Why is Easy bad?

Why is “Easy” a dirty word when it comes to MMO’s?

I hear people say that WoW is too easy.  You can solo the whole game.  You don’t have to spend anytime crafting items.  Money is easy to come by and the quests lead you around by the nose.  Why is this a bad thing?  Would I rather roll a boulder up a steep hill or a cross a level ground?  Why does an MMO have to beat up the players?  I mean, I know for the most part we are sadistic, but it doesn’t always have to be that way.

I understand that people want a challenge, they thrive from the hardships.  Thats great, wonderful and more power to you.  But just because they can’t find the challenges in a game doesnt’ mean there isn’t any.  I remember back in the Old EQ days that if you saw someone playing a Necro, they were on their way to soloing the game.  It was one of the first classes that could do that.  But did that make EQ an easy game?  No.

People on the whole don’t have a lot of time to spend playing games on line.  We all have families, jobs and tons of other responsibilities that don’t allow us the luxuries of some, to sit in front of a computer all day playing a game.  See how I did that, I generalized people that sit in front of a computer playing games all day as those that have no life.  Thats the same problem I have with people that generalize WoW as being to easy.  A game doesn’t have to be hard to be fun and enjoyable.

WoW is a game with different settings of difficulty for everyone.  The have the PvE servers, for those that like to hang out, play a game for a few hours, feel like they have accomplished something then log off.  Then there is PvP.  Its a bit more difficult to accomplish the simplist of tasks.  You have to not only avoid the mobs, find the item you need and return to the quest giver, but you have to avoid other players out for your blood.   Not always an easy endeavor.  And not every quest is soloable either.  Sometimes you have to complete quests inside instances or do world elite mobs. 

Yes, there are some classes that can run the game solo.  But the challege is not to play one of those classes.  I agree, the first few levels of the game are pretty fast.  The quests aren’t too difficult and you level up very quickly.  But with all games, there is a section where you can’t do it all your own, particularly if you want to really great gear and if you’ve choosen a PvP server for your characters to live as well. For my mage, the levels between 25 and 45 where the hardest.  Then once I rolled over that 45th level, I discovered a sweet spot and was able to pretty much solo for the next couple of levels again.  But why is that a bad thing.

If you find a game too easy, move on to something more difficult, more challenging.  But don’t ridicule those of us that enjoy a simple easy game.  I don’t think EQ2 is that hard, but there is more of a challenge than WoW in certain respects, but that still doesn’t make WoW a better or Worse game than EQ2.  Both get boring and simple at certain stages of the game, and then the difficulty ramps back up again.  Thats what the game was intended to do. 

The player has lots of choices.  What class to play?  What zones to adventure?  What quests to do?  Each of these decisions, help make the game either harder or easier for that person.  But if you choose the easy route, then don’t complain or bitch when you think the game has no challenges.  Choice!  That is what it all boils down to.  You like the color blue, I like Red.  Why should I critizies your choice, just because I like a different one.  Same goes for MMO’s.  If I want to play a game with an “Easy Mod” why is that a bad thing.  I’m not going to start calling you a sadomasticist because you like a more difficult game.

We just need to understand “Easy” doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

The true challenge is to let people play what they want to play with out openning your mouth and saying anything negative about that choice.

~ by oakstout on September 20, 2007.

13 Responses to “Why is Easy bad?”

  1. True, but there’s also this impression among gamers that “easier” games or even games that are perceived as easier tend to attract more bad players. Whether this is a case of easier being more accessible so having more of the bottom (highly visible) 10% or whether it’s a case of easier being too forgiving so players don’t have to learn teamwork, class roles, or group play is entirely debatable.

    This is one of the reasons why I suspect that WoW in particular gets slammed so often for being too easy. It’s not that it isn’t fun, it’s that it seems to have lots of bad, rude, and irritating players. We could talk all day about whether it actually has more and why that might be.

  2. Rude people are everywhere. I don’t think just because a game appeals to wide varity of player that it should be labeled as easy. This was the point I was trying to make. Being popular because its easy, is no reason to slam a product. If you feel, when purchasing say a “Single Person” game, that it was too easy and there was no replay value, then I say give it a bad review. But for an MMO to be labeled “easy” doesn’t make it a bad MMO.

