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  1. #1

    WoW's leveling system outdated?

    Having played a good few new MMOs the past few years I can't but feel absolute dread at the idea of coming back and having to level in WoW. Even a new expansion would make me cringe purely from thinking I'd have to go through the same old dated leveling system again. Overall I'd say that other recent MMOs have majorly spoiled people and that WoW's system really doesn't live up to standards anymore.

    Do you think that the leveling system in WoW needs upgraded ? Especially with eyes on a new expansion I can't imagine anyone looking forward to yet another 5-10 hours / level through the same old system. WoW's leveling system to me can best be described as: "Kill x random boars, wolves, pirates, murlocs, monkeys, yetis, evil raiders, whatever in every new sub-zone you get sent to." It feels very disjointed and inconsistent, throwing you from one pointless little situation to the next. (Oh no, the catapults need fuel! Oh noes, some monkeys stole some crates! Oh noes, we need to gather some pine-apples for our soup! Oh noes, there are too many boars we must kill some! etc.)

    In comparison lately we've been shown the freedom GW2 leveling allowed, it didn't try to force any specific one task down your throat. Or now recently the Neverwinter or Star Wars leveling system which felt more like a single player story or campaign mode, you leveled by going through a series of very focused storylines, not by having to kill 5 wildlife in every new subzone you got sent to. Best way to describe is by thinking of Half-Life and Bioshock and imagining that you'd have earned your 60 levels while playing through the storyline of those games. Or simply think of a single player RPG where the storyline is the main focus and you generally wouldn't find a series of mini-quests about random crap for every new subzone you'd come across. Imagine the Dragon Age single player storyline being a leveling experience in an MMO.

    I feel that the leveling system they used up until now in MoP simply won't cut it anymore for a new expansion. People are used to much better by now, too many people already moaned how they hated the leveling from 85 to 90 in MoP already.

    Edit: Leveling in MMOs originally started with "grind mobs until you level so you can move on to the next zone". WoW gave us quest-based leveling instead. But that is almost 10 years ago now... things have evolved beyond that point. The current standard of leveling in an mmo is at least at storyline-based leveling right now. And I feel that it doesn't do WoW any good to sticking to their old quest-based model. People who have been spoiled in other newer MMOs will have a hard time swallowing the old quest-based leveling model.
    Last edited by Anarch the Subduer; 2013-05-06 at 09:34 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    I feel that the leveling system they used up until now in MoP simply won't cut it anymore for a new expansion. People are used to much better by now, too many people already moaned how they hated the leveling from 85 to 90 in MoP already.
    People are used to how it is and how it has been for 8 years of world of warcraft. They just cry out for better content and a more engaging experience.

    While other games use a different leveling system e.g. GW2, i don't think blizzard would make such radical changes to their game because the current system is such a large part of the engine.
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  3. #3
    Even though I once was the holder of the "Loremaster" title (DK madness), I never really liked leveling by quests. The zones got old really fast, even after one time you knew most of the quests and how long it would take and which ones you could skip or what part of the woods to avoid or what route to take. It was just boring. I personally think it's time for an upgrade, even though you get xp from battlegrounds and dungeons, it's just not enough. If it's supposed to be an experience, at least make it a little more versatile or fun.

    Compared to GW2, where dynamic events reward you with both xp and karma and money and after that you have your heart-quest-thingys to complete, and your storyline which gives you a great deal of xp and lots of fun - i think blizzard could learn a thing or two. at least about the mob-sharing and group events and some sort of randomness to the zones.

    That's just what I think.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mokoshne View Post
    People are used to how it is and how it has been for 8 years of world of warcraft. They just cry out for better content and a more engaging experience.

    While other games use a different leveling system e.g. GW2, i don't think blizzard would make such radical changes to their game because the current system is such a large part of the engine.
    There is nothing that would stop them from making their leveling experience into a series of mini-quests and endless tiny pointless subzones and turning it more into a streamlined storyline adventure. They could easily tell a story or give an experience like the Dragon Age or Mass Effect single player storylines as the leveling experience instead.
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  5. #5
    Uhm....every MMO RPG is about killing number of X mobs and hiding it between cut scenes doesn't really change much now does it.

    Having played SWTOR I also feel that the questing their is much more tiresome compared to WoW. Individual quest in SWTOR takes ages and the only thing you have to look forward to is couple of class quests.

  6. #6
    They tried that in Cataclysm and many people hated the questing-on-rails approach.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    In comparison lately we've been shown the freedom GW2 leveling allowed, it didn't try to force any specific one task down your throat.
    If there is anything more disjointed, inconsistent and repetitive it's GW2 leveling. Go get 10 apples, go kill 10 centaur, go kill 20 centaur, go kill a centaur boss, go kill 10 centaur, go get 10 apples, escort this dude you don't even know to another farm you don't even know and go get 10 apples there as well. There is no story except your personal one, all the other stuff you do is as random as it can get. Why am I helping every random farmer in every random area again? I'd rather have quests like in WoW, where they actually mean something (if you can bother to read the quest text).

