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Cynic Question: Why 5 more levels?


Woetoo

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I'm a cynic. I've played since early beta. I played early access and have been a subscriber since launch. I still actively play but I haven't pre-ordered the DLC because the idea of paying money for an unspecified amount of content to be made available at an unspecified date doesn't sit well with me. I just wanted to explain my background before asking my question.

 

** This post contains spoilers to potential future content **

 

Where possible, I've tried to put links to the official posts I'm basing my assumptions on.

 

So.

 

What information we have on Makeb so far is that it's 5 extra levels. A new planet estimated to be roughly the size of say Corellia and Voss combined, although I'm assuming a lot of that space won't be on the surface and the extra area will be the caverns and other spaces mentioned by the CSRs. Maybe it won't be quite that big. But until it's released... who knows. There will be 2 story arcs, one focused on the republic side and one focused on the imperial side. I'm assuming a large degree of cross-over, plus the inevitable side quests. There is also an intent to make sure current gear isn't made obsolete while levelling. Although it's unclear if you'd still be wearing Dread Guard type gear when you reach 55. In addition, there will be new skill tree options to invest into and a new active ability for each advanced class. And we won't be able to buy the DLC using Cartel Coins.

 

Other information will be made available SOON™.

 

Now I'll move on to speculation...

 

There seems to be a feeling that there won't be a whole lot of content other than the story arc quests. The most worrying aspect to me is that there might not be any significant new OPs or FPs. Taking that thought a stage further, that might mean that current content is normalised to be playable at level 55 too. Personally I disliked that content was reused in the form of story-hard-nightmare, but I've been playing MMO's long enough to see how that happened.

 

But I think that "reuse old content" could happen, in part due to the State of the Game #2 interview with Jeff Hickman contained the quote

We’ll also be [...] introducing new incentives to revisit existing areas

 

I appreciate that's completely out of context and other than my mind jumping to conclusions, nothing to say it relates to FPs/OPs. But it strikes me as a quick fix to a lack of "elder game content" immediately after the release of the DLC.

 

So here's my question...

 

If we're likely to be wearing the same gear we are now, doing the same Operations that we're doing now. Why raise the level cap to 55?

 

I'm sure other Operations and other Flashpoints are in the road map. Not least due to the datamined information during the early part of last year that detailed Lost Island, HK-51 and Terror From Beyond. Plus other stuff we haven't seen yet, including the planet Varl (which might have become Makeb), a new daily quest area, a new operation called Scum and Villainy involving the Hutts on the planet Darvannis. Then even further in the future, onwards to Rakatta Prime, a new Flashpoint and a new Operation to take on the Dread Masters head on.

 

I can imagine the daily quest area being part of the Makeb DLC. I'm just not convinced that the Flashpoint and the Operation will be. And even if they are, that's only ONE flashpoint and ONE operation. I doubt that is enough to keep people busy, without rehashing old/existing content.

 

So are people expecting to be doing the same raids wearing the same gear @55 (at least for a short while)? Or do people think that Dread Guard level gear will be useful initially on Makeb but replaced by level 55? And would one FP and one OP (assuming they *might* be part of the DLC) be enough to keep people busy / interested?

 

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Edited by Woetoo
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5 more levels for 5 levels of content. Now I'd call Belsavis 3-4 levels of content (4 if you did all the side missions with rested xp). So Makeb might be Belsavis + Quesh in terms of Content. That's really not that much. Most of my time on Belsavis was waiting for my QT to cooldown so I didn't have to clear a gajillion mobs to turn in my mission.
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I am not a big fan of this kind of verticle scaling.

 

1st off this game is all about leveling with a huge push toward alts, i would rather see them invest more into the legacy system. Gie more incentives to have more characters, heck if you convince me to reroll then that is 50 more levels of content and not just 5, which i would think would be better for bioware.

 

2nd even though they say that this will not affect gear I am sure we will see new stuff come out, this would not be obnoxious but to those of us that have been playing since Beta now, well how many times can they change the top tier gear in a year....ALOT Already. Remember BM Bags?

 

3rd issue i have is that I have alot of toons, and this is only coming out with 2 questlines, so after running through Makeb twice, i have to run through the exact same content 6 more times?

 

4th Abilites, why in name of the force, would i want more abilities? This game is ability heavy as is, soon my screen will nothing by toolbars. This also leads to more us having even more balancing issues.

