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Reading new article on Massively about how modern mmorpgs with an endgame are a bad design, link: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/03/14/working-as-intended-endgame-is-the-worst-thing-that-ever-happen/
While he mentions Wildstar specifically the article applies to all games that emulate WoWs model. Bit that really stands out for me:
But where he is wrong is in focusing two-thirds of the staff and the game, a "huge chunk," exclusively at the end. If your game doesn't start until the end, why did you even bother designing anything else? The people who realize your early game is a weakly designed timesink will leave. The people who prefer that first third will be disappointed that the game at the end is not what you trained them to like and leave. People who like alts and midgaming will be annoyed that most of the "coolest stuff" is too distant for them and leave. And worse? The rushers will see right through your "replayable content" and still leave.
As much as I love Wildstar and am betting all on kickass raiding I have to agree with all the points made in the article. When the destination matters more than the journey, there is a problem with the design. The question then I guess is, how to solve the problem when both Themepark or Sandbox designs are so flawed?