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Leveling Speed and You!

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Drasas, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Drasas

    Drasas Well-Known Cupcake

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    I'm of the firm belief that the speed of leveling is far more important than current games within the genre have led us to believe. When I first started playing EQ it took forever to level to cap, but I wont bore people with that game because there are like 6 of us still alive who played EQ and many of you have no idea of what it was about. Instead I'll use an example that most of you will be familiar with.

    In Warcraft during Vanilla leveling took a fair amount of time. There were elite group quests and dungeons that you wanted to complete because the xp and the items you got from them were worth something. I remember running SM Library 25 times to get my Hypnotic Blade on my Priest and the sheer joy of finally getting it to drop. I can also remember that I had that dagger for like 2 weeks until I finally managed to get high enough level to get the Charstone Dirk from Maraudon. The speed of leveling and the quality of upgrades that came from dungeons along with the XP made you want to actually do the content. Not to mention all those elite quests we didn't want to pass up because the XP and sometimes rewards were vital to our leveling.

    With the increased leveling speed and the move toward a completely solo experience it devalued the group. People didn't care so much about doing the few group quests because the effort required to complete them was greater than the rewards they gave. Dungeons suffered a similar fate because upgrades were kept for way shorter periods of time as you burned through levels at blistering speeds. With the release of heirlooms the majority of leveling dungeon items were now worthless. Who wanted to run a dungeon multiple times for an item they were going to replace within a few hours of actual gameplay. What need was there to group up with others when all it did was slow your XP per hour and make every gathering quest ten times more annoying and tedious.

    Another major factor the slower leveling speed had on community is that there were always new players reaching cap and starting those dungeon crawls for their blue set and there were guilds taking part in every single tier. With current Warcraft people rush through the already too fast leveling content and dive into the content. Those who come late or are generally trying to enjoy the new quests/areas get left in the dust. Who the hell wanted to grind heroic dungeons and naturally work through progression when you could just cheat through the content with crafted PVP gear or the cheater "welfare epic 5-mans" such as Frozen Halls or Hour of Twilight dungeons. People are so focused on immediate gratification and their I-level that they've forgotten why the items are as powerful as they are. What good is any lore within the raids if people are going to skip the tiers because they can get equivalent shinies for almost no effort. When people can fly through your leveling process the only real achievement within the game is your capped content. Getting to level 20 was a big deal in Warcraft. It likely meant that you were serious about a toon you were leveling. Let's not even go into detail about the trek to 40 and how we started getting real stingy with our gold as we approached that milestone. How many people complained of a lack of things to do in Vanilla Warcraft? There was always something to do and there were always people at your level working their way through the quests or dungeons that you wanted to do.

    This may come off like the ranting of an old man prattling off about walking ten miles in the snow uphill both ways to get to capped content and epics, but it's really something that the genre has lost. I think the genre is worse off because of how fast and easy the leveling process is. Just reading the Warcraft forums I'm reminded of a fantastic quote from the movie Hook...
    Thoughts?
    Mizpah, Reeve, Rai and 6 others like this.
  2. Bellaby

    Bellaby Well-Known Cupcake

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    I remember playing Rift when it first launched, and THAT felt like a good pace, I think it took like a month for me to hit cap, and I was trying pretty hard! (Water Rifts were so cool!)
    I remember feeling super triumphant when I got a character to 60 in Vanilla WoW, but truth be told, times have changed.
    There are more games to play, and the percentage of hardcore players is dwindling, people aren't looking for a time sink anymore, they just wanna play with their friends, or they just wanna put an hour in after work while supper is cooking. Sure there are a fair number of people that can handle longer gaming sessions, but the vast majority are what you would call, "casual". I personally used to spend most of my days frolicking about with my school friends in Azeroth. We used to even race characters to level cap, even up until Cataclysm, we'd just delete them after, like it was nothing.

    But after college I spend most of my time writing music and doing grown-up stuff, so I finally see "MMO-time" from the other side.

    I love an epic adventure as much as the next Aurin, but if I can't get to cap in 3 or so weeks playing 15 hours a week, then I'll probably get frustrated with the game. (Guild Wars 2...)

    And that's my 2 space-cents!
    Críostóir likes this.
  3. Semafoor

    Semafoor New Cupcake

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    I've been trying to figure out why I long so much to the old days. Back then, playing SWG preCU, I remember often doing Nightsisters on Dathomir, hoping that a high DoT weapon would drop (yes, this example is end-game as SWG had end-game).
    Some time later, playing WoW I still remember "having to complete" certain quests because the rewarded equipment was so much better compared to the one I currently had. When I finally had it, I could also notice the difference when slaying similar mobs just 5 minutes back.
    I lost that feeling playing SWToR and GW2... upgrades improved my Toon, yes, but the differences were hardly noticable.

