I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately: Should MMO’s reboot more often? When I say reboot, I’m talking about the same type of reset we see when a new World of WarCraft expansion comes out. Suddenly it doesn’t matter if you’ve played since launch with the best gear in the game. When Mists of Pandaria launches, no one will have an advantage and a new player can join and rise to the top.
Personally, knowing that people have been playing for a year or more with that big of a head-start on me is daunting. I become discouraged thinking that there is no way I will catch up. For example, I think about trying Rift again then I realize I am a year behind everyone else, and I figure why bother at all. If suddenly there was a reboot, a reset, and everyone was on the same footing again, I would be more inclined to jump in and play.
Themeparks with vertical progression benefit from this system the most. And while existing players who are excelling are technically reset, and in a way brought downward to the beginning again, they are technically free to give it a go once more. It’s a temporary solution for a problematic model.
What about non-themepark games, though? Last I heard, Darkfall may be facing a reboot of sorts. Players have been PvPing and increasing their skills creating a massive gap with haves and have nots. Aventurine gave players something like 20x skill increases, essentially helping the game to reboot itself, but there are rumors (are they still rumors?) that a wipe will occur to start everyone off fresh with a new skill system.
Something about starting fresh excites me. I think that’s why every time a new WoW server opened — and they opened all the time back in the day — I would re-roll and start fresh. That’s how I was the server-first in Molten Core and BWL three times. I like starting over, I like the life it breathes into a MMORPG, and I like watching how the community established itself all over again.
Here are some fun questions for you to consider. Would you like to see more MMO’s essentially rebooting like WoW does, and what do you think about MMORPG’s wiping entirely and starting fresh on a regular basis — something you would be interested in seeing?