So You’ve Reached Max Level – Now What? #WoW #RiftGame

Yesterday I decided to cancel my Rift account, and it wasn’t because I don’t enjoy the game but because once I reached level 50 I didn’t have anything left to do (keep in mind I don’t raid). I know, there’s a large update coming soon that would potentially rectify this issue but lets assume for the moment that it’s not releasing this week. This burn out players feel once reaching max level isn’t something that is all that rare, and I think it’s something that games need to find an answer to. While raiding is great for those who want to partake it shouldn’t be the only answer to “what is there to do” once you’ve hit max level.

In actuality it’s not all there is to do. It’s just that all of the other options were uninteresting to me. For example, there are achievements to work on. Collections to complete, factions to grind, and PvP. I had completed my T2 set of gear along with obtaining as many crafting recipes as I could per week. I think Rift is incredibly limited in their crafting due to the fact that there are only daily quests and weekly quests (ignoring the “Crifting” that goes on for now because technically that is still a once a week occurrence for those who have a lure). Once you’ve completed these quests there’s not much more to do via crafting unless you’re going harvesting. The same can be said for guild quests, you have a weekly supply of them and once they’re completed there’s nothing else you can do to progress the guilds level. You can’t even do an unlimited amount of daily quests, there’s a cap.

I’m going to generalize for a moment here which is something I typically refrain from doing but I think it’s relevant. It’s 11am on a Wednesday. A large portion of those in game may be stay at home mothers (or fathers) who have children in school. What does your game offer to them? Something they can do that allows them to step away from the PC easily when something at home comes up (player housing, I’m looking at you). Or does your game require large amounts of undivided attention.

There’s no magical answer I can supply on an easy way to give players something to do once they’ve hit max level (or even on their way to max level) aside from a comment by Petter: “.. Gief sandbox features plz” – for those who are unfamiliar with the term sandbox here’s a simple description:

A sandbox MMO is a game that drops you into a player driven world.  Players are given tools, and sand, and they get to make whatever they want with it.  just like when you were a kid in your sandbox with a shovel and pail.  You didn’t have much fancy stuff, but you had fun.

a non-sandbox MMO has already made all the fun for you, there is no sand, its a playground or a “themepark”.  its not about you creating content, its about having fun with what the devs made.  like when you used to climb around on the monkey bars or whatever.

It’s not a definition that can be put in so many words, but World of Warcraft is typically referred to as a ‘theme park’ MMO, where as games like EVE are sandbox. In EVE the game doesn’t tell you what to do, or what to train, or where to fly. You (the player) have to decide what is fun, and go out and do it. World of Warcraft holds your hand the entire way, telling you where to level and what to do. EQ2 is a theme park MMO with sandbox features, like crafting and player housing. Player-written books, and their soon to be design a dungeon feature. Players who don’t want to raid or always be in a dungeon thrive in these sorts of games, and while you can’t please everyone adding even a little sand to your theme park is never a bad thing.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. I checked my Rift account today and it’s got 6 days left on it. I thought that with 1.5 patch release today that I’d be interested in the Planar Attunement AA thingies, but someone posted what getting all of them will do and to say that they’re minor is to understate by a whole lot. Add in that you’d need about 92 million XP to get them all and you’re looking at a very long grind to get very little benefit.

    And so, I think in my 6 remaining days I’ll go try to do the solo/duo dungeons and call it a game. As mentioned before. . . I can easily fill my time until the SWTOR launch with DDO, LotRO, CO or a variety of other F2P titles.

  2. Sharon

    I love questing and leveling and exploring, and that just goes by so fast in Rift. I cancelled my account this week also. With multiple 50s, and nothing left to do but raid, I’m pretty much done. In both EQ2 and LOTRO, I had loads of things left to do when I hit max level. Now with LOTRO’s Rise of Isengard expansion, I don’t see myself returning to Rift any time soon.

  3. Ya i’m in the same boat, i got to level 50 and the game lost interest to me. there really wasn’t anything i wanted to do.

