Define “Hard” and I Digress

Tobold has a post up about Fippy Darkpaw – the progression EverQuest server going live – and some commenters asked about what made the game hard – the grind or the content? Someone had commented that the lack of knowledge ‘back in the day’ made it hard.

I agree.

WoW, for example, is so popular you can do a search for just about anything and find the answer. FFXI was incredibly cryptic in what it released as common knowledge (i.e.  damage calculations, crafting HQ formula, etc.), and Fallen Earth is niche enough that it doesn’t have a huge database to answer every question out there.

That’s some of the appeal for me though; I remember beating games like Final Fantasy, Crystalis, and the like when I was a kid without the help of any spoilers.  It felt like a major accomplishment. When answers are readily available, why bother figuring it out on your own? I find myself tempted and have to resist the urge in single-player games today to look for answers online. I do my best to finish a game straight-through without support, then go back and do the other stuff with help if I liked it enough. I managed to do that for Dragon Age, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas. 

 But the expectation in MMOs is that you know everything- and I think that’s what is going to hurt Rift in the long-run (and has sucked the enjoyment out of WoW for so many). The soul system has real potential, but once the math monkeys get a hold of it, here come the cookie-cutters.

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~ by Drew on February 15, 2011.

3 Responses to “Define “Hard” and I Digress”

  1. Even wow was difficult back in the day but as you say over exposure and of course us being human we will always look for the easiest way if its out there. You make an interesting point regarding rift, if anything spoils rift it will be cookie cutters being the only way forward.

    • Yep, it’s a side effect of (most people’s) human nature, I’m afraid- the desire to be ‘the best’. The min-maxers will have a huge impact in any socialized game, and I expect Rift will fall prey to that, too. It may take quite a bit longer with the sheer number of possibilities, but it will happen.

      I’ve managed to appreciate Fallen Earth from an “explorer/achiever’s” point of view, though – I’m not in any rush to get to cap – and that’s been a fun experience for me. If I was to be actively looking to do end-game there, though, (primarily PvP) I’d be agonizing over the upcoming changes.

      • yeah am treating AoC in the same way although the severe instancing is making it difficult to become full immersed in the world. I havent even checked if Im the right spec etc but its interesting so far

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