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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 8:06AM (Unverified) said

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It really depends on the level grind IMO. If you can level fast all the way to 500, who cares?
WoW is ok, im glad they didn't add another 10 levels this time as that would of maybe been pushing it. (Also level 90 looks wierd) Maybe the next wow expansion will only add another 5 levels as well.
They should stop at 100 and maybe the expansions could just add more to the game like a new race/class/area. If you get to a good position you could just fill out the rest of the content, a bit like they are doing with catalysm really.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 5:04PM davidarmstrong488 said

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Level 60s are the epic. I'm just saying.

I like the FPS approach to levels: you BEGIN the game effective - you just don't have the bells and whistles.

So a Warlock enters the world with the Imp, Shadow Bolt, Corruption, Curse of Agony, Drain Life, and Fear. That's really all a Warlock is. And then, over the course of leveling, the Warlock gets their other Demons, their other abilities - but the point is, gear aside, a level 1 Warlock ought to be able to step into an instance or raid.

No person would buy an MMO to play with their friends and idly accept not being able to play with their friends, until after the arbitrary amount of time it takes to level up, and then gear up after that.


Levels in MMOs are stupid. I like in STO how with the Miranda class, I can fly with Constitutions. I like that - it means that my buddies can join me in the upper-tier content without having to grind through 5 sectors first.
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Posted: Jan 17th 2010 9:05AM Joshua Przygocki said

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@Kurdaj
I agree, I think levels should be there for SOMETHING, but I also think you should be able to do some of the big stuff early on in the game, Guild Wars kinda works that way, since gear doesn't matter that much and you can basically get to 20 in about 2 or 3 days with EotN it's easy to get into the Vanq's and HM's with a guild early on.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 8:12AM Miffy said

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Straight away because they turn what should be an open world game into this linear path where it becomes top heavy and 90% of the world is useless. Then new players can never get any groups anymore and they have to make the game solo friendly so they can grind alone to end level, when finally they can play with their friends.

Games like SWG Pre CU and EVE Online are the future where there are no levels, you can play with your friends straight away and content is dotted all around so theres never any empty places. The good thing about no leveled content as well is people are doing it all at different times because it's there for the experience and story and not to grind your levels. So theres none of this fetch or kill quests repeated over and over again.

Then maybe then we can finally have Single Player like story in MMOs.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 12:51PM Saker said

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Agree! Get rid of the stupid level/class systems, SKILLS people, SKILLS!
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 3:56PM eyeball2452 said

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Levels provide a smooth progression path for players. Advancement comes at set points in time.

The other side is level capped content where progression is directly dependent upon your ability to find and work with others. This can mean that advancement comes a couple of time in one day and then maybe not for another week no matter how much time you invest.

My only problem with levels is when you're grinding ... killing without purpose except to gain a level. For me, the leveling process tends to be the most fun as long as there's good story content to work through.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 8:20AM lloydv said

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85 levels doesn't quite faze me now, but before Cataclysm was announced it seemed natural that 90 would be the next level cap. It occurred to me then that soon, levels are about to get ungainly as we go into the triple-digits.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 8:35AM (Unverified) said

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I agree with Venekor. It is much more difficult to enjoy a world as a new player working your way up. Too often it is necessary to beg guild mates for help or have a higher level friend group with you. The level cap creates a void and, when raised, starts getting redundant for players striving to cap out again, and again, and again.

Persistent worlds without a level, where RT skill training such as EVE or the old SWG are used are, I think, a step in the right direction. They have their cons, of course, but if the world is designed properly it can allow every player to enjoy all the content of the game regardless of their newbie or veteran status. Expansions become more about creating enjoyable content, fixing features, and releasing new items for use by everyone rather than making all of your gear obsolete and forcing you to grind up again. It's like dangling a carrot on a stick.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 8:40AM (Unverified) said

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There's no problem with the number of levels you can gain in a game, actually. A game capping your character level at 100 isn't necessarily a longer way to play than a game with a cap of 50.

The problem is the system itself. Level based games always need to raise the cap to keep players interested. Raising the cap means adding content on top of the current game and making everything else less rewarding and interesting to players. Adding a lot of things on top also increases the amount of boring grind a new player/twink has to go through, in order to reach the interesting content at the top.

Therefore, developers tweak Experience gains nearly everytime they release an expansion. This decreases the worth of the old content even more.
Actually Add-ons for this type of game don't "add" more content. They just swap the previous top-level content for new one and make old content less rewarding and interesting.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 8:46AM (Unverified) said

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Level 80 seems like a nice number. Nicer than 70 or 90, that is. But I'd say, stop at lvl 100, for it is the nicest of all round numbers.

Though a level cap like 20 is very well possible, Guild Wars proved that. And I believe Champions Online has a cap of 40. Of course, a level-less game like EVE Online shows you don't need a global level indication. In EVE, you can become as good as anyone else in a single area in a short amount of time. It's the broadening of your horizon that the trouble starts; though a one-year-old character can have all of his mining skills up to V, a four-year-old character may also have most of his combat skills up that high. That means both characters will be equally good at mining, but the four-year-old will beat the one-year-old in combat.

