‘Accessibility’ killed Rift

Some very perceptive readers have picked up on the fact that Rift has somewhat fallen out of favor with me. It might have been my post about patch 1.2. I did drop a few hints there.

Patch 1.2 brought the MMO destroyer, ‘accessibility’, to Rift. In one quick patch, Trion managed not only to kill 5 man dungeon content for me and the majority of my guild, but also world content, the soul system, rifts, crafting, and well, everything else. How is that possible you ask? Well, before I get to that, lets talk about that lovable monster we call ‘accessibility’.

Content difficulty works like a range. Those above the range find it far too easy, those near the top find it not difficult, those at the dead middle are in the sweet spot, those below have a tougher time, and those well under find it close to impossible. The issue here is that it’s not just those who are below the range that can’t enjoy the content; those above it are also excluded (running a dungeon/raid once is not end-game content, and we all know it).

When you move the range down, make it “more accessible”, you do grab those at the bottom of the range and move them into the sweet spot, plus those who found the content near impossible now have a shot. Win. Problem is, those who were previously at the sweet spot now find the content easy, and those who already though it was easy are now excluded. Fail.

Now, from a pure corporate profit standpoint, so long as your range is at whatever level grabs the most players, you are good, right? More people with access, more happy customers, more money. It’s so simple.

But it’s not.

Because while a player can always get better, it’s asking a lot for a player to get worse. If you find yourself at the near bottom of the range, you can improve and look, sweet spot. And from a players perspective, is there anything more rewarding? Not only are you now knocking out the content, but you actually worked your way up to that point and are now reaping the rewards, and you had that motivation because, well, you want to see the big bad at the end of the raid. That is very, very satisfying, and is one of the major reasons raiding in an MMO ‘works’.

There’s more.

If I’m a player, and I’m working my way up through difficult content, I still HAVE content. I’m not ‘done’. I stay subbed. And not only do I stay subbed, but my guild does as well, and we are all motivated to improve and progress. We have a REASON to improve. A very real one; more content. We improve our player skills, we improve because we get better gear, and we improve our teamwork, and it all means something (in the context of an MMO of course) because the better we get, the further we get.

If the content is at a faceroll level, why do I care to improve? Ooh, more gear to faceroll content harder, yay! Oh yes, let me grind out those crafting mats for that 1% upgrade items, because I really need it to finish a dungeon run in 20 minutes instead of 22. “Guys guys, please all be online and ready, we really need to focus tonight to speed-clear every dungeon in the game in record time tonight”. Uh huh, I’m right on it chief.

Point being, once the range is below you, you are done with the end-game. The whole themepark design falls apart. And, it’s at that point that you notice that hey, yea, crafting IS a stupid grind. And yea, that world content is kinda pointless. And no, I don’t actually enjoy PvP. Down and down we go.

So back to Rift.

1.2 moved the range well, well below me. I mean dungeons are stupid-easy. Most of the bosses are actually embarrassing now. It’s bad, and I honestly wonder just who DOES find this stuff a challenge. Probably the same people who find Farmville ‘gameplay’ exciting and interesting.

But ok, so dungeons are no longer for me, what about those rifts, those world events, and how great the soul system is? Those remain mostly unchanged, but they feel the fallout of the dungeon change. If I can spend 20 minutes getting just-as-good epics, why would I spend a significant amount of time crafting? And if I’m not crafting, what good are crafting rifts to me? Or hunting the auction house for upgrades.

If I’m already geared out, what real motivation do I have to get super-excited about a world event or some rift? Let’s not kid ourselves, themeparks are all about personal progression, the ‘world’ be damned, and no matter how fun the content is (especially the 10th time around), if I’m not progressing I’m not motivated. Even the soul system feels flat; why min/max or try out different specific combos when face-to-keyboard gets you there anyway?

I fully expect Rift to now follow in the footsteps of WoW, in that it will decline. Vanilla and BC days had challenging content, and it’s not a surprise that sub numbers grew. WotLK made things ‘accessible’, and surprise surprise, the response was pretty meh (sub numbers dropped in the US/EU, but were offset globally by WoW launching in new regions, hence the overall stagnation). Cata tried to play both sides of the fence, but a combo of too little too late, a gimmick of progression (hard mode rehashes rather than straight-up new content), and a one-track, insult difficulty 1-85 game did it in. With no new regions to offset things, subs are dropping.

