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General: This is Endgame, My Friend

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com columnist Isabelle Parsley writes this week about endgame, its place in the MMO world and whether or not our current systems are enough.

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Before I started playing WoW in 2004, I’d never actually heard the term “endgame” in an MMO context; but then, suddenly, it and its associated expressions were everywhere. “The game begins at 60!” people said, as if that were a great thing in itself and as if that explained everything.

The MMOs I’d played for any length of time before then didn’t have that concept. Asheron’s Call had relatively slow leveling in most cases, and as far as I could tell hitting max level didn’t really make all that much difference to how people played and what they did when they played. I don’t even think that, back then, there was content that was specifically designed for people who had hit the level cap.

Read Player Perspectives.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • BarCrowBarCrow Tampa, FLPosts: 2,212Member

    Agreed. What happened to the journey?. I logged into SWG again and found myself enjoying running around doing nothing . Just roaming about the desert sands of Tatooine...finding giant dragons and the odd traveller npc or player.

  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon

    This article pretty much sums up my view. I get to level cap and almost immediately turn round and role and alt. I like questing,exploring, gathering crafting mats, crafting... I hate the gear grind by doing the same dungeons or battleground until my eye's bleed. I raided in Vanilla WoW and it burnt me out, it became a second job... I will never do that again.

    This is one of the resons I'm looking forward to The Secret World. A leveless game that will hopefull not have the 'usual end-game' where I can continue to develop my character without the gear grind. I want to get get new equipment because it looks cool, not because it has +3 DEX on my existing item.

    More developers need to look for other options in MMOs and move away from the tired formulas and inovate something new. Just because Blizzard did it that way doesn't mean you should do it the same way. Think outside of the bun.

  • DuvarisDuvaris St. Petersburg, FLPosts: 127Member

    Totally Agree. Endgame is boring to me after the first time raiding a boss. The journey is what counts.  I think SWTOR will get it right.

  • stayghoststayghost Boston, MAPosts: 29Member

    Great read - summed up my feelings as well. Maybe it's because I was honed on the original MMO's and their mechanics, but it's the adventure and journey that I enjoy. The level / gear treadmill is too monotonous for me. Not to say these types of themepark linnear games aren't good ... they are great for people who enjoy them. To me they are akin to multiplayer adventure games on a larger scope. For me an ideal mmoRPG gives me the tools and flexability to create adventures not just follow the set path. Likewise it encourages the adventure by not having set paths.

  • TwistingfateTwistingfate warren, MAPosts: 177Member

    I agree with the article aswell. Its one of the reasons I actually picked up and started playing Final Fantasy 11 again. The game is aged to all hell but everything isnt all about end game. its about the journey and just having fun. The huge over arching story of the game that is drawn through all the quests and most things you do, helps as well :P.

    Cheers to when games were about the grand adventure and having fun instead of the lvl cap being the promised land.

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  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    me neither, reasons im looking forward to tsw, archeage although I dont know much about it, and salem,  I am sick and tired of getting to max level and running dungeons over and over and over and over and over and over.  im sick of it, even city of heroes is like that now.  somebody needs to come up with a different way of developing and having fun that just dungeons or raids.  or maybe just make a game that doesnt have a level cap or a skill cap, you just keep earning experience and placing it where you want.

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon
    I have no problem with "end game" however I do have a serious problem with the journey being different to the top. People need a taste early on of what they are getting into half mashing your buttons while levelling is very different from what is expected of you in a good raid or "end game" guild.

  • CeridithCeridith Toronto, ONPosts: 2,980Member

    The concept of endgame is a symptom of a greater problem. The game shouldn't feel like it really starts at level cap, the game should be enjoyable from start to cap, and players who are not at cap should not feel useless until they are. This in part caused by the exponential progression fo power that seems to occur in pretty much MMO these days.

  • DrakiisDrakiis Rochester, MNPosts: 47Member
    And now you finally understand the truth about pure pve game play, and to a lesser extent themeparks as a whole. This is how pvpers are born, from the ashes of boredom, to counter end game repitition, because nothing in pvp is scripted, nothing is repetitive, it's not about shinies, merit badges, or high score. It's about respect and recognition of skill, for your guild pride, for your own virtual immortality.

    Welcome to the real game.
  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,590Member

    OP you are actually very wrong.  SWG had Endgame, DAoC had endgame and so did EQ.  You better go read up and we used that term then as well.  I remember we would raid the Corvette or Death Watch Bunker... I can go on all day but I think you are just too much a rookie to the MMO genre so you made this assumption on your own without asking true old school vets from all of these games.  I have played em all and don't know of any without some form of endgame.  I have used that term since DAoC...

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  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Drakiis

    And now you finally understand the truth about pure pve game play, and to a lesser extent themeparks as a whole. This is how pvpers are born, from the ashes of boredom, to counter end game repitition, because nothing in pvp is scripted, nothing is repetitive, it's not about shinies, merit badges, or high score. It's about respect and recognition of skill, for your guild pride, for your own virtual immortality.



    Welcome to the real game.