Eh. The EVE Online system works for me.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:24AM GenericPerson said

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While I do enjoy both systems, I find the level system makes it harder to bring in new friends with causing the experienced player to start over from scratch. I know I've gotten extremely tired of creating new characters just to play with friends. By the time I reach the top level I'm tired of the game as a whole because I've wasted so much time in content nobody else cares to run.

I find the skill based system works best if you want a few things out of your gaming experience. The role-play ability is there because you aren't going to be running a linear storyline in addition to the entire game being open to you. You can also bring in new players and meet up with them and help them out immediately while working some of the same quests, which you can't do at a top level/low level combo. *And before anyone says yes you can, let me bring up the difficulty, xp and fun factor you lose out on as a level 80 runs you through everything*.

While both are fun the skill based, I feel, provides a better playing experience because you have freedom. While there still may be places you dread going to you still have access to them.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:39AM (Unverified) said

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Raising the level cap gives them a reason to make more money. There are also players who actually like grinding for levels because it gives them something to strive for.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:39AM (Unverified) said

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85 levels for wow isn't too bad, i wouldn't be surprised with a level 85 cap if they either make the 1-70 slog more expedient or even give you the chance to start at level 40. Its blizzard so anythings possible.

As for aion, id cringe if they released an xpac and threw in another 10 or 20 levels on top, a lot of people just couldn't stand the sheer grind of it, Warhammer to its own was kinda the same, the first 20 levels kinda fly on by, then suddenly you feel like your leveling through quicksand there after.

As i said i wont be surprised if blizzard brings something in to help the grind, given there's 2 new races coming with cataclysm they will want the trolls and wolfpacks to be up doing the new content fairly quickly.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:44AM Le Chat Noir said

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Skill based all the way! Also, on a slightly similar subject I think games need to abandon the instancing and opt more for an open world feel.

Warhammer, Aion, EQ2 - every zone was disconnected from the previous because of a loading screen. I've also grown to dislike instanced dungeons, I can and do understand the griefing issued involved with a dungeon that isn't instanced but feel immersiveness it's far more rewarding.

An open seamless world, open dungeons with instanced boss fights (to stop griefing) and skill based, non-linear level progression are the way forward.

It's for these reasons alone that every bit of information I read regarding SW:TOR makes me want to play it less and less. An MMO with 100% voice acting where your group mates get involved in interactive conversations sounds okay in principle - but you have to think, being as scripted as it is that they'll be ALOT of instancing.

Slightly off topic there.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:45AM Miffy said

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Yeah in EVE and SWG both I got friends into the game and I didn't have to make new characters. They were playing with me straight away and just having fun from the get go. However in WoW when you try to get people into it then they lose interest fast because they're playing on their own. If you make a lower level character to play with them, then you quickly become bored cause you done all of it before. Most of the time coming into a new game to play with friends, none of them will bother making a new character anyways so you end up quiting.

I mean I just got my friend into EVE and I'm playing on a character from 2003 and he's having a blast playing with me and theres none of that server selection nightmare than comes with WoW. I mean if you make friends who play WoW then u can bet all of your money that you wont be on the same server.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 11:32AM SgtBaker said

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I'm with you on this.

As an old WoW vet, I have a level 70 char and a couple of lvl 60's from way back - I recently tried to play it for a while to unwind, but realized it was a very lonely grind - all my old friends are of course lvl80 and in various dungeon kits, so it was impossible to play with them without first grinding the levels/gear/rep to catch them.

In EVE on the other hand I can play with anyone as soon as I'm done with the tutorial - granted I'm not going to be super-useful in a 0.0 PvP alliance with my 800k SP and a noob fitted Rifter, but there are no built-in checks that deny my access to 0.0.

Games with levels and artificial built-in gear/reputation checks don't intrest me much anymore.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 12:36PM Eamil said

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Honestly not being able to play with friends easily as a lowbie is one of the things that still annoys me a lot about WoW, and I'm hoping one of these days they'll finally get around to implementing a mentoring/level sync type system. That right there would make things perfect.

When I get friends into WoW I always try to make new characters to play with them but then we can only play them with each other, not by ourselves, which gets frustrating.
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:44AM Cendres said

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I like high numbers in free style games, not in games where end game is king. If your game, WoW, Eq2, Aion, Lineage 2, FFXI, and so on is all about what happens at cap then you shouldn't go crazy with the leveling because people get discouraged and can't see the end. Not to mention that after cap there's still so much more grind, the path to get there shouldn't be ridiculous (L2).

But in a more sandbox game like Ryzom where each branch (melee, craft and magic) is 250 levels each, you'll find people care a LOT less about levels and just enjoy the game. People of varying levels can participate in almost anything because it's about the community and not who's got what.

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 9:56AM (Unverified) said

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220, and then an extra 30, and then...lol

Posted: Jan 16th 2010 11:10AM (Unverified) said

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Someone remembers Anarchy online...

200 Levels.
20 Shadow Levels brings you to 220...
Then, 30 Alien Levels....
Then what, 70 Levels of Research?

Character levels in ao are announced "220/30/70" - I dont see how you can go any further overboard than that.

... now what's nice, is that it works for AO.
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