You’ve heard this talked about before at AGC…something should be just out of reach for each player in order for them to strive for something and stick around to play. If a player is able to see every possible thing that can happen to them in the early levels, then you’ve failed the player and the game is pretty much done. Quite true. How many times have you watched a trailer to a move only to find out after you watched the whole movie that the trailer was the only thing you really needed to see? There has to be some mystery about the world. Something that allows the player to say, “I’ll log off right after I see what’s over there”….kind of the “one more turn” syndrome from the Civilization series except in MMOs.
I wrote yesterday regarding mounts. One comment was that the horse gave my wife something to shoot for, so the game was successful in keeping her engaged with that goal. True, however, I’m not to sure that mounts would really fall in this category of a “player horizon”. Back to the movie analogy, the horse in MMOs is like having a bad guy in an action film…it?s kind of always there. No, what I’m talking about here is more along the lines of the perceived content and experience the MMO can give to the player right out of the gate.
WoW is, of course, the perfect example of this…so is Vanguard believe it or not. When I’m in the newbie area for both of those games I do get a sense of something bigger than what I’m directly involved in at the time. In a current beta that I’m in, not so much and this might be one of its problems…besides other issues. Tabula Rasa?….hmmmm, you know there is a tough one. I’m not too sure whether TR hit that kind of feeling for me. Heh, I guess if I’m not sure than the answer is no…but not really. In TR you do get a sense that something bigger is going on but for some reason I really didn?t care what it was. I’m not clear if that’s a failure of my imagination or a failure on TRs part to make me care about it. Hmmmm, makes me wonder if I should get this game and try to figure that out. /ponder
Anyway…I don’t think I’ve been in a game yet that gave me the sense of something really big on the horizon much like WoW did. Even though all of the games I play are do have varying degrees of giving me that “horizon” feeling, none really touch WoW. However, WoW does loose that feeling in the end game, which is really too bad. OK, yes, there is that sort of feeling of “wonder what the next big dungeon has”, but that’s really not the same.
I’m really looking forward to the next game to recreate that feeling for me. Not sure if one ever will. Heck, this might be one of those “first love” kind of things where it only happens once to everyone and that?s it. We’ll see….