    The experience is catered more towards the individual. If there are more rude people because there are just MORE people playing it, then its a fairer representation of people in the real world. I have played other games where people would run by as I was getting attacked by over whelming numbers of mobs, and just kept on running. I have people shout “NOOB” in a chat channel just because I was asking for directions to a quest. Again, the experience is an individual one, and satisfaction from that experience may vary. But don’t thru the word Easy out there as if its a expletive.

    And on a side note, I agree that if you don’t group with people as you level up and get the necessary group skills, then you’ll probably be a terrible person to take on raids for end content. But that could be true for the person that did ever dungeon he could from level 20 up. Just because you’ve grouped with people doesn’t make you a good person in a group. I have known people that say they’ve tanked kara for the biggest guilds on the server, but he could still suck in your group. Everyone has a bad day.

  3. The problem with it being “easy” is that by being more or less soloable your average player isn’t required to learn teamwork. That sounds aimiable for most people, my self included however, my entire time playing FFXI I drempt of being able to acchieve things solo but after a very long stint in WoW I have realised the drawbacks. Without any punishment for death (time wasted not withstanding) and with questing usually being most effiecient in pairs players don’t learn how to play their classes in parties very well. Leading to alot of frustration for everyone at endgame. A player who hasn’t developed the party skills by lvl 70 will often be kicked out of groups and refused invites because no-one is willing to risk hours of agrivation and repair bills to help the player learn what they should know by now.. especially with alot of the people that havn’t learned party play by that point unwilling to take advice.

    If they were to raise the difficulty of instances in the lower levels aswell as put reasonable lvl limits on them (perhaps with the option of temporary lvl reduction for over lvled characters) it would really help with the skill of endgame players. Because higher lvled players (especially ppl at max lvl) feel a responsability to help their lower lvled guild members combined with the compairative ease of solo questing alot of players (atleast on my server it was horrid) would solo untill they could get walked through instances by friends or guildmates to get the items and quests done, or just sit in town and beg high lvl players for help, leading to a general breakdown of partying in the lower lvls so alot of relativly new players hardly get a taste of proper lvl instances untill endgame. after about 10 months of regular play and about 8 characters on various servers reaching lvl 30+ (most only made it to 30, only 2 made it to 60+) I had a very difficult time finding “PUGs” (pick up group: a group of previously unrelated players) for instances below lvl 50. For me it was quite a letdown nothing in the game made me happier then a smooth instance run at the proper level.

    Well I may have gotten alittle off track but that’s why I have a problem with how easy wow is to play solo or in pairs, perhaps if they game was more role play focused it would be aimiable to keep the game so easy to play solo but with every aspect of the game being governed by your level, it is far too easy for your character level to out stripe your skill, and general experience.

  4. A lot of people just need an excuse to justify the reasons they play a game. Some people just refuse to play the top MMORPG, regardless of which one it is at the time.

    I guess I will never understand why people feel the need to try and justify their game of choice by downplaying another game, usually the most popular game at the time.

  5. For some reason, my site doesn’t always trackback when it should.

  6. I agree that if you don’t spend a lot of time in instances at lower levels then there will be a steep learning curve once you get to 70. But, again, even if you did run all the instances, it really doesn’t mean your a good team player.

    I’m not a very outgoing person when it comes to online gaming. I would rely on my friends to help me run instances or do larger group stuff. But once I hit 70, and started getting random invites to PuG, I finally got brave and took one. I have to say, it was an instance I had never been in, I told them up that up front and that I would rely on their experience to help me do the job they needed me to do in there. They were nice and had no problem leading me from encounter to encounter successfully explaining my role in each fight. We managed to get the end boss down.

    Again, another issue is that guild members and friends enable this behavior of not grouping at lower levels by running them thru instances. Typically, if its someone I know personally and they are running an alt, I will probably give them a run thru some instance. But if its someone I don’t know, I usually, no matter what, refuse to run them thru, even if they are a guildie. Why? Because as stated, the low level instances are good training grounds and I don’t want to enable someone to be a bad player. Not saying that they can’t pull something out when the time comes at 70, but i don’t want to contribute to bad behavor if I can help it.