Ultimately the ‘accessible’ path is short-sighted. It’s a temp boost at the expense of longevity, and in a genre where longevity is king, it’s a horrible trade.

It’s just unfortunate that a game with so many solid pieces has sold itself out so early for a one-time boost. For whatever reason, I expect more out of Trion.

My bad I guess.

42 Responses to ‘Accessibility’ killed Rift

  1. Warsyde says:

    I think claiming ‘accessibility’ has ‘killed’ Rift is a bit premature. It may have killed it for the top 10%, but I doubt it’s killed it for the remaining 90%.

    However, I don’t disagree with the core of your premise which is that dumbing down the dungeons was bad. I haven’t heard anyone say “these dungeons are too hard, nerf them!” in Rift. Presumably someone somewhere was saying it, but I never heard it in game, and I’m in a very large guild that’s been doing all that content.

    Who knows, maybe they’ll tweak the difficulty back up at some point. Maybe. Could happen.

    Mostly I’m grateful I’ve avoided the “endgame” of Rift by playing so casually. I hop in, enjoy it for a bit, and then stop. I’m not sure if any MMO has truly done a good endgame yet, and for me I think reaching the “endgame” will just be the end.

  2. Nils says:

    I agree.

    Point is that developers need to offer all players ‘reasonably challenging’ content at all times. And in WoW-like games this content must progress one’s character, at least a tiny bit. What’s reasonably challening varies from player to player.

    The problem is not that Trion added content to the game that you find too easy. The problem is that they removed content that was ‘reasonably challening’ for you. So now you have nothing to do and quit. Perfectly understandable.

    Where did it all go wrong in Rift? With WotLK. :)
    I wrote a long post on this today.

    • Wyrmrider says:

      I’d argue that developers have created this problem for themselves by removing much of the players’ ability to set their own level of challenge.

      For example — back in the dark ages, if you couldn’t quite kill that boss mob with five people, you had a few options:
      1. Get better.
      2. Improve your characters.
      3. Bring six. :)

      It’s an MMO after all, so why are we limiting groups to five players UND EXACTLY FIVE!? (<– insert cartoon German accent here.) The only conceivable reason is to preserve some level of challenge, and prevent high-end gear from being too easy to get…. oh wait. :(

      • The Claw says:

        Interesting point! The only game I’ve played in recent years that gave us that flexibility was Atlantica, where the guild and nation dungeons worked equally well with a number of powerful players or a larger number of less powerful players. But of course, as SynCaine posted recently, and as I agreed with completely, Atlantica is the poster child for “excellent game design, disastrously horrible F2P business model”.

      • Nils says:

        I completely agree.

  3. epic.ben says:

    Dumb hypothetical, Syncaine: Let’s say they offered “super-challenging” mode. Would you continue to play Rift, just for that?

    • SynCaine says:

      Mode? No.

      Modes are stupid. If I’ve already seen and beat that content and you just changed up the numbers behind it, I’m not that interested. It’s one thing to re-run a lvl 20 dungeon at 50 (with new mechanics/bosses), it’s another to finish normal mode at 50 and go right back in for hard, which is 95% identical and gimmicky.

      Super-challenging 5 man content? Yes, assuming it fits into the rest of the game. Is crafting still viable? Is there something out of rifts that still helps? World event?

      Just like killing 5 man kills the rest of the game, boosting just 5 mans won’t save the rest if it does not react accordingly.

      • Nils says:

        What he means, I think, is whether you would play a MMORPG that is so challenging that you couldn’t do it.

        And if you don’t lie about it, your answer should be ‘no’.

        That’s really the point of all this anti- and pro-accessibility struggle.

        Accessibility in itself is good. But if accessibility means that there’s nothing interesting left for you to do, it’s bad.

        • SynCaine says:

          Yes, but ‘nothing’ to do is the interesting part. Say the new 5 man dungeons were too hard for us, a combo of needing to play better (twitch) and needing really top-end characters. Ok, well if I can do rifts, older 5 mans, world events and such to gear up, that ‘too hard’ content becomes tough but doable. If after that I still need to read up on my class, spec a certain way, whatever, ok. THAT’S WHAT I WANT. And it’s what most people want, whether they admit it or not. MMO history strongly, strongly supports this.

        • Derrick says:

          I garauntee he’d play if the content was so difficult he couldn’t do it, so long as he could see a way to improve to the point of being able.

          He’s a lot more “hardcore” that way than I, and I know I would.

