The State of WoW's Early Game [Leveling]

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Leveling is easy, and doing the same content over and over again to level is absurd. Granted, Blizz has modified some dungeons and questing zones, but I've burned through all of that rather quickly.

110 levels is too much. The power curve is far too linear.
The rise of hybridization, and specifically the proliferation of self-healing has led to the decline of Warcraft. And unfortunately, there's no going back.

You're never going to have that sense of open world danger again.
Eh, your comparison is completely and utterly false. The fact you put on any heirlooms at all invalidates what you're saying because that's blue equivalent gear (and a weapon is the thing that affects your dps the most as a hunter). I leveled some characters without heirlooms for the first time in many years about a year back. It wasn't Vanilla levels of difficulty, but I was surprised by how careful I had to be, especially at first when I was running around in white and grey gear. I could and did die on some characters if I had multiple mobs on me before I could pick a spec. Gave me a new appreciation of those who've taken up the various Ironman challenges.

There are a lot of things that need to be addressed a hundred times more than leveling. Saying that this would only take "Cata levels" of effort is enough to make me facepalm. Do you not remember that there was a lack of max level content at the start of Cata due to all the effort that had been put into the 1-60 revamp? Do you not remember people complaining about the lack of content the entire expansion since they didn't consider the 1-60 revamp as content? We're never even going to see an Outland revamp after the reception Cata got, so to further mess with stuff before that would not only not happen, but it would be revamping stuff that's already been revamped when there are things that need it much more desperately.

Leveling is fine. It's supposed to be easy. They changed their philosophy on it a very long time ago, arguably at the time they nerfed the Vanilla leveling when BC was coming out.
I've been harping on this issue myself. I don't agree with all the changes proffered by the Op, but certainly agree that something needs to be done. I really don't think a lot of people appreciate the consequences of the leveling process right now.

WoW used to be an MMorpg, especially in regards to leveling. Relationships and bonds were formed as people came together to accomplish mutual goals. This is incredibly absent now. The game is single player mode all the way to max, without any reason from a game perspective to say a word to anyone.

You then have more max level toons that are left with 2 options. PvP, which if that is the ultimate goal, there are better options elsewhere frankly or Raiding. Raiding on any semi-serious level requires everything that leveling didn't. You need to understand your class, you need to have at least minimal social skills to advance beyond LFR. How shocking is it that more and more players don't want to raid? The raid environment is in opposition to everything that came beforehand from the stance of time investment, social interaction, knowledge of class and the game.

Those of you who argue against revamping the leveling process need to hush. I'm serious to, there are boosts if your opposed to leveling, make your purchase and move on. There is zero excuse for the situation as it stands.

Otherwise, Blizzard needs to eliminate leveling altogether. People shouldn't have to pay to avoid having to do abandoned content, that is without challenge and nothing more than time wasted.
10/03/2015 12:58 PMPosted by Anelynn
Opinions?

I love it, except for cutting out Pandaria. Giving a brief quest line that explains why we're after Garrosh would feel pretty disjointed in my opinion. It would be on par with major lore events that happen in books but aren't adequately represented in games, leaving those of us who haven't read it before going "what the hell is this?"

Pandaria chronologically comes after Cata, it really doesn't make sense to throw it into CoT.

Other than that, I've been wishing they'd beef up content and nerf XP to level or something to that effect since I first leveled through the revamped zones in Cata. Definitely love the idea.
Ive got a great idea. Play more games then WoW.

Seriously, Ive played the game at every expansion period and have no problems having fun questing.

I hate the timeline mess we have, but other then that I enjoy questing regardless of class or gear.

As others have stated, this thread is somewhat self serving. You don't find the content challenging but plenty of newer WoW players struggle with it.

And there were people exploiting and soloing content in every expansion one way or another. World and quest mobs could probably use a buff sure, but I find dead players all the time while questing and run into groups in Dungeon Finder that wipe every time I fire up the game.

Ill agree with you on timeline needing to be fixed, though I don't see why Pandaria wouldn't be included (I sense a well hidden panda hate undertone), and love how WoD is included at all besides its content, since story wise its kind of a joke and was only a filler to cause the Legions return (which we really didn't need a second Gul'dan for...).
10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia
Eh, your comparison is completely and utterly false. The fact you put on any heirlooms at all invalidates what you're saying because that's blue equivalent gear (and a weapon is the thing that affects your dps the most as a hunter).

Would you like me to take a new video after acquiring a level 1 bow? I assure you, the bow was not the reason for the ease in my example. It exaggerates it, sure, but not as much as you're making it out to do.

