We Need More Challenge Mode RaidsBy: Zanpakutou posted at Sep 10, 2012 1:09 pm
I just recently read about challenge mode in World of Warcraft and it just reminded me of some stuff about Phantasy Star Universe
The first time I ever saw a challenge mode was in Phantasy Star Online many years ago. You start off with low levels and equipment and you have to complete certain stages with only what you can find. If you complete challenge mode, you can get a custom S-rank weapon that allows you to give it a name, add a special status effect, and upgrade it to very high levels if you can find enough items for it. Few games bother with this because of the difficulty of implementing such a system, but I think that having these challenge features makes the game a lot more interesting. Guild Wars 2 tries to do something like it by capping high level players when they visit low level areas, but it does not feel the same. Neither does the level capped bosses in Final Fantasy XI. It just isn't the same as playing with a weaker character.
World of Warcraft is about to do their own version based on a time attack system. You get standardized equipment and setups and you have to try to beat the raid as fast as possible. The idea behind this is to have equipment not be a factor and everyone is competing based on their skill (though luck such as dodging and criticals can sometimes be a factor). They will reward you if you collect enough medals.
Phantasy Star Universe did something similar, but server wide. Players would work together to achieve certain milestones that would reward all participants and the entire with certain bonuses or items. Players who got a certain numbered kill or the most kills globally would receive bonus rewards. Few MMOs do events on such a massive scale and often only set 2x exp or drop rates for a weekend for their anniversary or during a holiday. It just does not feel the same when some games up it to such a massive scale for players. These big events often bring players back as well and they would not need to release an expansion pack every 6 months to get old players to come back if they were just willing to plan big events like those once in a while.
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