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📝 Dev Discussion #61 - Time Dedication ⌛



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    Casual player:
    Time: 1-3 hours per session, 3-5 days per week, with 1 longer weekend session at 3-5 hours. So around 6-20 hours per week.
    Having fun, multiple toons tried before getting one to max level, and then just barely into end game. learn as they go, minimum website research. Try most content, occasional forays into "deeper" content and longer quests. Eventually understand most game mechanics. Endgame involvement focused around social, soluble content and mostly leveling other alts for fun. Content that requires deep knowledge of other classes, mechanics, content behavior and/or deep time commitment is usually out of reach.

    "Expert" ( though I don't like the term, I think I get what you are asking )
    2-6 hours per session, 4-5days on weekdays; 8-16 hours total on the weekend. ~ 16-50 hours/week.
    Deep desire to be a part of the game and the community and be in contention for ranking. Usually focused on a single toon at a time, use alts to understand mechanics as needed. Lots of web research and forum involvement. Big focus on efficiency, max/min, understanding of game mechanics. Not just understanding content but a focus on how that content can be used to maximize leveling, gear progression and overall ranking of their characters.

    "semi-pro" ( you didn't ask, but there is a difference to me. )
    4-8 hours weekdays, 20-30 hours on the weekend, ~40-70 hours per week.
    Driving to be one of the top players. Super Grinders / Mechanists... not going to go long on this one... I am sure you know the type. Creating content either publicly or privately. Creating/utilizing software tools to better understand mechanics.

    Me personally:
    I have played at the upper end of expert when I was younger, now I jump between the mid range of a casual and mid expert as life and wife allows. I have been in guilds where the leaders were semi pro and the expectations of involvement were high... can't do that anymore.
    Time as a metric is not important to me. Being able to get there eventually and participate in the content is. Back in Ancient times, I was in a guild that unlocked the Sleeper in Everquest. The amount of time it took to do that would be completely out of my ability today. The vast majority of EQ players never participated in that. I played WoW a ton, and I was fine with not getting into the high end content in that game.... but always was a bit disappointed when access to something was literally a grindfest and purely a brag on how much time you spent at the game.

    When I play now, I like to level and gain items. I want it to be challenging to level, I want the quests to be challenging. Usually that just takes time, but it's more fun when it is about solving or finding something to me. At the endgame, I want content that can be accomplished in reasonable chunks. Being forced into being online for 10-12 hours in order to raid content that takes 6 hours to do, 2 hours of it fighting some boss that has an exceptional though repetitive cycle of combat only is not fun to me anymore. More content, rare content... content that doen't have step by step instructions on a wiki somewhere is way more engaging to me. Content that can be consumed in chunks through those 2-4 hours of playtime, then spread out over a longer journey.. .that is what I like now.

    That said, I totally get that the "epic" content is needed for the people that are blowing through 25-50 hours of content a week. I am ok that some content out there may be ultimately unattainable for me, I am happier if its attainable with the same about of playtime... and it just will take me longer to get there.
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    starkkystarkky Member
    edited March 11
    How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG?
    Around 100-200 hours of gameplay to reach end game with good equipments. This time should cover 90% of the possibilities for a class, and the last 10% should require proportionally much more time in exchange for significant bonuses (for expert players).

    What are the differences between an expert player versus a casual player - time commitment, skill, and game knowledge?

    Casual player plays the game 5 hour per week, expert player 2 hours per day in average.
    Expert player try to reach cooki-cutter builds, and max stats, have roles/jobs in the guild.
    Casual gamers just want a usable but enjoyable build that can be useful in late game, and try to maximise the fun per hour.

    Is total time spent in an MMORPG an important factor to you?

    Not really, the important thing is if you don't realise how much you've played

    Do you feel you're an expert in some MMORPGs or systems within them, but not in others?

    Yes, in Eve Online. I think it's ideal to have many systems within an mmorpg and some of them are complex enough to hold surprises for the player later on, but with minimal information to understand what they do.
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    1. How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG?
    2. What are the differences between an expert player versus a casual player - time commitment, skill, and game knowledge?

    1 -- This question, as written, cannot be quantified. I would instead say that an expert player will expend approximately five times as much of their faculties in dedication to the three stated areas of time commitment (irrelevant), skill, and game knowledge.
    2 -- I believe that an expert player is anyone who has learned the rules, and demonstrated a strong understanding of the strategy of a game. When you have reached the point where you know the how and why of any given choice, or objective, you are an expert of the game. Stated this way, an expert player, regardless of time committed, would be able to either achieve any goal, or conquer any challenge proposed to them within the game world. A Casual player within the same scenario would often need to consult either a larger group of diverse casual players, or any expert player before moving forward.

    All players play games for the same exact reason. Creating and Meeting short term and long term personal/group goals, and reaping the perceived rewards for their effort/time/skill. Matching those rewards to said effort/time/skill decides the fate of an MMO. The line between Expert players versus casual players is a facsimile of the line between an over-achieving, driven salesperson and a "meets-their-goals" salesperson in a commission-based sales environment. Both of them can and will be considered experts at some point in time.

    A game's most valuable assets are "what is known", "what is known to be unknown", and "what is truly unknown". These three assets are what both drive, and "create" your expert and casual players.

    - Casual players are driven to achieve their goals amidst the "known" content of the game, challenging the established goals provided by the developers, other players, or influencers of the game. At any point in a casual players experience they can be inspired by the other two assets of the game and become a driven expert player (in regards to time invested).
    - Expert players are driven to master all of the "known" content, unravel many of the "known unknowns", and discover any of the "truly unknown". Expert players will often become casual players (in regards to time invested) once they have decided that they have conquered all available challenges satisfactorily (according to themselves).

    - Casual players are more attracted to expected rewards (e.g., tokenized gear purchasing), allowing for a beautiful and expected curve of effort, time, and growth (perceived). Casual players are far less likely to engage in 3-10 kills of the same monster to try to get a single piece of loot, that A. may not drop, and B. they may not win/be able to buy (RIP DKP). Those that do engage in this repetitive activity are in it "to help" and will usually be compensated by cooperative companionship and the occasional (but not expected) rewards.
    - Expert players are more attracted to RNG, whether it be insane crafting RNG, or the infinitely-pleasing allure of monster loot. An expert player will happily invest their time into killing a boss 3-10 times to get one of it's pieces of loot table drops if it is "the right item" for them. The amount of disappointing runs an expert player is willing to suffer is astronomically greater than that of a casual player. Expert players value their time strongly, but know where best to spend it.

