Do the Level Squish

General Discussion
Regardless of arguments for not doing a Level Squish.

It is inevitable, because of ...

The Psychological Commitment of Leveling


The reason people do not want to level their toons has nothing to do with the time required. It takes ~60 hours or less to get a toon from 1-110 with heirlooms, that is the same amount of time it has taken to get to max or current content for years.

Actually ~60 hours from level 1 to max or current content was considered a feat years ago, people used to brag and make videos of these kinds of things. Today anybody with heirlooms can do that.

Even if the time required to level a toon were decreased by ~20%, the same people would still be complaining, because the required psychological commitment has not changed.

The real reason players do not want to level toons is because of the required psychological commitment of leveling a character 119 times to max.

If someone asked you to count from 1-120 for a cookie would you do that?

Most people would tell the challenger to keep the cookie. Even though counting to 120 would take ~35 seconds for an adult.

However, most people would be willing to solve a simple ~35 second puzzle for the same reward. Same time commitment, lower psychological commitment.

Make the Level Squish a Positive Experience

The Level Squish has to happen all the way down to 60, and since we are already at 120, this is the perfect time to divide by 2 and get it over with.

However, when the Level Squish does happen, it should carry a big reward such as a reworked Azeroth full of fresh new quests and the ability to hop onto the expansions much earlier and with a greater range of options.

Don't divert the team that works on current content to rework Azeroth with fresh new quests and give us Cataclysm all over again. Make that a separate effort being done by a different team, so that new Azeroth does not impact the development pace or quality of current content.

Leveling Stones

To disincentivize repetitive and boring leveling, we have to incentivize questing. Give players have a chance to receive Leveling Stones from quest rewards, these would be soulbound items that grant enormous amounts of experience when used; and implement bad luck protection. The more characters you have at max level, the higher the chance of receiving Leveling Stones from quests.

Level up Rewards and Important Milestones by Carhagen (Moonguard)

Implement the Honor Level reward system into the general leveling experience.

Each level should result in meaningful and predictable rewards so that players have something to look forward too. That could be earning gold, gear, transmogs, a cool ground mount at level 20 and then a flying mount at level 60.

When the character reaches certain milestones such as level 5 for training professions or level 20 for training riding, the player should receive an instant quest to alert that such milestone has been reached. The quest would then guide the player through the milestone, such as teach him where and how to train professions or riding.

You Are Not Losing Anything

You do not level for a number, you level for access to content and gear, that is not being taken away from you.

The Level Squish would not fix most leveling problems but it would fix 1 problem, and that's a good start.
If someone asked you do count from 1-120 for a cookie would you do that?


Are we talking Thin Mints? Then yes.
No thank you.
Actually, the reason is because the leveling process is no longer engaging, and hasn’t been since they removed Talent Trees. Putting that one point in felt infinitely better than anything else they’ve had. Now most of those levels are literally worthless, since enemies scale with you.
I used to play an admittedly !@#$ mmo that had a rebirth system. You reach the maximum level, which was 130 in that game, and you can chose to get reborn (cant quiet remember how, probably kys), anyway after you're reborn you level up again but have a passive ability which buffs your damage and survivability.

What do you guys think about that? HUH?

I mean whats the point of a level squish though, itll probably still take the same amount of time to get to max level.

I want wow 2, has to be mobile though

hahahhahhahhhahahahahhaaaaaaaaaaa...... jk

*frightened for the future of wow*
If talking how things are precieved mentally I think a level squish is the wrong way to go. People hate losing things and having things taken away from them. This is especially true when they feel they've put in a lot of time and effort to gain those things. This is especially especially true when talking about wow players.

We get angry when they take our spells. We got angry when they took the old talent system. We got angry when they took flying. We got angry when cata took our vanilla zones.

If they take our levels we'll get angry at that too. It doesn't feel good to have to re-earn something. Stat squishes feel bad because visually we're weaker, even though mechanically we're just as strong. Levels would be the same thing. Reduction=less than=weaker at least from a psychological perspective.

Reversely, we love getting stuff. We love getting more options. We loved getting a transmog system. We loved when we got new spells. We loved gaining power as we leveled.

The solution should be to add to the game not to remove. As the gap between 1 and max level gets larger instead of removing levels they should add more options to level faster. They should add more rewards to make the leveling experience more rewarding, not remove levels to make the number of levels equal to the number of rewards we already have.

To top it all off, a level squish at best would be a band aid. It could never be a permanent fix. We see the same thing with stat squishes. Eventually the level count would reach the same point and they'd have to squish it again. The longer WoW goes one the more often you'd have to earn the same level on the same character. Sure maybe you're willing to have 60 or 80 be the cap again. when 9.0 rolls around you're 60 again and the new max is 65 or 70. How would that feel when you have to do the same thing again though? Earning 65 not for a 2nd time but a third?

