Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Casual Players

Playing MMORPGs these days, one would rightly wonder what chances one has to have actual fun in it if they can't spend 20 hours a week on it. Games that do not require a high level of grinding to gain levels will require it to get other stuff. World of Warcraft, in particular, is notorious for having a great lots of content only accessible once you have attained the highest level (60); that content also more often than not require that you spend hours on end on it, along with fourty other members of your guild, which makes playing the game when you got spare time quite difficult. Where's a casual's room in all that?

Why can't casual players play casually and still be useful? Why does power have to scale exponentially with levels, and why are there so few games that are centered around people playing together, no matter their level?

In my Vision (TM), a game can be shared by anyone, no matter how many hours they spend on it. This is achieved by having a more progressive acquisition of power; players of higher power are usually more useful to a group, but not so much so that casual players cannot contribute a meaningful effort to adventuring and whatnot.

Is this so hard to do? Am I missing something bigger here, or am I simply a minority that game designers are not eager to please?

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