    - Roleplayers represent a microcosm combining both casual and expert players, and are driven by a combination of the casual and expert expectations with a very heavy reliance on the quality and support of the game's inclusivity of the social paradigm.

    My roots are steeped in Everquest (where DKP was born #lvl52formonths), WoW (the myth(ic) the legend(ary)), Eve (what's a casual player?), Archeage (They almost had it all right...), and every subsequent MMO/disappointment.

    But my hopes are on you, Ashes!
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    LocustLocust Member
    I would say there is 3 types of players. Your job less hard core type, the after work and weekend player, and then your weekend player.

    The differences imo should be in the area of crafting and the leet gear and bonuses they give. You should only be able to do a couple crafts into the master craft level. Should be a problem to dabble in all of them but being a master should take quite an investment of time.

    Rep rewards should be another time sink. Massive amounts of rep for this cool whatever skin. Obtaining high rep with random factions should unlock cool, unique things.

    Special PVP arenas could be unlocked after enough time put in. Let the unemployed folks(over timer) beat each other up!

    All done and told, the players capability should not be affected beyond something like 10%. A smart weekender should be able to sh1t on a dumb over timer.

    XOXO Locust
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    1). Time.
    A player needs to play different classes to understand that class, know its strengths and weaknesses, know where that class is effective, maybe it's better for PVE or better in sieges, etc.
    Also relevant to the court is the point...... 2) Knowledge of the game.

    2) Knowledge of the game,
    Convenience of finding the necessary information on the monitor screen. Make it possible to search for information.
    For example ....
    There is an INFO icon on the screen.
    This icon contains all the necessary information about the game.
    Icons (skills, mobs, raid boss, quests, etc.)
    For example... a player wants to know about a boss raid,
    General information about raid bosses (where they are, spawn time, drop list, etc.)
    In this way, the player accelerates his mastery of the game and approaches the status of an expert.

    3). Skills.
    3a). Make special effects of skills translucent (For example, as in La2) and not large, so that they do not cover the character from view, at the moment when 10 skills hit one character or RB. At these moments, the character himself and those players who stand next to him are not visible.
    3b). Also control the volume of the skill; it won't interfere unless the skill's effect is bright or large on screen.
    3c). Don't make your skills flashy; In mass pvp, your eyes will get tired of the constant flashes of skill effects. Also, if the player has a quest to kill mobs, the same will happen to his eyes.
    3d). Do a test, put 4 characters in the center and let them hit one of them with their skills, and at this moment try to see what the other 3 characters are doing (hitting or not), you will understand that due to special effects, some of the information on the screen disappears.
    (self-taught game designer)
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    elzilcho21elzilcho21 Member
    edited March 12
    To be an expert of the game means you've fully played the game in every capacity. In any industry you look at you have subject matter experts. These people can tell you what anything you need to know within their specialized subject. Being an expert at the game means you've specialized in all the subjects. I'd like any of you to name one person that has specialized all subjects in their field of work. Game or not. I consider myself good at a particular MMO that's been around for short of 20 years. I don't know everything about it. I consider myself an expert in raiding content and a few of the classes for that game. I'm not a world first type of expert but my knowledge still exceeds most people's.

    While MMO's are fun and an escape for us they are unfortunately like a job in many ways just because of the native time sink that we must commit. So on an entry level basis purely, I'd say 5-8 months to learn how to play the game efficiently. To become an "expert" 2-3 years. For streamers and content creators or anyone really with time and no responsibility who will play this game 18 hours a day. Probably half of that just because of the unfortunate nature that is gaming and MMO culture now.

    To the person who said 3-500 hours of playtime is what you should expect to get to max level. I get where you're coming from. I hate leveling now a days though. I want to hear your story campaign, I love a good story, and I'll run through it but I don't want to level more alts, or another job, or whatever. One of my favorite things about star wars galaxies was that you could only have 2 characters per server. You had to specialize in something. In the route AoC is going I think it would be beneficial to go that way as well. Which falls back to being a subject matter experts. If you specialize in 1 or 2 things you're more likely to be successful at them than being a jack of all trades but a master of none.

    To be more bluntly about the question at hand. "Expert" players will be your people answering the questions in 6 months in global or trade chat after release with 100% confidence.

    Your casual players will be asking the questions trying to figure it out still.
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    ZeroGravitySEZeroGravitySE Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I've been gaming since the 80s and joined some of the first MMOs in the 90s. Played them like it was my life. I skipped WoW, never played it. So my opinion on this comes from the market that didn't include wow.

    The difference between "expert" and "casual" has always been very defined. The casual approach to gaming is one that doesn't entirely have a goal besides consuming content they haven't done. If the gameplay is good most often people will play the game for that aspect alone. But in the end the casual crowds always just are about consumption of content. Once the content runs out or its so difficult it takes friends to overcome it. That's where the expert level players come in. Expert players are ones who care about min/max, or meta. They usually are helpful towards casual players because they indeed spend the most time invested into the game.

    The problem with MMOs has always been. No-lifers (or whales) always where able to have serious advantages over other people by rushing to end game (or buying it) and farming the best gear. If that game had a non-arena based PVP system. I believe mmos have always suffered from the fact that this gap between expert and casual was what devs usually failed at. If you look at a pvp game like chivalry 2. What makes pvp fun in games like this is that even if you're completely bad at a game you still have a chance of beating someone who has spent many hours playing the game. The gear and weapons are even and the gameplay is skill based. Which is where time and practice are more valuable than gear. When all it takes is gear to beat other players you get games like black desert online (which has the best pvp to date but is always tainted by its p2w features). If wasn't p2w it would of went down as the best pvp MMO to date. It had everything in the game. But the whole gambling aspect should be something that others have to deal with to improve your gear. Not you. You should pay the smiths and jewelers money for their skill creating things that take hard RNG. And their name should be attached to that armor or item. Shouldn't be in a position ever where you progressively go backwards because you chance an upgrade and go into battle weaker than you where the Day before.

