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  By Nick 16 Jun 2009
Release Dates
  By Nick 30 May 2009
Skipping To the Endgame Content
  By Nick 07 May 2009
Old Games Are Good
  By Nick 27 Apr 2009
Pay Your Respects
  By Nick 18 Apr 2009
A Learning Curve of Ice
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Appealing to the Masses
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Managing Editors Blog #5 The Lords of SNAFU
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OnLive
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Hardcore v. Casual
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Linearity?
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Why Being Evil Is So Good
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Respect the Carrier
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Managing Editors Blog Issue #4
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Managing Editors Blog Issue #3
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Managing Editors Blog Issue #1
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Skipping To the Endgame Content
By Nick 07 May 2009

Everquest recently announced that it will implement a feature allowing people to start at level 50, effectively skipping the majority of the game's original content.

Personally, I think this idea is great, provided it comes with a few rules, which may or may not be implemented in Everquest.  Firstly, you have to have gotten a character to the level cap the old school way before you are allowed to skip forward. Possibly even better, you must have one toon at the cap and another toon at level 50, or whatever level is being skipped to. The latter is debatable however.

Second, you are limited in how many toons you can skip forward, depending on how many toons you have, how high they are, and the limit of spaces you are allowed. This may or may not work, and is debatable whether a limit should be in place.

Also, the game can only do this once it is four years old. I do not want games releasing with the featurette 'Skip the content!' on the back. The whole point of doing this is that the majority of players in Everquest are high level veterans. Very few new players are joining, and the small amount of low level people are simply alts, and are either stagnant or move up quickly with the financial support of the high level characters.

Otherwise, I think its a great idea. As a veteran of games, you are eager to try out the other classes and play styles, but when it comes to heavily investing the time and effort equal in amount to your main, the prospect shrinks down to a toon just past the uber-newbie zones. It also allows your alts to be of use to your guild quicker, since the time to get it to the proper level is cut down immensely.

It has an appeal to newcomers as well. They might still have to make their main character, but your first character is always the funnest to play, because every zone and quest is a new experience for you. Once you make the alt, the experience is downgraded to repeating your actions. With this system, you still play through the game, but once you have you end up with much more fun making and playing alts.

My biggest concern is that we see developers using it too eagerly. I'm sure a game will boast the ability to once you get your main to a level, any alt you make can start at that level. While the same idea is in place, the challenge of still leveling up a character to the max is removed. Hopefully this can be avoided, this power used only for good.

I hope to see more of this system in older games soon, it would definitely open the door to playing it quite a bit wider.



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