The Daily Grind: What’s the Best Format for an MMO Headstart?

In his retrospective on Lord of the Rings Online For the 15th anniversary, MOP’s Justin wrote a paragraph about a part of the game’s launch that I had completely forgotten.

“But what I do remember – pretty vividly actually – is how the game started. You see, there was a head start for players who pre-ordered, but Turbine did something really interesting for that by capping everyone at a level cap of (wait for it) level 15. In retrospect, this was a brilliant move. It let people get in and start having fun without racing ahead and getting too far ahead of the population of day one.”

I played LOTRO in the beta but I don’t think I played at launch or if I did I certainly don’t remember but I freakin’ love this. I’m sure the people who pre-ordered wanted a bigger “edge” than just being first and getting the best hobbit names, but I just absolutely adore this idea of ​​slowing people down and pre-ordering not let it grow into such a boost that it’s almost like paying to win. Instead, people who pre-ordered could use their time trying out multiple characters instead of charging up the vertical leveling track. And as Justin noted, it also helps keep populations together, much like how progression servers work.

What do you think is the best format for an MMO edge? Have you seen any work better than this?

blankEach morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online role-playing game genre. Grab a mug of your favorite drink and try to answer the question asked in today’s Daily Grind!

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Curtis Crabtree

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