Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is (low) leveling really too fast?

To people who frequently read my blog or that I interact with on a somewhat constant basis, it may seem kind of odd that I'm asking that question.

I've stated on more than one occasion that, yes, I feel low leveling is too quick. And up until this past weekend, I wholly believed that.

So what changed?

My Worgen Hunter dinged 40 this weekend. So far he's gone through Gilneas, Westfall, Duskwood, Northern and Southern Stranglethorn and he's started on Dustwallow Marsh. He's specifically abandoned breadcrumbs leading to Redridge and WPL. He has one going to EPL right now that I'm pretty sure will be green, if not grey by the time he's through Dustwallow. I'm sure he'll have picked up another one to somewhere else by then.

(That paragraph is making my spellchecker go nuts.)

So by my best estimates he'll have gone through 7 or 8 zones by the time he heads out to Outland. And if they continue like they have been, each one is going to be fully self-contained and give me enough levels to cleanly move on to the next without worry.

I also haven't hit a single dungeon (which people are complaining completely rockets them past zones).

Let's compare this to the old leveling experience.

I never really quantified it the way I just did above. But I have leveled 5 toons through pre-4.01 Azeroth. And I remember how it felt. The first 2 felt fresh and interesting, but they hit a lot of zones, and there was definite overlap. By the time I got to the third, there were only a couple zones I still hadn't been through. And I feel like if I had picked completely disparate paths, I would have had fewer, if any. Which means I was hitting around 45% of the zones.

There were definite dead zones in leveling where I was scrounging zones for quests of an appropriate level, or just any quests at all. I often spent so much time traveling from end-to-end of/between continents that I definitely felt I was leaving things undone. And I dreaded the 30-45 range when my choices were doing STV again or slagging through a hodge-podge of dreadful zones that included Desolace.

Some amount of dungeoning was almost required.

Leveling got to the point where it felt like a chore and I just wanted to get through it.

Now I already have a mental list of 4 zones I've completely skipped that I want to make sure I see on a future playthrough. And that doesn't include any of pre-40 Kalimdor or the new Elwynn and Dun Morogh.

Blizz is leaving ample content for me to explore on future playthoughs. And I'm actually excited to explore it.

I think I, like a lot a people, got wrapped up in the fact that it was different. I was expecting one thing, even though it was something I didn't actually enjoy, and when I didn't get it I made brash claims about it: it's too easy and too fast.

The old leveling slog through Azeroth felt like a chore. It was undesirable. But it felt like an accomplishment getting through it.

Now the sense of accomplishment is somewhat removed. But in its place?

You know...these new zones...

They're kinda fun.
blog comments powered by Disqus