Hey everyone, I hope you're all doing well and looking forward to playing ARR with the utmost excitement.
This topic is going to be very long, and I'd like to apologize in advance for that, I might quote here and there to make my point as clear as possible.
I'd like to talk about the position of serious gamers here, everyone is saying that ARR is going to turn - to a point - into a casual MMO, they might be right, but I still believe that Yoshi-P won't let it go too far in that direction. I just hope he doesn't listen too much to people who don't really care much about the game, people who just want to get everything too quickly and too easily.
First, let me explain the position of the serious gamer here:
Let's take bowling for example, let's say you're a dedicated bowling player. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights you'd like to go bowling with your buddies. Have a few drinks, throw a couple of games - win or lose, you're having fun. But, while you're there, you take it seriously! You have your own ball, your own shoes.. To you, bowling is very important. That's your weekend.
So.. Let’s say you've been bowling for 10 years, 12 years, or even 30 years! And.. one day.. the owner of the bowling alley comes down and says for the tournament that you're in - 'cause you're part of a league now, you know, you take it very seriously - and the owner.. or let's say, the head of the league, the guy who runs the show, comes down and says "Look, everybody, we're going to be cutting down games to 5 frames instead of the normal 10, people finding it that there are other things they have to do, there are other things they want to do, so, we're going to cut down the games from 10 to 5 just so these people can do what they have to do."
You, as a serious bowler in that league, would be rather annoyed, that your game is now handicapped - even if for the better - but you'd say "I don't want to play some gimped-ass 5-frame game.. that's not bowling then.. bowling is a 10-frame game.. why am I only playing 5?"
"Well, you'd have to think of the people that don't have much time.. They can't dedicate that much time to a full 10-frames game, so we have to cut it down."
Now in real life, you'd just find another league, but let's pretend for a moment in this fantasy world that this was the only league in your area, OR the other leagues are doing the same thing, and this was the last league that kept up the 10-frame game. You have no place else to go, you essentially are now forced to either stop playing your favorite pastime entirely, or conform to - in your opinion - a sh**ty rule, for the sake of people who don't take your activity as seriously as you do. Because honestly, if they took the activity as seriously as you do, they'd allocate time to do it, but because their priorities have changed, because they have different priorities than you, you now have to sacrifice your pastime for the sake of theirs. That would p**s you off.
Now let's bring this back to games in general.. Games used to be a challenge, for a lot of us, it was our pastime, it was our "Friday and Saturday nights". It's serious to us, like anything else, some people like clubbing, some people like bars, some people like bowling, and there are people who like to go gaming! And to them it's a serious hobby, it's an investment one, especially for MMOs, because MMOs really were the panicle of gaming, in terms of commitment.
And, like any other hobby that costs money, MMOs became our "bowling", our "Friday and Saturday nights", and many of us here can't deny the nights we sat down, got our favorite drinks, and spent hours and hours with 10, 20 or 40 people in a MMO, raiding or crafting or doing whatever we enjoyed to do in-game. We were having a blast!
But then, similar to the story I mentioned about the bowling league.. People who are not as serious about gaming, who are not as serious about the hobby I was serious about - in terms of investing my money into it, investing my time into it - THEY wanted a piece of the pie, but they're not as serious about it. They complained and b*tched and moaned - instead of using that same energy to actually apply themselves to something - they didn't care enough, their priority list was different. And as our culture today, people will rather complain and b*tch about something they can't have, rather than work towards something and actually earn it.
So because their priority list had changed, my gaming experience was forcefully, without my approval, changed on me. And where was I going to go? The hard, complex and fun gaming experience that I loved to play is now being pasteurized and turned into this easy, shallow, boring system that gives you no sense of accomplishment, no matter how many hours you spend on it. They are being made much, much easier, more casual - which is not what I signed up for.
You, as a serious gamer - and by serious gamer, I mean THIS is your pastime, what you enjoy doing - you are now forced to play a game that a 10-year-old can finish at the same speed as you, without really paying much attention to it, a game that leads you by the nose with markers and narrow paths. A game that might actually treats you like an idiot, "Press D to move to the right, VERY GOOD, now press A to move to the left, EXCELENT! Here's 100$ and 10 potions."
