Thursday, 2 June 2011

Making your own challenge?

Forgive me for writing another 'Rift' post on my main blog, but I'm using Rift as an example - not the be all and end all.  And I'm not saying, in any way, than game x is better than game y. Just to be clear about that...

My (admittedly) limited MMO experience is based around the so called 'holy trinity' of roles - tank, healer and damage dealers. But Rift added a new string to that (for me - probably not a new mechanic, I'm sure!) - the buff/debuff role.  Now I can imagine that that type of role can cause difficulty with balancing - ok, I get that in a raid group (and I think that raids are 20 players in Rift) you can tune the fights around having at least one 'support' role, but how does it play out in 5-mans?  If you require a support role to manage boss fights, that leaves another 'necessary' role, along with the inexorable tank-healer combo so only two DD slots.  Hmm. However, that was a tangent.

I'm a cussed sort sometimes.  I levelled my priest in WoW from 1 - 70 as holy (before the days of dual spec) and I didn't find it that much of a big deal.  (Until I levelled a warlock and things just fell over.)  I know tanks had, to a degree, the same thing.  You took the 'pain' levelling for the 'rewards' of end game.  Period.  Then dual specs made it much easier to have a DD 'off spec' or vice versa and all of a sudden, the need to take the levelling 'pain' was removed.  And levelling got easier.

In Rift I'm playing mages and clerics.  For the unitiated (or those who have been hiding under a rock...) clerics can tank, heal or DD depending on soul choice.  Mages can heal, DD or fulfill a support role.  So clearly there are specs that are 'easier' in terms of levelling progression than others.  Himself is playing a shaman as his 'main' spec and is sliding through packs of mobs 2+ levels higher than he is like a hot knife through butter.  I think he gets a bit bored sometimes...

I love my necro but it's not exactly challenging when you've got a pet tank.  Same with an elementalist who has a rocky minion as a (sort of) tank.  Various warrior/rogue builds get pets etc etc.  You get my drift.  Now having been levelling my cleric as a total healer I did start to get a bit... frustrated by how long it took me to level, but boy I had fun in groups.  My latest addition is a support mage (an archon, to be precise) because I wanted to see how viable it is to level in a 'support' role. 

So the point of this post really, is to seek opinion on whether we can make our own challenges in-game.  If it feels to easy levelling as a DD, should we try making levelling harder for ourselves, rather than wanting the game designers to increase the diffiuclty levels?  Or is that just bonkers...?

1 comment:

  1. I think that a lot of people forget that game designers in fact do know what they are doing and the moment developers make anything "hard", people go apeshit.

    Know what I did in Rift to make things less tedious while levelling? I completed as many achievements in the zone as I could before I left. The challenge of completing every quest and finding all of the hidden shinies and all of that stretched it out and made it more varied and fun. More things like that, please, Mr Game Developers! Though I really don't like how quickly 1-60 goes in WoW these days, it's a bit much.