    Yeah, whatever.

  • CheriseCherise Cincinnati, OHPosts: 232Member

    I think what’s happened is that the Endgame as it’s defined in WoW (and increasingly in other games, LOTRO for example) is something that was particularly interesting to the developers, many of whom originally came over from EQ1. They created something they would enjoy, and I don’t fault them for it, but it essentially imposed one particular vision on everyone else who plays the game.

    This here is a viewpoint I definitely share (along with the rest of the article).  Based on the games releasing it does seem the developers are either heavy raiders or pvp'ers and the whole concept of enjoying the journey to level has been lost and forgotten.

    Thank you for that article and expressing exactly why I don't enjoy the latest round of mmo's.

  • AglarannaAglaranna Palmer, PAPosts: 204Member

    Ugh...the "endgame" mindset is ruining MMOs, in my opinion. I don't get this whole mentality of rushing through the majority of the game's content just to then focus on a small number of dungeons or raids and repeat them ad nauseum. It's why I don't play WoW anymore, and why I'm not playing any MMO at the moment. I agree with you, the developers seems to be forgetting about the rest of us, those who like the journey, development, and the exploration, and are focusing on the raiders and loot-addicts.

    Older MMOs focused on the journey, recent MMOs have swung heavily in the opposite direction...with all the money and talent involved in MMO development, can't someone come up with a happy medium?

  • mrcalhoumrcalhou St. Bernard, LAPosts: 1,444Member

    One reason I like Eve is that end-game happens pretty much as soon as the tutorial is over.

    --------
    "Chemistry: 'We do stuff in lab that would be a felony in your garage.'"

    The most awesomest after school special T-shirt:
    Front: UNO Chemistry Club
    Back: /\OH --> Bad Decisions

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member

    Lets face it VWP (vanilla WoW Players) have been there and done that so many times now its not even funny. They killed there 1000's sleeping peon or dug in 488 piles of dung for film and sat in the stall in northrend for the 12th time to pass a sead wich is still my favoriote quest. But enough is enough why have that seed not been grown into a full grown tree by now and why are those peons still sleeping and dang all to heck why is "Tailspin" still kneeling down by his plane in a oil field he has legs walk back. Its old its tired its way past been there done that. Don't brag bout how many 85's you have. Relay what man you have no life? As for me I am happy that the bandwagon for WoW broke lets happy trail our way out for something better.

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  • JenuvielJenuviel Seattle, WAPosts: 960Member

    I agree with you in many ways, Isabelle. I'm definitely a journey player. While Everquest was the first MMO I played, Asheron's Call was the game that grabbed me, that helped me further define my likes and dislikes. Now, when I log into new games, not a day goes by that I'm not reminded which of those two games won the battle for hearts and minds.

     

    When I logged into Asheron's Call and looked around, I saw person after person that reminded me of myself. I made easy friends and felt my interests reflected in the people around me, even when I was doing my own thing. These days, I log into whichever MMO I happen to be playing and see almost no one that reminds me of myself; I feel increasingly alone in a massively multiplayer crowd. The very things that drew me to the genre now seem to set me apart.

     

    I'm Firefly, I'm Mal Reynolds (or, more specifically, Zoe). I'm canceled, and now I just drift from border moon to border moon. On the slightly brighter side, I'm also Doctor Who. Fezzes are cool.

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,430Member Uncommon

    As long as MMORPGs focus on levelling as your game play, you will always hit the "end game".

    They need to switch game play from the focus on building your character to a focus on your character in an active world. That doesn't mean removing building your character, it means reducing that as game play and adding the World into it.

    Once upon a time....

  • stayghoststayghost Boston, MAPosts: 29Member

    some one hit the nail on the head ... the concept of "end game" is the issue.

    It's great for people who want that kind of experience I guess.

     

    But some of us want what mmorpg's initially set out to be which was a much more dynamic, evolving, it is what you make of it experience. It is not get from A to B. It is .. log in ... and say ... hmm, what will I do today? And that is a much more difficult game to create because of the tools necessary for the people in the game to do it and do it well. (unlike some recent attempts at "sandbox" which were very poor)

  • stayghoststayghost Boston, MAPosts: 29Member

    Originally posted by sinjin

    OP you are actually very wrong.  SWG had Endgame, DAoC had endgame and so did EQ.  You better go read up and we used that term then as well.  I remember we would raid the Corvette or Death Watch Bunker... I can go on all day but I think you are just too much a rookie to the MMO genre so you made this assumption on your own without asking true old school vets from all of these games.  I have played em all and don't know of any without some form of endgame.  I have used that term since DAoC...

     

    Ultima Online ... 7x GM ... no end game

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    BINGO!  You hit the nail on the head.  You also explained, unintentionally why Wow IS so popular and it has nothing to do with it's endgame, which is just so one sided it leaves you wanting more.  The journey IS what made WoW fun and still does.  Now, that being said, we do have a few other games out there with endgame mechanics that should have become the norm but haven't due to, like you said, WoW's popularity.  

