In Tobold’s post about Class vs. Skill systems he says:
In every jump-and-run game or other single-player game as simple as Tetris, your progress is strictly limited by how good you are at the game. Makes you wonder why that isn’t possible in a massively multiplayer virtual world. Both classes and skill point systems are just crutches that enable the game to give rewards to players for not much, creating a permanent illusion of progress. Obviously that is more popular than reaching the limits of your abilities.
This surprises me as he’s often complained about not having the twitch reflexes needed for PvP. I have often reached the limits of my abilities in computer games and that’s usually when I stop playing the game. I couldn’t spin blocks fast enough to get past a certain level in Tetris. I couldn’t handle more than 2-3 AI opponents in Starcraft. There was no longer the opportunity for incremental improvement – one level was trivial and the next level was beyond my abilities.
I think that WoW has done a good job of allowing for that incremental improvement of your abilities as a player. It’s far from perfect but at least there’s a path for progression. You can look at an encounter and see that you wasted your taunt, or didn’t spin the boss the right way, or missed an add and do better next time. If you’re an average player, you will reach an encounter that is beyond the limits of your abilities, be that Mr. Smite or Algalon in hard mode. Your progress is strictly limited by how good you are at the game
For the best players, they will reach a point where everything is within their abilities. I don’t see why this is a flaw. When Michael Jordan takes 3 point shots, it’s a challenge but well within his abilities. Is basketball broken because of this?
I have a feeling that I’m missing something in Tobold’s argument.