I don't tend to compare games, but in this case its fitting as it focuses on a single feature (scaling) which both MMOs use.
In One Tamriel, everywhere is a challenge. I level up, the same areas still offer a challenge. I get better items yeah, but its still a challenge to do quests or kill or explore. And this part is just what I heard from my guild leader, but even at max level...with at least semi-decent items...he said there are many areas of the game that still offer him a challenge. Reading that I was very excited, because unlike most MMOs...zones become useless to do, entire areas have no point in going to them. Sure you CAN, if you like 1 hitting everything and taking 0-1 damage...me though...I'm a Dark Souls guy...I want a challenge throughout the whole game. Most MMOs provide that to a point, but every MMO I played...they scale you DOWN, but entire areas become so easy to do there is no challenge and it gets boring FAST.
Which is where GW2 come in. They do NOT scale rewards to your level, nor exp or anything...they scale you down...there is literally no point in staying in the starter area, because the rewards are junk (exp/gold etc) and more importantly, the areas become so easy its dumb. Sure some of the event stuff can offer a challenge, but even then it is just too easy to stay in those areas.
On top of that, I can't go anywhere I want in GW2. The leveling in that game (for me) is super boring. But I don't really like leveling to begin with. I love raising skills, I level grinding in areas...leveling itself not so much. Like Ultima Online I have a ton of fun leveling up skills. I guess I'm a skill-up kinda guy when it comes to MMOs. But GW2, I have to spend so much time just to get to the (to me) more fun areas of the game, but they all take so much time to level up to. The higher levels ARE more fun in terms of zone design/events...especially the HoT areas...just the low levels so mundanely boring (to me they are) that I can't be bothered to level up alts and forced to stick with one single character that I ended up not really liking. Though part of my dislike is because I liked GW1 classes and builds vastly more (so many builds and stuff you could do in GW1), but heh that is a whole nother topic lol.
Now One tamriel. I can literally go anywhere I want. On top of that, nowhere becomes redundant...everywhere will always offer a challenge. It doesn't have skills to level up (no raising one armed to 1 to 100 or whatever), but when you can literally do anything and go anywhere, it doesn't really matter at that point because I can go anywhere at any time I choose even at level 1.
Some may argue there is no progression. But there still kinda is in ESO. Gotta raise champion points, still gotta get gold/items/raise skills while leveling. Even FPS games to an extent offer progression. I guess those saying "no progression" really mean they want areas to become wasted space and a waste of designer and developers time, and made useless as you level so you literally have no reason to ever go back to them. Which is pretty bad design, and makes the entire area a complete waste of time and money it spent to design it.
And sure, GW2 I can go in and get downleveled...sadly however...better items=easier content. I guess I can purposely gimp myself, but why would I want to do that? GW2 is all about how you look, and higher end items look WAY better than the stupid looking low level stuff...otherwise there was literally no point getting those items and getting dye for them lol. I think I'd be okay if they scaled down the items as well, but for some reason they didn't.
In ESO from what my guild leader said, mobs (like they do in WoW legion areas) scale up with you. This is much better, because it makes the whole game useful. There is no wasted zones, no wasted content that most people might spend 5 minutes doing and never go back again...in terms of actual design and mechanics...this is a far bigger evolution in terms of scaling than what many MMOs use.
Imagine in WoW if you could go to any zone, any place in the game...and it was actually useful to go to them no matter what level you were. Every dungeon, every raid still current. That be a TON of content. The entire game would open up so much. Instead they force you to be in Broken Shore (as of this post) cause there is no point going to anywhere else, unless you feel like you want to kick babies all day and steal their candy (in terms of how mundanely easy the content is outside current expansions).
Sadly, most MMOs do it the WoW way...luckily ESO did something actually innovative with One Tamriel and showed NONE of the game should be useless and mundane content, and ALL content is current. That is the way future themepark MMOs should be.
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