I'm going to attempt to refine an idea I brought up in a different thread regarding the current state of alt levelling, and how I think it could change for the better. There are calls from some to eliminate the alt levelling grind altogether, whereas others insist it's a valid and enjoyable part of the game, or that to eliminate it would diminish the achievement of having several level capped toons. Broadly speaking, I fall in the middle of all this. I do think alt levelling is a worthwhile pursuit that should remain, but I also think that once the novel parts of the grind are expended (pretty quickly) it is way too long and basically unfun.
What if WoW embraced alt levelling as a gameplay medium a little more consciously? Actually they have to a certain extent; accountwide mounts and achievements definitely plays to enhancing and adding value to alt levelling. So do Heirlooms. But what else could really make alt levelling a *enjoyable* thing to do- something that doesn't chew all your time on long monotonous grinds through content you've ground and reground before?
Alt levelling dailies.
I got the idea for alt levelling dailies by accident- I levelled a 'loomed toon up to 80, at which point his 'looms stopped working. Combined, the slower levelling with the drastically 'longer' levels resulted in a harp drop in the rate of progress, and a temporary loss of interest on my part. Rather than finish the job, I went to level other toons decked out in heirlooms. However, the lvl 80 toon was high enough level to be doing argent tournament; each day I would log in, farm champion seals, and work towards cool mounts and pets I hadn't yet earned. When I finally came back this level 80 toon to bring him up to lvl 90, he had earned a bunch of mounts and was now sitting pretty at level 86. Sweet!
My idea takes this happy accident and formally shapes it into the game. My proposal is as follows:
1) Once you reach level cap and get the level cap achievement, Blizz sends you a complimentary heirloom trinket in the mail along with an invitation to roll an alt and enjoy new-game-plus (henceforth NGP) mode. You only get this once, when you earn the achievement.
2) Starting zones are basically tutorials, I think that upon talking to the very first noobtrainer/quest giver in NGP mode, you see a new dialogue option to skip the starting experience and advance straight to level 10 ("You look like you've got a bit of experience already, why don't you head on over to Razor Hill now, they need heroes like you"). 10 levels sounds like a lot, but it's not really- you're saving the player about an hour of remedial playtime (not much different to giving them a dozen or so honor or justice), and letting them skip right to the part where they pick their spec and really start levelling.
3) Alt levelling dailies. Every Zone has questing hubs, in NGP mode unlock 3 new dailies in each zone. They are mutually exclusive; doing all three in Durotar means the dailies are no longer offered in the Northern Barrens (or anywhere else). These dailies payout generously in experience. With more than 70 zones to be levelled through, this would scale pretty rapidly into an impractically huge task. Accordingly, to keep the scope of this suggestion restrained, these dailies are actually just templates superimposed onto each zone, mostly not unique quests. The three daily types are as follows:
I.The Scavenger Hunt.
The scavenger hunt works a bit like 'where in the world is Carmen Sandiago'. Basically the Player is given clues to find 5 items, NPCs, or locations of interest within the zone. Speedy completion is rewarded with bonus rewards; a quest buff is added at 100 stacks, and steadily sheds stacks until it is at zero- with bonus rewards based on how many stacks are left (This not only rewards players who are lore savvy, good at solving clues, and familiar with the world- but disincentivises tabbing out and searching the internet for solutions).
The 5 checkpoints of the scavenger hunt are selected at random from a pool of 20. If a player does this daily in the same zone enough to have successfully found all 20 of the possible checkpoints in that zone, then they get an account wide achievement for doing so. If they get all such achievements for every zone in the world, they get a sweet 'inspector' title.
The point of this daily is to introduce players to interesting tidbits, hidden gems, and cool locations they might have missed in the world.
II.The Boss kill
The Boss kill offers up one of three unique, level appropriate, elite boss mobs at random for the player to kill. The Boss is challenging, and presumes heirlooms.
If a player kills all three of the available bosses via this daily quest, they get an account-wide achievement. If they get all achievements like this for all zones, they get a sweet title (can't think of what, actually).
The point of this daily is to provide the challenge a lot of people feel is lacking during levelling, especially when playing in heirlooms.
III.The lore update.
The lore update is my compromise between lore fans ongoing requests for updates to old zones, and Blizzard's insistence that workload of doing so is such that it means less, higher-value, end-game content. In lore update levelling dailies, the players play through a single quest in that zone which provides some update to the current (i.e. as of the current xpac) goings-on therein. Each xpac these quests would need to be updated.
If a player does all of these lore update dailies in all zones of a continent, they get an account-wide achievement. If they get all such achievements, they get an xpac-relevant title, and access to a gnomish time dilator which allows them to change the xpac setting on these lore update daily quests- so they can go back and do past lore updates.
The point of this daily is to provide lore fans with a fine selection of current developments in different zones without forcing them to read some book, or forcing Blizz to invest loads of time and money in actually 're-doing' the zone.
4) an Alt levelling faction with rep and currency. Not only will the Alt levelling dailies will payout generously in experience, they'll give reputation and faction currency for a unique Horde/Alliance alt-levelling faction. The factional quartermaster will have cool mounts, pets, vanity items, and heirlooms (both PvP and PVE) for sale.
For the average player, and alt-levelling new game plus mode like this would mean you could passively level an alt at a steady rate simply by logging in and doing several dailies, whilst also earning cool new rewards, getting fresh lore, and being introduced to hidden gems in Azeroth you might've missed. For the powerleveller, regular xp grinding isn't off the table, this just works alongside that offering a nice boost each day, nice rewards, and a way to earn more heirlooms whilst levelling.
As far as pacing goes, if each quest equated to a level up, then doing your levelling dailies and your levelling dailies only would equate to roughly a month before you were 85 and ready for MoP. If powerlevelling to 85 took you a week, doing these dailies each of the seven days would mean 21 'freebie' levels in total- taking a substantial slice out of your grind to the top. I'm speaking generally here- a levelup per quest wouldn't be as appropriate for BC, Wrath and Cata levels as it is for Vanilla. You get the idea, though.
I'd be keen to hear your thoughts on this; criticism, feedback, and so on.
---------- Post added 2013-05-08 at 05:16 PM ----------
Just had an extra idea for a daily levelling quest which would stimulate novel and interesting playthrough of old WoW content. A skill quest, not unlike the DMF. The crafting quest asks you to craft a level appropriate item, from an unusual level appropriate material which drops from a specific mob in the zone (deviate scales, for example). The gathering version would again be similar to DMF with a level appropriate skill prerequisite.
The point being to get some old school irrelevant crafting happening again.