That’s how serious gamers feel and it’s not really that hard to satisfy them, just give them lines to break, hard challenges to work on..
I know this ship has sailed and almost everyone is already 50, but let me ask you, do you feel any special by reaching max level right now? Nope, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t feel special even after taking all classes to 50 because people were able to do that in a few weeks. There’s no sense of accomplishment by reaching 50 anymore. We reached a point where players categorized the noob as someone who doesn’t have all 50s, rather than someone who recently started the game… Which is more than odd, and wrong.
And there’s nothing to do about it now, the hope for serious gamers comes after level 50, when level cap is raised, we want very hard-to-gain exp., we want it to be a real challenge, we don’t want everyone to be max level, we want that when you see someone at level 65 *considering that the max level is 75 or even 100* people will go “WOW! He’s 65!! How did he get there?”
Give those levels a stronger reputation, a really strong one, even if that means it will take you a month of hard work to get a level.
Yeah, I know, I know. Casual gamers will definitely go “A month?? There’s no way I could do that, I don’t have that much time, if it's taking you a month it will take me 4!” Well, you don’t really have to be max level to enjoy the game, Lv. 50 could be the casual gamer’s max, above that is for people who take it more seriously, people who are willing to work harder and spend more time.
Many players define themselves by their equipment, because they are *were* the hard-earned medals and the thing that separates them from being mentioned as “A Warrior” to “That warrior with the black sword.”
I know SE already did that with relics, and it was an awesome idea, but relics ended up being not so “rare” in the end, when relics came out, you can see that player holding this awesome new weapon, you can recognize him among 100, but it didn’t become so rare in the end because relics were the only “hard” thing to get, so all players worked for them. SE needs to add more stuff, a huge collection of hidden, almost-impossible-to-earn, great equipment. This way, not everyone will work towards the same goal or the same weapon/armor. And by earning those items, our characters will have more value to us, and good players will be recognized.
3. Harder and smarter Battles:
From the videos already released, we can see that the battle system has changed and became much faster, some hated it, some liked it, Even though I like slower battles, I won’t really mind faster battles AS LONG AS they can be harder and more tactical, we need battles that make you think, battles that force you to prepare specific elements or items to be able to win, battles that punish people who cast Fire on a Fire Elemental *ex. Make that Fire spell heal the Fire Elementals and make 'em stronger, so people can learn their lessons.*. Battles that don’t encourage casual gamers who like to push 2, 2, 2, 2, until they win.
4. More life in the game:
There are these little things that make a huge difference to a player’s experience. Like, why do you go to town? Where can you get information? Where to sit down and chat?
I believe we need better reasons to go to town other than buying stuff or shouting for parties. Like, why couldn’t we go to adventurers’ guilds and sit on one of those chairs *which are always occupied by NPCs >_>* to chat or share information?
The adventurer’s guild is supposed to be our own personal wiki in the game, players shouldn’t just go to wiki or guide sites to find out about in-game information, they should ask others, learn from them, which could lead to new friendships or adventures.
Or to hang out at the bar with your friends or LS members.. *and by hangout I don’t mean sitting down on the ground like homeless people* Lol. It’s silly, the guy is supposed to be so strong *max level* and so rich *100m gil* and he can’t even sit on a chair, he sits down by the corner with his friends as if they were thugs or something.
Wouldn’t you rather have a meeting room in your free company house, with a big table and many chairs for members to sit and discuss their plans for the week? cast votes for their plans, or to solve a problem/argument.
5. Less bread crumbs on the road:
Please, don’t tell us what to do, if anything: give us hints; very vague hints. Let players work hard to find out where they should go and what to do, let them interact with other players and ask them.
There are many other points I want to mention but I’ll stop with these, I really hope SE gives serious gamers a deeper and more challenging experience. I’m not against casual gamers, they can be fun to play with, it’s just that they shouldn’t really be the majority or the deciders of how the game system should be.
Sorry for the long post, and if you’re still reading, thank you.