4 December 2008

A game of two halves

Tobold asked in his latest post: "is levelling in Wrath of the Lich King too fast?"
It's a question I've been wrestling with for a couple of weeks because, while I love instances and am looking forward to raiding in Wrath, I also like questing and solo play.
Less than a month since release, I am level 77. It's almost over for me — and I've been taking my time. I've even spent a good chunk of those last few weeks on alts. One guild mate complained last night that a player he pugged with recently would be seeing raid content before he would — presumably because the rest of us aren't 80 yet. Hurry up already!
I know quests don't stop at 80 — I'm going to have at least three entire zones to explore after I reach the cap — but your focus shifts. Quests become something to do when you're not doing anything else. I would have been very happy if the journey to 80 took twice as long and progressed more naturally through every zone.
It's all relative though. Even if levelling took twice as long, the speeds at which people levelled would be proportionate — you'd still have plenty of people clearing raid content before others had even seen every zone, and there would still be a lot of foot-tapping while guilds waited for players to catch up.
You'll always have that of course — WoW is different things to different people, and that's part of its strength. You don't have to read the quest text and soak up the storyline if you don't want to, and you don't have to get distracted from levelling by things like professions.
So while for me, yes, levelling in Wrath is too fast, that's not really an issue. It's more the fact that levelling and questing is such a distinct and isolated part of the game. For many players, it's a means to an end; the real game only starts when you hit the level cap.
What if 'end game' content wasn't something reserved for the 'end' of your levelling experience? What if raiding was something that unlocked levels and was part of the experience of progressing and improving?
I suppose it would be unworkable. It's hard enough to find mid-level pugs, imagine needing to raid on an alt to progress.
But there's nothing to stop Blizzard adding more raid-related quest chains. Remember the Nightbane quest line? A few of those steps took you into Outland. More of that would be great — with more detailed solo steps — and it might help bring the two aspects of the game a little closer.


Esdras said...

I dont think the quests have been as exciting as TBC by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why people think leveling is so fast in northrend, it must be because the quests are so much better.

The first person from 60-70 took 27 hours, the first from 70-80 was 26 hours. It took me exactly 8 days to get from 60-70 and 14 days to get from 70-80. To me it feel exactly the same speed as the last expansion.

Seeing people rush through the content sucks!, and I think that is whats causing people to feel so rushed. In TBC top end guilds like, nihlium and sk gaming were stuck on nightbane for days and Kara took a long time to clear, even after they cleared it they had only started the 25 man content before the majority of players hit 70.

I dont have a problem with the difficulty of Naxx, it is tons of fun, (got to 4 horseman last night with my guild), but I think blizzard should have atleast made the end end bosses of naxx much much harder.

Anonymous said...

Its only as fast as you want to - My main focused on leveling - Guild is a raiding guild with more raid motivated toons then I ever will be. When I get to level my alts I will have time to quest for fun.

Anonymous said...

"I dont think the quests have been as exciting as TBC by a long shot."

I've actually enjoyed the new quests a lot more. The drop rates have been a lot better and the quests don't have you travelling to the other side of the zone but there were actually some really fun vehicle quests and I found the zones much more enjoyable. TBC just seemed like the same "dig through poop" and "forge camp: clever angry name" in every zone to me.

It took me a week to level from 60-70 and about that to level from 70-80 so IMO it took the same amount of time. The XP increase per level seemed very minimal in WOTLK and even though the overall amount of XP to level was pretty massive you got double and triple the XP you would have gotten in TBC. They can hide it anyway they want to but its really not that different.

I also leveled as fast as possible on my main and will be "enjoying" and soaking in the content with my alt.

kyrilean said...

Personally I agree it was fast and I took my time. I put quest text on slow to force me to read and enjoy. I was still #6 in my guild to hit 80. Took about 2 weeks, but again I played like 6+ hours a day and twice that on weekends.

@Esdras - to each their own I suppose. I didn't play until BC was out and thought BC quests at least if not better than Vanilla were at least closer together. Wrath quests blow them all away!