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Posts with tag level

Breakfast Topic: Finding motivation to level or grind

Arrowd of the US Cairne server has a question: How do you keep leveling without getting bored, abandoning a character, or rerolling? She says that she's had around 14 characters, and she's never managed to stick with one past about level 45. She always gets bored, and she wonders if there is a way to avoid it.

Now as I've mentioned before, I've leveled a lot of characters myself, and have a few 70s, but even I can sometimes get a little bit tired of the grind, and sometimes even I need to make up goals to keep myself focused. Sometimes I even need it for my level 70s if I'm running low on gold or raiding supplies. In that way, I can definitely feel where she's coming from, but I do (usually) manage to keep myself motivated.

Sometimes, for me, the Motivation is pretty simple. For example, on that Shaman I'm leveling, what keeps me going is the prospect of getting some sweet Dual Wield action going. I'm actually having a lot of fun with her, so I don't need to focus on it too hard, but the idea of imagining her with 2 axes enchanted with Windfury is a mental picture that is too awesome to put into words. I mean, we're talking cover of a Dragonforce album awesome.

So now I turn the question over to the rest of you. Whether it be leveling on a lowbie or grinding on a 70, how do you keep yourself motivation when the going gets tough and you get tired out? Is it the promise of a new skill? A new piece of gear? What keeps you charged up and logged in?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Making money, Alts

Reading between the lines: are more PvE to PvP transfers possible?

The announcement earlier in the week that Blizzard was allowing free transfers from a couple Oceanic PvE realms to the Oceanic PvP realm Thaurissan lead to a storm of speculation that Blizzard could be considering opening up PvE to PvP transfers on a wide scale.

Blizzard has recently said that they won't be allowing large scale transfers from PvE to PvP servers. This rule was supposedly in place for a number of reasons, the main one of which has always been the relative ease of leveling a character on a PvE server compared to that of a PvP server. Having done both, I can say that it wasn't too different – a few more tricks had to be used when leveling on the PvP server, but in no way was my leveling prolonged on the PvP server because of the PvP elements.

Drysc chimed in on this very topic yesterday.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

When the going gets tough

A few friends and I have begun leveling alts in the interests of having a few more 70's around for Wrath, and I got a comment on my Warrior after she dinged 29. "We'll need to get you some good blues," said a buddy, a 70-Paladin-turned-10-Shaman (in hindsight, probably cringing over said toon's Armory profile). "Warrior 30-40 is kinda tough."

It didn't mean much to me at the time, but I started thinking about it while contemplating the possibility of starting a Hordeside Hunter. A 1-10 Hunter without a pet is a fairly unpleasant (if mercifully quick) experience, but that one is pretty obvious while others seem less so. There's a strange alchemy of level, quest drops, scaling, gear, dungeons, and skills that seem to combine to make life tougher in certain level ranges.

A 2005 guide to classes' relative leveling speed insisted that classes alternately sped and slowed as they aged and that the difference could be tracked statistically, and while I'm not sure I trust all of their math (and the information's outdated anyway), you can't fault the amount of work that went into it. Moreover, as the commenters point out, someone who picks a Rogue as a main is not necessarily playing the game with the same goals in mind as someone who picked, say, a Priest. A less scientific, but more detailed, look at leveling speed and class difficulties was written by Breanni of, and her experiences seem to gel a bit more with conventional wisdom, particularly with respect to the speed of Hunter and Warlock leveling. That being said, Druid 1-20 was pretty ugly, Shaman late-30's is a parade of mana inefficiency, and I'm not looking forward to getting another Hunter to 10.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Classes, Alts

Vivendi earning statement hints WotLK to be released in second half of 2008

Vivendi earning statements announced today hint that Wrath of the Lich King is expected to be released the second half of 2008. This would also fit into dates that we've seen on sites like Amazon and Gamestop.

This is also significant in that it's the first time an official confirmation of a release time frame has come out. And being that this is the data sent to Vivendi investors, it comes with a good bit of clout.

Additionally, the statement tells us that World of Warcraft now has 10.7 million subscribers, up from 10 million at the end of 2007.

The exact paragraph in the statement is after the break. And of course, stay tuned to WoW Insider for all the latest Wrath of the Lich King news.

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Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

What are you looking forward to the most in WotLK?

There have been lots of little bits of news and information coming out about Wrath of the Lich King lately. With the World Wide Invitational 2008 just around the corner where WotLK will be playable again for us all, and the news that Wrath is in alpha, we can expect to see more and more come out about the game.

With this expectation of the beta and eventual release building, a lot of people are getting excited about different things. So I want to know, what are you most excited about?

For me, I'm most excited about seeing the new end game raid content. I'm with a very dedicated group of raiders right now who do about 20 hours a week of raiding, and it's a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll all still be around in WotLK and get to push into the new content quickly and with a lot of zeal.