    But, this again, is a individual experience. With the varitey of people that play MMO’s especially those that have over 9 MILLION subscribers, your going to find jerks. The trick is invite your friends, family and co workers to play. People you know that can have a fun time playing the game as well. Its always difficult to meet new people and more so if your going to depend on these new people to know what they are doing in an MMO. lol

  7. Oak, I completely agree that WoW does a poor job of “raising” players properly and providing steps for them to enjoy the end game. All of the reasons you mentioned are exactly why you get people at level 60 (now 70) that have no clue how to interact in a group.

    I strongly believe higher levels should not be allowed to plow lower levels through instances. There should be level caps and the ability to de-level to a certain level if you truly want to help a friend out. Sadly, I can’t remember the last low level dungeon I’ve actually run with a group. Low level groups just don’t exist outside of friends and guilds that do it for fun.

  8. In wow I hate the constant nagging for help with various instances. Sometimes they will not take no for a no.

  9. IMHO EQ2 does this very well.

    At each “tier” there are solo areas small group areas and instances.

    Mentoring is a brilliant way of effectively reducing your level to match that of your friends. In fact a guildie mentored down to my little baby level 20 girlie with his level 70 and it was great!!!

    Suits a variety of players and playing styles.

  10. EQ2 does a great job, as I’ve mentioned before on my blog of Mentoring. If WoW had a system like that inplimented then people would be able to prepare newer people in the game for end content. I personally don’t like to be run thru an instance where I just sit back an other people kill things for me to loot. Whats the fun in that?

    I’m there to learn my class, so I want to participate, learn what I can do in any givin situation. I actually had an invite to do ZF with my level 35 warlock from another guild member. I said, NO. I would just be tagging a long, doing nothing for an hour. That to me is boring.

    The only problem I have in EQ2 is because I’m kind of late to the game and I only have one friend on the server I’m playing, its hard to get people to do stuff with. So I only have time to solo mostly. Which sucks since EQ2 is more of a grouping oriented game. The main purpose of this posting was to say “I like easy mod! Whats wrong with that?” I’m a nice person to group with, I learn my class, I can do what is asked in a instance, and I still like to solo a lot. Would you consider me a bad player just because I like to solo and not group? You can’t just make a blanket statement saying that all people that solo and don’t spend a lot of time grouping are terrible rude people.

    Rude people are everywhere. We had a guild member who ran lots of instances, but would beg people for money and items, then wouldn’t help people in return or pay them back. But, that being all said, I think that doing group quests and instances does help people learn team work and cooperation. But not everyone can be trained.

  11. Why is it a dirty word? I don’t know, I think some people always want to prove themselves better than someone else. I’m not sure how one concludes that they are better because they waste more of their lives playing a video game, but sadly, some people do.

    Anyway, there are different games for different players. Like you said, to each their own.

  12. Both easy and hard games have their places. But in terms of MMO’s all new development is focused on easy. A recent letter from the Producer of Vanguard basically listed all these features to make Vanguard easy. So where do people interested in a harder game go for the challenge? I think that’s where the “too easy” complaints come from. Give people who want a harder game a home, and all will be well in the virtual universe.

  13. Kendricke put out an open invitation to folks to join him in EQ2. If you’re still playing, he might group with you sometime.

    Generally speaking, I prefer games to be difficult in the way Text Twist is difficult. The encounters are genuinely challenging, but losing just means hurt pride and having to start over. For me and, I believe, for countless other people, that’s all there needs to be. Not everyone needs to lose xp/loot/whatever to feel the sting of defeat.

    And I’m one of those freaks who likes the idea of permadeath and completely open PvP in the same game (Trials of Ascension, curse you for failing!). So not all of us who hate corpse runs and xp debt are afraid of challenge. We just want the challenge to be in the encounters, not in the metagame. Hit me with an insanely tough boss fight… not a bunch of meaningless chores to get me back to where I was.

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