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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: May 1st 2008 3:39PM (Unverified) said

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Not a comment on the article but the related picture of a woman levelling her hedges with a power trimmer (a power-leveller) was a great pun, nice find!

Posted: May 1st 2008 4:42PM (Unverified) said

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I think no. 1 and 2 reasons are extremely valid. That's how the 'atypical' player is allowed to play and enjoy the game too. The atypical player meaning everybody outside of high school and college students who have more time on their hands.

Posted: May 1st 2008 5:11PM (Unverified) said

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....and 3 months later after raiding your butt off suddenly your password doesn't work and your character is missing :D Happens to a huge number of people, most aren't willing to admit they payed to level so how are they going to get there account back? They don't, unless there willing to go onto the leveling companies sister site and buy there toon back at eBay prices. Had two guildies (husband and wife) get scammed like that recently. they wanted to play with the rest of there friends but new baby didn't allow for leveling the old fashion way. Now there out the money they paid for the leveling, both there accounts, and about 4 months of time in kara. The cant call blizzard cause....well then theyd just get banned

Posted: May 1st 2008 5:20PM (Unverified) said

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Exactly. This practice could be totally acceptable by Blizzard and the community, but this kind of fraud would still be rampant. How do you know a service is faithful? There are any number of complex, recursive, socially deviant scams that can part you with your password, and once they have it, you're tagged. Game over.

If anything, this is the primary reason I think power levelling should be deterred. There's currently no safe way to 'loan' out your account.
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Posted: May 1st 2008 5:22PM Tanek said

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"1. If ya ain't enjoying it, it ain't a game."
Agreed on this one. That the leveling up part is not fun for everyone, anyway. But, at the same time, maybe that means the game is not right for that particular person. I have friends who play baseball and it looks like they have fun, so it might be nice to join in. I could not play to save my life, though, and don't have the time it takes to practice. It would not be fun. Would it be right, then, to hire a stand-in to play with my friends until they win enough to go against the top teams, when I can replace that stand-in?

"2. Power levelling companies gotta play by the rules, too."
Were this true (and I believe the article is mentioning this as a list of restrictions that would have to be in place for powerleveling to be valid, not claiming it already is, so I'll grant them that much) it might be a more valid point. But right now, there does not seem to be away to make them play by the rules.

"3. There's a splinter in my eye - what about the log in your own?"
I don't see that selling WoW accounts is a "widely accepted practice". Does it happen? Yes. But so does powerleveling now. Does not mean it is widely accepted.

"4. Big Blizzard is watching you."
I'm not sure I even get the point of this one in the article. Blizzard is an evil overlord, so it is ok to break the rules? I might have missed something here.

"5. The lolcat's in the cradle."
Again, I think I missed this one. "If they’re not going to play fair, why should you?" Two wrongs make a right is not going to fly as a valid argument here.

Having said that, do I think there are ways to make the level grind less of a...well, a grind? Sure. And Blizzard has already taken a step in that direction when they reduced the amount of xp needed to get from 20 to 60 and increased the xp granted by quests in that range. Chances are, they will do something similar 60-70 when WotLK has been out a bit. Not only did this make it a faster trip up the level ladder, it did something I think was long overdue. Providing the possibility of more paths up that ladder. More fun to play an alt when you don't have to do all the same quests your main did.

Is this enough? Probably not. But I don't know that 3rd party power levelers are the answer. Not only does it make account security that much harder to maintain (again, unless there are tight restrictions and the powerlevelers have some "temp" way into a person's account, which I don't see happening), it also robs the player of experience (not the xp kind) they will need to really have fun at the top.

I have seen the suggestion before that Blizzard allow someone who has reached the highest level to "unlock" the ability to create alts that don't need to go all the way 1-70. Not necessarily create a level 70 off the bat, but something midway. Or have the alt get access to "leveling quests" that can jump them from 1 to 10, or 20 to 30, or whatever. Some way to cut some out and still have enough time to learn how to play a new class.

Anyway, my reply is getting a bit long (getting?!). I just wanted to spew a few thoughts about the MMOG Philosopher's argument. :)

Posted: May 1st 2008 5:23PM (Unverified) said

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I do like his final point and reminder, about how you can't take it with you.

I have a hard time investing any real serious effort into an MMO character, because it's not actually mine. It belongs to the game. I have to remind myself every time I get attached that if the servers went down tomorrow, I'd have to be able to walk away with no regrets.

Posted: May 1st 2008 6:30PM (Unverified) said

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Look, if Blizzard accepted power leveling, then why would they let the money go to a third party? Why wouldn't Blizzard just accept cash for characters of X level directly?

Besides which, high level characters are only valuable because of their scarcity. If you can pay to level characters, market forces will make high level characters less and less valuable as time goes on. And high level gear; because if you're paying for levels, what's the difference between that and paying for gear?

So what really happens is the artificial value system of the MMO simply evaporates much faster than it normally would. Pretty soon nothing remains of value and nobody cares and people move on.

Blizzard's stance against RMT goods and services is the only one possible if they want their MMO to survive, let alone prosper.

Posted: May 1st 2008 6:52PM (Unverified) said

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Postscript; That was a really stupid article. NONE of his points work.

My rebuttals:
#1) So if he's paying to level up, apparently he doesn't find the early part of the game fun. But if so, why would he find the later part of the game to be any more fun? Not such a compelling argument.

#2) Power leveling companies don't play fair and they never will. What is the incentive to do so? They will do whatever is most monetarily efficient whatever the case.

#3) Selling accounts is not widely accepted. I've never done it; I'm still playing my original account, which has been continuously paid since launch. I'm pretty sure the GM's take this into account when I submit a ticket, because I always seem to get rapid and visible results when I do.

It is the ultimate insult to call someone an "eBayer"; Anyone who purchases leveled accounts is immediately subjected to scorn and ostracization of the worst kind. If this is "widely accepted" I'd like to see something "frowned upon" by the gaming community.

#4) Absolutely irrelevant. This is like saying "I don't own the Monopoly board so it's okay to steal money from the bank when nobody's looking"

#5) Again, absolutely irrelevant. "The game company wants me to play the game so it's okay for me to wreck the system if I can."

Posted: May 2nd 2008 5:13AM (Unverified) said

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Hi there,

thanks for posting my article, Massively! It certainly has sparked some interesting debate. The comments on my blog are now open to anyone, so you don't have to sign in or anything like that anymore.

Look forward to hearing more thoughts from y'all,
The MMOG Philosopher

Posted: May 2nd 2008 12:38PM Angelworks said

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The powerleveling companies do provide a service of sorts - even if you never ever use them. They let me know how much of a grindfest a particular game. For instance leveling a character to level 78 in Lineage 2 apparently will take some Chinese team working around the clock 130+ days to do so.

Posted: May 6th 2008 2:01AM (Unverified) said

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Its just a game, u can do what u want if it's not illegal for the laws of the country. Loads of ppl use cheat codes when they get sick of their game. Don't want to waste ur life playin millions of hours then sure, get someone else to do your dirty work for u! but don't expect as much fun!

great blog btw

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