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What needs to change in the 90 boost process


We're all starting to get used to the level 90 boost process. Information is flying around the web and people are wrapping their heads around the quirks and tricks in the system. We've spoken already about a few issues, as well as some gearing tips, but let's think forward. In a few (or several) months, the target market for these boosts will not be the currently-subscribed seasoned WoW player. Instead, they'll be looking toward players who are returning after long breaks, players who might be interested in re-subbing to get a free 90 and level to 100 with their friends. So, the question is, what needs to change between now and then?

Something missing

We talked previously about the problems with boosting a level 60 or above character, getting the professions leveled, but then having to spend 1300+ gold on all the recipes. While this is not a huge deal for a practiced, current player, 1300 gold was a small fortune back in the Burning Crusade. While boosted 90s get a 150 gold stipend, if you have more than that in your bag you seem not to get that small chunk of gold. And the assumption would be, surely, that if you boost professions you'll actually be able to use them without having to pay a large amount of gold.

This needs to be changed. Either the amount of gold shelled out to boosted players needs to be increased, or the recipes need to be learned by default. I think it's fair to assume that if you're paying for a boost that includes professions, you should be able to use them.

Another notable absence is glyphs, and Tomes of the Clear Mind. In my opinion at least, a few basic glyphs, enough to fill your major slots at least, should be included. Before all the scribes get all excited and say that'd ruin them, remember we pick a spec. That's three glyphs I'm suggesting boosted 90s get. Three basic glyphs. That's not going to break anything as far as money-making goes! Why do I think this? Because returning players who aren't current sure aren't going to know off-hand what glyphs they need and certainly not what the item they need to change glyphs and talents is called. Having to completely set up your character just slows you down trying to get into the game again, and after all, that's what they're trying to do here. Get people back into the game.

What's more, colleagues have reported that their 483 gear, particularly as melee, did not bring them up to hit or expertise cap. One colleague reported 3.74% hit and 4.71% expertise -- nowhere near the caps. After reforging, my colleague as able to get her rogue to the hit cap, but not the expertise cap. While it's not the end of the world, the play experience being well below the hit cap is sub-optimal at best. It seems, too, that while the gear is supposed to be tailored for your spec, that only extends as far as giving you intellect mail as opposed to agility mail. Again, this is far from the end of the world, but could be improved to give returning players the best experience possible.

What to do, what to do

While the initial problems of being spawned in on the Timeless Isle have been rectified, brand new level 90s are currently dropped into the world without much guidance. While we do know that 6.0 will bring a starter zone, players joining between now and then are not going to experience it. They do, now, at least have the Timeless Isle Chromie breadcrumb auto-added to their quest log, giving a clue as to what they could do, but perhaps some elements in the welcome letter to indicate what might be a good idea.

Where should new 90s go, before Draenor opens and leveling is the only right answer? Dailies? rep grinds? Gear grinds? LFR? Battlegrounds? Where would you send them? Personally, I think the Timeless Isle is a great place to start, once the Bloody Coin ganking calms down a bit. After that I'd say head to LFR -- killing mobs for a few hours will have got you used to your character a little at least. Maybe also some battlegrounds, but definitely not grinding out rep to get sub-par old gear.

One of the problems of the game right now is that a lot of the content is unintuitive. It's hard, if you're coming back cold having not played for a few patches, to figure out just what you should be doing. And this is somewhere where Blizzard could provide guidance.

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