This week, the lovely Oestrus was nice enough to write a guest post for me. Be sure to go check out her blog, The Stories of O, where she shares her stories and thoughts on being a raiding holy priest and about World of Warcraft in general.
The other day, some blue posts were released that attempted to address the concerns that many players have voiced over how the leveling experience seems to drag past level 60 and going into Northrend.
Here’s what Nethaera had to say:
“We know that for many who have gone through Outland and Northrend before, it may not be as fun as the first or second or even third time you’ve gone through it. We understand but also believe that in general, the quest flow is much better than what was available in original World of Warcraft. Between that and the increased rate of experience gain, you should be able to go through these areas relatively quickly. Would we like to update Outland at some point in time? Sure. It’s a possibility. But it’s not on our immediate radar. There’s still a lot more to be done in World of Warcraft.
We do appreciate those who have given constructive feedback on their feelings on leveling from 60-80 and as I mentioned earlier, we do have accelerated experience gains for these levels. As someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, getting flight early on also helps with getting around these areas and completing quests in a more efficient way if that’s what you’re looking for.”
Here’s how I interpreted it:
“We are too busy to do all of that, but not busy enough to create more heirlooms to throw at you. That way you can breeze through these zones so fast you won’t even know there is anything wrong with or missing from them!”
In my experience, people who like to level alts like the experience of leveling them. People like doing new quests they haven’t done before and may even roll a character with a different faction or of a different race to begin in a new starting area, to do just that. They like seeing how a certain class handles different situations and may purposely put themselves in sticky situations to see if they can make it out in one piece. We like knowing that we’re making a difference and impacting the storyline, with each instance that we clear or quest that we complete.
I don’t feel that making the experience go by faster is necessarily the answer. I remember recently purchasing the heirloom helm and purposely not wearing it, because I was already going through the Blood Elf starting zone so quickly that quests were turning green and gray before I could even get around to finishing them. I felt like I was being rushed into the next zone and I didn’t enjoy that. Right now, I’m just using the heirloom cloak and I may put the helm back on once I get into the later parts of Northrend and the new Cataclysm zones.
Giving us more heirlooms to get through the zones that clearly need work is not going to help people ignore what’s wrong with these areas. Granted, Northrend is in much better shape than Hellfire Peninsula and the zones from Burning Crusade. I would have to say that areas from the latter would be in more need of work or touching up than the ones from the former. But you can’t deny that it’s mighty awkward to be completing quests which are there solely to help you prepare for bringing down Illidan Stormrage and his allies and the Lich King. You can only suspend disbelief for so long before you ask yourself “Why am I doing this again?”
Even if they decide not to change the quests objectives or rewards, they can at least change the reasons why we do them. They can at least allow the NPCs to be aware of what is happening on the other side of the Dark Portal. The Blood Elves would have some opinion on the fall of Kael’thas and the NPCs in Dalaran might have a clue as to why their city doesn’t have any portals to major cities anymore. You could still keep most of the same quests, but have a different motivation behind them. Instead of needing to kill 20 Bonelashers just because they make people sick, you could change the quest to say that they’re preventing efforts to clean up the Bone Wastes and people are scared to travel through there.
I also think it’s strange that Blizzard seems surprised that people are voicing concerns with post Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms leveling, especially since they really went out of their way to promote leveling in most of the previews for Cataclysm. This was done by promoting the creation of new race/class combinations and with the introduction of the Goblin and Worgen races. While we certainly can pay to take our existing characters and make them any race that we want, others were excited about the idea of exploring Gilneas and Kezan or starting a character of a previously unavailable race or class combination from scratch.
They sold us on the idea that leveling would again be fun and interesting and now they don’t understand why we don’t feel that may be the case. What did they think was going to happen? Did they think we were just going to take our characters to 60 and then stop? Pick up another alt and then do the same thing all over again?
Currently, I do not have any plans to take my warlock past level 60. I don’t have it in me to put myself through another round of quests I have done far too many times just to get past that point. I have other starting zones I would like to see and other areas that were radically changed by the Cataclysm that I would like to experience. I really don’t know what I’ll do with my alts, once I have explored all of the new areas that I had wanted to see. I’ll probably work on their professions or find a buddy or two to farm instances with.
Or maybe, just maybe Blizzard will clue into the things lacking with the later stages of the leveling process and take the time to realize how important and how taken for granted the leveling process is and take some time out of their schedules to make such a thing fun and worth doing again.
Go check out The Stories of O. Thanks again Oestrus!