WoW: Grumpy Elf speaks the truth

I’ve just read Grumpy Elf’s post on leveling speed in WoW and the real problems this could pose to new players. The post talks a lot about the problem of super-fast leveling speed. Summarising it very roughly:

  • Not enough time to learn abilities properly
  • Rushed through stories – so you’re not likely to feel as attached to your character
  • Very hard to level professions without the money to power level them from the Auction House
  • Cross realm zones have made gathering over competitive, new players will not know the tricks and hidden areas to avoid this problem
  • The LFD system is very new player unfriendly

I would add to this that I’ve experienced first-hand the issues caused by ‘joining the party late’ in other mature MMOs. LoTRO and DDO spring to mind since they were the two games I joined as a subscriber and not during a Free to Play conversion. You are generally very alone in most of the earlier content zones at least from a ‘group up to do quest’ perspective. I’ve also seen that most of these more mature games have terribly overpriced auction houses (or equivalent).

I think in WoW a new player can possibly get along fine by delaying the learning of the games systems, the game is so easy from level 10 – 80 that it’s hard to fail. Yes, you’ll probably die by falling or afk’ing or pulling too many mobs at some point  – but that hardly matters once you get past the first couple of zones. But will anyone actually enjoy such a confused, yet unchallenging journey?

Here is one instance of where a Free to Play option for a MMO can make a positive difference – you tend to have a steady stream of new players coming and going given the low cost of entry. That’s not the case in my experience with subscription games (e.g. DDO and LoTRO before they converted). I was a real odd-one-out in both games when I joined it, most players I met were shocked to meet a real new player!

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One Response to WoW: Grumpy Elf speaks the truth

  1. Meznir says:

    I’ve recently been levelling a monk, but as I hadn’t seen much of the redesigned zones since Cata (most of my alts were too high) and wanted to get zone quest achievements for Loremaster, I deliberately didn’t use any heirlooms and didn’t do the Monk daily that gives another xp boost. I found that I pretty much finished zones (or at least the number of quests needed for the achi) at the right level – or occasionally 1 level ahead – so it does seem levelling speed is on par with what is now intended. Though I should say that I also haven’t steeped into any dungeons as I knew I’d come out to grey quests.

    Also, even with CRZ, I’m barely seeing any other players about. Maybe the server group I’m on are all low populated, but I’m not having any issues fighting for mobs or gathering.

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