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"End Game" mentality has to die and resurrect "Play Time" from the Ashes.

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    I completely agree with the OP. End Game implies that there is nothing left to do except whatever endless rounds of PVP battling or Raids (I have never played a game where such a thing exists so forgive my ignorance if that is wrong) or whatever persists in a game. An MMO should be a life experience, in that a player and his or her characters should inhabit the world and live in it, not just exist in it, and their "life" should continue, regardless of any arbitrary level cap, indeed if a level cap is necessary at all.

    In ascribing "end game" to a game at all, in my opinion, is to announce to your playerbase that they have "completed" the game at a certain point and that they may now wander off and play something else, safe in the knowledge that they have done all that is worthwhile to do in your game.
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    End-game doesnt mean the end of the game, its just the content you experience when you're max level. The devs already confirmed there's a level cap so most stuff we do will most likely be at max level. Most of us will be max level in a couple weeks so in my opinion its the only thing that really matters. Nobody wants to go through trouble to get/craft good gear if its useless in a few days because you've out-leveled it.
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    Neviathan said:
    End-game doesnt mean the end of the game, its just the content you experience when you're max level. The devs already confirmed there's a level cap so most stuff we do will most likely be at max level. Most of us will be max level in a couple weeks so in my opinion its the only thing that really matters. Nobody wants to go through trouble to get/craft good gear if its useless in a few days because you've out-leveled it.
    I hope that levelling to max level takes considerably longer than a couple of weeks, even for us no-lifers.
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    @Neviathan So what is a typicall End game content example.
    It more or less for the PVE community, ends up being rinse and repeat 3hr a week content
    Or for the PvP community winning a set amount of matches per week.

    or for the faction/faction WvW zergball trains flipping worthless assets for gain tokens.

    It hardly warrants a persistent world environment does it...

    2 weeks till max level...whats the point?

    Endgame does mean the end of the game...Whether by design or by the player losing interest. It is the cupcake on the top shelf and if you ever reach it then whats the point afterwards. especially without risk of loss. Or worse the knowledge it will be all made irrelevant in future by expansion.

    I have made a topic regarding gear treadmills and power creep and how I feel about them, so I'll leave it at that.

    Ideally It's should all be considered content without end and should all be impactful in some intrinsic organic way.

    and time spent should be motivated by interactive enjoyment and not individual obligation.


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    Whocando said:
    @Neviathan So what is a typicall End game content example.
    It more or less for the PVE community, ends up being rinse and repeat 3hr a week content
    Or for the PvP community winning a set amount of matches per week.

    or for the faction/faction WvW zergball trains flipping worthless assets for gain tokens.

    It hardly warrants a persistent world environment does it...

    2 weeks till max level...whats the point?

    Endgame does mean the end of the game...Whether by design or by the player losing interest. It is the cupcake on the top shelf and if you ever reach it then whats the point afterwards. especially without risk of loss. Or worse the knowledge it will be all made irrelevant in future by expansion.

    I have made a topic regarding gear treadmills and power creep and how I feel about them, so I'll leave it at that.

    Ideally It's should all be considered content without end and should all be impactful in some intrinsic organic way.

    and time spent should be motivated by interactive enjoyment and not individual obligation.



    I agree that there should be more to do than just raiding after your character has hit the cap. A game that has only that would not appeal to me. 

    The term "end game" is just at most, an inaccurate term if taken and looked at literally word for word. But the context of end game in mmorpgs usually means (for me and most of my gaming friends) endgame content = things to do after you've level cap. Just like how the term "virtual reality" doesn't make sense if you pick both words apart and argue them separately. 

    Trying to force people to change the words they use will be difficult and in my opinion, quite pointless. 

    My ideal "endgame" content: Social progression, character progression via loot or alternative advancements. Housing, crafting, community building. For others, pvp would fall under this as well (kind of how single player fps provides gaming value for players who have completed the campaign by providing multiplayer options.)
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    The term "end game" is just at most, an inaccurate term if taken and looked at literally word for word. But the context of end game in mmorpgs usually means (for me and most of my gaming friends) endgame content = things to do after you've level cap. Just like how the term "virtual reality" doesn't make sense if you pick both words apart and argue them separately. 
    Shall we agree to call it "max level content"? You know, start to change the language by using it ourselves kind of thing.
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    As stated previously it is the 'mentality' behind the term that has become the defining factor of the genre. and @Neviathan's original comment as an example of player conditioning to expect such mechanics.

    free interpretation for the relevance of terminology is fine, I am not questioning or debating the fact intentionally.
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    Do you think changing the language will help change the mentality and expectations? Or is something more drastic needed to help people break away from this mindset?
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    Well my OP more or less implied a shift in terminology, meaning and behavior would be of benefit to the MMO genre as a whole.