 

5th I am concerned about old end game content? The couple level 50 areas are some of the few areas we have to play in and unless somehow these get adjusted then what? I assume the reason we will be "revisiting old planets' is due to new daily areas.

 

Either way new levels is not really content and people dont need gear/levels as incentive. We would do the same amount of work for rare shineys, cool titles and mounts. I run hammer station for the possible helmet drop, not for the exp because i never need it. Look at the effort people spent on HK. More STUFF is better incentive than more Levels or replacing gear for stats. Heck just make a hood down knight armor with silver chest plate and i would play for hours for that thing.

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I feel absolutely certain the increased level cap is a completely artifical afterthought. Back when they still had plans to release Makeb in same fashion any othe major MMO releases content patches, (namely, for free to subscribers) there were no plans to increase level cap.

 

Their " Expansion" is highly thin cotnent-wise(source: http://www.swtor.com/rothc ) and it is questionable if majority of active players would bother buying it, if given a change to dodge it. Increasing lvl cap removes this option. Either you stop being involved with end game content or you buy Makeb. You can not " votw with your wallet" against Makeb if you still wish to keep playing your lvl capped char in meaningful fashion. Either you buy the self proclaimed " expansion" or you quit. It's an easy option for me. If I see ONE MORE lazily written talking head with great VA vomiting boring dialogue about droid arses and then have super expensive VA of my chsar go " there wont be a heart left beating!!" to it all I will vomit. Seriously.

 

Most people with remotely intact moral compass are sickedned by playing an MMO in 2013 where

*You pay the sub fee

*Have Cash shop in game providing only source for new gear

* Have annual or pre-annual content patches called " mini expansions" that you must pay for

 

I'd love to cancel my sub on day Makeb gets released.. But obviously there is no way in *********** hell I wait that long to do so. :D

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The impression I've got on gear is that if you have full Dread Master gear it's unlikely you'll get anything from questing that's better than it (though you might get improvements if you have a lower set) and there will be a new set (probably 65 vs current 63) that will be released in the new OP (assuming there is one, if there isn't a new one then NiM Asation at least). They have also hinted that they will be changing up the gear grind in some way and I don't think we have any indication what that will be.

 

I'm glad that the gear jumps won't be ridiculous like WOW:BC where greens replaced your endgame gear. Sounds like the main point of questing will be just for the level increase/stat bonuses (also I assume the 65 level gear would require 55) rather than raid gear. Obviously this is all just as much speculation but this is what I'm hoping for based on what we have been told.

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3rd issue i have is that I have alot of toons, and this is only coming out with 2 questlines, so after running through Makeb twice, i have to run through the exact same content 6 more times?

 

This will likely be horrible if it follows the 1-50 game-mode. :(

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Quote: Originally Posted by JeffHickman

We’ll also be [...] introducing new incentives to revisit existing areas

 

 

What I think..What i HOPE this means, is that they are introducing daily type areas on planets that provide currency type things (faction) awards (ala rift etc)

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Because some peole ilke the accomplishment of gaining levels. DCuonline got stale and boring with no sense of anything with no new levels. Working for just gear and skill points is boring as hell. Every MMO have level increases (well except DCUO).

 

I dont see what the fuss is about all this is. Call it what you want and add-on, expansion, new content or a plain ol patch. It's new stuff nuff said. Alot of people are acting like no MMO has released an expansion before. Shoot EQ and EQ2 when exppansions were first announced it was the same what we were told. New levels, more quest, new spells, new areas at first and nothing more. At first we were never told how many new areas or how many new quest that didnt come till later.

 

It's simple either buy it or dont buy it. Play the new area or dont. Wait for new info or dont.

 

If they told everything about it now and something got passed up due to severe bugs or deadline. Yiou all know what would happen everybody be here complaining.

Edited by bravotwentysev
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Because some peole ilke the accomplishment of gaining levels. DCuonline got stale and boring with no sense of anything with no new levels. Working for just gear and skill points is boring as hell. Every MMO have level increases (well except DCUO).

 

I dont see what the fuss is about all this is. Call it what you want and add-on, expansion, new content or a plain ol patch. It's new stuff nuff said. Alot of people are acting like no MMO has released an expansion before. Shoot EQ and EQ2 when exppansions were first announced it was the same what we were told. New levels, more quest, new spells, new areas at first and nothing more. At first we were never told how many new areas or how many new quest that didnt come till later.

 

It's simple either buy it or dont buy it. Play the new area or dont. Wait for new info or dont.

