Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
 
Confusing big with endless

My Draenei mage in the Burning Crusade beta is now level 19, and in the last corner of Bloodmyst Isle, doing the last of the new Draenei quest. When I have done them all, I'll be level 20. But there is a definitive "game over" feeling to that. This being a beta, the character will be erased when the expansion comes out. And while doing all the new quests was fun, there are no new quests between level 20 and 60 in the Burning Crusade. All the quests that my mage could still do I have already done with other characters. There is no fresh content left for him. And that makes me somewhat sad.

But looking at it objectively, that sadness is my own fault, based on a stupid expectation that World of Warcraft had endless content. Of course it hasn't, it just is very big.

By the time my mage hits level 20 and did all the quests in the new starting zones for the Draenei, he will have played over 20 hours. The single-player RPG Fable, which sold well enough, only has 10 hours of gameplay, and there are lots of other games that don't deliver more than 20 hours of content. Playing just one character through his newbie zones is already more content than many single-player games offer. My first level 60 character took 500 hours to level to 60, the next two took about 300 hours each. I don't know which single-player computer RPG is the longest, but the highest numbers I remember reading was 200 hours of gameplay for Baldur's Gate and Oblivion. And in World of Warcraft you can level about 4 characters to 60 without having done too many quests more than once. And that doesn't even begin to count the time you can spend in the more repetitive endgame. A friend of mine just clocked 1 million seconds, that is 118 days or nearly 3000 hours on his main character.

So World of Warcraft is huge, which explains the confusion. We play this for much longer than we would play a single-player game, and World of Warcraft never seems to end. There is always something new around the corner for hundreds and hundreds of hours. So the day when we actually reach the end comes as kind of a shock.

I have done over 95% of all existing quests, many of them twice or even more often. I have seen every corner in every zone, except AQ40 and Naxxramas. I have played every race, and every class to at least level 30, except for the mage who is still level 19. As much as I hate to admit it, the game is basically over, until more content gets added to it in the expansion. Its like turning the last page of the latest Harry Potter book and having the equally unattractive options of waiting for the next volume, or starting over reading the existing books again. I'm a bit at a loss about what to do next, while waiting for the Burning Crusade to come out.

I don't want to start another character, or level up one of my existing mid-level characters, because none of them has quests I haven't done yet, or could go to visit new places. I could raid, but that is getting old, and now that I've been until Nefarian I probably won't be seeing any new bosses for quite some time. I could level up my level 63 priest in the beta further, but that is basically living on borrowed time: The more content of the expansion I "consume" now, the less long will it keep me occupied in the release version. Maybe I should just take a break, install D&D Online or play single-player games until the expansion comes out.
Comments:
Do you have any desire to check the "old zones" at all? Ive heard that there are alot of new quests between 20-60 that they just decided to not tell us about.

As for repeated content, Yeah, I hate it, true, ive not done all of it, and endgame, oddly, I like repeating over and over, but thus the option.. Grinding, opens up.

Yeah, Im grinding characters again, and whilst its tedious and boring, ive noticed im a heck of alot richer.

Back to your closing statement, My Priest is languishing in the Beta at 62, I, like you, dont see the point in doing all the content NOW, when I know it will be erased, progress lost, which i'll then have to repeat again. And being a solo player for the majority of quests (I group for some, like everyone else, of course.) it doesnt mean it will be any "better" in retail, not to mention the endless amount of alts ive promised to level up with a horde friend come belfy-time.

Hmm, this turnt out longer than i thought, For now, im gonna keep on raiding and playing Warcraft 3. Im a avid warcraft fan, So I doubt, no matter what, I'll always be playing WoW, and having my main on a Roleplay server keeps fresh player created content on the table.
 
I found a couple of new quests in the old zones. Western Plaguelands for example at the flying point is a Draenei who has a quest series. I havent checked elsewhere, I simply stumbled across him. Maybe more things are hidden elsewhere, wouldnt hurt the game at all.

Although I did many many quests (60 hunter, 60 priest) I still find quests I never heard about simply because the quest giver is so hidden. So I am doing a quest series with my priest which gives a nice ring in the end. The quest giver is pretty hidden in the eastern plaguelands where the tunnel is in the mountains. Just as an example.

For fun I did the t0.5 set quest series although I wear t2 already. The 45 minute baron run was a nice challenge.
 
Time to play Titan Quest until the WOW expansion comes out!
 
Why is it that there is so little world "player generated" content in WoW ? Or perhaps MMORPGs in general - although from what I have read EQ was fairly player driven.

If enough like minded "bored" lvl 60s got together, surely they could come up with some things to do to amuse themselves outside of instances ?
 