    It amazes me how dumb devs are when it comes to game design and can't just copy successful systems before them. The problem is the gaming world changes. What casual and expert was in the late 90s early 2000s isn't the same today. Today you have people rushing to puke information out there for views and likes. This creates a constant stream of information being shoved down even the casual players throat. Knowledge of a game use to be the real hurdle. But today most everyone knows everything about a game pretty quickly. What's good and what isn't is usually defined quickly and the devs usually fail to address the key issues. They usually fail at balancing the weaker weapons. I am and always will be a fan of the idea that everything should feel broken. Everything should feel powerful. Everything should be able to battle the other with enough practice in it. But there is always a weapon or spell in mmos that stands out above the rest and everyone hates when you practice a certain style and they nerf it.

    So the big difference between expert and casual is the games design and how much actual skill it takes to play a class or style. If the game is designed correctly people who invest their time into a game usually can and always will be ahead of others. Skill based and not gear based games tend to be more respected. People want to feel like they've grown as a player. Gear then should in many ways only be a throttle to success. A time sink required to invest into a game. But getting this gear should not feel like some sort of horrible grind. Everyone has already grinded to max level and gotten the best gear in games before this one. But skill should always be the center of the gameplay. Being good at something should make you stand out. And if being good at something means you passed certain achievements that you can wear showing your time dedication. Then that is indeed the way. Creates a sense of pride in those who have invested the time. Instead of a badge of shame.

    I myself have matched or beaten the best of the best in any MMO Ive joined. So as a self proclaimed "expert" of MMO pvp I can tell you one reason I always eventually get bored of most MMOs pvp. It's because the devs never truely have a mode that isn't arena based that allows for me to feel like I am contributing towards something that is worth it. Helldivers 2 is the perfect example of what I mean. I can with friend accomplish more. Or when I don't have the time accomplish enough to feel like I am progressing in some form. Be it understanding and mastering the game mechanics of all the things I enjoy using. Or it be the ability to understand and read the battlefield against NPCs. In PvP however the focus is always just practicing my ability to understand when and how I use my abilities and if I can overcome certain situations. Then focus on trying to put myself in those situations so I can in many ways become better at dealing with them.

    It all comes down to one thing. Did the game devs put unnecessary stuff into a game that is not a waste of time. Wasting my time is the biggest reason why most people quit games. Look at Starfield for example. You're constantly in a loading screen. And because of this. It wears on you over time. You feel like hours of your time has been spent just (without cheats) dragging inventory to different vendors so that you can pool money to get the things to help you reduce the amount of time it takes you to do all the things you're doing. Basically it doesn't matter if it's an MMORPG or not. Time wasting ruins games. Adding things like extra health to enemies because the game devs are lazy and don't want to come up with better ideas ruins games. Wasting my time doing things that hold absolutely no value ruins games. I should always feel some sort of accomplishment when I sign off a game. No one should feel like their time is wasted.

    The idea of seniority in mmos is what kills them for many also. Allowing new players the ability to be a threat is important. There shouldn't be some rights to passage to enter into a game and just have some fun. Ego shouldn't be the center of the gameplay. Ego should drive players to be better and respect the fact that even new players have a chance against them. Ego should drive the ability to just be better overall as a gamer or competitor. But ego in the end is what blows up chats. People get butthurt when they feel helpless and most often quit the game forever. But the balance of allowing those who have invested some advantage is also fair. Who wants to invest thousands of hours into a game and someone who comes into their game with thirty minutes of gameplay and promotion bonuses just suddenly kicks your butt. Basically invalidating the time spent before all this. Making it feel once again like you wasted your time playing till now.

    I could endlessly speak about gaming since I've been a gamer my entire life. But in the end I believe I provided enough fair examples of why I think some of the whole casual vs expert talk is usually based around time invested. And how skill is and always should be more important than gear. But to never make gear invalid like it's not special. People care about small details and being awarded the right to show off their accomplishments. Specially if they enjoy the game.
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    PowurshotPowurshot Member, Intrepid Pack
    It's all about the player. Like anything you do, you get what you put in - relationships, work, hobbies. One thing I have noticed though, I don't make as many great plays as I did 20+ years ago. I turn 48 this year and I am not the player I was when I was younger. I used to be consistently highly ranked in PVP across multiple games. Now I just don't have the same fire for that. I appreciate the story and the exploration and the people you meet along the way. Having said that, I feel there is a prime for being an exceptional player - if the metrics you use are success in PVP or clutch creative plays that save the day in some situation.
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    CROW3CROW3 Member
    I think time is one dimension. Interest, competence, investment, and engagement are others.
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    ILLPeonUILLPeonU Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Slow , again back to the whole meaningful argument. I. Don’t want to see every Tom, Dick and Harry be the best. The people I want to see be experts are people I see day in and day out, tirelessly working on their craft for months.
    TwitchTV Streamer: The Hidden Dagger Inn Saturday's 5:00 PM Cst
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    How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG?
    A lot of time, but natural time is better than forced time. Gathering, as an example, should take a long time to master because you need to learn about the different spawn regions and conditions. Just having the in-game level is not enough to be a true master, and learning the spawn conditions and spawn areas of gatherables will probably take longer than just leveling your profession to the max, especially because you can scale it from your first node, then surrounding nodes, and eventually to bigger areas. This feels way better to me than having a hard cap on gathering experience I can get per week to artificially slow down progress.

    What are the differences between an expert player versus a casual player - time commitment, skill, and game knowledge?
    Mainly game knowledge. Time commitment only matters in total, meaning you can be an expert without playing 5 hours every day. Total time committed obviously contributes to game knowledge and is thus an important difference. Skill is always good to have but usually gets beaten by game knowledge consistently as well, as a big part of skill is game knowledge. Since game knowledge naturally takes time to grow in an individual but also in the community, it should take time to master systems especially in the beginning when the community knows less and has to explore more. Game knowledge is another example of natural time limitations.

    "Expert" and "Casual" can be subjective terms. What does being an expert or a casual mean to you?
    To me, an expert is someone who has found their niche in the game and is very good at it, knowing more about that system than some others maybe. The opposite, to me, would be a beginner who has not yet found their niche in the game. A casual, to me, is just someone who's not a hardcore player. Casuals can still be experts, although hardcore players will probably be the first experts.