    Namely FFXI's job and mission system and EQ2's alternate advancement system and both games housing aspects.  All of these mechanics put those MMOs into "deep" territory and offer tons of endgame playtime that isn't hingent on running dungeons over and over for a shiny to get you into the next dungeon. 

    Don't get me wrong, the dungeon and raid mechanic should stay, as it can be fun for what it is BUT, there needs to be just as much development and emphasis put onto other more nebulous endgame persuits.

    IF the game can do it right, ArcheAge is one to watch as it seems to be leaning in the right direction, with game design.  Hopefully enough, that developers on other games will take note and learn from it and be inspired by it.  Only time will tell.

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  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon

    I'd put some of the blame on DAOC, it was one of the first to truely have an end game where a players activities drastically changed at level 50.  You went from grinding NPC mobs in groups all day to suddently almost an exclusively PVP end game, and you only PVP'd to earn gold to buy better gear from crafters (or housing)

    They tried to fix this by adding the TOA expansion, which would have actually been a welcome addition if they hadn't interwoven it with PVP so that a player "had" to complete the TOA content in order to be competitive in PVP.

    So that was the first game I found myself leveling up alts to re-enjoy the PVE portion of the game, and experience a bit differently (certainly much better geared than my first pass through)

    Difference was, I did enjoy the PVP end game in DAOC, just not all the time.  Eventually though, I moved over the FFA PVP server Mordred and that was my perfect home, had PVP and PVE going on all the time together, and I finished my tenure on that server.

    Back to the OP, I too am very weary of the current end game model. I played Rift, enjoyed it to level 50, looked into the face of the dugeons/raiding/gear grind and turned around and walked away, because with the new flexible talent system, and the boring linear leveling path presented, there was no reason to re-roll.

    I'm now back in EVE, enjoying the same "end game" that I was part of in my 4th month of joining, fighting in 0.0 space and making a living.

    I'm really not sure any of the new titles coming up soon offer anything of interest to me since the all seem to be leading towards an "endgame"

    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

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,932Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by stayghost

    Originally posted by sinjin

    OP you are actually very wrong.  SWG had Endgame, DAoC had endgame and so did EQ.  You better go read up and we used that term then as well.  I remember we would raid the Corvette or Death Watch Bunker... I can go on all day but I think you are just too much a rookie to the MMO genre so you made this assumption on your own without asking true old school vets from all of these games.  I have played em all and don't know of any without some form of endgame.  I have used that term since DAoC...

     

    Ultima Online ... 7x GM ... no end game

     

    I think that reinforces the idea that themeparks are more endgame oriented.

     

    In my understanding, WoW didn't invent endgame.  It simply placed more emphasis on it.  Level to cap then run endgame activities until the next expansion.  With expansions every two years, there's not much else to do except endgame or rolling alts.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • ichimarunicoichimarunico Fredericksberg, VAPosts: 210Member

    I have to disagree with the article's assumption that because his/her personal experience is that few players raid, that must mean that's the case everywhere.

    In my experience, finding players who don't raid is actually difficult. Even the RP guilds on my server are raiders. It's a PvE server, perhaps that's why. Do you play on an RP server? Because saying "Less than half of WoW's population raids" seems like a very wrong assertion.

    SWG had the Corvette, I know for a fact that EQ had giant raid bosses, DAOC had endgame... this seems like an uninformed journalist, honestly. WoW did not invent endgame. WoW made it accessible to those who weren't hardcore enough for it (IE: Everyone) in previous titles.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    If the end game is raiding, I just won't waste my time with it.  A horrible concept introduced by EQ and expanded upon by Wow.

    I had far more fun in UO and AC1 than subsequent games.  Now the rvr in DAoC was far different, you never knew what you were going to run into.

    If you base your end game on raiding, you are wasting your and your customers time because they can play Wow or the EQ's and raid if that is something they like to do.  

  • SignusMSignusM Checkmanistan, MAPosts: 2,225Member

    Originally posted by BarCrow

    Agreed. What happened to the journey?. I logged into SWG again and found myself enjoying running around doing nothing . Just roaming about the desert sands of Tatooine...finding giant dragons and the odd traveller npc or player.

    It's because MMOs aren't virtual social worlds anymore, they're a collection of minigames with rewards being dumped on you to convince you to keep going. And most MMOs are feature lite nowadays, lacking things that were standard in MMOs from the 90s.

    Now its all instancing and quest hub grinding. Meh.

    End game in DAoC WAS something to work towards, but a lot of people had so much fun in the normal game they'd just roll new characters. There were mini raids for lower level characters. There were battlegrounds (real ones, now WoW's psuedo FPS weird..thing) kill tasks, quests, dungeons, crafting, housing, all that stuff. The only thing that really changed at end game was you could enter RvR without fear of dying immediately. (you could always go into the RvR zones at any level). And joined in the sieges and battles that determined who was winning on the server. Taking towers, bombarding castles, raiding teleport/supply lines, sneaking into enemy dungeons, an ever evolving player driven end game, on TOP of the raiding end game, that gives endless fun for everyone.

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