Then there is the Death Knight. Who isn't thrilled at the chance to play a new class? We haven't ever seen a new class in WoW, and it's bound to throw a wrench in the way a lot of folks play the game. Seeing the Death Knight get integrated into raiding will be a very interesting thing to watch.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Bornakk posts on Death Knight level and creation

Bornakk has clarified some information about the Death Knight class today. The two key pieces of information he tells us are:
  • Death Knights will start at a level less than 70, but Blizzard wants them to be able to get into Northrend "a little faster".
  • Converting a preexisting character to a Death Knight has been ruled out.
This is interesting in that it has been previously thought that the starting level for Death Knights might be as low as 50 or 55. However with Bornakk saying that they want Death Knights to get into Northrend quickly, I would take this to mean that the Death Knight's starting level will be somewhere in the 60s instead. There's still something for Blizzard to clarify here, but this news is interesting nonetheless.

Bornakk also waxes philosophical about the decision to not have a character convert into a Death Knight. He says that "Leveling a character just to throw it away doesn't really fit [fun game play] very well." He also expects that Death Knights will "find their way" into raid groups just as the Paladins and Shamans did on the Horde and Alliance with the release of Burning Crusade.

While this news on the Death Knight is really just clarification of some previously released information, it does provide a good insight into what Blizzard is thinking about the class. WoW Insider will have all the latest on the Death Knight and Wrath of the Lich King, so stay tuned!

Filed under: News items, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Do records even matter?

There have been a few records set recently. Some are people claiming to have leveled to 70 the fastest, some are groups of players downing a boss on the PTR before anyone else in the world, while others are PvP records yet to be made. Everyone likes to say "we broke a record." It makes them feel good, gives them a sense of purpose and measurable accomplishment, and generally will put a smile on their face. Even I've done that here at WoW Insider occasionally: "Hey, we had a record number of hits that day, cool!" (No, I'm not going to say when that was, I'll leave it up for you all to comment on and guess.)

With all these record breaking accomplishments, it begs the question: do they really mean anything? Does it matter if you've leveled up to 70 in the time that most people are still working on getting the Deadmines quests done? Let's take a look at what records do and do not provide.

One thing that they do provide is competition amongst a small group of players. To borrow a phrase from marketing, we'll call these players "alpha players." They are the ones that will always be the first to jump on new content, the first to let everyone know how to do it, the first to complain, and the first to get the benefits of completing the content. These alpha players are pretty hard core, and use world firsts and records to challenge each other. There is literally a whole 'nother side to the game that many of us don't ever see – hard core time based competition.

Read on for more and vote in our poll, after the jump!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Leveling, Arena

Does anybody pay attention to World Defense?

theflamecrow on LJ had an interesting little occurrence: he was in Darkshore when he saw a flash in the World Defense channel that Darkshore was being attacked. The only problem? He's Horde.

Now, most people may think that Horde doesn't have a base in Darkshore that can do under attack, but in fact, they do-- it's the Dancing Troll Village. So apparently some enterprising Alliance had found it and started killing. But here's the bigger question I got from crow's story: does anyone really pay attention to World Defense?

I know I don't. But then again, I play on a PvE server, so odds are that anyone attacking a lowbie level like that is just a level 70 on a rampage. But even on PvP servers, do blaring Defense channels really mean that anyone cares? People will protect their guildies, and of course they'll join the fight if they smell blood (or at least someone they can beat in a fight). But do the Local and World Defense channels really point the way to a good PvP clash the way the developers surely intended? Or do they just mean chat spam, and that there'll be trouble if you try to speak to NPCs in that area?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, PvP, NPCs

A world full of Death Knights

This little informal survey by Ralloszek over on the WotLK forums raises a pretty good question: is anyone not planning on making a Death Knight when the next expansion hits? We're going to end up with a world full of pale people in black armor wielding gigantic frostblades-- maybe Blizzard should call it "World full of Lich Kings."

It's pretty easy to see that not everyone will switch their main (I don't ever foresee leaving my main, although I do plan to level a Death Knight as an alt), but even if people just roll them to check it out, it reminds me a lot of the Star Wars Galaxies "new game enhancements" where they made Jedi a playable class. If you can roll a Jedi as a class, why would you roll anything else?

Of course, we could give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt here-- they haven't revealed much at all about the game's first Hero Class, so maybe it'll be so hard to get one that they really will be very rare, or they'll only be allowed in certain areas (so you won't see a pack of Death Knights swarming around the mailbox in Stormwind). We already know that they'll start at a higher level, so the good news is that you won't see Elwynn Forest flooded with a bunch of level 1 Death Knights. But as for other ways to keep what is supposed to be a special class special, we'll have to see what Blizzard comes up with.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Hunter levels 1-10 improved

Mania's Arcania is at it again! She's leveling a new character, and -- surprise -- it's a hunter! Hunter characters are like those nifty potato chips: you can't just have one.

Anyway, she's made an interesting discovery this time about: The removal of the hunter deadzone has made the first 10 levels before a hunter can get his or her pet a much more tolerable, if not... dare I say it?... enjoyable experience! You no longer have to spend so much time meleeing, and you actually get to use a lot of your new abilities (such as Arcane Shot at level 6) more than once.

