Hey all, sorry for the last blog post, been kinda busy with Gamebreaker & Steam Sale stuff this week. So this week I wanted to talk a bit about end game for an MMO. As you may or may not know, Guild Wars 2 is my main MMO. Some people got turned off or stopped playing the game because there is no “end game”. Before I go over about GW2’s end game, let’s first explore the idea of what “end game” is.
What Is End Game?
Endgame defined by Urban Dictionary as “In [an] MMORPG. Used to describe the playing done by people who have reached the maximum progression and/or the most advanced content currently available.“. So I think we can safely assume that I can define end game as content you can do at max level.
A lot of MMO players link end game generally with raiding and PvP. This is probably, well, more like definitely because of World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft set the standard for a highly successfully MMO. The game is like what? 8-9 years old? And still has over 8 millions subscribers to this day. That’s pretty damn impressive for a 9 year old MMO game that’s competing with today’s gameplay innovation and graphics (which is sadly what most people base if they’ll play a game these days). However that success has convinced many other companies that make MMOs to follow the WoW format for making MMOs. This leads to the end game content similar to WoW’s which includes raiding and PvP. Therefore, MMO players get accustomed to standard gameplay in MMOs and expect certain content for end game.
So Where Is Guild Wars 2’s End Game?
It’s hard for some people to see but Guild Wars 2 is the end game. You’re obviously free to disagree with me on this but that’s what ArenaNet was aiming for with GW2. You can go straight into PvP if that’s your thing. You can go into World vs World (WvW) and level that way if you want a PvP levelling experience, I suggest travelling with friends or guildies though. You can level the traditional way and do the higher level dungeons like Arah (sadly limited to 5 people but it’s there). Can do living story when patches drop. Can do guild missions. Can grind for a legendary weapon. Can go achievement hunting. Can do Boss runs and is much easier to plan out thanks to the overlay. In my opinion, there is quite a bit to do in Guild Wars 2 for “end game”.
All of this is there yet, it’s doesn’t keep some players around. Maybe it’s because players are used to the standard way MMOs work and wanted GW2 to be the same. Maybe ArenaNet’s end game philosophy doesn’t suit them in the end so they stop playing. Both are fine, you play a game because you like it. If it’s not for you, at least you know. It’s weird because I see Guild Wars 2 as a very popular game, yet it has a niche audience. Some people who play wanted something different from the generic MMO that provides the same type of end game content and GW2 does just that for them.
Now, I pose this question. This is not me being an ass, I’m being legit serious in asking this: Why do players raid & PvP? As far as I see, people raid and PvP for 3 main things:
- Achievements & Bragging Rights
- Social Aspect
I see all 3 points possible in GW2. Maybe the rewards and achievements in GW2 are a little easier (unless you’re going for a legendary). Is that’s one of the problems? The content in Guild Wars 2 is rather easy where achievements are concerned (within reason). If you can easily blaze through the content and reach max level, you’re left with nothing to do. I feel that most MMO players at GW2 launch did just that (guild missions and living story wasn’t out back then) and that probably turned some people off. Concerning hard content, ArenaNet has been adding more difficult content, notably the Aetherblade dungeon (which wasn’t that hard in the end once you figured out the mechanics).
The Future of Guild Wars 2’s End Game
I really think ArenaNet can increase the number of people for dungeons someday. 8 or 10 man like in GW1 would be fun again. They’d have to rework all the dugeons for 8-10 man parties but it’d be worth it. For the aesthetics of the party UI, they can scale down the portraits and HP bars so that they can fit on the left of the screen perfectly. However they are working on their vision of “raiding” (for lack of a word). So until that comes out, I’ll reserve my further thoughts on dungeons. For living story, I’m really impressed that ArenaNet is making 2 weeks living story patches and I’m looking forward to them. This, I find, will keep people playing more consistently.
As for more end game content, I’d like to see it include the use of the other main cities and other areas. I don’t really care if it takes a year to get a decent set of content in a few areas but I feel like that needs to happen to get people exploring. More mini games for casual content would be nice. Polymock arena near Rata Sum (the Asuran city) has been around for a while, yet there’s been no patch to allow access to it yet.
In my opinion, right now, I find GW2 to be in a decent state where end game is concerned thanks to living story and guild missions. I hoping that the ArenaNet “raiding” (again, for lack of a word) comes in in the next few months. Of course, they’ll probably have to keep a lot of the stuff they’re implementing in mind when making their expansion.
So what do you all think of Guild Wars 2 version of end game? Do you like it? Hate it? Needs work?