Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Leveling Play Field

Belghast hit on something today I've been contemplating for a bit since the Legion Invasions started. If you've been following him this month, Dear Reader, I am sure you are aware of his progress in getting several characters both leveled and geared solely by running the Invasion content. I am sorely tempted to do the same thing, but two things keep me from doing so.
Tough Girls
One, Scooter is resistant to the idea. We leveled our rogues up about 20 levels and got some great gear along the way, but on our freshly minted 100s (mine a warrior, hers a pally) she has been frustrated by the RNG gods and still doesn't have a Felforged Weapon. Meanwhile I am fully geared with a couple Warforged pieces and a Mace seems to drop for me every other Invasion. If they weren't soulbound, I could share. But the past few trips to Invasion zones have only led to disappointment and frustration for Scooter.

Two, having a raft of 100s is not the reason I returned to World of Warcraft in the first place. I've essentially missed three expansions (due to my own burn-out), and that's a lot of content I am now interested in checking out. It's been long enough that, while I recognize many of the old quests—in slightly modified form—it's more like returning to an old favorite book rather than rehashing content for the umpteenth time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Glow!
I've said it before—just the other day, in fact—that leveling is not as important to me as experiencing the quests and storylines, a major reason I disagree with the "story is bunk" philosophy of MMOs espoused by C.T. Murphy, for example. I agree with Belghast (and Murphy) that Blizzard has left the leveling process a bit disjointed, and Scooter and I have skipped entire zones to get somewhere challenging. But hey, with a little planning, we can get those zones with other characters on a different occasion.

It's not that I don't want to level. If I wanted to do that, I could turn off XP gains while running through a zone. But I wish the leveling were smoother, more in line with the vast amount of content available in WoW.
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  1. I agree. I think the journey is still the purpose of WoW and any other "open world" MMO. Just be because the current development team and/or entrenched audience may have lost sight of that fact doesn't make it not so.

    Then there's the invasions themselves. They're fantastic the first time and fun for a good few runs but they aren't something I would want to do over and over again. I don't think many people would if it wasn't for the huge xp and gear rewards attached. I can stomach about 60-90 minutes and then I've had enough for one day.

    I'm happy to get my Hunter as near to the top as I can with this opportunity. He was 69 when I started and he's now 85. He might make 100 - he'll definitely get to 90. Also my Warlock has made 60 which means flying so that was worth doing. Other than that I'm going to let everyone else go back to leveling the regular way.

    1. I have limited experience with games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, where the emphasis seems to be on progressing through the story rather than simply gaining levels. MMORPGs are an evolution of that single-player experience. There are other MMOGs that are not RPGs, I suppose. I'm sure EQ2 and others have a great balance of roleplaying and "roll" playing, but WoW is one of those that gives me just enough direction without being too linear.

  2. Yeah I had seen neither Pandaria nor WoD, bUT needed to skim both those expacs to get crafting levelled and garrison unlocked. Would like to get an alt to 80 just to pick up at PandarIA as the world design and content looked really enjoyable.

    1. I will need to do that with all those characters I've boosted directly, or through the Invasions. Actually, at least with gathering I believe you can skill up on any node, but if your skill is too low, you'll get items you have to combine to get actual materials (e.g., petals and twigs instead of whole herbs).

  3. I never get the people that play through content as fast as they can just to get to level cap. It's useful if you need a certain class available for raiding, I guess, but otherwise I feel they're just sitting on level cap jobless.

    1. LOL, yeah. I think for many people, like Belghast, the boosting is a way to get alts up to raid readiness while bypassing content they have already done, or that they find boring for other reasons. I can understand that.

      What I've never understood is the mentality that "the Game doesn't really start until end-game." It's a winning is everything approach to a game that should be about cooperation.

  4. Even though I have tons of "instantly boost your character to max level" items in Guild Wars 2 and SWTOR, I don't think I'd use them, as I prefer experiencing level appropriate content for my characters as I progress natually through the story.

    Interestingly, ESO is removing all level-gating and upscaling characters to any zone later this year. Or there are games like The Secret World where there are no player levels, just gear levels. Which do you think works better?

    1. TSW's no-level leveling is an illusion, I think. You can't simply put on the top level gear and run nightmares, even if you have the skills as a player. They did get away from classes with the Ability Wheel, which I love. I also like that quests never go "grey." It's a great game system, I wonder if they might have had more luck with a slightly cheery-er setting.

      ESO's removal of level-gating will be an interesting approach. I know there are more than a few players who think all worlds should be like that.