    Or now recently the Neverwinter or Star Wars leveling system which felt more like a single player story or campaign mode, you leveled by going through a series of very focused storylines, not by having to kill 5 wildlife in every new subzone you got sent to.
    I don't know about Neverwinter, but I did level through SWToR and that was nice. The first time... It's a horror the second time, as it's completely the same. No alternatives at all. Of course it's a little different with different races, but I wanted to build a family, so they were all the same race. Also it feels like a single player game, no MMO experience while leveling at all. Even worse then in WoW, where you would at least see some other people every now and then. I did level at launch, so it wasn't a case of 'everyone is already leveled and moved on' either.

    I'd love to know what you really see as an alternative, as both GW2 and SWToR still use questing as WoW does (SWToR also has kill this, collect that, escort him quests). I don't see either as better then WoW's system.

  8. #8
    I think questing in Pandaria was a much better experience than what we had in any other expansion or in vanilla, but I have to agree with you. I mean, the whole reason I liked questing in MoP is because they did a better job of engaging you in the expansion's lore/storyline. I agree they should either take that a step further and give us something like The Old Republic, or go the other direction and give us an experience like the one we get from Guild Wars 2.

    TOR's leveling was great, sure I got to the endgame and had to suffer through buggy dungeons/raids and a gear grind that killed the game for me--but questing was an amazing experience. I honestly think it would be pretty simple to implement TOR's questing model in WoW, though using GW2's would mean they'd only be able to add that to zones from whatever the new expansion is and leave all of the old content as it is. There's just no way they'd be able to change everything, even though it's a shame, because getting lost in GW2's world and just wandering around doing whatever you please and being rewarded for it feels great and--most importantly--fun.

  9. #9
    I don't think there should be a new one. Having tested much, wow's leveling concept definetely comes out on top. Each area has its own, progressing storyline, often from the first quest to the last, and that's how it's supposed to be in my opinion. Further, I think it's just false to assume people like the OTHER (not better) questing concepts more. I've heard plenty of voices saying that after leveling in swtor or gw2, they started to appreciate wow's leveling. People complaining will always be louder than the confident majority.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by think309 View Post
    They tried that in Cataclysm and many people hated the questing-on-rails approach.
    That is because the quests didn't change though. They tried to tell a story but still did it through the same old "kill x mobs" and "gather x items" series of mini-tasks.

    People don't complain about Dragon Age's single player campaigns, or any other single player RPGs storyline. Recent MMOs have implemented this as -the- leveling experience of their game. There is a big difference between feeling you leveled because you did a hundred pointless quests of "killing x mobs" or feeling you leveled because you went through a storyline and finally managed to kill a bad guy.
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  11. #11
    I quit GW2 because I hate leveling there.
    In a MMO I want to feel that I am a very small piece of the world like I am while leveling, I want to feel that I'm discovering a new world that already exists, not that I have a world built for me; also for this I hate the GW2 storyline.

  12. #12
    It's a double-edge sword. If they try to improve their questing/leveling, there wouldn't be enough end game content.
    That was a huge complaint about SW:ToR. It simply didn't have the content at max level but had the leveling.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynck View Post
    I quit GW2 because I hate leveling there.
    In a MMO I want to feel that I am a very small piece of the world like I am while leveling, I want to feel that I'm discovering a new world that already exists, not that I have a world built for me; also for this I hate the GW2 storyline.
    Really? Because I did feel like I was discovering a new world in GW2. You can just wander around discovering things and engaging in all the events that happen all over the place.

    Though I can see how GW2's storyline makes you feel a little too important. I definitely don't like it when I'm told I'm the Grand Master Overlord of Everything, when everyone else playing the game is pretty much the same as me.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Amerissis View Post
    I don't know about Neverwinter, but I did level through SWToR and that was nice. The first time... It's a horror the second time, as it's completely the same. No alternatives at all. Of course it's a little different with different races, but I wanted to build a family, so they were all the same race. Also it feels like a single player game, no MMO experience while leveling at all. Even worse then in WoW, where you would at least see some other people every now and then. I did level at launch, so it wasn't a case of 'everyone is already leveled and moved on' either.

    I'd love to know what you really see as an alternative, as both GW2 and SWToR still use questing as WoW does (SWToR also has kill this, collect that, escort him quests). I don't see either as better then WoW's system.
    Purely for research and experience I'd urge you to check out the new Neverwinter mmo (it's free to play anyway).