    Didn't the developers already explain something about the leveling curve? I Think I read somewhere that they had two types of leveling curves:
    • "staircase", such as SWG and WoW: a gear upgrade during leveling ment a noticable improvement, but you'd stick to that piece for a couple of weeks.
    • "smooth", such as SWToR and GW@: gear upgrades during leveling was a slight, hardly noticable upgrade, and within a few hours you'd replace it with a slightly better again.
    Dont remember what they planned for Wildstar ...

    ps.
    I also know that not everything back then was great.
  4. Bellaby

    Bellaby Well-Known Cupcake

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    SWTOR was a pain in the tush for me, I could never manage to gear both myself AND my companion while levelling, unless we wore the same stuff and the companion got hand-medowns, or if I spent a considerable amount of time crafting.
  5. Celtkhan

    Celtkhan Well-Known Cupcake

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    I played City of Heroes for YEARS without reaching level cap. I never cared because the game was fun at every level. I think I'd get bored with a game where you can cap out in less than 45 hours of play. As a matter of fact, I know I would; that's a major reason I quit WoW after Cata. All the quests felt like they were funnelling you down a chute to endgame. If you're going to make endgame the WHOLE game, then just give me a powelevel button that starts me at 60. Anything else just feels like wasting my time. It's too fast to enjoy exploring and questing, too slow to feel like anything but grinding ( if I can pound out 3 levels in a day, but I have to get to 60 to start playing, then I have to flush a month to START the game).

    Wildstar is a new game, with a new world and new rules. If it takes me less than 2 months to cap, I'll be disappointed. That's ignoring my altitis; factor that in, and it should be an easy 3-4 months before I need to worry about Elder Game.
  6. Lethality

    Lethality "That" Cupcake

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    Most games are desinged these days with the cap in mind, because that's where most players will spend their time between expansions and such. It would be nice to have a perpetual journey, wether there was a level attached to it or not, but there will naturally be a "pause" where the player base catches up to each other. I don't think that's a bad thing.

    And with the way Carbine is talking about the elder game stuff, it seems they are planning for it being that place everyone gets to and spends the most time, no matter their play style.

    I like the idea of a long leveling process, or one where the level itself doesn't even matter, but it's going to take a real break from the theme park idea for someone to give that a whirl.
    Malisent likes this.
  7. Riamu

    Riamu Cupcake

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    I was talking to a friend about this, I honestly think that leveling will take no longer than 70-100 hours to reach cap. If this is the case people will be cap level within in the first week.
  8. Praiz

    Praiz Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think a new game, bar exploits, should take the most hardcore about 2 weeks to get max level. I feel that's a nice time frame. I think being max level within the first week of a game's release is a bit much.
  9. Riamu

    Riamu Cupcake

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    I know it should take longer, though I've had friends do it on RIFT, SWTOR and GW2; though it would be nice. I can't really see WildStar being any different.

    When Rifts expansion came out, Lv. cap raised to 60. The guild which I was in was clearing it's 10/20 man raids within the first week.
  10. Taters

    Taters Cupcake

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    I am not sure it's possible to release a game that is completely exploit free but it would be terrific. One mechanic that I think would help (if possible) is to put diminishing xp returns on killing the same creature over and over again. Most leveling exploits involve finding an unusually high xp mob and grinding it out.
  11. Veckna

    Veckna Well-Known Cupcake

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    I also enjoyed the 'longer levelling' of older games (or in SWG case the dropping and mastering proffessions as you changed what you were doing). It gave a greater sense of character development for me.
    I'm also a fan of AA (alternate advancement) style systems that allow continued character development at cap for the same reason (EQ2, DDO, legacy system to an extent in SWTOR would be examples I've experienced).

    Now with the seeming shift in thinking to 'rush to cap as that's where the game starts' levelling is a lot faster to allow more people to experience the 'end game' sooner I guess (due to time constraints with much greater numbers now playing/different demographics playing than before).

    If that's what MMO's take to have mass appeal and be successful then fair enough, I've sort of adapted now and can enjoy the progression longer via alts once I've gotten my main character where it needs to be for any guild/group related content.