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia
There are a lot of things that need to be addressed a hundred times more than leveling.

Opinion. You are entitled to it, but don't act like you are right and I am wrong like its a black and white thing. Leveling is important for keeping new players hooked, and I do not believe the current form of leveling does a good job of doing that.

ESPECIALLY if the new player has played an RPG or MMORPG in the past, but its still an issue even for players who have not, once they get used to the UI and how combat/targetting works.

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia
Saying that this would only take "Cata levels" of effort is enough to make me facepalm. Do you not remember that there was a lack of max level content at the start of Cata due to all the effort that had been put into the 1-60 revamp?

It would honestly take less resources from the thing that takes the longest when it comes to developing endgame content: art. Art taking forever is why they tried Scenarios in MoP rather than making new dungeons from scratch. Art is why its "Garrison customization or a raid tier", and so on. I'm not saying my suggestions wouldn't take time, but I'd guess it would be a decent amount quicker than what was done in Cata.

That said, yes, Cata had a lack of endgame content compared to WotLK. Now, compare it to WoD. Cata had -MORE-. And then you are, of course, neglecting the people who only said Cata lacked content because the launch dungeons were too hard for them in a pug setting. As much as I liked those dungeons, I can understand that.sentiment. Cata did not ease up on the difficulty much at all until 4.3, with the Hour of Twilight heroics and Dragon Soul. Before you even say it, again, I am not suggesting to make leveling a hellish gauntlet of extreme difficulty, I am suggesting a return to pre-cata levels of difficulty.

Cata had relevant dungeons in 3 different patches. Cata had 3 raid tiers. Cata had great Dailies in 4.2. Cata had several rep grinds for those interested. Can WoD say the same? Not really.

Blizzard obviously has the ability to find some sort of middle ground in terms of amount of content provided, the question is more or less, Can they make the content they provide at endgame something players actually care about and are capable of doing?

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia
but it would be revamping stuff that's already been revamped when there are things that need it much more desperately.

Retuning would be a more accurate word. The content itself would not be changing in any large degree. And again, opinion.

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia
Leveling is fine. It's supposed to be easy.

Obviously I disagree here, hence this thread existing. I understand it can never be something that will prove a difficult challenge to a seasoned veteran, but it should provide for more than it does NOW.

10/03/2015 07:47 PMPosted by Eldevane
I love it, except for cutting out Pandaria. Giving a brief quest line that explains why we're after Garrosh would feel pretty disjointed in my opinion. It would be on par with major lore events that happen in books but aren't adequately represented in games, leaving those of us who haven't read it before going "what the hell is this?"

I'm more than open to leaving Pandaria in, I just elected to cut it in my OP to save more leveling time and to avoid going into a "we could do this.. oooor we could do this" scenario in the OP.

However, as far as it feeling disjointed, I don't believe it really would. We don't really go after Garrosh. Garrosh is presumed defeated in chains by the end of MoP, but someone leveling a new toon will never even see that, because that was all patch content explored for the most part in level-cap scenarios and raids.

Point being: The reason Garrosh is important to the story is ALREADY confined to novels; specifically 'War Crimes' and the short story on this website.

Garrosh is hardly even touched on in WoD questing until Nagrand. MoP -> WoD for the new quester is essentially: "Okay guess we're done here, paragons have a handle on things now, OH !@#$ ORCS ARE INVADING."
Different game for comparison. I was doing missions (quests) on Ord Mantel in SW:TOR on a shiny new Trooper alt. Was out on the island with all the big elite giant things where I had to repair some transmitting towers to help guide transport ships in. All level 10ish stuff, but this is a "group quest". I see some Jedi go charging into a group of 3 elites and die about 5 seconds later. Odd to see a Jedi on Ord Mantel, but the point is that he got mashed real quick. That used to happen in WoW. I'm assuming it was a WoW player that though he could just faceroll 3 elite mobs all by himself.

Then there's Hoth. The same icy wasteland we see in the second Star Wars movie released, The Empire Strikes Back. Hoth in SWTOR is legendary for people at level getting ripped apart trying to get TO a mission area. Some people will try to out-level the whole zone/planet and come back to it just to have a better chance. It requires some serious use of CC and lots of attention to where patrols are. My wife and I would group up with 2 companion (bodyguard) NPCs to get through the tougher spots.

Last I read, SWTOR was pushing around 2 million accounts, with a good chunk of them F2P but still with lots of people playing. If the same game was released with a better game engine, I have no doubt that it would have far more subs than that.
Agreed. Leveling used to be a journey but it's now either a race or a chore. There is no fun 2-3 shotting mobs while not wearing BoA's. Nothing is threatening. Everything is streamlined. Dungeons are a joke. It's entirely brainless.