Level squish is at best a one time fix. Better to not waste time on a temporary solution and pour time and resources into a truly long term and lasting fix
A level squish won't change anything, not really.

Think about it, right now if we play a non-allied race and pick any class other than Demon Hunter or Death Knight, we are leveling from level 1 to 120. But the problem isn't the levels, it's the lack of rewards. There's little incentive to keep pushing through the levels once you've unlocked all the core abilities of the class except to get talents every 15 levels, and even that ends at 100, meaning the last 20 levels gives you nothing.

Personally, were I designing WoW, I would take a page from Guild Wars 2 or ESO, because they reward your character almost every time you level up with various rewards like crafting materials, items, skill points etc etc. If players are getting rewarded while they level, even if talents are only 10 to 15 levels apart, that makes leveling far more healthy.
Reported OP for Spam and Trolling.

These threads are just that, spam and trolling.

A squish fixes nothing.

Edit. Carhagen said it really well. +1
Level squish will do nothing other then make it look like it takes less time, until you realise that it takes twice as long per level to level.

From levelling a few characters (w/ Heirlooms) 1-60 feels great. You get a new spell each level, you get new talents every 15 that might shake things up. It feels good. Then you hit 60, you've got most of your skills and your talents are still 15 levels apart.

Basically once you've hit 60 theres often 1 skill, you're mastery and a lvl 80 skill to unlock. You've got most of your kit save a few talents that might be at a higher level. On top of all that, 60 - 80 seems to be the longest grind. Short of queing random back to back, its feels like it takes ages. You don't get any new skills, you get a total of a single talent. Its boring. You're doing the same thing over and over, this is where I'll often change spec to something else just to not get bored of it. And once you hit 80 thats it. No new spells, you've got like 2 talents but you've got to slog through 40 more levels.

90 - 100 feels quick compared to 60 - 80 it almost like someone hit the turbo. Its that part of the game for more where its like, finially I feel like I'm making progreess. Because at this point you're main goal is to hit max level. No skills to work towards and very few of the late talents tend to be role defining. They are more powerful and more situational. So it feels good to fly by these compared to 60-80

You could change all that from 0 - 100 to 0 - 50. It won't change the fact that once you're 60(30) you stop gaining skills every few levels. 60-80 (30 - 40) feels like someone hit the breaks and 90 - 100 (45 - 50) you more focused on getting to max level then playing because you get nothing from 80(40) onwards.

TL:DR Level squish will do nothing to fix levelling. It'll still be boring after 60 until you hit max
11/04/2018 03:16 AMPosted by Carhagen
A level squish won't change anything, not really.

Think about it, right now if we play a non-allied race and pick any class other than Demon Hunter or Death Knight, we are leveling from level 1 to 120. But the problem isn't the levels, it's the lack of rewards. There's little incentive to keep pushing through the levels once you've unlocked all the core abilities of the class except to get talents every 15 levels, and even that ends at 100, meaning the last 20 levels gives you nothing.


It's actually balanced perfectly. Nobody wants to play a Retribution Paladin and learn Avenging Wrath at 120.

Your solution is also unsustainable.

Your character cannot keep learning abilities every expansion pack or you would end up with too many, we already went through that.

Which also makes your solution contradictive.

Because the only way to keep that from happening is to prune abilities or make abilities temporary such as the Legion artifact abilities, which would make you feel pruned every single expansion.
11/04/2018 03:32 AMPosted by Lucilux
Level squish will do nothing other then make it look like it takes less time, until you realise that it takes twice as long per level to level.


That's the point.

Right now leveling a toon from 1-110 is a joke and can be done extremely fast, the problem is people think and feel like it takes a long time because of the big number.

That number is only going to get bigger over time.
11/04/2018 03:35 AMPosted by Leowulf
It's actually balanced perfectly. Nobody wants to play a Retribution Paladin and learn Avenging Wrath at 120.

Who said that this should happen? I certainly didn't. Nowhere in what I wrote did I say that abilities should be spaced out and it should take longer for you to earn them. You want to get core abilities early. That's important and I see no reason why that should change.

11/04/2018 03:35 AMPosted by Leowulf
Your solution is also unsustainable.

Your character cannot keep learning abilities every expansion pack or you would end up with too many, we already went through that.