    At least generating awareness.

    I guess  my fear is that Ashes will deliver Playtime* at all levels, but could be persuaded by a typically vocal minority demanding more "endgame' because that is what they have been subjected  and conditioned to expect from the genre.

    Using  favorable terminology that is not associated with theme park heavy MMOs will contribute to a better genuine  community understanding of what  Ashes of Creation hopes to deliver. IMO




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    I like the idea of end game IF there is still a lot of good content 
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    The only thing I don't like about endgame is that I think it makes developers less concerned about a games leveling content. There are way too many mmos with a terrible leveling experience and this needs to change. The fun shouldn't just be at endgame but the whole game should be fun. Getting to endgame shouldn't feel like a chore but rather something that is engaging and feels meaningful and that is what we are severely lacking in the mmo genre.
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    @Whocando Sorry but that's incredibly short sighted if you ask me. Just because you reached the max character level doesnt mean the progression is over. You can still get better skills, weapons, armor, consumables, mounts, crafting recipes, dyes etc etc. Especially with the node system there will be a massive incentive to siege down a metropolis once you've experienced all the content in the node. Basically this process could be repeated for every single node in the game. Some guilds might want to hold on to a metropolis in a certain node which creates an entire new dynamic.

    Max level is not the end, its only the beginning.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    @Neviathan You clearly have not read the entire thread. So labeling me short sighted might require reassessment.
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    Whocando said:
    @Neviathan You clearly have not read the entire thread. So labeling me short sighted might require reassessment.
    There will be a fixed level cap so there will be an end of character level progression which means end-game in the exact meaning of the term. I dont agree with the reason why you feel end-game is a bad term and why play time would a better term. 
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    You still clearly haven't read the entire thread.

    It's is the stereotypical mentality behind the terminology that has had a long term negative effect on the genre.

    you can <insert terminology> regarding the expectation of MMO players who expect the same selfish linear progression systems that have become industry standard practice.

    Just give me " massive multiplayer online game content" then.

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    This probably requires more time than I have right now, but I'd turn this problem on it's head.

    The problem may have more to do with "leveling" than anything else. Players (with the help of designers) have come to view it as something "in their way" and to be overcome on the way to their ultimate goals. 

    I think levels should be thrown away as a mark of player power. Instead, make them only a mark of player progression, each level determined by a hidden algorithm that considers a mix of various types of game experience and player behavior.

    And there should be no cap.

    This way, if you see a level 67 mage or whatever, you *know* they've been around and seen things! But his actual experience, not his player level, makes him better than you at the game.

    I think end game takes care of itself and withers away if this idea drives everything else :)


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    Anyone else around who is concerned that the players who will rush to achieve max level asap, will fall to read details of quests and responses and just randomly click and badly influence the node....?

    I hope that pushing the idea of taking time and enjoying the game as a better long term strategy, which will (most likely) result in better personal character development stats wise.

    If it is possible for any mmo to achieve an influence on 'end-game' thinking, I feel it may be ashes. 

    And yeah, calling it the max level game is probably better to help folks recognise a different perspective is possible
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    That is also an interesting point to mention how quests have changed/devolved to fast track max level accomplishment. to the point where details or specifics are irrelevant as they end up as zones intractable highlights. bypassing lore progression.

    i was contemplating a system where exp/levels are used as expendable currency or are also effected by deterioration.

    I recall Steven mentioning exp debt penalties as a game mechanic.

    Just some open minded ideas..
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    I agree with the op!  I think there is a lack of terminology that "late game" doesn't seem to fit.  we've heard or relied on too much of an established meta or an expected way everyone is supposed to play, which is what theme park mmos consistently do in the end, regardless of attempts of customization or handouts like the "echo bonus" from ffxiv.

    aoc seems to take a new approach in which players create the conflict and stories,  It is a delicate balance, and one players will have to invest in, to see real change happen in their world.
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    Whocando said:
    @Neviathan So what is a typicall End game content example.
    It more or less for the PVE community, ends up being rinse and repeat 3hr a week content
    Or for the PvP community winning a set amount of matches per week.

    or for the faction/faction WvW zergball trains flipping worthless assets for gain tokens.

    It hardly warrants a persistent world environment does it...

    2 weeks till max level...whats the point?

    Endgame does mean the end of the game...Whether by design or by the player losing interest. It is the cupcake on the top shelf and if you ever reach it then whats the point afterwards. especially without risk of loss. Or worse the knowledge it will be all made irrelevant in future by expansion.

