The topic of character progression, and more specifically how long it should take to reach ‘the end’, came up when a noted member of the community (ValRoth, the guy who did the newbie videos linked on the right) made a comment that his motivation to log on has dramatically decreased since he ‘completed’ his character. He has enough gear/gold now to no longer need to farm mobs, his skills are all at 100, and since he plays less, he gets involved in random PvP less as well. According to him he now only really logs on for scheduled PvP, and with the slower pace of sieges, that’s not often. The less you play, the less involved you become, and down we go.
Yet in that very same thread, others are asking for an increased pace to that goal, so they then can focus on the ‘good stuff’ rather than ‘grinding’. And that line of thinking very much reminds me of some players asking for PvP in MMO X, when really they don’t know what they are asking for and don’t want what PvP brings. I can only hope that should Aventurine even notice such requests, they themselves know well enough to ignore them. Having watched countless MMOs change over the years, I know that’s not always the case with every developer.
As it stands today character growth is, IMO, set at a good pace in DarkFall. New players will see significant increases in their first few weeks/months and get a great sense of accomplishment/growth, more seasoned players will still have plenty of goals to achieve and secondary (mastery and others) skills to work on, and the upper-echelon should still have some things to finish off or side projects to complete (100 intensity, 100 enchanting, etc). In addition, once you reach a certain comfort level with your character (and that level varies from player to player), it’s only natural to shift your focus from character development to ‘other’ stuff (be it PvP, economy, exploring, whatever), yet even as you do that other stuff you are still growing, albeit at a much slower rate. So long as you are not capped, your actions are never ‘pointless’ because at least you got some character progression in.
This is, in part, why EVE’s retention rate and subscriber longevity is so high, because in that game you will NEVER reach ‘the end’, and there is ALWAYS something to improve. When the goal is to keep people playing, that’s a beautiful model, even once you get past the tears of “but I’ll never catch up!”
(DarkFall-related post disclaimer/reminder. If you click the image link near the top-right of this page and buy a DarkFall account, I get paid 20% of the client cost. If you believe this taints my views and reporting on DarkFall, your opinion is wrong.)