    What are the differences you see in casual vs expert-level play on a day-to-day basis in your favorite MMORPGs?
    Beginners basically do somewhat random stuff to learn about the game and their class, etc. Casuals usually know what they are going for but just have less time, so it takes them longer to get there than hardcore players. Hardcore players basically know what they are going for roughly and already have a plan on how to get there; they invest a lot of time giving them an edge above the other players. Experts can be casuals or hardcore players; they have found the gameplay loops they enjoy most and are knowledgeable about them.

    Is total time spent in an MMORPG an important factor to you?
    Yes because it is required to gain game knowledge which is a big part of being an expert in a certain systhem or biome.

    Do you feel you're an expert in some MMORPGs or systems within them, but not in others? If so, please explain
    I am pretty good at PvP, but I suck at crafting, and I'm basically a casual in PvE. In PvP, being an expert is about knowing yourself and knowing the enemies. The more possible builds exist and are actually viable, the longer it takes to learn how to play with your class against every other class and ideally the most popular builds on these classes. In Ashes, I would like to see more specialization than just PvP/PvE. You could be an expert bounty hunter, expert caravan protector or attacker, expert castle sieger, expert duelist, same with other systems like PvP and gathering.
    For the empyre !!!
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    One of the issuses with MMORPG's is the time commitment. I have been playing MMORPG's since UO came out & was part of the beta for EQ. For us "experienced" players, who have played MANY different MMOs, as we build families we are unable to devote the time to the game as others do, which then causes problems for our guilds/clans/faction/teams etc, and makes it problematic to keep us in the groups. We can't always be present for raids or scheduling time for raids is difficult. We have work, kids, marriages, responsibilities that pull us away from the game. So this concept of becoming an expert of the game becomes questionable. Also, as a person who works in mental health, the oppresive nature of our current society, can lead to excessive avoidant behavior. So becoming an expert at a game can often come at the cost of being an expert at life. We saw this early on with EverQuest as we started jestfully calling it "EverCrack" as young adults would create markets where they started accounts where they maxed out characters & then sold those accounts to others who would then play them. Or they would work for "gold farming" companies where you could spend real money to companies who would provide the customer with in-game gold. These black markets arose because of the issues with time consumption associated with grind. Now instead the gaming companies have replaced these 3rd party companies to simply sell you in-game gold at the cost of actual money in order to avoid the personal time drain.

    My return question to you Vaknar, is what is AoC plan to help with life-game imbalances for we "experienced" gamers who still want to be contributers to our guilds, provide our many years of tactical knowledge as well as build fun communities where we old farts can be positive supports for our younger gamers as they use their immense free-time to develop brilliant strategies for the guild, and ensure there is possitive interaction in the AoC community? I am incredibly excited about AoC. My wife & I are old school gamers & have devoted so much of our early marriage to days of gaming and developing friendships which have continued over the two decades of our marriage. We would love to not other bring ourselves, but our children, as well as our friends from past guilds and their children also to this game. That is many families & many game purchases for each member of the family. However, what are you doing to ensure that we can enjoy the game, while also nurturing complete healthy children into healthy adults by family engagement outside of the game, without a severe detriment to game progression, and ensure there is a positive community for our children to be apart of, rather than some of the incredibly toxic communities where one experiences abuse, sexism, racial prejudice, & defamatory communication?
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    MissionCreepMissionCreep Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I assume in this context (the OP) when you use the word "Expert" you are referring to someone with a great knowledge of the game.

    Other people talk about skill, but that's a Master, not an Expert. Sure, the Venn diagram of Masters and Experts has a lot of overlap, but they aren't the same.

    All games can be rated on their barrier to entry and their learning curve. You can make a game that's easy to get into (low initial complexity, great tutorial, initial leveling experience, etc) but that becomes much more complex as the game progresses. This is most MMO's that aren't first-person shooters. FPS's don't tend to have depth.

    You can also make a game that is relatively hard to learn from the get-go, like POE is.

    And you can make one that, over time, keeps adding new mechanics and systems and becomes almost impossibly complex after POE is.

    Not everyone in an MMORPG wants to spend a lot of time reading Wikis and official forums and Reddit and Discord and so on. Not everyone wants to run all their ideas and theory-crafting through spreadsheets. And some may not even want to open a build planner when it's automated!

    In general, true Expertise can only be gained through spending time offline (not in game) in those pursuits above. You can also learn a lot from chat, especially guild chat....but ultimately you're learning from someone else who put in that time offline.

    It is not an ideal situation for MMORPGs (or ARPGs), but you can't design a game as complex and deep as Ashes and also provide all information as part of an in-game Wiki or FAQ or game "manual." You'd need a large and very dedicated team of tech writers (plus front-end development) to keep up with that.

    You also have specialization:
    Most players do develop expertise in certain systems, such as their crafting professions and their classes. Or if they love PVP and Sieges, maybe that.
    You might have a player who is an expert in a Tank/Mage but is neither an expert in Tanks nor Mages. (Or not in Tank/Bards.)

    Those limited-scope experts (e.g. Tank experts, Carpentry experts) can develop their expertise primarily from playing the game and trial-and-error. And by talking to other Tanks and Carpenters in game.

    But that doesn't work for becoming an expert of the whole game. That requires someone who has a full-time job of playing the game and a side-gig of reading about the game.

    The last game I was an expert in was City of Heroes; I spent 40 hours a week in game and 20 hours a week in the forums. Before that Star Wars Galaxies.
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    MissionCreepMissionCreep Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    One thing I wanted to add:
    The more (reliable) info that comes out and becomes collected and accessible by the player base in advance of the game helps create experts in advance.

    [But all games gain complexity or depth over time, so that expertise isn't static.]

    It's much easier to sink a lot of time into studying the game when the game is not available to be played (or is only available in a testing state).

    I personally love reading the Wiki (and I've watched all the dev update videos, most twice) and that is much easier to find time for when I can't play the game. Once the game is live, how much time will I want to spend reading (or messing with spreadsheets, a staple of my gaming)? A couple hours a week?

    I'm not someone who can read at work or is on commuter transit for hours each week. Some people will only have the option to read/study at times, so they won't be faced with the choice of gaming or reading.