    I have made a topic regarding gear treadmills and power creep and how I feel about them, so I'll leave it at that.

    Ideally It's should all be considered content without end and should all be impactful in some intrinsic organic way.

    and time spent should be motivated by interactive enjoyment and not individual obligation.


    It's just not possible for me to put enough "Likes" on this.  I couldn't agree more.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    Neviathan said:
    End-game doesnt mean the end of the game, its just the content you experience when you're max level. The devs already confirmed there's a level cap so most stuff we do will most likely be at max level. Most of us will be max level in a couple weeks so in my opinion its the only thing that really matters. Nobody wants to go through trouble to get/craft good gear if its useless in a few days because you've out-leveled it.
    Max level content is the content available at max level.

    Endgame content is the content available once a character has completed all the new quests and/or killed all the mobs and bosses: repeatable dungeons, raids and dailies. Character progression and story progression are at an end until the next expansion.

    Typically, endgame content becomes all that is available several hours after hitting max level, so lots of people consider those two terms to be interchangeable even though they actually aren't.

    Ashes has several progression paths besides the Adventurer role - most important is leveling the nodes.
    Even if we reach max level in the Adventurer role, we'll still need to level nodes to max level in order to gain access to BiS gear and ultimate perks. And it takes months to bring a node to max level.

    In addition, there is max level for Religion progression, Guild progression and Social progression. Even assuming you won't be interested at all in Artisan or Naval progression.
    Also, there is politics to become involved in if you want to make sure the building that give you the perks you want get built.
    If they don't get built, you may very well want to become a citizen of a node that does provide the perks you want and/or strive to ensure that a node that has the perks you want reaches the required level for those perks to come active.

    Ashes isn't focused on BiS gear, but obtaining BiS gear -if that's what you want to do, isn't as simple as repeating raids.
    Max level also isn't as simple as reaching max level in your Adventurer role.

    I guess "max level" and BiS gear are all that matters in a static world where you can stop playing for a couple months and be sure that your personal housing and guild housing and city will still exist when you log back in. 
    Ashes ain't like that, though.


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    Kalez said:
    I like the idea of end game IF there is still a lot of good content 
    This is essentially the root of the issue.  MMORPG players who've spent all their time in theme park games like WoW where the developers create and deliver the content don't understand the core premise of a sandbox game...  The PLAYERS drive the "content" of the game, not the developers.  In a sandbox game, we don't wait for the developers to feed us a bunch of scripted things to do.  We work together to drive events in a particular direction.  People who find that direction undesirable will work together to oppose our efforts.  In a sense, WE are the content.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    The term "end game" is just at most, an inaccurate term if taken and looked at literally word for word. But the context of end game in mmorpgs usually means (for me and most of my gaming friends) endgame content = things to do after you've level cap. Just like how the term "virtual reality" doesn't make sense if you pick both words apart and argue them separately. 

    Trying to force people to change the words they use will be difficult and in my opinion, quite pointless. 

    My ideal "endgame" content: Social progression, character progression via loot or alternative advancements. Housing, crafting, community building. For others, pvp would fall under this as well (kind of how single player fps provides gaming value for players who have completed the campaign by providing multiplayer options.)

    Typically, I refer to home computers as PCs - unless it becomes important to distinguish between a Windows PC and a Mac.
    There are places where the term for a soda is coke. Which can be fine until you run into someone who only drinks Pepsi; not any brand of cola.
    Most of my friends have an iPhone - and we typically FaceTime. But, you can't FaceTime on an Android.

    Endgame refers to the content available once all the new content has been completed by one character and all that's left is repeatable content: dungeons, raids, dailies. You've reached the end of the dev content for that character.
    In Ashes, you won't even be close to reaching the end of dev content just because the character hit max level in the Adventurer role. Cinder is a dynamic world. We can't force people to change terms.
    But, it is important to push people to understand that the concepts of this gamed design are revolutionarily different than previous MMORPGs: You reach max level in the Adventurer role and character progression and story progression continue to evolve. Character progression and story/world progression don't end when a character reaches max level like they do in previous MMORPGs.
    That's the concept that we need to get across. And it's easiest to do that by making the distinction between max level content and endgame content - especially since endgame content doesn't really exist in a dynamic world like Ashes, while there is plenty of new content for your character to experience after hitting max level.

    There's not going to be a dramatic shift to "PvP" at max level.
    Because in Ashes, PvP conflict is ubiquitous and unavoidable.
    Reaching max level in the Adventurer role is not going to change a player's focus on PvP combat.

