fights... these things all kept us going.

    To me, this game was my definitive MMO experience. I have never experienced a social environment like that again. There were no scripts, no pre-written stories; very few people Roleplayed, and yet the stories we walked away with sounded like all of us did. It was a truly dynamic, Massively Multiplayer experience.

    Maybe I'll never experience that again, but for me... that is what calls to me in an MMO. Leveling has never given me a sense of achievement. To me, it has always felt like an arbitrary gate to keep me from playing with other people. I'd rather have real, tangible, reasons to want to explore a zone... not because some NPC told me to kill 10 kobolds there.

    http://imgur.com/a/kU0qS
    Players of Balmung- a compilation of different characters I've come across during my adventures in FFXIV ARR.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon
    I leveling, but I want it to stop, like it did in DAOC. Still need have some gear and skill progression, but I abhor how most theme parks continually push the level top end ever outward.

    Just found out AA has level 55 built into it which had me rethinking whether or not to continue playing.

    Might just go back to EVE if AA is going to continue down the level progression road.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • ValkaernValkaern OxfordPosts: 512Member

    I'm the opposite. I've always had more fun leveling - before nightly raid grinds became a thing. Remember MMOs when raids were a special occasion once in a week or two, rather than a nightly certainty? That was way cooler. I tend to lose interest once the scope narrows and the only options for 'advancement' is an endless procession of gear upgrades.

    Running the same raids night after night in the same rooms, the same routine, is the exact opposite of adventure. However slowly becoming more and more powerful, advancing to new lands, exploring the unknown - that's where the adventure is for me.

    I stuck with EQ endgame raiding for about 6 years but only for the friends a sense of loyalty to our guild, I was eager for the next adventure the whole time. It wasn't the gameplay that kept us around.

    We tend to 'play through' new MMOs once or twice these days (depending on if we want to lvl more than one character), dropping them once we've hit max level since we know what's coming, and what's coming is not as exciting as starting a new adventure.

    I wish it were different, and I hope developers do find a way to keep the sense of progression, wonder, advancement and exploration that comes with leveling going beyond the current system of just upgrading gear. That system fails to keep me and many like me interested and subbing. 

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,758Member Uncommon
    I actually enjoy leveling....Once I hit "endgame" its the end of that game for me.....I always need some kind of carrot to keep me going and the gear treadmill isnt it.
  • ValkaernValkaern OxfordPosts: 512Member
    Originally posted by laserit

    The two terms "leveling" and "endgame" are pretty much accomplishing the same thing, which is "progression"

     

    I hate the term "endgame" as well as "leveling"  IMHO these two terms do a great disservice to the genre as they both imply an end. An end is something you don't want to reach in a good MMORPG.

     

    Personally I'd like my MMORPG of choice to be a virtual world full of mystery, where no one knows when or where the "endgame" ends.

     

    Endgame is pretty much synonymous with raiding these days, while leveling isn't.

    While both do revolve around progression, they're without a doubt very different gaming experiences.

  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon
    Reaching to point of being able to play endgame content is when I leave the game entirely and play something else. "Endgame" just means they ran out of ideas and put some tediously repetitive content there simply to please the sheeple.
  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,952Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Valkaern
    Originally posted by laserit

    The two terms "leveling" and "endgame" are pretty much accomplishing the same thing, which is "progression"

     

    I hate the term "endgame" as well as "leveling"  IMHO these two terms do a great disservice to the genre as they both imply an end. An end is something you don't want to reach in a good MMORPG.

     

    Personally I'd like my MMORPG of choice to be a virtual world full of mystery, where no one knows when or where the "endgame" ends.

     

    Endgame is pretty much synonymous with raiding these days, while leveling isn't.

    While both do revolve around progression, they're without a doubt very different gaming experiences.

    If that be the case, then the title of the thread should be changed from "Anyone else love endgame but hate leveling" to "Anyone else love raiding but hate any other kind of progression" image

     

    In the end it all boils down to the fact that it is just different types of content. And if you hate the leveling, it has more to do with the content lacking for your preference, then it does the fact that you are "leveling".

     

    I'm  still hoping to see an MMORPG release that starts right at the "endgame". It really is a term that I would like to see, layed to rest. It would be much more healthy for the genre.

    "If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you." - Bruce Lee

  • OriousOrious O''Fallon, ILPosts: 548Member

    For an MMORPG the experience of your character gaining in power through traveling through the world should be just as important as the point where you character is mostly maximized. "End Game" use to not be a term thrown around because enjoyment was experienced throughout the entire process. Now in the "End Game" era...anything prior to reaching maximum level is put on the backburner. I feel like people who don't want to level or who just rush through an "important" part of playing a role-playing game in general should just stick with action/adventure/FPS mmos that focus more on dungeon crawling etc. I know people are going to try to flame me for saying that...but it's like taking the technology upgrades out of an RTS game. You could have a strategic game without upgrading... 

    My suggestion would be play something like "Vindictus" or "Rakion". There are games that understand people just want to experience dungeons or "e-sports PvP". Yes there is leveling in it, but you get more or less the same content at all levels. I don't think these games have an "FFA PvP" ruleset at all,  though. It wouldn't make any sense for them to.

    I would however, love to see an MMORPG where leveling and maturing your character wasn't as huge a difference as it is in current MMORPG games. The "Power" Everyone shouldn't become a "god"...however, it should be possible for a small amount of people to reach that level for a limited time. This type of thing is mainly a requirement for a sandbox style game, though. Themeparks wouldn't really benefit from that at all.

    image

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