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Posts with tag levels

Community Blog Topic Results: Do we need more levels?

Last week's Community Blog Topic was "Do we need more levels?" There were more yes's than no's in the comments and blogs this topic sparked, but there were also some innovative solutions for how leveling or progression could be handled in the future.

JeffLaBowski started this discussion off over at Sportsbard, with his answer firmly in the No column. He gives several reasons for not having more levels, starting with questing:
They would still have quests, but these quests would be more meaningful. They would tell rich tales full of lore and character development. New races would be completely and meaningfully fleshed out. No loose ends. No abrupt stops. They could even add max level class quests. There could still be dailies and reputation but you would work on these from the moment you set foot in the new zones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: The leveling games we play

We've leveled a lot of characters in our day -- and I do mean a lot. So many, in fact, that leveling new ones can be such a snooze that we have to invent new challenges to make it interesting. So we create things like the Ironman Challenge, where death means you have to reroll. Perhaps to spice things up you're considering leveling your next alt purely through PvP, healing, or even daily quests.

Tell us, readers, are you playing any leveling games? I am personally considering leveling a new priest purely through healing dungeons for a change of pace... though we'll see how long it lasts before it just starts driving me nuts.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How do you level?

Breakfast Topic How do you level
Leveling in World of Warcraft is a rite of passage that we all must go through in order to reach max level where we can play with our friends. Though for alt-a-holics -- and I'm starting to think I may be one of them -- leveling is the whole point of the game. But whether you're leveling for the first time or the hundredth, whether you're speeding through or taking time to enjoy the scenery, chances are you have your own way of going about things.

So when you're on the leveling treadmill, what's your choice? For my part, I tend to quest through zones -- especially if they're zones I haven't been through before. But if I'm stuck in zones that I've been through before, perhaps many times before, things get awfully tedious, thus ending my life potential alt-a-holism. But do you quest, dungeon, subsist on dailies and rested XP, or something else entirely? Let us know, so we may commiserate about the leveling treadmill together!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Peter Molyneux on WoW's reward system

You probably know Peter Molyneux's name if you've been playing video games for any significant amount of time -- he's the mind behind such classics as Populous and Dungeon Keeper, all the way up to Black and White and the current Fable series. He recently gave a talk to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and early on his talk (part 1 is here, part 2 and part 3 are also online), he speaks out about our favorite game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, he mentions it as an influence on his game design, and says the most brilliant thing about the game are "the steeds," or the mounts you could pick up at level 40 (nowadays, of course, they're available at level 20). He says that in his own games, he tries to give everything out to the player as soon as possible, but the fact that Blizzard made you wait to ride a mount around, made you work up a few levels for it, really stuck with him.

Now, of course, he's taking away his own lessons here -- Blizzard's philosophy with the game as a whole seems to reward the player as much as possible, and especially lately, with emblems and the different modes and all of the other daily and weekly quests they've come up with, they're making you do less waiting for prizes than they ever have before (in fact, compared to MMOs when they first started, much, much less waiting). And Molyneux's own games are very "rewarding" -- I don't think more than two minutes went by in Fable without me getting a level or a new spell or a new item to play around with. But his point is still good, even after all that: anticipation of a reward can be just as strong a motivator as the reward itself.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Mounts

A bag for Cooking

Profession bags are a godsend for almost anyone leveling up a profession -- while the loss of bag space in favor of specialty slots can be a problem sometimes at the lower levels, almost all high level characters can definitely make use of at least one profession bag, to hold all of the extra ore, or gems, or leather, or whatever else you're hauling around all the time. But Natalia over on WoW LJ makes an excellent point: just where is our cooking bag? And how about a fishing bag? You might argue that only the gathering professions are meant to have bags (the Blacksmithing bag is actually a Mining bag, so even Engineers can make use of it), but that's not quite true: Engineering does have its own bags, as does Inscription. Cooking and/or Fishing, you'd think, should both have their own profession bags.

Of course, they are both secondary professions, so maybe Blizzard believes that because they're more or less optional, you should be able to carry around all of your food and spices and lures in your regular bags. But cooking especially has gotten pretty complicated lately (there are a few foods that you've got to have in your bags regularly to do the daily quests, especially Chilled Meat), and so a lot of players would definitely find a use for a dedicated bag. First Aid, probably not, but Cooking and Fishing? Definitely.

