Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Content devaluation

Like I've stated so many times, I have no characters at level cap. And I sincerely doubt that I will not be having any soon. So my thoughts are very much biased and like I responded just sometime ago in one of my older posts , I'm pretty crossed about playing a MMO as single player game which has all the elements of a great storytelling in game but is very inadequately executed.

Now I noticed something that I haven't seen discussed in anywhere in the net. Not now and from the earlier incident I don't know about: I mean the fact that the new expansion has voided 2 levels of former content. When The Burning Crusade came out, you gained the permission to enter the Outlands at level 58, immediately gaining better gear in green loot than you got from the former end game raiding. If not exactly better, but at least with less effort, as the raiding element was removed. This however voided the 58-60 content effectively, and it's now even more neglected, even though the best stories seem to be confined into those quests (Mind you, I haven't seen Northrend).

Now with The Wrath of the Lich King the same has happened: you can enter Northrend at level 68 (at least that's the level where the entry quests start), and I have noticed in Outlands that there is no interest to even PUG the Netherstorm instances. Let alone The Isle of Quel'Danas, with it's interweaving storylines which were introduced to keep the raiding people happy in the wait for the WotLK: it's all empty and void.

The achievements have made some changes in this, as people are desperately trying to get all the instance and raid boss kills for the achievements. But none of the lower level instances are run by the appropriate level toons anymore, and to offer to join Ahn'Qiraj for example at level 69 is considered more of a joke than anything (based on personal experience: my warrior has been turned down twice from raid forming).

So the more content is voided, the more people are forced to solo up. Like I stated in my former post, I can see the overwhelmed and dumbfounded newcomers at level cap, wondering how, where, why, what and getting responses like "read Elitist Jerks, noob, and learn your specs". The quality of the level capped population will drop, if it already hasn't started to do so.

So the content in levels 58-60 and 68-70 are voided, because the overlapping content of the expansion rewards the player more. This is understandable design feature, because the level capped population has already seen the former end game content for so long time. I see this, however, as a slap to the face on the newcomers or the people playing first time around: there is vast amount of content (and work put in it), which is neglected by the majority of the player population.

My only question is, is this clever? And if it is, what are the reasons?

It really is beyond me.