It’s all about the racers… or is it?

OK, so 30+ years of loving gaming. Well, what have I seen? And, no, I don’t mean that as a “my e-nis is longer than yours” type comment.  What I can tell you as a PVPer, lore whore, artist, writer, blogger (no those are by no means the same), I can tell you that I have seen a lot more than most of these people who have to get from start to finish as fast as humanly (or macroly) possible. Including those who made it to 80 in four or five days after release of WotLK, then had the gnads to complain that there was nothing to do.  Ouch… an entire year or more until the next expansion.

What I don’t understand is why the rush? For some reason Blizzard agrees with these people who hate their mid-game content, so they are helping them to rush right past what they worked on for 3 to 5 years. I would have to wonder why they would waste money creating mid-game content at all, then. Just take out levels 21 to 59. When you would hit level 21, you instead get an auto-jump to 60. You take a few minutes to rearrange your stats, get a bit more gear with the percent of cash Blizzard added for your jump, and POOF! there you are… and 25 million dollars is wasted.

I’m not saying you have to stop and smell the roses or look at every tree and rock they made for the game. I’m saying that the game is going to be there for 5 to 10 years… slow down and make it last. $14.95 is nothing to pay each month. Skip 3 lattes, skip 4 beers at the bar, smoke 3 less packs of cigarettes a month. Plan your character to last for a few years.

I think where the trouble starts is that game companies focus on the “suck you in” factor of making sure the game is awe-inspiring when you start out so you’ll tell all your friends it rocks. Then they make the end-game content hard to do without friends, so you have peer pressure keeping you going… “We need you man!” But they fill the mid-game with fluff and large expanses of land to keep you moving, hoping you don’t notice the “task” never changes.

Think about that for a moment. As a newbie, you have small areas to play in so you can learn easily, thereby preparing you for the rest of the game’s mechanics. As a seasoned vet, you have very small areas to “accomplish” anything. They call these instances or dungeons for raids. But as a mid-game player, you have hundreds, if not thousands, of virtual miles to do the same thing over and over again.

So where is the actual mistake? Why does mid-game content have such low appeal? Cool stuff. That gear you see others wearing. That stuff you will never yourself own, ever. Unless you get to the end-game and join a guild and punch your time card 3 times a week or more to sit and stare at the lowest settings the game can possibly render so your system moves as smoothly as possible. Yes, I mean raids.

So how about this: low level areas are for learning. That’s great. We all needed to learn at some time. But from level 20 on, why not have raids available throughout the entire game? 5 mans, 10 mans, 20, mans, 30 mans, 40 mans… oh, look, we just laid out the progression from 20 to 80. Make a few raid dungeons for each level range, and each group size, all the way through the game.

What makes a raid dungeon a raid dungeon is for another post, but I think if developers could start thinking outside the box and inside the journey, we would have much less desire to run from birth to death in every damn game that comes out these days.

WotLK is amazing: the lands, the quests, the fire effects… damn. Give yourself a few more weeks to get to 80.  Make some smooth WoW love to the in-game content. Gods forbid you would ever get a good reason to start from square one again.

Kick it!
(insert theme music here…)

I’m Ark, and that’s my angle on it.


15 Comments to It’s all about the racers… or is it?

  1. December 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to Ark, a new blogger for Channel Massive!

  2. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the Team. I hope that you at least get paid with some alcohol… ^_^

    Wow is really designed for you to have more than one character, so I think blizzard is pushing people to get to 80 ASAP. Then… you can create 1,2,3,4+ alts to “enjoy” the real content.

  3. December 3, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink


    Wow, that’s a great way to kick things off! Thanks for the nice post! I absolutely would have loved to have been encouraged to “raid” my way from 20 to 60. Kind of like how you just really feel compelled to do each chapter’s Public Quest in WAR. That would make the leveling grind much more appealing to me in WOW, even for second or third alt-type characters.


    Damn Oni, what you say is just screwy enough to actually make sense. Rush to 80 for your main to get the resources in place to enjoy your way through the game with your alts. I wonder how many people play like this?

  4. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 3, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s the ultimate treadmill. The wheel burns out and you install a new one, over and over. Look at me with my Mage, Warlock, Priest, and now Shadow Knight. heh

  5. December 4, 2008 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Nice post to come back to after a vacation. I definitely feel what you’re saying. I never really care about such things because I play the same way through all levels. I always explore every part of the game and I never care about getting to a certain level in a certain period of time. Then again, I like to enjoy books when I read them and I am always sad when I get to the end of a good story. I am not a fan of raids, period, but I understand the compulsion of MMO gamers to join them. My main problem with raids is the players who take them too damn seriously. If I want to work, I’ll stay in the office and finish one of the multiple-threaded, beast-laden projects there. These tedious MMO raids give me bad flashbacks!

  6. kanker's Gravatar kanker
    December 4, 2008 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    the comments on “raids” are basically flawed.. you paint with too large of a bush and generalize too much.. you are talking about the ‘Hardcore’ guilds/players… any game will have that sort of person.. any game, any job, any bar for that matter… the person that makes a raid seem like a job is the same person yelling at everyone in PVP for doing it wrong or in a 3 man quest because it didn’t work correctly.. if your in a guild where you are getting yelled at, or are expected to raid 4-5 days a week…. that’s your choice.. blizzard has been making the raid encounters easier every expansion, making the endgame more accesable for the masses of idiot players out there..
    Point is if someone dosen’t do the job of thier class, it ruins the enjoyment of everyone they are with.. in a two man group that’s just one person that gets screwed… in a 25 man group, that’s 24 people… ya it comes across as a job.. but it’s also a show of respect to simply do your ‘Job’ and not ruin the night for everyone else…

  7. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 4, 2008 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    *Hijacks thread* hey Kank, can you post Vent info on the old wow CM guild forum? I can’t remember the PW.

  8. December 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink


    Run away while you still can….and welcome to the Channel Massive family.

  9. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    @ Ark

    What if someone knows their class, but can still be an idiot where loot stats are concerned? Sometimes I go crosseyed trying to figure out if something is an upgrade. LoL Kank was my goto person for shit like that. Bastard left wow for war instead. heh

  10. December 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    @ Kanker …I’m not generalizing, I am speaking of raids where people nitpick every detail, as I said, taking the whole thing too seriously. I have no problem knowing my role in a given situation and performing accordingly. I have been in some raid groups where it really is fun, just too many that have become a drag. When people start arguing over every detail, I get bored. I’ve never really cared about getting a piece of epic gear or anything, so I guess that’s part of my thing. Either way, it’s all good.

  11. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I just walked into BlizzCon and there are MANY nerdy gamers there all arguing about the game. While you’re all arguing about raids I’ll just go level my legendary items in lotro at a slow, casual pace, pop out the popcorn, and enjoy watching this comments section continue to explode.
    Regarding the blog, I agree with Ark. MoM has been out slightly over 2 weeks now and there were a lot of ppl who hit 60 within 3 or 4 days of release. I rushed to 50 when the game launched, but when I went thru it again with an alt I realized how much I’d missed, so I’m taking it slow and am really enjoying the Moria experience. Meanwhile half my guild is already planning the 12 man raid on the Watcher :p

  12. Dihard's Gravatar Dihard
    December 29, 2008 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Welcome aboard Ark!

    Just wanted to let you know I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments on more mid-game content being needed. Looking forward to more of your posts.

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