 

If they told everything about it now and something got passed up due to severe bugs or deadline. Yiou all know what would happen everybody be here complaining.

 

 

EQ1 had proper expansions though.

 

Ruins of Kunark and Scars of Velious (which is the sort of expansion SWTOR could do with now IMO - and it didn't have extra levels) were the expansions that largely defineed MMORPG "expansions".

 

EQ1 also added AA reasonably early on to add horizontal progression as will as level-based vertical progression.

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EQ1 had proper expansions though.

 

Ruins of Kunark and Scars of Velious (which is the sort of expansion SWTOR could do with now IMO - and it didn't have extra levels) were the expansions that largely defineed MMORPG "expansions".

 

EQ1 also added AA reasonably early on to add horizontal progression as will as level-based vertical progression.

 

I note you left Legacy of Ykesha off of your list of "proper" expansions. Curious.

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I don't know what others think, but if you ask me the expansion seems like the first major stages of
this game is going to see.

 

There is no more power creep evident in the expansion than there was in the 1-50 release.

 

Addressing the OP.

 

Why 5 more levels? Because people like levels and progression.

 

SWTOR has a very flat gear/level progression curve. If the devs do not overhaul the gear system entirely then the gear from the Makheb story will be 55. That makes it better than Tionese (a fair set of which is now obtainable just by hitting 50) and almost the same as Columi. Dread Guard gear will still be the highest until we get new OPs and modes that give out 63 gear.

 

So what effect will that have on the game? HM Flashpoints will be a fair bit easier for people to run because they are 5 levels higher so a bit more HP, damage etc and crafted gear will put you in the same class as current columi gear. The biggest benefit will be the level differences but again that can be made less significant by the devs.

 

All Ops will be a little easier with 5 more levels and the resulting HP and stat gains.But remember that in SWTOR the stats gained from leveling up are only a small portion of the total (most is from gear), in fact just checking for Jedi Knights the base goes from about 100 to 230 between level 15 and 60. So if the devs don't change the way gearing works then stats won't go up that much as we are talking about the differences between 51 gear and 55 gear only for characters not already in Columi or better.

 

So as long as the Devs don't make fundamental changes to gearing and they deal with the level differences (they could do that simply by lessening the effect of a difference above 50) then existing content will not be trivialised and will still be worth running. The main change would be that you end up running more HM/Nightmare and fewer SM as SM would really be for learning rather than gearing.

 

I would guess that people at 55 will be able to jump straight in to HM ops to get rakata and better gear without needing to bother much with running SMs for Columi.

Edited by Arlbo_Nabbins
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Because some peole ilke the accomplishment of gaining levels. DCuonline got stale and boring with no sense of anything with no new levels. Working for just gear and skill points is boring as hell. Every MMO have level increases (well except DCUO).

.

 

I kinda understand though i find just as much enjoyment from getting cool loot than i do with leveling. Personally i just want to reach top level so i can enjoy end game, not feel like the quest to end game is now longer.

 

The problem IMO is that this is SWTOR and not SWG. (not really a WoW player so i have to use this example)

 

You see in SWG i could enjoy ALL the content with 1 TOON. i could even change both faction and profession. So if an increase in level cap occured that would be fun and interesting.

 

SWTOR on the other hand is based so heavily on the storyline that in order to enjoy al the content i have to roll 8 toons, well actually if i am really into "ALL" then its 16 toons. That is alot of re-rolls.

 

Now with Makeb adding 5 more levels and only 2 questlines, its very redundant. I mean you dont want to end your leveling process strong not repeating the General Imp Makeb Questline.

 

Had this been a continuation of class storylines, then i would back this idea a bit more. Yet, this is not the case.

 

The implemention and timing feels more like they are just finding reasons to get people to continue to dish out the pocket book a bit longer and less like content focused on bringing an awesome starwars experience.

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EQ1 had proper expansions though.

 

Ruins of Kunark and Scars of Velious (which is the sort of expansion SWTOR could do with now IMO - and it didn't have extra levels) were the expansions that largely defineed MMORPG "expansions".

 

EQ1 also added AA reasonably early on to add horizontal progression as will as level-based vertical progression.

 

Hmm, proper expansions...............and yet when each of those proper expansions were released they were at best minor additions to game content that players had to pay for and still complained bitterly about in much the same way seen in these forums currently.