Read what I wrote again, and this time process it before you type, because again you're focusing on 'abilites' when I didn't mention those. I said 'rewards' and rewards can take many forms. For example, in Guild Wars 2 as I level I earn skill points, which I can then invest toward unlocking specific abilities, I also get pieces of armor for my character to wear or sell, I get bags of crafting materials which I can use or sell. Essentially as I level I am given items, and after I've leveled I see a little UI menu showing what I'm going to get as I continue leveling, which incentivises me to keep leveling. Blizzard could do something similar in WoW, with every level giving you a reward of a sort, whether it's a piece of gear for your class, a pet, a mount, profession supplies, a bag of gold, anything really could be turned into a reward.
11/04/2018 03:42 AMPosted by Carhagen
11/04/2018 03:35 AMPosted by Leowulf
It's actually balanced perfectly. Nobody wants to play a Retribution Paladin and learn Avenging Wrath at 120.

Who said that this should happen? I certainly didn't. Nowhere in what I wrote did I say that abilities should be spaced out and it should take longer for you to earn them. You want to get core abilities early. That's important and I see no reason why that should change.

11/04/2018 03:35 AMPosted by Leowulf
Your solution is also unsustainable.

Your character cannot keep learning abilities every expansion pack or you would end up with too many, we already went through that.

Read what I wrote again, and this time process it before you type, because again you're focusing on 'abilites' when I didn't mention those. I said 'rewards' and rewards can take many forms. For example, in Guild Wars 2 as I level I earn skill points, which I can then invest toward unlocking specific abilities, I also get pieces of armor for my character to wear or sell, I get bags of crafting materials which I can use or sell. Essentially as I level I am given items, and after I've leveled I see a little UI menu showing what I'm going to get as I continue leveling, which incentivises me to keep leveling. Blizzard could do something similar in WoW, with every level giving you a reward of a sort, whether it's a piece of gear for your class, a pet, a mount, profession supplies, a bag of gold, anything really could be turned into a reward.


So you mean something like Honor Levels where you can/could gain gold, gear, mounts, or currency with every level?

You're already incentivized with completing the tasks required to level with gold and gear, so adding the same incentive to gaining a level would just feel like an additional quest reward.

But it would still be a good idea if implemented in a novel way.
So you mean something like Honor Levels where you can/could gain gold, gear, or currency with every level?

More or less.

Let's say I am leveling a paladin, I start at level 1.

Level 2 gives me a basic 2h weapon, a popup appears telling me that when I hit level 3 I'll get some chest armor, level 4 I'll get a bag of silver and level 5 I'll get a bag of crafting supplies.

Additionally, when I unlock a new system, I should be told that I've unlocked it. Professions for example cannot be learned until level 5. So at level 5 I should be told that I've 'unlocked' professions, I should be directed to the local profession trainer (depending on my race) and I should be given a bag of crafting supplies for a profession of my choice.

I don't have to use those crafting materials, I can sell them if I want to, but if I decide that I do want to use them, well that means I get a bit of a leg up when it comes to creating stuff for said profession.

Then let's say I get to level 20 (obviously I've gotten more rewards between 5 and 20 but just skipping for example). Level 20 is when I unlock riding, so, I get a quest to go unlock my riding skill, but instead of just getting the quest, a basic mount should also be rewarded (which changes depending on race, but once the mount is unlocked, all future characters leveled of the same race get gold instead) so that if I'm a new player coming into the game, I have a mount waiting for me once I unlock the skill.

And it moves on from there honestly.
Leveling isn't the issue...the ABJECT STUPIDITY of scaling is.

Ion and his crew made a brainless decision implementing that.

There's no character progression anymore. You're ALWAYS at the same
level as your surroundings.

That's idiotic.
11/04/2018 03:55 AMPosted by Carhagen
So you mean something like Honor Levels where you can/could gain gold, gear, or currency with every level?

More or less.

Let's say I am leveling a paladin, I start at level 1.

Level 2 gives me a basic 2h weapon, a popup appears telling me that when I hit level 3 I'll get some chest armor, level 4 I'll get a bag of silver and level 5 I'll get a bag of crafting supplies.

Additionally, when I unlock a new system, I should be told that I've unlocked it. Professions for example cannot be learned until level 5. So at level 5 I should be told that I've 'unlocked' professions, I should be directed to the local profession trainer (depending on my race) and I should be given a bag of crafting supplies for a profession of my choice.

I don't have to use those crafting materials, I can sell them if I want to, but if I decide that I do want to use them, well that means I get a bit of a leg up when it comes to creating stuff for said profession.

Then let's say I get to level 20 (obviously I've gotten more rewards between 5 and 20 but just skipping for example). Level 20 is when I unlock riding, so, I get a quest to go unlock my riding skill, but instead of just getting the quest, a basic mount should also be rewarded (which changes depending on race, but once the mount is unlocked, all future characters leveled of the same race get gold instead) so that if I'm a new player coming into the game, I have a mount waiting for me once I unlock the skill.

And it moves on from there honestly.


So the Honor Leveling experience as part of the General Leveling Experience with meaningful rewards as well as instant quests at important milestones to guide players.

