Hey, guess what?

Tigole in the Beta Forums says that faster leveling (reduced XP requirement per level) from 60 to 70 is intended to go live… they’re just trying to tweak how much faster it’ll be.

Right now, people in the Beta are reporting that it seems like they need 30% less XP per level right now from 60 to 70.

And you already know Death Knights will have their own starting area special to them, in Eastern Plaguelands, starting at level 55.

I played Dark Age of Camelot before WoW came out, and got one character to max level.

How is that relevant? Well, other than the fact I found the game to be drab and boring as sin, they had one unique game mechanic I adored… and hated.

If you had one max level character… you could create alts that started out at level 40. Any class, just pick one and boom! Welcome to 40.

Still had, I believe, 20 levels to go to reach max… you had to get to max once so you knew the basic mechanics, but you had 20 levels to play your new character to learn how it works.

I liked it a LOT. I loved being able to make an alt other than my Druid (yes, my main on DAoC was a Druid… kiss my gaelic butt) and play around with him to figure out how I liked the playstyle… without having to level to 30 to get most of the core abilities first.

The drawbacks?

First, you not only didn’t do all those quests from 1 to 40 for loot, but you didn’t get any rep either. No loot or gear worth talking about (they had some guys you could go to for the ultra basic stuff, but come on), no gold, no rep, nada.

That’s okay, if you want rep, you can focus on the quests that give you what you want and blow through them, right?

 Well, at the time anyway… no. I was unable to take any quest once I leveled past it. At 40, you leveled past a lot.

Those issues don’t affect a Death Knight in WoW, of course. You CAN take quests, and unlike when I leveled a Druid, you get full reputation value for any quest you do now, regardless of it’s level.

However… I think it is a valid complaint to say that we can make a level 55 Death Knight alt and be very, very close to having a high enough level to max two Professions without much leveling effort… or make an alt of any other class and grind like hell for the same result.

It will encourage a LOT of Death Knight alts, if for no other reason than to have a Profession mule. What, want your main to have two crafting Professions to enjoy all the BoP goodies? Why, roll a Death Knight for your gathering mule, of course!

On the other hand… I love leveling through the original content, from different racial starting zones. I have a LOT of level 20 toons. And while I don’t twink the BGs, I DO enjoy knowing that if a friend picks up the game brand new and starts playing, I can make a new alt and level with them to keep them company.

My solution? Allow every person with a level 70 (or 80, or whatever) character to have the OPTION of walking their lower level alt to that character’s racial capital city, and talk to someone there that will allow them to instantly hit level 55, just like the Death Knights start.

I could see a system where you are basically saying that the character was basking in the reflected glory of their higher level spiritual parent, and getting a boost.

Let it be the player’s choice, though, and one that can be made at any time, not just at creation.

What do you think?

More particularly, do you think that all the ‘fast leveling’ changes, the less XP needed from 20+ and the more XP given per quest from 30+ and now the less XP needed from 60+ are more than enough?

Or should there be instant alt gratification?

23 Responses to “Leveling grind? What leveling grind?”
  1. Morthog says:

    I hadn’t heard about this and I have very mixed feelings about yet more leveling speedup.

    The good is : once you have 1 char at 70 (assuming pre- leveling boosts…) you appreciate getting your other chars up there faster..I am doing this to have a dps and healer at 70 personally.

    The bad :…… I’ve seen numerous folks at 70, first main characters there…that hit 70 and go off into the Kara/Heroic food chain, so to speak. These are the folks who did not have to spend the same time questing/gearing up as they leveled up – because the boost took them out of the zones too quickly to ‘finish’ and subsequently end up at 70 in low-mid 60’s gear. It’s not all about the gear – but about the experience, knowledge etc…. such that folks are wiping in Heroics , or just less experiened in general. Heck I learn things every day playing – but I think speeding up leveling is ok …but one needs to be really careful doing so.

    I’d actually like this system to ‘force’ someone to play through the game once the old way – and then allow the newer , faster, better leveling…but that ain’t gonna happen. Granted – it does also allow new friends to the game to ‘catch up’ if they do indeed want to play with their already 70 friends….but again…I have mixed feelings.

    As someone who played EQ for too long it shall not be mentioned, I NEVER could have gone and leveled another character in EQ – because it just took too much time. WoW at least is fun to play at all levels (IMO) – and it’s flexible enough to allow folks to have alts – something which EQ never really pulled off due to much more severe time constaints. (unless you completely gave up your RL….)