As a change of pace from the PvP grind I rolled a Gnome Warlock (my first one) and I got a friendly Mage to teleport me to Darnassus where I began doing all of the Elf Quests. Now I've done most of the low level (0-20) Darnassus Quests at one time or another, but never with a single character. The object of course is to get my Gnome Exalted with Darnassus and get him a Tiger Mount, and I must say it's been working well so far (3/4 thru Honored atm). Now despite having done these quests before, I haven't done them to death like most of the Dun Murogh/Loch Modan/Westfall/Redridge Quests, so it was almost like playing a new game. My Gnome is now lvl 34 and is heading into Desolace, an area that I've hardly visited, even on my Main, so all of the quests there really are brand new for me.

Yes, WoW is not endless, but it is big, and even though my Main has explored both islands there's still a lot of content that I've never fully experienced, and that's not counting End Game content.
 
I was so happy to get into beta. Instead of hearing others tell me what they've seen I could see it myself firsthand!

But then I thought, why am I rushing to see this new content? I'll be paying for it soon - why not just enjoy it when it is released?

I have guildmates who have reached 70 and are trying out the new content there and a few months (weeks?) ago I would have wanted to be right there with them.

Instead raiding is losing its appeal and I'm longing for the world of warcraft outside of dungeons.

I uncovered alot of the maps (for my level) in the Outlands, but I kinda wish I hadn't now.

I miss the days of not knowing just down the road there is a little hamlet called Goldshire...
 
I know from other posts you aren't terribly excited about PvP, but you should really try it. Once it get's under your skin there is no leting go. PvP is endless content, always different and changing.
 
By the time my mage hits level 20 and did all the quests in the new starting zones for the Draenei, he will have played over 20 hours. The single-player RPG Fable, which sold well enough, only has 10 hours of gameplay, and there are lots of other games that don't deliver more than 20 hours of content.

I have to disagree with this comparison. 20 hours of playtime does not equate to 20 hours of content. MMOs deliver content at a much slower pace than single player games. A quest to go out and kill 25 slobbering dire rats isn't content, its a time sink. That 20 hours of playing your mage could easily equate to only 5 hours (or less!) of real 'content'.

You get a lot more out of 20 hours of content in a single player game than 20 hours of killing respawning mobs in an MMO. MMO 'content' is very dilute, while single player game content tends to be very focused. Think about how much you experience playing 20 hours of a Final Fantasy game, and compare that to what you experience in 20 hours of WoW. You can spend 2 hours in WoW and accomplish absolutely nothing. If you spend 2 hours in a single player game and accomplish nothing you're probably stuck.

I don't really have a point, except I find claiming that spending 20 hours leveling in the new newbie zone is 'more content than many single player games' to be ludicrous. It's not more content, it's just more time spent.
 
Why not simply try some different MMORPGs for a while? Even if you have tried some of them a long time ago, the experience might be different now -the games themselves have changed and people playing the games might also have changed.
 
I agree with Graktar. Newbie zones do have some interesting content, but I'll bet a lot of the time spent is trying to find a certain vendor or skill trainer. Starting characters with a teeny inventory so they have to keep running back to town with their bag of rat bones and other almost-worthless crap is tedious and just one example of the designers stretching the time you spend in the game without giving you real content like new zones to check out and new quests to complete.

I'm looking forward to BC, but I surely wouldn't want to beta test it just to have my character deleted later and the levelling curve cranked way up when I get to play for real. That seems pretty unenjoyable.
 
If you are looking for a game to play in the interim, check out Planetside. It's free up to a certain rank and it's a lot like WoW PvP, but with better balance.
 
WOW beta is something I didn't envy anyone. I'm so on the border with being able to play the game anymore. The last thing I'd want to do is to experience the content in beta, and be left with re-doing it when it's live. I've already had enough re-do playing this game.

I expect that getting from 60 to 70 will feel fun. Leveling is one of the best aspects of the game. So I wouldn't want to tarnish that experience in Beta. I know that I've leveled my last toon. I just cant reroll anymore of them.

Once around the block for 70, so I'll have to pick wisely, then I totally expect to say, game over.
 
MMOs deliver content at a much slower pace than single player games. A quest to go out and kill 25 slobbering dire rats isn't content, its a time sink. That 20 hours of playing your mage could easily equate to only 5 hours (or less!) of real 'content'.

I have to disagree with that. I played Oblivion for just two hours, because it turned out I didn't like the controls. But the first two hours of Oblivion are considerably more boring than the first two hours of playing your first WoW character.

What do you consider to be "real content"? Sorry, but for me having a long drawn-out cutscene like the start of Oblivion or most Final Fantasy games is not real content, because there isn't anything to play. A quest to kill 25 slobbering dire rats *is* content, because first you need to familiarize yourself with the new zone you are in and find the rats, then you need to learn how to use your new class to kill those 25 rats. Low-level WoW quests generally just ask you to kill anything between 6 and 25 of the same mob, so by the time you learned all about the mobs special abilities and how to fight it best, the quest is over, and you get a new one.
 
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