    I can understand how it feels frustrating having to go through the same storyline again for every new character, but this is part of gaming evolution in my eyes. Back in the days gameplay was very much killing random mobs that constantly respawned, then they added some things to make this more fun, then eventually finally they managed to really project lineair storylines into their games, much later came branched storylines and dialogue trees.

    I personally get more enjoyment out of my MMO leveling experience being as if I'm going through a storyline like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, instead of feeling like they sent me from subzone to subzone to do a series of mini-tasks that don't really have anything to do with anything.

    Let's give an example of how a leveling experience in NW works:
    - You find out a robbery is going on
    - You run over to find out what is happening, and fight your way through a bunch of bad guys to find out at the end that some thugs are trying to steal the crown
    - They managed to get away with their loot
    - You hunt them down and kill the ones involved one by one
    - You see the storyline of one of them being betrayed at helping you find the others
    - Eventually you overthrow their entire organisation by killing the leader who tried to make himself the new king

    The entire time you basically had a story being told to you and you never felt like you were being sent from pointless little task to the next one trying to kill x mobs of this then x stronger mobs and gather 5 bananas or coconuts or had to go dive to the bottom of the ocean to collect 5 pearls to make a necklace for someone.
    Last edited by Anarch the Subduer; 2013-05-06 at 09:11 AM.
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  15. #15
    GW2? you serious? after a VERY short while as others have pointed out you realise that the questing is f'ing shallow as a legless corgi's balls in a six foot ditch. game is pathetic. they create this fake sandbox experience but you soon realise that you HAVE to only tackle content at your level or you will get owned. i'll stick to the professionals thanks.

  16. #16
    Although the leveling system can get boring and repetitive, trust me when I say you don't want a system like GW2. You get a main story which doesn't give you enough xp to complete it at the proper levels, and so you're forced to wander around aimlessly, hoping to find one of the regularly occurring 'random' events so you can take part and gain xp. Map completion is also important, and so you have to uncover all the areas of the map and complete jumping puzzles for 100% completion and the xp gain you get from it. I much prefer WoW's system, which at least gives you stories and reasons why you're doing things.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteRetro View Post
    GW2? you serious? after a VERY short while as others have pointed out you realise that the questing is f'ing shallow as a legless corgi's balls in a six foot ditch. game is pathetic. they create this fake sandbox experience but you soon realise that you HAVE to only tackle content at your level or you will get owned. i'll stick to the professionals thanks.
    GW2 wasn't the greatest example, because they still tried to make you do pointless little tasks as the typical WoW questing does. Although they did leave you a lot of freedom and choice and they did have dynamic events which just felt really awesome and felt more "mmo"-like than anything in WoW's questing. The dynamic events really brought everyone in a zone together to try and overcome a common goal.

    I think a more storyline focussed leveling experience is definately needed for WoW. People would feel more rewarded from the idea that they went through a storyline and leveled because they managed to "stop a Sha" at the end of a storyline rather than they'd get sent from one "kill x mobs" task to the next "gather x bananas".
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  18. #18
    WoW only needs one more thing.

    Adjustable challenging solo play.

    That way you have a challenge in game difficulty while leveling and the more "difficult" you set the challenge, the better the fun (like adjusted loot etc...).

    Take the MP (0-10) in Diablo3: the higher the difficulty MP, the more chance of getting huge awards.

    Since a few years it CAN be done in WoW, tx to those phasing techniques (mobs having different MP stats for each solo play or... When you group up, you can set the MP group play).

    I would be surprised if Blizzard will not include it in future expansions as you SOLVE 2 problems: solo/group challenge while levelling in a CRZ world...and leveling could be very fun in an adjusted difficulty.

    People would be motivated to group up in an open world, but still could play solo, all with challenges set at their own pace (mp0-mp10) and STILL get awarded accordingly.
    Last edited by BenBos; 2013-05-06 at 09:12 AM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by thromnambular View Post
    Really? Because I did feel like I was discovering a new world in GW2. You can just wander around discovering things and engaging in all the events that happen all over the place.
    I don't know how to explain that, maybe because I always leveled in the wow style and i didn't feel comfortable in GW2.
    Also the rectangular zones made the world a lot more "artificial" and less natural, maybe it's stupid but to me is a big issue, I hate that.

  20. #20
    I don't mind leveling at all in WoW. What I wouldn't mind tho, is whenever you reached X with your first toon - you might (have a choice) get the option of equalling an alt to that level. Would be nice. Perhaps not at the exact level if there is a new expansion. But let's say that you get a toon at level 85. Perhaps with professions aswell to that level. Then again leveling profession is also good for the economy etc.

    And before people say: but you have that with recruiting a friend. Right.. so you get to bump 1 character to 80. And you need someone else to help you with that. Other then that leveling something to 85 isn't hard at all. It just takes time and far less then it used to.

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