    Finally, you can run videos while you're playing the game, even if you just use your phone. So players could study the game to become Experts while simultaneously playing. That really wasn't an option when I was playing games from the oughts and earlier.
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    I would love it if you could just have expert servers and casual servers. I do not have the time to become an expert (which to me would just be someone who knows enough to either help or lead others successfully) but would love to have an easy mode server where i can still enjoy the content without requiring the same amount of time investment, say by giving everyone on an easy mode server a buff that doubles all stats, including experience for levelling up characters or skills/professions. it'd also be nice on casual servers to pick drops from the harder enemies (even if it's that you have to run the thing maybe 3 times to get the drop you want) because I know the available content is going to be way more than I can explore if i have to grind to get to it. just make the achievements on the easy servers to flag as easy and not carry to expert servers..

    the point would be to have fun, if you want the challenge join an expert server, if you just want to smash things in your free time and see what the world has to offer, join a casual server (the experts could probably even join just to try out things so the casuals would still have expert players to teach)
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    KloWhKloWh Member
    Hi ! This my 2 cents on the subject !

    Should We Strive for Expertise in MMORPGs?

    In the realm of MMORPGs, the pursuit of expertise is a common endeavor among players. However, it's crucial to consider whether absolute mastery is an achievable or even necessary goal.

    The Illusion of Absolute Expertise

    MMORPGs, by their very nature, are complex and ever-evolving systems. To claim absolute expertise in every aspect of such a vast and dynamic world is akin to chasing an elusive mirage. While extensive knowledge and proficiency in specific areas are certainly attainable, attempting to grasp every facet of the game is a daunting, if not impossible, task.

    Specialization: A Path to Depth and Value

    While absolute mastery may be an illusion, expertise in a particular domain is a very real and rewarding pursuit. Whether it's combat prowess, mastery of trade routes, or the intricacies of crafting, specialization allows players to excel in their chosen fields, contributing unique value to the community and enhancing their own enjoyment of the game.

    The Social Fabric: Interdependence and Interplay

    The true beauty of MMORPGs lies in their social fabric. However, the pursuit of self-sufficiency, where players become proficient in every aspect, can diminish this social tapestry. Instead, we should embrace interdependence, fostering a world where players rely on each other's expertise, fostering collaboration and camaraderie.

    Casual vs. Expert: Distinct Approaches

    The distinction between casual and expert players lies not in the sheer amount of time spent but in their approach to the game.

    Expert Players: Characterized by a deep understanding and mastery of a specific aspect of the game. They optimize their time, prioritize efficiency, and seek inspiration from the best to elevate their skills.

    Casual Players: Prioritize exploration and the overall experience. They dabble in various activities without necessarily seeking perfection, focusing primarily on the enjoyment of the game and social interactions.

    Time Spent: A Misleading Indicator

    The number of hours spent in an MMORPG is a poor indicator of expertise. 200 hours invested in meticulously optimizing a character and strategies far outweigh 2000 hours spent aimlessly wandering the virtual world. While casual playstyles have their value, time spent is not a measure of expertise.

    Intention and Goals: The True Measures

    The true measures of a player's journey lie in their intentions and goals. Approaching the game with a clear purpose and a desire for progression is the key to a fulfilling experience.

    Personal Experience: Expertise and Diversity

    In my own experience with World of Warcraft, I developed expertise in a specific class and type of content. However, replicating this performance with a different class or role would prove challenging, as each requires a distinct set of knowledge and skills.

    Expertise: The Fusion of Knowledge and Experience

    Expertise is not merely the accumulation of knowledge; it's the fusion of knowledge and experience. One can amass countless hours of theoretical understanding without ever putting it into practice. True expertise lies in the harmonious blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

    Expertise AND Casual : A Boon to the Community

    Ashes of Creation has the potential to champion expertise and specialization. By fostering interdependence, it can create a rich and dynamic ecosystem where each player contributes unique value, enriching the collective experience. But Casual gameplay can also be rewarding in his own way, having no goal can be a goal. And a game should be a game and not necessarily a job.

    Conclusion: A World of Diverse Approaches

    Expertise, while not mandatory, can elevate the MMORPG experience, offering both personal satisfaction and community contribution. Ashes of Creation holds the promise of fostering this diversity of approaches, crafting a world where collaboration, mutual support but also rivalry and greed are the cornerstones of progression.
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    Well ther are no weapon restrictions and if it is viable to change to different weapons then that puts skill cap and the high end. I have seen long bow and short bow and lets say there are other projectiles weapons like for rangers that is. Switching weapons all the time is like it own mini game and yes this goes for all classes. Depends and how much of an incentive there is to switcfh weapons. As far as rangers are concerned well already have marks and ability to imbue ammo but these mini games could be replaced by more skill base minigame.

    Tanks might decide they do not need a shield so goes to two handed weapon at end of fight to kill last mob.
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    griffithgriffith Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG?
    Time invested in an mmorpg can vary greatly between person to person to achieve "expert" level gameplay. I've seen some people invest 1000s of hours into a game and not be very good, but some maybe a couple hundred but they're a force to be reckoned with.
    If something like gear score plays a huge role then players who are dumping 1000s of hours will typically be the more powerful players, but I don't think that should be incentivized.
    If combat and trade skills are complex and require skill then those who are leading more healthy balanced lifestyles tend to be the expert players.

    What are the differences between an expert player versus a casual player - time commitment, skill, and game knowledge?
    Expert player: Good amount of time commited, high skill level and technical knowledge that would be hard to obtain from simply following a class guide. Game knowledge is acquired from other players as well as their own discoveries.

    Casual players: Time commited to some or most daily/weekly activities and moderate skill level. Plays when they want to, so no commitment to "the grind". May or may not have in depth game knowledge depending on their interests.

    Then their is noob players which are just new players unsure if they want to stick around. Great for the games long-term health and expert players should be incentivised to help them out.

    "Expert" and "Casual" can be subjective terms. What does being an expert or a casual mean to you?
    Similar answer as those above. Experts just know more and are more capable either due to time invested or just being more skilled. Casual players are those who play on a leisurely schedule and may or may not be skilled. They'll stick around as long as the game doesn't change too much from what drew them in as they likely have nothing other than friends and the fun aspects keeping them playing.

