Friday, October 10, 2014

Wildstar and Tiers of Endgame

Here's another thought I had while reading about the various issues Wildstar has at endgame.

What if Wildstar had not launched with raids? And instead of the attunement being an attunement, it was an achievement? Same requirements, but what you got for it was just the achievement?

Then Wildstar could have launched raids a few months later.

To me, looking at the attunement, Wildstar essentially launched with two tiers of endgame. The attunement basically said, "Do all of Tier 1 before starting Tier 2". If Tier 2 had not existed at launch, then everyone would have taken their time playing through Tier 1. I imagine that by the time that the raids launched, many people would have effectively completed their attunements already, and would not have complained about them.

WoW generally has the same problem whenever it launches an expansion. Two tiers of endgame content are released, and everyone blitzes the first tier to get to the second one. The difference is that WoW generally shrugs when people do that, and doesn't try to prevent it.

Unfortunately, no one has really managed it yet, but it would be very nice to figure out a way that single tier of endgame can contain multiple playstyles. For example, releasing a raid and a small dungeon that both give the same level of loot, both in the same tier of endgame. If you did this, very often one of the two routes will be significantly easier, and everyone will flock to that route.

FFXIV comes close to this, having dungeon "roulettes" that can be done once per day that award the highest raid currency. But it isn't quite the same tier. And then they messed it up with the addition of Hunts.

All in all, I think launching multiple Tiers of endgame for an MMO at the same time is a mistake. Wildstar compounded that mistake by trying to explicitly force people to complete the first tier before getting access to the second tier.


  1. Well, the problem with just releasing one tier is that the hardcore will burn through it right away and then complain that there is "nothing" to do (hello there, SWTOR). Since Wildstar was specifically trying to cater to that playerbase, it made sense to go down the multiple-tier route. (Even if it may not have turned out to be a good idea from a financial point of view.)

  2. The way to make different types of endgame that don't cause them to be in competition with each other is to make them give different loot entirely, focused entirely on their niche.

    WoW is already KIND of doing this, but isn't going all the way because they still want raids to be the true endgame. But what if raids gave gear that only worked in raids, challenge dungeons gave gear that only worked in challenge dungeons, PvP gave gear that only worked in PvP, "endgame" solo content (high-tier dailies, Brawler's Guild, etc) gave gear that only worked when soloing, and pet battling gave pets and pet "gear".

    You'd still have multiple endgame options for players who didn't want to do raiding, and at the same time you'd still have them siloed in such a way that you're not causing contention with people who feel they need to partake in things that are not their favoured playstyle just to remain competitive.

    To put it simply, the biggest problem with current multiple-option endgame models is that they end up trying to tie everything to a single loot/gear model.