Monday, June 22

LOLeveling, wut?!?

I haven't had a lot of time to play WoW of late. Mostly dailies here and there. Playing a lot with guildies who are leveling up or leveling alts. Which is WAY fun! :D I was going to write about some f#$ktard in a Nexas PuG I joined that announced to the group "She can't tank!" But there's been more than enough bitching about idiots like that. How many "Oh I got in a bad PuG, woah is me" posts can I make? One more apparently. Besides, my witty retorte was "I can so, moron!" Drop group.

Not my proudest moment.

So I figured I might as well break down and talk about leveling.


I like leveling.

I know, I know. Weird right?

I like the old world quests. I like the flashy-light poof-ding of a level up. I like having that goal in front of me.

Now it's just too damn fast.

I'm perfectly aware that Blizzard has to provide some boosts. New people to the game aren't going to hang around long if they just want to get to level cap and it takes them three months or more to get there. Of course, current players that want to play at cap certainly aren't going to tolerate that.

Yah, yah. I don't care.

To me, WoW without the long leveling, and all the adventures that go with it, just looses a lot of its charm and experience. Both my new warriors (and every other alt I have), for example, have skipped entire zones! And the zones they are doing, they only get maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the zone done before they grey out. Gah!

The problem with leveling was never really an issue of speed. K, for some people it is. But for many the root of the problem is that old world Azeroth is WAY overdue for a make over.

Blizzard seems to be catching on a bit. Faster leveling through more xp per kill/quest wasn't really the answer. That's just slapping on a bandaid without actually addressing the real problem.

The original quests are designed to a) get you out in the world and b) get you to grind a bit. It's a big world with lots of stuffs that needs killings. You run for 19 days to go to some far away place... then spend 19 more days killing everything there. In the meantime, 19 freaks with exclaimation points over their heads are sending you off to other far away places.

I like the exploration parts. I do like the send you to far away places quests. But it's probably not the best way to go about it anymore. Contrast with Northrend where all the aforementioned needy freaks are in the same themed place and actually seem to be conizant of each other. At least to the point where freak #1 gives you a quest that compliments what freak #2 is doing. You don't get the new ones based on what level you've attained, but rather what you've accomplished for said freaks.

It makes more sense. It makes questing more entertaining.

So why not redo Old Azeroth that way?

The next fix I'd put in is no more free xp just for killing random stuff. Scale it back and add more in-game methods of gaining xp faster for those that want to do that. Heirloom items are a perfect example, but I suspect some players would like more.

Why not have a turn in? Finish a quest, get a token to save up and turn in for either a bit more golds/silvers, a better piece of gear, OR xp. The quest rewards for old quests are mostly horrible. Take a page from Outland and Northrend and provide a way to get better stuffs while you level. It's more fun.

(On a side note: please please please add something like the old gear upgrade quests to Northrend. I know they were a pain. I know they were hard. But for those of us that don't raid... well, throw us a bone here. Doesn't have to be uber-stuff. Just unique and powerful enough to make it worthwhile! Something that's not a daily grind, very hard and lengthy to get and is two ilevels below the current raid with new quests to upgrade that stuff when new raids come out. Wouldn't be terribly difficult and getting cap'd casuals back into Outland and old Azeroth for some of the chains would be a blast. Oh and let us upgrade our rep gear through the same epic journey/quest process! please?)

The horse upgrade is brillant. It's what I mean when I say Blizz is finally getting it, as far their millions of casual players go. At least partially. Do you have any idea how much better and more fun Duskwood is when you can ride?!? Yes! No this does not make it "easier," per se. Well, in a way it does, but I don't count more fun and less of a drag as being "easier." Your mileage may vary. But yeah For The Pony!

Add more optional xp gains, as well. Why can't lower level crafters make xp gear? I mean there's zero market for their wares as it is, why not create one? Enchant Weapon Street Smart Brilliance: Grants 2% XP bonus, with a chance on hit to give +5% xp bonus for 1 minute, on use grants 10% xp bonus for 10 minutes with a 2 hour cooldown. I'd buy something like that at level 40. yah.

Reworking the old world would, of course, be a major undertaking. But it's one I think Blizzard/Activiaion would see HUGE dividends in more players playing more.

Make it fun and easy, guys. Make two or three changes/additions a week (or even a month) and let players hunt them down.

"What?!? There's a daily level 30-40 PvP quest in Hillsbrad now? No there's not! Wait.. yes there is! How cool is that?!?"

"No there's no goblin teleporter to the Southern Barrens from Crossroads, noob! You just have to run. What?!? Wait... WTF?!? Where'd that come from?"

A bet there's a billion fun little improvements Blizzard could make to the Old World. If done a bit at a time it would be more than doable.

The problem, as I see it, isn't leveling itself ... it's that the leveling hasn't kept up with the players. You don't need to make it easier. You just need to make it more interesting and entertaining. There's a difference.



  1. That's a pretty good read. You make some interesting suggestions, and I believe you're right when you say leveling needs to be more interesting instead of easy, and the quests needs to be more like in Northrend.

    The challenge is to make leveling fast for those who've already done it once, without discouraging new players. The idea of XP bonuses is intriguing, and could help in this aspect. The hero class can be seen as a part of Blizzards solution, and I think Blizzard said that may include more of those.

  2. Hiya and thank you for stoppin' in! :D Your blog is linked! I love the social aspect of WoW, even if I mostly bitch about it. :)

    I like the Hero class concept a lot, actually. DK wasn't for me (I'll get around to her someday). More I think about it, though, that seems more like a leg up for people that don't want to level, and less about leveling itself, per se. Yah, I see a difference. :D

    You're right that Blizz is balancing the need for capped players to level alts and new players getting a great experience. I'm just thinkin' that maybe that's not the way to go, or even necessary, over the long term.

    If they could find a way to make leveling from 1-80 more varied and interesting, they'd solve a lot of the problem they're trying to fix by balancing the needs of different types of players. It's harder to do that way, but in the end, they make a amazing game even more so.

    For example, one of the biggest problems WoW faces is that the player-base of each server is now spread over 80 levels. If you speed up leveling you continually pile more and more players per server at the level cap end of the game. So you focus everything on that aspect of the game, and they end up with massive content for raiders and a bit for more casual players (albeit more than previously) and that's where every body goes (or is going). The other stuff they've already worked so hard on gets left behind.

    That creates this endless cycle of subscribers coming and going as Blizz relies on new level cap content to please the players.

    I just don't see that as healthy for WoW, nor do I see it as necessary. Maybe it's the way it has to be for technical or resource reasons, of course. But to make WoW better, it's not necessarily the best way to go about it.

    Take Dustwallow Marsh and Theramore. One the most overlooked but best improvements to the game they've ever done. And there's so much more that could be done there and elsewhere, not just revamping old quests.

    Blah! I'm rambling again. :) Thanks again for stopping in!