Ashes of Creation
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Can Ashes of Creation Prevent Content Drought?
Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
edited May 2020
It's weird how I'll watch this 10 minute video, but if you just posted the script I would be like "That's way too much text, I'm not reading all that." Probably because of the background images/music, and because I read slow af. I wonder how others feel about it.
Anyways, I'm not really sold on the idea that Nodes will do anything to solve the content drought problem. They still have to make just as much content, and players still have to grind just as much. The only thing different about AoC is that content is metered out by nodes and node progression, rather than through content patches and story progression. The existence of nodes doesn't somehow allow the developers to make content at a faster pace.
If anything it actually makes the content drought problem worse, because Intrepid has to make several times as much content for launch as a normal MMO, but then hide the vast majority of it behind nodes. And much of that content might never get unlocked on a server. (And then I assume they'll do something similar for expansions.)
That's not to say that nodes won't be a huge factor in keeping players interested and playing the game. I just think they help in a different way. They allow for additional long-term goals in the world (node progress and content unlocking, plus geopolitics), and the make a lot of the grinds and repetitive gameplay more meaningful. Instead of grinding for best-in-slot and then having nothing to do with it, in AoC you can continue to farm PvE content to support your node/guild/alliances. The economy as well is supposed to be rife with gold and item sinks (mostly because players will spend a lot to repair and replace their gear regularly).
So even if you've done the 3 dungeons and 1 raid in your node 50 times already, and you have all the gear/mounts/cosmetics that you want from them, you might find it worthwhile to run them another 50 times for the sake of node (or guild) progression and war efforts.
And while this is just a vague thought in my head, I think there might also be some value in letting players choose when they are "done" with content and letting them seek out the next thing at their own pace. Because whenever a player gets bored with a node, they can pack up and travel to a new one at their leisure, rather than waiting for a content patch. Of course, that still leaves the possibility that a player could complete each node's content in a few days, travel around at a rapid pace, and run into the content drought as fast as (or quicker than) normal. Especially solo PvE players who aren't motivated to stick around for node building or wars.
Basically, I don't think the Node system does much to alleviate the typical themepark gameplay cycle, where you complete all the content and then wait for more. But it helps give more meaning and flexibility to the content you choose to grind. And of course it generates some additional sandbox gameplay in the form of politics and PvP, but that's not for everyone.
I think nodes will help content drought when you consider the fact that moving from node to node will have a cooldown so basically you cannot finish the content faster because it's a gated system. Also no-bind items means that it's worthwhile for you to do the same raid/dungeon because you'll be able to sell the loot you get.
Basically if you're more into PvE and that's where you spend most of your time, the game will open up other paths to play, like being a mayor and direct resources into that direction, that will effectively make that PvE time you spend more efficient. This is what I've understood so far as what node system is.
AoC is the first mmo ideas that I really like and given the fact that all these systems where thought out from the get-go, really is saying that there is a high chance that we'll see some other systems being implemented so that content drought will not be a major problem, if the current iterration with node gating is failing.