Having now purchased the Battle for Azeroth pre-order, I have another token for an instant level-cap character. This has been a bonus item with the last few expansions for World of Warcraft, so I have ramped up the number of high level characters that I have significantly. I used the level 90 ding from Warlords to boost a Pandaren Hunter, then the level 100 ding from Legion to boost a Draenei Mage.
I have quite a mixed history with boosted characters, sometimes they become cherished characters that I regularly play, other times they’re more a ‘flash in the pan’ experiment, joining the abandoned characters that I simply don’t have time to rotate through.
In other MMORPGs I’ve generally not found character boosts to be that effective at driving my engagement with the game; throwing me into end-game zones when I haven’t already played all the intervening content just leaves a big knowledge-gap of lore, content and mechanics. This can actually be counterproductive if it makes me feel less engaged with the game over time. A sudden jump up in difficulty can also come with such a boost if you haven’t played through the intervening content and experienced how it feels to play characters at the level brackets in-between. For instance going from level 55-ish to 95 in Everquest 2 was quite jarring, although I did work past it to continue with two characters at their boosted high levels.
In World of Warcraft, boosting characters has always been a means to trying other classes (alts), I’ve never boosted one of my main trio (Druid, Paladin, Shaman) for instance. I’ve also not completely skipped an expansion as yet, so haven’t had to deal with a big power or content gap in this game. So for World of Warcraft the insta-ding dilemma isn’t about whether I’ll feel disconnected from previous levels of play, but rather which character class to boost and why.
I already have a level-capped Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Hunter, Priest and Mage, plus a Death Knight and Demon Hunter both in the current expansion level range (100-110). So I have plenty of characters to choose from. The insta-ding is there at the login screen to tempt me though, and last time around when I purchased Legion I did have several options to choose between. Now there are four ‘allied-races’ already unlocked and some more to come during the lifetime of Battle for Azeroth. Allied races lack the traditional levels 1-15 starter zones of ‘proper’ races, so I haven’t been that interested in making a character and then leveling all the way up to 110 all over again. With an insta-ding level 110 then I could actually make a Void Elf or Lightforged Draenei character to explore another class at the current level cap.
I’ve always wanted to play more Warlock, I have a level 90 Orc Warlock, but I spend much more game-time Alliance-side, so dinging a new character would make sense. Equally I have a level 21 Pandaren Monk that I played through the Wandering Isle, but haven’t touched since because, frankly, I’ve done the leveling zones in WoW to death. Dinging a new Monk then would be the chance to play that very versatile class more. I think I’ll hold-off for now as I’d like to hear more about what other allied-races are likely to be forthcoming…