A precisation about the mudflation and the rise of the level cap.
We used think about the mudflation when it comes to the content, itemization and economic systems but we forget that the mudflation goes beyond these boundaries. As I wrote in the other articles, the mudflation is a style of development that affects the whole game-world at its roots.
In particular I have a quote from Shane Dabiri (a producer of the game) which is reliable and adds one element that slipped out of my previous article: “We do not only give the existing spells a new level, we create new skills and talent-mechanisms”.
This is rather important because the mudflation will have an effect even on those new spells, skills and talent-mechanisms. The idea of having more tools and mechanics is an illusion. The mudflation, as explained, is a progressive erosion and loss of content. Not a growth.
The idea of adding depth and purpose to the game is exclusively a pretense and excuse. It’s a recursive, blind pattern coming right from the game mechanics to justify themselves and excuse the waste of more development time. It’s like if at the origin of a project there were deliberate flaws so that the product can be systematically replaced later on. This is the awful inheritance of the consumer society. We need to EXCUSE the production of new goods, so everything is created to be *already* flawed, disposable and temporary:
We’re more like Sports Illustrated.
The reason why game companies produce expansions for mmorpgs *is not* to expand and let the game-world evolve. It’s to PREVENT this. The mudflation is a way to CHOKE the potential and freeze the game in a recursive status where brand new excuses (like the rise of the level cap, or “better” versions of items) are produced to justify the new “fix” of content. We consume these worlds till there’s nothing left and need to move to something brand new to leech.
This could work for all the derivative goods that we consume daily. But it doesn’t work for a world. It is not appropriate and prevents the games in this genre to fulfill their true potential.
This is why I wrote down that silly idea about “MMORPG design with an ecological sensibility”:
Mudflated games finish to become just patchworks of more or less successful development. In 90% of the cases something broken or terribly unfun isn’t properly addressed and refactored. It just lies there as a “museum” while the developers work on something completely new in order to replace that part.
This is an approach that is strongly deep-rooted in a CULTURE. We produce JUNK. Nothing is reused because we throw everything away and buy something brand new. It’s the consumer society.
I do not like this because as in the real world this approach is killing the place where we live. It’s viable only as a temporary solution. We live on a countdown. We destroy the world because we have the illusion that everything can be replaced. There’s always space, always an exit. If something is broken or has problem, we do not fix it: we throw it away. We do not face the problems, we simply dodge them.
We bury them like we do with junk. We hide.
Going back to the idea of new talents, spells and skills. As I said, this doesn’t represent an exception to the mudflation. WoW is already *overwhelmed* by the insane amounts of buttons. While this made sense to offer classes that have more tools to use in the different situations, the principle has been stretched too much, chasing the superficial idea that: more is better. Whoever played some tactical games and understood how they work, knows that the depth of a system isn’t just because of the number of elements and rules involved. In fact the more you add them the more you move away from a tactical depth to drift toward something way more simple: the randomness. When there are too many rules and elements you obtain just a system that behaves at random and that noone can figure out. It would just be unfun and clunky.
If right now the buttons and bars take an 8% of the screen, I really hope that after 4-5 expansions I’ll still be able to see something beyond the UI. Good systems are kept simple. This is why the mudflation will have to take over this part as well. Some of the new skills and spells will *have to* replace old ones and become preferable (something similar already happens with the trinkets). An encounter cannot last for an hour so you can deploy all you have. At the end you’ll figure out an optimal pattern using around 8-10 buttons while the others will remain as rare, situational quirks.
This is why the fancy feature list on an expansion box claiming “more this and more that”, is just another empty excuse to justify the expense of more money while the designers remove content and open gaps that you *have to* fill if you don’t want to be outcast from this game-world.
Basically you are forced to join to comply and conform to this consumer sub-society with the greed for “more”.
And if they do this, will there be enough Lv70 type 5-15 man instances to appease the general public? and if they are in fact locking us out of the older Lv58-60 instances, are they gonna become ghost towns? Like 98% of EQ’s contentafter 5 years?
Well they’re basically destroying what little content there is existing in the game, announcing it a year’ish in advance.. whats the point of even continuing if I come back 6-7’ish months form now, get the same gear in half the time and just plow through whatever new content there is at 70 for gear that’s might be worth keeping around that much longer =p
I guess what I’m getting at is that kills any sense of progression I’ve made so far.
This is what was concerning me also. If this is the case, why grind MC BWL and all that shit right now, when in a 1/2 years time all that shit will be obsolete anyways.
Why is this always brought up? Its called mudflation and it happens in every MMoRPG. Get used to it.