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Hiding Content Behind Endless Gates

sirchivesirchive Nowheresville, IDPosts: 72Member

Wife and I returned to try WoW again. The game plays nice and smooth and easy and is very enjoyable up to a point.

The thing that turned us off and caused us to leave once again was the degree to which content is hidden behind artificial gates. Leveling up my guy in the Panda zones I felt strong and wanted more of a challenge so I moved to the next zone. But not one single quest was available to me. You can't quest in the 86 zone until you are 86 and you can't quest in the 87 zone until you are 87. I've never seen an MMO where all of the leveling content was strictly gated like this. 

Then, once you are max level, everything is hidden behind gates. Reputation gates, currency gates, gear level gates. Even crafting is gated and limited by bind on pickup items that can only be made on a timer. Every piece of endgame content is gated behind a required gear level. That means the game decides when you are ready to try something. You don't get to decide. You aren't allowed to push yourself. 

I felt like I was back in kindergarten with the teacher leading me by the hand to each activity. Despite the many good qualities of WoW I was seriously turned off by such a heavy handed level of control and limitation. 

Is anybody else strongly offended by this style of game design?

Wife and I went back to Rift. It's a lot of fun at the low levels and especially nice now because there are so many players in the lowbie zones. I worry that it will copy the WoW model of gated content at max level but I doubt it could possibly be quite so bad. 

Comments

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by sirchive

    Is anybody else strongly offended by this style of game design?

    I haven't heard it for a few years, but it used to be ridiculously common (before WoW added in other ways to earn XP and gobs more quests).

    you can't quest in the 87 zone until you are 87

    But there's your problem. You aren't "stuck", not by a long shot.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,469Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sirchive

    Wife and I returned to try WoW again. The game plays nice and smooth and easy and is very enjoyable up to a point.

    The thing that turned us off and caused us to leave once again was the degree to which content is hidden behind artificial gates. Leveling up my guy in the Panda zones I felt strong and wanted more of a challenge so I moved to the next zone. But not one single quest was available to me. You can't quest in the 86 zone until you are 86 and you can't quest in the 87 zone until you are 87. I've never seen an MMO where all of the leveling content was strictly gated like this. 

    Then, once you are max level, everything is hidden behind gates. Reputation gates, currency gates, gear level gates. Even crafting is gated and limited by bind on pickup items that can only be made on a timer. Every piece of endgame content is gated behind a required gear level. That means the game decides when you are ready to try something. You don't get to decide. You aren't allowed to push yourself. 

    I felt like I was back in kindergarten with the teacher leading me by the hand to each activity. Despite the many good qualities of WoW I was seriously turned off by such a heavy handed level of control and limitation. 

    Is anybody else strongly offended by this style of game design?

    Wife and I went back to Rift. It's a lot of fun at the low levels and especially nice now because there are so many players in the lowbie zones. I worry that it will copy the WoW model of gated content at max level but I doubt it could possibly be quite so bad. 

     If I am offended by anything in your post it is actually your post.  I don't think that game is for you.  It is what it is and changing it makes it something else.  You ordered steak when you wanted a salad.

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,064Member Uncommon

    I feel for you OP, they totally went the wrong way with this game,  where everyone realises that things need to gett more open, Blizzard added more and more restrictions over time...

     

    sweet memories of good old Vanilla however.

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,689Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sirchive

    Wife and I returned to try WoW again. The game plays nice and smooth and easy and is very enjoyable up to a point.

    The thing that turned us off and caused us to leave once again was the degree to which content is hidden behind artificial gates. Leveling up my guy in the Panda zones I felt strong and wanted more of a challenge so I moved to the next zone. But not one single quest was available to me. You can't quest in the 86 zone until you are 86 and you can't quest in the 87 zone until you are 87. I've never seen an MMO where all of the leveling content was strictly gated like this. 