  2. Donjio says:

    As an altoholoic, I really like this idea. Rarely do I get another character past level 20 or 30 for that matter. Having the option of doing this would benefit a lot of people and diversify the character base as well.
    I know a lot of people who don’t level alts because of the 1-58 grind, so they’ve got 1, maybe 2 characters total.

  3. Felkan says:

    I agree that if I can get a DK at 55 I ought to be able to get any class at 55.

    Here’s the problem….

    Allowing this could have a drastic affect on server population. See, if I have a lvl 70 toon on PvE server X, I can create a lvl 55 DK on PvP server Y. If they allow any class to start like a DK, we have a poor-man’s PvE to PvP server transfer. I for one, would probably jump at the chance to start a Druid on my RL friend’s PvP server as I can’t transfer my current PvE Druid to his server.

    That said, I fully expect Blizzard to allow any class at lvl 55 once they have “learned” all of the caveats by from their DK experiment. I’m guessing 6-9 months after WotLK is released.

  4. The Alien says:

    I’m generally okay with speeding leveling in the earlier parts of the game. The why? Well, WoW is fun to level up in…so they keep adding more levels. Probably safe to say the next expansion will raise the level cap.

    You don’t want new people on their first characters to face an even longer trip to max level, which is where people start taking you seriously.

    Plus, I am in an entire guild of alt fiends. :)

    I played DAoC as well, my main was about two levels from the maximum when I just stopped played because CoH was more interesting. (Then WoW. Oh, WoW.)

    The problem with the level boost, which as I recall was to one level in most cases, but a higher level if your faction on your server wasn’t doing so well, was that it meant that experienced people no longer existed at the lower levels. So if you remember meeting people when you were low level, learning anything from them…a lot of that went away.

    They later, influenced by stories of WoW’s rest system before WoW came out, had another idea. They put in a system under which when you gained a level, if you hadn’t gained one in more than a week, you gained two levels instead.

    I loved DAoC. I loved ToA. But then, I played on Gaheris(Not at first, but when I came back to the game around the time SI came out) which was the ultimate carebear server.

    Can you imagine a server in WoW where the Alliance and Horde were on the same side, could talk and group together and do each others’ quests?

    In DAoC, for this server type(coop) they had all the keeps in the border areas held by mobs. Your guild could capture one, raise a standard, get stuff…and then eventually mobs came to take it back. Fun stuff.

  5. I think we WILL see auto-leveling of some sort, with 55ish a probable target, but it WON’T be in for the launch of Wrath. Maybe 6-9 months later, the way they overhauled alt leveling in 2.3 for TBC. This is both because of the imbalance to the alt population and because of the increasingly long time from level 1 to the cap. They won’t say anything about this until it goes live for relatively obvious reasons; why discourage people who want to roll new alts under the current system?

    As to the Outland leveling curve, I find it puzzling simply because there is already more content than you need. My most recent alt dinged 70 midway through Blade’s Edge, at which point the quest rewards are in the ~ilvl 100 region. If Northrend opens up at level 68 the way Outland did, players might be skipping nearly half of Outland, and would arrive in Northrend lagging top end level 70 content by a whopping 50+ ilvls (even before you consider that the raid/arena gear is also epic instead of green). That could be a balancing nightmare for the new quests.

  6. dechion says:

    Oddly enough I dropped a suggestion similar to this in the forums a while back. I suggested starting at level 40 as opposed to 55 simply because at 40 you could get your mount (at that time). If I remember correctly I think I suggested the sponsoring character could only sponsor one alt, and would have to pay a hefty (10K gold if I remember correctly) to do so.

    still not a perfect idea, but an idea none the less.

  7. kodysandwich says:

    How about RARE CANDY??? ;) for a gold a piece.

  8. Nathan says:

    I’ve always had “AH,bank and storage” mules, but never thought about the implications for a “profession” mule, but BBB’s right. I hadn’t intended on making a DK, my feral can also tank and melee DPS and I don’t have to mess with my spec to switch between roles. But I might have to make one now just so I don’t have to mess with buying potions, I’ll just make him my herb/alch mule. hmmmm….

  9. Dammerung says:

    I have to say I’m all for it. As long as I have the option to play the lower level game as well.

    For the people who say you need the lower levels to learn your class: Why can’t I be allowed to learn my class at 70? There isn’t really anything special about soloing that helps you learn your class. Most of the times with my alts I just repeat the same two-three abilities over and over. If you are a player with a bad habit you picked up at level 10…then leveling to 70 most likely won’t change that habit…it will simply ingrain it. You start learning your class when that habit -stops- working. Which for the most part is about when you actually get forced to group, ie: level 70.

