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Community Blog Topic Results: Do we need more levels?


Last week's Community Blog Topic was "Do we need more levels?" There were more yes's than no's in the comments and blogs this topic sparked, but there were also some innovative solutions for how leveling or progression could be handled in the future.

JeffLaBowski started this discussion off over at Sportsbard, with his answer firmly in the No column. He gives several reasons for not having more levels, starting with questing:

They would still have quests, but these quests would be more meaningful. They would tell rich tales full of lore and character development. New races would be completely and meaningfully fleshed out. No loose ends. No abrupt stops. They could even add max level class quests. There could still be dailies and reputation but you would work on these from the moment you set foot in the new zones.

From Toonacious, tycertank believes that leveling could be replaced by gear scaling.

Let's examine an Azeroth where once you hit level 60 that was as high as you got. First, you'd want to spend a large amount of time with 40 friends getting AQ 40 gear, because once you stepped into Outlands it would be gear quality, and knowing how to play your class that would keep you alive. All enemies would be maxxed at 60 as well (except for the Fel Reaver-esque elites and the Raid bosses of course) but the gear could keep scaling in the raids as you went from Outlands, to Lich King, to Cata, to Pandaria.

From Dead Gnomes Society, alykii agrees with progression by gear scaling.

This way, older raids still stay somewhat current for alts and newbies to progress through. Imagine if Kara was the entry raid for all new max level characters no matter what the expansion? That place will never get old. Toons who are geared from the last expansion go to the first raid in the new expansion. The older content will still end up soloable as players grossly outgear it. Keep the questing, but have quest rewards improve our characters. No more grinding alts 5 levels THEN gearing them to help out guild raids.

Many people in the comments agreed with Chad C.

My point is that a new player comes in, will see 100 levels they have to gain, and get intimidated. It doesn't matter that it used to take a lot longer, they don't know that and it's a matter of perception.

MikeAnderson at Tiny Priest says yes we do.

Blizzard thinks you need a critical mass of knowledge about a given class in order to contribute to endgame content. And the best way to impart that knowledge is-say it with me, kids-making you level.

Even just letting you level at an accelerated speed is useful. By the time you ding 90, you'll know your class inside and out. And that's the goal.

Fizzl over at Working Title says yes to levels but has a suggestion to make leveling better.

Scale up or down player stats to fit the "level range" of a zone so players can experience what zones and stories they want, when they want to (with the "current content" being a possible exception). Your effective level is determined by experience, everything else is determined by the zone you are in. This would also help players level together no matter what effective level they were. The only time you have to leave a zone is when you're out of quests.

H.P.Warcraft at Fantastical Madness says that one of the reasons for leveling is questing through storylines.

It's been said time and again: questing is 90 percent of the game. Well, if they cap the levels, what incentive will there be to go out and quest, to learn the story of that expansion? I think people that want a level cap don't want to play the game...they only want to play the end-game. But what is the point of taking down that big boss if you have no idea why he is such a threat?

But mlarsen777 suggests

More story content does not have to be tied to leveling. Faction reputations, story driven dailys, and awesome quest chains need not be tied to the numbers game of leveling.

WordGardener from Deletrix's World of Warcraft Blog wants to keep leveling.

I love seeing my guys get incrementally more powerful, and I don't want to have to always depend on a team of 10 to 25 other players to do that. While that incremental increase is certainly possible at max level by way of better gear, you have less flexibility about how you go about it. I don't mind raiding or heroics – it is a MMO, and lots of people play it for the cooperative aspect – but I wouldn't give up leveling for them.

HerrKlokBok over at The Exodar Sisters is "addicted to the ding," but has some suggestions to change things up a bit, like:

Tailormade Timeless Isle zones available for low level characters: Imagine having the choice between open world exploration and open-ended quest lines, or the traditional quests and leveling. Tailormade Timeless Isle zones could reward 10 times more XP than usual quests, making leveling in these zones faster and possibly more fun. Both systems would coexist. The fast and the furious could speed through levels in a couple of hours and start end game within a day. The sloths of World of Warcraft could trudge along wellknown quest paths for their own enjoyment.

In the comments, nathanyel has this to say,

If an expansion did not increase the maximum level, it would feel like a DLC for the previous expansion: "pay money to see the next raid tier and some zones with dailies, no levelling required"

Eliza's comments were oft repeated,

Whether there are levels or not, there will always be some sort of grind to make us feel like we're progressing. I don't see what good it would do to remove leveling (or stop it permanently at lv100 or whatever), because it'll just be replaced by something that serves the exact same purpose.

A few commenters, like Rodney Hatfield, suggested a level squish.

Vanilla before BC= lv 50 cap

BC before LK=55

LK before cata=60

cata before panda=65

panda before whatever is next=70

And scale the mobs from each xpac accordingly. That way it will be another 5 xpac before we are looking at we are now in levels. That way we won't have 15 late levels without any new ability in our trees. We still have those 5 levels to grind out. And abilities will be looked forward to again.

My mind isn't changed; I still want more levels. But I do see the advantages of the alternate solutions put forward in this discussion. I particularly find the level squish to be compelling, but don't see Blizzard implementing it at this point.

If you have an idea for a future Community Blog Topic, please leave a comment below.

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