Ding Level 80! Instantly. You Win. #WurmOnline #WoW

I couldn’t help but give a little gasp of surprise yesterday (not in a good way). Reading my RSS I discovered that Blizzard has revamped their ‘resurrection’ scroll, you know the item you could send out to recruit your friends to the game. This time 300% experience was not enough, they had to allow those people to instantly move one character to level 80.

Really?

Is that what it has come down to? I don’t want to hear ‘well it’s world of warcraft, what sort of people did you think were playing!’ – because I play the game, and I’ve never in all my time gaming wanted anything like that. What happened to games being about hours of enjoyment and working on a character instead of all of this instant gratification that players seem to be demanding.

It left me feeling incredibly out of the loop, especially with my latest Wurm adventures. I have two premium characters (the cost is so wonderful that I have no issues with this) and I decided that “city” life such as it were, was too ‘easy’ for one of my characters. I packed up her belongings and set out in search of adventure. I found it, too. I’ll be writing about that in a separate post as I didn’t want it cluttered by the rest of the negativity that I’ve mentioned here.

What are your thoughts on instantly leveling up a character? I realize that everyone is entitled to their own method of game play, and it certainly doesn’t affect my way (except there will be a nice influx of people who have no idea how to play a level 80 character) but honestly it’s a method that I can’t even grasp because it’s so far beyond my own realm of personal enjoyment. It honestly baffles me.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    OK, first off let me say that, in general, I agree with you. For me the journey is the destination, and that is why I’ve left WoW behind.

    That having been said, I’ll point out that level 80 isn’t level cap. 85 is. 80 is the end of the prior expansion, and between 80 and 85 all characters are completely re-geared. Most classes were completely re-worked as well, and those of us who went straight from Wrath to Cata had to relearn our rotations, our spell lists, everything. What the Scroll of Resurrection really is is an invitation to take a character directly to the start point of the current expansion, as if he had played the previous one. And going from 80 to 85 really is a bit of an extended tutorial, given how the zones are designed.

    I don’t like the direction. I voted with my feet. But this is completely consistant with the setting they have built, where the journey is a quick short story leading to playing with all your friends in raiding or rated BGs – if that is what Blizzard wants to make as a product, this is a reasonable addition.

  2. When Smokejumper ran the idea of instant level 90s up the flagpole just after he took over EQ2 there was predictable outrage. I didn’t think it was a bad idea, particularly.

    I can’t actually remember without checking how many level 90s I have in EQ2 – I definitely have two on Test and two on Freeport, with several more in the 80s. I have three level 90 crafters, I think. If we had the option to click a button and make a Level 90, I personally wouldn’t use it for Adventuring classes but I would in heartbeat for Crafting classes.

    Once you’ve leveled one EQ2 crafter you’ve leveled them all. Same quests, same grind, no difference at all other than what you actually make. I know of someone in-game who has fifty level 90 crafters. Fifty! I’m struggling to stay awake leveling my fourth. I’d snap SOE’s hand off for any shortcut.

    I have experienced instant max-level adventurers, however, and it’s a miserable experience. SOE have provided them for years for expansion beta testing and stepping into the shoes of an adventure class you have never played and staring at a spellbook stuffed with icons you don’t recognize and AAs you have never heard of is absolutely no fun at all. After a couple of experiments on unfamiliar classes in betas I stuck strictly to the same classes I had already leveled properly when testing.

    If others want to skip the leveling process, good luck to them. I don’t raid – not interested in it. I don’t see why someone who wants only to raid and has no interest in leveling shouldn’t just skip the whole thing.

    That leads me to my actual preferred solution for most MMOs: make leveling and raiding two separate games. Literally.

  3. You knew that eventually one of the major games would give this a try to see how people reacted to it. Personally I disagree with getting so much for nothing, _especially_ for a new recruit. There has always been talk of power leveled characters and how people didn’t know how to play them once they hit that upper limit, which is very valid. You can tell who got their levels honestly and who’s spamming attacks because they have developed no finesse.

    On the other hand, veteran players often cringe at the thought of leveling yet another character to the current cap because you’re retreading a bunch of content you’ve already finished and even in a game like Everquest 2 with years of developed content to play, you find yourself in familiar ruts. Further, this instant leveling allows the game maker to focus exclusively on high-level content where many of the characters are, meaning that the new experiences are available to all and everyone is able to enjoy it (lack of finesse caveat notwithstanding).

    From an in-character perspective taking a look at the world in general, this sort of thing happens all the time with NPCs. A particular area shows NPCs that in general are 70th, 80th, whatever level because they’re born (spawned) that way. So at least it’s internally consistent. What you don’t see are NPCs that die, respawn and come at you again because they didn’t get you the first time. Ha ha.

    My own experience has been solely with EQ2 where I have 7 characters at the adventuring level cap from 6 different classes, only half of which I feel I play well and am ready to play in small or large groups. That is due in large part to the fact that I don’t spend a lot of time playing in general, and specifically because I didn’t play the other classes in groups enough.

    There’s too much soloing going on, but with my (and others’) odd schedule it’s difficult to set aside a particular time to log in and group. Maybe this instant 80 approach will allow people to log in and group doing interesting, fresh content with a large player pool of similar level and skill and several problems are solved at once and retention rates shoot through the roof, as does the enjoyment of everyone involved. <– That's probably the philosophy behind this. We'll see how it actually plays out. The cynic in me sees it as yet another reason for /ragequit.

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