    So, sure, we could call a Mac a PC. But, I stress different terms if I need to get across differences like video games aren't as readily available for Mac as on a Windows PC. I often FaceTime people - comes in handy especially at work (I work in IT)- but "I'll FaceTime you" is not going to work with people who have an Android.
    Sometimes the distinctions are important.

    I won't play an MMORPG that has an endgame.
    I will play MMORPGs with max level content if they don't have an endgame.
    That distinction is important to me. So, I stress the distinction.
    Mileage may vary for other folk.
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    The term "end game" is just at most, an inaccurate term if taken and looked at literally word for word. But the context of end game in mmorpgs usually means (for me and most of my gaming friends) endgame content = things to do after you've level cap. 
    I think it's not so much a matter of semantics, as it is application of those semantics. When people enter an MMORPG, now, it's a race to level cap. Stuff to see/do along the way? Who cares? Story/lore to learn, as you level up? Secret places to find with treasures/maps/etc? Pft. Forget about it. 

    The goal of most MMORPGs has now been shaped so that we race blindly to level cap, there to begin the "end game" offerings. It's no longer about the journey, it's the race to the destination, and the mindset that nothing else exists in a game except that "end game" offering.

    Whocando said:
    I guess  my fear is that Ashes will deliver Playtime* at all levels, but could be persuaded by a typically vocal minority demanding more "endgame' because that is what they have been subjected  and conditioned to expect from the genre.
    And this is exactly what we saw ANet do with GW2. Started out with the expectation that "The game is all end game," then when people didn't feel there was enough content (i.e., raid-type content for gear progression), ANet began making changes to the basic, underlying structure of the game. That created a chain of events that ended up with GW2 being "just another" MMORPG.

    Ti4558 said:
    The only thing I don't like about endgame is that I think it makes developers less concerned about a games leveling content. There are way too many mmos with a terrible leveling experience and this needs to change. The fun shouldn't just be at endgame but the whole game should be fun. Getting to endgame shouldn't feel like a chore but rather something that is engaging and feels meaningful and that is what we are severely lacking in the mmo genre.
    So very perfectly stated. Thank you.
    Megs said:
    Anyone else around who is concerned that the players who will rush to achieve max level asap, will fall to read details of quests and responses and just randomly click and badly influence the node....?

    -snip-
    If it is possible for any mmo to achieve an influence on 'end-game' thinking, I feel it may be ashes. 
    Absolutely, @Megs. But I really think when those people rush to level cap and then look around and say "Wait, now what?" they'll likely disappear; assuming we don't have a repeat of ANet with GW2. However, and I should have stated this above, Steven has said he firmly holds the reins, he's not driven by a board, so I feel that they'll not cave and cower to "Mo' money!" the way most game devs have to. That's my hope, anyway!
    Dygz said:
    I guess "max level" and BiS gear are all that matters in a static world where you can stop playing for a couple months and be sure that your personal housing and guild housing and city will still exist when you log back in. 
    Ashes ain't like that, though.
    *applauds* Amen, @Dygz!



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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    Lethality said:
    The problem may have more to do with "leveling" than anything else. Players (with the help of designers) have come to view it as something "in their way" and to be overcome on the way to their ultimate goals. 

    I think levels should be thrown away as a mark of player power. Instead, make them only a mark of player progression, each level determined by a hidden algorithm that considers a mix of various types of game experience and player behavior.

    And there should be no cap.

    This way, if you see a level 67 mage or whatever, you *know* they've been around and seen things! But his actual experience, not his player level, makes him better than you at the game.

    I think end game takes care of itself and withers away if this idea drives everything else :)
    Uh. Nooooo.
    Leveling is the mechanic by which we experience the Hero's Journey.
     The Hero's Journey is key for most good storytelling, but is especially crucial for High Fantasy settings.
    In the Hero's Journey, the protagonist moves from average joe to powerful hero.
    Along the lines of Harry Potter.

    Can't have an RPG without levels. If there are no levels, it's some other genre.
    Also levels are about the characters; not the players.
    RPGs are about the experiences and knowledge of each character; not the experience and knowledge of the player.
    Sure, gamers like to focus on the game rather than the roleplaying, but RPGs are really more about the roleplaying/story than the game - with the mechanics just facilitating the resolutions of the challenges the heroes experience.

    Endgame withers away if there is an ever quest.
    Endgame withers away if there is a dynamic world that constantly provides new experiences instead of re-playing the same experiences in a static world.
      
    But, new experiences don't have to all be gated by level - especially not max level.
    In tabletop RPGs, we often also had to wait years for content which increased levels. We didn't have to wait years for new adventures or new creatures or new powers and abilities. That BiS gear and abilities for adventuring in the Arctic might not work so well when adventuring in the Desert.

