Blizzcon has begun, and with it a whole slew of information about exciting tidbits to expect in the coming months. Warlords of Draenor was confirmed, complete with 10 more levels, new zones, player-housing, new raids, zones, and the ability to make one of your existing or new characters instantly level 90 with a handy boost.
I feel mixed about this. On one hand, some players really love having an instant max level character. It makes sense, when you have friends to play with that you want the quickest way to connect with them and be able to catch up easily without burdening your friends. Letting someone have a level 90 character without requiring the 1-90 leveling process is probably the most simplest solution to this problem. But generally, Blizzard don’t choose the easiest of solutions. I think that’s why I’m feeling a bit disappointed with this.
In EverQuest II, I received my instant level 85 and immediately didn’t want to play it. Without any context about the journey that got me there, without any real history to that character, I really have no attachment to it and therefore no desire to play it. MMORPGs for me aren’t just about playing with friends. There is an even more important part of them for me that involves my character’s journey, growing and learning as I go. Even if I’ve played the game to max level dozens of times before, I don’t want to start right at the end. I find the leveling process to be enjoyable, even if I say things like “I need to hurry up and level so I can get to level 90 as fast as possible!”. When I did Recruit-A-Friend and got a free level 80(?) character, I never even played it. I already knew how to play a Druid, so it wasn’t that I didn’t understand how to play. I just didn’t have any connection to her and didn’t think it was important to continue her story at all.
Ideally, I wanted mentoring to be announced today. I want my friends to be able to change their level to any lower level that they want, so they can do content with me. This would unlock people playing together, more use of old world content, the ability for ‘progression guilds’ to exist more easily. This was the true solution that I was hoping for. And maybe it’s still coming in the future — I really hope so. Until then, I still feel a bit disappointed with this.
Will I make a level 90 instantly in WoD? Of course I will. But I can’t imagine myself actually playing it long-term. I reserve the right to change my mind about this later, but for right now I’m not interested in it.