My Internet connection woes seem to be behind me. I'd knock on something, but it's a wireless connection. Knock on air I suppose?
Here in the Great White North, in order to coach 7-year-old hockey players you are forced to take 16 hours of "classes" over the course of two days. You must then take a "preventative services" course for an additional four hours. I coach not because I'm a good guy trying to give back to the community, but because I don't want a knucklehead coaching my kids. The vast majority of the 20 hours spent on the ice and in the classroom is not consumed discussing how best to teach our young players. It is spent discussing how to best deal with the parents that will inevitably cause problems. I see a great parallel between this travesty and MMOGs.
The vast majority of developer time, post-release of a MMOG is spent creating content for end-game players, yet end-game players make up a small portion of the game population. Many developers spend countless hours trying to appease end-game players in an attempt to retain them. Would it make more sense to spend some of that time improving the early and mid-game experience? I think so, and here's why...
The majority of players will never see the end-game content. This is a generalization, but it holds true for most games. Even WoW, a game that makes getting to the level cap relatively easy, doesn't have most of its level 60 players raiding the end-game content that has been lovingly created.
If more time were spent giving the starting players entertaining things to do the rush to the end-game might not be as fierce and some of the new players might stick around, using up less time per day on the servers than the hard-core players I might add, and keeping the subscription numbers up.
Of course, the high-end players are the ones who make the press swoon. It's a rock and a hard place.
What do you think? Do developers spend too much of their time on high-level content or are they staying the best course?
Post a comment at the bottom of this blog. If you are shy (or female and sending in naughty pictures) you can E-Mail me.
Every good guild needs a home. A home free of gold ads, secondary market farmers. Look no further than GuildPortal.com.
Exclusive new TenTonHammer.com Content!
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
08.21.2006 Exclusive Content
- Op/Ed: Ethec - Back To School"This week's editorial theme is "back to school." No need to buy a Trapper Keeper or some tasty No. 2 pencils; Ten Ton Hammer is discussing tutorial improvements - what developers can do to improve the teaching side of the game. Ethec leads off with his views - namely that newbies aren't the only ones that need some low level educatin'!"
- Op/Ed: Messiah - World of Warcraft: Socially Adept or Neighbourhood Leper?"This week our network editorial topic is âBack to Schoolâ. The various community staff take a look at how well their games do at teaching newbies how things are done? Is the beginning portion of the game interesting? Well paced? Does it introduce players to the gameâs social scene? Is there room for improvement?"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Turbine Gives Players A Solid Primer"As we prepare to enter DDO Quest Week here at Ten Ton Hammer, we take a look at the outstanding job Turbine does in preparing adventurers for the intricacies of DDO. From the starting area called Smuggler's Rest to the completion of Lord Gerald Goodblade's quests, Turbine has tweaked difficulty until they got it right. And they don't overload new players with information that may not pertain to their chosen class."
- EverQuest 2: Back To School"Back to school, to prove to dad that I'm not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, hope I don't get in a fight! The lower end game is a crucial point in any MMO. Kiara shares with us her thoughts and feelings by singing Grease 2, and somehow managing to tie in shinies again."
EverQuest 2: Best. Zone. Evah!!!"
It's the best zone evah! No, we're not talking about a Kingdom of Sky raid zone, we're talking about the new Nektulos Castle instance. If you can't ascertain from the title, our very own Kiara likes this zone....just a little. Join her as she discusses what you'll find, and why trapped shinies kill her. "
- Lord of the Rings Online: Exclusive Video Diary With Jeffrey Steefel"In the video, LOTRO Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel describes some of the various locations in the game. He mentions several famous locales, such as Eriador, Rivendale, Tom Bombadil's house and Buckleberry Ferry. If you think it's exciting to hear confirmation that these areas will make it into the game, just wait until you see them in this video!"
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Weekly Forum Roundup"With our beta key giveaway in full swing, you might be tempted to make a permanent camp on the Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer community forums. We're all for that, but we wouldn't want you to miss what's going on at the Official Vanguard Forums, either. That's why Aunraye brings you her weekly recap of some of the more interesting threads on the OVF. Take a look!"
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Back To School"Today across the Ten Ton Hammer network we're going back to school and talking about the newbie experiences in our favorite games. Since our favorite game here at Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer hasn't launched yet (and we don't know much about how the game will treat the average newb), Medeor opted to take a humorous look at how Vanguard might treat newcomers (and that means all of us who weren't lucky enough to beta test the game) at launch. Are you ready, class? Let's begin."
- World of Warcraft: Guide To Dire Maul"Our latest instance guide covers the sprawling instance of Dire Maul currently under control by scary demons, a wacky Orge gang, and magic thirsty Elves. We've got a complete walkthrough of each of the three wings containing plenty of information to slay your enemies and get through this instance quickly and efficiently!"
- World of Warcraft: Guide to Naxxramas"Within the depths of the dread Naxxramas lurks a master of the blade who has been corrupted by the Scourge. He now spends his day teaching new Death Knights the ways of the sword, creating new threats to Eastern Kingdoms on a daily basis. We've updated our Naxxramas guide to aid anyone in their noble quest to slay this evil known as Instructor Razuvious. Truly a master of the sword, he has the ability to nearly one hit anyone who stands in his way. Through trickery alone can you defeat this evil road block on your path to the terrifying lich, Kel'Thuzad."
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day - Who let the dogs out? Vin Diesel.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
Cat Gets Grilled [Thanks Karen]One Tabby Melt, coming up!
Hold the gold!
- Indian Man Born With Two Penises [Thanks Karen]Strangely, not born in Nantucket.
- Aljazeera - "Dolphins Are Stupid" [Thanks Matt]...and suicide bombers are smart.
- Revealed: World's Oldest Computer[Thanks Matt]Continuously prints, "Get off my lawn!"
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin
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