How will Bungie tackle the replay value / dead zone problem in Destiny?
One of the main problems with MMO's and regular open world RPG's that I have yet to see adequately solved is the one-and-done replay value of certain zones. By that I mean that after questing or farming in a certain zone to get whatever it is you were aiming for, you cease to revisit that zone (unless of course you're simply passing through on your way to another place). This tends to herd players into limited areas (think capital cities in WoW) and foster the mentality of having "cleared" a zone (with players thinking they never have to go back and abandoning the zone entirely - even though it's still there, open for exploration).
Developers have come up with a variety of measures to try to solve this problem, but as I mentioned before, I don't think they have come up a lasting solution. WoW, like many other games, has drop rates on bosses which forces you to farm them in order to get the particular item of your choosing but the negative of this is that you're only there for as long as the percentages work against you. Transmogrification fostered a bit of old content exploration as players attempted to farm instances and raids for specific pieces, but this is something they did by themselves (for the most part) inside of raid or dungeon instances that were separate from the main area. Blizzard also decided to remove some forms of fast traveling (have group will travel) and have talked about limiting mounts in certain areas in order to get players to go out and travel the world again. Other RPG's like Diablo have attempted to solve the replay value issue by using random encounters - that is every time you go into a zone the enemies you come across will be slightly different - but this, in my opinion, gets old quickly. Skyrim had enemies that leveled with you so that no matter what zone you went to the enemies would be roughly on par with you. This provides the adequate challenge but not the actual incentive to go back and play through content you already cleared.
I believe the single biggest issue which will determine this series' success will be how well Bungie navigates the dead zone / replay value problem. In my opinion, the ideal for a game like Destiny would be for all of their zones to be occupied - not just as leveling zones (ex. only level 20 players would use this zone in order to level and then would never go back) but as places where characters of all levels have something to do and work towards; where you could simply walk into any zone and see the entire spectrum of players going about their tasks. Bungie could very easily implement some or all of the above ideas in order to stave off some of the replay value issues, but as I said before none of them really solve it. I'm anxious to see how they approach it.
As for you guys, what are your thoughts? Do you find this to be as big of a problem as I do? Have you noticed other solutions which other games have used which I missed? How do you think Bungie will tackle this issue?
It depends on how the level system works. If levels provide utility rather than power then all worlds could be fair in terms of monster level. This would open the way to have content for anyone anywhere. It's not a perfect solution but it's the best I could think of