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The Art of Leveling in World of Warcraft

Is leveling a character still fun and rewarding? This is a question that I have asked myself for the 11 years I have played World of Warcraft. While leveling toons before was a rewarding experience, now it is essentially an entry-level job in that you’re working long hours for little reward. With the recent changes to leveling, there are several major flaws that Blizzard has failed to address.

People are not being rewarded for having multiple max level toons.

Recent changes in the leveling system, such as scaled zones and Allied races, have not addressed the real issue when it comes to leveling a toon. Leveling should be rewarding and interesting for people who are willing to take a different path. I’m glad that I can skip over entire areas of the game, as some areas were utterly forgettable (think leveling from levels 50-58). Doing run after run of Blackrock Depths (BRD) became more of an annoyance than a complete leveling experience. For a long stretch of leveling (starting at around level 47), BRD was often the only available dungeon. While Blizzard has allowed even Ragefire Chasm to scale to level 60 now, there is a less rewarding feel.

A compromise should be a stacking buff for those who have put in the time and effort to level toons to max level, in addition to the current experience buff. If a person has one max level toon, they should get a 1% experience buff; two max level toons, 2%; etc. This rewards long-time players while encouraging newer players to level their alts to gain these rewards.

Changes to the Recruit-A-Friend program may leave people reluctant to recruit their friends to play the game, and having this stacking buff for every max level character you have should offset those changes.

Unless you’re a tank or a healer, you’re not going to get into dungeons quickly. Sure, you can swap specs easily when out of the dungeon. A large segment of the player base wants to slaughter large amounts of in-game enemies. While scaled zones were supposed to solve this issue, quests need to reward more experience.

Spamming the same dungeons over and over also tends to get very boring if you are a healer or a tank, or are lucky enough to have friends who are healers or tanks. This takes the fun out of the leveling experience. If you are trying to introduce new people to the game, this takes the fun out of their playing experience. The game is called World of Warcraft after all, not World of Dungeoncraft.

At Blizzcon 2017, the developers said, “Our goal is to create a truly flexible experience throughout the world of Azeroth so that the choice of how you experience it is yours.” Compromise is part of a flexible experience, so I think these changes may be beneficial to make leveling fun once more.


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