As I sit queued to resume Zarahi’s ventures in Draenor, I decided I would kill some time and do some reading over at WoW Insider. Adam Holinsky wrote a fantastic piece summing up the problem with the launch of Warlords. It was a nice read as it was something I explained to a few people last night and this morning. But it also shows Blizzard is doing everything in their power to sort this situation out. It’s frustrating as players, particularly come Saturday morning when the Eastern Time Zone can’t play all morning. But if it sorts everything out, then it’s worth it in the end.
But that’s not my topic of discussion right now. Instead, I’m reading Adam’s other article. The one where players are already level 100. I read that and I was more speechless than the opening cinematic quest for WoD. I just…yeah, wow. The expansion has barely been live 36 hours (allowing for server downtime) and folks are level capped? Yes, some were apparently using exploits they found and were subsequently level-slapped, but others are legit. Perhaps it’s because I’ve played less than five hours of Draenor that I can’t fathom it very well. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been around for enough expansions to know people shoot the moon as soon as they can, but this seems fast even by those standards.
Even before Warlords of Draenor was released I wondered to myself just what was the appropriate level settings to cap when it comes to a new expansion? Obviously end-game PvP players want to get there sooner than later, and the raiders goes without saying. But if you cater to just those two categories, then there may as well be an hour a level. There’s definitely still the rest of us out there, obviously…plus just the developers desire to tell a good story. So what’s the answer?
I’m not in the business of video games and profit, so I am no guru on the subject. That folks are already capped, in my humble opinion, seems a bit light. When I first set into Draenor I figured with my schedule I could probably cap in a month. For the average player, that would probably be closer to 5 days. Someone with Azerothian flu could probably do it in three. However, based on my time in the game now I think it might take me two weeks at a casual level. Is there currently enough end-game content to satiate non-PvPers? Raiding will probably hold strong until 6.1, but what about other players? Alting already? Don’t get me wrong, I have a small line ready to hit the portal, but I can see that being redundant for people. Yes, there’s new pet battles and of course the Garrison that many people are quite excited about. But if we can level cap this fast, is it enough?
I realize we’re talking about the extremists in the art of leveling, who probably mapped out their experience rewards during the beta and executed things perfectly. That’s not a reflection of all players, or even close to the average player. But I still know enough people who are 96-97. That I hit 91 as quickly as I did was even a bit surprising. I know some will hit 100 as soon as they can and others are going to take their time and soak in everything. So maybe it is fair to have the finish line so close this time around. Those who want to sprint to it can, those who want to jump a few hurdles first can do so, and the others that want to walk the distance to are welcome to do so.
What do you think? Is the pacing right? Is there a better way to do it?