We all play MMOs in different ways, and I personally tend to play to reach the top. It’s no shock if I tell you the stuff that I dislike in endgames, since I’ve been ranting about those things for nearly a decade now, but the point is that I reach that top end first and foremost. If I describe myself as seriously playing a game, I have doubtlessly reached the level cap, played around with endgame systems, and quite possibly roleplayed at least one or two stories of heartbreaking romantic failure.
Look, I have my hobbies.
The question of the day is whether or not you really need to reach the level cap to know what you like about the game. On the one hand, the top end of any given game is where you’re spending the majority of your time once you get there; I reached the level cap for my main jobs in Final Fantasy XIV a long time ago, and thus my experiences are indicative of the game’s overall offerings with each patch. But you don’t really need to play through several dozen levels in a given game just to get a sense of whether you like it or not; if your first dozen levels in Star Wars: The Old Republic were miserable, the next round isn’t going to get better. So what do you think, dear readers? Do you have to reach the top of an MMO to really understand the game?