Thursday, January 31, 2013

Leveling Speed

Knocking out those levels!

Does a slower leveling curve cause you to lose interest? Or do you prefer it to take longer to level? As I get older I think back to the games I played where the leveling curve was crawling, for instance hell levels in EverQuest. They certainly existed, they were truly hell to get through. I just don't have that kind of time or interest to crawl through levels anymore, personally. Do most people? I've heard this referred to as the 'ADD generation of gamers', but as a gamer who truly has ADD, I don't find that a very good analogy and I honestly find it a bit insulting. I've crawled through levels for years and years, it just isn't that popular anymore. Even EverQuest has moved away from this slow leveling path. Is it really that fun or just a way to keep us playing?

I like to call it moving with the times. As we get older have more responsibilities in life, we still want to progress and feel as if we are doing so. I don't even think I'd want my kid to waste the amount of hours I spent leveling back in the day. So it isn't just about age and free time. Sure, it was fun back then but looking back I think it was all we knew. For some of us this might be harder to let go of, sort of ingrained into our gaming habits, distorting our view that more time equals working harder. Sure time and effort are good when it comes to building a character, but just how much becomes excess?

It is that carrot we want to reach for, but we still want to feel it is in reach. I think for a first round through a game it is not as bad to level at a slower pace, but if the pace suddenly slows down significantly it can feel like smacking into a brick. Which causes me to think of Rift. I've been sitting at 54 for a month. It just feels like crawling through molasses, that and I'm starting to get quests much higher than my level. While it was nice to be caught up to the rest of the community in a faster manner, I really disliked the 50-60 pace. Are you really going that far out of your way to keep me playing, by slowing down xp? For me it just feels like a bait and switch. It does not make me enjoy the scenery that much more. If the content is good and engaging, you'll keep me. Using mechanics like slower xp just feel like a ploy. It usually turns me off and I don't log in as much.

Then again once I cap in Vanguard, I don't know just how much there for me to do? Everyone says it is about the journey, but I like to get to the top and then work my way back if I feel like it. Feels like adding a notch under my belt, enjoying things at a leisurely pace once I get there. I will admit the xp curve in Vanguard has been a very slow one, when compared to other games. With the new bonus to xp for subscribers it feels more reasonable. The forums had a thread where many old players were upset about the bonus being added. Thus you can now turn off the bonus xp. Not everyone likes to level at the same pace but then again not everyone likes to level multiple alts just for the journey, nor crawl through content to get where they want to be.

In games like WoW I don't like leveling much, then again I've done the content over and over since release. The slower pace of MoP had dampened me a bit, but after playing a few other games since, it really wasn't so bad in comparison, just a tad slower than we had been used to. I did my share of slogging through levels, years ago. I don't enjoy it as much anymore. For some people leveling is the game, that is the whole enjoyment. But then there are many different characters you can play through the leveling game with. That is the beauty of alts. You can get to the top and start all over.

Sometimes I miss those old days, but I know I look at them through rose tinted glasses. I know I spent way too much time leveling in EverQuest. I'm hardcore in some ways but I am quite casual considering how my play style has changed over the years. I like a reasonable pace, not too fast but now slogging through things. I don't mind power levels, but mostly in games like EverQuest where I only play with Dire, when I get a power level it is only to play with him. To catch up so we can play together. If I am playing alone in a game, well, I don't care for power levels. I do enjoy the journey quite a lot, I just don't like feeling like I got lost along the way!

Neither way is bad, but should players slog through content, especially that which causes a grind at some point(s) just to keep players playing longer? After all we have to keep in mind that these are all man made, there isn't some 'natural way of things' they don't just happen that way, there is a reason behind why things are done the way they are. So how about you? Do you enjoy the grind or do you like to breeze to the top to enjoy end game?


  1. I don't mind a slower leveling speed as long as it's consistently slow. I detest when a game makes you level crazy fast and then at X level you suddenly NEVER see your XP bar move. If you want fast leveling, then leave it that way. Also (I level alot of toons) I prefer if you have multiple different questing paths. If you hate an area, you should be able to skip it. If you level two toons, you should be able to not do the same zone twice. Leveling in WOW became nearly impossible for me for the last several years because I'd get to 60 and stop playing a toon, cause my hatred for leveling in Hellfire Peninsula outweighed my enjoyment of playing a new class. Final note, you should get an account wide XP buff when one toon gets max level (toggleable so you can turn it off if you want) so that after you've been there and done that on one toon, you can burn up more if you want. I stopped playing SWTOR, even thought I wanted to see the other classes stories, because I refused to repeat the crappy other quests you HAD to do in order to level up. Give me a buff so I can just do the story quests and I would of stayed longer.

    1. Good points! I wholly agree about multiple paths to level. In WoW I was so burnt out on hellfire as well, but these days it is wrath that just seems to get me. I have a 'new' priest I would like to level but she isn't so new anymore since she sits stuck there, lol.

  2. I agree with the post and the comment. The sudden steep leveling curve for the last few levels after a mad dash for the rest is jarring and poor game design (Rift). If they want us all to sit at endgame repeating dungeons or raids, why the dragged out leveling?

    Multiple paths to level is also very important. I thought we'd get that in Storm Legion but no, you have to do most zones across the two new continents to ding. That's just weird design. Maybe Rift isn't so aimed at alt play with the soul system, but still it's a waste of content to have such slow leveling for 10 character levels!

    1. Yes, I don't even know where to start on the other area in Storm Legion (I'm defiant). Haven't really found any info, it would help buffer me through at least one level maybe. I had thought Storm Legion would have more variety, just from how expansive the land mass is but it just feels linear. I think I preferred Ember Isle (visually), at least that was colorful and cheerful!




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