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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Sep 29th 2008 12:52PM Anatidae said

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I actually find it somewhat sad that levels exist in MMOs.

I get achievements, that is a great game mechanic, but the level system... well, I just don't know about that. There have been plenty of other designs out there that might work better in an MMO environment.

Why sad? Take WoW. There is so much to the game that you miss and just fly by a second time when your leveling. I can't stand leveling anymore in WoW because it just feels so darn lonely. If I wanted a single player game, there are much better ones than an MMO.

I would love to see a big MMO remove leveling from their game and implement other ways of advancement. Actually, micro-level systems are fine. Like the rep grinds, that is leveling just with a faction. Achievements are great too. Earning points to unlock more powers as in Talents is fantastic. Finding better gear can be good if your into that type of game play.

There could even be zone levels. Where you are stronger in a zone because you know the creatures there and their tatics so well, you know the lay of the land giving you an advantage, etc... But when you go into a new zone, your more of a noob again. Great for RvR type game like WAR.

After all, in almost every MMO we race to the end level over a few months then sit there for a few years doing "end game" content. Logically, if a game where designed to be "end game" from the start, wouldn't there be a lot more content to do? Right now there is a lot of content created for leveling, much of which a single character misses. If all that was end-game content, then likely you would eventually visit it with your single character.

Its a thought.

Posted: Sep 29th 2008 2:39PM (Unverified) said

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Hmm, interesting points Brian..

Although, when you mention "zone levels" where you get used to an area and become adept at killing the local beasts, and then move to a new zone where you're a noob again.. Isn't that really pretty much how leveling works as is? Using WoW again, you start out in Shadowglen say, and can then easily conquer the animals. So you move to outer Teldrassil, repeat. And then to Darkshore, and then Ashenvale. All the while you outgrow the "zone level" for that area.

I think the level mechanic (while it can be rather gimpy at times, particularly when it comes to RP), is probably going to continue to be used mainly because it's frankly rather intuitive, it's easy, and it gets the job done.

One thing I'd like to say though in regards to leveling and flying by content to get to the End-game.. It's disservice you're frankly doing to yourself. I see it as similar to a new game coming out, racing to the highest level, and then complaining that there's no one to group with.

But onto the issue of 3x XP, I can see how it might be useful for those that want to join their friends in the upper echelon content, but why throw away 1/2 of the game? There's so much there to see and do, that it's to your benefit to take the grind (although it can certainly be annoying) and enjoy all that was put there for you. My best recomendation is, if you want to rush through the game to play with your friends, then do that; however, come back with an alt, heck even several alts, and play through at your own pace. This way you're getting the best of both worlds: playing with your friends, and also exploring the world to its fullest!

Posted: Sep 29th 2008 3:19PM Jeromai said

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There's a sidelong danger to power-leveling fast. Once you get used to the speed, you can never go back to something slower. Anything worse becomes "boring" and "tedious" and a huge chore. All the content you once enjoyed as content now become a means to an end - XP doling machines of greater or lesser value. It's a headlong race right towards the burnout phase of a game.

Posted: Sep 29th 2008 6:23PM Graill440 said

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Levels, ugh. Glad to see a few admit they dislike levels in an mmo.

i quit wow a little over 4 years ago, had just under a year in playtime, and in that time i simply could not understand how folks can level more than one character.

Just thinking about going through all the mindless quests blizzard has that i went through made me cringe, and then thinking of the folks with 3,4 and more fully leveled toons, (shudder). To each their own though, they pay a monthly fee, they play as they see fit, myself i continue to hunt for that perfect MMO, it is out there lurking, taunting me, but one day, some lucky company will get my dollar, and i will be able to honestly say, this, is a well made game. Just not yet.

what is the perfect mmo? unfortunately they dont pay me enough to give consults. :)

Posted: Sep 30th 2008 8:30AM (Unverified) said

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I know the article centred around WoW, but I had a similar experiance in Guild Wars: Factions.

The game there is designed to rush you through levelling fast enough that you get used to basic gameplay, but it's over so quickly it doesn't become a chore. Of course, the much lower level cap of GW probably has a lot to do with this....

As for levels in an MMO? I am not all out against them, but I do feel that they can create a few huge barriers between the player and "fun". In my brief stint of WoW (only 3 months) I found it increasingly frustrating that I couldn't move on from an area once I'd got bored of it, cause I was usually still too low levelled for the next area.

Maybe games like Darkfall? (with a system like Morrowind, where skill use defines effectiveness of the skill, but FPS gameplay means player skill accounts for a lot) is a good alternative? Maybe the alternative hasn't been developed yet....but I'll be heading to that MMO when it is.

PassingS

Posted: Sep 29th 2008 8:17PM Durinthal said

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"Remember when hitting 60 felt like it meant something?"

Nope. Call me when it takes more than a month for the 24/7 power-levelers to hit a level cap, and then I'll feel like it means something.

Posted: Sep 29th 2008 8:44PM (Unverified) said

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WOW's leveling has always been easymode from day one to present if you ever played past MMO's to compare. The simple fact that you can solo 1-max level is easymode. Go level a character to max level in EQ that requires........wait for it........wait for it......OMFG grouping! Reaching max level in that game was an achievement in itself when that game was in its first years of existence. Todays MMO's with their billion quests to lead you down the magical leveling path is like eating a 5 course meal, desert will eventually arrive if you eat all the courses in order.

EQ's system while not perfect also was a self weeding out system. Almost like a anti noob system. If you got to max level you knew how to play your class, you knew how to group, you knew how to properly interact with others. If you failed at these you did not get groups thus you did not level. Saddly todays MMO's let any 10 year old eventually get to max level and be another annoying noob among noobs.

Anyways I could rant on about todays MMO's but basically WOW's leveling system has and will be a cakewalk.

Posted: Sep 30th 2008 5:43AM Coldbrand said

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Is World of Warcraft ever OFF "easy mode"?

Posted: Sep 30th 2008 9:20AM phobic99 said

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Agreed. The title of this article can be fixed by replacing "on" with "is" to give us:

WoW is easy mode.
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