In my other post, I gave some ideas of helping to balance warfronts. Overall, I think the goal of warfronts is to have a fairly even chance to win between the sides.

However, in world pvp and in general gameplay I think it's imperative that you have imbalance and I can explain why.

As opposed to FPS and RTS, MMORPGs have a "building" aspect to them. You build levels, ranks, achievement points. etc. You know all this. It's what makes them unique from other games. Everyone that gravitates towards MMOs likes this particular aspect of growing your character and obtaining something that says "you have arrived, are an elder, experienced player etc."

Some games like DAOC had VERY long building blocks with realm ranks that could take years to achieve but the offset was that as you rose through the ranks, the benefits became less powerful. Powerful but not game changing. You get 70% of the benefit in the first 40% of the levels type thing. Players never complained and it provided a long-term goal, provided a way for "elder" players to have some notoriety and didn't create anything overpowering (well, not too much so).

What happened in Wow and somewhat here is Trion gets worried that if you have tons of Prestige 6 characters and then you have new players or slow players- those lesser players get tired of losing and quit. So you know you have the top 25% of players that are hardcore and go for Prestige 6 fast. Then, after they kill themselves getting it, you loosen up the leveling, building process a bit and let the mainstream players catch up and then you make it SUPER easy for the lower levels. So it takes hard-core players say 40 days to get to P6. It takes mainstream players 30 days and it takes carebears 10 days played. (not literal days, but played time). You can see this in how the new "invite a friend" gives you boosts to leveling etc.

The problem obviously is that elder players get pissed too. You have lessened our achievements. Heck, now I don't have to do Tier 1, 2, 3 GSB in order to have HK equivalent gear? How is that fair to those that spent that time. Flip side is, new players would have to spend FOREVER to get that gear with how few go to Tier 1 now comparatively.

So Trion and Bliizzard look to integrate new with the existing, bonuses to the new and make it hard for the existing.

What they SHOULD be doing is providing more incentives. Consider:
- Mentor - by helping other players I get incentives
- In order to complete quests, I must go back and run lower level dungeons again
- In order to build weapons with crafting, you need lower level weapons - much like the new prestige.

However, you HAVE to create a longer term ladder. Players want to have something to strive for - it's the #1 reason players leave- boredom due to not having any more goals in the game. Everything get's old and todays players are ADD+

Longer term incentives such as
- Titles for longer term goals- such as number of kills
- Mounts for participating in yearly events or a certain number of events.
- Dye colors for obtaining ranks, etc.
This sort of thing.

Next, consider implementing a new system of social interaction that doesn't take away from player combat. A reputation system that lets other players identify you based off actions and creates a social dynamic in the game that doesn't impact a players statistics/pvp/pve abilities but allows players to grow within that frame work. Similar to Facebook "likes" or Twitter "follows" you could have number of "salutes" that players give each other that impact your standing, whether or not you have x number of "initiated attacks on other players".. showing aggressiveness. Similar to UO and other games, the possibilities of a reputation system are endless and create a ton of social interaction with the players.

Consider creating lifelong "abilities" that you get that increase your character 2-5%. Everyone can achieve a new "sprint" ability for 10 seconds, a "sationary" invisibility, a teleport ability" etc. Perhaps let players choose their rewards, again, similar to DAOC. Why reinvent the wheel when it was such a cool system to get points and let you put those extra points in to make yourself slightly better having played for 4 years.

You can't have everyone equal. You need some differences. I don't like the fact that new players can get 800 valor at rank 3. I don't like that they get double experience to prestige 6 when it took me a looooooooong time. However, I understand why they do it.

I just hope that Trion can consider implementing some longer term incentives for different types of players (PVP, PVE, Explorers, collectors, merchants/crafters) that don't make me feel like you are lessening my effort and trivializing my achievements.