Sounds awesome! That would not fix most leveling problems but it does fix 1 problem, and that's a good start.
11/04/2018 02:38 AMPosted by Leowulf
Regardless of arguments for not doing a Level Squish.

It is inevitable, because of ...

The Psychological Commitment of Leveling


The reason people do not want to level their toons has nothing to do with the time required. It takes ~60 hours or less to get a toon from 1-110 with heirlooms, that is the same amount of time it has taken to get to max or current content for years.

Actually ~60 hours from level 1 to max or current content was considered a feat years ago, people used to brag and make videos of these kinds of things. Today anybody with heirlooms can do that.

Even if the time required to level a toon were decreased by ~20%, the same people would still be complaining, because the required psychological commitment has not changed.

The real reason players do not want to level toons is because of the required psychological commitment of leveling a character 119 times to max.

If someone asked you to count from 1-120 for a cookie would you do that?

Most people would tell the challenger to keep the cookie. Even though counting to 120 would take ~35 seconds for an adult.

However, most people would be willing to solve a simple ~35 second puzzle for the same reward. Same time commitment, lower psychological commitment.

Make the Level Squish a Positive Experience

The leveling experience does feel stale, but Level Squishing has to happen all the way down to 60, and since we are already at 120, this is the perfect time to divide by 2 and get it over with.

However, when the Level Squish does happen, it should carry a big reward such as a reworked Azeroth full of fresh new quests and the ability to hop onto the expansions much earlier and with a greater range of options.

Don't divert the team that works on current content to rework Azeroth with fresh new quests and give us Cataclysm all over again. Make that a separate effort being done by a different team, so that new Azeroth does not impact the development pace or quality of current content.

Leveling Stones

To disincentivize repetitive and boring leveling, we have to incentivize questing. Give players have a chance to receive Leveling Stones from quest rewards, these would be soulbound items that grant enormous amounts of experience when used; and implement bad luck protection. The more characters you have at max level, the higher the chance of receiving Leveling Stones from quests.

You Are Not Losing Anything

You do not level for a number, you level for access to content and gear, that is not being taken away from you.

The Level Squish would not fix most leveling problems but it would fix 1 problem, and that's a good start.


Don't assume you know why everyone levels. Do not assume you know how everyone would feel about a squish.

What a level squish would do is drive people who enjoy leveling for its own sake (and such people do exist) away from the game -- and yes, we would be having something taken away from us without our consent, a huge part of our game.

Yes, leveling could do with some improvements, but a level squish would not be an improvement. Quite the opposite, in fact.
11/04/2018 03:35 AMPosted by Leowulf
11/04/2018 03:16 AMPosted by Carhagen
A level squish won't change anything, not really.

Think about it, right now if we play a non-allied race and pick any class other than Demon Hunter or Death Knight, we are leveling from level 1 to 120. But the problem isn't the levels, it's the lack of rewards. There's little incentive to keep pushing through the levels once you've unlocked all the core abilities of the class except to get talents every 15 levels, and even that ends at 100, meaning the last 20 levels gives you nothing.


It's actually balanced perfectly. Nobody wants to play a Retribution Paladin and learn Avenging Wrath at 120.

Your solution is also unsustainable.

Your character cannot keep learning abilities every expansion pack or you would end up with too many, we already went through that.

Which also makes your solution contradictive.

Because the only way to keep that from happening is to prune abilities or make abilities temporary such as the Legion artifact abilities, which would make you feel pruned every single expansion.


Rewards don't have to be a new button to press. Cosmetic rewards are almost always popular. The old talent trees were almost totally passive gains. A version of that to complement the current one and make minor passive changes would make it so your character still feels like it's growing a little stronger with each level. There's lot of alternative to adding rewards with out adding buttons.

11/04/2018 03:35 AMPosted by Leowulf
Your solution is also unsustainable.


A level squish is just as unsustainable. We've already had multiple stat squishes because eventually the damage numbers get too big again. the same thing would happen with levels. Eventually it gets "too high" and they have to keep reducing it. You'll eventually have 3 or 4 expansions all advertising "New Max Level: 80!"

Having my level reset doesnt not seem like a rewarding way to play. Especially if it starts happening more than once.
I don't see a difference between spending X amount of time to level 1 level, or X amount to level 2 levels if the result is the same. One major problem with leveling is how little happens for a long time. In WoD they at least gave you a random ability every other level. Now, after having all your regular abilities at 80, all you get is one talent at 90, one at 100, and then nothing, not even at 120. Or a third PvP talent at 110, which won't make a difference for a lot of characters.

If they're going to do the level squish they need to reduce XP required significantly, instead it might be counterproductive with people seeing it take longer to level up one level.

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