  10. Rav says:

    I’m not fond of insta-55 after you get a character to max level. It’s easier to learn the ropes by getting 1-2 new spells every few levels.

    @kodysandwich: Gotta catch ‘em all?

  11. Darqsin says:

    Personally, I dont think they should change a thing. I started playing WoW about 4 months before BC came out and had just hit 60 on my first toon (think it took somewhere around 20 days played). Since that time I managed to level 6 more toons to 70 (some pre-quest/xp change). My first 70 was my Shammy which took just over 12 days played and I am now working on a Pally at 49 with about 6 days played time. I am currently around 206 days played across all my toons.

    IMO, everyone should have to level and learn the mechanics of each class and develop a play style. Also, BG’s I think would become even worse with people not knowing how to play a class cuz they just started at level 55 and have no clue. Also, what would happen to the level 1-?? areas and the crafting mats that come from those areas (imagine the cost of those since no one farms them regularly). What happens with professions if you start at a higher level, are you gonna start with a higher profession? <— I’m sure would piss off a lot of enchanters that spent tons of gold leveling.

    DK starting at 55 is different since it is a “Hero” class, but people are still going to have to learn how to play and decide which tree they are going to play and will have less levels to figure it out.

  12. bigbearbutt says:

    Good point on PvE making a 55 PvP server toon. That’s just wrong.

    I just wonder, with this level of feedback, if the whole ‘start at 55′ concept is flawed.

    That point about losing all the experienced players in the early realms once they can skip the 1-55 play… god, that is spot on. That’s EXACTLY what it was like on DAoC.

    I’m sure it won’t be that bad with just DKs on 55, but make it all classes and 1-55 would be a wasteland except for the new players that really need some advice and help. And co-questnig partners.

  13. Awlbiste says:

    Actually I was thinking the thing that would suck most about starting at 55 would be professions. You’d have to go way back to the starting areas to level them (assuming having a gathering profession). Unless there’s a mechanic that starts professions at higher levels I didn’t read about.

  14. Lassirra says:

    This is actually something I’ve been wishing Blizzard would implement for quite a while. To me, the lower levels get boring after the 3rd or 4th time through, no matter how many new little tweaks they add (like the new quests in Duskwallow). Also, often times I feel like the leveling process is just a means to an end. Now, I realize not everyone feels the way I do, which is why I would prefer an optional “auto level” process like you describe. I figure, already having three 70s, chances are that by now I understand how the game works. So, let me start new characters past all the boring crap I’ve done a million times and don’t need or want to see again, but still leave me a ways from the cap to give me a chance to learn the new class.

    I really hope this is something Blizzard will implement at some point, though I kind of doubt it’ll ever happen.

  15. Felkan says:

    @BBB: Good point about the wasteland for noobs. I thought of this feature as a way to keep existing players in the game (making alts but with less time leveling), but at the same time it would undermine development of new players (since very few other players would be around to learn from) at least until they hit lvl 55.

    And with professions, on a PvP server having a bunch of lvl 55 going back to Thousand Needles to farm iron and silver would be a nightmare for the lvl 24 noobs in the same zone. Though if they set professions at ~250 this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But who would buy lowbe mats?

    Ugh!

  16. The Daakster says:

    Feels like a potentially disastrous idea to me. Basically the game would start at 55 for what I am guessing are the majority of players (if not a majority then a very significant number). Anyone who doesn’t get much play time and hasn’t managed a 70 would get totally turned off by the idea of all these people just skipping past them and I bet a lot would just give up and quit.
    – wasteland for new players
    – no one to learn from/play with
    etc

    I like the lower end content, it’s not hard to level and it does give you time to learn your class. But would I still run through that with a new alt if I didn’t have to? I very much doubt it. Insta 55 and nip back and slaughter everything for rep, ruining the fun of any new players ‘Hey, you killed Hogger! I needed him =(‘

    DK is fine, new class new rules. It’s no different to ‘Oh, I can’t get a mount till 60?’ ‘That sucks but I guess those are the rules’

    Just my two penneth =)

  17. Itok says:

    I know we have months before we get our hooves on WOTLK. However, I would like to say that I am all for the possibility of being able to start a new character at level 55. I do not expect a brand new player to have this option only those who already have at least one Character at max level.

    I do not need to steal more pumpkins or collect more Raptor skulls in order to learn the ins and outs of a new character. If Blizzard is requiring a string of quests to help us learn the ropes of playing a Death Knight what would be the objection to having a similar string of quests in relation to the other classes.