 

The fact is the more things change the more they remain the same. Quite evident with player comment and reaction to game content over the last 25 years. The only real difference is the increased sense of entitlement that players have nowadays, I pay therefore I deserve............

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I note you left Legacy of Ykesha off of your list of "proper" expansions. Curious.

 

And SoL and PoP and a load of others that came later (in fact they are still releasing stuff for EQ1), but like I said RoK and SoV were the expansions that defined MMORPG expansions.

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Hmm, proper expansions...............and yet when each of those proper expansions were released they were at best minor additions to game content that players had to pay for and still complained bitterly about in much the same way seen in these forums currently.

 

The fact is the more things change the more they remain the same. Quite evident with player comment and reaction to game content over the last 25 years. The only real difference is the increased sense of entitlement that players have nowadays, I pay therefore I deserve............

 

RoK and SoV were not "minor additions to the game", either you never played them or you are joking I dunno which. :D

 

Both would be a lot bigger than Belsavis for instance.

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I don't know what others think, but if you ask me the expansion seems like the first major stages of
this game is going to see.

 

Interesting view, but its not as crystal clear as it might sound.

 

Guild Wars 1 tried to use the strategy sugested in that video and ended up with hundreads of skills that made the game awesome imo but the developers found it to be a nightmare to balance. Wich is why they seriously cut back on it on GW2 to the point of beeing way too restrictive and no longer fun.

 

On the case of SWTOR, an increase in gear power is needed because of the Rakata gear bonuses beeing gear bound instead of mod bound. We need to get rid of that, and the best way is to increase the item level so they become obsolete.

Another problem with the theory is with the example they gave that all your hard work went to waste after you left the game for a while. Well, non-paying costumers arent really where the money is. Its more important to keep your current players satisfied than to satisfy possible returning costumers.

 

Essentially i like the aproach to horizontal progression in GW1, but appears like it doesnt work and power creep does. The best way to solve this is to make interactive content that scales with your level scaling the tiem rewards aswell, but players take the road of less resistance everytime, so the quicker and easier instance will be used everytime. To combat that a small power creep will have to come into place.

 

The solution on legacy servers of everquest is interesting but would fight with population issues as different people would have acess to different content and couldnt group up.

I think the current model with item level increase (power creep seems to be a loaded concept so i will stop using it) is the one that works best, unless your company is willing to man up and face the challenge of balancing a vast ammount of skills.

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I feel absolutely certain the increased level cap is a completely artifical afterthought. Back when they still had plans to release Makeb in same fashion any othe major MMO releases content patches, (namely, for free to subscribers) there were no plans to increase level cap.

You can feel certain, but I can tell you incorrect. The content patch trailer video shown on the 2012 E3 clearly shows they planned on the level cap increase from the beginning.

 

That trailer also shows that most of the content meant for the large content patch has been released in the last 3 or 4 patches. So short of Makeb you got the content that was to be included in the patch for free.

 

 

You can bing/yahoo/google STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC - EXPANSION TRAILER - E3 2012, for the video.

Edited by GuruVII
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And SoL and PoP and a load of others that came later (in fact they are still releasing stuff for EQ1), but like I said RoK and SoV were the expansions that defined MMORPG expansions.

 

But Ykesha is the type of expansion that re-defined EQ in terms of the content they could put out on a 6 month cycle.

 

Also, you mention AA, but then note that you left out Luclin, the expansion that brought AA.

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You can feel certain, but I can tell you incorrect. The content patch trailer video shown on the 2012 E3 clearly shows they planned on the level cap increase from the beginning.

 

That trailer also shows that most of the content meant for the large content patch has been released in the last 3 or 4 patches. So short of Makeb you got the content that was to be included in the patch for free.

 

 

You can bing/yahoo/google STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC - EXPANSION TRAILER - E3 2012, for the video.

 

It does? :confused:

 

But Ykesha is the type of expansion that re-defined EQ in terms of the content they could put out on a 6 month cycle.

 

Also, you mention AA, but then note that you left out Luclin, the expansion that brought AA.

 

EQ1 later moved on to adventure packs certainly, but in its prime it was expansions, and the expansions that defined expansions were RoK and SoV. :)

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People pay for levels and it is a very easy thing to increase the xp cap. Look at the amount of people who have pre-ordered based solely on those 5 levels.

 

Well that is the thing with levels it creates a paywall, so you have to buy it to fully experience the game.

 

Compared to level-less expansions like SoV that just expand the games existing depth and breadth.

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