And if you want to really dream, maybe food could actually get a bonus from being kept in a special "refridgerated" bag -- nothing big, just maybe a few extra points of the bonus stat or a little longer duration when you actually take care of your food rather than just tossing it in with all of the Kobold eyeballs and oily swords and cloth that you're also carrying around. But that would be extra -- for now, just a bigger bag meant for cooking and fishing utensils would be fine, thanks.

Filed under: Fishing, Cooking, Items, Analysis / Opinion

Crusaders' Coliseum difficulty is a test for Blizzard

I've suspected this on the podcast, and I'm sure many people have figured this before, but Crygil makes it absolutely clear: the four difficulty levels set up on the Crusaders' Coliseum is just a test for Blizzard. This isn't at all the standard, it's just something different they're trying with this format of dungeon, and they'll be watching to see how players respond. As Crygil says, it definitely doesn't mean that they'll be going back and revamping the old dungeons to reflect the new layout (where 10 and 25-man raids each have their own Heroic modes), and the corollary is that it doesn't necessarily mean that Icecrown will be like this, either. They're giving this a shot, and if there are issues with it, they'll go back to the old way or consider something else.

Will it work? My guess is that it will. Besides the fact that players will always run the heck out of the game's latest raid (and Blizzard can definitely use that as justification that it's a popular way to do things), I think any move that gives players more options will be received well. Some guilds will try to run all four modes all the time, and will get sick of the instance way before any new content shows up, but I think most folks will just choose one or two difficulties to run every week (say, 25-man Heroic with their guild, and 10-man Heroic with a PuG), and get their gear from there. Whether we'll see this again in Icecrown, however, I'm not sure -- this seems like a setup for a lower-tier instance that everyone gets to run, not an expansion-ending, top-of-the-line raid. Blizzard may go back to the normal 10 and 25-man setup for Icecrown, and then bring this scheme back for instances in the next expansion, whatever that may be.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding

Forum post of the day: Broken records incoming

Although at times contentious, the current recruitment promotion has certainly sped up leveling. The triple experience point bonus comes to mind first, but the ability to give levels at a rate of one per two gained is also a real boon. The rule is that the levels can be applied to a character lower than the givers current level, capped at level 60. Theoretically someone who has reached level 60 could donate enough levels to raise another character from 30-59* in a matter of minutes.

This new mechanic is pretty easy to use and potentially abuse. Málfurion of Wildhammer is not happy with the change. To quote "I just saw a Warlock go from level 31-59 in 10 seconds in front of my eyes... The new recruit a friend is bull > <.... NERF NERF NERF!" The post was met with some disbelief, but it clearly is a possibility. Some players indicated that they have something similar in mind. Abilene of Aegwynn believes that this practice ruins the game for some.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Leveling, Alts, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Zone level page updated with all the Northrend zones


As Blizzard's front page has noted, the realm levels page has been updated with all of the Northrend zones and the levels that we'll be going through them. There are ten Northrend zones in total, which you'd think would equate to one level per zone, but of course that's not the case -- as with Burning Crusade, there's a lot of overlap, so it looks like not only will many players be reaching 80 before seeing everything, but you may even have to run the zones twice to get the entire Northrend experience.

And it's interesting to see that Lake Wintergrasp is so [redacted!]. Wait, what? You don't want to know which levels match up with which zones in Wrath of the Lich King? Just in case you think this list is a spoiler, we've gone ahead and thrown it, uncensored, after the break. Read on for where you'll be when.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Quests, Expansions, Leveling