          I loved raiding in the vanilla wow days, where it took months to finally clear a raid, where you couldn’t just look up the strategy online.

          My personal opinion? Content is fun until I beat it. Once I’ve cleared a raid/dungeon/whatever, I’m done with it. Don’t care about fear or whatever else, just clearing it, besting the challenge.

          “farming” an instance for gear, just to make farming easier? Good lord, what a dreadful bore.

          Thus, the quicker I clear an instance, the quicker I run out of content and motivation to improve (either my own skills or my character).

  4. Gaugamela says:

    Instead of nerfing the dungeons they should have just created a harder tier of difficulty.

  5. Angry Gamer says:

    “WotLK made things ‘accessible’, and surprise surprise, the response was pretty meh (sub numbers dropped in the US/EU, but were offset globally by WoW launching in new regions, hence the overall stagnation). ”

    Got some data to cite here or is this your opinion??? (like an SEC filing, reputable media story, blizzard employee interview, press release?)
    I have seen no hard data on ANY drops or changes in demographics of WOW players until they admitted the drop to 11.4 million. What they did say is that Chinese players dropped due to the The9 debacle in Wrath.

    Without hard data to cite your conclusion that this “accessibility” dragon being the big baddie you say it is… kinda falls apart no?

    Because if sub numbers went up during easy Wow-Wrath and DOWN during hard Wow-Cata (and er they did yo – like SEC filings show sub growth wrath, drop now in Cata- if Acti-Bliz lied they go to jail).

    Then it kinda makes no sense about your argument that easy = lower subs. (perhaps the reverse is true?)

    Without this key downside to easier content all I read here is QQ about the old days being better (like in my day son we had just one level and LIKED IT… not like today you young uns have it easy now!).

    But perhaps I’m misreading your post though…

    • SynCaine says:

      Lets play a little game. Why don’t you look up every press release from Blizz about sub numbers, and then tell me what state raiding was in. Why don’t you also look up when WoW launched in certain regions, like, say, Russia. Then, look up when every expansion launched. Come back and tell me if you notice anything.

    • Easily amused says:

      @Angry Gamer – Are you new here?

      Syncaine has pulled WoW facts out of his ass for years.

      Eurogamer does it with Darkfall and Syn’s panties twisted up so hard it nipped his ballsack and he probably still references it now in posts.

      Every 6 months I pop my head in and browse a few posts. Nothing changes :)

  6. Paul says:

    I suspect what is happening is Trion saw a whole lot of people making very slow progress into end game content, if they were doing it at all, and decided to nerf it to try to get them in.

    This is all complicated by the substantial shift in game philosophy at end game. From ultra-puggable Rifts to events that require coordination, planning and communication is not an easy step.

  7. Beerhead says:

    “I suspect what is happening is Trion saw a whole lot of people making very slow progress into end game content, if they were doing it at all, and decided to nerf it to try to get them in.”

    The nerfs came, what, 3 months in? Is 3 months really the time to panic that your player base hasn’t seen all the content? Most everyone I knew were level capped within 3 weeks. If we, as gamers, really feel that 3 months is too long to reach cap and see all the content in an MMO then maybe I’m playing the wrong genre. I’m dirty casual and the minute that Trion announced nerfs to all their group content I cancelled my 6 month sub 3 months early.

    • Paul says:

      Panic if they haven’t seen everything? No. Panic if they’ve hit a progression roadblock somewhere in the middle? Perhaps.

      If a lot of players are at the point where they should be doing content X, and have been for a while, and they aren’t doing it, something is not right.

      • Sarzan says:

        I would like to add that Trion has been releasing content at a decent clip. Launched with GSB, then RoS, then GP and soon Hammerknell. They have been talking all the time about the end game being their target. Somehow I dont think they meant the expert 5 mans being the endgame Making them easier for the folks who did not rush like madmen (of which I am part) is only allowing folks who took a more casual path to get to the endgame they embrace.

        Expect older endgame material to get nerfed as it ages and the new content to remain the challanging content. Those on a slower pace will get to enjoy content they normally never would and the vanguard experiences new content at its most difficult.

        • Beerhead says:

          See, this is where I believe Trion, and other companies get it wrong. They assume that because we move at a slower pace that we want easier content or that our skills aren’t as good and we won’t see all the available content. That’s the biggest misconception out there and why I am so fed up with mmo’s right now.