    Itok

  18. Nathan says:

    I’m wondering if another implication of this will be a further shortage of caster/healers in the end game raids. Nearly everyone will have a DK alt since it’ll so relatively easy to do and adding that many extra Tank/Melee DPS-ers into the mix without adding any extra caster or healer type’s could mean even more raiding guild will be heavily recruiting those classes.

  19. Rav says:

    The PvE guy making a 55 char on a PvP server is a moot point. Unless you are on a highly active server, most people play the cold war fight on those first “few” levels. And ganking barely happens pre-BC.

    The general mechanics of the game don’t change, but the small details mechanics change from class to class.

    Both sides have valid concerns and excellent arguments in favor and against insta-rising characters.

  20. nefer says:

    I think the utmost interest should be to have fun.
    For me there are two different groups:

    – experienced players with a max level char
    – new players.

    While some players have fun leveling up alts from the beginning, I think the majority likes it 1-2 times. The game mechanics stay the same and tbh playing wow is no rocket science. Ofc there are mechanics that require deeper insight, but learning does not justify leveling for several weeks.

    New players are discouraged because they have to “work” for 2 months until they can play with their friends at max level. As the way becomes longer and longer players may feel shut out from the game.

    To speed up leveling was a nice idea, but there should long have been an option to start at later levels if a char has already max level. I would suggest to set the starting point of all classes to 55 in wotlk and to raise it to 65 in the following addon, adjusting the starting level for new players to lvl 20 or 30 maybe to speed up leveling and keep the players coming.

  21. Schmoo says:

    I think the “learning curve” is a load of bull. The “bad” 70s I’ve played with were simply stupid people…there’s no cure for that.

    Grinding from 1 to 70 doesn’t make you better player than doing it from 60 to 70. The “grind” is all solo anyway, doing XYZ quests to get your loot and XP. I find nothing in the 1-69.99 content that comes even close to the gameplay of being a level 70.

    Personally, I say WoW copies Guild Wars. Once you have a max-level character, you should just be able to make another max-level character. What’s the point of grinding all over again?

    Also, the whole “profession alt” thing is useful for consumables…MAYBE. All of your uber gear from professions is BoP at some point – either the pattern is BoP or the resulting item is. Consider how useful having profession alts is now…I have a 60 Rogue as my bank alt who I levelled Enchanting with just enough to DE…about the only useful thing about having a 60 alt. Basically, having a profession alt is no more imbalancing than having a guildmate make stuff for you with your own mats. As for a “gathering alt”, why would you do that? Your main will likely have epic flight, incredible gear, and be able to go anywhere, do anything, kill anything, and be the best gathering toon you could make, UNLESS you dump a ton of time and cash getting your “alt” to that same level. At that point, you don’t even have an alt, you have a perfectly legit “2nd main” character.

  22. Kinzlayer says:

    Good discussion from both camp for the starting level. I do agree, after leveling my 4th alts to 70, it’s pretty fun to run through the old world. And I also agree that leveling from 1-70 does not teach a person to play their class properly but rather it’s after when they interact with others in BGs, 5-man, 10-man, or 25-man raid; not to say that the person is willing to change their play style even when it is pointed out what they are doing wrong. (I had a lvl 63 pally telling me he did not know what Blessing of Protection was when I told him to BoP the healer and even when the group told him, his response was oh well, I’m not healing so I don’t have to learn to use those spells.)

    I did have a lot of fond memories of struggling through Jintha’alor (prior to those trolls being made non-Elite) with my warlock, or being scared to death in Hillbrads from alliance gankers on my warrior as I turn every corner, or besting a rogue who tried to gank my hunter in Stranglethorn Vale.

  23. Kheldar says:

    i know some people say its nice to level in different starting areas with different classes/races and some people end up levelling on the other side to see what its like to be a horde after being an ally for so long or vice versa.

    unfortunately i’m one of those people who finds it incredibly boring to have to go through all the low level stuff again.

    hence why i have only 1 level 70, my druid which i’ve had since day 1 of wow.

    my only other alt is a 57 mage. and he’s gone through periods of not gaining a single point of XP for 3, 4 or even 6 months. he’s never done an instance that i can remember. and he’s 90% levelled solo. i only use him now for bank alt and he lives in Og to check AH for me.

    i dont believe he will ever see 70 and i cannot even be bothered to take him to outlands as i do not have the time or patience to level him through the 60’s and gear him via 5 mans.

    so for me if i could have started him immediately at 40 or 55 etc it would have been a help and then i may well have decided it was worth levelling him to 70 having saved all the lower level time wasting grind.

    having had my druid for so long and in the past done the raiding thing in 40 mans i’d love to experience some other class types at high level. but i will never do this due to the levelling from 1 to 70 factor and the time it still requires.

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