And with ability pruning, some classes are stuck with like 3-4 spells to use for damage for 40+ levels. Look at MM hunter. Kill Shot (lvl 35), Steady Shot, and Aimed shot until level 65. So fun.

Leveling is by far the weakest part of their game. I think they're trying to get us to accept "the game starts at max level" because they don't want to put any effort into making it fun again.

I think the 90 boost is also a strong indicator of that. As a costumer and as player I really don't care for that kind of stance. Instead of them doing something about it to make it interesting again, they gave us on option to pay them to skip it.

Draenor leveling was pretty fun the first time. They did a great job with it. But the streamlining part severely hurts it's replay value. I miss finding a random path to wonder down and discovering a questgiver at the end. Now everything is chained.
Upvoted the OPs thread.

Yes we have noticed the issue with poor balancing during leveling, making the game trivial to the point of being devoid of any entertainment value.

I'd argue this is also true at level 100 unfortunately. Most mobs can be one shot, and we're flooded with epics to the point of having to shard most of them.

As has been pointed out in another very popular thread, it seems the only challenge at present is in raiding.
10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia
It wasn't Vanilla levels of difficulty, but I was surprised by how careful I had to be


That sounds like a "you" issue. You can get by doing little more than auto-attacking (without heirloom gear) for the first... 50 levels ? It is not simply easy ; it is utterly mindless.

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia

There are a lot of things that need to be addressed a hundred times more than leveling.


Well, do not just say that and then not mention a single one of these things that are so vitally important.
You are acting like your opinion is somehow based in fact when it is, in reality, no more or less valid than Anelynn's opinion.

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia

Do you not remember that there was a lack of max level content at the start of Cata


Actually, I do not remember this. I am not at all sure what you are on about ; there was plenty to do at the launch of Cataclysm. You may have chosen not to do it, but it was there.

10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Adalia

Leveling is fine. It's supposed to be easy.


Why ?
End-game or bust evidently is not working out very well, either.
10/03/2015 07:53 PMPosted by Süntzü
I sense a well hidden panda hate undertone

I actually loved Pandaria. I only included it to save more leveling time since its storyline was largely contained. As for WoD, I DID mention it could be sidelined at a later date, but its still relevant for now because its essentially the prologue to Legion.

10/03/2015 07:53 PMPosted by Süntzü
As others have stated, this thread is somewhat self serving. You don't find the content challenging but plenty of newer WoW players struggle with it.

It would be interesting to see a good amount of actual new players commenting on this, but that's not going to happen. Its all hearsay. But do you care to explain why the difficulty in Wrath was okay but suddenly all the new players apparently suck now so it has to be as easy as it is in Cata onward?

10/03/2015 07:53 PMPosted by Süntzü
Ive got a great idea. Play more games then WoW.

I do. I play FFXIV and am dabbling in Wildstar again now that its F2P. Both games have more engaging leveling experiences than WoW does. I also play games like L4D2, Minecraft, Terraria, Guns of Icarus Online, Skyrim, and so on.

"Go play something else" is not a good retort to someone offering their opinions and suggestions for a game.
The timeline to me has bothered me since it got really messed up with cata, amd id be all for a lvl squish as having 110 levels might be a turnoff for some players. I always wanted an option for your character to scale with the zone just like in timewalking dungeons
10/03/2015 08:06 PMPosted by Aliyavana
I always wanted an option for your character to scale with the zone just like in timewalking dungeons

A bit of a different topic, but something I've hit on in the past. I'm all for this, if only as an option so that you can continue storylines without 1-shotting everything as well as play with friends who are a lower level than you.
10/03/2015 07:15 PMPosted by Steelbjorn
The rise of hybridization, and specifically the proliferation of self-healing has led to the decline of Warcraft. And unfortunately, there's no going back.

You're never going to have that sense of open world danger again.


Self healing doesn't make your character destroy things any easier, it just means you have much easier chance at surviving (which to be honest varies between all the classes and specs, take ww self healing versus enhancement shaman self healing).

I think its more of you are never going to see a sense of open world danger because everything dies way to easy unless you are undergeared for it. If you aren't overly undergeared, then anything will likely be easily killed.

Also the speed at which you level has also sort of killed rewards gained from quests/and non end level crafting gear. Why even let the quests give you gear when more than likely you will replace it rather quickly (the same for low level crafted gear)?
Agreed. Leveling used to be a journey but it's now either a race or a chore. There is no fun 2-3 shotting mobs while not wearing BoA's. Nothing is threatening. Everything is streamlined. And with ability pruning, some classes are stuck with like 3-4 spells to use for damage for 40+ levels. Look at MM hunter. Kill Shot (lvl 35), Steady Shot, and Aimed shot until level 65. So fun.

