Recently Mark Kern, former Blizzard developer, claimed that World of Warcraft and MMOs in general are too easy. He said that the journey is too quick and therefore people are only enjoying the endgame content. Is he right?
There is no disputing the fact that leveling is quick and easy in WoW right now. Players can run random dungeons one right after the other and get from 15 to endgame rather quickly. Questing is more streamlined as well. And there are many other ways to get experience, such as pet battles and archaeology. Add to all of this the heirloom and experience buffs and you can zip from beginning to end without seeing much of the in-between.
But the heirlooms aren't mandatory and neither is running dungeons. Is the speed and ease of leveling in the eye of the beholder?
Cataclysm rebuilt the world and added hundreds of new questlines, many of them heavily story based. There are plenty of good times to be had via questing. They are fun, but since most of the mandatory group quests have been eliminated, questing in general is pretty easy. And the experience comes so quickly -- even without heirlooms and other XP buffs -- that players tend to outlevel the zone just by completing some of the quest chains.
Still no one is forcing players to leave zones once the quests turn green, so the journey is still there. But is that enough?
There are many people who RP as well as quite a few people who are completionists. These players are definitely enjoying the journey rather than rushing to endgame. And there are people who like leveling up multiple alts. But Kern speaks of the challenge and how it's pretty hard to die in a starting zone. But is how many times you die the only way to measure the challenge of an in-game activity?
I enjoy the journey and I'm happy that I no longer encounter things from other MMOs such as encumbrance (penalties for carrying too much stuff) and losing levels. But I do wish that I didn't outlevel the zone when I'm only questing. I enjoy the story, but I feel like I'm spinning my wheels if I'm doing green or grey quests.
What do you think? Is leveling to easy in World of Warcraft? If so, what would you do to change it? Blog about your answer and link it in the comments below. Or, if you don't have a WoW-related blog, leave your response in the comments. We'll spotlight some responses next week.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion