Lately I have been playing my Xbox a lot. Single player gaming is better for the shorter gaming sessions that I seem to have lately. Mogs, as you get higher in level, require a much larger time investment to get any reward out of them. I am unable to make this time investment on weeknights. I have other obligations and better things to do during the week.
What can game developers do to stop gamers from spending more time in single player games before they eventually just stop playing mogs all together? This is a question that I hope developers are thinking about.
There are issues with making games more “Casual Friendly”. If you make them too casual, players do not have much incentive to play for very long. You also run the chance of alienating your core audience of “Power Gamers”. So how do you keep your aging audience without pushing the very active power gamer away from the game?
Currently gaming companies cater to the power gamers, and they throw a few bones to the casual gamer. The power gamers are the ones that run the guilds, run the instances, and are generally the driving force of the community, so you need to keep them happy. This has worked and will continue to work because as power gamers grow into casual gamers more power gamers will fill in the ranks especially as online gaming becomes more mainstream.
WoW opened up online gaming to the masses. It had enough casual pieces to make it appeal to a wide range of gamers. The number one thing that made this possible was the throwing away of the idea that MMORPGS need to be played in groups. This is a major development and lets people play at their convenience. But the best stuff in the game was still limited to raids, thus requiring groups.
WAR has made a few strides in the right direction. The open party systems is genius. It is so surprising that no one else thought of this before. It makes finding a group a breeze. It still has a few problems, most of them having to do with population and lack of groups to join. I will discuss this problem about WAR in a future post.
Second is the Public Quest system. This system has a few flaws that can be easily fixed. The biggest problem with them is no one is doing them. They have nice items, good story, and OK experience, so why are they not popular? Scenarios are better experience. In a game that focuses on the end game, getting to the highest level is the number one goal. Public quest experience should be increased, and the influence should be shared between the same chapters in different lands. This would make the scenarios feel less grindy because you could go from area to area and it still counts for the rewards that you want. Adding a very large reward for completing all chapters in a tier would add even more incentive to compete all chapters, making completing individual PQs easier.
This is a topic that can be discussed from many different directions. I hope to continue this discussion in future postings.