    What are the differences you see in casual vs expert-level play on a day-to-day basis in your favorite MMORPGs?
    Casual do what they can when they can day-to-day for dailies and might not be bothered if they can't complete some daily/weekly.
    Expert players are efficient and will make sure all daily/weekly activities are complete as well as their own self-set dailies are done.

    Is total time spent in an MMORPG an important factor to you?
    Not really. I think players should be able to set their own limits and not fall too far behind those who are within a reasonable range of other players. Obviously those who are investing 8-16 hours a day should be able to
    progress much faster than players investing 1-2 a day.
    Although I do believe it should hard cap at some point where the players who have invested a cumulative amount of time played should be able to compete with others later in the games life. This should not be obtainable within a year or two from start day if someone is playing 1-2 hours a day.

    Do you feel you're an expert in some MMORPGs or systems within them, but not in others? If so, please explain :)
    Of course you can be an expert in one system but not another as that's a big part of how the human species became so successful. Some people are excellent farmers and some are excellent programmers, but often the two skills won't be in the same person and the game should follow that design.
    I personally have fallen off and would not be considered an expert in any MMORPG, but that's due to my own time investments in other areas of life.
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    "Expert" and "Casual" can be subjective terms. What does being an expert or a casual mean to you?
    A true expert is a person who has the time to make gaming like a second nature, and who also has the skillset to really take advantage of the time spend in order to catapult that person to the very top of the ladder. A true expert is a person whos life revolves around the game; vacations, free-time, scheduling and so on are all done based on the game and the true experts will go to great lengths to keep gaming as a part of their daily schedule no matter what. It takes a great deal of dedication, willpower and real passion to become an expert (and that applies to every aspect in life, not just gaming.).

    A casual player is a player who lacks one of the two; skills or time. Maybe it's a former expert who's life has changed in way where gaming can no longer be as big a part of their lives and now they just play for fun and whenever they have time. They'll fit gaming into those random spots of their daily lives where time and want aligns. It can also be a person who, like the expert, lives and breathes for the game, but unlike the expert simply can not make the most of their time spent and are forced to play the game at a "mid-tier" level at best due to a lack of skill, understanding or both. Regardless, a casual player is someone who enjoys the game whenever they play, but for whatever reason they're not willing/able to make the same "sacrifice" required to become an expert.

    How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG?
    This is perhabs harder to answer, since you could argue that expertise = time x skill. I know that it's perhabs hard to quantify "skill", but it is common knowledge that people are not alike, and the way they spent their time is not alike. You have people who play 8 hours of League of Legends a day and never make it past Silver, and you have people who can play perhabs 1-3 games a day and be consistent in Platinum/Master... I don't think it's unfair to expect the very best to use 5+ hours a day...

    What are the differences you see in casual vs expert-level play on a day-to-day basis in your favorite MMORPGs?
    It might be hard to spot visually in game, due to sheer vast-ness of MMORPG games, but if you really took your time to look into it, I think it would be very clear: A casual player logs on, on a whim. Time and want has aligned for them, and they're looking for a good time. They might not have any agenda with their playing - they just want to sit and game for a while, and they'll go online, browse the field, and then decide on what they want to do. An expert player on the other hand almost always logs on with a purpose. They have a schedule for a vast array of daily chores to be done online, and they know how to get it done in a timely maner. It is almost like going into a fitness gym and seeing a buff guy blasting through a very carefully planed workout schedule vs. the guy in cotton slacks and metallica T-shirt who just randomly roams around the lifting machines; they are both there to workout, but one of them lives for it and really knows how to get the most out of his time, and the other just want a good time while doing it.

    Is total time spent in an MMORPG an important factor to you?
    Total time spent is perhabs the biggest factor of anything. Time is our most precious ressource as a person, and in order to want to spent it online you should feel rewarded for that time. MMORPGs has previously had a tendency to have an exponential yield in regards to time spent, meaning that 30 minuttes spent would perhabs only be worth 5 % of 3 hours spent - even though it should be 16 % if the yield was linear. As a casual player, it is very important for me to not feel "left behind" or totally "run over" by other players. Don't get me wrong, I fully back the sentiment that not everything should be for everyone, and it's awesome to feel awestruck about a player flying over you on a huge dragon or wielding some big legendary weapon or something like that - but there still has to be content for you to enjoy no matter the amount of time you're able to put into the game. You could perhabs phrase it like this; The majority of content should be available within the time limits of the majority of players :wink:

    Do you feel you're an expert in some MMORPGs or systems within them, but not in others? If so, please explain :)
    Oh, this one is very easy - caus' I do not feel like an expert in any sort of way :smiley: I consider myself a casual gamer, with the occasional moments of soft-core-ness. I've been playing MMORPGs for nearly 20 years now, and I've done some awesome "soft-core" achivements playing World of Warcraft (killing the Lich King when he was live, clearing naxxramas in classic WoW, having one or two "ahead of the curve" achivements here and there) but I'm by no means an expert. In fact, I've had the dis-pleasure of having too many of my friends be experts, and whenever we played together it was great fun at the beginning, but when we came to the point where my skills became insufficient their drive to keep on had me quit playing for long periods of time :wink: so, no, I'm not an expert at gaming myself but I know enough about gaming and the people who ARE experts to know what it takes :smile:
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    PawketsPawkets Member
    "Expert" and "Casual" can be subjective terms. What does being an expert or a casual mean to you?

    Some people can invest copious amounts of time into a game but still aren't an expert in the game. I think a game should actually appeal to the casual player, someone who has a couple hours a day or week to play does the log on farm while drinking their morning coffee, they may need to do a quick house chore while doing the auto run trek to their next quest location and may come back to a corpse where mobs had ended them or safely come back to running into a tree. I would think in Ashes, you won't truly have "game experts" rather you will have experts within only a small portion of the game they have been able to hone their skills within.

    This is good for both style of players. There is too much content for even the sweatiest player to be an expert in everything there is but they have the ability to try to. I don't think someone could be a true caravan escort/route expert while simultaneously being able to be an expert in crafting or naval or raiding.

    What are the differences you see in casual vs expert-level play on a day-to-day basis in your favorite MMORPGs?

