One of the key things that keep us gamers enthralled in some of the best games in the market, is the content. Whether it is introduced from the beginning or added after launch, the quality of the content often dictated the direction of the game in the future.
Content good for consumption
Games that had lived long lives had cycled through various content throughout their days, MMORPGs, in particular, had a few games that survived at least a decade with a respectable player base (looking at you World of Warcraft). Other games that still maintained a solid longevity would include games with a well-built PVP system such as Starcraft 1 and Smash Bros. Melee.
Each of those games had one of the two things going for them that helped them maintained a healthy player base. The first factor is a constant stream of new content. Games like World of Warcraft and Maplestory still maintained the new content of all kinds. It could be something simple as a new dungeon or questline to a complete overhaul or expansion that offers several hours worth of replayable challenges.
The second factor is a very strong PVP community. Admittedly, I never played these games competitively when it comes to the PVP content. However, you cannot deny that these games still managed to stand the test of time. On occasion, there will be balance changes to keep the game ‘fresh’ or shift the meta, but nevertheless, it kept the community interested in the game itself.
The quality of the content is important here and sometimes developers miss the mark when it comes to introducing an element to their game. A lot of MMORPGs have suffered a loss in players due to certain content that simply isn’t player friendly. Games like Black Desert Online had a bit of a reputation among some MMO players that factors like RNG and the poor Return on Investments tend to be one of the factors that lead to annoyance in their community.
For me, one of the biggest factors for me disliking a certain piece of content is when the effort isn’t met with a proper outcome. That isn’t to say getting nothing isn’t a bad thing, but when it is a prolific feature of the game, it’s hard to stay motivated when met with constant failures.
Sometimes, Content doesn’t age well
Developers can do estimates, can make educated ideas on where the game will go, but like us, they are humans. Sometimes an exciting content they release will quickly devolve into irrelevancy where it becomes clutter for the game or some other negative effect along with it.
Let’s take a look at an (in my own words) decrepit game, Atlantica Online. This TBS game had been around since October 2008 and it has a huge amount of content ranging from different battle systems, non-combat content and raids that require up to over 20 players. This is a game that used to have a pretty sizeable community and for all intents and purposes, was quite a unique game at its prime.
However, as time went on, certain content simply didn’t remain relevant. This could be attributed to the fact that the content simply didn’t offer rewards worth the effort, especially when there are other contents that offer more for the same requirements and/or effort. As a result, you see those elements become rather irrelevant and relatively untouched (sometimes ending up as clutter to the game).
Developers often have to consider whether to overhaul that piece or not as it usually takes an exorbitant amount of resources and it wouldn’t be surprising if some people claimed that they basically made a new dungeon, class or map in general.
At the end of the day, sometimes content had to be changed for the good of the game if it is to remain timeless. Games like League of Legends are known for overhauling numerous amounts of their champions due to certain issues it faced (such as bad design in general). What games have you noticed had to change their content a few times?