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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 8:05AM koehler83 said

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The first time or every subsequent time? Obviously there's a big difference between the two.

In Final Fantasy XI, its not uncommon for it to take upwards of the better part of a year to get 75 the first time. Of course since you don't need to reroll a new character every time you want to switch classes, your next job may be 75 in as little as 2 weeks.

In any case, it should be a period of at least several months. By the time you get to endgame, you want players to have in depth experience with all aspects of the game, including the roles of every other class they'll be playing with.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 8:31AM Nadril said

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It depends on the game, personally. I'm fine with anything ranging from taking maybe 3-4 days played to about where maybe 14 days played is my limit. Anything more then that and it turns into more of a grind then anything.

With the emphasis on end game content these days in MMOs the leveling period should not be the main part of the game, but something that acts as almost just a huge ass tutorial. Yes, leveling should still be fun and still is a substancial part but MMOs need to not have leveling as the be-all end-all of the game.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 8:23AM (Unverified) said

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Depends on the game really.

So many people, myself included, say that WoW is all about the end game. The leveling is a side attraction with a few funny or maybe fun quests, but most people spend their time at the end game. So I don't mind if its fast in a game where almost all content focus is at the level cap.

In PVP based games I also like it fast, as I'd rather have everyone max level soon so the fights are very good. Keeping people lower level just means fights are more one sided as lower levels are plowed down by higher levels. Use leveling so that players can learn their character, but get it out of the way fast so the battles can begin.

In a game like LOTRO though, where the quests connect, and a true story can be formed, I think its fine to make leveling take a while. I find LOTRO so fast that I frequently outlevel an area before I finish the story line for that area. In games like LOTRO where the end game is only a couple of instances, and most of the game play is situated in the leveling, I like it to take longer to level so people experience the content.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 8:26AM (Unverified) said

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In the only MMO that I played with addiction, Asheron's Call, you'd have to be absolutely nuts to hit the levelcap within 2 years.

Fortunately there is so much stuff in that game that if you enjoy the story, you'll never be bored.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 8:36AM (Unverified) said

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i'm personally happy with the levelling time.

what prevents me from levelling a 4th 70 is the lack of lower end content. having to do STV or Desolace again is not a desirable thought.

levelled 2 60's pre-TBC, then levelled one of them to 70, and rolled another 2 70's.

furthest i've got with an alt since then is 32 :\

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 8:37AM (Unverified) said

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Some games like AoC where the end game is not fully developed, and there's opportunity for good story telling in the lower levels can benefit from a slower level process, however at some point you get bored with the leveling and wish to skip to end game.

Everyone likes the fast track from time to time, but I agree with other users in that there needs to be sufficient time to learn your class, otherwise you can hold back end game groups from progression.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 9:07AM (Unverified) said

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The question is not how long it takes, but what your doing. I took well over 2 weeks (played) to level my first char in lotro, i did evey single quest, did all the deeds, got as many titles as i could, helped guildys and went to every dungeon run i could find. I had great fun, a really good experience. On the other hand, aoc, yes its shorter, but fact is theres bugger all to do for about half of your leveling time (60-80) you just have to grind, even if you do get there in 3 days played without effort, its boring and tedious most of the way.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 9:10AM (Unverified) said

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Yes, it absolutely should depend on what you're doing. Good point.
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Posted: Aug 7th 2008 9:08AM Crsh said

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If it's well done, I don't mind if it takes 3-6 months, so the level cap is relative to how much content a developer can put out. In WoW for example, there's plenty to get to 60 (back in the vanilla era) and more than enough to get to 70 where you could hit the level cap in one of the two lv68-70 zones and keep the other for gold reward. I haven't followed WotLK news much (I personally am done with playing WoW), I expect Blizzard will stick to the same.

It's not typical though, there have been and still are plenty of grind-centric titles, but it's another play style that caters to those who enjoy that. AoC however doesn't have enough content for their own level cap (80), grinding is necessary but it doesn't feel like it's an intended part of the game. They should have released with a lower cap and added to it as time goes by.