          I move slow because I like to learn my class, challenge myself, explore, craft, etc etc (oh and that 3 year old kind of takes a lot of my time). Not because I am “mmo challenged”. And when I get to cap I’d like to experience challenging content. Not nerfed, watered down content that Trion assumes that I am not good enough to complete because it took me 2 months to get to cap instead of 2 weeks.

  8. Adam says:

    This can all be fixed – Don’t try to play videogames that are designed for bad players.

    WoW and Rift have a business model of farming bad players for $15 a month. There are more bad videogame players than good ones so it makes good bizness sense.

    Sadly there are lots of “ok” players telling themselves that those videogames aren’t designed for spastics and baddies.

    Those “ok” players don’t seem to realize that they are getting worse at videogames by playing hundreds and thousands of hours of bad games with bad players but it’s a sad reality.

    Protip – If your game allows spastic friends/girlfriends to max level in a few blissful weeks, it’s a sure sign you are playing a bad videogame.

    P.S. Syncaine Wow 2004-2007 was also bad but, like you, I was able to ignore it for a while.

  9. Devastator says:

    Couple comments I’d like to make, given that I am still enjoying rift but can definitely see where you are coming from.

    1) You mention “Why craft, etc when you can just faceroll dungeons for equivalent loot?” One thing I’d like to point out here is that they also changed how the loot is distributed in 5 mans… in most T2 runs I do now, the vast majority of the time you will only get blue drops from everything except the last boss, whereas the last boss is now set up to always to drop a purple. I’ve done multiple runs where the only purple we got was from the final boss, and many of those were times when we had to runebreak the purple since it wasn’t for any of the specs/classes we were running (ex. no mage in group, cloth robe drops). Just some food for thought.

    2) Although the 5 man difficulty was brought down a good margin, this was done at the same time they were implementing Gilded Prophecy. Right now you have this sort of progression scale: Regulars > 5 Man Expert T1 and Expert Rifts > 5 Man Expert T2 and Raid Rifts > 10 man Gilded Prophecy > 20 man T1 Raid (RoS and GSB).

    My guild facerolls the 5 mans and rifts pretty readily, but we collectively feel that pushing their difficulty down a bit wasn’t the worst thing ever considering they stuck the new 10 man raid in as a sort of “Tier 2.5″. That is, T2 5 mans will drop ~T2 quality epics, GSB and RoS will drop ~T3 quality epics (and relics) and GP will drop epics that range between the two (and you can even get a glyphed armor piece off the last boss I believe).

    Have you guys tried Gilded Prophecy yet? We found it pretty fun and consider the last boss to be fairly challenging as well, even though we already have RoS and GSB on farm status.

    We are now trying to gear up as MANY people as possible so that when 1.3 hits and hammerknell eventually opens, we can try our hands at it with a decently geared raid and try to get some world firsts… we can’t wait :)

    • SynCaine says:

      We have plans to merge with a raiding guild to see GSB, RoS, GP, so we should be seeing that content shortly.

      The 5 mans got so easy though that no one wants to run them, even for the 20 minutes it takes to clear one. It’s just zero fun for us, and with that gone, it’s tough to keep working our way to the next level.

      • Devastator says:

        I guess we lucked out in a sense that we were either past the T2 content already or mostly past it. At this point we only run T2 content for A) gearing up alts or B) rapidly gearing new guild members to get them raid ready.

  10. bill says:

    Most of my guild just quit Rift. Some of them even bought 6mo Subs and don’t even want to log in anymore. I am probably going to leave to, although I am going to get into 1.3 a bit and see if it makes a difference.

    Not only did the the Experts get nerfed in difficulty but they also nerfed the drop rates for epics off bosses, by a significant amount. Most expert bosses drop blues now, almost always. You will see a rare epic drop off T2 bosses and an epic drop off the last boss but that was a huge change that came in 1.2. Add to that the increased plaque cost of vendor gear and it makes getting someone in good shape to raid quickly very painful. Before 1.2 you could gear up to raid ready easily even with the dungeon difficulty being higher. With 1.3 they are turning up the pain by eliminating the ability to power queue (cycle) til you get the dungeon you want (need). This will kill random dungeons in Rift.

    Rift released a new raid in 1.2 but didn’t lower the difficulty of the first raid zone. This led to dungeons being faceroll easy and the first raid tier being a significant step higher in difficulty. Everyone who sat in the middle was like WTF do I do now, dungeons too easy 20m raids are too hard. Trion did have a plan though and it was the Sliver, a 10m instanced mini raid zone. Only problem was the first boss was harder than the second and third. Have developers not learned yet boss difficulty should increase as you move through an instance. This is especially so when the difficulty is balanced around healing.

