We all want to be a hero. We all want to get to a point where the bad guys are inconsequential to us, where we can show up to save the day, to be the champion, to be the knight in shining armor saving the day. It is why we play games, to be able to beat the bad guy.
I saw this yesterday from @Muffinus
And I don’t really feel awesome. And I appreciate @RakaelTowers trying to make me feel like I am. But I don’t any more. Every time I feel like, ok, I am getting better, I can do this, the bar gets raised up. I feel like I am working commission sales with the Artifact Power slog. Great Champion, you met your goal of 12 million this week, shoot for 14.5 million next week, wonderful, your new goal is 19 million. There is a good reason many people burn out and leave high pressure sales jobs. There is never a point where you can rest. You have to keep going. And I feel like the game design is trying to force us to do just that, chase a golden ring that is always being moved just a little further out of reach.
I mentioned this morning that perhaps looking over exit surveys and trying to figure out what about the game caused a person to leave, that maybe it might be a much better idea to find out why people stay. There is loyalty with those players that have been here for years. Some of it is just the knowledge of the time invested in characters, some stay for friendships, even many stay for challenges. I do not think anyone would argue that being challenged is a good thing. But at some point you want to see all the work you have put into an effort have a final outcome. You want to be the hero, you want to carry on.
It feels like the design philosophy is to offer ever increasing levels of difficulty, with more and more ways to work to get what you need to tackle the next higher level of difficulty, that we can keep going, battling harder and harder fights, the same content over and over.
And I think what has happened is people have lost. The battle will never be won. There is no point where you finally take your main and beat the bad guy and take him home to rest, to enjoy some peace while you grab your next. It is all pushing to focus you on playing one, until you can not tolerate playing any longer. And where the thinking may be, we are not worried, they will just grab an alt and play that, or they will just wander off and play old content. We made the game what we want, they can play it as is or not. Has a lot of flaws. On any day there are dozens of games all reaching out, all trying to grab the attention of the player base. They dangle golden carrots, and many people grab them and enjoy the fact that they actually were able to grab the carrot, there wasn’t someone moving the stick further out of reach.
I would love to be the hero of my own tale, but I feel most days like I am the person in town that people trow pebbles at because they think I am not a good player. And yes I did see that will be something we can do. We will be able to throw stones at each other. Because hurling insults in trade or general chat can be blocked, I guess they needed to give people virtual stones to throw. Because in this game now, it is not enough to be a good person, to be just ok, you have to be great at not only your class, but all aspects of it, and able to do Mythic +’s at the drop of a hat. Even something as simple as wanting to get certain looks requires not only a level of skill, but also the effort to do difficult content, to have the gear and resources in order to get the look. I love this game for the people, for allowing me to run a guild for people to laugh and enjoy playing a game. I just wish they would put some focus on helping people be better to each other, and to allow them the chance to say “YES!!! I did it, I beat the bad guy!!!” And not have the looming, oh, but have you beaten him on this level.