Previously those first 10 levels were so bad that I dreaded starting a new hunter character, and summoned up lots of patience just to get through them to the juicy fun part once the pet enters the scene. But now starting a new hunter should be a lot nicer.

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Less money, more problems

We heard yesterday that lower level characters didn't need daily quests, because they don't have money problems. But while I agree that daily quests aren't necessary before 70 (considering that, you know, you can do as many quests as you want while leveling), I'm not so sure I agree about the money problems part. Have you had enough money as a lower level character?

I can't ever remember running out of money to train with (although with all of my alts, I usually send about a hundred gold back just to keep repairs and item purchases rolling), but I don't know that I've always had money for a mount at 40. I have a priest right now who's 45 and still running around, just because I've never actually focused on making money long enough to raise the cash. Then again, on my disenchanting rogue, I've always had tons of money to go around, and even sent some up the chain to my main.

Is there a problem with funds at low levels? Do you find you have too little cash from 20-60, just the right amount, or even too much? I think the money flows pretty freely throughout the game at this point-- there are enough ways to earn money at almost any level that if you put in extra time, you should have all you need. But how's the tuning if you don't put in the time? For a character just leveling up, does the game give out enough cash to do it all?

Filed under: Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Making money

Time requirements for Hunter pet loyalty gain

Even more news about pet loyalty from Mania for Hunters everywhere. She's been sitting with a stopwatch and a pen and paper and figuring out exactly how long it takes to become Best Friends with that Ravager you just tamed, and the results (so far) are above.

Basically, to gain a loyalty level, your pet needs to, no matter what, gain at least 5% of the XP you, the Hunter, needs for your next level. This is required even if your pet is your level (which means they aren't actually gaining the XP). But there's also a time component on every loyalty level past Unruly. For example, to get to level 4 from level 5, you not only need the experience gain, but an hour must pass. This, as Mania says, is why sometimes your pet will ding loyalty while you're standing around in town-- you've gained the experience, but the time has to pass as well.

She's not done yet-- she needs (or someone with some time on their hands could do it as well-- Mania's going through a move lately) to check out if the experience stays the same all the way to 70, or if it increases at the higher levels. She also didn't try this keeping the pet anything other than happy, so the numbers may change if the pet isn't at full happiness. And she didn't explore, at all, what happens when the pet loses loyalty-- if your pet has dropped a level of loyalty, it may be a completely different formula to regain it.

But great work so far, and this is more than enough to give any Hunter a clear idea of how loyalty works in most cases.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Fan stuff, Guides

Breakfast Topic: Leveling to 80

A new expansion is coming our way, and with it comes an additional ten levels of zones, quests, dungeons, and other content. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, maybe... While I'm looking forward to seeing new people and places added to my favorite game, I can't say I'm terribly excited about leveling all of my characters up to 80. In fact, it sounds like a task with the potential to be extremely tedious. But for those of us still wanting to play, there's no option other than leveling up to 80 -- and if you're an alt-a-holic like me, leveling up to 80 again, and again, and again... So today I ask you: with level 80 on the horizon, do you look forward to the leveling experience, or dread it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW subscriber levels over nine millionnnnn

Pretty amazing news yesterday that WoW has hit over nine million subscribers (that's current, active subscribers-- we're taking it for granted that Blizzard isn't fudging the numbers) worldwide. They put an official announcement up on their front page, and as Patrick on the WoW LJ noticed, Blizzard may be getting rich, but they've still got a good sense of humor. Mouse over the picture on the post and you'll see what's posted above.

So what's next? As Elizabeth said yesterday, there's no question that the Burning Crusade expansion kept players playing, and even brought lots of new players back to the game. There's also no question that this holiday season might be a tough one for keeping players hooked on a four-year-old game, as there are tons of new releases for all the platforms (Warhammer might be WoW's biggest challenger, but don't forget that Halo 3, the new Grand Theft Auto, and a ton of other games are going to vy for the same freetime that WoW takes up). But don't worry-- Drysc has a solution, and it's that they're going to start appealing to some of Earth's other populations. Cat subscribers for the win?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Humor, The Burning Crusade

Guides to choosing and leveling your pet

Recently Lizzie experienced the joyful tribulation facing many hunters as they work their way through from levels 10 to 20, puzzling out the question of which pet suits them best. This is one of my favorite choices in the game, partly because there are so many pets to choose from, partly because your choice really makes a difference, and partly because you're not locked into it if you want to try something different later.

For you hunters out there who are looking into what your first pet should be, there is a guide to choosing a pet available on the US forums, which for some reason has not been stickied. It gives you a good overview of the different issues involved in choosing a pet, and sets you in the right direction you'll need to make your choice well.

For those of you who have already reached level 70, but decided that you actually want a pet that is only available at low levels (such as that pretty red kitty from Eversong Woods), there is a guide on the EU forums on how to level that pet up in the quickest way possible. You'll need patience for this, of course, and many hunters just don't have enough, even for picking up the highest-level boar in the game from the Eastern Plaguelands. Still, if you have the resolve, this guide can help you take lots of the pain out of the process.

Filed under: Hunter, Guides

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