Leveling is by far the weakest part of their game. I think they're trying to get us to accept "the game starts at max level" because they don't want to put any effort into making it fun again.

I think the 90 boost is also a strong indicator of that. As a costumer and as player I really don't care for that kind of stance. Instead of them doing something about it to make it interesting again, they gave us on option to pay them to skip it.

Draenor leveling was pretty fun the first time. They did a great job with it. But the streamlining part severely hurts it's replay value. I miss finding a random path to wonder down and discovering a questgiver at the end. Now everything is chained.


I guess that I am doing it wrong then. I actually do enjoy questing in WoW and always have done. The difficulty has always largely been irrelevant to me, since in most cases, you can outlevel or outgear any difficulty that there may be. This has been true since at least BC and I strongly suspect it was true in Vanilla too. If the story is reasonably compelling (which it usually is for me), then even one shotting mobs with autoattack is not particularly dull.

With regard to Draenor, you have a choice of outposts in 4 different zones. In three of those zones, Nagrand being the exception, the outpost choice determines to some extent what quests you get to do in the zone. Moreover, the random quests are there. For example, many of your followers are obtained via randomly placed quests at the end of paths (Blook in Gorgrond springs to mind, but his is not the only example). Even excluding followers, there are non-follower quests that you are not breadcrumbed to in Frostfire (although you probably will run past the quest giver), Talador (as with Frostfire) and Nagrand. By contrast, when I started in Durotar back in BC, I was breadcrumbed into the vast majority of zones and quest hubs all the way up to and including Netherstorm and Shadowmoon.
10/03/2015 12:58 PMPosted by Anelynn
Special note, dungeons should be included in the blanket "buff world mobs" statement. I can solo dungeons right now, at-level, with no heirlooms. A group should ABSOLUTELY be 100% required for dungeons, and its simply not the case right now for many specs.


I am leveling an alt right now by only soloing level appropriate dungeons. Just to see if it's possible. I started at level 12.

So far, I have cleared Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, Stormwind Stockade, Gnomeregan, Blackfathom Deeps, Scarlet Halls, Scarlet Monestary, and currently working on Razorfen Kraul.

This is all WITHOUT a group and doing the same dungeons I would get by queueing in LFD. It's almost pathetic how easy it actually is too. Sure, some of the bosses are challenging, but the point is... it's completely doable. This shouldn't even be the case.
10/03/2015 08:23 PMPosted by Ariesmet
Sure, some of the bosses are challenging,

I find that trash pulls with lots of mobs clumped up are a bigger issue than the bosses. Have to be smart with pulls and CC if available :P
10/03/2015 08:17 PMPosted by Mikdra

I guess that I am doing it wrong then. I actually do enjoy questing in WoW and always have done. The difficulty has always largely been irrelevant to me, since in most cases, you can outlevel or outgear any difficulty that there may be. This has been true since at least BC and I strongly suspect it was true in Vanilla too. If the story is reasonably compelling (which it usually is for me), then even one shotting mobs with autoattack is not particularly dull.

With regard to Draenor, you have a choice of outposts in 4 different zones. In three of those zones, Nagrand being the exception, the outpost choice determines to some extent what quests you get to do in the zone. Moreover, the random quests are there. For example, many of your followers are obtained via randomly placed quests at the end of paths (Blook in Gorgrond springs to mind, but his is not the only example). Even excluding followers, there are non-follower quests that you are not breadcrumbed to in Frostfire (although you probably will run past the quest giver), Talador (as with Frostfire) and Nagrand. By contrast, when I started in Durotar back in BC, I was breadcrumbed into the vast majority of zones and quest hubs all the way up to and including Netherstorm and Shadowmoon.


Leveling took longer in vanilla, so you didn't out level zones as nearly as fast as you do now (right now you an do like maybe less than half of quests in a zone and already out level it).

Even if the story is compelling, wouldn't just one shotting things in an area sort of take away from some of that joy? By that imagine the quest giver telling how powerful said creature is you have to kill, then you just auto attack them once and boom quest finished (that doesn't sound like that would be that fun).

I have to say that the later portion of leveling was more fun to do, as the speed at which you leveled seemed to be more stable than it is early game (so quest rewards and the like seemed to matter more).
This is like the thread I made yesterday, but better written and with good suggestions for improvement.

So... I agree completely!

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