It seems to be the new trend, having a number ranking system in shooters and other games that usually don't have a rank up system. While it's a great way to reward players by consistently playing and performing well, I feel like the short term instant gratification comes hand in hand with an unfortunate side effect. Are we playing the game because it's fun, or are we playing it just to hit that next level?
I remember dumping endless hours into Halo PC. It had no ranking system or unlocks, it was just fun. The gratification came from winning and outscoring the opponents, and often to absurd degrees. The thing about it was that the reward never changed. You won or you lost, and it was usually fun either way (assuming you didn't choke, horribly). With newer shooters, you play the main game, but it's as if there's a completely different game on top of that, and while the depth of some of these rank up and reward systems is definitely something to be praised, I feel like it detracts from what should be center stage.
So this brings me to my question: will future shooters feel complete without a ranking system? Will we be able to simply play because it is fun or will the game lack the gratification of other shooters?