    I think either casual or expert your time you invest into the game should be valuable and feel purposeful. I don't think that casuals should be gate-kept from being able to experience the same content as the "sweaty players". I think of New Worlds pvp for territories or castle sieges, you selected a number of people to compete in these and if you were a normal tree chopper you probably wouldn't be selected. It would be nice to see every players loops have participation in all the content in some sort of manor. If you've played the video game "Fat Princess" I think that New World could have actually incorporated pve tree choppers in castle sieges where the loop for them was to go gain resources and reinforce the walls for the defense.

    Is total time spent in an MMORPG an important factor to you?

    I am a strange player when it comes to this question, as a teacher I play Mon-Fri as a fairly casual player during the school year. And play far more than most people should play games on the weekends and summertime. I don't think time commitment should be something important for people to enjoy playing the games they like, or maintaining their status in the game.

    Do you feel you're an expert in some MMORPGs or systems within them, but not in others? If so, please explain :)

    I raided with a high tier raiding guild in classic wow while also excelling within pvp achievements. I invested a large amount of time into the game to understand and know information that others did not. As it sits right now looking at Ashes I feel there will be too much information for me to achieve my personal goals I will be going for (I will be a processing grandmaster and will need to own a freehold which will be a chore to achieve) as this will be one of my primary goals I feel it will take a great while to fully understand all the ends and outs of other things such as end game raiding and composition.
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    MicoMico Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited March 22
    dallasrt wrote: »
    From reading the comments, there is a realization of that those terms mean such a difference to every player on a singular level. Personally, I would consider myself a casual player. I want to be able to come into the game, have fun. Whatever that might be, and not feel like it is a second job. Trying to balance that with those whom I would consider hardcore (someone who is on every day for a minimum of 6 hours) is not easy. I do understand that if you want the best items you have to "work" for it or take the time to create it. Finding that balance between "casual" and "hardcore" IMHO is a chasm

    This is exactly why making each level an achievement and not easily given is really important. FFXI I truly feel did it best. With the fact that you could De-level when you die, along with the slow grind to each level, each individual level was just as important and fun as those right before the cap level.

    With a slow leveling process, having important spells and abilities that are at a certain level, also brings so much more value to those skills and spells. It gives players something to look forward to and work towards during the journey to the cap level.
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    ghostxxghostxx Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Dev Discussion - Time Dedication

    How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG? What are the differences between an expert player versus a casual player - time commitment, skill, and game knowledge?

    What exactly are you trying to figure out here? Development-wise. What's the point of this question? Or, which system(s) are you unsure of how to implement that you need this answered? I am not trying to be facetious here, I genuinely don't understand the purpose of this Dev Discussion, so please clarify if you can @Vaknar :smile:

    The point is for us to have a conversation about time dedication ;) What defines being an expert in something in an MMORPG? Do you feel you're an expert in some MMORPGs or systems within them, but not in others? If so, please explain :)

    I was confused by the Dev question as well. I don't believe time in game makes you an "expert" in anything. Having more time to do something but doing it really inefficiently isn't as good as having less time but doing it more efficiently. So I'll answer what I think the spirit of the question is referring to.

    I plan on becoming a blacksmith and I plan on dedicating most of my time to this craft. I would expect that by spending most of my time enhancing my skills, doing what I need to improve my competency as a blacksmith, and improving my mastery levels of being a blacksmith (assuming that I am learning about my craft and not just clicking things randomly), that I should be more of an expert than someone who's focus isn't purely focused on being a blacksmith.

    If the process to improve from a common blacksmith to say a grandmaster is just a matter of "time" then I think that is a mistake. I'd prefer to have my skills tested as a blacksmith in order to improve my status. That to me is a better system to define an expert vs casual player.
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    As many people have posted I too believe the question is fundamentally flawed. One thing not frequently mentioned is the "casual" player with thousands of hours logged in chatting in the guild hall doing nothing. Time is not a good measure of expertise for any MMO as you don't know where the player has spent that time unless you know them.

    "Experts" on the other hand can often be people who simply became obsessed with a game/class/mechanic and spent short, but extremely intensive hours, learning as much about the topic as possible. MMOs can be exceedingly complex environments and still have a new player come in with outside knowledge from previous games or real world experience that translates, and poof you have an expert.

    So, what makes an expert?
    The ability to translate knowledge and experience into real gains within the game.

    The difference between an expert and casual player?
    The exact same answer - The ability to translate knowledge and experience into real gains within the game.

    The time investment is a meaningless number quantifying nothing. Each person's capability to translate time into expertise differs radically for an infinite number of reasons.
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    edited March 29
    I think it depends on the area of expertise you're referring to. In general, if you're talking about someone becoming an expert in in-game mechanics or just the game knowledge in general, I think 1000-2000 hours depending on the depth of the in-game mechanics of the game. And for a game like Ashes that has a vast number of intricate details and systems, it might take a bit longer.

    However, if you're referring to being an expert in a particular area of expertise within the game, it depends on the areas of interest of the individual and also their skill levels in general. I have seen a lot of veterans of MMOs(primarily PVP MMOs) that have put in thousands of hours and are still bad at combat or have a bad game sense etc. So, I don't think 'time' is a good metric to measure someone's level of expertise in those cases.

    I would rather categorize players as 'Dedicated' players and 'Casuals'. Essentially dedicated players are those who truly enjoy the game, are active and keep up with patches and metas and spend a good amount of time on a regular basis and in general really hope for the success of the game vs casuals are those who might play the game for a little bit, might enjoy it but take a break for a little or a longer while and come back later if there's any huge update to the game or big news etc.
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    PiriPiriPiriPiri Member
    edited March 29

    Leveling to max taking 60-100 hours is fine, so long as players aren't made to feel rushed to reach max level to obtain powers you get at end game. At launch, raids and end game crating should be locked out for a reasonable amount of time to allow the average player to reach end game at a fair pace.

    There needs to be a slowing point after you reach max level where you can just go into cruise control and enjoy the game at your own pace. Someone that has a 9 to 5 job with kids should be able to keep pace with people that are playing the game 24/7. About 12 hours is what should be expected to be put into an MMO each week to gain the maximum amount of player power you can obtain, and that should probably lower over time as the major patch nears its' end. Player Power: anything that increases the power of your character, whether that be levels, talent points, gear, etc. When a new major patch drops, maybe it takes 15-20 hours a week to meet that max player power threshold and then it lowers over time again.

