A couple of months ago, I saw an interesting topic on Reddit that deserved more love than it got. User RuccFeddit (<3) posted what he suspected was his unpopular opinion: that “newer MMOs have worlds that are sized too big” – but go to waste, unused, as players level up. “There is nothing wrong with having a big world essentially, like in WoW, but that [builds] up over time.”
Personally, I think this is a big problem in older MMOs too, not just newer ones: Any level-based themeparky MMO that sets zones to a specific level but doesn’t introduce scaling or even farming mechanics that make older zones relevant is going to fall prey to this problem, constantly adding new zones on top of the pyramid while the base decays.
On the other hand, that kind of a world – a way-too-big world with gobs and gobs of zones to explore – is unbelievably enticing for new players to the game. What’s past content for existing players is future content to new players. I love that feeling of going into a new game (or even an older game I’ve not been back to for a while) and knowing I have endless territory ahead of me to explore.
Do you think MMO worlds themselves are too bloated and big? Which games suffer the most from this problem?