Yesterday, Tesh said;
This is tangential, but when I step back and look at the bigger picture, I am deeply concerned with the “game starts at 70″ mindset. It does not bode well for the long-term viability of the game, especially as it relates to this sort of problem. If the game gets ever more noob-unfriendly, and actually changes substantially at the “endgame”, it’s not going to be something people stick with, or even bother with in the first place.
You’ve got a great point, Tesh.
Frankly, this is the kind of thing, where if Blizzard thought outside the box, they could change things up dramatically.
What are we worried about? What do we already see happening, and expect to only get worse?
More and more, if someone new starts the game, they play level 1 to 70 mostly alone, and hen they hit 70 they join an old established community that expects everyone they meet to have the same experience and knowledge. The early levels are not as alive, as most folks in them are people leveling new alts.
So, how do we entice people to LIVE in the early content and make it their home?
How do we encourage greater activity in the earlier zones?
Well, how about this? They could add 4 brand new classes… but not classes that require a level 70.
Instead, these classes would all be part of a brand new faction… humanoid agents of the Bronze Dragonflight recruited to work behind the scenes, going on new missions woven into the existing game from level 1 to 40, that are intended to repair events that were created by normal azerothean heroes, and are being disrupted by the Black Dragonflight.
The 4 classes would start at level 1, would level up to 40 and cap at 40, with new instances that would require certain rep levels or previous parts of one huge chain to complete, and that could only be entered at ALL by players of the appropriate level.
The quest line could focus on existing quests normal heroes already have done and know well, showing you having to perform tasks taht had to be done before the heroes could do their bit.
I envision things like, your having to foil a plan by the Black Dragonflight where they led Hogger off to a far corner and fed him poisoned corn that put him to sleep so the brave early adventurers would never test themselves against him… so you have a quest to find Hogger, and in the disguise of an attractive female riverpaw gnoll, wake him up and lure him back to the right spot in the woods… just in time for the adventurers to come along and kill him, as had happened in the original events.
If done with the right reverence for the original quest chains, and some imagination, it could lend fresh life and joy to content so many feel is old and tired.
Capping leveling to 40, and giving the classes their own isntances and even raids that only level 40’s or lower could enter, would absolutely bring a vibrant new life to the fray.
And if you added some more useful crafted patterns… those professions you leveled to get stuff at level 70 might find a new use.
A game within the game, an entire lower level tier of content, a shadow organization working behind the scenes, heroes that fight not for glory or honor or riches, but to strive to save the world from breaking apart, and who cannot gain glory for if anyone were to know of them, history would be changed.
I don’t know about you, but I would be very excited to create a new level 1 of a new faction and totally new class that had it’s own quest lines and content that would cap at 40, that I could play some totally new stuff.
Take some of those NPCs and shops in the capital cities that seem to have no real purpose, and add quest lines to reveal that some are hidden agents working behind the scenes, trying to prevent cataclysmic events from happening, all while the regular heroes go about thier business as normal, oblivous, doing great deeds that create the history you are trying to preserve. Watch as they level on to greatness and the 80’s, traveling across worlds while you remain bound to duty, working thanklessly to save the world.
C’mon, screw level 80 raiding, I’d be all over doing the 1 to 40 leveling while looking at the world with new eyes.
Why cap at 40? so that it has no effect on end game raiding or professions, and forces players to enjoy themselves in the mid range areas, doing slightly less great deeds that still feel epic in scope.
You could have twinks from HELL, entire classes of weapons or gear that require ‘Bronze Dragonflight agent’ faction to equip, that would prevent the uber stuff from going past 40.
Ah, I love this vision of a revitalized level 1 to 40 world.