Midsummer Fire Festival level guide


You don't have to be level 70 to get in on most of the fun for this year's Midsummer Fire Festival. Here is a guide to the minimum levels required (as stated by Kisirani) and recommended for each of the quests:
  • Torch Tossing and Torch Catching have no minimum level requirement. Because you complete these quests in the safety of a capital city, any level is appropriate.
  • Honoring the flames has no minimum level requirement. Unless you are 50+, however, the recommended level is the same as the level of the area you can comfortably hunt in.
  • Desecrating flames also has no minimum level requirement, but considering it flags you for PvP even on a PvE server, do so at your own risk if you are low level.
  • Incense for the Festival Scorchlings also has no minimum level and any level is recommended.
  • Unusual Activitiy requires level 16, but I wouldn't recommend lower than 20 given that you have to fight level 20 and 21 cultists and the area is rotten with level 20 Naga.
  • A Thief's Reward or stealing the flames in the other faction's capital cities required a minimum level of 50, but if the flame is at all defended, it's best to be level 70.
  • Lord Ahune requires a minimum level of 65. Slave Pens is where he resides, so any level above the minimum that you feel comfortable in that instance is recommended. Edited to add: Upon further review, the recommended level to complete this quest is 70 and it is easier if the 70s in your group are well-geared.
These quests give a lot of experience if you are below 70 and a lot of money if you aren't. Regardless of the rewards, however, these quests are a fresh infusion of fun during this period of pre-expansion blahs. So if you haven't tried them yet, what are you waiting for?
The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us! Check out WoW Insider's complete quest guide to collect those Burning Blossoms as well as our guide on how to spend them. Also, don't forget to eyeball our screenshot gallery of Midsummer events. Finally, find out how to kill Lord Ahune, and check out our break down of his loot table.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Quests, Guides, Forums

Patch 2.3 and you: pre-60 dungeons


Leveling is getting a boost. Along with some new content in Dustwallow Marsh, patch 2.3 (going live tomorrow!) will bring across-the-board changes for characters between levels 20 and 60. The XP required for each level is being reduced by 20%, quest XP is getting buffed, and the so-called "leveling" dungeons are getting some major changes. Here is what the patch notes have to say at the moment:
  • Elite mobs outside of pre-Burning Crusade dungeons have been changed to non-elite.
  • The level ranges of pre-Burning Crusade dungeons have been adjusted to a narrower range.
  • Meeting stone level requirements, the Looking for Group system, and quests have been adjusted to match the new dungeon level ranges.
  • All old world dungeon bosses have had their loot revisited. Players will now find that the loot dropped inside instances will be of Superior (blue) quality.
Well, that's vague enough, isn't it? Level ranges adjusted to "a narrower range"? We can't have that. So I went through to all the old-world dungeons on my trusty 70 rogue and checked the level ranges of the mobs there. I'll also show you a sample of a new or improved item for each dungeon; new items are on the left, and old items on the right for comparison. That means a lot of pictures, so dial-up users beware, I guess. TL;DR version: minimum level stays the same, maximum level nerfed down to somewhere between 3 and 5 more than the minimum level. If you want all the fun details, let's get to it!

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Filed under: Instances, Features, Leveling

Leveling improvements for Patch 2.3

Are you in the midst of leveling a character between 20 and 60? Well right now is the time to stop everything, rush over to this forum post from Blizzard, and sing a happy song while you hurry up and wait! That's right, in answer to the crying pleas of casual alt-oholics everywhere, Blizzard is finally speeding up the tedious leveling curve for old world content in patch 2.3, adding in a bunch of new quests, nerfing a lot of the nastiest bad guys, and buffing a whole bunch of the items they drop.

Here's a summarized list of the changes, with the full post by Vaneras copied for you beyond the link below.
  • Amount of experience needed to level reduced by 15% per level between 20 and 60.
  • Experience gained from completing quests increased between levels 30 and 60.
  • Outdoor elite quests will now now be soloable, with the same (or better) rewards.
  • About 60 new quests and a new goblin town based in Dustwallow Marsh (levels 30 to 40)
  • Level ranges for old dungeons to be narrowed down a bit (so that if you are high enough to start them, you are high enough to finish them too)
  • Increased questing experience for dungeon quests.
  • Buffed up item drops from dungeon bosses.
As Vaneras says, "Though we've given you a few examples of the things to come, we think everyone will pleasantly surprised when they see the full extent of the changes discussed above." Keep reading to see all the juicy details.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Instances, Quests, Leveling, Alts

The hidden formula behind pet loyalty

Mania's Arcania continues its look at pet loyalty and the mechanics of how it works. Last time, she found that tamed pets would stick around for 30 minutes no matter what you do, and this time around she went the other way-- up to loyalty level two, Unruly.

Basically, using a newly tamed pet, a stopwatch, and a notepad, she determined that in order for a pet to go from loyalty level 1 (Rebellious) to level 2 (Unruly), the pet needs to gain 5% of the experience the Hunter needs for his next level. So a level 11 hunter needs 8800 experience to get to 12, which means a pet (of any level and family) needs to kill for 440 XP (5% of 8800) to go up a loyalty level with that Hunter.