Or adopt another kind of leveling like Eve does it; there's no level to grind, just skills to train that add to your character (there's technically a level cap, as in if you trained up every single skill in game to level 5, but that's virtually impossible and almost certainly pointless). I find that to be a very good variation on the typical character level design.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 10:26AM (Unverified) said

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agreed i would happily spend my whole life grinding through a game to get to max level if it was well done, but its so rare that they are
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Posted: Aug 7th 2008 9:08AM (Unverified) said

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A developer should be able to do what they want concerning the level cap. It might be interesting to release information about time/effort expectations to reach max level. It would have to be an approximation based on a simple formula but it would be cool to see 3mo, 6mo, 1yr, or "pass this account on to your grandchildren" listed on the box :)

Personally, with 1-2 hours per night, 5-6 nights a week I would love to see it take no longer than 3-6 months, but that's just my preference because that's the best I could do these day.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 9:57AM (Unverified) said

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WoW has become so top heavy (all the new stuff and 'fun' stuff is for level 70) that you really want to rush to max level now. Leveling to 60 in vanilla WoW was tedious, but there was a pretty good supply of content to make it enjoyable.

WoW is my first MMO so I can't compare it to anything unfortunately. Looking forward to giving WAR a try though.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 10:28AM SgtBaker said

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Lately I've grown to live the way how EVE does this.
Remove levels and the level cap altogether! Make the game skill based instead of gear based.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 10:29AM SgtBaker said

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grown to like*
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Posted: Aug 7th 2008 12:54PM GenBanks said

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I agree, I'd really love to see that implemented in a fantasy MMO.

In fact, I really wish there were an MMO as deep as Eve but not set in space. Space doesn't really capture my imagination as much as land-based games, even though I like Eve.
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Posted: Aug 7th 2008 10:38AM (Unverified) said

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As others said: I feel it depends on the game. Take Guild Wars for example. In the Factions campaign hitting the level cap of 20 can be easily done in some hours of constant play. But since the focus in GW's PvE is on advancing the story the level of your avatar is not that important. Leveling is more a side-effect.

WoW, however, is a complete different beast, imho. WoW is all about the endgame, imho. And this endgame requires a character to hit the max level. Character progression in WoW is defined by getting better and better gear, which only can be obtained through raiding or arena play. And both sources are part of the endgame.
Furthermore the story telling in WoW lacks big time imho, especially compared to GW which features nice cut-scenes for example.

But I guess it's all a matter of taste. Some players prefer constant character pimping by farming better gear. Other players, like me, like story progression and exploration :-)

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 10:51AM Lethality said

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The problem with this is that developers like the idea of players re-playing their game with alts and whatnot, but know that they will quickly grow tired of the time it takes to level.

If it was up to me, I would create a game where you can benefit more and have more fun by NOT leveling alts, but rather sticking with a main character and progressing it in as many ways as possible.

So the idea would be not to "discourage" alts, but rather "encourage" playing main characters.


Posted: Aug 7th 2008 10:50AM Softserve said

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For me it doesn't really matter because I go my own pace. For example, in LotRO, you can level pretty quickly if you want to... easily a few to several levels in a day if you took the time. But for me, I basically took an entire year to get to 49 lol.

And I'm happy with that. I read all the quests, I check out anything that's been added, I try to get traits, I help people out... a lot of it doesn't actually benefit my level progression and I'm totally fine with that.

So for me personally it's not so cut and dry. I just think it should be a nice curve. I don't want to have to grind to do it, but at the same time, if I do choose to grind I want there to be some impact on my XP that's of value. I don't want it to take forever, but I don't want to advance after two quests either.

A happy middle, I suppose?

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 11:36AM Crsh said

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I admit I was initially turned off by LotR:O's leveling "pace", and that may be because I was spoiled by WoW and didn't think it could be done in another manner. LotR:O has plenty to offer though, it's really grown on me after I gave it a second shot (ie. there was something about it that intrigued me).
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Posted: Aug 7th 2008 11:41AM Durinthal said

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Again I'm siding with games like EVE and DragonRealms. The cap's there, it's just so far away that it's pointless to focus on it.
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