I think I am understanding your overarching message; players shouldn't be restricted by the game to complete content with their friends. While I think the message itself is fine, as in players should be able to interact with friends as they please, the mechanical implementation of such measures are the antithesis of what MMORPGs are. I agree with the sentiment, but it's completely at odds with what MMORPGs are about. What you are implying would result in the "dumbing down" of the game to appeal to a lower common denominator. Point being; lowering the bar results in the reduction in challenge and trivializes content completion, resulting in less longevity and a less engaging game.
I particularly take issue with this:
Mizuki, on Dec 26, 2012 - 9:04 PM, said:
If a game does it right everyone should be able to experience all the mainstream content granted you can set aside certain places for those who really want to test themselves but don't include it for everyone. If someone can't participate with their friends because they aren't "good" enough they''ll stop playing, get more and more people in that mindset and you'll start seeing mass numbers leaving.
There's nothing stopping any player in any game from experiencing the entirety of its content. MMORPGs typically have dungeons that are all able to be completed by the majority of its userbase with the proper gear tier. Failing to complete content generally boils down to three core things:
- Insufficient Gear: Failure to acquire the necessary tier of gear needed to survive dungeon content.
- Insufficient Knowledge: Failure to understand boss and dungeon mechanics necessary to conquer the AI.
- Insufficient Grouping: Failure to provide the proper assortment of classes and skills, or the number of people necessary to clear the content.
The fact of the matter is this; failure to complete content in an MMORPG is the result of not investing the time
to get there. There is no mechanical barrier to completing MMORPG content, the games themselves have very rudimentary mechanical demands and generally only require knowledge and time investment to clear content. There is nothing you can do to make the content "easier" that doesn't in turn reduce the time requirement, thus the longevity of the game. MMORPGs are built upon the idea of time sinks, and reducing that total time requirement irreparably damages the game's longevity, thus its subscriber base in the long term.
What you are indirectly asking for would trivialize the progression element of which the MMORPG genre is based upon. It is what I consider to be tantamount to asking for a handicap in any other game. This logic applies to any other genre. If you cannot play a shooter, the game does not provide an aimbot to compensate. If you cannot play a strategy game, the game does not provide build orders and enemy information to assist you. If you cannot play a racing game, the game does not place a limiter on top speed to make it easier on you. To reduce the time and knowledge requirement for players to clear content has a direct impact on the longevity of the game, and I would rather not see the game's difficulty reduced to allow for everyone to complete the bulk of the content without challenge.
This genre is built on achievement, on tier hierarchy, on overcoming difficulty. There's no logical reason to deviate from this; lowering the bar only makes clearing faster, removing more skilled players from the customer pool with little gains in new customers or retention. It won't happen, plain and simple.
This post has been edited by Notturno: Dec 30, 2012 - 11:33 PM