    As people quit and posted messages on the guild forums the thing that was repeated over and over again was why can’t there be a starter raid zone. What everyone wanted was a Karazhan for the players in the middle. For example a 12 boss raid zone : 4 easy bosses > 4 medium bosses > 4 hard bosses. Why do game companies constantly feel every piece of raid content they put out has to challenge the uber top 5%?

    Maybe Trion will learn faster than Blizz did before its too late.

  11. SM says:

    If you hit gear cap in a gear-based game, then yes, you are essentially finished. This is the problem with most MMOs — there is only one real goal, which is to get gear. When you hit that one goal, the only reason to play, the entire game world becomes irrelevant.

    In any case, you seem like the kind of player that would tire quickly of scripted boss fights, am I right?

    • SynCaine says:

      It depends really. I mean, I ran MC for over a year straight weekly, along with BWL, AQ40, NAX. But that was with a guild of 40, so totally different dynamic. Only so much can happen with 4 others in something that takes a little under an hour total. Somewhat different topic though.

  12. Joey Lappin says:

    I think the core issue is that MMOs try to be too many things to too many people.

    They duct tape different games together and try to please everyone, or expect players to find which elements please them and discard the rest.

    My mom is an intense bottom of the rung players in LotRO, but she is big into crafting in the same way she loves micro-management and small achievement based games like the Sims and Farmville. She doesn’t care, and is mostly unaware, of the long-term dividends of crafting and how it influences other aspects of the game. A player like Syncaine ONLY cares about the dividends.

    I think in the end MMOs try to accommodate everybody, but they simply can’t. So instead you get this sliding instable scale. One patch is for these guys over here, this expansion is for those guys over there.

    It leaves everyone happy and dissatisfied at some point in the journey.

  13. bhagpuss says:

    Unusually I’m going to post without having read the comment thread. Reason being I just got in from work and I really, really want to log in and play Rift.

    Having read the main post, however, I wanted to say that while it’s a good thesis, well-argued and logical, the fundamental flaw is that it’s not the balancing of the end-game that’s the problem, it’s the *existence * of the end-game.

    I loathe the entire concept of the “end game” in MMOs. Stuff the idea of “gearing up” or “beating content” or whatever. That has *nothing* to do with MMORPGs as I understand the genre. It’s some irritating bleed-over from gaming culture that infected the genre somewhere around 2003 and has yet to be eradicated. God willing, we are finally seeing some light at the end of this long, depressing tunnel as it becomes increasingly difficult for designers to keep the rats on their treadmill.

    We don’t need any “end game”. We need GAME. The core gameplay, what you do from the minute your character steps into the world until the day, hopefully years later, that you finally decide you’ve finally had enough, whatever that activity is should be sufficiently entertaining in and of itself to keep you playing.

    That kind of gameplay is what you hear people saying they find in Planetside or Guild Wars, for example. I think Rift’s open-world invasions have the potential to be that involving. Gear progression mechanics are a dead end. Forget them. Make it such fun to run your character about doing the stuff he does that you play an hour or two longer than you really meant to every time you log in.

    How hard can that be?

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to close down some invasions.

  14. [...] I wonder what really lies at the heart of all this angst. Is MAD really what I suffer from? It’s becoming pandemic, and affecting more people every day, but is it what’s really bugging us? I can’t help [...]

  15. D506 says:

    It seems to me we have 3 options here:
    A) Content is easy. The majority of players faceroll through it and quit at best, or never get interested it in at all.
    B) Content is hard. Most players fail, a few struggle for months – largely with logistical troubles of 40 man raids and artifical time sinks – then eventually make it through.
    C) Content is just perfect, there’s something for everyone! Except, everyone burns through the content in a month, 6 if you put in absurd artifical time sinks. Devs produce a bit more content and a lot more filler, old world content dies, etc etc.

    The truth of it is, these are all shit solutions. Until AI technology comes far enough that PVE content can become dynamic and changing rather than scriped, we’re never going to move from treadmills back into interesting games. The theoretical solution is, of course, PVP – where players create their own content ala EVE. But it’s incredibly difficult to pull off properly, and while EVE has done a great job of it it’s obviously still lacking mainstream appeal.

