Rinkusan-KT Posted December 9, 2017 Share Posted December 9, 2017 Lately, I've seen a few discussions on the topic of why the game is dying, with some talking about the intensive grinding and pay2win problems this game has. This thread is not about that. Or rather, this thread isn't about what it takes to stay COMPETITIVE. Many people think that this game is dying because it's too pay2win/too much of a grind to stay competitive. I disagree, but not because I think there aren't any pay2win problems currently in the game. What many people are over-looking are the people who play games for the general experience rather than the players who are trying to outrace their competition. So I thought I'd make a thread about the people who choose NOT to go the competitive route: the casual players. I believe that Aion's underwhelming appeal to casual players is the reason why the game's population has been dwindling. To make my point a bit clearer, let's compare Aion to an MMO that, back in the day, did everything right: Runescape (2006). It was an MMO with an endgame grinding demand over a hundred times the grind Aion currently has, yet very few ever complained about it. Why? Because you could enjoy the game whether you were competitive or casual. You could be a competitive player who spent years grinding for those top-end dragon claws/lvl 99 strength/ancient magicks and training for those prayer-flashing/gear-switching techniques so you could beat people up in the wilderness OR you could be a casual lvl 50 who enjoys doing quests, exploring, and fishing lobster for a living so you can eventually build that player-owned house in Rimmington for that house party you always wanted to host. The point here is that this MMO gave players plenty of OPTIONS of having fun no matter the level or gear. You didn't have to grind for the best gear to have fun. You didn't have to be competitive to have fun. But in Aion? Apparently, you HAVE to grind for the best gear to have fun. You HAVE to be somewhat competitive to have fun. Why? Because if you don't, you get locked out of most of the game. No solid PvE gear or PvE experience? No bastion of souls, ToE, CoE, etc. No solid PvP gear or PvP experience? No pre-made PvP instances to join; only quick-groups that more often than not end up being afk sessions. You're locked out of almost every enjoyable in-game content, and all you're left with is zerg-PvP, outdated housing content, coalition-based sieges filled with afk liabilities, the useless PvE instances, and mountain-climbing - a very limited and somewhat unrewarding hobby due to the many invisible walls the developers decided to place in every map (particularly Poeta :/). The funny thing is that Aion didn't used to have such limited choices for having fun. During the 3.X patches, there were plenty of things you could do at ALL levels, both PvE and PvP. Open-world PvP and rifting was alive and welcoming for all levels because AP earned from kills on similarly-leveled enemies was extremely valuable back then, and there was an incentive to get gear from open-world bosses and instances at any level because you were going to stay at that level for a while. And if you were bored with both PvE and PvP, you could always craft recipes for a living. What I'm trying to say is that there was actual game content to enjoy at EVERY level and a variety of good rewards - whether PvP or PvE - NO MATTER WHAT LEVEL YOU WERE. Fast-forward to today. All of the above are gone. All of the content from lvl 1 to 65 has been downgraded to something you're supposed to speed-run through in order to to become an archdaeva as fast as possible. Sure, many will argue that it's a "choice", as in you have the choice to play on the old maps the same way as you did in 3.X. No, there is no choice anymore; casual players don't stay at any level long enough for you to form PvE groups with them, rifting has completely died out, crafting isn't profitable, some instances have been cut short, and the entire progression system from lvl 1 to 65 incentivizes you to skip EVERYTHING. You do not have a choice anymore.Bottom line: I believe the playerbase is dwindling because NCSoft's fundamental changes to this game are hurting casual players. They basically removed all early-game content to incentivize people to rush to end-game, leaving a giant hole of underwhelming gameplay at the beginning which ironically incentivizes casual players to quit prematurely. The casual players who stick around are punished by being locked out of the game because most end-game content happens to be fairly competitive. Anyways, I'd like to clarify that this opinionated wall of text talking about casual players was made from the perspective of a competitive player trying to empathize with casual players, so I welcome any counter-arguments to my possible misconceptions. Anyways, with everything said, I still appreciate NCSoft's efforts to update endgame content, but without a baseline of quality casual content that everyone can enjoy and a solid revamping of the pre-archdaeva progression system, I believe the population will inevitably shrink. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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