- Constant influx of new content... no running the same content/instances for years on end (hello, sky/dynamis).
That said, I can easily see how those benefits can be turned into negatives by people who favor horizontal progression. But these are certainly benefits for people who like vertical games.
I think a good example of that would be that there is more room for new types of content to be developed in a game with horizontal progression. In a vertical system you have to replace everything every few months. XIV is a good example of that as they have these big patches that they put a lot of effort into, but for the most part it isn't actually new content, it is just a new skin on the same content. Two new dungeons and/or a remake of an old dungeon, all of which have the exact same straight layout with three bosses, a raid either 8-man or 24-man depending on which patch, a bit of story and a primal with a few different difficulties. Every now and then you get a new type of content, like Diadem or w/e, but that isn't actually content that stays relevant unless they keep updating it and since they can't update too many things all the time it is hard to make it have much use for more than a couple of weeks. Also on top of this, you do still have to do old content to get roulette done.
Comparing that to a horizontal system like XI you keep on building on everything which gives you a lot more freedom to build on and develop new types of content.
Like you said I have negatives for every positive you listed and more, but that is how everything is. We all like different things after all.
Anyway, Karlina mentioned that horizontal progression worked so well in XI because of gear swapping and I agree, but I do think there was one other thing that also played a large role. The very thing that Thayos mentioned earlier about content being a lot more flexible in how you could approach it. You could do Dynamis with ten people if you wanted to and it had its perks, but you could also go in with 64(?) people if you wanted to. The same thing applied to a lot of the content to an extent at least and for the most part there were pros and cons to each way like one being faster but you have to split the loot vs slower killing but less people to split loot with etc.
The reason this was so important in my opinion (in regards to horizontal progression) is that people often talk about how it is so much easier to come back and catch up in vertical progression games, but for me that has never been true in the sense that I don't "need" to catch up in a horizontal system. And that isn't because of how horizontal progression itself works, but how most horizontal games I've seen work. In XI I always have things to work for at my own pace when coming back, but I could always participate in endgame even when I didn't have the best gear available. Why? Because for the most part I was just an extra helping hand and not a liability that took someone elses spot for anything. I was just someone more to chat and have fun with. In games like XIV that isn't true and that is mostly why catching up even matters in the first place. Regardless of if a game is vertical or horizontal I think this is a much better way of making content. Edited, Aug 2nd 2016 12:40pm by Belcrono