    Then, once you are max level, everything is hidden behind gates. Reputation gates, currency gates, gear level gates. Even crafting is gated and limited by bind on pickup items that can only be made on a timer. Every piece of endgame content is gated behind a required gear level. That means the game decides when you are ready to try something. You don't get to decide. You aren't allowed to push yourself. 

    I felt like I was back in kindergarten with the teacher leading me by the hand to each activity. Despite the many good qualities of WoW I was seriously turned off by such a heavy handed level of control and limitation. 

    Is anybody else strongly offended by this style of game design?

    Wife and I went back to Rift. It's a lot of fun at the low levels and especially nice now because there are so many players in the lowbie zones. I worry that it will copy the WoW model of gated content at max level but I doubt it could possibly be quite so bad. 

    I don't really have an issue with level-gated zones necessarily, but that there's a lack of control over how difficult things are.  It's probably my #1 complaint of WOW actually.

    Allowing you to break level gates on zones and attempt harder content would be one way of solving it, sure, but not the only way.  (And solving it that way would also require some tweaks to how XP works, since WOW is pretty bad about rewarding you relative to the difficulty of the mob you're killing:  if you kill something +5 levels above you and it takes 4x as much time but you only earn 1.5x as much reward, you've come out way behind.)

    CoX solved this best, as most content worked off a difficulty slider that you could set so that the mobs were higher or lower level relative to you -- and unlike WOW, a higher level mob that was harder and took 4x as much time to kill would actually provide more like 6x the reward.  This made it really satisfying, because once you found the hardest challenge you were comfortable with, you would advance faster than you would if you were just doing easy stuff.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • RhinotonesRhinotones BenowaPosts: 238Member Uncommon

    To answer your question, I wouldn't say that I am offended by this style of game play. My understanding of it is that It's a control mechanism designed to ensure players play through zones and quest chains to familiarize themselves with the lore and landscape of the expansion. Most people are in a rush to get to the end and don't take the time to enjoy the now. I'm not saying that is the best solution or even a good one but for the way their game has evolved I think it works.

    If there weren't cool down periods for mechanics such as crafting there would be too many high quality items flooding the AH too soon after release. They are trying to generate a feeling of reward for effort (to a degree) rather than making it too easy. I'm similar to you in that I stopped playing WoW when too many things changed in game. I had been playing it for years but Kung Fu Pandas were the last straw.

    I noticed someone in an earlier response to your post said "It is what it is and changing it makes it something else.  You ordered steak when you wanted a salad." A pretty ignorant remark imo as all games change and evolve over time. Like you, I was enjoying my steak but after a while they changed to menu to pork and I don't eat pork.

    If you read this post I would be interested in hearing what you think of Rifts crafting system as I just started playing the game a few days ago.

    image
  • H3deonH3deon GrPosts: 36Member

    actually Id be guessing, alot is doing the same as the OP, and that is the reason why they have had to do it, because what happen when peyople skip quests, when the game is quite strictly designed to level up on the exact amount of quests avaiilable?  well those people will sit and complaint there aint enough guided content to get them to max level....

    so I expect your behavior is the whole reason they decided they had to treat you like a child.

  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk LiverpoolPosts: 976Member Uncommon
    Completely agree with the OP. I've always rejected the idea of gated content and this is what made me leave WoW. Unfortunately Blizzard have displayed some very poor judgement over the years and each expansion seems to get worse than the last. No wonder the game is losing players.
  • RhinotonesRhinotones BenowaPosts: 238Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by H3deon

    actually Id be guessing, alot is doing the same as the OP, and that is the reason why they have had to do it, because what happen when peyople skip quests, when the game is quite strictly designed to level up on the exact amount of quests avaiilable?  well those people will sit and complaint there aint enough guided content to get them to max level....

    so I expect your behavior is the whole reason they decided they had to treat you like a child.

    If you're referring to WoW then I disagree.

    For WoW, yes you can level by questing alone but there are always many more quests available than xp required to progress. You can also level by doing 5 mans and BGs. In fact there was a guy a couple of expansions ago that stayed in the one area agroing everything in site with his guild doing the killing so he could get either world or server first for hitting cap (which I believe he did). No questing, no instances and no BG's, just killing mobs.

