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!