I took a long break from gaming and blogging after my mother passed away. What initially brought me back was the desire to level from start to finish with a gaming friend.
RIFT STILL FELT FRESH
Our game of choice was Rift. A long time WOW player, he hadn't joined the crush of adventurers when the game launched. The character I created would turn into my third to have made it into level 30 content, third cleric and second to max level.
Although the excitement of highly populated zones was gone, Rift's leveling content holds up exceptionally well. The options are diverse and the content so dense, that I never felt bored from having done those levels before. For me, Rift’s PVE game ranks right up there with the behemoth, World of Warcraft.
A RETURN TO WOW
After a few weeks being at max level again, my excitement started to wane. We ran chronicles and quested in Ember Isle, one of the most beautiful zones I’ve ever seen. However, with no new levels to be gained, my interest fell off. I decided return with my friend to WOW and see what I’d missed by leaving shortly after reaching end game in The Burning Crusade.
As expected, leveling content was good, instances great, crafting worthwhile and an active economy. It also didn’t hurt to have a wealth of alts to choose from all of whom had decent trade professions to help me along the way.
Although I can't imagine WOW ever being my full time MMO again, I see why and how, many long time players return after completing the leveling experience in other games. You can't rely on keeping your player base at max level by being as good as or comparable to WOW. You have to be BETTER THAN and MORE DIVERSE THAN whatever I came from before. Otherwise, why should I restart the end game treadmill in your game, when I can return to another game where I may have a staple of characters, trade-skills, long time guild mates and in some cases, player houses and guild halls at my disposal?
Many of the so-called WOW tourists aren't that intentionally. I think they want to invest in a new game but get to the end/top and realize they've done this all before and a new skin on isn't enough to keep them around.
UP NEXT IN GAMING
Guild Wars 2 will be my main MMO home for the foreseeable future. Other than time commitments, I know I will be there for the ride to max level. I knew from the beta that I enjoyed Rift enough for a jaunt through and was excited for the launch. The enthusiasm I feel for GW2 is leaps and bounds above what I thought of Rift before launch. I can hardly stand the wait much longer. ANet please don't break my heart. I need GW2 this summer!!