    There need to be weekly caps on things to discourage endless grinding, which leads to very negative mental states and addiction. Some of those weekly caps can be something like how many times you can do a raid or dungeon each week. Introducing special currencies required for crafting gear that have a cap on how many you can obtain each week so that people that grind all day can't just buy and craft the best gear in the game. Essentially all of the Best in Slot gear should be locked behind a raid or crafting system that limits how much they can get each week. It's fine if Pre-Best in slot or progression gear is grind-able or purchasable.

    An Expert player is someone that will be doing everything they can to obtain maximum player power and to obtain all the knowledge that is available about the game or their class. If you let them grind endlessly to gain power, they will, which can lead to more casual players being unhappy when they see that they are contributing far less in battle. I'm an Expert player that does content like WoW raiding, wiping 400+ times on that hardest bosses and all the prep that comes with what's expected of that difficulty bracket. I have gotten into pretty bad MMO addictions primarily because of how a game was designed. Games like Black Desert Online have no limits on how much player power you can obtain, leading to very degenerate grinding. Games like WoW or FF14 have hard weekly caps for both crafting and raids, limiting your chances of loot from each raid boss to once per week, but allowing you to do the raid as many times as you like.

    A Casual player is someone that plays the game just for fun at a leisurely pace and does not intend to do the hardest content or be the top guild on the server. These people tend to just like gathering/crafting, exploring the world, dressing up their house and tend to not use boss guides. The vast majority of MMO players are casual, so don't sleep on their needs.
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    "Expert" and "Casual" can be subjective terms. What does being an expert or a casual mean to you?
    Personally I find the measurement of time to become an expert an issue because every player requires a different amount of time for them to get better at something. Some players can instantly pick up strategies and employ them while others will not understand said methods until far later. If time as a measurement is removed, what measures being an expert? I would say knowledge of the game to a mechanical degree not on the surface level with the capability of employing said knowledge. Example could be Apex Legends, a battle royal where experts are know how to exploit the in game movement techniques to go far, but most wouldn't know the game could do said mechanics.

    If we translate that to an MMO I would expect an expert to know the best gear, the best loot spots, how to optimize quests, crafting, and more. The time to learn these things are subjective to each player. But the amount of time it SHOULD take I would argue is not thousands of hours. I believe the information to make an expert should be relatively easy to acquire, but the ability to use the information should be the hard to master aspect of being an expert.

    What are the differences you see in casual vs expert-level play on a day-to-day basis in your favorite MMORPGs?
    An example I can give for casual VS experts is WoW, with its many issues. The spectrum of casual to expert in WoW is not often thought of to its full extent, because the "experts" are usually the vocal minority for change in the game. The true casual player of WoW is the hard worker who comes home and does a couple quests, maybe an average dungeon or two and LFR in their three hours of freetime before going to sleep. They take their time and enjoy the game with no regard to the higher mechanics of the game, they just play it for fun when they can.

    In comparison the "expert" players can range from people who play low level mythic + to high end Mythic raiders. They are people who care about stats, strategies, raid mechanics, and more. Even though most are not true experts, they aren't really the true casual players of WoW either. The truly casual players are the ones most people forget about.

    Is total time spent in an MMORPG an important factor to you?
    Yes, and no. I expect the time I spend in an MMO to be respected and not to be forced to play hours on end to get what I really want. I expect if I put in 40 hours to push for a goal in the game I can get it or make very decent progress, But I don't want someone with 1000 hours in a game to have an impossible lead than someone with 200. A large lead, but not one that someone cant bridge within a week with some effort. Because time happens, life happens. We cant play the game we love all the time and I would rather the game value the time we have and choose to spend on it rather than punishing us for the time we didnt.
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    Please make it so someone with a full time job can still play and progress and not feel so behind.
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    bigepeenbigepeen Member
    Not sure about number of hours, but it needs to be easy to learn but difficult to master.

    It's better to be complex enough at endgame where it feels like you can always improve or find new ways to do something. In other words, err on the side of Path of Exile instead of New World in terms of complexity. Otherwise, people will get bored with not being able to potentially improve their playstyle and character.

    Also, I like the idea of contributing to nodes, and seeing progression in the world beyond yourself. I think this will help casual players who don't have much time, as they feel like they are still a part of building their node. They can still contribute, and maybe do tasks that aren't even mechanically difficult, but still feel like they are actually contributing to the changes they see around them.
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    Tahiti02Tahiti02 Member
    I personally want time dedication to be on the high end. The entire point of MMORPG's is long term progression of your character, and unlocking rare and hard to get items, abilities, experiences. I'm a casual gamer at this point due to life, but I can commit 2ish hours per day. I don't expect to be able to achieve everything in the game....AND THATS FINE! Its what made me enjoy WoW back in the day. I knew I would never get Naxx Tier 3 gear, but the fact that some dedicated players got it, made it amazing even for me.
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    AszkalonAszkalon Member
    Vaknar wrote: »
    How much time do you think someone should invest in order to become an expert at an MMORPG? What are the differences between an expert player versus a casual player - time commitment, skill, and game knowledge?

    The "Content" of MMO's is so different out there. I bet some MMO's are designed that One can learn in a single Month all about all the Classes, Races, ingame Area's, Items and Mechanics, ingame Lore and Content.

    Others i can imagine can take up to half a Year, to learn everything that most Players deem important.

    And i assume in a Game like " Ashes " - > it is probably easily half a Year or above, even when someone would invest several Hours a Day into the Game, on a Basis of Five Days out of Seven every single Week. ;)

    Not only will the ingame World be absolutely huge,
    there are also 64 "Variations" of Classes, due to the Second-Subclass System with the Archetypes. It is so incredibly refreshing and new in many Way that someone can always experiences something unexpected to happen - especially from other Players.

    Long Story short - i don't expect most Players to learn "Everything" about the World of Verra in under half a Year, after they started to play. ;) Like : even the most insane Fanatics or "No-Lifers" (lol) would need easily Three to Four Months or above.

    And even then they will still be able to get surprised massively here and there, on a probably regular Basis.
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