Interesting. And the formula apparently works even when the pet isn't actually earning experience (ie when your pet is the same level as you are). However (and this is a big however), time is also playing a factor, and Mania's not exactly how it does-- she let her pet sit happy for a few hours, and then on the very next kill, the loyalty level went up. So it seems to be some combo of experience earned together and time (where more experience or more time can replace the other if necessary), but the exact numbers aren't there yet.

At any rate, good stuff, and Mania is being really thorough with it. If you're a Hunter who changes pets often, it's worth a read.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Leveling

Should the expansion add levels to the game?


While I think it's pretty certain that the next game expansion will add additional levels to the game, there's a reasonably sized petition making the rounds on the forums asking Blizzard not to add more levels. The argument, of course, is that we could see a repeat of the Burning Crusade -- all raid content is abandoned as the first quest rewards from new zones equal it while the reputations you spent so much time grinding up now only offers useless, low level rewards. But though I understand the concerns of players railing against new levels, I think they're going to come, anyway -- Blizzard has to give the players who have already burned through Burning Crusade content something new and interesting to do. However, perhaps they've learned a bit from the last expansion... only time will tell.

But what do you think? Does the game need new levels, or does that just destroy the things we've worked so hard to achieve?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling

Hey! I needed that!

Nikol of WoW Ladies posts about something I shouldn't get so worked up about, but often do anyway-- higher level characters farming mobs that lower levels need for quests or rep.

Now, Nikol is actually on the opposite side of the equation from the one I remember being on more. She was wondering if there is a certain etiquette when she goes to farm Timbermaw rep (as a level 68) and starts competing for mobs with level 58s. Which is actually very nice of her, because usually I'm in the other situation: I'm playing a lowbie alt and I have to go kill 50 pigs to get their spleens. Suddenly, a level 70 mage roars through the area, AoEing every pig he sees, rounding them all up in a pile so he can level up his skinning. A few seconds later, I'm left with nothing to farm, and he's standing over a pile of piggies, skinning away and humming to himself. For some reason, that makes me just see red. There are lots of other places he can farm skinning, so why does he feel the need to gank my quest mobs? It makes me seethe just thinking about it!

Unfortunately, as Nikol finds out, there is no set etiquette-- outside of a group, it literally is a free-for-all. If you're in my place, your only real option is to just find another quest to work on while all the mobs respawn, or poke around to see if he missed any. And to tell the truth, I shouldn't get so angry anyway-- it could be that the mage didn't realize I needed those pigs, and in fact, there is probably a whole other cache of pigs just over the hill that I haven't found yet.

But for some reason it just drives me nuts. Have you been on either side of this situation? And how have you handled it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Economy

Level restrictions on the Dark Portal

Here's an interesting tidbit that may or may not mean much at all. A player asks on the forums how to report someone under level 58 in Outlands, since there is a level restriction on the Dark Portal that means you have to be level 58 before you pass through it. Of course, other players respond (correctly) that it's not against the ToS to be in Outlands before level 58-- you are free to be summoned there whenever you want.

Drysc then shows up in the thread and affirms that Blizzard isn't worried about lower levels being in Outland, and then says the reason for this was to keep lowbies from rushing the new content during the Burning Crusade launch (as happened on many servers during the AQ gate opening. A player then asks the kicker: since the launch is long over, and any lowbies are welcome to explore their curiosity at any time (for the price of a simple summon), when will the level restriction on the Dark Portal be lifted? Drysc, caught speechless (at least, in my imagination he is), says simply, "I'm not sure."

So it's conceivable that Blizzard could, at some point, lift the level 58 restriction on going to Outland. The only problem is: who cares? While there are a few level 58-60 mobs in Hellfire Peninsula, anyone lower than that is going to get mauled everywhere else. I suppose that with an escort, lowbies might want to go out there to work on their profession skills, but for most skills, 300-375 require at least level 50. I'm not sure if First Aid has the same restrictions-- I guess that players might be able to go to Outland, get the First Aid books, and then go into sub-58 battlegrounds with better bandages than others at that level. And setting your hearth to Shat early doesn't hurt-- it gives you access to every big city in the game. Are there any reasons at all lowbies might want to get into Outland early?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Odds and ends, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

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