This blog post is in response to this week’s community topic on WoW Insider, Is Leveling Too Easy?
Regular readers will remember several times in the past I have mentioned that I hate levelling characters. Let’s take a look at my current roster shall we?
Now for me, this is absolutely excellent. I mean I only have two level 90s, but I have three characters at level 85! I have a whopping eight characters over level 70. Now, most of these characters have stagnated, and I’ve taken every shortcut I can.
My priest has been 85 since Cataclysm, and I took advantage of the Scroll of Resurrection on a second account to bump a fresh level 1 straight to 80; After that it was a quick levelling process to 85, where she has stayed ever since.
Before the ban on creating multiple Death Knights, I already had two. When I server transferred I made a Death Knight first on my target realm, and then moved my current Death Knight over, boom, two Death Knights.
In November of 2012 I took advantage of a sale on WoW and bought myself a second account (well it was more like a fourth account, but my other accounts had lapsed). Using this account I used Recruit-a-Friend to power level a Warrior and a Hunter, and let me tell you, I barely did that. I then used the gifted levels to finish off levelling my Monk and bring here to 80 (I brought her the rest of the way to 90 the ol’ fashion way).
My Paladin was my main in Wrath of the Lich King through Cataclysm, so he was my priority through those two expansions. My druid is named after me (well, the screen name I always use) and I’ve always been fond of it. Plus, it was my main when I started Mists of Pandaria.
So clearly I hate levelling, I mean I’ve taken every (legal) shortcut possible while levelling characters. I just don’t have the patience for it, and while it’s been made a lot quicker, it still takes too much time for me. Just bores the living daylight out of me.
But just because something takes a while, doesn’t mean it’s particularly difficult. I mean, you can just run around killing mob after mob and you’ll hit 90. That’s basically all you do. Sure, you can throw things like quests in there, but most quests just involve running around killing specific mobs. Some quests may be difficult, but typically that’s only when you’re under level for that zone, and you can usually skip them if you don’t want to do it.
Apparently a former developer from Blizzard commented that games like WoW are too easy and as of such we only enjoy the endgame content. I would disagree, to me there’s nothing all that fun levelling a character after a while. Sure when you first create a character and you’re getting a new level every 20 minutes and a new spell every 40 it’s pretty fun, but that’s just the new toy effect.
And sure, playing a zone for the first time can be interesting, but once you hit your third or fourth alt, you don’t have much choice except to revisit the content. Sure, the various poop jokes Blizzard has woven into the quest lines in each expansion are still pretty funny every time you do them, but those are the only real bright spots in a campaign of weary repetitiveness.
Now, I’m not saying we should get rid of levelling, because I think it’s important. It forces you to develop a connection with that character, which I think is vital for games like World of Warcraft.
Could the levelling process be made even quicker?
Possibly. I would love if there was some way to skip from level 40 to 80, or even 40 to 70. The later levels of classic WoW and Burning Crusade just really have never done it for me. After levelling a character past 40 I typically stop having fun with it until I hit Northrend. Is that because I’m a Wrath baby? Maybe, I’m no psychologist, I really couldn’t say.
Honestly, I don’t think things have to be hard to be fun. I think having an easy levelling process in a game like World of Warcraft is perfectly fine, I mean, if you’re looking for difficult content, isn’t that what end game content is for?