Tobold's Blog
Saturday, December 29, 2007
 
Non-automatic leveling

Today I'm posting a couple of things my readers sent to me, my apologies for not doing it earlier, but I was rather busy in my christmas holidays with family and stuff. The first is an interesting idea a reader sent to me: Why does leveling in World of Warcraft have to be automatic? You could as well program it in a way that you get a message that you are ready to ding, but the actual gaining of the level would be done by visiting a trainer. Some levels could even require a quest to level up.

The advantage of that system would be that you could stop leveling if you wanted to, without stopping to play. You could remain at level 19 for PvP, or you could stop at any level to wait for your friends to catch up. Seeing how difficult it is to level up together with friends, as people rarely play exactly the same hours, that could be a nice feature. Alternatively there could be a /stoplevel command which would stop you from gaining xp. Maybe if it was easier to stay together in the lower levels, people wouldn't feel forced to rush to the level cap to play together.
Comments:
In DAoC you can type /xp off and /rp off (realm points, basically like WoW's honor).
 
You can disable your adventure experience in EQ2 to stop yourself levelling up. Many people do that to engage in low level PvP. A recent patch changed how it works slightly:

"PvP - Killing another player will always reward experience now even if the player has their adventure experience disabled."

So although you can lock PvE experience you will still get some (and consequently level up from) PvP alone now. I imagine this was to prevent the problem of level 24 max AA players with locked xp going around killing everyone.
 
This would be lovely. Levelling problems and "oh, you're on server X?" are the two biggest social issues in WoW right now, IMO.
 
Brilliant. That would allow a player to farm, while waiting for their friends to catch up.
 
An interesting idea, but it hides the real problem... Leveling is only a flawed artifact of previous hardware limitations. You would get a much better game if people weren't artificially limited in what they can do by the amount of time they've spent in the game.
 
I'm an achiever, and being able to level (and level can mean different things) is crucial to my enjoyment of mmorpgs.
 
So, I'm, say, 23 and decide to wait for my RL friend to catch up. I /stoplevel and then what?

What could possibly be the incentive to go do/finish quests, grind mobs? If I do too much of that, by the time I'm ready to /resumelevel, I'd have no quests left of my level to do!

I like leveling! It's one reason I play alts more than main or even higher level alts... I like to feel that those 2-3 hours of playtime really MEANT something other than progressing X% on my level...
 
On the one hand, this is a wonderfull idea. I'd love to have a alt hunter just for the lvl 20-29 battle ground who had xp turned off and could go into any instance with my guildies to obtain every sexy twinking item avaliable to my level, without ever actually dinging.. Soon there would be whole armies of twinks with just the very very best items and 4000hp and 10,000 agility.. And all of the casual gamers would step into Warsong Glutch at lvl 27-29 get hit by just 1 serpent sting and...

Hey, and while we're at it, why not allow a mode to let your pet keep leveling, even after you've stopped? That way you can romp around with a level 80 crocolisk chomping everyone in half. Also, your own pet would be able to run you through WC for that sweet bow that rocks the 10-19 brackets. Hehehe.

It does sound like a nifty feature, and I'm sure a ton of people would use it in nice friendly -waiting for their buddys to level up kind of ways. But too many people would exploite the ability.

WOW is what it is. Everyone, I'm sure, has an idea they think would make the game *better* but if you actually implemented even the smalliest change in the game system, drastic differences would be seen.

At this point, I don't think WOW could possibly get any better. Why would you even want to change the game? Sure there are some aspects of WOW that not *everyone* agrees with, but that's going to be how it is no matter how much you try to change it.
 
On the one hand, this is a wonderfull idea. I'd love to have a alt hunter just for the lvl 20-29 battle ground who had xp turned off and could go into any instance with my guildies to obtain every sexy twinking item avaliable to my level, without ever actually dinging.. Soon there would be whole armies of twinks with just the very very best items and 4000hp and 10,000 agility.. And all of the casual gamers would step into Warsong Glutch at lvl 27-29 get hit by just 1 serpent sting and...

This really isn't an issue. Or rather, it wouldn't be any more of an issue than it already is. Think about it. Items already have a required character level to wear, so there's still a cap to how geared out you can be at 19 or 29, etc. There are already tons of twinks in each bracket that got the best gear possible by having a friend run them through instances repeatedly. The only difference this would make would be to make it so that you wouldn't have to have a friend to run you through instances to get the best gear. You could just do it with pugs.

I guess the point is that the possible exploitation of this change is already limited. And there are already people who plan ahead and have friends so that they don't even need a /stoplvl to twink out fully. Trust me on this. You can run an instance as many times as you want and get all the drops, without ever gaining a point of xp, it's just a bit of a pain to do.

On the other hand, this change would also allow all the old instances to be used more often. My twink often gets whispers from random people asking if I want to do an instance with them. While I don't need to, I'd love to, except that I can't, because I don't want to level. So instead, we have hordes of people farming instances, and maybe 1 real group of 5 every week tops actually doing an instance for fun.

Imo, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.
 
Twinking at the bracket cap is a separate problem, and one with a rather simple solution: just make the brackets dynamic, selecting from a wider pool of players so long as all are within a 10 level spread. A discussion for another day, that one.

No, what i'd want a /stoplevel effect for is so i choose when to move on from the content: when i'm bored of the current content, when my *skill* surpasses it, not simply my *time* investment. When I can solo the same level elites with ease because of *skill*.

So, instead of a /stoplevel mechanic, I'd prefer a skill test quest method of determining advancement. Perhaps do this only every 5 levels though.
 
DDO has a trainer leveling system. It works well when waiting for your frineds to catch up. You still get exp even if you dont train, but you do not actually get the level until you train it. I have never tried it, but I think you could theoretcally "bank" a few levels worth of exp and use it later at your leisure.
 
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