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A City of Heroes-style mentoring system "in the long-term plan" for Cataclysm

UPDATE: The Escapist has posted the full text of their interview with Ghostcrawler, so I've replaced the "abridged" version with the actual exchange instead.

Those of you who've played other MMOs (yes, they exist) might recall a feature from City of Heroes (yes, CoH did it before EQ2) that let you temporarily level down your character to a friend's level, allowing you to do any kind of level-relevant content together. Well, guess what? Blizzard is planning to let you do the same thing in a Cataclysm content patch, avoiding the type of situation you see above.

The Escapist recently interviewed Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street about Cataclysm, and this exchange took place:
Ghostcrawler:
A very simple thing we've done is just put on your character panel what phase you're in. So that you can look and be like "Oh, so the reason I can't see you is because we're in different phases." Long-term, we're trying to work on a system where you can actually go back and forward a little bit. You might be able to scale your character down levels in order to go play with a friend, and even redo quests that you've done before.

Part of the reason we're able to do that is because of the technology we originally developed for heirloom items, which are items that scale. And then for the Cataclysm expansion, we've changed spells, so they also scale with level. So instead of having ranks now, your fireball will just get more powerful as you gain levels. So since you can scale both class spells and items really easily, now we think we can actually let you lower your level down if you want to play with somebody else.

I kinda wanted to have that for Cataclysm launch, but it's a feature we're working on.

John Funk:
So do you think that's saying that, like cross-server dungeons, it might be patched in before the next expansion?

Ghostcrawler:
Yeah. I mean, we gotta get this one out the door first to know how much we need to do for the patches that come afterwards, but it's definitely in the long-term plan.
We hadn't heard anything about this feature before, but it sounds great -- this way, you can play with a lowbie friend without drastically reducing his experience gain, and you'll always have something to do together. Heck, it could even pave the way for making old raids relevant again. I'm excited to see how this plays out!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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