Monday, May 10, 2010
World of Warcraft's outlandish gap
I have 4 level 80 characters now, but all my other alts are at level 60 or below. Once I reach level 60 with an alt, it takes me a lot of willpower to play on and enter Hellfire Peninsula, and usually I just give up at that point. I never liked the Burning Crusade expansion, and I consider it the weakest part of World of Warcraft. But with Cataclysm "renovating" the level 1-60 content, and raising the level cap to 85, and the level 70-80 content of Wrath of the Lich King being already rather good, the 60-70 level range is becoming more and more of a problem.
Questing in most zones of Outland just isn't much fun, with the quests being a lot grindier and less interesting than Northrend quests. Plus the Blizzard devs cheated when they made the quests for Alliance and Horde, and simply copied & pasted the quests from one faction to the other, so even replaying Outland with a different faction is boring.
One reason Outland feels so grindy is the XP to level curve, which "bends" sharply upwards at level 60 and becomes much steeper. That effect even gets much worse if you used Blizzard's Recruit-A-Friend program either with a friend or for multiboxing, because both the triple xp and the grantable levels stop at 60.
I am most certainly going to create new characters when Cataclysm is coming out, the current plan is to make a Goblin hunter and a Worgen warlock, this being classes I haven't played all that much yet. The new races, new race/class combinations, and new content in Azeroth will certainly induce a lot of people to play through level 1 to 60 again. Leveling from New Azeroth to Northrend and the Cataclysm content will require a stretch of leveling through Outland. I wonder how many people will actually enjoy that part, and how many will find that the weakest part of the leveling experience to 85.
Maybe it is time to smoothen the xp to level curve in the 60 to 70 region, and to expand the Recruit-A-Friend benefits to level 70. What do you think?