    The OP is simply stating his frustrations with how the game has changed and forcing him to stay in a particular zone and asks if anyone else feels the same way. For you to say that a man 58 years of age needs to be treated like a child is pretty uncool. We have enough negativity within the MMO community already without people having to fear being personally attacked when posting.

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  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member
    Originally posted by sirchive

    Wife and I returned to try WoW again. The game plays nice and smooth and easy and is very enjoyable up to a point.

    The thing that turned us off and caused us to leave once again was the degree to which content is hidden behind artificial gates. Leveling up my guy in the Panda zones I felt strong and wanted more of a challenge so I moved to the next zone. But not one single quest was available to me. You can't quest in the 86 zone until you are 86 and you can't quest in the 87 zone until you are 87. I've never seen an MMO where all of the leveling content was strictly gated like this. 

    Then, once you are max level, everything is hidden behind gates. Reputation gates, currency gates, gear level gates. Even crafting is gated and limited by bind on pickup items that can only be made on a timer. Every piece of endgame content is gated behind a required gear level. That means the game decides when you are ready to try something. You don't get to decide. You aren't allowed to push yourself. 

    I felt like I was back in kindergarten with the teacher leading me by the hand to each activity. Despite the many good qualities of WoW I was seriously turned off by such a heavy handed level of control and limitation. 

    Is anybody else strongly offended by this style of game design?

    Wife and I went back to Rift. It's a lot of fun at the low levels and especially nice now because there are so many players in the lowbie zones. I worry that it will copy the WoW model of gated content at max level but I doubt it could possibly be quite so bad. 

    So, is the problem the gates, or is it where the gates are placed? You specifically call out questing zones, and I tend to agree, that one level shouldn't exclude you from starting the zone. However, should a level 60 be able to quest in the 86 zone? That seems rather absurd to me.

    If the problem is having gates at all, then the entire game would have to be redone.

    As for the other gates, they exist, IMO, for one reason only. To keep you playing longer. Time=money in a sub game and sub games need a reason to keep you logging in every month so they can have your monies.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,754Member Uncommon

    Lotro went through a phase like this. I say a phase, it lasted nearly 2 years around the time of the Mirkwood expansion. You had to have radiance gear I think it was and you needed a certain amount to try each new raid or mini raid. You could attempt the content without the required amount but it was nearly impossible.

    After a lot of player feedback they removed the requirement, this was before Lotro had a cash shop. Since then the game has become more P2W though with the cash shop having everything you need to raid in it.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    No, formal gates and structure don't offend me.   In fact, it's that structure that is the one appealing feature of a themepark game to me.

    But I'm not a challenge-seeker.  Puzzling out the right sequence of buttons to press is not the main reason I play MMOs - I find that pushing up against the limits of a fantasy game's difficulty always ends up spoiling the mood because in the end it ends up feeling like victory came from just exploiting some flaw in an AI rather than watching a heroic battle between my character and a worthy foe.

    If you can't find a path at your own prefered difficulty then perhaps there is room for a game to offer more options, but the basic design doesn't bother me.

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,849Member Uncommon
    Like Axe I think that setting your own difficulty, or having the game set it for you, would solve the problem of leveling sludge. Imagine that Blizzard used mechanics to maintain difficulty to your level no matter where you went and the challenge/gear stats matched it?

    Even if you travelled to MoP at level 1 the gear that dropped would still be the same name and look but stats that matched level 1. To back at level 50 and the same piece drops but the stats match level 50. Gated content serves also to direct players. Like the city billboard quests they have now, a random area in the gameworld would be given daily to the player to complete x amount of quest there for a bigger reward. That would foster guided exploration.

    I know WoW is more about narrow path leveling and end gane but it has a very expansive world with a lot to do. It's a shame the world is not utilized like it could be because once you level passed it, it's useless.
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