Friday, August 8, 2008

End-Game Hype-Game?

I've always been a bit of a powerleveler. I enjoy fighting my way to the level cap, I enjoy the process of gathering xp and gearing yourself to work towards the so called end-game where you are happily sitting at level 70 with no more levelling worries on your mind and the ability to consider a new character.

But the second I hit the level cap in most of any game I did a complete 180 turn looking back at all the content I passed up in favor of levelling faster. I then actively proceed to re-visit that content. Why?
It's hard to pin down sometimes but I suppose I like having the edge, the ability to do things alone or with a small group of buddies what was initially designed for 10 or more players. Trying things on the spot without having to pre-plan 4+ hour raids, finding things that people haven't seen in who knows how long because they are hell bent to get to the end-game.

And still the general sense of wow is that people live for the end-game. They claw their way to the level cap only to jump through flaming hoops to get to see the newest of the new (even if this new is no longer really new).
People willingly spend hours, days, weeks and months in the same instance doing it over and over again for the sake of progress... for the sake of the end-game. A chance to see sunwell maybe... a shot at that legendary item?

But my question is what makes the end-game so different from the 'not end-game' (mid-game?). Is it less of a game than the end game? Are the story lines, the art, the creativity that was put into this game less than what is now the end-game?

What is so much more appealing about Outland and Sunwell in comparison to places like Molten Core, Onyxia's lair and the dozens of others azerothian instances?

Storylines, design and overal immersion aren't any better in outland than they are in azeroth, equal maybe but certainly not better. The challenge of molten core is the same as running sunwell if you're trying it with a lot less people than it was designed for back in the day.

Nothing prevents you from taking your 10 main raid to Molten Core or somewhere other than Karazhan and yet day after day, week after week the same 10 people go into Karazhan (just using kara as an example... because everyone knows and 'loves' Kara).

So what is the difference between the end-game and the rest of the game?
What makes a sunwell raid so much more than a molten core one?

The game can be challenging on any level; So is the end-game nothing more than a clever treadmill for endless gear upgrades to experience more of the endless gear upgrades?

Is the end-game a hype-game?


LarĂ­sa said...

I guess the problem with the lower raid instances is that you'll pretty soon outgear them unless you refuse to train, pick up loot and otherwise improve your char.

To the end game you always bring the very best you can do at the moment. You're always on the edge of being able to accomplish stuff. You aim a little bit higher and bolder than your common sense tells you to. And you struggle and wipe and wipe and wipe and swear and endure and finally you make it.

It's the mental process of fighting and overcoming difficulties that gives endgame a special taste. But you can get the same feeling in Maggie as well as in Mount Hyjal I thnk. It's always about challenging yourself.

Still at the same time I agree that it's fun to see the bosses and settings of older instance just for fun runs. Being a TBC player I missed Zul Gurub, Onyxia, AQ "for real". But I've enjoyed immensly seeing it now.... Once. It isn't anything I'd go back to week after week. I need the adrenaline rushes too badly.

Zupa said...

I am a hopeless end-gamer

I have over 100 days played on my main, my next highest alt is level 43, and that was my first main.

So - clearly going back and revisiting content or leveling alts isn't interesting to me. I always want bigger and better and more and higher and faster etc, so in order to see the biggest and best fights, you need to be pushing the PvE "endgame"

I also think a lot of people take some pride in their end game progression, as it isn't something everyone gets to experience.

Nobody really cares if you have a level 70 of every character class. To be quite honest getting to level 70 doesn't mean you know how to play, how to play your class, how to play your class in a group or in a raid, or that you aren't a complete idiot. All it means to me is that you have spent at least X amount of time questing.

Being a successful member of a progressive end game guild, however , implys some skill, intelligence and knowledge of your class and its role in high level raids.

For example, your 10 year old brother could have a dozen level 70s given enough time, but he isn't likely to be a key member of a tier 6 raid for a few years yet.

Added to that is the team-play aspect of the game. 25 man raids currently have some of the highest teamwork requirements of anything you can do in WoW, and working successfully in a team is a huge amount of fun :)

Anonymous said...

I think a bit of it is the MMO aspect. If you were on your own, then you could take the time, but if you are with 4 (9, 24) others then you tend to push on to the limit.

I know I often find myself wanting to go back and finish off old stuff, but then if I can't get the numbers, I tend to then go with the majority