  16. Daria says:

    I agree with everything you’ve written. Patch 1.2 is certainly what killed the game for me and the two people I played with. And it is striking that it happened so quickly with Rift. I do see Rift following the same path as WoW. I saw the previews of the new raid gear with the next patch, the big and glowy mage and cleric shoulder pieces look just like something out of WoW to me.

  17. Callan S. says:

    I think this blog post really assumes that losing the higher skilled players will be losing more players than they gain by dumbing down the game.

    Fact is, higher skilled players are the rarity, aren’t they?

    No, I don’t like that. I don’t like that corporations will choose dumbing down, dumping one demographic they acted as if they cared about to reach more a larger demographic/larger pool of money. But that’s how capitalism works – your niche is not profitable enough – you are the weakest link.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Callan: Not exactly. My understanding of SynCaine’s point was that dumbing down the game (without changing the content) shortens the lifespan of the game for most of players (not just the most skilled). Since the livelihood of this genre depends on monthly subscription fees it can have a negative effect on the profitability.

      • Callan S. says:

        If, with the reduced difficulty, it takes the medium skills the same time to get through content as it took the high skills, it still works out. Because A: There are more medium skilled players than there were high and B: You retain more of the low skill players.

        The few, the proud, the unprofitable.

  18. [...] I read Tobold (http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2011/06/syncaine-on-accessibility.html) and Syncaine (http://syncaine.com/2011/06/16/accessibility-killed-rift/) talking about accessibility in MMOs. It’s a neat series of reads on both sides of the issue, and [...]

  19. splendino says:

    Agree 100%

    Sadly it seems to me that this opinion is only held by a minority of players. The most people I talked to about this in Rift welcomed the “easymodes” of 1.2 .

    Whilst most of my guild and me cancelled our accounts after reading the patchnotes (we felt the 5 man content easy before 1.2) , other ppl ingame i talked to about told me :

    – I pay for the game and want to see the full content without putting too much effort in it
    – “Challenging” videogames are just for Elitists
    – “Why easymode??? We still fail at the 5-mans… ”

    to me, it seems like this is a tendency in videogames in general. Becoming more and more a mainstream medium, videogames arent played by “passionate gamers” mainly but by ppl approaching a game more like a cinema they paid a ticket for. They want to be entertained, they do not want to put too much effort into it, it has to be fun without the need of figuring too much out.

    *sigh*
    anyone remember times when you did your own maps of cities or dungeons (like in bards tale or Wizardry)? Those times have changed into the opposite.

    dont get mad about my english, im not a native speaker …

  20. Jim says:

    The problem I have with the changes is that they simultaneously made it easier and upped the amount of dungeon runs required to get set gear (or really any gear) by a significant amount. That design is what is killing rift for me. See Also: If I want to fill up my planar essence, I need to run a significant amount of expert rifts and raid rifts. These are incredibly easy. It takes us more time to find an open rift than to defeat it.

    The other thing they did is basically invalidate T1s. Half of their level 50 expert dungeon content exists to get a couple pieces of gear to make hit and toughness requirements so you can queue for T2s.

    Running tedious content for weeks over and over again is SOUL NUMBING. I guess the bright side is the raid content is not so demanding that you can’t go in undergeared, but the raid instances are lightyears more difficult than the raid rifts and five mans. That’s not to say they’re particularly hard, just that they are in fact a bit challenging. That makes raids suck even more because we are having to go through everyone’s specs and gear and teach them how to play when we have 20 players instead of five.

    Anyone expecting to roll the ten man instance to prepare for Greenscale’s Blight is in for a rude awakening btw. It is just as tough if not tougher, by design. It’s supposed to be side progression to GSB and RoS.

  21. [...] One of the justifications from Trion concerning nerfing difficulty in Rift was to allow Dungeon Finder groups to complete them. That statement contains a lot of value when broken down, and directly relates back to the topic of accessibility and its effect on MMOs. [...]

  22. wizardling says:

    Cataclysm was so bad (in that it made WoW super linear, so ‘accessible’ there was zero challenge beyond the highest level raids, and encouraged even more ultra-casuals to join – who always bring a new low to online communities – and harder core players to leave) I never even re-subscribed, despite owning the collector’s edition of Cataclysm.

    So it’s a shame Trion and other companies seem willing to run headfirst down the same road to mediocrity. I guess that short term ultra-casual influx is too hard for instant gratification dollar-obsessed to pass up.

  23. [...] in the post “Accessibility killed Rift“) World of Warcraft’s growth rate went from a perfectly stable 2 million subscribers [...]

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