Let’s talk about end-game a little bit. While streaming the other day, I had a quick talk with @AshenTemper about end-game. I was playing The Secret World wondering what it will be like to hit the max level and have the game change from being about discovery and story into a game about raiding; At least that’s what I fear it will become. The same thing happened with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Leveling up was all about your personal story, then the end-game transitioned immediately into raiding. There was no gameplay continuity between the leveling part of the game and the end-game. For all intents and purposes, SWTOR was two games, and that was a huge design flaw.
Guild Wars 2, and many others before it, purport that they have no real end-game because the whole game is technically the end-game. That is to say, players will be doing the same things at the max level that they have been able to do since level one. GW2 has no traditional raids or gear treadmills. I’m giddy just thinking about it.
While I’m in love with the idea that there will be no PvE end-game in GW2, I wonder how it will work out. Sure, there will be giant bosses and events to participate in, and with zones like Orr there will surely be content. Will players get bored, though? Would you be bored if you were expected to continue doing the same thing?
I’m trying to decide how important an end-game is for me in a themepark, and how I think it can be done best. I hate treadmills and raids, so that’s out — although I completely acknowledge that plenty of people love them. Perhaps the problem is time spent in the progression stage, and time spent in the end-game being so unequal. In the EQ days it would take a year to level a character, but now you’re considered slow if you can’t do it in under two days /played.
For me it will all come down to PvP in GW2 for sustainable end-game — emphasis on the sustainable part, because I’m sure for a while whatever they’ve made will be enjoyable. I’m not ready to believe that I won’t get bored in a game like GW2 (a themepark) if I’m doing the same kind of PvE stuff forever. It’s the same idea with raiding for me. It just gets dull. Given unlimited resources and complete control of scope, it’s absolutely possible to create content that is fun, engaging, and immersive despite being the same type of stuff players do throughout the game. But can ArenaNet pull it off? Can they keep me entertained?
What are your thoughts on the whole end-game continuity issue? Are you totally fine with the leveling part of the game playing entirely different from the end-game, or do you want them to be the same?