Psychochild takes Age of Conan to task in his latest Weekend Design Challenge, for what he perceives to be a potential flaw in the game's design: much of the low-level experience, despite being a massively multiplayer title, is essentially a single-player game. He contends that the point of online games is to interact with people in one way or another, but the difference between instances in AoC is literally night and day. Night quests give personal instances that are wholly isolated from other players. This creates a split where daytime quests are multiplayer; night quests are single player. While a benefit is that players can opt for the night quests to take on their own spawns unchallenged by competitors, doesn't this defeat the purpose of AoC even being an MMO title?
"It seems to me that encouraging single-player game play in an online game gives up one of the biggest advantages. And, one of its problems, too, to be fair. But, still, you're still paying a subscription while avoiding the mouth-breathers," Psychochild writes.
He wonders if MMO's should even have a 'single-player mode' -- letting gamers play at a more leisurely pace -- if it can detract from the massively multiplayer aspect of the game experience. Check out the rest of Psychochild's post (where he compares Age of Conan with The Witcher) and weigh in if you think the 'day-and-night' divide improves or diminishes your gameplay.
Couldn't resist: Nightquest.