There are 2 glaring issues I see with mmorpgs across the board that I feel need to be addressed by the community as a whole.
The first is the ability to actually play mmorpgs with your friends.
Most mmorpgs have systems in place that prevent what old school mmorpg players would call P-lvling. This is when someone high level would party up with a low level player and bring them to a high level map or dungeon and mass kill things to level them up extremely fast. This system is honestly fine by itself, but when you think about it this system only focuses on stopping high level players from interacting with low level players during open world content, rather than harmoniously bridging that gap between new player and max level players who want to game together.
If we want to think of a solution that would allow max level players to play with new players without providing any unfair advantage over people who play the game solo, we should take a page out of Guild Wars 2's book. If we analyze gw2's leveling system, the entire game balances your characters level and stats to the zone you are playing in. This means you can play with your friends who are level 1 as a level 80 character and they wouldn't be getting plvl'd because you would essentially be a level 1 while you were playing with them in that zone. This system continues throughout the ENTIRE GAME. If we look at games like ffxiv, they do this in a much more subtle way by only allowing lvl sync as a mentor or in fates and dungeons. This system needs to be present for the entire game for every player in order for it to actually matter. If i'm max level, I should be able to play with my friends without being forced into buying a character slot to make an alt.
The second issue is keeping all content in an mmorpg current content rather than streamlining the leveling process so that people get to paid dlc faster.
The solution to this second issue is the same as the first. Gw2's player level syncing also syncs the amount of exp you gain from monsters in the area to the level the game sees your character as. This means if you are a level 50 in a level 1 zone and you do a group event, that would give you roughly 10% exp even though it's level 1, because the game is seeing you as a level 1, not a level 50. Obviously story content would reward the players with a shit ton more exp than simply grinding in a level 1 zone, but I'm just using this as an example.
I want to stress that streamlining exp in an mmorpg causes the entire beginning and middle of the game to become entirely obsolete content. If you want to have a good game of any kind, obsolete content of any kind is illegal. All content needs to be engaging or you will end up bleeding players as more and more content gets streamlined. You remove all challenge your game has by streamlining the exp gain, as the levels of the mobs doesn't scale with player level, which means if you are 10 levels higher than the area you are doing your main story quest in, you're not going to be having fun 1 shotting every single mob in the area. You wont be engaged in the slightest (here's looking at tera and swtor).
Here's a list of things that streamlining exp in an mmorpg negatively impacts:
The most important is the combat system. You could have the most fun and polished combat system in the entire world, but it wont matter if you 1 shot every single enemy for the first 90 hours of the game. You are literally sabotaging your combat system by not providing adequate challenge to the player which ALLOWS YOU TO SHOW IT OFF. A perfect example of this is black desert online. At level 56 and up it's not as bad, but before you get to the end-ish game of bdo, this is very much relevant.
Next is the story. If you're 10 levels higher than all the enemies you are fighting in the main story content, you wont feel any attachment to the world and by extension the story of the game. This means players are now spam skipping all cutscenes and quest dialog, because you've failed at keeping them engaged in the game, so they've stopped caring. (here's looking at swtor, an mmorpg meant to have an amazing story that I USED to care about when i made my first character back when the game first came out, but stopped caring about due to not being engaged in the game in it's current state).
The enemies. You could spend a whole year designing the coolest looking boss for the first dungeon of a game, but if that boss gets 1 shot, no one will remember it. The same can be said about EVERY SINGLE ENEMY YOU DESIGN IN YOUR GAME.
Notice how this is like 90% of the game? What makes mmorpg developers think that after skipping 90 hours worth of cutscenes, enduring 90 hours worth of grinding mobs that all die in 1 hit, the player will even remotely be invested enough in your game to spend money on dlc content? "oh ya lets spend 20 bucks on a dlc to play more obsolete content that I'll blow through in a few hours and still never be provided with a challenge, that sounds like a GREAT idea!" <- said no one ever. Not only this, but without guild wars 2's leveling system in place, every dlc or expansion raises the max level of players, making it difficult for people to play together again. The issue of multiplayer will never go away without level scaling.
So, now I'll open this discussion up to everyone else. Do you agree with me? What are your thoughts on what I've said here? Lemme know.
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