My wizard character is now level 35 and the levels and zones seem to be zooming by pretty quickly. Fast leveling pace is pretty much the standard in more modern MMOs so Neverwinter isn’t doing anything unusual here.
I’m finding that I can easily skip level-range adjacent zones, in a similar fashion to the planets in SWTOR. For example on one character I might do Neverdeath Graveyard and then skip Helm’s Hold, and vice versa on the other. It will delay getting bored with leveling content as I won’t be repeating zones immediately on different characters. Just doing all the quests in a zone, and the skirmish and crafting is enough experience to cover two zones worth of questing alone – I’m not using any experience boost items at all. I do tend to do zone events when they pop up, which can lead to more experience from killing random creatures and distract from the fastest questing path through a zone.
So far at least I’ve noticed a strong bias among the random playerbase around me for running skirmishes over dungeons. Skirmishes are mini-dungeons, they take about 15 minutes normally and have little to no exploration element to them. Normally it’s one moderate-sized zone with waves of monsters and boss-monsters. The queue finder system for skirmishes works very well even outside of the times where an event would reward bonus items for completing a skirmish.
Dungeons on the other hand seem to be largely neglected among the group finder users. I see that the Looking For Group channel is constantly spammed with messages about dungeon groups so, it would appear, that people prefer to group up the ‘old school’ way despite the existence of an automatic group builder system. I can’t attest to why that has happened, since no dungeon queue I’ve ever joined has actually resulted in going into a dungeon. I’m wary of the channel group formation since I’ve seen a fair amount of gearscore elitism there. I’ve joined a guild with the hopes of some more stable grouping opportunities so we’ll see how that goes as I continue to level towards 60.