    Gaining different abilities for different experiences and encounters can be just as important as gaining more powerful abilities.
    Horizontal progression v vertical progression.
    Batman acquiring the appropriate costume and gadgets to fit the situation/adventure v Superman gaining ever-increasing super-powers.

    Ashes has plenty of horizontal progression; in addition to vertical progression.
    But, in Ashes, what really puts and end to endgame is having content tied inextricably to building and destroying nodes (as well as to the specific types of buildings we build within each village, town, city and metropolis throughout the entire server).
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    Hmmm, with the possibility of cities being sacked and razed. Wouldn't that put a pressure on some players to... quickly get to the Max level content to ensure that their character is at least on par or better than those who might want to do harm their city.

    The world of ashes can be dangerous and there are real reasons for conflict to occur (opposing nodes). This hurry to prepare yourself... could be seen in a role playing context of urgency to prepare because war is coming. Would you find that very practical reason for rushing more... acceptable?

    This is from my view point as a high exploration, low killer motivation type player. Perhaps I'm just paranoid. Heh heh. 

    That player who rushes can still  taking the time to enjoy the rest of the game via an alt or choose to revisit areas if they choose to.

    I get what you guys mean by the journey being important and all, I play a wide variety of RPGs, from table top to well... Action Rpgs and while they all share the RPG moniker, the purpose and objective of the games are very very different. 


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    Whocando said:
    Well my OP more or less implied a shift in terminology, meaning and behavior would be of benefit to the MMO genre as a whole.

    At least generating awareness.

    I guess  my fear is that Ashes will deliver Playtime* at all levels, but could be persuaded by a typically vocal minority demanding more "endgame' because that is what they have been subjected  and conditioned to expect from the genre.

    Using  favorable terminology that is not associated with theme park heavy MMOs will contribute to a better genuine  community understanding of what  Ashes of Creation hopes to deliver. IMO




    I agree and as I have stated many times, if Intrepid sticks to THEIR dreams and ideas for Ashes which drew the majority of us here, and if the DON'T listen to the cry babies who run through a game and shout above others threatening to quit and making demands then and  only then will they succeed in making this a never ending game.    
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    Hmmm, with the possibility of cities being sacked and razed. Wouldn't that put a pressure on some players to... quickly get to the Max level content to ensure that their character is at least on par or better than those who might want to do harm their city.

    The world of ashes can be dangerous and there are real reasons for conflict to occur (opposing nodes). This hurry to prepare yourself... could be seen in a role playing context of urgency to prepare because war is coming. Would you find that very practical reason for rushing more... acceptable?

    This is from my view point as a high exploration, low killer motivation type player. Perhaps I'm just paranoid. Heh heh. 

    That player who rushes can still  taking the time to enjoy the rest of the game via an alt or choose to revisit areas if they choose to.

    I get what you guys mean by the journey being important and all, I play a wide variety of RPGs, from table top to well... Action Rpgs and while they all share the RPG moniker, the purpose and objective of the games are very very different. 


    I pretty much have the same sense of playing as you do and can understand your paranoia well. lol
    We will always have those who rush and try to max everything out in order to feel superior to others.  That doesn't mean that they are.  

    It's still going to take time to build those nodes and craft what is needed.  While those "Alpha" types may be rushing ahead,  I think the majority will be making stronger characters and nodes because they are more apt to work along side each other and perfect their crafts and skills as well as learn and explore more in depth.  
    They are more willing to share their knowledge with each other and work for the common cause.  Also lower level and solo people and their contributions will be more appreciated by the "more common" folk.  

    The "Alpha" end gammers are more interested in themselves, not contributing to the whole. 
    In the end it's not how fast or how much you know, but how you obtain and use that knowledge.


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    the Alpha gamers will not get very far initially due to the progression of the node being dependent on population influence. with any attempts at rushing reigned in by the inputs of those around to even the lowest common denominator. High tier Node maintenance/destruction will be the perpetual engine of meaningful game play.
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    Yeah, I guess what I wanted to say was just that I personally think there isn't really a right or wrong way to play an MMORPG.

    For me, it's just play the way you feel like as long as it doesn't directly impact the fun of others (using exploits, griefing etc.)

    Some people might feel differently towards this and that's totally fine as well. There really isn't a need to label them as alpha, or non-roleplayers etc.

    There could be a million reasons why one rushes, perhaps it's vacation time and they know they'll not have time later, they could rush to path find the best way forward so they can head back to help others in the guild level up, or like in @CylverRayne 's example, one could rush because they want to feel superior to others and/or want a leg up in competition.
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