Leveling New Characters in World of Warcraft
Blizzard went through an implemented a wide-ranging scaling to the overall Warcraft leveling experience in their last major patch of the Legion expansion. This scaling made it so that players could, theoretically, continue on with the storyline without egregiously out-leveling the area. For example, in the previous system, you could easily find yourself at level 9~10 while questing in the early zones (Teldressil) as a Night Elf. In most situations, an issue made even more poignant by heirloom gear to boost experience gains, the player would barely even be halfway done with the Teldressil storyline before the game recommended them to continue leveling on Darkshore.
So, in response to these issues, Blizzard made it so that the zones throughout Azeroth come in ‘sets.’ You can continue to quest throughout any of the zones in a ‘set’ as long as you are within a wide range of levels. Continuing on with the Night Elf theme, you can now quest out at Darkshore AND Ashenvale from levels 10-60, which gives you plenty of breathing room. Though, you will probably still need to pick and choose which storylines you want to complete. The entire continents worth of questing will still level you beyond 60. Of course, while in these zones, (say a level 55 rogue in Darkshore) the creatures, quests, and rewards will be scaled to be appropriate to the player’s level!
Unfortunately, this has also had the effect of slowing down the leveling process fairly significantly. Players are no longer as overpowered in the leveling zones, primarily due to every creature in the zone essentially ‘leveling’ up with the player. Blizzard has mentioned a number of times that they want players to enjoy the leveling experience, and there are great many who DO prefer the slower pace. A developer recently said that, while they personally prefer to smash through levels, they believe the change was a perfect balance between the week-long grinds that players experienced in Vanilla and the 2-hour max-level smash-through that was possible in the latest iterations of the game.
On the same topic, Blizzard did actually release a number of hotfixes recently to address concerns that the leveling was, now, too slow to be enjoyable. To do this they did the following:
- Reduced the melee and spell damage of creatures (up to level 100) by up to 16%
- Reduce the health of creatures (levels 15 to 100) by up to 24%
So, a few questions for all of you: Do you enjoy the level scaling? Do you prefer the speed of leveling, or do you just want to get it out of the way? What advice would have you for Blizzard as they move forward?