    I wish MMO had more of the longer type quest Everquest and Everquest2 had. (Though i can’t see my self every going back to either of those games).

  4. Rift is actually one of the few MMOs where I still find lots to do with my max level characters. Since I also don’t raid and nowadays rarely do formal group dungeons either in any MMO, most of my characters tend to go into semi-retirement when they hit the level cap. I like the PvP in Rift and I also like the zone invasions and events, so I found plenty to do for quite a while with my three level 50s, but when I drifted back to EQ2 during the recent double-everything weekend I sort of stuck there.

    I’m expecting to be spending a lot more time in Rift once the next patch lands, because I love AAs in all games that have them. It’s leveling-lite and very fun. I just hope Rift’s implementation is as satisfying as EQ or EQ2. Then there are the duo dungeons which should be perfect for Mrs Bhagpuss and me. Even so, I very much agree that Trion should rethink their “it’s all about the endgame” attitude. It’s going to give them a very loyal hardcore that will probably play Rift for a decade, but it will seriously harm long-term growth if it isn’t also coupled with a much broader and deeper sub-50 game.

    Anyway, I am so looking forward to EQ2’s Age of Discovery expansion, which looks absolutely wonderful on paper, that Rift was always going to struggle to get my attention once that releases.

  5. I’m in something of the same boat as you Stargrace — I’ve got 3 characters at 50 in Rift now — 1’s pretty decently geared, the other 2. . not so much. . .but for both of them, once I hit 50 i didn’t feel like I really wanted to play them anymore. . . but I’ve already exhausted the leveling paths as well and do’t want to level up a rogue or mage becuz while the gameplay is different for them I’d still just be repeating the same quests over again (and yes, I’ve leveled to 50 Guardian and Defiant, so I’ve seen both sides).

    As a result, when I learned that DDO had introduced a new class, I swapped over. DDO’s never really “taken” with me, but it’s still a nice diversion from time to time. On top of that, a friend has been talking Champions Online up for a while, so I’ve installed that and am trying it out as well. Last night I realized I’ve not logged into Rift in over a week. . . and I haven’t missed it. So I think I’ll be canceling it also and just sticking with some F2P games until SWTOR comes out. I’ve got LotRO installed as well, plus a few others that elude my mind at the moment. Plenty of options…….

  6. Niall

    Well there is still the *RP* part of MMORPG if you are interested.

  7. John R

    @ MMOCrunch – *chuckle* Your mileage may vary? Actually, from what Blizzard has published back when they were working on the first few Lich King patches, at that time (second expansion) the population of people that raided was roughly 10% of the frequently playing game base. That’s excluding the folks that were once or twice a month players – complete casuals. Blizzard indicated that less than 2% of it’s paying customers say Illidan die, and while he was the “end boss” of the expansion, there was another raid after him. You might think that the level grind is the worst part, and the “real game” starts at level cap, but the numbers that we’ve had revealed don’t agree.

    The big question to me is this – we know why we have an “endgame”, it was invented so people would have something to do after the core “leveling game” is done. But why hasn’t some studio made a “endgame” that operates from a lobby, and skips the “grind up” part? If raiding is so great, and leveling is such a pain, why not cut to the chase? There might be a market there to be captured, if there is enough interest.

  8. Kaylita

    And I think this is one of the key reasons I’ve stuck with EQ2, and not converted over to WoW. I think the sandbox that is the guild halls and player housing really makes the entire experience more interesting. I spend a lot of time on my Carpenter, and I think being able to craft and design your own environment in the game is what makes the EQ2 world so much more real.

  9. If raiding and PvP isn’t your thing, I’m not sure why you like MMO games at all. To me the grind to the level cap is the worst part of the game, not because it’s long, but because 95% of the quests you have to complete to get their are horribly boring. LOTRO was the only game where I actually enjoyed the entire journey to the level cap and that was only because of the lore and already being familiar with the lands and people. While RIFT has somewhat an interesting story, its not really for me, I’d rather just hit the cap so I can access the end-game content.

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