    With Wildstar I'll just go with the flow and take it how it comes. I can't see a lengthy levelling experience being realistic with today's mentality towards MMOs but hopefully there will be some form of advancement possible at cap. If nothing else there will be extra story content to encourage time on the main outside of group stuff and that will likely keep me happy (as Cat says "Some might say I'm a pretty shallow guy, but a shallow guy with a great ass!").
    1 min 55 in for the relevant part ;)
  12. Slyndria

    Slyndria Cupcake-About-Town

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    Leveling seems to be such an afterthought anymore, it makes me sad. I remember when WoW dropped getting to max level actually meant something.
  13. InnocentCivilian

    InnocentCivilian "That" Cupcake

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    Personally, I admit I do get a wee bit bored if I hit level cap too fast. ^_^

    But like Carbine said, they are aware that one of the failings of some MMOs is that they put all their content into levelling (making levelling fun), but having nothing to do in the end game.

    Conversely, having everything be in the endgame and having a boring levelling experience would make me lose interest before reaching that endgame.

    Wildstar's just like: "Super-awesome levelling AND awesome elder game! (also our game actually has personality)" I'm like: "Whaaaaa? Is this even the real life?" @_@
  14. Dragnog

    Dragnog Cupcake-About-Town

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    The question that comes to mind always when reading this type of thing is, "Is playing MMORPGs a trainable skill?"
    That leads onto a whole lot of other questions such as, "What are the skills that we have been taught?"
    If we assume that the premise that playing MMORPGs is a trainable skill then does that not mean that we have people who have been playing them for a very significant amount of time? Again if this is the case would you not expect to see an increase in speed of leveling naturally from the skills that people have picked up?
    We always look to the game developer to have control over the difficulty of the game, but I would also ask has the average gamer just got better?

    For me the best games are the ones where I forget what level I am and I just enjoy the game for what it is. This has happened most infrequently for me. I guess it depends on what you see the leveling process to be.
  15. Rush

    Rush Cupcake

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    I am a hardcore player when it comes to PvE in MMO's, and the increase in leveling speed in MMO's nowadays is saddening.

    I can remember leveling up in WoW, and the amount of time and effort it took was crazy. Doing the same dungeon over and over again got me at least 10% of my leveling experience, and it was all for the 1 item that I would use for the next 6-7 levels (which was a good 24-36 hours of gameplay for me). I spent 3 days at level 60 getting all the materials I needed for my Dreadsteed, and the only time I was happier was when I got my first flying mount. I hit 80 in WoTLK in less than a week, and then in Cata I hit 85 in 3 days,

    That was the system I started on, and that is the system I judge most things by. It took me almost 3 weeks to level my Warlock to 70.

    With the new games now, leveling is a cakewalk for me, so much that it bums me out.

    Guild Wars 2: 74 hour leveling time on first toon, 8 hour fastest time (crafting leveling only)
    Tera: 38 hour leveling time on first toon.
    AoC: 90 hour leveling time

    The only slow leveling MMO I have played in the past 3 years has been The Secret World, but that was mainly because that game is really confusing at the beginning.

    I hope that the leveling speed isn't "too fast" or "too slow". If it takes me more than 3 weeks, I will be disheartened. Even more so if it takes less than 5 days to get cap.
  16. Dragnog

    Dragnog Cupcake-About-Town

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    How many hours will you normally put in on a new MMORPG on the first week?
  17. Rush

    Rush Cupcake

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    I usually put in a good 40. I'll devote all the free time I have to a game during it's launch week.
  18. Witless

    Witless "That" Cupcake

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    This!!

    I remember complaining about release WoW being to fast and now I would love a game to go back to that speed. To me there is no sense of journey or discovery. I can be max level in any game in a month and I don't play but 12-15 hours a week. It has become way to fast.
  19. Dragnog

    Dragnog Cupcake-About-Town

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    From the feeling I have been getting from most people on the forums (those really focused on leveling at least) is that they are looking for a leveling experience some where between the 80 to 120 hour mark. Do you think this would satisfy most people?
    I think it would also help if Carbine was up front on how long they are expecting the leveling game to take. I don't want them to make a stab at the number now but instead after beta has been completed have a look at what the average was and let people know.
    I think that for some developers who have run into trouble are using emotive language which evokes ideas of length such as epic, journey, elaborate, etc without a clear indication. There are always going to be those who say "Well it took me X number of hours instead..." Simply put they are not the average.
    Rush likes this.
  20. Rush

    Rush Cupcake

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    It's a tough call. There are always going to be guys that go for leveling records, but I personally would enjoy a leveling time of 120 hours. That is fast enough to get ahead of the pack, but slow enough to actually take the time and enjoy everything around me.

    I would say some time between 100-150 hours is optimal for everyone. You'll have the super hardcore gamers come in at around 60-80, and then the trickling effect will start from there.

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