Let me begin with a little story first.
In 2003, I suppose, I bought a gaming magazine in my town, in which one of the main topics was about World of Warcraft. It was shortly after the release of WC3:TFT and being amazed about it myself I didn't even hesitate about buying this issue.
The article highlighted some of the features in the game, included some speculations and provided some early gameplay screenshots. But there was one particular screenshot and the caption which made me absolutely, truly excited about the game. The picture featured two dwarves by a campfire and a wendigo roaring at them in the background. The caption was: „Two brave dwarves defend themselves against the attack of the wild forest troll” (author of the caption was obviously wrong about the „troll”).
My feelings? I was absolutely hyped. Warcraft was one of my favourite franchises ever and the thought that I could actually live the adventure in third-person-perspective and fight my way through the world with assistance of my courageous and strong friends was truly amazing.
Actually, it never turned out to be like that as everyone knows here. One wendigo has never been a threat to two dwarves at once, but it's not the point.
Why am I even suggesting anything, „what's the point in this topic?” - you may ask.
Well, I'm leveling my n-th alt right now, it's a Dwarf Hunter. I think that some of you may already get a hint at this point. I'm specced Survival and currently I haven't encountered any „hiccups” on my way. Solo leveling is shockingly easy right now, I can pull 10+ mobs at once, bind them to the ground, sting them, net them with Disengage if needed and finish off with autoattacks without any trouble. But it's not the actual case, I'm not here to rant since, surprisingly, I somehow enjoy how smooth it is right now. (Since I wear three heirloom pieces I feel that it's necessary to point out that these are actually not the case. Even with regular white/green pieces you can absolutely dominate everything around you.)
The point is – what if we have friends we want to play with? Ever imagined how it feels like to quest with 4 friends? How a party of 5 people deals with the environment right now? I'll tell you – it's a breeze. The problem is, you can storm through anything without even stopping for a while. No food breaks, no mana crises, no stress at all. Right click at everything! And while some of you may find it much more enjoyable than struggling with strong enemies – there are people who actually could use some challenge.
This is why I think there should be present something like Adventure Mode. I'm not calling myself a visionnaire or inventor of any sort, I'm fairly sure that not once, not twice, but many times had it been thought of behind the development gates. How do I see that?
Let's imagine we have a group of 5 people. Party leader right-clicks his portrait and changes the world mode to Adventure, just like switching Normal/Heroic/Challenge modes in dungeons. The world phases out and replaces the ordinary monsters with stronger, more vicious, ones. The example of such mechanic can be seen in 1st stage of Golden Lotus dailies, where you need to save 15 Pandaren spirits. You use Shao-Tien Spirit Dagger to use the purple portals which phase you to the „shadow realm” with different monsters. It actually is a cancelable buff, but it shows that such mechanic is already present in the game. The point is following - it would actually provide players a choice, whether they want to level through the content normally or they simply want something more from it. It would create the situation when you can't just push the two main buttons, when you actually NEED to use the crowd-control skills obtained already, which, frankly, often just lay unused in Spellbook or get dusty in the bottom right actionbar and are never even looked at.
This way we could actually create the epic experience of leveling together and guarding each other's backs. When the lone wolf can actually be a problem if it joins midfight and starts to gnaw on the healer's leg (imagination, imagination, imagination).
Similar experience? Think Borderlands. 4 people mode is really nasty. „Badass” monsters can be really challenging and frustrating, but the satisfaction of defeating it, that relief and glory... priceless! Bringing it to Azeroth would actually require strategy, positioning, clever usage of traps, stuns, disorienting abilities, etc, etc. I am sure it would encourage many people to come back to leveling and trying out new classes. Right now, you can pretty much choose whatever class you want and level it to the max using 3-4 skills. And then you realize you don't even know how to play the character you just leveled. You wake up with a ton of skills, which you didn't even need to use, unless you played some battlegrounds/dungeons. Whether it's a problem or not – it's arguable, but not the point of this discussion.
P.S. Some of you may say: „Hey, wait a second! You know, in the real world if 5 archers fire one arrow each towards a wolf, it will die as well. What's the problem then?” - the problem is, it's not a real world. Since we need to have a proper progression feeling, we have this 86 level turtle which would absolutely beat the crap out of the 46 level battle ogre. And it's normal. So whether it's the 6 level wolf or 6 level stone golem, their health levels will be the same, so it's not really an argument. Arrows, fireballs will work the same in both situations. The question is – how to make leveling with friends more challenging? How to provide some fresh air for the experienced players, how to remove this feeling of repetition while leveling 8th alt?
What are your views on the topic, mates?